Nachos ala Driveway

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Fresh peppers and tomatoes from the garden beats even the best salsa.

That’s all.

Happy Weekend!

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Garden Spoils

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Although I am still lamenting my squash (maybe it’ll come back??) I’m so excited to report lots of tomatoes and peppers!!

A juicy burger with stuff from your own personal garden tastes THE BEST!

I now have about 10 tomatoes reddening up on my counter. Any good canning recipes?

Resurrected!

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My squash plant is blooming again!! I think it is trying very hard to stay alive after what appeared to be sure death.

Any ideas for how to keep it healthy? Still unsure what happened to it – not enough support or some kind of pest?

As a newbie, your suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Basil Infused Oil

Basil Infused Oil

Speaking of basil, have you ever made basil infused oil? My husband’s aunt suggested it after I posted about my basil going to seed. Turns out there are multiple uses for this delicious plant.

Just put some of your basil clippings in a jar of cooking oil and allow it to sit on the counter for about a week. Watch for mold though in warmer climates.

Can’t wait to dip some homemade bread into this oil when it’s ready!

Have you ever infused oil? With what? If this turns out well, I’ll want some new ideas!

Mac & Cheese with Roasted Vegetables

Mac n Cheese with Roasted Vegetables | Jersey Up!

I used to not be a big fan of vegetables.  Sure they’re good for you but they just tasted so blah.  Maybe that’s because I always ate them from a can?  Either way, I discovered a new love for vegetables when they’re grilled.  Seriously.  Sprinkle some olive oil, salt and pepper on any vegetable and pop it on the grill.  Instant delicious.

I’m also a huge fan of frozen vegetables.  They are just as flavorful and healthy as fresh, and often come pre-chopped.  Can’t beat that if you’re in a time crunch.

This mac and cheese recipe was pretty good, and pretty easy to follow.  I do love me some “fake” mac and cheese from the blue box (who am I kidding?) but homemade sauce really can’t be beat.  This recipe contains no butter so it is certainly healthier for you (not to mention all the vegetables).  But I was missing the butter.  A lot.  Hey, I’m honest.

Mac and Cheese with Roasted Vegetables
Adapted from The Comfort of Cooking

Ingredients:
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 diced red pepper
1 cup sliced carrots
1/4 cup olive oil (plus some for sprinkling veggies)
2 cups of your favorite pasta (I did shells.  Mac and cheese always has to be shells.)
1 tsp minced garlic
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1.5 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar (or really, any cheese you like)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp breadcrumbs (if you’d like to bake it)

Directions:
1. Combine broccoli, red pepper and carrots in a grill basket and sprinkle with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Grill until cooked through.  (Or you can bake at 400 for 20 minutes if you’re not a grilling person.  Or it’s raining.)
2. Cook pasta according to package directions.
3. Start heating your oil in a nonstick pan.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
4. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute.  Slowly add milk, stirring until sauce has thickened.
5. Take sauce off the heat and add cheese, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper.  (Salt and pepper too if you like.)
6. Combine sauce, pasta and veggies.  Eat outside with a glass of wine or a beer…or you can put everything into a 13×9 baking dish, cover with breadcrumbs and bake for just a few minutes in the broiler.

I thought this was a great seasonal transition meal.  Get to use the grill to celebrate summer, but still has a comfort food taste of winter.  Enjoy!