I love fresh vegies from the garden. You can’t beat the flavor. We actually planted a small garden this year. My children made fun of me when I told them. All I have to do is look at a plant and it dies. But I had a plan, my husband. I’ve left tending it to him and it’s doing great. It looks like we will have lots of fresh tomatoes, peppers, beans, cucumbers, yellow squash and herbs. The strawberries are making. Unfortunately I have only been able to pick and eat 3. The birds are really enjoying the rest of them. I really hadn’t planned on sharing with them though. I did pick my first squash and have really enjoyed being able to walk out to my garden to clip some herbs to use when I’m cooking.
It seems everyone I know has planted a garden this year, and with the exception of the basics…tomatoes and peppers…..everyone has planted different things. This is great because when the vegies start producing, it’s share time.
The other day my mom gave me some onions from her garden and yesterday one of my clients gave me a bag full of radishes from his garden. So my side dish last night was an easy to make radish and cucumber salad.
1/2 English Cucumber – thinly sliced
Several Radishes – thinly sliced
1 small Onion – thinly sliced
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
Combine the sugar, vinegar and water in a bowl. Mix until the sugar is dissolved. Place the onions, cucumber and radishes in the bowl and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. When I have fresh dill I add about 1/2 tsp.
I had never heard of Shepherds Pie until I married my husband 10 years ago. It has now become one of my favorite comfort foods and on evenings like today when it’s storming it just seemed like the thing to make. Luckily I had left over mashed potatoes and peas in the fridge.
So here’s my version of a one pan Shepherds Pie
1 lb ground pork (or beef) I just had pork today
2 carrots – chopped
1 small onion – chopped
1 cup peas
Salt & Pepper
Mashed Potatoes (I probably had about 2 cups worth)
Grated cheese (I used a new 3 cheese blend that had Monterey, Colby and Cheddar with Cream Cheese)
Drizzle a small amount of oil into a heated cast iron skillet. Saute the carrots and onions until the onions become translucent. Remove from pan. Brown the ground pork/beef. Salt & Pepper to taste and add a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce. Stir the carrots, onions and peas in. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top. Sprinkle with cheese and bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes until potatoes are heated through and cheese is all bubbly.
I love soup. It’s quick, easy and you can turn just about anything into a yummy soup. One of my favorites though is a classic…….good ole potato soup.
A few years ago I put together a family cookbook. I was surprised at how many people in our family sent me the same recipe to put in the book……..my great grandpa’s potato soup recipe. Everyone had added their own tweek to it. This is my version. Normally I just throw it together but this time I did all of my prep the night before and put it all in the crock pot before heading off to work. The difference in flavor was amazing. I do believe this will be my way of making it from now on.
Potato Soup in the Crockpot
8 cups potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbs fresh Thyme
Chicken or Vegetable stock (low sodium)
Peel and cut potatoes the night before. Place in a container, sprinkle salt (I just sprinkled but it was probably about 2 tsp worth), fill with enough water to cover the potatoes. Cover container and put in the fridge. I think soaking the potatoes in the salt water is what made the soup taste so much better.
Chop the onion, celery and garlic. Place in containers (or baggies) in the fridge.
In the morning, drain the water off the potatoes and rinse. Place in crockpot along with the celery, onions and garlic. Add the thyme and pepper. There’s no need to add salt since the potatoes were soaked in salt water. Pour enough stock to just cover the potatoes. Set the crock pot on high for 6 hours and go about your day.
When the vegies are done, ad a cup of fat free half & half. Use an immersion blender and mash up some of the potatoes to make a creamy soup. Don’t blend up all of the potatoes though, you’ll want some chunks in there.
Serve with a thick slice of homemade beer bread and enjoy this cozy dinner.
I love this time of year. The temperatures are perfect….well, most of the time. The birds chirp a bit more, and everywhere you look you are greeted with vibrant, beautiful colors. The trees are all budded out, crop fields have new growth. You can see every shade of green in the spectrum just driving down the road, and dotted amongst all the green are beautiful patches of color.
Living in Central Texas, you pretty much have to travel a rural highway to get anywhere. This time of year I just love that 20 minute drive to and from work. The wildflowers are in full bloom. Here is a sampling of my drive.
I love seeing the Bluebonnets and Indian Paint Brushes. The Bluebonnets aren’t as thick as they were last year, but there are a lot of other wildflowers.
I saw a couple of other flowers today that I’m not sure what they are. I wasn’t able to get pictures of them. I kind of figured the person riding my bumper wouldn’t understand if I slammed on the brakes to take a picture of wildflowers. Hmmm, that’s an idea. I’ve seen bumper stickers that say I Brake for Garage Sales. Maybe I need to make one that says I Brake for Pictures. (more…)
My husband is not a cook. There are 3 things he cooks, and cooks well…spaghetti sauce, chicken tetrazzini and jambalaya. He is one of those cooks that needs a recipe, and he follows it to the letter. It took 8 years before he stopped needing the recipe for his spaghetti sauce, and after 10 years he still looks at the recipe when he makes the tetrazzini. Imagine my surprise when he wanted to make dinner tonight, and didn’t even print out a recipe to follow! Ok, so it’s just grilled cheese sandwiches grown up style, but still, I was impressed that he came up with his own idea from something he saw. Granted, this is not something I would have fixed, and it’s not something I will be letting him eat often. But for a once in awhile treat, this was really yummy.
4 slices of bread
4 slices of bacon
Cream Cheese – Room Temperature
Grated cheddar cheese
Grated Guerrier – grated
Cut jalepenos in half. Remove seeds. Grill or broil the peppers. Cut into strips.
Cook the bacon. I like to cook it in the oven, on a rack.
Spread some cream cheese on 2 slices of bread. Place 1 jalapeno on each slice of bread. Place 2 slices of bacon on top of the peppers. Sprinkle with both grated cheeses and place top slice of bread. Butter both sides of the sandwich and cook on a hot griddle until both sides are nice and toasty and the cheese is melted and gooey. Serves 2.
Growing up as the oldest daughter in a family of sisters, I was not prepared for some of the surprises that come with raising a brood full of boy children. Like their preternatural fascination with gas—the kind produced by eating beans and broccoli. Or their early obsession with the length of their nether bits.
But of all the surprises with which they have gifted me, perhaps the most surprising has been the pee.
Two things that no two people ever make the same…..meatloaf and chili. Everyone has their own special way of making both, and it’s usually pretty close to how our Mom’s made it.
I am not a big fan of hamburger or ground beef, so I rarely make either. The other night though, I was feeling a bit nostalgic and was craving meatloaf. It turned out really good, but meatloaf for one meal is all I can do. So what to do with the leftovers? A cold front that moved in gave me the answer ………. Chili!!!
Using leftover meatloaf to make chili may sound a bit odd, but think about it……all of the ingredients in meatloaf are in chili, so why not take those leftovers, throw in a few additional ingredients, and viola……chili.
Here is my version:
Left over meatloaf, crumbled up
1 can beans, drained and rinsed (I used black beans because that’s what I had on hand)
2 celery ribs – finely chopped
3 cloves garlic – finely chopped
1 – 2 jalapeno, seeded and ribs removed – finely chopped If you like the heat, leave the seeds and ribs in
1/2 large onion – finely chopped
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
2 cans tomato sauce
2 cups beef broth (guestimate, I finished off what was in the carton in the fridge)
Put everything in a large pot. Salt and pepper to taste. Add chili powder and cumin. I used about 4 Tbs of chili powder and 1 Tbs of cumin (more or less). Chili is definitely one of those dishes you have to taste test to get the seasoning right. If you like your chili spicy use more chili powder and peppers.