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045 - Copy Take 2 thawed chicken breasts and make a quick marinade for them, about a half cup olive oil, 4-5 dabs GOOD balsomic, kosher salt and pepper, a few sprinkles of Herbs de provonce. Pour over chicken breasts and set aside. 030 040 - Copy IMG_4002 017

Shrimp and Grits please….

So easy, so beautiful and so very good!!!
037 Start by simply frying some good old bacon in your pan041Once your bacon is done remove and set aside. Keep all of that bacon fat in the pan for your veggies.  Add in 2 cups corn, fresh or frozen will work, 2 red bell peppers chopped, one clove garlic chopped, 1 tab butter  and some flat leaf parsley, salt and pepper. Saute until veg is soft.

042Now add  in your large prawns. I bought one pack  so like 12? …..cook only a few mins or until prawns are curled and pink. Add back in the bacon. Stir to combine and set aside. Its time to start cooking your grits!

038So for your grits you can use whatever you want really. I just bought some quick cooking grits and followed the instructions. I then just added some heavy cream. Or you can use half and half ,about a cup or 2 to get to your desired consistency . Then I added 2 cups grated cheddar cheese!!! Seriously!!! I don’t eat like this all the time, but when I do, I do it right.

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 048Seriously this was so good!!! Everyone was very impressed….okay well maybe not everyone!! I guess it will just have to do, oh to be 5…:)

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Fig Preserves…

I have a friend who lives down the road from me with a huge fig tree!!!

She brought me a big basket full of beautiful green figs just picked this morning. Hmm what to do with a huge beautiful box of figs??Well lets see…. I could eat some of course which I did but what I’d really like to do is….can you guess?? Well?? CAN you?

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I have this book, its called Ball Complete book of home persevering. 

This recipe has no added pectin and was super simple and fun to make. I am so excited to eat this in the fall with cheese , wine and bread. You can also eat with a roast of pork would be excellent too.  Straight from the jar ??  The best way to describe this…Fig honey in a jar, complete with whole figs…does’t get much better.

  • Fig Preserves
  • 8 cups firm fresh figs
  • 8 cups boiling water
  • 2 2/3 cups sugar
  • 4 cups water

1 lemon unpeeled thinly sliced, seeded.

  1.  In large glass or stainless steel bowl combine figs and boiling water, cover and let stand 15 mins, Transfer to colander in sink and drain, rinse well with cold water.
  2. In large deep stainless steel sauce pan combine sugar, 4 cups water and lemon slices, bring to boil over high heat. Stirring occasionally  boil hard for 10 mins . Remove lemon slices and reduce to med- high heat. Return Syrup to a boil adding 2 cups of figs at a time boil figs until transparent. Figs are transparent remove figs and keep boiling your liquid until it thickens, pour liquid over figs and let sit at room temp for at least 8 hrs or over night. ( I just put mine in a big sauce pan and covered with lid until the next day.)
  3. Prepare canner lids and jars. ( remember check for your correct processing times)
  4. In stainless steel sauce pan bring fig mixture to a boil over med- high heat. Stirring regularly, remove from heat.
  5. Ladle hot preserves into jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim, Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met.
  6. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered-with water. Bring to boil and process for 10 mins, remove canner lid then wait 5 min before removing hot jars, cool and store….and enjoy!!!

 

Posted in Canning | 1 Response

Herbs De Provence Grilled Chicken Salad

Summer is a time for lighter, healthier, and of course beautiful meals. It’s also a time, where if your anything like my family,  you’ve spent your entire day outside! Do I really want to be stuck in my kitchen on a gorgeous day??? Um no. But do I want to eat nothing but grilled hot dogs because I didn’t plan anything for dinner?? Um no. Well maybe for a couple days hot dogs work. But let’s be honest. They get boring by the third day. So what’s easier than hot dogs you ask????  

Herbs de  provnce grilled chicken salad.

Herbs de Provence Grilled Chicken Salad. …

Start by making your salad. I am sort of addicted to baby spinach so that’s what I used. Then I simply add sweet cherry heirloom tomatoes, about a handful, a handful of sliced almonds, a handful of organic Monterrey jack cheese shredded and about a handful of chopped bacon.

This was seriously a big hit, quick easy and so  delicious. Here is all I did..

Now make your dressing, 1/4 cup olive oil, 4 dabs GOOD balsamic, tablespoon Dijon mustard, salt and pepper, 1 garlic clove minced and finally a handful of chopped basil. Whisk.

Take 2 thawed chicken breasts and make a quick marinade for them, about a half cup olive oil, 4-5 dabs GOOD balsamic, kosher salt and pepper, a few sprinkles of Herbs de Provence. Pour over chicken breasts and set aside.  Pour the wine (or water or whatever) and heat up the grill baby….

Take 2 thawed chicken breasts and make a quick marinade for them, about a half cup olive oil, 4-5 dabs GOOD balsomic, kosher salt and pepper, a few sprinkles of Herbs de provonce. Pour over chicken breasts and set aside.

Grill your chicken until cooked through….slice the chicken and place on top of your yummy salad that you have just dressed. ( Dress right before eating or it will be soggy)

 Pour the wine( or water or whatever) and heat up the grill  baby....

So pretty !!  I think that everything we eat should be just a little pretty….

 

Now be sure if its sunny to move the party outside, because its a crime not to eat outside if its sunny

Now be sure if its sunny to move the party outside, because its a crime not to eat outside if its sunny

 

Waiting so patiently for any left over chicken I might drop....

Waiting so patiently for any left over chicken I might drop….Sorry girls not happening!

 

Oh don't give me that look!! Fine, I am a total sucker for that sweet face.

Oh don’t give me that look!! Fine, I am a total sucker for that sweet face. Enjoy friends!! and dogs!

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Pizza night!

There’s just something cool about making your own pie… Tonight I chose 2 different pizzas, the first being a Buratta heirloom pizza.

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We love our pizza nights

Roll out the dough, then  ladle a cup of your  favorite Marinara sauce and add your fresh ingredients. Let’s see, there was… Oh yes, sliced fresh burrata cheese, which is really  fresh mozzarella with the cream inside. Then we layered small heirlooms on top of the cheese, about a handful of sliced basil, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of organic olive oil. For the finishing touch drizzle a really good and well aged balsamic vinegar on the top. Not that vinegar tart stuff , I’m talking thick, sweet almost syrupy balsamic.  Pop it in your pre-heated oven at 425, or higher, and cook until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbling. Or grill it. Either way it’s so amazing I could eat the whole pie.

So, so good...

So, so good…

Okay, on to the next. This one can be considered a pizza or a flat bread. I personally love thin crust pizzas but you can roll the dough to how thin or thick you like it. Drizzle olive oil all over the dough and set aside. In a saute pan add some olive oil, 1 onion sliced, 1 yellow squash sliced, half a bag of kale or whole head of kale, and finally a package of chopped pancetta. Mouth watering yet??

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Seriously you could just eat it like this and be happy…

Saute the veggies until they are almost all the way cooked, then spread the veggie mixture on top of the dough and put it in the oven and cook until the pancetta is crisp and  the crust is a nice golden brown, I also put a whole clove of garlic in some foil with olive oil and salt and roasted it for about 40 mins. It’s going to be a great finishing touch to this flat bread.

 

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Julie my sister topping the flatbread

                                                                                                         
                                                                                      

I just wait until the crust looks a perfect golden brown before I pull it out of the oven

Don't forget the roasted garlic!!!

Don’t forget the roasted garlic!!!

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The roasted garlic was a perfect companion to these veggies

This was like a slice of heaven...

This was like a slice of heaven…

I love cooking but what I love evern more is the people I am cooking for..

I love cooking but what I love even more is the people I am cooking for..

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So sweet

 

After dinner on the farm, kids running around and a nice visit from the in laws. Who walked over from there house.

After dinner on the farm, kids running around and a nice visit from the in-laws who walked over from their house. They live just across the field.

Owen looking at Papa

Owen looking at Papa

 

Cousins

Cousins

 

Summer is finally here

Summer is finally here

 

Lulu my favorite chicken

Lulu my favorite chicken

 

 

Just because you should always take time to stop and smell the flowers

Happy summer friends!!! Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Pizza, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Albacore Tuna Subs….

So I think everyone who knows me has some clue to the fact that I’m a sandwich-a-holic….its true. And sandwiches shouldn’t be wimpy…..they just shouldn’t.

Today, my home canned albacore tuna subs were the perfect fix. Here goes!

Gather your gear..

Gather your gear..

Every year my mother-in-law gets together with her gal pals and pressure cans fresh albacore tuna that was just caught. I was able to get about 60 cans a few years back and still have some! This year I am going to can with the gals and post all about it. I love canning with women who really know their stuff. It’s such a great learning experience for me. So to start this sub I used 2 cans fresh tuna, kosher salt, black pepper, and a squeeze of a lemon. Put it all in a bowl. Then, my husband made a tarter sauce which was lemon juice, salt, pepper, 2 of my home canned spicy pickles, and some of the pickle juice mixed in a food processor with mayo. I was so impressed with this sauce. It was delicious! Just use whatever pickles you’ve got. Then take 3 or 4 heaping spoonfuls of the yummy sauce and mix it into your tuna. Add as much as you like. Just taste as you go.

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Then grab some bread…I happened to think hot dog buns would be good so that’s what I used. I buttered, I toasted, and finally I melted one slice of  Kraft Singles on the bread. (after toasting I flip em over, put the cheese on, and put a pan lid on top so they would melt) Now add your sliced spicy pickle, sliced tomatoes and 2 scoops of the tuna mixture.  Pretty isn’t it? Then just drizzle some yummy tarter sauce on top of the tuna along with paper thin slices of white onion and some Italian parsley, salt and pepper.

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Yum! So very satisfying.. and I am so full.  Well friends, I hope you make this simple yet scrumptious sandwich and enjoy it as much as me. Happy memorial day weekend!

  • 2 cans albacore tuna
  • salt&pepper to taste
  • squeeze of a lemon
  • mix together in  a bowl
  • toast a hot dog bun on a hot griddle or pan with butter
  • add your slice of cheese on top of the toasted bun and melt
  • add 1 pickle sliced on top of cheese then tomato slices
  • add 2 scoops of tuna and drizzle with remaining tarter sauce
  • tarter sauce recipe- 2 spicy dill pickles, 1 cup mayo, some lemon juice and pickle juice, salt and pepper. blend in food prosser
  • add sliced white onion
  • torn Italian parsley
Posted in Sandwiches | 2 Responses

In A Year’s Time…

Wow, so much time has passed since I have had a moment to blog!  Here’s just a quick update about my life this past year….. I gave birth to my second son, Owen. He is such a blessing. Getting to have 2 boys its pretty cool. Especially living out in our little country setting, they get lots of space to run and crawl! (and get really, really dirty)

Owen :) Such a sweetie pie! And one of the reasons I haven't had much time for blogging.

Owen,  such a sweetie pie! And one of the reasons I haven’t had much time for blogging. Or anything for that matter!

I also started to foster a little pittie ( Pitbull) dog named Cookie.  We ended up adopting her and giving her a “forever home”. 

She now looks like this. Both my dogs were rescused from pretty horrible situations and now they are as happy as can be!

Both my dogs were rescued from pretty horrible situations and now they are as happy as can be!  Adoption is the way to go in my book.

Here is a picture of Parker. Now four and about to graduate from his first year of pre-school!! He’s full of energy this one, and out to concur the world! 

Parker

Parker

Jason and I are pretty content here on our little farm, the sun is starting to shine and the days are getting longer. We are eating outside every chance we get.   And I am, of course, trying new recipes out and getting excited for lots of summer canning!! I’ve also really been in to french cooking lately! Who knew! I am starting up blogging again and will try to post a new recipe once a week. I really have missed this. Until then here are just a few more pics of life these days…

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Posted in Random Thoughts | 2 Responses

Beef and Mushroom pasta in a cream sauce…

Truly their are no words for how absolutely divine this dish is! I would hands down say this is one of my favorite meals. Years ago my family and I went to Florida and ate at this amazing italian restaurant and you ordered everything family style. The portions were huge and we ended up giving the table next to us half our meal! The one dish I remember, and have never had or seen before, was this amazing shredded beef wrapped up in a homemade pasta with a cream sauce. It melted in your mouth, you could cry it was that good…so anyway I was trying to recreate that here:) The day before I had made french dips  in the crock pot. Here is the website for that recipe from my friend the Country-cook. http://www.thecountrycook.net/2011/05/beef-dip-sandwiches.html  If you haven’t tried these be careful they are addictive, and a cinch to make. I had the left-over beef  and thought… “well here goes nothing!!!” You could use really any left over beef from your slow cooker

 

Take your shredded beef, a package of mushrooms, a nice big dab of butter, kosher salt, fresh black pepper and thyme.  Saute on med- high heat.

Now its time to boil that lovely pasta

I get this at Trader Joes and I love it. It’s called pappardelle. YUM!

 

Okay so now we just have to add a cup of heavy cream….It’s not like we eat this everyday right?:) Simmer on low until your ready for your pasta.

Take your pasta directly from boiling water and add to your saute pan. Now get ready for yet another cup of heavy cream….and a handful of shredded parmesan cheese.

 

Seriously, just the smell will make you crazy. Salt and pepper to taste and add some fresh thyme to finish it off. Don’t cook too long on the stove or you”ll end up with too thick of sauce. Now for the best part.

Plate and serve!!! Enjoy Friends!!

Posted in Beef, Pasta | Leave a comment

Open faced tuna melts…

As many of you may know I am a lover of sandwiches…all kinds big and small.  I always say a sandwich isn’t worth eating unless its messy and with every bite you are wiping your mouth with a napkin….yum!

So tonight I made open-faced tuna melts….

Use whatever bread you like, but tonight we had a big loaf of fresh french bread. Slather on some mayo and some kosher salt and some pepper. Pre- heat oven to 350.

If your lucky enough to have a pantry full of fresh canned tuna, well then of course use it!! Or some regular old albacore from the store in a can works too. I used  2 cans of freshly canned albacore tuna, 2 ribs celery chopped finely, 2 green scallions chopped, a big pinch of kosher salt and pepper, about a cup or so of mayo, and for the mustard I just squeeze in a few good sized dabs. Then add a couple of kosher dills or home canned pickles chopped ( not sweet) And just a little white onion finely chopped. Stir…

Then add a slice of Swiss cheese, or again whatever suits your fancy. One nice slice of tomato, some red onion and salt and pepper with a nice little splash of extra virgin olive oil.  Get ready for some bubbly cheesy goodness…

Put in the oven until cheese is melted!! Dinner or lunch is served. This was so good, the bread was nice and  toasty and the cheese melted right into the tuna. Smiling with every bite. This was so fast and simple, yet so beautiful and delicious! My favorite kind of meal.

And if you have any left overs ….

I made a mini version for the next day. Little par baked ciabatta rolls were the perfect size and I just scooped out what was left and added a Kraft single to this one….a little dark secret of mine…processed cheese…shh don’t tell:) They were kinda of amazing…Enjoy!!!

Posted in Sandwiches | 1 Response

Easy weeknight meal, Pasta with Broccolette.

I have not been spending much time in the kitchen lately. Sad but true. Something about being pregnant has left me with little to no desire to cook!!! But I have realized that we cannot simply live off of take out and sandwich’s….With that being said, I am making EASY and FAST delicious meals so….enjoy!

Take 1 small shallot chopped, and 1 handful of pine nuts and saute in a little olive oil salt and pepper, then add about a half a stick of butter to your pan and melt. Add 1 cup of cream and let melt all together. Now turn off heat and get some water boiling. Oh and add a pinch of nutmeg to that sauce:)

I bought some organic broccolini from Costco the other  day and thought to add some to my pasta. So I cut the ends to make them more of a bite size and then put a big handful of them into my boiling water, just boil until tender you don”t want them to soft since they will cook in your sauce:)

Now add the broccolette to your sauce and cook on med-low heat. Add your fettuccine or I used a basil garlic fettuccine I found at trader Joe’s and boil until cooked.

Now to your pan add your pasta….

Then add a cup of shredded Parmesan cheese….

Finally add 1 more cup of heavy cream:):) Mix all the goodness together and once its looking perfectly combined ..add a bit of salt and pepper and then…

 

 

Much, much better then take out…

 

Posted in Pasta | 4 Responses

Spaghetti and Meatballs…

I rarely ever make this, but when I do I want to make it right. Take my time in the kitchen and cook it slow and low:) And today I had this incredible craving for good old spaghetti and meatballs! My house smells amazing and I’m ready for dinner and its only 3pm…I have a couple of hours of waiting but it will be worth it….So you want to start this around 3 if you eat around 5 or 6 ish….

1package ground beef, half package ground pork sausage, 2 eggs, 1cup parm, 2 cups italian bread crumbs, 3 tablespoons heavy cream, some fresh thyme, salt & pepper,1 small white onion finely diced, 1 glove garlic diced.

Wait there’s more! 2 pinches of red pepper flakes, 3-4 dashes of dried oregano, basil, garlic powder,onion powder, and I think that’s it. This is why I started this blog. So that I would be forced to write down my recipes, because I always forget what I did the next day:)

Okay time to form into little, or more like medium, meat balls.. Now take your saute pan or dutch oven and drizzles a good amount of extra virgin olive oil in the pan. Get your oil to a med high heat and add a sprig of rosemary and thyme to your oil. Be careful the thyme spits! Add your meat balls to the hot oil and cook about 4 mins per side, you want a nice golden crust.

Set meat balls aside and discard oil from pan, add a couple dabs fresh extra virgin olive oil to same pan and saute 1 small onion finely chopped along with 1 glove of garlic, salt and pepper. Now if you have any home canned tomato sauce this is the time to use it! 1 can tomato sauce and 1-2 cans stewed tomatoes, now add a big heaping tablespoon of tomato paste and stir on med- high heat.

Add your meat balls back into the sauce and simmer on low for about 2 hrs..you can add some fresh thyme if you like.

Now that your house smells amazing and your tummy is grumbling and you could care less about the salad or bread, this would be the time to get your water boiling and drop that pasta!

While your pasta is cooking cover the meat balls with a lid. For some reason this just makes them juicier…

Yum…make these and you will be pleased…I promise.

Okay last picture, I was proud…Happy Holidays!! Merry Christmas!!!

Posted in Beef, Pasta | 1 Response