The major part of my spring planting is for the edible harvest come summertime. I don't depend on my garden for food, I grow it for my own enjoyment, and I eat a lot healthier when vegetables are right outside my door! Many pea pods don't make it to the house, and on a hot summer day I'll quench my thirst by sucking the juice out of a tomato or three.
Some of my home-grown produce does make it to the table, or the canner, and I'd like to share a few of the recipes I use. Other recipes can be found on this blog under "recipes."
When the recipes ask for finely chopped herbs, such as rosemary or thyme, strip the leaves off the stems first. You can keep the stems in a zipper bag in the freezer to toss into stews and casseroles. If you don't have the herb listed, use what you do have. It'll taste just as good!
|clockwise from upper left (11:00 position!) - onion chives, English thyme, French tarragon, rosemary|
Fresh Herb Dip
8 oz. cream cheese
4 oz. sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
2 TBS finely chopped thyme (regular garden thyme, or English thyme)
1 TBS finely chopped lemon thyme
1 TBS finely chopped parsley
Blend all ingredients together, chill, and serve with crackers, French bread chunks, and vegetable sticks.
Note: Experiment with other herbs. Try adding some chopped oregano or chives.I think I'd like chives with crackers!
Chive Cheese Scones - makes 12
2 1/2 - 3 cups flour
1 TBS + 2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 oz. softened cream cheese
4 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives (your choice of onion or garlic)
1 cup milk
Combine 2 1/2 cups flour, baking powder and salt. Add cream cheese and cheddar. Use fork to combine. Add chives.
Fold in egg mixed with milk, don't over-mix. If dough is sticky you can add up to 1/2 cup more flour, but dough will be soft.
Divide into two pieces, pat each on a flour coated board into a 6" circle about 1" thick. Cut into 6 wedges. Bake on parchment paper about 20 minutes or until browned.
Lemon Chicken - serves 4
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 TBS finely chopped lemon thyme
2 tsp. finely chopped rosemary
1/2 tsp. finely chopped French tarragon (or 1 tsp. dried)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or your favorite chicken parts)
Mix all but the chicken together. Use as a marinade for the chicken, letting it sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Drain (save marinate to baste chicken) chicken and put on a greased baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees, basting every 10 minutes. Turn at 30 minutes, and cook until no longer pink when cut.
All pumpkin recipes can be made with any type of winter squash, like acorn squash. You can even use sweet potatoes! The texture will be a bit different, but the taste will be the same.
1 stick softened butter or margarine
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1 cup cooked pumpkin, mashed
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Grease muffin pans (muffins work better with greasing than with cupcake liners), or spray with cooking spray on bottoms only. Muffins need to "climb the sides."
Combine butter, brown sugar and molasses, beat until creamy. Add the pumpkin and egg, mix well. It will look curdled, but that's normal!
Add the dry ingredients (you can stir them together separately and stir them in, but I add them right to the wet mixture, stirring in the flour last). Do not over-mix, muffins get tough if over-mixed.
The batter will be very thick.
Spoon into muffin pans, each about 2/3 full, smooth with wet fingers. Sprinkle tops with granulated sugar if desired, it looks pretty.
Bake about 15 minutes, check with the toothpick trick (don't know that one? Stick a toothpick into the center of a muffin, if it comes out clean they are done. This works for cakes too, with brownies you want it to be a bit sticky still for chewy brownies.)
Remove from pan immediately. Serve warm. Mmmm... these are so good!
Pumpkin Bread - makes one loaf with a few extra for muffins
1 cup pumpkin
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup softened butter or margarine
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
walnuts (optional, about 1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped)
Cream wet ingredients together, fold in dry. Add nuts.
Grease a loaf pan. If you have a small loaf pan you will also need to grease 4-6 muffin tins.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 - 55 minutes (use the toothpick test), muffins sooner.
Remove from pan to cool. (The muffins from the leftover batter here are not the same as the ones in the previous recipe.)
Pumpkin Cake with Lemon Glaze (super easy because it starts with a mix!)
1 package yellow cake mix (the kind that uses water on the directions)
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup pumpkin, mashed well
lemon glaze (1 cup powdered sugar mixed with some lemon juice and milk to taste, a bit runny)
In a large bowl mix cake mix and spices. Add in eggs and water as on package, but substitute pumpkin for 1/3 of the water. Stir in nuts if desired. Pour into greased or sprayed Bundt or tube pan, or 9 cup capacity baking dish. Bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until that toothpick comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes, remove from pan. When cool drizzle with lemon glaze.
DESSERT RECIPES (can be served for breakfast too!)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
dash ground nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, separate the yolk from white
sugar to sprinkle
Rub a 9" cake or pie pan with 1 TBS of the butter or margarine.
Sift the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Cut in remaining butter until it resembles coarse meal. Blend the milk and egg yolks in a cup, and add to dry with a fork. Don't over-mix!
Pat into prepared pan, moistening fingers with leftover egg white. Brush surface with the egg white, and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for only 10 - 12 minutes, or until golden brown. It bakes quickly! Serve in wedges with berries and whipped cream.
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 TBS baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract (use almond if desired)
fruit, peeled and sliced (peaches, apples, blueberries, blackberries, boysenberries, etc.) If using soft fruit, such as peaches, pears, or berries, you can use them uncooked. Apples will need some precooking until soft, as the baking time isn't long enough to do it. You'll need about 2 or 3 cups of fruit. Don't let the fact you have less stop you though, it will still be delicious!
Put fruit in bottom of greased casserole dish.
Cut butter into dry ingredients. Add milk and vanilla. Pour on top of fruit. Bake at 350 degrees until topping is browned.
Applesauce Swirl Cake (another super easy starting with a mix cake)
1/4 cup corn starch
1 cup applesauce
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup raisins (optional, my son hates them)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup sugar mixed with 1 tsp. cinnamon
powder sugar to dust top
Combine cake mix, cornstarch, applesauce, oil and eggs. Beat 2 minutes. Stir in raisins and vanilla. Pour into greased pan.
Sprinkle top with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Cut through with a knife.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, or until toothpick is clean when tested.
Cool 10 minutes, loosen edges, remove from pan and cool on rack.
Sprinkle with powered sugar before serving.
R was Recipes, S is just as "sweet!"