Saturday, September 29, 2007

Asian Noodle Pasta Salad

It's always weird when I'm watching a show on the Food Network and I realize that they are making a recipe that I use all the time. It's one that one of my friends showed me years ago before Ellie Krieger talked about it on her show. You'll find her original through this link at the Food Network website.,,FOOD_9936_36604,00.html?rsrc=search

Asian Noodle Pasta Salad

You can find most of these ingredients in your local Asian food store. I really like United Noodles located about a miles away from our house.

4 ounces soba noodles

1 /2 red onion thinly sliced

1 large carrot,shred

1 red pepper, julienne

1 handful of broccoli florets, steam

1 avocado

Any other great veggies you have in the house

2 TB of sesame seeds

1/2 cup cilantro

Dressing: rice vinegar, teaspoon sesame oil, one clove of finely minced garlic, ginger grated or cut very thin, soy sauce.

Usually, the packs of buckwheat noodles come in little bunches--I use 2 for this recipe. Boil water and add noodles and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Rinse with cold water immediately. Add veggies, sesame seeds and cilantro. To make the dressing use another bowl. Add ginger, garlic, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and soy sauce. You'll notice I didn't give any measurements for the dressing. That's because I really think it's up to the cook to decide how sweet, tart or spicy the dish is. Mix the dressing ingredients and pour over noodle salad. Remember to save a little for later and not to drown the noodles in dressing. You can always add more later.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Morning Glory!

Really, need I say more.....

Monday, September 24, 2007

Stews and Soups

This weekend even though it was the last hot days of summer I got into the fall mood and started making some soups. Saturday night I made jambalaya for JP and Peg and Sunday I made butternut squash soup for M&J. The recipes below were all adapted from information from friends, family and our CSA.
Quick Garlic Bread
1 loaf ciabatta
2 garlic cloves
1/4 to 1/2 cup of olive oil
-blend olive oil, basil and garlic
-spread on ciabatta and grill
-top with shaved parmesan

Butternut Squash Soup
1 butternut squash, halved peeled and cubed
1 celeriac root
2-3 carrots
1 yellow onion
3 cloves of garlic
5 sprigs of thyme
1 box chicken stock
1 can canelli beans or northerns
2 cups swiss chard cleaned and chopped
4-5 pieces of bacon cooked and chopped
-saute squash, celeriac root, carrots, onion garlic and thyme until tender
-Add broth and boil
-In batches blend soup
-Put back in soup pot and add beans, swiss chard and bacon
-season with salt and pepper

Art's Quick Jambalaya
3-4 chicken breast cubed
2 pieces of bacon roughly chopped
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup of flour
4-5 tomatoes
4 celery stocks
2 carrots
1 yellow onion
2 red peppers
salt, pepper, paprika and creole spices
3/4 cup of white rice
spicy sausage
1 box chicken stock
10 okra or bag of frozen okra
-Heat bacon in soup pot and add chicken to brown
-Remove chicken and bacon and place on plate for later addition
-Add olive oil and flour to pot remembering to scrap up remnants from browning
-Stir continuously to form roux and cook until dark carmel color
-Add veggies and spices and coat with roux
-add stock and bring to a boil
-add rice turn to simmer and cover, cook for 20 minutes or until rice is tender
-add sausage and okra and cook for 5 more minutes
-add salt pepper and hot sauce to your liking.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Saturday CDT and I went to the Pine Tree Apple Orchard in Dellano. It was packed obviously due to many Minnesotans taking advantage of a few last wonderful days of summer. It was pretty hot and after a short tour of the orchard we decided to go inside to buy some fun items: cider, apple syrup, 2nd grade apples for canning and of course carmel apples.

Apples coming down the conveyor belt to be separated.

Baskets ready for pickers.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Greens and BLAT!

Two nights ago we went over to M&S's house for dinner with them and the G Clan. That means 6 adults, 4 children and two dogs all around one dining room table. It's the best. We used to do dinners like this all the time...and I miss them, so this was a great addition to my week. M served her famous black eyed pea stew and greens and I contributed the wine and my grandma's corn bread. I started thinking about how much I love greens. I just don't make them a lot because Tim's not a big fan of Southern food (mainly beans and greens), although I think he would do anything for the cornbread. So, M was kind enough to give me some greens from their garden and I made them last night along with our favorite BLAT.

Molly's Greens

A bunch of kale, chard, whatever greens you have

2-4 cloves of garlic


I added bacon grease from the BLAT

-Wash your greens really well

-Strip them off their stems

-Cut in whatever way you want

-Heat wok or saute pan

-Add bacon grease

-Throw in greens and top with garlic and butter

-Toss greens with garlic and butter add salt and pepper to taste


Otherwise know as bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomatoe

Assemble ingredients above plus ciabatta and Dijon mustard

You know how this goes...cook bacon, wash lettuce, cut avocado and tomatoe (season with salt and pepper). I like to use Dijon mustard instead of mayo. Tim still only uses the mayo.

What an awesome supper. Tim even ate his greens! We rounded out the night with the last remnants of the Grand Ole' Creamery ice cream we had left over. Chocolate brownie and what the Minnesotans call peppermint bon bon (really mint chocolate chip). The Grand Ole' Creamery just moved in about 1/2 a mile from out house. It's really dangerous!!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Cool Beets!

I received some beets from our CSA the other day. I had no idea that they were going to be yellow when I cut into them. Even though I love my new camera this picture doesn't really do them justice. Anyways, I cut them up and roasted them for dinner last week. Along with that we had slice tomatoes and salmon patties. The following recipe was crafted by my mother or someone on her father's side of the family--he was from Kentucky. We used to eat salmon patties with butter beans on the side. What you've never tried a butter bean? They look like a pink/peach larger version of a kidney bean. They usually come in a can and we would cook them in a pan until warm and ready to serve. Butter Beans have this great texture and a wonderful "butter" flavor. Anyways, on to the first recipe modified from my mother's for my own taste buds. Some people serve with a tartar sauce, but I think they are super tasty plain.

Salmon Patties
1 can of salmon
1 package of crackers (I like to use Ritz)
1 beaten egg
salt and pepper
flat leaf parsley
paprika for a little kick

-Mix the can of salmon with the beaten egg
-Add the crackers
-Add salt, pepper, parsley and paprika to taste
-Shape into little patties and cook in a saute pan until firm

Last night I made a recipe from Janet Is Hungry: Pasta. She has one of my favorite sites. Really practical food and I love her pictures. Anyways, I was in a comfort food mood and had a ton of tomatoes from the garden that I haven't gotten around to using. So, I thought this recipe would be really great and it was. I modified a couple of things with some odds and ends I had around the house (changes are italics).
Comfort Pasta
1 lb lean ground beef
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 5.5oz can tomato paste
4-5 roma tomaotes
1 clove of garlic
1 green pepper
2 cups water
2 cups small pasta shells
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
-In a large pot, brown beef and drain fat. Stir in onion soup mix
-Add all tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil and water.
-Bring to boil. Stir in pasta and let simmer, covered for 20 minutes.
-Stir in Parmesan cheese and pour everything into a 9"x13" dish (I used a cast iron pot)
-Top with mozzarella and bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
-Let stand 5-10 minutes before cutting.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Renaissance Fest

I just love people watching here. JP and I went yesterday for about 4 hours and saw some great shows, costumes and booths. It was a beautiful day.
Resting for a bit.

A pirate goblet for two pirate ladies.

The Ded Bob Show

The Tastes Like Burning Show

Italian Opera-Super Dramatic

The Parade Llama.


Monday, September 10, 2007

I Heart Canning!

I'm so glad I decided to start canning last year. It's been such an efficient way to store goodies and great gift for friends. Some friends have even started asking for the jam I make. Our dear friends Josh and Dave were more than willing to give us plums from their overwhelmed tree, so I decided to freeze half and make jam with the other half. I usually use the recipes from the pectin packets. They seem to jive really well with my cooking style. I also have the Blue Ball Book of canning. I'm going to try a plum chutney from there soon. Ohhh and applesauce I love the fall.

Sugar, pectin and fruit boiling.

Taking out the hot jars.

Filing the jars.

It smelled soooo good.

Twist on the top and it's off to the water bath for about 10 minutes.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Animals--This one's for you Sparklegirl!

Red Fox
Fox Hunting

Mom and baby moose.

Bison by Old Faithful


Elk Bull

Baby Deer

Coyote --Looks like Radar right?


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Sunrise, sunset, moonrise....

Have you ever seen a site such as these? It makes me think of the Fiddler on the Roof Song "Sunrise Sunset." Really some of the best animal viewing time and peaceful time was captured in these pics below. I love the wilderness.




Camping Meals

Ramen noodles and tuna sandwiches.
Oatmeal on a cold wet morning.

Canned chili and garlic bread.

Omelet in a bag and bacon. Thanks for the recipe mom.

Pasta with canned pasta sauce and garlic bread.

Bologna and cheese sandwiches on the road.

Franks and beans our first warm camping meal
Of course we had a couple of additional meals that I forgot to take pics of like warm turkey and cheese sandwiches in the Pudgy Pie Maker with fried potatoes and pancake, eggs and bacon (for dinner). We also ate out in Deadwood at the Social Club, SD with our friends Carey, Brian, Jeremy and Tyler. I had Beef Burgundy and Tim had Shrimp Capellini. The trip was amazing more pics to come.