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  • Ingredients
  • Spinach
  • Bleu cheese crumbles
  • Avocado, diced
  • Berries, chopped or whole, depending upon size
  • Sweet Spiced Pecans (recipe found here)
  • Dried cherries
  • Balsamic glaze

Use the amount of ingredients for the number of people you’ll be feeding. Layer the ingredients in individual bowls and let people add their own balsamic glaze as the dressing.

I would say the only “must-have” parts of this salad are the spinach, the bleu cheese crumbles, and the balsamic glaze. I always buy the premade glaze, but I supposed you could find a recipe for it, it’s very sweet. I have used mandarin orange segments instead of berries. I’ve used strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. I’ve made this without the avocados. I’ve used plain pecans when I’ve been too lazy to make Sweet Spiced Pecans. I’ve used dried strawberries and dried cranberries in lieu of the dried cherries, and I’ve also skipped the dried berries (as is pictured since I was out). Anything goes!

I try to always have these on hand to make Spinach-Bleu-Berry Salad. It’s hard to keep them in stock because of the person who lives with me and likes to nibble on little snacks. So, there’s that. The recipe I use is double the one from dimpleprints. You can adjust the kick by raising or lowering the amount of cayenne pepper. This is a gluten-free recipe.

  • Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 4-6 cups pecan halves

Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a very large bowl, mix together brown sugar, cayenne, salt, coriander, cinnamon, and allspice. Set aside.

In a separate, smaller, bowl whisk together egg whites and vegetable oil until egg whites are foamy. Stir the egg mixture into the brown sugar mixture until it’s all incorporated. Fold in 4 cups of pecan halves. Keep folding as you want the pecans to be fully coated with the mixture and it takes time for the mixture to drip into the grooves of the pecans. Since I use extra-large eggs, I fold in another cup, or more, of pecan halves. Keep folding until it’s all soaked in.

Pour the pecans onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Roast at 300 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. I stir mine two or three times during the roasting process. Keep a close eye on the pecans as they can scorch easily. Remove from oven and let them cool completely before lifting the parchment paper and breaking up any clumps. Store and/or share with friends.

I worked at the King Ko Inn in King Salmon, Alaska during my teenage years in the mid-1970s. Most of that time I was a maid, but for a few months in my senior year of high school I was a waitress. The clientele were German sport fishermen and road laborers working on the upgrade of the road to Naknek. The inn’s manager was this mountainous rough woman named Bea. She was all seeing, all knowing. She cruised through the inn like a giant tanker, trailing a wake of fear behind her. She was fiercely protective, however, of her young employees. One thing you could count on when Bea was cooking on Fridays was her Manhattan Clam Chowder. Most places, in the western United States at least, serve clam chowder on Fridays, but it is New England style. Bea’s Manhattan Clam Chowder is so memorable that I have been trying to duplicate it ever since. I finally found it here at Food 52 a few years ago.

  • Ingredients
  • 16 oz. (2-8 oz. bottles) clam juice
  • 12 oz. (2- 6 oz. cans) chopped clams, drained, reserve juice
  • 4 oz. diced bacon
  • 1-1/2 cups small dice onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped leeks (white part only)
  • 1 cup small dice celery
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/8 heaping tsp. celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups 1/2″ dice peeled potatoes
  • 28 oz. chopped canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. horseradish sauce

In a large pan, fry bacon until nearly crisp. Stir in vegetables and saute until soft. Stir in spices. Stir in clam juice and reserved clam juice, salt, pepper, and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer until potatoes are cooked through. Stir in tomatoes and clams. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in horseradish sauce. Serve. Oh, yum!!!

Notes: This will serve 4 easily. I like to serve with a crusty bread or oyster crackers. If you’ve never used leeks before, make sure you clean them appropriately. I slice mine in half lengthwise and then run under cold water while I flip the layers of leek, like pages of a book. Leeks hide sand and bugs and have to be cleaned well. Then I chop them up. This is a gluten-free dish.

I ate this for the first time at a local German restaurant a few years ago. I’ve made it myself several times since then. The recipe I was using online ceased to exist, so I switched to this one from Kimberly Killebrew. I think I like it better anyway. Thinking about making this the first couple times seems a rather daunting prospect, but it’s much easier to do than you would think. I believe you could use wild game instead of beef steak, as long as the piece was sliced thin enough. You’re going to need toothpicks, lots of toothpicks. This is easily a gluten-free dinner if you use a corn-starch thickener instead of flour and serve it over something like polenta or potatoes.

When I last made this, I only made 4 beef rolls (instead of 8), but the full complement of gravy. That’s to say just make the number of rolls for the number of people you’re serving. After you’ve done this a time or two, you’ll understand what I’m getting at. And the rouladen are SO tender, you don’t even need a knife!

  • Rouladen Ingredients
  • 8 slices beef steak (like round steak), about 4×6″ size, pounded thin
  • Spicy brown mustard or Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 8 slices dill pickle
  • Sliced onion
  • Gravy Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
  • Cornstarch or flour to make a slurry
  • Cream, optional

Spread each piece of meat with mustard and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. At the smallest end of the meat, lay a slice of bacon, pickle, and onion. Roll the meat up from that smallest end to the largest end. Secure with several toothpicks.

Heat the butter and oil in an oven-proof skillet or Dutch oven and sear the meat rolls on all sides. Remove to a plate. In that same skillet, saute the onions until they are translucent. You may need more butter or oil. Stir in the garlic and saute another thirty seconds or so. Add the carrots and celery and saute another five minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Pour red wine into the skillet with the vegetables, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the beef broth, tomato paste, bay leaf, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

Nestle the meat rolls in the liquid, cover the skillet, and place into the preheated 325 degree F oven for about 90 minutes. Remove the rouladen from the sauce to a plate.

Thicken the gravy by making a slurry of cornstarch (see note below) and water (or broth) OR a slurry of flour and water (or broth). Either way works just fine. Many cooks will either strain out the vegetables or puree them to make a smooth sauce. I don’t care about that, so I don’t bother with it. Vegetable lumps it is! You can stir in cream if you want a creamier gravy.

Once your gravy is done to your liking, pluck the toothpicks from the rouladen. They should stay in place without the picks. Return the rouladen to the gravy, turning so that they’re coated on all sides and heat through.

You can serve with spaetzle, polenta, mashed potatoes, or just use your imagination. This is easily a gluten-free dish.

Note: A slurry is taking a cold liquid and stirring in either corn starch or flour until smooth, then slowly pouring the concoction into a thin gravy and stirring over heat until the gravy thickens. A two-to-one ratio of corn starch to cold water (or broth) is a good way to start. I never measure it anymore, just make sure the corn starch dissolves, then start pouring the mix into the gravy. If it gets too thick, then I add more broth to the gravy. If it doesn’t thicken enough, I add more slurry to the gravy. I do the same with flour.

You can make this dish without using an oven, all on the stovetop. I haven’t tried it, but it would work just fine.

I don’t own a meat mallet so I do the best I can with the edge of a saucer to pound the meat without putting holes in it. Again, once you’ve done this a few times you’ll see how it works any which way, it’s not at all fussy. The flavors here are really rich.

I’ve been buying these frozen chicken quarters from the grocery store in 10 pound bags. Once it arrives home, I use my vacuum sealer to split it into freezer-bags with 2 pieces in each. What I’ve learned is, one hour of roasting, uncovered, at 425 degrees will cook the thawed chicken. So the decision is what to put with it. This time I tried red onion, mini sweet pepper, grape tomatoes and a home-grown zucchini. I’ve been using this spice blend called Kahuna Garlic Salt Spice Blend by The Spice and Tea Exchange here in Anchorage, Alaska. It’s got Hawaiian red sea salt, garlic, onion, and parsley in a grinder. I’m on my third jar of it this summer. I put it on nearly everything, including this dish. Wonderful!

  • Ingredient quantities depend upon how many people you will serve
  • Red onion, sliced
  • Peppers, sliced (I used mini sweet peppers)
  • Grape tomatoes, sliced
  • Zucchini, sliced
  • Garlic salt blend (or garlic powder and salt)
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Chicken Quarters

Layer the vegetable ingredients into a baking dish, or a sheet pan with sides, so as not to crowd them. I used a 9×13″ pan for two chicken quarters. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt blend and pepper. Run a swazz of olive oil across the vegetables, not too much, about a tablespoon. Rub the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt blend and pepper. Bake at 425 degrees for one hour. Serve.

The recipe comes from foodgoblin.com. Since there are only two of us regularly eating meals, I reduced the recipe by half. That is the way I will tell it to you. For the first time in my life, I had a little herb garden growing this summer and dill is one of the main plants. I’ve fallen in love. In an effort to save some of the precious herb, I took many sprigs and put them into a quart jar of white vinegar about a month ago. Now I just need something to do with it. I did use it in this recipe, but the first time I made this I stuck to the white wine vinegar as listed here. I doubt many of you have a dill-infused vinegar on hand. I think mustard sauce on salmon is wonderful and this is the BEST. Seriously.

  • Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill weed, chopped
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Whisk together mustard, honey and vinegar. Whisk in olive oil until it is emulsified and has thickened. Whisk in salt, sugar, dill, lemon zest, and juice. Serve.

  • Ingredients
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce, divided
  • 2 chicken quarters
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare a 9×13″ baking dish by spraying with non-stick spray.

Layer the pineapple, bell pepper, and onion in the baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup barbecue sauce (SBJ Barbecue Sauce is great for this). Season the chicken with salt and pepper (I used a ground sea-salt garlic combo) and place on top of the barbecue sauce.

Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees F for thirty minutes. Dollop the remaining barbecue sauce over the chicken and bake another thirty minutes. Remove from heat and serve. Serves 2

This recipe originates with Jamie Oliver. It is gluten-free. I have made it many times and it’s incredibly delicious. My blog has turned into a place for me to remember how I did something in case the recipe goes away at the original site. That really happens a lot. So, my pictures are awful. But rest assured, the food is good!

  • Ingredient List
  • One whole chicken
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2-3 Tbsp. butter and equal amount olive oil
  • 2-1/2 cups milk
  • Zest of two lemons
  • One handful fresh sage leaves, whole
  • 8 cloves garlic, whole or smashed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Pat chicken dry and rub with olive oil. Sprinkle inside and out with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown chicken on all sides.

Remove chicken to plate. Drain fat from pan. Add milk, lemon zest, garlic cloves, and sage leaves. Return chicken to pan. Cover the pan and bake at 375 degrees F, covered, for 45 minutes. Remove the lid and continue baking, uncovered, for 45 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a plate and let cool enough to handle. Stir and scrape the curdled milk product in the pan. Remove the bigger sage leaves and discard them.

Pull the meat off the bones of the chicken and serve it with the “sauce” in bowls over mashed potatoes or polenta or rice or mashed cauliflower, whatever or nothing.

I’ve got herbs growing on my back deck for the first time. And included in those herbs is sage. It was so nice to just pick what I needed instead of wondering whether or not the store would have fresh sage. On this day I served the chicken dish over Creamy Cheesy Baked Polenta, but I’ve also served it over Twice-Baked Cauliflower.

This is what happens when the grocery store pickup service makes a noodle substitution. And I’m very happy about it. These are mung bean noodles that go by various names: Saifun or bean threads or glass noodles or cellophane noodles. They are gluten-free. I received two packages and have made lunch three times so far. Please, no scoffing. I will be the first to acknowledge I have no idea what I’m doing. But I do know what I like and I like what I’ve done with these noodles. There are many recipes online for Ants Climbing a Tree and I started with the one at Saveur. The recipe then morphed because I couldn’t get the ingredients called for and that caused me to improvise.

  • Ingredients
  • 4 oz. (approximate) Chinese dried bean thread noodles*
  • Boiling water
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/4 lb. ground pork
  • 1 3-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 3 Tbsp. Chinese bean sauce or oyster sauce**
  • 4 Tbsp. soy sauce, divided (I use the low-sodium version)
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 scallions, sliced

Cover noodles with boiling water and let stand for 4 minutes to soften. Drain and stir in sesame oil.

In a 12″ frying pan, heat canola oil and stir fry ground pork until cooked. Stir in ginger and garlic and continue to cook until fragrant, another minute or two.

Stir in red pepper flakes, bean or oyster sauce, 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then stir in noodles. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in 2 Tbsp. soy sauce and scallions. Serve warm.

Yield: 2 bowls

*I am seeing these sold in bundles and 4 oz. is 2 bundles. The packages I most recently purchased had three bundles, so I used two bundles each time I made this. What surprises me about these noodles is how well they stand up to the cooking process. They’re not mushy after all the softening and simmering. Amazing.

**The recipe calls for NO red pepper flakes and instead Chinese red chile bean paste. But I couldn’t find that. So the first couple times I made this using oyster sauce and red pepper flakes. Delicious. The next time I made this I had found Chinese bean sauce, but it’s not spicy. Oy! So, I kept using the red pepper flakes to spice things up a bit. Still Delicious! So there!

This is what I used as pictured. When I used oyster sauce, the color of the dish was much lighter, but still full of great flavor.

This is a super fast and delicious dish. The recipe started at OneGoodThingByJillee. Hers makes a ton, so I’ve cut it down and changed it slightly. I use Old El Paso brand Stand ‘n Stuff taco shells. There are ten shells in each box. In an 11×7″ baking dish you can fit 8 shells and that makes plenty for three people. They stand up beautifully, so there’s very little finagling. They are gluten-free. If you do not have access to these beauties, you’ll have to eyeball things to make it work. Jill has instructions on her site on how to make hard-shells from soft corn tortillas. I did try that one time, but I found it to be too tricky. The very best thing on Jill’s site is her recipe for taco seasoning and I make that ALL the time. I added a triple-recipe below.

  • Baked Taco Ingredients
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 3 Tbsp. taco seasoning (or one store-bought envelope)
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup (1/2 of a 15oz. can) refried beans
  • 8 Stand ‘n Stuff taco shells
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican mix cheese
  • Toppings of your choice (sour cream, salsa, jalapenos, etc.)

Prepare an 11×7″ baking dish by spraying with non-stick spray. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a frying pan, brown ground beef. Sprinkle with taco seasoning and then stir in tomato sauce and refried beans. Set the taco shells into the dish as pictured. Distribute the ground beef mixture evenly into all the taco shells. Sprinkle shredded cheese over all the shells. Bake at 400 degrees for ten minutes or until the cheese is melted. Top with your favorite toppings. Voila! Done! Inhale!

  • Triple-Batch Taco Seasoning Ingredients
  • 6 Tbsp. chili powder (I use ancho chili powder)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 3 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 3 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. pepper

Mix all together and use 2-3 Tbsp. for each pound of meat. For tacos, I sprinkle it over cooked ground beef, then stir in a little water and cook until the water evaporates. I also use this mix on beef or chicken fajita-makings and other types of meat. I sprinkle it on before or after cooking, it just depends. No rules! This batch should last you a good long while.