Category Archives: Recipes

Warm Up Fall with Baked Oatmeal!

Baked Oatmeal, using leftover oatmeal

-3 cups leftover oatmeal

-1 cup milk

-1/2 c. honey or molasses

-1/2 c.  granola

-sliced apples, peaches, bannanas (slice lengthwise), or other fruit of your choice. Berries are also fine

-2 tbs. butter

Preheat oven to 350. Combine oatmeal, milk, and honey, stirring until combined. Pour into oiled or sprayed 9″ pan. Top with granola. Lay fruit gently on top of granola, then cut butter into small squares and sprinkle on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on how brown you want it. Serve with whole-grain toast.

It’s Personal!

I love these personal frittatas. Farm fresh eggs, local greens and tomatoes,  fresh milk, and grated Parmesan. They’re also incredibly impressive coming out of the oven, and don’t take much to prepare to perfection. Did I mention they freeze well? What’s not to love?

There’s no set recipe, and I change them up a lot depending on the ingredients I have to hand and the seasons; but, the basics are:

-A small, personal tart pan

-Baking spray

-2 farm fresh eggs

-2-3 tbs. fresh milk, cream, or sour cream.

-Salt, pepper, ground mustard, cayenne. Other spices, like thyme, basil, oregano, etc. can also be added to compliment your fillings.

- Fillings of your choice. Meats should be cooked.

-2 tbs. hard cheese, finely grated (I like Parmesan or Sharp Cheddar)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray pan liberally with baking spray and place pan on cookie sheet,  then spoon in about 4 tbs. filling ingredients. In separate bowl, beat together eggs, cream, and a pinch of each spice with a whisk. Stir in all but 1 tsp. of your cheese, and pour into tart pan. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of egg mixture, and place tart pan (still on the cookie tray) into oven. Bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into center. Allow to cool completely in tart pan, then gently run a butter knife around the edge of the frittata and remove from pan.

You’re likely to be seeing more “individual” foods here, as Thadd’s back in school and needs things he can toss into a cooler and I have clients that need something they can carry to work easily. If you’ve got favorite “individual” foods, share with us! Or, if there’s something you’d like to see, just ask and I’ll see what I can do!

Grilled Mojo Pork Loin Recipe

You can buy mojo-marinaded pork loin, but it’s expensive. The ingredients to make the marinade are probably things many of you already have in your kitchen, and making it yourself means you get to skip all the junk that’s usually in store-bought marinades.

Mojo Marinade

-Garlic, minced. I used about 5 cloves

-Juice from 3 oranges  (or about 1/2 c. from a jug, if you’ve got it)

-1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped

- Juice from 5-7 limes, pluse zest from 1. Or, 1/2 c. from concentrate and zest from 1 lime.

- 1/2 tsp. cumin

-3 tbs. fresh oregano, chopped (or about 1 tsp. dried)

- 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper (or, 1/2 tsp. ground pepper and zest of 2 lemons)

- 1/2 tsp.  freshly ground black pepper (use this in addition to above seasoning)

- 1 tsp. ground sea or kosher salt

- 1 c. oil. EVOO or canola.

-Hot sauce, chili sauce, or adobo sauce, to taste (if desired).

Toss everything in a blender and puree.That’s it!

This is great on chicken, fish, and especially pork. We did a loin on the grill, and it was spectacular.

Recipe Review: Chicken Tagine

I’ve really been enjoying preparing some uncommon (at least in the US) ethnic dishes. Moroccan has become a particular favorite of late, and I’m also experimenting with Loation more.  Tagines are essentially very aromatic, hearty stews. Like the curries of India, there are as many tagine styles and recipe as there are people cooking them.  This one filled the house with a mouth-watering aroma, and the flavors were rich but bright.

  • 2lbs. Of chopped chicken meat – We prefer brown meat.
  • 2 Medium onions chopped.
  • 1lb. Carrots chopped into bite size peices.
  • 6 Cloves of garlic – chopped.
  • 4ozs. Sultanas.
  • 8ozs dried apricots.
  • 1 Tablespoon of cumin seeds.
  • 2 x 2″ pieces of cinamon stick.
  • 3 Bay Leaves.
  • 1/2 Pint of chicken stock.
  • 1/2 Pint of fresh tomato sauce.
  • 3 – 6 Dried chillis (depending on how hot you like it).
  • 2 Tablespoons of honey
  • 1 Lemon – juice of.
  • 1 Bunch of coriander leaves – chopped.
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  1. Now this is the Really Easy Bit.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together (no browning) in the Tagine or Casserole.
  3. Put the lid on the Tagine (or seal the casserole with a lid or some aluminum foil.
  4. Place in a hot oven 400º for 30 Minutes.
  5. Then reduce the heat to 300º and cook for a further 2 Hours.

This recipe calls for service over couscous, but I did this over bulgar and enjoyed it.  It’s as easy as it claims to be, very healthy, and really flavorful. I’ll be making this more often, and hopefully next time I’ll get some pictures!


One of my holiday recipes is being featured on AC’s Food & Wine page!

Holiday Cheese Tortes, by Shawn Sisson.  This is the same recipe I donated to the Bike Stop event earlier this year. I am excited!

Shrimp Enchilada Bake? No. Shrimp Tortilla Bake!

I promised you a review and recipe for this, and here it is!  I got the idea from this months’ SELF magazine, but I tweaked it for a variety of reasons. Note: The pictures are kind of awful, since the light in the house wasn’t great and my tripod is in my car.


Above: garlic & lime marinaded shrimp. Below: Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (the leftover peppers were frozen for later use, which is what you’re seeing here).

Above: sweating onions and garlic. Below: Multi-color diced peppers.

Below:  Diced fresh broccoli.



14 oz. crushed or diced tomatoes. From our garden.

1 medium onion, diced

3-5 cloves garlic, mashed and diced. From Roundabout Farms.

3-5 chipotle peppers, diced fin


1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled, deveined, and roughly chopped, marinaded in lime juice, zest, and chopped 2 chopped garlic cloves. I got these at aldi for $3.99/lb, making this a really frugal meal.

1 c. or so broccoli, diced

1 c. or so peppers, diced (use whatever color you like). These are from our garden.

1 pkg. corn tortillas

1 c. or so of cheese of your choice

Put it together: Sweat onions and garlic in a small amount of EVOO.  Combine all ingredients, and blend (I used a stick blener) until mostly smooth. I like chunks, so I left a few. Set aside. Sautee’ broccoli and peppers together in a bit of EVOO.

Cover bottom of  pan of appropriate size (I used a 10 inch, deep pan, but I also doubled the recipe) with a thin layer of sauce. Dip both sides of corn tortillas into sauce (I did this in a separate bowl), and arrange to cover bottom of pan. Cut to fit if necessary:

Cover with shrimp, and a layer of cheese:

Dip more tortillas and cover shrimp and cheese layer. Spread broccoli and pepper mixture on top. Cover with a light layer of cheese of your choice (I used cheddar this time). Cover with another layer of sauce-dipped tortillas, cover with remaining sauce, and top with light layer of cheese (pic only shows top layer of tortillas):

Cover with lid or foil, and bake at 3750 for 30 minutes. Uncover, and bake an additional 10 minutes. Serve:

UC was really dubious about shrimp in an enchilada bake. Generally, he loves enchiladas and related foods, but the shrimp thew him.  He loved it. It was different, and delicious. It was also totally unlike anything you’d call an enchilada, so I’ve renamed it! Saying it’s an “enchilada bake” is pretty misleading, in terms of flavor.

Let me know what you think!

The Recipes You’vee Been Waiting For!

I’ve gotten several requests for recipes of late. Some of my recipes, such as my Shape It Up Meatloaf:

I can’t really give out for proprietary reasons. I can, however, give out the recipes for these that everyone’s been asking for since I donated them to Ladie’s Night Out:

Above: Pesto Farmer’s Cheese Torte (mini). Below: Butterscotch Pecan Gorgonzola Torte.

They’re more suggestions than recipes, and both start the same way:

In whatever size & shape bowl works best for you, lay plastic wrap to cover inside. Make sure you push it gently into all the corners, and that there is enough left on all sides to cover the bottom of the cheese mold. Spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray.

Pesto Torte:

(I used farmer’s cheese because I was donating this and goat cheese was too expensive, but I recommend goat cheese. )

Combine cream cheese and enough pesto to color a light green. Mix & set aside. Press goat cheese into plastic covered mold, using slightly wetted hands or plastic gloves. Use enough cheese to fill about 1/3 of the mold, and press firmly to pack cheese into mold corners.  Layer in enough pesto cream cheese to fill up the next 1/3 of the mold, again pressing gently to make sure it reaches all the corners and has no air bubbles. Finish filling with the goat cheese, again pressing mixture in firmly. Fold plastic over the bottom of the mold tightly, and set in refrigerator for 1 hour. Remove mold from refrierator, and unwrap the bottom of the mold. Make sure your plastic is out of the way, and invert mold gently on plate. If necessary, gently tug one corner of the plastic to encourage cheese onto plate.

I bought pesto, because frankly at this time a year it was too expensive to buy that much basil. Roast pine nuts gently in a dry pan for several minutes, turning frequently, until they are toasted. Spread pesto on top of mold, then cover with pine nuts. Top with either pepperdew peppers (above), or with roasted tomatoes or garlic. Serve chilled.

Butterscotch Pecan Gorgonzola Torte

In a heavy-bottomed pan, combine:  dried figs or apple slices, dried cranberries, butterscotch syrup to coat, and pineapple juice to thin enough to not burn. Heat on low until fruit plumps. Add enough corn starch, mixed with pineapple juice, to thicken and heat until thickened. Add roasted pecan (roast first if necessary) and stir. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

(I used gorgonzola because it was relatively cheap, but I’d actually recommend a blue stilton for this recipe if cost is less of an issue). Mix blue cheese with farmer’s cheese in whatever ratio you prefer (I did about 1/3 lb gorgonzola to 1 lb. farmer’s). Press into mold as described above for pesto mold, filling entire mold with cheese. Refrigerate for one hour. Release from mold onto plate, and scoop generous amounts of topping onto cheese. Stud cheese, if desired, with roasted walnuts or pecans for extra presentation.

And, that’s it! They’re really simple and delightful appetizers, with fun and unique presentations. Stores like Wegmans’ sell these for a mint, but you can make them much more cheaply in just a few minutes at home. Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Bounty

One of the dishes for my Ready-To-Go meals mentioned in the post below is Roasted Cranberries. I saw this recipe in Saveur magazine courtesy of Peg at The Frenchman’s, who pointed it out to me when I was in one day. It sounded great, and so it went on the menu. I changed up the recipe a bit, but it’s generally the same one you’ll find here, just sans the jalepeno (the folks who ordered the meals are not ones for a lot of heat).

Also, please excuse the crappy pics. Still using the webcam, but the other camera (I am told) is on it’s way!

Above: Cranberries mixed with fresh orange peels, sugar, and spices, then put on a parchment-covered baking sheet to go into the oven. Below: The finished product, post Port addition and refrigeration time.

The verdict: This recipe is a definite winner. It’s got a wide range of complex flavors that both remind you of childhood, and remind you that you’ve grown up. It’s tart, tangy, sweet, and will hit you in those little ticklish spots right at the back of your mouth. It’s great, and I definitely plan on making it again.

If all goes well, I may try to post some of my Fig and Chestnut stuffing pictures tomorrow. We’ll see if I have time. If not, have a wonderful holiday!

Fermented Pickled Beet Tops

Per request :-)

Let me start by saying this recipe is new to us. We had a lot of beet tops from my trip to Roundabout, and I’d thought we’d just pickle them. UC popped online and came up with this fermented pickle recipe using yeast, and you know how he feels about his yeast. It needs to sit for several more days before it’s “done” enough to try, but I’ll let you know how it goes.

Here’s the recipe, and we just subbed beet tops for chard.

Happy fermenting…er, pickling…er, whatever.

Frugal Weekly 10.20.08, Still No Camera

I know, you miss my food pics. So do I. Unfortunately, Things have had to come before New Gadgets, and so still no camera.  You’ll just have to sift through the archives for your fix.

This past weekend, some friends got together with us at our place and canned 3/4 of a bushel of tomatoes, yeilding 24 quarts. Next Sunday, we’ll finish off the remaining 2 bushels (they weren’t ripe yet this week to can), and that should be enough tomatoes for a good, long while. Thank goodness for their pressure cooker! In the meantime, I’ll be canning pickled eggplant and green tomatoes, and giving some jalepenos to M & D (hey, can you guys email me–my email program seems to have lost your addresses) for their pickling pleasure. I’ll also be heading to Roundabout Farms to pick up our cold-storage goods, and I’m really excited to get beets with the dirt still clinging. I do hope I can borrow a camera for the day, so I can post some pics here.

This week in food and cooking, our menu:

Sunday: Herb-seared pork chops, served with balsamic-roasted butternut squash and peppered peas & green beans. This is one of my favorite ways to do butternut squash because it turns out so creamy and rich.

Monday: Tofu & chickpea saag over brown rice. This is one of my DH’s obsessions right now. He’s chosen a few dishes he’d like to get good at making, and since he loves saag this is on the list. Expect to see this on my meal plans a lot for while. Fortunately, it’s tasty. And, cheap, nutritious, and filling.

Tuesday: Roasted chicken with mixed veggies & biscuits. I’ll be brining the chicken overnight tonight, and popping it in the oven tomorrow before I head to weight training. DH will be home to watch it and hopefully making the biscuits, and we can eat after I get home and shower.

Wednesday: Salmon patties with winter squash and apple-onion hash. I serve my salmon patties with dill yogurt sauce, and the winter squash will be steamed. The apple-onion hash is pretty peppery, which compliments everything nicely.

Thursday: Crock-pot chuck steak with potatoes & carrots. My grass-fed farmer feels the latest animal has too strong a flavor, so gave me a chuck steak to try out for critiquing. Since this is one of my very heavy training days, and since both DH and I train together at 6:45 p.m., this is a great night for us to crockpot. I’ll treat it like a potroast.

Friday: Creamy roasted root veggies soup with salad and homemade ciabatta. I cooked up turnips & sweet potaotes as a side dish to my black bean burgers on Saturday. I’ll be using the leftovers, along with some beets, carrots, and mushrooms to make a creamy, rich soup.

Saturday: Friend Alex’s birthday party (Happy Birthday, hon!), so dinner at her mom’s.


Porridge (wheat berry & rye), home made “egg mcmuffins,” fermented oats & wheat flakes.

I haven’t gone grocery shopping yet, but according to my pricebook, we should be in undre $100 for the two of us this week. We’re trying, yet again, to up UC’s calorie intake. I never believed stuffing 4,000 calories into someone would 1) be necessary or 2) be this difficult. Since he can’t really have it in simple carbs and sugars, that leaves proteins and complex carbs. Grass fed beef and veggies just doesn’t have the kind of calorie count. His stomach isnt’ big enough to hold as much food as it would take to stop him losing weight with a healthy diet and nothing else. So, back to the Uber-Smoothies twice a day.

Uber Smoothies (600-700 calories each)

-2/3 c. yogurt of your choice

-2 scoops whey protein

-1 raw egg

-1/2 cup milk

-1 banana

-Additions (endless combinations): peanut butter (organic, of course), almond butter, vanilla, honey,  malt, instant coffee, other fruits, oatmeal, almond extract, fruit juices, nutella, and the kitchen sink)

Put into blender, or put into very large glass and use stick blender. Whip until frothy. Stick in freezer for a while if desired (about 15 minutes). Drink.

Obviously, at 5′ and 110 lbs, I can’t go anywhere near this stuff. Just breathing the air around it while I blend it probably adds more calories than I work off in my hardest training sessions. UC, however, can down two, and just about break even on his calories for the day. Maybe. What I wouldn’t do for his metabolism (though, I have no desire to be 6’6″ tall).

Look for another “Consumer Education” blog next week. I am still waffling on the topic, largely because I have too much to say and not enough focus or time to do it in. So, if you’ve got requests, let me know.

In the meantime, eat well.


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