I really wish I could take good pictures. Sigh. This is a super easy and delicious dish that I make quite frequently. The recipe comes from The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch. I have started making half batches because I’m usually feeding only two.

  • Ingredients
  • Butter for pan prep (about 2 Tbsp)
  • 3-4 cups cauliflower florets
  • 3-4 cups broccoli florets
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups half-n-half
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I usually use sharp cheddar)
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 450 degrees (yes, very hot). While it’s preheating, put a dab of butter into a 9×13″ baking dish, and place it into the oven so the butter melts while the oven is preheating. Start chopping the vegetables.

Remove the baking dish from the oven and swirl the butter around to try to coat the pan. Sprinkle the vegetables over the butter. I do it in layers in the order given in the ingredient list. Place the vegetables into the 450 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

While the vegetables are in the oven, make a cheese sauce by melting 4 Tbsp. butter in a medium saucepan. Over medium heat, stir in 1/4 cup flour to make a roux. Stir flour butter mixture until the flour is fully incorporated into the butter. Stir in half n half. Continue heating and stirring over medium heat until the sauce has thickened and starts to bubble. Stir in cheese, salt and pepper, and nutmeg. Remove from heat.

When the vegetables have a slight char across the top, remove from oven. Lower oven temperature to 400 degrees. Pour the cheese sauce over the vegetables. Sprinkle Parmesan evenly over the top of the cheese sauce. Return the pan to the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Serve warm. Yield is about 8 servings.

This has become a favorite of mine. It’s flavor is sublime. Not too spicy, but a robust flavor. The recipe comes from NatashasKitchen.com and she uses it on a lot of things. I’ve only ever tried it on salad, but think about dressing fish tacos or dipping potato wedges. Oh, yum! I’ve made this many, many times now and have tried it in my Ninja bullet blender and my Cuisinart mini-prep food processor. Either one takes quite a bit of processing to reach the slurry consistency that you want. I’d say the blender was easier in the long run.

  • Ingredients
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice

Blend ingredients until smooth dressing consistency. Voila! That’s it. Serve or refrigerate until serving time. Tastes better if you wait a half hour or so. But it’s really good, so just go for it.

This is gluten-free and really yummy, a great idea for fancy brunch. I found the recipe at meaningfuleats.com and adjusted it somewhat.

  • Crust Ingredients
  • 1.5# sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Filling Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup red onion, small dice
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 4 oz. crumbled Chevre (goat cheese)

Working in batches, put the grated sweet potato into a dish towel and squeeze as much liquid out as you can. This looks like too much sweet potato, but it’s going to be okay. Trust me. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Yes, very hot. Prepare a 9 or 10″ pie plate with cooking spray or grease.

In a large bowl mix together the grated, wrung sweet potatoes, egg, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Press the mixture firmly into the prepared pie plate, bottom and sides. Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.

While that is baking, saute the red onion in butter until translucent. I have made this recipe using leeks instead and it’s also super yummy. Remove from heat and let cool.

Mix together filling ingredients: eggs, cream, salt, pepper, half of the Chevre, and the sauteed onions.

Remove sweet potato pie plate from oven and let sit for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Pour filling mixture into crust. Sprinkle remaining Chevre over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest for ten minutes or so. Serve warm or at room temperature.

This was incredibly rich and delicious. It was easy to make. My pictures are awful, and I apologize. The tedious part of this was calculating the conversions from metric, so I want to get this down someplace so I don’t have to do it again. The recipe comes from thehappyfoodie.co.uk so if you want your quantities in metric, that’s where you can find them.

  • Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (scant)
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 Tbsp. Chambord (I used raspberry cassis)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • 3/4 cup brewed coffee, cooled (or 2 tsp. instant with 3/4 cup water)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 eggs, room temperature, slightly beaten
  • 8 oz. raspberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)

Prepare an 8 to 9″ springform pan by greasing or spraying with non-stick spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a sheet pan under the springform or on a lower rack in the oven to catch drips from the springform while baking.

Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and baking cocoa together in a small bowl. Set aside. In a large saucepan, add butter, Chambord, sugar, brown sugar, chocolate, coffee, and water. Heat and stir until it’s all incorporated. The original recipe said it should be thick and glossy, but mine never did that. No worries. Remove from heat and let it sit for a couple minutes. Stir in the flour mixture and beat well. Gradually beat in the eggs. It’s a runny batter, but never fear, it works!

Pour half the batter into the bottom of the prepared springform pan. Sprinkle the raspberries across the batter in the pan. I used thawed frozen and gently scooped the raspberries out of the bag with my fingers and sprinkled them across the batter. I did not wring the juice out, nor did I pour the remaining juice over, but it might have been okay to do so. I simply sprinkled the wet raspberries across the top. Pour the remaining batter over the top, covering all the raspberries.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes. The top of the cake does crack. You can’t use the toothpick test because this is supposed to be gooey in the center. Eyeball it so it’s not too jiggly. I baked mine about 43 minutes in a 9″ springform.

I let it sit for an hour and then removed the springform sides. The original recipe said to serve it on the springform bottom, but then you’re dealing with that parchment paper, as pictured. I should have slid it onto a plate, removing the paper. Next time!

You can sprinkle with powdered sugar to make it look prettier and you can serve with ice cream or whipped cream and fresh raspberries. It serves about 8 people.

It’s that zucchini time of year. So far, I’ve been able to keep up. A few weeks ago I read that it was National Leave A Zucchini On Your Neighbor’s Doorstep Day. It made me laugh because that actually happened to us one time. We still don’t know who left it, but it was the biggest zucchini I’ve ever seen. I tried a couple different zucchini breads last week. One was a Parmesan Gluten-Free Zucchini Loaf and I did not like the texture . . . at all. The other loaf was this delicious lemon raspberry one. It is not gluten-free. I went out and picked fresh golden raspberries for this. If I had used red raspberries it would have looked much more raspberryish. The taste was great. The recipe is based upon the one found at Eat Cake for Dinner.

  • BREAD INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • Grated zest on one lemon
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 cup grated zucchini, wring it out in a dish-towel to remove excess water
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh raspberries (I used golden raspberries)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×5″ loaf pan with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl stir together eggs, sugar, and oil. Stir in buttermilk, zest, and juice of lemon. Stir in zucchini. Stir in dry ingredients until just moistened. Fold in raspberries, gently, gently. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Smooth out the top to ensure even distribution. Bake for at least 55 minutes, until toothpick poked into center comes out clean. Mine took about an hour and ten minutes. The moisture content of the zucchini and the raspberries will determine the time for doneness. Cool in pan. I left mine overnight and then poured the glaze over the top. Then we ate several slices for breakfast. Yay!

  • THE GLAZE
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Grated lemon zest
  • Lemon juice

I just eyeballed this part. Can you really have too much lemon zest? I think not. So, I zested lemon peel into the powdered sugar and squeezed lemon juice into it until it had a glaze-like consistency. Then I removed the loaf from the pan and poured the glaze over. The parchment paper caught the spills and it was really quite heavenly tasting. Repeat!!!

This turned out to be super simple and a quick preparation. The recipe comes from Taste of Home and they have a nice video of the preparation. It was SO good that I made it again the next day using gluten-free flour (Namaste Perfect Flour Blend) and it turned out great, too. I used fresh raspberries, but I’m going out on a limb to say frozen would work, too. The most delicious part of this dish is the lemon goodness inside the pinwheels. Genius!

  • RASPBERRY SAUCE INGREDIENTS
  • 3-4 cups raspberries
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup cold water
  • PINWHEELS INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup flour (regular or gluten-free)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. shortening
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. half-and-half cream
  • Flour (regular or gluten-free) for the rolling surface
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the raspberries in an ungreased 8×8″ or 11×7″ baking dish.

In a saucepan, stir together sugar, corn starch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Stir in the cold water and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture boils and thickens. Pour this syrup over the raspberries. Bake at 400 degrees F for ten minutes. Remove from heat.

While the raspberries are baking, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the shortening with a pastry cutter or knives until the mixture is crumbly. Combine the egg with the half-and-half cream and stir it into the crumb mixture to form a stiff dough.

Shape the dough into a log and then, on a lightly floured surface, roll it out into a 12×6″ rectangle. Combine the butter, zest, and sugar. Spread it on top of the dough to within a half inch of the edges. Roll the dough starting on the long side, jelly-roll style. Cut the roll into ten slices. Pat each slice slightly to flatten, then place them atop the raspberry sauce.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until pinwheels are golden. Remove from heat and serve warm or cold. Tastes great with ice cream or cream.

GLUTEN-FREE NOTES . . . the three pictures above are of my gluten-free product. My dough was far too stiff, so I should have added more half-and-half cream, but I didn’t add enough. The dough was on the verge of crumbling apart, but I was able to get it to roll. Whew! When I patted the slices to flatten them a bit, they didn’t hold their shape very well because the dough was too dry. Ah, well. IT WAS DELICIOUS! The third picture in this series is so you can see what it looked like from the side after it was baked. The raspberries were so beautiful through the glass baking dish. A good photographer could have a great time with this recipe.

This is a small portion of my raspberry patch. I ran out to pick enough raspberries for this dessert each day that I made it. That was in addition to the 12 pounds in my freezer for this winter. I LOVE raspberries!

More notes about this recipe . . . it was super, super simple to prepare, but it did make a lot of dirty dishes. This is always a concern for me. Anyway, you will need a baking dish, saucepan, mixing bowl, and vessel to melt butter and make the pinwheel filling. That is in addition to the measuring cups and pastry cutter. Just be prepared. I had never treated raspberries this way and that’s why I thought it was genius to pour the syrup over the berries. So often a raspberry recipe ends up mushing the raspberries because they are an incredibly fragile fruit. But this recipe does not require one to stir the raspberries . . . ever. It’s so beautiful!

This is a beautiful and delicious salad. The basic recipe comes from ChelseasMessyApron.com. I modified it quite a bit, trying different types of fruit and presentation. One thing that I found is when my golden raspberries are ripe, they make an excellent fruit component. I’ve made this in one large bowl served family-style and also in separate bowls served individually. The dressing recipe is enough to serve 4-6.

  • SALAD INGREDIENTS
  • Greens of any kind (Pictured is a variety of young greens picked from my daughter’s garden)
  • Beet root, cooked and chopped
  • Avocado, chopped
  • Fruit, chopped if it is small (I’ve used fresh mandarin oranges, nectarines, golden raspberries, use your imagination)
  • Pistachio nuts, shelled, roasted, and salted
  • Goat cheese crumbles
  • DRESSING INGREDIENTS
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp. orange zest
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Onion powder
  • Salt

Build the salad however you would like. Whisk the dressing ingredients together. Dress the salad just prior to serving.

The affectionately named Sweet Baby Jesus! Sauce is a recipe I stole from my brother. It is a peach habanero barbecue sauce. I’ve made it a few times now and it’s universally loved by the people I give it to. Those that can’t take spicy food of any sort will not tolerate this sauce and those that are looking for extreme spiciness will be sadly disappointed. I would characterize it as a medium-spicy sauce. Today’s batch made my eyes water. So, there’s that. It’s got a rich flavor and the heat hits you on the back end. The day that I made this and took the photos, I made a double batch. The recipe given here is for a single batch. The yield is about 4 pints.

  • INGREDIENTS
  • 8 fresh habanero chiles
  • 2 16-oz cans peaches (I use the ones in heavy syrup for more sugar content, but I doubt it really matters)
  • 3 cups tomato ketchup
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder (I use an ancho chile blend)
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. ginger powder

Preparation is key here. WEAR GLOVES for this part. I use a dedicated cutting mat for use with preparing fresh chiles. A small spoon can be helpful in scraping the seeds out. Get everything ready: gloves, special cutting board or mat, spoon for scraping, trash bag, large cooking pot, food processor or blender. WEAR GLOVES! Be careful not to touch anything other than the habaneros, especially your eyes. When you’re ready to do this, remove seeds and stems from the habaneros, retaining the seeds from one chile only. Put the seeds from the one chile into a large cooking pot.

Chop the flesh of the stemmed and seeded habaneros and place them into a food processor or blender with the peaches and their juice. Puree. Pour the puree into the large cooking pot with the retained seeds. Stir in all the remaining ingredients.

Bring to a boil over medium heat and then reduce heat to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat when the mixture has the consistency that you like for barbecue sauce. Voila! You’re done. Keep reading if you want to preserve your sauce in jars.

This yields about 4 pints. I put mine into pint jars, 3/4-pint jars, and 1/2-pint jars.

With the amount of vinegar called for in the recipe, in addition to what’s already in the tomato ketchup and prepared yellow mustard, I doubt that it is necessary to water-bath can these. Simply turning them upside down until they’re sealed is probably enough to keep the food safe. HOWEVER, sometimes I can be paranoid, so I canned these in a water bath for 15 minutes.

In a large cooking pot (or canner), put a rack of some type (I use a telescoping steamer basket) to keep the jars from rocking in the boiling water and breaking (yes, this has happened to me, thus the rack). Fill the pot with water to a point that it won’t spill over once the jars are in it. Fill a tea kettle with water. Bring the cooking pot of water and the tea kettle to a boil. Cover and let simmer on low if you’re not ready yet.

Fill the jars, leaving about 1/2-inch of head space. Make sure your canner water is boiling. Wipe the jar rims. Screw lids onto jars and carefully place the jars into your canner. I have a jar lifter for this purpose. The jars should not touch each other. Pour the water from the teakettle into the canner so that there’s a couple inches of water over the tops of the jars. Let it simmer for fifteen minutes. Carefully remove the jars from the water. Let the jars cool. When pressing the lids with your thumb, there should be no “give.” If it still bounces up and down after canning and cooling, you should keep it refrigerated until it’s used.

So, the time has come. I just placed an order for an actual canner. It comes with a legit rack. This should make things much simpler for me and it’s become worth it since I do a lot of pickle canning in August. Stay tuned!

This recipe comes out of Bear Fare, A Cookbook Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of Bear Valley Elementary School, Anchorage, Alaska, 1993-94.

The recipe author calls it the Cadillac of Blueberry Muffins. I absolutely agree. It is the best blueberry muffin recipe, ever! Where it calls for a topping made by mixing 1 Tbsp. sugar with 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg, I simply sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over the unbaked muffin tops. I’m not a big fan of nutmeg.

  • Blueberry Muffin Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs (I use extra-large)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (I use paste)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1-2 Tbsp. sugar
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare 16-24 muffin cups with papers or spray or grease. The number depends upon how big your cups are and what size eggs, etc. I usually overfill mine, but this time I made smaller ones (24).

In a mixing bowl beat together butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. I used an electric mixer. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well. Slowly stir in flour, baking powder, and salt, alternating with the milk. Fold blueberries in by hand.

The batter is thick. Spoon it into the tins as best you can, no more than 2/3 full. It doesn’t have to be even across the top. Sprinkle tops with a little bit of sugar and cinnamon.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until tops are golden and spring back when lightly touched. Remove from heat and cool in pans. These are the best!

This is a simple idea that I saw on my Instagram feed by @irina.r.georgescu. Her website is www.lifeinsmallbites.co.uk. She gave a description rather than a recipe, so I’ll do the same thing and tell you how I did this. Keep in mind that in the UK and other places, eggplant is called aubergine. This is a gluten-free snack.

  • Ingredients
  • Cooking oil
  • Eggplant (AKA Aubergine)
  • Eggs
  • Corn meal
  • Spices

Heat cooking oil (about 1/2″) in a skillet. I never test my heat, so I’m not sure what the temp should be. Hot.

I had bought these small eggplants from Costco, they’re about 8″ long and 2″ around, however, you can use regular eggplant. Slice the ends off and then cut the eggplant in half the long way, then into slices, about 1/2″ wide. You’re looking for snacking-size pieces.

Beat 2-3 eggs (I used 3 extra large and it was too much for my one little eggplant, but I wish, I wish I had made these snacks using three of the little eggplants).

Spice up a bit of cornmeal. I used salt and pepper and a liberal amount of white pepper. Whatever you want to do will be fine.

Dip the eggplant pieces, in batches, in the egg and then dredge through the seasoned cornmeal, then into the frying pan. Turn pieces over after a couple minutes, then make sure the eggplant is thoroughly cooked.

Remove from oil with a slotted spoon onto absorbent paper.

Irina dipped hers in a tomato sauce, but I just ate mine plain. I confess I ate nearly the whole thing while I was waiting for the last batch to fry. I wish, I wish I had made more. Irina says it’s not so good once it’s cooled off. I wouldn’t know.