Monthly Archives: July 2019

Bacon Garden Pasta

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I wasn’t sure what to call this dish so I figured I would get more attention if it started with bacon. Because everyone knows everything tastes better with some bacon on or in it. This dinner comes together pretty easy and quite quickly so it would be perfect for a weeknight meal.
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If you don’t want to start up the grill just to char the corn you can totally skip that part and do it right on the stove top like I did. It was super hot and humid out the night I made this and had no interest in sitting outside to do anything let alone stand at the grill. I do have a grill cast iron pan so I got the same affect. By adding a little char on the corn it does bring another flavor to party so you do you and cook the corn how you see fit.

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I could just eat this – tomato and basil with salt and pepper

I do want to mention my garden; it is coming along a lot slower than I think it should be. The broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and swiss chard have so far been the biggest producers. My cucumbers are now the ones out of control and today might be spent making pickles. We’ll see how it goes. I would love to say I used my own cherry tomatoes in this dish but I would be lying. I thought we were not getting any of them till I found out my husband has been eating them before they got into the house hmmmm. So on Friday I got home before him and went out and harvested everything before he got home. NOW we have some cherry tomatoes in the house. I do fear that the other roma and beefsteak tomatoes will probably all ripen at once it seems to happen like that.
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Stove top multi-tasking charring corn, frying up bacon and heating water for the pasta

Bacon Garden Pasta
Serves 4
easy quick weeknight meal
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Total Time
35 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 medium corn on the cob, shucked
  2. 2-3 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  4. 8+ basil leaves
  5. 6-7 slices bacon, chunked
  6. 1 medium sweet onion, small diced
  7. package of rigatoni or ziti
  8. kosher salt
  9. freshly cracked black pepper
  10. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Instructions
  1. Char corn with a little olive oil over medium-high heat 7-10 minutes turning occasionally.
  2. Using a sharp knife, remove the kernals from the cobs
  3. cook pasta according to the packages direction
  4. In a small bowl add the tomatoes, torn basil leaves and a little salt and pepper
  5. In another pan saute the bacon until crispy, remove to a paper towel to drain
  6. In the same pan fry up the onions till tender, 4-5 minutes.
  7. Add the tomatoes, corn and the bacon to the pan along with some salt and pepper just till combined.
  8. drain the pasta once cooked add everything to your serving bowl and combine
  9. top with a few more basil leaves and some freshly grate Parmigianno cheese
  10. serve warm
Adapted from Fine Cooking
Adapted from Fine Cooking
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/
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Summer Garden Salad

 

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Pretty hot this weekend – so far hottest this summer. Not only the heat but the humidity damn its gross out there! My phone is telling me that it is 91’F out and it also says it feels like 98’F. That means it is gross out there and hopefully you can stay inside with the air conditioner on or you are somewhere near a lake, pool or ocean. I am fairly certain that even I would go into the Atlantic ocean; which I very rarely ever do, it’s way too cold; if I was crazy enough to head to Hampton Beach today.

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Cooking on hot days is not really enjoyable and neither is eating on hot days so that generally means something light and easy. Friday night my husband made us salads and then we went out for ice cream. They counterbalance each other right?

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Best if you can make this first before you start whatever you are serving it with so it has time to meld and let the veggies soak up the dressing.

Summer Garden Salad
Serves 4
quick and easy summer salad
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Prep Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. ⅓ cup cider vinegar
  2. 2 tsp honey
  3. 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  4. ½ tsp kosher salt
  5. ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  6. 1 cup sliced cherry, grape or like tomatoes
  7. ½ medium cucumber, halved, seeded and sliced thin
  8. ½ medium yellow summer squash, quartered and sliced ¼ inch thick
  9. ¼ medium sweet onion sliced thin
  10. Kernels from 1 ear of corn
  11. 1 Tbs coarsely chopped fresh basil
Instructions
  1. Whisk the first 5 ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  2. Add the next diced/sliced 5 ingredients; stir well to combine.
  3. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  4. Stirring occasionally before serving.
  5. Garnish with basil.
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/

Individual dessert parfait cups

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Being a foodie we tend to eat with our eyes first! Plating a meal or even a dessert does matter and brings a smile to my face when it is does properly. I will admit I am still a work in progress when it comes to plating, I try but sometimes it doesn’t come out as well as I wanted it to.

IMG_4155.JPGI am totally one of those people that takes pictures of my food; when a dish is placed in front of me that looks like a piece of art I just have to snap a photo. I plating envy – sounds like a thing right?
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I was asked to bring a dessert to a friends house that was serving Alaska King Crab Legs and every time we go to their place, you can tell the entire meal was well thought out. Table set with linens, water and wine glasses. I try to reciprocate with the same when they come to our place.
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I ended up making individual parfaits and yes you can definitely spoon all the ingredients in the glasses or cups you are using but I wanted to try to avoid smudges if I could. I also chose to not make everything from scratch; sometimes it just make sense.

Individual dessert parfait cups
Serves 4
quick and easy dessert
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  2. 4 cup chocolate pudding cups
  3. 1 box cheesecake mix or cheesecake flavored instant pudding
  4. 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  5. 2 containers cool whip
  6. 1/2 cup pecans chopped
Instructions
  1. make the cheesecake filing per the box directions
  2. chop the pecans
  3. the cups you choose to fill define how much of the fillings you should add to each cup
  4. add to the cups in order. graham cracker, chocolate pudding, cheesecake, some of the chocolate chips, cool whip and finish with the chopped pecans.
Notes
  1. you can change up any of the fillings. for instance banana and chocolate are great together.
  2. add some fresh raspberries or strawberry's. Change it up for your taste.
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/

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Spam Bacon Bites


Just curious if you take a look and judge what’s in other people’s grocery carts? I can’t help myself and when I buy what I would consider “questionable” items I wonder who is judging me? 

believe it or not I did not have any garlic in the house, I did have garlic scapes in the garden so I chopped up a few of those and added them to the mustard and syrup

 

I remember the first time I used a shopping cart at the liquor store I was mortified. It was for a New Years Eve party I was throwing – I just needed to clear that up. A few years ago I was behind someone who was clearly having some sort of function one where they needed like 6 or more 30 packs of Bud Light? I have NO idea when that much of the same beer is necessary but who am I to judge?
Last weekend I was asked to bring an appetizer and I came across one in a magazine that I ripped out and wanted to give it a try. It looked easy and sounded like it would be quite tasty even though it’s main ingredient was one of those items I would classify as “questionable” in my book. This would be the second time in my adult like that I was standing in line at the grocery store with a can of spam in my cart.
I recall when I was younger my Father would chop it up very small and make a western omelette with Spam and I am not positive but I believe my Mother chopped it up for ham salad finger sandwiches? At least I know I have had finger sandwiches that were definitely made with Spam.
I am going to say even if Spam is one of your no no’s these little bites are quite delicious and very easy to make. When I brought them to the party they were gone within the first 15-20 minutes and I will be making them again!

Spam Bacon Bites
Yields 32
a tasty little bite
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 16 strips of bacon cut in half
  2. 1 can reduced sodium spam 12 ounces
  3. 1/3 cup yellow mustard
  4. 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  5. 1 garlic clove minced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400'F
  2. cube spam into 32 pieces.
  3. in a saute pan cook bacon till partially cooked, make sure not to cook them to far they should not be crispy. remove to some paper towels to drain.
  4. wrap a piece of bacon around a cube of spam and secure with a toothpick.
  5. place each piece on a sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes.
  6. combine the mustard, syrup and garlic and drizzle over each bite.
  7. return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes. Till the bacon is crisp.
Notes
  1. You can use cubed ham if you are afraid to add spam to your shopping cart
Adapted from Taste of Home test kitchen
Adapted from Taste of Home test kitchen
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/