Spring Veggies & Bluegrass Underground

La Connor, Skagit Valley, & Seattle- May 2012

Wedding at Oddfellow’s Hall on Orcas Island.

Oh, I have fallen so behind on my blog posts. I have so many photos of all the things I have eaten and no time to post them all. I will attempt to get somewhat caught up here. As shown above, we have been busy with a big trip to Washington- family visits, Grant had several fun gigs, and the main reason for this trip was to partake in the amazing celebration of our dear friends’ marriage on Orcas Island. What a beautiful week to be in the great Pacific Northwest!

That trip was soon followed by another family trip to South Carolina for my big Sis’ art show at the super fun and wildly popular Art Bomb studios. Art Bomb is one of my favorite places! If you have never been to Greenville, South Carolina, you better hurry up. It is becoming a really cool city.

I’ve been super busy making tons of my mini Herbed Cheese Biscuits for all these very special events!

Herbed Cheese Biscuits
3 cups all purpose soft wheat flour (I use White Lily.)
2 Tbsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp sea salt
10 tablespoons unsalted organic butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (I use local Hatcher milk.)
1 cup grated sharp cheddar (Or your favorite aged cheese.)
a bunch of fresh herbs, chopped  (I used rosemary.)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 425. Mix the salt and baking powder with the flour and the add the chilled butter in a medium mixing bowl. Work the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the butter pieces are a little larger than an English pea, but not larger than a lima bean. Mix in the grated cheese and the herbs. Work quickly so that the heat of your hands won’t melt the butter. Pour in the buttermilk and, using light pressure, fold the mixture a few times with your hands until it holds together. Do not over mix. In order to make light biscuits, it is important to work the dough as little as possible. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and fold it quickly and gently a few times until it begins to be all stay together. Sprinkle a little flour under the dough so that it won’t stick to the board and lightly dust the top of the dough so that it won’t stick to the board and lightly dust the top of the dough so that it won’t stick to the rolling pin. Roll the dough out to about 1/2-inch thickness. Grind black pepper over the top of the dough. Cut the dough into 2-inch rounds, place on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven for about 14-15 minutes.

So now it is spring and we’ve been so busy trying to catch up that we’ve been making lots of salads and easy dishes that we can eat on all week while on the go. Here are a few of our favorites. Coincidentally, they all have the color red in common! This first recipe was also posted on Dolan Geiman’s blog this week but we just enjoyed some leftovers and I decided to post it here as well.  I really loved the Vidalia Vinaigrette I came up, it was nice with the raisins.

Kale & Red Cabbage Cole Slaw
1 bunch Kale (I used Lacinato for this but any would work.)
1 wedge Lemon
½ head Red Cabbage (core removed)
2 Carrots, cut into matchsticks
¼ cup Raisins
¼ cup Fresh Parsley
½ small Vidalia Onion
¼ cup Olive Oil
¼ cup Red Wine Vinegar
½ tsp (or to taste) Sea Salt
Black Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Raw Cane Sugar

Clean the kale and then remove the thick middle veins on each leaf. Chop the leaves into thin strips and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with a little salt and squeeze the lemon over. Stir or massage the leaves with your fingers and let sit while you chop the other vegetables. Chop the red cabbage into small strips. Chop the parsley. Add the carrots, red cabbage, parsley, and raisins to the bowl with the kale. In a blender or mini grinder, blend the onion with the remaining ingredients to make a dressing and then pour the dressing over the raw vegetables. Stir and let sit for a few minutes before serving.

Grant has been grilling some and I always get tons of veggies ready to go on the grill with whatever delicious meat recipe he has created and then we use the grilled veggies all week- in salads, in enchiladas, with rice, in eggs, etc. Having those already prepared makes it so easy to have a quick meal loaded with tons of veggies!

Sometimes we even get lucky and a friend shares their fresh eggs with us! These came from our friend Nicole’s chickens! Grilled Veggie Frittata with fresh eggs is hard to beat- easy and delicious!

Next up- two beet recipes! One is super simple. The other night as I was preparing the second featured beet recipe, I had a few extra beet rounds and decided it would be fun throw those on the grill, too. I sprinkled them with a little olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Once they were off the grill, I threw some chopped lemon basil from the garden on top.

My friend and coworker, Brenda, brought a beet salad to work one day this week and gave me a taste. It was delicious and so different that I ran home and made it for us that night. I added some thinly chopped kale to it to get some greens in. This salad is loaded with goodness!  It goes like this…

Brenda’s Raw Beet Salad with Horseradish
1 cup thinly sliced Kale leaves
juice of 1 Lime
2 medium sized (or 1 large) Raw Beets, peeled, sliced in ¼” rounds, and then cut into matchsticks
3 tsp prepared Horseradish
1 tsp olive oil
Sea Salt & Black Pepper
2-3 oz Crumbled Feta

Place the kale in a bowl and squeeze lime juice over it and sprinkle with salt. Massage the leaves with your fingers or stir well. Let sit for a few minutes while you cut the beets. Mix the beets in with the kale and then add remaining ingredients and stir.

OH- and our new favorite spring beverage is this yummy hard cider we first enjoyed at The Family Wash and then found for sale at our favorite neighborhood wine shop, Woodland Wine Merchant.

I was super excited last week to see some fresh, organic rhubarb on the produce stand. I bought a huge bag and made a couple Strawberry Rhubarb Pies. My favorite version had a whole wheat pastry flour and oat crumble top.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Crumble Top
1 pie Dough Ball
3-4 stalks Rhubarb, cut in ½” pieces
1 pint Strawberries, sliced
1 cup Raw Cane Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Tbsp Flour
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

For Crumble Top:
½ cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
½ cup Rolled Oats
½ cup Brown Sugar
½ cup Unsalted Butter

Preheat oven to 425. Roll pie dough ball out and place in pie plate. Scallop the edges and place in the freezer for 15 minutes. I just started doing this and this helps the scalloped edges stay prettier and hold shape better once in the oven. Place rhubarb, sugar, vanilla, flour and cinnamon in a bowl and stir. Pour into pie shell. Mix the ingredients for the crumble topping in a bowl with your hands. Sprinkle the crumbles on top of the rhubarb strawberry mixture. Bake for 15 minutes on 425 and then reduce to heat to 350 and bake for another 35-40 minutes.

As I think about the hot summer that is already well on its way, one place sure to stay cool is the Volcano Room at the Cumberland Caverns. Not only does the temperature remain at a constant cool temperature 333 feet below ground, but this is one of the coolest places I have ever encountered.

I had been wanting to go for awhile but it wasn’t until my friend Lesia called and offered me a ticket to go with her to Bluegrass Underground one day back in February that I actually got there. (Thank you Lesia!) Bluegrass Underground is a radio show recorded live from the Volcano Room at Cumberland Caverns in McMinnville, Tn. Here, nature created one of the most acoustically pure natural spaces on earth. This is truly an amazing space to hear music. As a teenager and visiting a cave for the first time, I remember thinking how incredible it would be to hear live music down there. Now, at this amazing place, it is possible! This place is just magical and everyone there seemed so happy and on some sort of natural high. I guess this was also due in part to the awesome musicians on stage- Jim Lauderdale and The Time Jumpers, two of Nashville’s musical treasures.


3 thoughts on “Spring Veggies & Bluegrass Underground

  1. Yo Lady Smokey…. I have some of that Crispin cider and have been waiting to try it… maybe tonight! love this post! you are awesome!

  2. Pingback: Country Picnic: Picnic Time « Country Picnic « Daily Dolan Geiman

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