Friday, July 25, 2014

Things I Miss...

     Honestly, I do not miss much about living in the States.  But I would not be telling the truth if I said that there was nothing I missed.  Right now...I miss air-conditioning.  I miss walking inside and getting that blast of cold air.  I miss cranking the temp down just before I go to bed so that I can sleep with my heavy duvet.  Right now, I am in a battle with my house.  In the early morning, I race to open windows to allow the cool air into the house.  By 10:00 a.m., I am racing around again but this time closing windows in hopes of trapping the cool air inside.  By bedtime, I am cursing that it is still 79 degrees Fahrenheit in my bedroom...who can sleep in temps that warm?   We have fans blowing 24-7.  I have taken to sleeping on the floor on the first floor because it is the coolest room in the house.  All of this because the temps have been about 80 degrees Fahrenheit for the last two weeks.  
     I can hear you now.  "She is complaining because it is 80 degrees Fahrenheit! That isn't hot!  She is getting older...maybe she's going through the change."  Well, when you have no circulation system in your house, anything over 75 degrees Fahrenheit outside can make it uncomfortable inside.  So there....I miss AC.  
Zucchini Trio:  Zucchini Blossom Quesadilla, Zucchini Fritters and Zucchini and Carrot Salad with Chickpeas and Spicy Peanut Dressing

     Yes, I stumped Dear Husband with a zucchini dish.  For Sunday lunch, I served him a trio of zucchini delicacies (my word, not his):  Zucchini blossom quesadillas, Zucchini Fritters and a Zucchini Salad with Chick Peas and a spicy peanut dressing.  Since then, I have been zucchini silent even though Dear Husband asks daily what zucchini inspired menu will appear for dinner.  I think he is just goading me.  Oh...just a slight break for now.  Currently, I have seven growing in the garden and by the time we return home from vacation, we will not only be in zucchini heaven (or h___) but also cucumber heaven!  I found a bunch growing this week while I was harvesting the remaining carrots.  
     With the higher temperatures, I have been trying to keep out of the kitchen as much as possible.  However, I have had this urge to cook.  Take a look at this salad...a friend of mine sent me a packet of nasturiums and they finally bloomed!  Did you know that you can eat the flowers and they are super tasty!  I started off with this salad...

     And then continued by adding a super grilled chicken with a cantaloupe salsa.  The chicken was a great recipe and I loved the technique.  Crush two cloves of garlic into a saucepan and add some olive oil.  Heat gently and let the garlic infuse the oil.  Take some chicken breasts and pound to flatten them.  Season with salt and pepper.  Brush some of the garlic oil on the chicken and place on a grill.  When placing on a grill, put the thickest part towards the hottest part of the grill.  Continue basting every few minutes and turning until the chicken has finished cooking.  Let it rest and place on your salad.  For the cantaloupe salsa, combine cantaloupe with red onion, jalapeƱo (seeded), cilantro and  a bit of lime juice.  


     Lastly, I made (on another morning), sweet potato chips.  Dear Daughter, now home from her trip to the States, suggested that I make these in the morning as it would be too hot in the kitchen around dinner time.  I did and they turned out pretty good.  Although,  I did have to place them in the oven for just a few moments to crisp them back up again, which kinda defeated the purpose of cooking them in the morning.  These were pretty easy and although they were cooked in oil, I have to believe that they are still better than supermarket brands.

     First, thinly, thinly slice one sweet potato.  If you have a mandolin, use that.  I do not (hint, hint). So, I painstakingly sliced the potato as thinly as I could it get it.  That is key.   In a pan, add vegetable oil (about 1 inch).  When sizzling, drop in a few slices of potato at a time.  You do not want to crowd the pan.   Swirl them around carefully and turn over so that they cook evenly.  It good about three to four minutes a batch but you have to watch them closely.  The sugars in the sweet potatoes will begin the caramelize quickly so you do not want them too brown.  Take out with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.  Once drained, I moved them to another baking sheet to cool and added a bit of salt. I continued until they were all cooked.  Pretty tasty...

Sweet Potato Chips
     I have been planning several trips this week.  Dear Daughter and I are taking an overnighter to Venice.  Hopefully by this trip, she will have stopped staying up until 2am and sleeping until 10am!  We will continue the Italy theme with a trip to Rome for Labor Day and I just booked what looks to be an incredible food tour of one of the neighborhoods.  For now, it is nearly 10am - so time to wake Sleeping Beauty!  Ciao!

1 comment:

  1. You make it all sound so simple. The cooking I mean.