Clam Chowder

<Picture to come!>

This one is my first attempt at a chowder (which is ridiculous given that we live in a fishing town). Its a mix of lots of recipes that I’ve read  and I’m sure I’ll update as I make this more often this summer but we had this version tonight and it was really… really…. good.

+++ servings 4 – 6 +++

ingredients:

  • 5 or 6 small Potatoes (we used a mix of sweet potatoes and purple potatoes)
  • 1 small Sweet Onion, minced
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • A couple Tablespoons of Butter
  • 1/4 C Flour
  • 2 Cups Chicken Stock (more if you need to thin it out)
  • 1 Cup Half & Half (more if you like that kind of thing)
  • Dash Lemon Thyme (because I don’t like regular Thyme)
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • A bunch of Frozen Corn (however much you like)
  • Cooked Clams, chopped up small (no bellies). (We used about 20 leftover steamers)
  • Scallions on top

directions:

  1. In a pan that isn’t the one you’re going to cook the soup in, heat up water to boiling. Throw in the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes.  Drain and run water over them to cool them. Set aside
  2. In the mean time, saute the onion and garlic in the butter in the bottom of your soup pot.
  3. When they’re good and translucent, (about 5 min) add in the flour and stir around.
  4. Add in Broth, Half & Half,  the cooled Potatoes, Thyme, Bay Leaf,  Frozen Corn & Chopped Clams.
  5. Cook for 20 min or so or until it all comes together. Salt & Pepper to taste.
  6. Serve with some scallions on the top (unless you have children who will cry their faces off and never touch the soup because of those tiny evil beings floating in their dinner)

Cauliflower Tacos w/ yogurt lime sauce

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We’re doing a whole lot of vegetarian lately. This is a family faaaavorite. (recipe ingredient amounts altered on 4/12/17)

ingredients:

  • 1 Head Cauliflower
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • Pepper (to taste)

directions:

  1. Turn your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut up the Cauliflower into bite sized pieces. Try to keep them all around the same size so they cook evenly.
  3. Put into a bowl and toss with Olive Oil, Cumin, Garlic Powder, Paprika, Salt and Pepper.
  4. Spread out Cauliflower onto a baking sheet and cook for 30 min. You should flip them a couple times… every 10 minutes or so.
  5. From here you can customize. Any simple cabbage slaw works well. Also saaaauce. (directions below)

Sauce ingredients: (updated 4/22/17)

  • 1/4 Cup Yogurt
  • 1/8 Cup Mayo
  • 1/2 Lime – juice and zest
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp dill
  • Dash Garlic Powder
  • A dash of Hot Pepper or Siracha (We use 1/4 tsp Aleppo Peppers)
  • Dash Paprika
  • Pickles (chopped tiny) to taste
  • Salt/ Pepper

Combine yogurt and mayo and whisk in lime juice. Add the rest of the ingredients and Salt and pepper to taste. I think it tastes best when you make it ahead but do what you gotta do.

Gingerbread House

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Every year I search for these recipes and can never remember which ones I like to use so here they are! All nice and together in one place. (Oh and thats Hogwarts above)

Caramel Glue:

Put 1/2 Cup White Granulated Sugar in shallow pan (we use a small frying pan). Turn on medium heat and when it starts to melt, stir with wooden spoon and then shut heat off. Use quickly. If it hardens, you can turn heat on slowly to get it back to being workable. Watch the heat because it could burn.

Royal Icing:

  • 3 Egg Whites (1/2 Cup of Lucerne egg whites in a carton)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cream of tartar
  • 1 lb box of Confectioners Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla

Combine ingredients in Kitchen Aid Mixer and whip on high for 7-10 minutes until fluffy. Put in piping bag right away. If there are leftovers, cover with plastic wrap (push it down right on top of the icing or it will dry out.)

The House:

  • Graham Crackers (multiple boxes because some are always broken)
  • Mass amount of candy (especially small things like smarties and nerds and sprinkles)

Directions:

  1. Make a drawing of what you want your house to look like. Decide which graham cracker shapes go where. (there is no time for planning when the glue is ready)
  2. Then make a bowl of ice water for when you burn yourself on the sugar. (hopefully you wont but i always do)
  3. Dip each cracker into the pan and stick everything together and place on a movable surface… we use the back of a cookie sheet covered with foil
  4. Once the house is assembled, make the icing.
  5. Scoop into a piping bag already fitted with the small circle tip and glue everything together. Glue it down to the surface as well.
  6. Decorate like crazy.

Homemade Pasta

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We’ve just started to venture into the world of homemade pastas. Ive tried a couple recipes but i think this one below was our favorite. Theres another recipe over at Smitten Kitchen that I have tried before but I don’t remember how it came out so I’ll have to try it again and update this.

Note to self: that Smitten Kitchen one uses a ton of egg yolks so its a great one to make after making a birthday cake that requires lots of egg whites.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Semolina Flour
  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Large Eggs, Beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Cold Water

Directions:

  1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment mix the wet ingredients together.
  2. In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients.
  3. Switch out the paddle attachment for the dough hook and then begin to add the dry to wet. Knead for 2-3 minutes in the mixer until a dough ball forms.
  4. Remove from bowl and hand knead on pastry cloth or cutting board for 2-3 min until elastic. Form into a ball.
  5. Let dough rest in plastic wrap in fridge for 1 hour. (Note to self: Dont skip this)
  6. Remove from fridge and let rest for 15
  7. Cut dough ball into 8 slices and flatten enough to get into machine. Roll it through each level until you get to desired level (we like 6 or 7)
  8. Lay out pasta in small nests on a cookie sheet.
  9. Cook a couple nests at a time. Pasta cooks in 4 min in boiling realllly salted water (ocean salty)

Notes:

Flour Flour FLOUR while you’re cranking it through the machine and the cutter will work better.

Chex Mix

[PIC soon]

I went through some serious check mix eating during my last pregnancy. And theres waaaay less guilt about that if you make it yourself out of things you can pronounce instead of the store bought kind.

note: I put a note on this recipe that the seasonings could be increased for more flavor. I’ll try that next time. If you find the perfect balance, let me know.

serving size: LOTS. I ate it so fast though that i forgot to notice just how much there was.

ingredients:

  • 8 C. Corn cereal (or rice check or whatever combo you choose)
  • 1 C. Broken PIta Crackers & pretzel goldfish (because thats what i had)
  • 1 C. pretzels (< non negotiable)
  • 1 C. peanuts (or any nut)
  • 1/2 C. cashew
  • 3/4 stick butter
  • 3 T Worcestehire
  • 1/2 T seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp aleppo (or chili pepper)

directions:

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl
  2. Melt butter in the microwave and mix in seasonings.*
  3. Pour over dry ingredients and toss to coat
  4. Bake at 325 for 1 hour, stirring every 15 min

Banana Oat Muffins (No Flour!!)

Banana Muffins - the pear and plum

These little muffins are the perfect way to eat oatmeal while driving your child to school.

serving size: makes a dozen muffins

ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups old fashioned oats 
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup plain low fat greek yogurt or keifer
  • 2 eggs
  • a bit less than 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 ripe bananas, (the more ripe, the better)
  • Nuts and things (pecans? dried fruit? chocolate chips?)

directions:

  1. preheat oven to 350
  2. grease the muffin tin (I use coconut oil)
  3. Put dry ingredients in the food processor and pulse for 10 sec.
  4. Add everything else except for the “nuts and things” and process till smooth
  5. Fold in nuts and pour into the muffin tins
  6. Cook for 18 min.

Watermelon and Mint Salad

Watermelon Salad ++ the pear and plum

My sister just got back from the Middle East and brought me a bunch of things… herbs and spices, goodies from what sounds like the most magical flea market on Earth, and a simple recipe she learned from a friend. Not sure it has anything to do with Middle Eastern cuisine but it was lovely just the same. The ingredients are vague because theres really no wrong way to do this.

ingredients:

  • Watermelon, cubed
  • Goat Cheese, crumbled
  • Small handful of fresh Mint Leaves
  • Sea Salt
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper

directions:

  1. Cut the watermelon into cubes and put in a colander. Salt the watermelon to get rid of some water. Let sit for 15 minutes, then rinse well.
  2. Chop the mint and mix it into the watermelon.
  3. Crumble the goat cheese on top of the salad.
  4. Salt and pepper on top and serve.

Cranberry Orange Relish

[Pic to come]

ingredients:

  • 1 Bag Cranberries (12 oz), washed and patted dry
  • 1 Orange – no seeds
  • 1 Cup sugar (or to taste)

directions:

  1. Cut oranges (take out any and all seeds!) into quarters and chop roughly.
  2. Put cranberries in your food processor. Add oranges and process till mushy.
  3. Add sugar and pulse a couple times to combine.
  4. Transfer relish to tupperware and store in fridge for 24 hours before using. (This step really does help temper the bitterness of the cranberries)

Pumpkin Pie

[PIC to come]

This is it. Its perfect. Don’t bother making any other pie.

~makes one 9 inch pie~

ingredients:

  • One, 15oz can of fresh cooked pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 Cups Sugar (perfect amount)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Dash of ground Allspice
  • 1 T Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup cream
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1 T Flour
  • One, 9 inch pie shell – unbaked and not pricked with a fork.

directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Empty can of pumpkin in a saucepan and cook off some of the water. Cook on medium heat about 10 minutes until dry and slightly caramelized, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and pour pumpkin into large mixing bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, salt, flour and spices. Pour into pumpkin.
  4. Now that the medium bowl is empty, beat your eggs, cream and milk in it until smooth and then pour that into the pumpkin bowl.
  5. Combine everything well and pour into the pie crust. Bake until the pastry is golden and only an inch circle in the center of the filling remains liquid. (This could take anywhere from 30 min to an hour. It’s really varied every time I’ve made it. Sometimes I think my oven is weird.) Cool thoroughly before cutting.

(based on original recipe from here: http://food52.com/recipes/15143-meta-given-s-pumpkin-pie)