Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Check out my guest post!

Curious? Check out my guest post over at Chez What. Thanks Doggybloggy for the great opportunity!

In other good news, we finally parted ways with the abandoned car last night!

Car, you have been with us since December...we'll remember fun times with gardening. Memories of asking random homeless people to not sleep in you...
But it's time for you to go on your merry way. (This was actually the Realtor's picture of the property!)

Happy House sans abandoned car.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sunshine, Food (of course!) and I think we're heading home

You'll notice something strange about the next few's not raining! All in all, just a few random food posts and some ponderings.

One being--I'd never really baked eggs before outside of casseroles and cakes--this time, it ended up not being quite ideal. The yolks set a little too hard. Regardless, it was magnificently convenient and can be perfected, I'm sure. Here are Sunday's eggs thrown into our "cookie sheet" after the potatoes were pretty much done.
I have made this soup many times before, but nothing quite beats a zucchini tomato soup when you happen to have fresh zukes and tomatoes ;)

Basic recipe--one onion, 2-3 zukes, as many tomatoes as you can grab, peeled, cook down with your italian herbs and stir in some cream (sour cream in our case) and fresh basil and oregano from the garden. I also threw in some tomato paste to hold it all together.
Toasted english muffin with cheddar and some more fresh herbs. I like the crevices in english muffins--you can grab more soup with these than with your average toast.

While I was cooking, Tavo separated and repotted our very healthy begonias and nasturtiums.
Master Gardener, in reclining pose.
Tonight, we just whipped up everything that remains when you're holding out for Saturday's farmer's market. I still had a bag of spinach, but otherwise its ramen and some frozen chicken for Tavo.
Curry chicken over garlic spinach and ramen. Didn't taste terrible, but it needs something. We couldn't quite decide what, though. Any suggestions?

They just moved all our stuff into our old house. Boxes everywhere. I'm trying not to be too overwhelmed! Luckily, we have a three day weekend coming up. Here's to some sunny days.

Okay, this is random, but WOW. I was searching youtube for "Summertime" and found this very intense Mahalia Jackson recording. (as if non-intense Mahalia existed...)
This is worth checking out, though it has a much darker note than I intended for the post.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rainy nights and spicy roti

I'm going on a little tangent here--I'll warn you in advance because I like you.

I've never been a chef. I consider myself more of a cook. I do think about food, but all my favorite dishes are usually someone else's idea, changed only to fit my wallet or cupboard. This is the beautiful thing about being a cook. You can appreciate and recreate the good ones. Just make sure to give credit where it's due.

Visual arts, music--there's so much pressure to create something new. I like the relief of just being a cook. I have nothing to prove--I just want to share the great creations.

So, here is a marriage of two fantastic food blog recipes. Latayy, of Mouthwatering Vegan Delights got my mind HARD SET on some Curry Obsessed Roti for the weekend :) She kept talking about her liking of curry, and I just had to go to Mel, of BitchinCamero's recipe for Curried Cauliflower and Chickpea Stew

yeah, there's potatoes in there!
Grab a cauliflower when its on sale. It's just so useful. Appetizers and big curries, I am a fan.
I altered Mel's recipe to include just one can of Ro-Tel with regular tomatoes. Ro-Tel can be mad spicy.

Stayed true to Mel's recipe, except added some fresh peas near the end. Tavo appoves.
Roti? (Or a lazy gal with fresh tortillas??) Who could ever know ;)

...uh, we're "keeping it real" with the paper plates

What a fantastic dish! This is good. Easy and fun. It's going into ROTI-tation. Yeah, I am that cheesy.

It's raining here, non stop. Here is a link to Blind Melon Embedding disabled, but please go and enjoy. Happy Friday everyone.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

All things good!

Have you ever followed a recipe that you weren't so sure about...and were COMPLETELY floored by the results? Please let me introduce you to the Hibachi Shrimp Zucchini recipe from Beachlover Kitchen. Both Tavo and I stood around the pan, munching the leftovers (I ate more than my fair share of squash!), even though we'd already eaten it for dinner. It was SO GOOD! Here is her recipe, slightly altered to fit the contents of my cabinets ;)


3 zucchini (we actually used two summer squash and a zucchini)

10 shrimp (used 2 chicken breasts)

1 carrot (or a handful of baby carrots)

5-6 garlic (peel and minced)

4 tbsp butter (soften)

2 tbsp heavy cream (I used whole milk)

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp white pepper (only had black)

2 tbsp soy sauce

**I used salted butter, so omitted the additional salt

From Beachlover Kitchen

(I precooked the chicken breasts until almost done, then sliced them and followed the instructions below, using chicken in place of shrimp)


1: Peel, wash and cut all vegetables, set aside. Mix minced garlic with butter and heavy cream, store at freezer in advance.

2: Prepare skillet or wok at high heat. Add in butter mixture and let it sizzle, be careful not to let it burn. Add in shrimp, stir fry for 2 minutes before adding carrots and zucchini.

3: Sautee for 2 minutes, add in soy sauce, white pepper and salt. Let the vegetables simmer for another 3-5 minutes. Adjust the seasoning to your taste before remove from heat. Serve warm with hibachi fried rice or hibachi fried noodles.


The main key or secret to cook hibachi is the butter mixture. You can use bean sprouts, onion, broccoli and other vegetables.

(Also true to cupboard contents, we decided to serve it on ramen noodles)
WOW!! Thank you Beachlover Kitchen--that was incredible!! This is seriously going into regular rotation at la casita de Tavolini.

Okay, now that we have the cooking inspiration of the month--here's some fairly boring food with fairly good news..

Saturday coffee
Faux McMuffins--I admit it. I really don't do fast food, but I have a complete adoration for egg mcmuffins and McDonald's coffee. The regular coffee. Does it taste slightly salty to you, too? I love it. These are oven toasted english muffins with eggs over easy and smoked gouda. Yolk proceeded to flow everywhere after a bite.
Remember that house we used to live in? The one that didn't require tons of work every night?

Here's a quick before and after--big thanks to AB&G Fire Restoration in Atlanta for their excellent work!

And check this out...
Is this fan better or what??
Best news of all is that our neighbor's demolition should be starting next week. That means...well, we might be moving home soon.

Though, I think it will be quite hard to leave all this.

Tavo comes with!! I'm talking about the nice grass he put in.
So what if you only own 6 inches of dirt? It's 6 inches by 60 feet ;)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Buitoni Pasta

We received Buitoni Wild Mushroom Agnolotti from Foodbuzz a couple weeks ago and I just couldn't decide what kind of sauce to use. Buitoni agnolotti has been making the rounds on the foodblogs--some of my favorites include DoggyBloggy's and Katherine Aucoin's. I read that the pasta itself was a bit salty, so I wanted to do a sauce without salt to balance the flavor. According to wikipedia, "Typically, agnolotti are dressed in a beef broth and a little melted butter or in a fresh sage and melted butter sauce, as a complex sauce would detract from the flavors in the agnolotti pockets. In both cases topped with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese."

Well--I decided not to do that. I had all these fresh tomatoes from the market, so to hell with the butter sauce. I did a siciliana sauce of fresh and unsalted canned tomatoes, onions, garlic, crushed red pepper and herbs. Not very creative, but it did seem to work well without overpowering the pasta.

Our herb garden is coming along well--I decided to use a wee bit of the basil..

and a few of the oregano seedlings, as well. They need to be thinned anyways.
Our gas station is getting downright classy with its wine selection!
Verdict--both of us really liked it. We ate the entire box of pasta in one sitting ;)
This morning, we noticed that our magnolia is beginning to bloom! Oh man, it is going to smell so good.
Happy weekend, everyone