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Orzo Salad with Lemon Dressing

19 May

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Recipe based on Earthbound Cookbook’s Mediterranean Spinach and Orzo Salad. Orzo, lettuce, roasted red peppers, cucumber, cilantro with lemon, garlic and red wine vinaigrette.

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Simply Paris: Quiche Lorraine

13 Jul

luxemburg gardens on a pretty day

While in Paris, I learned about the importance of simple and fresh ingredients. While this quiche may not be your idea of healthy, I’m sure it’s surprisingly nutritious (enjoy in moderation!)

Jaci and I lived with our parisian host mother, Madame Duprez, for almost 9 months, and as a part of our housing arrangement, Madame provided dinner 6 nights a week.We were truly in the minority of students who received a 4 course meal every night for dinner (sometimes being required to finish off a magnum sized bottle of Champagne prior to the main course). Madame was an older woman, perhaps even over 70, who made dinner every morning before she went to work.

Every meal she prepared was a culinary surprise. Sometimes we had never tried the dish in front of us, and sometimes part of the fun was that we had no idea what the ingredients were. Fortunately, Madame was only too happy to explain how she had prepared her meals, and ultimately, she allowed me into her kitchen to help prepare and see her techniques.

One of my favorite recipes, which is so simple, and impossible to screw up, is a quiche. I’ve translated this recipe from French and from the metric system. I’ve given it to numerous people and never had a complaint. I hope it works for you! Continue reading

Take the City Market with you on a boat

10 Jul

boat food

In addition to the baseball tour of America Steve has set out to take me on this summer, I’ve dragged him along for the national city market tour. Last week, he missed out on both the new Royals stadium AND the City Market in Kansas City. I scoured the market with my mom, sister and aunt, letting both the in-season produce and an upcoming dinner on our boat direct what we bought.heirloom tomatoes at city market

Continue reading

Panko, goat cheese squash blossoms

28 Jun

(a ConstantlyCathy original)

At the City Market today, we bravely purchased a bunch of squash blossoms from a lovely vendor for $1. I figured for a $1, it was definitely worth the food-venture.

city market squash blossoms, raw + fresh

These little guys are pretty labor intensive, not going to lie. And as I was making them, I said this would be the first and last time I’d make them, but who knows, they were really good… and everyone gobbled them up very quickly!! Maybe I’ll have to give them another try the next time I see them!  Plus, the goat cheese, basil and tomato mixture could be good enough to stand alone. I definitely want to find something else to stuff it in!

ready to serve squash blossomsI couldn’t really find a recipe that fit what we were looking for. The vendor had mentioned that if you stuff them with cheese (well, he’d overheard, anyway, since he couldn’t even tell me what kind of cheese was good to stuff them with!), that they are very good. But mostly we’ve heard of people battering them and deep frying them. Continue reading

ConstantlyCathy’s Catering Debut

4 Apr

I’ve been so busy planning an event for work this week, that I didn’t cook a thing – or blog about it. (My chicken stock is calling my name.) But this week, I did end up playing “caterer” for a work event.  I wish I’d actually cooked something for my catering debut, but it did only take me an hour to assemble this Costco feast.  I can tell you for sure it’s not going to earn me a raise in this economy – but, hey, we all have to start somewhere – and here is my first quasi-“catering” project in a professional environment.

spread-of-costco-food

I’m frequently asked to plan an increasingly impactful event (I ordered 22 receptionist-style call bells for each attendee)– on an increasingly shrinking and tightly monitored budget (I did find those bells for half price on the internet). So I decided that in order to stay within my budget, I’d try to save some money on the food by buying our lunch from Costco.  I went to Costco (– Well… Remember that part about how a “willing-to-stir” boyfriend can easily replace an industrial food mixer – he also is incredibly helpful when it comes to running work errands –) Steve and I went to Costco. I’d already bought breakfast for one work event from Costco, and it had gotten rave reviews. However, their breakfast options are limitless, and as it turns out lunch is a little harder.

sammies

I originally envisioned buying their turkey roll sandwiches and some brownie bites, nothing too complicated – and I’d pick up a few other items that I would find. But two days before the event, I received a call from an attendee making sure that we would provide vegetarian options — I assured her that we would — since our COO (and the event’s presenter) was also a vegetarian.

I figured there would be a salad, a veggie platter, or at least, some vegetarian options, so I didn’t waver from my original plan to use Costco as our caterer. However, there were not any salads without bacon, shrimp or turkey – except the Caesar. There were no sandwiches without meat, and there were no veggie platters.

I got the sandwiches – no problem – and I ended up buying a multitude of vegetarian options. I grabbed everything I could find without meat and knew I’d find a way to combine them all later: hearts of palm, mozzarella balls, Caesar salad, edamame, and grape tomatoes.  Here is a picture of my solution:

4-way-salad2

We mixed together a chocolate assortment with the brownie bites. I also grabbed these flowers at Costco (the purple ones didn’t open until the next day, but oh well! They looked fine)

desserts-and-flowers

The event was the best one we’ve ever had. The energy in the room was great, and people asked who catered the event.   ConstantlyCathy’s catering had it’s first success.  Next time I’m making mini bagel sandwiches 🙂  So at least we can control the vegetarian options! But the salad really turned out well. It’s a great solution on how to handle Costco’s prepared items.

I <3 Frittatas

31 Mar

As soon as I finished whipping up my chicken stock last night, I needed to focus on dinner. I almost made herbed baked eggs, but I thought I’d share my second favorite egg dish: a varied-vegetable frittata.

Veggie Fritata

Most recipes call for potatoes in their frittatas, but I didn’t have any, so it’s a glorified omelette.  Whenever I make a frittata, I use whatever leftover vegetables I have that sound like they’d be good with eggs, then I saute them to remove excess water before adding to the eggs. I used some of the zucchini I’d bought at Eastern Market this weekend and sauteed them up in a pan.

Zucchini Sautee

I also blanched some asparagus. They looked so pretty in the colander.

Asparagus

I chopped up 2 asparagus stalks and put them in the pan with 3 eggs, salt, pepper and dried onion. I cooked the eggs on the bottom, pulling up the edges to let some of the uncooked eggs leak down to the bottom of the pan, then I put the pan in the broiler until done!  I topped it off with some leftover sauted mushrooms.  And voila! Frittata

Casserole Queens

18 Mar

Alexis’ homemade macaroni and cheese desperately made me want to bake a casserole in my new dish. I searched high and low for a chicken casserole that was quick to make and could survive freezing for leftovers, but I was left high and dry. I finally had the idea to bake spaghetti with a lot of cheese – the way mom used to do it with leftover spaghetti and meat sauce. It’s yummy!

Cheesy Mac and Spaghetti Pie

Cheesy Mac and Spaghetti Pie