Bloom Thyme Friday: Garden 2 Table

I love the concept of garden 2 table … cooking with the fresh food you grow yourself. My mother was a great gardener and she grew just about everything we ate. Because she canned and froze the extras we had food from our garden year round. (You can read more about her here.) But, if I am honest, my veggies keep getting inched out by roses and a couple of honey locust trees that are devouring our garden. However, we still have room for herbs and tomatoes — Mr. G makes sure of that. So, around here we are extremely grateful to area farmer’s markets to provide us with the other produce we love.

So many of my friends tell me they rarely cook anymore since their time is so limited! But, good news, there is someone who is inspiring us to get in the garden and in the kitchen by teaching us just how easy, fun and nutritious  Garden to Table  can be. My friend P. Allen Smith. Allen grows an acre of the most beautiful organic veggies you have ever seen and he is always testing new plants and gardening ideas. PLUS, he is a creative master in the kitchen.

PAS Veggies

What’s even better is that he shares his garden experiences and his mastery in the kitchen with all of us. Whether it is via his television shows (check out this listing for dates and times in your area.)

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His latest book…

Or through his wonderful books, digital publications and you tube videos. Take advantage of all of these easy-to-use resources to be a master in your kitchen, especially if you are like me and spend most of your extra time in the garden and need all the tips and tricks in the kitchen you can get.

Follow Allen’s Garden Home Facebook page here  for regular updates on what he’s cooking up in the kitchen and what’s going on in the garden.

SOMETHING NEW AND DEEEELISH

Don’t miss Allen’s most recent video for a Squash & Zucchini Casserole with Quinoa … can you say, “healthy comfort food you can feel good about.” I can’t wait to make this one! Take a look here.

 

And, yes, I did find enough room in the herb garden for zucchini! 🙂

THIS WEEK IN MY GARDEN

Around here we are having rain every day and boy are things lush even though the blooms are surely taking a hit. I did manage to get some pretty pictures after one of the rain storms earlier in the week…

Coral Drift ... I first saw growing in P Allen's herb garden and just had to have!
Coral Drift … I first saw this rose growing in P Allen’s herb garden and just had to have!
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Poseidon Floribunda from the Simply Brilliant collection from Certified Roses. Check out their roses here.
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David Austin’s lovely Claire Austin.
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The healthy blooming machine … Amber Carpet Rose.
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Another shot of Poseidon. I can’t get enough of this rose!
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Etoile des Violette clematis … perfect paring with New Dawn Rose.

Have a fun week in the garden! And…

Bloom Thyme Friday

HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY!

P. Allen and Pesto

For weeks I have been in the mood for pesto! Maybe it’s because I saw a video by P. Allen Smith for Arugula Pesto and I love Arugula! Or, maybe it’s because my garden friend, Diane LaSauce, posted recently about Kale Pesto (recipe here) and about the pesto she makes and takes to her local farmer’s market.

I decided this weekend was the perfect time. But, when I looked at my trusty food processor, I knew I wanted to upgrade. So, I asked my garden/cooking friends on Facebook Garden 2 Blog page what food processor they would recommend and everyone said Cuisinart.

A quick trip to Costco and I had my shiny, new food processor and was ready to get started.

P. Allen has a super easy video on making the Arugula Pesto…

This was SOOOOO delish and so easy. Give it a try.

Pesto

 

What do you think I should make next in my shiny, new food processor!

Now We’re Cookin’!

The great folks at Le Cruset offered those of us attending Garden 2 Blog 2013 one of P Allen Smith’s favorite baking dishes … all we had to do was chose our favorite color.

Look at this beauty…. Have you ever seen a more beautiful dutch oven? LeCreuset_001One of my very favorite things to eat is rustic bread and as I thought of what my first recipe would be in the dutch oven, I kept thinking it would be a bread. But, just the right recipe.

You see, I spend so much of my free time in my garden that what I wanted was yummy bread that was easy to make and a winner every time! And, a recipe that could be formatted to include a myriad of flavors and recipe tweaks.

I FOUND IT!

Based on a recipe I found on the Simply So Good website, here is my rustic bread baking experience.

BTW: You will most definitely want to check out this website. It has quickly become one of my go to sites for yummy things! (Read on.)

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Gather your dry ingredients…

3 cups of white unbleached flour
1 3/4 teaspoons of salt
1/2 teaspoon rapid rise or instant yeast

And, by the way, doesn’t my beautiful Le Crueset look smashing with my Sur Le Table sunflower bowl! I am completely crazy about them both!

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Whisk the flour, salt and yeast together.

Pour in 1 1/2 cups water

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Stir to make a sticky, shaggy mess! At this stage you can add some flavor. I added about 1 tablespoon of rosemary and 1 teaspoon of chives but it wasn’t enough to have the robust flavor I wanted, so I will experiment by adding more next time. At SimplySoGood.com you can read about many other flavor combinations that people have tried!

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Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let set for 12 – 18 hours. I let mine set the entire 18 hours as it fit best with my schedule.

IMG_2612This is what my bread looked like after 18 hours. Yes, it is as sticky as it looks, but that is the way it is supposed to be.

Now it is time to get things heated up!

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and put your pot with the lid in the oven and pre-heat the pot for 30 minutes.

As soon as you put your pot in the oven, dump the dough onto a heavily floured surface. I used my pastry sheet (I love this thing!).

With floured hands, form the bread into a rounded ball and cover the ball with flour and let it rest for the 30 minutes the pot is pre-heating.

Once the pot in pre-heated, it’s time to dump the bread into the pot and place the pot with lid back in the oven for 30 minuted.

After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake another 15 minutes until golden brown.

IMG_2635I didn’t oil the pot or anything and it came out perfectly clean! What you see in the pot is a little flour that fell off the loaf as I removed it.

The Masterpiece

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Wish you were here to share a piece of this yummy stuff. Cooking with Le Creuset is not just cooking … it’s an experience and I couldn’t have been more pleased with this experience!

Do you have any suggestions on what my next Le Creuset cooking experience should be?