Thursday, June 18, 2015

Grilled Asparagus, Cookie Alert and Porkers!

First, it can't be asparagus season without a post about this awesome veggie! We grow asparagus. We sell asparagus at our roadside stand.

Folks love fresh asparagus and I know why: It's delicious! But I always used to steam it, think of all those years wasted!!!  ARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!

Now I grill it or bake it, similar to how I do Brussel sprouts and broccoli....

Take the tender asparagus, trim the ends if necessary, lay out on baking sheet...

drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with seasoning (I use this roasted garlic and herb, it's my fave for lots of things!) Sprinkle with salt and bake or grill!

Baking is easier because it doesn't fall through the grill! Bake at 350 degrees until it's actually starting to crisp.


And then there are these, the clever Zip-Loc containers I keep on hand for mailing cookies and freezing treats. Today's M&M/Chocolate chip cookies were baked fresh for granddaughter Emma's soccer game but days of rain have flooded the fields, so the game was cancelled. (Note the use of two "l"s in cancelled).

No worries! Fresh cookies tucked into the Zip-Loc containers and popped into the freezer! Around here it's never a bad idea to have stashes of cookies in the freezer:

I just looked and I can't believe I haven't given you this cookie recipe yet.

Is that even possible???? I'm taken aback! I'm amazed! I'm chagrined!!! Putting that on the list of recipes to share! Ghirardelli chocolate chips, farm fresh eggs, and M&M's!!! Oh, Mylanta, they're wonderful!

And here's a new friend!

Well, it was love at first bite. These are a great snack for high-protein or low-carb diets, you have the fun of chewing (I can never be a juicer!!!!) and these are just plain delicious! A new family favorite!

So tonight, once the kids were all picked up and Emma's  game was canceled. (notice I'm spelling it both ways because I'm airport savvy, it doesn't matter if they use one 'l' or two, I'm still not getting on a plane! Which happened two weeks ago in Midway....Do you know what happens when middle school cheerleaders start practicing their cheers at midnight in an airport with hundreds of stranded travelers? I don't either, I curled up and dozed off so I wouldn't be a WITNESS to their possible demise!!!)  :)

Anyway, I digress, we have a couple of English Walnut trees that have been infested with a nut borer... so we have to cut off all the infected branches and burn them to help curtail the spread of this tree-killing bug... And that means what can we throw on the grill for super quick supper while we're cutting and burning?


Also known as White Hots (white hot dogs) up here.

We use Zweigles Brand (gotta love German sausage makers!) and they're a crowd-pleasing favorite in upstate. If you order a white hot at a call-in hamburger stand, they yell "Porker!"


Everyone here knows what a porker is!!!

Oh, there's the pretty plate again! Hello, plate! And no, I haven't unpacked any of his friends because I still haven't washed the cupboards. Soon, maybe? Although windows might take precedence!

So that's what's going on here.... baked or grilled asparagus, porkers, salted nuts and sick trees and I'm in the middle of a crazy fun marriage of convenience story, one of those things where you know the hand of God is there... right there.... if only the hero and heroine are smart enough to pause... breathe... and see what's right in front of their eyes! It's my second book for Franciscan Media and I'm so proud of them, jumping in with Christian fiction that includes Catholic characters!

I love writing ecumenically, but I also like being able to have a little "name that church" fun like Jan Karon did in her delightful "Mitford" series.

Keepin' it real makes me real happy!

Multi-published and best-selling author Ruthy Logan Herne loves cookies, Cookie Monster and Kermit the Frog. She understands it's not easy being green and she's all over the Rainbow Connection and this one with English singer Ed Sheeran is wonderful!

She loves God, her family, her country, dogs, kids, spring peepers, coffee and chocolate and isn't afraid to eat the occasional cookie!


  1. We were on the same wavelength this week, Ruthy 'cause I baked chocolate chip/M&Ms cookies too this week. But mine don't look as pretty as yours. They don't puff up the same way. Critics say it's because I load them too many choco chips and M&Ms...but really, can there be too many of those ingredients in a cookie?!

    Sorry about your walnut trees. :-( I live in an older neighbourhood and some kind of borer is felling our beautiful, huge trees. Yesterday my neighbour had two cut down. I lived in terror of them falling on my wee little house. They had to cut the poor things in sections and every time one dropped to the ground my whole house shook.

    Looking forward to reading your Franciscan Media book in the fall!

    1. Kav, it's amazing what a bug can do to a tree, isn't it? So we're burning wood again today and trimming out the sister tree. :(

      I will share this recipe, it's an amazingly good chocolate chip cookie recipe and I think you're right to load your cookies up! When I post mine, try it and see what you think. And I promise there is nothing healthy in it. :)

    2. Kav, we had the same thing a few month ago when neighbors cut down a LOT of trees. The house shook each time one fell. It's scary how heavy they are to rattle the area with just a piece of a tree. I'm glad your house is no longer at risk!

    3. Know what you mean about the ground shaking. When we had one of our trees cut, when they dropped them on the ground, they broke our water lines UNDER the ground. yikes.

    4. Big trees carry a huge amount of force when they come down. Kind of thunderous.

      These nut trees aren't huge, but they were such nice shade trees... I will miss them!!!!

  2. I tried that Steak and Chop seasoning recently and it was amazing!! Thanks for the reminder. I need to buy some.

    1. I use that one all the time, too. It's the perfect blend of garlic, salt and pepper! Love it!!!!

  3. Yum, the asparagus looks wonderful. How blessed to have it growing in your yard. I've never baked them before, but I've had it grilled at restaurants. I want to try it. How long (approximately) will I need to plan for it to bake?

    And you mentioned you do the same with broccoli and brussel sprouts. Do you bake them the same way? sounds yummy. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I roast them all, Sandra. Usually at 350 and it depends on size. Brussels take longer, broccoli and asparagus need less time. So much depends on your oven, so try it and check it regularly if you're doing it in the motor home. But it's also doable in a cast iron skillet over the coals, just have to make sure it doesn't scorch badly. But honestly, a little scorch/crispness tastes good!!!!

  4. Asparagus! Yum!!!

    And boo to nasty tree eating insects! Around here it's the pine beetle. Acres and acres of dead trees. Thankfully, the agencies involved (state, federal, etc) are finally on the same page and are cutting down affected trees and thinning the rest.

    No problem in our yard, though. We live at the edge of the prairie and are proud owners of one little cherry tree. No pine beetles, no leaves to rake....

    ....and very few birds. Sigh.

    I'm ignoring the cookies, by the way. *sticks fingers in ears* La, la, la, la, la. I can't hear you!

    1. Jan, I researched the pine beetle and wood-cutting laws as I was working on the Double S Ranch series set in Washington. Did you see there are people using pine beetle wood for all kinds of things?

      It's gorgeous!!!! What a clever way of turning lemons into something way better than lemonade: Furniture and homes!

      Pine Beetle Kill Wood Products

    2. Yes! My daughter works at a music store, and they lined the recording studio walls with pine beetle wood. Gorgeous! Beauty from ashes, right?

      If you go to their Facebook page, the "artist spotlight" videos are all filmed in the studio and you can see the wall in the background:

    3. Jan, that's gorgeous! Thanks for the head's up, I love when people make use of a new good thing!

  5. Ok, hahahahaha! PORKERS! My older kids got such a kick out of that story.