Sunday, June 28, 2015

Flourless White Chocolate Macademia Cookies



When you taste these rich cookies, you will not believe that there is no butter or flour in them!

Although these buttery treats only require a few ingredients, they are spendy.  (I like to get my macademia nuts at Trader Joe's.)  While it may seem like making such expensive nuts into a butter is a crime, its a tasty one that I encourage you to try at least once.  Try your own cookie variation by using different nut butters and mix-ins, keeping the amounts the same.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Crispy Parmesan-Crusted Chicken


My teenage son found this recipe and made it for a family dinner.  His sister and her friends showed up at the right time and helped us eat it all.  It's a tasty weeknight dinner that is also worthy of company.  (I think Nicola's friends would agree.)  You can use the same technique with boneless pork chops.  Serve hot with a side of mashed potatoes and a salad.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Caponata Siciliana


Caponata is the Italian version of ratatouille, with lots of basil and pine nuts.  The original recipe calls for 2 large eggplants, but since some of my family members are eggplant averse, I used more zucchini instead. I have since made this without any eggplant at all and it was fine.

If you like a bit of spice, I'd recommend adding a couple of tablespoons of red or green curry paste or a squirt of Sriracha. You could also use a jar of pesto in place of the basil.  This makes a nice side dish tossed with a few cannellini beans.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Deviled Eggs


Honestly, who does not like deviled eggs?  These are a killer finger food that will instantly raise you to the status of best hostess.  If you prefer a fancy preparation you can pipe the filling with a pastry tip and swirl away to your heart's delight.  But these don't last long enough at our house to merit such efforts.  It's a minor miracle that I even had an opportunity to snap a photo of these before they were snatched up!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Berry Rhubarb Maple Crisp


Another delicious way to eat more rhubarb!  Feel free to sub out any of the fruits below while keeping the same quantities.  The original recipe called for blackberries instead of blueberries, but I thought blueberries would be less tart.  The choice is yours.

There will be more than enough crisp topping for 6 6-oz ramekins.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Strawberry Rhubarb Cherry Jam


Our rhubarb plant is growing like crazy so the hunt for rhubarb recipes is on!  This is a simple jam recipe that is pectin-free.  My son and I previewed many recipes before choosing this one and noted that Martha Stewart's recipe incorporated blood oranges to lend a nice red color to the jam.  Blood oranges are only available for about two weeks in Minnesota, but I decided we could do the same thing by using dark red cherries.  I think the color is great!

I like to put my jam into these Luminarc glass jars with lids.  I am not a very good canner in that I don't have the patience to sterilize jars and lids.  I just make small quantities and keep the jars in the fridge.  It also helps that I give most of what I make away!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Shirazi Salad


This is a salad from Persia, now known as Iran.  It's a nice spring or summer salad that can be paired with roasted chicken or grilled meats.  A fresh alternative when lettuce salads start to lose their novelty, this salad also keeps well so leftovers can be eaten the next day.  I forgot to add the chopped parsley in the version pictured above, but no one noticed.  If you find that the onions are too strong after soaking, try soaking the onions in hot water instead.