As you might know, I'm trying to get settled into my new home in Rochester, MN. Although some things are different (i.e. not having a job, not having cable, and a newly acquired accent), most things are the same. I still feel the same midwest hospitality, the same weirdo weather that changes every five minutes, and the same stores I knew from home.
And the main thing that's the same right now? Summer. Oh yes, I do love summer. The trees are green and lush, kids are outside playing, and you don't have to have an excuse to enjoy a cold beverage all the day through. Because of this summer weather, I have noticed a change in my culinary point of view. You guessed it from the title--green.
I have been spending a bit more time on meals and that means that instead of just throwing together whatever it is I have at the time, I actually get to think about my menu. One of our first "big meals" here in Rochester was Lucinda Scala Quinn's enchiladas with salsa verde. Yum! If you've not checked out LCQ's show Mad Hungry, you are missing out. She has a thing for coming up with great easy meals that aren't boring. She sometimes has her grown up sons on the show with her--she said they couldn't go off to college without knowing how to cook, and I think that should be true for all teenagers.
So anywho, I decided to turn the volume up on these enchiladas by playing a little Latin music while cooking. Then I decided to pick out a flick in Spanish to watch while we were eating (this totally backfired--apparently I have already seen all the films in Spanish that are worth viewing--there are some bad choices out there!) Whether we had the film or not, though, we had to have Cokes from Mexico. A glass bottle, sugar cane, culture--it all comes together to help create the perfect fiesta. Here are some (horrible) photos from our little party!
|These hot and delicious enchiladas are topped off with a cool green salad--it is a great combo!|
Needless to say, the food was the highlight of the evening thanks to my new food mentor, Lucinda Scala Quinn.
Other dreams in green:
Just yesterday, I was out on our little patio enjoying the view (little kids playing soccer on the field behind our apartment) and looked down to see my cheap-o basil plant from Trader Joe's. It was flourishing! I decided it was my day to make pesto.
I had never made pesto before, but had been trying to acquire the correct ingredients since I bought the plant. I used my girl, The Pioneer Woman's recipe for the pesto, and adapted her Creamy Pesto Pasta recipe to our (somewhat lighter) tastes.
So, while watching some older episodes of The Voice, I got out my food processor and went to town. I will say all in all, I was VERY happy with the turnout. The pesto was most excellent. I used milk instead of cream for the sauce and it turned out fantastico. Too bad we ate it all. This recipe is definitely a keeper for me. And to my basil plant I say this: "Thank you my dear friend. And please don't die on me like all the rest of my plants."
So, in closing, let me say this. Go green this summer. Then, tell me how it goes. Enjoy the sun!