Archive for June, 2011


Blueberry Peach Clafoutis

June 27, 2011

My friends insist that “clafoutis” is not a word, but it is! Clafoutis is a French dessert made of fruit and sweet batter. This one is with peaches and blueberries, but any fruits (especially stone fruits like cherries and nectarines) would work. What I like about this particular version is that the batter is pretty mild and not particularly sweet. My neighbor said it was almost like a “pancake baked with fruit” — and it would indeed be tasty for breakfast, even though we had it for dessert one summer night!

You will need:

  • 3 T margarine
  • 3 T vegetable oil
  • 1 c  flour
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 t nutmeg
  • 1 c skim milk
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 3 ripe but firm peaches, pitted and sliced into eight wedges and then halved
  • 1 pint blueberries

Then you…

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Place margarine and oil in a seasoned, cast iron skillet (or substitute a 9×13″ baking pan). Heat in the oven until melted.
  3. In a large, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
  4. Stir in the milk and vanilla.
  5. Pour the melted margarine mixture into the batter and stir to combine. Batter can be slightly lumpy.
  6. Pour the batter into the hot pan.
  7. Spoon peaches and blueberries evenly into the batter.
  8. Bake  approx. 50 minutes, or until the top of the cobbler is browned and the batter around the fruit is completely set.
  9. Allow to cool at least 15 minutes on a rack before trying to eat.
  10. Best served warm!

Caution! When this first comes out of the oven, the fruit will be extremely hot!


Lemon Chip Cookie Bars

June 23, 2011

Summer makes me want citrus everything. I brought these to a BBQ at my brother’s apartment and every time someone opened the box, the smell of lemon came rolling out. It was great!

You will need:

  • 1/2 c butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 c sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 1/2 c  flour
  • 1/2 c mini semisweet chocolate chips

Then you…

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar.
  3. Beat in the egg whites, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract.
  4. Stir in the baking soda, salt and flour until well mixed.
  5. Mix in the mini chocolate chips.
  6. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake approximately 30 minutes, or until lightly golden and set in the middle.
  7. Allow to cool before removing from the baking dish.

Mushroom Ragu with Parmesan Polenta

June 17, 2011

Some friends recently came to visit, and one typically eats vegetarian while the other is a meat-eater. I wanted some that made everyone go back for more, so I made a mushroom ragu over cream, Parmesan polenta. It was a total hit!

You will need:

  • 2 T butter
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 oz shitaake mushrooms, sliced (and de-stemmed)
  • 1 T fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 t fresh thyme, de-stemmed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 c milk
  • 2 c vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 c ground polenta
  • 1 c Parmesan, grated

Then you…

  1. In a large sauce pan, bring the milk and stock to a boil with bay leaves.
  2. Remove the bay leaves before whisking in the polenta.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer until thick, about 10 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Remove from the heat and mix in the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. In a nonstick skillet, melt the butter.
  6. Add the onion and saute 5 minutes.
  7. Add in the mushrooms and saute until veggies begin to caramelize.
  8. Stir in the sage and thyme; season with salt and pepper.
  9. Serve with the ragu on top of the warm polenta.


Summer Squash Gratin

June 12, 2011


Simple and tasty. Enjoy!

You will need:

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 large summer squash, sliced into 1/4″ rounds (and halved if particularly wide)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 1 and 1/2 T butter, divided
  • 1/2 t ground mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 c cheddar, shredded
  • 1/2 c light sour cream
  • 1/2 c bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c Romano cheese, grated

Then you…

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and grease an 8×8 casserole dish (roughly 2-quarts).
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the squash, onion and one clove of garlic for about 5 minutes, until starting to soften.
  3. Stir in 1/2 T butter along with the mustard, salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  5. Stir in the shredded cheddar and sour cream.
  6. Pour the squash mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  7. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the skillet.
  8. Add the garlic and saute about 1 minute. Stir in the bread crumbs and lightly toast.
  9. Remove from the heat and mix in the shredded Romano.
  10. Top the squash mixture with the bread crumbs.
  11. Bake 25 minutes, or until bubbly and toasty!

Apple Pecan Coffee Cake

June 8, 2011

There’s a cinnamon coffee cake that you can get at one of my favorite coffee shops near home. The other morning I was missing home, so I thought I’d mix up a coffee cake of my own with some apples I recently got through my farm share. In my hunt for ideas, I adapted the following from a Deen family recipe. I think you’ll really like this one!

You will need:

  • 1 1/4 c vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 t almond extract
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • Scant 3 1/4 c flour3 apples, diced
  • 1 c pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • 2 T honey
  • 2-3 T milk

Then you…

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 and lightly grease a Bundt pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the oil, eggs and sugar.
  3. Whisk in the extracts, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt.
  4. Whisk in the flour until well combined.
  5. Gently stir in the chopped apples and nuts.
  6. Spread batter into the prepared pan and bake for approx. 90 minutes (tester in middle should come out clean).
  7. Allow coffee cake to cool in the pan for an hour before removing and cooling completely.
  8. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar with the honey and milk. Adjust the milk amount until the glaze is a drizzling consistency.
  9. Drizzle to taste!

NOTE: May be refrigerated for up to 3-5 days (if it lasts that long!)

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