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Weekend’s work

I am rediscovering the joys of canning. A friend and I picked peaches this past weekend then I showed him how to can. I love seeing the rows of gleaming lids and full jars.

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I love pot roast

Crockpotted pot roast -

  • Round roast
  • turnips
  • carrots
  • potatoes
  • garlic scapes
  • dried thyme
  • dried garlic
  • onion flakes
  • celtic sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves

Dinner tonight and leftovers!

I never really liked radishes before…

My only previous interaction with radishes was in a salad or on a vegetable platter. When present in minute quantities, they provide a nice pungency and bitterness to a salad with a rich dressing, like ranch. However, I just wasn’t very fond of them. So, pray tell, why did I purchase two bunches at the farmers market last week? I suppose it was because I know that they are good for you to eat.

Let it be known, rule number one of healthy eating (for even the healthiest of healthy foods): if you don’t eat it, you gain no health from the it. And so I discovered my radishes languishing, beginning to wilt and soften, in my produce drawer yesterday. Stricken with guilt when I was inclined to throw them away, I decide to find a recipe to give radishes one last shot. I was expecting a recipe for pickled radishes (which I did find), I never had thought about cooking them before!

Sliced thinly and sauteed in a little butter they didn’t even need salt! I could still taste the radish flavor, but without the intense pungency or bitterness. They are my new favorite vegetable. Tonight I had them with asparagus.

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ImageSo if you have always passed the poor radish by, pick some up and give them a try.

Farmers market spring asparagus

It is fun living in a new climate because some vegetables and fruits which did not grow in Houston, and thus were not available at the farmers market, are able to grow here. Like asparagus!

I almost ate a couple of spears raw, right out of my shopping basket. I resisted long enough to sweat them lightly in butter with black pepper and salt. I was going to fry some eggs to go with them, but the asparagus was eaten long before the eggs were finished. Consequently, I had a two course brunch.

FYI: Asparagus is also a vegetable which is negatively affected by ethylene gas, as it becomes tough through the process of lignification (the asparagus makes lignin). So keep it away from the usual suspects which produce ethylene. (see here)

GF Sourdough pancakes

Finally got gluten free, sourdough pancakes to work! Every time up to today i have encountered a bitterness which may be due to too much sorghum, although I don’t have that confirmed. Either way, I ate a whole recipe’s worth of pancakes this morning!

(The original starter came from my mother who started it using organic, whole grain sorghum and a green cabbage leaf).

Bad carrots and spotty lettuce

Both carrots and lettuce are susceptible to ethylene gas; Carrots will get bitter and lettuce will develop brown spots. To avoid allowing them to do so, keep them stored away from anything which gives off ethylene gas like bananas, peaches, plums, apricots, avocados, and tomatoes.

Feta and Spinach Breakfast Casserole

 

 

Feta and Spinach Breakfast Casserole

Here is the link to the breakfast casserole I wrote about on facebook.

Cheers!

Impressions of Fayetteville so far: as it regards food, of course…

Yes, I know that I’m behind on my Saturday posts.

So far, I am impressed with what I can get here in Fayetteville. I was expecting a single choice of vegetables and limited selection on everything else. While the local Harps Foods is certainly not a Central Market (or even a nice HEB), it surprised me last week with Hatch chiles on sale! If you are not familiar with Hatch they come from a certain part of New Mexico and have a very limited growing season. Central Market always has a big festival for them. For $2 a pound I bought a bunch from Harps and am currently roasting them. So far, they have gone in cheese grits and in a saute. Harps also has a neat deal where you chose 5 packages, mix and match, of fruits and veggies for $10. I have secured a regular supply of mangoes this way; they end up costing me $0.66 a piece!

Today at the Farmers Market I found fresh apples and pears. I bought the bag of apple seconds and they worked out to 1.25 per pound. The pears worked out to be a little less than 2 a pound. While in previous weeks, the tomatoes have been really good, this week’s bunch of baby tomatoes don’t taste good at all; I think they are going to be cooked into something. I also found a man selling cayenne peppers. He said they were medium to hot… Clearly, I’m from Texas; I am currently munching on a whole Cayenne pepper. I think it’s more mild than a bell pepper. Next time I’ll try for the jalapeno to see if I can get spice there.

On my way home I remembered a little tea shop, Trailside Tea room, that was written about in the local newspaper. I drove my car today to the market instead of riding my bike, so I decided to stop by since I didn’t look like a drowned rat from riding. They have a very nice selection of teas (almost as many a Central Market!), and their menu looks good. I chose a Masala Chai and the Russian Caravan (a blend of teas from China, India, and Formosa). I just brewed the chai. I have no desire to drink hot tea at this moment in time because of how hot it is outside, so i opted for icing the tea. That being said, I figured that in the name of culinary pursuits, I ought to at least try it hot: it’s a nice chai, with a significant amount of tannins which call out for milk. When iced the cardamom, cinnamon and black pepper really stand out. Once again, it could use a splash of milk and sugar to tame the tannins.

Classes begin Monday so this is my last shot at a free cooking weekend. My plans for the day include granola bars, roasted hazelnuts, and bbq chicken legs… and roasting more hatch chiles.

Saturday #2

Ok, so if you count the actual number of Saturdays that I have been in Fayetteville, it’s #4. But, this is the second ” Saturday cooking” post, so that’s what I’m calling it.

  • Taco meat (used frontier’s taco seasoning which is wonderful! Of course, I had to adapt it somehow so I added more garlic powder, black and white pepper, some salt, and cascabel chile flake)
  • Roasted yukon gold potatoes (cascabel chile flake, EVOO, salt, black and white pepper, garlic powder, dried parsley, and a dash of Mrs. Bragg’s amino acids)
  • Baked sweet potatoes (now have 5 nice size halves in the freezer for when I want a fix)
  • BBQ chicken (I used the bbq dry rub from Praseks in Hillje, Texas. Great stuff! It was the first time I used it: rubbed the chicken legs well, and roasted them for about 45 minutes. Delicious!)
  • Ground beef (seasoned with frontier’s onion soup mix, dried parsley, and a pinch of marjoram)
  • Two quiches (spinach, crumbled sausage, ricotta salata, and black and white pepper)

And now it’s more than half way through Monday. Lunch break is over, so, to quote a favorite movie, “BACK TO WORK!”

Bacon in America: what I stumbled upon

Check out this blog post about the bacon rage. She is so right! And yes, bacon in baked goods does taste good when properly executed. I think it’s something about the salty and sweet interactions.

Cheers!

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