Burgers, Tomatoes, and Corn On The Cob

It all started with  us stopping by the local farmers-market-store, the Peachtree Market.

We were just going to buy a few tomatoes and Lily ended up loading up on these scrumptious looking cobs of corn. So we decided to grab a few other things, including ground beef from Creekside Farms; all local, free roaming, grass-fed, no-hormone induced meat.

Back in our kitchen we mixed up these few things for hamburger patties.

The half of a pepper, 3 green onions, and 2 cloves of garlic we chopped up and softened a bit in a little olive oil.

The 5 slices of stale bread we zipped up into crumbs with a food processor.

We added the veggies and most of the bread to the pound of ground beef, with 1 egg, a handful of parsley, a teaspoon each of salt, pepper, cumin, and ground coriander seed, and a dash of red pepper spice. We added enough bread crumbs for the mixture to be moist but not runny.

We used more bread crumbs to cover the patties and stuck them into the fridge until we were ready to cook.

We freed the corn from all their husks, but left the stems on. The stems were perfect for holding the cobs while eating.

Next we turned our attention to 2 big beefy tomatoes. We sliced them up and tucked in a few slices of feta cheese, drizzled the whole thing with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and 1 sliced green onion, and topped it off with a bit of salt and pepper.
Next we got a big pot of water going and turned on the grill.

As soon as the grill was nice and hot Lily placed the burgers on it.

She turned them a couple of times to keep the moisture inside the meat.

We chucked the corn into the boiling water for just a few minutes. It didn't matter that they did not quite fit. The steam took care of the tops. We quickly got some plates and prepared a few items for the burgers, namely 1 avocadolettuce, and whole wheat burger buns (those we stuck in the oven for a few minutes to get them warm and a little crunchier).

Look at it. All home grown, healthy, yummy food for a lovely summer cookout. The corn was so tasty it did not need any butter or salt. The burgers, too, were absolutely happy without any other condiments. Good times.

Quinoa Salad with Avocado and Tomatoes (and Mama Pasta)

Liz found the idea for this salad on the blog "My Whole Food Life" prepared and served by Melissa and so we made it. Absolutely delicious.

To make it we tossed all of this together. But first we had to cook the quinoa, 1/2 cup in 1 cup of water. When it was boiling we turned it down to simmer for about ten minutes until all the water was absorbed. We let it cool down and then cut up and added a handful of colorful cherry tomatoes (from a local farm),
1 avocado, a handful of parsley, a handful of lettuce (the recipe called for spinach), half a big red onion, the juice of 1 lemon, and sea salt and pepper to taste.

Lily gave it a good stir.


To make a dinner out of it we also prepared our world famous Mama Pasta. The salad was realy yummy. Many thanks and a shout out to Melissa and "My Whole Food Life".

Patatas Bravas with Grilled Steak

We went for the meat and potatoes thing today. An easy 60 minutes of leisurely weekend cooking. Apparently this Spanish tapas type dish of patatas bravas is supposed to heat things up, but we opted to keep it on the mild side so that everybody could enjoy it.

We started the affair by turning the oven to 400F. Then we peeled and wildly chopped 1 kg of potatoes and fried them for about five minutes with a little olive oil. salt, pepper, and just a teeny tiny dash of red pepper spice.

Then we stuffed them into the oven for 45 minutes.

Next we prepared four medallions of angus steak by rubbing a clove of garlic all over, as well as more olive oil, salt, and pepper.

For the sauce we finely chopped up half a big onion and 3 cloves of garlic and softened them in olive oil for a short while.

We added 1 heaping tablespoon of tomato paste and

a dash of red wine vinegar, waited a minute, and

added a pack (since Liz said we should avoid cans more often) of diced tomatoes. A little salt and pepper, more red pepper spice. That was it. We let the sauce simmer a good twenty minutes till the taters were done.

With plenty of time on our hands we decided to add a chopped salad. A medley of what the kitchen had to offer, really (here is a quick how-to).

Last but not least we turned to the grill and gave the meat about ten minutes.

Voila! This should do well on the 4th of July, we thought.

Easy Camping

We took a spin to the Carolina beaches with our tent, swim suits, and food. South Carolina has a string of gorgeous state parks along the shore fully equipped with campgrounds, small stores and fire pits for each site. We chose Hunting Island south of Beaufort. It had the whole deal. You know. Crawling out of your tent on a pleasant morning looking at the surf rolling in.
So, on the first night we made a fire and grilled stuff on it as one should, right? We tried a medley of sausages and hot-dogs on the griddle over the pit. The kicker, though, were our cobs of corn. We left them in their husks and grilled them whole.

The result was amazing. We think that the husks protected all the juices and left the corn all yummy and soft. They also protected the kernels from burning. And the taste was intense. A sort of corn-flavor induced corn. Next time we'll double up on them. An absolute winner.

For a little freshness we cut up a few cucumbers and peppers to nibble on.
That was it. Easy, fun, yummy, and healthy. We are planing to collect more ideas for easy campsite foods. For the next trip. 

An All Green Orzo Risotto

This was a total winner. Everybody loved it. And best of all it was a 30 minutes of easy cooking.
We started by placing two pots on the stove. One with 1.5 liter of veggie broth and the other with water. While we waited for those to cook we washed and cut up a big bushel of green asparagus, keeping the tips separate. We cut the tips and halved 2 handfuls of green beans, found a small bag of frozen peas, and scavenged for a handful of fresh parsley and mint in our garden.

When the broth was boiling we added 1 pound of orzo pasta and started grating a good pile of Parmesan cheese.
Then we added the beans and asparagus stalks to the boiling water. After about two minutes or so, when they started to slightly soften, we

added the asparagus tips and frozen peas. We let them all warm up for another minute or so, always testing for what seemed to be the perfect point of crunchy softness.

The broth by then had all been absorbed by the pasta. We drained the greens and mixed them with the orzo, a couple good chunks of butter, a good couple handfuls of the cheese and some of the mint and parsley, which we had chopped. A little salt and pepper and we were ready to sharpen our forks.

Everybody fine-tuned their plates with extra cheese, mint, parsley, and seasoning.

Penne, Tomatoes, Italian Sausage, and Fennel Seed

We came across another weekday recipe with some punch. It was all done within 30 minutes and plenty of smiles.

After we started a pot of salted water to cook 1 lb of penne pasta we chopped up half a big onion and softened it in a little olive oil.

Then we sliced open five Italian sausages and formed the meat into tiny little chunks. This Italian sausage we found was made with a few fennel seeds.

Lucy added about a tablespoon of fennel seeds to the onion and the meatballs. The smells that came out of that pan were to die for. (For another great fennel and sausage recipe check out our Fennel Sausage Soup).

We warmed all that for a good fifteen minutes. Just when the pasta was about done, we added 4 handfuls of sliced cherry tomatoes to the mix, which added a gorgeous sweetness as a compliment.

That was it. We served the pasta with the goodies and offered some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh chopped parsley from our garden. Yum!

(We got the idea from a German Jamie Oliver magazine - an Italian dish from an English cook through a German recipe, prepared in the US; how about it?)

North Carolina Trout with Kohlrabi

The kohlrabi we have found around here tends to be on the  small side and often a little tough around the edges. We were careful to find all the wooden strands and corners and made sure to cut them off. We peeled and sliced 4 of them.

In the meantime we started a pot of water with salt and 3 pounds of potatoes, peeled and cut, to boil them for 15 minutes until soft.

Along with the kohlrabi we also sliced a bushel of asparagus, cutting the tough ends off.

Then we melted a chunk of butter

sauteed the kohlrabi for a few minutres, added about four tablespoons of water, covered the pot, and gently cooked them for 15 minutes.

Then we added the asparagus with salt and pepper for another five minutes

We salted 2 trout filets and

fried them for  just a few minutes from both sides in a little olive oil. We got the fish from a local market store, the Peachtree Market. It had been caught a day earlier not far from us.

When the potatoes were done we added a good bid of butter and cream, as well as freshly grated nutmeg and mashed it all up.