Sunday, April 20, 2014

Dr Loosen Brothers Riesling

Loosen Brothers Riesling

Dr Loosen Brothers, 2010, Riesling, Costco, $8.59.  They say:  it is fruity with a refreshingly crisp taste.  We say:  a bit of pear and citrus.  Nicely balanced.  Buy again: yes.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Caturday!

Calico cat in yard

Coco hopes that you are enjoying spring (or fall – depending on where you are) as much as she is!  And yes, my yard has been taken over with wild violets.  I guess they are almost like weeds, but they are so quaint and old fashioned, I can’t bear to pull them up.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Coffee Liqueur

Coffee Lequeur

Why yes, I did make this coffee liqueur on December 28th and I am just now getting around to sharing it some 4 months later.  I’m so sorry, because this was so good, you really need to make it now!  It’s so easy and tastes so much better than the coffee liqueur that you buy.  Plus you get to have the fun of making your own. 

Coffee Beans

There are many different ideas for how to make a coffee liqueur.  The one I settled on was from The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start MakingShe made me a believer with her Hummus recipe so I was all set to follow her down the coffee liqueur yellow brick road.

It’s so ridiculously easy and so good!

Coffee Liqueur

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee
  • 4 cups cheap vodka
  • 2 vanilla beans

Combine the water, sugar, and instant coffee in a large saucepan and bring to a high simmer, but not a boil. Cover and cook for 1 hour, taking care that it continues to simmer without coming to a boil.

Let the mixture cool and add the vodka, stirring to combine. Transfer to a bottle or jar, add the vanilla beans, screw on the lid, and keep in a cool, dark place for at least 2 weeks before serving (though it will taste even better as time passes).

Seriously, that’s it! 


Foodie Friday

This will be my entry for Foodie Friday at the every so lovely Rattlebridge Farm.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Fresh and Light by Donna Hay

Donna Hay Fresh And Light

I have over 200 cookbooks and I have more of Donna Hay’s cookbooks than any other chef.  She never ever disappoints me and I don’t hesitate to purchase her books.  With her latest, Fresh and Light, once again she has lived up to all of my expectations.

The recipes are simple and full of flavor and each and every recipe has a gorgeous photo to accompany it.  For recipes that lend themselves to variations, six seems to be the magic number.  Not just one banana bread recipe but six banana breads – and a photo of each one! 

I have already made three of the recipes from the book, loved them all and have marked so many more to try!

The book is divided into 8 sections listed below along with recipes that I’ve tried or marked to try:

Breakfast:  Whole Wheat Honey and Ricotta Pancakes, Basic Muffins – with 6 variations, and Power Smoothies – with 6 variations.

Lunch and Salads:  Summer Rolls (6 variations – from Chicken and Mint to Beef and Radish), Roasted Brussels Sprout and Pear Salad (which I’ve made and it was fantastic), 6 Bruschetta recipes from Roasted Garlic and Asparagus to Arugula Salmon and Caper.

Fast Dinners:  6 Frittatas – I’ve made the Pea and Ricotta Frittata – so good!  I’ve marked to try the Lemon and Goat’s Cheese Roasted Chicken, Thai Green Curry Chicken Skewers with Ginger Quinoa, Lime and Chilli Fish Tacos, 6 no-cook pasta sauces.

Dinners:  I’ve made the Quinoa Roasted Chicken with Olive Gremolata which was the perfect one pan weeknight meal!  I’ve marked to try the Grilled Steak with Green Salsa and all of the 6 variations of the pizza toppings for the whole wheat pizza base!

Snacks and Sides:  Spiced Chickpeas, 6 varieties of humus from Roasted Carrot and Fennel to Edamame and Wasabi, Spiced Quinoa Pilaf and 6 different ways to cook and flavor edamame.

Desserts and Treats:  6 varieties of Granitas, 6 versions of banana breads, and 6 different creamy popsicles, plus a panna cotta recipe I can not wait to try!

Basics:  Basics that are parts of other recipes such as whipped vanilla ricotta, vanilla yogurt and 6 salad dressings are all on my list to try.

The book ends with a very extensive glossary and index! 

I can’t say enough good things about this book!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Garden Tuesday ~The Little Birdies

Carolina Wrens

Even though my garden is changing by the second, I did get out and take some photos of the birdies.  Those above, I think are Carolina Wrens.  Below is a downy woodpecker.  They love suet.  We have a bird feeder system from Wild Birds Unlimited.  After trying all kinds of different feeders and watching squirrels and raccoons trash it all, we settled on this and love it! 

Sidewalk Shoes Downy Woodpecker

Bird feeder set up with downy woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Purple finch

How about you, what’s in your garden this week?

Please join me for Garden Tuesday.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Couscous with Roasted Carrots and Spiced Meatballs

Couscous with Roasted Carrots and Spiced Meatballs

I rarely deviate from my list when I am at the grocery store.  Occasionally, though, I do get tempted.  When I saw a bag of organic carrots in a rainbow of colors, I was instantly smitten.  Even though spring was making itself none in little fits and starts, it was still chilly and roasting felt like the way to go with the carrots.

After some searching I found Couscous with Roasted Carrots and Spiced Meatballs from Martha Stewart.  It sounded perfect.  This was such a lovely simple dinner.  I loved the spice in the meatballs, The only thing I did different was that instead of pan frying the meatballs, I roasted them along side the carrots.  They got a little drier than I would have liked, but it was my first time roasting meatballs and I wanted to make sure they were done.  They were.  Very done!  But even with my overcooking them, they were still tasty. 

This would be lovely with some sweet spring baby carrots fresh out of your garden!