Shrimp Crepes With a Limoncello Butter-Cream Sauce

I love my “shrimps” and I often come up with new ways to serve them. These crepes paired beautifully with a limoncello butter sauce that I previously used with a fresh salmon fillet. The filling in the crepes has some of this delicious liqueur as well. Limoncello is so versatile that  I’ve added it to a vinaigrette, fruit salad (Ina’s), and a cheesecake (Ina’s). Plus, you can always drink it as an aperitif!

Did you see Under the Tuscan Sun, a great movie  with Diane Lang? Positano, Italy  was featured as one of the premier lemon growing areas which make this delightful liqueur. What a lovely vacation Gene and I had there!!!

There are 3 ways you can serve these; with crepes, raviolis or wontons. I love them all but chose crepes.

Shrimp Crepes With a Limoncello Butter-Cream Sauce

Crepes:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk or use water for not so rich crepes (I did use 2% milk)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp. melted butter (optional for richer crepes)

Combine the above ingredients and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

Make the crepes using a little less than 1/4 cup in an 8-inch skillet. Lightly oil the skillet and when hot add the batter and twirl it around the pan to make a crepe. A few seconds later loosen the crepe and turn carefully and cook only briefly; remove.

Makes 12 crepes

Seafood Filling:

  • 1 to 1-1/2 lbs. medium shrimp, cooked and chopped into small pieces (this is the weight of the meat) – you can buy fresh or frozen already cooked
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large shallot, finely minced
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1-1/2 cups milk (I used 2% but whole or even half and half can be used)
  • 1 tsp. limoncello
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup whole milk fresh ricotta
  • 2 tbsp. mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tsp. parsley, minced
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • twist or two of fresh nutmeg using your nutmeg grinder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt or to taste

Precook the shrimp  and cut into small pieces (you could also substitute with some lobster meat) .

Add the butter to a large skillet and saute the garlic and shallot. After a minute or two add the flour and stir for a couple of minutes. Slowly add the milk (I used 2% but you can use whole or even 1/2 and 1/2), stir until thickened. Stir in the limoncello, lemon zest, ricotta and mascarpone until the cheese melts. Then add the shrimp, parsley, cayenne, nutmeg and salt; toss and adjust seasonings.  Allow the mixture to cool before adding to the crepes; the sauce will thicken.

Add 2-3 tbsp. mixture to each crepe and roll up and place in a buttered serving dish. I added extra shrimp filling to the tops of 6 crepes. The rest I saved for the Limoncello Sauce.

Heat uncovered  in a preheated 350° oven for about 15 minutes until heated through.

Butter/Cream Sauce:

  • 4 tbsp. Limoncello
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup (or more) heavy cream to thicken
  • fresh parsley and chives, minced to garnish

Simmer the liqueur and lemon juice. Whisk in the butter a tbsp. at a time to combine. Add about 1/4 cup (or more) heavy cream to thicken the sauce. I feel the sauce does not need to be seasoned. Allow to cool a little as it will thicken.

https://cookingwithauntjuju.com/2018/04/23/limoncello-butte…-lobster-ravioli/ 

 

I had been thinking about making a shrimp ravioli to go with this creamy Limoncello sauce and then I spotted these beautiful pastas at Trader Joe’s. Aren’t these the prettiest raviolis you have ever seen? Since I knew I could never make such a beautiful pasta as this I decided to make crepes instead. 

Some of the ingredients in Trader’s Joe’s lobster ravioli included lobster meat, ricotta and mozzarella cheese.

Linking to Fiesta Friday

 

Cooking Tidbits – Watermelons

Watermelon is one of my favorite summer fruits. It is synonymous with summer and family barbecues. It’s not only delicious and refreshing on a hot summer day but there are numerous health benefits.

The seedless varieties  with deep red fruit have more of the antioxidant lycopene. There is also a big difference in taste too. I quit buying whole watermelons because I want to see how red they are, light colored fruit does not taste that good if you know what I mean. So, I always buy a half or a quarter so I can see the color!

 

One cup of watermelon contains 43 calories, 0 fat, 2 mg of sodium, 11 grams of carbs (9 grams of sugar), 1 gram of fiber plus many vitamins and other beneficial elements. Because it is 92 percent water it is good for hydration (that’s why we find it so satisfying to eat when the temps soar). This fruit can help the heart, aid digestion, inflammation; and these are just a few of its benefits.

Watermelon is a rich source of Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. Vitamin A is fat soluble so it needs to be consumed with some fat to help the body absorb it. When I read this and discovered I should add cheese (or some other kind of fat) to this fruit, watermelon became even more appealing. Yes, I can add some crumbled feta or goat cheese to this afternoon snack, making it even more tasty! Maybe add a few toasted and chopped walnuts too!

One thing for sure I will be eating more watermelon this summer especially when the flesh is a deep red!

Recipes you might like:

Watermelon and Goat Cheese Salad With Pistachios and Lemon Verbena Dressing

Watermelon Salsa

Watermelon Fruit Bowl

Salt Blocks for Serving, Cooking and a Few Recipes

Watermelon Cookies

Of course there are many other ways to use watermelons such as popsicles, smoothies or lemonade. Some people make watermelon pickles with the rind (never tried to make). You can see this fruit is very versatile and the possibilities are endless…

This old picture was taken a number of years ago during my “baby watermelon growing days”. I love the saying at the bottom of this picture frame by Mark Twain “When One Has Tasted Watermelon He Knows What The Angels Eat”.

Radish and Cucumber Salad with Basil

This salad just says Spring. Cucumbers and radishes are a popular twosome that only requires some fresh herbs and a light dressing. I like to use English cukes and then vary the radishes when I can find them. I have discovered that it is better to grow your own radishes to get the many varieties that stores do not sell.

There are many recipes to choose from and even other veggies are a possibility such as shallots, red peppers and jalapenos will add a nice kick. The dressing is the big decision as you can make a citrus version like the recipe I’ve posted or a salad using a salt block  or with some heat such as Thai Cucumber Sambal 

Did you know that radishes are good companion plants with other veggies – they help keep the bugs away even the dreaded cucumber beetle!

Radish and Cucumber Salad with Basil

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (use your best when making a dressing for a salad)
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced (cut in half if they are big)
  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, minced (thyme would be a good choice with this citrus dressing)
  • garnish of fresh basil leaves and ground black pepper

In a bowl whisk together the oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, honey and salt. Fold in the radishes, cucumber and shallot. Refrigerate for no longer than an hour as it does not keep well.  Just before serving stir in the basil. Garnish with additional basil and ground black pepper.

https://cookingwithauntjuju.com/2018/05/20/radish-and-cucum…salad-with-basil/ 

 

This is a perfect side for Grilled Chicken with Traverse City Cherry Barbecue Sauce

Peek-A-Boo

Look who surprised me while I harvested my lettuce in one of my garden containers. As I started to cut this lettuce out he popped – some kind of a tree frog perhaps? He also looks like he’s shedding his skin!

June 6th – I think my little guest is a Cope’s Gray Tree Fog. They have a solid lime green colored back and he definitely does. Very common all over the state of Michigan!

I immediately went to the other side of this long container and harvested the rest of the lettuce. By the time I finished he was back in the pot and “peeking at me” as if to say “please let me stay”. Of course I said “yes”  🙂 See his sweet little eyes in the middle of the picture, peeking at me?

Wouldn’t you love a salad with all this beautiful lettuce?

Gardening can be fun even if you have a small balcony/patio and only have a container garden. I posted some new pictures in My 2018 Michigan Container Garden. My dill plant had a butterfly visit not too long ago and now the eggs have hatched and I have about (8) 3/8-inch caterpillars. Of course I am going to leave them alone to munch on my dill… I got a great picture but I have to admit they are kind of ugly at this stage 🙂

My garden adventures have changed over the years from a small garden in my first condo; then a huge 40×120′ garden and also a pumpkin and corn patch; then to 1 acre of all kinds of flowers, some veggies, herbs and edible flowers and finally to my current condo where I have a roomy container garden on my deck. It is only June 1st but I am enjoying all my visitors and reaping the benefits even in a small garden.

Bulgogi Wraps (Korean Beef Stir-Fry)

You don’t think of a stir-fry as the perfect meal for a hot Spring day. Yes, it has been in the 90’s this week which is very unusual for Michigan in late May. We usually don’t get that kind of weather until July!

The only cooking is the brief stir-fry of thinly sliced beef over very high heat. A marinade coats the meat, the Korean BBQ sauce is made ahead of time (no cooking), you use fresh crispy vegetables such as cucumbers, radishes, jalapenos, green onions and carrot shreds, and all wrapped in a buttery lettuce leaf. Very refreshing and full of lots of great flavor.

Bulgogi is thin, marinated slices of beef or pork grilled or cooked stove-top. I have chosen to use my wok and stir-fry it that way. A good cut of meat is important such as sirloin, rib eye or brisket. Garlic cloves, sliced onions and chopped green peppers are sometimes grilled with it. Bulgogi can be served in a wrap along with Ssamjang which is how I made it.

Awhile back I mentioned the three “jang” pastes in Korean cuisine. I’ve been using gochujang often but recently found a recipe with both doenjang and gochujang as ingredients in a BBQ sauce. Then I loved the idea of making this Korean version of beef stir-fry into lettuce wraps. I first saw this idea/recipe in Melissa Clark’s cookbook “Dinner: Changing the Game”.

Some times I change a recipe quite a bit and this is one of them. I have not indicated those changes but you can find Melissa’s original recipe in her cookbook or online.

The Food Network proclaimed gochujang a new trend in 2018 and compared it to Sriracha. A recent email from Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street (his latest magazine) states “This Korean chili paste changed our cooking.  Move over Japanese Miso and make room for gochujang“. By the way the heat in gochujang comes from the chili flakes or gochugaru.

I am continuing to enjoy these Korean pastes in  meatballs, potatoes, baby back ribs and now this beef stir fry or Bulgogi.

Korean-Style Stir-Fried Beef, Adapted

Beef Marinade:

  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion, thickly sliced
  • 1 1-inch-thick slice fresh ginger, peeled
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. beef sirloin, cut into 1/8-inch slices (freeze for 1-2 hours for easier slicing) – next time I will marinate the beef in one piece and try grilling it
  • 1 scallion, white and green parts, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
  • sometimes an Asian or Bosc pear, chopped is added to the ingredients which I think is a great idea but I did not add this time

Combine the garlic, onion (add slowly to get the right thickness), ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey and black pepper in a blender and blend. Place the beef in a shallow container and spread the mixture on both sides of the beef. I adjusted the seasonings to have more of a creamy sauce instead of a paste. Stir in the scallions and sesame seeds.

Cover and refrigerate overnight if possible.

Ssamjang – Korean Barbecue Sauce: Double the recipe!

  • 1/4 cup doenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste)
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves,  minced
  • 1 scallion, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. water (add more if needed to get the right consistency)
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp. gochujang (Korean red chile paste) to taste

Combine all of the ingredients. Adjust the ingredients to get the consistency and heat you want.

To Cook:

You need to stir-fry/cook the meat on a high sear but only for a few minutes per side as it can become tough. My Breville wok actually has a “high sear” setting which I used. If the meat becomes too tough be sure to cut it into smaller pieces for easier eating. According to Korean tradition you are supposed to eat each wrap in one bite – my wraps were bigger and required 4 bites! Of course you can use smaller leaves.

Should I decide to grill the meat (it is summer after all)  I would leave the meat in one piece instead of slices and marinate overnight. Then I would grill it briefly on both sides, allow to rest and cut into smaller pieces.

Garnishes:

  • carrots, grated
  • sliced green or red jalapeno peppers
  • green onions, white and light green parts chopped
  • cucumbers, sliced thin
  • fresh herbs such as mint, basil or parsley
  • rice (optional)
  • Bibb lettuce is what I prefer but you can use romaine, red or green leaf lettuce

Serve the beef on a platter with the lettuce, fresh veggies and herbs and the sauce on the side. Guests can make their own wraps and add the garnishes of their choice. Dribble a little of the Ssamjang over each wrap mixture  before rolling up.

To serve over rice add a little beef broth to the beef mixture after stir-frying and adjust seasonings to taste such as soy sauce and maybe a tsp. or two of gochujang.

https://cookingwithauntjuju.com/2018/05/14/korean-style-stir-fried-beef/ 

   

I served some leftovers with rice. I just added some beef broth to the meat mixture and adjusted the seasonings (like a little more soy sauce and added 1 tsp. gochujang). It was quite good and a perfect meal for another hot Spring evening.

Honey-Bourbon Pork Tenderloin on the Grill

I wrote a few notes on this recipe from my old file such as “excellent” “very good gravy” “Gene likes”. I thought it came from one of the (8) Weber Grill Cookbooks I own but I couldn’t find it. This is just the kind of recipe they would make, or so I thought. Anyways, my notes from 2007 still hold true today in 2018!

Looking on line I did see one reference to a 2007 “Cooking Light” magazine. Eleven years ago I just had my magazines, cookbooks, friends, family and my recipes and rarely used the internet until around 2011 for recipes. I have subscribed to Cooking Light in the past and I will give them credit for this recipe as that is probably where I saw it – adapted a little of course.

Honey-Bourbon Pork Tenderloin, Adapted

  • pork tenderloins (the sauce is enough for 3 (1 lb) pork tenderloins
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup bourbon whiskey (1/4 cup would be fine)
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • fresh herbs such as thyme sprigs (I added)
  • salt and pepper to taste prior to cooking or grilling
  • cooking spray (for the grill) or use oil
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1-1/4 cups water

Combine the onions, lemon juice, honey, bourbon, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, olive oil and fresh herbs. Pour 1/2 cup marinade over the tenderloin(s); set aside the rest for the gravy.

I marinated the pork for about 2 hours. Remove and pat dry slightly with a paper towel.  If you are grilling baste with the marinade.

To grill turn the heat to high and spray the rack with veggie cooking spray. Cover, and cook on medium for 20-30 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 145° (medium rare) 160° (medium); turning once.

To bake; preheat the oven to 350°F and bake for 20-30 minutes or longer depending on the size of your pork tenderloins.

Allow to rest for 10 minutes and make the gravy. Drain the marinade to remove the onions (optional). Place flour in a small saucepan. Gradually add reserved marinade and water, whisking until blended. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. It  will thicken more as it cools…

Serve with vegetables of your choice and maybe a salad.

https://cookingwithauntjuju.com/2018/04/14/honey-bourbon-po…oin-on-the-grill/ 

The gravy was delicious over leftover meat loaf.

 

Koreatown Baby Back Ribs

The warm weather finally has arrived which means grilling season has started.  My family loves ribs and when I saw this recipe in Gaby Dalkin’s recent cookbook “What’s Gaby Cooking: Everyday California Food” I knew I had to make it.

Why – when I already have a few versions for grilling ribs; Ina Garten’s which I have posted and another by Michael Chiarello (chef who specializes in Italian-influenced California cuisines) that I have yet to post. They are all different using a variety of ingredients but this recipe with a Korean twist uses my new favorite ingredient, gochujang.

Gaby persuaded a friend to share his recipe which reminded her of the ribs she orders from Koreatown. These Korean communities are spread out all across the country and whether big or small the restaurants revolve around the traditional foods of Korea.

The marinated pickles (be sure to double the recipe as these pickles will be popular), a spicy rub where the flavors are allowed to blend overnight and a Korean Barbecue sauce using gochujang are part of these mouth-watering ribs. They are first baked in the oven and then finished off on the grill giving you melt-in-your-mouth ribs and a perfect summertime dinner.

Gaby has outdone herself with this cookbook – I highly recommend 🙂

Koreatown Baby Back Ribs, Adapted

Spicy Pickles:

  • 1 lb. Persian or English cucumbers, sliced 1/2-inch thick (not Kirby’s)
  • 1 tbsp. Kosher salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • 6 scallions, white and light green parts, chopped
  • 5 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced (seeds removed for less heat)
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil

Place the cucumbers in a colander set over a bowl; sprinkle with the salt and give them a quick toss. Let sit for 30 minutes. Rinse the cucumbers and pat dry.

Toss the cucumbers with the garlic, ginger, scallions, vinegar, chile, honey, soy sauce and sesame oil and stir to coat. Refrigerate overnight…

Be sure to double the recipe as these spicy pickles will be popular. They are crisp and nicely flavored with a little heat.

Ribs:

  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 racks baby back ribs (a rack is 8-14 ribs)
  • 1 cup water or beer

Combine the sugar, salt, ginger and chili powder. Place the ribs on a baking sheet and rub the spice mixture all over ribs, top and bottom. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the ribs from the refrigerator 30-60 minutes before baking. Peel back a corner of the foil and pour in the water or beer and close it back up. Place the ribs in the oven and bake for 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until the meat nearly falls off the bone.

Korean BBQ Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup gochujang paste
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 8-10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled and minced (I used less)
  • 5 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil

Combine all of the ingredients and store in the refrigerator.

Grilling the ribs:

Remove the ribs from the oven and preheat the grill to medium high. Brush the ribs with the BBQ sauce and place on the grill. Grill for about 5-7 minutes on each side, meat side down first, until charred. Remove from the grill and brush on more BBQ sauce.

Slice the racks into individual ribs and add more BBQ sauce. Arrange on a platter and top with the chopped scallions, sesame seeds, jalapenos and spicy pickles.

Toppings:

  • 4 scallions, white and light green parts, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 jalapeno chile, thinly sliced

https://cookingwithauntjuju.com/2018/05/06/koreatown-baby-back-ribs/ 

Barbecue Sauce:

Marinated Pickles:

  

Spice Rub, After 2 Hours of Baking, BBQ Sauce is Brushed on and Ready to Grill:

 

The Ribs After Grilling 6-7 Minutes Per side and The Spicy Pickles:

   

Arugula, Cheddar and Cherry Salad With A Light Dressing

A light and refreshing salad was served alongside pot pies we made during a 4 hour full participation baking class at Zingerman’s Bakehouse. It was perfect with the peppery arugula, Vermont cheddar, Granny Smith apples and dressed in a light cider vinegar/extra virgin olive oil dressing. They called it their “Fall On Me” Salad”!

When I made this fresh salad at home I added dried cherries, toasted walnuts and edible flowers.

Arugula, Cheddar and Cherry Salad With a Light Dressing, Adapted

  • arugula or any greens of your choice
  • apples of your choice, sliced thin or I prefer dried cherries
  • toasted walnuts, chopped (I added)
  • 6 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (use a good quality brand)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Vermont Cabot Creamery Cheddar, or a good cheddar, shredded
  • edible flowers  for garnish (I added)

Add the vinegar to a bowl and  gradually add the oil while constantly stirring. Pour in the amount of dressing you might need in a salad bowl, add the arugula, fruit and walnuts; toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top the salad with the shredded cheddar and edible flowers.

Serve immediately as the dressing will not keep too far in advance and will result in wilted greens.

https://cookingwithauntjuju.com/2018/05/09/arugula-cheddar-…a-light-dressing/ 

  

I added toasted walnuts and used dried cherries instead of sliced apples…

Zingerman’s Deli Pot Pies

Pot Pies filled with veggies, chicken or beef and a creamy sauce have always been a comfort food.  We use to buy them from a local bakery or truth-be-told I did buy Marie Callender pies, only in a pinch though! I’ve wanted to make my own version and when Zingerman’s offered classes using their recipe I couldn’t resist.

If you are looking for a delicious pot pie recipe – go no further. It can be adapted to your taste using the vegetables your family likes. A fresh arugula salad with Vermont cheddar and sliced apples was the perfect side for a light lunch/dinner. I will post this salad soon…

Zingerman’s Deli sells six different pot pies and a chicken version is one of them. This is what we made during a 4 hour class from scratch. First we made a beautiful butter crust (so tender and easy to work with), cut up our veggies (they cooked the red potatoes), shredded the chicken they roasted, cooked the veloute sauce with all those goodies and finally assembled and shaped the 5-inch pies to take home to bake!

Zingerman's Deli Pot Pies, Adapted

Preheat the oven to 425°F 20 minutes prior to baking. When ready to bake turn the heat down to 350-375°F and cook your pot pies until the internal temperature reaches 160°F, 20-30 minutes.

Pie Dough:

  • 3-3/4 cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1-1/2 cups + 4 tsp. cold butter
  • 1/2 cup + 4 tsp. ice water

In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt. Dice up the chilled butter (the smaller the pieces the better) and add to the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, then your hands begin working the butter into the flour. Rub the mixture between your palms so that the butter encapsulates the flour. The mixture will have a yellow color to it and there should be no chunks of butter remaining. A few small ones are okay but be sure to work in the larger chunks.

Make a well in the center of the mixture, and add the cold water. Stir with a fork until the mixture is moistened and there is no dry flour left in the bowl. Knead the mixture a few times if necessary. The dough will be sticky but do not add any more flour. Wrap the dough in plastic and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour.

After letting the dough rest for 1 hour, use a bench knife to divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. This recipe makes six 5-inch pies.

Lightly flour your surface and gently roll out one piece of dough at a time, turning and keeping it round using a French style rolling pin. The rounds should be 6-inches. Place a piece of dough into each of the pie tins. Then I evenly added the filling to each one. Roll out the top crusts and place on top of the filling. Crimp the edges as desired.

Brush the top with an egg wash – they used 1 whole egg, 1 egg yolk and 1 tbsp. water. Then cut vents in each pie.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 160°F.

Cool for 15-20 minutes.

Pot Pie Filling: Add veggies of your choice and in the quantities you like

  • 3-3/4 cups chicken (meat of your choice whether roasted or you could buy rotisserie chicken)
  • 2 cups redskin potatoes (boiled and diced)
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced thin, cut in half and cut in half again
  • 2 cups onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms (I would substitute 1 cup green beans) sliced or cut into pieces
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1-1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp. parsley,  minced
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
  • sage, minced would be another herb to add

You can roast a 4 lb. chicken, just use white or dark meat, cooked or buy a rotisserie chicken already made. Cut or tear apart the chicken until you have 3-3/4 cups.

Boil the potatoes until tender. Cool, dice and set aside.

Prepare the rest of the vegetables and herbs and set aside.

Melt the butter and add the carrots, onions, celery, mushrooms or green beans, both peppers and garlic. Stir occasionally until onions are translucent. Add the flour and stir, making a roux.

Once the mixture has thickened, add the heavy cream and chicken broth. Stir until the mixture has thickened, remove from heat. The mixture should be thick but you can adjust by adding more liquid (if too thick) and more veggies if too thin.

Salt and pepper to taste and cool to room temperature. Stir in the parsley, thyme, chicken and potatoes.

The mixture can be made ahead and  stored in the refrigerator for several days.

https://cookingwithauntjuju.com/2018/05/08/zingermans-deli-pot-pies/ 

Oops! I didn’t realize I had a visitor interested in my lunch!

Indoor photography… the other photos were taken outside on a beautiful sunny day except for the photos in class – obviously artificial light!

 

My 2018 Michigan Container Garden

Some know I moved from my 1 acre home with lots of flower/veggie/herb beds, trees and shrubs.  I am now gardening in containers on my small deck attached to my condo which is not quite the same but still enjoyable. One thing for sure there is a lot less work!

My garden so far includes edible flowers: pansies and violas, blue boys, 2 kinds of mini marigolds, 2 kinds of nasturtiums; herbs: dill, parsley, 2 kinds of thyme, 2 kinds of basil (including Thai),  oregano, mint, 2 kinds of sage, tarragon, rosemary, chives; veggies: 2 kinds of lettuce, Thai Dragon and Jalapeno peppers. I might have to get a cherry tomato plant to make my garden complete! These all do great in containers so there is no excuse not to have a garden no matter how small your space.

As soon as I started to pot up my herbs, lettuce, pansies and violas I had visitors coming to check things out. Here are the first to visit my container garden…  As the season goes along I hope to add many more pictures of my Michigan garden in containers.

A small bumblebee enjoying my violas amongst my lettuce…

A bee or a wasp – I did try to identify it in my reference books… Maybe a yellow jacket?

Some recently potted plants that I grew from  seed and those that I bought or grew under gro-lights…

I love these containers (not fond of plastic but they fit perfectly on my railing)… I bought four so I will be able to add more of a variety of plants and get the most out of my deck space.

May 31, 2018 – Time to harvest some of those beautiful leaves for dinner tonight…

June 1st -Peek-A-Boo – this little tree frog loves the coolness of my lettuce, soil and shade.

Peek-A-Boo – back in my lettuce – he probably thinks I don’t see him!

Actually, this was my first visitor that I captured on my camera; a wasp interested in my lunch! Zingerman Deli Pot Pies post yet to come… I did not know this little guy was in the picture!

Wasps aren’t the best pollinators but they still are pretty to look at – from a distance! Notice the pretty markings on him…

I knew “someone” was stealing the fibers from my coco fiber basket… to build their nest… Don’t you just love robins!

A male cardinal came to visit…

This chickadee was probably building a nest too…

Edible Flowers add a nice pop of color to my recipes…

May 31st – My dill plant is full of 3/8-inch caterpillars! It was hard to focus on the little guys as they were so small… Those little black specs are very tiny caterpillars. 

This little guy is only 3/8-inches long!!! He’ll be much prettier as a butterfly… This picture was taken at 4:00 p.m on a very sunny day.

June 4th – Changing colors and getting bigger – they are voracious eaters. I wish I could have captured him “chomping” away on my dill!

 

June 10th – They totally ate the dill plant so I placed some parsley plants around for them to eat. You can see they are enjoying it   🙂 

Unfortunately, the plant stems are too weak to hold these “fat” caterpillars so I had to transfer them to my Italian parsley plant which is quite big with lots of yummy leaves.

Transfer was a success and they are enjoying all these lovely leaves. I wasn’t sure how they would adapt from dill to parsley but they did just fine. Looks like 5 are going strong…

June 13th – Only two of the caterpillars are left – either the rest were eaten or they are off becoming pupae.

June 5th – Male Baltimore Orioles and Male Yellow Finches have come to my garden – alas my camera was not ready! I could put up feeders for both but then it also attracts other visitors. Bees love the sugar water and raccoons love finch seed!!!

June 8th – A Swallowtail butterfly looking for a place to lay her eggs…

June 15 – My grape tomato plant…