Patio Garden 2016

I normally get very excited with growing my vegetables in my small patio garden. But lately I have been too busy with work and classes, and frustrated with the squirrels, but not so much that I would give up entirely!

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I didn’t try my organic seeds this Spring, but I did finally plant a tomato, zucchini, red bell pepper, fresh herbs: basil, parsley and mint and blueberries!

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I still have my curry leaf plant, safely indoors tucked away from the elements!

So far so good…

My Patio Garden this year is not to its usual standard. But I still hope to plant some greens, once there is a breather…

Will keep you posted.

See:

Patio Garden 2015
Patio Garden 2014
Patio Garden 2013
Gardening

 

Mini Cherry Crumbles

it’s Cherry Time…

I absolutely love Cherries. And May is perfect to make this simple dessert with Cherries!

The tough part about using cherries is pitting.. I recently acquired this pitting appliance and I was ready to try it for this awesome recipe!

Fly 'n Cook

Saw this on PBS Fresh Tastes Blog and had to try it out immediately. Cherries are my favorite fruit. When in season I never fail to buy them during each visit to the grocery. I had some fresh organic ones in the refrigerator ready and a sweet tooth to quench.

Ingredients:
2 cups pitted and sliced cherries
3/8 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
3/8 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
pinch of salt

Slice the cherries and set aside. Drizzle some lemon juice and toss lightly. Meanwhile in a bowl mix melted butter, sugar, oats and flour. Add a pinch of salt.

Fill each ramekin with 3 quarters of cherries and add the rolled oats mix on top. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake the cherry crumbles for 25-30 minutes.

I used sliced strawberries with some left over crumbles and it was excellent. Next time…

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Sun Dried Tomato and Jalapeno Bagel

Okay, I admit, I have never eaten this combination ever.

Except this past weekend. If you know me, you know this is my favorite combination.

Every time we headed out of town back in CA,  we loved to pick up assorted bagels and cream cheese: Jalapeno, Sun dried tomato, blue berry, strawberry and more. California bakeries also were renowned for assorted cream cheese and assorted bagels.

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But, I have never come across a Jalapeno and Sun dried bagel. Until recently. My recipe is loosely based on this one.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup warm water
2 tsp active yeast
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp sugar
2 jalapenos, minced (de-seeded, optional)
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, soaked and sliced
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour

Pre- heat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine warm water, yeast, salt and 1 tablespoon sugar. Add flour, jalapenos; mix into a ball.

Knead for 10 to 12 minutes, adding more flour if necessary, until dough is stiff. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.

Divide into 6 equal pieces and form into balls. Punch a hole in middle with floured finger and gently pull to enlarge hole to 2 inches.

Place bagels on greased baking sheet; cover with tea towel and allow to rise for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oven to broil. Prepare water bath and put it on to boil.

After bagels have risen for 20 minutes, broil for 1 1⁄2 minutes on each side.

Once water bath is boiling, reduce heat. Place bagels, 3 at a time, in water for 1 1⁄2 minutes, turning after 45 seconds.

Drain and place on greased baking sheet. If desired, brush with egg wash (beat egg with 1 tablespoon water).

Bake at 400°F for 18 to 20 minutes.

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Enjoy warm with your favorite cream cheese!

Mediterranean in May

Fun recipes from last May…

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Farro & Sun Dried Tomato Foccacia

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Eggplant and Tomato Gratinvt4Rosemary Scented Vegetable Phyllo Tart

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Stuffed Tomato

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Mediterranean Grain Soup

baklava

Baklava

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Eggplant and Tomato Gratin

Sprouted Mung Bean and Thai Green Curry Soup

The Thai Flavored, Sprouted Moth Bean and Vegetable Soup was delicious, so this time I decided to try a theme of green curry. This gets even more green than my Green, Green Soup!

As usual, I made this up as I went. To me, Thai green curry  is not complete without coconut milk, baby corn, bamboo shoots and green curry paste. And of course broccoli, Brussels sprouts, celery and kale bring out the green in the soup!

I ended up using more coconut milk that I originally envisioned, so it ended up a lot more creamy. The flavors are mild enough that it can be eaten as soup or serve with some warm Jasmine rice.

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Ingredients:

2/3 cup sprouted green gram
3-4 green onions, chopped
2 cups of vegetables: broccoli florets, sliced Brussels sprouts, baby corn, chopped celery, and sliced radish.  Can also use snow peas, zucchini, asparagus, lemon grass, dried lime leaves, green or yellow bell pepper.
1 cup chopped kale
2 cups coconut milk, I used 1/2 creamed coconut and 1/2 lite coconut milk
2-3 tsp Thai green curry paste
salt to taste
1-2 tsp red chili in oil (optional)
2 cups water
some fresh chopped basil leaves
dash of lime juice
dash of sugar
salt to taste

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Bring coconut milk, water and green curry paste to a boil. Add in sprouted green gram and continue to cook for 15-20 minutes. Add in the vegetables, except kale and continue to cook for 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and some sugar. Add in kale, fresh chopped basil and red chili in oil (optional) and cook for 5-10 minutes until the kale is wilted.

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Drizzle some lemon juice and serve warm, with some fresh bread, bowl of Jasmine rice or with some crispy spring rolls!

Mango and Coconut Scone

Now that we are well into spring, the grocery stories are overflowing with fresh fruit and vegetables. I picked up some assorted fruits and my mind was on baking.

Cakes, muffins or scones?

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Scones are undoubtedly one of my favorite snack.  While I frequently bake cherry or cranberry scones, I have never baked mango scones. This seemed to be the perfect time to experiment with baking a mango scone.

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I have a standard healthy recipe for scones I use. and here is the version adapted for a mango scone.

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 stick  butter (or add more for a flaky scone)
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cardamon powder
1 mango, peeled and diced
1/2 cup + a little more coconut flakes
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.

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In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder,cardamon powder,  and salt. Use a pastry blender to cut in the cold butter or use your hands to mix in. Add buttermilk and mix in. Fold in diced mango and coconut flakes and pecans and mix gently into a ball.

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Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a  circle and 1/2 in thick slab and cut into triangles or scoop 1-2 tbsp onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper.  Brush with some melted butter and sugar crystals (optional). Bake for 10-12 minutes. Makes about 12 scones.

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Enjoy a warm scone with some butter or jam or as is with a nice cuppa tea or coffee. Or Glaze with some mango flavored icing for a sweeter scone.

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If not ready to eat, you can  freeze the scones in a freezer bag. When ready to eat remove from freezer and let it return to room temperature or pop it in a microwave for 10-15 seconds and it is ready to eat!

Note: I tend to use less sugar and less butter. For a sweeter and more flaky scone adjust sugar and butter to suit your personal preference.

Roasted Root Vegetable Soup with Kale and Lentils

A perfect office day meal…..

Fly 'n Cook

Chill is in the air. The last few days, the Polar Vortex dipped low, bringing an early freeze to the Mid Atlantic and the South. Some parts of the country even saw some snow.  It is way too early for snow!

While salads are refreshing during the hot summer months, come fall and winter, I love to try new soup recipes.

rvlk3During such chilly weather, I like to turn on the oven to bake cakes, muffins, bread or roast my vegetables. Nicely warms up the house a degree or two as well. Not to mention the aroma that fills the house.

There are plenty of root vegetables out there in fall. You can pretty much mix in your favorite root vegetables to make this soup.

Ingredients:

1 Turnip cut into rings or 1 inch pieces
2 carrots, sliced into rings
3-4 small golden beets, sliced into rings
1 Daikon…

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