Category: Vegatarian

Pom Pom Sangria

Pom Pom Sangria in a pitcher

Sangria is an iconic drink in Spain. The primary ingredients are red wine (Rioja), orange juice, and simple syrup with chopped fruit, such as pineapple, peaches, berries, apples, and pears. Later white wine became a popular variation, and as I’m a big fan of Rosés and pomegranate juice, I thought that combining theses two ingredients would make another delicious modification to this popular drink.

Use a dry, not too fruity rosé, such as Pinot Gris, an unsweetened pomegranate juice, such as POM, a pomegranate liqueur, such as PAMA, and a small dose of simple syrup.

Pom Pom Sangria ingredients

Toss in quartered strawberries, blueberries, sliced peaches and limes. This recipe makes a delicious and stunning presentation!

Pom Pom Sangria fruit

If you use a sweetened pomegranate juice, leave out the simple syrup or add only after tasting. The drink is not meant to be overly sweet, but cool, and refreshing.

Pom Pom Sangria in glasses

Pom Pom Sangria

Serve little cocktail forks on the side so people can enjoy the macerated fruit later!

Pom Pom Sangria with cocktail fork

Pom Pom Sangria

To make a Pom Pom Sangria Spritzer, use 2/3 sangria and 1/3 seltzer or sparkling water.

Be sure to chill the sangria well before serving.

 

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Pom Pom Sangria

Pom Pom Sangria in a pitcher

A delicious fruit punch made of pomegranate juice and liqueur with chopped fruit and rosé wine.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 quarts 1x
  • Category: Cocktail
Scale

Ingredients

½ cup blueberries
½ cup thinly sliced peaches, fresh or frozen
½ cup quartered strawberries
8 thin slices of fresh lime
1 bottle dry rosé
2 cups unsweetened pomegranate juice, such as POM
½ cup pomegranate liqueur, such as PAMA
2 ounces simple syrup

Garnish
Mint leaves, optional

Instructions

Place the fruit in the bottom of a 2-quart pitcher and add the rosé, juice, liqueur, and simple syrup.

Chill well.

Pour into a glass, making sure to include some of the fruit in each one and garnish with a pinched mint leaf, which releases the mint oils.

Notes

To make a Pom Pom Sangria Spritzer, use 2/3 sangria and 1/3 seltzer or sparkling.

Keywords: fruit punch, rose wine, cocktail, alcoholic beverage, pomegranate juice

Chopped Salad with Adobo Lime Vinaigrette

Grilled Chicken Chopped Salad with Adobo Lime Vinaigrette

I stopped at a Cosi for lunch one day on a drive back from the city. Haven’t been to one in years. I ordered an Adobo Lime Chicken Salad. I enjoyed it and reproduced it, I think with a little more zip. Here’s my version, Chicken Chopped Salad with Adobo Lime Vinaigrette.

Adobo LimeVinaigrette

adobo lime vinaigrette

Make the vinaigrette first so it has a chance to meld. Make at least 30 minutes in advance and leftover vinaigrette will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Combine olive oil, lime juice, adobo sauce, grated garlic, agave, salt, and chopped cilantro in a covered jar and shake well.

Grilled Chicken

Grill up boneless and skinless chicken breasts to serve with the Chopped Salad with Adobo Lime Vinaigrette.

Heat the grill to high. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and let sit for 30 minutes. Drizzle a little olive oil over both sides to prevent sticking. Grill and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Slice on the bias. See our video, Grilled Boneless Chicken Breasts.

Chopped Salad

Use fresh corn raw, grilled or steamed, let cool slightly and then remove the kernels by sliding a knife down the corn from top to bottom, turning a little each time until the whole cob is bare. and place in a large bowl.

removing corn kernels from the cob

Add black beans, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and salt to the corn and toss to mix well.

Use a crisp lettuce like Romaine and chop it to bite-size pieces and place in a large salad bowl.

These ingredients can be prepared up to a day in advance. Cover tightly and hold in the refrigerator.

To assemble, dress the lettuce with enough of the adobo lime vinaigrette to coat well, but not pool in the bottom of the bowl.

Pour more of the vinaigrette over the vegetables, toss well, and spread over the top of the greens.

Note: The chopped vegetables are heavy and fall to the bottom of the bowl when tossed. Dressing the lettuce separately and spreading the dressed vegetables over the top makes a more attractive presentation.

Grilled Chicken Chopped Salad with Adobo Lime Vinaigrette individual bowl

Slice the onion and avocado, season with a sprinkle of salt, a drizzle of there vinaigrette, and lay decoratively over the salad.

Grilled Chicken Chopped Salad with Adobo Lime Vinaigrette with chicken and avocado

Garnish with the shredded cheese as desired.

Serve the sliced chicken on a separate platter, or prepare individual salad bowls as directed above, and place the chicken on the very top. Don’t forget to pour a little of the vinaigrette over the chicken, too.

 

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Adobo Lime Vinaigrette

adobo lime vinaigrette

Try this with grilled skirt steak or omit the meat or chicken and serve with extra black beans for a vegan salad.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/4 cups 1x
  • Category: Salad Dressings/Viniagrettes
Scale

Ingredients

½ cup olive oil
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons adobo sauce, strained from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 medium clove of garlic, grated
1 teaspoon agave
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

Place the oil, lime juice, adobo sauce, garlic, agave, salt, and cilantro in a covered jar and shake well.

Let sit for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Notes

Can be made in advance; shake well just before using. Lasts 3-4 days in the refrigerator

Keywords: salad dressing, vinaigrette, lime vinaigrette, adobo sauce, lime, cilantro

 

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Grilled Chicken and Chopped Salad

Grilled Chicken Chopped Salad with Adobo Lime Vinaigrette

This recipe is great for entertaining. Almost everything can be prepared in advance and assembled at the last minute. Dress with our delicious Adobo Lime Vinaigrette.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Category: Salads
Scale

Ingredients

4 ears fresh corn, or 3 cups frozen or drained canned corn
8 baby bell peppers thinly sliced or 1 red bell pepper, diced
20 cherry tomatoes halved
½ English cucumber quartered and sliced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
8 cups chopped lettuce, such as Romaine
1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained well
1 avocado, sliced
red onion slices

Garnish
Shredded cheese, such cojita, Monterrey jack or sharp cheddar; optional

Instructions

Use fresh corn raw, grilled or steamed, let cool slightly and then remove the kernels by sliding a knife down the corn from top to bottom, turning a little each time until the whole cob is bare. and place in a large bowl.

Add black beans, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and salt to the corn and toss to mix well.

Use a crisp lettuce like Romaine and chop it to bite-size pieces and place in a large salad bowl.

These ingredients can be prepared up to a day in advance. Cover tightly and hold in the refrigerator.

To assemble, dress the lettuce with enough of the adobo lime vinaigrette to coat well, but not pool in the bottom of the bowl.

Pour more of the vinaigrette over the vegetables, toss well, and spread over the top of the greens.

Slice the onion and avocado, season with a sprinkle of salt, a drizzle of there vinaigrette, and lay decoratively over the salad.

Garnish with the shredded cheese as desired.

Serve the sliced chicken on a separate platter, or prepare individual salad bowls as directed above, and place the chicken on the very top. Don’t forget to pour a little of the vinaigrette over the chicken, too.

Notes

Note: The chopped vegetables are heavy and fall to the bottom of the bowl when tossed. Dressing the lettuce separately and spreading the dressed vegetables over the top makes a more attractive presentation.

See our grilled chicken recipe and video here: Grilled Boneless Chicken Breast

Keywords: chopped salad, dinner salad, black beans, corn, bell peppers, avocado, red onion

 

Cherry Chocolate-Chunk Ice Cream

It occurred to me as I was working with fresh cherries this season that a cherry ice cream would be fun to make. Then I thought about chocolate-covered cherries and decided that some delicious dark chocolate chunks needed to go into the mix as well. The result is Cherry Chocolate-Chunk Ice Cream!

A few years ago I wrote an ice cream book, Endless Summer: 54 Quick and Creative Ice Cream and Dessert Recipes. The odd thing is I’m not a big ice cream lover. But when opportunity knocks, one doesn’t say no! I now have a reputation for making ice cream and don’t serve store-bought anymore. I also have three ice cream makers and plenty of freezer space!

Method

Puree the cherries, sugar, cherry and vanilla extracts, and salt in a blender or food processor.

Add the cream and milk, pulse to combine.

Chill the ice cream mixture for 30 minutes.

To Freeze: follow the directions of your ice cream maker for churning and freezing.

Tips and Tricks

Lower the freezer temperature from 0ºF to 4ºF. This is just enough to make the ice cream scoopable right from the freezer, no need to let it sit on the counter, which only melts the outer edges.

To properly store ice cream, place plastic wrap directly on top of the ice cream to prevent air from reaching the ice cream and place in the freezer immediately to prevent ice crystallization.

 

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Cherry Chocolate-Chunk Ice Cream

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1 quart 1x
  • Category: Ice Cream
Scale

Ingredients

1 ½ cups cherries, pitted
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cherry extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
1 ½ cups heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
¾ cup (4 ounce bar) dark chocolate, chopped OR chocolate chips (I used 70% cocoa)

Instructions

Puree the cherries, sugar, cherry and vanilla extracts, and salt in a blender or food processor.

Add the cream and milk, pulse to combine.

Chill the ice cream mixture for 30 minutes.

To Freeze: follow the directions of your ice cream maker for churning and freezing.

Notes

Lower the freezer temperature from 0ºF to 4ºF. This is just enough to make the ice cream scoopable right from the freezer, no need to let it sit on the counter, which only melts the outer edges.

To properly store ice cream, place plastic wrap directly on top of the ice cream to prevent air from reaching the ice cream and place in the freezer immediately to prevent ice crystallization.

Keywords: frozen dessert, dessert,

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon adds great dimension to baked goods: acidity, tartness, and aroma. Bake these Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins for breakfast, have with your morning coffee break, or serve with afternoon tea. They freeze well, too!

I frequently substitute white whole wheat flour for all-purpose white flour. Compared to regular whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour is milder tasting and less dense. To maximize the nutritional value of the flour, King Arthur recommends using 1/3 of the amount called for in the recipe, but I’ve substituted 100% white whole wheat for all-purpose with great success.

Make up an extra batch of muffins and freeze for up to 3 months after cooling thoroughly. I like to have two or three different muffins varieties in the freezer; they thaw quickly on the counter or in the microwave using the defrost setting. These delicious chocolate muffins come in handy for a snack, unexpected company, or packed into a lunch box.

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Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon adds great dimension to baked goods; acidity, tartness, and aroma that appeals to all our senses. Bake these Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins for breakfast, your morning coffee break, or afternoon tea. They freeze well, too!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 1 dozen regular muffins or 24 mini muffins 1x
  • Category: Baked Goods
Scale

Ingredients

2 cups all-purppose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup milk
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Setup
Preheat oven to 375º F
Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin* pan or line with paper liners.

Method
Combine flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt in a medium-size mixing bowl.

Beat milk and eggs in a small mixing bowl; stir in melted butter, grated lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla.

Stir egg mixture into flour mixture until well combined. Don’t over mix or the batter is a little tough.

Fill each muffin cup by 2/3 with muffin batter.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until cake tester comes clean.

Remove to cooling rack. Store in airtight container.

Notes

*Makes 24 mini muffins.

 

 

Raspberry Clafoutis (gluten-free version, too!)

raspberry clafoutis with whipped cream

Raspberry Clafoutis may be the simplest, most fool-proof dessert ever. Simply macerate the fruit in a little sugar, and perhaps a complementary liqueur, blend the rest of the ingredients in a blender, pour the batter over fruit and bake! That’s all there is to it, I promise!

We had a dinner party in February and I needed a gluten-free dessert. This raspberry clafoutis filled the bill perfectly. Basically it’s a custard-based dessert with a little flour mixed in. The party was a large group (12) so I made two, one gluten-free and one regular. The gluten-free version is a little more translucent due to the lack of wheat starch, otherwise it’s the same in every respect and those who had it couldn’t tell the difference!

Raspberry Clafoutis sliced

Another nice thing about this dessert is it can be made a day in advance. Be sure to take it out about an hour before serving to warm up a little for better flavor and serve with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream.

Setup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and generously grease a 9-inch pie dish with butter.

Method

Place the raspberries, liqueur, and sugar in a bowl and gently toss to combine. Let macerate for at least 30 minutes, tossing a couple of times.

Raspberry Clafoutis - macerating berries

Place the remaining sugar, half and half, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest in the base of a blender and blend until frothy.

Add the flour (wheat or gluten free) and blend until completely incorporated

GF NOTE: This is the only modification for a gluten-free version, use all-purpose gluten-free flour, no gums necessary

Spread the raspberries (juices too!) in one layer in the bottom of the pie dish. Pour the batter over the berries and bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes.

raspberry clafoutis batter

Serve slightly warm or at room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream.

Raspberry Clafoutis baked

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Raspberry Clafoutis (gluten-free version too)

Raspberry Clafoutis is a quick and easy fruit-based custard dessert sure to please everyone. Gluten-free version included!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Baked Goods
Scale

Ingredients

3 half pints fresh raspberries OR 3 cups frozen raspberries (thaw before macerating)
1 tablespoon raspberry liqueur, such as Chambord
2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
3 large eggs
½ cup half and half
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Zest of one lemon
1/3 cup all-purpose wheat flour or all-purpose gluten-free flour*

Instructions

Setup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and generously grease a 9-inch pie dish with butter.

Method

Place the raspberries, liqueur, and sugar in a bowl and gently toss to combine. Let macerate for at least 30 minutes, tossing a couple of times.

Place the remaining sugar, half and half, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest in the base of a blender and blend until frothy.

Add the flour and blend until completely incorporated.

Spread the raspberries (juices too!) in one layer in the bottom of the pie dish. Pour the batter over the berries and bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes.

Serve slightly warm or at room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream.

Notes

*no gums necessary

Keywords: custard, dessert, gluten-free dessert, gluten-free, raspberry liqueur, Chambord, #spring #spring recipes, Easter, Easter recipe

 

Creamed Kale and Leeks

creamed kale and leeks

We’re big fans of creamed spinach, a classic steak-house side dish. I thought I’d put a little twist on that recipe and substitute kale for spinach and load up on leeks, which are so sweet. Here’s my updated version: Creamed Kale and Leeks.

I frequently like to test my recipes out on friends and invited several to a recipe tasting dinner – the invitation was explicit that these recipes were “in progress.”

Creamed Kale and Leeks buffet table

They all accepted!

Creamed Kale and Leeks dinner party

In addition to this recipe for Creamed Kale and Leeks, I was experimenting with an Herb-Crusted Salmon, and trying to find the perfect way to prepare a prime-rib roast.

Creamed Kale and Leeks with herb-crusted salmon and prime rib roast

I also went back to my culinary school roots and created a classic Raspberry Clafoutis (both regular and gluten-free versions) for dessert. I’m happy to say it was all a success and these turned into finalized recipes, which are coming soon. But here’s a little preview!

I doubled this recipe for Creamed Kale and Leeks (we were 12 for dinner) and it was gone, I mean lick the bowl clean gone, at the end of dinner. It always makes me so happy when people like my food!

Creamed Kale and Leeks with herb-crusted salmon and prime rib roast

SETUP

Fill a large saucepan (7-quart) with cold water and salt and bring to a boil.

Have a strainer ready to drain the parboiled kale.

Fill a very large bowl with water and a couple of handfuls of ice cubes.

METHOD

Destem, coarsely chop, and thoroughly wash the kale. See our blog on How to Clean and Parboil Kale for more details.

Place 1/3 of the kale in the boiling water, stir completely submerge the leaves. Add another third, stir, and then the final third. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring a couple of times.

Drain the kale and then immediately plunge it into the cold-water bath. Stir a couple of times to make sure all the leaves are free. Remove any ice cubes and drain the kale again.

Scoop up a handful of kale and squeeze to remove excess moisture. Repeat until all the kale in the strainer is gone.

creamed kale and leeks prepping the kale

Place the bacon in a cold large skillet and cook over medium-high heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is slightly crisp.

creamed kale and leeks with bacon

Remove the cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate.

creamed kale and leeks with bacon

See out post on How to Clean and Slice Leeks. 

Add the butter and oil to the skillet and once it foams, stir in the leeks and salt, lower the heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are very soft. Lower the heat if the leeks are browning.

creamed kale and leeks - sautéing the leeks

Add the wine, bring to a boil and reduce until almost evaporated.

Stir in the cream, mustard, and pepper. Once blended, add the kale, breaking up the bunches to fill the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, a little longer if the kale had too much moisture and the sauce in runny.

Serve as a scrumptious side, such as seared scallops.

creamed kale and leeks with seared scallops

Another idea is to poach some eggs LINK and serve on top of the creamed kale and leeks.

INGREDIENTS

2 bunches kale
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 ounces bacon, diced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups thinly sliced leeks
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Santa Margherita Pinto Grigio, don’t use an oakey Chardonnay, it overpowers the dish
2 cups heavy cream
1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Note: use slab bacon if you can find it.

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Creamed Kale and Leeks

creamed kale and leeks with seared scallops

Creamed Kale and Leeks is an updated version of creamed spinach. Great with any entree, such as seared scallops, or use for breakfast topped with poached eggs.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish/Vegetable
Scale

Ingredients

2 bunches kale
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 ounces bacon, diced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups thinly sliced leeks
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Santa Margherita Pinto Grigio, don’t use an oakey Chardonnay, it overpowers the dish
2 cups heavy cream
1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Instructions

Fill a large saucepan (7-quart) with cold water and salt and bring to a boil.

Have a strainer ready to drain the parboiled kale.

Fill a very large bowl with water and a couple of handfuls of ice cubes.

METHOD

Destem, coarsely chop, and thoroughly wash the kale. See our blog on How to Clean and Parboil Kale  for more details.

Place 1/3 of the kale in the boiling water, stir completely submerge the leaves. Add another third, stir, and then the final third. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring a couple of times.

Drain the kale and then immediately plunge it into the cold-water bath. Stir a couple of times to make sure all the leaves are free. Remove any ice cubes and drain the kale again.

Scoop up a handful of kale and squeeze to remove excess moisture. Repeat until all the kale in the strainer is gone.

Place the bacon in a cold large skillet and cook over medium-high heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is slightly crisp. Remove the cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate.

See out post on How to Clean and Slice Leeks. 

Add the butter and oil to the skillet and once it foams, stir in the leeks and salt, lower the heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are very soft. Lower the heat if the leeks are browning.

Add the wine, bring to a boil and reduce until almost evaporated.

Stir in the cream, mustard, and pepper. Once blended, add the kale, breaking up the bunches to fill the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, a little longer if the kale had too much moisture and the sauce in runny.

Serve as a scrumptious side. Another idea is to poach some eggs and serve on top of the creamed kale and leeks.

Notes

Use slab bacon if you can find it.

Keywords: Kale, leeks, creamy side dish, side dish, vegetarian, gluten-free

Double Chocolate Muffins

Double Chocolate Muffins in a basket

I love muffins and tea and not just for breakfast. Muffins make a delicious afternoon snack and these Double Chocolate Muffins are a lovely treat with the deep cocoa flavor and chocolate chunks!

I use a standard muffin pan as I’m not a fan of huge muffins. I particularly like mini muffins, especially when there are a variety to choose from. A little of one and a little of another is always an excellent choice!

These chocolate muffins come together quickly and freeze well. When it comes to cocoa powder, I prefer to use a Dutch-processed cocoa powder, which has been treated with an alkalizing agent. This neutralizes the natural acidity in the cocoa, smoothes the chocolaty flavor, and deepens the color to a rich dark brown. Use a good quality chocolate chip or a favorite chocolate bar, about 8 ounces, cut into small chunks.

Double Chocolate Muffins in a basket

I frequently substitute white whole wheat flour for all-purpose white flour. Compared to regular whole flour, white whole wheat flour is a milder tasting and much less dense flour. To maximize the nutritional value of the flour, King Arthur recommends using 1/3 of the amount called for in the recipe. I frequently swap out 100% of the all-purpose flour for the white whole wheat with excellent results.

Make up an extra batch and freeze for up to 3 months after cooling thoroughly. I like to have two or three different muffins varieties in the freezer; they thaw quickly on the counter or in the microwave using the defrost setting. These delicious chocolate muffins come in handy for a snack, unexpected company, or packed into a lunch box.

SETUP FOR DOUBLE CHOCOLATE MUFFINS

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly grease a 12-cup or muffin pan or 24-cup mini muffin pan or use with paper liners.

Double Chocolate Muffins greased pan

METHOD FOR MAKING DOUBLE CHOCOLATE MUFFINS

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium-size mixing bowl.

Double Chocolate Muffins dry ingredients

Beat the milk and eggs in a small mixing bowl; stir in melted butter and vanilla extract.

Double Chocolate Muffins wet ingredients

Stir egg mixture into flour mixture until well combined. Don’t over mix or the muffins will be tough. Stir in chips.

Fill each muffin cup to the rim.

Double Chocolate Muffins in muffin tins

These mini muffin tins are a little smaller and made more than 24, but didn’t completely fill the third pan. I filled the empty cups halfway with cold water to balance out the heat.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, regular-size muffins, 18 minutes for mini muffins, or until cake tester comes clean.

Let the muffins settle in the pan for 5 minutes and them remove each muffin to a cooling rack.

Store in airtight container or freeze.

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Double Chocolate Muffins

Double Chocolate Muffins in a basket

Double Chocolate Muffins made with Dutch-processed cocoa and good quality chocolate chips are great for breakfast, afternoon snack or packed in a lunch box!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1 dozen muffins, 2 dozen mini muffins 1x
  • Category: Baked Goods
Scale

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups all-purppose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup milk
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly grease a 12-cup or muffin pan or 24-cup mini muffin pan or use with paper liners.

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium-size mixing bowl.

Stir egg mixture into flour mixture until well combined. Don’t over mix or the muffins will be tough. Stir in chips.

Fill each muffin cup to the rim.

Beat the milk and eggs in a small mixing bowl; stir in melted butter and vanilla extract.

These mini muffin tins are a little smaller and made more than 24, but didn’t completely fill the third pan. I filled the empty cups halfway with cold water to balance out the heat.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, regular-size muffins, 18 minutes for mini muffins, or until cake tester comes clean.

Let the muffins settle in the pan for 5 minutes and them remove each muffin to a cooling rack.

Store in airtight container or freeze.

1 3/4 cups all-purppose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup milk
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup

Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup in a bowl

This recipe for Pepper Jack Squash Soup was on my mind for several days. I decided to make it on a Monday, which is typically a very busy, chore-filled day. It’s cleaning day, linen and towel laundry day, replenish the pantry and refrigerator day, and pay the bills day. Not always a good day to test a new recipe, but I was obsessed.

I decided to skip the sweat the vegetable step and just pile all the vegetables, salt, and stock into the pot and cook. Everything is pureed in the end, so the vegetables get a rough chop, though smaller pieces cook faster than large, so I sliced thinly and cut the squash into small cubes, which kept the cooking time to 45 minutes.

I also used my food processor to puree the soup and then switched to the shredder blade and shredded the cheese and stirred it into the soup. I saved having to clean another tool by having the food processor do double duty.

I was not disappointed. A butternut squash soup has a velvety texture that is only enhanced by adding the pepper jack cheese and the spices in the cheese give the soup some oomph!

Top the soup off with a few sprigs of fresh cilantro.

METHOD

Place the squash, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, salt, and stock in a large saucepan.

Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup with stock

Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle boil and cook for 45 minutes or until the
until the squash is tender.

Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup ready for the blender

To test, push a couple of squash pieces against the side of the pan; once it easily squishes it’s done.

Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup soft vegetables

Let the soup cool for about 15 minutes before puréeing.

Scoop the vegetables and liquid in equal portions into the food processor, filling no more than halfway. You can also use a blender or an immersion blender. Be sure the soup is completely smooth.

See our blog/video on how to safely purée hot ingredients.

Return to the stovetop, add the cheese and cook over medium-high heat until the cheese is melted and the soup is streak free.

Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup with cheese

Soup freezes well.

Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup in a bowl

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Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup

Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup in a bowl
  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
Scale

Ingredients

3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
3 large celery stalks, thinly sliced
3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 teaspoons kosher salt
8 cups vegetable stock, such as More Than Gourmet
8 ounces shredded jalapeño Monterrey Jack cheese

Garnish
Cilantro leaves

Instructions

Place the squash, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, salt, and stock in a large saucepan.

Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle boil and cook for 45 minutes or until the
until the squash is tender. To test, push a couple of squash pieces against the side of the pan; once it easily squishes it’s done.

Let the soup cool for about 15 minutes before puréeing.

Scoop the vegetables and liquid in equal portions into the food processor, filling no more than halfway. You can also use a blender or an immersion blender. Be sure the soup is completely smooth.

See our blog/video on how to safely purée hot ingredients.

Return to the stovetop, add the cheese and cook over medium-high heat until the cheese is melted and the soup is streak free.

Soup freezes well.

Keywords: soup, butternut squash, pepper jack cheese, Monterrey jack cheese, cream soup

 

 

Basic Pancake Recipe with a Few Variations

Basic Pancake Recipe

A Basic Pancake Recipe is a simple mix of flour, baking powder and/or baking soda, salt, and milk or buttermilk. Whisk the ingredients together, then let the batter rest. The individual starch granules absorb liquid and swell, which prevents a raw starchy taste in the pancake.

Use different flours or a combination of flours, such as white whole wheat, which you can substitute 100% for all-purpose flour, or half oatmeal flour and half all-purpose flour. Substitute 25% with buckwheat flour for a deeper, nuttier flavor, but avoid using too much as this is a very dense flour.

Add fruit, such as berries or thinly sliced bananas, chopped nuts, or chocolate chips for variety. Creamed corn makes great corn cakes for a slightly savory taste – they’re good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Basic Pancake Recipe with Blueberries

Pancake batter only takes a few minutes to make and while the batter is resting, preheat your griddle or pan. A hot griddle or pan is essential to getting that lovely brown exterior with crispy edges and to activate the leavening agent for airy flapjacks (couldn’t resist using the dated term, just saying it makes you giggle.)

After you pour the batter, bubbles should appear on the sides and the pancake will rise. Flip when golden brown and cook for another couple of minutes. Don’t be discouraged by a slightly pale first flapjack, the pan was probably not hot enough and the rest will be perfect.

Basic Pancake Recipe

Keep Those Pancakes Warm

A stove-top griddle or electric pancake griddle, only holds so many pancakes at once and must be made in batches. To keep your pancakes warm, preheat the oven (180 – 200 degrees F) or a warming drawer, line a half-sheet baking pan with a cooling rack, which allows for air circulation, spread the pancakes over the rack, and place in the warm oven or drawer. Warm the serving platter, plates, syrup, or other toppings too.

Basic Pancake Recipe with Fruit

Watch our basic pancake recipe video here.

Watch our fruit pancake recipe video here.

Watch our banana pancake recipe video here.

Watch our creamed corn pancake video here.

Recipes

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Basic Pancakes with Variations for Fruit and Chocolate Chip Pancakes

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 large pancakes 1x
  • Category: Breakfast/Brunch
Scale

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 eggs
2 cups whole milk
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Preheat the griddle.

Combine the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl.

Beat the eggs in another bowl and whisk in the milk, butter and vanilla.

Pour the egg mixture over the dry ingredients and stir to blend

Generously brush the griddle with oil or melted butter just before pouring the batter.

  • Size:
    1/2-cup measure for large pancakes
    ¼ cup measure for small pancakes
    2 tablespoons for half dollar pancakes.

After you pour the batter, bubbles appear on the sides and the pancake rises. Flip when golden brown and cook for another minute or two. Don’t be discouraged by a slightly pale first flapjack, the pan was probably not hot enough and the rest will be perfect.

To keep your pancakes warm, preheat the oven (180 – 200 degrees F) or a warming drawer, line a half-sheet baking pan with a cooling rack, which allows for air circulation, spread the pancakes over the rack, and place in the warm oven or drawer. Warm the serving platter, plates, syrup, or other toppings too.

Notes

Fruit and Chocolate Chip Pancakes:

2 cups fruit, such as berries, sliced banana or chocolate chips*

Gently fold into the pancake batter and scoop out. The weight of these fillings makes them fall to the bottom, so be sure to scoop down or take handfuls of the variation ingredients and plop on top of the batter right after pouring on the griddle. Adding the ingredients to the bitter on the grill allows you to mix it up a little, raspberries for one and bananas for another, or a combo of ingredients!

*nutritional content is for basic pancake recipe.

Keywords: pancakes, flapjacks, fruit pancakes, banana pancakes, berry pancakes, chocolate chip pancakes, breakfast, brunch, basic pancakes

 

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Creamed Corn Pancakes

Scale

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 ears of corn, kernels removed and corn milk scraped out (about 1 1/2 cups) or, 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Preheat the griddle.

Combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.

Place corn kernels, cream, eggs, butter and vanilla extract in a food processor and or blender and pulse to chop. Don’t puree, the corn should have a coarse texture.

Pour the corn mixture over the dry ingredients and stir to blend

Generously brush the griddle with oil or melted butter just before pouring the batter.

  • Size:
    1/2-cup measure for large pancakes
    ¼ cup measure for small pancakes
    2 tablespoons for half dollar pancakes.

After you pour the batter, bubbles appear on the sides and the pancake rises. Flip when golden brown and cook for another minute or two. Don’t be discouraged by a slightly pale first flapjack, the pan was probably not hot enough and the rest will be perfect.

Notes

To keep your pancakes warm, preheat the oven (180 – 200 degrees F) or a warming drawer, line a half-sheet baking pan with a cooling rack, which allows for air circulation, spread the pancakes over the rack, and place in the warm oven or drawer. Warm the serving platter, plates, syrup, or other toppings too.

Keywords: pancakes, creamed corn pancakes, creamed corn, breakfast, brunch

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookies

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I have a few friends who either suffer from celiac disease or have a low tolerance for gluten, which led me to experiment with gluten-free flour. It was a challenge at first to learn the ins and outs of working without gluten, but I persevered. Here’s one of my recent “success stories,” Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookies.

I made these especially for my friend Dennis, who is constantly commenting on the inferior quality and high cost of commercially made GF snacks. This is one of his favorite cookies and he requested cashews in lieu of the typical walnuts. These cookies are light, with a buttery, not too sweet flavor, and a hint of cinnamon. He stopped by on Saturday to pick them up and was delighted with the results and his goodie bag to go!

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Gluten-Free Flour

There are a wide variety of flours to choose from and most local grocery stores carry one or two brands, usually King Arthur Flour or Bob’s Red Mill. Both have blends that you can substitute all-purpose flour cup for cup for the gluten-free flour. I used King Arthur Flour’s Measure for Measure, which doesn’t require the addition of gums. Read the ingredient label to check if either guar gum and/or zanthan gum are included. My research shows that using half guar gum and half xanthan gum provides the best results. A 1/4 teaspoon each per cup of flour is sufficient. These are readily available from vendors such as Bob’s Red Mill and amazon.com and other vendors.

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

The cookies whip up exactly like any other drop cookie. Beat the butter until fluffy in a stand mixer or with a hand beater; scrape the sides and beater. Add the sugar and salt and beat until incorporated; scrape the sides and beater. Add the eggs and beat, scraping the sides and beater as needed until incorporated. Mix in the vanilla extract, raisins, and nuts. Add the flours, oatmeal, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, guar gum, and xanthan gum,* and beat on low, scraping the sides of the bowl and the beater as needed, until the flour is moist. Scrape the sides and beater again and mix on medium-high until the dough is smooth, about 10 seconds.

*Omit if using a gluten-free flour that includes these gums.

Drop the cookies by the spoonful onto the lined cookie sheet, or use a cookie scoop, which makes about a 2-inch cookie, not too big and not too small. I like to use the scoop for the uniformity in size and even cooking.

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Pop the cookie sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookie is golden brown.

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Cool the cookies for 5 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container or freeze.

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Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookies

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 30 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
Scale

Ingredients

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cups raisins
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, optional, such as walnuts, pecans, or cashews
1 cup gluten-free flour
3/4 cup oat flour
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal, such Quaker Oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon guar gum*
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum*

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.

Beat the butter until fluffy in a stand mixer or with a hand beater; scrape the sides and beater.

Add the sugar and salt and beat until incorporated; scrape the sides and beater.

Add the eggs and beat, scraping the sides and beater as needed until incorporated.

Mix in the vanilla extract, raisins, and nuts.

Add the flours, oatmeal, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, guar gum, and xanthan gum,* and beat on low, scraping the sides of the bowl and the beater as needed, until the flour is moist. Scrape the sides and beater again and mix on medium-high until the dough is smooth, about 10 seconds.

*Note: Omit if using a gluten-free flour that includes these gums.

Drop the cookies by the spoonful onto the lined cookie sheet, or use a cookie scoop, which makes about a 2-inch cookie, not too big and not too small. I like to use the scoop for the uniformity in size and even cooking.

Pop the cookie sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. The bottom of the cookie should be golden brown. The tops a darker beige.

Cool the cookies for 5 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container or freeze.

Notes

*Note: Omit if using a gluten-free flour that includes these gums.

Keywords: cookies, gluten-free, baked goods, dessert, snack

Escarole and Blue Cheese Salad with Sherry Wine Vinaigrette

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

I served this Escarole and Blue Cheese Salad with a Sherry Wine Vinaigrette for dinner the other night and my girlfriend Lynn loved it. She had never had raw escarole before.

Blue cheese goes nicely with the bitterness of escarole, it adds a salty creaminess, the cranberries a little tartness, and the crunchy walnuts add more crunch. The tangy vinaigrette brings it all together. While there’s lots going on in this salad, it’s very simple to make.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and this salad is an excellent way to start or accompany your menu. The refreshing crispy escarole with a coating of the zesty dressing is a great foil for all those rich and tasty traditional Thanksgiving sides.

Vinaigrette

A simple mix of olive oil, Sherry wine vinegar, Dijon, shallots, salt and pepper.

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

Use two tablespoons minced shallot  for this dressing. If the shallot is large, mince only half.

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

Place the oil, vinegar, shallot, mustard, salt, and pepper in a jar and shake well. Refrigerate if not using immediately.

Salad

Thoroughly wash the escarole, it grows in a sandy soil.

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

Spin dry and stack the greens and slice across the leaves.

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

Place the sliced escarole in a salad bowl. Shake the vinaigrette and drizzle the greens with just enough dressing to coat the salad but not pool at the bottom of the bowl.

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

Sprinkle the top of the salad with the nuts, cheese, and cranberries. I like to add the toppings last because they always fall to the bottom of the bowl. Sitting on top of the dressed salad makes a lovely presentation.

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

 

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Escarole and Blue Cheese Salad with Sherry Wine Vinaigrette

A tangy, crunchy salad that’s quick and easy to make.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
Scale

Ingredients

Vinaigrette
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
1 small minced shallot, about 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Salad
1 head escarole, chopped
1 cup whole toasted walnuts, chopped
¾ cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

Vinaigrette

Two tablespoons minced shallot is enough for this dressing. If the shallot is large, mince only half.

Place the oil, vinegar, shallot, mustard, salt, and pepper in a jar and shake well. Refrigerate if not using immediately.

Salad

Thoroughly wash the escarole, it grows in a sandy soil. Spin dry and stack the greens and slice across the leaves.

Place the sliced escarole in a salad bowl

Shake the vinaigrette and drizzle the greens with just enough dressing to coat the salad but not pool at the bottom of the bowl.

Sprinkle the top of the salad with the nuts, cheese, and cranberries.

I like to add the toppings last because they always fall to the bottom of the bowl. Sitting on top of the dressed salad makes a lovely presentation.

Keywords: salad, vinaigrette, escarole salad, escarole salad with blue cheese, escarole salad with blue cheese and walnuts, dried cranberries, sherry wine vinaigrette

Thanksgiving Stuffing

Thanksgiving Stuffing

This recipe is loosely based on my mother’s Thanksgiving Stuffing recipe from my childhood. In those days we put the stuffing inside the turkey and it absorbed those delicious turkey juices. Unfortunately, that is no longer recommended for food safety reasons. The center of the stuffing needs to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F to render any bacteria from the drippings harmless. By the time the dressing reaches that temperature, the turkey is overdone and very dry.

Recently I was approached by More Than Gourmet to enter a contest they were running to create a recipe video using their Classic Roasted Turkey Demi-glace. Right away it occurred to me to add the demi-glace to my Thanksgiving Stuffing recipe. What a great way to replicate that delicious turkey flavor. You can watch and vote for my video here!

Demi-glace

A little background, a demi-glace is a stock that has been reduced to a gelatin-like consistency. It’s used in small amounts and reconstituted with water. A little goes a long way in providing flavor. I love to use them in making quick pan sauces.

Thanksgiving Stuffing

Mom’s stuffing started with sautéed diced onion, celery, and apple. I start that way, and boy those aromas are one of my fondest food memories. She used one kind of bread. I like to use three: whole grain, pumpernickel, and an unseeded rye. Don’t fret about buying three loaves of bread, go to your local deli and ask them for the slices!

The different flavors of each bread add complexity to the dish. I don’t recall Mom using herbs, but I love dried sage, a spice I acquaint with both turkey and Thanksgiving. I also like a little dried fruit in the stuffing and usually add raisins, but dried cranberries are good, too. Milk and eggs bind the whole thing together.

Thanksgiving Stuffing

Quick tip: To dice an apple, peel, quarter, core, and slice each quarter into thin slices. Then cut the slices into thin sticks. Turn and cut the sticks into a small dice.

Thanksgiving Stuffing

To start, melt the butter in medium saucepan that has a cover over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, apple, sage, salt and pepper; stir, cover, and sweat for 6 minutes, stirring once. If the vegetables start to brown, lower the heat a bit.

Add the demi-glace and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water, bring to a boil, lower to a good simmer, and cook until the demi-glace is dissolved. Take off the heat, add the raisins, and let cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 2-quart casserole dish.

Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl, add the milk, and beat until frothy.

Cut the bread into roughly 1/2-inch cubes.

Thanksgiving Stuffing

Stir in the cooled vegetables.

Fold in the bread cubes mixing until everything is moist.

Pour mixture into a lightly greased casserole. The stuffing can be made up to this point, covered, and refrigerated up to one day before baking. Let sit on the counter for an hour to warm up before putting in there oven.

Thanksgiving Stuffing

Cover the casserole dish with a lid or aluminum foil snuggly fitted around the dish and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Remove the cover and cook for another 15-20 minutes to crisp the top.

Watch the video here.

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Thanksgiving Stuffing

Thanksgiving Stuffing
  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
Scale

Ingredients

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the casserole
1 medium diced onion
2 large (outer) stalks diced celery
1 diced apple, such as Gala or Honeycrisp
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 container (1.5 ounces) More Than Gourmet Classic Roasted Turkey Demi-Glace
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
5 slices rye bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
5 slices pumpernickel bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
5 slices whole wheat bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries

Instructions

To start, melt the butter in medium saucepan that has a cover over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, apple, sage, salt and pepper; stir, cover, and sweat for 6 minutes, stirring once. If the vegetables start to brown, lower the heat a bit.

Cover the casserole dish with a lid or aluminum foil snuggly fitted around the dish and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Remove the cover and cook for another 15-20 minutes to crisp the top.

Add the demi-glace and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water, bring to a boil, lower to a good simmer, and cook until the demi-glace is dissolved. Take off the heat, add the raisins, and let cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 2-quart casserole dish.

Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl, add the milk, and beat until frothy.

Cut the bread into roughly 1/2-inch cubes.

Stir in the cooled vegetables.

Fold in the bread cubes mixing until everything is moist.

Pour mixture into a lightly greased casserole. The stuffing can be made up to this point, covered, and refrigerated up to one day before baking. Let sit on the counter for an hour to warm up before putting in there oven.

Notes

To dice an apple, peel, quarter, core, and slice each quarter into thin slices. Then cut the slices into thin sticks. Turn and cut the sticks into a small dice.

Keywords: dressing, stuffing, bread stuffing, Thanksgiving side dish, side dish,