August 2010

Fresh Three Bean Salad

August 30, 2010
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A couple of months ago a friend emailed me and asked what she could do with a case of canned green beans. Never mind why she had a case of canned green beans in the first place, I was stumped. Beyond the typical Thanksgiving green bean casserole (made with condensed soup and topped with canned fried onions), I had no idea because I never eat them. I just don’t like their typically limp and soggy texture.

So while I wasn’t able to help with her quandary, I’d like to share a recipe of what I don’t make with canned green beans, this Fresh Three Bean Salad. Yes, I am using canned kidney and garbanzo beans, and if you have access to fresh, you could use those too, but the quality of the canned ones are usually pretty good and much easier to find. Fresh green beans on the other …

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Soft White Rolls

August 23, 2010
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A while back I needed to make some soft white rolls to go with some incredible smoked pulled pork my mother made. I searched the recesses of my brain…had I ever made rolls or buns before? Sure, but it had been a while and I needed to make enough for a crowd, in advance. So, I pulled out my favorite bread book and while it didn’t have a specific recipe for the type of rolls I needed, I thought the recipe for “Soft American Style White Bread” would work.

For those of you not familiar with the “no-knead” method of making bread, you might want to check out my posts on the Master Bread recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day or the Whole Grain Bread Master recipe from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I really like this method because it’s easy to always have …

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Garden Update; Checking the Yields

August 16, 2010
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It’s nearing the end of the summer and I’m wondering just how much has my garden produced after all the blood, sweat & tears (and water and money) I’ve poured into it. So far, the results have been pretty good (see below). It’s not done producing yet, though it does appear that some of the plants are nearing their end already.

 Below are my harvest totals as of 8/15/2010. I tried my best to keep track (even made a spreadsheet) but I’m sure I missed some of the pickings so it’s safe to assume the actual harvest is slightly larger.

I’m going to do some research as to actual cost of these items if I were to buy them in a store or at the farmer’s market and in a future post will total and compare with what we spent on building and planting the garden with the yields and …

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Hand Cut Pasta with Maitake Mushrooms and Squash Blossoms

August 9, 2010
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Last week I was given some Maitake mushrooms, also called Hen of the Woods mushrooms, and immediately started thinking up dishes where I could showcase their earthy goodness. Sometimes simple preparations are best; good sweet butter, fresh herbs, homemade pasta all compliment the star of the show; the mushroom. I added the squash blossoms because I had them in my garden, but if you don’t have any, you could leave them out, or replace them with zucchini, sliced into very thin ribbons.

These mushrooms not only taste good, but have been heavily researched for their cancer-fighting properties and may help balance blood sugar. In the wild, they can grow in pods of up to 40 or 50 pounds those these were commercially grown, organically, in little 3.5 oz cups, making them look a little like a mushroom cupcake.

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Coffee Ice Cream

August 2, 2010
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I know, another ice cream recipe, so soon after the Strawberry Ice Cream? Yes, but it’s summer and there will be plenty of time for cakes, pies and cookies come fall and winter. In summer, all I want is cold and creamy ice cream. Coffee ice cream is one of my favorite flavors, and echos how I drink the hot stuff, light and sweet. I tend to like my ice cream plain (it’s a textural thing), but if you like mix-ins, chopped dark chocolate, toffee pieces, fleur de sel praline, or chocolate covered coffee beans would be a natural fit.

Coffee Ice Cream Recipe
Printable Recipe in PDF

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk (or 1/3 cup half and half, 2/3 cup lowfat milk)
3/4 cup sugar
5 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp instant espresso* (I use Medaglia d’Oro)
1 tsp ground fresh coffee …

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