Category Archives: Recipe

Two From the Thanksgiving Table

Stuffing and cranberry relish were 2015 hits.

ThanksgivingTurkeyThe media are awash with Thanksgiving recipes before the holiday, but few people share recipes afterwards for successful dishes. But there will be Thanksgiving again in 2016, so here goes. Dinner was a joint effort of all us 2015 holiday gluttons, but I had compliments and even recipe requests for two of my contributions to the groaning board. I neglected to photograph either.

From the typeface on the yellowing clipped directions, I can tell that the basis for the stuffing recipe below came from the Denver Post at some time in the past. Of course, I changed it a bit. It filled a 15-pound turkey and a casserole for the oven.

Turkey with Olive Bread Stuffing

2 round loaves of artisanal olive bread
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
3 cups turkey stock (or chicken or veggie broth)
2 onions, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup dried currants
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 pound bulk hot Italian sausage

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Cut bread into one-inch cubes, place  on cookie sheets in a single layer and toast until well dried out.  In a medium skillet, sauté sausage, breaking up with a wooden spoon and cook until sausage is lightly browned. Set aside to cool slightly. In a large skillet (I like cast iron), melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat, add onion and garlic and sauté until soft. Add mushrooms, currants, part of the turkey stock and thyme, and heat until butter has melted.  Add to the bread cubes the remainder of the stock, the mushroom-currant mixture and the browned sausage. Mix with your hands until well combined. If you like a moister stuffing, add more stock. Stuff the brined or unbrined turkey. Put remaining stuffing into an ovenproof dish. Roast turkey and heat stuffing using your preferred method.

My tradition has long been to make one cranberry sauce as directed on the back of the Ocean Spray package (with or without an added cinnamon stick) and one interesting “other.” And here that one is, inspired by a recipe from Real Simple.

Fresh Cranberry and Apple Relish

3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
1 Braeburn apple, unpeeled but cored and chopped
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp. orange juice
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Let sit at rom temperature so that flavors blend, and then refrigerate until serving.

Perfect for a Potluck: Glazed Carrots

Maple syrup and more punch up sliced carrots.

Potluck-linedrawingWhen bringing a hot dish to a potluck, I like to make something unfussy that doesn’t need to be cut with knife, can travel without falling apart and doesn’t need to be reheated in the hostess’ oven. For a potluck last night, I improvised a spin on Maple-Glazed Carrots. I didn’t measure (as I wrote, “unfussy” was a criterion), so I’m estimating quantities here. If you make it, you can change the seasonings, sprinkle with parsley or make any other modifications you wish.

Sliced carrots glazed with maple syrup and more.
Sliced carrots glazed with maple syrup and more.

Glazed Carrots

3 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/3 cup real maple syrup
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup water*
2 Tbsp. mild chili powder
1/2 cup chopped pecans

*If you buy packaged carrots to avoid the step of peeling, use the water in the package.

In a saucepan, combine all ingredients except chili powder and pecans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered. Stir occasionally for about 15 minutes. Add chili powder during the last stir. The goal is for the liquid to thicken and glaze the carrots. (If the carrots are tender before the liquid has thickened, uncover and increase heat to medium-high.) Stir in the chopped pecans.

Serves a crowd.

Easy Ad Hoc Avocado Soup

Cold soup made in the blender.

AvocadoI had two ripe avocadoes that needed to be but hadn’t planned to write a recipe when I threw together what turned out to be a nice mellow summer soup, so I didn’t measure anything and I didn’t take a single picture of this smooth soup that turned out to be lovely sea-foam green. But here, roughly is what I made — easy, flexible, not fussy.

Cold Avocado Soup

I placed in the blender the flesh of two ripe avocadoes, 3 cups of frozen turkey stock, generous splash of dry sherry, juice of three limes, 2 cloves of peeled and chopped garlic, 1/2 seeded and chopped jalapeño pepper, a cup of half and half, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend on high speed until frozen stock has thawed and the soup is smooth. Makes two sizable portions.

You could use chicken or vegetable stock from the freezer, the refrigerator or a package. You could use heavy cream, sour cream or plain yogurt. Lemon juice instead of lime juice. Or modify it in any other way. The important thing is to use those avocadoes before they pass their peak.


Caponata for a Summer’s Evening

Southern Italian appetizer a seasonal treat.

Photorealistic vector. Colorful fresh group of vegetables.
Photorealistic vector. Colorful fresh group of vegetables.

Caponata has long been one of my favorite summer appetizers. Eggplant, tomatoes and onions make for a heavenly combination. There are probably as many recipes as there are cooks in southern Italy. Over the years, I’ve made many different variations. Here’s the one I contrived for July 2015. I didn’t measure anything, but caponata is not a dish that requires precision, so have at it.

MIse en place for my latest version of caponata.
MIse en place for my latest version of caponata.


1 eggplant
3/4   cup +/- extra-virgin olive oil
1 half medium red onion, chopped
1 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2-3 celery ribs, chopped
1/3 cup large black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
2-3 Tbsp. capers
1 Tbsp. sugar (or to taste)
1/3 cup red -wine vinegar
1 (14- to 15-oz) can whole San Marzano tomatoes in juice, drained and chopped

Peel eggplants, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Spread on half of a kitchen towel in a jellyroll pan. Sprinkle with salt, then cover with other half of the towel and weight with a second baking sheet topped with cast-iron pans for about 30 minutes.

Salting the eggplant and pressing out the moisture is a step in many recipes. Sometimes, it is also necessary to squeeze out any remaining water by hand.
Salting the eggplant and pressing out the moisture is a step in many recipes. Sometimes, it is also necessary to squeeze out any remaining water by hand.

Meanwhile, heat 1/2 cup oil in a heavy  skillet over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onion, and cook stirring occasionally, until pale golden (6 to 8 minutes). Add celery and garlic, and cook, stirring, occasionally until onion and celery are golden brown and soft (about 10 minutes). Add eggplant cubes and cook about 10 minutes Add olives, capers and sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-10  minutes. Stir in vinegar and tomatoes, breaking tomatoes with a wooden spoon.

Caponata inrgedients simmering in the pan.
Caponata inrgedients simmering in the pan.

Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. If sauce is very acidic, add  a  bit more sugar (to taste). Transfer to a bowl and keep warm, covered. Cool room temperature and let stand, for at least 3 hours. Stir before serving.

Like many Spanish tapas, caponata can be eaten at various temperatures. I like it at room temperature, served with thinly sliced good-quality Italian or French bread,

A Sprightly, Simple Napa Slaw X 2

Asian flavors make the Flay-inspired slaw sing.

Potluck-linedrawingThursday evening potluck. Salads requested. What to bring? Slaw, but not any old slaw. One with a bit of zing. I found a Bobby Flay recipe online and tinkered with it a bit to match the “flavorating” ingredients that I happened to have on hand. This slaw was so well received that I tinkered with the ingredients a bit more a couple of nights later when I wanted something a little more Middle Eastern for a meeting of the Boulder-Nablus Sister City Project committee.

Asian Napa cabbage slaw.
Asian Napa cabbage slaw.

Below is the first version I made, and below that, the modifications:


1 lime, juiced
3 tablespoons Asian chili rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sweet Asian wine
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 to 4 drops of liquid hot pepper (or to taste)
3 cups finely shredded Napa cabbage
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced snow peas
3 scallions, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together the lime juice, vinegar, wine chili oil, mayonnaise, soy sauce hot pepper in a large bowl. Add the cabbage, peppers, snow peas and scallions and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld.

Version Two

This time, I used the juice of one lemon rather than one lime. I left out the sweet wine, snow peas and scallions. And I substituted finely chopped parsley and mint for the scallions.

Beaver Creek’s Cookie Contest

Beaver Creek selects this season’s official chocolate chip cookie.

Beaver Creek ResoBeaverCreek-logort opened on November 26 with 589 acres of terrain, six feet of snow in November and the new Centennial Express combination gondola/chairlift.  But for chocolate chip cookie addicts, perhaps the best part was the afternoon taste-testing of 5,000 cookies at the 11th annual World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition.

Cookie bakers submitted their entries to Beaver Creek Resort Company back in October, and the five finalists were chosen by local judges. Entries came from all over Colorado plus Texas, California, Wisconsin, Georgia, Oregon and elsewhere. Conveniently, the finalists all came from Colorado, because each one had to bake 1,000 cookies to be judged. Finalists were Lori Lavicka of Avon, Cassie Sewell of Eagle, Kristen Gorrell of Gypsum, Hannah Bailey of Lone Tree, and Julianna Kopec of Avon. After sampling all of the cookies, guests had the opportunity to vote on their favorite recipe. Kristen Gorrell and her “baker’s Dozen” recipe took home the top honors and $1,000.

Her recipe is the new “official” Beaver Creek cookie for the season. Second place winner, Hannah Bailey won third place and $750 for “Hannah’s Mile High Chocolate Morsels,” and third place winner, Julianna Kopec  took home $500 for “Cookies of Prey.” Fourth place recipient, Lori Lavicka’s “2015 Champion Chip Cookie” earned her two tickets to Dancing Like Pros Live performance at the Vilar Performing Arts Center, and fifth place netted Cassie Sewell two tickets to the Cirque Mechanics Pedal Punk at the Vila for her Cassie’s World Class Chocolate Chip Cookies.”

Beaver Creek's signature daily cookie service begins on day one of the ski season.
Beaver Creek’s signature daily cookie service begins on day one of the ski season.

Cookie Time is Beaver Creek’s guest service program daily at 3 p.m. when Cookie Time chefs in chef whites serve warm, fresh, chocolate chip cookies on silver trays.  The tradition started in 1985 and evolved into the cookie competition in 2004 providing opening day guests with a village celebration. More than 500,000 cookies are served annually and the new Beaver Creek Cookie & Crepe Company, located by Beaver Creek Lodge, now allows guests to purchase their favorite Beaver Creek cookies to take home  or to their resort accommodations.  

Kristen Gorrell’s Baker’s Dozen Cookies

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, partially melted
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup tightly packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons additional brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 cups  semi-sweet chocolate chips

Beaver Creek did not provide baking instructions, but typically all ingredients are combined (I’m guessing first dry ingredients, then butter, then sugars followed by eggs and finally chips). The dough is dropped in balls about two inches apart on cookie sheets often lined with parchment. Without instructions, I’m mystified by the divided brown sugar, but perhaps you will figure that out and post a comment. Bake at 350 to 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until the edges begin to brown and crisp. Remove to a wire rack to cool slightly. Devour.

National Kale Day is October 1

Celebrating this nutritious green with pesto.

NationalKaleDay-logoComing right up on October 1 is  the second annual National Kale Day, and I am going to celebrate by harvesting and doing “something” with the kale in my garden that has continued to grow even as I’ve been traveling. That “something” will probably be kale pesto, thanks to a recipe from the country’s kale promoters, who remind us of the benefits of this leafy green superfood.  National Kale Day was spearheaded by Dr. Drew Ramsey and Chef Jennifer Iserloh, authors of the bestselling book 50 Shades of Kale. The recipe that follows is from the book.

Kale Pesto with Toasted Walnuts

2 cups packed torn kale leaves, stems removed
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the kale leaves, basil leaves and salt. Pulse 10 to 12 times, until the kale leaves are finely chopped. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Scrape down the sides of the processor. Add the walnuts and garlic and process again, then add the cheese and pulse to combine. Toss with your favorite pasta and serve immediately.

Makes 8 servings. Nutritional Information: Per serving (about 1/4 cup): 139 calories, 4 g protein, 3 g carbohydrates, 13 g fat (2 g saturated), 4 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 279 mg sodium.