Thursday, December 10, 2015

Smoky Tempeh Vegetable and Rice Bowl

First, I will tell you about my eggplant parm. Over the summer, I got a lot of eggplant from the farm. Eggplant isn't exactly known for freezing well, so I looked up on Pinterest how to freeze prepared eggplant parm. I simply broiled and pan-fried the eggplant, let it cool, and then stacked up the little discs in a tupperware cylinder in the freezer. It's been nice to just pull out some eggplant, broil it with some mozzarella, and add some marinara sauce. I had it in pasta form and in sandwich form. And I still have a bunch left! It was a great idea.

eggplant

The other night, I made this big bowl of protein and vegetables, which was healthy and sounded delicious. But it wasn't! Surprise! It was really, really bad. I added some sambal oelek to try to make it better but that didn't really work either. I'm not sure what the problem was. I did have roasted (frozen) beets and carrots (from the farm) instead of raw, but I don't think that was the problem. The marinade for the tempeh was also disappointing and didn't hold up well to the weird fermenty flavor of the tempeh. I did save extra tempeh to use in vegetarian reubens the next night, which were delicious. I just don't know where this bowl thing went wrong.

bowl

Smoky Tempeh Vegetable and Rice Bowl
Soup Addict via Pinterest

Tempeh Marinade:
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon tamari, soy, or shoyu sauce
1 drops liquid smoke (optional) (1 to 2)
1 package tempeh (8 ounce) sliced

Rice:
2 cups vegetable broth or water
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 kaffir leaves (optional) (1 to 2)
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Assembly:
1 cup sprouts
1 cup grated or julienne carrots
1 cup grated or julienne beets
2 green onions, sliced diagonally
2 soft cooked eggs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Additional tamari or hoisin sauce for dressing (optional)

Whisk together the hoisin sauce, maple syrup, vinegar, tamari, and liquid smoke (if using) until smooth. Arrange the tempeh slices in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over the slices. Turn each slice to coat. Cover, and refrigerate for several hours, preferably overnight.

Bring the broth or water to a boil in a medium sauce pot. Add the rice and kaffir leaves (if using), reduce heat to maintain an active simmer, and cover. Cook the rice for the time indicated on the package directions.

Heat a skillet over medium, and cook the tempeh slices in a single layer, turning once, until nice and brown on both sides.

Divide the rice among two serving bowls, layering each with half of the tempeh, sprouts, carrots, and beets.

Gently peel and slice the eggs, and nestle two halves in the rice of each bowl.

Top with green onions and a sprinkle of cilantro. If desired, add a dash or two of tamari sauce or a drizzle of water-thinned hoisin over the bowls.

Serves 2

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Sweet Potato Sushi Bowls with Ginger Soy Dressing

Here is an eternal truth about myself: I lack the basics at home (fresh fruit, un-expired milk) but always manage to have really weird stuff available. Did I have any lettuce to make a salad, or jelly to have PB&J? No, but I did have dried seaweed to make these sweet potato sushi bowls. I didn't even have the avocado or the carrot for the recipe, but I did have some wasabi paste and ginger! I am such a weirdo.

So this was pretty quick and easy. I stuck to the recipe, other than the missing carrot and avocado. Oh, and I had some spinach so I sauteed that with some black sesame seeds. I really liked it. I was nervous the dressing would be too sweet, but it wasn't at all. It was really great. I added extra sriracha to make it extra-spicy, even with the wasabi added into the bowl. Very yummy! I would make this again.

sushi

Sweet Potato Sushi Bowls with Ginger Soy Dressing
Vegetarian Times, November 2015

1 cup brown or white rice
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (2 heaping cups)
1/2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 cucumber, seeded and cut into 1-inch matchsticks (1 cup)
1 small carrot, cut into 1-inch matchsticks (1 cup)
1 cup one-inch-long strips roasted seaweed
4 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
Wasabi paste, to taste, optional
Pickled ginger, to taste, optional

Dressing:
1 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 large clove garlic, grated
3 Tbs. tamari or soy sauce
2 1/2 tsp. pure maple syrup or honey
2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
Hot chile sauce, to taste
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. olive oil

Preheat oven to 375°F.

To make Sweet Potato Sushi: Cook rice according to package directions. Place sweet potato on large cookie sheet, toss with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast sweet potatoes 30 to 35 minutes, until tender and starting to brown.

To make Dressing: Whisk together ginger, garlic, tamari, maple syrup, rice wine vinegar, chile sauce, and 3 Tbs. water in small bowl. Slowly whisk in oil.

Fill each of four bowls with 1 cup rice, 1/3 cup roasted sweet potatoes, one-quarter of avocado, 1/4 cup each cucumber, carrot, and seaweed strips. Top each with 1 tsp. sesame seeds. Drizzle with Dressing, and top with wasabi paste and pickled ginger, if using.

Yield: 4 servings

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

For Cookie Monday this week, I embraced winter and made some gingerbread cookies. I didn't want to have to roll anything out, so I picked these drop cookies. And I didn't want anything crunchy like gingersnaps. I read the reviews of the recipe, which suggested altering the amount of baking soda to just 1 tablespoon (not 2 - but still with 1 tablespoon of water) and baking for 9 minutes. I did need to bake them for 10 minutes, as the recipe suggests, but the baking soda alteration was just right. So do that.

Of note, this cookie recipe was attached to a recipe for pumpkin gingersnap ice cream sandwiches. Basically, if you make these cookies bigger, you could put pumpkin ice cream in between and life will be happy.

Also, if you want a chocolate version, Martha has this recipe as well.

cookie

Chewy Gingerbread Cookies
Martha Stewart

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) softened
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated, peeled fresh ginger
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
2 tablespoons baking soda, dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water
1/3 cup granulated sugar

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, and spices into a medium bowl. Put butter, brown sugar, and grated ginger into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in molasses.

Beat in flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the baking soda mixture. Shape dough into a disk, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours (up to overnight).

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Shape dough into 1/2-inch balls, and space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate 20 minutes.

Roll balls in granulated sugar. Bake until surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets, 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks, and let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Yield: about 4 dozen

Friday, November 27, 2015

Turtle Pumpkin Pie

Erica and I found this recipe on Pinterest and decided it must be made for Thanksgiving. It took me approximately 5 minutes to put together, the night before Thanksgiving, while we were drinking wine and watching Youtube videos of babies farting (seriously look it up - it's hilarious). My family really liked it. I think I should have added a little less nutmeg and a little more cinnamon. We also decided the pecans should be toasted. Erica didn't like the caramel layer on the bottom and suggested maybe just dumping the pecans and caramel on top of the pie. So really, you can do basically anything you want with this recipe.

PIE

Turtle Pumpkin Pie
KraftFoods

1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping, divided
2 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping, divided
1 HONEY MAID Graham Pie Crust (6 oz.)
1/2 cup chopped PLANTERS Pecans, divided
2 tablespoons chopped PLANTERS Pecans, divided
2 packages JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding (3.4 oz. each)
1 cup cold milk
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tub COOL WHIP Whipped Topping (8 oz.) thawed, divided

POUR 1/4 cup caramel topping into crust; sprinkle with 1/2 cup nuts.

BEAT next 5 ingredients in large bowl with whisk until well blended. Stir in 1-1/2 cups COOL WHIP; spoon into crust.

REFRIGERATE 1 hour. Top with remaining COOL WHIP, caramel topping and nuts just before serving.

Cookie Monday: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

So, for Cookie Monday this week I made some Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. A tried-and-true recipe! They were great for the Monday before Thanksgiving.

cookie

I also, on a whim, made a big batch of Spinach Balls, which I then froze. For some reason I had all the ingredients available. I plan to use them for various snacks and meals during the winter.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Kale Feta Egg Toast

Something I learned when making this for dinner is: burned feta cheese smells terrible. Just completely awful.

The recipe says to mix in the feta in a bowl, to the side, after cooking the kale. DO THAT. Don't be lazy and dump the feta into the pan. IT IS NOT GOOD.

However! This little toast is very tasty. I screwed up my fried eggs (due to the burned feta) so mine are more of scrambled egg pieces, but it was still very good. I added a lot of crushed red pepper, which made it lovely. Very quick and easy, and probably has some kind of nutritional content. Yum!

toast

Kale Feta Egg Toast
WellPlated

2 slices English Muffin Bread, sourdough bread, multigrain bread, or English muffin, for serving
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
3 cups chopped kale, stems removed
1 teaspoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
1/8 teaspoon salt, plus additional for seasoning
1/8 teaspoon pepper, plus additional for seasoning
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 large eggs
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Toast bread in a toaster, toaster oven, or beneath a broiler. Set aside.

Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium. Add the kale, stir to coat, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir and cook 1 additional minute. Remove from heat, stir in the feta cheese, then cover to keep warm.

In a small skillet, heat the remaining teaspoon olive oil over medium. Gently crack eggs into skillet and sprinkle with a little extra salt and pepper. Cook until whites are nearly set, about 1 minute. Cover skillet, remove from heat, and let stand until whites are set but yolks are still soft, about 3 minutes.

To serve: Place half of the kale on top of each toast, then top with a fried egg. Serve immediately.

Yield: 2 servings

Monday, November 16, 2015

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

I had this big bag of mini Reese's leftover from Halloween so I decided to make a quick cookie using them up. I liked this recipe because it makes 3 dozen but doesn't require ridiculous amounts of butter. I read the reviews on the Real Simple website and paid close attention to people's suggestions.

Apparently, this was a mediocre-at-best recipe as printed in the magazine. However, some reviewers made some very good suggestions. On their recommendation, I used two eggs instead of one, and I baked the cookies for 9 minutes at 350 instead of 12 minutes at 375. Even just at 350 they were toasty. Any higher temp or longer cooking time and they'd be burned. The egg helps them not to dry out or fall apart, which is nice. The cookies are very flat though. It isn't a terrible thing, but it could be better. I'm not sure what to do to this recipe to encourage puffiness.

Anyway, so here's the takeaway: add an extra egg, bake it at 350 for 9 minutes. Ta-da! Now I will post the recipe as originally printed.

Oh, and I don't have a photo of them because they just did not photograph well at all so I gave up.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
Real Simple, October 2009

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) at room temperature
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 ounces small peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped

Heat oven to 375° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Fold in the peanut butter cups.

Drop tablespoon-size mounds of dough 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake until light brown around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a baking rack to cool.

Yield: about 3 dozen

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl

Last week was my last CSA pickup for the season. I used up a bunch of the bounty in this buddha bowl - sweet potatoes, onion, kale, and broccoli (instead of the broccolini). The sweet potatoes took WAY longer to cook than the recipe suggests. I actually ended up microwaving them after roasting for awhile because everything else was done and they were still hard. I really liked the chickpeas. They had a nice flavor and texture. I would make them again to throw in with other vegetable bowls. I didn't really like the tahini sauce, but you could easily omit it or replace it with something else. I felt like it was just a little too sweet. Mine also did not end up as thick as the original post suggests. This was pretty good but I don't think I'd make it again.

buddha

Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl
Minimalist Baker

Vegetables:
2 Tbsp olive, melted coconut, or grape seed oil
1/2 red onion, sliced in wedges
2 large sweet potatoes, halved
1 bundle broccolini (227 g) large stems removed, chopped
2 big handfuls kale, larger stems removed
1/4 tsp salt + pepper

Chickpeas:
1 15 ounce chickpeas (425 g) drained, rinsed + patted dry
1 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt + pepper
1/2 tsp oregano (optional)
1/4 tsp turmeric (optional)

Tahini Sauce
1/4 cup tahini (56 g)
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 Tbsp hot water to thin (2 to 4)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and arrange sweet potatoes and onions on a bare baking sheet. Drizzle both with a bit of oil, making sure the flesh of the sweet potatoes are well coated and placed skin side down on the sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven flip sweet potatoes and add broccolini. Drizzle broccolini with a bit of oil and season with a pinch each salt and pepper.

Bake for another 8-10 minutes, then remove from oven and add kale. Drizzle kale with a touch more oil and season with a pinch each salt and pepper. Bake for another 4-5 minutes then set aside.

While vegetables are roasting, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add chickpeas to a mixing bowl and toss with seasonings.

Once hot, add 1 Tbsp oil and chickpeas and sauté, stirring frequently. If they're browning too quickly, turn down heat. If there isn't much browning going on, increase heat. I found 10 minutes total at slightly over medium heat was perfect.

Once the chickpeas are browned and fragrant, remove from heat and set aside.

Prepare sauce by adding tahini, maple syrup and lemon juice to a mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Add hot water until a pourable sauce is formed. Set aside.

To serve: Slice sweet potatoes into bite size pieces. Divide vegetables between 3 serving bowls and top with chickpeas + tahini sauce.

Servings: 2-3

Monday, November 09, 2015

Apple Cider Cookies

A couple weeks ago I visited Clyde's Cider Mill in Old Mystic CT with my boyfriend and have been on a little apple cider kick since then. I'm finally in the mood for it to really be fall, so might as well embrace all the apple and cinnamon. (Still not so much on the pumpkin.)

SO the big secret in these cookies is that the apple flavor comes from a packet of apple cider mix. They're like 75 cents at the grocery store in the drink aisle. I used this one from Mott's because it's what my grocery store carried. Fine. The other secret is the cinnamon chips. I don't know why anyone would use butterscotch, as mentioned in the recipe. Cinnamon all the way.

And then they're rolled in cinnamon and sugar like a little snickerdoodle! Amazing. I made the cookies fairly small, so I got about 4 dozen cookies. Everyone seemed to like them a lot! I thought they were delicious. Very appley. Very cinnamony. Yum! I would make these again.

cinnamon

Apple Cider Cookies
The Three-Bite Rule

1 cup butter
6 tbsp sugar
1 individual serving size packet hot cider
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups flour
1 tbsp milk
1 1/2 cups butterscotch or cinnamon chips
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat butter, sugar, cider mix, vanilla, milk, and salt.

Add flour in and mix until well combined.

Mix in chips by hand.

Roll cookie dough in 1-inch balls into mixed cinnamon and sugar.

Bake 9 minutes and let cool on cooling racks.

Crispy Baked Peanut Tofu

It was only after I started preparing for this recipe that I realized the cauliflower was going to be made into a faux rice, so I'll post the original recipe, but I will confess I did not make cauliflower rice. Instead, I put the cauliflower back in the freezer and made some instant brown rice instead. No regrets. I did use bok choy from the farm (tomorrow is the last pickup, wah) and some "extra crunchy" peanut butter (BEST).

The tofu was a nice texture from the draining and baking and pan-searing. I liked it. The tofu did start to burn in the pan pretty quickly so be careful when you're adding the sauce. Maybe next time I'll try the cauliflower rice. Just kidding! I will probably never do that. Carbs for life.

tofu

Crispy Baked Peanut Tofu
Minimalist Baker

12 ounces extra firm tofu
1 Tbsp Toasted sesame oil

1 small head cauliflower
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp Toasted sesame oil

Sauce:
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
4 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce
2 1/2 Tbsp peanut butter or almond butter

Veggies (baby bok choy, green onion, red pepper, broccoli)
Toppings: Fresh lime juice, cilantro, sriracha

Begin by draining tofu 1.5 hours before you want your meal ready. If your block of tofu is larger than 12 ounces, trim it down. You don't need a full pound for this recipe.

Roll tofu in an absorbent towel several times and then place something heavy on top to press for 15 minutes.

Near the end of draining, preheat oven to 400 degrees F and cube tofu. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Bake for 25 minutes to dry/firm the tofu. Once baked, remove from oven and let cool.

Prepare sauce by whisking together ingredients until combined. Taste and adjust flavor as needed.

Add cooled tofu to the sauce and stir to coat. Let marinate for at least 15 minutes to saturate the tofu and infuse the flavor.

In the meantime, shred your cauliflower into rice by using a large grater or food processor. You don't want it too fine, just somewhat close to the texture of rice. Set aside. Mince garlic if you haven't already done so, and prepare any veggies you want to add to the dish (optional).

Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat (6 out of 10), and if adding any veggies to your dish, cook them now in a bit of sesame oil and a dash of soy sauce. Remove from pan and set aside and cover to keep warm.

Use a slotted spoon to spoon tofu into the preheated pan. Add a few spoonfuls of the sauce to coat. Cook, stirring frequently for a few minutes until browned. It will stick to the pan a bit, so don't worry. Remove from pan and set aside and cover to keep warm.

Rinse your pan under very hot water water and scrape away any residue. Place back on oven.

Add a drizzle of sesame oil to the pan, then add garlic and cauliflower rice and stir. Put cover on to steam the "rice." Cook for about 5-8 minutes until slightly browned and tender, stirring occasionally. Then add a few spoonfuls of sauce to season and stir.

Place cauliflower rice and top with veggies and tofu. Serve with any leftover sauce. Leftovers reheat well and will keep covered in the fridge for up to a couple days.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Maple-Mustard Tempeh with Collard Greens

I'm still on this weird tempeh kick. I've been cooking with it more than I have been using tofu or beans, and I've mostly eliminated processed soy products (with exceptions). Not sure why this has happened. Tempeh is weird. It smells funny, it's kind of fermenty, and it has a weird texture. Nothing about it seems appetizing, but it translates well into meals. I made a reuben with tempeh slices the other day and it was amazing.

Anyway so since I had tempeh and collard greens, this seemed like a natural choice for dinner yesterday. I didn't have any orange juice, but I did have some apple cider, so I used that instead. The cinnamon gives the marinade an interesting flavor, but you should definitely go easy on it. I also wondered if I could have crisped up the tempeh a little more in a pan. Maybe it's just because I like burned things. Mysteries. I don't think I would make this again but it was a nice, easy dinner.

tempeh

Glazed Maple-Mustard Tempeh Strips with Collards
Vegetarian Times

2 pkg. tempeh (8 oz.) sliced into 1/2-inch strips
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup safflower oil, divided
2 Tbs. ketchup
2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. sriracha sauce
1 Tbs. low-sodium tamari
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
2 bunches collard greens (12 oz.) stems and ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
2 cups frozen fire roasted corn, thawed

Place tempeh strips in medium heat-proof bowl. Set aside.

Whisk together maple syrup, orange juice, 2 Tbs. oil, ketchup, mustard, sriracha, tamari, pepper, and cinnamon in medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Pour hot mixture over tempeh strips, cover, and let marinate 30 minutes, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with foil, and coat with cooking spray. Arrange marinated tempeh strips on prepared baking sheet; reserve marinade. Cover baking sheet tightly with foil, and bake 15 minutes. Remove foil, and flip tempeh pieces. Bake, uncovered, 5 minutes more, or until tempeh is slightly browned. Remove from oven, and brush tempeh with remaining glaze.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 Tbs. oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, and cook 30 seconds. Add collard greens in two batches, wilting first batch before adding second. Stir in corn, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cook 5 to 7 minutes or until greens are tender, stirring occasionally. Serve topped with tempeh slices.

Yield: 6 servings

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Cake Mix Cookies

For Cookie Monday, I adapted this recipe for Strawberries & Cream Cookies to create Funfetti cookies. Since the recipe really is reliant on the cake mix that you use, you can make pretty much anything. I used Funfetti cake mix and produced a bunch of little cake cookies. So good! I've made them with lemon cake mix, yellow cake, strawberry, and I'm hoping to try with carrot cake mix soon.

Also of note, I just made a HUGE batch of kimchi using cabbage, daikon radishes, carrots, and garlic from the farm. I ordered a big bag of gochugaru chile flakes off Amazon for like $10 so I have enough to make more kimchi in the future. I've already eaten the first few jars I made over the summer, so I'm excited to have more. Love it so much!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Brown Butter Spaghetti with Kale & Roasted Butternut Squash

The CSA is almost over, and I don't know what I'm going to do with my life when it is. Will I actually have to buy produce again? (Yes.) I used a butternut squash, some kale, onions, and garlic from the farm. I also didn't have spaghetti so I used the pasta I had. I wanted to add herbs to the squash - like some sage, maybe? - but I resisted, and it paid off. Simple and delicious. I have leftovers to reheat later. Yum!

pasta

Brown Butter Spaghetti with Kale & Roasted Butternut Squash
The Little Epicurean

6 ounces spaghetti
2 cups butternut squash, cut into cubes
tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 small onions, sliced (about 2 cups)
4 packed cups baby kale
1/4 cup pecorino romano
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
Additional pecorino or parmesan, for serving
Finely sliced chives, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. On a parchment lined baking sheet, spread out butternut squash. Drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Bake for 30-40 minutes until squash is soft and can be easily pierced with a fork or knife. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti to al dente according to package details. When draining pasta, reserve a cup of pasta water.

In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Once butter is melted, continue to cook over medium low heat until butter has browned and is fragrant (should smell nutty). Add minced garlic (I like to smash mine using a mortar and pestle) and sliced onions. Cook until onions are almost translucent. Add baby kale in two additions. Cook until kale begins to wilt. Remove from heat. Add pecorino romano, parmesan cheese, and roasted butternut squash. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add cooked spaghetti and toss to coat pasta. Add 1/4 cup of reserved pasta water at a time until pasta is well coated with sauce.

Serve immediately with sliced chives and/or more cheese, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Fingerling Potato-Leek Hash with Swiss Chard and Eggs

This recipe basically utilized everything I got in my CSA pickup last week. Leeks, chard, garlic, potatoes, and eggs. Hooray! And it was delicious! It was a perfect dinner for a stressful weekday. I didn't have any Gruyere cheese so I just did a little sprinkle of Parmesan and that was good enough. This was delicious and I would make it again.

hash

Fingerling Potato-Leek Hash with Swiss Chard and Eggs
Cooking Light, April 2011

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups sliced leek (about 2 large)
12 ounces fingerling potatoes, cut in half lengthwise (about 4 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
4 cups thinly sliced trimmed Swiss chard (about 1 bunch)
4 large eggs
1/4 cup shredded Gruyère cheese (1 ounce)

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan. Add leek; cook 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add potatoes and garlic; cook 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chard; cook 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Using a spoon, push potato mixture aside to make 4 egg-size spaces. Crack 1 egg into each space; sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon paprika over eggs. Cover and cook 3 minutes; sprinkle cheese over potato mixture. Cover and cook 2 minutes or until egg yolks are lightly set.

Yield: 4 servings

Monday, October 05, 2015

Pumpkin-Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've been on vacation for a couple weeks so I didn't make any cookies for a little bit! Today is my first Monday back at work so I tried to pick out a recipe that would make everyone happy. Eleven (11) people posted a recipe on my Facebook for these pumpkin snickerdoodles with cream cheese in the middle, but they seemed like a lot of effort for something that inevitably would be disappointing - in previous years, pumpkin snickerdoodles have failed to win accolades. So I agreed to make something pumpkin-spice, but I searched for a better recipe.

I picked this one because it has oats and chocolate chips to add texture and flavor, instead of just relying on the baby-food consistency of pumpkin. Also, knowing that most people enjoy the "spice" far more than the actual "pumpkin," I tweaked the spices. Actually, first, I doubled them. Pumpkin is bland. Must spice. More spice. Then I also added some allspice and some cloves. Go easy on the cloves, but honestly I think they really helped.

Anyway, these were delicious and enjoyable. Much better than the pumpkin snickerdoodles!

pumpkin

Pumpkin-Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cooking Classy

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups quick oats
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups packed light-brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional - I did not add these)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger for 30 seconds, set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until creamy (occasionally stop and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl throughout entire mixing process). Blend in egg then blend in vanilla extract and pumpkin puree. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Mix in chocolate chips and pecans (if you want some chocolate to show through set some aside to press into tops before baking). Let batter rest 5 - 10 minutes (this just gives the oats some time to absorb the liquids so batter isn't so sticky and cookies don't spread so much).

Scoop dough out 2 Tbsp at a time, and drop onto Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets, spacing cookies 2-inches apart. Bake in preheated oven 12 - 14 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheet several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: 4 dozen

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Zucchini Gyro Fritters

Using some of the last zucchinis of the season, I made these quick patties. They are not gyros. Let's not pretend. I don't know when Greece started making gyros with poblano peppers in them. But I'm not the one who invented this recipe, so we'll go with it.

So! Quick little patties, pan fried and shoved into a pita with some other ingredients. From the farm, I used kale, a red onion, zucchini, garlic, and a poblano. From my backyard, I used one of the last of my tomatoes. This did not take very long and was very enjoyable. I think it could be spiced up a little more. Maybe add in some corn. Or oregano? Unsure. It could definitely be tweaked. But it was a nice way to finish up my produce for a couple weeks before going on vacation!

gyro

Zucchini Gyro Fritters
Vegetarian Times, July/August 2015

3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 lb. zucchini, coarsely grated
1 large egg
1/4 cup canned diced green chiles or
1 roasted poblano chile, diced
1 green onion, chopped (2 Tbs.)
1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbs. olive oil
3/4 cup roasted red pepper or jalapeño-cilantro hummus
3 whole-wheat pita breads, halved and warmed
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups chopped lettuce

Stir together yogurt and lemon zest in small bowl. Set aside.

Wrap grated zucchini in clean kitchen towel, and wring out excess moisture.

Whisk egg in large bowl. Stir in zucchini, green chiles, green onion, and garlic. Sprinkle mixture with flour and baking powder, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Heat 1 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium heat. Drop 6 heaping tablespoonfuls zucchini mixture into skillet, and gently flatten. Cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Transfer to paper-towel-lined plate, and repeat with remaining zucchini mixture.

Spread 2 Tbs. hummus inside each pita half. Fill with 2 tomato slices, 2 zucchini cakes, red onion slices, and 1/3 cup chopped lettuce. Drizzle each gyro with 2 Tbs. yogurt mixture

6 servings

Saturday, September 19, 2015

S'Mores Dip

I had a party last weekend and my amazing friends brought pretty much everything so I didn't even have to worry about food. But I did contribute this super-fast dip because we needed something sweet. Sorry it's an extra-terrible photo. I pre-gamed before people arrived. But that says something about this dip - it is possible to make when drinking.

Anyway.

It was delicious and gone by the end of the night. I tweaked the basic recipe floating around Pinterest to include some sweetened condensed milk to prevent the chocolate from hardening. So this is my modified version. Served with graham crackers. Yum!

smores

S'Mores Dip
Adapted from a billion recipes on Pinterest

1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups marshmallows

Microwave chocolate chips and condensed milk in 30 second intervals, stirring until melted and thoroughly mixed.

Pour into a baking dish. Top with marshmallows. Broil on high for 1 minute or until marshmallows are toasty.

Serve warm. Can be reheated midway through your party in the microwave if needed.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake

First I will follow up with a previous recipe, Refrigerator Pickled Hot Peppers. I opened it up for the first time yesterday to throw some peppers on my cauliflower sandwich (still one of my favorite meals currently). They were SO SALTY. I rinsed them off a little and then they tasted better, but oh my gosh. So salty. I wouldn't make this particular recipe again. Next year I'll try a different version.

I also made a quick casserole out of the rest of my basil and squash. I made it, baked it, and then froze it before the last step. When I'm ready to eat it, I'll thaw it, add the extra cheese to the top, and bake. I don't have a picture yet since it isn't done. I'll update you when I eat it.

Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake
Kalyn's Kitchen

2 medium-sized zucchini, cut in slices or half-moon slices
2 medium-sized yellow squash, cut in slices or half-moon slices
2 T chopped fresh basil (or even less, depending on how much you like the flavor of basil) (2 to 4)
2 T thinly sliced green onion
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup + 1/2 cup low-fat white cheese
1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Spray an 8" x 8" baking dish with olive oil or non-stick spray. Wash the squash and cut in slices or half-moon slices. Wash basil, spin dry or dry with paper towels and finely chop. Slice green onions.

Combine the sliced squash, chopped basil, sliced green onions, dried thyme, garlic powder, and both kinds of cheese and stir together until the veggies are coated with cheese and the herbs are well-distributed. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Put the mixture in the baking dish and bake uncovered for about 25-30 minutes.

When the zucchini is nearly cooked through, take the casserole dish out of the oven and sprinkle over the remaining 1/2 cup of grated cheese. Put the dish back in the oven and bake 10-15 minutes longer, or until the cheese is melted and nicely browned and zucchini is fully cooked. Serve hot.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Caprese Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Tomatoes

I got a small spaghetti squash from my CSA so I used up the rest of my cherry tomatoes and basil and made this for dinner. It was ok, but not great. The sauce is really sweet. I would leave out the agave nectar completely. There's also way too much of it for the ratio to the squash (or maybe my squash was just too small?). I didn't really love this.

squash

Caprese Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Tomatoes
Cookin' Canuck

10 cherry tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp agave nectar or honey
1/8 tsp salt
1 spaghetti squash (3 lb.)
2 oz. fresh mozzarella, diced
5 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Place the tomatoes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Drizzle the tomatoes with the olive oil, and sprinkle them with garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.

Roast until the tomatoes are slightly shriveled and soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Roughly chop the tomatoes and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, agave (or honey) and salt.

Using a large, sharp knife, pierce a spaghetti squash in several places.

Place the spaghetti squash in a glass baking dish and cook in the microwave on high for about 15 minutes, turning the squash halfway through cooking.

Before handling, let the squash stand for 10 minutes. Cut it in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and fibers. Using a fork, twist out strands of the spaghetti squash flesh and place in a large bowl. Let stand at room temperature.

Add the roasted tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and dressing to spaghetti squash. Toss gently to combine. Serve.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Pickled Okra 2

I already made Pickled Okra once, about 6 weeks ago. It wasn't quite ready to be eaten, but my mom LOVES pickled okra, so I brought it with me on a visit last week. She ate them ALL. I personally didn't think it had absorbed as much flavor as I would have liked, and I didn't feel like the dill flavor was prominent, despite using fresh dill from my garden.

So! With the remainder of the summer's okra, I tried a different recipe. We'll see how it goes. I'll update you in a month.

okra

Pickled Okra (2)
Gourmet magazine, November 1982

1 pound okra (3 1/2 to 4 inches long)
6 garlic cloves, peeled
3 cups cider vinegar (24 fluid ounces)
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tablespoons dill seeds
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
Special equipment: 6 canning jars with screw bands and lids, an instant-read or candy thermometer

Sterilize jars and lids:
Wash jars, screw bands, and lids in hot, soapy water, then rinse well. Dry screw bands.

Put jars on a rack in a boiling-water canner or a deep 8- to 10-quart pot and add enough hot water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, covered with lid, and boil 10 minutes. Heat lids in water to cover in a small saucepan until thermometer registers 180°F (do not let boil). Keep jars and lids submerged in hot water, covered, until ready to use.

Make pickled okra:
Drain jars upside down on a clean kitchen towel 1 minute. Tightly pack jars with okra, stem ends up, then put 1 garlic clove in each jar.

Bring remaining ingredients to a boil in a 2-quart nonreactive saucepan, stirring until sugar and salt are dissolved. Divide pickling liquid evenly among jars, leaving 1/4-inch space at top, then run a thin knife between okra and jar.

Seal and process jars:
Wipe off rims of filled jars with a clean damp kitchen towel, then firmly screw on lids with screw bands.

Put sealed jars on rack in canner or pot and add enough hot water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, covered. Boil pickles, covered, 10 minutes, then transfer jars with tongs to a towel-lined surface to cool. Jars will seal (if you hear a ping, that signals that the vacuum formed at the top has made the lid concave).

After jars have cooled 12 to 24 hours, press center of each lid to check that it's concave, then remove screw band and try to lift lid with your fingertips. If you can't, the lid has a good seal.

Let pickled okra stand in jars at least 1 day for flavors to develop.

Cooks' note: Pickled okra (in sealed jars) keeps 6 months in a cool dark place.

Yield: 3 pints, or 6 half-pints

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

In my quest to use up all my zucchini, of course I looked on Pinterest for bread and muffin recipes. This one consistently came up as a most-pinned recipe. It is a slightly spiced muffin with chocolate chips and a streusel top. And it's just as delicious as it sounds like it would be! I loved it. This made ENORMOUS muffins. I ate a couple of them and then froze the rest. Delicious. I would make this in loaves as gifts for people. It's that good.

muffin

muffin

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread or Muffins
Sally's Baking Addiction

Streusel:
2/3 cups old-fashioned or quick oats (60g)
1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar (100g)
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour (16g)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter (60g) cold
optional: 1 Tablespoon (10g) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Bread:
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar (100g)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (100g)
1/2 cup vegetable oil1 (120ml)
1 cup grated zucchini (about 1 large)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour (careful not to overmeasure)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
optional: 3/4 cup (135g) semi-sweet chocolate chips (or use pecans or walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9x5 (or 8x4) loaf pan with nonstick spray. If making muffins, preheat oven to 425F degrees and spray a 12-count pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.

Make the streusel first by combining the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a medium bowl. Cut in the cold butter with two knives or a pasty cutter (preferred) - or you may use your hands. Mix until the streusel resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chips with a spoon. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the beaten egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil, zucchini, and vanilla until evenly combined. In a large bowl, toss the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chocolate chips together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula until combined. Avoid overmixing.

Spread batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake the bread for 20 minutes at 350F degrees. Remove from the oven and top with the streusel - press it down into the top. The reason you are adding it after 20 minutes is to prevent it from sinking to the bottom of the bread as it bakes. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I covered the bread loosely with aluminum foil after 35 total minutes to avoid the top from getting too brown. Allow bread to cool in the pan set on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before removing from the pan and serving.

If making muffins, fill 9-10 muffin cups all the way to the top. Press the streusel into the tops of each muffin. Bake for 5 minutes at 425F degrees and, keeping the muffins in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 350F degrees and continue to bake for an additional 13-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before serving.

Store leftover bread or muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Make ahead tip: Bread and muffins freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Yield: 1 loaf or 10 muffins (I only got 7 muffins out of it)

Monday, September 07, 2015

Habanero Peach Jam

First, I will tell you that last week I made Fruity Pebble Cookies for Cookie Monday at the request of a coworker. I had completely forgotten about this recipe and never repeated it. It was fun to rediscover it! They're still delicious.

Now I will tell you about my habanero plant. It is insane. It just keeps producing peppers and I'm drowning, because any given recipe really only uses 1 or 2 habaneros. So I'm desperate. I picked up some local peaches and tried out this recipe for peach jam. It still only used 2 habaneros, but at least it was a new experience.

So here's what went wrong: for some reason, it didn't make 2 full pints of jam. It made maybe one. Second, it didn't make jam. I don't know if I cooked it too long, or at the wrong temperature, or an ingredient was missing, but this is basically candied peaches/peppers. It's been sitting for about a month but is still sticky, not spreadable or "jammy." It tastes good! But there's not even really a use for it. Maybe I can melt it down and pour it over cream cheese for a dip. Actually, that's probably what I'll do. That's a great idea, self! Hooray!

jam

Habanero Peach Jam
The View from Great Island

1 lb 5 oz peeled and pitted peaches
2 habanero peppers, seeds and all, finely minced
1 lb 5 oz sugar
juice of 1 lemon

Put your jars through the hot cycle of the dishwasher to clean.

Peel and slice your peaches over a bowl, to catch the juices.

Weigh the peaches and then weigh out the same amount of sugar.

Put the peaches, sugar, habanero peppers and lemon juice in a large heavy bottomed pot. Stir to combine everything and mash the peaches a bit with a large wooden spoon or potato masher.

Let sit for an hour.

Bring the mixture to a boil, and boil for approximately 20-30 minutes, stirring frequently. It will foam up for most of the time, and eventually, when the jam is nearly ready, the foam will die down.

Check to see if the jam is ready by dropping a small amount on a very cold plate. When it is ready it will jel as it cools on the plate.

When you are satisfied with the jelling, ladle the hot jam into clean jars, filling almost to the top. Put the lids on, but don’t screw them too tightly, and immediately set the jars upside down.

Let the jars cool, and then turn them right side up and refrigerate.

Yield: 4 half-pint jars

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Rotel-Style Tomatoes

With the one of the last big harvests of Roma tomatoes from the farm, I decided to try out this recipe for rotel-style tomatoes. Rotel tomatoes, if you do not know, are diced tomatoes mixed with spicy peppers. You can use it in dips or Mexican food or whatever. It's delicious. I buy cans of it all the time so it made sense to try to make them myself.

EXCEPT! WILDCARD! I didn't have any poblano peppers, but I DID have a TON of jalapenos, habaneros, and random other hot peppers from my backyard. So I used those instead! Only one habanero, I swear. I'm sure it isn't as spicy as it sounds...

Anyway the canning process went smoothly. Nothing went wrong and everything was fine. They're all happily sealed in my pantry. I will report back when I open one in a few months to use.

tomatoes

Rotel-Style Tomatoes
The Kitchn

2 poblano peppers
5 pounds Roma or paste tomatoes
8 tablespoons bottled lemon juice

Prepare a boiling water bath and 4 12-ounce jelly jars. Place lids in a small saucepan, cover them with water, and simmer over very low heat.

Preheat your broiler and line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the poblano peppers on the baking sheet and roast under the broiler for 3 to 4 minutes. Once one side darkens and blisters, turn the peppers, until all sides are blackened. Remove peppers from oven and cover with another sheet of foil. Let them cool until you are able to handle them without burning yourself. Remove the skins and seeds and dice the peppers.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While it heats, remove the cores from your tomatoes and score the bottoms with a shallow "X." Fill a large bowl 2/3 the way with cold water and place near the stove.

Working in batches, blanch all your tomatoes for 1 to 2 minutes. Make sure to give the water a chance to come back up to boiling between batches. If the water isn't hot enough, you will have a hard time removing the skin during peeling. As each batch is done, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the bowl of ice water; the cold water stops the cooking and cools the tomatoes down enough for you to peel them.

Once all the tomatoes have been blanched and they are cool enough to touch, remove the skins.

Chop the peeled tomatoes and place them in a pot with as much of the tomato juices as you're able to capture during the chopping process. Add the diced poblanos and bring to a boil. Cook at a controlled boil for 30 to 45 minutes to cook off some of the watery liquid, stirring regularly to prevent burning.

Take your prepared jars and add 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice to the bottom of each jar. Pour the hot chopped tomatoes into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Use a wooden chopstick to remove any air bubbles and adjust the amount of tomatoes if necessary.

Wipe the rims, apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath for 35 minutes.

When time is up, slide the pot off the hot burner and remove the lid. Let the jars cool gradually in the water for 10 minutes before lifting them out of the pot and setting them to cool on a folded kitchen towel. This step helps prevent the liquid loss that can occur when you rapidly change the temperature of your freshly processed jars.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Cookie Monday: Amish Sugar Cookies

Last week I was planning to make some kind of chocolate/peanut butter cookie, but I was lazy and did not have all the ingredients I needed. So I looked for a recipe using what I had available. And voila! These sugar cookies.

Because of the combination of butter & oil, and the addition of powdered sugar, these are just really soft and pillowy. They have a light vanilla flavor. Be careful not to overbake them because they brown very quickly. I'm not sure what makes them "Amish," but I don't really care. They were very good and super-easy to make! And I didn't even have to put on pants.

cookies

Amish Sugar Cookies
Taste of Home
Originally published as Amish Sugar Cookies in Country Extra July 1990, p45

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour (4-1/2)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

In large bowl, beat the butter, oil and sugars. Beat in eggs until well blended. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar; gradually add to creamed mixture.

Drop by small teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Yield: about 5 dozen.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Roasted Okra

I'm growing four okra plants on my deck (turns out they're great container plants!), and there's an abundance of okra growing at the farm right now. Let's take a moment to look at the farm.

farm

farm

I've already pickled it once (and I pickled it again with a different recipe, which I'll post soon). I've made it into grilled cheese. I've battered it and frozen it so I can have fried okra all winter long. And the other day I decided to just simply roast it!

Well, that was a terrible idea. Okra is delicious but so easily becomes slimy. Although I'm sure there are people out there who like slimy okra, I am not one of them. I thought roasting it would dry things out a little bit, but I was wrong. This was pretty gross. Tasted good. I ate all of it despite the horrid texture. Next time I'll try grilling it! Or pickling again! Hah.

okra

Roasted Okra
Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen

18 fresh okra pods, sliced 1/3 inch thick
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons black pepper, or to taste

Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

Arrange the okra slices in one layer on a foil lined cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Yield: 3 servings

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Last weekend I made a big batch of cookies for a 4 year old's half-birthday (really just an excuse to have a party). She requested chocolate, and so chocolate is what I delivered. I saved half of the batch at home to take in for Cookie Monday, where they were also well-received.

sugar

These are really, really great basic chocolate cookies. Rolling them in sugar makes them feel like bakery cookies. It was pretty awesome. I would definitely make these again. I want to try them as a base for ice cream sandwiches, too. Yum!

sugar

Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Handmade Charlotte

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar, plus more for rollin
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350. Line 3 half sheet pans with parchment paper. Put ½ cup sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

Whisk the flour, cocoa pow­der, bak­ing soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.

Using a stand­ing mixer, cream the butter and 2 cups sugar together until light and fluffy, 3-5 min­utes. Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat to combine. Add the flour mix­ture and mix on low until com­pletely combined.

Shape the cookie dough into 24 balls, and roll each ball in the set-aside sugar. Place cook­ies on the pre­pared sheet pans (8 can fit on each) and bake for 11-13 minutes, until the edges have set and the cen­ters are puffed and starting to crackle. Remove from the oven and move the pan to a wire rack, letting the cook­ies cool.

Yield: It said 24 balls, but I made about 5 dozen from this recipe. It's going to depend on how big you want the cookies, really.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Vegetarian Eggplant Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a wonderful way to use up vegetables and eggs. A nice quick, easy, delicious, dinner. This is so great. It's seasoned so nicely. Not too spicy. I made extra vegetables and reheated them the next day (eggs do not reheat well). I had it with some naan and a little sprinkle of feta. I loved it and plan to make it again.

From the farm: onion, peppers, eggplant, eggs.
From my garden: jalapeno, parsley.

eggplant

Vegetarian Eggplant Shakshuka
Typical Domestic Babe

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion cut into 1" strips
1 red or green bell pepper, cut into 2" strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small eggplant (or about 2 1/2 cups), cut into 2 inch strips
1 small jalapeno, diced
1 can whole peeled tomatoes (32 oz)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
salt & fresh ground black pepper
3 eggs (3 to 4)
Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped for garnish (about 2 tbsp)
Crusty bread or pita if desired

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion & garlic and saute until it begins to soften & becomes fragrant. Next, add in eggplant, bell pepper & jalapeno and saute until soft (about 7-10 minutes).

Carefully add the canned tomatoes, and the tomato paste to the pan. Stir to combine, gently breaking open the tomatoes with the back of your spoon.

Stir in paprika, cumin, salt & pepper {to taste} and allow the mixture to simmer down and thicken, about 20 minutes.

Once the sauce has thickened, reduce heat to medium low & crack the eggs one at a time directly over your tomato mixture. Make sure to space your eggs out evenly in the pan. Cover with a lid, and allow your eggs to cook in the sauce. Since I like my eggs cooked a little more "over medium", I allow my eggs to cook for around 10 minutes.

Remove from heat, garnish with parsley, and serve with a side of bread or pita.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Homemade Tomato Paste

I'm really behind in posting because I've been making A LOT OF STUFF. I made this homemade tomato paste a couple weeks ago and am just getting around to telling you about it.

canning

So. I've been canning. I even bought a legit canning pot & kit.

canning

canning

While making the Habanero Hot Sauce, I decided to also make some tomato paste out of 5 lbs of roma tomatoes. To do this, I borrowed my friend's tomato press - something I have never used before in my life.

canning

It was a long, tedious process. I halved the recipe because that's how many tomatoes I had to work with. I panicked because when you first put the "pulp" on the pan, it is completely liquid. Just totally liquid. But it cooks down and becomes the tomato paste we all know and love. It genuinely makes me appreciate the tiny 6 ounce cans from the store. So much work goes into it! Needless to say, I burned the shit out of the pan and had to throw it away when I was done. And my kitchen was a mess.

canning

BUT I SUCCEEDED! It didn't make nearly as much as I'd hoped. It half-filled a tiny jelly jar. Whatever. Good enough. I slapped a label on it and stuck in the pantry, along with the hot sauce and all the other stuff I've canned recently.

canning

I wouldn't go through the process of making this again, but I'm glad I did. I learned a lot, I tried something new, and I made good use of an abundance of roma tomatoes.

Homemade Tomato Paste
The Kitchn

10 pounds tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon citric acid

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Chop tomatoes into quarters.

Simmer the tomatoes with the olive oil: Combine the chopped tomatoes and olive oil in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and the peels begin to detach from the tomato flesh.

Pass the tomatoes through a food mill: Push the warm tomatoes through a food mill, sieve or chinois to separate the tomato pulp from the seeds and skins. Stir the sea salt and citric acid into the pulp. Discard or compost the seeds and skins.

Divide the tomato pulp between two large, rimmed baking sheets. You can also use a large roasting pan, but it will take longer to cook down that way.

Bake the tomato pulp until reduced to a paste: Place the baking sheets in the oven. Check the tomatoes every half hour, stirring the paste and switching the position of the baking sheets so that they reduce evenly. Over time, the paste will start to reduce to the point where it doesn't fill the baking sheet any more. At this point, combine the contents of the two pans into and continue to bake.

The paste is done when shiny and brick-colored, and it has reduced by more than half (3 to 4 hours). There shouldn't be any remaining water or moisture separating from the paste at this point. This will take 3 to 4 hours, though exact baking times will depend on the juiciness of your tomatoes.

Divide finished paste into 4-ounce jars, leaving 3/4 inch headspace.

Preserving Option 1 - Process the tomato paste in a hot water bath: Apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Preserving Option 2 - Refrigerate or Freeze: If you don't want to process the paste, you can refrigerate or freeze it instead. Scrape finished paste into clean half or quarter pint jars. Top each jar with a layer of olive oil and place in either the refrigerator or the freezer. As long as you keep it well-covered with olive oil and ensure that you only use a very clean spoon to remove it from the jar, it will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 weeks. Frozen, it will keep for up to nine months.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Essential Habanero Hot Sauce

I have a bajillion habaneros growing on my deck, and they're basically impossible to use up because you really only ever need one habanero in a recipe. Being homegrown, they are extra flavorful and spicy. I figured I would use my new canning supplies to make this hot sauce. I made three small jars of it and canned them for personal use and for gifts.

When I pureed the sauce, it would not freaking liquify. It stayed kind of chunky, albeit small chunks, but definitely not like a smooth hot sauce. My friend and I ended up using it like a salsa, dipping chips in it. This was a great idea if you like spicy food. It tasted much better than I expected! This was a great way to use up habaneros if you're looking for ideas.

hot sauce

Make sure you read the instructions for canning on the original post. The ingredients are very specific so you won't get food poisoned, which is obviously important.

hot sauce

Essential Habanero Hot Sauce
Food.com

1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons salt
10 habanero peppers, seeds and stems removed, chopped

Combine all the ingredients, except for the habaneros, in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes or until the carrots are soft.

Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Strain for a smoother sauce.

Pour in sterilized jars and process in a water bath as described above.

Yield: 2 cups

Friday, August 14, 2015

Cornmeal-Crusted Fried Okra Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

I got a quart of okra 2 weeks in a row from the farm, and my own okra plant is producing quite a bit, so I am getting creative with okra now. I pickled it a few weeks ago, I've been roasting it and pan searing it with other vegetables, and then I found a grilled cheese recipe.

Basically what you do is make some pan-fried okra and then put that in a grilled cheese sandwich. Super easy and straightforward. It tasted exactly how you'd expect. I enjoyed it. I did add a little bit of cajun seasoning to the breading on the okra, which was a nice choice. This was a fun way to use up some okra.

sandwich

Cornmeal-Crusted Fried Okra Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Eats Well With Others

6 tbsp canola oil
2 lb okra, trimmed and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fine yellow cornmeal
8 oz provolone or mozzarella
8 slices bread (8 to 10)

Heat 3 tbsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the okra and stir to coat with the oil. Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the okra is bright green, stirring frequently.

Season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle the cornmeal over the okra and add in the remaining oil. Cook, stirring frequently, until the okra is tender and coated in the crispy cornmeal. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Heat oven to 400F.

Sprinkle the cheese on 4 of the bread slices. Top with the okra, another layer of cheese, and a slice of bread. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is crispy.


Yield: 4 sandwiches

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Cookie Monday: Brown Butter Espresso Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I didn't make any cookies last week because work has been so stressful that I knew I wasn't going to have time to pass out cookies. To make up for it this week, I went with a delicious browned-butter chocolate chip cookie with a sprinkle of espresso powder and sea salt. They were very easy to make. I went easy on the sea salt because not everyone is a fan of that, but no one complained. I liked these a lot and would definitely make them again.

cookie

Brown Butter Espresso Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Mountain Mama Cooks

16 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 cup)
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt + more for sprinkling
4 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to foam and turn brown on the bottom of the saucepan. Stir the butter to prevent burning and remove from heat and soon as the butter gives off a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning. Let cool for 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, espresso powder and salt; set aside.

With an electric mixer, mix the cooled butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, vanilla, and yogurt until thoroughly combined. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat on low-speed just until combined. Stir in the chopped chocolate.

At this point you can refrigerate the dough for an hour or so as it makes the cookies spread less but honestly, you don't have to. I've done it both ways with great success!

Drop dough by the heaping tablespoon onto a lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with a bit of seat salt if desired.

Bake the cookies 10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. They will look a bit underdone in the middle, but will continue to cook once out of the oven. Cool the cookies on the sheets for 3-5 minutes. Remove the cookies from the baking sheets and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

These cookies freeze beautifully or can be stored in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days.

Yield: 3 dozen, but I made them smaller and got about 4-5 dozen

Monday, August 10, 2015

Refrigerator Pickled Hot Peppers

I didn't think my backyard garden would be successful, so I kind of went crazy when I planted things and I never really thought about what would happen if everything actually flourished. Which it has. And the lesson I've learned is this: It is possible to have too many peppers and too many tomatoes.

I spend a lot of time canning, freezing, and preserving food. A lot. Like, several days a week after work. It'll be worth it eventually, but right now I am tired.

Anyway, I have a TON of peppers growing. Here's one day's harvest:
peppers

I strung up some cayenne peppers to dry (of course more are growing), I've pickled the jalapenos and am working on a few other uses, and you'll see a ton of habanero recipes pretty soon because I've been using them up as well. But I had a bunch of gypsy frying peppers, and then I got even more from the farm, so I decided to pickle them. This recipe didn't involve canning, which was good because I. AM. SO. TIRED. (Canning recipes to come in the next few days.)

I LOVE pickled hot peppers. I like to put them on sandwiches and burgers and more sandwiches. I'm pretty excited to see how these turn out. They have a few more weeks til they're ready. I'll let you know how they turn out.

peppers

So pretty!

Refrigerator Pickled Hot Peppers
The Creekside Cook

2 quarts water
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup pickling salt
2 to 3 pounds hot peppers
3 cloves garlic

Wash 3 quart jars and the lids - set aside.

Measure the water, vinegar and salt into a 3 quart sauce pan, and stir until salt is dissolved. Bring to a simmer.

Wash and dry the peppers, and cut however you like - smaller slices means more will fit into the jars, but they look nice just cut in half the long way.

Peel the garlic cloves.

Divide the peppers and garlic evenly between the jars, pressing down to fill in spaces.

Carefully pour in the brine, making sure that the peppers are completely covered.

Screw on the lids, and leave at room temperature for 2 or 3 days and then store in the refrigerator. They can be eaten fairly quickly, but are best after sitting a least a month. They will keep for several months in the fridge.

Yield: 3 quarts

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Pickled Okra

Okra is in abundance both in my garden and at the farm. I LOVE pickled okra. A lot. So the first thing I did was make this pickled okra recipe. I also took a quart of okra, blanched it, breaded it, and flash-froze it so I can make fried okra in the future.

For the pickled okra, I used dill and peppers from my garden. I also used my canning equipment to properly can it and seal it. And now the okra is safely resting on the shelf. I don't know if it will be delicious. I'll have to follow up at a later time when I open it up. I will keep you posted. But oh! It's so lovely.

okra

Pickled Okra
Martha Stewart Living

2 pounds tender okra
1 quart white vinegar
6 tablespoons salt
16 small cloves garlic
8 small fresh hot red peppers
1 bunch fresh dill (about 24 sprigs)
1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds

Rinse okra, and cut away any bruises or bad spots. Trim stem ends of okra, but do not remove caps entirely.

Wash eight 1-pint canning jars, lids, and screw bands with hot soapy water, and rinse well. Place a wire rack on the bottom of a large pot. Place jars upright on a wire rack in a large pot, fill pot with hot water until jars are submerged, and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, but leave jars in water. Sterilize lids and screw bands according to manufacturer's instructions.

Meanwhile, bring vinegar, 3 cups water, and salt to a boil in a large pot.

Using stainless-steel tongs, remove jars from water, and set on a layer of clean towels. Evenly divide garlic, peppers, dill sprigs, and mustard seeds among sterilized jars. Pack jars tightly with okra, alternating direction of caps. Leave 3/4 inch of space beneath the rim of the jar. Pour hot liquid over okra, covering okra by 1/4 inch, leaving 1/2 inch of space beneath the rim. Slide a clean plastic chopstick or wooden skewer along the inside of each jar to release any air bubbles. Wipe mouth of jar with a clean, damp cloth. Place hot lid on jar; screw on band firmly without forcing.

Place a wire rack in the bottom of a large pot, and fill pot with hot water. Using a jar lifter, place the jars on the rack. Add enough hot water to cover by 2 inches, and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Remove jars from water bath with jar lifter; let stand on clean dish towels for 24 hours. Check cool jars for the slight indentation in the lids that indicates a vacuum seal. Jars that do not seal properly or that leak during processing should be stored in the refrigerator and pickles consumed within a week. Allow sealed pickles to mellow in a cool, dry place for 6 to 8 weeks before serving. Store opened jars in the refrigerator.

Yield: 8 pints
(I significantly reduced this in order to make just one pint.)

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Pickled Jalapenos

The amount of vegetables from my garden and from the farm is just absurd at this point so I've started learning alternate methods. My freezer is getting full, so I'm starting to can and pickle. Beware of a LOT of canning posts coming up. I initially used an old pot to boil the jars, but I ruined the pot. So then I bought a cheap canning kit (pot, funnel, jar lifter, basket, assorted tools) off of Amazon. HOORAY!

So these peppers actually don't even need to be canned because they aren't supposed to be shelf-stable. They're just for the refrigerator. The jalapenos I'm growing are so hot, which is amazing and wonderful, but pickling them has helped to temper the heat a little bit. I've been adding these to burritos, sandwiches, and egg scrambles. Yum! And so easy!

I'm VERY AWARE I used way too big of a jar and added too much liquid. I honestly thought I had more jalapenos at the time. 15 just wasn't enough to fill up the jar. Now I have even more, but I'm going to try something different for those. And if I get more, since my plant just keeps producing, maybe I'll pickle more of them and then can them for the pantry. According to the comments on the original blog post, they do can well in a water bath.

jalapenos

Pickled Jalapenos
Domestic Fits

15 large jalapenos
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup vinegar
3 tbs white sugar
2 tbs kosher salt
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Slice the jalapenos into 1/4 inch rings. Remove all or none of the seeds, depending on desired heat level (the more seeds left in the peppers, the higher the heat level).

In a pot over medium high heat, add the water, vinegar, sugar, salt and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar and salt have dissolved, remove from heat. Allow to cool to room temperature before adding the jalapenos. Place peppers and pickling liquid in an airtight container, such as a canning jar, refrigerate for 4 days and up to three weeks.

Friday, July 31, 2015

BBQ Eggplant Sandwiches with Provolone & Mushrooms

I have a whole bunch of eggplant so I decided to try this sandwich the other day for dinner. I used some Sweet Baby Ray's for he sauce. I did not have any mushrooms, so I left that out. I had some spring onions that I used in place of the red onion. And I used some frying peppers from my garden instead of the pepperoncinis. I have to say, I was fairly disappointed. It was kind of overly sweet, which may have been because of the sauce I used, and I felt like it was missing something, but I couldn't figure out what. I didn't love this. I would not make it again.

sandwich

BBQ Eggplant Sandwiches with Provolone & Mushrooms
Epicurious

1 large eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed and sliced lengthwise into four 1/2-inch thick planks
1/2 cup BBQ sauce, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 red onion, halved and sliced into thin wedges
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 slices provolone cheese (1/8-inch thick slices)
4 ciabatta or hoagie rolls, split and toasted
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 jarred pepperoncini peppers, thinly sliced

Position oven rack six inches from the heat source and preheat broiler on high. Line broiler pan or rimmed baking sheet with foil.

Brush eggplant slices on both sides with 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon peeper. Arrange slices on foil-lined pan.

Broil eggplant until browned and soft, about 4 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss mushrooms and red onion with oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and reserve.

Remove broiler pan from oven, flip eggplant slices, and brush with 2 more tablespoons BBQ sauce. Scatter mushroom mixture around the eggplant on the pan and broil until browned and soft, about 3 minutes more. Add 1 slice of cheese to each eggplant plank and continue to broil until cheese is melted and browned, about 2 minutes more.

To assemble the sandwiches, brush the top toasted half of each roll with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise and each bottom half with 1 tablespoon BBQ sauce. Layer an eggplant slice, some mushroom mixture, and a few slices of pepperoncini on the bottom of each roll. Close the sandwiches and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Best Zucchini Bread

With my abundance of zucchini from the farm, I have been doing my best to find ways to cook it, freeze it, and preserve it. I've frozen them in coins, sticks, and shredded. I have made zoodles. (Not freezable.) And then I decided to try making a basic zucchini bread. I don't think I've tried one before, so that was new. I made it for a friend who LOVES zucchini bread and subjected myself to their scathing criticism. As it turns out, I made an excellent zucchini bread. The allspice is strong, and I'm not sure if that's how it's supposed to taste, but the loaf was enjoyed and all was well.

bread

I might make this again to freeze. I also want to try a chocolate chip version.

bread

The Best Zucchini Bread
Mel's Kitchen Cafe

1 pound zucchini
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup plain yogurt (not fat-free)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or sour cream
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Adjust an oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Generously coat a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray (you may want to grease and flour just to be safe).

Chop the ends off the zucchini (just 1/4-inch off each end) and finely shred the zucchini, peel and all. Place the shredded zucchini in a clean kitchen towel, wrap the towel, and wring the ends (like a an old-fashioned candy wrapper) to squeeze out all the excess water. You should have about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of dry zucchini. Set the zucchini aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk the sugar, yogurt, eggs, lemon juice or sour cream, and butter until combined.

Gently fold the yogurt mixture and zucchini into the flour mixture, using a rubber spatula to fold the ingredients together until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.

Bake until golden brown and a thin knife or skewer inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 45-55 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes then turn out into wire rack to cool for at least 1 hour. Store well-covered for up to three days.

Yield: 1 loaf

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Blueberry Lemon Cookies

I thought a blueberry-lemon cookie sounded like a nice, fresh, summery choice for the last Cookie Monday of July. One of the doctors described these as: "They're like fruity little clouds of sweet air." It's kind of true. The cake flour keeps them light and fluffy. The fresh blueberries make it feel almost healthy (just kidding). And my coworker who hates both lemon and blueberries liked these. Magic!

cookies

Blueberry Lemon Cookies
Sugar Apron

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
zest of 1 lemon
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 pinch salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups blueberries
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

In an electric bowl mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, add lemon zest and juice, and mix well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.

With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients into the batter.

Carefully fold in the blueberries after all the ingredients have been mixed together.

Allow dough to cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 350.

Use a small scoop (about 1 tbsp size) and place rounded balls of dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or foil (or non-stick cookie sheets).

Bake for 11-14 minutes, until the bottoms are slightly golden brown (the edges should not brown).

Yield: I got about 5-6 dozen from this recipe. I know. I was surprised, too.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Vegetarian Muffalettas

With a refrigerator overflowing with eggplant, tomatoes, and zucchini, I've been looking for recipes incorporating all of them. (I've also been pickling, freezing, and preserving everything - that's another post!) This quick sandwich gave me the opportunity to use up some of the produce. I did add a tomato. Instead of using green olives, I used some pre-made tapenade. I also seasoned the vegetables with a little sage and thyme. It all worked out nicely. It was an acceptable sandwich but I wouldn't go out of my way to make it again.

sandwich

Vegetarian Muffalettas
Eating Well

1 small eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 large red bell pepper, quartered lengthwise
1 small zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 4 slices
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
4 crusty rolls, such as ciabatta rolls, split
4 slices provolone cheese
6 large pimiento-stuffed green olives, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped pickled banana peppers
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

Preheat grill to high.

Toss eggplant, bell pepper, zucchini, oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Grill the vegetables, turning occasionally, until charred and tender, 6 to 10 minutes total. Grill rolls until toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Put a piece of cheese on the bottom halves of the rolls as they come off the grill, to melt the cheese a little.

Reserve 4 roll-size eggplant slices, 2 zucchini slices and 2 bell pepper pieces. Finely chop the remaining vegetables and combine in a bowl with olives, banana peppers and vinegar; divide among the cheesy rolls. Place a reserved eggplant slice on top of each. Cut the reserved zucchini slices in half crosswise and thinly slice the bell pepper; place on the eggplant. Cover with the roll tops.

Yield: 4 servings

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Stack

Obviously you know how much I love breakfast food, so this sounded like a fun way to eat up a variety of vegetables all at once. I took this recipe and modified it to include what I had. I added up some okra from my garden, some yellow squash, and some fresh garlic. I didn't poach the egg. I used cherry tomatoes from my garden instead of a sliced tomato (although now I have actual full-size huge tomatoes from the yard!) This was delicious and I loved it, and I would make it again.

stack

The Stack
Vegetarian Times

1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
3 small Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into thin rounds
1/2 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 12-ounce bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves chiffonaded
4 large eggs
1 small tomato, diced

Combine sour cream and chipotle powder in small bowl, and set aside.

Coat medium skillet with cooking spray, and heat over medium heat. Arrange potato rounds in single layer in skillet, cover, and cook 5 to 6 minutes, flipping halfway through. Add onion, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover, and cook 2 to 3 minutes more, or until potatoes are fork-tender. Remove potatoes to plate, and set aside.

Wipe out skillet, coat with cooking spray, and heat over medium heat. Add garlic, and sauté 30 seconds. Add Swiss chard, and saute 3 to 5 minutes more, or until bright green and tender.

Meanwhile, bring saucepan filled with 2 inches of water to a boil. Crack eggs into saucepan; reduce heat to low, and poach 4 minutes.

To serve: Divide potato mixture among 4 plates, and top each with 1 1/2 tsp. chipotle sour cream, Swiss chard, and 1 poached egg. Dollop 1 1/2 tsp. chipotle sour cream atop egg, and garnish with diced tomato.

Yield: 4 servings

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Garlicky Flatbread Pizza with Beets, Balsamic, and Feta

I made this the other day to use up some vegetables from the farm, and it was excellent. Absolutely excellent. I used some naan from Trader Joe's. I used oregano, parsley, and tomatoes from my garden. I used beets and garlic from the farm, and I subbed in some swiss chard instead of arugula. This was seriously so good. I had it with some roasted cabbage and it was an excellent meal.

beetza

Beetza! Garlicky Flatbread Pizza with Beets, Balsamic, and Feta
Peas & Crayons

1 large or 2 small beets, leaves and stem removed
1 tsp minced + smashed garlic with a pinch of salt added
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp dried parsley (1/8 to 1/4)
a pinch of oregano
1 garlic naan flatbread or your favorite pizza crust
2/3 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
1/2 cup baby arugula
3 thin slices heirloom tomato, quartered
1 TBSP balsamic reduction or glaze

Roast your beets in the oven using your preferred method for roasting. (I peeled and sliced mine, then roasted for 30 min at 350 with some olive oil, salt, and pepper.)

While your beets are roasting in the oven or boiling away on the stove, make your garlic spread. Combine minced and smashed garlic with a pinch of salt, olive oil, oregano, and parsley. Whisk and let it sit so the herbs and garlic infuse into the olive oil.

Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees F and spread the garlicky herbed olive oil on your naan before you attempt to drink the entire bowl.

Top with half the feta or goat cheese and add your beets and half of the sliced tomatoes.

Bake for about 15 minutes, directly on the rack, until the crust is golden and crisp.

Top with arugula and remaining tomato and feta and drizzle with a hearty tablespoon or so of sweet balsamic reduction.