Friday, July 23, 2010

something else

One of the places in New York we miss dearly is Recipe, a restaurant a few blocks from our apartment. The place is adorable, with rustic and vintage decor, and has incredible locally sourced food (and, oh, the Manhattans...). I didn't think I'd care for them, but the pickled veggies served as a sandwich side became something I always looked forward to. When we found cucumbers, carrots, and baby turnips in our CSA box, I knew I had to try to make some for myself. So last night, while most Milwaukeeans were bailing out their basements, I was tinkering with a recipe from Cooking Light and coming up with my best (okay, only) pickled veggies ever. And they're a lot like Recipe's!

pickled veggies
fills a 1-liter jar

1 tsp. dill
1 tsp. tarragon
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 Tbl. Dijon mustard with whole mustard seeds
1 c. white vinegar
1 c. white wine vinegar
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 medium cucumbers, sliced into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into sticks
2 baby turnips, peeled and quartered
1/2 small onion, sliced lengthwise
1 large chili pepper (seriously, that's what they were called at Stein's, where I bought the plant), seeded and sliced lengthwise
6 cloves garlic, peeled and pierced

1. Pop dill, tarragon, and crushed red pepper in a tea ball. Smear Dijon in another tea ball.
2. Place the tea balls in a small saucepan, and add the vinegars, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
3. Meanwhile, arrange veggies in a jar that seals tightly.
4. Once the liquid comes to a boil, pour the mixture (including the tea balls) over the veggies and seal the jar. Allow to cool somewhat before refrigerating. Remove the tea balls after the pickling action has gone on overnight. Enjoy!

Try other veggies here, too, like squashes (summer squash and zucchini slices, baby pattypan, etc.) and radishes.

What else would be good?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

expectedly delicious

We made pizza -- or, dare I say, we invented something a lot like it. Honestly, it will take a crazy-good margherita to bring me back to the fold of classic pizza aficionados. The whole thing was brought about by last week's CSA box, which contained large amounts of produce we don't eat on a regular basis: mustard greens, baby beets, and zucchini. We supplemented these goodies with onions (caramelized in honey and lemon juice), bacon (a great friend of mustard greens), mozzarella, goat cheese, and healthy shots of salt and pepper; then, sprinkled everything on top of this dough and baked it 'til it smelled good. Wowie wow wow.

Now it's your turn. Next time you're at the farmers' market, get a bunch of stuff, prep it with complementary seasonings, throw it together over some pizza dough, and see what you get. I can (almost) guarantee you'll love it.

Have you done this? Do tell!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

weekend at bernie's

Every year for my dad's birthday, the six of us go to a baseball game. Normally, we drive to Chicago to watch his favorite team, the Sox, but this year we bought Brewers tickets instead. The team isn't stellar this season (though we do have a few All-Stars), so we considered ourselves lucky to witness a win over the Pirates (whose record is even worse). It was a pretty interesting game, if I do say so myself. The clincher? Corey Hart hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth. I love this tradition.

Thanks to Dad for sharing his photos!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


A week ago, three generations of the Martin family from far and wide traveled to Lake Geneva for a fantastically fun afternoon. It was the perfect day for games, picnicking, and all things family reunion. And after we all stayed much longer than we'd planned, Mother Nature gave us our cue to leave: a thunderstorm. Can't wait for next year's gathering. Take a look:

Since it was a potluck, Ian and I decided to bring one of our favorite summer sides. We got a lot of compliments, so I thought I'd share the recipe:

israeli salad
based on a recipe from deb at smitten kitchen
serves 10

2 med. roma tomatoes, cubed
1 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, diced
2 1-lb. English cucumbers, cubed
1 med. red onion, diced
1/4 c., plus 2 Tbl., finely minced flat-leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 c. olive oil
1 Tbl. red wine vinegar
3 tsp. sumac powder (you can get this at Penzeys)
Salt and pepper, to taste

1) Mix tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and onion in a large bowl (preferably one that has a lid for easy storage).
2) In a smaller bowl, whisk parsley, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and sumac powder. 
3) Add dressing to salad and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Chill and serve.

This salad can be turned into a yummy dinner by adding shredded chicken or some sort of starch, like bulgur or couscous. Toss in some feta and olives to give it a Mediterranean vibe. Dill and mint are also nice additions.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010