Category Archives: Food

Morel Mushrooms…

Found around dead or dying elm trees, old apple orchards, old ash, poplar trees and pines. lies these delicious morel mushrooms.  Considered a fungus and arriving in the spring time, these mushrooms are something out of the ordinary.  As a child I remember my dad coming inside from the woods with a big bowl of these and frying them up in butter. He was always so excited and eager to find more. His love for the morels has rubbed off on me.  Now I’m the one finding my own bowl and sharing them with my family. Thanks dad. 

*The aroma in my kitchen that night was morel mushrooms fried in butter and smothered on top of a rack of goat ribs shared with a garlic spinach & bacon salad.*


Grilled tangy BBQ legs/thighs…

Ingredients:

1 package legs/thighs (approx. 15-20 pieces) cleaned and dried. Place in bowl and toss with 1/8 cup fresh lime juice. 

Sauce:

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup ketchup (add more if needed for taste as vinegar can sometimes be overpowering) 

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon minced red onion

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon stone ground mustard

2 tsp. dijon mustard

Salt/pepper/parsley 

*Saute minced red onion and garlic in small pan until golden brown. Add remaining sauce ingredients and simmer over medium heat for approx. 15-20 minutes or until sauce thickens and reduces. Set aside to cool. Once cooled set aside 1/4 cup of sauce for dipping and pour the rest of the sauce over chicken legs/thighs to coat. Let sit in fridge for couple hours to let flavors mix.

Once flavors are mixed, fire up the grill.  Use the leftover sauce in the bottom of the bowl that the chicken has been marinating in to baste the chicken pieces every time you flip them.  Grill chicken pieces until internal temperature meets 165 degrees.  Serve with left over sauce and other favorite side dishes. 


Lovely red tomatoes…

I discovered in my garden yesterday that my roma tomatoes were red, ripe, and ready to be eaten. So what to do with these lovely little guys?….  My husband cut them up and made a caprese salad.  

Ripe tomatoes, cut up in slices

Fresh basil leaves

Mozzarella cheese, torn to medium size pieces

Olive oil to drizzle

Salt/pepper sprinkle for taste =


Gold Nugget Mandarine…

Another very tasty fruit with no seeds and easy to peel. What I liked about the Gold Nugget Mandarine was that is wasn’t sticky or messy even though they were very juicy.  They are sweet & tart at the same time. Awesome snack on a hot steamy day. 


Grilled spicy sesame garlic eggplant with sushi rice…

Preparing the Eggplant:

I’ve cooked Eggplant before, but I’ve never thought about how to prepare it before you cook it. Eggplant has a natural enzyme in it that can leave a bitter after taste. So to get rid of that bitterness, you have to draw out the moisture in the eggplant. They call it sweating the eggplant. 

The first thing to do is line a baking sheet with paper towel and set aside. Clean your eggplant and cut off the top & bottom. Starting from one end, slice off 1/2 inch circles. Place them onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle sea salt or kosher salt on both sides of the eggplant slices and leave for 1/2 – 1 hour. It’s fun to see how much water will come to the surface. When the time if up, take a towel and soak up the water & salt until the slices are dry. Now they are ready. 

Spicy Sesame Garlic Eggplant with Sushi Rice

Ingredients

2 small garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch circles

Grapeseed Oil

Fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

Salt & white pepper

Parmesan cheese, shaved

 Sushi Rice

Preheat grill. (I used my panini press which is amazing to cook on) First brush Grapeseed oil onto the grill so the eggplant slices won’t stick. Drizzle the grapeseed oil on the eggplant pieces as well. Season with salt & white pepper. Place on grill and cook for approx. 14-20 minutes or until eggplant becomes soft. Meanwhile add garlic, brown rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and red chili flakes to a small bowl. Whisk together until flavors are blended. When eggplant slices are done, place them onto a plate of sushi rice and pour desired amount of the sauce all over. Top with shaved parmesan cheese and finely fresh chopped mint leaves. 


Coconut milk….

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The process: Cracking open the coconut

 Purchase a fresh coconut!

1.  Drain the coconut. (This makes less of a mess when you crack open the coconut) There are three holes on one side of the coconut. Find the softest hole and insert a nail. Tap on the head of the nail until it goes straight through. If it’s hard to tap into then you haven’t found the softest hole. Once you’re tapped in, set the coconut on a glass to drain. 

2.  Cutting open the coconut…we tried two different methods:

Method 1: Look for the seem that runs between the eyes, follow that seem to the equator of the coconut. Using a hammer tap firmly around the equator line until the coconut splits.

Method 2:  Holding the coconut firmly in the palm of your hand, lunge the coconut into a hard sharp corner (we used concrete steps)

After both attempts, nothing. We decided to go back to method one and after numerous times it finally cracked open. yeah!

It cracked open beautifully and ready to be turned into coconut milk

Making fresh coconut milk

1. Remove the outer brown shell from the coconut using a knife or chisel/hammer. Break the coconut into small pieces and grate on a metal grater until you get 1 cup of shredded coconut. 

2. Add the 1 cup of shredded coconut to a blender along with 1 cup of hot water. Blend for 2-3 minutes.

3. Position a metal mesh strainer over a large cup ( I like to use a glass liquid measuring cup and my mini strainer (purchased at Target) sits right on top) 

4. Pour the blended coconut/water mixture into the strainer until full. Using a spoon, push down the mixture so the juice is running out from the bottom. After a while you’ll notice the mixture in the strainer becomes dry. 

5. At this point you’ll want to take the dry mixture and put it back into the blender to be mixed again. This time add 1/2 cup of hot water and blend for 1 minute. Repeat straining process. 

*Now you are ready to enjoy a warm cup of fresh coconut milk, if you don’t like it warm add an ice cube and enjoy! 🙂

The final product. Fresh warm coconut milk.


Sweet BBQ Chicken…

Sweet BBQ Chicken

Ingredients:

1 whole organic chicken (Approx. 1 1/2 lbs) Cleaned 

1 cup all natural Cola ( Zevia, or Sky Blue )

1/2 – 3/4 cup BBQ sauce ( I used Triple Crown Gluten Free Gourmet BBQ Sauce)

1/2 red onion thinly sliced

3 whole garlic cloves (Mincing one of the garlic cloves)

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Grape Seed Oil

Spices: Rosemary, Paprika, Red pepper flakes, Onion powder, Garlic powder, Salt, Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place clean whole chicken into a clear deep baking pan. Stuff the inside with a handful of onions, 2 of the garlic cloves, salt, pepper, rosemary. Place remaining onion slices on top of the chicken. In a small bowl mix together the Cola, BBQ sauce, minced garlic clove, lemon juice, and all herbs to your spice level. Taste to adjust flavors if needed. Pour mixture on top of the chicken. Drizzle Grape Seed Oil all over chicken.  Bake for about 1 -1 1/2 hours making sure internal temp reaches 165 degrees F. Check chicken every 30 minutes. When doing so take sauce from bottom of pan and drizzle it over the chicken to keep it moist. Slice and Enjoy!