Thursday, August 28, 2014

Shishkebob, and Foreman Grills Question

A meal that is part of any warm weather we have, spring, summer and fall, shishkebob. There are several spellings for this meal, including shish kebab. My computer keyboard doesn't allow for the Turkish typing of sis, which is pronounced shish.
We use metal skewers (shish), some of them are from Turkey and are the best kind which means that the blades are a little flattened and not round, so the meat doesn't slip and turn as you turn the skewers.
I learned to savor this meal the year I was in college in Istanbul, Turkey, where it is a popular dish.
Small pieces of lamb, steak, pork, chicken or shrimp, about 1 or 2 inches across, add lots of veggies and voila.
We like onions, green peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms.
Notice that the meat is on a separate skewer. This is important since the meat takes longer to cook. If you put meat and veggies on the same skewer you can end up with raw meat and charred vegetables.
You may marinate the meat in olive oil and lemon juice or a marinade of your choice, or just baste with the marinade while cooking the shishkebob.
My husband volunteers to be in charge of prep and cooking.
Thank you dear hubby.
George Foreman Grills
I have read that the George Foreman grills are handy for cooking vegetables, like green beans. Have you tried this? I don't have one of those grills and am thinking of buying one for the convenience of cooking vegetables indoors on the grill. If you have a George Foreman or similar grill, how do you use it?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Farmers Market Goodies

Each Saturday a three minute drive from our home there is a Farmers Market from 9 to 1, all local organic produce.
Here is what I bought today. The purple flowers are Blue Horizons Ageratum.
The striped cucumber is an Armenian cucumber. I also bought a tomato, mixed salad greens, fingerling potatoes and radishes.
For dinner tonight, left over wild caught salmon, fingerling potatoes, and Asian cucumber and tomato salad. For the salad slice the cucumber in thin slices, add sliced tomato, green onions if you like, and pour seasoned rice vinegar over it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Additives in our food and more

I do like to post about flowers and everything I grow, plus books, so to get out of a rut here is a different post.
These are some health and food related ideas.
I did not have a pretty photo of additives (giggle), so chose a photo of a tulip bouquet. 
Nitrates and MSG
My husband and I are not buying foods with nitrates or MSG this year. Boy this involves reading teeny tiny labels in stores. Some food like sliced lunch meat packages do advertise boldly, no nitrates, no MSG. Thank you food producers for that.
These chemicals have negative effects, nitrates related to cancer, MSG to sleep difficulties.
Fiber in bread
Most bread we buy at our house has plenty of fiber per slice, usually 8 g or more per slice, and it tastes yummy. Some bread names are a bit sneaky though, for example some Oat Bread or Nine Grain Bread is made with refined flour and has only about 1 g per slice. In general we stay away from refined flour. There are many delicious crackers and cereals made with whole grains, like Rye Krisp crackers, Shredded Wheat and Post Great Grains cereals. Crunchy Pecan is our favorite Great Grains cereal. Where I live those cereals are usually $4.99 so I stock up when they are on sale at 2 for $5.00.
Fruit juice
We don't drink fruit juice since all that sugar hits your system with a big jolt. We prefer fruit anyway which is absorbed in your body slower. I know, I know, all those years of giving our children fruit juice instead of soda.
Much corn is grown from GMO seed, so when we see nonGMO corn written on a package we grab it.
What food tips have you discovered? I like to get new ideas and info about eating well.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Coreopsis, Ever Cheerful

I bought this bouquet of coreopsis at our neighborhood farmers' market this Saturday. This kind is a special treat with their dark maroon centers. In the language of flowers, coreopsis means "always cheerful."
Walt Whitman (1819-1892) wrote that as he traveled across the USA "I have been accompanied on my whole journey from Barnaget to Pikes Peak by a silent little follower", the coreopsis growing wild everywhere.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Orange and green in our garden

These nasturtium plants found a drain pipe in our back yard to climb and they love being up high, I can tell.
Can you see that these nasturtiums, which grow next to the drain pipe plants, are blooming madly in a camellia bush? I think this may be a very rare and valuable new plant, the camurtium, or the nastemellia. Well, anyway, it is colorful.
We often pick the nasturtium flowers to add to salads and sometimes a few nasturtium leaves too. They taste like radishes to me.
Our dishwasher broke Friday (two days ago) and the way we found out is it was leaking, and damaged our kitchen floor a bit. So that day my husband pulled out the old dishwasher and ordered a new one from Sears online. The new one will be delivered in ten days. Our dishwasher worked fine for ten years, and we looked it up and learned that most dishwashers have a life of nine or ten years. So we can't complain too much. Well, maybe a little!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Summer reading

Here's a peek at a few of the books I am reading this summer, just to give you some reading ideas. I love reading lists other bloggers share.
Royal Flush by Rhys Bowen. The third in her Royal Spyness Mystery series, set in England and Scotland in 1932. A bit of humor as Lady Georgiana, 34th in line to the British throne and penniless, finds mysterious accidents and deaths happening in her circle.
Question of Belief by Donna Leon. Number 19 in this mystery series set in today's Venice. The police detective is a happily married family man, a nice difference from many other police series.
And Venice is a big part of these books.
At Home in France by Ann Barry. Her memoir of being an American single woman who buys a home in an out of the way area of France.
My Mom Was Nuts by Penny Marshall. A memoir with fascinating mentions of many well known tv stars and actors and directors, plus family tales. Penny was married to Rob Reiner when his show All In the Family was on tv, and her show Laverne and Shirley was also on tv.
The Heart of a Woman by Maya Angelou. On the day this noted author died I bought this book which gives you a glimpse into her life. The second half of the book takes place in Cairo and in Liberia. Years ago I read her I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and this book was new to me; Maya wrote seven memoirs. I loved hearing her speak, her voice was melodic and hypnotic, especially as she read poems. I never met her but she and I worked in the Civil Rights movement at the same time, me in a modest way and she in a more leading role.
A lovely addition to my book shelves is the NIV God's Word For Gardeners Bible. I have long wanted an NIV Bible, and this one is the entire Bible PLUS 52 meditations and Scriptures gathered with the focus on gardening.
What are you reading this summer? Any movies or books you recommend?
Part Two, two days later. Help, I got more books yesterday! I bought Anne Lamott's Grace (Eventually) Thoughts on Faith, borrowed Jill McCorkle's Life After Life: A Novel from the library (it sounds humorous), and The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt (about Venice) and on impulse a Kindle book "Bury Me with My Pearls: Humor with a Spiritual Twist." Obviously I buy faster than I read! And now I am going out to exercise in a pool. Have a great day, every one. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Farmers Market Goodies

I have a new addiction: shopping at the Farmers Market three minutes from our home.
Today I bought a dahlia bouquet, rainbow chard, radishes and sunny yellow zucchini. You can see them in these photos.
The Saturday before Fathers Day I also bought purple kohlrabi and lavender color radishes and home made horseradish mustard, a surprise for my husband for Fathers Day.
I like kohlrabi so much I bought some two weeks in a row; I peel it and eat it like an apple. It is good plain or with a little salt and is especially delicious when purchased from a farmers market, where it is freshly harvested.
All organic and grown locally. A feast for the eye and soul, and the veggies are tender and fresh.