Organic Spinach Ribbons Topped With Smoked Mozzarella

Organic Spinach Ribbons Topped With Smoked Mozzarella

Monday, January 31, 2011

Me, The Impending "Historic Winter Storm" & Impending "Historic Winter Storm" Recipes!

So two days ago there were some rumblings that our fabulous historic town perfectly nestled in the Ozark Mountains that we live in could possibly get some ice.

Chris and I headed to the local grocery store.  Our local grocery store, Hart's, reminds me of the grocery stores I went to with my Mom when I was little.  Our local grocery store reminds me of Hestand's grocery store in Little Rock as both are locally owned and operated.  The employees at Hart's are so friendly and always have a smile on their faces.  They know us because, honestly, as being proprietors of a successful B&B we have made 5 trips to the Hart's in one day before!  What can I say?  Neither Chris nor I have the memory of an elephant.

So we make our list and hit Hart's where we were, as always, greeted with smiles and waves.  We bought Smart Chicken. We bought porterhouse steaks. We bought milk.  We bought Soy Slender milk. We bought potatoes.  We bought beans and ham hocks for 15 bean soup.  We ( I ) bought tabloid magazines.  We bought Gatorade G2. We bought ingredients to make my fresh salsa.  We bought turkey bacon. We bought refrigerated coffee creamer. We bought a refrigerated salsa Chris likes (hmmmmmm....does this mean he likes that refrigerated salsa better than mine??)  We bought green peppers.  We bought hamburger meat.  We bought ......well, you get the picture!  (lol)  We bought a lot for ....some "possible ice."

So I wake up this morning and let's just say things have drastically changed!  Our fabulous historic town perfectly nestled in the Ozark Mountains is now expecting up to 7-9 inches of snow and possibly 1/4" of ice.  Now, for those of you who live in larger cities (our town's population is 2,278) or live in cities that 12 feet of snow is "no big deal", let me assure you 7-9 inches of snow and 1/4" inch of possible ice in OUR town is A REALLY BIG DEAL!  Our town's "snow and ice plow system" is, ummmm, I think it's comparable to something Mayberry would have had (with Floyd the barber driving) if Andy Griffith's town actually got snow.   (The Andy Griffith show by the way is Chris' all time, hands down, favorite television show.  It's a little scary when an episode is on matter which episode...and Chris can actually say the actors' lines before the actors.)

Chris and I just looked at each in disbelief this morning as we drank our coffee and watched The Weather Channel publicly announce this impending storm was a "Historic Winter Storm."   This "Historic Winter Storm" was going to be the worst in history.  I could not believe what the blonde babbling Meteorologist was telling us.  My stomach sunk.  I was envisioning not being able to leave the house for a week.  I was envisioning running out of food.  I was, more importantly, envisioning running out of coffee!!  We were watching the blonde babbling Meteorologist.  I was on my laptop researching the weather conditions.  Chris was on his laptop researching the weather conditions.  At about the same time we both came to the realization that the impending "Historic Winter Storm" was inevitable and I said, "Well, back to Hart's we go!"

So back to Hart's we go!  Normally, I park in the exact same parking space (I'm a Virgo) no matter what time of the day it is.  Well, not today.  No Ma'm.  No way.  No how.  We had to literally drive around in circles and actually s-e-a-r-c-h  for a parking space.  The Hart's parking lot was covered with cars like an ant pile is covered with ants.  The massive PEPSI truck was there.  The massive bread truck was there.  There were people everywhere!  We just started laughing.  Actually, we were kind of scared to go IN Hart's!  (lol)

So after literally driving around in circles and searching for a parking space we finally find one and we park the car.  We walk across the parking lot towards the electronic doors of Hart's.  The electronic doors of Hart's opened.  We looked at each other, started laughing again, and walked into "Hart's."  Let me tell ya - it was something to be seen!  Normally there are 2, maybe 3 checkers.  Today, there was a checker at every register and I think there's 10 registers.  Not only was there a checker at every register, there was a bag boy at every register.  There were people everywhere.  There were people everywhere like there would be pescatarians at a fish camp. There were people everywhere like the paparazzi was at Lindsay Lohan's house before her latest rehab stint. There were people everywhere like there are people at a Barney's Warehouse Sale.,default,pg.html

So you might be thinking....what else did ya'll need?  What did else ya'll buy?....because you bought so much before! (lol)  Well, we bought garlic powder.  We bought pepper.  We bought a Clorox bleach tablet for the toilet.  We bought taco shells.  We bought coffee beans.  We bought more Smart Chicken.  We bought more milk and more Soy Slender milk.  We ( I ) bought more tabloid magazines.  We bought avocados. We bought carb balance wheat tortillas.  We bought taco blend shredded cheese.  We bought saltine crackers.  We bought a block of Cracker Barrel super sharp cheddar cheese. We bought organic white cheddar shells and cheese.  Oh, and Chris forgot his wallet so it afforded me an additional twenty minutes to shop as he had to return to our B&B to fetch his wallet. So I decided we needed asparagus.  I decided we needed mesquite wood briquettes.  I decided we needed salmon.  I decided we needed organic spinach ribbons.  And then Chris came back. And then we left.  And here we are now, safely and warmly snuggled into our B&B!.....waiting on this impending "Historic Winter Storm.'

So now comes the fun part!  Below are three of my  Impending "Historic Winter Storm" Recipes I'll be cooking over the next few days!

No. 1  
(served with grilled asparagus topped with smoked mozzarella and couscous)
4 salmon filets
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
juice of 1 lemon
3 fresh garlic cloves (minced)
small handful of parsley (chopped)
capers (I use organic Mediterranean capers)
1/2 bottle of dry white wine (remember, don't cook with what you wouldn't drink!)
1/2 of a purple onion

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Blend all ingredients (except the salmon!) in a blender until blended smoothly.

In a pan drizzled with extra light olive oil quickly sear the salmon on both sides (about 2 minutes on high heat).  Pour the liquid mixture into the pan you cooked the salmon in.  Bake, covered with foil, at 350F degrees for 20 minutes.  I'm gong to be serving this with my grilled asparagus topped with smoked mozzarella (that recipe is in my Blog entitled "Are Your Favorite Foods Like Your Favorite Songs?" and some couscous tossed with extra light olive oil, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.  "Enjoy!"

No. 2
(I eat mine on carb balance whole wheat tortillas & Chris eats his on crunchy white corn taco shells)

meat - you can use ground beef, ground chicken or ground turkey - amount depends on how many tacos you're going to make
sea salt - to taste
fresh cracked pepper - to taste
1 handful of fresh cilantro (I just tear mine with my hands)
1 purple onion (chopped - I like big chunks!)
1 small handful of parsley (minced)
1 fresh habanero pepper (take out the seeds if you don't want the heat)
4 vine ripened tomatoes (2 are to be chopped for the meat mixture & 2 are to top the tacos with)
1/2 can of beer (whatever flavor you like)
1 cup of chili seasoning
3 good shakes of garlic powder
1 small can of tomato paste
1 can black beans (drain the juice)
1 good toss of crushed red pepper flakes
sour cream (I'm a light sour cream kinda gal)
hearts of romaine
taco shredded cheese

Add all ingredients in a pan and cook until the meat is thoroughly cooked (I add all my ingredients at the same time) stirring and adjusting seasonings as needed.  I cook mine on medium heat for 30 minutes.  You can "give and take" with the liquids depending on how "soupy" you like your tacos. We dress ours with fresh avocado, shredded taco cheese, hearts of romaine lettuce and chopped vine ripened tomatoes or Roma tomatoes.  I add light sour cream & jalapenos - Chris passes on both of those!  If you're watching your carbohydrate intake, you can skip the tortillas and shells because this is JUST as divine on a bed of delicious hearts of romaine lettuce!  "Enjoy!"

No. 3
(served with a delicious fresh salad)

large, firm green bell peppers (1 pepper per person)
1 fresh package of oyster mushrooms (chopped - I like big chunks!)
rice (you can use white or brown - I'm using brown)
3 fresh garlic cloves (minced)
2 large cans of  crushed organic tomatoes (1 for the meat mixture and 1 to bake the peppers in)
extra light olive oil
sea salt (to taste)
fresh cracked pepper (to taste)
1 package of Good Season's Italian Seasoning dry mix
1 yellow onion - chopped
1 small handful of parsley (chopped)
3-4 good shakes of Worcestershire sauce
1 large wedge of fresh Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (grated - half goes in the peppers and half dresses them)
PAM cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Cut the tops off of the bell peppers and clean out / hollow out.  Cut a very thin slice off the bottom of each bell pepper so the peppers can "stand" in the baking dish.  With your hands, rub extra light olive oil, salt and pepper generously over each bell pepper.

Cook your rice per the instructions on the box.

Add all ingredients (except the rice, half of the grated cheese and one of the cans of organic crushed tomatoes) in a pan and cook until the meat is cooked thoroughly.  I cook mine on medium heat for 30 minutes.  Once the mixture is ready, add the cooked rice and blend thoroughly.  Fill each bell pepper with the meat and rice filling - I fill mine all the way up to the tippity top!  Generously sprinkle the remaining cheese you set aside earlier on top of each stuffed bell pepper.  Pour the second can of organic crushed tomatoes in the bottom of the baking dish you are using - be sure you spray the baking dish with PAM first!  Carefully place the stuffed bell peppers into the baking pan - you want to use a baking dish that the stuffed bell peppers will snuggly fit in.  Any extra bell pepper filling mixture you have left over toss on top of the organic crushed tomatoes acting as a liner for the baking dish.

Bake, covered with foil, at 350F degrees for 1 hour.  I'll be serving mine with a delicious fresh salad of hearts of romaine, vine ripened tomatoes, English cucumbers, purple onion and Feta cheese drizzled with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper!  "Enjoy!"

Always "Push The Parsley!"
~ A Girl Cook