It’s time to make pesto!
What’s your favorite recipe for pesto?
It’s time to make pesto!
What’s your favorite recipe for pesto?
Every now and again I’m in the mood for a grilled cheese sandwich… not just cheese, melted on bread, no, I like mine with veggies, herbs and cheese or any combination thereof. Grown-up style…
This wasn’t a ‘planned meal’ by any means, I just used what I had on hand – a bit of fresh parsley, broccoli, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and artichoke hearts. Pesto would have been good too or fresh basil, the options are endless – use what you have – get creative, have fun with an old (and easy) favorite!
Cheese, bread and veggies – what could be better? Are you vegan? Well, then, use vegan cheese!
Simply saute veggies in a bit of olive oil, add a pinch of two of salt and pepper.
Butter one side of each slice of bread (whatever kind of bread you like).
Place one slice of bread, buttered side down, onto a skillet over medium heat.
Place sauteed veggies on bread first, then top with cheese…
cover with lid (for a short time to help cheese melt), then top with second slice of bread, and flip to brown the other side.
Remove from pan, let rest a few minutes and enjoy.
Grown-up grilled cheese, yum!
Need a summer inspired sandwich – go here!
What’s your favorite sandwich?
My oh my, how time flies by…
It’s tax season here in the good ‘old U.S. of A and I’ve been consumed with organizing and entering our business receipts, sales, costs of goods sold, and all that good stuff that accompanies tax preparation…hence, my absence here…
Now, if I’d had the time throughout the year (or chose to make the time) to enter all those facts and figures each month, well, I’d have been here sooner…but, I didn’t, so I had to dedicate many days (and a few nights) to that ‘tax stack’…thankfully though, that mission is complete, and now I can get on with more fun things, like popsicle making – homemade popsicles of course!
I can’t believe its taken me so long to make these luscious lovelies. Two mangos, a bit of sugar water, limes, kosher salt and voila, incredibly refreshing and tasty popsicles – seriously tasty! The most challenging part? Waiting for them to completely freeze…
Here’s how it happened;
I had come across a fabulous book a few years ago titled, ‘jam it, pickle it, cure it and other cooking projects’, by Karen Solomon. It has all the basic ‘stuff’ (think mustard, mayo, crackers, marshmallows…) and then some. Simple ingredients, easy to follow directions and beautiful photos, plus recipes for popsicles and homemade candy – what’s not to love? I’ve tried a few of the recipes thus far, and look forward to trying many, many more, though popsicles were still on the, ‘to do soon’, list…so, when the opportunity presented itself, we made them!
Mangos happened to be on sale, there was a foot of snow on the ground, skies had been grey for days, more snow was coming … we needed something summer like – pronto – it was time to make the popsicles.
Mango lime popsicles.
Here’s what you’ll need and what to do;
Mango and Lime Pops (click to print recipe!)
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
2 small ripe mangos, peeled, pitted, and cut into chunks
1/2 cup lime juice (about 4 limes)
1/2 – 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
pinch of kosher salt
What to do;
Make a simp syrup by combining the sugar and water in small saucepan and warming over medium heat just until the sugar dissolves. Cool completely.
Combine the syrup, mangoes, lime juice, cayenne pepper, and salt in a blender or food processor.
Blend well, pour into molds (stainless if you got ’em), and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.
These can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Either store in the molds or release and wrap well in waxed paper and then store in a marked sealable plastic bag.
Best part, they aren’t so terribly full of sugar that you couldn’t enjoy them for breakfast. (:
I’m attempting to make hand made chocolate bars for Valentines day and was in need of roasted almonds…I had almonds, but not roasted almonds…after a quick (well, not so quick with my dial-up internet connection – I know, what?) search online, I realized these smokey beauties would be a cinch to make.
All you need is a bit of kosher salt, some olive oil and a cookie sheet.
I placed a cup of raw almonds in a bowl, drizzled with a bit of olive oil (just enough to coat each nut), threw in a good pinch of kosher salt – tossed well and then placed nuts onto a baking sheet.
Baking sheet went into a pre-heated 400 degree F. oven and baked for 10 minutes.
Voila – roasted almonds.
Such a simple snack to make!
Roasted nuts will keep for weeks in an airtight container…
Do you have a favorite recipe for roasted nuts?
If so, please share below!
These sublime beauties are a cinch to prepare.
In years past I’ve grown and harvested many, many beets;
though last years erratic weather prevented an abundant crop, sadly, I had only a few…
so, off to the farmers market I go!
Wash, scrub (if necessary) and remove green tops. (Steam or saute greens with a bit of olive oil, don’t just throw those beauties away…)
I usually cut off the tops and tails of each beet. These beets I felt I needed to cut off a bit more than usual…if they are freshly harvested, I cut a much smaller area…
Dampen each beet slightly with a bit of water and then wrap in foil.
I prefer wrapping each beet individually, though you could also prepare a foil packet and roast a few together. The key to either preparation is to be sure the foil is sealed. You want to be sure to keep all those lovely juices in!
Length of time depends on the size and freshness of the beet. Smaller beets take less time, larger beets, more. Also, the fresher the beet, the less time is takes to roast…smaller beets can take up to 25 minutes, while larger ones, up to an hour.
A beet is roasted once it can be easily pierced with a fork or tip of a small knife.
Now, you ask, “At what temperature do you roast?” Well, this can also fluctuate…beets are flexible with temperature…so, feel free to roast your beets while the rest of dinner is baking away, or on their own…beets are happiest between between 325 degrees F. and 425 degrees F.
If it’s only beets your roasting, then place those lovelies in a 425 degree F pre-heated oven.
I usually roast them in my cast iron skillet, but any oven safe pan will do. The foil keeps all the steam in, thus, all the resulting juices too…making clean-up a snap!
Do be careful while opening each packet as juice may spill out…beautiful deep purple juice. Staining juice…
Once cooled enough to touch, peeling is so easy that the skins simply slip off. If you don’t mind having your hands stained a crimson red for awhile, then by all means, slide those skins off with your bare hands. If not, you may prefer using gloved hands or you can also use a paring knife. Granted, using a paring knife will not prevent staining, it’s just another method…
Regretfully, I do not have any photos depicting the ease of slipping off the skins…by the time each beet had cooled enough to hold, the sun had set. My natural light had disappeared…
But, the following day, the sun shone bright and I enjoyed these lovelies sliced and sprinkled with a smidgen of kosher salt as well as in a salad of fresh spinach, goat cheese and walnuts.
Simple. Easy. Delicious.
Why not roast a few today?
Muffins. Who doesn’t like a muffin? OK, I’m sure someone, somewhere doesn’t like muffins or perhaps has never even heard of a muffin, but for me, I love muffins. Not all the time mind you, but when a situation calls for muffins, muffins I will bake.
It was our familys’ turn to provide snack for Finns’ classroom (once a month, each family is responsible for providing snack for 25 students), and since cranberry season is upon us, cranberry orange muffins only made sense.
Prefer blueberries? Check this recipe out!
Nuts (of any kind) are not allowed at Finns school (nut allergies), so I couldn’t use them, but if I could have, walnuts would have been my choice. The combination of cranberries and orange zest scream for walnuts…at least in my opinion…so if I could have, I would have added walnuts!
The tart sweetness of the cranberry, the pop of orange zest, combined with the velvety crunch of the walnuts (or not), make this recipe irresistible this time of year…
Assemble your ingredients, blend, mix and bake. Muffins in about an hour. Why not?
Cranberry Orange Muffins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 beaten egg
1 2/3 cups milk
1/4 cooking oil (I used olive oil)
2 tsp. finely shredded orange peel (or any orange – like citrus fruit – I used clementine rind)
1 cup coarsely chopped cranberries
3/4 cup chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts (optional)
Here’s what to do;
In large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
Blend in finely shredded orange peel.
Create a well in center of dry mixture.
In medium mixing bowl combine the egg, milk and oil.
Add egg mixture to the ‘well’ in the dry mixture.
Stir just until moistened – this is the key for fluffy muffins – do not over mix.
Bake for about 40 minutes, or until fork comes out clean. Rest in muffin tins until able to touch, then remove and allow to cool on rack.
Enjoy immediately or freeze for another day.
Fall is in the air…leaves are turning crimson, mustard and golden…smoke fills the morning air and being outside to enjoy it all is a necessity.
And so is snacking. Healthy snacking.
I always have snacks. Ask anyone that knows me and they’ll confirm, I always have food and beverages on hand…one never knows when hunger will strike, right?
That little tummy grumble is inevitable (especially with busy little ones), so why not be prepared with a tasty treat?
Especially one which will not only satisfy any budget, but will also appeal to the desires of both sweet and savory lovers…everyone wins…
Plus, it’s easy and only requires the most basic of ingredients and a few minutes of your time.
You’ll need one sauce pan and one baking dish.
Simply melt and mix ingredients in sauce pan…
Spoon into baking dish and bake.
Easy clean-up too (no one ever seems to mention the clean-up part of cooking and baking)…
These little nuggets are way better than any store bought protein bar, you know all the ingredients (and most likely have them on hand), plus, you’ll save money baking these beauties at home, so why not whip up a batch for your favorite people?
Mixed Nut Bars*
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 beaten egg
1/2 reaspoon vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup mixed nuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, or peanuts, coarsely chopped
Grease an 8X8 inch baking pan; set aside.
In medium saucepan heat brown sugar and butter over medium heat until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.Cool slightly
Stir in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour and baking powder until just combined. Stir in nuts. Spread battter in the prepared pan.
Bake in 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool slightly in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars while warm; cool completely in pan.
Want a little extra love in your nut bar? Sprinkle with grated chocolate or mini chocolate chips for the last few minutes of baking…
Everyone will thank you.
*Better Homes and Garden’ New baking book 1998