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Showing posts from June, 2020

cranberry bean, sausage and spinach soup

I love cranberry beans and this soup recipe with homemade pork sausage is one of my favorites made with these classic heirloom beans.  First I make a big pot of beans, always flavoring my beans with Mediterranean bay laurel leaves, then I freeze what we don't eat for later.  I get a lot of mileage out of a 16 ounce bag of beans. During the first weeks of our Corona Virus quarantine the bean shelves at our markets were either empty or largely picked over and there's a good reason for that, homemade beans are an easy to prepare, delicious and healthy food.  First you soak them overnight in cool water and in the morning place the beans with the  soaking water in a large pot and add flavorings, like onions, carrots and bay leaves.  Then bring to a boil and simmer until tender -for a few hours, depending on the beans and that's it, so simple, delicious and good for you. I also add a spoonful of salt to my beans towards the end of cooking and often the beans need extra water as

Tahini Blondies with Chocolate Chips

Tahini Blondies with Chocolate Chips Tahini Blondies are one of my favorite inventions, for sure it is their relationship to halvah.  I love these delightful bar cookies cut into small pieces served on a plate with a small cup of espresso as an afternoon pick me up.  I would also try a sprinkling of sesame seeds on top or crumbles of chocolate halvah to finish these blondies.  I like making a pan of tahini blondies for gifting, it's the gift that will make your friends and family very happy. Ingredients 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled 1&1/2 cups light brown sugar 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste 1 cup tahini, stirred well, I use Soom Premium Tahini 1 cup all purpose flour 1/2 cup spelt flour 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 teaspoon baking powder 4 ounce bittersweet chocolate chips Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling Preheat the oven to 350F Line a 9x13 metal baking pan with parchment and spray with baker's spray. Whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar in a l

lemon, chia and ricotta muffins

Lemon, Chia and Ricotta Muffins I can't say chia seeds without saying chi chi chia and then pet, which has nothing to do with baking these wonderful soft lemony ricotta muffins. It has to do with those stupid chia pet commercials, who knew that you could actually bake with chia seeds, no growing long chia pet hair involved. Meyer lemons add a special lemon scent to these muffins and I've made them several times with Meyers because they're so good for baking in any recipe that calls for fresh lemon zest or juice. I don't see why poppy seeds couldn't be substituted for the slightly crunchy chia seeds.  Lemon, Chia and Ricotta Muffins  makes 12 muffins 2&1/2 cups self raising flour 1 cup granulated sugar 2 T finely grated lemon zest 1/3 cup black chia seeds, plus extra for sprinkling on top 1 cup whole milk ricotta 2 eggs, lightly beaten 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 cup Greek style yogurt 1/2 cup vegetable oil lemon glaze 1 cup confectioners sugar 1&1/2 ta

tomato salad with basil, pine nuts and sumac shallots

  Tomato salad is a Summer favorite, especially with basil.  Dinner is just a whole lot better with tomatoes, sometimes I find myself slicing up a few cherry tomatoes just to add color to my plate.  Mostly I like a big sliced tomato salad, a large commitment to tomatoes, just throw myself into it.  This is a fun tomato recipe with a little crunch from the toasted pine nuts, a lot of flavor from the Sumac shallots Marinated in white wine vinegar and if you really want to go big, add soft goat cheese in big clumpy slices- perfect pillows for the shallots and sumac.  Now I'm happy. Tomato Salad with Basil, Pine Nuts and Sumac Shallots 1 large shallot, sliced thin 1 & 1/2 T sumac 1 T white wine vinegar Sea salt, pinch 2 large tomatoes, sliced 18 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half 2 T extra virgin olive oil 1/2 cup, lightly packed fresh basil leaves 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts Soft goat cheese, sliced (optional) Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste Place shallot slices, sumac,

basil marinade for chicken skewers

Sweet Basil is the happy herb, the bugs don't like it so they don't nibble the leaves when nobody's looking, so that means more of those luscious green leaves for me to harvest for dinner.  I found this recipe in a cookbook a few years ago, how many years we won't get into that now, but over time I've changed a few of the ingredients and the quantities to reflect my own tastes, which is how most favorite recipes evolve over time to reflect your style of eating. Last week it seemed like everyone I know was eating skewers for dinner so I jumped on the bandwagon and brought back this recipe for basil marinade, just in time to marinate chunks of skinless boneless chicken breast from my favorite local market, I'm not going to call it a happy market though, that's just a bridge too far.  I kept asking my husband, do you like this marinade? do you like these chicken skewers? He said yes, yes but I think the left over chicken from dinner that we had for lunch in a s

spicy grilled corn arugula salad

I asked my husband which one he likes better, grilled corn or candy?  Of course he replied, grilled corn, no surprise there.  I've been making some form of this grilled corn salad in the Summer for years.  The latest version is made slightly spicy by adding Jalapeño and sometimes, if I have it, Jalapeño flavored olive oil.  My current recipe for this salad is simple and always evolving, so here is the latest. Spicy Grilled Corn Arugula Salad 4 ears of corn, shucked  1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion  1 jalapeño thinly sliced and finely chopped 1/4 cup chopped cilantro  1 clove of garlic, minced 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar  Juice of a fresh lime Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste  4 cups of fresh arugula  Grill the corn until nicely browned, cut the kernels off the cob when cool enough to handle and place in a large bowl or platter. Toss the kernels with the red onions, Jalapeño, cilantro, garlic, olive oil , sherry vinegar, lime ju

thai chicken with basil

  Thai chicken with basil is one of our favorite Summer dinners.  I use a small harvest of my garden grown patch of sweet basil; it's green and lush when the weather turns warm.  I like to grow an Italian variety of sweet basil but I've also grown Greek and Thai basil.  It's  basically whatever I find at the nursery or farmer's market and it's early in the season so I will most likely add a few more herbs into the garden.  I like to make this dish medium spicy so I use one jalapeño pepper for two people, which is what the following recipe serves.  I also use steamed Basmati rice because it's our favorite and I make it in a small rice cooker, which makes it easy to hold if my timing is off when preparing the Thai chicken with basil. Thai Chicken with Basil 2 cups fresh sweet basil leaves, plus a few extra sprigs for serving 1 Jalapeño pepper, stemmed and sliced 1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced thin  1 T Fish sauce 2 t Oyster sauce  2 t sugar 1 t white vinegar 2

feta mashed potato cakes with avocado tomato basil salad

Feta mashed potato cakes made with left over Greek mashed potatoes from last night's dinner, which were so delicious all on their own.  I added a simple avocado tomato salad to bring these humble potato cakes to life. First I'm sharing the mashed potato recipe then the very simple potato cakes and finally the topper fresh avocado tomato salad that I served for today's lunch. Mashed Potatoes with Feta  4 medium size Yukon Gold potatoes 1 garlic clove, minced 1/4 cup plus 2 T extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup Greek yogurt 3 T milk 8 oz Feta cheese, crumbled 2 T finely chopped parsley Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender, drain, cool and slip the skins off. Put the potatoes in a large glass bowl and mash with a potato masher. Gradually add the garlic, oil, yogurt, milk and feta cheese, mashing together until smooth and blended. Add the parsley, season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, use the left