Home gardening in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains is occasionally a joy, but more often a frustration. While gardening is surely those things everywhere, with about 16 inches of precipitation per year in our area (let’s compare it to Williamsburg, Virginia with 48 inches), it’s not only hard to grow anything, it’s sometimes impossible. Very little grows without irrigation and by the time you add sprinkler systems and pay for water, it’s surely easier and certainly less expensive to simply buy what you need. Continue reading
It just happens that a lenten Friday Fish and St. Patrick’s occur on the same day this year. This is no lie: if you live in Chicago (and several surrounding areas) and are Catholic, you have special dispensation from the archbishop to eat corned beef instead of fish:
Ours is a merciful God. Chicagoland Catholics may enjoy the traditional corned beef and cabbage this Friday, despite the church’s practice of avoiding meat on Fridays during Lent. Cardinal Blase Cupich, leader of the Archdiocese of Chicago, has granted a dispensation. So have the bishops of the Joliet, Rockford and Gary dioceses.
There are lots of arguable lists of “super foods” or the “20 best foods you can eat” and I’m all over them, particularly right after the Super Bowl–why not? Any or all of them are probably useful if you’re trying to improve your health; choose one that speaks to you and eat up. Somehow an amalgamated list of “super foods” sits most easily for me to remember lately and I try to eat and serve at least one of them every day. Sometimes, if I eat my homemade granola, for instance, I get several at one time! My list currently looks like this:
I adore Thanksgiving. It loves me back. It is my favorite holiday out of the whole year. There’s nothing that makes me more thrillingly anticipating than to bring the last of the sage in, save bread for dressing, take stock of my canned pumpkin supply, or bake cranberry bread along with any pie you can name. To say nothing of the fact that I don’t like Christmas decorating (or shopping or wrapping), but can’t wait to put up pumpkins, corn stalks, leaves, scarecrows, and all things autumn come October. Ok, September. Continue reading
It is the time of the year when zucchini gets a bad name. There are boring jokes bantered about, lots of eyes rolling, and tired recipes for zucchini bread dug out of old recipe boxes. While good cooks guard against eating anything but the tiny, tender cigar-tube-shaped baby bitty zukes, some of us still end up with nearly Little League-sized bats on our counters. (Below are medium-sized squashes perfect for grating or stuffing grown by my old neighbor, Wendy Ruble.) Continue reading
My apologies if you received an unfinished version of this post earlier. Somehow instead of saving an edit, I inadvertently published the post. Please discard that mistake. Here’s the finished product that should make more sense!
I’m a fan of cooking once, eating three (five, ten) times and it’s true for fish, too. If I have leftover salmon –which we’re supposed to eat a couple of times a week–I often make soup or a salad. I DO realize salmon has hit this blog a few times lately, but somehow summer and salmon simply go together. I keep having bunches.
Last December, these good cooking friends came to take a short Italian class with me and liked it so well (ah, gee) they returned en masse to redeem the class gift certificate one gave to the rest for a Christmas gift–on the condition that we attempt a grilling class. Onward, upward. “Sure,” I said. I also said, “I’m not a big outdoor griller. I grill inside. A lot. I have at least 3 stovetop grills. Dave, however, grills outside. I eat.” (Why should I learn to grill outdoors?!) But I figured between Dave and I, we could come up with a full grill menu everyone would lust after. Or, rather, I’d come up with the menu, and Dave would light and “man” the behemoth gas grill we bought to try and keep up with all his grilling love.
Often, on the blog, you see Dave thus:
And while, to you, it might appear his typical pose, he actually works very hard at his daily job, practices trombone as much as possible, takes excellent care of me, and then, in good weather, looks like this at home:
Did I say he cleans the kitchen quite a bit? All right, he walks on water.
If you’re looking for an entire meal on the grill for Memorial Day or any other day, this one just might be it. It’ll feed 6-8 people generously and could provide a few leftovers at the end of the day. First are a long slew of happy pictures, beginning with an overview of the menu; the recipes follow. At the very end is a link to click so that you can view the recipes in a printable form. ENJOY YOUR GRILL!
(Basic grilling technique link here.)
Grilled Caesar Salad (Chardonnay)
Grilled Lemon Salmon and Tinfoil-Packet Vegetables with Avocado Mayonnaise (Oregon Pinot Noir or Chardonnay)
Grilled Pineapple with Ice Cream and Maple Syrup (Sparkling Rosé)
Last Friday, I taught a class called, DESIGN YOUR OWN WHOLE MEAL SALAD, at First Congregational Church of Colorado Springs. This active church sponsors an excellent Health Ministry with lots of great wellness-promoting features including cooking classes that run from March – October. (If you’d like a copy of the booklet from the class, leave a note in the comments or email me/message me on fb.)
The class consisted of a couple of favorite salads, Salmon Caprese with Asparagus… (shown below in a bit neater variation than my very quick to fix and eat photo above… along with lots of tips, talk, and helps about making salads a weekly mainstay in your house)…
and Israeli Couscous Salad, right below here in all its attendant glory. I do love this salad! Both of them, if the truth be known. I’d like to have nickel for every time I’ve made either one, but especially the couscous. Continue reading
A little Irish music to set you up for a bit of cooking: click here. And, in the Irish, as they say, “La fheile padraig!”
I’ve been making Salmon Chowder for a good long while; there’s a really easy and light version in my soup cookbook, SOUPS & SIDES FOR EVERY SEASON. If by chance you’ve made it, you’ll know it’s perfect spring or summertime fare for the day after you’ve grilled a big piece of salmon and don’t know what to do with the leftovers. Likewise it’s for fall or winter if you’ve roasted a side of salmon for company and only used the big fat inner slices for the dinner table, leaving the skinny ends smelling up the fridge. This year, though, I was into something a little different…
Late summer, 2014 in Dunsmore East, Ireland (the port for Waterford)
The Irish, along with my fair Scots, have some of the best salmon in the world, but more often make a mixed fish and seafood chowder such as Donal Skehan’s Howth Head Seafood Chowder.
Quick version of recipe at bottom of post.
I clearly remember the first time I heard someone order fish tacos at a Tex-Mex place called Chevy’s (it may still be around somewhere.) I couldn’t get my mind around it, but the person ordering it, who happened to be my brother-in-law Bill, assured me it was out of the world luscious.
I don’t think so, thought my younger and more naive self twenty years ago. And this despite the fact that I had, indeed, spent four years in San Antonio, where tacos of any sort in the universe reigned supreme. (Had there been fish tacos, though? I didn’t remember them.)
Fast forward a few years and find my sister cooking fish tacos in my kitchen. Addiction. Totally. I hijacked her recipe with a few embellishments. And made it and made it and made it. Dave then began ordering fish tacos from restaurants and I kept thinking…