Monday, April 8, 2013

Dandelion Cookies -- Part 2 of Eat Your Weeds

Last week I posted about making Chickweed Pesto out of common chickweed you can find growing in your yard.  This weekend my 5 year old grandson Aydan came over and we harvested dandelions from the yard and made Dandelion Cookies (thus, Part 2 of Eat Your Weeds).

We had to look all over the yard, in many nooks and crannies to pick a half cup of dandelion flowers.  Our neighbor's front yard is full of dandelions, but since they have used a yard service for many years (which sure doesn't seem to do much good!), I had to explain to Aydan that we can't eat those flowers, only ones that are in our yard that we know are safe.

This one was actually in a garden bed, snuggling up with some collards.

our neighbor's front yard

part of MY front yard
After we collected about 1/2 cup of dandelion flowers, Aydan helped me pull out the yellow petals, throwing the green calix parts into the compost bucket.  Then we mixed them in with 1/2 cup of oil and 1/2 cup of honey, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 2 eggs.

We poured this wet mixture into the dry ingredients (1 cup of whole wheat flour, 1 cup of regular oats, and a pinch of salt) and Aydan stirred it all up.  We dolloped tablespoons of the cookie batter on to a greased cookie sheet.

Into the preheated 375 degree oven for about 12 minutes.

Perfect for a little picnic outside on our first warm, sunny Saturday in many a month!

Simple ingredients, using what we have in the pantry and the yard.

Linking to Tuesday Garden Party

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Chickweed Pesto (more growing food without a garden)

notice there are only 5 petals, but they are deeply split, making it look more daisy-like

What a cold and wet spring we have had here so far!  I've barely been able to do anything in the garden.  Our March temperatures have averaged 20 degrees colder than last year's March.  Last March was too warm by 5-10 degrees, but you'd think we could have some "normal" more moderate weather!

My collards and pak choy that have grown so well and keeping me in greens through the winter are
bolting (evidently the bolting has more to do with longer days than warmer temperatures).  The cold and wet have kept me from planting much in the garden for spring, and I'm afraid now it may be too late for a good spring harvest of radishes, sugar snaps, and lettuce before we hit the hot summer temperatures.

Since I haven't dug much in the garden yet, nor emptied pots around the yard from last season, I have a good bit of chickweed growing everywhere.  Chickweed loves to grow in cultivated ground -- garden beds and pots.  It is also easily found growing in a lawn that is not sprayed.   It's easy to pull out, and of course the chickens LOVE it -- but it is also a pretty tasty edible that you can add to salads or use as a sandwich topping like lettuce or sprouts.

The other day I went out to the yard and just snipped some plants off from the base and brought them in and made a pesto spread.  We don't spray any of our yard with pesticides or herbicides, and we live on a residential street so I feel we don't need to worry about too much pollution from cars affecting the plants.  A couple of snips yielded about 2 or 3 cups, which I cut up with scissors in the bowl so the long stems would not tangle in my food processor blade.

Into the food processor, with 4 cloves of minced garlic (because I like lots of garlic), 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup of parmesan, a tablespoon of lemon juice and some lemon balm I found growing in the herb garden, a dash of salt, some pepper, and a handful of walnuts.

Chickweed Pesto!  We used it on crackers and with chips.  It had a fresh lemon-y flavor and kept its color over the several days it lasted.  I used the remainder then in a pesto-bean-syrian (thinly sliced red onions, roasted mini-peppers, tomatoes, green beans, olives and feta with the pesto mixed in a lemony oregano vinaigrette) kind of salad to go with the Vegetable Pastitsio I made for Easter dinner.

I love to eat my weeds!

Joining Tuesday Garden Party; Backyard Farming Connection Blog Hop; Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop