I’m Back with a Tasty Snack

cashew snackRunning a company is hard work and filled with both  frustrations and delights. Watching something you have created and nurtured grow is an exhilarating feeling. Building a team of talented, fun people is rewarding. Doves and Figs has brought me much joy along with tired feet and berry stained, dish pan hands. One thing it has not given me is much time to blog. Even though I am still squeezing in hours for cooking, baking, and pickling; I have not been writing much and I have missed it.

So I am back-with a super simple snack and I hope to steal a bit more time over the days to come to share all the delicious things coming from my little jam (and  other treats) kitchen. No matter how busy you are-tonight take a few minutes to pour yourself your favorite craft beer or a glass of local wine, put your feet up, and nibble some of this quick and easy snack mix. You deserve it!

Robin

Herb Roasted Cashews with Dried Cranberries, and Dried Cherries
3 cups of cashews
1/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1/3 cup dried cherries
several sprigs of fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, and a few sage leaves
kosher salt

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the cashews on an ungreased cookie sheet. Distributed the herbs on top of the nuts and roast for about 10 minutes until hot and fragrant but not too brown. Toss in a pretty bowl with the dried fruit and sprinkle with kosher salt. Snack Away!

 

 

Jam Kitchen Marmalade Cake

marmalade cakeThe mid Winter jam kitchen crew is juicing, peeling, zesting, and simmering as fast as we can. The season for Seville oranges is a special time that is over in the blink of an eye. Even though we were making a traditional style marmalade, we had to add our own New England twist by blending in dried cranberries.
Once all of those bitter oranges and tart cranberries were cooked into tangy/sweet marmalade and poured into jars, it was time for a reward.  It would seem to some that after weeks of making marmalade, we would be sick of it but instead we were longing to delight in the fruits of our labors. A cup of Earl Grey tea (yes even more citrus) and a slice of sticky marmalade cake was just the thing to enjoy during a break from all that hard work.

Marmalade Cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flourmarmalade cake and custard
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
pinch of cinnamon

1 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup marmalade (we used our Garnets in the Grove-orange cranberry)
4 eggs (lightly beaten)
1/4 cup buttermilk (or whole milk)
1/4 cup fresh orange juice

Topping
1/3 cup marmalade
2 Tablespoons orange juice

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a round 8″ glass pie dish or square pan generously. Toss the dry ingredients (except sugar)
and orange zest together in a bowl and set aside. Cream butter and sugar by hand or in a mixer. Add eggs, juice, marmalade and milk and blend well. Stir in the dry ingredients and blend until combined but not over mixed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30-40 minutes. When the cake is done, stir 2 Tablespoons of orange juice into 1/3 cup marmalade and warm in a small saucepan or in microwave. Pour over cake and enjoy warm or room temp with ice cream, yogurt, or traditional custard.

Carrots All Day

Munching carrots all day longcarrots
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Sunny colored, tasty sweet
That veggie is a winner

The hazard of selling your wares at a farmers market is that you are often too busy serving customers to shop and when you are not selling, a visit to a market is not always the first choice of activity. I miss the days of strolling through the market and laying carefully selected fresh produce into my big red shopping basket.  Now my shopping trips are more of a grab and run affair. At a market recently, I saw my friend from Winter Moon Farm and his rainbow array of root vegetables.  With only a few minutes to spare, I said a quick hello and filled a bag about to the bursting point with yellow, pale orange, bright orange, and red carrots and one ridiculously large daikon radish and rushed back to my booth.  My hubby saw the bag and reminded me that I had just bought several pounds of carrots at the supermarket. Not to worry I assured him; I had a plan that would use a lot of carrots. Now all I had to do was figure out what that plan was…
With a bit of creative thinking, I made a new recipe for low-fat carrot bread, a carrot and daikon salad, and I used the carrots for a “nest” under a roasted chicken. We also ate carrots with homemade white bean dip, carrots in chicken salad, and a few carrots found their way into meatloaf. Suddenly, the worry about what to do with all those carrots was replaced with counting the days until the next market when I can get more!

Low-Fat Carrot and Cranberry Bread carrot bread
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 egg whites
1/3 cup orange juice
zest of one medium orange
1/2 cup dried cranberries
(Loaf pan and cooking spray for pan)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flours, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in egg whites, orange juice and zest and mix until combined. Add carrots and cranberries and stir until blended together. Spray the loaf pan with cooking spray. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes until well browned and cooked in the center.

Carrot and Daikon Salad with Dried Cranberriescarrot salad
3 1/2 cups of shredded carrots
1/2 cup shredded daikon
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Combine carrots, daikon, and cranberries in a bowl. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the carrot mixture. Chill in refrigerator in a covered bowl or jar for at least two hours (overnight is better).

 

Happy Thanksgivukkah! Squash Sufganiyot with Cranberry Chocolate Jam

donuts
I adore holidays; gathering with family and friends, the table overflowing with food, the cheerful decorations. This year we have a once in a lifetime chance to take two of my favorite holidays and bring them together in one mashuganah mash up being called Thanksgivukkah. As readers of my blog know, I have cooked up some crazy dishes for holidays so this new holiday hybrid was irresistible.  So I share with you the Squash Sufganiyot filled with Cape Escape Cranberry Chocolate Jam. So much Chanukah and Thanksgiving deliciousness in one little bite!  Happy Holidays x2!

Squash Sufganiyot with Cape Escape Cranberry Chocolate Jam
3 cups flour
8 ounces peeled and cubed butternut squashsufganiyot
3/4 cup apple cider
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
oil for frying
cinnamon & sugar mixture for outside of donuts
Filling: Doves and Figs Cape Escape jam or other cranberry jam

Heat oven to 450 degrees
Roast squash for about 35 minutes in a shallow dish until very tender
Heat several inches of oil in a heavy bottom pan
Process squash with apple cider in a food processor or blender
Beat eggs into squash
Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon in a large bowl
Pour squash mixture into the flour mixture and stir until well combined but do not over mix.
Let rest for a few minutes
Scoop heaping tablespoons of the dough into hot oil.
Fry until golden and cooked in the center (test one little donut to make sure you have a good cooking time).
Drain and cool on paper towels
Roll warm sufganiyot in cinnamon sugar
Fill donuts with chocolate cranberry jam
Eat, eat it’s Thanksgivukkah!!

Beets and Sweets Soup

SONY DSCThis rich creamy soup is the perfect first course and it is a nice pot luck addition as it is vegan (without the suggested topping) , low fat, and gluten-free. I made up the recipe for my One Pot Wonders class which focuses on dishes that take less than an hour to cook and as the name indicates are make using only one pot. I also try to use local ingredients for the recipes and the root vegetables can be sourced at the Winter farmers markets.

Here is the recipe and serve plain steamy hot in mugs or small bowls and top with Greek yogurt, sour cream, crème fresh, and a sprinkle of walnuts, pistachios, or dried cranberries.

Beets and Sweets Soup
2 cups beets (peeled and cubed)
3 cups sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed)
1 cup white or yellow potatoes (peeled and cubed)
1/2 medium fennel bulb
1 medium onion
1/2 cup apple cider
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 Tbs vegetable oil (or cooking spray)
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cardamom (more to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Peel and cube beets and potatoes
  2. Slice the fennel thinly
  3. Peel and rough chop onion
  4. Heat oil in a medium stock pot
  5. Sauté onion and fennel until just tender
  6.  Pour in vegetable broth and apple cider
  7. Add potatoes and beets
  8. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30-40 minutes until all vegetables are soft.
  9. Blend with a stick blender or food processor or blender

Late night farmer’s market supper

corn scambleAfter a long  hot day making jam and then selling jam at the farmers market; shopping and making dinner for my family seemed a daunting task. One of my favorite things is gathering my little family together to cook and enjoy an evening meal, watch a little TV (way too much Food Network) and wind down from our day. Tonight however, I was just exhausted so when the texts came in that everyone was going their own way and I was on my own for dinner, I was not sad.

So what does an over tired woman who has cooked most of the day already make for dinner? I put on my pajamas embarrassingly early and went hunting and gathering in the fridge. One cooked ear of corn leftover from last night’s dinner, a fresh box of farm eggs, some local mild goat cheese; yes that looked like it could be supper. I scrambled the eggs with a little milk, melted butter in a small pan and sautéed the corn for a minute then dumped in the eggs and some crumbled goat cheese. Too lazy to make a pretty omelet, I just swirled the egg around until it was softly set and poured it out on a plate. I remembered that I had bought a baguette at the farmers market so I sliced up a bit of bread to go with my buttery eggs and sat down to a simple, quiet meal. Contented sigh…

Peach Preview Muffins

peach almond muffinsThe most magical recipes for me are not multi-day production numbers that require precise techniques or special equipment nor are they filled with unusual and expensive ingredients; but they the joyous process of turning a few simple items into something sublime.

A visit to my parents house used to involve long conversations of what we will cook, bake, and drink. Their house was always filled with family and friends and FOOD.  Now the menu includes a lot of take-out meals and simple suppers.  Illness and the exhaustion call for streamlining and shifting priorities but there is still always love at the table. Dad still likes to bake but his energy does not always hold out through the entire project so we decided to work together in the tiny kitchen. I also promised my Mom that there would be no huge mess to clean up nor as she used to call it when we were kids “a production number”.

The hot weather made me think of the Summer days to come and warm ripe peaches so I decided to make some peach muffins.  The new crop of California peaches would have to do until later when the orchards in New England bring forth their sweet stone fruits.

The recipe we used is the muffin recipe I keep in my head which only requires one bowl, a measuring cup, and a few minutes of work.  It is perfect for making a quick batch before work or school or for last-minute brunch guests and fruit can be changed to match the season.  They came out delicious but the real treat was cooking with my Dad who taught me how to bake. Dad points out with sweet peaches the sugar should be cut down a bit which is reflected in recipe below.

Peach Preview Muffins
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1  teaspoons baking powder
5 Tablespoons butter (melted)
2 eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or a few drops of almond extract
dash of cinnamon
2/3 cup peaches peeled, pitted, chopped in small chunks
Sliced almonds to sprinkle on top (optional)
Extra butter or cooking spray for muffin tin

Heat the oven to 350 degrees
Grease a muffin tin with butter or cooking spray
Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon in a medium bowl
Melt butter in microwave in a 2 cup measuring cup
Add buttermilk, vanilla, and then eggs to the melted butter and blend with a fork
Add wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined
Stir in the peaches gently
Scoop into muffin tin and bake for 15 minutes until risen and golden

Makes 10 small muffins or 6 jumbo muffins