Sunday, December 25, 2011

Swedish Meatballs with Potatoes and Berries

I've been so thankful this year to have the ability to write this blog.  I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and share with you this delightful recipe for Swedish meatballs.  It is a perfect special occasion meal you could even make tonight!  This is traditionally served alongside mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam but you can substitute any of your favorite jam if you can't find lingonberry.  We happened to have some currant jam that worked perfectly!


1/4 cup minced onion
1 tablespoon butter
3 oz panko bread crumbs
1 cup milk
1 lb ground beef (best quality you can find)
1 egg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1.  Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large saute pan.  When hot add the minced onion and let cook about two minutes.  Remove from heat.
2.  In a small bowl combine bread crumbs and milk.  Let sit at least five minutes.
3.  In a food processor add meat, egg, breadcrumb mixture, onions, allspice, salt and pepper.  Pulse to combine (about 30 seconds).
4.  From into 1 inch round balls and set aside on a plate
5.  Preheat oven to "warm" setting or 200 degrees
6.  Heat a large saute pan on medium high heat and add two tablespoons of butter.
7.  When pan is hot, add meatballs to the pan being careful not to crowd them.  You might need to do  two batches
8.  Brown the meatballs, turning with tongs to brown all sides.  You will cook each batch about 8-10 minutes
9.  When done, remove to another pan and put in the warm oven until you are ready to serve!
10. Serve with mashed potatoes and lingonberries as mentioned above

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Brussels Sprout and Spinach Salad with Sesame Dressing

This time of year brussels sprout is all over the farmer's market and who does not love this classically comforting vegetable?  Here I have taken it to a different region and thrown on an asian sesame dressing.  My friends loved the result and I'm sure you will too!


1 lb brussels sprout
1 lb spinach (stems removed and rinsed/dried well)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Trim the ends off the sprout and cut in half.  Add these to a roasting pan as you go.
3. Evenly coat the sprouts with olive oil, soy sauce, and vinegar.  Evenly sprinkle salt on top
4. Pop into the oven to roast (about 40 minutes)
5. Meanwhile place the spinach in a nice salad bowl and set in the fridge while you wait
6. When sprouts are ready, remove from the oven and immediately add to the spinach, stirring to coat and wilt the spinach at the same time
7. Add sesame oil and stir to coat
8. Top with sesame seeds and serve

Friday, December 16, 2011

Parsley Pasta

The credit for this recipe goes to my mother in law Hilde.  This is one of the first recipes she taught me and still remains a "go-to" staple, especially when I don't want to cook a huge dinner.  I really can't imagine a better green to use than parsley but you might find another substitute if you have a different fresh green lying around.


12 oz farfalle pasta
1/2 cup pasta water (reserved from pot of boiling pasta right before draining)
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles

1. Start boiling water and cook pasta per the directions on the box.  Be warned you need to reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water right before you drain the pasta when it is finished cooking
2. Meanwhile chop the parsley leaves very finely and set aside.  Peel and chop garlic and then measure out the red pepper flakes (the cooking goes fast at the end).
3. Drain the pasta.
4. In the same pot you cooked the pasta in, put it on medium heat and add a swirl of olive oil.  When the oil is hot (about a minute later) add the garlic and red pepper flakes.  Stir and cook a minute or two until browning and then add the pasta water.
5. Return the pasta to the water mixture and stir to coat.
6. Add the chopped parsley to the pasta mixture and stir to coat evenly.
7. Serve in bowls and top the pasta with goat cheese crumbles.  Salt and pepper served on the table accentuate the final flavors.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hot and Sour Soup

I nailed the flavor combination in hot and sour soup and made it easy and delicious to be cooked at home.  If you want to add some shredded chicken I think that would be a nice addition too!


1 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 medium shallot thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1 small head of cabbage thinly sliced
1 lb boy choy
1 package of udon noodles or 1/2 package rice noodles
1 egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
Tobasco sauce

1. Combine vinegar, soy and fish sauces and lemon juice in a cup and set aside
2. Heat a soup pot over medium high heat.  Add a swirl of olive oil to the pan
3. When oil is hot add shallots and garlic
4. Cook shallots and garlic for two minutes and then add chicken broth
5. Meanwhile chop cabbage and trim the root ends of the bok choy
6. Add greens to the pot and then add noodles
7. Slowly add beaten egg to the pot stirring as you go to feather the egg in
8. Top with sesame oil and serve with hot sauce (trust me you will want hot sauce)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pear and Squash Salad with Lentils

I know what you are thinking....pears, squash and lentils?  My husband gave me the whole "You want me to eat rabbit food?" when he saw this, but he was soon converted.  This is a super filling winter meal but it is also easy on the waistline.  Any type of winter squash will work here but aim for butternut squash or kabocha squash.  There are three components to this salad.  A bed of greens (e.g. arugula), roasted squash and finally lentils and rice.

4 handfuls arugula lettuce washed and set aside
1 medium sized squash
olive oil
1/2 cup lentils
1/2 cup rice
2 cups water
1 small pear cut into small bit size pieces
1/2 cup almonds
1 small salad onion thinly sliced
1 lemon juiced
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 425.  Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil.
2. Prepare and clean the lettuce and put in the fridge for now
3. Prepare and cut the squash into half and remove the seeds.   Cut into half again and two more times into half.  You should have 16 pieces of squash (sorry if my math does not add up).  I ended up using my meat mallet and a sturdy all purpose butcher knife to cut this squash into pieces.  Please be careful because this is not an easy thing to do.
4. Put the squash on the pan and brush with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt.
5. Roast in the oven 20 minutes or until tender.
6. Meanwhile combine lentils, rice and water in a pot on the stove.  Cover with a lid and cook on high until water is absorbed (about 17 minutes).  This is essentially a mini-rice cooker!
7. While that is all cooking combine the lemon juice, mustard and olive oil.  This will be your salad dressing.
8. When squash is done remove from the oven and let cool.  Once it is cool, carefully slice away from the peel and cut into bit size chunks
9. Now it is time to prepare the salad.  Get a large plate (one for each person) and put a handful of lettuce on the plate.  Add a few onions, almonds and pear pieces.  Top with squash and finally a spoonful of the rice/lentil mixture.  Drizzle with the salad dressing and serve!
10. Enjoy your beautiful salad!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Nectar of the Gods - Prosecco and Vodka Cocktails

I promise that prosecco paired with vodka is a delicious idea.  Add any of the below "nectar of the gods" and you have a perfect and easy signature cocktail for kicking off your next dinner party.  In your supermarket there are two places for nectar; you can find it on the Mexican food aisle where there is a product called "Jumex" juice and you can also find it on the juice aisle and use any Kearn's juice nectar.

Serves 2


1 shot vodka
3 shots fruit nectar of your choice (apricot, pear, guava, banana pineapple, etc)
1 bottle prosecco or sparkling white wine

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice.  Add vodka and nectar.  Shake well.
2. Evenly distribute into two chilled martini glasses
3. Top each glass of with prosecco
4.  Repeat if you have more guests
5. Cheers!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Appledoodles aka Apple Snickerdoodles

My college football team plays a rivalry game called the "Apple Cup".  To celebrate this year I whipped up these Apple Snickerdoodles in honor of the theme.  I love the way the apple brings a fun twist to this old classic cookie.  The base of the cookie is adapted from Betty Crocker because who doesn't make a delicious cookie better than that lady?


1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/4 cup butter softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 cup peeled and chopped apple (a sweeter apple works best)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or spray the baking sheet
2. Combine flour, tartar, baking soda and salt and set aside.
3. In another bowl beat butter, sugar and egg together until combined.
4. Add apple to the egg mixture and beat until combined.
5. Add flour mixture and stir well to incorporate into egg mixture (I used a combination of egg beater and then wooden spoon)
6. Prepare a plate with remaining sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon so you can roll your cookies in it
7. Take dough and roll cookies into a 1 1/2 inch ball and then roll through the sugar mixture.  Add to the cookie sheet.  You don't need to flatten it, that happens during cooking
8. When sheet is filled put in the oven and bake 9 minutes
9. Remove from the oven and cook 10 minutes before serving

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Carrot, Leek and White Bean Soup

This recipe is inspired by a recipe I found online at this cute food blog Leek Soup !  She has a different take with lentils but I went with the beans I had on hand and swapped in leeks for onions.  The result is a very simple and hearty stew (I swear you will think there is bacon in it, but it is vegetarian!).


1 lb bunch o' carrots
2 cups of chopped leeks
1 15 oz can white beans drained
1 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 cups vegetable stock (or chicken if you want to make it non-vegetarian)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. Prepare the carrots.  Rinse under cold water, dry thoroughly and then trim off the ends.
3. Put on a roasting pan and toss evenly with olive oil.  Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper
4. Place in the preheated oven and let roast about 20 minutes
5. Remove carrots from the oven and add the leeks to the pan, tossing the carrots, oil and leeks together.  Return to the oven for another 15 minutes, watching carefully that the leeks don't burn
6. Remove from the oven, transfer carrots to cutting board and chop into pieces
7. Heat soup pot on medium heat with a swirl of olive oil
8. When the oil is hot add the carrots, leeks, beans and stir to coat
9. Add the smoked paprika and stir well
10. Cover with broth and allow soup to simmer about 5 minutes.
11. Serve with bread or a salad (or both!)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Easiest Baked Beet Chips

These are best served after me that won't be a problem because they are insanely delicious!  Serve as an appetizer at your next dinner party...your guests won't believe these are beets!


10 beets washed and trimmed
Olive oil spray
Sea Salt

1. Preheat the oven to 375.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper
2. Very thinly slice the beets, if you have a mandoline I highly recommend you use it!
3. In a single layer, place the beets on the pre-lined sheets
4. Evenly coat with olive oil spray and then salt to your preference
5. Put in preheated oven and cook 25 minutes
6. Turn broiler on and cook about 3-4 minutes is super important to watch the beets at this point because they can burn in an instant!  I recommend checking every minute
7. Remove and put on a paper towel to cool
8. Transfer to a cute bowl and serve!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pulled Beef Sliders

This is the ultimate game day experience.  It is well worth the full preparation time because you can watch as much football as you want while this cooks.  It is also easy to prepare and transport to a friend's house for a delicious and inexpensive treat.  Warning, this takes at least 4 hours to cook.


4 lb boneless chuck roast cut
1/2 cup olive oil
1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
4 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon corn or potato starch
12 rolls or buns

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
2. Place a dutch oven on the stove and add olive oil.  Salt and pepper the beef while you are waiting for the oil to heat
3. When the oil is hot, add the beef and cover.  Do not disturb for three minutes, you are browning the beef here.
4. Carefully use tongs to flip the beef to the other side.  Cover and let sit for another 3 minutes undisturbed.
5. Meanwhile use scissors to roughly cut the tomatoes in the can in their juices.
6. In a separate container combine vinegar, mustard and brown sugar.  Shake well.
7. When three minutes are up on the beef, remove from heat and carefully add tomatoes and their juices and vinegar mixture.  This should home up about 1/2 way on the roast.  If not, add a little bit of water or beef stock (or even red wine!).
8. Carefully secure lid on the pot and put it in the oven.  It will need to cook at least four hours.
9. When meat is ready, remove the pot from the oven and let cool.
10. Carefully transfer the meat to another oven safe dish.  Using forks, literally pull the meat apart.  There is no set rull on how the pieces should look so when it looks good to you, you can stop.
11. There is a lot of good sauce left that we want to condense.  Leaving it in the original pot, put on the stove and heat over high heat.  You are going to have to stir constantly for about five minutes to make sure it doesn't stick.
12. To the sauce add worchestershire, cumin, paprika, brown sugar and a little touch of salt and pepper.  Stir, stir, stir!
13. At the last 30 seconds, add the starch and stir to incorporate well.
14. Carefully transfer the hot sauce and ladle it over the meat.
15. Use the tongs or fork to make sure all of the sauces is incorporated into the meat.
16. At this point you can serve it right away but if you are planning on serving during half time, you can cover and put in the oven at 200 degrees.  We waited and it was DELICIOUS.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Any Berry Pear Crumble

This crumble is so satisfying and full of good fruit that you could technically eat it for breakfast and be guilt free.  Its super simple to put together and allows for the fresh taste of the fruits to shine through.  Use whatever fruit you have on hand, apples would also work very well here!  Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you are set!

Crumble Topping
1/2 cup flour
1 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 butter cut into cubes

Fruit Filling
2 large pears peeled and chopped
1 pint of any berry you like (I did blueberry)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Combine all crumble toppings together in a food processor and blend until butter and almonds are finely chopped in the butter
3. In pie pan, layer fruit of your choice and then evenly distribute the crumble mixture on top of the fruit
4. Place on a cookie sheet to prevent spill over
5. Put in the oven for about 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown and fruit is bubbling

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Healthy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I don't want to scare anyone anyway with the title here, but honestly there is no reason why broccoli cheddar soup should have 8000 calories in it.  My version here is just as tasty so you can have as many bowls as you like!


2 1/2 cups chopped broccoli florets and stems
1 cup chopped leeks
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (more if you want to add it)

1. Heat olive oil in a deep soup pot, when hot add the leeks and broccoli and stir to coat
2. Cook the veggies about 3-5 minutes then add a touch of salt
3. Pour broth to cover the veggies and let simmer for 15 minutes
4. Check if broccoli is tender, it might need a few more minutes
5. Carefully use an immersion hand blender to blend the ingredients very finely.  You could use a real blender but be careful because this stuff is hot so you need to let it cool a bit before you try that.
6. Grate the cheese and then slowly stir it into the broccoli soup and let melt
7. Serve with croutons!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Shepherd's Pie

After I finished eating this dinner I was so content.  It is more than perfect for a night when you want an easy dish to put in the oven and make every appetite happy!  You can substitute the ground lamb for any other ground meat you prefer.  Feel free to mix in whatever other veggies or cheese you have!


1 1/2 lb yukon gold or new potatoes
3 tablespoons butter
1 5oz container nonfat yogurt
1 small onion chopped finely
4-5 carrots chopped finely
3 sprigs oregano
1 lb gound lamb
4 cups chopped chard leaves
1/2 cup cheddar cheese

1. Peel potatoes and cover with cold water in a pot.  Preheat oven to 375.
2. Heat pot over medium high heat and cook until potatoes are done (about 25 minutes)
3. Meanwhile heat saute pan over medium high heat.  When hot add a few swirls of olive oil to the pan.
4. When oil is hot add the onion and carrot, cooking about five minutes until softening
5. Add oregano, salt and pepper to the veggies and stir to coat
6. Add lamb to the pan and break it up with a spoon as you start to brown it.
7. While lamb is cooking, mash potatoes and add yogurt and butter.  This is also a good place to add some salt/pepper to the mashed potatoes
8. When lamb is browned, add chopped chard to the skillet and stir to incorporate
9. To make the pie, use a deep baking dish or pyrex dish and spread the lamb mixture on the bottom. Evenly distribute the mashed potatoes on top and use a spatula to smooth.
10. Sprinkle cheese on top and cover with foil
11. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, remove the foil and place the pie under the broiler for 2 minutes to make the cheese slightly crispy
12. Serve with salad and hot sauce (not kidding, hot sauce is amazing on this dish!)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Don Mac's Blood and Sand Martini

A very good family friend made this cocktail for us a few weekends ago and we are hooked.  It has an incredible flavor and is a super cocktail to make to impress your friends!


2 shots scotch (cheap blend is fine)
1 shot orange juice
1/2 shot cherry brandy
1/2 shot sweet vermouth
1 maraschino cherry

Combine in a shaker filled with ice and shake well (about a minute).  Pour into a frozen martini glass.  Do it again (Don's advice!).

Monday, October 17, 2011

Perfect Pot Roast

Chuck roast is a versatile and inexpensive cut of meat, perfect for this time of year when a good Sunday stew fits with the weather.  As long as you cook it "low and slow", you can't go wrong!

2 lb. boneless chuck roast (seasoned with salt/pepper)
8 oz tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups red wine
1 beef bouillon cube
1/2 cup water
3-4 carrots (peeled and chopped)
7 small yukon gold potatoes

1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees
2.  In a dutch oven or oven safe pot, heat olive oil over high heat.  When hot add meat and brown on all sides.
3. When meat is brown, add tomato sauce, wine, bouillon and water to the pot...the meat should have liquid about half way up the roast...if not, add a bit more water
4. Cook in the oven for 3 hours after three hours, carefully remove and carefully add potatoes and chopped carrots then return to the oven to cook for another hour
5. Remove the pot from the oven and let the roast rest in the juices for 20 minutes, if your roast was tied in string, carefully cut them off after removing the roast to a serving platter
6. Arrange the veggies around the roast and serve the sauce on the side in a gravy boat or similar device
7. We ate this with green beans and fresh homemade bread....YUM!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup

It doesn't get more simple than this when it comes to a hearty and delicious fall soup.  You could substitute canned tomatoes in the winter when the fresh ones are out of the farmer's market.


2 lbs tomatoes cored and cut in 1/2
olive oil
10 basil leaves (slivered)
3 cups vegetable boullion
1/3 cup heavy cream room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Place tomatoes on a baking sheet cut side up and drizzel lightly with olive oil then spinkle with salt (amount to your liking but not too much because there is salt in the broth)
3. Roast at 400 degrees for an hour
4. Five minutes before the hour is up sprinkle the basil on the tomatoes and return the pan to the oven for remaining 5 minutes
5. Remove from oven and carefully transfer tomatoes and their juices to a pot on the stove
6. Add broth and heat on medium heat until broth and tomatoes are simmering
7. Using an immersion hand blender, blend the broth and tomatoes and add salt to taste if still needed
8. Remove from the burner and slowly stir in room temp heavy cream
9. Serve with toast and enjoy!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pumpkin cookies with Chocolate Frosting

My friends know I'm not a "baker" but after I cooked fried chicken last night, I need something to make the apartment smell, well not like fried chicken and bacon.  Inspired by the autumnal changes, I decided to make a pumpkin cookie...originally I was going to make the brown butter frosting from Betty Crocker but at the last minute we decided to make a chocolate about one delicious cookie!!  If you don't like frosting you could put chocolate chips in the cookies...I'm just saying the possibilities are endless :)


Pumpkin Cookie Dough:

2/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie!)
2 eggs
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

Chocolate Frosting (aka Chocolate Heaven)

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup cocoa powder (milk or dark cocoa powder is fine, whatever you have)
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
2. Combine dry ingredients (flour through salt) in a bowl and set aside
3. Combine sugars, vanilla and butter and mix on medium until well incorporated (2-3 minutes)
4. Add eggs and pumpkin puree and mix on low until combined (1-2 minutes)
5. With mixer on low speed, slowly incorporate dry mixture, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed
6. Using two spoons (or however you like to put dough on a cookie sheet) transfer or "drop" the dough in equal size balls until sheet is filled (mine was about 8-9 per sheet)
7. Cook 10-12 minutes until cookies are firm but not crunchy
8. Remove to a rack and let cool
9. Repeat with remaining dough
10. While cookies are in the oven, make the frosting
11. Using a hand mixer, combine butter and cocoa power (about 1-2 minutes)
12. Blend in milk and vanilla
13. Add powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time so you don't have a sugar explosion in the kitchen
14. When all sugar is well mixed in you are ready to use the frosting!  I recommend you let the cookies cool about 30 minutes before you frost.
15. Eat and enjoy with a cup of coffee or a glass of cold milk

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Baked Falafel

I had an epiphany can make homemade and delicious falafel from almost any type of bean. Here I use a shelling bean in place of the traditional garbanzo but the possibilities are endless (lima, fava, gigante anyone?).  Serve with all of your favorite falafel toppings for a delicious and protein packed meal!


2 cups cooked beans
3 garlic cloves
10 sprigs parsley
1 egg
1 tablespoon cumin

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Combine cooked beans and garlic cloves in a food processor and pulse about 1 minute
3. Add egg, parsley, cumin, salt and pepper and puree the mixture
4. Using two spoons, drop the falafel balls onto a greased cookie sheet (as if you were making drop cookies).  The size should be about an 1 inch diameter
5. Cook in the oven 30 minutes or until falafel are browning
6. Serve with pita, Mint Tzatziki, lettuce, thinly sliced tomato and baba ghannoush!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Beets for Boys and Girls

A few months ago I did a recipe called "Complete Beet Galette".  Faced with another bunch of beets and a hungry man, I devised two dishes from one main staple.  I had a complete beet salad with thinly sliced apricots on top and David had a complete beet sandwich with strips of local bacon.  Both results were memorable and delicious!


1 lb complete beets
1 tablespoon honey
apricots and/or bacon
olive oil

1. Chop beets and their greens into bit size pieces. 
2. Heat saute pan over medium heat with a swirl of olive oil
3. When hot, add beets, their greens and finely chopped onions and saute about 7 minutes. 
4. Turn off heat and stir honey into the veggies
5. Add a dash of salt to taste
6. Meanwhile cook bacon if making the bacon sandwich version
7. Toast bread if using or slice apricot if opting for that version
8. When beets are done prepare to your liking!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sun dried Tomato Grilled Chicken

The best thing about this dish is how easily it can be prepared and served.  You could also prep these and bring to a game day tailgate!  The flavors and best enjoyed in Autumn as you enjoy the last of the fresh basil!

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
8 sun dried tomatoes (in olive oil)
12 basil leaves
1/2 cup feta
Olive oil, salt and pepper

1. Using a heavy pan or a meat pounder, pound the chicken breast as flat as possible (be careful not to go so crazy the chicken sticks to the cutting board)
2. Top each breast with 2 tomatoes, 3 basil leaves and a sprinkle of feta
3. Roll the chicken "hamburger" style and secure with a toothpick or two
4. Drizzle olive oil over the chicken and sprinkle with salt/pepper
5. When ready to cook, heat the grill and cook the chicken on each side for about 6 minutes or until meat is nice and brown and cooked inside
6. Serve with this delicious Mini Greek Salad and our fabulous Lemon(lime) Drop Martini!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Beet and Goat Cheese Tarlets

Make these for your next potluck and you will be the favorite guest!  While I do consider it slightly cheating to use goat cheese in recipes (because it is such a delicious cheese), the beets really shine with this savory combination.


1 can of whole beets, drained and rinsed
1 square sheet puff pastry
2 small salad or sweet onions, thinly sliced
4 oz goat cheese (honestly you can use as much as you want)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Meanwhile prepare beets, when drained set aside and slice about 1/4 inch thick
3. Defrost puff pastry and carefully unroll.  Cut into even squares and place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet
4. Top with thinly sliced onion, beet and then sprinkle goat cheese on top
5. Cook in oven about 15 minutes or until exposed puff pastry is golden brown and cheese is slightly melted
6. These are best when served as close to baking as possible

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mini Greek Salad

The other day I got these amazing lemon cucumbers in my farm share and a plethora of basil.  With a bit of feta and olive oil I made this incredibly refreshing salad.  You could easily substitute regular cucumbers in place of the lemon cucumbers.


2 medium lemon cucumbers (about 2 cups chopped)
12-14 leaves of basil thinly sliced
1/4 cup crumbled feta
olive oil to taste
salt to taste

1. Combine chopped cucumbers, basil, feta in a bowl and then drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt to top!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Salad Nicoise

This salad can be made almost any season of the year and is most delicious when fresh in season vegetables are used.  I tried a new salad dressing here and it elevated this dish to a whole new level!


1 lb small new potatoes
1 lb romano beans
1 small red onion thinly sliced
1 small head of fennel
1 can of tuna in water (drained)
10 pitted nicoise olives chopped
2 tablespoons capers
8 oz sour cream
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
juice from one lemon

1. Start by boiling water for potatoes.  When water is boiling add potatoes and cook for about 20 minutes
2. In another pan, fill with water and when boiling add beans and cook for two minutes.  Immediately drain and blanch by running cold water over the beans.
3. Put the beans in the serving dish you will use and put in the fridge
4. Thinly slice the onion and fennel, add to the dish with the beans
5. Chop nicoise olives and set aside
6. Mix sour cream, mustard and lemon and set aside
7. Drain the potatoes and let cool for a few minutes
8. Add the potatoes to the serving dish with the other veggies then add the drained tuna.
9. Top with nicoise olives and capers
10. Serve on top of lettuce leaves and have dressing on the side so people can add as much as they like!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Chocolate Whiskey Cupcakes

I made these for my friend Hillary's birthday last month and they were a total hit!  They turned out just like chocolate lava cakes with a delicious whiskey cream topping!  You could easily swap your favorite liquor for the whiskey in this recipe!


Makes 12 cupcakes

1 stick butter
4 oz dark chocolate
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon whiskey
1/4 cup flour

2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 whiskey

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Line your cupcake tin
3. Place butter and chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl.  Set the bowl over a saucepan of boiling water and stir occasionally until melted.  Then remove the bowl from the pan.
4. Using a mixer, whisk the eggs, sugar, and whiskey on medium speed for about 5 minutes (easiest if you do this in a stand mixer).  Reduce speed and add in melted chocolate/butter mixture.
5. Finally fold in the flour to this mixture
4. Spoon batter into the cupcake liners and bake for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean
6. When cupcakes are done, transfer to wire rack and cool.
7. For the frosting, separate the eggs so you only have egg whites.  Place the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl and place over boiling water similar to the way you did the chocolate.
8. When the sugar dissolves remove the bowl from the pan
7. Using the stand mixer again and whisk together the egg white and sugar mixture until egg whites have cooled.  Then add the whiskey and mix until combined.
8. Frost the cupcakes and serve IMMEDIATELY!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Grilled Radicchio with Goat Cheese

Inspired by a log of goat cheese and fresh radicchio (a cousin of chicory leaf) I created this super quick and delicious appetizer that can go with grilled chicken or be served on it's own.  These are best cooked on a hot grill but can also be cooked under the broiler for 2-3 minutes per side if preferred.


1 head of radicchio (the outermost leaves removed)
5 oz. goat cheese
Olive oil

1. Carefully peel each individual leaf off of the radicchio bulb.
2. Wash under cool water and gently pat dry with a paper towel
3. Sprinkle goat cheese evenly in the "cup" of the leaf
4. Roll the leaves to form a protected pouch for the goat cheese and secure with a toothpick
5. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt
6. Heat grill
7. When grill is hot carefully place the radicchio on the grill and cook 2 minutes per side until green is wilted
8. Remove from grill and serve!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dessert Caprese - Apricot and Mozzarella

I love mozzarella more than anyone I know so I experiment with it a lot in the kitchen.  While making a salad, I realized sliced apricot and mozzarella was the perfect savory and sweet combo and this easy appetizer/snack was born!  Try and find the freshest mozzarella possible and almost ripe could easily swap in a peach here instead of the apricot if they are in season.


1 apricot per person (thinly sliced)
1 mozzarella ball

1. Arrange slices on a plate and top with chunks of mozzarella.  Serve with a nice riesling and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Zucchini Fritters

This recipe can be made with a variety of shaved vegetables (including the potato!) but I chose to make it with carrot and zucchini to appreciate the summer flavors.  Serve with a creme fraiche or sour cream topping.


3 medium zucchini washed and then shredded (against a cheese grater)
1 medium carrot washed, peeled and then shredded (against a cheese grater)
1 large egg
3/4 cup flour
olive oil

1. Put shredded veggies in a colander in the sink and add salt.
2. Stir to incorporate and leave to drain for at least an hour
3. When veggies are drained move to a mixing bowl
4. Add a dash of pepper to the mixture
5. Mix an egg and then toss with the veggies
6. Add flour to mixture and stir to coat
7. Form into small patties and set aside
8. Heat a pan and add olive oil to the pan to cover the bottom
9. When oil is hot add fritters being careful not to crown them
10. To ensure a good crust forms, don't turn over for at least four minutes
11. When brown flip to the other side and repeat cooking time
12. Remove from the oil and place on paper towels.
13. Serve immediately

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pasta Carbonara de Verano

In honor of our friends who are getting married today, let us also marry two of the best Italian dishes...pasta primavera and pasta carbonara!  Cheers Erin and James!


2 small zucchini (thinly cut into half moons)
1 small carrot (finely diced)
1 lb fava beans
3 strips of bacon
1/2 lb spaghetti pasta
1 egg

1. Start a pot of hot water to boil (this is for the fava beans)
2. When water is boiling, add favas and cook for five minutes
3. With one minute left, add zucchini to the boiling water and cook
4. Remove the veggies and drain in a colander, immediately run cold water over these beans
5. Next you need to shell the fava beans.  They should be in a long pod and to open you can carefully cut a slit in the bean with a small knife
6. Remove the beans from the pod and set aside and discard the pods
7. When you have accumulated the beans, now you have to squeeze out the actual bean from within this outer layer.  Once you try this you will know exactly what I'm referring too.  Be careful as these are slippery and can easily fall down the drain!
8. Set the beans in a dish and discard the husks
9. Set another pot of water to boil for the pasta
10. When boiling add the pasta and cook per package directions
11. Meanwhile, heat a saute pan over medium high heat...when hot add the bacon and cook until fairly crispy
12. Remove bacon from from pan and put on papertowls
13. Drain most of the grease into a safe container
13. Return pan to stove under no heat and add carrots
14. Before you drain the pasta, reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid and set aside and let cool
15. Drain pasta and add to saute pan with the carrots, then add the zucchini and the fava beans
16. When the liquid has cooled mix it with the egg and beat for a minute or two until incorporated
17. Pour over the pasta mixture in the pan and stir to coat
18. Chop bacon and sprinkle of the pasta
19. You absolutely must serve this with black pepper and parmesan cheese to complete this dish!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Creme Fraiche Quiche with Chard

Here is a new take on quiche with my latest favorite dairy product...creme fraiche!  This would be a perfect brunch or dinner item and is good for all seasons.


1 puff pastry (frozen)
1 lb chard roughly chopped
1/2 small onion thinly sliced
6 eggs
10 oz creme fraiche
6 oz grated gruyere cheese

1. Remove puff pastry from freezer and let thaw (about 10-15 minutes).  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Heat a saute pan over medium high heat, when hot add a swirl of olive oil and let heat (a minute or two).
3. Add onion and saute a minute then add the chard
4. Chard will need a good 7-10 minutes to wilt down
5. Roll out puff pastry into a pie dish, this dough is very pliable so you can do pie surgery if it falls apart.
6. Mix eggs and creme fraiche in a seperate bowl, salt and pepper gently and then set aside
7. When chard is finished cooking, carefully pour half of it into the puff pastry dough
8. Add egg mixture and then the remaining chard and carefully stir together
9. Very carefully stir in grated gruyere cheese and a bit more salt and pepper
10. Cook in the oven about 50-60 minutes or until top is brown and knife comes out completely clean.
11. Serve with hot sauce, salt, pepper or whatever else you like with quiche!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

B.O.L.A. aka not your average B.L.T.

Inspired by the lack of tomatoes I created this simple BLT alternative.  The possibilities are endless (garlic mayo or pesto anyone?).  If you have big enough lettuce leaves you could even make this a wrap!


Bacon (3 slices per sandwich)
Onion thinly sliced (salad onions are mild enough to eat raw)
Lettuce leaves (romaine lettuce is perfect)
Avocado (thinly sliced - 1 avocado will do about three sandwiches)

1. Cook bacon and toast baguette
2. Assemble sandwich with baguette, bacon, onion, lettuce and avocado and any other toppings you desire!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Complete Beet Galette

Mollie Katzen has an amazing cookbook where she cooks with all of "The vegetables I can't live without".  One of her recipes is called "Complete Beets" where she uses the beet greens as well as the beet itself.  When I got some complete beets in my farmshare, I knew I had to make a complete beet galette because what goes better with vegetables then a ton of butter and cheese?

You may remember my slight obsession with ricotta earlier in the summer.  I used ricotta again in this recipe (about 3/4 cup) so hopefully you are still using the recipe just like I am!  I got the galette dough from my favorite place Smitten Kitchen (Galette dough).  She also has other varieties of this delicious dish if you are not a fan of beets.


1 galette pastry dough (prepared Smitten style)
1 lb complete beets
1/2 small onion finely chopped
1/2 small onion thinly sliced
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup ricotta
1 egg (beaten)

1. Chop beets and their greens into bit size pieces.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Heat saute pan over medium heat with a swirl of olive oil
3. When hot, add beets, their greens and finely chopped onions and saute about 7 minutes.
4. Turn off heat and stir honey into the veggies
5. Add a dash of salt to taste
6. Roll out pastry dough into 12 inch circle
7. Spread ricotta in the center of the dough, leaving 2 inches on the diameter which you will fold over the veggies
8. Evenly layer veggies on top of the ricotta and then layer the thinly sliced onions
9. Fold over pastry dough (as per the picture) leaving most of the galette exposed
10. Brush beaten egg over the dough and tops of the onions
11. Bake in preheated oven about 35 minutes or until top is golden brown and onions are starting to brown as well.
12. Serve with a salad and a big glass of wine!

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bacon and Mizuna Risotto

Inspired by some seriously delicious fare at Toulouse Petit, I made this risotto with some fresh mizuna lettuce from our farm share and bacon from the local farmer's market.  It's true what they say, bacon does make everything better!  Don't be intimidated on this one, if you don't have mizuna you can always use arugula or spinach.


5 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup arborio rice (special risotto rice)
1/2 cup white wine
5 slices of bacon
1 lb mizuna or other green

1. Start by heating both in a pot on the stove (heat over medium)
2. Heat another deep pot over medium high heat, when hot add two swirls of olive oil to the pan
3. When the oil is hot add the chopped onion and cook 2-3 minutes until soft
4. Add rice to the oil and stir to coat (about 2 minutes)
5. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and stir to evenly coat
6. Here comes the tricky part, add a ladle of the broth to the rice mixture and stir every few minutes while broth is absorbed
7. When broth is absorbed add some more and repeat step 6 until all broth is gone.
8. While risotto is cooking, heat a large saute pan to medium high heat
9. Add bacon slices to the hot pan and cook to your preference (well done works best here)
10. When bacon is done, remove from the pan and lay on a cutting board with paper towels below to soak up the grease
11. Carefully drain most of the grease into a grease safe container and return the pan to the stove
12. Add the greens to the bacon greased pan and cook down for about 3-4 minutes and remove from heat
13. At this point you should be about 20 minutes into cooking your risotto and have very little broth left.  Sample the risotto to make sure it is chewy but not uncooked.  If it is ready, remove from heat.
14. Quickly chop bacon into bite size pieces
15. To plate this dinner, add a scoop of risotto onto the plate, followed by a nice portion of greens (about one "tong"ful) and then finally the bacon.
16. Serve with a salad and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fava Bean and Potato Salad

You could basically call this the "everything but the kitchen sink" potato salad.  I really tried to use inventive and different ingredients here for a fresh take on potato salad.  You will never buy pre-made potato salad at the store ever again!  I used purple potatoes in this recipe for added color!


1 zucchini (cut into inch thick rounds and then cut into half moons)
1 lb fava beans
1 lb new or yukon potatoes
10 oz creme fraiche
4 or 5 healthy springs of dill (chopped)
One salad onion or sweet onion (such as Walla Walla variety) thinly sliced

1. This recipe has three main steps.  Boiling the fava beans and zucchini is the first.  Heat a large pot of salted water on medium high heat, when boiling add fava beans and set timer for 2 minutes.  After two minutes is done, add zucchini and cook another 1 1/2 minutes
2.  Immediately remove from heat and using a slotted spoon, put veggies into a colander in the sink and run cold water over them for 2 minutes
3. Return pot of water to stove and reheat to boiling, then add potatoes and cook for 20 minutes (depending on how thick they are you might need to go 25)
4. Congrats you are done with two of the steps!
5. Next you need to shell the fava beans.  They should be in a long pod and to open you can carefully cut a slit in the bean with a small knife
6. Remove the beans from the pod and set aside and discard the pods
7. When you have accumulated the beans, now you have to squeeze out the actual bean from within this outer layer.  Once you try this you will know exactly what I'm referring too.  Be careful as these are slippery and can easily fall down the drain!
8. Set the beans in a dish and discard the husks
9. At this point the potatoes should be done
10. Drain them and turn them into a mixing bowl
11. Add the thinly sliced onion, the zucchini, beans and dill and stir to coat
12. Finally add the creme fraiche and stir to coat all of the veggies
13. Salt and pepper and enjoy!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Easy Carrot Ginger Soup

It doesn't get more simple than this.  Fresh carrots, onions, ginger and broth.  I ate this for lunch with a nice crisp salad and a sprinkle of feta cheese but you could easily serve this as a first course at a dinner party.  It is perfect for all seasons, especially while the carrots are fresh at the farmer's market!


Ginger (size of your thumb)
1 small white onion finely chopped
1 garlic clove crushed
2 lbs chopped carrots
1 quart of vegetable stock

1. Peel ginger and finely chop
2. Heat soup pot over medium high heat on the stove.  When hot add olive oil and add ginger, onion and garlic
3. Saute for two minutes and then add carrots and stir to coat
4. Stir almost constantly for 4-5 minutes
5. Add broth to cover the veggies and let cook 25 minutes until carrots are very tender
6. This soup is best if blended with an immersion blender so when you remove it from the heat, blend being careful not to let hot soup splatter
7. Serve immediately or let cool and save for a later occasion!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pork Kebabs with Curry Marinade

Craving something with substance but also spice, David and I came up with these pork skewers with a summer curry sauce.  There is not much else to be said except that this totally hit the spot and is something I would definitely grill again.  Serve with pita bread and a light salad and you have a complete summer meal.

Serves 2


1 pound pork cut for kebab or stir fry
Juice from one lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons curry powder

1. Rinse pork, pat dry and set in a dish ready for marinating
2. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and curry powder in a small food processor and power until well blending.  You could add some finely diced onion or green onion as well.
3. Pour the marinade over the pork and sprinkle salt and pepper on top.
4. Cover the meat and let sit in the fridge for at least two hours, four if you have time, turning the meat half way through.
5. When ready to cook soak the skewer sticks (if wooden) and then skewer meat using a brush to get all of the sauce on these skewers
6. Heat grill and add skewers when the grill is hot
7. Cook for about 10-12 minutes turning the skewers every few minutes.
8. Cut a test piece of meat to make sure the meat is done and when it is, serve up with some pita!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Simply Strawberries and Creme Fraiche

In honor of our 2 year wedding anniversary, let me post a sweet treat that should be part of anyone's summer repertoire of  desserts.


1 pint of fresh strawberries (rinsed and stems removed)
1/4 cup fine sugar
1/2 cup creme fraiche
Bottle of champagne (optional)

1. Sprinkle fine sugar on a nice plate
2. Add creme fraiche dollop to the middle of the plate
2. Surround the creme with the clean strawberries in a cute design

Serve with small forks or use your fingers.  Enjoy the deliciousness of the creme fresh with the gorgeous berries!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Orzo Pasta Salad

My parents make the most amazing orzo salad (I always request it whenever I'm visiting them for the weekend).  I made a slightly altered version based on a few special items I picked up at the farmer's market today...SCAPES!  These funny looking veggies are the tips of garlic and have a really nice mild garlic flavor.  If you can't find scapes, feel free to omit them and use dill instead.


1/2 box of orzo pasta
1 small salad onion thinly sliced or 5 scallions thinly sliced
5 or 6 scapes chopped into bite size pieces
1 can of garbanzo beans
zest of one lemon
3/4 cup feta cheese

1. Cook orzo pasta according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile chop onion and scapes
3. Drain pasta when cooked and run cold water over the pasta to cool it down
4. Combine pasta, beans, scapes, lemon zest and feta in a big bowl.
5. Stir and serve!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pizza Margherita with Golden Tomato Sauce

This was the first time I've ever made pizza in Seattle and though..."Woah, am I in New York City?"  I know that might sound pretentious but this pizza ROCKED.  Using some leftover frozen whey from this ricotta I made a few weeks ago, the crust literally melted in my mouth.  Inspired by the golden tomato sauce from 101 Cookbooks, I created this Pizza Margherita to remember!

Pizza dough (prepare at least two hours before you are ready to make pizza)

2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
3/4 cup warm water or warmed leftover whey
1/2 cup olive oil

Mix dry ingredients in the food processor.  While food processor is running, add 1/2 cup of warm water in a slow stream. Next add olive oil. If dough is still not formed in a ball, add remaining water plus a few extra teaspoons if necessary until dough forms a ball.

Place dough in an oiled bowl and over with plastic wrap and kitchen towel.  Allow to rest for at least two hours (you can even let this sit for 24 hours!).

Golden Tomato Sauce

1 lb golden tomatoes roughly chopped
1 very small onion finely chopped
1 clove of minced garlic
olive oil

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat
2. When hot add garlic and onions and stir for 2 minutes
3. Add chopped tomatoes and turn heat down to medium
4. Let tomatoes simmer for about 10-15 minutes until they breakdown easily
5. Transfer to a food processor and puree the mixture
6. Add salt and pepper to taste
7. Use just like you would red tomato sauce


Now you are probably wondering about the pizza right?  Luckily this is the easy part.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Carefully and stretch the pizza dough to desired shape and thickness and carefully lay on parchment paper
3. Lightly brush dough with olive oil
4. Evenly spread tomato sauce over the dough.  You can freeze the leftover sauce for another use or use it for pasta later.
5. Cover with favorite toppings, here we did mozzarella cheese and basil in honor of Princess Margherita.
6. Carefully place in the oven and bake until cheese is golden brown and bubbling and crust is finished, about 12-15 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and let sit a few minutes (if you can) before serving

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Liberty Whiskey Cocktail

Here is the ultimate summer cocktail.  It is unbelievably refreshing and compliments all the flavors of summer, from pasta to barbeque!

This recipe serves 5


2 tea bags (for black tea)
1/3 cup honey
2 cups water
2 cups lemonade (Newman's Own is nice)
10 basil leaves
5 slices of lemon
1 cup of bourbon or whiskey

1. Boil hot water.  When boiling add 1 cup of water to the 2 tea bags and let steep for 10 minutes in a coffee mug.
2. Remove tea bags and mix in 1/3 cup honey
3. Transfer to a pitcher and add additional cup of cold water and 2 cups of lemonade and let chill in the fridge for 15 minutes
4. When ready to serve, muddle 2 basil leaves with ice cubes (2 leaves per glass) and top with sliced lemon
5. Remove mixture from the fridge and add whiskey...shake well and then pour over the ice, basil and lemon.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Linguine with Zucchini and Ricotta

This is the perfect summer pasta dish.  Fresh zucchini and mint give our favorite ricotta recipe all the attention it deserves.  Your friends will love the fresh play of flavors while you sip on a nice glass of white wine and pat yourself on the back.


1 lb pasta (fettucini or linguine)
2 zucchini thinly sliced
1 cup ricotta cheese (Smitten Kitchen style)
1 cup of mint leaves finely chopped
lemon zest from 1 lemon

1. Cook pasta according to directions
2. When there is 1 minute left on the timer for the pasta add the zucchini to the boiling water
3. Drain zucchini and pasta and transfer to serving dish
4. Drizzle olive oil over the pasta/zucchini mixture
5. Stir ricotta cheese into the pasta
6. Top with mint leaves and lemon zest
7. Salt and pepper to taste

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pork Spare Ribs with Theo Chocolate Rub

The Farmer's Market had a sale on pork spare ribs ($5 per pound!) and we had to indulge ourselves!  Inspired by Theo Chocolate's Spicy Chile bar, I prepared the ribs with a quick and easy rub and then cooked them "low and slow".  I have to plug Theo Chocolate here...they are seriously the best chocolate maker in the US.  Fair trade and Organic with a variety of different chocolate bars that are delicious for all occasions!


2 lbs spare ribs

Chocolate Rub
1 oz Theo Chocolate Spicy Chile bar finely chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Chocolate Sauce
1/2 oz Theo Chocolate Spicy Chile bar finely chopped
Leftover juice from rib packets (see recipe details)
2 tablespoons finely chopped jalopenos (optional)

1. Combine rub ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Preheat oven to 200 degrees
2. Place each rib on a piece of large foil (for two pounds this is two pieces of meat)
3. Spread the rub evenly on both sides of the ribs and then close the foil to form a pouch around the meat and foil.
4. Place in the oven on a cooling rack placed on a cookie sheet (to circulate the the air) and cook for 4 hours.  After four hours turn heat to 175 and cook another 2 hours.
5. Remove ribs from oven and carefully open pouch and drain rib juices into a sauce pan.
6. Add 1/2 oz chocolate and jalopenos to the juice and boil on high heat stirring constantly for about 5 minutes.
7. Plate ribs and serve sauce on the side.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Blog updates

I just rearranged the labels so if you are looking for the categories, see above :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Mint Tzatziki (aka Mint Yogurt sauce)

Week two of the farm share and I'm starting to appreciate just how many useful ways mint can be used in cooking!  Here is a delicious and refreshing summer sauce that can be spooned on chicken, lamb or falafel.  You can also use this as a salad dressing for a cucumber/tomato salad!  I'm obviously excited about this since we are finally posting recipes about Summer!


15 mint leaves very finely chopped
3/4 cup plain non-fat yogurt
2 cloves green garlic (garlic with their LOOOONG stems) finely chopped
sprinkle of salt

1. Combine all ingredients and stir to evenly combine.
2. Serve it up!

If you don't have green garlic, you can use one bulb of regular garlic here but the flavor will be a bit stronger.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Red Potato Bliss!

I love potatoes and butter and salt.  Simply put those there are carb bliss.  Here is a recipe you will use as a side dish (or even a main) for the rest of your life!  It is too easy and delicious so please do me this one favor and make this dish!  Mint and potatoes are actually a great combo, but if you want to substitute another herb, you can do almost anything!

Makes 1 potato (double, triple recipe as needed)


Medium red potato (about the size of a baseball)
1/2 tablespoon real butter (Farmer's Market if possible!)
1 heaping spoonful sour cream or creme fraiche
5 mint leaves chopped or torn

1. Pierce potato several times with a fork.
2. Put in the microwave and cook about 6 minutes for one potato (add 2 more minutes per each extra potato.)
3. Potato is done when you squeeze it and it feels perfectly soft
4. Remove from the microwave and cut open
5. Put butter, sour cream, mint, salt and pepper on the potato and serve!

Friday, July 1, 2011


Butter is the essential ingredient in many recipes, but did you ever stop to think how butter is made and if it had a recipe of it's own?  I have the best news...IT DOES!  Homemade butter is 10 minutes away and you will never look back (David and I are so happy with these results).


2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. In a food processor combine whipping cream and salt (you can also do this with an egg beater or a Kitchen Aid stand mixer on high speed)
2. Process on high speed until the butter starts to separate from the butter milk (about 5-6 minutes).
3. Remove processor container and carefully drain excess liquid over the sink.
4. Use a spatula to press the remaining butter milk out of the butter solid.
5. Finally, using your hands, gently massage remaining liquid out of the butter and put in an airtight container in the fridge.
6. Use as you would butter for any other recipe.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Shells

This is the best meal I have ever cooked in my life.  This is a date night or Sunday night dinner that you will never forget.  I made my own ricotta during the morning (from Smitten Kitchen, SO EASY! and then stuffed the shells with a combo of the ricotta and some farmer's market spinach.  Serve this with a glass of your favorite red wine and you will have a meal of a lifetime.

Serves 2


12-15 pasta shells
1 1/3 cup of ricotta (please, please do the homemade version!)
4 cups of chopped spinach leaves
zest of a lemon
1/2 cup plain tomato sauce
parmesan cheese

1. Set a pot of water on the stove to boil and preheat oven to 375
2. When water is boiling add pasta shells
3. Heat large saute pan over medium-high heat and add spinach to the pan when oil is hot
4. Saute spinach about 5 minutes until cooked down.  Remove from heat and add zest from one lemon.
5. In the cooled down saute pan, add a thin layer of tomato sauce to cover the bottom of the pan
6. Mix ricotta and spinach in a bowl and add salt/pepper to taste
7. Drain shells and run cool water over them
8. Stuff each shell with a spoonful or so of ricotta mixture.
9. Put each shell in the saute pan and repeat until all shells are filled
10. Drizzle tomato sauce over the shells and put in the oven for 15 minutes
11. Remove from the oven and serve with a bit of shaved parmesan cheese (you also might want a salad after this meal!)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Yogurt Cheese

I am convinced that plain non-fat yogurt is the superfood that will one day save the world.  How many other foods can you use to make breakfasts, desserts, toppings and cheese?!

I found this easy cheese recipe and bought my very first cheesecloth.  After you read this, please do me a favor and make this recipe for you and yours.  The possibilities are endless with the herbs and flavors that could be added here, so please feel free to comment and share what you decide to do!


1 cup plain non-fat yogurt
3/4 tablespoon salt

1. Line a collander with a cheesecloth (you can even get cheesecloths at Safeway)
2. Set collander over a bowl to catch the liquid
3. Mix yogurt and salt together in a bowl (here is where you can add other flavors, probably a tablespoon chopped of whatever herb you choose).
4. Dump yogurt mixture on top of the cheese cloth and fold the cloth over
5. Put in the fridge for 36 hours (periodically check and squeeze water)
6. Serve with is cheese after all!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Curry Tomato Lentils with Rice

I love tomatoes (almost as much as I love goat cheese, potatoes and pizza).  It is rare to get these in my neck of the woods and when I do I ALWAYS serve them with mozzarella.  This time I decided to try something different.  The more I created this recipe, the more ideas that popped into my head.  It is simple, yet filling and very, very satisfying.


3/4 cup lentils
1/4 cup brown rice
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 beefsteak tomato
olive oil
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup slivered almonds

1. Combine lentils, brown rice, curry powder and two cups of water in a sauce pan on medium high heat.  Cover with a lid.
2. Remove stem of the tomato (and in a beefsteak that usually means cutting into the tomato to get rid of the long stem) and then slice the tomato about 1/4 inch thick
3. Preheat the broiler
4. Drizzle olive oil on tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper
5. Place tomatoes into the oven and set timer for 6 minutes.
6. You should be keeping a close eye on the lentils.  As soon as the water is absorbed they are done.
7. Remove from heat and add tomato sauce and almonds to the lentils.
8. When tomatoes are done remove from oven and plate your dish according to your preference!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pea shoot Pesto

David and I started receiving our farm share last week and this time of year there are A TON of greens.  To prevent them from going bad we made a very simple pesto from some pea shoots.  These are very delicate greens that are also tasty in a salad (trust me) and also in stir fry (yes we did that too).  The pesto is nice to freeze so when you are hunkered down for winter later this year, you can dream of summer.


2 cups of pea shoots (tough ends removed, they taste very woody)
1/3 cup olive oil (plus more to cover the pesto in the container)
2 cloves of garlic
salt to taste
parmesan cheese (1/2 cup)
lemon zest from half a lemon

1. Combine all ingredients in a small food processor and pulse until all are combined.
2. Put in a small tupperware and store in the freezer.
3. Reheat as needed and put remainder (if there is any!) back in the freezer for next time

This can be served on fish, chicken, pasta, on toast with goat cheese, potatoes, eggs, etc.  Enjoy!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mama Lisa's Spam Fried Rice

I know Spam doesn't necessarily sound like the most appetizing food on the planet but in this fried rice dish from my mom, the spam adds a nice subtle flavor while also letting the other veggies and rice flavor develop.  If you try Spam once in your life this should definitely be the recipe!


1 cup of uncooked rice (cook it per package instructions)
1 can of lite Spam
2 zucchini
2 carrots
1/2 cup vegetable or grapeseed oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
4-5 green onions or scallions
1 cup frozen peas

1. Prepare rice separately (even the night before)
2. Dice Spam, zucchini and carrots into bite size pieces.
3. Heat wok over medium high heat, when hot add  oil to pan
4. Let oil warm for about a minute and then add spam and veggies
5. Saute for five minutes to get a nice crispy edge on these, then add the rice and stir to coat with oil (this is called stir fried rice after all!)
6.  Cook rice for another 4-5 minutes.
7. Lower heat to medium low and add soy sauce, red pepper flakes, scallions and frozen peas (they will warm up in a minute).  This is also a good time to add a few drops of sesame oil or some hoisin sauce.
8. Serve in bowls (with hot sauce if desired).

The great thing about this recipe is that you can use whatever veggies you like!  Mushrooms and spinach would definitely work as well!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

A few weeks ago I was feeling under the weather and was craving vegetable soup with some substance.  David suggested tortellini vegetable soup and this recipe was our final result.  You can really substitute a lot of different veggies in this recipe and could even swap pasta for the tortellini.  I would love to have put some fennel in this dish to complement the tomato based broth.


1/2 onion thinly sliced
1 celery stalk chopped
4 medium carrots peeled and chopped
1 quart chicken stock (using veggie stock here will make it vegetarian)
1/2 cup of tomato paste
1/2 lb tortellini or pasta
1 handful of parsley removed from stems and finely chopped

1.  Heat soup pot over medium high heat, when hot add a little olive oil or butter.
2.  Add onion, celery and carrot to the soup pot and stir to coat with oil.  Let cook 5 minutes.
3.  Add stock, tomato paste and stir to combine
4.  Bring to a boil and add tortellini and cook per package direction (about 6 minutes)
5.  Salt/pepper to taste (after it cools down of course)
6.  Put in a bowl and add chopped parsley and serve!