Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wild Crab & Peach Koolsla on Multigrain

This small crab cake sandwich on a multigrain dinner roll with summer peach slaw was so tasty and filling.  I only needed 4 ounce of backfin crabmeat to make 2 servings, which made this upscale sandwich affordable.  I purchased the cabbage at the Westover Farmers Market on my way home and picked the pepper from our container garden just before we ate.  The recipe was inspired by Rachael Ray.

Crab Cake & Peach Slaw on Multigrain

(Serves 2)

Beat egg with mayonnaise and mustard.  Add wheat germ and parsley.  With clean fingers, mix in crabmeat.
1 egg
1 teaspoon mayonnaise with olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoon toasted wheat germ
3 sprigs fresh parsley, snipped
4 ounce backfin crabmeat
Divide in half, forming 2 small oblong patties.  Cook on stove top in pan sprayed with Pam and 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Brown on each side about 4 minutes.

Shred cabbage.  Mix with peach and peppers.
2/3 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 fresh peach, peeled and sliced in bite size pieces
1/2 sweet garden peppers, diced fine

Make vinaigrette with oil, vinegar and sugar.  Pour over cabbage mixture.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoon sugar

Heat rolls.  Slice in half.  Add crabcake and slaw.

While it's not exactly the beach, we're off to Holly River (WV) State Park for a 2-day vacation in a cabin on a cool spring.  Enjoy your Independence Week! 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Orbs & Pulses (Meatless Monday)

Only the stem ends of this lentil stuffed summer squash are inedible. These petite round squash were perfect for stuffing.  Local farmers now offer a variety of summer squash, as in the winter when the varieties are many.  I knew this size would be the perfect portion for our dinner entrees.

Because summer squash has a thin edible skin and soft seeds, it does not take long to cook.  I sauteed the pulp, then stuffed and baked the finished product.  The squash pulp has a high water content, thus I drained the pulp after sauteing and before combining with the lentils.  

Lentils Stuffed Summer Squash

(Serves 2)

Cook lentils in double the amount of water until soft, about 20 minutes.
1/3 cup lentils

Cut off top of squash,  Level bottom.
Scoop out pulp and seeds.  I used an ice cream scoop.
Dice pulp. 
2 petite summer squash

Saute diced squash, garlic and shallots in olive oil on stove top.  Stir frequently and saute for about 10 minutes.  Drain in collander.
Squash pulp, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoon shallots, diced
1 teaspoon olive oil

Mix lentils, sauteed squash, pecan meal and cheese.
2 tablespoon pecan meal (I ground pecan halves in a spice mill)
2 tablespoon shredded mozzarella
Stuff squash shells with lentil-squash mixture.

Garnish top of stuffed squash with crumbled Gorgonzola.
2 tablespoon crumbled Gorgonzola

Place in baking dish sprayed with Pam.
Bake at 350 F. for 15 minutes.

Our meal is served with a fresh garden salad and strawberries.

Zucchini squash, halved lengthwise, also works great in this recipe.  I cut the squash through the softened skin and eat every bit!

Summer squash is very perishable.  Refrigerate in plastic bags for no more than five days.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Undercover Eats

Rainy summer day picnics can be soothing and intimate in a park pavilion.  We found the perfect spot at Watters Smith State Park in West Milford, West Virginia.  The pavilion was on top the hill by a forest with trails and the sound of a trickling spring. 

Our menu featured:
Oriental Chicken and Vegetables over Brown Rice
Fruited Graham Cake and Yogurt Parfait
Marinated Cucumbers
Farmers Market Cheddar and Bacon Biscuit

Oriental Chicken & Vegetable Rice Bowl

(Serves 2)

Cook brown rice in simmering water for 5 minutes, until water is absorbed.  Chill.
3/4 cup instant brown rice
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Mix marinade ingredients:  oil, juices, soy sauce and honey.
2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
Juice from 1 lime
2 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoon honey

Cover chicken with part of marinade.  Refrigerate.
2 chicken legs, baked and shredded

Precook carrots and broccoli in microwave for 2 minutes in water.  Drain. Saute scallions, garlic and mushrooms on stove top in oil. Stir in other vegetables.  Chill. 
4 baby farmers market carrots, precooked
3 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
4 farmers market broccoli spear, sliced and precooked
1/2 cup fresh cut green beans, cooked and drained
1/4 cup shallot, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil

At table side, assemble rice bowls by layering rice, chicken and vegetables.  Garnish with tomato.  Serve with additional marinade on the side.
1/2 yellow tomato, wedged

  Have a great week!



Friday, June 26, 2015


Individual potato and spinach frittatas in iron skillets were hot and satisfying suppers to start the weekend.  I cooked the potatoes this afternoon and refrigerated until it was time to make dinner.  While the oven was preheating, I sauteed the spinach with garlic scapes for 2 minutes, then drained and squeezed in paper towels. I placed 2 skillets on side by side burners and sauteed garlic, shallots and potatoes for 2 minutes, then added the spinach and egg-yogurt mix.  Topped with grated parmesan cheese, I cooked the the frittatas stove-top for 2 minutes, then transferred the skillets to the oven to finish baking.  At the end, I turned the oven to broil to brown the top of the frittatas.  My husband saved part of his for breakfast!  

Potato and Spinach Frittata

(Serves 2)

Microwave potatoes in water for 2 minutes, 15 seconds.  Drain.
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

Saute spinach with garlic for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Drain, squeeze out moisture and roll in paper towels.
2 cups fresh spinach, stems removed
1 garlic scape, minced

Beat eggs with yogurt and seasonings.
3 eggs
1/4 cup Greek yogurt, plain, nonfat
Mrs. Dash
Fresh ground pepper

Place 2 individual iron skillets on burners, side by side.  Spray with Pam and heat to medium high.  Add garlic and shallots and potatoes (divided).  Cook for 2 minutes, stirring.  Add spinach, divided.
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoon shallots, diced
Cooked potatoes
Sauteed spinach

Divide egg mixture over potatoes and spinach in skillets.  Top with cheese.  Grated nutmeg over top.
Egg-yogurt mixture
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Fresh ground nutmeg
Cook on stove top 2 minutes.

Transfer skillets to preheated 350F. oven.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Turn oven to broil and bake for an additional 2 minutes.

Handle carefully!  Skillets are very hot.

We served marinated cucumbers & tomatoes, watermelon & mango, and corn relish on the side.  Bob had a toasted biscuit with his.  I toasted 4 cocktail rye bread slices to enjoy with mine.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

My Plate in a Pouch

Start with a piece of foil.  Add a fish fillet, then top with vegetables, herbs and a citrus slice--and bake.  The result is a delicious dinner in 1/2 an hourHere's what went into our pouches (though the choice of seafood and vegetables is up to you!)

Cod in Foil with Vegetables & Herbs

(Serves 2)

Like wrapping a package, cut 2 pieces of foil larger than the fillet.  Place each fillet in center of foil piece.  (I used parchment lined foil).
2 wild cod fillets (4-5 ounce each)

Grind seeds in spice mill.  Sprinkle fish with ground spices.
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/8 teaspoon coriander seeds

Cook corn.  (I microwave the corn in the trimmed husk in a wet paper towel, 2 minutes per side)
1 ear of corn
Remove husks and silk.  Cut corn from cob.  Divide among the pouches.

Top with remaining vegetables and herbs.  Place orange slice on top.
1 small patty pan squash, halved and sliced thin
2 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
4 fresh broccoli spears, trimmed
1 shallot bulb, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 thyme steams
2 slices oranges

Fold up package.  Bake in 400 F. oven for 15 minutes.  I drained some of the liquid before sliding contents of package onto plate.  

Our meal was served with a side salad of spinach, black olives, tomatoes and mozzarella.



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sassy & Sweet Kohlrabi Salad

Summer is here and the local farmers market tables are adorned with a variety of vegetables:  greens, shoots, scapes and roots to create recipes to suit any palate.  The kohlrabi is one vegetable I've only purchased a few times and wanted to try something new!

Kohlrabi are large bulbs, green and purple, about the size of a tennis ball.  The leaves are edible.  The flesh of both the green and purple varieties is white.  The taste is similar to a broccoli stem.  Kohlrabi contain fiber, Vitamin C and potassium. 

To prepare, peel and discard the outer two fibrous layers.  The flesh can be eaten raw, roasted, cooked in soup or mashed.  When steamed, kohlrabi can be used in anything. I decided to steam, marinate and chill to combine with other vegetables, grain and nuts to make a summer salad.  

Lemon Honey Kohlrabi Salad with Farro & Walnuts

(Serves 1)

Cook kohlrabi sticks in boiling water for 2 minutes.
1/3 kohlrabi bulb, peeled and cut in thin matchsticks

Add carrots to water with kohlrabi and boil for 6 more minutes.
5-6 baby carrots, peeled
Remove from heat, drain and rinse with cold water.

Make dressing by mixing fresh squeezed lemon juice, lemon peel, oil and honey.
2 tablespoon lemon juice
Lemon peel from 1 lemon
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
Pour over kohlrabi and carrots.  Cover and refrigerate.

To assemble salad, layer vegetables with kohlrabi and carrots.
1/2 cup lettuce leaves
4 golden beets, cooked, peeled and halved
5-6 grape tomatoes, sliced
1/3 yellow zucchini, spiral cut into "noodles"
1/4 cup pea shoots

Add farro and nuts.  Pour dressing over salad.
1/4 cup cooked farro
2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped

This was a tasty summer luncheon, which I enjoyed with 3 toasted cocktail rye bread slices and a glass of skim milk.


The store that never let people go hungry (1930s)

Sharing family history of my grandparents' grocery store:

Mom's Dad Vista L. Mullan bought the grocery store at the bottom of the Waverly Street Bridge (Westernport, Maryland)  in 1929.

The store had a counter with drawers full of flour, sugar, cornmeal, coffee, dry beans and peas.  There was a meat block to cut meat and cheese.

Farmers brought fruits and vegetables in wagons.  Fresh fruit and eggs were sold from bushel baskets on the floor.

The cat nested on top of the 100 pound sack of flour.  The store had fish, raw oysters and home brew bottles exploding around the potbellied stove.  The candy case was loaded with tasty items.

Every Saturday the farmers came by with their horse and buggies with chickens, eggs and produce.

There were large barrels of products, from pickles to Carbide.

After the depression was over, notes with IOUs were found in the carbide barrels, most of which were never paid back.  Vista and Marie never let anyone go hungry.

Grandma Marie took over the store when Vista died in 1938.  She raised 4 kids and operated the store for 4 years, when she went to work inspecting bullets for the war effort.  Grandma sold the store to Marshall Jones when she remarried in 1944.

That's Mom as a teenager (2nd from right in back) in the bed of her Dad's delivery truck.

The photo above is from an exhibit at the Charleston (WV) Cultural Center.  It's a general store with more than groceries, but the pot bellied stove, the counter and drawers and "the smell of the freshly oiled floor" are how I envision the store.  And Grandma Marie always wore an apron!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Poached Salmon with Dill Yogurt Sauce, Mexican Fruit Kabobs and an array of fresh vegetables filled our plates today.  The salmon recipe was inspired by Clean Eating Magazine.  The fruit marinade was inspired by Rachael Ray.

Poached Salmon with Dill Yogurt Sauce

(Serves 2)

Mix sauce ingredients together:
2 tablespoon Greek yogurt, plain, nonfat
2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dill
2 tablespoon fresh snipped parsley

Bring broth to a boil.  Lower heat to simmer.  Add salmon and thyme.  Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2-4 ounce wild salmon fillets
Fresh thyme sprigs

Add radishes, carrots and broccoli to saucepan.  Cover and cook for 3 minutes.
2 radishes, trimmed and cut into matchsticks
4 baby carrots, trimmed and cut into matchsticks

Arrange salmon on plates with yogurt sauce, radishes and carrots.  Garnish with pea shoots. 

Pea shoots

The broccoli was purchased today at the Westover Farmers Market.  I sauteed mushrooms, patty pan squash, garlic scapes and garlic clove in olive oil to serve alongside the seafood.  All vegetables except garlic clove and baby bellas were purchased from local farmers.

Mexican Fruit Kabobs

(Serves 3)

Cut fruit and mix in bowl.
1/2 cup watermelon, cut in cubes
4 strawberries, green removed and quartered
1 picking cucumber, halved lengthwise and cut in large cubes
1/3 fresh mango, peeled and cut in cubes
2 tablespoon fresh snipped cilantro

Mix juice, sugar and chili powder.  Pour over fruit.  Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon chili powder 




Monday, June 22, 2015

Grilled Patty Pan Caprese Stacks (Meatless Monday)

We celebrate the first full day of summer with an appropriate luncheon featuring these Grilled Squash Caprese Stacks and Watermelon Cucumber Feta Salad.  The Caprese recipe was inspired by Cooking Light.  This was a perfect time to use one of the pretty patty pan squashes I purchased from the Middleton Farmers Market.

Grilled Patty Pan Caprese Stacks

(Serves 2)

Mix oil,  balsamic reduction, garlic and pepper.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon balsamic reduction*
1 garlic clove
Fresh ground pepper

Brush squash slices on both sides with oil mixture.
1 patty pan squash, sliced thinly
Brown squash on 1 side in iron grill pan on stove-top.  Turn slices.

Top squash with mozzarella slices.
3 ounce fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly

Top cheese with tomato slice.
1 yellow tomato, sliced thinly

Sprinkle tomato slice with basil sprigs, reserving some for garnish.
Fresh basil sprigs

Grill until cheese melts.  Stack a squash-cheese-tomato piece on top another.

Garnish with grape tomato halves and reserved basil spring. 
6 grape tomatoes, halved 

*To make balsamic reduction, I combined 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar with 1/4 cup water, 1 teaspoon honey and 1 bay leaf on stove top.  I brought to a boil over medium heat, then lowered heat to simmer for 12 minutes.

The salad recipe was inspired by Cooking Light.  

Watermelon Salad with Feta & Cucumbers

(Serves 2)

Mix vinegars, water, mustard and sugar.
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons water
Dash ground mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar

Pour vinaigrette over cucumber slices. 
1 pickling cucumber, sliced thinly

Arrange cucumbers, melon, olives and gorgonzola on the plate.
1/2 cup watermelon cubes
6 black olives, sliced
1 tablespoon crumbled gorgonzola
Fresh spinach salad 

Have a great week!



Sunday, June 21, 2015

Papa's Picnic

When I said "Happy Fathers Day" he replied "Everyday is happy with you".  We cherish all of our time together, including our meals and outdoor picnics.  Today's platter features Pesto Scallops, Millet with Local Vegetables and Apple Muffins.  

We beat the rain, staying close to home and sticking close to a shelter where we could run if the rain began.

Millet is a whole grain and gluten free.  I buy it at the local Mountain People's Co-op.  For 2 servings, I cooked 1/4 cup grain in low sodium chicken broth for about 30 minutes.  I sauteed local squash, carrots, cauliflower and garlic scapes separately, then mixed them together before chilling.  That's Deberry Farm lettuce as the base.

I sauteed the scallops, 4 minutes per side, in pesto.


(Serves 4)

1 cup arugula spinach mix (stemmed removed)
1 garlic scape
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
Process in food processor.

My apple muffin recipes were posted earlier this week.  

The weather cooperated for our picnic, but not for swimming.  Chestnut Ridge Park in Monongalia County is about 15 miles from home and full of fun things to do.

Happy Fathers Day!   

Saturday, June 20, 2015

West Virginia Day Stir Fry & Panhandle Cut-outs

I love making melon cookie cutter shapes and the West Virginia cutter is used appropriately on this 152nd birthday of our beautiful state!  While melon is not yet available at the local farmers market, I gathered squash, carrots, garlic scapes and cauliflower from local farmers markets for today's stir fry.  The recipe was inspired by Clean Eating magazine.

Beef Vegetable Stir Fry

(Serves 2)

Cook pasta in boiling water.
3 ounce whole wheat spaghetti

Mix sauce ingredients:
Zest of 1/2 lime
Juice from 1/2 lim
2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoon honey

Heat oil in pan.  Stir fry beef with garlic and peppers.  Add other vegetables and stir fry for 4 minutes.  Stir in sauce ingredients.
4 ounce beef tenderloin, cut in thin strips
4 baby carrots, peeled and cut in matchsticks
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 garlic scape
1 garlic, minced
2 mini sweet peppers, sliced in rings
1/2 cup fresh chopped cauliflower
1 baby portobella mushroom, sliced
2 tablespoons mung bean sprouts
1/4 cup yellow sauash, sliced
1/4 cup zucchini, sliced
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Drain pasta.  Serve vegetables with sauce over pasta.



Friday, June 19, 2015


Tonight's meal features local free range chicken, local red spring wheat, local grown green beans, zucchini and radishes. . . and homemade sauces.  This is the sauce I'll make for the brisket I've reserved for the upcoming holiday!  The barbeque recipe was inspired by Clean Eating Magazine and is much lower in sodium than traditional recipes.

Chicken BBQ & Slaw on Homemade Rolls

(Serves 4)

Mix ingredients in a non-stick saucepan.  Bring to a simmer for 20 minutes.
8 ounce no added salt tomato sauce
1/3 teaspoon tapioca starch
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Sucanat
1 heaping teaspoon onion powder
1 heaping teaspoon mustard powder
1 heaping teaspoon paprika

Shred chicken breast and add to sauce.  Simmer until thick, about 20 minutes.
1 cooked chicken breast (about 6 ounce-I grilled these in a cast iron stove top grill last night)

Shred slaw ingredients.  Add yogurt and honey.  Sprinkle with Mrs. Dash.
1/3 cup shredded cabbage
2 tablespoon shredded zucchini
2 tablespoon shredded carrots
1 radish, radish
3 tablespoon Greek yogurt, plain
2 teaspoon honey
Mrs. Dash

My rolls are homemade using McConnell Mill red spring wheat flour, corn flour and all purpose flour in the mix.  I also added 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder to the bread dough.



Nutty & Corny (muffins made with corn and pecan flour)

When I set out to search for an apple muffin recipe, I realized I had many different kinds of flour on hand.  I first made a muffin with red spring wheat, blue cornmeal and whole wheat pastry flour, then decided to try it again with corn flour, blue cornmeal and pecan flour.  Because nut flours are higher in fat, I substituted some applesauce for the buttery spread in the original recipe. Here are the two recipes:

Apple Muffins made with Pecan Flour & Corn

(Serves 8)

Beat in mixer at medium speed for 5 minutes.
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar

Add to mixing bowl.  Do not mix
2 tablespoon & 2 teaspoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread, melted
1/4 cup skim milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

Mix dry ingredients and stir into bowl with liquid ingredients.
1/4 cup pecan flour
3/4 cup corn flour
1/2 cup blue cornmeal
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

Stir in.  Do not over mix.
1 cup apple, unpeeled and shredded
Pour 1/4 cup batter each into muffin tin sprayed with Pam.

Mix streusel  topping in food processor.
2 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup oatmeal 
Crumble 1 tablespoon each onto top of each muffin.

Bake at 375 F. for 25 minutes.  Garnish with a pecan half. 

Apple Muffins made with Spring Wheat & Cornmeal

(Serves 8)

Beat in mixer at medium speed for 5 minutes.
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar

Add to mixing bowl.  Do not mix
1/3 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread, melted
1/4 cup skim milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix dry ingredients and stir into bowl with liquid ingredients.
1/2 cup hard red spring wheat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup blue cornmeal
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

Stir in.  Do not over mix.
1 cup apple, unpeeled and shredded
Pour 1/4 cup batter each into muffin tin sprayed with Pam.

Mix streusel  topping in food processor.
2 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup oatmeal 
Crumble 1 tablespoon each onto top of each muffin.

Bake at 375 F. for 25 minutes.  Garnish with a pecan half. 

Both muffins were delicious!