Dark Chocolate Bites

  • Dark Chocolate
  • Assorted dried fruits, toasted nuts –pistachios, walnuts, pecans, pepitas, cranberries, dried blueberries, golden raisins…

Lay out a piece of parchment paper.

 Break the chocolate into small pieces and microwave for 45 seconds. Stir. Microwave for another 30 sec. and then stir to completely melt the chocolate. If there are still lumps, pop it in for another 20 sec. Be vigilant though as it will burn!

Use a spoon to make small rounds of chocolate on the paper. Sprinkle each round with an assortment of nuts and fruit.

Refrigerate until firm, about 20-30 min.

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Shaved Brussels Sprouts w Pecorino

  • 1/4 C. fresh lemon juice (Meyer lemon if u have one)
  • 2 TB. dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 2lb. bag brussels sprouts, grated in food processor (note the grater blade was better than the slicing blade)
  • 1/2 C. olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 C. shaved almonds
  • 1 C. pecorino, grated

 Combine the lemon juice, mustard, shallots and garlic and salt in a small bowl. Set aside for 10-15 minutes to let flavors meld to mellow out the garlic.

Spoon 1 TB. olive oil into small frying pan and gently fry almonds until slightly toasty. Remove and dry nuts on a paper towel.

Slowly whisk remaining olive oil into lemon mixture and then toss dressing with brussels. Add cheese and toss again. Taste for salt and pepper, then sprinkle on almonds and toss once last time. Yum!

Note: Brussels can be grated and refrigerated in a ziploc for 2 days. Just toss in dressing before serving, though the leftovers are delicious a day or 2 later...also this recipe works great with goold ole kale too.

Mexican Eggs/Huevos Ahogadas

  • 1 Jar of your favorite salsa, a combination of a green and red one is nice too!
  • 6-8 Eggs
  • 1 C. Grated Cheese- Cheddar is good, but queso fresco is more authentic
  • Cilantro
  • Avocado

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and pour the salsa into the pan. If you want to layer green and red, pour one in first, then pour the other in the middle. When the salsa begins to bubble, crack the eggs into the pan in a circle like a clock, working around. If it is easier for you, crack each egg into a small glass bowl and then slide them into the pan. Sprinkle with grated cheese and a couple pinches kosher salt. Cover the pan and cook 4-6 minutes until the eggs are at the desired consistency.  Top with avocado and fresh cilantro and more cheese if desired.

I like to make these in a large cast iron pan and take the pan directly to the table. Serve with warmed corn or flour tortillas.

 

Short Ribs f. Cooks Illustrated

  • 1 1/2 C. dark beer
  • 1/2 C. cider vinegar
  • 2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, torn into chunks
  • 2 TB. tomato paste
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 onions, sliced into thick rounds
  • 3 lbs. boneless beef ribs- cut into giant chunks.

1. Heat oven to 325. Combine beer, vinegar, anchos, tomato paste, garlic, bay leaves,  cumin, oregano, 2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, cloves and cinnamon in a dutch oven. Arrange onion slices in single layer. Place beef on top of onions. Cover and cook until meat is browned on top and tender, 3 hrs.

2. Using slotted spoon, transfer beed to a large bowl. Strain liquid through fine mesh strainer into a measuring cup. Transfer solids (onions, etc., discard bay leaves) to a blender. Let strained liquid settle for 5 min. (you can throw it in the fridge), then skim fat off the surface. Add water as needed to equal 1 cup. Pour liquid into blender with reserved solids and blend until smooth. Transfer sauce to empty pot.

3. Shred beef. Pick out any large pieces of fat. Bring sauce to a simmer over medium heat. Add shredded beef and stir to coat. Taste for seasoning.

Lots of options for serving- over cheese grits or polenta, in warmed tortillas w queso fresco and slaw, or add a little ketchup and serve like BBQ sandwiches.

Lamb Meatballs w Spinach and Orzo

  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground lamb
  • 1 C. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 C. grated red onion
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 C. bread crumbs
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced, half zest for meatballs and half w juice for orzo
  • 2 handfulls mint and dill, chopped
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 C. orzo
  • 3 C. chicken broth
  • 1 C. feta cheese
  • 1 pint Cherry tomatoes (optional)

 

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Combine lamb through salt and pepper gently and form into 2 in. meatballs. Handle lightly so as not to compact and make too dense!

3. Heat 2 TB. olive oil in medium sized dutch oven over medium-high heat and cook the meatballs until browned, about 10 min. Remove to a plate.

4. Add the orzo and stir to coat with the oil in the pan. Stir in the broth, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom, add the lemon juice and remaining zest and return the meatballs to the pan.

5. Cover and bake about 30 minutes. Remove lid and check liquid in pan. If the mixture is too dry and the orzo is not cooked, add a splash of water.  Sprinkle the feta on top and bake for 10 more minutes with the lid off.

6. Serve with additional herbs sprinkled on top and Greek yogurt if desired. I also threw in some cherry tomatoes for the last 10 minutes of baking!

**adapted from Food52

 

 

 

Bison Tacos

  • 1 TB. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 TB. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • kosher salt
  • 1 lb. ground bison
  • 1/2 C. tomato sauce
  • 1/2 C. chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cider vinegar

Saute onion in olive oil on medium heat for 4 min. Add garlic and spices and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the ground bison and stir until cooked through. Add the tomato sauce and broth, brown sugar and vinegar and simmer 15-20 minutes. Can easily be doubled!

*If you don't have any tomato sauce, use 1 TB tomato paste and another 1/2 C. chicken broth.

Roasted Strawberries

The possibilities after you roast the strawberries are endless. They taste like a luscious bite of summer!

1. Hull and halve 1 lb. strawberries

2. Spread on a parchment lined baking sheet and toss with 2 TB demerara sugar.

3. Roast in 350 oven for 45 min., tossing every 15 min. 

4. Scrape juices and berries into a bowl and let the fun begin! 

Blend with 2 C. vanilla ice cream and 1/4 C. buttermilk for the most delicious shake you have ever had according to Food52.....spoon on top of Greek Yogurt along with some toasted hazelnuts...spoon over a bagel and cream cheese...you get the picture!

 

Tomato Pie

The most essential part of this recipe is to pre-cook the pie shell and to salt and dry the tomatoes on paper towels!!

  • 3 Heirloom Tomatoes, Sliced 1/4 " thick
  • 1 TB. Kosher salt
  • 2 TB. Olive Oil
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 C. Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 C. Pecorino, shredded
  • 1/2 C. Fresh basil, shredded
  • 1 Pre-Baked Tart Shell (store bought fine, I won't tell!)

Preheat oven to 375. Spread sliced tomatoes out on paper towels and sprinkle with kosher salt. Let sit for 20 minutes and then blot tops with fresh paper towels. 

Mix olive oil and garlic together in a small bowl. Mix cheeses together in another bowl and then spread in bottom of tart. Layer tomatoes in lovely concentric circles and then drizzle with the olive oil/garlic mixture.

Bake tart for 25-30 minutes until it looks "really good," cheese is bubbly and tomatoes are oozy. Let the pie rest for 5-10 minutes to gather itself together, and sprinkle with fresh basil before serving.

Strawberry Cake

This easy summery recipe is adapted from the Smitten Kitchen

  • 6 TB room temp butter, plus extra for pie plate
  • 1 C. spelt flour
  • 1/2 C. all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 C. sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 TB. orange zest
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2 TB demerara sugar crystals

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Butter a 9- or 10-inch springform or cake pan.

Whisk flour or flours, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 1 cup sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, milk and vanilla and zest until just combined. Add dry mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth.

Pour into prepared pie plate. Arrange strawberries, cut side down, on top of batter, as closely as possible in a single layer. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.

Bake cake for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake cake until golden brown and a tester comes out free of wet batter, about 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a rack. Cut into wedges. Serve with lightly whipped cream.

Vanessa's Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 C. whole spelt flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 C. unsalted European butter

2 C. coconut sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 lg. organic eggs

1 1/2 C. 71% chocolate, chopped into chunks

Maldon Salt

Preheat oven to 350. In a mixer, cream butter and sugar about 2 min. Add vanilla and eggs and mix well. Sift and combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and blend on low until combined. Add the chocolate chunks and mix. Shape cookies with a #24 scoop. Drop onto a cookie sheet lined with a silpat. Freeze for 20 minutes and then remove and sprinkle with salt.  Bake 7-8 min. for chewy cookies, 9-10 for crispy. Cool completely before removing.

Burnt Marshmallow Shake!

Ingredients:

1 Bag Marshmallows 

1 C. Chocolate Milk

4-6 C. Vanilla Bean Ice cream

Optional: Chocolate Syrup

Put a piece of aluminum foil on a cookie sheet and lightly spray. Spread the marshmallows on top and broil carefully until just toasted, gooey and maybe a little blackened. Remove sheet from oven and let cool.

Scoop the marshmallows into a blender with the ice cream and milk. Blend well and serve immediately!