Monthly Archives: April 2011

Kale Chips

Yesterday we were gifted a lovely, sunny day with temps reaching the mid 80’s. Today it’s raining and slowly the temperature is falling back into the 50’s. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted; Mother Nature is such a tease!

Wanting to take advantage of the nice weather I decided to harvest some of my overwintered Russian Red Kale. I love kale and I think more people would too, if they just knew what to do with it! In addition to being served as a side or added to soup, you can also make chips with it. Yes, you read that right! Light, crispy, good-for-you chips. This happens to be my FAVORITE way to eat this tasty cruciferous veggie and I’m willing to bet it will be yours too!

Kale Chips

1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces (any variety will do)

2 Tbsp Olive Oil, I used some of my rosemary infused oil

Sea Salt

Pepper, I used the peppercorn medley currently in my pepper mill.

Wash kale, gently pat dry, and tear into bite sized pieces. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a cookie sheet and bake (in a preheated 350°F oven) for 15 minutes, or until crisp. Enjoy!

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Spring Has Sprung!

Although it snowed April 1st, nice joke Mother Nature, slowly but surely signs of Spring have been making an appearance around my neck of the woods! Here is a little of what’s blooming, growing and sprouting.

Pussy Willow Tree, the pollen stage.

Glory of the Snow

Daffodils breaking ground

Hyacinth, next to the lilac and gardenia, this is my favorite scented flower!

The dreaded Dandelion 🙂 I happen to like them.

Daffodil buds

Moss

 Either a Water Lily Magnolia or Royal Star Magnolia

Images and content copyright © 2009-2011 Danielle R Limoge.

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Oatmeal Bread

This tender high-rising bread has catapulted to the front of the line when it comes to favorite snacks! On its own it’s pretty darn awesome; when paired with my homemade apple butter or another one of my fruit spreads, it’s freaking ahhhhhh-mazing!

Oatmeal Bread (adapted from King Arthur)    my changes are noted with an asterisk

3 cups King Arthur unbleached bread flour

1 cup rolled oats

2 Tbsp clarified butter *

1 1/2 Tsp salt

3 Tbsp Agave*

2 Tsp active dry yeast

1 1/4 cups lukewarm milk

1/3 cup golden raisins*

1/3 cup currents*

**dissolve yeast in a bit of warm milk before adding to ingredients.

In a large bowl combine all ingredients and mix untill you form a shaggy dough. Knead dough for approximately 10 minutes until it is smooth. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and allow it to rest for about an hour; it will become very puffy, but may not double in size.

Transfer dough to a lightly oiled surface and shape it into a log. Place log into a lightly greased loaf pan, cover and allow dough to rise for an additional 60-90 minutes, or until it has crested 1-2 inches above the rim of the pan.

Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 35-45 minutes. If the bread begins to brown too quickly, tent it with a piece of aluminum foil for the remaining 10 minutes of baking.

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Wordless Wednesday – Inoculating Peas

Images and content copyright © 2009-2011 Danielle R Limoge.

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Desktop Calendar

Bees, honey, greens, brown, what more can a girl ask for in a desktop calendar? Oh yeah, it’s FREE! Just head on over to Anne Bryant Creative and download yours! You will BEE so happy you did!

I don’t like to publish more than one post, per blog, per day. I think it has something to do with my OCD. Honestly, there is only so much *crazy* I can choke back and suppress during the course of a day that something is bound to slip! If it happens to bee my one post a day rule, so bee it. I can totally live with that!  You know the cause has to bee pretty important for me to break my self-imposed neurotic nonsense cycle!

Most everyone who knows me is very well aware of my personal plight to save the dwindling bee population. Mainly because I corner, hog-tie and make them listen. No seriously, my soapbox is always at the ready!  I’ve already mentioned my participation in The Great Sunflower Project (which I know you all have signed up to do) so now you can go to THIS site to receive your FREE pollinator friendly planting guide. So do it, NOW, bee-fore you find me standing over your bed whispering subliminal bee messages into your subconscious! Mwahahahaha

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Dirt Therapy

You how sometimes you just need it, and by need it I mean NEED IT! That undeniable feeling is especially strong for me after a long cold Winter, and Sunday I got my fill in the form of six glorious hours of uninterrupted dirt therapy! Several times throughout the day I caught myself smiling. I was saturated in bliss, completely content. I wasn’t hungry or tired or sick; I was satisfied in mind, body and especially soul! You want to know the best part? It’s just the beginning!

The garden before anything went down. (that is old potting soil in the middle, not poop!)

I was delighted to see one of my Swiss Chard plants had overwintered, safely hidden underneath some dead leaves.

Overwintered broccoli, not sure if it Romanesco or Green Sprouting…guess I’ll find out soon enough!

Beautiful tilled Earth. I just wanted to roll around in it; I refrained seeing as how my neighbors think I’m weird enough as it is!

My garden is FULL of worms; I couldn’t resist sitting down and “playing” with a few!

My salad garden bed, something new this year.  What was an area of “wasted” space containing ground cover and an old dead tree-like stump, now holds several varieties of  lettuce, bok choy, and as of yesterday a tee-pee of  golden sweet peas.

Bok Choy

Tom Thumb – quite possibly the cutest lettuce ever!

Lettuce Mix

Alaska Bush Peas – planted with seeds saved from last year’s harvest.

 

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Curried Cauliflower

With cold weather crops well on their way to freedom, and by freedom I mean transplanting into the ground, I’ve got cruciferous veggies on the brain! Cauliflower is a nutrient rich vegetable that seems to really puzzle people when it comes to using it. If you are one of those individuals, fear not, I’ve got the perfect recipe for you!

Oven-roasted Curried Cauliflower adapted from WFCF blog

1 head of cauliflower, washed and broken into florets

1 large onion, quartered and sliced into strips

1 cup chickpeas, rehydrated and cooked

1/4 cup red wine vinegar (I’ve made it with apple cider vinegar as well)

1/3 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp cumin

1 1/2 tsp paprika

1 tbsp curry (I’ve used both red (panang) curry paste and yellow curry powder.)

a sprinkling of salt

the seeds from 4 Thai Dragon peppers

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 400. Place cauliflower, onion and chickpeas into an ungreased 9×13 baking dish, set aside. Mix vinaigrette by whisking together the remaining ingredients, except for cilantro. Pour over veggies and mix well. I found that rolling up my sleeves and using my hands was the best way to coat everything. My wooden spoons seem to work against me at times and encourage those veggies to jump out of the dish! Place the dish in the oven and bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until the cauliflower is fork-tender. Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top and enjoy!

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