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

Saturday, July 3, 2010

grilled chicken tacos

stovetop grilling is a great way to prepare these easy chicken grilled tacos.  prepare the chicken by slicing into strips and marinate in your favorite marinade.  using one with a lime juice base compliments the flavors of the mexican dish.  after the chicken is grilled, i grill the other vegetables; onions, tomatoes, and peppers.  once all the cooked toppings are prepared, melt shredded cheddar on the whole wheat shells in a 350 degree oven for a couple of minutes.  then add the cooked toppings to the center of the tacos, and return to the oven to warm for about 5 minutes.  remove and add the cold toppings. for this dinner, i used shredded lettuce, sliced black olives, shredded onion, and light sour cream. roll the shell into a log and slice in half to serve. this meal can be accompanied with spanish rice or just a side salad. 

easy ice cream sandwiches

sometimes taking the time to create something totally homemade is not feasible. so, here is a quick way to create a semi-homemade dessert like sandra lee often promotes on the food network. these ice cream sandwiches are made with store bought white chocolate chip cookies and edy's chocolate chip yogurt ice cream. simply by using a small cookie scoop, place one scoop on a cookie and sandwich with another cookie.  i freeze these in wax sandwich baggies and serve while frozen.  everyone loves an ice cream sandwich and this one can be adapted to use your favorite sugar cookie, chocolate cookie or even peanut butter chip cookie.  change the ice cream and every time you will have a unique sandwich dessert.  bet you can't eat just one.

crusty herbal bread

one of the easiest ways to have fresh bread it to incorporate fresh ingredients with pre-made frozen bread.  in this recipe, adapted from donna frawley, i use my charlotte tin mold for baking the loaf.  after thawing the frozen bread dough for several hours, i incorporate herbs, either fresh or dried.  this is easily accomplished after rolling the dough flat, and then folding the dough into a roll.

i usually divide the dough into three sections and allow the bread to rise again in my charlotte mold for at least one hour.  by using the same baking directions that are suggested on the frozen dough, the bread turns out just perfectly--crusty and brown and very soft inside.

it is important to prepare the pan with a spray oil, and i recommend coating the pan with cornmeal.  that allows the bread to be easily removed from the pan without any problem. donna suggests baking the bread in a flower pot that has been seasoned prior to baking.  either way, this will be a hit with your guests. serve the sliced bread with a flavored herbal butter with parsley, dill or even chives.

oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies

for the fourth of july, everyone likes traditional desserts.  this cookie is soft and chewy with chunks of chocolate and walnuts.  the recipe was found in my williams sonoma picnics and tailgates cookbook, where a great number of their recipes are classic, portable, and easy to prepare.  unlike most cookies with oats, this recipe has less flour than expected compared to the unsalted butter ratio.  therefore, the cookies do spread about two inches on the baking sheet. if you are looking for something different than the traditional chocolate chip, try a combination cookie with lots of flavor while keeping a classic taste.

the 4th of july

the flags are up in the garden for the fourth of july. the summer garden compliments the colors of the flag with red valerian, lilies, yarrow, white daisies, baby's breath, white and blue salvia, globe thistle, and sea holly.  happy birthday america!