It’s apple season! There are bushels of apples on every corner at farmer stands. You can also pick your own at local orchards. As a senior in high school, my friends and I would leave the campus at lunch and go apple picking at least once or twice every fall. Apple picking is definitely a tradition I missed while I lived in Colorado. Bring on the apple harvest!
This is my favorite applesauce recipe. It’s so easy and simple. You can jar your homemade applesauce or this will keep in the fridge for five days or in the freezer for 3 months.
I usually leave my applesauce a bit chunky, but you can also blend this if you want a smoother applesauce.
And of course, I eat mine with grilled cheese. It’s weird but delicious. Weirdly delicious! This started when I was a kid. I would order grilled cheese and applesauce whenever my family brought me out to any restaurant and dip my sandwich into the applesauce. It’s something I’ve done every since. Try it, you might like it!
At the very least, make this crock pot applesauce. It’s so easy and so yummy!
’tis the season for fresh strawberries! The recipe is easy to whip up in a few minutes and you’ll have delicious sweet strawberry butter that you can spread on your next bagel, toast, biscuit, homemade muffins… whatever you can get your hands on!
I came up with this recipe idea when I visited the local market here and purchased way too many strawberries for one sane person to buy. I needed to find another way to use them outside of just popping them in my mouth (although I did plenty of that too). I do not have the tools necessary to can or jar fruits (although a goal of mine some day) and thought about my childhood when my grandparents would take me to local farms for their farmer’s breakfast and the farmers would always have homemade varieties of fruit butters (although the strawberry was my favorite).
Those were such treasured times with my grandparents that I will never forget. So in a sense this recipe is a nod to the many times I devoured delicious strawberry butter atop fresh biscuits at those farms with my grandparents.
I never realized how easy this recipe is to make. Granted, I semi-cheated by using butter I had purchased from the store, but still, this easy recipe has inspired me to try to make other fruit butters at home!
This is a great way to use any extra jalapenos you have laying around too. Toss all of your ingredients in a blender, allow the sauce to thicken and then it’s ready to rock. Really quick and easy. I’ll never buy chili sauce in a store again. Delicious!
Puree together the jalapenos, garlic, vinegar, sugar, 3/4 cup water, and salt in a blender until smooth as possible. Transfer to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 3 minutes or until the mixture slightly thickens.
In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and 2 Tbsp water until smooth. Add to the pepper mixture and simmer for another few minutes or until the mixture is thickened slightly. It’s still going to be a little bit runny. The cornstarch is added to help suspend the pepper and garlic bits rather than have them sink to the bottom.
Let cool completely then store in the refrigerator.
Adjust the heat with the amount of jalapeno seeds you add.
Le sigh… it’s been a very hot summer. Even still, I feel like it’s flown by. It’s almost the end of Summer now. Do you know what that means? It’s almost the end of zucchini season too. Say a little prayer for these guys and devour ’em.
Zucchini alone can be a bit bland. They’re due for roasting, or sauteeing, or do what I did here, and stuff them with oodles of deliciousness.
I found these San Marzano Italian plum tomatoes at the European Market and I had an overwhelming urge to make red sauce… immediately! It was like someone possessed my body , sped my car home, chopped onions and made this sauce. Before I knew it, I had amazing marinara sauce to use for these zucchinis.
Look how happy she is. That’s because she makes some damn fine tomatoes! I have to say, after I made marinara sauce with these tomatoes, I’ve never wanted any other marinara sauce ever again. They’re THAT good!
My marinara recipe changes a bit every time I make it, but the basics never change:
I’ve also added balsamic vinegar, cayenne, bell peppers, and mushrooms to my sauce depending on my mood.
Make your sauce, stuff some zucchinis then save the remaining sauce for another day. The flavors really meld after a day or two. And of course, you can use store bought red sauce for this recipe if you’d like a quicker version.
Mushrooms, bell peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, optional
For the Rest:
Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan. Toss in onions, garlic, red pepper (if using) and salt. Saute on medium/low heat until onions begin to sweat. Add in any optional vegetables. When onions are clear, pour in red wine and turn up the heat to boil of any alcohol. Add tomatoes, reamaining seasonings, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Top with fresh basil, cover and let simmer on very low for 30-60 minutes. Stir your sauce occasionally or it will stick to the bottom of your pot.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the tough ends of the zucchinis off and cut each in half, lengthwise. Place on a baking sheet sliced side-up and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven, spoon marinara sauce into each boat and bake the boats for 15 minutes. After the zucchinis have baked for 15 minutes, sprinkle the cheese over the zucchinis and return to oven until the cheese is melted and golden brown, about 10 minutes longer.
*times do not include cook time for homemade marinara sauce
To get restaurant quality Hollandaise sauce is a little tricky. The emulsion of egg yolks and butter that has dated as early as the 17th century is not something that comes easy to the novice chef. Hopefully with these tips, you’ll crank out the perfect Hollandaise sauce in your own home.
The most important part of this recipe is to keep the eggs moving constantly over a low, gentle heat (not piping hot but not room temperature either) then add the butter slowly to create a stable emulsion. If you do this, your sauce should turn out creamy and rich every time.
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Fill a medium sauce pan with 1-inch of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low.
Place egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk until they lighten in color, about 1 minute.
Add the lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Place bowl with eggs over saucepan with simmering water and whisk constantly until thickened and doubled in volume, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove bowl from saucepan with water and whisk in butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Season with salt and use immediately or keep warm, covered, over double boiler over very low heat for up to 30 minutes.
Save your arms and make this in a Blender --
Put the egg yolk, lemon juice, and cayenne in a blender. Pulse a couple times to combine.
Put the butter in a small microwave safe bowl and melt in a microwave until just melted. With the blender running, gradually add the melted butter into the egg to make a smooth frothy sauce. If the sauce is very thick, blend in a teaspoon of lukewarm water loosen it up. Season with the salt and serve immediately or keep warm in a small heat-proof bowl set over hot (but not simmering) water until ready to serve.
Now that the holidays are over, everything is coasting back to normal. I still enjoy pajama time on the weekends, I still refuse to go to the store because they are too busy (I’m an avid online shopper), and finally I still enjoy time spent in front of a grill.
I absolutely love this marinade recipe for BBQ chicken. The ingredients are fairly typical of your average pantry and it only take an hour for this baby to do its thing (although the longer it sits the better it is).
On a side note, my pantry is hardly average. I just thought I’d include it so it didn’t feel so left out.
The result is nothing short of tender, juicy chicken that is sweet, sour, tangy and a bit exotic in flavor. There is nothing overpowering here, just simple BBQ folks, cuz that’s the way we like ‘er here in Coloradee.
Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Pour into a gallon ziplock baggie (double bag it if you're afraid of leakage). Drop your chicken in and poke the meat with a fork so the marinade can really penetrate the meat. Toss to coat, place the bag in a small dish (again, just in case of leakage) then store in the fridge for at least an hour, overnight is best, tossing occasionally.
When you're ready to grill, take the chicken out of the marinade, rinse and pat dry. Grill as desired.
My ever growing list of things that I dislike about HOA’s
They don’t like the fact that I had my bike stored on my patio (where else am I going to store my bike, in my bathroom?)
They don’t like grills, especially my beautiful 3-burner grill, on patios either. Something about a fire hazard? Yadda, yadda, yadda…
Okay, so there are only those two things. But the grill was a big deal. Summer means grilling season for this lady and it was hard to give it up. I ended up selling my precious to a family man who loved to cook and needed more grill space. At least she went to a good home.
2 pints cherry tomatoes (or any tomatoes you have handy, cut into large chunks)
Any other veggies you have on hand (I used zucchini and squash too)
wooden skewers, soaked
For the sauce:
1/2 cup good chicken stock
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cut the lamb into 1 1/2-inch cubes. Combine the garlic, rosemary, thyme, olive oil, red wine, vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt in a large ziplock bag. Add lamb cubes and toss to coat. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 days. Toss occasionally.
Oil your grate and preheat your grill to medium high. Cut the red onions in quarters and separate each quarter into 3 or 4 sections. Loosely thread 3 or 4 pieces of lamb alternately with sections of onion on skewers. Sprinkle both sides of the lamb with salt and pepper. Thread your tomatoes (and any other vegetable you have) onto skewers. Rub your vegetables with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place your lamb skewers on your preheated grill and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, turning 2 or 3 times, until the lamb is medium rare. Approximately 5 minutes before the lamb is done, place the other vegetables on the grill, turning once, until seared on the outside but still firm on the inside.
For the sauce, bring the chicken stock, olive oil and lemon juice to a boil in a small pot. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until reduced by half. Add the rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the pepper. Serve the sauce on the side.
Okay, maybe not that last one. Maybe. Just don’t come running to me when you feel sick from chugging a gallon of olive oil. Just sayin’.
Here’s what you do.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grab a baking dish large enough to hold all of your garlic comfortably. Take one of the heads of garlic and whack off about a half an inch off of the top. You want to expose the garlic enough so that it’s easy to get out once it’s roasted. Set both sides of your garlic in your baking dish (wrapper and all).
Now take your bottle of extra-virgin olive oil and dump the entire thing into the dish. You want your garlic to be completely submerged in the oil.
NOTE: If you only want roasted garlic instead of garlic-infused oil, simply drizzle the tops of your garlic with oil instead of submerging it.
Tightly cover your pan with aluminum foil and pop it into the oven. Roast this puppy for 45 – 60 minutes. This time will vary depending on the size of your garlic and your pan size. Start poking your garlic cloves with a fork after 30 minutes. You want your garlic cloves to be soft and lightly browned (soft enough to spread on a piece of bread is my preference), but you don’t want the tips to burn either.
Once your garlic is softened and let everything cool off (this will take a while). Take the cloves and pop them out one by one into a container. Pour a little oil in the container, cover and put it in the fridge to use later (or if you’re like me, you’ll find the smell so irresistible that you’ll spread it on something immediately and devour it!).
Roasted garlic (in a little oil) will keep in a refrigerator for months.
Pour the oil back into your original bottle (a funnel is handy here) or your favorite olive oil bottle and store chilled for up to two weeks.
Now go enjoy your immensely flavorful olive oil and roasted garlic.
Combine the mango, tomatoes, avocado, jalapeno, onion and lime juice. Add a couple tablespoons of fresh cilantro and taste test. To me, cilantro gets overpowering very quickly. Add more until you are satisfied with the result. Add salt, pepper, and minced garlic, to taste. Serve immediately and keep chilled.
Okay, so I don’t really speak German. I barely got by in my Spanish classes in high school. Good thing I am an avid Google translator user. Wha-bam!
If you don’t know what schnitzel is, you really haven’t lived. Schnitzel is almost as fun to say as it is to eat. Almost. This dish is often associated with German cuisine, however its roots come from Austria. in both Austria and Germany the term Wiener Schnitzel is protected by law, and any schnitzel called by that name has to be made from veal. And that, folks, is your trivia fact of the day.
Most European restaurants in the United States give you the option of a breaded veal or pork cutlet. There are loads of different sauces that are served on schnitzel, something for everyone. Traditionally, schnitzel is served with a lemon wedge that you can use to drizzle fresh juice over your schnitzel. Other sauces include Zigeuner-Schnitzel, a sauce consisting of red peppers, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes; Käse-Schnitzel, covered in melted cheese; Rahm-Schnitzel, a pepper-cream sauce; Schnitzel-Holstein, covered with a fried egg, onion, and capers; Cordon-Bleu (from Switzerland), stuffed with ham and cheese, and Parisian-Schnitzel (from France), made without breadcrumbs. Personally, I enjoy Jäger-Schnitzel the best. It has a mushroom and white wine sauce that practically melts in your mouth.
Enough with the food lesson. And now the moment you’ve been waiting for (queue drumroll)… how to make some of the best schnitzel you’ll ever eat! It really isn’t difficult (this is coming from an amateur chef) to make a good schnitzel. First, make sure your cutlets are pounded very thin. This helps tenderize the meat.
Pound your meat. Possibly the best advice you’ll ever hear?
Also, your bread crumbs should be fresh and unseasoned. Fry the schnitzel immediately after it you coat them with bread crumbs. Letting the breaded cutlets sit before frying it will cause the coating to stick to the meat. And for best results, use a combination of butter and oil (peanut or vegetable) to fry the cutlets at a medium heat.
For the sauce, sauté your onion or shallot until translucent. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes. Add broth and wine and cook another 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the cream and bring the sauce to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and simmer until thickened. You want your bubbles to be rather large. The bubbles should also be about an inch away from the sides of your skillet. That is the perfect thickness for your sauce. Add parsley or chives and salt and pepper to taste. Add more flour if the sauce refuses to thicken quickly enough for your liking. Or add more broth if your sauce is too thick. Keep sauce warm.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in skillet and add oil. Preheat skillet to a medium heat. Lay out cutlets on a cutting board and wrap with plastic wrap. Pound thin (1/4-inch thick max). Lay out three plates. The first place with flour, salt, pepper, and paprika. The second with the beaten egg. And the third with the bread crumbs. Dip your cutlet in the flour, then egg, then bread crumbs (making sure that there aren't any wet spots exposed). Immediately place the cutlet into the skillet. Fry for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Repeat with all cutlets.
Serve with sauce and sides (I recommend knöpfle spätzle, dill red potatoes, or a fresh cucumber salad).
As my good friend Willis would say, “It’s all about the saauuuuuuwwwwwssss!!”
Making a red sauce from scratch might seem intimidating but it really is a simple process. The key to a good red sauce is time. Allowing everything to simmer long enough for the flavors to really meld and build is extremely important. I’ve heard of some Italian recipes that require you to simmer you sauce all night. I have yet to try doing this (in a crock pot) but it’s on the “to-try” list!
This is one of the best marinara sauces I’ve ever tasted. I love using wine, a bit of heat and the balsamic to add depth to this sauce. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.
1 (28-ounce) can Plum Tomatoes or San Marzano, crushed
1/2 cup red wine, Chianti preferred
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small onion, diced
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 large sprig fresh basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
dash of garlic powder
dash of onion powder
dash of paprika
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
dash of salt and pepper, to taste
dash of red pepper flakes, to taste
dash of cayenne pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon sugar (to cut down acidity)
Mushrooms, bell peppers, sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium/low heat. Toss in onions and red pepper (if using) and salt. Saute until onions begin to sweat. Add in any optional vegetables.
When onions are translucent, add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about one to two minutes. Pour in the wine and turn up the heat to boil off any alcohol. Add the tomatoes, remaining seasonings, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Top with fresh basil sprig, cover and let simmer on very low for 30-60 minutes. Stir your sauce occasionally or it will stick to the bottom of your pot. Remove the basil stem and serve with your favorite pasta or with crusty bread.
At first I had no idea what “Divan” meant. I originally thought it was a specific way you prepare the dish, like a souffle or to sauté. After researching online, I still don’t really know if it has a meaning outside of being a dish consisting of chicken, broccoli and cheese.
Either way, those three ingredients are items that I have mixed together in casseroles in the past. This is like that casserole but in a more gourmet fashion. I found this recipe online, futzed with it a bit, and ended up with this healthier version of Chicken Divan. Who says eating healthy has to be bland?
This recipe calls for transferring your chicken to a baking dish. If you have a cast iron skillet, use it to save you the hassle of washing one more dish.
4 (6 to 8-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (go easy on the salt because the sherry has a lot of salt already)
1 cup low-fat evaporated milk
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch (or more)
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Preheat the broiler. Mist a shallow rectangular baking dish with cooking spray. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook until bright green and crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain well again and squeeze dry in paper towels.
In the mean time, sauté your garlic in a small pan in a bit of butter, 2 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
Chop the broccoli and toss in a bowl with Gruyère and sautéed garlic mixture. Insert a paring knife into the thickest part of each chicken breast to make a pocket. Use your fingers here to extend the pocket as large as the piece of chicken can handle. Stuff each chicken breast with equal amounts of the broccoli mixture. Rub both sides of the chicken breasts with oil and thyme and season with salt and pepper. You may need to stab the opening of your chicken breasts with toothpicks to prevent the stuffing from spilling out during the cooking process. If you do, remember to take these out later.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, about 5 minutes. Put the chicken in the pan and cook until golden brown and just cooked through, about 6 minutes per side. If the chicken begins to brown too quickly, turn the heat down to medium to finish cooking through. Transfer to the baking dish.
Combine the milk and stock in a small pot, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir the sherry and cornstarch until smooth and whisk consistently. Cook until just thickened, about 2 minutes. You may need to add more cornstarch if the sauce is too runny. Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan. Top each chicken breast with a bit of sauce, enough to wet the chicken, and place under the broiler. Broil until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and let the chicken rest for at least 5 minutes. Once rested, cut each chicken breast in half on an angle. Whisk the mustard into the remaining sauce and spread a few tablespoons on each plate. Top with halved chicken breast, serve hot and enjoy.