The Deadbeat Blogger

In light of this summer’s blogging schedule I should probably rename this thing “What Was Elizabeth Cooking 8 Weeks Ago.” But here is the good news, although I’ve gone on a little blogging hiatus this summer, I haven’t stopped cooking, eating, or loving food. I also haven’t stopped taking pictures. So I’ve kept the intention of blogging…I just haven’t put it into action. Kind of like how I had the intention of going to the gym tonight but instead I ate Sprinkles cupcakes and watched The Food Network.

Anyway….back to the food. So now, although Labor Day feels like the end of summer, we do have a few more weeks of fabulous summer produce left. I’m proud to say that my meals this summer have really taken advantage of all the delicious, local, and seasonal produce summer has to offer. My favorite thing to do lately is to go to the farmers market without any semblance of a meal plan and let whatever looks delicious dictate what I”m going to make! It’s very Italian, very summery, and a very good culinary challenge. . This produce dictating the meal idea has yielded some great dishes this summer. From rainbow carrots to tri-color potato salad. From Long Island corn to eggplant rollatini, I’ve got a slew of recipes stocked up to help you soak up the last few fleeting moments of summer.

Mango Salsa topped Pork Tenderloin with Rainbow Carrots and Okra

What’s okra you ask? Well let me tell you…when I was a kid, my brother and I went to this camp in Missourri  where we ate…a lot…of southern food. From biscuits to BBQ (yes that’s an actual dish down there, not a style of cooking) we were certainly fed well. And those southerners love, and I mean love their okra. And not just regular okra, fried okra. Okra is kinda like a yummy, crunchy, broccoli/squash hybrid. It’s widely available now at any northern supermarket or…you guessed it farmers market. It’s also in season in the summer and it’s so delicious on it’s own, there is really no need to fry it. Personally, I like to slice it up and roast it with some rainbow carrots for a fun pop of color. As far as the meat, the pork is marinated in a simple mixture of ginger and soy sauce and topped with some sliced up mango and red onions.

Baby Back Ribs, Sweet Corn, and Tri-Color Potato Salad

Next up we’ve got a simple, all-American, quintessentially summer meal. Ribs, corn, and potato salad. (Shout out to my friend Christine for the corn holders…best gift ever.) Making the corn is simple. If you live in the tri-state area go get Long Island sweet corn, boil it, slather it in butter, and ascend into corn heaven. If you don’t live in the tri-state area you can do what my transplanted Long Islander mom does ever since she moved to Chicago, go to Long Island, get corn, and take it on the plane with you back to Chicago. Yes the TSA will give you some odd looks, but it’s the only way to get good corn outside of New York…sorry guys the truth hurts. For the potato salad I lifted this recipe from Food and Wine which called for sweet relish in the salad. Well I didn’t have sweet relish and I don’t really like sweet relish BUT I had dill pickles and I LOVE dill pickles so I diced those up really small and subbed those in and it was out of control delishhh. The recipe called for blue potatoes and white potatoes, but I threw in some red ones as well. Now it’s patriotic…perfect for Labor Day! As for the ribs…stayed tuned for the next post, which I promise I’ll post soon! (Really this time!)

Pasta Gagoots and Turkey Sausage

This was a fun one, because aside from the pasta and cheese every piece of this meal came from the farmers market! Not only do farmers markets have an amazing selection of produce but a lot of times they also have great local meat purveyors, don’t be afraid to hit those guys up too!  For this recipe I used a few kinds of summer squash (or gagoots in Italian) sliced them thinly, sauteed them with some garlic and white wine (also from the Farmers market…yup, they also sell booze!) and toss it with pasta. I topped it with some turkey sausage from a turkey farm upstate…it was so fresh and tasty and paired perfectly with the pasta. Sprinkle on some freshly grated parm and devour! What I love most about this meal is that it’s good comfort food, but still on the light and summery side. Just because it’s nice out and I have to wear a bathing suit doesn’t mean I’ve stopped craving pasta (I wish it did…but alas, life is unfair.)

Pasta Gagoots!

Eggplant Rollatini 

This is a lightened up version of an Italian classic, instead of frying the eggplant pieces, I simply grilled them on my handy dandy grill pan with a little salt and pepper. It retains all of the classic flavors but it’s guilt free and meat free! You can roll up any mixture of ricotta and herbs inside the eggplant, then top with some red sauce and cheese and then bake. For a no meat meal, it’s super filling thanks to the hearty eggplant and protein from the cheese. Enjoy this on a  late summer evening with a nice glass of red…ah….why can’t summer last forever…

The Family That Eats Together…

…Stays together. Over the last two weeks I’ve had the good fortune to do lots and lots of eating and cooking with my family. From graduation parties to BBQs to a 4th of July lobster fest, we’ve done it up right. So while I’d love to go into detail about every bite of food I’ve consumed, I’m going to select a few of the standout highlights. Let’s start with last night’s LOBSTER FEST in the Hamptons. It is simply not summer until we’ve broken out our gigantic lobster steam pot and made an authentic New England clam bake. What is so great about this way of cooking is you can feed an army with very little effort. After a full day at the beach we picked up some clams, lobsters, and farm stand vegetables. This meal is so easy to make that I was able to whip up some appetizers, take a dip in the pool, shower, mix a perfect cocktail and have dinner on the table, all before sunset. The first step is choosing the right lobster. First of all, local seafood markets are the key, I’d stay away from lobsters at the grocery store at all costs. 1 1/2 pounders are the perfect size, they retain the sweetness and flavor but offer a hefty portion size. For the clams, I’m partial to little necks, my mom prefers steamers, either will do. Into the big steamer pot you can layer a variety of things, little potatoes, corn, crab legs. Whatever is in season and tickles your fancy.

In the bottom portion of the pot, place water, lemon, garlic, and whatever spices you have on hand. Once the water is boiling, place the larger pot on top with the lobster, clams, and potatoes layered in that order. Let it steam until the clams have opened and the potatoes are fork tender. Serve with some of the broth, drawn butter, and lemon wedges. Add a big salad and some crusty bread and you have the picture perfect summer meal. Eating outside on newspaper is a must!

The next highlight of my family eating tour came at my cousin’s graduation party last weekend. The appetizer and entree spreads were amazing, it felt like there was miles of Italian food as far as the eye could see. Meats, cheeses, pizza, foccacia, seafood, pasta, chicken parm, lasagna, and the list goes on. But the dessert table, both literally and figuratively took the cake. Maybe it was the martini glasses filled with chocolate covered fruit and almonds, the 3 pounds of cannollis and pastries, or the not one but two graduation cakes. I have to admit that this table-scape put some of my event creations to shame. My uncle was beyond proud of his creation and rightly so…this guy knows how to feed a crowd. And they best part is they have seven kids, so I get to indulge in their graduation party offerings year after year.

Finally, I leave you with this simple delicacy that my sister and I perfected this weekend. The Tate’s cookies ice cream sandwich. I’ve sang Tate’s praises before I’m my blog, and I’ll say it again, they’re hands down the best cookies in the world. And when you sandwich a scoop of vanilla and a scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream between them, they’re frickin’ outrageous. Also, look closely at the picture and enjoy the patriotic manicures we were sporting all weekend courtesy of my 15 year old cousin…what can I say, the girl’s got talent!

Also make sure you check out the not one but TWO new posts! AND Who likes the new blog look?  And the new links? Also, who wants to pay me to make them lobster again…I’m hungry.

29 Minute Meals


Remember me? You’re favorite foodie blogger. I know I’ve been gone for awhile and I wish I had a cool reason like I was on an African safari or surfing in Hawaii, but I’ve been working, sleeping, cooking, and neglecting my loyal readers (namely my aunt and grandma who gave me a stern talking to […]

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Polo Anyone?


It’s officially summer! What better way to celebrate than by spending a Sunday afternoon on Governor’s Island at the 4th annual Veuve Cliquot Polo Classic?Now, when my friends and I undertake an activity, we do it up right and I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I used this as an opportunity to go […]

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What’s Matt Cooking Now?


So people (and by people I mean our Moms) often ask Matt what it’s like to get to eat all of the blog posts on a daily basis. In fact, Matt’s eating adventures even inspired his friend Tom to start a spin-off blog chronicling what Matt is eating now. But every so often, (warning this […]

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That’s A’mericuh


Ah Memorial Day Weekend…a time to honor our country, remember those who have served in our armed forces, and EAT all of the summer food you can get your hands on. Ok, so maybe that last part is just my own personal interpretation. I wanted to spend the weekend in the deserted city, eating out […]

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Grillin’ Up Some STEAK


Why steak? Well my mind’s already in Memorial Day weekend mode and I have visions of BBQ-d deliciousness dancing in my head. That coupled with the fact that when I was at the butcher today I could literally hear the porterhouse steak speaking to me. “Buy meeee Liz….” he said. “No porterhouse your price per […]

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Cheesesteak Monday


So I caught  a little bit of slack on my last post for my weeknight meals being too healthy and boring. Well I’m sorry, but I’ve been trying to keep our weeknight dinners full of lean protein, several different kinds of veggies and little to no carbs, because I’d like my arteries to still work […]

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The Blog Binge


I’ve been starving the blog for over a week. What can I say? Birthdays, vacations, and life gets in the way. But I hope you’re all ready ’cause we’re about to go on a BLOG BINGE. So buckle up, its going to be a delicious ride. The theme of this blog is going to be […]

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The Royal Wedding Watch Party


So I know that you must have been on the edge of your seat all week wondering how the Royal Wedding Watch Party went. Well, let me tell you…it was frickin’ fabulous. After a full day of seeing little snippets, the ceremony and the precession and the kiss(es!), I couldn’t wait to get home, set out […]

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