The Moveable Feast Food Blog

The Moveable Feast is a Personal Chef Service that serves the Hampton Roads area of Southern Virginia. This blog is an extension of my web site and will go into more details about food and any food service industries. Any pictures and or recipes that are published here are all the property of The Moveable Feast unless otherwise noted.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Simple Pasta
by Vickie
I have been hearing about this dish for years but never have made it and really wasn't sure about one of the ingredients in the dish. So I was watching TV and heard this dish mentioned in passing and decided that I had to make it to see what all the fuss was about.

I am an admitted carbohydrate addict. Anything that is a carb and bad for me in more than moderate amounts; I am all over it. Give me a white potato that has been boiled, sauteed, fried, steamed, mashed and baked! Bread, don't even get me started...

So here is my dish that I have now fallen totally in love with. It's such an easy dish to make any night of the week as long as you have some of the very basic ingredients. Cooking doesn't have to be complicated nor do the ingredients and that's why this dish is so perfect. This dish is very versatile. Meat eaters and Lacto-Ovo Vegetarians e can make this dish.


1/4 lb package of mild Italian sausage
1/4 lb prosciutto ham, thinly sliced
1/2 cup minced parsley
3 well beaten eggs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 package thick spaghetti
Cook Sausage until almost done. Add prosciutto and parsley until all is cooked.
Cook the pasta according to package directions; drain.
Add to pasta the butter, eggs, parsley, meats, cheese and pepper. Mix well and serve immediately.
Just a warning about making this dish. When you add the raw eggs be sure that you are very careful because you can scramble your eggs. I made the dish above and did well without scrambling the eggs but got all creative the last time and scrambled the eggs. So you have to toss the pasta with the eggs very quickly.
Things to change: we added grilled sweet Italian sausage to the mix. We have even tossed frozen English peas into the mix too. This recipe can be used as a base to build on.
Have fun!!


Monday, July 28, 2008

Mexican Pork

Mexican Pork
I have no idea why we made this dish or how it came about. I am thinking we were watching something with Mexican food involved and then we just had to have something Mexican. I think other than Italian food Mexican is my all time favorite cuisine. I am not this kind of a chef but I do love anything Mexican or even close to being Mexican cuisine. Other than going out to eat, making new things that I have found on the Internet has been a lot of fun.

I had a recipe in mind and DH found it on the Internet. This site had some good recipes and this one was a great one!

Pork Chimichurri Recipe (Mexican Pork)
1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
4 TBS olive oil
2 TBS each crumbled oregano and chopped fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp each crushed red pepper flakes, ground black pepper and white pepper.

Combine all ingredients together well in a plastic zip bag and refrigerate 4-24 hours. Prepare hot grill and remove pork from marinade. Toss remaining marinade. Skewer cubes and grill to cook evenly. Serve with sweet potato pieces and Plano peppers alongside rice and black beans.
Serves 4

We didn't exactly follow the directions the way it said. We did manage to marinate the pork for about 6 hours, but we have a nice grill skillet and we used that instead of the skewers. It worked very well and the pork was very tender.

I didn't have any sweet potatoes or poblano peppers but I did make black beans and rice and we ate the pork over that. It truly was yummy and not your typical taco or burrito sort of food. This is a keeper that I think we will eat again and again!

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The Musical Fruit

The Musical Fruit
Last year we tried to grow some musical fruit but sadly all I got was about 1/4 cup. Not really enough to make anything substantial to eat. I was disappointed. The problem is I am a beginner gardener and I still am learning about crop vs yield. I am not really sure how many beans come from a bean plant. Are you supposed to continually pick and then that creates more blooms. Do you leave the pod on the plant until it dries, then pick the beans? When do you pick a Snow Pea? How small should it be? Once it is out of control can you shell it and just eat the peas? Having a garden creates so many questions and is like going to school all over again. It's been fun learning what works where in our garden.

I got the name of a seed company from another blogger's site and have ordered from them once last year but we are about to order for the fall garden and see how that goes. We have only done a summer garden but I think we should try our hand at a fall or winter garden. I have gotten into this gardening thing so much that we have even batted around the idea of building a cold frame. (this picture was taken back in May when we first planted our garden)

Our first venture into the musical fruit realm didn't yield as much as I had hoped so this year we dedicated almost one of beds to just the beans. These are not just any beans mind you. These are beans that are talked about in the Bible. I did not know this until I asked Google about how when to pick these beans. It lead me to a site where I learned a lot about my choice of beans. I didn't remember it's an heirloom bean but now I know. I will plant more again next year and every year that I can. I just love how easy they are to grow and the the way they look. Of course there is an side effect mentioned at the site above but who cares!

Here is a beauty shot of Jacob's Cattle as they have started to dry on the plant. I did look up how to pick them on that above bean site and I found out that I had done the right thing by leaving them on the vine. Some are more dried than others, but it's a start. I have a wonderful feeling that I will have more beans this year than last year. I will put the dried beans in a jar until I find the most perfect bean dish for them. They look pretty haggard but when you shake them they rattle and then you pop it open and you get...

Here is what I had time to pick yesterday. I shelled them and the beans are in various states of dryness. I know now to leave the rest of the pods on the plants until they make more rattling noise when I shake them. Live and learn!
You might be able to see the white markings on the ends of some of the beans. So we are on our way with the bean crop. Stay tuned for more garden updates!

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Monday, July 21, 2008

The fruits of our efforts

The Fruits of Our Efforts

Surely you knew that the next post I would write about is what I did with the blueberries that we picked. It's not going to be exciting or especially creative, but who cares! They were yummy. I keep Bisquick around at all times. It's a habit from when we were a pretty new couple. You can make anything with this stuff and it was cheap. I was not a scratch cook when I was younger and I have gotten away from some things from scratch and this is one of them.

I could not resist making blueberry pancakes with our fresh blueberries. It was just too easy and very quick. The batter did not turn blue because they were fresh. Since the berries had not been frozen and full of melting blue juice, my batter was a nice creamy color. Using fresh berries make such a difference. I did not over beat the batter and just incorporated the berries to keep from crushing them.

See how the batter is still the same creamy color?

I am not a huge pancake expert, but I was pleased with the way they turned out.

I am not an expert pancake maker but I was pretty pleased at how they turned out. So the fruit of our efforts paid off well. DH said they were good and it was not our usual bacon and egg breakfast. I hope to have more about blueberries in the near future. Maybe I will get up off the couch when I see it's time to pick corn...maybe...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

How I spent this past Saturday

How I spent this past Saturday.
I have to say that I am pretty much a creature of habit and a confirmed couch potato. I like spending my time knitting and watch an unhealthy amount of TV while doing it. So after a week of non stop rain, this past weekend I had to get up out of my favorite chair and do something outside. Of course it was food related!

We have a section in our local newspaper that published all the U-Pick It places in our area every summer. Right now is prime time berry season. I was too lazy to pick strawberries so we missed that one. After hurricane Isabelle came and I lost all the berries that I had been on my hands and knees picking for hour after hour in the sun, I just couldn't bring myself to pick a ton of berries. It's been a few years since that happened so I guess I am getting over the trauma of losing $350 worth of food. It still haunts me seeing all those ice chests lined up in my kitchen with all our food packed in them with bags of ice. We tried so hard to save our food but it was just too much running out to get bags of ice that everyone else was looking for too. It just wore us out. I guess that old saying that time heals all wounds is just about right because on Saturday we went to pick berries.

DH saw in the Sunday paper from the week before that the farms were open and they were ready for business. So we decided that if it wasn't raining yet again, we would go and pick. We are not professional pickers like some of the folks we saw in the bushes. They come with little cute buckets with their names written on them in big fat letters like they might not know their own names after standing in the bushes for hours picking berries. So armed with three plastic shopping bags off we went.

When we got there they waved us on because you can't get a weight on a wimpy plastic bags. Usually they weigh your container, put a piece of masking tape with the weight of the container and send you on your way. You walk into blueberry heaven underneath bird netting and you are off and going. When you look up you see the holes that I can only imagine that hungry birds have pecked to try and get to those lovely berries. Here is where we went to pick our berries. I want to give them credit for being a friendly place to pick and do business.

Down each row you can hear private conversations of stranger to stranger talking about the last time they went to pick berries with a loved one who had passed away since last summer. There were whole families of three generations toting those named buckets up and down the aisles calling out Marco Polo to each other when one wanders off too far. These people have done this before. They came with a little plastic wagon to put all the buckets in. Very smart. Way too prepared for the likes of us. They had water bottles. What were we thinking?? No water, just three plastic shopping bags.

I tried my best to take pictures but something weird happens to you when you go to pick. You get carried away. You get picky. Then you can't stop. I only wanted to pick a few blueberries to have with my yogurt. I kept telling myself that I would stop after I finished the next bush. Then I would look up see these and have to have them.

Your mind starts to drift off to cookbooks that you know will have good blueberry recipes. Can you make a blueberry pound cake? How about your own blueberry vinegar? How long will these last? Will I need to come again before the season is over in August. Yes, I think so.

When we finally left 90 minutes later and with 6.6 pounds of blueberries in those embarrassing plastic shopping bags, all I could think about is a nice cold glass of water. Maybe those families with the names on their cute little buckets with their bottled water knew that they were doing. Lesson learned!

I had to take a picture of the berries that were yet to ripen. They are a nice shade of mauve. They are so pretty. You really have to see them in person to see the beauty. While I was taking this picture, I was wondering who the first person was that discovered that the berries were sour when mauve and wonderful when blue. Like I said, it was hot and I had no water...

The worst part (if it's really all that bad) is getting home with your little berries and having to decide what to do with them. I teach a food sanitation class in the culinary school here and we tell our students not to wash off the produce because the residue of water causes decay quicker. I never follow directions so here is what I did.

I took one bag and washed off the berries in the colander and let them drain for about 30 minutes, then I lined a sheet pan with paper towels and rolled the berries around on the paper towel to dry them off a bit more. I was very gentle with them because I didn't want blue hands.

It didn't take that long to do 6 pounds plus using this method. Then I had to decide how much to put in each freezer bag. I didn't want them to freeze in clumps so I decided to measure out two cups of berries. After looking at them flat on the counter I decided one more cup would be okay. So I have 6 bag containing three cups each.

I put the berries in the freezer but left some in a bowl for use to each fresh. I think we are going back in early August and pick again. I pray no hurricane will kill our efforts! Now off to look blueberry recipes. I am so excited!

PS. If live in an area where you can pick your own produce of any kind, take the time to make a family memory with your children or spend time with a friend. It's a great way to teach your children to appreciate the hard work that goes into our food and it creates a loving memory from childhood. Support your local farmers so they can keep providing us with this wonderful food and the experiences.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

No Explaination, No Excuses

No Explaination, No Excuses...
I have nothing to say except I have been a slacker. Mostly I want to say that I have not been cooking much and that goes in cycles. I have been taking pictures hoping that my food blog mojo would return. Thanks to something that someone else shared with me, I am hoping that I can blog most frequently.

I have been reading my usual line up of food blogs but to be perfectly honest I am far more interested in my knitting and learning about that than I have been with food and all that entails. I have been smitten with knitting and that has been my focus for a few years. So I have been working on that instead of my food blog. I know, I know, shame on me.

So I have been taking pictures and saving recipes so that if I ever got off my duff and posted, I would have plenty of material. So I have plenty of posts. Now I just have to get them written down and post them.

Thanks to all who have been breezing by only to be disappointed that I have not posted. Hopefully I will be more faithful now.

Stay tuned... I will be blogging here shortly. I promise!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Been Busy, Been Cookin'
I have no real valid excuse for not blogging in so long so we'll just skip that part of the post. I have been cooking, taking pictures and thinking about blogging. I have a few hours every day that I could be blogging, but as my friend Michelle knows, I spend the time doing this instead of here. I have often thought about just posting that I won't be posting, but I am still drawn to blogging, and somehow feel like I really don't have that many exciting things to blog about. Someone told me this past August that if you blog once a week, that's plenty. So maybe I should adopt that attiude. Now, if I can really stick to it....

I love our cold weather and the fact that when it's colder I don't mind cranking up the oven to bake anything or cook something on the stove all day. Since I teach five days a week and some of those days are split by an early afternoon class and an early evening class, the crockpot has gotten a work out.

Earlier, when the weather faked us out by getting really cold for about three or four days in a week and then jumped up to nearly 80, I turned on the oven. I had a day off and thought about making something to have with some tea. I wanted something sort of sweet but not too sweet that it would over power my tea. I rummaged through the freezer, which was getting a bit full and found three full bags of frozen blueberries. I thought about baking a blueberry cobbler, but got side tracked with that idea when I opened the pantry door and saw a cake mix. I checked out a few cookbooks and found something that would fit the bill.

This is a "cheater" recipe. It's not from scratch but it's really easy. I guess if you are ever in a pinch for something to take to a coffee group, this would be perfect. This is a cousin of the Pineapple Upside Cake. It made two 9" layer cakes, but I wasn't sure if I was supposed to flip one on top of the other or no. So I decided I would not flip it. So we ate one and then I froze the other. About a month after baking the two cakes, I gave the spare to my son to take to work. I guess they liked it because it didn't come home and he never said it was horrible. So for a 23 yr. old, I guess that's good, right?

The recipe came from one of my old faithful books Farm Journal's Country Cookbook. I have had this book for years and years. The recipes in the book are pretty simple and I do think that sometimes that less is more and simple is right. There is a reason for KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).

Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

Serves 9

Cake mix makes this a quickie dessert1/4 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened blueberries, thawed

2 tsp grated lemon peel (divided in half)

1 (8 1/2 oz) pkg. yellow cake mix

1/2 cup heavy cream (whipped)

Melt butter in 8" square baking pan. Sprinkle sugar evenly over butter.

Mix blueberries and 1 tsp lemon peel; sprinkle over sugar. Prepare yellow cake mix according to package directions, stirring in 1 tsp of lemon peel at end of mixing. Spread batter over berries. Bake in moderate oven (375) for 30 minutes or until cake tests done. Let stand 10 minutes. Turn out on platter. Serve warm. Top with whipped cream at the table if you wish.

I know that some like to make cakes from scratch, but honestly, these days I flat don't have the time. I would love to go back to the days of being a housewife who could stay home, go shopping and hang out with my friends, but those years are way behind me. I totally feel the pain of those who have even less time than me and little ones to feed and look after. I understand their need for quick and easy.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Time Out
I know I have taken a huge time out and haven't blogged in months. My heart was just not into it and I let myself take way too much time thinking about what to do about not keeping it up. I have been cooking and of course taking pictures. I will take some time to start catching up and posting more often. Since discovering knitting, I have been paying more attention to my knitting blog instead of this one. So we're off and running again in a few days after I have time to get some posts together. Stay tuned...