Category Archives: Eggs, Cheese, Dairy

Cheddar Cheese Hamentashen

cheddar hamentashenIf you love Hamentashen and you love cheese, then these Cheddar Cheese Hamentashen are the perfect cookie for your Purim celebration. We filled ours with Doves and Figs Falling Leaves (apple, fig, & dried cranberry) jam but any fig jam or homemade fig filling will work well.

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus additional for rolling cookies)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6 Tablespoons unsalted buttercheddar cheese cookie dough
1 egg
3 Tablespoons cold water
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fig jam

Equipment
Cookie sheet
2″ cookie or biscuit cutter or glass with 2″ rim
rolling pin

How To
Heat the oven to 350 degrees
In a mixer or food processor or by hand, cream together butter and sugar
Beat egg and water and add to the butter/sugar mixture
In a bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt
With the mixer or food processor running, add all of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix just until a ball of dough begins to form (by hand blend in flour with a wooden spoon and hands until dough forms into a ball)
Kneed in the cheese and a bit more flour if the dough is still sticky
Roll out dough to 1/8″ thick and cut out circles of dough
Spoon a scant teaspoon of jam onto each circle and dampen the edge lightly with water on a pastry brush or fingertips
Fold the dough edges to form a triangle
Bake for about 12 minutes until lightly browned
Cool and enjoy your Purim treats!

 

Holiday Deviled Eggs

Holiday Deviled Eggs with Jalapeno and Dried  Cranberrieseggs
We have a family friend who is mad about deviled eggs but his girlfriend and the rest of the folks around are not big fans of making or eating them. I try to bring a plate of eggs to parties and potlucks when I can as a treat for him.

I made a batch recently and as I started to put them together I thought the eggs looked a bit plain and would benefit from a little accessorizing . Since much of my kitchen time has been dedicated to holiday jam making the home cupboards were bare. Rummaging around in the fridge I found one Jalapeno and from the pantry I snitched a hand full of dried cranberries. Yes, I know it sounds weird but pretty eggs now had a delicious combination of sweet, tart, spicy, salty, and creamy.

When we offered the red and green flecked eggs to our deviled egg loving pal he gave them a bit of a skeptical look but ended up ignoring the plain ones in favor of the spicy berry ones. They were a hit and we are making them for several holiday events this season.  I hope you will try our Holiday Deviled Eggs recipe!

8 large fresh eggs (hard boiled and peeled)
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp brown mustard
1/4 cup dried cranberries diced (plus extra for garnish)
1 large jalapeno seeded and diced (save a bit for garnish)
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and white pepper to taste

Split the hard boiled and peeled eggs lengthwise
Scoop out the yolks and mix the yolks with mayonnaise and mustard
Season with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper
Stir in cranberries and jalapeno
Scoop the yolks back into the whites
Garnish with more cranberries and jalapeno bits

 

 

 

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…

Passover Preview-Egg Platter

Passover Egg PlatterWith Passover coming early, I thought I would try out a few recipes in advance. This one is not so much a recipe as an idea. It was inspired by a several pretty creations I saw on the Internet.

Make any Passover friendly recipe for deviled eggs (I added a bit of horseradish to mine) and then arrange them with green onions, watercress, dill, and radishes to form flowers and buds. What a lovely dish this would make for a Passover (or Easter) brunch!

Pizza Party

PizzaTake one simple, no-fat pizza dough (recipe below)and invite guests to top it with all kinds of tasty foods and you have a great DIY pizza party.  Make up a batch or two of dough and lay out familar toppings such as tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella for the traditionalists.  Now for the really fun part-scout your fridge and pantry for interesting sauces, vegetables, fruits, cheeses, condiments, preserves, dried fruits,  etc.  and lay them out for guests to mix and match.

Assign each person a small rectangle of dough (you can fit about three on a typical cookie sheet) and stand back.  Watch adults giggle at the crazy combinations they are making while normally picky kids become foodies fussing over creative culinary creations. Have the oven very hot (450 degrees) and ready for the pizza masterpieces.  The pizza will need to bake for only about 15 minutes and is done when the crust is brown at the edges and lightly brown underneath.

Some of our pizza party topping favorites have included Thai peanut sauce, barbeque sauce, pesto, cocktail sauce mixed into tomato sauce, duck sauce, olives, capers, cashews, smoked salmon, fig jam,  speck or bacon, hoisin, roasted chicken. Some toppings are great layered on the pizza before it goes in the oven while others such as truffle oil or microgreens are best added after baking.

The pizza pictured above is topped with our Doves and Figs Falling Leaves jam (apple, fig, and cranberry), shaved piave cheese, speck, and thin sliced Meyer lemons.

Dough Recipe
3 cups All-purpose flour+additional for kneeding
½ cup low salt vegetable broth (warm not hot)
½  cup warm water
1 pkgs dry rapid rise yeast
1 tsp sugar
non-stick spray

In a mixer or large bowl mix water, broth, yeast, and sugar
Mix together until yeast disolves
Add 2 cups of flour and stir or mix together to form a soft dough
Turn the dough out onto a floured board and kneed in about one more cup of flour and continue kneeding until dough is no longer sticky but is still soft.
Form the dough into a ball
Coat a large, clean bowl with non-stick spray
Roll the dough in the bowl to coat and cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise.
Allow dough to rise to about double in size
Divide dough into three pieces
Lightly spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray and press the dough into rectangles on the cookie sheet.  Pulling and patting the dough to shape it.
Top as desired and bake for about 15 minutes at 450 degrees.

To Julia Child-Homage avec Fromage

My love for Julia Child goes back to watching The French Chef as a little girl withgalette au fromage my Dad.  We learned and laughed together.   Dad is not one to strictly follow recipes (or directions-just ask my Mom) but rather I watched him gather ideas from this and other cooking shows and make them his own.  It is the way I cook today.  Mostly I look to cookbooks for ideas or techniques and Julia Child’s The Art of French Cooking is a lifetime companion for me in the kitchen.
With the celebration this week of what would have been Ms. Child’s one hundredth birthday, there are so many people posting dishes and meals they are creating from or inspired by her works.  While the elaborate, multi-step recipes are the ones getting the most attention (and I have made my share of those), it is the simple recipes that I like the best.  Galettes Au Fromage from Volume One of the Art of French Cooking is simple enough to prepare with children for a fun snack but can also be served elegant nibble for your next cocktail party.  Julia even notes that this recipe is a good way to use of leftover cheese and since I often freeze little bits of cheese that is a bonus.
I made my Galettes Au Fromage with a mix of cheddar, swiss, and parmesan and shaped then into little hearts instead of the round shapes detailed in the recipe. (Tuck this idea away for Valentines Day!) I served them with some homemade fig, apple, cranberry spread which matched well with the salt and crunch of the biscuits. Bon Appetit!

Clean House, Sloppy Supper

lamb and noodlesI ambled down the isles of Whole Foods this evening in a clueless, hungry dither.  Hours and hours of spring cleaning can wear a woman out no matter how joyful she might be about the carefully stowed away wool sweaters or a magnificently organized linen closet. Random supper ideas flew through my brain; fish, pizza, maybe a salad.  I sampled some cheese and said hello to the charming cheese guy, which reminded me that I had homemade ricotta cheese in my fridge.  I headed to the pasta section and picked up some egg noodles and thought a kugel might be nice. As I passed the meat counter I noticed that they were selling ground lamb from a local farm and suddenly, a lamb burger or lamb sloppy joe sounded good.  Into my shopping basket went the lamb.  Warming to the sloppy joe idea, I grabbed a can of fire roasted tomatoes.  I finally found my way out of the store and once home I unpacked my purchases.
I sliced some onion and cooked it in olive oil with a bit of chopped garlic and added the lamb.  When the lamb was nicely browned, I poured in a bit of dry white wine and then added the canned tomatoes and a sprig of fresh rosemary and a little salt, pepper, and oregano. The mixture smelled delicious but I realized that I had not picked up buns for my sloppy joes.  I had ended up buying the egg noodles despite discarding the kugel idea so I quickly boiled some water and cooked the noodles until tender.  I spooned the lamb mixture over the noodles and then decided I would top the messy dish with the homemade cheese.
The resulting dish was so tasty that I would happily make it again (next time on purpose).  Now that my family is well fed, I am thinking about what room to tackle tomorrow, or perhaps we should get to that yard work…