It’s May and All’s Okay

springtrees

Dogwoods in my neighborhood.

Silly little rhyme I know. But all is okay, thankfully, and I’m still cooking. I truly just haven’t had time to experiment on anything new due to work commitments. (Not a bad thing!)

Still, there have been moments squeezed in to enjoy the glory of Spring and some time with family and friends. Here are a couple of little slideshows of what’s been going on since last I posted…so long, long ago in April.

Mother’s Day brunch strata and some scenery in Florence, Alabama…

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Spring blooms and woodland walks…

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And of course, I had to make some Souvlaki and tzatziki, because it reminds me so of our Spring honeymoon in Greece.

I hope this post finds you all well, enjoying happy seasons and good weather. Summer is rapidly approaching for us, and with it all the great produce that comes our way. Rest assured, I’ll be sharing more recipes with you soon so stay tuned. Have a lovely week!

Here’s the recipe for the strata I made for Mother’s Day brunch. It’s great for any special occasion and it feeds a crowd!

Prosciutto, Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Strata
(Adapted from Bon Appétit) Serves 6-8 generously

16 1/2 inch slices of sourdough bread, crusts removed
8 ounces of prosciutto, thinly sliced
8 ounces of goat cheese, crumbled
6 ounces of provolone cheese, grated
1/4 cup chopped green onion
6 Tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
1/4 cup well drained and chopped sun dried tomatoes
3 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
7 large eggs
2 1/2 cups 2% or whole milk
1 generous tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Line the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2 inch glass baking dish, or same size casserole, completely with 1 layer of bread, trimming slices to fit. Arrange half of the prosciutto over the top of the bread, then sprinkle half of the goat cheese and half of the provolone over that. Sprinkle half of the green onions, half of the sun dried tomatoes and half of the basil. Repeat the layers in that order, beginning with a second layer of bread and ending with the basil. Cut the remaining bread into 1/4 inch cubes and sprinkle over the top of the strata.

In a medium size bowl, combine the eggs, milk, mustard, salt and pepper, and whisk well. Pour the egg mixture over the strata, pressing down on the bread with a spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and uncover the strata. Let the strata sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Sprinkle the grated parmesan over the top of the strata and bake for about one hour, until the center is set and the top is golden. Cut into large squares and serve.

Note: You can substitute your favorite cheeses easily in this dish. Fontina would be nice instead of the provolone, for instance.

I served this with Citrus Salad with Mint Sugar. Delicious.

Finished Strata.

Finished Strata.

A Hiccup, and What I Love About Spring

Azalea blossoms in our yard shot with a macro lens. I think azaleas are fascinating!

Forgive me readers for I have been MIA. It’s been two weeks since my last post.

Missed me? I’ve missed you all….figuratively and literally! I’ve been dealing with some family health issues for the last two weeks, so had no time for cooking, blogging or keeping up to speed with other posts, either. So sorry about that…some of my fellow bloggers are so prolific I may never catch up! Since I still haven’t had time to get back on my schedule of cooking or just fun eating in general, I’ve decided to give you an update on things I will hopefully be cooking from my garden within a few months and my quarterly commentary on a few things I love about the season at hand….Spring! Continue reading

Reflections on Fall…and an Award!

I’ve said it before: Fall is my favorite season of the year. It’s a busy time, with holidays each month and the preparation of the home and garden for winter, but such a lovely time for those reasons and so many more. I can’t let this season go by without a moment to reflect on a few of the things that I love about it, so I’ve compiled some thoughts and a little list to share with you.

But before I continue my fall-ish thoughts, one thing I’d like to share is that I’ve just been honored with my first blog award…sweet! Many gracious thanks to Eva from Kitchen Inspirations, who kindly nominated me for the Liebster Blog award. She’s a fellow in the graphic design field, a food lover, cook, and brave croissant maker(!!!) from Canada, whose blog I recently discovered and have really enjoyed following. Do take the time to check her out!  And please scroll down to see more details about this award…as well as find out who my own nominees are, as I pass along the baton!

The Liebster Blog Award is given to recognize your favorite up-and-coming bloggers who have fewer than 200 subscribers, and that you feel deserve more. It’s a cool way to meet more folks and learn some new things…and generally expand your horizons, in my opinion. Continue reading

Communing in the Garden

The Mural at the Oakhurst Community Garden.

For all things produced in a garden, whether of salads or fruits, a poor man will eat better that has one of his own, than a rich man that has none.
–  J. C. Loudoun

Amazingly, we now have 3 community gardens that I’m familiar with inside a less than 3 mile radius here in the Decatur area, as well as several farm to table school gardens and some urban organic gardens supplying local restaurants. In fact, almost every house has a garden of some sort around here! In part, this can be attributed to the likes of Farmer D, who has made it his mission to bring organic and bio-dynamic gardening—and the reaped rewards of it—to every child and adult’s table in Georgia. And being that I’m a very frustrated organic gardener myself, every now and then I like to go and visit some of those gardens that have more sun than I do and therefore can grow those things that I cannot. Continue reading