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Archive for the ‘Summer’ Category

While I wait for my next trip to the store or CSA or farmer’s market I was craving some green stuff for my morning smoothie.

I tend to hide things from myself, the motivation is to “save it for later”. Works well with special candy bars my parents smuggle down to Texas from Canada. Coffee Crisp bars are one of my favorites, I would arm wrestle you for one. Probably cheat by distracting you somehow just to get my mits on one of those puppies. Hiding kale from myself, in the save it for a rainy day fashion, now sounds incredibly weird when put next to chocolate. It came in handy this morning though! I tried making my own kale chips with a beautiful bunch that came in my Greenling box a while ago. I bagged up the leftovers and burried them in the freezer. It’s probably been two months, maybe more, that those kale chips sat waiting for someone to rescue them.

Have you ever seen the “Will it Blend?” series on YouTube? This is by no means an experiment of radical blending of random items. I do write with purpose (mostly), ha ha. Well, give that guy a bag of kale chips and see what happens. I can tell you that the results of a smoothie containing dried plant matter are not that appealing. Besides having large bits of kale in my breakfast smoothie, the flavor of nutty toasted kale threw me off. It was edible but I’m calling it a kitchen experiment failure.

I’d like to make this with fresh kale.

kale blueberry smoothie

The combination used here was:

  • half of a banana
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 1/2 cup orange juice, maybe more if too thick
  • heaping cup of blueberries
  • handful of kale (use fresh for heaven’s sake)
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  • 12 – 16 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • pepper to taste

Combine everything except the balsamic vinegar in a container with a lid or resealable zip top bag resting in a bowl or casserole dish.  Marinade overnight in the refrigerator, turning to coat a few times.

Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF.

Line a roasting pan with foil.  Pluck the chicken drumsticks from the marinade and place in a single layer in the lined pan.  Roast for 1 hour.

While the chicken is in the oven, strain the marinade into a small pot.  Add the balsamic vinegar and bring to a simmer.  Reduce to a thick syrupy glaze.  Remove the chicken roasting pan from the oven and brush the glaze over the chicken.  Return the pan to the oven for another 20 minutes or until done.

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chop drop soup

This is not so much a recipe as it is a map or method to creating soul satisfying soup in five easy steps.  Let your imagination go wild, with the blessing of your taste buds of course.  Soups are a perfect way to use seasonal veggies that you may find at your local farmers market.  Say there is an unusual squash on the table, ask the grower if it is hard, bitter, sweet, or soft?  Bitter squash is not the best candidate for soups, at least in my view, so I avoid those.  Zucchini is about as bitter as I will go.  Give chop and drop a try!

Step 1

Empty the veggie drawer into the (clean) kitchen sink or counter.  Wash all skin-stay-on veggies.

Step 2

Peel and trim veggies.  Chop into manageable pieces.  Hint: the smaller the dice the hastier it cooks!

Step 3

Drop into a soup pot with a swirl of olive oil, sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Stir.

Step 4

Add liquids.  Choose your favorite stock, broth, bouillon, OXO, Knorr, or even tomato puree, or can of cream of whatever plus milk.

Step 5

Wait.  Poke the veggies to see if they are tender. Heck, you could even taste one or two.

You are ready to eat!

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Taco Salad

Want to skip the crunchy carbs of taco night?  Make a salad instead!

Chop up your favorite lettuce.  Make a fresh “salsa” out of diced tomato, onion (red or white, or green yum) and peppers.  Cook ground meat with taco seasoning or combine chili powder, garlic, oregano, cumin and salt.  To make it vegetarian, you could use beans instead of the meat or diced Portobello mushroom caps.  Hey that actually sounds pretty tasty!  Top with shredded cheese.

Funny tidbit for you:  the most popular search on my blog remains at Claire Robinson, she has many fans including yours truly!

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Prickly Pear, also called tuna, is the fruit of the Opuntia ficus-indica cactus.  You can see it growing on the roadsides in South Texas and other areas of the South through to Mexico.  I don’t recommend picking them by the road, instead find them at the grocery store or possibly at local farmer’s markets.  There are spines on the fruit just like the green pads of the cactus, be careful that these have been removed before handling the fruit.

I cut open the fruit and scraped out the seeded pulp.  Then I squished the pulp to release the juice in a fine mesh strainer.

Strain the pulp twice to get a juice that is clear and sweet.  I didn’t have any alcohol to make a prickly pear potations true to the name, but you could certainly try adding a shot of tequila or vodka over ice.  I added watermelon juice prepared in the same way using my fine mesh strainer.

The cactus fruit tastes sweet and succulent, a little grassy too.  It’s a different but refreshing drink for summer.

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  • 3 butterflied chicken breasts
  • soy sauce
  • orange marmalade
  • honey

Mix the marinade in a bag, use equal parts soy to marmalade and about 3 tablespoons of honey.

Marinade the chicken in a bag in a spill proof container in the fridge for 24 hours.

Drain the chicken and BBQ over medium hot coals until done.

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My colleagues asked me to join them for Cheese Steak Thursday at Delaware, I declined with a mouthful of this salad….

  • Red lettuce
  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Cucumber
  • Orange Bell Pepper
  • Garden Tomato
  • Garlic Naan “croutons”
  • Sweet Onion Dressing

The lure of cheese is sometimes overwhelming.  However, I’m trying to eat less gluten to see if it helps my rosacea situation.  See that pie looking thing behind the plate of salad?  I’ll be writing about it as part of my review of Babycakes by Erin McKenna.  Stay tuned for it!

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