This blog post has been in the works for a long time sitting in my DRAFTS folder for almost a year. Then I realized just because the content is a little dated, the food and photos are still perfect for summer! Enjoy!
I had to figure out how to author content that blended good food, family memories, heart pounding and fulfilling moments, and mountain fresh air. Not so easy to convert into a food blog. But VERY easy to experience.
So, what did I do when I wasn't holding babies, hugging the stressed out bride-to-be, cutting up enough watermelon to feed 100 people, I did cook! However, it was mostly without my trusty yellow pad. So not all the recipes made it to a recorded version.
I don't think that means you should miss the recipes, though. I created several really good dishes, making things up along the way, and feeling pretty good about not really creating any structured set of instructions. What you will get in lieu of an itemized recipe list is an overall description of the dishes, and maybe a tip or two about a sauce, about a technique, or about an ingredient that I recommend be included in your cooking repertoire, so I know we've connected.
What you most certainly can count on is a story. I will attempt to spoon-feed you a sense of place along with the narrative. You will see the faces of those who surrounded my table and picked up a fork and thankfully said, "Wowza, this is good!" It is for these people that I have a passion for nourishing others, which reinforced, even away from my own kitchen, that cooking for others makes me feel like every day is part of the best vacation, ever!
Utah and berries are synonymous terms. And the local farmer's market did not disappoint. Like jewels before a princess, I couldn't help turn them over in my hands, taking them to my nose, and holding them in the sun as I worked out a plan for menus throughout the visit. I made salads, added them to sauces, dribbled them on top of breakfast casseroles, and popped them in my mouth by the dozens.
Holy cow. Then I went to visit my sister's garden and I just understood what it means to see a miracle. She has the touch when growing things. (I do not, by the way.) And I rocked in her outdoor swing with my grandniece and grandnephew as she bent over to gently yank carrots from their loamy pockets, pluck tomatoes from heavy vines, and snip bouquet after bouquet of beautiful herbs that still held a cloud of brown, powdery, Utah soil.
Once you start cooking with things that you just took out of the ground, you get real snooty about anything that has been on a train, airplane or even a local truck before going into your meal. So as you view these beautiful dishes, remember that many of them had been drawing nutrients just hours before they were set on the table.
Roasted chicken and couscous makes a satisfying dinner. Especially when paired with a bok choy, cilantro, parsley and snap pea green salad singing with a delicious honey oregano vinaigrette. I encourage you to try bok choy as a salad stable instead of cabbage. It is so mild and the texture so versatile. Kinda pretty, too.
After a full day of fun with kids, kids and kids, a simple dinner was in order. We grilled steak and had heaping, gigantic, brimming bowls of this tomato, potato and cucumber salad all swimming in a simple parsley pesto dressing.
On that same note of simplicity, I did find a great little recipe for mock Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits. Click here to see it on #GimmeSomeOven. They turned out great, don't you think? And who doesn't love butter, and cheese, and playing with kids on the floor...hehehe.
If I'm not careful I will get really carried away with the whole, "Playing with the kids!" thing. And it will tip the scales beyond a food blog into a sappy Aunt Camine blog. But we really had fun being silly.
I am certain, that nothing compares to sitting down to a table with your family and eating food you've lovingly prepared. Take this delicious local trout, swimming in lemon dill sauce, and bejeweled with artisan carrots. Well, you can't really take it. But you can imagine it. And then go grab a pan and start cooking. I promise you everything will be alright.
Watch my short video about getting comfy in the kitchen.
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Meet the Cook...
My name is Camine Pappas and I love to create beautiful and delicious food that anyone can make. My signature style centers around a love for combining things in a way you might not expect as I work to find a hidden combination of colors, textures and flavors from the things that are in my pantry and/or easy to obtain.