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Have you ever seen a butterfly laying an egg?

Thanks to our own intrepid photographer, Starla, for capturing a rare picture of a butterfly laying an egg.

Black swallowtail butterfly laying an egg on fennel

And here’s the egg-

Look for the creamy yellow egg located on the lower right of the picture

*Eggs are laid singly on the host plants—usually on new foliage and occasionally on flowers. Development time is variable depending on temperature and host plant species, but generally the egg stage lasts four to nine days, the larval stage 10–30 days, and the pupal stage nine to 18 days.

Fascinating!

Ann Lamb

Picture by Starla Willis

*http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/bfly/bfly2/eastern_black_swallowtail.htm

Study up on our butterfly garden by looking at the right hand side of the front page of Dallas Garden Buzz under Raincatcher’s Resources for a list of hummingbird and butterfly plants or type butterfly in our search box for a host of articles on butterflies.

 

Flavorful News from the Dallas County Master Gardener Cookbook Committee

A new Dallas County Master Gardener Cookbook is on the way.  Our members have submitted a wheelbarrow full of recipes and gardening tips that the cookbook committee has been dutifully busy tasting and testing.

cookbook collage

We jumped into July with forks in hand. Tomato recipes were tasteful and tempting.  Corn, in abundance, brought comfort to our tummies.  Blackberries had us beaming with their beauty.  And, peaches just pushed us over the edge with their juicy goodness.  What could be better?  Well…

Cookbook August cropped overhead shot

In August we anguished over the okra. Which do we like best?  Fried, roasted, simmered, stewed or even finessed into little muffins?   And, oh how the squash recipes raised our spirits.  Shaved into salads, grated for quiche, pureed into soup, carpaccio and casseroles to consider.  How will we decide?

September, October and November we celebrated the harvest bounty. Sweet potatoes to savor, pumpkin recipes to ponder, an over-the-top apple recipe, a unique and very elegant pear presentation that left us swooning while Meyer lemon pie made us pucker with pride.

Creamy Southwestern Pumpkin Soup

Creamy Southwestern Pumpkin Soup

Our journey has been filled with flavor, fun and friendly evaluations. We’ve tasted, tested, eliminated some and accepted over 140 recipes.  Profound thanks to our faithful volunteers who have traveled with us.   The adventure continues to grow more exciting and we can’t wait to share our discoveries.

Until then, stay posted for more “flavorful news” from the cookbook committee and a special 2016 unveiling.

Take a peek at some “behind the scenes pics” courtesy of Ann and Starla!

Linda Alexander, Cookbook Chair

Peach Jalapeño Salsa Dog

Just in Time for Labor Day Weekend!

hot dog and peach jalapeno salsa

Ingredients:

2 large ripe peaches, quartered

1 jalapeño pepper, cut in half and seeded

1 lime, juiced

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 pinch kosher salt

1 package Hebrew National hot dogs

1 package potato hot dog buns

Directions:

  1. In a high speed blender or a food processor add peach quarters, jalapeño pepper, lime juice, cilantro and salt.
  2. Puree quickly (less than 30 seconds) to create a chunky salsa puree. Set aside while hot dogs cook.
  3. Grill or boil hot dogs, add to a bun and top with salsa.

Linda

 

Goodbye Summer and Recipes

We’ve tested and tasted, savored and enjoyed but now it’s time to say farewell.  Our memories have been sweetened with the most delightful flavors of summer; juicy, plump blackberries, tantalizing tomatoes and the star of the show – those luscious, versatile peaches (many would agree, perhaps, summer’s finest fruit).  Yes, we would take them through every season if nature allowed.  But, we must let go and only dream about the spring and summer yet to come.

From the Raincatcher’s Garden: We wish you and your family a restful, and pleasure filled Labor Day weekend.  Join us on our seasonal garden journey by subscribing to Dallas Garden Buzz.

blackberries in carton

 

Blackberry Brie Bites

Ingredients:

1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls (Pillsbury 8 oz.)

1 round Brie Cheese (8 oz.)

¼ cup blackberry jelly (Smuckers Spreadable Fruit)

24 fresh blackberries

24 large toothpicks, optional

Directions:

  1. Separate the crescent rolls into 4 rectangles. Press the seams together and cut into

6 even squares. Press into 24 mini muffin tins.

  1. Cut the rind off the Brie cheese. Cut into 24 small squares. Place on square into each crescent lined tin. Spoon a small amount of blackberry jelly on top of each cheese square. Fold the tips of the crescent rolls over, if desired. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with a fresh blackberry on a toothpick. Serve immediately.

Yield: Makes 24 crescent cups.

 

Tomatoes for recipe

Gorgonzola-Tomato Salad

Ingredients:

Gorgonzola Tomatoes4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese

¼ cup minced fresh parsley

3 tablespoon minced shallot

2 tablespoons minced fresh basil

6 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced

⅓ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Freeze cheese 30 minutes or until firm. Grate cheese into a small bowl; add parsley shallot, and basil, stirring gently to combine. Arrange tomato slices on a large serving platter. Sprinkle cheese mixture over tomato slices.
  2. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste, beating well with a wire whisk. Drizzle dressing mixture over salad.

Yield: 6 servings

Linda

Peach recipe tomorrow!

 

Linda’s Pond

I found a little oasis last week even though the temperature was 97 degrees.  My friend and Master Gardener, Linda, has a beautiful little pond outside her kitchen doors.

Linda's Pond

Linda’s Pond

Funny thing, this is a garden of greens relying on shape and texture rather than the usual riotous August blooming flowers. Note: no periwinkles!

Linda's Japenese Maple at the Pone

The garden is built of Holly Fern, Japanese Maple, Liriope,  Crinum, small fig ivy and the rounded leaves of Leopard Plant. Linda’s Leopard Plant, Farfugium japonicum ‘Giganteum’, thrives next to the water.

Cookbook August 1 2015 077

Koi darted about. What originally drew me outside was seeing one of the Koi leap into the air.

Koi at Linda's

Linda told me a story of a Koi who jumped out of the pond and landed at the foot of a snail.

Linda's pond snail

Luckily she was there and scooped him up and back into the pond. My only question was why would anyone leave this little oasis?

Ann

Pictures by Ann

Other plants along Linda’s pond: Yaupon Holly and Little Gem Magnolia for background color, Star Jasmine on the fence, Hostas, and ‘White by the Gate’ Camellia in the beds and of course a few herbs: pineapple sage, lemon verbena and basil.

More Recipes from Farwell to the Field Luncheon

 

From Cranberry Spice Chutney to Pumpkin Cheesecake with Cinnamon Flavored Whipped Cream our “garden inspired’ menu was filled with the flavors of fall. It truly was a time to express gratitude for our new home as we celebrated with our most supportive Master Gardener friends.

Farewell-volunteers

We have loved our garden on Joe Field Road but  are ready to begin anew with exciting plans in a large field on the property of Midway Hills Christian Church.  We bring with us experience and as you can see from the smiles on our faces; we bring a camaraderie or esprit de corps that will enable us to plant the 100’s of  plants and lay miles of drip irrigation in the coming year.

Remember us as you plan your Thanksgiving celebrations!

Farewell salad

Bibb Lettuce Salad with Raspberry Maple Dressing

Ingredients:

5 heads Bibb lettuce, torn into pieces

2 small purple onions, thinly sliced and separated into rings

2 cups (8 ounces) crumbled blue cheese or feta cheese

½ cup toasted pine nuts or sunflower seeds

⅔ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup raspberry vinegar

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Arrange the lettuce and onion on 12 salad plates. Sprinkle evenly with the blue cheese and pine nuts.
  2. Combine the oil, vinegar and maple syrup in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake until well mixed. Drizzle the desired amount over the salads.

Yield: 12 servings

Farewell-cranberry chutney

Cranberry Chutney

Serve leftovers atop cream cheese as an appetizer, or spread on warm biscuits at breakfast.

Ingredients:

1 cup chopped Granny Smith apple

1 medium onion, chopped

¾ cup chopped celery

1 cup raisins (golden)

1 cup sugar

1 cup white vinegar

¾ cup water

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1 (12-ounce) package fresh or frozen cranberries

Directions:

  1. Bring all ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  2. Serve alongside turkey, chicken, roast, or ham. Store covered in refrigerator.

Yield: 4 cups.

Farewell-veggies

Roasted Vegetables with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

For the Roasted Vegetables

1 large head regular cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into small florets

1 pound baby Romanesco cauliflower, or regular, cut into small florets

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch wedges

1 pound brussels sprouts, halved

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Vinaigrette

½ cup pomegranate juice

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup pomegranate seeds

Directions:

  1. Roast the vegetables: Preheat oven to 425⁰. Toss together vegetables and oil in a large bowl, and season with salt and pepper.  Spread vegetables evenly on 2 rimmed baking sheets, and roast until golden, mixing halfway through, about 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette: Transfer pomegranate juice to a bowl. Pour in oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until emulsified.  Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Just before serving, drizzle vinaigrette over warm vegetables, and toss with pomegranate seeds.

Yield: Serves 12.

Sweet Potato Crescent Rolls and Sour Cream Yeast Rolls

Sweet Potato Crescent Rolls and Sour Cream Yeast Rolls

Sweet Potato Crescent Rolls

 An “unnamed” family member said she once ate 10 of these dreamy little “puffs” of goodness. We’ll never tell!

Ingredients:

2 packages dry yeast

1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)

1 cup cooked mashed sweet potato

½ cup shortening

½ cup sugar

1 egg

1 ½ teaspoons salt

5 ¼ to 5 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup butter, softened

Directions:

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large mixing bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Add sweet potato, shortening, sugar, egg, and salt; beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until thoroughly blended. Gradually stir in enough flour to make a soft dough.

 

  1. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes). Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

 

  1. Punch dough down, and divide into 3 equal parts. Roll each into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface; spread each circle with 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon butter. Cut each circle into 12 wedges; roll up each wedge, beginning at wide end. Place on lightly greased baking sheets, point side down, curving slightly to form a crescent.

 

  1. Cover crescent rolls and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 30 to 45 minutes or until rolls are doubled in bulk. Bake at 400 degrees 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown.

Yield: 3 dozen

Sour Cream Yeast Rolls

Ingredients:

½ cup sour cream

¼ cup butter

¼ cup sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 (¼-ounce) envelope active dry yeast

¼ cup warm water (100° to 110°)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 cups all-purpose flour

Melted butter

Directions:

  1. Cook first 4 ingredients in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until butter melts. Cool sour cream mixture to 100° to 110°.
  2. Dissolve yeast in ¼ cup warm water in a large mixing bowl; let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in sour cream mixture and egg. Gradually add flour to yeast mixture, mixing well.

(Dough will be wet.) Cover and chill 8 hours.

  1. Punch dough down. Shape into 36 (1-inch) balls; place 3 balls in each lightly greased muffin cup. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
  2. Bake at 375° for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Brush rolls with melted butter. Freeze up to 1 month, if desired. To reheat, wrap frozen rolls in aluminum foil, and bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Yield: 1 dozen.

Farewell pumkin cheesecake

 Pumpkin Cheesecake

This recipe from “The Peach Tree” Tea Room in Fredericksburg, Texas was published in the March 1989 issue of Gourmet Magazine. It is worthy of the honor. 

 Ingredients:

Crust:

1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs

½ cup finely chopped pecans

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pat mixture firmly into bottom only of a buttered 9” to 10” springform pan. Bake 15 minutes in a pre-heated 325 degree oven. Remove from oven and set aside.  Reduce oven to 300 degrees.

Filling:

¾ cup granulated sugar

1 cup canned pumpkin

3 eggs

1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon salt

24 ounces cream cheese, softened

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons evaporated milk or whipping cream

½ teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Mix ¼ cup sugar, pumpkin, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and 6 tablespoons sugar until smooth.
  3. Add cornstarch, evaporated milk, and vanilla, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add pumpkin mixture to cream cheese mixture. Mix until no traces of white remain.
  5. Pour filling mixture into prepared springform pan, and bake 1 hour at 300 degrees until sides have risen. The center will be soft.
  6. Turn off oven and let cake cool with door closed for several hours or overnight. Refrigerate cheesecake. May be served with whipped cream, a dusting of cinnamon, sugar, and a few small pieces of toffee candy, if desired.  Also would be good topped with praline sauce.

 

Yield: 14 to 16 Servings

Farewell cranberry crisp

Cranberry Pear Crisp

Ingredients:

3 very ripe pears, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks

1 cup whole cranberries

¼ cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons lemon juice

½ cup oatmeal

¼ cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon flour

1 tablespoon butter

½ cup Enlightened Crème Fraiche

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the pears, cranberries, maple syrup, and lemon juice and toss. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, combine the oatmeal, brown sugar, and flour. Cut in the butter until the consistency resembles coarse crumbs and the dough just barely holds together. Spoon the cranberry mixture into an 8 x 8-inch baking dish and spoon the dry mixture over it.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes or until the topping is brown and crisp. Reduce the heat to 350°

and bake for 20 to 25 minutes more, or until the fruit is bubbling. Serve with Enlightened Crème Fraiche.

Yield: Serves 4

Linda

Pictures by Starla

Farewell to the Field Fall Luncheon, We are Moving in November!

Farewell to the Field Fall Luncheon Reservations

Come bid the Joe Field Road Earth-Kind® WaterWise Demonstration Garden a fond good-bye at “Farewell to the Field,” 11 a.m., Tuesday, November 4th.  Your $35 reservation will treat you to our most fabulous fall luncheon yet and a last stroll of the Joe Field location. All proceeds from the luncheon go to help in relocating the garden.

As always, photos and recipes will be posted after the event  on our blog. You might come away inspired to make some delicious additions to your own Thanksgiving menu.

Your check is your reservation.  Sorry, no refunds.  For more information, please contact dallasgardenbuzz@gmail.com or reply in our comment section to find out where to send your check.

Proceeds will be used to help with relocation expenses

Menu

Welcome wassail bowl

Baked Brie with Cranberry Sauce and Walnuts

Swiss chard Turnovers

Smoked turkey breast with cranberry spice chutney

Roasted Vegetables with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Bibb lettuce salad tossed with raspberry maple dressing

Sweet potato crescent rolls & sour cream yeast rolls

Cranberry pear crisp with flavored cream or  Pumpkin cheesecake topped with cinnamon whipped cream

Sparkling water, orange infused iced tea, Texas pecan coffee

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