Thursday, July 19, 2018

Notable Birthdays

Eve Merriam (July 19, 1916,-April 11, 1992) ,was a poet, playwright, director and lecturer. She was a master at using metaphors when crafting a poem. These two are my favorite Eve Merriam poems. Each poem gives me food for thought.

Metaphor by Eve Merriam
Morning is
a new sheet of paper
for you to write on.

Whatever you want to say,
all day,
until night
folds it up
and files it away.

The bright words and the dark words
are gone
until dawn
and a new day
to write on.

How To Eat a Poem
by Eve Merriam

Don't be polite.
Bite in.
Pick it up with your fingers and lick the juice that

may run down your chin.
It is ready and ripe now, whenever you are.

You do not need a knife or fork or spoon
or plate or napkin or tablecloth.

For there is no core
or stem
or rind
or pit
or seed
or skin
to throw away.

Eve Merriam wrote many poetry books. One poetry book "Inner City Mother Goose" was the basis for the 1971 Broadway musical, Inner City. A link to a complete list of the books she has authored
In 1981, she was named the winner of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children.

Two Ballet Dancers by Degas 1879

Edgar Degas (July 19,1834-Sept. 27, 1917) 
Degas was a French artist famous for his paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings. He is especially identified with the subject of dance; more than half of his works depict ballet dancers. Degas is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism, although he rejected the term, preferring to be called a realist. He was a superb draftsman and particularly masterly in depicting movement, as can be seen in his renditions of dancers, racecourse subjects and female nudes. Degas's portraits are notable for their psychological complexity and for their portrayal of human isolation.
L'Absinthe is a painting by Edgar Degas. Its original title was Dans un Café. Other early titles were A sketch of a French Café and Figures at Café.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Bourbon Baked Beans

and serve these amazing Bourbon Baked Beans as a side that will elevate your next grilled meal. Beans don't have to be boring.  This bean dish is quite flavorful and even tastes better the second day  
Cook's Notes: Recipes serves 4-6 and was adapted from Food Network Magazine July/August 2018. 
Cooking Tip: If using bourbon for under $2.00 you can purchase at the liquor store a mini bottle perfect for this recipe. 
  • 5 pieces of bacon, halved
  • 1 cup diced sweet onions
  • 2 garlic cloves,minced
  • 1- 28 oz.can vegetarian baked beans  
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 can chunky tomatoes, basil garlic and onion (do not  drain) 
  • 2 TB molasses
  • Optional 2TB bourbon
  • 2 TB. brown sugar
  • 1 TB. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. yellow mustard
  • Fry bacon, crumble and place on a paper towel lined plate. Drain most of the grease. To the fry pan add onions and cloves of garlic. Saute about 3-4 minutes.
  • To a large pot pan add rest of ingredients. Add in crumbled bacon, onions and garlic. Cook on low 1 hour. 
Looking for some ideas to serve with Bourbon Baked Beans? Try some of these grilled items from Ever Ready. 
Grilled Pork Chops with Balsamic Raspberry Chipolte BBQ Sauce
Sweet and Sour Hawaiian Chicken Kebobs

Another Great BBQ Side
Watermelon-Tomato-Strawberry Salad with Basil

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Summer Sizzle

Put some sizzle into your cooking with easy grilled foil packets. Be creative with your ingredients.
Kielbasa- Sweet Potato Foil Packets
Cook's Notes: Recipe serves two but ingredients can easily be increased. Adapted from Food Network July/August 2018
  • 1/2 tsp. herbes de Provence
  • 1/2 tsp. parsley flakes
  • 1 TB. olive oil
  • 2 TB. orange juice
  • 1/2 lb. fully cooked kielbasa, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup red onions, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 2/3 cup dried apricots or 1-1/2 cups apples, diced
  • In a large bowl mix herbs, juice and olive oil.  
  • Add in kielbasa, sweet potato chunks, celery, apples or apricots.
  • Tear off 2 sheets about 24 inches. Place meat mixture in middle, fold edges to the center and seal.  
  • Grill packets about 22 minutes, rotate occasionally so they don't burn. Open packets carefully to serve. 

 Some other foil packet dinners from Ever Ready you might want to try
Foil packet with Shrimp, Zucchini and Corn

Monday, July 16, 2018

More Berry Bliss

Easy Summer Snacks  

Macerated Strawberries Over Grilled Poundcake 
Cook's Notes: It doesn't get much easier with macerated strawberries served over a slice of Sara Lee poundcake. The recipe can be made 30 minutes before your company arrives. Grill the pound cake ahead of time and cover. Recipe from Food Network Magazine July/ August 2018. Don't skip the basil part as it really adds to the flavor. Strawberry mixture makes 4 servings. 
  • 2 cups strawberries. diced
  • 1 TB. sugar
  • 1 tsp. chocolate balsamic or good quality dark balsamic vinegar
  • 2 TB. chopped basil
  • Frozen poundcake, thawed 
  • Mix balsamic vinegar with sugar and strawberries. Stir in chopped basil and let sit 30 minutes.
  • Slice poundcake and brush lightly with olive oil both sides. Grill poundcake slice 1 minute per side. Serve with strawberry mixture. 
Raspberry Ricotta Toasts 
Cook's Notes: Use fresh raspberries rather than frozen which tend to bleed on the ricotta.
Recipe from Food Network July/August 2018. Recipe makes 12.
  • One loaf baguette bread, sliced and toasted 
  • 3/4-1 cup ricotta cheese 
  • Fresh raspberries
  • Honey 
  • Toasted walnuts chopped or pistachios
  • Mix ricotta cheese with 1 TB. honey. 
  • Divide among the toasted bread slices. 
  • Add raspberries to slice and top with a drizzle of honey and nuts.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Weekend Round-Up

A weekend outing to Jake and Scout's Berry Farm (Lake Shore close to Nisswa, MN)
put me in Berry Bliss.  The blueberries were ripe for picking on a 92 degree day. So with a container filled with luscious sweet berries given to me by the owner (I was interviewing her for an article)  
and four juicy, sweet, ripe peaches I had on hand
I was able to create Blueberry Peach Cobbler adapted from Food Network Magazine July/August 2018 
and indeed each spoonful was Berry Bliss. Add a scoop of ice-cream and then you're really  over the top. 
A shortcut for the cobbler using Bisquick mix. 
Filling Ingredients:
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 4 large peaches, skin off, diced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. Saigon cinnamon 
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 3 TB. cornstarch
Filling Directions:
  • Grease a glass 8 x 8 glass pan
  • In a large bowl mix sugar, cinnamon, ginger and cornstarch. Add in fruits and coat with sugar mixture. Place in baking dish.
Cobbler Ingredients:
  • 1 cup baking mix
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 TB. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Saigon cinnamon 
Cobbler Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Mix all cobbler ingredients adding a spoonful or more of buttermilk if batter too dry.
  • Dollop over the fruit.
  • Bake 35 minutes or until fruit is thickened and bubbling and cobbler baked golden. 
 Other Ever Ready (Previously Posted) Winning Blueberry-Peach Specials include:
Peach and Blueberry Salsa
Peach and Blueberry Galette
Peach and Blueberry Pie
Grilled Peach and Blueberry Salad
More Berry Bliss with 
  • Raspberry Ricotta Toasts 
  • Balsamic Macerated Strawberries
Kielbasa-Sweet Potato Foil Packets 
Bourbon Baked Beans 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies with Cherries and Toasted Coconut

So treat yourself to  
Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies with Cherries and Toasted Coconut   
Cook's Notes: A cookie with complex flavors, a perfect combination of ingredients. It's hard to eat just one. Recipe makes 2 dozen cookies. Recipe inspiration Better Homes and Gardens Magazine.  
  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup) softened 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. Saigon cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda 
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chipss
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two cookies sheets with parchment paper or silicone pads. 
  • Beat butter with sugars, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Add in egg and vanilla beat until combined. Beat in flour just until combined. Stir in oats, coconut, chocolate, cherries and nuts. Mix well. 
  • Refrigerate dough 45 minutes or in freezer 20 minutes. Keep dough chilled while making 1st batch. 
  • Drop by rounded tablespoons and bake 12 minutes. Cool slightly and transfer to a wire cooling rack.       

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Asian Inspired Firecracker Shrimp

Seasonal Plate Food Column
Asian Inspired Firecracker Shrimp
Cook's Notes: Add an Asian flair to your next shrimp stir fry meal and your guests will think you've spent a lot of time in the kitchen. The orange glaze can be made a few hours in advance and is enough for 2 servings. Firecracker Shrimp stir fry recipe serves 2 but ingredients can  easily be increased doubling the glaze amount. 
Use a wok or a large fry pan to make this dish and pair with healthy brown rice. 
Stir Fry Ingredients:
  • 2 cups snow peas or sugar snap peas,trimmed ends
  • 1 lb. shrimp peeled, deveined, cooked quick frozen, partially thawed
  • 1 TB. cornstarch
  • 1 TB sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup dried chiles, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup roasted red peppers
  • 2 TB. scallions, minced 
  • 3 clementines, segmented 
  • 1 TB. Sesame seeds
  • Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Bring a medium pot to a boil and add in snow peas. Cook until crisp-tender about 1 minute, drain and add to ice bath water, let set 1 minute, drain again and pat dry on paper towel. Set aside.  
  • Make orange glaze and set aside on a back burner. 
  • Toss shrimp with cornstarch to coat. 
  • Heat wok or fry pan with sesame oil. Add shrimp, garlic cloves, scallions and chiles.  Stir until shrimp lightly browned and opaque about 2 minutes. 
  • Add in glaze, orange segments, snap peas, roasted red peppers and simmer with shrimp mixture cook until slightly thickened and heated through about 3 minutes. 
  • Sprinkle with 1 TB. sesame seeds
Serve Firecracker Shrimp with brown rice and a slice of Myer Lemon  Pie.
The pie and sauce can be made the day before. 

Asian Orange Glaze Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 2 TB. orange juice
  • 2 tsp. each soy sauce and hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp. minced ginger 
  • Pinch of Chinese 5-spice powder or ground fennel seed
Glaze Directions: 
  • Heat marmalade and orange juice together in a small saucepan to soften marmalade. 
  • Add in rest of ingredients, mix well and cook 1 minute.  
There is a National Day for just about everything? 
Today we celebrate
National Mojito Day
and All American Pet Photo Day