Thursday, August 30, 2012


A happy August day
Canning these

and making some of this
and a little of this (roasted pears and red onions -- yum!). 
Aaaah.  Late summer contentment.  Sigh.
NOTE:  You'll find an informative article about how to know when pears are ripe from the Oregon State University Extension Service. 
You're welcome.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Peach Mimosas

Melissa over at My Crafty Soul blog has come up with a delightful idea for using  peach nectar, a perennial favorite here at the castle when we are swimming in peaches. 
As we were, one month ago.
Go check out Melissa's very festive and colorful Mimosa Bar, where she's expanded on the traditional champagne/orange juice combo with both peach nectar and strawberry lemonade.  Yum!  It looks like  a fun drink station for a celebration.  I'll bet you could also substitute anything fizzy for the champagne if you're serving kids or non-drinkers (maybe 7-Up, ginger ale, carbonated water, sparkling apple juice).
Thanks, Melissa, for a great idea.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Eggplant Spread

This is less of a recipe and more of a food idea.

That's because this year's eggplant crop so far has yielded just three itty bitty little eggplants -- not enough for most eggplant recipes, which presume you are starting out with at least one of those volleyball-sized babies. 

One perk of a small crop, however, is that every morsel becomes all the more precious.  Which is why I wanted to do something special with these beauties, even though I really don't know what to do with food you can't knead or dip into chocolate.

Thankfully, famed cookery writer Elizabeth David came to my rescue.  What, you don't know who Elizabeth David is?  Check her out here.  And check out your library to see if they carry any of her books.  You won't be sorry, even if you don't cook from them but just enjoy them in that vicarious almost-as-though-you're-in-the Mediterranean-yourself staycation kind of way.  This idea comes from the book At Elizabeth David's Table:  Classic Recipes and Timeless Kitchen Wisdom.  By Elizabeth David, compiled by Jill Norman, preface by Ruth Reichl.


Cook your eggplant (!).  I had to google this to figure out exactly how to cook my eggplant; I baked it, skin on, at 400 degrees, until it was soft and kind of charred looking, only 10 to 15 minutes for these little guys.  I also thought, halfway through, "I'd better poke these things with a fork so they don't explode."
Once they felt pretty pokable, I took them out of the oven, cooled for a few minutes, then peeled.
Smash them up with a fork, add a dollop of plain yogurt and a dollop of olive oil; squeeze in generously some lemon juice, add salt, and there you have it.  Oh yeah, you can garnish with some chopped up fresh mint.  A truly delicious little eggplant spread that Elizabeth says you can serve as an hors d'oeuvre with bread, or with meat, "in the same manner as a chutney."  I had mine with leftover grilled steak.  Delicious.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

No Knead Onion Rolls

I had high hopes for these onion rolls.
Especially as Kahuna has outdone himself this year in the onion growing department.
At the moment, fine onion recipes rank right up there in my estimation with chocolate recipes, wafting around my kitchen ceiling just waiting for inspiration and energy to collide.
Look at these babies.  Beautiful, yes?
I'm happy to report they are every bit as beautiful once baked.  Not to mention oniony and delicious.
And they rose almost as high as my fingers.
I love that in a roll.

The only change I made to these No Knead Onion Rolls, recipe from Real Simple Nov. 2011 issue, was in step one, browning the onions -- mine were plenty brown after just 12 minutes in the skillet, not the 15 - 18 minutes recommended.

So give these a try, especially if you're looking for a great roll recipe and happen to have a few onions on hand.  And if you have any great onion recipes to share?  I'd love to hear about them.

NOTE:  Other highly recommended roll recipes that I will personally stake my apron on:  garlic cheese rolls and mile high rolls.  Because you can never have too many fabulous roll recipes.


Thursday, August 2, 2012


This is supposed to be chocolate chip - oatmeal cookies.
Yeah.  I don't know what happened here.