Friday, June 11, 2010

Raspberry Poppy Seed Dressing, Grilled Artichokes and stuff!

Another sunny and cool morning which will lead to a nice warm afternoon.  Summer is sure on it's way.
Yesterday the 3 of us went on a nice hike and we noticed how the spring flowers are fading and the hills are turning brown.  Here are some of my flowers in my backyard.  My sweetpeas have gone crazy and are everywhere. I love sweetpeas and the smell is absolutely wonderful!

In early spring wild poppies start popping up every where as well.  You can see them on the hillsides and in everyones yards.
 If you aren't using your own bags for groceries well you should be.  The stores out here are actually going to start charging people if they don't have there own bags.  It's about time, San Francisco has been doing this for years! Going along with using our own eco-friendly bags that we use for groceries I thought I would share with you some great produce bags I bought about a month ago.  Made in the U.S.A.

It took me quite a while to find a company that makes their bags here in the U.S.A. and it's called Beneterre.  I've found another type of produce bag but it was made of cotton, but I wanted something that would clean more easily and these are it! These are their Farm Fresh Sacs and they hold a head of lettuce, fruit, potatoes and much more.  They are sold in sets of  3 and are 11 by 12inches. I love, love, love these!  I've actually had people come up to me in the store and ask me about them.
Some companies say made in the U.S.A. but when you read the fine print or the complete description they aren't. 
I've spoken with one of the owners, Louise, she is very nice and responds very quickly.  I recently asked about them carrying bags for seeds and grains.   It seems they used to make a bag like that but ran out of the material.  Once they get their hands on more of the proper material they will offer them up again. 

This is a Raspberry Poppy Seed Dressing that I found at Gliving quite a while ago that is fabulous!  It contains agave, stone ground mustard, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, poppy seeds and raspberries.  You can find the recipe by clicking here.  I blended the raspberries in the dressing but you don't have to, it just makes it more fruity.  If you love poppy seed dressing you'll love this, just don't add the rasberries.

The dressing on our first grilled salad of the season a couple of weeks ago. Bring on the salads!!!!
If you think you don't like artichokes well you have never tried having a grilled artichoke.  You have to try these, we are so hooked on them.  When you make these you won't want to eat an artichoke any other way!  They have a wonderful smoky flavor and you don't need any of that mayo dip or whatever you use with your artichoke leaves.

Grilled Artichokes (our way)

In a large stock pot with a steamer basket add in your artichokes, ours will hold 3 good size artichokes at a time.  Steam with lid on for about 40-45 minutes or so.  It depends on the size of artichokes. You want them to be pretty much cooked all the way through, grilling them is just to bring out the flavor.  Our second go around we cut off the tops, drizzled lemon on them and then steamed them.  This seems to cook them quicker.

While these are steaming, in a small sauce pan I heated some olive oil, earth balance, 1 garlic clove, minced, and a bit of lemon juice(optional). Set aside.

 Once they are steamed take them out and cut in half.  Be careful they will be hot!  (Once cut in half if they don't seem to be cooked enough you can always put them back on and steam them longer.)  Scoop out the chokes and throw in trash.   Towards the end of steaming you will want to heat up your outside grill.

Next take each half and drizzle the olive oil mixture on them.  Lay them on the bbq grill and grill them for about 10 minutes, tops!  Take them to your table and enjoy!  If you have any olive mixture left you can use this for dipping if you'd like, but you really don't need anything.

Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. Beautiful pics! I love finding thing blooming in my neighborhood and yard! YUM, I looove artichokes, never had one made like that, looks amazing!

  2. Poppy seed Dressing! that is so interesting!! That dressing looks like I can just drink it up!!

  3. i've never had a grilled artichoke before, JoLynn - it sounds absolutely delicious and it looks stellar. the poppy seed dressing looks lovely as well - i looooove a good poppy seed dressing and i'm fo 'sho gonna try this one. i just picked a bunch of black raspberries with my mom this weekend and now i know what to save some for. yay! those reusable bags are really neato - i wish they would charge people around here for not bringing their own bags, too. your sweet peas and poppies are so pretty - also, hooray for a nice hike!

  4. The grilled artichoke looks delishhh! I would et that up in an instant ;) I wonder how it would be with melted chocolate on it or the side lol and those flowwers are so pretty :)


  6. Wow, that is one GORGEOUS grilled artichoke! I love those things :).

  7. Raspberry poppy seed dressing sounds divine! I will definitely try that soon.

  8. I love artichokes! Grilling is the best way to go, so good! And great find on the reusable bags, I'll have to check them out. Thanks! :-)

  9. Oh the poppy seed dressing looks wonderful! Nice blog! I am following you now. Check out mine and follow if you like it :)

  10. I'm wondering why I never thought to grill artichokes up until this moment. They look amazing! I think it's time to fire up the grill now...

  11. Millie-you don't have to add the raspberries. It makes a wonderful poppyseed dressing.

    Chow-these bags are great! Definitely try them out.