We have been making this pie for over 30 years! It was one of the first things that my mother handed down to me to take over for Thanksgiving. She helped with the dough in the early years, but I always made the custard. Sometimes we roasted our own pumpkin, however, to streamline, we now use organic canned pumpkin. It was her father's favorite dessert and we always made an extra just for him to take home for the week after the holiday. Now the next generation is getting in on the action and while it is hard to let go of one of the first things I learned to make, its nice to see little hands cracking eggs and stirring in pumpkin.
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon nutmeg
2 large eggs
15 ounces of canned or fresh pumpkin puree
12 ounces evaporated milk
1 unbaked pie shell (basic pie dough)
Mix sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in bowl. Beat eggs into mixture. Stir in pumpkin. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell.
Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.
Basic Pie Dough
Serves: 2 pies
1 cup chilled butter
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
10-12 tablespoons water with ice cubes
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Cut butter and shortening into flour, cinnamon and salt with fingertips or pastry cutter or two knives until butter resembles small peas. Add vanilla to ice water. Make a well and gradually add in water mixture into flour and mix with hands until dough begins coming together. Flip dough onto floured surface and mix gently until ball forms, divide into two balls and gently flatten into disc. Wrap in plastic and let rest in fridge or freezer until ready to use.
*This can be made in the food processor to save time and mess. Place dry ingredients into machine, pulse, then add cubes of cold butter. Pulse a few times, only until butter resembles small peas. Add in vanilla water and pulse until dough comes together.
My mother has never been a fan of cooked tomatoes, so marinara was never our go to sauce. While she always made meatballs to satisfy my Dad, she was and is always looking for new ways to get what she likes on the table, even if it means making two kinds of pasta for a family supper. This mushroom pasta is easy and decadent. The rich, earthy, and creamy notes eat well with a glass of chilled white wine. (Maybe just what she needs after having to satisfy such diverse and demanding palates.)
Wild Mushroom Pasta
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Butter
½ Onion, diced
3 cups of assorted Mushrooms, cleaned with a paper towel and sliced (Chanterelles, Cremini, Oyster, White)
2 tsp Salt
3 cloves of Garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh Oregano, minced
½ cup Heavy Cream or Half and Half
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 ladle of pasta water
1 tablespoon flat leaf Parsley, minced
In a large sauté pan place the olive oil and the butter. Add the diced onions and sauté on medium high heat until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and the salt. Saute on high heat, shaking the pan. When the mushroom release their water and begin to soften, add the garlic and oregano.
Add cream and on low heat, let reduce until the cream thickens a bit
Cook one package of pasta (Penne, Garganelli, Gemelli or Fettucini) and reserve one ladle of pasta water.
Toss the pasta, the mushrooms, the pasta water, and 3/4 of the Parmesan. Mix until the pasta is well coated then place in serving bowl and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and the parsley.
We are always experimenting, trying to find new ways to spice up a salad. Lately, we have been obsessed with grilling some of the vegetables and combining them with raw. It gives the salad a nice combination and texture of soft versus crunchy and the char on the grilled veggies imparts a nice smoky flavor. What really though turns this salad on in the vinaigrette. Sweet, floral, spicy, tart, and tangy. It hits all the right umami notes. Try leftovers in a rice bowl with some steamed spinach and baked salmon.
Kale, Grilled Vegetable and Grilled Chicken salad with Coconut Lime vinaigrette
3 cups kale, stemmed and sliced fine
2 cups red leaf lettuce sliced or shredded into bite sized pieces
1 small eggplant sliced into ¼ inch rings
5 scallions with tips removed
1 zucchini sliced long ways into ¼ inch thick pieces
1 yellow squash sliced long ways into ¼ inch thick pieces
1 firm stone fruit, diced (can be plums or peaches)
¼ cup radishes thinly sliced
2 Persian cucumbers, diced
1 chicken breast
½ -1 cup coconut lime vinaigrette
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
On the grill or in a grill pan, grill eggplant, squash, zucchini and scallions until tender, then dice. Set aside.
Season chicken breast with salt and pepper and grill in pan or on grill. (About 5 minutes per side.) Remove from heat and dice.
Dress kale with ½ cup dressing and massage. Let kale sit for at least five minutes.
Toss all ingredients together and add more dressing to your liking.
Coconut lime Vinaigrette
Makes about 2 cups
Juice of 3 limes
Zest of 3 limes
6 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons of fresh mint, minced
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, minced
1-cup full fat coconut milk
3 cloves garlic minced
1 Serrano pepper, seeded and minced
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Whisk together the lime juice, fish sauce, garlic and brown sugar until sugar dissolves. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk until mixed.
Serve with rice bowls or as dressing for any salad including the Kale, Grilled Vegetable and Grilled Chicken salad.
We have made banana bread too many times to count as somehow when you have little kids around, you always have overripe bananas! My mom and I argue about this recipe all the time and go back and forth over who's we like better. This recipe is our compromise!
Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon honey
2 large eggs lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
½ cup chocolate chips or you can omit chocolate and add ½ cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 6-cup loaf pan. Whisk all dry ingredients together in medium bowl. In a stand mixer or using a large bowl and a hand-held mixer, beat on high speed the butter and the sugars until lightened in color and fluffy. Add to sugar and butter the dry ingredients and beat on medium speed until resembling sand. Slowly add in the beaten egg, a little at a time, then add vanilla. When combined, carefully fold in banana and chocolate chips (or nuts). Scrape into prepared pan and bake about 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool before unmolding.
If you omit the chocolate chips bump sugar up to ½ cup sugar, and ½ cup brown sugar.
We may be sliding into fall, and 4th of July has become but a memory, but this condiment is great all year round. My mother, sister-in-law and I all make this a bit differently, but the outcome is same: a spicy, herby and garlicky side to jazz up any basic protein. I like adding oregano, my sister-in-law adds a bit more heat, and my mother makes the below. Once you have the basics, throw in whatever herbs you have on hand and have fun!
4th of July Parsley Chimichurri
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 bunches of flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
¾ cup olive oil
2 tablespoon lemon juice
Mix all ingredients together, let sit with thin layer of olive oil on top. Can be refrigerated for 3-4 days.
Serve with Roasted meats, fish or vegetables.
To make a salad dressing: Place 2 tablespoons Chimichurri, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar in a small bowl and whisk.
We are always playing around with ways to get more fiber and food into the smallest child in the morning. These oat based muffins are filling and tasty, a great start to the day. And, the chocolate tricks him into eating more then a single raspberry for breakfast!
Chocolate Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins
½ cup oat flour
½ cup rolled oats
¼ cup oat bran
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
½ tsp. salt
1-tablespoon baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ cup cacao powder
1-cup sour cream
¼ cup milk
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½-1 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
Preheat oven to 400
Line muffin pan with paper liners or grease with butter or spray with non-stick baking spray
In a bowl whisk flour, oat flour, rolled oats, oat bran, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, spices and cacao powder.
In a smaller bowl whisk eggs, sour cream, milk, melted butter and vanilla.
Add liquid to dry ingredients and mix with a few strokes to combine. Mixture will be thick. Fold in chocolate chips.
With an ice cream scooper fill muffin tins and bake for 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
The little one loves soup, so we are always trying to find new combinations. This "classic" gets a twist by the use of the bounty of late summer heirloom tomatoes. The fennel seeds add a sweet undertone and feel free to experiment with different varieties of heirlooms. When we make it for the kids, we add a gooey grilled cheese on the side for dunking and for the adults a fresh salad.
Heirloom Tomato Soup
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 shallot, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon of fennel seeds
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tablespoons of flour
1 small can tomato paste
8 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon sugar
4 large heirloom tomatoes or 6 small, peeled and roughly diced
1 tablespoon fresh basil, sliced
In a large pot heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions, carrots, shallots and celery and saute until translucent. About seven minutes. Add fennel seeds, garlic, and oregano, and cook another few minutes. Add flour and cook for two minutes, then add tomato paste. Cook for one more minute and watch the heat so bottom does not burn.
Add tomatoes, then broth and bring to a boil. Add sugar and stir, then turn heat down to medium low and simmer for 40 minutes.
Turn off heat and let soup cool. In small batches, puree in blender and then place back on stove. Adjust seasoning and serve with a sprinkle of basil on top.
*optional toppings can be shredded parmesean cheese, toasted croutons, a pinch of red pepper flakes, sour cream.
*to peel tomatoes: bring a large pot of water to boil. Make a small x on the bottom of each tomato and plunge into boiling water for 45 seconds. Remove and place in bowl of ice water. Skin should just slide off.
A true family classic. We have been making these brownies for over thirty years. They are a more cake like brownie and rich with chocolate and always studded with extra chips. The third generation is on their way to making these without help, just a watchful eye as the chocolate melts on the stove. If you wanted to tweak this a little, on a few occasions we have added a few tablespoons of espresso to compliment the chocolate, but we recommend not serving those to small children who you want to get to sleep at a reasonable hour.
Double Fudge Brownies
makes 1 9 x 13 inch baking pan
1 ½ cup sugar
2/3 cup butter
¼ cup water
1 12 oz package of chocolate chips plus 1 cup extra chocolate chips (or butterscotch)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cup flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup of walnuts or pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 325
Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan or pyrex baking dish
Place sugar, butter and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in all but 1 cup of chocolate chips and the vanilla.
Allow mixture to cool, then beat in eggs one at a time. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. After sifting, fold in chocolate mixture and remaining cup of chocolate chips and nuts if using.
Pour into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Bake in preheated oven at 325 F for 40-50 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Every generation in our house loves take-out Orange Chicken, so that inspired us to try to make our own. This dish is lighter then your normal delivery as the only breading you have is a light coating of cornstarch and it is pan fried, not deep fried. It has a sweet and sour flavor that hits those citrus notes, with a subtle heat from the ginger and chili flakes. If you are making this for kids, you may want to skip the chili flakes and add some at the end for the grown-ups.
Make-In Orange Chicken
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup orange juice
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. orange zest
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ tsp. red chili flakes
½ inch piece fresh ginger, minced
1 large clove garlic, minced
3-4 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ tsp. salt
Canola oil for frying
Scallions or sesame seeds for garnish( about one scallion and 1 tsp. sesame seeds)
In a small saucepan bring orange juice, zest, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar, chili flakes, ginger and garlic to a boil. Then, turn heat to medium and simmer until reduced by half.
Pat chicken pieces with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
In a large bowl add salt and cornstarch and toss in chicken until all pieces are well coated.
In a large sauté pan or wok heat enough Canola oil so that the oil comes up the side of pan about ¼ of an inch. When hot, add chicken in batches, browning on all sides. About 5 minutes per batch. Remove from pan. Drain pan of excess oil. Add all of the chicken back in and pour sauce over. Heat for 1-2 minutes until all of chicken is coated. Then, sprinkle sesame seeds or diced scallions over the top and serve.
*If you want a thicker sauce add 1 tsp. of cornstarch to the sauce when you add it to the chicken.
Serve with Rice
Peanut butter and chocolate are a classic and favorite combination. As are pretzels and peanut butter. This pie combines everything that is wonderful into one delicious bite. The littlest one loves using the food processor, so he got in on the crust making action. However, once the peanut butter and cream cheese and whipped cream started coming together, he ran off with the spoon to lick away in peace!
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pie with Pretzel Crust
Makes one pie
½ cup-3/4 cup crushed pretzels. (About large 4 handfuls of whole pretzels)
6 tablespoons butter, melted plus 1 tablespoon
½ cup brown sugar
8 oz. cream cheese
1-cup smooth peanut butter
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream plus 2 tablespoons
½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375
Place crushed pretzels, melted butter, and brown sugar in food processor and pulse until mixture begins to clump together. Dump into pie dish and press/pat firmly on bottom and sides to make crust. You want it to be even, about ¼ of an inch thick. Place in oven and bake 10-15 minutes until the crust turns a light golden brown. Remove and cool.
Whip the 2 cups of heavy cream, and once soft peaks appear, add the vanilla extract. Beat a minute or two more until firm peaks.
With a handheld mixer or stand mixer, beat cream cheese, peanut butter and powdered sugar together until incorporated. With a spatula carefully fold half the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture. Once mixed, fold in remaining whipped cream until mixture is uniform. Set Aside.
In a microwave safe dish add chips, 2 tablespoons of cream and the butter. Depending on your microwave, heat until chips melt, then stir carefully until mixed. Pour into prepared pretzel shell and place in freezer to cool for 10 minutes.
Remove crust from freezer and fill with Peanut Butter mousse. Chill for at least two hours or over night.
Fifteen minutes before serving, remove pie and decorate with shaved chocolate, or chopped peanuts, or chopped peanut butter cups.
Not sure about you, but we tend to overbuy at the Farmers Market this time of year, as the fruits just seem to beckon with their siren call. This means we are always looking for ways to use up fruit that is on the verge. You can make this treat with really any combo of berries and stone fruits. This bar hits all the right notes, sweet, tart, chewy with a little crunch. The addition of the almond extract instead of our go-to vanilla gave the bar a surprising undertone that was tasty. The kids had seconds! We made a second version a few days later with raspberries, strawberries and plum and used lime instead of lemon as we had no lemons. It was tangy, sweet and even better! You make the call based on the citrus you have on hand, may try orange next time!
Mixed Fruit Crumb Bars
Makes one 8 inch cake pan or one 8 inch square Pyrex
½ cup brown sugar
1 ½ cups flour
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup cold butter, cut into pieces
Zest of half a lemon
2 cups mixed berries and or stone fruit cut into small pieces (this had blackberries, strawberries and plums)
½ cup sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
Juice of ½ lemon
1/2 tsp. almond extract
Preheat oven to 375
Grease an 8’ inch cake or Pyrex baking dish.
In a medium bowl mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Then add in the cold butter and egg, cutting it in with a pastry cutter or fork. You can also use your fingers to break up any large pieces of butter. Once the mixture resembles crumbs, press half into the pan.
In another bowl, add sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch and almond extract and mix. Carefully stir in fruit.
Spread fruit with juices evenly on top of dough and sprinkle with remaining dough. You want some fruit peeking out.
Bake 40-45 minutes until fruit is bubbling and topping is golden brown. Cool before slicing.
In our family, we are always looking for ways to tweak the basic pasta sauces we always make. Everyone loves meat sauce, and this version gets a nice herby kick from the Italian sausage and dried herbs. If you are cooking for adults only, or your kids like a little bang in their bite, substitute the sweet Italian sausage with a spicy one.
Italian Sausage and Turkey Bolognese
1 pound Sweet Italian Sausage meat (uncooked)
1 pound ground Turkey meat (light or dark, your preference)
3 carrots, peeled
½ yellow onion
1 red pepper
3 cloves garlic
2-3 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 cup red wine
1 small can tomato paste
2 large cans crushed tomatoes
¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
¼ cup fresh basil, minced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 to 2 packages of your favorite pasta
In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and then add your meats. Season the meats with 1 teaspoon of salt and the dried spices. Brown meats then remove into a bowl and set aside.
Place carrots, onion, red pepper, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until pureed. In the same pan you browned the meat, add the pureed vegetables, and if pan looks a bit dry add another tablespoon of olive oil. Sautee vegetables with remaining salt until their liquid begins to evaporate, then add the meat back into the pan. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, then deglaze with wine. After 2 more minutes add your tomatoes, parsley, and basil. Stir on high heat until the mixture begins to bubble, add balsamic vinegar and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook for at least and hour or up to two hours. Serve with your favorite pasta and a hearty helping of Parmesan cheese.
*This recipe makes two dinners for a family of 4 using one package of pasta per meal, if serving more people this will make one dinner.
The kids love muffins, so we are always playing around with different combos. This is a hearty breakfast muffin or afternoon snack that gets a hit of protein from the almond butter. The littlest is getting adept at cracking eggs and mashing bananas, and the bigger kids like filling up the muffin cups. A trick to making them all even is using an ice cream scoop.
Almond Banana Oat Muffins with Chocolate Chips
Makes 12 muffins
½ cup Canola Oil
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
¾ cup Almond Butter
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
2 cups quick cooking rolled Oats
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons flax seeds
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350
Line muffin tray with paper muffin cups or oil/spray pan with non stick baking spray.
In a Medium bowl add the eggs, banana, oil, vanilla, and almond butter. Whisk/mash all ingredients until incorporated and only small pieces of banana are visible.
In another bowl whisk together the baking soda, salt, sugar, oats, flax seeds and flour. Then add this mixture to the wet ingredients. Fold with a spatula until combined, then fold in the chocolate chips.
Fill muffin cups to top with batter and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
This dish is a great summer into fall side dish as it takes advantage of green beans still in season but captures the richer, toastier vibe of fall. The balsamic and thyme start the palate thinking about the flavors to come.
Green Beans with Balsamic Glazed Onions
1 lbs fresh pearl onions
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon ground pepper
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme,
½ lbs fresh trimmed green beans
¼ cup olive oil
½ tablespoon Dijon
Blanch onions in large pan of boiling water. Drain & refresh under cold water. Trim the root ends and slip off the skins.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a small saucepan, combine ¼ cup of balsamic, butter, vegetable oil, thyme, 1 tsp of the pepper and ½ tsp of the salt and stir over moderately low heat until butter is melted. In a bowl, toss the onions with the vinegar mixture to coat. Spread the single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 35 - 40 min, stirring often, until evenly browned.
Meanwhile blanch green beans until tender in boiling salted water- about 4 min. Drain and refresh under cold water, then set aside. In a bowl, combine the olive oil, mustard and remaining vinegar and the rest of the salt and pepper. Add the green beans and the roasted onions to the dressing and toss well. Transfer to a large casserole dish (Can refrigerate here), preheat oven to 350. Cover and bake the room temperature green beans and onions for 20 min until heated through.
We experimented with all sorts of butters and sugars in making this cookie and this was the most successful. The tahini version was a little too strong, and the nutella version made a wonderful brownie brittle type thing but also dripped everywhere and killed the oven. These did work well with almond butter, and almond extract but in our family it's all about the peanut butter!
Gluten-free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup smooth Peanut Butter
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 350
Mix all ingredients together, adding the chips last. Scoop into 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheet with about an inch between cookies.
Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes depending on your oven.
This is a light salad that is redolent with freshness. The grapefruit and fennel are a classic combination as the sweetness of the fennel pairs with the tang of the citrus, The cheese gives the salad a salty component to balance the spicy Arugula. It is great paired with fish. We only had yellow grapefruit for this, but pink grapefruit would be an even better choice. Play around with the citrus.
Grapefruit and Fennel Salad with Arugula
3 medium to large bulbs of fennel
1 pound of Arugula
1 cup of Parmesan, shaved
2 pink grapefruits, zested, segmented, then juiced
Juice from grapefruits
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon minced parsley
2 tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup olive oil
zest from grapefruits
For dressing add salt, zest, parsley, and citrus juices to bowl and whisk until salt dissolves. Add honey and olive oil and whisk until combined.
Slice fennel bulbs with a mandolin into thin slices then toss with remaining ingredients and dressing. Serve immediately.
Tip- to prepare grapefruits. First zest, then carefully slice off rind exposing pink flesh and leaving no white pith. With a sharp paring knife cut along thin white pith between segments. Once all are done, squeeze the leftover to use juice.
This zippy sauce is traditionally used with Bouillabaisse but it can also double as a dipping sauce for a fresh vegetable platter, or roasted potatoes. It is rich and garlicky and the saffron gives it a subtle kick.
Saffron Garlic Mayonnaise (Rouille)
Makes about 1 cup
¾ teaspoon saffron threads
2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon very hot broth from the bouillabaisse or any veggie stock
1 fresh French roll with crust trimmed
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
¾ cup olive oil
Stir in a small bowl the saffron and 2 tablespoons of hot stock. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes. In a food processor process roll into crumbs. Add ¾ of a cup of bread crumbs to saffron mixture and mash with fork until a loose paste forms. Add more stock if too stiff. In food processor or blender add red pepper, garlic and salt. Puree and add in the egg yolk. Pulse bread mixture in, little by little until smooth. Slowly stream in the oil until the mixture is emulsified. Check seasoning. Cover and refrigerate. Use same day with bouillabaisse or serve with crudite.
tip: be sure that the broth added is very hot as sauce can separate.
Inspired by the bounty of peas in the garden, this simple pasta dish is a great thirty minute meal. You could easily use frozen peas, just follow the same recipe. The peas give the dish a slight sweetness which is a nice counterpoint to the cheese. The bread crumbs give the dish a toasty crunch. The kids gobbled it up!
Rigatoni with Fresh Peas and Parmesean
1 cup fresh, shelled peas
½ cup panko bread crumbs
2 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil plus 3 tablespoons
½ cup grated parmesean
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup basil leaves, torn
1 box rigatoni
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Bring large pot of salted water to boil. When boiling, add peas and blanch for 3 minutes. Remove peas and chill in ice bath until ready. Add pasta and cook until al dente, reserving ½ cup pasta water.
In sauté pan heat 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil. Add garlic and bread crumbs. Saute until light brown and toasty. Place in small bowl and set aside. In same pan add cream, and heat on medium until bubbling and beginning to reduce. Add peas and season with salt and pepper. Keep on low heat, stirring occasionally. You want the cream to thicken slightly. Add reserved pasta water and cheese.
Toss pasta with peas and cheese sauce and the bread crumbs. Add remaining Olive oil, basil, and lemon zest.
This is an easy side dish for any summer bbq. The corn is both savory and sweet, with a little zing from the lime juice. You could add some jalapeños for a spicy kick, or could also season corn with any of your favorite spices like cumin, chili powder or smoked paprika.
Grilled Corn Salad with Feta and Lime
8 large ears of corn, husked
¼ cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons of Mayonnaise
2/3 cup of feta cheese, crumbled
½ cup fresh chives, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat grill to high heat. Brush corn with mayo and season with salt and pepper. Place on grill and grill for about ten minutes, until corn is browned on all sides. Remove from grill and cool slightly so it is easy to handle.
Slice kernels from corn and place in large bowl. Stir in lime juice and all but one tablespoon of chives and feta. Adjust salt if needed.
When ready to serve sprinkle with remaining chives and feta. Serve at room temp or chilled.
Summer is all about entertaining and here are some ideas for some cheese and charcuterie platters. It's always nice to have some cheese whole, usually a softer variety, and have some chunked that people can grab as they walk towards the bar:) Something sweet, something crunchy, fruit, nuts, jam, anything goes.
The littlest member of the family will eat chicken just about anyway you make it and this is one of his favorites. It's simple, fast and tasty with a sweet and salty kick. It is an easy weekday night dinner that can be made in under thirty minutes and that is including making a salad and the rice.
Honey Glazed Chicken
¼ cup of honey
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 ½ tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 chicken breast halves cut into bite size pieces
Whisk honey, soy sauce and red pepper flakes in a bowl. Heat sesame oil in a skillet over medium heat. Toss chicken with corn starch then cook, stirring chicken in hot oil until lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Pour honey mixture into skillet and continue to cook and stir until chicken is no longer pink in the center and sauce is thickened. About 2 minutes more. Serve with rice.
This dish is inspired by one of our friends, Lisa, based on a recipe from a popular British restaurant. It has worked its way into heavy rotation as its both savory and sweet, with a layer of spice not usually found in a simple vegetable side dish. The cumin beefs up the flavor, and we never have any left at the end of a meal. Sometimes we serve it sliced on angles into bite sized pieces, and sometimes we leave the carrots long, just sliced in half for variety.
Carrot and Cumin Salad with Cilantro
3 cups rainbow carrots
2/3 tsp. cumin seeds (if you don’t have a small spice grinder, you can use ground cumin, just omit the roasting portion of recipe.)
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 tsp. sugar
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
½ tsp Sea salt
Peel carrots and boil whole in salted water until just tender. Remove and shock in ice water, then let dry. Roast cumin seeds in small skillet over medium heat until fragrant and color darkens, 2 minutes. Grind cumin in mortar and pestle or in small spice grinder and add garlic and 1/2 tsp. salt. Pound. Mix in lemon juice, sugar, and olive oil with garlic. Toss carrots in cumin dressing and sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve at room temperature.
My dad is our toughest critic, but these beans always pass muster. They have just the right balance of sweet and savory and work well with a crowd. They have been a staple of our annual 4th of July barbecue and we rarely have leftovers.
BBQ Baked Beans
2 cans vegan beans
3 cans drained, baked beans
½ red onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ red jalapenos, minced
¼ cup green pepper, chopped
¼ cup red pepper, chopped
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup molasses
1 teaspoon dry mustard
¼ cup yellow mustard
¼ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 325.
Saute onions, garlic, jalapenos, peppers in olive oil. Then add brown sugar, molasses, mustard, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce. Combine beans into mixture.
Bake for an hour to caramelize.
We got in the habit of making this cake to use up fruit that was on the verge of being overripe. The plums give it a sweet and sour counterpoint and its a great little cake for afternoon snacks or bring it to a pot luck.
Plum Snackcake with Pecan Topping
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (¼ stick), plus more for
coating the pan
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch fine salt
½ cup finely chopped pecans
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
5 medium plums, pitted and cut into ¾ -inch pieces
Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with butter and set aside.
To make topping, in a medium bowl use your fingertips and work the brown sugar, flour, butter, cinnamon, and salt until the ingredients come together. Stir in the pecans, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
To make cake, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside. Whisk together the milk and vanilla extract in a small bowl and set aside. Combine the sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. You can also use a hand held mixer. Add the eggs 1 at a time, letting the first completely incorporate before adding the second. Add a third of the flour mixture and mix on low until just combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl. Pour in half of the milk mixture and mix on low until just incorporated. Repeat, alternating dry and wet ingredients and ending with the dry ingredients, until completely incorporated.
Remove the bowl from the mixer, fold the plums and turn the batter into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the reserved topping evenly over the top and bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean and the top is golden brown, about 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool at least 20 minutes before serving.
We have been making these meatballs for as long as we have been cooking. They are based on a Marcela Hazan recipe that has been tweaked over time. My mother prefers to cook them in a pan as the recipe below states, and I prefer to cook them in the oven as I'm usually chasing children around and not always up for babysitting the stove! Either way they turn our tender and tasty. We always make double and freeze half. Again, my mother freezes with sauce, and I freeze after baking before making sauce. A tip on freezing without sauce, place them on a sheet tray and freeze, then stack in a ziploc bag.
Meatballs and Tomatoes
A slice of good quality white bread
1/3 cup milk
1 pound ground beef, preferably chuck (can sub dark meat turkey)
1 tablespoon onion chopped very fine
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped basil
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoon freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper, ground fresh
Panko bread crumbs
1 Cup fresh, ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped or canned imported Italian plum tomatoes, chopped up, with their juices.
Put the milk and bread in a small saucepan, and turn on the heat to low. When the bread has soaked up all the milk, mash it to a pulp with a fork. Remove from heat and cool. Put into a bowl the chopped meat, onions, parsley, basil, egg, garlic, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the grated parmesan, nutmeg, the bread and milk mush, salt, black pepper. Gently knead the mixture with your hands without squeezing it. When all the ingredients are evenly combined, shape it gently and without squeezing into balls about 1 ½ inch in diameter. You can use an ice cream scooper.
Place breadcrumbs on plate, enough to cover the plate. Roll the balls lightly in the breadcrumbs. Choose a sauté pant that can subsequently accommodate all the meatballs in a single layer. You may need to do in batches. Pour in enough vegetable oil to accommodate ¼ inch up the sides. Turn on heat to medium high, and when the oil is hot, slip in the meatballs. Brown the meatballs on all sides, turning them carefully so they won’t break.
Remove the pan from the heat, tip the pan slightly and with a spoon, remove as much of the fat as possible. Return the pan to the burner over medium heat, add the chopped tomatoes with their juice, a pinch of salt, and turn the meatballs over once or twice to coat them well. Cover the pan and adjust the heat to cook steady simmer for about 20-25 minutes,. Taste, correct for salt and serve alone or with spaghetti.
Alternative cooking method: Preheat oven to 350 F- place meatballs on cookie sheet with lip after rolling breadcrumbs and bake until cooked through about 20-30 minutes. Then, add both meatballs and tomatoes to sauté pan and heat until sauce is bubbling.