Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Sweetheart Cabbage and Dill Salmon

This is a recipe that I tried for the first time last night.  Arthur really liked it.  I served it with mashed potatoes--one of his favorite foods.  We were lucky enough to get a Sweetheart Cabbage from our CSA farm--Driftless Organics.  I've never seen this variety of cabbage for sale in the grocery store.  You could probably find it at a farmers' market.
Sweetheart, Pointed, hispi, hearted or sweetheart cabbage as it is sometimes known is a type of green cabbage with green leaves and a pointed head. The leaves are more open than those of a green cabbage and they have a softer texture and sweeter taste.  If unavailable I'm sure you could use standard cabbage instead.  

We were only making dinner for 2 people so I didn't use as much as the recipe called for although Arthur said he wished we had had more cabbage!

1/2# of salmon--I used 2 pieces of Keta Salmon from our Sitka Salmon Shares.  The recipe said to skin the salmon which is not necessary.
1/4-1/2 Sweetheart or other variety of green cabbage
2 tablespoons fresh dill finely chopped
2 tablespoons of oil (I used sunflower oil); you could certainly use olive oil which is what the recipe called for
Juice of 1/2 lime or more if you wish
Sea salt and black or white pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter

Place the salmon on a plate and drizzle with lime juice.  I'm sure you could also substitute lemon juice.
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise and then each piece again the same way. Slice each piece into approximately 1" strips. You may not need this much cabbage depending on how much fish you are preparing.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the cabbage and cook for a couple of minutes stirring often.  Add the dill, season to taste and continue to cook for 4 minutes. 
Transfer the cabbage to an oven dish, place the salmon pieces on top, including the lime marinade if there is any left on the plate.  Put the dots of butter on top of the fish.  Cover the dish with foil.
Bake until the salmon tests done 120 degrees.  This only took about 8 minutes on our stove.  We don't like our fish overcooked but rather a bit on the rare side.  You can cook it longer if you prefer.
Serve with potatoes if you like.  

Recipe adapted from Every Day Healthy Recipes

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Creamed Spinach

I've tried a few recipes in the past to make creamed spinach and never been satisfied with any of them.  This one was very good.  There may be a better one, but this is the best so far.  The reason I've tried so many times is that my husband is a big fan of creamed spinach.  He thought this dish was delicious.

10 oz. of spinach (the original recipe called for baby spinach, but that isn't what I had from my CSA farm)
tablespoons unsalted butter
  • tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • teaspoons minced garlic (a little more is OK)
  • tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cook the spinach: Bring a 4-quart pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spinach in large handfuls until all the spinach is added, and cook for 15 seconds.  Prior to cooking remove large stems if using mature spinach.
  2. Drain and cool the spinach: Drain the pot of spinach in a colander in the sink and immediately run the spinach under cold water to halt the cooking. Shake as much of the water off the spinach as you can by shaking the colander.
  3. Dry the spinach: Using your hands, press the spinach against the sides of the colander in large handfuls, squeezing to remove as much excess moisture as possible. Set aside to drain further while making the cream sauce.  I actually ran my spinach through my salad spinner to dry it.  It worked quite well.  If you are not using baby spinach, rough chop the spinach after cooking it.
  4. Make the cream sauce: Melt the butter in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour over the onion mixture and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Stir in the half-and-half. Cook the mixture, stirring slowly and continuously until the sauce comes to a boil and thickens enough to coat the back of the spatula, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking until the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes more.
  5. Add the cheese and spinach: Stir in the cheese, nutmeg, mustard, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Add the spinach and mix well. 
  6. This makes enough to serve 2 people; especially if they like creamed spinach.

    Adapted from the kitchn.com

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Rhubarb Crumble Pancakes

These pancakes are a great way to use some of the rhubarb that may be growing in your backyard or you got in your CSA box (which is how we got ours).  We love pancakes and I like to find different versions which this one is.  

1 tablespoon butter
2 cups rhubarb, chopped fairly small
2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 cup buttermilk
1-1/4 cups flour (I used half whole wheat and half unbleached white)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, separated and at room temperature
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

For the crumble:
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Melt the butter and add the rhubarb and sugar.  Cook until the fruit is tender.  Add a spoon of water if the mixture gets too dry.  Mine didn't.

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl.  Whisk the egg yolk into the buttermilk and gently stir into the dry ingredients until barely combined. Stir in the egg white until thick lumpy batter forms.  Fold in the rhubarb.

For the crumble:  Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon, then stir in the melted butter.  

Cook the pancakes:  Use a griddle or frying pan lightly greased and preheated.  Use a 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake.  Top each pancake with a little of the crumble.  Flip the pancake when bubbles start to appear and brown on the 2nd side.  Serve pancakes with any leftover crumble and syrup.

They reheat fine if you have leftovers.  

Adapted from thepancakeprincess.com

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Smashed Rutabaga with Apples and Ham

Its the time of the year when our CSA share is over but we still find quite a few root vegetables lingering in either our frig or in a dark corner of our closet.  I'm always looking for new, creative and tasty ways to use them.  In this recipe, I think I have found a good way to use a rutabaga.  The original recipe suggested that pears would also work instead of apples.  I think I would prefer to stick with somewhat tart apples.

Sunflower oil or extra virgin olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1-1/2# rutabaga, peeled, and cut into chunks
2 large tart apples, peeled and cut into chunks
Kosher salt and black pepper
3/4-1 cup diced cooked ham
1 tablespoon apple cider or balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon butter

Put a glug of oil in a large frying pan that has a lid and heat over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook slowly until its soft, but not too brown about 5 minutes.

Add the rutabaga to the pan.  If you don't have quite enough rutabaga you can substitute some turnip or winter radish.  Add 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Add about 1/4 cup water to the pan and start cooking the rutabaga while you prepare the apples.  Cover the pan.  Add the apples and continue to cook until the rutabaga is tender.  It will take 30-35 minutes.  Add more water if needed.  I needed about 1/2 cup of water.  Transfer the vegetables and apples to a bowl.

Add the ham, vinegar, and butter to the pan.  Let the ham brown lightly while you mash the rutabaga with a potato masher or wooden spoon until chunky.  Add the ham.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

Adapted from Six Seasons, a New Way with Vegetables by Joshua McFadden

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Sausage, Chard & Lemon Lasagna

I tried this lasagna with Swiss chard that we got in one of our CSA boxes.  I was very pleased with the results. It is quite different than your typical lasagna but very tasty.  It is adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe.


3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk
1 cup grated Parmesan (about 4 ounces)
Course salt and pepper
5 cups coarsely chopped Swiss chard (1 bunch)
1# bulk Italian sausage
1 lemon, very thinly sliced
6 no-boil lasagna noodles

  1. Melt butter and stir in flour; cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk and simmer until sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat. Whisk in 3/4 cup cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir in chard.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook sausage in a skillet breaking up pieces, until no longer pink.
  3. Cover lemon slices with cold water by 3 inches in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon.
  4. Spread 1/4 cup sauce in an 8-inch square baking dish. Top with 2 noodles, half the sausage, and 1 cup sauce. Repeat. Top with a layer of lemons, 2 noodles, then remaining sauce and lemons. Bake, covered with foil sprayed with baking spray, for 27 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven. Heat broiler. Uncover lasagna; top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Broil until bubbling, 2 to 3 minutes.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Summer Corn Chowder

I found this recipe on Chowhound and think it is the best recipe for corn chowder I've ever made.  Its thick, rich and creamy with lots of fresh corn.  I'm sure you could also make it in the winter with frozen corn.


2 oz. thick cut bacon diced small
1 medium onion yellow onion, chopped
3 cups fresh corn kernels (this took 5 ears of our corn)
3 cups whole milk (or mix 1% milk with some 1/2 and 1/2)
1 pound potatoes, diced (I didn't bother to peel mine)
1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
Chopped chives


Brown the chopped bacon; then remove and set aside.  Add the onion to the bacon grease, season with salt and pepper and cook until softened--about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile place 1 cup of the corn and 1 cup of the milk in a blender and blend until smooth.

Add the corn milk puree, remaining 2 cups of corn and 2 cups of milk, potatoes, and additional salt and pepper.  Stir to combine; bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer the soup, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are just cooked through.  This may take quite a while because you have to be careful not to scorch the soup because you are cooking with milk.

Add the cream and simmer until the potatoes are completely cooked.  Taste for seasoning.  Serve with the chopped chives and reserved bacon.

Note:  I have considered when making it again to possibly precook the potatoes in some chicken broth so they would cook more quickly and then combining everything.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Chicken with Barberries, Yogurt and Orange Peel

This is an Iranian recipe from the cookbook, World on a Plate by Mina Holland.  We used the book for one of our Books for Cooks meetings.  For the most part we didn't particularly like the book.  I made this dish and made a number of adaptations.  We all thought it was very good.  It was supposed to be served with chelow rice which seemed too complicated and I substituted some naan that I bought at Whole Foods.

Holland said the barbarries can be purchased at Middle Eastern grocers, however Madison doesn't have any Middle Eastern grocery stores.  I ordered mine from Amazon.

1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup olive or sunflower oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
sea salt
2# boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Penzey's pepper
2 large oranges
1-2 large pinches of saffron
1/4 - 1/3 cup of dried barberries, rehydrated
1/4 cup of sliced toasted almond to garnish (optional)  actually I forgot to add the nuts

Strain the yogurt through a strainer lined with a paper towel for several hours so that it is very thick.
Peel the oranges with a potato peeler, taking care not include any of the white pith.  Cut the peel into matchstick strips.  In a small pan of boiling water, simmer the strips for 3 minutes.  Drain the strips and set aside.  Retain the water.  I used some of this water to rehydrate the barbarries for 10 minutes; longer is OK too.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions with a pinch of salt until golden 10-15 minutes.  Set aside.  Next brown the chicken.  Combine the onions and chicken; use some of the orange flavored water, cover the pan and simmer until the chicken is tender.  It will take about 20 minutes.
Crumble the saffron and soak it in 1/4 cup of the orange water or plain water for 10 minutes.
Next add the saffron water, orange peel, and barberries to the chicken and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes.  Test for seasoning.  Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm.  Keep the sauce on a low heat and add the thickened yogurt.  Whisk into the sauce.  Return the chicken to the pan; warm through.  Place on a platter; pour the sauce over the chicken; garnish with the almonds.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

This is a recipe that I found on the New York Times cooking website and have adapted somewhat.  In this case it is not a healthier dish than the original but it is delicious and easy!

2 tablespoons butter (divided)
1 cup full fat ricotta cheese
2 cups 1/2 and 1/2
1/4 pound cream cheese
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Pinch cayenne (these are both optional--I actually forgot them)
Pinch nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated (I used Hook's white cheddar)
1/2 pound elbow macaroni (I used 2 different whole wheat pastas and it came out fine)
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

Use 1 tablespoon butter to grease a 9 inch square baking pan.  In a blender, puree ricotta cheese, cream cheese, 1/2 and 1/2, mustard, cayenne, nutmeg, and pepper.  In a large bowl, combine all but 1/4 cup of the grated cheese, the liquid mixture and uncooked pasta.  Pour into the prepared pan.  Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate for a few hours.

When ready to eat, preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake covered pasta for 30 minutes.  Uncover and top with a mixture of reserved cheese, bread crumbs and butter.  Bake for an additional 30 minutes.  At this point it should be brown and bubbly.  Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

I'm sure you could use other cheeses in this dish.  A few of the reviewers of the original recipe suggested Velveeta which I would not use, but I think any flavorful natural cheese would be fine.

Adapted from NY Times.com, recipe by Julia Moskin

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Cranberry and Apple Baked Oatmeal

This is a recipe I adapted from a PBS food blog Fresh Tastes by Adrianna Adarme.  My husband loved it and thought it made a great breakfast.

  • Apple Mixture: 
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 apples, peeled and diced 
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Note:  I substituted 1-1/4 tsp. Oatmeal Spice from Just Spices (justspices.com)
  • Oatmeal: 
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds + a handful more for the top 
  • 1/3-1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups milk or almond milk (I used a combination of both)
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries (frozen is fine too)


  1. To make the apple mixture: In a small skillet, set over medium heat, melt the butter. Add apples, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until apples have softened. Set aside. 
  2. To make the oatmeal: Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 8 x 8-inch baking dish. Set aside. 
  3. In a medium bowl, add the oats, slivered almonds, syrup, salt and baking powder. Whisk together the liquid ingredients.
  4. To the prepared baking dish, add the apples and the cranberries. Pour the oat mixture on top and then add the liquid ingredients. Stir slightly and then top with the extra almonds. Transfer to the oven to bake for 40 minutes--it may take longer, until the edges are set and lightly golden brown.