Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fried Zucchini with Cornmeal

If you search Pig In Mud you'll only find one recipe that's truly deep fried, the donuts HERE. Oh I might fry/saute some veggies in bacon fat here or there, but I'm talking about taking the plunge into deep fat frying... Well here's the second recipe and I loved every single bite! This Fried Zucchini with Cornmeal was different for few reasons: 1. There were no wet ingredients other than the cut edges of the zukes and onions, so it's a little lighter... 2. The onion rings add amazing flavor to the oil! 3. The cornmeal makes them crispy and you might just ask yourself, is this really zucchini???
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While I don't encourage eating like this often, what a fun splurge-especially since I was gifted the zuke from my son's garden! I chose to dress it with nothing more than a nice sprinkling of kosher salt but don't doubt spaghetti sauce or ranch dressing for dipping would be great too. Just when I was about to say I wasn't feeling the love for zucchini this summer... this recipe came along and changed that! I think you'll like it if you try it folks:@)

Fried Zucchini with Cornmeal-from Allrecipes
2 zucchini, sliced, either 1/4" rounds or approx 1/4" wedges-I deseeded mine
1 onion sliced into rings, at least 1/4" thick
1/2 C A/P flour
1/2 C cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
a couple shakes of cayenne-optional
1 C vegetable oil for frying
  1. Mix the dry ingredients in large bowl, add zucchini and onion, add lid and shake well.
  2. Let sit for 30 minutes so a batter forms on the veggies (I kept giving it an additional shake).
  3. Heat oil in medium skillet and fry veggies in a few batches (a cast iron skillet works really well for this). Check after a couple minutes and turn the veggies once the bottom gets nice and golden brown.
  4. Drain on paper towels and add an additional sprinkling of salt.
Enjoy something a little naughty every once in a while and have a happy day:@)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Swingin' Spoolie Ornaments for All Seasons-Christmas in July

I'm a big sucker for Christmas in July, it has always tickled me. Since my little Swingin' Spoolie Bunny was popular at Easter I decided to whip up a Christmas and Halloween version too:@) It's never too early to start crafting for the holidays!

I thought the Santa turned out cute but hope to only use this toothpick head until I find something I like better. Have you noticed that some of the new bump chenille isn't as thick as it used to be? Santa kinda looks like he's been on a diet... Someone give that man a candy cane! 

The Zombies are back!!! These goofy little finger puppets still crack the three year old in me up and I'll probably pick up another pack of them if I see them again this year. True confession time: I'm getting excited thinking about setting up my Halloween tree... I started a list of new ornament craft ideas, there are 15 cute ideas on it so far and I'm thinking about using Caution Tape as my garland this year!

The Boys from Last Year:

The Swingin' Spoolies are simple to make: 
  1. Add some glitter bling to the edges of the spools, let it dry.
  2. Fold bump chinelle in half for legs and hot glue to spool. Roll up tips of pipe cleaner for feet if desired.
  3. Make a circle/oval with a regular pipe cleaner for belly, hot glue that to the legs.
  4. Use bump chinelle for arms, hot glue to top of torso. 
  5. Glue on head.
  6. Feed ribbon (or something for hanging) through the hole of the spool to act as the rope and tie a knot in the top of it.
  7. Wrap the tip of the pipe cleaner arms around the rope like hands. (Or Super Glue the hands to the rope if using a plastic character like the Zombie head. Hot glue doesn't work well with the rubbery/plastic.)
  8. Add any other little decorative embellishments you have.
Happy Crafting and Christmas in July everyone:@)

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Grilled Fresh Green Beans and Saturday Snipits

100 years ago I had a little George Foreman Grill and believe it or not I used it often, but when the boys moved out I gave it to them. They were on sale at Target for $17 so I grabbed one, that's $3 cheaper than when I bought my first one! This makes four grills at my house... I'm concerned the boys may be planning an intervention:@) But I do use them all. First up to take the GF for a test drive, my garden planter provided these Grilled Fresh Green Beans, I loved the char and that they still had a little bite to them. This variety of bean grew flatter and that was even nice for the grill. Alternately, if you have a grill basket, you could cut them into bite size pieces and grill them outside.
Cleaning tip: While the George (or any indoor grill) is still hot place wet paper towels or a wet dish cloth on the bottom plate and close the top. As you eat the residual heat will steam and loosen up the burnt on bits and make it easier to clean.

Planter update: My baby has fully matured and at this point in time gives me a handful of cherry tomatoes a day, the beans are still blooming and producing and the cukes seem to be winding down. I think it could use some fertilizer... The jalapeno plant was a bust, it never did get very big and something snipped it in half a week ago. I moved one very small zucchini into the planter only because I was curious and didn't have anything to lose by transplanting it.

Thumb update: Thank you for your kind words and well wishes! I am pleased to report that after spending some time with it unbandaged and pointed at the sun it's drying out and beginning to heal! Hopefully some of the tenderness will be gone by Monday and I'll begin to feel like myself again... The only thing is, missing this huge divot off my thumb kinda kills any dream I might have had of becoming a hand model:@) Oh well, life goes on!

Grilled Green Beans
  1. Clean and trim ends off string beans (and de-string if necessary, I found this year the cheap packs of seeds had strings, both snow peas and beans).
  2. Mix with sliced onion, minced garlic, a few shakes of crushed red pepper (optional), olive oil to coat and S&P. How much of each? As much as you'd like!
  3. Grill until charred and beginning to soften up.
  4. An additional sprinkle of salt before serving is optional but highly recommended!
Have a happy day everyone:@)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ouch!

I'll be taking it easy for a couple days, had a little kitchen accident...
Speaking of thumbs, I won't be snapping mine for a while... I cut the tip of mine off with the mandolin, not one of my better moments. So please take this as a public service announcement, if you use a mandolin, please use the safety guard! Personally, I'll stick to my trusty chef's knife going forward... Funny but, I've never been cut by it.

So here are a couple silly LOL Cats for your viewing pleasure and I'm hoping to be back in the kitchen soon!



Be careful in the kitchen and have a happy day everyone:@)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Marinated Turkey Kabobs with Smoked Paprika, Cumin and Turmeric

I mentioned that I recently discovered turkey tenderloin at the supermarket and knew it would be something different for grilled kabobs. To further test that theory I fired up Bella and these Marinated Turkey Kabobs with Smoked Paprika, Cumin and Turmeric did not disappoint! After seeing several recipes calling for smoked paprika I finally picked up a jar and I'm glad I did, it brings a nice smoked flavor without adding any heat. My biggest issue was trying to decide what I liked better with each bite of turkey, the onion, pepper or pineapple... Not a bad problem to have:@)
Any leftover turkey is really good on a salad. I do highly recommend planning to make extra for another meal.
You don't have to make kababs and this would be a great marinade on thinly cut chicken or pork chops too.
I think you'll like this recipe if you give it a try folks!

Marinated Turkey Kabobs with Smoked Paprika, Cumin and Turmeric-from a hint of honey
2 lbs turkey tenderloin cut into 1" pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 C red wine vinegar
1/2 C olive oil
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Any veggie or fruit add-ons that sound good, onion, peppers, pineapple, zucchini, etc.
A little olive oil and S&P to mix with any vegetable you're using
~Mix everything (except turkey and veggies/fruit) well, add turkey and marinate in fridge for 2-4 hours.
~Heat grill to medium/high, thread skewers and cook until juices run clear.

Eat well and have a happy day:@)

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Eagles (or your favorite team) Football Ornaments

I've been itching to make some ornaments and thought I'd start with these cute Eagles Football Ornaments. They'll be for my feather tree HERE, the ring is about 1 1/2" and the spoolie is 2 1/2". The fun thing is, I cut the logo out of the newspaper sale ads about two years ago and pinned it to my inspiration board... Glad I finally used it! The floating football in the ring is connected with fishing line, I simply fed it back up through the hole of each bead and tied it at the top. The spoolie has sparkly black tinsel glitter glued to the top.
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 Both came together fairly quickly, just had to wait for the glue to dry after each addition to the spoolie.
 This would be a fun idea for any sport and the ring is a great craft for kids to make, 
just gather your team colors!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Garlic Dill Refrigerator Pickles-One Pint Recipe

Maybe 15 minutes-tops... That's all it takes to add a One Pint Jar of Homemade Garlic Dill Pickles to your fridge. My plan is to use every~single~thing I pick off of my little planter garden and as you can imagine, it may produce veggies sporadically. I was shocked to find two very mature cukes hiding in the leaves (how does that happen when I'm out there looking for them every day???). And my son brought me another from his garden, so I had plenty for a quick jar of sour puckery pickles!
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The only thing that may not be a pantry item is the dill seed, but even a small jar will make several pints of pickles. I felt these pickles could use more salt so I bumped it up a bit, I also used kosher instead of pickling salt. This is a good recipe if you just have a few cucumbers to use up, and here's the best part, if they happen to not be your favorite pickles... Well, you've only wasted three little cukes and 15 minutes-that's a gamble I'd be willing to take, but I think you'll like 'em:@)

Garlic Dill Refrigerator Pickles, One Pint Recipe-adapted from thekitchn.com
2 cloves garlic-I used one big one and cut it in half
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp dill seed
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
Kirby cukes to fill one pint jar, de-spined, washed, ends cut off, and cut into spears (approx 3 per half)
1/2 C cider vinegar
1/2 C water
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  1. Add garlic and spices to clean jar.
  2. Squeeze in as may cucumber spears as you can leaving about 1/2" head space at the top of the jar.
  3. Bring vinegar, water and salt to a simmer. Fill jar to about 1/2" of top with liquid, tap on counter a couple times to release air bubbles. Add more liquid if needed.
  4. Add a lid, cool on counter and store in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
Enjoy every bite of summer and have a happy day:@)

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