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Foodie Forager Finds: Chicken of the Woods

Chicken of the Woods Mac and Cheese

I love fall, especially when the weather cooperates for those of us who love mushrooms!! I was given a beautiful Chicken of the Woods by dear friends this week, and one of the dishes I made is this lovely Chicken of the Woods Mac and Cheese. Image

This was very fresh Chicken of the Woods, so preparing was easy.  Tougher mushrooms can be parboiled to tenderize, but in this case not necessary.  *As with any wild mushroom, if new to the hobby, please make sure you have your mushroom identified by an expert before eating!

I chopped the outer tender part of mushroom and then sauteed for a few minutes in olive oil and butter. I then added chooped vidalia onion to the pan and allowed those to sweat for a few minutes.  While this was cooking I had prepared the noodles.  Once drained I put these back in the pot and added the mushroom/onion mixture.  I stirred in cheddar cheese, smoked mozzarella cheese, and some parmesan cheese, but of course use whatever is your favorite!  I mixed in 2% milk to my desired consistency, and placed the entire pot (ovenproof) in to the oven at 325 for about 20 minutes. I topped with a few chopped green onions and voila!!  So darn awesome!!!!

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

Traditional Mojitos

 

Traditional Mojitos

 

Perfect on a hot summer evening, Mojitos are simply refreshing!  Make the simple syrup/mint mix ahead of time and refrigerate.  When the Mojito urge beckons, the drink can be assembled quickly!!  As well, by blending and then straining the mint, you will not have annoying, unsightly mint leaves stuck to your teeth.

For the syrup mix:

  • 1 ½ cups simple syrup
  • 7 or 8 sprigs fresh mint

 Blend well and then strain, refrigerating mint syrup mix.

 For the Mojito:

Working with 1 glass at a time, run a lime wedge around the edge of the glass to moisten it and give the drink an extra lime kick.

 Mix the following in each glass:

 Garnish with a mint sprig and/or a lime wedge.  Enjoy!!!

Recently foraged Morels

Morels!

These are a favorite find of mine! Cooked in butter with ramps, Holly’s Sea Salt and pepper – there is nothing finer.

Morels

Foodieforager Finds: Chanterelles a plenty!! It was a great walk in the woods – picked these in under 15 minutes!!!

Chanterelles

 

Chanterelles

Dinner last night was simple – chanties and sliced onions sautéed in olive oil and butter, with a dash of Murray River Salt!  So good. I love this foraging season!!!

Simple is Best - Chanterelles in Pasta

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: Daddy Hinkle’s Instant Meat Marinade

Daddy Hinkle's Marinade

This jalapeño and red pepper meat marinade is in a convenient single serve two-part container (wet marinade and dry rub). Daddy Hinkle calls it “Hotter ‘n $700” but we found it to be just a tad spicy yet gentle enough for most folks. My 83-year-old mother had no trouble eating the dinner I made with this marinade (used boneless chicken thighs) and actually decided it was one of the best store-bought options for chicken. Per the directions, first marinate in the wet portion, then sprinkle on the dry rub. We plan on mixing into ground sirloin over the holiday weekend.

Foodieforager’s Finds: Daddy Hinkle’s Instant Meat Marinade 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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