Third Time's a Charm

First: stale oatmeal
Second attempt:  the stale oatmeal and old shortening cookies  And I quote from the church Christmas Party: Those oatmeal cookies are horrible.  You didn't make them did you?  (I guess I pushed it too far)
Third attempt:  the horrid oatmeal cookies into Crack Pie.  And we have a winner.  This just shows if first you don't succeed, try, try again. 
Momofuku Milk Bar Crack Pie
From Bon Appetit
Serves 12

Oat Cookie Crust
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
5 1/2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar, divided
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
6 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar (for dusting)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper; coat with nonstick spray. Combine 6 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until light and fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Add egg; beat until pale and fluffy. Add oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Turn oat mixture out onto prepared baking pan; press out evenly to edges of pan. Bake until light golden on top, 17 to 18 minutes. Transfer baking pan to rack and cool cookie completely.

Using hands, crumble oat cookie into large bowl; add 3 tablespoons butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar. Rub in with fingertips until mixture is moist enough to stick together. Transfer cookie crust mixture to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Using fingers, press mixture evenly onto bottom and up sides of pie dish. Place pie dish with crust on rimmed baking sheet.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Whisk both sugars, milk powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add melted butter and whisk until blended. Add cream, then egg yolks and vanilla and whisk until well blended. Pour filling into crust. Bake pie 30 minutes (filling may begin to bubble). Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Continue to bake pie until filling is brown in spots and set around edges but center still moves slightly when pie dish is gently shaken, about 20 minutes longer. Cool pie 2 hours in pie dish on rack. Chill uncovered overnight.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; keep chilled.

Sift powdered sugar lightly over top of pie. Cut pie into wedges and serve cold. We preferred it at room temp. Good with whipped cream.

Calories per serving: 350

Easy Swedish Meatballs

Today being St. Lucia Day I thought I would post, so I can remember, my Swedish meatball recipe.  (Picture from the internet)
St. Lucia
Swedish Meatballs for a Crowd
Adapted from Ikea
Serves: a lot

6 lbs. frozen pre-made meatballs (not Italian flavored)
7 t. beef bouillon
1/2 c. flour (recommend Wonder flour)
7 c. water
3 1/2 c. cream
2 t. soy sauce

Place ingredients in a slow cooker in order listed, sprinkling the bouillon and flour over the top.  Can add 1 stick of butter.  Will need more Wonder then.  Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until heated through.  Stir before serving. 

Canned Apple Pie

Never use flour to can apple pie.

Uh, what if I used flour to can apple pie in 1993.

20 years ago?

Well, the apples were technically from 1992.

I don't think you should use them.

What if I top the whole pie with icing?

They should be ok then.  
Apple Slices

My husband grew up enjoying what they called apple slices.  I see lots of recipes for it now called apple slab.  Basically what it is is a thin apple pie topped with glaze.  I think the point is to get the least amount of fruit and most amount of pastry and icing.  If you have a favorite apple pie, use that recipe only instead of a pie plate bake it in a 9x13 pan.  While it is still warm top with a powdered sugar glaze.  For a 10x15 inch pan keep the filling the same but 1 1/2 times the pie crust and icing recipe.  For a large 12x17 inch pan, double the pie filling recipe, the crust recipe and the icing recipe.  For the larger pan sizes the baking time is the same as the smaller pans.  Here is the recipe using Mrs. Field's apple pie recipe.  
Yield: 12 bars 

Preheat oven to 400°F.

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp grated lemon zest (1 medium lemon)
1 cup salted butter, chilled
6-8 Tbs ice water, more if needed

I add 1 t. salt and leave out the lemon zest. I don't know if the salt would be needed if you added the zest.

6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced (about 4 cups) I like to use Golden Delicious
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup salted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces 

2 cups powdered sugar 

4 T. hot water
1 t. vanilla extract

To prepare crust:
Mix flour and lemon zest together with wire whisk in a medium bowl. With pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut in butter with flour until dough resembles coarse meal.
Add ice water and blend until dough can be gathered into a ball. Divide dough in half, flatten into disks, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap or a plastic bag. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.

To prepare filling:
Combine sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch with a wire whisk in a large bowl. Add apples to sugar mixture and toss with a wooden spoon until dry ingredients coat the apples completely.

On a floured surface use a floured rolling pin to roll out dough.  Place dough into a 9x13 inch pan.  Leave only a small edge up the sides.  It doesn't matter if you have to place the dough in the pan in pieces.  No one will see it.  Spoon in apple filling evenly over the dough.  It should be a single layer.  Sprinkle butter pieces on top.

To prepare top crust:
Roll out second piece of dough.  Place the dough on top of the filling.  Again,  the dough can be placed on top in pieces.  It will be covered with icing.   

Place pie on center rack of oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce oven to 350°F. Bake an additional 30 minutes, or until crust is deep golden brown and filling is bubbling through the cracks. 

Meanwhile make the icing by combining all ingredients in order.

Remove from apple slices from oven and while it is still warm spread the icing over the entire top.  Serve warm or room temperature. 

Thanksgiving Bark or Old Dried Fruit

You know that dried fruit you bought because you were going to snack more healthy.  Yeah, that never happened.  Now you will eat it.
French Chocolate Bark
From Ina Garten
Made by my daughter, T
18-20 pieces
In France, the raisins and nuts are embedded on the top not mixed in as done in the U.S.  For the holidays, this makes very elegant s'mores around the fire.

6-7 ounces very good semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (T used 10 oz of semi-sweet chips)
6-7 ounces very good bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (T used 4 oz of Ghirardelli Dark Melting Wafers)
1/4 cup dried crystallized ginger, 1/2-inch diced
1 cup whole roasted, salted cashews
1/2 cup dried apricots, 1/2-inch diced
1/2 cup dried cherries (could substitute dried cranberries)
1/4 cup golden raisins 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Using a ruler and a pencil, draw a 9 by 10-inch rectangle on the paper. Turn the paper facedown on the baking sheet.

Spread the cashews in one layer on another sheet pan and bake for 8 minutes.  Set aside to cool. 

Melt the 2 chocolates in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.  Or alternatively: Place the semisweet chocolate and half the bittersweet in a glass bowl and microwave on high power for 20-30 seconds.  Stir with a rubber spatula.  Continue to hear and stir in 30-second increments until the chocolate is just melted.  Immediately add the remaining bittersweet chocolate and all it to sit room  temperature, stirring ofter, until it's completely smooth.  Stir vigorously until the chocolate is smooth and slightly cooled; stirring makes it glossier. 

Pour the melted chocolate over the paper and spread lightly to form a rectangle, using the outline. Sprinkle the cashews, apricots, cherries and raisins evenly over the chocolate. Set aside for 2 hours until firm. Cut the bark in 1 by 3-inch pieces (about18-20 pieces) and serve at room temperature.

Friday Night Fish Fry

Save money by making your own.  
Crunchy Batter Fried Fish 
(No Beer)
Serves 4-6

2 lbs cod (fresh or frozen and thawed)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup cornstarch, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
16 ounces club soda
1 teaspoon salt (plus seasoning of your choice..Old Bay, Lemon Pepper etc)
oil (for frying)

Mix together 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup cornstarch, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  Stir in enough club soda to make a batter about the consistency of thin pancake batter. You don't want it too thick, just thick enough to nicely coat a spoon.  Season the batter to taste if desired with seasoning of your choice.  Suggestions: Old Bay, Lemon Pepper seasoning, or seasoned salt. set aside. In another bowl, mix together remaining 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup cornstarch.

Heat oil in a deep pan to 375°F Use a candy thermometer if you need to. Oil in pan should be about 3" to 4" deep.

Cut fish into portion sizes and remove any pin bones, and pat dry.  Dredge the fish in the dry flour/cornstarch mixture. Shake off any excess.This allows the batter to stick to the fish.  Dip dredged fish into batter allowing any excess to drip off before carefully adding the fish to the hot oil.

Cook the fish one or two pieces at a time until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels or better yet, on a cake cooling rack set up over paper towels.  Serve while hot.

Indoor Herbs

If you are planning on growing herbs indoors this winter you should know that they are higher maintenance than everyday houseplants.  Herbs require much more watering.  Whereas houseplants can be watered once a week, herbs require watering every other day.  Right now I'm on a twice a week schedule for my rosemary.  It's hanging on but would look better if I watered it more. 

Old Bean Art

I used my old hard beans to make this turkey bean mosaic a long time ago.  The mice didn't mind how old the beans were and ate half my creation.  I patched it up relying on my memory to get it right.  I don't think I got that black belly right.  

Turkey Bean Mosaic

Cut out a turkey shape out of 1/4 inch plywood and spray paint black.  Use various beans such as black, corn, lentils, kidney, red, navy, white, and pinto to make the mosaic.  Glue beans with Tacky glue.  Spray with varnish if desired.  Keep out of reach of mice.  

Flowering Broccoli

If you wait too long to pick broccoli it will flower because, well, it's a flower.  But don't worry, it's still edible.  Good thing because I was going to eat it anyway.  
Broccoli Flower Soup

3 c. chopped broccoli tops
3 qts. water
1 med. onion, chopped
4 tbsp. chicken base (dry)
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. season salt
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 tbsp. apple cider or 2 t. vanilla extract (substitute for 1 T. cooking sherry)
1 c. milk
1 c. Ranch dressing
1/4 c. sour cream
6 strips of uncooked bacon
1 to 1 1/2 c. flour

Bring 3 quarts of water to boil and add broccoli, chicken base, garlic, pepper, season salt, Worcestershire, nutmeg. Boil 20 minutes uncovered. While water is boiling chop onion and mince up bacon strips and fry on medium high until bacon is crisp (without burning the onions). Then add flour to bacon, onion and bacon grease until it is a thick paste. Remove from heat and set aside.

Lower heat on boiling broccoli to medium (nice low rolling boil). Add Ranch dressing, milk, and sour cream while constantly stirring with wire whip. Then slowly add bacon, onion, flour mixture until soup thickens, simmer on low for 10 minutes and add apple cider (or other choice) . Serve hot with bread sticks or crackers.

Eat Your Fall Decor

When I planted my jack-o-lantern seeds it said on the package good for eating, too.  So I thought I'd give it a try with a couple I used for decoration.  They were so big there was a lot of pumpkin.  These recipes called for small pie pumpkins but mine worked out fine with adjustments. 

Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good
From Dorie Greenspan via Martha Stewart

This recipe serves 4.  Adapt to your pumpkin size.

1 (3-pound) pumpkin (a small pie pumpkin) Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 1/4 pound stale bread, thinly sliced and cut into 1/2-inch cubes 1/4 pound Gruyere, Emmenthal, or cheddar cheese (or a mix of all three), cut into 1/2-inch cubes 2 to 3 cloves garlic, split, germ removed, and coarsely chopped 4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, drained, and chopped 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives or sliced scallions 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme 1/2 cup heavy cream Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack set in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or use a Dutch oven that is slightly larger in diameter than your pumpkin (in which case, you will need to serve your pumpkin from the Dutch oven, as it may stick, but it will keep its shape better this way). 

Using a sharp, sturdy knife, cut off top of pumpkin, working around the top with the knife inserted at a 45-degree angle to cut off enough to make it easy to work inside the pumpkin; reserve top. Remove seeds and strings from cap and pumpkin. Season inside of pumpkin generously with salt and pepper. Place on prepared baking sheet or in Dutch oven; set aside.

In a large bowl, toss together bread, cheese, garlic, bacon, chives, and thyme until well combined. Pack into pumpkin; it should be well filled but not overstuffed. You may need to add some bread and cheese or some of the filling may not be necessary to use. In a small bowl, stir cream and nutmeg to combine. Pour over filling; filling should be moist but not swimming in cream -- you may need to use more or less accordingly.

Place top on pumpkin and transfer to oven; cook until filling is bubbling and pumpkin flesh is tender, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove top and continue baking until liquid is slightly evaporated and top of filling is browned, 20 to 30 minutes more. 

Carefully transfer pumpkin to a serving platter (or serve in Dutch oven, if using) and serve.  (Slice into 4 wedges.) 

Pumpkin Soup
From thepioneerwoman
Serves 8

2 whole Pie Pumpkins (the small kind)
1 quart Vegetable Or Chicken Stock
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/3 cup Maple Syrup
Dash Of Nutmeg
Salt To Taste
Extra Cream, For Serving

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place pumpkins on a cookie sheet and roast them until slightly shriveled and soft. Allow to cool slightly, then slice in half and carefully scoop out seeds and pulp. Scoop yummy flesh into a bowl. Set aside.
In a pot, heat up the pumpkin flesh with the stock and maple syrup until simmering. Mash out the big chunks, the transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender) and puree until velvety smooth. Add cream and nutmeg, then blend again.
Reheat if you need to, or just go ahead and serve in a hollowed-out pumpkin of whatever size you'd like.
Pumpkin Puree
From thepioneerwoman 

One small (4-pound) pumpkin yields at least 1½ cups of mashed pumpkin—the same as one small can.  A 3 pound pumpkin will yield about 1 cup. 

Select a couple of small-ish pumpkins. Cut the pumpkin in half. With a spoon or a scoop, scrape out the seeds and pulp from the center. You don't have to be too thorough with this.
Place all the seeds into a bowl (you can roast them later and make pepitas). Repeat until all the pumpkin pieces are largely free of seeds and pulp.
Place pumpkin pieces on a baking sheet (face up or face down; I’ve done both) and roast in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes, or until pumpkin is fork-tender. They should be nice and light golden brown when done.
Peel off the skin from the pumpkin pieces until you have a big pile of the stuff. If you have a food processor, throw in a few chunks at a time. A blender will work, too, if you add a little water. Or you can simply mash it up with a potato masher, or move it through a potato ricer, or process it through a food mill.
Pulse the pumpkin until smooth. If it looks too dry, add in a few tablespoons of water during the pulsing to give it the needed moisture. (Note, if the puree is overly watery, you should strain it on cheesecloth or over a fine mesh strainer to get rid of some of the liquid or the preferred method for a particularly moist variety, once roasted and puréed, it should be sautéed for about five minutes over high heat to cook off excess moisture.) My note:  the large pumpkins are watery. 
Dump the pureed goodness into a bowl, and continue pureeing until all the pumpkin is done.
You can either use this immediately in whatever pumpkin recipe you’d like, store it in the freezer for later use.
To store in the freezer, spoon about 1 cupful of pumpkin into each plastic storage bag. Seal the bag with just a tiny bit of an opening remaining, then use your hands to flatten out the pumpkin inside the bag and push out the air. Store them in the freezer until you need them.



Too much zucchini.  I used up the last of the summer zukes.  Even the short stubby ones. 
Zucchini Dessert Squares
From Taste of Home
16-20 servings

4 cups all-purpose flour 2 cups sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon salt 1-1/2 cups cold butter

FILLING: 8 to 10 cups cubed seeded peeled zucchini (4 to 5 pounds) 2/3 cup lemon juice 1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly; reserve 3 cups. Pat remaining crumb mixture into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 375° for 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, for filling, place zucchini and lemon juice in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 6-8 minutes or until zucchini is crisp-tender. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; cover and simmer for 5 minutes (mixture will be thin).

Spoon over crust; sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture. Bake at 375° for 40-45 minutes or until golden. Yield: 16-20 servings. 

1 serving (1 each) equals 337 calories, 14 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 37 mg cholesterol, 200 mg sodium, 51 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein. 


Christmas Tinsel

Save some tinsel from your Christmas tree to make fake cracks in windows and mirrors for Halloween.  Just wet your finger, slide it along the tinsel on the window and it sticks on. 


I harvested a total of 33 peaches.  Not bad for the first year. 

Sour Milk

I had a gallon of milk that was 6 weeks past due but there is no way I was going to throw out that past due milk I bought for 99 cents.  I know there are lots of yogurt recipes out there but I'm posting mine to help me remember what I did.  My brain is past the "best if used by" date. 
Greek Style Yogurt
Recipe for using 1 gallon of milk

Bring milk to just a boil.  Skim off the layer that forms.  Cool to 115-120 degrees F.  Add 2 T of plain yogurt and stir well making sure it is mixed throughout.  Pour into jars and put lids on.  Place in yogurt maker and use the manufacturers instructions.   I put my jars in the well of my Chambers stove for 10 hours.   Line a strainer with wet cheesecloth.  Pour yogurt into lined strainer and let drain for 2 hours.  Place in jars and refrigerate. 


Beet Chips
From Martha Stewart 
Serves 4  (and by four I mean me)

2 medium beets 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil (more if desired)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Peel beets and slice 1/16 inch thick with a mandoline or food processor. In a large bowl, toss beets with extra-virgin olive oil.

On two rimmed baking sheets (or use one sheet and bake in two batches), arrange beets in a single layer. (I sprinkled beets with salt) Stack another rimmed baking sheet on top of each. Bake until edges of beets begin to dry out, about 20 minutes. Uncover and rotate sheets. Bake 10 to 20 minutes, removing chips as they become lightened in color. Transfer to a wire rack; chips will crisp up as they cool.

Beets in Sour Cream
From The Copper Kettle

1 1/2 lbs baby beets or if larger halve, slice, or quarter
Beef consomme 
4 T. butter
1 T. flour
1 1/4 c. sour cream
3/4 t. allspice
1 1/2 T  beef stock (my substitution for Madeira) 
1 t. salt

Scrub beets well and cook until tender in beef consomme.  Drain, remove skin and cut off root and cap.

Melt butter and blend in flour.  Add sour cream gradually , stirring.  Add allspice, stock (use consumme)  and salt.  Add beet and cook over low flame until hot and well coasted with sauce.  Serve.

Beet Remorse

I know it is common for people to use beet greens, which taste like kale, and there are a lot of recipes out there.  But doesn't anyone leave them on the garden bed a long time and think: I should have saved my beet greens!  You know what happened next. 

Zucchini Cake

The new Funfetti.
Zucchini Cake
Adapted from

1 white cake mix
4 eggs
3/4 cup oil
2 cups shredding zucchini
1 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.   Spray two 9-inch cake pan with Pam.

Combine all ingredients until mixed.  Pour into prepared pans.  Bake for 30-33 minutes.  Let cool in pans for 10 min.  Remove cake from pans and let cool on rake or towel until completely cool.  Frost with cream cheese frosting. 

Cream Cheese Frosting
From Kraft
Makes 2 1/2 cups

1/4 cup softened butter
8 oz softened cream cheese
1 t. vanilla
1 pound powered sugar (about 4 cups)
Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until well blended.
Add sugar gradually, beating after each addition until well blended. 

Spinach Souffle

Spinach Souffle
Serves 4-6

  • 1 bag (16 oz) frozen chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup flour (all-purpose)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoon very finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, fresh is best
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Thaw spinach in a colander; squeeze well to get as much moisture as possible out.
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 1-quart souffle or casserole dish.
Heat butter in a saucepan over medium low heat. When butter has melted, add flour; stir until smooth and bubbling. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. When mixture is thick and boiling, remove from heat. Stir in the finely chopped onion, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the nutmeg.
In a metal or glass mixing bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks have formed. In a separate bowl, beat yolks until frothy and lemon colored.
Stir egg yolks into the sauce mixture; stir in the spinach.
Stir about 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into the spinach mixture, then gently fold in the remaining egg white mixture.
Pour into the prepared souffle dish; set dish in a large pan then add water to a depth of about 1 inch.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. The top will be lightly browned. Serve immediately.

From Taste of Home:  How Much Spinach
When a recipe calls for cooked fresh spinach, 1 pound of fresh spinach will yield 10-12 cups of torn leaves, which will cook down to about 1 cup. One package (10 ounces) of frozen spinach leaves yields about 1-1/2 cups after cooking. Therefore, you can substitute 1 package (10 ounces) frozen spinach leaves for 1-1/2 pounds of fresh spinach.

I had swiss chard to use up so I substituted it for the spinach.

40 Year Old Rice

It's almost as old as I am.  It smells worse than I do.  Sometimes.  It has a distinct stale starch smell.  That can be fixed of course.  Smother it in sauce.  Sometimes we use the rice instead of sand at playtime.  There is nothing like children that smell of old rice. 
Fried Rice

4 c. cooked rice
1/4 c. oil
Green onion-to taste (I often just throw in dried minced onion)
1 c. cooked diced meat (ham, pork, chicken) 
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and chopped
1/2 c. frozen peas
1/4 c. Yoshida's Sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten

Place frozen peas in a heat proof bowl and pour boiling water over them.  Let stand.  Heat oil in a large fry pan.  Saute onions.  Add rice, stir and heat through.  Add meat.  Drain peas and mix in.  Stir in Yoshida's Sauce.  Add egg and stir until completely cooked. 

Bitter Lettuce Haiku

Bolting lettuce plants
Turning bitter in the heat.
Pasta makes it sweet. 
Lemon Fusilli with Argula
Adapted From Ina Garten
Serves 4-5

1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 cups heavy cream
3 lemons
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch broccoli ( I leave out)
1 pound dried fusilli pasta ( I used egg pasta noodles)
1/2 pound baby arugula (or 2 bunches of common arugula, leaves cut in thirds) enter bitter lettuce instead
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic, and cook for 60 seconds. Add the cream, the zest from 2 lemons, the juice of 2 lemons, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it starts to thicken.

Meanwhile, cut the broccoli in florets and discard the stem. Cook the florets in a pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain the broccoli and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the package, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta in a colander and place it back into the pot. Immediately add the cream mixture and cook it over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until most of the sauce has been absorbed in the pasta. Pour the hot pasta into a large bowl, add the arugula, Parmesan, tomatoes, and cooked broccoli. Cut the last lemon in half lengthwise, slice it 1/4-inch thick crosswise, and add it to the pasta. Toss well, season to taste, and serve hot.

Calories in 1 serving (340 grams) : 960.5

Copycat Claussen Kosher Refrigerator Dill Pickles

I am trying this recipe.
Copycat Claussen Kosher Refrigerator Dill Pickles (Lithuanian Half-Sour)
Yield: 2 gallon of pickles
  • 35 to 40 small to medium pickling cucumbers
  • 1 gallon cold water
  • 1 cup cider vinegar (use white distilled vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons mixed pickling spices
  • 2/3 c. canning or kosher salt (Do NOT use iodized salt!)
  • 4 cloves garlic or more, to taste
  • 4 fresh dill heads ~or~ 4 tablespoons dried dill seed (not weed!) 

Wash cucumbers but do not scrub them.

Trim 1/8-inch from the blossom end of each cucumber and slice in half lengthwise or into quarters, depending on how large your cucumbers are and how big you want them to be when they're done.
In a gallon jar (or large, wide-mouth, food-safe non-metal container) layer the dill heads or seed, garlic cloves and sliced cucumbers.

In a separate non-metal pitcher or bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients until the salt is dissolved.

Pour the brine over the cucumbers, taking care to make sure all of them are fully submerged. If needed, place a plate or mug or other non-reactive heavy item on the cucumbers to weigh them down and keep them under the brine! (I used a brine filled food grade plastic bag.)

Cover lightly with a lid just perched on top or secure a piece of cheesecloth over the jar with a rubber band to keep fruit flies away.

Leave out of direct sunlight on the counter for two to four days*, or until the cucumbers taste like pickles throughout. (or refrigerate them)

Fix your lid onto your jar or container and chill. These can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six months provided you keep them covered with brine.
*If at any point in the proceedings "fuzz" or "foam" develops on top of the brine, use a spoon to remove it. If there is "fuzz" attached to any of the cucumbers, remove the ones affected and be sure the others are still fully submerged.  

Update:  After making these I thought they were too salty

The blogger's pickling spice is homemade and mainly mustard seed with some whole allspice, black peppercorns, sometimes celery seed, sometimes some broken cinnamon stick (but not much).  Here is her picture of her mix:

I get my pickling spice in bulk at a local Mennonite store.  The stuff in the little red-lidded jars will stand in just fine here...

It's amazing what soup can do.

To old freezer burned deli ham, that is.  I used that instead of pancetta.  Throw in fresh vegetables and they think nothing's wrong.  
Winter Minestrone
From Giada
4-6 servings


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound Swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
1 russet potato, peeled, cubed
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
2 (14-ounce) cans low-sodium beef broth
1 ounce piece Parmesan cheese rind  ( I didn't have this.  Just sprinkled Parmesan on soup instead)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
Salt and pepper


Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, pancetta, and garlic. Saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and potato; saute for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and rosemary sprig. Simmer until the chard is wilted and the tomatoes break down, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend 3/4 cup of the beans with 1/4 cup of the broth in a processor until almost smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture, remaining broth, and Parmesan cheese rind to the vegetable mixture. Simmer until the potato pieces are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Stir in the whole beans and parsley. Simmer until the beans are heated through and the soup is thick, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Discard Parmesan rind and rosemary sprig (the leaves will have fallen off of the stem.)

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

SERVINGS: 4 (MAIN); Calories: 375; Total Fat: 15 grams; Saturated Fat: 4 grams; Protein: 19 grams; Total Carbohydrates: 43 grams; Sugar: 10 grams; Fiber: 10 grams; Cholesterol: 19 milligrams; Sodium: 1,391 milligrams

Clean Out the Fridge Pizzas

I wonder how pickled herring pizza would taste?
Greek Style Pizza

1 (13 inch) uncooked pizza crusts
Garlic oil sauce
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup Greek olive, pitted and halved
6 -8 pepperoncini peppers, sliced (pickled peppers)
1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, slices
1 teaspoon dried oregano
extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 500.
Top dough crust with oil sauce (brush on), mozzarella cheese, feta cheese, olives, pepperoncini, onion, mushrooms, and oregano.  Drizzle with oil. Bake in preheated 500° F oven on pizza stone for 8-10 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 2-3 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.
Entire pizza has 1162 calories.
BBQ Chicken Pizza

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound chicken tenders
2/3 cup barbecue sauce
Flour, for dusting surface
1  pizza dough
3/4 cup shredded Gouda
1 cup shredded mozzarella
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken tenders and saute until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat. When chicken is cool enough to handle, dice chicken to yield a little over 1 cup. In a small bowl, toss chicken with 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce. Set aside.

On a floured surface, roll out dough and place on a greased sheet pan. Shape to fill the sheet pan, about a 15 by 10-inch rectangle. Spread remaining barbecue sauce evenly over pizza dough. Sprinkle Gouda, mozzarella, Parmesan, onions, and chicken over top. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese bubbles. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and cut into pieces.


More Freezer Burn

Freezer burned turkey turned slop turned soup.  I'm relentless.  

Tomato Turkey Soup
Adapted from Taste of Home
Yield: 14 servings

6 cups chicken or turkey broth
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/3 cup quick-cooking barley
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups cubed cooked turkey
1-1/2 cups sliced carrots
1-1/2 cups sliced celery
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped okra (I used zucchini)

I added beans and pasta.

In a large saucepan, combine the first nine ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 50 minutes. Add turkey and vegetables. Cover and simmer 50 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. Yield: 14 servings.