New Favorite

Pear Cake…seasonal delight!

Pear Cake made with seasonal pears is a true treat.  This recipe, from http://www.usapear.com was a great find and delicious as a morning coffee treat or as a seasonal dessert.

PEAR CAKE

10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 pears, peeled, cored and wedged
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a round baking pan with 2 tablespoons of butter.  Sprinkle with brown sugar.
  • Brush the pear wedges with lemon juice and arrange in the bottom of the baking pan.
  • Combine flour with baking powder, salt and cinnamon, Set aside.
  • Using a mixer, beat the remaining butter with sugar until fluffy.  Stir in eggs and vanilla.
  • Add flour mixture and milk alternating the ingredients slowly.  Continue to beat on low-speed after each addition.
  • Spoon batter evenly over pears in pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes OR until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  (My oven required a longer baking time.)
  • Cool before inverting onto serving platter.  Decorate with walnuts or serve with whipped cream as coffee cake or dessert.

Recipe adapted from http://www.usapears.com; Starkrimson Pear Cinnamon Cake

Family Favorites · My Roots · Vegan · Vegetarian

Fresh Applesauce…the tradition continues

Fall is in the air and the apples are fantastic.  What a perfect time to make fresh applesauce just like Mom used to make.  I’m honored that this tradition continues as older daughter, Megan, made this year as well.

A trip to the Farmer’s Market for fresh apples and a little time and you’re ready to go.

I’m fortunate enough to still have the vintage colander sieve with wooden pestle my Mother used for many years, making quick work of making ultra-smooth applesauce. I have even cooked the apples with the skin on (and sometimes with the seeds) knowing that the colander/sieve will strain out the skin and seeds.

FRESH APPLESAUCE

8 apples (Granny Smith’s work well–but use what you have)
1 cup cold water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
sugar to taste (or none if you prefer)

  • Wash the apples under cold water. Peel and core each apple and cut into smaller pieces. Put apples, water, and sugar in saucepan.

  • Cook over medium heat. When the water begins to boil, turn down heat to medium low to simmer and add cinnamon. Cover with lid and lower heat again to keep from sticking. Stir often while cooking about 40 minutes. Add more water if needed.
  • Use a vintage sieve and pestle, potato masher (or food processor) to mash apples into smooth, thick sauce.

Serve warm or chill in refrigerator. Freezes well.

Family Favorites · New Traditions · Vegetarian

Fresh Peach Crisp…breakfast of this champion!

Peach season has come to an end but there is time (and peaches) for one more fresh Peach Crisp.  Pal, Maribeth gave me a ‘colorado classique’ cookbook a while back and we both have enjoyed the terrific recipes.  She made the peach cobbler from the cookbook for my birthday last month and it was delicious.  Today I made it and had the same wonderful results.  Since it has peaches and oatmeal…it is also the breakfast of this champion!

Fresh Peach Crisp

4 pounds ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup oats
1 cup unsalted butter

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place peach slices in a greased 13x9x2″ baking pan. Sprinkle with salt.
  • Mix the flour, cinnamon, sugar and oats together. Add softened butter and mix until crumbly. Sprinkle over peaches and pat down.
  • Bake 50-60 minutes.
  • Serve plain or with rich vanilla ice cream.

Recipe from ‘colorado classique a collection of fresh recipes from the rockies’.

New Favorite · Skinny · Vegan · Vegetarian

Fresh and Light Carrot Salad

As the days get hotter, I crave light and cool foods (except for my occasional Mexican food craving). The Carrot Salad is light, simple and delicious.

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FRESH AND LIGHT CARROT SALAD

1 pound carrots
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 small shallot finely chopped

  • Peel the carrots and shred in a food processor.
  • Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Stir in the shallots and pour over shredded carrots. Mix well.
  • Cover the salad and sit for a few hours for the flavors to blend.
New Favorite · Skinny · Vegan · Vegetarian

French Green Bean Salad…light and fresh!

Our Book Club meets every other month and tries to match the pot-luck cuisine to align with the story.  This month our book was ‘Sarah’s Key’. I loved this book!  If you’ve not read it, I highly recommend it.  The story takes place in France during WWII.  While food and cooking wasn’t the topic of the book, French Cuisine was the food du jour.

French cooking brings Julia Child to mind but I was looking for something light and fresh.  I was delighted to find a French Green Bean Salad that was perfect!

French Green Bean Salad

FRENCH GREEN BEAN SALAD

Kosher Salt
1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill

Ingredients for French Green Bean Salad
  • Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Add the beans and cook for 1 minute only so the beans are crisp tender. Drain the beans and put them in the ice water until completely cool. Drain the beans again, dry on paper towels. Place the beans in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil to make an emulsion.
Dressing for French Green Bean Salad
  • Pour enough dressing over the beans to moisten them well, reserving the remaining dressing for another use. Toss with the dill, season to taste and serve at room temperature.

Recipe by foodnetwork.com, 2010 Barefoot Contessa

Family Favorites · Garden

Fresh Tomato Salsa … just in time for the weekend

Garden Tomatoes

Every year I plant a vegetable garden with several varieties of tomatoes, onions, peppers, eggplant, green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, cilantro, basil, rosemary and thyme.  2011 was not my best year in the garden.  Tomatoes were late to set but were coming on strong just in time for the first frost.  I picked all of the green tomatoes and brought them in the house to ripen.  Today is the day that this last memory of summer will create a wonderful fresh tomato salsa to share with neighbors and family this weekend.

Salsa is wonderful with chips but also a great topping for fresh fish, chicken, or even to dress a salad.  Or if you’re desperate for salsa, just eat it with a spoon!  My husband and I once observed a gentleman in a restaurant simply take the bowl of free salsa, crush in the free chips for his version of Gazpacho and then leave.  I’m not a fan of that behavior, but what you do in the privacy of your own home is your business!

Fresh Tomato Salsa

FRESH TOMATO SALSA

4 small (2 cups) tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Cilantro
1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
1 tablespoon vinegar
8 ounces tomato sauce

Mix together. Chill and serve.