Sunday, June 29, 2008

Slow Food Sunday ...

I am fortunate to live in a state that raises and grows so much food, putting a local meal on my table is just a matter of stopping by my farmers market and family-owned grocer. This lasagna is prepared almost entirely from locally grown and produced food. Ohio and Cleveland Rocks!

Zucchini Lasagna Recipe

3 zucchinis, shredded (leave on the skin)
1 candy onion, chopped with leaves
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1# Italian sausage
Gia Russa Whole Wheat Lasagna
Fresh mozzarella
Parmesan cheese
Cottage Cheese
OhioMom's marinara sauce

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles according to directions, drain. Sautee zucchini, mushrooms and onions about 4 minutes, place in drainer to drain off any liquid. Combine cheeses in a bowl, set aside. (you will need at least 3 cups of cheese) Crumble and brown sausage, drain off any fat, add marinara sauce to sausage.

In a 9X12 baking dish, layer ingredients. Pour sauce, just to cover bottom of dish; arrange a layer of lasagna noodles; spread vegetable mixture over top; top with cheese and a little sauce. Continue layering, ending with noodles on top. Cover top with layer of sauce and freshly-grated mozzarella.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, or until cheese is lightly browned.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Strawberry Sherbet ...

As the temps slowly climbed into the 80's today with high humidity, I decided instead of doing my usual whine I would make handmade sherbet. Strawberries are still available here in NE Ohio, so there was no guess to what flavor I would make. This is a very easy to make dessert, the hardest part will be in sharing.

Strawberry Sherbet


Cut up and lightly sugar 1 cup strawberries, set aside. Place large metal bowl in freezer.

Mix in a saucepan ...
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cherry-flavored gelatin

Stir in gradually ...
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 cup crushed strawberries

Bring to a boil. Cool. Stir in slowly ...
1 cup whole milk

Pour into large metal mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer for one hour. Beat in chilled bowl with rotary beater until creamy. Fold in ...
1 egg white, stiffly beaten.

Return covered bowl to freezer and freeze until firm (2 to 3 hours), stirring with a wooden spoon occasionally.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Marinara Sauce ...

With rising food costs, I look for ways to not only cook nutritious meals but at a lower cost. One ingredient in cooking that I use a lot of in this household is Marinara sauce, so I was delighted to find a simple and tasty recipe recently in "Garlic, Garlic, Garlic" by Linda and Fred Griffith who are fellow Clevelanders. If you are a garlic lover like me, you will love this cookbook.

As I have mentioned on this blog in the past, when following a recipe I never hesitate to use what is on hand in my pantry. Thus I made a few simple changes to the original recipe with the ingredients I had and still produced a good marinara sauce to use with pasta, pizza and my flat breads. I portioned out the sauce into two-cup freezer containers to freeze for later use. As soon as tomatoes are in season here in NE Ohio I will be adapting this recipe using fresh tomatoes.

Marinara Sauce Recipe

1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 candy onions with leaves, chopped fine
2 28 oz. cans plum tomatoes, with juice
2 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
1/4 tsp. cayenne
Kosher salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. baking soda

In large saucepan, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add garlic and onions, sautee until tender, about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano and cayenne. Bring to boil, simmer 30 minutes. Add salt, pepper and baking soda. Blend thoroughly and serve.

Loosely adapted from "Garlic, Garlic, Garlic" by Linda and Fred Griffith

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Spinach Fettuccine & Vegetables

Zucchini was available at the Coit Road Farmers Market yesterday and, of course, I bought several. After a long winter, it is wonderful to see vegetables and fruits coming into season here in NE Ohio. So what did I do with my bounty ? Well, Lucy of Sweets, Savories, Etc. blogged about her Cheesy Zucchini Squares yesterday and let me tell you this is a must try recipe. Grazie Lucy!

I also bought some fresh, spinach fettuccine from my local family-owned grocer and sauteed some veggies to toss with it. Yummy!

Spinach Fettuccine with Veggies


1 pound fresh spinach fettuccine
1 candy onion with leaves, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. butter
2 zucchini, sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
8 oz. baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
8 oz. snowpeas
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Freshly-grated Parmesan cheese

Bring pot of salted water to boil. Over medium heat in a large deep skillet, heat olive oil and butter. Add onions and garlic and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add remainder of vegetables and cook just till tender. Add basil, oregano, salt and freshly ground pepper.

Cook fresh fettuccine about 3 minutes, drain and toss with veggies, grate Parmesan cheese on top.

Archana of Archana's Kitchen is hosting a One Dish Meal Event, this easy to make meal is my entry. Thank you for your warm invitation Archana.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Pineapple Chicken Salad

The Equal Opportunity Kitchen is hosting the Tried, Tested and True...Take Two foodie event. This is an event with a cause, organ donation awareness. The dish has to be healthy and low calorie, this flavorful summer salad is my entry.

Pineapple Chicken Salad Recipe

2 pounds grilled, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
2 cups diced fresh pineapple
1/2 cup thinly sliced spring onion tops
1 cup Honey-Lime Dressing

In a large bowl, combine chicken, walnuts, pineapple and onion tops. Set aside.

Honey-Lime Dressing

1/2 cup Brew Master's mustard
1/2 cup Tonn's Wildflower Honey
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. lime juice

Combine all ingredients, whisk until smooth.

Pour about 1 cup of dressing over chicken mixture, mixing to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate.

Served over spring mix lettuce.

The Honey Lime dressing is adapted from CD's Kitchen.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Strawberry Moon Festival RoundUp ...

I want to extend a big thank you to everyone who participated in my first foodie event. The Strawberry RoundUp can be accessed by clicking on the strawberry logo. The creativity for this event was astounding, from entrees to desserts and even wine, the foodies went all out. Please make sure to stop by their blogs for a visit and see what is cooking in their kitchens.

I had such a blast hosting the Strawberry Moon Festival that I have decided to host another event this Fall. So if you missed out on joining in the fun this time around, check back when I host the Harvest Moon Festival.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Ohio-Grown Strawberries

The wild strawberry was eaten centuries before it came under cultivation and eventually hybridization. You can find mention of it in early Greek and Roman writings. In the 14th century in France it was planted in the royal gardens. The strawberry is a perennial herb and is often called the inside-out fruit. One definition of a fruit is a seed surrounded by a pulpy flesh, the strawberry is a flesh surrounded by seeds. The name strawberry may have derived from an Anglo-Saxon description of the way runners "strew" or stray away from the mother plant to set new plants.

I have been waiting for the strawberries to come into season here in NE Ohio, and it was well worth the wait .....

Ohio-Grown Strawberries
from the Coit Road Farmers Market

Strawberries With Caramel-Chocolate Sauce will be my entry for the Strawberry Moon Festival, click here for a pic.

1/4 pound Assorted Nut Chocolates (from the Chocolate Garden)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1 Tbsp. butter
Fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
Whipped Cream

Roughly chop chocolates, set aside. In a heavy pot over medium-high heat combine sugar, cream, corn syrup and butter. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly and continue cooking for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate. Let cool slightly, pour over fresh strawberries and top with a dollop of whip cream.

Whipped Cream Recipe

1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Combine cream, sugar and vanilla in pre-chilled mixing bowl. Whip at medium speed till soft peaks form.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Saturday at the farmers market ...

Meet the farmers, vendors and artisans of the Coit Road Farmers Market ...

Mariann of Lake Erie Creamery
Artisan Goat Cheese

Francis & Gayle
Burton Floral

Burton Floral had Middlefield Cheese and Butter
Maple Syrup, Jelly and Honey, Goat Milk Fudge,
bedding plants-tomatoes, cabbage, peppers
flowers and hanging baskets

Janice of "Love's Bakery" Why Bake Your Own?

Melanie of "the chocolate garden" Handmade Chocolates

The "Herban Ninjas"
Fresh cut herbs
chives, sage, lovage, mint, tarragon,
oregano, thyme- All $1.00/bunch. Also cute handcrafted fabric animal,
mushroom pincushions and braided bracelets

"Braxton Express" perennials flowers ready for you garden- hostas,
sedum, Snow-on-the- mountain, hens & chicks.

Bo Schultz's - cage free eggs. fresh lettuce
& hoop house tomatoes

Kevin, The Spice Hound
Kevin now has a food & brew blog

(told you I would post this pic:)

Psst ... rumor has it that NE Ohio-grown strawberries
are ready for picking and should be
at the market next week!

Friday, June 6, 2008

How hot is it ..... ?

..... it is 91 degrees, with a heat index of 99 and it isn't even officially summer yet! No way no how am I turning on an oven. So I made a simple pasta dish with sauteed veggies, quick and easy and no oven involved!

Penne Pasta

1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups of chopped/sliced veggies
(I used a handful of green beans, baby carrots, baby zucchini and grape tomatoes)
1 Tsp. dried mexican oregano
1 Tsp. dried basil
1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1/2 cup white cooking wine
1 pound penne pasta

Bring large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta. While waiting for water to boil, saute garlic and carrots in olive oil over medium heat for about 4 minutes. Add green beans and zucchini and cook an additional 3 minutes. Add tomatoes (cut in half) and sprinkle with salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Add white wine and let simmer for about 2-3 minutes, or until veggies are just tender. I like mine to have a little crispness to them.

Serve over pasta, sprinkle with cheese.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Market Report ...

Well I am a day late with my Saturday market report, but better late than never. Yesterday I picked up fresh from the garden lettuce, asparagus, cage free eggs, goat's cheese, spices and Sweet Baby Girl cherry tomato plants for my rooftop container garden. I will get some pics of my rooftop urban garden in the next couple of days.

Mariann of Lake Erie Creamery will be at the Coit Road Farmers Market all summer. Lake Erie Creamery, a small urban creamery in the City of Cleveland, specializes in their artisan goat's milk cheese. They took the Grand Prize for dairy in the 2008 Gallo Family Vineyards Gold Medal Awards.

Sunday Supper was baked Salmon, steamed asparagus and a nice toss salad.

Fresh-from-the-garden lettuce

I coated the salmon with Hellman's mayo, sprinkled with seasoning and baked in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. The salad has hoop house tomatoes, feta cheese and walnuts with a Country Dressing adapted from Williams-Sonoma kitchen library.

Country Dressing Recipe

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. Tonn's Wildflower honey (Walnut Creek, Ohio)
Salt, to taste
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Stir together garlic, honey and salt. Add vinegar and oil, whisk vigorously until well blended. Let stand at least 10 minutes to allow flavors to marry.