Sunday, April 24, 2011

Why I blog....

Hopefully our weather here in the heartland is going to calm down, dry out and warm up! I am so looking forward to farmer's markets and grilling out. They say Thursday and Friday are going to be nice and sunny. So, clean up the grill and give this recipe from Sunset Magazine and a try!
It is quick and easy.  All you do is marinate albacore tuna in honey and Dijon and quickly sear it on the grill. Serve with mixed baby greens, thinly sliced sweet onion, oranges, sliced avocado, and a fresh lime dressing.
I actually used the Tasteful Olive's Persian Lime Olive Oil....Perfect!

Grilled Tuna Citrus Salad 
serves 4 
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 tuna steaks, about 6 oz. each
About 1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
6 ounces mixed baby greens (3 qts. lightly packed)
1/2 cup thinly sliced sweet onion, such as Walla Walla or Vidalia
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 navel oranges, peeled and cut in half-moons
2 large avocados, pitted, peeled, and sliced

1. Prepare a grill for medium heat (350° to 450°). In a small bowl, combine honey and mustard. Rub tuna with mixture and let marinate at room temperature, 10 minutes.
2. Use an oil-soaked paper towel to wipe grill grates. Cook tuna just until grill marks appear, 1 to 2 minutes on each side, leaving tuna rare inside. Cut each steak across the grain into 1/4-in.-thick slices.
3. In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup olive oil, the vinegar, and lime juice. In a medium bowl, combine greens, onion, salt, pepper, oranges, avocados, and 2/3 of vinaigrette; toss to coat. Divide salad among 4 plates and arrange tuna slices on top. Serve with remaining vinaigrette on the side.

I have been getting more questions about my blog.....

There are several questions I receive frequently from readers of my blog. For instance,  "How many hours do you spend writing your blog? (It varies, but usually 2 to 3 hours.) Another is " Do you ever sleep? You usually post your new entries in the middle of the night!"  (Yes, I sleep, but not anywhere near 8 hours. More like 4, which is 2 hours longer than it used to be.)
Anyway, these questions, and many others like them, made me realize my readers are very much like me. You see, I read many blogs and I have questions about those writers. Who are they, how long have they been cooking? But most of all, "Why do you write your blog?"
I suppose the #1 reason I write about food and cooking is to promote home cooking and cooking from scratch. As a child, I was used to all of the moms being home preparing wonderful wholesome meals with fresh vegetables, slowly braised  meats,  leisurely dinner times with everyone present at the table.  As a mom myself, I realized my children's schedules became more demanding each year. I was still there cooking, but finding those leisurely times around the dinner table was becoming more difficult. That is when the microwave oven made it's into the American kitchen. Dinner plates could be prepared then heated when each family member appeared for dinner. Between football practice,cheerleading,school play rehersals, diving team practice, etc. our dinners together were not as many as when they were younger. Now, as a grandmother, I see families that almost never see the dining room in their homes,but have lots of favorite restaurants they go to for dinner. Moms work outside of the home at very demanding jobs. They can barely find time to eat dinner, much less shop for fresh ingredients and then cook it!
For these reasons,I write the food and cooking sections of my blog  to make preparing delicious food easier.
As a firm supporter of the Slow Food organization, I want to celebrate and support home cooks, bring like-minded people together with recipes and menu ideas using good wholesome locally grown foods.
 (Now, why I write about painting, I'm not sure. Maybe it is an attempt to learn something about painting and about myself. Now that I think about may not be working out for me.)

I might share a few statistics with you. Yes, there are companies that keep track of "hits" on blogs. I find it pretty interesting. For instance,  I have had over 12,000 hits on my blog in the last 2 years, with the heaviest number of readers being on a blog about Southern Beaten Biscuits and Boone County Country Ham. I posted that blog on May 26, 2009. It also happens to be the blog I have had the most comments on and I know I have had more personal email about that blog than any other posting. Anytime someone googles Beaten Biscuit and Boone County Ham, up pops a link to my blog! Today it is the 4th link listed. Cool.

Many of my readers know me from way back,  high school friends, family, and neighbors. Many readers have met me through the vineyard. As chef of Somerset Ridge Vineyard and Winery, I have had the opportunity to cook for hundreds of people during our Harvest Season Lunches. Sitting around the long tables out in the yard below the vines, talking about pairing food and wines, sharing recipes, getting to know our "pickers" is so rewarding.  There is no doubt about it, our pickers love wine and food!
I think the following quote is perfect...It says exactly what I feel.
"No matter who we are or from which culture we come, every society gives careful thought to the daily preparation of meals for family, friends or even strangers. Food means love. This is true whether we are the cook or the one who eats." EzineArticles

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
oil painting by Kay Tucker

Somerset Autumn on Wea Creek

Somerset Autumn on Wea Creek
Oil Painting by Kay Tucker, Private Collection


oil painting by Kay Tucker

Kansas Storm

Kansas Storm
oil painting by Kay Tucker, Private Collection

Watercolor Collage

Watercolor Collage

Tempo al Tempo....All in Good Time

Tempo al Tempo....All in Good Time
48"x36" sculptural painting by Kay Tucker