Archive for Cooking

Tamba di Bhaji with Rainbow Chard ~ for Cooking with Cookbook Challenge

cookbook shelf

part ofย  our collection of cookbooks

Hello friends!

This is part of July Week 2 Cooking From Cookbook Challenge Group.

Cooking from Cookbook Challenge from Cooking4allseasons

Actually, this is my first post for S’s Cooking from Cookbook Challenge #56. I’m sorry I didn’t get in last weekend but I’ll try to do two posts on another weekend to make up for it. I hope that’s ok ๐Ÿ™‚

rainbow chard

rainbow chard

This was the perfect challenge for me, because I collect cookbooks. When I moved from Massachusetts to the north woods of Michigan, one of the first things I wanted unpacked was my collection — at least some of it — and Dear G obliged by building a bookshelf in the kitchen right under the new spice cabinet! Now it’s overflowing with his cookbooks and mine — maybe time for a new shelf this fall? ๐Ÿ˜‰

I was so glad to get back to the bookshelf and away from the omnipresent online search for recipes. I spent several happy evenings this week dusting off some old friends from the collection, until I finally settled on a recipe from this tome:

India Cookbook by Pushpesh Pantrainbow pages

photo page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

India Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant – I just love the rainbow-colored pages of this one!

This giant book even comes in a “rice” bag!

book bag

cookbook bag!

ingredients for tamba di bhaji

ingredients for tamba di bhaji ~ simple and delicious

It’s garden time again, and the end of June/early July has been H-O-T hot! Thank goodness for that, because everything got a late start due to a lingering winter. We were nearly a month behind starting. However, as mom reminds me, my papa used to say the best garden he ever had was planted on the 4th of July! We were a bit ahead of that.

I have no complaints as there’s plenty of goodness in the gardens already. The early harvest includes mountains of swiss chard in every color. I thought their deep green leaves and rainbow stems would be a good substitute for red amaranthus leaves called for in the recipe I chose for the challenge. Dear G moved the peppers down to the back garden to change things up this year, and they are growing like mad.ย What a delight it is to go traipsing barefooted through the back yard, into the pepper plantation and pick out a fresh green chile for supper.

peppers and okra

part of the pepper plantation and okra in the fore

tender stems of rainbow chard

tender stems of rainbow chard

Tamba di Bhaji (with Rainbow Swiss Chard) adapted from:
INDIA Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant

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1 tsp grapeseed oil
1 onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 green chiles (I slit mine)
1 large bunch swiss chard – washed well, tender stems chopped and leaves shredded
1-2 TB grated coconut (mine is frozen)
fresh curry leaves or curry leaves powder
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

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Cook the chopped tender stems in a small amount of salted water, about 10 minutes. Hold aside.

In your stir-fry pan, heat the oil over medium heat and add onion. Cook until nearly translucent, then add garlic and green chile — also curry leaves if using fresh. Cook a further 10 minutes and add the shredded chard leaves.

Stir well. Cover and cook 10-15 minutes, or until chard is wilted well. Sprinkle some water to be sure nothing burns. Stir in the tender stems, add curry leaves powder if using, coconut, and salt to taste. Mix well, reduce heat to low, and cook a further 5-10 minutes. Serve hot with rice for a quick supper. Also – don’t forget the black pepper at the end as it really makes the dish.

We had ours with Thai sticky rice – G’s new favorite.

supper!

tamba di bhaji with rainbow chard

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Thanks Srivalli for bringing back the Cooking From Cookbook Challenge Group just in time for summertime veggies! I am already inspired for next week ๐Ÿ™‚

early girl tomatoes

early girl tomatoes bleaching out

 

sweet peas

sweet peas in summer? only in the north woods ๐Ÿ˜‰

part of the back garden - tomatoes and eggplant

part of the back garden ~ brinjal and tomatoes with marigolds galore

korean squash climbing the trellis

korean squash is already climbing the trellis

summer squash and okra

potatoes in boxes to the rear; back end of the pepper plantation; summer squash and baby lebanese zucchini plants; okra and garlic chives to the left

gongura seedlings

gongura seedlings

monarch on milkweed

all of dear g’s hard work planting and maintaining milkweed finally pays off with a beautiful monarch butterfly

Happy Sunday!

 

 

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Northern Goshawk

Check out what dear G caught on camera — high up in a tree after trying to catch its supper around the feeders! A Northern Goshawk — a large accipiter and a first for our yard. Wish I had been home but glad he managed to catch a photo — even if it is a bit far up.

goshawk in the yard!

majestic northern goshawk, high in a tree above the feeders

In other exciting news, it’s time to start sorting garden seeds. Indoor planting begins this weekend!

garden seeds galore!

treasure chest ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Thursday!

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Baby Veggies on a Rainy Evening

After the late September heat wave, the baby veggies are still coming on. Tonight we picked a few squash and squash blossoms to cook up simply with some freshly dug potatoes. Harvest supper on a windy, rainy evening — a bit late for the equinoctial storm of autumn, but sure feels like that here tonight!

baby veggies!

baby summer squash and lebanese zucchini with freshly dug german butterball and red cherry potatoes – a few baby onions too!

 

marigolds

a few marigolds in autumn shades ~ these are still going wild in the garden

squash blossoms

beautiful summer squash blossoms!

baby veggies from the october garden

baby veggies from the october garden!

 

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Fall Frenzy

Another hurricane is busy wreaking havoc — this time on Florida with other states to come — here’s hoping all in Irma’s path are safe tonight.

The week since I returned from Mass. was mostly rainy and cold — so cold we covered the beans in case of frost on Friday night — luckily that didn’t happen. This week should bring better weather. Tomatoes are still trying to ripen outdoors and the squash and cukes have taken on a second life. Peppers are coming on strong and the little chinese broccoli seedlings are growing… kohlrabi too. The lack of heat has meant fewer brinjals and no okra at all. Still there are chard and beets and so on… there’s nothing to complain about with the gardens this year!

squash and long beans

beautiful long beans, summer squash and lebanese zucchini ~ with one lonely brinjal

daisy is dreaming of agates

daisy is dreaming of catnip from the garden

lake superior waves

I am dreaming of Lake Superior …

lake superior agate

and her hidden treasures!

If this nice weather holds, we might be able to escape to the UP for a day’s agate hunting ๐Ÿ™‚

pickles and basil dressing

Meanwhile, here is Miss M’s scrumptious basil salad dressing, along with a mess of pickles we put up last night!

Miss M’s Basil Salad Dressing

I messaged Miss M to send me the recipe for the yummy basil dressing we had at her new apartment. Would you believe my baby is 25!??! She and her boyfriend made a salad of home-grown tomatoes (carried in bubble wrap all the way from Michigan!) with burrata — that creamy dreamy cousin of fresh mozzarella — with this fresh dressing drizzled on top.

Here is the recipe precisely as she told it to me ๐Ÿ™‚

“Take half a cup of olive oil, two cups packed basil, a bit of lemon juice–calls for 1/4 of a cup but I like less, and 1-2 cloves garlic. Salt and pepper to taste, blend together and enjoy!!

OH, and add three tablespoons pine nuts!!”

I used all the lemon juice and just love this dressing on any salad — but especially with burrata — check out this link!

 

Happy Monday!

 

 


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Late August ~ Harvest Begins

Here’s hoping everyone in the path of Hurricane Harvey is safe and dry tonight. There is always something to be thankful for.

I’m thankful for any harvest here this year. The spring was cool and late — the summer was not hot and did not encourage my tomatoes to do much — most are dying off from some unknown disease. Nevertheless we are picking, fast and furious, anything that has a chance to ripen. Everything is late — I finally got a few brinjals! Okra is just blossoming and I doubt it will grow in the cool of late August here, but we shall see.

As I’ve mentioned previously, the cucumbers and squash have been the stars this year — there is always something to be thankful for. We managed to salvage some corn from the blown-over stalks, and the green beans have been very prolific! Long beans are coming on, the little Chinese broccoli plants are growing, there will be beets and chard to pick, as well as the second planting of kohlrabi.ย  I have my winter stash of Thai and regular basil in the freezer — fresh dhania too. I can’t complain about the peppers, either.

Best of all, I am off on Thursday to see my kids and my folks in Massachusetts — when I get back there should be LOTS of tomatoes ready and waiting ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope your garden is flourishing — wherever you may be!

sweet corn, var. bodacious

sweet corn, var. bodacious ~ we got 14 good-sized ears for fresh eating!

mixed rogue ears

I boiled up the rogue ears ~ bodacious and double standard ~ cut the kernels from the cobs and got about a quart for the freezerย  ๐Ÿ™‚

korean squash and brinjals

at last, the brinjals ~ these are ‘orient express’ ~ with the lovely Korean squash, var. Pum Ae

tomatoes!

and yes, thankfully, there are tomatoes! lemon boy, cherokee purple, prudens purple, and parks whopper improved… hoping those green cherries turn yellow as they were meant to do ~ var. egg yolk

ingrdients for cornichons

all the ingredients for cornichons came from the garden save bay leaf and peppercorns

homemade cornichons

homemade cornichons with plenty of vinegar ~ enough to make you pucker!

Happy Monday!

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Garden Monsters

Just a peek at why it pays to check the plants daily ~ when I don’t, the monsters appear! ๐Ÿ™‚

Monster pickling cuke

a lovely little cornichon-sized pickling cucumber, and a monster!

baby summer squash and a monster

a lovely summer squash as it should be picked ~ young and sweet ~ and a monster!

giant cherokee purple tomato

the kind of monster I never fear ~ a giant cherokee purple tomato! 1.6 lbs!

Of course the monsters don’t go to waste – they just have all the big seeds removed and tough skin peeled before cooking/eating. I find with cukes and squashes especially, when they suddenly stop producing, I almost always find a monster lurking, usurping all the energy the poor plant has ๐Ÿ™‚

With those baby cucumbers, I tried a batch of homemade cornichons with this recipe — only I’m curing them in the fridge. We’ll see how that goes. Meanwhile…

Happy Monster Hunting!

summer squash

the summer squash plants… from whence came…. the monster ๐Ÿ™‚

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Gamjajeon and Hobak Buchimgae ~ Korean Fried Veggie Treats!

Homemade Gamjajeon and hobak buchimgae from Kimchimari!

a little crunchy outside, a little tender inside ~ Korean jeon with potato and buchimgae with Korean squash

I’m not sure how I happened upon Kimchimari last night, but since I found it I can’t stop reading (and drooling)! With the explosion of Korean squash in the garden and a few oldish potatoes hanging out until we harvest our own, I had all the makings for these deceptively simple, savory Korean fritters (or pancakes) called gamjajeon and hobak buchimgae respectively.

The recipes come from Kimchimari — I’m just putting pics up here because I love the look of the fresh fritters, white and green and crispy golden brown. They were a perfect taste treat dipped in a little soy sauce and rice vinegar, with a splash of sesame oil.

Thank you JinJoo!

Korean squash and potato 'fritters'

tasty and crispy potato and korean squash fritters!

The pickling cukes are still running strong, with Straight Eights just beginning to produce. Next in line is this beautiful cucumber kimchi!

Weekend garden pics:

chinese chive blossoms

chinese chive blossoms in a sea of green squash leaves

korean squash on trellis

amazing Korean squash plants covering the trellis!

finally -- brinjal!

at long last, the beautiful brinjals are here! this is Orient Express variety

mexibelle pepper

mexibelle pepper ripening…

thai basil

thai basil is beginning to flower amongst the thai eggplant

beets and their greens

I love beets and their greens!

bodacious corn

corn, var. bodacious, still standing while others fell to heavy rain

lebanese zucchini

lebanese zucchini coming on late

pinks chillin'

not a garden vegetable, but a chillin’ kitty named pinkie ๐Ÿ™‚

How does your garden grow?

 

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