Tasty Tuesday April 14

For a light dinner or a change of pace, this is simple and good. And fairly quick, did I mention that?

Pasta shells with smoked oysters and spinach

12 oz baby spinach, rinsed
1-8 oz can smoked oysters
8 to 10 oz pasta shells
1-2 Tbl olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
Salt, to taste

Cook pasta 12 minutes until al dente
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the garlic and then spinach. Stir swiftly for barely one minute until spinach is wilted. Stir in oysters and liquid. Remove pan from heat and season with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice, or lemon pepper.
Drain pasta and put into serving bowl. Pour skillet mixture over pasta and lightly mix. Serve with Parmesan.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Afloat

This piece of log has been caught in the water current below the dam for so long, the ends have been worn round. image

This was taken at Beaver’s Bend State Park in SE Oklahome. I grew up not too far away in Texas and this was always a welcome retreat to a very different scenery. The park is located in a part of the Ozark Mountains. There is a lake and river and the water is always cold below the dam. I mean trout fishing cold. It’s beautiful any time of the year.

Tasty Tuesday April 7

Tasty Tuesday April 7

Tonight I cooked chicken on the grill and as usual, I wanted to cook the vegetables on the grill too, makes things easier. I did my usual foil packet with stuff in it and we enjoyed it, so here’s what I did: 

For the two of us, I got two small yellow squash, one tiny zucchini, and a couple of brown mushrooms. They get sliced into bite-sized pieces. Sometimes I use onion in the mix. 
I then take a length of non-stick aluminum foil 14-18 inches long or so and pour a couple teaspoons of olive oil and a teaspoon of a good vinegar, a few sprinkles salt and several grinds of black pepper, this goes directly on the foil and then gets mixed and smeared around on the foil to cover most of it, leaving a couple of inches around the edges clean. Then the vegetables get heaped on one end, the foil gets folded in half over them and then I fold the sides first, two to three1/4 inch folds, and then the end gets the same folds. Then kind of pat it into an even thickness all over for even cooking. 
That sits over the coals while they are burning down to cooking temperature, turning several times. If it sizzles, it’s doing good. In a few minutes, you will start smelling the squash, if you smell burning, take it off direct heat now! and use more oil next time. You can gently poke or press the packet with the backside of your tongs to test for doneness, you will feel when they reach the right softness. When it’s time to put the main course on the grill, the packet gets put to the side, away from the heat to stay warm and finish cooking. If I have some good smoke going, I might poke a hole in the top of the packet to get that flavor in it. 
When all is done, all is brought in on a plate and while the meat rests, I open the foil packet, CAREFULLY to avoid steam burns, unfolding the last set of folds, and it gets dumped into a bowl to serve. Taste and season as you like. I find it usually needs more salt, the hubby cranks on more pepper. 
This is directions for two servings but can be increased, just try to keep the vegetables in an even layer in the packet and don’t make the packet too thick, or the ones in the middle won’t get cooked.