Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Chicken Fried Rice with Swiss Chard

I first made this recipe with bok choy out of my Misfits Market box and it was divine!  So, I googled "substitute for bok choy" and discovered that Swiss chard is a good substitute since the greens hold up well in sautéing, and the stems are a similar texture.  I definitely prefer the flavor and texture of the bok choy in this recipe (chard has kind of a strong, earthy flavor), but the chard version was still yummy, and I was thrilled to be able to find another use for Swiss chard from my garden!  

2 T. vegetable oil (I used avocado oil)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
sea salt and ground pepper
1 lb. bok choy, cored and coarsely chopped (or Swiss chard)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 c. roasted chicken, shredded
1 T. grated peeled fresh ginger (I didn't have any on hand, so I used ginger powder)
2 T. rice vinegar (I simply used Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar, my fav)
2 T. soy sauce

In large nonstick skillet, heat 1 T. oil over medium heat.  Add eggs; season with salt and pepper; cook until set, 1-3 minutes.  Transfer cooked eggs to cutting board (reserve skillet); let cool.  Roll up, and thinly slice eggs crosswise; set aside.

In skillet, heat remaining 1 T. oil over medium-high heat.  Add bok choy or Swiss chard, onion, and garlic; season with salt and pepper (skillet will be very full).  Cook, stirring frequently, until greens are crisp-tender, 2 to 4 minutes.

Add rice, chicken, sliced eggs, ginger, vinegar, and soy sauce.  Cook, tossing, until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

French Onion Soup

Oooh, first time I tried making this, and it was downright yummy!

4 T. unsalted butter
2 lbs. yellow onions, sliced into 1/4" half circles
1 t. sugar
1 T. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. dry sherry
2 t. chopped fresh thyme or 3/4 t. dried thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small French baguette, sliced crosswise in 1/2" pieces
8 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated on the large holes of a box grater (about 3 c.)

 Melt butter in a large Dutch over or heavy pot on medium-low heat.  Add onions.  Spread them out in as thick of a layer as possible.  Sprinkle with sugar, and cook, stirring just as needed to keep onions from sticking, until they are melting and soft, golden brown, and beginning to caramelize, about 1 hour.

Sprinkle flour over onions, and stir to coat.  Add sherry, stock, and thyme, and bring to a simmer.  Cook, partially covered, for about 30 min, to allow the flavors to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, lightly toast bread under a boiler; set aside.  Ladle hot soup into six ovenproof bowls.  Arrange the bowls on a baking pan.  Place 1 or 2 slices of toasted bread over each bowl of soup.  Sprinkle 1/2 c. grated cheese over bread in each bowl, and place under the broiler until cheese is melted and crusty brown around the edges.  Watch carefully that bread doesn't burn.  Serve immediately.

Serves 6

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Cream of Asparagus Soup

source:  adapted from marthastewart.com

coarse sea salt
freshly ground pepper
2 lbs. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces (reserve trimmings and 20 tips)
2 T. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 large shallot, sliced crosswise, plus 1/2 large shallot
1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped, plus 1/2 clove garlic
1 medium Yukon gold potato (about 8 oz.), peeled and diced (about 1 c.)

Bring 6 c. water to boil in medium saucepan; season with 2 t. sea salt.
Add asparagus tips and blanch until bright green and just tender, about 2-3 minutes.
Transfer to an ice bath with a slotted spoon; reserve for topping.
Add asparagus trimmings, 1/2 shallot and 1/2 glove to same pot and return to boil; reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes.

In another saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
Add sliced shallot and chopped garlic and cook until softened, but not browned, about 5 minutes.
Stir in potato and enough asparagus stock to cover vegetables (about 1 c.), and simmer until potato is tender, about 10-12 minutes.
Strain remaining asparagus stock directly into saucepan with potatoes.  Add remaining asparagus and cook until tender and bright green, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Puree in blender until completely smooth; remove 1 c. and reserve.
Slowly stir in cream; season to tase with salt and pepper.
Thin with reserved liquid as needed.
Serve hot or chilled, topped with asparagus tips and a drizzle of oil.

Note:  I always make asparagus stock from the woody ends of my asparagus and keep it in the freezer to use anytime a recipe calls for vegetable stock.  This recipe will motivate you to get into that habit!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Whole Roasted Garlic

I got several large, flat bulbs of garlic in my recent Misfit Market box, so they were perfect for roasting!

Source: MarthaStewart.com

2 heads garlic, papery outer skins discarded
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for storing

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Cut a think (1/4") slice from top of each head of garlic; discard.
Place garlic in a small baking dish and drizzle with olive oil.
Cover with parchment, then foil, and roast until soft and golden, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

To store, squeeze out unused cloves into jar and add enough olive oil to cover.  Store closed jar in refrigerator for up to one week.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Diane B.'s Apple and Carrot Salad

Photo Credit:  Weight Watchers

So surprising simple and yummy!!

adapted from Weight Watchers

1 red apple, cut into matchsticks
1 green apple, cut into matchsticks
1-1/2 T. fresh lemon juice
fresh carrots, cut into matchsticks, approx. 3 c.
1/4 c. fresh chives, chopped
1 T. olive oil
1 t. sugar
1/2 t. sea salt
1/4 t. black pepper
2 oz. Feta cheese (French variety recommended)

Place apples in large bowl and toss with lemon juice.  Add remaining ingredients and toss.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Baked Soybeans

I've been wanting to make a batch of Baked Soybeans for several years now, using soybeans that had dried on the stalk from my garden.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but I have to admit I was impressed! I am sure the addition of Rooster Street Bacon and PA maple syrup helped take it to the next level!  My friend Julia had shared these heirloom seeds with me a number of years ago, and I've been planting them ever since.  I'm so grateful she introduced them to me!

Source:  adapted from Elma's Baked Beans recipe (original recipe from Ruth Musser)

1 lb. dried soybeans, soaked overnight and drained
3/4 c. onion, diced
1 c. ketchup
2/3 c. maple syrup
1 t. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Several strips of bacon, coarsely diced

In a large pot, cover soybeans with water and cook until soft, approximately 2-1/4 hours.  Drain.
In large casserole dish, mix remaining ingredients except bacon.  Add cooked beans and mix well.  Top with bacon.  
Bake uncovered at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Homemade Sauerkraut

I've been wanting to make sauerkraut for the longest time, but just couldn't wrap my brain around how to do it!  Everyone said, "it's so easy," yet no one could give me specific enough instructions to satisfy me....
Finally, my friend JoAnn went to a class, came home with detailed instructions, and filled me in on everything I needed to know to make my very own batch of sauerkraut, with organic cabbage, nonetheless!!  :)  Thank you, JoAnn!!!
It is sooo easy,  once you know what you are doing!!
So, here's the recipe!

source: adapted from Lancaster County Osteopathic & Integrative Health

1 head green cabbage
1-1/2 T. sea salt
2-quart mason jar (if you have, otherwise, two 1-quart jars will do)
Wash cabbage and remove any wilted outer leaves.  Be sure to save an outer leaf for later.

Quarter the cabbage, remove core, and slice into thin strips by hand or with food processor.

Place sliced cabbage into a large bowl, and sprinkle the sea salt over top.

Allow to sit for 15 minutes or so, and then start mashing/kneading/pressing/crushing the cabbage.  
The goal is to get the juices flowing.  (I used my great Aunt's wooden tamper - so special!!)

Mash and knead the cabbage for about 8-10 minutes.  Hopefully by the end of this process you will have a lovely pool of salty cabbage juice sitting at the bottom of your bowl.

Begin placing the cabbage into your jar and thoroughly pack down with a wooden spoon or mallet.  The goal is to eliminate as many air bubbles as possible.

Repeat the packing and mashing until the jar is full, leaving 2" headspace at top.  (This is important - otherwise your brine will overflow - ask me how I know!)
Cover the shredded cabbage with a portion of the reserved leaf, wedging it under the shoulder of the jar.

If your cabbage released enough liquid, your packed cabbage will now be covered with its own brine.  If not, you simply need to make a 2% brine solution to cover the cabbage (see below).  This is important - if you don't completely submerge the cabbage in brine, it will get moldy.

To make 2% Brine:
Dissolve 1 T. fine sea salt in 4 c. non-chlorinated water.  If you don't use all of the brine, it will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator.

Cover the exposed cabbage with the brine, leaving 2" headspace at the top.  If you are having trouble with the cabbage floating to the top, you can weigh it down with a glass weight or even wedge a piece of the cabbage core on top to hold it down.  Any cabbage that is exposed will need to be thrown away, but if you were going to toss the core anyway, it's no loss.

Add lid to jar and finger tighten.  Set aside in a room-temperature location out of direct sunlight for at least one week.

Place a small dish or tray under the jar as it will likely bubble up and overflow.  After a day or so, remove the lid to "burp" the jar and release any pent-up gasses, then replace the lid again.
(I found this part of the process incredibly fascinating - there were lots of bubbles rising to the surface, and you could tell something very good was happening!!)

Taste and smell your sauerkraut after a week.  If it's tangy enough, move it to the refrigerator for storage.  If you like more tang, simply allow it to ferment a bit longer.
(This is the part I still haven't figured out - I'm still not sure exactly what it should taste like!  If you've had the luxury of tasting someone's homemade sauerkraut, then you know what flavor you are aiming for!)

And that's all there is to it!!

Note:  It takes nearly the same amount of effort to make a large batch of sauerkraut as it does to make a small batch, so go ahead, take the plunge, and make a big batch!!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Baked Italian-Style Cauliflower

Photo credit: John Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
I was introduced to this yummy dish at a recent event, and I am so smitten!  I never would have selected this recipe, especially since I'm not a huge fan of cauliflower (even though I keep working at it!).  But I'm telling you, the combination of the spaghetti sauce and Italian sausage takes cauliflower to a whole new level....

1 T. olive oil or lard
1 c. chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 oz. loose Italian sausage, browned
1/4 t. sea salt
1/4 t. crushed red pepper
1/4 t. black pepper
1-1/2 c. marinara or spaghetti sauce
2 oz. pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped (optional)
1-1/2 lbs. cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 oz. French bread baguette, torn into 1" pieces (yourcould substitute panko or bread crumbs)
1/4 c. grated fresh pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil or lard to pan; swirl.  Add onion; saute 4 minutes.  Add garlic; saute 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Stir in sausage.  Sprinkle with salt and peppers; saute 3 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble.  Stir in sauce and olives.

Preheat broiler.  

Steam cauliflower 4 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Place cauliflower in a 11x7" broiler-safe baking dish; top with sauce mixture.

Place bread in a mini chipper; pulse until coarse crumbs form.  Combine crumbs and cheese; sprinkle over cauliflower mixture.  Broil 4 minutes or until browned.

Serves 4

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Roasted Tomato Sauce

This has been my go-to method for sauce these past few years.  I simply roast the tomatoes, then puree them and stick them in the freezer.  If I want to turn it into soup, then I can add chicken broth before or after freezing.  I can make a small batch or large batch, depending on how many tomatoes are ready from my garden.  So easy, and sooooo good!

4 lbs plum tomatoes, halved
2 medium yellow onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
sea salt and ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Toss together tomatoes, onions, garlic and oil; season with salt and pepper.  Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until tomatoes are deep brown in spots and onions are soft, approximately 45 minutes.

For sauce, simply puree in blender.

To make Roasted Tomato and Tarragon Soup from this mixture:
Transfer vegetables and all juices to a large pot.  Add 4 c. chicken broth and bring to a rapid simmer.  Cook until slightly reduced, about 25 minutes.
Puree in blender until smooth.  
Stir in 2 T. fresh chopped tarragon, and season with salt and pepper.
If necessary, thin with additional chicken broth, and serve with a drizzle of olive oil.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Heather's Stuffed Peppers

Make these to your heart's content while local peppers and tomatoes are in season, then stow them away in the freezer for a quick meal when summer's bounty is long gone!

Source: adapted from a recipe from my neighbor, Heather G.

6 large bell peppers, halved and seeded
1 lb. Italian sausage (remove casings if using links)
2 1/4 c. chicken broth
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 c. brown rice
1 1/2 c. chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 c. finely shredded smoked Gouda cheese, divided

Position oven rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler.

Cook rice in chicken broth following package instructions, or follow Martha Stewart's "Better Brown Rice" method.

Place peppers cut side down on a steaming rack.  Steam just until peppers are softened, about 7-10 minutes.  Place peppers on a baking sheet.  

Meanwhile, cook sausage in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, breaking into small pieces with a wooden spoon until cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes and simmer until liquid is reduced.

Stir rice, basil, and half the cheese into the rice mixture.  Divide the filling among the peppers, then top with remaining cheese.  Broil until cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes.

Note: I place the filled peppers on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then freeze until firm.  Then, I bag them individually so I can easily pull out the quantity needed at a later date.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Hamburger Squash Skillet

This is a super easy skillet recipe that doesn't really warrant a recipe!  It's home cooking from garden bounty at it's easiest - reminiscent of those love-filled skillet dinners my mother would concoct when I was a child.  I turned to this recipe often to make use of the abundance of yellow squash coming from my garden this summer!

Source: recipe adapted from Low Carb Yum

1/2 lb. hamburger
 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
sea salt & pepper to taste
1 medium yellow squash, coarsely chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 medium green or red pepper, chopped
fresh parsley, chopped
fresh basil, chopped

Brown hamburger in skillet with garlic, onion, salt, and pepper.  Stir in vegetables and herbs.  Continue cooking on low heat about 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Roasted Beet Hummus

I took the risk and tried this recipe for an open house I hosted this afternoon; it was a hit!  A number of guests commented that it would be a beautiful addition to any holiday menu.  It was good!  I think the cannellini beans as the base allows the bean flavor to take a back seat and lets all the other yummy flavors shine through.

1 chopped clove garlic
1/3 c. chopped roasted beets*
1 c. cooked white beans (I used cannellini beans)
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Puree garlic, beets, beans, lemon juice, and olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  

Serving suggestion:  serve with fennel

*Note:  Roasted beets freeze beautifully!  I had roasted some beets earlier in the summer, then stuck them in the freezer.  Out of the freezer they peel super easily, so this was a quick and easy recipe to make since the beets were all ready to go.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Succotash Salad

Source:  The Kitchn

Great way to use fresh soybeans while fresh corn and tomatoes are readily available as well!

2 T. unsalted butter
1 large sweet onion, chopped (about 1 c.)
1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen soybeans, cooked al dente*
Kernels from 6 ears of corn (about 5 c.)
1 pt. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 c. feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 c. basil, sliced into thin ribbons (chiffonade)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In medium saucepan, melt butter.  Add chopped onion and a small pinch of salt and cook, stirring, over medium heat until translucent and tender, about 5 minutes.  Lower the heat, add the beans and corn and stir over medium-low heat for about 1 minute, until tender, but still crisp.

Transfer cooked ingredients to a large bowl and toss with tomatoes and lemon juice.  Serve immediately with the feta, basil and black pepper sprinkled on top, or let the mixture cool, then top with feta, basil and black pepper.

*You could also use lima or fava beans too!

Serves 6

Saturday, May 9, 2015


This post will tell you a bit of what I've been up to food-wise most recently!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Contest-Winning Hearty Hamburger Soup Recipe

This is home cooking at its best - economical, nourishing, yummy and straight from the garden!

Source: adapted from Taste of Home

1 lb. ground beef
4 c. beef stock
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
3 medium carrots
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 c. chopped celery
1-1/2 t. sea salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 t. dried oregano
1 c. fresh or frozen beans

In large saucepan, brown beef; drain.  Add remaining ingredients except green beans; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender.  Add beans.  Cover and simmer 15 minutes longer or until beans are tender.

Yield:  8 servings (2 quarts)