My first year entering the Dixie Classic fair didn't go so well. My Northern tastes didn't seem to fit in here in the South I realized after I entered several of my favorite recipes in many categories. The one and only winner I had was for a category that spoke to me...
oh how I love trail mix and definitely love my jars! I have so many favorite trail mixes so it was tough to pick one! In the end I went with a new creation, using some of my favorite roasted nut recipes along with a new favorite candy I discovered at LGA airport of all places...
chocolate covered freeze dried strawberries! I tried making them on my own but that didn't go well. Luckily I found some in the holiday section at Lidl.
Spinach & Pine Nut Quiche
by Steve Petusevsky & Whole Foods Market Team Members
The quiche may be made up to three days before serving. Serve it at room temperature, or reheat it slowing in a 325 oven for 30 minutes until heated through.
1 9" pie crust
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
6 cups fresh spinach leaves, washed and dried
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon dried sage (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
1/2 cup pine nut, toasted
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 large red bliss potato, steamed until tender, sliced 1/4" thick
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Remove the piecrust from the freezer, and let it thaw for 10 minutes. Prick the bottom with a fork and bake for 7-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove the crust from the oven to cool.
2. Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan. Add the garlic, spinach, salt, pepper and sage. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute or until the spinach is just wilted. Stir in the pine nuts.
3. In a small bowl, mix the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. In another bowl, whisk the milk and eggs together.
4. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture on the piecrust. Top with half the spinach mixture. Place the potato slices on top of the spinach. Add half the remaining cheese mixture and then the remaining spinach mixture. Top with the rest of the cheese. Place the piepan on a sheet pan. Carefully pour in the milk mixture. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool slightly before cutting.
I feel in love with pupusas on my first trip to El Salvador. Those tasty cheesy corn cakes topped with that tart slaw was unlike anything else I've ever had! I looked forward to my trip there to eat more and got excited to find a Salvadorian restaurant that would serve 'em.
Now I am dealing with an abundance of squash in the garden so I scanned my cookbooks for squash recipes and was thrilled to come across this. These little guys were easy to make. I shredded a block of smoked mozzarella one day, roasted a big batch of squash another day and whipped this up another time. I topped mine with sour cream and salsa!
The leftovers were good as well. I did some topped with egg, another with vegan crumbles. They are a great vehicle for many toppings that kicked up the leftover game!
1. Preheat the oven to 400. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, and spoon out the seeds. Put the squash halves cut side down into a casserole dish, and bake them 40-50 minutes, until they are tender. Let them cool. Spoon out the flesh, and put it into a large bowl.
2. Add the masa harina to the bowl of squash. Mix in the salt and pepper. Add the cheese, and mix well again. Add the water, and mix with one hand until the dough is smooth.
3. On a lightly floured surface, for a 3" wide patty from a large spoonful of masa dough. Form seven more patties from the remaining dough. They will be rather soft and fragile.
4. Place a large skillet over medium heat. When it is very hot, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Fry four of the pupusas for about 5 minutes per side, until they form a golden crust on both sides. Transfer them to a plate, and keep them warm in a slow oven. Heat the skillet again, add the remaining olive oil and fry the four remaining pupusas in the same manner. Serve the pupusas with dollops of sour cream, if you like and pass the hot sauce around the table.
I feel in love with these peppers when spotted on a small plates menu at one of our favorite places... "really? peppers?" I asked the waiter skeptically. He explained "yes, they are amazing... not too spicy but once in a while you will get one with a kick." Alright I said and the rest is history. Immediately I was addicted and had so many small plates of these little peppers!
Fast forward a few years and another state later when filling up my new garden space my favorite heirloom plant grower was selling interesting pepper varieties, including Shishitos! I was so excited to have my own plant full of it and just as I forgot about it for a minute I was browsing one of my favorite garden summer time cookbooks and spotted this gem.
This spice mix came into my life via Crazy Burger's Just Plain Nuts Burger. I loved the smell of it and these burgers were amazing so I've transferred this to where they belong, on fries and YES... best fries ever! I make my fries in my air fryer from the recipe in the book but after drying I season. Then season again before serving.
Wendy McMillian naturalhealthmag.com
3 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons white pepper
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
Mix all ingredients to evenly combine.
Just Plain Nuts Burger
Wendy McMillian for naturalhealthmag.com
This gluten free patty at Crazy Burger Café & Juice Bar in Narragansett, RI is loaded with heart-healthy cashews and walnuts - both good sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fast as well as omega-3 fatty acids. Lentils add fiber, folate and iron.
1/2 cup dry mixed lentils - French, Green, Red, equal parts
1/4 red onion, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1/2 carrot, grated
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
1 zucchini, grated
1/4 pound cashews, roasted on a sheet pan for 3 minutes
1/4 pound walnuts, roasted on a sheet pan for 3 minutes
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons Gulden's mustard
2 tablespoons Fry Salt
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 handful fresh basil, washed and minced
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1. To prepare lentils, simmer in 1 1/2 cups water for 20-25 minutes, until tender.
2. Sauté onion, celery and carrots in 1/8 cup canola oil, until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add zucchini toward the end. Season vegetable mixture lightly with some of the salt and pepper and place in a large mixing bowl.
3. Drain the lentils. Season lightly with some of the salt and pepper, and add to the vegetables.
4. Coarsely grind the roasted cashews and walnuts in a food processor and add to the mixing bowl.
5. Mix in all remaining ingredients until everything is incorporated evenly.
6. Form mixture into burger patties and arrange on a lined sheet pan. Bake 10 minutes at 500 F. (Alternatively patties can be pan-fried in a small amount of canola oil.) Serve open face on polenta with a side of sun-dried tomato-artichoke pesto.
Gram's Banana Cake
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups ripe bananas, mashed
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour 3 9" cake pans and set aside.
2. Mash the bananas and place in a measuring cup. Cream the butter and sugar together until well mixed. Add the eggs and beat well. Mix in the sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture and beat well. Add the mashed bananas and vanilla and mix well.
3. Divide evenly among the prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool a few minutes and remove from pans. Cool completely before frosting.
5 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
2-4 tablespoons brewed black coffee
Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa together into a large bowl. Add the softened butter and mix on very low speed until they are incorporated. Add the coffee starting with 2 tablespoons and mix until it reaches your desired spreading consistency.
I ended up adding too much coffee and added Xanthan gum to thicken it back up. Again, I am not a fan of powdered sugar/random liquid based frostings!... help.
I love a good cockatil but sometimes I'm just too tired to mix up a bunch of stuff. Those kinds of days I turn to the good old Stirrings brand mixers I can pick up down the street at the Food Lion. Today I turned to Lemon Drop, cranberry juice and bourbon. Inspired by a Blizzard cocktail I replaced the lemon juice/sugar of tradition with the ease of the lemon drop martini mix.
Lemon Drop Blizzard
3 oz Stirrings Brand Lemon Drop Martini Cocktail Mixer
2 oz Bourbon
1 oz Cranberries
Shake with ice.
Serve in highball (or if you are in the South like me a Mason jar) with a few cranberries.
After my second fall in the South I realized I don't see as many cranberries as I'm used to in my past life as a Northerner. I'm not talking about the sweetened dried variety, I'm talking a good plump tart cranberry in a salad or dessert. I know I see the sauce, but I want the berries! Since I don't live near any bogs I found the next best thing at my local Lowe's Foods freezer section, Cape Cod Select Cranberries! They are the beautiful plump berries I've been missing. They are great straight from the bag to keep a punch bowl festive and cold. Thawed, they are a perfect replacement for the fresh natural berry I'm used to in salads or desserts. Lately I was looking for something different so I put them in this favorite recipe of mine for gluten free breakfast bars. Inspired by a blueberry version at a co-op up north the cranberries are a natural here with a hint of orange to brighten them up. I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free flour here, Oats and Baking Soda here to share with my gluten intolerant friends.
5. Spread cranberry mixture evenly over cooked crust and press remaining oat mixture onto the cranberries, being careful as the cranberries are hot.
6. Bake bars 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. To cut bars, lift the parchment sling out of the pan and cut into desired sized bars. The bars will keep a few days in the fridge.
In our sous vide class this was my favorite dish. The vegetables with the horseradish creme fraiche is amazing and so simple! This helped sell me on the immersion circulator.
Olive Oil Braised Vegetables with Horseradish Creme Fraiche
Braise, Milwaukee WI
8 ounces baby beets, blanched, peeled and quartered
4 ounces carrot, cut into 1/2" logs
4 ounces rutabaga, diced
4 ounces parsnip, cut into 1/2" logs
4 ounces celery root, diced
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh marjoram or thyme, chopped
Horseradish Creme Fraiche:
1 cup creme fraiche
2 tablespoons horseradish
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1. In a small bowl; whisk horseradish, lemon juice and salt into creme fraiche. Set aside.
2. In medium sous-vide bag; add 1/2 cup olive oil, carrots, rutabaga, parsnip and celery root, season with salt and pepper. Place in immersion circulator at 185 for 35 minutes. In small sous-vide bag; add 1/4 cup olive oil, beets, season with salt and pepper. Place in immersion circulator at 185 for 30 minutes.
3. To serve; gently spoon warm vegetables and beets into serving bowls and top with a dollop of creme fraiche.
is the smallest kitchen ever. We used to watch those decorating shows that said they were doing small kitchens and then could see that 4 of my kitchens would fit in their "small kitchens".