Friday, October 28, 2011

Tomato Salad Caprese

Tomato Salad Caprese
This easy to prepare salad can be served on a platter in overlapping circles, or arranged loosely in a glass bowl.

2-1/2 lbs (1-1/4 kg) ripe tomatoes (about 4 large), sliced into 1/4" (5mm) slices
1 lb (500 g) soft-ripened Bocconcini (mozzerella) cheese, sliced into 1/4' (5mm) slices
3 tbsp (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp (10 mL) balsamic vinegar
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup (125 mL) loosely packed fresh basil leaves

Arrange the tomato and mozzerella slices on a serving platter (or in a bowl). In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and vinegar. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the tomatoes and garnish with the basil leaves. Serve immediately.

Makes 4-6 servings

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Crunchy Island Pineapple Tossed Salad

This recipe was the "recipe of the week" in our newspaper. Pineapples are abundant and very sweet at this time of year. Add a rotisserie chicken and with this salad a tasty meal is ready!

Crunchy Island Pineapple Tossed Salad

Makes 4 cups dressing:

Pineapple Vinaigrette Dressing:

9 fluid ounces pineapple juice concentrate (no water added)

9 fluid ounces seasoned rice vinegar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 ounces minced shallots

14 fluid ounces canola oil

Blend pineapple juice concentrate, vinegar, salt, pepper and shallots. Slowly add oil and blend until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 4 cups dressing.


4 cups chopped romaine

4 cups chopped iceberg

1 cup wonton strips

1 cup pineapple tidbits

1 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage

1/2 cup shredded carrots

1/2 cup julienne sliced red bell peppers

1/4 cup sliced green onions

1/2 cup Pineapple Vinaigrette

Combine ingredients and toss.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup With Spicy Seeds

This is a Williams Sonoma recipe. I have never had a disappointment with any of their recipes. Butternut squash is a favorite of mine and I incorporate much of the iron rich food in our diet during the Fall season.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

With Spicy Seeds

Yield: 6 servings


  • 1 butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon butter, melted
  • 2 pinches cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 yellow onions, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium celery ribs, chopped (about ½ cup)
  • ½ jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup heavy cream (optional)
  • Cider vinegar
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced into matchsticks
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves


1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Slice the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and fibrous pulp and separate the seeds from the stringy pulp. Reserve the seeds. Use a sharp knife to score the neck portion of the squash several times, then rub the flesh with olive oil and season with salt. Roast the squash cut side down on a baking sheet until tender and lightly caramelized, about 1 hour.

2. In a colander, rinse the reserved seeds and dry with paper towels. Place on a sheet pan and toast in the oven for 5 minutes, until golden and fragrant. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and a large pinch of salt. Toss the seeds in the mixture and set asid

3. In a medium stockpot set over medium heat, heat about a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the onions, carrots, celery and jalapeño, if using, and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the maple syrup and cook, stirring frequently, until the syrup is reduced by two-thirds, about 5 minutes. Remove the stockpot from the heat and set aside.

4. When the squash is done, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool briefly. Remove the squash flesh from the skin and mix it into stockpot with the onion and carrot mixture. Return the stockpot to the stove. Turn the heat to medium, add the chicken stock and cream, if using, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Carefully transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Season with the cider vinegar and salt. Serve soup hot with apple, cilantro and toasted seeds.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Classsic Lattice Apple Pie

I found this recipe in our newspaper touted as the best apple pie ever. This is the time of year when apples are at their best flavor and with the cooler days our appetites are better satisfied with a heavier fare.


For the crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks

1/3 cup water

1 egg, separated

2 tablespoons rolled oats

1 tablespoon milk

For the apples:

8 baking apples (such as Granny Smith or Golden Delicious), peeled, cored and sliced (about 8 cups)

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons cornstarch


To make the crust, in the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the flour, salt and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture forms chunks the size of peas. Pulse in the water 1 tablespoon at a time just until the mixture forms a dough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Reserve the eggs, oats and milk for later.


Meanwhile, make the filling. In a large deep skillet, combine the apples with the sugar, vinegar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring and turning gently until the apples are just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir together the water and cornstarch, then add to the apples. Continue to cook until the juices thicken, about 1 minute. Set aside to cool.


Heat the oven to 350 F. Place a pizza stone in the oven, if available.


Divide the dough into 2 pieces, one slightly larger than the other. On a floured surface, roll the larger piece out to a 12-inch circle. Fold the dough in half to make it easier to move, then transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate, unfolding it and allowing it to settle into the bottom. The crust should overhang the edge slightly.


In a small bowl, beat the egg white until slightly frothy. Brush it over the surface of the crust. Sprinkle the oats over the bottom of the crust, then spoon the apple filling into the crust.


On a floured surface, roll the smaller piece of dough to a 10-inch square. Using a pizza cutter or a paring knife, cut the dough into 1-inch strips. Weave the strips in a lattice across the top of the apple filling. Alternatively, roll the dough into a 10-inch circle and simply transfer to the top of the pie for a full crust.


Fold the overhang of the crust under the bottom crust, gently tucking them into the pie dish, then crimp the edge. Beat the egg yolk in a small bowl with the milk and brush over the surface of the pie crust. Sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar.


Bake on the pizza stone or on a baking sheet set on the rack in the lowest position of the oven until the crust is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Cool before cutting. Serves 8.

Gooey Butter Pear Cake


For the cake:

2 medium fresh pears, peeled, cored and diced (or 1 1/2 cups diced canned pears, patted dry)

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 cup milk, room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

For the topping:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup corn syrup

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

To finish:

Powdered sugar

Toasted sliced almonds



Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In small bowl, toss pear with cardamom, then set aside.


In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine milk, yeast, sugar, salt, egg and flour. Mix on medium until a smooth dough has formed. Add 2 tablespoons butter and mix until fully incorporated. Repeat with remaining butter. This should take 6 to 8 minutes.


Scrape dough into prepared baking dish, and using greased hands, spread over the bottom of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle pears over top of dough.


To make topping: In bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter, cream cheese, sugar and salt. One at a time, add eggs, beating until well mixed. Stir in vanilla and corn syrup, then mix in flour. Dollop this mixture over the pear-covered dough.


Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until center is slightly set but still jiggly. Allow to cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and toasted almonds to serve. Refrigerate any leftovers. Serves 16.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Baked Gluten-Free & Vegan Pumpkin Pie

BAKED Gluten-Free & Vegan Pumpkin Pie

1 8” gluten-free pie crust (optional*)

12 ounces soft tofu

2 cups canned pumpkin

1/2 cup brown sugar or Sucanat

1/4 maple syrup

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. In blender or food processor, purée the tofu and pumpkin until smooth.
  3. Add the brown sugar, syrup and spices and blend thoroughly.
  4. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake at 425°F for 15 minutes.
  5. Reduce the temperature to 350°F and continue baking for 30–40 minutes or until set.
  6. Cool to room temperature before serving.
  7. *For a delicious gluten-free crust pumpkin pie “pudding,” bake in a
  8. greased soufflé dish or 8” pie pan for 40–45 minutes at 350° F, until
  9. set.
Pie Crust:

Makes one 8- or 9-inch pie crust or one 9- or 10-inch tart crust.

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Brown Rice Flour Mix* 2 tablespoons sweet rice flour 1 tablespoon granulated sugar ½ teaspoon xanthan gum ¼ teaspoon salt 6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces (or butter substitute) 1 large egg (or 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal + 3 tablespoons water) 2 teaspoons orange juice or lemon juice

  1. Spray 9-inch pie pan or tart pan (with removable bottom) with cooking spray. Generously dust with rice flour.
  2. Mix flours, sugar, xanthan gum, and salt in large bowl of electric mixer. Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal.
  3. Add egg and orange juice. Mix on low speed until dough holds together; it should not be sticky. Form dough into a ball, using your hands, and place on a sheet of wax paper. Top with a second sheet of wax paper and flatten dough to 1-inch thickness. Dough can be frozen at this point for up to 1 month; wrap in plastic wrap and then use foil as an outer wrap.
  4. Roll out dough between the 2 sheets of wax paper. If dough seems tacky, refrigerate for 15 minutes before proceeding. Remove top sheet of wax paper and invert dough into pie/tart pan. Remove remaining sheet of wax paper, and crimp edges for single-crust pie. Dough can also be frozen at this point for up to 1 month; line pie shell with wax paper, wrap in plastic wrap, and use foil as an outer wrap.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Chicken With Cinnamon Apples

Last evening we entertained neighbors at dinner reciprocating the dinners we have enjoyed with them this past summer while living at our Lake home. Our neighbor George has a great appetite. George also loves to tease so I have to really consider if George maybe is serious or thinks he has an opportunity. I prepared this wonderful chicken with cinnamon apple recipe and served it with acorn squash with a corn pudding filling (recipe on blog. Just do a search for acorn squash and the recipe will come up.) George was sitting in a chair before dinner and says the only vegetable he doesn't like is squash. I thought it was my fault for not asking before I chose the menu. George was a good sport and did eat his squash so I still am not sure if he really does not like the vegetable or just took advantage of an opportunity.
Chicken With Cinnamon And Apples
Yield 4 to 6 servings
One 3 1/2 to 4 pound roasting chicken
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 onion, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup chicken broth
1 13 cups white wine
3 apples, cored and cut horizontally into four pieces, Fugi are fine.
2 tablespoons sugar
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Season the chicken with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Put in a roasting pan with the onion. Pour the chicken broth and wine over the chicken. (I omitted the wine in consideration and added 2 1/3 cup chicken stock I made.) Roast the chicken in the oven for 45 minutes.
After the chicken has been cooking for 45 minutes, surround it with the apples sprinkled with the remaining sugar and cinnamon. (I placed the sugar and cinnamon on a plate and just dipped the apple flat on the plate in the mixture on one side only.) Baste with the juices and roast for about 45 more minutes or until the apples are very soft and the chicken is cooked.
Normally I do not like meat that has been cooked with fruit. I have to say the flavor of this moist chicken is not sweetened by the addition of apples. This will be a regular when I prepare a roasting chicken. It is delicious!