Friday, July 25, 2014

Mini Vegetable Quiche

These delicious little treats are a cross between a quiche and a lasagna that can be made in muffin tins. The use of won ton wrappers and ready made pesto help to hasten the assembly process.
The recipe is from the March/April issue of Eating Well Magazine and they are called Asparagus-Mushroom Mini Lasagnas. I see myself making these with a variety of just picked seasonal vegetables from my garden as summer grows on.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Close Encounter with a Red Tailed Hawk

With a bright sunny morning ahead I took my laptop outside. When I'm reading I need quiet, but when I'm creating I like to have music playing, this is to say that my presence was obvious.
Apparently this Red Tailed Hawk was not at all concerned with me being just twelve feet away from where he choose to land.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Chive Blossom Vinegar

I love the pretty lavender colored blossoms perched on top of my garden chives.  Occasionally I chop a few blossoms to toss in the salad bowl for more color and a little zip.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

July = Summer

Spring was the beginning of a tough road to summer. Well...summer has finally arrived and it is time to appreciate the beauty and bounty nature delivers.
These aromatic roses are flourishing since we built the compost crate next to them last summer. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring On

Spring is an inspiring season for me. Climbing out of a snowy Winter and cold temperatures I am only limited by my imagination. Having turned two big corners ~ Daylight Saving Time and the calendar flipping past the first day of spring ~ well, my imagination is in high gear. I am working hard to keep it in check, unlike last year. I can confidently say that I will not grow more than twelve tomato plants this year, rather than the seventeen of last season. The words of wisdom, just because you can doesn't mean you should, have become my mantra whenever I open my garden planning book. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Birdhouse Gourds, the Ultimate Tiny House

I'm not complaining because it's snowing.  Every reasonable person knows the facts.  It snows in winter, it's still winter, so find something else to do while Mother Nature does what she does.  The birdhouse gourds that I grew last year have dried and are ready to become the ultimate tiny house.
This is really an easy project, all you need is a drill with a hole saw and of course, a dry gourd.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Let the Games Begin

As much as I enjoy watching the the best athletes in the world compete in the Winter Olympics, those games are over and now it's my turn to say Let the Games Begin. I'm talking about the garden games. Plant, nurture, cultivate, compost, harvest, and all the other events of summer gardening. The Seed Catalogs are arriving faster than I can empty the mailbox. Already having more seeds than a person needs, I still have to flip through every page just in case there is something that I MUST have. It's really encouraging to see the number of organic seed options that are showing up.
The last frost date in the Denver area typically coincides with Mothers Day during the second week of

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Have Spices...Will Travel

I want to share an idea I recently came up with.  Being a big believer in re-purposing items I already own, I am quite pleased with this re-invention.  Wherever we travel there is usually a kitchen available, and that being the case, I'll probably be in it.  I can find a grocery store almost anywhere that will help me stock my temporary refrigerator, but attempting to find my favorite spices, that's another story.  Even if I did happen to locate said spices, only needing a teaspoon or so, the purchase of half a dozen bottles just rubs me the wrong way. 
In almost every craft room and garage, there are likely to be some of these plastic storage containers.  They come in very handy for keeping

Thursday, February 13, 2014

That's Nuts!

You would have to be living in a cave not to have heard or read that nuts are good for you.  Walnuts have a high concentration of Omega 3 fatty acids. Pecans can help lower cholesterol.  Cashews are loaded with fiber and protein.  Nuts.com reports that pound for pound, almonds are the most nutrient dense of all tree nuts.  They also single out Brazil nuts for their unique high selenium content, whose antioxidant properties protect against heart disease, cancer and aging.  Pistachio and pine nuts are both packed with fiber.  Of course, as with everything, moderation is key.  I'm not saying to consume a pound of nuts in one sitting.  Here are two simple, yet tasty recipes for spicy nuts that I make often.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Best Cocoa Brownies

This brownie recipe has been floating around for many years, and has been on my 'to make' list for far too long.  With all the snow days we've had on the calender lately, I've been able to spend more time in the kitchen and finally we have them.  If you are in need of instant gratification, without a lot of fuss and fancy ingredients, most of which you probably have in the pantry, this is going to make your day.
The creator of this recipe, Alice Medrich, author of eight cook books and one of the country's foremost experts on chocolate and chocolate desserts urges the use of everyday natural unsweetened cocoa powder (the dark brown box in the back of the cupboard) for these brownies.  She believes it delivers a richer chocolate flavor than the often called for Dutch-process cocoa.  I believe Alice is on to something.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Roasted Achiote Chicken with Veggies and Aioli

This meal was a feast for my eyes long before my taste buds got involved. Once the chicken has marinated over night, the assembly of this one dish wonder is amazingly quick.  Achiote paste is the base for this earthy marinade that originated in the Yucatan region of Mexico.  If you can't find the paste in your local market, be prepared to use some elbow grease with your mortar and pestle.
Rumor has it that annoto seeds are extremely hard and can break a spice grinder.  I followed anothers lead to soak the seeds in water for thirty minutes and they were still hard.  The good news...once the paste is made, wrap tablespoon sized portions in plastic and freeze for later use.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Mile High Pumpkin Pecan Pie

My reason for making this pie had nothing to do with living 37 feet above the Mile High City.  Combining the two most popular holiday pie flavors into one meant there would be only one leftover pie.  Because we all know, leftover pie is always begging to be eaten.  Just one bite here...then one more...before you know it, you've finished it off just standing at the counter.
This pie does involve a few more steps than your basic pumpkin pie.  I made the dough for the crust two days earlier.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Secret Santa Food Exchange

This past holiday season I left my comfort zone and decided to participate in a Secret Santa Gift Exchange with a group of people I didn't know.  Let me rephrase that...although I don't know them personally, I do know they share in my passion for food, cooking and entertaining, and I mean that in a good way.   
My recipient's post:
I received the most lovely Food52 SWAP package from Mile High Lori!  Everything was from scratch and organic.  Bourbon sea salt caramels, pumpkin bread, cranberry cookies, pumpkin granola, white chocolate cookies and beautiful hand sewn napkins.   The best of all was the handmade soaps that read “just add water”!   The gift that keeps on giving!
I received the most lovely Food52 SWAP package from Mile High Lori!  Everything was from scratch and organic.  Bourbon sea salt caramels, pumpkin bread, cranberry cookies, pumpkin granola, white chocolate cookies and beautiful hand sewn napkins.   The best of all was the handmade soaps that read “just add water”!   The gift that keeps on giving!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Bringing in the New Year

Like everyone else, I can't believe it's 2014...already. Every year I ask the same question..where did the year go?  Seems like I put all the Christmas decorations away just the other day, when actually that was a year ago.  I need to look forward to other things, like the fact that my mandarin orange tree is full of fruit. It's great to be able to grow fresh fruit inside during the winter.  
Since the next three months will keep me mostly indoors, I've got reading material already lined up.