America’s favorite food? 7/18/19

I was watching Guy’s Grocery Games the other night (it is embarrassing to admit that I watch this program but I do) and he was having a burger battle. He said that America’s favorite food is a burger and probably more precisely a beef burger. It made me stop and think about what my favorite food is. Certainly a hamburger is up near the top, also pizza, and almost any kind of pasta, the kids might say tacos, and truly I could probably finish off a loaf of freshly baked bread. But okay, I am willing to go along with the burger and I was pretty excited about having one since, as I look through my blog, we have not grilled a beef burger since May 6th!

John makes an excellent juicy burger on the grill and I make an excellent tomato, cucumber, and red onion salad. I am using our daughter’s fabulous home-grown tomatoes for the salad.

It is so satisfying to have America’s favorite food for dinner!

Grilled hamburger and fresh tomato cucumber salad garnished with feta cheese

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Fancy dinner is sad. 7/16 and 7/17/19

We went out for an over-the-top fancy dinner for our anniversary and it turned out to be an overhyped, too expensive experience. The presentations were exquisite but the food became bland and repetitious. So after posting one picture I’ll move on to last night’s dinner.Even though it is nice to go out, I think John and I have more fun just making our own dinners.

This dish is called Early Summer in Sonoma. It is Japanese inspired and is mostly sashimi style fish

We made pizza again last night because I needed to use up the dough. I think we did a better job of stretching out the pizza dough but ended up with a pretty charred pizza at the end. I think we need to turn off one side of the grill and put the pizza on the less blazing side of the grill.

Charred pizza

Finally, a garden update: our daughter brought home 6 pounds of tomatoes today. I have no idea how we are going to eat them all. We are currently eating tomatoes with everything! They are so delicious!

Bountiful tomatoes and lemons


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Two new salads for hot nights. 7/15/19

While we are having the same old chicken, thighs on the grill, at least I made a couple of new salads. The first, Chickpea Salad with Yogurt Dressing, is definitely a keeper. The other one, Snow Pea Salad, is less so. The thing I like about the chickpea salad is that it is a fine replacement for potato salad except there is no cooking and it is lighter with its Greek yogurt dressing. Mashing some of the chickpeas adds to the creaminess.

Chickpea salad with a Greek yogurt dressing and herbs

And here is the other salad. It is a refreshing, lemony combo of cucumbers and snow peas. There are also almonds which give it texture but I would pass on them next time.

Snow pea and cucumber salad

Just want to say that John did a great job cooking the chicken. Grilled chicken thighs are definitely my favorite way to eat chicken in the summer!

Grilled chicken thighs, chickpea salad, and snow pea cucumber salad

And speaking of John, he gave me these beautiful yellow roses today in celebration of our anniversary on Wednesday! We will be married 47 years !! Since it seems like most of the readers of my blog are much younger than 47, the idea of being married for 47 years is probably mind boggling. We are still having a great life. Both of us are getting older at the same rate so changes are gradual. And now that we are older there is time for traveling, enjoying our kids and grandkids, and of course cooking together every day.

Happy 47th wedding. anniversary to John and me!

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Vegetarian pizza on the grill. 7/13/19

I bought some New York pizza dough and mozzarella at Whole Foods today. I am very excited to make pizza Margarita outside on the grill. We have not done this in years!

The pizza dough is New York style. My heart may be in San Francisco but my taste for pizza still resides on the East Coast. John asked me not to stretch out the pizza too thin because we might burn it. It burnt a bit anyway so I think I will make it a little thinner next time. The first step is to oil one side of the pizza and put that side down on the grill first.

When the first side was done we hustled it back in the house. On the cooked side we spread some pizza sauce (can of tomato sauce, 1/2 can tomato paste, a few shakes of oregano and paprika, a pinch of sugar, and a table spoon of EVOO) and some slices of mozzarella. Admittedly I cut the cheese too thick. Then back on the grill with the sauced side up.

Yum, pizza on the grill!

The cheese did not melt quite enough but it still tasted good.  Once the pizza was back in the house we put on the basil and some more oregano, garlic powder, and pepper flakes. We cut slices out of our unusually shaped pizza, opened a can of beer and went to town!

Sliced up pizza

One of the great thing is that this is so inexpensive to make. I used one half of $2.99 pizza dough, one half of $3.99 mozzarella and probably $.50 worth of sauce and condiments. My basil plant has already paid for itself. So this is a $4 pizza! What a deal!!

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Lamb and salads. 7/13/19

In my ongoing attempt to use up what foods we have in our freezer, tonight we had some boneless leg of lamb (left over from Passover) with an embellished cole slaw (leftover from last night) and a couscous Mediterranean salad.

John had prepped the lamb to be sous vide and then frozen it. So he just needed to defrost it and sous vide it at 133F. After that he cooked it briefly on the grill.

Lamb taking its whirlpool bath

I added some additional cabbage, carrot, onion, and dressing to our leftover cole slaw and also made a Mediterranean couscous salad. It was in the 90’s today but we mostly kept the A/C off. We are just trying to keep our carbon footprint smaller.

Boneless leg of lamb, cole slaw, Mediterranean couscous salad

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Weekly menu 7/14 – 7/20/19

John and I are celebrating our 47th wedding anniversary this week on Wednesday. We are going up to Healdsburg, Ca on Tuesday to a Michelin 3-star restaurant for a tasting menu and imagining that it will be wonderful. We will be back on Wednesday and get back to our usual routine.

Weekly Menu  7/14 -7/20/2019


Weekly Menu  7/14 -20/19

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Grilled chicken with BBQ sauce. 7/12/19

John grilled some boneless, skinless chicken  thighs putting BBQ sauce on them at the very end which gave them a slight char. If you put it on from the get-go you end up with burnt chicken. Since it was around 90 degrees here today we wanted to do as much cooking outside as possible. I suggested we microwave the tater tots a bit and then put them on the grill in one of those perforated pans. They turned out crispy but a few got a little charred.

In the meantime I made some yummy cole slaw using my little mandoline to shred the cabbage, carrots, and onion. It is just your typical mayo, vinegar, celery seed, and whatever I think will make it taste better kind of cole slaw. John gave it the thumbs up.

Grilled chicken thighs with BBQ sauce, tater tots, homemade cole slaw

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