recipe: squash blossoms

June 28th, 2012 | Posted by admin in RECIPES | Side Dishes - (0 Comments)

Another great day at the market and I had to pick up the beautiful yellow squash blossoms.  There are so many ways to enjoy the treat but I just love them in a beer batter fried in Canola oil.  You can stuff them with cheese and bake, or just roast with a bit of olive oil and sea salt.


• 1 bunch (12-14) squash blossoms
• 1 ¼ cups of flour
• 1 bottle of beer (your choice) add less beer if you want batter to be thicker
• Dash of chili powder, salt, and pepper
• Canola oil (¾ inch in frying pan



• Heat oil in frying pan.

• Mix flour and beer with spices.

• Coat blossoms and fry in oil.

• Place finished blossoms on paper towel to soak up any excess oil.

• To keep warm and crisp put on a sheet pan and keep warm in oven.


You may want to double this recipe as they disappear faster than you can make them!



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recipe: roasted mixed veggies

June 26th, 2012 | Posted by admin in RECIPES | Side Dishes - (0 Comments)

Roasting veggies with fresh herbs and olive oil is ways good!  We added feta cheese but you can add Parmesan.  This is a great way to enjoy summer veggies.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees; prepare veggies of your assortment, dress with oil, herbs, and cheese.  Then cook for approximately 20 minutes.



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This is Tammy Kleber’s recipe for her delicious “Three Cities of Spain” cheesecake.


• 1 ½ cups (5 oz) finely ground graham crackers or cookies such as chocolate or vanilla wafers, or gingersnaps.
• 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1/8 tsp salt


• 3 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened (I use Neufachel)
• 4 large eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 1 cup sugar


• 16 oz sour cream
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1 tsp vanilla



• Stir together crust ingredients and press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of a springform pan.  Fill right away or chill up to 2 hours.

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

• Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer or food processor until fluffy and add eggs one at a time, then vanilla and sugar, beating on low speed until each ingredient is incorporated and scraping down bowl between additions.

• Put spring form pan with crust on a shallow baking pan (to catch drips).  Pour filling into crust and bake in middle of oven 45 minutes, or until cake is set 3 inches from edge but center is still slightly wobbly when pan shakes gently.

• Let stand in baking pan on a rack 5 minutes.  Leave oven on.

• Stir together sour cream, sugar, and vanilla.  Drop teaspoonfuls of topping around edge of cake and spread gently over center, smoothing evenly.

• Bake cake with topping 10 minutes,

• Cool completely in spring from pan on rack. (Cake will continue to set as it cools)  Chill cake, loosely covered at least 6 hours.  Remove side from pan and transfer to plate.  Best when brought to room temperature before serving.




• 1 ½ pints (3 cups) blueberries
• ¾ Cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1 tablespoons cornstarch



• Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over med-high heat.

• Bring to a simmer and cook until berries break down, about 4 minutes.

• Let cool, then refrigerate, covered until cold (up to 3 days).


Note:  Unlike the gluey topping you find in a can, this one cooks down to a syrup using the fresh berries.  Can try this with other berries and fruit as well.



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farmers market potatoes

June 25th, 2012 | Posted by admin in RECIPES | Side Dishes - (0 Comments)

After a perfect morning of farmers market shopping I took the great items I had bought and made the potatoes, mushrooms, fresh thyme, and green garlic.  I also found the lemon oil at the market… it’s a great addition to pasta, veggies, and fish or chicken.  There is nothing better for cooking inspiration than a trip to the market.





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We started our Father’s Day feast this year with an appetizer of sun dried tomatoes, wet mozzarella cheese, fresh basil from the garden on asiago cheese bread.  I paired this with Starborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 from Marlborough New Zealand (90 points from the Wine Spectator).  The citrus in the lemon, grapefruit, grassy flavors and aromas paired wonderfully with the acid in the sun dried tomatoes and creaminess of the mozzarella.



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recipe: tabouli

June 21st, 2012 | Posted by admin in RECIPES | Salads - (0 Comments)

This is Mattie Kleber’s Syrian recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation.  It originally came from Damascus and when I tasted this recipe at my sister’s home I felt the history, comfort, and love that so many family recipes bring to our tables.  It’s a wonderful healthy salad that can be a meal all on its own or a side dish.  We will be serving this salad with our Shish Kabob tomorrow.



• 2 bunches of parsley, leaves only no stems, cleaned and finely chopped
• 3 large cloves of garlic
• 12 oz of baby carrots
• 3 tomatoes finely chopped
• 1 large English slicing cucumber, finely chopped
• ¾ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1/3 cup of canola oil
• 1 ¼ cups of bulgur grain #1 (fine)
• Kosher salt to taste




• The first thing to do is take the stems off the parsley and clean thoroughly.

• Rinse the parsley in a clean bowl of water and drain. You may want to repeat this several times until the water is clear.  Then put the parsley in a food processor and pulse till its finely chopped but don’t chop too much!

• Next put the carrots and garlic in the food processor and finely chop, then add to parsley mixture.

• Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

• Let it sit for at least 3 hrs. (Do not soak the wheat; it will get enough moisture from the mixture.)  After letting the salad sit give it a taste.  If you want more lemon then add and serve.





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recipe: mexican lasagne

June 13th, 2012 | Posted by admin in Entrées | RECIPES - (3 Comments)

This is a great dish to prepare ahead of time and serve for a crowd.  You can make with the beef or chicken or just veggies!  My family loves Mexican spices so its always a success at my table.



• 3 tablespoons of butter
• 4 garlic cloves
• 2 cups of fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears of corn)
• ½ cup of cream
• 1 tsp of fresh thyme chopped
• Kosher salt & pepper
• 1 small onion, thinly sliced
• 1 large or 2 small zucchinis, sliced thinly
• 3 Poblano peppers charred and peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch strips
• 1 lb lean ground beef
• 1 tablespoon of Mexican chili powder
• 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
• 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
• 12 no-boil lasagne noodles
• 2 cups of shredded Oaxaca cheese





• Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

• Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.

• Add 2 cloves of garlic and saute for approx. 1 minute.

• Mix in corn and saute for 5 minutes.  Stir in cream and thyme.

• Cook over med heat for 5 minutes then turn off and let cool.

• Put liquid in a blender/food processor and puree until smooth.  Add salt & pepper to taste.

• Brown ground beef and add cumin and chili powder.

• Drain any fat and add cilantro, set aside.

• Heat the remaining butter and cook onion until translucent.

• Add the rest of the garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Mix in Zucchini and poblano strips and cook for 5 minutes.

• Spread about 1/4 of the corn mixture over bottom of a glass baking dish.  Cover with a layer of lasagne noodles.

• Spread about 1/4 of poblano/ zucchini mixture and cheese over noodles.

• Add more noodles and layer with 1/2 of the beef mixture and then corn mixture.

• Then repeat pepper and zucchini mixture, repeat 2 more times ending with peppers and cheese.

• Bake until pasta is cooked and the edges are brown and bubbly (Approx 1 hr).

• Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.


I serve this with the tomatillo sauce you will find HERE.



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recipe: another simple cabbage slaw

June 6th, 2012 | Posted by admin in RECIPES | Salads - (0 Comments)

Add the juice of 3 limes and a dash of garlic oil, mix with shredded cabbage, sliced radishes, sliced jalapeño peppers, sliced fennel, and chopped cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste.



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recipe: simple side salad

May 24th, 2012 | Posted by admin in RECIPES | Salads - (0 Comments)

I was working hard in the land of container gardening today.  It was the perfect weather to be working outdoors… and it does make you hungry!  Tonight dinner needed to be quick and easy, but healthy and satisfying, my energy level was not high.  I did not have time to shop, so I rummaged through my fridge.  I found a container of mini heirloom tomatoes and a block of fresh feta.  So I sliced the tomatoes in half, used about a third of the block of cheese cutting it into cubes, adding 2 cups of fresh arugula from the market.  I love the farmer’s market.  I know I needed something more so I sliced a red onion for the flavor and added chopped green garlic also from the market.  I tossed the salad with red wine vinegar and olive oil, adding a dash of salt and pepper to taste.

This makes a great side salad… but I didn’t stop as I found one ear of corn so of course I cooked and sliced off the kernels to add to my salad.  I also had an avocado that needed to be used so that was chopped up and added to the mix.  I squeezed a tablespoon of lime juice on the salad and served with grilled chicken breast, fresh fruit and pilaf.  I love to improvise from my kitchen.  There were so many things I could have added or just kept this very simple with the feta, tomatoes and arugula.  This is the reason I go to the farmer’s market every Saturday.  My fridge will usually have something from the market that helps bring all my meals together.



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Ok so I’m still stuck on rhubarb!  I can’t get enough of this veggie and this is the season.



• 4 cups of fresh strawberries sliced in half
• 4 cups of fresh rhubarb sliced
• 3/4 cups of granulated sugar
• 1 ½ tsp of orange zest
• ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
• 2 tablespoons corn starch
• 1 cup flour
• ¼ cup whole wheat flour
• 1 cup of light brown sugar
• ½ tsp kosher salt
• 1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
• 10 tablespoons of butter diced



• Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

• Toss the berries and rhubarb together with ¾ cup of sugar and zest.

• Mix corn starch and orange juice then add to fruit mixture.

• Pour into an 8×11 baking dish.  Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

• For the topping, combine the flour, remaining brown sugar, salt and oatmeal.  With a           mixer and paddle attachment add in the butter until all the dry ingredients are moist and it   looks like crumbs.

• Sprinkle on top of the fruit, completely covering, and bake for approx 1 hour.

• Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.



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