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Archive for March, 2011

by Caitlin Saniga

This snack is low in calories, and it tastes (surprisingly!) delicious.

This snack is low in calories, and it tastes (surprisingly!) delicious. If you're not fond of the kale taste, sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the chips about 2 minutes before bake time is up to mute the flavor.

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
Kale is loaded with vitamin C, antioxidants, calcium and beta-carotene.

Kale is loaded with vitamin C, antioxidants, calcium and beta-carotene.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Kale tastes like broccoli, to me.

Kale tastes like broccoli to me.

Wash kale, and dry with a salad spinner or place on paper towels. With a knife or kitchen shears, carefully remove the leaves from the thick stem and tear into bite-sized pieces. In a large bowl, toss kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoned salt. You’ll have about 12 to 15 cups.

Spread kale on rimmed baking sheets, and bake until the edges are brown but are not burned, 20-25 minutes. (Keep an eye on them, though. You want them to be crispy and green — not scorched. I had a few casualties at 24 minutes.)

Makes about 10 cups.

Recipe adapted from: AllRecipes.com

Photos: Caitlin Saniga

This recipe appeared in Seasonal Sundays (RealSustenance.com).

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by Sarah Steimer

One of the best desserts to make when you're craving something sweet, but have little more in your pantry than sugar and flour.

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, cream the 3/4 cup sugar and the butter. Beat in egg and vanilla.

In a smaller bowl stir together flour, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar. Stir into butter mixture until well-mixed. In the same small bowl combine the 2 tablespoons of sugar and cinnamon.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll each in the sugar-cinnamon mixture. Place balls 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 12 minutes. Please note that when these cookies come out, they will still be soft. The worst thing you can do to Snickerdoodles is leave them in too long, then you wind up with cinnamon hockey pucks. Seriously, when you poke them they should still be soft, but not too crazy soft so you have mush in your mouth. When they cool they will harden up more.

Makes about 36 cookies.

Recipe from: Better Homes and Gardens New Junior Cook Book (1979 edition)

Photo: Sarah Steimer

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by Caitlin Saniga

Use a red bell pepper, too, sometime?

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled red-skinned sweet potato (yam)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in sweet potato, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon water. Cover and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Add bell pepper. Cover; cook until sweet potato is tender, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Add corn and tarragon. Saute, uncovered, until corn is tender, 2 minutes. Season with salt, black pepper, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Bon Appetit

Photo: Caitlin Saniga

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by Sarah Steimer

Feeling so French (read: fly) with my artichoke and dipping sauce.

  • 2 artichokes
  • 1/3 cup dry white pine, such as Pinot Grigio
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Cut the top 3/4 inch off the artichokes and clip the tips of its outer leaves off (or check out the informational video I posted below). Drizzle with lemon juice to prevent browning. Steam the artichokes, top-down, in a steaming basket. After about 30-40 minutes, stick a knife through the stems (as if you were checking a potato), if it goes in easy the artichokes should be ready. You can also check by pulling out one of the inside leaves — if it can be removed easily it’s good to go.

For the beurre blanc sauce (which, if my high school classes serve me well, means white butter), place the lemon zest and wine in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about five minutes or until it has reduced by half. Remove from heat and add the butter a little at a time. Whisk in salt and pepper.

Dip the leaves into the sauce and pull through your teeth, removing the meaty part into your mouth. I don’t know a good way to explain, but luckily the girl in the video demonstrates well. Way to go, video girl!

Beurre blanc recipe adapted from: Canadian Living

Photo: Sarah Steimer

Video courtesy of You Tube

This recipe appeared in Seasonal Sundays (RealSustenance.com).

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by Caitlin Saniga

You can't tell from this photo, but an important factor in Cincinnati chili is its soupiness. When you finish slurping up the spaghetti, there should be a pool of chili liquid at the bottom of the bowl. Some people use oyster crackers to soak it up. I used Cheez-its, which trump oyster crackers in my book. I also added some chopped raw onion as a topping.

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can beef broth
  • 1/2 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 6 minutes.

Add beef, in batches if necessary, and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned.

Add chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, allspice, cloves, bay leaf, chocolate, beef broth, tomato sauce, cider vinegar and red pepper. Stir to mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 1 hours, stirring occasionally.

The chili is best if you refrigerate it overnight.

Remove the bay leaf. Reheat gently over medium heat. Serve over hot, drained spaghetti. Top with shredded cheddar cheese.

Makes 4 large servings.

Recipe adapted from: AllRecipes.com

*Throughout March, “Crock of…” will appear every Friday with our favorite chili recipes — all of which can be found here.

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by Caitlin Saniga

Keep an eye on your sprouts! The original recipe says to roast for 35 to 40 minutes. I pulled these guys out at 30, and they were perfect. A minute longer, and I think they would have gotten too dark.

  • 3 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup slivered almonds (4 ounces)
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

The brussels sprouts can lie face up or face down on the sheet. You'll toss them throughout their cook time, anyway.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss sprouts, butter and almonds. Place mixture on a rimmed baking sheet, and season with salt and pepper. Roast, stirring, until sprouts are golden brown and tender, 30 to 35 minutes.

Transfer to a serving bowl, immediately dress with the honey and lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Recipe adapted from: The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The New Classics

Photo: Caitlin Saniga

This recipe appeared in Seasonal Sundays (RealSustenance.com).

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by Sarah Steimer

In full disclosure, I didn't make this soup, my dad did... but I'll make it eventually.

  • 6 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces sour cream (half of a 16-ounce container)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk (we used skim)

Place potatoes, onion, broth and thyme into a 5-quart pot. Bring to a bowl then cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

Melt butter in a medium sauce pan. Stir in flour with a whisk to a make a smooth paste. Add milk, a little at a time, stirring to make the mixture smooth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add this to the potato mixture.

Use an immersion blender to stir the soup so you reach a creamy consistency with a few small chunks of potatoes. Stir in the sour cream and heat thoroughly.

Makes… a lot.

Recipe: unknown

Photo: Sarah Steimer

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by Caitlin Saniga

Guys! This was my first time cooking with fresh mushrooms! Here's a hint from Martha Stewart on cleaning mushrooms: You can simply wipe the caps with a damp paper towel. (But don't rinse them, or they'll become soggy. Yick.)

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 bunch medium or thick asparagus, tough ends trimmed, stalks sliced into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus and mushrooms, and saute just until tender, 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds, and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot, alongside rice, if desired.

Makes 4 small servings.

Recipe adapted from: The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The New Classics

Photo: Caitlin Saniga

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by Sarah Steimer

The chocolate chips in this chili give it a mole sauce flavor.

  • 1 pound ground meat
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2stalk celery, diced
  • 1 -2 tablespoons hot pepper (jalapeno or anything else you like)
  • 3 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped bell peppers
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate (about 1/4 cup)

Cook ground meat and drain the liquid. Set aside.

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until onions become soft and translucent. Add the celery and chile, cover and cook for another five minutes more.

Reduce the heat and stir in spices, (cumin, oregano, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, chili powder, black pepper and salt) along with the bell peppers. Cover again and cook for another five minutes. Stir often to keep the spices from burning.

Add the cooked ground meat, black beans, tomatoes, lime juice and soy sauce. Let the chili simmer on low for 5 to 10 minutes, until it thickens slightly and flavors combine.

Stir in the chocolate. When chocolate has melted, taste to adjust the salt and pepper. Serve with cheese, sour cream or crackers. Or anything.

Recipe adapted from: Food.com

Photo: Sarah Steimer

*Throughout March, “Crock of…” will appear every Friday with our favorite chili recipes — all of which can be found here.

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by Caitlin Saniga

The recipe calls for green beans and yellow wax beans, but I couldn't find yellow beans this time of the year. They would have made this pretty dish even prettier. But even without the yellow, I love how green the vegetables get when they're blanched.

  • salt
  • 8 ounces green beans, trimmed
  • 8 ounces yellow wax beans, trimmed
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup small fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar (I used red wine vinegar instead)
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese (3/4 ounce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • pepper

Prepare an ice-water bath. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt. Cook the green beans and wax beans until crisp-tender, 1-2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to the ice-water bath. Drain. Transfer to a large bowl.

Cook the asparagus in boiling water until crisp-tender, 1-2 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to the ice-water bath. Drain; cut into 3-inch pieces. Add to the beans. Add the scallions and basil.

Make the vinaigrette; Whisk together the vinegar, cheese, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the oil in a medium bowl until the sugar has dissolved. Season with pepper.

Add the vinaigrette to the vegetable mixture; toss to coat. Refrigerate in an airtight container (or store in a chilled cooler) until ready to serve, up to 2 hours.

Makes 4-6 main dish servings

Recipe adapted from: The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The New Classics

Photo: Caitlin Saniga

This recipe appeared in Seasonal Sundays (RealSustenance.com).

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