Category Archives: Recipe

New Favorite Holiday Recipe

Roasted Cranberry & Grapes perfect side dish at a turkey dinner.

recipebox-jpgThanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It was the first I took over from my mother decades ago. I love to prepare and eat the food, and friends always ask, “What can I bring?” I usually reply, “an appetizer, a side dish or a dessert.” My husband likes to make a mountain of mashed potatoes, and I select different versions of other classic dishes every year — soup, turkey (including stuffing and gravy) and cranberries.

I make two cranberry dishes every year — one the simple recipe from the back of the Ocean Spray package and one other. Below  is this year’s cranberry “other,” an unusual and tasty side dish:

Roasted Cranberries & Grapes

1 12-oz. bag or fresh cranberries
12 oz. black seedless grapes ( I used Moon Drops, which resemble plum tomatoes in size and shape)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 fresh rosemary sprigs

Combine all ingredients on a jelly roll pan. Toss to coat cranberries and grapes, and press the rosemary springs into the fruit mixture. Broil 6 minutes until fruit browns slightly and softens.

Mo9on Drop grapes.
Moon Drop grapes.
Roasted cranberry dish ready for the broiler.
Roasted cranberry dish ready for the broiler.

And guess who neglected to take a picture when the dish came out of the broiler?. Sorry.

Easy As Apple Cake

Simple fall recipe for tasty cake.

appleWhen your friends have apple trees, you get lots of apples. I rarely make the same recipe more than once, but this Dutch Apple Cake Recipe was so good that I have repeated it and probably will again when apple season 2017 arrives.

p1120299

Dutch Apple Cake

3 medium or 4 smallish apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened + butter to grease loaf pan
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour (I use Hungarian High Altitude flour)
1/8 tsp. salt

1. In a large bowl combine apple slices, 2 Tbsp. sugar and cinnamon. Let stand for 1/2 hour.
2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300°.
3. In another large bowl, cream butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add vanilla.
5. Combine flour and salt. Gradually add to butter/sugar/egg mixture, beating until smooth.

p1120300
6. Transfer to well-buttered 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.
7. Push apple slices vertically into the batter, placing them close together.

p1120301
8. Bake for 1½ to 1¾ hours, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. The cake will have puffed up to the height of the rim. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove to wire rack. (Apologies for no image; I forgot.)

Slice and serve while still warm. Vanilla ice cream goes well with it.

Happy Bastille Day!

Salade Niçoise for a potluck.

BastilleDayThe Boulder Media Women potluck always calls for a salad, if seems, and when it falls on the 14th, making a Salade Niçoise seemed like the right thing to do.

There are as many recipes for the specialty from the South of France. Commonalities are tomatoes, green beans,  anchovies, hard-boiled eggs, Romaine lettuce and tuna.  A vinaigrette is obligatory to dress it. As usual, I mixed, matched and in general winged it. I didn’t make notes of exactly how I prepared this year’s salad, but I did take some pictures.

Ingredients.
Ingredients.
La salade.
La salade.

Tomato & Artichoke Sauce for Ravioli

Easy-peasy sauce for spinach/cheese ravioli.

So I had this package of frozen spinach/cheese ravioli that needed a sauce. So I shopped around my online recipe box, modified several and came up with this fast and simple sauce. So simple. So tasty too. No pix, because it looks like a lot of red sauces;

Tomato & Artichoke Sauce

1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 16½-ounce can peeled and chopped San Marzano (or Roma) tomatoes
1 6½-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, undrained
3 fat scallions, cut into ¼-inch pieces
Salt and fresh pepper to taste

In a nonstick skillet or saucepan over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add garlic, stir briefly, and then add tomatoes and their juice. artichoke hearts and scallions. Salt  and pepper to taste. Simmer 15 minutes.  Pour over cooked ravioli and serve with fresh grated Parmesan.

Enough for 1½-pound package of ravioli to serve 4 to 6.

Chef Tyler Wiard’s SPAM Tacos

Sample tacos al pastor with laughline meat or make them at home.

SPAMSPAM, the pork-in-a-can product not the E-mail annoyance, is a favorite in Hawaii and the subject of Mainland laughlines. But people stop laughing when they taste dishes prepared by name chefs using SPAM. The SPAMERICAN Tour visits 16 cities across the countries where chefs demonstrate that point with interesting recipes.

SPAM is also an iconic Army ingredient, and there-in lies the backstory of the SPAMERICAN Tour. It is partnering with Operation Gratitude, a volunteer based organization that sends care packages and letters to U.S. Service Members deployed overseas, veterans, wounded soldiers and their families, plus new recruits and first responders here at home. The tour is bringing Operation Gratitude’s letter-writing campaign into 16 communities, supporting its “March to a 2nd Million” goal with a $50,000 donation by pledging $1 for every letter written in-market and online at SPAM.com. I know it’s a little complicated.

But each stop is simplicity itself with free samples of Operation SPAM Gravy with Biscuits  and SPAM fries, plus creations of local chef partners. It comes to Denver’s Sustainability Park, where Tyler Wiard, the energetic culinary director of Elway’s restaurant and a recent “cheftestant” on Bravo’s Top Chef, prepares al pastor tacos. He uses crispy SPAM rather than the traditional pork butt. Taste them for FREE on Saturday, May 14 from 2 to 6 p.m. at The Big Wonderful, a sustainability fair at the park (2600 Lawrence St.).  Continue reading Chef Tyler Wiard’s SPAM Tacos

Easiest Garlic Bread Ever

Salt from Grand Junction the magic ingredient.

001A lifetime ago, when I was quite young, garlic bread seemed like an exotic food item. Over the years, I’ve often made it — usually with a salad or soup, or perhaps with a pasta entrée.  I’ve done it the “pure way,” mincing garlic and mixing it with softened butter. Then I began getting lazy and started using Lawry’s Garlic Spread* from the supermarket.

As I’ve become more ingredient-savvy and also more interested in supporting independent food enterprises, especially in Colorado, I tried lightly buttering both halves of a baguette cut lengthwise and sprinkling with a bit of garlic/jalapeño salt from the Colorado Buffalo Salt Company in Grand Junction,wrapping in foil and then baking as usual. Verdict: The Bufffalo Salt and butter combo was the best of the three that I’ve tried.

*If you want to make your foodie hair stand on end, here are the ingredients in Lawry’s Garlic Spread: Partially Hydrogenated Soybean And Cottonseed Oil, Water, Salt, Sugar, Tapioca Maltodextrin, Garlic Powder, Mono- And Diglycerides, Parmesan Cheese (Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate And Sodium Benzoate (Used To Protect Quality), Garlic Oil, Butter Oil (Milk), And Carrot Oil (For Color).” I’m just glad I never binged on the stuff.

Easy & Interesting Dessert With Colorado Yogurt

Noosa’s new flavor worth tasting.

WP_20160211_001I had just finished a small container of Noosa 0% fat salt caramel  flavor yogurt the other day, when a package arrived. It held two containers of high-test Noosa blackberry serrano Greek yogurt, a new variety available only in Colorado. I opened one soon and loved the richness, the fruity flavor and the kick of serrano. But having only eaten non-fat and low-fat yogurt for years, I had to consume it in two helpings. Fortunately, it had a real lid and not that foil peel-off stuff.

I should add that I have a soft spot for Noosa Yoghurt, because it comes from tiny Bellevue, Colorado, north of Fort Collins and is made with local milk. My inspiration for the second container was a quick dessert recipe called “3 Ingredient Chocolate Strawberry Yogurt Bites” from a site called A Cedar Spoon and modified it to suit three main ingredients that I happened to have on hand. I didn’t take pictures, but here’s what a made for Valentines Day:

Chocolate/Blackberry Serrano Yogurt Bites

1 carton  of 15 ready-made phyllo shells
1 container Noosa blackberry serrano yogurt
2 ounces organic dark chocolate
4 strawberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place phyllo shells on baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes to crisp. Set aside to cool.
2. In a glass bowl, melt chocolate in a microwave set on medium power for about 8 minutes or until melted, stirring once or twice.
3. Stir yogurt into chocolate and spoon into shells.
4. Cut strawberries into small pieces and place a few bits on top of each.

Serve before the phyllo gets soggy.