Monday, August 27, 2012

Mediterranean Summer Tomatoes

By Abby McLean


5 fresh tomatoes
5 shallots, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
curshed red pepper
1 loaf french bread, for dipping


Slice the tomatoes and arrange them in serving dish. Sprinkle the shallots over the tomatoes. Whisk the olive oil and balsamic vinegar together, then pour over the tomatoes. Add crushed red pepper to taste. Let stand 5 minutes before serving, or refrigerate for up to 3 days. Eat with French bread, and dip the bread in marinade when finished with the tomatoes.

Mediterranean Salad

By Jenn Sibiga


3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (1 lb) box Israeli couscous (or any small pasta)
3 cups chicken stock
2 lemons, juiced
1 lemon, zested
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted


In a medium saucepan, warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the couscous and cook until toasted and lightly browned, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Carefully add the stock, and the juice of 1 lemon, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the couscous is tender, but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the couscous.

In a large bowl, toss the cooked couscous with the remaining olive oil, remaining lemon juice, zest, salt, and pepper and let cool.

Once the couscous is room temperature, add the fresh herbs and almonds. Toss to combine and serve.

Wild Mushroom Goat Cheese Flatbreads

By Julie Drinkwater

1 3/4 cups bread flour
3 (6-inch) sprigs
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil plus more for brushing
Kosher salt
Preheat oven to 450°F with a heavy baking sheet on rack in middle.
Stir together flour, chopped rosemary, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in center, then add water and oil and gradually stir into flour with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Knead dough gently on a work surface 4 or 5 times.
Divide dough into 3 pieces and roll out into 8" thin rounds. Place on a sheet of parchment paper into a 10-inch round (shape can Sprinkle with sea salt and chopped rosemary. Slide round (still on parchment) onto preheated baking sheet and bake until pale golden and browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes.

Olive oil 1/4
2 cups assorted mushrooms, dried porchini (soaked) baby portabella, crimini (all diced)
2 Tbls diced shallots
chopped rosemary (left over from the bread)
4 cloves black garlic diced

Heat oil on medium in pan, saute garlic and shallots for 1 minute.  Add mushrooms, cook 1 more minute.
Spoon mixture over flat breads, add pieces of goat cheese and chopped rosemary.

Garden Fresh Pizza

By Becky Cleaver

½ c reduced fat chives & onion cream cheese
1 pkg (10 oz) pre-baked Italian pizza crust (two 8” crusts)
½ cucumber, chopped
1 plum/Roma tomato, seeds removed and chopped
1/3 c pitted kalamata olives, cut in half

Spread cream cheese over pizza crusts. Sprinkle cucumber, tomato, and olives on top.

For crispier crust, bake or toast slightly before spreading the cream cheese.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

By Julie Drinkwater

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

From Country Woman Magazine circa 1990

  • Prep: 25 min. Bake: 55 min. + cooling
  • Yield: 16 Servings

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds


  • In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar; cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; reserving 1 cup crumb mixture.
  • To remaining crumb mixture, add baking powder, soda, salt, sour cream, egg and almond extract; blend well. Spread batter over bottom and 2 in. up side of greased and floured 9-in. springform pan. (Batter should be 1/4 in thick on sides.)
  • In small bowl, beat the cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar and egg until smooth. Pour over batter in pan. Carefully spoon jam evenly over cheese filling.
  • In a small bowl, combine reserved flour mixture and almonds; sprinkle over top. Bake at 350° for 55-60 minutes or until cream cheese filling is set and crust is a deep golden brown. Cool 15 minutes. Remove sides of pan. Serve warm or cool. Cover and refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 16 servings.

Sausage and Cheddar Cheese Strata

By Jen Jaromin

24 ounces ground breakfast sausage (half hot, half regular)
4 eggs, beaten
2.5 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon dried sage
.75 teaspoon kosher salt
.25 teaspoon pepper
6 potato bread slices, crusts removed (or other white bread)
2 cups grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, parsley, or green onion

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking dish
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook sausage, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly browned, 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
3. Whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, sage, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.
4. Layer the bread in the prepared baking dish and top with the sausage. Pour the egg misture over the sausage and top with the cheese.
5. Bake until strata is set in the middle, about 30 minutes, do not overcook.
6. Let cool for 15-20 minutes. Garnish with the chives just before serving.

Breakfast Casserole

By Allison Soine

1 lb pork sausage
1 8oz pkg crescent rolls
8oz shredded mozzarella
4 eggs
3/4 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Brown sausage.
Roll crescent dough into 9x13in casserole dish. Sprinkle sausage and cheese. Mix eggs, milk, and spices together and pour on top. Bake for 15 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

French Toast Bake

By Christina Myers

Day old french bread (cut into slices)
5 eggs
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup packed brown sugar, divided (3/4 and 1/4 cup)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg or all-spice
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional or sub walnuts)
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup fresh/frozen blueberries
cinnamon to taste

Arange sliced bread in a greased 13x9in pan. In a bowl, combine eggs, milk, 3/4 cup brown sugar, vanilla and nutmeg. Pour over bread, cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Remove 30 minutes before baking and flip bread. Sprinkle with pecans. Combine melted butter and 1/4 cup of brown sugar and drizzle over top of bread. Bake at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Sprinkle with blueberries. Bake for 10 minutes or until center is done when toothpick is inserted. Let cool 10 minutes, cut, and serve.

Optional: Serve with powdered sugar or syrup.

Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole

By Christina Myers

1 pkg frozen hash-browns
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped onions (optional)
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (optional)
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup melted butter
2 cup cheddar cheese


2 cup crushed corn flakes
1/2 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine hash browns, onions, peppers, salt, soup, and sour cream. Mix in melted butter and cheese. mix well. Spread mixture into 13x9 greased baking dish. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Mix melted butter and crushed corn flakes, spread topping over potatoes and back another 10 minutes.

Baked Bacon

By Kate Wolf

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Arrange bacon on a slotted backing sheet and bake to crisp, 15-18 minutes.

Note: I line a cookie sheet with foil, then stand my cooking cooling rack on top of the cookie sheet, and then arrange the bacon on the cooling rack to bake. This way, the grease drips onto the foil for easy clean up.

Baked Oatmeal

By Kelly Frey


3 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
6 1/2 droppers full stevia
1/2 cup Sucanat or brown sugar (Note: if not using any Stevia, increase your choice of sugar to 1 cup)
1 banana, sliced
1 cup fruit of your choice-- frozen or fresh blueberries, fresh or dried cranberries, frozen or fresh mango, or chocolate chips
5 cups old fashioned oats
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup flax seed, ground
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 1/2 cup 1% milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix eggs, vanilla, applesauce, and Stevia until combined. Add Sucanat, banana, and other fruit of your choice (if using chocolate chips, add them last). In another bowl, mix oats, salt, baking powder, flax seed, and cinnamon. Dump dry ingredients into wet ingredients; mix well. Pour in milk and stir until combined. Spray one 12 and one 6 cup muffin tin with cooking spray or use cupcake liners. Scoop mixture evenly into muffin cups. Bake 35-40 minutes or until the center of each muffin is set. Cool and enjoy -- or freeze them in gallon freezer bags.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Baked Eggplant with Onions and Fresh Tomatoes

By Jen Jaromin

Baked Eggplant with Onions and Fresh Tomatoes

2 lbs small firm eggplants
Kosher salt
1.5  lbs ripe plum tomatoes
1 lb low-moisture mossarella, cut in half inch cubes
.25 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed to measure, chopped. 
.25 teaspoon peperoncino flakes or to taste
.5 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, peeled, sliced in half inch rounds
6 plump garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

Ingredients for breadcrumb topping:
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1.5 tablespoons chopped italian parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
.5 teaspoon dried oregano
.25 cup freshly grated cheese - pecorino, or parigiano-reggiano, etc.
Grated zest of a small lemon
2 pinches kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh basil leaves, shredded, for serving (optional)

1. Trim the stem and bottom ends of each eggplant and shave off ribbons of skin lengthwise with a vegetable peeler, creating a zebra-striped pattern all around. Slice into half inch think rounds. Lightly salt the slices on both sides, using about a tablespoon in all, and layer rounds in a colander, set in the sink. Put a plate over the slices  and weight with cans or heavy objects to press out liquid. Let drain for 30-60 minutes then rinse, and pat dry with paper towels.
2. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400 degrees F.
3. Trim the stem end of the tomatoes, cut in half crosswise. Squeeze the halves over a strainer set in a bowl, scraping out and catching the seeds in the strainer and collecting the tomato juices in the bowl. Cut the tomatoes into half inch chunks, put them all in  a bowl, and toss with the cubes of cheese, chopped basil, peperoncino, .75 teaspoon salt, and 4 tablespoons of the olive oil.
4. Brush the bottom and sides of the baking dish with a tablespoon of olive oil. Lay the onion rounds in the bottom in one layer, with the garlic cloves scattered among them, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Lay the eggplant slices over the onions in an even layer, overlapping if needed. Scatter the tomato and cheese chunks evenly on top of the eggplant, and drizzle the collected tomato juices all over. 
5. Put the bread crumbs and all the dry seasoning in a bowl, toss to blend, then drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil, and toss well, until crumbs are evenly moistened. Sprinkle them evenly over the top of the eggplant, tomato, and cheese layer.
6. Tent the baking dish with a sheet of foil, arching it so it doesn't touch the crumb topping and press against the sides. Set the dish on a baking sheet, place in oven, and bake for 45 minutes, until the juices are bubbling actively. Remove the foil, and continue baking for another 30 minutes or so, until the eggplant is lightly  caramelized on the edges but tender and easily pierced with the tip of a knife, and the bread-crumb topping is browned and crisp.
7. Let the eggplant rest for 20 minutes before serving. Serve as you would lasagna. If you like, sprinkle shredded fresh basil over each portion.