Monday, January 12, 2015

Lemonade Cafe: Braised Moroccan Chicken Yumilicious

Lemonade's Moroccan Chicken
This recipe is adapted from the Lemonade Cafe/LA recipe book.  If you haven't been and live in LA-you're hibernating more than this winter season AND don't get out enough.  Take an opportunity and check out this hip eatery that offers seasonal, fresh & clean eating.  This is our go to stop pretty much when the wheels are down from the Boston flight.  There is more than something for everyone-and it's best to go as a first timer with with someone 'in the know' for the ease of ordering.  In my case, it's my sistahhh, it's a beautiful luncheon as we basically like the same things and she steers me to only 'the best' of the best dishes.  (THEY ARE ALL GOOD).  Otherwise, have no fear-they offer samples all the way down the line.
The recipe calls for a Dutch Oven, I have one but opted for my slow cooker at low temperature for 3.5 hours, as I had   I also used only skinless, boneless thighs-because I'm lazy and am cutting the fat out every way I can-after all it's only the second week in January.  This dish hits both my sweet and savory cravings because of the dates and olives and a little bit of brown sugar. I would suggest serving with Israeli Couscous or a long grain rice.

Moroccan Chicken, dates, olives

1 TBL granulated garlic
1 TBL ground cumin
1 TBL light brown sugar
2 tea. ground ginger
2 tea. course salt, plus more for seasoning
1 tea. freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
4 chicken thighs, bone in-skin on
4 legs, bone in, skin on
2 TBL canola oil
1 onion chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped ( 1 TBL)
12 pitted green olives such as Manzanilla
12 black pitted olives, like Kalamata
12 dried dates
4 sprigs fresh thyme-leaves stripped from stem
1 quart low sodium chicken broth

In a small bowl, combine the garlic, cumin, sugar, ginger and S & P; toss with your fingers to mix. Rub the spice mixture onto the chicken.
Place a large Dutch Oven or pot over medium-high heat and coat with the oil When the oil is hot, add half of the chicken and brown (about 5 minutes per side) without moving the pieces around so they sear. Remove the browned chicken to a platter and repeat with remaining chicken pieces.
To the drippings in the pot, add the onion, garlic and the bell pepper.  Cook and stir for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables soften and begin to get some color.  Add the ginger, olives, dates, thyme, oregano and broth.  Nestle the chicken back in the pot, along with the juices, so the pieces are covered with the olives and stuff; season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to medium low, simmering for 45 minutes.  Remove the lid and simmer for another 10 minutes to reduce the sauce until slightly thickened. (pg 128 the lemonade cookbook)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Quick Guide for Pruning Evergreens

Row of happy and contained Boxwoods (Buxus microphylla)
By now, I'm hoping all of your evergreens are looking happy and fresh.  The winter damage is best pruned before all the new fresh growth begins-which was about three weeks ago.  I love inkberries (ilex glabra), but sadly, they suffered a beating this year.  Many succumbed to the winter foliage burn.  The temperatures were just right and hit them hard. You know if your inkies got it-they turn brown and ugly.

Just 'cuz part of my pastime is clipping plants, I thought I'd share some quick pointers on pruning evergreens:
  • Dead or damaged wood on evergreen conifers can be removed at any time
  • Flowering broad leaf evergreens that bloom on new wood should be pruned in late winter or early spring before new growth begins
  • Flowering broad leaf evergreens that bloom on old wood (azaleas and rhodies) should be pruned immediately after they bloom and before new growth begins for next season.  THIS IS NOW.
  • To slow are keep a broad leaf evergreen dwarf, after it's main spurt of growth, remove up to a third. You can cut the main stem back to the first side shoots, but don't take more off than has grown the last two seasons.
  • To reduce the size and encourage dense branching in evergreens like pines, cut the candles back by half when growth is complete.  Prune the tips of yews, junipers, and hemlocks lightly any time during growing season. THIS IS NOW.
  • To establish a shape, prune evergreen shrubs and hedges when they are three to five years old.
  • If there is a hidden spot save some pruning of your evergreens for the holidays!
Now-get to work-it's nice outside!!!
(Tips from Gardening New England Month-by-Month)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring Bulb care

Now is the time to fertilize your Spring Bulbs!

I would recommend that you fertilize your bulbs just once, at least before they bloom . This will make the stem & flower stronger & for continuing growth.

Instructions for Fertilizing Spring Bulb beds

Both spring and summer bulbs need phosphorous to encourage root development. Keep in mind that phosphorous moves very little once applied to the soil. Some bulbs are planted 6 to 8 inches deep. The phosphorus needs to be mixed in the soil below where the bulbs will be located so it can be utilized by the bulb roots. Mix bonemeal or superphosphate with the soil in the lower part of the planting bed as it is being prepared.

If bulbs are going to be maintained in a planting bed more than one year, it is important to supply additional fertilizer. Spring flowering bulbs should have mixed into the soil in the fall five tablespoons of 10-10-10 soluble fertilizer (or equivalent bulb fertilizer) plus two cups of bonemeal per ten square foot area. As soon as the shoots break through the ground in the spring, repeat the above soluble fertilizer application. Do not fertilize spring flowering bulbs after they have started flowering. This tends to encourage the development of bulb rot and sometimes shortens the life of the flowers.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

"Pretty" & "Scary"

Halloween is rapidly approaching and I am having my fun decorating for the occasion! The mostly center stage pretty Autumn bouquet of roses, hydrangeas, berries & lilies adds cheer to the dining room of the Stone Cottage. While the gravestones, moss & mean trees give us an exciting scare while we dine. Can you see the creepy crawlies in the green urn planter?

See posts on Halloween 2010

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Bulbs are coming!

Fall is approaching quickly and the leaves will be dropping off the trees. Some say that early in the fall season is better to plant bulbs. Not only is the ground soft, but the rain helps get the roots established before the cold winter. If you know me, you know that October is one busy month-maybe the busiest off all holiday seasons. So I have experienced many fall season's of planting AFTER a first frost, just before the first snow has kissed the soil. The bulbs still come up in the warm Spring!
Either way it's done, NOW is the time to have a plan and acquire the bulbs before the good one's are all gone!
Bulb planting is so much fun for the garden, because you can change it up! There is much more sun available to your landscape because the deciduous trees have lost their leaves. This is the time flowers can appear in areas of your landscape where normally nothing will grow! There are so many more varieties of the standard tulip and daffodil to choose from than one realizes.

One of my favorite Specialty bulbs is the Allium. These eyecatching balls were once traditionally purple, lilac's or blues, now come in white. I must say-the purple Gladiator still remain the biggest at 40"-50" in height with baseball size flowerheads-a real stunner! The smaller traditional Purple Sensation are more cost effective and are great for massing.
As a member of the onion family, Allium is a "flowering onion" and pests have no interest in eating the bulbs.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Time to pull out the Containers!

The last frost may be a month away - but that shouldn't stop any one of us to pull out our containers! This is an exciting time at my house - as I have plenty of them. They are stacked neatly, some with perennials tucked under the soil, waiting to be placed in the open and airy sunlight! For me, the art of placing and designing them, keeps the creative juices a-flowin'. There are pots for every place in a garden, at a doorstep, or walkway. This photo is from a resource of mine, to the trade only. Can you guess which container I will add to my collection this year?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

AAAHH Finally Springtime! Housing digs.

The Spring housing market is right now. (Yikes, word is from WSJ - FHA Shutdown?!) So, if someone is planning to move this summer, the house should be listed on the market by now. (And if you're thinking of moving, please call me!)

I wanted to share this article with you from the WSJ. Little House, Packed with Design. Check out what will run for about $800k in Venice, CA. Although the house is not on the market, the video shows the couple's interesting interior design choices. I loved the Japanese Toy Display it's OMG I-M-P-R-E-S-I-V-E!