Showing posts from March, 2011

New addition and first fruit of the year

On an impulse purchase at Calloways I got a fig tree.  I've always wanted to see if I could produce figs, so there's no stopping me now!
What are some suggestions for figs, besides the obvious???????
fig preserves anyone?

This is the first apricot that I found, I dont see too many buds, so this may be a dormant year for apricots.  Its so weird that the peaches and apricots thrive at different times.  Apricots must be the problem children, cause they have weak production much more than my peaches.

I've got hundreds of these peach buds going so far. I can see A LOT of peach preserves in my future.  Will try to get other things this years like pies and such.  Any ideas????

Lasagne Rolls and Asparagus/goat cheese tart

First of all....Big props to Chrystal at Food Fondness,,
for the AWESOMENESS that is an asparagus goat cheese tart recipe, which I stole and thoroughly enjoyed.  Also I took another recipe and altered it to make it more like lasagna for the rolls.

You HAVE to try both of these, maybe not together, but they both will definitely satisfy.

Tart photo is prior to baking.

The lasagna rolls are the perfect portion with a different twist (photo is prior to me layering mozzarella cheese over the top).  The melted cheese that fell off and stuck to the pan made some cool cheese chips that I couldn't help but eat, even though I was completely stuffed.

These will both be made again....and again.....and again!!!!  The photo doesn't even come close to showing how awesome these both tasted.

chicken, mushroom and onion quesadillas

Monday is mexican night, so I went simple and made quesa-dillas!!!!

Used left over shitake mushrooms, onions, garlic and chicken and paired it with some black beans.

Zachary didn't like them cause he said he didn't like the garlic, so I fooled him and gave him some of the filling, which also contained garlic, and he ate it with no hassles.

Quesadillas are a simple, and usually kid friendly, meal that can easily be whipped up at the last minute.

Always reminds me of the line in "Napoleon Dynomite"...
"make you a dang queso-dillo!!!!"
and for some reason this line too...
"eat your food, TINA!!!"

Udon Noodle Soup

Decided to make udon noodles tonight.  Couldn't find a soup recipe for it, so I improvised.  The udon recipe came from and was very cool cause part of the instructions was to WALK on the dough.  Kneading wasn't enough, it called for you to place it in a ziplock bag, wrap in a towel and walk on it.  We all got into the act and took turns.
Since it was my first time with udon, they didn't come out perfect.  I cut them too large, and they were a bit floury or mealy in the middle.  After they sit all night and soak up the broth I think they are going to be awesome.

 The broth turned out GREAT!  I combined beef broth, parsnips, scallions, shitake mushrooms, chinese 5 spice, sesame oil, soy sauce and salt/pepper.  Garden cilantro was added as a garnish.
I would definitely do this again, but cut the noodles about half the thickness.
Anyone have any suggestions regarding udon!

Trick I learned from my mother

My mom would always bring home a doggie bag when they went out to eat, including the empty baked potato skins. Then the next morning she would make hashbrowns from the skins and a scramble out of any leftover steak.
No baked tators last night, so this morning I made a scramble with our leftover sirloin and coconut shrimp and I added bacon.
Sauté some onions and garlic, add steak tomatoes and eggs. Sprinkle cheese let melt a bit, then crumble bacon and chives on top and enjoy!

The hashbrowns were always a welcome treat and I have done this trick MANY times. Dutchie has even effectively made a potato cake out of leftover mashed. My attempts at this have so far failed. She is the potato cake queen.

Please comment a cooking technique you learned from your mother!
Or one you hope to pass down to your kids!!!

Shrimp Curry

Here is the before/after of this meal.

Shrimp Curry recipe from  I omitted the chili powder, cause Zachary doesn't like spicy, but Todd "likes his chicken spicy" (Seinfeld reference) so I added sriracha chili sauce for the heat. Personally I didn't care for the tomatoes in this dish, but the fresh garden cilantro was a powerful and welcome flavor component. I love doing this to the rice in a dish....just pack a small bowl with rice and invert it on the plate.  Such an easy thing to do that adds so much to the experience.  We first eat with our eyes, then our nose THEN our mouth.


While shopping for the few things I need for tonight's shrimp curry, i saw some whole wheat slider buns.  Then I saw some slider patties and it was on!
So lunch today was swiss/bacon sliders with cilantro mayo!
baby carrots on the side and success.

Boys night

Whipped up some cilantro mayo for BLT for lunch....AWESOME!!
Then Zachary and I made homemade pizzas. One chees, one pepperoni. Great times.
I'm planning a bigger meal Friday...maybe curry shrimp?

Tools I'm using

Since I seem to have a need to post reports about my adventures in cooking for my family, I thought a blog is more appropriate than Facebook. I set this up via my iPhone and we'll see where this leads me.
I have 2 fruit trees a raised garden and several veggies/herbs/fruits in pots. My goal is to produce organic food to supplement what we get from the grocery store.
Let the foodventure begin!!!