DIY with Edibles

I’ve waited all summer season to write this post for here is where I’ll just scrape the surface of where Edible Gardening can take you in the creative realm. Better yet, everything I’ll share this evening is do-able without growing anything yourself…it’s up to the foodie in you! First up: Nasturtium Infused Vodka

Beautiful Nasturtium getting ready to be submerged in Vodka

Beautiful Nasturtium getting ready to be submerged in Vodka

Nasturtium soaking in Vodka

Nasturtium soaking in Vodka

This is so very easy. I scoured the Internet, but ended up using a hint from the “Cooking with Flowers” by Miche Bacher cookbook my lovely daughter gave me for my birthday. I simply added the Nasturtium flowers and a few leaves to 2 cups of Vodka ( in this case Penn 1681..I really like it …distilled in PA). For me, infusing one week in the refrigerator provided the flavor I was looking for. Nasturtium flowers and leaves are totally edible and possess a spicy peppery flavor reminiscent of radishes. In a Dirty Martini, the infused vodka was a complete and utter success. I’ve also made Chai infused Sweet Vermouth (my husband is a Manhattan drinker)in the past. That’s simple as well, 2 ounces of loose leaf Chai seeping in the contents of a small bottle of vermouth for an hour and a half, strain back into the bottle…done! The Internet is filled with all kinds of Infused Alcohol recipes with most being super simple.
Tomatillos grow in my garden

Tomatillos grow in my garden

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

I have to take this opportunity to brag about my Tomatillo plant. This is the first season I grew the green globes with a paper-like husk but it definitely won’t be my last. In fact, it might’ve been my most prolific edible with 20 of so already harvested and another 15 still coming. I’m also a novice cooking with Tomatillos so the picture you see above was my own made up concoction that turned out pretty darn good if I do say so myself.
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
Chopped Tomatillos to taste
Chopped assorted Peppers to taste
Chopped tomato- only one medium (turns out too watery otherwise)
Chopped onion to taste
At least 4 unpeeled garlic cloves
Chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, cilantro and chive

Place on a foil lined baking sheet
Drizzle with Olive Oil ( I used Cilantro flavored Cottonseed Oil that came in my Hatchery Box
Sprinkle w/S and P and roast at 375 for 40 minutes or until you are happy with the results.

Use with absolutely anything you’d like

Compound Butter made with fresh herbs

Compound Butter made with fresh herbs

Last but not least, please try making compound butter with fresh herbs! So easy and so delicious! Just chose your herbs and add to softened butter.

Easy Peasy

This is my adaptation of the recipe found Better Homes and Garden Special Interest Publication "30-Minute Dinners"

This is my adaptation of the recipe found Better Homes and Garden Special Interest Publication “30-Minute Dinners”



In an earlier post I mentioned that I just can’t follow a recipe precisely. That was still the case with this one although I was close, very close. I’m also pleased to note that this recipe actually only took 30 minutes to prepare just as the publication advertised and was oh so delicious!
I used salmon and cod (next time I’ll go with salmon and scallops only because the cod was so flaky). The recipe didn’t say to, but I cooked my fennel until it started to brown and sort of caramelize. The biggest change I made was I used canned diced tomatoes…even easier and better tasting at this particular time of year (I chose a garlic, basil and oregano seasoned variety). I used chicken stock instead of broth and I did not, I repeat I did NOT put any of those nasty anise seeds in my dish! I’m sure you can tell this meal was low in calories and fat.
Unfortunately this particular BH&G Special Publication magazine isn’t being displayed any longer in stores, but it may be available on the website. It’s a good one. I’ve made several recipes from the mag already and have a few more I want to try.

Location, Location, Location

Photo (3)

At times I feel sad for folks that live west of Texas! I can’t imagine not being able to get Gazebo Room Salad Dressing at my local grocery store. Lucky for all of us who live in the free world, you can order it on-line at the above web address.
I feel fortunate that as a young adult I was able to experience the Gazebo Room Restaurant in Harrisburg PA. It was there many years ago I learned the magical powers Gazebo Dressing has over food. Marinate any meat or poultry you plan on grilling or roasting in it. Use it as a the base for any salad you are serving. I honestly can’t tell you how many times through the years someone has asked for my Pasta Salad “recipe” and I’ve had to confess it’s the Gazebo that makes it stand out (to be honest, I kinda think it’s the snow peas and artichokes).
Another absolutely astounding feature of Gazebo Room Dressing you may not know is it actually says on the label “Refrigeration not necessary”. This comes in very handy at the office or on the road.
If you’re a Gazebo Room novice, start off with the original dressing. While I’ll use the lite version, you can’t get a real appreciation if you don’t go for the original real deal!


Recipes are for Changing

My Shrimp, Andouille and Corn SaladrFrom Cooking Light's 20 Minute Dinners

First, let me give a shout out to my favorite cooking magazine of all time, Cooking light. I’ve subscribed for years (not that you can tell by looking at me!) and it still never ceases to amaze me how delicious the dishes are.
That being said, I simply can’t stick 100% to any recipe. I just can’t do it! Last night I adapted the above by changing the sausage from Chorizo to Andouille (Chicken no less) and I probably doubled the chili sauce. My husbands word for it…Wow!
For me, the plate is my canvas. Day after day, I create culinary masterpieces even if I’m the only one who gets to enjoy the experience. Some days it takes five minutes while at other times I’m in the kitchen for hours. Cooking has lightened my mood after a tough day at the office, has made me feel like an artist and has conveyed my love for others time after time. Try it…You’ll like it!
My Foodie magazine subscription at this point in time (there’s been many others): Cooking Light, Food Network Magazine, Cuisine at Home (a technique treasure) and the world’s best overall magazine ever…Southern Living