Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Homemade Homegrown

This is the time of the year that cooking becomes even more enjoyable for me. This is because I get to use so many fresh and local ingredients. And when I say local, I mean local. Not the farmer's markets (even though they are wonderful), I'm referring to my parents property and my back yard. Visiting the markets is awesome but I get way more pleasure from harvesting and using something that I have planted or tended to.

I also get a lot of satisfaction in making homemade food. It is really a stress reliever for me. The other day I was just stressed and irritable at work for no good reason. I thankfully was able to sneak out a little early and I went straight for my fridge that was stocked full of ingredients from my last visit to the parents. I thought I would highlight a few dishes I made that night that helped me unwind and feel like I had accomplished something. I'm not going to include recipes but if I get enough requests I will share them later.
Our deck that my husband and I designed and built. This is where most of our summer meals are eaten including the one below. I have also snuck herbs in all my pots. :)


I have become a total pizza snob since living in Rome. I really don't even enjoy American style pizza anymore. There are a few places around that make good Italian style pizza but these pizza's below even rival them. All I'm missing is a wood fire oven.

Spicy Italian turkey sausage, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, ricotta, and mozzarella make up this pizza. I have been using the refrigerator dough from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day. This was the light wheat and the pizza below used the French Boule dough.

This pizza featured fresh mozzarella, sundried tomatoes, prosciutto and basil from my herb pot on my deck.

Dolmathakia me Kima: Stuffed Grape Leaves With Meat & Rice

I have eaten these a few times at Greek restaurants but never have made them. I was picking blueberries that are located right next to our large grape pergola, when my mom told me I should take some of the leaves home and make Dolmas. That is just what I did. The grape leaves, beef, and the eggs used for the avgolemono all came from the Lowber farm.

Rainer Cherry Crumble

The star of this crumble in the Rainer Cherry. My parents have this one tree that looks very sad but boy does it produce the cherries! The cherries are so sweet that I did not add any sugar to the fruit. I made the crumble topping using whole wheat pastry flour, oats, walnuts, a little butter, raw sugar and yogurt.

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