I’ve decided that Mother Nature is either a manic depressive or severely PMSing during the spring. She’s definitely a moody one, especially in Montana. Maybe it’s because she loves us so much that it incurs this severe differences in our days (you know the saying, you hurt the ones you love the most). For example, Sunday before last it was a gorgeous beautiful spring day, by Tuesday there was 6 inches of snow on the ground. Moody, moody, moody!
If Mother Nature PMS’s all spring, then I must have become in sync with her living in Montana over the years. Just as quickly as the weather changes so does my mood. If I wake up and the sun is out, so am I. I become an amazing production machine; whether it’s yard work, house work or ‘real’ work. I feel like I have boundless energy and can conquer the world. Continue reading “Hearty Spring Pasta” »
I was so happy when I got my assignment this month for Secret Recipe Club! I was assigned Tandy from Lavender and Lime. First off I’m a fan of citrus, and she obviously is too, it’s right there in her title. Tandy is from South Africa, two years ago McGyver and I went on a Safari there and stayed to visit friends, you can read about that here and here. Naturally anything to do with South Africa brings back a flood of good memories.
Tandy has some serious cooking chops! Her recipes have been published in several venues, even before she started her blog. She’s also won a cooking competition. Tandy makes her magic in a small kitchen with the best of ingredients. And I love this quote that she has in her about page.
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.
When it came to choosing a recipe I went straight for her venison recipes. Lucky me, I have a freezer full of venison and I am always looking for exciting new ways to prepare it. As soon as my eyes landed on her recipe for Venison Roast with Coffee and Star Anise Rub it was love. Tandy mentioned in her intro to the recipe that she wanted to use a loin but didn’t have any so she used a leg roast instead, well Tandy, I had a loin just waiting to be used.
This would be a good time to mention that what Tandy refer’s to as venison are ‘bokkies’, as in springboks (which is also a rugby football team), blesboks, bushboks, etc. Bokkies are actually an antelope, here in the states when we use the term venison it’s in reference strictly to deer. Having ate spring and blesbok before I knew that the flavor was not dissimilar and it would be no problem using deer instead of blesbok. Of course there was zero chance that I would actually be able to get my hands on one.
Speaking of not being able to get my hands on something, I went to four stores and not one of them had juniper berries. Thank goodness I had a trip to San Francisco scheduled and I was able to pick some up. Also while I was there I bought some cabernet salt which I used in place of the regular salt. There will be more on that and the rest of my trip on Friday (are you happy Debra? She’s been asking me when I was going to share). Continue reading “Coffee, Juniper Berry, and Anise Crusted Venison Loin” »
Recently I came into an obscene amount of dill! I mentioned in my last post (Deviled Ham Stuffed Eggs) that I had been preparing so many dishes with dill that I thought that perhaps McGyver and I might end up being pickled. I even tried my hand at pickling some radishes and carrots (we’ll have to wait to see how that one plays out).
With so much dill on hand and my irrational fear of wasting anything, I posted on my Facebook page a call for dill recipe ideas. Someone immediately chirped up and boy am I glad! Michelle suggested a dish called Halibut Olympia, she recommended using lots of shallots and mix a bunch of dill with a mayonnaise sour cream mix.
As fate would have it, I did not have lots of shallots, nor did I have halibut, nor did I have sour cream. Which meant the recipe was perfect. You know how us bloggers roll, we would change everything any ways. I did have flounder, and I had red onion and plain Greek yogurt, all no brainer substitutes.
I did a quick search on the internet for Halibut Olympia to get some portion and cooking time frames, I found this blog post which inspired me to use a panko topping and saute the onions. In my organic basket there was also a bunch of Swiss Chard which I thought would make a nice bed for my flounder (plus healthify it). I halved the amount of yogurt mayonnaise mix because flounder is not a thick hearty fish like halibut. I cooked up some new red potatoes and tossed them with butter and dill, then added a salad with a dill vinaigrette which completed the meal. Continue reading “Flounder Olympia with a Panko Crust” »
It may be winter outside but it’s spring in my house. My garden last summer was a total disaster, I obviously had no clue what I was doing and while I was gone for 5 months, let’s just say that McGyver and Thing 2 didn’t give it much attention. I yielded a couple of radishes and some Thai red peppers, that’s it.
Inspiration comes from many places. I never dreamed that a challenge from another blogger would get me going, I mean really going. Simone over at Junglefrog Cooking, set out a challenge for this month to make something homemade. As in, not a homemade meal, but rather something homemade that you would normally purchase, such as granola, a condiment or cheese.
Cheese was the first thing that came to mind since I had purchased a cheese making kit and a book. Then there was the goose, a truly experimental bird for us. We had heard that Canada Goose was not ideal for roasting so we went down the charcuterie path and did breast prosciutto, which I featured on a pizza and then we did a confit of the legs, thighs and wings.
Chile Rellenos is the dish by which my husband judges a Mexican restaurant by. According to him, there is nothing better than a good chile rellenos. Personally I am was indifferent to them. We’ve been together 12 years and I am just now making his favorite Mexican dish (despite the fact that I do quite a bit of Tex-Mex cooking).
You must be wondering why? First off, they aren’t weren’t that impressive to me, secondly, they seemed a bit intimidating to make. You know, hard to make, like more work than their worth. I changed my mind a few weeks ago when McGyver and I went to a local Mexican-ish restaurant that we haven’t tried before.
Of course the hubby ordered his fav chile rellenos. When it arrived all snuggled between the beans and taco, it was rather, errr, umm, phallic looking. We giggled, but funny looking food is not one to stop us. Then he tried it, then I tried it. It lacked any semblance of flavor, it was coldish and greasy. McGyver declared it the worst chile rellenos that he’s ever had in his life, and considering how many he’s had, that’s saying something. Continue reading “Chile Rellenos” »
Each month members are assigned another blog, the member selects a recipe and secretly prepares it, then posts on reveal day. Each group has a wonderful hosts that facilitates the whole thing, our host for Group C is Debbi. My assignment this month put me in a slight conundrum. I was assigned Juanita’s Cocina. Only it’s not Juanita behind the scenes, technically it’s Jen.
Jen always thought she should have a Spanish translation to her name, it sounds much more exotic than Jen (as a side note my BFF is named Jen so I LOVE the name Jen). When her Dad told her there was no true translation for Jennifer and that Juanita was the closet thing, can you believe that she hated that name? Worse yet it rhymed with fajita. Juanita fajita.
For Christmas this last year my Baby boy bought me a cookbook. Actually I’d call it an encyclopedia. It’s a behemoth, with over 2000 recipes and more than 1500 pages thick. The bible of Italian cooking“The Silver Spoon”.
I have perused and perused this book. My mind swills with Tuscan dreams or the Amalfi coast, Sicily, Rome it’s all there. I picture myself (thinner of course), going to the market and picking out red ripe roma tomatoes, stopping by the butcher, who selects the perfect cut for me. I then leisurely stroll back to my little Villa and prepare our dinner for the evening. Perfecto! Continue reading “Involtini Agli Spinaci–Venison (or Beef) Spinach Roulades” »
I am so excited for this month’s Secret Recipe Club reveal, the first one of 2013! If you haven’t heard of this great ‘secret santa’ type group, you should check out their site. Gurl, you wouldn’t believe who’s blog I got this month. That’s right it was steaknpotatoeskindagurl.
Not surprisingly, the first recipes I sought out were steak recipes. Okay, would you believe that Desiree, Desi, Des didn’t actually have any steak recipes on her site? She even joked about it, her only steak reference was a guest post that she did!
I about died laughing when I realized that! So I sought out her tag cloud and next to menu planning and restaurant reviews she had plenty of chicken recipes. Desi’s White Chicken Chili really stood out to me. It’s January, it’s cold, and chili is the perfect recipe to chase away cold snowy days in Montana.
Look at that, don’t you just want to take a bite out of that big juicy burger? Although I think that the burger looks appetizing I made some errors in photographing it. That’s what happens when you are a starvin marvin and want to snap the shot and get on with eating.
It’s a fabulous tasting burger, but I wasn’t happy with the photos. I decided to turn my negative into a positive. So this post I thought I’d go over some tips rather than entertain you with my bad puns and food inspiration stories. And now I have the perfect excuse to share the recipe even though I think the photo is less than stellar.
To start off I’m going to point out what I did right, because it makes me feel better to point out the good stuff.