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Showing posts from 2016

Chunky Turkey and Stars from Scratch

It's the holidays!  What are you going to do with that big ol' mess of turkey carcass?  Throw it out? NO WAY!  You're going to make stock, and then you're going to make soup.  And I'm going to tell you how.

Stock/Bone Broth Hybrid
1 turkey carcass, bones, skin, etc.
1 onion, quartered
2 carrots, grated
The tops and leaves off your whole celery stalk
1 tsp. mustard seed
2 tsp. basil
6-7 bay leaves
(optional-scallion leftovers)

In a large crock pot, combine all stock ingredients.  Cover with water, and cook on high until veggies turn mushy, and there's a nice oil slick on top. 8-12 hours usually, but it can take longer.Strain out.  I take a large mixing bowl,  put my colander in it, and cover with a flour sack towel. I then use my handled measuring glass to scoop out the goods into the bowl.  I usually have to empty the towel and bottle the broth 2 or 3 times throughout the process.I also take the time here to pick out edible meat.  You'll find quite a bi…

Tazo Passion Tea Lemonade Sugar-Free Version

I loooove the Tazo Passion Tea Lemonade they serve at Starschmucks, but hate the calories. It's 100 calories for a Tall, and 190 for a Venti because the lemonade they use is so sugary. So, I've fiddled around and found a way to make a 10- calories version at home using something that should have been obvious all this time.
Sugar-free lemonade packets.

3 Tazo Passion tea tea bags, remove string but be careful not to bust the staple. 1 pitcher package of sugar-free lemonade mix, such as Crystal Light. I also use Target's Market Pantry generic rip off. But be careful, this is the big packet, not the single serving one. In your pitcher, combine the tea bags and lemonade powder.Fill with hot water. My tap water is so hot, I can use that, but you may have to boil up some on the stove.Pop in the fridge, and steep until desired strength is reached. I like mine really strong, so I never remove the tea bags.Serve once cold.

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream

I was curious. I love pumpkin pie, but I am not fond of the crust, so for years I've been making a from scratch version of the Betty Crocker Impossible Pumpkin Pie.

But the recipe is easily halved and having a whole pie around when you're trying to lose weight is just bad juju. Maybe I could do it in individual servings?

It turns out I can! These cupcakes are touchable, but very obviously pie, and the consistency of it.

Cupcake Pie
1/2 cup mashed pumpkin or butternut squash
5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 heaping tsp. baking powder
Dash of salt
1 1/2 tsp. coconut oil, hard
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup so delicious unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1 eggs
1/4 heaping tsp. cinnamon
1/4 heaping tsp. ginger
Dash nutmeg
Dash clove

1/2 stick salted butter
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp.powdered/confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1 Tbsp. so delicious unsweetened coconut milk
Combine for the Cupcake Pie in a blender or beat in your medium mixing…

Simple Winter Vegetable Kielbasa Skillet

Winter is almost officially here, but it's been snowy and gross for a month in the Southern Tier.  My CSA farm share is over, and I've started trying to clear out the fridge and prep things before they go off for storage.

It's also that time of year where I'm grading until I die, and I'm cold, cranky, and hungry.  So I thought I'd toss together a simple skillet to pick away at all day. I used up the last of my pretty purple faux kraut I made with red cabbage.  I'm going to have to do that again!

6 oz. turnips, diced small
6 oz. daikon radish (or red radishes, either work) diced small
2 oz. red onion, diced small
6.5 oz. Hillshire Farms Turkey Kielbasa
1-2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Faux Kraut or Sauerkraut

Combine turnips, radish, and onion in skillet with olive oil, just enough to brown with. If you want to kick up the flavor, try an infused oil.  I infuse mine with ghost peppers.Once it starts to tan up, add in kielbasa.Cook until tender and kielb…

Lemon Olive Oil Muffin

Every semester I make a little goody back for my undergrad teaching assistants with junk food and muffins.  This week is the week, and it's rainy and I'm a little on the poor side.  Luckily I have a big jar of homemade lemon marmalade, which you can make using my Blood Orange Marmalade as a base.

These bright, moist muffins have lovely large chunks of candied lemon in them from the marmalade, and a light floral taste from the olive oil. And there's a sneaky addition that gets some veggies into it too!

2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 heaping tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup, packed, grated parsnip
1/4 cup lemon marmalade
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 400F.Combine eggs, vanilla, sugar, oil, soda, powder, lemon marmalade, and salt and mix it well.Add in parsnip.Add in flour and mix until just wet.  This is a slightly thicker batter. Don't worry. Scoop into lined or greased muffi…

Cole Slaw Dressing

No picture for this one yet, but it's worth sharing.

I got this recipe from my Mom, who got it from Tanya, who got it from probably a Taste of Home magazine or something, so I can't give credit to the original source.  But, it's the best cole slaw dressing recipe I've ever found, and I've barely tweaked it to slightly cut calories.
The measurements below are for a medium bowl worth of shredded veggies. It calls of a 16 oz. bag of the slaw mix if you use it.
1/4 cup white sugar 1/2 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper 1/3 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk Drink, Unsweetened 1 1/2 Tbsp. white vinegar 1/2 cup Just Mayo 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Whisk together, toss with your slaw, and let it soak up all of that goodness for a few hours.
Made to directions it tastes like KFCs. But I've found changing up sugars, vinegars, and spices leads to some other goodies.  My current batch was made with rice vinegar and taste pretty much the same, but with that slight umami of rice vi…

Zucchini Relish

I try to have as little food waste as possible, which leads to some creative foods in my house.  I made a zucchini lasagna the other day, and had nearly 4 oz. of zucchini butts left over, and the skin side I removed to make the noodles.

So, I snagged my smallest ball jar, one of the small jam ones, and threw together a relish. This is, of course, a raw relish so you will have to drain it.  It won't get very thick. Thick relishes have been cooked or have thickening agents added.

I recommend keeping it in the fridge for a week before using. There is enough salt that you can ferment it for a day or two as well, but I don't like the flavor of that with this particular batch.  It also seems to keep well for several months.

3.5 oz zucchini, diced small
1 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon, ground
1/4 tsp. ginger, ground
1/4 tsp. cloves, ground
1/2 tsp. mustard seed
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/3 jar apple cider vinegar
Completely fill your small jar with zucchini scraps.  Leave t…

Daikon Tatsoi Miso Soup

I'm rebooting my diet right now, which means getting creative to satisfy my everlasting hunger. And that's one of the secrets my friends. I am always hungry. And I crave food when I'm sad, which does not help.

Winter is soup season, and my CSA came with a ton of radishes over the last few weeks, so I spiralized a daikon and stored it in a ziploc.  I've also been getting a lot of Asian greens, like tatsoi, baby bok choy, and mustard greens.  They don't have many uses in my book, but I am bound and determined to use them up.

And I can with the help of a favorite Asian ingredient-miso.

Now, miso is one of those things where you might try a few.  I prefer the lighter, often dessert, miso.  The darkest miso is too strong for me. You, however, should play until you find a favorite.

1 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp. light/golden miso paste
2 oz. tatsoi
3 oz. spiralized daikon radish
1-2 Tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce

In a small sauce pan combine water, tatsoi, and daikon and bring …

Salt & Pepper Daikon Radish Chips

I have 3 huge daikon radishes from my farm shares for the last two weeks, and I am a single woman who lives at home.  I decided to see what happens if you make dehydrator chips with them.

A little sweet, a little bitter, I will make these again.

1 daikon radish, unpeeled but with hairy bits removed, sliced as thin as you can get it
Salt & pepper to taste

Using your hands, combine salt, pepper, and radishes. You want about 1/2 as much on them as you think you would like on your final product, Remember, they will shrink. A lot. The average chip here is about the same side in diameter as the length from my thumb knuckle to the tip of my thumb. The radish, however, was about the size of my forearm at the halfway point.Lay out so they don't touch on your dehydrator trays.In my presto, this took about 12 hours, until the chips start to brown a bit. Don't pull them too early or they will remain squish. Radishes have a lot of water in them. Radishes are 18 calories per 100 grams ra…

Apple Parsnip Muffins

I bake when I'm upset, and I won't lie, this election did not turn out the way I would have liked it to.  I woke up to a message from a friend in England "I have a spare room." she says, and that's how I learned the election results.

I have a ton of parsnips in my farm share from the last few weeks, but I don't eat them very often.  I decided to put a spin on an Alton Brown recipe I saw on Good Eats once, but make my own using my own base.

Sweet, spicy, and nutty.  Delicious!

2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 heaping tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cardamom
1 cup, packed, grated parsnip
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 granny smith, snacking apple, cored and diced small.
Preheat oven to 350F.Combine eggs, vanilla, sugar, oil, soda, powder, salt and spiced, and mix it well.Add in parsnip and apple.Add in flour and mix until just wet.  This is a slightly thicker ba…

Easy Butternut Squash Pancakes

I am still making may way through the huge squash featured a week ago.  Which means it's time to start getting creative before it goes bad.  Today I'm making pancakes and then I'll make some of my soup and that should finish it off.

Squash is actually a great thing to keep around, even at your poorest.  It's not only yummy, delicious, and filling, but it can be used to stretch some recipes, like waffles and pancakes.  Adding 1/2 a cup of squash to my pancake recipe added about 4 pancakes worth of low-cal, delicious, breakfast food.

1/2 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup so delicious coconut milk drink, unsweetened, plain
1/2 cup mashed butternut squash
1 egg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Combine everything in a blender and blend until creamy and lump free.Spray your medium skillet or griddle with your favorite low calorie/no calories cooking sprayCook as you would normal pancakes.  They may take a bit longer each side. Makes 8-10 pancakes, 2 large servings of 170 calories each.
Serve wi…

Butternut-Sage Beer Bread with Parmesan

One of the staples of the poor teacher's diet is bread.  But not any bread. Small servings need to be filling and satisfying, so you don't get fat again.

Beer bread is one of my go-tos.  It lets you cut things like eggs and oils and keep calories a bit lower than some of its cousins.

This savory loaf is great with stew, chili, or just slathered in butter. The squash is another bit from my Bloodnick's Farm gift, but also one came in my CSA this week.  The sage is from my mother's yard. For some reason it grows like weeds back there.

I recommend letting this cool completely, and saving it for a day before digging in.

1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. baking powder (yes, Tablespoon)
12 oz. pumpkin ale (I used Shipyard's Pumpkinhead)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 Tbsp. fresh sage, chopped fine
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 cup mashed butternut squash (or acorn, or pumpkin-any winter squash will do)
1 Tbsp. garlic
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup quick oats

Butternut Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

The Bloodnicks are amazing people, and on a week when I was feeling my pennies pinch, they gave me a butternut squash literally the size of my head. I roasted it, and mashed it, and filled 2 large yogurt containers with it. I've eaten a lot mashed, but not my farm share has given me another, and some acorn squashes, so I need to finish this one up.

Enter the cookies.  This is another variation on the pumpkin oatmeal cookies. These fluffy, soft, lightly sweet and nutty cookies are delish.

1.5 oz. pecans, crushed
1/2 heaping cup butternut squash, mashed
6 Tbsp. salted butter, soft
1 cup quick oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. molasses
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350F.Beat together egg, sugar, squash, and butter in a medium bowl.  It might look a bit curdled and that's fine.Add in pecans, oats, molasses, and cinnamon and beat until combined.Add in flour and beat until combined.Scoop out in rounded globs onto parchment covered cookie sheets.Bake …

4 Bean and Bacon Chili

I've got some tomatoes about to go off, and too many peppers and onions, so I decided it was chilli time.  The weather has been perfect for it, and I wanted something on the spicy side.

That being said, I'd like to take a moment to remind you that I love ghost pepper wings.  So, I recommend starting with half of all the hot stuff. Also, I really prefer dry beans, but if you used canned, remove all salt from the recipe and add to taste.

12 oz. tomatoes, diced
4 oz. red pepper, diced
2 oz. onion, diced
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/4 cup dry navy beans
1/4 cup dry kidney beans
1/4 cup dry chickpeas
1/2 cup dry lentils
3 bay leaves
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. hot sauce
1 Tbsp. sriracha
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. salt
4 sliced of thick cut, smoked bacon
1 tsp baking soda

In your pot, combine the beans, and just enough water to submerge about a 1/2 inch. I use my large saute pan.Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.  Cook until beans start to get te…

Onion Rosemary Flatbread

I needed a simple bread item for a thrown together party, and decided to just toss together some of the things I had in the house that I thought might taste good with vegetarian chilli.

I almost didn't want to take it.  I liked it that much.

1 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
1 cup self-rising flour
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 oz. onion, sliced thin
Fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 350F.Combine flour and yogurt.  Flour a surface and knead until the texture of pizza dough.Roll out. It doesn't have to be pretty.  Rough edges look cool. About 8x8 inch.Drizzle with olive oil and rub around to coat like a pizza.Layer onions.Sprinkle with fresh rosemary, a bit of salt, and black pepper to taste.Bake 10-15 minutes, until edges golden.

"Chicken" Soup with Arugula and Chickpeas


Sorry about that.  It's cold season and I seem to have caught the plague from the student who refused to leave the classroom last week.  At least, he's the one I'm blaming.

I've got a freezer full of frozen stock/broth for just this reason.

Now, this soup is a vegetarian version, but I've included the subs.

4 cups vegetable broth OR chicken broth
11 oz. chickpeas, pre-cooked
1.5 oz. arugula, chopped up thin
2 quorn cutlets, diced OR 1 chicken breast, pre-cooked, diced
Salt to taste

First, it's important you know that that is 11 oz. after cooking dried beans. I recommend a heaping 1/2 cup of dry beans to cook.  You don't have to get perfect, just close.In your medium soup pot, combine chickpeas, broth, and diced quorn.  Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.Add in chopped arugula and wilt, about 1 minute.Add salt to taste. Makes 6 servings at 100 calories a serving.

Summer Squash Chips

I crave the crunch of potato chips so bad some days. I've tried making all sorts of things into lower calorie chips, but it turns out plain old summer squash and zucchini work the best! And you can have a lot.  Like, summer squash is about 4 calories an ounce raw. So, it allows you to feel gluttonous without any of the horror the next day.

18 oz. squash
2 tsp. salt
1/4-1/2 tsp. cayenne
*You can, of course, try any flavor of spices and herbs. Just keep it light on the first batch. Dehydrating knocks up the flavor factor a lot!

Using your mandolin, cut the squash into chips using the thinnest selection you can while still getting whole pieces.Toss gently in a medium bowl with spices and salt.Lay out single layer on your dehydrator sheets, and dehydrate for about 8 hours. I have the grid type, so I don't line it.Cool and bag. 18 oz. squash makes 2 servings at 32 calories each.

"Pumpkin" Spice Oatmeal Cookies

The leaves have an edge of yellow, and my driveway is littered with the first of the fall leaves.  Dunkin Donuts,a nd Starbucks are rolling out the pumpkin spice everything, which I can assure you having worked for Starschmucks via Barnes and Noble, has very little pumpkin in it  (but it does have pumpkin).

I have a few delicata squash in my CSA this week, and I just know I have to make them into dessert. But I also want to make oatmeal cookies.  So, I scoured Pintrest, combined a few recipes, and came up with these delightful spiced "pumpkin" cookies.

1/2 cup mashed, packed delicata, acorn, or butternut squash
6 Tbsp. salted butter, room temp.
3/4 cups. gently packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 tsp. cinnamon, ground
1/8 tsp. cloves, ground
1/4 tsp. nutmeg, ground
1/4 tsp. ginger,
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup, slightly rounded, quick oats
1/4 tsp. baking powder.
How to prepare that squash?  Take one, small delicata, acorn, or butternut squash. I'm using delicat…

Fermented Salsa

It's that time of year where tomatoes start to take over my life.  I can't help but remember the movie, and then cartoon of my childhood. "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes."

When I went to pick up my farm share last week, the Other Wendy, aka not my mom, had a sample of a fermented salsa she had made.  You might remember, we took a class on fermenting together last summer.

It was, of course, delicious, so I thought I'd wing it.

Like most ferments, this one isn't exact.  But it's simple enough you can do it.  Also, like most ferments, you have to be prepared to lose the goods. Occasionally, something else less friendly gets in there and ruins all of the fun.

The batch here is cilantro and bell pepper free, because I don't eat cilantro.  I am one of those unfortunates that tastes nothing but soap when it shows up to the party.

2 small onions, diced
6 jalapenos, diced
Several tomatoes, diced as you go (I use 4 big ones and then 4 smaller romas for this batc…

Time Saving Wild Blackberry & Summer Squash Oatmeal

It's almost back to school time, so I'm getting my frozen prep done, and this is round one.  I've got a bad habit of not eating before I head off to teach 3 back-to-backs, and I'm going to see if these will help kill that habit and help me avoid the vending machine of doom.

Oatmeal is super simple to pre-prep.  In fact, you can split your batch in 3, and use different fruits with the squash suggested here, and the kids will never know of your insidious vegetable use.

I pull them out of the freezer and a quick zap results in a delicious, preservative-free breakfast that's a bit more nutritious than that packaged stuff (and comes in more flavors).

This batch is a result of a rather fruitful hike at Salt Springs, just across the NY border in Franklin Township, PA.

1 cup oats
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt.
1 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk
4 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
10 oz. grated summer squash
2.5 cups wild blackberries
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Rhubarb Streusel Bread

I was grabbing a few things from Wegmans when I saw glorious, large stalks of rhubarb.  At first, I was thinking of bars, but in the end the weather got a bit crisp and I thought quickbread.

This recipe results in a rhubarb streusel loaf with a hint of orange and spice. It's super yummy and a bit tart.  Great for a nearly-fall day. A bit of a pain in the arse though.

2 stalks rhubarb
2 Tbsp. marmalade
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. water
1/2 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda

2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp. salted butter, melted
2 tsp. cinnamon
 Rinse, and cut weedy ends, and broken, dried out bits off of the rhubarb, and then slice thin into coins.Combine all ingredients of the marinade, and allow to sit for 5-6 hours. Jazz up your marinade by playing with different marmalade…

Chickpea Butter

I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but the pb has too many calories most days.  I've found ways to cut down on jelly calories, bread calories, but any reduced peanut butter is still super high in calories and fat.

I thought I'd give chickpeas a chance, and while it's not peanut butter, it is a "butter" I feel good about using.

I always recommend using dried beans, not canned.  They last longer, have more flavor, and less sodium.  But, if you use canned beans for this recipe, cut the salt and only add to taste.

8 oz. soaked, cooked, and rinsed chickpeas
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. water
3-4 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2-1 Tbsp. sugar free vanilla syrup (Torani)
3-4 Tbsp. Lakanto*
Combine chickpeas, half the oil, half the Lakanto, and half the water in your food processor and puree.Add in the rest of the oil when it starts to get too stiff, and then and only then the water.Add Lakanto and vanilla syrup beyond to taste.  I needed the full amount for me, b…

Elvis Yogurt Pops

I've been listening to Lizard People, a comedy podcast and catching up on the back logs, and this week I was listening to one on Elvis (which was seriously disturbing).  Anywhoo, it gave me a food craving for a banana, peanut butter and bacon sandwich.

I know, it sounds gross.

It's delicious, and was his favorite sandwich.

But I'm feeling a little more bananas foster than breakfast, so I tossed together a few yogurt pops. Creamy, banana and yogurt pops really fulfill that need for ice cream and sweets, with quite a few less calories.

1 banana, brown
1/4 cup plain, fat free, Greek yogurt
1/2 cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk Drink
2 Tbsp. reduced fat Peanut Butter
1 tsp. sugar free caramel Torani syrup (optional)
Blend everything together and pour into popsicle molds.Freeze for at least one day. Makes 4 at 90 calories a pop.

Other nut butters substitute well.  I haven't tried it with the substitutes though.

Lentil Potato Hash

Lentils are actually one of the most useful dried beans around.  They can be used to make soup, veggie burgers, and even peanut butter cookies. They can be cooked straight from dry, or soaked overnight.

My house is currently running low on meats because I'm trying to move away from buying so many processed meats, but I've been craving a good sausage hash.  So, I thought, why not give it a go with some of my pureed green lentils? I keep a few cups in the freezer for when I want to make cookies.

This is a great vegan dish, because if you don't tell them, they'll never know what you've done. They'll know it's not meat, but they won't be sure what it is besides delicious.  Play with spices to make it yours.  For example, I used my ghost pepper infused olive oil to spice it up and hickory salt.

1 cup cooked, semi-pureed lentils
10 oz. potato, diced
3 oz. onion, diced
1 oz. green pepper, diced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt, black pepper, paprika, and dried parsley …

Sweet & Spicy Eggplant Jerky

I'm about as fond of eggplant as I am of kale, so when I saw various recipes for eggplant bacon, I knew I had to try something along those lines. But I also knew I had to change them.  What I was seeing was not to my liking. I like bacon as bacon.

But maybe I could make a similar jerky-type.

Sweet & spicy with a crunch that turns into a chew. This would be an acceptable substitute for me if I wasn't going to fry bacon anyway. A great snack, and easy too adjust. Best part?

I finally found a way I'll eat eggplant.

11-12 oz. eggplant (the skinny kind)
2 Tbsp. Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
3 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. low sodium soy
2 Tbsp. honey or maple
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. molasses
1/2 Tbsp. red pepper flakes
A pinch of salt
Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a ziplock baggie and mush together.Cut the stem off of the eggplant, and halve it.Slice each half of the eggplant into bacon sized strips. I used a mandolin in between 1/8 and 1/6 inch. Toss the pieces that a…

Cheddar Kale Pesto

I keep getting kale in my farm share.  Unfortunately, I loatheeeeeee the stuff.  Like most people loathe Twilight.  So, every week I'm trying to find some redeeming quality in the stuff.  I hate it's flavor, I hate it's texture, I hate the stringy leafy bits and the feel of the leaves on my hands. Yeah, it runs deep.

In desperation I decided to invoke the Rinn of Rinn past-the poor sucker who got stuck making pesto at Java Joe's all the time. I finally found a way to not only eat it, but enjoy it.
By mixing it with loads of fatty deliciousness.

I almost burned the motor out on my blender, and realized it's time to invest in a real food processor, but it's delicious on zoodles.  I used 1 Tbsp. to 6 oz. of zucchini from the same farm share in this pic (140 calories). Just tossed them together and heated them on the stove until warm and creamy. 
The flower is edible too. Nasturtium from my edible flower garden.

1 to 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil 8 oz. kale, ra…

Lemon Tea-Basil Granita

I just finished Gail Carriger's "Imprudence," which is the next installment in a steampunk-eaque Victorian England if England had Vampires, Wereeverythings, and people who could negate and steal their forms.  I adore this series.  I love brain candy, because as many of you know, my work reading is some heavy duty stuff. For those of you who don't know, Syntax, aka Theoretical Grammar, is not uncommon, and regular author's in my world include Pinker, Chomsky, and Dรถrnyei.

Anywhoo, back to the point.

In Carriger's world, a lemon-basil mix causes an allergic reaction of sorts in the paranormal, and it sounded quite tasty.  Especially since it is currently in the 90s F in the lovely state of NY, and I don't have central air. So, I thought, why not make a batch of granita?

I happen to keep a few lemons always on hand, because I hate the bottled lemon juice. It I'm also growing my own basil right now, so I have everything I need on hand.


Carrot Muffins

I have a drawer full of carrots from my CSA, but I'm not a huge carrot eater, so I needed something to do with them.  I'm not fond of carrot cake so that was out.  My mother suggested I do my sweet potato bread but with carrots, so I gave it a go.

My sweet potato bread is based on my mother's zucchini bread, which is hands down the best.  Most likely because it's full of bad stuff. But since I'm not going to sit down and eat all the muffins, I'm doing it anyway.

These muffins are lightly sweet with a touch of cinnamon. Best of all?  The kids loved them.

2 cup grated carrot
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cup sugar
1 cup coconut oil OR canola
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4  tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350F.Combine everything but the flour, and mix well.Add in flour all at once and fold in.  Give a couple of stirs, but don't overdue it.  Just until everything is wet through.Scoop i…

Easy Pancakes

I'm not a huge pancake eater, but when I want them, I want to go big or go home.  This is my go-to base for perfect pancakes every time.

Of course, everything can be flipped out. I've noted my recommended flips. Milk & Sugar/Honey will add a significant amount of calories.

1 egg
1/2 cup self-rising flour OR all purpose + 3/4 tsp. baking powder + 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk Drink OR 2%
2 Tbsp. Lakanto sweetener OR sugar OR honey
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste OR extract
Cooking spray (I use coconut oil)
Syrup of choice (I use Wegmans butter flavored lite)

Heat your pan of choice on medium.  I use a small frying pan, non-stick.In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, sweetener, vanilla, and milk.  Whisk in flour until smooth.Spray pan with nonstick.Pour just under the size you want.Wait until the pancake gets super craggy, all the way through.Slide spatula carefully under, and flip.Cook until browned.Remove to plate and cover with towel.Repeat. Makes 5…

Spiced Pear Sauce Bread with Dates

My father currently has a rather mangy looking heirloom pear tree in the back yard, but last year it was so full of fruit it broke the tree.  Unfortunately, the pears, like most true heirloom fruit, are disgusting. People forget pears and apples were not yummy and delicious-we bred them to be.  All you have to do is pop up to Indian Creek Farm in Ithaca and try one of their Victorian apples.  Blargh.

So I made it into sauce, which, while tasty, is awfully gritty, so I save it for baking.  I have a couple more things leftover in the freezer, and I'm trying to clear it all out for this year's CSA and local farm haul. The last time, I used it to make those Pomaceous Brownies, which were awesome and I'll make them again.  Today I'm trying an applesauce bread, but with some changes of course.

1 1/2 cups pear sauce
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil, liquid state OR or canola
2 eggs
3 Tbsp So Delicious unsweetend coconut milk OR 2%
1 tsp. baking soda

Garlic-Dill Beet Stem Refrigerator Pickles

Beets are edible from leaf to root, but the stems are stringy like celery and have a strong flavor.  I've found the best use for them is to pickle them for snacks.

The trick to a good refrigerator pickle is all in the choice of vinegar. For most, my go to is unseasoned rice vinegar.  You can use any though, just be prepared to experiment.  For example, white and apple cider generally need a larger amount of water.

The recipe here can be used to make any kind of fridge pickle. Just stick to the same ratio of vinegar, water, and salt.

Beet Stems
1 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
1 Tbsp. Kosher Salt
1/4 cup Tbsp. Fresh Dill
Rice Vinegar
Ball Regular Mouth Pint Mason Jar
Cut your beet stems so they fit in the jar, lower than the neck.Fill the jar, but leave enough room that you can insert 2 fingers.Remove the leafy bits of dill from the stems, and toss the dill stems. Stuff the rest of the jar with dill and the garlic. Scoop the salt on top.Fill jar 1/3 way with vinegar.Fill rest of the way …

Savory Rosemary-Beet Quick Bread

My goal this week is to finally kill the last of 2015's farm share freezer veggies.  So, I decided to try another beet bread, but this time savory.

This earthy, dense loaf is one of my new favorite sides.  Toast it, slather it with butter and serve it with anything you like a darker bread with.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup (1/2 a stick) salted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups pureed beets
1 Tbsp. rosemary
Kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350F and grease your bread loaf pan.In a medium bowl, combine beet puree, melted butter, and rosemary.Once thoroughly stirred in, add eggs and beat in.Add in powder and stir until combined.Finally stir in the flour and muffin-mix.  This means mix until everything is just combined, but no more.Use a spatula to get everything into your bread pan, and smooth it out.Sprinkle with a bit more rosemary, and about 1/2 tsp. kosher salt.Bake 40-minutes until toothpick comes out clean.Cool 30 minutes before turning out …

Garlicky Bok Choi Stir Fry

CSA season is back in full gear and I have enough greens to feed a small army...but I live alone. Soooo I'm already on my way to sick of salad.  Time to tap into all of that time staring at Taiwanese vendors as they cooked.

This week I got a whole head of big boy bok choy, rather than the wee shanghai ones I usually buy for beef noodles and such.  So, I took off a few stalks to roast later, and chopped the rest up for my favorite go-to dish-Stir Fry.  With cauliflower "rice."

This is a dieting trick that may actually work on children, so if you haven't tried it yet, you really should. I use the frozen cauliflower-it seems to work best. The best part, this can be made to suit any dietary requirement.

12 oz. bok choy
12 oz. cauliflower florets, frozen
6 oz. shrimp, raw or precooked (precooked beef or chicken, or tempeh work just as nicely)
2 Tbsp. Hoison sauce
2 Tbsp. garlic
1-2 Tbsp. soy sauce, lite
Chop your bok choy up.  You want it small enough th…

Skinny Strawberry Upside Down Cake

Mmmm....June is strawberry season.  Strawberry Fest was last weekend, and this week I got a pint of very ripe strawberries in my CSA bag.  I ate a few, but realized they would likely go bad before I could finish them off, so I decided to play with one of my recipes and see what happens.

But, I also need balance, because I went on a road trip this week and ate horridly, so I need a low-cal dessert.

No problem. This super moist cake fits the bill.

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 rounded cup all-purpose, unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch salt
1/2 cup so delicious unsweetened coconut milk drink (or 2% milk)
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1 pint strawberries
Preheat oven to 350F.Add a bit of melted butter to your round cake pan, and roll around until coated thoroughly.  Not all of the butter, just what you need.Sprinkle the pan with 1/2 of the brown sugar, evenly.Slice and layer strawberries.  I used just shy of a pi…

Red Velvet Surprise Brownies

Surprise, don't tell anyone what one of the ingredients is, or they won't try them and that would be a mistake.  Or do, so you can sit at the table in front of small children and eat every. single. one without argument.


Yup, beets.

No, you can't tell.


I must have looked at at least two dozen recipes, none of which seemed to have much in common but the flippin' ingredients themselves.  So, I took the best of everyone, and made my own.  Like I generally do.

1 cup beet puree*
1/2 cup salted butter, room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 heaping cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 cup Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Preheat oven to 350F.Line an 8x8 or 9x9 pan with foil, and butter it up good.In a medium bowl, whisk together beet puree, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and butter until well-combined.Add in cocoa powder and beat until combined.Add in flour and beat until smooth.Stir in chocolate chips, sc…

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

I'm obsessed with beans right now.  There are all of these recipes out there for different bean based cookies and brownies, and I recently bought a whole book just on beans.  I snagged this recipe from For the Family and made some wee changes.

This makes a nice, chewy peanut butter cookie, but it is less sweet than traditional cookies.  You can always add more sugar, but I like to keep the calories down.

1 cups dry lentils
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup Lakanto
1/4 cup sugar
1 heaping tsp. baking powder
1/2 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste
Cook lentils in water.  Drain well.Toss them in the blender and puree.Preheat oven to 350FMeasure out 1 1/2 cups puree. You will likely have leftover. Just freeze it for another day, or use the leftover to make a bean dip with olive oil and garlic.Throw 1 1/2 cups puree, and all other ingredients into a medium bowl and beat together on low.Drop batter on un-greased cookie sheet.  The cookies won't spread much, but you will smoosh them down later, so lea…

Papaya Cherry Popsicles

I love papaya, but locally it's hard to find the smaller ones, and I live all alone so I'm constantly trying to find ways to use it up before it goes bad without getting sick of it.

Last summer I learned that it makes an awesome popsicle base.  Probably my favorite. And it requires little to no sugar, depending on your flavor choice.

1/2 a large papaya, just the meat, about 2 cups in chunks
2 cups cherries
Honey or sweetener to taste
Toss fruit into your blender and work your way up to a good liquefy.  Add a bit of water if you need to, but only if you need to! Add sweetener to taste.  Remember, it will generally be a bit sweeter once it freezes, so do it a little less sweet than you like.  Just a smidge.  I used 1/4 cup of orange blossom honey in this batch because my cherries were sooooo bitter.Add a dash of salt if needed. Recommended for more bitter fruits.Pour into molds and freeze overnight. Makes 6 large popsicles.  Calories vary by fruit used, but these ones were 8…

Sweet & Tangy Tomato Jam

I hate wasting food, but I just did not eat enough tomatoes this week, and they're starting to get soft.  So, I popped on line and read about 100 recipes for tomato jam.  None of them seemed perfect to me, mostly because of the additives, so I decided to wing it.

This recipe is a base recipe.  It's made in a way that you can start low on the spice, and decide which to include, and sub up or out. Cut down sugar, add in honey, etc.  You do need the sugar-it's what makes the jelly without pectin.

1 pound of tomatoes, I'm using Romas (it's ok if you go over a few oz.)
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. molasses (you can cut this by using brown sugar)
2 Tbsp. apple vinegar cider, Bragg's
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. ground cayenne (optional)
1/8 tsp. salt
Cut off the belly button of your tomatoes, and diced small.In a medium saucepan, combine everything.Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.Simmer until red…

Coffee Jellies for Iced Coffee

I love boba, but not the tea.  I like the slushies with the fruity boba.  I was wanting something chewy like the boba, but for my coffee and I decided to try my hand at the jellies one finds in everything in Asia.

It's not exactly the same, but I liked it.

1 pkg. knox gelatin
3/4 Cup hot coffee, brewed strong
1 1/2 Tbsp. Honey or Lakanto
Bread loaf pan
Combine hot coffee and sweetener in bread loaf pan. Stir until dissolved.Slowly sprinkle knox in, stirring continuously.Stir until gelatin is dissolved.Refrigerate overnight.Fill bottom of sink with hot water.Rest pan in water for no more than 1 minute.Flip out coffee jelly onto cutting board.  If it won't come out, gently run a butter knife around the edge and soak again.  Try prying up the edge, and if it comes up it may slip out with some careful prodding.Using a pizza cutter, slice into small strips and then cubes.Refrigerate for 2 more hours.Use 1/4 of cubes per iced coffee. Orrrrrr, serve 1/4 with 2 Tbsp. cool whip mixed in…

Spiced Squash Muffins

I'm craving pumpkin bread in the worst way lately-maybe because it isn't in season. However, I have a bunch of puree frozen. But, it's a mix of butternut, delicata, and acorn squash-not pumpkin.

Luckily, I know the secret to a good pumpkin pie is the spice, not the actual pumpkin.

I snagged Once Upon A Chef's recipe because it had amazing reviews. And, of course, as always, I tinkered with it for my own tastes. And, I want to be able to share and freeze some, so I'm going with muffins instead of loaves.

The big change I made was upping spice, and cutting sugar by adding in Lakanto, a monk fruit and erythritol sweetener which can be substituted with exact measurements and no tinkering. These tender, yummy muffins are sure to hit the spot.

1 cup all-purpose, unbleached flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Lakanto or Monk Fruit in the Raw
1 egg
6 Tbsp. salted butter
8 …

Fool Proof Cold Brew

Y'all know I had a fancier recipe last year with ice cubes and a simple syrup, but I have since perfected making my iced coffee cold brew in the easiest way possible.

1 cup coffee, light blend, ground Water 2-Ball 32 oz. regular mouth glass jars, with plastic lids 1/2 cup coffee in each jar. After the first batch, you can adjust coffee to your taste, but I said fool-proof. This is coffee to the first line on the Ball jar.Fill with filtered or tap water to bottom of neck, but don't fill neck.Put on plastic lid tightly.Shake for a minute.Put in fridge for 12 hours before serving.Pour through metal mesh coffee filter OR into Fresh Press, press, and pour.  I use the french press because I have a mini that is the perfect size.When you empty a jar, clean and make new batch.  Then you'll always have one batch ready and one brewing. Recommend serving with reusable ice cubes or coffee ice cubes.
Flavored coffees don't always turn out as yummy as they are hot.  I recommend going …

Simple Spinach Quesadillas

When I'm nibbly but not truly hungry, I usually make quesadillas using my own tortillas.  They're filling and just heavy enough to shut my brain up, without loading on the calories. The trick is all in your cheese choice.  Using reduced fat or lower calorie shredded cheeses keeps you from overloading on the good stuff, while giving you enough of it to please you.

Added bonus, another way to use up those farm share greens!  Speaking of which, my CSA starts in 10 days, so prepare yourself for another edition of Farm Share Fixings!

4 Yogurt Tortillas 1/4 cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella 1 handful baby spinach leaves 1-2 tsp. minced garlic, to taste
Place 2 tortillas on your griddle.  Oven off.Smear with garlic, and layer half the cheese on each.Arrange spinach leaves over.Sprinkle with other half of cheese.Top with the other 2 tortillas.Turn on the heat to medium-high and cook until cheese is melted enough you can safely flip.  Will be golden.Repeat.Serve alone, or with plain, …

Apple Dessert Pizza

I've had a lot of dessert pizza's in my life, but I wanted to try something new this week, and I had a few apples laying around.  I kind of wanted apple pie, but I hate pie crust, so I decided to try my hand at a dessert pizza.

1 large apple, cored and sliced thin
2 Tbsp. salted butter
1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
3-4 Tbsp. sugar

1/2 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 stick butter, cold, cup up

Preheat oven to 350F.Combine crust ingredients.  Once a soft dough forms, turn out on a floured surface and knead, adding flour as needed, until dough is easily handled.Spray pie pan with non-stick spray.  I use a coconut oil one.Pat out dough on floured surface until it will fit the pie pan.Bake 5 minutes.While pizza crust bakes first 5, combine all filling ingredients.  Bring to a low simmer, and cook until apples are soft and gooey.Remove pie crust when 5 minutes are up.Once apples …

Lemon Curd Pie with Shortbread Crust

We love lemons, and I made Glazed Lemonies for Mama's birthday, so I have a bunch stored in a glass mason pickle jar in my fridge.  You simply clean the lemons, put them in the jar, fill completely with cold water and pop a lid on and they'll keep juicy and fresh for up to a month.  You jut drain it, rinse it, and refill once a week. An added bonus to this method is that it makes it so much easier to zest the lemons and juice them.

I've been wanting to learn to make curds for awhile, specifically for pies and tarts, so I spent the morning researching and found a Homemade Lemon Curd from Wicked Kitchen. I simplified and changed very little from the original recipe.

Making the curd is time consuming.  This isn't for a day when you're feeling off or don't think you could stand 30 minutes at the stove. It takes some prep, and timing, but it is so worth it.  Cool, creamy and refreshing. I'm giving this recipe to you in the most time efficient order.

This is NOT …