The-damn-near-close version of PF Chang’s Shanghai Cucumbers

Ingredients

6-7 small Persian cucumbers or 1 large English cucumber cut in to 1/2″ slice rounds
1Tbsp of good quality sesame oil
2 Tbsp of Soy sauce, regular or low sodium if you prefer
1 Tbsp of Huy Fong chili garlic sauce if you like a little heat! skip if you don’t.
1 Tbsp of White Vinegar
Sesame seeds to garnish

Directions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together
  2. toss with the cucumbers 
  3. sprinkle sesame seeds to finish 

Anne’s Stout Braised beef short ribs

This is one of our go to comfort meals, super easy and perfect served over riced cauliflower or any carb you love!

Ingredients

4 lbs short ribs*, bone-in, individually English cut
2 Tbsp coarse salt
2 tsp ground black pepper

2 Tbsp good oil, like Avocado oil or Safflower oil
1 yellow onion
4 carrots
2 celery stalks
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp tapioca flour
18 oz of Guinness 
2 cups Beef Bone Broth
6 dates
1 sprig sage
4 sprigs thyme, (more for garnish)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Slurry (1 tbsp tapioca flour or corn starch mixed in 2 tbsp cold water)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 275 F.
  2. Clean and rough chop all the veggies and set aside. Pat dry the ribs and liberally season with salt and pepper on all sides.
  3. Over medium-high heat the oil in a braiser/Dutch oven or large heavy skillet and sear the short ribs for about 1-2 mins on each side. Work in batches so that you do not overcrowd the pan. When nicely browned, remove the short ribs and set aside.
  4. Lower the heat to medium, add the veggies, stir them and let them soften for a few minutes. Add the tapioca flour and tomato paste stir and cook for about a minute.
  5. Deglaze by adding the beer and be sure to scrape all brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the beef broth, the bay leaves, sage, thyme and dates.
  6.  Add the short ribs, distribute evenly and increase heat to bring to boil.
  7. Once boiling cover and place in the oven for about 3 hours. The ribs should be very tender before you take them out of the oven. 
  8. When the short ribs are done, remove them from the braising liquid (carefully, the meat will be very tender) and let them rest for a few minutes. You can then remove the tendons and bones before you serve them.
  9. If you want to make a gravy from the braising liquid first scoop out the vegetables and set aside. Using a large spoon skim off and remove as much of the fat floating on top of the liquid. Then strain the braising liquid using a sieve. 
  10. Heat a pan over medium heat, add the strained braising liquid and the Dijon mustard and bring to simmer, mix to incorporate, add slurry and stir to thicken.

Ina’s roasted Chicken

Ina’s chicken, the classic Sunday dinner staple in our house. Simple yet so damn good!I add in carrots, onions and celery to the pan so you have sides to go with!

From Ina herself to you! If you love Ina, and this recipe – purchase the Cook Book Here!

ingredients

From Ina herself to you

  • 1 5- to 6-pound roasting chicken
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 Spanish onion, thickly sliced
  • 1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

  1. Remove the chicken giblets.
  2. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry.
  3. Place the chicken in a large roasting pan.
  4. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken.
  5. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of the lemon, and all the garlic.
  6. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper.
  7. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.
  8. Scatter the onion slices around the chicken.

Roast the chicken for 1-1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove to a platter and cover with aluminum foil while you prepare the gravy.

Gravy Deets

  1. Remove all the fat from the bottom of the pan, reserving 2 tablespoons in a small cup.
  2. Add the chicken stock to the pan and cook on high heat for about 5 minutes, until reduced, scraping the bottom of the pan.
  3. Combine the 2 tablespoons of chicken fat with the flour and add to the pan.
  4. Boil for a few minutes to cook the flour.
  5. Strain the gravy into a small saucepan and season it to taste. Keep it warm over a very low flame while you carve the chicken.

Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve immediately with the warm gravy.

Mediterranean Frittata

Frittatas are my go to when I am feeling lazy. Feeds a lot of people and leaves more time to relax with your coffee.

I also like to meal plan and sometimes will use left over vegetables in the mixture. Last night we had Asparagus and I saved some for breakfast. I knew it would be great paired with spinach, tomatoes and goat cheese! This is easy, inexpensive and will actually feed you for a few days! Keeps well and is good for on-the-go.

Amy’s Monkey bread

For those of us who are a bit less kitchen savvy, and aren’t currently worried about diabetes.(AKA: this is crazy-simple and there’s a lot of butter and sugar involved.)

Note: this is also a fun one to make with your small humans.

Ingredients

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cans Pillsbury Grands biscuits (the big ones that are 8 to a can)
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup melted butter

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350
  2. Lightly grease bunt pant (it’s gotta be a bunt)
  3. Cut each raw biscuit (there should be 16) into quarters (I like to use a pizza cutter, it’s very satisfying)
  4. In a large ziplock bag, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon.
  5. Toss dough quarters into bag and toss to coat, then arrange in pan.
  6. Mix brown sugar and melted butter.
  7. Pour mix over biscuit pieces in pan.
  8. Bake 45 min or until golden brown and no longer super doughy in the center.
  9. Cool in pan 10 minutes.
  10. Flip upside down onto serving plate.
  11. Enjoy while warm and gooey if possible.

Goes great with black coffee and reheats well. You can also do a simple sugar glaze over the finished cake if that’s not enough sugar for you. 🤪

Rye’ced Tea

When I was a little girl, anytime it was sunny, my mother would always make Sun Tea. Sun Tea is easy: Just fill a glass container, whether it is a pitcher or a half gallon canning jar, be sure to pay attention to the amount of tea bags necessary (for example, 1 teabag per 8oz of water) fill your Jar/ whatevervesselyouareusing with water and let it sit in direct sunshine. That last part is important, you NEED sunshine, and the vessel NEEDS to be glass.

Fortunately for us, during self quarantine, we lucked out with some wonderful weather! I made some Sun Tea and felt inspired by the warm weather. Cheers to adult Iced Tea!

Ingredients

1oz Knob Creek Rye/ Any bourbon you prefer.
1/2 Oz Simple Syrup
1/4 oz (12 shakes) Bitter Housewife 
6-10 Oz of Sun Tea or English Breakfast/ Black Tea that has been cooled. (I prefer PG tips myself.)
Lemon Wedge

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients with ice in a shaker, shake for 20 seconds.
  2. Strain Mixture into glass with NEW ice. Top should have a good 1/4 inch froth.
  3. Add Lemon Wedge and Enjoy

Rosemary Lemon Spritzer

Did anyone just sit around during the sunny week we were all quarantined? We sure didn’t! It was the perfect time to get out into the garden and freshen up our flower beds. We had a rosemary bush that was squashed by not one but TWO snowstorms, so we ended up giving it a hair cut and propping it up, resulting in A LOT of fresh cut rosemary that needed to be put to use.

Ingredients

3 oz Vodka (preferably Kettle one)
1/2 Lemon 2 sprigs Rosemary
1 tsp Bitters
Finish with Sparking Water/ Club Soda

directions

  1. Combine ice, vodka, 1 large slice lemon and 1 sprig of rosemary & muddle until the liquid turns green. About 20 seconds, the same amount of time it takes to wash your hands….
  2. Empty liquid contents into a clean glass with fresh ice, and 1 tsp of bitters.
  3. Finish with Sparkling water and club soda, garnish with Lemon slice and Rosemary.

Carrot Marmalade

Recipe Courtesy of Foolproof Preserving.

This recipe is good solely for temporary storage in the REFRIGERATOR. Marmalade stores for up to two months.

This is my go to preserve. I am not much of a sweet fan, but when you have Carrot Marmalade, it can go either way. Fold some into a dollop of cream cheese for your morning bagel, or into your Mashed Sweet Potatoes for some extra zing. This simple and super easy jam is sure to please and dress up your goat cheese log on a summer charcuterie plate!

Ingredients

1 1/3 Cups Sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp Sure-Jell for Less or No sugar needed recipes
10 Oz Carrots = 4 Large Carrots Peeled and Shredded, about 1 2/3 Cups.
1 Tbsp grated Fresh Ginger
1 Garlic Clove (or more if you are a garlic hound like me.)
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Fresh Ground Nutmeg
3 Tbsp Bottled Lemon Juice.
* Lemon juice for canning NEEDS to be bottled in order to ensure proper acidity levels.

Directions

  1. Whisk 1/4 Cup Sugar and Sure-Jell together a bow and set aside.
  2. Microwave 1/2 cup shredded carrots in a covered bowl until soft, about 1 minute.
  3. Transfer Carrots to Blender and add 1 1/4 Cups of water, process until smooth about 2 minutes and set aside.
  4. Combine Ginger, Garlic, Salt and Nutmeg, remaining carrots and water into a large sauce pan.
  5. Cover and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until carrots have softened, about 5 minutes.
  6. Uncover and simmer until water has evaporated, about 30 seconds.
  7. Add Blended carrot mixture, lemon juice and Sure-Jell mixture and bring to a boil, whisking constantly.
  8. Add remaining sugar and bring to a boil, once boiling cook for 1 minute.
  9. Remove pot from heat and skim foam from surface.
  10. Meanwhile, place two 1-cup Jars (I ALWAYS use Ball 8 oz jars, they just look so pretty!) in a Large Bowl and run hot water over for about 1-2 minutes and shake dry. I also personally like to run the dishwasher while I am cooking the jam and pull them out right as I am about to can, they’re HOT and they are sterile!
  11. Shake dry, and place on a towel with space to cool.
  12. Using a Funnel for Jam and Ladel, portion hot marmalade into hot jars and let cool to room temp, cover and refrigerate until marmalade is set for 12-24 hours and serve!

Cereal Milk Ice Cream

Ice Cream Base Recipe Courtesy of Salt & Straw Ice Cream Cook Book.

Part of the fun of cooking is improvising and sometimes combining recipes to make it your own!

I realize that not everyone has an ice cream machine, I know I dont! BUT if you have a kitchen aid, you can purchase an attachment that will do the job! Cereal Milk Ice Cream is one of the very best things in the world. It is the end of your favorite cereal, but in ice cream form! For this, I made quite a few modifications, and it worked out great!

Pandemic Pizza Dough

Pizza is something that ANYONE can make at any time. Most folks have canned tomato sauce in the pantry and cheese in the fridge……oh hey, that is technically a pizza! A pizza can be anything, get creative. You don’t have to only use a red sauce. Blend together some EVOO and fresh garlic to make a garlic sauce, or get fancy and make an Alfredo sauce! My particular favorite is when I have an abundance of fresh basil and parsley, I blend it together with some Olive Oil and make a pesto base. Have fun with it!

If you are anything like me, there is always flour, yeast, sugar and salt on hand. If you’re not like me, go to Trader Joes and get you one of them pre-made dough balls! They are actually really good in a pinch. But today, I am going to talk about MY particular favorite, which is made with a bread maker.

Ingredients

1/2 tsp. Salt
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp Active Dry Yeast
1 Cup Water (Room Temperature)
2 Tbsp Olive/ Vegetable Oil

  1. Measure all ingredients and place into bread pan.
  2. Follow the instructions on your bread maker “Dough” function. I personally own an Oster Bread Maker and highly recommend using the cook book that comes with it!
  3. When the dough is done, roll it out on to a lightly floured surface. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
    **This recipe is for one pizza, but if you prefer thin crust, it will make Two 12-16 inch pizzas.
  4. Place rolled dough onto well oiled parchment paper.
    **I suggest getting a pizza stone if you don’t already have one. However, there is a pandemic and I realize that is probably not top of the priority list. So, use a baking sheet and move the rack one below the middle.
  5. Bake for 15-10 minutes or until crust is brown.
  6. IF you are making a thicker crust pizza with less toppings, bake your crust for 10 minutes, take it out & immediately top the pizza and place back in the over.
  7. Bake for the remaining 10 minutes in order to properly cook your crust and not over cook your toppings.

My Darling Lemon Thyme (biscuits)

Lemon Thyme is one of my absolute favorite Herbs to grow in our garden. It’s virtually impossible to kill, will thrive from Spring to just about winter. It grows super fast and you will most likely have so much you won’t know what to do with it!

For this recipe, I followed a basic Buttermilk Biscuit recipe but altered it a tiny bit to give it a little flare. Hope you like it!

Ingredients

2 Cups Flour
(If you want to do whole wheat, do 1 Cup All Purpose and 1 Cup whole wheat)
1 tsp Salt
2tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Butter
1/2 Cup Buttermilk
Large Sprig of fresh Lemon Thyme
1 tsp of fresh Cracked Pepper

*** Don’t have buttermilk? Thats fine! Use any kind of milk, and add 1 Tbsp of white vinegar to help coagulate and add tang!

Directions

  1. Preheat Oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Cut in the butter until it is the size of small pebbles.
  4. Stir in your buttermilk SLOWLY.
  5. Knead dough a few times on floured surface and use a cookie cutter (in my case, I used a jar that I flipped upside down. Whatever works for you!
  6. Remove thyme from stem and combine with fresh cracked pepper, sprinkle over the top of Biscuits and lightly press down.
  7. Bake for 12 Minutes. Makes about a Dozen.

Favorite Jam Crostata

Recipe from “Preserving Italy” by Domenica Marchetti

This is the perfect recipe if you have extra jam you need to use by the end of the year. Every season I make a TON of jam. My garden has quite a bit of blackberries, and for this particular crostata I used my Blackberry Earl Grey Jam.

Ingredients

3 Cups Unbleached all – purpose flour
1 Cup confectioners sugar (plus more for dusting the crostata)
Finely Grated Zest of 1 Orange
Finely Grated Zest of 1 Lemon
1/4 tsp Fine Salt
2 sticks Cold Unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 – 2 Cups of any Jam you want to fill your crostata. Search your pantry and see what needs to be used. Really, all Jams belong!

Directions

  1. Combine Sugar, zest, salt into a food processor. Process briefly to combine.
  2. Distribute butter pieces around bowl and process until mixture is crumbly.
  3. Add Eggs and Yolk and process until the dough begins comes together. (Don’t over do it.)
  4. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and pat into a disk.
  5. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until well chilled, about an hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Remove dough from fridge and wrapping, cut it into 2 pieces – one slightly larger than the other.
  8. Roll larger half into 11-12 inch round, wrap around rolling pin and drape it into well greased/ buttered cast iron skillet. (Pam works too).
  9. Gently press into the skillet.
  10. Spoon the Jam onto the dough, spreading it evenly & smoothing with the back of the spoon.
  11. Roll remaining dough & cut into 3/4 inch strips, for a lattice OR try using a cookie cutter to cut out shapes!
  12. Bake until slightly golden, let cool until at room temperature and dust with powdered sugar!

Mariah’s Berry Breakfast Bake

Mariah is one of my most favorite people in the world and she happens to be not only my cousin, but an amazing cook! Every time we are together, it is like Iron Chef meets Chopped. Only with less competition, A LOT more wine and laughter.

Mariah made this for me one weekend a few years ago and it is a go-to for friends who are vegan & or gluten free. The recipe is easily modified to suit your needs. You can use Fresh OR Frozen Berries. The more berries you add, the wetter it gets (thats what she said).

Ingredients

2 Cups Rolled Oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg (Personally, I prefer freshly grated)
1/2 tsp salt
Mixed berries of your choice either frozen or fresh.
One and ahalf cup milk
Two eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix dry ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

Place half of the berries on top of the half dry mix.
Mix it all together and pour half of it into a buttered baking dish
Then pour the rest of the dry mix.
Sprinkle the top with remaining berries.

Mix all wet ingredients and pour over your dry mix in the baking pan

Pat down what isn’t covered by the wet ingredients some dry ingredients peeking out is OK this will become crunchy and delicious!

Bake in 350° oven for 40 minutes