Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cranberry Strippers

I was looking around online at recipes to use up Thanksgiving leftovers, and saw a photo of some thumbprint cookies that someone had made using leftover cranberry sauce. Sounded like a good idea to me, and here is my version. Those of you who have been reading this blog will recognize these cookies: I have posted the recipe for them before using apple butter instead of cranberry sauce. You can really use any type of jam-like product you like. They are also delicious with raspberry or apricot jam.

I have changed the glaze for this version a little bit by using orange juice instead of lemon juice. Orange is such a nice pairing for cranberry, and I thought the added sweetness would help offset the tartness of the cranberry sauce. After the fact I thought that Cointreau or Triple Sec might make a nice glaze, too. If you try that, let me know how it works out.

Cranberry Strippers

1/3 Cup Sugar
5 Tbsp Butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Large Egg White
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
2 Tbsp Cornstarch
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
Cooking Spray or Parchment Paper
1/3 Cup Cranberry Sauce
1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar
2 - 4 tsp Orange Juice
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract

Preheat Oven to 375

Beat sugar and butter with a mixer at medium speed until well blended, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and egg white, beat well. Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture ans stir until well blended.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide it in two. Roll each half into a log about 12 inches long. Place the logs about 3 inches apart on a cookie sheet or baking pan coated with cooking spray (I used parchment paper instead). Using the handle of a wooden spoon, make a 1/2 inch indentation down the length of each log. Spoon the cranberry sauce into the center. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a cutting board.

Combine the powdered sugar, orange juice, and vanilla extract. Stir well with a fork and drizzle over the logs. Cut each log diagonally into 12 slices, but don't pull the slices apart yet. Let rest on the cutting board for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"Poached" Egg in Tomato Sauce

This one is more of a method than a recipe. Last night I made sauce with the last of the season's tomatoes. I know I need to save most of the leftover for my sweetie to enjoy with mozzarella sticks this weekend, but I have been wanting to try baking eggs in tomato sauce for a long time. However, our oven takes a really long time to heat up, and as I just wanted to cook one egg, that seemed excessive. In browsing recipes online I found this one, and decided to give this method a go.

It was a bit tricky since I was only cooking one egg, and therefore had hardly any sauce in the pot, maybe 1/2 a cup? Next time I will use a shallower pan rather than a pot. I also cooked my egg just a tad too long, but it was still very tasty. I will be trying this again.

"Poached Egg in Tomato Sauce"

Tomato or Marinara Sauce, about 1/2 cup per egg

Heat up the sauce in a pan or pot over medium-low heat. Once the sauce is simmering, crack in the egg(s). Continue cooking until the egg whites are set, but the yolk is still somewhat runny, or to your tastes, 5 minutes or so for 'medium'-ish eggs.

Serve with (or over) toasted bread.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mustard-Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

I can tell the seasons are changing just by what I am wanting to cook. Last night I made meatloaf, and wanted something other than mashed potatoes as a side, so I made these yummy roasted potatoes instead.

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Dry Thyme
Salt and Pepper to Taste
2 Medium Yukon Gold Potatoes, cut into 1/2 - 3/4 inch chunks
1 - 2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary, broken into 1 1/2 inch pieces

Preheat Oven to 400 Degrees

Spray an 8 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Whisk olive oil, mustard, paprika, thyme and salt and pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Add the potatoes and stir to coat evenly. Spread the potatoes in the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the fresh rosemary. Roast in the oven about 25 minutes until nicely brown on the outside and soft in the middle, stirring at least once during cooking.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pork Loin Roast with Apples

I bought a pork loin roast without any real plan for what to do with it, so I went browsing the web to see what I could find. This recipe from The Food Network caught my eye, so I decided to give it a go. Following is my version, with a few tweaks to account for my family's tastes and what I had on hand.

1 Two Pound Pork Loin Roast
Salt and Pepper
3/4 tsp Chopped Fresh Rosemary (or 1/2 tsp dry, crumbled)
2 Tbsp Canola Oil
1 Medium Onion, Thickly Sliced
1 Celery Root (Celeriac), Peeled. 1/2-inch Dice
2 Medium Carrots, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
3 Apples, Cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced or Pressed
3/4 tsp Dry Thyme (or fresh if you have it)
1 Sprig Fresh Rosemary (or 1/2 tsp dry)
2 Tbsp Cider Vinegar
1 Cup Apple Juice or Cider
2 Tbsp Grainy Mustard
2 Tbsp Cold Butter

Take the roast out of the fridge 30 minutes or so before you plan to start cooking. Sprinkle it all over with salt, pepper, and chopped rosemary and let it sit on the counter.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Chop the veggies and apples.

Heat the canola oil in an oven-proof skillet over high heat. Add the roast and brown all over, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the roast to a plate.

Reduce the heat in the skillet to medium and add the onions, celery root, carrots and rosemary sprig. Cook for about 5 minutes, and add the garlic, thyme, and apples. Continue cooking for another 4 minutes or so, until the vegetables are beginning to brown. Push the apple mixture to the sides of the pan, and place the roast in the center. Put in the oven and roast to an internal temperature of 135 degrees. You can use an instant-read thermometer, or insert a probe thermometer before you put the roast in the oven.

Remove the pan from the oven and place the roast on a cutting board. Tent it loosely with foil. Put the apple mixture on a serving platter (discard any herb sprigs) and return the pan to high heat on the stove. Stir in the vinegar, stirring to get up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook until reduced by half, then add the apple juice or cider. Reduce the juice by half, then turn off the heat. Whisk in the mustard, then the butter.

Slice the roast about 1/4 thick or so and arrange it over the apple mixture. Drizzle the roast with the sauce, and pass remaining sauce at the table. Enjoy!

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here.

Friday, October 7, 2011

How to Freeze Fresh Green Beans

This one is not so much a recipe as a how-to. We were blessed to receive lots and lots (and lots and lots) of green beans from our CSA farm this year. So many, in fact, that we could not possibly keep up with eating them all fresh.

So....I asked my son to research ways to freeze them for later use. He did me one better. He not only did the research, but then came downstairs and did the work as well. That was a great day!

The first thing he did was snap off the stem ends of the beans.

Next, he blanched them in boiling water for three minutes.

The next step was to take the beans out of the boiling water and put them in a bowl of ice water, also for three minutes.

After that, he put the beans on a cookie sheet covered with a clean towel so they could dry a bit.

One of the most important steps, according to him, is to make sure that you label the bag. I am sure this will seem more important to me in December when I am looking for these green beans in the freezer!

Next the green beans go into the bag, and then into the freezer.

Thanks to my son for freezing the green beans. I am sure we will enjoy them this winter, after we haven't had any in a while.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

One Pot Creamy Pesto Pasta

Here is a quicky lunch or side dish to use up some of that summer basil you may still have around.

One Pot Creamy Pesto Pasta

1 Small Garlic Clove
2 TBSP Pine Nuts or Walnuts
2 TBSP Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1/3 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves
Drizzle of Olive Oil
1 Cup Pasta
2 Cups Veggie Broth (or Chicken Broth)
2 Tbsp Flour
1 1/2 Tbsp Butter
1/2 Cup Milk

Combine the garlic, pine nuts or walnuts, Parmesan cheese, and basil in a food processor and process until smooth. Slowly add in a drizzle of olive oil until desired consistency is reached. Or, feel free to use pre-made basil pesto in this recipe, up to about 1/3 cup or so.

This little food processor that came with my stick blender is perfect for this job.

Put the pasta and the broth in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and simmer until the pasta is tender, about 10-12 minutes. There will still be some liquid left in the pot.

Sprinkle the flour over the pasta and cook and stir for about a minute. Add the butter and stir until melted. Cook and stir another minute or two, then add in the milk. Stir to incorporate everything and let cook for about 90 seconds, or until the milk is simmering. Stir in pesto sauce to taste, I like a lot, so I used all of it, but start with a few tablespoons and see how you like it. Season to taste with salt and pepper, serve and enjoy.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Padron Peppers

This one is super quick and easy, not even a recipe, so I am not going to bother with a printer-friendly version. We got padron peppers in our CSA share 2 or 3 times this summer, and it was a new veggie to us. After researching online, I found out that they are originally from Galicia, Spain, and are commonly served as tapas. Or is that a tapa? Anyway, no matter. Also, they are mostly mild, but a few spicy ones turn up here and there. You can't tell which will be spicy, so it is a surprise! There is even a saying : "Pementos de PadrĂ³n: uns pican e outros non." (Padron peppers, some are spicy some are not.)

The preparation is super simple and delicious. Simply heat a cast iron skillet or griddle over high heat, and cook the peppers until they are blackening. Remove to a plate or platter, drizzle with good olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. That's it. Yum!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Stir-Fry Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce and Veggies

Okay, it's been forever. I know. I have been sick ALL summer, but despite that did manage to cook a few things, just never got around to posting.

My sweetie is not a big fan of peanut sauce, so I made this one in July when he was on a business trip to the East Coast. I have tried many times to make peanut sauce, and this was by far my best effort to date. I listed the vegetables I used this time, but, as always, you can use whatever you have on hand. Just try to have about 3 cups or so of vegetables.

For the Sauce :

1/3 Cup plus 1 TBSP Creamy Peanut Butter
1 Clove Garlic, Minced or Pressed
1/2 tsp Fresh Ginger, Minced
1 TBSP Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Rice Vinegar
1/2 tsp Chili Garlic Sauce
1 tsp Sesame Oil

For the Stir-Fry

2 tsp Canola or Peanut Oil
1 Cup Green Beans, about 1 inch long
1/2 Cup Sliced Summer Squash
1/2 Cup Sliced Radishes
1/2 Cup Sliced Carrots
1 Cup Chopped Cabbage
1/4 - 1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
One 9 oz. Package of Fresh Asian Noodles, or Dried Linguine or Spaghetti

To make the sauce, combine all of the sauce ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.

Cook the noodles according to the package directions and set aside.

To make the stir-fry, heat the oil in a wok over high heat, add the vegetables and stir-fry until they just begin to soften, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the sauce and the cooked noodles. Stir to coat everything thoroughly and cook until hot, about another 3 minutes or so. Stir in the chopped cilantro, serve and enjoy!

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Strawberry Puff Pastry Galette

Here is another quick and easy one. I received 2 baskets of strawberries from the CSA last week, and while we usually just eat them for breakfast until they are gone, for some reason we haven't been recently, so I had strawberries that needed to be used up ASAP. Luckily, there was also a lonely sheet of puff pastry in the freezer, and here you go!

1 Sheet Frozen Puff Pastry
1 Pint Strawberries
1 tsp - 1 Tbsp Sugar
One Egg
3 Tbsp Strawberry Preserves, Jam or Jelly
1 Tbsp Cointreau, Rum or Water

Remove Puff Pastry from the freezer and allow to thaw on the counter for 40 minutes

Preheat Oven to 400

Wash and slice strawberries into about 1/4 inch slices. Stir in sugar. If your berries are very ripe and sweet, 1 tsp should be enough. Use more sugar for tart berries. Allow to macerate while the oven comes up to temperature.

Beat the egg in a small bowl. Once the pastry is thawed, place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Fold in about 1 inch all the way around to allow the pastry to puff up around the strawberries. Brush the border with your egg wash.

Pile the strawberries into the center of the pastry, reaching all the way to the folded over border. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the preserves, jam, or jelly with the liquid of choice. As soon as the galette comes out of the oven, brush the berries with the jam mixture. Remove to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature before slicing.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

One Pot Stove Top Mac and Cheese (No collander required!)

I developed this recipe as an alternative to packaged pasta sides. I happen to love those things. Boxed macaroni and cheese, packets of noodles and sauce mix of every variety. I love them for both the taste and convenience, but they are expensive for what you get, and full of salt and chemical preservatives.

So I started playing around with one pot homemade versions, and this macaroni and cheese recipe was born. Mind you, I still like a good old-fashioned casserole with crunchy topping from the oven, but this one is all about getting it on the table fast and easy clean-up. And it's pretty tasty, to boot!

One Pot Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese.

1 Cup Macaroni
2 Cups Veggie Broth (or Chicken Broth)
2 Tbsp Flour
1 1/2 Tbsp Butter
1/2 Cup Milk
1/3 - 1/2 Cup Shredded Cheese (Cheddar or a combination of Cheddar and another cheese like Jack)
Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Put the macaroni and the broth in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and simmer until the pasta is tender, about 10-12 minutes. There will still be some liquid left in the pot.

Sprinkle the flour over the macaroni and cook and stir for about a minute. Add the butter and stir until melted. Cook and stir another minute or two, then add in the milk. Stir to incorporate everything and let cook for about 90 seconds, or until the milk is simmering. Stir in the cheese using a figure eight pattern until melted. Spoon into bowls and serve with fresh ground black pepper to taste.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Chard Tart

There is a bit of a funny story regarding this recipe. I found it in the Joy of Cooking several years back, but was convinced my husband wouldn't like it. Rather than serve it to him , I made it for one of my girlfriends for brunch one morning. We both really liked it, but she agreed with me that he likely would not. So I left it at that. Lo and behold, he tried a piece, and really, really liked it. Goes to show what I know about his tastes...Anyway, I am glad he likes it so much, because I make it often. Sometimes on the weekend for breakfast, sometimes for a light dinner. Either way, it is a big hit every time. This would also make a lovely appetizer course for a small dinner party.

Adapted from The Joy of Cooking

For the crust:

preheat oven to 425

One 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, lined with parchment paper

1 3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
3/4 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Cold Milk

Whisk together the flour and salt. Stir the in the olive oil and milk using a fork. Press the dough into the pan, pushing up the sides. Prick with a fork a few times to prevent bubbling up in the oven.

Bake for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned.

Lower the oven to 375

For the filling:

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Finely Diced Onion, Red Onion, or Shallot
1 Pound Chard, Thick Stems Removed and Coarsely Chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced or Pressed
2 Tbsp Fresh Basil, Chopped OR 1 1/2 tsp Dried Basil
1/4 tsp Salt, or to Taste
1/8 tsp Black Pepper, or to Taste
3 Large Eggs
1/3 Cup Milk
1 Cup Grated Cheese of you choice (Cheddar, Jack, Parmesan, Mozzarella, Fontina, or any Combination)

Saute the onion or shallot in the olive oil over medium-low heat until very soft, about 10 minutes, add the garlic and cook for another one or two minutes. Add the chard, in batches if necessary, and cook until very tender, about 10 minutes more. Season with the basil and salt and pepper to taste.

In a medium bowl, slightly whisk the eggs. Stir in the milk and cheese. Add the chard mixture, then scrape the lot into the tart shell, and spread evenly.

Bake at 375 until the filling is lightly browned and firm, 25-35 minutes. Cool to room temperature and enjoy!

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chocolate Beet Cake

Chocolate beet cake. Yes, you read that right. I admit it sounds odd, but the cake is actually quite delicious. I was suspicious of this recipe when I first read it in a Live Earth Farm newsletter years ago, but as the beets were piling up I decided to give it a go. I was glad I did. And who knows, if you don't tell anyone there are beets in the cake, they may never catch on!

I usually use regular red beets for this recipe, but this time I didn't have enough, so I used some chiogga beets as well. They are the stripey ones.

I chose to make cupcakes this time, because they freeze well in nice little individual servings, but you could use a bundt pan or 8-inch round or square pan as well.

Chocolate Beet Cake

1 1/2 pounds Beets (or enough to make 1 1/4 cups puree)
3 Eggs
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup vegetable oil
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda

Cook the beets either by boiling in water to cover by 1 1/2 inches until tender, or baking them in a 400 degree oven. Once they are cool enough to handle, slip off the skins (I like to do this under cold running water) and put them in a food processor. Process until a puree forms, adding water or beet cooking liquid if necessary to get a pureed consistency.

Preheat the oven to 350

Lightly grease and flour a bundt pan, 8-inch round or square baking dish, or line muffin pans with cupcake liners.

Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl. Whisk in the sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla, salt, and beet puree. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Add the wet ingredients to the dry a bit at a time until completely incorporated.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake 45-50 minutes for a bundt pan, 35-40 minutes for an 8-inch square pan, and 15-20 minutes for cupcakes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Cool and enjoy.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bok Choy and Noodle Soup

I was looking for a way to use up some greens for breakfast, but was not in the mood for eggs at all. I thought I would try a simple Asian noodle soup, and it was quite satisfying on this foggy morning.

Bok Choy and Noodle Soup

2 tsp Peanut or Canola Oil
2 Green Onions, sliced, white parts and green separated
1 Clove Garlic, chopped or pressed
1 Bunch Bok Choy, sliced thinly, white stems and greens separated
4 Cups Veggie (or Chicken) Broth
2 oz. Noodles (Spaghetti, Angel Hair, Fettucine or Fresh Asian Noodles)
2 tsp Soy Sauce
2 tsp Sesame Oil

Heat the oil in a sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add the white part of the sliced green onion and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the chopped or pressed garlic and saute for one minute. Add the sliced white stems of bok choy and saute for 2 more minutes.

Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and simmer until just cooked (anywhere from 2 - 10 minutes, depending on the noodles used). Add the bok choy greens and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and sesame oil. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the sliced green onion tops.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I won a Smart Car!

Pretty exciting stuff! Many thanks to Smart Chicken and New Leaf Community Markets for this fantastic giveaway! I have already been having so much fun driving this little car around.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to let everyone know that I am planning to start posting recipes again this summer. This blog has lain fallow for far too long, so with the help of my great new photographer (aka my son) I will be posting new recipes starting next week. Hooray!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

I have made a variety of rolls in my time, but I really really like this one. The rolls are super soft and chewy, even with the whole wheat flour. These would be a great addition to any dinner.

2 1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast
1 Cup Warm Water (105-115 degrees)
2 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 1/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Melted Butter plus more for brushing on the rolls

Combine the yeast and about 1/4 cup of the warm water. Set aside until frothy, 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the rest of the ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add in the yeast and mix on low speed until well combined. Continue mixing on low - medium low until very smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If you don't have a stand mixer, mix the ingredients in a mixing bowl, then turn out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead until very smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in a clean bowl and coat all over with olive oil. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and let the dough rise until about doubled in size, approximately 60-90 minutes.

Punch the dough down and form into 12 balls about the size of a golf ball. Place the dough balls in a greased baking dish about 1 - 1 1/2 inches apart. Brush the dough balls with melted butter and cover with the tea towel and let rise again until doubled in size, 30-60 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pasta Sauce with Meatballs and Sausage

Okay, so I know it's been unreasonably long since I've posted any recipes. The irony is not lost on me that as soon as we got the fancy new kitchen I stopped publishing recipes. But that is how it has gone. It's not that I haven't been cooking, because I have! For some reason the inspiration to photo and write about my recipes has been lacking.

But there are a few loyal souls out there who keep commenting asking for more recipes, so here goes. I hope to start posting more regularly.

Please enjoy this recipe for pasta sauce with sausage and meatballs.

For the meatballs :

1 - 1 1/4 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs or panko (measured in a glass or 'liquid' measuring cup)
milk (enough to cover the breadcrumbs)
Salt and Pepper
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder

Preheat oven to 350

Lightly grease a cookie sheet or baking pan

Pour the milk over the breadcrumbs in the glass measuring cup. Put the turkey in a medium mixing bowl. When the breadcrumbs have absorbed most of the milk (3 minutes or so) add salt and pepper to taste, and the garlic powder. Mix with a fork, then add the breadcrumb mixture to the meat in the bowl. Combine well, and form into roughly walnut-sized meatballs.

Place the meatballs on the prepared baking pan, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

For the Sausage:

1 pound Italian Sausage Links, mild or spicy

Brown the sausage in a non-stick pan over medium-low or medium heat until browned on all sides.

For the Sauce :

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Large Onion, Diced (2 cups)
2-3 Cloves of Garlic, Minced or Pressed
1 24 ounce can Crushed Tomatoes
1 15 ounce Can Tomato Sauce
2 tsp Dried Basil
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme

Heat the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the diced onion and saute until very soft, but not brown, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for one minute. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add the dried herbs, crushing between your palm and fingers as you add them to the pot. Continue heating over medium heat until the sauce begins to simmer.

Add the meatballs and the sausage to the sauce. Lower heat to low, cover, and simmer for at least 30 minutes, up to several hours.

Serve with your favorite pasta, or spaghetti squash. Buon Apetito!

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here.