Thursday, September 27, 2012

Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pastry Pockets

The reason I decided to make these Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pastry Pockets from Our Best Bites (besides the fact they looked so yummy in the picture) was because I already had all the ingredients.  Also because bacon.

The only changes I made were to halve the recipe below -- I had puff pastry, but only one sheet -- and to leave the tomatoes out of a third of the pockets for Kat.  Also, since there are three of us here, I cut the one sheet of puff pastry into 9 larger squares instead of 16 smaller ones.

These are wonderful, and if you have leftover filling, it's good on sandwiches or as a spread on crackers.

Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pastry Pockets
Recipe by Our Best Bites

1 box puff pastry (2 sheets)
1 8-ounce container chive and onion flavor cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast
1/3 cup cooked crumbled bacon
3 Tablespoon finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (I used my own oven-dried tomatoes)
1 egg
1 Tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Warm cream cheese in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to soften.  Place in a mixing bowl with mozzarella cheese, chicken, bacon, and sun-dried tomatoes.  Stir to combine and set aside.

Defrost puff pastry sheets according to package directions.  Lightly dust a work surface with flour and roll one sheet at a time into a 12 x 12 inch square.  Cut 4, 3 inch strips each direction to make 16 squares, 3 x 3″ each.

Place about 2 teaspoons of cream cheese mixture onto each square.  With your finger, brush a dab of water around the edges of each square and fold over diagonally to make a triangle.  Press edges together and crimp with a fork to seal.

After stuffing and folding each pastry, place on a baking sheet.  Whisk egg and 1 tablespoon water together and brush over the top of each pastry.  Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.  Cool 10 minutes before serving.  Can also be served at room temperature.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Today's Post Brought To You By The Letter B: Bob, Backyard, Butterfly

It's been quite a while since I posted an update on skinny ol' Bob, the stray cat who adopted us in July.  It's hard to get a good picture of him because he doesn't look up when you talk to him and doesn't like to make eye contact.  But he's as sweet a cat as ever and is finally starting to look more like a cat than a bag of bones.  Still, I'd like to see him put on a little more weight before winter gets here.

And since we're outside, lets take a look at what's still growing in the backyard.

We have lots of big, bushy tomato plants left, but because of the heat and drought, they just didn't do as well this year as they have in the past.  We're still getting 3-4 small tomatoes a day, though.

This bunch of collard greens was strictly volunteer.  It didn't do much of anything until we started getting rain again, then it took off.  I'm just going to leave it there for a while, since they are said to be sweeter after a frost.

We planted and harvested (dry) pinto beans earlier in the summer and then replanted with green beans.  They are just now starting to set beans on, so hopefully we'll get a few jars' worth.  The ones we planted with the corn (in a Three Sisters planting) didn't do anything.

Kat still has two large Moon and Stars watermelons in her garden.  We already picked three.
You can see the stars on the rinds and the leaves, but none have had spots big enough to call moons.

The squashes we planted as part of the Three Sisters planting fared better.  We were late getting them in, but I think they will ripen before we get frost.  I can see several butternuts like the one above and several acorn squashes.  The zucchini plants gave us a few, but we weren't overrun with zukes like we usually are.

These last pics are of a butterfly (or is it a moth of some sort?) that Bob was chasing and that Kat rescued from him.  It seemed stunned, but unhurt.She and Shane were able to hold it for a while until it finally walked up Kat's arm and flew away. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies?  Why not?  They are delicious! 

I started with this recipe from One Hundred Dollars A Month and made just a few changes in the types of flours and sugars I used.  The cookies spread a little and turned out chewy straight out of the oven.  They got just a bit crispier with more cooling, but overall, I'd call they a chewy cookie.  If you don't want them to spread, I suspect chilling the dough for an hour or so will keep them from spreading as much.  I like them just the way they are, though.

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup Sucanat
1 cups sugar
2 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla (I accidentally omitted and didn't miss it)
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, mix flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt until well-combined.  In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla together until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in dry ingredients, then gently mix in zucchini and chocolate chips.

Using a small scoop or a teaspoon, scoop dough onto a silicone-lined or parchment -lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 12-14 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cookies cool on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes (this will make them easier to lift off).  Transfer to cooling rack and cool completely.

Makes about 4-1/2 dozen.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Back To Baking

You might remember this post, where I talked about how we'd keep our ugly, old gas range until it quit working.  If you follow Haphazard Homestead on Facebook you might also remember me mentioned a few weeks ago that my oven wasn't working right. 

Over the weeks, the oven got worse.  Last Thursday, for example, I turned it on to 350°F and it went to 350°, so I put my food in.  After half an hour, I thought it was odd that there weren't any good smells coming from the oven, so I peeped in and saw the temp was around 165°.  So I turned it off, turned it back on, again to 350°.  It shot up to around 400°.  Somehow I managed to get supper made without either burning it or serving it undercooked.  But I was done messing around.

Our options were:
- to have someone fix it (rough estimates were around $250),
- fix it ourselves with only a guess that the problem was the thermostat (parts were from $50-$150),
- buy new (low-end basic model was around $400),
- or buy used. 

We decided to check craigslist to see what was available in a used gas range and found this beauty for just $100.  It's 10 years old, but it looks like new!  Did I mention it's self-cleaning?  Or that it has a power burner and a simmer burner?

It was 50 miles from home, but Shane happened to be working just a few miles from where the stove was, so he was able to save us an extra trip by picking it up after work on Friday.  It had been installed to burn propane gas, so we had to convert it back to natural gas with manufacturer's directions that the owners had saved.  The only snag was that the fittings for the gas line weren't the same size as our old range, so Shane had to spend another $25 for a universal kit to get it hooked up.

$125 for a range in this condition is a bargain, no matter how you look at it.  Our plan for the old stove is to move it to our basement and set up a canning kitchen.  We'll see if that really happens or not - we've had lots of plans for the basement over the years and it's still just a basement.

Meanwhile, I have some baking to do.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin season is right around the corner; it may already be here for some of you!  Here's a nice pumpkin bread recipe for you.  This can be made into muffins as well.  You can call me lazy if you want, but the deciding factor for me is that it's easier to wash a loaf pan than a muffin pan.

Pumpkin Bread
(based on the Pumpkin Bread recipe in Miserly Meals by Jonni McCoy)

1 cup home-cooked pumpkin puree (or 1 15-oz. can pumpkin)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 egg
2 T. oil
1 t. vanilla extract
1/4 cup oat bran (can omit and use 1-1/2 cups flour)
1-1/4 cup flour (I use a 50/50 mix of white and whole wheat)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. ground allspice
1/2 t. salt

Heat oven to 350°F.

Place the pumpkin, syrup, egg, oil and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and mix to blend.  In a separate blow, combine the rest of the ingredients.

Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix just until blended.

Spread batter into a greased 9x4 loaf pan.  Bake at 350°F. for 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick tests clean in the center.  Remove bread from the oven.  Remove bread from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Makes 1 loaf.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Kat's Favorite Smoothie

After going to Cafe Gratitude a couple of weekends ago, I decided to whip up a smoothie for Kat that was inspired by the one she had there.  Theirs includes dates for the sweetener and vanilla bean.  Ours includes banana and honey for the sweeteners and vanilla extract.  It was also a lot more budget-friendly to make at home.

Kat asked me to put this smoothie on the list.  When I asked her what list, she said the list of good smoothies!  What further recommendation is needed?

Copycat Cafe Gratitude "I Am Grace" Smoothie

Kat's Favorite Smoothie

1 cup coconut milk
1 very ripe banana
1/4 cup almond butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
honey to taste

Add all to a blender or food processor and mix well.  Serve immediately.  Makes about 2 cups.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Rain Puts Damper on Getaway Weekend

We had a very soggy, damp, cold, not-according-to-plan weekend, in which I only took one measly food picture.  Yet I still managed to get two new posts out it at Haphazard Homestead on the Road.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Apples In Jars

Two bags of apples go a long way.

Last weekend, we were fortunate enough to pick some free apples.  I'm not sure of the quantity; we didn't weight them and we gave some away, but by the time I started working them up, there were still enough to fill most of a large insulated frozen food bag and about half of a typical reusable shopping bag:

Two kinds of apple - Granny Smith and perhaps Gala?

I started by washing the apples in water with a splash of vinegar, then giving them a quick rinse in plain water.  I bought and used one of those table mounted gadgets that peel, core and slice them all in one go.  That worked for a while, but I began having trouble with the coring part of the gadget, so I just peeled the rest and cored and sliced them by hand.

I wanted to can pie filling, but without Clear Jel starch (and no quick way to get any since it's not sold in typical stores), I decided instead to can apple slices in a spiced light syrup.  I ended up with 13 quarts, which I'll just thicken whenever I want to make a pie.

Sliced and spiced.
The mound of apple peelings and cores was huge and I hated to see it all go to waste, so I decided to use about half of it to make apple jelly, and compost the rest.  I took the portion I saved and put them in my largest stockpot and added just enough water to cover them.  I also added a half a bag of frozen cranberries, a few cinnamon sticks and some whole cloves for color and additional flavor.  I simmered it all for about half an hour in the evening, then turned off the heat, covered the pan and let it all sit overnight.

The next morning, I strained off 10 cups of juice and made cran-apple jelly, ending up with 16 half-pint jars of pretty pink jelly. 

Blush pink cran-apple jelly.

Although I hadn't really planned on making anything other than jelly, I  decided to pressed all of the cooked peels and cores through a food mill.  In the end, I measured 9-10 cups of what was essentially unsweetened applesauce.  We already have a large supply of applesauce on hand, so I decided to make apple butter instead.  The pulp was already very thick, so all I needed to do was add sugar and spices and heat it all to a boil.  The final yield was 14 half-pint jars of cran-apple butter.

Not as dark as commercial apple butter, but it tastes better.

I'm glad that I only kept half of the peelings to make spreads, because we'd be up to our ears in the stuff if I'd cooked them all down.  As it is, the jelly and apple butter will last us a very long time.

Besides, I'm out of half-pint jars now.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Use A Rice Steamer For Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs

Perfect Boiled Eggs In A Rice Steamer

I tend to overcook hard-boiled eggs.  They're perfectly edible, but they get that green sulfur ring around the yolks.  I tried the baked/boiled egg method, but that didn't work for me, either. 

But here's another kitchen trick I read about in a few different places recently.   A rice steamer makes perfect hard cooked eggs that are a lot less likely to have green rings.  And the best thing is that you can just put them in, set the timer and walk away for a while. 

Just place eggs in your rice steamer.  This is what mine looks like, but I would guess it will work in any kind of rice steamer.  Mine will hold up to 14, depending on size, if I stand them on end.

Perfect Boiled Eggs In A Rice Steamer

Add 1 cup of cool water to the reservoir, place the lid on, and set the timer for 20 minutes.

When the time is up, transfer the eggs to a bowl or basin of ice water for a few minutes to cool them quickly, then remove the shells, or refrigerate with shells on for later use.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cake

Alea at Premeditated Leftovers posted a way to make German Chocolate Cake (aka German's Chocolate Cake) using semi-sweet chocolate or cocoa instead of German's Chocolate.  It's good information to have for future reference.

I commented that I like the frosting on a German chocolate cake more than the cake itself.  This cake is topped with the same frosting, but calls for no chocolate at all.  It's moist and delicious; you should give it a try!

Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cake

1-1/4 cups boiling water
1 cup oats
1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

6 Tablespoons butter
1 cup nuts, chopped
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl, combine boiling water, oats and 1 stick of butter; let sit for 20 minutes.

Heat oven to 350°F. Add both sugars and 2 eggs to oat mixture; mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Gradually add to oat mixture and mix until smooth.

Pour in to 13x9 pan that has been sprayed with pan spray. Bake at 350°F. for 35 minutes. Let cool in pan while making frosting.

Meanwhile, combine all frosting ingredients except the vanilla in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; boil for two minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour hot frosting over warm cake and spread evenly. Let sit for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Makes approximately 12 servings.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Canning Dry Beans Without Soaking

Canning Dry Beans Without Soaking
Canned tomato sauce and canned dry beans.

Disclaimer:  This method is not approved by the USDA as a safe method for canning dry beans.  It's my belief that soaking and precooking the beans is done to expand them before canning in order to make sure there is enough space in the jars for the beans and liquid.  By adding only 1/2 cup of dry beans to the jar (without soaking first), and leaving 1 inch of head space when I add the liquid, there is adequate room for the beans to expand during canning.  I would never ask or expect my readers to do something just because I do it.  If this method does not feel safe or right to you, by all means, follow the USDA guidelines and soak the beans first.  They are still more convenient than cooking beans each time you want some.

Dried beans are some of the easiest things to cook at home.  Soak them or not (I usually don't), put them in a big pan with lots of water, some seasonings and maybe some ham or bacon, and simmer them for a few hours.  Nothing to it!

They are so easy, though, that I sometimes forget about them and boil them scorched dry.  Which is why I love canning them instead.  I save time because I can cook multiple batches at one time, they are SO convenient later, and because the canner needs frequent, if not near-constant, monitoring, I never walk away and forget them.

In the past, I prepared beans for canning by soaking them overnight then cooking them for a short time before hot-packing them into jars.  Forget that!  I recently read about canning them without soaking and par-cooking, and will be doing them like this from now on.

It's very easy.  Just rinse dry beans or peas of any kind except lentils, then put 1/2 cup of them in each hot sterilized pint jar. 

Canning Dry Beans Without Soaking

Add 1/2 teaspoon canning salt (optional) to each jar and other seasonings if desired (see below), pour in boiling water or broth, leaving a full 1 inch of head space.  Give them a quick stir to release any air bubbles.

Canning Dry Beans Without Soaking

Adjust the two-piece lids and caps and process in a pressure canner at 10 pounds for 75 minutes for pints.  Let the pressure release on its own, then remove from the canner.  The beans will still be bubbling away and as often as not will seal before or right as they come out of the canner.

Canning Dry Beans Without Soaking - Garbanzo Beans
Finished quarts.

If you prefer to use quart jars, double all the ingredients, but still leave 1 inch of headspace (I left 1-1/2 inches and it was a little too much) and process them for 90 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.  Be sure to check with your local extension office or the Ball Blue Book for adjustments in pressure if you live at high altitude.

Here are some of the combinations I've made:
  • Garbanzo bean pints + 1/2 teaspoon canning salt + water
  • Garbanzo bean quarts + 1 teaspoon salt + water
  • Pinto bean pints + 1/2 teaspoon canning salt + 1/2 teaspoon dehydrated onion + 1/4 teaspoon garlic pepper blend + water
  • Black (turtle) bean pints + 1/2 teaspoon salt + 1/2 teaspoon chipotle season (make your own with this recipe)
  • Pinto bean pints + 1/2 teaspoon dehydrated onion + leftover seasoned broth from cooking a pork roast
One jar of pinto beans in broth didn't seal, so we ate those right away, and one jar of garbanzo beans seemed to lose or absorb too much liquid, so we opened that jar and ate those, too.  At first I was concerned that the beans might not be tender without soaking, but they came out great.  They were soft, tender and almost creamy, but had not turned to mush in the jar, which is a problem I've sometimes had when canning beans.  I'm more than happy with the way these beans have turned out.

Are you, like me, a bean lover?  Have you ever canned beans at home?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mystery Solved!

I was more than surprised to find this article about the Hay Ball when I did a Google search.  It and it's owner are from Portland, Maine, and are traveling across the country.  They had quite the visit in Kansas City this past weekend.

Here are links to the Facebook Page and the web site.  Enjoy!

Monday Miscellanea

We headed north on Saturday morning, dropping Kat off at her mom's and then checking out the Basswood Resort near Platte City, MO, to see if we might like to spend a weekend camping there. 

Platte City was also holding city wide garage sales, where we scored some good cheap and free stuff.  I found lots of tops for myself for 25¢ and 50¢ each.  When you're as messy as I am in the kitchen, you don't want to spend much on tops that will inevitable get grease spots on them.

Someone had an EdenPURE heater in the free pile with a note that says it "works, but heats slowly".  We grabbed that right up.  It may be just that they didn't understand how an infrared heater works, or it may need new elements.  If we have to replace elements, at $80-$100 it's still a bargain for this kind of heater. 

We drove by one home where several people were picking apples from their trees.  We pulled over and asked if they were selling their apples.  They told us they'd already picked and canned all they wanted and that we were welcome to pick as many as we wanted for free!  We picked about a bushel, but could have picked many, many, many more if we could have reached them.  They are very nice apples, both Granny Smith and a blush type, perhaps Gala.  We gave some away, we'll eat some out of hand, and I'll can the rest as pie filling.  I might make cider vinegar with the peels, too.

We didn't come close to seeing all the garage sales, but we had a late lunch date with Kat, my daughter T. and my son-in-law M.  My daughter's birthday was on Labor Day, so this was a celebration of sorts.  T and M follow a vegan diet, so they chose Cafe Gratitude.  (They have a really neat concept; click through to read about it.)  Cafe Gratitude serves a vegan and mostly gluten-free menu that focuses on local and organic foods.  They make the most amazing homemade ginger ale and a wonderful coconut milk, almond butter and vanilla smoothie.  The food was very good -- and filling -- the atmosphere was fun, and place was busy but not overcrowded at that time of day.  We all had a great time.

M, T, and Kat.

Shane and me.  Our table was in what used to be a storefront display window.

My hand-rolled veggie tamale with black beans and Mexican coleslaw.

M's "nachos" made with cashew "cheese and sprouted grain crackers.

We also saw this from the restaurant window.  I have no explanation. I don't even have a logical guess.

Saturday afternoon my dad visited and spent the night.  It wasn't really a planned visit; he was in town for other reasons and needed a place to sleep, and left fairly early on Sunday morning to do his own thing. 

We stayed home on Sunday and did this and that around the house:  laundry, a fall planting of lettuce and radishes, housework, etc.  We had no real plan, we just looked around and did things that needed to be done.

This week promises to be busy.  I still have those peaches in the freezer to work up, and now apples.  Kat gets out of school early on Thursday, and we have a fun weekend with my sister next weekend to get ready for. 

How was your weekend?  And what do you have lined up for this week?

Friday, September 7, 2012

In The Mood For Canning Food

After I realized I wouldn't be canning any peaches yesterday, I decided to start in on some frozen tomatoes.  We have a ton of tomatoes from last year still in the freezer, and we need more room in there, so I grabbed five of the gallon-sized bags of whole tomatoes and cooked those down into sauce.  I ended up with 8 pints of sauce. 

Once those were finished, I was still in the canning groove so I decided to try a new-to-me way to can dry beans.  Instead of soaking and par-cooking them ahead of time, I put the pinto beans in the jar dry (raw), added seasoning and boiling water, then pressure canned them.  These pintos were the ones we grew and dried ourselves.  Not a bad return -- one seed packet in spring yielded 9 pints of cooked beans in late summer.

When those were done, I was still in the mood, so I canned 5 pints of garbanzo beans, using the same method as above.  Homemade hummus, here we come!

While I was digging around in the freezer, I found some pie crust dough I'd made a while back, and a bag of frozen apple pie filling I'd made last year, so I made a pie. 

And then, after all that, I ordered pizza for our supper.  I doesn't make sense to me, either.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cheeseburger Buns

Yesterday I bought some organically-grown peaches from a lady on craigslist.  I was about to get almost 10 dozen of them for just $10.  When I saw I couldn't get to them last night, I had planned to can them this morning.   When I blanched a few, though, the skins wouldn't slip off.  So I gathered up the rest and put them in the freezer.  I hope that after freezing them overnight, the skins will slip off and I'll be able to can them tomorrow. 

Since I had all my canning equipment out and ready, I grabbed a few bags of frozen tomatoes to cook down, so I'll be canning tomato sauce instead of peaches today.

I also found my lunch while I was looking in the freezer.  I warmed up a couple of these Cheeseburger Buns.  I've "borrowed" the pictures and recipe from old blog to post here.  It's not plagiarism if you're stealing from yourself!

Cheeseburger Buns


2 cups water or milk at 105° to 110° F.
2 Tablespoons bulk dry yeast (or individual 2 packets)
2 Tablespoons sugar or honey
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil (or oil of your choice)
5 to 5-1/2 cups flour

Combine warm water, yeast and sugar in bowl of standing mixer (or large bowl if mixing by hand). Let stand for 10 minutes to proof.

Add salt; stir. Add oil; stir. Add flour: I use a Bosch Universal mixer and can add it all at once. If you are using a KitchenAid, other mixer, or mixing by hand, add flour a little at a time. Using the dough hook attachment, knead dough until soft, smooth and elastic. That will take about 4 minutes in a Bosch, about 10 minutes in a KitchenAid and who knows how long by hand.

Turn dough out into a well-oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in a draft-free place (inside the microwave is good) until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. While dough rises, make filling (below).

Heat oven to 400°F.

After dough rises, punch down and knead lightly by hand about 5 times. Divide into 16 portions.
Roll or hand-pat, one portion at a time, into circles 4 to 5 inches in diameter.

Place about 1/8 cup (give or take) of filling on rolled out dough and bring edges of circle together to form a bun. Pinch edges together to seal and place seam side down on baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray, or preferably, lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 400°F. for about 8-12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers.


1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 pound to 1/3 pound processed cheese, such as Velveeta
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped dill pickle or dill pickle relish
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup beef broth (from bouillon is fine)
1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning or similar seasoning blend

Brown meat and onion until no longer pink. Drain meat, rinse with water to remove fat, then drain again.

Return meat to pan, add remaining ingredients and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently until cheeses have melted. Use for filling in Cheeseburger Buns. Freeze any leftovers for use in chili, soup, Sloppy Joes or other similar recipes.

Makes 16 filled buns.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Grilled Peach and Shrimp Kabobs

This is an easy shrimp dish that we all loved, even Kat!  I spiced hers just lightly, but used a heavier hand on Shane's and my own.  I used nectarines instead of peaches, and we all agreed that they are surprisingly delicious when grilled.

Grilled Peach and Shrimp Kabobs

2/3 cup olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon crushed rosemary leaves or 1 t. chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon crushed thyme leaves or 1 t. chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 firm ripe peaches or nectarines, pitted
4 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces (did not have so used yellow onion pieces)
8 skewers (if wood or bamboo, soak in water to keep from burning)

In a small bowl, combine oil, onion, garlic, Cajun seasoning*, rosemary, thyme and sea salt.  Place peeled and deveined shrimp in a large, lidded bowl or a large zippered plastic bag.  Pour oil mixture over shrimp, close lid or zip bag, and shake to coat.  Marinate in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Prepare charcoal grill or preheat gas grill.

Cut each peach half into 3 or 4 slices.  Thread shrimp onto skewers alternating with peach slices and pieces of onion.  Sprinkle with additional Cajun seasoning, if desired.  Grill over medium heat 4-5 minutes, then turn skewers and cook another 4-5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink and opaque.

Serve immediately with hot cooked rice or quinoa.

Makes 4 servings.

* I did not put the Cajun seasoning in the marinade because I thought it would be to spicy for Kat.  I added the seasoning to some of the skewers right before they went onto the grill.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What a Difference an Hour or So Makes

Here's a quick before-and-after pair.  This is our shelf in the kitchen.  It's supposed to an orderly place for cookbooks, recipe cards and clippings and a couple of baskets for Shane and me to toss our wallets, keys, sunglasses, etc. into at the end of the day.

Sometimes, though, it takes on a life of its and has to be tamed again.  I always feel so much better afterward.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Wet Weekend

We are back from our weekend camping trip now.  We didn't have internet access as I had expected, so my plans to post while we were gone were all for naught.  Still, we had a great time.  You can read about our trip in two new posts at Haphazard Homestead On The Road.
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