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Hot Peppers from my Garden!

Ghost Peppers, Scotch Bonnets of various colors, Beni Highland, Habanero’s, Lemon Drop, Bishop’s Crown….to name a few!!!

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Nature provides us with the most amazing bounties, and fresh Oyster Mushrooms are one of those treats!!  The recent rains brought out these beauties!!!  I came across them while walking behind my house en route to the community pool.  I literally picked several pounds – all from one log – and will be sharing with friends and families.  My kitchen has the distinct Oyster Mushroom aroma right now, which beats any artificial aroma any day.  Oh the good things in life!!  I will post recipes and more pictures tomorrow.

Oyster Mushrooms

Foodieforager’s Finds: Fresh Spring Salad

I love spring for so many reasons! One of the biggest is because of the fresh salads that can be created – most right from your own yard! The nice thing about a spring salad is that you do not need a large yard to create and enjoy! The bulk of this salad came from pots on my patio (spinach, lettuce, nasturtium, celery leaves), and the raspberries from vines along the back of my condo. The goat cheese came from Mackenzie Creamery here in Cleveland, Ohio, and the tomatoes (from southern Ohio) came from a local farmer’s market here in Cleveland. As for the vinaigrette, I had recently picked fresh basil and steeped in an organic white wine vinegar for a couple of days. I then strained, and sprinkled over the goodies with a dash of olive oil. I salted and peppered to taste. Ah….the flavors!! Fresh, sweet, tangy!! The best part? Healthy, flavorful, fresh, easy, and mostly local!

I have no ties to these guys, just love what they are doing! I consider this a great foodieforager find! Check it out… http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/gobble-green-brings-a-healthier-life-right-to-your-doorstep-1656804.htm

                        Hen of the Woods (maitake) Mushrooms – Grilled

Hen of the Woods on the Grill

 

Hen of the Woods wild mushrooms are a favorite of mine, and here in the midwest the foraging season is in full swing!  Tonight I took the tender large “leaves” and brushed with olive oil, fresh garden herbs (tarragon, rosemary, parsley), and salt and pepper.  I grilled for about 10 minutes and the result? An awesome steak-like side dish.  Oh so good!!!

Hen of the Woods - Grilled

                                                                                                             Wild Purslane Salad

Purslane Salad

Wild Purslane is so fantastic!  We whipped up a quick salad the other night using only fresh garden treats: purslane, radishes, tomatoes, and cucumbers.  Dressed with Sudachi Ponzu vinegar, olive oil, and a little bit of salt and pepper, a simple healthy start to a summer dinner is ready in a jiff!

Give Purslane a try! We pick ours when pulling weeds, as we know our yard is organic.  So good for you!! It can also be purchased at farmer’s markets.

Shaved Asparagus Salad

Shaved Asparagus Salad

Shaved Asparagus Salad

Shaved Asparagus Salad – Serves 2

1 bunch Asparagus

Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

Freshly squeezed lemon juice

Sea Salt

Pepper

Wash and dry your asparagus and trim off the woody ends. With a very sharp vegetable peeler set over a bowl of ice water shave thin slices of asparagus. Once all of the asparagus have been shaved let them to sit in the ice water while you prepare your dressing.

In a small bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic clove and a pinch of salt. Mix with a fork to emulsify and allow the garlic to infuse the oil for a minute or two before you toss everything together.

Remove the asparagus from the ice water bath and dry well. Toss the asparagus with the dressing and shave a bit of the Parmigiano Reggiano over the top. Salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!!!

Garden Cucumber and Pea Salad 

Fresh picked cucumbers are wonderful, as are peas!  I combined the two and a simple side salad was created. Fast, easy, and fresh.  A perfect combination. 

Cucumber and Pea Salad

 

I quite simply sliced fresh cucumbers and added sour cream mixed with a bit of lemon juice to coat.  I tossed in fresh picked peas, and topped with my all-time favorite finishing salt – Cyprus Black Lava salt.  This salt added nice color and a delicate crunch.  Give it a try of you have not!!!  The pyramid-shaped crystals are quite unique.

Foodieforager’s Finds: Indonesian Rendang Curry by Asian Home Gourmet

Indonesian Rendang Curry

Asian Home Gourmet Indonesian Rendang Curry Spice Paste offers a wonderful mix of flavors. Rendang is usually prepared with chicken, lamb, or beef, and coconut milk. This traditional dish of Indonesia, which is also served in Malaysia and Singapore, is wonderful and very easy! I actually used pork that I had prepped and frozen for stir-fry, along with the coconut milk, fresh picked garden peas and potatoes.  Very simple after a busy day, and along with a good piece of bread was a complete meal.  Not too spicy so add additional pepper if really looking for a kick.

 
Foodieforager’s Finds: Asian Home Gourmet’s Indonesian Rendang Curry a “Must Buy”.
 
 

Foodieforager’s Finds:  Goraw Spicy Flax Snax   

Goraw Spicy Flax Snax

 

These chips are wonderful!  The taste is amazing, the crunch just right, and healthy, too!  These chips are made with organic sprouted seeds (flax, sesame, and sunflower) and organic seasonings (jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, sea salt, and spices).  We enjoyed them straight from the bag, and added the crumbles (quite a few) to a simple salad.  The decision in our house was unanimous – all that tried will buy again.  Spicy is a bit of an exaggeration, but definitely flavorful!  

   

Foodieforager’s Finds:  Goraw Spicy Flax Snax a “Give it a Try”.

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