Thursday, June 26, 2014

Foodie Friday -- June 27th

Welcome to the June 27th Foodie Friday, where great cooks share their recipes.
Today is my husband's 64th birthday. He had major surgery 3 weeks ago, and he's doing great.
Happy Birthday, Will!



 I'm sharing a few July 4th photos.





Are you contributing a recipe to this week's Foodie Friday?
 If so, locate the blue Inlinkz icon in the lower, left-hand portion of this post. Click on the icon and follow the directions. After you complete the process, you will see a red "x" beside your name. This allows you to delete your link if you made an error; the red "x" is visible to you only.
You can read a complete guide to this linky party HERE.
If you'd like to share your food photos--or photos of other FF participants on Pinterest, join the Pinterest foodie board, Consuming Passions. Leave a message on the most recent "pin" if you'd like your name added to the list.
Every Friday, we are joined at this big, virtual table--thank you for stopping by today. I'm grateful to all of you who spend your days cooking. I'm grateful to old and new friends who contribute recipes every week. I'm grateful to friends who leave a comment. I'm grateful for the silent folks, because you are brought here by your love of all things culinary.


Foodie Friday Link-up

Enjoy your weekend!

Pin It

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Foodie Friday -- June 20th Recipes

The inspiration for this week's  Foodie Friday began in the garden. As my basket filled with peppers and squash, I imagined casseroles, pizza, frittatas. For a while, I got lost in the curly vines. Art is everywhere if you look closely; but art will not fill the belly. Well, not mine, anyway.

After a busy week, I needed a no-frills recipe.

What about skewered pork and vegetables? 

Grilled Pork Kebabs
1 pork tenderloin 
squash
peppers
onions
skewers
salt and pepper

I bought a pre-seasoned tenderloin and cubed it; but a homemade marinade would be even better. Prepare the grill. Slice the vegetables, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Skewer the meat and vegetables. Remove from grill when the meat is nicely browned.



What's your favorite quick, no-fuss summer meal?

Are you contributing a recipe to this week's Foodie Friday?
 If so, locate the blue Inlinkz icon in the lower, left-hand portion of this post. Click on the icon and follow the directions. After you complete the process, you will see a red "x" beside your name. This allows you to delete your link if you made an error; the red "x" is visible to you only.
You can read a complete guide to this linky party HERE.
If you'd like to share your food photos--or photos of other FF participants on Pinterest, join the Pinterest foodie board, Consuming Passions. Leave a message on the most recent "pin" if you'd like your name added to the list.
Every Friday, we are joined at this big, virtual table--thank you for stopping by today. I'm grateful to all of you who spend your days cooking. I'm grateful to old and new friends who contribute recipes every week. I'm grateful to friends who leave a comment. I'm grateful for the silent folks, because you are brought here by your love of all things culinary.

Foodie Friday Linky Party
Have a great weekend!

Pin It

Social Bookmarking

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Foodie Friday -- Guest Post by Bandwidth

Welcome to Foodie Friday, where great cooks gather to share their recipes.
This week, my youngest son, Bandwidth, is your guest host, and he is sharing two recipes from the garden to the table, along with his photos.


In the Garden and Kitchen with Bandwidth:

We planted our vegetable garden in early April, and when the first peppers were ready to harvest, I wanted to make them the star of a dish. Also in the garden, I picked a handful of zucchini blossoms.
I decided to stuff the peppers and fry the blossoms.

The fresh, just-picked vegetables filled the kitchen with a sweet, aromatic scent. Store-bought peppers are bland in comparison.  And the zucchini blossoms had a unique, nutty fragrance. 


Stuffed Bell Peppers

1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
2 medium Vidalia onions
3 cloves garlic
olive oil
1 -28 oz. can (or box) chopped/diced tomatoes 
3 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco (if desired)

Prepare the peppers:
Cut the peppers in half (length-wise). Using a spoon, carefully clean the inner pulp and seeds from each half. Next, brush extra virgin olive oil on the outside and inside of each half-pepper. Place peppers on a baking pan. Roast at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and pat dry with paper towel. Leave peppers on pan and set aside.

Prepare the filling:
Cook a pot of long-grain white rice according to directions. I used 2 cups cold water, 1 tablespoon butter, a pinch of salt, and  cup long-grain white rice. (Save the extra rice for another dish.)
While the peppers are roasting, chop 2 Vidalia onions and three garlic cloves.
Sautee in a large frying pan for 1 minute on high heat, then add ground beef/pork mixture. Add salt, pepper, chili powder, Tabasco, and Worcestershire. If the pan isn't large enough, or the ground meat isn't browning well, consider removing a portion to a second pan. Otherwise, if you over-crowd the pan, it will impact the texture of the finished product.  
When the meat has browned (15 to 20 minutes), add the chopped tomatoes. Blend. Reduce heat to low. Stir occasionally. 
In a 1:1 ratio, combine the cooked rice and meat/tomato mixture, then spoon the filling into the prepared pepper shells. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes. 


Fried Zucchini Blossoms

I used a tempura batter to make the fried blossoms.

To make the batter, mix: 
2 cups all-purpose white flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup corn starch
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups soda/seltzer water

The battter is sufficient for 12 to 15 blossoms. 
*Tip*: Chill the batter for at least 20 minutes before using.

Preparation:
Heat a bottle of vegetable oil to 350 - 375 degrees F. (Use a thermometer.) 
Holding the stem of the blossom, dip into batter and place in the oil. Drop it going away from you for safety purposes. The batter will poof up. Cook for 2 minutes, flipping once with a wire spatula. Remove browned blossoms and drain on paper towels.  Sprinkle with salt.
Fried zucchini blossoms are incredibly light, yet savory. During the frying process, the
blossoms become compact, but the flavor intensifies. 
Thanks for stopping by Rattlebridge!

All best,
Bandwidth

Are you contributing a recipe to this week's Foodie Friday?
 If so, locate the blue Inlinkz icon in the lower, left-hand portion of this post. Click on the icon and follow the directions. After you complete the process, you will see a red "x" beside your name. This allows you to delete your link if you made an error; the red "x" is visible to you only.

You can read a complete guide to this linky party HERE.

If you'd like to share your food photos--or photos of other FF participants on Pinterest, join the Pinterest foodie board, Consuming Passions. Leave a message on the most recent "pin" if you'd like your name added to the list.


Every Friday, we are joined at this big, virtual table--thank you for stopping by today. I'm grateful to all of you who spend your days cooking. I'm grateful to old and new friends who contribute recipes every week. I'm grateful to friends who leave a comment. I'm grateful for the silent folks, because you are brought here by your love of all things culinary.


We are food people. And that's a marvelous thing.


Have a great weekend.
Pin It

Social Bookmarking

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Foodie Friday--June 6, 2014

 Welcome to the June 6th Foodie Friday.

Bandwidth took a few photos of squash blossoms in his garden.
They opened while we were away from home

I don't know if it's too late to batter and fry them, but it's worth a try.


Let's check out the most viewed recipes at last week's Foodie Friday:



The second most popular recipe was Pork Chops with Lemon Caper Sauce  by The Online Sisterhood.




Fourth place was tied between Olla-podrida's Culpeppers' Meatloaf  and ....



Check out other great recipes at last week's Foodie Friday, 
along with the fantastic chipotle dishes at The 4th Mystery Ingredient Club Meeting.
Thanks to everyone who participated!

Are you contributing a recipe to this week's Foodie Friday?
 If so, locate the blue Inlinkz icon in the lower, left-hand portion of this post. Click on the icon and follow the directions. After you complete the process, you will see a red "x" beside your name. This allows you to delete your link if you made an error; the red "x" is visible to you only.
You can read a complete guide to this linky party HERE.
If you'd like to share your food photos--or photos of other FF participants on Pinterest, join the Pinterest foodie board, Consuming Passions. Leave a message on the most recent "pin" if you'd like your name added to the list.

Every Friday, we are joined at this big, virtual table--thank you for stopping by today. I'm grateful to all of you who spend your days cooking. I'm grateful to old and new friends who contribute recipes every week. I'm grateful to friends who leave a comment. I'm grateful for the silent folks, because you are brought here by your love of all things culinary.

We are food people. And that's a marvelous thing.

The Foodie Friday Link-Up Have a great weekend!
Pin It

Social Bookmarking

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Mystery Ingredient Club: Some Like It Hot


Summer kicks off with the 4th Mystery Ingredient Club...the sort of club where the meetings are mysteriously infrequent and cloaked in secrecy. 
Speaking of secrets, before the meeting begins, I've got a confession.  
A pinprick of fear darted through my chest when Bandwidth chose the ingredient: chipotle.  When it comes to hot peppers, I'm a big, old sissy baby. My husband is worse. He breaks out in a cold sweat if his food isn't in the Missonary Position. 

But I'm glad that we moved out of our food comfort zone and became acquainted with the smoke and heat of chipotle. This staple ingredient in Mexican dishes became a food star when it broke through into mainstream cuisine. Now, you can find canned chipotles in most grocery stores, along with exotic offerings like chipotle chips, salad dressing, and marinade. 
You won't find a fresh version of these chiles in the produce section of your grocery. They are created from jalapeños--then then they are smoked and dried (many cooks use a food dehydrator). 

Bandy had planned to make his own chipoltes, but his peppers aren't ready to harvest.  The idea of using store-bought peppers didn't fly.  However, I suffered from no such qualms. 

First, I made a raspberry-pineapple chipotle sauce. 

Then I cooked a slab of St. Louis spareribs.

Pineapple-Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

Sautee 1/2 cup chopped onion in 1 tablespoon canola oil and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. Add 1/2 cup chopped (multicolor) bell peppers. Sautee until the onions are translucent. Add 1 teaspoon minced garlic and sautee another minute (don't burn it or you'll have to start over; don't salt and pepper at this point, as this hinders the sautéing process). Add 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (less if you prefer) and cook another minute or two, stirring frequently.
Drop in a handful of fresh raspberries (optional--they are impossibly seedy!), 1 [18-ounce] jar of seedless raspberry jam, 1/4 cup chopped pineapple, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, a splash of raspberry balsamic, and at least 1 whole, canned chipotle pepper (remove the seeds by scraping them with a knife). If you love heat, add the whole can, including a few teaspoons of the adobe sauce.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Reduce the sauce over a low flame. Transfer the slightly cooled sauce to a large bowl (set the pan aside--you'll need it later). Puree the sauce with an immersion hand blender. 
Place a strainer basket in the sautee pan.
Pour the sauce into the strainer.
Discard seeds. Pour sauce into a sterilized Mason jar. Store in the refrigerator for 1 week--if it lasts that long.

St. Louis Spare Ribs

1 slab of pork ribs
salt
pepper
chili powder

Season the ribs. Place in a baking pan and bake at 375 degrees F for 90 minutes.
Remove from oven. Brush on sauce and cook 5 more minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro.



If you have leftover pork, you can make chipotle tacos.






Since I'm no longer a chipotle virgin, I went a little wild and added it to guacamole. I also made a
pineapple-peach-mango-avocado-chipotle salsa. 

Mango-Pineapple-Avocado-Chipotle Salsa
(In other words, an "Everything but the Kitchen Sink" salsa.)
 
1 carton store-bought mango salsa
1 cup chopped peppers
1 cup chopped onion and celery
minced garlic
apple cider vinegar or raspberry vinegar
cilantro (chopped)
salt, pepper, chili powder
Chipotle Tabasco
chopped canned chipotle peppers
fresh lime juice
Mix all ingredients and chill, allowing flavors to mingle.


Now it's time to par-tay, as my mama says.

Won't you try the salsa?




Chipotle pairs well with so many things, doesn't it?
chipotle + pineapple/raspberries/strawberries/watermelon/mango
chipotle + mayonnaise + lime
chipotle + avocado + cilantro

What's your favorite combination?

I can't wait to see what the Mystery Ingredient Club members have cooked. You can
find recipes by clicking on any thumbnail or by visiting their blogs.








Have a great week. Thanks to everyone who cooked with me today! You'll be receiving a complimentary chipotle gift, so please send me your mailing address.


I'm linking to:

 









Pin It

Social Bookmarking
Metamorphosis Monday

Garden Week Wrap-Up with Minty Watermelon Lemonade

 On the last day of Garden Week, a thunderstorm blew in from the east, courtesy of an abnormal weather system. I'd made Minty Watermelon Lemonade, and you should have seen us grabbing glasses and chairs. But we can't complain: our garden needed watering.





Minty Watermelon Lemonade
Printable Recipe
                                                                                                Serves 4 to 6

Basic Sugar Syrup:
2 c. water
2 c. granulated sugar
mint leaves

Place water and sugar in a saucepan. Stir. Bring to a boil, then lower heat. Reduce liquid until it reaches a syrupy consistency. Add mint leaves. Cover the pan and remove from heat. Remove mint before serving. Store in a clear Mason jar and refrigerate. Use in watermelon lemonade, lemonade, or iced tea.

Watermelon Lemonade:
2 cups water
1 seedless watermelon
juice of 1 lemon
2 or more ounces sugar syrup

Cut 1/2 watermelon into cubes and freeze. Put remaining watermelon in a blender and puree (or use an immersion hand blender). Strain the mixture and discard seeds and pulp. Mix puree with water, lemon juice, and sugar syrup (to taste). Serve over watermelon "ice" cubes and crushed ice. Garnish with mint.

You can also add lavender to watermelon lemonade.

I love to plant lavender along a walkway because the smell is so welcoming, and, of course, if you're cooking, it's easy to dash outside and grab a few sprigs.

The garden bed receives full sun near the walkway, where the lavender is planted; only a few feet away, afternoon shade keeps the hydrangeas from wilting.

Some of my "gardens" are strange and unsightly.
Others are experiments-gone-wrong. 
I had imagined a lush, beguiling border along the fence, but I ended up with something else: 
The faux cemetery garden.
That's what my husband calls it, and the phrase stuck. Actually, the bed really does resemble something you'd find in old Dodge City. With the three trellises and mandevilla vines, we've got a burial "plot" for each family member.

I won't even get into the background about this strip of land. Okay, I'll tell all. It was a "bag bed" garden, made with bags of Home Depot dirt. Using a box cutter, I sliced huge Xs on the bottoms of the bags, then slit them on top. Though you can't see it, there's a huge, empty dirt bed behind the trio of "headstones," to make sure that the plants would be out of reach to the livestock.

Last week, Mr. Mutz and Bandwidth put together a sturdier trellis for the sweet potato and mandevilla vines.
After the "bed bag" experiment, which involved clawing through topsoil and impenetrable Tennessee clay, I bought a tiny tiller.

When it stops raining, I plan to create graveyard "wings" at each end for a lavender border.

While it rains, let's look at last year's gardens and tablescapes:









I hope you've enjoyed Garden Week!


Don't miss the grand finales at ..a quiet life and Home Is Where the Boat Is.
You can catch up with Jain, Mary, and me at the Novel Bakers' Garden Week Board on Pinterest.


The Novel Bakers will return in July with Picnic Week.

I'm sharing at:

Pin It