The weather here is still all over the map but my mini-greenhouses are doing pretty well. I had to cover everything recently for a flash flood-type of thunderstorm that, in reality, only lasted a few minutes, but would have devastated my tender little plants if they had been exposed. The overnight temperatures haven’t been too bad. However, it does flirt with the freezing mark on a regular basis despite hitting near 90 the other day. I live in a crazy dry … and very wide ranging little climate zone.
So, every little success must be celebrated. Today, we celebrated GREENS. Mmmmmm. There were just enough greens for me and the Fresh Hubs to each have a big, green salad for lunch today. Lucky us.
It has been a couple of weeks so I thought I would check in and let everyone know how the sprouts are doing. Current status: pretty darn good.
The weather here is fairly unpredictable and, in between snow showers, it has hit the 90 degree mark. ( Ya, I know. Too weird.)
We made a bird netting system to keep the big pests out and take the tops of the mini greenhouses off when it gets hot. It’s a pretty simple cover rig so we can switch it right back when the weather flip flops and we need the greenhouse lids again.I am happy to report that I have three kinds of lettuce, kale, carrots, green beans, cilantro and chives all doing their sprout-y business.
I’m pretty proud of my pepper sprouts in the milk jug greenhouses. They are coming along but I haven’t braved cutting the tops all the way off just yet. Maybe, next month. In the meantime, I take the top lids of the milk jugs off on the hot days for extra ventilation. Otherwise, they get steamy little saunas all day. I think they like it. The nights are still pretty cool here so they are getting the full range. (And, that’s why they are so hard to grow from seed here. Wish me luck!)
I have been wanting to try a recipe that I saw on another blog for a very long time. A special chicken wing recipe that, in my opinion, deserved a special day. I gave those chicken wings: Super Bowl Sunday, the true religious holiday of all chicken wings. Here’s to Peppermeister’s Sweet and Spicy Asian Wings with Crema de Peppermeister!
I actually followed the recipe as close as I could. If you’ve been reading me for very long, you understand what a challenge this can be for me. Click on the links above for the full list of ingredients, it’s not a tough recipe to follow but the processing can be a little time consuming. Was it worth it? Ooooh … yaaaa …
The sauce for these wings was a little bit tedious to make (chop, chop, blend, blend) and VERY GREEN. It made for a cool macro photo, though.
I do have to say that it looked pretty gross. But, the smell of the spices and peppers was fantastic even when it was all still raw. The house smelled incredible while these were cooking in the oven. INCREDIBLE.
I am so glad that I lined the pan with foil before baking these bad boys. What a mess!
These are the fixin’s for the Crema de Peppermeister. I actually doubled the recipe because I wanted extra for salad dressings or something else later in the week. Yum.
The Peppermeister wings were awesome and a great food experiment for me. I’m glad I made them. But, I do have to admit that they did not steal my heart away from my one true chicken wing love. I’m still loyal to the traditional, buffalo-hot style. And, I have the heart burn to prove it.
It’s slim pickens here in the high desert for CSA veggies so today’s recipe was purchased entirely at the regular grocery store. It was quite tasty. Don’t judge.
Last summer, I had a Vietnamese-style banh mi sandwich from a food truck. The light vinaigrette with the sweet crunch of veggies inside of a sourdough baguette and then, the after-kapow of a little bit of hot serrano peppers was enough bliss in one bite to create an immediate addiction. I was hooked. Yum.
Today, I was craving some banh mi, dammit. And, here’s what I came up with …
My not-so-original recipe ideas came from searching the internet, HERE. Being a total non-conformist, I made one up and it came out pretty darn good. Especially, when you consider that I didn’t have a sourdough baguette in the house and got a little crafty with the lettuce wrap idea. (Watch out, P.F. Chang’s, I’m gunning for ya!)
Now, don’t kid yourself. Cutting up a bunch of veggies into cute little pieces is a pain in the ass. I have a kitchen mandolin but I am slightly afraid of it. I will thin slice a few things on it but the whole ‘julienne’ idea seemed pretty dangerous to me today. This kind of cutting requires more patience that I generally have. I did get lazy toward the end and just chopped up the cucumbers. Shoot me.
Basically, I marinated the veggies in some ginger-soy salad dressing with a little bit of extra rice wine vinegar and then added some grilled chicken. We had some baby romaine lettuce heads and just peeled leaves off to wrap up the mixture. Lettuce burritos!
Dinner must have smelled good because we were visited by a Cooper’s Hawk. He literally flew into our front window and freaked the F@#K out of us. Excuse the crappy picture quality … I wasn’t prepared. This was an impressive dinner guest.
Based on the stare he is giving us, I think we should just give him our plates. YIPES!
The force is strong in the spaghetti squash. When the green beans waged the flavor war on them, it wasn’t really fair. The green beans had bacon on their side. And, well, bacon is known for its Jedi mind tricks, especially at my house. If you have no idea what I am typing about … there was a vegetable war at my house a while back. Read all about it HERE.
Now, let it be known that if you make the spaghetti squash gods mad by calling it boring, they will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger. Thai-spiced vengeance and anger. Tonight, the veggie war was on … on like Donkey Kong!
It all started to come together back at the CSA box pick-up last week. I have mentioned before that I love the volunteer that is there every week. She is super friendly and helpful. This week, she was looking through one of those freebie magazine things that they give out at Whole Foods, Delicious Living. She pointed out this awesome thai-inspired recipe and pretty much commanded to me that this was right up my alley. She was right. Here’s the full recipe and LINK:
The canning and preserving continues in my kitchen. Today is all about tomatoes. I love salsa so I used a mix of tomatoes with fresh cilantro, jalapenos and a white onion.
This was the first time I have blanched tomatoes in a while and it was a lot easier than I remember. I don’t know why I was freaked about it actually. Boil water, dip in ice water and done.
The trick to this was making an X on the tomato and coring out the top a little bit.
Boil about 15-30 seconds.
The skins just came right off — easy.
mmmm … spicy
Viola! A big batch of salsa! I am going to eat some of it right away and put the rest in a big jar for later. Why don’t you bring some chips and join me?
The excitement of Thursday’s CSA box hasn’t worn off yet. I look forward to this day all week! (Kind of nice to have something exciting to think about rather than the mundane Thursday drive home.) Here’s this week’s batch of goodies:
What’s in there? Organic Ovation (everyone stand please) Greens, Carrots (I actually yelled YIPPEE! at the CSA girl when I saw these. Awkward.), Tango Lettuce, Chard, Green Garlic, Turnips, Cilantro (YUM), Rhubarb (what am I going to do with that?), Kale and … get ready … Thyme! (if it were only so easy to get extra time, haha)
OK. First things first, what the heck is a Organic Ovation Green? Hmmmm … they look like braising greens or most any other greens to me. According to the handy dandy newsletter, Ovation Greens are a mix of Red Mustard, Mizuna, Tatsoi, Kale and Arugula. How about a round of applause for that?
The real treat for tonight was my newly purchased salad spinner. Let me remind you that I thought these things were dumb and I have thrown them away in the past because I never used them. Tonight, I learned a new trick. My three year old son showed me how to use it and we laughed and laughed and laughed.
He even just ate lettuce for no good reason. He’s THREE! Do you know any pre-schoolers that say “YUM! Lettuce!”? I doubt it.
We played with this ridiculous contraption for about an hour. Just spinning and stopping and munching and spinning and laughing.
I don’t think I could have ever imagined that a stupid salad spinner could bring this much joy. And, clean, dry lettuce.