Saturday, July 31, 2010

What's Cookin?: Kalbi

It was a nice summer day. We threw some kalbi on the grill. Kalbi is Korean marinated short ribs. They were delicious!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

New baby Zedonk

Taken from

Like me, you're probably thinking, "What the heck is a zedonk?" Apparently, it's a zebra/donkey cross. Cute little fellow ain't he? He was born at a wildlife reserve in Georgia. You can read the entire story here. He's adorable! I love the striped legs!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What's Cookin? Miso Seared Scallops with Baby Bok Choy & Snow Peas

Okay this recipe didn't turn out quite like I excepted. My scallops were previously frozen. I didn't let them sit out long enough and didn't pat them dry enough. I ended up with steamed scallops that was missing that good sear. Nevertheless, the rest of the recipe turned out great. I love the miso dressing and may use it for a salad dressing too!

Miso Seared Scallops with Baby Bok Choy & Snow Peas
Yield: 2-3 servings

2 Tbsp yellow miso
2 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
2 Tbsp mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)
1/2 tsp. grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. vegetable oil, divided
1/2 tsp. sesame oil, divided
4 baby bok choy, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1-2 c. snow peas, tips removed and tough strings removed
12 large sea scallops, patted dry

1) In a small microwaveable bowl, whisk together the miso, rice vinegar, mirin, fresh ginger, soy sauce and sugar. Add 2 Tbsp. water to the bowl and blend well, add more sugar if needed. Set sauce aside.

2) Boil a pot of water and blanch snow peas for 2 minutes. Remove peas from water and dip into an ice bath to stop cooking. Drain peas in a colander.

3) Heat 1 tsp. vegetable oil and 1/4 tsp. sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add baby bok choy and stir fry until wilted. Add snow peas and toss well. Remove from heat and plate vegetables onto a serving platter.

4) Pat dry scallops and season with salt and pepper. Add remaining 1 tsp. vegetable oil and 1/4 tsp. sesame oil to the same skillet. Add scallops to the pan and sear scallops until brown and just opaque in center, about 1 and 1/2 minutes per side. Remove pan from heat. Place scallops on the bed of baby bok choy and snow peas.

5) Microwave sauce for 15 seconds or more, until just warm. Drizzle sauce over scallops and vegetables. Serve warm.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Gardening: Tomato Tour and Late Summer Bloomers

We've had a weird spring/summer here in the Pacific Northwest. As a result, my vegetables are running way behind schedule. At least I hope it's due to the weather and it's not a reflection on my black thumb!

I've also noticed way less honey bees in the garden than last year. They were around in early spring buzzing around my Spanish lavender. Now, not so much. It makes me sad to think that the honeybees have gone away. I'm hoping they'll make a surprise appearance soon.

I've been very excited about my tomato plants. They seem to be doing well. I haven't harvested a ripe tomato yet (except for cherry tomatoes) but I have been very patiently awaiting the first of the season. I have a few fruit set on most of the varieties I've planted. I've had a ton of flowers and some have pollinated. I hope there's still time for more fruit! Here's a pictorial tour of the up and coming tomatoes....

Sweet 100 Cherry Tomato


Oregon Spring

Paul Robeson

Green Zebra

Cherokee Purple

The rest are some other late bloomers this summer.

Hungarian Wax Pepper

Cherry Bomb Peppers

French Green Beans
These were some pretty flowers in the garden.

Royal Burgundy Bush Beans
Millionaire Eggplant

**Linking to Jami's Garden Party at An Oregon Cottage**

Monday, July 26, 2010

Gardening: Harvest 7/26/10

I can't believe another Monday has rolled around. I've been busy harvesting my lettuce. I had a nice mixture of red leaf, romaine, red sails, butterhead, & prizehead lettuces to harvest. Although I had planted successive crops (about every 2-3 weeks), they all seemed to have matured at the exact same time!

I didn't have time to snap pictures because there was so much. In fact, it was so rampant, I ended up gifting a mixed bag of lettuce to both my neighbors. They were quite pleased. Salad all around! Here was my mixed salad (all odds and ends that were harvested from my garden).
Last week I pulled some radishes. I had expected them to be spicy because of the warm weather but to my surprise, they were perfect!
I also picked a bunch of snow peas, snap peas and a few green beans last week. Everytime I say I've picked the last of the peas, they seem to produce a little more. I'm sure the snap peas and shelling peas are done for (really, this time). I have to pull them but haven't gotten up the courage to do so just yet. The snow peas have been ultra productive this year. I'm sure I'll get at least one more round out of them and it's the end of July already!

More baby bok choy! I planted a lot of these this year. I love baby bok choy! These beauties were harvested yesterday. I'm making a miso glazed scallop with baby bok choy and snow peas. Stay tuned for the recipe.
Yesterday's harvest was plentiful. I got another round of snow peas, a handful of green beans, a few more radishes, the last of the April crop of baby carrots, some strawberries and some cherry tomatoes.

Here's the produce all washed up and looking purty.

It's been an excellent year for snow peas!

Here's a few green beans. I'm hoping the next bunch produces en mass so I can make some yummy dilly pickled green beans.

I made a chili taco salad tonight with these lovely Romaine lettuce heads.

Happy Harvest!!

**Linking up to Daphne's Dandelion's Harvest Monday**

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Farmer's Market: Got Crabs??

Saturday's Farmer's Market brought lots of goodies. I forgot to photograph my finds but I did snap a shot of the yummy Dungeness Crabs.
Got crabs?

Gardening: Zinnia

This plant was a birthday gift from my friend Becky. Purty isn't she?

Gardening: Topsy Turvy Tomato

I had put an extra Oregon Spring tomato plant (grown from seed) into a topsy turvy. I just wanted to see if it grew well. It's only been a few weeks and so far the topsy turvy thing has exceeded all my expectations. This poor plant though, I think he's confused. He's not sure what direction he's supposed to grow in. At first it grew down, then it changed it's mind and started back up. The top of the plant is to the far right. Today I checked on him and he has flowers. We may have some topsy turvy tomatoes!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Restaurant Rambling: Rose's Deli and Bakery

Rose's Deli and Bakery has fantastic sandwiches. They are quite large and filling too! Better share them or risk an awful tummy ache! I sometimes stop at the place in NW Portland but I had forgotten that they have a branch in Sherwood. It's the perfect stop for some pre-wine tasting yumminess!

Remember to share! This Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad and an "Up Towner" (corned beef and pastrami) was still too much for 2 people.

Besides the yummy food here, they also have a great selection of cakes and pies. Yummo!

Rose's Deli and Bakery
16015 SW Tualatin-Sherwood Road, Ste 110
Sherwood, OR 97140
ph: (503) 925-1060

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gardening: Snapdragons

My snapdragons finally bloomed. I love the full heads and cheerful colors. What beauties!

Gardening: Battling the Cabbage Moths


I went away on vacation and remembered to work out watering my vegetables but forgot about pest control. It seems that while I was away a certain white moth was busy in my kale patch. I came home to caterpillars and eggs. I've done my best over the past week to make regular caterpillar and egg checks to the remaining leaves. So far I've been able to keep them at bay. It seems to be a never ending struggle. *sigh*

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What's Cookin?: Artichokes

These were some Italian Artichokes from the farmer's market. They're grown in Corvallis, OR. Mmm...they're so yummy! I love the green and vibrant purple color. They're very tasty too! I just cut off the top and trim the thorns off the side leaves. I boil a pot of water and add 3 cloves of garlic, 1 lemon (cut in half and juiced in the water) and 1 bay leaf. I boil them in the water for about 30-45 minutes. After they're done, drain them upside down to get the water out.

I usually make a simple mayonaise and soy sauce aoli to use as a dipping sauce. Delicious!

Monday, July 19, 2010

What's Cookin?: Grilled Bruschetta with Fava Bean Puree and Pecorino

Since I've never worked with fava beans before, here's a tip from me to you. After shelling the favas, you need to cook them and peel off the casing around the bean itself before eating.

Here's the recipe I tried with my Farmer's Market fava beans. I bought a new cookbook and love the recipes in it thus far. I'll have to blog about the book later. I made some minor adjustments to this recipe and indicated my changes at the end in asteriks.

Grilled Bruschetta with Fava Bean Puree and Pecorino
From: Eating Local by Janet Fletcher

2 - 2 1/2 lbs fresh fava beans (to yield 2 c. shelled, unpeeled beans)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
1 large clove garlic, minced
9 fresh basil leaves
kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 slices Italian country bread, about 1/2 inch thick & 3 inches long
aged sheep's milk cheese (such as pecorino toscano, Manchego or ricotta salata)

1) Prepare a moderate charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill to medium. **I toasted my bread instead**

2) Remove the fava beans from their pods.
Bring a pot of water to boil over high heat. Prepare a bowl of ice water. Add the fava beans to the boiling water and boil for 1 1/2 minutes, or a little longer if the beans are large. Drain in a colander, then transfer to the ice water to stop the cooking. When the beans are cool, drain them again. To peel them, pierce the skin with your fingernail, the inner bean should slip out easily.

3) Heat 1 Tbsp of the olive oil in a small skillet over moderate heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

4) Put the peeled fava beans, the sauteed garlic and oil, 3 basil leaves & the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in a small food processor. Pulse until nearly but not completely smooth; leave the spread slightly coarse. Transfer to a bowl and stir in salt and pepper to taste. **I found that I needed to add more olive oil to get the consistency that I wanted with the spread**

5) Grill the bread on both sides directly over the coals or gas flame until golden brown. Top each toast with some of the fava spread, dividing it evenly. Drizzle with some olive oil. Shave or grate some cheese over each toast. Garnish with a basil leaf. Serve immediately. **I used Parmesan cheese instead**

What's Cookin?: Baby Carrots with Dill Butter

I was so proud of my first EVER carrot harvest. It was so well worth the wait! The carrots were tender and very sweet! This is a great side dish for any meal!

Baby Carrots with Dill Butter

16 oz. baby carrots
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp fresh chopped dill
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1) Bring enough water to cover carrots to a boil in a saucepan. Once water starts to boil, add carrots and cook for about 10 minutes, until tender.

2) Drain carrots and immediately toss with butter, dill and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

What's Cookin?: Grilled Swordfish with Baby Bok Choy Salad

I had lots of baby bok choy after my harvest. I ended up making a really simple salad with them. It was a perfect meal for a hot summer day!

Grilled Swordfish with Baby Bok Choy Salad

I chopped up the baby boy choy into bite sized pieces. I blanched them in boiling water (I separated the stems and leaves and threw the stems in first to cook). I drained the boy choy well in a colander. I tossed them with toasted sliced almonds, cucumbers and blanched shelling peas. I topped it with a store bought Asian dressing.

I love my fresh fish very simple with clean flavors. I just salted and peppered the swordfish and grilled in in a grill pan coated with some butter. For my pieces of fish, 4 minutes per side turned out to be the magic number. The fish was moist and melted in your mouth! I served the fish with some lemon wedges.

Hooray for the garden bounty!!

Gardening: Harvest 7/19/10

I've been out of town so this is actually 2 weeks worth of little harvests. My peas are still trickling in. I think they maybe done soon. I was able to harvest a small mixed bunch of snow and snap peas last week.
The shelling peas were finally ready. I've been anxiously awaiting these yummy treats!
When all was shelled and done, I had about a cupful of fresh baby peas. They were delicious right out of the pod but I ended up blanching them and tossing them into a salad. They were perfectly tender and sweet!
Some cherry tomatoes were ripe! Yeah!! My Sun Gold Cherry Tomato plant died while I was out of town. I think it got too much water. I came home to a yellowing plant. RIP Sun Gold!
Late last week I harvested some Baby Bok Choy. I blanched them and made a salad out of them with grilled swordfish on top. They were so yummy! I'm glad I have more going!
Today was the day to check on carrots. These suckers have been in the ground since April. I've been waiting (im)patiently on these. I pulled the first baby carrot and.....success!
I ended up with a few for a side dish with dinner tonight. I made Baby Carrots in Dill Butter with these guys. They were so sweet and delicious, they left me wanting more!
Here's the rest of today's little harvest: my baby carrots, a fistful of mixed peas, some green beans and strawberries.

Happy Harvest!!

**Linking to Daphne's Dandelions for Harvest Monday**