Friday Finds is a new feature here on Basil & Rye. I thought it would be fun to do a Friday round up of the best things I found around the interwebs during the week. I hope you enjoy!
These Karen Walker Sunglasses. I have always been a fan of tortoise glasses in every form, and these are a great balance of modern shape and traditional tortoise frame.
This oceanfront view. While we are going to Northern Minnesota for our honeymoon (Bucky calls it our “mini-moon”), we’re talking about a warm vacation in the winter. This view is calling my name!!
A pasta dish such as this Baked Gnocchi with Ricotta. I was just telling Bucky that I’m dying to make a great past with ricotta. This may be just the dish!
This Avocado Hummus. I’ve never made my own hummus, but definitely would love to soon. This may be the inaugural hummus!
These Storage Ideas for Tiny Kitchens. I did a lot of cooking in a very, very small kitchen for two years. While I now have a bigger kitchen, I’m still on the hunt for great ways to utilize space in every way possible. These are great ideas!
I hope you’re having a great week! What was touted to be a rainy week as actually turned out to be a decent & warm week. I cannot believe it’s already Wednesday. This week has flown by SO fast!
To get a healthy update to our week, we made this salad. Bucky was a big fan…
“So (expletive) amazing!” I’m not joking. Those were truly his words. And, I could not agree more. This salad was amazing.In my opinion, 99% of the time, the dressing makes the salad. Please don’t misunderstand me. The toppings are important, but the dressing is truly the facet that brings it all together. It must pair well with and balance the other ingredients, and this dressing does just that.Oh yeah, and it might just be the simplest dressing you have ever made! They are all pantry ingredients; so you can whip up the dressing and use whatever ingredients you have on hand. Bucky stated, “I could eat that salad every day for the rest of my life.” For a foodie, that says a lot!
This Chicken, Avocado and Goat Cheese salad is both light and refreshing. It is easy to prepare with on hand ingredients, and is hearty enough for a main course. Serve without the chicken as a starter or side salad.
8 cups chopped spinach (1 bag)
1 cup halved cherry or pear tomatoes
½ cup corn (frozen, canned, or cut off the cob)
1½ cups chopped cooked chicken
1 large avocado, sliced
⅓ cup crumbled goat or feta cheese
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Place spinach in a large salad bowl. add remaining salad ingredients.
In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the salad and toss (a little at a time... as much dressing as you desire).
Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend! Saturday was beautiful, and was spent poolside. Sunday was not so nice out, so we went to 22 Jump Street; which was funny. I was pleasantly surprised that it was a good sequel. Later, we grilled out hamburgers and brats. All in all a great weekend.
We brought “puppy popsicles” for Bucky’s parents’ labs. Emmitt was by far the bigger fan of them. This guy loves all things frozen; ice, snow; and now puppy popsicles.
We simply froze diluted beef broth and used rawhide sticks as the popsicle stick. I tried to get a picture of the whole popsicle, but Emmitt was not going to wait for that.
Mmmm…peaches. What says summer more than peaches? I remember as a child, we would buy boxes of fresh Georgia peaches from the Wal-Mart parking lot for a fundraiser. My mom and I would always look forward to that. Because of that, Peaches have always meant something to me. I also LOVE Caprese salads! I didn’t have fresh mozzarella until a few years ago, and it changed my life. Add to that, fresh tomatoes and basil. O. M. G. When I found this version made with peaches instead of tomatoes. I dropped everything to pick up the ingredients. Not even kidding. I made this immediately; and I’ve been hooked ever since! Continue reading →
Now, I realize, you’re probably thinking, “Jenn, it’s June; it’s SUMMER! We don’t want soup in the summer.” I get it. However, it’s been chilly and rainy here in Minnesota, and there’s no better way to spend a rainy day than with a bowl of soup.
Homegrown herbs. Parsley, to be exact. My favorite part of the summer is my “patio garden.” To say I have a green thumb would be a stretch; however, I have mastered growing herbs on the balcony.
Some hometown favorites…basil, parsley, tomatoes (they’ve been hit and miss); but this year; I went over the top. Like WAY over the top…more on that later.
What is better, though, than having fresh parsley for any meal, just a few steps away. I know, it’s awesome. Especially for my homemade chicken stock.
Many recipes will call for chicken bones and carcasses with chunks of fresh carrots, celery, onions; etc. We choose to do it backwards. We save carrot peels, onion and celery remnants, and cook it with a whole “fryer” chicken. It’s a two-for-one.
We rarely cook with whole chickens, except for making this broth, and for Beer Can Chicken – more to come on that. Therefore, we wouldn’t exactly have chicken bones to throw in this stock, except in the summer when we grill our Beer Can Chicken.
I used to be intimated by making my own chicken stock. Not to mention, there are plenty of great boxed chicken stocks; as well as dry bouillon options. I wouldn’t say that I never use these; but when I can, I like to use my homemade stock.
I really enjoy experimenting with flavors, and enjoy the ability to control the salt content. This is a great thing to make when you have a few hours to spare; but I promise you won’t be disappointed.
I’m pretty sure I just posted about Spring 2 weeks ago, and now summer is here in full force! I’m not complaining, but I thought Minnesota was supposed to have FOUR seasons! I’m pretty sure Fall and Spring only lasted about 2 weeks!
As soon as summer hits, you will find most Minnesotans flocking to the Lakes, to patios for an after work HH and basically being outside as much as possible. I’m actually enjoying some nice 80 degree weather as we speak.
I can’t speak for all Minnesotans, but while I love me some meat and potatoes, I like to lighten things up in the summer months. This dish is a Bucky “original,” and we’ve loved it from the first time we had it. It’s not original in that he came up with it, but he came across it and made it and all I knew was he was making a salad. Since then, he’s been the king of the Spicy Quinoa Salad.
This salad just speaks “fresh!” all of the flavors just are so reminiscent of summer, and while it makes a great side dish, it is hearty enough to make a light summer dinner.
Also, it’s a great dish to make ahead of time, as I swear it tastes better on the second day – just be sure to not cut your avocados until you’re ready to serve!
A light and fresh summer salad, great for a side dish or for a light summer dinner. This gets better after a day, so it also makes a fabulous make-ahead meal.
1 cup quinoa
Salt to taste
2 cups diced cucumber
1 small red onion, finely minced (optional)
2 cups finely diced tomatoes
1 to 2 jalapeño or serrano peppers (to taste), seeded if desired and finely chopped
½ cup chopped cilantro, plus several sprigs for garnish
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 avocado, sliced, for garnish
Cook quinoa according to package directions. I recommend using chicken stock instead of water.
When quinoa is done cooking, let cool. I make in advance or place in the fridge until cool.
Combine the cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, chiles, cilantro, vinegar, lime juice and olive oil in a bowl. Season to taste with salt, and add the quinoa and cilantro. Toss together, and taste and adjust seasonings. Serve garnished with sliced avocado and cilantro sprigs.
I know what you’re thinking “I’ve heard that before!” I’ve had a busy month or so. First, there was the move excuse, then there was my trip to Vegas (I’ll tell you more about that later!), and as soon as I got back, we found out we were going to lose Bucky’s grandpa.
I can try to sing his praises, but there is no way I could give him the memoir he deserves; but we’ll share more about him in a future post! Just know that he was one of the most amazing men you would ever meet , with an enormous, kind, and patient heart. Some might say a heart the size of a basketball; which he was keen on. He will be missed by so many people.
He was also a man of simple taste buds. He would not have cared for a dish like this. He was a simple meat and potatoes (and Mac & Cheese!) kind of guy. However, for more adventurous palates; this is an amazing appetizer!
One of our favorite restaurants in Minneapolis is Bar La Grassa. My first visit was with my family after my Master’s graduation – and I was hooked from then on. We didn’t try their “Charred Red Onion and Goat Cheese Bruschetta” until recently, but fell in love immediately. I’ll admit; this homemade version is not quite as good – but it’s a pretty darn good knock off!