Ribboned Asparagus Salad (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts or sliced almonds, toasted* and cooled
- 1 pound asparagus, rinsed
- 1 lemon, halved
- Olive oil
- Coarse salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 to 2 ounces Parmesan cheese
- No need to snap off the tough ends of your asparagus. Lay a single stalk on its side on a cutting board. Holding onto the tough end, use a vegetable peeler (a Y-shaped peeler is easiest, but I’ve used a standard one successfully) to shave off thin asparagus ribbons from stalk to tip, peeling away from the tough end in your hand.
- Discard the tough ends once you’re done peeling.
- Gently pile your ribbons on a medium-sized serving platter or bowl.
- Squeeze some lemon juice over the asparagus, drizzle it with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
- Toss gently and then use your peeler to shave curls of Parmesan right off the block, over the asparagus.
- Sprinkle with some toasted nuts.
- Eat immediately.
Homemade Strawberry Sauce
- 1 bag frozen strawberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- On med-high heat, put all ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil, reduce to medium and simmer until strawberries have broken down. You can speed the process along by stirring and mushing (technical term) with a wooden spoon.
- Let it go until you reach your desired consistency. Pour into container and refrigerate until use.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 pound frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup drywhite wine (or Sherry wine)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Warm the olive oil in a heavy bottom skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the artichoke hearts, parsley, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and cook until the artichoke hearts are starting to brown at the edges, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth and wine and simmer for 3 minutes. Transfer the artichoke mixture to a 2-quart baking dish.
- Melt the butter in the same skillet used to cook the artichokes. In a small bowl mix the melted butter with the bread crumbs. Stir in the Parmesan and top the artichokes with the bread crumbs. Bake until the top is golden, about 10 minutes.
Just for Jaime Bean Salad
- One can of each: garbanzo beans, red kidney beans, pinto beans
- Carrots, celery, green & red peppers, frozen corn (optional, but very flavorful)
- 2-3 tbs olive oil
- fresh Cilantro (in the herbs section of the produce department)
- 2 lemons
- Drain and rinse all the beans (to remove excess sodium). Place in large bowl
- Dice carrots, celery, peppers into similarly-sized pieces.
- If you’d like, roast corn in skillet on med-high heat until slightly browned.
- Chop cilantro and zest the lemon. These ingredients add tons of flavor. If you don’t have a zester, you can grate the lemon peel and chop into smaller pieces. Be careful to stop zesting when you see the white part (it’s bitter!)
- Toss beans, veggies, cilantro, and zest together.
- Squeeze either 1 or 2 lemons over the ingredients (I like it very lemony) and drizzle olive oil.
- Sprinkle with S&P and mix all together. being careful not to mush the beans. Enjoy!
Amazing Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese glaze Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
For the entire recipe
8 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup dark brown sugar (packed, 5-1/4 ounces)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (1-3/4 ounces)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12-1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
Glaze (adapted from Alton Brown)
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Pour 1 tablespoon melted butter in 9-inch nonstick cake pan; brush to coat pan. Spray wire rack with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
- Combine Cinnamon-Sugar filling ingredients in small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon melted butter and stir with fork or fingers until mixture resembles wet sand; set filling mixture aside.
- Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Whisk buttermilk and 2 tablespoons melted butter in small bowl. Add liquid to flour mixture and stir with wooden spoon until liquid is absorbed and just combined, about 30 seconds. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead until just smooth and no longer shaggy, about 5 minutes.
- Roll dough into approximately a 12 by 9-inch rectangle. Brush dough with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle evenly with filling, leaving 1/2-inch border of plain dough around edges. Press filling firmly into dough.
- Using bench scraper, loosen dough from work surface. Starting at long side, roll dough, pressing lightly, to form a tight log. Pinch seam to seal.
- Roll log seam-side down and cut evenly into eight pieces. Turn pieces onto it’s side so spiral pattern faces up. Slightly flatten each piece of dough with palm to seal open edges and keep filling in place.
- Place one roll in center of prepared nonstick pan, then place remaining seven rolls around perimeter of pan. Brush with remaining 2 tablespoons remaining melted butter. Bake until edges are golden brown, about 25-28 minutes. Cool buns in pan for 5 minutes. Use offset metal spatula to loosen buns from pan; without separating.
- Place plate on top and invert buns onto plate. Place another plate on the now inverted buns and flip it over, so it’s right-side up. Continue to cool for 5 minutes before icing.
- While buns are cooling, whisk cream cheese and melted butter in small bowl until thick and smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar 1 tablespoon at a time; whisk until smooth glaze forms, about 30 seconds. Drizzle glaze evenly over buns; serve while warm or at room temperature.
- Shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Garlic cloves
- 2 lemons, juice and zest
- Red pepper flakes
- White wine (I used a sav blanc)
- Low sodium chicken broth
- Olive Oil
- Asparagus, chopped into 3 pieces.
Mince shallots and garlic, saute for 2 min until fragrant. Never let garlic brown, it tastes bitter and there’s no turning back. Add wine and chicken broth, lemon zest, 1/2 of the lemon juice, red pepper flakes, 1/2 the parsley, S&P. Bring to a boil and simmer until liquid reduces by half. 4 min before done reducing, add shrimp. Cook for 2 min on one side and then flip until completely pink. Boil the pasta, 2 min before it’s cooked, add the asparagus. Drain pasta and rinse to stop the cooking process. Toss pasta and asparagus into the sauce, add remaining lemon juice.
courtesy of Giada de Laurentiis
- 1/2 small onion, grated
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pound ground dark turkey meat
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 32 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- button mushrooms
- 1 small onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- fresh or dried parsley, basil, & oregano (use less if dried)
- 1/2 cup diced carrots
- 1 tbs sugar
For the meatballs, mix onions, garlic, herbs, S&P, breadcrumbs, cheese, egg in a bowl. Once mixed, add ground turkey. Heat olive oil on med-high and form golf ball size meatballs. Brown the meat balls on each side, about 5 min. Add all sauce ingredients, folding into the meatballs. Be careful not to break the meatballs apart. You can remove the meatballs, stir the sauce, and add them back in, but that is too much energy and it all ends up in the same pot anyway. Simmer for 45 min on low heat, stirring occasionally. You can add a bay leaf if you want to simmer the sauce without the meatballs in it (otherwise they’ll get too rubbery). The bay leaf needs time to release its flavor and will develop after an hour or two. ENJOY!
Key Lime Bars
adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s lemon bars
For the crust:
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the full-size key lime layer:
- 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 limes-worth of grated zest
- 1 cup fresh key lime juice (I used Nellie’s straight out of the Florida Keys)
- 1 cup flour
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
[Or] for a thinner key lime layer:
- 4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
- 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 limes-worth grated of zest
- 2/3 cup fresh key lime juice
- 2/3 cup flour
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet.
- For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into the greased baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.
- Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
- For the key lime layer, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lime zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes (less if you are using the thinner topping), or about five minutes beyond the point where the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature. My over was super hot and was slightly over-baked at 20 minutes, so check at 12-15, then again at 18-20.
- Cut into triangles or squares and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding
- 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/2 cups ice cold water
- 1 (3.4-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 box Nabisco Nilla Wafers
- 4 cups sliced ripe bananas
- In a small bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the sweetened condensed milk and water until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the pudding mix and beat well, about 2 minutes more. Refrigerate for 15 min before continuing. It’s very important to allow the mixture to set.
- In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until well blended and no streaks of pudding remain. Folding means not whisking or stirring, just continuously cutting vertically through the mixture and sliding up and around the bowl until the whipped cream and pudding are full incorporated.
- To assemble the dessert, select a large, wide bowl (preferably glass). Arrange one-third of the wafers to cover the bottom of the bowl, overlapping if necessary, then one-third of the bananas and one-third of the pudding. Repeat the layering twice more, garnishing with additional wafers or wafer crumbs on the top layer of the pudding. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours – or up to 8 hours before serving. It gets better the longer it sits!
Cauliflower au gratin
adapted from Ina Garten
- 1 3-pound head cauliflower, cut into large florets
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups hot milk
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 3/4 cup grated cheese, divided (I use the Italian blend with fontina, provolone, asiago, etc. because fontina melts very well and Gruyère is too expensive)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Bring a large pot of salty water to boil. Boil the cauliflower florets until beginning to soften, but far from tender, about 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a sauce pan, then stir in the flour. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often and removing any lumps (basic roux). Warm milk in a small saucepan. Add the warm milk (little by little at first), whisking constantly. Bring to a boil and cook until the mixture thickens, 1-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 1 teaspoon salt, the pepper, 1/2 cup of cheese, and nutmeg. Stir well to incorporate.
- Pour 1/3 of the sauce into an 8 x 11 inch baking dish, then add the cauliflower pieces. Cover with the remaining sauce, then top with a mixture of the bread crumbs and remaining cheese. Melt the remaining two tablespoons butter and drizzle over the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top is browned. Broil for a few minutes to really crisp it up.
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
- 2 green or red bell peppers (one to eat and one to cook)
- 1 diced onion
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1 carton mushrooms
- salt and pepper to taste
- dried oregano
- 1 bag spinach
- 1 cup cooked quinoa (follow instructions, typically 2 parts liquid to 1 part quinoa)
- tomato sauce
- 1 cup feta cheese
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the tops off the peppers, and remove the seeds. Cook peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes; drain. Sprinkle salt inside each pepper, and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil and saute onions, spinach, mushrooms, peppers (seems like cannibalism, cooking peppers in peppers, but don’t worry, they won’t feel a thing) with salt, pepper, cumin, oregano.
- Stir in the chickpeas and add quinoa. Remove from heat, and stir in the feta cheese.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Stuff each pepper with the veggie, quinoa, cheese mixture, and place peppers open side up in a baking dish. In a bowl, combine tomato sauce with a little chicken broth to think the sauce. Pour a little bit over the peppers and top with more feta.
- Bake covered for 15 minutes, until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly.
Healthy Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting
(from Self Magazine)
For the Cupcakes
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons strong brewed coffee
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
For the Frosting
- 1∕2 cup sugar
- 1∕4 cup water
- 1 large egg white
- 1∕2 teaspoon pure vanilla
- 1∕8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup cupcake tin with paper liners. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In another large bowl, beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with each addition. Beat in coffee and vanilla. Add flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, until batter is smooth.
- Fill cupcake cups 2∕3 full (you’ll have some batter left, which you can discard) and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Leave to cool in tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the frosting: Combine sugar and water in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly for 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves.
- Beat egg white, vanilla, cream of tartar, and salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar syrup; beat until stiff peaks form and mixture is glossy in texture, about 7 minutes more. Frost chocolate cupcakes just before serving.
Ultimate Mac & Cheese
adapted from Smittenkitchen.com
- 6 tablespoons (2/3 of a stick) unsalted butter, plus more for casserole
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 5 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt, plus more for water
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 1/2 cups (about 26 ounces) grated cheese (I use 1 ½ bag of cheddar and 1 bag of Italian blend)
- 1 pound elbow macaroni, orchiette, penne, or whatever you have on hand
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray or butter your casserole dish. Set aside.
- Warm the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When the butter bubbles, add the flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
- While whisking, slowly pour in the hot milk a little at a time to keep mixture smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick, 8 to 12 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, 4 ½ cups cheese, set the cheese sauce aside.
- Cover a large pot of salted water, and bring to a boil. Cook the macaroni until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone (al dente). Transfer the macaroni to a colander and drain well (I don’t rinse my pasta because I like the extra starchiness from the pasta water). Stir the macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and the breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes (you can hit it with the broiler for 5 min but DON’T walk away, it will brown quickly) Take it out and rest for 5 minutes; serve.