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Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

This spinach dish is very easy to whip up and can be served as any main meal; breakfast, lunch or dinner! 

spinach-mushroom-quiche-3
8 Oz Fresh Spinach
1 Small Onion – Diced
1 Clove Garlic – Diced
4 Oz Mushroom – Sliced
1 Cup Egg Substitute
Feta Cheese – Crumbled
2 Tablespoon Dried Tomato – Cut In Small Pieces
1 Teaspoon Dried Jalapeno Pepper – Cut In Small Pieces
Prepared Pie Crust
Saute diced onion and garlic on low heat.  Add mushroom, spinach, dried tomato and  jalapeno pepper. Continue to saute for several minutes.  Add crumbled feta cheese to prepared pie crust – add saute mixture and 1 cup egg substitute.  Blend ingredients gently.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes at 350
degrees.
Note: The dried tomatoes and jalapeno pepper were fresh from the garden earlier in the year and dehydrated in the Excalibur food dehydrator.  The jalapeno gave this dish just the right kick!!

tomatoes-in-dehydrator 

Tomatoes in the dehydrator before drying

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I was able to organize my seeds and have 4 different varieties of peppers which I added to the website that are available for free to those who would like them.  This was my first year growing Marconi Peppers and I really liked them alot!  Once they turn completely red they are very, very sweet and delicious.  They grow 4-5″ long and I did make stuffed peppers which worked out great.  The Mini Red Peppers are small and one or two can be sliced up and added to a bowl of salad and this eliminates wrapping up extra pepper and storing in the refrigerator for another use later.  The hot peppers can be used for salsa or to add an extra kick to many dishes; omelets, soups, chili.   I did can up some jalapeno peppers this year.

canned-jalapeno-peppers

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Not quite 2 headlines that go together – don’t think I want to indulge in a recipe made with compost, except of course if I were a worm.  Anyways, I tend to my compost piles/bins religiously and I also feed my worms when they are hungry.  I have blogged about all of the above previously and today I received one of my newsletters that had a Great article on composting.  I share here.  A second newsletter I received today is Local Harvest, which is such a wonderful tool for those looking for local produce and also for those who wish to sell their wares.  You can subscribe to the normal newsletter and also to one specific to your area – what events are taking place within a certain mile radius.  It’s worth it .. keeps you in touch with local and real.

Now the recipe – I found this recipe and adjusted it somewhat.  It calls for yams and since I have been experimenting with all sorts of new winter squash lately… here’s the scoop.  Sometimes, you can only take so much yam or winter squash.  It is great for you but a bit heavy if you consume too much.  So here you are, baking/steaming this new winter squash and everyone has a spoonful or two.  Now what do you do with the remaining?  Sure leftovers work (for one day) – then what?!  I substituted the winter squash where the recipe calls for yam and you can do this with any recipe I would think, same consistency (kinda) and it is very healthy! 

Cinnamon-Yam (or winter squash you prefer) Biscuits

2 cups flour, 2 tbsp. sugar, 4 1/2 tsp. baking powder (which I think is WAY too much – all you taste is baking powder and I hate that!) so adjust that baking powder amount to like 2 instead of 4 and maybe less.  I can eat a flat biscuit if it tastes great! 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. allspice, 1/2 cup butter,cut into small pieces (1 stick)  I didn’t use that much either!  One stick of butter??  that’s insane.  I added more milk. 1 cup mashed cooked yam and 6 tbsp. milk or more if needed.  Oven preheats at 425.  Combine all dry material, cut in butter. Beat yam and 6 tbspn. of milk together and stir into dry mix.  Form a soft dough – turn onto lightly floured surface and cut out circle biscuits 3/4 inch thick.  Bake about 18 minutes.

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I heard we may have had frost last night but not sure … either way, it’s right around the corner and then winter … blah!  The main reason for the “blah” besides the total chill that runs down my spine is the fact I can’t garden outside for many months.  I can organize all the seeds I have, tidy up my solarium and start some seeds under the lights (herbs for using all winter, some hard to get going flowers)  and plan, plan, plan for next year.   I can work on some good recipes too … like this one I made yesterday – Flaxseed Muffins.  They are way healthy and very tasty!

 Flax muffins

I have to say I am very happy with my Spinach this past season, planting in the spring and then saving the seed to plant in the fall (which I did) and I have quite a bit of seed left for next spring.  There is still some spinach out there which I should harvest today before that frost knocks the life out of it.

 Fall crop of spinach

I will be undertaking a new project, which is way overdue, of revamping and decorating my fireplace.  I did start a website and will now have more time to work on that, so that’s cool and the new blog will have crafty stuff on it; such as the fireplace makeover with dried flowers from the gardens! 

The Swans have all but grown up!  You can still see the difference between the adult swan and the babies, who are almost 5 months old (couple more weeks).  When the cold sets in they will be leaving the area and a new pair, or maybe the same pair, will return next spring and have another flock of babies.  It really is remarkable watching the baby swans grow!

 Adult swan in the middle of 2 young swans and then one of the younger swans spreading its wings!

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This weekend is Stan’s birthday … woohoo and we are going down south with both kids (wow!) and my sister’s family.  We will most definitely have a great time and I am bringing all kinds of food.  I do need to pick up a birthday cake tomorrow, but I did make a banana bread for breakfast or snacks …

 And I made this Garlic dip which I found on Recipezaar.  I had to roast a whole head of garlic and then add all the other ingredients ….. it’s chilling now.  I decided to start experimenting with Garlic since I am growing it in the garden … good thinkin! 

Check out this discovery … we went to another Fall Farm this past weekend and bought some more gourds which I talked about at The Crafty Garden Blog, but I didn’t mention The Delicata Squash we bought!  oh my goodness … it’s Good!

  Sweet and creamy tasting and so easy to bake.  Cut in half, place in a pan with 1/2″ of water, cover and cook at 375 for about 30 minutes.  Serve with butter and herbs or just plain.  We will be going back next week to pick up some more since this will be a dish we bring to Thanksgiving dinner.  It stores for 7-8 months too.  Yes, it will be growing in Deb’s Garden next year!

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I have planted the garlic in the garden and I find this Very exciting!  Four different varieties and since I have only cooked with store bought garlic in the past, this should be quite the experience.  Yes, I will have to wait until July to harvest but that’s ok I can keep busy.

 not so straight, but that’s ok

I planted the cloves 6″ apart, 2″ deep and the rows are about a foot apart.  The hardneck garlic is a bigger clove and there are less of them to a bulb.  The softneck garlics have more cloves per bulb but are smaller and they are the garlic with the longer shelf life….most certainly, the type we buy at the grocery store.

  I covered the garlic with soil and a layer of compost and will also layer with 2-6″ of shredded leaves once they fall.  I harvested the last of the beets this week and found an excellent recipe.  Now I realize not all folks like beets, but I love them and I am the only one in the household who does … so lots of beets for me!  The recipe calls for 2 lbs of beets –

  Wash the dirt off the beets and cover with boiling water, cook until tender (30-60 mins. depending on the size of the beet).  Cool and remove the skin and stems and reserve 1 cup of the beet liquid (the water the beets were cooked in).  The recipe calls for 1/2 cup but there wasn’t enough liquid to cover the beets in the jar.  Cut up the beets and add to empty quart canning jar.  Then boil the following ingredients and pour over the beets – 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 3 tblspns of sugar, 1 garlic clove, 1/2 teas. salt, 3 peppercorns and 1/4 bay leaf and the saved beet liquid. The additional liquid may water down the flavor so more vinegar may be needed as well.  Put on the lid, let cool and refrigerate.  I figure these will be gone in about a week so no need to can them up for a longer period.  For all you beet lovers….they are SO good!  My helper Frankie was watching and waiting for one of those beets to bounce to the ground……no such luck Puppy Dog***

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As much as I love gardening I do realize that I must make sure to use the produce I grow and once it starts growing, it can become overwhelming and so the challenge(s) begins….    and to think the tomatoes haven’t even started to ripen yet!

So today I sat back and looked at what I had from the garden – peas, green beans, zucchini, pearl cucumber, basil, chives, yellow scallop squash and flowers 🙂  The pearl cucumber is Wonderful … very crisp and right on for a cucumber.  I was thinking there would be a weird taste but Nope … cucumber all the way!

  Green beans/Pearl Cucumber

The yellow scallop squash we are saving for a stir fry tomorrow, but dang looking at the garden earlier there seems to be like a ton of them growing all the sudden so ONE ain’t no big deal ….

Now……… for the Garden Fresh Quiche I whipped up this morning!  I used Five garden ingredients … peas, green beans, zucchini, basil and chives

  The peas and green beans I simmered in a bit of water for just a few minutes and then sauteed the zucchini with the chives and basil.  I used a store bought pie crust because they are so simple, so next all the veggies went into the crust

  I added a cup of shredded cheddar cheese and a cup of fake eggs … egg beaters           It looks beautiful and healthy BUT it needs some ZIP!  More spices, some hot sauce, a bit of pepper  not sure, but will work on it.   I am open to all ideas, so please let me know what you think.   It is pretty darn healthy don’t ya think

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