Category: Life in the Pacific Northwest

When your Zucchini get out of hand.

To celebrate the launch of The Good Neighbor, Book Two in the Fortune Bay Series, I’m continuing my week of late summer recipes with

Zucchini Bread, or

“what to do when your garden becomes the Little Shop of Horrors.”

The other day, my mother tried a piece of my Zucchini Bread.

“What is that flavor?” she said. “Mine has never been this nice.”

“Cloves,” I told her.

“I don’t like cloves,” she said. “But I love that.”

I have to admit it was particularly good batch. I usually grind whole cloves and if you are not diligent with the mortar and pestle, the flavour of the chunks of clove can over power the loaf.

This time I hadn’t been able to find whole cloves at the store, so I used ground and found it was better for this bread.

20150901_5057 Also, I wrung out the grated zucchini just the right amount and the moisture level was perfect. Last time I was showing someone how to wring out the excess moisture in a tea towel, was over zealous and the bread was a touch dry. But do wring it out to prevent a soggy loaf.

Nobody likes a soggy loaf!

It’s a great way to use that excess zucchini at this time of year, or get a nice size one at the farmer’s market and knock yourself out!

In The Good Neighbor, (yes! out this week!) Stephanie goes out to her garden and finds:

The Good Neighbor

The stump end of a mammoth zucchini peeked out at her from under a leaf. Not good. Zucchini were the jesters of the garden, growing to ridiculous, bulbous proportions when your back was turned…

Hefting a giant zucchini in one hand, she measured its weight, reminded of a childhood summer day spent grating the big ones for zucchini bread, the smell of cloves and cinnamon filling the air. She put the offender under one arm, the basket over the other, and started down the shoreline path to the cabin.

Cloves and spice, Aunt Augusta’s trademark. Stephanie must have the same recipe I have.

Enjoy!

Judy sig

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An Abundance of Figs

I’m continuing my week of recipes to celebrate the launch of The Good Neighbor, Book Two in thefig tree Fortune Bay Series, with this post on what to do with an abundance of figs.

I realize not everyone has figs in their backyard, but I have a huge tree, and quelle coincidence!, so does Stephanie, the matriarch of the series, who has her own romance in this book. A romance that begins in the a cool green oasis of the fig arbor on a hot summer day, the perfect place for a simmering scene of sexual tension (how’s that for alliteration?).

Sunlight penetrated the translucent leaves creating a cool and ethereal bower.
“The figs are in!” Stephanie’s triumphant voice emerged from inside the tree. A stepladder with two feet perched on a rung halfway up, leaned against the arbor. Long, firm legs rose from there, ending where Stephanie’s baggy green shorts disappeared into the dense leafy branches.
“Help me,” she said, her hand appearing beneath the canopy of leaves, cupping a succulent green fruit.

 

You get the picture.

 Way #1 to use Figs – Fig Leather

Last year, I was away for fig season and my wonderful friends picked for me. I came home to a freezer full of figs. I did make my famous Figand Ginger Jam (recipe to follow) but the rest of the figs couldn’t be dried whole in the usual way, so I put 7 figs (I only have one leather sheet for my drier) and the juice of half a lemon in my Ninja blender – I love my Ninja blender -it up and poured it on the drier sheet. Two minutes work and it makes really delicious tangy fig leather. I have yet to find anyone who doesn’t love it.

Fig JamWay #2 to use Figs – Judy’s Famous Fig & Ginger Jam

This recipe uses lemon and ginger to add zing. For those who don’t like ginger (seriously?) you can leave out the candied ginger and add instead 1 cinnamon stick, 2 cloves and 1/2 tsp ginger. Or a quarter cup Grand Marnier. I’ve had good luck with Fireball Whiskey too! You get the picture. Anything goes.

But this Fig & Ginger is amazing on toast or with chicken or pork, or by the teaspoonful right out of the jar!

Click here for Fig & Ginger recipe.

You can buy The Good Neighbor in eBook or paperback on Amazon, kobo, and nook.TGN COVER MED

And don’t forget, for this last, beautiful week of summer, Lake of Dreams is free in eBook form on online retailers until the end of August. See the sidebar. No excuses!

Happy eating, and good reading,

Judy sig

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Celebrate the Launch of The Good Neighbor with Pesto!

Fireworks 2016What better way to celebrate the launch of The Good Neighbor  today (cue the fireworks!) than by sharing some of the August recipes from the book, beginning with – PESTO!

The Good Neighbor is Frankie and Sean’s story (characters I introduced in Summer of Fortune).

In this book, Sean moves into Augusta’s cabin while he searches for the daughter he gave up for adoption fifteen years ago, and struggles to come to terms with the fact that he just might not find her. How, then, can he stand to see Frankie and her father so estranged, when a simple phone call might be all it would take?

The Good Neighbor begins in August, and since Sean is an excellent cook and there are a lot of cooking and gardening references ,

PESTO seemed like the perfect choice of a recipe to feature on today’s blog. And let me tell you, good pesto made from freshly picked basil is truly a gift.

basilIf you don’t grow basil in your garden (yet) or don’t have room for a garden, you can treat yourself to a meal of fresh pesto before the summer is over by buying a plant, sold at most grocers at this time of year.

Once you try pesto made in your own kitchen with garden fresh basil leaves, you will never go back to the store bought variety.

And it’s easy! Since tastes and ingredients vary (types of basil, sizes of cloves of garlic & lemons, amount of salt) every batch will be slightly different.

You be the final judge of exactly how much of each ingredient to add. And with these ingredients, how can you go wrong?

I will be featuring more recipes from The Good Neighbor  all week, so stay tuned.

Click here for pesto recipe.

To read the “meet scene” at the start of the book, click HERE to go to The Good Neighbor page.

You can buy The Good Neighbor in eBook or paperback on Amazon, kobo, and nook.TGN COVER MED

And don’t forget, for this last, beautiful week of summer, Lake of Dreams is free in eBook form on online retailers until the end of August. See the sidebar. No excuses!

Happy eating, and good reading,

Judy sig

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Celebrate the Launch of the Good Neighbor with Pesto

What better way to celebrate the launch of The Good NeighborFireworks 2016  today (cue the fireworks!) than by sharing some of the August recipes from the book, beginning with – PESTO!

The Good Neighbor is Frankie and Sean’s story (characters I introduced in Summer of Fortune).

In this book, Sean moves into Augusta’s cabin while he searches for the daughter he gave up for adoption fifteen years ago, and struggles to come to terms with the fact that he just might not find her. How, then, can he stand to see Frankie and her father so estranged, when a simple phone call might be all it would take?

The Good Neighbor begins in August, and since Sean is an excellent cook and there are a lot of cooking and gardening references ,

PESTO seemed like the perfect choice of a recipe to feature on today’s blog. And let me tell you, good pesto made from freshly picked basil is truly a gift.

If you don’t grow basil in your garden (yet) or don’t have room for a garden, you can treat yourself to a meal of fresh pesto before the summer is over by buying a plant, sold at most grocers at this time of year.

The best ingredients make the best pesto.
The best ingredients make the best pesto.

Once you try pesto made in your own kitchen with garden fresh basil leaves, you will never go back to the store bought variety.

And it’s easy! Since tastes and ingredients vary (types of basil, sizes of cloves of garlic & lemons, amount of salt) every batch will be slightly different.

You be the final judge of exactly how much of each ingredient to add. And with these ingredients, how can you go wrong?

I will be featuring more recipes from The Good Neighbor  all week, so stay tuned.
To read the “meet scene” at the start of the book, click HERE to go to The Good Neighbor page.
TGN COVER MED

You can buy The Good Neighbor in eBook or paperback on Amazon, kobo, and nook.

And don’t forget, for this last, beautiful week of summer, Lake of Dreams is free in eBook form on online retailers until the end of August. See the sidebar. No excuses!

Happy eating, and good reading,

 Judy sig

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