All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2025

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

ginger chews and crazy weather

The last week or so has been wild, as far as the weather goes.  One minute the sun is shining, the next minute it's raining so hard you have to pull off the road.  This morning the sun came out, then went in, and a wild wind started whipping the treetops, and now I hear we can expect hail this afternoon - it's enough to drive you bonkers.

Actually, it drove me straight into the kitchen to make these spicy cookies to warm me through and through.  I added some fresh ginger to the basic recipe, along with a little more dry ginger to give it a little more zing.  And I made them huge, as in monster cookies, all the more to eat.  In warmer weather, I think these would be lovely with some softly whipped cream and fresh berries, or with a little vanilla ice cream as an ice cream sandwich.

Slightly adapted from Allrecipes

Preheat oven to 350F.
Line 2 baking sheets with foil.

2 1/4 cups King Arthur flour
2 t. dry ginger
1 t. freshly grated ginger root
1 t. baking soda
3/4 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. cloves
pinch of salt
1 1/2 sticks room temperature unsalted butter (3/4 cup)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 T. water
1/4 cup molasses

Sift dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar well, then add the egg and cream again.  Add the molasses and water and beat, then add the dry ingredients slowly.

Using a regular sized ice cream scoop, scoop out balls of dough, 6 to a standard baking sheet.  This made 9 cookies, so bake the sheets one at a time for even baking, placing in the top third of the oven.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until cookies are gently browned.  Remove pan to cooling rack for 10 minutes, then remove cookies to another cooling rack until cool.  Repeat with the second pan.

Hope your day is beautiful!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

kale with green olives and lemon slices


I'm going green .  Green for lazy moments under the canopy of leafy trees, for walks on mossy trails , for buying armloads of leafy greens and actually using them, instead of forgetting they're in the vegetable drawer.

I'm starting the day with a glass of juiced veg: dark, rich, delicious, clean.  Well, it's sometimes not delicious, as in when I put too much kale in the blend.  A little raw kale goes a long way in a smoothie.  But slightly cooked?  Amazing. I had this for a late breakfast today, and it was a wonderful change from frittatas and omelets.

It's funny how cooking goes.  Sometimes you just look at an ingredient and know instinctively what would mesh well with the flavors.  This morning, it was green olives, unfortunately not pitted, but so, so good.  A little olive oil, salt and pepper, and thin slices of lemon rounded it out.  

~ kale with green olives and lemon slices ~

about 3 cups torn, packed kale ( I usually throw in some of the stems because they're so full of kale-flavor)

about 3/4 cup water

10 large green olives, pitted or not

4 thin slices lemon

2 T. olive oil ( I used extra-virgin)

salt and fresh pepper

Add all to a heavy bottomed pot and bring to a simmer.

Cook gently, covered, for ten minutes.

Enjoy alone or with a nice poached egg on top.

Monday, June 18, 2012

buffaloes, brownies, and a life change

Excuse the long silence, but I've been out wandering.  I visit the buffalo herd down the road almost every day - now I see black pigs in the field next to them, but too far away for a picture.  Longing to meet the new owners of this 80 acre field just down the hill from town and find out what they're planning  - seeing the wild West come to New Hampshire is somewhat mind-boggling.

Lots of walks, a little hiking, and making a batch of these brownies in memory of my Dad on Father's Day.  Even though I've been working on a super duper healthy diet, I couldn't resist taking a (LARGE) bite out of one of them.  These brownies are undercooked, then frozen, then thawed to room temperature and cut into luscious, almost mousse-like squares. The recipe is here, and it is lovely!

I watched an amazing movie about changing up your eating habits and diet:  Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, that has me now drinking green stuff - me?  Got to say, if I can get rid of the two auto-immune diseases I have (CFS and Fibromyalgia), I would be so grateful, so I'm giving it a try.  And if I lose the ten extra pounds I've gained from too many tasty bites of nachos and those brownies, that's even better!

Hope you have a grand and beautiful day, dear friends!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

in the garden and June walkabout

There is something about this particular June that makes me look longingly up the hills and over the glistening, lapping pond and lake water.  I know that feeling well, though it doesn't announce itself every year.  Walkabout.  That desire to head up the hills and mountains, or even better, kayaking over Nubanusit Lake.  To sit in the meadow and watch the fireflies and smell the scent of mint and lemon balm, wild carrot and daisies in the evening darkness.
If I were on the Cape, I would be collecting stones along the bayside, and picking rugosa roses and listening to the waves.  So if you don't hear from me for a bit, that's where I'll be - taking a timeout and thrilling in the season.  The kitchen can wait, for now.  Hope your day is as beautiful as mine!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

chive blossom vinegar

Spring brings many seasonal joys:  asparagus, sorrel, violets, and the glory of the chive plants.  Their blossoms can be used (make sure they haven't been sprayed or visited by a dog) in salads, in omelets , in a little bouquet, and to make this gorgeous magenta vinegar.

In past years, I've packed a jar with the blossoms and covered with white vinegar, placed in the sun for a few days, then strained into bottles.  But all we have had is rain, rain, rain, so I used my neighbor's inspired method and whizzed the mixture in a blender.  Voila !  Intense color and flavor with no waiting for those sunny days.

Because herb vinegars should never come in contact with metal, I use a funnel stuck in the top of the bottle I'm using for the vinegar, and a coffee filter placed inside the funnel.  The vinegar comes out clear and colorful.  For this particular vinegar, store in the fridge instead of a dark cupboard.  The oniony flavor stays intense, and so does the color.  The chive blossom vinegar I made last year is just about gone, but it's still as bright and pungent as it was a year ago, thanks to keeping it chilled.

Another thing to remember:  pack the jar about half full of chive flowers , then pour in the vinegar, then puree and strain.  If you don't have a goodly amount of flowers, the vinegar won't be as colorful.

I found the prettiestt post on making chive flower vinegar from Lottie + Doof - you can see it here:

Hope your day is beautiful!