Wednesday, August 5, 2015
This morning's Egg Collection
Yellow Crookneck is coming in nicely
Rainbow Cherry Tomatoes are beginning to ripen
I never get tired of getting up early in the morning to see what delights my Naked Urban Farm has in store for me. The weather has been so amazing here, that things are growing in abundance. I look forward to the fall crop. It will most likely be an Indian Summer, but I dearly hope we get some rain this winter. We surely need it, and I miss the rainy days and nights.
Thursday, July 2, 2015
These lovely ladies have been recently added to my property, and my growing little urban farm.
I've been wanting chickens for well over a year now, but something always prevented me from getting them...until a couple of weeks ago. The perfect opportunity presented itself. I already had a great area fenced in, where they can be free range birds without destroying my garden or get run over by a neighbor if they wandered out of the yard. It's essentially a giant dog run...at least that's what it was suppose to be. It was put up for my dog, but I have sadly come into the knowledge that he is allergic to grass! Of all things for him to be allergic to, it had to be grass. The poor guy loves laying down in the grass too, but he breaks out in hives like crazy after being in it. Anyways, since he can't use it why not let it be a chicken run. An add turned up for some pullets on Craigslist in my area (actually turned out to be just up the street from my friends parents house)that would be perfect for me. My original plan was to get four chickens, however the day I picked up the four ladies, so many people showed interest in getting eggs from me that I decided to go back and get the two he had remaining the next day. There are three Australorps and three Black Sexlinks. They are all 9 months old now, and one of them has just begun to lay a couple of days ago.
My first egg...I'm pretty sure it was laid by the lovely and talented Blanche
Comer y Crecer
Thursday, June 4, 2015
Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies
Molasses cookies are by far my favorite cookie. Every once in a while I just crave a tasty cookie with a glass of cold milk, and these always fill the void. They are a quick to make as well...no intensive prep or long cook time.
2C. All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2t Baking Soda
1t Ground Nutmeg
1 1/2C Sugar
3/4C Unsalted Butter, Softened
Preheat oven to 350
Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt
Set aside 1/2 cup of the sugar.
Beat together remaining sugar and butter. When creamy and combined, add egg and molasses until combined. Gradually mix in dry ingredients until all is incorporated.
Roll dough into 1 tablespoon size balls, roll in reserved sugar. Arrange on sheet pan about 3-inches apart. Cook 10-15 miniutes.
Let cool 1 minute before transferring to cooling rack.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Arroz Con Pollo
This is one of my favorite dishes, and frankly this is the best rice I've made for this dish yet. I've had so many variations on Arroz con Pollo, but this is my favorite so far. It has such a wonderful blend of spice, flavor and texture.
Liquid Measuring Cup
Dry Measuring Cup
Wooden Spoon (or spatula)
2lbs. Bone in, Skin on Chicken Thighs
Salt and pepper
3T Olive Oil
1 Yellow Onion, finely chopped
1 Green bell pepper, chopped
1 Red bell pepper, chopped
3 Garlic cloves, chopped
2 Roma (or similar) tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2t Cayenne Pepper
2 Bay Leaves
2T Tomato Paste
1C Basmati Rice
1 1/2t. Sazon Seasoning* (you can use pre-packaged but it's SO easy to make your own)
1/2t Saffron Threads
3C. Low-sodium chicken broth
Hot Sauce of choice, to taste
2T Cilantro, chopped
2T Parsley, chopped
1T Ground Coriander
1T Ground Cumin
1T Garlic Powder
Season chicken. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Sear thighs, turn once 8-10 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, set aside.
Drain half the oil, return to heat. Add onion, peppers, garlic, tomatoes, cayenne and bay leaves. Cook, stirring until onion begins to brown. Stir in tomato paste. Cook, stirring until it begins to caramelize.
Add rice, sazon and saffron. Cook, stirring 2-3 minutes. Pour in stock, season with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a simmer.
Place chicken back in pan, skin side up. Cook partly covered 25-30 minutes. If skin has lost crispness after being in the pan, place it under the broiler for a couple minutes.
Remove bay leaves, sprinkle with cilantro and parsley over rice. Gently stir, can be served directly out of pan.
Serve with fresh tortillas, or just dig in with a fork!
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Whole Wheat Angel Hair Pasta with Spring Onions and Pesto Turkey Meatballs
Most of the components in this meal were actually meant for another dish, another day. I had big plans to make turkey burgers for dinner the other night, until my roommate and I found ourselves knee deep (literally) in our garage. I'll save you the gory details, but by the time we made a dump run, a recycle run, and a goodwill trip I had ZERO desire to put a whole lot of effort into dinner. Needless to say, it ended up as a burrito night. I was not willing to let another night go by with a mundane meal though, so I started thinking about dinner and what was in the fridge. Now, here I must digress (shocker) about two of the reasons for thinking on what's in the fridge already. The obvious being waste, I don't wish to waste anything, and it's easier then you might think to create something new and exciting out of the odds and ends to be found in your fridge. "Clean Out Meals" are a regular occurrence in my house. Now, here's the reason that might not be as obvious to some of you...unless you have ever lived in a small beach town heading into the summer. The grocery store is a NIGHTMARE! I avoid going into the grocery store after work at all cost right around now, and it only gets worse from here until Labor Day. The parking lot's a disaster, people walk around like they were born with blinders and earplugs, and usually the grocery store is missing half of it's stock. So, we go to Costco once a month (there is a safe day of the week to go, and I'm taking that secret to my grave) and limit the grocery store to 2-3 times a month. Here's the one major problem with that plan, I CONSTANTLY change my mind on what to cook and am incapable of planning more than two meals in advance. If you had over 50 cookbooks and a subscription to two great food magazines would you stick with a meal plan? Be honest.
I think I've bent your eyes enough, I'll get to the nitty gritty of this blog...the food.
Lrg. Saute Pan
4oz WW Angel Hair Pasta
4-6 Spring Onions, Sliced (amount depends on size)
1 Clove Garlic, minced
2T Olive Oil
3 Sun dried Tomatoes, diced
Pesto Turkey Meatballs (recipe follows)
Fresh Parsley, chopped (for garnish)
Meyer Lemon Olive Oil (to finish) - If you don't have meyer lemon oil, zest some fresh lemon on top.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and add pasta. Cook until just cooked.
While you are waiting for the water to boil cook your meatballs in batches, don't crowd them. Also prep your vegetables for your pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, heat a medium pan over medium heat with oil. When oil is hot add garlic and a pinch of salt, stir until aromatic then add spring onions and sun dried tomatoes. As those are just starting to soften your pasta should be finished. Transfer the noodles directly (with tongs) into the pan with your onion mix, don't worry about draining it first, the pasta water will help create your "sauce". Toss everything together, just give the pan a few flicks with your wrist and it will all mix together nicely. Separate between two bowls and top with the meatballs, a sprinkling of parsley and a dash of lemon oil.
PESTO TURKEY MEATBALLS
1lb Ground Turkey
1/4C Fresh Breadcrumbs
Stir everything together. If it's looking "wet" add more breadcrumbs. Use a 1oz (or if you prefer larger meatballs, use a larger scoop) scoop (a spoon is also fine) and form your meatballs. I like to toss mine on some wax paper in the freezer for just a couple minutes so they keep their shape, don't let them freeze though. In a large saute pan heat 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter and 2 Tablespoons olive oil on medium heat. Toss your meatballs in, in two batches. You don't want to crowd them or you won't be able to get a nice crust on them. Give the pan a few shakes here and there so you get them moving around for even cooking. When they are cooked through, remove them with a slotted spoon or a spider. Set them aside until you are ready to add them to the pasta.
Sit down and enjoy
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Grilled Steak with Black Beans, Grilled Scallions and Roasted Salsa
Mexican food is something I could eat 24/7-365! I LOVE Mexican food, and have never tired of it. This is a super simple (I can't not stress enough how easy this is) recipe that will sate any steak/Mexican food craving right away. I am sorry to say however, that this is going to be one of those recipes I don't measure a damn thing for. Not measuring is part of the reason I'm so drawn to cooking vs baking. I can go by smell and taste with cooking. Not the case with baking, I have to know what reactions will be caused in baking and won't know how it tastes until it completed...and most possibly a disaster (like my first pie - YIKES!). I will however do my best to properly convey this recipe to the best of my ability.
Cast Iron Grill Pan*
Mdm. Pot (with lid)
1 Bunch of Scallions
Salsa - same recipe I previously posted
Get your grill pan nice and hot on medium-high. Make sure your steak is room temperature, it cooks more evenly that way. Since it's cast iron you should have it already nice and seasoned, but if you feel you need it add a little oil to the pan. Season your steak with salt, pepper, garlic powder, chile powder and a couple squeezes of lime juice. Skirt steak cooks fairly quickly, so you should only need to cook it about 3 minutes on each side or so. Of coarse if you like very well done, cook it longer. When steak is cooked, remove from pan and set aside to rest. While the steak is resting toss your scallions on the grill pan and cook them to a nice char. Serve them alongside the steak with a side of beans and some of that fresh salsa poured on top.
Friday, December 12, 2014
This dish isn't a real recipe (at least not in the traditional sense of the word) since it was made with what I had in my house. This is one of those dish's that can be adjusted to whatever you have around. Ah the beauty of Mac n Cheese.
So, yesterday we were suppose to get some great storm here on the coast. Everyone was all prepared for this great wind storm, and then honestly we got screwed out of it. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't hoping for mass destruction, or anything of that magnitude...just a good ole fashioned coastal storm. So, I closed early at work and stopped off at the store for batteries and a bottle of wine (it's going to be a huge storm right?) then headed home to make something cozy before the power goes out....the power never went out, I don't think it even flickered. This is where the mac n cheese comes in. Mac n cheese is a blank canvas that you can paint according to your mood...or pantry for that matter. This is Pesto-Bacon Mac.
Leftover Herb Cheese Spread
Bacon pieces leftover from breakfast
Pepper and Salt as needed
Okay, so I didn't measure a damn thing, not surprising though right? Here's what I did do...
Fill a large pot with water and set it on the stove to boil, add salt to the water. When it reaches a boil, turn it down just a tad and add the pasta. While your pasta is cooking, move on to the cheese sauce.
In the medium saucepan (on medium-low heat) melt a couple Tablespoons of butter, then whisk in flower until it no longer has that "raw" smell to it and it's has a bit of a crumbly look to it...please don't burn it though. Now whisk in enough milk to create a creamy base for your cheese. Don't put that milk back in the fridge though, you may need it again to thin the sauce...especially since we aren't measuring anything. Now toss in your grated fontina (once again, it's what I had leftover from a brussels sprout gratin recipe from Thanksgiving)and whisk into the creamy base. When the cheese is melted stir in some herb cheese spread (leftover from a whine/cheese/cracker night) and as much pesto as you have left (or can stand). Now, toss in that leftover bacon (because you cooked too much in the morning) and give it a good stir. Taste it, and add any salt, pepper, or anything else you feel that it's missing.
You've been keeping an eye on your noodles while this is going on right? Ok, so when they are all cooked (please don't cook them to oblivion so they become this mushy noodle...thing closer to baby food then noodles). Strain your noodles and toss them back in the large pot you cooked them in (with a tiny bit of butter or oil, so they won't stick to the bottom) now pour that delicious cheesy goodness on top of your noodles, stir it all together and serve yourself a nice big bowl.
In my opinion this can only be truly enjoyed with a nice glass of wine and a classic Christmas movie.