I’m currently in Portland visiting my cousin Kristin and her husband Dick. When I had booked my flight I mentioned that I’d love to cook for them while I was their guest. To my delight their neighbor had given them rhubarb from his magnificent garden and I offered to make my favorite Rhubarb Custard pie. They had beautiful strawberries and Dick asked if we could add those as well, absolutely!
Using my Mom’s Piecrust Recipe, Kristin and I made two 10 inch pie crusts. Twice, though that was not the plan. Chatting too much I botched one tiny step in the first batch and it was impossible to roll out. The second batch was perfect. Then onto the pie recipe:
Rhubarb Strawberry Custard Pie – recipe for one pie
1 10 inch pie crust (unbaked)
3 c Rhubarb – 1/4 inch dice
1 1/2 c sliced strawberries
1 1/2 c sugar
3 T milk
3 T flour
1/4 fresh grated nutmeg
1 T cold butter, diced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the rhubarb and strawberries, spread over the pie crust.
Whisk together the eggs, sugar, flour, milk and nutmeg, pour over filling.
Place the pie on a cookie sheet, then into the oven on the lowest rack (this helps to cook the crust on the bottom). Bake for 35 minutes, remove and sprinkle sugar over the top of the pie. Place back in the oven, turning the pan 180 degrees to get even browning on the crust. Bake another 30 minutes watching for the crust to brown and remove to cool, the center of the pie will still be a bit jiggly. Cool at least 2 hours and then enjoy it!
This is the second post in my new series, Cooking for One. Since losing Spence almost three months ago, it’s taken time to regain my appetite and rediscover my passion for cooking. Thankfully the desire to create and savor delicious meals has slowly returned. In sharing these ideas, I hope that even when it’s just you, you’ll feel inspired to make something special – you’re worth it!
Fontina & Prosciutto Flatbread with Figs & Balsamic Reduction
1 piece of Naan
fresh cracked black pepper
red pepper flakes
sliced Fontina cheese
thin sliced prosciutto, torn into smaller pieces
chopped or sliced figs
thin sliced red onion
fresh baby spinach
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a cast iron skillet (or baking stone) with olive oil and place into the oven for five minutes. While the skillet heats, brush the top of the Naan with olive oil, add cracked black pepper and red pepper flakes, then add slices of fontina covering the top. Next add the proscuitto, figs, red onion and chopped pistachios. Place the flatbread into the skillet and return to the oven for ten minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven and immediately top with a handful of spinach then a good drizzle of balsamic reduction. I enjoyed this with a lovely glass of Prosecco.
Note: Naan is such a quick and delicious product to use for a quick flatbread or pizza – try any combination of fun toppings – there’s simply no limit!
This took all of 5 minutes to make and less than a minute to eat.
Warm a flour tortilla – I put it right on the burner, flipping it one time. Top with shredded cheese, lower the heat. Prepare one soft scrambled egg – add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. While it finishes, slice 1/2 avocado, placing it onto the cheese. Add the egg and a splash of hot sauce (I used Slap ya Mama). Fold over soft taco style and enjoy.
This is the first post in my new series, Cooking for One.
I’ve made versions of this salad over time, always with broccoli. Today knowing that I had both broccoli and cauliflower on hand, I decided to do a twist on my go-to recipe and share it with you.
Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
2 c broccoli florets
1 1/2 – 2 c cauliflower florets
1/2 c dried cranberries – add to 1/2 c very hot water for 1o minutes, drain
4 oz sharp cheddar, cut into small chunks
1/4 c chopped red onion
1/2 c pecans – chopped and lightly toasted
4-5 slices crisp bacon, chopped
1/2 c mayonnaise
1 T honey
1 T rice wine vinegar
1 t coarse ground black pepper
1 t dijon mustard
red pepper flake to taste (optional)
In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, cauliflower, cranberries, cheddar and red onion. Make the dressing by whisking together the mayonnaise, honey, vinegar, pepper, dijon and red pepper flakes. Dress the salad with the desired amount of dressing – you can always add more. Add the bacon and pecans, stir to blend. Chill for one hour and serve.
Last night I invited Mom to join me for dinner. I surprised her by making a recipe she’d discovered a few years back. It’s a showy dish that’s perfect for easy entertaining and chock full of flavor. Loaded with healthy ingredients, this is only 4 1/2 Weight Watchers points per serving. I sent Mom home with a to-go box and have an ample serving left for myself. I tweaked the original recipe ever so slightly, using only one can of beans, a bit more salsa and made more gremolata because it’s that topping that makes this dish over- the-top delicious. If you have gremolata left it would be great with chicken, salmon or even tossed in with pasta, couscous or rice!
Salsa Red Snapper with White Beans & Gremolata Topping serves 4
4 1/2 Weight Watchers points per serving
18 oz salsa
1 can great northern beans, drained
1 small green pepper, cut into thin strips
1 lb red snapper
1/4 c green onions
1/2 c chopped flat leaf parsley
1 1/2 t orange zest
1 1/2 t lime zest
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine 12 oz of the salsa with the beans and green pepper and place in a casserole dish.
Cut the red snapper into several servings and place over the salsa mixture.
Top the fish with the remaining 6 oz of salsa, followed by the green onions. Cover the casserole dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Mix together the ingredients for the gremolata and set aside.
Remove the casserole from oven and allow to rest uncovered for five minutes before serving. Top each serving with gremolata and prepare to fall in love with this flavorful, healthy dish.
I served this with roasted garlic crostini, a fresh spinach salad with dijon vinaigrette with a lovely bottle of wine and lemon bars for dessert.
As another bitter cold wintry Michigan day unfolded, I realized that I just didn’t want to to leave the house for any reason. With a household of goodies between pantry, fridge and the chest freezer I came up with a delicious entree.
A fishing buddy of Spence’s used to cook Lake Trout, Bass and Whitefish in foil packets with lemons, butter, green onions, garlic, salt and pepper – then place the packets on the grill. It was so simple and absolutely delicious. I decided to adopt the foil packet idea for this recipe using a Walleye Fillet.
Walleye Picatta Serves 1-2
1 Walleye Fillet (1/2 – 3/4 lb)
2 T butter
1 large clove of garlic – minced
1 large shallot – chopped
coarse sea salt
red pepper flake (optional)
1 T capers
2 T Extra Dry Vermouth (or other dry white wine)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil. Rub about 1 tablespoon of butter on the foil, add the Walleye Fillet (skin side down). Zest a lemon, set the zest aside. Cut the lemon in half placing it on either side of the fillet then top the fish with another tablespoon of butter cut into 4 pieces placed on top of the fish.
Sprinkle sea salt, zest, red pepper flakes and coarse ground lemon pepper over the top, to taste.
Next add the garlic and shallot over the top and around the fillet. Top with the capers followed with the extra dry vermouth around the fillet.
Seal the foil tightly allowing for a pocket of air above the fillet. Bake for 10 minutes, allowing it to rest for five minutes and then opening with care to avoid burns from the steam.
My lifelong BFF put together a Winter Solstice Meditation for a small group of women. We’ll start with a delicious dinner (she is an amazing cook) and I’ve offered to bring a salad. At least three of the women there are vegan and I wanted to honor that so that everyone can enjoy it. As I thought about the holidays, I shopped for ingredients that would be both delicious and look festive. This recipe is what I came up with…what do you think?
Festive Winter Fruit Salad
organic baby greens
shredded purple cabbage
thin sliced red onion
Toss the greens, spinach and cabbage together, place the endive around the edges. Top with the onion, then berries. Finish topping with the pomegranate seeds. Chill and serve. I’m bringing toasted walnut halves and Boars Head crumbled blue cheese – on the side – for those that want to add them.
This is the dressing I made for the salad…
1/2 c white strawberry & peach balsamic vinegar
1/3 c good extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & ground black pepper to taste
1 T dijon mustard
Place ingredients in a large mason jar, stir to blend and put top on tight. Shake vigorously to blend, allowing the mustard to emulsify.