Monday, August 31, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Okay, so you found us out. We're all over the bounty of the farm and gardens during the summer. We spend lots of time grilling, canning and...well, eating. There's just so much being harvested every day, it seems silly not to try new recipes while it's all so fresh.
Last night I baked an old standard. It was a big hit with our dinner guests, so I thought I'd share the recipe with you. I hope you enjoy it.
In our yard we've still got strawberries. Lots and lots of strawberries. So when I'm handed strawberries I make cobbler. Lots and lots of cobbler!
The fruit can be changed in this recipe to accomodate whatever's in season.
5 Tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
2 cups strawberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place melted butter in a square baking dish.Combine all ingredients except fruit and whisk until batter is smooth. Pour into baking dish. Put fruit on batter, then sprinkle with an additional spoonful of sugar. Cinnamon may be sprinkled over fruit as well, if desired.
Bake about an hour.
Best served with ice cream! But then, isn't almost everything better with ice cream?
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Guess what we had for dinner last night! What's cooking at your house?
Grilled Veggie Packets
4 potatoes, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 zucchini, sliced
4 cloves minced garlic
4 sprigs rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
This is one of my favorite things to eat. I make this in the winter too, using the oven. I've been known to do this with the woodstove, too!
Anyhow, all you've got to do is combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Then separate it onto foil squares, close the squares tightly and place on the warm grill. Let it all cook for about a half hour or so.
Serve with some hearty Italian bread. If you're really adventurous you can eat straight from the packet but I'm not that outdoorsy. I like mine on a plate but hey, it's all up to you! Enjoy!
Monday, August 24, 2009
My next novel, Last Chance, will be released shortly from Whiskey Creek Press. It's a historical romance, set in the Old West. Lots of cowboys, strong women and...well, let's just say there's a lot going on!
The book's cover blurb:
Young widow Laura Perkins learned the hard way that life in the rugged frontier isn’t all sunshine and roses. She never planned to find herself alone in a land where gunshots and hangings are commonplace. But planned or not, that’s exactly what happens to her and, short of turning tail and fleeing, she’ll have to learn to live with her circumstances—one way or another.
When a handsome stranger saunters into Granite Creek, life takes a drastic turn. Laura and Chance are as different as night from day, but she still finds herself intrigued by the man.
And Chance? He’s as drawn to Laura as a moth to a flame. Too bad that moth has a trail of mystery—and murder—hot on its trail.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Recently someone asked what I planned to do with all the unripe tomatoes rescued from the garden. We've already had frost here so if we hadn't picked everything it would be lost. Still...we've got bushels of green tomatoes. The question is a valid one...what to do with so many unripe tomatoes?
The truth is that a majority of them will ripen up. After a certain point it doesn't matter whether or not they're attached to the vine. They've begun to ripen and will continue to do so--in the garden or in a bushel. So most of the rescuees will turn red and we'll either can them or eat them now. But the rest? There are loads of uses for green tomatoes!
Of course the most obvious is the fried green tomato route. Have you ever had a fried green tomato? No? What are you waiting for? Hmm? They couldn't be easier to prepare and while I wouldn't want a steady diet of them they're one of the fun summertime side dishes that we look forward to.
If you've got a green tomato and want to try frying it, simply slice it thin and dip in any batter. We use a simple beer batter but any coating batter will do. Then, drop the slices into hot oil. They puff right up, turn golden brown and smell heavenly. When the slices reach your favorite crispness, remove from oil and drain on paper towels. See? Easy as pie.
Many of the green tomatoes will end up in relish. I've also got a recipe for picallily that I'm going to try. I'll let you know how that turns out.
So, with so many uses for rescued green tomatoes there hardly seems to be enough to go around! See what I mean?
What about you? Have you got any ideas about using up the garden's glut--uh, bounty?
Friday, August 14, 2009
Hey, it's me, Piglet. I figured you might miss me by now. It's been ages since I've taken over--uh, visited the blog.
I hope you've got a nice Friday planned. A little getaway on your to-do list, perhaps? Or maybe you're going to have a party at your house...no, that can't be right. I didn't get an invitation, so you can't be having a shindig at your place, can you? I mean, you wouldn't throw a summer gala without me...would you?
Sheesh. You had me worried for a minute! Silly, isn't it? Of course you wouldn't host an affair without inviting me. What was I thinking?
So, now that we know what you're not doing this weekend, I thought I'd show you a glimpse of what I'll be up to.
I might ask for ice cream. No, I will ask for ice cream. And you know what? I'll get it. Vanilla, my favorite.
After I eat my ice cream, I'll feel sleepy. That happens when you eat cold stuff, doesn't it? The instant sleepiness--it just takes over!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I've been making these since my husband and I were first married and they've always been a favorite in our house. There's only one problem with these cookies--they never last long enough. As fast as I make 'em, we eat 'em.
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup pine nuts
Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg. Add the flour and mix just until blended.
Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap. Shape the dough into an 8-inch-long log. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the dough log crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices. Transfer the cookies to the baking sheets. Press the pine nuts into the tops of the cookies.
Bake about 15 minutes, until lightly golden.
Monday, August 10, 2009
These past few days I've gotten some solid chunks of writing time. Of course, I always feel calmer when I'm writing, more like all's right with the world, so this steady push on the wip is a good thing.
Hmm? What am I working on? Why, I thought you'd never ask!
I've got a historical romance coming to life, one where the hero begins as a "villan"--how much fun is that? I've got to admit I love these characters, so writing this book is more like visiting with friends than work.
Hopefully the week will allow more of the story to unfold. I've got a gunfight looming, and I'm anxious to see how my hero fares. But here on the farm, the garden is overflowing so my man Jack may have to wait until the cukes are pickled!
What about you? What's got your attention these days?
Friday, August 07, 2009
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
August in Upstate New York doesn't necessarily guarantee warmth but the post-dinner kitchen felt cozy. The air held the scent of garlic, roasted veggies and a mouth-watering mix of other, subtler, scents.
From upstairs they heard the sound of water running. Then, singing from the shower.
He surveyed the mixing bowl and assorted measuring cups and spoons. "I haven't had these in a long time."
"I'll bet, Dad."
"You used to make them all the time. Do you remember?"
"I did. And I do." She smiled, adding a generous measure of vanilla to the bowl. "Isn't there a bakery down there by you?"
"Nope." He shook his head. "Not a good one, anyway. One of the things I left behind in New York. We used to go to the bakery down the street from the house all the time. Do you remember?"
She stirred, bringing the ingredients together quickly. With a nod, she said, "We did. And I do. They had the best--"
The years melted away. In their minds they were younger...much younger. With practiced ease, she dropped batter onto pans and slid the pans in the warm oven. Then she dumped the mixing bowl, cups and spoons into the sink and ran hot water over everything.
"I do," she said. "They were good, weren't they?"
The last bowl nestled into the cupboard just as the oven timer pinged. They leaned over the baking sheet. Watched as the cookies lined up neatly on the wire cooling rack.
Without asking, she poured two glasses of milk, brought them to the table and sat beside him. They looked at each other and grinned.
"Be careful," she warned as he took a cookie. "They're hot. Don't burn yourself."
The words were familiar ones. She'd heard them from him time and again when she was an eager child--one prone to having burnt fingers.
For a few minutes they chewed in silence. The cookies disappeared, eaten not by a senior citizen and his middle-aged daughter but by a young father and his little girl.
Their empty glasses hit the table at almost the same instant. With satisfied sighs, they sat back and smiled.
He spoke first. "We used to do that a lot. Do you remember?"
Her heart swelled. If he only knew how much she remembered. "We did, Dad. And I do. I remember."