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So, this week, along with getting a new logo for the KFOR KAUT43 site, and a tv segment, I am adjusting to getting a new Dishin & Dishes site.
This awesome company webit360 is working on revamping my site.
I hope you’ll love the new look and the new feel of Dishin. Until then,…
I am working on a new recipe – Lemon Poppyseed Scones.
Which should be a beautiful Saturday morning recipe.
BUT until then…please allow me and Mr. Wonderful a moment of peace…and tranquility…
And we BLESS you for your understanding.
I think I’ve eaten more asparagus this spring than I’ve ever eaten in my life combined. I’ve fallen in love with this vegetable.
Big surprise since I fall in love with every vegetable.
It occurred to me the other day, that instead of fumbling with each stalk of asparagus, snapping off one stalk and then trying to line up each of the other stalks to chop them off with my knife evenly, that there might be a better way.
I guess for those of you who haven’t fixed asparagus, I should explain.
The bottom part of the stalk is usually tough and becomes hard to chew if left on for cooking. Some people peel it with a peeler, but I usually just snap them off. When you bend them, wherever they break down at that end is usually the perfect spot to trim them at.
So on to the better way.
Enter the blue rubber bands that bind my asparagus together.
I thought to myself, why not just leave them on to trim my asparagus?
So I snapped off one lone stalk to see where it snapped at.
And then I just chopped the rest of the stalks off at the same point, with my asparagus still bound up in the rubber bands.
Then I removed the bands and tossed them all in a colander to give them a quick rinse.
In honor of the A-Team movie coming out this week….
“I just love it when a plan comes together”.
P.S. My favorite way to cook asparagus is to drizzle a little olive oil over it, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Put it in a 400º oven for 10-15 minutes.
I like mine with some snap to them. It seems, the longer you cook asparagus, the more chance of stringiness you get.
View a couple of my recipes using asparagus by clicking on the links below:
Chicken Cutlets in Asparagus Pesto Cream Sauce (One of my personal favs)
Today begins the first in my three-part series on Farmer’s Markets in the Oklahoma City metro area.
I love fresh produce and locally grown ingredients, so I am on a quest to find the best of the best, and that means trying out farmer’s markets.
I begin with the oldest and longest running market – the Oklahoma City Farmer’s Market.
The Oklahoma City Farmer’s Market is located at 311 S. Klein downtown. You can visit their website here. It has been around since 1928.
Perhaps the most recognizable building at the Oklahoma City Farmer’s Market, you notice immediately upon driving in.
This building is the original building from when the market first opened in 1928. The downstairs level not only housed stalls for the farmers and fresh produce, but upstairs you could find a roller skating rink and boxing matches.
Today this building boasts of weddings, receptions and grand parties upstairs. Mr. Wonderful and I recently attended a party here for the Allied Arts ARTini event.
Merciful heavens, THIS is why I take pictures of other people most of the time. I look like such a goof in that picture.
But, we had a ball and the main room was fantastic.
This is a huge area upstairs that has a stage and plenty of room for any event you might want to host.
Surrounding this building, are many smaller vendors stalls and buildings, including several produce buildings.
In certain seasons, the produce markets will have freshly roasted peanuts you can buy by the sack to snack on while you shop.
Not all of the produce is local. You’ll have to look for those marked local if that is what you desire.
There are many antique stores and specialty shops around as well. Please visit the website to see a full list of vendors.
This is the part of the Farmer’s Market that truly excites me.
I could spend hours browsing through this huge flower market.
These ladies won’t let you get back to your car without buying something from their huge selection of annuals and perennials. They will let you make them an offer if you think something’s too high.
I walked away with some tall phlox and some bees balm that were buy-one- get-one-free. They told me they’re having a huge sale this weekend.
As Arnold would say…”I’ll be back”.
My opinion of the Oklahoma City Farmer’s Market?
The produce that’s locally grown , is worth getting. I walked away with some locally grown beets, spring onions and parsnips. And just because I can never resist them, some Vidalia onions (probably not locally grown). I’m a sucker for fresh-roasted peanuts also. Overall the produce just didn’t wow me though.
The other shops are quaint and fun to browse through. The main building is perfect to visit or host an event at.
But I will return time and time again for the flowers.
Do you live in the metro area? Where do you like to shop for produce?
The same night that we made the Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, I used some of the mounds of fresh basil that I picked from our herb garden to make this lemonade.
Does anything say summer like freshly squeezed lemons? Bursting with tartness and balanced with a little sweetness, they are the ultimate thirst quencher in this, the all-american summertime drink.
As a child, we all probably poured some processed powder drink into a plastic jug to sell around the neighborhood at a homemade stand, but there is nothing like freshly-squeezed lemonade.
Start by making something called simple syrup, which is nothing more than equal parts of water and sugar. I used one cup each of water and sugar and put them over medium heat on the stove. You don’t want to boil this mixture, just heat it, stirring with a whisk until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear.
Then turn this off and let it cool into a nice, clear, sugary syrup.
Get 6 good sized lemons, cut them in half, and squeeze them into a small measuring pitcher. You’re looking for about a cup.
Pour this into your blender with a handful of basil leaves. I used roughly about ten leaves.
Turn your blender on high and let it blend for a minute.
And then pour it into a large glass pitcher, because lemonade demands a tall, cool, glass container. If you’re fussy about floaties in your drinks, you can strain it as you pour.
I had a bad experience with car sickness and orange juice and pulp that left me with a bad case of anti-floaties in my drinks.
Needless to say, I strained mine.
Add in your simple syrup and stir with a wooden spoon.
Now, fill the pitcher with water. I used about 5 cups of water on top of my syrup and juice mixture.
At this point, you might want to taste your lemonade and see what you think.
Not tart enough? Squeeze in another lemon or two. Not sweet enough? Make a little more syrup. Too tart? Add a little more water.
I’ve found that the measurements I gave you are just about perfect for me, but everyone’s tastes are different.
Slice up a couple of lemon slices and float them on top and garnish with a sprig of basil.
Then sit back and enjoy the tastes of summer with a relaxing glass of tall, cool Basil Lemonade.
Katie’s Printable Recipe – Summertime Basil Lemonade
The herb garden is beginning to take off, and the basil needed to be picked before it flowered.
We took my cast iron grill with us.
And we made grilled cheese sandwiches.
I am not a huge grilled cheese fan. Typical fare consists of plastic-wrapped processed cheese on plain, white sandwich bread. This may have appealed to me as a kid, but now, I wanted a little something fancier, and less …well….unprocessed cheese-like.
Enter the Caprese Grilled-Cheese Sandwich.
It’s really simple to assemble. You only need a few things.
Melt a half of a stick of butter and grab a basting or pastry brush. Add a thinly-sliced loaf of french bread, some really good sliced tomatoes, one ball of sliced ,fresh mozerella cheese, some fresh basil leaves and basil pesto. You can buy your pesto, or use my recipe to make your own.
Oh yes, and grab some salt and pepper to season up the tomatoes. Even if I’m putting them on a salad, I always season my tomatoes to make them extra delicious.
I stacked all of this up on a tray and took it outside.
We used our cast iron skillet for this on the grill, but you could just do this inside on your stove if you wanted. I just love the way a cast-iron pan grills a sandwich. You should have your heat on medium to medium -low because you don’t want burnt bread and unmelted cheese.
Start by brushing 4 pieces of the bread on one side only with the melted butter. Place them buttered side down in your skillet. Four should fit perfectly.
Now (moving quickly!), layer on some of your sliced cheese.
Mr. Wonderful was being stingy so I added more. We ended up using an entire 8 ounce package.
Now layer two sliced tomatoes onto each piece. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the tomatoes.
Then add some fresh basil leaves.
Take your other four slices of bread, and spread them generously with basil pesto.
Lay them (pesto side down) on top of your sandwiches, and brush the top side of them with the melted butter.
Then flip them over carefully.
I usually find the second side of a sandwich finishes faster than the first, so check them after 30 seconds or so. You’re looking for brown and golden and crispy, not soggy and not black. That’s why we used melted butter. It crisps better than cold butter and won’t leave your bread soggy.
When they’re done on the second side, remove them quickly to a platter.
The outside is what grilled cheese should be, buttery, crisp and golden- brown. But the inside …
Can I just show you the inside of one of these babies?
Gooey, fresh mozerella, red-ripe tomatoes, oozing with warmed basil pesto?
This is what I called a grilled cheese sandwich.
Katie’s Printable Recipe- Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwich