Diva Tasting: Free Food In Your Yard…

Survival in Hard Times Free Food in your Yard
We’ve been ranting for weeks about survival in this madness. Everywhere spring is springing and there is a yard full of healthy delights if you just look. They all need to be soaked in vinegar but its there, free and healthy. Below is one of the resources I used. Find The resource you like but for goodness sake give them a try you’ll be glad you did. “Free Food”. I like making salad or wilting greens from this list. All depends on the seasons and your area, of course.  
Here is the resource with pictures and suggestions and cautions:
https://matteroftrust.org/62-edible-wild-plants-that-you-didnt-know-you-can-eat/ 61 Edible Wild Plants That You Didn’t Know You Can Eat
By Colin
You’re  in the woods with some friends and realize neither of you packed enough food, what’s your first instinct? I certainly wouldn’t panic and neither should you. You are probably armed with tools in your backpack. Combine that with the Earth vast variety of natural foods; you should have little problem in getting nourishment. What then are those food that aren’t only found in restaurants or grocery stores?
This variety of foods include; wild berries, edible plants and even seeds! Sounds questionable? No need to worry as these wild edible plants, berries and seeds, are totally safe for consumption as long as you are certain of their identity when collecting.
If you are at any point unsure of the plant, you can perform the Universal Edibility Test. But! If you not one hundred percent sure of the plant that you are identifying, I would advise against consuming it.
Table Of Content
1. Fireweed
10. Broadleaf Plantain
11. Creeping Charlie
12. Forget Me Not
13. Garlic Mustard
14. Wild Black Cherry
15. Harebell
16. Elderberry
17. Field Pennycress
18. Coneflower
19. Kudzu
2. Dandelion
20. Meadowsweet
21. Mallow
22. Peppergrass
23. Pineapple Weed
24. Pickerelweed
25. Mullein
26. Red Clover
27. Partridgeberry
28. Sheep Sorrel
29. Shepherd’s Purse
3. Chickweed
30. Sunflower
31. Spring Beauty
32. Tea Plant
33. Toothwort
34. Teasel
35. Wild Grape Vine
36. Wild Bee Balm
37. Vervain Mallow
38. Prickly Pear Cactus
39. Herb Robert
4. Curly Dock
40. Mayapple
41. Joe Pye Weed
42. Knapweed
43. Wild Leek
44. Cleavers
45. Cattail
46. Blue Vervain
47. Common Yarrow
48. Common Sow Thistle
49. Coltsfoot
5. Asparagus
50. Fern Leaf Yarrow
51. Henbit
52. Crimson Clover
53. Evening Primrose
54. Downy Yellow Violet
55. Daisy Fleabane
56. Japanese Knotweed
57. Milk Thistle
58. Lambs Quarters
59. Queen Anne’s Lace
6. Chicory
60. Purple Deadnettle
61. New England Aster
7. Wood Sorrel
8. Bull Thistle
9. Alfalfa

Diva Tasting: Peanut Curry Chicken…

Peanut Curry Chicken
Ingredients
Spice Blend:
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt, Plus More To Taste
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Coriander
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Turmeric
  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika
  • ½ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 3 Pounds Skinless, Boneless Chicken Thighs, Cut Into 2-Inch Pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion, Chopped
  • 6 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Finely Grated Fresh Ginger
  • 4 Cups Chicken Broth, Or To Taste
  • 1 Cup Unsweetened Natural Peanut Butter
  • ½ Cup Ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 Pound Zucchini, Cut Into Chunks
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, Cut Into Chunks
  • 1 Green Poblano Pepper, Diced
  • 2 Cups Hot Cooked Rice
  • 1 Lime, For Garnish
  • ½ Cup Roasted Peanuts, Plus More For Garnish
  • 3 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Cilantro, For Garnish
Directions
Mix salt, coriander, cumin, turmeric, paprika, and cayenne pepper together in a small bowl.
Place chicken pieces in a separate bowl and add 1/2 of the spice blend. Mix together thoroughly to coat each surface with spice blend
Heat oil over high heat in a heavy pot. Brown half of the chicken pieces on all sides. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
Reduce heat to medium and add onion to pot. Saute until onions start to turn translucent and golden, 1 or 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger; cook about 1 minute. Stir in remaining spice blend; cook and stir one minute. Pour in chicken broth. Add browned chicken along with accumulated juices. Stir in peanut butter and ketchup; add brown sugar. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to maintain a gentle, steady simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
Transfer zucchini, red bell pepper, poblano pepper, and peanuts to the pot. Stir to mix. Continue simmering until chicken and vegetables are fork tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat.
Serve over rice with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of peanuts and chopped cilantro.

Diva Tasting: Cornish Pasties….

Cornish Pasties
Ingredients
1 Can Flaky Biscuits
For The Filling:
1 Pound Lean Ground Beef, Sautéing Until Brown And Crumbled
1 Small Onion, Very Finely Chopped
1 Carrot, Grated
1 Small Idaho Potato, Grated
1 1/2 Teaspoons Sea Salt
3/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 Eggs, Lightly Beaten
Directions
The trick to making any pastry easy to work with is kneading it just enough so that it can be rolled out and manipulated without breaking but yet retains its lovely texture. Don t overwork the biscuits. Roll into rounds and place in frig.  
  1. Remove biscuits and roll into six inch rounds on floured surface. Place wax paper between each. Refrigerate if not using immediately.
  2. For the filling: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Remove the biscuit circles from the refrigerator.
  4. Brown and crumble the meat and drain on paper towels.
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine the meat, onion, carrot, potato, salt and pepper and mix until thoroughly combined. Saute in large skillet to meld flavors until browning occurs. 
  6. Remove the biscuit rounds from the refrigerator.  Place the pastry circles on a clean work surface and place about 1/2 cup of the filling in the center of 1 side of the pastry. Using the beaten egg, brush the edges of the pastry and then bring the unfilled side over the filled side so that edges meet. Press edges together to seal and then crimp using your fingers or a fork. Repeat with the remaining turnovers and then transfer to a sprayed parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of the turnovers with the remaining egg and then cut several slits into the top of each pastry.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown around the edges. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue to bake until the pasties are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 to 10 minutes before serving.

Diva Rambling: Lamb..do it Right….

I love lamb when it is broiled just right and not gamey..here are some tips I found to help do it right. Namaste, The Queen Cronista…
Easter is coming…a few holiday tips for those who do traditional lamb for the day….
How to Roast Lamb That’s Tender and Juicy Every Time
Choosing the Right Cuts
The leg and rack are the most tender cuts of meat on a lamb, and are at their best when roasted. Roasting is a “dry heat” cooking method, meaning that you do not add any liquid to the meat as you cook it.
Tougher cuts of lamb, such as shank and shoulder, are best for braising and stewing
Leg of Lamb
You can purchase leg of lamb bone-in or boneless. A whole leg of lamb often includes the shank portion, but since the shank does not take well to the dry heat of roasting, it’s best to buy the leg without the shank. You can also buy a half leg of lamb; the butt-end of the leg will be the meatiest and most tender. Have the butcher bone and butterfly it.
Rack of Lamb
Rack of lamb is the cut with the rib bones or chops.  This succulent roast is often served “Frenched,” with the fat and meat trimmed from between the ribs and the bones scraped clean and protruding outward. Your butcher should be able to prep the roast for you; remember to ask for the meat trimmings if you want to make soup later on. When two or more racks of lamb are tied together to form a circular roast, it’s called a crown roast.
Seasoning the Meat
Lamb is flavorful enough on its own that it doesn’t need much seasoning, yet robust enough that it pairs beautifully with any number of boldly flavored seasonings, like rosemary, oregano, marjoram, thyme, lemon zest, cumin, coriander, mint, and garlic. I prefer the Greek or Moroccan Spices.
How to season lamb:
  • Trim some of the excess fat and any silver skin;
  • 16 Oz Container of Greek Yogurt Combine with…(Removes Any Gamey Taste)
  • Chopped herbs/seasonings and Combine the mixture evenly over the surface of the meat;
  • Wrap the coated meat tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight for the best flavor.
  • Remove the plastic wrap and wipe the surface of the yogurt marinade. Let sit to room temperature.
Another popular way to season a roast is to make small incisions in the surface of the meat and push slivers of garlic and sprigs of herbs into the slits. You can do this right before you begin roasting or a day ahead for more intense flavor. However, I recommend you use the yogurt marinade on all of them for best flavors.
When you’re seasoning the lamb, don’t salt it until just before cooking; salt can draw moisture out of the meat. I like to rack of lamb with a slightly sweet vinaigrette or tatziki sauce.
Roasting Lamb: Temperatures and Times
Before roasting lamb, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. A piece of meat at room temperature will roast more evenly.
Use a roasting rack to ensure even browning and heat circulation around the meat.
How to determine the ideal roasting temperature and time for lamb. The amount of fat that your lamb has on the outside and marbled through the middle will determine the cooking time and temperature:
  • Roast leaner cuts in a hotter oven: A hot oven gets leaner cuts of meat nicely browned on the outside before they become overcooked and dry in the middle. For a lean piece of meat, cook at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) for the first 15 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) to continue roasting — the meat will take about 25 minutes per pound to reach medium rare.
  • Roast fattier pieces of lamb longer and at lower temps: For a fattier piece of meat, roast at 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) for a longer period of time, allowing the fat to slowly melt and bathe the roast in its own juices. Meat cooked with this method will take about 30 minutes per pound to reach medium rare.
The most accurate way to determine doneness is with a meat thermometer:
  • 110 degrees F (42 degrees C) is rare
  • 120 degrees F (58 degrees C) is medium-rare
  • 145 degrees F (68 degrees C) is medium-well
The USDA recommends cooking roasts to 145 degrees F. Avoid cooking your lamb beyond this temperature as the meat can become dried out and tough.
Rest Your Roast
Once your roast is within 10 degrees F (5 degrees C) of its ideal cooked temperature, remove from the oven, place a foil tent loosely over it, and let rest for 15-20 minutes. As the meat rests, the internal temperature will increase by several degrees, the muscle fibers will relax, and the juice that has come to the surface of the meat during cooking will begin to return to the center. A well-rested piece of meat will be more tender and retain its juices better when you slice it.

Diva Tasting: Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle…

Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle Recipe

Ingredients:

Strawberries:

3 Pints Fresh Strawberries, Hulled And Sliced

1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar

1 Lemon, Juiced

1 (21 Oz) Can Strawberry Pie Filling

Vanilla Cheesecake Mousse:

2 (8) Oz Cream Cheese Softened

2 Cup Powdered Sugar Divided

4 Cup Heavy Cream Divided

1 Tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract

2 Vanilla Pound Cakes Cubed

Directions:

  1. Mix together the cubed strawberries with 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1 juiced lemon. Stir well then set aside to macerate while you make the filling.

  2. Whip together 2 [8] oz softened cream cheese with 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 1/2 cup heavy cream. Add 1 Tbsp pure vanilla. Whip for 2-3 minutes until creamy, fluffy and combined.

  3. In a separate bowl, whip the remaining 2 1/2 cup heavy cream with 1/2 cup powdered sugar, more if desired. Whip until stiff peaks form.

  4. Fold 2 cup of the whipped sweetened fresh cream into the cheesecake mixture by hand. Reserve the remaining whipped sweetened fresh cream for the top of the trifle. Add the strawberry pie filling to the macerated strawberries, mix well.

  5. To assemble, alternate layers of cubed cake, strawberries, and vanilla cheesecake mousse. Repeat until all ingredients have been used.
    Top with the remaining sweetened fresh whipped cream and garnish as desired. Chill for 3-4 hours prior to serving. Store leftovers chilled.

Diva Tasting: Chicken, Sausage, Potatoes and Artichokes…

Chicken, Sausage, Potatoes and Artichokes
Ingredients
  • 4 Large Link Italian Sausage Sliced on Bias
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Divided
  • 8 Bone-In, Skin On Chicken Thighs
  • 2 Jars Marinated Artichoke Chopped
  • 1 Small Red Onion, Sliced
  • 1 Bunch Green Onion, Sliced(Including Greens)
  • 4 Package Yukon Gold Fingerling Potatoes
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Italian Herbs
  • 2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt, Plus More As Needed
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper To Taste
  • Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley
Directions
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook sausage links until browned and oil begins to render, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Remove to a small bowl.
Cut two slashes down to the bone on the skin side of each chicken thigh.
Place Artichokes in a large bowl. Add the sliced red and yellow onions and potato chunks. Add chicken thighs and sausage pieces with pan juices.
Season with kosher salt, black pepper, and Italian herbs. Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil.
Mix completely until all ingredients are coated in oil, 3 or 4 minutes. Transfer to large, heavy-duty roasting pan. Evenly space the chicken thighs skin side up, place potatoes on top.
Place in preheated oven until chicken is cooked through and everything is caramelized, about 1 hour. An instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Sprinkle with chopped fresh Italian parsley, if desired.