Cabbage Rolls Revisted

These cabbage rolls are a favorite of mine, so I am revisiting a recipe I have previously posted.

They paired especially well with the Basil Mashed Potato recipe I posted here.

Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

6 cabbage whole leaves
1/2 pound uncooked lean ground beef
1/2 cup uncooked white rice
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup soft bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
1 medium onion — finely chopped
1 medium garlic clove — minced
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
2 teaspoon olive oil
1 pint jar canned diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
1/4 cup grated parmigiana cheese

Wrap cabbage leaves in moist paper towels and microwave on high for 2 minutes to soften. Cut off the thickest, white portion of the spine of each leaf, set aside.

Combine beef, rice, water, bread crumbs, spices, onion, garlic, egg, salt and pepper in a large bowl; mix well.

Spoon about 1/4 cup of beef mixture onto the center of each leaf. Fold up bottom of leaf to cover filling, tuck in sides and then continue rolling to make loose rolls.

Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat; add rolls and saute until golden brown about 5 minutes. Remove carefully and wipe pan of excess oil.

Replace rolls then add tomatoes, chicken stock, fresh basil and oregano to pan.

Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until cooked through, about 1 hour to reduce liquid.

Sprinkle on cheese and serve when melted.


Independence Days Update

Sharon’s update with other updates in the comment section can be found here

1.Plant something – more green beans

The potatoes are blooming, some of our Blue Lake green beans are blooming and we will soon have summer squash.

potato blooms

bean blooms


2. Harvest something – cabbage, zucchinni, lots of herbs, hot peppers.
3. Preserve something – frozen bread for bread crumbs, frozen herbs

4. Prep something – nothing but…( getting instructions for a small green house.)

5. Cook something – new! Zucchinni Blossoms . Read about it here.

6. Manage your reserves- ..Managing my raport with my neighbors, I guess that qualifies as a reserve since I have been working on it for a while.

Using more of my crab apple jelly in this ice cream.I have got to get that jelly used up because our crab apple trees are full this year.

small sample view of crab apples

7. Work on local food systems – More hay for neighbors beef cattle. I don’t believe he could mow without a tractor. Neither could we. (but we could build a fench and put cattle in to graze someday if necessary)

8. Manage waste- Still throwing on compost heap .

9. Learn something new – How to stuff Zucchini blossoms .

Biggest Independence- Freedom, I stopped attending a local church because of this man standing behind a pulpit and pointing out “others sins” when he wasn’t a bit better than anyone else.

Experiment – PPN

Link to Roundup
I decided since I have zucchini beginning to come in that I wanted to try and bake some stuffed blossoms, which I had never done before, with some sort of pasta and zucchini.

Experiment follows –
6 zucchini blossoms
2 ounces montery jack cheese
1 cup fat free cottage cheese
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch salt

I started out by getting my blossoms and washing and removing the stems inside the blossom. If a blossom had a small zucchini attached I kind of fanned it by making thin cuts through it.

I stuffed each blossom with a small chunk of Montery Jack Cheese and then piped in a filling of of cottage cheese mixture on top of that.

For piping the filling mix together the above garlic powder, basil, salt and cottage cheese. I had cottage cheese mixture left over for the sauce.

I then placed them on a sprayed baking stone and baked in a 400 degree oven until collapsed and browned around the edges.

I had to allow them to cool a bit to get up with a spatula, I wanted to push together all that cheese that had melted out.

Then for the roasted vegetables I placed in my cast iron chicken fryer

1/2 head cauliflower broken up
1 small zucchini diced
2 each spring onions sliced along with tops
3 tablespoons jarred roasted red pepper
2 cloves garlic minced
pinch salt and pepper

I sprayed the top with cooking spray and covered with my lid. Baked about 40 minutes at 400 degrees.
With the leftover cottage cheese mixture I added about another tablespoon of chopped basil. 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes and 1/2 quart canned tomatoes and processed it in a food processor.

I tossed the hot linguine with this processed sauce, the roasted vegetables, and served the blossoms on the side topped off with grated montery jack cheese.

Turned out very good. Only served two but..

I deem the experiment a success and this is my entry to Presto Pasta Nights hosted this week by Hillary at Chew on That. Check for the roundup around June 27th and remember that next week the founder of PPN will be the host, Ruth at Once Upon A Feast.

ME oh ME

I have been tagged by Ali at Henbogle
so here are the meme rules.

Tag Rules:
# Link to the person who tagged you.
# Post the rules on the blog.
# Write six random things about yourself.
# Tag six people at the end of your post.
# Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
# Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

……..and here are 6 random things about myself.

1. I am a grandmother of fraternal twin boys. Kingston and Xavier.
2. I love to boat, waterski, water kneeboard, and camp out.
3. I have held several jobs in my lifetime ranging from Breakfast head waitress, (Oh I forgot to mention pizza maker at a local pizza gosh why couldn’t I just stop job hopping? ) Debt collector, Secretary & Treasurer of a window and door Corporation, B&B owner and operator. I am now retired.
4. I wish to live as self sufficient as possible, ( although I often don’t meet my wishes in the least and will
not pretend that I do )
5. I have been on several area TV commercials before my retirement.
6. I no longer dress to impress and have become a hayseed. ( my own term for country gal all the way )

I tag –

Natashya at Living In The Kitchen With Puppies
shwankie at Eclectic Edibles
Francie at Frantic Home Cook
katie at Thyme For Cooking
kate at Kate in the Kitchen
Jeff at C For Cooking

Sun-Dried Tomato and Blue Cheese Burgers on Homemade Buns

Sun-Dried Tomato and Blue Cheese Burgers

3 pounds uncooked lean ground beef
1 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes
4 ounces blue cheese
1/2 cup minced fresh chives
1 tablespoon steak sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/4 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
12 hamburger rolls

In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, sun-dried tomatoes, blue cheese, chives, steak sauce, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, salt, and mustard. Cover and refrigerate for two hours.

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Gently form mixture into twelve equally-sized patties.

Grill burgers for five minutes per side, or to desired doneness. Serve on rolls.


Bread Machine Hamburger Buns

1 1/4 cups milk — slightly warmed
1 beaten egg
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cups bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast


Place all ingredients in pan of bread machine according to manufacturer’s directions.

Select dough setting.

When cycle is complete, turn out onto floured surface.

Cut dough in half and roll each half out to a 1″ thick circle.

Cut each half into six 3 1/2″ rounds with inverted glass as a cutter.

Place on greased baking sheet far apart and brush with melted butter.

Cover and let rise until doubled, about one hour.

Bake at 350° for 9 minutes.

Note: Oven temperatures vary so check after 9 minutes to see if done. Some reviewers baked these anywhere from 12 to 30 minutes.

source – “”

Roasted Nectarine and Crabapple Ice Cream – WHB

Kalyn is host of Weekend Herb Blogging this week. I wanted to post this then because I am not sure it abides with the rules.

Here is what I wonder.

Entries can be recipes and/or informative posts featuring any herb, plant, vegetable, or flower. When possible, bloggers are encouraged to add details from other sources so others can learn about the featured plant or ingredient.

My entry has to do with nectarines. Nectarines are considered fruit, but the tree that bears them would seem to me to be a “plant”, and the flower that turns to fruit would seem to meet the “flower”. Of course tomatoes are really fruit also, but just seem different in my mind.

Here is a bit of information on nectarines taken from another link. Nectarine facts

Nectarines are essentially the same fruit as Peaches, the primary difference is that nectarines are smooth-skinned and peaches are fuzzy. The smooth-skin characteristic that distinguishes nectarines is a minor genetic variation, like red hair among people; it is even possible that a peach tree may suddenly produce a branch that bears nectarines, and vice versa. Most recommended varieties have red-and-yellow skins with yellow or white flesh.

If this entry doesn’t meet requirements, I understand if it isn’t included. I wanted WHB founder, Kalyn, to determine that and not a host who may not know what to do.

Anyway on with my post.

I had nectarines that needed to be used along with my home canned crab apple jelly I am working so despairingly to use up. I also had some cream that would soon bite the dust so I wanted my favorite summer dessert, ice cream.

Searching the net for an awesome recipe, since my last ice cream endeavor did not fair so well, I found this adapted version from Alton Brown at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy, Chewy. ( lol what a great name huh?)

Using my grandmothers ice cream maker that I ended up with, I then adapted that to include what I had on hand.

Do you know that in spite of all my quirky adaptations, this is the best ice cream I can ever remember eating?

Link to the original adaptation – Link .

Make sure you visit Kalyn’s Kitchen for the WHB roundup around next Monday.

I hope you enjoy this ice cream as much as we have here in Virginia.

Roasted Nectarine and Crab Apple Ice Cream
Adapted from an adaptation from Alton Brown

2 cups skim milk (that is what I had)
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup Splenda (that is what I used to try and make it more diet friendly)
1/2 cup crab apple jelly (there goes some more of my canned jelly! rah!)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I didn’t have vanilla beans)
Pinch kosher salt
4-6 medium roasted nectarines (again what I had on hand )
.To roast the nectarines, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Pit and halve the fruit, and toss them in some white or brown sugar. Then, place them on a baking sheet, cut side down. Roast them for about thirty to forty minutes, ( this would have been too long for my nectarines and 20 minutes sufficed) until they are really soft and the skins are brown.
Peel and chop.
Combine all ingredients, except the fruit, in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Attach a candy thermometer to inside of pan. Stirring occasionally, bring the mixture to 170 degrees F. Remove from heat and strain into a lidded container. If you do not have a thermometer, bring the mixture just barely to a simmer. As soon as you see a bubble on the surface, remove it from the heat.
Cool the mixture, then refrigerate it until cooled. ( I didn’t cool it all night)
Freeze mixture in an ice cream machine according to unit’s instructions. ( I added the fruit to the mixture and just socked it to it and omitted the following. ) Once the volume has increased by 1/2 and reached a soft serve consistency, add the fruit and continue turning to incorporate.
Spoon the mixture back into a lidded container and harden in the freezer at least 1 hour before serving.
Makes 1 quart

Peach Buttermilk Smoothie

Now that summer is in full swing what better way to cool than with peach smoothies?

I love peach smoothies although we don’t grow peach trees and I have to sometimes set my grocery trips around fruit stands to get good peaches..but when you get a good peach watch out!

Peach Smoothe Recipe

1 large peach, sliced and unseeded
1 cup of nonfat buttermilk
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar or splenda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients until smooth in a blender. Sometimes I also add some whip cream.


Independence Days Update

Independence Days Challenge Update. The original idea from Casaubon’s Book which can be found here. Link

You can find this weeks update here along with other updates in the comment section.

1.Plant something – more green beans, swiss chard

2. Harvest something – lettuce ( starting to bitter from heat), peppermint, cilantro, basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley, lemon balm, lemon thyme, chives, mexican marigold also known as (texas tarragon), dill, summer savory, lots of green onion, hot peppers.

The dill is starting to head.

We will soon have zucchini and cabbage. Nothing I like better than a cabbage stir fry.

3. Preserve something – chopped green onion for recipes in freezer. More dried herbs.

4. Prep something – I would think fixing our pond pipe, Link , would qualify as preparing since we must prepare to save our fish in that particular pond. Still weeding and watering.

5. Cook something – new! Lemon Tea Bread and Lemon Balm butter recipe from

Turned out great! Read about it here.

6. Manage your reserves– Thinking about canning shelving to hold more canned goods in an extra closet, but haven’t done anything about it yet.

7. Work on local food systems – Neighborhood fishing, which we allow because ponds can get overpopulated just like forests. We do have to monitor how often it goes on though.

We had one neighbor that began to just come and take fish anytime he wished and we finally had to tell him not to come without permission. Funny but he hasn’t been back since. That was several years ago too.

Our community is great. We have had neighbors fix our lawnmowers and patch our roof totally free of charge. All they want in return is to fish every now and again.

We also swap out garden veggies, like if our potato harvest is great but our green beans don’t fair so well, we will give certain neighbors potatoes for green beans and the likes of that. Just an example of the wonderful neighbors we have.

8. Manage waste- Still trying to remember to throw on compost heap and donated some old furniture to charity.

9. Learn something new – About Rhubarb diseases, mine has what is called Ascochyta leaf spot. See what that looks like here.

Bacon Ranch and Blue Cheese Pasta _ PPN

Presto Pasta Nights is back at Ruth’s Once Upon A Feast this week.
Link to Roundup

If you want to see some great looking pasta dishes check out the PPN archives and remember to check the new roundup on Friday. Next week the host will be Hillary of Chew On That.

The pasta I am submitting, Bacon Ranch and Blue Cheese Pasta,
has two parts,.

The first part is a ranch dressing mix that you will end up with way too much mix for this recipe, but it is always nice to have a ranch mix to be able to whip ranch dressing up whenever you wish. THis recipe I found on the web somewhere years ago.

I store my ranch dressing mix in a baggie along with the recipe so I don’t have to search for it when I need to make more.

Ranch Dressing Mix

Place all this in a food processor and grind fine.
8 saltine crackers
1 cup dried parsley
1/4 cup dried onion
2 tablespoon dried dill weed
1/8 cup garlic salt
Keep stored dry and mix with 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of mix, and enough buttermilk to desired consistency.

Now for the second part, the pasta, which is my own creation. You will need

Bacon Ranch and Blue Cheese Pasta

1 1/4 cup of the above mix fixed as directed,( which would be about 2 tablespoons of the mix, 1 cup mayo ( I use light), enough buttermilk to get your desired consistency.)
6 ounces cooked egg noodles ( I used yolk free)
2 spring onions chopped fine
2 ribs celery chopped fine
6 pieces turkey bacon cooked crisp and crumbled ( or regular bacon if you prefer)
1/2 carrot grated
1/4 cup chopped fresh spinach, chopped fine
2 heaping tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
hot sauce (several dashes or to taste)

Just mix it all together and enjoy your Presto Pasta Night! Eat immediately if you don’t want soggy turkey bacon.