A Colorful Array of Sides for Labor Day

Since most other sites are all about the meat, here are some options to go along with the most important part of the day. Have a great holiday!

Grilled Corn

I like my corn as yellow as a brick road

I like my corn as yellow as a brick road

Cherry Tomatoes with Herb Vinaigrette

This is finger food

This is finger food

Potato and Anchovy Salad

Option number two

So creamy

Jalapeno Deviled Eggs with Candied Bacon

Another use for the super food bacon

Another use for the super food bacon

Mexican Slaw

Just whip, whip it good

Just whip, whip it good

Pasta Salad with Chick Peas, Capers and More

Some olives wouldn't be bad either

Some olives wouldn’t be bad either

Barbecue Boston Baked Beans

Beans beans they 're good for the heart

Beans beans they ‘re good for the heart


Posted in Food, Grilling/Smoking, Rants | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

In Our Kitchen: The Last Tomatoes

Those are yellow tomatoes, not unripe yellow tomaotes

Those are yellow tomatoes, not unripe yellow tomat0es

Our tomato crop was a bust this year. The grape tomatoes did well for a few weeks, but the crop was felled by a combination of too much rain in the spring and the oppressive July heat that normally does our crop in before August. Even the farmers markets only had a few varieties by early August. We’ve been surviving on some homegrown Arkansas tomatoes and ones shipped in from other parts of the South. Even when tomatoes are sparse we can’t go a full summer without making bruschetta and caprese at least once.

There are tomatoes in the sandwich but none in the roasted pepper soup

There are tomatoes in the sandwich but none in the roasted pepper soup

You can’t beat a grilled cheese and roasted tomato soup on a rainy day. Since we’ve been in tomato hoarding mode we’ve had to make roasted pepper soup instead. Not too shabby.

The prep is done for what new post I wonder

The prep is done for what new post I wonder

At least its been a banner year for eggplant and clearance beer.

Yet another yummy clearance beer

Yet another yummy clearance beer

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

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

Venison Flank with Fresh Tomato Sauce

That meat is the perfect medium rare

That meat is the perfect medium rare

This needs a venison flank about two inches thick to work.

Really fresh heirloom tomatoes help a bit too.

Venison Flank Stewed in Tomaotes

  • 2 lb venison flank roast
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup onion sliced thin
  • 3 cops chopped tomatoes
  • 1 yellow bell pepper diced fine
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Mix fish sauce, worcestershire, vinegar, mustard and wine together and add venison. Marinate for six hours in the refrigerator turning once. In a large saute pan heat olive oil and sear venison over medium heat on both sides. Remove meat to a dish. Add onion and saute over medium low heat until golden. Add bell pepper and mushrooms and cook until softened. Add tomatoes and raise heat to medium. Once tomatoes begin to release their juice add stock and rosemary. Bring to a simmer and add venison.  Cook until venison is medium rare, about 15 minutes. Remove meat and reduce sauce over high heat until thick. Season with salt and pepper and serve over sliced meat.


Posted in Dinner, Food, Italian, Recipes | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Chicken and Peaches

Quick and healthy can taste fancy

Quick and healthy can taste fancy

This is a great weekday meal that uses peaches that are slightly unripe. The firmer the better.

Chicken Breasts with Peaches and Balsamic

  • 2 chicken breasts deboned and skinned seasoned with salt, and a little cayenne
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 2 cups peach slices 1/4″ thick skin still on
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 4 basil leaves sliced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp butter

Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat and saute onion until translucent. Add chicken breasts and sear on both sides. Remove meat from pan and turn heat down to medium low. Add peaches and tomatoes and bring to a simmer. return meat to pan, cover and cook until done, about 20 minutes. Remove cover, add balsamic, bring dish to a heavy simmer and cook until sauce is thick. Serve immediately.

Posted in Chicken, Dinner, Food, Garden, Recipes | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Poached Peaches in White Wine

Crumbled amaritti are the secret

Crumbled amaretti are the secret

This is a simple way to use peaches that are not quite ripe yet.

White Wine Poached Peaches

  • 3-4 small peaches skins removed
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup vermouth
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean

Combine wine, vermouth, sugar and vanilla bean in a pot large enough to hold all pieces in a single layer and bring to a boil. Boil for two minutes then remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes. Add peaches and return to the stove. Bring to a low simmer. Cover and cook until peaches are soft all the way through turning in the syrup if necessary. Remove peaces to a bowl and reduce syrup over high heat by half. Pour syrup over peaches and let come to room temperature before serving.

Posted in Dessert, Food, Spirits, vegetarian | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Watermelon Sippers

Which one of the drinks below am I

Which one of the drinks below am I

A watermelon goes a long way in house of two. (Technically we’re a house of three, but the third member of our house is a dog with no taste for fruit.) We tend to juice a lot of the watermelon and stir it into smoothies or cocktails. Here are three drinks we’ve been addicted to lately. To make watermelon juice we blend a pitcher full of watermelon chunks then strain out any seeds and pulp.

Minty Watermelon Coolers

  • 6 oz watermelon juice
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 4 mint leaves
  • 2 tsp simple syrup
  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz Lillet Blanc

Muddle the mint leaves with the simple syrup in the bottom of a pint glass. Add remaining ingredients and ice.

The Frozen Melon

  • 2 cups watermelon juice
  • 2 cups ice
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup simple syrup
  • 3 oz gin
  • 1 tsp rosewater

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Serve in tumblers. Makes about four drinks.

Watermelon Strawberry Smoothies

  • 1 cup watermelon juice
  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt (we use nonfat, but you don’t have to)

Blend ingredients together until smooth. Divide between two tall glasses. This makes a great breakfast on the go.


Posted in Breakfast, Food, Recipes, Spirits | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Stir Fried Tofu and Eggplant

Do not wuss out on the chilies

Do not wuss out on the chilies

This is another great way to use tofu and all the fresh eggplant from the garden.

Tofu with Eggplant and Chilies

  • 10 oz tofu cut into bite sized cubes
  • 3-4 Japanese eggplant cut into 1/2″ slices about 3 cups
  • 1 large red bell pepper cut into bite-sized squares
  • 2-3 cayenne peppers cut into thin strips
  • 2 tbsp sliced garlic
  • 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Mix oyster sauce, sesame oil and sugar together in a bowl. In Large frying pan heat olive oil over medium heat and brown tofu on all sides. Remove tofu and add garlic and cayenne peppers. Saute over low heat until fragrant and then add peppers and eggplant. Add rice vinegar and deglaze pan. Cover and cook on low until eggplant is cooked. Add oyster sauce mixture and tofu. Stir to coat and serve.

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