Sunday, July 26, 2009

Patio Plant Progress

Long day of House Hunting! J and I saw 7 houses today, 3 that are in the neighborhood we want to live n and 2 of those we absolutely loved! (Omg, and one of the houses had a DeLorean in the garage! haha! Really! Just like in Back to the Future!) Not going to jinx anything by giving too many details or getting too excited but I'll update you as the process continues! It would be nice to have some land to actually plant my own garden in!

I'm just here to give a little update on my attempt at gardening via patio. After a ton of rain in June (seriously, we had like 4 days with sun all month), and more than usual in July, my plants haven't been doing so hot. They're still alive and I do have a few ripe fruits (the first of which were delicious) which I guess I should take as a positive. Haha. These pics are of the sungold plants.

Somebody is eating my basil. Hard to prevent it since the plant sits on the doorstep is surrounded by bugs since we have a light out there that turns on at sunset and off at sunrise each day. So it has lots of bites but the leaves are still edible. Chives seem to be struggling too. I've been snipping here and there when I want some and they are growing back but with a little less ooomph. My tomatoes have had a lot of bottom leaves turn yellow and get spots. Out of fear of blight, I've been cutting the yellow leaves/stems off as it happens in the hopes that if it's bacterial or viral it won't spread. I know that yellow leaves can sometimes just be from a lack of water, but I don't think that's the case here. Between my 3 plants, I probably have less than 10 pieces of fruit growing right now. I'm hoping they'll start to do better and I'll have a ton of tomatoes at the end of August.
All text and photographs (except where noted otherwise) © 2008, 2009 Food is to love / Andrea Quigley

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Shrimp and Spinach in Spicy Chipotle Tomato Sauce over Orzo

Blogging community, I haven't abandoned you! Just a wee bit busy! Went camping this past weekend, signed papers for mortgage pre-approval, met with a realtor, and hopefully see some more houses this weekend (although I had my heart set on the one we saw at an open house recently-and someone put an offer on it :( before we got our financing). You can expect to see lots of house talk from here on out! Feel like I haven't been home much since we went to Cape Cod last month!

This is something I made a few weeks ago when I had a whole bunch of leftover chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and didn't know what to do with them (and there is no wasting in this household!). I pureed the peppers in their sauce in my food processor and then froze the puree in an ice cube tray. I then popped them out when frozen and wrapped individually in plastic wrap and tossed them back into the freezer. I'll use the rest of them for chilis or chipotle mayo for sandwiches. I love the flavor chipotle adds to things, especially when you combine that with cooking with wine.

Sorry the pictures are kind of suck-ass. Eating dinner so late at night when the sun has gone down (and being too ravenous to set up any type of proper lighting!) makes it hard to get decent pictures. I used frozen spinach here but definitely feel free to use fresh baby spinach. It will look a lot prettier.


2 tablespoon unsalted butter & 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine
1 can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons (or 1 frozen cube) chipotle peppers in adobo, pureed
1 lb medium cooked shrimp, rinsed, shells removed
2 cups defrosted chopped loose leaf spinach (or fresh baby spinach!)
6 servings of orzo
kosher salt and black peppers
lrg handful of cilantro

Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the orzo according to the package directions. While your water is heating, start cooking the tomato sauce. Heat oil and butter over medium heat in a large sauce pan or deep skillit until butter melts and the liquids are hot. Cook the onion for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine, chicken stock and tomatoes to the pan, simmer until the alcohol from the wine is cooked off (about 5-6 minutes). Next, stir in the chipotle pepper puree, Worcestershire sauce, spinach and the cooked shrimp and cook until the spinach and shrimp are warmed through. Season with kosher salt and pepper, turn off the heat and stir in cilantro. Serve over the cooked orzo.

All text and photographs (except where noted otherwise) © 2008, 2009 Food is to love / Andrea Quigley

Like orzo, shrimp and spinach but don't dig smoky chipotle or wine in your food? Visit the link from Foodista below and check out other recipes with the same ingredients.

Greek Shrimp Orzo on Foodista

Monday, July 13, 2009

Creamy Garlic & Chive Goat Cheese Dip

Hi!!! I'm back! Sorry I've been so quiet!! So, I was planning on getting on here this weekend but J and I went house hunting and were way too excited to do anything but talk about and look at houses. The internet has been the last thing on my mind. Anyhow, let's talk food . . .

Earlier this week, I went to the store to buy goat cheese for a salad I was making. I usually only buy the 4 oz packages because as much as I love the stuff, a 12 oz log is just way too much cheese for J and I to eat in a short period of time. Unfortunately, all the store had was the large size this time so that's what I bought. Which means that I have a ton left over, and being the type of person I am, I can't let it go to waste and need to find a way to use it other than just slicing off creamy slabs and tossing it in my mouth. Soooooo, I peeked in the fridge to see what else needed to be used up and voila, we've got ourselves another yummy dip. I realize that I have a problem with dips being the only appetizer I make. I'm stuck in 1986 apparently. I know. I don't care, dips taste good!


4 oz Goat cheese, softened/room temperature
3 heaping tablespoons light mayo
1/3 of a 16 oz container of light sour cream
1 teaspoon dried minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion
large handful of chopped chives
dash of hot sauce
kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Put all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until well blended, scraping down the sides as necessary. If it's too thick add a tablespoon or two of half and half or milk and pulse until combined. Let chill for an hour before serving (to bring out the chive and garlic flavors). Serve with pita chips, crackers or vegetables.
All text and photographs (except where noted otherwise) © 2008, 2009 Food is to love / Andrea Quigley
Herbed Goat Cheese Dip on Foodista

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Excuse My lack of Posting Peeps!

(I'm no longer posting on this blog - enjoy the recipe but if you want to see what I'm up to, visit me here.)

Sorry to be MIA since I left for vacation! Had a great time on the cape and got to spend some good quality time with family visiting from Scottsdale, AZ. This week has been really hectic and I haven't had any time to post but expect me to be back in full force this weekend!

Happy eating!