Friday, August 31, 2012

Potatoes with Celery Sauce

For any of you that can get your hands on freshly picked new potatoes and especially homegrown celery, make this right now!  If not you can use regular potatoes and store bought celery but the taste will not be as intense.  There is barely a comparison between celery you grow in your garden and the stuff that comes from the store. This dish is addictive so make sure to make enough.  It does not last long.

Use the stalks as well as the leaves and dice it small.

You can use shallots but I had candy onions from the farm stand so that is what I used.

Finely dice the onion and add it to the bowl and sprinkle it with freshly cracked pepper.

Make a white balsamic vinaigrette in your blender.  Add 1/4 cup f white balsamic vinegar.  You can substitute this with cider vinegar. *Notice working thumb.

Add 1 tablespoon of honey.

Add some more cracked black pepper.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard.  *Notice working thumb.

Blend it together and as it is whirling, drizzle in 1 cup of oil.

The oil will emulsify and thicken the dressing.  Taste and adjust seasonings.

Pour your blurry sauce over the celery and onions.

Make the sauce in advance and let it sit at room temperature while you boil your potatoes.

Cut the potatoes into chunks and serve with the sauce ladled over them. This is some seriously good stuff.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Summer Pasta and More Halloween

This is a wonderful pasta that uses up lots of your tomatoes and basil.  It is very simple, light and fresh tasting.

But first a little Halloween.  I am trying to will Fall to arrive since we are having mid 90 temps again.  Will this summer ever end?

A couple Halloween signs I bought in Salem.

I got out some of my Halloween jewelry.

I love these bracelets. I actually have created my own Halloween charm bracelet over the years.  I will take photos of it and show it soon.

I have no idea why I took a pic of this acorn bracelet upside down. I like to wear these three together.

Back to the pasta.  Dice up a bunch of tomatoes and shred some fresh basil.

Mince as many garlic cloves as you like.

Add some freshly cracked black pepper and sea salt.

Pour in a couple glugs of olive oil.

Stir it together and let it sit at room temperature for an hour.

The tomatoes release their juice and mix with the basil, garlic and salt and pepper to make a tasty sauce.

Boil 1 pound of spaghetti, drain it and immediately mix it with the sauce.  The spaghetti soaks up a lot of the juice.

Sprinkle it with grated Parmesan cheese.  It tastes like summer in a bowl.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Frogmore Stew

 Frogmore Stew, also known as, Low Country Boil, is a great way to end summer.  Make this for Labor Day.   Each time I make this I wonder why I don't make it more often.  I snapped this photo before I ladled the broth in so use your imagination.

 This recipe is best with the freshest ingredients you can find.  Hit your local farm stand and buy some fresh corn, shuck it and break it into thirds.

 Fill a huge pot half way with water.  Add some kosher salt and about 1/2 tin of Old Bay Seasoning.  Add about 6 stalks of celery.

 Try to get freshly picked red potatoes if you can.  Cut them into quarters.

 Add the corn and potatoes and bring the pot to a boil.

 Add good smokey sausages.  I added two types.

 Usually kielbasa is the sausage used.  Just make sure they are very smokey. I get excellent homemade sausage here but Hillshire or something like it works well too. Slice them and throw them in the pot.  Bring this back to a boil and cook until potatoes are just becoming tender.  About 20 minutes before serving, add lots of shrimp.  You can add them with their shells still on and people can just peel them as they eat them.  I added crab clusters too but it is not the norm.

When I serve this to large groups, I drain the liquid and dump the whole pot onto newspapers and let everyone help themselves.  Obviously, it is served outside this way. Serve it with melted butter for dipping.  This is so good that I had to leave this post in the middle of writing it to warm some up and eat it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hot German Potato Salad

I am sort of so so on hot German potato salad but The Blog Tech and his father love it.  When I made the sauerkraut and kielbasa the other day, I whipped some of it up for them.

Start by frying some bacon until crisp.  Use about 8 strips for this recipe. Remove it when crisp and drain it on paper towels. Hard boil some eggs too.

Slice 1 large onion.

In a bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour, 1/2 tsp. of salt and some freshly ground black pepper.  I like a lot of pepper in this dish.

I am using the celery I grew this year and loving every bit of it.  Though the stalks are really skinny, they pack a lot of flavor.  Much more then the store bought stuff.

Dice the celery.

Boil red potatoes just until they are soft but with some resistance when pierced with a fork.  Do not overcook the potatoes.  You want them to have a bit of bite left to them or this dish will turn to mush. Use about 2 pounds or so.

Saute the onions in the bacon grease left in the pot.

Add the celery and continue to cook. Do not overcook this mixture either.  It should still be crunchy.  Add the flour mixture and cook for a minute or two while stirring.

Dice the bacon.

Stir in about 3/4 cup of water and 6 tablespoons of white wine vinegar.  Cook this stirring until it begins to thicken.

Add the potatoes and stir gently trying to break as few as possible.  Add the bacon.

I like to add hard boiled eggs to this recipe and added about 8 of them sliced.

If it is too thick you can always add a bit more water.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Fall Decorating

 I did some more Fall decorating.  I keep these lit all day.  I know they would make Kary smile.  Her memorial went very nicely and The Bad Ones stayed away.  Thank you to everyone that memorialized Kary.

 The mantle is covered with toads, mushrooms, pumpkins and leaves.

 I am pulling out all of my Fall signs.

 I sure will miss going to Salem this year but it was to hard to coordinate the kid's schedules.  Plus, Teddy can not be counted on to get in and out of the car this year which makes traveling difficult.  If she doesn't want to get in the car there is no one that can get her in it.  I need Cesar.

 Some of my brooms.

 My velvet pumpkins.

 These candles turn on at dusk each night.

 We stopped by a store selling these.

 It was in Amish country.

 Teddy can't wait for Fall.

 It makes me happy to look at this.

And gives me hope I will see this soon too!  Well, maybe not this much!