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Archive for September, 2011

by Sarah Steimer

Not only is it healthier, but roasted chickpeas even look a heck of a lot classier than bright orange cheese puffs.

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • olive oil
  • spices (I used Suku spice, which consists of red pepper, turmeric, cumin, coriander, fenugreek and garlic)

Rinse the chickpeas and let dry on a paper towel.

Serve your snacks in cocktail glasses (it'll look like you made more than you actually did).

Once ready, toss with olive oil and your choice of spices. Place in a tin or glass pan in a single layer. Bake at 425 for 45 minutes to an hour – just keep an eye on them so they do not burn but crisp well.

Recipe: Sarah Steimer

Photos: Sarah Steimer

*Throughout September, “Snacks to Pack” will feature our favorite snack recipes for packing in lunches or eating on the go. All of them can be found here.

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by Caitlin Saniga

I imagine this would taste nice served with German sausage or pork and sauerkraut.

  • 2 pounds small Yukon gold baby potatoes, peeled
  • 3 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 8 ounces bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, cut into bits
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Place the potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover by several inches. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat; add 2 tablespoons of the salt, and reduce to a gentle boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 10 minutes.

While the potatoes cook, combine the vinegar, sugar and the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt in a small saucepan, and place over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.

Drain the potatoes in a colander. Using a kitchen towel to protect your hands, slice the hot potatoes into 1/8-inch think rounds and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with the hot vinegar mixture, gently stirring until all the potatoes are coated. Set aside.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until browned and crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate. Drain the excess fat from the skillet, and discard, leaving a thin coating on the bottom. Add the onions; cook until translucent but not browned, about 8 minutes.

Add the beef stock; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Pour over the reserved warm potato mixture, and sprinkle with the reserved bacon, egg pieces and chopped parsley. Gently stir to combine, and serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

Recipe adapted from: The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook — The Original Classics

Photo: Caitlin Saniga

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by Sarah Steimer

Last bite of summer - and this was a big ol' bowl of sunny.

  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dill (fresh is best, but I only had dried and all was well)
  • lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste

    Really great lunch - but not super filling, I'll admit.

Toss together the zucchini, cheese, oil, dill and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with lemon zest.

Makes four servings.

Recipe: Martha Stewart

Photo: Sarah Steimer

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by Sarah Steimer

I spent an entire (broke) summer a couple of years ago eating almost nothing but pasta with sauteed vegetables. A new combination of veggies or a different pasta is honestly all you need to convince yourself that you make more money now. Arugula = lap of luxury.

  • 4 cups corn (from about 5 ears)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 ounces bacon – about 2-4 strips – chopped (preferably smoked)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 red Thai chile, finely chopped (I used a dried chili)
  • 1 pound oricchiette or campanelle pasta, cooked until al dente
  • 3 scallions, white and pale-green parts only
  • 2 cups arugula

    Looooove youuuuu arugula and Martha Stewarttttt.

  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • shredded Parmesan cheese – for garnish

Puree 1 cup of the corn and the chicken stock in a blender.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon until crisp, add corn puree and remaining corn kernels, along with 2 tablespoons butter and chile. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the corn is soft, about five minutes.

Toss in pasta, about 1 cup of the reserved cooking water and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook until sauce is creamy, about three minutes. Toss with arugula and scallions, then garnish with cheese.

Serves about six.

Recipe: Martha Stewart

Photos: Sarah Steimer

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by Caitlin Saniga

I made cornbread muffins from a box, and I crumbled my muffin right over the soup.

  • 1 46-ounce can vegetable juice (V-8 works.)
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup red wine (I used a mini-bottle of Sutter Home cab.)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped finely
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch half-moons
  • 1 medium yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch half-moons
  • 2 cups baby carrots, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen green bean pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • juice from half a lemon
  • salt and pepper, to taste

In a large soup pot over medium heat, combine the vegetable juice, tomatoes, wine, onion, garlic and parsley. Bring to a rolling boil and let cook for 5 minutes before reducing heat to low. Add the zucchini, yellow squash, carrots and celery, and let simmer a half-hour, stirring every now and then. Add the green beans, and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add the peas, and let simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Season soup with lemon juice, salt and pepper. If the vegetables are cooked to your desired doneness, it’s ready to serve. (If not, just keep an eye on it at low heat, tasting now and then.

Note: This is a meatless dish, but I added about a teaspoon of chicken bouillon to mine in place of some of the salt.

Makes 10-12 servings.

Recipe: Caitlin Saniga

Photo: Caitlin Saniga

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by Caitlin Saniga

    As always, fresh dill is best. But if you don't have it, you can sub in 2 teaspoons of dried dill.

As always, fresh dill is best. But if you don't have it, you can sub in 2 teaspoons of dried dill.

  • 2 pounds new potatoes, halved
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill

Heat oven to 450 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the potatoes and lemon with the oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Roast, tossing once, until tender, 25 to 35 minutes. Toss with the dill before serving.

Recipe adapted from: Real Simple

Photo: Caitlin Saniga

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by Sarah Steimer

I'm obsessed with the recipe for this galette crust - it's flakey and perfectly golden.

  • this fabulous galette crust recipe
  • one medium zucchini, sliced thin
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red or sweet onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup gouda, shredded
  • olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, whisked

Toss the zucchini, tomatoes, onion and chives with the olive oil, salt and pepper.

Roll the dough out to about a 1/4-inch thickness, then place immediately on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle a little of the cheese onto the dough to begin with, then layer the zucchini and onion, adding the tomatoes throughout. Make sure you leave about two to three inches at the edges to fold over. Sprinkle the vegetables with the cheese then fold the crust over.

Brush the crust with the whisked egg – this ensures the crust becomes golden when baked.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 30-45 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the vegetables have crisped.

Serves about four to five.

Recipe: Sarah Steimer

Photo: Sarah Steimer

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by Caitlin Saniga

Remember puppy chow or muddy buddies? This stuff is another sweet version, but a little tangy, too.

  • 9 cups rice square cereal (Chex or an off-brand works.)
  • 1 1/4 cups white vanilla baking chips
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 teaspoons grated lemon peel (from 2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Pour cereal into a large bowl and set aside.

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, cook chips, butter, lemon peel and juice on High for 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer, or until mixture can be stirred smooth. (Warning: It may take some work to mix in the chips, but don’t cook this stuff for too long. I’ve done it before and the chips become tough and gross.) Pour the mixture over the cereal until evenly coated. In batches, sprinkle the powdered sugar over and toss to coat with a spatula.

Spread on wax paper to cool, if you want. (It cools pretty quickly, and it tastes fine warm.) Store in an airtight container.

Makes 9 cups.

Recipe adapted from: Chex

Photo: Caitlin Saniga

*Throughout September, “Snacks to Pack” will feature our favorite snack recipes for packing in lunches or eating on the go. All of them can be found here.

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by Caitlin Saniga

I was worried these muffins got a little dark in the oven. But they were perfect!

  •  2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 overripe bananas
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted (at 350 degrees for about 3 minutes)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used mini-chips.)

If your bananas aren't quite overripe yet, stick them in a paper bag with an apple (or tomato), fold over the top of the bag to seal it, and store the fruits this way overnight. In the morning, the banana will be considerably riper.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and place cupcake liners in a 12-cup muffin tin.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In a small bowl, mash 1 1/2 of the bananas with a fork. With an electric mixer equipped with a wire whisk, whip the remaining bananas and sugar on medium-high (I put my upright KitchenAid mixer on speed 6.), for about 3 minutes.

Everything's better with a little chocolate. The original recipe didn't call for chocolate, so if you don't have any I'm sure you could leave them out for a more mediocre muffin. ;)

Add the melted butter, eggs and vanilla, and beat well, scraping down the sides of the bowl at least once. Mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Fold in the mashed bananas, nuts and chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.

Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners in the muffin tin, filling them almost to the top. Rap the muffin tin on the counter to get rid of any air bubbles.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. (Mine took more like 22 before the toothpick came out clean.) Let cool for a few minutes before turning the muffins out. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 12 muffins.

Recipe adapted from: Tyler Florence – Food Network

Photo: Caitlin Saniga

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by Sarah Steimer

I also tried a patty pan stuffed with rice, basil and ricotta a different time. They're so versatile, the meal depends entirely on what you're in the mood for.

  • 2 large patty pan squash, about the same size so they cook evenly
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup rice (preferably basmati rice!), cooked
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
  • 2/3 cup corn
  • 1/3 cup black beans
  • few leaves of fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Cut the stem off the patty pan squash. Brush the squash with olive oil and bake in a glass pan at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until you can easily insert a knife into the vegetables.

I can't get over the corn and tomatoes we've been getting at the farmer's market - best.

In a saute pan, heat a little olive oil and saute the cherry tomatoes, corn and black beans. Add the honey, basil and season with salt and pepper. Mix with the rice.

Once the patty pan are cooked, let the cool until you can touch them without swearing. With the offed-stem side down so the squash does not roll, cut about a 1 and 1/2-inch circle off the top and scoop out the mush and seeds inside, without going through the skin – think carving a Halloween pumpkin.

Stuff the squash with the rice mixture and serve.

Makes two servings.

Recipe: Sarah Steimer

Photo: Sarah Steimer

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