Come along with me as I journal about my latest cooking and gardening adventures. Discover what grows in my zone five garden, and see what new recipes I try from my cookbook collection each week.

As I share recipes and information from my kitchen, I invite readers to comment and share ideas along with me in this blog. I am looking to increase followers to my blog, so that I may learn more about cooking and gardening.

Since moving to Midland, Michigan, I have been reading and researching many cooking journals, cookbooks and collected recipes from the past thirty years. Organizing pictures of gardens I enjoy has also been a joy for me, as I continue to learn about garden design and horticulture.

angel food cakes

angel food cakes
this kitchen is seasoned with love

Sunday, September 19, 2010

baked cod with roasted vegetables

a most delicious way to prepare baked fresh cod fish is by using very simple ingredients.  i place the cod fillets into a glass casserole baking dish and use a combination of herbs prepared by a local herb grower and chef, Donna Frawley. her prepared herbal mixes are easy to use and offer a wonderful blend that is always appealing to the mouth. after seasoning the fillets, i add a small amount of water or chicken broth if available to to the dish, and bake.  depending on the thickness of the cod fillets, this dish cooks for approximately 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  along with this fish entree, i often serve roasted fresh vegetables.  for this meal, i used yellow, red, and green peppers, along with carrots and sweet potatoes. roasting these vegetables takes about 40 minutes in a 375 degree oven.  season these to taste after using a splash of olive oil to moisten.

fall dried herbal wreath

here is my first attempt at using some of my dried flowers and herbs from my garden this year.  i must admit that it was quite exciting to be able to make something from the dried bunches that have been preserved in my garage.

i used a grapevine wreath base and some florist wire to attach the bunches as i worked around the circle form.  i used lavender, baby's breath, sage, garlic chives, thyme, and yarrow.

these dried bundles of herbs have been in the garage since august, and seem to be just perfect for forming into a wreath.  they crumbled very little and were able to bend along the wreath frame nicely.

dill pickle potato salad

another great variation on standard potato salad is one made with dill pickles.  this recipe uses chopped red potatoes, dill pickles, green onion and celery.

also adding to the great flavor is traditional cole slaw dressing mixed with Dijon mustard added to taste.  i also season this salad with salt, pepper, and a bit of dried dill. 

for the garnish, i used chopped romaine lettuce, added just before serving. this salad can be served with chicken, fish or even burgers.  it is great during the summer or even during colder months.                                                               

martha stewart homemade pizza

for nearly twenty years, i have used a recipe for homemade pizza crust published by Martha Stewart in one of her quick cook recipe books.  this crust is both tasty and easy to prepare.

i allow the crust to rise twice, as i have found that to produce a more tender crust for the pizza.  the recipe is basic, requiring flour, water, powdered yeast, salt, and olive oil.  after kneading, i allow the crust to rise in a warm oven covered with a towel, with the oven light on.

about one and one-half hours before baking the pizza, i removed the risen crust and place into a well oiled pizza pan, then returning it to the oven.  this second rise gives the crust a very soft texture and prepares it well for the toppings.  for this pizza, we used pepperoni, green onions, diced tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and my favorite herb mixture.  before baking, i also use an olive oil spray for the crust and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
this homemade pizza has been a family favorite for years and can be made using a variety of toppings. it bakes well and is quite simple and delicious. 

gingerbread white chocolate brownies

fall is here and it is time to experience some of my favorite spices and recipes. Martha Stewart offers several great fall cookie recipes in her paper bound cookbook, which happens to be one of my favorite cookbooks.\

a couple of weeks ago, i tried gingerbread white chocolate brownies, and these have become one of the best brownie recipes i have ever tasted.  the white chocolate offers a unique texture and delicious taste along with the gingerbread.

these brownies are not crumbly and slice neatly in the pan and therefore, make a wonderful presentation. they are neither rich nor sweet, and provide a great fragrance to the house while baking. 

these brownies keep well in the refrigerator stored between waxed paper and seem as fresh as the day they were saved. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

shrimp and vegetable stir fry

with all of our weekly scheduled activities, some nights i search for easy recipes to prepare in just a short period of time.  this recipe is one of those easy weeknight dinner plans.

some of Brian's favorite vegetables in stir fry are broccoli, onions, small cherry tomatoes, and carrots.
for this dish, i used all of these vegetables except the carrots.  once the vegetables are warmed and softened, the large shrimp are added to the pan. usually this recipe only takes a matter of 10 to 15 minutes.

when it is time to serve the stir fry, it can be placed on top of rice or crunchy rice noodles. serve this dinner with a side salad.

petite fall grapes

every fall i look forward to the best tasting grapes, and this week i was not disappointed.  these blue grapes were from California and so tasty.  since they were very small in size, they had an extra special flavor and texture.

these petite grapes would be splendid to serve with a cheese platter, as they would fit the design very nicely.  these grapes could also be used to garnish a luncheon plate of a cup of soup and sandwich.

since they are petite, they easily fit on a plate for decoration, but equally have a wonderful flavor. although not sturdy enough to use for grape juice, these blue grapes are fine to enjoy just off the vine.