December 18, 2014

Tapenade \ˌtä-pə-ˈnäd\

ejtapenadeSo ~ December’s Improv Cooking Challenge, hosted by Lesa, simply called for RED & GREEN ingredients. Because of the busy-ness of this season, I was sorely tempted to make some crisped rice squares topped with red & green candies/sprinkles!notmyredngreen However, I decided to “upgrade” and share the recipe for my fellas’ favorite condiment.

The lovely thing about tapenades is their versatility & adaptability to ingredients on hand. In dark, desperate days my pantry has been raided for a can of black olives, a little granulated garlic, olive oil and a handful of green olives sent through the chopper.

Today, however, we’re going to plan ahead and be a little more selective with the components of our dish. Here are the basic ingredients:

  • 1/4 lb. each of kalamata, stuffed green & plain ol’ black olives - rough chopped
  • scant 1/2 cup capers
  • 1 fresh red pepper (smoking optional, of course & jarred are easier to use) 
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh lemon thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil

There were a few remaining red peppers hanging about my fall-depleted garden. ejtap1We sliced then tossed one of those on the smoker for a bit, along with a large garlic clove. And, I found some basil and lemon thyme in my patio pots. ejtap3The remaining ingredients we gleaned from Sprouts!ejtap4And since you can’t consume tapenade usually is not consumed straight out of the jar,ejtap6 I made some crostini from gluten free baguettes I baked off of this bread recipe.

(BTW -- tapenade is also a good gift for olive lovers…)

Need more RED & GREEN recipe ideas? Check out my friends’ creations at these links:

December 16, 2014

Spoiler alert:

peppermint leakschopped

goin' green

espresso yourselfno coffee needed

Joyeux Noël

NowelMy word last Christmas was “JOY”. noel
This year, I found “NOEL” and decided to study up on it. And I’m glad I did, because Monday when our exterminator stopped by he asked what that word meant.noel2Some researchers claim the word Noel simply means a Christmas song and that it dates from the early 19th century. noel3A few state that it originated centuries before the French used it. noel4Some say that Noel means “good news”. noel5My favorite explanation (and the one I shared with my bug guy) asserts that “NO-” comes from the Latin natalis which means “birth,” and “-EL” of course, is Hebrew for God. Thus, to me, Noel celebrates the birth of God.

Like last year, we visited our friends’ church to hear their Christmas concert.noel6
And again, as I was leaving the church, God brought me “my word” as He did last December. noel7
May you be blessed this season as we celebrate His birth.

December 11, 2014

Mrs. Butterworth® gets her wings

A few years ago my mom gave me an old syrup bottle.mrsBOf course she started living in the kitchen. (The bottle, not my mom…)mrsB1
Struck with a “stroke of genius” I rescued the heart insert from an old spring-form pan and rusted it.
Attached with wire, and in the right light, Mrs. B looks like an angel.
She tried to fit in with the other angels atop the old telephone table; but the space was a bit cramped...
She thought she might try the angel tree in the front room; but realized without a light of her own, she was outshone by some of the others.

mrsB3…but she looks marvelous living in my kitchen.

(I believe I will show Mrs. B off over at NewlyWoodwards for Dare to Deck the Halls linky party.)