Friday, October 29, 2010

Beach BBQ Fish Tacos

We had some wonderful, fresh-caught meals this week provided by husband T, who had one very successful fishing day! He never fails to bring back something, and it's the only time I eat fish. After two bouts of fish poisoning (think food poisoning 10 times worse) I gave up fish unless it was caught by him. This way I'm sure exactly where it was caught, which makes a big difference here on the island, and I can enjoy fish again!

This is the mahi mahi,

and he also caught a tuna and some mackeral. The mackeral was for the dog, as you normally wouldn't eat it unless it's smoked. He fried a little up for her, and we both tasted it was good!

For dinner that night we had tuna bruschetta with cheese quesadillas. I know, kind of strange.

My plan for dinner was veggie quesadillas, and he surprised me with the fish. He marinated it and seared it, served it with some mango salsa on french bread. Mmm.
We put the mahi in the freezer at his work for a couple days, then took it to the beach for a fish taco bbq! We took our power boat, a couple friends, couple dogs, and went to one of our favorite uninhabited islands, Happy Island.

He grilled the mahi on our little Son of Hibachi grill (great for taking by car or by boat because of the snuffer bag it comes can fold up the hot grill and put it right in the bag and take it with you!)

We had shredded cabbage and a wonderful cilantro cream sauce, along with a delicious black bean salad made by one of our friends...and in keeping with the theme, lots of margaritas! As always, a great day at the beach!
We went over budget this week by $14, and this is what we ate:

Wednesday: Homemade Falafel with tomato soup (thanks to Witchy Woman's post about falafel last week...we love it but never think to make it!)

Thursday: Pasta with mushrooms and asparagus and a white bean garlic sauce

Friday: Tuna Bruschetta

Saturday: Dinner out with a friend, I had Chile Rellenos

Sunday: Veggie Pizza with meatless pepperoni (pretty good!)

Monday: Chili Pot Pie...this was so yum
. I made a chili with tomato, onion, mushroom, and crumbled up veggie burgers. Cooked it for a while in veggie broth, then put it in the casserole topped with cornbread, cheese, and black olives.
Tuesday: Big salad with pesto pasta

Another effortless vegetarian week! When we started about a month ago, we weren't really trying to make it a thing, just not eat meat until we really felt like far, not yet!

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great week!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Back to the Boat!

We just spent two weeks housesitting for some friends, and were back on the sailboat this week...good to be home! Though our kitchen on the boat is tiny, it's so much easier to keep clean! The nice thing about a big kitchen every once in a while, is that we can "stretch out" and make things that take a little more elbow room...our pierogies last week, for example.

We stayed almost on budget this week, we spent $106 (one dollar over!) and this is what we ate:

Wednesday: Tostadas- we baked the corn tortillas until crispy, and topped them with pureed white beans that husband seasoned. He says "we'll never buy canned refried beans again!" They were really good. Lettuce, tomato, red onion, cheese, and salsa...fairly cheap and really easy.

Thursday: We had an event to go to in the evening, so we both had a late lunch (veggie burger for me) and no dinner.

Friday: We had tostadas again for breakfast, same as dinner but topped with a fried egg. For dinner we had veggie burgers and french fries.

Saturday: Used up the rest of the french fries (the market only sells ONE brand, it's a big bag, and costs $6.99) with sandwiches- roasted mushrooms, red peppers, and onions

Sunday: Pizza- ricotta was on sale, so we used that with a homemade sauce and various veggies (and anchovies for me!) on pita breads.

Monday: Stir fry vegetables with thai noodles

Tuesday: Stuffed sweet potatoes with ricotta, onions, fake bacon bits, and sour cream, with steamed asparagus on the side

Yep, did you notice it was another veggie week? We both agree we really aren't missing the meat!

Hope everyone has a great week, and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Eat Less Meat, Spend More Money

We just completed a meatless week...and we made some great meals! Last week we did 5 out of 7 meatless, and this week we decided to go for it every day! Husband generally likes meat meals more than I do, but he was totally on board this week. I admit, it definitely takes more the end of a long day it's easy to just grill up a chicken breast with some veggies. I wanted to incorporate some "fake meat" this week...definitely more expensive than real meat!

Ok, here on the island, everything is more expensive...including veggies! Two large portobellos will cost as much as a pound of ground beef, and nothing is ever in season! Do you pay $8 for one squash in September? We do! So, we did go a little over budget this week ($15 a day for food and drink, breakfast and dinner), but we would have gone a lot over budget...we are house sitting right now and they had some stuff that needed to be used up. We spent $109 this week, and this is what we ate!

Tuesday: Squash stuffed with mushrooms, onions, rice, broccoli

Wednesday: Tofu with teriyaki vegetables and rice

Thursday: Barbados Black Bean Cakes (from Vegetarian Times) with grilled sweet potatoes and mango salsa...really delicious!

Friday: Veggie Pizza...husband made the crust from scratch and we baked it on a pizza stone. As much as we make pizza, we don't own and have never used a pizza stone, but the place we are housesitting had one. I am sold!! The crust was amazing.

We topped it with mushrooms, onions, roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, and some fake italian sausage. The sausage was really good, but at the regular market it goes for $9 for 4 links. I found it at the big box store for $5...still more expensive than pork sausage, $4 for 5 links.

Saturday: Grilled veggie kabobs with roasted rosemary potatoes

Sunday: Home made pierogies!
My very favorite! I had to work late, so T did it all...made the dough and a couple different fillings...potato and cheese, and fake ground beef ($6 for 12 ounces) with onions. Served with pickled beets and saurkraut...yum!

Monday: Enchiladas filled with leftovers...grilled veggies, black beans, fake meat, and served with a plum salsa.

At the end of the week, we both felt a little bit healthier, and a little bit lighter. The trend may continue!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Flame-Kissed Chicken Skin

My husband T, describes his perfect day at the beach as such: "Best girl, cold beer, and flame- kissed chicken skin". Not sure about the last one, but this is from the guy who lovingly described the texture of a tenderloin I once cooked as "Noodles of Beef". Last week was our wedding anniversary, and he kidnapped me from the studio for a beach BBQ to celebrate. We went to our favorite beach,
the day was beautiful, and he planned ahead and brought everything! I mean, drink, chairs, towels, sunblock, even the book I was reading. He takes his beach days very seriously.
He recently bought a little travel grill called the Son of Hibachi, which he was eager to try out. Apparently it gets the coals hot very fast due to it's stovepipe design
opens up for two grilling surfaces,
and the best part, comes with a snuffer bag! For those, like me, that don't know about grilling stuff, this is a special carry bag that you put the hot coals and hot grill into when you are finished, so you can transport it immediately. Very ideal if you take your grill in the car or on the boat.

He grilled some marinated chicken, and served it with coleslaw and chips...delicious!

We enjoyed lunch and some champagne, then it was off to meet some friends...indeed, we transported the hot grill in the snuffer bag without causing a fire or the car exploding...good purchase, T!

I have been terrible on the budget this week ($15 a day for food and drink, lunch and dinner)...I think we went a little over every day. I have been very busy at the studio and have not been taking the time to plan ahead too lots of easy meat and potato meals, soups, and pasta.

Two highlights of the week were the corned beef I did in the slow cooker (which I paid $17 for! It was maybe a pound and a half) served with potatoes and sauerkraut,

and meatloaf served with roasted red potatoes and carrots.

I vow to be back on track this week, it really helps to save money when you are paying attention!

Stayed tuned for my next post...I am sharing a post with my studio blog, Water Candy, and making water candy sushi!

Thanks for stopping by, and you can follow me here, too!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


How ironic that my last post was about preparing for a hurricane...and then we had one! If you follow the weather, you know that last week Hurricane Earl hit us here in the Virgin Islands. We knew he was coming on Monday, and I started the day normally... showering, checking emails, etc...much to the irritation of husband who was busy securing lines on our sailboat (home) and powerboat (business). I didn't think that we would get weather so soon, then the rains came and the winds picked up and our boat was tossing and turning! One big gust threw the boat and stuff came crashing off the countertops! I packed my "ditch bag" as fast as I could and told T: "The dog and I are ready to go!"

We packed up and headed to our friend's house at 8 a.m. They have a great place (we stay there to watch their dogs when they are away)...huge TV with a million channels, (we have no TV) great hot shower, (boatyard shower for us!), big fridge and freezer with everything you'd want (tiny dorm fridge with no freezer for us!). We arrived, and much to our dismay, they had been out of power since 5 a.m! No TV, no shower, everything melting in the freezer. Sigh.
I was dying for an egg sandwich for breakfast, and thankfully they have a gas grill, grilled eggs
We sat through the rains all day, and cooked a pork tenderloin on the grill for dinner, along with some complaints here!

We did have to scoop water off the deck with a dustpan to fill the toilet so that we could flush, but probably more than you want to know!

Hurricane Earl came down at a 3 or 4 strengh, and we were so worried about the boats! We wanted to check everything, but were trapped by fallen trees and a curfew. Finally we got home...everything OK! I was amazed. Home and business still floating, not a single thing amiss. BUT...Hurricane Fiona was supposed to hit that night! We stayed another night with the friends...skipped dinner because we all got ridiculous playing Happy Hour Trivial Pursuit (drink a shot everytime you miss a pie piece).

Next day we went home, everything still ok...and our power was back on. Some parts of the island were restored just a few days ago!

So -hurricanes done, and we were off to North Carolina for a family reunion...not sure that would happen because another hurricane was threatening. We made it, it was brother smoked a pork for 12 hours with a homemade raspberry chipotle BBQ sauce that was much good food all weekend!

Long story short, the budget was nowhere to be seen for about 2 weeks! Faced with an emergency, you buy whatever you need NOW, whatever the cost! There are actually laws here against stores price-gouging in an no trouble there.

Whew! Crazy couple of weeks. One of our first meals back was gigantic smothered burritos...

tonight is chicken with corn and mash...needing some comfort food!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Boatyard Stack-Up

Nope- not a bunch of pancakes or a really big sandwich...this is our marina during hurricane season! We are in the Caribbean, and those of us with boats take extra precautions. Many people like to haul out (take the boat out of the water) for the season, and our marina is a popular and safe spot. Is is very strange to see layers and layers of boats stacked up on the jack stands, with the masts towering above. Just doesn't seem right to see boats like this out of the water! We do not haul our sailboat or our power boat...we stay in a lagoon that is a very safe spot ( not a lot of wind, not a lot of storm surge)...but if a big storm comes we will get off the boat and stay with friends.

Normally this time of year on the island is quiet, but husband and I have both been very busy...I just opened a store for my glass art, and T has been busy doing adventure charters on our powerboat...I regret that dinners have suffered a bit! We came in a little over budget this week ($110, should be $105), and this is what we had to eat!:

Thursday: NO DINNER! We were both so tired from long days and opted for liquid dinners (never a good idea when those liquids are beer and wine!)

Friday: T took me out to Randy's restaurant...we split fried mozzarella, caesar salads, linguine with a creamy pesto, and a reuben...we spent all afternoon boating and we were so hungry we had a bit of everything!

Saturday: Sweet and sour salmon with fried rice...really good!

Sunday: The island's annual Chili Cook-Off! About 50 booths set up on the beach and compete for the title of best chili...we definitely sampled them all, though I think T's Cranberry Chili is still the best I have ever had.

Monday: Lemon pepper pasta (from newest Vegetarian Times mag) with chicken soup

Tuesday: Green chile pork stew...all day in the slow cooker= yum!

Wednesday: Leftover stew with grilled cheese sandwiches

Thursday: Black bean and sweet potato enchiladas with a raspberry chipotle sauce (my invention...T was skeptical but loved it!)

Oh, also this week I tried my first star fruit! Our neighbor gave us one off of his need to peel, just slice it like a star. Tasted like a cross between a pear and a kiwi, with a little crunch. T served it over eggs with hash and!

Hope everyone has a great week, and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Lobster Obsession

Is there anything better than fresh-caught dinner? Especially when it's Caribbean lobster and crab!? The Sea was generous with husband yesterday when he set out to catch huge crab, 4 Slipper lobsters, and 8 Caribbean lobsters!

He gave some to friends to chill until Sunday when we'll have a big lobster boil, and kept some for dinner- crab and lobster gumbo!

Let me tell you- as someone who used to live in New Orleans, his was the best gumbo I have ever tasted. He made the stock by boiling the crab and lobster shells, and that alone smelled delicious...I'm not sure what all he added because he was like a crazy man in the kitchen. Chopping veggies, cooking sausage, making roux. Oh, he must have been taking notes in the cooking class that we took in New Orleans on our last vacation! The color of the roux was a deep carmel with a nutty smell and was perfect with the sweet lobster and crab and spicy andouille sausage. Yum!

He set aside some meat from the legs that he cooked in the Lobster Popcorn method (see older post) and that went into omlettes this morning with spinach, cream cheese, onions, and peppers. Topped with a splash of Crystal hot sauce- perfect!

Aren't these gorgeous? The name of our power boat is Obsession, and here some of his catch rests on the dockbox. He does lobstering, freediving, and spearfishing charters with this boat, so if you'll be in the islands...

Came under budget this week, spent $97 of the $105 budget, and this is what we ate:

Thursday: Burgers

Friday: Mini grilled cheeses with leftover white borscht

Saturday: Minestrone (here I used the first of sister's dried zucchini)

Sunday: Roasted pork tenderloin with rice and broccoli

Monday: Girls night out- cocktails and movie. Also boys night out-Hooters

Tuesday: Pasta Primavera (here I used the last of sister's dried zucchini)
I just added it to the sauce and let it cook for a while.

Wednesday: Pizza

And the week ended with the gumbo!

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great week!

Friday, August 6, 2010

My Sister's Garden

I received the best surprise in the mail earlier in the week...a box full of good stuff from my sister's garden! She lives in North Carolina, and sent all kinds of things that I wouldn't even try to grow on the boat! There was a bunch of Chiogga beets (?), a bag of dried zucchini, and containers of ground red pepper and coriander seeds.

We used the red pepper first, adding it to a corn side dish that we had with chicken and mashed potatoes. She warned that it was hot, and it was! It tasted great, but both husband and I just love to smell it- so fresh and earthy.

There were a bunch of beets, so I decided to make borscht in the slow cooker. I had never heard of this particular beet, and was surprised when I began peeling them and they seemed pink. Once I cut them though- wow! Perfect stripes of red and white. Would the borscht be red, or pink, or white?

Turns out it was white, which was weird because it tasted just like borscht (beet soup) which should be red and which we make quite a bit. I added some sliced potatoes, onions, and sausage, and smoothed it all with the immersion blender then topped it with sour cream. Delicious!

The dried zucchini is also something new to me. She said we could freeze it (no freezer) so we will be adding it to some soup tomorrow. It tasted good as -is though!

We will have no trouble using all the crushed red pepper...but the corriander seeds will be an adventure. Have never bought them, and sister suggested Mexican or Indian dishes, so we will try that on the menu this week!

For the budget this week, we spent $108, which is three dollars over budget. Incase you are new, our budget is $105 for the week, and that includes breakfast and dinner (lunch is leftovers), food and drink. If we go under budget, it goes into Vacation Fund. Those few dollars really can add up...this year we spent 2 weeks doing a New Orleans vacation/Caribbean cruise, and last year we did a week in Paris and a week in Barcelona.

Anyway, this is what we ate this week:

Thursday: Homemade pizza

Friday: Fish and chips at the Toad and Tart restaurant. Friends were visiting and they graciously took us out (Thanks Deb and Mike!)

Saturday: Homemade veggie burgers (see last post)

Sunday: Grilled Kabobs (our neighbors have a grill and we joined them for dinner)

Monday: Chicken, mashed potatoes and corn (with sister's hot peppers)

Tuesday: Frozen Pot Stickers with steamed veggies and rice. I was tired and uninspired this day! But they were OK.

Wednesday: White Borscht with Polish pizzas. (Polish pizza is a thing our mom used to make for special occasions...we are Polish and from the midwest so make of this what you rye breads toasted and topped with cooked ground beef that has been mixed with processed cheese and then toasted again. I still love it.)

Thanks for stopping by, and hope everyone has a great week! (And call your sister!)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Veggie Burger: FAIL

I am always looking for new recipes to make the perfect homemade veggie burger, so I was so excited to see the cover of my latest Vegetarian Times magazine promise "the best homemade veggie burger". Inside, they revealed the secret glue that holds the burgers together for even grilling!
I have tried many recipes, and have yet to find the perfect consistency that holds together even just for pan frying. So- their secret ingredient? Overcooked pasta! Ok, never tried that, but did have some leftover pasta that was to be pureed. I added leftover rice, a can of white beans, and the veggies that I had: sauteed mushrooms and onion, red peppers, kalamata olives, cayenne pepper. Salt and pepper, balsamic, and some grill seasoning. I chilled them for a while, but they still didn't seem like they'd stick together, so I floured them a bit before adding them to a pan with hot oil. I wish I could say success, but they were a FAIL. The flavor was great, but did not hold together. Anyway, we used the leftovers in wraps the next day.

Husband took a few days in the kitchen this week, and I have to say there were some weird dishes...sorry husband! First night was mac and cheese with an assortment of leftover cheeses and mushroom gravy in the bottom, served with toast points and tomatoes. Next night was pineapple meatballs served with hard boiled eggs and marinated beets. Everything really was great, but I never would have thought of the flavor combos! I had to work late, but he very sweetly texted me a photo of his menu board!

We went a little over budget for the week ($112, so we were $7 over) and this is what we had:

Thursday: Pork tacos

Friday: Salmon, rice and veggies

Saturday: Meatball pizza

Sunday: Big Salad

Monday: BLT's on rye

Tuesday: Mushroom mac and cheese

Wednesday: Meatballs, beets, and eggs

One last photo for those who have never seen a fresh-caught octopus!

Hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

His and Hers Grilling

One of the few disadvantages of living on a sailboat is that we don't have a grill. We tried once, mounting a small one on the side of the cockpit, but flames so close to the fabric awning made me way too nervous! So whenever we get the opportunity to grill, we go a little nuts (ok, mostly husband goes a little nuts). Some friends recently took a long weekend off island, and we stayed at their place to babysit their dogs.

Husband T could eat meat or chicken every single meal, while I prefer once or twice a week, and the grill makes it so easy for each of us to have exactly what we want. Our first night we made grilled corn on the cob, grilled brussels sprouts, and he had a Delmonico steak and I had a portobello mushroom. You can hardly tell that mine isn't steak! I marinated it in oil and vinegar, some grill seasoning and a mini cube of cilantro. This is something I discovered at the market's a little cube of powdered cilantro that you crumble into whatever you would put regular cilantro into. Cilantro here is currently $2.99 for a small bunch, so I used the cube. Anyway, the mushroom was delicious! Anyone trying to eat less meat should really try this!

Another night we had grilled chicken salad, and everything went on to the grill...tomatoes, onions, red peppers, lettuce, and of course the chicken! T made a dressing out of raspberry jam and balsamic vinegar -the sweet/tart was perfect over all of that grilled goodness! We also topped it with feta and mint.

Grilled burgers were the next night...and after that I was meat-ed out! So the next night was Tofu of my very favorite meals. I breaded the tofu in panko and parm and baked it in the oven until crisp and brown, and served it over pasta with some tomatoes, onions, and more cheese!

Other meals for the week were turkey meatloaf, pasta primavera, and dinner out with friends, and we spent about $100 for the week, which is $5 under budget.

This week we seem to be all about fish! We have had salmon and veggies twice (first salmon was teriakied and pan fried, the other was honey gingered and baked), and T caught a couple different fish speardiving, as well as an octopus which I will not be trying. (See old post "Octopus Brains").

Hope everyone has a great week!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Too Many Tomatoes!

How many tomato plants can you grow on a sailboat? I'm not sure, but I have a lot! A few weeks ago I planted 2 full packages of tomato seeds in containers, one was a jelly bean variety and the other something larger. Well, every single seed grew! I have been busy transplanting them as they have grown, have given 12 plants away, and still I have a bunch. Since space is an issue here, I have always been interested in the upside down tomato planters, but they don't look very pretty to me. So, being a glass artist, I made my own! I cut the bottoms off of a couple of bottles and drilled some holes for the hangers. I very gently wrapped a tomato plant in a coffee filter and fed it through the bottle neck, then filled it with potting soil. So far, they are thriving...I will update as to whether they produce fruit or get too heavy. For now, they sure look pretty hanging on the boat!

We had nothing exciting enough to eat this week to photograph, but we did come in almost $23 under budget (budget is $105 for the week), and this is what we ate:

Sunday: Pork chops with stuffing and broccoli

Monday: Pork fried rice and stir fried vegetables

Tuesday: Tomato soup with loaded baked potatoes

Wednesday: Chicken with mashed potatoes and broccoli

Thursday: BBQ chicken pizza

Friday: Flatbread sandwiches with chicken, bacon, avocado, and tomato

Saturday: Omelettes with bacon and tomato

Thanks for stopping by, have a great week!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dog Food Sandwiches

Don't worry! We are on a budget, but not that much of a budget! Dogfood sandwiches are just one of the many ways we are trying to trick our dog into eating. After some rapid weight loss, she was diagnosed with some liver damage resulting from a bout of tick fever she had years ago. The liver damage causes loss of appetite, so we are doing everything we can to get her to eat.

She is slightly more interested in people food than what's in her dish (won't even eat out of her dish anymore) so she gets lots of people food (raw liver, rice, any kind of leftovers) and lots of pretend people food. Hence the dog food sandwich. I heap some wet dog food in between 2 pieces of bread and pretend to eat it while she watches. After I am "full", I set it on the floor for her and she eats every bite!
I will also heat some canned food in the microwave and give it to husband, who pretends to take a few bites before he is full, and then makes the dog do a trick or two for her "treat".
Putting dog food in an empty take-out container and pretending we just brought it home? Yep- done that!
It's so important that she eats (besides, of course, to gain weight) because she has pills to take for her liver and pancreas, and she gets sick if they are taken on an empty stomach. She is quite good at eating all her food except for those two tiny pills! In this case they are massaged down her throat.

This has been going on for weeks and I hope she doesn't catch on to us! She looks like she may have gained a few pounds back. Oh, in case you are wondering, "give her anything she wants to eat" was recommended by the vet...our dog is almost 12 years old and it's more important that she eats than worrying about spoiling her on table scraps.
This is her when we were cat sitting at a friends house a few weeks ago. She is watching the cats eat. She loves catfood but neither T nor I can stand the smell, so she won't be getting that!

We did ok on the budget this week, came in $7 under, so that goes into Vacation Fund, and this is what we ate:

Sunday: Chicken with rice and red pepper/avocado salsa

Monday: Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup

Tuesday: Chili

Wednesday: Some visiting friends took us out to dinner. We went to the Schnitzel Haus and we had schnitzel

Thursday: Taco salad using leftover chili

Friday: Spaghetti and meatballs

Saturday: Pizza

I actually don't have any dinner photos this week, so here is breakfast from a few days ago. When T and I both have the morning off we like to go out for breakfast, but it gets so expensive. We easily spend $30 -not because we eat a lot but because it's expensive-, and if you throw a couple Bloody Mary's in, we easily spend upwards of $50. That's just wrong for breakfast! Anyway, we got bagels from the store and I made an herbed cream cheese with stuff from our garden. We found the perfect avocado and T made fried eggs. Yum!

Hope everyone has a great week!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

From Catching to Cooking

Another great dinner provided by my spearfisher extraordinaire husband- fish tacos! (And he did everything from catching to cooking!) A few days ago he caught a permit, which is a gorgeous, firm fish with a mild taste, and is excellent for any cooking method. He made two nice filets and seasoned them with chili lime powder, cumin, blackening seasoning, and salt and pepper. As he pan- fried them in olive oil, I made my very favorite sauce, Amy's Cilantro Cream Sauce, and chopped some cabbage. Neither of us had thought beyond the fish, cabbage, and sauce, so that's all we had on them!

When the fish was finished, he made the dough for his homemade tortillas..a cup of flour, a tablespoon of lard (yep), a bit of sugar, salt, and corn meal. We still have not replaced our tortilla maker with the broken handle, so he rolled them out (between pieces of waxed paper) and said he actually prefers it this way. The tortillas were excellent, and enough left over for lunch the next day for the both of us!

We ate more beets this week! This time I grated them raw into some cabbage with a little honey and vinegar and made a simple slaw, and served it with portobello mushroom stroganoff. I love portobellos! They are so meaty I could substitute them for beef anytime, but unfortunately they are more expensive than the cuts I would use in something like a stroganoff...$5.99 for two mushrooms!

T had two night dives this week and I was eating alone, so I made a few things he'd probably roll his eyes at. I've had polenta before, but I had never tried cooling it into a shape and then cutting it. I spooned it into a greased loaf pan and chilled for the afternoon. When it was nice and firm I cut it into squares. The first night I just pan fried it and served it with the beet slaw and the other portobello. The second night I gave it an egg wash and rolled it in panko, and then pan fried it. YUM! It made a great crispy side to my turkey burger. He would probably like polenta, but it's one of those things like tofu.

We still haven't had much breeze lately...when it's super hot in the evenings, we like to get in the dinghy with the dog and a couple of cocktails and have a sunset happy hour. A great way to end the day!

We did very well on the budget this week, only spent $83.06 of the allotted $105, the only meals not mentioned yet were Sunday night, which was the last night of our weekend in Ft Lauderdale (mexican restaurant and paid for by Vacation Fund), and a big salad on Monday.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Green Bean Tartine

Isn't it great when suddenly you like a food that you thought you hated? For me- green beans. Yuck. I probably haven't touched them since...well, probably since I was a kid and couldn't leave the table until I finished all my veggies. Oh, I do eat green bean casserole at Thanksgiving, but mostly just the french fried onion top!

Husband has been asking for beans for dinner, so a couple weeks ago I picked up a few and roasted them with red potatoes. Amazingly, they tasted just like asparagus (which I love). This must have been a fluke though because I really hate green beans, right?

It has been about a million degrees with no breeze here on the island, so all I wanted for dinner last night was vegetables, and set out to find whatever was least expensive. I ended up with a bunch of green beans (and beets and a cabbage and mushrooms), so I made a green bean tartine. I made an asparagus and goat cheese tartine a couple weeks ago - it was delicious and easy and no cleanup because it is cooked in a foil packet! So this is what I did:

Start with a piece of foil maybe a foot long. Fold it in half and then unfold it, and make a little box with one half. Lightly oil with olive oil and place whatever bread you have on the bottom. I used leftover wheat for one and rye for the other.

Combine all your vegetables with about a cup of chicken (or vegetable) broth, along with a couple tablespoons balsamic and salt and pepper. I used green beans, cabbage, mushrooms, red onions, and beets. See my last post for how NOT to cook a beet. This time I boiled them.

Pile all the vegetables on top of the bread. Combine a couple eggs with about a quarter cup of your broth, and pour it on top. Sprinkle some panko and lay a sprig of rosemary on top.

Seal the packet and bake at 400 for 30 minutes.

Top with goat cheese. Eat every last bite. Throw away the foil. Done!

My budget ($105 for the week) was a little off this week because we popped up to Ft Lauderdale for a long weekend, and I don't do the food budget while we are on vacation. (Whenever I come in under budget for the week I put the extra into Vacation Fund, so I feel ok about spending more while on vacation. So it all works out.)

Before we left we had to finish whatever was in the fridge, and I think the highlight was pulled pork made from a tenderloin, served with coleslaw. The tenderloin went into the slow cooker with a can of root beer and a little balsamic. I made a BBQ sauce with pureed mango, honey, and cayenne...I loved it, T thought it would be better on chicken since it wasn't a "real" BBQ sauce.

The highlight from our weekend away was a portobello bruschetta we had at a brick-oven pizza place. Really tasty and interesting because it wasn't served on bread which I always thought was necessary for bruschetta (am I uninformed?) I do have to say the size of the portions everywhere we ate were ridiculously huge (and our servers told us that yes, most people eat it all)...I guess no wonder so many Americans are overweight!

Ok, I just realized our tartines were ridiculously huge and we ate every bite (but veggies don't count, right?).

Anyway, hope everyone has a great week!