Monday, November 30, 2015

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

I love cornbread.  Nobody else in my family did.  If I made a pan of cornbread, I ended up eating most of it.  Then, I started making this.

Jalapeno Cheese Cornbread
  • 1 cup finely ground cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder 
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped seeded jalapeƱo peppers 
  • 3/4 cup corn, cooked
  • 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Spray a 10" cast iron skillet with olive oil.

Combine the dry ingredients (cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cayenne)  in a medium bowl.  In a large bowl, combine the honey, melted butter, egg, and buttermilk.  Stir in the jalapeno, corn, and cheddar.

Pour the dry ingredients into the egg mixture and stir until just combined.

Pour the mixture into the skillet. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Eggplant Parmesan

The eggplant Parmesan recipe is almost the same as the zucchini Parmesan recipe.

Eggplant Parmesan

2 lb. eggplant
2 eggs
2 Tbs. milk
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 C.  dry breadcrumbs
1 quart jar spaghetti sauce
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced (or shredded mozzarella, if you prefer)

Peel (if you would like) and slice the eggplant. I am normally not a huge fan of peeling vegetables, but if your eggplant has tough skin, I would recommend it. Sprinkle the eggplant on both sides with a little salt, and let rest for 20 minutes or so. Then pat dry.

Preheat the oven to 350.

In the mean time, beat the eggs and milk in a flat-bottomed dish with a larger diameter than your eggplant.

Mix the Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, and herbs in another flat-bottomed dish, or a plate with a rim.

Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Dip each eggplant slice in the egg mixture, then in the breadcrumb mixture, and arrange on the baking sheet so they are not touching. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn over the eggplant slices and bake for another 10 minutes.

Spread a little spaghetti sauce in the bottom of your casserole dish. Put a layer of eggplant in the dish, then cover with some sauce.  Add another layer of eggplant and more sauce until you have run out of eggplant. Arrange the sliced mozzarella over the eggplant. Bake for 20 minutes.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Spinach Quiche

I've been making quiche using this method for years.  You can substitute pretty much and cheese or vegetable.  I also really like it with 2 cups broccoli instead of the spinach, and cheddar in place of the gruyere.

Spinach Quiche

Preheat the oven to 375.

Mix 1 1/3 cups flour and 1/2 tsp. salt in a large bowl.  In a measuring cup, put 1/3 cup sunflower oil and 3 Tbs. milk (or your favorite substitute). 
Pour the milk and oil into the flour and stir until combined.  Press the crust mixture into a straight-sided quiche pan.

Saute 1 clove garlic, chopped, in 1 Tbs. olive oil.  Add 4 cups chopped fresh spinach.  Saute until the spinach wilts.

In a large bowl, lightly beat 4 eggs.  Add 1 1/3 cups milk (or your favorite substitute), and beat until combined.

In the quiche crust, layer 1 C gruyere cheese, the spinach mixture (drained) and the custard.
Sprinkle with paprika.

Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes, until a knife inserted into the middle of the custard comes out clean.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Braised Winter Greens

Greens are in season!  When I first moved to the south, the only two greens I had heard of were lettuce and spinach.  Lettuce was mostly the ghastly pale iceburg and spinach came from the freezer aisle, frozen into a dark green brick.

Now we are so lucky!  We have fresh, home grown greens all winter long.

Here is my standard greens recipe. I use it for kale, collards, chard, mustard and spinach:

Braised Greens
    • take your greens of choice, remove the tough stems, and chop the leaves coarsely
    • heat some olive oil in a large pan.  Add 1 or 2 cloves of minced garlic.
    • add the chopped greens, and stir to coat the greens with the olive oil
    • if they are not tender at this point, add a little water (1 tablespoon - 1/4 cup) or other liquid such as broth. Put a lid on, turn down the heat, and let them steam for a few minutes.
This is how we have kale and eggs for breakfast.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Guacamole Salad

Usually, when you go to a Mexican Restaurant, guacamole salad is shredded iceberg lettuce topped with guacamole. Here's what I've been doing instead.  Chopping avocados is easier than making guacamole, and it makes a really nice texture in the salad.

The other thing I really like about this is that you don't use an oil based dressing.  You just top it with salsa (and sour cream or Greek yogurt, if you like).

Guacamole Salad

Mixed field greens (or chopped romaine)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1 or 2 tomatoes, chopped or a cup of grape tomatoes cut in 2
1 avocado, diced
tomatillos, diced

Toss all the ingredients.

 Dress with salsa and sour cream.

Lightly Lemoned Pound Cake with Mixed Berry Compote

So my husband wanted me to enter the Come For Dessert Contest sponsored by the Egg Council. I feel like you should have an item that is really your "thing" to enter a contest.  Recently I have started to make Pound Cake with Mixed Berry Compote, and it is starting to become my signature dessert. The compote is a great way to use up small amounts of berries, and whatever is in the freezer.

Lightly Lemoned Pound Cake with Mixed Berry Compote

1 c butter
3 c pure cane sugar
6 eggs
3 c all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c plain greek yogurt or sour cream
juice from 1 lemon (about 2 Tbs.)
zest from 1 lemon (about 1 tsp.)
powdered sugar (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Grease and flour a tube pan or bundt pan.
  3. In a bowl, cream butter. 
  4. Gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes. 
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  6. Combine flour, baking soda and salt.
  7. Combine yogurt, lemon juice and zest. 
  8. Add flour mixture alternately with yogurt mixture, beating until just combined.
  9. Pour into prepared pan.
  10. Bake at 325 for 70 - 80 minutes, until tester comes out clean.
  11. Cool for 15 minutes, then remove from pan to cool completely.
  12. Sprinkle with  powdered sugar, if you would like
Mixed Berry Compote

2 Tbs Lemon Juice
3 Tbs Butter
4 Tbs Brown sugar
3 cups mixed berries (blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, ground cherry)

Heat lemon juice, butter, and brown sugar until bubbly. Add berries, and stir.  Heat for 3 minutes, until it looks bubbly again. You can serve the compote hot or room temperature.  Let people scoop the compote over their slices of cake.

Did I mention it won 2nd place?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Greek Salad - Use those summer vegetables!

Greek Salad is delicious, colorful, and easy.  It makes a light summer lunch when all the cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes are overflowing from the garden.

Greek Salad

1 small head lettuce (I used romaine), chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 pepper of whatever color you like, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded if necessary, and chopped
1/4 cup feta cheese
10 black olives, sliced

1/4 C olive oil
3 Tbs red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp parsley
1/4 tsp basil
dash of salt and pepper

Toss all the vegetables gently in a bowl.  Sprinkle with the cheese and olives.

Mix the dressing ingredients, and pour over the salad. You can let it marinade for a couple of hours if you want.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Poached eggs on a bed of braised greens

Greens and eggs are a delicious combination. We've made this with kale, collards, and spinach.  You can use leftover greens from last night's dinner, and have a quick, healthy breakfast.

Poached Eggs on a Bed of Braised Greens

1 bunch greens of your choice, tough stems removed, chopped coarsely
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs olive oil
1/4 C water or stock
4 eggs
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan.  
  2. Add garlic and the chopped greens, and stir fry for a few minutes until the greens are coated and bright green.
  3. If the greens are not tender at this point, add water and put a lid on, turn down the heat, and let them steam for a few minutes. (Spinach will likely be done, but collards will probably need to steam.)
  4. Make 4 little egg-sized wells in the greens. Put an egg in each of the wells, cover, and cook until the eggs are done the way you like them.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Perky Vegetarian Baked Beans in the pressure cooker or crock pot

Everyone likes baked beans. The are loaded with protein, vitamins, fiber. Even though the main ingredient, dried beans, isn't something you think about as being something you would grow, it's easy to do. So far, I have only saved dried beans for seeds, not as a food crop, but it is the same process. Let the pods dry on the plant. Remove the seeds from the pod. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place.

Even though the beans are most likely to be purchased from the store, you can still use your farm-grown produce.

This recipe is sweetened only with molasses and is way lower in sugar than most baked bean recipes. (You can substitute honey if you have it, or prefer the milder taste.) The flavor is perked up with the addition of onion, bell pepper, garlic, barbeque sauce and mustard.

Perky Vegetarian Baked Beans

1 pound dried pea or navy beans
1 chopped onion
1 chopped pepper
1 minced garlic
1/2 cup ketchup (homemade from your own tomatoes, if you can)
1/2 cup barbecue sauce (homemade from your own tomatoes, if you can)
1/2 cup molasses
1 tsp mustard
1 cup water

Cook the beans according to the pressure cooker directions (or the package directions).

Drain the beans and put them back into the pressure cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Pressure cook for 6 minutes, then let the pressure release on its own. If your pressure cooker has a "keep warm" function, you can keep the beans on "keep warm" for many hours to let the flavors blend.

Or put the cooked beans and the rest of the ingredients in the crock pot, stir, and cook on low for 6 hours.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Puffed Oven Pancake

I've been making Puffed Oven Pancake as a weekend breakfast for years.  It's easy. It's child-friendly, It's delicious. It has no added sugar.  Most of the ingredients can be locally sourced.

Once when one of my husband's aunts asked him if I was a gourmet cook, he mentioned puffed oven pancake as an example of my culinary acumen. I was surprised.  A puffed oven pancake takes 1/2 an hour to make. This was the same week that I made a daffodil cake, which was also delicious and took several hours. This recipe is so simple it is almost cheating.

Puffed Oven Pancake

4 eggs
1 cup flour (any kind you like. I've used white, wheat, gluten free, and even rolled oats)
1 cup milk (dairy, or whatever non-dairy milk product you like)
3 Tbs butter (I have successfully substituted coconut oil)
1 or 2 apples sliced

  1. Preheat the oven to 450.
  2. Melt the butter in a 10" iron skillet in the pre-heating oven.
  3. While the butter is melting, put the eggs in a blender and blend at high speed for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the milk and flour to the blender and blend for another minute.
  5. Arrange the apples in the butter in the bottom of the hot skillet.
  6. Pour the batter over the apples. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes.
  8. Reduce the temperature to 350, and bake for another 10 minutes, until puffy and golden brown.
I was out of apples, the other day, and used frozen blueberries, sliced frozen strawberries, and sliced bananas.  It was delicious.  I've been meaning to try peaches, but oven season and peach season don't overlap much.

When the kids got a little older, I used 6 eggs, 1.5 cups milk and 1.5 flour.  That worked well, but the apples floated around in the batter, and it was a little harder to get it to look symmetrical.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Easy Egg Casserole

I love this recipe. Nearly everything can be sourced locally.  It uses up what vegetables you are harvesting at the moment. You can use up leftovers. You can bake it in whatever casserole dish is clean at the moment. (Yeah, I didn't wash the dishes last night. So shoot me.) If you like cheese, sprinkle some over the top before you bake it. If you like sausage or ham, add some in with the vegetables.

It's so easy and flexible.  The basic method: saute some vegetables, pour eggs over the top, bake.

Easy Egg Casserole

1 tsp olive oil or butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic, minced
2-4 cups chopped vegetables* of your choice
1/2 - 1 tsp herbs of your choice (thyme, basil, parsley are nice)
8 eggs
1/4 cup milk (or your favorite unsweetened milk-like product)
  1. Saute the onion, garlic, and vegetables in the olive oil.  Add the herbs. 
  2. Beat the eggs.  Add the milk, and stir until everything is uniform (or whatever).
  3. Spray or butter a rectangular casserole dish.  I've used everything from 7"x11" to 9"x13" and it comes out fine.
  4. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until set in the middle.
 * Here are some vegetable options:
  • mushrooms 
  • broccoli
  • greens (spinach and kale are particularly good)
  • leftover cooked potatoes (yum!), carrots, green beans
  • grated raw carrots
  • peppers
  • summer squash
Here's another photo: