Louisiana-Style Smothered Mustard Greens

Winter greens such as mustard and collard greens have never been my favorite vegetable. But when a co-worker brought her version of Louisiana-style mustard greens to work one evening, I had a new opinion. This dish was so good. It is flavored with typical Cajun seasonings and bits of ham and simmered slowly on the stove — as in old fashioned southern cooking. Best of all, greens are “good for you” — plenty of  healthy benefits. Don’t overlook this often forgotten vegetable; especially when it in season in the fall and winter. Here is my co-worker’s recipe made with mustard greens from my garden.

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Persimmon Log Roll

I wanted to bake something really unique for a fall covered dish supper. I kept looking at the persimmons ripening on my backyard tree. How about a persimmon sponge cake roll? Now that’s different. Well I was in a hurry — the egg whites didn’t get stiff and my husband ate one of only two ripe persimmons. But I took the cake anyway and was pleased that it all disappeared. The cinnamon in the cake and cream cheese filling really toned down the flavor of the persimmons. Many folks said how tasty the cake was. Think I’ll make it again — this time properly.

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Cajun-Style Shrimp Stuffed Jalapenos & Variations

I grew a bumper crop of jalapeno peppers in my garden this summer; these hot peppers are extremely easy to grow. One of my favorite appetizers at a local restaurant uses these peppers in a dish called “Crab Stuffed Jalapenos.” All summer I’ve attempted to duplicate and copy their recipe using my large crop of jalapeno peppers. Here are several of my variations and results. The stuffed jalapenos are delicious; I do recommend having a large glass of water nearby. Continue reading

Easy and Elegant: Blueberry Dump Cake Dessert

I’m on a mission to cook recipes with the blueberries on my backyard bush. It has my creative ideas going. The berries don’t last long — it’s a huge crop (for me). Here’s a second easy and elegant dessert to make with the blueberries. It is so simple — it fools you. This is a “dump” cake recipe, meaning that you just dump the ingredients directly into the baking dish and mix– no mixing bowls clean up.

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Crunchy Blueberry and Apple Crisp

I have three treasured blueberry bushes in my backyard. The oldest ls loaded full of blueberries this year and the fruit ripens in May. I’ve watched the blueberries all spring, hoping I could pick them before the birds found and ate them. I’ve been thinking of recipes to make and decided on this easy dessert, “Blueberry and Apple Crisp.” 

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Meyer Lemon & Rosemary Sorbet

This Christmas holiday I made Meyer Lemon and Rosemary Sorbet. Why make a sorbet in the middle of winter? Because this is when the Meyer lemons on the fruit tree in my backyard ripen. And a tart citrus sorbet is good any of time of the year. This icy sorbet is just the right ending to a rich meal, it cleans the palate. Since it is fat free it doesn’t fill you up. The sprig of rosemary and a bit of lime juice add another dimension to this sorbet. I think I have found just the right blend of sweetness and fruit flavors. Continue reading

Traditional Southern Fried Green Tomatoes

I’ve been told that it is it possible to grow tomatoes in the springtime in Louisiana and then to plant another crop in the fall. I love ripe tomatoes and two crops a year seems like a gardener’s dream. But being somewhat an unbeliever, I decided to prove this for myself in September by setting out a large number of tomatoes seedlings. The experiment turned out to be partially successful. Here is some of my autumn tomato crop. Continue reading

Let’s Cook Something New: Braised Red and White Russian Kale

Thought I’d try to plant something new in my autumn garden in September. Red and White Russian Kale are new to me and they are turning out to be star performers in my garden. This sent me scrambling to learn how to cook the kale. Looks like Braised Kale should be easy. Continue reading

Eclectic Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing

The inspiration for “Thai Crunch Salad” is my backyard garden. I planted an autumn garden on the first of September. A month later, I am pleased and proud that the pak choi has grown prolifically with very little help from me. It is ready for harvest and I need recipes.

I remember eating a dish for “Thai Crunch Salad” with chicken and a peanut butter, cilantro and lime dressing at  California Pizza Kitchen. Although flavor combination was a bit unusual; the dish was outstanding. I’ve always wanted to try making it at home. Here’s my version. Continue reading

“Melt-In-Your-Mouth” Eggplant Stacks: Let’s Cook Summer Vegetables

I like to cook summer vegetables while they are in season. I was surprised and pleased to discover that eggplant grows in a Louisiana garden. The first year that I grew eggplant they flourished with very little attention. Plenty of eggplant to cook and that sent me scrambling for recipes. Here’s one of my favorites. It makes the best of eggplant and other summer vegetables: “Melt-In-Your-Mouth” Eggplant Stacks. Continue reading