Monday, August 29, 2011

Pineapple sage pound cake

I don't really know where this recipe originated, but it is all over the web as one of the most popular recipes to make with the herb pineapple sage (along with this smoothie). I had made this cake a few years ago when I had my first pineapple sage plant and I remembered liking it. So, when I wanted to make a cake for my husband's birthday I decided to give this one a try again because we have a pineapple sage plant again this year. Food is one of the greatest ways to show someone that you care about them. I really wanted to make my husband a cake that was special and a bit out of the ordinary to celebrate his day.

I think this cake is pretty interesting and it is one of those things that gets better after a couple of days as the herbs have more time to permeate the cake. It doesn't have an overwhelming pineapple flavor, but it has a subtle pineapple and light herb flavor. If you make this cake, try to get the smallest and freshest leaves off your plant because they have the most pineapple flavor. The original recipe says you can add some of the red flowers to the cake, but I've never had my plant flower. If you are lucky enough to have some of the flowers, add a couple chopped tablespoons to the batter when you add the leaves for a more colorful cake. Below is my slightly modified version of the recipe.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Zucchini pancakes

OK, I admit it, these may not be the healthiest recipe to enter into this month's Healing Foods event. But, I wanted to make a pancake recipe that was on the healthier side and included a great way to use up some of those zucchinis you have building up in your refrigerator and on your counter. So I tried to make a healthy pancake as a breakfast alternative. As you may have guessed, this month the Healing Foods event features zucchini and summer squash (and, is hosted by me). There's still time to get in your entries! Zucchini and all summer squash are full of health benefits as you can read in the announcement. This is a great way to try to get any picky eaters out there (and we all know some of those) to eat up some vegetables.

Back to the pancakes... It's been a while since I made a new pancake recipe, but anyone familiar with this blog knows that I love them and like to try all different kinds. These zucchini pancakes were delicious and pretty. The flecks of green brightened up the pancakes and they were reminiscent of the flavors of zucchini bread. I loaded these pancakes with zucchini and walnuts so they had a lot of texture. This recipe will serve about three people and will make approximately 10 pancakes. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Galumpkis

Galumpkis (sometimes called "pigs in a blanket") are a stuffed cabbage roll that I remember eating as a kid. I had not eaten galumpkis in many years, but was inspired to cook up a batch recently when I bought a large head of cabbage at the farmer's market along with some grass-fed organic ground beef. I remember them being rather simple in taste - beef, onions, rice, cabbage, tomatoes... I don't remember much spice or herbs in these rolls, but I remember they were always a hit. As I picked up a couple old cookbooks I have to see what I could find, I found a piece of paper in one that had a galumpki recipe hand-written on it by my husband's grandfather - I mean, I turned right to it. The recipe wasn't very detailed, but I used it as a reference for the one below. Of course, I added more flavorings to my version and they were delicious as I remembered.

I wanted to make enough for two meals for us (one dinner and then leftovers for lunches), so I used only one pound of ground beef and the mixture stuffed six large cabbage leaves. I'll say that this recipe will make about six to eight rolls, depending on your cabbage leaves. I did not parboil my cabbage leaves because they were really fresh and tender. However, if your cabbage leaves seem to be tough, it would be a good idea to parboil the leaves and let them cool and dry before stuffing them.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Honey dew-cucumber-basil coolers

I made this drink during the heat wave we had a couple of weeks ago. We were enjoying a lot of fruit drinks and smoothies during that time to help combat the heat. It has been a lot more pleasant in terms of temperature recently; however, this drink is something you can enjoy all summer no matter how hot it is. I didn't strain this drink, but rather left it "pulpy" because that is how my husband prefers his juices. I am not a big fan of pulp, so if you are like me, you can pour the drink through a fine sieve, pushing it down with a wooden spoon to get out all the juices (making it more like this agua fresca). Either way, the combination of refreshing cucumber and sweet honey dew is delicious, and it's made even more interesting by the addition of fresh basil. This recipe will make two servings. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Stewed okra and tomatoes with andouille sausage

I found the cutest fresh, young okra at the farmer's market last week and I just couldn't resist buying up a pint. They were so tender and probably the best okra I've ever had. I combined the okra with fresh tomatoes from our plant to make this spicy and easy dinner. Some people find okra to be slimy, which it certainly can be. I did some research and found a lot of recipes that say if you fry okra first, it reduces the slime. I tried it in this recipe, and it worked - there was no slime.

I had some andouille sausage in the freezer that was made at a local shop. Sausage is not something we eat often, but when we do we ensure that it is high quality. Andouille is a smoked Cajun sausage that you've probably eaten if you've ever had gumbo. The amount of spice and heat in the andouille provide almost all the flavoring you need for this dish. My husband loved this dinner and quickly grabbed up the leftovers for his lunch the next day. I hadn't planned on taking a photo and posting this dish, but he insisted (so the photos aren't that great - that's his lunch dish for the next day). This will make enough for about four servings when paired with rice (which you will want to counterbalance the spicy sausage).

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Roasted salsa verde

Salsa verde is something that I always enjoy - but, I've never tried to make it myself. I buy it all the time when I'm making enchiladas or for a snack. This time, I decided to make it rather than buy it because I found some tomatillos at the grocery store. I decided to cook the ingredients in the broiler so that there would be some black-roasted goodness on the veggies. The salsa was easy to make and tasted really fresh. You can serve this salsa as a snack with some corn chips or as a topping for your favorite tacos, enchiladas, or burritos. This recipe will make about 2.5 cups of salsa.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Healing Foods - Event Announcement

I am very excited to guest host the Healing Foods event for this month. This is a wonderful event started by Siri of Cooking with Siri. This is my first time hosting an event! I am glad to do this one because it is a great way to showcase healthy foods and recipes. I chose zucchini for my August guest host spot. Zucchini is very abundant right now as we are right in the height of summer and zucchini production in my area. Did you know that zucchini has many health benefits? Zucchini, and all summer squash, are great sources of magnesium, vitamin C, zinc, and other antioxidants. Summer squash are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, blood sugar regulation, and other healthful properties.