Sunday, February 28

Roasted Beef Heart, Kohlrabi and Carrots With Plum Sauce

Roasted Beef Heart, Kolhrabi and Carrots with Plum Sauce
My entry for the February Foodie Joust over at turned out to be absolutely delicious and a delightful surprise to folks around these parts who have been squeamish about eating offal!

Using three ingredients (beef heart, kohlrabi, plums), entrants could simply make an entree or incorporate all three ingredients into a full meal. These were my ingredients -- meaning, as the winner for January, I got to choose the next month's ingredients for participants.  The beef heart, kohlrabi and plums just popped in my head and, now, I had to come up with something, myself! With no real grain in the beef heart to worry about, making a final presentation choice was going to be difficult but, I knew, very tasty. And, as always, my recipes can be done in either a conventional or solar oven.  So, let's get to it. 

Friday, February 26

Beef Hearts Are Delicious. It's Offal, Not Awful!

Beef Heart, Green Kohlrabi, and Red Plums
After winning the cooking joust contest for January, it became my task to select the ingredients for the next February Foodie Joust. Soooo, I selected beef heart, kohlrabi, and plums. Having eaten beef heart for the better part of my life, it never occurred to me that some people would be grossed out over it. In North Carolina, where chitlin's and tripe are found at almost every meat counter, it's really perplexing.

Beef heart is pure muscle -- lean, delicious, protein-filled, muscle that has no grain and is tender regardless of the way you slice it. It's offal, those edible parts of an animal that are not skeletal; but, to me, one of the better non-skeletal parts, along with livers, gizzards, and kidneys, and tongue.  (Although, I did know a butcher who refused to grind my beef heart because the heart bone would break his machine... Umm, the less said, the better.)

Tuesday, February 16

A Winter-Hearty Cabbage Soup with Braunschweiger Dumplings

Hearty Cabbage Soup with Braunschweiger Stuffed Dumplings Warms the Tummy

When it's cold, you just want some comfort food. Well, what can be more comforting than a nice hot soup, with dumplings? With half a head of cabbage and a half package of Braunschweiger, it was time to get busy.  Now, cabbage, when cooked for any length of time, can, well, disappear in the liquid. I wanted a thick broth that wouldn't take away from the delicate cabbage flavor and I didn't want to have something just thickened with flour. And, I wanted to see and taste the cabbage.

Friday, February 12

Turkey Chipotle Sauce Over Pasta - A Gift from Summer's Garden

Turkey Chipotle Sauce Over Pasta - A Gift from Summer's Garden
The thing about winter is that you have to do something with holiday leftovers and things you 'put by' from last summer's garden. You have to, because you'll be needing the space for this year's garden and holiday leftovers. It's not easy being a food lover. Today's recipe was the result of wondering what to do with some leftover dark turkey meat I had frozen from Thanksgiving. And, resting comfortably nearby on the other freezer shelf was my Roasted Tomato-Pepper Mix, a combination of cherry tomatoes, three bell peppers (red, orange, green) and two banana peppers I had solar-roasted from my summer garden.

Sunday, February 7

Pork Cabbage Rolls on Spaghetti Squash

Pork Cabbage Rolls on Bed of Spaghetti Squash
Don't know about you, but I have alot of trouble sharing spaghetti squash -- I want it all to myself!  But, that's the dark side of me and just doesn't read well on a resume so, of course, I do share it, as in today's recipe. Following my previous post, the spaghetti squash was put in the solar oven as soon as the Herb and Cheese frittata was removed. This would be the end of my solar cooking for the day, because the rest of the dinner would be done stovetop. Yes, I do cook using other appliances. Just hate to waste good free sun energy when it's available, that's all.
Thanks to restaurants that insist on giving you way too much to eat on their entrees, I had a whole 8oz. pork chop in a doggie bag looking for a new recipe. A quick peek in the fridge offered some leftover broccoli and the vegetable bin had fresh cabbage, celery, green onion, and carrots. Eureka! Could dinner be far behind. . .

Herb and Cheese Frittata Makes a Great Brunch

Herb Cheese Frittata for a Solar-Cooked Brunch
This week brought us a beautiful sunny morning after lots of cloudy, snowy/rainy, days. Temperature was a hot 46F! -- and I was hungry. Had already planned on my dinner but decided my tummy needed some real fuel. Not a piece of toast morning, at all. Why not use the solar oven while getting the dinner prepped? Good idea, I said to myself, and decided on a simple frittata.

In my backyard, by the time the winter sun gets over the trees, it's a little after ten a.m.  This dramatically changes in late spring-early summer and then there's great sun from 8:30 a.m. until just after 7:00 p.m.  By 10:30 a.m., the solar oven had reached 275F and was ready for the three eggs blended thoroughly with an herb mix of tarragon, parsley, stevia, salt, pepper, pinch of cream of tartar, and milk.  This mixture was poured into my serving dish and then thinly sliced Cheddar and Fontina cheeses were layered over the top.  Back inside to get chopping and slicing done.

Tuesday, February 2

I'm in January's Grow Your Own Roundup #38!

The Grow Your Own Roundup #38
In early January, I was contacted by Annie and Nate of House of Annie asking if I would like to include one of my recipes in the January Grow Your Own Roundup based on their reading my blog about gardening and fresh food for the table. I was thrilled and it sounded like fun, so I said yes and sent in the recipe from my first contest entry -- and didn't give it another thought.

Annie and Nate were January's hosts for the Roundup which was started about two years ago by a blogger I dearly love, Andrea Meyers , to share recipes written by cooks who grow or raise their own food or stock. Not to be too limiting, folks who have gardened or raised stock in the past or been given food or stock can enter their recipes, too. So, if you want to join in this month's Roundup, you'll find the instructions on Annie's site.
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