Monday, February 27, 2012

Collard Greens





So I was not raised in the south, but I love all the greens. I have not had much experience growing Collards. So I spent all summer trying to harvest this cabbage???? But I let it go. Look at it now, it is not cabbage but collards and after our warm winter it is perfect!!

I am cooking a great recipe for collards. Since I had chicken wings from my Sunday afternoon chicken and some reserved Ham Hocks,I have made some green collards for dinner. This is an adaption from a recipe from Paula Dean.

I put 1/2 lb ham hocks and bone and scrapes from my chicken on Sunday. wings.
1tablespoon seasoned salt
1tablespoon hot red pepper sauce
1 large bunch chopped collard greens


In a large pot I brought 2 quarts chicken broth and 1 quart water to a broil and added the meat, seasoned salt and coarse salt and pepper and hot sauce. 1 Tablespoon of each seasoning. Reduce the heat to medium and let it cook for an hour. Add the sliced prepared fresh collard greens and cook for an hour.
Stirring occasionally and season at the end.



Hey Dad





Today is the day Dad ..... The first daffodil bloomed. I think it is about a month early. I love you Dad. Thanks for giving me the love of nature. I have marked it in the book!!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Saturday Cooking

Since yesterday was too cold for outdoor gardening activities, I opted to do my next favorite activity....cooking. I spend hours scouring magazines and the Internet for recipes. My husband claims I never make the same thing twice. I am trying hard to not only keep track of good recipes but also use the foot high stack of torn out recipes from magazines. In fact, I have been compiling weekly menus and grocery list from this hugh stack.

At Kroger, the Organic whole chickens were on sale and calling to me. The thing is I hate taking the meat off a whole chicken, so a quick call to my sous chef (i.e my husband) gave the promise of help.

I roasted the bird in a 350 degree oven for about 2 hours. It weighed about 6 lbs. I did stuff it with lime slices and fresh thyme. Thus using up left over limes and helping me with my commitment to use more herbs.

I rubbed the outside of the bird with olive oil and coarse sea salt. When the internal temperature reached 190 degrees we pulled the golden brown chicken out and let it rest.

Meanwhile, my husband had been researching carving a chicken, he is ready to go with the carving.The result was a four star success. This was by far one of the most flavorful chickens we have had in a very long time.

Plus, it was fun engaging Randy!!! So he wins....I will make this again.



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, February 13, 2012

Grandma BB is babysitting

Today I babysat my 10 month old grand-baby, so I had to be very creative for dinner.We had some wonderful rosemary laced pork loin roast and some left over asparagus with blue cheese, so I just needed to add some bling. I made roasted pepperoni chips with meted blue cheese and coconut pumpkin soup. The end result was great!!!
Pumpkin Coconut Soup

Ingredients
2 carrots chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1 medium onion chopped
1 tbls olive oil
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1 14 oz unsweetened light coconut milk
1 14 oz low sodium chicken broth
2tbsp brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2tbsp cilantro

In a large sauce pan sauté the onions carrots and pepper in the olive oil about 5 minutes. In a large bowl combine the pumpkin, chicken broth, coconut milk , then stir in the brown sugar, salt and ginger.
Bring to a broil and the reduce to a simmer and cook about 10minutes. Before serving add in the Cilantro and fresh coconut.









- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Last year I could not get into my garden early enough to plant a good crop of early spring greens. So I improvised. I planted my pots with a variety of lettuce, herbs and flowers. I picked the plants so I would have a wide variety of leaf texture, color and bloom.

I am ready to go on this project.   Hopefully,  I will be able to plant the seeds this next week!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Herbs at my Hand

One wonderful thing about this warmer weather has been the availability of fresh herbs. My husband and I are both on a "diet".  So I am baking chicken breast tonight. They have been marinated in Greek yogurt with fresh Italian herbs blended in and some lime juice. I rolled them in the yogurt mixture and then rolled them in oat bran.  They are baking in the oven and smell wonderful. I have melted some "Laughing Cow" light garlic and herb cheese wedges, with ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and some low fat half and half.   I was able to pick some fresh parsley to put into this at the last minute.  This will go over the chicken.

I also made some Oat Bran Coconut Muffins.  That is all we will have tonight. Yes we are on a low carb diet for the time being.   I will let you all know how this goes.  Actually it is THE DUKAN DIET.  Have I been taken in by a French diet???   Friday I get to add all my fresh veggies....so I will keep you posted.

If these recipes are good..I will post them.  Has anyone else tried this approach?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Daffodile Update February 5th


Oh My....the daffodiles are ready to pop.  I may be bringing some cuttings in save the early bloomers. The forecast is for a cold blast!  Stay tuned.....

Cleaning out the Frig!

Since it was a pretty blah Saturday, (cool and rainy) I decided to clean out the frig and freezer.   I knew what would happen, it is the same when I try to clean out my gardens. I end up pulling out saved items and start to pitch, then I think about what I could make and use the ingredient.  I think I have been watching to many episodes of Iron Chef and Chopped.. In my garden, I just cannot throw out plants. I always end up somehow finding new homes for the rejects.

Here are a few of the results;  Cantaloupe Bread, Banana Crunch Muffins, and Vegetable Beef Stew.  So they are now packaged up and back in the refrigerator and freezer in a new form. I think there is something wrong with this picture?

CANTALOUPE BREAD


Content Copyright © 2012 Cooks.com - All rights reserved.

1 3/4 c. flour

1/4 tsp. soda

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

2/3 c. sugar

2 eggs

1/2 c. chopped pecans

1/5 c. melted butter

1 c. mashed cantaloupe pulp


Mix dry ingredients, add eggs, butter and cantaloupe pulp. Stir in pecans. Pour into a well greased and floured loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until done. "This is out of this world good - so moist you would never suspect cantaloupe was used



Friday, February 3, 2012

Why I Garden....


"Let us give thanks for loving friends, who wind around us like
tendrils and hold us, despite our blights, wilts and witherings"
       Reverend Max Coots

I garden not just due to the love of plants,or the feel of the earth, or the gratification of harvest, I garden for friendship as well. My love of nature and plants has been handed down to me from some of my best friends, my grandmother, my mother and my father. Garden friends are a special lot. Perhaps it is because we all "grow together", sharing plants, tips, information and life's happenings. A wise women once said "No gardener is ever too poor to have something to share with others" (Nita Waxelman)

This last week, a fellow Master Gardener's life long family home burned totally to the ground. Fortunately, she was away on a trip and had taken her dog!! Linda has been a rock in our group, heading up the plantings for the Garden Fair, working on the downtown planters and much much more. So when we heard the news, we needed somehow to help.
The construction crew is scheduled next week to bulldoze the house and Linda was very concerned about her plantings around the house. Carolyn hatched a perfect plan and Mother Nature blessed us with excellent weather, so we dug into action!

We met yesterday and moved the plants. Who would have thought that we would beable to dig and replant hundreds of plants on February 2nd.

A nice pitch-in lunch was enjoyed by all. I cannot imagine losing everything you have collected and gathered during a lifetime, but thanks to some garden friends, she has not lost her plants. When the time comes and her house is rebuilt, I am sure we will all return to help her. Linda would be the first in line to help any of us in the same boat!

Once again, I was reminded just why I love to garden.

*****Special Thanks to Pam Dennison for taking the picture and adding the caption.



Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thanks but No Thanks Mr. Groundhog!!


So today February 2, the Groundhog definitely saw his shadow..but somehow I do not think the Daffodils, Mock Orange Shrub, and the Forget-Me-Nots are agreeing with that prognosis.

As you can see the Daffodils are at least 6 inches up.... The Mock Orange is perfuming the air with its citrus scents and .....the Forget-me-Nots are forgetting about there ever being a Winter.

I have too much emerging to take any diverse tactics, so for now I will enjoy the early Spring!

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