29 November 2010

Holiday Traditions ...

I have packed off left over containers to the kids, had turkey soup, made turkey sandwiches, and all that's left is a plate full of turkey set aside for turkey pot pie. This is the last of the traditional dishes I make with what's left of the Thanksgiving bird and we love it. Today is the perfect day to make pie, too. It's really cold out. There's frost on every blade of grass in the yard, and there might be a touch of snow later tonight to dust things up a bit. Silent Bob and I are going into the woods today to cut our Christmas greens and find some winterberry for arrangements and baskets. After shivering our way home, a good piece of hot pie will surely hit the spot!

23 November 2010

Easy Scalloped Potatoes - A Break From the Turkey

Today, I heard from Max. It's been a while since I've received a comment from him. This is the first time that I have had a request, though. So... an easy and yummy potato dish for you, Max! Add it to your basics! And have a wonderful weekend with your folks!

Max is getting a recipe based on what I have in my fridge ... I, too, have some stress for this Thanksgiving weekend! My problem is how to make room in the fridge for all the ingredients for our Thanksgiving feast. I cleaned my fridge this morning and have decided to 'make do' with what I have in the fridge and the pantry for meals until I shop for the feast ingredients. So ham steaks, the last of a block of Cheddar, and some broccoli and cauliflower to round out dinner ... there's a bit more room for the feast fare!

20 November 2010

Two Words ...

Wooden Mold

Two Flours

Sugary Butter

Getting Ready

Back-up Guy

Greased ... Ready!

Virgin Thistle!

17 November 2010

Surrender ...


That golden maple has shed its treasure-
Stands grey and stark
Among silver skeletons that rattle.
I walk today into the glade.
There is a rime of frost here,
crisping the lines of a turkey feather.
It marks remnants of other lives:
maple leaf, fox pad, deer track.
The winds change and flakes swirl -
The dogs howl a chill exhalation,
 and I surrender.

-Susan Miller-Lindquist


13 November 2010

Swedish Mjuk Pepparkaka - Spice Cake

Silent Bob has been doing his genealogical research almost day and night around here at the cottage on the hill. He's very excited to have found long lost names of people and places, birthdates and emigration dates, death notices of relatives in Sweden. It's like a wonderful puzzle coming together on the Internet. The Lindquist emigration and Swedish connections have been mysterious for so long.

I, however, have been taking a more hands-on approach.  It's comin' on Christmas and I have been looking at all the wonderful baked goods that have come our way from Scandinavia. This is an easy little cake to make when you need a sweet something to offer for tea or coffee time. It would do well as a light dessert with a bit of mocha whipped cream or whipped and sweetened Mascarpone cheese.

11 November 2010

Confessions of a Soup-a-holic ...

This was my breakfast ... yes, warmed up from last night's Spice Garden birthday celebration. I mean really ... who else plans a hot bowl of creamy soup for a birthday party menu and then wakes up the next morning craving more?  Me, because there can never be too many wonderful chicken soups and some of them are just so tasty that they lend themselves to a celebration ... and then some. This particular soup is a creamy broth full of chicken flavor and bits of green parsley. I love to make the soup and barely cook the potato cubes, so that they still have a bit of bite to them. Both Silent Bob and I like our soups full of vegetables and with meat bites that are chunky rather than tidbits ... more like a stew than a soup, but that would be mincing the words.

10 November 2010

Birthday Time in The Spice Garden!

Hurray for one year of food blogging! Hurray for learning something about digital photography! Hurray for making some new friends on the Internet! Hurray for growing a site that I am excited to work on every day!
Hurray for creative freedom! Hurray for good food and a place to prepare it! Hurray for exploring new and interesting places in my corner of New England that are producing or growing wonderful food! Hurray for the time and energy to continue this venture!

Happy Birthday to The Spice Garden! We're celebrating with a bottle of Silver Mountain Peach Apple Wine, some wonderful apple wine smoked sausage from North Country Smokehouse, and some maple smoked cheddar from Grafton Village Cheese Company ... then it's soup for supper. See links for a look at these 'local products' ... if you like the look you may decide to order their products online or come visit the region and stop into their operations for a tour and tasting!

09 November 2010

Lemon Nut Bars

Mixing up posts is always a challenge for me, as I tend to go through phases of 'cooking frenzies' that are focused on one type of cuisine or one area of cooking - soups, stews, baking, roasting, pasta dishes  ... you get the idea. SOOOO. I have been consciously trying to mix up the post types. And today ... is baking day!

I don't know about you, but I am getting ready for holiday menus, church fair baking, holiday gift boxes and hostess gifts. This year I've been questing for different cookies and cookie bars, new breads, and savory tidbits. Since it's a rainy and snowy day (Yes, sloppy wet snow is coming down!), I am hangin' in the kitchen and working on a new lemon bar recipe. I'm thinking these lemon bars will be a welcome flavor change from the heavily spiced and chocolate cookies that sit on so many holiday cookie plates. Let me know what YOU think!

05 November 2010

Sephardi Pickle - CRUNCH !

How is it that you can be bythely going about your business and something that seems small and insignificant can stop you right in your tracks like a whack on the side of the head? I'm telling you that this salad, pickle, relish, whatever you want to call it did it to me when I happened upon it in a cookbook on Jewish cooking.
These are just common vegetables tossed with salt and left to crisp for a few hours in a colander. You toss them with a sour and sweet dressing and serve them chilled ... and they are so wonderful! So basic, so common, and yet, so crunchy and tasty!

04 November 2010

Stuffed Peppers ... Another Way

I was at a dinner party a good while back where we were served stop-light peppers that had been stuffed with a combination of onions, garlic, tomatoes, and orzo pasta - they were so delicious! They lay in a small puddle of spicy tomato sauce and went  well with a green salad, crusty bread for sopping up sauces, and plenty of red wine and conversation.

02 November 2010

A Tribute to Café Moto ... and Israeli Cuisine

The Brooklyn trip a few weeks ago was such a fun and relaxing time. It's always nice to see your kid's 'world' - where they work, who their friends are, what the apartment looks like, where they get their milk and bread, and what their neighborhood is like. If you're a parent, you know the drill. Smile, nod, check things out, and don't ask too many questions.  So, we went, we saw, and we came home happy with good memories and a settled feeling about our girl and her new job, new digs, and new neighborhood.                 

Getting Nathan's hotdogs and sunshine by the Coney Island shore

01 November 2010

A Tribute to Dom ... and Lucretia!

In the past, you may have read that I don't consider myself a good baker of bread. I try and I continue to try to make the perfect loaf for Silent Bob's morning toast fix. Well, I don't want to jinx myself, but I am slowly getting better at this bread baking thing. I know. You're thinking, "Well, duh, with practice comes skill.!" You're right! I have been practicing and with the help of an on-line foodie friend, I have ventured into the world of sour dough breads.