Monday, May 31, 2010

Hot Buttered Cherries with Vanilla Ice Cream

I love everything about the title of this post.  "HOT, BUTTERED CHERRIES... VANILLA ICE CREAM", is that not an amazing group of words? I made this last night, right around midnight.  Nothing better than a late night dessert shared with friends over an intense game of UNO.  With cherries at the peak of the season, there is no reason why you shouldn't make this right NOW!  Deliciously plump and warm cherries on top of creamy vanilla ice cream is one hell of a way to end the night.  What's better?  Leave the pits in and stems attached to make for an even easier and more beautiful presentation..

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ahhh, chamomile!

I was at Whole Foods yesterday and to my surprise, I was handed a big bunch of free organic herbs, compliments of Kenter Canyon Farms - they sell local, organic lettuces and herbs and their "spicy" lettuce mix is always in my fridge.  In my lovely bouquet was rosemary, chamomile, and lemongrass, AMAZING.  The chamomile alone was so delightful, I couldn't wait to bring it home and make a pot of tea.  Now, I am determined to add German chamomile to my growing mini-garden, the tiny-daisy like flowers are so sweet, they just make me smile.  I read that adding chamomile to your compost adds absorption of calcium and spraying the tea on to propagation flats can prevent them from damping off.
If you find yourself with fresh chamomile flowers, just pinch off about a dozen or so flowers per cup of  almost boiling water and steep for just a few minutes.  No other word to describe it, other than utterly delightful.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bad Kitty!

Well, that didn't take long...  After 2 short days, Tony the Cat, found his "new" litter box, aka my tomato plants.  I can only image what a big pot of loose, fresh soil means to a cat, so I was half-way expecting this to happen - yuck!  Anyway, I think I have come up with a solution, (only time will tell), but I laid out some jute across the wine barrel, and I have a feeling this will make for a good deterrent.  God forbid the cats actually use the litter box!  I'll let you know if this works...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I am so excited!  After talking and talking (and talking and talking), about it, I finally DID it!  My minuscule garden has taken off - the objective, other than the obvious, (delicious, home-grown vegetables), is to prove to my husband that I can keep a garden alive and thriving and once that is proven, I will then earn my right to a real, proper full-sized, mega garden.  For now, I am as happy as a blue jay with my start.  A pair of organic heirloom tomatoes,(black zebra and juane flamme), two types of organic basil, and one sweet little strawberry plant.  I'm planning to buy more herbs and perhaps an artichoke plant, but I am simply thrilled to get my hands dirty and sit and watch my little plantings GROW!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Salsa Verde Chicken with Roasted Corn and Poblanos

We went to our friends' annual Cinco De Mayo pot-luck last night and the food was terrific! There's nothing better than a big table full of people's yummy hard work.  Pot-lucks are the best way to get people together with tons of food (and booze!), saving the hostessing heroine hours of work, along with fist-fulls of money. It's so interesting to see what other people like to create.  If every guest puts forth just a wee bit of effort, great things will happen. Last night, it was enchiladas, chile rellenos, roasted salsas, fresh guac, carnitas, and on and on... Muy delicioso!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Pan Seared Haloumi with Fresh Favas

Haloumi is a mild yet salty cheese hailing from Greece. It's made from either goats or sheep's milk. I've used it a few times and I think I'll be using it more as I have fallen deeply in love with it. It's charm is in it's firm texture, as you can grill or pan fry it without it turning in to a big gooey mess. This Greek staple is a brilliant substitute for meat and it's especially wonderful with fresh herbs and sweet, ripe tomatoes. A robustly salty and chewy texture is unlike any other cheese you've had and is wonderful grilled and simply finished with a squeeze of lemon. It's the perfect summer addition to your up-coming cook-outs!

Thursday, May 6, 2010