Took a short road trip to the Breaks Interstate Park, Park Link, over the weekend. It is also called the Grand Canyon of the South, but I must laugh because I am sure the Grand Canyon would be completely different.

We stayed at the lodge which was comfortable with a nice pool ( although very far from lodge, we walked and it took about 15 minutes) and lots of hiking trails. They have great campgrounds, so we hope to be able to come back and rough it soon.

us at the tower overlook

view information

towers overlook

Some shots going down RT. 460 on the motorcycle.

We ate at the restaurant and it was so enjoyable, mainly because of the view.
The steaks for supper were fantastic and my breakfast BLT was out of this world at a mere 3.99.

Doug at table

view from Breaks Park restaurant

My breakfast BLT

I have to say we had a most enjoyable trip and will certainly return someday.


Roasted Green Beans

I have the past two years taken to roasting green beans.

Here is how I do it.

Clean about 2 cups fresh green beans and place in a covered iron chicken fryer sprayed with olive oil spray. On top put one diced red sweet pepper along with one small onion diced and one minced clove garlic.

Salt well then spray well with cooking spray. Next add on top about 5 to 6 slices lemon.

Cover and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes. When they come out take off the lemon, stir well and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.

The green bean actually brown a bit on the bottoms and hubby and I like that. They may be cooked too long for some but we find they are perfect.

Something a bit different eating browned green beans.

Cucumber Salad

I am so busy freezing and canning.

I figured I might stop long enough to post this refreshing and simple salad.

Cucumber, Tomato and Feta Salad

2 medium cucumbers , peeled and chopped
2 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 small onion diced
1/4 cup feta, crumbled
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste

Just mix and enjoy. I like it room temperature.

Not sure when I’ll get back in the blogging swing since corn is coming in, along side tomato and green beans. I can not stop until I have it preserved or eaten. Oh the joys of vegetable gardening! 🙂

Cilantro Turned to Coriander- WHB

I have only grown cilantro for two years and didn’t really know when or how to harvest the coriander seed.

This is how I do it and it seems to work.

I wait until the plant looks similar to this.

I go out with a large bowl and cut the complete head off into the bowl and bring it inside to pull off the seeds.

I let the seeds sit on paper towels for about 2 weeks on the kitchen counter before I store it in baggies.

When I need coriander I just grind some of the seeds in a spice grinder.

Last years seeds were used this spring to start cilantro plants also, so if you don’t use it all in cooking you can use them for next years garden.

One of my favorite uses for coriander is this mango salad.

I also needed to use that ripe mango on my kitchen counter.

Don’t you love mango this time of year? I never like them except mid summer.

This is my post for Weekend Herb Blogging hosted this week by Marija from Palachinka. Visit to read the roundup sometime after Sunday this week and see some gorgeous photographs and neat recipes too!

If you would like to participate in WHB visit beloved by all WHBers founders site, Kalyns Kitchen, and read the rules.

You will be glad you did.

Mango and Romaine Salad with Dried Cranberries – Adapted from a salad by Camille Cusumano
America Loves Salads

3 romaine hearts – washed and chopped
1/2 red onion sliced thin
1 each mango peeled and sliced
1/2 cup pecan halves toasted
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 each grated carrot
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon honey

Cut romaine hearts into bite size pieces and place all salad ingredients in a large bowl ending with toasted nuts.

Place all dressing ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately as it does not store well.

Roasted New Potatoes

I have been so busy with canning and freezing, I have been slack doing much cooking.

What cooking I have done has been something like this simple smoked sausage stir fry with cabbage, zucchini, onion, summer squash and hot peppers with lemon pepper.

Or these Roasted New Potatoes.

Just quarter the potatoes and toss with olive oil. Salt with kosher salt and add fresh dill, rosemary, garlic, and marjoram. Roast in a 375 oven about 15 minutes then stir and roast another 10 – 15 until crispy.

I love gardening and putting up for the winter months but it takes a lot of time and energy.

I also made sauerkraut for the first time to can. It turned out well.

Just kosher salt and cabbage fermented about 3 weeks in a crock.

I used about 4 to 5 tablespoons kosher salt ( or canning salt) to 2 heads shredded cabbage. Then cover tightly with plastic wrap, pressing down and weighting on the cabbage with freezer bags filled with water. Make sure you use a crock, or non- metal utensils and container.

Cover that with a clean towel. Let it sit at room temperature until it ferments which should take at least two weeks, but more like 3 to 4 weeks.

It was easier than I had ever imagined. I have an awesome sausage and kraut recipe I make often, and this will be perfect for it.

Julia Child 3rd Birthday Event

Julia Child’s Wine Poached Fruit in Chocolate Cups

Lisa at Champaign Taste is holding the 3rd Julia Child Birthday Event to celebrate Julia’s birthday.

Lisa’s first Julia Child Birthday Event was the very first blog event I ever entered, after starting Coffee & Cornbread about three years ago.

I didn’t want to miss it but the dish I wanted to prepare needed fresh pears. You can not hardly poach a pear without pears, but I did have one peach, one mango, several oranges and bananas.

I decided to use Julia’s formula for poaching fruit and substitute the one peach for pear. I didn’t want a bunch of it laying around the house anyway and it would be a perfect serving for two in her chocolate cups.

Julia’ s proportions for poaching fresh fruit are 6 tablespoons of sugar per cup of wine, according to the Julia Child’s Menu Cookbook.

You also add lemon juice and zest along with a cinnamon stick. Simmer the liquid about 5 minutes then put in the peeled fruit and maintain the heat on the fruit about 10 minutes at just barely below a simmer.

When you cut off the heat you cover the fruit and let it sit in the liquid covered at least 20 minutes, but can sit for several days in the refrigerator.

I used red wine and allowed the peach to sit in the refrigerator about 3 days.

For the chocolate cups Julia tells us to melt chocolate on a double boiler and then coat paper cupcake forms with the chocolate.

Here she is doing it in her book.

Here I am coating cups.

I am suppose to refrigerate and carefully peel the paper away when they become firm.
I tried, I really did, but I busted both cups on the edge.

I managed to place the fruit in the cup to hide the busted edges.

We are suppose to serve the poached fruit with a caramel sauce in the chocolate cup. Caramel sauce takes cream and I didn’t have any.

I did however have some store purchased caramel sauce, so I used that drizzled with some of the poaching liquid. I also had leftover chocolate which I made a few curls from to place on top.

It was wonderful. The poaching liquid mixed in the caramel was so good!

The only things I might do different is to make my own caramel next time and let the chocolate cups come to room temperature because while still cool they tended to be hard to eat.

Oh …and Julia also put a macaroon cookie under her pears. I am not one to like macaroons, so I felt it was great without it