Month: April 2017

April showers?

Our winter postcard in April.

Just when we thought winter had made its exit, a snowfall set us straight. Who’d have thought that our largest snowfall of the year would come April 29th? Twelve inches of soft powder blanketed our community. Jerry LOVED IT. Temps are dipping into the 20’s tonight. We’ll see what survives. Boxes are sheltering peonies which were on the verge of blooming. We lost a few tree limbs due to the weight of the snow. Good excuse to stay indoors and binge watch some television. Hope temps are more moderate where you are!

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Update from the garden…

Well, we dodged another “frozen bullet”. Temps hit the mid 20’s the other evening. No damage. However, we can’t relax yet. Work continues on the garden project. Liners were added for weed protection. 11 yards of top soil was delivered. Mixing in some fertilizer, worms, compost….good start for our veggies. Blooming continues to catch the eye: peonies are on the verge of opening, Russian olive trees are sprouting, honeysuckle is thriving, ground cover is thick and lush and grasses sway. PVC pipe makes a hoop-like frame for the raised bed covers. Progress. Stay tuned!

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Butternut Squash and Sautéed Green Beans

Rinse, dry and trim a pork tenderloin. I had a 1 pound loin. That’s plenty for three. Add a small amount of olive oil to a preheated skillet. Salt and pepper tenderloin. Be generous. Place tenderloin into the skillet and brown it well on all sides.

For squash, purchase some “already diced” butternut squash… (a big time and aggravation saver). Toss with olive oil and spread out onto a foil-lined baking sheet that has been spray with non-stick spray. Salt and pepper squash and place it into a preheated 425 degree oven. Toss occasionally for even cooking. Roast until browned and tender.

For green beans, trim and blanch. I often will blanch a large amount of beans and store them in the fridge. Perfect for a salad or for sautéing at a later date. For this recipe, add blanched beans to a preheated sauté pan with olive oil and some diced shallots. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until beans are “crisp tender”. Add some lemon zest at the end.

Once pork is thoroughly browned, remove it from the skillet and place it on a foil-lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Slather on the delicious barbecue sauce from Trader Joe’s. I don’t normally buy this kind of thing, but it looked tasty and seemed an easy plan.

Place pork in a preheated 425 degree oven. Roast until you have a nice warm pink in the middle. Those squeamish about pink pork can certainly roast longer. Remove and allow pork to sit for about 10-15 minutes before slicing.

Simple salad of greens, tomatoes, avocado, and some diced Turkish figs. (They were sitting on the counter!) Drizzle of honey, balsamic vinegar, EVOO,  salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Some leftover cornbread split and toasted made a great addition.

YUM.

Garbanzos and Tomato Sauce over Quinoa

 

Begin with a 28-ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes. (San Marzano preferred.) Use an immersion stick and puree tomatoes until smooth. In a skillet, sauté some onion, garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil until fragrant. Add tomato puree, salt and a pinch of sugar. Simmer until flavors meld. Check for seasoning and make adjustments.

Drain a can of garbanzo beans and rinse. Add beans to tomato sauce and continue to simmer.

Prepare quinoa according to instructions. 1 C dry would feed four. I added some salt and bay leaves to the cooking pot.

I had some small sweet peppers in the fridge and I decided to roast them up. Line a baking sheet with foil. Spray foil with non-stick spray. Oil your peppers with EVOO. A pinch of salt and pepper and in they go to a preheated 425 degree oven. Roast until slightly charred. Rotate peppers at least once for even cooking.

Make a salad. I had some arugula, cucumber and avocado on hand. Simple dressing: lemon juice, EVOO, cracked black pepper and a pinch of salt.

For service: fresh basil, shredded parmesan and a drizzle of EVOO.

Some old crusty bread found new life in the toaster oven. Drizzle a bit of EVOO and lightly toast.

Filling, vegetarian, delicious and guilt-free!