Sunday, May 24, 2009

grow garden grow!

The garden is starting to show so many signs of life and it is very exciting! The peas are climbing and about a foot tall. Most of the beets we planted seemed to survive, their little leaves are about 2 inches above the ground and the herbs are going crazy!
I am a little worried about the tomatoes that we planted by seed straight outside, there does not seem to be much life yet. I will be so sad if they don't make it. We can always buy partially grown plants and go from there, but I was hoping that the seeds I dried from last years crop would work. They worked in the little starter pods, so we do have a few plants doing alright from that, just not many. And we had THE best tomatoes last year! Heirloom tomatoes that were huge in the most peculiar shades of pink and green. Little sun sweet tomatoes that seemed to glow they were so orange. And so many romas that I made huge batches of tomato sauce to freeze, roasted them, and dried them so they would not go to waste. I can't wait until the garden is plump full of tomatoes, basil, squash and other veggies to eat. It is my goal this year to can and freeze so much that nothing goes to waste and we have delicious, organic, homegrown products to use all year round!

"Eggs in Purgatory"

These little one piece of bread egg sandwiches (that's what Dad always called them) are inspired by our local Red Rock Brewing Company's "Eggs in Purgatory" - topped with a spicy red sauce and parmesan cheese. A savory way to start off the day!

Just cut any shape you please (little monkey choose a star today) out the center of your chosen bread. Butter both sides lightly, place on the griddle and crack an egg in each hole. Salt and pepper if you please. Cook until the bottom side is golden and toasted, then flip.
We had leftover homemade red sauce in the fridge but store bought will do, just warm it up with a little crushed red pepper for kick. We like to toast the cut outs from the bread separately, it makes cute little shapes, perfect for dipping!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Just like banana bread in the form of a cookie, YUM! But watch out, they SEEM so lite that it is easy to eat a bunch of these!

1/4 c. butter, softened
1 egg
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 overly ripe banana, well mashed
1 tsp. vanilla

1 and 1/4 cup flour ( I use whole wheat pastry or just plain unbleached)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
one half package of milk chocolate chips

Cream the butter, egg and sugar very well. Beat until it lightens in color a bit. Add vanilla and mashed banana, mix well. Sift (or whisk together) remaining dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until incorporated but do not over mix. Drop by large spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes @ 350 degrees. (Watch for the sides to begin to brown and the centers to be fully raised and no longer doughy).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

simply delicious little sandwiches

I love how readily available good bread is these days! I can go to even the most generic grocery store and they have these artisan bread stations with rosemary bread, baguettes and my favorite - a good grainy wheat. These little open face sandwiches are simply wheat bread, a little homemade pesto (in my freezer from a bounty of basil in the garden last summer) avocado, tomato and fresh mozzarella. My little monkey had his without the avocado and they were almost as good as mine!

Saturday, May 9, 2009


There is nothing better than warm pancakes on a cool, early, summer morning. I think my little Monkey agrees. This morning he told me no short of 15 times to get up and make him pancakes. I sluggishly said I would, and then it took him nearly a half and hour to get me out of bed. He entertained himself during that time by walking out on our deck and returning repeatedly to his father and I with play by play details on what was happening with the neighbors dog. First he was barking at Monkey, then he stopped, which made Monkey bored so he started calling out to the dog, which we stopped. Then the dog jumped into and out of a "window". Then we found out that the dog has a brown bum. Next the dog got out of the yard. We think this is true, because his barking began to sound very... far... away. Ahhhhh, I will just get out of bed and make him some pancakes.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Perfect Pancakes

Okay folks with this recipe the tips on "how to" are extremely crucial so read up. They make all the difference in the pancake texture.
2 T. butter (melted)
1 T. sugar (I use turbinado)
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 t. salt ( I use Real Salt or Sea Salt)
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 and 1/4 c. unbleached flour
cold water

Mix melted butter with sugar. Add egg and buttermilk, mix well with whisk. Separately sift or whisk together the remaining DRY ingredients. Go stand by the sink and start a medium trickle of COLD water. Add your dry ingredients to the wet with a rubber scraper (not whisk) and add water as needed to get a thick, lumpy batter. It will usually take about a 1/2 cup of water . Don't mix it until it is uniform, it should be lumpy. Just mix it until all the flour is incorporated. As you make this recipe over and over you will begin to see the subtle changes in texture based on how long you mix the batter. But even if you do over mix it - you will have good pancakes. For perfect pancakes that are not heavy and have a high rise the batter will be thick enough that you need to sort of spread them out when you dump them onto the griddle. Set your griddle to medium heat and only flip the pancake over once the bubbles have begun to form in the middle of the cake. Butter is a good option on the griddle because it makes for a lovely taste and texture, and I for one don't use butter on the pancakes after they are cooked. We like to have ours with yogurt and jam or fresh fruit. We eat them for dinner sometimes too....yum!