A lot has happened in the past year and a half. We have started to explore new cooking methods such as the recent addition of a pressure cooker. As we look to expand our knowledge in the kitchen we are simplifying our lives and focusing on the things that really matter. At the end of the day you define what perfection means to you. Here’s to living the perfectly imperfect life.
Any summer meal can use a good salad, and any good salad can be a summer meal. A while back I posted about a favorite farro salad we make for lunch. This summer we have been enjoying tons of fresh produce from our garden, the farmers market, and when in doubt the grocery store. The best thing about a fresh salad is you can use whatever you have. My go to has been anything with cucumber because our garden has been exploding with them!
2 cucumbers chopped
3 ears of corn removed from the cob (cooked)*
1 cup of cherry tomatoes halved (regular tomatoes would work)
1/4 cup of crumbled feta
6-10 leaves of fresh basil
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
*I cook my corn for this recipe in the microwave. Simply remove the husk, wrap each cob in a damp paper towel and microwave for 2 to 2.5 minutes per ear of corn. I place mine in a bowl of cold water and ice to help cool it down quickly after cooking.
In a medium bowl mix the vegetables, feta and olive oil, season with salt and pepper. This salad leaves little room for excuses, it is quick and tasty! What kind of summer dishes do you enjoy making?
One of my favorite holiday traditions is make Christmas cookies. Whenever we were little cutout cookies were alway the highlight of baking season because we were able to pick out whatever cutouts we wanted and decorate them with fun icing and sprinkles.
Every year I look for a new kind of cookie to make in search of new traditions. A few years ago it was meringues which turned out to be a lot harder to make that I expected! Last year it was chocolate brownie cut out cookies.This year I decided to be ambitious again and try to make homemade oreos from Smitten Kitchen. I had been eyeing up this recipe for sometime and finally decided it was time. Needless to say we have a winner! These homemade oreos are a game changer (and not just around the holidays)! I would make the cookies without the icing for a nice chocolaty treat. Of course they don’t end up as perfect as the store bought cookie but they sure are tasty!
What new holiday cookie recipes did you try this year?
The weather has finally turned cold and the holidays are right around the corner. We are starting to get in the spirt with the recipes we are making. We found this recipe for cranberry nut bars last fall, it has been a huge hit. Fresh cranberries are the star of these bars, with the perfect mix of sweet and tart. Fresh cranberries are great for bread, bars, cookies, pancakes, and of course homemade cranberry sauce! (You can even use them in your fall centerpiece.)
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/3 cup of melted butter
1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350°F, grease an 8 inch square glass baking dish.
2. Beat eggs with mixer until blended and slightly thick. Slowly mix the sugar in until well combined. Mix in flour and butter until blended well. Fold in cranberries and walnuts.
3. Evenly spread bar mixture into the greased baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown and set. (You can test by insetting a toothpick in the center, they are done when it comes out clean.) Let cool and enjoy!
These are a great sweet treat for any meal, what sweets are you making for Thanksgiving?
Our CSA share sadly ended last week. We really enjoyed having a diverse box of fresh veggies every week. One of my favorite snacks that came out of our CSA box was kale chips. They are quick, easy, and healthy! We have made different variations with oils and spices. (One of my favorites was using sesame oil and a splash of soy sauce).
1 bunch of kale
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of cumin (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Carefully remove the kale leaves from the thick stems with kitchen shears or a knife. (You can leave the smaller stems).
2. Wash and dry the leaves thoroughly with a salad spinner. (If they are not dry they won’t be as crispy when you bake them!) Toss kale with olive oil, salt, and cumin.
3. Spread the oil coated kale in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the kale is crispy. The edges should be brown but not burnt.
Enjoy as a side to your favorite sandwich! What kind of veggies do you like to make into healthy chips?