A cheap, expensive lunch (by Sydney)

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I told Erin I was going to do a blog post about recycling and she commented (with a heavy dose of sarcasm), “Wow, that sounds riveting.”   So, I decided to put that one on the back burner…for now.  So, here is a absolutely riveting post about bag lunches.  I know, I know, this might also seem like a boring topic,  but it has been on my mind since I returned to work about a month ago.  I always pass through the World Trade Center on my way to work, and I stopped at the Epicerie Boulud located inside.  I was just getting a cup of coffee, but I decided to check out the lunch options.  After spotting teacup sized portion of lentils and roasted sweet potato for $9, I knew I had to pack my own lunch.

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This is my new lunch bag. I love it oh so much. Just ask Erin.  She is not tired of hearing about it.

I typically work Monday and Tuesday, so I do most of my prep on the weekend.  What I don’t eat for lunch on a workday I eat during the rest of the week.  This summer, I am packing this stuff to take to the pool.

At work, I am stuck inside a room all day with no ability to leave, so whatever I pack is what I eat.  I use this to my advantage by packing really healthy food.  This stuff is very high protein, low carb.  It keeps me very full and helps me walk past the black and white cookies at Zaro’s Bakery on the way home without stopping.

Have some of the following on hand:

  • Cut vegetables (peppers, cucumbers, carrots)
  • Mixed Greens
  • Hummus or Tzatziki
  • Beans (chickpea, black, pinto)
  • Cheese (feta, parmesan, or cheddar)
  • Nuts or seeds (sunflower, almond, cashew)
  • Olives
  • Jarred artichoke hearts

This stuff should be cut up and prepared, ready to go.  That means if you are using canned beans, you have rinsed them and placed them in a storage container in the fridge.  Your cheese should be crumbled or shredded.  Your nuts should be sliced if you like them that way.  You should not need a cutting board when you are packing your lunch.

Make one or more of the following: 

  • Deviled eggs or hard boiled eggs*
  • Lentil Salad *
  • Pickled red onions *
  • Roasted squash or sweet potato*
  • Grilled chicken
  • Farro or quinoa
  • Dressing (shallot vinaigrette*, green tahini, yogurt cilantro*)

*recipes at the end of the post

These ingredients lend themselves to making a Mexican-style lunch, middle-eastern, new-American, or “whatever you like.”

For instance, you could build the following lunch.  In fact, this is what I had today:

  • Mixed Greens
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Yellow Pepper
  • Feta
  • Lentil Salad
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Shallot Vinaigrette

This was such a delicious lunch. I think it would have cost about $65 at Epicerie Boulud, but it probably cost me about $2 to make.  It also took me about 1 minute to slap together this morning on the way out the door.

The following recipes or super-easy and adaptable, which is the whole point:

Deviled Eggs:

  • 4-8 hard-boiled eggs (depending on how many you want to make for the week)
  • 3-6 T. mayonnaise
  • 1 T. mustard
  • 1 t. white vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dash of paprika
  1. Cut each egg in half and scoop out yolk into bowl.  Place egg whites on plate or platter.  Combine yolks with mayonnaise, mustard and white vinegar.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Scoop yolk mixture into the egg whites.  Place a dash of paprika on each egg.  Store in the refrigerator in an air-tight Tupperware container for up to a week.

Lentil Salad:

  • Lentils (homemade or canned)
  • Peppers, celery, carrots or other hearty vegetable, chopped
  • Red onion or shallots, chopped
  • Parsley
  • Olive oil and Red Wine Vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine lentils with other ingredients in a large bowl.  Store in refrigerator for at least one week.  * You could also make this salad using black beans or pinto beans.

Pickled Red Onions: 

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  • Red onion, peel removed and sliced
  • 3/4 – 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. sugar
  • 3-5 peppercorns
  • Garlic clove, peel removed and cut in half
  1. Place red onion in a colander in your sink.  Pour boiling water over the onion to soften (a teapot full is more than enough).
  2. Place vinegar, salt, sugar, peppercorns, and garlic clove in a clean jar.  Shake to dissolve the salt and sugar.  Add the red onion and shake again.  Add a little more vinegar to cover, if necessary.  These will keep for at least 2 weeks in the fridge, and are ready to eat within at the hour.

Roasted Squash or sweet potato:

  • Sweet potato or Squash, peeled and diced (2-4 cups, depending on the amount you wish to make)
  • 2-4 T Olive Oil (depending on the amount of potato or squash you are using)
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place potato or squash on sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil.  Use hands to toss in the olive oil to coat.  Sprinkle liberally with salt and a little pepper.
  2. Roast in the oven 30-40 minutes, making sure to stir the  squash after 20 minutes of cooking.

Shallot Vinaigrette: *

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This is the dressing fresh out of the fridge and solidified. After about 30 minutes, it will come to room temperature and you can shake to mix.
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Combine ingredients in a jar and shake.  Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

* This dressing with solidify in the refrigerator.  If you scoop a portion into a small container on your way out the door, it will be perfectly liquid in time for lunch.

 

Yogurt Cilantro Dressing:

  • 2 cups whole milk yogurt or sour cream
  • 5 T. cilantro, chopped (feel free to add or substitute basil or parsley)
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • 2 T. lemon or white wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  1. Stir to combine.  Taste.  Add more salt and pepper if necessary.  Eat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Break at Grey Towers (by Sydney)

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This has been the coldest Spring in memory.  That’s fine with me.  I come from Wyoming, and I have a very high tolerance for cold.  In New Jersey, people seem to be willing to cancel anything because of a bit of rain or snow.  Not me, I surge forward, with kids in tow, determined to have a good time regardless of the temperature.  This is true of all people from my part of the country.  My nephew from Wyoming came to visit us at this exact same time last year and went swimming in the ocean at Asbury Park.   He emerged from the ocean with a blue hue.  He couldn’t have been happier.

So, when I planned to go camping with my family for Spring Break, I got a few strange looks.  “I hope the weather holds up!” people told me over and over again.  Honestly, I wasn’t concerned.  I just needed to get away from all the chaos of life at home and sit around a fire and chat with my family.  I needed to take long hikes.  I needed to eat 2 s’mores every night.  So, we booked a cabin in the Poconos.  I paid way too much money to stay in a cabin on the edge of a state forest.  There were many waterfalls to see and I imagined long hikes and picnics by the falls.  I called the week before to make sure it was safe to hike in the forest after the three huge storms we have had in the past few month.  “yep, all is well.”  So, we arrived on a Monday afternoon.  It quickly became clear that we would not be able to hike at all.  Every single entrance to the park was closed for “emergency reasons” and would not open for weeks.  I hiked to the falls behind our cabin, avoiding the park entrance, and found huge, ancient trees stacked on top of each other throughout the forest like matchsticks, or worse, hung up on other trees.  There was no way I could take my children in those woods.  I was absolutely devastated.  I had looked forward to this trip for months.   We decided to stay one night only and find another camping spot in good ol’ New Jersey.  That night, we were determined to have a good time, so we spent some time sitting around the biggest fire pit (where you actually sit on the edges of the pit, while the fire burns in the middle).

 

The next day we had a long drive ahead of us to our new campsite so we decided to stop in a a cute nearby town, Milford, PA to do some shopping and grab lunch.  Every single store was closed.  It was Tuesday.  I guess that’s a good reason to close your store in Milford.  We went to grab a bite to eat.  Nothing was open until noon.  It was 11:30.  It began to pour rain.  At that moment, I vividly recalled a memory from when I was maybe 12 years old.  My friend, myself, and her sisters were going on a trip to an amusement park or the like.  My friend and her sisters had spent the morning bickering and by the time we got into the minivan their mom’s nerves were frayed.  We were late.  Her children were ungrateful, etc…So, we piled into the minivan, and one of her sister’s started complaining about something.  My friend’s mom turned around in her seat and faced us, “stop fighting!  Now let’s go have a great goddam time!”  Well, that elevated this Mom to the level of “awesome” in my eyes for all time.  What a moment.  So, I thought, no matter what, we are going to have a great goddamn time on this spring break trip from hell.

So, I suggested we go to the “Grey Towers Heritage Center.”  We could warm up inside and check out these towers.  We parked in a lot at the base of the center.  It turns out, this is annex parking.  On our mile-long walk to the towers, we passed 3 other empty parking lots.  That’s okay, “we are having a great goddamn time.”  We get to the towers, it is closed.  My husband and I looked at each other “of course it’s closed!”  OF COURSE!  Still having a great goddamn time, mind you.

Then, something shifted.  We started wandering the grounds and found we were completely alone in this gorgeous, magical area.  It was like visiting a foreign country in the French countryside for a few minutes.

 

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We forgot about the rain and cold, and just explored these grounds without anyone else around.

I will definitely be visiting these grounds again when they are open, but it might not be as special.  Not without the hike, the cold, or the feeling of being surprised by a little piece of heaven.

Afterward, we went out for lunch at an adorable tavern.  Later, we stayed at an amazing camping spot outside of Freehold, NJ.  And you know what, we really had a great goddamn time.

Coconut Chai Baked Oatmeal (by Erin)

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My friend Dana was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder over a year ago which means she can’t eat gluten. I try to avoid gluten most of the time, and I love a good cooking challenge, so when we were talking about a gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free version of baked oatmeal, I was excited to start trying recipes.

I love this version which I make often for a brunch, but decided to go back to the drawing board to make it as clean as possible. I knew I wanted eggs for protein, bananas as the only sweetener, coconut milk instead of dairy, and chai spices, after Dana raved about the chai-spiced quinoa oatmeal at The Little Beet and my belly grumbled.

So, here it is, and it is delicious. Not clean-eating delicious, but all foods delicious. Take her word for it:

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Coconut Chai Baked Oatmeal (serves 6)

  • 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. baking powder (make sure brand is gluten-free, if necessary)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 over-ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 13.5 oz. can of light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut, unsweetened
  • coconut oil for greasing pan
  1. Preheat oven to 375º. Grease a 9″ pie plate or square casserole dish with coconut oil.
  2. Mix oats, spices and baking powder in a small bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla and coconut milk. Mash bananas and then combine well into egg mixture.
  4. Add dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
  5. Pour into greased dish. Top with toasted coconut.
  6. Bake for 40 min. or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool for a few minutes, cut into six squares, then serve with more almond milk. Refrigerate, and reheat, up to a week.

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Apple Tart (by Sydney)

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When Erin invited the girls and I to NYC for Thomas’s birthday I said “yes”, not only because who wouldn’t want to celebrate Thomas’s birthday(?), but also because I never say “no” to a trip to the city.  When I learned that we were going to the Kellogg’s store for a cereal celebration (how cool is that?) I got even more excited because the store is located in Union Square.  We were going on a Friday, which meant the Union Square Farmer’s Market would be open.

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Thomas and Katherine – the love is real.

Even though it was February and seemingly too cold for any fresh produce, there were dozens of stalls.  Fresh fish, poultry, mead, and some winter produce like kale and potatoes were abound.  If I didn’t have 3 children of my own to bring home safely I would have bought a much bigger haul, but I limited myself to about a dozen apples of many different varieties and some apple cider.  I also got a bag of the broken pretzels from the pretzel guy, which I have done nearly every single time I have visited the Union Square Farmer’s Market.

Those apples made a beautiful apple tart served after Thomas’s other birthday celebration.  In fact, I made 3 of them.  The first was made by Jane in her own little tart pan.  The second a traditional one topped with sugar and cinnamon.  And a third topped with brown sugar, ginger powder, and cinnamon.  In the end, I liked the ginger/brown sugar one best.  Which means, you should feel free to mix it up anyway you like.

Use as many varieties of apples as possible.  The more, the merrier.  No need to peel those apples either.  To cut the apples, chop the end off of each, then cut in half, remove seeds and slice into narrow pieces.

 

I made a homemade shortbread crust.  The trick is to make sure the butter is very, very cold.  I take it out of the fridge, then cut it into pieces into a bowl and put the bowl into the freezer until I am ready to use it .

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One more note…recipes for tarts always seem to recommend brushing the top with apricot preserves after baking, but I couldn’t to find any.  I found a jar of gooseberry syrup I bought in Wyoming last summer and decided to give it a try.  Hurray!  If you don’t happen to have gooseberry syrup in your pantry, you can use any seedless jam mixed with water to loosen it up a bit.

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Recipe:

(Serves 4-6 or 1 tart pan)

Shortbread Crust:

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 T. sugar

8 T. cold unsalted butter, diced

1/2 cup ice water

1 tsp. lemon zest

Apple Tart Filling:

2-3 apples, any variety

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 cup sugar or 1/2 cup brown sugar combined with 1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp, ground cinnamon

3 T. butter

3 T. gooseberry syrup or other jam mixed with 1 T. water to loosen

Instructions:

1.   For the shortbread crust, place the flour, salt, sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.  Pulse to combine, then add the nearly frozen butter to the flour.  Pulse 8-10 times until the butter is the size of peas.  Then, with the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse until the dough just starts to come together – no more!  It should look like this when you put it onto your floured board: you will need to press it together to make it stick.  You don’t want it to be too wet or it won’t be flaky and delicious after you cook it.

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2.  Knead the dough into a ball quickly, so it does not warm up.  Wrap in plastic and place in the fridge for an hour or so.

3.   While the dough is cooling in the fridge, slice your apples and combine sugar and any spices you are using.

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4.   After one hour, remove the dough from the fridge and roll into a large circle.  Place into the tart pan.  You will have some sections hanging over and, on other sides, not enough dough.  Tear sections from the overhang and use it to fill the other sides.  This is supposed to be rustic, people!

 

 

5.  Place the sliced apples in a pretty circle, starting from outside the tart and building inward.

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6.  Top with white sugar and cinnamon, or brown sugar mixture, making sure to evenly coat the apples.  Top with chopped up bits of butter.

 

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7.  Place in oven and bake 35-45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Once removing from oven, baste it while hot with syrup or preserves.  Serve topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

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Kellogg’s NYC (by Erin)

From the time he was teensy, Thomas has LOVED cereal.

I heard of the Kellogg’s pop-up restaurant in Union Square in the city, and knew we had to go. Thomas’ 4th birthday is Monday, and Sydney and I and our kids will always do a little something together for each of the kids’ birthdays, separately from what else might be going on.

piaJBAIzROqzvFAJN5swRAThe forecast called for rain so we suited up and got on the train for the city.

Before long we were there, Kellogg’s NYC.

It’s on the second floor of a building that faces Union Square, but there is elevator access on 18th Street. When we were there, there was a Mommy and Me type class going on in a back room. We went straight for the make-your-own cereal bowl.

For $1.50, you can fill your bowl with any combination of dry cereal, including Froot Loops, Apple Jacks, Special K, Corn Pops, and a Limited Release pink, blue, and purple Unicorn cereal that was a lot like Froot Loops. Or for $4, you can have cereal and unlimited toppings, including fresh fruit, M&Ms, marshmallows, yogurt raisins, white chocolate chips, etc. For $2 extra you can buy chocolate, strawberry or vanilla single-serve milk cartons. We let the kids go nuts.

After they chowed down, they took off their shoes and jumped all over a bunch of nearby beanbags. On a Friday morning, there were lots of parents and kids in the back and no one seemed to mind. Sydney and I drank three coffees (free refills!) and then we took them to the Union Square playground to run off all that energy. Sydney and I took turns hitting the Farmer’s Market for sunchokes and Martin’s pretzels (me) and hard cider and apples (her). Stay tuned for recipe blog posts!

It was the perfect little birthday half-day trip.

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Baked Rice Pudding

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In October, I made this rice pudding for my youngest daughter’s birthday lunch.  I photographed her helping me make the pudding in her Minion costume with plans to post the recipe on the blog within the next few days.  A few days turned into a few weeks and then into a few months.  So, I thought, I will do again for my older daughter’s birthday in January.  Now, only 3 weeks later, here we go!

I love rice pudding SO much, and this recipe is so easy and beautiful because you can just pop it in the oven while you are making the main meal.  It should be very runny when you put it into the oven because the arborio rice absorbs so much liquid.  If you find when you’ve taken it out the oven that it is a little dry, just stir in some cream or whole milk to loosen it up.

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I used Italian plums the first time around because they were in season, but by January they were no good so I used apricots.  You can use any stone fruit you find.

This is stolen completely, an unabashedly from David Lebovitz.  If you haven’t read his new book “L’Appart” you should.  Such a fun trip (for the reader, not David) into Parisian real estate hell.

I am thinking of making this again, for someone else’s birthday (anyone have a birthday coming up…anyone?) and using dried cherries in the pudding and naval oranges as a sauce.

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Rice Pudding:

1/2 cup arborio rice

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise with seeds scraped out, or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

4 cups whole milk

2 T butter, cubed

Compote:

1 1/2 lb. stone fruit

1/3 cup white wine

3  T. sugar

1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise with seeds scraped out, or 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste.

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a 2 quart baking dish, mix together rice, sugar, salt, and vanilla bean and seeds or vanilla bean paste.  Pour in the milk and stir.  Place bits of butter evenly over the mixture.  Place in oven.
  3. Stir every 10-15 minutes, making sure to scrape the bottom so no rice is stuck there.  If it starts to brown on top, just stir it in (yum!)
  4. Meanwhile, make compote  Slice stone fruits in half, removing seeds.  Place them in a baking dish big enough to accommodate all the fruit in a single layer.  Mix vanilla bean paste or seeds with wine and then pour over the fruit.  Sprinkle the top evenly with sugar.  Cover the fruit with aluminum foil and place in oven for 15-20 minutes until soft and cooked through.
  5. Cook the pudding for a 1 hour 45 minutes, making sure to stir every 15 – 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to stand for rice to finish absorbing liquid.
  6. Serve warm or room temperature with fruit compote or any other topping you desire.

 

 

Single-Serving Socca

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Clean-eating + breakfast = boring.

I can eat chia pudding about once a month. Oatmeal makes me super hungry in about 20 min. Sometimes soup, but then what to eat for lunch?

Say what you want about Gwyneth, it’s probably all true, but her cookbooks are the best. The recipes are delicious, the pictures are beautiful and there is usually something new or unusual to try. I’d been eyeing the socca pizzas in It’s All Easy for ages, and finally picked up garbanzo bean flour. I made the recipe, easy, but then threw out the rest because you can’t sell a 6- and 3- year old on them and they got soggy in the refrigerator.

So after a few experimentations, a simple, fast way to make one socca:

Single-Serve Socca

  • slightly rounded 1/4 cup garbanzo flour
  • scant 1/4 c. water
  • a teaspoon (I used a flatware one, not a measuring one) olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of whatever spice you like (garlic powder and piment d’espelette is nice)

Get a mug or liquid measuring cup. Mix all the ingredients together in the cup.

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Heat a non-stick small frying pan on medium heat.

Coat with a small amount of oil. I like the spray kind with no propellants. (Yes, Sydney, you were right. It’s just olive oil.)

Pour batter in center of pan slowly and let spread. Cook for 2 min. The bottom should be dark golden brown, the edges bubbly and the top set. Cook longer if necessary, then flip. Cook 2 more minutes on opposite side. Remove to plate.

While you’re at it, put a little more oil in pan, fry up an egg and put on top of socca. #eggsoneverything

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Top with anything else: grilled vegetables, avocado and kimchi are my favorite.

YUM. And you won’t be hungry for a VERY long time. One socca is about 150 calories, no gluten, the only fat is from the olive oil and the flour is high in fiber and protein.

 

 

 

 

Poached Pears

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After struggling mightily with the chocolate meringues we thought we had perfected for our first “French Experience” workshop, we decided to switch over to something equally delicious and perhaps more decadent for the second one.  It was a hit.  Not only is it beautiful, it has the perfect flavors for fall like clove, cinnamon, star anise, and vanilla.  Even better, it is light enough that you can consume it guilt-free, even after eating foie gras, forest pie, and pumpkin soup beforehand.  Feel free to play around with recipe, adding more or less aromatics of your choosing.

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Poached Pears:

  • 6 firm, yet ripe pears
  • 3 to 4 cloves (optional)
  • 3 to 4 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 pint port (or red wine)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • zest from 1 orange (optional)
  1. Peel and cut pears in half, removing stems and core.
  2.  Place aromatics (cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns), sugar, and vanilla bean and orange zest, if using into a pan.  Top with wine or port.  Stir.
  3. Add in pears and add water, if necessary, to cover pears by 1 inch.  Bring mixture to a boil.  Allow to boil 1-2 minutes for very ripe pears and 3-4 minutes for firmer pears.  You want them to be firm, not mushy, but easy to pierce with a sharp knife.
  4. Meanwhile, cut circle of parchment paper that will fit inside of pan.  Cut small circle from the middle of the paper and place inside the saucepan.  Push down a bit on top of pears so that liquid comes up through the middle hole, submersing pears. (This will keep the pears submerged so they have uniform color).
  5. Once entire saucepan has cooled, remove pears to plate.  Boil remaining liquid until reduced 2/3 and liquid is syrupy and coats the back of the spoon.
  6. Serve with ice cream, creme fraiche, or whipped cream, drizzling syrup over the top of pears and cream.

 

Thanksgiving at Dreyer Farms

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Last night Erin and I got to be part of the Dreyer Farm crew.  Sure, we are there all the time, picking up our CSA or food for videos, or buying plants, donuts, eggs etc…  We always chat with everyone who works there and have formed budding friendships with so many of them.  (Except for Dawn, who if you have met just once, you are automatically best friends.)  Last night was the Dreyer Farm Thanksgiving event.  On that night, you get to eat a full Thanksgiving meal paired with Tomasello wines.  There are appetizers and desserts.  It is a feast, and at $20 dollars a ticket ($15 dollars for CSA members), the best deal in town.

So, of course, Erin and I have gone to the Thanksgiving at Dreyer Farms every single year.  We have watched Chef Michelle make her unbelievable brussel sprouts, turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce.  We eat it all.  Then, we make it for Thanksgiving for our families.  It is great fun.  But, this year was even better.  Not just because Justine wore this hat:

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You really should order an Ashley Farm turkey. The hat doesn’t lie.

but because we got to go behind the scenes.  We helped make the food, watched Chef Michelle hustle and work her magic, and hung out in the back with Jessica, Justine, and Dawn.  We met their old family friends.  It was grand.  After everyone was fed, Erin and I took plates loaded with food and sat outside, drinking a Tomasello pinot noir and talking about how awesome the night had been.  Erin and I have both been waitresses, bartenders, and hostesses.  We did that work for years because we loved it: the hustle, meeting new people, and the characters in the kitchen.  Last night we got a taste of that again.

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We made a contribution to dinner last night.  A sweet potato bruschetta topped with  whipped pumpkin goat cheese and crunchy winter salad.  Something to lighten up the feast.  I hope you enjoy:

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Ingredients:

  • 3 whole sweet potatoes, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 oz. pumpkin goat cheese, or your favorite flavor
  • 4 sticks celery, diced
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 3 T. parsley, chopped
  • 3 T. red wine vinegar
  • 3 T. olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spray baking sheet with canola oil.  Place rounds on sheet and spray the tops again with canola oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes, until beginning to brown.  Once browned, remove from oven, flip rounds over so the browned side is face up.  Then, smear that side with 1-2 tsp. of goat cheese.  Place back into the oven for 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, place chopped celery, shallots, cranberries, pecans and parsley into bowl.  Top with red wine and olive oil.  Stir.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Place rounds on platter.  Top with celery mixture.  Serve immediately.

 

 

 

Recipe: Pulled Pork Sliders with Brussels Sprouts and Kale Slaw

 

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Erin, Sydney and a beautiful cheese pumpkin, ready to serve some tasty food 

What an amazing event at Dreyer Farms last night!

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Jess Dreyer, in excellent form, and Erin

It was so nice to meet (and feed) so many community members. We are so excited that so many of you signed up for our winter workshops at the farm. And since we had so many requests for the recipes, here you go!

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Pulled Pork Sliders with Kale and Brussels Sprout Slaw

Pulled Pork 

  • boneless pork shoulder (~4 lbs.) or bone-in pork shoulder (~7 lbs.)
  • 1 onion
  • 3 T. canola oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 T. each: ground mustard, paprika, brown sugar, kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. each: ground coriander, ground pepper
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • 1 c. white wine
  • 3 c. chicken stock
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat canola oil over high heat.  Meanwhile, pat pork dry with paper towel. Cut onion in half and rub cut side over the pork.  Combine ground mustard, paprika, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and coriander in small bowl.   Rub spice mixture over pork.
  3. Once oil is hot, almost smoking, place pork into pan and sear each side.  This process should take about 10 minutes – each side seared for 2 minutes until a dark golden color.
  4. Remove pork from pan.  Slice onion and place into pan along with garlic.  Stir until softened.  Add white wine and allow to boil until reduced to a small amount of liquid.  Add in chicken stock.  Place pork back into the pan, put a lid on the pot and allow to boil.  Then place in preheated oven and cook until meat is falling off the bone or apart – or about 3 hours.
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That’s a lot of slaw!

Kale and Brussels Sprouts Slaw

  • 4 c. brussels sprouts
  • 1 bunch of kale, ribbed and washed
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • any leftover stalks from broccoli or cauliflower, peeled and grated (optional)
  • 1/3 c. neutral oil (canola, vegetable, sunflower)
  • 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  1. Thinly slice brussels sprouts. This is very easy using the slicer blade in your food processor. Remove to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Cut kale into ribbons. I also put this in the food processor after I wash and take the thick stems out. Remove to the bowl.
  3. Add carrot and broccoli or cauliflower stalks to bowl, if using.
  4. In a small saucepan, combine oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Turn off as soon as it starts to boil and then cool for 5 min.
  5. Pour warm dressing over vegetable, and toss. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, up to 24 hours ahead of serving.

To make sliders, we like King’s Hawaiian Rolls, topped with a generous portion each of pulled pork and slaw.