All Things Andrea

All Things Andrea

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Just How Many Ways Can You Eat Asparagus, #7

Raw Milk Ricotta Cheese

I've been wanting to try making raw milk ricotta cheese, but it took today's asparagus recipe to move me into action.  Ricotta cheese is even easier to make than mozzarella cheese - I just may be searching out new recipes to make use of it!

Here's the how to:

1 gallon raw whole milk
2 t. sea salt
1 1/2  t. citric acid

Pour milk into stainless steel pot.  Add salt and citric acid. 
Heat the milk slowly to 195 degrees, stirring just often enough to prevent scorching the milk.  As it gets closer to 195 degrees, you will see the curd separate from the whey.
When it reaches 195 degrees, remove from heat and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
Line a large strainer with cheesecloth, spoon the curds in the the cheesecloth, then pour the rest through the cheesecloth to get every last bit of curd.

Supposedly you can use the poured-off whey to feed your tomato plants, but I tried that last summer with the leftover whey from making mozzarella cheese - it attracted a critter that then dug up the plants in its excitement over the whey, so I don't recommend that practice!!

Yummy Produce in the Forecast


...and spinach.

Can't wait!

Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Oil

I can't believe it took me until now to make a batch of sun-dried tomatoes from some of the tomatoes I dehydrated last summer for this very purpose.  I guess I just wasn't quite sure how to go about it, was making it more complicated than it needed to be, and needed some motivation in the form of today's asparagus recipe which called for sun-dried tomatoes to get me moving!  Basically you need to rehydrate the tomatoes a bit, then pack them in oil and herbs.  This is how I did it:

Place dehydrated tomatoes loosely in a small mason jar.  Cover with vinegar.  Drain the vinegar off into a saucepan and heat until boiling.  Pour the vinegar back over the tomatoes; let sit for 10 minutes.  Pour the vinegar off again, this time saving it for future use -  it makes a great vinaigrette.  Add some thyme, oregano and sliced garlic (optional) to the tomatoes, then cover with olive oil.  Allow to sit at room temperature for 4-8 hours, then store in refrigerator.

Better than anything you can buy at the grocery store!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter's Deviled Eggs

Just How Many Ways Can You Eat Asparagus, #6

My dear gardening friends have continued to share their abundance of fresh asparagus with me, so the asparagus journey continues!
P.S.  I'm still enjoying my Easter butter...  :)

Micro Greens

I was thinning my spring garden plantings (spinach, radishes, beets, kale, Swiss chard, and turnips) this morning, tossing the seedlings into the grass when it dawned on me - OMW, these are actually the same as those fancy schmancy micro greens that command top dollar on the produce market.  So, I hastily scooped them up before the sun wilted them, washed them and spun them dry in a tea towel, added the leftover vinaigrette from the other evening's asparagas, and thoroughly enjoyed them for lunch!! 

Again, after eating seasonally all year, the first fresh produce of the season is priceless!

Morning Perspectives

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Just How Many Ways Can You Eat Asparagus, #5

Happy Easter to Me

My family is at the Outer Banks celebrating Easter this year, so it was up to me to create some Easter memories for myself today!
First, I pulled out my Easter basket from when I was a kid, my name tag in my mother's handwriting still intact, and filled it with some special Easter goodies.

Then, I hard cooked some eggs for dying. 

I've never tried coloring brown eggs before, but they worked nicely!

Of course the hues are different and I didn't attempt anything creative like last year, but I think they look lovely with my vintage Easter basket.

Then, I made some butter, a recent Easter tradition for me.  I know it sounds goofy, but I find something very spiritual about making butter on Easter Sunday - creating something luscious from grass-fed raw milk cream, the beautiful yellow color on a glorious spring day, the anticipation of an abundant life because of what Christ has done....

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Just How Many Ways Can You Eat Asparagus, #3

I added some steamed asparagus to my favorite risotto recipe, and voila, a new asparagus recipe!

(Sorry about the lousy picture, but it's been rainy or cloudy the last two days and I couldn't get decent picture!)


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Daffodil Bouquet

A friend gifted me with a lovely assortment of daffodils from her garden today....


Just How Many Ways Can You Eat Asparagus, #2

This is simply a variation on the roasted asparagus recipe from yesterday.  The sesame seeds add some interest, both to the eyes and the tastebuds!

Click on the link above for the recipe.

Spring Beauty

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Just How Many Ways Can You Eat Asparagus, #1

Roasted Asparagus

The easiest, quickest and simplest method, not to mention tasty (at least I think so!)

Here's the link to the recipe that I posted on my In Season blog last spring:

First Asparagus of the Season

Today, some gardening friends were generous enough to share a whole bunch of fresh asparagus with me.  That in itself is special enough, but after eating seasonally for the past year, the first fresh produce of the season is worthy of declaring a holiday unto itself!!!  I felt like I had been gifted with gold, and happily took my treasure home.

So, just how many ways can you eat asparagus?!   Journey with me, and we'll count the ways!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Vintage Repair

A customer had me repair this lovely vintage coverlet.  Typically I try to discourage people from repairing quilts, etc. since it often ruins their integrity, but in this case it made sense to replace the edging so that it could be used and enjoyed.

The binding had frayed ....

Actually, it looked like the edging had been some type of a ruffle at one time.

I was able to find some matching fabric - a little tricky since the colors from that era aren't always readily available.  I trimmed off the old edging and replaced it with a simple bias binding.  I typically do a straight-of-grain binding on my quilts, but since the coverlet had rounded edges, I needed to use the bias so it would lay smoothly on the rounded corners.  A few months ago, I found these helpful directions on how to quickly cut bias strips on one of the quilt blogs I follow; this was my first chance to try it out.  Ingenious!  It worked like a charm!

Here's the finished product.  Stitching it felt like a return to my childhood and a visit with my great aunts.  :)