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January 4
Roasted Vegetable Chili


After all the fabulous, rich foods we enjoyed over the holidays, it’s a good idea to start off the New Year with a delicious and hearty vegetarian chili, a dish that your family will love, even as you serve them lots of healthy veggies and nutritious beans in this chili.
It will taste great with corn bread or tortilla chips served on the side.

2 cups fresh or frozen corn
2 cups each cubed zucchini, yellow summer squash and eggplant
2 each medium green peppers and sweet red peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large onions, chopped
1/2 cup garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 quarts chicken broth
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) stewed tomatoes
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) tomato puree
1/4 cup lime juice
4 teaspoon chili powder
1-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cans (15 ounces each) white or red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
Sour cream and chopped green onions, optional

Place the vegetables and garlic in one or two roasting pans in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Cover with foil and bake at 400° for 20-30 minutes or until vegetables are tender; cool slightly. Remove and chop garlic cloves.

In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, combine the broth, tomatoes, tomato puree, lime juice, chili powder, cayenne, and cumin. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 25-35 minutes or until mixture is reduced by a quarter.

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt butter; stir in flour until smooth. Cook and stir until bubbly and starting to brown. Slowly whisk into tomato mixture. Add roasted vegetables, garlic, beans, and cilantro; mix well. Simmer, uncovered, until chili reaches desired thickness. Garnish with sour cream and green onions if desired or serve on the side.

Yield: 24 servings (6 quarts).



January 11
Whole Roasted Cauliflower

A great New Year’s resolution is not only to serve more vegetables to your family, but to simply cook more! Almost any recipe that you prepare in your kitchen — from pasta to pizza to potatoes to pork chops — will taste better and have fewer calories and less fat than the same dish ordered in a restaurant. Roasted whole cauliflower is becoming very popular as an alternative to roast meat and can be served with sides as the star of your dinner menu, or it can be served as a side dish to accompany meat or fish. Either way, it is both healthy and delicious!

1 (2-pound) head cauliflower, green leaves discarded
1/4 cup plus 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1 tablespoon drained small capers (packed in brine)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs


Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly oil a 9-inch pie plate or square baking dish.

Core cauliflower, leaving head intact, then discard core and any green leaves and put cauliflower head in pan. Drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil over top of cauliflower and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bake until golden brown and tender when pierced with a knife, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Transfer to a serving dish.

Whisk together lemon juice, capers, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl, then whisk in remaining 1/4 cup oil.

Surround cauliflower with parsley sprigs and drizzle cauliflower and parsley with the lemon and caper dressing. Serve immediately.

January 18
Sweet Potato and Mushroom Lasagna

Another great resolution for the New Year is to introduce Meatless Mondays to your family. It’s a good way to experiment with more vegetarian dishes and to decrease the amount of meat that you consume each year. This sweet potato and mushroom lasagna is hearty, satisfying, and delicious. You won’t miss the pasta or meat at all — the sweet potatoes replace the lasagna noodles and the mushroom and chard filling replaces the meat.

1 pint cremini or portabello mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 shallot, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch Swiss chard, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper, plus more if needed
Salt
16 ounces whole milk ricotta
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
1 large egg, whisked
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
Nonstick cooking spray, for spraying the baking dish
Chopped fresh basil, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Add the mushrooms, shallots, and chard to a food processor and pulse until chopped finely and uniform in size, about 5-6 times.

Heat a large skillet to medium-high. Add the butter and cook until foaming. Add the mushroom mixture and toss. Let the ingredients brown, undisturbed, for about 5 minutes. Stir, add the crushed red pepper and some salt, and continue cooking for 10 more minutes. Set aside to cool.

Mix together the cooled mushroom mixture with the ricotta, thyme, and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan. Season with more salt and crushed red pepper if needed. Add in the egg and stir until combined. Set aside.

Using a mandoline, slice the potatoes thinly lengthwise; make sure they are very thin, almost translucent.

Spray an 8-by-8-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place a layer of the potatoes on the bottom. Spread about 1/4 cup of the ricotta mixture across the slices and repeat about 5 or 6 times, until you run out of potatoes or cheese mixture. Make sure the top layer is potatoes.

Cover tightly with foil and bake until the potatoes are tender, about 1 hour. Let rest for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the chopped basil and remaining 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan and serve.



January 25
Delicious Low-Fat Brownies

To round out our lighter recipes for January, here is your reward for eating more healthy foods: a low-fat recipe for brownies. They are amazingly chewy, rich, and satisfying. Applesauce is the secret ingredient that adds both sweetness and moisture. Enjoy!

1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups white sugar
2 egg whites
3/4 cup applesauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl using a hand mixer. Add egg whites, applesauce, and vanilla extract.Mix all other ingredients in a separate smaller bowl and add to the wet ingredients in the large bowl. Do not overmix.
Spray 8 x 8 baking dish with no-stick cooking spray and bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool and then cut into squares.

 

February 1
Shrimp Jambalaya


Just in time for Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, here is a classic New Orleans recipe for Shrimp Jambalaya — a tasty stew of vegetables, shrimp, and spices — that has been updated and simplified and only takes one hour to prep and cook. If you will be making your own shrimp broth, add another 20 minutes. Let the good times roll!

2 pounds shrimp in the shell
2 tablespoons corn, peanut or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped green onions or scallions
1 cup finely chopped green pepper
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
1 cup cooked ham cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups crushed imported tomatoes
1/2
teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
Salt to taste if desired
Freshly ground pepper to taste
5 cups shrimp broth (see recipe below) or water
1 cup finely chopped green onion or scallions, optional, for garnish

For Shrimp Broth:
Shells from 2 pounds of raw shrimp
6 cups water
6 peppercorns
1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 rib celery, coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf
Salt to taste if desired
Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Let broth simmer about 20 minutes. Strain, discarding the solids.

For the Jambalaya:

Peel and devein the shrimp. The shells may be used to make a broth. See recipe above.

Heat the oil in a kettle or large saucepan with a heavy bottom over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly, until lightly browned. Do not burn.

Add the onion, green onions, green pepper, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring, until wilted. Add ham cubes and stir. Add the tomatoes, thyme, and oregano,and bring to a boil. Stir in the uncooked rice. Add salt, pepper, and shrimp broth or water. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, about 25 minutes; add the shrimp and stir. Cook about 10 minutes longer or until it has thickened, but is still slightly soupy.

Serve in bowls with chopped green onions on the side as an optional garnish and with crusty white bread.

 

February 8
Winter Vegetable Soup


Winter is the perfect time for a steaming bowl of soup. The following recipe calls for root vegetables that are slowly cooked until soft, and then blended into a creamy and delicious broth. Great to serve your family on meatless Fridays during Lent!

3 large leeks (1 to 1 1/2 pounds), white parts only, cleaned and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 large carrots (10 ounces), diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 large or 2 medium turnips (10 ounces), peeled and diced
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tablepoons tomato paste
A bouquet garni made with a bay leaf and a few sprigs each thyme and parsley
Salt and black pepper
1 1/2 quarts water
1/4 cup crème fraîche (or sour cream), more to taste
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, combine the leeks, garlic, carrots, celery, turnips, potatoes, bouquet garni, 1 1/2 quarts water, tomato paste, and 2 to 3 teaspoons salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer 40 to 45 minutes, until the vegetables are very soft.

Purée the soup in batches using a blender (or an immersion blender).

Return soup to the pot and whisk in 1/4 cup crème fraîche or sour cream (or more, to taste). Heat through, taste, and adjust seasonings (be generous with salt and pepper). To serve, garnish each bowl with a spoonful of crème fraîche and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

February 15
Baked Salmon with Garlic Spinach


Lent is the perfect time to serve more fish and vegetarian dishes to your family. This quick and easy baked salmon recipe calls for the fish to be baked and then served atop a bed of sautéed spinach with garlic. Simple and delicious!!

4 (6 to 8-ounce) skinless salmon fillets
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 (9-ounce) bags baby spinach, rinsed but not dried
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons butter
4 Tbs fresh chopped parsley
8 lemon slices for garnish

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Place salmon fillets in a lightly buttered ovenproof baking dish. Season fillets well with salt and pepper. Bake 10 to 15 minutes.

In the meantime, heat oil and garlic in a large skillet. Add in damp spinach, pack it down, and, using tongs, toss and cook until wilted. Cover and cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes more, then stir in lemon juice.

For the garnish, melt butter in a small saucepan, add chopped parsley, and cook for a few minutes.

Place a mound of spinach on each of four plates and then place a salmon fillet on top of the spinach. Top each salmon fillet with the butter and parsley garnish and serve with lemon slices on the side.



February 22
Polish Potato Pancakes

Potato pancakes are a favorite Polish comfort food. They can be served with applesauce and/or with sour cream and fresh chives or dill for breakfast, lunch, or dinner—or as a midnight snack. They are also often served as an accompaniment to stews, roasts, pulled pork (see recipe below), or grilled meats.

6-8 medium-sized russet potatoes, peeled
1 large onion (or two medium onions), peeled
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Oil for shallow frying
Applesauce or sour cream with fresh chives or dill for garnish

Using the coarse side of a box grater, grate the potatoes and place them into a sieve or colander over a bowl. Using the finer side of the grater, grate the onion and add it to the potatoes. Using the back of a spoon, squeeze out any excess water/juice from the potatoes and onion. Discard the liquid, and then put the onions and potatoes into a large bowl. Add the egg, two tablespoons of flour, and season with sea salt and pepper, then stir everything together – the mixture should be quite thick.

Heat a little vegetable oil in a large, flat frying pan. Drop three or four mounds of the mixture into hot oil, and flatten to make small pancakes.

Fry each pancake for 2-3 minutes per side, turning once, until golden brown. Transfer the pancakes to a plate lined with a paper towel. Repeat until all the potato mixture is used, adding a little fresh oil if necessary. You can serve the pancakes immediately, or keep them warm, wrapped in tin foil in a low oven. Serve with applesauce or sour cream and chopped chives or dill.


February 29
Beer-Braised Pulled Pork Shoulder

You will want to serve some meat dishes to your family during Lent too. So we recommend this economical and delicious recipe for slow-cooked pork shoulder that will yield about 10 cups of pulled meat. Use one half to serve for a family dinner along with mashed potatoes and a vegetable side; the other half can be reserved or frozen to use on tacos, sandwiches, or as a pizza topping. The succulent meat is tender, juicy, and delicious and can be utilized in many different ways. Enjoy!


4 to 5 pound pork shoulder, bone-in
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and cut into wedges
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
4 stalks of celery, cut into large chunks
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 12-ounce bottle or can of beer (a basic lager works well)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Trim the pork shoulder of any thick layers of fat. Combine the brown sugar, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the pork with the spice mixture, getting into crevices and on the sides. Allow the pork to sit for about 30 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the pork on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the pot. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, tomatoes, and beer to the pot. Bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to bring up any browned bits.

Return the pork to the pot on top of the vegetables. Cover and place in oven for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, checking once or twice, until the meat is extremely tender and pulls away from the bone easily. Shred the pork in the pot, using tongs to separate the meat from the fat. Discard the bone or set aside for another use.

Serve the meat with several spoonfuls of the vegetables and sauce over mashed potatoes. Reserve or freeze any leftover pork for sandwiches or tacos.

March 7
Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

This spinach salad with warm bacon dressing, topped with ham or prosciutto slices, is hearty enough to serve for lunch or even dinner, along with warm crusty bread and a glass of red wine. It could also be a part of your Easter Brunch menu. Serves 4.

3 strips thickly sliced lean bacon, cut into 1/4-inch strips
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
2 small plums, sliced into thin wedges; or 1 ripe pear, sliced
One 5- or 6-ounce bag of baby spinach
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup marcona or other salted roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
2-3 ounces crumbled blue cheese
1/4 pound very thinly sliced smoked ham or prosciutto (8 slices)

In a large skillet, cook the bacon in the olive oil over moderately high heat until browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat onto a paper-towel-lined plate, and stir in the shallot, vinegar, mustard, and thyme; cook for two minutes.

Scrape the dressing from the skillet into a large bowl. Add the plums (or pear) and spinach, season with salt and pepper, and toss. Add the almonds and crumbled blue cheese and toss again. Transfer the salad to a large platter (or four individual plates), top with the sliced ham or prosciutto, and serve.


March 14
Peppered Pork Roast for Easter

While most families serve either ham or lamb for Easter Brunch or Dinner, you can also make other meats the star of your Easter menu. This recipe calls for a pork roast that is brined for 24 hours and takes about 90 minutes to prepare. Any leftover slices of pork will taste great in sandwiches!

1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 cups apple cider
1 bunch fresh rosemary
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chili powder
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
4 pound boneless pork loin roast
1 Tbs canola or vegetable oil
1 1/2 Tbs coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock or water

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the salt, brown sugar, cider, rosemary, thyme, chili powder, and garlic. Stir only until the sugar and salt dissolve. Cool completely.

In a large zip-lock plastic bag, combine the pork roast and the brine solution. Squeeze out any air and seal the bag shut. Place in a bowl in case of any leaks, then refrigerate for 24 hours. You can turn the bag a couple of times to make sure all of the meat is evenly brined.

Thirty minutes before you are ready to cook, heat the oven to 425 F. Fit a roasting pan with a rack. Take the pork out of the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Drain and discard the brine solution. Rinse the pork with cool water, then pat it dry with paper towels, and let sit for 30 minutes. Rub the surface of the pork with the oil, sprinkle with the coarsely ground black pepper, and place on the rack. Roast for 10 minutes at 425 F, then reduce the temperature to 325 F, add the chicken stock or water, and cook for another 60 - 70 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 150 F at the center of the pork. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.


March 21
Warm Potato Salad with Polish Sausage

A Polish Easter Brunch typically includes not only ham and other cold cuts, pates, and roasts, but also Polish sausage, prepared and served in a variety of ways. This warm potato and sausage salad can be added to your Easter menu, or you can serve it to your family for lunch or dinner any time of the year.

For the salad:
2 pounds red potatoes, unpeeled and scrubbed
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound Polish sausage, kielbasa, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
2-3 stalks celery, finely chopped, about 1 cup
4-5 green onions, thinly sliced, about 1 cup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the dressing:
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil


For the salad: Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat. Add the potatoes and boil until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and let cool. Quarter the potatoes and transfer them to a large serving bowl. You can leave the skins on.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the kielbasa slices and cook until brown, turning often. Transfer them to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain for a few minutes, then add the kielbasa to the bowl with the potatoes, along with the celery and green onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss gently.

For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in the oil in a long steady stream. Add the dressing to the potato mixture and toss to combine. Check for seasoning before serving warm or at room temperature.


March 28
Ham and Spinach Frittata

A frittata is an egg, cheese, and vegetable dish that is baked in a skillet in the oven - it is quick and easy to prepare. This recipe is elegant enough to serve at your Easter Brunch, or you can prepare it for breakfast or lunch after the holiday to use up some of your leftover ham. Serve with buttered toast or hash browned potatoes.

6 large eggs
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup chopped ham
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup baby spinach

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk eggs, ricotta, and chopped ham; season with coarse salt and ground pepper. In a medium ovenproof nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium. Add baby spinach; cook until wilted. Stir in egg mixture and cook until edge sets, 1 minute. Transfer skillet to oven. Cook frittata until center is set, 15 minutes. Invert frittata onto a plate to serve. Makes 3-4 servings.

April 4
Carrot-Ginger Soup

In April we present four tasty recipes that you can serve one at a time, or combine as a menu for a family dinner or fancy dinner party consisting of soup, salad, meat, and dessert. The first recipe is for a delicious and creamy carrot-ginger soup.

2-3 Tbs unsalted butter
2 onions, peeled and chopped
6 cups chicken broth
2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 cup whipping cream
Salt and white pepper
Sour cream, for garnish
Parsley sprigs, for garnish

Add butter and onions to a 6-quart pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until onions are translucent but not browned. Add broth, carrots, and ginger. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, until the carrots are tender when pierced with a fork.

Remove soup from heat and transfer to a blender, in two or three batches. Cover the blender and then hold a kitchen towel over the top. (Be careful when blending hot liquids as the mixture can spurt out of the blender.) Pulse the blender a few times to start, and then puree until smooth. Return pureed soup to the pan, add cream, stir over high heat, bring to a boil, and then add salt and pepper to taste. (If soup is too thick, you can add a few more tablespoons of whipping cream.)

Ladle into bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and parsley sprigs.


April 11
Quinoa and Kale Salad

You can make this delicious and nutritious salad a day ahead - the flavors develop and deepen with a little extra time in the fridge. But the salad is also delicious served warm or at room temperature on the same day that it is prepared.

4 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cups white quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 cups water
3 cups chopped kale (about 12 ounces)
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
kosher salt and black pepper

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the quinoa and saute, stirring, until lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the water and kale, stirring to combine. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and let cool. Stir occasionally to bring the warmer part of the mixture up from the bottom.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and mustard until smooth. Add a pinch each of salt and pepper. Slowly add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, whisking continuously to emulsify the dressing.

Drizzle the dressing over the cooled quinoa mixture. Stir in the toasted pine nuts and Parmesan cheese and season to taste with additional salt and pepper; stir just before serving to fluff the salad and break up any clumps. You can serve it immediately at room temperature, or you can refrigerate it and serve the next day.



April 18
Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Herbs

Chicken breasts can easily dry out when overcooked, that's why stuffing them with moist goat cheese is the perfect way to prepare them. Fresh herbs are added to the goat cheese for extra flavor, and then each chicken breast is stuffed with the cheese and herb mixture for a very tasty and tender dish. Serve chicken with the quinoa and kale salad (recipe above).

4 skin-on boneless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg white
8 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
2 Tbs finely minced fresh parsley
2 Tbs chopped fresh tarragon
1 Tbs finely minced shallots
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
Zest of 2 lemons
2 Tbs canola oil
2 Tbs butter
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 sprigs fresh thyme
chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Using a small paring knife, make an incision in the side of each chicken breast, passing the knife though horizontally to make a slit but not cutting all the way through to the other side of the breast. With the paring knife inserted, rotate the knife to carve out a bit more space and create a pocket inside the breast. Season the outside and inside of the chicken with salt and pepper.

Lightly beat the egg white in a bowl, then add the goat cheese, parsley, tarragon, shallots, mustard, and lemon zest and mix until incorporated. Transfer the mixture to a resealable plastic bag (or piping bag). Snip off a corner of the plastic bag and pipe the mixture into each chicken breast slit until filled.

Heat the oil in a large ovenproof saute pan over medium-high heat until hot and glistening. Add the chicken breasts skin-side down and cook until the skin turns a dark golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the butter, garlic, and thyme to the pan, then flip the chicken breast and transfer the pan to the oven. Cook the chicken until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F, about 10 minutes more. Allow the chicken breasts to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Garnish with more fresh parsley, if desired.

April 25
Lemon Tart

This sweet and simple lemon tart is the perfect ending to any dinner party!

For the pastry:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs

For the filling:

2 Tbs all-purpose flour
3 Tbs fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 Tbs confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 x 8-inch baking pan.

Combine butter with 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar in a bowl until smooth; stir in 1 cup flour; mix well. Press dough into the buttered baking pan. Pierce the crust with a fork in several places to prevent crust from puffing up during baking. Bake crust in the preheated oven until slightly golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool.

Whisk white sugar and eggs in a bowl; stir flour into mixture and add lemon juice, lemon peel, and salt. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour mixture into baked tart crust.

Bake until filling is set, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool, cut into squares, and dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.

May 2
Butter-Braised Asparagus

May is the perfect month for shopping for seasonal produce at Farmers Markets that are now popping up all over! Fresh young greens (like lettuces, sorrel, chard, and spinach), asparagus, ramps, spring onions, baby broccoli, as well as some early red fruits like strawberries and rhubarb are abundant. In the month of May, we offer five tasty recipes for early spring.

It's best to keep preparation of the first asparagus spears of the season as simple as possible -- in this easy recipe, their sweet taste will come through much more so than at any other time of the year. It helps to peel the asparagus stalks before cooking, especially if you are using thicker ones.

1 1/2 pounds large or medium asparagus stalks
6 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 tablespoon roughly chopped parsley or chervil
1 teaspoon chopped tarragon, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon chopped dill, plus more for garnish (optional)

Snap off and discard the tough bottoms of the asparagus stalks. If using thicker asparagus, peel the lower ends with a vegetable peeler.

Put butter in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus in one layer and season with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 cup water, cover, and bring to a simmer. Cook until the asparagus is firm-tender, about 3 minutes. Take care not to overcook them; they should still be bright green. (They will continue to cook a bit once the heat is off.) Remove the asparagus from the pan and place on a serving platter.

Turn heat to high and simmer briskly until most of the liquid has evaporated, a minute or so. Add lemon juice and zest to the buttery juices. Turn off heat and stir in chives, parsley, tarragon, and dill, if using. Check seasoning. Spoon the sauce over the asparagus, garnish with a few herb leaves, and serve.


May 9
Grilled Ramps with Red Snapper Fillets

Ramps are one of the very first green vegetables to make an appearance in early spring. They are basically baby leeks and have an amazing sweet oniony flavor. Be careful when grilling to do so quickly -- they do not need a lot of time to get tender. Serve along with your favorite grilled fish -- red snapper, swordfish, salmon, tuna or mahi-mahi are all great choices for grilling -- on a bed of steamed rice or with slices of lightly grilled crusty white bread on the side. May is the month when grilling season starts in earnest, and it is the perfect time to try this recipe.

30 - 36 stalks of ramps
Olive oil (6-8 tablespoons, divided)
Salt and pepper
6 fillets of red snapper, about 4 or 5 ozs each, skin-on
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice

For the herbed butter:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley


Preheat grill to medium heat. If serving with rice, cook it and keep warm before you start grilling. Also prepare the herbed butter before you start grilling, while the rice is cooking. The preparation is very simple -- just stir together butter, lemon zest, chives, oregano, and parsley in a small bowl. You can keep it at room temperature while you grill the ramps and fish.

Wash, drain, and prepare the ramps by discarding root hairs and any wilted stems, and trim stalks to all be roughly the same size. Place ramps on a rimmed baking sheet or in a shallow baking dish. Drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons of the olive oil, and toss to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper, and toss again to combine.

For the fish, combine 4-5 tablespoons of the olive oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice zest in a small bowl then brush all over fillets; season with salt and pepper; and place on a platter.

Arrange ramps on the hot grill in a single layer. Grill until grill marks start to appear, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to platter, and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. They will also taste great at room temperature.

Next, grill the snapper fillets over medium heat, skin side down and without flipping, until just cooked through and crisp around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. (You can baste the fish halfway through grilling with the oil-lemon juice mixture, if you have any left over.) Transfer fish to plates (you can remove and discard skins before eating). Top fillets with herbed butter while still warm, and serve with rice and ramps on the side.

May 16
Sorrel (or Baby Spinach) Soup

Sorrel is very popular all over Europe as one of the early harbingers of spring. It has long been a staple of Polish cuisine and you will find sorrel (szczaw, pronounced shchav) growing in most kitchen gardens throughout Poland. It is slowly becoming more popular in the U.S. too, but if you cannot find it at your Farmers Market, you can substitute baby spinach in this recipe. However, sorrel has a tangy, lemony taste that is unique and well-worth the effort to hunt down (or plant in you own garden this spring). One thing to note is that sorrel turns olive green after cooking, but rest assured that it still contains all of its healthy nutrients. It can be served over boiled baby potatoes, hard-boiled egg halves, and/or with a little grated Parmesan cheese on top. And it can be served either hot or cold.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped green onions, ramps. or other wild onion
4-6 cups (packed) of roughly chopped sorrel (or baby spinach)
Salt
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons softened, unsalted butter
1 quart chicken stock or vegetable stock
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream or creme fraiche
Chopped dill and/or grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
Salt, freshly ground black pepper, and fresh lemon juice to taste


Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the green onions or ramps and turn the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and cook gently for 7-8 minutes until tender.

While the onions are cooking, pour the stock into another pot and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat up, add the sorrel leaves and onions along with a healthy pinch of salt, and stir well. When the sorrel is mostly wilted, turn the heat back to medium-low, cover, and cook for 8-10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

In a small bowl, whip the flour into the softened butter to create a paste; whisk paste slowly into the soup, bring to a simmer, and cook over medium heat for 3 more minutes, stirring constantly.

To finish the soup, whisk together the egg yolks and cream in a medium bowl. Temper the mixture by ladling a little soup into it with one hand, while whisking the egg-cream mix with the other hand. Repeat this two more times, adding two more ladles of soup. (You are doing this to prevent the eggs from scrambling) Now start whisking the egg and cream mixture into the soup. Let this cook — below a simmer — for 5 minutes. Do not let it boil or the soup will break. Check for seasoning and add salt, pepper, or 1 or 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to taste.

Serve at once, if serving warm. You can ladle it over boiled baby potatoes, hard-boiled egg halves, and garnish with chopped dill and/or grated Parmesan cheese. If serving cold, chill overnight and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and fresh chopped dill.


May 23
Baby Broccoli Salad with Bacon

You can prepare baby broccoli (also called broccolini) very simply -- just steam it lightly, toss with butter, and serve as a side dish. Or you can prepare this classic broccoli salad with bacon bits, raisins, almonds, and a creamy dressing which will make for a more hearty meal, perfect either for lunch or as a light supper. It will also be a tasty side dish for your Memorial Day picnic or cookout!

2 heads of fresh baby broccoli
1 small red onion
1/4 pound bacon, cubed
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese shavings for garnish (optional)

Dice the bacon, cook in a skillet for 4-5 minutes over medium heat, turning often so it does not burn, and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate.

Cut the broccoli into large bite-size pieces (include some leaves and stems) and place in a large glass bowl. Chop the onion finely and add to broccoli, along with the raisins and almonds .

In a small bowl mix together the mayonnaise, maple syrup, and cider vinegar. Pour the dressing over the broccoli, toss well, and check for seasoning. Top with bacon bits and Parmesan shavings and chill before serving.

May 30
Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote with Mint

Strawberries and rhubarb are a great combination -- the sweetness of the strawberries pairs beautifully with the tangy taste of the
rhubarb. While you can bake a pie or crisp using the two ingredients, a quicker way to enjoy the combo is by preparing a compote. You can enjoy this great taste of spring more easily and more often -- simply by cooking the strawberries and rhubarb quickly with some water and sugar and serving the compote over ice cream or waffles, or incorporating it into a smoothie with some almond milk and ice cubes. Enjoy!

3 cups 1/2-inch-wide pieces fresh rhubarb (about 1 pound)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Combine rhubarb, sugar, and 1/4 cup water in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Simmer gently until rhubarb is tender but not falling apart, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in strawberries. Transfer to bowl and stir in mint. Chill until cold, about 1 hour.

June 6
Quick-pickled Cucumbers and Carrots

June means summer is just around the corner — the perfect time to be enjoying the warmer weather and eating outside. It’s also the perfect time to be adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to your menus. Fresh veggies are not only delicious, they’re good for you too!

Cucumbers and carrots are a great combination when pickled together and they add both crunch and a burst of flavor when served alongside sandwiches or hot dogs at your summer cook-out or picnic.

2 cucumbers, ends trimmed, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
4 carrots, peeled, and cut into 1/8-inch-thick pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

In a large glass jar or bowl, arrange alternating layers of cucumbers and carrots. In a small saucepan, combine sugar, vinegar, the water, salt, mustard seeds, celery seeds, and peppercorns. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat; cook, stirring constantly, just until sugar dissolves.

Remove from heat; pour mixture over vegetables, and let cool completely. Cover tightly, and refrigerate at least 24 hours before serving. Pickled vegetables will keep stored in a refrigerator for up to one week.


June 13
Potato Salad with Aruglua and Dill

Who doesn’t love potato salad in the summertime? This is a quick and easy recipe that combines the creaminess of perfectly cooked potatoes with the peppery taste of arugula and the brightness of dill. Add a thick yogurt dressing and you have the perfect accompaniment for grilled meats. Be sure to use small new potatoes (red or gold) or fingerlings.

2 pounds new potatoes, cleaned but not peeled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup whole milk yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
3 large shallots (or 1 small onion) thinly sliced
1 large bunch or 4 to 5 ozs arugula leaves, roughly chopped
1 small bunch fresh dill, finely chopped

Fill a four quart (or larger) pot 3/4 full of water. Salt generously with 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and add the potatoes. Bring back to a simmer and then turn the heat down to medium. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.

Use a fork to pull a hot potato out of the pot, and slice it into quarters. Repeat with the rest of the potatoes, adding them to a large bowl as you cut them up.

In a smaller bowl whisk together the yogurt and mayonnaise. Add dressing to potatoes and toss while still warm, then add shallots or onion, arugula, and dill and toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving for the flavors to combine.


June 20
Pasta with Fresh Asparagus

This dish only takes 30 minutes to prepare so it is ideal for a weeknight dinner, but it is elegant and tasty enough to serve at a dinner party too. Blanch fresh asparagus for a few minutes, toss with the pasta, butter, pine nuts, and basil and serve with grated Parmesan cheese on the side. Fettucine are recommended as the pasta to use in this recipe.

1/4 cup pine nuts
1 lb fresh asparagus spears
10 ounces fresh fettuccine or 3/4 pound dried fettuccine
2 tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil or parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste
lemon quarters

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

Toast pine nuts in a small skillet until golden, about 2-3 minutes.

Cut off tough ends of asparagus spears. Cut each on the bias into 1-inch lengths. Rinse well and drain.

Add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove asparagus with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Drop the fettuccine into the same pot of salted boiling water. Let cook to desired degree of doneness (cooking time will range from about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes for fresh pasta to 9 minutes or more for dried). Reserve 2 tablespoons cooking water. Drain the pasta.

Heat the butter in the pot in which the pasta was cooked. Add the asparagus pieces and the fettuccine. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the reserved 2 tablespoons of cooking water, pine nuts, and basil. Toss to blend. Serve hot with Parmesan cheese and lemon quarters on the side.

June 27
Mini Strawberry Shortcakes

Strawberry season is in full swing, so make sure you are eating plenty of these delicious and good-for-you berries when you can buy them locally. This is an easy dessert to prepare for your family any time -- and easy to serve for dessert at a cookout or dinner party too.

12 store-bought shortcake shells
2 lbs fresh strawberries, hulled and thickly sliced
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
6 tablespoons sugar, divided
mint leaves for garnish

Wash and hull the strawberries; cut into quarters or thick slices. Place in a bowl with 4 tablespoons of sugar and toss. (Add more sugar to taste.)

Whip the cream with 2 tablespoons of sugar with your electric mixer on high for a few minutes until soft peaks are formed.

Heap strawberries on shortcake; top with whipped cream; and garnish with a mint leaf and a strawberry. You can add a few more strawberries to the plate around the shortcake.

July 4
Grilled Swordfish Fillets with Arugula


July is the perfect time for grilling! Below we share four amazing recipes that you can easily prepare for your family — or for guests at a dinner party. We include a grilled fish recipe, a grilled flank steak recipe, a grilled veggie recipe, and a grilled fruit recipe. The best way to enjoy good food and good company in July is definitely outside!

Swordfish fillets are ideal for grilling — they are meaty and moist and hold well together — they do not flake apart like many other types of fish. Serve the fillets with arugula leaves piled on top and drizzled with the lemon vinaigrette that was used to marinate the fish. These fillets are delicious and very easy (and quick) to make!

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup good olive oil
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 (1/2-inch-thick) swordfish steaks (5 to 6 ounces each)
4-6 ounces baby arugula
Grated zest of 1 lemon


Light a charcoal grill or preheat a gas or stovetop grill until very hot.

For the sauce, in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Set aside.

When the grill is ready, sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes on one side, then turn and cook for 1 to 2 minutes on the other side until almost cooked through. Remove to a flat dish, prick holes in the fish with a fork, and then pour the lemon sauce over the fish while it’s still hot. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

When ready to serve, place the swordfish on dinner plates or a serving platter, pile the arugula on top, drizzle arugula leaves with any leftover lemon sauce and with the drippings on the plate, and sprinkle with grated lemon zest. Serve warm.


July 11
Grilled Asian-Style Flank Steak

The zesty Asian marinade adds tons of flavor to the flank steak. The many wonderful ingredients of the marinade will combine to both tenderize the steak and add layers of flavor to it. Everyone is sure to love this home-run of a recipe!

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sake or rice vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar or honey
4 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh ginger
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
4 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 1/2 – 2 pounds flank steak, well-trimmed of any fat

Make the marinade by combining ingredients from soy sauce through cilantro in a large bowl. Mix well and then pour into a large ziploc bag. Add steak to bag and let marinate for at least 2 hours, or overnight, in refrigerator, turning frequently.

Remove steak from marinade and pat dry. Grill over high heat for 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. You can brush the steak with marinade while cooking.

Remove steak from grill and let rest for 5-10 minutes, and then slice into 1/2-inch strips, cutting across the grain. Serve with rice and salad.


July 18
Grilled Veggie Kebabs

You can have your kids help prepare these colorful and tasty veggie skewers. They will be more than happy to eat them if they helped with the cooking prep. Alternate bell peppers, onions, zucchini, squash, and tomatoes on each skewer. If using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in water for 10-15 minutes before grilling.

3 red, green, or yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium zucchini, trimmed, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1-inch slices
1 medium yellow squash, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1-inch slices
1 medium red onion, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 cup of grape tomatoes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 to 4 pinches salt
10 to 15 grinds black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano

If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 10 minutes in a baking pan to prevent them from burning during grilling.

Place all of the veggies in a large bowl or baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, garlic, and orgeano. With your hands, toss to coat well.

Alternate the vegetables with the onions on wooden or metal skewers. The onions will get nice and juicy rubbing up against the other veggies. You can do this up to a few hours before you grill them.

Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Arrange the skewers on the grill pan and cook, turning often, until slightly charred, about 15 minutes. Remove from grill and serve hot or at room temperature.

July 25
Grilled Peaches with Vanilla Ice Cream


The prefect summer dessert! Grilled peaches with vanilla ice cream. Easy and delicious. Yum!

2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 fresh peaches
grapeseed oil (or vegetable oil)
vanilla ice cream

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut peaches along the seam all the way around and twist halves off the pit. Brush cut sides with grapeseed oil or vegetable oil. Cook, cut side down, on a hot grill until fruit has grill marks, 3 to 4 minutes. Brush tops with oil, turn over, and move to indirect heat. Sprinkle cut sides with cinnamon sugar. Cover grill and cook until sugar is melted and fruit is tender, 10 to 15 minutes more. Serve two peach halves per plate, topped with vanilla ice cream (sprinkle extra cinnamon sugar over the ice cream, if you like). Makes 4 servings.

August 1
Gazpacho - Cold Tomato and Vegetable Soup

Gazpacho is a soup made of raw vegetables and served cold, usually with a tomato base, originating in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia. Gazpacho is widely eaten in Spain and neighboring Portugal—as well as in Mexico—particularly during the hot summer months, as it is both refreshing and cool. Perfect for hot August days!

1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded and chopped, but not peeled
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded and roughly chopped
4 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 red onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
24 ounces tomato juice (3 cups)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup good olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons more
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


Roughly chop the cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not overprocess--you do want to have some chunks in the soup for texture and crunch.

After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer the gazpacho sits, the more the flavors will combine and develop. Check seasoning before serving. Pour into bowls and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and chopped cilantro. (You can also top with sour cream, chopped scallions, or sliced avocado.


August 8
Grilled Eggplant Dip with Pita Bread

Summer is the perfect time to grill all of your meals, from appetizer to dessert. Here is a recipe for a grilled Greek eggplant dip, to be served with pita bread wedges. It will be a delicious starter to a meal of Greek salad and grilled lamb chops (see recipes below).

2 small eggplants (1-1/2 lb. total)
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup seeded and finely diced fresh tomatoes
2 Tbs. minced yellow onion
3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs. red-wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano or marjoram
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh mint
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika


Prepare a medium gas or charcoal grill fire. Prick the eggplants with the tip of a paring knife to prevent them from swelling and exploding, and rub all over with 2 Tbs. of the oil. Grill, covered but turning every few minutes, until the eggplants are very soft inside and the skins are charred, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool.

Cut the stems off the cooled eggplants and peel away the charred skin; discard the stems and skin. Coarsely chop the flesh and transfer it to a medium bowl. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil and the tomatoes, onion, parsley, lemon juice, vinegar, oregano or marjoram, thyme, mint, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Mash, then mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, as needed. Sprinkle with paprika just before serving. Serve the dip cool or at room temperature with fresh pita wedges.

August 15
Summer Greek Salad

Tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers are abundant in the summer, and this salad combines these fresh summer veggies with the wonderful tastes of Greece (olives, oregano, and feta cheese), for a tasty and complex salad.


6 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh chopped garlic
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon dill weed or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
3 or 4 plum tomatoes, seeded, coarsely chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, coarsely chopped
1 red onion, peeled and sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded, coarsely chopped
2 green scallions, chopped
1/2 cup pitted black olives, coarsely chopped
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, vinegar, oregano, and dill together in a small bowl until blended. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. The dressing can be prepared 3 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewhisk before using.

Combine the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, bell pepper, scallions, and olives in a bowl. Toss with dressing. Sprinkle feta cheese over the salad and serve. This is the perfect accompaniment to the grilled lamb chops below.


August 22
Grilled Lamb Chops

Lamb chops are an easy substitute for beef steaks or burgers for a quick summertime dinner. They are super flavorful and take just a few minutes to prepare, whether on the grill or in your oven. Serve them with the Greek salad (recipe above) for a delicious and quick meal on a summer’s night.

6 to 8 loin bone-in lamb chops, at least one-inch thick
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
12 to 16 sprigs of fresh thyme

Preheat a grill or cast-iron grill pan over high heat. If using a charcoal grill, build the fire so that one side of the grill has more coals than the other — a “hot” side. If using a grill pan, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Rub the lamb chops with the smashed garlic and season aggressively with salt and pepper. If grilling, place on the hot side for 2 minutes per side. Move the chops to the cooler side of the grill to cook through, an additional
6 to 7 minutes. If using a grill pan, grill on one side for 2 minutes to sear, turn over the chops for another minute, and then place the pan in the oven for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the grill or oven and allow to sit 5 minutes before serving.


August 29
Blackberry and Peanut Butter Crumble

Summer berries and peaches are great in a crumble — or you can substitute any summer fruit in the recipe below. The chunky peanut butter topping makes this dish taste a lot like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, the all-time classic of our childhoods. Serve the crumble with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for an unforgettable summer dessert!


6 cups fresh blackberries
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and place a rack in the center of the oven.

Place the blackberries in a 12-inch high-sided skillet set over medium heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the flour, 1/4 cup of the sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon, and the lemon juice. Cook until all the juices release, about 5 minutes.

To make the crumble topping, in a medium bowl combine the oats, peanut butter, brown sugar, the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and the remaining 3/4 cup flour. Mix with a spoon until combined. Pour the melted butter into the dry crumble mixture and stir to achieve a crumble consistency. Spoon dollops of the crumble mixture over the berry mixture.

Bake until the topping is crisp, 20 minutes. Cool the crumble for 5 minutes, then serve. You can eat as is, or top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.



September 5
Seven-Layer Salad

Perfect for your Labor Day picnic or cookout is this seven-layer salad, made with crunchy iceberg lettuce and nutritious baby spinach for the greens, topped with hard-boiled eggs, bacon, tomatoes, green onions, cheddar cheese, and green peas, all finished off with a creamy mayo-sour cream dressing. You can arrange the layers in any order you like. Be creative!

SALAD
1 large head iceberg lettuce, chopped
8 ounces, baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 whole hard-oiled Eggs, sliced or roughly chopped
4 whole Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, divided
16 ounces, bacon, cooked and roughly chopped, divided
8 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated
1 bag (10 ounce) frozen green peas, partially thawed
4 tablespoons chopped dill for garnish

DRESSING

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons buttermilk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup fresh dill, chopped


In a large, clear glass bowl, layer salad ingredients in the order they appear above or according to your own preference, setting aside some of the bacon for the top.,Concentrate the ingredients around the perimeter of the bowl and and fill in the center with lettuce and spinach, if needed. End with the layer of peas.

Combine dressing ingredients in a separate bowl and mix well. Pour over the top of the peas and spread to cover, bringing dressing all the way out to the edges of the bowl. Sprinkle with fresh dill and some of the remaining bacon bits and some scallion slices for added color.

Cover and refrigerate for 4 - 8 hours. Toss just before serving.

September 12
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Making you own hummus is very quick easy and your family is sure to love this recipe that you can whip up anytime. The ingredients you need to keep on hand are chick peas in a can, tahini paste, garlic, lemon, and roasted red papers in a jar. Or you can roast you own red bell peppers, if you prefer. Serve with pita chips, mini pitas, or raw veggies for dipping.

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
1/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste, available in most grocery stores)
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup roasted red peppers
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 or 2 tablespoons cold water, if needed
Salt and pepper to taste

In an electric food processor, combine garlic, garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Process until the mixture is smooth. Add roasted peppers and red pepper flakes; process until the peppers are finely chopped. (Add 1 or 2 tablespoons water, if needed, to get desired consistency.) Season with salt and pepper. Transfer hummus to small bowl, cover and chill until you are ready to serve. Drizzle with remaining olive oil before serving. Serve with pita chips, mini pitas, or raw veggies.


September 19
Chicken Enchiladas

This dish is perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. It combines chicken breasts with creamy cheese and spicy Mexican flavors that will be a sure hit with your family!

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 onion, chopped
1/2 pint sour cream
1 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
8 (10 inch) flour tortillas
1 (12 ounce) jar taco sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium, non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook chicken until no longer pink and juices run clear. Drain excess fat. Cube the chicken and return it to the skillet. Add the onion, sour cream, 1 cup of cheddar cheese, parsley, oregano, and ground black pepper. Heat gently until cheese melts. Stir in salt, tomato sauce, water, chili powder, green peppers, and garlic.

Roll even amounts of the mixture in the tortillas. Arrange in a 9 x 13 inch buttered baking dish. Cover with taco sauce and the remaining 3/4 cup cheddar cheese. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven 20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving. Top with chopped cilantro, if desired.



September 26
Easy Apple Turnovers

Fall is apple season and there are so many wonderful things you can do with this healthy and tasty fruit — recipes abound from baked apples to applesauce to apple pie to apple crumble — to these quick and tasty apple turnovers!

2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 cups water
4 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1 (17.25 ounce) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon milk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine the lemon and 4 cups water in a large bowl. Place the sliced apples in the water to keep them from browning.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Drain water from apples, and place them into the hot skillet. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes. Add brown sugar and cinnamon, and cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes. Stir together cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water. Pour into the skillet, and mix well. Cook for another minute, or until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat to cool slightly.
Unfold puff pastry sheets, and repair any cracks by pressing them back together. Trim each sheet into a square. Then cut each larger square into 4 smaller squares. Spoon apples onto the center of each square. Fold over from corner to corner into a triangle shape, and press edges together to seal. Place turnovers on a baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between them.
Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until turnovers are puffed and lightly browned. Cool completely before glazing.

To make the glaze, mix together the confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla in a small bowl. Adjust the thickness by adding more sugar or milk if necessary. Drizzle glaze over the cooled turnovers.


October 3
Cream of Cauliflower Soup


In October, Polish-American Heritage Month, we present four popular Polish recipes that you can prepare one at a time or combine for a three-course Polish-American dinner to serve your family. Soups are very popular in Poland as a starter to dinner. This luscious cream of cauliflower soup is sure to please everyone at your table.


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
2 carrots, julienned
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 large head cauliflower (2 lbs.), chopped into florets
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup half and half
Freshly ground white pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley


Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and salt, cover, reduce heat to medium,
and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are very soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, julienned carrots, and wine. Cook, stirring, until liquid is almost completely evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes.

Stir in cauliflower florets and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until cauliflower is soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Add half and half and simmer for a few minutes more.

Divide soup into two batches. Whirl one batch in a blender until very smooth, at least 4 minutes. Stir together the blended batch with the chunky batch and season to taste with white pepper and salt.

In a small bowl, combine olive oil, chives, and parsley. Ladle cauliflower soup into bowls and drizzle with the herb oil on top.

October 10
Breaded pork cutlets


Breaded pork chops are the most popular meat dish in Poland. Serve them with mashed potatoes and either braised cabbage or sauerkraut salad (recipe below).

2 cups milk
4 boneless center-cut pork chops
Salt and black pepper
All-purpose flour
1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
Bread crumbs or panko crumbs
Vegetable shortening or canola oil

Soak pork chops in milk for 20-30 minutes. Pat dry and trim off fat and gristle. Pound chops between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4-inch thickness. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Dredge chops in flour, then egg, then bread or panko crumbs. Allow cutlets to dry for 10 minutes before frying.

Heat shortening or oil to a depth of 1 inch in a large skillet. Fry one or two at a time by placing chops top side down into the pan. Fry 5 to 7 minutes per side until golden. Place on a heatproof plate in a warm oven (about 200 degrees) covered with foil and repeat with remaining chops. They will keep in the oven for 10-15 minutes before serving.


October 17
Sauerkraut Salad


This sauerkraut salad is very quick and easy to prepare and is the perfect accompaniment to pork, sausage, and burgers.

1 can (16 ounces) sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup grated apples
1 cup grated onion
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
chopped parsley for garnish

In a large bowl, mix sauerkraut, carrots, apples, onion, and scallions. In a jar or small bowl, combine sugar and oil. Pour over vegetables and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Adjust seasoning by adding more sugar, oil, and/or black pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley before serving.




October 24
No-bake Cheese Cake


There is nothing more Polish than cheesecake! This is a no-bake recipe that is quick and easy to prepare. Top with fresh fruit like strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, or pineapple before serving, if desired.

2 packages (20 sheets) graham crackers
11 tablespoons (1 and 3/8 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 14-ounce can (1 1/4 cups) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put graham crackers in a large resealable plastic bag, and crush them with a rolling pin until very fine crumbs form.

Pour crumbs into a medium bowl; stir in sugar. Add butter, and stir until well combined.

Press the crumb mixture into a 9-inch springform pan, spreading it 1 1/2 to 2 inches up the side; press flat.
Chill crust in freezer at least 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Using an electric mixer set at medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the condensed milk a little at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl, as necessary. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla.

Pour the filling into the crust; smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Unclasp sides of pan, and remove cheesecake. Top with sliced fresh fruit, if desired.



October 31
Vampire Lips for Halloween

From Martha Stewart, a fun snack for Halloween made with Granny Smith apple wedges, mini marshmallows, almonds, and peanut butter. Kids and grown-ups alike are sure to love this fresh, crisp, and spooky treat!

2 Granny Smith apples
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup peeled whole almonds


Core and cut Granny Smith apples into wedges, and spread one side of each wedge with peanut butter. Press mini-marshmallow “teeth” and two almond “fangs” into the peanut butter on one wedge, then top with a second wedge. Happy Halloween!

 

November 7
Pumpkin Soup with Kale Sesame Topping

This creamy pumpkin soup served with a crisp kale topping is perfect as a starter for Thanksgiving — or any winter meal.

SOUP
2 sugar pumpkins (approx 2 1/4 cups pumpkin puree)
2 shallots, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup light coconut milk
2 Tbsp maple syrup (or honey)
1/4 tsp each salt, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg

GARLIC KALE SESAME TOPPING (optional)
1 cup roughly chopped kale
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp raw sesame seeds
1 Tbsp olive oil
pinch salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using a sharp knife, cut off the tops of two sugar pumpkins and then halve them. Use a sharp spoon to scrape out all of the seeds and strings (see notes for a link to roasting seeds).

Brush the flesh with oil and place face down on the baking sheet. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the skin. Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, then peel away skin and set pumpkin aside.

To a large saucepan over medium heat add 1 Tbsp olive oil, shallot and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly browned and translucent. Turn down heat if cooking too quickly. Add remaining ingredients, including the pumpkin, and bring to a simmer.

Transfer soup mixture to a blender or use an emulsion blender to puree the soup. If using a blender, place a towel over the top of the lid before mixing to avoid any accidents. Pour mixture back into pot. Continue cooking over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes and taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve as is or with Kale-Sesame topping (recipe follows):

For the Kale-Sesame topping: in a small skillet over medium heat, dry toast sesame seeds for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently until slightly golden brown. Be careful as they can burn quickly. Remove from pan and set aside.

To the still hot pan, add olive oil and garlic and sauté until golden brown - about 2 minutes. Add kale and toss, then add a pinch of salt and cover to steam. Cook for another few minutes until kale is wilted and then add sesame seeds back in. Toss to coat and set aside for topping soup.

November 14
Brussel Sprout Salad with Apples and Walnuts

Nothing says Thanksgiving more than Brussel sprouts -- whether braised, steamed, roasted -- or raw. Here is a recipe for a tasty shaved Brussel sprout salad with apples and walnuts that will be a fresh and crunchy addition to your Thanksgiving menu.

For the Salad
1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 medium tart apple (like Granny Smith)
1 medium red onion
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries


For the Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Trim the ends off the Brussels sprouts. Using a sharp knife or using the thinnest blade on a mandoline slicer slice each sprout thinly. Slice the apple and red onion in the same manner. Combine in a large bowl. Add cranberries.

Toast the walnuts in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and lightly browned, about two minutes. Add to the Brussels sprout mixture. Toss to combine.

Combine the vinaigrette ingredients into a jar with a tight-fighting lid. Close the lid and shake until well combined. Pour over the Brussels sprout mixture, and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.


November 21
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Grapes and Walnuts

If you prefer your Brussel sprouts warm, then roasting them with grapes and walnuts is the way to go. This delicious combination will be a perfect accompaniment to your turkey and other Thanksgiving sides.

24 ounces Brussels sprouts (about 8 cups), halved or quartered, if large
24 ounces red seedless grapes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh thyme
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped


Heat oven to 450 degrees. On 2 rimmed baking sheets, toss Brussels sprouts and grapes with oil and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Roast, until caramelized and tender, about 20 minutes.

Drizzle each tray with 1 teaspoon vinegar and scrape up any caramelized bits with a wooden spoon. Toss in walnuts and serve on a platter or in a large bowl.

November 28
Old-Fashioned Pecan Pie

The perfect ending to your Thanksgiving dinner -- or any winter meal -- is this all-time American favorite, pecan pie. Serve warm out of the oven with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

For the Pie Crust:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup vegetable shortening or lard
3/4 cup salted butter, cut into pieces
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

For the Filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup corn syrup (light or dark)
1/3 cup melted salted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 whole eggs beaten
1 cup (heaping) chopped pecans


First, whip up the pie crust: Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the vegetable shortening and salted butter. Work the butter into the flour using a dough cutter until the mixture resembles tiny pebbles.

Add the egg, 5 tablespoons cold water and the white vinegar. Stir until just combined. Divide the dough in half and chill until needed. (You will only need one half for this recipe, reserve the other half for another use or to make a second pie.)

Next make the filling: Mix the granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, vanilla and eggs together in a bowl.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out one dough half on a lightly floured surface to fit your pie pan. Pour the pecans in the bottom of the unbaked pie shell. Pour the syrup mixture over the top. Cover the top and crust lightly/gently with foil.

Bake the pie for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, and then continue baking for 20 minutes, being careful not to burn the crust or pecans. If the filling shakes a lot, cover with foil and bake for an additional 20 minute or until set. Required baking time seems to vary a bit with this recipe, from 50 to 70 minutes.

December 5
Linzer Cookies



These cookies take a little more time to prepare, since you have to cut out the centers of one-half of the cookies and then assemble them like jelly sandwiches before baking. But they look and taste amazing and will be the star attraction on your Christmas cookie platter this year!

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup raw skin-on almonds (or 3/4 cup almond flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup raspberry jam
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Pulse together flour and almonds in a food processor until the almonds are very finely ground. Add cinnamon, baking powder and salt, and pulse to blend. (Alternatively, whisk together flour, ground almonds or almond flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.)

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together on medium-high until the mixture is light, fluffy and pale, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract, and beat until everything is well combined, again stopping to scrape down bowl as necessary.

Add in dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed, just until incorporated.

Divide dough in 2 equal pieces, and wrap each piece in cling film, patting into a 1-inch-thick disk. Chill at least 2 hours, up to 5 days ahead.

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper so it's about 1/8 inch thick. (Because of the almonds, the dough may crack in places while you’re rolling it out. This is O.K., just patch it up with scraps.)

Using a round cookie cutter 2 1/2 inches in diameter, (or you can use a heart-shaped cutter) cut out as many circles as possible. Take half of these circles and cut out a 1-inch circle from the interior of the larger circles (or use a smaller heart-shaped cutter), creating a doughnut shape that will become the top of the cookie. If at any point the dough becomes too soft to cut and cleanly remove from parchment paper, slide it onto a cookie sheet and chill for a few minutes in the freezer or refrigerator. Gather any scraps of dough, combine them and roll them out, chilling as necessary. Transfer dough circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet spaced 1 inch apart and bake until the edges are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

To assemble the linzer cookies, spread about a teaspoon of raspberry jam onto the flat sides of the larger circles. Dust the tops of the cutout circles with powdered sugar and place on top of raspberry jam. Makes 30 cookies.


December 12
Ginger Shortbread Cookies



A new take on shortbread cookies which have crystallized ginger added to the dough for extra taste and spice. Roll out and cut into your favorite Christmas shapes and sprinkle with sugar before baking. You will definitely want to add these to your holiday cookie collection!

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup minced crystallized ginger (not in syrup)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and 1 cup of sugar on medium-low speed, just until they are combined. (Dont whip!) Add the vanilla and 2 teaspoons water and mix until combined. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until the dough starts to come together. Add the ginger, then dump onto a surface generously dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough 3/8 inch thick and cut circles with a 2 3/4-inch plain round cookie cutter or use Christmas shapes like stars or snowflakes. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges start to brown.

Cool to room temperature and serve. Makes 20-24 cookies.


December 19
Orange Almond Cake



This very moist cake uses no flour and all parts of two oranges, including skin and pith (only the seeds will need to be removed). You cook the whole oranges for two hours, which will give your house a lovely, Christmasy aroma. The cake tastes delicious served plain or with fresh blueberries, macerated strawberries, or stewed dried fruit compote.

2 large oranges
6 eggs
1/2 pound ground almonds
1/2 pound sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Powdered sugar for dusting

Wash the oranges and simmer them, unpeeled, in water to cover for 2 hours. Cool, cut them open and remove the seeds. Puree the oranges, including the peel, in a food processor.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Beat the eggs in a food processor or large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, including the orange puree, and mix thoroughly. Pour into a buttered and floured cake tin, with a removable base if possible. Sprinkle sliced almonds evenly on top.

Bake for one hour, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the tin before turning out. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.



December 26
New Year’s Eve Crab Dip



This rich and creamy crab dip is served warm and will be the perfect starter to your New Year’s Eve festivities. You can substitute reduced-fat cream cheese and reduced-fat sour cream, if you want a lower-calorie version of the recipe. Serve the dip with crackers and with champagne or punch. Happy New Year to all our readers!

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon crab boil spices, (recommended: Old Bay)
1 garlic clove, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
12 ounces fresh crab meat, picked over for bits of shell and patted dry
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
Crackers or pita chips for serving

Stir together the cream cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, crab boil spice, and garlic in a medium saucepan until smooth; season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Heat the cream cheese mixture over medium-low heat until warm, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes. Fold in the crab, scallions, parsley and lemon juice and warm until heated through, about 1 minute more. Remove from heat, place in bowl, top with tomatoes and shredded cheese, and serve immediately while still warm.

 

 

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