Saturday, November 7, 2009
To the stew I added some braised garlic cloves (whole garlic cooked in butter on low heat, covered, for about 20-30 minutes).
The garlic and the cooking butter was put into the stew just before serving.
I usually serve enchiladas with pinto beans (recipe from The Border Cookbook) and yellow rice.
This was very good, and not difficult, but the cabbage should be cooked at least a day in advance because it has to be cold when rolled in the phyllo. I served it with pork chops and noodles, but that was completely unnecessary. The strudel and a good loaf of bread would make a fine dinner on its own.
Monday, August 31, 2009
This is a good cool, rainy day meal. There was enough for two dinners; the first night I served it with noodles and corn, and the next night I served it with spatzle and corn.
A few weeks ago DS and I spotted these at the farmers' market:
Purple potatoes. I roasted them with a little salt, pepper and poultry seasoning.
Monday, August 10, 2009
At the moment, however, they are fine, and we've been harvesting a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes (I think cherry tomatoes only come in bumper crops). A few days ago I made cherry tomatoes in a balsamic vinegar sauce (Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone).
The tomatoes are sauted in butter, then simmered in balsalmic vinegar with a bit of chopped onion or shallot tossed in. They were very good.
Another veggie dish I made last week was the Smoked Cheese and Vegetable Casserole from Thanksgiving 101 by Rick Rodgers. Again, pretty simple. Summer squash, zuchini, onion, garlic, rosemary, corn and green pepper with a topping of bread and smoked cheese. Excellent. I made this the last two Thanksgivings and it was a hit.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
It took years for me to figure out how to make this right, but I finally found a recipe in the Complete Middle East Cookbook (see the entry on Green Beans in Oil). The batch in the picture was a little stiff and should have been thinned out with a little olive oil or lemon juice. It was, and I had to admit this, just a tad too garlicky; one clove less would probably sufficed. Still it was good, especially with the cherry tomatoes I've been harvesting from the garden.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
No picture because it's all gone.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
I made my standard roast chicken: stuffed the cavity with a cut up lemon and some fresh rosemary; rubbed the skin with olive oil and sprinkled on salt, pepper, sage and thyme. Perfect chicken every time.
As much as I like roast chicken, I really dislike picking the meat off the carcass after dinner, but it must be done. The leftover meat went into the fridge (turned into quesedillas for dinner the next day and many lunches after that) and the skin and bones became a lovely stock:
and today I made a blueberry pie
It looks like the time has come to buy my blueberries by the flat and start to freeze them for the winter. I froze 3 flats last year (they were cheap) and am hoping that I'll be able to do the same this year, but I'm afraid the wacky weather might not be so good for the blueberry harvest.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
And yes, it was. The oregano gave the bread a completely different flavor. Very tasty. A good way to keep the herbs in the garden in check, use up a cheap bottle of beer, and get a fresh loaf of bread for dinner.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I bought a beautiful bunch of carrots from the farmer's market. They were long and thin with lovely, fresh green tops. So I wanted to cook them yet preserve their shape, in other words, not peel them. They were so thin that most of the carrot would disappear if I peeled them.
So I looked up carrots in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madsen. And she said that if you put the carrots in cold water, brought the water to a boil, added salt, and cooked them, the skins would slide right off. And you know what? They did. It was lovely.
So I boiled them, skinned them, then sauted them in butter with onion and parsely, and ended up with this:
Okay, there were more of them. I took the picture after dinner, not before. But you get the idea.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Sunday, May 31, 2009
This dish is good with rice. I made asparagus to go with it (it being asparagus season), but peas go well with it, too.
Yes, it's asparagus season. I bought a lot of it this weekend; I need to get it into the freezer, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I did spend Friday night processing strawberries for the freezer. I took the kids strawberry picking and we managed to pick 9 quarts of berries. Really ripe, flavorful, wonderful strawberries. Took us maybe 20 minutes or so. I froze 6 quarts of berries (washed, hulled, sliced and packed in bags in one cup portions). Most of them will probably end up in oatmeal during the winter. The fresh berries we've been eating as is and also with shortcake.Last weekend I made a batch of Strawberry Shortcake Cookies (from this month's issue of Martha Stewart's Living magazine). They were very good (really did taste like strawberry shortcake), but very rich (made with heavy cream and butter). They don't keep very well, either, but to be honest, there weren't that many left after dinner.
The garden is doing great. Tomato plants are growing by leaps and bounds. I've got some actual pea pods on the pea plants and the herbs are looking great. Corn is up, but it seems a little small; I guess I should give it some time. The pepper plants don't seem to be growing as fast as I thought they would, but it's still early so I'm not fretting. Yet.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
I have two pink rose bushes (they live in the herb garden). They are very fragrant and a lovely pale pink. The iris are actually dark purple, not the blue that came out in the picture. Beautiful. I wish iris bloomed all summer.
The sage is blooming, too (this is new, as it was planted last year and only blooms in spring).
I also have a red Portugal pepper growing on one of the plants,
and the corn is sprouting.
I decided not to plant carrots this year (ended with up orange stubs last year), so I bought two Purple Prudens plants for that space. They are an heirloom tomato, similar to a Brandywine. (Easier to grow, I hope. I grew Brandywines a couple of years ago and lost a lot to blossom end rot. Very frustrating, as it hit just when a tomato was ready to harvest.) These will have to be the last tomato plants I put in this year (I have 11 total). I've used my last tomato cage.
I also put in four jalapeno pepper plants. Can't have too many hot peppers, you know. They're great in collards.
So, it looks like we'll get some rain tonight, which is very much needed. Hasn't rained in about a week; we could use a good soaking. (The rain barrel is almost empty, too. Needs a refill.)
Saturday, May 16, 2009
And the finished product was a lovely, airy, angel food cake.
Topped with strawberries and, for some of us, whipped cream (I skip that part), it made a very tasty dessert.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
This all came from the same stand. Leeks, lettuce, arugala, asparagus, green onions, beets, yellow and red onions. We've been having salad for dinner every night. I made half a bunch of asparagus with dinner on Friday (pork chops and corn bread). The leeks were cooked in a little broth with chicken and cayenne pepper for dinner last night. We'll have the beets with hamburgers and the rest of the asparagus in an asparagus tart. Salads all week long. I didn't buy spinach or radishes. I'm told that the strawberries are a few weeks away, and all the rain we had last week didn't help matters much; veggies need sun (of which there is a whole lot today).
So now I'm faced with clearing out my freezer before stocking up with this year's goodies. I still have one container of Hungarian gravy base (which I'll make up this week for the peppers); some green peppers (they'll be used up before new peppers appear in August); blueberries (I'm using them up in my oatmeal in the morning); one pack of green beans (which I can cook up for lunch if there's too much fresh stuff for dinner); and some tomato sauces and salsas. The sauces will be used up before tomatoes are available, but I'm not sure what to do with the salsa. Not too thrilled with it; maybe I can use it in frijoles some time. I'm going to ditch the freezer blueberry jam (don't like the texture and it doesn't taste a whole lot like blueberries) and there's a batch of beans I'm getting rid of as I did not like how they turned out. The only true failure is the bag of sliced, cooked beets in the freezer -- fresh is now available; need to think about how to deal with the frozen.
I planted my basil, parsley, tomatoes and peppers on Friday; put geraniums along the front walk yesterday morning. I want to get four more parsley plants in hopes of having a better harvest than last year. Put in two varieties of peppers (sweet green and hot red Portugals) and three tomatoes (red cherry, Rutgers, and one Ramapo, which will go in the upside down planter). Today I'll plant the corn and fill the window boxes.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
We planted the bleeding heart a couple of years ago. I was afraid it had been removed at the end of summer by some overzealous flowerbed neatening, but it came back in its full glory. The lilac was one of the first things we planted when we bought the house. It blooms gloriously every spring, and is now spreading along the patio. In a few years it will be a perfect privacy screen.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
They turned out okay, but not fabulous. The recipe was from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, and the dough was a little dry (not sure why), and of course I made the cookies bigger than they should have been, so they had to bake longer, so they got a little darker than they should (still taste good, though, even if now they are hard as rocks).
Now, my dad made fabulous ginger snaps. They were a rolled cookie, and each one was cut with a 2 inch round cookie cutter, all uniform and pretty. And his recipe, whatever it was, made a ton of cookies (his recipes generally made a ton of whatever it was he was making). I rarely have the time or patience for rolled cookies, except for Spice Crisps, a cookie recipe I found in Bon Apetit in the early/mid 90s. Thin, crisp and very spicy. Yum. (But more work than I was willing to put in after work yesterday. I make them around Christmas.)
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Managed to do a lot of gardening the last two days. Prepared all the existing beds for planting, put new strawberry plants in one of the strawberry pots:
and planted a new thyme plant in the herb garden (the dog dug up the last one).
The peas are growing,
except in one row for some reason, so I planted arugula there.
put in a three sisters garden (corn, squash and beans); plant tomatoes (Ramapos this year, if I can get my hands on them); plant basil, parsley and dill in the herb garden; put cherry tomatoes in the upside down planter; and put hot peppers in the window box by the back door. We are in the process of opening up new beds (maybe next weekend, weather permitting), and in them I'll plant sweet peppers and maybe some cucumbers. (I'm avoiding members of the cabbage family because they always seem to be eaten by some kind of bug, and we aren't big fans of eggplant, zuchinni and summer squash so they're out.)
Could just fill the area with blueberry bushes, or maybe a different variety of tomatoes (one can never have too many tomatoes). Two other bushes along the side of the house will soon be taken down and I'm thinking of replacing them with hazelnuts, something I've wanted to plant since we bought the house. Have to look into that.
Monday, April 6, 2009
In other news, my peas have finally started sprouting. I'll post a photo when they get a little bigger (at least bigger than the weeds). And I restarted the Flow top; I'm now at the point I was when I ripped it out. Hopefully I can get some good knitting in....