I don't know what's been going on lately in the world of Twilight fandom, but I've been getting crazy hits on my Sparkledammerung posts, to the tune of 28,000 hits on the first post in total. All of which means some of the naysayers (Did I end up in Horseville, because I'm surrounded by Nay-sayers! WORD PLAY.) are back making sure I know that I am not funny, I am not nice, and I do not know what I'm talking about, because we all know that Twilight is the GREATEST LOVE STORY OF ALL TIME. Well, I hope you feel better, Mr. Anony-Mouse, after venting. The best was the one that told me I had TENS OF THOUSANDS of fans ready to kill me. I always wanted to die a martyr, woot!
But life hasn't been all workouts and massages and hate mail, it's been recipe collecting and gardening! I have a bunch of summery, light recipes for veggies under the cut, and some picspam after that, so be warned, those of you on dial up.
Halibut with Sugar Snap Pea Salad (Dinner tonight, plus some steamed broccoli)
1 TBSP fresh lime juice
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 TBSP olive oil
Salt and Pepper (I'm all about the sea salt lately)
12 ounces of snap peas, strings removed (these are from the garden, so what's ripe is what we'll have)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced (I'm using a sweet yellow onion because it's what's in my garden)
1 TBSP sesame seeds, toasted
halibut fillets, lime wedges (I have tilapia today, not halibut)
In large bowl, combine the lime juice, ginger, 1 TBSP of the oil, and 3/4 tsp each of salt and pepper. Add snap peas, onion and sesame seeds, toss to coat. (I think I'll chill it.)
Heat the remaining oil in a skillet, season the fish with salt and pepper, cook until opaque throughout, about 3 -0 5 minutes per side. Serve with the salad and lime wedges to squeeze over the fish.
Fettuccine with Peas, Shallots, and Herbs Vegetarian!
12 oz. fettuccine (3/4 box - and seriously, that's obnoxious. Just cook the whole damn box and have leftovers, you know?)
1 10 oz. package frozen peas
2 TBSP olive oil
6 shallots, sliced
salt and pepper
1/2 C grated pecorino or Parmesan (2 ounces)
1/2 C fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 C fresh mint, chopped
Cook the pasta, adding the peas during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1/2 C pasta water, drain the pasta, return the pasta and peas to the pot.
Meanwhile, add oil to a skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, 3 - 4 min.
Toss the pasta and peas with the shallots, 1/4 C of the cheese, and the reserved pasta water. Fold in the parsley and mint, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve.
Green Beans, 6 Different Ways (I'm about to come into a bounty of green beans and Chinese long beans, so I've been looking for new ways to serve them)
Roasted with Pecans
Toss beans and pecans with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 400 F until they are tender, about 12 minutes. (Toss at 6 minutes to evenly roast.)
With Creamy Basil Dip
Blanch beans and serve with a mixture of pesto and mayo. (I'm going to try mixing the pesto with proper yogurt and serve. YUM.)
Lemony Tuna and Green Bean Salad
Chop blanched beans and olives. Combine with canned tuna, olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper. (Take out the olives and I'd be all over this.)
Green Bean, Tomato, and Bacon Salad
Cook sliced garlic in olive oil until golden. Toss with steamed beans, halved cherry tomatoes, and cooked bacon.
Grilled Cajun Green Beans
Toss beans with "cajun seasoning" (code word: Tony Chachere's) and a touch of olive oil. Grill over medium high heat until tender, 4 minutes.
Green Bean and Feta relish
chop raw beans and red onion. Mix with crumbled feta and red wine vinaigrette. Serve over grilled meat or seafood.
Grilled Zucchini Salad with Lemon and Scallions
2 pounds medium zucchini (please come see me in two weeks for all the zucchini you could want, thx.) This is about 6, sliced in half lengthwise
1 tsp plus 1 TBSP olive oil
6 scallions sliced
2 TBSP lemon juice
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
Heat grill on medium high. Brush zucchini with 1 tsp oil and grill until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes per side (this alone is fabulous.)
Cut zucchini into 1 inch pieces and toss in a large bowl with the scallions, lemon juice, red pepper, and remaining tablespoon of olive oil and 3/4 tsp of salt, and serve at room temp. (That seems like a lot of oil to me. I'd cut that in half, even though olive oil is good for you. I just don't want oily stuff in hot weather. This would be good on pasta, too. Oooh, or grilled fish.)
Corn Salad with Feta and Walnuts (I'd sub the walnuts with pecans because I never have walnuts, and I always have pecans)
1 C walnuts
4 C fresh corn kernels (4 ears) raw or cooked (I prefer raw)
2 jalapeños, seeded and thinly sliced (I use one because my kids are wimps)
2 TBSP fresh lime juice
2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil (that's what she said)
1/2 C crumbled feta (2 oz)
Heat oven to 400 F. Toast the walnuts until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Cool and roughly chop.
In large bowl, combine all ingredients except the feta, season with a little salt and pepper, toss, and fold in the feta. Serve immediately. (I bet this would be good cool, too, though.)
Pasta Salad With Asparagus and Lemon (so simple, but sometimes I need reminding of simple stuff)
1/2 box penne pasta
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 C Parmesan pieces
2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil (that's what he said)
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta to al dente, adding the asparagus to the water for the last 3 minutes of cook time. Drain and rinse under cool water. Transfer to a big bowl.
Add Parmesan, oil, lemon juice and zest, season with S & P to taste, toss and serve. (I bet some fresh basil leaves would be good in there, too, in which case, I'd add some torn Romaine lettuce as well and serve this up as a main course. With some grilled shrimp. Mmm.)
Oatmeal Raspberry Bars
10 TBSP unsalted butter, cut into pieces + more for the pan (skip that last one and use Pam cooking spray, why dontcha?)
1 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 C rolled oats
1/2 C seedless raspberry jam
1 C fresh raspberries
Heat oven to 375 F. Grease an 8 in. pan (see?) In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar and salt to combine. Add butter chunks and pulse just until dough comes together. Transfer to a bowl and gently knead in the oats. (This would be fun to make with kids.)
Press all but 1/4 C of the dough into the bottom of the pan. Spread the jam evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/4 inch border at the sides. Scatter the fresh raspberries over the jam and sprinkle with the remaining dough.
Bake until edges are golden, 25 - 28 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes (min.) before slicing. (Mmmmm, this is getting made this weekend!)
The pics I took are of my cat's journey through my garden. You know, she's just the weirdest creature. She won't have a thing to do with me in the house, but as soon as I poke about in the soil, she can't stay away. I tried to get pics from her perspective, because it amused me. I'm now entering the second phase of Crazy Cat Lady transformation, aren't I?
(I like to believe Darthanne adopts a French accent when giving tours.)
'Allo. I am your personal guide today. If I decide to leave you in sairch of bunnies, naps, or back scratches, be warned.
Allow me to remind you of what my outdoor hunting grounds look like in ze wintair.
Sad, non? Ze hossenfeffer knows that thair ees no covair, and so they do not come. Ze desolation causes me great strife. But with every death, a flowair grows...
My human wants you to see a closer picture, as if you do not have eyes as sharp as mine.
(My human assures me that ze lushness of ze othair places weel arrive here tout de suite.)
I like to pause and reflect upon ze lives I have taken... All necessary, but ees not every life important? Non, for some live only to sairve me and my blood lust. C'est la vie...
My human can often find me crouching here...
...and here. Zoot alours! (It is not a baird's nest in ze watair, but only a seedling of cattails. Harumph, you cannot GROW cat tails, you must be a cat WEETH a tail, tchuh.)
Even a legionnaire such as myself requires water, although I much prefer the drink of life. (Maybe she should talk like a Romanian and be a vampire? We'll do that.)
Below these pink flowers (penstemon) and behind the dill lies the strawberry plants. They are to bunnies as wine is to my humans: irresistible. Muah ah ah.
For some reason my human eats these daily. I like to stand on the trellis and watch her pull them off - you never know, she might require my help.
This is very soft and I like laying on it, even though my human shoos me away when she catches me. I just have to make sure she doesn't catch me; a cat will sleep where a cat wants to sleep.
Ah, the double-edged sword of bare earth for napping versus more plants for cover. The human wants me to tell you what you are looking at:
1. Not "pot" she says, but a Texas Star Hibiscus
2. Crinums that will get four feet tall with giant amarylis-sized blooms. Sounds like good cover to me.
3. cat mint, which is why I like to nap here
4. gayfeathers, and I don't know why my human is snickering
5. pink phlox again, excellent cover for me
8. Russian sage
More of that Russian sage with cannas in the back. I like these because giant grasshoppers hide in here even though they make my human cry out in terror. Weakling.
I tried to knock her hand away but she kept holding these penstemons. I hadn't properly smelled them before she touched them, you see.
The hydrangeas are finally leafing out, which pleases me. I like to lay under them and swat at ankles that pass by. Or this is my fall back when those rotten pugs go for a walk on their retractable leash.
I had a lovely spot that I would lay in every afternoon. All mulch, no plants, it was perfect. The human decided a "rose" needed to go there. Pfft. I'm going to eat half of it and hoark it up in her shoe later. That'll show her.
1. bearded iris
2. that detestable rose - she keeps cutting them and bringing them inside, cooing over the smell, too. Humans - so weird.
3. Hummingbird bush, and those lovely fast speedy green appetizers come to this one, even though my human won't let me eat them. Bah.
4. Mountain sage
A close up of the detestable rose. I want my nap spot! maybe I'll sleep on her face...
She assures me that I will get treats for my troubles today. Perhaps she'll let me have at that dog of hers...
This massive post brought to you by my need to procrastinate on errand day. :)