Friday, August 15, 2014

So much beautiful green in the garden

The herb pots are finally filling up - next year I want to add a third pot and separate the basil and oregano.

The morning glories are a bit out of control - I think just one pot of morning glories next year, and something else in the front pot. Maybe a whole pot of chives....

You can barely see the gnome a neighbor generously donated. I am ok with this. Next year I want to put some trellises against the rock for the nasturtiums to climb up and possibly the nasturtiums

Progress is being made. Really.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Cheese pie

This recipe was from a friend of my mom's. I use it every summer to keep the staff going! You can also make it in individual batches - I like to bake mini pies in my little custard pots sometimes.

2 cups graham cracker crumbs (1 pack)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter

Make sure you crush the graham crackers very fine, then press the whole mess into the pie pan.

16 oz cream cheese (soften it first)
2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

You can add these in order, but I don't think it makes any difference. Beat until it's smooth then pour into the crust. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, let stand about 15 minutes.

1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Spread over the pie. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes (if you don't remember at this point to put a pan under the pie you will be sorry!)

Cool, then chill overnight.
Just out of the oven after the first baking

Topping added

Chilled - the next morning

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Broccoli Cheese Soup

I adapted this recipe from the Eating Better cookbooks. Generally, their recipes are pretty old-school healthy (read: gross) but this is a yummy one that I grew up eating. I use a LOT of broccoli and freeze the extra soup in small tupperwares. Great with some crusty bread.

Set aside a couple cups of chopped broccoli (I just use the florets)

7 cups chicken broth
roughly chopped broccoli (I think this is supposed to be four cups, but I just throw in LOTS)
small onion (sometimes I use one, sometimes I don't)
oregano (like, maybe a couple teaspoons?)

While this is boiling and softening the broccoli, make the sauce:

3 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons white flour
1 cup milk
2 cups grated cheese

If you don't know how to make a cheese sauce, look it up on the internet. The basic idea is to add everything in little bits and stir a lot until it's smooth and creamy. But if it's not, don't freak out.

Dump the cheese sauce into the boiled broccoli broth and whish it around a little.

Now you need a giant bowl in addition to your pot and a blender. Pour the hot soup into the blender a little at a time and BLEND. This is messy. Dump your florets into the bowl of hot, blended soup, as you blend it, then pour it all back into the pot and boil a little more to soften the florets.

Makes enough soup for me for about 8 servings.