Posts tagged ‘Recipes’

Independence Days Update

1.Plant something – green beans, lettuce, dill

We have many eggplant but this is the biggest one right now.

Some dill is seeding along with coriander.

dill seed

coriander seed

2. Harvest something – cabbage, zucchini, lots of herbs, lots of hot and sweet peppers, summer squash, onion, lettuce, arugula, carrot, green beans, green tomato, blackberries, cucumber, new potato.

3. Preserve something – frozen squash, zucchini, herbs and breadcrumbs. Frozen and canned blackberries. Zucchini Relish.

I love this relish but halve the recipe because that is all we can use in a season. I use it in my favorite cole slaw recipe, and on hot dogs.

Link to slaw- Cranberry Cole Slaw.

Make sure you use a 5% acidity vinegar!

The first time I made it, I started to use a cheap off brand and thought to check, while the recipe didn’t specify. That vinegar was only a watered down 4%!

I switched off to a 5% cider vinegar and that worked well.

Zucchini Relish

10 cups zucchini chopped
4 cups chopped onion
3 bell pepper chopped
5 tablespoons kosher salt
4 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups white vinegar ( 5 % acidity!)
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons celery seed
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Place unpeeled chopped zucchini, chopped onion, chopped bell pepper and salt into a large pot. Cover with water and allow to sit overnight.
Drain water and rinse in cold water. Drain again.
Combine sugar, vinegar,mustard, turmeric, cornstarch, celery seed, nutmeg and ground pepper. Pour over zucchini mixture in pot and cook on low heat about 30 minutes.
Ladle mixture into sterilized pint jars and seal in a boiling water bath.
8 pints

4. Prep something – new garden bed

5. Cook something – new! Roast Cauliflower and Green Beans with Dill.

Just take about 1/2 large head cauliflower and break up along with 2 handfuls fresh green beans. Throw it into a covered casserole ( I like to use my cast iron chicken fryer) sprayed with olive oil spray. Top that with a couple of tablespoons fresh dill weed and lemon slices. Salt, pepper and spray with more cooking spray then cover and roast in 375 for about 30 minutes.
To serve remove the lemon slices and grate some parmesan or asiago cheese on top. I can eat this for lunch by itself.

6. Manage your reserves- rotating canned goods

7. Work on local food systems – No

8. Manage waste- Still throwing on compost heap..

9. Learn something new – I have found a way to help rid my kitchen of garden gnats!

Anyone that brings garden veggies into the house has to know you sometimes carry in gnats too.
Just throw your compost waste in a bucket with a lid on the counter, but place the lid on the kitchen counter while filling. When you get ready to carry the waste to the compost heap slap that lid on top and hold down until you get outside. You would be surprise how many gnats you can transfer back out into the open

July 30, 2008 at 3:25 am 8 comments

Lemon Tea Bread and Lemon Balm Butter

Lemon Tea Bread and Lemon Balm Butter was a great way to implement some of my lemon balm and lemon thyme.

This recipe is from Link to recipe.

I did lighten things a bit by using light butter and 1/2 sugar-1/2 Splenda in mine. It came out really good.

Instead of glazing it with the glaze recomended I heated brown sugar and lemon juice to put on the serving plate and mixed together some light butter with lemon thyme and lemon balm mixed in.

Lemon Tea Bread

3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon chopped lemon balm
1 tablespoon chopped lemon thyme
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter — room temp.
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

Heat milk with chopped herbs, steep until cool. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in bowl. Cream butter and sugar in another bowl, add eggs, one at a time, add lemon peel. Add flour mixture and herbed milk alternately; blend. Pour in loaf pan and bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes. Glaze bread while hot with paste of: juice of 1 lemon and confectioners’ sugar.


June 18, 2008 at 10:44 am 2 comments

Low Fat Ham Crepes – WHB

Weekend Herb Blogging is being hosted by Joannas Food this week.

Link to Roundup

Make sure and check for the WHB roundup around next Monday.

If you wish to learn more about WHB visit Kalyn’s Kitchen.

I might be in a herbal rut. I am blogging about parsley again this week. I threw the herb in some ham crepes recently and was pleased with the outcome. They make a good light lunch or brunch.

First make your crepes. My recipe is low fat.

Basic Low Fat Crepes

1 cup skim milk
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt

Put all in a blender and blend to smooth. Allow to sit about 20 minutes before using. Heat a nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray until hot. In batches of 1/8 cup fill the pan and swirl the batter so that it is even in the pan. Cook until edges look dry then flip with a spatula. Cook underside until dry then slide the crepe onto a plate and repeat procedure until all batter is used. These freeze well if wrapped with wax paper between them.

Next make your filling

Ham Filling

2 each spring onions chopped
1 clove minced garlic
1 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 cup diced cooked ham
1 tablespoon cornstarch ( 1 to 2 )
grated low fat swiss cheese to taste

Wipe out your pan and spray lightly. Cook onion and garlic until soft then pour in broth. Add the ham and parsley and simmer about 5 minutes. Mix the cornstarch with about 3 tablespoon cold water and pour into the broth. Bring to a boil and cook until thick. Divide mixture between warm crepes and top with cheese to taste. Roll and place on plate seam side down to serve.

Enjoy, low fat and pretty good too.

June 17, 2008 at 3:17 pm 9 comments

Independence Days Update.

Here is my very late Independence Days Update from last week. You can find Sharons update here.

1.Plant something - more green beans, more radish, eggplant
2. Harvest something – radish, lettuce, all sorts of herbs
3. Preserve something -mint jelly, froze a large batch of pesto, more herbs dried and frozen
4. Prep something – nothing
5. Cook something - new! mint jelly for lamb, first time I ever did mint jelly although I have done blackberry and crab apple. I thought I might have gotten too much food color in it as I was working, but once finished I had to put it in the window to show off the beautiful color for this photo. Isn’t it beautiful?

Here is the recipe although I only got 3 jars and it claims to make 4 jelly jars. Got this off the net from somewhere I think. I can’t remember.

Mint Jelly

1 1/2 cups fresh mint leaves and stems — washed
4 drops green food coloring — (4 to 6)
2 1/4 cups water
3 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice (in the bottle)
1 pouch liquid pectin — (3 ounce)

You’ll need half-pint-canning jars with bands and new lids and a large cooking pot or canner. Sterilize jars while working with jelly mixture.
Makes 4 jars

*Make sure mint is washed clean. Chop finely. Combine with water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. To remove the mint, strain through cheesecloth (triple layer) or jelly bag. Add food coloring.

Combine 1 3/4 cups of mint juice, lemon juice, and sugar in a 4-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat while stirring frequently. Add liquid pectin and continue stirring until you return to a full boil. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and fill hot 1/2 pint jars with mixture. Do not fill to the top, leave about 1/4-inch headspace. Place hot lids on jars and screw on bands. Process in boiling water canner for 5 minutes.

6. Manage your reserves- cleaned out freezer and sorted by items
7. Work on local food systems - Gave hay to neighbor for his beef cattle. He had to cut and bale it though. I got my field mowed.

I have probably forgotten many things but that is what I remember. These ID posts have turned out to be good for my motivation and journal skills.

June 10, 2008 at 5:57 am 6 comments

Parsley – WHB

Weekend Herb Blogging is being hosted by Paulchen’s Food Blog this week.
Link to roundup.

WHB is a great way to learn about vegetables, herbs, new recipes and ideas. To learn the WHB rules and participate,visit founder Kalyns Kitchen.

Parsley is coming along in Virginia, so I wanted to blog about it.

I have had problems growing parsley, so last year instead of growing it from seed I got plants. It was a good thing that I grew from plants last year because they bolted and seeded the ground. Parsley came back full force on it’s own this year.

Nature did on her own what I seemed unable and parsley is thick in my garden at this time.

Parsley is one herb that when microwave drying keeps its color so well .

You can read about microwave drying here , but I never use the paper towels in the microwave. I almost caught it on fire like that one time.

What I do is lay the herbs on a plate and microwave for one to 30 second intervals, remove and blot dry with a paper towel and replace and micro another one to 30 seconds, repeating the process until dried and brittle.

I must have dried parsley on hand at all times because my favorite vinaigrette mix uses dried and not fresh parsley in it.

I usually wing it, but here are approximate proportions for the vinaigrette.

My favorite italian vinaigrette mix – 2 Tablespoon dried onion, 2 Tablespoon dried parsley, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt , pinch of sugar. Grind well in a spice grinder then add entire mix to 1/4 C vinegar, 3 Tablespoons water and enough oil to bring it to a cup. Mix well.

After I microwave dry my parsley I store it in baggies or my favorite spice rack. I am continually refilling my spice rack jars and won’t toss them away because the rack and jars were a gift and are sentimental in value to me.

It is also handy to just refill the jars, although someone looking at my rack might think the stuff outdated.

The main feature in my WHB post is a salad I love. I use special ingredients. Those ingredients are fresh parsley and honey.

I started making salads with parsley and honey last summer on a whim. If you have never tried fresh parsley and honey in a salad, I urge you to give it a try. It is also great with some fresh berries tossed in, although I didn’t have any berries on hand for my WHB post.

Just throw together a salad of mesclun and black seeded simpson or whatever other lettuce you may prefer (thats what I have growing right now). Top that with some feta cheese. Use your favorite vinaigrette on top of that and then sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley. The final touch is a drizzle of your favorite honey.

It is easy and a family pleaser around here.

June 9, 2008 at 8:03 pm 4 comments

Basil Mashed Potatoes

The weather has been odd because March was warm, but April and May were wet and cool. Now that it is the first week in June it has gotten so hot!

I am glad that the warmer weather has come because the cool wet stuff was being unkind to my garden basil. I had to buy some on my last shopping trip since my own was not growing very well. It looks like it is beginning to take off now but I have to think of ways to use up what I bought.

This recipe for Basil Mashed Potatoes is something I will be making again, to use up the store bought and into the summer as my garden basil comes out of the slump it has been in. I paired the potato with a simple Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Chicken Thighs. Wonderful.

Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Chicken Thighs – 4 servings 292 calories each

1 1/2 pounds chicken thigh
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic — minced
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary — chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a freezer bag place your chicken thighs and cover with the remaining ingredients. Allow to marinate at least 4 hours or longer.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove thighs from the marinade and place on a roasting pan. Bake 35 – 40 minutes or until juices run clear.

4 servings – 292 calories each

Basil Mashed Potatoes – 4 servings 190 calories each

5 each medium potato — peeled
4 tablespoons light sour cream
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons fresh basil — chopped
salt and pepper — to taste

Boil the peeled potatoes in water until soft. With a potato masher mash the drained potatoes with the remaining ingredients. Serve warm.

June 5, 2008 at 2:23 am 1 comment

Nature Walk

The air around our home at the moment permeates with a smell of wild roses and honeysuckle. They are blooming draped over trees and vines like blankets along our wooded paths.

We mow with our trusty tractor the 40 some acres behind our home into walking trails.

We have a dear neighbor that owns conservatory property next to ours of about 300 acres. He mows his trails and they intersect with ours and we both reap the benefits of beautiful horse and walking trails as they are avid riders, and myself an avid hiker.

My recent nature walk behind my house was extremely productive. I always think my nature walks are productive because anything that relieves stress like walking through our woods or just sitting and looking over the ponds is a plus.

Here is a picture of our larger pond behind our home, and that is my house in the background.

I am a bit of a softy about our fish. While we have fileted catfish and bluegill from our ponds, I don’t make a habit of it. I do look at the ponds as an investment that will be there if we ever run upon hard times.

But that is another post. On with my nature walk.

This walk was special because I ran upon several “fox grapes” ( also known as skunk grapes)forming in pine trees that were very reachable. Read more on fox grapes here.
I have often found my favorite grape in wooded nooks along the way, but often they are too high to reach. Nature has a way of protecting her bounty.

In my own mind nothing beats the taste of wild fox grapes, even though we do have some tame vines in our yard.

I will keep an eye on those wild jewels and try to grab them before habitat dwellers around our home beat me to it.

Come Late August/ Early September I hope to be trying this jelly and thumbprint cookies from wild grape jelly.

From Glen Arbor Sun

Wild Fox Grape Jelly
Proportions:1 Cup grape juice (see below)
¾ Cup sugar
1 Tb. lemon juice
Combine these ingredients in a large kettle. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil then turn down heat to maintain a full simmer. Cook until it reaches jelly stage 220 degrees Fahrenheit or when two or three drops at the edge of a spoon slides off in a sheet. Pour the grape jelly into previously sterilized glass jelly jars and seal immediately with melted paraffin.
This amount makes about two glasses.
Grape Juice From Fresh Grapes
Wash off the grapes and drain in a large colander. Pick off the grapes from the stems. Be sure to include several still under ripe ones. These will help the jelly to jell. If you are lucky enough to get a quart of grapes ad the same amount of water and place with two small green apples that have been quartered but not peeled in a large heavy kettle. Hopefully while gathering the grapes you also came cross an apple tree. These apple will help the juice to jell.
Bring the mixture to a full boil then simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the skins pp. Give the mixture a hearty stir and pour into a jelly bag (I use an old cotton pillow case). Hang the bag overnight so the juice can slowly drip into a large bowl. The Musk, pulp left in the bag can be used to make Grape butter and can also be the beginning of Balsamic Vinegar.
Thumbprint Cookies
Oven 350 degrees
Cream together:
½ C real butter
¼ C brown sugar
Add: 1 egg yolk (keep the egg white to use later)
½ tsp. Vanilla
Stir in: 1C flour
Pinch salt
Chopped nuts
Wild Fox Grape Jelly

Chill the dough for 30 minutes then roll into one-inch balls. Dip the balls into the slightly beaten egg white and roll in the finely chopped nuts. Using your thumb, make an indentation into the center of each cookie and then fill with one teaspoon of Wild Fox Grape Jelly. Bake 8 min. or until golden brown.

June 5, 2008 at 1:58 am 4 comments

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