Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday morning harvest!

harvest, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Oh Boy! Now this is what makes all the work worth it!
I started June 1st working in my garden like a crazy person...up at 6am working the soil until it got hot (usually by 8am) and then again as soon as the shade hit the back yard until dark. Despite the damaging hail storm 2 weeks ago the garden survived.
Sophie and the chickens were of little help but they did keep me company. Now 2 months later I have plenty of veggies to keep me in antioxidant heaven and lovely flowers to make me smile.
This is just my first week's harvest.
tomatoes (only one so far..a Japanese version..I have 14 tomato bushes)
French green beans
these are the two crops that would satisfy me ......2 essential ingredients to a great Nicoise salad!
Swiss chard...rainbow brights
sweet peas....fabulous fragrance
summer squash, 4 kinds (Cocozelle, rond de Nice, cube of butter and Tigress)

garlic and onions, planted last fall
Anybody hungry?

sweet peas, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

squash , tomatoes and beans, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Swiss chard, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

beets, red and striped, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

garlic and onions, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Monday, July 25, 2011

lemon curd ice cream

lemon curd ice cream, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

It's still July and I am still making ice cream. Last week I made lemon sorbet with fresh squeezed lemon juice and I had extra juice so I kept going. First I made the lemon curd ( I used 1 cup) and then a batch of creme Anglaise....cooled both and blended them together before adding them to the ice cream maker. For a rich, creamy and lemony ice cream try this one for sure. Add a dollop of lemon curd or some strawberries or both

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

pure decadence! caramel sea salt ice cream

salted caramel ice cream, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Ok you must try this one. First of all it is really fun to make caramel on the stove. Second: the sea salt really compliments the caramel. I saw an episode of "The Barefoot Contessa" and Ina made this fabulous recipe. Go to this link for the full recipe. It takes a while. You first want to make the creme Anglais base and cool it in the fridge. Then the caramel must also be somewhat cool. So plan ahead. Start it the day before you plan on freezing it. P.S. It does not freeze hard so chill your bowl and be prepared to eat it right away
Happy Ice Cream month!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Strawberry Grand Marnier ice cream with fraise de bois

Here is the classic strawberry ice cream with fresh berries and a
Creme Anglais base:
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk
2 cups cream
1 tsp vanilla or 1/2 vanilla beans, cut open and steeped in the milk
Strawberry sauce:
3 cups strawberries
1 cup sugar...or to taste
1 tsp orange zest
2 Tbs Grand Marnier
Fresh strawberries

Prepare your ice cream base and cool. Sauce: Stovetop combine hulled and quartered strawberries and sugar and reduce until thick. Add orange zest and Grand Marnier and cool.
When both the base and sauce are cool combine and pour into ice cream maker. Top with fresh strawberries.
Happy ice cream month!

Fraise de bois

Fraise de bois, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

These tiny little alpine strawberries have a powerful one bite flavor

Friday, July 15, 2011

July is "ice cream" month

Grapefruit and basil sorbet, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

President Ronald Reagan declared July National Ice Cream month! He further declared the third Sunday as the official "Ice Cream Day"
I already posted my lavender honey ice cream recipe 2 weeks ago but here's another. This was an experiment. I have made other citrus ice creams and sorbets but I thought I would try one with grapefruit. Here it is: Grapefruit and basil sorbet
simple syrup made from
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
heated stovetop until sugar melts and then cooled in the fridge
1 cup grapefruit juice, fresh squeezed, cold
4 large leaves basil, julienned
You know the rest...
That's it!
Bon Appetit!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Chicken coop reveal

Chicken coop, finished, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

July 10 and the coop has its final coat of paint on the new nesting box and storm windows. Well the white trim needs another coat but other than that the girls' castle has been completed. We had a storm on Thursday that dumped 2 inches of rain in one hour with wind from the North. Not a drop of rain inside the coop but the window sills were wet. So the storm windows went on today as well. These are mighty happy young chickens. With luck we will have eggs in 4-6 weeks.

Chicken coop nesting box and storm windows

Chicken coop, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Kate chose "Lagoon" blue for the color of the nesting box. The girls enter from the inside into their cozy nest and then the eggs can be collected from the outside. More detail to come on the box and storm windows

Priming the nesting box

Nesting box, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Kate gets the primer on the box.

Nesting box

Nesting box, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Kate shows "Buttercup" her new nest

This week from the garden

French breakfast radishes are really easy and fast to grow...28 days from seed to harvest. They are very mild which is why they are called breakfast radishes. I am having these for breakfast this morning served with herbed butter and sea salt...herbs fresh picked too! Here's the recipe:
butter, 2 oz
garlic scape, chopped 1/2" (chives or scallions will do)
sage, 3 leaves
oregano, 1/2" cutting
sea salt, course, 1/4 tsp
Place all ingredients in a mini-prep blender. Let stand a few minutes so the flavors will blend. Slice the bread, get the radishes out of the ice bath and enjoy your breakfast.
Bon petit dejeuner!

French breakfast radishes

French breakfast radishes, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

fresh from the garden and chilled until really cold

radish watercolor

breakfast radishes, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Garden Harvest: red white and Lavender blue

lavender ice cream, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Happy Independence Day!!
In celebration of the 4th of July I made lavender honey ice cream. Those of you who know me even just a little bit know that I LOVE lavender. I love the color, the fragrance, the plant and wonderful things you can do with it. This week the lavender is in bloom in my garden so I decided to bring it in to the kitchen. Here is the recipe:

4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk
8-10 fresh organic lavender flowers

2 Tbs good honey

2 cups cream

Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the color of lemons
Bring the milk to just below boiling and add the lavender flowers. Turn off the heat and steep until milk is warm.
Add the milk to the "yellows" and mix well, remove the lavender flowers.
Return the mixture to the stove and stir constantly until it coats the back of a wooden spoon and you can draw your finger over the spoon leaving the finger mark.
This is the classic French recipe for Creme Anglaise.
Remove immediately, add the honey and strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl sitting in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Add the cream. Cool in the refrigerator overnight. Use your favorite ice cream maker to finish it up.

This is a very delicate ice cream and so special. I hope you try it.
Bon Appetit!

lavender flowers

lavender flowers, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Choose blooms in full flower, remove the stems and add them to the hot milk

lavender steeped in milk

lavender steeped in milk, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

when milk comes to almost but not boiling add the lavender flowers and let steep like you would tea until milk is cool. Then remove the lavender flowers and add to the sugar and egg yolks