Watch this series. That is all I can say. You will be amazed by the food you see. You will be delighted by the stories the chef's share. I will watch each episode at least twice...then I will cook.
Recipe inspired by Food & Wine
This truffle recipe offers an less fussy way to create a delicious, delightful, creamy bite of heaven. You will note that these truffles are finished without the classic chocolate shell on the outside. Simply prepare your ganache, cool, scoop and roll in a topping. Done!
PS. Having fun with the camera for this post!
Makes 70 small
1-cup heavy cream
3 Tbs light corn syrup
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream and corn syrup to a boil. Put the bittersweet chocolate in a medium bowl and pour the hot cream over it. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
2. Whisk in the vanilla and butter. Let stand until firm, at least 1 hour. The longer you leave the ganache the firmer it will become...easier to scoop.
3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a truffle scoop, scoop the ganache and drop them onto the parchment. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
4. If you prefer a more "natural" truffle look no need to roll the truffles before coating. If you like a more rounded appearance use your hands, roll each mound of ganache into a ball; you may have to cool your hands in ice water periodically while you work to cool them down.
5. Roll 1 truffle at a time into 1 of the coatings. Return the truffles to the baking sheet cover loosely and refrigerate until chilled. Remove from the refrigerator and allow truffles to come to room temperature before serving.
1. Sifted cocoa powder with ground cinnamon
2. Shredded and chopped coconut
3. Ground lavender and crystallized sugar
4. Chopped toasted nuts with sea salt
A great multi-use recipe!
There is nothing better than a recipe that does double or triple duty. To find a recipe that starts as one recipe and then becomes something very different by adding or subtracting just a few ingredients makes meal planning so much easier.
In its original form it is a sauce for salmon, chicken, beef, or pork. You can put it over rice, spaghetti squash, or steamed broccoli. Add chicken or vegetable stock to it and it becomes a soup. Take that soup and puree it, add some left over chicken and it becomes an Asian chili. To take this recipe and turn it into a Mexican or Latin dish, leave out the ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil and add in chipotle! The possibilities are endless. My Asian Black Bean Sauce is one of my favorite multi-use recipes. The ingredients are always part of my pantry supplies. And, this recipe freezes well for later use. I recently featured this recipe at a program I did for the North Reading Garden Club and it received great reviews!
Makes about 2 cups
2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbs of fresh ginger, minced
1 can of black beans (15 ounces), drained and rinsed (red kidney beans can be added or substituted)
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock or water
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
Pinch crushed red pepper
2 Tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
2 pieces of scallion, sliced thin on the diagonal.
Every year the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts (GCFM) holds a forum that invites professional speakers to present themselves to garden club program committee members. As a speaker and presenter this is a wonderful opportunity for me to introduce myself and my cooking and gardening programs to more than 200 Massachusetts garden clubs.
My goal is to make myself memorable as I entice the club members to my table so I can give my 30 second "elevator speech" sales pitch and get each visitor to remember me. How do I do that? First, I try to dress up my little 3 foot table space with pretty fabric and a laptop slide show of my gardens.
Second, I smile...a lot!
Third, I bring out my secret weapon...food. Each year I bring a tasty dish for visitors to sample. Each recipe needs to be quick to hand-out, not too fussy or messy to eat, and include ingredients that relate to my cooking demonstration topics. This year I offered my favorite herbal treat. My rosemary shortbread cookies are always a winner and are so easy to make. The best thing about this recipe is that I can make the dough ahead, freeze it, and then thaw out the dough just before I'm ready to bake. The dough will hold well in the freezer for 3 months. Enjoy!
Rosemary Shortbread Cookies with Lime Icing
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp fresh rosemary
½ cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
Optional Herbs: lavender, thyme, basil
2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tsp lime juice and ½ tsp lime zest or 1/8 tsp lime oil
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon milk
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
This winter was a long one, cold, and snowy...lots of snow. Right after Christmas I took my two enamel cast iron dutch ovens and placed them on my stove. My plan was to leave them there all winter in the hopes that they would regularly inspire me to explore their cooking magic by creating a variety of soups and stews. It worked!
The idea for this recipe, my "progressive" soup came to me as I was looking in the refrigerator with desperation trying to come up with a last minute dinner plan. Last minute because I'd given a cooking class that day, driven 2 hours there and back and I was really not feeling like cooking a meal; and now it was 7:00pm. Sound familiar?
Looking around in the refrigerator I pulled out the leftovers of the herb soup I had made two days before. That would be my start. Seeing no leftover vegetables, I went into the freezer. Frozen peas, broccoli florets, and pearl onions came to my rescue. Next I needed a protein. I headed back into the refrigerator and found a container of cooked chicken I had pulled from a roast chicken we had the night before. I put all these things together in my dutch oven with some chicken stock, placed it over a low flame and in half and hour dinner was ready! The next day I did the same thing. This time I took the leftover soup and added coconut milk, curry powder, and cilantro. Now I'd taken last night's dinner and created a soup with a completely different flavor profile. Served with a salad of greens, sliced apples, and dressed with oil and vinegar and we were set for another delicious soup!
Herb Soup, Chicken Soup and Herbs, Curried Chicken Soup with Coconut Milk
Soup #1…Herb Soup
Double this recipe if you are planning to create additional soups from this.
2 Tbs unsalted butter
½ cup onion, diced
½ cup celery (about 1),chopped
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups whole milk
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 Tbs fresh herbs, chopped (flat leafed parsley, rosemary, tarragon, thyme)
4 cups chopped fresh greens (baby spinach, arugula, sorrel, watercress, ramps, or dandelion leaves)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Soup #2… Chicken Soup and Herbs
Add the ingredients below (except the parsley and cheese) to the leftovers. The amounts will vary depending on how much of the Herb soup you have left. Simmer for 15-20 minutes to bring the flavors together.
Finish the soup by adding the chopped parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with cheese on the side.
2-3 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained or 1 ½ cups fresh cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 ½ cups cooked whole grain rice or 1 15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Stock as needed
½ cup flat leafed parsley, chopped
Shredded parmesan cheese
Soup #3…Curried Chicken with Coconut Milk
1 Tbs olive oil
2-3 Tbs curry powder
1-2 cans coconut milk
½ pound frozen or fresh cauliflower
½ pound frozen or fresh corn
½ cup cilantro, fresh
stock as needed
Don't be afraid that this recipe makes too much. You will love this recipe so much that you will be eating it morning, noon, and night! The beauty of marinating your kale is that it will taste better as time passes. Keep your kale salad refrigerated for up to 5 days! Each day add something different to your salad...diced tofu, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, cold shrimp, cold chicken...anything you like!
Makes 12 servings
8 Cups of de-veined and chopped Kale
¼ cup red onion, diced
1 glove of garlic
½-inch piece of ginger root
1/3 cup olive oil
1 -2 tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos
1/2 cup of water
¼ cup lemon juice
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
Pinch or two of cayenne
1. Place the chopped kale and red onion in a large bowl.
2. Using a blender, combine the remaining ingredients to create a marinade. Toss the kale with the marinade. You can eat your dressed kale immediately, but this is best when refrigerated for 4-5 hours before eating.
This salad can be stored in the refrigerator and eaten for up to 5 days.
Additions: Shredded zucchini or carrots, and/or diced tofu. Cooked shrimp, shredded chicken, pork, or beef can also be added.
1 lb of cooked farfalle pasta*
2 Tbs olive oil or 2 Tbs butter
10 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
2 ½ -3 cups of half & half
1 cup fresh flat leafed parsley, chopped
2 cups Arugula, chopped
2 Tbs fresh rosemary, chopped, fine
1 cup of Parmegiano Reggiano, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat a large sauté pan over low heat with olive oil the sliced garlic. Cook the garlic until lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes.
2. Add the half & half to the garlic and bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer for 3 minutes.
3. Add the chopped herbs and simmer for 2 minutes.
4. Add the cooked pasta and cheese and gently toss to combine. Heat for 1- 2 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb some of the sauce and enhance the flavor of the pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cooking Pasta Ahead of time:
Cook your pasta aldante (until there is a slight bite to it).
Strain the pasta and run cold water through it until it is cooled. Strain well.
Put the cold pasta in a plastic bag and add 2 Tbs of olive oil. Seal the bag and squish to coat the pasta with the oil. Refrigerate.
Heating Cooked Pasta:
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
Just before serving drop the cooked pasta into the boiling water and immediately pour the pasta into a strainer. Serve with sauce.
1 pound frozen petite peas, thawed
3 Tbs cider or red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
½ tsp fresh thyme
1 Tbs flat leafed parsley, chopped
1 egg hard cooked, chopped
1/4 small red onion, finely chopped
1 Tbs capers, drained
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Place the thawed petite peas in a medium serving bowl.
2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, oil, thyme, parsley, egg, onion, and capers, and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle half of the vinaigrette over the peas and toss. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. Keep remaining vinaigrette refrigerated for up to 5 days. Use on salads, boiled potatoes, or on top of cooked chicken or fish.
Asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, and sugar snap peas make wonderful additions or substitutions. Steam until just cooked but still crisp and cool before adding marinade.
I am hooked on my spiralizer! Easy to use with beautiful results, this new kitchen gadget is a must for anyone who is looking for an easy way to prepare zucchini that can be a healthy replacement to pasta on the dinner plate. Video
3 medium zucchini
Use the attachment with the smaller holes to produce a thin spaghetti like result. The machine will produce one long, long, long strand. Be sure to cut the zucchini strand in a few places to make them easier to serve.
Dress with herb pesto.
Makes about 1 ½ cups
½ cup olive oil
2 cups fresh baby spinach or arugula, roughly chopped
1 cup fresh flat leafed parsley, stems removed, roughly chopped
6 Tbs mayonnaise
1 Tbs fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
3 Tbs fresh mint, roughly chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup cold water
Optional: Add 1/3 cup toasted almonds, pine nuts, or roasted sunflower seeds w/oil, spinach
1. Place the oil into the blender or food processor.
2. Add the spinach or arugula, parsley, mayonnaise, rosemary, mint, garlic, and Parmesan cheese (nuts too if using). Process until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary. Continue to process until smooth adding the water if a smoother consistency is desired.
3. Toss with hot or room temperature pasta and serve hot or cold.
Tip: If using spiralized summer squash or zucchini instead of pasta…no need to cook the squash. The raw squash will stay firm and hold up to the pesto better if left uncooked. Heat dressed squash in microwave for 2 ½ minutes if you’d like to serve it warm or hot.
4 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, diced
2 medium baking potato, peeled and diced
2-3 cups chicken or vegetable stock, or hot water
1 1/2 cups milk (low fat is fine)
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 cups chopped mixed greens ( baby spinach, arugula, sorrel, watercress, ramps, or dandelion leaves)
2 Tbs fresh herbs, chopped (flat leafed parsley, rosemary, tarragon leaves)
freshly ground pepper
1. Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed soup pot or large sauce pan over medium heat. When it is melted add the onion and reduce the heat to low. Cover with a lid and cook until the onion is soft, about 5-8 minutes.
2. Add the diced potato, stock (or water), milk and cream to the soup pot. Increase the heat to medium and heat until simmering. Simmer until the potatoes are fully cooked, about 15 minutes more.
3. Add the chopped greens and herbs and simmer uncovered 5 minutes.
4. Puree the soup in a blender or with an immersion blender, until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot or cold.
Serves 6 as a side dish
1 pound bag frozen Petite Peas (these are the sweetest), thawed
2 Tbs unsalted butter
¼ cup red onion, chopped
3 Tbs fresh mint, chopped
2 Tbs fresh flat leafed parsley, chopped
Kosher salt and Pepper
Add ½ pound thin asparagus, cut into 1”pieces and lightly steamed.
Add ½ pound sugar snap peas, steamed for 3 minutes.
To make minted sweet pea puree: Place the completed pea recipe into a food processor and process until smooth. Serve warm or room temperature on a cracker or crostini. Top with shaved parmesan.
To make minted sweet pea soup: Heat 4 cups of chicken stock. Add the completed pea recipe. Process in a blender in 2 batches until smooth. Add heavy cream to taste if you like a creamier soup. Season with kosher salt and pepper.
photo credit Matthew Mead
I am so lucky to be doing what I love! As a cooking instructor and food educator I love to share tips and lessons about how to make your cooking experiences easier, tastier, and healthier.