Sunday, August 24, 2008

Granola-Apple Pie

"You cannot sell a blemished apple in the supermarket, but you can sell a tasteless one provided it is shiny, smooth, even, uniform and bright."
Elspeth Huxley

Which is why I wait in quiet anticipation for the first locally-grown apples to appear at the farmers markets and grocers. The Riggins of Willoughby Hills Apple Farm are back at the Coit Road Farmers Market and in celebration I baked a Granola-Apple Pie!

Granola-Apple Pie


1 cup pecans, chopped
1 1/3 cup whole rolled oats
1 1/3 cup wheat germ
1 cup grated coconut
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
6 Tbsp. brown sugar
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
6 Tbsp. cold water

Mix the dry ingredients together. Add butter and water, stir gently. Divide in half, set one half aside. Press the other half into a buttered pie dish.


6 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch

Combine sugar, cornstarch and spices and toss with apple slices.

Place apples into pie crust and crumble the other half of granola over top.

Bake in a 375 degree oven 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and apples are tender.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Seafood Pasta

"Most seafoods should be simply threatened with heat and then celebrated with joy."
Jeff Smith (The Frugal Gourmet)

Seafood Pasta

1 pound Winsor Bay Seafood Medley
1/3 cup olive oil
1 large red onion, sliced thin
4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 pound fettuccine

Bring pot of salted water to boil, cook fettuccine according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, saute onion in olive oil over medium heat till soft. Add garlic, crushed red pepper and seafood and cook for about 3 minutes. Add lemon juice. Add drained pasta and fresh parsley, toss lightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Note: You can substitute any seafood of choice in this recipe ie: shrimp, salmon. The above quote is sound advice, overcooking seafood will result in a rubber-like texture. I like this Seafood Medley, which consists of wild caught mussel, clam, squid, shrimp, octopus and surimi. The parsley is from my rooftop garden. The red onion and garlic is from the Coit Road Farmers Market and, of course, the red pepper flakes are from the Spicehound.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Orange-Berry Tart

To give life to beauty, the painter uses a whole range of colours, musicians of sounds, the cook of tastes—and it is indeed remarkable that there are seven colours, seven musical notes and seven tastes ~ Lucien Tendret

Orange-Berry Tart


1 c. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/3 tsp. salt
1/2 cup whole oats
1/2 cup cold butter, cut in pieces
4 Tbsp. cold water

Combine dry ingredients, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Add cold water, mix till dry ingredients form ball. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out on floured board and fit into tart pan.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.


1 8 oz. pkg. Neufchatel cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. orange juice
2 tsp. finely grated orange peel

Combine cheese, sugar and orange juice in a bowl. Mix on high speed till fluffy. Stir in orange peel.


2 cups blueberries
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup orange juice

Combine sugar, cornstarch and orange juice in pan. Add blueberries and cook over medium-high heat until thickened. Set aside to cool.

Spread cheese mixture in cooled tart shell. Top with blueberries and refrigerate for at least4 to 6 hours.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

My Urban Garden


Busy Bee On The Basil


Cherry Tomatoes



Saturday, August 9, 2008

Peach Galette

A Galette is a rustic, flat round pastry with a baked fruit topping.

Peach Galette



2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup + 2Tbsp. butter, cut up
1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup Orange Marmalade
2 tsp. water

Fruit topping:

4 peaches, sliced
4 Tbsp. butter, melted

Combine dry ingredients, cut in butter until coarse and crumbly. Add egg and mix just until dough comes together into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Divide dough in half and roll out on a floured board into 9-inch circles.

Combine marmalade and water, brush a small amount lightly over bottoms of dough. Set aside remainder.

Arrange peaches over dough, overlapping in a flower pattern, fill center of flower with blueberries. Fold over edges of dough. Baste peaches with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 10 minutes, lower heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Brush remainder of marmalade over fruit.

These Ohio-grown peaches are from Bauman Orchards

Gremlin Update: If you left a comment on my blog in the last few days and do not see it, please be aware the Google Gremlins ate it and I did not delete it. Thank you for stopping by ...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Slipper Bread

In Italian, ciabatta means “slipper,” leading some people to call the bread “slipper bread.” The name is a reference to the shape, which does sort of resemble a slipper ~ wiseGeek

I was going to buy some Ciabatta bread at the bakery the other day rather than turn on the stove in this heat, but knew I could bake it myself at less cost. My bread book did not have a recipe, so I went online and found one at Epicurious. I made my sponge and let it sit overnight, and had a nice sourdough start for this simple to make bread.

I was apprehensive about the baking time, but followed the recipe exactly as written. The loaves have a crispy crust with a nice light crumb. Oh, and the food critic gave it a 10!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Pasta Primavera

Locally grown vegetables are plentiful now and pairing them with pasta makes for a light and flavorful summertime meal. This dish got an extra shot of flavor with an Annatto-infused olive oil, find out how to create this oil by visiting the Spicehound Cooks (and Brews).

Pasta Primavera

1 pint grape tomatoes
1 small unpeeled garlic bulb

Toss with a little olive oil and salt. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted (or not) water to a boil. Cook 1/2 pound of pasta according to package directions. Heat 1/4 cup Annatto-infused olive oil over medium heat in a large, deep skillet. Add one chopped candy onion, let cook just till tender. Add some dried basil and a pinch of dried crushed red pepper and cook for 1 minute to allow the release of fragrance. Add 2 carrots, peeled and sliced julienne-style and cook for another 2 minutes. Add one unpeeled zucchini, either sliced or peeled in thin strips. Cook for just one minute more, no one likes mushy veggies. Turn off heat and add roasted tomatoes and garlic. Just squeeze the garlic bulb and the garlic will pop right out. Drain pasta, saving some of the pasta water. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of pasta water to veggie mixture. Add pasta and toss gently. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

I have been awarded a Brilliant Blog Award by Racquel the Perennial Garden Lover. For those of you who do not know, Racquel is my daughter, she has a green thumb and a gorgeous garden to prove it.

So here's what else I'm suppose to do.

1. Put the logo on my blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded it to me.
3. Nominate other blogs.
4. Add links to those blogs.
5. Leave a message on your nominees’ blogs.

I am passing on this award to ...

Lucy of Sweets, Savories, Etc.
Janie of An Obsessive/Compulsive Plant Collector
Giz and family of Equal Opportunity Kitchen
Grace of A Southern Grace
Sue of Please, Don't Pass The Salt
Theresa of Baking and Beyond
Paula of It's All Gouda

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Staff Of Life

“If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens” Robert Browning

I love "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day" ( by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois ). The great thing about this dough is that it can be kept in a large, covered bowl in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. I made up a batch last week right before we got hit by high temps and humidity. Not a problem, because this dough develops a sourdough flavor after sitting for at least a week. From one batch of this dough I baked 4 large rolls, the following focaccia bread and have enough left over for a small boule. This dough eliminates any time constraints you may have, bake a small free-form loaf while preparing your favorite pasta dish, or this rustic Focaccia with fresh home-grown veggies.

Remove the amount of dough from bowl according to the size focaccia bread you want to bake.

With lightly-oiled fingers pat it into a round and/or oblong shape. Let rise for 1 hour and using finger tips poke dough down lightly.

Spread a small amount of marinara sauce over top and cover with fresh veggies, I used green pepper and tomatoes, sliced thin.

Crumble cheese of choice over all, (this is Feta). Sprinkle lightly with dried herbs, I used dried cinnamon basil from my garden, dried mexican oregano and freshly-ground pepper.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven about 30 minutes or until bread is golden brown on top and bottom.

My Adapted 5 minute Recipe:

2 pkgs. Active Dry Yeast
1 Tbsp. (or less) of sugar
3 cups warm water
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
3/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup bulgur wheat

Heat 3/4 cup water in the microwave (or stove) till just hot, not boiling. Add bulgur wheat and set aside till water is absorbed and mixture cools.

Add yeast to the 3 cups warm water, add sugar. Combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour and salt.

Add flour mixture and bulgur wheat to yeast mixture, stir well until all the flour is incorporated into the liquid. Cover and let sit in a warm place for 2 hours. Pop in the fridge until ready to use.