Foodnetworks Cookies

Crust for sheet cookies: 350F 15-20 minutes
1 8-oz cream cheese
1 lb butter
1/4 C sugar
1/4 t. salt

bake until done. spread orange marmalade, sprinkle with crushed nuts, then drizzle with melted chocolate. cut into 2" square bars


Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo
This is a recipe I got from Chelz's boyfriend describing how his mom makes them back at home in Taxes. I used my kohlrabi which is in abundant supply this time of the year, and they are ever so tasty from the cool fall air and moisture.

1 medium red onion, chopped,
1 large kohlrabi, peeled and chopped,
10 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/4 C. chopped cilantro,
juice from one lemon,
juice from one lime,
salt to taste.

Mix all ingredients together, let set for half an hour before serving. Serve with corn chips.

Pico de Gallo

This is a recipe I got from Chelz's boyfriend describing how his mom makes them back at home in Taxes. I used my kohlrabi which is in abundant supply this time of the year, and they are ever so tasty from the cool fall air and moisture.

1 medium red onion, chopped,
1 large kohlrabi, peeled and chopped,
10 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/4 C. chopped cilantro,
juice from one lemon,
juice from one lime,
salt to taste.

Mix all ingredients together, let set for half an hour before serving. Serve with corn chips.

New Recipes to check out _from Izzy




07-01-08 More Radishes

With mounting radishes, I am scrambling to find more ways of using them. I always loved the Vietnamese Sandwich called "banh mi", so I decided to make the radish slaw that goes in it...

banh mi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C3%A1nh_m%C3%AC) is an Asian food with French influence. Now that's something you don't find very often. You can read all about it in wiki.

For my radish slaw, I used the Crimson Lady Finger Radish and carrots. Slice the vegetables with a Mendelian to match sticks, place them in a large bowl. Make the syrup: Add distilled vinegar and water (3:2) in a sauce pan, add sugar and salt (3:1). Heat liquid and dissolve the sugar and salt. Cool the liquid, then pour into the large bowl. Let stand for a while, radish will get limp and settled. Place the slaw in glass jars and keep in the refrigerator. Let it ferment sometime (5-7 days) and gives out nice pickling flavors. It will be ready to use. This can last quite a while in the frig.


6-30-08 More Radishes

Ella's postcard to Nathan (Finish Boyband) and my radish studs:

The wave of radishes just keeps coming. We have experienced 94 F weather this weekend, since we kept the radishes well watered, they are bigger and tastier than ever. I bagged another 15 lb. this morning-had to do something about it... I made some Chinese pickles over the weekend (fermentation type, no vinegar). It should be ready in about 5 days. I added some radishes spears to the Real Dill pickle juice, they are delicious. I am on the third day of my Seaweed Radish diet. I still love the taste, and I lost 3 lb.! Only if anyone knows how hard it is for me to do that! I think I am going to add some chopped cilantro today for variation.


Thoughts on sowing seeds closer then recommended

I often sow my seeds closer than the recommended space. I call it intensive growing method. The reasoning behind that is for home gardeners we are not looking for growing uniform crops. As a matter of fact, we want to stretch our harvest as long as we can for obvious reasons. Sowing seeds close will allow you to do just that.

When the veggies are growing closer together, they will not all mature at the same time. The spots where they are grow close, they will not grow as fast. That gives you the control to a certain extend of where and when you want them to grow. In any circumstance, don't make them too close together, or they will not grow properly. In fact, the key to success is to thin the plants at the right time and places. And enjoy the thinning as the garden grows.

Veggies suitable for growing this way include: radishes, baby bok choys, beets (enjoy the beet greens in early stage), lettuce Chinese Broccoli (Gai Lan- New Dimension Seed). Watering and fertilizing is also vitally important if you what to grow your veggies intensively. Fruit bearing veggies are usually not good candidates.

06-28-08 All the radishes you can eat!

I went outside first thing this morning to harvest my Crimson Lady Finger Radish (New Dimension Seed). I got about 10 lbs! They are 6" long and about 1" across. I sowed these radishes on May 12, have been harvest them since 6-15. They are still pretty good. The key to grow good radishes are watering. If you keep the plant watered, they will be mild and crunchy, but if you don't water them frequent enough, they may turn hot. Also, I applied very little base fertilizer when I sowed the radishes, because too much nitrogen can produce bad radishes. It makes scene, since we grow radish for its root, we do not want too much leafy greens. Too much nitrogen will also make the radishes hairy and produce inferior quality radishes...They way it's going I should have radishes in the next 2-3weeks...

P.S. Sow radishes close together and thin them out as they become mature. Ella just sent Nathan a post card, it must be a Finish boy band. They are four sexy topless boys with flames all around them, they look awfully like my radishes....and that's how close you can plant them.

My thoughts on the heir and tortoise

I have heard people say gardeners are either the rabbit kind or the tortoise kind. To me, a more appropriate analogy is the three bears. Meaning one should not start the garden too early, neither too late, but just right.

Seeds do not come with internal calendars, they come with environmental cues. To be a good gardener, you need to have a good plan in place, then observe the environment and make appropriate decisions to get your veggies out there. With the aid of some type of protection, you should have an easier time to accomplish this. A few things I like to do is:

(1) Feb: start the heat loving plants, ie. the tomatoes, peppers and eggplants early. I start then in early March. These plants need time to get to the size needed to transplant. Tomatoes and peppers should be ready to transplant after Mother's day. Eggplants are best transplanted when the temperature warms up significantly.

(2)March: Radishes, cabbage beets, spinach, peas, baby bok choys and fava beans are cold tolerant, and can be started in early march if you use the Minihooper from New Dimension Seed. Onion sets should be planted as soon as the ground is workable. You will be able to enjoy some of these veggies from 30 days after sowing. Plant them closer together and enjoy the thinning as you go along. This work particularly well for radishes. I pick some of the beet greens and put them in my salads.

(3)May: June should be safe to sow beans. If you have the Minihooper, you can get an early start by sowing them 2-3 weeks earlier. I sowed my on May 12, they now have bosoms on and I think I will be able to enjoy them the first week of July. I also sowed my corn and soybeans (edamame).

(3)May: I planted more cabbage, Chinese Broccoli, and kohlrabi directly in the garden without the minicooper. Also sowed are the Asparagus Beans. I am taking a chance here, they may or may not make it, all depends on how warm the weather is...

(4) I am also taking a chance on cucumbers. The lure of getting cucumbers in July is too great, so I decided to give it a shot again this year. I transplanted them in April, covered them with the Minihooper. I remove the cover when the weather is warm, and finally took it completely off in late May. They are growing ever so slow, but is coming along. The hot days should give them a boost this weekend.

June Watermelon is slow but coming along

This year the spring is kinda odd, it is very much on the cool side. It is already mid June, the night time temperature is still in the 50th. we did have a couple heat spurs where temperature reached a whopping 100 degrees for 2-3 days, then back to cool nights again. This is the week before the 4th of July. It suppose to heat up to triple digit again! I have planted my watermelon three times in the garden. Each time they came up, then between the cold night and the birds, the seedlings always end up getting destroyed. I am making some scare crows.... I finally got some nice seedlings going. I am keeping my fingers crossed... I am really looking forward to my watermelons this year in particular, because i think they are going to be expensive this year because the high gas price.

05-15-08 Fresh lettuce from my box garden!

I have a few big wooden boxes in my covered shed. The shed is built on the south side of my shop. It has plastic sides and polycarbonate top. It works great for growing vegetables when the outside is still cold. I sowed my lettuce in Feb. and have been enjoying them as salads from April to June. I grew the Polar Ice Green Lettuce from New Dimension Seed. It is great, it's a loose leaf type. I harvest the large leaves and leave the plant in the box. They just keep generating fresh leaves.

06-01-08 Fresh Kohlrabi!

I started them in March, and transplanted in April, covered it up with Minihooper. It worked so well! I harvested my first kohlrabi (Green Queen Kohlrabi from New Dimension Seed) in June 1st. My first one is a small one, but it was delicious in salad.

06-15-08 Fresh Radishes!

I sowed the Crimson Lady Finger Radish on May 12 with the Midwest Garden Seeder. They are ready to eat by June 15. They are soooo good! Here's how I made my salad. Slice the radishes thinly, add sugar, vinegar and dash of salt. Let set for 15 minutes. Enjoy! I am getting a lot of radishes now. I am trying to preserve some with salt and sugar and spices, will let you all know how it turned out...


6-20-08 New Cabbage!

My 2nd head of cabbage,it is the Spring Jave from New Dimension Seed. I started them in March, and transplanted in April, covered it up with Minihooper. It worked so well! I harvested my first head of cabbage in June 1. I made wasabi cabbage slaw, it was delicious. Here's the recipe: 1/4 C sugar, 1/2 C. vinegar, 1 t. wasabi and salt to taste. Shred the cabbage. Pour dressing on it, toss well. Enjoy!


Solar Car! I know it could be done!

Solar Powered Car
solar powered cars, solar car, solar systems, angel investors, electric vehicle

A man’s solar power car captures people’s attention. Let’s face it: paying high gas prices is no longer a sign of being “cool” in modern America. The less we have to pay at the pump, the better. John Weber of Boise, Idaho is dealing with the gas crunch by not buying any more.

The car is one of only a handful of solar-powered cars in the Treasure Valley and can be charged using its solar panels, or by plugging it into a power source.

“I’m just kind of doing my own thing,” said Weber.

The soft-spoken and quiet Weber says he isn’t avoiding the pump to make a statement, he was simply sick of depending on something he couldn’t control.

“I don’t like to be dependent on big global corporations to get my needs met, I like to get my needs met locally,” said Weber.

Weber isn’t content to rely on his solar powered car alone. He’s planning on dumping it and using a bike only. Turns out high gas prices are making people innovate, after all.


my garden


Airlines do not always post their flight arrivals timely

My son is going to spend the summer in Finland. My husband and I dropped him off at the airport and wished him a good trip. By next day 4 hours after his flight suppose to arrive, I checked the airlines flight status, and it's status is still "In Flight". I called the airlines (United and Lufthansa),all say the most updated information they have is that the flight left Frankfurt at 3:30 suppose to arrival at Helsinki at 6:30 pm. It was 10:30 pm local time and the airline's website still shows the flight was "In Flight". The one before his and after his all have landed. I was having a panic attack, feeling my blood curdling and head getting numb. I checked on the internet again, and found a website (http://www.flightstats.com) which confirms that the flight was indeed landed, with 50 minutes delay.... And later I called my son's girlfriend's cell phone and finally got hold of them! Whew!

I don't understand why airline themselves can not update their flight information as quickly! So to all mothers, check the flight status on http://www.flightstats.com before panic!


Radiant Heat, thing of the past?

Wood stoves provide a consistent source of heat when they get going. Despite the work involved in getting the wood, starting the fire cleaning up the chimney, I still prefer it to gas or electric heat. The main reason is that wood stoves' cast iron body act as a heat capacitor to store and radiant heat, while gas/electric heat controlled by a thermostat turns on and off on cue when temperature fall below certain set value. Also the gas or electric heater turning on and off constantly is really not pleasant.

I have seen the radiant type of heater (cast aluminum) were being used in some older buildings. They are filled with circulating hot water to control the temperature, you will need to control the temperature of the water. I have never seen these type of devices sold in home improvement stores. I have seen the the kind that you lay tubes under the floor of the house where hot water circulate to provide heat, but that's expensive and impossible to repair without tearing down your house.

Does anyone know if there are radiant type of heat dispensing device available, if not someone should make it. it will be more comfortable, and probably saving more energy.

Making bread with different spectums of bubble sizes

THAT"S WHY! You probably have read that some bread recipes specifies making a loose batter and let it set for a while before adding more flour to make a stiffer dough for baking the bread. I didn't think much of it until I tried it today, and made the BEST BREAD EVER! It turns out the at the batter stage, yeast ferment and bubbles and have a lot easier time to work the flour since it is not stiff. when you add more flour to make the final dough, more bubbles will be created from the continued fermentation process. This process creates different sized bubbles in the bread, hence making it softer and more delicious! I have pics to proof it.
So there is a difference between the one stage fermentation and two stage fermentation. I also added the Amish Friendship Starters in both batch. The two stage bread has a ranges of bubble sizes.

Eating good food with less money

Eating good food for less money is neither a science nor an art. While, maybe there is a little science involved. With our modern day conveniences we should be able to do this with far less efforts compare to our accessors.

With the increased food cost, the benefit of eating good home-cooked food is more obvious than ever. you don't need to be a gourmet cook to enjoy good cooking, learn a few recipes and take off with them. You don't have to follow a recipe to the "T", add your own creation (except when it comes to baking cakes or cookies, you need to develop some serious skills before you wing it!). Learn how to use a few combination of spices, and try it on different things. The following is a few example:
Italian: Basil, oregano, parsley, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice
Mexican: Cumin, coriander, Mexican oregano, cilantro, lime
Asian: ginger, green onion, lemon grass
Middle eaten: cumin, mint, parsley,lemon juice
French: basil, oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary
Then there is the universal: garlic, hot pepper flakes, onions, pepper.

You can also buy the pre-mixed herbs. One thing I like a lot is the Jamaican Jerk seasoning, makes great pork or chicken dishes. I use steak rub for different things as well. It makes really good Blackened Salmon! I also use Mrs. Dash a lot, I learn this trick from my friend Patty.

Experiment, you will find your favorite things to use.

My favorite kitchen appliances

Here's the ranking of my favorite kitchen appliances and how I use them:
(1)Bread Machines-Zojirushi two-roter. I make bread almost daily. I only use the "dough" setting, which runs in a 45 min cycle. I make my own French bread, dinner rolls, pizza doughs and fancy versions of the above such as cheese bread, onion rolls. Buy a good bread machine, it may cost you a little more at the beginning, but it will pay for itself in a long run. I make my bread for less than 30 cents a loaf, and they taste soooooo good!
(2)Rice Cooker - Get a nice one with good insulation. I use mine for making rice (duh), sushi rice, Spanish rice, jambalaya, dirty rice, cook potatoes for mashed potatoes... When I make the other versions of rice, I first saute the the veggies or meats on the stove top, then add the rice cook a bit longer to coat the rice with flavors, add tomatoes sauce or broth, then dump the whole thing into the rice cooker, simple.
(3)My new Electric Pressure _ Deni. this is my new favorite, I love it for stewing meats or making chilies. I cooked beef ribs (with a few spices) in it until it is tender, then bring it out and smasher the ribs with my homemade bbq sauce (recipe later) and put it back in the oven, cook until it is done, yum, and much quicker!
(4) Electric hot water cattle- A must have if you are a tea drinker like me. I actually make coffee for my husband using a French press coffee maker. It taste really good.
more later....

Made my own pasta!

I have a pasta maker (the hand operated metal block one) for years and never really used it. Today I busted it out and gave it a pin, it made perfect pasta. I used semolina flour, which is made of hard wheat, ideal for pastas (soft wheat on the other hand, is used in Asian noodles). what I found out is that I only needed only one cup of flour to serve the four of us, I used two. so I made have with Alfredo sauce, and the other half with red sauce. Too much noodles! I will know better next time.


My Review of Electric 5qt Pressure Cooker

Originally submitted at Every Crock Pot

  • Shortens cooking time up to 70%
  • Fully programmable timer
  • Delay function up to 8 hours
  • Built-in thermostat for automatic temperature control
  • Steam release valve allows you to release pressure quickly
  • Pressurized steam cooks healthy meals ...

Love it!

By pressure cooker lover from Northwest on 4/24/2008


5out of 5

Pros: Compact Size, Easy to Operate

Cons: None

Best Uses: Meats, Rice, Chilis beans porridge

Describe Yourself: Avid Cook

Love this product. It is easy to use, cutting cooking time to a fraction. Works best for meats and beans. I don't use the brown function though. I find it's easier to brown meats on the stove top and then place them in the pressure cooker with spices and herbs. Saves energy and time. would like to try using it to can vegetables in the summer.



Amish Friendship Bread_the gift that keeps on giving

My friend Julie gave me a bag of Amish Friendship Bread starter, that got the ball rolling. I have made it twice, gave away 6 bags of starters. It is a sour dough type of starter, makes wonderful sweet cake type of bread. Now I have more starters than I can give away, so I begin to experiment with the starter for all sorts of things. I added two table spoons in my pancake batter, and made the BEST pancakes ever! It is really soft and fluffy and has a nice golden crust. I also add the starter to my bread dough when I make bread. It makes the bread extra soft. So if you run across the Amish Friendship starter, keep it going and use it in your kitchen. I am certain you will be happy you did!
Grow a garden, make your food from scratch, learn to live the good life from the old timers....reduce your carbon foodprints at the same time.


In the Kitchen

My new electric pressure cooker, I am loving it!
My new electric pressure cooker arrived today! I have read about the electric pressure cooker and imagin it would be a wonderful picece of small appliant to add to my collection. It certainly did not disappoint! The first function I tried was using the "High Pressure Setting". I made my porrige of rice and beans and jujubee in a record 10 minutes, and then I made Mexican "seemered" beef in 20 minutes cooking time, it usually takes me 2-3 hours! It was delicisous and soooo tender! There are also slow cooking and brown options...I can’t wait to experiment more with my new favorite kitchen appliance!

The nice thing about the electric pressure cooker is not only it can cook delicious meals, but it also save a LOT OF energy. I am thinking, it could relace several other gadgets that I am using....