BAKED/ Baked Goods

    Apple and Honey Galette

    Apple and Honey Galette

    Here’s the thing, there’s a lot of pressure when baking a pie. Sure, everyone expects it to be delicious, but people also expect pies to be pretty. There’s crimping the edges or making a lattice top or cutting out maple leaves out of the excess dough and arranging them into some sort of cornucopia — whatever it is, people expect beauty. Enter the galette. A galette is intentionally rustic. It’s the imperfections that give it it’s undeniable beauty. And here’s the best part — the fruit to crust filling ratio favors the crust more than a pie. So each bite is perfectly balanced.

    Apple and Honey Galette

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    Serves: 8

    Ingredients

    • 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 10 tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks)
    • chilled unsalted butter,
    • cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    • 2-4 tablespoons ice water
    • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
    • 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
    • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • 1 egg, beaten (for brushing on pastry)
    • 2 teaspoons course sugar

    Instructions

    1

    Blend flour, salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal and some pieces of butter are about the size of chickpeas. Add 2 tablespoons ice water and pulse until dough begins to clump together. The dough should feel like wet sand. Add more water if needed. Form the dough into a ball and flatten into a disc. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

    2

    Bring the dough back to room temperature and roll out dough on well floured surface to 1/8-inch-thick round, 14 inches in diameter. Transfer dough to a parchment lined baking sheet. Chill 15 minutes.

    3

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    4

    Combine apple slices, 2 tablespoons sugar, honey and lemon zest in medium bowl; toss to cover all of the apples. Arrange apple slices in concentric circles, overlapping slightly and leaving 1 1/2 inch border. Fold plain crust border over apples, crimping as you go. Pinch together any cracks. Don’t worry, it should look rustic. Brush crust with egg. Sprinkle crust edges and apples with course sugar.

    5

    Bake galette 30-40 minutes until crust is golden. Remove from oven and slide a knife between parchment and galette. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature. Drizzle with more honey if desired for an extra sweet year.

    BAKED/ Baked Goods/ Breakfast/ Desserts

    Mixed Berry Galette

    Mixed Berry Galette

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    Serves: 8
    Prep Time: 2 1/2 hours Cooking Time: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    • For the dough (or just buy frozen pie crust)
    • 1 ⅓ cups flour
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 large egg
    • Heavy cream, as needed
    • 1 stick butter, cut into cubes
    • Filling
    • 3 cups of mixed berries
    • 1/2 cup of sugar, plus more for sprinkling
    • pinch of salt
    • juice of half a lemon and the zest
    • 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
    • eggwash
    • 1 egg and a little milk
    • sugar for sprinkling

    Instructions

    1

    In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse very briefly-you want pieces of butter the size of chickpeas. Don't be tempted to over do it.

    2

    Whisk the egg in a measuring cup and add enough cream so you have 1/3 of a cup of liquid.

    3

    Add it to the flour and butter mixture and pulse until it just comes together.

    4

    Pour the dough out onto a floured board and form into a disc. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to three days.

    5

    Roll out the dough into a 12-inch circle and refrigerate again while you make the filling.

    6

    In the meantime make the filling by combining all the filling ingredients in a bowl.

    7

    Place the berried in the middle and leave about 1 1/2 inches border. Fold up the edges of the dough over the filling, crimping as you go so it stays together. Brush the dough with an egg wash and sprinkle with more sugar.

    8

    Bake at 400 degrees until the center is bubbling- about 35-45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

    BAKED/ Baked Goods/ Desserts

    Banana Yogurt Bread with Chocolate Chips

    Yogurt Banan Bread

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    Serves: 1 loaf
    Cooking Time: 1 hour

    Ingredients

    • 3/4 cup greek plain yogurt
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 cups flour
    • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 3/4 tsp baking soda
    • 3 large over-ripe bananas, mashed
    • 1 cup chocolate chips

    Instructions

    1

    Preheat oven to 350°.

    2

    Grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan.

    3

    In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda.

    4

    In a large bowl, mix yogurt and sugars together and add eggs and vanilla. Stir until combined.

    5

    Add the mashed bananas and combine well.

    6

    Add the dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated.

    7

    Add chips and stir to mix in.

    8

    Pour mixture into a greased and floured 9x5 inch loaf pan.

    9

    Bake at 350° for one hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

    Notes

    I actually messed up and left out the brown sugar. And ya know, it was still pretty good and there's less sugar. So yeah, that happened.

    Uncategorized

    New Orleans Shrimp

    New Orleans Shrimp

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    By Mrs. Kossenfloffer Serves: 4
    Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 45 minutes

    Truthfully, I am not sure if this is a classic shrimp creole or an etoufee. Whatever it is, it's pretty delish!

    Ingredients

    • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 ½ pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 medium-size onion, chopped
    • 1 green and 1 red bell pepper, diced
    • 3 ribs celery, diced
    • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne (1/4 teaspoon will make it pretty hot)
    • 2 cups vegetable stock
    • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
    • Freshly ground pepper to taste
    • 3 scallions, thinly sliced

    Instructions

    1

    Season the shrimp with a little salt and pepper.

    2

    In a large saute pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil, add the shrimp and cook until pink. Remove the shrimp to a bowl and set aside.

    3

    In the same saute pan, add 3 tablespoons of butter and the flour and cook over medium heat to make a roux. Cook until it is a medium brown color. Set aside.

    4

    In a large saute pan (or even a Dutch oven) saute the onion, celery and peppers in butter and olive oil until the onions are translucent and the vegetables are soft.

    5

    Add the garlic and cook for one or two minutes

    6

    Add tomatoes and thyme and oregano and cayenne some stock

    7

    Stir in the reserved roux

    8

    Season with salt and pepper to taste

    9

    Simmer over low heat until it has thickened a bit and all the flavors are combined. At least 10 minutes.

    10

    Add the shrimp back in and stir until they are warmed up.

    11

    Garnish with the scallions.

    Notes

    Serve with rice.

    ENTREES/ SIDES/ Vegetarian

    Savory Tarts

    Puff Pastry Tarts Two Ways

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    Serves: 8
    Prep Time: 1 hour Cooking Time: 25 minutes

    Go out right now and get some frozen puff pastry. Seriously, this stuff is sort of a modern miracle. There are a zillion things you can make with it from palmiers to tarts. Go experiment and have fun. Or just make these tarts like I did.

    Ingredients

    • 1 package frozen puff pastry (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) defrosted
    • 4-5 yellow onions, thinly sliced
    • 4 cloves of garlic, mined
    • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme (or you can use 1 teaspoon dried)
    • 3 tablespoons vermouth (or you can use white wine, I just didnt' have any open)
    • 3-4 portobello mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
    • 8 ounces herbed goat cheese
    • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • Olive Oil
    • fresh basil, sliced

    Instructions

    1

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

    2

    Unfold the puff pastry sheet and on a lightly floured surface roll it until it is 11 by 11 inches.

    3

    Cut it in half. You will now have 2 rectangles. Place the rectangles on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

    4

    In a large skillet over medium-low heat, heat the olive oil and then add the onions and garlic. Saute for 15-20 minutes until the onions are wilted. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, the vermouth and the thyme. Keep cooking for another 15-20 minutes until the onions are light brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.

    5

    Using a paring knife, score a 1/4 inch wide border around each puff pastry rectangle. Be careful not to cut through the pastry. Within the rectangle, prick the pastry with a fork a few times. This will allow the edges to rise, while the center of the tart won’t get too puffy. Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese on each tart, staying within the border.

    6

    Place some of the onion mixture on each rectangle, again staying within the border. Using your hands, crumble a little bit of the goat cheese over each tart. Arrange the sliced tomatoes on top and sprinkle with a little more Parmesan cheese on top.

    7

    Bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry has done its thing and is puffy and golden. You can serve these warm from the oven or they are even great room temperature.

    8

    For the mushroom tart, saute the mushrooms in a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes until soft. Follow the same instructions for the tomato tart, just top with the mushrooms instead of tomatoes

    ENTREES/ Italian/ Uncategorized

    Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

    I made this for the hubby and myself on a night when we just felt like renting a movie and staying in. It was a perfect choice for that sort of evening. We ate this as our dinner, but you could easily serve it as an impressive first course. Also, think of this recipe as more of a suggestion. You can stuff these with pretty much anything you find appealing. Let your creative juices flow.

    Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

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    By Mrs. Kossenfloffer Serves: 3-6
    Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 6 portobello mushrooms, cleaned, stems and gills removed
    • 4 Italian sausages, removed from casings (I used sweet Italian chicken sausages)
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 2-3 stalks of celery, diced
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
    • 1/2 cup chicken stock (or a little wine or even just water)
    • 1 handful parsley, chopped
    • 6-10 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
    • olive oil
    • red pepper flakes (optional)
    • Kosher salt and pepper
    • 1 pint grape tomatoes (optional)
    • 1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
    • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

    Instructions

    1

    Preheat oven to 375.

    2

    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the mushrooms stem side down and the tomatoes on the sheet. Drizzle with a touch of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the mushrooms have given off some of their water. Remove from oven and set aside.

    3

    In a large pan, saute the sausage in olive oil until cooked through. Add the onions and celery and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle the panko over the top and stir to combine. Add the stock or wine or water just to moisten the mixture a bit. This just makes it easier to stuff the mushrooms. Add a few pepper flakes and parsley, mix and taste for seasoning. (If you let the mixture cool a bit, you can moisten it with a lightly beaten egg too — that never hurt anything.)

    4

    Flip the mushrooms over so they are gills side up. Place a generous mound of the filling on each cap. Top with a sprinkling of both cheeses. Place the mushrooms, along with the tomatoes, back in the oven and cook for another 15-20 minutes until the cheese has melted. Remove from oven and top with basil and maybe some more parsley. If you like, serve with red sauce.

    ENTREES

    Chicken Cannellini

    After a long day at work, this is a simple and homey meal packed with flavor. Serve the chicken with a crusty French bread for sauce soakage. This meal may be easy, but you could easily serve it at a casual dinner party with a tossed green salad.

    Roasted Chicken Thighs with Cannellini Beans and Grape Tomatoes

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    By Mrs. Kossenfloffer Serves: 4-6
    Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour

    This is a low maintenance meal, but it is still packed with flavor thanks to the lemon and garlic and thyme. I swear, I would marry my sheetpans.

    Ingredients

    • 8 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
    • 2 15 ounce cans of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 pint grape tomatoes
    • 7-8 garlic cloves, peeled
    • 1 lemon, sliced
    • 5-6 sprigs fresh thyme
    • Olive oil
    • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

    Instructions

    1

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

    2

    Place the cannellini beans and the grape tomatoes and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet. I recommend lining the sheet pan with parchment paper. It prevents sticking and makes clean up faster. Scatter the lemon slices and the thyme over the beans.

    3

    Sprinkle the under side of the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Then nestle the chicken skin side up on top of the beans. Drizzle olive oil over the chicken and the beans. Run the oil on the chicken so it is all coated. Sprinkle the whole shebang with salt and pepper.

    4

    Pop in the oven and cook for 45 minutes to an hour.

    Notes

    You can garnish the dish with a few uncooked lemon slices and sprigs of thyme. So either save a few slices of lemons, or just buy two lemons. And if you don't have a lemon, it wouldn't be the end of the world. You could make this with chicken breasts but they cook a lot faster than the thighs.

    ENTREES/ Uncategorized/ Vegetarian

    Porcini Pappardelle

    Porcini pappardelle is a classic recipe. I’ve tweaked it a touch by adding cremini mushrooms. In my opinion, you can never have too many mushrooms, so be free and add as many as you like. Just keep in mind when you are sauteing mushrooms, you should never overcrowd the pan or the mushrooms will steam instead of saute. You’re looking for that lovely brown color we all adore. I used half and half here, but you could easily skip that altogether and replace it with a little reserved pasta water, or go creamier and use heavy cream for a more decadent dish. Either way, if you love mushrooms, you will love this meal!

    Porcini Pappardelle (Mushroom Madness)

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    By Mrs. Kossenfloffer Serves: 4
    Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes

    A delightful and company-worthy pasta dish.

    Ingredients

    • 12 ounces pappardelle
    • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
    • 1 pound Cremini mushrooms, sliced
    • 4 tablespoons butter
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 shallot minced, or 2 tablespoons onion, minced
    • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
    • 1/2 cup half and half (or heavy cream)
    • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (plus more for serving )
    • Fresh parsley, chopped
    • Salt and pepper

    Instructions

    1

    Cook the pasta according to package directions.

    2

    Place the porcini mushrooms into a heat safe bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit until the mushrooms are soft, about 20-30 minutes. Drain and reserve the mushroom water. Use a cheesecloth to make sure you get all the grit out of the water. Then chop the porcinis.

    3

    In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil. Add the cremini mushrooms in a single layer and saute until brown on both sides. Do not overcrowd the pan. You will probably have to do this in 2 batches. Remove mushrooms from the pan and reserve.

    4

    Add more butter and olive oil to the pan as needed. Saute the garlic, shallot and thyme for 1-2 minutes and then add the porcini mushrooms. Saute until they give off all of their water.

    5

    Add 1 cup of the reserved mushroom water and stir. Then add the half and half and cook until it thickens up a bit.

    6

    Add the pasta to the sauce and stir well. Add the Parmesan cheese and parsley and stir to combine. Top with more parsley and shaved Parmesan.

    Baked Goods/ Desserts

    Pinwheel Cookies

    As if cookies need to be pretty in order to get us to love them. But ya know, sometimes the occasion calls for something a little more decorative. And who doesn’t love vanilla and chocolate together. Nobody, that’s who.

    Pinwheel Cookies

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    By Mrs. Kossenfloffer Serves: 40 cookies-ish
    Prep Time: 2 hours Cooking Time: 10 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup)
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 3 cups of flour
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 6 tablespoons milk
    • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted

    Instructions

    1

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

    2

    Sift the dry ingredients together, set aside.

    3

    Cream the butter and sugar together.

    4

    Add the egg yolks and beat until combined. Add the milk and vanilla and mix well.

    5

    Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

    6

    Take out half the dough, split it in half. On parchment paper, press both pieces into a rectangle. Wrap each in plastic and chill until firm.

    7

    Add the melted chocolate to the remaining dough and mix until blended in. Split the chocolate dough in half and flatten both pieces into a rectangle. Wrap each in plastic and chill until firm.

    8

    Pat each piece of dough into a thin rectangle. Place a piece of the chocolate dough on the vanilla dough. Roll up and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill until firm and then slice each roll thinly. Repeat with remaining dough.

    9

    Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on racks.

    10

    Bake on cookie sheets lined with parchment for 10 minutes. Remove and let coo on racks. .

    ENTREES/ Italian/ Seafood

    Shrimp Marsala

    Shrimp Marsala

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    Serves: 6

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 red onion, diced
    • 3 ribs celery, sliced 1/4-inch thick
    • 6 plum tomatoes, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
    • 2 tablespoons currents
    • or white raisins
    • 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed
    • and drained
    • 1 cup dry Marsala wine
    • 3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
    • 3/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 3 pounds jumbo shrimp,
    • peeled and deveined
    • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • fresh parsley or basil for garnish

    Instructions

    1

    preparation

    2

    In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and celery to pan and sauté until it is soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes, pine nuts, currents, capers, marsala, fennel seeds and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat.

    3

    Once the mixture is at a low simmer, add the shrimp. Toss to combine and cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. Serve as is or over polenta.

    4

    For the Polenta

    5

    In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and slowly add 1 cup of the polenta in a steady stream, whisking as you go. Whisk constantly to avoid lumps. Add salt and pepper to taste and keep stirring, now using a wooden spoon for about 10 minutes until the polenta is thick. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in about 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and 2-4 tablespoons of butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.

    ENTREES/ Italian

    Figgy Piggy Chicky

    Chicken breasts stuffed with fig preserves, serrano ham, brie and sage

    If you are in the market for a convenient yet impressive make-ahead dish, look no further. The chicken (chicky) is filled with fig preserves (figgy) serrano ham (piggy), brie and fresh sage for a true flavor explosion. For the full recipe, see the next page.

    Figgy Piggy Chicky

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    Serves: 4

    Ingredients

    • Figgy Piggy Chicken
    • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    • 4 tablespoons fig preserves
    • 4 slices of serrano ham
    • 8 slices of brie (about 6 ounces)
    • 1 handful of fresh spinach leaves
    • 4-6 large sage leaves, chopped
    • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
    • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • Sautéed Spinach
    • 1 1/2 pounds fresh baby spinach, washed and dried
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    • 3-5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
    • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

    Instructions

    1

    Directions

    2

    Preheat the oven to 375.

    3

    Using a sharp knife, cut a slit in each chicken breast. Be careful not to cut through the chicken. You want to form a pocket for the filling and you don’t want any leaks. Season the inside pocket and the outside of the chicken generously with salt and pepper.

    4

    Next spread one tablespoon of fig preserves inside each breast. Sprinkle the chopped sage inside each breast. Then place one piece of ham; two slices of brie; and a few spinach leaves in each pocket.

    5

    Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Place the chicken in the pan and cook until golden brown. Flip the chicken and repeat on the other side. Remove the chicken to a baking dish. You don’t have to cook the chicken all the way through. It will finish cooking in the oven.

    6

    In a large pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic cloves just until they start to turn golden. Add the spinach and the salt and pepper. Stir the spinach with a wooden spoon and cook until wilted.

    7

    Add the spinach to the baking dish with the chicken, nestling the chicken into the spinach. Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

    8

    Do ahead: You can prepare the chicken up to the point where you are ready to bake it in the oven. Park the chicken and spinach in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it.

    Asian/ ENTREES/ Pasta

    Thai Red Curry Coconut Soup with Chicken Meatballs

    This recipe comes together quickly and thanks to the noodles and the meatballs, it’s filling enough to serve as a meal! This recipe will serve four to five people. You can easily add more noodles to serve one or two more noodle-loving friends

    Thai Red Curry Coconut Soup with Chicken Meatballs

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    Serves: 4-5

    Honestly, I fell in love with this soup. Don't tell my husband. It's packed with flavor and it's creamy and spicy and with all the meatballs and noodles, it's a complete meal. I was inspired by both the New York Times and Half Baked Harvest who both have a version of this soup. Also, I used fettuccine, but I think those flat rice noodles would be the bomb (my daughter prefers the fettuccine.) Don't skimp on toppings. We topped ours with thinly sliced red onions, sliced scallions, red pepper flakes and halved grape tomatoes and more basil and cilantro.

    Ingredients

    • For the Chicken Meatballs
    • 1 pound ground chicken
    • 2-3 scallions, finely chopped
    • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
    • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or grated
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • neutral oil such as vegetable or canola for rolling
    • For the Soup
    • 2-4 tablespoons coconut oil
    • 1/4 cup Thai red curry paste
    • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated.
    • 2 15-ouncs cans coconut milk (full fat)
    • 3 cups vegetable stock (see note)
    • 1 bunch of blue kale, hard ribs removed and sliced to bite sized pieces
    • 2-3 tablespoons fish sauce (start with 2 and taste, this will depend on what brand you use. I like Red Boat Fish Sauce. You can substitute soy sauce too.)
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • 8 ounces fettuccine noodles, cooked to package directions (or whatever noodle you choose)
    • 1/4 cup cilantro and/or basil, chopped, plus more for serving
    • lime wedges, thinly sliced red onions, sliced scallions, red pepper flakes and halved grape tomatoes for serving

    Instructions

    1

    Directions

    2

    To make the meatballs, combine the chicken, scallions, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix until it is just combined. Coat your hands with oil and roll into balls about a tablespoon in size. You should have about 15.

    3

    Heat a large Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat. Add the coconut oil and when it’s hot, cook the meatballs on all sides until they are brown and crisp on the outside. Remove and set aside.

    4

    Add a little more oil to the pan and add the Thai red curry paste, ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant — just 1 or 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, broth, fish sauce, sugar, herbs and kale. Add the meatballs back in. Cook for another 10-15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through and the kale has softened.

    5

    Place the noodles in the serving bowls and pour the soup over. Top each bowl with the toppings you choose.

    Notes

    To make an easy vegetable stock, place 1 quartered onion, 2-3 carrots, 1 head of garlic (halved crosswise), 2-inches of ginger, 2-3 scallions, 4-6 shitake mushrooms and salt and pepper in a heavy bottom pot with a touch of neutral oil. Cook for a few minutes until a tiny bit brown. Add 2 quarts of water, bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 hours. Drain and discard veggies. Voila — veggie stock. Or just buy it.

    Asian/ ENTREES/ Seafood

    Commander Tso’s Cod

    Celebrate the Chinese New Year on Jan. 25 with this better-than-take-out twist on a classic.

    According to The New York Times General Tso’s chicken is not really named for Tso Tsungt’ang, a 19th-century general. Although, he is believed to have enjoyed the dish, this ubiquitous offering traces its roots to Peng Chang-kuei, a chef who created the dish in 1950s Taiwan. Later, when he moved to the United States in 1973, he brought his recipe along with him. Once here, he sweetened it to appeal to Americans.


    Here I have replaced the chicken with cod and toned down the sweetness just a bit. But feel free to add more sugar if you like. And because I love a good alliteration, I’ve named it Commander Tso’s Cod — after no one in particular.



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    Serves: 2

    Ingredients

    • For the sauce
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
    • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
    • 3-4 tablespoons water
    • chili flakes to taste
    • ½-1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
    • For the fish
    • 12 ounces cod filets
    • 2 ½ teaspoons soy sauce
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 2 tablespoons corn starch
    • Oil for frying (peanut or any neutral oil)
    • 2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
    • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
    • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
    • Scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish

    Instructions

    1

    Combine all of the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set aside.

    2

    To prepare the fish, cut each filet into bite sized pieces. Add the soy sauce and egg yolk and mix well. Stir in the corn starch and 2 teaspoons neutral oil and set aside.

    3

    Pour the peanut oil into a large wok or large frying pan. (You want enough oil so it comes up at least half way on the fish.) Set over high heat until the oil is hot. (I test the oil by putting a damp toothpick in the oil. If it sizzles, it’s ready) Add half the fish and fry until crispy and golden. Using a slotted spoon, move the fish to a plate. Repeat with the rest of the fish. Pour the oil into a heatproof container and wipe the wok or pan clean.

    4

    Place the wok or pan over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons peanut oil. Once the oil is hot, add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds, until fragrant. Add the reserved sauce. It will thicken a little as it cooks. Return the fish to the wok and stir carefully to coat. You don’t want the fish to break up. Remove from the heat, stir in the sesame oil and top with scallions. Serve with rice and roasted Brussels sprouts.

    5

    For the Brussels sprouts

    6

    Trim one pound of Brussels sprouts and cut in half. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place a rimmed sheet-pan in the oven to get hot.

    7

    Toss the Brussels sprouts in a mixing bowl with 1-2 tablespoons of a neutral oil and kosher salt to taste.

    8

    Carefully remove the sheet-pan from the oven and spread the Brussels sprouts on the sheet-pan cut side down. Return the pan to the oven and roast for 20-30 minutes until they are brown and crispy on the cut side.

    ENTREES/ Uncategorized/ Vegetarian

    Veggie Korma

    Veggie Korma

    This recipe was inspired by betterfoodguru.com. Follow her on the Insta for vegan inspiration. I am not a vegan, but I am down with a vegan meal every now and then (more now than then). Korma is traditionally a creamy curry that uses yogurt or cream or both. Here, I used coconut milk to keep it in the vegan column. I served this with some killer homemade naan. My kitchen looked like a smoke bomb went off, but it was worth it.

    This curry is great with mango chutney or some yogurt raita or both. I am a slave to condiments. Obviously, no raita for vegans unless you make it with non-dairy yogurt which would probably be really good.

    Veggie Korma

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    Ingredients

    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
    • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 2 cups butternut squash cubed
    • ½ head cauliflower, cut into florets
    • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
    • 1 15 ounce can coconut milk
    • ½ cup almond flour
    • 2 cups greenbeans trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
    • 2-3 teaspoons garam masala
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric
    • 2-3 cardamom pods, bruised
    • 3-5 cloves, whole
    • 1 teaspoon coriander
    • Fresh cilantro for serving
    • Scallions, sliced for serving
    • Slivered almonds

    Instructions

    1

    Saute 1 onion until starting to turn golden.

    2

    Then add 3 cloves of minced garlic and the grated ginger and the cumin seeds and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant.

    3

    Add the squash, cauliflower, tomatoes and spices and cook until the veggies are softened.

    4

    Add a half cup of water, almond flour and coconut and stir it all up and let simmer a few minutes. Add the green beans and cook until they are as soft as you like. Serve with rice or naan or both. Top with cilantro, scallion and almonds.

    Veggie Korma

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    Ingredients

    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
    • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 2 cups butternut squash cubed
    • ½ head cauliflower, cut into florets
    • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
    • 1 15 ounce can coconut milk
    • ½ cup almond flour
    • 2 cups greenbeans trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
    • 2-3 teaspoons garam masala
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric
    • 2-3 cardamom pods, bruised
    • 3-5 cloves, whole
    • 1 teaspoon coriander
    • Fresh cilantro for serving
    • Scallions, sliced for serving
    • Slivered almonds

    Instructions

    1

    Saute 1 onion until starting to turn golden.

    2

    Then add 3 cloves of minced garlic and the grated ginger and the cumin seeds and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant.

    3

    Add the squash, cauliflower, tomatoes and spices and cook until the veggies are softened.

    4

    Add a half cup of water, almond flour and coconut and stir it all up and let simmer a few minutes. Add the green beans and cook until they are as soft as you like. Serve with rice or naan or both. Top with cilantro, scallion and almonds.

    ENTREES/ Italian/ Pasta/ Uncategorized/ Vegetarian

    Tortellini Vegetable Soup

    Tortellini soup

    This is a great one pot dinner that comes together super fast. Or shall I say souper fast. Forgive me. You can load this soup up with any veggies you like in soup. I used green beans, carrot and spinach (onions and garlic of course) and cheese tortellini. The full recipe is on my site (link in bio too). I know  I mentioned that this is a one pot meal, but I feel the need to reiterate that point. On a busy weeknight this soup that feels like a meal can be your friend

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    By Mrs. Kossenfloffer Serves: 8

    Ingredients

    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 6-7 garlic cloves, minced
    • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3-4 carrots sliced
    • 2-3 handfuls of fresh spinach or just use defrosted frozen
    • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
    • 1 quart chicken stock
    • 1 9 ounce package cheese tortellini (see note)
    • 2 cups green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-2 inch pieces
    • Red pepper flakes to taste
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
    • Fresh basil, 1 sprig left whole and the rest chopped for garnish
    • Parmesan cheese for serving
    • (I had some leftover roasted grape tomatoes that I threw in at the last minute. But you can totally leave them out.)

    Instructions

    1

    In a large pot or Dutch oven, saute the onion and carrots until soft. Add the garlic and as soon as it sizzles a little add the tomatoes and the stock. Add one large sprig of basil. Let it all simmer a bit for about 5 minutes. At this point, taste for seasoning. This will depend on how salty your stock and tomatoes are. Add the green beans and cook until they are a little soft, about 5 minutes. Stir to combine. Once warmed through, add the tor-tellini and cook as long as package says. Remove from heat, and add the parsley , the chopped basil and red pepper flakes. Remember that the tortellini will continue to cook in the warm broth, so serve as soon as they are cooked through. Divide into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese and more basil and parsley .

    Seafood

    Guilty Salmon

    Salmon with Cream Sauce with spinach, artichokes and sundried tomatoes

    So usually when I eat fish, I am eating fish because I want a lighter dinner. Not so if you plan on bathing your salmon in heavy cream. But hey, everything in moderation. And ya know, there’s spinach here too.

    Salmon with Cream Sauce

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    Ingredients

    • Salmon filets with skin on (1 per person, I was cooking for 6 here)
    • 2-4 big handfuls of fresh baby spinach
    • 1 15-ounc can artichokes, quartered
    • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 2-3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
    • Olive oil for sauteeing
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1-2 cups heavy cream, depending on how many servings you are making

    Instructions

    1

    Dry off the salmon with a paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper.

    2

    Add some olive oil to a large non-stick pan over medium high heat. When oil is hot, place the salmon filets skin side down. Leave them there for about 3-5 minutes or until you start getting a nice sear. You want crispy skin. You will see the salmon starting to turn opaque. Flip the salmon and cook until cooked through. Just another few minutes. Remove the salmon to a plate. If you are making 6 filets, I suggest doing this step in 2 batches so you don't overcrowd the pan.

    3

    Add a touch more oil to the pan and saute the onion until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two.

    4

    Turn the heat down to medium and add the heavy cream, don't boil it —just get it warm. Add the Parmesan (if using) and stir through.

    5

    Add the spinach and once it is wilted add the artichokes and sundried tomatoes. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

    6

    Now place the salmon filets back in the pan and serve it right from the pan. But be quick, you don't want the crispy salmon skin to get soft.

    7

    Alternatively, you can pool a little sauce on plates, place each filet on a plate and then spoon more sauce on top of each serving.

    ENTREES/ Italian/ Pasta

    Stuffed Shells

    Stuffed Shells

    Stuffed Shells

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    By Mrs. Kossenfloffer Serves: 6
    Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour

    Truth be told, stuffed shells has never really been my thing. Mostly because I always thought it need more flavor. So, the filling in these includes fresh spinach and artichokes and copious amounts of garlic. When making the filling, don't go all bananas measuring. Taste it before you put the egg in to see if it packs enough punch for you!

    Ingredients

    • 1 box pasta shells, cooked al dente (pull them out of water about 2 minutes shy of cooking time on box)
    • 1 cup ricotta cheese (maybe a little more )
    • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, divided, shredded on a box grater (I like to shred it myself, I feel like the preshredded doesn't get as melty)
    • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
    • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 2 cups of spinach, roughly chopped, cooked and drained (you can saute in a little oil or cheat and toss with olive oil and micowave for a bit)
    • 1/2 can artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 4 cups marinara sauce (jarred or homemade)
    • Fresh Italian parsley or basil, chopped for garnish
    • Extra Parmesan for serving

    Instructions

    1

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

    2

    Combine the ricotta, 1 cup of the mozzarella, Parmesan, garlic, spinach and artichokes in a large bowl and mix until combined. Season with salt and pepper and taste it. Now add the egg.

    3

    Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13" baking dish with about 2 cups of the sauce.

    4

    Fill each cooked shell with about a tablespoon of filling and arrange on sauce. Sprinkle more mozzarella and Parmesan on top of shells and throw the rest of the sauce on there.

    5

    Cover with foil and bake for about 35-45 minutes until bubbly. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes.

    6

    I like to put it under the broiler for about 2 minutes at the end because I like a crunch top. But keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.

    Uncategorized

    Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad

    Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad

    Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad

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    OK, really this really doesn't need a recipe so here goes. Peel, and cut up the carrots into 2-3 inch pieces, cut the thick parts of carrots in half lengthwise. Toss them with olive oil and salt and roast at 350 for about 45 minutes until they get a little browned in spots. While that's happening make the dressing. In a small bowl combine 1 clove of minced garlic, salt, pepper, a teaspoon of grainy or dijon mustard and a pinch of sugar or a dash of honey. Whisk together and add olive oil — you want to have about a 3 to 1 ration of lemon to oil. Of course you can go up or down on that ratio depending on how tangy you like it. Taste for salt and adjust. Toss some tender lettuces with a bit of the dressing and put on the bottom of the platter. When the carrots are done remove from oven and set aside. Cut up the avocado. Place the avocado and carrots over the lettuce. Drizzle dressing and sprinkle pumpkin seeds over the top. A touch of Maldon salt is good too.

    Ingredients

    • Lemon
    • Carrots
    • Dijon mustard
    • sugar or honey
    • olive oil
    • garlic
    • avocado
    • lettuce of your choice
    • pumpkin seeds

    Instructions

    1

    OK, really this really doesn't need a recipe so here goes. Peel, and cut up the carrots into 2-3 inch pieces, cut the thick parts of carrots in half lengthwise. Toss them with olive oil and salt and roast at 350 for about 45 minutes until they get a little browned in spots.

    2

    While that's happening make the dressing. In a small bowl combine 1 clove of minced garlic, salt, pepper, a teaspoon of grainy or dijon mustard and a pinch of sugar or a dash of honey. Whisk together and add olive oil — you want to have about a 3 to 1 ration of lemon to oil. Of course you can go up or down on that ratio depending on how tangy you like it. Taste for salt and adjust. Toss some tender lettuces with a bit of the dressing and put on the bottom of the platter.

    3

    When the carrots are done remove from oven and set aside. Cut up the avocado. Place the avocado and carrots over the lettuce. Drizzle dressing and sprinkle pumpkin seeds over the top. A touch of Maldon salt is good too.