Cooling Greens

August 20, 2017

This August heat has inspired me to reach for anything green from the season’s bounty, switching up my weekly shopping trip which seems to zeroed in on auto-pilot. Let’s see what this exercise has produced.

From the top:

It started with this green spider orchid from Trader Joe’s inspiring the rest of my selections.

Locally grown Honeydew melons are just the break I needed from Watermelon.

These Green Zebra heirloom tomatoes will switch up that Summertime BLT or Caprese.

Local fresh herbs…it doesn’t get better. Basil for a Pesto Pizza on the grill or maybe a Pesto Potato Salad…Parsley and Mint for a Chimichurri to compliment anything grilled.

Zucchini have gotten a bad rap by showing up on your desk or doorstep by the bagful. Take full advantage by grilling them up with some onions, peppers and tomatoes or knocking out a batch of Zucchini Muffins.

Photo: gp

 

 

 

 

 

Going Long

July 3, 2017

What better way to kick off the 4th of July than with an extended holiday weekend? Plenty of time for some DIY projects, maybe a local road trip, enjoying some seasonal favorites and simply kicking back. On your mark…get set…where’s that hammock?

From the top:

First things first…get that flag up.

Add in a new plant material and see how it performs the rest of the summer.photo: http://www.highcountrygardens.com/bouteloua-gracilis-blonde-ambition

How much fun could a tree swing be?  Photo: https://www.schoolhouse.com/collections/all-new/products/wood-rope-tree-swing

After a bit of work a rewarding lunch near the water could be a good idea.

Cold watermelon and an 80 degree day…perfect.

A bag of marshmallows, a box of sparklers and a yard full of fireflies should finish the holiday off nicely.

photos: gp, except where noted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clink, Pop and Pour

June 10, 2017

A glass of ice, your favorite Bourbon and Birch Beer…the perfect beverage to segue from late Spring to early Summer. It doesn’t get any simpler than this.

photo: gp

 

Lentil Tacos

May 2, 2017

Just in time for Cinco de Mayo…Lentil Tacos. Four ingredients , a stack of corn tortillas and fifteen minutes….Ole’. Dinner is served.

G’s Lentil Tacos

1 package Trader Joe’s Steamed Lentils ( 17.6 oz)

1/2 small red onion diced

1/2 packet Trader Joe’s Taco Seasoning Mix

1 19 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilis or lime and cilantro

1 tablespoon general use olive oil

 

Heat oil in skillet and sauté onions for two minutes. Add taco seasoning and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Add the precooked lentils, tomatoes and 1/2 cup of water, stirring to combine.Bring mixture to a simmer and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Serve on grilled corn tortillas street style with some additional chopped onion and cilantro or fully loaded American style with your favorite taco toppings.

 

photos: gp

 

 

 

 

 

Dining Out

April 11, 2017

Outside, out of the house, on the patio, in the yard…any which way but indoors. Two great modern classics from Knoll’s iconic 1966 Group of outdoor furniture by Charles Schultz, ready to be set for dinner. I’m torn between the 60″x 60″ square and the 90″ x 38″ rectangle. Both will easily accomodate 8, the later even up to 10 guests. The original white finish is now joined by a striking black, either being a great place to start, especially when taking advantage of the Knoll Outdoor Furniture Sale which starts on April 13th.

 

Photos: https://www.knoll.com/product/1966-dining-table-60×60

 

 

 

Easter Bake

April 2, 2017

Even with a short list of ingredients baking bread can be a tricky undertaking. This recipe for Milanese Raisin Bread might be the exception. The addition of the raisin soaking liquid to the 50/50 ratio of flour to fruit gives this rich rustic loaf it’s distinct sweet flavor and deep brown crust. My test loaf actually cut and tasted better after a couple of days, so you’ll be fine baking it off ahead of time if you decide to add it to an Easter menu. The thought of pairing this with a sliver a baked ham and a touch of grainy mustard has me thinking…you might want to make two.

 

Photos:gp

Final photo, https://food52.com/recipes/66796-pantramvai-milanese-raisin-bread

 

 

 

 

Just a Pinch

February 18, 2017

Sometimes all you need for a recipe is a pinch of a spice or dried herb that you don’t usually keep on hand. With the cost of spices and the quantity usually packaged you might think twice about trying something new. Sure, you’ll have it the next time you need it, but that occasion might be so far off that you’ll need to replace what has gone stale. Until now. The genius of Spice Miser is that minimal increments of a wide array of exotics are available neatly packed in tiny zip-lock bags. A tablespoon of fennel seed?….smoked salt?…Anise stars?….they’ve got you covered from .99 a pack. Someone was thinking.

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https://store10292173.ecwid.com/

Photo: gp