Monthly Archives: April 2014

Yeasty dough how I love thee!

I can’t think of anything which is more fragrant than fresh dough rising in the kitchen.


My birthday is tomorrow so I am not working and I will be heading down to the coast for a few days.

Also, Wednesday is cooking show day on PBS- food. I love the program Modern Irish Food because the accent reminds of the brogue or accent the people along the North Carolina Outerbanks speak and which I grew up hearing.

We have been experiencing thunderstorms the past few days with a couple tornados touching down about two hours away. Luckily, we have only seen spotty storms with intermitting heavy rains and gusty winds. It’s natures way of cleaning everything and blowing the dead limbs out of the trees.

I did manage to clean up the pachysandra beds along the drive between downpours. In the ten years since the original plants were planted they have slowly multiplied but a few runners have made an escape under the concrete border. They were moved back into their homes!


Now, back to my French bread and PBS cooking shows as the rain moves back in!



Filed under cooking, Food, General Gardening, Plants, Seasonal Maintenance

Pea Pesto Crostini

I don’t like calling something it’s not. I agree with the dairy industry and don’t think soy/rice milk producers should be allowed to call their product milk! Although, I think the modern milk industry is evil! But I digress.

Frozen peas are such a great ingredient. You should always have them in your freezer. They are very sweet and bright green and can be added to any recipe to brighten or sweeten the dish. They are great to add to soups, stews, and quick stir-fries.

This is another Giada De Laurentiis recipe from “Giada at Home”. Peas are used in place of basil to create a pesto-like topping for toasted bread. Of course, my big gripe is pestos are made with basil so I don’t think this should be called a pesto. Once again, I digress.

Pea Pesto Crostini


1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas, thawed
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2/3 cup olive oil
8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices whole-grain baguette or ciabatta bread, preferably day-old
8 cherry tomatoes, halved, or 1 small tomato, diced

For the pea pesto:
Pulse together in a food processor the peas, garlic, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. With the machine running, slowly add 1/3 cup of the olive oil and continue to mix until well combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with more salt and pepper, if needed. You may also add a little chili powder or a small chili to add some heat!
Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

For the crostini:
Preheat a stovetop griddle or grill pan over medium-high ( I used the broiler and topped the baguette with the pea pesto before broiling). Brush both sides of each of the bread slices with the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil and grill until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the bread to a platter and spread 1 to 2 tablespoons pesto on each slice. Top each crostini with 2 tomato halves or a herbs such as fresh basil leaves or dill.

Adapted from: “Giada at Home”


Filed under cooking, Food, General Gardening

Blooming now….

The Spring garden is entering another stage. The early Spring bloomers are done but a few are hanging on!

There are still a few azaleas blooming.


The coral Honeysuckles are blooming, too! They are native and are not aggressive like the Japanese Honeysuckle. This variety is Major Wheeler. It was discovered in the wild in North Carolina but blooms throughout the Summer.


Several German Irises are blooming.





Snowball viburnum is one of my favorite shrubs. My grandmother had a very large snowball bush on the North side of her house in Beaufort, North Carolina.


The oxeye daisies are beautiful along the 100 foot wildflower curb garden and are the first of the wildflowers to bloom.


And new bronze-colored fronds are unfurling from the Autumn Ferns.


And Gus has a new chew rope. Let’s see how long it takes him to unravel it!

The last rope lasted a few days!




Filed under General Gardening