Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pineapple Mint Sorbet or Popsicles

No sugar! - just fruit and mint. These are very refreshing on a hot summer day.

Ingredients: 1 golden pineapple, Organic
a good handful, about 25, fresh young spearmint leaves

Peel and core pineapple, cut the pineapple into chunks.
(Save the peelings for Pineapple Vinegar, recipe to be posted soon)
Whirl the pineapple in food processor with spearmint leaves.
Pour into popsicle molds and freeze, or put freeze mixture in flat container, stirring several times during freezing process. Or run mixture through an ice cream maker, such as a Donvier.

Spices and Herbs

I just updated my spice rack. After years of assorted babyfood and tiny jam jars and miscellaneous used spice jars, I bought a couple of 12-packs of 4 oz. canning jars - on sale for $6. I almost bought some aluminum tins that have clear plastic lids, but I decided that they were not quite airtight enough and something about the metal and the plastic just doesn't feel quite right to me. I think the herbs might get stale faster if they aren't airtight and I think the plastic and aluminum could interact with the herbs. Also I like being able to look through the glass and see what's inside.

I have had this wooden spice rack for at least 25 years. I like that it has dowels that keep the jars from falling off. One should keep spices and herbs in a place that is easy to access from the food prep area, but not too close to the heat of the stove or sunlight from windows.



Here's a basic list of the spices and herbs I like to keep on hand. I don't like to have big containers of spices - they lose flavor, especially when they sit 'round for months and years. I prefer to buy small amounts from the bulk section, so I can use it up and get fresh spices when I need more.


cumin (seeds & ground)
chili powder
garam masala
paprika (regular and smoked)
dill (weed & seed)
celery seed
coriander seed
poppy seeds
sesame seeds (brown and black)
fennel seeds
fenugreek seeds
mustard seeds (yellow and black)
dried mustard powder
ginger (dried ground, fresh gingerroot, and candied ginger)
cinnamon (ground and sticks)
nutmeg (whole)
anise seed
caraway seed
furikake (Japanese seaweed & fish - comes in many varieties, serve on rice)

fresh in the garden:
bay leaves
celery leaf
marjoram ("Italian oregano")

Easy Roasty Garlic Mushrooms

Eat as a side dish or tuck into sandwiches

• slice

• toss with olive oil in a plastic bag

• place in a layer on a sided baking sheet

• sprinkle with minced garlic, Balsamic vinegar, and sea salt

• bake at 375° until roasty

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cold Meal for a hot summer night

Chilled cucumber soup (with lemon, garlic, dill, and Nancy's Kefir)
Hello Kitty's Texas Slaw with chopped salty peanuts
Fresh Lime-Ade

Zuke Canoes!



Ground beef, onions, bread crumbs, egg, toasted walnuts, parmesan and cheddar, salame, and tons of herbs from the garden (celery, parsley, marjoram, chives, mint). More cheese and bread crumbs for the top. Coarse sea salt for the finish.

Brown the meat and onions, mix with other ingredients. Parboil the zukes, whole, then plunge into cold water. Drain, then slice lengthwise. Stuff the zukes, put more cheese and breadcrumbs on top, line up in a baking pan, bake at 350° about 45 - 60 minutes. Put a little broth into the pan to keep them from getting too dry.