Monday, August 31, 2009


Chris is so inspired about going to Argentina, he painted this for me. I love the vibrant colours and it reminds me of photographs I have seen of La Boca in Buenos Aires. Brightly coloured buildings with couples putting on a Tango show. Here is a good idea of what I mean:

Thanks Chris it is very special and I will always cherish it.

I was playing with soy wrappers today, after making several different flavours of ice cream. This is what I came up with. I want to do this again, but a few extra tweaks to make them even better and neater. The flavours of ice cream are; Roasted Banana, Red Bean and Green Tea.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Beta-Carotene Night

I tried Kathy's hint for a smoker made out of terra cotta pots. Our first item to initiate the smoker was Applewood Smoked Steelhead Trout. I just lightly dressed it with lime juice, champagne vinegar,brown sugar, salt, pepper and olive oil and let it smoke away. Here is the link to Kathy's Flickr page that tells how to do this:

I wouldn't be surprised if you get one, or two other great ideas from Kathy, she is very crafty.

I served the fish with ready-made,tri-colour, tri-cheese Tortellini in a creamy,roasted Butternut Squash sauce. Top that with grated parmesan cheese. It was very good! The boys even raved over the squash sauce....They aren't usually keen on squash. They HIGHLY approved of the fish!

Dessert was left-over carrot cake (carrots from the garden) made into a trifle. Just crumble the cake and layer with freshly made custard and whipped cream. Mine is garnished with gumdrop "carrots."

It was clear to see that we didn't even turn orange....

Monday, August 24, 2009

Play it again Samuel....

....In this case, make and eat it again. The Mendocinas were so good I made them again, but with a different dough. I had left-over filling, as well. Is this a first? A blog about left-overs? Well, these are well worth it.

More Piononos as well. Ham, cheese and green olives were the filling in the thin rolled cake this time. Don't forget the Coke and Fernet to wash it all down with a smile.

Here is another repeat from the weekend, This time however we went to Brazil (in our heads) Caipirinha, you say it like this- kay-peer-reen-ya. How do I know? It says so on the bottle, this was even before I sampled the drink. This drink is simple and rustic. It consists of lime, Cachaca ( a little bottle told me it is pronounced Ka-sha-sa), cane sugar, and crushed ice. Simple, done! This leaves more time to drink and be refreshed on a hot day. A small note, Cachaca is made from freshly pressed sugarcane, kinda like rum but different.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

We Miss Our Girl!

It is time to prepare the autumn garden. I planted kale, broccoli, Swiss chard, and more lettuce. In the meantime, harvesting is continuing. The bigger yellow tomatoes are turning and we have sliced and eaten quite a few now. What is unbelievable though, the Beefsteak tomatoes are large on the vine, but we have not enjoyed a ripe one yet. What are they waiting for? They are just starting to get a pinkish tinge on the top, so there is hope....

There is a cantaloupe getting bigger and a few smaller ones. Let this serve as a notice to any raccoons, let us have some this year!

A few new flowers in Cait's wildflower garden. A different colour poppy and Sweet Williams, also known as Pinks.


Cait is immersing herself in the Spanish language Mendoza, Argentina style. I made a meal in her honour tonight. I just have to give kudos to my garden for the tomatoes, onions, peppers, parsley, basil used and shown in the pictures.

Coke and Fernet, probably the 2nd favourite drink of Argentina after Yerba Mate'.

The lovely savory and sweet flavours that is Pionono.....I highly recommend this one.

I found the recipes for these delicious goodies at:

A wonderful blog packed with good information about Mendoza.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

All Summer Has to Offer

Here is your obligatory summer garden Zucchini Bread. I made it a bit different though, this is a really moist and flavourful version.

Do you want the recipe? Ok then, here goes:

4 cups grated zucchini
6 fl. oz. milk
8 oz. almond flour
8 oz. butter
8 oz. bread flour
6 oz. sugar
2 oz. treacle
Zest of 1 lrg. lemon
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. maramalade

Cream the butter with the sugars. Alternate the remaining ingredients (except zucchini and marmalade) until incorporated. Then, fold in the zucchini. Butter and flour 2 loaf pans. Fill pans and bake at 350 deg for about a 45 minutes, or until bread pulls away from the side of the pan and is firm and browned on the top. Heat marmalade in a small pan on a cooktop. Glaze the top of the bread and let cool.

I put two loaves in the oven and got two loaves out- Magic!

Here is a lovely braised pork roast that was studded with garlic and jalapeno. It was then adorned with a creamy Sauternes wine and mushroom reduction sauce. The side dish is a mixed variety of new potatoes and green beans sauteed in bacon lardons. I garnished this dish with salad tomatoes.

To make the reduction sauce get a lrg. pan and swirl in a bottle of wine with a bouquet garnet. Cook away the alcohol. Then add 1 quart mushroom broth, cook to reduce until half. Then add a pint of warm cream and reduce until nappe' (coat the back of a spoon and run a line through with your finger, if it holds the form of the line it is nappe'.) Mount with 2 tsp. of butter and stir.


Sound check!

Dubskin is a Reggae band I saw open for Buckethead a few years ago. They were brilliant! They played for Bohemian Nights at New West Fest in downtown Fort Collins this year. I eagerly awaited to see them again. They have a free concert coming up too, Aug 20th at 8pm at the Aggie, to release their new album.

Since you can see how vibrant they are but not hear them through pictures, here is a link with sound clips and more info about them:

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cream of Flower Soup and More Corn

Try this lovely, delicately peppery soup. This is the first time I've made a version of this. My nasturtiums are usually seen in salads, or mayo. Growing them is highly recommened; they are not only pretty, carefree in the garden, but also tasty. Here is a link that gives some information on growing them yourself:

Cream of Nasturtium Soup

4 lrg. potatoes, peeled, chopped
1 c. chicken broth
1 c. vegetable broth
1 c. cream
2 c. chopped nasturtium leaves
2 tbsp. butter
You know the drill, Salt and Pepper to taste.

Boil potatoes in water just covering them, until tender. Add broths and make smooth with a hand blender. Reduce for 20 minutes on medium heat. Add chopped leaves and blender further, then add the cream. Reduce the heat to low. Add butter and stir until melted. Serve garnished with flowers and/or chiffinade of leaves.

Some of the corn from yesterday's harvest was put into cornbread to go with our dinner tonight. Adding the corn made for a lovely fresh flavour and a nice texture, also made the bread extra moist. We had Grilled Mahi Mahi with Tropical Fruit Coulis (mango, papaya, coconut) and Pico de gallo. It was very tasty indeed.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

This is Getting Corny!

I ran across the yard with my freshly harvested and shucked corn, to already boiling water. In the ears went, with just a flash and then plunged into ice cold water. Cut them on a Bundt pan. Some of the gathered kernels were used in this recipe:

Smoked Gouda Corn Chowder

4 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1 onion, diced
4 cups corn kernels
1/2 c. grated smoked gouda
1 c. chicken stock
1 c. vegetable stock
1 cup cream
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
2 Dashes of Worchestershire sauce (Ooooooomami)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes and onion in enough water to almost cover them. Meanwhile, put two cups of the corn kernels in a blender and add about a 1/4 c. of water and puree them, set aside. When the potatoes and onions are tender turn off the heat and apply a hand blender, while adding the stocks, make it smooth. Add the corn puree, the remaining 2 c. of kernals and grated gouda. Turn the heat back on to Medium, heat through and melt the cheese. Turn the heat down to low and add the cream, ground cloves and Wochestershire sauce. Stir completely and cook a few minutes more. Serve garnished with a compound butter floating on top (pictured is parsley butter).

When I thought of what would be good with corn, my mind immediately wandered to oysters. We had fried oysters breaded with blue cornmeal and a fennel cole slaw, garnished with dried cranberries.

Monday, August 10, 2009

It's Not Easy Being Green.....

Pesto! ....As in pizza, topped with Sweet Banana Peppers and onions freshly plucked from the branch/soil.

From this:

To this:

....On the side is fried green tomatoes. I highly suss that raccoons knocked a few off the vine, there they were on the ground (the tomatoes that is.) When raccoons give you green tomatoes- Fry them, sometimes I even make green salsa with them (the tomatoes that is!)

A garden update in pictures:

Aaaaaaaw, look at the baby Birdhouse Gourd, wonder what I will make with it....Well, it doesn't have to be a birdhouse, ya know. :-)

Hop-flowered oregano are a new interesting herb I started this year.


More pretty flowers from Cait:

I'm seeing Beeees! Wonder if cilantro/coriander honey tastes nice? I will have plenty of coriander seeds though, won't I?


A little update on the sunflower project mentioned in a previous blog.

Well, it took all of two minutes to see 5 bees. They were working the sunflowers in swarms.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dark Chocolate for the Soul

To see many different pictures of plain chocolate, please visit my Flickr group Dark Chocolate for the Soul:

There are easy recipes, but the challenge comes from taking the time to make the goodies. Here we have truffles that are easy to make (well, these are hand-rolled but not hand-dipped, this time, that is a whole different thing.)

The basic recipe:

1 c. butter
4 2/3 c. icing sugar (confectioners, powered)
1 c. unsweetened cocoa
1/2 c. heavy cream
3 tbsp. REAL vanilla extract

Refrigerate 24 hours. Then spoon out the firm set truffle ganache and roll into balls. You may need to place the batch back in the frigerator as you go. This is where it gets a tad bit different:

I used freeze-dried fruit that I won in a recipe contest to flavour the truffles. pure fruit nothing else, no artifical colours, or flavours.

The flavours were blueberry/lavender (lavender that had been in sugar since my trip to Washington State.) and rasberry cocoa.

Stop the giggling, I've seen American Wedding....This is different!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Sun Versus Paleta

This paleta is very refreshing on a hot summer day. I found this recipe online and have been using it when I have jalapenos and cucumbers in the garden (which is usually about the same time). All that I need to add is sugar, lemon, a blender, strainer, popsicle mold, sticks and a freezer. Ok, maybe a little pinch of time. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

Here is the link to this wonderful recipe:

I made the Cucumber-Chili Paletas:

In a blender, combine 3 cups 1-inch chunks peeled, seeded cucumber (1 1/2 lb.); 2/3 cup sugar; 1/3 cup lemon juice; and 1 rinsed, stemmed jalapeño chili (1 to 1 1/2 oz.; remove seeds and veins for less heat). Whirl until smooth. Push mixture through a fine strainer set over a 2-cup glass measure; discard residue.

When I told my sister about these she said "I'm sorry, but that doesn't sound good." I said she should trust me. That combination sounds out of the ordinary, but they ARE lovely! I like to have one after a nice Mexican feast.

....But to beat the sun, you must eat these before they melt.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

More Wildflowers From Cait's Garden

Cait- I made a collage of your wildflowers for you to see. As you can tell more have bloomed. The poppy bloomed overnight. I was right about what some of them were. The packet says 18 kinds, we have some of them- Annual Blue Flax, Nasturtiums, Annual Gypsophila (baby's breath), Four o'clocks, Candytuft, Dwarf Cornflower, Cosmos, California Poppy, Sweet Williams, Sweet William Pinks, Common Evening Primrose, Lance Leaved Coreopis, Siberian Wallflower, Calendula, Scarlet flax, corn Poppy, catchfly, and Plains Coreopsis.

You are correct that they are taller than expected. A storm with heavy rain knocked some of them over (not broken just drooped.) I put a tomato cage around them.