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Posts Tagged ‘Food’


I have been doing a post a day, on occasion more than one, since I began this blog in June of 2011. I love sharing with all of you my photos, recipes and the “other stuff” that I sometimes do. I would like to thank all of you who take the time to read my blogs for giving me a moment of your time! I appreciate all the likes you give to my posts as well as your comments!

The other day for Sunday Photo Fiction, I did a post called On the Road. This was to be flash fiction, and in reality, this is my story. I have been diagnosed with Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma.

I start chemotherapy today. I am not sure how I will be feeling and so I might not be posting every day as I have done in the past. I will post as I can. Heavy sigh…Writing posts for this blog, I confess, is my one big addiction, to which my husband can attest to.

So, to you my dear readers, I want to thank each and everyone of you for sticking with me, some of which go back to my first post!

Now I am going to be taking a positive attitude and not let this get me down. Daily affirmations and positive thinking are key to me getting through this.

Now, I was asked in the WordPress Photo Challenge to post a selfie…I did not do this because I am really rather shy. Just for today, for those who really want to know what I look like, I decided that you get to see me as I really am!

Just me as I normally am!  Ask my friends!

Just me as I normally am! Ask my friends!

Now I would like for you to do one thing for me if you would be so kind. Please make this post the best day I have ever had with WordPress by clicking on the like button, and leaving me a comment!

I am not sure when I will feel like writing because of the treatments, so please hang in there with me! As Arnold Schwarzenegger said in almost every movie he made, “I’ll be back!”

Peace be with you, and know that I hold each and everyone of you in my heart! I am humbled by the number of followers of which you are one, and, I thank you for your love and support of this blog!

I am heading off for my first chemotherapy treatment…I will see you again when I post next…

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Wandering through my fruit orchard I see that the blooms are fading. This year, due to the drought, I will not have a lot of fruit but I did find that we will have some, that is if I can get to the ripening fruit before the birds and raccoons! So today I wanted to share what I found on my fruit trees!

The 3 in 1 cherry tree is fully loaded! We have never gotten a lot off of this tree, and this year each and every branch is heavy with fruit!

Just one mass of cherries

Just one mass of cherries

Most of the almonds on my tree are close to the top. Not quite what we had last year, but still there will be enough!

Almonds

Almonds

Check out these itty bitty nectarines!

Nectarines

Nectarines

And, this fuzzy little fruit is tomorrow’s peach!

Peach

Peach

On my plum tree, which is a 5 in 1, only one branch is fully loaded. We had some hail damage and that knocked off the blossoms…

Plums

Plums

One final shot…These blossoms are on one of my apple trees. I got lucky with this shot to have this lovely little pollinator in the photo!

Apple blossoms

Apple blossoms

I can just imagine the flavors of each one of these! How about you? :)

Have a great Tuesday, and thanks for taking the time to drop on by today!

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Today I wanted to feature some photos of the amazingly beautiful cherry blossoms on our trees. We have two trees. One is the tart Montgomery cherry, and the other tree is a 3 in one. This tree has Rainier, Black Tartarian, and a Lapins. So far I have tasted two cherries off of both trees as the birds and raccoons sometimes get there before I do!

So let’s take a look at what will hopefully become this year’s bumper crop of cherries! These trees are now about 6 years old!

I just love the cherry blossoms. They are so fragrant!

Cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms

As I was taking photos of these lovely flowers the tree was humming with bee activity! Check out the chunk of pollen collected by this bee! If you double click on this photo you will see it full screen!

A pollinator

A pollinator

The flowers have a pattern that is unique to the cherry. Check out the striations in the petals. You will not see this in other fruit blossoms.

Patterns in the petals

Patterns in the petals

Here is a blossom raising its face to the sun!

Looking up at the sun

Looking up at the sun

The flowers are in clusters. Here is a shot with five blossoms…Can’t you just imagine five lovely cherries hanging from this tree, ready for me to pick and pop in my mouth? :)

Tomorrow's fruit

Tomorrow’s fruit

I can just imagine the sweet juices filling my mouth…mmmm….

Thanks for dropping by today, and I hope that you enjoyed today’s photos! Have a wonderful Wednesday!

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Well, yesterday I gave you Cream of Green Chile Soup, and today I give you Cream of Artichoke Soup. I made both of these soups in one day and for dinner we had the two of them combined! It was very, very good! This is an easy soup to make and very tasty with the gentle flavors of the artichoke hearts! Ready to head off into the kitchen? Let’s go!

Ingredients
2 TBS butter
1 small onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
2 #’s of frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted

Artichoke Hearts

Artichoke Hearts

4 cups of vegetable broth, or if you prefer chicken broth
2 cups of heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

First get your butter melted in a stock pot. Then, just like in the cream of green chile soup, start to cook the onions until just soft. Then add in the garlic. When the garlic aromas hit your nose add in the artichokes.

Cooking the artichokes with the onion and garlic

Cooking the artichokes with the onion and garlic

Cook this for about 5 minutes and then add in your vegetable broth.

Add in the vegetable broth

Add in the vegetable broth

Cook this until the artichoke hearts are extremely soft, about a half hour.

Now get out your handy dandy blender or food processor and puree the soup until it is smooth.

Purreed artichoke soup

Purreed artichoke soup

Return this to your stock pot and add in the cream.

Add in the cream

Add in the cream

Bring this to a simmer and cook for about a half hour to reduce it. Then add your salt and pepper to taste. Here is the soup when it is done!

Cream of Artichoke Soup!

Cream of Artichoke Soup!

And here it is combined with the cream of green chile soup and a lovely crusty bread!

Cream of green chile and cream of artichoke soup combined!

Cream of green chile and cream of artichoke soup combined!

I hope that you will try both of these recipes! Please let me know if you do by leaving a comment!

Have a lovely Tuesday and thank you for taking the time to visit with me today!

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There is a little town along the California Coast, just south of San Francisco, called Pescadero. This little town is one block long, and it is home to Duarte’s Tavern (pronounced Dew Arts), which is a small pub and restaurant. It is at this little hole in the wall place that I discovered their Cream of Chile soup mixed with their Cream of Artichoke Soup. Absolutely fabulous! If you find yourself in the area do stop in and order these two soups mixed together!

We are having dinner next week with friends who are vegetarian, and these two soups came to mind. Here is the recipe that I came up with for one of the two soups. The other, well, you will have to wait for that post, but it is coming! Ready to head on into the kitchen?

Ingredients
20 fresh Anaheim chiles

20 Anaheim Green Chiles

20 Anaheim Green Chiles

1 TBS butter
1 medium onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 1/2 cups of vegetable broth, or chicken broth if you prefer
1 cup of heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat your oven to broil. Prepare a couple of cookie sheets by covering them with foil. Plan on roasting the peppers in 4 batches. Next, wash the peppers. Then trim the tops, slice in half and remove the seeds and membrane.

Slice in half and remove the seeds

Slice in half and remove the seeds

Then lay flesh side down on a cutting board and smash with the heel of your hand to flatten.

Smash the chile to flatten with the heel of your hand

Smash the chile to flatten with the heel of your hand

Place the peppers skin side up on the cookie sheet. Place the pan in the oven with the rack about 4″ from the heat source. Each batch will take you about 8 minutes. Check these after 5 minutes. I look in on them every minute or so to make sure I do not truly burn them to a crisp! When they are done they should look like this:

Chiles after broiling

Chiles after broiling

Once out the oven wrap up the chiles in the foil like this:

Wrap up the chiles in the aluminum foil

Wrap up the chiles in the aluminum foil

Why are we doing this you ask? Well, by wrapping them up the additional heat as they sit will help the skins peel right off. Let these sit for a total of 15 minutes after the last batch has been broiled. When they are done resting, open one pack at a time, peel and place in a bowl. Any drippings that accumulate in the foil, well let that drip into the bowl. It will only add flavor! Check out how wonderful the chiles look after peeling them! Can’t you just smell them?

Chiles with the skins removed

Chiles with the skins removed

While that seems like a lot of work, it really does not take too long. You can always use canned green chiles, but the flavor will just not be the same as fresh! Ready for the next step?

Now take the butter and add it to your soup pot. Turn up the heat to medium and let this melt. Once melted add in the onion and cook until they just get soft. Then add the garlic. When the garlic aroma begins to hit your nose, add the green chiles to the pot and stir to combine.

Add in the green chilis

Add in the green chilis

Then add the broth. For Conor over at One Man’s Meat, here is my gratuitous pouring shot!

Gratuitous pouring shot of the vegetable broth being added

Gratuitous pouring shot of the vegetable broth being added

Bring this to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer. Cook until the chiles are extremely soft.

Soup is cooked and ready for the blender

Soup is cooked and ready for the blender

Turn the heat off and get out your handy, dandy blender or food processor. Have a bowl at the ready! I use the smoothie setting on my blender and I let it run for about 3 minutes until the mixture is creamy smooth!

Blend the soup until smooth

Blend the soup until smooth

Once you have the whole lot blended, add it all back to your soup pot. Turn the heat back on to medium heat and then add the heavy cream stirring it in slowly.

Add the cream

Add the cream

Heat this through until hot and then season to taste with the salt and pepper.

Cream of green chile soup

Cream of green chile soup

Now you can eat this as it is, or you can wait for my post on Cream of Artichoke Soup, then make the two together, and serve up an unexpected delight! Want to see a preview? OK!

The preview of the two soups...

The preview of the two soups…

I hope that you enjoyed this souper post! Have a great day and thanks for dropping in!

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Everyone knows that barrels are used in wine making. But have you ever wondered what the inside of a wine barrel looks like? I thought for today that we should take a look at the inside of a wine barrel! Are you game to see what can be found?

You know what a wine barrel looks like, don’t you? Just in case you have not seen one, this is what a barrel looks like!

A used wine barrel

A used wine barrel

Now all that coloring you see on the sides is due to working with the barrels during the wine making process. This barrel was used for making a red wine. The approximate volume of this barrel is 60 gallons, which would convert to 25 cases of wine.

Now let’s cut this barrel open to see what the inside looks like. When cutting a wine barrel, mark the wine barrel midway so you get an even cut and take your time. Here we are using a jigsaw to cut the barrel in half.

Cutting open a wine barrel

Cutting open a wine barrel

With the barrel sliced through with our jigsaw, let’s pull the pieces apart. Think of this as cracking an egg on a larger scale…

Pulling the barrel apart

Pulling the barrel apart

What is that inside the barrel? Let’s take a closer look shall we?

What is that inside the split barrel?

What is that inside the split barrel?

What you see inside the barrel are called “staves.” In the wine making process these staves trap the sediment which are a natural by-product in wine making. Pulling these out of the barrel gives you a better view of what they look like. The ring holds them together at a specific interval, and staples are used to hold them to the inside surface of the barrel.

They are called staves

They are called staves

Let’s take a peek at what these staves look like close up, shall we? The staining is from the red wine that was stored in this barrel, and you will see some of the residue of the wine making process still stuck to the staves!

Staves up close

Staves up close

Now, lets take a good look inside of this barrel now that the staves are gone. It’s too bad you are not right here with me because the aromas from this barrel are almost intoxicating! Let’s check it out!

The inside surface of the wine barrel

The inside surface of the wine barrel

Now let’s take a closer look, OK? Take note of the staple. That is just one of the few that hold the staves in place inside the barrel.

Up close inside the barrel

Up close inside the barrel

Well, I hope that you enjoyed this short trip inside a wine barrel with me! Now I am ready for a glass of wine. You?

Thanks for dropping in today! Enjoy your Tuesday and may the day be terrific for you!

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Pigs in a blanket!

Pigs in a blanket!

Last night I headed into the kitchen to make pigs in a blanket! It is an easy appetizer, and it makes 48 little piggies! So come with me as I take you through the process of putting these together! Let’s start with the ingredients…

Ingredients
1 cup of flour
dash of salt
1/3 cup + 1 TBS vegetable shortening
3 TBS very cold water
1 package of Nathans Mini Hotdogs, or if you feel wild, Hillshire Farms Little Smokies
mustard, ketchup or BBQ sauce for dipping

Place your flour and salt in a mixing bowl and stir it up. Then start adding the shortening a bit at a time. I use a fork to blend this and when you are done you should have little pea size bits in your bowl.

The flour and shortening are combined

The flour and shortening are combined

Then add the water one TBS at a time. When you are done your dough should be sticking together like what you see in this next photo.

Water has been added

Water has been added

Lightly dust your surface and then form the dough into a ball.

Form the dough into a ball

Form the dough into a ball

Roll out the dough as you would a pie crust.

Roll out the dough

Roll out the dough

Trim the dough.

Trim the dough

Trim the dough

At this point get your oven started. Pre-heat to 350 degrees. Prepare your baking pan by lining it with some foil and then use a non stick spray.

Next lay the little weenies on the dough and mark where you will cut strips.

Lay out the weenies on the dough and mark your slices

Lay out the weenies on the dough and mark your slices

Then slice the dough into your strips.

Taking a strip, place a weenie on the dough and start to roll the weenie in the dough.

Start to roll the weenie in the dough using water to seal

Start to roll the weenie in the dough using water to seal

With your finger moisten the edge and pinch to seal.

Rolled up little piggie!

Rolled up little piggie!

Don’t they look good?

Ready to bake!

Ready to bake!

Bake these for about 30 minutes turning them halfway through cooking…When they are done serve them up with a bit of mustard, or ketchup. If you are doing this with those little smokies some warmed BBQ sauce is a really good compliment! Check out these pigs in a blanket!

Serve them up!

Serve them up!

Now just so you know, the flour mixture is one pie crust, and it makes for one flaky crust! Please let me know if you try this recipe!

The good news for today is that it is finally raining! Right now we have about a quarter inch and the temperatures are dropping! Snow maybe?

Well, thank you for dropping by today, and have a wonderful Thursday!

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Today I decided to challenge myself. My challenge is to feature photos that feature common aromas. My challenge to you, my dear reader, is to add a link to this post, of a photo that you have that brings back that memory of a certain aroma! Ready? Here we go!

Can you smell the bacon?

Cooked bacon!

Cooked bacon!

Or, how about this steaming hot bowl of chili?

Steaming hot chili!

Steaming hot chili!

Mmmm…Mushrooms sauteed in butter with garlic!

Serve these puppies up!

Serve these puppies up!

There is nothing like a good pizza!

Pizza right out of the oven!

Pizza right out of the oven!

Right out of the garden and sliced! Can you smell this one?

Can't you just smell this lemon?

Can’t you just smell this lemon?

One more…

The strawberries, washed, cut and ready

The strawberries, washed, cut and ready

Could you smell any of these? Please let me know! And, if you are in for the challenge, include a link to one of your posts that has a photo that invites us in with the aroma!

Have a great Monday and thanks for dropping in!

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Veal is one of the “hard to find” meats here in the Sierra Foothills. I am not sure why this is but when I saw veal at the grocery store I had to buy it! I decided to make Veal Marsala, and the Marsala was not easy to find either, but I did! I started dancing in the aisle when I did and believe me I got some weird looks! So, let’s head on into the kitchen!

The ingredient list is simple!
3/4# veal sliced thinly
1/2 cup of flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
1 1/2 cups of Marsala wine
3 TBS butter
2 TBS fresh thyme leaves

A short list, but one packed with amazing flavors! Check it out!

Ingredients

Ingredients

The first thing you want to do, after getting your ingredients prepared and ready to use, as this is a quick cooking dinner, is coat your veal in the seasoned flour. Then heat the olive oil in a skillet and when it is hot add the veal. Do this in batches so you do not crowd the pan. Brown the meat. This takes about a minute a side!

Brown the meat

Brown the meat

As it browns remove it from the pan and set aside. Then add your mushrooms. You want to brown these and cook out the liquids.

Browned mushrooms

Browned mushrooms

Then add in the Marsala.

Add the marsala

Add the marsala

Heat this to boiling and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the the liquid is reduced by about one third.

Reduce the liquid by a third

Reduce the liquid by a third

Then add back the meat to the pan along with the butter. The butter and the flour will thicken the sauce a bit.

The meat added back

The meat added back

Bring this back to a boil, then add the thyme leaves. When the aroma of the thyme comes up, the dish is done! I served this with roasted potatoes and fresh green beans…

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

The flavors in this dish: Amazing! And, the best part of it, the dish is easy to make. Anticipate your cooking time to about 25 minutes!

Thank you for dropping by today and for joining me in the kitchen! Go have a great Monday, and I will see you tomorrow!

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I am really falling in love with cooking up a recipe using a beer or ale! The aromas of the food, not to mention the flavor, are rich and beautiful! So, when I came across a recipe in the December issue of Bon Appetit for a Belgian Ale – Braised Brisket, I just had to give it a go! I altered this recipe a bit, but it is based upon this recipe that I found! Shall we head into the kitchen?

Ingredients
Brisket of Beef, flat cut
Kosher salt
1/4 cup of Dijon mustard
1/4 cup of packed brown sugar
1 TBS of pressed ginger
Bacon fat
1 yellow onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup of flour
750 ml bottle Allagash Tripel Reserve Belgian Style Ale

Belgian Style Ale

Belgian Style Ale


4 cups of beef broth
1 bay leaf

The first thing that you do is season the brisket with the Kosher salt. I was liberal with this. Then tightly wrap the brisket in plastic wrap and place it back in the refrigerator. The recipe calls for 8 hours but I only did this for 4 hours. Remove it from the refrigerator an hour before cooking to allow it to warm up a bit. Meat cooks better the closer it gets to room temperature.

As the meat sits, make the mixture which you will slather the meat with. Place the mustard and brown sugar in a bowl. Now the recipe calls for one to grate the ginger. This is truly a pain in the rear! My experience with this was that the ginger does not drop off the grater but sticks in the little grates. I ended up spending about a half hour extricating what little I grated using a toothpick to lift the pieces. After getting what I could off the grater, I switched to my garlic/ginger press, which worked so much better! Add this to the mustard and sugar and then mix thoroughly.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven heats up, get out a baking pan with sides and place a rack in the bottom. Place the meat on the rack and them slather it will all of the mustard, sugar, ginger mix.

Brisket rubbed and ready for the oven

Brisket rubbed and ready for the oven

Let this sit until the oven is hot, then place this in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until it is a lovely golden brown.

As the meat starts baking, the next thing to do is prepare the braising sauce. I used my cast iron dutch oven. Heat the bacon fat over medium high heat. Use about 2 – 2 1/2 TBS. When this is hot, carefully add the onion. Cook these until they are a golden brown.

Browned onions

Browned onions

This takes about 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to low, and then slowly mix in the flour. Take your time! This ensures that you do not get lumps! Cook this until the flour turns a lovely golden color.

Next, slowly add in your ale stirring as you go. The aromas of the ale with the onions? Fabulous! Once this is incorporated into the onions, then add in the broth and the bay leaf. Turn off the heat.

By now your meat should be ready. Pull it out of the oven and then turn the temperature down to 300 degrees. Add the meat to the dutch oven.

Ready to start braising!

Ready to start braising!

Cover this and place it in the oven. Cook this for 3 hours turning every half hour.

When this is done, remove from the oven, and remove the meat from the sauce. Let the meat sit covered for about 20 minutes before slicing. Place the dutch oven on a burner and heat to simmer until the sauce coats the spoon. When done, turn off the heat and cover. Slice up the meat.

Lovely sliced brisket

Lovely sliced brisket

Serve up slices of the meat and cover with a bit of the sauce. Don’t forget your vegetables! I served this with roasted cauliflower and steamed spinach!

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

This was very yummy and the aromas in the house were amazing! We have enough for another dinner and we are looking forward to the increased flavors of it sitting overnight!

Please let me know if you try this recipe! Now go out and have a great Wednesday, and thanks for joining me in the kitchen!

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