Monday, November 26, 2007


This is my adapted gazpacho recipe. It is inspired by Mollie Katzen’s version in Moosewood Cookbook (which is probably my favorite cookbook ever). I have experimented with all sorts of combinations of blending and chopping and found this to be the best. It is very versatile- taste along the way and add or subtract anything. I don’t add any salt because it breaks the veggies down too fast. I sprinkle sel de mer right before I eat it. This is the perfect summer/fall food and most kids seem to like it too.

Store it in jars in the fridge and grab one when you are running errands - better than the flu shot!

Amy’s Gazpacho

6 tomatoes

1-2 cucumbers (peeled and seeded)

1/3 vidalia onion

1-2 clove of garlic

green bell pepper

red bell pepper




olive oil

fresh herbs (I like to use tarragon, basil and parsley)

blend all but one or two of the tomatoes in blender or food processor until smooth (also, if you have extra red bell pepper puree one of those to add to the “stock”). Pour into a huge bowl. Finely hand chop the remaining tomato, cucumber, onion, garlic, bell peppers and throw them in the bowl. Add a couple of glugs of olive oil, a splash of something acidic (lemon juice or a mild vinegar), some chopped up basil, tarragon and parsley, a wee bit of honey, a shake of cumin and cayenne. Let chill if you can bear it and eat it up! This is pure nectar from the gods and will make you healthy and happy!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


This website has TONS of great recipies and even how to peel a pomegrantie. Thanks Katie for the tip!

Cream of Carrot Soup

Cat made this for our book club's poetry evening last fall and it was fabulous!

1 C chopped leak (substitute onions/shallots if you need to)
2 large onions
4 T butter
2 # carrots
3 C water
3 C vegetable broth
5 T uncooked white rice
pinch of sugar
1 t salt
1/2 tsp crushed dried thyme
1 small bay leaf
pinch of cayenne
1 1/2 C milk
1/3 C cream
dash of nutmeg

garnish with fresh chives

in a large, heavy saucepan, saute the onions and leeks/shallots in the butter stirring often, until they are golden. Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice the carrots. Add the carrots, water, broth, rice, salt, herbs and cayenne to the onion mixture. Cover and simmer for about 40 minutes, or until the carrots and rice are completely mushy soft.

Remove the bay leaf and puree the soup in batched in a blender or food processor until it is velvety smooth. Return the soup to the rinsed saucepan and stir in the milk, cream and sprinkle of nutmeg. Heat the soup through, stirring gently, then taste and correct seasoning with another pinch of salt or nutmeg.

Serves 8-10 (use left overs for lunch the next day!)

Refrigerator Pickles

here's what we did with our cucumbers this week. yum!

Makes about 1 gallon

5 pounds firm Kirby cucumbers, 3 to 5 inches long (about 20 cucumbers)
1 1/2 cups coarse salt
2 tablespoons mixed pickling spices, (available premixed in supermarkets)
4 to 5 cloves garlic, unpeeled
4 to 5 sprigs fresh dill
6 1/4 cups water
2 1/2 cups apple-cider vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar

Wash cucumbers well. Place in a large nonreactive container. Combine 1/2 gallon water with 1 cup salt, and stir until salt is dissolved. Pour over cucumbers. Place a plate on cucumbers to keep them submerged in liquid. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Drain and rinse cucumbers, discarding brine. Pack into four to five wide-mouthed quart jars. Distribute pickling spices, garlic, and dill evenly among the jars.

Combine 6 1/4 cups water, the remaining 1/2 cup salt, the vinegar, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, and pour into packed jars. Cool on a rack to room temperature. Cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Faith in Action

This is what we donated to Faith in Action this week. Cukes, onions and sweet potatoes. Many of you are upping your payment $2 which I bank and then buy one big box of something. I am hoping that something will be bananas next week. Thanks!!!!!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Whipped Butter

This whipped butter is my grandmothers recipe and is a hit with muffins or on top of corn. You can add herbs, brown sugar and cinnamon or cayenne to flavor it. Bring this and a loaf of homemade bread to any one's house and you will be the hit!

1# softened butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil (or olive oil)
1 cup buttermilk

with electric mixer beat the butter and oil until thoroughly mixed, then beat in buttermilk until beautiful and fluffy! Eat!

Fig Preserves

David made two batches of fig preserves this week, which were really successful. The second batch he amended with a bit of maple syrup and some cracked black pepper - wow! They are insanely easy and would be great on toast, ice cream or yogurt, or a soft mild cheese.
There is probably no better known use for figs (as with most fruit) than as preserves. Debates between cooks continue on whether "real" fig preserves contain some citrus (we like it) and whether one should peel the figs (don't expect me to do it

Here's the classic guide:
Ratio: one cup sugar to one cup chopped fresh figs (it works the same for one pound of sugar to one pound of fresh figs; one palmful of sugar to one handful of figs -- you get the picture...)Grated lemon zest or finely sliced bits of lemon (the paper thin slices make the preserves delightfully like a marmalade - leave them out if this does not please you)

***Basic Directions: Cut up the figs as fine as you like. Mix the figs with the sugar and let rest in a covered plastic or glass container overnight. The next morning, cook the mixture down over very low heat until it is soft and thick. Spoon into hot canning jars and cover with lids you've had soaking in boiling (hot) water. The lids will seal as the jam cools. Refrigerate any jars that do not compress and seal.That's basically it and the recipe has been winning blue ribbons for generations. Everything else is the individual cook's imagination. We like it less sweet and cut back on the sugar. (We have not tried artificial sweetners or honey. Any reports from folks who have?) We have had this with a lot of citrus grated and sliced into it; with raisins cooked into it; with cinnamon and other spices. Be careful - the taste of the figs is rich but light and can be quickly overpowered. We recommend trying a straight batch first and then getting adventurous


Monday, September 24, 2007


This week we are rerunning our recipe for pizza dough, which is a staple on our house. We make it in quadruple batches and freeze it in individual balls. It works great for garlic knots, bread sticks, calazones or focaccia. Use it as a base for any extra veggies – think way beyond pepperoni. Eggplant, peppers, fresh tomatoes are all great! How about zucchini or grated carrots? David makes a great breakfast pizza that is a rip off of a Wolfgang Puck pizza - with eggs, bacon and basil! Yum!

Pizza Dough

1 T active dry yeast

¾ C + 2 T water

2 ¾ C flour

1 t salt

1 T extra virgin olive oil

Dissolve yeast in water, add flour and salt, knead by hand or machine. Roll finished ball in olive oil and let rise for about an hour before using. Or divide into smaller balls and freeze immediately. Let thaw and rise a bit before you use it.

TIPS:You can substitute part of the flour for whole wheat/rye/buckwheat flour to have a heartier dough. A great whole wheat pizza is topped with sliced cooked potatoes, fresh rosemary, olive oil and crunchy sea salt. Sounds weird – but is amazing! You need to have a pizza stone to make this as sublime as it should be. Place it on the bottom of your stove and set the temp for as hot as your stove will go (450-500) and let preheat for at least 30-45min.Use a bread peel or the back of a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal, semolina flour or regular flour. The trick to get it onto the stone is all in the wrist – practice a few times before you put the toppings on to make sure the dough is not sticking anywhere. Should cook in 5-10 min, depending on your stove. The best sauce would be a thick homemade, marinara sauce. For cheese, we love whole milk mozzarella (BIG difference from part-skim) mixed with fontina, and Parmesan. This is a thin, Italian style pizza – so I would stay light on the toppings and avoid wet sauces. We even like just fresh sliced tomatoes, whole milk or fresh mozzarella, garlic and olive oil.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Cat’s Wacky Pesto Bread

(stolen, with improvements, from The Cook’s Encyclopedia of Breach Machine Baking)

5/8 c. milk
Scant 2/3 c. water
2 T olive oil
4 cups bread flour (white is recommended and I’ve never tried it with whole wheat)
1 ½ t salt
1 ½ t sugar
1 ½ t rapid-rise active dry yeast (I use the bread machine yeast)

7 T pesto (I’ve used basil pesto, sun-dried tomato pesto, but never cilantro pesto—though it might be good)

I use a bread machine for the dough, which usually takes about 2 hours to make (that includes the warming up, the kneading and the rising.

If you are doing it by hand, I suggest that you make the water warm and put the yeast in it until it comes alive (some would say put the sugar in there, too, but I’m not convinced it really matters). Mix together the dry ingredients (holding back some flour for working in after you do your hand mixing) while the yeast is cooking up and finally add the rest of the wet ingredients to the yeast mixture before going for the mixing/kneading. I think kneading should last a good 5-10 minutes—more if you’ve got the gusto. Then let it rise.

Once the dough is ready, pull it out and roll it out into a rectangle about 10-12 inches long. Depending on the way the dough is behaving, I’ll sometimes push it and make it longer. I have let it sit covered for about 10 minutes at this point, but you don’t really have to, which saves you a little time.

Next you get to spread the pesto on the dough. Leave one long edge un-pestoed to allow for a little seepage after you roll it up. Now roll it, “jelly-roll” fashion (lengthwise). The seam side should be down and I usually now make the transfer on a piece of baking paper on a baking sheet. I also tuck in the ends (usually folding them under). Now it sits with a piece of oiled plastic on top for about 45 minutes (I will put it on the porch or in a sunny room). You can also just put it on the stove and if you don’t like to use plastic wrap, you can just goo it up with olive oil and it won’t dry out (which is the reason you put that plastic on it anyway).
Start pre-heating your oven after about 20 minutes into the second rise. I use my baking stone for this bread, which means I heat the oven to about 500 to make sure that my stone (pizza stones work just fine, too!) is hot enough. If you aren’t a baking nut like I am, just pre-heat to 425. You baking stone people will need to turn it down to 425 before you put the bread in anyway.

After the 45 minutes are over, brush (rub or spray) olive oil onto the dough. Then, take a sharp knife and cut peek-a-boo holes cross-wise on the top of the bread. I like to put quite a few, but that’s mostly because I like using knives. Then take a coarse salt and sprinkle as much or as little as you want. I like to use the kosher coarse salt, but I would think the sea salt would be fine, too.

Get it in the oven and cook it for 25-30 minutes. I usually set the timer for 15-20 minutes so that I can make sure it doesn’t burn. If it looks nicely browned at 20, I’ll take put some tin foil on top so it won’t brown anymore. It really does need at least 25 minutes to cook fully, though (even with the stone).


-Cat Eskins

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Mustard Scrambled Eggs

We love to use eggs as our main dish for dinner. Omelettes, fritattas and even scrambled eggs make a filling and nutritious meal, especially when served with a big salad and some crusty bread. This recipe is amazingly simple and delicious.

2 1/2 oz butter
8 eggs, beaten
6 Tbsp Gruyere or cheddar (we used Comte)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs (tarragon, parsley, chives or scallions are all good)

melt butter in a saucepan over medium low heat. Add eggs and cook, stirring
constantly, until just thickened. Add the cheese and stir until just
melted. Remove from the heat. Stir in the mustard, herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

from Organic Cooking, Naturally Good Food by Renee Elliott and Eric Treuille.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

chicken paprikas with dumplings

this recipe came to me from my hungarian grandmother. we make dumplings all the time - usually with chicken paprikas and the cucumber salad i posted earlier...

4 eggs, beaten
4 cups flour
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
2 cups milk
mix all ingredients well (kitchen aid of course!) drop batter by tablespoons into salted boiling water. boil about 10 minutes - or until dumplings float to the top and are fairly firm. remove from the water with a slotted spoon and top with lots of butter and salt!

we often make chicken paprikas and top the dumplings with that - with the cucumbers as a side dish.

chicken paprikas
1 large onion, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon paprika (plus a little more for good measure! :)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons salt
chicken **
1/2 pint sour cream
brown onions in butter. add seasonings and chicken. brown 10 minutes (5 mins on each side). cover and let simmer slowly - about 30 minutes. add sour cream to drippings in the pan and mix well.

** my grandmother used to make this with bone-in, skin-on chicken - all kinds of pieces. we use boneless, skinless thighs and breasts. i usually use about 6 thighs or 4 breasts - depending on size. it should all fit in a regular frying pan.


eggplant soup

If you are wondering what to do with those little eggplants, I adapted a recipe I have for eggplant soup & it turned out great.
I blackened the eggplant & purple peppers on the grill, placed in a plastic bag for at least 10 minutes & cooled. Peeled and discarded the skins. Cut up into pieces. In a 3-qt. pot, over low heat, In a couple of Tbsps. of olive oil, I cooked the veggies w/a large garlic clove & a small red onion, both chopped, for 15 minutes or until very tender. Added salt and pepper to taste & a couple of cups of vegetable broth (could use chicken broth). Pureed the whole mixture in the blender until very smooth.


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Poblano Peppers

These are called anchos when they are dried. The are the mildest of spicy peppers - like a spicy green pepper. They can be roasted and added into anything or cooked like the recipe below which is what I am going to make today - with the roasted corn variation. I can not wait!

Green Poblano Rice
1 2/3 cups chicken broth or water
2 fresh poblano chiles, stems and seeds removed, and roughly chopped
12 sprigs cilantro, plus extra for garnish
Salt, about 1/2 teaspoon if using salted broth, 1 teaspoon if using unsalted or water
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 cup rice, preferably medium grain
1 small white onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

The flavoring: In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the broth and chiles, bring to a boil, then partially cover and simmer gently over medium to medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until the chiles are very soft. Pour the chile
mixture into a food processor, add the cilantro (stems and all), and
process to a smooth puree. Press through a medium-mesh strainer into a
bowl and stir in the salt.

The rice: Wipe the pan clean, add the
oil and heat over medium. Add the rice and onion, and cook, stirring
regularly, until the rice is chalky looking and the onion is soft,
about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook a minute longer.

Add the warm (or reheated) chile
liquid to the hot rice pan, stir once, scrape down any rice kernels
clinging to the side of the pan, cover, and cook over medium-low heat
for 15 minutes. Uncover and check a grain of rice: It should be nearly
cooked through. If the rice is just about ready, turn off the heat,
re-cover and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes longer to complete the
cooking. If the rice seems far from done, continue cooking for 5
minutes or so, retest, then turn off the heat and let stand a few
minutes longer. Fluff with a fork, scoop into a warm serving dish,
decorate with cilantro sprigs and it's ready to serve.

preparation: The rice can be made several days ahead; turn out the
fluffed rice onto a baking sheet to cool, transfer to a storage
container, then cover and refrigerate. Reheat the rice in a steamer
basket set over boiling water.

Variations and improvisations: An obvious variation is to use 3 or 4 long green (Anaheim) chiles, or to mix poblanos and long greens with hotter chiles like jalapeño, manzano or habanero.
Grilled corn cut from 1 cob or 1 large grilled zucchini (cubed) are
tasty vegetable add-ins. About 1 cup coarsely shredded roast (or
barbecued) pork or smoked salmon, mixed in toward the end of cooking,
will make green rice a full meal.Makes 4 servings.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Koz's Black Bean Dal

Here's an easy & different recipe for black beans that my family loves. Serve w/warm tandoori bread or jasmine rice or pita bread.

1 pound black beans (or 2 cans, rinsed)
6 cups water
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 small garlic clove, chopped
2 tsps cumin seed
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground ginger
salt and ground red pepper
1 cup whipping cream

I boil the dry beans for 2 min. & let sit for 1 hr, then rinse.
Transfer to 6-8 quart pot. Add water and bring to boil over high heat, skimming foam as it accumulates on surface. Add butter, garlic, spices, salt and red pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until beans are tender, adding cream near end of cooking time (mixture should be consistency of thick soup). (Can be prepared ahead and refrigerated 5 to 6 days. Reheat before serving.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Faith in Action

I am so excited to announce that we will be donating our surplus fruits and veggies to Faith in Action each week. This food will go to seniors who need food and rarely get fresh. I will let you know how it goes and might offer some donation opportunities along the way (canned food drive, money to buy more fresh stuff).

My mom has offered to donate $10 a week to buy extra (which can go a LONG way at the market because I can buy what is a good deal and not be worried about trying to make a balanced bag).

This just makes me so happy because it is super easy and is nothing for me to do - but according to the director will have a BIG impact.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I usually eat escarole as a bitter raw lettuce but found this recipe on to cook it with beans that sounds super! I might try it tonight as a side with my roasted lamb! If anyone else gives it a whirl - let us know your results. You can easily cut it in half.
"This is a creamy concoction of escarole and beans. It's rich, and it's divine! It's also best served with a warm crusty Italian bread and Chianti."


* 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
* 2 large heads escarole
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 2 (16 ounce) cans cannellini beans, undrained
* 3 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped


1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Toss in escarole, turning to coat with oil. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes, or until tender.
2. In a separate skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Stir in garlic. Pour in beans with juices, and simmer until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in escarole and parsley; simmer 10 minutes more.

Calaloo or Amaranth leaf

This is leaf that is used in Caribbean cooking as well as African. The woman I bought it from suggested to saute with a bit of onion, tomato and hot pepper (jalapeno or scotch bonnet). There are many involved recipes for stews that contain the ingredient too. But for the first try I would keep it simple. And how fun to call the family to the table to eat their calaloo! Try this:

Braised Calaloo

* 2 tbsp olive oil (30 ml)
* 3 shallots, sliced
* 2 pounds calaloo, chopped
* 1 cup chicken stock (250 ml)
* Juice of half a lemon
* Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Braised Calaloo

1. Heat olive oil in a wok or large skillet. Add shallots and sauté until they begin to caramelize. Add calaloo and stir fry for a few minutes,until it begins to wilt. Pour in chicken stock, bring to a boil and cover. Let braise until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Adjust seasoning. Sprinkle with lemon juice and adjust seasoning.

Seared Red Chard

Here is a simple way to prepare your chard tonight. Seared greens are so yummy! And good for you too!

Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
10 to 12 cups red chard (2 bunches trimmed and coarsely chopped)
Grated nutmeg, to your taste
Coarse salt and pepper
2 tablespoons red wine or cider vinegar

Make sure your greens are very dry before preparing recipe. Also, wash and chop them when you come in from market, then they are ready for you to cook up even quicker.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and toss 2 minutes, then add chard in bunches and keep it moving as it wilts up a bit - you are just searing it up. The greens should remain crisp and crunchy. Wilting them all and searing them up should take no more than 3 to 4 minutes. Season the greens with nutmeg and salt and pepper, to taste. Douse the pan with a little vinegar and remove from heat. Toss to cook off vinegar and serve the greens hot.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Mango Sorbet

The texture of mangoes make this sorbet so creamy and sublime. This is wonderful with a little scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream (like a grown up creamsicle). I would imagine if you don’t have an ice cream maker you could just freeze it and it might have a different texture. After you master this sorbet you can start having fun with it! Try infusing your simple syrup with herbs (lavender, basil, mint…)

2 large ripe mangoes (or 3 smaller ones)
6 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup of light corn syrup (we use simple syrup)

Peel mango and remove flesh. Put the flesh with other ingredients into the blender until very smooth. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour and then transfer into your ice cream machine and follow the manufacturers directions. Cover and freeze for at least 4 hours and up to 3 days.

cucumber recipe from Scotty and Erin

here's our basic cucumber recipe that we love, love, love. it's wonderful along with hot freshly made dumplings with lots of butter and salt!

2 medium cucumbers
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
chopped fresh dill
sour cream

peel and slice the cucumbers very very thinly and place in a glass bowl. mix vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper and pour over cucumbers. stir well. cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours - more is better! drain most of the liquid off the cucumbers. add dill and sour cream. stir it up and enjoy. you can also omit the sour cream if you prefer it not to be creamy.

scotty and erin

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Erin's Zuchinni Recipe

The following is from Erin and is easy and tasty! We had to cook ours longer than 30 minutes - depends on your oven.

Erin's Zuchinni Boats
cut a slit out of zucchini (like a long diamond shape - and pop out the zucchini - making a sort of "boat")

brush olive oil and garlic all over the zucchini - especially in the carved out part
stuff the "boat" with your favorite cheese and herbs - we usually use Parmesan or asiago and
long stems of rosemary

brush with olive oil again

brush a square of tin foil with olive oil / garlic and roll the zucchini up in it

place wrapped up zucchini on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until very tender.

unwrap and enjoy!