JeffreyW’s garden bounty
Another week just flew by and it’s time for the recipe exchange. I came home from NE with a car full of fresh vegetables from my brother’s garden. I’m afraid some of tomatoes did not survive the change in altitude very well. But I made fresh salsa with them and all was well.
I gifted my family with Palisade peaches and with the few that were left, my mom made Peach Cobbler (recipe here). At that link you can also see a photo of the 110 year old house I considered putting a bid on before heading out on my trip.
Dinner menu this week was Fajita Chicken & Vegetable Kabobs and another cobbler. For the full dinner menu, recipes and shopping list, click here.
JeffreyW turns his garden bounty into spicy Five Pepper Jelly.
Finally, JeffreyW was showing off his Five Pepper Jelly, and I wish I canned because I LOVE pepper jellies. How he transforms peppers into jelly, click here and what he does with it, yum, click here (warning, click and you’ll want biscuits and gravy).
For the pet lovers, Bixby took time out from his daily adventures to write a diary entry here.
Cooler weather has put me in the mood for fall recipes, especially soups. What are you looking forward to making as fall approaches? What is on the menu for the weekend?
Tonight’s featured recipe has to be all about the peaches again, since it’s a short two to three weeks of sweetness. This recipe is sweet and spicy, great for lunch or dinner.
Spicy Peach Dressing
- 2 large peaches, peeled, pitted and quartered
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 jalapeño or other hot pepper, halved and seeded
- 1/2 cup olive oil
Purée all of the ingredients, except oil, in a blender or food processor until smooth. Continue to blend, on low, while adding oil slowly. Mix until well blended. Refrigerate.
Spinach Chicken Salad
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 1/2 small sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 lb cleaned baby spinach leaves
- 1 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
- 1 peach, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
- 3 ounces crumbled bleu cheese or chevre
Place the chicken in a plastic zipper bag with ½ cup of dressing. Marinate 2 hours in refrigerator. Remove chicken, discard marinade and grill until cooked through (165 degrees at center).
Toss the spinach, onion, walnuts and cheese with the remaining 3/4 cup dressing. Slice the grilled chicken and arrange on top of the salad.
Serving: 4 to 6
That’s it for this week. Have a good weekend and enjoy the last full week of August, I know I will. – TaMara
A couple of times a month I put together a bunch of treats for Bixby and pop them into the freezer. Today I filled old ribeye bones with peanut butter, halved a bunch of apples and froze them for nice treats on hot days.
I also made his favorite Frozen Yogurt Pupsicles and Doggy Peanut Butter-Pumpkin Biscuits (recipes here – with lots of Bixby pics).
It was a long work day of running around to clients and arguing with vendors. Back at my newly relocated office (LOL) I did a bit of work before calling it a day. I was going to have a salad dinner, but then looked around and wonder of wonders, I had all the ingredients for tacos. So that’s what I made, although they were not as picturesque as JeffreyW’s above. Instead of store bought taco seasoning, I use homemade Fajita Seasoning, recipe here. Shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, fresh salsa and shredded cheddar to top off the ground beef in crispy shells.
Tomorrow I’m taking a friend out to a Tapas and Brew Bar, I’m excited, the menu looks great. I’ll let you know how it is Until then…..
I’ve been wanting to find a way to leave Bixby out of his crate more often when I’m out of the house for short periods of times. He’s been doing very well when I’ve left him, but I’m always worried, not so much for anything in the house, but because of the plate glass window. He’s not the most coordinated dog and several times he’s bumped it so hard I worried it would break. So I am reluctant.
Last night I had an inspiration and spent this afternoon rearranging my living room and office to make the window less accessible. Bixby’s response to all the hub-bub? To race around in circles like a wild thing, clearly not realizing how big he is and almost took out an entire bookcase. At least it wasn’t the computer.
All the activity meant there needed to be something substantial for dinner. I have some amazingly creamy, sharp goat cheese and I thought it would be perfect in my Stuffed Burgers, recipe here. Always good, the cheese was perfect and tonight served on lettuce wraps. Yummy.
It’s the time of year again when things begin to ripen faster than you can eat them, but there are still not enough to think about canning or cooking down and freezing. So what to do?
I had a bunch of cilantro and two tomatoes which were rushing to ruin and decided I needed to do something so I didn’t end up composting them. You can do this with any leafy herb, such as the basil, parsley, cilantro and veggies such as tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini.
I added the tomatoes and cilantro into my blender, covered with water and blended together well. I froze them in 8 oz portions, as that is the amount I would use in soup or sauce. Ice cube trays are an option, too, but that size is better for when you’re freezing intense herbs, like basil, by itself, where you would only use a tablespoon or so in a recipe.
I also zest all my oranges, lemons and limes and freeze them in a thin and flat layer in ziplock bags. Then I break off whatever amount called for in a recipe.
Herbs can also be packed in oil (click here) as JeffreyW did with his basil pictured above and tomatoes can be flash frozen whole, as JeffreyW did with the batch pictured at the top and detailed here, green and red peppers can be seeded and cut up into large pieces and frozen in the same manner.
There are many more ways to preserve fresh from the garden produce and I’ll try and remember to document as I go along this summer. Until then….
It was time to break out the ice cream maker and cool things off. I’d been focusing on gelatos the last couple of summers, but yesterday I wasn’t interested in standing over the stove and stirring an egg mixture. I dug out the instruction manual for my Cuisinart machine and sure enough, there were some simple cream-only recipes. I decided to start with vanilla.
I have two favorite ice creams, one was Ben and Jerry’s Wavy Gravy, RIP (their new hazelnut is inedible IMHO) and Blue Bell’s Moo-llenium Crunch (fingers crossed they can come back from the shut down). I’ve mastered Chocolate-Hazelnut Gelato and it’s a fine substitute for Wavy Gravy, so this time I thought I’d tackle the crunchy vanilla ice cream from Blue Bell.
From their description:
Classic vanilla ice cream with a combination of dark chocolate chunks, creamy caramel chunks, roasted pecan halves, chopped almonds and walnut pieces.
Vanilla ice cream recipe? Check. Dark chocolate? Check. Caramel chunks? Nope, but we’ll get to that. Roasted pecans? Nope, will have to live without because I was not going to drop everything and run to the store. Almonds and walnuts? Check and check. On to the recipe:
Vanilla Nut Crunch
- 1-1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 2 tsp really good vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate
- 1/4 cup chopped almonds (raw or roasted, unsalted)
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (raw)
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional ;-) )
mixing bowl, ice cream maker
In the mixing bowl, combine milk, sugar and salt, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine until sugar is dissolved (about 2 minutes). Stir in cream and vanilla by hand.
Freeze according to manufacturer’s direction for your ice cream maker (for mine, I place the frozen bowl on the machine, add the paddle and the top, turn it on and then pour the ice cream mixture in while it’s turning. 30 minutes later I have ice cream).
After it has completed its freezing cycle, fold in nuts and chocolate. Freeze until hard. Makes about 1-1/2 quarts.
Remember the caramel bits? I had a bottle of caramel syrup which made a nice topping and when I was done, it was pretty darn close to Moo-llenium Crunch. I’m sure pecans will make all the difference next time.
And here is a bonus kitteh because he had to “help” me take the photos today.
For tomorrow – Dutch Chocolate Ice Cream. Until then – TaMara
I love Buffalo Wings. I don’t make them much because it seems a lot of work. But when I found a special on leg quarters and look over there next to them…bottles of my favorite buffalo sauce. I purchased both and made some yummy…
- 4 lbs of leg quarters (approximately 4 pieces)
- salt & pepper
- cayenne pepper (opt)
- favorite Buffalo sauce (mine is from a local shop that sells bottles at my local grocery store)
skillet, baking dish
Mix together flour and spices. I like mine spicy so I added cayenne to the flour mixture. Dredge chicken in flour mixture until well coated.
Over medium heat, heat a tbsp of oil for each quarter (I had to fry mine in two batches, so I added 2 tbsp for each batch). It doesn’t take much to crisp up the skin. Fry until golden brown, turn and brown on the other side. It can take from 5 to 7 minutes per side.
Remove to baking dish and bake uncovered at 350 degree until the thigh temp is 175 degrees (about 30 to 40 minutes). Every 10 minutes, remove and baste with Buffalo sauce, about three times. Before removing the fully cooked chicken from the oven, give a generous coating of Buffalo sauce and let heat through. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with favorite dipping sauce: bleu cheese or ranch dressing, and celery sticks.