Sunday, April 22, 2012

Busy Bees

We've been busy in the Gariety household. In the last few weeks we've expanded the garden and tended to all the fruit trees (all the more to be canned this summer).




I've been trying to put together some flower arrangements with the flowers and greenery I've been growing. This morning the snapdragons, mint and ivy looked good to me.
I also whipped out these two bags using this tutorial as a guide. I LOVE this fabric, the orange reminds me of pumpkins (I admit it, I'm obsessed - I planted 4 different varietys in the garden this year).


We've also been diligent in our date nights. Mike has taken me on some fun ones. We went to a Ceres high basket ball game, out to yogurt and a science lecture where a man stood up and called a graph "scandalous!" At which point someone mentioned Obama and a shouting match ensued (Best Lecture EVER!) we've also gone to a baseball game and out to dinner with friends. Date night is a special night whatever we end up doing. Sometimes it is just rootbeer floats and Monk reruns - always a crowd pleaser!

Fried Pickles, Ghetto Bread and Other Yummy Bites

We had a lot of wonderful experiences this last summer in Indiana. We visited different states and historical sites...
Played on the beach at Lake Michigan, met some amazing people and fell iN lOvE with Fried Pickles!!
That's right. I heart Fried Pickles :)

Which has led to us trying to reproduce those tasty little treats at home. Not so tough a task. The rough part is finding a recipe to rival those served at The Stacked Pickle in Carmel, IN. After lots of test batches and taste tests, here is our favorite recipe for fried pickles. They are addictive :)

Fried Pickles:
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1  jar dill pickle slices
  • 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1  cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp dill
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  •   Oil for frying
  •  
  • Sour Cream
  • 1 pkg dry Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning

Directions

  1.  In a bowl, combine buttermilk and egg. Place pickles in mixture and set aside.
  2. In large ziploc bag, pour the flour, breadcrumbs, seasonings; shake to mix well. Add half the pickles  and tumble gently to coat evenly with the flour mixture.
  3. Heat oil to 365 degrees F (180 degrees C) in deep-fryer or heavy deep cast iron dutch oven.
  4. Fry pickles in several batches until golden brown and slightly crisp on the outside with a moist interior, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
  5. In a small bowl, combine buttermilk ranch pkg with 1 C sour cream. Serve as a dipping sauce for warm pickles.

At Michael's urging I whipped up a batch of rice crispie treats with leftover cheerios and Colosal Berry Crunch today. Super Yummy!




We have also been enjoying (a little to often) this Ghetto Bread. I was watching the food network and Coolio (ya know, the rapper. Word!) was making this bread. It is scrumdidlyumptious!

Ghetto Bread

1 loaf french bread, sliced in half
3 heaping TBS (use a large eating spoon) of Mayo
1 tsp minced garlic
3 TBS room temp butter
1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 -1/2 C french fried onions

Mix all together and spread on bread. Bake at 400 until bread is bubbly and edges begin to brown. I'm telling you, Mike said we should call this stuff "Crack Bread" it is so good. Just go out for a long run after you eat it. :)



Last but never least, I made this salad the other night. Michael doesn't like cooked veggies and I feel like a bunny just nibbling at piles of greens with dinner. It was a hit. Simple and o-so-fresh.

Snap Pea Salad

1 lb snap peas, par boiled and cooled in ice water
1 english cucumber, sliced
1 tomato cut into small wedges
1 small red onion, cut into thin slices
Salt
Rice Vinegar (just a splash or two to add flavor)

Mix it all up and eat it up with some Ghetto Bread!