Monthly Archives: May 2012

Bloody Mary Tomatoes

My friend Leslie really likes Bloody Marys. We both discovered them several years ago at Zeitgeist, which is famous for their Bloody Mary (amongst other things). Therefore, when I ran across this recipe right before her birthday party, I knew what I had to make! I was a little concerned how people would eat them in a party setting, but as it turns out, tortilla chips make a great conveyance for them. Winning recipe!


  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh horseradish [I used prepared]
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Grapeseed or canola oil
  • 10 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a medium bowl, use your fingers to rub the horseradish, lemon zest, celery salt and cayenne pepper into the sugar. Add the tomatoes and Worcestershire and toss to coat.
  2. Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet with grapeseed oil and place the tomatoes, cut-side up, in the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until the tomatoes are tender and shriveled, about 1 hour, and 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature and serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 5 days.
–Recipe courtesy Tasting Table.
Finished tomatoes:

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Posted by on May 30, 2012 in Uncategorized


Strawberry Lemonade Muffins

I made these muffins for a friend’s birthday party with strawberries from FFTY and lemons from my parents’ tree. They were super-duper delish!


  • 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour [Google how to make this if you don’t have it – that’s what I did]
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 (8-oz.) container sour cream [I didn’t have enough, I bulked it up with some yogurt]
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups diced fresh strawberries


  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Combine flour and 1 cup sugar in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.
  2. Stir together sour cream and next 4 ingredients; add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Gently fold strawberries into batter. Spoon batter into lightly greased 12-cup muffin pans, filling three-fourths full. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup sugar over batter.
  3. Bake at 400° for 16 to 18 minutes or until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack 1 minute; remove from pans to wire rack, and cool 10 minutes.

–Recipe courtesy Southern Living, April 2012.

Yummy muffins:

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Posted by on May 25, 2012 in Uncategorized


Kumquat Pie

When my parents went out of town, as per usual they gave me a bunch of food to take so it wouldn’t go bad while they were gone. Unusually, they gave me a bunch of kumquats. I remember not enjoying kumquats much when my grandpa used to grow them (he grew many things I enjoyed – apples, walnuts, honey – and many I didn’t – persimmons, figs, kumquats) so I didn’t know what I was going to do with these kumquats. Then I did some Googling and ran across this recipe. However, the first few versions I found were full of things like Cool Whip. I searched for a while and found this one with fewer overly processed ingredients. I did acquiesce to using a premade pie crust though. It was a great pie!


Crust: [I just used a premade crust, didn’t bother with this]

  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup pureed kumquat rinds [I pureed the whole kumquats, though I had to pick out a bunch of seeds when I was done]
  • 1 -14 oz can condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 -8 oz package cream cheese, room temperature


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Stir the sour cream and butter together in a bowl, then mix in the flour. (Don’t over mix or the texture will be tough.) Form a dough ball and refrigerate for just a few minutes. Lightly flour a work surface, and roll the dough into a medium thick crust. Place the piecrust dough in a 9-inch pie plate and prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. Bake the crust for about 20 minutes or until just golden brown. Remove from the oven to cool.

With an electric mixer, beat the cream and sugar until the mixture is light, fluffy and holds its shape when the beaters are removed. Add the kumquat rinds, condensed milk, juices and cream cheese beating until well combined and thickened. Scoop the mixture into the cooled pie shell and refrigerate, lightly covered with foil or plastic, until set, 2 to 3 hours.

–Recipe courtesy Cooking the Cowboy Way, by Grady Spears via Drick’s Rambling Cafe.

Finished pie (yes a piece is missing):

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Posted by on May 23, 2012 in Uncategorized


Chunky Applesauce, Take 2

As I was preparing to write this entry, I realized I had already done a post on Applesauce. However, this recipe has a more citrusy and less spicy bent to it than the prior recipe. We had a bunch of random apples I wanted to use before they went bad, so I didn’t stress over whether they were the “right” apples for sauce, I just went with it. Yum!


  • 3 to 4 lbs of peeled, cored, and quartered apples. (Make sure you use a good cooking apple like Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Granny Smith, Fuji, Jonathan, Mcintosh, or Gravenstein.)
  • 4 strips of lemon peel – use a vegetable peeler to strip 4 lengths
  • Juice of one lemon, about 3-4 Tbsp
  • 3 inches of cinnamon stick [didn’t have, I used ground]
  • 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
  • up to 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • [I added a handful of golden raisins]
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt


  1. Put all ingredients into a large pot. Cover. Bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat. Remove cinnamon sticks and lemon peels. Mash with potato masher.
–Recipe courtesy Elise from SimplyRecipes.
Finished sauce:

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Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Uncategorized


Sesame-Almond Brown Rice Balls

Heidi at is so good it frustrates me. Go check out her amazing pictures that accompany the recipe. Her balls look so much cuter and prettier than mine! I also think I’ll go the avocado route next time. The cooked chicken I added to mine was OK, but I bet avocado would have been tons better. Using a ton of green onions from our garden was fun though!


  • 2 cups brown sushi rice (stubby, short grains)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds (white/black mix)
  • 3 tablespoons toasted almond slices/slivers, chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced green onions
  • Optional: things to tuck in the middle: avocado cubes (toss in lemon juice first), tofu, etc.


In a colander or fine-mesh strainer, rinse the rice briefly and drain. Bring the rice to a boil over medium-high heat in your thickest-bottomed pot. Dial the heat back so the water is just simmering actively – low-med. Cover with tight fitting lid.

Cook the rice until the water has been absorbed and the grains are cooked through, usually about an hour. Remove the rice from heat and let rest, covered, for at least 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork, then gradually add and incorporate the sesame seeds, almonds, and green onions. Taste, and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt if needed. Let the rice cool before shaping.

To form the rice balls, line a small cup with plastic wrap, sprinkle the plastic wrap with a dab of water, then fill the cup 2/3 full with rice mixture. You can tuck something in the center of the ball at this point if you like. Gather the plastic wrap like you would a ponytail, and twist at the base of the rice. Make sure there is no air trapped, and use your opposite palm to shape into a ball. Carefully remove plastic wrap and set the rice ball in a parchment lined container or on a plate. Repeat with the remaining rice.

–Recipe courtesy

Finished balls:

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Posted by on May 19, 2012 in Uncategorized


Creamed Avocado and Lime Chilled Pasta

I’m amazed at what I can do just with a blender. Most recipes say you need a food processor. And while it might make a lot of things easier than using a blender, almost everything I’ve tried with it still works. This recipe is a great example. I used several little avocados from the FFTY box and they were delicious. I also learned a great guac recipe by making this – the sauce by itself was perfect and it didn’t turn brown while waiting for the pasta to be cooked and cooled!

Note: I had lethal garlic breath after eating – I should have used fewer cloves!


  • 1 1/2cup dry shell pasta or short pasta of your choice
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • [I also added a few diced shallots]
  • handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2Tbsp lime juice
  • 3Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1tsp garlic paste [I added way too many diced cloves of garlic]
  • [I added a bit of diced canned peppers for spiciness]
  • [I added some Tapatio]
  • salt & pepper
  • chopped cilantro and/or jalapeno for garnish


  1. Cook pasta according to the package instructions. Drain well, set aside to cool.
  2. Peel avocado and remove the pit. Put it in a food processor together with chopped cilantro, [shallots, chiles, Tapatio, lime juice, mayonnaise and garlic paste. Blend it until it’s creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste. (Cover it with plastic wrap and keep it in a refrigerator if you have time.)
  3. Transfer the avocado sauce to a medium sized bowl. Add cooked pasta and toss them well. Sprinkle chopped cilantro and/or jalapeno on top.
–Recipe courtesy Noriko Burky.
Finished lethal garlic pasta:


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Posted by on May 17, 2012 in Uncategorized


Glazed Citrus Doodles

Haha, these cookies are called “doodles”. I had never heard a cookie called that before. They had the most amazing consistency though – they stayed fluffy and fresh-tasting for days and days, unlike most cookies I make. I also went crazy with the juice and zest – I added much more than the recipe called for. Too many times I’ve ended up with cookie icing that was too runny (even when the cookies were totally cooled) so I erred on the side of being too stiff this time, and I wasn’t disappointed with the results, even if they were a bit ugly.

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest [I used tons more than this]
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice (from 2 oranges)
  • 4 teaspoons lemon zest [I used tons more]
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (from 2 Meyer lemons)
  • [x teaspoons lime zest (I didn’t measure)]
  • [x tablespoons lime juice (I didn’t measure)]
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, 1 tablespoon of orange zest, and 2 teaspoons of lemon zest [and some lime zest] on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs one at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat until combined. Do not over mix the dough.

Roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Placed rolled balls of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake until the edges are lightly golden, 12-15 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to cookie racks to cool completely.

For the glaze, whisk together 1 tablespoon orange zest, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, [some lime juice], all citrus juices and confectioner’s sugar until smooth.  Add additional confectioner’s sugar by tablespoon until the glaze is a spreadable consistency. With a small spoon, spread glaze over each cooled cookie. Let set 1 hour.

–Recipe courtesy Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazine, May 2012.

Finished doodles:


Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Uncategorized


Chutney-Glazed Carrots

I saw this recipe in the latest issue of Everyday Food and it sounded intriguing. It turned out all right (quite a bit spicier than I expected), but I think I still prefer plain old butter and salt and pepper on carrots!


  • 1 1/2 lbs carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 5 tbsp mango chutney, divided
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp peeled and finely grated ginger
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • salt & pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. On a rimmed baking sheet coated with cooking spray or oil, toss together carrots, 4 tbsp chutney, butter, and ginger, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast until carrots are tender and browned in spots, 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Toss with remaining 1 tbsp chutney and lemon juice.
–Recipe courtesy Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine, May 2012.
Finished carrots:

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Posted by on May 13, 2012 in Uncategorized


Fusilli with Caramelized Spring Onions

When FFTY sent us both spring onions and this recipe using spring onions, well, I had to try it! Paired with a lovely beer (see below) it was a great dinner.


  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 cups thinly sliced spring onions (about 1 pound)
  • [I also diced up a leek or two and mixed it with the onions]
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine [I used vermouth]
  • 1/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 ounces uncooked fusilli (short twisted spaghetti)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Combine panko, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon garlic, and a dash of salt in a small bowl. Spread panko mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 6 minutes or until golden brown, stirring after 3 minutes. Cool.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add onions to pan; cook 20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add remaining 1 teaspoon garlic and wine. Increase heat to medium-high; cook 1 minute. Add broth; cook until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup (about 4 minutes).
  4. Cook pasta in boiling water with 1 tablespoon kosher salt according to package directions, omitting additional fat. Drain. Add pasta, remaining salt, and pepper to onion mixture; toss gently. Place about 1 cup pasta in each of 4 shallow bowls; sprinkle each serving with 2 tablespoons panko mixture.

–Recipe courtesy FFTY newsletter/Cooking Light.

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Posted by on May 11, 2012 in Uncategorized


Crustless Chard and Bacon Quiche

As per usual, I needed to use up some FFTY chard, so I thought I’d try something new. It’s always dangerous to realize you’re cooking from a recipe that is identified as “Southern Food” but despite containing bacon, it didn’t seem incredibly unhealthy. I mean, it has chard, right?!


  • 1 cup chopped purple onion [I used a yellow onion]
  • 3 cups chopped Swiss chard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 to 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 3 cups sharp Cheddar cheese [I used caramelized onion Cheddar – yum!]
  • 5 large eggs, beaten


  1. Grease a 9-inch pie plate or spray with nonstick baking spray. Heat oven to 350°.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Cook the onion until just tender. Add chopped chard and continue cooking, stirring, until the chard is wilted. Toss with the salt and pepper and crumbled bacon. Stir in the cheese and beaten eggs.
  3. Pour into the prepared pie plate. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the quiche is firm and lightly browned around the edges.

–Recipe courtesy Diana Rattray/

Finished quiche:

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Posted by on May 9, 2012 in Uncategorized