June 26, 2017

Raspberry Eton Mess


Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cup fresh raspberries (I used a mix of golden and red raspberries)
1 1/4 cup (whole) raspberry meringues

Directions:

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a mixing bowl using a hand mixer beat the cream and sugar together until soft peaks form. Meanwhile, lightly crush 1/2 of the raspberries (I did this by hand but the back of a spoon will do) and set aside. When the peaks have formed, remove the bowl from the mixer and use a large spoon to gently fold in the crushed raspberries (do not thoroughly incorporate) without deflating the cream. Crumble the meringues over the mixture and gently fold them in. Divide into bowls. Top with remaining berries. Serve immediately or refrigerate 1/2 hour. Best eaten the day it is made.

Serves: about 4
My thoughts:
One of the biggest disappointments of my trip to England last year is that when we were in Windsor, a mere footbridge away from Eton during strawberry season, we did not get a single chance to eat Eton Mess. It was a major goal of mine for the trip. At least I got to see the castle.

There is a popular story that when at Eton cricket match a dog knocked over the prepared dessert, meringue and strawberries (I'm assuming a pavlova) crushing it and to salvage it, an enterprising chef tossed it with some whipped cream and served it anyway. The truth seems to be that some chef started selling it in the Eton snack/sweets shop in the 1930s but I like the dog story better.

Traditionally it is made with strawberries but our yard is overflowing with golden and red raspberries so I thought I'd make it using raspberries instead. The raspberries crushed much more easily than strawberries that made the dessert (pudding!) even quicker to make.

OMG is so good! Simple, even though I did make the meringues from scratch so that took some time, but surprisingly light tasting and full of fresh raspberry flavor. I loved the pockets of chewy meringue in the fluffy, creamy, fruity whipped cream.  I can't wait to make it again.




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June 23, 2017

Free Form Raspberry Meringues


Ingredients:

3 egg whites, at room temperature
pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 oz freeze dried raspberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Place the raspberries in a Vitamix, mortar and pestle or food processor and grind until it forms a powder. Whisk the mixture through a fine sieve to remove any seeds/chunks into a bowl. Measure out 3 1/2 tablespoons of powder. Place in a bowl and whisk in the sugar.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer or a regular bowl and using a hand mixer, beat the eggs, salt, and cream of tartar together until soft peaks form. While the mixer is still running, slowly stream in the raspberry/sugar mixture. Beat until stiff peaks form. Using a regular dining teaspoon and your fingers or a second spoon, place heaping spoonfuls of meringue on the lined baking sheet. They can be close together as they will not spread. When all of the meringue is on the baking sheet, place it in the oven for 1 1/2 hrs. After the time is up, turn off the oven, leaving the meringues inside, and let them hang out for one hour.

Yield: about 30 meringues


My thoughts:

As you may have guessed, I am not one for fussy details. I piped exactly 3 meringues before the bag started to leak so I thought I'd go rustic. You can, of course, pipe your meringues if you want them extra cute but it really isn't necessary. I get a lot of emails from people who say they don't bake because they don't know how to make swirly icing or they don't have piping bags and I am here to say you really don't need them. These meringues are just as tasty and for what I am ultimately doing with them (Raspberry Eton Mess), their appearance doesn't matter. Frankly, even if you were serving these as-is they are tasty and pretty and people will be so impressed you made them yourself vs. buying them at the store (which I was tempted to do) they won't care what they look like.

I was really excited to remember that I had some leftover freeze-dried raspberries from making my Very Berry Rice Krispies Treats so rather than boring vanilla meringues I could make raspberry ones! Any freeze-dried fruit should work. The flavor is light (as are meringues!) but very raspberry-y and it turned them into a very pretty pink color.

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June 21, 2017

Top Drawer Crab Cakes





Ingredients:

1 lb jumbo lump blue crab meat
1 slice of loaf brioche, torn into tiny pieces
1/2 teaspoon good quality dry mustard (like Colman's)
1-2 tablespoons Old Bay (depends on how Baltimore you are)
1 egg
1/4 cup mayonnaise

Directions:

Heat 1/2-inch canola oil in a large skillet. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard, Old Bay, egg and mayo until smooth. Add the crab and bread. Form the mixture into 5-6, 3-4-inch, 1/2 inch thick patties. Place in the pan and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides and heated through (about 5 minutes on each side). They are a little more fragile than some so take care to only flip them once. Drain on paper towel-lined plates and serve.


My thoughts:
I've made Baltimore (or Maryland if you prefer) crab cakes a lot. I've posted the method I personally use most frequently which is similar to what I grew up eating and the another method that I didn't grow up with but that is also very popular which uses crushed saltines as the binder. I haven't posted one using bread crumbs yet (another popular method) but maybe one day.

This recipe is basically a richer version of what I grew up eating. It uses eggy, slightly sweet brioche (I buy the sandwich loaf brioche at Aldi) to bind, mayonnaise for a really creamy texture, and straight jumbo lump (no backfin). The result is a  more decadent crab cake that is just as simple to make as "normal" crab cakes. Perfect for making a weeknight special.



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June 19, 2017

Chipotle Summer Squash and Sirloin Chili


Ingredients:
1 lb cubed sirloin or stew meat
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 small zucchini or yellow squash, sliced into coins
1 onion, diced
7 oz chipotles in adobe, minced (with sauce)
20 oz (2 cans) diced tomatoes with chopped chiles, drained
30 oz (2 cans) dark red kidney beans, drained
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle
1 1/2 tablespoons New Mexican chili powder
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Spray a skillet with nonstick spray. Quickly saute the meat until the meat is just barely cooked on all sides. Add to a 4-quart slow cooker. Stir. In a small bowl, stir together the chipotles in adobe, tomatoes, beans, vegatables, and spices. Pour over the meat mixture. Stir to evenly combine. Cook on low 7-8 hrs and then high until ready to serve (up to 2 hours). Stir prior to serving.

Note: if the chili looks watery then turn up to high and leave the lid ajar for 30 minutes or until thickened.

My thoughts:
A rainy summer day calls for a slightly summery take on the usual slow cooker chili. I say this every year but it is true, I like using my slow cooker way more in the summer than I do in the winter. In the winter, I don't mind the stove and oven heating up the house but in the summer, in my 1930s house with only a window unit to cool the whole first floor, baking and boiling hold little interest. It isn't as if every summer meal is going to be a salad or sandwich or made on the grill (although we do a lot of all that) some are going to be hot and made indoors! Might as well make use of the slow cooker! This chili is on the spicy side and quite hearty. I like it with some sour cream on top to take the edge off. It also makes great use of summer squash--something I am already seeing in abundance. Perfect for a hot, steamy rainy summer evening.

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June 07, 2017

Greek-esque Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad



Ingredients:

1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 heads broccoli, cut into florets
1/2 cup halved kalamata olives
1/2 crumbed feta
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Greek seasoning
salt
freshly ground black pepper
red pepper flakes

Directions:
Lightly steam the caulflower and broccoli. Drain and allow to cool. Place in a large bowl and toss with olive, onion and feta. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and spices. Drizzle over vegetable mixture. Toss to evenly distribute. Refrigerate and serve within 24 hrs.
My thoughts:

I've never been to Greece so I'm not even sure they are big cauliflower or broccoli eaters but my favorite flavors from Greek cuisine inspired this simple salad. Cauliflower and broccoli can be a bit blah so I am always trying to think of new ways to dress them up. This salad is full of flavor from the vinaigrette, olives and cheese yet it takes like 10 minutes to pull together which is about where my attention span is right now. I say work smarter, not harder.

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June 05, 2017

Coconut Mini Layer Cake



Ingredients:

for the cake:

1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup flour
pinch of salt

for the icing:

4 oz brick cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1-2 teaspoons dark rum or vanilla extract
1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut

Directions:

for the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.

In a separate small bowl, mix dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients and coconut milk alternately, beginning and ending with the coconut milk. Pour evenly into two buttered and floured four-inch pans. Bake for 15-20 mins until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool 5 mins in the pan. Remove from pan and let cool completely on a rack. If the tops are very domed, slice the top off one to make it flat and use it to make the bottom layer of the cake.

for the icing:

In a large bowl, beat together the vanilla/rum, cream cheese, and confectioners sugar until smooth. Add more confectioners sugar in 2 tablespoon increments if you want or need a stiffer or sweeter frosting. Take out 1/3 of the frosting and mix with 1/3 of the coconut flakes. Spread top of one cake and place the second cake on top. Spread the remaining frosting over the cake and coat with coconut.

My thoughts:

We were going to buy Matt's birthday cake at a bakery this year so we could focus on picking crabs and not baking but we realized that since his birthday is Memorial Day this year and the day before is a Sunday, both bakeries we thought about ordering from would be closed. Since it is just the two of us, I ordered this set of tiny cake pans and made a teeny-tiny layer cake. It was a little tricky to figure out the proportions (and you might find you have a bit of icing leftover but better too much than too little right?) but basically it is a regular cake scaled down by nearly 3/4.

This cake would also be perfect for a child's birthday (they could have their own cake all to themselves!) or even made in multiples for an event. I'm kind of looking forward to making more tiny layer cakes down the line. It is just too cute!


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May 27, 2017

Spicy Kohl Slaw




Ingredients:

2 medium-large bulbs kohlrabi, cut into matchsticks
1 baby cucumber, spiralized
1 baby yellow squash, spiralized
1 baby zucchini, spiralized
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2-3 tablespoons shichimi togarashi
sea salt

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a medium bowl, toss to evenly distribute all ingredients. Refrigerate at least 1 hour prior to serving.



My thoughts:
I guess technically this is more of a raw salad than a slaw (but what's the difference really? kohlrabi is in the cabbage family after all) but the name kohl slaw is too good not to use. I love kohlrabi so I was excited to see it in my produce box last week. I think it is so good raw so I thought I'd use it in some sort of salad. I was going to use my mandoline to make it into thin strips but it kept sticking on the blades so I chopped it up into matchsticks the best I could. I spiralized the rest of veggies with my decidedly not fancy spiralizer which made them not only pretty but a great size to suck up the vinegar and flavor from the shichimi togarashi while it marinates in the fridge. This is a wonderful salad to bring to a cookout or picnic because not only does it take like 10 minutes to make, it is full of flavor (thanks, 7-spice powder!), can be made ahead of time and is perfectly safe to sit outside in the heat (I know how people are about mayo-based salads even if I disagree with them) and is vegan and gluten-free.

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May 22, 2017

Pickle-Spiked Cheeseburgers


Ingredients:

for the burger:
1 1/4 lb 90% lean ground beef
1/4 cup chopped "Hamburger" dill pickle chips*
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons horseradish deli mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 slices Butterkäse cheese**
freshly ground black pepper.

to serve:
4 pretzel rolls
horseradish deli mustard
"Hamburger" dill pickle chips

Directions:

In a medium bowl, mix together all burger ingredients until they are evenly distributed. Firmly form into 4 even patties. Set aside.

Heat a small amount of oil in a large skillet. Cook the patties, flipping once, until cooked to desired doneness over medium heat. Drain, if needed, on a paper towel-lined plate. Place burgers on buns, top with additional mustard and pickles if desired. Serve immediately.




*find these pickle slices near other shelf-stable pickles on the grocery store shelf, these pickles give the burgers that classic burger taste so don't substitute fancy dill pickles or kosher dills.

**Find this German, smooth melting cheese at stores with a well-stocked cheese section or it is frequently available at Aldi. Gouda would make a good substitute in a pinch.


My thoughts:
I've been on sort of a burger kick lately as you may have noticed. I bought the ground beef hoping that we would get a chance to grill but we were in Washington all day yesterday visiting the amazing NMAAHC and came home too tired to cook and today it is rainy so no grilling for us! Luckily, I think they were still very good even without the benefits of charcoal. I love, love, love pickles and even though I make my own I always keep a jar of hamburger chips in my fridge. It is like $1 at Aldi for a vat and they are really what gives burgers that classic diner/fast food burger taste. These burgers are loaded with pickle flavor (and lots of chunks so you really have to a firm hand with the patties or they will crack) and just a hint of onion. Super savory, super delicious and super easy to throw together--I made these for our lunch in about 20 minutes start to finish. The pretzel roll held up well to the juicy burger and the flavor really complimented the vaguely German flavors of the sandwich. Luckily pretzel rolls are pretty easy to find these days! I remember having to make my own not too long ago and now even regular supermarkets have bags of them.

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May 15, 2017

Kimchi Burgers



Ingredients:

for the burger:
1 lb 90% lean ground beef
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 tablespoon gochujang
2 tablespoons soy sauce

to serve:
4 brioche rolls
gochujang mayonnaise*
3/4 cup chopped kimchi

Directions:
In a medium bowl, mix together all burger ingredients until they are evenly distributed. Form into 3 or 4 patties. Set aside.

Heat a small amount of oil in a large skillet. Cook the patties, flipping once, until cooked to desired doneness over medium heat. Place on buns, top with mayo and kimchi. Serve immediately.


*I bought some at Target but you can make it yourself by mixing mayo and a small amount of gochujang together.
My thoughts:
Matt has been studying sign language for a while now and goes to a ton of events about ASL. I think the most exciting one he went to was a kimchi making class in ASL where he not only came home with a jar of homemade kimchi but had learned a few words of Korean sign language!

The kimchi was great on its own but we thought we'd make something fun incorporating it. Matt found gochujang mayo at Target (who knew?), we already had gochujang, sesame oil and Korean soy sauce in the fridge (if you don't, a quick trip the Korean or other well-stocked grocery store will get you all set) so burgers seemed to be the obvious choice. The burgers are not quite as hot (unless you use extra hot gochujang!) as one might think but they are very flavorful. A great change from the typical burger.

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May 10, 2017

Very Berry Rice Krispies Treats



Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
6 oz large marshmallows
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups crisped rice cereal (AKA Rice Krispies)
scant 1/4 cup freeze-dried strawberries*
scant 1/4 cup freeze-dried raspberries
scant 1/4 cup freeze-dried blueberries

Directions:

Coat 8-inch pan with cooking spray or brush with oil. Set aside.

Place all of the freeze-dried fruit into a small bowl. Lightly crush using your hands or the back of a spoon. In a large bowl, stir together the cereal and freeze-dried fruit. Set aside.

Melt butter over low heat in a large, tall pot. Add marshmallows and vanilla and stir until nearly completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in cereal/fruit mix. Use a greased spoon or spatula the cereal into the pan. Use the back of the spoon to press it firmly into the pan in an even layer. Cool, cut into 9 squares and eat.


*I used Crunchies brand fruit (if you have a bag, you can trace it back to where the fruit was grown!)

Note: Double this recipe to make in a 9x13 inch pan.



My thoughts:
Am I the only one who thinks of the '80s commercial of the mom making the Rice Krispies Treats and then tossing flour on her face before taking them out to her family to imply that they were so difficult and time-consuming to make? I swear I just saw it again this past Christmas. Anyway! Rice Krispies Treats are an even better treat to make during the warmer weather than the holiday season, they are quick, don't heat up the house and are lighter than a lot of desserts. This time of year my mind turns to berries but they are not really ripe here yet beyond strawberries so I subbed in freeze-dried fruit to provide that berry flavor. The great thing about freeze-dried fruit in something like this is that if you lightly crush it, it gives off some dust that helps spread the flavor throughout the whole bar. Really yummy and perfect for summer. These would be great at a cookout, especially for Memorial Day or 4th of July as they are red, white and blue!

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May 08, 2017

Cincinnati Chili Mac





Ingredients:
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 lb ground chicken (or sub in lean ground beef)
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
15 oz canned dark red kidney beans, drained
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 oz hot, cooked, elbow macaroni

to serve:
shredded sharp cheddar cheese
chopped onion


Directions:

Heat oil in a large skillet. Saute the onion and garlic until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken (or beef!). Brown, breaking up large chunks until nearly fully cooked, about 8-10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, spices, and beans. Simmer until warmed through and the liquid is nearly completely evaporated, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in the pasta, cook 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and onions. Serve immediately.

My thoughts:
I was planning to make chicken chili mac tonight for dinner as it is oddly chilly for May and was trying to think of a way to make it more exciting when it hit me, Cinncinati Chili is basically chili mac but layered rather than all mixed together. There are several ways to eat Cincinnati style chili:
3-way: Spaghetti topped with chili, covered with shredded cheddar cheese
4-way: Spaghetti topped with chili, cheese, onions
5-way: Spaghetti topped with beans, chili, cheese & onions
I just swapped out the spaghetti for macaroni noodles and stirred the kidney beans into the chili rather than layering them on top. The result was a super comforting dinner. I used ground chicken so it would be a bit lighter but feel free to use the more traditional beef.

Can't get enough? Make traditional Cincinnati Chili, this slow cooker version, and even Cincinnati Chili Dogs.


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April 17, 2017

Ham & Spring Vegetable Pasta Salad


Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups cubed ham
1/2 lb asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces
12 oz small pasta, cooked and cooled
1 cup fresh or frozen peas*
1/2 red onion, diced
1 baby cucumber, diced
1 (loose) cup baby arugula

dressing:
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4-1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Dijon


Directions:
Heat a small amount of oil in a large skillet. Saute the ham and asparagus until the ham is lightly browned and the asparagus is tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl until well combined. Set aside.

In a large bowl, toss together the peas, onion, cucumber and arugula. Add the pasta, ham, and asparagus. Stir to evenly distribute. Gently stir in the dressing until the ingredients are evenly coated. Refrigerate up to one day or serve immediately.



*if frozen add the peas to the pasta while it cooks for the last 5 minutes




My thoughts:
Matt's been off on spring break so I haven't had to make my usual cold dinner for him to take on the night he goes directly from work to class. He goes back tomorrow so I thought why not kill two birds with one stone and use up the ham we bought on sale (my mom hosts holidays so we never have leftovers) and some vegetables we had on hand and make a packable dinner? I love getting my farm box delivery (although I don't get it every week until the growing season really picks up), the arugula from last Tuesday was still super fresh! I tossed that in along with some asparagus, peas, cucumbers (which aren't quite in season here yet) and red onion for crunch and bite. I wasn't sure about ham in pasta salad but it was actually really good; just resist any temptation to add salt. I'm adding this to the rotation for next spring, it is a great way to use up spring and Easter odds and ends.

We also made a great spring vegetable matzo ball soup for Passover this year if you are interested!


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April 14, 2017

Egg Salad with Ham and Watercress


Ingredients:
6 hard-boiled eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1-2 tablespoons Dijon
2/3 (loose) cup watercress
4 oz cubed ham
3 scallions/green onions, chopped
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
salt
freshly ground black pepper


Directions:

Slice eggs in half and remove the yolks. Place the yolks in a small bowl. Set aside.

Chop up the egg whites. Place in a medium-sized bowl. Add the ham, greens and scallions. Stir.

Place the mayonnaise, mustard and spices in the small bowl with the yolks. Mash with a fork until smooth. Pour over the chopped egg mixture. Stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


My thoughts:
I love watercress. I don't know why it isn't more popular here in the US. When we were in England nearly every grocery store (we went to a lot) and sandwich shop had something with watercress (or its cousin "cress" aka "garden cress") for sale (or as they said "on offer"). It is light, crispy and has a pleasant peppery-mustardy bite that complements creamy dishes like this one quite well. I am not a huge lettuce on sandwiches person (I always remove half of the "spring mix" that is on my beloved smoked salmon BLT) but the leaves of watercress are so small that they can be left whole and mixed into the egg salad rather than lining the bread. Adding the ham made the sandwich more satisfying and filling than egg salad normally is and added a smoky note. This recipe is a great way to use up any leftover ham or egg you might have hanging about in a satisfying (packable!) lunch.

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March 30, 2017

Somewhat Classic Meatloaf



Ingredients:

2 lbs 90-93% lean ground beef
2 hot dog rolls, torn into tiny pieces
1 egg, beaten
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, small dice
1 stalk celery, small dice
1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chili sauce (like Heinz)


Directions:

Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl, mix together the beef, egg, rolls, onion, carrot, celery, and spices. Form into a loaf. Place in a loaf pan (or, preferably, a meatloaf pan). Brush the top with the chili sauce to coat. Bake for 40 minutes or until fully cooked. Wait a few minutes before slicing for best results.


My thoughts:
To be honest, I didn't want to make dinner today. In fact, I was sort of hoping the ground beef was spoiled so I'd have an excuse to not make dinner. I didn't have a plan on how to use it but since I had 2 lbs of it (normally I buy the 1 lb packages but the store was out) I thought I might as well make meatloaf and use it all up at once. I read a post about meatloaf in some e-newsletter that mentioned celery as being a "typical" meatloaf ingredient. That didn't sound right to me but whatever, I had some so I tossed some in my new chopper along with some carrot chunks and tossed it in the mix. I had some squished hot dog rolls so I used them instead of slices sandwich bread as the binder. They were soft and melted right into the meat mixture.  I loathe tomato ketchup (I only like ketchup made from fruit or other vegetables lol) so I always use chili sauce on mine which is like ketchup's less sweet, less coying, zestier cousin. I really slather it on so it seals the meatloaf so doesn't dry out while the pan takes care of any extra grease. Anyway! I am glad I went ahead and made the meatloaf, it came out really good! Tender, juicy and full of flavor. I'm glad I added the celery, I think it added some moisture and flavor without being overpowering or watery. It made a good meatloaf sandwich too. So, if you are in the mood for a classic meatloaf with a little extra veggies, try this one. You won't be disappointed.

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March 28, 2017

Collards with Smoked Turkey



Ingredients:
2 lb collard greens, shredded*
2 quarts chicken or turkey stock
4 cloves garlic, sliced
3 smoked turkey legs
2 onions, diced
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lb bite-sized baby potatoes


Directions:

In a large (at least 8 quart) pot, heat the oil. Saute the onions, garlic, and bay leaves until the onions are soft but not browned, about 10 minutes. Add the broth, vinegar, turkey legs, salt, pepper, pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, skimming off anything that rises to the surface. Reduce heat and simmer 1 hour. Remove the turkey legs and pick off all of the meat. Reserve the meat, discard the bones.

Add the greens, return to a boil. Stir so all of the greens are coated in broth and starting to wilt. Reduce heat, add the turkey meat back in and the potatoes. Cook for 1 hour or until the potatoes are fork-tender.

*I buy mine pre-shedded. If this is unavailable to you, cut them into 1/4 inch wide strips, spine (ribs) and all.

Yield: approximately 10 servings. Extras freeze well. (Honestly! I made this and wrote up the post a couple of weeks ago and just had some for dinner yesterday--I just put the frozen greens in a pan and simmered until warmed through. Tasted the same as the day I made them.)




My thoughts:
We made these greens the other day and when I Instagramed it, someone asked for a recipe. I directed her to an earlier recipe I had made and then realized that I had made so many changes to it (different greens, different seasonings etc) that it really only made sense to post a new recipe showing what we did. Plus that recipe was from July 2008, if you can believe it, so it seemed way overdue for a makeover. We still use smoked turkey legs instead of the more traditional ham hock because they are meatier and I think easier to deal with than hocks. I always would get some bit of bone in my greens (somehow! I am the princess and the pea but with bones and rocks when it comes to food) when I use ham hocks but never with turkey legs. Plus turkey legs (perhaps oddly?) seem easier to find here in Baltimore than ham hocks. We just pick out the meatiest ones we can find. Sometimes they are so meaty, you can serve these greens and have a complete meal. I also love using turnip greens but since I found pre-shredded collards, I've made the switch. It is just so much easier, especially if you are making a bunch of other foods to serve with the greens. No more removing the spine (ribs), chopping and washing repeatedly in the salad spinner to remove the grit. We just boil the meat, remove it, dump in the greens then the meat and potatoes and we are done. Only about 5-10 minutes hands-on time to pick the meat off the bone and chop the onion. Super satisfying. I love to serve it with my favorite catfish or Maryland Style Fried Chicken but it really goes with anything.

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March 25, 2017

Chocolate Belgian-Style Waffles



Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup canola oil



Prepare and heat your waffle iron according to manufacturer's instructions.

In a large bowl or bowl of a standmixer, beat eggs until fluffy. Beat in remaining ingredients until smooth. Pour the manufacturer's recommended amount of batter onto center of the hot waffle iron. Close lid of waffle iron. Bake about 5 minutes or until steaming stops or the iron beeps. Carefully remove waffle. Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200° oven. Repeat with remaining batter.

Yield: about 8 Belgian-style waffles (two batches on a 4-square waffle iron)


My thoughts:
Today is waffle day in Sweden and while these aren't Swedish style waffles, it seemed fitting to share a new waffle recipe with you. (If you are interested in making traditional Swedish waffles, check out my recipe for Våffel here.) We have recently gotten back on the waffle train after our last waffle iron (not the cute heart one but another Belgian-style waffle iron.) broke and we couldn't find a new one that we liked. I hate cleaning waffle irons (I know, use a toothbrush. Whatever.) so when I found this one with detachable plates, I knew I had to have it. It is huge, making 4 squares at once (I freeze the extras and the squares can fit in a wide-opening toaster to reheat) and makes the best waffles. They are moist inside and crisp outside like a good waffle should be. And the clean up is so easy, I don't regret making waffles like I used to when I had a traditional waffle iron.

As for this recipe, if you are looking for a dose of not-too-sweet chocolate in the morning or a dessert waffle, this is the waffle for you! Chocolatey, moist and crispy, they hold up to butter, syrup and ice cream.

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March 22, 2017

Orange Crush Bundt Cake



Ingredients:

for the cake:
1 1/2 cups 7UP
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
zest from 1 orange (about 1 tablespoon)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

to decorate: confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325. Spray with baking spray or grease and flour one Bundt pan. Set aside. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the 7UP, juice, oil, zest and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Slowly beat in eggs. While the mixer is running, stream in the dry ingredients. Mix until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour or until a thin knife inserted into the cake comes out with clean or with just a few dry crumbs.



Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.


Carefully loosen the cake from the pan and turn it out onto the rack. Cool completely. Sprinkle with a fine dusting of confectioners’ sugar.



My thoughts:
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of 7UP®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Who doesn't love a Bundt cake? It is hard to believe that Bundt cakes only became popular in the 1950s and '60s when Nordic Ware trademarked the Bundt pan and when the "Tunnel of Fudge Cake" won the Bake-Off. They are so simple to make and don't really need frosting beyond a sprinkle of sugar or a light glaze. This cake is an homage to 1950s and '60s baking by incorporating an unusual ingredient in the cake: soda! That era was full of recipes that had a "secret ingredient" and in this case, 7UP is what makes the cake light and fluffy and provides a touch of lemon-lime. The flavor of this cake was inspired by the popular Mid-Atlantic cocktail, the Orange Crush, which supposedly originated on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It is named after the orange "crusher" that extracts fresh orange juice from the oranges for each drink. To make the drink, you pour the pulpy freshly squeezed juice into a glass full of ice, stir in vodka and then top it off with 7UP. Perfect for sipping on a hot day on the beach or when having some steamed crabs. To turn it into a cake, I eliminated the vodka, kept the freshly squeezed orange juice and increased the ratio of 7UP. The result: a light, fluffy cake bursting with citrus flavor. Oranges are in season now, so the orange flavor is extra bold. If it isn’t citrus season when you go to make this, add 1/4 teaspoon of pure orange extract to up the orange flavor. Everyone will love this light, freshly flavored, citrusy cake! #7Waysto7UP





I bought my 7UP at our local Giant Landover using a coupon to save $1.00 when you buy two 7UP 2-Liter bottles located in their Savory Magazine “New Flavors” edition (available until 3/30). 7UP is also available in Stop & Shop and Giant Carlisle
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March 18, 2017

The Cloak and Dagger Sandwich




Ingredients:
1 lb sliced corned beef (preferably hot/warm)
8 slices seeded rye or pumpernickel bread (or rye and pumpernickel swirl)

Coleslaw:

1 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 carrot, shredded
1/2 small onion, shredded
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
salt
white pepper

Russian dressing:

3 tablespoons minced dill pickle
1 shallot, minced
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon tomato paste
1/2 tablespoon prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
white pepper


Directions:

Stir together the dressing ingredients. Set aside. To make the coleslaw: In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, mustard, vinegar, and spices. In a large bowl, toss together cabbage, onion, and carrot. Pour the dressing over the vegetables, toss to evenly distribute.

Spread the dressing on all 8 slices of bread.

Top 4 slices with a layer of corned beef then coleslaw. Top with the remaining slices of bread. Slice and serve.

My thoughts:
The Cloak and Dagger is a lesser known Baltimore dish. Attman's, the last remaining original deli on Corned Beef Row, claims to have invented it and it still is available on their menu as 'The "Original" Cloak & Dagger'. It now shows up on a number of local delis and restaurant menus around the area. Not to be confused with the vaguely similar (and attractively named) "Rachel" sandwich, it is simply a corned beef sandwich topped not with mustard but with Russian dressing and coleslaw. I take it to the next level by making everything (but the bread!) from scratch. This time of year you might have some corned beef leftover from St Patrick's Day to use and if you, it should be on sale cheaply to pick some up. Of course, you can make your own if you are feeling ambitious and have time to wait. It a messy sandwich but so worth it! The contrast between the warm, salty corned beef and the cool, creamy coleslaw is sublime.

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March 16, 2017

Bangers and (Turnip-Potato) Mash




Ingredients:

for the mash:
2 large turnips, cubed
1 1/2 lb Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup milk
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

for the onion gravy:
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup beef stock
minced thyme (optional)
salt
freshly ground black pepper

6-8 Irish bangers

Directions:

for the turnips:
Bring the turnips and potatoes to a rolling boil. Continue to boil until both are fork-tender. Drain. Add remaining ingredients and mash until desired smoothness is obtained. Cover and keep warm as needed.


for the gravy:
Melt the butter in a large skillet. Saute the onion until well caramelized but not burnt, about 10 minutes. Add the flour. Stir. Cook 1 minute. Add the stock and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

for the sausage:
Prepare according to package instructions.

to serve:
Place 2 bangers on top of a mound of turnip-potato mash. Spoon gravy on top. Serve immediately.



My thoughts:
We went to England last May and spent a few days in London and Bath with Matt's family. Due to various reasons, we did not get to do a lot what we wanted and saw none of the major tourist attractions! No Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Tower of London etc. We did go to Windsor on a dreadfully cold, rainy day so we did see one castle but we missed out on quite a bit of the stereotypical British experience. We made it to the Jewish Museum, the V & A Museum of Childhood, the British Library and the Foundling Museum which were all excellent and when in Bath and Windsor we did (finally!) make it to a few pubs. In Bath, I had some Cumberland sausages and mash in a hipster-y pub that were very good. I also had a tuna and sweetcorn stuffed baked potato (they were everywhere!) which was oddly good, a Sally Lunn bun and a full English breakfast at our hotel. So Bath was pretty good for British-y foods. We did not make it over to Ireland (which was my suggestion for the family trip!) which is a shame. The trip did, however, cement my love of sausages, mashed potatoes and gave me a new found appreciation for onion gravy.

Irish sausages are not something we often see here but near St Patrick's Day bangers are often available at Costco and Aldi so I picked some up. Straight bangers and mash is a wonderful thing,  but if I am making gravy from scratch (for the second time this week!) I didn't want to make a second side dish. So into to the mash went the turnips. You really can't tell they are there but they are providing some nice Vitamin C and fiber for you. Since St Patrick's Day is tomorrow, this is a more authentic (and easy!) dish to make than corned beef and cabbage, which I love but that they do not actually eat in Ireland.

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March 14, 2017

Chorizo Sausage Gravy with Cheddar Biscuits



Ingredients:

for the biscuits:
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5 tablespoons cubed butter, at room temperature
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten

for the sausage gravy:

1 pound bulk Mexican chorizo
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

chives or garlic chives for garnish

Directions:

for the biscuits:
Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Flour a clean, flat surface.

In a bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the cheese and butter and slowly mix until the butter is in small, pea-sized pieces. Slowly pour in the milk and mix just until a dough forms. Place on the floured surface and roll the dough until it is 1/2 thick. Cut 3-inch rounds out with a biscuit, cookie or doughnut cutter. Place on lined baking sheet. Brush with beaten egg (optional). Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown.


for the sausage gravy:

Melt about a tablespoon of butter to a skillet. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up large chunks with the back of a spoon, until browned. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup flour and spices and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the milk. Cook, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens. Pour over biscuits. Garnish with chives or garlic chives if desired.



Yield: about 8 biscuits

My thoughts:

Let's be honest, sausage gravy doesn't look appetizing on a good day, no matter how tasty it is, and throw in chorizo which turns the whole mess an "interesting" shade of orange, well it isn't going to win any beauty contests. I garnished it with some garlic chives but really, nothing is saving this. Luckily, food does not have to look pretty to be delicious!

I've had the idea of making it with chorizo for ages now but never got around to actually making it. I saw a perfect square of bulk chorizo in the supermarket last week so I popped it in the cart thinking I'd freeze it for later use. Then this freak March storm came and we are stuck here so I thought now is my chance to make the sausage gravy of my dreams. I will say, this is a special treat sort of breakfast (or lunch, in our case) what with the sausage, the gravy, and the cheddar-spiked biscuits but it is worth it! It is also surprisingly easy to make, while the biscuits are cooling, make the gravy and the whole thing from starting the biscuits to making the gravy only takes about 40 minutes. Depending on how spicy you like it and how spicy your sausage is, feel free to add some cayenne to the sausage as it is cooking. The end result is great: spicy sausage gravy tempered by the sharp cheddar-spiked biscuits. A feisty, fiery twist on a Southern classic.

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March 11, 2017

Double Orange Hamantaschen



Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon orange extract

orange jam/marmalade (I used Seville Orange Fiordifrutta)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, extract and egg. Add the remaining dry ingredients. Mix until smooth.

Roll the dough out onto a clean, floured surface. When the dough is about a 1/4 inch thick, cut 2 1/2-3 inch circles out of the dough using a cookie, biscuit or doughnut cutter. Place them on the prepared pans.

Spoon some jam into the middle of each circle. Fold three sides towards the center and press down to form a triangle.



Bake 12 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Yield: about 3 dozen cookies
My thoughts:
Happy Purim! Any holiday where you have an excuse to make cookies is a good one to me!

I love hamantaschen and the story behind why we make these cookies this time of year.  I wrote an article about Purim and hamantaschen for NPR a while back and since then, I've created recipes for a rugelach-inspired cream cheese based hamantaschen, chocolate hamantaschen, pareve/vegan hamantaschen filled with kiwi jam,  orange ginger hamantaschen, and pareve/vegan fig-orange hamantaschen spiked with butternut squash. As you can tell, I really like the favor of orange in my hamantaschen! It is one of the few fruits that are in season this year and although this recipe uses extract and jam, it is a flavor that really fits into this time of year. Plus orange juice is a common addition to hamantaschen that do not use butter (some people who keep kosher prefer a butter-less pareve/vegan version) so this gives you that flavor but also the richness of butter. Since we do not keep kosher, using butter isn't a concern.

While we have made hamantaschen several times, I really this might be our best batch yet! The dough was easy to work with (no refrigeration needed) and every cookie held its shape--no jam escaping or unfolding! Plus the cookie was super tender and flavorful. Hamantaschen win!

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March 01, 2017

"Caesar" Chicken Thighs



Ingredients:

8 chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 lb)
zest of one lemon
1-2 tablespoons granulated garlic
superfine flour (like Wondra)
salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 medium onions, cut into large wedges
3-4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
juice of one lemon
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan


Directions:
Preheat oven to 375.

Heat a small amount of oil in a large skillet.

Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with lemon zest, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Flour the top (skin-side) of the chicken. Place the chicken skin-side down in the pan.


Cook about 10 minutes or until the skin is crisp, lightly browned and much of the fat has rendered into the pan. DO NOT FLIP THE CHICKEN!

Meanwhile, arrange the onions in single layer in an 8x13 inch baking pan. Drizzle with Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice.  Top with the chicken, skin-side up.


Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. Sprinkle with Parmesan and return to the oven until melted. Serve immediately.



My thoughts:
For this version of chicken thighs, I was inspired by the Caesar salad. The salad is made with lots of garlic,  lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce (or anchovies), all things that go great with chicken. For the chicken I used good quality granulated garlic (not garlic powder--I like Costco brand), lemon zest and lots of freshly grated pepper and throughly caramelized the skin so it would be nice and crispy even after baking. Then I placed the chicken on a bed of onions liberally dressed with lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. The lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce infused the chicken from beneath with the flavors I hoped for making the chicken really taste like the chicken version of Caesar salad! I then topped it with a bit of Parmesan for a bit of flair and to further tie in with the flavors of the original salad. Feel free to leave it off if you would rather, it is really more of a nod to the salad then a neccesity.


I served these thighs with a  Dole Organic Caesar Salad kit featuring baby Romaine, Parmesan pita chips, shaved Parmesan  and Caesar dressing. This kit is a lifesaver when I am making our main meal of the day to be served at 10:30 AM in order to accommodate my husband's school schedule and is tasty. I love the baby Romaine!


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February 13, 2017

Portuguese Style Tuna Salad





Ingredients:

1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained
1 1/2 lb potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces (I used Yukon Gold)
4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
1/2 red onion, diced
1/3 cup Kalamata olives in oil, drained
12 oz good quality canned tuna (drained if in water--see thoughts)
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


Directions:

Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil. Add the potatoes and cook until fork-tender. Drain and place in a large bowl. Allow to cool to closer to room temperature. Add the chickpeas, eggs, tuna, onion and olive and toss to combine. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar; sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 24 hr prior to serving.

My thoughts:
When we were in Portugal (where I wish I was right now, I torture myself by checking Lisbon's weather every day) we ate at two different restaurants that specialized in canned seafood. Both were amazing! The Portuguese take their canned fish very seriously and what they do with it is amazing. I'm still dreaming of the octopus croquettes I had at Can de Can. Like here, canned tuna (alum in Portuguese) is very popular and sold either in slices or in salads like this one. It is normally tuna packed in olive oil, but that can be more difficult to find here so for ease of replication, I used wild-caught skipjack tuna I bought in pouches (Safe Catch Elite) and added olive oil. If you do have access to good, Portuguese (or Italian) tuna, feel free to use that and skip the extra olive oil. I actually still have a few cans of seafood I brought back from Portugal thanks to the long expiration dates of canned goods that I'm still hoarding. I'll be sad when they are gone.

Nearly every meal we ate in Portugal consisted of a. seafood b. boiled potatoes c. some sort of green vegetable. Before each meal, they bring you bread, canned seafood spreads, cheese/butter/oil, croquettes and olives that you have to refuse if you don't want but are cheap (a euro or so) if you keep them. This is sort of the salad version of that: tuna, boiled potatoes, olives and hard boiled eggs. Simple yet very satisfying. It is a lovely dinner and the leftovers make a great lunch as it is good slightly warm (if the potatoes are freshly cooked) or chilled. I actually like it better after it has been chilled as the flavors meld.



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