Strawberry Rhubarb Galette

 I have mentioned before my abiding love of rhubarb. Of course when some juicy red and green stalks showed up in my local produce market, I had to buy them. But I wasn’t in the mood to make cake. Or crumble. So… Galettes? Sold. A batch of Martha’s pate brisee and the filling from this recipe(without the lavender sugar-bleah, no flowers in my food, please) later…  

All rolled out, folded around filling, dotted with butter and sprinkled with sugar

Baked at 400 until crisp, and golden brown in spots- they were probably in there for 45-50 minutes    

A close up- perfectly buttery and tart/sweet. The kids like whipped cream on theirs, I like it plain. It totally counts as breakfast too, especially if you were to put creme fraiche or plain yogurt on top!
 

Birthday Party Food

I get tired of takeout pizza. Don’t get me wrong, it is easy, delicious, and a crowd pleaser. You can bet I never turn down a piece at a party. But when we throw a party I usually opt for something different. My eight-year-old was very happy to be involved in meal planning for her own party. She chose cheese fondue, macaroni & cheese, and mini ham sandwiches for savouries 

   For dessert she requested cheesecake bites, and our family standard birthday cake, vanilla with vanilla Magnolia buttercream frosting. The cheesecake bites were so much easier and prettier than the full sized cheesecake I made for her real birthday! I used this recipe, but substituted a sleeve of crushed graham crackers mixed with 6T butter instead of the Nilla wafers for the crust. 

    
 My daughter put the cherries on top once the mini cheesecakes had chilled in the fridge.    

 True to form, the official birthday cake’s ugliness defied the laws of baking physics  

  To quote a friend of mine, “no cake in the history of the world ever folded over on itself in the pan like that.” Probably true. Thankfully a giant coat of icing and some candles disguised most of the cake’s deficiencies.
   
  

Getting Eggy With It

Dyeing Easter eggs is one of my favorite spring traditions. This year is the first that I felt the children were big enough to try blowing out some of the eggs before dyeing. Following various internet tutorials, we used my older daughter’s Fiskar’s hand drill to make the holes. 

 We broke a few, but overall the drill worked much better than any method I’ve tried before. We poked a toothpick in the hole to scramble the yolk and then got blowing. I was surprised to see that all three big kids had the lung power to do it!  

 I saved all the egg innards and made a peculiar pancake/Dutch baby for breakfast.  

Peculiar Pancake

  1. 4 eggs
  2. 1/2 cup flour
  3. 1/2 cup milk
  4. 4 T butter 
  5. Powdered sugar and/or lemon juice for serving

Heat oven to 400. Melt butter in a cast iron pan. Beat the other ingredients until well-blended and foamy (except sugar/lemon juice). Pour into buttery pan. Place in oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, until huge, puffy and golden. Shake powdered sugar over and eat!

  

   

 
 It went fast!

As you can see from my daughter’s tray, we dyed some eggs before breakfast. I have a hankering to try natural dye methods sometime soon, but for this morning we went with the old faithful, Paas dye kits made with vinegar and water. I buy three basic kits, plus a set of color cups and use three dye tablets in each cup to make for vibrant colors 

    
 My kids don’t love eating eggs, but the oldest and youngest were inspired by the pretty colors to eat a hard boiled egg each. 

   

I call that a win! Fair warning this may not be the last egg-related post this week…

Smoky Beef Taco Salad

I recently adapted one of my favorite old Everyday Food recipes so I could make it in the slow cooker. Basically, put everything in the Smoky Beef Taco recipe in the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours and you’re done! Check the beef for tenderness and shred-ability at 5 hours and you’ll know how much longer you have to go. I like tacos as much as the next person, but I also love taco salad on crisp shredded romaine with lots of chopped fresh vegetables and a flavorful sour-cream based dressing. After a taco dinner night, for lunch, I heat up some leftover beef and make myself a big plate of delicious. 

 Creamy Taco Salad Dressing

  1. 1/4 cup sour cream
  2. Juice of one lemon
  3. 1/2 tsp garlic salt(or one clove crushed garlic plus 1/2 tsp salt)
  4. 1 tsp dried cumin
  5. 1 tsp agave or honey 
  6. 1/8 tsp smoked paprika
  7. 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

Stir ingredients together until smooth. Taste to check flavor balance, adding additional lemon juice or agave if too sour or too sweet. Thin with lemon juice or cider vinegar if you like a more pourable dressing. I find the beef spices things up nicely, but if you like it really hot, add 1/4-1/2 tsp dried chipotle chile powder. Makes enough for two generously dressed main-course salads. 

 

Poached Salmon with Creamy Cucumber-Dill Salsa

  
This is another of my mom’s recipes that she claims I now make better than she does. I just think everything tastes better when someone else makes it for you. It is delicious when the salmon is warm, and also when chilled on top of a bed of greens with the salsa as dressing.

Poached Salmon 

 

  1. 2 filets salmon- I’m conflicted about fish and where it comes from. I don’t eat it often, and get overwhelmed by figuring out what options are the most healthful/sustainable. Buy fish that goes with your conscience on farmed/wild caught etc.
  2. Small sweet onion, roughly chopped.
  3. 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped(leafy bits are fine)
  4. 1/4 cup mirin or white wine
  5. Water to cover salmon in a large shallow pot.

Place all ingredients in a large, shallow pot. Being to a simmer and allow to simmer 15 minutes. Remove salmon to a plate, discard water and veggies.

Creamy Cucumber Dill Salsa 

 

  1. 2-3 Persian cucumbers, diced
  2. Juice of one small lemon (2T ish)
  3. 1/2 cup sour cream (you can use yogurt if you really want to, but sour cream is better)
  4. 1  1/2 tsp dried dill
  5. 1/2 tsp garlic salt (you can use a large clove of fresh garlic, crushed, but keep in mind the garlic taste will grow stronger and sharper with time so your salsa will not taste the same after a night in the fridge)
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
  7. Several generous grinds of pepper

Mix sour cream with lemon juice and all following ingredients. When well mixed, stir in cucumber. Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat. Stir again before serving.

    Stir-Fried Cabbage with Turmeric and Mustard Seeds

    In my experience, people either love cabbage/cruciferous vegetables or they don’t. I’m emphatically on the love end of the spectrum, and cabbage is one of my favorites. This preparation, another taught to me by my mom, is my favorite way to eat cooked cabbage.  

    Stir-fried Cabbage with Turmeric and Mustard Seeds

    1. 1/2 head cabbage, chopped in 3/4″ strips
    2. 2t mustard seeds
    3. 1T olive oil
    4. 2t turmeric 
    5. 1/2 tsp salt
    6. 1t sugar

    Place olive oil and mustard seeds in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat.

     When the mustard seeds start to pop and bounce around, add the turmeric and stir for a minute. Lower heat to medium.

      

    Add your cabbage and stir until coated with oil and turmeric. Stir and fry until soft, adding a tablespoon of water if the spice mixture starts sticking to the bottom of the pan. After 5-8 minutes, sprinkle salt and sugar over cabbage, stir, cover, and allow to cook for 5 minutes until golden and carmelized.

    Makes a lovely side dish, but honestly I could probably eat a skilletfull plain!  

    Cheater Posole Verde

      
    I had never had or even heard of posole until this year- I love being introduced to something new-to-me and delicious. A lovely mom at my son’s preschool brought me a big jar of homemade posole verde after I had my littlest daughter this fall. I ate the whole quart and savored every slurp! Then of course tried to find a recipe to replicate it. Much like chicken soup, it seems every family has a different way of making this dish, so I frankensteined a bunch of recipes with what I had on hand to make this. Not as authentic and amazing as my friend Jen’s post-partum offering, but warming and tasty nonetheless

    Cheater Posole Verde

    1. Leftover chicken, shredded(I used dark meat from a roasted chicken that was left after the white became chicken salad)
    2. 1 onion, diced 
    3. 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
    4. 1 T olive oil
    5. 1/2 tsp cumin
    6. 25 oz can hominy
    7. 1/2. Jar (3 ish T) mole verde
    8. 4 cups chicken broth
    9. Salt & Pepper
    10. Toppings- shredded cheese, shredded cabbage, lime wedges, sliced radishes, fresh cilantro, avocado… You get the idea.

    Heat olive oil in a large pot on the stove. Cook onion until softened, then add garlic and stir until you can smell the garlic. Add the mole paste and cumin and stir/fry until it is soft and fragrant. Pour in your broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, add hominy and chicken and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top as you like!

    Chicken to the Rescue 3.5: Simple Chicken Salad

    Last post about chicken, I promise(well, for this week anyway). While chicken with dumplings is delicious comfort food, when the weather gets warmer sometimes I want something different. My dad was the master of chicken salad- after we had roast chicken, I could always find him in the kitchen, picking every last bit of good meat off the bones and then dicing them extra small with tiny cubes of celery for the next day’s lunch of chicken salad. It seems like something anyone who has had leftover chicken probably knows how to make, but I bet everyone does it a little different, so I’ll share my favorite(and maybe if you have favorite additions, you can share them in the comments).

    Simple Chicken Salad

    1. Leftover chicken, cut into 1″ ish chunks- I prefer to use just the white meat but do what you like.
    2. 3 stalks celery, halved lengthwise and chopped into small pieces
    3. 1 tart green apple or a handful of grapes, apple cored and diced small, grapes halved or quartered if extremely large.
    4. 3T mayonnaise (use yogurt if you MUST, but don’t serve it to me if you do)
    5. Generous salt&pepper

    Place chicken, celery, and apples and/or grapes in a bowl. Sprinkle salt and generous grinds of pepper.  

     Plop in your mayonnaise and stir it all together. Taste to see if it needs more salt or pepper or mayo. I like to make a big bed of greens, put on a nice scoop of this and drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette. It is also yummy on toasted raisin bread! 

     

    Chicken To The Rescue 3: Chicken With Dumplings

    Remember the leftover meat from that chicken you roasted? Here’s where you get another delicious, healthy, from-scratch meal out of it that is easy but different enough to please anyone in your house who doesn’t like to eat the same thing twice in a row. I started with Martha’s recipe, but adapted to use roasted chicken instead of raw chicken.  

     Follow Martha’s recipe until she adds the chicken to the sauce. Just simmer 5 minutes until the chill is off your chicken, as it is already fully cooked. You can head straight to the dumplings and make yourself a quicker dinner.

     Drop your blobs of dumpling dough on the simmering chicken and vegetables and cover: 
    Cook for 20 minutes covered until your dumplings are plump and cooked through 

      Yum! Serve in bowls with a salad or some steamed green vegetables on the side. Comforting and warm, plus any leftovers heat nicely in the microwave for lunch tomorrow.

    Chicken to the Rescue 2: Rich Stock

    Remember your carrot peelings and fennel fronds and cores? Those celery leaves and chicken bones? You get to use them to make something that is truly more than the sum of its parts and will make you feel good about yourself for using every last scrap of your food!  

      Rich Chicken Stock

    1. Chicken carcass & bones, plus any veggies inside cavity
    2. Raw onion roughly chopped
    3. 2 ribs celery, celery leaves etc chopped
    4. 2 carrots, roughly chopped
    5. Fennel fronds, cores, any other veggie tops or clean peelings or leftover bits 
    6. 3 bay leaves
    7. 3 quarts water

    Chuck it all into your slow cooker and set to low for 20 hours. If you think of it, you can cruise by after 8-10 hours and use a potato masher to smush the bones and release extra gelatinous goodness, then cover and keep cooking. When you are done it will be all gorgeous and a golden caramel color 

     Strain through a fine mesh sieve to get out bones and veggie bits, store in jars in the fridge. You can skim off the fat when it cools if you like(I don’t mind it). It is truly a cut above any broth I’ve had. I’ll drink it plain when feeling under the weather, and it is a fabulous base for vegetable, chicken or any other soup you can name!