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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Summer Time Flowers And Herbs

Hanging Herb Garden

My hanging herb garden is thriving! Summer Time Flowers And Herbs 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

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.

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.

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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 scream 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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Spring Time Outdoors

Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers and Lavender

Lavender and Cinquefoil (from the rose family) always add a spring touch.

My Hanging Herb Garden

Rain Lillies

Aside from cooking and entertaining, I love flowers and herbs. Early spring, especially, is the time where beautiful flowers are available. Let me show you what I’ve been up to so far. Above are my rain Lilies. They bloom during the summer rainy season.

My Fig Trees

Crotons (1)

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Spathiphyllum

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Bird Feeder

Having Jasmine grow up a bird feeder with its little star-shaped white flowers begin to bloom. Their fragrance fills up the yard with such a beautiful aroma. I also want to say, checking the zone (climate area etc..) in which what plants or flowers will thrive is really important. I always try to Google the name of the plant or flower to seek the information first.

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This Haas avocado tree is really an experiment for me. I planted this pit from the avocado and this is what has happened so far. They say that the avocado tree grows very slowly, and I guess I’ll just have to be patient.

Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are definitely my favorite flower. Their beautiful large blooms and deep green leaves add so much color to my backyard,

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Heather

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Planting flowers or plants and watching them blossom and grow is an amazing feeling.

Comfort Place

Periwinkles

Changing up your accessories for the season can give you whole new look. My lavender is growing so fast and the aroma fills up my “comfortable place”.

English Ivy

Just a few seasonal changes can make such a big difference. My next project is new patio furniture and a couple of new grills. I can see outdoor cooking videos in my future!

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How To Cook and Open A Lobster

 

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Today was a really fun day! Tonya, a good friend of mine, went with to shop for seafood. I think she was somewhat surprised to see me stick my hand right into the lobster tank.

This is one of those posts that may not be easy for everyone to read.  Most all shellfish should be alive before cooking.  This makes it really hard for a lot of people to handle. BEING HUMANE IS KEY!

I’ve worked for many years cooking and handling lobsters, blue crab, shrimp, mussels, and clams. The fresher the seafood, the better the finished dish is going to be.

The Lobster Institute has come up with a study. The study reads… lobsters, like insects, do not have complex brains that allow them to process pain like humans other animals do. They have compared it to when you kill a mosquito. Cooking a lobster, in the practical sense, is like killing a big bug.

Let’s get back to cooking and opening a lobster. Once I bring the lobster(s) home, I make sure they are kept in the bag with some crushed ice. You want to cook them as soon as possible. Before placing them into the pot of boiling water, I put them to sleep. This is something I learned when I worked at a seafood restaurant.

Place the lobster face (head) down on a counter, tail end in the air. Cross their arms and claws, then rub the back side of their shell, in an up and down motion. In about 45 seconds, their legs and antenna will stop moving. The lobster will then be asleep.  Balancing on their heads, by themselves on the counter. If you want to see how this is done,  just google “How to put a lobster to sleep”, and there are videos available.

I make sure that the water is salted, with sprigs of fresh tarragon, and at a hard boil. Next,  I place the sleeping lobster, head first, immediately into the boiling water. You’ll notice that the lobster is not totally submerged. I prefer to let steam and water cook the lobster. Place a tight-fitting lid on the pot. Using a dish towel, I hold on to the lid for about 10 seconds before letting go.

Below is a peek to show you how I do this.

In a very large stock pot, I place water and tarragon into the water. On high heat, I bring the water up to a hard boil. I place the sleeping lobster into the boiling water then place the lid on, holding it with a towel for around 10 seconds.

Once cooked, I lift the lobster up using large tongs to release any excess water the lobster may hold, back into the pot. Next, I place the lobster into a large plastic container to cool before removing the meat.

Once cooled, first I take off the rubber bands from the claws. I remove the arms with the claws. Next, I twist off the tail to release from the body, also known as the thorax. I discard the thorax.

There are two ways to remove the meat from the tail. First is to bend, in a backward direction. Now the very end of the tail meat is showing. Use a pair of scissors and cut down the inner side of the tail to release the meat. The other way is to squeeze to tail together until you hear the back side snap. Turn the tail over, where the underbelly is facing in the upwards direction. Using two hands, split the tail open.

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There is a piece of that needs to be removed on the outer side of the tail meat. It’s really a bit fibrous, just discard. You can see above, the indention it leaves on the backside of the tail meat. The tail is now clean and done. Next, the claws.

This is where a good pair of lobster crackers is needed. Even a meat mallet comes in handy. One of the claws in larger and harder to crack than the other one. You may need some help with that one, that’s why I mentioned using a meat mallet.

Lay a towel over the larger claw and hit it one time. That should put a crack into the claw and make it easier to remove the meat in one piece. When using the crackers, be careful not to crack the meat, just the shell. The is to ensure the meat will come out in one piece. The arms, they can be a bit tricky, they have knuckles and meat can get caught.  If you don’t have a lobster pick, you can use a large skewer to help get that meat out.

How’s this for a finished dish! Great to take to parties. For this recipe, click on the link at the bottom of this post. The only change is, I incorporated cooked lobster to my recipe for Shrimp Scampi Over Linguine.

Lobster And Shrimp Scampi Over Linguine (1)

Equipment:
Large stock pot with lid (8 to 16-quart pot)
Cook Time: 8-10 minutes per pound (Cooked lobster should be vibrant red in color)
Prep Time:
Allow for time to put the lobster to sleep as explained above. 5-7 minutes to bring water to a hard boil.

Ingredients:
1 live 2-pound lobster
1-1/2 quarts of water
2 heaping tablespoons of Kosher salt
3 sprigs of fresh tarragon

 

Shrimp Scampi Over Linguine

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