Friday, May 27, 2016

Easy Baby Potatoes

I am in love with these baby potatoes from Trader Joe's.  There are a million ways (I'm sure) you can make these potatoes.  I pulled a recipe out of my head that my mom used to make for dinner, boiled potatoes with parsley and butter. I changed it around a little, my mother always used dried parsley and butter, I am using fresh parsley and olive oil.

I put the whole, unpeeled, baby potatoes in a pot, with enough water to cover them.  Sprinkle with one teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.  Cover the pot with a lid and cook until potatoes are tender.
 Drain the potatoes, add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
 Toss it all together and serve them hot, YUM!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Well, I'll Be Shuttered!

After 10 years, it's coming time to replace or rehab some things around this house.  A few years back, I noticed some of the pins popping out of the window shutters, and knew they were going to have to be fixed or replaced.  I was a little lax on doing it for one, because I wasn't sure if I was going to buy new ones, or just take them down and paint them.  I decided to have them painted (they weren't cracked, just faded), but then had to find a handyman who could do that.  I finally found someone, and the rehabbed shutters are going to give the front of the house a much needed face lift!

So my guy came and took them off, after dodging bats, birds and wasps, it was dicey, but he got the job done.  Yeah, that is what was living behind all 20 shutters on the front of the house!  I couldn't believe there were bats behind them.  I knew the birds were there from all the noise they were making and dive bombing me every time I walked out front, crazy birds.  They were building their nests behind the broken shutters.  I will report that NO, there were not any eggs in any of the nests!  This was a touchy situation for me, I don't like doing these types of things, disturbing wildlife.  I do put birdhouses out for the birds, to keep them safe from the wandering cats in the neighborhood, as well as providing seed for them, I love the birds!  But when the house starts to get damaged from them, well, they have to know who's boss.  Everything has to be power washed from all the bird droppings, the stone, the windows and the screens, it's a lot of work I am not looking forward to. 

So here are some before and after pictures of the front of the house.  Shutters before my guy took them down, and after, the bare front of the house.  As you can see the shutters were faded from the sun and had to be painted.
With the shutters...
And the house really is bare without them.  Shutters do dress up a house.
 Some of them down, and ready to be cleaned and painted.
I let my handyman know I did not want a shiny finish on my shutters, I wanted a matte/flat finish in black. The color is Tricorn Black by Sherwin Williams in an exterior resilience paint.  Hopefully I won't have to do this painting thing for awhile!
 Shutters going back up after being painted, and secured better than the first time.  Hopefully no more condos of birds, bats and bees behind them.
All done and looking beautiful again!  A little paint goes a long way.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

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Saturday, May 7, 2016

Dill, No Pickle Intended

Eating healthier does not have to taste bad, like you're chewing on cardboard or your food is not filling, flavor is the key. Using herbs, flavored vinegar, different kinds of mustard and sauces, will bring a dish to gourmet level.  I tried something new with salmon fillets I made for dinner, Dill Mustard Cream Sauce.  I usually grill salmon just plain, use a teriyaki sauce, or make a lemon pepper butter sauce.  I stepped out of the box on this one, I'm happy to say it was delicious and the hubby couldn't stop talking about it.  It was light fare, but was satisfying, I didn't want dessert afterwards, and I ALWAYS want dessert afterwards.
Recipe below.
To print recipe, click on it, highlight and print.
To view photos in a larger format, click on them. 

To make my Dill Mustard Cream Sauce, I started with a few ingredients.
 Cooked my salmon in a little olive oil and VOILA!  Perfect Salmon Fillets With Dill Mustard Cream Sauce.
 I served my salmon with whole grain Dijon mustard roasted potatoes and roasted green beans.
 So, so good!
Dill Mustard Cream Sauce
1 cup Light Sour Cream, I used Daisy I think it's the best
3 tablespoons Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl, whisk to combine. Serve over salmon, or any fish, it's great on vegetables too.  Makes about 1 1/4 cups of sauce.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

I'm Salsa Dancing!

Trying out some new recipes for when Summer's bounty of fresh grown veggies are in abundance.  To me, fresh is always better, but when you don't have fresh, frozen it is.  I did find some fresh corn on the cob in the market this past week and used it as a side dish for a meal.  I cooked all the ears, but had 4 left over.  I didn't want to waste them, so I made some Fresh Tomato Corn Salsa. I had everything else I needed to make it, so my corn was put to good use.  This salsa was dancin' in my mouth, with a tangy lime flavor of some added lime zest and a little bit of jalapeno pepper, what can I say, it just made me want to celebrate......

FELIZ Cinco De Mayo!

Recipe below.
To print recipe, click on it, highlight and print.
To view photos in a larger format, click on them.

I started with a few ingredients, that's all it took for this awesome fresh salsa.
 Cored my plum tomatoes. I use plum tomatoes because they are meatier.
 Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise, and an easy way to scoop the seeds out, use a spoon.
Tomatoes are ready to be chopped.
I used fresh corn, but you can certainly use frozen.  I ran a sharp knife down the side of the cob to cut off the kernels, be careful with the knife!
 I tossed everything in a mixing bowl, zested one of the limes, squeezed on the lime juice from the two limes, tossed it all together, and look how pretty these colors are!  That's a party in a bowl right there.
 Serve with your favorite tortilla chips! Yum.........
 Fresh Tomato Corn Salsa
5 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
4 ears corn, cut corn off the cob, or use 2 cups of thawed frozen corn
1/2 orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, small dice
1 jalapeno pepper, small dice
1 small can sliced black olives
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 limes, zest from one of the limes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Prepare all vegetables and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the black olives, cilantro, lime zest, juice from both limes, salt and pepper.  Toss everything together, serve with your favorite chips.  Refrigerate any leftovers. Makes about 4 cups.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Vegan Stir Fried Rice

What is going on with this weather here in the East!  I am so tired of this rain, dreariness, no sun is no good.  I want to be outside, working in the garden, planting flowers, so my work will be done for the season.  I don't mean to complain, but really Mother Nature cut me a break.

OK,I am done my rant now, onto better things.  The hubby and I are trying to be good about eating. We are slowly easing into trying vegan fare and such. You can make practically anything vegan that's not, just by incorporating different foods and ingredients.  The eyes are tricky, but if you didn't know the cauliflower in this dish wasn't rice, you would not miss rice at all. Check it out.
Recipe below.
To print recipe click on it, highlight and print.

I use this riced cauliflower from Trader Joe's, instead of making the whole mess of breaking apart a head of cauliflower and putting it through a food processor.  Too messy for me, so I go the easy route, cut the bag open and pour! Unfortunately, this is the only picture I got to take of this recipe because my family dug into this dish before I had a chance to take any, yeah it was that good!
Veggie Stir Fried Rice

To Fry the Cauliflower
2 tablespoons vegan butter or use 1 tablespoon canola oil
3/4 cup vegetable stock or broth (stock has more flavor)
1 bag frozen riced cauliflower (I used Trader Joe's)

To Stir Fry The Vegetables
2 tablespoons canola oil or peanut oil if you like that flavor
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 sweet onion, diced
1 bunch asparagus, cut in 1" pieces (see note)
2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon ground)
3 cloves minced garlic
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 green onions (scallions) sliced thin
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (toast them if you like)

To Fry Cauliflower:
Melt butter in a large skillet or wok, over medium high heat. Add cauliflower and stir fry until lightly browned.  Add the vegetable stock/broth and continue to cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl, set aside.

To Stir Fry The Vegetables
Heat the canola oil in the same pan, over medium high heat. Make sure pan is hot, add red pepper, onion, asparagus, mushrooms, ginger and garlic.  Stir fry until tender but crisp not mushy, this only takes a few minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and cook for a few seconds to heat through.  Remove from heat, drizzle on the sesame oil, stir it in. Serve over the cauliflower and top with sliced scallions and sesame seeds. Makes 4 servings.

NOTE: If you don't like asparagus use green beans, pea pods, broccoli, or any other green vegetable that you like, it's all good.