Friday, May 27, 2011

Summer Breeze Ice Tea

Blackberry Summer Breeze Iced Tea
The Texas heat can be cruel, but some of the good things about summer include tubing on the river, BBQ with friends, and Iced tea. With the summer garden at its peak, there are plenty of fresh herbs to choose from to make blended iced tea. Some herbs immediately spring to mind: the mints, lemon balm, and lemon ­verbena. There certainly are others, including some of the familiar culinary herbs, that provide cooling refreshment as the temperatures soar. I have grown a small herb garden this year so that I am able to use my own herbs. Blended with your favorite tea and mixed in a blender with ice and fresh fruit makes a delicious treat that is sure to sooth your soul. Don't forget to keep all the poultry cool its going to be a hot one. I have also included a tea for chickens, yes they like tea also.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Freshly Picked Garden Minestrone

Serve with fresh baked cheese bread

3 cloves garlic, minced
1 /2 onion diced
1 scant cup olive oil
pinch of oregano
3 whole fresh diced tomatoes
1 cup diced zucchini
1 cup diced yellow squash
1 whole fresh diced potato
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of tomato soup
1 tsp chicken bouillon soup base
1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
pinch of pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
Cajun seasoning
10 ounces Rigatoni
3 tablespoons fresh basil, coarsely chopped
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, saute chopped onions and garlic in olive oil, when browned, stir in tomatoes and simmer, stirring occasionally. Add 6 cups cold water. Add salt. Stir in diced potatoes, squash, can of tomato soup, and kidney beans. Bring to a boil, then drop in Rigatoni. Cook pasta and squash until done.
When pasta is cooked, remove from the heat. Add basil, and some of the grated cheese. Sprinkle to taste with sea salt, and freshly grated black pepper. Add a light dusting of Cajun seasoning (optional), as you like it. Serve hot with cheese bread.

I picked the squash, potatoes, garlic, oregano, basil, and onion out of my garden today as I was preparing this dish.

Elephant Garlic and Roma Tomatoes

Yellow Squash
Giant Sunflowers and bananas

Small Herb garden growing in sections of plumbing pipe