Green Goddess Dressing

If you’ve never made Green Goddess dressing, you owe it to yourself to try. It is the absolute essence of summer freshness. I toss it with simple curly lettuce greens and that’s it! Absolutely delicious!

Ingredients:

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 cup lightly packed fresh herbs (tender stems are fine), such as cilantro, parsley, dill basil, thyme and/or mint, with up to 1/4 cup chives or scallions

1 medium clove garlic

1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until well blended and the herbs are finely chopped and incorporated. Chill until ready to serve.

Easy Crepes

Served with your choice of fillings or none at all!

1 cup all purpose flour

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. butter, melted

Whisk the flour with the eggs, milk and water, stirring to combine and batter is smooth. Add the salt and butter and mix well.

In a lightly oiled frying pan, pour approx. 1/4 cup of batter for each crepe. Tilt the pan in a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly. Cook the crepe for about a minute, until the top starts to look cooked, loosen around the edges and gently turn over and quickly cook the other side.

Turn out onto a plate. Serve warm either filled or just folded with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Filling ideas – strawberry or raspberry jam, Nutella, fresh fruit such as peaches or bananas, peanut butter.

Making Bone Broth

Making bone broth is one of the simplest ways to add healthier food choices into your family’s and your diet. What is bone broth you might ask? Think of chicken or beef broth. It’s the same think, except it’s made from beef bones. I am fortunate that my friend is a farmer and has provided me with the broth bones. You can also get them from your local butcher or market. Broth bones are similar to the shank bones you would traditionally use for Osso Bucco, but have almost no meat left on them.

To make the broth is simple. Add the bones to a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for at least 50 minutes or so to extract the most nutrients from the bones. Allow to cool then remove the bones and discard. Then strain the broth to remove any excess debris from cooking. There you have it, fresh broth to use either right away or freeze to use for soups, gravies, stews, etc. at a future date.

Refrigerator Bread & Butter Pickles

This recipe is from
The Brown Eyed Baker

Our cucumber harvest was on overdrive this year.  I hadn’t made pickles in a very long time and was looking for something quick, easy and naturally delicious.  This recipe checked all those boxes. Absolutely no canning equipment needed! 

Ingredients:

5-6 cups (about 1 1/2 lbs.) thinly sliced (1/4″ thick) small pickling cucumbers*

1 1/2 tbsp. kosher salt

1 cup thinly sliced sweet onion

1 cup sugar

1 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds

1/2 tsp. celery seeds

1/8 tsp. ground tumeric

Combine sliced cucumbers and salt in a large shallow bowl.  Cover and chill 1 1/2 hours.  Move cucumbers into a colander and rinse thoroughly under cold water.  Drain well and return to bowl.  Add onions to the bowl and toss will the cucumber.

Combine the sugars, vinegars and seasonings in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the cucumber mixture.  Let stand at room temperature for one hour.  Transfer to jars and refrigerate at least 24 hours to allow flavors to develop.  Stores up to one month in airtight containers.  

* Use cucumbers that are approx 5″ long and narrow.  

Note:  A small whole hot pepper can be added if you prefer a little heat.

Dried Lemon Slices 

These crispy lemon slices are perfect as garnish on salads or presented on a crudité platter. I had never seen them before, but the chef at a local restaurant where they are served told me how to make them. After a little experimenting, I got the results! So here goes….

Very thinly slice up a lemon, discard any large seeds. Place the slices on a silpat covered baking sheet. Place them in a pre-heated very low oven, 150 – 175F for at least 2 hours. Check that they do not get browned. You don’t have to turn them or anything. If more time is needed, just keep them in for longer. The key here is to dry them out. When they seem crisp enough, you can remove them after cooling completely. I have left them in the oven, once I turned it off and this worked fine as well. Be sure to store in a container with air flow. Use within a few days.

Remoulade Sauce

This is one of my favorite side sauces.  I pair it with crab cakes, salmon cakes, fried green tomatoes, etc.  Just the right amount of spice so as not to overwhelm.

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. Franks brand hot sauce

2 tsp. whole grain mustard

2 cloves garlic minced

2 tsp. capers

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Blend all ingredients together until well incorporated.  Chill until needed.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

With so many people eating healthier and more aware of their carb intake, recipes like this are becoming more popular.  The trick here is to get as much moisture out of the steamed cauliflower as possible to get the desired crispiness.

1 medium head of cauliflower

1/2 cup shredded low moisture mozzarella

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Remove the green leaves and stalk from cauliflower and break into large pieces.  Place in a food processor and pulse until fine, you may have to do this in batches.  Place in a steamer basket and steam for approx. 6-8 minutes.  Drain well.*  Allow to cool.

When cooled combine the cauliflower with the remaining ingredients.  On a parchment paper lined pizza pan or baking sheet, spread the mixture into a circle.  Try to get very thin coating, but enough of a thickness so it will hold together.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until pizza begins to get very golden.  Remove from oven and flip onto another parchment coated baking sheet or pizza pan.  Replace in oven and bake another 20 minutes or until the edges begin to look dark and crispy.  Remove and add desired toppings and bake additional 10-15 minutes.

I highly recommend a pizza stone as well.  They absorb and retain the heat needed to add to the crispiness.  See my links below.

*tip:  I lined a large jelly roll pan with 2 layers of paper towels.  I spread the steamed cauliflower thinly and allowed to weep out excess moisture.  I then placed a few more paper towels on top of the cauliflower and rolled up jelly roll style.

Parmesan Crisps

These crisps make a wonderful addition to a crudité platter.  Easy and delicious and carb free! 

3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat.  Parchment paper can be used, but I highly recommend the baking mat.  Mound the cheese by tablespoons, approx. 2 inches apart.  Spread the mounds slightly into small circles.  Bake until cheese is golden and crisp – approx. 10 minutes.

Sprinkle with the pepper.  Let cool and remove with a thin spatula to a plate to cool completely.

TIP:  This recipe is open to a little creative license, such as mixing some fresh thyme into the cheese before baking, or finely chopped rosemary.

Fresh Basil Pesto!

Basil is such a wonderful herb and adds so much flavor to any dish.  Pesto is so versatile in that it can be served so many ways and mixed into so many dishes.  Sometimes it is best just in a small crock with fresh crusty bread to spread it on.

Tip – fresh pesto can have the tendency to turn brown.  Although, not attractive, it does not affect the flavor.  To avoid the discoloration, I have added the lemon juice.  Also add a little more salt than you would think is ok, this also helps.  If you wash the basil, be sure it is reasonable dry as the excess moisture can also add to the discoloration. This recipe is without garlic, another ingredient that can cause reactions over storage time again, leading to discoloration.  As soon as the pesto is jarred, cover with lids and store in the refrigerator.

2 cups fresh basil, packed, leaves removed from stems

4 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup parmesan cheese finely grated

1/2 cup olive oil

1/3 cup pine nuts

salt to taste

In a food processor, mince the basil leaves, add the lemon juice and pulse.  Add the pine nuts and puree, add the parmesan cheese.  Scrape down the sides if necessary.  Add the olive oil in a slow steady stream while processing until fully incorporated.  Add salt.  Immediately pour into containers and seal tightly.

Applesause

Almost everyone has their own recipe for applesauce.  Mine is hardly a recipe at all, just easy instructions as to what I do to make it.  Regardless of what your recipe is, this tool is ingenious and makes peeling, slicing and coring apples super quick work. Look for the link below to order!

Anyway, we just peel, slice and core apples.  Place in a large heavy clad pot.  I like to add just a little water to get the steam process going.  Sugar is optional and depends on the sweetness of the apples.  You can always add sugar after if you feel the sauce is too tart.  I add a good amount of cinnamon.  Cook on low heat until the apples are bubbled down and very soft.  When cooked, use a potato masher or something similar to mix up the sauce.  I use an immersion blender and blend the sauce smooth.  This is completely optional since some people like thick clumpy applesauce and some like it smooth – like me.  Regardless, this is a great activity to let the kids get involved in since they love operating the peeler and mashing the apples and the results?  Instant gratification!