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Showing posts from June, 2011

Lemon Chess Pie

Are You Crazy for Lemons?  It happened again this week.  My lemon craving reared its ugly head.  Yes, I started to get lemons on the brain.  Thoughts of lemons would enter my head at odd, but frequent moments.  What exactly is a girl to do? I tried slicing some lemon and adding it to my seltzer for a refreshing drink.  It was very nice and satisfied me for a short time, but then,  WHAM! there it was again...another thought of lemon...and sugar. The bakers at King Arthur Flour's Banking Banter must have sensed my need for something lemony and sweet.  The universe is like that I am told. Lo, and behold, there in my reader feed was a Baking Banter post describing what looked to be a luscious lemon pie, a Lemon Chess Pie .  I dashed to the freezer, looking to see if perhaps I still had a frozen pie crust tucked away for just such an occasion as this.  Aha, there it was, one of the test pie crusts made when I was trying out the Pioneer Woman's favorite pie crust recipe .  I

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

Local Strawberries are Best, Right?

June is a special month.  That's because June brings fresh, sweet strawberries.  This June is no different.  Strawberry season has arrived and we celebrated with our first strawberry shortcakes last weekend.  My local grocery store was selling lovely looking strawberries from California.  They looked delicious and smelled even better, so in spite of them not being locally grown I decided to buy a two pound box for $4.89.  Guilt, however, got the best of me.  How could I make our first strawberry shortcakes of the season with strawberries from California?  Off I went to one of our local farms to see what the local strawberries were like. The local strawberries were available, but comparatively VERY pricey at $6.50 a quart.  I bought one quart which weighed in at 24 ounces.  Hmm, 24 ounces for $6.50 compared to 32 ounces for $4.89.  It didn't take a master's degree to figure out the local strawberries were expensive.  They must be better, though, right? Well, I

It's Officially Summer

Today is the day.  Summer has finally arrived here, by the shore in New England.  The calendar says so.  Yes, friends today is the official start of summer.  The beach is now open for business.  Today, at 1:16 p.m, is the summer solstice.  This first day of summer marks the longest day of the year and summer officially arrives. It's time to break out the beach chairs, towels, umbrellas and sun blocck.  It's time for sand castles and suntans. Hot, sunny weather has been slow in showing itself in the Northeast this year, so it's good to know summer has officially arrived.  Perhaps the sun will start showing itself a bit more consistently. What does summer mean to you? Does anything change in your life because it is summer?  Are the kids out of school?  Is life a little bit less hectic than in other seasons of the year?  Do you have a special vacation planned this summer? We love summer by the shore.  Here's what summer brings to the Just One Donna neighborho

Time to Plan a Fourth of July Picnic

Are you planning a Fourth of July gathering?  One of the first things you'll want to decide is your menu. What can you serve that will be delicious for your guests, but won't keep you in the kitchen or standing over the grill for the entirety of your party?  After all, you'll want to enjoy the holiday, your family and your guests. With two weeks until the Fourth of July it is time to get crackin' on the menu planning.  Here's my suggestion for a Fourth of July menu that is sure to delight your guests. Appetizers BBQ Jalapeno Poppers Jalapeno Popper Ingredients Guacamole with Tortilla Chips (store bought) Slammin' Guacamole Cocktail Meatballs You'll make the BBQ Jalapeno Poppers ahead of time and freeze them. The cocktail meatballs will be made in your slow cooker and the guacamole will be made quickly the day of the party. Cocktails In addition to water and soft drinks plan for a couple of special adult beverages for your guests.  Here