Friday, October 29, 2010

Banana Bread and a paradigm shift

    I'm thinking of Banana bread today and sharing a post I wrote a while back.This might be a nice fall breakfast treat to prepare this weekend.

     I'm very picky about my banana consumption. In order for me to enjoy a banana it must have just past it's green stage, become fully yellow and firm but not yet have acquired a strong banana smell.

     For as long as I can remember I have never eaten banana bread or for that matter any banana flavored food of any kind. Fostering this mindset can very often leave me with quite a bit of uneaten wasted fruit, which has motivated me to take banana action.

     In recent years I have on a few occasions unwittingly tried some banana bread and found it surprisingly tasty.I began to explore and experiment with many recipes and have liked most of them.This morning I discovered a bunch of bananas on our bakers rack, in need of an alternate plan.

     I baked a classic blueberry banana bread. Simple to prepare, wonderful to smell and delicious to taste. I like to substitute half of the butter in the recipe with applesauce and part of the white flour with whole wheat flour.I have been pleased with the results.

     This raises the questions; what concepts in my life have I dismissed out of hand and what concepts should I open up my mind and heart to reevaluate? I thought it might be an  interesting concept to share. What other ideas and beliefs can we reexamine in our lives that no longer serve our best interests.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Peaches: a Look Back with Gratitude

    
I just reread this post and recalled a sweet memory. I'm creating new memories as I share peach preserves,canned last July with friends on my autumn road trip. We are now well into fall and the joy derived from my summer canning continues.Let's take a peek back at summer while enjoying the fall harvest. If I can learn to can anyone can.


This summer one of my goals was to take this healthy living concept we have been working on to the next step. We have planted a garden and become more mindful of what is in out food and how it is grown. A natural extension of that is learning how to preserve our food. I have been intrigued for many years by the thought of putting food up for the winter. I wanted to learn to preserve food at its freshest and be able to enjoy it all year long. 

This month I achieved that goal with the help of my good friends, Tamara and Nancy and our team effort to familiarize or refamilairize ourselves with the process of putting food by. As it was peach season, they became the obvious choice for the project. I had gone to Fredericksburg Texas and returned with between two and three bushels of peaches ready for use. 

It’s important to note that this is summer in Texas and one of the hottest summers I can recall. Hot weather added to peaches will result in a very short ripening period. When peaches are ripe they are very ripe and the window of time till they become over ripe and bad is quite small. You can now begin to visualize all that ensued in the week between bringing the peaches home and canning day. 

     The initial sort led to a bowlful of peaches that needed to be used immediately. Not being one to waste food I began making peach salsa, peach ice cream and peach sorbet. We next filled my refrigerator crisper drawers with peaches that were ready to be held cool until we used them. 

     The next morning as if by magic the sea of relatively hard peaches covering my dining room were getting soft and ripe. This was Tuesday and we still had five days till canning. Nancy has a second refrigerator and an early morning emergency peach call went out. With a car full of peaches I arrived at Nancy’s and laughed right along with her as we emptied her laundry room fridge to make room for even more peaches then she could have imagined. 

     We must have done the right thing because we lost relatively few peaches in the five days we had to wait till canning day. 

 The plan was for Nancy, Tamara and I to meet early, begin the processing and later be joined by the guys who would BBQ lunch and later we would all relax in the late afternoon.

When the three of us arrived in Nancy’s kitchen we very quickly had to develop a game plan to approach this project. Nancy is the only one of us who had any real canning experience. We loved listening to her relate fond memories of working on the canning processes with her mother and grandmother and although it had been years, the basic principles had stayed with her giving us a rough framework of how to approach the day. We chose Nancy’s kitchen because the size and layout we knew would work beautifully for this project. A long granite island sits at the center of her kitchen and it is designed so that two people can stir pots at the stove top from opposite sides of the island.

We decided to work on the slices first and fell in to a rhythm of peach peeling and slicing, bottle sterilization and simple syrup creation. When we had filled quite a few jars and freezer bags we switched to preserve making where the peaches are diced added to the lemon, sugar and eventually pectin is put into the mix and it is finally jarred and reprocessed. 

All this time the peach peels had been carefully placed in stock pots with a bit of water to simmer and simmer away till we were left with and intoxicating peach slurry of sorts, cooked and rendered till the smell that rose from the pot became
Intense and delightful. This is just about when the guys arrived. Immediately we had a league of helpers.  Nancy’s beau David brought his daughters along and all three of them without hesitation jumped into the prep work  tirelessly helping peel and section the peaches that seemed never to end. My husband John had grown up with a family that canned often and he joined right in to help too. Tamara’s husband Steven manned the grill and soon we could smell chicken and ribs on the grill snapping us in to the realization that we had been so consumed by peach production. That we had not eaten.
The kitchen was a flurry of activity. Peach skin slurry was being sieved through a colander to render the pure clean nectar for the jelly. Jars and lids were being sterilized, jam was cooking on the stove husbands were hand feeding wives as they continues to stir their pots of peachy goodness.  There were peaches, ever more peaches peeled and sectioned one after the other in a seemingly endless succession. Without the help of the entire tribe we never would have achieved our vision. We were a party of eight all working in sync cleaning cooking laughing sharing old memories and creating new ones.

The feeling in the air was one of old-fashioned hominess, camaraderie and love, all to rare in our lives today. We set out to preserve peaches that day but I think we preserved a whole lot more. I feel we brought back to light a bit of the past,  exploring the roots of the activities that built communities and united us as a nation. We thought of the women generations before us for whom this was the way you fed your family and in many cases the only way it got done. We thought of David’s daughters now learning skills they might someday pass on to their own children. Would they be remembering stories about this day and sharing them in a crowded kitchen in years to come?

I hope they will remember and share this day. I love to think that somehow our day of peach canning will be woven into a tapestry with threads from the past and the future, blending together, and continuing a history that we can be proud of, one that can warm our souls and that can bring us together. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Margot's Mini Meatloaf


     Tonight Margot is preparing cute little individual meatloaves for us and she is using her muffin tins to prepare them. She told us how she had lost her favorite sweet and sour meatloaf muffin tin recipe and on an internet search  she saw a Rachael Ray recipe which was  similar .This is an adaptation of that recipe. If any of you have a good sweet and sour meatloaf recipe she would be very grateful to have it shared. She loved that sweet and sour meatloaf.
chopping up the veggies
1 lb pork
1 lb ground beef
1 onion diced
2 stalks celery diced
1 egg
1 tsp milk
1 cup home made croutons made into bread crumbs
2 Tbs. Montréal steak seasoning (she says use your favorite beef seasoning)
A splash of Worcestershire sauce
She combines all these ingredients in a bowl
Ready to mix the ingredients
In another bowl she mixes
1 cup of South Carolina BBQ sauce
½ cup salsa
She uses ½ of this mixture in the meat mix and
half on top of the mini meat loaves.
Put a bit of the sauce on top
She sprays her muffin tins with pam and places 1/3 cup of the meat mixture in each tops each section with sauce and pops them in the oven

She cooks them at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes

She is serving this with cauliflower that is whipped like mashed potatoes
and home made corn bread
Total under $16.00 for dinner for 5  
 
Tip of the day: Talk to your friends. Don’t hesitate to share and trade ideas and recipes with friends. It will give you countless ideas on new recipes and ingredients to experiment with. Even the classics can take on a new look when you visit other peoples kitchens

Road Trip Edition: Grab and Go Bars From My Friends @RealAge

      I've been very lucky to discover so many smart helpful people through twitter. One of the first friends to reach out to me was @RealAge . I had tried a recipe they featured called grab and go breakfast bars. These bars have become a staple snack at our house. They are a regular part of my husbands lunches and my afternoon snacks. I've made them for countless road trips and I really must say they are a terrific alternative to store bought bar products. I like knowing what is in them and and I love that they are delicious.
I appreciate @realage for always being so gracious and helpful.


Dry Ingredients
1 cup Quaker Oats
1 cup Shredded wheat
1/4 cup fiber one
1 cup walnuts
1 1/2 cups of a variety of dried apricots cherries cranberries raisins 
(I always use whatever I have)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients
2 eggs
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

I place all the dry ingredients in a food processor and run it till chopped to pea sized pieces.

In a different bowl, I whisk together eggs vanilla and honey to combine

Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture. 

I place on the half sheet pan and flatten it to make it even spread evenly.
Bake for 17 or  18 minutes at 350 degrees you will see  the edges turn brownish  
Let cool cut into even pieces and enjoy.

@RealAge Tells me they freeze well and someday I might have them around long enough to freeze but they usually disappear way before I have time to freeze them
Click here to see the real age recipe video that inspired me

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Steelhead Trout For Our Friends

     We are so lucky to be visiting friends in Vermont this week. They have been so gracious inviting us to share fall with them year after year. They have allowed us to prepare dinner for them tonight. As we nibble on crackers and goat cheese we are preparing a feast..

Steelhead trout with friends

1.75  lbs of steelhead trout
Remove any pin bones and
Rub it with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Garlic Rosemary paste for the trout

Make a mixture of:
4-6 garlic cloves
2-3 sprigs of rosemary
½ juice of a lemon
zest of one lemon
1 tsp salt
1-2 tbs olive oil

Mince the above garlic, zest and rosemary finely
Add oil, juice S&P
Mash well to make a paste.

Spread paste heavily over trout
Putting garlic lemon paste over the fish

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-22 minutes till done.

I’m serving this with a diced tomato and red onion salad tossed with
Olive oil, red wine vinegar S&P
Tomato red onion salad
Green beans with butter S&P and...

Margot introduced us to a variety of squash called  "Little Gem" which she roasted and served with maple syrup on top. It was delicious.
Dinner with friends is always wonderful
TIP OF THE DAY: When visiting friends for the weekend offer to cook for your hosts.    It’s great to unwind, chat, nibble on snacks and prepare a good meal with friends. It’s a nice change from going out to a restaurant and you can linger over the prep and the meal for as long as you wish.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Road Trip Edition: Roasted Rosemary Cashews



     It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to a relationship you will treasure for the rest of your lives. I'm sure it will grace many of your holiday tables and gift baskets this Christmas and Thanksgiving season. 

     It is a recipe I discovered from an idol of mine Ina Garten who I absolutely adore. She inspires me in so many ways and I've been pleased with every recipe of hers that I have ever tried. She says this is almost identical to the bar nuts at the Union Square Cafe in New York and included in their cookbook.

     I love serving these at parties and bringing them as hostess gifts during the holiday party season.

1 1/4 lbs.   cashews
2 tbs.       chopped fresh rosemary leaves 
1/2 tsp     cayenne pepper
2 tsp        dark brown sugar 
2 tsp          kosher salt 
1 tbs         melted butter
                 
Place the nuts on a baking sheet & bake for about 
10 minutes in a 375 degree oven
till they are nice and warm  
  
Combine the rosemary, the sugar,the cayenne, the kosher salt and the melted butter in a big bowl.  mix well
When the nuts are done add the warm nuts to the bowl of herbs spices and butter and mix well.

When I have guests I serve these  nuts warm but, this time they are going along on the road trip with us and will be a perfect road snack

Here is a link to the original  recipe

Monday, October 18, 2010

Road Food Edition: Kale Chips

  
   One of the great joys of any road trip is road food. That said, one of the great drawbacks of being on the road is road food. In our travels we have delighted in the discovery of unique and wonderful places to eat, and have on many occasions loaded our trunk with exotic and unconventional food products from all over the country. We have also found ourselves in many parts of the country where dining at a fast food would have been a delight compared to the available choices. We love to try new places when it is our idea and not because we are desperate. I like to prepare a variety of road food to bring with us on trips. These snacks give us energy while on the road and can, in a pinch double as a meal,  As we make our way across the country I will share any great discoveries we come across as well as some of my favorite portable treats.

    One of my newest taste treat discoveries this year has been the kale chip. I planted kale this year and I’ve fallen in love with it. I cook it in much the same way I cook spinach. I love it in soups and as a flavorful side dish. For road trips I bake it till crispy and try not to eat it all before I leave the house.

I picked fresh kale leaves from the garden cleaned them and dried them
I lay them out on a sheet pan and spray them with a light mist of olive oil.
I sprinkle them with salt and pepper Sometimes I add chili pepper or paprika as well
I bake them in a 350 degree oven for about seven minutes and watch them carefully.

TIP OF THE DAY: These chips are a wonderful item to bring over to a friends house for a party. They are a great alternative to chips as you watch television. They are a staple   in our road trip goodie bag for cross country munching.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fried Green Tomatoes :Smart Cooking in Arkansas




     While stopping for gas in Carlisle, Arkansas we decided we had better find a bite to eat before it got to be too late. The only other people in the gas station that evening were a couple who turned out to be local. They recommended a place,just down the road called Nick's.
      Opened in 1972 Nick's Bar-B-Que and Catfish restaurant seems to be somewhat of a Neighborhood hotspot in Caslisle, and it was packed. We loved seeing their full parking lot, it showed us the place is good enough to draw a crowd. 

     As we entered past the red neon sign we passed a wall of autographed photos of celebrities who have joined the folks at Nick's for a meal. If it's good enough for George Strait and Trace Atkins I suppose it's good enough for me. The friendly hostess instructed us to grab a clean table and someone should be right with us.

     Saturday evening at Nick's means that college football is on the TV, catfish is frying in the kitchen and there's a plate of ribs on practically every table. When I saw fried green tomatoes on the menu I knew that this would have to be what I ordered. I have always wanted to try this southern specialty but this  is the first place I've been to where ordering them just felt right. They were as good as I imagined.crispy with a touch of heat on the outside and soft and tangy on the inside. I will definitely be trying these with my tomatoes.

      I'm not usually one to order fried food but I'm glad I tried this local specialty. I was also very impressed with the friendly staff who took the time to talk about the finer points of freid green tomatoes with me.


TIP OF THE DAY: Don't be shy about asking for recommendations.We would have missed an interesting experience if we hadn't asked a local.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Simple Abundance: Flatbread Pizza

   Putting the finishing touches on everything before we take off leaves me with little to choose from for tonight's dinner...or does it? While making the lavash for our road snacks I decided to roll out a bit of dough for an impromptu pizza.  That coupled with the leftover soup should be a nice meal to enjoy as we pack the car and go over the to do lists one final time. I've also been busy going over which food items can be put in the freezer until our return. 
Gifts from the garden
Green pepper from our garden
artichokes
tomato
Some fresh pesto

hmmm this is shaping up nicely...

leftover mozzarella
fresh oregano and basil
a few red pepper flakes
Total under $5.00 for this meal of simple abundance

 TIP OF THE DAY: When you think you have nothing on hand to fix for for dinner, think again. Look through the fridge, pantry and cupboards and embrace just how much you do have. We are in the habit of saying we have nothing to wear, nothing to make for dinner and nothing to watch on television and it may be time to rethink those notions. Today I prepared this pizza with what I had on hand. Gifts from the garden and a little creativity was all it took to make this simple crust of flour and water into my meal of simple abundance..

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Carrot Curry Soup

      I have a huge five-pound bag of organic carrots in the refrigerator and when I look at them I think about making a big pot of carrot soup. What a wonderful use for the homemade stock I have on hand. I love a smooth creamy carrot soup filled with all kinds of interesting flavors. One of my favorites is the exotic and warming curry variety. I suppose the biggest addition that sets this soup apart for me and makes it special is the use of orange juice. I think it gives a great flavor whether I use fresh or concentrate I always have a good result.

4 cups    homemade chicken broth 
(veg stock or boxed organic is fine too)
1/3             onion $.35
2 strips      red pepper optional
2-2.5 Lbs  carrots $2.00
1   Tbs       curry powder
¼ Tsp      turmeric
1    Rib      celery $.10
2   Tbs      orange juice Concentrate $.75
                  Salt and Pepper
Cooking the carrots
I cook the onion celery & pepper in olive oil till translucent (not brown)
Then add the carrots and the stock
when carrots are tender
I blend with an immersion blender till smooth
I add the spices to taste
Add the orange Juice and mix in
If it is a bit thick I add water a bit at a time as I blend till I get the consistency I want
Taste and adjust spices if needed
I added some half and half to the soup before serving. (sometimes I leave it out)

I'm serving this with pickled cucumbers, Johns Cranberry orange country loaf 
and a a baby greens,  grape and walnut salad with grapefruit, lime, mint and an apple cider vinaigrette I've been playing around with.
Total under $6.00 even if you buy the stock


TIP OF THE DAY: Reserve a little of this or that to freeze as an accent for another meal. When I slow cooked the onion and red pepper to serve with our Usingers Brats I took a few pieces of red pepper and held them aside (about one tablespoonful). I thought it would add a nice accent to my carrot soup. If you have a few slices of this or that frozen it may not be enough for a side dish on its own but it can add a layer of flavor when used in a different recipe.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Brats on the Grill Topped with Caramelized Onion and Peppers

The brats are almost done

     I was busy today creating treats to enjoy on our upcoming road trip. I have also been harvesting bowls full of basil for pesto to freeze in case we get a cold snap while we are away. I am glad dinner was a super easy to fix tonight.

     One of our favorite places to get brats is a place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin called Usingers (link for Usingers click here )When we visit them we always lament on the difficulty of bring back meats in our luggage and wind up walking away empty handed. Imagine our surprise when we discovered Usingers at one of our local stores. Now whenever we crave these delicious brats they are nearby. Thank you Usingers.

     We are treating ourselves to brats on the grill tonight served on whole wheat buns with spicy mustard. As an homage to my New York roots I’m caramelizing some onion and red pepper to top it off the brats. I cooked them   at  a very low temperature for a very long time. As I took care of my trip preparations I allowed the onion and pepper to slowly caramelize and almost melt. We can serve them on top of the brats.
Cooked slowly on a low temperature
Brats $5.00 (4 pack)
Buns $2.29 (4 pack)
onion $.50
Red pepper $.50

I’ve also made a last minute kitchen sink carrot slaw
(No real recipe I just throw in this and that)

cup or so of grated of carrot
couple of tablespoons of yogurt
handful of raisins
splash or two of cider vinegar
curry powder to taste
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon of sugar to taste
and a bit of mayo
I just taste as I go and it always turns out well.
 Total under $10.00

TIP OF THE DAY: Use the grill It’s a great way to keep the kitchen cool on a warm day and the taste of brats on the grill just cant be beat. It really helps make clean up easier as well. There is no rule that says you can’t make the most of the outdoor grill just because it’s fall or even winter for that matter (weather permitting)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Spinach Risotto ~Jammies and The TV

What's not to like?
     Most of the packing for our upcoming trip is done and it’s time to relax tonight and serve up a big bowl of comfort food. I want the kind of meal we can eat in in front of the TV while wearing our jammies, all cozy and snug.We will soon be gone for a month and I’m sure we will miss nights like this.

     As I thought about what meal would fit the bill for this kind of relaxing TV night the thought of warm creamy risotto came to mind. One of the most comforting meals I can think of is a big warm bowl of piping hot risotto. Tonight it will be spinach risotto in front of the tube. 

     Be advised it will take you about a half an hour to cook and its not the kind of dish you can walk away from so put on some music or call a friend and stir it frequently. There are a couple of perks in being near the stove for this process. I love the smell of the wine being added to the rice, it wafts through the kitchen and makes me smile. I also love stirring in the Parmesan right near the end, bringing all the creaminess of the rice and cheese together.
As you add the rice to the oil it is absorbed and is almost luminescent
Spinach Risotto for a cozy evening
1 tbs butter $.25
1 tbs olive oil $.10
1/2 slice bacon $.50 (adds great flavor)
¾ cup leeks $.75
¾ cup Arborio rice $1.00
½ cup white wine $1.50
3 cups homemade chicken stock
(from the chicken I cooked last week)
1 bag frozen spinach $.90
thawed with the water squeezed out of
handful of fresh basil from our garden (chopped)
½ cup Parmesan cheese $1.00
a touch of nutmeg

First I put 3 cups of stock in a pot and heat it (keep it simmering)
I will add it to the risotto one ladleful at a time

I melt the butter & add the oil and bacon to the pan
Saute the leek (or shallot or onion) till translucent
Add the rice and stir to coat
Rice will be coated with the butter/oil
Add the wine and stir
Add a ladleful of the hot stock and stir till incorporated
Add another ladleful
And repeat till the stock is fully absorbed by the rice
when you draw the spoon back  and it is dry add more broth
Usually takes twenty minutes to a half an hour.

when the rice is done add the spinach & basil and stir and
then the cheese. 
Adding the spinach
Serve hot
Total under $7.00

TIP OF THE DAY: I’m a huge fan of fresh veggies and they are always a favorite of mine. However there is a lot to be said for frozen veggies that are picked at their peak and frozen till needed. After all don’t I freeze my own basil pesto for later use? I really do not care for canned vegetables and I never buy them myself, as I don’t like the taste. But I find frozen vegetables work very well.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Spinach Salad and Cucumber Sandwiches

     I’m Feeling in the mood for a fresh salad tonight. I’ve been running around town all day and the last thing I feel like eating is a big filling meal. With the temperature here still well above eighty degrees today it does still feel a bit like summer. What a great way to use up the bits and pieces left in the fridge before our trip.  
  
for the salad~ layer
 1 Cup Spinach  $1.00
 2 oz Mozzarella $1.25
1 Tomato $.50
1/8 Red onion $.35
1/4 cup pecans $.50
Basil
Green apple slices $.50
Raisins $.25 
cucumber
julienned ham $.50
Serve with good olive oil , an aged balsamic vinegar and S&P


Filling the sandwich with goodies
A very nice aged balsamic
for the sandwiches ~:
lightly spread both sides of the bread with cream cheese $.50
spread a hint of mayo on one side
layer of seeded cucumbers sliced paper thin  (last of the garden crop)
pieces of red onion $.30
celery salt
dried chive
salt & pepper
Total under $6.00
TIP OF THE DAY: As the weather gets cooler our bodies naturally crave heartier heavier meals. It’s built into our DNA, the same way we naturally crave salad in summer. Even though it is October it is still pretty warm here so it feels like a good night for salad.
With months of hearty eating ahead I sometimes like to shake things up a bit with a light refreshing salad. I’ll balance the lightness of the salad with a rich 25 year old balsamic vinegar that like a fine wine is aged to perfection.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Shrimp Scampi

Treasure our oceans and their bounty
      Today I’m looking at the fridge and planning on the best way to pare down the contents before my month long road trip. I’ll see what I can use effectively this week and what I can prepare to freeze before we take off. It has been a very busy week packing and sorting so I want something easy to fix. I’m a big fan of shrimp, hot or cold so when I saw the shrimp in the freezer I immediately began craving scampi.
Swiss chard from our garden
             My Adaptation of Shrimp Scampi
8 Large Shrimp $5.00
3 cloves Garlic $.35 ( I use several cloves because I like a strong garlic flavor)
1/2 Lemon $.25
Pasta $.50
1/2 cup peas $.40
1/4 cup Parmesan $.50 
several leaves of Swiss chard from the garden

I cooked the pasta to al dente and set aside
sauteed the chard in olive oil  
added garlic  (don’t burn)
 then the shrimp
 lemon juice on top
 and the cooked pasta to finish it in the, pan
add peas.
Total under $7.00


TIP OF THE DAY: If you are planning to leave town don’t waste the contents of your fridge. Make a big pot of soup or stew and freeze it in dinner size portions. When you return home needing to unpack, do laundry, get the house in order and open mail you won’t need to cook. All you will need to do is defrost reheat and serve a delicious nourishing meal.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

George’s Gorgeous Grouper

     It was a glorious fall morning at our local farmers market. We strolled past the cheerful stalls, and sipped our coffee as we watched families (and their puppies) pour over the pumpkin wagon in an effort to find the perfect Halloween prize. Vendors greeted passersby exchanging small talk and samples of their products as I snapped photos and admired the produce.

     After a detailed inspection of the entire market I decided on some fresh fat green beans and a selection of fish from my favorite fishmonger. I’ve learned through trial and error not to go overboard with my purchases. Food I have to throw away is a waste of resources and money so I’ve become better at buying just what I feel I will use.
 Tonight we are having George’s Gorgeous Grouper
                                        (George is our fishmonger)

 To coat the fish:
I mix
¼ cup Grated Parmesan $1.00
¼ cup Breadcrumbs $.50
½ tsp Old bay
1/8 cup ground pecans $.50
½ tsp Lemon thyme fresh from the garden
Cayenne pinch or two to taste (we like a bit more)
Set aside
coating mixture
 I brush the grouper $5.00
with a thin coat of mayonnaise 
(yes, Mayo~but not too much)
Then roll in the crumb mixture

Pan fry in butter and olive oil til done
10 minutes or so
I served the meal with some very strange looking carrots from the garden funny looking but very good
funny looking carrots from the garden
I’ll trim and cook green beans till al dente $1.00
Butter salt & pepper
The leftover salsa and vegetable puree came in handy as a garnish tonight
Total under $ 8.00  


TIP OF THE DAY: I found some terrific looking grouper at the fishmongers wagon today. I really like grouper and I don’t see it too often at our local grocery store so I bought two. When you see a really good price on a hard to find product buy an extra portion to freeze. Having an extra portion or two of  a unique item  is a wonderful way to keep variety in our menus.