Thursday, October 5, 2017

Until We Picnic Again

At the end of the summer and early fall we'd do anything to extend picnic season. We've even bundled up for a chilly snowshoe picnic. I have not decorated for fall yet, as we are still enjoying summer like weather and we ate outdoors last evening!

"When it's time to settle in to the cozy season of baking and comfort cooking, our minds drift to picnics past. And in recalling the meals we ate, the places we sat, and the company we kept, we're transported to sunshiney days." From the Picnic book. 

We had an evening (cheese and crackers) picnic just as the sun was setting on Saturday, as we waited for the restaurant to start serving dinner at 6:30 pm. The restaurant was tending to a wedding  and the bride arrived in a sea plane near this beach where I am standing. Her family owns a sea plane business near my camp and there are several pilots in the family. We were seated in the restaurant, and the sunset seemed to last for an hour.  

The friendly ducks followed me on my walk on the dock to watch the sun go down. I squatted down and Joe decided we needed a picture. lol

Last evening, we had one of our favorite sides dishes made with escarole from our veggie box. Fall veggie boxes are my favorite as we start getting root vegetables, a variety of squash, potatoes, lots of lettuce, leeks, garlic and brussel sprouts. 

From the Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook:  Utica Greens:  It's named for Utica, a city in Central New York State, which for some reason--perhaps having to do with it's large Italian population--is known for this wonderful side vegetable. Escarole can be served with a crisp topping of Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. One taste and you'll understand why we love it.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Summery September Autumn

Summer weather has been hanging around, and we are still eating outdoors and enjoying outdoor activities. It could stay like this for another few months and I would be very happy. I've been cooking up a storm using my new Seat At The Table cookbook. The recipes are quick and easy which fits my lifestyle. Throw in a visit with my niece Chelsea at our camp, a charming apple orchard that we happily discovered, a impromptu picnic at the winery, windmills and a drive along the Moose River. That was our Saturday, and a perfect day for a ride. On Sunday I made stuffed cabbage rolls and then pulled out the new Beekman cookbook to make Lemon Garlic Sauce for grilled chicken. And...I just love the new owl mug that I received for my birthday. I feel like I just wrote in my diary. LOL 

Dear Autumn, I look forward to making soups in my big pot, cozying up my harvest home and brisk walks around the lake. My mom's lovingly carved pumpkins will soon welcome trick-or-treaters, and the fireplace will offer a glow. And soon we will be talking turkey.  If we could go from Fall to Spring, you would be my favorite season :-)


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

It's Very Much Summer

Our summer came late. Rather than having it in July and August, it was rescheduled for the second half of September. The weather has been gorgeous, no rain in the forecast.  Forecast is for 90 degrees on Wednesday ;o) The trees still have a lot of leaves, even though there is a pool of colored leaves at the end of our camp driveway. If I had guess, and this all depends on the weather of course, I would predict that peak foliage at our camp will be September 27. Since that is on a week day, we will go for our annual foliage drive this weekend. 

Over the weekend, I foraged for some colorful leaves and made leaf place settings. Just for fun, saw the idea in my new Beekman Almanac. I love simple! The colors will fade, but my original thought was to use them for Thanksgiving so I will press the leaves between wax paper when I make more this weekend.

Friday evening, using rib eye steaks from the local Windecker Farm, we enjoyed the savory spin and gave this recipe a thumbs up. Rib Eye Steak Palermo Style served with Salt Potatoes. Another winning cookbook from the Beekman1802 Boys.

Enjoy your week!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Pesto, Salmon, Beekmans and Cucumber Salad

We are having a stretch of nice weather so I've been harvesting the herbs in my garden. Over the years, I have collected a few Moosewood Restaurant cookbooks and their recipes are simple and tasty. I've been to the restaurant several times when I travelled to Ithaca, NY for my job. This pesto can be frozen in ice cube trays, and you can pop out a cube and add it to any pasta dish. I serve the pasta with fried chicken cutlets. It's also low-fat with no oil.

1 cup well-packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts *
1/2 teaspoon salt

*To toast pine nuts, spread them in a single layer on an unoiled baking sheet and bake in a conventional or toaster oven at 350° for about 3 to 5 minutes, until just slightly deepened in color.

Rinse and drain the basil leaves. In a blender or food processor, combine the basil, tomatoes, garlic, pine nuts, and salt and puree until smooth. You may need to stop several times to scrape the sides of the blender or processor bowl with a rubber spatula.

I've been cooking my way through the "Summer" chapter of my new Beekman cookbook, and if you enjoy salmon as much as we do (once a week here), this recipe is a winner. 

I made the sauce without the green peppercorns since I didn't have them on hand. Instead of baking the salmon as the recipe suggested, we grilled it. It was restaurant quality and we loved it. 

I made the Cucumber-Dill salad as the side dish and it was also wonderful. Their recipes are so easy too.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Tomato Pie - Have A Seat At The Table

Tomato Pie hot out of the oven! I pre-ordered a cookbook that I felt would be fun to cook through, A Seat at the Table. While most cookbook shoots occur in an NYC photo studio, Rose Marie, Megan, Brent & Josh cooked everything for the shoot themselves. And then shared all of the dishes with the community at the end of each day. Love that! I live 45 minutes from this community, and as much as I did not need another cookbook, this one is special and will be on my counter for a while. The first recipe I chose was the Tomato Pie which is truly a winner. Hope you give it a try. #haveaseat


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