Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Food Obsession

**PS…I thought I had lost this post from last night, but I was able to recover it this evening!  What a great surprise!**

Another month has come and gone and here I am snuggled into my bed ready to post some really fun food pictures!  We have been busy in the kitchen making lots of creative and delicious meals and I tried to capture a number of them with my trusty camera.  One day, I aspire to be like some of the food bloggers and take professional food photos…but for now, I will continue snapping them in my semi-dark kitchen (I keep it that way or get overpowered by the nasty overhead lighting).    Wouldn’t that be a fun job?  Food Photography.  I love to look at pictures of food.

Before I move on to the lovely photos, I need to share some of our bad news that I intentionally left off of my last post.  Farmer John and I had both been out of the country for a week back in August when we returned home to find our precious tomatoes taken over by the relentless, take-no-survivors disease called blight.  Ruined.  Dead.  Adios.  We were in mourning during my last post, so I felt it best to leave that portion out and focus on the positive.  I like to see the glass half full. 


Farmer John handled it quite well I must say proudly.  We burned the remains and moved on.  No need to talk about it anymore.  Brings sadness to my heart and I can’t take it anymore. 

We were able to conserve a few maters, such as these for one of our favorite go-to summer meals. 

BTCs (Bacon-Tomato-Cheese


We used turkey bacon and some Dubliner’s cheese, our favorite white cheddar.  John requested this meal about twice a week this summer. 

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Here are some more of the many creations birthed in our humble little kitchen this month:

Homemade French Fries

Peel and cut a potato or two…

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fry in hot peanut oil…so healthy…

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check to see if they’re done using tongs…

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let 3% of the oil drip onto a paper towel and relish the rest in your belly.  PS…not intended for frequent consumption…but a nice treat on occasion!  Move over McD’s. 

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Roasted Red Peppers

Roasted red peppers are super easy to make.  Just turn on your gas burner stove to medium-medium high and place the pepper(s) on top to burn. 

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Don’t worry!  Just let ‘em burn to a char.  August-September 2010 014

Again, use tongs for safety.  Kari is pretty good at this.  August-September 2010 016

As soon as they’re covered in black char, place them in a bowl and cover tightly with saran wrap.  Let them sit for about 10 minutes while they sweat.  August-September 2010 019

Take the peppers out of the bowl and use your fingers to peel off the charred skin.  You can rinse them off to clean any residual blackness.  Cut them in strips and use on your favorite dishes.  Save any remainders in a jar.  You can also choose to put a little oil in the jar to preserve them until your next meals.  August-September 2010 020


Tempeh Sandwiches with Roasted Red Peppers and

Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad with Candied Pecans and Homemade Garlic Honey Vinaigrette

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John’s Potato Surprise and

Sautéed Kale and Tomatoes

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I’m not really sure what went into this meal other than potatoes, onions and garlic, but we had bought some potatoes from the farmer's market and wanted to use them up.  I love to see Farmer John in the kitchen.  He’s a great cook!

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The kale is so easy too.  Cut off the stems from the leaf down and chop the kale up.  Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil and then add chopped tomatoes.  Add kale at the end and let it reduce into the pan.  Add salt/pepper to taste.  Yum!

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We were still continuing to harvest these items up until last week!  We still have everything but the flowers.  I loved having fresh sunflowers out my back door.  Farmer John even picked some for me one night, although i think it was hard for him to cut them off.  August-September 2010 056


Kale Crisps

I’ve been wanting to make kale crisps for a while.  Also way too simple.  I just took the leaf part off of the stems and tore the leaves into small pieces.  I spread them out onto a pan and sprayed them with a little olive oil and put them in the oven on about 325 degrees for about 5-10 minutes.  Watch them closely because they will quickly burn.  You will know when they are done when they fall apart into your fingers.  They literally melt in your mouth and are quite addicting.  August-September 2010 060

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Gluten Free Peach Cobbler

What’s summer without peach cobbler?  I love it warm out of the oven with a little bit of vanilla ice cream slowly melting over it.  Try this recipe from The Pioneer Woman. 

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Found some ripe bananas on sale and bought a whole bunch so that we could freeze them for smoothies.  We’re pretty obsessed with smoothies around these parts.  John has been on a kick lately where he makes one every single morning.  August-September 2010 067

Farmer John is so smart.  I mean, he’s one of those people that hears something once and it’s stored neatly into his brain forever.  I’ve always had a problem with those types, but now it’s coming in handy!  Smart man = good job.  He’s studying for the GRE and has a goal to take it in December of this year.  He prefers to study with the TV on and swears it helps, but every time I look up, he’s got his eyes on the TV. 

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John’s TV program of choice on most nights…The Office. 

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John and I were able to go to Oak Island with good friends over Labor Day weekend.  On the way down, we got to stop in Durham to see my sister and her son, Eliot, who were in town with friends for a few days!  What a wonderful little tease!  He’s gotten so big.  He can even say “Maahwy”. 

Mary and Eliot

He’s an independent little guy.  I get to see him TOMORROW!!  mary john and eliot


Fried Okra, Mashed Potatoes

and Kale Crisps


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Love the immersion blender.  I had never tried it on mashed potatoes, but it worked well!September 2010 008

Cracker Barrel came to Blowing Rock!!September 2010 010

Homemade Pesto

I have put off making pesto all summer long!  I harvested a ton at once and it took me a whole night just to pick the leaves off the stems!  The second night, I got to work processing small batches.  I probably did 8-10 batches total because my food processor is so teeny. 

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September 2010 013 Picking begins…
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Everything you will need! 

  1. Fresh Basil
  2. Olive oil (from Jordan in our case!  yum!)
  3. Parmesan cheese
  4. Fresh garlic
  5. Sea salt
  6. Cracked pepper
  7. Walnuts (Could use pine nuts as well)

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Only made about 4 cups!  But this will last me through the entire winter and more.  September 2010 026

I learned this cool trick to save the pesto in the freezer.  September 2010 027

Cover trays with saran wrap and put into the freezer.  Once it’s frozen, you can pop the pieces out into a freezer bag and take them out individually as needed!  So cool.  September 2010 028


Sun Dried Tomatoes in the


I was given some Roma tomatoes from a friend at work (since ours were gone…) and I planned to dry them in the oven.  I was super excited to try this out!  Just cut them into small slices and place them on a pan.  Put them in the oven on the lowest setting (mine was on 150-200 degrees.  Leave them in there for 6-12 hours.  Mine took about 6-7 total. 

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Check periodically and flip over a few times.  Some may stick to the pan but will usually peel off pretty easily.  September 2010 030 Done!  Let them cool and put in a plastic baggie in the fridge to use as needed.  Tastes like the real thing, but much like the pesto, didn’t make much for the amount of tomatoes I started with!September 2010 036 

John’s harvest photo shoot :)

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Homemade Ginger Chews

I have become a big fan of ginger chews and now John is as well. 


He decided that he would experiment on a homemade version the other night.  He will have to enlighten us on what recipe he used, but they turned out great!

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John and I goofing off by toe-writing.  Pretty difficult and hilarious.  September 2010 031

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I forgot to paste this photo earlier today.  Look at her little hands.  I wish this was a high res photo!  photo(2)

The end.  Goodnight.