Friday, April 1, 2011

Comfort Me

About once a month, I like to have, no, need to have some comfort food. This recipe is great because it is rich enough to satisfy the cravings, super easy to make, and still  is almost completely a farm meal.    I encourage you to use local cheese and eggs from free-range chickens, hormone free milk, and organic potatoes.  As with most of the meals I make, substitute veggies based on what you have on hand. I use a store bought crust here because as much as I love to cook, I dislike baking with every bone in my body.  If you are buying crust, look for a whole-wheat, additive and preservative free crust.  Maple Lane Bakery makes a great frozen crust available at Sweet Clover Market.   I paired the quiche with fresh greens and homemade (quick and easy!!!) vinaigrette.

Potato Quiche 
1 1/2 cups  potatoes (chopped)
1/2 onion (chopped)
1/2 cup Crawford Family Farm Vermont Ayr (can substitute any favorite cheese) shredded
3 eggs (beaten)
1 cup of milk
salt and pepper
1 9" whole-wheat pie crust

Preheat oven to 350.   Saute potatoes and onions until soft (about 15 minutes).  Add salt and pepper. Spread potato and onion mix on top of  the crust.  Sprinkle with shredded cheese.  In a small bowl, beat 3 eggs well and add a cup of milk. Pour eggs/milk into crust.  Bake 30-45 minutes (until set).  Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Serve with greens (I used an arugula/mesclun mix).  

Basic Vinaigrette  
*1/4 c. vinegar (apple cider, balsamic, rice)
1/4 c. oil
1 tsp. honey or agave
salt & pepper
1 tsp. dried or fresh herbs (optional)
fresh lemon (optional)
*I use 1:1 vinegar/oil ratio, but for some people this may be too vinegary.  Adjust as needed.
Shake well and serve.  Store in refrigerator.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Leftover Night

Leftover night has gotten a new twist.  Earlier this week, we cooked a chuck roast from the farm.   We only had about 1/2 cup of meat leftover- not enough for another meal and  no plans to go to the dreaded grocery store.  Time to use up whatever veggies are about to go and supplement with pantry goods.   Soup night!   This soup came out really yummy, but with plenty of room for substitutions depending on what is in your fridge/pantry. It also made enough for, yes, leftovers!  And, it only has a tiny bit of meat, but gives the illusion of much more. Be creative, use up your limp veggies and do not go to the store!  I will list the recipe as I cooked it as well a few other substitutions suggestions....

Beef, Bean and Rice Soup- serves 4-6
1 (about to sprout) yellow onion  diced (and/or leek, garlic, shallot)
4-5 stalks (limp) celery chopped(and/or celeriac root, carrots, broccoli, green beans)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp  dried Rosemary
1 tsp dried Summer Savory (use 3 tsps of whatever seasonings you like/have on hand and a bay leaf would be great here, too)
1 tsp dried Thyme
4 c. beef broth  (use chicken broth, if using chicken or any combination of broth)
3 c. veggie broth
1 c.  brown rice (wild rice, white rice, barley, even pasta)
1c. (wrinkled) grape tomatoes (halved) 
1 can kidney beans rinsed (any type of bean will do)
1/2 cup cooked beef ( or chicken or leave out completely)
salt & pepper

Heat olive oil in large dutch oven.  Add onion and saute until soft.  Add celery and dried herbs and sauté for another 2 minutes.  Add 4 cups broth and 1 cup uncooked rice, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 40 minutes.   Add tomatoes and beans (if you are using uncooked beans, add with rice).  Add cooked meat and remaining broth.  Add salt and pepper. Taste, add more herbs if desired.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Read one, get one free

I think I am finally sick of winter greens.  Kale and collards have graced our table 2-3 times a week, all winter long.  I don't know if it's the word March or just other first beginnings of springtime ( we have actually seen a bird despite the 2+ feet of snow still on the ground) that have made me crave my first non-hearty green salad.  So, this is sort of a two-part recipe using an orange vinaigrette in 2 different salads.

Part 1 (AKA Friday night):  Yesterday at work someone handed me 6 oranges that her mother had sent her from Florida as part of a 20 lb. package.  She knew she wouldn't get through them before they went bad, so I was the lucky recipient.  I was barely home before one was peeled and eaten. These oranges were the best- the sweet juice was just dripping down our chins as we ate our first.    My next immediate thought was...beets.  Beets and oranges can be a perfect match.

Mesclun salad with beets and orange vinaigrette- serves 4 veggie loving adults

4 large handfuls of mesclun
2 beets 
2 oranges
Does Leap chevre

Orange Vinaigrette
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (divided)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 lemon (juiced)
1 tsp raw honey
1 shallot minced
salt & pepper

Place mesclun in a large bowl.  Peel raw beets and then grate beets into a separate small bowl, top with a tablespoon of orange juice and let sit while you prepare the rest of the salad.  Chop peeled oranges and set aside.  To prepare vinaigrette, place remaining orange juice, lemon juice, olive oil, honey and minced  shallot into a food processor (or use a hand blender)  and process until well blended.  Add salt & pepper if desired.   Toss mesclun with enough vinaigrette to cover lightly.  Add beets, oranges and chevre. 

**Sorry, no picture was taken, but not only did it look pretty, it got good reviews as well.

Part 2 (AKA Saturday night):   Our friends are having a bbq tonight, despite the crappy weather.  And by bbq, I mean someone will run out to the grill, throw on some meat, run back inside, have a drink, run back outside, flip the meat, run back inside.....All the consuming will be done indoors, at least for another month or two.  Nonetheless, the change of menu is enticing and tonight will be grilled fajitas.  I am bringing a bean salad..with an orange vinaigrette.  

Black Bean and Mango Salad- serves enough to bring to a bbq

2 cans black beans
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 mango peeled and chopped
shallot (minced)
1/2 lime juiced
*orange vinaigrette

Combine black beans though lime juice  in a medium bowl.  Toss gently.   Drizzle enough orange vinaigrette to lightly coat salad and toss again.  Refrigerate for a couple of hours for best results.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Final Squash

We have had a lot of good squash this fall & winter- acorn, delicata spaghetti, and of course, butternut.  I have a favorite recipe for almost every kind (e.g. a killer bean & sage stuffed delicata squash and spaghetti squash fritters) but you will have to wait until next fall to get those recipes.  However, in the cellar, there is (or was) one last butternut squash, just kind of hanging out with the potatoes and sending me messages every time I came down (e.g."When are you gonna cook me?"' "Don't tell me your sick of squash ?"). And, after about 3-4 weeks, I knew that squash's days were limited, so in an effort to eat every last vegetable I get from my CSA at Jericho Settlers Farm, the final squash came up from the cellar and into our bellies for this fantastic soup.

Coconut Curried Butternut Soup

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
1 butternut squash 
1 leek (or other sweet onion) chopped
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp ginger root (peeled and chopped)
1 tbsp coconut oil (or other oil)
1-2 tbsp curry powder (depending on size of squash)
sprinkle of cayenne (optional)
chicken broth (or veggie)
1 can lite coconut milk
1-2 tbsp raw honey
toasted pumpkin seeds (for garnish)

Peel squash and chop in half.  Scoop seeds (these can be saved and toasted for a yummy snack).  Roughly chop squash in to 1-2" pieces.  Melt butter in a large dutch oven.  Add chopped leek (great tip on how to wash a leek- cut entire leek lengthwise and then wash) and saute until soft (this is one of my most favorite smells). Add ginger and saute for a couple more minutes.  Add chopped squash, oil, curry powder and cayenne.  Saute for 10 minutes.  Add enough broth to cover all the squash and bring to boil, cover, turn down heat to simmer until squash is soft (about 25 minutes).   Take off heat and use an immersion blender (if you don't have one, RUN to your nearest kitchen store because these hand blenders rule for making soups and salad dressings or you can use a food processor) and blend until creamy.  Add coconut milk and honey. Garnish with pumpkin seeds.

now, off to think about what to do with the huge pile of beets I have left...ideas?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Smooth Move

A typical weekday work morning goes something like this.   Wake up at 6:45, take a shower, get dressed, get the kids dressed, make my lunch, fill water bottles, pack up work files, pack backpacks and get out the door by 7:45. And, this is with the enormous help of a husband who makes the best coffee I have ever had, gets the kids breakfasts, and packs their lunch.  We somehow have it coordinated down to the last minute, and the only thing missing is time to make my breakfast- which I no longer need to do thanks to this great smoothie recipe.   I typically double the recipe which will make 6 servings, put them in freezer safe tupperware, and take one out each morning to thaw while I run around the house like a mad women, throw it in a to-go cup and drink it all morning at work.

Breakfast Smoothie  - makes 3 servings

a handful of romaine lettuce (or other green, celery etc)
2 bananas
6 strawberries (or other berry, pineapple, etc)
grated ginger (optional)
2 1/2 cups Coconut water (see below)
1/4 c. aloe vera juice (see below)
3 scoops of whey protein powder (see below)
Blend well.

A little more about the ingredients.  Coconut water is expensive and can be hard to find, so hit your local health food store.   The benefits, besides the taste, are that it is super hydrating, has a lot of potassium and minerals, and low sodium.  Think of a sports drink without all the crap.   If the price still puts you off, try the recipe with half water, half coconut water.  Aloe vera juice is another favorite of mine.  Its great for digestion, among other things.   If you suffer from GI problems, especially heartburn, this is the best natural remedy, so add as much as you like.  The whey protein powder is to add the necessary protein.  I don't use yogurt, because it doesn't freeze well and has a lot of sugar- if you do use yogurt, make sure it is plain to help decrease some of that sugar!

2 servings of breakfast smoothie, ready for the freezer.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


I had pretty much come to the conclusion that the words "oven- baked" and "fries" should never be used together.   My efforts have always yielded limp, chewy results that even ketchup couldn't help. So, I stuck to roasting, mashing, and hashing until I discovered the single best tip that put fries back on the menu at the Cannizzaro house.  So, without further ado, the ultimate fry tip:

You need to soak the potatoes, I mean really soak them- for at least a half an hour.

 I know, I know, this seems completely counter- intuitive (or at least it did to me), but trust me on this one, it is the key to making crispy, delicious  oven-baked fries.

Crispy (oven- baked) Fries
Potatoes local if you can get them
Coconut oil health benefits 
Salt & pepper to taste

Peel (if desired) and slice potatoes into uniform slices.  Place in a bowl of water for at least 30 minutes.  Dry completely.   I use a salad spinner, but laying them on paper towels will work as well.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper (do not skip this step, or they will stick to the pan).  Place potatoes in a bowl. Toss with coconut oil, salt & pepper. Place potatoes in a single layer on baking sheet.

 Cook for 45 minutes to an hour depending on how thin you sliced them. Flip potatoes  half-way through cooking time. mmmmm. crispy.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Beets me

So, I am a beet lover.  I didn't know that until a couple of years ago when we joined a CSA at Jericho Settlers Farm. I love them roasted, I love them hot, I love them cold, I love them raw.   So, with a dinner invitation in a few hours and no time to go to the store, I see what's left from the farm.  In the words of my very  fancy four year old- Voila!

Raw Beet, Carrot and Ginger Salad
5 small beets 
2 carrots 
1/2 lemon juiced
1- 1 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger root
4 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP raw honey
salt & pepper to taste

Peel and shred the beets and carrots.  (I used a food processor, but a hand grater or mandolin would work as well).  Place in a medium bowl.  In a small bowl mix together lemon juice, ginger, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper. Combine, cover & chill.