Pears Poached with Cider & Bay

Pears Poached with Cider & Bay

Pears Poached with Cider & Bay

 

4 pears

1/3 C. sugar

2-3 strips lemon peel

4-5 bay leaves, torn in half

1 ¼ C. dry hard cider

 

Peel the pears, but leave them intact. Put them in a saucepan into which they will fit fairly snugly in one layer. Add the sugar, lemon zest and bay leaves. Pour over the cider, then add enough water just to cover the pears. Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer until the pears are tender—the time this takes can vary greatly depending on the ripeness of the pears; it could be five minutes for ripe pears, or 25 for very firm ones, so keep checking them with the tip of a small, sharp knife. When the pears are done, remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and place in a dish. Turn up the heat under the liquor in the pan. Boil it down until reduced by at least half and tastes sweet and intense. Pour the reduced liquor over the pears in their dish, leave to cool completely, then chill. Before serving, spoon the juice in the dish back over the chilled pears and top with a spoonful of crème fraîche, if desired

Chanterelle-Apricot Jam

Chanterelle-Apricot Jam

Chanterelle-Apricot Jam

 

4 C. chanterelles

2½ C. fresh diced apricots

7 C. sugar

¼ C. fresh lemon juice

1 box SURE-JELL Fruit Pectin

½ tsp. butter or margarine

 

Sterilize (9) 8-ounce jam jars and lids in boiling water.

 

Finely dice the chanterelles. Reduce chanterelles in a deep pan under mediumlow heat for 15 minutes, until moisture has bubbled off and mushroom mixture is thick. Measure out 2½ C..  Combine mushrooms and apricots to measure exactly 5 C.. Add to the saucepan with sugar, lemon juice, pectin, and butter. Bring to a full rolling boil and boil for exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off any foam. Ladle immediately into prepared jars, filling to within ¼ inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands on tightly. Place jars on an elevated rack in a canner. Lower rack into canner. Water should cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Cover and bring water to a gentle boil. Process for 10 minutes, adding boiling water as needed to keep the jars covered. (Add 12 minutes to the processing time for high elevation.) Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely. After the jars cool, check seals by pressing the middles of lids with your finger. If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary. Store and enjoy. This is not refrigerator jam, but it can be refrigerated to prolong shelf life and the fresh taste.  Note: If you’d like a low-sugar version, follow instructions for low-sugar SURE-JELL, making sure the mushroom-to-fruit ratio is 50/50. Or try Pomona Pectin.

Wild Nettle Green Curry

Wild Nettle Green Curry

Wild Nettle Green Curry

 

1 can full-fat coconut milk

1 T. green curry paste

1 C. water

1 T. fish sauce

1 tsp. coconut sugar (can substitute brown sugar)

1 C. lightly packed nettle leaves (can substitute other mild wild greens such as lambs quarter or orache)

2–3 C. pre-cooked vegetables such as sweet potatoes, zucchini, red pepper, peas, leftover chicken, etc. (or meat)

Optional: Warm rice for serving. Thai basil for garnish.

 

In a medium-sized pan, melt the solid lump of coconut fat (scraped from the top of the tin of coconut milk) over medium-high heat. Add the curry paste and sizzle it for 2 minutes’ until it becomes intensely fragrant. Stir in the remaining liquid from the coconut milk can, as well as the water, fish sauce and sugar. Bring the mixture to a light boil, with small bubbles breaking the surface. Drop the nettle leaves into the bubbling curry and let them cook for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the stove and set down on a heat-proof surface. Using a stick blender, blend the contents of the curry until smooth, then return the pan to the heat and continue to let simmer until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in your pre-cooked vegetables (or meat) and let them heat through. Adjust salt to taste and serve the curry over warm rice.

Lemon Cardamom Sandwich Cookies

Lemon Cardamom Sandwich Cookies

Lemon Cardamom Sandwich Cookies

 

1 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3-1/2 cups powdered sugar

 

1 cup unsalted butter, melted

2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1-3/4 cups granulated sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 medium egg

1 egg yolk

 

1/2 upc white chocolate chips, melted

1/4 cup candied lemon peel, finely chopped

 

To make brown butter buttercream filling: In a medium pot or skillet, cook butter over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, cook about 10 minutes until butter reaches a golden brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. The butter will be somewhat solidified, but not hard (you can speed up this process by placing butter in refrigerator.) Once cooled, use a stand mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy. Add heavy cream, vanilla extract and powdered sugar. Slowly mix ingredients together until almost combined. Continue to beat mixture on high for 5-7 minutes until light and fluffy. Place buttercream into a piping bag with a piping tip of your choice. To make cookies: Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium pot or skillet, gently melt butter over low heat. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lemon zest and ground cardamom. Set aside. Add sugar to a mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Once butter is melted, but not hot, add to sugar. Mix using paddle attachment. Add vanilla, egg and yolk to the bowl. Mix until combined. Add dry ingredients and mix until fully combined. Using a 3-ounce cookie scoop, scoop the cookie dough onto a parchment lined sheet pan. You will get approximately 13 cookies (one extra cookie to taste test, of course!) Bake cookies for about 14-16 minutes. Allow cookies to cool completely before assembling sandwiches. To assemble: Pipe a thick swirl of buttercream on 12 cookies. Top each with another cookie. Drizzle one half of the sandwich cookie with melted white chocolate. Before the white chocolate sets, top with candied lemon peel.

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Black Beans

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Black Beans

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Black Beans

 

1 cup quinoa I used a combo of red and white quinoa, rinsed very well

2 cups vegetable broth

2 cloves garlic minced

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice

3 tablespoons vegetable broth

1 teaspoon chia seeds or ground flaxseed

1 teaspoon ancho chile powder or other pure chile powder, not a blend

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder or to taste

1/2 tsp salt optional, or to taste

4-6 cups chopped kale leaves about 4-5 ounces

1 15-ounce can black beans about 1 1/2 cups, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup grated carrot

1/2 red bell pepper chopped

1 avocado optional, sliced or cubed

additional lemon juice and seasonings to taste

 

Heat a saucepan. Add the rinsed and drained quinoa and the garlic and toast it until almost dry. Add the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover. Simmer until all the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. While the quinoa is cooking, make the dressing in a small bowl or measuring cup: whisk together the lemon juice, 3 tablespoons broth, chia/flax seeds, chile powders, cumin, and salt. Allow to stand until the chia seeds start to thicken the dressing. Place the kale in a large serving bowl. Add half of the dressing and massage it into the kale using a wringing motion until the kale is very tender. Two minutes of massaging should do it, but the longer, the better. Add the quinoa, black beans, carrot, and bell pepper, along with the remaining dressing. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, check the seasoning and add more lemon juice, chile powder, cumin, and salt, as needed. Stir in chopped avocado, if desired, or serve with slices of avocado on the side.

Four Way Rainbow Smoothies

Four Way Rainbow Smoothies

 

Coconut Paradise

 

1½ cups natural coconut water

⅔ cup frozen pineapple chunks

½ frozen banana, cut into chunks (see Chef’s Tip)

10 fresh mint leaves

2 tablespoons coconut milk

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Dash of kosher salt

 

(1 SERVING = 1¼ CUPS)

Calories 126

Total Fat 4.1 g 6

Fiber 3.9 g

 

 

Strawberry Blush

 

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 5-ounce block soft silken tofu

1/2 cup diced cooked beets

1/2 cup frozen dark sweet cherries

2 teaspoons chia seeds

2 teaspoons ground flax seeds

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dash of kosher salt

 

Serving Size: 1 ½ C.

Calories 193

Fat 6.5 g

Fiber 6.7

 

 

TropicBerry Delight

 

1 ½ C. Unsweetened Almond Milk

1 C. Frozen Mango Chunks

1 C. frozen Blueberries

½ cup frozen (or fresh) cauliflower florets, thawed

2 teaspoons chia seeds

2 teaspoons ground flax seeds

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Dash of kosher salt

 

Serving: 1 C.

Calories 168

Fat 6 g

Fiber 7.3 g

 

 

Green Goodness

 

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 frozen banana, cut into chunks

2½ cups (packed) baby spinach leaves

1 cup (packed) coarsely chopped kale leaves

2 tablespoons tahini

½ teaspoon matcha powder

Dash of kosher salt

 

Serving Size: 1 ¾ C.

Calories 196

Fat 10 g

Fiber 6.5 g

Zucchini Butter Toasts with Hazelnuts and Herbs

Zucchini Butter Toasts with Hazelnuts and Herbs

Zucchini Butter Toasts with Hazelnuts and Herbs

 

2 pounds zucchini (about 4 medium)

1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1/4 cup raw hazelnuts

1 large shallot

1 small clove garlic

1 small lemon

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 thick slices sourdough or other crusty bread

Handful small fresh basil or mint leaves, for serving

Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes, for serving

Flaky salt, for serving

 

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Grate 2 pounds zucchini on the large holes of a box grater (about 6 cups) into a colander set over a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt and toss to combine. Set aside to drain for 15 minutes. Spread 1/4 cup raw hazelnuts out in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and toast, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and golden-brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, dice 1 large shallot. Smash and peel 1 small garlic clove. Finely grate the zest of 1 small lemon. Halve the zested lemon and reserve.

When the zucchini is ready, press on it with your hands or a wooden spoon to push out some of the liquid. Transfer the zucchini to a clean kitchen towel, wrap it up, and squeeze out as much water as you can to get it as dry as possible. You should have about 3 cups. Wrap the toasted hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel and rub vigorously to remove as much of the skins as possible (don’t worry about any skin that doesn’t easily come off). Transfer the nuts to a cutting board and coarsely chop. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large, high-sided sauté pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, under softened and translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the zucchini, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini cooks down, caramelizes, and softens considerably, about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat if the zucchini starts to burn. The mixture should be jammy and spreadable. Remove from the heat. Toast 4 thick bread slices, then rub one side of each slice with the garlic clove. Divide the zucchini butter between the garlic-rubbed toast and spread out evenly in a thick layer. Garnish with the hazelnuts, fresh basil or mint leaves, and a pinch or two of Aleppo pepper and flaky salt. Squeeze the juice of the reserved lemon halves over the toasts and serve.

White Cheddar Soup with Crispy Bacon

White Cheddar Soup with Crispy Bacon

White Cheddar Soup with Crispy Bacon

 

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

4 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 1/2 cups half-and-half

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 cup dry white wine

12 ounces grated sharp white cheddar cheese

kosher salt

6 bacon slices, cut into 1 inch pieces and cooked until crisp

6 green onions, including 2 inches of green tops, coarsely chopped

 

Heat butter in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and sauté until softened, for 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute more. Sprinkle flour over the mixture and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the stock and half-and-half and bring mixture to a simmer. Add the cayenne pepper and wine. Add the cheese, a little at a time, stirring until smooth after each addition. Taste soup and season with salt, as needed. Soup can be prepared 1 day ahead; cool, cover and refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat. To serve, ladle soup into 6 bowls and garnish each serving with bacon pieces and green onions.

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells

 

18 uncooked jumbo pasta shells

1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)

2 teaspoons chili powder

3 ounces fat-free cream cheese, cubed

1 bottle (16 ounces) taco sauce, divided

3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend, divided

20 baked tortilla chip scoops, coarsely crushed

 

Preheat oven to 350°. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water; drain again. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook and crumble beef over medium-high heat until no longer pink, 6-8 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cream cheese and 1/2 cup taco sauce until blended. Stir in 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Spoon about 2 tablespoons filling into each shell. Place in an 11×7-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with remaining taco sauce. Bake, covered, until heated through, 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; bake, uncovered, until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with chips.

Sweet ‘N’ Tangy Flank Steak

Sweet ‘N’ Tangy Flank Steak

Sweet ‘N’ Tangy Flank Steak

 

1/3 C. reduced-sodium soy sauce

1/3 C. brown sugar

1/4 C. scallions, sliced

1 T. sesame oil

1 T. sesame seeds

2 tsp. chopped garlic

1 tsp. minced fresh ginger

1 flank steak (about 2 lbs)

 

Stir soy sauce, sugar, scallions, sesame oil, sesame seeds, garlic and ginger together in a bowl. Fold the flank steak into thirds. Place in a large resealable plastic food storage bag. Pour the soy sauce and brown sugar mixture into the bag. Seal bag and turn over to cover steak. Place in refrigerator for two hours. Heat grill or broiler. Remove steak from bag. Place marinade in small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Grill or broil steak for 5 minutes per side or until meat registers 135 degrees. Allow meat to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Skillet Chicken Thighs with Brown Butter Corn

Skillet Chicken Thighs with Brown Butter Corn

Skillet Chicken Thighs with Brown Butter Corn

 

4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1¼ pounds)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2garlic cloves, finely grated or minced

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1½ cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (from 1 to 2 ears)

½ cup torn basil leaves

Lime wedges, for serving

2 scallions, thinly sliced, for serving

 

Season chicken all over with salt and pepper. Rub garlic and thyme on chicken and set aside while preparing the rest of the ingredients. Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter, letting butter melt. Add chicken and sear, undisturbed, until browned on both sides, about 4 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate. Over medium heat, add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the skillet. Cook, swirling occasionally, until the foam subsides and it smells nutty and toasty, 2 to 3 minutes. (Watch carefully to see that it doesn’t burn.) Add corn and a big pinch of salt and black pepper. Sauté until tender and golden brown, 2 minutes. Add chicken back to the skillet. Cover and cook until chicken is cooked through and corn is caramelized, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and taste corn, adding more salt and pepper if needed. Stir in basil and squeeze 2 lime wedges over the top. Serve garnished with sliced scallions and more lime wedges.

Rhubarb-Blood Orange Parfaits

Rhubarb-Blood Orange Parfaits

Rhubarb-Blood Orange Parfaits

 

You can use a regular orange, of course, but I found that the blood orange deepened the color of the fruit compote, making for prettier contrasting layers.

 

1-1/2 lb. rhubarb, washed, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 cup sugar

1 medium blood orange, zested (about 1 tsp.) and juiced (2-3 Tbsp.)

1 tsp. vanilla

Pinch salt

2 cups heavy cream, cold

 

Place rhubarb in a medium saucepan with all but 1-2 Tbsp. of the sugar (reserve remaining sugar for whipped cream).  Add orange zest, juice, vanilla, and salt, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat slightly and gently simmer 7-10 minutes until rhubarb is soft but still chunky.  Let cool.  Transfer to medium bowl and refrigerate several hours until chilled. Just before serving, whisk the heavy cream in a medium bowl until the wires leave trails.  Add the remaining sugar and continue whisking until thick and an upswing of the whisk leaves medium peaks.  To assemble, layer rhubarb mixture and whipped cream in each of four bowls, beginning with rhubarb and ending with cream.  Serve immediately.

Shrimp Tostadas with Lime Crema  

Shrimp Tostadas with Lime Crema  

Shrimp Tostadas with Lime Crema

 

3/4 cup sour cream

1 medium lime, zested and juiced

1/2 tsp. honey

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

2 Tbsp. olive oil, plus 1 Tbsp. for shrimp

4 to 8 corn tortillas

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. cumin

Pinch cayenne

1 large avocado, cubed

Chopped fresh cilantro

Salt and black pepper to taste

 

In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lime zest, lime juice, honey, and salt. Set aside. Line a plate with paper towels. In a small frying pan, heat 2 Tbsp. of oil. When shimmering hot, fry the corn tortillas, one at a time, until crispy, golden, and puffed, about two minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, sprinkle the shrimp with paprika, cumin, cayenne, salt, and black pepper. Add the seasoned shrimp to the hot pan and sauté until the shrimp have coiled and turned from gray to pink, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. To serve, place a tortilla on a plate, slather with lime crema, top with shrimp and avocado, and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Serve with corn and bean salad and additional lime crema on the side. Dig in.

Grandma Norma’s Wild Huckleberry Tart

Grandma Norma’s Wild Huckleberry Tart

Grandma Norma’s Wild Huckleberry Tart

 

1 cup flour

2 tablespoons sugar

½ cup chilled butter, cut into small chunks, plus additional to grease the springform pan

1 tablespoon milk (or non-dairy substitute)

 

2 cups huckleberries, plus 2 additional cups to top the baked tart

½ cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 pinch salt

 

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they come together in a ball. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes while you prepare the filling. Gently toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl until combined. Set aside. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and coat the sides of the pan lightly with butter to prevent sticking. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator. Working with your fingers, press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan and up the side about 1 inch high. Pour the huckleberry filling evenly over the crust and bake for 40 minutes on the center rack of the oven. Remove the tart from the oven and immediately pour the reserved fresh huckleberries over the top. The heat from the baked filling will partially cook these berries. Place the tart on a baking rack to cool completely. Remove the tart from the springform pan and gently transfer to a serving plate. Slice into wedges and top with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream to serve.

Chocolate Fudge

Chocolate Fudge

Chocolate Fudge

 

Use quality chocolate. The better the chocolate, the better the fudge.

 

1 cup (6 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 tsp. vanilla

2¼ cups sugar

1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter

¾ cup evaporated milk

16 large marshmallows

¼ tsp. salt

 

Line an 8-inch square cake pan with foil. Get your handheld electric mixer ready and have some oven mitts nearby.  To a large bowl, add the chocolate chips and vanilla. Set aside.  In a medium, 4-quart saucepan (no smaller or it will boil over), add the sugar, butter, evaporated milk, marshmallows, and salt. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, bring to a boil over medium heat. You want the marshmallows to be just about melted by the time the bubbling starts. If they’re not, reduce the heat a bit until they do. Once melted, bring the mixture to a heavy boil and, stirring, set the timer for 5 minutes. Careful—the hot mixture can spatter.  Remove the pot from the heat immediately, and carefully pour the hot mixture over the chocolate chips. On low speed, blend with the mixer until uniformly brown (blending on a higher speed will introduce air bubbles, which you don’t want). Quickly pour the fudge into your prepared pan. Let it cool. Cover and refrigerate until firm. Cut into 1-inch blocks with a hot knife (run the knife under hot water and wipe). Store covered in the refrigerator for about 1 week. Makes 2 lbs.

Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Dried Cherries in Anisette

Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Dried Cherries in Anisette

Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Dried Cherries in Anisette

 

5 large egg yolks

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 1/2 cups heavy cream

8 oz. soft goat cheese, crumbled

3 oz. dried cherries

4 oz. anisette

 

In a large bowl, mix the egg yolks and sugar until combined. (Save the leftover egg whites in the freezer for macaroons or pavlovas.) Pour the cream into a small saucepan and heat it over medium heat. As soon as it comes to a boil, remove the pan from the heat. Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot cream into the egg mixture to temper the eggs and prevent them from scrambling. Slowly whisk the egg mixture into the pot of cream. Heat the mixture over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon. Do not let it boil. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the goat cheese. Let cool completely. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Pour into a container and freeze until scoopable, 6 to 8 hours. For the cherry topping, simmer the dried cherries in the anisette in a small saucepan for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the cherries are soft and the liquid is reduced to a syrup. Remove from the heat and chill until cold. (I like the resulting subtle anise flavor, but for a stronger hit, add a splash of anisette off the heat.) Serve a scoop of ice cream with a tablespoon or two of cherries and syrup drizzled over the top.

Easy Fried Halloumi Recipe with Warmed Honey

Easy Fried Halloumi Recipe with Warmed Honey

Easy Fried Halloumi Recipe with Warmed Honey

 

extra virgin olive oil

8 ounces Halloumi cheese, pat dry and cut into ½-inch sticks

¼ cup honey

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

crushed red pepper flakes (I used Aleppo pepper)

 

In a non-stick pan, heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat.

When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the halloumi sticks in one single layer, making sure not to crowd the pan. Cook for 1 to 2 minute on one side, until a golden brown crust forms. Using a pair of tongs, turn over and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes watching for that beautiful crust to form. Meanwhile, warm your honey either in a skillet or put your tightly-closed jar in warm water to help the honey loosen a bit. Transfer the fried halloumi to a serving plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds and a dash of red chili flakes or Aleppo pepper. Drizzle with the warmed honey all over (serve unused honey in a small bowl to the side). If you like, arrange some fruit such as grapes, figs, or berries on the same platter around the cheese. Serve immediately!

Crusty Dutch Oven Bread

Crusty Dutch Oven Bread

Crusty Dutch Oven Bread

 

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 ¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon active dry yeast

1 ½ cups water (room temperature)

 

Form the dough: In a big bowl mix the flour, salt and yeast together. Pour water into the bowl and using a spatula or a wooden spoon mix it until well incorporated. You do not need to activate the yeast before, even though we’re using active dry yeast. The slow rising process will do the trick. Allow it to rise: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit on your counter or inside your unheated oven for 12 to 24 hours. Preheat your oven: Preheat oven to 450°F. Add your cast iron pot to the oven as it’s heating and heat it as well until it’s at 450°F. Usually when the oven is done preheating your pot should be hot enough as well. Remove the pot from the oven and remove the lid from it. Use oven mitts, as to not burn yourself. Shape the dough: Flour your hands really well and also sprinkle a bit of flour over the dough. With your floured hands gently remove the dough from the bowl and roughly shape it into a ball. Sprinkle some extra flour directly into the bottom of the pot. Take the ball of dough and drop it into the pot. Cover the pot with the lid and place it back in the oven. Alternatively, you can also place the ball of dough onto a piece of parchment paper, then lift the parchment paper and drop it in the pot, with parchment paper and all. This could also ensure that your bread doesn’t stick at all to the bottom of the pot. I have found that if I use parchment paper, the bread doesn’t brown so much on the sides, but otherwise it’s still crusty and delicious. Finish the bread: Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, after which remove the lid and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove the bread from the pot, it should fall out easily. Let cool completely before slicing into it and serving.

Cabbage Wrap Brats

Cabbage Wrap Brats

Cabbage Wrap Brats

 

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 medium onion, sliced

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

4 bratwursts

1 (12-oz.) can beer

8 large cabbage leaves

Dijon mustard, for serving

1 c. sauerkraut

 

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until slightly tender, 4 minutes. Push onions to edges of skillet and add brats to center of skillet. Sear brats until golden, 2 minutes per side. Add beer and simmer on medium-low until all the liquid has evaporated, 10 to 14 minutes. Meanwhile, blanch cabbage: In a large pot of boiling water, use tongs to dip cabbage leaves in water for 30 seconds. Place on a paper towel–lined plate to dry. When cool enough to handle, cut a “V” at the base of the leaf to remove the toughest part of the stem. Build wraps: Overlap 2 cabbage leaves, cut sides in, to create one large oval. Spread mustard in the center of cabbage leaves, then top with caramelized onions, sauerkraut, and brats. Fold the short ends of the cabbage leaves in, then tightly roll from one long end to the other.

Banana Tahini Smoothie

Banana Tahini Smoothie

Banana Tahini Smoothie

 

1 frozen banana

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons tahini

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 pinch salt

4 large ice cubes

 

To make the smoothie, add the banana, Greek style yogurt, milk, honey, sesame paste, cinnamon, salt, and ice cubes to a blender.  Puree until completely smooth and no ice chips remain. Serve cold.

Baked Camembert in a Sourdough Bread Bowl

Baked Camembert in a Sourdough Bread Bowl

Baked Camembert in a Sourdough Bread Bowl

 

1 round rye sourdough loaf or cobb

250g camembert cheese disk

4 T. cranberry sauce

Splash of dry white wine

3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary

3-4 sprigs fresh thyme

 

Trim the top from the loaf to leave a circle 1cm larger in diameter than the camembert. Cut down 2cm into the dough to make a circular hole, pulling out the bread. Spread the cranberry sauce all over the cavity, then sit the camembert inside. Score the top, pour over a splash of dry white wine and add the herb sprigs. Wrap in foil and bake at 200°C/ 180°C fan/gas 6 for 15-20 minutes. Uncover and return to the oven for 5 minutes until golden and oozing. Tear or slice to serve.

Bacon Cabbage Dippers

Bacon Cabbage Dippers

Bacon Cabbage Dippers

 

1 medium head green cabbage

1 lb. bacon

1/4 c. grated Parmesan

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

1 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp. dried oregano

 

Preheat oven to 450°. Quarter the cabbage and remove thick stem, then cut each quarter piece in half.  On two large baking sheets, toss cabbage lightly with Parmesan and oil then season with salt, pepper, and oregano.  Wrap a piece bacon around each cabbage wedge. Bake until cabbage is golden and crispy around edges and bacon is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Serve warm with ranch for dipping.

One-Pan Honey Garlic Chicken

One-Pan Honey Garlic Chicken

One-Pan Honey Garlic Chicken

 

6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

1 T. unsalted butter

3 cloves garlic

1 T. brown sugar

¼ cup honey

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 lb green beans

 

Preheat oven to 400˚F (200˚C). Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Melt 1 T. butter in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, skin-side down, and sear both sides until golden brown. (The skin side will take much longer, in order to properly render the fat and crisp up the skin.) Remove chicken thighs and set aside. Pour out any excess fat, but leave some in for the sauce. Add garlic, stir until fragrant, then add brown sugar, honey, thyme, and oregano, and stir. Reduce heat to low. Return chicken to the skillet. Coat the chicken in the sauce. Add green beans to skillet. Bake for 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Enjoy!

Sausage and Egg Waffle Taco

Sausage and Egg Waffle Taco

Sausage and Egg Waffle Taco

 

10 frozen round buttermilk waffles

8 ounces Mild Country Sausage

6 eggs, lightly beaten

Syrup, optional

 

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place 5 waffles on microwave-safe plate. Microwave on HIGH 45 seconds or until waffles are thawed. Repeat with the remaining 5 waffles. Fold thawed waffles in half and secure with wooden picks. Place on baking sheet. Bake 5 minutes or until waffles are crisp. Remove from oven; set aside. Meanwhile, cook sausage in large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until crumbled and no longer pink, stirring occasionally; drain. Remove from skillet and keep warm. Reduce heat to medium. Add eggs to same skillet; cook without stirring until edges and bottom begin to set. Gently turn to scramble; continue cooking until set. Remove wooden picks from waffles. Divide sausage evenly between waffles, top evenly with eggs. Drizzle with syrup, if desired.

Spiced Apple, Squash, and Carrot Muffins

Spiced Apple, Squash, and Carrot Muffins

Spiced Apple, Squash, and Carrot Muffins

 

1 cup plain whole-wheat flour

1/4 cup superfine sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. fine salt

¼ tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup sunflower oil

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup peeled and grated apple

1 cup grated carrot

1 cup peeled and grated butternut squash

1/3 cup raisins

 

Preheat the oven to 35O°F (180°C) and line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper liners. Put all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix. Put all of the wet ingredients into another bowl and stir to combine. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients gently until combined. Divide the mixture evenly between the muffin liners and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until well risen and just firm in the middle. Remove from the oven, leave to cool in the pan for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. The muffins will keep for up to 2 days in an airtight container.

Huevos Al Plato Cast iron

Huevos Al Plato Cast iron

Huevos Al Plato Cast iron

 

½ C. Butternut squash (or your favorite)

Extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher or sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp. dried or fresh herbs (we use thyme or rosemary)

2 fresh farm eggs

¼ C. (1 ounce) Spanish chorizo, sliced (or substitute Portuguese or Italian sausage)

Pea tendrils, spinach, arugula to garnish (optional)

Crusty baguette

 

Heat oven to 350°. Peel squash and slice in half-moon-shaped pieces 1/4 inch thick. Toss the squash with olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes, or until tender. Grease a 6-inch cast-iron skillet (or small roasting dish) with olive oil. Crack the eggs into the skillet and add the roasted squash. Scatter the chorizo and add a pinch of salt to the yolks. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the whites are fully cooked. Pay careful attention not to overcook the yolks. Remove pan from the oven and add fresh greens. Serve with crusty bread and enjoy. Serves 2 as an appetizer.

ATK Indoor-BBQ Chicken

ATK Indoor-BBQ Chicken

 

Sauce:

 

1 C. Ketchup

3 T. Cider Vinegar

3 T. mild Molasses

2 T. finely grated Onion

2 T. Worcestershire Sauce

2 T. Dijon Mustard

2 T. Maple Syrup

1 tsp. Chile Powder

¼ tsp. Cayenne

 

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Salt & Pepper

1 T. Vegetable Oil

 

Whisk all sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Adjust oven rack to upper middle and heat to 325 degrees. Pat chicken dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat oil in 12 inch oven safe skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Cook chicken breasts until very lightly brown on one side, 1-2 minutes. Flip and cook another 1-2 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and drain off fat in skillet. Add sauce to pan, scraping up browned bits. Turn up to medium-high and simmer, stirring often, until sauce is thick and glossy, about 4 minutes. Off heat, return chicken to pan and coat with sauce. Turn chicken and spoon more sauce over so they are well coated. Transfer skillet to the oven and cook until chicken reaches 130 degrees on instant read thermometer, 10-14 minutes. Add rack to 5 inches below broiler and heat broiler. Move skillet to that rack and broil until thickest part reaches 160-165 degrees, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Carefully transfer chicken to platter and rest 5 minutes. Sitr what is left of the sauce (careful, handle remains hot) and transfer to small serving bowl to serve alongside chicken.

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup

 

1 T. olive oil

8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 T. unsalted butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

8 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 onion, diced

3 carrots, peeled and diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

4 cups chicken stock

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup half and half, or more, as needed

2 T. chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 sprig rosemary

 

Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken to the stockpot and cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes; set aside. Melt butter in the stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, mushrooms, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Whisk in chicken stock, bay leaf and chicken thighs, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in half and half until heated through, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the soup is too thick, add more half and half as needed until desired consistency is reached. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley and rosemary, if desired.

Agave Lime Chicken

Agave Lime Chicken

Agave Lime Chicken

 

1/2 cup agave

1/4 cup lime juice

1-1/4 tsp. grated lime peel, divided

Salt

1 tsp. rosemary, crushed

Red hot pepper

Pepper

1/8 tsp. dried crushed

2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (8 to 10 oz. each)

1 tsp. cornstarch

1 T. water

 

Combine agave, lime juice, 1 tsp. lime peel, salt, rosemary and pepper; mix well. Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes; brush with agave mixture and bake 15 minutes longer or until juices run clear. Remove chicken from baking pan; pour remaining sauce into pan and deglaze. Strain mixture into small saucepan; bring mixture to boil. Combine cornstarch and water; add to strained sauce. Cook and stir until mixture comes to boil. Boil 1 minute. Stir in remaining lime peel. Slice chicken breast; pour hot sauce over slices.

Green Smoothie that Kids will Love

Green Smoothie that Kids will Love

Green Smoothie that Kids will Love

 

1 medium seedless navel Orange, peeled and separated into quarters

1 c, Cubed Pineapple, fresh or frozen and thawed

1 packed C. Baby Spinach

1/2 frozen ripe Banana, cut into thick slices

1 T. Honey

10 small Ice Cubes

 

Put all the ingredients into a blender. Blend until creamy, with no obvious pieces of spinach remaining. Pour into 2 or 3 glasses

boost it: Add 4 ounces of silken tofu and 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract to the blender to increase the protein and healthful isoflavones.

adapt it: To minimize the texture, instead of peeling the orange, use a serrated knife to sheer off the entire peel and pith, revealing a bright orange globe of exposed flesh.

Blueberry Muffin Green Smoothie

Blueberry Muffin Green Smoothie

Blueberry Muffin Green Smoothie

 

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)

½ tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 scoop vanilla protein

1 large handful baby spinach

2 T. almond butter

1 T. coconut flakes

Hoisin Turkey Lettuce Cups

Hoisin Turkey Lettuce Cups

Hoisin Turkey Lettuce Cups

 

6 T. hoisin sauce

1 T. soy sauce

1 T. sriracha

1 1/2 tsp. oil

1/3 cup seeded and small-diced red bell pepper

2 cups diced leftover turkey

10 Bibb lettuce cups, each roughly the size of a small hand

1/4 cup finely diced green onion

About 1/2 cup of something crunchy: crispy chow mein noodles are ideal; peanuts or cashews would work great, too

 

Combine the hoisin, soy sauce, and sriracha in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and swirl it around. Add the bell pepper and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the diced turkey and stir well to combine. When the turkey mixture has been warmed through, add the hoisin mixture and stir quickly, making sure all is coated well. Remove from the heat and divide among the lettuce cups. Top each with green onion and crunchies.

Leftover Short Rib Pasta

Leftover Short Rib Pasta

Leftover Short Rib Pasta

 

leftover short ribs, bones removed and meat pulled, including any sauce (If sauce is short, blend with a bit of heavy cream

kosher salt

1 pound rigatoni

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese

extra-virgin olive oil, for finishing

chopped Parsley, for garnish

 

Heat up the shredded short ribs and sauce in a large pot along with 1 cup of water. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Taste the water to make sure it is as salty as the ocean. Toss in the rigatoni and cook 2 minutes less than it says on the package or bite a noodle to check for doneness (the pasta should be just underdone). Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and toss it into the pot with the short ribs and sauce along with the reserved pasta water. Stir to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat. Toss in the grated Parmesan and drizzle with olive oil. Stir vigorously to combine.

Easy Short Rib Stroganoff {leftovers}

Easy Short Rib Stroganoff {leftovers}

Easy Short Rib Stroganoff {leftovers}

 

3 T. cornstarch

3 T. cold water

1 1/2 cups beef stock

2 T. butter

1/2 medium onion, diced

8 ounces cremini mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup sour cream

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 T. prepared horseradish

1 T. finely chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish

8 ounces shredded leftover Short Ribs

 

Mix the cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl until very smooth. Put the stock in a small pot over medium heat and, once warm, add the cornstarch slurry and stir or whisk until it thickens, then remove from the heat and set aside. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then cook the onion and mushrooms until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the thickened stock, sour cream, Worcestershire, horseradish, and dill. Stir to combine and add the short ribs. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Serve over egg noodles, rice, or whatever makes sense, maybe with a little more dill for garnish.

Grilled Hoisin Meatballs

Grilled Hoisin Meatballs

Grilled Hoisin Meatballs

 

32 small leftover meatballs, about a pound

1/2 cup Hoisin sauce

2 T. chili sauce (Sambal)

1 tsp. sesame oil

2 T. soy sauce

Green onions and toasted sesame seeds for garnish

 

Combine hoisin, chili sauce, sesame oil and soy in a small bowl and mix well to combine – set aside. Heat grill to medium/high (or oven to 400). Grill meatballs until fully warmed through and just starting to brown with grill markings (or bake in oven until heated thru and beginning to sizzle, about 15 minutes). Put meatballs in a large bowl and toss with some of the sauce, plate and sprinkle with green onion & sesame seeds.