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Posts Tagged ‘Mushrooms’


Every year after it rains, the mushrooms pop up and so does the turkey tail fungus! The tails feather out and spread for inches in ribbons of color! I discovered this fungus growing on an old wood pile, where it really seems to thrive! This fungus is actually just another mushroom, and one that is believed to have some properties that may be useful in fighting cancer!

Turkey tail fungus

Turkey tail fungus

I love the layers and the ribbons of color in this delicate looking fungus!

Layers

Layers

Ribbons of color

Ribbons of color

Sometimes you can find turkey tails with a bit of green on them. This is actually an algae growing on the fungus! I didn’t see this on any of the ones I found, but I have seen it before… It seems that this fungus finds a crack in the wood and makes a home there as you can see in this photo!

Draping down

Draping down

If you look closely you can actually see that these little tails are fuzzy!

Fuzzy little things

Fuzzy little things

Isn’t that an amazing looking fungus?

Have a tremendous Thursday, and, thank you for taking the time to visit with me today!

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Venturing outside with camera in hand, I went in search of photo opportunities. Sometimes you have to look closely to see what it is that is hiding in plain sight. I poked around for quite a bit and then something caught my eye. So I had to take a closer look. I was rewarded by the discovery of mushrooms! And guess what? They turned out to be in a number of places in my yard!

Now I do not know the names of any of these, and did look to see what I could find, but misidentifying a mushroom can be deadly! So shall we take a look at what I discovered? Well, then let’s go!

Here is one of the first ones that I found. Now you tell me, isn’t this glorious?

One lovely mushroom

One lovely mushroom

Moving on a bit further in the yard I found these little gems. Each one of these is about the size of a nickel.

Casting shadows

Casting shadows

When I headed over to a woodpile of old oak, I found this little winky mushroom popping up between the bark and the surface of the wood underneath. Check out the stem on this baby.

Growing on dry old oak

Growing on dry old oak

When I got around some of the oaks in the back I spied this bright orange color. Here is what I saw.

This caught my eye

This caught my eye

As I poked around I realized that this too was a mushroom! Then I noticed clusters all over the place. Here is a shot of one of the tiny clusters that I found.

Then I found a cluster of mushrooms

Then I found a cluster of mushrooms

Here is another mushroom I found underneath the oaks. This was in a nice shady area, and there were many. What was intriguing was the way they popped up from under the leaf litter that covers the ground around the oaks. You will see the debris on this mushroom…

Popping up from under the oak leaf debris

Popping up from under the oak leaf debris

I returned back to the house to review the photos for this post, and when my husband and I went out to our screened in patio room to enjoy our evening cocktail, I saw what I thought was a huge bug on the deck. Another photo op is what I thought, and one of a bug! I went out the door for a closer look and discovered this mushroom popping up between the boards of our decking!

On deck

On deck

Amazing isn’t it? If you are out in the wild and you see wild mushrooms, unless you are an expert, do not pick mushrooms and eat them!

Enjoy your Monday, and many thanks for dropping by to visit today!

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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 working on two recipes. Two which need to be combined. One I have known as a “Cream of Green Chile Soup;” the other is known as a “Cream of Artichoke Soup.” Why? Well, there is a little place located in the town of Pescadero, south of San Francisco, but for us is about 175 miles away. When I lived in the area I used to go to this fabulous little place, called Duartes Tavern, for a mixture of their Cream of Green Chile and Cream of Artichoke Soup! This restaurant has been around since 1894! If you have the chance – GO THERE and have them mix a bowl for you of both of these soups!

So where this is taking me is to the different types of soups that one can make. I have not done a post on this yet, and thought that this would be a good topic for those who love to be in the kitchen like I do! And I am wondering: Is the Cream of Green Chile Soup and the Cream of Artichoke Soup really Bisques or Cream Soups? So here is what I discovered:

Basically, there are 6 types of soups: Stock, Broth, Cream, Bisque, Chowder and Consommé. So, what are the differences?

A Stock begins with water and bones, and sometimes incorporates vegetables into the mix. Fish stock, which is the finest of stocks, can be made with fish bones and water, but if you cook it too long it can become bitter. Beef and chicken are the most common stocks that are made. Stock is made by cooking bones in water with some vegetables and seasonings. Stock can be cooked down and reduced for the flavors to intensify without being overly salty!

A Broth, while being a bit similar to stock, has more seasoning than a stock. It also begins with water, but uses less bones than stock, and still includes some vegetables.

Broth in the soup kettle

Broth in the soup kettle

Meat is usually added, but this is not cooked down to the degree of Stock or it would be too intense in flavor. Bullion that you can buy in the grocery stores should not be confused with broth. Those bullion’s you can buy in the store: Loaded with salt, which is usually the first ingredient.

A Cream Soup generally uses a bechamel, which is a white sauce made with butter and flour. The trick to a good cream soup is to “sweat” the aromatics in butter that you are using for the basis of your soup. This intensifies the flavors. Then you add a bit of flour to create a roux, and add your liquids.

The flour mixture with the addition of the broth

The flour mixture with the addition of the broth

Usually this liquid is a stock, and to finish this soup, you finish it with a bit of cream. I like to toss it in a blender which will smooth and thicken the entire lot of what you are cooking!

A Bisque Soup (pronounced “bisk”), is a soup that begins with a strained broth of shellfish. Traditionally, this soup is made from shells that are ground into a fine paste, which are then added to a broth to help thicken it. Rice can also be used to thicken a bisque. The term Bisque can also refer to a vegetarian style soup which are processed through a food mill or food processor. These more commonly use tomatoes, peppers, squash or mushrooms.

Add potatoes, mushrooms and carrots

Add potatoes, mushrooms and carrots

These really are considered a cream soup but needed to be mentioned here as they are more often than not referred to as a “Bisque.”

A Chowder is more like a stew than a soup. It is similar to a cream soup but it is not blended.

Midway through cooking

Midway through cooking

So with this soup you get chunks of food, while it is still creamy. Most chowders include corn, fish, clams, or potatoes. Again, a chunky cream soup!

The last is Consommé. By its very definition this soup is a strong, rich soup where the flavors are concentrated. What sets this apart are the strong flavors and the clarity of the soup. What clarifies this type of soup are egg whites. They are basically a filter for this type of soup! As the soup cooks the eggs capture the sediment in the broth, which rise to the top of the cooking pot. This is called the “raft.” The raft is then spooned off resulting in a clear, flavorful broth!

I hope that you found this post interesting! I was amazed at the differences between all these types of soup!

Now go out and have a great Wednesday! Thanks for dropping by!

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What does one do with leftover Christmas Ham? Why, you make Navy Bean Soup! This is one of my favorite soups and it is relatively easy to make. The ham in this soup are my leftovers from the Maple Glazed Rotisserie Ham recipe. So let’s head on into the kitchen, shall we?

Ingredients
Bones from a ham
2 cups of dry small white beans
7 cups of water
3 stalks of celery
3 carrots
a handful of crimini mushrooms
1 bay leaf
5 chili de arboles dried chili’s
fresh ground pepper

Start off with the beans first. Put the water into your soup pot and add the beans.

Beans and water are added to the soup pot

Beans and water are added to the soup pot

Turn the heat up to medium high and bring it to where it just starts to boil. If you don’t catch it before it boils your beans will burst. So I check it continually. Turn the heat off and let the beans sit in the hot water for one hour.

While the beans are sitting, wash and peel the carrots. Wash up the celery. Cut both of these into small cubes. Chop the mushrooms roughly. Get out the bay leaf, the chili de arboles and your pepper grinder.

Carrots, celery, mushrooms, bay leaf and chilis are ready

Carrots, celery, mushrooms, bay leaf and chilis are ready

Trim some of the meat off the ham bone. The chunks of ham that you have carved off should go into the soup as well, reserving a bit for, say, maybe a mac ‘n cheese with ham?

Ham bone is ready to go in

Ham bone is ready to go in

When the beans are done, add the ham bone along with the chunks of ham, carrots, celery, the bay leaf and the chili’s. Do several grinds of pepper too! No need to salt this soup as the ham will give off the salt from the meat.

Everything is in the pot!

Everything is in the pot!

Bring this up to a boil, then turn down to low and simmer for a few hours. Check on it every half hour to 45 minutes to ensure that it is not sticking to the bottom of your pot!

Midway through cooking

Midway through cooking

Remove the bones from the soup, let this cool and then remove the meat from the bones. Remove the chili’s at this point. These chili’s will add a bit of heat which you will feel in the back of your throat when you chow down on this soup!

Meat removed from bones before cutting into smaller pieces

Meat removed from bones before cutting into smaller pieces

Add the meat back to the pot. Stir it up to blend. Next, get out your blender and place about 2 cups of the soup into it. Puree for about a minute, and then add this back to your soup. Stir it well. Cook for another hour.

I like to serve this soup up with a warm crusty bread slathered in butter! And, here it is, piping hot and ready to eat!

Soup is ready!

Soup is ready!

Well, I hope that you enjoyed today’s adventure into the kitchen! Have a great Thursday and thanks for stopping by!

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We were given a lovely 18 pound turkey for Thanksgiving this year, and invited a hoard of people, who all could not make it! Guess what we have been eating since Thursday? I made my usual Shepherds Pie, and yesterday vacuum sealed most of what we have leaving just enough for hot turkey sandwiches, which we had for dinner last night! Ready to head into the kitchen?

Ingredients
Sliced turkey
Leftover gravy
Leftover mashed potatoes
Leftover candied yams
Bread
Leftover cranberry sauce

In a skillet add your leftover gravy.

Heat up the leftover gravy

Heat up the leftover gravy

Re-heat your leftover mashers and yams. While these are heating, add your sliced turkey to the skillet.

Add in sliced turkey

Add in sliced turkey

Heat this up until it is hot and bubbly.

Heat through

Heat through

When all is hot, place your bread a bit over your mashed potatoes.

Preparing your plate

Preparing your plate

Pour on your turkey and gravy mixture. Set some yams to the side and some cranberry sauce! Serve it up piping hot and enjoy!

Serve it up!

Serve it up!

Do you love a good hot turkey sandwich?

Thanks for visiting today! Have a great day and I will maybe see you around the block tomorrow! OK?

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Last evening we joined friends for another lovely dinner at The Smith Flat House! The restaurant shares the building with other business that makes this the center for health!

Where we are!

Where we are!

The restaurant is in the cellar of the building, which was originally the first floor. When they mined, and the mines are in the restaurant, the digging were piled up outside basically burying the first floor! Here is a bit of history:
History

History

We had another great dinner there! I thought that I would do a quick share with you of some of the meals we ordered last evening! Just so you know, I had a hard time catching photos before folks dug into their plates!

Apple Hill salad

Apple Hill salad

Roasted Beet Salad

Roasted Beet Salad

Winter Squash Ravioli

Winter Squash Ravioli

Wild Mushroom Risotto

Wild Mushroom Risotto

The Meatzza

The Meatzza

Dinner special:  Roast Duck, with mashed roots and fresh veges

Dinner special: Roast Duck, with mashed roots and fresh veges

All foods are locally grown, and everything is very fresh! Check out their amazing menu!

For more information check out their website!

Thanks for taking a moment to visit today! Have a great Friday!

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We have not had a stew since the winter season, and I decided that it was time for another! I modified a recipe that I found in the cookbook “Herbs and Spices Cookbook” written by Virginia and Robert Hoffman. The aromas wafted through the house as this cooked and they just got better and better as it slow cooked in the oven! Use a cast iron dutch oven if you have one!  A quick preview:

Preview!

Preview!

Ingredients:
3/4 cup of flour, with salt and pepper added
3#’s boneless beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2″ chunks
5 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, sliced thin
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of Cabernet Sauvignon
1 can of beef stock
3 TBS chopped Italian parsley
8 sprigs of fresh oregano
10 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 slices of bacon, chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
3/4# crimini mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 large portobello mushroom, sliced and each slice cut into four
3 TBS butter
fresh parsley for garnish

The first thing I did was get my initial ingredients together. This includes the flour mixture, cutting up the beef, slicing the onion, mincing the garlic, measuring out the wine, opening the beef stock, and chopping the parsley, and removing the leaves from the stems of the oregano and thyme, and then crushing them to release their oils. This took about an hour to do.

Cut up chuck

Cut up chuck

Onions and garlic

Onions and garlic

Fresh thyme and oregano

Fresh thyme and oregano

I then got out the cast iron dutch oven and add two TBS of the olive oil. Then take all the beef and add it to the bag of flour. Shake the bag so that the meat gets coated. Heat the oil over medium high heat, and set your oven to 325 degrees. When the oil is hot add pieces of meat in a single layer in the pot.

Start browning the beef

Start browning the beef

You will be doing batches of the meat, and I was able to brown all of it in three batches. Brown the meat evenly. Set aside the browned meat in a bowl as you cook the remaining meat.

Browned beef

Browned beef

For the third batch you will need to add a bit more oil.

When all the meat is browned, add it all back to the pot, including the juices that have accumulated at the bottom of the bowl. Then stir in the onion and garlic.

Add the onion and garlic

Add the onion and garlic

Turn the heat down to medium. Cook until you see the edges of the onion just starting to soften. Then add in the Cabernet and enjoy the aromas! Next add the beef stock so that the meat is covered. Next add the fresh herbs and the bay leaf. Cover the pot and place this in the oven. Cook this for 2 hours.

After about an hour and a half, cook the bacon until it is just done, and then set aside on paper towel to drain.

Brown the bacon

Brown the bacon

Then add the tomatoes to the bacon grease and cook down for about 5 minutes.

The tomatoes are ready

The tomatoes are ready

Add back the bacon to combine, and then add this to the stew in the pot. Add a bit more red wine and beef stock if the stew appears to be thick. Cook for another half hour.

While this is cooking, get your mushrooms prepared

Mushrooms are ready

Mushrooms are ready

and in a skillet add the butter. Heat over medium high heat and saute the mushrooms until they are just tender.

Sauteed mushrooms

Sauteed mushrooms

Turn the heat off, and let this sit. The mushrooms will continue to release their juices.

After the 30 minutes of cooking has gone by, remove the stew from the oven, add the mushrooms, and combine.

Mushrooms are added to the pot

Mushrooms are added to the pot

Then serve it up in bowls and top with a sprig of parsley!

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

Don’t forget to have a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon with your stew! It is a perfect pairing!

I hope that you enjoyed this post, and that you try this wonderful stew that is chock full of intense hearty flavors! Let me know if you do!

Thank you for stopping by, and have a splendid Sunday!

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Armed with chicken breasts, Roma tomatoes and mushrooms, I head off into the kitchen. What else do I have here that I can add to this? How about some fresh basil, artichoke hearts and capers? It has been a while since I have taken you into the kitchen, so why don’t we head on in?

My inspiration for this came after having a dinner at one of our local spots where I had a chicken dish that was pretty amazing…could I create those flavors at home? This recipe, Chicken Trieste, comes pretty close! How about a preview?

Preview

Preview

Ingredients
2 boneless chicken breasts
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup of flour seasoned with garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
4 TBS butter
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
8 crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 small shallot finely chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, peeled
1 TBS capers, rinsed
12 oz. frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted
14 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup robust red wine
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

The first thing to do is get everything prepped and ready to go. The dish takes about a half hour to cook, with prep time, give yourself one hour.  Pound the breasts until you get them to about 1/4″ thick. Wash and slice the mushrooms, and set aside. You need to keep these separate from the rest of the veges. Get your garlic and shallot ready. Heat water in a pot and when it boils, drop in the whole tomatoes and stir. After about a minute, turn off the heat and pull them out of the water. Run under cold water and peel as you go! Then slice and dice and add to a mixing bowl. Next add the capers and artichoke hearts and stir to combine. Get your herbs, broth, wine and cream ready.

Prepped and ready to go

Prepped and ready to go

Now take the chicken breasts and cut into 8 pieces.

Chicken is ready for breading

Chicken is ready for breading

Dredge in flour mixture, then drop into the egg to coat, followed by the breadcrumbs. Set these on a rack to dry for a bit. Pre-heat oven to 275 degrees. Then take 1 TBS of butter and 1 TBS of olive oil and add to a fry pan. Heat over medium heat and when hot start browning the chicken. Do this in two batches so that you do not crowd the pan. You will need to add additional butter and olive oil on the second batch. When cooked place in the warmed oven.

Chicken is cooked and kept warm in the oven

Chicken is cooked and kept warm in the oven

Now on to the sauce! Wipe out the pan and add another TBS of butter. Melt the butter over medium heat then add the mushrooms, garlic and shallots. When all have softened add the tomatoes, capers, and artichoke hearts. Heat for another 5 minutes. You will notice that the vegetables will be giving off juice. This is great as it adds their flavors to the dish!

The veges and juices

The veges and juices

Next add in the chicken broth and the wine.

Wine and broth added

Wine and broth added

Add 3/4 of the basil and the oregano and continue to stir.

Let this cook for 5 minutes. Then slowly add the cream. Stay attuned to your sauce and stir as you do not want to burn it!

Cream added

Cream added

Let this cook at a simmer for about 5 minutes. Then add 1 TBS of butter to help thicken the sauce. Add in the Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine. Cook for another 5 minutes. Then add the chicken back into the pan to coat with the sauce.

Serve this up and top with the remaining basil!

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

Please let me know if you try this dish! Thanks for joining me in the kitchen today, and have a great weekend!

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There are so many mushrooms out there available for us to use in the kitchen, that I thought today I would feature some of the many beauties out there! I hope that you will enjoy this list of amazing mushrooms.

Let’s start with the Oyster Mushroom. These mushrooms are virtually calorie free! Taste-wise they are very close to the flavor of abalone.

Oyster Mushrooms - Photo by Aaron Sherman

Oyster Mushrooms – Photo by Aaron Sherman

Morels are about the finest of all fungi. They often make their appearance after forest fires, and in days of old fires would be set just to get these lovelies to pop up. Their flavor is earthy, nutty and steak like.

Morel Mushrooms - Photo by Gzirk

Morel Mushrooms – Photo by Gzirk

The Shitake, one of my personal favorites, has a smoky peppery flavor, which is rich with a buttery meaty flavor.

Shitake Mushrooms - Photo by Frankenstoen of Portland OR

Shitake Mushrooms – Photo by Frankenstoen of Portland OR

The Lobster Mushroom, which is not really a mushroom but a parasite that actually grows on mushrooms, have a seafood like flavor, and are firm and dense.

Lobster Mushroom - Photo by Joe Mabel

Lobster Mushroom – Photo by Joe Mabel

If you have Chanterelle mushrooms growing in your area you can earn some bucks for collecting and selling these gems. They are rich in flavor, which is distinctive, and a bit difficult to describe. They are truly wonderful!

Chanterelle Mushrooms Photo by Игорь Лебединский

Chanterelle Mushrooms Photo by Игорь Лебединский

Then there is one that is a delicate little mushroom: The Enoki. Their flavor is a bit fruity and they have a crunch when eaten raw, which is the best way to consume this mushroom.

Enoki Mushrooms - Photo by Chris 73

Enoki Mushrooms – Photo by Chris 73

Do you use any of these in your kitchen? Which is your favorite?

Thanks for stopping by today and have a wonderful Wednesday!

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