Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Summer Cooking

In the summer, when it is hot, I do a lot of salads for dinner.  And with my garden in full swing now, I try to use what I am harvesting that day.  Since the cabbage is looking so ready, I decided to make a Chinese Chicken Salad. 
I had just picked up a rotisserie chicken at Sam's.  I had everything I needed except the Ramen noodles that I had to run out buy.  I had brought in a pretty good harvest yesterday, and in addition to the cabbage and cilantro, green onions, and sweet peas for the salad, I put together a little produce package to send home with Erika.
My friend Thea asked me if I had tried making any of the stuffed zucchini blossoms yet.  I have not, but have been wanting to.  I think they are so pretty when they are open in the morning. 
Today, since I had more cabbage to use, I decided to cook a pork tenderloin, and make a slaw for the pulled pork sandwiches. 
I put the pork in the crock pot about 10:00 this morning.  In addition to the pork, I added a large onion  roughly chopped, three jalapeno peppers chopped, seeds and all, about 6 cloves of garlic, chopped, salt and pepper, cumin, about 1/4 cup, or so of brown sugar, and one can Pepsi.
Turn crock pot to high, put lid on, and cook for several hours.  At about 4:00, I added one jar of BBQ sauce, and put lid back on until 6:00.  I then shredded the pork with two forks, and reduced heat to low.
Meanwhile, I shredded another smaller head of cabbage, and added it to a mixture of rice vinegar, soy sauce, teriyaki, and a wee bit of sesame oil.
Toss the cabbage in the sauce to coat well.   I let it sit in the mixture for a little while.  Oh, I added a handful of sesame seeds too.
I served it on toasted hamburger buns. 
TO DIE FOR delicious!  I ate alone tonight, because Greg had a double header.  But I packed him up a pulled pork sandwich with the slaw on the side so it won't get soggy, and a nice salty dill pickle.
Tonight when I was watering the garden and seeing what I could harvest, I filled a big bucket of fresh produce.
Cabbage, broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, sweet peas, cucumbers, jalapeno peppers, and lots and lots of tomatoes!
Here it is all washed, and packaged to put in the fridge to use and share this week.
After trimming up the cabbage, I have all of these huge leaves left.  They will go to feed to the chickens.
You can see that there has been some munching on the leaves.  Probably by grasshoppers.  Those outer leaves peel away, and the cabbage inside is completely untouched.  I will put these leaves in the outside fridge to give to the girls later.  The rest of the pieces go into my compost crock that I will add to the compost bin in the garden when the crock is full.

Nothing goes to waste.  What is not consumed by us, the chickens get.  The rest goes into the composting bin, and back to the earth after the process is complete. 
What are you cooking this week?  Summer salads?   Do you garden?  Do you go to Farmer's Market and cook with fresh produce?  Cooking what is in season is the best! 
Oh, and one more thing.  I was in Sam's the other day, and ran into a friend.  She had several bags of this stuff in her cart.  She said it was soooo good!  I didn't buy any that day, but saw it at Sprouts the following day and bought a bag.  Greg and I were nuts about it! 
We are big popcorn lovers here.  Greg makes it for us with his whirly popper all the time.  I kid you not, this tastes just like freshly popped corn!!
But buy it in the big bags at Sam's.  Much cheaper.  This will be a staple in our house!!!!
We are mid week!  I am looking forward to the weekend.  How about you?
XO  Kris


From the Kitchen said...

I am so jealous!! The only food I can harvest is herbs but the farmer's market is here on Saturdays. So far, not much available but in a few weeks, tomatoes!!

I am looking forward to the weekend. Hope your's is good.


priscilla said...

OMG... I am J-e-a-l-o-u-s :) Such great vegtables from your garden !
I think I need to plant some yellow squash .. those look so good !

Jeanna said...

Everything just looks delicious! I've never had much time nor luck with growing fresh veges in south FL so we visit the Farmer's Market.

Hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Holly said...

You are quite the gardener. Wishing my garden was producing more right now. We need to come up with a shade screen for the tomatoes since it's been so hot here and they are starting to burn. We had pulled pork sandwiches last week. One of our favorites.

Debbie said...

Have never been much of a gardener myself, but! I am enjoying the fruits of my sons labor! Oh, and my youngest son's wife's father has a HUGE HUGE garden, and I get regular loads from him too. I love how people share...Enjoy your day Kris!

Sarah said...

The harvest from your garden is amazing! We're behind here in WI with a late start to our warm weather so until yesterday all I was able to harvest was herbs. Yesterday I finally got some lettuce out of my garden and made a salad for lunch! Our farmer's markets won't have a lot for another week or two either. Then it's game on over here! I've never planted cabbage, but love fresh slaw (po-boys, fish tacos, yum!), yours looks amazing! I'll have to add some to our garden next year.

NanaNor's said...

Hi Kris, Girl it is the morning and you've made me hungry already(smile).
I so miss Chinese Chicken Salad(because of the top ramen flavoring and noodles I can have it)but I may just try to make some without the gluten; somehow you need the crunchy noodles to give it that extra zing. Love all your produce!
I'm going by Sprouts today so will look for the popcorn. Have a great day.
Hugs, Noreen

by Teresa said...

You continue to amaze me with not only your incredible gardening skills, but your creative cooking you do! I would love to be your neighbor. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Betsy said...

This is a beautiful bounty of produce! I'm so jealous. I'm hungry just reading your blog. Have a lovely day.

Barbara F. said...

Wow, what gorgeous veggies, a true bounty! Everything looks so delicious, I especially want that Chinese chicken salad. xo

The Garden Bell - Kate said...

So you have found it out there. You know it's a Chicago thing. Skinny Pop is a staple here at our house. It's our big cheat. We even have popcorn holders that are right at 4 cups that we found at the Dollar Tree. Always a treat to see what's cooking at your house. Pepsi, really a can of Pepsi...well I never...but I'm sure it's tastie.

The Garden Bell - Kate said...

And by the way, we buy six bags at a time. Are we bad or what?????

Linda said...

Awesome pictures...
Awesome garden goodies...
Awesome pulled pork sandwiches...
What was Greg doing...Playing baseball??? Does he work at a ball park???

Have a great weekend...
My Greg and I are off to the cottage shortly...want to be there for around 4 o'clock...beers on the deck!!

Linda :o)

Astri said...

Yummy fresh! Thanks for giving me an idea of what to make for dinner tonight. :-)

Valerie Smith said...


Thank You for the compost recipe, the bags have been bought and I'm making compost tonight.

Your veggies are gorgeous. The slaw and sandwich looks delicious.


Cottage Making Mommy

Gloria Baker said...

I love always your summer cooking all these evggies and colours all look amazing Kris!!xo

Susanne said...

Don't you just love the spring and summer garden, so much good healthy eating and just knowing it is fresh and pesticide free is a comfort. We had cold weather right up until around the first of June. I am so slow to plant anything since the ground hogs have decided to dig up and destroy everything. I will have to get a load of top soil to fix everything back the way it should be. I can't get to first base because I'm still stuck on home plate...oh well, things could be worse and I'm grateful for the good things.
Your food all looks yummy, I agree, warmer weather is the best time for salads.
Susanne :)

Backyard Chicken Lady said...

I am GREEN with envy! You have so much beautiful veggies already...I can't wait to get enough for dinner!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I wish I could grow vegetables like you do, Kris, but they would have to be in a geen house because of all the wild animals around here that would eat them. I saw a big red tail hawk going after a nest full baby Robins the other morning --it made me sad, but I guess that is part of the food chain :(

I have been experimenting with perennial flowers to see what will grow and come back next year. It has been so dry here and the fire danger is very high --we need rain!

Your pulled pork and cabbage salad look fantastic!

Hanne said...

and Im really looking forward to the weekend, though it will be filled with schoolwork.....

Mereknits said...

You always amaze me with your gardening and cooking skills. You are so creative in the kitchen, everything you make looks so delicious. I am not a cook, my husband does 90% of the cooking at our house, I do the cleaning up after him, which I think takes more time than the actual cooking.
Hugs to you Kris.

Nicolle said...

You always give me so many good ideas in the kitchen. Love your food here, your fresh veggies from your it all. Same here, lots of salads, or cold cuts/appetizer plates for us in the summer. I rarely turn on the oven.
I MUST buy that popcorn as well.

Debbiedoo's said...

Oh my Kris, this sounds divine, looks even better. How nice to have fresh veggies like this.

45th Parallel Quilter said...

Kept thinking about the refried beans you made awhile ago so went back and prepared a pot this morning. OH MY GOODNESS!! They are SO delicious and SIMPLE!! My husband doesn't like refried beans when they are "mashed" so I've left the majority of them whole. We'll be having a bowl with grilled brats for dinner tonight. The addition of the jalapeno gave the dish personality; just remember to spice heavily because beans can be bland. Thanks for sharing ... this is a "new" one for my cookbook collection!

Linda said...

Your bucket of veggies looks awesome!! Everything you cook looks so delicious too...have a great weekend!!

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

What a delicious looking salad and what wonderful vegetables from your garden!!! I'm so happy to have found your blog and very happy to follow
Mary x
ps - I'm addicted to the Skinny Popcorn!

Val said...

Summer cooking at it's finest!!

Maryjane-The Beehive Cottage said...

You are such a great cook Kris! Thanks for all your wonderful recipes! Love you new little picture of yourself a couple post back!

Looks like you are having a wonderful summer!

Patty said...

Pulled pork sandwiches with cole slaw - doesn't get any better than that!