recipe

Red, White, and Blueberry Beet Salad

thumbnail_Facetune.jpg

Here’s a fun, festive, 4th of July salad for your holiday table. My sister made this one up just for the occasion (and because she knows I LOVE beets, even if she doesn’t!)

It calls for 4 very basic ingredients as well as a basic vinaigrette dressing made with red-wine vinegar. You can whisk one up yourself, or use a bottled one you’ve purchased, whichever get’s the job done to your satisfaction and gets you out of the kitchen and back into the celebration as quickly as possible.

You’ll wow your guests (or your hosts) when you place this on the banquet table!

Red, White, and Blueberry Beet Salad

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 large beets, peeled, cooked (you may boil or roast - your choice), cooled, and cubed

  • 2 pints of blueberries, washed and drained

  • 6-8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

  • a bed of baby spinach

For the dressing:

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup

  • 2 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced

  • ¼ teaspoon fine kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Make the vinaigrette dressing:

    1. In a liquid measuring cup or bowl, combine all of the ingredients except oil. Stir well with a small whisk.

    2. Drop a single drop of oil into the mixture and whisk briskly, add another drop and continue to whisk, then add remaining oil in a stream, continuing to whisk until well blended.

    3. Taste, and adjust as necessary.

  2. Place cooked cubed beets in large bowl, add blueberries, pour viniagrette over top and mix well.

  3. Place baby spinach leaves on serving platter.

  4. Layer dressed beets and blueberries over the top of spinach, then sprinkle liberally with crumbled feta cheese.

  5. Refrigerate until serving.

Enjoy this salad, bursting with red, white, and blue flavor, as we celebrate our great nation’s birthday! I hope your 4th full of your favorite ingredients, and mixes up to be a happy and safe holiday!

Cauliflower 'Faux-tato' Salad

Fauxtato+Salad.jpg

My potato salad is famous (or perhaps infamous, not sure which…) and I’ll make it for any occasion; BBQ’s, birthdays, bar mitzvah’s… but (confession session) sometimes I crave a lighter dish.

Enter this delicious “faux-tato” salad made with steamed cauliflower florets - it’s so so tasty, but far lower in carbs. It’s got everything you want for a great picnic salad except all the starch. Go ahead, give it a try!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets

  • 1/2 cup bacon bits (about 6 rashers of bacon)

  • 1/2 c. sour cream

  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise

  • 1 tspn stone-ground mustard

  • 1 tbsp. dill pickle brine (vinegar or lemon juice work too!)

  • Salt and Pepper

  • 1 1/2 c.  cheddar cheese, shredded

  • 1/4 c. chives, chopped small

Directions:

  1. Add cauliflower florets to about 1” of boiling water in large pot or pan. Cover and allow to steam until tender - about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and cool. Set aside.

  2. Cook bacon rashers until crispy, turning to crisp each side. Drain on paper towels then break or chop into bits.

  3. Mix together, sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, pickle brine (or vinegar or lemon juice) in a large bowl. Add the steamed and cooled cauliflower florets and gently stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper, then fold in bacon, cheddar, and chives. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Of course, like most of my recipes, they’re more suggestion than anything else. If you have a particular way you like to dress your potato salad, give it a try only use the cauliflower florets instead of starchy ‘taters.

I’m always interested in what you think - so tell me if you try this, any adjustments you might make to it, and most importantly, what was the cause of your gathering and celebration?! I’m nosy that way!

Hi-Octane Breakfast Muffins

muffin.jpg

This breakfast muffin recipe comes from my friend, Chris, a teacher who needs to fuel up before she starts her day in the classroom. Her hubby, a hard-working construction manager, says they keep him satisfied all morning long. We can all use that kind of fulfillment!

Little muffins packed full of healthful ingredients; seeds, nuts, fruits and veggies, these are truly hi-octane!

There are a LOT of ingredients, so I think it would be a fun recipe to try out with an equally busy friend or neighbor. Shop together and split the cost of the ingredients, then spend a fun afternoon or evening mixing and baking up your healthful breakfast bites for the days (or weeks) ahead.

With so many bodies under my roof, I’d double or triple the recipe, and think about freezing them for those mornings I can’t make breakfast. I say THINK because I know they’d be gone in a flash, even before they got to the freezer!

These are tasty, with the perfect mix of sweet and savory, and the right combo of soft and chewy. Enjoy!!

Ingredients:

thumbnail_Facetune_22-02-2019-10-25-34.jpg
  • 2 cups multi-grain flour

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

  • 1 1/2 - 2 cup dried fruit bits

    • ( Choose 3-4 of your favorites and use a half cup of each: raisins, craisins, dried blueberries, cherries, apricots, dates, figs, etc.)

  • 2 cups carrots, grated

  • 3/4 cup low-sugar apple sauce ( or one medium apple, shredded)

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds

  • 3 eggs

  • 2/3 cup coconut oil (vegetable or olive oil also work)

  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Mix together.

  3. Add all the dried fruit, coconut, seeds, carrots and applesauce. Stir well to combine mixture.

  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with coconut oil and vanilla extract.

  5. Add the egg and oil combination to the dry mixture in the large bowl and stir to combine well so that all ingredients are evenly mixed.

  6. Spray about 12 standard cupcake tins or about 16 smaller muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray, or use paper liners. Fill to heaping.

  7. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, until tops are browned well.

Have one or two for breakfast and start your day off on the right foot, fully fueled, for what’s to come, with these hi-octane muffins!

Game Day (Any Day) Pretzel Rolls

Pretzel Buns.jpg

A batch of delicious, fluffy, salty topped, pretzel rolls recently made their way into the studio kitchen/break room.

If there are pillows in heaven, they’re made from pretzel rolls… well, maybe not pillows, the tops are rather firm, perhaps stadium cushions then? Yes, stadium cushions in heaven are definitely made of pretzel rolls. lol.

So add these pretzel rolls to your offensive line-up for January play-off games and well beyond. They’ll go perfectly with any soup, chili, or stew, next to a leafy green salad, and paired with innumerable main dishes.

Don’t let the three stages of directions for the rolls daunt your enthusiasm, it’s a relatively easy process, but a written explanation can seem a bit overly-involved. It’s not.

Have fun and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 3 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon flour

  • 1 envelope (1/4 ounce) fact-acting yeast

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 3 tablespoons baking soda

  • coarse sea salt

Directions:

1st Stage:

  1. Combine the flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the warm water and melted, cooled, butter. Add to the flour mixture and mix with the dough hooks until well combined. If dough is too sticky, add more flour. Transfer the dough to a work surface kneading and punching-down until a smooth and elastic ball of dough.

  3. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with a tea towel, and let rise in a warm place, or 100°F (35°C) warm oven, for 60 minutes until doubled in size.

  4. When the dough has doubled, punch it down, return to work surface, and knead for about 30 seconds.

  5. Divide dough into 10 equal (roughly 3-ounce) portions. Dust your hands with flour, roll dough for about 10 seconds until round and firm. This process creates surface tension and prevents the buns from becoming flat. Continue with the remaining dough, then cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for about 20 minutes or until puffy.

  6. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2nd Stage:

  1. In a large wide pot, bring 4¼ cups of water and baking soda to a boil. (Careful, it will foam up!) With a slotted spoon or ladle, slip two rolls into the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds, turn them over, and cook for another 30 seconds. Make sure they are not sticking to the bottom!

  2. Transfer the rolls to the lined baking sheets, score the tops, and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

  3. Repeat for all rolls, then place them onto baking sheets.

3rd Stage:

  1. Bake, one sheet at a time, for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

  2. Eat warm with butter, or store in a sealed bag or container for up to one week.

Pasta with Gorgonzola Cheese and Roasted Cauliflower

Gorgonzola Cauliflower Pasta.jpg

My nephew, Dalton (sister’s son), and niece, Laurel, (brother’s daughter), got together on Christmas eve and cooked up this “boujee” (their description!) version of my favorite dish - mac’n cheese.

Tender roasted cauliflower florets, Gorgonzola cheese, and the organic pasta they used, sets this apart from my typical elbow macaroni and cheddar dish, and make it special enough to serve at any dinner party of distinction. It’s versatile enough to use as a vegetarian main, or a side. (Perhaps to a halibut filet?)

Dalton and Laurel, a very Cousin Christmas!

Dalton and Laurel, a very Cousin Christmas!

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets (less than an inch)

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • ¾ teaspoon

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 large leeks, halved and thinly sliced

  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • 8 ounces pasta like farfalle, bowtie, or fusilli

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

  • 6 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

  • chives for serving

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

  2. In a large bowl, toss cauliflower, leeks, and garlic with olive oil, salt and 3-4 twists of freshly ground black pepper. Spread in a single layer onto a baking sheet or roulade pan and bake for about 35-40 minutes until cauliflower is tender and all veggies are caramelized.

  3. Cook pasta in large stock pot of salted boiling water - remove from heat just BEFORE it is al dente. Remove about 1 cup of the water - set aside, then drain the pot.

  4. Return the pasta to the pot, add the butter, Gorgonzola, a few more twists of the black pepper and 1/2 cup pasta water. Stir thoroughly until cheese is melted and evenly distributed.

  5. Add the roasted florets. leeks, and garlic to the pasta, then season with additional salt and pepper (if desired). If it is too dry, add more of the reserved pasta water.

  6. Dish into shallow serving bowls and garnish with chopped chives. Serve it up warm and delicious!

After carefully taste-testing and much discussion, our two burgeoning chefs decided it could be made even a little more extra by adding crab or lobster to the mix. I have to agree.

Cheesy Jalepeño Loaf

Jalepeno Cheese Bread.jpg

Fall is in the air, in fact, we tried to have a BBQ at the studio recently and even though the sun was shining brightly, the wind was from the north and so cold we picked up our plates and headed in to eat in the dining room!

I can't think of a better way to eat my way through this transitional time that with a mix of fresh veggies and fruits from the garden and some warm comfort foods like soups. Paired with those items, there can be nothing better than a thick slice of this dense cheesy bread.

Made with a beer batter base, and incorporating a little spice (not too much) with jalepeño peppers, it's just the ticket to a tailgater, an office potluck, or your next family meal.

It's "Steve Made" of course, so you know it's been tried and tested.  Here ya go!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup packed shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalepeño peppers, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons green onion (green part), chopped
  • 12 ounces of beer 
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing


Directions: 

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Grease a 9 x 5 bread loaf pan with butter.
3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, garlic salt, and sugar in a large bowl.
4. Add the cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, jalepeños, and green onion, stir until combined.
5. Add beer to mixture, using a spatula stir until combined and batter is wet.
6. Transfer the batter to the greased loaf pan. Use the spatula to level the top.
7. Add the melted butter to the top of the batter, making sure to cover the entire top of the batter.
8. Bake for 1 hour, or until a knife inserted in the middle of bread comes out clean.
9. Remove bread pan from oven to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Then remove bread from loaf pan and let cool on wire rack for 5 more minutes.


Mmmmm. Thanks Steve!