Tuesday, July 25, 2017

My Haul from the Trip to the Country

 I love buying local produce on our road trips.  We scored big time this past weekend.  We found  cherries, black raspberries and blueberries.  The guy that sold them to us had purple fingers.  You can't get them much fresher than that! Some goat milk fudge for my husband.


 Local honey and beeswax.

 And look at the way they were selling dill!

 Broccoli, carrots, garlic and green onions.

 Cabbage, tomatoes and zucchini.  My garden is less than stellar this year so I am very happy to be able to buy all of this locally.

 Corn on the cob.  I am going to freeze a bunch of corn this year to use at Thanksgiving.

 I get so excited to transform all of this into delicious meals.

 The best thing about heading north is stopping at the wonderful smoke shops that are everywhere. I stocked up on sausages, Amish butter and smoked cheese.  And I bought smoked beef sticks and jerky for my kids.

Smoked Provolone and Longhorn is so good in salads and for snacking.  I'll show you what I made with all of this over the next few days.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Trip to the Country

 The Blog Tech's wife is out of town this weekend for work so yesterday he and I headed out on one of our road trips.  We wanted to find lots of local food so we headed towards Lake Erie on back roads.  We saw wonderful flower beds in all of the small towns.

 We came upon a small market place in one little village.

 I like the concept of this place.  Locals bring in their art work, baking, knitting, canned goods, honey and produce and fruit they grow and make themselves.  They don't have to be there to sell it themselves. There are only a couple people who work there to help you.  It's very self sufficient.

 We stopped at endless roadside markets and bought lots of stuff.

 As I was driving through one town I spotted a giant bronze acorn.

 I love acorns.

 How I would love to have one of these in my garden!

 The historical house was wonderful too.

 We stopped by the lake to eat some perch and whiting for lunch.
 Then we drove along the lake for a while.

 You know you are in Trump country when even the gas stations have Jesus signs.

 It's corn country too.  It's hard to imagine what is done with all of the corn.  We drove for hours and corn was beside us the entire time.

 Suddenly we spotted this.

 A bit bizarre to see in the middle of nowhere.

 But not bizarre enough for The Blog Tech.

Every since he was a little boy, he has loved shaved ice.  He chose black raspberry.
And now he looks like Teddy.

Friday, July 21, 2017

A Gift for Someone You Don't Know

 The parents of my daughter's boyfriend were passing through town for a quick visit with him and to meet my daughter for the first time.  There wasn't time for my husband and I to meet them but I wanted to at least send them a greeting until we meet them sometime in the future.  What do you give someone when you don't know them?

 Whatever you give them, I think it should be wrapped nicely.  I could do a whole post on my ideas about gift giving and maybe I will do that in the future.  However, I believe a gift is not a gift unless a lot of thought goes into it. No matter what is being given, I think it should always be wrapped as nicely as possible.  That alone shows that you care enough to take the time to make something look special.  So, what can you give a total stranger that puts a big smile on their face and a food memory in their mind?

 A dozen killer chocolate chip cookies is a good start.

My daughter said that The Chef's parents were totally thrilled.

You can find the recipe here:  http://octoberfarm.blogspot.com/2011/02/chocolate-chip-cookies.html

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Garlic Butter Roasted Cod on Mashed Cauliflower

If you are eating low carb and you want a delicious meal, make this recipe.  Even if you aren't eating low carb you should give this a try. It takes very little prep time too.  Cut up a head of cauliflower and place it in salted water and cook it until it is tender when pierced with a fork.  Drain well and mix with 2 T. cream cheese, 2 T. butter a bit of milk and salt and pepper.  Mash this adding additional milk until you get a mashed potato consistency.

Cut cod into individual portions, dry them and place them on a cookie sheet.  Brush them with garlic butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper and paprika.  Bake them for about 20 minutes depending on how thick the pieces are.  Remove them from the oven and turn on the broiler.  Finish them by gently browning them.  Serve over the mashed cauliflower and spoon some of the butter left on the cookie sheet over the top.  Sprinkle with some diced parsley or basil.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Wreath and a Lesson Learned

I hardly ever buy decorations but rather choose to make them myself.  Just before the 4TH of July, I decided I wanted a green wreath as a backdrop to the red geraniums I placed on my front porch.  I'd never made one before and decided to look online to see what was available.  I was really busy and had no supplies at home to make one so I took the easy, though expensive, way out and ordered this one. I was less than thrilled when it showed up.  It's okay, but for almost 150.00, I expected a lot more.  When my daughter saw it, she decided she wanted one for her door.  No way was I ordering another.  I decided to amortize my investment in the first wreath by chalking it up as a wreath making lesson that will save me lots of money in the future.  I went to craft stores yesterday and bought 70% off greenery, stopped at a thrift store and bought an old funky wreath for 1.00, ripped off the old flowers and plugged in my glue gun.
 For about 10.00, I made her this one.

 It's hard to tell from these pics but the one I made is bigger, heavier and so much better made.  Lesson learned.  I should always try to make it first on my own. I am going back to the thrift and craft stores today to buy more sale stuff and then I will make wreathes for all of my friends.  Amortization is a good thing.

 I bought this t-shirt for The Blog Tech.

 Because it's so true!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

 I made this salmon for my family yesterday and they thought it was some of the best salmon they've ever eaten.

 The ingredients:

  • 3 pounds of salmon boned and skinned 
  • Marinade
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
Mix the marinade ingredients together and pour it into  a ziplock baggie along with the salmon.  Let it marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Heat your oven to 450 degrees.  Lay the salmon on a cookie sheet and pour the marinade over it.  Bake for about 25 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish.
Turn the oven to broil and move the cookie sheet to about 3 inches below the heat source.  Broil until the salmon starts to brown and the marinade thickens.  Place a piece of salmon on a plate and  spoon some marinade over the top.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Rosemary Cranberry Nutmeg Scones

 The Blog tech and his wife were going to a brunch yesterday so I made them some food to take along with them.  I made rosemary/cranberry/nutmeg scones.

  • 2½ cups flour
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened dried cranberries, chopped small
  • 4 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 1 cup cream plus 2 tablespoons more for brushing on top
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water

  1. Preheat oven to 450F; line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, dried cranberries, and rosemary in a large bowl.
  3. Cut in the butter with a fork until it looks like coarse meal. Whisk together the half and half and vanilla bean paste, and stir it into the flour mixture. (The dough should come together, but not be too wet.)
  4. Shape the dough into a ball, then flatten it into a disk; wrap it in plastic wrap and chill 10 minutes in the freezer.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll or press the dough out to a circle about 7 to 8 inches in diameter and ¾ inch thick. Cut the circle of dough into 8 equal wedges.
  6. Transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet, lightly brush the tops with a little cream and bake until puffed and light golden brown on top and bottom, about 14 to 16 minutes. Cool completely.
  7. Once cooled, whisk together all ingredients for the glaze, adding the water a little at a time until it reaches your desired consistency. Dip the tops of the scones into the glaze, letting it run down the sides; sprinkle a few dried cranberries and rosemary leaves on top. Place the scones onto a wire rack and let the glaze set completely before serving.
 I made an Eggs Benedict quiche with hollandaise sauce.
And a bowl full of Scotch Eggs.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Summer Garden

There is a lot happening in my gardens right now.
Eggplants are growing and still setting blossoms.

 Lots of green tomatoes.


 Snap peas

 Will my Hollyhock bloom?

 Begonias so red they are hard to photograph.

 I started these from seeds from last summers plants.

 Zinnias also started from seed.

 Happy daisies.


 Oakleaf hydrangea

 Even my thyme is blooming.

A single white clematis bloomed on my purple plant.