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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fresh Herbs

I have always loved flowers. All kinds of flowers.  The first time I ever planted flowers was when my eldest son was selling them at school.  Of course, we had to plant them.  I was hooked!  I now plant bulbs, flowers, and herbs.  I do fine until I see a worm....then I have quit for several days!!  I have had success with many herbs; lemon thyme and rosemary, and failed terribly with others such as cilantro, dill, and basil.

For some unknown reason, this spring I had a bumper crop of basil growing on my deck.  The plant was huge. I guess I should have investigated how to dry and freeze the herb, but I didn't.  I did manage to use many of the precious herbs before the Georgia drought (and me forgetting to water them) took their toll on the delicious herbs.

The time I did get to use the herbs, were nothing but delicious.  Sometimes, it's the simple things in recipes (and life) that are meaningful and delicious moments.  A simple dinner of grilled chicken, haricots verts, and tomatoes with fresh basil and mozzarella cheese fit the bill.

A simple shallow bowl filled with fresh sliced tomatoes, sliced mozzarella cheese, and garden leaves of basil are wonderful.  Being Greek, I douse any kind of salad with a nice Kalamata Olive Oil, and a sprinkling of lemon juice and sea salt.  It is simplicity at it's best with a loaf of crusty Italian bread to soak up the dressing at the bottom of the bowl.  We did it as kids and continue to this day.  Not letting the delicious dressing go unforgotten.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Summer Heat is draining my energy

How in the world did we ever make it without air conditioning in the south?  Lucky for me, the house we lived in as a child had trees all around it.  I don't think the sun ever hit the house directly.  Open windows, attic fan, and youth kept us cool.  Jump start to today.... I don't know where I would be without air conditioning.... perhaps the Swiss Alps? Many places don't need ac, but here in the south one cannot live comfortably in the sweltering heat.  Humidity so high that when one steps outside, the thick air takes your breath away.  Needless to say, I'm not a summer lover...at least in the south.  I'm not a water, lake person either.  I do enjoy the ocean for walking on the beach, but I don't swim in the water any more.

What to cook on these hot days?  I keep my refrigerator full of watermelon, cantaloupe, and all kinds of fresh fruit to keep me cool.  I also eat salad just about every day for lunch and sometimes dinner too.  Last weekend, I purchased farm tomatoes at a local market.  The tomato is such a flavorful vegetable (ok, some call it a fruit, but nonetheless... it's a veggie to me).  Sometimes, the less you do with the best ingredients, the better.  Salad of tomato and mozzarella or feta cheese is amazingly tasty.  I made a tomato sandwich on white bread with just a touch of mayonnaise.  It was delicious. One son will eat a BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato) sandwich and the other will eat a BLT.....but hold the lettuce and tomato. David is my carnivore (no fruit or veggies for him). How that happened, I have no clue. No one else in the family is a picky eater.  The rest of us seek out foods we've not tried in our journey to taste what the world has to offer.  After watching those shows on tv though, I do think I have my limitations of what I will try?  Live bugs, bats, etc... may be on my "I don't think so" list.

Anyway, I do consider myself a healthy eater with supplements of junk food just to keep me happy. I do love french fries as you all know from the title of my blog.  I like pumpernickel bread on some sandwiches, but tomato, turkey, and sub sandwiches demand white bread.  I figure that I get enough healthy foods in my diet to really eat the kind of bread I enjoy!!



Labels

Ingredients I must have in my kitchen (It's a long list, but I try and have these items on hand)

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Cheese
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Bread
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Greek Oregano
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Lemon ( At least 3 or 4 ALWAYS)
  • Peppers (Wax, Jalapeno, banana)
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Regular Olive Oil
  • Rice
  • Salad Ingredients
  • Sea Salt
  • Spanish Olives
  • White Balsamic Vinegar
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