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

Summer Squash Extraordinaire and 1000 Figs Restaurant

Several weeks ago, we visited New Orleans and ate at a tiny but exquisite restaurant in the mid-city section of New Orleans. All the food arrived at the table in a beautiful presentation. We tried the nightly special: grilled baby summer squash served with hummus, feta cheese and pumpkin seeds. It was a wonderful combination of flavors and textures. I decided to make my own version of our supper entree.Esquisite Sauteed Summer Squash - IMG_9622

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Simply Pickled Beets and Ginger

What’s the best way to eat beets?  Not a very popular vegetable; but there are several ways to cook beets that make them surprisingly scrumptious. I have a few fresh beets growing in my garden this winter. I’m using them in a very simple and healthy recipe for pickled beets and ginger. The ginger adds a pungent surprise to this dish.Simply Pickled Beets and Ginger - 2 - IMG_7451

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Arugula and Penne Pasta Salad

Have you tried to cook with arugula? And what is arugula? It is a pungent, peppery salad green also known as rocket; a member of the Brassicaceae family. It is very high in nutrition. Arugula is easy to grow in a Louisiana garden and flourishes during the winter months. That means I have a nice supply. I brought this Arugula and Penne Pasta Salad with homemade olive oil salad dressing to a pot luck dinner last week.Arugula and Penne Pasta Salad - IMG_7410

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Apple & Honey Pastry Squares

Cool, crisp fall weather brings changing colors on trees and ripe apples to much of the country. I especially liked fresh apple cider and donuts while living in Michigan years ago. We miss this in southern Louisiana–wishful memories. Then I opened one of my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) baskets. Surprise, apples were in the basket along with honey and other produce!

Honey Apple Strudel Ingredients - IMG_7872

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Swiss Chard: Grow it in Louisiana

What is Swiss chard? It’s a delectable leafy green vegetable, not nearly as common as spinach or mustard greens, for example. It is very tender with a mild flavor. My mother planted it in her garden when we were growing up and it was the only “greens” vegetable that I liked. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it grows in Louisiana gardens. You should give Swiss chard a try, if you have never tasted it.

Swiss Chard - 1 - IMG_4191_1

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Strawberry Pretzel Delight

One of my favorite strawberry recipes comes from an old community cookbook published by the town of Bridgewater, Virginia, in 1985 for their sesquicentennial (150 years) celebration. I find that some of the best recipes come from cookbooks where members submit their favorite recipes. This one is listed under salads, perhaps because it includes jello and fruit. I was intrigued with the use of pretzels in the crust. With local strawberries in season now, it is time to get out the recipe again; I updated it a bit. Strawberry Pretzel Delight - 5 - IMG_4226_1 Continue reading