Roasted Grapes with Figs and Pecans

This is good for dessert or as a side

This is good for dessert or as a side

These are insanely delicious. Remember to buy seedless grapes or they will be decidedly less delicious.

Roasted Grapes with Figs and Pecans

  • 3 cups seedless red grapes
  • 1 pint fresh figs
  • scant third cup honey
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 1 tbsp water
  • two small rosemary sprigs
  • salt/pepper to taste

Whisk honey and water together in a bowl. Toss with grapes and figs in a larger bowl. Spray a baking sheet or casserole dish large enough to hold the fruit in one layer. Pour into dish and sprinkle on pecans. Season with a touch of salt and pepper. Lay the rosemary sprigs on top. Roast at 425 until grapes start to split, about 25 minutes.

Posted in Dessert, Food, Recipes, Sides | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potato and Onion

By Katherine

 

The skin is a special treat

The skin is a special treat

This was so ridiculously simple that I didn’t even think to do a post on it. But Greg insisted and a good wife should never argue with her husband. Hey, does anyone else smell smoke? I might have just been hit by lightning. Or maybe my growing nose is just more sensitive to smell.

Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Onion

  • 1 4-5lb whole chicken
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • roughly 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 sweet potatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 large red or sweet onion, chopped
  • salt/pepper

Rub chicken’s surface with olive oil. Separate skin from flesh without tearing it. Rub oil onto chicken flesh under the skin. Mix spices together in a small bowl and coat the entire outside of the chicken and rub the remainder on the breast under the skin. Place chopped vegetables in a roasting pan sprayed with cooking spray or just enough oil to keep the vegetables from sticking. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then set the chicken on a rack over the vegetables. Roast at 365 degrees until meat is done, about 90 minutes. A digital thermometer should register 165 at the breast, which should take around 15 minutes a pound. While the chicken rests, return the vegetables to the oven and let them get crispier.

Posted in Chicken, Dinner, Food | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Sunday Suppers: Tomato Time Part Two

Why should green tomatoes have all the fun?

Why should green tomatoes have all the fun?

You didn’t think we’d do just one post extolling the virtue of summer tomatoes? Here are some more of our favorites, like breaded tomatoes pictured above.

Tomatoes baked with Goat Cheese and Anchovies

Although I could pretend that liquid was tomato juice I can not tell a lie so I will not say what delicous fatty stuff it may be.

Although I could pretend that liquid was tomato juice I can not tell a lie so I will not say what delicous fatty stuff it may be.

 Roasted Tomato Macaroni and Cheese

Ground sausage is a good addition as well

Ground sausage is a good addition as well

Roasted Tomato and Pepper Pasta

Glass bowls, the bane of a food blogger's existence

Glass bowls, the bane of a food blogger’s existence

Eggs baked in Tomatoes

Pancetta helps a lot too

Pancetta helps a lot too

Baked Eggs over Tomato Sauce

Don't let the eggs overcook

Don’t let the eggs overcook

Tomato and Potato Casserole

There is no way cheese and tomatoes can be bad

There is no way cheese and tomatoes can be bad

Tomato Martinis

The separation is due to each liquid having a different density

The separation is due to each liquid having a different density

Posted in Appetizers, Dinner, Food, Garden, Sides | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

A Garden Update

The okra is using camoflauge

The okra pod is using camoflague

The okra is finally producing now that the true southern summer is here. The peppers are also getting to the right amount of spiciness now that the days are in the upper 90’s and the nights cool down to the upper 90’s. I am harvesting about 8 pinky length pods a day and more hot peppers than I can shake a stick at. Always pickle okra that is small and tender for the best results.

A good start

A good start

I picked the first batch of butternut squash as well, although they would have been fine on the vine until it gets colder. The squash were a fantastic success and it looks like I will have at least 8 more full sized gourds by the end of September. Next year I plan to plant the butternut in early April with the spinach and arugula.

Crazy as it sounds, it is almost time to plant the fall garden and prep for the winter one.

Still coming

Still coming

We still have tomatoes on the vine, I can not believe how mild this summer has been.

It is almost a tree

It is almost a tree

The basil is so out of control I am going to have to make a third batch of pesto this year.

Posted in Garden, How to | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Summer Vegetable Tart

Fresh tomatoes are devine

Fresh tomatoes are devine.

This recipe comes together quickly and is perfect for brunch or breakfast.

Or dinner.

Add some bacon or chicken livers to the sauteed mushrooms if you want non vegetarian.

Zucchini Tomato Torte

  • 1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup red onion sliced paper thin
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 large zucchini sliced into 1/8″ rounds
  • 2 med tomatoes sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Salt/pepper

Beat eggs and buttermilk together until smooth and frothy.Season with salt and pepper. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a frying pan over medium low heat. Saute onion until it turns deep golden brown, stirring constantly. Add mushrooms and saute until it begins to brown, then add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat. In a 9″ pie plate layer half of the zucchini and tomato slices overlapping slightly. Spoon mushroom mixture evenly on top and sprinkle with half the basil. Pour enough egg mixture to almost cover vegetables, waiting a few moments for the batter to work through the vegetable layers. Top with remaining zucchini and tomatoes and then pour the remaining batter over top. Sprinkle basil over and bake at 350 degrees until eggs set and turn brown on the edges, about 40 minutes.

Posted in Breakfast, Food, Garden, Italian, Recipes, vegetarian | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Cherry Bourbon Old Fashioned

A little bit of fizz

A little bit of fizz

Here is a fun twist on the classic old fashioned cocktail that makes use of some of that fantastic cherry liquor for these.

If you did not make the cherries then maybe it is time you did.

Cherry Bourbon Old Fashioned

  • 2 drunken cherries
  • 2-3 dashes angostura bitters
  • 2 oz cherry bourbon liquor
  • 2 oz soda water

Place cherries in a glass with bitters. Muddle well then top with ice. Pour bourbon liquor and stir well. Top with soda water.

Posted in Recipes, Spirits, Things in Jars | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Ratatouille

Looks like a flower petal

Looks like a flower petal

Thanks to a very entertaining film from Pixar, ratatouille has had a reboot from the rustic roasted casserole that nine times out of 10 turned into a gummy inedible mess.

The fancier version is good, but it loses some of the rustic charm and forgets about the most important ingredient.

The tomato sauce.

Well here is my take on ratatouille with an Italian twist. I used fresh tomatoes for the sauce, but canned whole tomatoes work too. Make sure to use really fresh vegetables though and pick eggplant and zucchini that are about two inches thick. Basically the sliced vegetables should be a little taller then the top of a pie plate. You will also need a 9″ pie plate for this.

Ratatouille

  • 1 lb eggplant cut into 1/8″ slices end pieces discarded
  • 1 lb zucchini cut into 1/8″ slices end pieces discarded
  • 1 small red onion sliced paper thin then sliced in half
  • 1 large red bell pepper sliced into thin rings then sliced in half
  • 12-14 Roma tomatoes skinned and blended smooth or 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes drained and blended smooth
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste mixed with 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp fresh chopped thyme
  • 6 basil leaves cut into thin ribbons

Place garlic in a square of tin foil, drizzle with olive oil and fold into a pouch. Roast at 365 degrees until golden and soft, about 25 minutes. Mash garlic to a paste. In a 3 quart stock pan bring tomato paste to a boil then turn heat down to a low simmer and add blended tomatoes, garlic paste, wine and thyme. Simmer until sauce is thick, stirring often, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and spread half sauce into the bottom of the pie plate. working with 1 vegetable at a time make a ring around the edge of the pie plate starting with eggplant, then zucchini, then onion and then bell pepper. Press the rows into each other and up so they stand upright and push the sauce up into each layer a bit. Continue to alternate rings of vegetables until the pie plate is full, adding more sauce to the center as it gets used up. Top with any remaining sauce and sprinkle basil all over. Cover top with a sheet of parchment paper and roast at 360 degrees until edges of vegetables begin to brown, about 30 minutes. Do not overcook it or the eggplant will be gummy and mushy instead of crisp. Let sit for ten minutes before serving.

For any one who has not seen this movie, go see it.

What, you thought I was going to do the scene with the ratatouille. For shame.

 

Posted in Dinner, Food, Recipes, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments