30 July 2012

Power Foods! - Green Bean, Corn, and Tomato Salad

Don't you just love summer salads ? It's Meatless Monday here and we're really trying to keep to a few meatless meals a week. I'd love to say that we succeeded this evening, but I had such a hankering for a pork tenderloin and a couple good sides. Soooo... I will be doing meatless later in the week.

20 July 2012

The Random Cookbooks ... Random Recipes

This month, Dom has challenged us to show off our stuff ... as in, cookbooks. Where DO we get the inspiration for all this cookery stuff? Well, I get it from a multitude of sources and in a few places around the house. I have a lot of cookbooks, recipes, and magazines. They sit in various places in the grey cottage but, interestingly enough, only a few sit in the kitchen.

19 July 2012

Picnic Fare 3 : Mango/Blueberry Salsa !

The bumper of blueberries is coming to a peak here on Gap Mountain. This weekend, SB and I are hosting a blueberry picking party. He hikes the mountain with the hikers and pickers and I put together a huge picnic affair here with the folks that don't like to hike and swat bugs. When the pickers get back to the grey cottage we eat like nobody's business!

I tested this mango blueberry salsa yesterday and decided that it will be great with a huge bowl of corn chips. We had it over top pan-seared salmon last evening with sides of garden green beans, but it is a wonderful snack-y dip that's healthy too! Go easy on the jalapeno pepper if you have folks that have tender palates ... just sayin'. I made ours firecracker hot, but some people can't tolerate the heat ... and God knows it's been hot enough here lately!

If you make this salsa, do try to lay your hands on some wild blueberries. They're smaller and sweeter and they make this salsa just perfect - the domestic blueberries are too large. Just sayin' ...

Mango Blueberry Salsa

Serves 4 - 6 as a snack


4 mangoes, peeled and strips cut and cubed
1 ½ c. fresh wild blueberries
¾ c. sweet red pepper, sliced and cubed very small
¾ c. sweet white onion, cubed very small
1 large jalapeño pepper, cubed very small (remove the seeds and veins if you like)
6 tbsp. lime juice
3 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp. olive oil
¾ tsp. cumin
6 tbsp. fresh cilantro, minced
Pinch cayenne pepper

Toss all the ingredients together in a cool glass bowl and chill until cold. Toss again to bring juices up through the salsa and serve as suggested.

Note: Serve with corn chips or as a side salsa for grilled salmon or grilled chicken. Yum!

14 July 2012

Breakfast of Champions - Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

There's been a lodger in the grey cottage for the past couple weeks. Eric, the baby of the family, has moved home for a bit while he begins his new job and continues his classes in machine work. I love to see him enthusiastic about this new chapter in his life. He gets up raring to go and comes out of work each day with something to tell about the manufacturing process or what he has learned. He has purpose and a revived sense of self-esteem ... and that's a good thing. No more feeling beleaguered at a job that doesn't seem to be going anywhere ... my boy's feeling like the top banana ... the sweet one, the one worthy of making something really good of life and not waiting around for the sweetness!

11 July 2012

Blueberry Season!

Silent Bob took his first exploratory hike up to the blueberry banks on Gap Mountain yesterday morning. He came back with a nice big bucket and chortled about it being a good berrying year. Then, he plunked the bucket on the counter and asked what I thought I might make with the bounty.

Well, that was a no-brainer! Muffins and pie!

04 July 2012

Picnic Fare 2 - Potato Salad

So, here it is the 4th of July and before we get the grill going, I'm making a potato salad to sit beside the hotdogs and corn on the cob. Potato salad is serious business because every family has their favorite and ours is no exception. There are several rules for making the potato salad that graces the tables at the grey cottage. So, here goes ...

03 July 2012

Picnic Fare - Creamy Cole Slaw

Well, here comes the 4th of July holiday and for the rest of the summer, the weekends will be taken up with picnics at the beach, state park reunions, long weekend camping trips, outdoor concerts and all manner of festivals and fairs. All that activity requires easy dishes that you can whip up in a snap and throw in the fridge or the cooler for later. There's no sense missing the fun or being a harried cook!

Here's an easy classic of summertime knoshing - it goes perfectly with everything from a fish fry to a pulled pork sandwich, from fried chicken off the grill to boiled lobsters and corn on the cob. It IS summertime on the plate, folks!

01 July 2012

Tapioca with Lemon Zest and Rosewater ... and a Raspberry in Every Bite!

Last evening, SB and I invited friends in for dinner and drinks - a celebration of summer and the beginnings of the garden haul. There were fresh greens for a gorgeous salad, fresh green beans for steaming, an Italian pulled pork ragu over creamy, cheesey baked polenta, and this lighter-than-air tapioca with beautiful fresh raspberries to top things off.