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Kale Brussels Sprouts Salad

15 May

It used to be that getting together for dinner with friends was not only a welcomed opportunity to catch up but just as much a dash to escape the dinnertime madness at home. More recently though, we’ve returned to the house. Conversation is easier, we have more flexibility and the kids are otherwise busy doing sports or homework. Also, we’ve found that the food tends to be top-notch as everyone puts their best effort into one stellar dish. Frequently at nights’ end, we come home with an adopted recipe as is the case with this kale salad. Continue reading

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Salad with Warm Chicken, Bacon, Green Beans and Red Onion

3 May

It’s been really warm around here which makes cooking dinner a bit of a chore. Grilling is one easy option. Another is salad which to me seems more like an accompaniment to dinner to add some texture variation, not the main event. Or a choice if you’re on a diet. Maybe that’s because I have a traditional sense that dinner should be hot, even in mild weather.

But a while back I discovered the concept of mixing the hot ingredients with the cold. Then you’ve got a worthy meal. And here’s one of my current favorites.

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Sausage, Spinach and Tomato Pasta

29 Apr

Sausage Spinach and Tomato Sauce

This is a favorite weeknight meal with a number of variations. One of the main flavor determinants is the sausage. I like  the Chicken Tuscan Sausage from Woodlands Market in Kentfield, but any handmade chicken, pork or beef sausage works. Continue reading

Zucchini and Tomato Sauté

21 Apr

Seasonal change is creating excitement at the farmers market. It was packed today. A pleasant surprise was the arrival of summer squash. And big leafy bunches of basil. And even tomatoes. One farm produces a great variety from the hot house and provides an early taste of summer every year. Unfortunately, only the seconds were left at the late hour we arrived, but this sauté recipe showcases their great flavor.

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Easter Bunny Cake

29 Mar

Easter Bunny Cake - Version 3_opt-1Easter is the crafty holiday – dyed eggs, decorated baskets and of course, bunny cake. Above is my version…not a beauty but it fits the classic genre. And underneath the fluffy frosted exterior, it’s simply a chocolate layer cake on its side so it should please all ages. I omit the step of covering the frosting with coconut since my kids don’t like it, but for presentation purposes, I suppose that would give it an edge. Continue reading

Best Roast Chicken with Thyme Lemon Sauce

27 Mar

Roast Chicken with Thyme Lemon SauceAlthough I have written about keeping meal preparations simple, and one of the most basic, quick and delicious recipes is whole roasted chicken, I always seem to struggle with it.  So until I discovered this roast-in-the-frying-pan method, I would not have been one to post confidently about roast chicken.   Continue reading

Pan-Seared-Tuna with Ginger Mushroom Sauce

20 Mar

Pan-Seared Tuna with Mushrooms

I haven’t prepared tuna in a while but when I went to the farmers market the other day, this steak was beckoning. And I recalled having made a hit of a meal with mushrooms a long time ago for family in Massachusetts. Continue reading

Spring Vegetable and Chicken Stir Fry

19 Mar

Spring Vegetable and Chicken Stir FryWith the great variety of spring vegetables surfacing at the Farmers Market and not enough time to prepare each one in some new way, we’ve been making a lot of stir fries. I don’t have a wok but have found that a frying pan works well too. The beauty of this type of preparation is its simplicity and versatility. You can use any combination of veggies and add either uncooked or leftover chicken, beef, pork or fish (if already cooked, add toward the end). Then incorporate whatever seasoning you like. With the recipe below, the leeks, onions, mushrooms and garlic hold so much flavor that very little additional spicing is needed. Continue reading

Zucchini with Parmesan – Ina Garten

25 Dec

 

Prep Time: 10 mins  |  Cook Time:  20 mins  |   Servings: 3-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 medium zucchini
  • Good olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions cut in half and sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. Remove the ends of the zucchini and, if they are large, cut in half lengthwise.  Slice diagonally in 1/2-inch slices.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12-inch) saute pan and add the onions. Cook for 10 minutes on medium-low heat until they start to brown.
  3. To keep in one layer, add half the zucchini, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to the pan and cook, tossing occasionally, for 10 or until just cooked through.  If zucchini is crowded, you’ll steam rather than saute it so two batches might be necessary.
  4. Put zucchini and onion on a plate, scraping bits from the bottom of the pan so they don’t burn.
  5. Add second half of zucchini and 1/4 teaspoon salt and fresh ground pepper.
  6. When done, add zucchini and onion from plate and sprinkle with parmesan.
  7. Cook for 30 seconds more.
  8. Serve immediately or keep in the stove and heat up when ready.

All Star Organics Salts and Sugars are available at the Sunday Farmers Market in San Rafael, specialty retailers and online.