Visit Our Tiny Cottage Kitchen

Our Tiny Kitchen Saw Some Amazing Food!

We’ve had so much fun at the cottage this summer.  But all good things must come to an end.  We actually launched out Blog and Facebook page while we have been here.  Much of the fun was exploring local produce and the Farmer’s Market helped us do that.  We created more than a few new dishes for you because we were inspired by fresh local ingredients as they became available.

We thought you might like a peek at our tiny cottage kitchen while we talk food!

our cottage kitchenSome of the things we cooked this summer were completely new to us. One of the big triumphs were the Zucchini Flowers that we received.  They were a gift form a new friend and the first time we had ever made them.  The other was the Summer Ratatouille that developed out of a shopping trip that left us with just too many fresh vegetables.

kitchen vingetteWith all the sunshine, we had a bumper crop of Basil.  The Pesto we made offered us an opportunity to make Pasta, Pesto and Peas and to add that special touch to our Tomato Lover’s Lunch.  The local corn was outstanding so we made Mexican Street Corn, (everyday for about 2 weeks). Then we took a break and just had buttered corn.

We did a lot of baking this summer so of course we had to feature our Apple Blossoms and lets not forget about the Black Forest Cupcakes. The guests at the pot luck fell upon them like a herd of locusts!  Luckily we made a few extra so we actually got to enjoy them.

dining area Then there were the parties! You can’t have great party without fabulous food. Cool and Creamy watermelon feta bites went fast and our Wine and Cheese Appetizers had more views than any other recipe to date when it was posed. You guys love your wine and cheese don’t you?

This weekend will be the last Get-to-gether of the season with our cottage friends.  We’ll be making those awesome Maple Bacon Donuts as well as the Apple Blossoms in miniature.  And since we all need to eat our veggies, there’s Carrot Cake for the health nuts!  I’m sure they will all be delicious served with a Rose’ wine, Vin Santo and Apple cider.

Next week we’re heading home and we’re looking forward to that. Its been an awesome Summer but its time to go home. We’ll be out shopping in our favorite places once we’re back in town.  We’ll take you on some shopping and cooking school adventures too.  Don’t forget to check out our new page called “Lets Shop” here on the blog.

We wish you the best that the Fall can bring. Thanks so much for your readership over the Summer!

 

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Dumb Kitchen Gagets

We love good Kitchen Gadgets!

However, we think some are just dumb. Spend your money on quality items that make your cooking easier or better not this silly stuff that is always being sold to relieve you of your “dough”.   Use a fork and save your money to buy something yummy instead!

Dumb Pickle Fork.

pickle fork

Try using this instead.

fork

A Really Crummy Recipe.

I love this title, don’t you?

This is a story of the lowly breadcrumb.  Most of us will attest to throwing out our share of old bread. It’s what we do. Bread is readily available and inexpensive compared to most foods we buy.  In the past bread was handcrafted at home and therefore it was precious.  Time had to be spent making this simple yet revered food. We’re not suggesting that you start baking bread so you can have breadcrumbs, rather we suggest that you can make something special out of an otherwise throw-away ingredient.

Most of us will make a casserole at some point in our culinary lives and seasoned breadcrumbs can add a crisp, tasty topping that sends the ordinary to the stars.  In southern Italy breadcrumbs were used by peasants in place of the heavenly Parmesan that was only produced in the north of the country.  Toasted breadcrumbs, seasoned with fresh herbs have been scattered over pasta for centuries.

We love to take our leftover bread and do two things that make us look like culinary wizards. First is our recipe for Seasoned Breadcrumbs and the other is our Garlic Croutons.

We do  not use sandwich bread for this recipe. We always incorporate good baguette, crusty rolls, Pita, Italian bread and so forth into our everyday meals. This is the type of bread that we like.  We then allow it to dry on the counter overnight before running it through the food processor. Processed white sandwich bread is not a good option here.

Two Food Nuts “Crummy Topping”:

  • Process your bread cubes into a small crumb in the food processor but not a powder. Place the crumbs into a mixing bowl and add:

Makes two cups of “Crummy Topping”

  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and grated
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • grated peel of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp saltSeasoned Bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp grated pepper
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • A combination of herbs of your choice: Thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano, flat leaf parsley  (chopped finely)  About a 1/4 cup of freshly minced herbs
  • If you do not have fresh herbs, this recipe does very well with a good dried Herb du Provence or your own blend of rosemary, thyme, oregano and basil. Use 2 Tbsp only.

 seasoned breadcrumbsBlend the ingredients together and incorporate well. We store our crumbs in a freezer bag so they’re on hand when we need them.  You can certainly make more crumbs if you have more bread or as we often do, buy a nice loaf of crusty bread for the sole purpose of making the crumbs or croutons. This way they can be pulled from the freezer and used immediately.

Here we have used them to top some luscious tomato halves. They are baked in the oven  but can be cooked on the BBQ as a side dish to any meal.  Just place them in an oven proof or foil dish. You can garnish a casserole with this topping  as well.

Tomato Provencial

Two Food Nuts Seasoned Croutons:

We love these Croutons with a good Ceasar salad. They’re particularly  good when made with Portuguese buns. They come out light as air and the end result is crisp outside but soft inside. Mmmmm.

Cut the bread into 1 inch cubes

Sprinkle lightly with dried garlic power

CroutonsPlace bread cubes into a non-stick pan and drizzle some good olive oil over the cubes. Just enough to moisten then. Now toast in the pan over medium high heat.  Stir gently until they are golden brown. Stay focused, because one minute they are white then they’re done.  It’s almost impossible not to eat them at this point, so always make a few extra for the chef. happy face emodiconGarlic Croutons

We hope you’ve enjoyed the first of our “Waste Not, Want Not” blogs.  If so, tell your friends on Facebook and Twitter by sharing this post and don’t forget to leave us a comment about the post.

 

Give A Man A Chef Coat….

Give A Man an Attitude!

Chef Harry HayesWhen Harry asks a question, the answer is  “Yes Chef”!  Just like on Food Network.

All kidding aside, he’s the best man in the kitchen whether it’s at the cottage today or at home.  Always was, always will be! Luv you Chef!