Did you know you can treat any squash seeds the same as pepitas (pumpkin seeds)? Do just what you would do with the pumpkin- separate the seeds from the pulp, put in a single layer on a cookie sheet and cook in a preheated 300 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Get creative with your seasonings! Cinnamon and sugar, or Rosemary & sea salt … the combinations are endless!! For more mouthwatering pics visit here !
After a cooking party using a pressure cooker and beginning preparations for my 7 year “standing” appointment with my 4th of July clients, I began to reminisce about my grandmother and the roll food played in HER life – hence, mine. I spent every summer with grandmomma and granddaddy and so, Wednesday night Baptist suppers, Sunday night suppers, picnics, and trips around the region brought expected AND unexpected food and memories.
My mind wanders (just ask Gordon) – I have to work hard to complete a verbal sentence because my brain is always way ahead of my mouth – and the pressure cooker at this party made me very nostalgic for grandmomma’s fried chicken. They asked “how do you make FRIED chicken in a pressure cooker?” – I answered “I have no idea, but you might ask Colonel Sanders!” … I’ve previously mentioned that grandmommas fried chicken was the pre-curser to Kentucky Fried. EVERY aforementioned event was graced with this chicken, mildly warm to room temperature, in a pyrex pan covered with a cloth. So juicy, and yes, crispy! Not all over – but all around the edges. The rich, flavorful skin and juicy flesh totally made up for the for the “not so crispy” center…later on I would order Extra Crispy for a while, but then returned to the flavors and textures of my youth.
This reminiscence made me mention Fried Chicken to my client who is totally on board…so, Fried Chicken for the 4th it is!! Along with Lula’s 5 Cheese Mac (sometimes 6), creamy and crunchy…and our Blueberry Florus Parfaits with Blueberries fresh and sweet from Thistlehair Farm!
IF you’d like Lula’s Fried Chicken recipe (which is flavorful and crispy, but cast iron pan fried NOT pressure cooked) click here. You can always get quick tips and tricks from Lula here . What’s YOUR favorite Independence Day food?
Wanna be fancy? Wanna “look” fancy at your next get together? Pick your vinegar: Apple Cider, White, Wine, or Rice …let’s stop there and keep it simple. Add 3 tablespoons fresh herb or mixture of herbs of your choice (mix a couple and make it a “house” vinegar”) for every quart of vinegar.
Don’t use ground herbs or spices because the vinegar will get cloudy. Store it at room temperature, with a lid on, making sure your herbs are covered in the vinegar. It will be ready in 24 hours, and after you use some, you can top it off again with the same original vinegar. Just make sure your herbs stay covered. If you’d like, you can remove the herbs after a couple of days. Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering uses our Tarragon Vinegar to make pickles that we put in several recipes ( see pic of our Baba Lula Ganoush garnished with them!)
Vinegar is a preservative, but it does have its limits. The word itself is derived from the French “vin aigre” meaning “sour wine”. Don’t use more than around 3 tablespoons of your herb mix per quart because too much foreign “matter” can result in food poisoning. Happy Creating!
Once again, my friend and author Heidi Bright (“Thriver Soup”) has offered such a simply written and informative piece that I am compelled to copy:
“Fresh, fragrant mandarins are precious, full of flavor, and full of power. The magic lies in their peels—which are quite edible and contain potent anti-cancer properties (see links below). Also called clementines and tangerines, these citrus fruits are fresh and sitting in grocery stores now.
If you have a high-speed blender, mix two whole mandarins (peel on) with a quarter cup cranberries (at this time of year, try frozen, not the packaged sugary snacks), a little raw honey and/or stevia, a quarter cup raw/soaked-in-salt-water pecans, and coconut butter. Blend. Mmmm! Add chia seeds if desired. Taste the fragrance, ingest the power.”
I would like to add my two cents worth: Wash your fruit with a scrubbing sponge and some dishwashing liquid if you intend to eat the skins – even organic can be sprayed with color – which doesn’t taste as good!
Here we are, in the depths of winter. We’ve endured seemingly endless days of gray. We’ve seesawed between cold snaps and unseasonable warm spells–bearing witness to a changing climate. We’ve felt helpless in the face of senseless acts of violence, outraged by the racism that has reared its ugly head, and frustrated with pervasive political impotence. But there are rays of hope–young people speaking out against gun violence, #metoo moments and #blacklivesmatter, to name a few. And there are reasons not to fill with despair, namely, that it ruins our appetite for change. At the beginning of WWII, Camus wrote “The Almond Trees,” named for trees that would blossom suddenly one February night. He writes:
The task is endless, it’s true. But we are here to pursue it. I do not have enough faith in reason to subscribe to a belief in progress, or to any philosophy of history. I do believe at least that a man’s awareness of his destiny has never ceased to advance. We have not overcome our condition, and yet we know it better. We know that we live in contradiction, but we also know that we must refuse this contradiction and do what is needed to reduce it. Our task as men is to find the few principles that will calm the infinite anguish of free souls. We must mend what has been torn apart, make justice imaginable again in a world so obviously unjust, give happiness a meaning once more to peoples poisoned by the misery of the century. Naturally, it is a superhuman task. But superhuman is the term for tasks men take a long time to accomplish, that’s all. Let us know our aims then, holding fast to the mind, even if force puts on a thoughtful or a comfortable face in order to seduce us. The first thing is not to despair. Let us not listen too much to those who proclaim that the world is at an end. Civilizations do not die so easily, and even if our world were to collapse, it would not have been the first. It is indeed true that we live in tragic times. But too many people confuse tragedy with despair. “Tragedy,” Lawrence said, “ought to be a great kick at misery.” This is a healthy and immediately applicable thought. There are many things today deserving such a kick.
I know. You’re probably thinking this is a little heavy for a frivolous food blog. And, of course, it’s true. But it’s also true that food is political, whether we like it or not. How it’s grown and processed, by whom and under what conditions, who has access to what, and who goes hungry. It’s said that food is the one thing that unites us all. It has the ability to bridge barriers, nurture community, and, in the words of cook and author Julia Turshen, to “feed the resistance.” I don’t have any answers here, I can’t promise any magical food cures. Instead, I have for you a simple recipe that I hope will brighten your day with a burst of citrus in the midst of winter and offer a small reminder that life can be sweet and shared with love.
Gratefully reprinted from Green Gourmette.
1) Rice, 1 cup
Salt, 2 tsp
Water, 2 cups
Butter, ½ tsp
2) Bite size leftover turkey, 2C
3) Onion, diced, ½ C
Green Pepper, diced, ½ C
Celery, diced, ½ C
Mushrooms, sliced, ½ C
Broccoli florets, chopped small, 2 cups OR
Green Beans, fresh, 2 cups OR any combination of any vegetables you have – leftover or canned or frozen such as corn, etc.. I wouldn’t try Brussels Sprouts, though!
4) Cream/Celery Soup, 2 cans
Sour Cream, ½ C
Cheddar Chs, shredded, ¾ C
Dijon Mustard, 1 tbs
Worchestershire Sauce, 1tsp
Cayenne pepper, ¼ tsp
French Fried Onions
1) Bring all but rice to boil, dump in rice, cook according to package directions. Brown rice is a fabulous healthy alternative in this recipe. While the rice is cooking, dice your veggies and shred your meat. When done, dump rice into 1.5 or 2 quart casserole dish.
2) Layer on top of rice
3) Mix all together and microwave in separate dish 8-10 minutes, depending on your microwave. Your largest vegetable should be cooked through. Then dump all of this on top of the turkey.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4) Yes, I said canned soup. Sometimes Lula must return to the south. Mix all of this together and dump on top of veggies.
5) As many as you want, dump on top of casserole and bake uncovered until bubbling – appx 30-45 minutes. If you are one of the rare households who doesn’t have these onions around during holiday time, crush a sleeve of Ritz or butter crackers and mix with ½ stick of melted butter and spread on top.
Lula wishes for your tastebuds delight!
Luscious, warm, juicy, brilliant, sweet tomatoes… go to www.lulasforlunch.com and click on Seasonal Selections for an EASY recipe that will help you use 2 of your abundant garden items right now!! And…just for my blog babies, check out the recipe below that will help you get rid of that most delicious of all weeds…MINT!!
CHILLED MINTED PEA SOUP
¼ cup minced onion sauté low heat 1 tsp butter 10 min no browning
1 can broth
1 can water add both – btb then simmer
¾ cup frozen peas or fresh add at the simmer, maintain for 5 min
¼ c mint leaves add, maintain for 3 min
Dump all in blender, whir till smooth as possible, return to pan through fine mesh sieve (or china cap if you have one)
1/4c to ½ c heavy cream stir through to desired viscosity and taste
Dash cayenne, salt correct seasoning
Chill at least 2 hours. Serves 4