Sunday, May 29, 2016

Creekside Kabobs

Our crispy salad platters made with skewers of BBQ Chicken & Bleu Cheese Berry Kabobs,  accented with corn cut off the cob and mango salsa, were tasty and easy to transport picnic meals for this holiday weekend.  The Memorial Day Picnic Menus included:

BBQ Chicken Kabob
Red, White & Blue Kabobs
(Strawberry, Bleu Cheese & Blackberry Kabobs)
Corn, Cut off the Cob
Mango Salsa
Farmers Market Lettuce
Multigrain Bleu Local Bread
Farmers Market Carrot Cake

BBQ Chicken 

(2 Servings)

Mix dry spices and sugar in a small bowl.  Pat both sides of chicken breast into spices.  Bake at 325 F. for 15 minutes.
2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
1 (6 ounce) chicken breast
Cut into cubes.

Mix chicken cubes with sauce.  Bake for 5 more minutes, until center of chicken is 165 F.
1/4 cup BBQ Sauce

Barbecue Sauce

(3/4 cup)

1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup ketchup, no high fructose corn syrup
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder 
Mix together in small saucepan.  Simmer for 5 minutes.

Our picnic today was at Cedar Creek (WV) State Park.  We found a nice table under the tall trees to protect from a few rain drops.  

The park had a one room school house and memorial to all the teachers that taught in the one room school houses in Gilmer County.  (there were many)

This park was almost 100 miles from home, so it's good to have an extra day to rest up for the week.  




Saturday, May 28, 2016

Brit Burger

It's National Burger Day, and we marked the occasion with an English Breakfast Burger-Potato Patty, Canadian Bacon, Egg and Baked Beans.  Every layer of the creation was yummy in its own right.  The "Bleu" Multigrain Bread and Avocado Slaw were great too!  

The barbecue pea recipe was adapted from Amari Thomson's recipe for the peas and Sally Kuzemchak's recipe for barbeque sauce.  

BBQ Beans or Peas

(4 Servings)

Brown shallots and garlic in olive oil.  
1/4 cup shallots, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon olive oil

Add water and dried peas.
1/2 cup yellow eyed dry peas
2 cups water
Cook until peas are soft.  (I cooked mine in a countertenor pressure cooker for 1/2 hour).

Drain most of water from cooked peas.  Stir in barbecue sauce, paste, vegetable cube, vinegar, molasses and flax meal.  Keep warm for service.
1/4 cup barbecue sauce (recipe to follow)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 low sodium vegetable broth cube
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon black strap molasses
1 1/2 teaspoon flax meal

Barbecue Sauce
(3/4 cup)
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup ketchup, no high fructose corn syrup
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder 
Mix together in small saucepan.  Simmer for 5 minutes.

Hash Brown Patties

(Serves 4)

Mix egg, potatoes and garlic in a food processor.
1 cup cooked potatoes, drained
1 egg
2 tablespoon garlic scapes, diced

Portion 1/4 cup each into a hot skillet lightly greased with canola oil.
1 teaspoon canola oil

Flatten and brown on each side.

The slaw dressing recipe is from Hass Avocado. 


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A New Week, A New Soup & Salad (Meatless Monday)

Weekend trips to the Farmers Market prompted the desire to use my fresh stock of local produce.  There's not a better day to do that than Monday (Meatless Monday, that is!) I pulled local pinto beans, barley and canned tomatoes from the shelf to make the soup.

Vegetable Barley Soup

(Serves 5)

Saute vegetables in buttery spread for 5 minutes.
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup carrots, diced
1/4 cup onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 cups fresh kale, spine removed and chopped
1 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread

Add broth, beans and barley.
2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup pinto beans, dry
1/2 cup barley
Cook until beans and barley are soft.  (Mine took 1 1/2 hours in a counter-top pressure cooker).

Add tomatoes. parsley and more water.  Cook 15-30 minutes more.
1 cup diced tomatoes, canned without salt
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/2-1 cup water

The soup was for dinner, the salad for lunch.

Fresh Asian greens, colorful radishes and carrots and garlic scapes from the Farmers Market prompted the large salad for lunch.  I added other bits of vegetables from my produce bin to the chopped topping.  (fennel, cucumber, zucchini, yellow squash).  The dressing gets thicker as it sets.  I made mine in the morning and refrigerated to eat for lunch.  So this was a spoon-able dressing, but so good.

Strawberry Chia Dressing

(Serves 3)

Blend berries, vinegar, oil, juice and pepper.  Add more orange juice if mixture is too thick.
1/2 cup strawberries, quartered
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon honey
Fresh ground pepper

Stir in chia seeds.
1 tablespoon chia seeds

My salad is topped with Hemp Seed meal-an added bonus!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Picnic with Cheesy Filled Bread & Olives

The Cheesy Baked Bread I made Friday made an easy to transport picnic entree today.  I purchased a small amount of kalamata olives and colorful peppers from the market olive bar and added a few tomatoes for the topping.  The meal is served with a corn off the cob salad and lemon blueberry dessert.

 Lemon Blueberry Dessert

(Serves 3)

Beat together eggs, sugar, juice, milk and lemon zest.
2 eggs
3 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons evaporated skim milk
Zest from 1/2 lemon

Pour over blueberries in a baking dish greased with olive oil spray.
1 cup fresh blueberries
Bake at 350 F. for 60 minutes.

Cool and portion into dishes. 

Garnish with sugared berries.
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon sugar

In my usual manner to decrease the added sugar in desserts, I reduced the sugar from 24 to 3 tablespoons.  The final product was very tart.  While the product did sweeten overnight in the refrigerator, I still needed a little more sugar to serve.  Thus-the sugared berry topping!

Dressing for the Corn Salad 
(4 servings)

3 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoon cider vinegar
My salad has fresh corn, cooked and cut off the cob, fresh cucumber, zucchini, radishes, carrots and onion.  This dressing works with most cut up vegetables!

Our picnic today was at Morris Park in Fairmont, WV.  This is one of the many loving things we do as a couple.  We've made our reservations for a room in Boston and a guest ticket for Bob to attend FNCE exhibits and opening ceremony.



Friday, May 20, 2016

Put an Egg on It: Cheese Filled Bread

This soft-on-the inside, crusty on the outside bread, filled with feta, then topped with an egg, was better than pizza!  The recipe was inspired by Food and Wine Magazine's review of the Oda House specialty bread.

Cheese Filled Bread with Baked Egg

(4 Breads)

Mix flours, yeast and sugar in a bowl with dough hook in place.
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoon dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon sugar

Heat milk and water to 125 F.  Slowly add to flour-yeast-sugar in bowl.  Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl.
2/3 cup skim milk
2/3 cup water 

Add egg, oils, salt and 1/2 cup flour.  Beat at low speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl.
1 egg
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all purpose flour

Slowly add remaining flour, mixing slowly into dough until it leaves the sides of the bowl.
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all purpose flour
Place dough in a greased bowl.  Turn to grease top as well.  Let rise until double, about 1 hour.

Turn dough out onto a floured cloth.  Divide into 4 pieces.  Pat each piece into a flat circle.  Fill each piece with 1 1/2 tablespoon filling.  Fold dough over.  Place seam side down onto a parchment lined baking pan.  Shape each dough into an oval. Grease with olive oil spray.

With scissors, cut a slit down the center of each dough oval.  Widen to show a 2-inch section of the feta filling.

Bake at 450 F. for 20 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 F.  Crack an egg into egg.  Bake 10 more minutes. 

Mix egg white and cheeses.
1 egg white
3/4 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup aged sharp cheddar cheese

2 eggs (I only filled 2 breads with eggs)

I'm hoping to reserve the breads without the eggs for our Sunday picnic!



Monday, May 16, 2016

Overnight Oats

For years I ate oatmeal most mornings before heading out to work.  When I saw the recipes for "overnight" oatmeal, I had to smile. . . as my old fashion oatmeal took just 1 minute and 15 seconds to make in the microwave.  But I gave this one a try.

Steel cut oats (the "quick" kind) is what I have on hand.  Since today was grocery day, I did not have a lot of milk on hand.  So I combined the oats with yogurt and the other ingredients and refrigerated overnight.

While I'm a fan of breakfast parfaits, often made with yogurt, I did not want a cold dish on this unusually cold morning.  So I heated the oat-yogurt mix for just 30 seconds in the microwave, added the toppings and enjoyed.  This was delicious!

The recipe was inspired by Better Homes and Gardens.

Orange Maple Overnight Oats

(2 Servings)

Combine yogurt, oats, extract, zest and maple syrup.
Cover; chill overnight. 
1 cup Greek yogurt, plain, non-fat
1/2 cup "quick" steel cut oats
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1 mandarin orange, zested
2 teaspoon maple syrup

If preferred, heat oat mixture slightly.  Add toppings.
1/3 cup strawberries, sliced
1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut 
2 tablespoon pecan halves



Sunday, May 15, 2016

Die Hard Picnic

With a temperature in the forties, and winds to boot, we debated whether to head out for our Sunday picnic.  But we reheated some soup to go with the meal, donned our winter coats and headed out.  It was the opening day of a farmers market down the corridor, so we made a stop there and headed to a nearby city park.  It's graduation day for local colleges, so the pavilions were reserved and we headed for a Lake where we picnicked last year. 

The Deegan Hinkle Lake in Bridgeport, WV is very pretty, complete with walking trails around the lake, a dog park and fishing. Our menu today:

Flank Steak Salad with Ginger-Wasabi Dressing
Quinoa and Edamame
Provencal Soup with Pinto Beans
West Virginia Wheat Bread
Strawberry Apricot Tart

Strawberry Apricot Tart

(8 Servings)

Mix flours and brown sugar in food processor.  Pulse in lemon zest and buttery spread.  Add egg yolks and vanilla.
1/2 cup 2 tablespoon whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup hard spring wheat
6 tablespoon pecan flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread
2 egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
Divide crumb mixture in half.  Press 1/2 in bottom of 8 inch springform pan, sprayed with a canola oil spray.

Brush bottom crust with preserves and syrup.
1 tablespoon preserves
1 tablespoon brown rice syrup

Soak sliced apricots in boiling water.  After 15 minutes, drain on paper towels.
1/2 cup dried apricots, sliced
3/4 cup boiling water 
Arrange apricots around outer rim of crust.

Arrange strawberries in the center.
1 1/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries

Sprinkle strawberries with Sucanat
1 tablespoon Sucanat

Top tart with remaining crumb mixture.
Bake at 400 F. for 30 minutes.

The recipe was inspired by Eating Well Magazine.

The hard spring wheat in the tart and the pinto beans in the soup were grown by my colleague Tom McConnell at his farm in Terra Alta WV.

Wasabi Ginger Dressing

(2 Servings)

1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon fresh grated horseradish

I poured this over 4-6 ounce baked flank steak, sliced, which I previously baked and froze.
This recipe was inspired by Eating Well Magazine

The flank steak was purchased at Working H Farm Store, from grass fed cows raised by the Hardesty family.

 Yes, that's me (wearing gloves) blowing kisses at my husband who is a great sport to go along with me on this unusually cold May day!  Doesn't look like the ducks minded.