Monday, May 19, 2014

Friendship Bread

Welcome to your blob. This sweet bread starter is kept on your kitchen counter and resembles pancake batter. DO NOT use any type of metal for mixing. DO NOT REFRIGERATE. If the bag fills with air, vent it and reseal the bag. It is normal for the batter to rise, bubble and ferment. Buy extra zip lock bags, and keep flour, sugar, and milk in stock. Prepare for day 10 with instant vanilla pudding and additional ingredients below. If you keep a starter for yourself you will be baking every 10 days (or so).

Day 1: Do nothing. This is either the day you received the batter (or go by date on the bag).

Day 2: Mush the bag. Squeeze, mash, roll the blob around. Have fun.

Day 3: Mush the bag. Repeat

Day 4: Mush the bag. Again.

Day 5: Mush the bag. Smile.

Day 6: Add 1.5 cup flour, 1.5 cup sugar, and 1.5 cup milk to the bag. Mush, mush, mush the bag. Mix it all together. Have kids help.

Day 7: Mush the bag. Hum a tune to your blob.

Day 8: Mush the bag. Do a little dance.

Day 9: Mush the bag. Sing a little song. Get down tonight.

Day 10: Follow instructions below.

1. Pour entire contents of bag into a large non-metallic bowl.

2. Add 1.5 cups flour, 1.5 cups sugar, and 1.5 cups milk. Mix.

3. In ziplock bags, measure out 4 separate 1 cup batters. Date the bags. These are starters, keep one for yourself, and you have three to give away.

4. Preheat the oven 350 degrees.

5. Grease and dust 2 glass loaf pans. A sweeter option, in place of flour, dust the pans with a mixture of 1/2 cup sugar and 1.5 tsp cinnamon.

6. To the remaining batter in the bowl add:
    3 eggs                         
    1.5 tsp baking powder
    1 cup oil (or 1/2 cup oil & 1/2 cup applesauce)  
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1/2 cup milk                       
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup sugar                       
    2 cups flour
    2 tsp. cinnamon                    
    1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
    I large box instant vanilla pudding

7. Optional additions which I recommend = a large handful of slivered almonds, a large handful shredded coconut, and a handful of raisins. Diced apple is also recommended, and I could see shredded carrot working as well.

8. Pour the batter evenly into the two pans. If dusting with sugar, sprinkle a little more over the top.

9. Bake for at least 50 minutes (or more), until a toothpick comes out clean. I find the bread quite moist so I bake it for more like 60 to 70 minutes.

- Madeleine

Canellini Bean Salad with Avocado Dressing

This was hands down the best salad I have made in a while, and the dressing is so good and healthy, I have made the salad at least three times in the past month. I found the recipe originally on Pinterest, but the owner of the recipe is the lovely and talended Cozy Kitchen. .The recipe can be found HERE. Honestly, their picture is also so much better than mine - neat and clean before it is tossed with the dressing.
Arugula Cannellini Salad with Avocado Dressing //

3 cups arugula
1 (15-ounce) can of Cannelleni beans
3 tablespoons minced mint (about 5 leaves)
Small handful of Italian parsley (about 1/4 cup), roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, zested into the salad (using a Microplane is a good idea)
1 small shallot, minced
1/4 cup cubed feta (about 2 ounces)

Avocado Dressing:
1/2 large avocado (or one small avocado)
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice from 1 to 2 lemons, divided (and depending on taste)

1. In a medium bowl, toss all of the salad ingredients together, minus the feta (it’ll make a bit of a mess).
2. To a blender, add the avocado half, juice from 1 lemon and pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse a few times, until the avocado is broken up. With the blender going, pour in the olive oil until the mixture begins to thicken and become smooth. Add a few tablespoons (I ended up needing about 4 tablespoons) of warm water to help with the smooth texture. I let the blender run for about 1 minute to achieve the super smooth texture. If you’re ok with tartness (I think this salad needs it because of the beans) squeeze in the remaining lemon juice and adjust salt and pepper to taste. It may seem too tart right now, but I can assure you that when you toss it with the salad ingredients, it’ll be all good.
3. Add about half of the dressing and lightly toss the salad using your hands or a pair of tongs. Keep adding a bit of dressing as needed
4. Transfer to a serving plate, if you like, and top with the cubes of feta.
Serves 4 (as a salad appetizer)

Bacon Pancake Dippers

These were a genious idea for a yummy breakfast. For an awesome pancake batter recipe click HERE.

Greek Chicken Meatballs

 I made this for dinner last night and it was wonderful. The best part was watching the kids take heaping portions of the chopped cucumber. I love eating healthy family dinners all together at the table especially when we have friends over. This recipe is from and the recipe can be found HERE. I highly recommend!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Avocado, Beet and Feta salad

Salad is for dinner!

Asparagus, Egg, and Bacon Salad with Dijon Viniagrette


We made this for dinner last night and it was SO good. It is a keeper and will be repeated many times. For the two of us I used two bunches of asparagus,  about 6 slices of bacon, and 5 hard boiled eggs so of course there are left overs! This will be a perfect hot summer night meal and everything can be prepped ahead of time and left to chill in the fridge. The only thing I did differently than the recipe was to enlarge the portion size and devil the eggs. Next time, I will only devil the eggs with a little bit of the dressing to keep it super healthy.

The recipe was found on and advertised as a Paleo friendly meal. For the original recipe, click HERE.

For my version, here's my portions of ingredients:
2 bunches of asparagus, chopped
6 slices of crispy bacon (I make mine in the microwave)
5 hard boiled eggs (devil a bit with some of the dressing)

Dressing = Dijon Viniagrette
8 tablespoons olive oil
8 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Coconut-Key Lime Squares

Coconut-Key Lime Squares

I made these yummy bars for dessert last night. Martha Stewart nailed it once again. They were yummy, quick and easy. I will definitely do these again and next time will consider doubling it!

Martha Stewart's Coconut-Key Lime Squares

Friday, March 14, 2014

Sambal Dip

A vegetarians delight, and presumably able to be made vegan too, this dip is healthy and super tasty! This yummy dip was one of Hi-Ho's favorites and still elicits fond memories of the funny way she would enthusiastically say it's name when she made it, knowing it would always make me smile. It is full of vegetables so it is very healthy, and ever so slightly spicy with an Indian touch, but is not to be confused with the Malaysian Sambal. A keeper for sure!

1 one-half inch slice medium size onion2 clove garlic
2 stalks celery
1 large cucumber, seeded
1 green pepper, seeded
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed cumin seed2 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 pint sour cream (vegan or fat-free is fine)
fresh minced coriander/cilantro

1. Grind the onion, garlic, celery, cucumber, and green pepper in a blender/food processor, using the finest knife.

2. Turn into a sieve over bowl and press out the juice.

3. Reserve the  juice and save for a healthy drink, or added to soup, stews, or sauces.

4. Put vegetable mix into a medium bowl and sprinkle spices over and mix.

5. Blend in the tomato paste.

6. Add the sour cream and stir until mixed.

7. Chill until ready to serve. Use as a dip for crackers, bread cubes (I am a big fan of using cubed baguette) , or fresh vegetable crudite.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cranberry Ginger Relish

This 2008 Martha Stewart recipe is a favorite I keep coming back to. I've decided that I need to finally add it to my blog, since my goal is to un-clutter my life which may include culling collections of saved magazines. I return to this year after year and quadruple it for canning and the plethora of turkey and stuffing sandwiches that inevitably follow Thanksgiving. My one wish was that Hi-Ho was still alive to know that, after all these years, I am finally a cranberry sauce lover!


  • 1 bag (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar


  1. In a large saucepan, bring cranberries, sugar, ginger, and 2 tablespoons water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until most of the cranberries have popped, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in vinegar.
  2. Remove relish from heat. Let cool to room temperature, and serve.

Petersen Pie crust

This is the pie crust used at the annual Pie Party.  I am making it today as I prepare for Thanksgiving!


2 and 1/2 cups flour

3 Tablespoons sugar

2 sticks butter, in pieces

1/4 cup ice water


  1. In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar.

  2. Cut in butter, using a pastry blender (pictured).

  3. Sprinkle with water and continue mixing until smooth and the proper consistency.

  4. Divide into two balls and freeze 10 minutes.

  5. When ready, roll out on a well floured surface.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Apple Butter

This is my favorite apple butter recipe of all. It is from the book Preserving the Harvest. I have blogged about it before at this link.

10 large tart apples
2 cups apple cider
3-5 cups sugar
3/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground all-spice
3 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg


1. Wash, core & quarter apples.

2. Combine apples and cider in oven safe pot on top of stove.

3. Cook slowly in cider until tender.

4. Blend in batches in the blender.

5. Return mixture to pot.
6. Add sugar and spices and stir to combine.
Place in oven.

7. Cook in 350°F oven, stirring often. Test for desired thickness by spooning mixture onto a cold plate. If no liquid oozes around edges, it is thick enough.
8. Ladle into jars. Process 10 minutes or freeze.

Beet Carrot soup with Feta cheese

Fresh Wild Turkey

The fall turkey season added food to the freezer and an amazing dinner to our table.


SP was quite ingenious in developing a way to prevent the gamey taste associated with some wild fowl.  Here's the recipe.
One wild turkey hen (approx. 7 lbs)
Bacon grease
16 oz can of hard cider (SP used Strongbow and it was perfect)

After cleaning and dressing turkey, rub the skin generously with bacon grease. Rub again with salt and pepper. Take a couple drinks of the 16 oz can of hard cider and then stuff it up the turkeys rear end. Place the bird upright in small lipped baking dish and place over indirect medium heat on your outdoor grill. Roast for about an hour until the internal temp reaches 165 degrees. Apply more bacon grease as necessary. When done, drain the accumulated grease from carcass and baking dish into a sauce pan. Reduce these contents over stove top to make a gravy.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cream of Bacon Soup

Sorry but I have no recipe and can not claim that I made it.
SP made the recipe up as an amalgamation of ones he found out and about, so you can just dream up your own!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Zucchini zucchini zucchini :D

this looks like a fun way to use up the summer run on zucchini!

Pineapple Boats!

Creamy Roasted Tomato Balsamic Soup

This soup was amazing, fun, unique, loved, and a definite do it again! Thank you Tracey's Culinary adventures for another stellar recipe, pictured below with Smitten Kitchen's Cauliflower fritters. 

Tracey's recipe can be found HERE, but it originated from Cooking Light.

Creamy Roasted Tomato-Balsamic Soup
from Cooking Light, October 2005

1 cup low-sodium beef broth, divided
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
5 garlic cloves, peeled
2 (28-oz) cans whole tomatoes, drained
3/4 cup half-and-half
heavy cream, basil and freshly ground black pepper (optional garnishes)

Preheat oven to 500 F. Spray a 13x9 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray (I used a metal pan since I wasn't sure if Pyrex or other glass containers were safe to use at such high temperatures.)

In a measuring cup, whisk together 1/2 cup of the beef broth, the brown sugar, vinegar and soy sauce. Add the onion, garlic and tomatoes to the prepared pan then pour the broth mixture over them. Roast for 45-50 minutes, or until the vegetables are lightly browned (the liquid will have reduced and should be thickened).

Transfer the mixture in the pan to a blender or food processor. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of beef broth and the half-and-half. Process until smooth. At this point, you can go in one of two directions - eat the soup as is, or strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove the solids so the soup will have a smoother consistency. I strained it but it's up to you :) Garnish with a drizzle of cream, chopped basil and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

Cauliflower Feta Fritters

Being back at work full time, I have found that many things have been neglected. Last summer I had a big birthday and got a new iPhone, I have only just now downloaded its photos on to my computer. I am painfully aware of the need for more spare time in my life. Blogging has probably been the one thing most neglected. It took me a few minutes to remember where this wonderful, yummy, and fun recipe came from.

The recipe is from the beloved Smitten Kitchen and can be found HERE.  The soup shown with it was an awesome chunky roast tomato soup. I will post that recipe next (if I can find it again).

"Cauliflower-Feta Fritters with Smoky Yogurt, Pomegranate

Makes 18 2-inch fritters

I prefer fritters with a lot of vegetable and just the faintest amount of batter, loosely tethering the vegetable chunks to each other. It will seem weird as you put the piles of batter in the pan — “these are going to fall apart!” — but gently nudge any loose pieces back on the pile and I promise, once they’re cooked, they will stay together and their flavor will be crisp and clear, uncluttered by an eggy, soft batter.

1 small head cauliflower (1 pound florets, i.e. stems and leaves removed), cut into generous 1 to 2 inch chunks
1 large egg
1 garlic clove, minced
Few gratings of fresh lemon zest
3 ounces crumbled feta (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes; less if using regular red pepper flakes, which are hotter
3/4 teaspoon table salt or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Olive oil for frying

To serve
3/4 cup yogurt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Handful pomegranate arils

Cook cauliflower in simmering salted water, uncovered, until tender, about 5 to 6 minutes, until firm but tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Drain well. Spread on towels to dry as much as possible.

In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together egg, garlic and lemon zest. Add cauliflower florets and mash with a potato masher until they’re crushed into an average of pea-sized pieces (i.e. some will be bigger, some smaller, but most will be little nubs).

Sprinkle in feta and stir to combine egg mixture, cauliflower and feta. In a small dish, whisk flour, salt, pepper and baking powder until evenly combined. Sprinkle over cauliflower batter and stir just until combined.

Heat oven to 200 degrees and place a tray inside. On the stove, heat a large, heavy skillet over moderate heat. Once hot, add a good slick of oil, about 2 to 3 tablespoons. Once the oil is hot (you can test it by flicking a droplet of water into it; it should hiss and sputter), scoop a two tablespoon-size mound of the batter and drop it into the pan, then flatten it slightly with your spoon or spatula. Repeat with additional batter, leaving a couple inches between each. Once brown underneath, about 2 to 3 minutes, flip each fritter and cook on the other side until equally golden, about another 1 to 2 minutes.

Transfer briefly to paper towels to drain, then the tray in the oven to keep them warm until needed. Once all fritters are cooked, mix yogurt with cumin, salt and pepper.

Spread fritters on serving platter. Dollop each with cumin yogurt and sprinkle with pomegranate arils.

Do ahead: Fritters both freeze and reheat well. To warm and recrisp them, lay them on a tray and toast them at 400 degrees in the oven until crisp again."

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Awesomesauce Bruschetta

In preparation for Winter storm Nemo, I did some creative menu planning. Creative isn't a strong enough word because I set my mind on a bizarre idea of watercress pesto. Yes watercress pesto - and low and behold I found this awesome recipe from a great new blog The Bite House to follow.This recipe is entirely local because I also used Sister's Salsa from Blue Hill and a wonderful raw milk local cheese. The Silver Ridge Tomme is a raw goats milk cheese from Sonnental Dairy I found recently at The Good Life Market. Sonnental Dairy doesn't seem to have a website but they are a part of the Maine Cheese Guild. The tomme was a perfect addition for this cornucopia of tastes - hence the name Awesomesauce Bruschetta.

Baguette - sliced on a diagonal
Watercress pesto
1 container Sisters Salsa
Shredded cheese to melt on top

1. Slice baguette on a diagonal, place on baking dish, and put a little olive oil on it.

2. Toast the bread slightly under the broiler.

3. Assemble the bruschetta first the pesto (sorry for the blurry picture) and then the salsa.

4. Top with melted cheese

5. Put under the broiler, turning the pan a couple of times so that they all get equal share of the broiler flames. Keep an eye on it and take it out then the cheese is melted. Yummy!