Easy Rice Bake Casserole

After making too much rice and having a bunch of spinach that needed to be used was the inspiration for this recipe. All I had to do was top it off with cheese and it was an instant hit.

2 tablespoons butter, plus more for dish
2 cups fresh spinach
2 eggs
4 cups cooked rice
1 cups of parmesan cheese
1 cup of feta cheese
1 teaspoon salt free spice
1 cup of milk
1 tsp of parsley
1 tsp of thyme
1 tsp of basil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a large casserole dish.
In a large pan over medium-high heat, saute spinach with 2 tablespoons of butter. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together milk and eggs
Add the cheese, rice, parsley, thyme, basil and spinach and combine well.
Season with salt and pepper.
Pour into prepared casserole dish and top with extra shredded cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes and serve piping hot.

Stay hungry my friend.

Fig-stravaganza - 2 recipes

Sure I've had fig newtons, but I never stopped to think about the "fig" part of the newton.  A fig is a fruit that is part of the mulberry family. Fresh figs are available June through October and can be found dried throughout the year. Figs are full of potassium, fiber, calcium and manganese. 
So while walking around the farmers market on Sunday, I came across a vendor's table full of baskets of figs.  In an adventurous mood, I walked over to the table and the vendor offered a sample.  I was going to buy a basket without trying them anyway, but the sample confirmed my new love.  Figs.  I still have to figure out how to pick them out and decide if they're ripe or not (they should be firm to the touch) but a little go a long way.  Not having a clue how to prepare them, I started an online search.  Now you can make jams and use them in a salad or stuff them with cheese (one recipe called to stuff an apricot with cheese then stuff it in the fig, I'm not sure that what would've worked?).  
8 small fresh figs
4 oz. goat cheese
4 oz. blue cheese
5 slices of prosciutto, halved
Sourdough Baguette

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cheese Crostini recipe:
Slice baguette
Cut 4 figs in half
Top one slice of bread with goat cheese
Top another slice of bread with blue cheese, then top with fig.
Place on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is soft.
Serve hot
*Note you don't have to bake them, try them just like that.
** Variation:  Cut the figs in half and place a piece of blue cheese on each fig half. Wrap the prosciutto around each fig half, covering the cheese.

Prosciutto wrapped, cheese stuffed fig recipe:
Make a tiny slit (an X shape, careful not to slice all the way through) on the top of each fig
Next, stuff a scoop of goat cheese in the opening
Snugly wrap a piece of prosciutto around each fig to form a cocoon
Stand the figs on a sheet pan.
Bake for 10 -12 minutes so the prosciutto melts slightly and forms a skin around the figs.
Best served hot out of the oven.

Stay hungry my friend.

More grilling - Asparagus

Just because you're camping doesn't mean you have to just eat hot dogs (although I love them).  You can add a touch of nutrition to your outdoor adventure.  You can also do this at home on the BBQ grill.

1 pound fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pat of butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Aluminum foil

Preheat grill for high heat.
Place asparagus on shiny side of foil.
Lightly coat the asparagus spears with olive oil.  Top with butter.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Fold edges over, making a loose envelope.
Grill over high heat for 10 to 12 minutes (my spears were thick, if you have thin spears-NOTE use less time), or to desired tenderness.

Stay hungry my friend!

What's an underblog?

While trolling around the web today, and getting caught up in "how to blog" posts, I found this one about Underblogs by LivingRoom.org.au.  What a brilliant idea! What's an Underblog you ask?  Well, it's a blog that has some great content, but it's not getting the traffic it deserves. 
So let's carry on this campaign to find some crafty "underblogs", here's what you can do:
  • Leave up to 5 blogs that you wish more people knew about, as well as a link to the sites.
  • Leave a short reason why you like the blog (you can even leave a link to your own blog if it fits)
I'll gather up all the links and blogs that you leave.

Click here to visit where I got this idea.

Fresh Salsa or Pico de Gallo

My latest food kick is eating raw food.  I tried this once before and enjoyed it thoroughly.  Thinking that  summer is the best time to go raw, fresh fruit and veggies abound, at a reasonable price.  I wait for the pile of sale on Tuesday from local grocery stores to scour the deals then I head out.  Usually from the big three, Vons, Albertsons and Ralphs, but I do also frequent local ethnic stores, like Golden Farms and Vallarta.  I even hit up the 99 Cent Only Store's produce section.
Fresh Salsa is not only for chips, I've found it a nice topper for salad instead of dressing.  I'm always looking for new ways to enjoy raw food.

5 medium sized fresh Roma tomatoes, stems removed, finely diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced (I used white because I needed to used them)
1 jalapeƱo chili pepper (stems, ribs, seeds removed), finely diced
Juice of one lime
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste

Use caution when preparing chilies.
Save a few seeds, if the salsa isn't hot enough, you can add a few for heat.
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
If the chilies make the salsa too hot, add some more chopped tomato.

If not hot enough, carefully add a few of the seeds from the chilies, or add some ground cumin.
Let sit for an hour for the flavors to combine.

Stay hungry my friend!