Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuna Hallalujah

 OMG!!!  Absolutely love this dish.  Of course I am a big fan of Tuna anyway,  but this really is amazing.  It's Horseradish-Crusted Ahi Tuna with Miso Aioli.  This recipe is from The TERRAPIN restaurant in Rhinebeck, New York.  Serves 4.  
White Miso Aoili:

1Cup Mayo, 1/4 C white miso, 1 Tb rice vinegar, 1 large garlic clove, minced, 1 1/2 tsp hot chili sauce (such as sambal oelek or srirachai) Whisk these ingredients in mediumbowl to blend.
Then Mix 1 Cup grated fresh peeled horseradish, 1/2 Cup prepared horseradish and 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs in medium bowl.  Divide mixture among  4 1" thick tuna steaks- (about 1 1/2 lbs), pat evenly over top of each steak, crust should be about 1/4" thick.  Heat 2 Tb sesame oil on nonstick skillet over high heat.  Add tuna steaks, crust side  down.  Cook until crust is browned, about 3 minutes.  Using spatula, turn steaks over and cook until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Serve tuna with miso aioli.  
We grilled this on cast iron, it was fun, quick and we were so impressed with the flavor. It was such a wonderful surprise.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Coconut Pancakes

In the new January issue of Bon Appetit that arrived in my mailbox,  Mark Bittman was featured.  I made his Vegan Recipe for Spiced Coconut Pancakes with a tropical fruit salad this morning.   The recipe made twenty good sized pancakes, so I can freeze some and have them at will.   One of my favorite quick breakfasts, when I'm short on time, is to slather a tablespoon of almond butter and a sprinkle of dried cranberries on a homemade pancake.

In addition to the pineapple, banana and mango he used in his tropical fruit topping, I added persimmons and clementines.  Yummy and healthy.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Salad

My Christmas salad of green, white and red.

I love these metal garden markers.  Looking forward to spring when I can put them out in the herb garden. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Radish Umeboshi Pickles

Just made a jar of Radish Umeboshi Pickles from Alicia Silverstone's Book.  I love these things, and they are so easy to make. Place 6-7 red radishes, washed and thinly sliced, in a glass jar.  Pour in 1/2 Cup Umeboshi Vinegar and 1 Cup water, so they are completely submerged.  Cover the jar with cheesecloth held by a rubber band. They need to sit at room temperature for at least 24 hours or up to 3 days, then cover and place in the refrigerator.  They'll be good for 10 days,  if the jar isn't empty before then. :) According to Wikipedia  Eating umeboshi in Japan is the equivalent of the United States "an apple a day."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wooden plant hangers

This is our prototype for the wooden plant hangers I needed.  Bob built me two of them, and I am very pleased.  It looks like we might tweak the design slightly, but overall it's a keeper.  The metal bracket we attached, swivels, which is part of the design.  We mounted these brackets 15' up the wall, adjacent to the middle landing, where I will be able to water them. When fall arrives, our evening temperatures can drop into the low 40's, so I start bringing in some of the outdoor plants I want to keep, and then the shuffle begins.

 I've got a few more hanging plants we need to find locations for; permanent locations, not hanging from one of the guest bathroom showers.  I do have many indoor plants, year round, but I think it's especially important during the winter, when we close up our homes, and turn on the heaters.  We need those plants to help us recycle the carbon dioxide and give us fresh air.  Every little bit helps.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lasagna, Soup & Red Velvet Cupcakes

  Made these easy lasagna roll ups earlier today.
Cooked the noodles, then spread boursin cheese and mozerella on them, rolled 'em and  placed them in a greased glass dish.  Pureed a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, 1/2 Cup of spicy salsa, and 1 Cup of leftover sauteed broccoli and mushrooms and poured that on top.  Grated some fresh parmesean on top of it all, and baked it for 30 minutes.  On to Vegetable soup.
  Sauteed onion, carrots and celery in olive oil for about ten minutes;  added chopped parsley, white swiss chard, and three leaves of cabbage. Cooked a little bit longer, then added about 1/4 Cup of tomato paste, S & P and 4 Cups of cannelli beans, 1/2 of them mashed. Poured in four cups of vegetable broth, along with some Tuscan seasoning, and a couple dashes of Shoyu. Oh yes, I also threw in a 2" parmesean cheese rind; really adds great flavor.
Of course I saved the best for last.  Red Velvet Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting..  Yum.Yum. Yum.   The recipe was from Health.com.  Originally I was going to make the Magnolia Bakery Cupcakes...but OMG...when I saw how much butter was in both the batter and the frosting...I decided against it.  But they do sound wonderful.  Will have to make them for a day when many people will be around to enjoy them. That way there won't be any leftovers to tempt me.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Key Limes

 Christmas packages have started arriving at my door.  The box I received two days ago was a package filled with 5 dozen ripe key limes from my girlfriend in Cudjoe Key, Florida. What a wonderful treat.
For the past two days I have been juicing and freezing; and now I have 48  key lime ice cubes in freezer bags.  That should last me a while.  I might have to make a key lime pie soon,  just because I can, but that will only take 1/2 Cup of juice, I'll still have plenty left:)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Maple trees in Ga

This photo was taken on Tuesday morning, November 30th, at our friends house in Atlanta, looking into their backyard just before we flew back home.  It was amazing to see the different colors of foliage still in abundance.  We just loved it.  The autumn colors have been gone for over a month in Colorado.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sunrise in Arvada

While pouring my second cup of coffee at 6:30 this morning, imagine my delight at seeing this view from the  kitchen window.  Naturally, I set down the coffee, picked up the camera and ran out the back door.  I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, because within minutes, it was gone.  Now that's the way to start a day:)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


 Picked the jalapeno's from my plants before our temps dropped, thank goodness.
Finally started dehydrating some of the tons of apples that are on my tree.  I've had the dehydrator going so much lately, just trying to get the food for the Canyon trip done, that I completely forgot about the bushels that my apple tree is producing. 

Friday, October 29, 2010


Pomegranates...I love them.  According to Eating Well Magazine, Pomegranates originated in Persia and were brought to California by the Spaniards.  To find the ripest fruit, judge a pomegranate by its weight, not its color.  The heavier ones contain more juice.   Pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than other fruit juices. To get the seeds, fill a large bowl full of water and cut, then peel out the seeds under water. You can freeze pomegranate seeds.  And the best of all, right now, they are in my local grocery store for $1.00 each.  I'm there...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Nancy's Team

We all arrived bright and early for the 7:30 start of the 3rd Annual Sarcoma Race/Walk on Sunday morning .  Nancy, on the left, is the inspiration and drive for 'Nancy's Team', a dear friend who's been fighting cancer for 6 years.  Donna, the main organizer and cheerleader for our team, with her 1st Place Medal .


Fresh Steamed Florida Mussells

Check out these Mussels!!!!!!This pan is half of the 15 lbs of fresh steamed mussels we had for dinner. 
  I flew into Ft. Lauderdale the night before the 3rd Annual Sarcoma Race/Walk in Plantation, Florida.  There were nine of us that tackled this eating challenge.  Believe it or not, we couldn't finish them off.  Of course we had linguine and bread to dip into the butter, cream, garlic, parsley and white wine broth the mussels were steamed in.  We did our best to load up on protein and carbs for the next day's Fund Raising Event.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dinner tonight

Who can't love Shrimp on the grill????Yum.  These are Key West Pinks, the shrimp.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

More Tomatillos..yeah!!!

Notice how the bottom of the tomatillo's are starting to split, that means they are ready to pick.  They'd better hurry up and ripen, we are expecting a low of 25 degrees next week.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Nearly a full moon

Right from my backyard at the firepit.  We are just a a couple of days away from a full moon. I just love pictures like this.  I think you are just in the right place at the right time with your little point and shoot camera.  Granted, it's not a prize winning photo, but when you are there taking it, it is a prize.. Being in the hot tub with a full moon...priceless

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mountain Ash

Our Kentucky Mountain Ash has changed colors for the season.This golden pallet is breathtaking
As we sat at the firepit just before sunset, we saw this white pigeon land on the fence line between our neighbors yard and ours.  Within seconds either a harrier or a small hawk swooped down and tried to take him away.  I took this picture after the entanglement and he was on the ground walking towards our yard.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Brussel sprouts & Soap

Brussel sprouts.....one of my favorite vegetables. They are at the local stores now, for $1.00 a lb.  Mine, in the garden, won't be ready for another two months.  Anyway, I've bought seven pounds of brussel sprouts in the past two days.  So I have been blanching and freezing them.  Today I made marinated brussel sprouts, because we have guests coming over for dinner tomorrow night!

Made a batch of Lilac Buttermilk  Soap today, it is one of my favorites.  I LOVE this soap.  Everything about it is heavenly.  It smells great, feels great, cleans great.  What's not to love?  Totally refreshing, no preservatives, organic.....again, what's not to love??
I made this batch of Oatmeal- Honey Soap yesterday. Cold processed soaps need to set in a  mold for 24 hours, wrapped in a wool blanket, then I take it out and cut it into bars, and let it set for another two weeks, so it can cure. They look great.  I love everyone of them:)

Friday, October 15, 2010


Aren't Mums the poster picture for fall flowers?  I don't know about you, but I always think of Fall when I hear the word 'MUMS'. I have mums all around my yard.  It's the only flower blooming this late in the season.  I've got most colors, although I am partial to the autumn gold color.  That truly seems to be the quintessential fall color.

Friday, October 8, 2010

What's for dinner?

These white Gretel dwarf eggplants are picture perfect with several Roma Tomatoes, and fresh herbs. Looks like it'll be an Italian night in the kitchen.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Deep Pink Roses

There is something about a rose, especially when it's lightly fragrant and not too over whelming.  This flowering bush is down my side yard just in front of the potting bench.  With fall knocking, I have been cleaning up some of my planters and storing items in the shed.  So I've been able to keep a constant eye as the flower has emerged.  There is another bud just to left, that I am anxious to see bloom as well.  We have moved this rose bush at least three times in the past eleven years.  Remember to rake up the old leaves under your rose bushes at the end of the season, bag them and throw them out with the trash, too many diseases can harbor over winter.

Friday, October 1, 2010

New grill space

My sweetie, Bob, AKA my husband, is busy working at making the perfect BBQ pit.  It involves a lot of digging, placing and replacing of flagstone.  This is the Before picture.  I've got to admit, that we use our grill year round, so the Pit Master deserves the best.  Keep digging Bob, the snow is on it's way.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tomatillos harvested

 I think I've mentioned before that my new favorite thing, this year, to grow is Tomatillos.  They look so cute growing on the plant. When the bottom of the husks split open,  they are ready to be harvested.  The first picture is filled with little tomatillos stilling growing .  And below is the harvest from today.  Don't be intimidated by their stickiness, that is normal.

I have a wonderfully easy tomatillo sauce recipe that I cooked up in July but I can't seem to find it anywhere, it had just the right amount of heat.  I will keep searching and post it when I locate it.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I have nasturtiums growing in a large pot with several basil plants. They are just a fun little flower that you can eat.  Next year I will put them in a spot where they get more sun.  Last year I had more than I needed, so I moved them, and this year my inventory was much less.  Isn't it great to look into your salad plate and see flowers smiling back at you?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Spicy Lobster in Red Sauce

 Last night I made a wonderful Lobster dish for dinner.  These are Florida Spiney Lobsters, that our friends brought to us on their trip here.  YUM!!
See the little tan and black soft fin like things down the center?  Only  female lobster have these fins.  When they are carrying eggs, the eggs are hidden under those fins.   As a scuba diver, when you are lobstering during season,  you must check every lobster for eggs.  It is illegal to take a female with eggs.
Here is the finished dish. I made a spicy tomato sauce, with just enough heat.   It was so good.  The basic recipe came from my Ultra Metabolism Cookbook.  I served it over organic fettuccine made with Jerusalem artichoke flour.
We also had a wonderful vegetable laden salad to round out our meal.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fresh Tomatoes

This past weekend I oven roasted a large pan of my  Roma tomatoes.  I also added some of the little yellow pear tomatoes, with fresh garlic and onions.  The kitchen smelled soooo good.  Roasting  the tomatoes gives them such an earthy flavor when you add them to your sauce.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Don't forget about the birds

I worked in the garden yesterday.  Did a lot of cleaning out, ripping up, and trimming.  I know that I only have about a month of warmish weather left, and that's a hopeful estimate.  We've had snow in September before.  I cut down all the Sunflower plants.  If the birds hadn't gotten to them yet, I simply clipped off the flower head, and put it in a bucket.  There are five bird feeders in the back yard, reason being, I figure if I give them plenty of places to eat from, they will leave my plants and produce alone.  Anyway, everyday  I add a couple of flower heads to each  feeder.  They seem to enjoy sunflower seeds no matter how they acquire them.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Warm days

This is what's growing right now in the yard.  Kohlrabi, spaghetti squash and muskmellons, along with acorn, butternut, zucchini, patty pan, & burgess buttercup squash. All of these and the eggplants, green beans and tomatoes still need another month of warm days in order to mature.  I'm not worried about the broccoli, kale, and brussel sprouts; they like cool weather.  I'm getting ready to plant some more lettuces and spinach, and I'm going to try my hand at Daikon as well.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Overwintering a Mandevilla

 I have this beautiful Mandevilla in a pot on a sunny spot on my front porch.  Just looking at it makes me think of summertime.  I am trying to decide if it's worth my time to bring this plant in for the winter or just replace it next year.  I found this info at Plant-Care.com, so I thought I would share it with you.
 As the nights begin to cool off the Mandevilla will slow down. That is the time to give them some food to harden them up for the long winter.
Try to use a liquid fertilizer with a high middle number e.g. 10-56-14, (Lightly) since you can cause fertilizer burn. We are not trying to promote growth but to toughen the plant up. Don’t go over board with the fertilizer; let the plant stay outside as long as possible. It should be able to handle high 40’s for brief periods. 
After about 3 weeks (if you can hold out that long weather permitting) prune the plant back. Not just tipping the plant but cutting it down to about 12 inches above the soil line. I would also treat this vining plant for any possible pests problems since it will be going indoors for the winter.
Next we want to begin slowing up on the water and let the plant run on the dry side. Remember that we have given the plant some fertilizer and removed a lot of growth so the requirements for water should drop.
When you bring the plant inside place it in as much light as possible. You are looking for maintenance not growth. You’ll probably get some quick new growth, just try to maintain it. Some people place the plant in a clear plastic bag and over wintered their Mandevilla in their heated garage.
Try to maintain the plant on the dry side throughout the winter.
When spring comes you can move the plant outside. Expect the growth produced during the winter to be burned off!!!
Although, we cannot guarantee the above method will work you, it is a guideline that has worked for others you can try.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Love late season Raspberries

Someone needs to start picking raspberries in the morning to go with our granola breakfast. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Heavenly Morning Glories

I just noticed that the top branches on the plum tree are starting to turn red.  I know what that means and I am not ready for fall yet.  Give me one more month please.
Finally, my morning glories are giving a spectacular show.   We built a new arbor on the side of a flagstone landing that we put in this past spring.  I planted nearly a dozen of the Heavenly Blue seeds at the base of the posts. An unknown little critter kept nibbling away at the new growth as they started to come up. Only one plant survived. However, he is making a glorious statement, don't you think?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day

Today's harvest was mostly about tomatoes: Roma's, Patio, Sweet 100's and Yellow Pear.  And as every vegetable gardener knows, there isn't a day that goes by in the summer when you can't find at least one squash to bring in. Here we have a patty pan and a zucchini.  Treat the patty pan like the other summer squash.  Wash, slice, spritz a little olive oil , season it slightly and grill it for a couple of minutes on each side.  Then grate some fresh Parmesan  on top, and enjoy.