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  1. Sweet Corn Polenta with Eggplant Tomato Sauce

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    Last week I was reading my friend Holly’s blog post, and it had me thinking about how I too, in the midst of moving to a new city and home, haven’t really had the chance to make anything that signifies summer.

    I received Plenty a few years ago, and am ashamed to say I hadn’t made anything from it until last night. Despite multiple page flags and oohs and ahhs every time I flip through the book, I have never once cooked anything from it. I need to take a cue from Heidi and actually cook with the books I have - anyone else have that problem? Cookbookaholics Anonymous will meet here next week.

    Anyway. I absolutely LOVED the flavor of this dish, and it can be made with frozen vegetables if you get a hankering for it and we’re sitting pretty in the dead of winter.

    So, here’s to cooking with what you have, whether it be a dusty cookbook or fresh summer vegetables, and to enjoying these wonderful things while they last.

    Suggested Listening: Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue (Legacy Edition)

    Sweet Corn Polenta with Eggplant Tomato Sauce (altered only slightly from Plenty)

    serves 4

    for the eggplant tomato sauce, you’ll need:

    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    1 medium eggplant, cut into medium-sized cubes
    2 teaspoons tomato paste
    1/4 cup white wine1 cup chopped peeled tomatoes6 tablespoons water (more for thinning if desired)1/2 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon sugar1 tablespoon chopped oregano

    1/4 cup white wine1 cup chopped peeled tomatoes6 tablespoons of water (more for thinning if needed)1/2 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon sugar1 tablespoon chopped oregano

    for the polenta, you’ll need:

    6 ears of corn
    2 cups water
    3 tablespoons butter, diced
    6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    black pepper

    To make the eggplant sauce, heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan until the oil is hot. Drop the eggplant into the oil, and carefully brown for 12 or so minutes. Drain as much oil from the eggplant as you can and discard the oil. I did this by using a slotted spoon to remove the eggplant, discarded the oil and put the eggplant back into the saucepan. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the wine and cook for an additional minute, continuing to stir.

    Add the chopped tomatoes, water, salt, sugar and oregano and cook for five minutes for the flavors to blend.

    Remove the silk and leaves from the corn and shave off the corn kernels with a large knife. Place the kernels in a medium saucepan and cook for 15 minutes on a low simmer.

    Drain most of the water from the corn, reserving a few tablespoons in case you need it for the next step.

    Place kernels in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add reserved water in case the corn becomes too thick.

    Discard remaining water and transfer corn back to the saucepan. Fold in the butter, feta, salt and some pepper and cook for 5 minutes, or until polenta has reached desired consistency.

    Spoon into bowls and top with eggplant sauce.

     

  2. Back to School Tunesday

    Pencils, notebooks, binders and locker organizers - for the first time in a long time, these items were added to my shopping list.

    I’m not going back to school, but Jared is (he just started today!) and I started thinking of school supplies, classes with new friends and the anticipation of the three years ahead.  Today had “make a playlist with your feels” written all over it.

    Luckily, it’s Tunesday! I give you my Back to School playlist. It signals the end of summer, and the beginning of a beginning!

    Happy Tunesday. It’s good to be back.

     

  3. Hummus with Tahini and Garlic

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    I’m taking suggestions for the title of this post. 

    Really. “Hummus” just felt too boring, and I don’t want anyone to turn away from this deliciousness when they think the title post is kiiinda lame. Don’t do it. 

    Because this stuff is GOOD. 

    When we lived in Houston, I grocery shopped at H-E-B or Central Market every week. There was always one exception, though. I almost always stopped at the Whole Foods near where I worked to pick up a container of Grandma’s Humus. Have you ever had it? It’s creamy but thick, with a good, fresh flavor that makes you never want to eat a different kind of hummus again. 

    I was craving some of Grandma’s goodness, and when I realized that it is not sold in Athens, I figured I’d have to make it myself. While it’s a teeny bit different than Grandma’s recipe herself, it still makes for a satisfying summer supper.

    Hummus with Tahini and Garlic (adapted from here)
    you’ll need: 

    3 (15 ounce) cans of chickpeas, drained
    1 1/2 ounces of fresh squeezed lemon juice
    6 tablespoons of olive oil
    2 tablespoons of fresh chopped garlic
    2 tablespoons of tahini paste
    1/2 tablespoon of paprika, plus more for dusting on top
    2 teaspoons of kosher salt

    Peel the chickpeas. This yields a MUCH creamier hummus and is seriously 40 times better than if you didn’t use peeled chickpeas. It takes a bit, but it’s worth it! 

    Place chickpeas, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, tahini paste, paprika and salt in a food processor or heavy duty blender and pulse until smooth. You may need to add a splash of water to make sure the mixture blends well. 

    In a separate small bowl, mix about 1 tablespoon of olive oil with a 1/2 teaspoon of paprika. Whisk until combined and drizzle on top of the hummus. 

    Serve with warm pita bread, fat slices of tomato and cucumber, savoring the end of summer with full force. 

     

  4. Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits (+ a Giveaway!!)

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    I’m back. And I brought biscuits. And a giveaway. Forgive me for my lack of posting?

    We’re finally getting settled in Athens and looking forward to this new season of life. I’ll share more about our travels and some new updates coming to the blog very soon (!!!), but for now, let’s talk biscuits and giveaways.

    First, these biscuits.

    The amazing Colleen from Souffle Bombay was asking herself exactly how her love for cooking began, and she thought that the biggest factor for her was cookbooks.

    Now you know how I feel about cookbooks. I dream about them, pre-order them and even have a whole Pinterest wishlist devoted to cookbooks that I want. There are so many that I love, but the cookbook that really sparked my love for cooking was Barefoot Contessa’s Back to Basics cookbook. I think her cookbooks have helped me go from a hesitant to confident person in the kitchen, and are right up my alley with simple ingredients that create fancy yet comforting meals fit for an easy meal at home or the perfect dinner party.

    These biscuits are flaky but still soft on the inside and are perfect on their own because of the flakes of sea salt and the sprinkled cheddar on top. I’m also thinking I might turn one of our leftover biscuits into the perfect BLT biscuit sandwich. YES.

    Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits (from Ina Garten)
    makes 8 large biscuits

    you’ll need:
    2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for flouring the surface
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
    1/2 cup cold buttermilk
    1 cold egg
    1 cup grated extra sharp Cheddar cheese
    1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water or milk
    Maldon sea salt (optional)

    Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

    In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine flour, baking powder and salt, and add in the diced butter on low until the butter is the size of peas.

    Pour buttermilk into a small bowl and lightly beat in the egg. With the mixer on low, slowly add until the mixture is wet.

    Add the cheese and mix on low until roughly combined.

    Sprinkle with sea salt flakes and extra grated cheese and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until cooked through and golden.

    Serve hot or warm with pats of butter.

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    Now the fun part: a giveaway! I love this giveaway because it not only involves fun cookbooks, but also some pretty fabulous Calphalon cookware. Simply enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter code below (but not until you make these biscuits, right?) Good luck and happy cooking! 

    To enter the giveaway, simply fill your information into the Rafflecopter (but not until you make these biscuits, of course.) Good luck and happy cooking!

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    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Also, check out these other bloggers and their recipes:

    Cooking:
    Tomato Jam – Healthy. Delicious.
    Lemon Basil Chicken Thighs - Mind Over Batter
    Homemade Spinach and Cheese Ravioli - Food Lust People Love
    Spaghetti Parmesan - Food Ramblings
    Baking:
    Cookie Dough Fudge Brownies – Sugar Dish Me
    Plum and Pluot Galette - Fork Vs Spoon
    Peanut Butter Squares - Kelly Bakes
    Simple Apple Crisp – Real: The Kitchen and Beyond
    Raspberry Swirl Pound Cake – The Redhead Baker
    Beirut Tahini Swirls – Pastry Chef Online
    Drinks:
    Oat-chata – Healthy Slow Cooking
    Follow #CookbooksandCalphalon on social media to get the best of all this giveaway has to offer!
     

  5. Friday Fancies

    Sometimes Houston likes to pretend it’s LA with all the palm trees. 

    I just started participating in this and I love it. A wonderful way to begin your day! 

    Been dreaming about this white pizza since I saw it on Wednesday. 

    YES.

    Can you guess these Disney movies by their emoji summary?!

    Speaking of emojis

    These okra fries have been calling my name this week. 

    I’m all kinds of confused after watching this video.

    Love this family’s industrial home renovation (the location isn’t so bad either!)

    As if I needed another reason to love The Grand Budapest Hotel.

    Lessons from cooking at The French Laundry (on my restaurant bucket list!)

    Fresh tomatoes are my favorite. 

    Have a wonderful weekend!

     
Quick Bread Love eCookbook

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