Spinach-Pear Salad with Honey-Ginger Dressing

7 Sep

Spinach-Pear Salad

I’m back, after a long summer hiatus!

The problem with a recipe blog is that after you share all your best tried-and-true dishes, the ones you return to again and again — well, you’re out of material! So after a flurry of activity when I started this blog years ago, I’m now limited to posting when I make something new and remember to take a photo of it, which is less often than ideal.

I still like to try new things, though. This recipe is adapted slightly from one that was in a recent issue of Cooking Light.The recipe called for 2 cups of baby spinach, which I didn’t think was enough for four people — or proportionately enough for the dressing — so I used a 5-oz. package of baby spinach and it was perfect for four.

If you look closely at the photo, you’ll see I used black raisins instead of golden — because I didn’t have any golden raisins on hand. I think the golden ones would be better, but don’t use that as a reason not to try this salad. Craisins or dried cherries would probably work well too.

Ingredients:

2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1-1/2 Tbs. olive oil
5-oz. package baby spinach
1 ripe Bartlett pear, sliced
3 Tbs. golden raisins (black raisins are OK)
3 Tbs. toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped

Directions:

Whisk together the lemon juice, honey, mustard, ginger, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.

Toss the spinach, pear slices and raising with the dressing in a large bowl and divide among four salad places. Top with the toasted walnuts.

Serves 4

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Oops!

24 Jun

You may be scratching your heads about my last piece. I mistakenly posted it here instead of on my travel blog. At least it had to do with cooking!

Apologies, and I’ll try to be more careful.

Everett Eats!

24 Jun

EverettEatsFrontCover20180523It’s opening week at Chautauqua, and the opening night concert last night was by Allison Krause — wonderful! Most of the other weekly people arrived yesterday, and most of the all-season people have arrived by now. Our first guests arrive today. The only reason we ourselves can enjoy Chautauqua is because the Everett House week starts and ends on Sunday instead of Saturday — but I think in all our time here we’ve only met one other Shabbat-observant couple.

Last year, our first as the Everett House host couple, we had a lot of requests for breakfast recipes. Since Joe knows a thing or two about book production, over the winter we produced a little cookbook we called Everett Eats, with about 60 recipes — not all made here, but all made by me at some point and good for breakfast or brunch. We’re selling them for $18 (with the expectation that those with only $20 bills will say “Keep the change”!) The book was introduced this morning at a meeting of the program committee, and by the end of the meeting we had sold three copies!

I wanted to continue baking and freezing today but a couple of Everett machers had a huge “welcome back” reception for 70 of their closest  friends at lunchtime (plus they invited us). Luckily we don’t have to do that. Tracy, who runs I Can Do That, the company that does our housekeeping and maintenance, is also a caterer, so she’s had the kitchen tied up until mid-afternoon. The upside of events catered by Tracy is that we usually get great leftovers. And we sold two more cookbooks!

I baked a cake for today’s program committee meeting and only half got eaten, so I have enough (almost) fresh cake for tomorrow’s breakfast.

One of the program committee members shared an interesting story — two, actually. Last summer, she became very ill and had to leave early. Turns out she had an aggressive form of cancer and ended up spending significant time at Sloane-Kettering. She was assigned both a psychologist and psychiatrist who were interested in her decision not to learn any details about her illness or proposed treatment — and she is a “Type A” person. She says she turned everything over to her kids, and all she wanted to know was what she had to do day by day, so she could use all her energy for that and not have to think or worry about what was coming later. The psychologist was so taken with her decision that he is using her story in his training classes for all the psychologists and psychiatrists at the hospital, so that they will learn not to argue with other patients who make a similar choice.

She also said shortly after she returned home from treatment her little poodle started vomiting and diarrhea, and he was never sick. After a day or so, she realized he had been licking her and ingesting enough chemo through her skin to make himself ill. She stopped letting him lick and he got better without having to go to the vet. Who’d a thunk?

Cinnamon Rhubarb Bread

15 Jun

Rhubarb breadIt’s rhubarb season! We have just a little bit of rhubarb (one struggling plant) in our garden, but we had a half-dozen stalks and were wondering what to do with it. Then I moved a folder in the kitchen rack where I collect coupons and menus and such, and out popped this recipe that I don’t even remember clipping. It was developed by the Heart Smart folks at Henry Ford Health System and printed in the Detroit Free Press, probably last year. I had just enough rhubarb (though I felt it could have used a little more). The best thing is you don’t have to cook the rhubarb first, just chop it up.

I didn’t have any whole-wheat flour so I used all-purpose. Maybe that’s one reason the bread seemed so light.

Ingredients:

¾ cup diced rhubarb
1 cup plus 2 Tbs.  sugar, divided
1 container (5.3 ounce) low-fat plain Greek yogurt (about
⅔ cup)
¼ cup canola oil
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup white whole-wheat flour
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
1 tsp.baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
⅛ tsp. salt

Strawberry Glaze:
1 Tbs. strawberry jam
⅓ cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 tsp. water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan with baking spray (or use a parchment-paper pan liner); set aside. In a small bowl, toss rhubarb and 2 tablespoons sugar; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together remaining 1 cup sugar, yogurt, oil, egg, and vanilla with an electric mixer.

In a separate bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir flour mixture into sugar mixture until just moistened, being careful not to over mix. Gently fold in rhubarb and its juices. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

To prepare glaze: Heat jam until easy to stir. Add powdered sugar and stir. Thin glaze with 1 to 2 teaspoons water. Spread glaze over top of bread while warm.

Cool bread in pan on wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread  from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Makes 12 slices

We’re in Wisconsin!

30 May

Charred Orange-Chile Broccoli

15 May

Broccoli, Orange-ChiliParve

Adapted from the May, 2018 issue of Cooking Light.

I found this recipe in Cooking Light magazine only about a month ago, and already I’ve made it twice, it’s that good.

Broccoli is so good for you! And did you know that by roasting it you not only improve the flavor, you shrink down the pieces so you can eat a lot more of it? When I boil or steam broccoli, we eat only about half a head at a time. When I roast it, we can easily eat a whole head between the two of us. So the recipe is right on when it tells you two heads will feed four people. (Of course if they are large heads of broccoli, you can probably stretch this to feed six.)

The sauce is very flavorful but not at all overwhelming, because you use only a little of it, and the ingredients meld very nicely together.

Ingredients:

2 heads broccoli, cut into florets
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. orange juice
1 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. light brown sugar
2 tsp. Asian chile-garlic sauce
2 tsp. dark sesame oil
2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Toss the broccoli with the olive oil and place on a large baking sheet. Roast until tender, 25 to 30 minutes, turning once or twice during the roasting.

While the broccoli is roasting, combine the orange juice, soy sauce, brown sugar and chile-garlic sauce in a small saucepan or measuring cup and boil on the stove or microwave for about two minutes until it is reduced and slightly thickened.

Stir in the sesame oil, and drizzle the sauce over the roasted broccoli. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Serves 4

Easy Hollandaise sauce

1 May

Hollandaise

I wanted to make salmon a little differently. I wanted a smooth sauce that was buttery and lemony. I wanted Hollandaise! But I had never made it. One reason is because it always seemed intimidating. Another is that most recipes make a large quantity of sauce, and there were only two of us so I didn’t want to make a lot.

So I did a web search. Some of the recipes described as Hollandaise “for two” called for a whole stick of butter — no thank you! This recipe, which I found on a blog called The Spruce Eats, used only half that – which still seemed like a lot, but more reasonable. The title was “Hollandaise Sauce for Two,”but as you can see from the photo, where the salmon is just about swimming in the stuff, the recipe can easily serve four to six, because a little Hollandaise goes a long way!

It was easy enough to make. If you’re looking for a rich, butter/lemony sauce, give this one a try!

By the way, the black specks in the photo are the fresh-ground black pepper I put on the salmon before I cooked it.

Ingredients:

1 egg yolk, at room temperature
2 tsp. lemon juice
Pinch salt
Pinch white pepper
2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature
1½  tsp. water

Directions:

Put an inch or so of water into the bottom of a double boiler or a saucepan large enough to hold a metal bowl without it touching the bottom of the pot. The water should not reach the bottom of the double boiler insert or the metal bowl.

Boil the water, then turn down the heat to maintain a low simmer.

In the double boiler insert or bowl, whisk the egg yok, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Set the bowl over the boiling water and whisk slowly but consistently until the mixture starts to thicken.

Add the butter, one piece at a time, whisking until each piece is incorporated before adding another piece. Repeat until all 8 pieces are incorporated. The sauce should be thick, smooth and glossy.

Whisk in 1½  tsp. water. Adjust the seasoning and add a bit more lemon juice if desired.

Remove the pan from the heat. The sauce will keep over the hot water for a half-hour or so as long as you whisk it occasionally.

Pour over vegetables, fish, or poached eggs on toast.

Serves 4 to 6