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Today for Tasty Tuesday, we head into the kitchen to make another easy and flavorful potato side dish. It is easy to prepare, and sure to please those around your dinner table. Are you ready to head into the kitchen? Let’s go!

Ingredients
3 russet potatoes
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
2 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 cup shredded cheese – I used the Stella 3 cheese blend

Ingredients

Ingredients

Turn your oven on to preheat and set the temperature to 375 degrees. Get out a baking sheet. Use your silpat or line the pan with foil. If using foil, then grease the pan with either cooking spray or a bit of butter.

Wash the potatoes really well and leave the skin on. Cut the potato in half. Then cut in half again and cut into wedges. Add them to a mixing bowl.

Potato wedges with olive oil

Potato wedges with olive oil

Drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes and mix. Add in the cheese, mixing it really well so that the cheese sticks to the potatoes.

Add the cheese

Add the cheese

Next, grind some fresh salt and pepper over the potatoes, and then add the Italian seasoning, garlic and onion powders. Mix this up really well so that the potatoes are coated with the oil, herb and spice.

Herbs and spices added

Herbs and spices added

Place your wedges on your baking sheet. Any cheese that remains in the bowl, sprinkle over the potatoes.

The wedges on the silpat

The wedges on the silpat

Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown.

Crispy, cheesy potatoes

Crispy, cheesy potatoes

Serve it up!

Serve them up!

Serve them up!

Don’t they look really good? The flavors are amazing and my family wanted more!

Thank you for stopping by today. Stay tuned for next week’s Tasty Tuesday. I will be featuring an amazing scallop dish that is easy to make and chock full of amazing flavor! Be well… ^..^

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Good day and welcome to Tasty Tuesday! For today, I wanted to share with you an easy beef recipe that takes about a half hour to prepare and then 8 hours of cooking time in the crock pot. The flavors are amazing, and the aromas that will fill your home while this is cooking will make others believe that you have been slaving in the kitchen! Here is a preview of this dish…

Preview

Preview

Looks good, doesn’t it? Let’s head into the kitchen…

Ingredients
6 tri-tip strips or 6 medium hanger steaks (I used a combo of these because of limited availability in the store)
1# cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 onion sliced and separated
1 TBS fresh thyme, leaves stripped from stems and minced
1 tsp of Spanish paprika
3/4 cup of chicken stock
1/4 cup sherry
1/4 cup of flour
4 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 TBS dried parsley
1/2 cup of heavy cream

Ingredients

Ingredients

The first thing that I do is get all of the ingredients prepped and ready to use. This cuts down the prep time of this dish, or any other.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 TBS of olive oil. Add the mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms begin to brown.

Brown the mushrooms

Brown the mushrooms

Move them to the crock pot. Then add another TBS of oil to the skillet and heat. Add in the meat and brown on both sides. Remove the meat to a plate.

Browned beef

Browned beef

Add the remaining oil to the pan, heat and then add the onion, thyme and paprika.

Cook up the onions, paprika and thyme

Cook up the onions, paprika and thyme

Cook until the onions become translucent. Then add in the flour. Stir to coat.

Flour is incorporated in to the onions

Flour is incorporated in to the onions

Add in the chicken broth and sherry. This will be a bit thick. Add it to the crockpot.

The mushrooms and onions provide a bed for the beef

The mushrooms and onions provide a bed for the beef

To the crock pot, add in the meat and any juices that have accumulated on the plate.

Beef is added

Beef is added

Cover and cook for 8 hours.

After the timer goes off on the crock pot, remove the meat to a plate and cover with foil. The meat will be very tender. To the liquid remaining in the pot, add in the cream and cook on high for about 15 minutes.

Sauce

Sauce

Add the meat back to the crock pot and stir to coat the meat. I served this dish with green beans and baked potatoes! Check it out!

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

Thanks for joining me in the kitchen on this Tasty Tuesday! Enjoy your day, and be well…

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Jen H. over at WordPress has chosen the topic “fresh” for this week’s photo challenge. What came to mind: Fresh vegetables from the garden! Are you ready to see my view of fresh? Here we go!

Who doesn’t like fresh sweet corn from the garden?

Sweet, sweet corn

Sweet, sweet corn

There is nothing better than fresh broccoli fresh from the garden!

Broccoli

Broccoli

Tomatoes from the garden beat store bought hands down!

Heirloom tomatoes

Heirloom tomatoes

Here is a photo of some freshly picked potatoes that I grew last year.

Colorful potatoes

Colorful potatoes

I love the sweet fresh sequoia strawberries from my garden!

Sweet, sweet strawberries!

Sweet, sweet strawberries!

Love my raspberries too!

Raspberries!

Raspberries!

Fresh acorn squash is a perfect accompaniment to ham!

Acorn squash

Acorn squash

I love those green beans too!

Green beans

Green beans

Well, there you have it! My view of fresh!

Thanks for stopping by today and be well! ^..^

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Conor Bofin of One Man’s Meat inspired me once again! This time with an enticing recipe for pork chops with plums in his post The Cure for Meat Anxiety – Pork Chops and Plums! Now plums are pretty well out of season here, so I substituted the plums for pluots, which are a hybrid combo of plums and apricots! Yum! Ready to head into the kitchen?

Conor’s Ingredients
2 big pork chops – bone in, I used pork loin chops about 1″ thick
5 – 6 plums, or pluots
2 cm of ginger – almost an inch here in the U.S.
1 tsp dark brown sugar
Lots of salt and pepper
Red wine
Olive Oil

The beginnings of a great meal!

The beginnings of a great meal!

First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Then get the pluots ready. Slice them in half following, as Conor put it, “the bum-like crease as a guide.” Remove the pit. Chop up the ginger, the skin removed. Place the pluots on a cookie sheet covered with foil, and evenly add the ginger and brown sugar to each pluot half.

Pluots with ginger and brown sugar

Pluots with ginger and brown sugar

Place this in the preheated oven. I found that these took about 40 minutes to cook to a soft “sludgy” texture.

Conor serves this dish with garlic mashed potatoes. I used Yukons, and I got this ready to go!

Soon to be garlic mashers

Soon to be garlic mashers

The next thing is to get to work on those chops! Slice them along the fat edge to cut through the membrane beneath the fat. I then seasoned these with a healthy dose of fresh ground salt and pepper, then rub with a bit of oil (something I forgot to do, but it worked out just fine). Heat about a TBS of olive oil in a oven proof skillet. Start your mashers now. When the skillet gets hot, add the pork chops and cook for 5 minutes. Leave the chops alone as they cook! After 5 minutes, turn and cook another 5 minutes.

The pluots should be done by now. I removed them from the oven, and then add to the oven your skillet of pork chops. These will sit in the oven for 10 minutes. While these are in the oven, mash those pluots with a fork, skins included, which adds flavor!

The cooked pluots

The cooked pluots

Get your mashers done too!

Garlic mashers

Garlic mashers

After cooking in the oven for 10 minutes, remove the pork chops. Take the pork out of the skillet and set aside to rest. Place the skillet on the stove and turn the heat to medium. Add a good dose of red wine to de-glaze the pan,

Deglazing the pan with wine

Deglazing the pan with wine

scraping up the browned bits! Cook this down to a thick gravy.

Plate up the pork, potatoes and pluots!

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

This was a fabulous meal! Make sure you have a perfect bite: A little bit of each together! Thank you again, Conor for the recipe!

Have a lovely Friday and thanks for stopping by! Be well! ^..^

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I love cooking, as you know, and I love to find, or come up with new recipes! Over this last weekend I tried two recipes. One that I wanted to try for some time now is a potato recipe that I found from the site Walking on Sunshine. Her recipe: Bacon Cheese Potatoes. I thought that this would pair perfectly with another recipe that I got from my friend Conor Bofin over at One Man’s Meat. His recipe: Steak Frites. Then I added to this my simple recipe: Simple Sauteed Mushrooms!

I prepared the potatoes first as they were to be cooked in the crockpot. This simple recipe consisted of bacon, cheese and potatoes. Slice four red potatoes thinly, grate plenty of cheddar, and dice some bacon. Lois indicates that you can pre-cook the bacon, or not. I did not, but next time I make this I will because of the amount of fat. I used non-stick spray in my crock pot then layered potatoes, then bacon, then cheese. Lois likes to add salt and pepper on top of each layer. Forget the salt as the cheese and bacon add plenty! I was able to knock out three layers, dotted it with butter, and after 6 hours on low here is the finished recipe!

Bacon Cheese Potatoes

Bacon Cheese Potatoes

Now Conor’s steak recipe was a perfect pairing with these potatoes! And, it is a simple recipe too! I purchased two rib eye steaks that were about 3/4″ thick. Taking a big bunch of fresh thyme, I stripped the leaves off the stems and chopped up the thyme and then pressed the steaks into the thyme. The recipe says to get a cast iron pan very hot and then add 1 teaspoon of salt. I forgot this step. After adding the salt you are to place the steaks in the pan. It was at this point that I added the salt. The important thing with this recipe is not to disturb the steaks. I cooked them for 5 minutes then turned them over and cooked another 4 minutes. And, they came out beautiful. Check these out!

The Steaks

The Steaks

I cooked the mushrooms while the steaks were sizzling in the pan. Another easy recipe. Add butter and garlic to a hot pan, and when the aroma of the garlic comes up add the mushrooms and saute. Here they are!

The Mushrooms

The Mushrooms

And here is the finished dinner!

One easy dinner!

One easy dinner!

The flavors of this dinner: Amazing! Worth the time and one that will make your family and friends think you spent hours in the kitchen!

Have a terrific Tuesday! Thanks for stopping in for a bite! Be well! ^..^

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You might remember that this year was the first year of using wine barrels in the garden. The barrels were to thwart the gophers and they did their job. What they did not deal with, though, were the ground squirrels! Yes, my garden has been ravaged by ground squirrels! Ground squirrels know how to climb!

At the beginning of the season the zucchini and acorn squash were doing rather well. Then the eating began! As the fruit started to develop the little rug rats discovered them. I had to share! Not that I minded at that point because we were getting plenty to eat. Then they started to eat the flower blossoms! Yup! They ate the blossoms! And, the birds? Well they picked the leaves off the green beans, wax beans, Tuscan melons, and the watermelon too!

We did get some amazing corn! And, we are waiting for the hundreds of tomatoes to turn red. Due to having turned my ankle, I sent my husband to the garden yesterday to harvest onions, carrots and potatoes! So, today I share this bounty with you!

The potato seeds indicated these were to be fingerlings. Clearly they are not but they sure are a nice mix of different potatoes!

Colorful potatoes

Colorful potatoes

Check out these carrots and onions! The aroma from the onions: Amazing!

Carrots and onions

Carrots and onions

Let’s look at them a bit closer!

Onions before cleaning

Onions before cleaning

Carrots before a good scrub

Carrots before a good scrub

One of the carrots was a mutant!

One odd carrot!

One odd carrot!

My husband got busy scrubbing and here is the cleaned up produce!

Cleaned up!

Cleaned up!

The entire bounty

The entire bounty

The best part? Fresh vegetables to go with our dinner!

Eating fresh!

Eating fresh!

Pretty aren’t they? The taste? Phenomenal!

I hope you enjoyed our little harvest! Now go out and have a great Monday, and week for that matter! Thanks for stopping by! Be well! ^..^

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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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Preview

Preview

It really has been a while since I have done a crock pot recipe, and with the weather being so cold, a warm hearty soup is in order. This one, a good one for vegetarians, is made with four types of mushrooms! It takes about an hour to prepare everything, and then 7-8 hours to cook on the low setting. Ready to head off into the kitchen?

Here is the list of what you will need:

1/4 cup of butter
1/2 large onion
3 stalks of celery
1/2 cup each, dried porcini and chanterelle mushrooms
2 TBS flour
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup fresh shitake mushrooms
1 cup fresh baby bella mushrooms
2 medium red potatoes
2 small carrots
2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of Parmesan, shredded

OK, now let’s get to it, shall we? Get out a skillet and add to it the butter. Next chop the onion up finely and add to the skillet. Then wash the celery and chop this into cubes. Add this to the pan.

Gratuitous celery and onion shot

Gratuitous celery and onion shot

Looks pretty huh?

Next get out a bowl and add the dried mushrooms. Add enough water to cover and set this aside so that the mushrooms will plump up.

Soaking the porcini and chanterelle

Soaking the porcini and chanterelle

While these are soaking, slice up the shitake mushrooms and the baby bellas. Set these aside. Next peel the potatoes and the slice to about 1/2″ in thickness, then cube the potatoes. Set these aside. Now turn on the heat on the butter, onions and celery. You are going to want to cook these until they get translucent. While this is heating up, peel and dice the carrots, and what do you do? You guessed it! Set these aside. Don’t forget to stir the onions and celery! Now check on those soaking mushrooms. They should be ready. Cut them into pieces and mix them up with the other mushrooms.

Mushrooms combined

Mushrooms combined

At this point the onions and celery should be done. Turn off the heat and add the flour, salt and pepper to the pan. Stir this up really well and then scrap the whole thing into your crock pot.

Cooked celery and onion

Cooked celery and onion

Then add the 2 cups of water slowly. The flour will explode as it soaks up the water.

Add water

Add water

Now add in the potatoes, mushrooms and carrots. Stir this up well.

Add potatoes, mushrooms and carrots

Add potatoes, mushrooms and carrots

Turn on the crock pot to low, and set the time to 7-8 hours, whichever you prefer.

After 7 1/2 hours of cooking

After 7 1/2 hours of cooking

Once the timer goes off on the crock pot, slowly add in the milk and the Parmesan cheese.

Add milk and cheese

Add milk and cheese

Turn the heat up to high on the crock pot and set the timer for a half hour.

Let’s eat! The aromas from the kitchen have had my stomach growling all day! Serve it up with a hot crusty bread or how about Parmesan Texas toast?

Serve it up!

Serve it up!

Thanks for stopping by and if you try this recipe, let me know how you liked it!

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This was one of the side dishes that I prepared to go along with the Chicken Dijon! These potatoes came from the garden and they have more flavor than what one can buy in the grocery store. Pan fried potatoes are easy to make. For a little extra added flavor I also included some finely chopped onion.

Ingredients
4 Yukon gold potatoes of good size, cut into chunks
2 slices of onions finely chopped
Butter, about 3 TBS

Melt the butter in the pan and add the onions. Stir to coat, and then add the potatoes mixing again. Heat to the point that the butter is bubbling.

Yukon Golds in butter with a bit of onion

Now let them fry without touching them for about 10 minutes. Flip the potatoes and let them continue cooking.

First turn of the potatoes

After another 10 minutes, just looking and not touching them, you will be able to see if they are sufficiently browned. When done, stir them

Potatoes are done!

and serve them up immediately!

Potatoes are served!

Guaranteed there will be no leftovers on this dish!

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I have started to count down the days to planting. Tomorrow we will be putting the layers together for the lasagne garden. And planting will start next week. In order to acclimate the plants to the cooler temperatures, I will be leaving the greenhouse doors open overnight, with something to block the critters from getting the plants.

Remember what the greenhouse looked like 6 days ago? Here is the left side from April 30th.

Left side of the greenhouse on April 30th

Here it is today.

Left side of the greenhouse

The right side from April 30th looked like this.

Right side of the greenhouse April 30th

Today…

Right side of the greenhouse

Do you remember the potatoes from the 30th? Here is the photo again.

Potatoes on April 30th

Here they are today.

Potatoes

These are already over the top of the containers!    I still need to add more dirt to the pots but will not do this until I move them outside. They are very heavy!

I still have some slow growers. The slowest are the poblano peppers. So far only three have sprouted. The tomatoes and love in the mist are the next. The tomatoes are at about two inches and the love in the mist about one inch.

Stay tuned in as tomorrow me and my friend Jorge will be creating the lasagna garden and I will be taking photos as we go!

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