Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Pimiento Cheese Spread

Last year around the holidays, I made homemade cheese spreads for the first time - a basic Cheddar Cheese Spread  and then a fantastic nutty cheese spread that was inspired by French Onion soup and the store bought Swiss Almond spreads - my Swiss-Almond Cheese Spread with Caramelized Onions.  We ate the hell out of them. 

This year, I was thinking about a southern classic, Pimiento Cheese Spread... but traditionally, the spread is simply made with cheese, mayo and pimientos.  I really like using cream cheese because I wanted it more like a cracker dip than a sandwich spread.  I also wanted to boost it up a little with flavour, so I added a lot more than what the traditional spread has - garlic, Worcestershire, jalapeño, wine, etc.  It's not hot or spicy at all... so even if you shy away from jalapeños, I say add 'em to this recipe.  It just adds a little depth to the spread - more layers of flavour.

So if you're trying to come up with some appetizers to make and/or take to a New Year's party, this is a pretty easy and great one!

I think the Descendents said what we were all thinking.  -jen

Time:  5 minutes
Difficulty:  Easy
Makes:  about 5 cups
Need:  Food Processor
  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • 16oz (1 pound) shredded cheese*
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 4oz jar diced pimientos, drained
  • 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeños, diced (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dry white wine (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 
*I recommend at least half of your shredded cheese being sharp cheddar, and the other half could be any combination of Monterey Jack, Havarti, Gruyere, Gouda, Parmesan, etc. I used what I had, which was some Gouda, Havarti Dill, and Pecorino Romano.   

Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth and combined.  Refrigerate (but I always have to eat some immediately.  The flavours marry nicely if you give it a little time to refrigerate though.) 

Serve with crackers or raw veggies, make a grilled cheese with some spread inside, use as a sandwich spread - eat it how you want!  It'd probably be good mixed in with some pasta (though I've not tried that!)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


We were both craving some falafel not too long ago... we probably saw something on tv that made us think of it.  Where we live, there's only one Greek place and it's really just a gyro joint - gyros, falafel, fries, dolmas, kebabs... and it's in the next town over, so we don't get there often.  Might as well make our own!

Going with a little hardcore for this recipe with DFL's "Society's Pressure". 

And speaking of hardcore...  this is a video I caught of a guy that walks through our neighbourhood, usually growling out hardcore.  I love it!!!  -jen

Soak Time:  Overnight
Prep Time:  15 minutes - then refrigerate 1-2 hours 
Fry Time:  10 minutes
Difficulty:  Medium
Makes:  about 20
Need:  Food Processor
  • 1 cup dried garbanzo beans
  • 1 cup onion, rough chopped (1/2 medium onion)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, rough chopped (3-4 cloves)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, rough chopped
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, rough chopped
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
Place garbanzo beans in a large bowl and cover with 2-3 inches of water.  Cover loosely with foil and let sit overnight.  Beans will double in size.

Drain and rinse soaked garbanzo beans.  Place in a food processor and add all remaining ingredients.  Pulse until mixture is about the size of couscous and just beginning to turn into a paste.  Test consistency by forming a small patty (about 2 tablespoons).  If patty is loose, try pulsing the mixture just a little more.

Refrigerate mixture for 1-2 hours.

Form patties with 2 tablespoons of falafel mix.  Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet until ready to fry.

Heat 1" of oil in a large skillet over a medium-high heat.  Fry in batches - do not over-crowd your skiller.  When oil is hot, use a metal spatula to gently place falafel patties into skillet.  Fry 2-3 minutes on one side, then use the spatula to flip and cook another 2-3 minutes.  Falafels should be browned and crispy.  Drain on papertowels.

Serve with a side of tzatziki (Greek cucumber-yogurt sauce).  You can find Cooking To Die For's tzatziki recipe here! 


Friday, October 30, 2015

Blueberry Whiskey Crumble

Blueberries and whiskey... yes please!  I like to keep frozen fruit on hand to make smoothies with or throw into some Greek yogurt.  I usually only have one bag at a time, but somehow I ended up with two open bags and a whole bag of blueberries.  So I just decided to make a crumble with them.  I still had a bunch of Piehole Pecan Pie whiskey sitting around after making the Liquored Up Leftover Pie Pops (which you could use with this blueberry crumble!)

I'd been thinking about the movie SLC Punk, so I decided to use a song from the soundtrack - The Suicide Machines' cover of "I Never Promised You A Rose Garden".  -jen

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time:  50-55 minutes
Difficulty:  Easy
Serves:  9
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons chilled butter, cubed
  • 24oz frozen blueberries, thawed
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch*
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon whiskey (optional - I used Piehole's Pecan Pie Whiskey)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
*1 tablespoon of corn starch will leave your filling still a little runny - not soupy, but not gelled.  If you're looking for a firmer, gelled filling, use 2 tablespoons of corn starch.  Everyone has their own preferences! 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Spray an 8"x8" baking dish with non-stick spray, particularly up the sides.

In a food processor, combine oats, pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon and cubed butter.  Pulse until combined.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine blueberries, cranberries, corn starch, cinnamon, whiskey and vanilla.  Pour into prepared baking dish and spread them into an even layer.  Spoon crumble topping evenly over blueberries, then gently press down with your hands to lightly pack it.  Bake at 375 degrees for 50-55 minutes, topping will be golden brown.

Let rest for 10-15 minutes so the filling can set.  Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Wild Rice and Sausage Stuffed Pumpkin

Stuffed pumpkins rock!  I'm definitely one of those annoying people that look forward to everything-pumpkin in the fall.  I'd never stuffed a pumpkin until a few years ago and it's become one of my most favourite autumn dishes.

We have a recipe for a sweet Apple and Oats Stuffed Pumpkin, but we also enjoy doing savoury stuffed pumpkins, so I thought it was time to get a recipe up!  This stuffed pumpkin was so delicious.  While I chose wild rice and sausage, you can really put anything you like in one!  Change up the meat and use chicken or shredded beef.  Change up the grain and use barley or white rice.  Add nuts - try dried apricots instead of cranberries.  Try a theme - Mexican, Italian, Moroccan, Chinese...

How about The Hollowpoints - The Sickness.  -jen

Prep Time:  30 minutes
Bake Time:  60 minutes
Difficulty:  Easy to Medium
Serves:  about 6
  • 1 pie pumpkin (like a Sugar Pumpkin or a Winter Luxury)
  • 5 links maple sausage 
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil + 2 teaspoons, melted
  • 1 small carrot, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced (about 3/4 cups)
  • 1 large stalks of celery, diced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 small green pepper or poblano, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 apple, diced (like a Gala or Fuji) (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced (1 tbsp)
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced (1 tbsp)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (brown sugar would be a suitable substitute) + 1 teaspoon
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt  + 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper + a pinch
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder + 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage + 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-2 cups cooked wild rice (recipe below)  
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  

Like carving a jack-o-lantern, cut the top of your pumpkin off and scoop the inside and the base of the lid clean.  (Save your seeds and make Seasoned Pumpkin Seeds!)   Discard the insides, keep your lid!  Make sure you get all those stringy pieces out... it's worth the extra effort to make it totally scraped clean.  Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook sausages through.  Set aside.  In same skillet with the remaining sausage fat, add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and the carrots, cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Then add the onion, celery, and green pepper.  Saute about 5 minutes, until vegetables become tender.  Add the apples, garlic, ginger, maple syrup, cranberries, salt, pepper, curry powder, sage, cinnamon, marjoram, and red pepper flake.  Cook another 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool.

Once cool, dice the sausages and add the sausage and the rice to the vegetable mixture.  Add 2 teaspoons of melted coconut oil, 1 tsp maple syrup, 1/4 tsp salt, pinch of pepper, 1/4 tsp curry powder and 1/4 tsp of sage to the inside of the pumpkin, .  Using your hands, massage oil and seasonings all over the inside of the pumpkin, as well as on the bottom of the lid. 

Stuff the pumpkin completely full with the stuffing.  Place the lid back on the pumpkin and place on a sheet
pan.  Cook at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour.  A sharp knife should slide easily through the skin and the flesh if the pumpkin is cooked thoroughly.  Remove and let rest for 5 minutes.

Place on a serving tray.  Remove lid.  Slice wedges and serve.  Don't forget to slice the pumpkin meat off of the lid, too!

If you have leftover stuffing you can serve it on the table with your stuffed pumpkin for folks who want extra.  You can make an egg scramble out of it (which we did!) or use it as a side dish for your dinner the next evening.

Cook Time:  45-60 minutes
Difficulty:  Easy
Makes:  about 2 cups
  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or water)
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed sage (optional)
In a large sauce pan, combine rice, broth and sage.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 45 minutes and check.  You'll want about half of the kernels to split open (they'll look lighter in colour)... could take up to 60 minutes.  If there's any remaining liquid, drain it off.  Fluff with a fork.

Note:  Wild rice will triple or quadruple once cooked.  1 cup may yield 3.5 - 4 cups.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Liquored Up Leftover Pie Pops

Apple Crisp and Piehole Pecan Pie pops

I made some apple crisp the other day and I had just a little leftover.  I was going to eat it, as is, but it would have been a pretty small serving.  Looking in the fridge, I was inspired!  I always have plain Greek yogurt because I like to make berry smoothies - I make a double batch, pour a glass for myself, then freeze the rest so I have some froyo later.  I had that in mind when I decided to make these frozen yogurt pops!

Really, I think it'd be delicious with just about any kind of sweet pie (if you want to make yourself savoury, meat pie yogurt pops, you go right ahead!) and you can come up with a plethora of delicious liquors to put in them!

The punk rock stylings of Street Dogs with "I Got Drunk".  -jen


Prep Time: 10 minutes
Difficulty:  Easy
I used a stick blender with mine
Makes: about 2 cups - I got 4 pops out of them 
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup of leftover pie (about 1 slice)
  • 1 shot of alcohol (or a 50ml bottle) - I recommend Piehole's Pecan Pie Whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • sugar if desired
Using a blender, combine all of the ingredients.  (I like to leave a little bit of chunky pie bits in there instead of blending it completely smooth.)  Taste mixture.  You may need to add some sugar, depending on how sweet your pie and/or liquor are.

Pour into pop molds and freeze for several hours.  If you don't have pop molds, just use a cup and stick a straw in it for a handle.  You can get all MacGyver if you need to!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Pozole Verde de Puerco (Green Hominy Soup with Pork)

Maiz blanco (white maize/hominy)
Pozole... a Mexican soup with a history of human sacrifice.  If that doesn't make you want to eat it, I don't know what will! 

According to Wiki, "...pozole was made to be consumed on special occasions...on these special occasions, the meat used in the pozole was human.   After the prisoners were killed by having their hearts torn out in a ritual sacrifice, the rest of the body was chopped and cooked with maize. The meal was shared among the whole community as an act of religious communion. After the Conquest, when cannibalism was banned, pork became the staple meat as it 'tasted very similar', according to a Spanish priest."

Pozole garnish
Pozole is made with corn (maiz) that is treated in an alkaline solution, a process called nixtamalization.  Wiki also says, "Maize subjected to the nixtamalization process has several benefits over unprocessed grain: it is more easily ground; its nutritional value is increased; flavor and aroma are improved; and mycotoxins are reduced.

Justin decided to go with pork instead of long pig for this recipe and it was delicious!  Garnishes for pozole vary - we used cabbage, radishes, green onion, cilantro and lime.  I've also had it with salsa and/or sliced avocado.

Sticking with the theme of eating people, let's listen to this cover of a song I knew growing up - The Meteors covering "Little Red Riding Hood" (originally done by Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs, and I think it was titled "Li'l Red Riding Hood"?)  Anyway, I dig this cover.  Eat pork, not people.  Unless you really want to - I'm not the boss of you.  -jen

Prep Time:  30 minutes
Cook Time:  about an hour, including simmering
Difficulty: Medium
Makes: about 2.5 quarts
  • 1 pound country-style pork ribs, cubed to bite size
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
    Pozole ingredients
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 3 tablespoons butter 
  • 3/4 cup onion, diced (half of a large onion)
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced (about 2 large ribs)
  • 3 large fresh tomatillos, diced
  • 1 large jalapeño, seeded, de-veined and diced
  • 1 large green onion, diced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tbsp)
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 12 cups (1.5 quarts) pork broth (or chicken broth if pork isn't available)
  • 28oz can pozole (hominy), drained
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • shredded cabbage
  • thinly sliced radishes
  • green or white onion, chopped
  • cilantro, chopped
  • lime wedges
Country-style pork ribs
Put cubed pork in a large Ziplock bag and add salt, black pepper, paprika and cinnamon.  Massage bag to distribute seasonings evenly over meat.

In a large stock pot, heat butter over medium-high and add seasoned pork, browning on all sides.  Remove and set aside. 

In the same pan, using the pork drippings, add onion, celery, tomatillos, jalapeños, green onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper.  Saute until vegetables are tender and translucent, 3-5 minutes.  Once vegetables are cooked, add broth and hominy and the browned pork.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer about 40 minutes.  Turn off heat and stir in 1/3 cup cilantro.

Serve hot with cabbage, radishes, green onion, cilantro and lime juice on top of each serving, or serve on the side for folks to add their own.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Apple Hooch

Several years ago while spending Christmas in Phoenix, we'd tried a homemade alcoholic apple beverage that we all decided to call "hooch" for lack of knowing what it was or how it was made - it was just gifted to someone.  Everyone at the house loved it and we went home, determined to figure out something comparable!

So we came up with this recipe... and it's awesome!  I'm not really an alcohol drinker myself, but I can get behind this hooch!  Last year, we made a big batch and gifted them out.  This year, we've made a big batch already... and gone through 3 bottles ourselves, heheh.  I think we're going to have to do another batch up if we want to give any away.  Why we didn't get a recipe posted last year, I have no idea.

This would be a great treat to take to any houses you visit for the holidays!  Or to have for your company if you're hosting holidays.  Justin's family is expecting to visit us for Christmas this year and I have a feeling they will now be expecting apple hooch!  We better save a few bottles!

I just said to Justin, "What tunes do you want to use?"  He said the Buzzcocks, and then when I began looking something up, he goes, "Wait!  Have we used Tiger Army's "In The Orchard" yet?"  Haa!  Apropos.  -jen

Cinnamon, allspice, cloves, star anise
Prep Time: 20 minutes plus cool down time 
Curing Time:  3 weeks 
Makes:  5.5- 750ml bottles (about a gallon and a quart)
  • 2 large whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 8-10 allspice berries
  • 5-7 whole cloves
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 gallon of fresh pressed apple cider
  • 1 large bottle (750ml) Everclear, 151 proof 
Place whole spices in a large stock pot and warm over low heat until they perfume, 3-4 minutes.  Add apple cider and sugars; stir until dissolved.  Turn heat to high and bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool to room temp (a few hours).  When cool, add the Everclear and stir to combine.  Strain out the spices and pour into glass storage containers with tight-fitting lids.  Store in a cool, dry place for 3 weeks or longer.  (It gets smoother the longer you let it sit.)

Local Cider
Serve cold over ice (we keep the bottle in the fridge once we open one), or warm up and add a little Tuaca to it (vanilla brandy).  You could totally make it mulled (we find pre-made mulling spice in our co-op's bulk spice aisle).  Justin even speculated that it would be tasty in a sangria!  If you warm it up, don't "cook" it too long or you'll cook out the alcohol!

Note:  We did the conversion of alcohol content once the cider was added, and it comes to about 12%, which is comparable to most wines.  If you wanted less alcohol, you could substitute 80 proof vodka for the Everclear and you'd get a hooch that's about 6% alcohol, which is more like an ale.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Skillet Potatoes with Shallots and Lemon

My mother-in-law (Justin's mom) had shared a recipe she saw on Facebook for skillet potatoes.  They reminded me of our Accordion Potatoes, only sliced all the way through and in a cast iron skillet.  I really liked the concept and wanted to give it a try.  Anything in a cast iron skillet is delicious!  But I wanted to combine what I was doing with the Accordion Potatoes... so I decided to add shallots and lemon.

They came out delicious!  Sort of pretty, as far as presentation goes... but the taste!  Man!  So delicious!  The lemons were thin enough that they sort of candied and you could eat them, rind and all, a fantastic flavour along with the potato and shallots.   The potatoes had so many different textures... some on the outside were as crispy as potato chips, the tops crisped up great, the bottoms were just tender, delicious, seasoned potatoes.  I loved this dish, and I am not a lover of potatoes! 

I chose some Off With Their Heads for this recipe - "Nightlife".  I dig this band.  I swore I had used them before on a recipe, but I can't find anything... so here we go.  -jen 

Prep Time:  30 minutes
Cook Time:  75-90 minutes
Serves:  6
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 large shallots
  • 2 large lemons
  • 4 medium garlic cloves
  • 3 large baking potatoes, skin on (we used russet)
  • 1 tablespoon Caldo de Pollo (dried bouillon - optional)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat (if you don't keep bacon fat, you can just use 2 more tbsp of butter)
  • 1/2 a lemon, juiced
  • one-gallon-size Ziplock bag
  • 12" cast iron skillet
Before baking
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Use 1 tablespoon of olive oil to coat bottom and sides of cast iron skillet.

Using a mandolin, thinly slice shallots, lemons, garlic cloves and potatoes.  (If you don't have a mandolin, just make sure you slice everything super thin... like a potato chip.)  Place the sliced potatoes into the gallon-size Ziplock bag.  Add 3 tablespoons olive oil, Caldo de Pollo, salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne.  Seal bag and use your hands to move the potatoes around and really mix it all up, separating all the sliced pieces so everything gets coated.

Arrange one layer of potatoes around the outer most edge of the skillet.  Once neatly arranged, carefully intersperse 1/3 of the lemon and shallot slices between the potatoes.  Repeat with a second and third layer inside the first.  Once the skillet is full, sprinkle the garlic slices over the top.  Melt the butter and the bacon fat (about 30-45 seconds in the microwave).  Pour all across the arranged potatoes.  I sprinkled a little more salt and pepper over the top.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 75 minutes.  Using a fork, test by piercing the center potatoes.  The fork should easily pierce the potatoes when cooked through.  If there's resistance, bake for another 15 minutes and fork-test again.  Baking times may vary since potato sizes vary and how tightly you arrange them - if your potatoes were bigger than mine, it could take up to 90 minutes.  Just keep fork testing every 15 minutes after the first 75 minutes.

When potatoes pass the fork-test and are golden brown, remove from oven and pour the lemon juice over the top while hot.  Serve hot (we served it with homemade pesto over the top).

Topped with homemade basil pesto

Before baking

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Italian Orzo Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

We do a lot of salads similar to this, but Justin was specifically craving an orzo salad.  We thought we'd use the cherry and yellow tomatoes out of our garden, as well as the poblanos Justin grew.  (Poblano taste real similar to green bell peppers, and I figured most people are more familiar with bell pepper, so I put that in the recipe.)  What I really love about this salad, though, is the Lemon Basil Vinaigrette!  I so love making my own salad dressings.

I know I just used Op Ivy a few recipes ago, but we were listening to them in the car whilst running errands this morning, and so all day I've been singing "Bombshell".  Actually, I've just been singing the "Oh yeah!" backup vocals part.  I'm really good at that part.  -jen

Time: 40 minutes (mostly just chopping veggies)
Difficulty:  Easy
Makes:  6-7 cups

  • 1.5 cups dry orzo pasta
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup cucumber, seeded and diced (about 1 medium)* 
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper, diced (about 1 small pepper)
  • 1/2 cup green onion, diced (2-3 medium onions)
  • 1/2 cup carrot, shredded (about 1 medium carrot)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup green olives, rough chopped
  • 6 oz mozzarella cheese, small cubed
  • 1/2 cup Lemon Basil Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
*  To seed a cucumber:  Cut off both ends.  Cut cucumber lengthwise.  Run a small spoon down the length of the seeds, scooping them out. 

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large pot.  Stir in orzo and cook 10 minutes, pasta should be al dente.  Drain in a strainer and transfer to a large bowl.  Set aside to cool slightly.  (Good time to cut veggies and make the Lemon Basil Vinaigrette!)

Add all remaining ingredients to cooled orzo and toss.

Time: less than 5 minutes
Difficulty:  Easy
Makes:  about 1/2 cup
  • zest of 1 lemon (about 1/2 tbsp)
  • juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, packed
  • 1 small green onion
  • 1 large garlic clove (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • pinch of red pepper flake
Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until combined.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Kale Chips

The kale in the greenhouse has gotten massive! I had Justin bring me some tonight to make kale chips.  The kale bakes up so light and flaky/crunchy.  I can eat ridiculous amounts of these.  Super easy.  Super healthy.  Super cheap.  Pretty much, they're super.

Which made me think of Goldfinger's "Superman".  -jen

Time:  20 minutes
Difficulty:  Way Easy
Makes:  however much kale you want to use
  • one large bunch of kale
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • grated Parmesan, optional
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Remove kale leaves from stems and discard stems (or save in the freezer for soup stock!)  Tear larger leaves into big bite-size pieces.  Fill a Ziplock bag full of leaves.  Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil so that all the leaves are lightly coated (may need 3 tbsp if you really filled the bag).  Place in single layer on two baking sheets.  Lightly sprinkle salt and pepper over the top.  Bake for 17 minutes.

I like to sprinkle a little grated Parmesan or Asiago over the kale chips immediately after removing them from the oven. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Basil Hollandaise Sauce

Justin and I aren't really breakfast eaters, but sometimes one of us will crave it, and then we'll go out somewhere and over pay for eggs and toast and poor service.  This morning, I really wanted breakfast, and we almost went out for it, but in the end, I was like, "Screw that!  I'll make us some eggs Benedict!"  Topped 'em with Asiago cheese.

I've heard trained chefs scoff at hollandaise made in the blender... but we've done it the traditional way plenty of times, and we both agree that in the blender is just as tasty and super easy.  My Benedicts were definitely not traditional.  I used some pastrami that we had and decided that I wanted to use up the egg whites, so I scrambled them with a few whole eggs and basil (instead of the traditional poached eggs).  So I decided to go with some basil hollandaise too, and it was great!

No idea why I was singing this in the kitchen this morning while making these, but I had a broken record in my head with this lyric, "'s already better than last time I ruined another girl's life..."  Lagwagon's "Dinner And A Movie".  -jen

Time: 3 minutes
Difficulty:  Easy
Makes: about 3/4 cup
  • 1 stick butter (8 tablespoons)
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons
  • 1 small garlic clove (about 1/8 teaspoon)
  • dash of Sriracha 
  • 3-4 large basil leaves 
  • salt and pepper to taste
In a microwave safe container that you can pour easily out of (I use my glass measuring cup because it has a pour spout), melt butter for 30 seconds, then 15 additional seconds at a time as needed, until entirely melted.

In a blender combine egg yolks, lemon zest and juice, garlic and Sriracha.  Roughly tear up basil leaves and add them.  Begin blending on lowest speed.  While blending, slowly drizzle in melted butter then blend for 5 seconds more.  Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.  (If you use salted butter, you may not need to add additional salt.)

Tip:  Wondering what to do with those egg whites?  I add 2 whole eggs to them and scramble it up with some more torn up basil, which makes enough for 2-4 folks (depending on how much you can eat at breakfast, I guess!  It makes enough to top 4 English muffin halves.)

Pastrami and basil scrambled eggs with basil hollandaise sauce on English muffins topped with Asiago cheese.