Monday, November 26, 2012

Pumpkin Pie (with fresh pumpkin)

We spent a very pleasant Thanksgiving in north central Missouri with my brother and sister-in-law.  I volunteered to bring the pies.  Since it turned out there were only going to be four of us, I decided two pies were sufficient.  I made a pumpkin and a cranberry apple.  The recipe for the cranberry apple is in an earlier post.  Priscilla said this was the best pumpkin pie she had ever had.  I really liked it too.  I think using fresh pumpkin makes a difference in the end result.  I also like this recipe because it is not too sweet and is very mildly spiced (no cloves!). 

Choosing and preparing your pumpkin : 

Smaller is better:
Choose sugar pie pumpkins or other flavorful varieties. Small and sweet, with dark orange-colored flesh, they're perfect for pies, soups, muffins and breads.
A medium-sized (4-pound) sugar pumpkin should yield around 1½ cups of mashed pumpkin. This puree can be used in all your recipes calling for canned pumpkin.
Field pumpkins, which are bred for perfect jack-o'-lanterns, tend to be too large and stringy for baking.
Cut the pumpkin in half and discard the stem section and stringy pulp. Save the seeds to dry and roast (in my house we feed them to the birds).
In a shallow baking dish, place the two halves face down and cover with foil
Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for about 1½ hours for a medium-sized sugar pumpkin, or until tender
Once the baked pumpkin has cooled, scoop out the flesh and puree it.
For silky smooth custards or soups, process the pumpkin puree in a food processor until smooth.

Make a crust for a single crust pie or purchase a refrigerated pie crust.

Pumpkin Filling:
2 cups pureed, cooked pumpkin

Adapted from

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Oven-Baked Chili

This is a chili made with chunks of beef rather than the traditional ground beef.  I made it primarily to use up the last of the green peppers from my CSA farm.  I'm not really a green pepper fan, but I felt compelled to use them rather than have them fade away in the frig.

2 pounds cubed stew beef
1 1/2 cups (8 ounces) chopped onion
1 cup (5 ounces) diced fresh green bell pepper (I used 2 large green peppers because that's what I had and wanted to use up)
2 or more cloves garlic, peeled and minced, depends on how big the cloves are.
2 cups (15 ounces) chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned (I used canned)
6-ounce can tomato paste
2 tablespoons dried cilantro (optional, but good)  I did use it but I don't think it made much difference
2 teaspoons chili powder (you can add more later)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt, to taste
up to 2 tablespoons sugar, to taste, optional; cuts the acidity of the tomatoes
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chili pepper,
I used 1 dry jalapeno pepper and left it whole
1 tablespoon cornmeal
2 cans (15 ounces) dark red kidney beans, well-drained

Shake the meat in a bag with some flour which helps to brown it. In a large skillet, brown the meat in oil, in batches if necessary. Add the chopped onion and peppers, and cook until the onion and peppers are soft. Add the garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, hot pepper, spices, and cornmeal, stirring to combine and allowing to simmer for about 1 minute, just till everything is hot.

Spoon the chili into an ovenproof 2- to 2 1/2-quart crock or casserole dish; add sufficient water to cover the meat. I used about 1 tomato can of water (about 2 cups). Cover the dish, with a lid or foil, and bake the chili in a preheated 275°F oven for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, or until the meat is tender. Mine took 3 hours. Stir the chili after 1 hour. 

Half an hour before serving, stir in the beans, and cook until heated through with the lid off. Garnish the chili with fresh cilantro, finely chopped raw onions (optional) and sour cream.

I served the chili with cornbread.  It made a great meal for a chilly fall night.

Adapted from King Arthur

Friday, October 12, 2012

Danish Beet & Sour Cream Soup

I know a lot of people don't like beets.  Arthur and I both like them.  Now I'm not sure if you dislike beets this soup will convince you that you do.  However, if you think they're OK or really enjoy them, then I recommend you try this tasty soup.  Arthur voted it a definite keeper.

It is good served either hot or cold.

6 medium sized beets (1 1/2#)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 box (4 cups) of chicken broth
1 cup sour cream (lower fat is OK)
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice (taste after adding 1)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill (if you don't like dill you can substitute chives)

Cook the beets, covered in boiling salted water or in the microwave for45 minutes or until tender.  Drain and peel when cool enough to handle.  Chop the beets, reserving 1/2 cup.  Place the rest of the beets in a blender. 
Melt the butter, stir in flour and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Stir in the broth until smooth.  Cook until somewhat thickened.  Add some of the sauce to the beets in the blender.  Blend until smooth.  Pour the beet mixture into the broth mixture.  Stir in sour cream, lemon juice and salt and pepper.  Taste to see if it needs more lemon juice or seasoning.  Heat soup gently, do not boil.  If it is too thick add more chicken broth.  Add the reserved beets and top with dill.

Adapted from a very old Family Circle recipe I found in my files (8/23/77).

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Chicken Thighs Roasted with Rosemary, Red Onions & Red Potatoes

This is a delicious comfort food supper.  Easy to make and great to eat.  We've been getting great potatoes from our CSA farm.  This is an excellent way to use some of them.  Here in Wisconsin it is getting chilly, but I still have my rosemary plant outside on my deck in our container garden.  Your kitchen will smell wonderful as you roast your chicken dinner with fresh rosemary.

1-2 navel oranges
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/2 tsp. dried chile flakes
1# red potatoes, cut into chunks

2 medium red onions, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick circles
2- 5-inch sprigs fresh rosemary, plus 3/4 tsp. minced
6 chicken thighs (about 6 oz. each), trimmed of excess fat and skin (bone in or boneless--either would work)

Heat the oven to 425°F. Finely grate 1 tsp. orange zest. Stir together the zest, oil, 1 tsp. salt, and the chile flakes in a small bowl.

On one end of a large rimmed baking sheet, toss 1 Tbs. of the oil mixture with the potatoes, onions, and 1 sprig rosemary; separate the onions into rings, and spread the onions and potatoes into a single layer as much as possible. At the other end of the baking sheet, arrange the chicken skin side up and brush the tops of the chicken thighs with the remaining oil mixture. Tuck the remaining rosemary sprig between a couple of thighs and sprinkle the thighs and vegetables lightly with salt.
Roast for 20 min. Baste the chicken with the pan drippings using a brush and stir the potatoes and onions. Continue to roast, basting and stirring every 10 min., until the chicken skin looks crisp and golden and the potatoes are lightly browned in spots, about 20 min. more.

Meanwhile, peel the oranges with a sharp knife, making sure you’ve removed the pith and membrane. Slice crosswise into roughly 1/2-inch circles and then chop into roughly 1/2-inch pieces, discarding any thick center membranes. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in 1/4 tsp. of the minced rosemary.

When the chicken is done, remove the rosemary sprigs from the pan and discard. Stir the potatoes and onions, transfer with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl, and stir in the remaining 1/2 tsp. minced rosemary. Baste the chicken and transfer with tongs to a serving platter, top with the orange mixture, and serve hot.

Adapted from Fine Cooking

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pea Shoot and Bacon Soup

I have had problems making dishes with the bunches of pea shoots that have come in my CSA box.  I've made the mistake of not getting rid of the stems.  That was definitely not good.  It was like chewing on a bunch of little sticks.  No matter what the dish is, this is an unpleasant experience. The most recent thing I tried was this soup. Good!  I avoided using the stems in the soup. I'd make it again which is why I'm posting it.

•1 Onion
•3 Slices Bacon
•1-2 Medium Potatoes
•1 bunch of Pea Shoots
•2 cups Chicken Stock
•Sour Cream
•1-2 tbsp chopped fresh chives

Chop the bacon and chop the onion finely.  Fry in a saucepan together until the bacon and onion are starting to brown. Chop the potatoes coarsely. Add the potato and the chicken stock to the saucepan. Boil for 10 minutes until the potato is soft. Place the contents of the sauce pan into a blender, and blend until smooth.  Then add the pea shoots and blend until a smooth, bright green, thick soup consistency is reached. Return to the pan and reheat if needed. Serve in bowls with a spoon of sour cream and some chopped chives.

Adapted from the Bristish website  The site has lots of other pea shoot recipes.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tomato-Avocado Dip/Salad

The woman who sits in the cube in front of mine was having a birthday a couple of weeks ago.  Typically people from your department bring in treats to help celebrate your birthday.  They aren't usually as good as this treat was.  I think it can be served as a dip with Scoops tortilla chips or a salad--just skip the chips. It is almost as easy to make as it is tasty to eat.

2-3 avocados, cubed (they have to be ripe, but not mushy)
4 diced tomatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion (or whatever kind you have)
4 oz. crumbled or cubed feta cheese (original recipe called for 8 oz. which I think would be too much)

3 minced cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons parsley
1 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Pour the dressing over the vegetables.  Add the cheese and mix.  Serve with the chips.

You can also substitute fresh basil in the recipe for the parsley.  The oregano could still be used or not.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tomatillo Chicken

I forwarded this recipe to our CSA farm as a good way to use tomatillos other than salsa verde. 

"Here is the recipe for the chicken dish with the tomatillos. We had company for dinner and everyone thought it was delicious. I served it with a salad made from your beets & tomatoes with a shallot vinaigrette."

2# tomatillos (husks removed, washed & halved)
1 whole chicken cut in pieces or a pkg of breasts & legs
coarse salt & pepper
2 jalapenos, seeds removed and chopped (if you prefer a hotter dish you can leave in the seeds)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large can hominy, drained (this is optional--you could leave it out and serve the dish with brown rice)
1/4-1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Puree the tomatillos in a blender or food processor. Brown the chicken pieces in a little hot oil and season with salt & pepper. Remove chicken and saute onions & jalapenos until tender. Add the garlic for another minute. Stir in the tomatillo puree and hominy, if using. Add the chicken to the sauce and cook covered for 30-45 minutes or until the chicken is tender. If you want to thicken the sauce a bit, remove the lid towards the end of the cooking time. Longer cooking is OK--just turn the heat on low. Taste for seasonings. Top with cilantro and serve.

If you happen to have any leftover chicken & sauce:
Remove the chicken from the bone, cut up and roll up in tortillas. Top with the leftover sauce, add some cheese and heat in a 350 degree oven until the enchiladas are hot and the cheese is melted (about 1/2 hour). Top with cilantro and sour cream and enjoy!

Adapted from Martha Stewart's website

Roasted Swiss Chard & Potato Cake

We actually like Swiss Chard, but I know quite few people are not fans.  I tried this recipe with our most recent bunch of Swiss Chard from our farm.  It is layered potatoes, cheese and tender greens and makes a lovely skillet cake.  Arthur and I both decided it was a keeper.

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 medium russet, white, or yellow finn potatoes, thinly sliced (no need to peel)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves coarsely chopped, chop the stems and keep separate
1 cup grated Jarlsberg or Gruyere cheese (or whatever you have available)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat butter and oil in a (10-inch) seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, onions and chard stems, cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Spread out vegetables evenly in the bottom of the skillet and remove skillet from heat.
Arrange a third of the potatoes in a single layer on top of the vegetables in the bottom of the skillet, sprinkle with salt and pepper, top with a third of the chard leaves and scatter a third of the cheese over the top. Repeat the process to layer the ingredients two more times, ending with the cheese.

Cover skillet tightly with a lightly oiled piece of aluminum foil and bake until potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a knife, about 1 1/4 hours. Gently remove foil then return skillet to the oven and bake until cheese is bubbling and browned on top, about 15 minutes more. Set aside to let rest briefly, then slice into wedges and serve.

Adapted from Whole Foods website

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Eggplant Almond Enchiladas

Apparently my CSA farm had a bumper crop of Asian eggplant this year.  A book club friend mentioned this recipe which I decided to try with some of our eggplant bounty.  I highly recommend it.  The original recipe included a recipe for a homemade Mexican red sauce.  I purchased a can of enchilada sauce and think it works quite well.  I used a can marked medium (heat).  I guess next time I would use mild because Arthur thought the sauce was too spicy.  If you like spicy I'd go for it because I thought it was just fine. 

8-12 tortillas (I used Gitto Family Farms 8" whole wheat tortillas--which are available at the Madison farmers' markets)  1 package was just the right amount for the filling
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

black pepper to taste
6 cups cubed eggplant (approx two medium sized ones) into 1/2 in. pieces
1 chopped sweet pepper (red or green)
1 cup toasted almonds (finely chopped)
black pepper to taste
1 cup grated Monterrey Jack (I used Edelweiss pepper jack)

1 can medium or mild enchilada sauce

In a large skillet, begin sauteing onions and peppers in oil. Add salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium hear for about five minutes. Add the eggplant. Mix. Cover and cook for about ten minutes or until eggplant is soft. Add garlic and saute for a minute or two.  Add almonds and black pepper. Cook another five minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add cheese. Mix. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. When using the Gitto tortillas they are quite soft and pliable and there is no need to fry or heat them up prior to filling.  If you use other tortillas, you may need to quickly warm them up on a hot pan. Fill each tortilla with 1/2 cup of filling on one side and roll it up. Place the filled tortillas in a baking pan sprayed with pan spray, packing them close to each other and pour the can of sauce over the top. Heat in a 350 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes or until heated through.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Mashed Potato Kale Cakes

This is recipe that I borrowed from Martha Stewart.  We really liked this combination of mashed potatoes and kale.  I used less bacon than the recipe originally called for.  You could certainly use more if you wanted to.  The quantities in this recipe are quite flexible.  This would be a good brunch dish with fried eggs.  The patties are also tasty for supper. 

2 pounds potatoes, peeled or not--your choice
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 leek, halved lengthwise, rinsed well and sliced thinly.  I used some baby leeks from our CSA farm that looked like green onions.  I used the entire bunch.
1 bunch kale (3/4 #), be sure not to use the stems which are too tough.  Chop the leaves coarsely
1/4# bacon, diced
2 tablespoons butter
A little flour

Cook the potatoes, kale and leeks until tender in boiling salted water probably for about 10-15 minutes.  Drain and mash vegetables.  The mixture does not need to be smooth. 
Cook bacon until crisp.  Remove with a slotted spoon.  Add to the vegetable mixture.
Form patties.  Sprinkling the patties with a bit of flour helps them to brown. 
Brown the patties in the butter and small amount of bacon drippings. Be careful when you turn them so they don't fall apart.  Turn just once.  Cook the patties until golden on both sides.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Baked Brie with Dried Cherries & Thyme

I found this recipe that I had saved and decided I should post it before it was never located again.  This is definitely Christmas in July.  I made this dish for a New Year's Eve party last winter. It is delicious and very festive!!

1/2 wheel of Brie (about 4" diameter), at room temperature
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/3 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Slice off the top of the Brie and discard.  Roll out the pastry to a 12 inch square and cut two 6" rounds from it.  Put one of the rounds on a rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with half of the dried cherries and thyme.  Press gently so they stick.  Set the Brie, rind side down on top of the pastry, sprinkle with the rest of the cherries and thyme.  Cover with the other circle of pastry.  Crimp the edges together to seal the cheese.  Brush the top of the pastry with the butter.  Bake until the pastry browns, about 20 minutes.  Let cook for about 15-20 minutes before serving.  Guests can cut wedges of the pastry and cheese and either eat it plain or on thin slices of French bread.  Yum!

Adapted from fine

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Zucchini Olive Oil Cake with Crunchy Lemon Glaze

I made this cake to take to a Books for Cooks meeting.  We were discussing a book on olive oil that I hadn't read, but we were also going to share olive oil tastings and cold summer soups all using olive oil.  I found out that you don't need to use a super expensive olive oil in this cake because with all the other flavors you can't taste the flavor of the olive oil.  However, it is a delicious cake.  The women attending the book club all liked it and Arthur loved it and said it had to go on "the blog." 

I grated the zucchini with the grating disk on my food processor.  It takes quite a bit of zucchini to make this cake, which in the height of summer is a good thing.

1 cup (135g) almonds, pecans, or walnuts, toasted
2 cups (280g) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 3/4 (350g) cups sugar
1 cup (250ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups (300g) finely grated zucchini
1 tablespoon lemon zest

For the lemon glaze:

1/4 cup (60ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
1 cup (140g) powdered (confectioner’s) sugar

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 10 cup bundt or tube cake pan with non-stick spray or butter, dust with flour, then tap out any excess.  I used Pam Baking Spray which has flour in the spray and eliminates the need to dust the pan with flour.  Its a handy product.

Pulse the nuts in a food processor until chopped.  The original recipe called for them to be finely chopped.  I'm not sure that coarsely chopped wouldn't be fine.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.

I used a hand electric mixer to beat the eggs, 1 3/4 cup (350g) sugar, and olive oil for 3 minutes on medium speed, until light and fluffy. A stand mixer would probably be better, but I don't own one.  Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the vanilla.  Mix in the dry ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is mixed in well, then beat on medium speed for 30 seconds.
Stir in the chopped nuts, lemon zest and zucchini.

Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan, smooth the top, then bake the cake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake has begun to pull away from the sides of the pan.

During the last few minutes of the cake baking, make the glaze by whisking together the lemon juice, 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar, and powdered sugar.  You must use the granulated sugar if you want the glaze to have a "crunch."

Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then carefully invert it onto a cooling rack. Brush the glaze over the cake with a pastry brush while still warm and let the cake cool completely.

I would make the cake the day before if you can.  I think the flavor improves with sitting overnight.  You need to put the glaze on when the cake is hot though or it won't stick. 

Adapted from David Lebovitz's blog, Living the Sweet Life in Paris.  It's also listed on other sites, but his recipe provides the best directions and measurements.  His blog is well worth checking out.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Cornmeal Buttermilk Pancakes with Rhubarb Compote

A few weeks ago I tried a recipe for rhubarb pancakes.  I will not be posting this recipe.  I guess rhubarb needs sugar to bring out its flavor.  The pancakes with chopped raw rhubarb didn't have any rhubarb flavor so why bother.  However, these pancakes topped with rhubarb compote made for a very pleasant breakfast.  Although rhubarb season has now passed, it will come again and I'll be ready for it with this yummy breakfast recipe. 
Cornmeal Buttermilk Pancakes
•3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
•3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
•2 tablespoons sugar
•1/2 teaspoon baking powder
•1/2 teaspoon baking soda
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•1 1/4 cups buttermilk
•2 large eggs
•3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, cooled

Combine first 6 ingredients into large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, eggs and melted butter in medium bowl to blend. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and whisk until blended.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Cook the pancakes on a griddle or frying pan.  Working in batches, pour 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Cook until bottoms are golden, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn pancakes and cook until second sides are golden, about 1 minute. Transfer to baking sheet; place in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil or pan spray if necessary.
Rhubarb Compote
2 cups 1/2-inch pieces fresh rhubarb
1/2 cups sugar (plus extra sugar to taste)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine all ingredients in heavy large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until rhubarb is tender and broken down, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes.  Serve with the pancakes at room temperature.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Potato and Cheddar-Cheese Soup

This soup is not really a summer soup. However I don't want to lose the recipe because its a yummy soup which uses basic ingredients so I'm posting it now.  Be sure to use a very good, preferably local cheddar cheese since this is what really gives this soup its flavor.

1/4 pound sliced bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
1 large onion, chopped
3 pounds baking potatoes (about 6), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (if the potatoes are organic and the skins are in good shape, there is no need to peel the potatoes)
4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
6 ounces cheddar, grated (about 1-1/2 cups)
1/4 cup chopped chives or scallion tops

In a large saucepan, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat or, if you don't have 2 tablespoons, add enough cooking oil to make up the amount. Reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the potatoes, broth, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove half the soup from the pan and puree in a food processor. Alternatively, mash some of the potatoes with a potato masher. Return the puree to the pan. Over low heat, add the cheese a little at a time and stir until each addition melts. Remove the pan from the heat. Taste the soup and add more salt if needed. Serve the soup topped with the bacon and chives.

Adapted from

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Shredded Root Vegetable Pancakes

I'm always on the lookout on how to use my CSA vegetables.  I saw this recipe on EatingWell.  I would make the pancakes again but I would pay more attention to the directions.  The recipe said to bake the pancakes in the oven for 15 minutes.  I didn't do that and the pancakes were a bit on the crunchy side.  However, they would be worth making again because the flavor is good.  I even used a black radish that was lurking in my vegetable draw.  We got a couple of the radishes in an early CSA box.  I was hoping they would just disappear.  These pancakes were a great place to use one of them.  You would never know it was in the pancakes. 

1-2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3 tablespoons chopped scallions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon dried (I didn't have any fresh dill but would recommend using it if you have it available--the dry didn't have much flavor)
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 cups assorted root vegetables, peeled (about 1 1/2 pounds) and shredded *
2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled (optional) I did add the bacon
Oil--I used sunflower seed oil 
Reduced-fat sour cream for garnish

* I used a large chiogga beet, a black radish and shredded carrots,  You could also use potatoes, turnips, parsnips, or whatever root vegetables you happen to have.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Whisk egg, flour, scallions, dill, horseradish, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Stir in vegetables and bacon (if using).
Brush a pancake griddle with oil. Place about 1/4 cup vegetable mixture on the griddle  and press with the back of a spatula to flatten into a 2- to 3-inch pancake. Cook until crispy and golden, 1 1/2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the pancakes to the prepared baking sheet. Continue with 2 more batches, using the remaining oil and vegetable mixture. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Serve garnished with sour cream, if desired.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Strawberry Pancakes

Yes, I'm posting another pancake recipe.  We love pancakes especially with fruit and nuts.  This recipe has both.

2 cups unbleached white flour
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 eggs
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries
1/2 cup toasted coarsely chopped pecans

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Combine liquid ingredients in a separate bowl and then add to the dry. Do not over mix. A few lumps are OK.  Add strawberries and nuts and blend in carefully.  Pour 1/4 cup of mixture on a hot griddle.  Turn when you see bubbles forming on top.  They can be served with vanilla yogurt or plain yogurt with a bit of vanilla sugar sprinkled on top.  Butter and syrup are also good toppings.

Adapted from Simply Scratch

Chicken Salad with Feta, Corn & Blueberries

This might sound like a strange combination of flavors to be found in a chicken salad, but get brave and try it.  Delicious!  My version underwent a number of revisions from the original.  The original recipe called for grilled chicken breasts which  would be very tasty, but I had just roasted my giant chicken and was looking for ways to use the leftovers.  I also didn't have any fresh corn and substituted some frozen.  I just thawed it out. 

3-4 cups of cubed leftover chicken
3 stalks celery, finely diced
2 ears fresh corn if available otherwise use 1 cup of thawed frozen corn (no need to cook)
1/4 cup of finely diced red onion
1-2 cups fresh blueberries (frozen are not a good substitute)
3 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
6 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 cup 1/2 and 1/2
lemon juice to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt & pepper
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Salad greens or torn lettuce as a bed for the salad

Remove the corn kernels from the cob if using fresh corn.  Otherwise combine corn, onion and celery.  Add the cubed chicken.  Add salt & pepper. Add 2 tablespoons fresh dill.
Mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, feta and 1/2 & 1/2.  Squeeze in fresh lemon juice (at least 2 tablespoons).  Stir in sugar if needed.  Pour the dressing over the salad.  You may not need all of it, but serve the the additional dressing on the side.  Toss in the blueberries and combine lightly.  Mound the salad on the bed of greens and top with last tablespoon of dill.

Adapted from Tasty

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Roast Lemon Chicken with Spring Vegetables

I belonged to a meat CSA for 3 months.  We decided not to continue because we don't eat very much meat during the months when we are getting all our CSA vegetables.  What we received was excellent and we may do it again at a later time when the pick up location is more convenient and we need more meat.

One of the items we received was a very large roasting chicken.  I think having leftover chicken is great because you can do so many things with it. 
I always brine chicken that has actually walked around. This way you can be sure of getting a very tender juicy chicken with an excellent flavor.  Use a simple brining recipe.  This is one and would be plenty for a 6-8 # whole chicken. 

For each gallon of cold water used in the brine, add the following:

3/4 cup coarse kosher salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 gallon cold water
1 tablespoon black pepper

Dissolve the salt & sugar in the boiling water and let cool.  Add the rest of the water and pepper.  A stainless-steel bowl or re-sealable plastic bag can work as a brining container, as long as the poultry is fully submerged. Weight with a plate, if necessary, to keep the meat fully covered by the brine. Let the chicken soak for 4-8 hours.  If it is in the brine for too long it could get too salty. Be sure to refrigerate the chicken while it is brining.  Remove from the brine and rinse.  You can place it uncovered in the refrigerator if you are not ready to cook it.  This is supposed to help make the skin crisper.  Mine has never been in the frig long enough for me to find out.  

1 lemon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 crushed cloves of garlic
12 or more small potatoes, halved
16 baby carrots, or chunks of full size carrots
1# sugar snap peas (or whatever you have)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Grate the zest of the lemon and mix it with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the rosemary and garlic.  Sprinkle the mixture evenly in the cavity of the chicken.  Cut the lemon in half, squeeze 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice on the outside of the chicken and put the lemon halves inside the chicken. 
Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan.  Sprinkle it with salt and pepper.  Place the chicken in the 400 degree oven.  After 15 minutes turn the heat down to 350 degrees and continue roasting the chicken.  Be prepared for a wonderful smelling kitchen!
When the chicken has been in the oven for a total of 45 minutes, combine the potatoes and carrots in a bowl.  Add the remaning rosemary and the olive oil and toss to combine.  Put the vegetables in the pan underneath the chicken.  After the vegetables have roasted for 1/2 hour, add the peas.  Continue to roast another 15 minutes.  Test to see if the chicken is finished.  It should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees.  Test the carrots and potatoes with a fork to make sure they are tender.  Transfer the chicken to a platter and let rest for about 10 minutes.  You can make gravy with the drippings from the chicken if you like.  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Spinach & Garlic Scape Frittata

If you belong to a CSA farm in Wisconsin, you can plan on getting garlic scapes in your spring boxes.  On a post in July 2010, I showed pictures and gave an explanation of garlic scapes.  You can either check it out or do a Google search if you're wondering what kind of very strange vegetable has come your way.  If you have been a CSA member before, you probably know all about them.  I think I got this recipe from Vermont Valley Community Farm, a very fine farm that we have belonged to. 

This is one more excellent dish where you can serve vegetables for breakfast.  Frequently we only think of vegetables for lunch or dinner.  When you belong to a CSA farm and are receiving bountiful amounts of fresh produce, it's a good idea to have some veggies for breakfast/brunch as well.

3 tablespoons olive oil
10 eggs
cups finely chopped raw spinach (1/2 LB)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped parsley or 1 tablespoon basil
1/2 cup finely chopped garlic scapes

Preheat oven to 350°F.  In a large bowl mix egg, spinach, herbs, salt and pepper. Heat oil in 10-inch ovenproof skillet on the stove. Add the garlic scapes and sauté until tender on med. heat.(about 5 minutes).  Pour egg mixture in skillet with garlic and cook over low heat for 3 minutes.  Top with cheese and place in oven and bake uncovered 10 minutes or until top is set.  Loosen bottom with spatula and cut into wedges and serve.

Pork Chops with Rhubarb-Cherry Sauce

This new recipe was a favorite of my husband's that he wanted me to post so that it wouldn't be lost--never to be located again.  This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart's website.  There are a number of other very tasty sounding rhubarb recipes there that you might want to check out. Rhubarb Recipes

1/2 cup dried cherries
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
8 to 10 ounces rhubarb, ends trimmed, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (2 cups)
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Coarse salt and black pepper
4 pork loin chops, (each 1/2 inch thick and 6 to 8 ounces)

Combine cherries with vinegar and 1/4 cup hot water; let stand 10 minutes to soften.  In a small saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-low heat. Add onion; cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add cherry mixture, rhubarb, and sugar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until rhubarb has softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in nutmeg; season with salt. Remove from heat; keep warm.
Season both sides of pork chops with salt and pepper. Spray a large frying pan with pan spray and cook pork chops until browned and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve topped with warm sauce.
Adapted from

Lemon Chicken Soup

This soup reminds me of Greek chicken soup with its lemony flavor.  I wanted a recipe to use some of the baby spring turnips from my CSA share, plus the carrots that came in our last box. You could substitute your own leftover chicken if you have any available.

Lemon Chicken Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
10 scallions (green onions) chopped, white & green parts separated
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup white rice (I used arborio since this was the only white rice I had)
8 oz. carrots, cut into chunks
8 oz. baby turnips, cut into quarters or chunks if the turnip is large
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (more if you want additional tartness)
3-4 cups rotisserie chicken, skin removed and chopped
chopped parsley if desired

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large pot.  Add the white parts of the green onions.  Cook until softened.  Add the chicken broth, rice, carrots, turnips and salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes until rice and vegetables are tender.

Whisk eggs with 3 tablespoons lemon juice.  Slowly add 2 cups of the hot broth to the egg mixture whisking constantly.  Add the chicken to the pot, then whisk in the egg mixture. Add last tablespoon of lemon juice. At this point if the soup is too thick you can add either additional chicken broth or some water.  Return the soup to a gentle simmer, then remove from eat.  Stir in the green onion tops and parsley.  Check for salt and pepper.  Also taste the tartness and add more lemon juice if you prefer.

Adapted from yummly

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Smashed Potatoes

These potatoes do not fall into the "healthy-food" category, but they definitely fall into the comfort-food category.  We had them for dinner the other night with meat loaf and gravy.  Good stuff!

5-6 whole red potatoes
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
3 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 can or more French Fried Onions

Microwave or bake potatoes in the oven until tender.  Put in a large bowl and smash with a potato masher, skins and all.  Add softened butter, green onions, bacon and sour cream and stir.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add french fried onions and fold in.  Serve while hot, topping with more french fried onions. 

There were only two of us eating these delicious potatoes and we didn't have many leftover!

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Asparagus & Eggs on Garlic Toast

This is a great super easy seasonal dish for a tasty brunch.  You can serve bacon or sausages along with it.  The asparagus season is so short here in Wisconsin that you need to take advantage while the asparagus is readily available at the farmers' markets. 

4 Slices of bread--sourdough is a good choice but other breads would work fine too
Granulated garlic (Penzey's) or garlic salt
Olive oil
Bunch of asparagus
4 large eggs
1 oz. Parmesan, shaved with a vegetable peeler

Toast the bread.  Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic.

Steam the asparagus in a skillet with 1/2 cup water, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.
Cook until barely tender--5 minutes or less.

Drain the asparagus on paper towels and place on top of the toast.  Take the skillet and add a bit more olive oil or spray with olive oil pan spray.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Cover and cook over low heat until the whites are cooked but the yolks are still runny.  Top the toast & asparagus with an egg.  Sprinkle with Parmesan.  The runny egg yolks make a sauce for the sandwich.  Yummy!

Adapted from Fine

Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches

I needed to make an "herby" thing to contribute to the annual Madison Herb Society spring tea party.  These sandwiches seemed to be a perfect solution.  1) They contained herbs.  2) They were easy--always a plus.  3) You used eggs and since I have been getting fresh eggs from my daughter's chickens.  This was another reason for these sandwiches to be a good choice. 

This is a picture of "The Girls" and the chicken palace that Mike built for them. 

8 hard cooked eggs, chopped
2/3 cup mayonnaise (light is fine)
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped chives
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

Whole grain bread

Combine all ingredients.  Spread on whole grain bread slices.  Spread mayonnaise on an equal number of bread slices.  Top with fresh watercress.  Put together as sandwiches and cut into quarters.

Carrot Cake Pancakes

I'm always on the lookout for new pancake recipes especially ones that incorporate some fruit or even better vegetables.  These tasty pancakes provide a very healthy serving of carrots without you knowing you're even getting them. 

1 cup flour (either unbleached white or whole wheat pastry flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/4-1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
2 tablespoons golden raisins (also optional)
1 large egg
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups finely grated raw carrots

Optional Cream Cheese Topping
4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk or 1/2 & 1/2
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
dash of cinnamon

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, nuts and raisins.  In another bowl whisk together egg, brown sugar, buttermilk and vanilla.  Stir in carrots.  Combine carrot mixture with dry ingredients, stirring just until you don't see any large lumps. 

Heat your griddle and grease with a bit of butter.  I made my pancakes using a 1/4 cup measure.  The original recipe recommended using 2 tablespoons per pancake.  Cook until small bubbles begin to form on top of pancakes and then flip just once.  Cook until brown. 

To make cream cheese topping, beat cream cheese then whisk in powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and cinnamon.  It can also be made in a food processor. 

Adapted from smitten kitchen.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Celery and Apple Soup

March/April are a time of the year that there isn't a lot of local produce available. The greens are starting, but otherwise we need to look to some of the basic fruits and vegetables.  I seem to have an overabundance of celery in my frig right now so I tried this soup which uses quite a bit of celery and combines it with apples for what turned out to be a tasty and easy soup.

2 tablespoons butter
1 small to medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup flour
6-7 celery stalks, sliced
1 potato, sliced or chopped (optional)
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 apples, peeled cored and sliced
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
2/3 cup of half and half (fat free or regular)

Melt the butter in your soup pot.  Add the onion and saute until tender.  Stir in the flour and cook for a minute.  Add the broth slowly and whisk in.  The add the celery and potato.  Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in the apples and cook for an additional 10 minutes.  Remove some of the cooked celery and apples and set aside.  Blend the soup until smooth with an immersion blender or in a food processor.  Return to the pan, and add the reserved pieces of celery and apples.  Also add the chives.  Stir in the 1/2 and 1/2 and gently heat through.  You can garnish with a few chopped celery leaves if you happen to have any (I didn't).

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fresh Broccoli Casserole

This is an old standby recipe that's been around for a long time.  I just made it recently when friends came for lunch and remembered that its easy and very good.

1 large bunch broccoli
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated carrots
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon flour
pepper to taste
1 cup herb-seasoned stuffing mix (I used Pepperidge Farm)
2 tablespoons melted butter

Trim broccoli and remove tough ends of stalks.  Coarsely chop the flowerettes and stalks.  Steam until just barely tender.

Combine soup, sour cream, carrots, onions, flour and pepper.  Fold in broccoli and pour into a greased casserole (2 quart).  Mix melted butter with the stuffing mix and sprinkle over the casserole.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes uncovered.

Cilantro Pesto

If you find yourself with an excess of cilantro, this recipe is quite a good way to use it. 

2 cups packed cilantro, remove large stems.  The small stems are fine.
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup onion
jalapeno pepper to taste--I used one with the ribs & seeds removed.  If you want a milder pesto, use less hot pepper or eliminate altogether.
1 teaspoon Kosher salt or to taste
1/4 cup olive oil

I used my BlendTec blender to make this pesto since it does a great job chopping up all the ingredients until smooth.  Slowly pour in the oil in a steady stream being careful that the blender is not running at a high speed. 

If you have any leftover, it freezes well. 

Its good on pasta or as a spread for crackers.

Adapted from Simply Recipes.  This blog has really great recipes and is worth checking out.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Loaded Parsnip Mashed Potatoes Recipe

This is a great winter comfort food recipe for a combination of mashed potatoes and parsnips with some tasty additions. Its a really easy recipe with a great return on your investment of time.

1 1/2# pototes, peeled or not as you prefer (6 small)
1# parsnips (3 medium), peeled and cut into chuncks
1/2 cup 1/2 & 1/2 or milk
3 tablspoons butter
1/2 cup sour cream (optional, but tasty)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped chives (or parsley if chives are not available)
Salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes and parsnips in a large pot. Cover with salted water and cook until fork tender. Drain. Add half-and-half and the butter to the pot and stir until butter is melted. Return hot drained potatoes and parsnips to the pot and mash, leaving some small chunks for texture. Stir in Cheddar cheese, bacon, and chives. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Adapted from Home Cooking

Monday, January 9, 2012

Beet & Yogurt Salad

We still have some of the vegetables left from our fall/winter CSA storage share.  I've been keeping them in the special green produce storage bags.  I bought some at our local food co-op (Willy Street) and then ordered more on line.  I'm not sure of the brand name, but they really do help to keep produce fresher longer.  I have found that they collect a lot of moisture so I usually add a paper towel to the bag with the produce.  Has anyone else tried them?  If so, what do you think?

Some of the vegetables we have left are beets.  This is a very good salad using beets.  Kind of like pickled beets with some extra pizazz. 

4 medium size beets or about 1#, roasted and peeled
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or whatever kind you have available)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large clove garlic or 2 small
salt & peeper to taste
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 or more tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Roast the beets, peel and cut in slices or wedges.  Stir together the vinegar, sugar, olive oil and salt and pepper.  Toss with the warm beets and allow to marinate for 2-3 hours at room temperature.
Chop the garlic in small food processor or put through a garlic press. Combine with the yogurt and 1/2 the dill.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Add the leftover beet marinade to the yogurt dressing to taste.
Make a bed of salad greens, top with the beets, top with the yogurt dressing. Top with additional dill.  There is probably enough yogurt dressing that you won't need anything else. 

In season, mint could be substituted for the dill.

Adapted from a New York Times recipe