31 July 2014

Zucchini Blueberry Bread

The dog days of summer are upon us here in New Hampshire. Pete the Smart Corgi flops in the sun most mornings while I get the baking done before the heat builds. This morning I dealt with the first big onslaught of zucchini and the huge amount of blueberries that SB picked up on Gap Mountain. The local paper printed a recipe for a zucchini blueberry quick bread that is lightened up a bit. The batter has plain yogurt, one egg and egg whites, and less oil than my other recipe. The bread is treated with a lemon glaze while it's still warm, which creates a densely sweet slice.

22 July 2014

Creamy Polenta with Broccoli and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

We're getting really beautiful broccoli from the garden right now! The other day, we picked a head that was as large as a bridal bouquet ... so lovely with nice tight florets and brilliant green stems with that lovely velvety look. Golly, I love the summertime produce!

21 July 2014

An Aside ...

I went to lunch with a friend last week at Pickity Place over in Mason, New Hampshire. After lunch, Diane and I meandered around the lovely herb gardens and saw a bird bath perched in the middle of a small raised flower bed. It had flowers floating in it ... so lovely. Well, I don't have a big ceramic bird bath, but I have a pretty pottery bowl and the hollyhocks are blooming alongside the wild daisies. My verbena is a pretty pink this year, too.

If only the Japanese beetles would leave the verbena alone! I have become a mercenary when it comes to Japanese beetles ...I make twice daily patrols of the flower beds, flicking sex-starved gnawing beetles into 'the can of death'. I have a young friend that lives in Brooklyn. She and her husband lament the passing pedestrian children that pick her flowers and wreak havoc on her little green space. I know how she feels, as the beetles are never ending at this time of year. A pest's a pest, I guess.

20 July 2014

Hurray For Berry Season!

So ... I bought this mega-muffin pan a while back to satisfy the muffin maniac in the grey cottage. And this past weekend, I made muffins from the first of the wild blueberries that SB brought down off of Gap Mountain. A worthy muffin recipe with a BIG pay off. These muffins are double the size of a conventional muffin/cupcake tin offering. Not that we're gluttons for a good muffin or anything .......

09 July 2014

Seared Chicken Breasts with Honey & Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes

A simple and very tasty way to deal with a couple chicken breasts ... dinner can be ready in half an hour.
We had ours with a huge mound of steamed Swiss chard and a side of orzo with mushrooms and zucchini. The vegetables for the orzo side were prepared in the pan in which I seared the chicken, so the flavours from the chicken melded with the vegetables nicely. This was a nice summertime meal ... full of vegetables and a soft, sweet and very moist chicken.

06 July 2014

An Aside ...

Don't you just love colorful food ? This smoked salmon and crispy cucumber platter was a hit at our little church this morning. We stood around after the service sipping our lemonade spritzers and slathering stone ground wheat crackers with the herbed cheese spread and topping things off with a little slab of salmon and some cucumber crisps. Who needs lunch after knoshing these ?

05 July 2014

4th of July Pie !!!

The pie was stellar looking - yes? But WAIT! It was far too soupy, which leads me to a burning question -


While everyone at yesterday's 4th celebration raved about the flavour of the pie, this baker was wishing she could get a piece cut and transferred intact to the waiting plate ... so I'm sending my plea out there ...

04 July 2014

IHCC - Time for Small Plate Salmon Cakes

This week Nigel Slater's appetizer or snack recipes are on stage. 

03 July 2014

Martha Stewart's Mocha Shortbreads

Cocoa, coffee, and cocoa nibs all in a shortbread dough. I'll admit. That concept grabbed me by the neck and made me double take a recipe in the latest Living magazine. Having never worked with cocoa nibs, but having been gifted a bag of cocoa beans, this was an accessible recipe for this country hick!

02 July 2014

A Beach Blanket Chicken Recipe - Lemon Ginger Fried Chicken

This month's Virtual Supper Club is highlighting fare that could easily sit on a picnic plate at the beach. It IS that time of year, after all, and there's nothing like a well-stocked cooler and picnic basket when you're camped for the day in the shade of a beach umbrella!

An Aside ...

The first cutting of cornflowers is always such a treat. That blue cannot be duplicated anywhere else in the flower world - well, perhaps in a perfect stalk of delphinium or larkspur, but no where else! Really!

01 July 2014

Re-Fried Bean Stuffed Poblanos with Queso

Need an easy dish to share at a summertime patio party? These peppers were a cinch to make and travelled nicely to the pool party we hung at over the weekend. The colors are great in this dish. I didn't photograph the finished dish, as we all know what a cheesy topping looks like, but at this point in the prep, I had to snap a photo because the peppers were so pretty and perfect.