Friday, June 29, 2007

UNDER the STRAWBERRY MOON ~ SAUTEED STRAWBERRIES with CRACKED PEPPER & WARM COINTREAU MARMALADE

~ Under the Strawberry Moon (Hubbard Lake)

Ode'imini-giizis (Strawberry Moon)

(Ojibwe)

______________________________




SAUTEED STRAWBERRIES with CRACKED BLACK PEPPER

& WARM COINTREAU MARMALADE



~ Strawberries with a twist from New York's 'chic' chef, Geoffrey Zakarian, compliments of Cointreau


*

Ingredients:

1/2 Tbsp. salted butter

1/2 tsp. brown sugar

1 1/2 lbs. cleaned and quartered strawberries

1/2 split vanilla bean

1 pinch cracked black pepper1/2 bunch stemmed & chopped fresh mint



Marmalade:

1/2 cup Cointreau

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

Garnish:

Creme fraiche

Cracked black pepper




  • MARMALADE: In small saucepan, combine Cointreau and 1 Tbsp. of brown sugar. Reduce to 1/8 cup. Set aside.

  • Heat salted butter in saucepan. When melted add the brown sugar and cook until lightly caramelized, about 3 minutes. Saute strawberries and vanilla bean with the caramel for 15 seconds. Add pinch of black pepper and cook for 30 seconds.

  • Add the fresh mint and transfer to serving dishes. Garnish each dish with 1 Tbsp. creme fraiche and cracked black pepper. Drizzle warm Cointreau Marmalade on top. Serve immediately.

FAREWELL to JUNE ~ MINI GARDEN TOUR











Wednesday, June 27, 2007

GREAT LAKES JUNEBERRY MUFFINS

Gardener's Note: Juneberries, Amelanchier, also called Serviceberries, ripen in the Midwest, turning from green in May to red then purple in June. This delicious fruit (a member of the rose family related to apples and raspberries) can be used fresh or dried. For more information related to the versatile fruit and this 'must have' tree, visit:



GREAT LAKES JUNEBERRY MUFFINS
~ Once ripened, fight the birds for this sought after summer treasure (substitute in any blueberry or cherry recipe).
*
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 extra-large organic egg
1/2 cup buttermilk or sour cream
1/4 vegetable oil
1 cup treasured Juneberries
sugar to sprinkle on tops
  • Preheat oven to 400-degrees.
  • Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in mixing bowl.
  • Whisk egg, milk and oil in bowl and add to dry ingredients, stirring lightly until mixed.
  • Fold in Juneberries and spoon into greased or lined muffin tins. Sprinkle tops with sugar and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Cool slightly before removing.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Monday, June 25, 2007

CHILLED AVACADO SOUP with TOMATOES and BASIL (La Soupe a l'Avocat aux Tomates Provencales)


In Heraldry and History
Legend The English translation of "fleur-de-lis" (sometimes spelled "fleur-de-lys") is "flower of the lily." This symbol, depicting a stylized lily or lotus flower, has many meanings. Traditionally, it has been used to represent French royalty, and in that sense it is said to signify perfection, light, and life. Legend has it that an angel presented Clovis, the Merovingian king of the Franks, with a golden lily as a symbol of his purification upon his conversion to Christianity. Others claim that Clovis adopted the symbol when waterlilies showed him how to safely cross a river and thus succeed in battle.
Heraldry In the twelfth century, either King Louis VI or King Louis VII (sources disagree) became the first French monarch to use the fleur-de-lis on his shield. English kings later used the symbol on their coats of arms to emphasize their claims to the throne of France. In the 14th century, the fleur-de-lis was often incorporated into the family insignia that was sewn on the knight's surcoat, which was worn over their coat of mail, thus the term, "coat of arms." The original purpose of identification in battle developed into a system of social status designations after 1483 when King Edmund IV established the Heralds' College to supervise the granting of armor insignia.

Religion and War
Joan of Arc carried a white banner that showed God blessing the French royal emblem, the fleur-de-lis, when she led French troops to victory over the English in support of the Dauphin, Charles VII, in his quest for the French throne.
The Roman Catholic Church ascribed the lily as the special emblem of the Virgin Mary.
Due to its three "petals," the fleur-de-lis has also been used to represent the Holy Trinity.
Military units, including divisions of the United States Army, have used the symbol's resemblance to a spearhead to identify martial power and strength.
~ Above history compliments of

~ Proud face in waning June garden
(Japanese Iris)
____________________
CHILLED AVACADO SOUP with TOMATOES and BASIL
( La Soupe a l'Avocat aux Tomates Provencales)
~ Adapted rich southern France recipe from The Flavors of France
*
4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 chopped shallots
4 chopped garlic cloves
2 large skinned, seeded, chopped tomatoes
2 large ripe diced avocados
1 1/4 cup water
1 cup white wine
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 1/3 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
12 oz. Montrachet goat cheese
2 Tbsp. snipped fresh chives
4 slivered basil leaves
juice & zest of 2 lemons
Chive blossoms or snipped chives for garnish
additional yogurt or sour cream
  • Saute garlic and shallots in olive oil for 1 minute. Add tomato and avocado, cooking gently for 5 minutes.
  • Add water and wine. Bring to boil then simmer for 4 minutes. Season with salt & pepper.
  • Blend soup in processor or blender with yogurt (sour cream) and goat cheese. Puree until smooth & creamy.
  • Stir in chives, basil, lemon juice & zest. Swirl to mix well.
  • Serve in tall, chilled wine glasses. Garnish with fresh chive blossoms (in season) or additional chopped chives atop a dollop of yogurt or sour cream. (8 servings)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

SIMPLE SUNDAY NIGHT SUPPER ~ PEPPERED GRILLED TENDERLOIN / VIDALIA ONION PIE


~ Simply wonderful ( Lilium speciosum 'Uchida')
_____________________
PEPPERED GRILLED TENDERLOIN
with Jack Daniel's Sauce
*
4 (8-oz) beef tenderloin steaks
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. fresh marjoram
1 Tbsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 Tbsp. Jack Daniel's whiskey
fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish
Sauce:
4 Tbsp. minced shallots
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup organic beef stock
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup Jack Daniel's whiskey
  • Rub steaks with herbs and pepper. Combine olive oil and whiskey. Pour over steaks. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, prepare sauce. Boil shallots, vinegar, pepper, beef stock, red wine and whiskey. Bring to boil and simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup. (Can make ahead)
  • Remove steak from marinade. Grill to desired doneness and let rest.
  • Serve with Jack Daniel's sauce, garnished with fresh rosemary sprigs (and Vidalia Onion Pie).

______________________-

VIDALIA ONION PIE

~Trust the recipe, you'll like it! Adapted from treasured 1992 issue of Bon Appetit.

*

1 1/2 cups finely crushed Ritz crackers

6 Tbsp. room temperature unsalted butter

2 cups thinly sliced Vidalia onions

3/4 cup whole milk (or sour cream)

2 organic large eggs

1/4 tsp. coarse salt

1 cup grated sharp Cheddar or Colby

Hungarian sweet paprika

Chopped fresh parsley

  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Mix cracker crumbs and 4 Tbsp. butter until blended. Press into 8-inch pie plate.
  • Melt remaining butter and saute onions until tender and opaque. Plunk over crust.
  • Whisk milk, eggs, salt & pepper. Pour over onions and sprinkle with cheese. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley.
  • Bake about 35 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. (Serves 6)


Friday, June 22, 2007

FRIDAY NIGHT FISH FEAST ~ WHITEFISH with LEMON BLACKBERRY SAUCE

~ Summer's Welcome Visitor

(Tiger Swallowtail)
_______________
WHITEFISH with LEMON BLACKBERRY SAUCE
~ Adapted from Cross village: A Selection of Tastes, Art, and Memories
*
6 boned and skinned whitefish fillets
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. chopped green inions
4 Tbsp. Blackberry Brandy
4 cups sour cream
1/2 tsp. dill
juice & zest of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
pint of fresh blackberries
  • Melt butter in large saute pan. Add oil and raise heat slightly. Saute whitefish for a few minutes on each side until flakey (about 4-7 minutes depending on thickness). Carefully remove to heated platter and keep warm.
  • Saute onions in same pan until soft and transparent. Raise heat, add Blackberry Brandy and stir until thickened. Lower heat and whisk in sour cream, lemon juice and zest, and pepper, stirring constantly. Do not boil or sauce will curdle.
  • Ladle a bit of sauce on heated plate, top with whitefish and a bit more sauce. Garnish with fresh blackberries. (Serves 6)


Thursday, June 21, 2007

SUMMER SOLSTICE ~ HUBBARD LAKE, MI

"Solstice, from the Latin for sun stands still, in astronomy, either of the two points on the ecliptic that lie midway between the equinoxes (separated from them by an angular distance of 90°).
At the solstices the sun's apparent position on the celestial sphere reaches its greatest distance above or below the celestial
equator, about 23 1/2° of arc. At the time of summer solstice, about June 22, the sun is directly overhead at noon at the Tropic of Cancer.
In the Northern Hemisphere the longest day and shortest night of the year occur on this date, marking the beginning of summer. At winter solstice, about December 22, the sun is overhead at noon at the
Tropic of Capricorn; this marks the beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. For several days before and after each solstice the sun appears to stand still in the sky, i.e., its noontime elevation does not seem to change from day to day."

Solstice information courtesy of ~
______________________

~ SUMMER SOLSTICE (Hubbard Lake)

HERE COMES SUMMER! SOLSTICE SUPPER ~ GRILLED FLANK STEAK with MORAN STEAK SAUCE / MUSHROOM PIE with SOUR CREAM CRUST

~ Another pretty face 'Sunray' (Lilium)

"In June and July, just when the sun would have its day without a border, out come these bright yellow mimics, faces jubilantly upturned, eight to twenty to a 2-foot stem. A very few dark spots mark the center of the flower, and its petal edges have a random curl. 'Sunray' produces numerous secondary buds, which extend its blooming season considerably."

A BOOK of LILIES (Mark Smith)

_________________________________

GRILLED FLANK STEAK with MORAN SAUCE

~ Steak, one of the ultimate staples for summer, comes flavorful and succulent when prepared properly. This 40 year old recipe will fill the bill for fun summer dining.

*

1 1/2 lb. flank steak

1/2 cup chopped red or sweet onion

4 cloves minced garlic

1/3 cup red wine

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. fresh minced ginger (1/2 tsp. ground)

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

  • Combine onions, garlic, wine, soy sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, ginger, olive oil and black pepper. Pour marinade over steak (in large sealable bag or small container). Marinate 24 hours.
  • Let stand at room temperature. Remove steak from marinade.
  • Grill on high, covered, for 3 minutes per side (rare) or 4 minutes per side (medium rare). Remove and let rest 5-7 minutes. Good alone or prepare Moran Sauce to spoon over meat.

MORAN STEAK SAUCE

~ Retro and wonderful (if not watching weight)

*

1/4 lb. butter

2 heaping Tbsp. Heinz 57 sauce

1 Tbsp. chopped chives

1 tsp. chopped parsley

(sauteed mushrooms, optional if not making Mushroom Pie)

______________________________________

MUSHROOM PIE with SOUR CREAM CRUST

~ A delicious side for steak (don't count the calories)

from a clipped November 2006 Bon Appetit

*

Crust:

2 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup sour cream

Filling:

3 Tbsp. butter

2 1/2 cup chopped onions

8 cups coarsely chopped mushrooms (1 1/2 - 1 3/4 lbs.)

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme

1 8-oz. package (room temperature) cream cheese, cut into cubes

1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 Tbsp. milk (for glaze)

  • Crust: Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add butter and cut in with fork until it looks like coarse meal. Add sour cream and stir until dough comes together. Shape dough into disk; dived into 2 pieces (1 about 2/3 of dough) and (1 about 2/3 of dough). Roll larger piece on lightly floured surface to 14-inch round. Transfer to 10-inch glass pie dish and trim overhang. Roll remaining to 12-inch round and place onto baking sheet. Cut into 1-inch wide strips for top lattice. Chill crust at least 30 minutes.
  • Filling: Melt butter in heavy skillet. Add onions and saute until soft and golden, about 6 minutes. Add mushrooms and thyme. Saute until mushrooms are tender and release juices, abut 6 minutes. (Can be made ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm over medium heat before continuing). Add cream cheese and stir until melted. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Spoon filling into crust. Top pie with strips in lattice pattern. Fold strip ends and overhang under. Crimp edge decoratively. Brush lattice with glaze.
  • Bake pie until crust is golden brown and filling is heated through, about 45 minutes. Cool pie 30 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

GOODBYE SPRING ~ STRAWBERRY CHICKEN SALAD


~ Garden sundial
_____________________
STRAWBERRY CHICKEN SALAD
~ Delicious spring salad, with or without the chicken
( March 2004 clipping from Southern Living )
*
4 skinned and boned chicken breast halves
Raspberry Vinaigrette, divided
8 cups mixed salad greens
1 quart sliced strawberries
2 sliced pears (peaches or mangoes)
2 peeled and sliced avocados
1/2 diced sweet onion or chopped fresh chives
crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup toasted pecan halves
  • Combine chicken and 1/2 cup Raspberry Vinaigrette in large zip-lock bag. Seal and chill 1 hour.
  • Remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade.
  • Grill over medium-high heat, covered, 4 minutes on each side or until done. Let chicken rest for 10 minutes; slice.
  • Place salad greens in large bowl with strawberries, pears, avocados and onions or chives. Divide mixture evenly between 4 serving plates; top with grilled chicken slices. Sprinkle with blue cheese and toasted pecans. Serve with remaining Raspberry Vinaigrette. ( 4 servings)

Raspberry Vinaigrette:

3/4 cup pear nectar

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup raspberry vinegar

3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper1/4 tsp. salt

Place all ingredients in screw-top jar; cover tightly, and shake vigorously until blended. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Shake well before serving.

THE WHIMSICAL GARDEN


The Whimsical Garden

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

CRISPY SOFT-SHELL CRABS with BUTTER NOISETTE and AGED BALSAMIC VINEGAR / CRISPY SOFT-SHELL CRAB SANDWICH

Folklore from Virgina Seafood


"The soft-shell season is traditionally marked with the first full moon in May.At that time, the blue crab begins its molting season to accommodate its summer growth.The actual shedding of the shell can take anywhere from one to three hours, after which it must be removed or the hardening process will continue, reducing the quality of the soft-shell crab."

For more info on soft shell crab season visit:






~ Dahlia
( American Dahlia Society)
_________________________
CRISPY SOFT-SHELL CRABS with BUTTER NOISETTE
and AGED BALSAMIC VINEGAR
~ For those who wait patiently each year craving soft-shell crabs, a treasured recipe from "Crave See Touch Smell Hear Taste" by Ludo Lefebyre.
*
6 Tbsp. clarified butter*, divided
(* Slowly melt 1 stick unsalted butter over low heat. Skim off and discard milk solids that rise to top. Retain clear clarified butter)
8 cleaned and dressed soft-shell crabs, about 2 oz. each
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
all-purpose flour for dredging crabs
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup strained fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp. peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 Tbsp. aged balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. chopped, drained and rinsed capers
2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 Tbsp. seeded & finely diced tomato
  • Preheat oven to 200-degrees.
  • In large heavy skillet, heat 3 Tbsp. clarified butter over medium-high heat. Sprinkle crabs with sea salt and pepper. Dredge 4 crabs in flour, shake off excess, and add to clarified butter in pan. Cook until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer crabs to baking sheet and keep warm in oven.
  • Wipe out skillet and repeat with remaining 3 Tbsp. of clarified butter and 4 crabs. (Stop here for sandwiches).
  • Add unsalted butter to skillet. Stir over medium-low heat until butter melts and is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Whisk in lemon juice, ginger, balsamic vinegar, capers, parsley and tomato. Season sauce to taste with sea salt & black pepper.
  • To serve, place 2 crabs each on 4 plates. Spoon sauce over crabs and serve immediately or 1 on each plate for an appetizer. (4 or 8 servings)
_____________
CRISPY SOFT-SHELL CRAB SANDWICH
Sauteed crabs recipe from above
16 slices French bread (toasted, untoasted or grilled)
1/4 -inch sliced plum tomatoes
8 Bibb lettuce leaves
Lemon Tarter Sauce
Slather bread(toast) with Lemon Tarter Sauce. Top with crispy crab, tomato slices and Bibb lettuce.
LEMON TARTER SAUCE
1/2 cup regular or light mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup drained chopped sweet pickle relish
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
pinch sea salt
Combine all ingredients early and chill to blend flavors.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

GARDEN STROLL ~ MID JUNE


~ Iceland Poppy


~ Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)

~ Spiderwort (Tradescantia)


~ 'Carefree Beauty' Rose

SOMEWHERE IN TIME ~ GRAND HOTEL


~ GRAND HOTEL
_______________
For the history of the GRAND HOTEL visit ~

Friday, June 15, 2007

FRIDAY NIGHT FISH FEAST ~ FILLET of DOVER SOLE VENONIQUE (Timothy Leeper)

"TIMOTHY LEEPER is an Honorary Islander ... Aside from his cooking wizardry, he is the caretaker of the new lilacs that arrive on the Island each year, donated by members of the International Lilac Society ... His early experience on the Island was as executive chef for some of its major hotels. To re-create a romantic Mackinac Island dinner at home, Tim shares one of his special recipes ...."
~ Mackinac Island Memories
(Travel Memories Press)
~ June memories of the Island

________________________

FILLETS of DOVER SOLE VERONIQUE

1 cup double cream (instructions below)

8 Dover sole fillets

salt & freshly cracked pepper to taste

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup chopped fresh shallots

lemon juice

1 cup seedless white grapes, halved

  • To prepare double cream: Place 2 cups heavy whipping cream in stainless steel pot and heat over low heat. Simmer until cream is reduced by half to 1 cup (approximately 40 minutes to 1 hour for cream to reach a thin sauce consistency).
  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Generously butter a large earthenware or glass baking dish. Season sole with salt & pepper, then place in baking dish. Sprinkle wine, shallots, and lemon juice evenly over fillets. Cover dish with buttered waxed paper. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until fillets are tender.
  • Carefully remove fillets from baking dish and arrange on flameproof platter. Strain broth from baking dish into a saucepan and heat over high eat until broth is reduced by two-thirds to about 3 tablespoons. Reduce heat to low and add double cream; blend well with whisk.
  • Sprinkle grapes over fillets, then top with cream sauce. Place platter under broiler for 2-3 minutes or until sauce bubbles and turns a light brown. (8 servings)

JUNE GARDEN STROLL ~ GRAND HOTEL







"On a bluff looking west across to the Mackinac Bridge nearly half a mile from town. Grand Hotel is a living Victorian resort on a grand scale indeed, one of only a dozen remaining in the United States."

Visit this site for more history on Michigan's treasured hotel and the memorable gardens ~

Thursday, June 14, 2007

GRAND HOTEL ~ PECAN BALL with FUDGE SAUCE


GRAND HOTEL

_________________________


GRAND HOTEL PECAN BALL WITH FUDGE SAUCE
~ Courtesy of Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan

The Grand Hotel bills itself as the world's largest summer hotel....The pecan ball with fudge sauce, which made its debut in 1947, is the signature dessert. Each season more than 50,000 Grand Pecan Balls are happily consumed by Grand Hotel diners.


8 six-ounce portions of vanilla ice cream
4 cups roasted pecan pieces, chilled
One-quarter pound unsalted butter
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups light corn syrup
1 pound chocolate chips
One-half vanilla bean, split
1 tablespoon Creme de Cacao
Pecan Balls
Scoop eight six-ounce portions of ice cream; shape into eight round balls. Coat each ball with chilled pecan pieces. Place balls in freezer.
Fudge Sauce
In large pot heat butter, cream and corn syrup to a simmer. Remove from heat and add vanilla pulp, Creme de Cacao and chocolate chips; stir until well incorporated. Allow sauce to cool.To serve: Remove pecan balls from freezer and allow to soften slightly. Pour sauce over each pecan ball and serve immediately.
Yield: Eight pecan balls and about seven and one-half cups sauce

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

MACKINAC ISLAND (Lilacs & Romance) ~ FRENCH ALMOND CAKE

MACKINAC ISLAND
~ Lilac festival

__________________________

"The lilac is one of the enduring symbols of Mackinac Island. First planted here by French missionaries in the 1600's, the oldest living lilacs on American soil are on Mackinac Island. some of the older lilac shrubs have grown to treelike proportions over the years. Each spring,m the trees fill the Island air with sweet fragrance and dazzle with their rich shades of purple, lavender, and white.

Since 1949, Mackinac Island has celebrated the arrival of summer with the annual Lilac Festival in June, when hundreds of lilac trees are in full flower. Stella King, a well-loved citizen of the Island, created quite a stir that year when she rode through town in her carriage decorated with lilacs.

Amid this lush atmosphere, is it any surprise that romance is rampant on the Island? Couples get married every day and every place on Mackinac Island ~ in quaint churches, on rocks by the water, on lookout points over the highest bluffs, on Victorian croquet lawns, by the apple orchard, in gazebos, and on boats. And the weddings are no longer just in the summer. Spring and fall are popular times, too, and others are discovering the quiet solitude of winter. Later, these same couples return to celebrate wedding anniversaries and recapture the romance of the island.

The residents of Mackinac Island welcome nearly a million guests each year. The Island's leisurely pace and scenic beauty draw and endless parade of visitors ~ some familiar, some new. Old traditions are cherished, yet new ones are formed at the same time. And Mackinac Island memories continue to be born, year after year, stretching into the future and circling back into the past."

~ Mackinac Island Memories (Len Trankina)

_____________

* Note: For more information regarding this beautiful festival, visit ~

( http://www.mackinacislandlilacfestival.com/ ) and

http://www.absolutemichigan.com/search/?search=city&linkcity=Mackinac%20Island

____________________

FRENCH ALMOND CAKE

~ In honor of the French for gracing Mackinac Island with revered lilacs, here is Julia Child's lovely recipe.

*

1/4 pound soft butter

3/4 cup blanched almonds, pulverized in blender with 1/4 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 Tbsp rum, kirsch, or vanilla extract

1/2 cup sugar

1/8 tsp. almond extract

1/2 cup sifted cake flour

1 tsp. baking powder

  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
  • Grease and flour a 8 1/2-inch baking pan.
  • Cream butter and sugar together in a medium-size mixing bowl. Add eggs one at a time, mixing between each addition. Add baking powder and flavorings. Gently fold in flour, one tablespoon at a time.
  • Fold batter into pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar when cool. Serve with the freshest fruit of the season.


Sunday, June 10, 2007

SIMPLE SUNDAY NIGHT JUNE SUPPER ~ MESQUITE GRILLED PORK TENDERLOIN with RASPBERRY CHIPOTLE SAUCE & CHOPPED CASHEW ROMAINE SALAD


MESQUITE GRILLED PORK TENDERLOIN with ROASTED RASPBERRY CHIPOTLE SAUCE
~ A southwestern mesquite grilled juicy tenderloin topped with spicy-sweet raspberry sauce
*
2 (3/4) pound well-trimmed pork tenderloins
2 Tbsp. jerk seasoning
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Fischer & Wieser Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
zest of orange
additional chopped fresh rosemary
handful of mesquite chips soaked in water
  • Rub seasoning evenly over tenderloins and sprinkle with rosemary & freshly ground cracked pepper. Cover and chill several hours or overnight.
  • Gently heat raspberry-chipotle sauce, orange juice and zest. Reserve 1/2 cup in separate container.
  • Drain chips and sprinkle over hot coals. Grill tenderloins over medium-high heat about 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Let rest.
  • Bring marinade to boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup sauce to saucepan.
  • Slice tenderloin diagonally and serve with raspberry-chipotle sauce. Sprinkle with additional chopped fresh rosemary. Serve with Chopped Cashew Romaine Salad. ( serves 6)

_____________________________________

CHOPPED CASHEW ROMAINE SALAD

3/4 cup coarsely chopped salted cashews

1 large head torn romaine

1 small thinly sliced red onion

1/2 cup rinsed & drained chickpeas

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon zest

1/8 tsp. coarse salt

1 tsp. dried thyme

  • Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, zest, salt and thyme. Allow flavors to blend.
  • Toss lettuce, onions, and chickpeas in large bowl. Toss with dressing and top with chopped cashews.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

GARDEN STROLL

~ Oriental poppy ( Papaver orientale)




~ Scarlet O'hara (Paeonia)





~ Garden companions
Lady fern, Japanese painted fern, Hardy Geranium, Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris)


RETRO ANNIVERSARY SUPPER ~ COLD DUCK / CAMEMBERT GOUGERE / COQUILLES ST. JACQUES with PEPPERS & CAPERS / POTS de CREME


~ LILY-OF-THE-VALLEY
__________
COLD DUCK
~ classic retro 1937 sparkling drink invented by Harold Borgman, owner of Detroit's classic Pontchartrain Wine Cellars in Detroit
____________________
Combine one part of Californian red wine with two parts of New York sparkling wine.
___________________
CAMEMBERT GOUGERE
~ classic rich appetizer to sample sipping Cold Duck
*
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. crushed dried fine herbs
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 cup flour
4 eggs
8 oz. Camembert cheese (rind removed and cubed)
1/2 cup tasted slivered onions
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley
  • Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Combine 1 cup water, butter, salt & pepper, and fine herbs. Bring to boil and add flour, all at once, stirring vigorously until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating 1 minute after each. Stir in cheese, almonds, and parsley. Spread mixture in greased 9-inch pie plate. Place on baking sheet.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes until puffed. Serve with fresh sliced apples, pears, or simple crackers. ( 10 servings)

______________________________

COQUILLES ST. JACQUES with PEPPERS & CAPERS

*

2 lbs. (2 pints) bay scallops

pinch of coarse salt

freshly ground pepper to taste

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

4 Tbsp. sweet butter, divided

1 cup finely chopped green pepper

1 cup finely chopped red pepper

2 cloves minced garlic

1/4 cup drained capers

1/2 cup fine fresh bread crumbs

1/4 cup dry white wine

  • Preheat broiler to high. Sprinkle scallops with salt & pepper. Heat oil in large skillet and add scallops. cook over high heat, stirring, about 2 minutes. Transfer scallops to baking dish. Set aside.
  • Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in skillet and add chopped pepper and garlic. Cook until wilted. Add capers, bread crumbs and wine. Heat through and spoon over scallops.
  • Dot with remaining butter and broil 4 minutes. (4 servings)

___________________________-

POTS de CREME

~ A lovely ending to a perfect meal

*

1/2 lb. semi-sweet shaved chocolate

1 Tbsp. instant coffee or espresso

5 Tbsp. cold water

5 organic egg whites

5 organic egg yolks

1 tbsp. sugar

1 stick unsalted butter

2-3 Tbsp. Kahlua

fresh whipped cream flavored with vanilla

shaved chocolate

  • Melt chocolate, instant coffee and cold water in double boiler.
  • In large bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, beat egg yolks in and sugar until light and lemony.
  • Add stick of soft butter to chocolate, stirring until melted. Add Kahlua.
  • Stir in egg yolks and fold in egg whites. Spoon into individual pots and chill.
  • Serve with a small dollop of fresh whipped cream, sprinkled with shaved chocolate and a demitasse spoon.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

SATURDAY BRUNCH ~ CHIVE BLOSSOM OMELETTE & FRESH BLACKBERRY MUFFINS


CHIVE BLOSSOM OMELETTE
~ A seasonal treat captured when chive blossoms first bloom
*
4 fresh organic eggs
4 Tbsp. sour cream
pinch of coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. fresh chopped parsley
1 Tbsp. fresh chopped chives
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
12 rinsed & patted dry chive blossoms
  • Lightly beat eggs, sour cream, salt, pepper, parsley and chives.
  • Preheat omelette pan and melt butter. Pour in egg mixture and leave undisturbed until omelette begins to set. Lower heat and, tipping pan slightly, lift edges to let uncooked egg run underneath.
  • When omelette is firm, sprinkle with chive blossoms and fold in half.

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FRESH BLACKBERRY MUFFINS

1/2 cup room temperature unsalted butter

1 1/4 cup sugar

2 room temperature large organic eggs

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup milk

2 cups fresh blackberries

4 tsp. sugar

  • Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Grease 1/2 cup size muffin tins.
  • Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Mix dry ingredients into butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Fold in blackberries.
  • Divide among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake 30 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature. (18 muffins)