Tasty Tuesday – String Beans for the Holidays

Hey It’s Jet Here.

Thanks to Sugar and Kol for initiating Tasty Tuesdays, today is our thirty-second participating post!

With Thanksgiving around the corner (for our blogpals in the USA like us), we thought you might like a few new ideas for the classic green bean.  Mom steamed hers this week to go along with a new version of turkey meatloaf with fennel and veggies.  (Remember we tried fennel last week?)

Little Miss I’m Getting into the Veggie Thing snapped up her raw string bean tidbit, while I enjoyed mine in repose (VBP – vocab builder project).  BTW, you can get a glimpse of my racing stripes (requested by Daisy yesterday) in the photo.

Green Beans with Goat Cheese, Cranberries and Bacon

  • 1/4 pound bacon, roughly chopped (Mom says you can substitute turkey bacon or vegetarian bacon as you wish)
  • 1 1/2 pound green beans, washed and trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (no fussing, Mom says use whatever vinegar you have on hand…)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 (4 ounces) log goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a papertowel-lined plate to let drain.  Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add green beans and cook until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and transfer to a large platter. Scatter bacon, cranberries, goat cheese and parsley over the top and serve.

Would you like to try a modern/vegan version of the traditional “Green Bean Casserole?”

Green Bean and Wild Mushroom Casserole

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and sliced into thin moons
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 ounces wild mushrooms (chanterelle, morel or porcini), wiped clean and
  • thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces fresh shiitake or button mushrooms, wiped clean and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons dry red wine
  • 4 tablespoons unbleached flour
  • 3 cups Silk Unsweetened Soymilk (Mom would use almond milk!)
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • Additional sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Two 10-ounce bags of frozen cut green beans thawed or 1&1/2 pounds of  fresh green beans cooked in salted water for 5 minutes, then drained.
  • 1. Preheat oven to 30°F. Lightly oil a 2-quart baking or casserole dish.
  • 2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil or butter in a large heavy saucepan,  over medium heat. Add the onions, season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and  cook the onions until slightly browned and soft, about 10-12 minutes.  Remove the onions with a spoon and set aside.
  • 3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the large heavy saucepan and then add the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms over medium high heat, stirring often, until they begin to brown and there is very little liquid, about 5 minutes.  Add the red wine and cook for about 1 minute or until completely evaporated.
  • 4. Sift the flour into the mushrooms and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon over medium heat until the flour is browned slightly in color, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 2 minutes.
  • 5. In a small saucepan, heat the soymilk with the bay leaf to just below the boiling point and turn off heat. Remove the bay leaf and slowly whisk the hot soymilk into the mushrooms, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Return the saucepan to the heat, bring the sauce to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring often and cook for about 8-10 minutes until it reaches the consistency of a thick cream soup.
  • 6. Stir in the tamari, salt and some freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • 7. Add the green beans and 1/2 cup of the onions. Place in the buttered casserole dish, top with remaining onions and bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes.

Another great green bean/string bean day.



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Tasty Tuesday: Our first Fennel Flip

Hey It’s Jet Here.

Thanks to Sugar and Kol for initiating Tasty Tuesdays, today is our thirty-first participating post!

Mom likes fennel, however, the bulb usually finds its way into Mom’s class menus before her vegetable bin.  Last week, she shopped at a different Publix location and the fennel packages stood like proper soldiers on their shelf calling for Mom’s attention.

Fennel, a beautiful vegetable, has wispy fronds like a dill plant at the tip of celery-like ribs leading to a greenish, white bulb at the bottom.  Mostly, the bulb is used and the fronds decorate the finished dish.  Fennel helps your digestive process, tastes like licorice and can be used raw or cooked. Mom’s colleague, Miss Diana, told Mom yesterday that in her family, they served a platter of fennel after the Sunday dinner meat course when she grew up.  Fennel seeds serve the same purpose and some cultures chew on them after meals to aid digestion.

Mom added small chopped pieces to her salad preparation and will look up some further ideas for the remaining pieces.  While proceeding through salad prep, she decided to flip us a few small tidbits.  As her faithful Kitchen K9s, we keep open minds to new (safe for K9s) veggies.  Turns out, we really like fennel, too!

Searching through her data base for the remaining fennel, this recipe caught Mom’s eye.

Israeli Couscous Salad with Fennel and Goat Cheese

  • 1 medium fennel bulb
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous, cooked (Mom will use other grains like oat groats, barley, rye and kamut!)
  • 6 Bibb lettuce leaves (Mom will probably leave this out, not practical!)
  • 1 (2.5-ounce) package goat cheese, crumbled
  • Garnish: fennel fronds

Preparation

  • Trim base from fennel bulb; cut bulb into thin strips, reserving fronds for garnish, if desired.
  • Whisk together olive oil and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add fennel strips, bell pepper, olives, and green onions, tossing to coat. Add couscous, and toss lightly.
  • Arrange lettuce on 6 plates. Top with couscous mixture. Sprinkle with goat cheese, and garnish with fennel fronds, if desired.

In her Kitchen Counselor role, Mom suggests adding protein of choice for another version of this yummy salad!  Also, you may need to refresh with a squeeze of lemon on the leftovers as grains soak up dressing!

Here’s another recipe for possible inclusion in your holiday menu planning!

Brussels Sprouts and Walnuts with Fennel and Red Pearl Onions

Another great fennel day.



Blog-versary –Where Did the Year Go?

Hey It’s Jet Here.

So, along with my Gotcha Day last Sunday, (yet to receive a proper celebration… however, as the patient, Southern, Gentleman Jetty that I am… I know Mom has something cooking!) we quietly celebrated our first blog-versary on Halloween.  We didn’t make a fuss as the holiday provided lively entertainment in blog world.

When Mom agreed to collaborate with me as a way to lift our spirits after my sweet golden sister, Koko, passed in September 2011, we never in a million years expected the following:

  • With the exception of 12 days, we kept our commitment to post each day.
  • To learn what a blog hop meant and to participate in so many wonderful hops.  The hops keep us organized, structured, and in a routine as well as eliminating writer’s block most of the time!
  • As we’ve posted frequently, we’ve made so many acquaintances and a few friends beyond the blog, helping us feel connected, when we’ve been a bit isolated over the last few years.  To learn about and from our American blogpals in addition to Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, England, Canada, Spain, France, The Netherlands, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Switzerland enhance our lives.
  • We have shared joy, laughter, loss, support, concern and caring … the gamut (VBP – Vocab builder project) of emotions, really.
  • The quality of the writing, creativity, social consciousness, generosity and commitment amongst our blogpals surpassed and truthfully surprised us and many in our world unfamiliar with blogs and blogging.
  • We appreciate the kindness and feedback about our other “jobs” as the Kitchen Counselor and Mom’s Kitchen K9s.
  • We have experienced the understanding, flexibility and empathy of how we all fall behind on commenting and visiting all the marvelous petblogs out there.
  • We appreciate and hope to continue learning and listening to wise bloggers out there, like Miss Linda (saved JJ’s life), Dr. Rayya (helps break down life as a vet) and Emma (shared a pawesome ear cleaning formula!) who offer advice, education, guidance and warnings to keep those of us fur family members safe.

Thanks to all of you, who take the time from your busy lives to read our musings, comment, check in on us and engage in ongoing adventures.  You have welcomed us into this precious community of pet bloggers and we feel privileged to participate.

To another great year together!

Jetty and Mom (JJ and Puffy, too!)  In loving memory… Mugs, Koko and Fluffy

Thanks to Life With DogsConfessions of the Plume and Two Little Cavaliers for hosting the Saturday Blog Hop.

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Tasty Tuesday: Little Red and Yellow Orbs of Goodness

Hey It’s Jet Here.

Before we begin, we want to send out our heartfelt hope that all our friends affected by Hurricane/Frankenstorm, Superstorm Sandy are safe.  Mom hails from NJ, so, she has a good sense of where the storm came ashore yesterday.  When you can, let us know what you need and how we can help in the aftermath.

Thanks to Sugar and Kol for initiating Tasty Tuesdays, today is our thirtieth participating post!

Many regular readers know that as Mom’s faithful Kitchen K-9s, we sit in rapt (VBP – Vocab Building Project) attention when Mom prepares salads.  Grape tomatoes, the red kind or the yellow pear varieties, usually conclude the preparation process because they leave Mom’s cutting board a bit sloppy.  We may also favor them because Mom usually tosses one or two to JJ and I whole so the orbs represent our largest tidbits!

Before JJ arrived, Mom grew several varieties of tomatoes including: cherry, grape and Everglades in our backyard garden during the winter, as do many South Florida residents.  When harvest time approaches, a roster of yummy tomato laden dishes helps show off the hard work.  Here’s Mom’s version of the classic Italian Panzanella Bread salad which flew off her table during her Farmers Market demonstration.

Lori’s Panzanella Bread Salad (Adapted from Regina Cowles and Simply Recipes)

  • 1 tb. Italian Herbs
  • ¼ c. Olive oil (best quality you can afford!)
  • 4 c. slightly dried out rustic bread, cubed or torn in small pieces
  • 1 ½ ripe grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • ¼ c. red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ c. arugula leaves, torn
  • 1 bunch basil, torn in small pieces
  • 2 tbs. red wine vinegar
  • Salt to taste

Mix Italian Spices into the olive oil, set aside.  Place bread in large salad bowl.  Add tomatoes, onion, cucumber, basil and arugula and toss gently.  Add the vinegar and toss again to blend.  Spoon the olive oil mixture over the salad, add the salt, toss again.  Set aside for 30 minutes at room temperature to allow the bread to absorb the dressing and the flavors. Toss once again before serving.

Mom’s Ideas:

  •  Add some fresh mozzarella or feta,
  • Throw in a few garbanzos or leftover roasted chicken, turkey or tuna
  • Switch spinach or other lettuce varieties for the arugula.

Another yummy grape tomato day!



Tasty Tuesday – Casa Jet loves Broccoli

Hey It’s Jet Here.

Thanks to Sugar and Kol for initiating Tasty Tuesdays, today is our twenty-seventh participating post!

Mom loves to roast veggies.  This weekend, she chose to steam broccoli and cauliflower, just for a change.  JJ and I, Mom’s faithful Kitchen K9s, love when Mom preps crucifers (VBP – Vocab building project) because she lets us do QC on both the raw and cooked veggies. (after cool down of course, as long as recipe is K9 safe!)

 

Just kidding!

In keeping with our ode (VBP) to fall, we’re offering TWO (yes, we’re just that excited and generous to share with you!) ideas.

Broccoli Slaw with Cranberries

  • 1 bag ready-cut broccoli slaw mix or 2 heads broccoli , heads removed, stems julienned
  • 2 carrots , julienned
  • 1/2 red onion , julienned
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
Directions
Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until well combined. When just ready to eat, dress vegetables with dressing and finish with a drizzle of olive oil. Scatter dried cranberries over the top to finish. (WP is NOT cooperating on spacing for the 2nd recipe, sorry.)

Roasted Broccoli with Sriracha, Honey, and Tamari

  • 1 small crown of broccoli, cut into bite size floret
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 4 green onions, sliced thinly
  • Optional: Red chili flakes

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a small bowl, mix together tamari, sesame oil, honey, Sriacha and black pepper. Pour mixture over the raw broccoli and toss to coat.

Spread broccoli pieces in an even layer across the baking sheet. Roast for 8-10 minutes, until broccoli is tender (and the outer edges are beginning to turn dark brown).

Remove broccoli from the baking sheet to a bowl. Toss with sesame seeds and green onions. Taste and adjusting seasonings if necessary. Serve immediately.

Another great, broccoli day.

The Antarctica Shiver Diet

Hey It’s Jet Here.

Since JJ joined her/our forever home in December, we’ve wondered how she kept her svelte shape.  Theories circulated the neighborhood:

  • She never stops moving, particularly when she first arrived.  She seemed like the poster K9 for First Lady Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign!
  • Mom watched how she digested her new kibble and slowly integrated tidbits of veggies and fruit.  (We are her Kitchen K9s after all!)
  • Some thought I, Jet, the Gentleman, purloined (vocabulary builder) her food and dental treats when Mom could not see. (The nerve!  In truth, the opposite is true, ok, not really, we’re even Steven, Mom insists upon fairness!)
  •  JJ maintains a spectacularly regular elimination regimen.  Fiber?  Not for this girl!
  • Maybe her appetite did not fit the typical Golden (I love EVERYTHING) or K9 (we sniff, we taste, we inhale!) patterns.

The secret escaped this weekend.  JJ participates in the Antarctica Shiver Diet.  Never hear of it?  The basics go like this:

  • Watch for dark clouds.
  • When you hear booms or streaky lights, she begins to shiver like a scientist in Antarctica.
  • Add pacing for the duration of inclement weather, including rain minus the booms and streaky lights.

If she wore a shiver-ometer, which measures energy burned from severe shivering, her calorie count would go negative.

Now, I’m not one to judge, because you know how I feel and behave with booms and streaky lights.  I wanted to share the situation in case you had an interest in following this diet regimen.  Mom would like you to know that she’s open to shiver protection suggestions.

Another great except for the shivers, day.

P.S. Mom hopes tonight’s weather will ease, since the nighttime pacing includes pacing on Mom’s bed, whether Mom’s in it or not!