Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category


26 August 2012

Greg has been gardening again this summer, and the garden has provided sugar snap peas, garlic, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, and melons.  Here is what Greg harvested today:

That melon is huge for a cantaloupe. It’s probably 10 pounds of cucumbers. I think we have already harvested 30 pounds of cucumbers. I will be taking some to school on Tuesday to put in the teacher mailroom to try to get rid of them. We already have a lot in our refrigerator.

With some of the cucumbers and tomatoes I will be making a jar of marinated vegetables. I don’t remember who “pinned” this to “pinterest” but it showed up in somebody’s facebook feed and I followed it to find this recipe. Sounds yummy, and I bet the vinegar will make the tomatoes taste good to me!

I don’t know what Greg has planned for the rest of the tomatoes, but I think we will be eating melon for breakfast and dessert for a while!

Last week I made this tomato pie:

I made a tomato pie last summer but I could not find the recipe. I searched all the cookbooks and the internet. So I had to make this up. It is pretty yummy.

Tomato Pie – serves 2-4 as main dish, more as a side dish

  • 1 pie crust, store-bought or homemade
  • a bunch of plum or Roma tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • a handful of fresh basil leaves, shredded
  • a couple of scallions, sliced thinly
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • about 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Pre-heat oven to 425°F. Brush a pie pan lightly with olive oil. Lay the crust in the pie pan, and brush the inside of the crust lightly with olive oil. Combine the tomatoes, basil, scallions, and most of the feta cheese in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add pepper to taste, and mix gently. Add the tomato mixture to the pie pan, folding the edges of the crust over the filling. Sprinkle remaining feta cheese on top. Bake 25-30 minutes or until crust is golden, and feta cheese is browned on the tops. Let sit 10-15 minutes before slicing and eating. Can be served warm or at room temperature.

This pie makes excellent leftovers.



14 February 2010

Remember reading over the summer that I learned to make pickles and jam?  Now I know how to make marmalade!  Several people have asked for the recipe, so here it is.  I made slight modifications to the recipe from the cosmic cowgirl, who credits Nigella Lawson (though I can’t find a marmalade recipe credited to Nigella herself on her website – maybe it’s from a book). I found her through the tigress’s “can jam” January citrus round-up of recipes.

The first step was figuring out which citrus to use.  Every year my parents have been sending us a box of oranges and grapefruit at Christmas and a box of Temple oranges at St. Valentine’s Day.  This season after a discussion we settled on ONE box of fruit, the yummy Temples and also grapefruit…usually we take a looonng time to get through all the fruit.  So my husband and I had a discussion and my wonderful smart husband asked me which fruit we take the longest to use up.  That’s the grapefruit, so that became the marmalade ingredient.


  • 5 pink grapefruit
  • juice of 4 lemons (I used the equivalent of bottled lemon juice)
  • about 7 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of local honey (from Lancaster County)

Since marmalade involves the rind, I scrubbed the fruit very well to start with, then cut them in half.  I boiled the halved fruit uncovered for two hours (adding boiling water from a kettle once or twice), and drained the fruit and let it cool.  Meanwhile, I put a couple of plates in the freezer for gel-testing, cleaned my jars and lids, brought my processing water-bath to a boil with my jars inside, and readied my canning tools.

I used a mandoline to slice up the grapefruit halves, then removed some large chunks of membrane and large chunks of rind.  I chopped the large chunks of rind into smaller slices and added them back in, and then I used an immersion blender to make some pieces even smaller, but I did not chop it into such tiny pieces as the cosmic cowgirl did.

Citrus pith, membrane, and seeds contain plenty of pectin, and I saved a bunch of seeds from when I cut the grapefruit in half and put them and the large chunks of membrane I’d removed into a little cloth bag (one of those herb bag thingys for bouquet garni–you could also use cheesecloth or some clean muslin) which went into the pot with the shredded grapefruit, lemon juice, honey and sugar.  I brought the mixture to a boil and kept it at a low boil for a long while…I started gel-testing at about 10 minutes, but it took more like 45 minutes before I felt it was ready.

I filled and wiped my jars, and processed them for 10 minutes.  I got 5.5 pints of marmalade from this recipe, and I can attest that it is yummy on bagels with cream cheese, bread with butter, and bread with peanut butter.

Queensland Blue

2 November 2009


This is a Queensland Blue squash, which we got (of course) in our CSA share.  This particular one seems more green than blue, but I was able to get the blue tinge in the photo by using bright overcast daylight lighting.  This photo does not show the size well, so here is the squash with the universal squash size indicator, Buzz:


He’s clearly thinking, “another squash? Gimme a break!  I’m trying to nap here.”

I decided to make soup with this squash, and I found a recipe on Messy and Picky’s blog. Picky (the author of this particular post) neglected to mention that the seeds are very tenacious in these things, and I think he grossly underestimated the time needed in a 400-degree oven to become soft.  If that was 40 minutes, I’m a shoe.  Here are the chunks before cooking:choppedQB

In turn, I neglected some of the steps in the recipe (stopping to take photos of chopped veggies) and I used an immersion blender instead of a food processor for pureeing.  I have done the food-processor method, and I have done the blender method, and I can tell you that getting hot pureed soup all over the kitchen and oneself is doubly bad: both painfully hot and tedious to clean up!  The immersion blender is AWESOME (thanks mom and dad!)!!!!

Finally, I topped my soup with some toasted seeds from the squash and from the pumpkin I carved earlier (see previous post).  My husband is not a big soup fan, but I LOVE soup, and this stuff is indeed delicious!



27 July 2009

I’m not a berry-picker.  That’s my mom.  She loves to pick berries. Yet, over the weekend I voluntarily went berry picking, and convinced my husband to come along.  Neither one of us thought it was exactly “fun,” but we were anticipating the results of our labors, so we were motivated.

We came home and made jam.  Well, first I made blackberries in chambord, a slight variation on a recipe from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving (a recent purchase), having become enamored with the photo in the book.  I don’t think mine came out as intended, as I wound up with a very large juice-to-berry ratio, but as a bonus I now have a jar of spiced blackberry light syrup in the fridge, for making pink lemonade with or making blackberry vodka tonics.  Those are good.  Or blackberry Diet Coke, which is OK.

Blackberries in Chambord look really red!

Blackberries in Chambord look really red!

So then we made jam.  Only having used some of the blackberries already, we didn’t have quite enough for the blackberry jam recipe, and I had to add blueberries.  Darn!  Now we have 7 8-oz jars of black-and-blue berry jam.

We still had a lot of blueberries, so two batches of blueberry-lime jam happened next.  Phew!  After that we gave up and froze the remaining berries, winding up with 2.5 quarts of frozen berries.

As novice jammers, we went through all the mishaps one might expect: jam boiling over in the pot and becoming burnt onto the stove top (ugh!); dropping a filled jar on the floor and denting the lid, and spilling purple-staining sticky jam across the kitchen; dripping/splashing sticky hot jam onto bare skin, not having enough hot jars and lids available for the amount of jam in the pot (recipes have been annotated!).  We washed dishes, and jars, and ourselves multiple times.  We sweated, it having been the hottest and most humid weekend of the summer so far.

But then we had peach crumble topped with vanilla ice cream and a dollop of black-and-blue berry jam for dessert, and it was impossible to regret the experience!

Rub a Dub Dub Zucchini

27 July 2009

We have one zucchini plant in our garden.  So far, it has produced one zucchini.  One large zucchini, since my husband didn’t want to pick in at first in case it was a winter squash.  Though what we would possibly do with another winter squash, I don’t know.  I’ll post on those later this week.

About the middle of last week, I picked it, since I did not want a giant zucchini to have to do something with.  It was still a pretty darn big zucchini.  Happily, my husband put on his chef hat and took care of it!  Inspired by the original Moosewood cookbook “Zuccanoes” recipe, he made zucchini washtubs (as opposed to canoes):


Then he created a stuffing out of things our CSA sends us: onions, beets, and kale, added in some of his own beans, some balsalmic vinegar, bread crumbs, and an egg for binding.  A topping of grated parmesan browned nicely during cooking, and a basil and beet garnish topped off the creation:


This is one of the reasons we don’t eat out much!  We eat this way at home!


12 July 2009


Grasshopper (creme de menthe and creme de cacao) chocolate chip black-bottom ice cream pie for my husband’s birthday.

Crust: chocolate wafers, sugar, butter.

Ganache (spread on crust before adding ice cream): heavy cream, sugar, butter, chocolate.

Ice cream: heavy cream, half-and-half, sugar, vanilla, mini chocolate chips, two tablespoons each creme de menthe and creme de cacao added when ice cream is at “soft-serve” stage.

Chocolate shavings added before placing pie in freezer to set.

Candles: “congratulations” in Japanese, ordered in advance from

CSA Recipes

24 June 2009

It was only LAST month, May, that we started getting our weekly CSA shares.  Which means in addition to eating the sugar snap peas and the 4 beans we’ve gotten (so far) from the garden, each week we split a box-full of veggies with our friends and then we have to find creative ways to use them before they go bad.

We like doing this, don’t get me wrong!

The season starts with radishes, which I have discovered are lovely on bread and butter even if they aren’t French Breakfast Radishes and those got eaten up right away as after school snacks.  They are easily stored in a jar of water in the fridge, according to Marisa.  Here is a stack of snack, ready to be eaten:


Then there are the inevitable leafy greens.  These are incredibly nutritious, I’ve been told.  I think it is leafy greens that give people the impression (especially small, young people) that if it’s healthy for you it must taste bad.  I have never been a fan of greens.  But I find them very palatable in what I call “CSA nomlette.”  This is the recipe:

CSA Nomlette

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • some leafy greens, washed, patted dry, and sliced to ribbons
  • some other stuff from your CSA box (mushrooms, green onions, broccoli bits, whatever)
  • salt & pepper
  • grated cheese
  • topping of your choice (salsa, ketchup, whatever)

Using a small non-stick skillet, spray with cooking oil or add a small amount of cooking oil.  Heat over medium-high heat.  Add vegetables and stir until they look done-ish.  Pour the eggs over the veggies and stir a little to make sure the eggs get everywhere in the pan.  Add salt and pepper and grated cheese, turn the heat to medium-low, and cover the pan.  Wait a few minutes and when the eggs are done enough for you (I like mine puffy, but loose) slide the nomlette onto a plate, folding it over as you do so.  Top with salsa or ketchup or whatever you like.

Here is one of mine (a little firmer than I planned, but oh well):


Why is it a “nomlette?”  Well, it is clearly not cooked like a traditional French omelette – no banging on the pan handle to make the eggs fold over themselves – but it IS beaten eggs cooked in a fry pan with a “filling.”  “Nom” is lolspeak for food, and is onomatopoeic for the sound of eager eating (nom nom nom) (If you still don’t get it, think cookie monster from Sesame Street).  So, since it is my recipe, I name it thus.

Last week I made beets with beet greens (left) and greens, beans, and cabbage on cous cous (right).


I loved the beets and beet greens.  Cook ’em up, chop them small, serve with butter and balsalmic vinegar.  I ate the leftovers on a sandwich.  The greens, beans, and cabbage on cous cous I was not so fond of.  First of all, I made it with collards, which I have never liked (to my mother’s chagrin).  Maybe this would have been OK with chard or kale or mustard greens, but I had collards.  Second, I was getting a little overwhelmed with cabbage.  We’ve gotten several.  Ah well, some recipes are winners, others can be crossed off the list.

I got the beets and beet greens recipe from a very helpful site I discovered recently.  It lists recipes by key ingredient, and it is meant for CSA members trying to figure out how to use that vegetable in their box they’re not familiar with, or how to use three CSA veggies in one dish.  Check it out!

Food for grumpy

7 May 2009

Hi, I’m back.

Grumpy is me.  This is my dinner.


Today was one of 6 days this century when the date is written (here in the US) as three consecutive odd numbers.  05/07/09.  So, it was an “odd day.”  It was unusual for me in several respects.

Since Monday, I’ve been dizzy and I can hear myself blinking.  It’s probably because I didn’t bother getting a new prescription for Lexapro and I ran out of it last week.  But it sure is odd!  I can only hear the blinking when it is quiet enough in the room, and then it is a faint “tsst” corresponding to the electrical impulses in the muscles that move when I blink.  In retrospect, I think my doctor might have warned me not to stop taking my meds abruptly.  But when I quit taking Zoloft over 10 years ago I had no symptoms, and I was clueless that this might happen.

I was supposed to be in a focus group this evening, and I stayed at school late so I could drive straight there from school without having a useless 20 minutes at home.  On the drive, I ran over an “S hook” and punctured a tire.  Rear passenger side.  It stayed inflated long enough for me to pull into a parking lot, and deflated spectacularly when I pulled the hook out.  The hook isn’t even sharp!  Pressure = force over area, indeed.  But it was late enough that after I finished replacing the flat with the emergency spare and made it to a garage, the garages were either closed or had enough work to take them through to closing.  One offered to take the tire and patch it first thing in the morning, but for some reason garages never open as early as I go to work.  I WOULD have left the car, but having made a doctor appointment for tomorrow (the dizziness is getting pretty annoying, actually) that requires me to leave work early means that getting a ride from another teacher doesn’t work.  So I will drive to school and back tomorrow on the emergency spare, which I am not happy about, but whatever.

Since I had planned to be in the focus group all evening and they were supposed to feed me and pay me $75, we hadn’t planned on dinner tonight.  My wonderful, comforting husband (after I called him about my change of plans) had put on the rice cooker, since rice is very comforting.  But I got home HUNGRY and the rice wasn’t done.  So I  opened the fridge.

Oh, fortune!

I found the remainder of a can of white beans (left over from the Cinco de Mayo quesadillas I made Tuesday), the remainder of a jar of artichoke hearts (the rest had gone into pasta, and I think a pizza too), a packet of baby carrots (courtesy of Keiko’s visit weeks ago and still hiding in the fridge), some old but still crispy celery, part of a vidalia onion, and part of a bag of spinach (I think most of it was in the lasagne we had on Sunday).  Pile it all in a bowl, chopped into small pieces (the beans are small enough already).  Add parsley, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and STIR.

Grumpy had dinner, and didn’t share.

I’m feeling less grumpy now, and I think it is past time for bed already.

Mid-January 2009

12 January 2009

I apologize for the extremely uncreative title.  But this is a catch-up post.

It’s mid-January already.  The marking period ends next week and all the kids are overwhelmed with projects and tests.  It’s only a week since we came back from break and it seems like break never happened.

My wonderful husband went to California last week to do some work, mostly videotaping but some web-tech stuff also.  Once his work was done he stayed for an extra couple of days to hang out with friends and play Rock Band with people who could really handle it…unlike those of us who played on January 2, who benefitted from the “no-fail feature.”  No, these were people who could keep my husband on his toes!

Meanwhile, I was home, working.  I had to do all of the chores myself: cooking, taking out the trash, feeding the cat, etc.  Which really is not all that hard to do.  I took advantage of mygarliccookbook opportunity and last Tuesday I roasted a chicken, using a recipe from the Garlic, Garlic, Garlic cookbook involving roasting some garlic, then putting the roasted garlic, a halved lemon and some herbs inside the chicken before roasting the chicken.  Afterward, a sauce is made with pan juices, more lemon juice, and the roasted garlic.  The bird comes out really tender and yummy!

I’m still eating chicken.

I am down to a last sandwich-worth of chicken salad, however, so that is pretty good.  I had some of it as soup, when I came down with “the virus going around school” last week.  I woke up freezing cold and wet with sweat several times a night for two nights in a row, and was achy and dizzy and very brain-fogged.  It made teaching a challenge, especially on Friday.  So anyway, I made a really easy chicken soup, as shown here:


Easy chicken soup, by teawithbuzz

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tbs “better than bouillon” chicken base
  • about 1 carrot, chopped
  • about 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • about 1/2 cup chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 handful egg noodles

Put water and chicken base in pot, bring to a boil.  Add carrots and celery, simmer 5 minutes.  Add chicken and egg noodles, simmer until noodles are tender.  Serves 2, or serves one for dinner and serves one again for lunch the next day.

I slept a LOT over the weekend to recover, and I feel much better now, plus I have my husband back now, and he cooked a yummy stir-fry for dinner!    I enjoy having someone else cook dinner!

Fat jerk seeds

26 October 2008

Our CSA sent us a red kabocha squash a week and a half ago, and we used it this evening in one of our favorite recipes: penne with squash and roasted garlic.  A kabocha is also called a japanese pumpkin, and it is a very sweet squash.  Mostly they are green, but ours was the red kind, and it was a very deep reddish-orange.

After we had dinner, I roasted the seeds.  I used to only roast pumpkin seeds, but then I discovered you can roast the seeds of any winter squash.  The kabocha seeds were thicker and fatter than the usual pumpkin seeds, and took longer to roast than usual.

Normally I roast my seeds plain, but this time I sprinkled the seeds with “Jamaican Jerk” seasoning powder and  a dash of lime juice, in addition to the usual salt.  So, they are fat jerk seeds.  And they are yummy!