Crest Cottage Creations

Food, Family, and Fun in our little cottage…


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Pizza Friday!

This week’s Pizza Friday comes to you courtesy of my dad (and his gift of Lemon Olive Oil)!
I really wanted Salad Pizza again, and we were out of regular olive oil.  I remembered that we had this one that we were saving for something special.  I brushed it onto my pizza dough and sprinkled it with sea salt and pepper.
I baked it in the oven, and when it was done, I topped it with a salad, complete with shaved Parmesan Cheese!


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An Exploration into Hyssop

In our CSA last week we received hyssop.  I had No. Idea. what it was or what to do with it.  Some quick Googling (is that how you spell it?  Drop the “e” add -ing?) showed me that it was an herb with a minty taste that either works well with licorice flavor or tastes like it.  Not sure.  
Anyway, most of the recipes were with carrots.  My favorite was this one.  I didn’t have olives, but that was the only thing I didn’t have.  Perfect!
I shredded up a bunch of carrots in the food processor.
The leftover pieces were perfect for a salad!
Anyway, I mixed it together with a ton of hyssop.
To season and dress it, I used balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
John couldn’t quite place the flavor of the hyssop, but he really liked it!  Now I am excited to find other uses for it!


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Seafood Ravioli

I am really into making the soaked whole wheat macaroni lately.  It does take a little time (more than opening a box, that’s for sure!) but it isn’t hard.  I have to get better at the texture, though.  Sometimes it is too doughy, sometimes it is too soft.  I am having trouble getting it al dente, which is how we like it.  The texture was the biggest stumbling block with this ravioli.  I am open to suggestions!!!  
Anyway, the flavor of everything else was great.  I wanted to make the filling with clams, but we didn’t have any.  So, I sauteed some shrimp in butter and olive oil.
When they were done, I toasted up some bread and crumbled it in the pan with more butter, a can of anchovies, and some garlic.
I put the shrimp and the breadcrumb mix in the food processor with an egg and some parsley.  
Once this was done, I rolled out the dough.
Then, I spooned the mixture on.
I covered the raviolis, pressed the air out, and sealed them.
 To go with it, I sauteed some spinach in lemon and LOTS of butter.
 I forgot to take a picture of the raviolis topped with the lemon-butter spinach, but I did snap a picture of the raviolis John fried in coconut oil!
We enjoyed the Macaroni Monday meal with an arugula tomato salad with balsamic vinaigrette and shaved Parmesan cheese!
The whole thing wouldn’t have taken too long, but, as always, I get easily distracted!


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How we buy our produce and Salmon with Salad

I have a love-hate relationship with grocery shopping.  I love to do it because I enjoy checking out all the amazing foods and getting new ideas.  I hate to do it because I get so frustrated by all the non-food concoctions being advertised as food.  I love to do it because I enjoy seeing how much money I can save.  I hate doing it because I always want to save money and it hurts sometimes to spend more on the good ingredients I love.  Complicated, huh!
To solve the problem, late last summer I joined a CSA.  This one, in fact.  There were only a few weeks left, so I figured it was a good time to just try it out. I loved it!!!!  I was so upset when it ended around Thanksgiving, but I signed up for a bigger box for the next season.  That left me with the winter to contend with.  I did a bit of research and decided on produce delivery services Suburban Organics and The Fruit Guys.  I alternated between the two each week, and kept myself in fresh, sometimes organic, sometimes local, sometimes seasonal, produce.  It was great all winter, and I will probably do the same thing next year. 
Luckily, the CSA season has begun again, and I am back to the farm each week, now with little Jemma.  I am excited that she will be seeing the farm her food comes from, meeting animals, and enjoying the experience (hopefully!!).  I know she is too young to appreciate it much now, but she loves to hear birds making noise and feel the wind, so she is getting something out of it.  
We picked up our first box last Thursday, so I wanted to clean out our fridge first.  The only things left from our previous deliveries were a grapefruit and an avocado.  We don’t really like either of these, so I put them together into a salad.  Not the best idea, but if you like both you would probably love it!
 The first thing I did for the salad was to make the dressing.  I mixed lemon juice, salt, pepper, dijon mustard, and lemon juice together until it was combined.
Then, I peeled and sliced an avocado, and put the in the dressing to marinate.
Just before dinner, I mixed it with a peeled and sliced grapefruit and some lettuce.
I served the salad with salmon and couscous.  There was some extra dressing that I drizzled over the couscous, and that was probably the tastiest part!


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Balsamic Chicken with Arugula Salad

This was so easy that I am almost embarrassed to share it.  It was a great thing to have on a night that I work late, but still, hardly worth sharing.  The only reason that I am is because it was incredibly tasty.  
The magic part, in my opinion, was the marinade/dressing.  It starts with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
 The only other ingredients are smashed garlic and salt!
I mixed it all together and put 1/4 cup of it in a bag with chicken thighs to marinate.
When John got home from work, he baked it at 350* until it was done.  I had already made up a quick salad of arugula, cherry tomatoes, and shaved Parmesan Cheese.  I tossed it with the rest of the dressing right before we ate.
The chicken (shown here with John’s hummus and baba ghanoush) did not photograph very well, but it tasted great!  Next time I will probably slice the chicken and serve it over the salad.
This post was shared with Simple Lives Thursday!


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Fish Cake Salad

We try to eat seafood at least once each week.  It is usually a simple baked fish.  Sometimes it is a shrimp stir-fry or clams with macaroni.  I have been wanting to try something different, so this time I was aiming for fish burgers.  But I didn’t have burger buns… so…. I put it on a salad!
To make the burgers, I baked up a white, somewhat flaky fish.
When it was cooked, I broke it up and mixed it with bread crumbs, egg, celery, onions, and whatever herbs I had on hand. 
I shaped them into patties and fried them in coconut oil.
In the meantime, I boiled up some beets for the salad.  When they were cool, I sliced them up.
I stumbled upon some walnuts when I cleaned out the freezer, so I toasted them up.
The rest of the salad was arugula, cranberry-cinnamon goat cheese with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  
When the fish cakes were crispy, I put them on the salad.  It was one of my best ideas yet!
This post was shared on Fight Back Friday!


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I’m back… with steak salad!

Hi!  Long time, no see!  After spending the last 2 months snuggling on this little face…
I’m back!  
I’ll be posting again as regularly as I can, starting today with a quick steak and kale salad I threw together the other night. 
I sliced up some steak thinly and brushed it with garlic olive oil.  Then, I threw it on the cast iron grill pan.
While it cooked, I threw together Russian Kale, olive oil, lemon juice and salt.  I meant to take a picture, but I got distracted.
Yeah, I am going to be shamelessly adding baby pictures…
Anyway, once the steak was cooked, but rare, I threw it on top of the kale salad.  So quick and easy!
This post was shared on the Hearth and Soup Hop.