Archive for May, 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award

Neat-O!  I was nominated for an award!  I wasn’t sure what it was all about, but a bit of reading explains how one is nominated by fellow bloggers and readers.  I think it’s terrific that the blogging community does this.  So as per the guidelines…

The Rules:

Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.

Thank you very much for the nomination, Bakermom from La Petite Kitchen!

Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. (I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.  In no particular order:

  1. In Her Chucks
  2. Fruhlingskabine Micro-Farm
  3. A Table in the Sun
  4. Romancing the Bee
  5. Heedley’s Hens
  6. Scratch Cradle
  7. Ferndale Chickens
  8. Garden Sunshine
  9. Salt of Portugal
  10. Aquaponic Family
  11. Grow It Cook It Can It
  12. Real Food, Real Deals
  13. Gourmet Veggie Mama
  14. Frugal Feeding
  15. Poor Baker

Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

  1. I want to live my life with gratitude, empathy, and integrity.
  2. I wish I had a miniature Jersey cow; they only need a half acre!
  3. I love watching and reading the news, but don’t like blogging about it.
  4. There are twenty something books sitting on my nightstand at any given time and I’ll eventually read them all.
  5. Despite my green thumb outside, I’m dangerous to houseplants.
  6. I wish I had a conservatory for my poor houseplants and to have a nice place to read during the day.
  7. Hurray for bicycle rides with my family!
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Garlic Greens Pesto

To make this dish you need to start planning in autumn. What? You didn’t plant your garlic bulbs last fall? Ok then, just find yourself a farmers’ market and purchase some new garlic with its greens still attached. The young garlic is still tender and usually, although this also depends on the variety, has a milder, less pungent flavor. Still, this recipe is guaranteed to keep the vampires away! Use it on pasta, in sandwiches, and on bruschetta, which is an Italian-style toast.

Garlic Greens Pesto

  • 3-4 bulbs garlic with greens attached
  • 1/3 cup Parmigiana or Pecorino Romano Cheese or a Combination
  • 1 Tbsp Pine Nuts (You can also substitute walnuts)
  • 1/3 cup Olive Oil

Remove the greens from the bulb with a knife or culinary scissor. Reserve the bulbs for other recipes.

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If using a food processor, help it out by precutting the garlic greens into 2″ pieces and/or peel the leaf layers almost like you would shuck corn.

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Add cheese, nuts, and olive oil.

Process until it comes together into a paste. You may need to add more olive oil if it’s too thick.

If you’re using a knife instead of a food processor, use the peeling method. Then chop into tiny pieces until you wish you had a food processor, but smile because you’re building all that upper body strength. Mix the minced greens with the remaining ingredients.

Place the pesto in a covered jar with a layer of olive oil. Store in the refrigerator.

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Grilled Cornbread Pudding A.K.A Corn in May: A Cautionary Tale

It was our Memorial Day BBQ. We thought we should grill some corn. It looked so tempting at the grocery store. Besides, it’s almost corn season and next month the early varieties will ripen locally. And really now, how bad could it be? Well, it was really that bad. Starchy and tough and we should have waited until July when we could purchase from our local farms. So instead of just chucking it all to the chickens, we thought we’d repurpose it in a corn bread with a pudding-like texture. And while it was quite tasty,  yes, it would taste better with in-season corn.

  • 2 eggs
  • 12 oz. plain yogurt, homemade or store bought
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter or olive oil plus 1 Tbsp butter for skillet
  • 2 cups corn kernels cut from grilled corn
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Preheat the oven or grill to 350F. Set a cast iron skillet on the grill or one the stovetop on low and melt 1 Tbsp butter. Whisk together the eggs, yogurt, honey, and melted butter or oil. Fold in the cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and corn kernels until combined. Pour into the skillet. Grill for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

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Orpington Update: I Think She’s Ok!

A few days ago it looked like a wild ax murderer went through our coop. Splashes of blood littered the floor. Our Buff Orpington was dripping blood from her mouth and roosting in an odd position. Everything being closed on Memorial Day weekend, I trawled the Internet for answers and the results scared the $#%! out of me. Was it the deadly infectious laryngotracheitis which would necessitate the culling of my entire flock? But there was no gasping, swelling, or lesions. Had they been poisoned by plotting neighbors? I couldn’t believe it. Did she get into a fight? Although the blood was bright red and fresh, I couldn’t detect any physical damage.

The next day the blood had dried into a black ring around her beak. There was no fresh bleeding. She even laid an egg, but continued to roost in an odd position in the nesting box. She came out periodically to eat and drink, leaving her broody compatriot inside to sit on eggs. Or empty nests.

This morning you would never know anything happened to her. She’s up scratching in the run with the ret of flock, minus broody Silkie, who stubbornly refuses to get off the nest insisting that she CAN be the first to incubate unfertilized eggs.

The conclusion? The miraculous healing and lack of any symptoms from the rest of the flock lead me to suspect a physical injury, possibly from our aggressive top hen that has bullying the other ladies. I miss our Speckled Sussex, who was taken by a hawk a few months ago, because during her reign at the top she was always decent to her flockmates.

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Slow Roasted Leg of Spring Lamb with Greek-Style Garden Herbs

Memorial Day ushers in the summer season in our area, but I wanted to pause and reflect on a beautiful spring and the sacrifice of our servicemen and women. Perhaps it’s growing up in the Catholic tradition, but I thought the lamb would symbolize both at our Memorial Day party this afternoon.

The herbs came fresh from our garden.

Oregano…

Lemon Thyme…

Rosemary…

The inspiration for this recipe came from Orestis’ Kouzina: Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb.

  • 8 lbs bone in leg of lamb
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • Bunch oregano
  • Bunch lemon thyme
  • Bunch rosemary
  • Dash cinnamon
  • 1 cup red wine

Preheat the oven to 250F. Place lamb in roasting dish. Slice one clove garlic.

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With a pairing knife, puncture the lamb and insert the sliced garlic.

Combine the olive oil, salt, pepper, and half of the oregano leaves. You can hold the sprigs of oregano towards the top and strip the bottom leaves from the woody stems for this step.

 

Rub onto the lamb. If you like salty, sprinkle up to another Tbsp over the lamb.  Add a dash or two of cinnamon.  Place the remainder of the herbs and garlic into the bottom of the roasting pan. Pour in the wine.

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Cover and roast for at least 7 hours or until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender.

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Slice and serve.  Excellent when accompanied with tzatziki and pita.

Spring Greens Salad with Roasted Rhubarb, Goat Cheese, and Pecans

I’m always on the hunt for innovative rhubarb recipes, especially ones without a ton of sugar. I found this gorgeous salad on after the (farmer’s) market and had to try it with my own spin. I’m very glad I did because roasted rhubarb is brilliant. The roasting mellowed the tartness of the rhubarb, which was complemented by the creamy goat cheese and the honey added a light sweetness. I would definitely make this again and again with my generous rhubarb harvest and other local farmers’ market finds, such as greens, honey, and goat cheese.

  • 3 stalks rhubarb, cut into 2″ pieces
  • 1 heaping teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 4 cups spring salad greens
  • Ginger vinaigrette (Whisk together 1 Tbsp ginger infused vinegar, 1 tsp salt, 2 Tbsp Olive Oil)
  • 2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350F. Mix the rhubarb and honey on a baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes until softened. On a separate baking sheet, roast the pecans for about 10 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Toss the salad greens with the ginger vinaigrette. Top with the rhubarb, goat cheese, and pecans.

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CSA & Farmers’ Market: Pre-CSA #2

Surprise CSA Box: n/a

Farmer’s Market Purchases:  Asparagus, Salad Greens, Tatsoi, Strawberries, Fresh Goat Cheese, Bread, Steamers, Cheesecake

Mini Farm Harvest:  Rhubarb, Herbs

Within Budget:  No (Our Memorial Day party and holiday weekend guests pushed us over the weekly budget. D-oh!)

Bibliopharm’s Weekly CSA & Farmers’ Market Meal Plan

Saturday
Brunch:  Eggs Benedict, Fresh Fruit
Dinner:   Party!  Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb, Ribs, Steamers, Grilled Vegetables, Salad with Goat Cheese and Roasted Rhubarb, Cheesecake, Strawberry Cake

Sunday
Breakfast:  Mixed Berry Bundt
Sunday Dinner:  Going to a Beach BBQ!

Monday
Breakfast: Breakfast Smoothie
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner:  Corned Beef, Potatoes, Cabbage

Tuesday
Breakfast:  Breakfast Smoothie
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner:  Greens and Beans and Pasta

Wednesday
Breakfast:  Breakfast Smoothie
Lunch:  Sherried Sardine Toast
Dinner:  Corned Beef Hash and Eggs, Cabbage, Toast

Thursday
Breakfast:  Breakfast Smoothie
Lunch:  Sherried Sardine Toast
Dinner:  Bolinhos de Bacalhau (Codfish Cakes), Esparregado (Portuguese Sautéed Greens)

Friday
Breakfast:  Breakfast Smoothie
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner:  We’re Taking In or Going Out!

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