Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fabulous Meal complement a fabulous bottle of wine!

A few weeks ago we went to visit some of my husband's family in Michigan.  One of Harry's nephews and his wife just moved back to Michigan from Oregon and they brought us this wonderful bottle of wine from the Dundee Hills Vineyard in the heart of Oregon's wine country.  A good pinot noir is our favorite wine so we were very pleased with their gift.

As you know, for me, it's all about the food :) so I immediately began to think "What dinner will I prepare to complement this wonderful bottle of wine?" The answer was simple:  Cedar Plank Salmon.

Once you have salmon cooked this way, you will never want to eat it any other way.  It's that good and so very easy to prepare.

You will need:

     ~ A whole salmon fillet, skin on, about 3-4 lbs.  We like cooking the whole fillet because left over cedar plank salmon begets wonderful meals later in the week~~salmon cakes, salmon frittata, and hubby's favorite, salmon hash.

     ~ A 22"L x 10"W piece of untreated cedar plank.  We simply buy a whole cedar plank at the local lumbar yard and have them cut it into the lengths we want.  Twenty-two inches is a good length for a whole salmon fillet.

     ~ A mixture of 1 tablespoon each canola oil, pure maple syrup and soy sauce.

Scrub the cedar plank in hot water, no soap, and soak it in cold water for at least three hours.

Heat the grill to 375F and keep the temperature constant between 375 and 400 while the salmon is cooking.

Lay the salmon on the cedar plank and brush with oil/syrup/soy mixture.

Place the cedar plank on the grill, cover and cook for about 30-45 minutes.  The fish is done when it's firm to the touch.  I like my salmon a little underdone, where it's still moist and tender inside.

Remove the salmon from the grill, tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

It just so happened that the first of the baby gold beets from my garden were ready to be picked so we had roasted baby beets along side this yummy salmon.  The beets are easy to prepare and so tasty!

Clean and scrub the beets, place in a foil pouch, and roast in a 425F oven for about 1 1/2 hours.  Remove, open the pouch, let cool a few minutes and the skins slip right off.

I thinly sliced the beets, drizzled a little extra virgin olive oil over them, and topped with a sprinkling of truffle salt.

To round out this meal, I made a side dish of sundried tomato risotto.  I can't tell you how yummy it all was!

Salute Brad and Sara...Grazie!

Wish you could have shared this meal with us :)

Buon Appetito!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Spring Garden Progress

My spring garden is doing amazingly well this year and I couldn't be happier.

I've been picking baby lettuce for salads nearly every day for at least a week.  And well, you know about all the arugula I've harvested :)  And the beets are ready to pick as well.  As a matter of fact, I picked the first of the gold beets for a fabulous dinner on Friday night and we had roasted baby beets as part of our Easter dinner on Sunday.

I took a bunch of pictures of the garden last week that I'd love to share with you.  When I'm in my garden, I feel so humble and grateful for what I'm able to have a hand in growing and in feeding my family and friends.

Here are my gold and red beets and carrots

Golden Chard

Little Gem Romaine and Lolla Rossa Red Lettuce

Texas 1015 Onions - A couple of these are the size of large tennis balls!

And my tomatoes are growing beautifully and beginning to flower!

The three varieties of peppers, Italian white eggplant, golden scallopini bush squash, golden bush beans and Blue Lake bush beans go in the ground this coming week. I may be a bit late in planting these, but I have to keep reminding's only April!

The rewards I get out of tending my vegetable garden go far beyond good fresh food.  Being out there, working hard in the sun, watching things grow and flower, feeds my soul as much as (or more than) my appetite.  Yes, I am truly blessed. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Puppies Are Growing!

I's a gardening blog, Diane, not a puppy blog, but I can't help but post some recent pictures of the pups.  They are doing *so* well and I just love them.  They have become a huge part of my life~~like how about the main focus of my life~~besides Harry and my family of course :-) They are strong, healthy, beautiful, obedient (most of the time :), loving puppies and all they want is to be with me.  How lucky am I.



What more can I say? 

If you want to read more about these beautiful girls, here are a few links that will take you there.