Sometimes Monday | 5.9.22

Sometimes Monday | 5.9.22

…is for sharing!

Gentle Readers, do you have a spouse who is an IG Junkie? Steve must send me at least 4 “reels” a day… and most of them are about food… specifically IG Recipes.

Some weeks ago he sent me a recipe for baked feta, and I was so curious as to why he would send it to me… a main ingredient was fresh cherry tomatoes (which he hates!) Now I don’t know about the flavor of cherry tomatoes in February in your area, but in my neck of the woods… they are flavorless things. But I thought the idea of the recipe had some merit, if I could somehow figure out a tomato work around.

Enter a group I am in on Facebook… I know… but while FB by itself has no redeeming qualities, that is not necessarily true of some of the FB Groups! LOL… Anyways, in the Milk Street Community Group someone shared that Mutti Ciliegini Tomatoes were crazy delicious straight from the can. And so I began my search… no grocers near me stock these babies, but Amazon does but they seemed pricey to me. So began The Great Mutti Tomato Price Watch… and when the price fell to what I felt was reasonable, I nabbed a case of them!

And… Oh.My.Gosh. Really, it is summer perfectly preserved in a can. Cherry tomato flavor bombs picked at the peak of ripeness and snuggled in a silky, rich sauce. Now I had everything I needed to make the Baked Feta… and so I did. It is super easy… and I am so happy to share my tweaks that pushed this utterly simple dish to perfection.

I present my take on…

Baked Feta with Tomatoes and Chickpeas:

  • 1 can of Mutti Ciliegini Tomatoes
  • 1 can of TJ’s Greek Chickpeas, drained but not rinsed (you can do this with a can of regular chickpeas, but you absolute need to drain and rinse the chickpeas and then get those skins off… I rub them between a couple of layers of paper towels, but golly is this tremendously fiddly and time consuming. Thankfully, Steve found the Chickpeas at TJs! They are so good and no zero fiddly-ness)
  • 8 ounces of Sheep’s milk feta in brine (the best I have found to date is Trader Joe’s Israeli Feta… it is the least salty and bakes beautifully)
  • One (or two?) baguette, sliced and toasted… or Pita Chips… whatever your preference!

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

While the oven is pre-heating, drain and gently pat dry your feta. (If you are using the block of Feta from TJ’s, I recommend cutting it in half.) Place the feta in a baking dish and pour around it the canned tomatoes, including every bit of the sauce, and the drained chickpeas. If you are using regular chickpeas, drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil over the entire dish. Sprinkle some freshly ground pepper over the feta and bake in the oven for 25 minutes (or until the tomatoes are beginning to pop open and the sauce is bubbling)

Then turn the broiler on high and broil for 5-8 minutes until the cheese begins to brown a bit and the tomatoes start to blister.

Remove from the oven and serve with a crusty bread or pita chips. I baked this Olive Bread this weekend and served it with that… delish!

This is my new favorite for Friday Happy Hour… it is so good! Don’t like chickpeas? I have tried it with olives (Kalamata and Sicilian Olives are both excellent choices) and it is amazing. I even think canned artichoke hearts would be a great addition!

Oh…and if you should happen to have any leftovers… never fear! It reheats beautifully… or even better, toss everything in the food processor and puree it. Yes, any leftover feta, chickpeas, and tomatoes/sauce… oh my gosh. So Good! We had this last night with the rest of that Olive Bread but it would be great with fresh veggies… carrots, peppers, cucumbers, etc.

And there you have my take on a truly delicious Baked Feta!

Happy Monday everyone!

 

Hello, May | 5.1.20

Hello, May | 5.1.20

Sweet May hath come to love us, flowers, trees, their blossoms don; And through the blue heavens above us, the very clouds move on. — Heinrich Heine

While March was eons long, April has just sprinted on by – hasn’t it? I guess when each day is the same as the last, at first they seem to drag and then they pick up speed!

May, I hope you do come to love us with more sunny days, mild weather, and some patio happy hours!

I spent more time this week outside with the big camera, practicing more! Better? Maybe not so much, but I enjoyed every moment and was inspired to keep trying! And May ushers in Macro May!! Look for more photos during the month! We had a very rainy April (only 12 days without any precipitation) but grey days are perfect for taking photos! And getting outdoors after the rain and capturing it dripping off the lilacs made the volumes of rain *almost* worth it! Ha!!

I don’t know how many of you use Nextdoor (I use the app on my phone), but over the last week or so there has been an uptick in people women in my neighborhood trying to find a hairdresser who would break the rules to cut and/or color their hair. I was happy to see that these posts have been met with no success (or at least no one openly offers in the post to provide these services). And then Julia Farwell-Clay posted this on IG! I just want to ROAR with her with my own Badger-striped hair!

My new Twitter Daily Chuckle (or two!) is Rate My Skype Room!

I was thrilled to see that Joy Harjo was named Poet Laureate again! And through her I discovered The Poetry of Home! You can listen to Joy read Perhaps the World Ends Here.  You should listen to all the installments! They are just wonderful! You will find Robert Pinsky, Juan Felipe Herrera, and Natasha Trethewey. Each installment is just perfect for these “stay at home” days.

And The Poetry of Home is just the inspiration I needed to gather some yarn bits to start Susan B. Anderson’s Little House pattern that Kym highlighted this week. My plan is to make one for each of my children with a little Pandemic Tag on it, but I think I will also include the words of a poem too! (FYI, Little House pattern is currently discounted…so if you are thinking about it, don’t think too much longer!)

Mary is a voracious knitter and I think I found her next sweater to devour! And the Ravelry Hive Mind must all be of the same thought because this sweater from 2017 is in my “Hot Right Now Top 20”!

Want something to stir your sock mojo? These beauties are perfect for spring (AND FREE!!)

And there you have it, dear friends – Happy May to you all! See you back here on Monday!

It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere…

It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere…

I tried this cocktail on Thursday (because all cocktails need a test run, right?) and it was just kind of bland and I did not think the tequila was really the best in this application. But I thought the idea had potential. So, I worked on it Friday and found that my “fixes” made a much better beverage!

So, I thought I’d share my recipe with you all, in case you want to try it out… say like tonight, non?

Step One: Make a blackberry-thyme simple syrup

  • 1-pint blackberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • lemon zest (I used 4 strips from a very small lemon)
  • 6 sprigs of thyme

Combine berries, water, sugar, and lemon zest and bring to boil. Stir to ensure sugar has dissolved and to mash berries a bit. Add thyme and bring heat down and simmer for 2 minutes. Turn off heat, cover, and let sit for 15 minutes to steep. Strain mixture and cool before refrigerating. Will last approximately 10 days.

Step Two: Make Cocktail

  • 2-ounces Dry Gin (I used London Dry Gin)
  • 1.5-ounce blackberry-thyme syrup
  • 1-ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Sparkling water

Combine gin, syrup, and lemon juice over ice in a cocktail shaker and shake well. Serve over ice in tall glass and top with sparkling water and enjoy!

I found this to be an incredibly delicious and refreshing cocktail.

AND, totally unrelated but incredibly awesome!!

Yesterday, the mail carrier brought a lovely little surprise to my doorstep from Washington D.C. Yes, my dear friend Honoré sent me the loveliest little gift! It is a mouse pad that you can take notes on! And, it is so wonderful! As you can see, I am already using it (although – no notes…yet!) Thank you so much, Honoré for this lovely gift! Even the Roald Dahl quote is perfect – and it reminds me of her!

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Winner, Winner, Roast Pork Dinner

Winner, Winner, Roast Pork Dinner

One recipe that really grabbed my attention when I read Ruth’s book this past summer, was a recipe for an apple cider braised pork roast.

Ruth calls for a big bone in pork shoulder roast – and a recipe that feeds 6-8 people.

Now, for a household of two this might not be the best choice, however a pork tenderloin would be just about right!

Now to adjust the recipe to work for such a small cut of meat.

picmonkey-collage

Serves: 2 with leftovers!

  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 1 onion, halved and then sliced in slivers
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, sliced into slivers to insert into the pork
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Hard Cider (I used Angry Orchard)
  • 1-ounce Crown Royal Maple Whisky™
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

This is finished in the oven after browning the meat on the stove top, so I used my Staub™ all purpose pan.

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Cut several slits in the pork loin and insert the garlic slivers. Salt and pepper the meat on all sides

Place the pan on the stove over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the olive oil and the pork loin. Brown the meat on all sides and remove from the pan. Add the onion to the pan and sauté to soften a few minutes. Add the cider and the whisky stirring to loosen the fond from the bottom of the pan. Add back the pork loins, cover and place in the oven.

Cook approximately 35-40 minutes, or until the pork has reached an internal temperature of 145° F.

(Cook’s note, in the last 15 minutes of cooking I added about a cup of halved Brussels Sprouts.)

I served this with a nice big dollop of oven roasted applesauce and it was fantastic! The meal and the applesauce! I had about 8 lbs of apples. I used minimal sugar and butter (1 1/2 tsp and 2 tbsp butter) and it turned out fantastically! I finished it with 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar.

I highly recommend both recipes!

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Tuesday’s with Ruth

Tuesday’s with Ruth

Leaves turning. Early fall farmers’ market. I’ll buy apples, pork, kale, squash, and spend the weekend dancing in the kitchen. Cant’ wait. ~ My Kitchen Year, Ruth Reichl

Last summer I was fortunate to have read Ruth Reichl’s book, My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life. To say I loved it is an extreme understatement. And, inspired by Ruth – Tuesdays here at Casa del KatKnits are going to have a new focus.

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Each week I will share with you a recipe from her book, or a recipe inspired by her book. Because that was what really came through for me in My Kitchen Year – being inspired.

To kick it off this week is the perfect Ruth Reichl inspired fall supper:

Pumpkin Ravioli with Turkey Mascarpone Sauce

Now, if you want easy – this is it. I get my pumpkin raviolis from a small local market and they are so good and are only available in the fall. However, if you are inspired to make your own – please, by all means do!

Turkey Mascarpone Sauce:

  • 24 – 36 pumpkin ravioli (I used 6 raviolis per serving)
  • 1.5 pounds ground turkey (I used 93-7 Turkey)
  • 1.5 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 – 8-ounce container of mascarpone
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1 to 1.5 Tbsp. fresh sage leaves, minced (reserve 1 or two leaves for topping the pasta)
  • Grated parmesan cheese

Serves: 4-6

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil to prepare the ravioli.

Brown the ground turkey, seasoning it with the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. When the turkey is almost browned, add in the fresh sage and cook for a minute, until it begins to soften a bit. Once the turkey has browned add in the mascarpone, stirring to combine. Add in the half and half and the grated nutmeg – stir to combine and simmer over low heat a few minutes to allow the flavors to come together.

While the turkey sauce simmers, cook the ravioli – following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Drain the ravioli well before dishing up and topping with the sauce.

Sprinkle the pasta with the reserved minced sage leaves and some grated parmesan cheese.

This is really such a super easy dinner to make. It is done in less than 30 minutes! I hope you enjoy! I would love to know if you try this!

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Monday Lines

Monday Lines

It was a quiet weekend in my corner of the world. Quiet, hot, and muggy. Relief is in sight however, which is ironically forecast to arrive on Thursday – September 1st.

I think the weather gods are having a good laugh over this. But, really. I am so ready!

We picked volumes from our little garden – we picked some things that were not quite ripe, which turned out to be a very good thing when the deluge of rain hit last night. It was nice (not!) to leave us with a foggy steam bath this morning.

PicMonkey Collage

My list seems long today, however, I was up bright and early. Yogurt is at work in the Instant Pot, quick Roasted Raspberry Jam is done and cooling in a jar, and in moments these lovely tomatoes will be on their way to the most delicious jam ever.

I hope your weekend was filled with good things! Here is to lots lines crossing things off my list for this week… how about you?

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