Back in my hospital food service catering days, we prepared and served a dinner for the Board of Directors each month. I liked to change things up — partially for boredom’s sake and little for spite as it meant I had to work late that night. So one month I served carrot cake — trying to pack a little nutrition into the dessert. Much to my surprise, one Board member came to me after the meeting and said, “that very large piece of cake was the best dessert you’ve ever served — it was delicious.” And Carrot Cake is delicious. It should be moist, with just a little spice and nutty flavor. Topped with a cream cheese icing, it makes a great dessert for the holidays. And so I’m making my carrot cake again this year.
Here’s an easy recipe for a small batch of eggplant — “Roast Eggplant with Garlic and Zahtar.” Eggplant grows well in a Louisiana garden and I needed ideas to cook a few at a time as they ripened in the hot summer heat. One of my favorite eggplant dishes is served at a local Lebanese and Greek cafe. It consists of sauteed eggplant which is doused in lemon juice and garlic. The soft eggplant pulp blends with the spices perfectly and it is another “melt in your mouth” eggplant recipe. Thought I’d try to make a variation with my garden eggplant.
I had a bumper crop of blueberries on my two bushes this year in my yard. I watched all spring as the blueberries grew. However, after sharing with the birds and going out of town at the height of the season, there was only about a quart of blueberries left for picking. What could I make with the small batch of blueberries? I’ve never made blueberry jam; but it seemed like a way to savor the wonderful flavor of the blueberries all year. Here I go. Continue reading
Summer is a great time of the year to load up meals with fresh, seasonal vegetables such as zucchini and yellow squash. The quality of fresh picked vegetables is excellent and the price is usually inexpensive. But what if you don’t like summer squash? In searching for ideas to use a huge zucchini growing in my garden, I found a recipe which is absolutely delicious. Zucchini is a mild flavored squash and this recipe tones the flavor down even further by stuffing the zucchini with a meat mixture and topping it with pasta sauce. It is a good way to learn to like a new food and is the best recipe I’ve found in a long time.
Who doesn’t like a dessert that tastes great and is also healthy? This dessert is gluten-free and also fitting for the the Pesach holiday (Passover). You might just like it because it uses an assortment of fresh fruit along with cream cheese, yogurt and a lemony-almond crust. It is a dessert which is hard to resist.
I’ve never been crazy about asparagus; until I discovered that the cooking method makes all the difference in the taste. Just barely blanched and still a little crunchy, asparagus is delightful. When overcooked; who can eat it? The recipe for “Red Potato and Asparagus Salad” is a great way to serve both these vegetables. In fact, it is one of my favorite recipes using asparagus. So simple, too. It is springtime in Louisiana, the flowers are bursting open. And I discovered a delightful surprise close by — a Bald Eagle and nest — another sign of spring. Some photos are at the end of the blog.
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.
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.
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
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.