Here Comes Summer 2018!

The Memorial Day weekend has come and gone. The pool has been opened and is ready to welcome people to spend some relaxing hours and begin the summer vacation. All good!

20170609_175655

Need some new ideas for hot dogs this summer? You can read my post about the incredibly talented chef, and James Beard award-winning television host Pati Jinich, over at the Food section at Parade.

IMG_1963

If you haven’t discovered this PBS television host and chef, you need to take a look at her work here at her site.

https://patijinich.com/

Jinich shares a recipe for Mexican hot dogs that uses melted cheese on the hot dogs with a kick of flavor from a horseradish and mayonnaise spread on the inside of the buns.

You can add these hot dogs to your summer menu and make your friends and family happy with your riff on the classic hot dog off the grill.

IMG_1959

Get the details here over at Parade.

ttps://communitytable.parade.com/652530/aliceknisleymatthias-2/chef-pati-jinichs-family-recipe-for-mexican-hot-dogs/

We are ready for you summer breezes and conversation.

Advertisements

Remembering a First Lady with Her Recipes

This April has not given way to the spring season easily. Every beautiful day was followed by a chilly one that didn’t allow a string of days to let us ride a wave of pleasant weather.

20180424_091826 (1)

The change of seasons brings new experiences to embrace and a reminder of those people, places or events that have left us.

20180424_091844_HDR (1)

This April we lost a former First Lady with the passing of Barbara Bush. You can read the link below from my post at Parade. It is about an episode of Cooking Live with Food Network’s Sara Moulton and it included favorite recipes from First Ladies like Nancy Reagan, Jackie Kennedy, Rosalyn Carter and Barbara Bush.

https://communitytable.parade.com/650621/aliceknisleymatthias-2/remembering-first-lady-barbara-bush-with-two-of-her-recipes/

Sara was kind enough to share the link on her Facebook page. Take a look at the post, her other recipes and ideas here in this link.

https://www.facebook.com/SaraMoulton/

Bring on spring and the start of a new garden season! The garden is life. Life in a garden is peace.

 

It Felt Like Spring on a February Morning in the Garden

Every once in a while a February day can bring uncharacteristically warm weather and sunshine. We had one of those last week and it set a record in our area. It was the perfect reminder that the spring season is getting a little closer every day.

20180221_110843_HDR

There are signs of spring all around if you look closely. A bud here and there. Maybe a  new green shoot or leaf bursting forth on branches and in the ground.

20180221_113212

That’s the thing about perennial gardens – they move through time with you in cycles. This is the time of year when everything starts to wake up and appear once again.

 

Goodbye, December!

The beauty of winter came to visit before the holiday with a few quiet blankets of snow in mid-December. All you need is a little bit of a dusting of snow to feel the magic.

20171209_152712

A pine tree that sits in the back of the garden takes on a new role in the winter season with snow. What once sat in the background in summer and fall, is now transformed.

20171209_152720

It doesn’t take much to change how it looks and dress it up for the season. The powdery snow is the decoration that nature adds to the tree.

20171215_183506

Our contribution is some gold and crimson-colored ribbons as well as small, twinkling lights.

20171215_183454

So simple. So peaceful.

Best wishes for 2018 and Peace on Earth.

 

Let’s Say We Did November

So, the month of November slipped by without a check-in. That’s not to say it was a slow month. Not at all. Our Thanksgiving holiday was a lovely one filled with laughter, plates of sliced turkey and stuffing paired with a warm gravy boat.

20171123_174140 (1)

We have settled on a method that let’s the turkey come out perfectly brown every time. We soak large pieces of cheesecloth in melted creamy butter and add in fresh herbs like thyme and oregano, salt, paprika and garlic. This gets draped over the turkey as it cooks in the oven.

Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Boo! A Minecraft Halloween

 

Nothing says Halloween like a Minecraft Jack o’ lantern!

pumpkin

Looking for some ideas for today? Take a look at my most recent post for the Food section over at Parade for some delicious ideas for everyone. Just click on the link below.

https://communitytable.parade.com/619107/aliceknisleymatthias-2/sweet-and-savory-halloween-snack-ideas-for-the-trick-or-treaters-in-your-neighborhood/

Have fun!

BobbyFlay, Rachael Ray and the End of September

Time to decide that the summer season is over.

20170609_175655

After a cool end to the month of August, and a blast of heat in late September when we were back in school, we can say that even though it seemed a little off balance it is time to move on. This week brought us summer-like heat as the pumpkins were on display at the market.

IMG_20131009_112326

Here are two of my recent posts from the food section over at Parade that you can take a look at for some recipe ideas.

https://communitytable.parade.com/611267/aliceknisleymatthias-2/bobby-flay-and-rachael-ray-its-the-best-time-of-the-season-for-tomatoes-and-corn/

https://communitytable.parade.com/609965/aliceknisleymatthias-2/tips-for-variety-with-back-to-school-lunches/

20170630_114708

It was a productive growing season for the herbs this summer. The rosemary that hung out in a window box was really happy with that location. It got intense afternoon sun and the fresh sprigs tossed on chicken or pork on the grill infused flavor for many outdoor meals on the patio.

IMG_20140612_171248

Tomorrow we welcome October and all that is yet to come with fallen leaves, apples and pumpkins, and meals that reflect the change in season.

Recipe Ideas for Cherry Season!

School is out for summer vacation! Time to slow down, relax and make some great food. Right now, it is all about cherry season.

IMG_20140613_160423

Cherries, like any fruit, make a great pair with grilled meats. The sweetness of the fruit combined with the smoky flavor that comes from cooking meat on the grill is a dinner everyone around here enjoys.

IMG_20140613_161724

Extra-virgin olive oil, a splash of white balsamic vinegar, chopped cherries and strips of bright basil are the perfect topping for grilled pork chops for dinner out on the patio.

IMG_20140615_132007

The farmers’ markets have the cherries front and center right now at the stands. Pick some up for snacking or recipe ideas.

We like to lightly coat a crusty loaf of bread with olive oil and toast on the grill.

IMG_20140620_170357

When the bread is toasted, remove from the grill and cut into slices.  Layer a piece of creamy Brie cheese and a mixture of chopped cherries tossed with basil, extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of Kosher salt. Spoon the cherry mixture on top of the Brie and toasted bread.

IMG_20140620_171224

You can certainly swap out the Brie for goat cheese. Drizzle a good-quality organic honey on the goat cheese before adding the cherries.

IMG_20140620_173454

There are two ways to get the pits out of the cherries to start to work with them for any recipe. You can lean on them with some gentle pressure with the back of a kitchen knife or you can invest in one of these.

IMG_20140614_174349

That is a cherry pitter and it is super easy to use. Simply place the cherry in the plastic tube and squeeze the handle which will spear through the cherry and push the pit out from the middle of the fruit.

IMG_20140614_174453

It’s that simple. Repeat until all cherries are done. Sounds like the perfect job for the kids to help prepare a meal for the family.

IMG_20140614_174515

Of course you will want to use some cherries for a dessert now that dinner is outside.

IMG_20140620_164609

Pick up some frozen phyllo dough shells for dessert tonight. Place the pastry cups on a pan on the cool side of the grill with the lid closed. If you place them on a pan over a direct flame they will quickly burn.

IMG_20140614_164849

Macerate some cherries and blueberries in white balsamic vinegar and granulated sugar. Drain and spoon in the toasted phyllo cups and tear some mint leaves to scatter on top.

IMG_20140615_161911

Easy and delicious. Bring on summer!

Making a Memorable Burger!

The rain was falling just as we were getting ready to leave to join our school at the start of the parade route for the annual Memorial Day parade down the main avenue of the neighborhood.

IMG_1963

Once we met our group, the raindrops stopped and we were happy to close our huge umbrella and carry it behind the elementary school marching band. The brass instruments pierced the air with the sounds of Yankee Doodle and the drums pounded away as everyone walked behind the school banner.

IMG_20130820_195613 (1)

After we marched to honor those who fought for our freedom, everyone wanted hamburgers and fries. They had worked up an appetite but the cover on the grill had pools of water in the crevices of the cover. Not the inspiration to get outside and start grilling!

20160730_140427

We decided it wouldn’t be the official kick-off to summer without burgers cooked outside on the grill. Maybe the weather conditions weren’t ideal. It didn’t matter. We went ahead as planned and got the most important ingredient for the chef at the grill ready to make dinner!

IMG_1958

We’re looking at you, Mike!

We like to assemble our burgers and pop them in the freezer for a bit. This keeps them from falling apart when they hit the hot grill grates which have been brushed with a light coating of cooking oil.

IMG_1959

Once the burgers have achieved a nice char on the outside, they get placed on the other side of the grill where a cooler zone is set up with no direct flame underneath. Place a sheet of aluminum foil for the burgers for easy clean up and to catch the drippings as they are topped with thin slices of cheese.

IMG_1964

Split the hamburger rolls and lightly toast the insides face down on the grill. This is not the time to walk away! The rolls will toast quickly.

IMG_1966

When the burgers come off the grill, take the toasted hamburger rolls and dip in the drippings of the burgers for a little more flavor before putting the burgers in the rolls to serve.

IMG_1968

For more burger ideas take a look at my most recent post in the Food section over at Parade.

https://communitytable.parade.com/589234/aliceknisleymatthias-2/build-a-better-burger-this-holiday-weekend/

Grilling season has arrived!