Fennel Cucumber Crostini with Tuna

Sunday, June 30, 2013

WooooooEeeeee! What a week it has been!

T & I are beyond excited to have started A NEW CSA. We were thrilled to meet Darla, one of the head gardeners of our new CSA this week when we stopped by the farm to pick up our first CSA box of the season. Don't these veggies look delicious?

CSA WEEK ONE: the haul
Mini Cucumbers
Snap Peas
Salad Mix

Below: T may have had a little too much fun with the fennel.

Fennel is a veggie we'd only cooked with once before. Now that we've tried it again, I'm sure it will be showing up much more on our dinner table. T was telling me how he always wishes he had more room in his stomach because he never knows if I'll make the same thing twice. I can tell you, after trying this recipe, it will definitely be gracing our dinner table again.

Step One: Gather the ingredients - You will not be using the fennel fronds (is that what they're even called?), so if you can't find the full plant at the local grocery store...don't worry if you can only get the bulb.

Step Two: Chop and mix together all of the ingredients.

If you prefer a vegetarian version - this 'salad' is just as delicious without the tuna. I decided to add tuna so there would be some protein to satisfy the hubby and make this into a light meal instead of a side dish. Serve over thin slices of toasted bread. WaaaLa! Crostini.

Recipe adapted from Jane's Adventures in Dinner

FENNEL CUCUMBER CROSTINI WITH TUNA | Yield: 6-8 servings | Total Time: 20 minutes


1 medium bulb fennel, thinly sliced (about 1 C)
1 1/2 C cucumbers, cut into bite-sized pieces (I used 3 mini cucumbers)
1 shallot, minced (about 2-3 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp dill, minced (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/3 C olive oil
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 15.5 oz can cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
1 can tuna
Bread, thinly sliced and toasted (I used bakery fresh caraway rye bread)

*NOTE: This salad is equally good without the tuna for all of you vegetarians out there. 


Chop and mince all of the vegetables and herbs. Zest and juice the lemon. Drain and rinse the beans. Add all ingredients together in a large bowl and mix. Serve on toasted bread or as a salad.

The End Of An Era...

Friday, June 21, 2013

It's the end of an era. T's family medicine residency is over. WooooHoooo!!!

Congrats T! I'm beyond proud of all you have accomplished. Can't wait to get moved and see what the next chapter will bring us.

Next on the agenda...moving day. Here we come Okoboji! For all of you out there wondering when I'll start blogging about what I've got cooking...never fear. T and I start a new CSA (community supported agriculture) program next week after we get moved. I'm excited to see what Good Eeten's has in store for us, and can't wait to fill all of you lovelies in on all the 'good eats' to come.

Crispy Berbere Chicken with Ethiopian Lentils

Friday, June 14, 2013

Imagine for a moment that you have been transported to a new culture. This new culture happens to be located in the Horn of Africa sandwiched between Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti and Kenya. Can you guess where we're going? If you're like most of us, you're probably pulling out the ol' map about now, or at the very least typing in a Google search 'Horn of Africa' to see what the heck I'm getting at. I must say that this grouping of African countries does not exactly inspire daydreams of amazing places to visit or geographic locations on most people's bucket lists (unless maybe you dream of going on a safari...). If you haven't figured it out yet, the destination of choice is the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, or Ethiopia for short.

A while back, I read a wonderful book called Cutting For Stone, by Abraham Verghese. Without giving too much away, the general plot revolves around family drama concerning two twin brothers born at a mission hospital in Ethiopia to a surgeon and his nurse, medicine and exile in Africa and America, and learning to trust and forgive. If you haven't read it, and appreciate a book that really draws you into the characters and makes you feel like you are part of their lives, this is definitely one to check out.

Cutting For Stone features a fair amount of writing on Ethiopian cuisine, so when I stumbled across an Ethiopian recipe, I knew right away I had to try it.

Step One: Gather the ingredients and put together the Berbere Spice Mix - some international food stores may sell this pre-mixed. Most likely, you'll have to make your own.

Step Two: Chop and mince the onions, carrots, garlic and ginger. Heat 2 T oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, and saute for 5-7 minutes. Add 3 T Berbere spice mix, stirring to combine. Next, add lentils, tomatoes, salt and water, bring to a boil, cover, return to low heat, and simmer for 30 minutes until al dente while chicken is cooking.

Step Three: Sprinkle chicken thighs with salt and coat with Berbere Spice Mix. Sear for 8 minutes skin-side down in a heavy-bottomed oven-proof skillet. Flip and cook for an additional 3 minutes before transferring to the oven to finish cooking for 10-15 minutes.

Doesn't that look yummy? It was. Cooking international dishes is so much fun! All sorts of different and unique flavor profiles that T and I aren't used to.

Recipe from Feasting at Home

CRISPY BERBERE CHICKEN WITH ETHIOPIAN LENTILS | Yield: 6 servings | Total Time: 45 minutes (less if you already have a pre-made Berbere Spice Mix)



3 T sweet paprika
1 T red pepper flakes
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground mustard* (use fenugreek instead if you can find it)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon


1 C green lentils
3 C water
2 C diced onions
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 T fresh ginger, minced
1 C diced carrot
1 C diced tomato
2-3 T Berbere Spice Mix (see above)
1 tsp kosher salt
2 T olive oil
Fresh Italian Parsley

In a medium heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven, saute diced onion, carrots, garlic and ginger in 2 T olive oil, about 5-7 minutes. Add 2-3 T Berbere Spice mix and saute 2-3 minutes, stirring to combine. Add 1 C green lentils, 1 C diced tomatoes, 1 tsp salt and 3 C water. Bring to a boil, cover, turn heat to low and let simmer until al dente, about 30 minutes.


6 chicken thighs, (skin on)
2-3 T Berbere Spice Mix
olive oil
Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse and pat dry chicken. Sprinkle with kosher salt on all sides. Generously rub each piece with Berbere Spice Mix. Heat 1 T oil on medium-high heat in a heavy bottom oven-proof skillet. Place the chicken skin-side down and sear until crispy and golden, about 8 minutes. Turn over, and turn heat down to medium, searing for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to oven and continue cooking 10-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

To serve: Fill a bowl with Ethiopian spiced lentils, a piece of crispy Berbere chicken, and sprinkle with fresh parsley.

NOTE: If you have any lentil leftovers (lucky you), they make an excellent hearty soup with oyster crackers for lunch the next day.

Have you read a good book lately that inspired you in the kitchen?

Future Home Sneak Peak

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hi Everyone! Sorry for being a little non-existant lately with my recipe posts. T and I have been busy busy BUSY getting house decisions made and getting ready to move from La Crosse to the Iowa Great Lakes area. T-minus 2 weeks!! AAAAhhhhhh!!!

A sneak peak into what we've decided on so far...drum roll please...

PAINT! I can tell you are just as excited as we are. After a trip to the amazing Room & Board in Edina over our anniversary weekend, we were lucky enough to see this lovely Benjamin Moore paint color in an actual room. SUPER helpful compared to the tiny little paint chip samples we had prior to this. For the time being, our entire house will be painted this color. I've got some rooms I will be changing after we move in, but we are happy with this choice for the majority of the house.

image via menards

MAIN FLOOR FLOORING! Equally, if not more exciting, we decided on a hand-scraped hickory solid wood floor for the main floor living area. (NOTE: This is just an example of the exact floor in a room, not our actual house). We just love the added texture that comes from hand-scraped wood, and the warmth it will bring to our main living space. As a bonus, we were able to get it while it was on sale. Saving money = Happy us.

image via pinterest

CABINETS! We were lucky enough to purchase our future home (originally a spec home) during a stage of construction that has allowed us to choose many of the finishes and make it more our style. I just love the clean, open and airy feel that white cabinets exude, and knew right away they were exactly the look we wanted. We will have white cabinets throughout the house...except the wet bar which will have a wood stain so that it feels more like a bar.

image via michael aram

HARDWARE! Our new home is on a lake, so we want to have some nautical features to make it feel...well...more lake-y (Is that even a word?). I spotted these knobs at Lowe's, and knew we had to have them. On a side note: Michael Aram = really cool hardware. They even have little shirt & pant knobs for the laundry and toothbrush & toothpaste for the bathroom. Just tooooo cute. I can't wait to see them in the house.

COUNTERTOPS AND TILE! I've become close friends with the granite and tile shops near our future home. After several visits, most everything is picked and ready to go. The above picture is an example of green candeias granite which we are using for one of the guest bathrooms. Below is an example of golden beach granite which we are using on the wet bar countertop, and a the wood-looking tile we plan to use below it.

Next up on the list of decisions to make: faucets and lighting. These two items are very difficult to choose. (OK, maybe not so difficult, but to find something within the budget very difficult). We've decided on chrome faucets for the bathrooms, so at least that has been narrowed down. Originally we were thinking brushed nickel, but decided we like the classic look of chrome and the brightness it brings. Not to mention most chrome has the same shade while brushed nickel can vary a lot when trying to match faucets to hardware to light fixtures to mirrors. Just thinking about it makes my head spin. 

Moen Banbury OR Moen Vestige

Above are the options we're considering for bathroom faucets. Any and all comments are welcome in helping to make this an easier choice for us!!

Do you have any other tips to consider when building a home?

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