Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Baked Orzo With Tomatoes, Roasted Peppers and Zucchini

Published in NYtimes: August 10, 2009 (we made last month.....YUM)

Orzo is a type of pasta that looks like rice. It’s popular in Greece, where it is baked in casseroles like this one. If you like comforting dishes like macaroni and cheese, you’ll like this.

1/2 pound orzo (about 1 1/8 cups)Salt to taste
1 large red pepper, roasted and diced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium zucchini, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced; or 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 or 2 plump garlic cloves (to taste), minced
2 ounces freshly grated Parmesan or 2 ounces crumbled goat cheese (1/2 cup, tightly packed)

1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil, and add the orzo. Cook eight minutes, or until it is cooked through but still firm to the bite. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with the diced roasted pepper and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.

2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 2-quart baking dish. Heat another tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, wide skillet. Add the zucchini and cook — stirring and turning over the slices, or tossing them in the pan — until just cooked through and lightly colored, about five minutes. Scrape into the bowl with the orzo.

3. Return the pan to the heat, add the final tablespoon of oil and the garlic. Cook just until fragrant, 20 to 30 seconds, and add the tomatoes and salt to taste. Cook, stirring from time to time, until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly and smell fragrant. Taste and adjust seasoning. Scrape into the bowl with the orzo, add the Parmesan or goat cheese, and mix everything together. Add freshly ground pepper to taste, and adjust salt. Transfer to the baking dish.

4. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is just beginning to color. Serve hot or warm.

Yield: Serves six.
Advance preparation: You can assemble this several hours, even a day, before baking.

Recipe by Martha Rose Shulman can be reached at martha-rose-shulman.com.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Our rural ancestors, with little blest,
Patient of labour when the end was rest,
Indulged the day that housed their annual grain,
With feasts, and off'rings, and a thankful strain.
~Alexander Pope~

Movies To Watch Over Thanksgiving:
Everybody's Fine
Julie & Julia
Pieces Of April
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
The Man Who Came To Dinner
Hannah And Her Sisters
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
My Sassy Girl
Wedding Date
Friends With Money
Lovely And Amazing
The Darjeeling Limited
The Royal Tenenbaums
Everyone Says I Love You

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fall In New York

Banana Bread


  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
No need for a mixer for this recipe.  Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).  With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl.  Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.  Add the flour last, mix.  Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan.  Bake for 1 hour.  Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

Makes one loaf.

Birthday Girl

Celebrating birthdays is something we enjoy in our home.  Here are some moments of celebrating.....

 My friends at school made this one so special for me - I love these guys!

One of my lifelong friends was in the city for the marathon festivities.  
It was so great to spend time with her - we always enjoyed celebrating our bdays together in years past. We were born one month a part and on our bdays we would decorate the school with old photos and sing happy birthday to each other over the school intercom.  Our other life long 'bestie' Jenny was a part of all this too.

Aunt Jeanne took us to dinner for my birthday - she is so thoughtful - such a love. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

And They're Off...

NYC Marathon

We have a couple of friends running today, Jason and Kevin.  There was a neat article in the NY Times yesterday on Kevin who is running to raise money in support of cystic fibrosis research.  What an inspiring day!

Saturday, November 5, 2011