Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The "Garden"

Some pics of our little balcony garden. It's not much, but it keeps us in lettuce and herbs very well.

Contents are:
one heirloom tomato plant - very finiky, my first time growing an heirloom variety which has no genetic protection against common tomato problems. So far, I have had to manage early blight and blossom drop. I've always been a fan of careful bio-genetics! Oh, it is also my first time growing in an upside-down tomato grower (topsy-turvy). So far so good as far as that goes, but it IS weird.
Lemon Thyme - smells sooo good and tastes like a dream. It's a bit pervasive and has spread like crazy which prompted us to take some cuttings and plant them in the front garden (which technically isn't ours but currently is growing my geraniums and thyme).
Oregano - lush and yummy.
Basil (reg.)- doing great, satisfying my love for pesto.
Bush Basil - tastes like regular basil, but grows in these bushy balls with the teeniest little leaves that are super cute.
Arugula (aka Rocket) - growing this from organic seed and it is amazingly good and spicy
Lettuces - both green and red oak leaf lettuce, plus some kind of leaf lettuce that is something like a greener version of iceburg.
Beets - grown from organic beets bought at the market. Currently just being allowed to go crazy.

Gilled Pork Tenderloin with Tarragon Mustard Sauce and Grilled Plantain and Sweet Potato

Pork was grilled with just kosher salt and pepper. Sauce was red onion sauted in butter, followed by tarragon, lemon thyme and oregano (fresh from garden), sherry wine, dijon mustard, a little lime juice and olive oil. Plantains and sweet potato were grilled with some spice mix Sasha created (corriander, mustard seed, chili powder...) Plantain was a little dry and starchy. I think I prefer it in something saucy - I made it in a curry once and it was great, tonight was just barely ok.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The best of BYBs (back yard breeders)

This is fantastic in a sad/sick way:

Thanks to for providing direction to it.

In the last 2 months I have gained much deaper knowledge of BYBs, horse slaughter, conformation, rescue and much more largely due to the fugly blog. The issues raised there inspire many hours of research on various topics. It is both great and disturbing.

It is too hot to write, but I AM getting to the farm tomorrow to ride and work with "my" fugly, Cherokee. Actually, although I am no expert I have yet to find any obvious faults with Cherokee's conformation, though he does need muscle building and has an old quarter crack line that looks like it should be a deal breaker but doesn't bother him in the least.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Grilled Wild Chinook Salmon with Balsamic Reduction Glaze

Our friends at PD have a great fish counter. Tonight was exceptional - it took about 20 minutes to decide what to take home! We finally decided on Wild Chinook Salmon. It's not on my "best choices" list from Ocean's Alive but it also isn't on the list of worst choices, so I could only assume it was neutral. For anyone who cares about eco-friendly fish choices (at least relatively speaking), I strongly recommend the Ocean's Alive website at (see "Pocket Seafood Selector" for a mini printable guide, I keep one in my wallet at all times). The information on this site is comprehensive, easy to use and read. Fish are rated for environmental contaminants (e.g., PCBs, mercury etc.) as well as use of sustainable fishing practices (for both the fish and the environement). It's a fantastic site that has amazing, eye-opening information. Check it out!

The Chinook turned out to be a good choice. Yay! I grilled it simply with kosher salt and pepper and drizzled with a balsamic vinegar reduction. Salmon was served with snap peas and corn on the cob that was par-steamed then grilled to finish. Not too shabby for a Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Dock Diving

A few months ago I saw an episode of "Top Dogs" where the event was dock diving. I had never
seen this before and began to teach Hazel how to do it this summer. We tried while staying on our friend's waterfront property and it didn't go so well. On Friday, I found another area to take her swimming and found a perfect little dock to use. She whined at the edge a number of times, watching the cookie slowly drift away. It was a little sad and extremely funny at the same time! Once she discovered it was just like swimming (which she loves) but with a big splash we could hardly get her to stop.

Little dude.

Finally got some pics of Cherokee. It was actually difficult because he kept putting his nose right in front of the camera and I was alone, so I was lucky to get these.


To use up the leftover flank steak, I decided to make fajitas. Complete with grilled red onion and peppers and guacamole, of course. Served on crazy green jalapeno tortillas.

Teriyaki Beef and Vegetable Noodle

This was last week sometime. Used flank steak that was grilled to med-rare, rapini and carrots. Not the greatest picture, again...I'm gaining a new appreciation for food stylists. I'm sure I can do better than this, but as I've said, I'm usually pretty motivated to get to the business of eating!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Rapini Linguini

From an episode of "Everyday Italian" with Giada deLaurentis. Yum. I really must start the photos again. I've started a new job so I need the blog to keep me motivated to not let my cooking slip. I've also been riding again more seriously in the last 2-3 months so time is a little tight.