Thursday, June 26, 2008

"Nacho" Normal Shower

The Bunco Babes hosted a shower for Ketty and Kempton on June 25th. Everyone had a great time. Thanks to all who helped the cute couple celebrate their engagement. We can't wait until the wedding on September 13th!

Friday, June 20, 2008


Cooking Squash, Blossoms Included!

As is usually the case, we have a bounty of squash - zucchini, yellow, and patty pan. And with the squash, comes the blossoms. I have heard a lot about stuffing squash blossoms but was hesitant because I wanted the squash. Come to find out, you can have your squash and eat the blossoms, too!

Seems as though there are 2 types of blossoms, male and female. The female produce the squash while the males provide the pollination necessary for the females to produce fruit. I checked out the plants and there were lots of male blossoms, so I decided it wouldn't hurt to harvest a few for stuffing.I learned that the time of day you harvest is very important. Around noon, the blossoms looked great. By late afternoon, they were looking pretty pitiful. But since I had made a trip to Publix for the goat cheese, I was determined to find some that would work.

I selected the best ones and put them in cold water while I made the stuffing. The stuffing was a mixture of goat cheese, soft cream cheese, parmesan, chopped fresh herbs - basil, lemon thyme, parsley - and enough olive oil to make it a creamy consistency. The cold water helped to revive the blossoms and they were ready for stuffing. I used a plastic bag as a piping bag to squeeze the stuffing in the blossoms. Twist the blossoms closed and refrigerate until ready to cook. Dip in stuffed blossoms in a beaten egg and then dredge in seasoned flour. Fry in hot olive oil until brown. Kenny loved them.The other experiment of the night was Spicy Squash Cakes. These were delicious.

Spicy Squash Cakes
1 cup grated summer squash
1 ear of corn
1/2 cup chopped Vidalia onion (1/2 of a medium-sized onion)
1 cayenne pepper, chopped (add more if you like it hot)
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup all-purpose flour - you may need to adjust the amount for the desired thickness
1 black pepper
Canola oil for sauteing
In a large bowl, beat the egg. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Saute in hot oil until brown. Makes 4 servings. When I make these again, I think I will try draining the squash before combining with the other ingredients. That should help with the consistency without having to add more flour. We served these with salsa and basil aioli. With the grilled shrimp and scallops marinated in Williams-Sonoma Tequila Agave Marinade, it was a wonderful supper.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Woodie Comes Home!

After months in Cincinnati, Woodie is headed home! Check out the video as it leaves Cincinnati Woodworks.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Pictures of the Garden

Panna Cotta

For Father's Day, I was to make a dessert. I have been wanting to try Panna Cotta and this was the perfect time. It was a hit! It was served with your choice of blueberries or strawberries. I was surprised at how tasty the Strawberries in Balsamic Vinegar was.
Panna Cotta
1 envelope gelatin
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
In a small bowl, mix together the gelatin and 1/2 cup of the half and half. In a saucepan, combine the remaining half and half, heavy cream and sugar. Slice the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and the pad to the cream mixture and heat to a simmer (206 degrees F). Remove from the heat and remove the pod. Whisk in the gelatin mixture until the mixture is smooth. Strain into a large measuring cup. Pour into ramekins and chill for 4 hours. To unmold, set the ramekins in a pan of warm water for 5 to 10 seconds. Loosen the edges with a knife. Serve with fruit topping. Makes 6 servings, depending on the ramekin size.

Blueberry Sauce
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups blueberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Mix sugar and water in a saucepan, bring to a boil and reduce by half, stirring frequently. Coarsely chop blueberries in a food processor. Add the blueberries and vinegar to the sugar mixture and chill. This makes a lot. Use the leftovers for pancakes or serve with hot biscuits.

Strawberries and Balsamic Vinegar
1 pint strawberries, chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Mix together and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

Garden Update

We had our first tomato sandwiches today! I decided to splurge and make basil mayonnaise. You can't beat a homegrown Georgia tomato. We are also harvesting zucchini, yellow and patty pan squash as well as blueberries.


For a great Girl's Night Out, go to Dante's Down the Hatch for the delicious Chocolate Fondue. Thanks to Bobbi and Lisa for setting up this fun evening!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Goliaths are Harvested

Kenny picked our first big tomatoes on June 7th from one of the Goliath plants that was planted on April 29th.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Blueberry Picking Time!

We picked our first blueberries today! We had enough to make blueberry muffins. For dinner tonight, we had fresh blueberry muffins with milk. What a wonderful dinner!

Buffett Tailgate Party

A fine time was had by all at the Buffett Tailgate Party. A special thanks to Pat and Sue for providing us a great place to hang out.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

First Tomato!

Today we picked our first tomato! It was delicious. We planted the tomatoes on April 29 and this one is a Juliette. The tiny tomatoes pack a lot of flavor.