Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Articles and Recipes’ Category

Granny Phanny And The Giant Rabbit Some Turnip Soup For Womens History Month

Another delightful installment from the joint collaboration with writer/author extraordinaire Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, we planned this post to occur in March, Women’s History Month, we’ve come a long way baby and every month, week and day should celebrate women and their/our contribution to society, this country, our families and communities. I am woman hear me roar, well that is a little cliché I know but we are empowered and accomplished and strong and proud of how far we have come, it amazes me that at one time women didn’t even have the right to vote and in some countries women are still considered objects of disdain, almost subhuman and of less importance than their male counterparts.

I also am including a recipe that I posted years ago for a spring turnip soup, you may turn up your nose when you read turnips but honestly this soup is delicious, I use Hakurai turnips which appear late winter and early spring at the local green markets. They are crisp and sweet and mild and make an outstanding soup. The soup is topped with some crumbled bacon and the turnip greens which are sauteéd in the bacon fat. For vegan and vegetarian option all you do is eliminate the bacon and use vegetable broth or water. For vegan option of course you would not use the cream but you can sub a non dairy option of your choice.

Take it away Teagan…

Granny Phanny and the Giant Rabbit

suffragettes-in-white

Hi, Suzanne.  I’m delighted to be back in your kitchen!  Hello everyone, it’s great to see you.

When I asked Suzanne for an ingredient to use in a story for this collaborative post, right away she said turnips.  Every time I hear that word I think of the “Cinnamon Bun” character from my serial, Murder at the Bijou, Three Ingredients-1.  That’s a 1920s culinary mystery, which is in the works to be “book-ized” this spring.

Many of you are familiar with my flapper character, Pip.  This time the story is told from the point of view of Pip’s grandmother, Phanny Irene Peabody.  I thought that was appropriate since March is Women’s History Month.  Granny lived during the height of the suffragette era, and she was a woman to speak her mind.  It’s also something of a back-story for Cinnamon Bun.  I hope you enjoy the story as much as Suzanne’s recipe!  Although that’s a lot for me to live up to…

Granny Phanny and the Giant Rabbit

“The only true woman is a pious, submissive wife and mother, concerned exclusively with home and family!”

Even more irksome than the words themselves was the fact that they were uttered by a woman.  I was glad that I had already left the building.  Otherwise I might have lost my temper.  What business did anyone with that opinion have at a women’s meeting in the first place?

suffragettes-marching

In 1920, Georgia was the first state to “reject” the Nineteenth Amendment, which assured women the right to vote.  It was two years later before women actually got to vote in my home state.  Long after that, we were still suffragettes, working for equal rights.  We still wore suffragette white to our meetings.

That intolerable statement was immediately followed by the resounding crack of a slap across the speaker’s face.  I cringed, knowing full well who had likely delivered the smack.  I turned on my heel and hurried back inside.  Veronica Vale was no meek little lamb.  She was a force of nature when her righteous wrath was incurred.  I tried to make my way through the pandemonium to my friend.

1920s woman scientist-microscopeBy the time I got to Veronica, I could hear police sirens.  A quick look around told me several attendees had slipped quietly away, including the woman who spoke the words that started the trouble.

“It was all planned,” I muttered.  “That bunch wanted to make trouble from the minute they asked to join.”

Not much later a handful of us — enough to make an example, but not so many as to cause the coppers much trouble — were hauled down to the police station.  A group of men stood laughing and cat calling while we were hustled outside.  My cheeks heated in a blush.

Detective Dabney Daniels of the Savannah Police got a tip that something was going to happen.  By the time the paddy wagon reached the station, he was already diffusing the situation.

“Miss Phanny,” he began with a smirk and a shake of his head.  “I wish I could say I was surprised to see you,” he told me before turning to Veronica Vale.  “Mrs. Vale your husband is already here.  You’ll be released into his custody.”

I knew that “custody” statement wouldn’t sit well with Veronica.  She was a doctor and a scientist, not some man’s property.  No matter how good the man.  For years Veronica Vale had worked at a hospital in England called Clapham Common.  It had an all-female staff.  She retired and returned to Savannah.  Then she met the widowed Vincent and partnered with him in his veterinary practice.

Before she could complain, I blurted out my puzzlement.  “Dabney, how could you know…?”

“I’d like to claim powers as a mentalist, Miss Phanny.  However, Dr. Vale had just arrived to pick up someone else,” the handsome detective explained as chaos erupted elsewhere in the station.JCLeyndecker Arrow Collar ad

Detective Daniels quickly excused himself and walked toward the sounds of people shouting.

Veronica gave a downright evil chuckle.  I looked a question at her and she laughed out loud at the expression on my face.

“Phanny Irene Peabody,” she said.  “You are indeed a Pip.  I suppose you’ve never noticed the way that young man looks at you.  He probably doesn’t care a whit for the turnips  you’re always giving him, or the meals he gets in return for fixing one thing and another at your cottage.  Tsk-tsk.  Phanny, that young copper is smitten with you.”

“Veronica, don’t be ridiculous.  You couldn’t be more wrong.  Dabney is just a goodhearted young man,” I told my friend most emphatically.

Another crashing sound and men shouting prevented her from talking more of that nonsense.  How absurd.  I was old enough to be that boy’s mother.  We might enjoy one another’s company, but there was nothing more to it.

“Hi, Honey.  Are you hurt?” Vincent Vale asked his wife as he skidded to a stop.  As Veronica shook her head he turned to me.  “Mrs. Peabody, are you well?” he greeted me politely.Christopher Timothy as Vincent Vale

Veronica assured her husband that neither of us had come to any harm.  I noticed Vincent held some kind of harness.  There was more shouting, and then the veterinarian pelted away toward the commotion.

A moment later we heard Vincent shout.  “Got ‘em!”

However there was another crash.  I heard dull thumping noises.  The sound was quite rhythmic, and coming closer.  Veronica and I exchanged puzzled looks.

I stuck my head around the corner and gasped loudly.

“I must be seeing things.  Else I’m just plain zozzled,” I murmured.

Veronica craned her neck to see what had stunned me.

“Well horsefeathers!  In all my born days…” she began.  “A Flemish Giant.”

“Flemish?  Bushwa!” I exclaimed.  “You’re hallucinating too,” I mumbled.  “Somebody spiked our tea a little too much at the women’s meeting.  Or else I’m looking at a cinnamon colored rabbit that’s three feet tall, sitting on his haunches.”

I crouched down, befuddled.  The big bunny hopped over to me and nuzzled my hand.  I scratched between his impossibly long ears.  I helped hold the big bun still as Vincent got the harness around him.

“This big ole boy decimated Godfrey Gilley’s garden.  Dug up every turnip he had,” Vincent commented.  “When the big bun headed toward his grocery store, Godfrey was so upset that he called the police saying there was a bear in his yard!” the veterinarian laughed.  “Trouble is, I’m not sure what we can do with him.  We’ve taken on so many animals lately,” Vincent admitted, but cast a pleading look at his wife, who gave a resigned sigh.

My face ended up against the giant rabbit’s soft hair as Vincent adjusted the harness.  I found that I didn’t want to move.  My fingers sank into the plush fur.

“I’ll take him,” I spoke up, and questioned my own sobriety again.  “Oh good lord, but I need a hutch for him.”Vintage rabbit driving

I hadn’t noticed that Detective Dabney Daniels was standing beside us.

“Don’t worry, Miss Phanny.  I can take care of a rabbit hutch in a jiffy,” Dabney said.  “Even one big enough for this miscreant,” he added with a grin.

Veronica elbowed me sharply in the ribs.  She gave me an I told you so look and winked.

“He’s sweet on you,” she whispered into my ear.  “So what if he’s younger.  He’s a damn fine figure of a man!”

“Absolutely no!” I told her so fiercely that everyone looked askance.

Fortunately I was spared from an explanation because of Veronica’s loud bark of laughter.

The Vales offered to drive me home.  I got into the automobile with Vincent and Veronica, and of course the rabbit.  Dabney bent down and promised to come by to start on the rabbit hutch that evening.  Veronica wriggled her eyebrows at me.  I gave her a withering look, then turned and smiled at the detective as I thanked him.

“What was all that about?” Vincent wanted to know as we drove away.

Veronica had no inhibitions about sharing her embarrassing speculations to her husband, despite my denial. 

“It simply will not do!” I told her, my patience close to its end.

“She means that dear,” Vincent said.  “You might want to leave it alone before your sense of fun hurts your friendship.”

“You’re right,” she agreed with a sigh.  “I’m sorry Phanny.  I just want to see you happy.”

“I am perfectly happy as I am.  Besides, I told you that my granddaughter, Pip, is coming to live with me.  I’ll have my hands full, teaching her to cook,” I reminded my friends.  “I can’t wait for you to meet her.”

The End

***

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

Creamy Spring Turnip Soup With Wilted Greens And Bacon

(Bacon is optional for my vegetarian friends)

Serves 4-6 depending on serving size

4 heaping cups turnips peeled and quartered (Use the small spring turnips if possible)

1 potato peeled and quartered (I used Yukon Gold and it’s Optional to use a potato)

2 cups leeks (cleaned well and sliced) or use a medium size onion or 2 shallots

4 1/2 cups broth (chicken, vegetable or water)

2 tbs butter

1/4 cup heavy cream

salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg (optional)

4-6 slices bacon

Turnip greens cleaned VERY well

In heavy sauce pan heat a little olive oil, add the leeks or onion or shalot and sweat, cook just until tender don’t brown. Add the turnips and potato, now add the liquid (broth or water). Cover and cook until the turnip and potato are tender. Let cool for about 30 minutes and blend either in your blender or use the immersion blender. Note: If using an immersion blender remove some of the liquid you don’t want the soup too thin, you can always add it back in. Add the butter and cream and season with salt and pepper and nutmeg.

Fry the bacon until crisp, remove from the fry pan and add the greens to the bacon fat, season with salt and peppper and saute until the greens are tender and wilted.

To Serve: Garnish the soup with the wilted greens and crumbled bacon.

Soup

A Trip To The Green Market, And My Introduction to Gooseberries

Green Market Haul

Green Market Haul

It has been hot here, I mean really uncomfortably hot and humid and even though I have AC it’s still hard to use the stove. It’s been a few weeks since I have gone to the Farmers Market in my neighborhood, each week I went I was disappointed to find nothing, so I decided to check it out this weekend and I happily found some beautiful produce. There are still no strawberries though, did I miss them?  Every year I see basket after basket of gooseberries and until this year I have never bought them, I really don’t know what to do with them. Same with the red currants, I have had red currant jam, dried currants in Persian rice,  but have not actually bought and made anything with fresh berries. It’s just me and Percy and as you can see from the photo, as my Mom would say my eyes are bigger than my stomach. How can you resist when you see produce this beautiful, it’s impossible for me. I tend to shop with my eyes, if something looks beautiful, even if I don’t know how to use, it will probably end up in my basket.

Weather wise summer is my least favorite season, I am not a person who enjoys being in the sun, I detest being hot and sweaty and braving the heat to go to the Green Market was uncomfortable, but once I saw all of that produce I forgot how hot it was outside, that is until I had to lug it all home. I have 2 tomato plants in the garden that are producing some cherry tomatoes, in dribs and drabs. I keep a container by the door and religously pick a few ripe tomatoes each day. Maybe someday soon I will have enough to make a salad. My zucchini plant never produced anything except for one zucchini blossom that I let sit, thinking it would turn into a zucchini, it didn’t.

the end of the homemade pesto and homeade bread

the end of the homemade pesto and homeade bread ready for salad

My favorite salad is simple, cucumber and tomato, maybe a little onion and grilled bread. After buying the beautiful heirloom tomatoes and the seedless Persian cucumbers I knew that is what I had to make. A few days ago I harvested a huge amount of basil from my garden and made pesto. For this salad, the bread is slathered with pesto and grilled, then broken or cut in bite size pieces and added to the cucumbers and tomatoes. The dressing is simple, olive oil and vinegar. Sometimes I will add some crumbled feta or ricotta salata.  The salad is incredibly flavorful, fresh organic produce and bread that is grilled with pesto make an absolutely delicious and satisfying meal.

I will shamefully admit that I have never eaten or cooked with gooseberries or fresh currants, it’s hard to believe that every year I pass them up at the farmers market without so much as a glance back. This year is different, I grabbed 2 lovely punnets of gooseberries green and purple and some red currants. Now that they are in my hot little hands what to do with them?  They taste pretty sour, I like sour so find it appealing but I don’t think I could sit there and eat them by the handful. Doing an internet search there is really not very many recipes using gooseberries, there is compote, jam and pie and a few savory recipes as sort of a chutney with meat as well as beverages. I love wikipedia, vital information at the touch of a keypad, according to this online source there are a few varieties of gooseberries and they are quite popular in England.  The three varieties noted are the European/North American, Indian and Peruvian Gooseberry. The Indian gooseberry seems to be the most nutritious with the highest vitamin C content. All contain moderate levels of anti oxidents.

This post is too long, because I dislike having too much information in one post, it will be divided into two and the recipes will come later. In closing here are Percy’s thoughts on the summer heat. Wishing everyone a relaxing Sunday!!

I hear ya Percy

I hear ya Percy

 

The Garden, Pretty In Pink A DIY Rhubarb Cordial And A Smoothie

This post is just for fun, nothing earth shattering but I have to say I am so proud that my tomato plant is doing so well, as is my basil, the zucchini is questionable but it’s living. As I have mentioned before I am not a gardener, I am pretty much the opposite, I dislike working in the backyard in dirt, I don’t like the heat or the sun beating down on me so working in my garden except on cool overcast days is out of the question. It’s torture watering in the blazing hot sun for me. Now that I got that out of my system, I am so happy that my tomatoes are doing so well. I even have cute little tomatoes. This morning I staked them because they are getting so tall. I can’t wait until they ripen,  I am just hoping the squirrels don’t abscond with the fruit of the vine. If anyone has suggestions for some sort of protective device that will keep the pesky rodents out let me know and I will buy it forthwith.

IMG_2254

My zucchini is a disaster waiting to happen I’m afraid. I planned on planting it in the ground but never got around to it and it has been somewhat comfy in the large pot don’t know what will happen and the jury is out as to whether or not I actually get a squash.

IMG_2270

The leaves are drying and I am not sure whether or not thats supposed to happen, I think I need to do some research, but no sooner than one leaf dries new ones pop up.

My basil which I figured would never grow and looked awful is huge now. Even my Thai basil came back from the dead, I named it Lazarus.

Big basil

Big basil

This rose bush I bought at the supermarket to put in my air bnb room for a Valentines Day guest. This summer it was planted in a pot outside and has tripled in size and has multiple blooms.

Grocery store rose bush

Grocery store rose bush

When Nando passed a kind and thoughtful neighbor brought me a red geranium which didn’t last the winter so now it is a ritual for me to plant a red geranium to honor my sweet Nando and Izzy. Maybe I will try bringing it in this winter and see if it survives.

Izzy and Nando's geranium

Izzy and Nando’s geranium need to dead head that wilted stem.

Almost a month ago I got almost 2 pounds of rhubarb in a CSA box, I decided to try this Rhubarb Cordial that I saw eon’s ago on Food 52, I thought that it would be a great addition to summer cocktails. All you need is rhubarb, sugar and vodka, put into a clean glass jar, give it a good stir and aside from shaking it periodically to make sure the sugar dissolves it’s something you can make and forget about until the sitting time is up.  I am short on patience and couldn’t wait to try it so I strained and bottled it about a week early. It is really delicious and I plan on making some cocktails and also incorporating in some dessert recipes which will be posted once I figure out what I will make. My bartending skills are about equal to my gardening skills, pretty much non existent but I will try to come up with something nice and refreshing.

rhubarb cordial

rhubarb cordial

In the photo you can see in the corner a sweet little pink cake stand and some peaches which are from frog hollow farm, all from the Food52 shop. I feel like I am esconced in pink kind of like George Costanza was in velvet (If you watched Seinfeld you may get it).

I can’t forget Fiesta Friday #124 and this ice cold rhubarb cordial will be a great addition to the festivities. This weeks party is going to be great Angie’s co hosts are Lindy @ Love in the Kitchen and Liz @ spades, spatulas & spoons.  Along with the cordial I will bring some club soda and a few bottles of prosecco some strawberries and peaches!!

Since I was thinking pink I had some farm fresh strawberries I needed to use and some buttermilk so I made a smoothie, summer is a great time for smoothies, light, refreshing, healthful and delicious. I like to use coconut water in smoothies an easy and convenient way to store your coconut water is to pour it in ice cube trays and freeze, once frozen simply remove the cubes and store in zip lock bags and you have  coconut water ice cubes whenever you need them.  I added a little bit of stevia to the drink because it was a bit sour, the strawberries were not super sweet.

strawberry buttermilk smoothie

strawberry buttermilk smoothie

I quickly wanted to mention what fun I have on the new Food52 app, #notrecipe or #norecipe the app is free in the app store and is available for iphone and iPad. It’s the way so many of us cook and it’s a wonderful platform for homecooks to hone their creativity in the kitchen without the confines of a recipe. I have submitted photo’s of a number of dishes, here are a few. Top left to right, zoodles in garlic and oil with shrimp and scallops in butter/garlic/parsley sauce) Seared scallops with a persillade (thanks Mimi) individual skillet with micro potato, avocado, kale, tomato and sunnyside up egg with gruyere, smoothie with kale, avocado, pineapple, banana, coconut water, ginger no added sugar.

0255AC78-DED0-41B1-9C3A-DFF25AAA8588

I would be remiss if I didn’t wish all the Dad’s a Happy Fathers Day, I hope you have a wonderful day today!!

fiesta-friday-badge-button-i-was-featured1

Quick Butter Chicken- Murgh Makhani

 

IMG_1381

I had butter chicken for the first time only a few months ago at a local Indian restaurant. It was wonderful and I have wanted to make it ever since I tried it. I am sometimes hesitant to make Indian dishes because spicing and I do not see eye to eye, balanced spices is a challenge for me, I follow and have had help from great Indian cooks like Sonal, Aruna, Chitra, Sandhya to name a few.  The other day I received an email from Food and Wine Magazine and it contained a recipe from  Andrew Zimmern’s for Butter Chicken, now Mr. Zimmern is a great chef, daring eater and fun to watch on TV. I trust his palate and thought I would give his recipe a try, it looks so easy all you use is vindaloo prepared spice, no tempering, toasting, grinding etc…. I did not have vindaloo spice mix so I ordered from Penzy’s and can’t wait to try it.

The recipe is very easy to make and I love how quickly it all comes together. Whenever I make a new recipe I try to follow the instructions, I didn’t want to add a stick of butter, not that I don’t like butter (love it) it just seemed like a lot, I threw caution to the wind and used a full stick, the other ingredient I had a hard time with is the spice the vindaloo mix, the recipe calls for 1/4 cup +2tbs, I have a very very light hand when it comes to spices and really wanted to only add 2 tbs but followed instructions and added the full amount.  I did not use chicken thighs, instead I used boneless skinless breast tenders, it’s what I had. Now the butter chicken I had at the Indian Restaurant was almost orange in color. Mine looks like the one in the photo at Food and Wine I guess the color doesn’t matter but I would like to know why some recipes that I have seen are almost a bright orange, is it maybe an addition of some chili powder?

It was tasty, a bit too spicy for me, but I am a real wimp when it comes to heat. I would probably make it again putting my own spin on it. I don’t like adding meat without sauteeing first, so I would do that, I would use less spice because it was a bit too spicy for me, would use less butter, half a stick rather than a whole stick, I would possibly thicken with cashew cream rather than heavy cream or even coconut milk. Well, I guess it’s not the same recipe then. It was very easy, took less than an hour to make and that I love.

What I learned making this recipe:

  1. There is a reason they say to use thighs I think they are sturdier, the breast tenders fell apart in the marinade when left overnight, I had to sieve so it is smooth.
  2. I think it would be worth it to mix your own or have someone custom mix the vindaloo spice mix to tailor to your taste, less of the super spicy stuff.  I like this it’s good but I think there are some things I would change to suit my taste. I thought I might have tasted cloves and I was right, I checked the list of spices and cloves were there albeit a small amount it was the last one mentioned.
  3. Although this is tasty I prefer to layer flavors, searing or sauteeing the meat adds a lot of flavor IMHO.

Butter Chicken

Andrew Zimmern for Food And Wine

  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vindaloo spice (see Note)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 2 large yellow onions, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • One 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Basmati rice, cilantro sprigs and chopped salted roasted cashews, for serving
  1. In a large bowl, mix the yogurt with the vindaloo spice and lemon juice. Add the chicken thighs and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  2. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken and its marinade along with the crushed tomatoes and stock to the casserole and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly, 20 minutes. Stir in the cream and simmer until the sauce is flavorful and the chicken is cooked through, 
10 to 12 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper and serve with basmati rice, cilantro sprigs and chopped cashews.
IMG_1395

The Versatile Crepe

IMG_2728

Does anyone remember Magic Pan Creperie? I don’t know if they are still around but it was always one of my favorite places to eat. Crepes are such a wonderful food you can have them at any meal, they can be a lovely breakfast either sweet or savory and make an amazing dessert, think Crepe Suzette. They are light and paper thin pancakes, more egg than flour, a very runny batter swirled in a crepe pan. They take only minutes to cook and are so delicious. I have used this recipe for many years, it’s from Julia Child and it never fails to produce a perfect crepe.

Fill with ricotta or farmers cheese and serve with a mound of berries, they are delicious served as shown in my photo at the top of the page, very simple, folded, topped with blackberries macerated in orange or tangerine syrup and a squeeze of orange or tangerine juice and dust with some confectioners sugar, or a savory breakfast crepe can be filled with scrambled eggs, chives, cheese  and if you like bacon. ham or sausage. A dinner crepe can be filled with meat or vegetables or make manicotti . For dessert you can serve Crepe Suzette or simply fill with vanilla ice cream and add roasted apples or pears. The possibilities are endless, and it’s all good.

I am bringing the manicotti to Fiesta Friday #114,  steadfast Angie has this party every week without fail and this week her co host, yep co host this week is the lovely Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook 

I am also bringing Mr. Percy I hope it’s a pet friendly party, maybe there will be some other dogs for Percy to play with and I got him an assortment of bow ties just for the occasion. Which one should Percy wear to the party, they are all so festive. Percy is part of a pug pack on Instagram and you will see many of the pugs wearing these adorable bow ties. I got these ties from Mollys Pawtique in case anyone wants a super cute bow tie for their fur kid.

893B11E8-F55E-430A-82AE-5AADE5455C11

Crepes

Makes 10 8 inch crepes

1 cup all purpose flour

2/3 cup cold milk

2/3 cup cold water

3 large eggs

1/4 tsp salt

3 tbs melted unsalted butter

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until it’s all combined and there is no trace of lumps or flour. Refrigerate at least 1/2 hour or more before making the crepes.

Heat your pan (I recommend non stick)  until drops of water dance on the surface. Brush pan with butter and pour approximatly 3 or 4 tbs of batter into the pan swirling the pan in all directions until the bottom is covered. Cook  on medium high until the edges start to come away from the sides of the pan, gently flip with spatula the crepe will be lightly browned, let the other side brown, stack on rack with parchment in between each crepe. If serving immediately you can keep them in the oven with the temperature on warm. They freeze beautifully as well separated by parchment and place in zip lock bag.

IMG_2710

IMG_2884

Manicotti

Makes 4

1-1 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta

1 egg lightly beaten

small handfull Italian flat leaf parsley chopped

1/4 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese, plus more to sprinkle on top

salt and pepper

your favorite marinara sauce

Coat the bottom of a baking dish with some of the marinara. Place a crepe on work surface and add a few tbs of the ricotta filling, roll the crepe and place seam side down in baking dish. Spoon more of the marinara on top of the manicotti and sprinkle with some grated cheese. Bake in 350 degree oven for approximately 20-30 minutes. Serve immediately with some more sauce and grated cheese.

IMG_2851

fiesta-friday-badge-button-i-was-featured1

A #Not Recipe With Zoodles And The Real Deal At Food52 Pasta Night

Zoodles

Zoodles

This a #not recipe. I’m having fun posting on Food52’s new app and decided to share this, it’s really more of an idea than a recipe I guess you could say.

It started with zoodles, you know zucchini noodles, some oven roasted tomatoes, burrata and shaved parmigiana. Simple right?

Heat some olive oil in a skillet, add some garlic sliced thinly and cook until garlic is softened but not brown. Add the zoodles, season with salt and pepper and may be a little crushed red pepper and toss them around in the olive oil and garlic until the zoodles are warmed, I let them cook about 5 minutes. Remove and place in your bowl or on your plate.

If your burrata is not room temperature put in the microwave for about 20 seconds. In the same pan heat your tomatoes if they have been refrigerated or if you made the tomatoes and they are still warm just spoon on top of the zoodles. Take some of the lovely burrata and place on top of the tomatoes,  spoon some of the tomato juices that are mixed with olive oil on top of the burrata. Shave some parmigiana or romano on top and enjoy.

Make sure each layer is seasoned with salt and pepper.

This dish is low carb, delicious and nutritious and also really quick and easy to put together.

Pasta Night

Pasta Night

Last night I went to the Food52 HQ in Chelsea to enjoy an evening of great food and company. First of all the offices that house Food52 are incredible, light filled, lofty and beautiful. The space is designed so well, it works beautifully and gives the feeling of home rather than office. I could not get any photo’s of the completed pasta dishes for ambiance the light was very dim and it just didn’t work with my iphone. The tables were set up communal style, the dishes and flatware were exactly what you will find in the food52 shop, beautiful. Their kitchen is a dream, so beautiful and practical at the same time.

Filming for snap chat

Filming for snap chat

Menu, drool worthy food

Menu, drool worthy food

Gorgeous kitchen

Gorgeous kitchen

Food and drink

Food and drink

IMG_2751 IMG_2752

My fizzy aperol cocktail

I love everything but for me the star of the show was dessert, so simple but the combination was amazing. Olive oil gelato, crumbled biscotti, beautiful sliced oranges all of this drizzled with good olive oil and chiffonade of basil. Profoundly delicious. I begged for the gelato recipe and Amanda said it is a community recipe that will be in the new Ice Cream cookbook. Really it’s the best olive oil gelato I have ever had.

IMG_2781

 

Recipe Redux Bread From The Solitary Cook

IMG_8955

Next Week it will be 4 years since I started the blog and I want to feature just a few recipes from my first week of blogging,  this recipe was posted on January 22 of 2012,  Rustic Italian Bread, the recipe comes from my friend Cynthia whose lovely blog The Solitary Cook has been around about as long as mine, we have known each other longer through Food52 which is where we met. I have linked the recipe and did not copy it into this post, Cynthia is a teacher, a chef and a real artisan, her recipe explains everything involved in making a loaf of bread, it’s a tutorial so click on the link above to see the recipe on her site. Before Cynthia, making bread scared me. Her gentle and comprehensive recipes helped me overcome my fear of failure when it came to yeast breads. Note: Here is the link for the preferment which will need to made before you make the actual bread dough.

I love this bread, it’s simple to make and the result is a lovely loaf with crisp crust and soft pillowy inside. It’s delicious!!

One of my favorite ways to enjoy a slice of this crusty delicious bread is so simple. Good butter, watermelon radishes, sea salt and honey. I get most of my produce which is sourced locally from Farmigo, I have talked about them before, it’s an a la carte CSA, love it!! The radishes and butter are from local farms and the honey was a gift from a friend it is sourced in Manhattan, Hells Kitchen, there is actually a bee keeper in a community garden there. The honey is amazing.

Love local food

Love local food

IMG_9241

Or for breakfast, fried bread, lightly buttered pan fried in olive oil, oven roasted gold tomatoes and a medium soft egg. Quick and easy and hey who doesn’t love fried bread.

IMG_9291

Eggnog

IMG_9020

Happy New Year everyone, I hope you all had a great day. We are winding down our 2 week long bash at Fiesta Friday but the party is still going strong. The delicious food keeps pouring in, It has been so much fun co hosting the party with my good friends Judi, Mollie, Steffi, and of course our dear host Angie who has been tirelessly throwing this party every week for 2 years. This very special 100th Fiesta Friday has been a blast, the holidays are now a thing of the past but I want to contribute one more recipe, it’s something I make every year and for me it’s a New Years tradition. I have published this recipe before but it’s worth doing again simply because it’s delicious and just screams holiday!!

Eggnog

Makes 1 quart eggnog base

2 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup sugar

6-8 egg yolks (I use 8)

2 tsp vanilla extract

Place egg yolks and sugar in mixing bowl and either whisk or use electric mixer to combine the yolks and sugar until thick and pale yellow. Place milk and cream on stove and heat until scalding (not boiling) add half the hot milk/cream to egg yolks whisking constantly. Pour back into pan with the remaining milk, cook on medium heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. You are making a custard, check frequently when the custard starts to thicken by dipping the spoon in the custard, swipe a line on the back of the spoon and if it stays intact the custard is done. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and transfer to a heat proof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, it should sit directly on the custard and refrigerate at least 4 hours preferably overnight.

IMG_9058

Making the eggnog

1 quart egg nog base

1 pint vanilla or eggnog ice cream (optional)

1 cup heavy cream whipped

fresh nutmeg grated

rum extract to taste

To make boozy egg nog omit rum extract and add rum or I like to add rum and cognac or brandy. You decide how much, I like to add 1/4 cup rum and 1/4 cup brandy.

Pour the eggnog base into serving container, whip the cream adding just a little sugar. Soften your ice cream and add in scoops to the eggnog, let it melt, it’s ok. Top with whipped cream and generous grating of nutmeg. If you don’t use ice cream divide the whipped cream and fold half into the eggnog base and top with the other half.

IMG_9019

 

Would love to see you at the party, come on over, bring a dish and use the button below to add your link.

fiesta-friday-badge-button-i-was-featured1

Happy New Year, Some Favorites And 2015 in review

Taken from Pinterest

Taken from Pinterest

I wish each and everyone of you an amazing, healthy, happy, joyous and prosperous 2016. I want to thank you all for being such great friends, for leaving such uplifting and kind comments and for being my source of inspiration. Below is the report compiled by the WordPress helper monkey’s. I don’t really keep track of the stats, but do appreciate the work that WordPress puts into these reports, thank you to the good people at WordPress!! Both 2014 and 2015 were hard years for me, harder than I can even express. The start of a new year brings with it hope and we also reflect on the past year, the good and the bad, the sad and the happy, triumphs and failures. Life can sometimes be like a rollercoaster ride.

Going into my 4th year of blogging in January is quite momentous for me. I can’t believe I am still doing this,  have made such great friends and learned so much. Hope you all have a wonderful time on New Years Eve and joyously welcome 2016, peace, love and joy to all. Below are some photo’s I compliled with some of my favorite dishes both sweet and savory.

Savory favorites

Savory favorites

Baked, desserts and the epic biscuit!

Baked, desserts and the epic biscuit!

 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 37,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 14 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Brussels Sprout And Bacon Frittata For Fiesta Friday #97

Frittata

Frittata

I bought the Huckleberry cookbook months ago and never got around to making anything from it, life got in the way and the book sat on my shelf with the other cookbooks I’ve meant to use. I do have a method to my madness I mark the recipes with a bookmark and place them on the top of my book case not in the shelves so I see them constantly and am reminded that this book has a recipe I need to make. Huckleberry has multiple book marks, the food looks gorgeous and sounds delicious and I am tempted to cook my way through the entire book but honestly don’t have time and I certainly can’t eat my way through the book. How many of you have cookbooks you bought (because you love them) but have not made anything from them? I would venture to guess at least of few of you fall into this category along with me.

IMG_7459

This recipe for a bacon and brussels sprout frittata immediately jumped out at me. I am a huge fan of eggs and frittata’s in general but adding the sprouts and bacon and cheese just made me happy.

I normally would not publish a recipe in a cookbook unless it has already been widely published online, thats the case with this recipe. It is wonderful, but then all the recipes in Huckleberry Cookbook are great, drool worthy, beautifully written and photographed.

I am bringing this delicious frittata to Fiesta Friday this week, Angie, get some rest you have been burning the candle at both ends, thank goodness she has some help this week with two amazing co hosts Johanne@French Gardener Dishes (who is co-hosting for the first time) and Liz@spades, spatulas & spoons. Thank you Ladies!!

Brussels sprouts and bacon frittata

From Huckleberry Cookbook, serves 6

Filling

8 slices thick bacon, chopped

1 tbs olive oil

1 tbs unsalted butter

1 onion chopped

1 tsp kosher salt

2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 cups brussels sprouts thinly sliced plus 1 cup leaves from the sprouts

1/2 tsp black pepper

Custard

10 eggs

2 tbs creme fraiche

2 tbs grated parmesan

1 tbs chopped fresh parsley

2 tbs unsalted butter

2 tbs grated gruyere

Pre heat oven to 475

In large saute pan over medium high heat saute the bacon in 2 tsp of olive oil and the butter until browned. Add the onions 1/2 tsp salt and the thyme and saute until soft, should take about 1o minutes. Add the sliced brussels sprouts and saute for another 5 minutes longer until soft. Transfer the vegetable mixgture to a bowl and set aside.

Toss the brussels sprout leaves in the remaining 1 tsp of olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl whisk together the eggs. creme fruit, parmesan and parsley and set aside.

In a 10 inch cast iron or oven proof saute pan melt 2 tbs butter over medium high heat. Pour the custard into the pan and stir, lightly scrambling the eggs. Slowly add the vegetables to the custard and continue to scramble. When the eggs are about 30% set sprinkle the brussels sprout leaves and sprinkle the gruyere on top. Transfer to the oven for 8-10 minutes. If it is not browned on top place under the broiler for 2 minutes but watch it like a hawk.

Immediately transfer to plate or serving piece by running a spatula around the edges and underneath to free the frittata from the pan. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Mine did not brown on top for some reason, even under the broiler, probably too far from the heat source but it doesn’t matter, the frittata is perfect and delicious albeit a bit pale.

Delicious

Delicious

fiesta-friday-badge-button-i-was-featured1