Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tis The Season

Hello Old Friends!

We've been cooking and baking up a storm but have failed at documenting all the goodies. I made a tasty and good looking dish the other night and thought I'd share.

Vegetarian Stew with Quinoa, Butternut Squash & Coconut Milk

Yield: Serves 4

From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck.

2/3 cup quinoa
1 1/3 cup water
Pinch of salt
2 cups diced (1/2-inch) butternut squash
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 large jalapeno pepper, seeds & membranes removed, minced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup lite coconut milk, stirred
1 can (14 oz.) petite diced tomatoes (with juices)
1 can (14 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 green onions, thinly sliced

In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa and water, and place over high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed. Remove the quinoa from the heat, fluff with a fork and re-cover to keep warm.

In a medium or large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and the cubed butternut squash. Cook until the squash is just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

In a large frying pan, heat olive oil oil over medium heat. Add onion and kosher salt and cook until the onions are turning brown, 7 to 8 minutes. Add ginger and minced jalapeno and cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add garlic. Cook for 1 more minute, stirring.

Add the lite coconut milk, diced tomatoes with juices, chickpeas and cooked butternut squash. Turn the mixture to medium-high and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the butternut squash is tender, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes.

Divide the quinoa between bowls and ladle the stew over top. Garnish with sliced green onions. Serve.


As far as holiday baking goes, we've been making a bunch of cookies: chocolate crackles (Martha Stewart's recipe is my favorite), sugar cut out cookies, white chocolate cherry shortbread, chocolate covered cherries and macaroons. Macaroons have become my thing.


Cherry Shortbread

We tried these pretzel, rolo, M&M candies for the first time this year (found on pinterest). Owen was able to do these without much help - it was great!

Pretzel, Rolo & M&M Candies

For Thanksgiving, I made these cranberry brie bites (also found on pinterest) and they were phenomenal.

Cranberry and brie bites (pinterest)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I need to share the deliciousness!

We've had some tasty summer meals lately and I just don't have the time to properly document them in my blog like I used to. So, I'm going to try out an abbreviated format for the time being.

Scallops with Tomatillo Guacamole & Corn Salsa
the kitchn

Both Mike & I love scallops but rarely buy them because they're pricey. I decided to splurge and make this meal and it was so worth it! So delicious and easy, too! Both kids gobbled it up which shocked me. I will definitely make this again. And, I'll be making that tomatillo guacamole to go on tacos, too. I love tomatillos!

Ratatouille Bake
All Recipes
Tasty, easy, delicious. Owen said, "Mama did you make this? It's DELICIOUS!" Score!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Birthday Party Fun

Our daughter celebrated her first birthday last weekend! We whipped up some of our favorite foods for the occasion.

The Menu:
Ina Garten's Panzanella
Food Should Good Sweet Potato Chips
Grandma's Baked Beans (super secret recipe)
Sausages from Kramarczuk's: Curried Wild Rice Brat, Cherry Bomb Brat, and Mediterranean Lamb
Rainbow Cupcakes

Kramarczuk's Sausages


Happy Birthday Jillian!


We enjoyed a few favorites in the past week: steak fajitas with greens, spring turnip salad, and radish sandwich. If we have a bunch of greens or peppers to use, we often turn to fajitas. The turnip salad is one of my favorite things and the radish sandwich is all about good butter (we used Hope butter this time). Yum!

Steak Fajitas with Green Garlic, Radish Greens, Onion, Spinach

Steak Fajitas with Green Garlic, Radish Greens, Onion, Spinach

Spring Turnip Salad

Spring Turnip Salad

1 fresh, young bunch of turnips, stems discarded, greens well washed and sliced into thin ribbons (1/3 inch or less), roots trimmed, peeled, and cut into 3/4 inch chunks
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk
1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, and chives
1 cup cooked white beans
3 hard cooked eggs, peeled and sliced
4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped or crumbled
3 pieces of cornbread (your favorite recipe), cut into small cubes

At least a few hours in advance, toss the raw turnip greens with 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and a big pinch of salt. Cover and refrigerate.

Put the turnip roots in a medium saucepan with an inch of water, a pinch of salt, and a splash of olive oil. Cover, bring to a boil, and boil hard, covered, until turning tender, about 5 minutes. Then remove the lid and continue to boil until tender enough to eat, a minute or two more. Drain if necessary and allow to cool.

Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon honey in 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and the lime juice. Whisk in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Stir in 1/4 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk and the chopped herbs. Taste and add salt, vinegar, or oil if necessary.

Dress the beans with 2 tablespoons of the yogurt dressing. Spread some greens on each plate and top with egg, beans, bacon, steamed turnips, and cornbread. Serve extra yogurt dressing on the side.

Radish Sandwich

Radish Sandwiches and Spinach Salad


Mike visited Hawaii with his family as a child (teenager?) and always talks about the delicious ono fish he had there. Coastal Seafood had ono on special last week so he had to get some. I agreed with him that's it's like fish steak. Delicious!

Grilled Ono with Tamarind Glaze and Grilled Yukina Savoy

Grilled Ono with Tamarind Glaze and Grilled Yukina Savoy

Chives, chives and more chives.

We've been trying to find recipes that use a ton of chives because we have SO many this year! This recipe for Broccoli salad put them to good use.

Broccoli & Chive Salad

Broccoli Salad with Bacon, Chives, and Tomato
Adapted from

2 heads of broccoli, about 1 1/2 pounds
4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into matchsticks
2 roma tomatoes, halved, seeded and finely chopped
1 bunch fresh chives (15 to 20), finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced or pressed
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salty water to boil. In the meantime, trim the woody end from the broccoli heads and break it up into small florets. Slice them into 1/4-inch thick pieces so they cook quickly and evenly. When the water comes to a boil, blanch the broccoli for 1-2 minutes, until they are starting to get tender but still have bite in the middle. Drain in a colander and spread out on a kitchen towel to steam dry, about 15 minutes.

In the meantime, cook the bacon in a large skillet with a splash of olive oil over medium-low heat until the fat renders into the pan and the bacon is crisp but still slightly chewy.

Drain the fat collected in the bacon pan into a bowl and add the garlic, dijon, and vinegar. Whisk well to combine into an emulsion, then add the olive oil slowly in a stream, whisking constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper and taste also for acidity, adding more vinegar or oil if needed.

Toss the broccoli with the tomatos, bacon, and dressing. Top with chives and serve.

Pasta with Asparagus, Carrots and Broccoli

This pasta was so delicious - I think using high quality parmigiano-reggiano had something to do with it. Oh, and the cream and butter!

Pasta with Asparagus, Carrots, Broccoli

Adapted from Bottega Favorita by Frank Stitt.

1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 heaping cup sliced spring onions
12 slender asparagus spears, tough bottoms discarded and cut into 2-inch pieces
Sliced carrots or other spring vegetables
Broccoli florets (or other vegetable... peas, etc.)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 pound pasta
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino romano
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until very soft.

2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted to a boil for the pasta. Bring a large sauce pan of water to a boil, add the asparagus, and cook for 1 minute. Add the broccoli and cook for 30 seconds, then drain. Add the asparagus and other vegetables to the onions, then stir in the cream. Set the pan aside while you cook the pasta.

3. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain and transfer to the pan with the onions.

4. Place the pan over high heat and cook, tossing, for 1 to 2 minutes, until the vegetables are hot. Add the chives abd 1/2 cup of the cheese, the lemon zest, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and toss well to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Serve in warm bowls, garnished with more mint and the remaining grated cheese

Friday Night Pizza

Friday Night Pizza is back! I typically use the pizza dough recipe from Baking Illustrated but one night we were out of bread flour so I ended up using this Emeril Lagasse recipe. I was impressed with how soft and chewy the dough was! I may switch over permanently to this recipe.

Here are some recent pizza creations:

Hon Tsai Tai, Olive, Egyptian Walking Onion, Green Garlic & Mozzarella Pizz
Hon Tsai Tai, Olive, Egyptian Walking Onion, Green Garlic & Mozzarella Pizza

Broccoli, Green Garlic, and Fresh Mozzarella Pizza

Broccoli, Green Garlic, and Fresh Mozzarella Pizza

Pepperoni, Olive and Cheese Pizza

Pepperoni, Olive and Cheese Pizza

Monday, May 23, 2011

A whole lot of goodness

We've been busy!

A Simple Greens Soup
From Asparagus to Zucchini, Harmony Valley Farm Recipe

First of all, if you're cooking in the midwest and using CSA veggies and don't own the cookbook, From Asparagus to Zucchini, go buy it! It's fantastic. To be honest, nettles aren't my favorite but this soup was pretty good.

Nettle, Sunchoke and Ramp Soup

2 tablespoons butter or oil
1 small yellow onion, medium diced
1 pound peeled sunchokes
4 cups water or low sodium chicken broth
1 bunch of greens, washed and chopped (we used nettles)
Salt and pepper
1/2 heavy cream (optional but delicious)
Shredded smoked cheddar (optional topping)

Heat butter or oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onions; cook slowly, stirring occasionally until they are translucent (don't let them brown). Add the sunchokes and the water/broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cook until the sunchokes are soft, about 15 minutes. Add the greens and cook until they wilt, about three minutes. (If you're using kale, let cook five minutes.) Puree the soup with an immersion blender (or in batches in a blender or food processor) until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Optional: you may pass soup through a strainer to take out the little bits and make it smoother. For a creamier version, add the heavy cream at the end and heat through. We topped the soup with some shredded smoked cheddar. Makes 4 servings.

Tagliatelle With Parsnips And Bacon
Adapted from Babbo

I had a fantastic afternoon at the spa last week and came home to this dish made with fresh pasta. Awesome.

Tagliatelle With Parsnips And Bacon

1/4 pound bacon or pancetta, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 pounds parsnips, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
8 ounces pasta (fresh pasta if you have it)
1/4 cup chopped green onion (or parsley)
Salt and pepper
Grated parmesan

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, add the chopped bacon to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until the bacon is browned, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and let drain on a couple paper towels. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat.

Turn the heat to medium and add the butter to skillet with the bacon fat. Add the parsnips and cook for about 12 minutes, stirring often. They should be lightly browned and very tender. Turn off the heat.

Cook pasta according to the directions on the box. When done, reserve 2 cups of the cooking water and then add the pasta directly to the skillet with the parsnips. Turn heat to high and add about 1 1/2 cups of the cooking water, the bacon, and the green onions. Cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Add more of the cooking water if it looks too dry. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4.

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler
Birchwood Cafe Recipe from The Minnesota Homegrown Cookbook

This was the best strawberry rhubarb cobbler I've ever had. There will be no need to try other recipes from now on. We took this to our friends' house for dinner and didn't have the opportunity to take a very good photo but you get the idea.

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler

Burdock Chips

Definitely my favorite way to enjoy burdock. We had these with some fish (fish and chips) and a nice spinach salad.

Burdock Chips

Ramp Tart
From Eggs on Sunday

We threw this together at the last minute and I forgot to plan ahead and make my own ricotta, resulting in a quick trip to the store, and we realized we didn't have any bacon. Fail! It was still pretty good but it could have used the bacon. Mmm bacon.

Ramp Tart

For the tart crust:
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
8 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons ice water, plus more as needed

For the tart filling:
4 slices of good quality bacon
1 large shallot, sliced
3 cups (packed) spinach
1 1/2 cups ricotta
1 large egg
salt and pepper, to taste
about 18 ramps, cleaned and bulb ends trimmed

In a food processor, combine the flours and salt and pulse to combine. Add the pieces of cold unsalted butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the 3 tablespoons ice water, then pulse in 1 second bursts until the mixture resembles curds and clumps (you can add a little more water if needed.) Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface, gather it together in a ball, flatten into a disk shape and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or more.

To pre-bake the tart shell, roll it out and fit it into a 9-inch tart pan, trimming off any excess (you can save the excess dough to patch any tears that might appear in the dough.) Prick the bottom of the shell with a fork all over, then lay a piece of foil into the shell and fill the foil with dried beans (they’ll act as weights to keep the shell from puffing up in the oven.) Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and beans and bake for an additional 7 minutes or so, until the dough loses it’s glossiness and turns ever so slightly golden brown around the edges. Remove the shell from the oven, keeping it in the pan, and cool on a rack.

When you’re ready to assemble the tart, cook the bacon in a large, heavy saute pan until browned and crisp. Remove to a cooling rack to drain off any excess fat. Pour off the bacon fat (save it to cook other things with!) until there’s about a tablespoon left in the pan. Return the pan to medium high heat and saute the sliced shallots until softened, then add the spinach and cook the mixture just until wilted.

Transfer the spinach/shallot mixture to the bowl of a food processor. Add the ricotta cheese, egg, and a generous pinch of freshly ground black pepper (I found it didn’t need much additional salt since the bacon is kind of salty.) Puree the mixture until the spinach is chopped, and set aside.

In the same pan you used to cook the bacon and spinach, add the whole ramps and a little bit of water. Cook just until the ramp greens have wilted, and set aside.

Transfer the ricotta/spinach mixture into the tart shell. Top with the crumbled bacon slices, then arrange the wilted ramps over the top. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet, and bake for about 35-45 minutes in a 375 degree F oven, until the top is just starting to turn brown, the filling is slightly puffed and set, and the crust is golden brown. Serves 4 generously.

Nettle Risotto, Ramps Biscuits, and Arugula, Watermelon and Feta Salad

This was a heavenly meal. Even the nettle risotto! A friend of mine, Clare, thought the nettles would ruin the risotto (she's also not a fan) but I have to say that it worked well! The ramp biscuits were to die for as was the salad.

Nettle Risotto & Ramp Biscuit

Arugula, Watermelon & Feta Salad

Risotto with Nettles
From Joanne Weir, via Mariquita Farm

6 ounces nettles, stems removed
2 cups homemade chicken stock
2 cups water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, minced (I used some ramps)
1 cup Arborio
3/4 cup dry white wine, preferable Sauvignon Blanc
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Place the chicken stock and water in a sauce pan and heat until it is hot but not boiling. Reduce the heat to low and maintain the heat just below a simmer. Place a ladle in the pan.

Warm the olive oil in a large heavy casserole over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 10 minutes. Add the rice and nettles and stir for 2 to 3 minutes to toast the rice and coat with oil.

Add the wine and simmer, stirring constantly, until the wine has reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Add a few ladlefuls of stock to the rice and stir to wipe the rice away from the sides and the bottom of the pot. Continue to stir until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add another ladleful of stock and continue to stir until the liquid has been almost absorbed. Continue to add stock and stir in the same manner until the rice is no longer chalky, 20 to 25 minutes total, depending upon the variety of rice. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and add another ladleful of stock, the butter and the half of Parmigiano. Cover the pan and let sit covered off the heat for 5 minutes. Remove the cover and stir. Place the risotto in a bowl and serve immediately. Top with remaining parmesan.

Ramp Biscuits
from Bon Appetit

When we made these before, I don't think we did the egg wash or cracked coriander. That was a mistake. See previous blog post for recipe.

Watermelon, Arugula, and Feta Salad
From Serious Eats

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 small shallots, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 large bunches of arugula (6 cups packed), washed and dried
2 cups cubed seedless watermelon
1 cup (4 ounces) French feta cheese, crumbled

Combine oil, vinegar, and shallots; mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper; let stand 5 minutes. Arrange arugula on 4 serving plates or bowls. Arrange watermelon and cheese on top of arugula; drizzle with dressing. Serves 4.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A few favorites

We made two of our favorites the past two days: chive spread and ramp risotto.

Chive Spread

We have a ridiculous amount of chives and one way to use quite a few of them is a simple chive spread. I've adapted a recipe I've found online: stir together a larger tub of whipped cream cheese, container of 2% greek yogurt, a bunch of chopped chives and some garlic powder. Delicious!

Bagel with Chive Cream Cheese and Watercress

Ramp Risotto

Still my favorite way to enjoy ramps! Look back to 2009 for the original post on ramp risotto for the recipe.

Ramp Risotto 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Goat Cheese and Chive Gnocchi with Asparagus

Mike commented at dinner tonight that we find making a dish two years in a row redundant. It's true! We say things like, "should we make Ramp Risotto again? But we made it last year! Maybe we should try something new."

We rarely eat the same meal twice with the exception of beans and rice and friday night pizza but even that is always tweaked differently. There a few things we've had several times but our weekly menus are almost entirely always full of new recipes. That's strange, right? Maybe I should make a list of recipes that we have made more than once. That might be interesting.

Back to the gnocchi! We all gobbled this up (Owen was more impressed with the gnocchi than the asparagus but Jillian ate nearly an adult portion). We said this one made it to our "make again...some year!" list.

Goat Cheese and Chive Gnocchi with Asparagus
Recipe from the kitchn

Goat Cheese and Chive Gnocchi with Asparagus

4 ounces goat cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup fresh chives, chopped
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 - 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 lb. asparagus, washed and trimmed
3 tablespoons butter

In a small mixing bowl, combine goat cheese, Parmesan, egg, 1/4 cup chives and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix with a fork until smooth. Add flour a spoonful at a time until dough comes together but is still a little wet.

Lightly flour a work surface and line a jelly roll pan with wax paper. On the floured surface, knead dough for about a minute. If it's still a little sticky, add some flour as needed, a spoonful at a time.

Divide dough in half. Flour hands and roll into each piece back and forth until it becomes a rope about 1-inch thick. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces. If desired, roll each piece against the back of a fork to add texture. Place gnocchi on wax paper-lined pan and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Bring a pot of water to boil for the gnocchi.

Meanwhile, cut asparagus on the bias into 1/2-inch pieces. Steam for about 2 minutes, remove from heat and set aside.

When water is boiling, salt generously. Add gnocchi and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until they rise to the surface. Drain and set aside.

In a large sauce pan, heat butter over medium heat until it begins to brown. Add the asparagus, gnocchi, 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining chives. Cook for 1 minute. Add black pepper to taste. Serve. Garnish with chive blossoms if desired.

serves 2-4

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Quinoa, Crepes and Beans with Rice

Quinoa Burgers

My friend Clare posted this Quinoa Burger recipe on another friend's blog. I have to admit, that Quinoa isn't my favorite food but maybe that's because I haven't had it this way? I really enjoyed these Quinoa burgers. I had a little trouble getting them to hold together and had to increase the heat to medium high in order for them to be a solid burger. Maybe Clare can show me her trick.

Quinoa Burgers

Banana & Salted Caramel Crepes
Adapted from this recipe

This was our Easter breakfast and it was so incredibly delicious. It was Mike's first time making crepes and he did a great job. Next time, I vote for nutella crepes!

Banana & Salted Caramel Crepes

Beans & Rice

Over the winter, we made a habit of eating beans & rice once a week. It's cheap, easy and we all love it. We'd mix up the toppings and sometimes use dry beans and sometimes use the time-saving canned beans. It will be great when we get into the tomatoes, onions and peppers season this summer!

Weekly Staple - Beans & Rice

Making it at home

We've been trying to make more and more food at home. This includes bread, pizza dough, ricotta and has now branched out to pasta. We had the opportunity to make some pasta for our dinner club and it's amazingly easy. I hope to make more of our pasta at home but sometimes we need to speed things up with a box of dry pasta.

In preparation for our dinner, we made a basic fettucini earlier in the week. For our dinner club, we made ravioli (homemade dough) with asparagus and ricotta (homemade). It was quite delicious, if I do say so myself.

Pasta Al Pomodoro (homemade noodles)

Little Helper

Making of Ricotta and Asparagus Ravioli

Pasta with Ramps

Ramps are a little slice of heaven. No kidding! They are right up there in my favorites with arugula and tiramisu. I was a little worried about trying this recipe because I didn't want to waste the ramps on a mediocre meal. I am relieved to report that it was tasty and that the dish was simple enough for the ramps to shine. Next week, we'll be making ramp risotto. Yummmm!

Pasta with Ramps

Pasta with Ramps

From The Splendid Table

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds fresh ramps
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or half oil and half butter
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 pound dry pasta, in any shape, such as penne, linguine or orecchiette
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino cheese

To prepare the ramps, trim off the roots with a paring knife and slip off any discolored or dead skin that clings to the bulbs. Wash the ramps in several changes of water and drain well. (As you clean the ramps, stack into loose bundles, so the bulbs and leaves are lined up; this will make them easier to cut). Place on a cutting board and cut off the bulbs; cut the leaves in half crosswise. Reserve both bulbs and leaves. Put a large pot of water on to boil.

In a large non-stick skillet set over low heat, combine the ramp bulbs, olive oil and 1/3 cup water; cover and cook until the bulbs are soft, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the pepperoncino and cook, tossing frequently, about 1 minute. With a tablespoon, scoop about 1 tablespoon of the oil into a small bowl and reserve. Add the ramp greens to the pan along with 1/2 teaspoon salt and about 3 tablespoons water. Cover and cook over moderately high heat, tossing frequently, until the greens are tender and the water has completely evaporated, about 5 minutes. (If the water evaporates before the greens are cooked, add a tablespoon or two more to the pan. If too much water is left in the pan once the vegetables are cooked through, uncover, increase the heat to high and boil it off, or simply drain it off). Turn the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bulbs and greens are meltingly tender and the greens are no longer stringy. Turn off the heat.

Meanwhile, salt the boiling water well. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still slightly firm to the bite. Using a measuring cup, scoop out about 1/4 cup of the cooking water and reserve. Drain the pasta well.

Pour the reserved cooking water back into the pasta pot. Add the reserved ramp oil, and the cooked ramps and bring to a boil for 30 seconds. Add the drained pasta and toss to coat, seasoning with salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper. Divide the pasta among four warm shallow soup bowls, spooning some of the vegetables over each. Serve at once, passing the cheese on the side.

Serves 4

Salmon Cakes with Sorrel Sauce and Spinach Salad

This was a delicious meal - we will definitely be eating this again! Thank you, Martha Stewart (I don't say that often)! A note of caution - Mike said the sauce wasn't great on it's own but it was phenomenal on top of the salmon. So, don't try to improve the sauce until you taste it with a bit of salmon.

Salmon Cakes with Sorrel Sauce & Over Wintered Spinach Salad

Salmon Cakes with Sorrel Sauce

From Martha Stewart

1 pound cooked or canned salmon, flaked
2/3 cup cooked potato, from Crisp Potato Skins
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups thinly sliced fresh sorrel leaves (4 ounces)
1/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Mix salmon, potato, eggs, scallions, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the pepper in a bowl. Form into twelve 2 1/2-inch cakes.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the cakes, and cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining oil and cakes.

Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add sorrel and parsley, and cook for 2 minutes. Puree with lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a blender or a food processor until smooth.

Spoon sauce over salmon cakes, and serve immediately.

Sunchoke and Chive Soup

I'll be honest, I don't go crazy over sunchokes. Last year we did pretty well with them but they started to accumulate toward the end of the season and we had to throw some out. This year we vowed to not let any carry over to the next week.

I don't like sunchokes, but I did think this soup was pretty good. And, the bacon isn't optional in my opinion!

Sunchoke & Chive Soup with Spinach Salad

Sunchoke and Chive Soup
From the Harmony Valley Farms Newsletter, May 2007, Week 19

1 lb sunchokes, unpeeled
2 ½ cups vegetable stock
½ bunch chives
1 cup milk
6 slices bacon (optional)
4 Tbsp sour cream (optional)
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 plus 1/8 tsp white pepper

- Cut Sunchokes into 1" chunks. Put into a medium saucepot and add
vegetable stock. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer
gently until the sunchokes are tender. Remove from heat and drain off
liquid into a separate container. Reserve the cooking liquid to add back
to the soup to adjust the consistency.
- In a blender, puree sunchokes, adding cooking liquid as needed to get a
fine puree. Cut chives into 1" pieces and blend into sunchokes along with
milk, salt and pepper.
-Pour the soup back into the saucepot and bring back to a simmer. Adjust
seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.
- Slice bacon into small strips and cook over medium heat in a sauté pan
until crisp. Drain and reserve.
- To serve, ladle hot soup into bowls and garnish with bacon and a dollop of
sour cream if desired.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

April Eats

Only a few more weeks until our first CSA delivery! Can't wait. Until then, I'm trying to entertain myself with some new recipes and some old favorites.

Pulled Pork with Apple Slaw

Loved the pulled pork and loved the apple slaw. Mike and I added extra Tabasco on our sandwich. What put this meal over the top was eating it the next day on a homemade baguette. Delicious!

Pulled Pork with Apple Slaw on Homemade Baguette

Pulled Pork
from A Year of Slow Cooking

4 pounds boneless pork shoulder
1 onion, sliced in rings
2 cups ketchup (a 24oz bottle seems to be exactly 2 cups. weird.)
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Use a 6 quart crockpot. Trim meat, and place into your crockpot. Add sliced onion. Squeeze in 2 cups of ketchup, and then pour 1/2 cup warm water into the ketchup bottle and shake. Pour the ketchup-y water into your crock. Add vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire, Tabasco and salt. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until meat shreds easily with a fork.

Apple Slaw
from All Recipes

3 cups chopped cabbage
1 unpeeled red apple, cored and chopped
1 unpeeled Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped
1 carrot, grated
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, red apple, green apple, carrot, red bell pepper, and green onions. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Pour dressing over salad.

Peanut Butter Snickers Cookies

Do you like peanut butter? Chocolate Chips? Caramel? Cookies? GO MAKE THESE NOW. And if you have a little helper like I do, bring them along but don't let them eat all the snickers.

Snickers Cookies

Mom's Little Helper

Recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chopped Snickers Peanut Butter Squared candy bars
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix until combined. Add the milk and the vanilla extract and mix again.

Add the flour mixture and beat until flour disappears. Stir in the chopped Snickers and chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets. Gently flatten each cookie ball with the palm of your hand. Bake for 10-11 minutes, or until cookies are slightly brown on the edges.

Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Friday Night Pizza

This week's pizza was made with spinach, goat cheese, roasted red peppers and leftover homemade marinara (Mario Batali Simple Marinara). Yum!

Pizza with Spinach, Goat Cheese, Red Peppers and Homemade Marinara

Cinnamon Rolls

I've been wanting to make these for a long time. Why did I wait so long?! Pure heaven. They were quite easy to make, too. Time consuming but simple. I wanted to eat the entire pan but I found strength and froze most of the pan for later indulgence. The recipe is from one of my very favorite baking books - The Weekend Baker. The author gives great directions and always provides make-ahead directions.

Cinnamon Rolls with Icing

Cumin Roasted Cauliflower Soup
from Serious Eats

We've been meaning to try out some of the recipes from the Eat for Eight Bucks series on Serious Eats and finally got around to trying this soup. The verdict? Easy, delicious and cheap! Perfect!

Cumin Roasted Cauliflower Soup

1 medium head cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon salt
1 large onion, diced
1 garlic clove
3-4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Cayenne Pepper
¼ cup heavy cream
Cilantro for garnish (optional)

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut cauliflower into 2-inch florets. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, toss cauliflower with 1 tablespoon of oil, salt, and cumin to coat. Roast in the oven until the cauliflower is just beginning to turn golden brown, but still has a little bite to it, about 20 minutes.

In a medium Dutch oven or lidded saucepan, heat the remaining oil over a medium flame. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for an addition minute. Add the cauliflower, stock, and a dash of cayenne, and bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until the cauliflower is very tender, about 10 minutes.

Puree the soup using an immersion blender, or a standing blender. Return to the pot and add the cream. Thin the soup as necessary with additional stock until you reach your desired consistency. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt and cayenne to taste. Serve.

Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Pasta

I loved the simple flavors of this pasta. I can't locate the recipe for this one but all I did was roast some cauliflower and chickpeas (with olive oil) until the chickpeas begin to have a crunch to them. Toss that with the cooked pasta. Throw on some croutons (bake some chopped crusty bread for about 10 minutes while the other stuff is roasting) and top with a dollop of ricotta. And don't forget to salt the pasta water! Easy peasy!

Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Pasta with Ricotta

Hot German Slaw

What do you do with some leftover cabbage? Make hot german slaw! Good for your soul but not for your arteries.

Hot German Slaw

Baked Ziti

This recipe is from March 2009 Cooks Illustrated (psst...). I will continue to make this recipe my entire life. It's absolutely perfect.

Baked Ziti

Sunday, April 3, 2011

End of Winter Doldrums

I can barely stand the wait until our first box of fresh veggies from the farm. We're going with Harmony Valley again this year and can't wait for spring's bounty of radishes, ramps, arugula, asparagus, etc.

In the meantime, I've been experimenting with slow cooker recipes and bread baking.

Sweet & Sour Chicken (from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook)

This was okay. Not great and I wouldn't make it again. Bummer.

Sweet & Sour Chicken

St. Patrick's Day

Ever since I can remember, my family has celebrated St. Patrick's Day with a corned beef dinner. The funny thing is that I don't think we're Irish. Scottish, maybe, but not Irish. The last 5 or so years, I've been using the same soda bread recipe. Perhaps soda bread should be dry but I like mine moist. This makes phenomenal french toast the next day.

Soda Bread

Wild Rice Soup

Sometimes you just need some creamy wild rice soup that will stick to your ribs. Well, at least I do. Love the recipe from A Good Appetite.

Wild Rice Soup


Mike received an Ebelskiver pan for Christmas two years ago and has made some tasty creations. They usually contain something sweet inside - raspberry jam, nutella, etc. This time we decided to go savory with the Reuben Ebelskiver. Delicious.

Reuben Ebelskivers - cooking

Reuben Ebelskivers

Sugar Crusted Popovers

This recipe had been circulating on my facebook feed and I needed to give it a try. It was pretty much like eating a donut. Yum! I need to make popovers more often. They're so easy!

Sugar-Crusted Popovers

Bread Baking

It was a long week. Mike worked 7 days in a row and my little man had been sick for four days. We were stuck at home and I was getting bored. So, what do I do? Try my hand at artisan bread! Mike usually does the bread baking but I decided to give it a shot, too. I made a simple batard for my first loaf. It turned out quite well! I have dough in the refrigerator for another loaf. Maybe I'll make a baguette and practice my shaping skills some more.

My first artisan loaf - simple batard

I have a fun menu lined up for this week - stay tuned!