29 June 2014

A Different Kind of Carrot Cake ...

Most carrot cakes that I have made over the years have a considerable amount of vegetable oil in the batter. The carrots are grated coarsely and join sweetened coconut, crushed pineapple, and walnuts to make a thick batter that has a heavy moist crumb. This version of carrot cake is a bit different, though.

26 June 2014

Provençal Swiss Chard and Zucchini Tart

I have so enjoyed this segue into summertime! Our weather has been pretty perfect for the past couple weeks ... cool nights, sunny days in the mid 70's to low 80's, a bit of rain now and then to get the gardens growing well, and some cloud cover to keep things from heating up to quickly! Consequently, the vegetable gardens are really beginning to come on and Swiss chard, salad greens, and herbs are plentiful!

24 June 2014

IHCC - Nigel Slater's Pepper, Tomato and Basil Pasta

An Italian pasta bowl, brimming with healthy vegetables and a bit of smooth saucy pasta ... mmmm!

21 June 2014

Humble Pie !!!

Humble ingredients make for a soft, sweet, fluffy dessert ... meet Humble Pie, folks!

20 June 2014

Summertime Small Plates - Crab Cakes and Lemon

Crisped on the outside - soft and hot and chewy on the inside, these are NOT the typical Maryland version of crab cakes. These are spicy and moist with Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and mayonaisse. Lump crab meat is used and barely tossed so as to keep the chunks of meat intact. Fresh bread crumbs and an egg glue everything together and the cakes are chilled in the fridge for about an hour to set things up. Then, they are fried fast in bubbling butter and vegetable oil ... served hot from the pan with a drizzle of lemon juice and a cold beer, they are summer on a plate!

19 June 2014

An Aside ...

Yankee Magazine had a lazy girl's salad in their recipe pages this month ... how easy is it, at this time of year, to whack a few watermelon slices into bite-sized chunks, chop a cucumber the same, ribbon up some mint and basil, sprinkle on some salt and pepper and squeeze lime juice over all ? Done and done, right? All that's left is to add a handful of Feta cheese and there's lunch ...

Ahhhhhh ! Summer is here!

18 June 2014

IHCC - Nigel Slater's Mushroom and Leek Pie

It's time to get back in there and dig in ... so says, Silent Bob.


15 June 2014

Simple Elegance ...and Father's Day

This is how I woke up this morning ... six perfect fresh strawberries sitting on the counter top, a sunny Sunday morning - brand new and waiting for me on the back porch, and soft vanilla yogurt chilled in the fridge.

It's Father's Day ... and my sweet husband and father of our three sprouts has paced out the acreage, checked on the lettuce greens and the Swiss chard, picked these berries to cheer me up, and poked around the flower beds. He was up at dawn, as usual ...

I have brewed coffee ... and patted the dog's heads ... and puttered about the kitchen a bit. Opposites DO attract, don't they? Now, it's time to sit in the sun and slice those berries into the yogurt, and think about the day and memories and such ...

The strawberries match my house robe ... hmmm. Perhaps I should title this one self portrait with berries ...

Happy Father's Day to all ... cherish the day, the men in your life, the memories of those gone... and hopefully, the sunshine !

07 June 2014

Roasted Red Pepper and Carrot Soup

This is a soup that really hit the spot this week. I have needed to be on a simple soft diet for a few days, as I've been in the hospital to have a gall bladder procedure. Consequently, I am shuffling around the house with a pillow held to my mid-section, and a supply of easy meals in the fridge.This soup was made on Thursday morning just before I headed to the hospital. It has been lunch and late night snack after my return home.

I first thought that this would be a tomato based soup when I saw the recipe title, but no. This is a thick and rich carrot and red pepper soup with just a hint of tomato and a good dose of curry. The consistency is smooth and velvety, as the soup is pureed in the blender before going back into the soup pot to sit a bit and mature the spices. I told SB that the next time I make it, I'm going to throw a few handfuls of cooked rice and a handful of chopped parsley into the soup just before serving.

03 June 2014

Gruyère and Walnut Bread and a Eulogy

The past week has been a whirl of activity. I spent three wonderful days with women from the quilt guild that I belong to, working on projects and sharing tips and techniques for making piecing easier. I learned how to make fabric stars for simple ornaments, how to cut perfect half-triangle squares, and a ton of other neat tips. Coming away from the retreat, I had a gorgeous pile of pinwheel blocks that will be make my next twin bed sized quilt. The fabrics are all inspired by Civil War era cotton muslin and shirting fabric prints. Pretty, huh?