Tomatillo Salsa Fresh from the Garden

Tags

, , , , ,

Last year was the first time I ever planted tomatillos plants in my garden. While my tomatoes struggled last year, the tomatillos went crazy and they are even crazier this year given all of the summer rain in Colorado.

My first try at tomatillos salsa went the easy – route and it was delicious. I froze a few bags for winter enjoyment, too! I plan to branch out this year and try a few other recipes, too!

IMG_4906

SALSA VERDE: EASY RAW GREEN TOMATILLO SALSA

8 ounces (5-6 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 jalapeno (or 2 serranos), stemmed
5-6 sprigs fresh cilantro (thick stemmed removed), roughly chopped
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
salt to taste

Chop the tomatillos and the jalapeño. In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatillos, jalapeño, cilantro and 1/4 cup water. Process to chase puree, then scape into a serving dish. Stir in the chopped onion and salt.

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Tags

, , , ,

Our CSA was loaded with beets this year and I’ve struggled with recipes to use one of my least favorite vegetables.  Memories of canned, chopped beets in the school lunch flood my memory when I think of beets, but thank goodness there are so many wonderful ways to eat fresh, colorful beets.

I do enjoy a beet goat cheese salad so I whipped one up starting with a wonderful recipe but adapting it to use mixed greens and vinaigrette I had on hand.  It was delicious and I was able to put the lunchroom flashback to rest.

IMG_5984

BEET AND GOAT CHEESE SALAD

2 bunches medium beets, (about 1 1/2 pounds) tops trimmed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vinaigrette dressing of your choice (I used Brianna Champagne Vinaigrette)
1/2 cup walnuts
1 bunch of mixed greens
4 ounces goat cheese, (preferably aged goat cheese) crumbled

Put the beets in a saucepan with water to cover and season generously with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until fork tender, about 20 minutes. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them–the skins should slide right off with a bit of pressure from your fingers. If they don’t, use a paring knife to scrape off any bits that stick. Cut each beet into bite-sized wedges.

Whisk the vinegar with salt and pepper, to taste, in a large bowl. Whisk in the olive oil in a slow steady stream to make a dressing. Toss the cut beets in the dressing; set aside to marinate for at least 15 minutes or up to 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and oven-toast, stirring once, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Cool.

Toss the greens with the beets and divide among 4 plates. Scatter the walnuts and goat cheese on top. Serve.

Adapted from:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/beet-salad-with-walnuts-and-goat-cheese-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Grilled Peach Bruscetta

Tags

, , , , , , ,

The idea of Peach Bruscetta resonates with me as did the Strawberry Bruscetta I’ve made many times. This recipe was delicious and I made it strictly according to the recipe.  The grilling of the bread and the peaches took some time, but the end result was worth it.

Next time, however, I may try using Goat Cheese instead of Burrata and skip grilling the peaches, using my tried and true Peach Salsa as the topping with a drizzle of honey.

Anyway you make, you can’t go wrong this time of year with fresh Colorado peaches, cheese and bread.  MMMMM….

IMG_6994

GRILLED PEACH BRUSCHETTA

1 loaf ciabatta bread, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces burrata cheese, torn
3 medium ripe peaches, halved and cored
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon
Flaky sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Honey, for drizzling

  • Preheat and oil a cast iron or gas grill. Brush 2 tablespoons olive oil evenly over ciabatta slices and grill over medium heat until crisp and lightly charred on both sides, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Brush peach halves with vegetable oil or spray with non-stick spray. Grill, flesh side down, until lightly charred, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly, then chop and place in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Chop tarragon and add to bowl along with salt, pepper and remaining tablespoon of olive oil and mix to combine.
  • Spread a layer of burrata over each slice of ciabatta and top with a dollop of grilled peach mixture. Season with additional salt and pepper and drizzle with honey.

Recipe from: http://www.lepetiteats.com/2014/08/grilled-peach-bruschetta-2.html

My First Furniture Refinishing Job

Tags

, , , , , ,

Furniture Refinishing always sounds appealing but I have heard so many horror stories that I have avoided this type of project. However, with the kitchen remodeling project, I had a burst of energy and decided to refinish an old conference table that I’ve been using as a patio table for the last several years.  While it is protected from the elements, it needed a facelift. The project started with a solid sanding, a very rewarding task exposing the beauty of the wood as the old finish and grim melted away.

Note: The black burn marks on the side that tells the story of the time the tablecloth blew over the center candle. 

IMG_4860

 

 

 

IMG_4855

IMG_4856

Step two was to use wood filler on the cracks and dings in the wood.  I used a standard Wood Filler, and this was my first big lesson learned. Not all wood fillers take stain well.  In the future, I will be using a wood filler that matches the stain of the wood.

Next I applied two coats of Minwax Gel Stain, taking care to wipe it down as I worked on the table, assuring the color was evenly applied.

IMG_4907

Last but not least, I applied two coats of indoor/outdoor clear semi-gloss Polyurethane, allowing a day of drying time between each application. The table finish is beautiful, if I do say so myself. Now I don’t have to disguise the dingy wood with a tablecloth. Loving it!

IMG_5070

 

Cinnamon Basil Pesto

Tags

, , , , ,

Cinnamon Basil was a garden experiment that produced more than I expected. Now, what do I do with it?

I found this interesting Cinnamon Basil Pesto recipe and decided to try it in three ways:

  • Simple spread on a wafer/cracker
  • Served on top of a mild cheese (brie, gouda, etc.) and wafer/cracker
  • Served on top of a mild cheese with wafer/cracker and drizzled with honey

This fun experiment ended with the pesto, cheese and honey winning my vote

IMG_4891 IMG_4887

CINNAMON BASIL DESSERT PESTO

1/3 – 1/2  cup walnut oil
2  cups firmly packed, fresh cinnamon basil leaves
1/2  cup chopped almonds
1/2  cup flaked coconut
1/4  cup freshly grated Asiago cheese (1 oz.)
2   teaspoons raw sugar or packed brown sugar

  • In a food processor or blender combine 1/3 cup of the oil, the basil, almonds, coconut, cheese, and sugar. Cover and process or blend until nearly smooth, stopping and scraping sides as necessary and adding enough remaining oil until of desired consistency.
  • If the pesto is not to be served immediately, divide it into three portions. Place each portion in a small airtight container. Refrigerate up to 24 hours or freeze up to 3 months. Makes about 1-1/3 cups pesto.

Fresh New Potatoes and Peas

Tags

, , , , ,

Fresh New Potatoes and Peas were a summer treat on the Iowa farm.  My Mother would dig potatoes and shell peas from her large summer garden.  I cannot verify the origin of this recipe but Mom always said it had Dutch or Pennsylvania Dutch roots.

While I do not grow potatoes in my garden, I prepared with red potatoes from the grocery store and peas from my CSA weekly bounty.

IMG_8267

This recipe can easily be prepared with frozen peas as well.  It’s a wonderful side dish with steak, hamburgers, or fish. My oldest daughter, Megan, suggested it would be great with a little Parmesan cheese.  I’ll be trying that next time!

FRESH NEW POTATOES AND PEAS

1 1/2 quarts new potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups new peas, cook until done
1 cup sweet cream
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup grated carrots (optional)
salt and pepper

  • Cover potatoes, peas, and carrots with water and cook until tender. Drain.
  • Combine cream and flour until smooth. Add to potatoes and peas and add butter, salt and sugar.
  • Cook and stir over medium-low heat until thickened.

Roasted Kohlrabi and Beets…Really!

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

This is the first year that I have participated in Grant Farms Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).  My older daughter, Megan, and I decided to try it this year and we’ve enjoyed the fruit and vegetable surprises each week.

Kohlrabi was not a new vegetable to me but I haven’t had it since I lived at home on the farm.  My Mother would slice it and eat it raw with salt. It reminds me of a very crisp, slightly sweet, potato. However, I wanted to try something different and decided to roast it with a few red and gold beets, also in my CSA delivery.  IMG_6919

The leftovers were equally good served chilled.  Is this my favorite vegetable recipe? No, but I’m always up for a new adventure and I enjoyed it.

ROASTED KOHLRABI AND BEETS

3 medium to large Kohlrabi, peeled and chopped
5-6 medium beets, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Kosher or Sea Salt
black pepper to taste

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Line large baking sheet with parchment paper or generously grease with olive oil.
  • Place chopped vegetables on baking sheet.  Drizzle with oil, add salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and stir vegetables.  Bake another 45 minutes under tender.

Cherry Crumble Coffee Cake

Tags

, , , , ,

Sour cherries in coffee cake sounded perfect given the wonderful frozen pie cherries in my freezer.  I did not have a recipe for a cherry coffee cake but was delighted to find this recipe.  Perfect for a Sunday brunch and perhaps leftover for breakfast during the week.

IMG_4154 IMG_4174

CHERRY CRUMBLE COFFEE CAKE

TOPPING

2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

CAKE

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups (1 pound) fresh sour cherries, pitted, or frozen dark sweet cherries
  •  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking dish, and dust with flour, tapping out excess.
  • Make the topping: Stir together butter, flour, sugars, salt, and cinnamon.
  • Make the cakes: Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. With a mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar in another bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Working in alternating batches, add flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until just combined. Pour into prepared dish, and smooth with a spatula.

IMG_4142

  • Dot top with cherries, and sprinkle with crumb topping.

IMG_4147 IMG_4153

  • Bake until golden and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. (Note from Cathy:  My oven tends to bake hot so about 50 minutes worked for me). Let cool before serving.

Recipe from Martha Stewart

Cruciferous Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Trader’s Joe’s finally came to Denver last year and what fun we’ve had exploring their many wonderful products.  During one of my trips, they were tasting their Cruciferous Crunch Salad with mixed nuts and Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette.  Yummy in the tummy!

trader-joes-cruciferous-crunch-collection

The recipe is so simple, it doesn’t need one.  Chop the contents of the salad mix. Chop about 1 cup of mixed nuts (or nuts of your choice), and top with Trader Joe’s Asian Style Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette dressing. Toss and serve immediately.

It’s simple, delicious, and good for you.  What’s not to like?

IMG_6113

Patriotic Brownie Fruit Dessert…Gluten Free or Not

Tags

, , , , ,

Krusteaz’s Double Chocolate Gluten-Free Brownie mix is an absolute favorite of mine, first discovered at Costco many moons ago.  It’s delicious and even lovers of gluten will love them.

This mix was the perfect base for a patriot, 4th of July dessert with fresh berries and a cream cheese base.  This recipe can easily be cut in half and baked in a round or square pan.

The dessert is best served the day it is made but leftovers brownies can be good for 1-2 days.

IMG_2343

IMG_4423

PATRIOTIC BROWNIE FRUIT DESSERT

2 packages Double Chocolate Krusteaz gluten-free brownie mix (I bought a large box at Costco) and ingredients stated on the box (water, vegetable oil, egg)
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh red raspberries
1 cup apple jelly

  • Make brownies according to package directions and bake in greased jelly roll or sheet pan as directed. Let cool completely.
  • Beat together softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
  • Spread mixture over cooled, baked brownies.
  • Top with berries.
  • Still jelly until smooth and brush over berries
  • Refrigerate dessert until ready to serve.
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 478 other followers