Mother Nature at her finest.

Preserved Cherry Tomatoes

First things first - make sure your beautiful little bursts of sunshine are washed and dried.  Now set your oven to 325.  Place all your tomatoes on a parchment lined(easier clean up but not necessary) sheet tray, 9 x 13, or whatever you have.  Now add some aromatics.  Try a few smashed cloves of garlic, thyme sprigs, oregano or just salt and pepper.  Like it spicy?  Add a few toasted chile peppers or a fresh Fresno Chile. Drizzle with a decent(don't be shy) amount of olive oil.  Just the everyday stuff, keep the fancy oil for another use.  Please pan in oven and roast, depending on size, approximately 2-3 hours.  Place everything, including all that delicious oil, into a bowl and chill completely.  Now portion them out into freezer bags(don't forget to label and date them).  Presto!  A little bit of summer to add to your cold weather dishes.  Use your imagination!  The possibilities are endless....I just wish summer was.

Fall Roasted Veggies

Seasonal changes mean different cooking techniques.

Variety of seasonal vegetables: Brussels, Fennel, Carrots, Parsnips - trim and cut all uniformly for roasting.  Place each on it's own baking sheet.  Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Heat oven to 425 convection or 450 conventional.  Roast veggies, tossing and rotating occassionally until a dark, rich brown is achieved.  Don't freak if you get crispy bits on the end, they're the best part!  Be careful with brussels - they cook quickly.  

Serve with your choice of protein and accompaniment.  Try one of these combos:

NY Strip and Garlic Aioli

Charred Chicken and Pesto

Salmon and Tzatziki

Poached Eggs and Hollandaise(yum!)

Peach and Proscuitto Crostini

Try this simple recipe for potlucks and picnics.

1 baguette

olive oil

1/4 lb. proscuitto(or more if you're planning nibbling while you cook)

3-4 perfectly ripened peaches or nectarines, sliced

1 C. ricotta, whole milk

salt and pepper

Fire up the grill or heat oven to 375 degrees.  Slice baguette on the diagonal.  Place on baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Toast or grill to desired color.  Place ricotta in large bowl or standing mixer.  Whisk or blend until lighter and fluffier, drizzling olive oil in slowly.  Add a little salt and pepper.  Taste and chill.  Take a large spoon and scoop a healthy portion on your crostini. Use the back of the spoon to spread.  Layer a small piece of proscuitto and top with 1-2 slices of peaches.  Drizzle with more olive oil and cracked pepper.  

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

The easy-grab-and-go-breakfast-treat.

  • 11 T unsalted butter, soft
  • 1/3 C dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 C honey
  • 1 T vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 C. oats(not instant)
  • 1 C. flour
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 C. chopped chocolate Mix all together in a large bowl.  Don't be shy, use your hands!  Place in lined 13 x 9 pan and bake at 325 degrees for 23 minutes.  Let cool. Refrigerate until completely chilled. Cut as desired.  

Mimosa Bar

Anytime is a good time for a Mimosa.

Variety of Fruit Juice - cranberry, pineapple, cranberry, apple cider, mango

Variety of Fresh Fruit - blackberries, raspberries, peaches, strawberries

Variety of Sparkly - Rose, Champagne, Prosecco, Moscado

Embelleshments - fruit puree, Chambord, Amaretto, Limoncello, Cointreau, Thyme, Rosemary, Basil

Set out your glass ware - If  you want to go a little 'over the top' dip the rims in lemon juice and colored sugar.

Fill your juice jars - Make it something simple so guests can easily pour for themselves.  

Add your signs - Use a gift tag and ribbon or left over place cards.

Fill your fruit dishes - Whether  you use a variety of shapes, sizes and color or all the same containers, make sure your fruit is fresh and seasonal.

Put a few examples together on a notecard for guests.

Some of my favorite combos -

Rose, Chambord, Mango

Prosecco, Limoncello, Orange, Thyme

Moscado, Cranberry, Amaretto

Have fun with this!

Homemade Granola

Making a large batch of this healthy and delicous snack will keep you going all week!  If you can afford the splurge, buy high quality ingredients.  You'll see a difference.

4 C. Old Fashioned Oats

4 C. Nuts/Seeds, Salted(use a variety - pumpkin seed, cashews, slivered almonds, sunflower seeds)

2 C. Dried Fruit(whatever makes you happy)

1/2 C. Canola or Veg Oil

1/2 C. Maple(NO AUNT JEMIMA HERE!)

1/2 C. Honey(go for the local variety to help with outdoor allergies)

2 T. Vanilla

Salt to taste.

Place oats and nuts/seeds in large mixing bowl.  Combine oil, maple and honey over low heat.  Once it boils, remove from heat and add vanilla.  Add hot liquid to oats and nuts/seeds.  Toss until all is coated.  Taste.  Does it need salt?  Add to taste.

Please on parchment lined baking sheet and cook at 325 degrees for approximately 45 minutes.  Toss, every 15 minutes to ensure even cooking.  

Once removed from oven, add dried fruit and let cool completely.  Store in cool dry place. 

ENJOY!

 

Ham and Cheese Pasta Jars

Check out these cuties.  Pickling jars for food displays.  Just grab and go!

1 lb. Orecchiette or small pasta shape

salt and pepper

1 lb. Smoked Pork, Chicken, Turkey or Sausage, cut into small dice or shredded

1/2 lb. fresh peas(when in season) or frozen

1 lb. sharp Cheddar, cut into small cubes

1/2 C. fresh Mint or other fresh herb

1 lemon, juice and zest

1/4 C. mayonnaise

1/4 C. crema

2 T. olive oil

1-2 T. sherry vinegar

Boil pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.  Saute the smoked pork(or sausage) in dry skillet to help render any fat and crisp up edges.  Let cool.  If using smoked turkey or chicken, you can skip this step.  Add all ingredients in large bowl and stir to combine.  Adjust seasoning to your liking.  Place in cleaned, pickling jars without lid.  Once filled, place ring on jar but leave flat part of lid to the side.  If traveling with jars, replace entire lid.  Great items to take to a picnic!