Sunday, June 12, 2011

2011.06.02 - Sandwiches, Asparagus Artichoke Salad

This week felt like kind of a cop-out.  Sandwiches!  However, the side salad was pretty amazing, so hopefully that makes up for it a bit.  And sandwiches *was* the first Thursday night dinner, after all.


Every Saturday, A and I have lunch at a local bagel establishment.  My usual is turkey and havarti with tomatoes and lettuce on a rosemary bagel (or sesame or pretzel).  I almost never eat havarti outside of that lunch, so I thought it would be nice to replicate my favorite a bit for this dinner.  I thought that roast deli chicken and havarti sounded good, and amazingly enough, those were the two things on sale at the deli counter.  Extreme couponing!  (not)

Asparagus Artichoke Salad

I've been going asparagus crazy this spring, but it seems like that's the only thing that's seasonal right now.  It's been a cold and rainy winter in Washington state and the crops just aren't ready yet.  I think I can count on one hand the number of times I've had artichoke, but for some reason the description of this salad called to me.  I love simple, non-lettuce based salads, and this one is certainly near the top of my list now.  The simple dressing of lemon juice, garlic powder, artichoke marination liquid, and oil from roasting the asparagus was just right.  The asparagus, artichoke, and tomato worked well together.  This salad was great and I need to make it again soon!

2011.05.26 - Taco Thursday, Black Bean Salad, Funfetti Cupcakes

Another simple-to-prepare-after-work meal is tacos.  I jazzed these up with a black bean and pineapple salad.  We were celebrating a big award won by B, so I thought funfetti would be appropriately festive.


I typically make my tacos with ground turkey breast and Penzeys taco seasoning.  I like the flavor of this spice mix and think that turkey tacos are a bit healthier than ground beef.  I served them with corn soft tortillas, tomato, mexican cheese blend, sour cream, and lettuce.  I make a toppings bar so people can add what they want, which does mean that tacos win the record for most bowls and spoons used in a meal. 

Black Bean and Pineapple Salad

This "salad" was delicious.  The roasted pineapple was amazing.  I think this would be even better on the grill because I didn't have the patience to get my pineapple fully caramelized under the broiler (it took over 30 minutes just to get a light broil!).  I would definitely make this again.

Modifications: I left out most ingredients from the original recipe because I was serving it as a taco topping, not as an individual meal or side.  I only used the onion, beans, pineapple, and spices. 

Funfetti Cupcakes

These were a paaaain to unmold from the muffin tin because they grew slightly over the edge of the paper liner and cemented themselves to the pan.  They were pretty sticky from the sugar in the recipe and it was just an annoying unmolding (although at least most stayed intact).  Aside from all that, funfetti is FUN and one of my favorite kinds of cake.  I've only made it with a box mix before, but this recipe was pretty simple.  I'd love to try it as a full cake sometime.  Rainbow sprinkles are the best!

Modifications: After I bought my stand mixer, I threw out my crappy hand mixer and rejoiced that I would never need one again.  Unfortunately, marshmallow frosting like the one in the recipe requires using a hand mixer over a double boiler.  After realizing this at 10:30 PM the night before the dinner, I gave up and used a container of cream cheese frosting that I had in the pantry.  I bet the marshmallow frosting would have been amazing though.