dinner

Heirloom Tomato, Zucchini, Caramelized Onion and Feta Galette Recipe

It took me a while to get into Pinterest. Years. I liked Tumblr a lot, and Pinterest seemed redundant. Well, it's finally won me over. I find almost all of my recipes on Pinterest, including this Heirloom Tomato, Zucchini, Caramelized Onion and Feta Galette.

The recipe is great, but the one problem I ran into was that the pie crust stuck to the parchment paper. And stuck well enough that I mostly just ate the filling the first time I ate this. 

So the second time I made this, I placed the (homemade!) pie crust in a large rectangular glass pan. It meant that there were no individual galettes, but less work for me, and since I was the only one eating it, it worked out perfectly!

I also used two different kinds of thyme growing in our garden. And finally, the second time I made this, I made the mistake of going to the expensive grocery store to get heirloom tomatoes which were $4 more a pound than at the other store. So I supplemented my heirlooms with some normal tomatoes so I didn't have to go to two stores. I didn't see a major difference, but the heirlooms are quite a bit prettier!

Do you have any similar recipes to share?

Cooking Spaghetti Squash

Northwest Pearls: Cooking Spaghetti Squash Recently I wanted to cook  spaghetti squash to see if it really was a good spaghetti substitute.

  • I preheated the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Cut the squash lengthwise from stem to end. Scooped out the seeds.
  • Then I placed the squash cut-sides down in a pan and added a little bit of water to the pan so it would help soften the squash.
  • I cooked the squash for about 45 minutes before pulling it out and making sure it was soft enough to pierce with a fork. It was so I took a fork and started to separate the flesh into strands.Northwest Pearls: Cooking Spaghetti Squash

I liked it but it definitely wasn't as good as spaghetti. It'd be good with a hearty red sauce, but it wasn't my favorite with pesto or just with butter and parmesan.

Do you have any spaghetti squash tips?

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Northwest Pearls: Homemade Chicken Pot Pie I was recently craving comfort food, in particular Chicken Pot Pie, so I decided to make one!

In the past, okay, it was one time, I haven't had much luck with pie crusts. But I decided to try again and make my own pie crust. So I found this recipe from the New York Times and followed it for the crust.

And for the pie filling, I followed this recipe from All Recipes.

Northwest Pearls: Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Both recipes were fairly easy, well, I had some trouble with the pie crust, but it turned out this time. (Last time I ended up going to the store to buy a crust.)

I could have cut the slits in the top a bit more symmetrical, and I could use some practice in rolling out the pie crust, but oh well. It tasted good anyways!

The one thing I would change is to not add so much salt to the dish. I think most of the salt was in the pie crust because when I ate the filling and bottom crust, I enjoyed the dish more than with the top crust. But that's a pretty easy fix!

What's a pie you like to make?

Thai Chicken Soup

Northwest Pearls: Thai Chicken SoupI love Thai food, but I can't go out to eat all the time. When I found this Thai Chicken Soup recipe-that's made in a slow cooker!- I decided to try it. I went out and bought the ingredients I was lacking and made it in our slow cooker.

Northwest Pearls: Thai Chicken Soup

Northwest Pearls: Thai Chicken Soup

It was an okay soup, but I wouldn't make it again. I'm not sure if I did something wrong or not, but it was really lacking in flavor. I love slow cookers usually, but I just didn't love this recipe.

What are some slow cooker recipes you like to make?

Cooking with Friends

Northwest Pearls: Chicken Caprese A friend and I got together and we wanted to make a fun and not-too-hard meal. We settled on this 30 Minute Skillet Chicken Caprese recipe.

We bought the ingredients, substituted grape tomatoes for cherry tomatoes, and rosemary for the herbes de provence, and started.

It was pretty easy, we didn't have a pan we knew for sure could be used on the stove and in the oven so we just transferred the chicken from the cast iron pan to a glass oven pan.

I left my friend alone with the instructions to cut the tomatoes and came back to find he'd cut them in half the wrong way. But it worked.

Northwest Pearls: Chicken Caprese

We did forget to add the basil, but it was a great dish. My friend said it'd definitely be something he'd make again and our two other friends both enjoyed the dish!

We ate the dish with some yummy bread and for dessert we had angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream.

What easy recipe do you like to make?

Blue Apron Meatballs

We got Blue Apron for a week, and this was the second meal we made from them. It was Pork and Ricotta Meatballs with Creamy Polenta and Broccolini. Northwest Pearls: Blue Apron Meatballs

I'd never cooked, or had polenta before. The red sauce was good, and the meatballs were fine, but my favorite part of the recipe was the broccolini. I wouldn't make this again, but if I did, I'd substitute the polenta for spaghetti. I really enjoyed the other meal we received from them, and this one was okay, just not something I would have picked.

Northwest Pearls: Blue Apron Meatballs

Northwest Pearls: Blue Apron Meatballs

Northwest Pearls: Blue Apron Meatballs

Northwest Pearls: Blue Apron Meatballs

Blue Apron isn't for the novice cook. They're assuming you have decent equipment and some cooking knowledge. So I wouldn't recommend it if you've never really cooked before. It is a fun thing to do with family or friends though.

To see our first Blue Apron meal, check out my blog post on it.

Have you ordered meals to be prepared at home? What have you thought?

Roasted Broccoli

Northwest Pearls: Roasted Broccoli I love vegetables, but they can get a little repetitive so I like to come up with new ways to cook them. One of those is roasting.

We never really roasted vegetables in my family. We'd steam, saute, or boil. But I've been roasting broccoli and cauliflower lately and really loving it.

You take as much broccoli as you want, toss it in a pan with olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice, then spread it one layer deep on a baking dish and place it in the oven at 400 degrees. Once the broccoli is soft enough to be pierced by a fork and the edges are browning, about 15 minutes, you take it out and enjoy!

What are some ways you like to cook broccoli?

Homemade Cinnamon Cranberry Sauce

Northwest Pearls: Cranberry Sauce A group of us had Friendsgiving this week. We each brought a side dish or drinks and met up for the dinner. One of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes is the cranberry sauce. So that's what I volunteered to bring.

For the recipe I used:

  • 4.5 cups of cranberries
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon

I put the cranberries and the water into a pot and cooked them until the cranberries were popping. Then I stirred in the sugar and the cinnamon. I cooked it for a few minutes before taking it off of the heat and setting it on a different burner.  When it had cooled down a bit, I transferred the sauce to a serving dish and covered it before placing it in the refrigerator. It was good to eat then, but I had made the dish three days in advance so that when Friendsgiving came around, I could just pull the dish out of the fridge and go on over.

Northwest Pearls: Cranberry Sauce

Northwest Pearls: Cranberry Sauce

The dish was incredibly easy to make. I was worried about it because I'd never made cranberry sauce with cinnamon, but I heard a few of my friends compliment the dish when they didn't know who made it.

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Roasted Green Beans

Northwest Pearls: Roasted Green Beans I'm not always good at eating healthy, or at cooking. Usually I'm too lazy/tired/hungry to bother.

But one easy side to a meal is roasted green beans. They're yummy and a great side to something else like chicken and rice!

  • First turn on the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Wash the green beans and drain/dry them.
  • Then place them into the dish/pan you're planning on roasting them in. Be careful to not layer them too deep, I try to keep it to 1-3 beans deep.

Northwest Pearls: Roasted Green Beans

  • Brush them all with olive oil then add garlic all around. (I use already chopped up garlic and sprinkle it around them spread the pieces more evenly with a brush.)

Northwest Pearls: Roasted Green Beans

  • Sprinkle with salt.
  • Cover with aluminum foil. Covering them will prevent them from getting crispy. If you don't do that, they'll get crispy before they've gotten soft.

Northwest Pearls: Roasted Green Beans

  • Place in oven until they've reached their desired softness level. About 20-35 minutes.
  • Take out and enjoy!

Northwest Pearls: Roasted Green Beans

What's a simple recipe you like to cook?