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, November 6, 2011

martha stewart entertaining

out in the bookstores this week is martha's new entertaining book.  i had to have this large six pound book of amazing photographs and outstanding entertaining menus. the book is organized in sections based on menus for different parties and holidays.  the photos of her homes and gardens are beautiful and show readers her vast supply of beautiful china and serving pieces.  the flowers and her garden photos are stunning.

the recipes for the meals are in the back of the book, separate from the photo stories which include details on how to plan the event along with table and party suggestions. some of my more favorite parties are the fourth of july party and the summer lunch on martha's picnic boat in maine.

i purchased this book on amazon.com, because the hefty price of $75 in the bookstores seemed a bit to much, even though i am known for my collection of lovely books.  check out the amazon price at:


this is a book totally worthy of the purchase.  i am already putting together my list of ingredients for several of the recipes for the holidays.

rustic apple galette

every fall the apples in Michigan are splendid.  with many apple farms nearby, we often visit to sample the apple cider and end up purchasing a bag of my favorite honey crisp apples.  the flavor of honey crisp apples is neither tart nor sweet, but just perfect for eating or even baking.

here is a recipe for one of my favorite apple tarts, which is rustic, meaning the crust is not perfectly formed, but more casual and relaxed. it is called a galette and can also be made using Bartlett pears.

preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  using 2 refrigerated pie crusts, place one on top of the other and roll to form a 16 inch circle.  transfer to a parchment sheet lined baking sheet.  spread 1/4 cup of apple jelly on the crust leaving a 2 inch border.

in a large bowl, toss the sliced and peeled apples with cinnamon and sugar to taste.  transfer them to the crust, leaving the border clear.  fold the edges of the crust over to cover the fruit mixture. spray the top of the galette with spray margarine before baking or use an egg wash.

bake until golden brown and the fruit is tender, about 50 minutes.

if desired, heat in a small saucepan, 2 tablespoons of apple preserves or apple jelly and thin with 1 tablespoon of water for about 2 minutes.  brush on the fruit before serving.  serve warm with ice cream. i often top with powdered sugar for a nice presentation.

American Spoon farmhouse tomato relish

during another one of my travels to northern Michigan i found a great product at American spoon foods.  this store is located in several northern Michigan towns and is filled with wonderful jams, jellies, relishes, and spreads.

on our last visit to traverse city, i found this new tomato relish that can be used as a condiment with chicken, grilled fish or even just on toasty bread.

since the tomato patch in my garden has finished for the season, i decided to open this jar and sample the relish.

this relish is superb!  it contains apples, onions, green bell peppers, cider vinegar, and a wonderful mix of seasonings.  it is not tart and not sweet, but has the most delicious taste on pita crisps.

it could very easily be poured over cream cheese to serve as an appetizer, or used with a mild melted cheese over crackers. i could use this as a sandwich condiment with turkey or chicken. i highly recommend this product.  it is one of the best condiments i have ever sampled.

for more information on American spoon food products, visit their website at:


Himalayan pink salt

after spending a great deal of time reading and thinking about ways to improve my healthy cooking, i have found out some information about Himalayan pink salt.

the salt is hand mined and handwashed, and most often sun dried.
pink salt is believed to be the purest form of salt available, rich in a high mineral and iron content. it is often used by holistic chefs and some health professionals.  pink salt can be used as as substitute for table salt in cooking and baking  most of the pink salt that is used for cooking today is imported through Pakistan.

i have been grating the salt for use in soups and cooking, although i have not yet tried it for baking. since i have been decreasing the amount of salt in our cooking in general, using pink salt has been a wonderful way to accomplish this practice.

for more information about pink salt, look at the company website:  http://www.himalania.com/index2.html#loadsite