Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Slow Cooker Pinto Beans with Ham and Herbs


This is an easy slow-cooker recipe that is hearty and tasty and not bad even in the summer served with a salad.

1 pound dried pinto beans, sorted and washed
3 cups water
1 large onion, chopped
4 to 8 ounces cooked ham, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano


Directions:
Cover beans with water and soak overnight; drain. Put beans in a large kettle; cover with fresh water and simmer 20 to 30 minutes. Drain.

Place beans in a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker with water and remaining ingredients. Cover cooker and cook on low setting for 9 to 11 hours, or until beans are soft and done. Stir a couple of times during cooking and add more water if necessary.

Serve with cornbread, rice, a green salad or slaw. Serves 8 to 10.

To find any recipe featured this month - use the search box and type: ShrHamMay
To find any theme recipe from this year type: recipe2018


For 2018 the monthly recipe themes will be:
   January - Chicken Soup (ChickJan)
   February - Beef Stew (StewFeb)
   March - Jambalaya (JambMar)
   May - Ham & Shrimp Dishes (ShrHamMay)
   June - Bread recipes
   July - Garden Delights
   August- Grilling
   September - Salsa, Corn and Jelly
   October - Squash Dishes
   November - Pumpkin Recipes
   December - Herbal Cocktails

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Thyme and winter - the Disappointment of Freeze/Thaw

Here is northern Illinois (zone5b) we have a bit of snow, but usually not enough for my taste.  Partly that is because I am from the snow belt in Ohio and we don't really notice if there is not at least a foot in a snow storm, but also because I am an herb gardener.  The blanket of snow over my herbs is great protection from the freeze / thaw we get here in Illinois.  This winter we had a few big storms, but that blankets of snow never materialized because it would warm up, the snow would melt and then it would snow again.  This action can kill herb plants, especially those without a protective layer of mulch or leaves over them.

My herb garden is surrounded by maple trees that drop their leaves and allow me to cover eth bases of the plants with leaves.  At home the only trees I have are London Paine, a type of Sycamore.  They have huge leaves with an almost waxy coating that do not break down well and are so large they catch the wind and blow off the garden in a strong northern wind.

As a result until I buy a mulcher or shredder I just don't have much cover over my home plants.  This year when the snow did not cooperate, that resulted in some winter kill.

To illustrate what I mean.  This is a picture of the Thyme walkway at the end of the season.


This is the thyme walkway in April before I raked the leaves out of the plants.  You can see a few are dead and a few others have dead patches.  Sad day for thyme at my house.  I weep!


By May it was cleaned up and I started to replace the plants and cut out the dead after some of the plants came back.



Over in the raised bed herb garden, there was a bit more of a set back for the garden than I expected or hoped as well.

Here is the fullness of growth at end of season.



Now I left the tarragon and the rue up for winter interest and seeds for birds, knowing those would need to be cut down, so that is not something I am sad about, they were supposed to die.  But the lavender, the lemon balm, the oregano, and the sage are a bit winter weary as is the thyme.  I want to remove that thyme, so again I am not weeping, but I am sad. The one plant that seems to have thrived in this winters weather was the winter savory.  It was out there being green and happy beginning in March.  By April when this photos was taken it was slow to fill in.

By May it was starting to look better.

My side yard is a garden that hinges on maddening. It is full shade.  There are parts of it that get no direct sun at all.  There are some parts that get only morning sun and others that get only afternoon sun.  I am working on the best plant for the location and kinda plant something I think will work and see what comes back in the spring, then I buy more of that and create groupings.

At the end of last year with the addition of a path and garden architecture it was beginning to look better that before.

Here is the before (beginning of last year)


Here is the after (end of last year)


Here is this Spring.  There was one time during the winter when we had rain instead of snow and the entire side yard flooded.  You can kinda tell.





Friday, May 18, 2018

Potatoes and Ham - Weekend Recipe


You don't have to settle for bland potato dishes anymore! Instead, opt for this one which combines the classic flavor of fresh sage with another classic, tasty prosciutto. This wonderful dish can be a side dish or make a meal of it. 

Potatoes and Ham
2 pounds new potatoes, red & white
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 pound prosciutto, cut into small strips
4 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Boil potatoes for 5 minutes, until cooked half way. Drain and set aside. Sauté the prosciutto in olive oil for about 3 minutes or until the prosciutto is slightly browned. Add potatoes and sage and toss Place mixture into a baking dish and bake at 375 degrees F. for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are brown and crispy.


To find any recipe featured this month - use the search box and type: ShrHamMay

To find any theme recipe from this year type: recipe2018



For 2018 the monthly recipe themes will be:

   January - Chicken Soup (ChickJan)

   February - Beef Stew (StewFeb)

   March - Jambalaya (JambMar)

   May - Ham & Shrimp Dishes (ShrHamMay)

   June - Bread recipes

   July - Garden Delights

   August- Grilling

   September - Salsa, Corn and Jelly

   October - Squash Dishes

   November - Pumpkin Recipes

   December - Herbal Cocktails

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Cheddar Shrimp Nachos


Cheddar Shrimp Nachos
Trying to avoid Fish Tacos I decided on this great shrimp nacho recipe.  Not you can enjoy form quick finger food and drop the fatty meat from the dish.

3/4 lb deveined, peeled and cooked shrimp
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) cheddar cheese, shredded
1 – 4 oz. can green chilies, chopped and drained
1/3 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup ripe olives, sliced, drained
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 tsp cumin, ground
48 scoop-style tortilla chips
Chopped cilantro (for garnish)

Directions:
In a large bowl combine, shrimp, cheese, chilies, onions, and olives.  Combine the mayonnaise and cumin.  Add to shrimp and toss to coat.  Drop by tablespoons full into tortilla scoops on ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.  Serve warm sprinkled with chopped cilantro.





To find any recipe featured this month - use the search box and type: JambMar
To find any theme recipe from this year type: recipe2018

For 2018 the monthly recipe themes will be:
   January - Chicken Soup (ChickJan)
   February - Beef Stew (StewFeb)
   March - Jambalaya (JambMar)
   May - Ham & Shrimp Dishes (ShrHamMay)
   June - Bread recipes
   July- Garden Delights
   August - Grilling
   September - Salsa, Corn and Jelly
   October - Squash Dishes
   November - Pumpkin Recipes
   December - Herbal Cocktails

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Chimichurri Shrimp and Ham and Mushroom Noodles - Monthly Recipe

For those actually following the monthly recipe, I apologize.  My teaching schedule got a bit out of hand in April and I never posted the monthly recipes, so I just moved the April set of recipes to May.  I will pick up where I left off.

For this month I will post recipes using Ham and / or Shrimp.  At the bottom of the post are ways to search the monthly recipe theme from previous months.  Enjoy!

For the first post of the new theme I am going to post two recipes, One using Ham and another using Shrimp. 


Chimichurri Shrimp Salad
Chas loves to make sauces to go on our food.  When I found this recipe where chef Chris Hastings uses the vibrant South American herb sauce chimichurri as a marinade for these tasty shrimp, and also as a dressing for the black-eyed pea ragù that's served alongside, I knew he would love it – change it but love it.




1 cup packed parsley leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped oregano
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbls. minced onion
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon hotter powdered pepper, like habanero or jalapeño (optional)
Kosher salt and Pepper
20 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 cups cooked or thawed frozen black-eyed peas
2 cups yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups baby arugula


Directions:
Make Chimichurri by whisking the parsley with the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, garlic, onion and crushed and powdered hot pepper peppers in a medium bowl. Season the chimichurri generously with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, toss the shrimp with 1/4 cup of the chimichurri and refrigerate for 30 minutes.


Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Grill the shrimp over high heat, turning once, until lightly charred and just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
In a large bowl, toss the black-eyed peas with the tomatoes, arugula and 1/4 cup of the chimichurri add salt and pepper if needed. Pile the salad on plates, top with the shrimp and serve, passing the remaining chimichurri at the table.

You can make the chimichurri ahead to refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.

If you want to serve wine with this amazing dish, try a warm-climate rosé.  They tend to have juicy, bold fruit that is superb with the sweetness of grilled shrimp.




Ham &and Mushroom Noodles


12 oz. whole-grain or artichoke-flour pasta
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 med. onion, finely chopped
1/8 tsp. salt
8 oz. sliced cremini mushrooms
1/2 tsp thyme, dried
1/2 tsp savory, dried
salt and pepper
4 oz. lower-sodium deli ham, chopped
5 oz. baby spinach


Directions: 


Cook pasta as label directs; reserve 2 cups pasta water. In 12-in. skillet, heat olive oil on medium-high. Add onion, and salt.  Cook 5 minutes, stirring. Add sliced cremini mushrooms, herbs and 1/8 tsp. each salt and pepper. Cook 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in deli ham. Add baby spinach, pasta, and pasta water; toss to combine. Serves 4.


To find any recipe featured this month - use the search box and type: ShrHamMay
To find any theme recipe from this year type: recipe2018

For 2018 the monthly recipe themes will be:
   January - Chicken Soup (ChickJan)
   February - Beef Stew (StewFeb)
   March - Jambalaya (JambMar)
   May - Ham & Shrimp Dishes (ShrHamMay)
   June - Bread recipes
   July - Garden Delights
   August- Grilling
   September - Salsa, Corn and Jelly
   October - Squash Dishes
   November - Pumpkin Recipes
   December - Herbal Cocktails

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Banana Poppy Seed Dressing - extra Weekend Recipe


I little twist on the usual poppy seed dressing that makes it perfect on a salad featuring strawberries or blueberries.  And on and all-fruit salad, it is a dream.

Banana Poppy Seed Dressing

1 ripe banana

1 cup sour cream


1 Tbls lemon juice

In a small bowl, finely mash banana.  Add sour cream, dressing mix, and lemon juice.  Chill for at least 30 minutes.  Arrange salad greens and fruit on a platter or individual salad plates,  Serve with dressing. Makes 1 ¾ cups.

Soap and Sugar Scrub - bath blend of the month


It is finally gardening season so I thought this recipe for a sugar scrub to get the gardening grime off your fingers might be a good choice.
It is the abrasiveness of the sugar that helps to dislodge the dirt and will help to get your hands clean. Sugar scrubs are often expensive items, but this is one you can make for next to nothing.
You can use any liquid dish soap you like, the original recipe for this DIY gardener’s hand scrub used a pink liquid dish soap because they liked the color, but you can use whatever you have at home. It would be best if you used organic and all natural liquid hand or dish soap if possible. Dr Bonner's is clear and colorless, but Dawn will help cut grease while the sugar scrubs away grime.
Place a wrap of twine or ribbon around the jar and tie a bow to make this into a gift for the gardener in your life. Place a jar of this in an empty terra cotta pot with some gardening tools and seeds to give as a gift basket.  Perfect for a Mother who gardens or any other women in your life who loves to garden.
Sugar and Soap Scrub
Canning jar 4, 8 or 12 oz (the smaller the better)
White sugar
Liquid dish soap

Directions:
1) Clean and dry your jars toughly.
2) Fill your jar ¾ quarters of the way with sugar (more sugar will be needed for larger jars).
3) Fill the jar with liquid dish soap until it reaches just below the bottom of the threads on the jar mouth.
4) Stir the sugar and soap together.
5) Add more sugar until the mixture becomes a grainy paste.
To Use:  Scoop out about 1 Tablespoon of mixture and rub into hands as a scour to remove dirt and grime.  Repeat as needed to get hands clean.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...