Saturday, July 31, 2021

Spice Blends

Cajun Season
Garlic granules
Oregano leaf
onion granules
cayenne pepper
sea salt
black pepper

Chili Powder Blend:
garlic granules
cayenne powder
sea salt
orgeno leaves

Garam Masala Blend:
Black pepper
Cinnamon powder
clove powder

Italian Seasoning:

Mediterranean Seasoning:
Garlic granules
fennel seed

Mexican Seasoning:
Cilantro leaf
onion granules
chili flakes

Berbere Spice Blend:
1/2 Cup cayenne powder
1/4 Cup chili powder
3 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. cardamom
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. garlic granules
1 tsp. ginger root powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. clove
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

This mixture is amazing on white rice, cooked chickpeas, roasted veggies or any savory dish for an extra pop of spicy flavor.

Chicken Salt:
Granulated onion
Granulated garlic
sea salt

This is amazing on oven fries and roasted veggies.

Our House Blend:
Garlic granules
Onion granules
Smoked paprika
chili flakes
Smoked cayenne

I use this a lot on various meats.  It's delicious on chicken.

Do you have any favorite spices or spice blends?  Do you buy yours or make your own?

Stay safe everyone!

Sunday, July 25, 2021

My Week

 Today I was startled from sleep by thunder.  It looks like it is going to be a cloudy rainy day.  I wish the ones that need the rain would get it.  Everything is SO green here.  But some of the veggies are struggling with too much water and not enough sunshine this past week. I had plans on grilling for dinner so I hope it clears out by then.

Last weekend I cut back all of the basil because it was getting too much rain.  I made pesto with my share and gave a large bunch of basil to a friend. I think I have time to grow one more round so will look up the best day to plant this week and get another batch going.

The Thai basil has gone crazy.  I've given quite a bit away and have used it in a few dishes the last couple of weeks but I plan on going out in a bit and cutting a lot to dry.  Last night we had Thai curry chicken and rice.  The Thai basil gave it a really fresh kick.

Breakfast this morning was scrambled eggs loaded with veg, ham and cheese, Japanese sweet potato 'fries' and toast.  Not a great picture but it was delicious.

I'm hoping this week is a bit less stressful.  My mom has good days and very bad days and this week was a doozy.  Work too was more stressful than normal. I have a LONG list of things to take care of when I get there tomorrow. So today I am going to get the sheets changed, pay the bills, do a mani, pedi, reserve a few books at the library  and a few other odds and ends to prepare myself for the week ahead.  

Stay safe and have a wonderful Sunday! And just to keep you on your toes, Christmas is 5 months from today! 

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Salsa and some good news

 Like most people, we eat lighter meals in the summer months.  Salsa plays into a number of those meals.  I've been making this same salsa for probably 25 years or more.  Chips and salsa was my go to lunch living in hot and humid SW Florida.


2 cups diced tomatoes
1 diced onion-white or red
1 diced jalapeno
4 diced garlic cloves
1/4 cup diced green chiles
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 cup torn cilantro

Everything in this salsa came from our garden except for the onion and the sea salt.  I used 1 red heirloom tomato and about 10 or more heirloom cherry tomatoes.

I can't make salsa without using some of it for nachos.  This was dinner one night this week.  Beef nachos.

 Now for some awesome news.  I'm a great aunt now!  Meet Wylder who was born 7/14/2021.  10 pounds and 7 ounces.  They live a few hours away so I haven't gotten to see him in person yet but this is one of my favorite pictures of him.  He looks so much like my fathers side of the family.  My brother and I both had this same face and hair when we were born.

Have a great Saturday!!

Sunday, July 18, 2021

My Week

 The Big Guy enjoyed his birthday Friday.  He requested chicken tikka masala with rice and naan and a pineapple walnut cake with cream cheese frosting.  

Because of Covid, we lit the candles but he did not blow them out on the cake.  That is a tradition I miss but I guess it is a little gross when you think about it.

We had a lot of rain this week.  Friday alone dropped about 7 inches.  That is way too much rain for our garden, pots and flower beds.  I have to pick all of the basil today and make pesto.  I noticed the bottom leaves have turned black  which means too much water.  At one point Friday evening our yard was more flooded than I've ever seen.  This picture is the right side of our yard.  The left side is where our garden and flower beds are.  It did all soak in or drain off relatively quickly.

A number of small towns in our county were not so fortunate.  One town completely flooded and they are still flooded today.  A 25 year old young woman has been missing since 3:30 am Saturday.  They believe her car was swept off the road. Apparently they can tell where her cell phone is but the water hasn't receded enough for them to find her.  It doesn't sound good and I've been praying for her and her family.

The sun did come out yesterday and I was able to sit outside for awhile and read Blue Plate Special by Kate Christensen. Last week I finished I Loved, I Lost, I made Spaghetti.  It was a good read.  I've been averaging one or two books a week which is above average from last year.  

I know so many need rain right now and I wish I could send it your way.  How is the weather in your area?

I'm off to get my day started.  I have a few things to do to get ready for the work week.

Stay safe and have a great Sunday!

Friday, July 16, 2021

It's FINALLY Friday!

Sunday I crossed off my garden to do list.  I took a lot of herbs to a few of the doctors I work for.  They greatly appreciated it.  In return I got a lot of zucchini and yellow squash.  Not a bad trade.  This weekend I need to go out and pick more of the two basils and make more pesto.  It will be a nice fall/winter treat.

One night this week I made lamb burgers and oven 'fried' zucchini.  It was so good.  I am going to make zucchini bread tomorrow and I think we will have zucchini pillows Sunday for dinner.  I'll post the recipe when I make them.  It involves ricotta so you know it is good.

We had a lot of salads and veg focused dinners but I did sneak in another BLT because it's summer and I have to get my fill while I have fresh tomatoes.

I don't have much of a sweet tooth but I like to have chocolate sauce for the occasional bowl of ice cream or the even less occasional glass of chocolate milk. I have made chocolate sauce a number of times.  It's very easy but what I find is that I don't use it up quickly enough and end up throwing some away.  Well this chocolate sauce is the answer.  

Today is the big guys birthday.  He requested rice, chicken tikka masalla and naan.  With of course a birthday cake. Which I need to go make now.

I hope everyone is staying safe.  It's been raining here off and on all week.  In the last two days alone we've had over 6 inches.  I wish there was a way to push it west where they desperately need it.  

What's happening at your house?

Friday, July 9, 2021

Summer Time

I have been really enjoying this summer so far.  I've been spending quite a few hours outside every chance I get.  Between working in the garden and enjoying my lifelong passion of sitting out in the sun reading, I have been a happy woman. I've already read more books so far this year than I did in all of 2020. I promised myself I wouldn't buy any more cookbooks for awhile since I have such a large collection but I saw this and had to order it.  This looks like a great book.

My garden is doing amazingly well this year which I really needed after last years outcome. The heirloom cherry tomatoes I'm growing for the first time are so delicious. We have been eating salads for weeks we have had so much lettuce.  Between our garden and the farmers market, veggies have been the star of dinners lately. It's time now to start putting some of the herbs away for the winter months.

 Tomorrows list...

  1. Cut arugula to make pesto for the freezer
  2. Cut Thai basil, pack in ice cube trays with a bit of water, for the freezer.
  3. Cut Greek oregano to dry.
  4. Cut rosemary to dry.
  5. Cut thyme to dry.
  6. Cut Genovese Basil and make pesto for the freezer.
  7. Cut some of everything to take to work

One of my husbands Tae Kwon Do students brought us a HUGE bag of blueberries from her farm and they are delicious.  I made blueberry muffins, we had them on waffles and I have a lot frozen to use later.

Last Friday we enjoyed our first BLT of the season.  We will only eat them with fresh garden tomatoes so it's been since last September since we've had one.  I think eating seasonally when things are at their best makes you appreciate them so much more. 

We had our first house guests since 2019 over 4th of July weekend.  It was nice seeing them and we had a good time but it was also a little strange for us since we've been so isolated for so long. To celebrate the holiday I smoked ribs, chicken wings and enjoyed deviled eggs, slaw, pinto beans, grill setting off some fireworks and enjoying the ones our neighbors set off.  It was a nice weekend and the weather could not have been more perfect.

I've been spending any rainy days we have inside cleaning out closets, drawers and each and every room.  This weekend I am going to straighten out the pantry and make a list of things I want to stock up on for the next several months.  Covid numbers here in our area are spiking up again.  If you saw how crowded the water park is each day you would not be surprised.  Over half of our population here has not been vaccinated yet people are acting as if the virus is gone.  I want to be prepared for this fall and winter.

Now that I'm caught up on everything I plan on getting back to regular posts.

How is your summer going?