Friday, April 29, 2011

Grilled Veggie Sandwiches

Today is Friday - my Favourite Thing is grilling!

It's almost May - I'm hoping the April showers are about over, and it will be nice to be able to spend some more time outside as a family.  We've had several tornado warnings and many severe storms over the past few weeks.

I grill all year long, but in the spring and summer our fare becomes lighter and the grill gets used much more often.  I am definitely into convenience, so a gas grill is perfect for a quick [charred] fix.

Grilled vegetables are extremely versatile.  I mix them into soups, with pasta, or we simply eat them "as is".  I typically grill: zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, peppers, onions, and cherry tomatoes.  I toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbes de provence.

In this case, a loaf of french bread, a log of fresh mozzarella, and some prepared pesto created the perfect lunch. 

All that's left is to wrap the sandwich in parchment and aluminum foil and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. Sadly, I sent this sandwich off to work with Rob for a staff lunch. But, the result from the baking is that the cheese melts, and the bread becomes crusty on the outside but soft on the inside. The versatility is endless in this sandwich - different veggies, various cheeses, sun-dried tomato pesto,  or the addition of prosciutto to name a few [variations].

A little world of advice - this is perfect with some tomato bisque for dipping!

Check out what Mrs P is sharing this week!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tiramisu Cupcakes....the Results are In!

And they are......very sweet.

I don't have much of a sweet tooth.  Gummy sour candies or dark chocolate, those are the only things that really float my boat. 

These have a good flavor, I'm hoping they get better with time.  Does anyone have a good yellow cake recipe?  I am finding it nearly impossible to create a moist result. 

I also had very unrealistic expectations when it came to this...

I've seen Ina use these with great success.  In reality, my hands still got sticky and nothing turned out beautifully, but my life isn't TV.  Maybe it'll just take some practice. 

In any case, I took some pictures so I might as well share them.  By the way, one last question:  how do you take action shots of food - or capture yourself actually doing something?  Every time I tried to take an action picture or a picture of myself pouring, adding, whipping, etc (with my left hand), my camera wouldn't take the picture.  And, my assistant was "too busy working" (I'm referring to Rob, who really was at work - the nerve).  

the batter - lots of butter, four eggs and milk - still don't know why it's dry-tasting

the star of the filling - yum

the filling contains powdered sugar, coffee granules and mascarpone

decadent and delicious - the best part of the cupcake

here are the baked cupcakes

coffee buttercream: powdered sugar, butter, milk, coffee granules

removing the middles
the filling has been added

the finished product

As you can see,  I am not a baker.   I do not have a talent for beautiful things - and, apparently, no talent for making a yellow cake.  I'll let you know if these get better with time.  Here is the recipe, if you're interested.  I don't think I recommend them - just being honest. 

Grilled Shrimp Skewers....

courtesy of Bobby Flay.


  • 2 large shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds large shrimp, shells and tails on


Place shallots, ginger, garlic, soy, lime juice, and sugar in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the green onion and oil and blend until combined. Season with black pepper, to taste. Place shrimp in a large bowl, pour the marinade over, and let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Preheat a grill to high. Remove shrimp from the marinade and grill for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Serve on brown paper bags, if desired.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tiramisu Cupcakes

I'll be preparing a luncheon for Friday and I just saw a recipe for tiramisu cupcakes this morning.  Stay tuned!  If you want to "play along", the ingredients include: marscapone, instant coffee granules, and the usual suspects (flour, sugar, milk, butter, vanilla, confectioner's sugar, and baking powder).

I'll also be making grilled veggie sandwiches, grilled shrimp skewers, and tomato bisque. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Shades of Pink

The view from our front yard is breathtaking right now.  Our neighborhood is filled with flowering trees.  This is the most beautiful time of year on our little street.  I took a few minutes to trespass, to lay on the ground, and sacrifice myself to show you the beauty that we see every day. 

Can you see the three shades of pink?  This was taken from our neighbor's yard, peering over to our yard.  These are three different flowering trees: a kwanzan cherry, redbud, and a dogwood (in that order). 

flowering dogwood (in our front yard)

I love the color of spring grass

this is a combination of two trees intertwined - across the street - I think one is a Japanese cherry

tulip bloom - my favorite flowers

kwanzan cherry blossoms

redbud blossoms

I am so happy to be surrounded with color and green.  I am grateful to whoever had the foresight to plant these gorgeous trees 60 years ago.  After what seemed like an endless winter and the rainiest March and April in recent memory, this is an instant mood-lifter. 

What colors are surrounding you right now?  Those in Australia, are your leaves turning colors yet? 

Six Kids, No Perfect Pictures....

On Easter we spent time with Rob's side of the family: his three sisters, his parents and their families.  It's very unusual for all of us to be together so we try to take as many pictures as possible.  The kids are growing so fast that it's fun to catalog their ages when we can.

We took 22 pictures of the six of them together - and I kind of like that none of the pictures are "perfect".   I'll spare you all 22, but here are a few! I dare you to find one where they're all looking at the camera. 

I will say that I am no photographer.  I think I'm average when it comes to capturing good shots of food - but people, not so much.  My sister-in-law is the best people photographer.  Rob is a close second.

Here are a few other pictures of our time together on Easter. 

celebrating all of the March and April birthdays

working hard in the backyard

Angie and Wesley

Nicole, Jeremy and Jacob

the spread


Josh and Wesley


Angie, Travis, Natalie and Wesley

Jake and Nat

our little Buddy

Rob stealing candy from a two-year old

 Emma's Easter basket from my parents


my mom and Uncle Craig

Josh and Aunt Connie (he's totally posing)

my parents

spring is finally here

don't you love the blue bottles?

We had a special time on Easter.  The weather was beautiful, the trees are blooming and we enjoyed family time (but missed my sister and her husband).  I hope you had a blessed Easter celebrating with people you love!