December 23, 2015

Date Scones

Most definitely my favorite scones I've made.

Date Scones
from Food and Wine

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup chopped pitted dates
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, plus more for brushing
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
Jam, for serving

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, sift the 2 1/4 cups of flour with the sugar, baking powder and salt. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the dates and toss to coat in flour. Drizzle in the 1 1/2 cups of cream and stir until a dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 10 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently until it comes together. Pat the dough into a 5-by-10-inch rectangle. Cut into 8 equal squares and arrange on the prepared sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 375°. Brush the tops of the scones with cream and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

Bake for about 25 minutes, until golden. Transfer the scones to a rack to cool completely. Serve with salted whipped butter and jam.

Easy Teriyaki Chicken

I liked this recipe because the teriyaki sauce only has three pantry ingredients: soy sauce, honey, and ginger.

Easy Teriyaki Chicken
from Chow

3/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1 1/4 teaspoons peeled, grated fresh ginger (from about a 1-1/2-inch piece), grated on the small holes of a box grater
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
Freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 medium scallions, thinly sliced

Bring the soy sauce and honey to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often until the honey has completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger, stir to combine, remove from the heat, and set aside.

If using chicken breasts, place them on a cutting board and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet or a frying pan to gently pound them to a 1/2-inch thickness. Cut each in half so you have 4 pieces roughly the same size. (If using chicken thighs, no need to pound or cut.) Season both sides of the chicken with pepper.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook without disturbing until browned, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook the second side until browned, about 3 minutes more.

Reduce the heat to medium, slowly pour in the reserved sauce, and cook, flipping the chicken occasionally to coat in the sauce, until cooked through, about 3 minutes.

Transfer the chicken from the pan, letting the excess sauce drip off, to a clean cutting board. Reduce the sauce in the pan over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes more. Slice the chicken crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Place on a serving dish, top with the sauce, and sprinkle with the scallions.


This scone recipe is from my friend who spent some time in London. These are best served with jam and whipped cream.

from Rachel J

3/4 c. butter
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
3 1/2 c. flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
1 c. golden raisins (sultanas)

Mix together butter and sugar, then add vanilla and eggs. In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Then add dry ingredients while alternating adding the milk. Finally stir in raisins. Roll out on lightly floured surface about 1 inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter to cut in circles. Bake at 425 for about 10 minutes.

You can also omit the raisins and use the plain scones for strawberry shortcakes.

December 21, 2015

Hot Artichoke Cheese Dip

I've been making this dip for years, but usually only for gatherings. I served it recently and it was the most popular dish of the night.

Hot Artichoke Cheese Dip

14 oz. canned artichoke hearts in water, drained and rinsed
8 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes
1/3 c. mayonnaise
2/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. slivered fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
freshly ground pepper
dash cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 425. Coarsely chop drained artichoke hearts. Mix with remaining ingredients. Transfer to a lightly oiled oven-proof casserole or 9-inch pie pan and bake about 20 minutes, until hot and bubble. Serve with raw veggies or bread.

October 20, 2015

Peanut Butter Muffins

My kids and I love these muffins. I freeze them so we can have them as a breakfast side or a snack anytime.

Peanut Butter Muffins

2 cups white flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut sugar
3/4 cup milk or coconut milk
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts and/or 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate

Heat oven to 375 F. Line or grease a standard-size muffin tin - this recipe makes 12 muffins.

In a big bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a smaller bowl, mix together peanut butter (microwave for a bit if not soft enough), and coconut sugar until creamy. Stir in milk, mashed banana, and vanilla until mixed. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined. Don't over-mix. Fold in nuts and/or chocolate. Scoop batter into 12 muffin cups until all filled. Bake until a tooth pick comes out clean for 18-20 minutes. Take them out of the tin and let cool for at least 15 minutes before eating.

August 30, 2015

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Just had rave reviews from someone who ate some of these cookies. These are wonderful. Chocolate chunks and sprinkled sea salt on top are the way to go for any cookie.

Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies
from Smitten Kitchen

1/2 cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (25 grams) turbinado sugar (you can use more brown or white if you don’t have this, but the subtle crunch it adds is delightful)
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (165 grams) packed light or dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon (or, technically, 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon) fine sea or table salt
1 3/4 cups (220 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 pound (225 grams) semi- or bittersweet chocolate, cut into roughly 1/2-inch chunks with a serrated knife
Flaky sea salt, to finish

Heat oven to 360°F (180°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, beating until incorporated, and scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in salt fine sea or table salt and baking soda until combined, then the flour on a low speed until just mixed. The dough will look crumbly at this point. With a spatula, fold/stir in the chocolate chunks.

Scoop cookies into 1 1/2 tablespoon mounds, spacing them apart on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each with a few flakes of sea salt. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, until golden on the outside but still very gooey and soft inside. Out of the oven, let rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

July 26, 2015

Mint Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

This frozen yogurt is kind of strange, but very appealing. I made this last summer and remembered it and made it again this year, so I knew I needed to document it here. I'm growing my own mint in a pot on my front porch. I've tried fresh mint ice cream before, but didn't enjoy it. So I'm excited and surprised this one is so good.

Fresh Mint Chip Frozen Yogurt
from The Sprouted Kitchen: A Tastier Take on Whole Foods by Sara Forte

1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup maple syrup
Scant 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 cups whole-milk Greek yogurt
2 ounces good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped

Coarsely chop the mint leaves and put them in a saucepan with the cream. Bring just to a simmer over medium heat, occasionally stirring and pressing the mint leaves so that they release the oils. As soon as it comes to a simmer, add the maple syrup and stir to combine, then turn off the heat. Leave the mixture on the stove top to steep for 30 minutes.

Pour the cream mixture into a bowl through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the mint leaves. Add the peppermint extract and yogurt to the bowl and whisk to combine. Cover the mixture and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.

Churn the yogurt mixture in an ice cream maker, following the manufacturer's instructions. When the yogurt is finished churning, stir in the chocolate. Serve immediately, or transfer to a covered container and store in the freezer, where it will firm up increasingly over time.

June 22, 2015

Morning Glory Muffins

These are the perfect muffins - not overly sweet, loaded with healthy goodies, and moist. I'll be making these many times.

Morning Glory Muffins
from A Sweet Spoonful

For Crumble Topping:
1/3 cup (30g) oats
1/4 cup (30g) whole wheat pastry flour
3 tablespoons natural cane sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For Muffins:
1 cup (120g) whole wheat pastry flour
2/3 cup (90g) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (50g) rolled oats
1/2 cup (110g) unrefined cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons whole milk
6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 small orange (about 1 tablespoon)
1/2 cup small diced apple (from 1 small apple, cored and peeled)
1 cup (125g) grated carrots (from 2 small or 1 large carrot)
1/2 cup (70g) raisins
1/2 cup (50g) chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the two flours, oats, sugar, baking powder and baking soda, spices and salt.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, applesauce, yogurt, milk, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Fold in orange zest, apple, carrots, raisins and walnuts.

Scoop batter into 12 paper-lined muffin tins, filling each almost to the top. Spoon crumble filling on top.

Bake for 25-27 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown around the edges and feel firm to the touch, even in the center. Let cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Muffins will keep for 2 days if stored covered at room temperature.

Double Chocolate Dream Cookies

My mom and I put together a cookbook before I started this blog. We gave them to family and friends. It turns out my sister makes these cookies all the time, and I was suprised to learn they weren't already on my blog. The trick is just not to overbake these so they stay fudgey.

Double Chocolate Dream Cookies

2 1⁄4 c. flour
1 c. packed brown sugar
1⁄2 c. cocoa
3⁄4 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1⁄2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 c. butter, softened
2 c. chocolate chips or chunks

Combine flour, cocoa, soda and salt in small bowl. In large bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, sugar, and vanilla. Beat until creamy. Add eggs; beat for 2 minutes. Gradually add in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoonful on baking sheet or stone. Bake in 375 ̊ oven for 8-10 minutes.

Chocolate Coconut Balls

The only packaged snack I buy is Larabars, just for eating on-the-go. They are made mainly with dates and nuts and all the other ingredients are ones you know. I don't like all the flavors, but Peanut Butter Chocolate, Cherry, and Coconut Chocolate are my favorites. There are so many Larabar-like recipes floating around right now. These ones are particularly good.

Chocolate Coconut Balls

1 cup almond butter
1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
8-10 Medjool dates, pitted
1/2 cup chocolate chips or small chopped chocolate
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
4 tablespoons raw honey
2 tablespoons unsweetened cacao powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Add all ingredients except chocolate chips to a food processor. Process until everything is broken down and well mixed. Add chocolate and pulse a few times.

Shape dough into bite size balls. Put in the refrigerator until firm and store the balls there.

Buckwheat Pancakes

The buckwheat crepes I posted before are a favorite of mine. I haven't found many other recipes using buckwheat flour, but this one for pancakes is excellent. I grind my own buckwheat flour using a flour mill.

Buckwheat Pancakes
adapted from Mountain Mama Cooks

1 cup whole grain buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup whole milk
1 egg, separated
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons melted butter

In a medium bowl, whisk together the buckwheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cardamon; set aside.

In a small bowl mix together the milk, egg yolk, maple syrup, vanilla extract and melted butter. Mix the liquid ingredients into the dry until just combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white until soft peaks form. Fold the egg white into the batter.

Heat a griddle over medium heat. Coat the pan lightly with butter or coconut oil. Pour the batter onto the griddle and cook until bubbles form. Flip the pancake and cook one or two more minutes until brown.


I've been using this recipe for body deodorant for several years now. To apply, I get a small glob on my finger, and if needed, wait till it melts a little to help distribute it.

Body Deodorant
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder
5 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
10 drops essential oils (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Store in a glass jar or other convenient container.

February 28, 2015

Coconut Lime Cookies

Using coconut oil worked out really well in these lime flavored cookies. Lime is always delicious, as are these cookies.

Coconut Lime Cookies
adapted from Sweet Lavender

3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar or coconut sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
zest of 1/2 a lime
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. melted and cooled coconut oil
1 egg, cold
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lime juice
1 1/2 cups plus 1 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare baking pans. Set aside.

Beat together the sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, lime zest, coconut oil and cold egg. Mix for about five minutes, until the mixture is light in color.

If needed, scrape down sides and bottom of bowl and add the lime juice. Mix together again.

In a small bowl, sift together the all purpose flour, baking soda and salt. With mixer on low, add in dry ingredients and beat together until just combined.

Scoop dough by tablespoon (a cookie scoop works well) and place onto the sheet pans about 2" apart.

Bake cookies in the center of oven for 12-14 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and dough is set in the center. Let cool 10 minutes on sheet pan before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

January 22, 2015

Tuna Salad

My mom found this recipe for tuna salad recently. It packs in veggies and is very tasty!

Tuna Salad
adapted from Everyday Maven

2 5-ounce cans solid white albacore tuna (in water), drained very well
1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
3 Tbsp. finely chopped red onion
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste - it depends on if the tuna has salt added or not)
1/4 freshly ground black pepper

Use a food processor to chop the carrots, celery, parsley, red onion, and scallions one at a time. Measure the ingredient after it has been finely chopped. Or just hand chop everything.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine.

Granola with Orange and Fig

Here in Vermont there is a widely-available local brand of yogurt which we all love in my family. It is from organic, 100% grass-fed cows and has two ingredients: milk and living yogurt cultures. While I do often eat plain yogurt by itself, it's nice to have something sweet added in too (a splash of maple syrup and a drop of vanilla go a long way).

This granola is very easy and lovely eaten with yogurt. Next time I'll try dried cranberries instead of figs, just for a change.

Granola with Orange and Fig
adapted from Lynsey Loves Food

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 splash vanilla extract
1 cup dried figs, diced
1 orange, zest only

In a large bowl, combine oats, coconut, walnuts, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Melt the coconut oil and combine with syrup and vanilla. Pour liquid mixture over the dry one and mix with a spoon to combine. Spread over a parchment-lined large cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and stir. Bake for 5-10 minutes more, watching carefully to prevent the granola from over-browning. Once cool, toss with figs and orange zest. Store in an air-tight container.

French Chocolate Cake

Always in search of an amazing chocolate cake, and this is the winner so far. I've tried flourless chocolate cakes, but I prefer this one.

French Chocolate Cake
from Smitten Kitchen

9 tablespoons (125 grams) unsalted butter
7 ounces (200 grams) semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons water
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup (40 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (about 30 grams) dark cocoa powder, sifted
4 large eggs, separated
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Two pinches sea salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom of the baking pan with a round of parchment paper.

Melt butter in a large saucepan, 3 quarts is a good size. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in chocolate until melted. Once melted, stir in 2 tablespoons water, then baking powder, flour and cocoa until just combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks with sugar, 1 tablespoon water and vanilla, if using, until pale and no longer lumpy. Stir into chocolate mixture until just combined.

In a larger, very clean bowl, beat egg whites and salt until stiff. Gently fold into chocolate mixture until most of the white streaks disappear. Be careful not to deflate the cake.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out batter-free. Remove from oven and rest on rack for 5 minutes. Run knife along outside cake to make sure it isn’t sticking anywhere, then invert onto another rack, then back onto a cake plate. Eat warm or cold.

Cake keeps for several days at room temperature, lightly wrapped.

Anisette Cookies

I love anise flavor, but only recently purchased my first anise extract. These cookies use the extract and were delicious.

Anisette Cookies
adapted from Italian Dessert Recipes

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon anise extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract or freshly squeezed lemon
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup powdered sugar
splash of milk

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

Beat together butter and sugar until creamy. Add anise and lemon extracts and mix to combine. Add eggs and beat.

Add flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl. Mix until blended. THe dough may be a little crumbly. Use your hands to mix the dough the rest of the way, if ndded.

Form dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes until barely browned. Make glaze by adding a splash of milk to sifted powdered sugar. Whisk until smooth add more milk until desired consistency is reached. When cookies are cool, dip tops in glaze.

Skillet Cornbread

Easy and delicious! Gotta have cornbread with chili.

Skillet Cornbread
adapted from Flavor the Moments

1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
1 c. buttermilk
1/3 c. unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus 1 tablespoon for the pan

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Melt the 1 tablespoon of butter and swirl it so that it coats the bottom of a cast-iron skillet (10 or 12 inch diameter). Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, maple syrup, buttermilk, and cooled butter until combined. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir just until incorporated. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 18-20 minutes on the middle rack of the oven until the cornbread is golden brown and crispy and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Pumpkin Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin and cream cheese frosting are such a great match, and the only pumpkin my husband will eat. This cake was quite delightful.

Pumpkin Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
from Leite

2 cups all-purpose flour OR cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk mixed with 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick (4-ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup, preferably grade B amber

Preheat the oven to 350° (175°C). Butter two 8-by-2-inch cake pans, line them with parchment circles, butter the parchment, and coat the pan with flour. Tap out the excess.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and pepper into a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Add the eggs, 1 at a time, to the mixer, scraping down the sides after each addition. Alternate adding the flour and buttermilk mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat in the pumpkin until smooth.

Divide the batter equally between the pans. Rap the filled pans once on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool the pans on racks for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto racks and remove the parchment paper. Cool completely.

In a stand mixer beat the cream cheese butter, confectioners’ sugar, and maple syrup on medium until fluffy.
To assemble the cake, frost the top of one cake, place the other cake on top. Frost the sides and top. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes to allow the frosting to set, if needed.

Spinach Lasagna

I've made this spinach lasagna several times and really love the kick from the lemon.

adapted from Food Network

salt and freshly ground black pepper
9 dry lasagna noodles
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (10-ounce) box frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 pound ricotta cheese (about 1 3/4 cups)
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, or a combination
1 pound fresh mozzarella, shredded (about 4 cups)
Finely grated zest of 1 small lemon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 large egg, beaten
4 cups marinara sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and salt it generously. Add the lasagna noodles and boil, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and garlic in a saucepan over medium heat until the garlic begins to brown. Add the spinach, season with salt and pepper and stir until the spinach dries out and the garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes. Cool.

Mix ricotta cheese, Parmesan/Pecorino, 2 cups of the mozzarella cheese, lemon zest, nutmeg, cayenne, and egg in a bowl. Add cooled spinach to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Cover the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch casserole with a thin layer of tomato sauce. Cover with 3 noodles placed side-to-side, but not overlapping. Top with a 1/3 of the cheese mixture and a third of tomato sauce. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Repeat to make one more layers. Cover lasagna layers with remaining noodles. Drizzle with remaining tomato sauce, then scatter the remaining 2 cups mozzarella on top. Bake, uncovered, until the lasagna is hot and bubbly, about 40 to 45 minutes. Let lasagna stand for 10 minutes before serving.

January 2, 2015

Apple Crisp

I have experimented with several different apple crisp recipes over the years, but have not found one I like more than my mom's old stand-by. I was looking for a recipe with a little less sugar, and next time I may try it with 1 cup sugar instead of 1 1/2 cups. My favorite way to serve it is warm drizzled with cream.

Apple Crisp

8 c. sliced tart apples (about 8 medium)
1 1⁄2 c. packed brown sugar or coconut sugar or sucanat
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. oats
1 1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1⁄2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2/3 c. butter, softened

Heat oven to 375 ̊. Arrange apples in greased 9x13 pan. Mix remaining ingredients; sprinkle over apples. Bake until topping is golden brown and apples are tender, about 30 minutes. Serve warm with cream or ice cream.

January 1, 2015

Garlic Herb Cheese Dip

This cheese dip can be formed into a cheese ball or log and then rolled in the walnuts. Or just put it in a bowl with the walnuts on top. Either way, serve it with raw veggies or bread.

Garlic Herb Cheese Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp. dried herb mix (basil, oregano, thyme)
black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
2 Tbsp. cream
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl until well combined. Form into a ball or other desired shape, or put it in a bowl. Sprinkle the walnuts on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

I have avoided buying salad dressings for several years now. The standard dressings are full of junk and don't even taste that good. This dressing goes well on almost anything. I usually leave out the fresh garlic unless I know I'll be using up the dressing within a few days.

On a side note, this summer and fall I've been buying a very tasty, zesty green mix from a local farmer. It tastes amazing with this dressing, and doesn't need anything else. Now that winter has come, I bought the run-of-the-mill romaine hearts from the grocery store to make a salad. I was taken back by the taste - not just a lack of, but actually an unpleasant taste. Can't wait for my local greens to come around again - possibly as soon as March.

Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. water
1 small garlic clove, minced (optional)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 c. olive oil

Stir together all ingredients except olive oil. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while whisking the dressing. Store in the refrigerator for a few weeks, though with fresh garlic, it may not last as long.