Herbs, Inspiring

The Daily Special

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “You, the Sandwich.”

I’m a foodie,love ALMOST everything,just some more than others. If a restaurant were to name something after me it would be “The Daily Special”, everyday would be something different from what ever is fresh in the kitchen. For example today I look around my kitchen and found this

imageimageimage

Avocados,tomatoes,crab,pesto,mozzarella cheese and fresh basil, just need some nice sourdough and they would have “The Daily Special” Meme the Panini. Tomorrow would be what ever is fresh and ready to move out of the kitchen. Ciao!

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/you-the-sandwich/”>You, the Sandwich</a>

Herbs, Recipe

Ham & Egg Cups :)

These little guys make me happy . Easy to make,taste great,low calories,last for a few days,easy to take to work, shall I continue?

Baked Egg Cups

12 Eggs

12 thin slices of deli ham (round)

1/2 Cup of your favorite cheese (I used Parmesan)

1/2 Cup diced green onion

Salt & Pepper

Preheat the oven to 400.  Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.  Lay a piece of ham in each hole creating a little ham cup.  Crack one egg into each hole and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake the eggs for about 12 minutes…until the white is firm and the yolk is still nice and runny.

Carefully remove each egg from the muffin tin and top with grated cheese and green onion.

Add ins I want to try, put in before adding egg: fresh spinach, avocado or cooked aspargus. Its good to get some greens going in with your breakfast for health benefits.

Sunshine Breakfast
Sunshine Breakfast

Only 100 calories per egg. Cant beat that, and I wrap them up in a Ziploc bag and take to work and share cause they are still good cold.

Hope you enjoy!

Herbs, Recipe

Corn Salad

Corn season is among us, but time will be running out soon to get that fresh from the crop Corn. Last week I saw it “10 for $1.00” That’s almost FREE. So brings me back to this awesome Corn Salad. I discovered it this year and it’s now in my FAVS. If you make anything this weekend make this

IMG_1337.JPG

Ingredients:

2 TBS butter

3 cups corn (about 4 ears), cut from the cob

3 TBS Mayo

1 clove garlic, grated

2 green onion, sliced

1 handful cilantro,chopped

1 lime,juice

2 TBSP cotija cheese, crumbled (this stuff is the best)

Directions:

Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn, toss and let it sit cooking until charred, mix it up ad let it char aging, about 6-10 minutes ( mine took about 15- 20 minutes. Pour the corn into a bowl and mix all other ingredients, serve warm or at room temperature.

OPTIONS: Add fresh diced jalapeno to the charring process to add some heat, add chile powder or cayenne pepper to taste. Diced avocados would be amazing they say, I haven’t tried that one yet but I will.

This salad was easy to make, delicious and was liked by all. I served it with pulled pork sammies, and the next day we topped our Taco’s with it. Add it to your Salsa or fresh salad, quesadilla or throw into your soups. When I went to use the salad the next day I zapped it in the micro-wave for a minute to loosen it up and get the chill off.

Hope your family enjoys this salad as much as we did.

Herbs

Herb Butter…Part 2

Herb Butters

LOVE Herb Butters and I did a post awhile back about them and I have found some new flavors to add to our list. All three of these will be great on a freshly grilled steak. I like sauces for meats, but I am not good at them and this is a great substitute. Just slice off a good Tablespoon of your favorite butter and put on your Rib Eye, Chicken breast or ground sirloin. It will add a fresh herb flavor and creaminess from the butter. The ideas for these butter are endless…Meats, breads, popcorn, veggies, sautéed foods, etc…

Gorgonzola Butter

2 ozs. favorite Gorgonzola cheese

1 stick unsalted butter

I use a mini food processor for these butters, place ingredients in with a dash of salt and blend.

Green Butter

1 c. chopped cilantro

1/4 c. chopped green onion

1/2 t. white ground pepper and dash of salt

1 stick of unsalted butter

Place ingredients in processor blend well.

Roasted Garlic Butter

1 roasted head of garlic, scoop out all the pulp mash with a splash of olive oil

1 stick of unsalted butter

dash of salt

Add all ingredients to your processor and blend well.

PACKING YOUR BUTTERS:

I scoop out the butter and place in a piece of plastic wrap, roll into round log and place in frig. After the butter hardens place it onto a piece of parchment paper that you have cut to size, mark on parchment what kind of butter it is roll up and tape closed. I tie the ends like a tootsie-roll and tie ends with string. This is where you can add your own flare to it and make different shapes out of your butter, (heart, round,triangle etc…) wrap in different papers and maybe use different ribbons for different occasions. They make great Hostess gifts. You could place in a basket with fresh breads or fresh veggies from your or someone else’s garden. Enjoy

Ciao!

Herbs, Uncategorized

Resolutions,What’s yours?

Every year I try to add a few things I want to do for the New Year to my resolution list. If you don’t make it to hard it will work. Last year I wrote down everyday what I did, kind of interesting to look back on. Also Mike and I kept a love jar and ended up with a good size amount of quarters 🙂 So this year I am writing down everyday something I did good in that day, whether it was big or small, and also at least once a week cook something out of ALL the cookbooks I have. I say all the time I am going to do this and never REALLY follow thru consistently but I am going to try my best this year. So today I am cooking an “Apple Cider Beef Stew” Recipe Follows:

INGREDIENTS

For the beef:

2 cups cloudy apple cider
A pouch of store-bought mulling spice or make your own in cheese cloth: 1 cinnamon stick, a curl of orange peel, plus star anise
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
6 slices good-quality bacon, chopped into 1/2-inch-wide pieces
1 piece beef sirloin or round (2 1/2 pounds), trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
Salt and pepper or steak seasoning
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 medium onions, root ends attached, sliced into thin wedges
3-4 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on an angle
2 parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced on an angle
3-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 large fresh bay leaves
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
A handful of fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup thick Worcestershire sauce, such as Lea & Perrins brand (regular Worcestershire or steak sauce may be substituted)
About 3 cups beef stock
For the mash:

4-6 starchy potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 turnip, peeled and sliced
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
Whole milk, for mashing
1 1/2 cups super sharp white cheddar cheese (a 6-7-ounce brick), shredded
Serves 4-6
PREPARATION

Pre-heat the oven to 325°F.

Mull the cider over medium heat until it comes to low boil, then reduce heat to low to keep warm.

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the EVOO and bacon, crisp the bacon then remove to a plate. Pat the meat dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper or steak seasoning. Coat in the flour, seasoned with allspice, cloves, nutmeg and cumin. Shake off the excess flour and add the meat in batches to the hot pan and brown very well; remove to a plate.

Add the onions, carrots, parsnips, garlic and herbs to the Dutch oven and season with salt and pepper. Sweat the vegetables for a few minutes, then remove the mulling spices and deglaze the pot with the cider, scraping up all of the drippings. Let reduce for a couple of minutes, then stir in the Worcestershire and stock, bring to boil, add the meat and bacon back to the pot, cover and transfer the pot to the oven. Bake for 2 hours. Turn off the heat and let stand for 30 minutes in the oven while you make the potatoes.

Cover the potatoes and turnips with water and bring to a boil. Salt the water and cook until just tender; drain and return them to the hot-pot. Season with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg, then mash the potatoes and turnips with milk until almost smooth. Stir in the cheese and adjust the seasoning.

Remove the lid off the stew, stir and remove the bay leaves. Turn on the stove and thicken the sauce for a couple of minutes if the stew is not at the desired thickness – the sauce will thicken rapidly to your preference.

Serve the meat in shallow bowls with large spoonfuls of potatoes alongside.

________________________♥________________________

This is where I started, I prepared every ingredient before I started and I made a few changes

♥ Used a 3 1/4 lb. chuck roast

♥ I bought a jug of already made Apple Cider instead of making my own

♥ I sprinkled Montreal Steak Seasoning onto my Beef before I plunged into flour

♥ Used ground Nutmeg instead of fresh

♥ For the garlic I roasted a head of garlic smashed it with a little olive oil and a splash of Apple Cider and added to the onion mixture

♥ I peeled and chopped 2 Honeycrisp Apples and put in with the onion mixture

♥ I did not have Turnips to add to the mashed potatoes but would like to try next time

♥ I added a big handful of chopped chives

This was so yummy we cleaned our bowls, it is for sure a keeper and you must try it.

Ciao!

Herbs

Thanksgiving Hostess Gifts

What did your Momma teach you? Never go emptied handed! So here is my list of Hostess Gifts that I’m making and taking:

CRANBERRY CHUTNEY:

Servings: Makes 8 cups, about 4 pint-size jars
Ingredients
4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries , picked over and stemmed
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 whole cloves
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. salt
2 (6-ounce) Granny Smith apples , peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 (6-ounce) firm Bosc or Anjou pears , peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 small (5-ounce) yellow onion , diced
1 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup diced crystallized ginger
Directions
In a deep 6-quart saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, 1 1/4 cups water, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to dissolve sugar. Cook until berries begin to pop open, 10 to 12 minutes. Adjust heat so mixture barely simmers. Stir in apples, pears, onion, raisins, and ginger. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until thick, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool to room temperature. Discard visible cinnamon sticks and cloves.

Refrigerate in tightly sealed jars for up to 2 months. Attach a ribbon and gift tag with suggested serving ideas (for instance, “Serve with Christmas turkey or ham, or spread on turkey sandwiches”).

*I added 1 chopped jalapeno the same time as the onion & fruit mixture cause I like a little bite to mine.

BASIL MAYONAISE:

Ingredients
1 cup good mayonnaise
10 to 15 basil leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Directions:Add ingredients to a food processor and blend. Or you could whisk all ingredients together.

HERBED BUTTER:

Read my post from May 18, 2011 and it will give you all details:)

 

 

 

CUP’O PESTO:

Basic Pesto
(makes enough for 4 servings of pasta)

2 cups basil leaves, clean and very dry
1/3-1/2 cup olive oil
1-3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup Parmesan or Pecorino Romano, grated
1/4 cup pine nuts

You can pound the ingredients together in mortar with a pestle, but you can also make this easily in a blender or food processor. Add the garlic first and chop it up with about 1/2 of the basil. When blended add the rest of the basil and the olive oil. Blend the cheese and pine nuts last. Don’t over blend or the garlic has a tendency to overpower. Store in the fridge with a thin layer of olive oil on top, wrap tightly with plastic wrap to help prevent discoloration.

FLAVORED OLIVE OIL:

Ingredients:

Favorite herbs and/or spices
Sunflower, safflower, or extra-virgin olive oil
Preparation:

It is easy to make herb and/or spice infused olive oils at home. They make wonderful gifts for all occasions.

Wash and dry your choice of herb branches and lightly bruise them to release flavor. Place them in a clean decorative glass container, cover with warmed oil, and seal tightly. Leave in a cool, dark place to infuse about two weeks. Taste. If not strong enough, add more fresh herbs and let stand another week. You can either strain the oil or leave the herbs in. If you do not strain the herbs out, the flavor will become stronger as it stands, so keep that in mind.

Less strongly flavored oils like sunflower oil and safflower oil work best to give a more prominent herb flavor. However, extra-virgin olive oil is also a good choice.

If you begin with a monounsaturated oil such as olive oil or peanut oil, the infused oils should be refrigerated. These are highly perishable and can turn rancid quickly.

You can also add garlic, but remove the garlic cloves after a couple of days so as to not overpower the flavor of the herbs. If you choose to leave the garlic cloves in the oil, be sure to refrigerate the oil to avoid the threat of botulism.

Use your favorite combinations. Use the oils within two months. Use infused oils in salad dressings and marinades to enjoy full flavor.

Herb Suggestions: rosemary, thyme, basil, tarragon, summer savory, oregano, cilantro, marjoram, chervil, chives, dill, mint, parsley, bay leaf.

*I used just Rosemary

Use your cutest saved jars, add ribbon, labels, recipes,family pictures what ever your touch is and I’m SURE your Hostess will think YOUR the Mostess.

All these items will work great on your left over Turkey Paneni Sandwiches 🙂

Here is an idea if you’re not into cooking but want to take something different: A vintage Pie Server. Tie a ribbon on it, give it your flare and I think this would be something cool and different. I found one on e-bay and a couple at a Thrift Store. Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Ciao

Herbs, Things to do in Havasu

The Egg & I

Remember the old days when it was almost a sin to eat one, all of the “bad for you components”. Well times have changed and the fitness guru’s push them on us. So now I have become quite fond of the hard-boiled egg and cook up a batch every week. Here is my way…

I usually cook up 5 or 6 at a time, start with boiling my water, when water is ready carefully with a big spoon drop into water, set timer for 10 minutes. While waiting I prepare a bowl with ice, when timer dings pull eggs out and place in bowl. There they sit for at least 10 minutes or until completely cool. I dry eggs off, place in a dry bowl and store in frig. Here is the secret to the perfect egg, the ice bath. It slightly shrinks the egg from the shell while flash cooling and makes them a cinch to peel, making for a beautiful egg. I use large brown Organic Eggs & a small pan for the 5 eggs. As far as the cooking goes you will need to adjust to what size eggs you use to how many you cook.Here’s to no more hard to peel eggs!

Tip #2- Save the water that you boil your eggs in and when it is cool enough pour onto your garden plants. The protein that comes off the cooked eggs is supposed to be good for them, so I do it and they don’t complain 🙂

Nutrition summary:

There are 78 calories in 1 large Hard-Boiled Egg.

Calorie breakdown: 62% fat, 3% carbs, 35% protein.

Ciao!

Herbs

Garden Herb Butter

I start with a stick of soften butter, ( I like the organic) mixed up in a bowl I then prepare the herbs I plan on adding my washing and drying completely. In this batch I am adding, Rosemary, Thyme and garlic. It is what I have an abundance of in the garden…

I then chop all the herbs finely and mix with the butter.I used about a tablespoon of each herb and 1 clove for the garlic. Grab a piece of plastic wrap and place the butter mixture on top of plastic wrap into the shape of a long log. Roll up the plastic wrap and place in frig until hard…

After the butter has harden I get some butcher paper and cut to size and wrap it around the butter log like a Tootsie Roll and tie twine onto the ends, mark on paper what the flavor of butter it is and I think this would make a great Hostess gift or just to share with your friends and fellow foodies’.The flavors are unique as you by adding your favorite’s. Could depend on the dish you are preparing, the time of year or a special Holiday. Sage and Rosemary for Thanksgiving…sundried tomatoes and Basil for your Pasta dish…you name it and you enjoy it! Use on breads, potatoes,rub on your Chickens to roast, use where ever you dab your butter. They freeze well or last in frig for at least a month, mine get used before then 🙂

Ciao!

A little video to listen to while you make your butter…

http://youtu.be/fFl6Gr–ugg

Herbs, Uncategorized

Montana’s Summer Bounty

It is my favorite time of year in Montana. Being from the Desert you can only imagine the relief we get when we pull up to the Montana get away and everything is GREEN.Leaving the Desert (3 shades of brown, light brown, medium brown and dark brown) I am welcomed with the beautiful colors of Montana. The Desert has its beauty do not get me wrong but the Summer’s are getting Browner in our “older age”.

So when we get to Montana I cannot wait until Saturday Morning’s Farmer’s Market. It is truly one of my favorite places to visit. The produce, fresh flowers,little Ladies with their Knitted Goodies, Men with their Wood Crafted Projects, it is so refreshing to view after coming from our neck of the woods where most of these crafts are an object of the past .The colors of everything just jump out and grab me and give me a little loving feeling. So I hope you have a few moments to enjoy the pictures I have put together from last year at the Farmer’s Market. They say we should “Stop and Smell the Flowers” or “Slow down we move to fast” I hope these pictures make you do just that…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This little elderly couple is the cutest, I love them and do not even know them. They sell a few flowers and a few veggies, really nothing special but I think they just love being there and watching the world go by 🙂

Ciao!

P.S. Thank-you to my great picture taker, Michael 🙂

Herbs

Cup’o Pesto

Printable recipe

My Go To Pesto Recipe:

♥ 2 c. basil leaves,clean and very dry

♥ 1/3 c. olive oil

♥ 2 cloves garlic

♥ 1/2 c.Parmesan cheese grated

♥  1/4 c. toasted pine nuts

In your food processor add the garlic first and chop it up with about 1/2 of the basil. When blended add the rest of the basil and pour the olive oil in slowly, blend the cheese and pine nuts last . I put pesto in a cup, drizzle with olive oil and cover with plastic.Not sure how long it lasts cause I use it right up, probably a week.

The first night I smeared it on sliced Sourdough Como bread from Safeway,their Deli makes an awesome loaf. Toasted it under broiler and we had it with our Steaks,yummo!

The next day I smothered two chicken breasts with some of the Pesto,Mike was grilling some Ribs so I had him grill the chicken also. I saved them for the next night,which we sliced up and put on top of salads. We could have made great sammie’s out of them also , Oh a Panini with melted Provolone and grilled onions, oh stop.

Day 3: with the little bit o Pesto I had left I chopped up the left over Como bread I had for croutons. Placed bread chunks in a bowl drizzled with some olive oil, chopped up some Rosemary, sprinkled on my House Seasoning(a mix of salt, pepper, and granulated garlic) and tossed in the rest of the Pesto. Mix well and placed on a cookie sheet and baked 375 for about 15 minutes. Keep checking for the right toasties. This is where all my left over sourdough bread ends up,Crouton Cuties.

So I had an abundance of Basil out in the garden and I just wanted to share how I used a Cup o Pesto in a few days around my house. Next week I am making some more and we are having Shrimp Pesto Pizza. I smear the Pesto on the pizza crust instead of pizza sauce, top with Shrimp,green onions,parm.and mozzerela cheese, Bake and there is your Gourmet Pizza.

So what do you do with your Cup O Pesto? Share your cup with us.

I want to Thank God for being able to Love, See, Smell & Hear. That’s all for today anyway 🙂

Ciao!