Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Out and About

Farmers Market Again
I've been to Shawano's Farmers Market again.
It's easy walking and entertaining as well.
Vegies, flowers, things, people, stuff. I love it all.

I met someone new this time. Her name is Kara, and her business is Northwoods Harvest.

There was an enticing basket of dried herbs.

There was an assortment of wonderful fruit products and fresh mushrooms. I hope she's back there again.

This time I finally caught the live music act, because I diddled around at home longer and didn't get going. Like, sleeping in later. On a Saturday morning. Normally that doesn't happen, but this time, I'm glad it worked out that way.

I didn't catch the group's name, but they were multi-talented.
As in multi-tasking.

As in playing a guitar and a harmonica at the same time.

Then there was the accordion. Made a person want to break into a hippity-hop polka.
Which a person could do. If they wanted to dance in the street. Or maybe the wide open lot behind the band. If they knew how to dance.

That Good Old Mountain Dew had me tapping my toe as I made my way down the street.
No easy task to tap a toe while walking.

My finds this time:
Kohlrabi, of course. The main reason for going there in the first place.
Warm mittens upcycled from sweaters. The second reason for going there. I scoped them out the last time I was there.
And Kara threw in a few shiitake mushrooms for good measure.
I never know who or what may be waiting, luring me back the following week.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

From The Kitchen - Outside The Nest

Marinated Grilled Steak

I finally broke down and purchased a small gas grill.
George just wasn't cutting it, especially during the summer.

There's nothing like the flavor of a good cut of beef, marinated in a bevy of ingredients, and then grilled.
Ah, the smoky char, the juices, the flavors that are wed.
Ok, so that's really weird.

I'm using a nice aged New York strip, and I trim some of the fat off the edge. I like the marbled effect. That's what adds flavor.

Next I assemble a group of ingredients.

I mix and stir and pour into a closable bag.

Oops, forgot the fresh ground pepper.
Seal it up, put it in the frig, let it marinate a minimum of 6 hours. I flip it at least once, so that the marinate gets on all sides.

Can you smell the smoky goodness? Can you taste the slightly caramelized coating on the outside?

Is your mouth watering yet?

I paired it up with fresh kohlrabi. Delightful.

The next night I paired up the leftovers with steak fries. Too bad there's more steak fried than steak.
Next time I'll get a bigger piece of steak.
Other possibilities:
Sliced thin on top of a fresh spinach salad.
Sliced thin for fajitas.
Added to a french roll, slathered with a bit of horseradish sauce, and press in a panini press.
Any way you eat it,
is it ever good.
Happy Saturday and may your grill always provide
you with the best burnt offerings. 

Marinated Grilled Steak

1/2 C olive or vegetable oil
1/3 C soy sauce
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1-1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tsp minced onion
1/2 Tsp ground black pepper
1-1/2 pounds flank, New York strip, or sirloin steak

Combine first 8 ingredients, place in large zip-lock bag. Add meat and close. Marinate in refrigerator 6-12 hours, turning half way through. Remove meat from bag and blot with paper towel. Discard bag with marinate. Cook steak on grill over medium heat, 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from grill, cover and let set 5-10 minutes. Slice against grain. 3-4 servings.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Northwoods County Cabin Cottage Decorating

What Is It?
A recent visit to a local antique shop proved just too much for me.
I mean, when I got home, there IT was, 
riding along nicely in the back of my car.
I need to keep the doors locked. I can't tell you how many times things just decide to come along for the ride.

Now it lives in my home, right next to the old rocking chair that my family has had for years and years.
It has shelves.

It has cubbies.

Is it a sewing cart?
Is it a plant stand?
Is it a side table?
I don't have the answer, but the lady at the shop told me it could be whatever I wanted it to be.
It's one of my many treasures that call my place Home.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

From the Kitchen - Outside the Nest

Nutty Nannabutter Bites

They're cool. They're creamy. They're crunchy.
Kids and adults love them.

Let's start with the bananas. Slice them into nice slices.

Then dollup a bit of peanut butter between two slices,
jab a toothpick through them, put them in a container.
This is a bit messy, which is why I don't have a picture of me spreading the peanut butter between the slices. Pop the container in the freezer.

Ok, after they have been chillin' in the freezer for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours, remove and dip in melted chocolate.

I found this at my local grocer. It worked well. 
I did 2 medium bananas with it, and had a bit left over. Melting chocolate baking chips will work as well.

A quick plunge into chopped peanuts.

Then it's back into the freezer for another 2 hours, and then, commence to tasting.

I love being on the taste-testing panel of judges.
I give this recipe a. . . . . 10.
Home run! Score! 
As in, are they ever good.
May all your dippin' be happy dippin'.

Nutty Nannabutter Bites

2-3 medium bananas
Peanut butter
1 C milk, semi-sweet, or dark chocolate baking chips
1-2 Tsp butter or shortening
1/4 C chopped peanuts

Peel bananas, slice into 1/4 inch slices. Spread peanut butter between 2 slices, push a toothpick through both slices to keep them together. Place them in a covered container lined with waxed paper and freeze 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Melt baking chips. Add enough butter to thin to a dipping consistency. Dip bananas in chocolate and then dip bottoms in chopped nuts. Return to freezer, freeze additional 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Keep leftovers in freezer. If frozen longer than 2 hours, you may wish to let sit at room temperature for a few minutes before eating.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Out and About

Farmers Market Again
Yes, I went to the Farmers Market in Shawano again.
It's my new favorite Saturday morning thing to do.
After all, it'll only last so long, and then (I don't like to mention this), it'll be too cold, and snowy, and stuff.

So, this week I found some very interesting new vendors to visit with.

I started with Amy from Jagla's Platypus Flats Ranch.
She had homemade laundry detergent, natural citrus cleaner, lotion bars. I hope she's back again next time.

Then it was on to the Stocksdale family. They had all sorts of baked goods, raising money for mission work in Poland.

This is Bonnie. She makes the most adorable clothing for kids. And purses. And mittens, upcycled from sweaters. I'll be back to visit her as well. I tried a mitten on, and it was so snuggly warm.

And look at this little romper. Isn't this just the cutest for that little farm boy?

Onward. Here's my friend, Sandy, and her group of ladies, selling all sorts of baked goodies. They are members of HCE (Home and Community Education). They were raising money for books for kids.
Books! I love it! Can't get enough of them! 

These were but a few of the vendors that lured me in.
There was so much more produce: flowers, popcorn, yak meat, smoked fish.
I can't buy from every single one of them all in one week. I need to spread it out.
So, I visited with a couple vendors that I had noticed the prior week as well. I was thinking about the bakery's bread, and those wonderful purple kohlrabi.

 My picks of the week: one giant cookie to support mission work, one dozen cookies to support HCE, one garlic bread, two kohlrabi.
Hmm, over all, I think this was a good trip.
Saving my dollars for the next trip through.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

From the Kitchen - Outside the Nest

Weed Patch Refrigerator Pickles
I know what you're thinking.
You're thinking I'm out in somebody's weedy garden, picking cucumbers.
Follow along and you'll understand the name.
A plus with this recipe: you can make these anytime during the year, since the supermarkets carry fresh cukes all year long.

I start with these little gems. I buy my cucumbers at the store. Home grown will work as well.

Next it's vinegar and water and

 sugar and

 dill weed, lots of dill weed (that's a hint to the name), and

salt and

 dried minced onion and

 celery seed and

 mustard seed and

 pickling spice and

 dried red chili peppers and

chopped fresh garlic.

Then it's everyone in the pool for a couple of hours at room temperature before

hopping in the jar and chillin'. In the refrigerator.
Which explains why they're refrigerator pickles.
So now they're chillin'.
For 10 days.
I tried one on day 2. Hmm, not so great.
I tried one on day 5. Better, but still needs more time. Kinda strong on the garlic.
I tried one on day nine. Ah, now we're getting somewhere.

And finally day 10. Viola! Magnifico!
Why are they called Weed Patch Pickles, you ask?
Just look at all of that luscious dill weed clinging to their crunchyness. If you don't want all that dill weed, swish them off before you remove them from the jar.
Are they ever good.
Happy Saturday, and may all your pickles be crunchy.

Weed Patch Refrigerator Pickles
5 medium size cucumbers
1 C water
3/4 C white vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp dried dill weed
1 Tbsp dried minced onion
2 Tsp salt
1 Tsp mustard seed
1 Tsp pickling spice
½ Tsp celery seed
2 cloves fresh garlic, rough chopped
2 small dried red chili peppers

Scrub cucumbers, slice into 1/4 inch slices. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and add the cucumbers. Let sit at room temperature 2 hours. Remove cucumbers and place in a quart jar, pour spices and brine over. Cover with a tight lid. Refrigerate for 10 days, shaking jar every other day to mix spices throughout. Ready to eat after 10 days. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Out and About

Farmers Market

I decided to check out our local Farmers Market on Saturday. I found some treasures.
No, nothing to decorate my home with.
Things to decorate my dinner plate. 
All edible.

The first stop was the bakery section.
Oh my. A chocolate chip baguette?
She assured me that warming it would make it all nice and wonderful.
I couldn't help myself. I had to mention that I didn't see any cream filled, chocolate frosted, chocolate donuts. This bakery is known for those delicacies.
I passed on the baguette. Maybe next time.

Next, produce. Luscious strawberries, delectable blue berries.

I mean, just look at these beauties. Can't you just taste them? 

Then it was on to the kohlrabi. Winnie assured me that they were normal color inside. Just the outsides were purple. I haven't had one of these in a long time.

There were tables with cheeses, syrups, honey, oh my. These folks own Lake Breeze Cheese in Cecil. It was nice to stop and chat with them. They had a variety of cheeses, and samples too.

Oh, be still, my heart. Yes, there were even quilts there. As in mini barn quilts. Painted on wood. Well, they aren't really so mini, but compared to the ones that decorate the barns from one end of our county to the other, these are mini.

There were 2 sellers even. I assured this gentleman that I wasn't including him in the picture.
Funny how he somehow snuck in on the side.
Those silly cameras have a mind of their own.
Sandy assured me that if I could provide her with a picture of a chickadee, she could paint one.
I rushed right home and found a picture of a chickadee quilt block.
Hopefully, another story for a future blog.

My purchases for the day: 1 kohlrabi, 4 cookies(of course I purchased cookies), 1 carton of garden vegetable spread.
The kohlrabi lasted 2 meals, the cookies 1 day, and the cream cheese spread?
Well, there are crackers, there are baked potatoes, and maybe there will be shrimp Alfredo.
I can't wait to go back again, to see what else I can find. There were baked goods, popcorn, all sorts of fresh produce, fresh flowers, photos.
Who knows what else may show up.
And anyway,
those quilts are calling my name.