Thursday, September 4, 2014

In The Late Summer Kitchen

It all began with the onions.
One step into the pantry and it became clear that something was a little off.  Usually it's one of two things:  the onions or the potatoes.
On this day it was the onions.  Even though I had just purchased the bag and they all appeared to be fine when I looked them over at the grocery store, a few of them were starting to become soft... just soft enough to leave their less than desirable scent  in the pantry.

 Before things went from bad to worse, I decided to salvage what I could of the offenders.

Now I'll be ahead of the game.
Into the freezer with these.
How thankful I will be the next time I'm preparing soup or one of the many other recipes requiring chopped onions.

Once that was done I checked in on the garlic chives I had drying on the kitchen counter.
This was the first time I'd grown them and wasn't quite sure how to use them.  I watched a few YouTube videos to learn more.
I watched an Asian chef instruct me to snip them up with scissors and let them sit on the counter for a few days.  It worked beautifully.  It seems they are used extensively in Asian cooking and have been grown in China for thousands and thousands of years.  He suggested using them in soups throughout the winter.
I also watched a farmer pointing out how they grow and drop seeds in the garden, thus making new little plants.  The farmer suggested they are good anyplace you'd like a mild garlic taste.  He suggested using them fresh on top of pizza or in potato soup.  Mmmm... sounds good to me.
Do you use them?  If so, what is your favorite way to use them?

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Once the garlic chives were tucked into my spice drawer, it was on to dealing with the zucchini that needed to be used.  I wish I could tell you that it came from my garden.  I may be the only person who can't grow zucchini.  Tried twice. Failed twice.  Won't be trying it again.
I have found that the zucchini from the grocery store works just fine in my favorite summertime cake.

Into the oven.
The countdown begins.

By now I'm getting tired of being in the kitchen and everywhere I look is a mess waiting to be dealt with.
Yikes, I'm getting out of here.

 I'm escaping into the living (reading) room with my healthy summertime coffee drink.

My large and rather diverse selection of books awaits.
I'm thinking The Enchanted Barn by Grace Livingston Hill might be the one or maybe I'll just sip my coffee and gaze at Vintage Cottages.  Either way I'm not coming out til the timer goes off.



  1. So smart, Kim! You'll love it later when you can pull those out as needed. I've never used garlic chives but it sounds delicious. :)

    I sometimes freeze extras but don't usually do a quantity like that on purpose. Very smart.

  2. Yes, the kitchen gets so stirred up when we bake! The cake looks delicious!

  3. It's the same with me too - onions or potatoes. : ) Good idea to freeze those onions.
    I've used regular chives in soups but not the garlic chives.

  4. Great tips in this post. I use regular chives in a lot of things and have dried a jar full for the winter. Garlic chives would be wonderful, too.
    So which book did you decide on until the timer went off and you could enjoy your yummy cake?

  5. Kim, your kitchen looks so pretty! It must be such a joy to cook in. Yes, buying produce in bags can be risky business. They seem great, but there may be one that's turning and it doesn't take long for it to affect the others. Looks like you made a great save, though, and as you said, you have things prepared for soups and the like.

    I have never tried garlic chives. They sound wonderful! I usually trim my oregano plant, rinse off the leaves still on the stem, pat them with a paper towel, then leave them on the counter for some days to dry. They are great in scrambled eggs.

    Of course your CHOCOLATE zucchini cake got my attention. Anything chocolate! Well, not anything...I wouldn't go near chocolate covered insects.

    Have a restful evening,
    Marianne xo

  6. I LOVE The Enchanted Barn!!!
    Great tips with the garlic. I have to admit, that I only use dried onion because cutting onions make me weep no matter what.
    What is your coffee drink recipe?

    1. Carol,
      The Enchanted Barn was highly recommended to me. I just started it, but already can see that I will love it too.
      As for the recipe, it is called a Mocha Coconut Morning Smoothie. The recipe can be found here:


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