Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Prickly Pear, Lasagna Stacks and More

Bob was late getting home tonight, so I had plenty of time to cut and arrange!  The Prickly Pear purchased at Central Market in Lancaster was not as good as the one we had in Houston, but the Cantaloupe from Catoctin was so sweet and delicious!

How neat is this "Lasagna Stack"?  Inspired by Rachael Ray, I love a recipe where I can use up Ricotta Cheese.  Hers had Pesto. . . since I made and used all of mine last night, I simply decorated with a touch of broccoli.

Also inspired by Rachael Ray, here's my adaptation of this yummy potato salad:

New Potato Salad
(Serves 4)

3/4 cup Petite Golden Potatoes, cut in half
1 cup Fresh Green Beans, ends snipped and cut in half 
(I used my 3 colored beans from the Farmer's Market)
Cook in boiling water under crisp tender, about 30 minutes.

2 mini Sweet Peppers, julienne sliced
3 Tbsp. Green Onion, diced
2 tsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
1 tsp. Olive Oil
2 tsp. Dry Mustard

Finally, the "main dish", Baked Egg and Asparagus, inspired by Kalyn's Kitchen.

Baked Egg and Asparagus
(Serves 2)

2 Eggs
Break into bowls and sit at room temperature while asparagus bakes.

8 Asparagus Spears, cut in 1/3 inch pieces
Place in baking dishes and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
Top with egg.  Bake 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with:
1 Tbsp. Swiss Cheese
Bake another 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with
Mrs. Dash

The cucumbers and tomatoes are from my back deck "Container Garden"!  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Flavorful Finger Foods

Hot homemade pita bread is hard to beat.  I make mine with part whole wheat pastry flour and rapid rise yeast, so dinner was ready about 90 minutes after mixing.  I heated the turkey breast I roasted Saturday with a tahini-yogurt sauce and served with homegrown cucumber and tomato.  (original recipe from Cooking Light).

Turkey Pita with Tahini Yogurt Sauce
(Serves 2)

1 Tbsp. Plain Greek Yogurt1
1 Tbsp. Tahini
1 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 1/2 tsp. Water
1/2 tsp. Cumin
1/2 tsp. Paprika
Turkey Breast, cut in strips
Mix sauce ingredients.  Cover turkey strips with sauce.  Heat in microwave.  Serve in hot pita bread with cucumbers and tomatoes.

Almond Stuffed Petite Squash
(Serves 2)

5-6 Petite Zucchini and Yellow Squash
Cut in half lengthwise.  Scoop to make tiny boats.  Add scooped squash to food processor along with:

1/4 cup Toasted Sliced Almonds
1/2 clove Garlic
1/4 inch piece Fresh Garlic
1 Mini Sweet Pepper
1/8 tsp. Cumin
1/8 tsp. Coriander
Process.  Fill boats.  Bake in toaster oven 15 minutes.
Inspired by Vegetarian Times.

Roasted Beet Hummus
(Serves 3-4)

Isn't this pretty?  Inspired by Cooking Light.
1 small Beet, root intact, stem cut to 1 inch
Scrub and cover with foil.  Roast in 450 degree oven 45 minutes.  Roast 1 Garlic Clove for 10 minutes.   Remove stem and root.  Add to food processor along with:

1/2 cup Garbanzo Beans (I use the cooked frozen variety without added salt)
1/2 tsp. Lemon Peel
1 1/2 tsp. Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp. Tahini    
1 Tbsp. Water
1 tsp. Olive Oil
Process until nearly smooth.  

This meal was a good bit of work but so good.  Next time I'll mix the dough in the morning and let rise in the refrigerator to cut some of the prep time.  

Monday, July 28, 2014

Meatless Monday (Quinoa Salad, Eggplant Schnitzel & Waffle Sundae)

I've such an assortment of produce that a smorgasbord of vegetarian recipes makes great sense (and cents!)  First the salad.

Summer Quinoa Salad
(Serves 4)

1/4 cup Quinoa
1/2 cup Water
Mix and bring to a simmer.  Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed.  

4 miniature Squash Patties, sliced thinly
2 Persian Carrots, diced
8 Asparagus Spears, sliced in 1 inch pieces
Cook vegetables in water (asparagus for 5 minutes;  carrots & squash for 15 minutes).  Drain and mix with quinoa.  

Juice of 1/2 Lime
1 tsp. Olive Oil
3 Tbsp. Vegetable Pesto (Garlic, Spring Mix and Fresh Basil)
Mix quinoa, vegetables, juice, oil and pesto.  Cool.

Eggplant Schnitzel
(Serves 2)

1 small Eggplant, peeled and sliced thin lengthwise
1 miniature sweet Yellow Pepper, cut in half
Broil in toaster oven 12 minutes.

2 Garlic Cloves
1 1/2 cups Spring Mix
4 sprigs Fresh Basil
Chop in food processor.

1 Tbsp. beaten Egg
2 Tbsp. Pecan Meal 
1/2 Tomato, sliced
Arrange tomato slice and pesto between 2 slices eggplant.  Dip in egg, then in pecan meal.  Bake at 325 degrees in toaster oven for 15 minutes.  Garnish with pepper strips.  My recipe is an adaptation of Aubergine Schnitzel.

(Serves 2)

1 beaten Egg (I used 1 extra large egg total to make the 2 recipes)
1/2 cup Skim Milk
2 tsp. Olive Oil
Mix liquid ingredients.

1/3 cup All Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
2/3 tsp. Baking Powder
Mix dry ingredients.  Stir in wet ingredients.  Bake on preheated waffle iron.  This made 4 waffles-we each had 2.

For "Sundae", spread with part-skim Ricotta Cheese.  Add fresh Black Raspberries. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Log Cabin Luncheon

Today's picnic was at Watters Smith Memorial Park in Lost Creek, WV.  There was a reunion in the park office, a birthday party in another pavilion . . . but we found a spot all to ourselves.  Today's menu featured:
Sesame Cumin Beef
Corn and Cantaloupe Salad
Tomatoes and Cucumbers
Mango Ricotta Sundae
Peach and Berry Crisp

While I'd planned on separating the salads, I combined them after realizing my picnic basket plate simply wasn't big enough to do that!  Here's my recipes:

Sesame Cumin Beef
(Serves 4)

1/2 # Chuck Tender Sirloin Steaks
2 tsp. Sesame Oil
1 tsp. Cumin
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp. Onion Powder
Place steak in crock pot.  Cover with spices and garlic.  Cook on low for 3-4 hours.  Refrigerate.  Slice with electric knife.

3 Tbsp. Sesame Seeds, toasted
Place in ziploc bag and crush.

(Serves 2)   

1 tsp. Sesame Oil
1 tsp. Soy Sauce, reduced sodium
1 tsp. Honey
1 tsp. Cider Vinegar
Juice of 1/2 Lime

Line the plate with Spring Mix.  Add sliced beef, sesame seeds and 1/4 cup Edamame.

 Cucumbers and Tomatoes
(Serves 3)

2 Cucumbers, petite, sliced thin
1 Plum Tomato, diced
1 Tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
Fresh Parsley
I picked these from our container garden!

Corn and Cantaloupe Salad
(Serves 4)

1/2 small Cantaloupe, diced
1 ear of Corn, cooked and cut off the cob
1/4 cup Dill, fresh, snipped
1/2 Lemon, juiced
1 tsp. Olive Oil
1 Sweet Red Pepper, mini, sliced julienne
1/4 tsp. Dry Mustard
Mix all ingredients and chill.

Mango Sundae
(Serves 2)

1/6 Fresh Mango
Slice off ends.  Scoop out filling and dice.  Add
Lime Zest

1/4 cup Ricotta Cheese, part skim
Fill mango shells with cheese.  Top with diced mango-lime zest mixture.

Dessert was Fresh Peach and Black Raspberry Crisp, made with my Crunchy Oatmeal-Almond Crust.  (I'll post this later).  The crust works better in a pie. . . but this was still very tasty!

 The Watters Smith Home, built in 1876, had a magnificent kitchen.  

 I loved the cream separator.  

and the apple peeler. . . though my little vegetable peeler suits my portions perfectly!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Herb Crusted Turkey, Berry Agrodolce over Millet & Miniature Vegetables

After gathering a delightful assortment of local vegetables from Lancaster, Catoctin, Morgantown and our own hillside, my meals this week are going to be feasts.  The Turkey is a breast tenderloin.

Herb Crusted Turkey
(Serves 4)

1 Turkey Breast Tenderloin, raw
Place in roasting pan.

1/4 cup Fresh Dill
4 Garlic Cloves
1 Spring Onion Bulb, peeled
1 cup Spring Mix
2 tsp. Lemon Peel
Chop in food processor.  Pat over turkey tenderloin.

Assorted Mini Vegetables
Add to roasting pan.  Bake at 325 degrees F. 50 minutes, or until internal temperature of turkey reaches 165 degrees.

Berry Agrodolce
(Serves 2)

1 Mini Sweet Pepper, julienne strips
1/2 Spring Onion Bulb, cut in strips
1 Celery Center with leaves, cut in strips
Saute in 1 tsp. Olive Oil.

1/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup Wine Wine
2 tsp. Sugar
Add to pan. Heat to reduce liquid to a syrup-like consistency.  Stir in
1/3 cup Black Raspberries
Serve over
Cooked Millet

 Dessert was Fresh Peach and Black Raspberry Crisp with Ice Cream.  Delicious!     

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Soup Bar

Last week when attending the Premier Culinary Clinic in Cleveland, I was inspired by talented chefs and colleagues.  The Soup Bar  is an easy meal to try at home any time of year, for lunch or dinner.  Family members or customers fill their bowl with an assortment of vegetables, then cover the vegetables with broth.  Our bar included:

Carrots, diced, microwaved in water for 2 1/4 minutes
Fresh Corn on the Cob, cooked and cut off the cob
Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and microwaved in water for 2 1/4 minutes
Norther Beans, cooked, (I buy the frozen version without salt)
Tomatoes, fresh, diced
Sweet Peppers, diced
Celery, diced

The broth was made with a low sodium vegetables base, water, celery, fresh cilantro and parsley.  This is my finished soup:
I took a bowl of leftovers to work today for lunch and it was very tasty and filling.  Next week, this is on our work menu with a choice of chicken or tofu.  (Customers choose their own vegetables, we add the broth, chicken or tofu).

I'm pretty sure I was the least talented of the group attending the clinic, but I do "know how to cook, try new recipes, learn from my mistakes, am fearless, and have fun!"  (that quote is from Julia Child.) The Culinary Clinic was a ball and I learned so much!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Forest Feast

Our picnic today was at Audra State Park, 65 miles from home.  We found a secluded table with a rock, moss and Rhododendron background and a fireplace made of stone.  While we could hear the kids playing and the dogs barking, our spot was private and quite nice.  Our menu today:
Tuna-Tomato Pasta
Mexican Spinach Salad
Pear-Berry Crisp

The Tuna Pasta was inspired by Good Housekeeping.   Here's my version:
Tuna-Tomato Pasta
(Serves 3)

5 oz. Whole Wheat Spaghetti
Cook and drain.  Add
1/2 small Zucchini, sliced thin lengthwise

Stir in:
1-5 oz. can Albacore Tuna, in water, low sodium
6 Kalamata Olives, sliced
1/2 Plum Tomato, sliced

We ate ours cold, but will heat the leftovers for dinner!

The salad was inspired by the American Institute for Cancer Research, one of my favorite places for recipes!

Mexican Spring Mix Salad
(Serves 2)

1/2 tsp. Honey
1 1/2 tsp. fresh Lime Juice 
1/2 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. Olive Oil 

1 1/2 tsp. raw Pepitas
Heat in iron skillet until seeds pop.
1 small Red Pepper, diced
Heat.  Transfer mixture to ziploc bag.  Crush seeds.  Sprinkle in some Mrs. Dash.
Serve over fresh Spring Mix.  Top with raw, diced mini peppers & crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese.

The Pear Berry Crisp was made from our own Mountain Meadow Berries and featured in yesterday's post.

Bob just said to me "I can't tell you how much I enjoyed today".  I certainly agree!


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Creamed Spinach Bake, Peach Salad and Berry Crisp

An article in the June issue of Better Homes and Gardens titled "New Ways with Spinach" features this baked entree.  Here's my version:

Creamed Spinach Bake
(Serves 2)

4 oz. Chopped Frozen Spinach
1 small Onion, diced
1 tsp. Olive Oil
Saute spinach in onion and oil.  Drain. 

2 Tbsp. Flour
2 tsp. Fresh Basil and Cilantro
1/2 cup Skim Milk
Cook until thickened. Cool.  Add:
2 Egg Yolks
2 tsp. Gorgonzola Cheese Crumbles. 
2 Egg Whites
Beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into thickened Spinach, Egg Yolk and Cheese mixture, 1/2 at a time.  Portion into baking molds.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Peach and Tomato Salad
(Serves 2)

1 Peach, peeled and sliced
1/2 Plum Tomato, sliced
2 tsp. Olive Oil
1 tsp. Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp. Honey
2 tsp. Fresh Herbs
Inspired by Cooking Light Magazine.  

We picked a colander full of Black Raspberries on our hill today as the rain came down.
Here's our delicious warm dessert:

 Pear Berry Crisp
(Serves 6) 

2 cups Black Raspberries
1 Pear, peeled and diced
2 tsp. Cornstarch
2/3 tsp. Cinnamon
2 tsp. Honey
Mix.  Place in baking dish sprayed with Pam.

1 cup Oats
3 Tbsp. Whole Wheat Pastry Flour 
1 Tbsp. Honey
3 Tbsp. Earth Blend Buttery Spread, melted  

2 Tbsp. Pecan Meal
3 Tbsp. Greek Yogurt 
Mix and spread over fruit.  Bake at 350 degrees 40 minutes.
Based on a recipe by Roberta Duytt, RD on

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Prickett's Fort Picnic

Our Sunday picnic featured the same foods the early settlers may have cooked when they lived here in the 1700s.  Herb Roasted Chicken, Red Potatoes, Carrots, Corn cut off the cob. . . the difference being mine was baked last night and served cold today!

 I also cut some fresh lettuce and herbs from my container garden and portioned our berry cobbler into shallow canning jars.

The meal was delicious and the park was peaceful!  We visit here in all kinds of weather, to see the reenactments and the bands. . . and today was another of those fun times!


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Thai Noodle Bowl and Berry Cobbler

I loved this colorful recipe inspired by Laura's Lean Beef. 

Thai Noodle Bowl
(Serves 2)

6 oz. Beef Loin Steak, cooked and sliced thin

1 cup low sodium Beef Broth
1 package Brown Rice Noodles
1 tsp. Fresh Ginger, grated
Heat until noodles are cooked, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Portion noodles into bowls.  Top with:

Sliced Beef
Shredded Carrots
Shredded Purple Cabbage
Mini Sweet Pepper Strips
Fresh Corn, cooked and cut off the cob

Pour beef broth over each portion.  Garnish with Fresh Cilantro.  
Ours was served with Grape Tomatoes.  

This awesome cobbler was made with black raspberries with picked about and hour before dinner.  We added fresh strawberries.  Hard to believe these were just on the vines a few hires ago!
 Berry Cobbler
 (Serves 8-10)

2 cups Fresh Black Raspberries
2 cups Fresh Strawberries, diced
Sprinkle Cornstarch over.  Stir and portion into baking dish sprayed with Pam.

Cobbler Topping

1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Almond Flour
1/4 cup Whole Grain Cornmeal
1/4 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour 
1 Tbsp. Sugar
3 Tbsp. Earth Blend Buttery Spread
Cut buttery spread into dry ingredients in mini food processor.  Add 1/2 cup Skim Milk.
Drop by Tbsp. full onto top of berries in dish.  Bake at 400 degrees 25 minutes.

 We ate ours warm with Vanilla Ice Cream!


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ratatouille Soup and Pesto Melt

I put together a meal today where I can use those little bits of this and that produce and more before I buy new tomorrow!  The recipe for Ratatouille Soup was inspired by one in this month's issue of Food Network Magazine.  Here's my version:

Ratatouille Soup
(Serves 3)

1 small thin Eggplant
1/2 Yellow Squash
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 Green Onion, minced 
1 tsp. Olive Oil
Saute vegetables in olive oil for about 8 minutes to soften.  Add:

1 cup Diced Tomatoes
1 cup Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh Parsley
2 Tbsp. fresh Oregano
1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning.  
Simmer about 20 minutes

.Pesto Melts
(Serves 2)

3 cloves Garlic
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Walnuts
1 Tbsp. Tahini
2 Tbsp. fresh Parsley
1 1/2 cups Greens (Spring Mix and Lettuce from my container garden)
Chop fine in food processor, stopping blade a few times to scrape down contents.

2 slices 7 Grain Bread 
1 Tbsp. Earth Blend Buttery Spread
Place bread, with buttery spread in heated non-stick pan.  Add:

1/2 the Pesto mix
Spread to cover top of bread.
1 oz. Mozzarella pearls, cut in half
2 Kalamata Olives, diced     
Grill till the bottom is toasty.  Then place open faced sandwiches in the toaster oven to melt the cheese. 

While I made the sandwiches, Bob cut a mango and the remaining fresh strawberries for a colorful fruit bowl.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Perfect Patriotic Picnic

Morris Park in Fairmont, WV is one of our favorite spots.  We picnicked here before and brought the kids here to play when they were little.  It is so beautiful and peaceful here.  Our menu today included:
Tilapia Peach Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Corn with Tomatoes and Herbs
Red, White and Blue Parfait
 Seven Grain Bread
The recipe for the entrĂ©e salad was inspired by Cooking Light.  Here's my version:
Tilapia Peach Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
(Serves 2)
2 Cod Loins
Sprinkle with Mrs. Dash.  Bake in toaster oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Refrigerate overnight.
1/2 Pickling Cucumber, sliced thin
1 Peach, peeled and sliced
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Mix cucumber and peach slices.  Cover peach slices with lemon juice.  Add the remainder of the juice to the dressing:
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 tsp. White Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp. Honey
Assemble salad as follows:
Spring Mix Greens
Peach and Cucumber Mix
1 Tilapia Loin
Pea Shoots
Corn, Tomato and Herbs (recipe follows)
Corn, Tomato and Herbs
(Serves 2)
1 Corn on the Cob
I cook mine in the microwave in the husk with silk.  2 minutes per side.  First cut any loose husks and silk prior to cooking.  Cut from cob.
1/2 Red Tomato, diced
Fresh Basil, chopped
1 Green Onion, diced
Red, White and Blue Parfait
(Serves 2)
1/2 cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt, plain
2 tsp. Honey
1 Graham Cracker, crushed in a Ziploc bag
Alternately layer
Graham Cracker Crumbs
Berries (I mixed blueberries, black raspberries and strawberries,diced)
Morris Park was once a horse farm where the retired horses from the Fairmont Fire Department lived.  Can't you just imagine the horses sheltering here?
Sundays are such relaxing days.  I'm loving our Sunday picnics in nearby parks.  Today was a perfect day.  My Kamera Kitchen partner:


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Farmer's Market: Mozzarella Grainy Bread

What a beautiful day for a Farmer's Market and the 1st Saturday of every month, we demo at the Morgantown Farmer's Market pavilion as part of WVU Healthcare's Community Service.  Executive Chef Brandon Wade quickly accepted my request to help at his one, as grilling in front of hundreds of people made me nervous.  Brandon was awesome!

 The recipe is a simple one, with the key being local fresh whole ingredients.  We took New Day Bakery's 7 Grain Bread, placed it on the heated grill, brushed with Earth Blend Buttery Spread, added freshly sliced stem tomatoes from Yarnick's Farms, topped with part skim Mozzarella, then fresh Basil from Alexander's Farm.  Brandon covered these to melt the cheese. 

The smell of the fresh basil permeated the entire Farmer's Market pavilion.  Brandon rolled the fresh basil and cut in chevrons prior to use.  Customers loved these fresh grilled samples!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Red, White & Blue Lunch

After the morning concert by the Morgantown Municipal Band, it was time for a cup of coffee and a bite to eat.  Sheri Silver's Waffled Hash Browns with Egg sounded great using food we had on hand.  I made 4 small hash browns on the waffle iron, adding 1/4th cup potatoes to each iron square.

Waffled Hash Browns
(Serves 2)

3 small Red-Skinned Potatoes
Peel and shred into a bowl of cold water.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Drain thoroughly.  Spray waffle iron with Pam, then I added a tsp. of Earth Blend Buttery Spread to each square following by a fourth a cup of shredded potatoes to each square.  Close waffle maker and baker for about 10 minutes.

Serve 1 poached egg over 2 waffled hash browns. I sprinkled mine with Mrs. Dash.

Now for the Red, White and Blue Salad!

For each serving portion, mix
6 Mozzarella Pearls
4 Grape Tomatoes, quartered
2 Tbsp. Blueberries
2 Basil Leaves, cut in smaller pieces
1 tsp. White Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp. Olive Oil

Happy Independence Day!