Friday, August 1, 2014

Zucchini Frittata


Source:  Everyday Food magazine, May 2005

1 t. olive oil
10 large eggs
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 t. coarse salt
1/4 t. ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Brush a 9 1/2" deep-dish pie plate with 1 t. olive oil.  Drain any liquid from roasted zucchini, onion, and peppers (if leftover from previous meal); place in pie plate.

In a large bowl, beat eggs with grated Parmesan cheese, coarse salt, and ground pepper; pour over vegetables.

Bake until top is golden and center is set, 35-40 minutes; cool 5 minutes before serving.

Note:  This recipe halves nicely.  Simply use a small pie plate and bake for 15-20 min.

Roasted Zucchini, Onion and Peppers

This is a quick and easy (not to mention yummy!) way to use up all the zucchini and peppers that are so abundant right now.

Source:  Everyday Food, magazine, May 2005

3 lbs. (7-8 medium) zucchini, cut into 1" rounds
2 red or yellow bell peppers, cut into 1" squares
1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2" wedges
2 T. olive oil
2 t. coarse salt
1/2 t. ground pepper

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Combine vegetables on a rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.

Roast until vegetables are tender and browned in spots, 20-35 min.

(If you like, save 4 c. of roasted vegetables for use in a Zucchini Frittata later in the week.)

Serves 8 (or 4 servings if reserving vegetables for Zucchini Frittata).

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fresh Mint Shortbread Cookies

It seems a bit of a stretch to include this recipe on an in-season recipe blog when the only ingredient that qualifies it is two tablespoons of fresh mint, but these cookies are the essence of summer and beg to be included!

Source:  L. Fackler

1 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 t. salt
1 t. peppermint extract
2 T. crushed mint leaves
2 c. flour

Cream butter and sugar; add salt, extract, mint leaves and flour.  Mix thoroughly.  Chill dough.  Form into 1" balls and roll in sugar.  Flatten slightly with bottom of drinking glass.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Stuffed Jalapenos


Source: Everyday Food magazine, June 2010

4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese
6 large jalapenos, halved and seeded*
coarse sea salt and ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix together cream cheese and cheddar.  Season with salt and pepper.  With a small spoon, fill each jalapeno half with about 1 T. cheese mixture.  Place peppers on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until cheese is browned and bubbling, about 10 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through.

Serves 6

*Note:  Just make sure you remove every seed and as much rib as possible if you prefer less heat!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Lacinato Kale Salad with Roasted Squash

Why in the world would I be making a butternut squash salad when my garden and crisper drawer are overflowing with zucchini and yellow squash??  Because, I was cleaning up for company and still had two butternut squashes sitting in the kitchen that I hadn't gotten around to using last fall.  They were still in surprisingly good shape, so the choice was to either toss them onto the compost pile or be responsible and eat them.  So, I pulled out my butternut squash file and found this recipe.  I do think it would have been better with fresh squash and a different variety of kale, but I was pleased that the squash ended up in my stomach vs. the compost pile.

Also, this is another one of those massaged kale salads that totally intrigues me, so I was glad for a chance to try it out.

Source:  Martha Stewart Living magazine, January 2012

1 lb. peeled and seeded butternut squash, cut into 1/2" cubes (about 4 c.)
3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 large shallots, thinly sliced (1 1/2 c.)
1/4 c. lemon juice
3 T. flaxseed oil*
1 1/2 bunches Lacinato kale, washed and patted dry
4 oz. aged goat cheese, shaved or crumbled
1/3 c. toasted hazelnuts (1 1/2 oz), roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place squash on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with 1 1/2 T. olive oil, and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and pepper, toss well.  Roast until golden brown, tossing halfway through, about 45 min.

Meanwhile, place shallots on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and drizzle with remaining 1 1/2 T. olive oil, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Roast until brown, tossing halfway through, about 30 min.

In a large salad bowl, combine lemon juice, flaxseed oil, 1/2 t. salt, and a  pinch of pepper.  Cut 2" off bottom of kale and slice leaves crosswise into 3/4" ribbons (you should have 12 c. loosely packed kale); add to salad bowl.  Toss kale with dressing, squeezing until leaves are soft. Let stand for at least 30 minutes.  

Add squash, shallots, cheese and nuts to kale.  Toss well to combine.

*I substituted olive oil.

Serves 8

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Zucchini Ricotta Bake

Adapted from Quick Cooking Magazine

This is a yummy way to use up all those extra zucchini from the garden!  It's basically a vegetarian lasagna recipe, with zucchini substituted for the noodles.  It freezes nicely, so you can make a pan or two in the summer when zucchini are abundant, then pop it in the freezer to enjoy some winter evening.  Those larger zucchini that were hiding under the leaves and got away from you are perfect for this dish (I had a few of those when I returned home from vacation yesterday!).

2 lbs. zucchini
1 (15-oz.) container ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1/2 c. dry bread crumbs, divided
5 T. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 T. fresh parsley, minced
1 t. fresh oregano, minced
1 t. fresh basil, minced
1/8 t. pepper
1 (26-oz.) jar spaghetti sauce
1-1/2 c. (6-oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese

Cut zucchini lengthwise into 1/4" slices. Steam for 5-6 min. or just until tender. Drain; pat dry. In a bowl, combine ricotta, eggs, 3 T. bread crumbs, 3 T. Parmesan cheese, parsley, oregano, basil and pepper; set aside. Spread a third of the spaghetti sauce in a greased 13x9” baking dish. Sprinkle with 2 T. bread crumbs. Cover with half of the zucchini, ricotta mixture and mozzarella. Repeat layers of sauce, zucchini, ricotta mixture and mozzarella. Cover with remaining sauce. Combine remaining crumbs and Parmesan; sprinkle over top. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover; bake 15 minutes longer. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.

If freezing, wait to sprinkle crumbs and Parmesan cheese until just before baking. Allow extra time for heating.

Yield: 12 servings

Monday, July 7, 2014

Garlic Scape Hummus

Adapted from

2 cans of chick peas, rinsed and drained
2 T. olive oil
1/2 c. lemon juice
1/2 c. fresh chopped garlic scapes
2 T. agave
1 t. sea salt

Place ingredients in blender or food processor and process until thick paste forms.  Add additional olive oil until desired consistency is achieved.  Add salt to taste.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Cindy's Kale Salad

One of the ladies from book group made this for our picnic last week.  YUM!!  I've never had the courage to use kale for a salad, especially before a fall frost; I was always afraid it would be too tough or bitter.  But, this was perfection!  So, I ventured out and made this salad with kale from my garden for dinner with friends this evening.

1 T. lemon juice
4 T. olive oil
4 T. honey
sea salt
1 bunch kale, stalks removed, torn into bite-size pieces*
1/4 c. sliced almonds
1/3 c. golden raisins or 1 c. fresh berries**

Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper together in a large bowl.  Add kale.  Using both hands, gently massage dressing into kale for about 2-5 minutes.  (You may want to use gloves, as this is a bit messy.  The kale will change color, wilt a bit and become softer.)  Add raisins and almonds and toss.

*My kale wasn't as sweet and tender as Cindy's, so I'm guessing she may have a different variety of kale in her garden.  I believe Tuscan kale is the variety to use if you can find it.  My kale was a bit chewy, but the flavor was still good.  Next time I plan to massage it a bit longer.
** I substituted black raspberries for the raisins, but any fresh berry would not only be lovely to look at, but yummy too.

Sour Cherry Pie

I only have a few more packs of sour cherries in the freezer; they came from my dear friend Elma's sour cherry tree, so it takes a special occasion to warrant using them!  Elma and her husband moved recently from their little farmette, so when my sour cherry supply is depleted, that's it!  :(

Source:  Adapted from Mennonite Country-Style Recipes

9" unbaked pie crust
crumb topping or pastry for lattice strips
3 c. canned or frozen cherries, undrained
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. water
3 T. cornstarch
1/2 t. almond flavoring
1 T. butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine cherries, sugar and salt in saucepan and heat to boiling.

Dissolve cornstarch in a portion of the 1/2 c. water, then stir into cherry mixture.  Cook just until thickened, stirring constantly.  Add the rest of the water if necessary.  Remove from heat.

Stir in almond flavoring and butter.  Pour into crust.  Add crumb topping or make a lattice of pastry strips.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until browned.  

Note: Be sure to allow pie to cool completely before serving or transporting.  I omitted this step, and my pie ran all over the place when I was transporting it!!  :(

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Strawberry Salad with Candied Almonds

This salad is simply the Mandarin Orange Salad I've made for years, but with strawberries instead of the Mandarin oranges.


*Update, 7/6/14 - I took this salad to a family picnic today, only I substituted black raspberries from my dad's farm for the oranges or strawberries.  I think that may be the best combination to date!!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Asparagus and Roasted Chicken Pizza

Simple, but yummy!

Source:  adapted from

6-8 stalks asparagus, cut on the bias into 1" pieces
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
Parmesan, to taste
Roasted shredded chicken, optional

Place pizza stone on lower rack of oven and preheat oven to 500 degrees (or as high as your oven will go).

Drizzle asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Toss to coat.

Prepare pizza crust on a sheet of parchment paper.  Brush dough with olive oil.  Top with mozzarella, chicken (optional), asparagus, and red onion.

Slide pizza and parchment paper into oven on top of pizza stone.  Bake until crust is golden and cheese is hot and bubbly, about 5-7 min.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan.  Wait a few minutes for pizza to cool, then cut into slices and serve.  


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Asparagus-and-Lemon Risotto

I never get tired of risotto, especially when it uses fresh vegetables from the garden!

Source:  adapted from Martha Stewart Living magazine, January 2013

6 c. vegetable stock, preferably homemade*
1/4 c. olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 c. Arborio rice
1/2 c. dry white wine
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, stalks cut into 2" lengths
1 c. fresh peas
1 t. grated lemon zest, plus more for garnish
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 c. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Bring stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan.

Heat 2 T. oil over medium heat in another saucepan.  Cook onion, stirring frequently, until soft, 6-7 minutes.  Add wine; cook, stirring, just until evaporated.

Add 1/2 c. hot stock; cook, stirring, until almost absorbed.  Continue adding 1/2 c. stock in this manner until liquid is creamy and rice is al dente, about 20 min. total (you may not need to add all the stock).  Add asparagus and peas with the last addition of stock.

Remove from heat; stir in lemon zest and juice, parsley, cheese, and remaining 2 T. oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately with additional cheese and lemon zest.

Serves 4

* Note - Asparagus stock works very nicely in place of the vegetable stock.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Broccoli and Chickpea Salad

I'm not a huge broccoli fan. I don't know whether it's the flavor or texture, or if it has to do with eating it raw or cooked.  In fact the only way I really like eating broccoli is when it's in the classic Broccoli Salad that everyone is familiar with.  But, since I'm able to grow it in my garden and I do eat it on a regular basis, I'm going to keep working at learning to love and appreciate it.  And, after reading the book "French Kids Eat Everything" (fabulous book!!!!),  I'm even more inspired to keep learning to like, even love, those few remaining vegetables that aren't my favorites!

This recipe is surprisingly good.  Steaming and chopping the broccoli a bit really helps the texture (at least in my opinion!).  

Source:  adapted from

4 c. broccoli florets
15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
5 sliced scallions
1/2 c. chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/3 c. pine nuts, toasted
1 clove garlic, minced
2 t. Dijon mustard
1 t. honey
1 T. grated lemon zest
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
6 T. extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, combine garlic, mustard, honey, lemon zest and juice.  Slowly add oil, whisking to emulsify, and season with salt and pepper.

Steam broccoli florets until just tender, 5-7 min.  Once cool, chop, add to dressing,  and combine with chickpeas, scallions, parsley, and pine nuts.

Cook's note:  Refrigerate salad in an airtight container up to two days.

Serves 4.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Rice Salad with Asparagus and Peas

1 clove garlic
3 anchovy fillets
Coarse sea salt
1 T. sherry vinegar
3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 c. Arborio rice
 6 oz. asparagus (about 1 bunch), trimmed and sliced 1" thick on the bias
1 c. fresh shelled or frozen peas
1/2 c. finely chopped red onion
4 oz. radicchio, finely shredded (about 1-1/4 c.)
1/2 c. julienned fresh basil leaves

Finely mince garlic and anchovies together with 1 t. salt on a cutting board until a paste forms.  Transfer to a bowl; whisk in vinegar and oil.

Cook rice in a pot of salted boiling water until tender, about 13 min.  Add asparagus and peas; cook until crisp-tender, about 2 min.  Drain and transfer to bowl with vinaigrette.

Add onion and radicchio, toss to combine, and season with salt.  Let stand 30 min.  Add basil, toss to combine, and let stand 30 min more before serving.

Serves 6.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Spring Vegetable Pizza

Oooh, the artichoke, asparagus, tomatoes, and Gruyere makes a good combo!  I broke down and bought fresh tomatoes since I needed some for a pasta salad I'm making tomorrow for a potluck, but next time I think I'll try sun dried tomatoes in place of the fresh to stick with my in-season commitment.  The ingredients are a little pricey, but sometimes it's worth the splurge....

Source:  adapted from Everyday Food magazine, April 2011

1 jar (12 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts, drained well, quartered if whole (reserve marinade)
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed, cut into 2" pieces and halved lengthwise if thick
1 pt. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
olive oil
1 lb. pizza dough, thawed if frozen and divided in half
Coarse salt and ground pepper
7 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated (3 c.)

Place baking stone in oven and preheat to 500 degrees.  
In medium bowl, combine artichoke hearts, asparagus, and tomatoes.  Drizzle with olive oil and toss.
Prepare two pizza crusts.  Brush with marinade.  Top with vegetables, leaving a 1" border.  Brush border with marinade and season pizza with salt and pepper.  Bake pizzas one at a time, approximately 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese.  Bake an additional 3-5 minutes, or until crust is deep golden and cheese is melted.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Asparagus Stock

I had been tossing the woody ends into my compost until I came across this recipe.  Why didn't I think of that?  It's the same revelation as corn cob stock - brilliant!  I'm going to use it in place of some of the chicken stock in the Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto I'm making for today's lunch.

Simply simmer the woody ends and peelings from 1 lb. asparagus in 6 c. water.  Simmer for 15 minutes, then strain.  Stock can be used in vegetable soup or as a substitute for water when poaching or steaming food.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Stewed Tomatoes

Here's another basic recipe that I hadn't mastered....

Source:  Melanie Dillman

1 pint canned tomatoes
2 T. sugar
1 T. flour
1 t. parsley flakes
sea salt & pepper to taste

Drain juice off tomatoes into a small bowl.  Whisk tomato juice and flour together.  Then mix all ingredients together in pan and cook until thickened.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Turnip Gratin

I haven't made this recipe yet, but I tasted it this evening at book group.  It was so yummy that I had to share it!  

Turnip Gratin and book group - what in the world?  Our group had read the book The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (probably my all-time favorite read ever).  It chronicles how the residents of the Isle of Guernsey survived the German occupation during World War II.  Food was sparse, and turnips provided at least some sustenance.  In the tradition of the book, their reading society, and what the people of Guernsey endured, one of the gals was inspired to make this Turnip Gratin for us to sample.  It was delicious!  Looking forward to trying it with turnips from my own garden this year.

I will post a picture when I actually make it for myself!  

4 whole turnips, peeled and thinly sliced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. Gruyere cheese, grated
4-6 T. butter
chicken broth
heavy cream
sea salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large oven-proof skillet, melt 2-3 T. of butter.  Place a single layer of turnips on top of the butter.  Sprinkle a little of the garlic on top.  Add a couple tablespoons of butter.  Drizzle a healthy splash of chicken broth over the turnips.  Next, do the same with the cream.  Now add a nice layer of Gruyere – about ½ cup. Sprinkle a bit of salt, but not much as the cheese is already salty.  Repeat these layers two more times.  Sprinkle with some freshly ground black pepper.

Pop the skillet into the oven and bake for about 20 min. or until hot, the top brown and bubbly.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Mushroom and Black Bean Tortilla Casserole

I also made this dish for our neighborhood potluck this evening.  I wasn't sure how it would go over, but I was determined to make a meatless main dish with some ingredients I already had on hand (black beans and home-canned salsa).  It got a thumbs up!

2 t. extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 lb. cremini or button mushrooms, trimmed and quartered*
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
coarse sea salt and ground pepper
1 1/2 c. cooked black beans or 1 can (15.5 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
8 corn tortillas, warmed and halved
2 c. salsa
1 1/4 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 oz.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high.  Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until browned, 7 minutes.  Add garlic and cayenne; season with salt and pepper.  Add black beans and stir to combine.  Cook until beans are warmed through, 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Arrange 5 tortilla halves in a 2-quart baking dish.  Top with half the bean mixture and 1/2 c. salsa, then sprinkle with one-third the cheese.  Repeat with another layer of tortilla halves, bean mixture, salsa, and cheese.  Top with remaining tortilla halves, salsa, and cheese.

Cover with foil and bake until center is hot and cheese melts, 10 minutes.  Uncover and bake until cheese is bubbling, 5 minutes.

* I recently read a tip in Martha Stewart Living that the easiest and most effective way to clean mushrooms is to swish them in a bowl of water, then drain them and allow them to dry before using them in your recipe.  I've always tried to clean mushrooms by wiping them individually with a damp paper towel.  I agree - this method is far more effective and definitely quicker!

Yield: 4 Servings

Sour Cherry Cobbler

I was going to attempt a sour cherry pie for our potluck dinner with the neighbors this evening, but this cobbler gave the same flavor with much less effort!  The frozen sour cherries came from my dear friend Elma's tree.

Source:  Taste of Home magazine, February/March 1995

5 c. pitted canned or frozen tart red cherries
2-1/2 T. lemon juice
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
2-1/2 T. cornstarch
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg

1 c. all-purpose flour
1 T. sugar
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
2 T. butter
1/3 to 1/2 c. milk

Drain cherries, reserving 1/4 c. juice; discard remaining juice.  Combine cherries and lemon juice; set aside.  In a saucepan, combine sugars, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg; stir in cherry juice.  Bring to a  boil, stirring occasionally; boil 2 minutes.  Add cherries; pour into an ungreased 8" square baking dish.

For topping, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; cut in butter until crumbly.  Stir in enough milk to moisten.  Drop by tablespoonfuls over cherries.  Bake at 450 degrees for 10-13 minutes or until golden brown.

Yield:  6-8 servings.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Chicken Corn Soup

Most people in Lancaster County, PA do not need a recipe for Chicken Corn Soup, but I'm not one of them!  I don't recall my mother making this soup, and didn't know the secret to great flavor.  In fact, when I went to search for a basic recipe, only one of my cookbooks even included a recipe.  Of course, everyone has their own cherished way to make this comforting soup, and this now is mine.  

Source:  Adapted from Mennonite Country-Style Recipes

Cook together until tender, about 20 minutes:
3 medium potatoes, diced**
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 stem celery, chopped (or a sprinkle of celery seed)

Add and heat to a good rolling boil:
1 to 1 1/2 c. chopped cooked chicken
2 c. corn
1/2 t. poultry seasoning
1 clove garlic, minced and sauteed in olive oil until fragrant
1 1/4 t. salt
1 T. chopped fresh parsley
additional sea salt and pepper to taste

Yield:  6-8 servings

* The corn stock is perfect for this and gives fabulous flavor!!

**You may substitute 2 c. noodles for the potatoes, but I liked using potatoes to keep the dish local/in-season, not to mention nutritious.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sausage, Lentil, and Kale Soup

This is a perfect way to use all that frozen kale in the freezer.
And, sausage from Rooster St. Provisions will give it fabulous flavor!!

Source:  Everyday Food magazine, December 2009

2 t. extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
2 celery stalks (with leafy tops), thinly sliced
1 medium yellow onion, diced medium
1/2 c. dried lentils
6 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. water
1 bunch (about 1/2 lb.) kale, preferably Tuscan, stems removed and torn into bite-size pieces
coarse sea salt and ground pepper
2 t. red-wine vinegar

In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high.  Add sausage and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Add celery and onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add lentils, broth, and 1/2 c. water and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a rapid simmer, partially covered, and cook until lentils and vegetables are tender, 25 minutes.

Add kale and season with sea salt.  Return soup to a rapid simmer, cover, and cook until kale wilts, about 5 minutes.  Remove soup from heat, stir in vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.