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

Peppery Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, Persimmons and Onions

This blog post started out as an idea for using my backyard persimmons but is really more about the pork roast. I’ve been experimenting with various spice rubs for a pork tenderloin and finally have one that I really like. Last fall, I added persimmons, potatoes and onions to the roast to make a one pot meal. The persimmons are gone, but I’m still making this peppery pork roast and substituted Brussels sprouts.pork-loin-witih-louisiana-persimmons-potatoes-and-onions Continue reading

Louisiana Meyer Lemon Marmalade

Here’s another homemade gift idea for the holidays–Meyer Lemon Marmalade. It’s a little different twist on traditional jelly or jam. The Meyer Lemon tree in my backyard that I planted 2 years ago was prolific. I was so excited with the 100 or so lemons that it produced and decided that this would be a good time to try making marmalade. It turned out very well–sweet yet tart with a fruity flavor.Meyer Lemon Marmalade - 2 - IMG_7541

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Southern Fig Preserves Cake: Gifts from the Heart

I think everyone appreciates a homemade gift during the holiday season. It is special and shows you have put some thought into the gift. Consider “Southern Fig Preserves Cake.” The cake is unique, definitely has a Louisiana or Southern charm and is a moist, crunchy and delicious cake. A friend suggested the recipe and she even took photographs and shared her experience “writing a blog post.” I made the recipe, too, here is my mini-loaf.old-fashioned-southern-fig-preserves-cake-img_2302_1

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Louisiana Persimmon and Black Bean Salsa

My backyard persimmon tree is loaded with persimmons this autumn. Enough for me and the birds, too. The fruit is astringent and makes your mouth pucker but if you don’t mind the taste then the fruit is very nutritious. I’ve experimented with several ways to use my persimmons including persimmon and black bean salsa.louisiana-persimmon-and-black-bean-salsa-img_1448

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Let’s Make Banana Pepper Jelly

Let’s make Banana Pepper Jelly! Home canning pepper jelly is a new adventure for me — but I’m willing to give it a try. My Community Supported Agricultural (CSA) basket was full of large banana peppers. These peppers are mild, with a distinctive flavor. I don’t often use banana peppers in cooking and hate to throw them away. So making jelly seemed like a good solution. The jelly turned out so well that I made a batch of Hot Jalapeno Pepper Jelly, too.Banana Pepper Jelly and Crackers - IMG_0310_1

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Yum, Homemade Peach Custard Ice Cream

Summertime is a great time to make homemade ice cream using ripe fresh fruit in season. Peach ice cream is one of my favorite flavors. I grew up in a family with an old-fashioned, hand-cranked ice cream churner and I watched as my mother mixed up many varieties. Here’s one of my favorite recipes for custard ice cream using a small electric ice cream maker and a healthy low-fat variation supplied by a friend.Homeamde Peach Custard Ice Cream - IMG_0255

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