Adventures In Food and Wine

Join me in my kitchen while I embark on a journey of cooking and enjoying food and wine.

Monday, July 24, 2006

How does your garden grow part 3

I have harvested the first big bunch of green beans from my garden. These will be dinner tonight cooked with some smoked sausage, potatoes, and onion. I could live off fresh veggies all summer!
I have also harvested some banana peppers and some lettuce (does anyone want some fresh lettuce? I have an overabundance)!

I put some banana pepper to use the other day to make a veggie pasta dish from an older issue of Gourmet magazine. Pasta With White Beans and Golden Onions listed a jalapeno in the ingredients so I subbed one of our banana peppers. This was an easy weeknight meal and was oh so good. I was afraid the onions would overpower, but the combination was just right. I only used one bell pepper instead of the recommended two. If you decide to try this, use two as the dish was a bit short on the peppers. I also subbed Kasseri cheese for the Parm as I had a fresh hunk on hand. This was also good warmed up the next day for leftovers.
The garden is coming along well. Soon we will be feasting on vine-ripe Indiana tomatoes! YUM! Tomatoes in the winter from the supermarket are just not the same. I have tried to explain this to my tomato hating son Chris, but he won't try them. Zac, on the other hand loves tomatoes but dislikes green beans. I did get him to try freshly cooked green beans a couple weeks ago and he liked them. Maybe there is hope for Chris and the tomatoes yet!

Be sure to check out Sweetnicks tomorrow for ARF Tuesday to see all the good for you foods submitted this week. I am submitting this post for the veggie pasta. Meanwhile, take another look at my beautiful green beans! Until next time.


Monday, July 17, 2006

Playing Catch Up, Again! (also ARF Tuesday submission)

Well, once again it is time to play catch up! Things seem to get so busy around here in the summer with the gardening and all. Work has slowed down for the time being although my work schedule will be changing after this next week. I will hopefully have more time to get to the many things on my "To Do" list that have been neglected lately.

Saturday I visited our Farmer's Market for the first time this year. Came home with some sweet corn, cukes, zucchini, beets, radishes, peaches, Swiss Chard, candy onions, and garlic. I do so love all the wonderful fresh produce available at the market! One Saturday per month they also have cooking demos done by local students and chefs. Not this last week unfortunately.

Thankfully, I have been spending some more time cooking lately. Puttering in my kitchen is the best therapy I have to relieve the stress of everyday life. Last week I made some Chicken Salad that I adapted from a recipe by my sister Sandra. It was eaten up in no time by Chris and Zac for lunches. The seasoning used is Morton Nature's Seasoning. The salad has a great flavor with this seasoning blend used.
Saturday I decided to try a new recipe I saw in the latest issue of Bon Appetit Magazine. Cheesy Zucchini and Red Onion Flatbread was well received by the meat eaters in the house as well. I thought it was fresh tasting and just right with a salad on a hot summer evening. This has also been tried and reviewed by some of the members of the Cooking Light Bulletin Board with good results. This will be my submission to ARF over at Sweetnick's. Check it out tomorrow evening for more veggie delights!
Sunday was grill out day and I tried a new recipe for Baby Back Ribs that I have had my eye on for quite some time. Fall off the Bone Baby Back Ribs are from Fresh Everyday by Sara Foster. You may remember when I made several dishes from her other cookbook, The Foster's Market Cookbook. These were very good and with the slow roasting in the oven before grilling, they did fall off the bone. I used a bottled barbecue sauce but there is one in the book I may try next time. My DH raved about these and he is a rib aficionado! I served these with grilled corn on the cob, sauteed Swiss Chard, and marinated cucumbers and onions.
I decided to make a dessert and use some of the peaches I bought at the market. Easy Peach Cobbler is a recipe from the August 2004 issue of Gourmet Magazine. The accompanying story is about novelist Dori Sanders and her family farm in South Carolina. If you can find a copy of the issue, the story is a very interesting read. The cobbler recipe lives up to its name "Easy." Simply layer butter, batter, and slightly cooked peaches in a baking dish without stirring and pop it in the oven. It comes out with a nice golden crust. Serve it warm with some vanilla ice cream and it is a real treat in the summer.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

How does your garden grow part 2

When we came back from vacation the garden had grown so much I was amazed! Unfortunately, the weeds had grown up with it. We have had some fresh lettuce from the garden and the green beans are coming along nicely. I planted a second planting of green beans to keep them coming all summer. I cannot wait for the first juicy garden tomato!
The tomato patch
The peppers and beans

My family had a cookout on the fourth and I decided to take a dish I saw in the July issue of Cooking Light Magazine. Zesty Three Bean and Roasted Corn Salad puts a southwestern spin on the traditional Three Bean Salad. You begin with some fresh corn and green beans which add a satisfying crunch to the salad. Chuck in some onion, bell pepper, black beans and white beans. Toss with a lime vinaigrette and add some chopped tomato and avocado just before serving. I found the salad very tasty. However, my relatives did not wish to be so adventurous once they learned it had avocado in it. Needless to say, I had plenty to bring home for our own enjoyment.

Since I had to work today, I went to bed early last night and did not enjoy any of the local fireworks. From the sound of things, it was like a war zone outside! Chris did take in the local firework display and pronounced them entertaining for this year. This is the first year I have not attended a display somewhere. I cannot believe how much money some people spend on fireworks. One of my co-workers said her brother bought 1 item that cost $65.00 and it lasted about 3 minutes. That is some expensive entertainment!

Check back in next time to see what's cooking.