Skip to main content

Well, here it is....July 4th. Cookouts, parades, BASEBALL!!! and fireworks. I don't do fireworks, although I love the words of the national anthem.
We will be grillin' shrimp on the barbie, luscious country pork ribs as only my Sweetie knows how to smoke them and various and sundry other bits and bobs.
BUT the best part is the R, W & B bits. So, here's a few for your pleasure.
We had "The Spring of The Honey Bees"!!! Our herb garden is next to rhododendrons and honeysuckle and the sage and English thyme and the Lemon thyme and the chives have bloomed like crazy. I go out to pick some fresh herbs for cooking and I hear a bzzz, bzzz and see the lovely bees drinking the nectar and collecting pollen. I've seen more this year that last. I did whack my thyme and sage plants a lot last fall and they are blooming and growing so well that I need to give away some fresh or dried herbs.
Enough about my garden, let's get to the food.....

Firelight Blueberry Buckle

This was originally a Firelight Inn recipe, I have changed it. Well, when do I not change a recipe to please me? That is the art of cooking....don't be so tied to "THE RECIPE", make it your own!

Preheat oven to 375º
I use an 8"X8" pyrex dish see note
Serves 6 medium sized servings or 12 small servings

Cake:
1/4 C softened butter (I use unsalted)
1/2 C sugar
1 egg at room temperature
1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
2 tsp natural baking powder (Rumford)
1/2 tsp sea salt
14-1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 C milk at room temperature
2 C fresh or frozen blueberries at room temperature
1/2-1 tsp fresh lemon zest

Topping:
1/2 C sugar
1/3 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground saigon cinnamon
1/4 C butter

Combine the topping dry ingredients and cut in the butter. Reserve.
For the cake:
Cream butter and sugar, add egg and beat in. Meanwhile sift dry ingredients together. Add dry ingredients and milk alternately to the butter, sugar, egg mixture. Mix well.   Fold in blueberries and lemon zest in cake mixture and pour in an 8" X 8" square pyrex pan that has been greased with butter. Sprinkle topping over the top. Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes until toothpick comes out clean and top and bottom are browned. I like cooking this in a pyrex square pan. I can see the bottom!

Notes:
You can use a metal pan, cooking time may be different.
The sugar in the cake depends on the sweetness of the berries. You need to taste and see. The sugar can vary from 1/4 C to 3/4 C. I do leave the amount in the topping the same.

Strawberry Summer Salad

This is an easy salad to make and customize. I usually make just enough for the meal and can always mix up more the next time I want some…which is usually soon!

strawberries, core cut out and cut in thirds longways (I usually buy organic or farmers market see note)
mixed greens like green ice, baby spinach, mesclun, bibb and arugula torn into bits about 2" X 2"
scallions or red onion or shallot, slivered
fresh mint leaves
few grains of coarse salt or fleur de sel
freshly ground black pepper
balsamic honey dressing
or
lime fruit dressing

Use equal parts strawberries and mixed greens. Add alliums to your taste. Mint is essential as is the black pepper. The salt is just a tiny accent. I dress my salad on the table, my Sweetie likes the lime fruit and I like the balsamic honey.

Notes:
lots of farmers at my farmers market are NOT certified organic. It takes a lot of $$$ to do that. I'd rather have a farmer I know spend their money on growing the best produce than getting a sticker!

Balsamic Honey Dressing by chinese grandma

Whisk Together:
2 T honey
1 T Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 C Moderna balsamic vinegar
 Whisk In:
1 smashed and minced large garlic clove
3/4 C extra virgin olive oil (good for salads)

Lime Fruit Dressing by Art of Design

Whisk Together:
2 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz simple syrup
1/8 tsp almond extract
Add:
mint and basil, chiffoniered

RWB Polenta Bites

What is "polenta"? It is just coarse ground cornmeal! You don't have to buy the more expensive product labeled "polenta", just buy some medium or coarse ground cornmeal. These appetizers are very colorful and taste different than regular yellow or white polenta.

Preheat oven to 375º

For the polenta:

4 C water
1 - 1 1/2 tsp coarse salt (I use Diamond Crystal)
1 C medium to coarse grind blue cornmeal
1 1/2 - 2 T good extra virgin olive oil

Toppings:

4 oz goat cheese, softened
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
red pepper flakes to taste (optional)

1 lb cherry tomatoes
sprinkle of coarse salt
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
3-4 cloves minced garlic (optional)

extra toppings
basil
mint
cilantro
parsley
freshly ground black pepper

In a large saucepan bring the water to a boil, add the salt and cornmeal, turn down heat to medium low and whisk until thickened (about 10 - 20 minutes). Take off heat and add olive oil and stir in. Let cool and pour into a greased tart pan. Let it sit to firm up a bit and then bake it for 20 minutes or so until it is golden and crispy on the edges. Let cool. You can even make this the day before and just let it come to room temperature before assembling.

Place cherry tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with a little salt, the olive oil and garlic if using. Bake until softened. Usually 8-13 minutes.

Mix the goat cheese, black pepper and red pepper flakes together until smooth and chill.

To assemble:
Cut the tart into 1 1/2" wedges and place on a platter, place a dollop of the goat cheese and a few cherry tomatoes on top. Add extra toppings you like.

Tiny Tasty Trifle

This is a nice, small treat after a great meal or just because you need it. Easy to make and easy to eat. Enjoy!

small 8 oz glasses like these
greek yogurt
sour cream
mint, chiffoniered
raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, strawberries or a combination
cookies or biscotti, crumbled

optional:
lime or lemon zest
chocolate curls or sprinkles (either milk or dark or white)
lemon or lime curd
basil
lemon thyme

Whisk until smooth equal parts greek yogurt and sour cream. Layer in the glass: cookies, cream, mint, berries…repeat and finish with cream and mint. Add other options as you wish.
I like a fairly plain cookie like a speacloos or amaretti or plain oatmeal or a hob nob or a digestive biscuit or even a ginger snap.

I hope you are having a lovely evening. Last night was my Sweetie's birthday and I made a dinner of lemon & thyme chicken thighs, sour cream dill arugula new potato salad, roasted asparagus with grabiche and cherry tomatoes. Dessert was Hummingbird bars with cream cheese icing. And a nice, spicy Zinfandel.
What's your dinner plans?

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site