Monday, December 7, 2009

Cranberry and Pistachio Oatmeal Lace ...

These cookies are a delicious change of pace to the regular
oatmeal raisin.  They also go along well with holiday colors.  A
great treat or addition to your holiday cookie routine!

Cranberry and Pistachio Oatmeal Lace Cookies

Makes 3 Dozen
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup granulated cane sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 cup cranberries, chopped

1/2 cup shelled pistachios, chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment.
In small bowl stir together flour, cardamon, baking soda, salt and rolled oats.
In large bowl whisk together butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla. 
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
Stir in cranberries and pistachios.
Drop 1 tablespoon of cookie dough ( I use a small ice cream scoop) onto baking sheet, spacing cookies 2 to 3 inches apart. 
Bake until cookies have spread out completely and are deep golden brown and cooked through, about 10 minutes. 
Transfer to a wire rack and cool. 
Happy Holiday!  Enjoy!

Adapted from Whole Foods Market

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Butternut Squash Galette

Butternut squash is one of my favorite fall vegetables. Usually when the cool weather hits I get a hankering for simply roasted butternut squash with a olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. The simplicity allows you to taste the natural sweetness especially when it gets nicely browned and caramelized.

Here is a recipe for a lovely Butternut Squash Galette. It's divine as the main meal with a side salad or with a lovely Italian white bean soup or minestrone.

Butternut Squash Galette
For pastry:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sage leaves or thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons ice-cold water
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

For filling:
  • 1 (2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2- by 1/4-inch slices (4 cups) or sweet potatoes or half and half . Adding a few apple slices is a nice alternative also
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced crosswise (optional)
  • 6 ounces soft mild goat cheese, crumbled (optional)

Make dough:
Pulse flour, butter, sage, and sea salt in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle ice water evenly over mixture and pulse until it just forms a ball. (Do not overwork dough, or pastry will be tough.) Gently press dough into a 5-inch disk and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.

Make filling while dough chills:
Preheat oven to 500°F with rack in middle.

Toss squash with sea salt and 1 Tbsp oil and arrange in 1 layer in a 17-by 12-inch shallow baking pan. Roast, stirring once halfway through roasting, until golden brown on edges and undersides, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove squash from oven and reduce oven temperature to 375°F.

Meanwhile, wash leeks, then cook in remaining 2 tablespoons oil with a pinch of sea salt in a 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl to cool slightly. Add squash, goat cheese, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and toss gently.

Make galette:
Roll out dough into a 13-inch round on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin. Transfer to a baking sheet. 3Arrange filling in an even layer in center of dough, leaving a 2- to 3-inch border. Fold dough in on itself to cover outer rim of filling, pleating dough as necessary. Brush pastry with beaten egg and bake galette until crust is cooked through and golden on edges, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool on baking sheet on a rack 10 minutes before serving.

Cooks' note: Pastry dough can be chilled up to 1 day. Filling can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.

Adapted from Gourmet adapted from Venus Restaurant in Berkeley, CA

Global Market Apple and Cheese Festival

I was fortunate enough to meet Sharon of the Produce Exchange in the Global Market at an event I catered where I used a home pressed apple cider glaze for the chicken. We got to talking about apples and I told her my story about growing up on an apple orchard and how I had the old apple press in my possession which led to me pressing 3 cases of lovely local apples at the Apple and Cheese Festival. It was really fun. The kids got into it and I definitely got a good upper body work out that day. I left sticky, refreshed, and energized by the awesome energy I received from interacting with so many wonderful people. It made me realize how much I enjoy being around people, talking with people, and sharing my knowledge. I want to do that more!!!

Watching the apples get ground up.

Kids cranking the wheel to the apple press.

Birthday Dinner

I know this is a little after the fact being that my birthday was back in October, but I wanted to share with you the 30th birthday meal I made for my brother, his girlfriend, and I. Turning 30 wasn't that big of a deal. I know that it's one of those milestone birthdays and we think we should have everything in line by the time we reach that milestone age, but it just hasn't happened that way for me and for plenty others I'm sure. It's a good feeling to be out of the 20's and into a much more mature age bracket. I'm hoping the thirties will bring me more wisdom, less second guessing of myself, a deeper understanding of what I was put here on earth to do, and more delicious food adventures.

Kadejan Free Range Chicken Thigh and Leg
White Wine Ca
per Butter Sauce
Sauteed Kale and Yellow Squash in Brown Butter
Roasted Russet Potatoes
Santa Julia Organic Chardonnay

Me cooking it up in the kitchen.

Roasting the potatoes underneath the chicken while it cooks
lends great flavor an
d saves a pan.Yummy!

The organic chardonnay.
A lovely gift from attending my friend Erika and Tommy's Wedding.
Special wine for a special day.

Kefir Shake

Here's my recipe for a delicious kefir shake full of delicious healthy fats that will keep you full all morning long. Adapted from Full Moon Feast by Chelsea Green.

Kefir Shake
1 cup Kefir
1 tsp lemon or orange flavored cod liver oil
1 Tbsp flax seed oil
2 tsp. Intellimune oil from Intelligent Nutrients
1 frozen banana cut into chunks or 1/2 cup berries or both
1 egg yolk
1Tbsp Coconut oil
1 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Honey

1. Pour kefir, cod liver oil, banana/fruit, and egg yolk into blender. Over low heat or in a hot water bath melt coconut oil, butter and honey together.

2. Blend ingredients and slowly add warmed mixture to cold and enjoy!

Making Kefir

What is kefir you might ask.
Kefir is a cultured, enzyme-rich food filled with friendly micro-organisms that help balance your "inner ecosystem." More nutritious and therapeutic than yogurt, it supplies complete protein, essential minerals, and valuable B vitamins.

Learn more here:

I have been making kefir for the past few months using raw unpasteurized milk. I usually can't handle eating too much dairy, but the kefir is easily digested and super tasty blended with frozen fruit as a smoothie.

Here's what kefir grains look like.

How To Make Kefir
1. Place kefir grains in clean mason jar.
2. Pour milk over top of grains till desired amount.
3. Let sit on the counter for 1-2 days till runny yogurt texture is achieved.
4. Use in smoothies or strain through cheesecloth to achieve a thicker more yogurt like texture.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Last of This Season's Farmers Markets

Peppers From Swede Lake Farm

Leisa From Ames Farms with The Apples I bought to Press

Pumpkins For Sale at the Mill City Market

The farmers market season is winding down and I feel a sense of panic to buy up all the fall bounty before it's too late and we have to return to buying produce at the grocery store. I want to purchase as much as I can, blanch, shock it, and freeze it. Is this realistic? Will I eat it? Frozen vegetables are so unappealing to me unless they are pureed or put into a casserole of some sort where they can be slathered in red sauce or cream of mushroom soup. I think I will try to freeze a few things like spinach, kale, and broccoli and go from there.