Sunday, June 5, 2011

So... No spring this year then?

Okay, I want to start out by saying that I have not starved to death.  I know you were concerned.  Nor have I started eating at Burger King every night.  Or ever.

Last week was crazy busy and I just did not have time to type everything up.  But a lot has happened, and I feel like I've fallen behind!  First off, my garden is in.  Yay!  And, Wisconsin decided to skip spring and jump straight from Winter to Summer, so the garden has been growing like crazy.  Or, at least the weeds are growing like crazy.  Now it needs to rain so I can pull those weeds out.  What I need to find is a recipe that features Creeping Charlie....
Garden shot #1.  Tomato plants, strawberries,
and weeds

Garden Shot #2: Herbs (in pots), radishes,
rhubarb, and other stuff... including weeds.

And, I finally have a lime tree!!!  After my lime tree fiasco, I did what I should have done originally and just went on Amazon.  And they sent me a lime tree... I got it within a week!  Not only that, I also got 6 other indoor fruit house plants!  Oh, but I should clarify, when I say "tree," I mean tiny, tiny stick with leaves.  I mean, they're in very good health, but most of them are shorter than a lime would be should it grow there!!  I guess I'm going to have to wait a few... dozen... years before I get a local lime.

Pomegranate (front) and fig (back)
Lime, Lemon, Tangelo, and Blood Orange

I have been eating well, though.  There's not a lot that grows in WI in the spring, so the fact that it's jumped straight to summer is fine by me... food wise at least.   Very little makes me happier than a quick summer dinner on the grill.  Really, the only thing would  be if my basil would get bigger so I could have a tomato, basil, mozzarella salad.  And, back to our previous topic, meals on the grill are quick and easy!  And you don't need to have a big kitchen.  Or any kitchen at all!  All you need fire...  If you have any questions, ask your local caveman!  To be very specific: Ebony, these are for you!!!

Oh, and thanks so much to EVERYONE who reads this getting me up over 1000 hits.  Those of you who live around here (or who want to come travel just for the fun!) I am going to arrange a trip to the Great Lakes Distillery to celebrate.  Let me know if you want to come with!!!

Grilled Asparagus and Mushrooms:
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

  • Asparagus, bottoms trimmed (I didn't actually buy these, so they weren't local...)
  • Mixed mushrooms. (MORELS!!) (L)
  • Butter (L)
  • Salt
  • fresh ground Pepper
  • 1/2 garlic bulb, minced (L)
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, minced (L*)
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives, minced (L*)
Place all ingredients onto a piece of foil and fold up so everything is sealed in.  Grill over medium/medium high heat until asparagus is just tender... about 10-15 minutes depending on how much asparagus you use and how thick the stalks are.

Grilled Mushrooms and Morels NY Strip Steaks
Active time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

  • 2 lbs fingerling potatoes (L)
  • 1/2 lb morels (L)
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil (divided)
  • Salt 
  • Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 2 tbsp minced chives (divided) (*L)
  • 2 New York Strip Steaks (mine were Elk!) (L)
  • 1/2 bulb garlic (L)
Wash potatoes and slice into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Soak and wash morels.  Toss potato slices, morels, 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp chives in a large bowl, and transfer to a grill basket (my new favorite toy!)  If you don't have a grill basket, wrap the whole thing up in aluminum foil.

Grill over medium high heat, until potatoes are soft and crispy.  If you're using aluminum foil, they might not get crispy, just soft.  Depending on how big your potatoes are, this should take 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine remaining 2 tbsp oil, 1 tbsp chives, and garlic in a glass pan big enough to hold both of your steaks.  Add the steaks, and turn to coat on both sides.  Allow to come to room temperature, turning occasionally.  Season steaks with salt on both sides, and grill over medium high heat for about 5 minutes on the first side.  Flip, and grill an additional 5 minutes on the second side.  Obviously, times will vary depending on how thick your steak was and how well done you like it.  Allow steak to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Grilled Chicken Wings with Spring Salad
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
  • 6 chicken wings (L)
  • Salt 
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • About 1-2 cups Mixed Greens, washed (L*)
  • 6 Radishes, washed and sliced (L*)
  • 4 mushrooms, washed and sliced (L)
  • Bleu Cheese Dressing (L) (See below for recipe)
Season wings generously with salt, garlic, and onion, and grill over medium heat until done, turning once.  About 25 minutes, depending on how thick your wings are.

Meanwhile, combine greens, top with radishes and mushrooms, and dress with Bleu Cheese dressing.

Bleu Cheese Dressing:

  • 2 1/2 ounces blue cheese, very well crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously to combine.

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