Crest Cottage Creations

Food, Family, and Fun in our little cottage…


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Garden Pizza Friday

John planted some garlic a while back, and he pulled one out early to check it out.  Look how little and cute it is!
For Pizza Friday, he incorporated it into the dough, along with fresh parsley.
I coated the dough with lemon olive oil, sea salt, and cheddar cheese.
While it baked, I chopped up some tomatoes, more garlic, more parsley, and some scallions.  I really need to remember to use a different color bowl when I photograph tomatoes.
Once the dough was cooked, I took it out.  Obviously.
I cut it up with kitchen shears and topped it with the tomato mix.
 The perfect finishing touch was shaved Parmesan cheese…. MMmmmm!
What would the perfect beverage for this pizza be?  Limoncello and seltzer, of course!

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Black Bean, Chicken, and Cilantro Soup

While summer has officially started, the weather here has been weird.  We had a few scorchers (when the frozen yogurt pops came in handy!) followed by crazy thunderstorms.  Some of them were warm, but there were some unseasonably cool days, too.  I had cilantro from our produce delivery and wasn’t quite sure what to make with it.  When I stumbled upon this recipe, it seemed perfect.  Of course, i was missing some of the ingredients, so I improvised.
I used dry beans to make this soup, so I started the prep well in advance.  I make a whole bag when I cook beans and freeze the rest for later.   Once the beans were cooked, I started on the soup itself.  After browning  onions in oil and butter, I seasoned them with cumin, garlic powder, celery salt, and red pepper flakes.  Then, I added in a pint of leftover crushed tomatoes, a pint of concentrated chicken stock and some water.
It cooked down for quite a while.  Once it was pretty thick, I added in 3 cups of black beans and 2 cups of leftover crockpot roasted chicken.
I let that cook for a little while, and then added lots of cilantro on top.
Once it was cooked up, I served it with a copious amount of shredded cheese on top.  That was my favorite part!
This post was shared with Make Your Own Monday and The Hearth and Soul Hop!


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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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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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Macaroni Monday is Cancelled!

Well, for this week, at least.  Instead, I am sharing the delicious steak tacos we made for Cinco de Mayo.  I am all about having special meals to celebrate all year ’round.  In fact, I really need to make a list of all the crazy food-related holidays so I can make fun recipes to celebrate.  Remind me to add that to my to-do list!
Anyway, at the last minute, John and I decided to make steak tacos for dinner.  About 40 minutes later we were sitting down enjoying them.  If I had already made the tortillas, or if we purchased them, it probably would have been ready in about 20 minutes.  Is that fast enough for ya?
To start off, I made tortillas.  They require almost no active time, just about 30 minutes of resting time for the dough.  They are impossibly easy to make, and pretty fun, too!  Every single time I make them, I ask myself why I don’t do it more often.  I have no idea.
 While the tortillas rested and were cooked, John seasoned some steaks with garlic, salt, pepper, cumim, red pepper flakes, and oregano.  He grilled them and I sliced them against the grain of the meat so they would be easy to bite into when in taco form. 
 While all of this was going on, John and I prepped the fillings.  We used things we had around the house, like lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and peppers.
When everything was complete, we mad the tacos!
Not too shabby for an unplanned taco night!

This post was shared with The Hearth and Soul Bloghop!


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Tomato Bisque and Spinach-Beet Salad

John tried tomato bisque for the first time and LOVED it.  Of course, I knew I could make it easily at home, so I tried it.  
To start, I sauteed some lightly crushed garlic in butter.  
Then, I added in some sliced leeks and onions and let it cook until soft.
I sprinkled the mix with some fresh thyme, and it smelled so good!
Into the pot went 1 big can of whole peeled tomatoes, 2 cups of chicken broth, and some salt.  I let that cook for about 15 minutes.
I didn’t have any cream, aside from what was on the top of the milk, so I used rice to thicken the soup.  1/4 cup went into the pot with some balsamic vinegar and cooked until it was tender.
When it was all cooked up, I used my immersion blender to mix it.  Actually, John mixed it.  Thanks, John!
In a bowl with shaved cheese and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar?  It looked beautiful!
We ate it with a spinach-beet-goat cheese salad and cranberry dressing.  Yum!
This post was shared on Real Food Wednesday!