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Showing posts from June, 2011

Lemon Chess Pie

Are you crazy about anything lemon-flavored? You are not alone. My lemon craving reared its ugly head this week when I started to get lemons on the brain.  Thoughts of lemons would enter my head at odd, but frequent moments.  Luckily, this lemon chess pie recipe came to mind.  This Lemon Chess Pie is the perfect antidote to a lemon craving. Lemon Chess Pie for Lemon Lovers You'll be amazed at how quick and easy this pie is to make and it is lemony delicious!

Thai Basil Green Curry with Chicken, Snap Peas and Spinach

Don't you love finding out about a new food or recipe?  I certainly do.  In May while perusing The Perfect Pantry blog I saw a post about making Thai Green Basil Curry with Chicken, Asparagus and Spinach .  Have you checked out The Perfect Pantry yet?    If not, please do.  I know you'll enjoy Lydia's posts.  She's always has an interesting recipe to share with us.  In this case, the recipe included Thai basil, an herb I had neither seen, nor used before.  Thai Basil I was intrigued by Thai basil.  Lydia said that Thai basil has a unique flavor that makes this dish.  I had to seek out some Thai basil.  Luckily I found a Thai basil plant at my local Home Depot.  I planted it in a pot on my deck and have watched it grow.  It finally reached a size where I was ready to harvest some of the leaves and try out the Thai green curry recipe. The day I decided to make this recipe it was raining cats and dogs.  So what's new, you ask?  I know, you've been hearing a

Keeping Produce Fresh

Fresh produce.  We want to have a healthy diet that is filled with lots of fresh produce.  That can be a challenge with our busy lives.  Fresh produce has a relatively short shelf life, making it hard to keep for any length of time.  If you are anything like me you have bought lots of lovely fresh produce having the best intentions to cook it up into healthy recipes for your family, only to find it withering in the produce drawer of your refrigerator within a couple of days. About eight months ago I started buying broccoli florets from my local wholesale club.  The 40 ounce package of broccoli was reasonably priced and contained just the florets, eliminating much of the waste from the broccoli stalks not favored by my family.  I noticed this symbol on the package, but didn't know what it was all about. What I did come to know is that I could buy this large package of broccoli and it would stay fresh in my refrigerator for eight to ten days.  I was impressed. Recently, I wa

Sugar Snap Peas

If you've been following along this spring you know that I started a raised bed vegetable garden this year.  My dear daddy, a gardener from way back, helped me get this garden up and running.  Here you can see him helping me to get the soil in the raised bed frames he built for me.  Isn't he the best? My garden is growing pretty well, don't you think?  So far I have harvested some lovely spinach, radishes and plenty of lettuce.  Oh, how nice it is to go out to my yard and pick what I need for dinner!  I highly enourage it.  The work is minimal and the rewards plenty.  This is a small garden, friends.  If you have the space you can definitely do this. This week my sugar snap peas were ready for harvest.  So excited!  Do you wonder when your sugar snap peas are ready to harvest?  They are ready as soon as you think they are ready.  That will be when the pods start to flatten and you can feel the peas inside, but they are still small.  Go ahead and taste one fresh fr

Strawberry Shortcake

June's Strawberries I look forward to June's crop of fresh strawberries because we always have strawberry shortcake.  Our strawberry shortcake is a simple dessert made with homemade baking powder biscuits that are topped with fresh strawberries macerated in granulated sugar and then crowned with sweetened whipped cream.  After buying about five pounds of fresh strawberries this week it was time to make our first strawberry shortcakes of the season. The first step in making strawberry shortcake is to prepare the strawberries.  I washed, dried, hulled and sliced the strawberries, eating one or two...OK, ten or twelve in the process.  Once sliced, top the berries with 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and refrigerate them for several hours.  The addition of the sugar helps the berries to render their juice.  The strawberry juice is a necessary component of strawberry shortcake. Top Sliced Berries with Sugar The next step is preparing the baking powder biscuits.  I don't

Three Essential Spices to Keep in Your Pantry

One of the things I have learned over the many years of cooking for my family is to embrace herbs and spices.  It's the little bit of this and the little bit of that when added to a dish that brings an otherwise bland dish to life.  It is what I call "the love".  I remember a time years ago when my husband, two sons and I were sitting around the dinner table and one of the boys asked me what made my dinner so good.  My answer, "It's the love, baby." A while ago I shared five essential herbs I grow in my garden .  Parsley, chives, mint, basil, and rosemary are herbs that I always try to have on hand in their fresh state.  Growing them in my garden makes that relatively easy for about six months of the year.  In addition to those herbs there are three essential spices that I try to keep on hand in my pantry in their non-ground state.  Garlic Garlic Garlic is closely related to the onion, leek, shallot and chive, and is used around the world for both cu

June's Garden To Do List

Whenever June rolls around I am reminded of  June Is Bustin' Out All Over, the Rodgers and Hammerstein song from Carousel .  June is bustin' out all over All over the meadow and the hill! Buds're bustin' outa bushes And the rompin' river pushes Ev'ry little wheel that wheels beside the mill! June is bustin' out all over.  June vegetable gardens in the Northeast are just starting to show their stuff.  Memorial Day usually marks the date for the planting of those vegetables that require warm soil and air temperatures for optimal growth.  As a result vegetables like squash, beans, peppers and tomatoes are just getting started.  Hot weather last week really gave my little raised bed vegetable garden a boost. The Vegetable Garden My June flower garden is welcoming irises, peonies and roses.  Morning Flower Garden Shadows in June Our rhododendrons have come and gone, all within a 10 day period.  The show was beautiful this year . Rhodode

Frozen Caramel Coffee Treat

The temperature hit 89 degrees here one day this week.  The humidity was high as well, making the day sticky and uncomfortable.  On the one hand it was terrific to have a day that finally was warm and sunny, but we don't have our air conditioners installed in our windows yet, so other methods of cooling must be relied upon. Frozen Caramel Coffee One way I like to cool off on a hot afternoon is with a frozen coffee treat.  Are you a fan of those frozen coffee drinks at your local coffee shop?   You know the ones I am talking about. Their names end with  --uccino, or ---acchiato and if you drink one of them a day you will end up ---afatto and ---abroko.  It takes a little planning, but once I'm into the swing of summer I usually have all my frozen coffee treat ingredients on hand.   That way I can control the outflow of $$ and the inflow of calories. An essential tool in making a frosty cold coffee drink is a good blender.  You'll need one that can chew up and

Easy Chicken Cacciatore

Easy Chicken Cacciatore Chicken Cacciatore is one of those dishes I have been making for years and years.  It falls in and out of favor from one year to the next.  Right now it is in favor because I've started making it with boneless chicken breasts.  Traditionally chicken cacciatore is made with bone-in chicken pieces.  I prefer chicken cooked on the bone because I think it is more flavorful than boneless chicken, but there are members of my family who disagree.  I make this chicken cacciatore with boneless chicken when I don't feel like listening to complaints about the bones. This is really a great recipe to add to your menu rotation.  It is easily made in one pan.  It can be made in advance, refrigerated and reheated, or frozen for later in the month.  This recipe will serve six, but you can easily make adjustments for fewer or more mouths to feed.   Feel free to use bone-in chicken pieces instead of boneless chicken breasts if you prefer. Let's make it, shall