Monday, June 30, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
CURRIED TURKEY SALAD with WALNUTS & GRAPES
3 lbs. cooked turkey breast or tenderloins
(Poach breast gently in bath of water, carrots, celery, pepper & onion for 1 1/2 hours or 25 minutes for tenderloins and allow to rest in liquid until cool)
1/2 lb. toasted walnut halves (save some for garnish)
2 lbs. halved seedless red grapes
4 sliced bananas
2 cups Hellman's mayonnaise
1 1/2 Tbsp. curry powder
2 Tbsp. mango chutney
1/4 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. white wine
juice and zest of 1 plump juicy lemon
freshly grated black pepper to taste
- Tear turkey into chunks or strips.
- Mix mayo/curry dressing.
- Toss turkey with dressing. Add toasted walnuts and grapes. If not serving immediately, refrigerate.
- Just before serving, add bananas and reserved toasted walnuts. Great served with PARMESAN PITAS (slice Pitas in half and pull apart. Slather all sides with butter and liberally sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and cracked pepper. Place under broiler until bubbly brown.)
Friday, June 27, 2008
Hybrid Tuberous Begonia
French name : Bégonia tubéreux
Latin name (genus) : Begonia hybrides Tuberhybrida
Botanical family : Begoniaceae
SWORDFISH STEAK with MANGO SALSA
~ simply easy and 'divine'
4 6-8 oz. swordfish steaks (or tuna)
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
coarse salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
2 ripe mango, peeled and cut into chunks
1 bunch chopped green onions
6 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
juice and zest of 1 fresh lemon or lime
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- Preheat grill. Brush swordfish or tuna steaks with olive oil and salt & pepper.
- Combine mango, green onions, cilantro, fresh lemon or lime, and pepper flakes. Let stand at room temperature at least 10 minutes while prepping dinner.
- Grill 3-4 minutes per side depending on thickness. Serve with favorite seasonal vegetables.
COCONUT POUND CAKE
~ Simply delicious
1 cup unsalted butter
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
8 oz. sour cream
1 cup coconut
1 Tbsp. vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Spray bundt pan with Pam and set aside.
- Mix butter, sugar and eggs until creamy.
- In separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamy mixture.
- Combine sour cream, coconut and vanilla and mix well. Add to creamy mixture and pour into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. Test center before removing from oven. Let rest 10 minutes, flip, and cool. Yummy with rich vanilla bean ice cream.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
- Preheat oven yo 350-degrees. Thoroughly grease an 11 1/2 x 7 x 1 1/2-inch pan.
- Cream butter and sugar; add egg and mix well.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Sprinkle Juneberries with flour and gently fold into batter. Pour into prepared pan. Top with Cinnamon Crumbs and bake 45-50 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cut in squares and serve warm with whipped cream. (8-10 servings)
- Cinnamon crumbs: Combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly.
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:
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
- Combine soy sauce, juice and zest of lemon, olive oil, oregano, garlic powder and black pepper. Pour marinade over chicken breasts and marinate several hours or overnight.
- Light grill and when ready place mesquite chips on coals. Place chicken breast on grill and grill on medium-medium high for 20-30 minutes, depending on size of breasts. Turn every 10 minutes and baste with marinade. Cover and let rest before serving. Serve on crisp rolls or alone with Greek Pasta Salad.
GREEK PASTA SALAD
~ Family and friend favorite
1 lb. favorite pasta (corkscrew, farfalle, fusilli, etc)
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 cloves minced garlic
freshly ground black pepper
5 peeled and chopped plum tomatoes
1 large sliced and seeded English cucumber
1 chopped red onion
1 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
8 oz. crumbled feta cheese
additional chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Combine 1/2 cup olive oil, lemon juice, zest, garlic, and salt & pepper to taste.
- Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and toss in large bowl with remaining 1/4 cup olive oil. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to coat pasta thoroughly.
- Add tomatoes, cucumber, onion and parsley; toss well. Gently add olives, parsley and crumbled feta. Garnish with additional fresh parsley.
CLASSIC 'TIN ROOF SUNDAE'
~ Ingredients MUST ALWAYS be on hand for this classic treat
Scoop rich vanilla ice cream in bowl. Top with Hershey's chocolate syrup then sprinkle with plenty of 'red-skinned' * Spanish peanuts.
*Note: Perhaps how it got its name 'tin roof' resembling shingles (have always wondered)!
Saturday, June 21, 2008
"Then followed that beautiful season...
LEMON BLUEBERRY POUND CAKE
~ A keeper from Gourmet (July 1990)
1/3 cup milk
6 large eggs
1 1/2 Tbsp. vanilla
2 2/3 cups flour
1 tsp. double-acting baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. salt
3 sticks (1 /2 cups) soft unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup freshly grated lemon zest
3 hefty cups blueberries, tossed with 1 1/2 Tbsp. flour
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
- CAKE: In a small bowl whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla. Into a bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt. In large bowl with an electric mixer cream butter with granulated sugar, brown sugar and zest until mixture is light and fluffy. Add flour mixture alternately with egg mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating batter after each addition until just combined. Fold in 1 1/2 cups of the blueberries. Spoon 1/3 of batter int a greased and floured 10-inch (3 quart) bundt pan, spreading it evenly . Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the remaining blueberries over it. Spoon remaining batter into the pan, spreading evenly. Sprinkle remaining blueberries over it and bake cake in the middle of a preheated 350-degree oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until golden and a tester comes out clean. Remove cake from oven, poke top immediately all over with a wooden skewer and brush with 1/2 the syrup. Let cake cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes, invert onto rack, and poke all over with skewer. Brush cake with remaining syrup.
- SYRUP: In small saucepan combine lemon juice and sugar. Bring mixture to boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
~ White Oak Journal - White Oak Society
FROZEN WHITE CHOCOLATE PIE with STRAWBERRIES
9-oz (1 3/4 cups) blanched toasted almonds
3 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
10 oz. coarsely chopped white chocolate
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup evaporated milk
3 Tbsp. creme de cacao
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 3/4 cup whipping cream
2 room temperature egg whites
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 cups strawberries
- For crust: Grease 9-inch glass plate pie plate. Chop almonds into 2-3 pieces each and transfer to bowl. Stir in melted butter and corn syrup. Spoon into prepared plate. Press onto bottom and up sides of plate. Freeze.
- For filling: Melt chocolate and butter with milk in double boiler over gently simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove and set in bowl filled with water & ice. Let cool until thick and pastelike, stirring occasionally. Blend in liqueur, vanilla and extract. Beat cream until stiff peaks form. Gently beat in chocolate mixture. Using clean dry beaters, beat whites until soft peaks form. Add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and beat until stiff but not dry. Fold gently into chocolate cream mixture Pour into crust, smoothing top. Freeze until frozen but not hard, about 5 hours.
- Mound strawberries in center of pie, leaving 2-inch border. (8 servings)
Note: Also great with raspberries
HONEY~SESAME GRILLED SHRIMP
~ adapted from razzledazzlerecipes.com
2 1/4-1/2 lbs. peeled, deveined uncooked jumbo shrimp
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
3 Tbsp. honey
2 cloves minced garlic
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh ginger
1-2 Tbsp. Mongolian Fire Oil (House of Tsang)
6 chopped scallions
- Combine sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds, honey, garlic, ginger, fire oil, and 3 chopped scallions. Add shrimp and marinate several hours.
- Remove shrimp from marinade and thread on wooden skewers.
- Bring marinade to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until syrupy. Grill shrimp, 2 minutes per side, basting with marinade. Transfer to platter and sprinkle with remaining sesame seeds and scallions. Serve with Lemon Couscous or Lemon Basmati Rice. (6 servings)
2 (5.4 oz.) packages couscous mix
2 cups organic chicken broth
1 Tbsp. grated lemon rind
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup diced red pepper
Combine broth, lemon rind, lemon juice, seasoning packet from couscous mix, and butter. Bring to boil and stir in couscous. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand 10 minutes.
Stir in parsley and bell pepper.
Monday, June 16, 2008
"Garden making is creative work, just as much as painting or writing a poem. It is a personal expression of self, and individual conception of beauty. I should as soon think of asking a secretary to write my book, or the cook to assist in a water color painting, as to permit a gardener to plant or dig among my flowers."
Sunday, June 15, 2008
HONORING FATHER'S DAY ~ GRILLED HERBED PEPPER STRIP STEAKS / VIDALIA ONION PIE / GRILLED FRESH ASPARAGUS
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. fresh marjoram
1 Tbsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 - 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup red wine
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. dry mustard
juice of 1 lemon and zest
splash Tabasco sauce
- Combine fresh herbs, garlic and pepper. Sprinkle over massage into steaks.
- Combine olive oil, wine, soy sauce, dry mustard, lemon juice, zest, and Tabasco. Pour over steaks and marinate at least 4 hours.
- Remove steaks from marinade (reserve) and grill to personal taste. While steaks are cooking, reduce marinade. Allow steak to rest and serve sauce over steaks. (If desired, top with crumbled Gorgonzola)
~ 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 to 1 1/2 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. Sprinkle with cracked pepper. Plunk evenly over crust.
- Whisk milk or sour cream, eggs, salt & pepper. Pour over onions and top with cheese. Sprinkle with paprika and chopped parsley.
- Bake about 35 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. (Serves 6)
Toss asparagus spears with olive oil and a few splashes of balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Grill until slightly caramelized.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
TORTELLINI SALAD with ROASTED PINENUTS
~ Tuck this away ... it's a keeper!
2 lbs. fresh cheese filled tortellini pasta
(multi-colored look beautiful in a glass bowl)
1 seeded and chopped red pepper
1 seeded and chopped yellow pepper
1 seeded and chopped orange pepper
1 cup chopped green onions (with some green tops)
1 cup chopped toasted pinenuts
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill (dried to taste)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or feta cheese
additional snipped fresh basil for garnish
(poached chicken breasts or cooked shrimp optional)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1-2 clove minced garlic
1/4 tsp. coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
- Bring pot of water to boil. Add tortellini and cook al dente according to package directions.
- Drain tortellini and place in large bowl. Add pepper, green onions, 1/2 cup toasted pinenuts, basil, dill and cheese.
- Make Dressing by combining vinegar, garlic, salt & pepper. Gradually whisk in olive and vegetable oil until well combined. Pour over tortellini and chill. Before serving place in chilled bowl and top with additional 1/2 cup of roasted pine nuts and additional fresh snipped basil.
- Note: For a complete meal add cooked (poached or grilled) sliced chicken breasts or cooked (sauteed or grilled) shrimp. (8 generous servings)
Gardener's Note: As sure as sure can be ... when peonies bloom, so comes the storm to blemish their pure face. Snip, smell and cherish before the rain hits.
Monday, June 09, 2008
Gardener's note: A favorite subject for artists, Oriental poppy flowers are the focal point in the garden when in full bloom. Once 'the beauty', the vibrant plant goes dormant and homely (so don't think the spent plant has died). I do believe many have been pulled and discarded during this transition period.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
'SOMEWHERE IN TIME' ~ GRAND HOTEL (Mackinac Island) / STRAWBERRY & WATERMELON SOUP / SHRIMP a la GRAND / WARM MUSHROOM SALAD
"Grand Hotel is indeed the fitting name for one of Mackinac Island's premier landmarks. The hotel's stately 600-foot veranda is visible fro the mainland seven miles away. Grand Hotel's splendor and gracious hospitality consistently place it among the world's finest. It is also the world's largest summer hotel. Since opening in 1887 too provide a destination hotel for rail and steamship passengers, Grand Hotel has maintained its tradition of fine service and elegance, often setting criteria for excellence in dining."
- Place strawberries and watermelon in medium bowl. Pour Midori over the fruit. Meanwhile, slice vanilla bean lengthwise. Using a spoon, remove the vanilla bean pulp and discard the shell.
- In a bender, place the fruit, bean pulp, yogurt, sour cream, confectioners' sugar, honey, five-spice powder and lemon juice. Blend on high speed until all ingredients are combined and mixture is smooth. Pour mixture into a bowl and chill until serving time. (4 servings)
SHRIMP a la GRAND
~ From chef Hans Burtscher (Grand Hotel)
- In large skillet, heat olive oil. Add shrimp and saute for 1 1/2-2 minutes per side or until just turning opaque. Remove shrimp from pan and keep warm.
- Into the same skillet, add shallots, ginger and peppercorns. When shallots are translucent, add garlic, salt & pepper to taste. Quickly pour in the anise to deglaze the pan.
- Stir in heavy cream and sour cream. When it begins to heat, reduce heat to low and allow the sauce to thicken. Once thickened, add shrimp to the skillet and stir to coat with the sauce.
- Serve over cooked wild rice that has been sauteed with dried cherries, basil and roasted pecans. (4 servings)
WARM MUSHROOM SALAD
~ From chef Hans Burtscher (Grand Hotel)
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1 Tbsp minced fresh shallots
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (mixture of basil, tarragon, and thyme)
1/2 cup chopped fresh fennel
1/2 cup morel mushrooms
1/2 cup oyster mushrooms
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms
1/2 cup hazelnut oil
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. Cajun salt (with paprika & cayenne) or kosher salt
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- Heat butter in saucepan until melted. Add garlic, shallots, and curry powder; cook about 3-4 minutes or until mixture is glossy.
- Add fresh herbs, fennel, mushrooms, hazelnut oil, olive oil, rice vinegar, Cajun or kosher salt and Worcestershire sauce; mix well.
- Bring to boil then remove from heat. Let sit for 15 minutes. Keep warm for serving. (Yield: 2 servings)
Saturday, June 07, 2008
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup half & half
2 1-oz. squares unsweetened chocolate
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- In a 2-quart saucepan, combine sugar, half & half, chocolate, corn syrup, and salt. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted and sugar is dissolved. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until mixture reaches a temperature of 234-degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat. Add butter and cool mixture to 120-degrees without stirring.
- Butter a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan; set aside.
- Add vanilla to warm mixture and beat vigorously until mixture is no longer glossy, about 5 to 10 minutes. Quickly stir in pecans. Spread mixture into prepared pan. Cool until firm, about 1 hour. Cut into 1-inch squares. (Yield: 45 1x1 inch pieces)
Thursday, June 05, 2008
- Rinse and pat chicken dry. Pound between waxed paper to flatten. Combine olive oil, lime & lemon juice and zest, garlic, cayenne pepper, cilantro, salt & pepper. Pour over chicken and marinate up to 12 hours.
- Grill tenders for 2 minutes on each side or breast halves five minutes on each side or until done (depending on thickness). Let rest before serving or chill and pack for picnic served with Cold Sesame Noodles. (4-6 servings)
COLD SESAME NOODLES
~ Delicious and easy ... perfect for a picnic
(adjust the hot spice according to taste)
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti or linguine
(cooked, drained, and rinsed with cold water)
4 Tbsp. sesame oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 (1/4 - inch) slices chopped fresh ginger
4 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp. dried hot red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. Chinese chile oil
2 healthy Tbsp. firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 - 1/2 cup pasta cooking water or organic chicken broth
additional chopped cilantro or parsley
- Toss cooked pasta with 2 Tbsp. sesame oil to evenly coat.
- Combine garlic and ginger in food processor. Add remaining 2 Tbsp. sesame oil and remaining ingredients except water or broth. Puree until smooth and pour over noodles. Toss well. Add needed water or broth to thin. Transfer to container and top with chopped scallions, peanuts and cilantro. (4-8 servings)
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Sunday, June 01, 2008
- Combine garlic, ginger, soy sauce, curry powder, cayenne and cumin. Add shrimp; toss to coat. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.
- Bring water and coconut milk to boil and add rice. Cover, reduce heat and simmer according to package directions until liquid is absorbed. Allow rice to cool slightly before adding carrot and next 7 ingredients. Toss gently to combine.
- Thread shrimp onto 12 wooden 6-inch skewers. Spray grill with cooking spray and grill on medium-high heat about 3 minutes on each side or until shrimp are done.
- Serve 2 skewers of shrimp over 1 cup of rice salad. Garnish with additional cilantro. (6 servings)