One of the best things about writing a blog is the chance to virtually "meet" people from all over the world and have a chance to share in their lives. Sometimes, through the computer screen, you can get enough of a sense of the person that they become a real friend. That certainly has happened to me with the uber-talented Ilva of Lucullian Delights, someone I'm planning to meet in person some day. When I came home Friday I found a notice from the post office, and Ilva had sent me this fabulous collection of goodies from Italy! Thank you to my great friend Ilva for the wonderful gift.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
I think for me summer 2007 will have to be The Summer of Eggplant, since this year marks the first time I've really craved eggplant and looked forward to trying it new ways. The eggplant I used in this recipe was the last one I got from my garden, and I'm now forced to buy my eggplant from the store, but I know I'll continue cooking it. I loved this version of grilled eggplant as much as I did Spicy Grilled Eggplant with Red Pepper, Parsley, and Mint, the dish that started my eggplant infatuation. This recipe came from the September issue of Fine Cooking magazine, and the folks at Fine Cooking confirmed what I'd read in Cook's Illustrated The Best Vegetable Recipes, that salting isn't really necessary for eggplant that's going to be grilled. I'm always happy to save a step and I thought this eggplant was just fine without being salted first, but if you're partial to salting, salt away!
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 8:25 AM
What would you do if you had an enormous patch of Thai Basil like this that was seriously going to seed, not to mention lots of other fabulously bushy herb plants, and you lived in Utah where winter was well on the way? I've been freezing fresh basil for many years with good results, and last year I made a wonderful discovery when I was freezing fresh thyme and fresh rosemary. So when I realized this past weekend that summer was going to end well before I ran out of fresh herbs, I decided to try some other freezing experiments.
Monday, September 24, 2007
The two year anniversary of Weekend Herb Blogging is rapidly approaching! The food blogging event that started as a joke, has now lasted for two years, and is still going strong. Last year we had lots of fun celebrating the one year anniversary, and this year's celebration is going to be doubly delicious!
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 6:24 AM
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Lately I've been getting a lot of comments from people saying "I just discovered your blog," and if you're one of those readers you might not know I have a bit of a multiple personality as a third grade teacher by day and blogger by night. Since I have such a busy schedule, I'm very fond of recipes that can be made on the weekend and then reheated for breakfasts and lunches during the work week. This is my latest version of breakfast casserole, although there are lots more low-glycemic options for breakfast in the recipe archives under Eggs and Breakfast Dishes. I think I'm especially proud of this recipe because I grew the green peppers myself, finally ending my blossoms-but-no-peppers curse. This year I have peppers galore, and this was a great way to use some of them.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 9:18 AM
Thursday, September 20, 2007
This year when I planted my garden, one of the plants I tried for the very first time was a variety of butternut squash called Really Big Squash. It had been recommended to me by someone at the garden center, and I'm absolutely loving this plant. What's to love is that this type of butternut can grow nearly two feet long (hence the name Really Big Squash!) and the extra growth is a very long neck, so there's a lot more of the meaty part of the squash than with regular butternut. The flavor is wonderful too. This recipe is the second time I've tried combining butternut squash with herbs, and it goes with the sage just as well as it did with rosemary. I cooked this a few weeks ago, when the first squash was ripe and I couldn't wait to eat it, and I loved finding out how easy it was to cook squash on the grill when it's still hot outside and you don't want to heat up the house. You could also bake the foil packets in the oven if you don't have a grill.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 5:55 AM
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Here's hoping that all my non-garden-owning readers remember my apology for the garden-centric content lately, but around here it's zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, or cucumbers on the menu for a few more weeks. Maybe some eggplant once in a while, although the eggplant isn't very prolific compared to the other veggies. At least it has been fun looking through some of my favorite cookbooks to see if there are any new and original recipes for vegetables. This is a recipe I found in Vegetables Every Day by Jack Bishop, definitely a book that's on my list of favorites.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 6:22 AM
Monday, September 17, 2007
You don't have to read this blog too long to realize I'm not much of a dessert eater. Long before I ever heard of the South Beach Diet, I would have rather had something salty and crispy over a sweet treat any time. I still don't make dessert often, but this cobbler I made last summer is something I'd make for guests when I did want a dessert. I absolutely loved the only-slightly-sweet flavor of this cobbler, and it's going to be the very first dessert recipe I designate as a Recipe Favorite.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 6:14 AM
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Actually this title is a bit of a joke, since having all that wonderful garden produce outweighs anything bad about having a garden. However, I realize it's been a very long time since I've posted one of my garden updates, and I wanted to let you know that all is well with the garden. Above is my kitchen table with one day's pickings of tomatoes, squash, peppers, and cucumbers. Now that I'm teaching school all week, on the weekend I'm busy roasting tomatoes, making roasted tomato pasta sauce with my new food mill, and freezing basil, and those things take priority over photographing the garden. I've been experimenting with freezing some other herbs too, and recently tried freezing Thai Basil. I'll report later on how these experiments turn out.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
On Friday nights I have kind of a routine of stopping at Costco, where I often pick up rotisserie chicken, sometimes one for my dad and stepmother and one for myself. If you live where there's a Costco, have you tried the rotisserie chicken? It's without a doubt the best rotisserie chicken I've tasted, probably even including my own. And Costco is not paying me to say this!
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 7:51 AM
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I probably should just issue an apology to anyone who doesn't have a garden that's producing vegetables and herbs, because at this time of year when my garden is in overdrive, I can hardly bring myself to buy food, even if it does mean the blog ends up with a lot of recipes featuring garden produce. Isn't that what eating local is all about anyway? The mint I used in this recipe grows next to my back steps, so that's about as local as you can get. Even though there are a lot of recipes combining zucchini with mint, I was somehow suspicious when I saw this recipe in Vegetable Love, one of my favorite cookbooks. Now I'll probably need to apologize to Barbara Kafka for doubting her. The squash is tossed with olive oil, lemon juice and mint, and then roasted at a very high temperature, and this recipe was definitely a keeper for me. I'm very fond of fresh mint in salads, but this might be the first time I've eaten roasted mint.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 6:29 AM
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Recipe Favorites are the recipes I like so much I'd make them over and over when I want some of my favorite flavors. Of course lots of you know that cilantro is pretty much my favorite herb in any dish (although this summer I'm pretty infatuated with tarragon!) Besides the cilantro, in this salad I also really like the flavor of black beans, especially with the spicy lime, cumin, and chile dressing. To me, everything about this combination of ingredients seems like it was meant to be together.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 6:45 AM
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
One very popular part of my recipe archives is what I call Easy South Beach Recipes. I started featuring these simple recipes after a few friends urged me to post "some easy recipes" once in a while. After I got started, it became a fun challenge to find things that were super simple to make but also delicious. Easy South Beach Recipes are supposed to have five main ingredients or less, but this salad is so easy to make and so tasty, I'm going to slip it in with six ingredients.
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Last summer I had a positively life changing experience when I made Gazpacho, and I couldn't imagine why it had taken me so long to try making this delicious chilled fresh tomato soup. This year I have an abundance of yellow Lemon Boy tomatoes in my garden, so gazpacho popped into my mind again when I thought about making soup for Tami's Super Soup Challenge. This recipe is my contribution to that event, sponsored by Tami of Running with Tweezers, and dedicated to the memory her mother, Phylis Hardeman, who died last year at this time.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 7:02 AM
Thursday, September 06, 2007
(Update - Welcome to anyone visiting from the blog at Epicurious.com, where Amy Sherman featured Kalyn's Kitchen today. I'm completely honored to be mentioned on the Epicurious blog.)
It's pretty much obligatory to make stuffed zucchini a few times each year if you have lots of zucchini that have gotten a bit too large and you need to figure out ways to use them. This propensity for zucchini to become overly large is why people joke about zucchini during the summer. This year one of the best producing zucchini plants in my garden is the little eight-ball zucchini, so called because you should be harvesting them when they're just slightly bigger than a billiards ball. Unfortunately, I kept getting distracted and a few of mine maybe should be called bowling ball zucchini. Luckily, recipes abound for using raw zucchini, fried zucchini, savory zucchini dishes, and sweet zucchini dishes.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
I do hope you've been making some slow roasted tomatoes if there's any way you can get your hands on some Roma tomatoes. These little orbs of condensed tomato flavor are worth all the time and effort it takes to make them. At my house the Roma tomato plants are going wild, and I've made three double batches so far, with more to come. Each batch makes two containers of roasted tomatoes to go in the freezer, which I'll use this winter for soups, stews, and more soups, plus pasta sauce of course, and any other dish I happen to dream up where I need some real tomato energy.
Monday, September 03, 2007
I might be trying to convince myself with those "Happy September" wishes. Even though this year's crop of third-graders really are awfully cute, it's always hard to go back to work when the garden is bursting with produce. This week at my house it's been all about how to use garden tomatoes, and the one in the picture is a perfect Brandywine from my garden. But truthfully, even with the yin and yang of school/garden, I love fall, when the days are sunny but slightly crisp, and we're lingering a while on summer with just a slight warning about the cold days ahead.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 9:54 AM
Sunday, September 02, 2007
It's been a week of celebrating the love of tomatoes around here! We've had seven days of How to Use Garden Tomatoes, and I've added links each day to the first post, so you can find the whole week of ideas there. I might have been saving the best for last, because I couldn't let tomato week end without reminding you of the life changing experience I had last year when I made gazpacho with my friends. I'm reposting the recipe here for people who missed it, but I encourage you to visit that original post if you want to hear a wonderful story of food bloggers inspiring each other and synchronizing their cooking in a most delightful way.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 8:05 AM
Saturday, September 01, 2007
There are so many food blog events, and I rarely have time to enter, especially when school starts, and I'm balancing my schedule as teacher, blogger, and Blogher contributing editor. But I wouldn't miss la Festa al Fresco, sponsored by Creampuffs in Venice and La Mia Cucina. And since we're still busy celebrating How to Use Garden Tomatoes Week, what could be more perfect than an event celebrating fresh foods!