Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What's Growing in December in Tennessee!

It has been a dreary December.  I can count the number of sunny days on one hand.  My back yard is one giant puddle from all the rain.  So on this beautiful, sunny winter day (December 30th) I took a stroll around suburbia (basically my yard) to see what is still growing!


Creeping Charlie

Chickweed, a favorite wild edible!

Dandelion Greens

Garlic that is growing from Elephant Garlic that I got at Kroger in the ugly vegetable sale section.  I am so excited that it is taking off!


Lemon Balm

Wild mint that I transplanted from the Canadian border.  This stuff survives when nothing else does!




Sorrel, one of my favorite greens!

Strawberry Leaves


Wild Garlic with several other wild edibles surrounding it.  Can you guess what they are?

Wild Garlic

There is an abundance of green still growing if you look closely!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Chocolate Pumpkin Bread!

Here is another great recipe to use your shredded carving pumpkins! It is amazing and moist!

Chocolate Pumpkin Bread


2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate (OR 2 tbsp of cocoa & 2 tbsp of butter)
3 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups grated pumpkin (if frozen, bring to room temp)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips (about half an average bag)
1-2 teaspoons white sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate until melted OR melt butter and stir in powdered chocolate. Stir until chocolate is smooth.

In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil, grated pumpkin, vanilla and chocolate; beat well. Stir in the
flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared loaf pans.

Sprinkle sugar and chocolate chips on the top before baking (optional).

Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a loaf comes out clean.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Juniper and Garlic Potatoes

Juniper berries are common here in Middle Tennessee.  They are often used in game and pork dishes, as well as many German and Danish dishes.  Juniper is what gives Gin it's flavor.  This is a great side dish and smells wonderful cooking!

Juniper and Garlic Potatoes


3 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves minced
1 tablespoon juniper berries fresh or dried, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
4-5 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced thin


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Arrange sliced potatoes in baking dish, overlapping for nice effect.  Depending on pan, you may have two layers.

Mix olive oil, garlic, juniper and salt in a separate bowl. Spread over potatoes. An easy way to crush the juniper is to put them in a plastic bag and roll over with a rolling pin.

Bake for 45-60 minutes until desired browning on the top.

Great served with pork chops!