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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Shrimp and Spring Vegetable Pasta and Tomato and Goat Cheese Napoleons

This has been a wild week!

Connie played bridge Monday evening and I worked at home while listening to our neighbor, John, rev the engine on his dad's old truck.  The one he's rebuilt from the ground up.  I wasn't amused about my solitude being so interrupted.  But, John's otherwise a great neighbor so I kept my mouth shut...

Our yard guy finished the south side of the yard.  The side outside the big fence.  It looks amazing.  Next year we'll divide plants and get it green.  For now, we'll just enjoy the lack of weeds to fight!  Here's what it looks like:

 This is where I'll put all the hosta I divide...  That's a crabapple tree in the middle of the bed.  The neighborhood entry sign is the big white board.
 Lilies on the left, neighborhood sign on the right.
 Meandering along the way.  Fruit trees on the left.  Peach, apple, cherry, apricot and plum. 
 Drainage for our neighbor's sump pump
 Five apples - 2nd year.  40 peaches - 2nd year...

Tuesday I made a killer Arroz con Pollo.  But, you'll have to check back in for that recipe.

Wednesday we took a vacation day.  I didn't check email from the time I went to bed Tuesday til I walked back in the door on Wednesday.  164 new emails.  About 1/3 went straight to junk mail.  1/3 were quickly reviewed and deleted.  The other 1/3 need attention.  That can wait until Thursday. 

Where did we go?  Let me start by saying we've got friends and family visiting the Mediterranean, Budapest and Alaska right now.  We decided to go to Oxford.  Oxford, Ohio, that is.  I know.  Not quite like the Oxford you first envisioned, eh?   We toured some of the formal gardens at Miami of Ohio then had a fabulous lunch at the community art center.  Finally, we traveled to Middleton to see a stained glass studio.  Here are a couple of photos from the day:

Now, let me tell you about lunch. Talk about fabulous!  It was a salad buffet unlike any I've ever seen.  All specialty salads.  A chicken salad with herbs and citrus.  Couscous with herbs and tomatoes and feta.  Sweet potato and black bean salad.  And beets with curried vinaigrette.   Yum, yum, yum.  Here's what it looked like:

It was going to be a real challenge to beat that for dinner!  My chiropractor mentioned the other day that he loves to watch The Chew.  I am so jealous.  Michael Symon is one of my favorite chefs and I'd love to see the show.  I just work too daggone many hours...  Bruce raved about a mac and cheese recipe he'd seen.  When I got back to the office, I had to go look.  Ten minutes later and well into prior recipe lists I ran across one from Michael Symon.  We had all the ingredients.  It'd be perfect for after the trip. 

So, Connie's repeating the ingredients back to me and he adds in tomatoes.  No, I said, there aren't any tomatoes in this recipe.  But, you know we do have two to use up and I did read a recipe someplace that sounded really good.  I'll bet I can recreate it from memory.  The biggest problem is that I have no clue if it was from an email, magazine, cookbook or cooking show...  So, I have NO clue who to give credit to...

What did we think?  What a perfect summer meal.  The pasta was so light and so flavorful.  The tomato was pretty darned amazing.  All in all a meal that I could eat about once a week during the summer...

Michael Symon's Shrimp and Spring Vegetable Pasta


1 lb linguini
2 T extra virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 c dry white wine
1 c pasta water
1 c spring peas
1 small bunch asparagus
1/2 c mint leaves
1 c feta cheese


The ingredient list is Michaels. The directions are what I did...  I used about a cup of dry small farfalle and about 1/4-1/3 c of pasta water.  Cook the pasta until it's not quite al dente.  The shrimp were already cooked and frozen, so they were quickly sautéed and removed from the pan.  Chop the snow peas and asparagus into 1/2" pieces. 

Drizzle some evoo into the pan and sauté the garlic for about a minute.  Do not let it burn.  Then add the peas and asparagus and sauté them until they're crisp tender.  Add the wine and mint and a bit of the pasta water.  Then, add the pasta.  If the sauce is too soupy, cook it down until it's not.  If it's fine, then cook until the pasta is just al dente.  Serve with crumbled feta. 

Tomato and Goat Cheese Napoleons

1 large, ripe tomato
1/4 c goat cheese
2 T half and half
1 T mixed herbs (basil, oregano and thyme work well)
1/4 c pistachios, toasted
balsamic glaze


Whip the goat cheese and half and half until smooth. 

Add in the herbs.  Trim the ends of the tomato.  Cut into four equal slices.  Put the first slice on a plate. 

Drizzle 1/3 of the goat cheese mixture over it. 

Sprinkle 1/3 of the pistachios over the slice.  Drizzle with evoo and balsamic glaze. 

with another slice and repeat with the toppings.   Top with the final slice and drizzle that with evoo and balsamic glaze.  Serve

pasta adapted from The Chew, Michael Symon.  tomato napoleon, read but not recalled!

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