Category Archives: vegetarian

slice of brown sugar apple pie

Brown Sugar Apple Pie

November 9, 2021

slice of brown sugar apple pie

We say the phrase ” as American as apple pie” when we want to convey authenticity. What does this mean to you and your family? Slab pie, double crust, streusel-topped? I love apple pie any old way, especially if topped with a nice scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream.

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skillet of tangy cheddar cauliflower

Tangy Cheddar Cauliflower

Tangy Cheddar Cauliflower

skillet of tangy cheddar cauliflower

Make your plan for Thanksgiving yet? Each year I think of new vegetable sides to grace the table of bounty (and it’s all about the sides, right?). I also dream of harvest desserts, which in my mind are second in command.

head of cauliflower

we must place cauliflower on the pedestal it so richly deserves

Behold the cauliflower, Queen of Vegetables. Roasted, riced, in crackers and gnocchi, in wraps and soups and stews, the main affair and the sidekick. Moreover, stores are now loaded with fresh cauliflower, even vivid colors like orange and purple. This is a Recent Thing.

Potatoes occupy the number one place in my heart of hearts and I will never forsake them. A holiday table is not complete unless something like Cheddar Parmesan Potato Gratin makes an entrance. However, let us eat more veggies and fewer starches for better balance. This cheesy side dish holds its own against any creamy potato side, I’ll wager.

Save the Cauliflower Bits for Enjoying Later

Here is my trick for cutting cauliflower : divide into quarters and manually make florets. Cut and save the trimmed bits for a tasty salad; they keep in the fridge for days.

quartered cauliflower

cauliflower trimmings

save those trimmings – they make a great salad

Tangy Cheddar Cauliflower is a good make-ahead dish. Once defrosted, run under the broiler to give a nice burnished top and serve hot. Equally important, now all you need is a great accompanying potato dish to complete your holiday table.

closeup of tangy cheddar cauliflower

Tangy Cheddar Cauliflower

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company

makes 6-8 servings

ingredients 

one large head cauliflower
1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons gluten free flour mix – I like King Arthur measure-for-measure*
one cup whole milk
one cup greek yogurt or sour cream
1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
* regular all purpose flour also works well

directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut head of cauliflower into quarters and manually break into large bite size pieces, placing on heavy non insulated sheet pan; if desired, save cauliflower trimmings for enjoying later.
  3. With clean hands, toss cauliflower with olive oil and one teaspoon kosher salt, on the pan.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, giving a good shake halfway through to move pieces around.
  5. If making ahead, turn off oven and if serving soon, place oven on high broil setting.
  6. While cauliflower bakes, make sauce : melt butter in sturdy two quart saucepan over medium heat, whisk in flour and cook over medium low heat, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes, avoiding browning.
  7. Slowly add milk, whisking (few tablespoons at a time to avoid shocking the starch and making sauce grainy), then do the same with the greek yogurt or sour cream.
  8. Increase heat slightly and cook mixture about 4 minutes, whisking occasionally.
  9. Off heat, add cheddar and whisk well just until cheese is melted.
  10. Add roasted cauliflower to sauce and place all in oiled heavy broiler proof cast iron skillet or baking dish.
  11. Broil several minutes or just until top is nicely browned.
  12. If dish is made ahead and frozen, defrost thoroughly in fridge, then bake at 400 degrees until warmed throughout (time depends on depth of dish), then broil until just browned on top.

basil plum cocktial

Basil Plum Cocktail

October 12, 2021

basil plum cocktial

Basil tastes lively right up until that first chilly night, when wilted leaves the next morning means revival is futile.  Likewise, the time for stone fruits is over until next year. Basil Plum Cocktail, with fruit infused vodka and basil simple syrup, is our goodbye to autumn warmth . Continue reading

chocolate mint ice cream cone

Chocolate Mint Ice Cream

september 28, 2021

chocolate mint ice cream cone

An abundance of mint graced my garden this summer. I grew chocolate mint, spearmint, peppermint and lemon mint. Guess which one flavored this ice cream? Chocolate mint plus some spearmint gave maximum flavor. For texture, cacao nibs are the crunchy bits that make this ice cream unique. Continue reading

closeup of smoky tomato corn soup

Smoky Tomato Corn Soup

september 14, 2021

closeup of smoky tomato corn soup

 

September is the last hurrah for locally grown corn. The sweetness, the crunch, the flavor are all best in the summer months. However, corn products can be enjoyed all year long, like polenta and grits. I feel ready to bid adieu to fresh local corn and welcome autumn fruits and vegetables. This Smoky Tomato Corn Soup lingers in your memory as a late summer best. Continue reading

closeup of lime basil cantaloupe salad

Lime Basil Cantaloupe Salad

august 31, 2021

closeup of lime basil cantaloupe salad

Technically, this Lime Basil Cantaloupe Salad is a fruit salad. Both tomato and cucumber are also fruits, as is the lime in the vinaigrette. The salad is savory enough, however, that you can please those with palates avoiding sweets. Continue reading

Blueberry Lemon Pudding Cake

july 20, 2021

bowl of blueberry lemon pudding cake

Julia Child introduced us to clafoutis, the fruit dessert that is both cakelike and soft as pudding. The easy method to this dessert lends itself to employing all manner of seasonal fruits.Like stone fruits in Nectarine Almond Cake. Blueberries are plump and sweet this summer, so let’s get to baking. Continue reading

bacon tomato potato salad

Bacon Tomato Potato Salad

july 6, 2021

bacon tomato potato salad

Normal kids ate sandwiches for lunch during summer vacation. This kid scrounged around for ingredients in the family kitchen. Then I moseyed out to the back garden for ripe tomato and  cooked up this Bacon Tomato Potato Salad. Continue reading

closeup of beyond meat stuffed shells

Beyond Meat Stuffed Shells

june 15, 2021

closeup of beyond meat stuffed shells

Last week I pulled some chili from the freezer for a desperation dinner (nothing fresh and no desire for carryout). The chili had several types of beans and vegetables and Beyond Meat burger crumbles. It occurred to me that not one soul could have noted the difference between the plant based meat and the real thing. It’s that good. Continue reading

slice of rhubarb poppyseed cake

Rhubarb Poppy Seed Cake

june 1, 2021

slice of rhubarb poppyseed cake

Homemade cakes got extra attention when I was growing up. We were a dessert family; store bought cakes showed up occasionally, but when mom made her own, we felt the love. Even when the cakes were lopsided, partially frosted or just plain plain, they were always better than anything we purchased. Continue reading