Friday, February 26, 2021

Tomato and Ham Egg Casserole - Weekend Recipe

 Quick easy and totally freezable.

Tomato and Ham Egg Casserole 

  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 8 ounces sharp Cheddar, grated (about 2 cups)
  • 1 loaf country bread, torn into 1-inch pieces (8 cups)
  • 1 pound sliced deli ham, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (4 cups)
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

Heat oven to 375° F. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the Cheddar, bread, and ham and toss to combine. Pour the mixture into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; top with the tomatoes. Cover with foil and bake until warmed through, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the foil and cook until the top is golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes more. Sprinkle with the parsley.

RECIPE THEME

Each month a theme is chosen and a number of recipes on that theme from my massive archive will be shared.  This year we have 12 new topics, different from the topics of last year.  

To find the recipes of last year, check out this recipe link or search the blog with the topic Recipe2018, Recipe2019, or Recipe2020.

 
You can search the monthly theme by looking for the theme keyword in the search box and it will pull up the recipes on that theme as posted, so look at the bottom of the recipe in each posting for the KEYWORD for each month.  All recipes this year will be tagged Recipe2021 so you can find them all.

The themes are:
Jan 2021 – Baked Items
Feb 2021 – Breakfast Dishes
March 2021 – Italian Dishes
April 2021 - Chicken Recipes
May 2021 - Appetizers
June 2021 – Mediterranean Dishes
July 2021 – Pork Recipes
August 2021 - Seafood
September 2021 - Pizzas
October 2021 – Mexican Dishes
November 2021 - Cookies
December 2021 – Gift Recipes

Friday, February 19, 2021

Breakfast Cookies - Weekend Recipe

Today I want to share a recipe you can make ahead and chill overnight and bake fresh in the morning or even freeze for future use.  These cookies are filled with nuts and fruits for anti oxidant power. And are very filling.  Each cookie is 324 calories with Vitamin D, iron, potassium and calcium.



Breakfast Cookies

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1/2-1 Tbls BYP Cinnful dessert blend or ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 c ground oat flour
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 6 oz. chopped Belgian chocolate (milk or dark)

Directions:

  1. If preparing within the hour, preheat oven to 375°. Begin by combining the sugars, butter, oil and spices in large bowl.  Whip together by hand or with a mixer. After whipping these ingredients together, add eggs & vanilla.
  2. To prepare the oat flour, pulse old-fashioned oats in a food processor until the oats are ground into a fine powder.
  3. Add oat flour, flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder to the creamed mixture. Mix to combine, stopping to scrape the sides and continuing to mix until evenly incorporated.
  4. Then stir in the dried fruit, nuts & chopped chocolate.
  5. Using a 2-ounce scoop, drop dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate 1 hour to overnight. At this point you can either store in freezer bags and freeze up to 3 months or bake.
  6. To bake, place 5-7 cookie dough balls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet 2″ apart.
  7. Before baking in a preheated 375° oven, press the bottom of a drinking glass in granulated sugar and then press the glass onto the cookie, slightly flattening the cookie. Repeat until all cookies have been pressed. NOTE allow frozen balls to thaw before baking.
  8. Bake cookies for 14 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges.
  9. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
  10. Makes 20 2-ounce cookies.

 

 RECIPE THEME

Each month a theme is chosen and a number of recipes on that theme from my massive archive will be shared.  This year we have 12 new topics, different from the topics of last year.  

To find the recipes of last year, check out this recipe link or search the blog with the topic Recipe2018, Recipe2019, or Recipe2020.

 
You can search the monthly theme by looking for the theme keyword in the search box and it will pull up the recipes on that theme as posted, so look at the bottom of the recipe in each posting for the KEYWORD for each month.  All recipes this year will be tagged Recipe2021 so you can find them all.

The themes are:
Jan 2021 – Baked Items
Feb 2021 – Breakfast Dishes
March 2021 – Italian Dishes
April 2021 - Chicken Recipes
May 2021 - Appetizers
June 2021 – Mediterranean Dishes
July 2021 – Pork Recipes
August 2021 - Seafood
September 2021 - Pizzas
October 2021 – Mexican Dishes
November 2021 - Cookies
December 2021 – Gift Recipes

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Mardi Gras Deviled Eggs - Recipe Theme

Today is Fat Tuesday - It snuck up on me when I was not paying attention, but I did make these great Deviled Eggs to celebrate. And it kinda keeps with the breakfast theme with an interesting twist.  Deviled eggs are a perfect southern food, a wonderful addition to a Mardi Gras Brunch and if you make them, a great way to celebrate Fat Tuesday from home since a trip to New Orleans is not recommended this year.


This recipe was inspired by a post by Deep South Dish where they admitted that a basic deviled egg recipe is preferred in many southern homes but dressing it up is also fun!

Each variation below is calculated for use with a dozen hard boiled eggs.

Deviled Eggs for Mardi Gras Brunch

12 large eggs

1 tablespoon salt (for the boiling water only)

 

For the Deviled Eggs:


1/4 cup regular mayonnaise, more or less to taste

1 tablespoon Creole, Dijon or yellow mustard

1 tablespoon sweet or dill pickle relish

Pinch kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (we recommend BYP N’Orleans Spirit Herb Mix)

Paprika, for garnish, optional


Directions:

Place eggs in a sauce pan so that they are crowded with little room to move around. Cover with water and add the 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to a full, rolling boil (about 10 minutes on high), then immediately cover the pot and turn off heat, but leave the pot on the stove. Allow to sit covered for 15 minutes. Carefully drain the pot and place under the faucet, fill the pot with a steady stream of water, emptying and refilling the pot with cool water until the water is no longer hot. Let the eggs rest for 10 minutes in the cool water.

Peel the eggs and split in half lengthwise, removing the yolks and setting aside the whites. Using a fork or pastry blender, mash the yolks well. To the yolks, add mustard, pickle relish, a pinch of salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning and stir together, adding only enough of the mayonnaise for desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Pipe the yolk mixture into the egg whites using either a pastry bag and tips or place in a plastic storage bag and snip off the corner. Serve immediately or refrigerate filled eggs in a covered bowl that leaves room so the stuffing is not disturbed.

Instant Pot Boiled Eggs: For 6 to 12 large eggs, pour 1-1/2 cups water in bottom of pot and use a rack or basket to place eggs. Cook eggs on high for 6 minutes, quick release and use tongs to immediately transfer eggs into a bowl of iced water.

Variations:

This perfect southern specialty – Pimento: Substitute 1/4 to 1/2 cup of homemade or commercial pimento cheese for the mayonnaise; adding additional mayonnaise only as needed.

Dilly Deviled Eggs: Add 1 to 2 Tbls Marcy’s Dill Dip Mix into the mayonnaise and mix as usual. Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh dill.

Jalapeno and Bacon Deviled Eggs: Combine 1/8 cup mayonnaise with 2 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature. Add remaining ingredients, along with 1/4 cup of finely chopped bacon, 1 tablespoon chopped, pickled jalapeno and 2 tablespoons finely shredded Cheddar cheese. Garnish each egg with a slice of jalapeno and scatter more minced bacon on top.

BBQ Ranch: Mix in 1 Tablespoon BYP Ranch Dressing Mix and an optional dash of Liquid Smoke. Stuff eggs. Just before serving, drizzle each stuffed egg with barbecue sauce (you can make that with BYP BarBeQue Seasoning) and garnish with chives.

Avocado Deviled Eggs: Combine 1/2 cup finely mashed avocado with juice of one lime and mix well. Add egg yolks and continue to mash, adding enough mayonnaise to make smooth. Omit mustard and pickles.

Adapted from the perfect southern source:
 http://deepsouthdish.com

How Tuesday - Making Seed Tape

Okay, do you have extra rolls of toilet paper in your house too?

We did not even hoard, we just bought a package if they had any at the store when we were shopping and as a result, we have a few extra rolls.  I had always heard that you could make seed tapes with TP, so I figured now was a great year to try it with all this surplus.

There are several ways to make seed tape, I found instructions on Hometalk Make Your Own Seed Tape | Hometalk , Mistress of Dirt How to Make Seed Tapes for Easier Sowing | Empress of Dirt and Garden Betty Make Your Own Seed Tape - Garden Betty

Seed tape is basically a strip of paper with seeds embedded for precision planting. If you have trouble with spacing, or if you like me think more seeds are better, or you have trouble telling seedlings from weeds, seed tapes are a great way to plant.  Seed companies make seed tape, but rarely is it made in every variety so a homemade tape with your perfect seeds is the way to go.

 



All you need is toilet paper and glue and a couple other items to make the job easier.

Because they’re on a tape (or length of toilet paper, really), you can also control how far apart they are planted. The entire thing is placed in the garden. The toilet paper will disintegrate, and the seeds will sprout right where you planted them.

How is this different from simply going outside and dropping a seed into the ground? Why take the extra step of making seed tape?

Seed tape is good for:

+ tiny, hard to manage seed.

+ Seed you don’t want to plant too much of just to have to thin out later.

+ increasing germination rates.

+ less seed waste

+ Giving you a winter garden activity when you are dying to garden outside (even though it is -11 today!)

+ keeping seeds in place when there is a hard rain.

 

Making Seed Tape:

  •   Toilet paper or paper towel
  •  Seeds
  •  Paint brush, pencil or tweezers
  •  Glue / paste made from 1 teaspoon baking flour and a bit of water; or Elmer’s glue mixed with a bit of water; or straight up dots of water soluble glue
  •  Measuring tape / ruler

 

Steps to creating seed tapes:

1     1. Make your own paste by combining flour and water. The glue should be thick enough to sit on the end of your brush or pencil without dripping. You need only about a teaspoon of flour to glue several tapes.



2,  Decide on the length of your tapes.  For a raised bed or in ground flower bed 2 foot lengths work well.  For container gardening, make tapes about 12 inches long.
   



    3. Tear off the length of toilet paper you want and write the name of the seed type on it. Do this first or you might forget.
  


     4. Use your seed packets to help you decide how close together you want to place the seeds.  Make them slightly tighter together to make allowance for germination issues.
   


     5. Pour the number of seeds you’ll be using on a clean plate and spread them apart so they’re easy to pick up one at a time.
   6.  Place a dab of glue and add a seed.



        OR You can add the glue to the TP and then drop in a seed to each drop.
   

     OR put the glue on a pencil tip and poke it into seed and place on TP
  

     OR dab a paint brush in glue and draw a line and then sprinkle seed onto the wet glue.


  7.  Fold the TP over the seeds before the glue is dry to protect them from falling off.  This is especially good to do with tiny seed    Once dry, the seeds will stay in place.

Extra tips:

·      When those little glue dots have hardened, roll up your seed tape and stash it in an envelope or zip-top bag until you’re ready to use.


·        For some plantings you can get more per square foot by planting diagonally rather than in a straight line.  You can create tapes and off set them or use a zigzag pattern down the length of paper.


·        Using tweezers to drop a seed onto each dot of glue, can make the process easier than using fingers or a paint brush.


·        Since tiny seeds barely need to be covered, the paper makes it simple to see how much soil you’re adding on top.


·        Once you’ve glued on all your seeds, allow ample time for the glue to dry and make sure the seed tape is not sticking to your surface.

      

      I roll the seed taps up and store in a ziplocked bag until ready to plant.


 
When planting your seed tapes:
 
At planting time, simply water your soil and smooth the surface. Unroll your seed tape, set it on top of the soil, and lightly cover with more soil. It’s okay if the toilet paper shows through a bit; it will quickly disintegrate and decompose in the ground.

As with seeds sown, either by seed tape or the traditional way, gently mist or spray the soil until the seeds have sprouted and established firm roots; you don’t want a strong blast of water to displace your meticulous work. Within a week you should see perfectly spaced rows of little seedlings coming up!

 

Monday, February 15, 2021

Winter Garden Planning part 1

I have decided to spend some time in the next few weeks talking about Garden Planning. I am going to start with why you want to do it now and then how to do it over the next few weeks.  I will show you how and why to keep a garden journal and how to read a seed catalog and more. 

No space—inside or out—should be designed until you figure out what you absolutely have to have and what you'd like to have if budget, time, and space were not limits. The same is true with your landscape: Create a list and design your own backyard, figuring out how much of your landscape should be devoted to each item. Do you gather often with family? Then a large dining and entertaining space might serve you well. Are flowers your thing? Do you crave space to grow your own food? Then a mix of flower and vegetable beds might be a good solution.

For those who mourn the slowing down of the gardening season, here’s some good news: Plants may go dormant in winter, but people don’t have to. With fewer attention-grabbing chores, winter is the perfect time to revisit existing designs and reconsider plant palettes. Certain landscaping projects are actually better suited to the off months and there are definite advantages to getting an early start in winter.

ADVANTAGES TO PLANNING IN WINTER

Winter Garden
Here is the back and front yards respectively so I can see the space, the vista, and get a feel for the perennial plants already in my landscape.  We took down a tree this winter, so I was also looking at the kind of sun the yard will now get.
Winter garden

See clearly:

The bones of the garden are exposed in winter, allowing you to easily see what’s out of balance and where you might want to add in structure or visual texture, whether in the form of plants or hardscaping. Sightlines are also exposed when plants and trees have lost their leaves. One can see which sightlines to keep clear, which views to incorporate or borrow, and which ones to block.

Seed packets

Beat the rush:

Get orders started for long lead-time items, such as outdoor kitchen appliances or specialty plants. Don’t let long delivery times in spring push your project off track; order early and keep your project running on time.

Read up:

Cold winter days are the perfect time to catch up on gardening and design books and magazines. There are so many sources for new ideas, but one of my favorites is the Instagram and websites of seed companies. They have gotten very good and giving context for the plants they sell, not just pretty plant pictures to make you drool.



My new flower choices and repeat loved herbs have already arrived!

Catch up:

Get caught up on all the latest trends in garden design. Get inspired to try something new—add edible plants to your landscape, make your garden more sustainable, design a garden getaway—whatever catches your eye.

I suggest these great websites for ideas:

https://www.provenwinners.com/container-gardening/ideabooks

https://www.countryliving.com/gardening/garden-ideas/advice/g746/garden-plans/

https://www.plantedwell.com/gardening-designs/

And if you want to see previous Garden design posts I've written, here is a search of them all:

Backyard Patch Herbal Blog: Search results for garden planning

So next time I will talk about prepping your garden journal and ordering your seeds.  If this year matches last year with the number of gardeners increasing, you will want to order your seed sooner than later!

Garden Journal

Friday, February 12, 2021

Strawberry, Marshmallow and Brownie Bite Skewers, a Valentine Weekend Recipe

Chocolate is an herb and the best holiday for this herb is Valentine's day. With the "day" being on Monday many folks are celebrating over the weekend. We have this recipe for fun marshmallow, strawberry and brownie skewers. Since the theme this month is Breakfast you can serve these strawberry and brownie skewers as a breakfast treat, but you can also save them for a dessert that is perfect for Valentine’s Weekend!



What you Need

  • Strawberries, cleaned and green tops removed
  • Marshmallows, toasted
  • 1/3 cup White Chocolate, melted
  • 1/3 cup Dark Chocolate, melted
  • 1-inch brownie bites


For the Brownie Bites
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/4 cups white sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick baking spray.

In a pot over medium heat, combine the butter, sugar, cocoa powder and salt and mix for until the butter has melted and the sugar and cocoa is smooth. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and eggs, whisk to combine. Stir in the flour and chocolate chips and set aside.

Transfer the batter to the prepared baking sheet and transfer to the oven and bake for 25-27 minutes until done.

Remove the baking tin from the oven, and let it cool to room temperature before removing the bites and let them cool completely. I prefer to stick the baking pan in the freezer once it’s slightly cooled so it’s easier to cut the brownies into squares.

Once cooled. cut the brownies into small bite 1-inch squares.

Making the Skewers

I toasted the marshmallows on a skewer over the flame of our gas stove.  You can also do it over an unscented candle.

On medium sized skewers, alternate a toasted marshmallow, a strawberry, a brownie bite, another strawberry and finish with an additional toasted marshmallow.

Drizzle with white and dark chocolate and serve as needed. 


RECIPE THEME

Each month a theme is chosen and a number of recipes on that theme from my massive archive will be shared.  This year we have 12 new topics, different from the topics of last year.  

To find the recipes of last year, check out this recipe link or search the blog with the topic Recipe2018, Recipe2019, or Recipe2020.

 
You can search the monthly theme by looking for the theme keyword in the search box and it will pull up the recipes on that theme as posted, so look at the bottom of the recipe in each posting for the KEYWORD for each month.  All recipes this year will be tagged Recipe2021 so you can find them all.

The themes are:
Jan 2021 – Baked Items
Feb 2021 – Breakfast Dishes
March 2021 – Italian Dishes
April 2021 - Chicken Recipes
May 2021 - Appetizers
June 2021 – Mediterranean Dishes
July 2021 – Pork Recipes
August 2021 - Seafood
September 2021 - Pizzas
October 2021 – Mexican Dishes
November 2021 - Cookies
December 2021 – Gift Recipes

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Finnish Pancakes - Pannu Kakku to start the Breakfast theme

This month the recipe theme is Breakfast dishes. I am going to start with my favorite a Finnish Pancake (Pannu Kakku.) Similar to a Dutch Baby, a Finnish pancake is like a soufflĂ© that puffs up in the oven, then sinks and is very custardy tasting.  It is the perfect canvas for jelly, fruit preserves, syrups and fresh fruit.  We love to top ours with strawberries and whipped cream. The recipe serves 6 so you might want to have a group to eat it, as it does not keep well and should be eaten immediately



Finish Pancakes

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter in oven in a 9x13 pan; should be sizzling when you take it out. Meanwhile, mix other ingredients like hell - till very frothy. Pour batter into pan with melted butter. Lower temp to 350 degrees and bake 40 minutes. Eat immediately. Awesome with various toppings.



 RECIPE THEME

Each month a theme is chosen and a number of recipes on that theme from my massive archive will be shared.  This year we have 12 new topics, different from the topics of last year.  

To find the recipes of last year, check out this recipe link or search the blog with the topic Recipe2018, Recipe2019, or Recipe2020.

 
You can search the monthly theme by looking for the theme keyword in the search box and it will pull up the recipes on that theme as posted, so look at the bottom of the recipe in each posting for the KEYWORD for each month.  All recipes this year will be tagged Recipe2021 so you can find them all.

The themes are:
Jan 2021 – Baked Items
Feb 2021 – Breakfast Dishes
March 2021 – Italian Dishes
April 2021 - Chicken Recipes
May 2021 - Appetizers
June 2021 – Mediterranean Dishes
July 2021 – Pork Recipes
August 2021 - Seafood
September 2021 - Pizzas
October 2021 – Mexican Dishes
November 2021 - Cookies
December 2021 – Gift Recipes
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