Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fresh Tomato Focaccia

This has got to be one of the most fun and delicious things I have been making this summer...well, at least since my tomatoes started ripening.  Every one who tastes it, loves this bread.  I have tried a few recipes and my favorite version is inspired by Jeff Mauro.  It is created on a sheet pan, while I divide it into thirds as I stripe the dough with different tomatoes.  Be forewarned, it is really delicious and very addicting.
The left third is covered in oven roasted cherry tomatoes.  Down the center are green zebra slices.  The right side is covered in cherry and sun gold tomato halves which are placed cut side down in the dough.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Blueberry Lemon Bars with Lemon Glaze

Being rained in for a couple of days was a good excuse to do some baking.  I came across this heavenly dessert bar from Sweet Peas Kitchen called Blueberry Lemon Brownies.  I don't know about you, but for me a brownie needs to have some form of chocolate as an ingredient.
It could be cocoa powder, chocolate chips, Mexican chocolate, dark chocolate, even white chocolate, but there needs to be chocolate.  So in good conciseness I can't call these a brownie, but I can call them terrific and my friends loved them. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Zinnia ~ Friday's Flower

The Zinna is my favorite annual flower.  It comes in many shapes and sizes, some being almost like teddy-bear sunflowers, others look like daisies and their colors are all over the chart.  They are quite happy to be cut and put in a vase.
I collect the seeds from the dried flower heads every year.  Yes, it takes some time to separate the seeds from the flower heads but it is well worth the time invested.  Come spring, I sprinkle the seeds wherever I want

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Day in the Kitchen

In years past I would spend one week canning, pickling and dehydrating.  But as the garden continues to expand, each year I plant more, which in turn produces several waves of ripe produce.  I'm finding that I'd rather spend one day every couple of weeks processing in a variety of ways, whatever found it's way from the garden to the kitchen.  I actually look forward to that day and I'm not as exhausted as when working at it for a week.  With a sink full of tomatoes, you can guess what happened next.
Having Bobs help, 45 ears of corn were shucked, cleaned and cut from the

Friday, September 6, 2013

Leek Blossoms ~ Friday's Flower

Leeks are biennial and most of them will never bloom, as they are generally planted and harvested the same year.  The edible part is the bottom six to ten inches, depending on the size of the plant.  The leek, commonly used in soups, is a cousin of the onion although with a milder, more herbal flavor that sweetens as it cooks.
If you find yourself with an abundance of leeks at the end of the season, and you have the space to leave a

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Zucchini Ribbon Salad

I know zucchini week is over, but there are still more great ways to use this prolific vegetable.  Just look at these ribbons, aren't they beautiful? 
This salad is bursting with fresh summer flavor.  A mandoline comes in quite handy for shaving the zucchini into ribbons, but a vegetable peeler would work just as well.  I really like the simplicity of this zucchini ribbon salad from Dawn Perry, a Bon Appetit food editor.  I've made it a couple of times, varying the nuts and cheese and it's always good.