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Alley

Radio Silence... Oops!

Many apologies for the radio silence on the blog!  It has been a busy month and the next several weeks will be even busier (but also tons of fun).  So when life gets busy, you have to let some things slide in order to keep your sanity.  ;)  Don't worry, I'm still working on recipes when I can and will have tons to share when I have time.  So please check back soon!

Until then, here are some of my favorite blogs to follow...

Cooking: Pinch of Yum
Baking: Browneyed Baker
Menu Planning: This Week for Dinner
Gardening: Seeding the Good Life
Organic Lifestyle: Chiot's Run
Columbus Happenings: Girl About Columbus

Weekly Menu

Had a great weekend in Canton this weekend spending time with family.  My niece and nephews were running around like crazy kids and the adults enjoyed some sangria at Gervasi and then enjoyed the walk home on some park trails.

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Here is the menu for this week!  What are you making?

stuffed onions
zucchini rolls and corn on the cob
BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches

Okra Corn Cakes - total time 30 minutes


One of the fun things that comes along with having a CSA share is the random fruits and vegetables you get.  The first year we got kohlrabi... we got tons of kohlrabi.  I had never heard of it before.  It kind of looked like a turnip, but didn't look like a root because of the leaves.  And the only real recipe available on the internets was roasted kohlrabi... so we had that often.

Now that our bin is customizable (which happened the second year), we no longer get kohlrabi... but we certainly glad we tried it!

This year's new vegetable is okra.  I have seen it before and have heard it is great in stews and fried.  But summer is no time for stews and I'm not going to fry it either.  I have also seen it growing in the community garden and the flowers on okra plants are beautiful!  So it was time to try this elusive veggie.

What better way to try this southern favorite than in a way that is completely southern... in cornbread!  The okra adds some color, a little different texture, and some crunch to your normal corn cake.  On the first time trying okra we landed on a winning recipe... yippee!

Drunken Baked Peaches - total time 20 minutes


I love peaches!  Everything about them, the flavor, the smell, the fuzzy skin... so good!  In fact, back in the day I used to use Peach Nectar body lotion from Bath & Body Works (before they retired it) and because I smelled like peaches all of the time, people started calling me peaches.

During the summer we have a plethora of peaches in the house.  Perfect for snacks, fruit salads, topping parfaits, and of course desserts.  An easy, no hassle way to make a great peach dessert is to bake them with a little bourbon and sugar.  So good!  I made these four nights in a row they were so good.  Mmm.  Might put a couple more in the oven right now.  :)

Weekly Menu

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  The Ohio State Fair and Dublin Irish Fest used to mean that summer was over to me.  It still kind of feels like that, but since I don't have a summer break from work, it really shouldn't feel that way.  We still have almost two months of summer until Fall starts.  Time to make the most of it!

Like I mentioned, we went to the fair this week.  My dad, sister, and I have been going to the fair together ever since I can remember.  Since it was just the three of us this year, it was all about traditions.  Making sure we covered each one of them even if they were new traditions.   :)  Met at the red cardinal, ate at the smorgous board, saw the baby chicks, pet the rabbits, walked through ODNR, saw the baby cows, got ice cream and ate it in the coliseum while 'betting' on horses, and wandered around looking at all of the animals.

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Yay! It's strawberry time again.  Everbearing strawberries are ripening right now and they are sooo good!  We also made a stop at B Spot where they specialize in burgers, brats, beer, and bourbon.  Pretty good hamburger and delicious campfire milkshake with toasted marshmallows on top.

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And of course Dublin Irish Festival was this weekend.  After a few Guinness, some Irish nachos )chops with beer cheese) from Claddagh, and perusing the vendors we learned how to make linen from flax straw, saw how to play some traditional 'track and field' type games and listened to a lot of bagpipes.

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Here is the plan for this week!  What are you planning on making?

salmon burgers
shrimp po boys with grilled potatoes
pizza night
grilled brie sandwiches

Campfire Eggs-periment


When you're camping you can't take your whole kitchen with you, so it requires some minimalist cooking techniques.  We were planning our meals a couple day before we left (meal planning is an absolute necessity for camping) we found this interesting technique for cooking eggs.... right in the fire... using just the egg itself.  Can't get more minimalist than that!  So we packed an extra couple eggs to try this eggs-periment.  :)

First you poke a hole in the top of the egg shell.  You could use a safety pin, push pin, or even a metal skewer.  This allows for the heat to escape to prevent the shell from cracking under the pressure.  Then you carefully place the egg in the coals of the fire (not the flame).  Wait about 10 minutes for the eggs to cook.  You'll see the steam escaping from the small hole and maybe even little egg whites bubbling out.  Remove the eggs from the fire and let rest for at least 5 minutes before pealing the shell away.  

Lessons Learned
1.  Do not shake the egg before cooking... this doesn't create scrambled eggs in the shell... it creates explosive eggs.
2.  Poke a big enough hole, maybe two... or the shell will crack.
3.  Bring backup eggs just in case!

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regular egg verses shaken egg... oops



Or just use your castiron... it is a camp cooking essential.
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Fajita Campfire Packets - total time 40 minutes


You know that perfect spot in a campfire to roast marshmallows?  Right by the red embers not too close to the flame.  It gets the marshmallow gooey and lightly toasted without catching them on fire.  Well, that same spot is the perfect place to cook your dinner too!  Just wrap the ingredients in heavy foil, spray with cooking spray, carefully put the foil packet in that perfect spot, and enjoy some perfectly cooked dinner in about 30 minutes.

I made this dinner while we were camping last weekend.  As soon as I got everything on the campfire to cook, the sky opened up and it started to pour.  We took cover in our Jeep and checked every single weather app on our phones... possible tornadoes.  Eek!  Thankfully the storm passed by pretty quickly.  There were a lot of puddles and the ground was muddy, but the campfire was still hanging in there (thanks to good tree cover)... but only by a little bit.  The rain made the whole fire those perfect red embers for cooking.  Surprisingly everything cooked just right and as the sun came out, we were chowing down on some delicious camp food.  :)

Campfire Potatoes - total time 40 minutes


Although our camping weekend was cut short due to storms and possible tornadoes (no real safe spot from lightning and tornadoes in a tent with metal rods), we still had a great time while we were there!

The first night was really just getting down there, setting up camp, making some dinner, and eating some s'mores.  :)  While we were sleeping, something took Snoop's water bowl... probably a raccoon.  And then Snoop was out wandering campsite for who knows how long before we noticed he slipped out of the tent!

The next day was full of kayaking, a short hike, and cooking on the campfire.  I don't have a lot of experience cooking with fire, but everything turned out really delicious.  Maybe it's because bacon was involved... maybe it was campfire.

These campfire potatoes are really easy!  Just slice everything up, layer it in a cast iron pan or dutch oven, cover it, and enjoy the fire and the smells of yummy potatoes.

Happy Weekend!



We're off in an outdoor adventure this weekend... camping, paddling, fishing, and hiking!  So no recipes to post this week, but check back next week for some fun campfire recipes!  Have a great weekend! :)

Weekly Menu

I'm going to start doing bicep curls in the garden with my zucchini... these giants weighed in close to eight pounds a piece!  I love that it keeps raining a couple times a week so I don't have to water the grass or garden at all (although if mother nature could keep the rain to times I'm at work or sleeping, that would be best).  With all the rain, my garden is growing out of control.  What used to be a nice clear walking path now has tomato branches, chard leaves, melon vines, and green bean shoots all over it!  (... not that I'm complaining!)

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I don't know what is about balloon flowers, but I just love them.  I think it is cute the way they grow like a bubble (or balloon, whatever) and then pop open with this gorgeous purple color in the shape of a star.  And my butterfly bush is finally blooming!  I love this time of year when our yard is full of color and fragrance!  :)

Speaking of fragrance... they need to bottle up the smell from Jazz & Rib Fest because as soon as we got out of the Jeep, the smell of barbecue hit me and I was instantly hungry.  I only eat ribs once or twice a year just because I have to be in the mood to eat with my hands and get super messy... and when you have all the best rib joints from around the country, you have to indulge.  

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Went to support the Crew last night and they won (finally)!  The game was sold out... so it looks like the World Cup has had an impact and soccer... ahem... futbol... is gaining some popularity here.

Alright, so the menu this week has a repeat from last week since I didn't get to it... but now I have ripe tomatoes to make fresh sauce for my zucchini lasagna!  So procrastination results in a win this time.  :)


zucchini enchiladas 
grilled rosemary chicken and corn on the cob
zucchini lasagna (oops, didn't get to this last week)
fajitas
stuffed onions

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