Change

Lots o’ changes going on over here! #1 I took an offer for a new job,  a job where I actually have to wear something other than running clothes. Where I work 8:30 to 5. Yeah….let me just take that in a second. Whoah.  I am excited, mostly because I am a huge nerd and like to learn, and my life is going to be one big learning mountain the next few years as I enter a whole new world. #2 We took in a new family member. Scroll down for pics! #3 Whole Foods Savannah opened.  I repeat. A WHOLE FOODS now exists in Savannah. I like to call it my second home. I visited 3 times the first two days. I have a whole post planned on budget-conscious finds at Whole Foods, for those naysayers who call it “Whole Paycheck”. pshhh. #4. Great Harvest Bakery Savannah opened! Please, go buy a loaf of Dakota bread. It will be the best and most expensive loaf of bread you ever buy. But you will savor each wholesome, seedy, soft slice. mmmmm. #5 The air conditioner at our home has gone out twice. We are receiving a new unit in “3 to 5 business days”, which I prefer to call “torture ” days….

But let’s get down to the just of this post, which is that I am in desperate need of some jalapeno recipes. What do you do with 20 + jalapenos?

I’m glad you/I asked. I began to research the best jalapeno recipes on the web.

You could make these pickled jalapenos. I think these would be delicious on tacos, sandwiches, casseroles, and even in omelets. Pickled jalapenos are not nearly as spicy as fresh ones. I cannot really handle fresh jalapenos. Heck I can’t even cut them without crying from the spicy fumes. You could also make  stuffed grilled jalapenos and top them with copious amounts of cheese. At least, that’s what my cousins in Texas do. Or you could take the DePue route and wrap them in bacon because everything is better wrapped in bacon.

Secondly, and more waistline-consciously(yes I just made that word up), you could make my Jalapeno Corn Griddle Cakes pictured below. Top these with black beans and salsa , plain  sour cream (pictured below), underneath a crispy chicken breast with a cream sauce, underneath sliced avocado and fresh  lime juice, or served with a big side salad for a complete meal.

These griddle cakes are so versatile! Give them a try before summer slips away. I’m already hoarding the fresh corn before it disappears.

 

jalapeno griddle cakes

 

In other news, this happened 2  weeks ago, our new family member. No words.

kitty at 2.5 weeks

Uni at 2 weeks old

3 weeks old

3 weeks old

4 weeks old and I can walk, guys!

4 weeks old and I can walk, guys!

 

What can I say? I am a sucker for baby animals . We found her on the highway, and I have been snapping away photos with my iphone and bottle-feeding her ever since. Uni is  pretty fat and happy right now and learning to play!

In Love and Health,

Lydia

Corn Jalapeno Griddle Cakes

Serves 6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 4 minutes
Total time 14 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk, Wheat
Meal type Appetizer, Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dish
Misc Freezable, Serve Hot
Whip up some fast and healthy jalapeno griddle cakes for a summertime meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh corn, chopped off the cob (about 4 ears)
  • 1 jalapeno (finely chopped)
  • 2/3 cups vidalia onion (finely chopped)
  • 4 eggs (large)
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for cooking
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Note

Definitely wear gloves to chop the jalapeno!

Directions

Step 1
Pulse only 1 cup of the corn kernels in the food processor until roughly chopped. Dump into a large bowl with the other whole kernels, jalapeno, onion, cheddar, eggs, cilantro, and olive oil. Stir to combine.
Step 2
In a separate bowl, stir together dry ingredients. Stir carefully into the wet ingredients until just combined.
Step 3
Heat a cast iron skillet or griddle to medium-high heat, and pour in enough olive oil to just cover the bottom. Scoop batter 1/4 c at a time onto griddle. It will be a very thick batter. Cook 2 minutes on 1 side, then flip and cook 2 minutes on the other side.
Step 4
Serve hot with sour cream on top!

Veggie Lasagna

What is it about taking a road trip that is so relaxing? I like to think it is because I get to spend more time than usual with my Love, blare the music, windows- down, and watch the scenery change on an old country road.

We tested the waters by taking our two dogs with us to Virginia for a week, a first for us, and there were plenty of pros and cons to having them along. Enjoy their company and cuteness in the backseat? Sure! Wipe slobber from our arms, shoulders, and console about once every 2-3 minutes? Yeah, not so much…..

We relaxed on the family land/farm in Spotsylvania County, practiced shooting on a makeshift shooting range, visited a neat old winery, spent a day in Charlottesville, backpacked/camped in the Shenandoah National Park, drove Skyline Drive, visited Larsen’s cousin in Lynchburg,and relaxed at a lakehouse at Smith Mountain Lake for 2 days.

Harley & Dad

 

Lucy at the Lake

 

 

Mountain Cove Vineyards was spectacular, mostly because it was 3.5 miles down a long wind-y road, and on a rainy day we were the only people there. We had to call the owner from the office, and he drove down a couple minutes later from his house to unlock the cottage. Inside we tasted 3 different wines and 3 fruit wines. I have only had fruit wine a few times in my life, but it never disappoints!

vineyard phone

winery

A Rainy Day at Mountain Cove Vineyards

I ended up taking home one of each wine plus a blackberry wine and 4 jars of fruit preserves.

Guys, why have I never been to Charlottesville before now? C-ville is my dream town. It has that small-town feel, except they have a Trader Joe’s and artisan goods on every corner and a pretty spectacular food and wine scene. If I lived there, I would try a different winery every weekend and become a wino.

We somehow stumbled across the local Farmer’s Market. Oh. my. goodness. I was in heaven. The smell of corn tortillas being made before my eyes, local cheeses, blackberries the size of ping pong balls,  white peaches, handmade soaps, a Great Harvest Bread Tent AND artisan kombucha brews!

c-ville farmer's market

I gleefully walked  around with a ginger-peach kombucha brewed right there in the Blue Ridge Mountains  hoping to catch a glimpse of Kath of Kath Eats Real Food (just kidding, but hey it would have been cool!) and dreamed of living there one day. It’s just an hour and 15 minute drive from the farm!

That glee was quickly transformed into fear when we found a policeman hanging out by our car, apparently because some cray-cray person thought our dogs look “distressed” . By distressed, I mean they were in a cool parking garage on a rainy day, windows down, with a huge bowl of water, treats, and barking at the occasional car.  We were gone around 30 minutes. Really? really? The cop found the situation amusing and promptly left. I am a dog lover. I would never abandon my dog, nor leave it in a car if it was hot outside. Ever.

Part 2 of our trip will be continued next week, but in the meantime, you must try this veggie lasagna. I had to find some way to use up 5 eggplants and fresh cherry tomatoes before they went bad.  This lasagna is a super easy way to use up any fresh summer  fresh veggies, especially eggplant. I don’t  know about you  but, I struggle with eggplant sometimes. I can make a mean eggplant parmesan , or fry it up and serve with marinara sauce and…and…..and….that’s all I have in my eggplant repertoire. I need to change that! Cooked well,  it transforms into a tender, flavorful and meaty main dish.

lasagna

Right after I made this lasagna,  flipping through the pages of Bon Appetit, I noticed they dedicated a whole article to the humble eggplant. Apparently throwing it onto the hot coals of a grill until is is completely charred on the outside is the en vogue way to cook it. Who knew? Check out this Coal-Roasted Eggplant . I am all for throwing a vegetable on some hot coals and walking away.

eggplants

 

Sorry my posts have been few and far between lately. There is quite a bit going on behind- the- scenes in my life that I hope to share soon!

 

In love and health,

 

Lydia

Veggie Lasagna

Serves 8
Prep time 40 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 25 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Freezable
This vegetarian lasagna is packed with summer vegetables for a complete and healthy meal.

Ingredients

  • 4 small eggplants(or 2 large) (chopped into thin medallions)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 package frozen spinach
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1, 24 oz jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1, 15 oz container ricotta cheese
  • 1 bag mozzarella
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped finely
  • 1 box lasagna noodle
  • 1 large egg

Directions

Step 1
Sprinkle eggplant with 1 tsp of salt in a large bowl and let it sit 20 minutes. Squueze out any excess water from the eggplant. Pat dry.Spread the eggplant onto a baking sheet. Spritz the eggplant with olive oil.Roast the eggplant at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool
Step 2
Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain.Set aside. Meanwhile, boil a pot of water and drop in frozen spinach. Remove from water when spinach has loosened and can be drained. Drain spinach, squeeze out excess water.
Step 3
In a l;rge 9 X 13 dish, spread 1/5 of the sauce on the bottom. Then spread 4 lasagna noodles over the sauce.
Step 4
In a large bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese, 1 egg, fresh herbs, salt and pepper and spinach.
Step 5
Layer 1/3 of the ricotta mixture onto lasagna noodles.
Step 6
Layer 1/3 of the eggplant over the ricotta. Layer 1/3 of the cherry tomatoes between all of the eggplant slices to fill in the gaps.Sprinkle with 1/4 of the mozzarella cheese.
Step 7
Spread 1/5 of the sauce over the eggplant.
Step 8
Repeat noodle layer, ricotta layer , eggplant & tomatoes layer ,cheese layer , then sauce layer until you end up with the last layer of eggplant on top.
Step 9
Put one layer of noodles on top of eggplant, then sauce , then last bit of mozzarella cheese.
Step 10
Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees until cheese on top is browned and edges are bubbly.