Monday, May 16, 2016

Spaghetti Squash with Ricotta, Sage, and Pine Nuts

Made this a few times. Easy & yummy. Will become a staple.
Another inspiration from thekitchn.  Don't think I'll need to modify this one beyond method for cooking squash.

Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
6 to 8 fresh sage leaves
3/4 cup ricotta
2 cloves garlic, mashed or grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F: Preheat the oven while you prep the squash.
  2. Slice the squash in half: Use a chef's knife to cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise from stem to tail. Spaghetti squash are really tough and hard, so be cautious and work slowly. You can cradle the squash in a balled-up dish cloth to keep it steady as you cut.
  3. Scoop out the seeds: Use a soup spoon to scrape out the seeds and stringy bits of flesh from inside the squash. Be careful of actually digging into the flesh, though — we want that! The inside should look clean and fairly smooth. Discard the seeds (or save them and roast them for a snack!).
  4. Place the squash in a roasting pan: Place the squash halves cut-side down in a roasting pan.
  5. Pour in a little water: Pour a little water in the pan, enough to cover the bottom. Your squash will roast just fine without it, but I find that the water helps the squash steam and become more tender. You can also cover the pan with aluminum foil, if you prefer.
  6. Cook the squash for 45 minutes: Transfer the squash to the oven and cook for 45 minutes. Smaller squash will cook more quickly than larger squash. Check the squash after 30 minutes to gauge cooking.
  7. Heat the olive oil in a small pan: Quickly fry sage leaves until crispy but not burnt. Crumble sage leaves into a large bowl and combine with ricotta and garlic. Set aside. 
  8. The squash is done when tender: The squash is ready when you can easily pierce a fork through the flesh all the way to the peel. The flesh will also separate easily into spaghetti-like strands. You can also taste it right now — if the noodles are still a bit crunchy for your taste, put the squash back in the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes.
  9. Scrape out the squash: Use a fork to gently pull the squash flesh from the peel and to separate the flesh into strands. The strands wrap around the squash horizontally — rake your fork in the same direction as the strands to make the longest "noodles."
  10. Add the squash to the bowl with the ricotta mixture: Combine squash and ricotta mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with pine nuts before serving. 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Buttermilk White Bread

Inspired by this recipe.

¼ cup, plus 1 TBSP water
¾ cup buttermilk
3 TBSP vegetable oil
3 cups bread flour
⅓ cup oatmeal
1½ tsp salt
3 TBSP sugar
1.5 tsp rapid rise yeast

I made this using the dough setting for the bread machine.

Heat water and buttermilk to 80F (in microwave for 30 seconds). Next time, start with more buttermilk and add water to determine correct amount. The dough should be a soft tacky ball.

Pat or roll dough into rectangle of floured surface. Tightly roll up starting with narrow edge of rectangle. Pinch and seal edges underneath.

Place in 9.5 x 5x5 in pan (1.5 lb) to rise till ripe. Next time, try pushing the dough down into the pan to almost touch the sides. Proof at 100F for about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375F on convection setting (350F). Bake until internal temp reaches 205F, about 35 min. Cool on rack if possible. If not, slice and eat warm. Yum.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Wheat Berry Salad

This has become a favorite for almost any occasion. Not gluten free :)

Recipe serves 6

   1 1/2 cups wheat berries
   3/4 cups walnuts or pecans, chopped
   2 stalks celery, finely chopped
   1/2 cups dried cranberries, chopped
   1 scallion, chopped (white and green parts)
   1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
   3 Tbs olive oil
   2 Tbs lemon juice + zest
   salt & pepper
   crumbled feta cheese


In a large pot, combine the wheat berries and enough water to cover by 2 inches.
Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 1 hour or until tender.
Drain and let cool.
Toast the nuts in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

This is good cold or room temperature. Probably keeps well, but we always eat it within 24 hours no matter how much we make.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Thai Cabbage

A good way to stretch Thai leftovers, but good enough to be an entree. This salad is reminiscent of papaya salad. Use less chili for most people, was perfect for our taste.  Add chopped roasted peanuts next time.  Would also work with shrimp.
I made half this recipe with small changes from the original. Found this on, but was originally a Weight Watchers recipe.  

    • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
    • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
    • 2 tablespoons chili paste with garlic
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 tbs peanut oil
    • 4 teaspoon peeled minced fresh ginger
    • 8 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 (10 ounce) bags very thinly sliced green cabbage
    • 2 cups red bell peppers, cut in strips (or sliced tomatoes)
    • 2 cups peeled shredded carrots
    • 2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley)
  1. Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl; stir well, set aside.
  2. Heat peanut oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
  3. Add ginger and garlic; saute 1 minute.
  4. Add cabbage, bell pepper and carrot; saute 2 minutes.
  5. Add lime juice mixture; saute an additional 2 1/2 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.
  6. Remove from heat and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
  7. This makes 7 servings.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Shrimp Fried Rice

Adapted from a Simply Recipes post by Jaden Hair

Make sure to use leftover, day old rice when making fried rice. Freshly made rice will make a fried rice that's mushy. Serves 4.


  • 8 ounces shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil, divided
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 stalks green onion, minced
  • 3 cups leftover brown rice, grains separated well
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots, slightly steamed
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce 
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


1 In a bowl, toss the shrimp with the salt, pepper and cornstarch. Let marinate for 10 minutes at room temperature. Heat a wok or large sauté pan on high heat. When the pan is hot enough for a bead of water to instantly sizzle and evaporate, add 2 tablespoon of the cooking oil and swirl to coat pan.

2 Add the shrimp, quickly spreading out around the cooking surface area so that they are not overlapping. Let fry, untouched for 30 seconds. Flip over and let the other side fry for 30 seconds, or until about 80% cooked through. Remove the shrimp from the pan onto a plate, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible.

3 Turn the heat to medium, let the pan heat up again. Add the eggs, stirring in a quick motion to break up and scramble the eggs. When the eggs are almost cooked through (they should still be slightly runny in the middle), dish out of the pan into the same plate as the cooked shrimp.

Next time try this instead:
To make the egg pancake strips for the garnish, return the skillet to medium-low heat and add the vegetable oil. Brush it over the bottom, then add the egg and swirl to thinly coat the pan, as you would for a very thin pancake. Cook until firm, about 45 seconds, then flip the egg like a pancake and cook the other side until firm. Transfer to a large plate and dab with paper towels to remove any grease. Set the skillet aside. When the egg is cool, roll it up and slice it into thin strips; set aside.

4 Use paper towels to wipe the same wok or sauté pan clean and return to high heat with the remaining 1 tablespoon of cooking oil, swirling to coat. When the oil is very hot, add the green onions and fry until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add in the rice and stir well to mix in the green onions throughout. Spread the rice all around the wok surface area and let the rice heat up, untouched, about 2 minutes. Use the spatula to toss the rice, again spreading the rice out over the surface of wok. Keep doing this until rice is crispy enough for your taste.

5 Drizzle the soy sauce all around the rice and toss. Add the peas and carrots, the cooked eggs, shrimp and sesame oil, tossing to mix the rice evenly with all of the ingredients. Let everything heat back up again, until the rice grains are so hot they practically dance! Taste and add an additional 1 teaspoon of soy sauce if needed.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Chick-Pea Tomato Stew with Moroccan Flavor

Made this with kala chana. Would be better with regular chick peas. Might experiment with assing more veggies.

Modified from Epicurious


2 cups kala chana, picked over
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 cup olive oil
3 large onions, sliced thin (about 7 cups)
two 28- to 32-ounce cans whole tomatoes, drained, reserving juice, and chopped
1 cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped peel of preserved lemons (substituted amchur powder)
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, stems trimmed and leaves washed well and drained (about 10 cups packed)

Dried Beans
1/2 to 1 pound dried beans, picked over

Accompaniment: couscous and crusty bread

In a bowl soak chick-peas in water in cover by 2 inches overnight and drain.

In a 3-quart saucepan combine chick-peas, cinnamon, cumin seeds, and water to cover, by 2 inches and simmer, covered partially, adding more water if necessary, 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until chick-peas are just tender. Discard cinnamon. Chick-peas may be made 1 day ahead, cooled completely, and chilled in their cooking liquid, covered.

In a large heavy kettle heat oil over moderate heat and cook onions, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown, about 15 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with reserved juice, chick-peas with cooking liquid, raisins, preserved lemon peel, ground cumin, and coriander and bring to a simmer. Cook stew about 45 minutes, or until chick-peas are tender and liquid is thickened slightly. Stir in spinach, a heaping handful at a time, and cook until wilted and just tender.

Season stew with salt and pepper and serve with couscous and bread.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hamburger Buns / Dinner Rolls

The dough for these buns was inspired by a request for Fat Daddy's hamburger buns. Fat Daddy's was a neighborhood restaurant in Raleigh that had ok hamburgers, a 'fixins' bar and freshly baked tender buns. We went for the buns and fixins.

3 cps bread flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbs sugar
2 tbs olive oil (substitute butter for cinnamon buns)
0.5 cp warm milk
0.5 cp warm water
1 large egg
1 tbs active dry yeast
lg dollop of unfed starter

Make dough in bread machine. I've made rolls right away and also kept dough overnight in fridge with good results.

Roll out buns by rolling dough into ball (wipe on, wipe off) on cutting board. Start cupping your fingers while rolling then pull down from top while rolling. Better instructions can be found online.

Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
Melt butter and brush it over the risen hamburger buns. This helps the tops to brown and keeps the crust soft. Bake the buns until golden, 15-18 minutes.
Makes 8 hamburger buns, 16 slider buns, 12 cinnamon buns. One batch make 24 mini cloverleaf rolls + 10 pumpkin dinner rolls.

Pizza Dough

After much experimentation, this seems to be working…

4 cps bread flour
2 tsp gluten
dollop of unfed starter
1.5 cps warm water
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp active yeast

Put all ingredients into bread machine.  Age finished dough in fridge overnight. After warming to room temp, roll out wit several rests in-between to allow the dough to relax. Toss the dough if you feel brave.

...last time tried 1 tbs gluten

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Home Made Goat Yogurt

This takes a minimum of 6-8 hours to complete.

I used Trader Joe's European yogurt as the initial starter. I believe the TJ yogurt it tastes just like the Strauss yogurt we fell in love with in SFO.

Put 1.5 tablespoon of yogurt as starter into a 1 cup container to be warming up while you heat the milk.

Pour 6.5 cups of Sugar & Spice Cookie's goat milk into a stainless steel pot.

Heat Milk: Heat as slowly as possible to 180F, stirring occasionally with a stainless steel spoon. Do not use a wooden spoon. You should stir more often once the milk gets warmer to keep it from scorching on the bottom. Hold the milk between 179 - 184 for 15 min.

Cool Milk: Place pot of milk into a cool water bath in sink and stir until milk reaches 110F. This goes pretty quickly.

Add Starter: Add about a cup of warm milk to starter and stir with stainless spoon. Add diluted started back into pot of warm milk.

Wait: Pour milk with starter into yogurt Vita Clay crock pot and put on yogurt setting. Leave it alone for 5-6 hours or to taste. Don't move it or stir it. It is pretty forgiving on time if you forget it. I have done from 4 - 9 hrs, but at 9 hrs it was fairly sour.

Enjoy: Remove crock insert from Vita Clay and place in refrigerator. It will be firmer in the morning.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Peach Dutch Baby

This is a great summer breakfast. We freeze peaches to use all year for this warming dish. Found this recipe on Seasons and Suppers.Only made the sauce twice so far, once with blackberries.


  • Blueberry Sauce:
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • 1 cup wild (or regular) fresh blueberries
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

  • Dutch Baby Batter:
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt (or pinch of table salt)
  • 1.5 lb peaches (3 large, 6 small), halved, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges (no need to peel)

  • Powdered sugar,for dusting
  • Vanilla Ice Cream (optional, but desirable)


Prepare blueberry sauce:
In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in water. 

Add blueberries and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and berries are softened, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Set aside. (Can be made ahead and refrigerated. Simply re-warm before using to top dessert).

Preheat oven to 425°F.
Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in the microwave and then pour into a blender or food processor. 
Add the eggs, milk, flour, 1 Tbsp. sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. 
Blend batter until smooth. Let sit in blender, while you prepare the peaches.

Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. 
Add the remaining 2 Tbsp. of butter and melt. 
Add the remaining 2 Tbsp. sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar starts to caramelize, about 2 minutes.
Add peaches to skillet and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 2 minutes.
Briefly re-blend the batter, then pour evenly over peaches. Transfer the skillet to the pre-heated oven.
Bake pancake until puffed and golden brown all over, about 25 minutes. It will deflate as soon as it’s removed from the oven. Don’t despair. That’s what it is supposed to do.
You may dust pancake generously with powdered sugar, but we don't, Serve from the skillet and top with optional berry sauce.

Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 25 min | Total time: 40 min
Number of servings (yield): 4