Friday, June 20, 2014

Super Easy Roasted Asparagus and Zucchini

1 bunch asparagus, rinsed and dried
1 small zucchini, sliced
3-4 tablespoons oil, vegetable or olive
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to season
Red pepper flakes to season

In a large bowl, toss asparagus and zucchini with oil, making sure vegetables are covered.  Lay out on cookie sheet or baking pan.  Salt and pepper to season and sprinkle with red pepper flakes (they're spicy so use sparingly) and Parmesan cheese.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes.  Serve hot.
Recipe by Brooke Waronek

Thursday, June 19, 2014

On Knowledge and Confidence...

"The world's best chefs have learned what ingredients should be included in their dishes, but they become the best when they outgrow the cookbooks."

                                                - Harvey Dorfman

 Photo by Jacklyn Waronek

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Meat Sauce for Pasta

1 796 ml can crushed tomatoes
1 540 ml can diced tomatoes
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 small cooking onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon vegetable stock
Dried or fresh herbs for seasoning: sweet basil, oregano, parsley, chives
Salt and pepper to season

In a large frying pan, brown ground beef.  Add onions and cook until translucent.

Add crushed and diced tomatoes, garlic, brown sugar, vinegar, bouillon and seasonings to ground beef mixture.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Bring to a boil, reduce to low and simmer for about an hour.  Adjust seasonings as sauce simmers.

Serve over spaghetti or favourite pasta.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Use Butter Generously

From Use Butter Generously by Miriam Williams: The Farmer's Wife Cookbook

"Fats which are competitive to butter all have their place, but one does not yearn to be particularly lavish with them.  With butter it is different.  I level-measure baking powder, spice, flour for cakes or gravy, but when it comes to measuring butter for seasoning, it's a rounding table - spoonful or a generous lump.  Few things make me bristle like the restaurant sandwich which isn't spread with butter, and clear to the edges, too.  The dairyman who almost caused a rift in the church by his explosions over the "measurably skimpy" pats of butter which the ladies aid served at the church supper, has my sympathy."

To learn how to make your own butter in a mason jar, go to Monday, February 10th post here at The Summer Kitchen.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Fried Oatmeal with Toasted Pecans and Raisins

1 cup pure wholegrain quick oat flakes (I use Only Oats)
2 cups water
salt, to season
1/2 cup raisins, chopped
1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted in oven, then chopped
Butter for frying
Maple syrup for serving

Prepare oatmeal as per package directions: Bring water and salt to a boil.  Add oatmeal flakes.  Reduce heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes or until oatmeal is extra thick, stirring constantly to avoid burning.

Mix raisins and pecans into oatmeal and pour into small loaf pan.  Place in refrigerator to cool.  When oatmeal loaf is cold, remove from pan, careful not to break up.  Slice oatmeal loaf and fry in butter in pan over medium high heat to brown the outside and heat thoroughly.

Serve hot with maple syrup.

Tip:  Oatmeal is quite bland so be sure to salt accordingly.  Also, nutmeg or cinnamon could be added for extra flavor.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Worth A Second Look - Old Children's Folk and Fairy Tale Books

Like the loaf of bread the Little Red Hen made by planting the sees, cutting the wheat, going to the miller, making the dough and baking the bread, many of these classic folk and fairy tale picture books were once sought after, admired and enjoyed by many parents of and young children alike.

Now, the risk of losing some these classic stories to time is quite real.  Young parents tend to prefer providing trendy picture books written by new authors who write about modern day problems with more real life characters.  Ask any teenage kid nowadays who The Little Red Hen or Henny Penny is.

Besides, who better can teach about work ethic than The Little Red Hen.  And who better can teach about courage and bravery than the Three Billy Goats Gruff...and that Henny Penny?  Well, Foxy Loxy sure taught her a lesson about not being so gullible.

Now some old folk and fairy tales have survived the new age of popular children's picture book styles of writing, usually laced with a deeper level of wit and sarcasm, as one can't read The True Story of The Three Little Pigs or Honestly, Red Riding Hood Was Rotten, without knowing what the initial story is about.

These old anthropomorphic tales are simple and fun with real life challenges and problems that the main characters have to overcome.  They are stories that young children can relate to and are awesome opportunities for young children to talk about how they may relate to the story in their own lives.   

So, before they truly become the crumbs on The Little Red Hen's plate, we should give classic children's folk and fairy tales another glance because they are absolutley Worth A Second Look! 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Garden Quote

"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need."
                                                                   - Marcus Tullius Cicero

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Georgia's Bran Muffins by the Bushel

4 cups Kelloggs All Bran cereal
2 cups Quaker Natural Wheat Bran
2 cups boiling water
5 cups flour
1 quart buttermilk
2 3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup shortening
4 eggs
5 teaspoons baking soda

Combine All Bran cereal and wheat bran with 2 cups boiling water. Cool.

Blend remaining ingredients together in large mixing bowl.

Add cereal mixture to ingredients mixture and mix well.

Line muffin pan with liners and generously spoon in mixture.

Bake at 37 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Book Review - FARM SANCTUARY by Gene Baur

Title: Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food

Author: Gene Baur

Publisher: Touchstone, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.: 2008


This book is about truth.  It is a very educated and factual look at current agribusiness practices; factory farming, the processing and marketing of farmed animals and the laws pertaining to it.  And during these discussions, you get to know a few of the animals that were rescued and mourn some that weren't.

You learn about where your food really could be coming from and this book makes you want to find out more about where it actually does.  Farm Sanctuary will help you to make a move towards eating more fruit and vegetables (if not entirely) or at the very least, to buy your meat, eggs and dairy from reputable farms that allow their animals to 'do what animals are supposed to do' (graze, peck, run, play and stay and raise their babies).

If you read one book on wanting to improve your health and go veggie or vegan, this is the one that will help you do that.  It may even inspire you to go a step further and help farmed animals live happy and healthy productive lives.  It's a smart book, for smart people by a smart guy.