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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

My Hanging Organic Herb Garden And Summertime Flowers

Hanging Herb Garden

My hanging herb garden is thriving! My Hanging Herb Garden And Summertime Flowers are on the move.

Tarragon

Tarragon above I use in so many of my chicken and seafood dishes.

English Lavender

The Lavender above smells so good. I like adding the blooms to sugar. Lavender sugar makes a great gift.

Chive Flowers

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The Chives are blossoming.

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

Italian Flat-Leaf Parsley is used in most of my dishes because of its great flavor.

Thyme

Above is my fresh Thyme. The lemony flavor is perfect for chicken.

Sweet Basil (2)

Sweet Basil with its lemony minty flavor goes with just about everything. I’d say, it’s the one herb I use the most.

Oregano

Above is my Oregano, a super-strong herb so you don’t need much. Great in Tex-Mex dishes.

Oregano

More Oregano! This is the Greek variety.

Rosemary

My Rosemary is definitely outgrowing this pot!

Sage

Sage is one of those herbs that reminds me of the holidays. A peppery-rosemary flavor that’s super earthy.

Mint

Above is my fresh Mint. Great for desserts, salads and so much more. Below are pictures of flowers from around my house.

Lavender

Lavender can be used in so many ways. I love making Lavender sugar.

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My bright red Gerberas are part of the daisy family.

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Perennials are great because they’re ever-changing with each season.

Hibiscus

Hibiscus

Hibiscus bushes are perfect anywhere in your garden.

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One a year the Dragon Lilies bloom. Their vibrant orange color screams summertime is coming!

Rain Lillies

Rain Lilies are so beautiful. They seem to pop up everywhere in my garden.

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Sunflowers

Sunflowers are the meaning of summertime.

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Periwinkles look great in large pots.

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Hydrangeas are my favorite flower, NO question!

Hass Avocado Tree

My Hass Avocado tree is just finding its way. I’m talking 10 years before I’ll see any fruit.

Birdhouse

The Cardinals love their birdfeeder.

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My side garden has a variety of flowers and plants like my baby Fig Trees. Can you see them?

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3 Comments »

Italian Sausage And Mushroom Stuffing

Sweet And Hot Italian Sausage Stuffing (3)

Sweet And Hot Italian Sausage Stuffing (2)

Sweet And Hot Italian Sausage Stuffing (1)

I’ve been talking to a lot of people who say their favorite holiday dish is the stuffing and/or dressing and I have to agree. My family’s traditional stuffing recipe has changed over the years. The ingredients are the same but the preparation is totally different. I remember my mother stuffing the turkey before it went into the oven. My stuffing is done separate from the bird and I believe it makes a big difference in the way a turkey cooks.

I’m going to a Christmas party this year so I’m bringing my Italians Sausage And Mushroom Stuffing. I’m using disposable deep-sided pans for easy transport.

In my opinion, the best bread for the bread cubes is Ciabatta bread. Let’s talk a little bit about the bread cubes and how easy it is to make your own.

I do think that you’ll want to make a large pan or two of stuffing. Family and friends love this dish and always want extra helpings. It’s also great to serve the next day, especially with a ladle of your favorite gravy on top!

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Rosemary.jpg

Rosemary (2)

Fresh Rosemary (1)

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Sage (2)

sage

Thyme

thyme (2)

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Olive Oil

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Onions

Stuffing (2)

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Garlic

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Stuffing (5)

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Sweet And Hot Italian Sausage Stuffing (2)

 

 

 

 

Prep Time: 40 minutes (includes all prep and the cooking of the vegetables)
Baking Time 1 hour 10 to15 minutes
Total Cook Time: 1 hour 50 to 55 minutes
Yields: 12 servings
Equipment: 12-inch sauté pan, large mixing bowl, two 1/4-size rimmed baking sheet pans, a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish/disposable pan

Tip:  The day before you want to make the stuffing, make the Homemade Ciabatta Croutons.

Ingredients:
2 loaves of  Ciabatta (artisanal bread)
3/4 of cup olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper

Directions For The Oven Bake Method.
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.

Step1: Homemade Croutons:
Start by evenly dividing the bread cubes out onto two rimmed baking sheet pans. Add olive oil, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, toss to evenly coat the bread cubes. Spread the bread cubes evenly into a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes turning them once halfway through the cooking process to make sure they brown evenly. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Step 2: Stuffing:
Use 1/4 cup of butter (4 tablespoons) to grease a 13 x 9 x 2 disposable pan (or casserole baking dish).

Ingredients:
2 pints of whole Cremini mushrooms, quartered
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of garlic, minced
2 tablespoon of butter, unsalted
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
In a large sauté pan over medium heat add butter and olive oil. Add the Cremini mushrooms, minced garlic, pepper, and fresh thyme leaves. Stir to combine. Cook the mushrooms for about 5 minutes. Once the mushrooms have softened and released their water, add the Kosher salt. Cook for another 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and transfer the mushroom to a bowl and set aside.

Steps 3 and 4: Italian Sausage And Vegetables:
Ingredients:
1 pound of hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 pound of sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 sprig of fresh rosemary

4 tablespoons butter, unsalted
1 large onion, diced
2 1/2 cups of celery diced include leafy tops
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
In a large sauté pan, on medium heat, add in olive oil and sausage breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Add the sprig of fresh rosemary and cook for around 15 minutes or until no longer pink. Discard the rosemary stems, drain.  Remove cooked sausage with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl.

In the same sauté pan over medium heat melt butter. Add diced onions, celery, minced garlic, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Cook until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to cool.

Step 5: The Mix:
Ingredients:

3 large beaten eggs (cage-free)
3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 teaspoon dried oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of Italian parsley flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1-quart chicken broth, unsalted

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325-degrees F.
In a mixing large bowl, add the beaten eggs, cheese, all herbs, and seasonings. Add the cooked mushrooms.  Combine really well so the mushrooms are completely coated.

In another very large bowl combine the croutons (cooked bread cubes), cooked sausage, and cooled veggie mixture. Add the egg-mushroom mixture to the bowl, gently toss to combine.

Finally, slowly pour the chicken broth over all the ingredients, allowing all the bread cubes to absorb the liquid. Continually stirring gently, as you add the liquid. There will most likely be extra liquid in the bowl, that liquid will get absorbed during the baking process.

Spoon the stuffing mixture to the buttered casserole dish. Pour over any excess liquid left in the bowl.  Cover and bake for 1 hour. Uncover, bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until light golden brown, and a meat thermometer reads 160-degrees F. This is my Italian Sausage And Mushroom Stuffing.

Homemade Ciabatta Croutons

Maple Bourbon Brined Turkey

2 Comments »

Toasted Quinoa Salad

 

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I brought my Toasted Quinoa Salad to a graduation celebration and it was a hit! Something as simple as a salad, using a few fresh ingredients had friends asking me for this recipe. I knew I needed to post this recipe ASAP!

Sweet Basil (2)

fresh basil

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Red Onion

Diced Red Onion (2)

Hot House Cucumber

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grape tomatoes

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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E.V.O.O.

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Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 to 20 minutes (add 5 minutes cooking time if you’re toasting the quinoa)
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 3-quart saucepot with a tight-fitting glass lid, large mixing bowl, mesh sieve, whisk, serving bowl

Ingredients:
1 (12-ounce) package (equivalent to 1 1/2 cups of uncooked quinoa)
3 cups of vegetable stock, unsalted and HOT (substitute water or unsalted chicken broth/stock)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1/2 red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
2 cups of feta cheese, diced
1 1/2 pints of grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups of a hothouse (English) cucumber, diced
1/4 cup of fresh basil, Chiffonade-style
2 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh Italian Parsley (dried 1 tablespoon)
1 leomon zested and juiced
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
*E.V.O.O.

Directions For Toasting And Cooking Quinoa:
Start by rinsing the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve. If you’ve never made quinoa, it’s really easy. First, you always want to do a quick rinse of the quinoa to remove the *saponin. Place quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water for a few seconds.

In a large heavy-bottom pot over medium-low heat add (or leave) some of the water remaining on the quinoa so that it’s moist. Add the quinoa to the heated pan. Make sure not to overcrowd. Using a whisk, quickly stir the quinoa around allowing any excess water to be absorbed by the grains of quinoa.

Once the water is completely absorbed and the quinoa begins to pop, you’ll know it’s drying out. Continue stirring until the grains of quinoa begin to brown. The aroma will begin to smell nutty, around 5 minutes.

In another pot bring the 3 cups of vegetable stock up to a boil and salt. Pour the hot vegetable stock into the pot containing the quinoa. Give the quinoa a good stir, cover (with the glass lid). With the heat still on medium-low, simmer until all the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside off the heat for 5 minutes, uncover and fluff with a fork. Allow the quinoa to cool completely.

While the quinoa is cooking (during the 15 to 20 minutes) dice the vegetables and the feta.  Zest and juice a lemon. Transfer all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Add in the cooled cooked toasted quinoa, season with salt and pepper. Finish by adding in the chopped basil and parsley and toss. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Before serving my Toasted Quinoa Salad, I like to add a drizzle of really good *E.V.O.O.

*E.V.O.O. is an acronym for extra virgin olive oil.
*Saponin is the outer coating of the quinoa and it can be very bitter. It’s a good idea to rinse the quinoa before cooking.

2 Comments »

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