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September 29, 2014

A TASTE OF SPAIN… coming October 29


Join me on October 28, at The Edible Schoolyard for an adult cooking class, “A Taste of Spain.” We will prepare tapas, paella, and a classic Spanish dessert.  Recipes will be shared here after the class, but don’t miss the chance to come learn theses dishes in person!

June 24, 2014



This is our fourth year enjoying 26 weeks of creative meals from whatever comes in our Goat Lady CSA box.  I love unpacking our share and starting to imagine the dishes for the week.  Today’s delivery included swiss chard, leeks, and garlic, and I combined those ingredients with others we had on hand for a smoky vegetarian taco dinner.  These tacos would also make a great vehicle for shrimp, pork, or chicken – or any protein that pairs well with the smoky flavor of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.

Chipotle Swiss Chard Tacos
makes four servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large leek, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and 1 additional teaspoon adobo sauce

1/4 block of firm tofu, cut into small squares (or replace with cooked shrimp, pork, or chicken)
kernels cut from 2 ears of fresh corn
1 bunch of Swiss chard, stems removed and leaves cut into 1/2-inch or smaller ribbons
salt and pepper to taste
warm tortillas
chopped cilantro
lime wedges

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  Add the leeks and cook until soft and beginning to brown, about 8 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes.  Stir in soy sauce, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, tofu (or meat), corn kernels, Swiss chard, salt, and pepper. Cover pan and cook about 4 minutes, until Swiss chard wilts.  Spoon mixture into warm tortillas of your choice and top with cilantro.  Serve with lime wedges.

Tonight I topped these with leftover Korean salsa, which had a sweet and smoky flavor from roasted tomatoes and onions paired with Korean red chile paste.  If you like smoky flavors, this is a great combination.

June 16, 2014



I’m so glad we got to catch up with friends at Alicia & Craig’s house for a little pre-party before the Lake Street Dive concert at Koka Booth Amphitheater this weekend.  We had a picnic supper in the park, but the best tastes of the evening were Alicia’s caprese bites, which I loved so much I made them yesterday.  I can’t wait to have these again in a couple weeks when the tomatoes in my own backyard will be ready to pick!

Caprese Salad on a Stick
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 pound mozzarella bites (I used ciliegine, the smallest size available in my area)
1 bunch fresh basil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, reduced to yield 4 tablespoons balsamic glaze*

Wrap tomato and mozzarella in basil leaves and thread each wrapped bite onto a small skewer or long toothpick.  Drizzle with a little balsamic glaze.  A wonderful taste of summer – – these will fly off the plate!

*To make the balsamic glaze, bring balsamic vinegar to a boil and allow it to simmer over low heat for 5-6  minutes, until it has the consistency of maple syrup.  Allow to cool before drizzling over tomatoes and mozzarella.

June 11, 2014

Veggie Dumplings


We don’t typically have dumplings at home, but I had a chance this afternoon to cook with a six-year old, and I had a hunch she would enjoy this recipe.  There is a lot for little hands to do here, and the assembly is all together FUN!  It was a big hit with her, for sure.  A few hours later,  the dumplings passed the taste test with our boys, ages 15 and 10, too. So that’s an all-around winner at our house! And better still, the recipe makes a pretty big batch, so I have half in the freezer for a protein-packed snack another day.

Veggie Dumplings from It’s All Good  (makes about 30)
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove
1 1/2 cups cabbage, roughly chopped
1/2 cup firm tofu, crumbled
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
square dumpling or wonton wrappers (I found these in the produce section at the grocery store)

Combine onion, garlic, and cabbage in food processor until finely chopped.  Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil over medium high heat in a large pan and cook the cabbage mixture with a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes, until softened.  Add the tofu, peas and quinoa and cook 2 or 3 minutes until the peas are soft.  Set aside. Off the heat, mix in the soy sauce and sesame oil.  Let the mixture cool to room temperature.

Lay a few rows of your dumpling wrappers on a clean, dry counter and put a tablespoon of the filling mixture in the center of each square.  Dip your index finger in water and use your fingertip to moisten the edges of each wrapper.  Bring the four corners together to form a pyramid or fold in half on the diagonal to make a triangle, but either way make sure you press all the edges to make a tight seal.

You could steam these, but I prepared mine “Chinese restaurant style” by heating just enough canola oil to coat the bottom of a hot pan and cooking the dumplings for 2 minutes before adding 1/4 cup of water to the pan and covering it, allowing another 2 minutes until the wrappers were totally soft.

We enjoyed them with a dipping sauce of soy sauce, water, lemon juice and toasted sesame oil.  Just mix together:
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Delicious.  Fun to make together.  So nutritious.

June 6, 2014

Best Ever Strawberry Ice Cream


I have never liked strawberry ice cream.  As a kid at the ice cream shop, I would never have wasted my order on a strawberry cone – not with chocolate peanut butter, mint chip, and rocky road all calling my name.
But this strawberry ice cream is the real deal.  Not just the best ever strawberry ice cream for a strawberry ice cream lover, but the kind of flavor that makes you a believer.  That converts a fruit-does-not-belong-in-my-ice-cream stalwart into a born-again ice cream chowhound.  No joke.  I bought four gallons of strawberries in two weeks.  I made a lot of ice cream!  I had an almost three-year-old helper the first time, and this is definitely a recipe little ones will enjoy.  Strawberry season is coming to a close for us here in North Carolina.  You need to hit the farmstand and make this ice cream!

Best Ever Strawberry Ice Cream
1 quart of local strawberries
sugar, to taste, between 1/2 and 3/4 cup (but you won’t need any if your berries are very ripe)
a dash of kosher salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Smash the strawberries (we used clean hands).  Add any sugar you are using, and stir until the sugar dissolves.  This will yield about three cups of strawberry juice.  In a separate container, combine the buttermilk and heavy cream.  Add the dairy mixture to the strawberries and stir together.  Freeze in your ice cream maker, and serve right away or store in an air tight container.  If you make it ahead and leave it in your freezer, it will need up to ten minutes at room temperature to be soft enough to scoop.

For a really decadent treat, mix in a cup of dark chocolate chunks before the ice cream finishes freezing.

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