Saturday, July 24, 2010

How to make a wedding cake in 3 easy steps

It just so happens that it is my friends, Jesse and Monique's first wedding anniversary celebration today. So, in the spirit of love, I was going to charge ahead and make them a mini wedding cake.
This is the story of how that happened.
I started out very optimistic. Thinking, "I've made big cakes before and taken pastry classes, this can't be that hard." says I, "who cares if it's only 88 degrees out and 88% humidity!"
I began my quest by making two 9" rounds of lemon cake.
It was a lovely cake that I planned on cutting into 6 layers total - 3 being smaller than the other 3. I was thinking possibly a square.
The cakes come out of the oven beautifully. Meanwhile, I had made the frosting and not getting quite the consistency of the egg/sugar "soft peek." I didn't want to wait, so I started adding the butter (4 sticks, yes, it's true).
"hmmm...this is a little loose, I'll stick it in the fridge and it will firm up in no time."
I started cutting and simple syruping my layers while the frosting was "hardening."
I was making a blueberry filling- so I went ahead and assembled. Then, it was time to frost. I was thinking that any mistake I had just made in this cake would be quickly covered by my beautiful frosting. NOT A CHANCE.

This thing fell apart before my very eyes- the filling was melting, the cake was falling, the frosting was more like a soup. It was mayhem.
"I'll just add cream cheese to stiffen it," thought I.
Not so much.
I was literally pulling anything to try to make this cake stay together.
About an hour later there was nothing standing. I was in tears, the cake was on the counter, the kitchen was a disaster. I decided to give it to my brother Josh, and sit down for a glass (or two) of wine. I cleaned up and called it quits.
After spinning class in the morning I went to Price Chopper. Bought two coconut cakes courtesy of Pepperidge Farms in the freezer section. Stacked one on top of each other. Decorated with flowers. VOILA! Easy, Breezy, Beautiful!
So here's my solution to making a wedding cake in 3 easy steps:
1. But 2 cakes
2. Stack one on top of the other
3. Decorate with flowers

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Skinny on Fats

Saturated fats are found mainly in four legged animals (except venison). Trans fats are often found in highly processed foods (cookies from a box, chips, fast food). Monounsaturated fats and Polyunsaturated fats are found from plant sources and fish: olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, and avocados.
The TOP TEN foods for Heart Health:
1. Fish
2. Flaxseed
3. Oatmeal
4. Black or Kidney Beans
5. Nuts (almonds, walnuts and nut butters)
6. Soy Milk
7. Tofu
8. Brown Rice
9. Berries
10. Vegetables
The good fats found in vegetable based oils will maintain cell membranes, skin and hair health, absorb vitamins and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and blood clots. The bad fats basically do the opposite. I'm not a professional in this field at all but I highly recommend the Mediterranean diet pyramid, which is what I eat and believe is truly the most fulfilling, sustainable and healthy way to live!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cold Summer Salads

When the hot weather hits (and it has) the last thing I want to do is eat anything cooked or cook. The solution: cool summer salads-which, also help with getting into swimsuit shape. That and a vigorous spinning workout which I am now totally committed to...Baywatch Beware! Tonight I'm going to whip up this Lemon-Basil Shrimp Salad with a grilled Baguette and a refreshing Riesling. You can find this and other fabulous salad ideas at under "21 Cool Summer Salads." Southern Living cracks me's so overdone, but adorable too.
Lemon-Basil Shrimp Salad
6 servings
3 lbs cooked shrimp-peeled and deveined
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
Fresh cheese tortellini, cooked and cooled (I added this)
16 cups salad greens
1/2 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1/2 cup olive oil
Whisk together first 5 dressing ingredients. Gradually add oil in a steady slow stream, whisking until blended. Toss with the greens and veggies, place shrimp and tortellini on top.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Shrimp and Corn Risotto

I was inspired to create this recipe from the cookbook Food to Live By. It's from one of Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbooks. You can check them out here. I've been craving shrimp like it's no ones business lately and I love this recipe because it screams "SUMMER!" I like it with a nice dry white wine and toasty baguette...hello carb overload. (I edited this recipe a bit because it was too fussy at first). This would be a GREAT recipe to make for a date, there is enough work for two people to do but still make it fun!

Shrimp and Corn Risotto

  • 3 medium ears fresh corn, husked
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 qts. reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 1/2 cups Carnaroli, Arborio, or other risotto rice
  • 1 cup Chardonnay or other dry white wine
  • 3/4 pound cooked bay shrimp, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely shredded lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh grated Asiago cheese
  • Salt

1. Prepare a grill for direct high heat (450° to 550°; you can hold your hand 5 in. above cooking grate only 2 to 4 seconds). Rub corn with 1 tbsp. oil. Lay ears on cooking grate (close lid if using gas). Grill corn, turning occasionally, until lightly browned all over, 8 to 10 minutes total. Remove and let cool. Holding ears upright in a deep bowl, cut kernels from cobs with a large knife.

2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring broth to a simmer. Pour remaining 2 tbsp. oil into another, large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, just until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring often, until grains are slightly translucent at edges, about 3 minutes longer.

3. Add wine and cook, stirring often, until almost absorbed. Add broth one ladleful at a time, cooking and stirring until almost absorbed, before adding another. Continue cooking and adding broth until rice is barely tender and mixture is creamy, about 25 minutes. (You may not need all the broth.)

4. Stir in corn, shrimp, butter, tarragon, lemon zest, lemon juice, pepper, and salt to taste and cook, stirring often, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add more broth if risotto gets too dry.

5. Spoon risotto into wide, shallow bowls and place fresh Asiago shavings on top (only a few...keep it classy).

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fish Chowder for Mother's Day

Blogging from my Brother Josh's school, Norwhich University. Today he is being promoted to Cadet Colonel! I don't know much about the military, but according to the front page of the paper and his face plastered all over it I can assume that it's a big honor. Congratulations Josh. Now back to cooking (the most important thing in life). Post celebration (where I hope there are plenty-o-refreshments) I will be continuing on with the rest of the fam for a weekend in VT. I plan on whipping up this tasty number for Mother's Day Dinner on Saturday night. Although my Mother and Grandmother aren't huge "fish chowder" fans, my Grandfather and I are....and really that's all that matters. I'm going to try Jasper White's recipe- he's respected as a "seafood know it all" in the Boston scene. I plan on serving this "New England Style" with plenty of crusty bread, beer and butter....does it get any better?!?

Jasper White's Fish Chowder:
(serves about 8)
4 oz. salt pork, rind removed-small dice
2 Tbsp butter
2 onion-med dice
8 springs fresh thyme
2 lbs yukon gold-peeled, med dice
5 cups good fish stock
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
3 lbs skinless, boneless haddock or cod fillets-large dice (rough)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (I'll admit, I'm using light b/c of Grandpa)
3 tbsp fresh chives
Get yourself a good stock pot- render the salt pork and then cook until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cracklings. Add butter, onions, thyme, and bay to the pot and saute until onions are translucent but not starting to brown. Add the potatoes and stock, turn the heat up to boil, cover and cook for about ten minutes until they are soft on the outside but still firm in the center. If the stock hasn't thickend up yet you can smash a few potatoes against the side of your pot and stir those in- that will help. Turn to low and season "assertively!" Add the fish and cook over low heat for about five minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for about ten minutes, then stir in the cream and taste for salt and pepper. To serve- ladel into bowls, add the pork cracklings on top and garnish with fresh chives.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Stuffed In A Good Way

One of my staple easy dinners is "make your own stuffed sweet potatoes." All you have to do is bake however many sweet potatoes you need and then prepare the "stuffings." My stuffings usually consist of: green onions, peppers, broccoli, cheese, corn, BBQ chicken (this time I had ground venison), black beans, salsa, tomatoes, etc... Basically the sky's the limit on this. Just use what you have in your house- it's a really easy and nutritious dinner. AND, sweet potatoes are one of the beauty foods! We had these on Thursday before Anna's concert at Crane. Thanks to Nathan for really upgrading the photos in my blog- all the sudden my foods look a whole lot more appetising.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Want to look like a model? Read on!

Want to be more beautiful? Unless your one of my many readers who is a fabulous model then here's a recipe to get you gorgeous, and it's delicious! What is this miracle food you ask? Well, maybe you already guessed it....yep, SALMON! Not only is Salmon beneficial for your health by being protein packed and high in omega-3 essential fatty acids but it also aids in giving you a youthful complexion...yippie! First off, we hear a lot about omega-3 fatty acids. We know they're good for you...but really, what are they? As their name implies, essential fatty acids are essential for human health because they cannot be made by the body, so they must be obtained from foods. Cold water fish, like salmon, are higher in these fats than warm water fish. Also, the fat composition of salmon is superior because it also has a great ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s and has a health-supportive balance of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats! (That's a mouthful). If that's not enough to convince you to eat salmon....then I'll go on to the superficial reasons...READ ON!
Lisa Dryer in her book The Beauty Diet lists 10 foods that are essential for keeping cells refreshed and in good repair.
"These foods give your body the materials it needs to keep you healthy, radiant, vibrant and young -- so you have delicate, soft skin, thick, shiny hair, long, smooth fingernails, clear, bright eyes, and a brilliant, gleaming smile."
Right on Lisa! So guess what her number one food guessed it again, Salmon! It keeps the outer layer of skin soft and smooth, reduces inflammation in the skin (especially the face) thus preventing any redness, wrinkles and increasing firmness.
Here's a recipe I made last night that was a huge hit- I got it from Sara Moulton's new book "Sara Moulton everyday family dinners." I wish she had picked a different title...It's super lame, and almost made me not want to buy the book. But, I like her stuff and this recipe is no exception to her talent. (And, it's super easy and fast)
Roasted Salmon with Hot Mustard Cracker Topping
Serves 4
1/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp brown sugar
about 35 rice crackers (I liked to use the wasabi flavor ones)
Four 6oz pieces of Salmon-pat dry and remove skins (ew...)
Preheat oven to 400 and pat your salmon dry. Season both sides with salt and pepper. In a small bowl mix together the sour cream, mustard, and sugar. Place your salmon in a 9x13 or whatever you fancy. Then spoon the sauce mixture over each salmon distributing evenly. Put your crackers in a big freezer bag and smash them with your hands. Once they're nice and crumbly, sprinkle on top of your salmon and bake for about 10-12 minutes or until JUST done. Consume and immediately look in that a model looking back at you?
Care to know what the other 9 beauty foods are???
I here they are:
2. Low fat yogurt -plain
3. oysters
4. Blueberries
5. Kiwi fruit
6. Sweet Potatoes
7. Spinach
8. Tomatoes
9. Walnuts
10. Dark Chocolate

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ohhhh La La

I had a lovely French Themed Dinner Party to celebrate my Graduation from Le Cordon Bleu! My parents hosted 22 guests and we had an all French menu. It was tres chique! Here's some pictures from the night as well as the recipe for Roasted Shrimp Cocktail. It's a family staple at our house- we make it whenever we have an excuse to celebrate something-Graduations, Christmas, Wednesday, Celebrity sighting, you get the drift. (Thanks to Nathan for taking these pictures!)

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa
8 cocktail servings
2 lbs shrimp (12-15 count shrimp)
olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
2/3 cups chili sauce (not hot)
1/2 cup ketchup
3 Tbsp prepared horseradish
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp hot sauce
Use some paper towels to pat dry your shrimp after you've peeled and devained them-leave the tails on. Rub both sides with olive oil, salt and pepper. Pop them in a preheated oven at 400 for about 5 minutes- they'll cook fast. Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl- mix and then pour into another pretty bowl and garnish with lemons. Voila!

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Biggest Loser Saga, Week 2

Here we are-week two! So far, not a lot of weight loss all around-I think my Dad lost a few pounds but most of us are the same. However, now we begin our two weeks of Pescetarianism (vegetarian plus fish). Here's what we'll be eating for week 1.
  • Cod, Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes and Garlic
  • Cannelloni Beans with Seitan, stir fry
  • White Eggplant Lasagna
  • Salmon with Elizabeth Salad (see the recipe below)
  • Tofu Stir Fry
  • Split Pea Ginger soup
  • Haddock with Mushroom and Asparagus risotto
For our other two meals we've been eating a lot of veggie burgers, yogurt, co-op bread (and feeble attempt), fruits and veggies, salads, local eggs, and beans. Workouts have included the amazing cardio kickboxing class at SUNY Potsdam-Monday, Wednesday, Friday and individual training. Basically we're all hoping to look like this after 3 weeks.....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Biggest Loser-Tulloch Family Style

Here at camp Tulloch we've begun week one (of four) on our quest to find the Biggest Loser (ahem...Josh). Along with Obama we're on the quest for better health. Anna and I put a poster up on the fridge that has our names, starting weights, and pictures. We weigh in every Monday first thing in the morning-write it down, figure out our percentage lost and repeat for four weeks. We also have a money pot and the person who looses the most (of their body percentage) wins!

Our strategy has been the standard working out more and eating less/better. I've designed the menus for this week and next. Here's an idea of what we're eating on our quest this week for weight loss and world domination (yes, Ellen DeGeneres...I love you).
  • Monday: Chicken Cesar Salad-homemade spelt bread croutons, light Cesar dressing, shaved Parmesan and roasted chicken.

  • Tuesday: Stuff your own Sweet Potato-onions, broccoli, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, chicken, cheese, beans.
  • Wednesday: Lentil soup, flax seed bread

  • Thursday: Cod with roasted vegetables-carrots, eggplant, and onions with olive oil, salt and pepper.

  • Friday: Grilled venison, quinoa, and kale.

  • Saturday: Mediterranean pizza-olives, feta, spinach, and garlic on whole wheat crust.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Why do I only blog about soup? Here's another one...

The reason I've been blogging about soup so much recently is because I've been cooking soups every Tuesday for Helping Hands in Potsdam. So, soup it is, again, I promise next time will be something different. I'm in California now, for a extended trip and will be cooking to my hearts content, so I'll be sure to make some new recipes. But for now- here's soup.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup:
olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
one onion, small dice
1/4 cup flour
2 cups 1% milk
3 cups chicken broth
3 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
5 cups fresh broccoli (stem is okay too)
2 large carrots, small dice
2 1/2 cups good sharp cheddar- shredded
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion over medium high heat until tender and translucent, add garlic and saute a few minutes more. Add the flour and cook until a light brown color. Whisk in the milk and broth, bay leaves, let simmer about 20 minutes. Add fresh broccoli and carrots and simmer another 20 minutes until tender. After all vegetables are tender, remove bay leaves and then blend soup about two cups at a time (be careful using the blender with hot liquids). Blend until smooth but leave about 1 1/2 cups of soup in the pot unblended (for texture). Add the blended soup back to the unblended soup and simmer another five minutes. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Ladle up and enjoy. This soup is great with a crusty baguette (but what soup isn't)! Also, you will notice this soup is much greener than most broccoli cheddar soups- it's because the broccoli is fresh and there's more of it in there than usual- it's still delicious!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Seven Dollar Wine? Delicious!

I wrote this little article for a position I applied for as a "Boston Budget Wine Reviewer." The first time I bought this wine was when I was living in the North End and pretty much exclusively buying my groceries from the Golden Goose, which basically costs you a Golden Bar every time you go in there. Unless I was able to snag a ride from Kendra or brave the long haul to Shaws, I would just walk over to the Goose. Obviously once I got there I felt like I should treat myself to a bottle but because my checkbook was going to bounce once I left I would always go for the cheep stuff, and often regretted it after. However, this little bottle surprised and impressed me- since, it's a staple for me, I suggest it should be for you to- Cheers!

Seven Dollar Wine? Delicious!

By Sarah Tulloch

When you want an inexpensive bottle of wine but don’t want to feel like your drinking from a box, grab the bottle with the little red chicken on it, Le Coq Rouge.

At about seven dollars a bottle, this fruity, slightly tannic wine from France will pair nicely with pretty much anything from hamburgers and Chinese take out to steak or roasted lamb.

A blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Grenache makes it appealing to most everyone because it has a nice blend of flavors and not overpowering. Fits perfectly as the final touch on a weeknight meal or the stand out at a dinner party. The chique bottle makes a statement as well. Very simple in design, it appeals to the younger crowd who doesn’t want to spend thirty dollars on a bottle of but also don’t want to compromise on taste.

Since more quality wines are available at a lower price point these days, this once reserved beverage is now making a big come back. Showing up on the dinner table most any night of the week isn’t such a far fledged idea. Wine has a way of taking an everyday meal and turning into a romantic evening or adding the perfect touch to any dish. Luckily, with bottles like Le Coq Rouge low cost just means you’ll be able to buy two.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Chicken Tomato Soup

This is a very yummy soup that's easy to make and everyone loves. I enjoy making soups to have around especially in the winter. It's convenient to just heat up and have for lunch or when everyone is coming and going. Soups are economical too, and great for the figure. If I were to make my own food pyramid I'd say soup would be in the second tier, right after salad, followed by something sweet.

Chicken Tomato Soup:

2 large cans crushed tomatoes
4 cups chicken broth (or stock if you have some on hand)
2 bone in chicken breasts, shredded
about 5 carrots, med dice
about 5 celery stalks
3 onions, med dice
2 green peppers, med dice
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 package fajita seasoning mix (I used McCormick)

In a small saute pan brown the chicken on both sides until cooked through. You can also brown it and then pop it in the oven for about 10 minutes to cook it through (easier). In a large stock pot add about 3 Tablespoons of olive oil, heat up and add the onion-saute. Once it has started to turn translucent, add the carrots, celery and green peppers-saute about 5 minutes on medium high. Add the fajita seasoning mix and toss to coat. Add the crushed tomatoes and chicken broth to the ingredients and stir. Once the chicken is cooked through, let it cook and then shred it with a fork making sure to only get the chicken bits (no skin or bone). Add this to the soup and cover, stirring every ten minutes or so for about 40 minutes (keep it on medium so it doesn't boil). Season with salt and pepper before serving. I like to serve it with a little shredded cheese and sliced avocado.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Elizabeth's Salad

Since my best friend has been home from Columbia for Christmas break I've been making this wild rice salad for her often. I call it the "Elizabeth Salad." I originally made it from what was laying around and since have made it a few more times changing it up depending on what I have. I also like to make it using Quinoa instead of Wild Rice. It's great chilled, or you can heat it up if you're in the mood for something hot. It's super healthy and easy. It's vegan (also gluten and oil free)!
The Elizabeth Salad:
2 cups of Wild Rice (or Quinoa)
2 cups carrot-small chop
2 cups sweet peas
1 cup almonds-toasted and chopped or slivered
1/2 cup scallions-cut on a bias
plenty of salt and pepper to taste
Simply cook the rice or Quinoa (4 cups water to 2 cups rice-salted and boil, turn the heat down, add the rice and cover until done). While the rice is cooking prep the rest of your ingredietns-chopping veggies, toast the almonds, etc... Then combine with the rice in a large mixing bowl, toss with a fork, season and chill (or consume)! So simple, so good. *In this picture I added celery, usually I don't make it with celery.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Healthy Cookies? Yes my friends, here they are.

No butter, flour, eggs or sugar in these babies. And, they're good! I make them frequently and they're always a big hit. They're great to make for kids because they're free of junk but also taste like a cookie. You can freeze them as well and just pull out a few at a time if you like, I do that a lot.
So here's to a new year, I'm sure many of you are doing the whole "I'm not eating junk and loosing those last 5 pounds" resolution. If so, this is a recipe that might just help you get there.

Note- for the almond meal, I always just process 2/3 cup of almonds in my food processor to a mealy texture (sort of like course sand). Don't go too far or you'll end up with almond butter.

Healthy Cookies:
3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 - 7 ounces chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, racks in the top third.
In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, and olive oil. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks/chips.The dough is a bit looser than a standard cookie dough, don't worry about it. Drop dollops of the dough, each about 2 teaspoons in size, an inch apart, onto a baking sheet (spray it first). Bake for about 15 minutes. You'll want to check towards the end of the baking time and maybe move the baking sheets around a bit-bake them for as long as possible without burning the bottoms.
Makes about 3 dozen bite-sized cookies.

I found this recipe from one of my favorite cooking blogs: Heidi Swanson is a photographer and cooking blogger extraordinaire. Her recipes are healthy, vegetarian and always delicious-I can spend hours on her site-check it out, it's a must!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I wanted to make some Biscotti the other day but only had whole wheat flour on hand. I have a no fail Biscotti recipe memorized and figured I'd just try it using whole wheat instead because it's so dense anyway it might just work. Work it did! It was great and I think I'll only use that from now on. I love how much lower in fat and sugar Biscotti is compared to other cookies, so adding the whole wheat just gives it an extra punch of goodness. Biscotti is great to make and freeze, or just have on hand to go with coffee when friends drop by.

2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs- room temp
1/2 cup butter-room temp
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup pecans- coarsely chopped
3/4 cup chocolate-coarsely chopped
1 cup semi sweet chocolate-melted and reserved for dipping
1/2 cup shredded coconut-for garnish

Heat oven to 350. In one bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt- whisk to combine or sift through. In another bowl beat sugar, butter, and vanilla. Add in the eggs one at a time until combined. Add in flour mixture just until blended, then fold in nuts and chopped chocolate. Form the dough into a "flattish" log, about 16" long, bake for 40 minutes then cool for 30. Using a bread knife, cut 1/2" thick pieces and place cut side down on a baking sheet, cook another 15 minutes, cool. Take the melted chocolate and reheat. Dip the cooled Biscotti in the chocolate and place on wax paper-sprinkle with shredded coconut. Cool again to let chocolate set-I like to do this in the freezer or place outside if it's freezing.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


This is a recipe I gave to my Mom to make a while ago, she makes it all the time and I hardly ever do. But, it's really good, very simple and healthy. If you're not a huge veggie fan (SHAME ON YOU), this is a great way to get in a lot of nutrients without sacrificing any flavor. I suggest making this easy soup on a weeknight and you'll feel like you're getting something special. Pair it with a glass of white wine and a crusty baguette (toast it up in the oven)...perfect.

White bean chicken spinach soup:
(This is a big recipe- it makes 8 large servings....make it all, you can always freeze it!)
-2 pkg of chicken sausage (al dente, whole foods or Trader Joe's makes can find them anywhere..comes 4 to a pkg)
-1 pkg or container of fresh spinach
-4 cups chicken broth or stock
-2 cans white navy beans or cannelloni beans
-2 cans diced tomatoes
-salt and pepper to taste
-feta cheese -to crumble on top

Here's the directions..... Add it all to a pot and heat!
Let it heat through and simmer on medium heat for awhile so the flavors combine.
(except for the feta- sprinkle it on top of your own soup right before you dig in)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Granola and Yogurt

Some of my favorite people in the world are coming to visit me at Camp Tulloch this weekend!!! I've made some delicious granola for them to have while they're here...I hope you try this recipe at home, it's real simple (yes, pun intended), just make sure you don't burn it!!! It will go from brown to black very quickly. While the ladies are here I plan on showing them the Kings Land, the big C-Town and maybe even shoot some guns...I mean, we all know it wouldn't be a women's retreat without a good gun shooting.
My super simple Granola recipe
4 cups oats
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
dash of salt
raisins (optional) or other dried fruit
Combine all ingredients except for the oats and raisins and thoroughly mix together. Add oats and coat. Put on two baking sheets so it's spread out. Bake in an oven set to 325 for 10 minutes. Pull out, toss around with a spatula and put back in oven for another 8 minutes. Remove and let cool on wax paper so it doesn't continue browning on the hot sheet pan. Allow to cool completely before storing. Granola will become more crisp as it cools. Add dried fruit after you remove it from the oven.
This granola is great with Windy Ridge Farms Yogurt- Local from a farm in West Potsdam!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rustic Lasagne

So I'm back up on the land- which calls for rustic cooking, and a lot of it. Upon my brothers return from military school, his friend, and my other two brothers- we go through a lot of food. Basically any average recipe must be tippled. And, keep in mind no one just eats three meals a day. No matter how much time I spend at home I'm always shocked to see how fast the food goes. I made this lasagna yesterday with ground venison we had in the freezer that David shot off our own land. It doesn't get more fresh then that!

I simply made a quick no cook sauce of a few cans of crushed tomatoes, two jars of pesto my Mom had, a little salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and oregano. I layered the sauce, mozzarella cheese, and the venison that I sauteed with salt, pepper, and green onions. I also put some shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano between the layers. Also, I don't pre-cook my lasagna noodles- I just use plenty of sauce and add a little water to the bottom of the pan before I bake it (just pour it in the side and tilt the pan-it will disperse to cover the bottom). I also cover it for most of the cooking so the moisture steams the pasta. I uncover for the last 10 minutes or so just to brown the top. When you can insert a knife easy into the middle and you see it bubbling up- it's done!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It's always good

Having eggs on hand is always a good idea. I like to take them with me everywhere, just kidding. (Although, I did bring a hard boiled egg with me to school today). They're filling, good for you and very versatile. Last week I felt like there was no food in the house and wasn't feeling inspired to go grocery shopping so I just pulled what I had in the fridge and whipped up a quick frittata. I don't usually make quiche because I don't want to fuss making a crust, but I also like to bake the eggs- so I always put my frittatas in the oven. Here's my frittata that I made last week, but you can put in whatever you like when making your own.

The recipe varies depending on how big you want your frittata. I make mine in a standard 9" pie pan. All you have to know is to use 8 eggs with 1/3 cup of milk for a standard 9" pie tin, then add whatever you like. These are great for lazy Saturday breakfasts or a quick dinner.

Here's what I did when I made mine:
Rendered the fat of 3 strips of bacon, removed the bacon and in the same pan added half a potato, small dice. Once that was mostly cooked I added onion.
-Removed the potato and onion and added it to the bacon bowl to cool. Added some sliced mushrooms for just a minute and then removed.
-In a separate bowl I whipped my eggs and milk together, seasoned with salt and pepper and a dash of red pepper flakes. Once my vegetables were cool I added them to the eggs and then folded in a large handful of spinach and about 1/2 a cup of shredded cheddar. Then, poured all the filling into a greased 9" pie pan and into the oven for about 20 minutes. Check after 20 minutes and once a toothpick comes out clean in the center it's finished. Allow to cool some and serve! I like to add a little "dollop" of sour cream, diced tomato and fresh cut chives on top.