I just love this time of the year. Everything is fresh and new
And the colors are so vivid
The lamium is blooming (these and the two above)
This cute little ranunculus that my friend Karen gave me appears - it will disappear later
Plants that I had completely forgotten about make theirselves known, like 'Spring Symphony' Tiarella
Shrubs and trees start putting on a show. This pink flowering currant is so pretty at this time of the year
This Vine Maple looks especially cute with its new frilly foliage
Even the foliage plants are especially colorful like this Red Wing Euphorbia
The spring bulbs are still looking nice including this Snowflake
This early purple leafed corydalis brings some blue to the garden
And just in the past couple of days the rockcress has begun to bloom such a pretty pink. Its a great spring blooming perennial and growing it from seed is very easy.
And look what has just begun to open - the first clematis of the season - variety unknown to me but the vine is loaded. Can't wait to see the whole thing in bloom. It's right outside my front door.
Another thing I love about Spring is that I get motivated to grill outdoors. Today I did country ribs, sausage & Raspberry Chipotle glazed chicken. I made potato salad and tried a great new Garden Slaw with Spicy Asian Dressing.
The Raspberry Chipotle glazed chicken was inspired by my friend Carol at There's Always Thyme to Cook who has raved about her Cherry Chipotle Wings. Go check out her site..she's always cooking up something good. I didn't have any cherry jam on hand so substituted Raspberry and it came out delish.
Chipotle-Raspberry Barbecue Glaze
Inspired by Carol who got inspired by:
Source: Food and Wine Magazine - June 2005, recipe by Grace Parisi,
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped or sliced
8 ounces Raspberry preserves (3/4 cup) (I used a bit more!)
1/4 cup chipotle chile in adobo sauce (you can deseed and chop but I wanted the heat)
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until bubbling, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until fairly smooth or use immersion blender . Transfer to a bowl and let cool before using. The glaze can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
NOTES : Use this spicy, smoky, sweet barbecue sauce to glaze grilled meat or poultry in the last few minutes of cooking. It can also be served on the side.
Garden Slaw with Spice Asian Dressing
From Midwest Living with a couple of changes
- 4 cups bokchoy (or other cabbage)
- 2 carrots, cut into julienne strips or coarsely shredded (about 1 cup)
- 3/4 cup bite-size strips green, red, yellow and/or orange sweet pepper
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped radishes
- 1/2 thinly sliced red onions
- Spicy Asian Dressing (recipe below)
In a large bowl, combine cabbage, carrot, sweet pepper, radishes, cilantro, and green onions. Pour the dressing over cabbage mixture. Toss to coat. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours before serving. Toss slaw before serving. Makes 6 to 8 side-dish servings.
Spicy Asian Dressing: In a screw-top jar, combine 3 tablespoons rice vinegar or white wine vinegar, 3 tablespoons canola oil or vegetable oil, 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (optional), 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger, 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper. Cover and shake well to mix. Makes about 1/2 cup.
So on to dessert!
I now have a new Spring "love" - Rhubarb! I know this is a rite of passage for many people each spring, but its relatively new to me and I've never baked with it. I saw some at the grocery store this week so thought I would pick some up and give it a try. It's such a pretty color! For those southerners out there who might have seen it...it looks for all the world like pinkish red celery. I used a recipe from what's becoming my go to baking book - Heirloom Baking with The Brass Sisters. I think its a classic, but for this Southern Girl it's a novelty! Here is the rhubarb getting all sugared up
And ready for the oven
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
from Heirloom Baking with the Brass Sisters
Pastry for double crust pie
4 cups chopped rhubarb (1 inch pieces)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 pint strawberries, sliced, drained on paper towels
2 tablespoons cold butter, diced
Preheat to 400. Prepare a glass pie plate with vegetable spray and cover with foil the spray again (not sure why but I did it and the pie crust cooked well. Roll out dough to fit pan and put bottom crust in. Mix rhubarb, sugar and flour in a bowl and set aside 1 hour. Put rhubarb in a strainer to collect juice. Pour juice into a saucepan and add nutmeg and salt. Cook on medium until juice thickens. Cool 10 minutes. Combine rhubarb, strawberries and juice. Add mixture to pie shell. Dot with butter then add top crust. Brush top crust with beaten egg. Place pie on baking sheet (I didn't do this and it was okay). Bake 30 minutes and check -cover with foil if browning too fast. Bake another 15-20 minutes or until top is evenly brown. Cool pie completely before serving.
*Randy's note: Don't refrigerate and don't eat until the second day. Susan's note: Ya right on waiting until the second day....
I'm joining in for Mosaic Monday over at Little Red House. Go check out all of the cool mosaics!