I realized recently that this site has been long overdue for new recipes. Here’s the rub – I have fallen into a recipe habit so I don’t have anything new. I will work to rectify that soon. I have been making new things – especially working with power foods so hopefully I will have something new for whomever out there is waiting for ideas. 

In the meantime – cheers and happy eating!

It is fig season again!

Made this lovely salad the other night – blackened shrimp, spinach, bell pepper, cucumber, tomato, feta and yes…FIGS!

Fig Salad

Blue Crab Macaroni and Cheese

I went to Baltimore for New Years and on New Years Eve enjoyed Gruyere mac and cheese with Blue Crab at the Pratt Street Ale House. It was a wonderfully sinful bit of deliciousness to ring out 2012. I didn’t think much about it after that, but then I got some cheeses for Christmas and among the cheeses was a gruyere. I thought about the mac and cheese from New Years Eve and set about to recreate it.

8 oz of pasta (I used a garden penne)

2 cups of milk (or cream)

2 cups of shredded cheese (I used a combination of gruyere, creamy gouda, blue cheese, and parmesean)

3 tbls of butter

1 medium sweet onion

3 tbls of flour

1 tsp of salt

1 tsp of pepper

1/2 tsp of shaved nutmeg

1 pound of lump crab meat

Cook pasta as per box instructions. Preheat oven to 325. In a saucepan melt butter add salt, pepper and diced onion – simmer until onion is translucent, add flour and whisk until smooth. Slowly add in milk and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and gradually add in the gruyere, gouda and blue cheese.  In a greased casserole dish, add pasta, stir in cheese mixture and blue crab – sprinkle the top with parmesean cheese. Bake for about 25 minutes – until bubbling. Serve immediately.

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ImageThis was my dinner tonight – so yummy and very filling. It is also super easy.

Start with chopping a couple of peppers (I had red and yellow peppers) about a 1/2 a large onion and a carrot (shredded). Saute in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and a dash of salt and red pepper and about 2 cloves of chopped garlic. Saute for a few minutes. Add a cup of quinoa (not cooked) and a can of black beans (rinsed and drained). Stir and add 2 cups of water. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed (stirring frequently). Quinoa will bloom when it is cooked. When quinoa is done – remove from heat and stir in about four cups of fresh spinach – stir until wilted. Serve with shredded cheese (for non vegan) and some hot sauce.

Smoked Salmon Salad

This is a my version of a salad I had for dinner in Aspen. This is such a yummy salad and it is so pretty. Build on a bed of mixed greens. This salad had shaved carrots, fresh tomatoes and peppers from the garden, and cucumber. Layer the salad with smoked salmon and sprinkle with goat cheese, capers and pine nuts. I served it with a light champagne vinegarette. It is definitely a salad I will make again!

Basil Salt

What do you do when you grow more basil than you can use? Well I dried some; I have a freezer full of pesto so I decided to try a recipe I saw in a magazine – basil salt. Hmm – makes sense to me. It couldn’t be easier. Combine equal portions of kosher salt (I used sea salt) and basil. Pulse together in food processor; spread on a pan and heat at 225 degrees for about 30 minutes or until dry…toss salt about 1/2 way through cooking. Let the mixture cool – then put back in the food processor and pulse until the mixture is fine.  Use to season tomatos and other summer veggies – I also figure I can use it in pretty much anything that calls for salt – I haven’t tried it on anything yet, but I am excited about it…it smells deliciously basily.

Asparagus Pesto

I had some asparagus in the fridge I really needed to use but it was way more than I could eat in a traditional way. Having been up to my ears in basil lately, I have been making a lot of pesto so I thought I could use asparagus in the same way. I cut about 2 cups of asparagus stalks in to two-inch pieces (discard the very bottom of the asparagus). Boil asparagus until tender (time will vary depending on the thickness of the asparagus); Drain asparagus and put stalks into the food processor; add a heaping tablespoon of minced garlic, and start to pulse food processor; slowly add olive oil until you get the consistency you want; add about a 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and blend together. You can add pine nuts to the recipe, but I left them out as I am planning to share the pesto with a friend who can not eat nuts.  I served this over some linguini – very tasty and the asparagus is a nice vibrant summer green! 


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