Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Red Quinoa and Squash Salad

I found this on Epicurious and can be used as a side salad or a main course.
The squash is best if using medium or small ones and the grains and nuts can be changed out.

Red Quinoa and Squash Salad
1 cup cooked red quinoa (follow package directions) Cooled
1 pound assorted summer squash
2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 sup fresh basil leaves, torn
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan
Cut squash into 1/8th inch slices, some crosswise and some lengthwise.
Put in a squash in a large bowl, season with salt and toss to coat. Let sit until slightly wilted, about 15 minutes. Rinse under cold water, drain and pat dry.
Combine squash, quinoa, parsley, walnuts and basil in a large bowl.
Pour dressing over and toss to coat.
Garnish with shaved Parmesan

1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated
2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon Sherry vinegar
6 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and fresh pepper, to taste
In a small bowl, whisk lemon zest, grated Parmesan, lemon juice, and vinegar, gradually whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pomegranate and Persimmon Salad

Pomegranate and Persimmon Salad
This beautiful, jeweled salad looks great on any fall table.  I learned this recipe from Mary Ellen Carter and have used it for years to bring color and freshness to fall and winter menus.
1 head of butter lettuce or red leaf lettuce, cut into bite size pieces.
1 Fuyu persimmons, cut into chunks
Note: If persimmon is very ripe, leave skins on. If not peel skins with a knife.
1 pomegranate, seeds removed (cut in half and gently remove the membrane to free seeds)
1/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped (optional)
Put the tender leaves of butter or red leaf lettuce in a large salad bowl.
Add persimmons and hazelnuts.
Gently toss with the salad dressing.
Sprinkle the salad with the pomegranate seeds.

Salad Dressing:
1 teaspoon orange zest, grated
2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl, add to salad just before serving.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Puff Pastry Spirals

Puff Pastry Spirals
A quick little hot, puff pastry appetizer, inspired by the classic Alsace tart.
 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
3 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
5 slices apple bacon, chopped, cooked and cooled
1/2 cup diced onion, caramelized in 1 teaspoon olive oil and cooled
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water

Let puff pastry thaw in fridge.
Lay puff pastry out on a floured surface. Whisk egg yolk and water together and brush on puff pastry sheet.
Sprinkle the cheese over pastry to cover almost to the end. Do the same with the bacon and onion.
Roll the pastry tight and cut the roll into about 16 slices and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Put in fridge for about 30 minutes.
Bake pastry rolls in 400F. oven for 12-15 minutes or until light brown.
Best served warm.
Note: The cheese can be change out, along with a variety of herbs.
I also made some with another sheet using blue cheese, chopped Marcona almonds and a little drizzle of honey.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Warm Olives with Rosemary and Lemon

This quick hors d'oeuvre has the great flavors of the Mediterranean and can be changed up by using different herbs, also for a little kick, add crushed red peppers.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Warm Olives with Rosemary, Garlic and Lemon
zest from 1 lemon
1 sprig of rosemary
2 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
1 pound of mixed olives, (example: Kalamata, Nicoise, cracked green Sicilian etc.)

In a medium saucepan, combine the oil, lemon zest, rosemary and garlic. Cook over medium heat until the garlic just begins to brown. Remove from the heat and stir in the olives. Let stand for at least 20 minutes before serving.
If making ahead of time, warm gently before serving.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Baked Walnut-Cinnamon Apples

We are still picking apples off the tree! A good dessert for a cool evening, warm baked apple with cinnamon.
Baked Walnut-Cinnamon Apples
4 apples
1 cup raisins
1/4 cups walnuts
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup water
Preheat oven to 375F.
Core and pierce apples with a fork in several places around the center to prevent apple from bursting.
Mix raisins, nuts, cinnamon, and vanilla in a small bowl.

Fill apples with mixture and put in a glass baking dish and pour water in the pan. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes or until tender.
Top with creme fraiche if desired.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Cauliflower Soup with Hazelnut Butter Float

The addition of Hazelnut Butter makes this a delightful fall soup.
Cauliflower Soup with Hazelnut Butter Float
2 Tablespoon butter
1 pound of cauliflower, broken in florets
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

In a stock pot, melt butter, add all the vegetables and saute about 8 minutes, do not brown. Add stock and bring to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender.
Transfer to a blender and puree.
If you prefer a richer soup, add 1 cup of half and half.
 Serve soup hot, topped with a dollop of Hazelnut Butter

Hazelnut Butter:
1/2 pound unsalted butter
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and crushed
zest and juice of a lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper, ground
2 Tablespoons fresh chives, minced
Bring butter to room temperature. Add all ingredients to a bowl and whip until light and fluffy. Roll in saran wrap and form into logs.
Can freeze for future, use on top of fish, chicken, pasta or rolls.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Peanut Butter Cups

This is another recipe from Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats. Although the recipe calls for almond butter, I substituted peanut butter, but look forward to trying it with almond butter in the future.
1 bag (12 ounces) non dairy semi-sweet chocolate chips
Peanut Butter Cups
1 cup smooth or crunchy peanut butter (or almond butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons confectioners sugar
2 Tablespoons almond milk

Line 16 mini muffin cups with mini muffin liners.
In a double boiler over medium-low heat, melt half of the chocolate chips.
Drop about 1 teaspoon into each muffin liner and spread with the back of a spoon to coat the liner. Chill in the freezer for about 10 minutes, until solid.

In a small bowl, mix together, peanut butter, vanilla extract, sugar and milk until smooth.
Once the chocolate shells are chilled, divide peanut butter mixture evenly and fill the shells. Put in freezer again while melting the remaining chocolate.
Melt the remaining chocolate and top the filled cups with a smooth layer of chocolate, spreading out to the edges of paper lining. Chill once again, another 10 minutes.
 Store the cups in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container, serve chilled.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Creamy Dill Sauce

Having picked up some fresh dill from the farmers market, I decided to make a little sauce to go with tonights salmon. After putting what I thought may be too much sauce on Bakes salmon, he asked for more as it was great with the potatoes too!
I suggest the sauce be made a few hours in advance to allow all the flavors to meld. And I put a little smear of the sauce on the salmon before I cooked it. This recipe can be changed up for the flavors that you prefer, by adding lemon zest, more Dijon, more horseradish etc.
Creamy Dill Sauce

1/4 cup mayo or Vegenaise
1/4 cup sour cream or yogurt
1 Tablespoon shallot, finely diced
1 Tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon prepared horseradish
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl and chill until ready to use.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Apple, Manchego and Marcona Almond Salad

It is fall and we are still picking apples off the tree! One of my favorite snacks is sliced, fresh cut apples along side a Spanish cheese, made from sheep's milk called Manchego and a handful of Spanish Marcona almonds. What about combining all to create a fall salad?
Apple, Manchego, and Marcona Almond Salad
2 Honeycrisp apples, cored and thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 cups salad mix, baby greens and Arugula combined
2 ounces Manchego cheese, sliced like the apples
1/4 cup Marcona almonds

1 small shallot, chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon sherry vinegar
salt and fresh pepper, to taste
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Blend shallot, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper together in a food processor. Add oil and combine.

For the salad, toss the apples with lemon juice to prevent browning. In a large salad bowl, combine salad greens, apples, cheese and almonds and toss with enough dressing to coat salad.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Taco Salad

1 head iceberg lettuce, cleaned and shredded
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Taco Salad
12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
6 green onions, sliced
4 Tablespoons sour cream (optional)
4 Tablespoons fresh salsa (optional)
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
corn tortillas chips
1 lime, quartered

Meat mixture:
1 1/2 pound lean ground beef
2 Tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon oregano
pinch of red chili pepper

In a skillet over medium heat, saute the meat until brown. Add chili pepper, cumin
garlic salt, onion powder, paprika, oregano, and chili pepper. (alternately use package of taco mix) and heat.
Place corn chips on a plate, top with heaping amount of lettuce. Spoon some of the meat mixture on top. Garnish with cheese, cilantro, tomato and onions. Top with avocado, salsa and sour cream if desired. Serve with a slice of lime.
Note: This can be served in one large salad bowl or 4 individual ones.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall Apple Syrup

With the abundance of apples on the tree and lots of apple crisps having been made, I got thinking of apple cider and with that concept, making apple syrup.
Try this on pancakes or waffles, or like the photo, on top of yogurt for breakfast or ice cream for dessert.
Apple Syrup
 3 cups fresh apple juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 Tablespoon-1/4 cup brown sugar
1 grind of fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Whisk all ingredients together and put in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook until mixture is reduced by about half.

Friday, October 5, 2012


Tapenade is great on French bread or crackers, the olive paste a staple of sunny Mediterranean countries. Spread over feta cheese for an appetizer, spooned on fish or vegetable soup for a main course.

1 cup pitted Nicoise or Kalamata olives
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 Tablespoon capers
2 anchovy fillets
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
fresh pepper, to taste

Combine olives, garlic, capers, anchovies, and lemon juice in the food processor. Slowly add olive oil.
Can be stored in the fridge up to 5 days.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cannellini Bean Spread

Cannellini Bean Spread on Crostini
1 can (14oz) Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until blended.
Allow to sit about an hour for flavors to meld and then put in crock or on crostini.
To make crostini, slice a baguette and brush sides with olive oil and grill until golden brown.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Basil Pesto

I love summer and being able to go out and pick a variety of fresh herbs and vegetables. I think basil has to be my favorite herb. So sad today to pick the rest of the basil, as it signals the end of summer.
Basil Pesto
The house is so fragrant with this beautiful herb and to prolong the taste of summer, we make basil pesto.
Once pesto is made, this emerald beauty can be frozen to use during the winter months or freshly made on tomato salad or as a sauce over pasta. Here are a few ideas.
-Combine with mayo or use as a sandwich spread.
-Mix with yogurt for a vegetable dip.
-Put a dollop on top of tomato or minestrone soup.
-Place on top of mashed potatoes or roasted vegetables
I'm sure you will find many more uses, and please share them!

Basil Pesto
2 cloves garlic, peeled
4 cups fresh basil leaves, washed and stemmed
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3-4 Tablespoon olive oil
Pasta with pesto cream and crab
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Put garlic and basil in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add pine nuts and lemon juice. Drizzle in olive oil. Stir in Parmesan cheese and pepper.
If not using right away, put pesto in a jar with a skim of olive oil and top with plastic wrap and put in the fridge, it will keep for several weeks, or freeze.
Tonight the Bake came home from the last day of catching fresh crab. Dinner was pasta with a cream and basil pesto sauce, topped with fresh crab and garden cherry tomatoes.