Unheralded

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — My Tomato Herb Phyllo Tart

I love to cook and I love to share food with family and friends. I’ve been cooking on my own for a crowd since I was 10 years old. The other night, I made this dish, which makes my husband very happy. Many friends requested the recipe. Here it is, a first for WildDakotaWoman. Tomato and Herb Phyllo Tart 7 …


Unheralded

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Beef And Cabbage Skillet

Skillet meals are a quick and easy way to cook fresh garden vegetables, especially tomatoes, carrots, onions and cabbage. Add a little meat to the mix, and you have a well-balanced dish that is full of vitamins, fiber and protein. The following recipe took only about a half an hour to prepare, which gave me plenty of time to work …


CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Chicken Gumbo Soup

Okra isn’t a vegetable kids who grew up in northern Minnesota would hear much about in their formative years. In fact, many of them probably never had an inkling about the flowering plant in the mallow family. I can attest to that. My first exposure to the plant known in many English-speaking countries as ladies’ fingers or ochro was probably in the …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Mama And Michael’s Meat Sauce

When it comes to meat sauces for pasta, just about everyone has their favorite. Spaghetti lovers generally prefer a sauce that contains ground beef and Italian sausage. Some people even like to add ribs to the mix. Ragu is also a popular choice, both the Bolognese (finely chopped ground beef, veal or pork) or Neapolitan (chunky beef or pork taken …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Bell Pepper And Mushroom Marinara

Marinara sauce can be thick and chunky or smooth and silky. Either way suits me, but if I had my druthers, the former rather than the latter would be my preference. Hardly any two of my marinara sauces are the same. But assuredly, they all contain tomatoes, garlic, some fresh basil, onion and seasoning. And they can be used on anything from …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Rotelle With Mushroom Tomato Sauce

Most people think of a meat sauce when considering dishes such as spaghetti, lasagna, ravioli or Alfredo. A good sauce can make or break a pasta entree. But sauces without meat can be just as tasty and often are more heart-healthy. I’ll be the first to admit that a ground beef/Italian sausage tomato/marinara sauce is hard to beat when it comes …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Baked Cod With Tomatoes and Olives

Lent is just around the corner, so that mean’s there will likely be a fish fry or two on tap in your neighborhood, not to mention Friday fish specials on many a restaurant menu. Walleye is the fish of choice at a lot of frys in my neck of the woods, although Alaskan pollock is a good substitute, especially if …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Cabbage And Ring Bologna Bake

Some say that Plato was the one who came up with the well-known and often-used proverb that states necessity is the mother of invention. That’s a distinct possibility, but I’m not so sure it wasn’t an imaginative cook who coined that phrase. The reason I say that is that some of my favorite recipes are ones that were invented because …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Fresh Tomato Salsa

The summer of 2018 will be remembered by many gardeners as the year of the tomato. Despite a dry spell the last three weeks of August, it’s been a banner season for those ruby-red orbs of sweetness. My garden was no exception. I’ve been inundated with tomatoes since mid-July. It’s partly my own fault. After a 2017 in which my …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Vegetable And Sausage Skillet

Garden production can vary greatly from year to year. Just ask any gardener. One year, a person might have tremendous crop of a certain vegetable and a dismal one of another. And the next season, the tables can turn and abundance can become a smattering and a pittance a carload. Fortunately in our 2018 garden, we don’t have any vegetables …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Red Oak House Garden Notes No. 38

That Champion Red Oak tree drops a massive quantity of leaves and I’ve just spent much of the last week picking these up, schlepping each garbage can load to the compost pile. Phase two of spring gardening also included cutting back the few perennials I did not trim last fall and transplanting those I’d noted in need of a different …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Red Oak House Garden Notes No. 37

Saturday I planted the zinnia seeds, pushing each tiny seed into a peat pellet. The seedlings had already begun to emerge Monday, and I can almost watch ’em grow. In the dining room, Jim’s tomatoes are thriving. He says these are the best he’s ever had. Outside there is almost a foot of new snow and a big dump in …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Red Oak House Garden Notes No. 35

March 15 is “plant the tiny tomato seeds” day at Red Oak House. When I wandered into the kitchen this morning, Jim asked me, with great delight in his voice, if I knew what the significance of this day was. I had not yet had coffee and was stumped (I’ll admit that I didn’t try very hard). This project is …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Thoughts Of Spring, Tomatoes And Peppers On A Cold Winter Day

Note: I am reprinting (reposting?) below a story I first ran three years ago this week. It’s about tomatoes. I was thinking about it because today I am preparing my basement “greenhouse” for spring. I’m getting ready to plant peppers, which need to be started indoors really early because they take a long time to ripen on the bush. We …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Susie’s Jambalaya

There are a lot of jambalaya recipes floating around the internet. Just how many of them are authentic is anybody’s guess. The way I figure it, for a jambalaya recipe to be the real deal, it must be from someone with ties to Louisiana. The one I’m going to share with you today is just that. It comes from an old …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Thousands Of Tomatoes

Well, on Thursday I said it to Jim. That statement that comes around every year: “I don’t want to see another tomato again for quite awhile.” By this point, we’ve converted thousands of tomatoes (Jim says over 1,700, plus my sister gave us some of hers) into salsa, juice, marinara — and Thursday, I canned 14 quarts of tomato basil …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Red Oak House Marinara

On Wednesday, I commandeered the canner from Jim so that I could make the season’s first batch of marinara at Red Oak House. He grows a variety of tomatoes, including paste type, starting these from seed in the basement in the early spring. As I’ve previously written, he has harvested more than a thousand tomatoes and cans many jars of …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Rain At Red Oak House

Over an inch of rain in the gauge when we returned from Colorado and some showers this week reminded us that it still “can” rain in this country, and for this we give thanks. I spent Saturday afternoon sitting on the patio, nursing my knee injury and reading a book that I’m reviewing but eventually retreated to the house to listen …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Annual BLT Party

Here at Red Oak House, we’ve established a tradition, an annual mid-August BLT party with our good friends Bob and Jodi and Larry and Charlotte.  Some years Clay attends if he is in town. We cook up the bacon from Crow Butte Mercantile and slice up a bunch of our home-grown tomatoes. We were pleased today because, usually, our garden …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Glen Campbell And Other Musings

When I was a little girl, Glen Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman” was a big hit on AM radio. Somehow, because my father had been a lineman in Mississippi in the time period after World War II  I got confused and for a little while and was pretty sure he and Glen Campbell were one and the same person. I eventually got …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — The Rhythms Of Life: Family And Garden

“… all that we behold Is full of blessings” —  William Wordsworth I spent some of the morning with my nonagenarian father, who teaches me each day about dignity and stoicism. When out in public, he almost always wears a hat, and these hats tell about his life. I think the fact that he was in the U.S. Army Security …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Gratitude, Rachel And Harvest

Sunday morning I was listening to the “Ted Radio Hour” on Prairie Public Radio. The subject of the interview was talking about physics and the universe, and he said, “We should be grateful for what we know and humbled by what we don’t know.”  Amen, say I. I have so much to be grateful for in my life. This weekend, I …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Red Oak House Garden Notes No. 24

Three-quarter of an inch of rain in a wondrous thunderstorm this morning (Wednesday) started the day off right here at Red Oak House. For the second day in a row, it will be cool enough for us to leave the windows open all day. Vegetable harvest has begun in earnest and Jim has frozen many bags already. Last night, we had …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Chicken With Tomatoes

Undoubtedly, many gardeners who grow tomatoes have more than they can handle — unless they do some canning. Even those who put up whole tomatoes, tomato juice, salsa or the like might have their hands full if they were overzealous and plotted too many plants, especially this summer in which there have been ideal growing conditions for those who have …

DARREL KOEHLER: The Prairie Gardener — Tomatoes And Blight

Despite the prediction this summer would be hot and dry, the opposite was the case, which didn’t bode well for some gardeners who raise tomatoes. Early summer rains coupled with damp, cloudy weather conditions severely damaged this season’s crop. If your tomatoes were in a dry spot with lots of sunshine, you probably fared better. According to the Minnesota Extension Service, …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — BLT Time

Home-grown tomatoes are nothing like those that can be purchased in grocery stores or supermarkets. That might be an understatement. In fact, in the opinion of many gardeners, there probably isn’t any food better than the first tomato of summer. I just sampled my first of the season — with just a dab of salt — from our garden today. It …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Eggplant and Zucchini Gratin

The summer of 2015 is going to be one to remember for gardeners and grillers alike. Abundant rain and sunshine have resulted in bumper crops for a lot of people in the Northland, many of whom are fond of cooking outdoors. While many associate grilling mainly with meat, there’s a growing number of food aficionados who know that the veggies …

DARREL KOEHLER: The Prairie Gardener — Growing Tomatoes

Nothing says summer better than tomatoes. Those orbs of summer are what get us through the cold and snow of a long Minnesota winter. Growing tomatoes is not difficult. You can either begin with started plants from a nursery or you can grow you own using milk cartons, peat pots or other kinds of containers and, of course, a sunny …