Tag Archives: Recipes

From My Mother’s Recipe Box: Three of Five Christmas Puddings


For the third of five pudding recipes in the countdown to Christmas, I posted this one for Orange Pudding from My Mother’s Recipe Box. If you can decipher my grandma’s handwriting, you might enjoy this citrus treat. My guess is the recipe comes from California, where my grandma was born.

Orange Pudding recipe

Orange Pudding recipe

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From My Mother’s Recipe Box: One of Five Christmas Puddings


Where have all the puddings gone? I found several pudding recipes in My Mother’s Recipe Box that I wanted to share, and I figured the holiday season is the perfect time. So watch for a recipe a day during the five-day countdown til Christmas.

On the first day of pudding….what could be more intriguing than the Mystery Pudding? This recipe is from my great-grandmother. I think you can still find fruit cocktail in the grocery store!

Mystery Pudding recipe

Hutterite Bean Soup


Hutterite Bean Soup recipe

I haven’t posted in a while because of some life changes so I was excited to try a new recipe and have the time to write about it!

Hutterite Beans from Shady Side FarmI’ve never made Hutterite Bean Soup. I had never even heard of Hutterite beans until I saw them at the Holland Farmers Market. Locally grown by Shady Side Farm, the Hutterite variety is a white bean that’s not quite as soft as a navy bean.

Inspired by a recipe I found online, I took the Tuscan route, as I once did with another bean recipe I made.

First I soaked the beans overnight. If you don’t have the opportunity to plan ahead, you can always do the quick soak method, which is written on the back of the bean bag. Just put the beans, well covered in water, into a large pot. Bring to a boil for two minutes and remove from heat. Cover pot and soak for an hour. It’s a handy trick!

Hutterite Beans

Here they are all plumped up with water, rinsed and drained.

Hutterite Beans

In the stock pot I sautéed a whole onion (chopped) and a couple cloves of garlic (minced) in olive oil.

Chopped onions and garlic

Then I added a ham hock. This one happened to be fresh, not smoked, so the meat looks more like pork than ham.

Fresh ham hock for Hutterite Bean Soup recipe

I browned the ham hock in the olive oil after pushing aside the onions and garlic. Then I added about 2 1/2 quarts of water. It would be great to use stock if you have it. Instead, I added a teaspoon of organic chicken bouillon, which is my back-up plan when I don’t have stock on hand. I also added dried sage (fresh would have been better!). Then I simmered the soup on the stove about two hours, until the ham hock meat was tender.

Hutterite Bean Soup recipe

Once the meat was done, I removed it from the pot, pulled the meat off the bone, and returned the meat to the soup.

Hutterite Bean Soup recipe

Then I added a bunch of lacinato kale, stems removed, leaves chopped.

Hutterite Bean Soup recipe

Simmer another half hour or so until the kale is tender, and it’s soup! Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This could easily have been an excellent vegetarian recipe. With the beans and kale, you have a very nutritional meal easily devoured from a bowl.

Hutterite Bean Soup recipe

For Your Picnic: Tuscan Feta Salad Sandwich


Tuscan Feta Salad Sandwich

Tuscan Feta Salad Sandwich

If you’re going to the beach, on a hike, for a bike ride, or on a road trip, the Tuscan Feta Salad Sandwich is a good companion for a picnic lunch. And now is the perfect time to buy its ingredients in season at the Holland Farmers’ Market.

You can buy everything there (except for olives). Seriously. Even the feta cheese and the bread. And if you need oil and vinegar to make the vinaigrette, just run up the street to Fustini’s.

What I love about this recipe is that it begs for improvisation. Don’t like tomatoes? Try fresh Bell peppers instead. Not a fan of olives? Leave them off and add some capers. Substitute chevre for feta cheese. Numerous combinations are possible!

I was headed to Pereddies’ restaurant and deli in Washington Square to buy kalamata olives for the sandwich, so I decided to try their olive oil bread instead of a big round loaf of sourdough like the recipe suggests. It’s the perfect vehicle for this sandwich!

Below is the original recipe from Southern Living, along with a slideshow of the ingredients and process. It serves 4-6 people.

Tuscan Feta Salad Sandwich

Ingredients

2/3 cup vinaigrette

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed

1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 (8-inch) round sourdough bread loaf (about 16 ounces)

2 cups shredded romaine lettuce

1 large tomato, sliced

1 (4-ounce) package crumbled feta cheese

1 medium cucumber, sliced

1/2 medium-size purple onion, sliced

1/4 cup sliced ripe olives

Whisk first 4 ingredients. Cut bread in half horizontally. Scoop out inside of bread halves, leaving 2-inch shells; brush inside with 3 tablespoons vinaigrette mixture. Layer lettuce and tomato in bottom half of bread, brushing tomato with remaining vinaigrette mixture. Layer cheese and next 3 ingredients over tomato. Cover with plastic wrap; chill 2 hours. (Place a large plate on top of sandwich, weighting it down with cans, if necessary, to compress sandwich.) Cut into wedges.

Wrap it up and go!

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Lavash Pizza Over a Fire


One thing I love to do is camp, but that doesn’t mean I have to roast processed hot dogs on a stick over the open fire. Having a one-burner camp stove is handy for rainy days when it’s difficult to start a fire, but when the weather cooperates, why not make pizza over the open fire?

The “pizza” I’ve been make is Bill-friendly, meaning it’s wheat-free, corn-free, and pasteurized-cow-dairy-free. Using Sami’s Bakery Millet & Flax Lavash (flatbread) as a base, all I do is brown the bottom on a griddle or in a skillet. You could do this right on a fire grate, camp stove, or grill.

Then, add toppings. For ingredient inspiration, check out my other lavash pizza recipes. The two I made on a recent camping trip with my friend Sandy are Caprese and Manchego with Parsley.

I brought along some Stinging Nettles Pesto that I made and stashed in the freezer. This became the base for both pizzas, which were placed on a piece of foil to easily move them onto the fire grate.

On one, I added sliced tomatoes from the Holland Farmers Market and dollops of Dancing Goat Creamery goat cheese.

On the other, Sandy added small chunks of Manchego sheep’s cheese and chopped parsley from Sandy’s herb garden. (Grating the cheese would have been nice but who has a cheese grater in their camping supplies?)

I drizzled olive oil over both and sprinkled each pizza with salt and pepper. Then I put them on the fire grate, which had hot coals underneath. The key is to create an oven-like effect by tenting with another piece of foil.

Tented foil over lavash pizza

After a few minutes, the pizzas were warm and crispy, and the cheese was melted.

Easy and delicious, but perhaps not the best choice if you’re cooking outside on a windy day!

From My Mother’s Recipe Box: Rice and Cheese Casserole


Rice and Cheese Casserole Recipe

Anyone who grew up when processed food was all the rage has most certainly eaten a casserole. They vary from lasagna to macaroni & cheese to tuna casserole, with the main ingredients ranging from some form of carbohydrate plus a meat or dairy component, and some vegetables thrown in. From the French word for saucepan, it’s basically a meal in a pot or pan.

For some, casseroles are comfort food. For others, it’s a reminder of the harried lifestyle they lived, running from school to sports events to theater practice. To me, moms and casseroles go hand-in-hand. So this year for Mother’s Day, I’m featuring one from My Mother’s Recipe Box: Rice and Cheese Casserole.

What Can You Do to Fight Hunger?


Consider this: 1 in 4 U.S. kids don’t know where their next meal will come from. In our country, we subsidize the wrong products. Millions of Americans live in food deserts without access to healthy ingredients. The foods we should be eating—fruits and vegetables—are more expensive than the chips, sodas, and processed foods that are available. We currently spend a mere $1 per week per child in school meal programs. Food stamp participants are only allocated $4 a day to survive.

Last year, in response to a local hunger challenge, I did a series of blog posts on How to Eat Healthy on $5 a Day. My goal was to demonstrate that $5 a day (close to the allotment provided by the SNAP food stamp program) can go a long way towards healthy food (as opposed to cheap processed food). And that even takes into account Bill’s food allergies and our preference for happy food (local, organic, sustainable, humane). The experiment lasted five days.

I’m one of more than a hundred bloggers donating today’s post to raise awareness about hunger. It’s all in support of an initiative called Food Bloggers Against Hunger, which was created in response to the new documentary A Place at the TableIt’s also in partnership with Share Our Strength‘s efforts in Washington to protect SNAP funding and make anti-hunger legislation a priority.

When the government subsidizes products like soy beans, wheat, and corn instead of fresh produce, the most affordable food is often the unhealthiest. One thing I learned by Day 5 of my experiment last year was that legumes are cheap. And, of course they’re healthy!

So today I’m sharing some of my favorite cheap and easy recipes that could easily take the place of processed and fast food to help keep Americans fed and healthy.

Split-Pea Soup in a Crockpot

Yellow Split Pea Soup

Cuban Black Beans and Brown Rice

Refried Cuban Black Beans with Brown Rice and Quesadillas

Nutty Rice Porridge

Use leftover brown rice to make this next recipe for breakfast. Buy apples from the farmers’ market when in season.

Nutty Rice Porridge

Kale Chips

Kale is fairly ubiquitous and seems to be available much of the year. Kale chips are a great alternative to potato chips. Much healthier, and easy to make!

Curly kale

Red Lentil Soup

Shourba Ads, or Red Lentil Soup

I recently watched A Place at the Table. And one thing I learned is that hunger in America cannot be eliminated by creating bigger food banks. The only way to stop hunger is by changing policies, so it’s important we make our voices heard. If you’re inspired by the trailer for A Place at the Table, go see it. (You can also watch it on demand through iTunes and Amazon.)

If you’re moved to action, please consider sending a letter to Congress to support anti-hunger legislation.

Let’s obliterate hunger in America!