About uaskigyrl

Urban gardener, amateur cook, lover of life suffering from a severe case of wonderlust.

Cherry Blossom Hydrosol

Once a year I get the pleasure of looking out my master bedroom doors to my cherry blossom tree.

Literally the largest tree on the block

Not only is it the largest tree on the block but it’s the earliest blooming cherry blossom tree (since my back patio is surrounded by concrete it’s abnormally warm for the area).

I love this tree so much. Not only does it create shade & greenery to my Urban landscape but it gifts me with beautiful pink flowers every year.

This year I did something I always wanted to do: I made a preservative with the cherry blossoms. I went out back & gathered as many cherry blossoms from standing height as possible…& I was pretty proud of myself too! It took all evening!

It took a long time to gather this cute little pile!

When I asked my herbalism group what I should do with the cherry blossoms the overwhelming majority said I should make a cherry blossom hydrosol…

Well… Sh*t…

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Building My Urban Bird Garden

Good Morning!

Every morning while drinking my coffee I like to gaze out into my garden & watch the city birds. I never thought that I would enjoy bird watching but I’ve always liked to listen to their chirps so watching them was a natural progression.

Red Wing Blackbird. First time I ever saw him.

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I’M BAAAAAAACK!

It’s been a long time!  Long time no see!

I’m back to blog AND  I got my domain name back!  I’ve been kicking around the idea to bring back the blog for awhile now but my domain name was taken for the past year.  Today, on a whim, I decided to check again AND IT WAS AVAILABLE!

Unfortunately, I lost about 50% of my posts when I didn’t renew my hosting way back when and I’m working on trying to collect those posts from internet archival sites.  Also, when I imported my blogger posts to WordPress for some reason i lost all my photos but I do have them somewhere so I may go back to my external harddrive and pull them up again.  We shall see.

The important thing is I’m back and ready to get to writing!

 

White Chocolate Covered Krispie Treats

Rice Krispy Treats…

I haven’t made rice krispy treats in years.  It was for Thanksgiving five years ago and they were Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispies.  They were delicious but I haven’t made krispies since.

Yesterday was Rico Suave’s sister’s birthday and I wanted to bake her something special but we didn’t have a whole lot of time at the beginning of this week to do anything too intricate.  I immediately thought of krispies.  I wanted to make the krispies special to her and her personality since it was her birthday gift.

image

3 Ingredients. Easy Peasy

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New Blog Host

Dear Readers…ok, I know you’re all really just friends & family at the moment,

I have set up The Kitchen Coven on a new blog host.  Google had somehow tagged me as “inappropriate” and therefore were not spidering my posts.   This meant that unless someone knew exactly what to write in a search bar, they were not being directed to my website.  Because of this, I have decided to set up The Kitchen Coven with WordPress.org though DreamHost.com.  I was able to successfully transfer all my old blogs, future scheduled blogs, and comments to the new host.  This also means that I now own the domain name The Kitchen Coven (YAY) and it is an official “website” www.thekitchencoven.com (YAY)!

What does this mean for you?  Well it doesn’t really mean anything unless you signed up to get subscription emails.  If you signed up for subscription emails, you will have to resign up at www.thekitchencoven.com.  That is it!

I hope to continue our love affair for non-corporate food on a much freer and friendlier forum!

Bar Top: Coco Rico Mojito

I was at the local ethnic food market and came across this:

Coco Rico is a coconut soda from Puerto Rico.  Now, I don’t drink soda but I was extremely intrigued.  I grabbed it and bought it.  I immediately though of rum.  I knew that this soda would go great with some rum.


I brought it home and opened a can to taste it.  It is *very* sweet. Yes, the soda is made with high fructose corn syrup; yes, it has even more sugar, however I do not drink soda everyday and indulging in something different once in a blue moon is not a bad thing.  Even though the soda is very sweet the coconut flavor was there and it was very delicate.  I knew that it would go great in a mixed drink.  A mojito to be exact.

A traditional mojito is made by muddling mint, lime, and sugar together until the lime extracts it’s juice.  Add 2oz of white rum, add ice and top it off with sparkling water. 

Mmmmm, lime and mint!

Since the Coco Rico was so sweet, I decided to forgo the sugar. I muddled a few mint leaves with half a thinly sliced lime, added 2 oz white rum, added ice, and topped off with Coco Rico. The drinks were absolutely delicious!

The Nutless Wonder wants some!

Enjoy your Coco Rico Mojito on the porch!  Be sure to wear your hat!

Coco Rico Mojito

Yield:  1 cocktail

Half lime, thinly sliced
4-5 mint leaves, torn
2 oz white rum
Coco Rico

  1. In a small collins glass, muddle lime with mint until the lime extracts all it’s juice.  Add ice and rum.  Top off with Coco Rico.  Pour the drink from the collins glass into another glass.  Pour from one glass to another to mix the drink well. 
  2. Serve in small collins glass.

Orange Marinated Red Pepper

I love bell peppers but I can’t eat them raw so I don’t buy them often because of that.  Which is a shame, really, because bell peppers add a lot of flavor to salads and can be a great snack.

I read Marc Matsumoto’s blog “No Recipes” (and you should too!  His recipes are amazing!) and one day I received a post about “Grapefruit Pickled Peppers” and was very intrigued.  I read through the recipe and I had to try the method immediately.  This method makes a very crisp, marinated pepper that you can eat right out of the jar.  Marinating the peppers in a citrus juice “cooks” the peppers as the acid will break down the fibers a little bit. I have been eating these peppers almost everyday in an afternoon snack salad.  I hesitate to call these peppers “pickles” because technically they are not pickles, so I call them “marinated” peppers.

In Marc’s recipe, he uses grapefruit juice but I had some orange juice from making the Carne Asada, so I stuck to his method but used orange juice instead.  I also didn’t have any fresh cilantro on hand.  Knowing that cilantro has a peppery flavor, I used dried celery and peppercorn that I had.  I also didn’t have lemon juice on hand so I used a dried lemon rind with the pepper.

Orange Marinated Red Pepper

Adapted from Pickled Peppers Recipe of No Recipes

Yield:  1 quart

2 cups Orange Juice
1 teaspoon dried celery
2 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon peppercorn
1 dried lemon rind
1 bay leaf
2 red bell pepper

  1. In a large bowl combine orange juice and kosher salt
  2. In a quart jar add the dried celery and peppercorn.
  3. Slice the pepper and stuff it in the quart jar.  Stuff the bay leaf and dried lemon rind in with the peppers.  Pour the orange juice over the peppers.  Cover and refrigerate.  Use within 2 weeks.

Knowing How to Can Rocks!

Knowing how to can rocks!  Learning how to can really opened my eyes to a whole different aspect of cooking and I’ve learned so much from it.  It also taps into my cheap skate side in that I can take advantage of sales.

Weis was having a huge sale the other day and knowing how to can allowed me to turn this:

Into this:

Kale and White Beans

I have the never ending bag of kale right now.  I can’t go through it fast enough!  I get a new bag of kale every week!  So, I’ve been thinking up ways to use it up and every time I try a new recipe, I fall more in love in kale.  It’s just so darn versatile!  This time I wanted to make it with some beans.

White beans have become my favorite bean.  They don’t break down during cooking and tend to keep their shape and flavor, plus they have a smooth, buttery flavor that just goes great with all kinds of vegetables.

I use dry beans but feel free to use canned beans.

With a side of avocado for a little extra oomph of protein!
 
Kale and White Beans
 
1 cup cooked white beans
3 cups kale, stem removed and torn
1 onion, halved and sliced
1/2 cup vegetable broth
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
Salt
Pepper
  1. In a large skillet, add about a tablespoon of olive oil (about 1 turn around the pan).  Bring to medium high heat.
  2. Sautee onion.  When onion has started to wilt, add vegetable broth and lemon juice.  Bring broth up to a simmer and add kale.  Sprinkle cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper onto kale.  Carefully toss and cover, about 10 minutes.
  3. Let kale wilt down and stir again.
  4. Add white beans and toss.
  5. Serve.
     


The Saga Continues: Vegetable Plants

The plants thank you for your prayers!
 
The plants are doing pretty well!  The tomatoes have really rooted down and are growing rather magnificently!  The lettuce was doing so well that I had to transplant one of them into it’s own container, so now I have two containers of lettuce.  One of the cabbage was encroaching on the other one, so I transplanted that one into it’s own container but I’m pretty sure that I was too late.  That one may be a goner.  We’ll see if it thrives in it’s own container, keep your fingers crossed for that one.  I also had an onion that started to sprout so I planted that in it’s own container as well!  The basil has seen better days but I replaced the soil with new soil and planted it deeper into the soil.  Maybe that will help it root down some more?
 
I started with four pots and now have seven!  Oh, and my buddy, The Mountain Man, has a huge pot that he wants to give me.  I’m still mulling it over on if I will take it or not.  I don’t want to plant anything else in case this turns out to be a complete failure!  Haha.