Monday, September 29, 2008

Harvest Muffins

“The true harvest of my life is intangible - a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched” ~ Henry David Thoreau

It is apple season, and I love to celebrate it with delicious desserts. Now I don't know about you, but I like lots of fruit and nuts in my muffins. Feel free to adjust the ingredients to your taste. The mashed bananas are in lieu of oil, lowering the fat content.

Harvest Muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cloves
4 Apples, peeled and grated
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1 cup Raisins
1 cup chopped Pecans
3/4 cup mashed ripe banana
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, beaten

Combine dry ingredients. Add apples, carrots, raisins and pecans and mix well. Add mashed banana, milk, vanilla, eggs; stir well. Fill paper-lined or greased muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


Combine equal amounts of butter and honey, brush still-warm muffins

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saying Goodbye

And God asked the feline spirit
Are you ready to come home?
Oh, yes, quite so, replied the precious soul
And, as a cat, you know I am most able
To decide anything for myself.

Are you coming then? asked God.
Soon, replied the whiskered angel
But I must come slowly
For my human friends are troubled
For you see, they need me, quite certainly.

But don't they understand? asked God
That you'll never leave them?
That your souls are intertwined. For all eternity?
That nothing is created or destroyed?
It just is....forever and ever and ever.

Eventually they will understand,
Replied the glorious cat
For I will whisper into their hearts
That I am always with them
I just am....forever and ever and ever.

Author Unknown

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Summer breeze...

...makes me feel fine Blowing through the jasmine in my mind See the smile a waiting in the kitchen Food cooking and the plates for two Feel the arms that reach out to hold me In the evening when the day is through ~ Seals and Crofts

Memories of summer breezes will blow through my kitchen this winter, with the bounty of produce that I put up every year. Roasted tomatoes and red peppers, green peppers, corn, ,zucchini (grated), blueberries and peaches and freezer jams. Still to be added, homemade pasta sauce and winter squashes. Fresh herbs are dried and stored in jars. I brought in my parsley and thyme from my little rooftop garden and they are thriving on the windowsill under the fluorescent light my food critic bought for me, along with a pot of leaf lettuce.

So what have you canned and/or frozen from your farmers markets/gardens to enjoy this winter?

Monday, September 15, 2008


"Make food simple and let things taste of what they are" ~ Maurice Edmond Sailland

The Equal Opportunity Kitchen is hosting this month's Presto Pasta Nights. Thanks go to my friend Lucy over at Sweets, Savories, Etc. for the inspiration in the creation of this Tomato-Anchovy Sauce. When I was at the Coit Road Farmers Market this past Saturday Lynette gave me a large bag of assorted tomatoes, roma, yellow grape, yellow plum and others. I roasted them with the idea of making this sauce. The food critic loved it!

Tomato-Anchovy Pasta

1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 oz. tin anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
Roasted tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Grated Asiago cheese

Sautee onion in a deep skillet over medium heat until carmelized. Add garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the anchovies and roasted tomatoes. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes. Stir in parsley and serve over cooked pasta. Season with freshly ground black pepper and cheese to taste.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Old Fashioned Peach Pie

"Food, like a loving touch or a glimpse of divine power, has that ability to comfort" ~ Norman Kolpas

This Old Fashioned Peach Pie is more like a cobbler because it has no crust.

Swedish Peach Pie

6 large peaches, sliced
3/4 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp. salt

Slice peaches and place into a pie pan, sprinkle lightly with sugar and cinnamon. Combine the rest of ingredients and spoon over peaches. Dust batter lightly with sugar. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-60 minutes or until golden brown.

Cheese & Spinach Tart

"If we do not permit the earth to produce beauty and joy, it will in the end not produce food either" ~ Joseph Wood Krutch

Cheese & Spinach Tart


1/2 cup cold butter, cut up in pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. paprika
Salt, to taste
1/2 cup finely grated Cheddar cheese
4 t0 6 Tbsp. cold water

Combine dry ingredients. Add cold butter, cut in until the mixture is crumbly. Add cheese and cold water and blend till dough comes together into a ball. Flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.


1 pound fresh spinach, chopped up
1 onion, chopped
1 cup Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup half-n-half
2 eggs, beaten
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat in large deep skillet. Add onion and sautee until onion carmelizes. Add spinach and 2 Tbsp. water. Cover and let cook till spinach wilts, just a couple of minutes. Drain well and cool. Once cool add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Roll out 2/3 of the dough and press into tart pan. Spoon filling into shell. Roll out remaining dough, lay over tart and cut slits in top. Brush egg over pastry. (Beat one egg with 1 Tbsp. water)

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 35-45 minutes, or until nicely browned.

This tart can be eaten warm or cold, it can also be frozen and reheated.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Pear Salad

We love the addition of fruits to our salads and since pears are available now I wanted to use them in a salad. The food critic really liked this salad dressing, I stored it in a glass jar to use for the rest of this week.

Holler of Tinned Tomatoes is hosting No Croutons Required - The Fruit Edition this month. This is my entry.

Pear Salad

Fresh baby salad greens
Pears, cored and sliced (skin on)
Parmesan cheese, shaved
Chopped Walnuts
Lemon juice

Sprinkle pears with a small amount of lemon juice and set aside. Arrange salad greens on plate/bowl. Arrange pears over top. Sprinkle with some chopped walnuts and shaved Parmesan cheese. Drizzle salad dressing over top.

Maple Salad Dressing

1/4 cup Ohio Pure Maple Syrup, warmed
1 1/2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Whisk maple syrup, cider vinegar, olive oil and salt together and drizzle over salad. Season liberally with freshly ground pepper.

Salad dressing courtesy of Rachel Ray.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Mortgage Lifter

As you may recall, I posted on my blog about my Urban Rooftop Vegetable Garden. Well I am here to brag. Will you look at the size of this tomato? Just to give you an idea of the size, that baby is sitting on a dinner plate! The garden was a huge success, I will definitely be doing this again next year with the addition of more veggies. I made a simple salad with the mater as the star of the show. The taste of these homegrown maters is outstanding!

Isn't she purty ?

Tomato Pasta Salad

1 1/2 to 2 pound mortgage lifter tomato, cut in pieces
(I don't own a scale, so this is a guesstimate:)
1/2 pound cooked whole wheat penne pasta
8 oz. Mozarella cheese, cut in pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice + grated zest of lemon
Salt & Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh Parsley (also from my garden)

Blend olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper. Add to a bowl with tomatoes and cheese, set aside. Cook pasta, drain and toss with tomato mixture. Garnish with parsley.

Mortgage Lifter Tomato

The legend of this tomato is that it was developed by M. C. Byles of Logan, West Virginia. For six years he crossed German Johnson, Beefsteak, English and Italian varieties, selecting the largest specimens. It is said that he then sold plants for $1.00 each and paid off his mortgage in six years.