In Our Kitchen: Sweet Potatoes

They need to age

They need to age

The garlic came in the mail so it was time to pull the sweet potatoes. Although they did yield a pretty good harvest I will not plant them again unless there is an isolated space for them to grow. I thought mint was invasive but sweet potatoes take the cake. Anyway they have to age for a month or so before trying so they should be ready in time for Thanksgiving.

When will Kohls stop paying me to shop there

When will Kohls stop paying me to shop there?

Speaking of the mail, Kohls sent another $10 dollar coupon in the mail so once again we searched the store for items under that amount. I got a new candy thermometer and coasters in the clearance aisle for free this time. When will they require a purchase of at least $11 to use the coupon?

That is a big pot

That is a big pot

Whole chicken went on sale so it was time to stock up, butcher it up and make stock.

Used up quite a few

Used up quite a few

A coworker unloaded a mess of pears on Katherine and even after making jam and a few other things there are still quite a few left. What to do what to do?

To get a peek inside other bloggers’ kitchens hop on over to Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for her monthly roundup.


Posted in How to, Rants | Tagged | 18 Comments

Pear Jam with Ginger

That pear is pear shaped

That pear is pear shaped

A coworker unloaded a bunch of deformed overripe pears a few days ago.

Time to make jam.

If you do not know how to can then go here.

Pear Jam with Ginger

  • 8 cups pears peeled. cored and finely diced
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 tbsp ginger minced
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Mix everything in a pot, bring to a boil and reduce until thickened, about 30 minutes. Can quickly.




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

Berry Bars

They are dense

They are dense

We always seem to have a few bags of frozen cranberries around this time of year that we want use up before we start seeing them on store shelves again. We like desserts that use other fruits too to help cut down on the tartness of cranberries. Find the recipe for the bars here. We made two changes: increasing the berries to four cups (half frozen blueberries and half cranberries) and adding a half teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the fruit filling.

Posted in Dessert, Food | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Pasta Alla Norma

That is a twisty noodle

That is a twisty noodle

This is a quick and simple way to use an eggplant. The sauce is fantastic over fusilli pasta but any long thick noodle will work.

The recipe was inspired by the New York Times one here.

Pasta All Norma

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 cayenne peppers chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp garlic minced
  • 28 oz can whole tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 lb fusilli pasta
  • Olive oil

Slice eggplant into 1/2″ thick rounds and sprinkle with salt. Place in a colander in even layers, put a plate on top and weigh them down for 30 minutes. In a large saute pan heat 4 tbsp olive oil. Cook eggplant in batches until browned on both sides and remove to a plate adding more oil as needed. Add onion to pan and saute until golden. Add garlic and pepper and cook until fragrant then add stock and deglaze pan. Crush tomatoes by hand and add along with oregano. Bring sauce to a simmer and then cook until somewhat thick. Heat salted water to a boil and cook pasta to al dente. Cut eggplant into thin slices and add to sauce. Season with salt and pepper then add pasta and toss in sauce until well coated. Serve pasta covered in grated Romano.


Posted in Dinner, Food, Italian, Recipes, vegetarian | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Grilled Halibut with Pepper Harissa sauce

The sauce can be reddish if a red pepper is used, any other color will tun green.

The sauce can be reddish if a red pepper is used, any other color will turn green.

This is a fantastic spicy sauce that takes advantage of grilled peppers. It is a perfect match for fresh Halibut steaks that Katherine’s coworker brought back from Seattle. Have we mentioned we love this coworker?

The sauce would also work for grilled pork or chicken. We had a nice salad to start and grilled baby eggplant on the side. All in all it was the perfect summer meal.

Grilled Halibut and Pepper Harissa Sauce

  • 1 lb halibut steaks about 2″ thick
  • 2 red or orange peppers
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • lime
  • cilantro
  • paprika
  • Salt/pepper

Rub fish with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and paprika. Let marinate for 30 minutes. Prepare grill and char bell peppers, garlic and jalapeno. remove from heat and let cool then peel skin from peppers and puree in blender with garlic, juice from lime and cilantro to taste. Arrange grill for indirect heat and grill halibut until almost rare but still slightly raw in the center, about 15 minutes. Remove fish and serve on top of sauce.

Posted in Dinner, Food, Grilling/Smoking, Recipes, Seafood | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Fried Brown Rice

So easy

So easy

This is a simple dish that uses up leftover rice. It can have many different ingredients added or substituted in it.

Fried Brown Rice

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 eggs beaten with 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp garlic minced
  • 2 carrots diced small
  • 1/2 onion diced fine
  • 6-8 shitake mushrooms diced small
  • 6-8 basil leaves shredded
  • 2 oz tofu diced small

In a large wok or frying pan heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil over medium heat. Saute onion until translucent then add carrot and mushrooms. Saute until carrot is soft then add garlic and tofu and fry until fragrant. Push mixture up the sides of pan and add egg. Quickly scramble mixing with the vegetables. Add rice and coat with everything, stirring often to keep rice from clumping up or sticking. Add basil and serve with extra soy sauce and hot sauce.

Posted in Dinner, Food, Recipes, vegetarian | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Salmon Poached in Tomato Broth

If it wasn't for the plate I would say there was a color cast in there

If it wasn’t for the plate I would say there was a color cast in there

This recipe is a great way to take advantage of fresh tomatoes and was inspired by this recipe at In Sock Monkey Slippers.

A really good piece of salmon is key as well.

Serve this with polenta or creamy grits.

Poached Salmon in Tomato Broth

  • 1 lb salmon steaks or fillets
  • 8-10 garlic cloves roughly crushed
  • 1 large green onion
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 4 basil leaves roughly torn
  • 1 large red tomato
  • 1 large yellow tomato
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Salt/pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Season fish with salt and pepper. Chop two tablespoons green stem of the onion and set aside until the end. Roughly chop the remaining stem and bulb. In a large saute pan heat  olive oil over low heat and add garlic, thyme, and chopped onion. Cover and sweat over low heat for five minutes, stirring once. Add broth, wine and whole tomatoes to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook on low until tomatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. Crush tomatoes with a spoon and add basil leaves. Cover and cook another five minutes then add fish to pan and poach until done. Depending on the thickness of the salmon this could take 5-15 minutes. When fish is done remove to a plate and pour cooking liquid through a strainer pressing all juice from solids. Pour broth back into pan, add reserved green onion and bring to a simmer. Serve fish on a bed of grits or polenta with fresh broth poured over everything.

Posted in Dinner, Food, Italian, Recipes, Seafood | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments