I know I’ve talked about this before and I want to talk about it again… leftovers. I love leftovers. I don’t even call them that. I call them holdovers. I’ll make more of something that I need for that evening’s meal so that I can either have it again or create another meal with it.
When I roast veggies, and I roast veggies all the time, I always make more than I need. For a classic Mediterranean mix, grab some eggplant, zucchini, red onion and peppers.
Toss with olive oil and season well with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin and oregano.Hey man, we need some space
If you see that your veggies are getting crowded, as with the eggplant above, grab another pan and distribute. Veggies always roast better when they’re not bumping into each other. No sweat if you line the plans with foil. It’s super-easy to clean up.
I use roasted veggies throughout the week as a side dish with fish or chicken. Or with scrambled eggs. Or tucked into an omelet or a frittata. Eggs poached over roasted veggies, moistened with a bit of tomato sauce, are oh-so-good.
And for a terrific, quick and satisfying meal, I’ll do a beautiful composed salad featuring warmed-up roasted veggies on a bed of greens to which I almost always add sliced green onions and cucumbers.
On top I’ll layer the warmed roasted vegetables, whether Mediterranean-style, a single veggie like carrots, potatoes or mushrooms, or a cauliflower medley. Click here for my bb recipe for Roasted Cauliflower Medley and Tips for Roasting Veggies. .
Top it with crumbled goat cheese or sliced chicken held over from an earlier meal. And I’ll top that with toasted pine nuts or chopped nuts such as walnuts or pistachios
Voila! You’ve got a winner that will soon become one of your go-to meals when you don’t feel like cooking. This is assembling in the best and healthiest sense of the word. And while you’re still firing up that grill, hold on to the veggies that didn’t get eaten so that you can make this salad later. Remember to heat the veggies… the greens will wilt ever-so-slightly and the results will make everyone happy.
Warm Roasted Veggie Salad
Ingredients:Roasted Veggies 2 Italian eggplant, sliced lengthwise, and cut into 1″-chunks 2 zucchini, sliced lengthwise, and cut into 1″-chunks 1 red onion, sliced in half, and each half cut in 3 1 red pepper, cut in wide strips, then halved 2 T. olive oil 1/2 t. cumin 1/2 t. garlic powder 1/2 t. dried oregano salt and pepper Salad: 4 c. mixed lettuce (I used Romaine and arugula) 1 green onion, sliced 1 Persian cucumber, sliced 2 hearts of Palm, sliced -optional 1 celery stalk, sliced, optional 1 c. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved – optional 1 T. balsamic vinegar 1 T. olive oil salt & pepper 2 T. goat cheese, crumbled (French feta is great too) 1 T. toasted pine nuts
To prepare the roasted veggies:
Pre-heat oven to 400ºF. Line roasting pans with foil. Drizzle pans with olive oil and toss veggies in oil. Add the seasonings and toss again. Roast for 30-40 minutes, tossing halfway-through. Veggies are done when they are at your desired level of tenderness. (I like them soft… not into the crisp-tender thing.)
To prepare the salad:
Toss greens with cucumbers and green onions. If you like, include celery and/or hearts of palm. Drizzle with oil and balsamic vinegar. Add a bit of salt and pepper and toss. Arrange on a platter or set up on two plates.
Heat held-over roasted veggies in microwave for 1 minute. Add to the top of the greens.
Crumble goat cheese over the top. To finish, add pine nuts.
Arrange cherry tomato halves around the outside of the plate, if you like.
Serves 2 as a main dish.
No, I am not eating dessert all summer long. OK, I am. But I’m eating other things too. I’m not posting them, that’s all. It’s been an intense month. My mom’s life turned upside-down when a couple of little clots decided to form where they had no business forming. We’re so grateful that her strength is returning and her muscles are coming back. And thankfully she’s eating again…
Anyone ever heard of Graeter’s Ice Cream? If you have, then you’ll know where I was last week. We paid a long-awaited visit to the niece and company in Ohio… with promises to bring back stories and pics of my mom’s first great grandbaby.
Graeter’s (click on the link and you’ll be drooling all over the Graeter’s website in no time) is one delicious old-fashioned ice cream company. Whenever we visit the Bee Family, a trip to the Graeter’s ice cream parlor is a non-negotiable item on the to-do list. As I stood on line, I knew what I had to do on this visit to Columbus. Karen wasn’t in LA when I made a Mocha Ice Cream Pie for her mom and grandma for Mother’s Day.
Seems only right that I should make one for her during the visit. I sent Novio back to the freezer case to pick up a couple of pints. His eyes lit up. A pretty astute fella, he knew what was going on in my noggin.
Any favorite ice cream will do. But listen, stay with a brand that uses the real deal ingredients. Please don’t mess with any ice cream with an extended ingredient list that you can’t pronounce.
Or, if you really want to make an authentically homemade ice cream pie, make the ice cream yourself, like my good friend Bonnie. She’s brought ice-cream to one dinner party too many and now she’s made somewhat of a name for herself. Bonnie is now the designated ice-cream maker to pretty much every dinner party in her circles.
When it comes to flavors, I’m definitely a traditionalist. You can tell by my list of favorites:
- Chocolate & Coffee
- Chocolate & Vanilla
- Strawberry & Vanilla
- Strawberry & Chocolate
- Pistachio & Vanilla
- Chocolate Chip & Coffee
- Chocolate Chip & Chocolate
- Peach & Vanilla
- Orange Sorbet & Vanilla… Creamsicle!
- Chocolate, Strawberry & Vanilla… triple-decker Neopolitan – Hurray!
Now that we’ve decided on the ice cream choices, it’s time to make a graham cracker crust. I did one in the bb kitchen very recently. Click here to check out the Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake.
Two quarts of your favorite ice cream and the crunch of graham crackers….what’s not to like?
MOCHA ICE CREAM PIE
Ingredients:5 oz. (10 sheets) graham crackers 1 T. sugar 1/4 c. (4T.) canola or safflower oil 1 pint excellent quality chocolate ice cream 1 pint excellent quality coffee ice cream chocolate syrup for drizzling
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Place graham crackers in ziploc bag and, using a rolling pin, roll back and forth until you have fine crumbs. If you feel like using the food processor, place the broken up crackers in the processor bowl and pulse until you get fine crumbs.
Mix crumbs with sugar. Add the oil one tablespoon at a time and stir until mixture holds together. You may only need three of the four tablespoons.
Using the back of a spoon, press the crumb mixture in an even layer on the bottom and about 1″ up the sides of a deep-dish pie pan.
Bake 8 minutes, then let cool completely.
Take chocolate ice cream out of freezer to soften. After 5-10 minutes, plop into a bowl and, using a spatula, stir until the consistency is uniformly soft without being runny.
Spread softened ice cream over cooled crust in an even layer. Freeze until ice cream begins to re-harden.
Meanwhile, remove coffee ice cream from freezer to allow to soften. Follow the procedure above to get the ice cream uniformly soft.
Spread second layer of ice cream over first layer and freeze to set. Drizzle chocolate syrup over the top in a pleasing pattern.
bb note: Topping possibilities: Caramel syrup, chocolate shavings, sliced almonds, whipped cream… I’m staying very simple with chocolate syrup in this case.
Makes 8 servings. Best to have 4-6 people present when eating. Otherwise, don’t hold me responsible if you end up eating the whole pie in one sitting.
I’m considering changing my name. Novio actually gave me the idea when he titled the video that goes with this post. He named it, “Judy Clafouti” I really like the sound of it. Kind of makes me think of Judy Tenuda, whose unique charm always made me laugh. So, what do you say? Do you think Judy Clafouti suits me? I’ll take a very casual poll, dear readers. Just comment, and let me know what you think. I won’t call in Mr. SurveyMonkey. This will be just a nice little minimalist social media affair. We’ll save blitzes for the future. So for today, Judy Clafouti: Yea or Nay??
My relationship with cherries goes back a ways… specifically bowls of them.
It’s October 1975 and I’m in a very tough place. All I want to do is have a shot at having a good life and “being just like everyone else”. I don’t’t yet know that being just like everyone else is not exactly something to aspire to. But when you’re a teen and your peers are experiencing proper teen angst and your angst is about the struggles of a whole different nature… well, maybe you get the drift.
The Chief of Pediatric Nephrology’s office is just down the hall from my room, where I am laying in bed after my body has rejected kidney transplant (Body to Kidney: I don’t like you. I don’t want you. Now go!) No one is in the other bed, so I am left to my thoughts as my mom sits beside me, on watch. I am probably contemplating just how I am going to continue now that a scud missile has torn through my life. Or maybe I’m just intent on getting through the next five minutes.
I see the doctor (we’ll call him The Chief) walking quickly by my room. He stops, pauses and enters.
“You know,” The Chief says, “life isn’t a bowl of cherries. I never said life was going to be a bowl of…”.
I look at him. My goodness. What brought that statement on? My mom glares at him.
“Can I talk with you outside?” she interjects. She exits my room with him.
For the rest of that stay, The Chief never sets foot in my room again.
That long ago incident has not in any way dampened my affection for cherries. In fact, I believe that life can indeed be a bowl of cherries. Maybe not all the time. Cherries do have a very short season.
Recently, my Mom hit a period in her own life with lots of pits. But she’s a feisty one, and is working her way through it with care and love and support from all around.
So for my mom, for the me of long-ago and for all those who know about taking on that bowl, pits and all…. in honor of cherries, we’re going to bake a clafouti. A clafouti?
A clafouti (I like to say the word) is a custardy-cake or a cakey custard.
When Novio and I were in Santa Fe to visit our dear friends Frank and Merle, we decided to bake just that.
After we were all done, Merle remembered baking clafoutis way back when, following a recipe from a book she had kept for years. It was exactly the same but it had double the eggs and milk and more sugar. I tried that version when I returned home. I like it a LOT. Definitely more custard-y. I just have to prepare it both ways, that’s all.
Now THAT”S what to do with a bowl of cherries. Besides eating them, that is.
from Almost Vegetarian by Diane Shaw (I love this unfussy book chock-full of good stuff that I love)
Ingredients:½ c. low fat milk (1% or 2%)
½ c. part-skim ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
1/3 c. sugar
½ c. all-purpose unbleached flour
2 t. pure vanilla extract
2 c. pitted fresh Bing cherries (dark red variety – buy 1 ½ pounds)
Pre-heat oven to 425ºF.
In a food processor or blender, combine the milk, ricotta, eggs, sugar, flour and vanilla and process until smooth.
Pit the cherries, using a paring knife. Cut cherries in half. I buy over a pound and keep cutting until I have two cups. I eat the rest. I suggest you do the same.
Spread the cut-up fruit evenly over the bottom of an 8-inch ovenproof skillet or deep-dish pie plate. Pour batter evenly over the top.
Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 30-35 minutes.
Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled, cut into wedges. If you like, consider enjoying it with light whipped cram.
bb note: Enjoy a more custardy clafouti by doubling the amount of eggs and milk (4 eggs and 1 cup milk). All other ingredients stay the same. Baking time is about 30 minutes until top is puffed and just set.
second bb note: Excellent with 2 cups of diced fresh peaches, blueberries, apples, or pears instead of cherries.
To check out the Judy Clafouti video, click here.
Light and lemony, ahhhh. This baby is going to be the lightest cheesecake to delight your little taste buds ever. Yes, I said ever. I meant to make it for a group of people for the Jewish festival of Shavuot a few weeks back but ended up having one dear friend over instead. It did not go to waste. Oh no, au contraire, we were 3 very happy campers. Novio, who loves a dense New York-style cheesecake, even agrees that this is an absolutely delicious cheesecake and he would like me to make it more often.
This light and breezy cheesecake (breezy? for a cheesecake? yes! I stand by my adjectives!) is great for a summertime dessert and for those of you celebrating July 4th, it’s the perfect Independence Day dessert. Just circle the top of the cheesecake with alternating raspberries and blueberries. And poof! You have red, white and blue to honor the US of A.
Hanni, who is on a major ricotta kick, specifically requested that I post this as absolutely soon as possible. So here I am, reporting for duty.
I adapted this recipe from Faye Levy’s Low Fat Jewish Cookbook. My copy, whose body has torn away from the binding, is testament to how often I have gone back to it. Faye Levy has published many books in the 15+ years since this has been published, but I know a good recipe when I see one. This volume takes the cake (pun intended).
It used to be called lemon rind. These days, it’s typically referred to as lemon zest. In any case, you know the deal. Use the yellow part only. That’s sweet and fragrant. Leave the bitter white pith behind. Nice metaphor.
Phase Two – Spoon on the topping and bake again
Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake
slightly adapted from Faye Levy’s Low-Fat Jewish Cookbook
CRUMB CRUST5 oz. (10 sheets) graham crackers 1 T. sugar 1/2 t. grated lemon zest 1/4 c. canola or safflower oil or 2 oz. melted butter
CHEESE FILLING1 15-oz. container low-fat ricotta cheese 3/4 c. low-fat sour cream 3/4 c. sugar 2 large eggs, separated 2 T. all-purpose flour 2 t. grated lemon zest 2 t. lemon juice 1 c. low-fat sour cream
TOPPING1 c. low-fat sour cream 2 t. sugar 1/2 t. grated lemon zest 1 t. fresh lemon juice 1 t. pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Place graham crackers in ziploc bag and, using a rolling pin, roll back and forth until you have fine crumbs. Very cathartic. Or, you can throw the broken up crackers in a food processor and pulse until you get fine crumbs.
Measure 1 1/4 cups crumbs and mix them with the sugar and lemon zest. Add the oil (or melted butter) and mix well.
Lightly grease a 9″ springform pan. Using the back of a spoon, press the crumb mixture in an even layer on the bottom and about 1″ up the sides of the pan.
Bake 8 minutes, let cool completely.
To make the filling: beat the ricotta with the sour cream at low speed until smooth. Gradually beat in the sugar. Then beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, and add the flour, then the lemon zest, and juice.
Whip egg whites in a second small bowl until stiff.
Fold egg whites unto the cheese mixture. Carefully pour filling into the cool rust.
Bake about 50-55 minutes, or until the top center is just firm, but shakes slightly when you jiggle the pan. Cracks will form in the top of the cake.
Cool cake 15 minutes and be prepared to see the center sink. That’s fine. Now you have room for the topping.
With a small spatula, release any bits of cake from the upper part of the pan into the sunken center. This will help with cake removal.
Raise oven temperature to 425º F.
Prepare the topping, mix the sour cream, with the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Spoon the topping over the cake in spoonfuls. Carefully spread the topping in an even layer, without letting it drip over the edge of the pan.
Bake for 10 minutes in the hotter oven.
Cool cake to room temperature. Remove outer ring of springform pan. I keep the cake on the springform bottom.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hrs, or overnight before serving. Makes 12 slices.
bb note: Turn this into the perfect light and delicious July 4 dessert by adding blueberries and raspberries all around the top of the cheesecake.
I’m making this for you soon, Mom.
Hello again, dear readers. No, I haven’t been to Bora Bora or anything like that. I’ve been busy at work on an exciting new project. And when I’m closer to something definite, I will definitely share it with you. There’s still a lot going on in the bb kitchen, and Novio is not being deprived. My camera and laptop are being somewhat neglected. I did manage to get to the last FBLA meeting, where the food theme was picnics. I love blondies and I do a number of variations on the recipe you can find here. But since I knew no children would be present, I decided to shake things up a bit and add some rum per Alice Medrich’s Blondies recipe. Rum really livens things up when doing anything chocolate-related.
I just might make a habit of this
I found this recipe in Medrich’s Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies. Thank you, once again to Hanni at Spots on Pots, for directing me to this wonderful volume.
The blondies bake in an 8″ square pan. Here’s a simple way to line a pan in foil according to Alice…
Can’t go very far without chocolate and walnuts…
Here’s an interesting and simple procedure…
Begin by melting butter in a saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in all the other ingredients. Forget the bowls with these bars!
Add flour and stir until just incorporated, along with half the walnuts…
Rather than incorporate all the walnuts and chocolate chips into the batter, scatter half the walnuts and all the chocolate chips on top. That gives us a much more nutty and chocolatey taste sensation. I’m not arguing here!
This not-so-boozy brunette will be getting along very well with these boozy blondies.
slightly adapted from Alice Medrich’s Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies
Ingredients:1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour 1/2 t. baking powder 1/4 t. salt 8 T. (1 stick) unsalted butter 3/4 c. packed light brown sugar 1 large egg 1 t. pure vanilla extract 1 T. dark rum 2/3 c. coarsely chopped walnuts 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Position rack in center of oven/
Line an 8″ square baking pan with aluminum foil, using the following method: Use a sheet of foil 4″ wider than the bottom of the pan. Turn the pan upside down and center the foil over it. Fold the excess over the sides of the pan, score the perimeter and fold and crease the corners over, as though wrapping a gift. Slip liner off the pan. Turn pan rightside up and insert the liner.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl, and whisk together. (OK, I used a little bowl here, but it wasn’t essential.)
Melt butter in a medium sauce pan. Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar until melted. Using a wooden spoon, beat in the egg, vanilla and rum. Stir in flour mixture followed by half of the walnuts.
Spread batter in the lined baking pan. Sprinkle the remaining walnuts and then the chocolate chips evenly over the top.
Bake for 20-24 minutes, or until the nuts look toasted, the top is golden brown and the edges have pulled away from the sides of the pan.
Cool blondies in the pan on a rack.
Lift the edges of the foil and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into squares.
Keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Blondies can also be frozen.
Makes 16-20 blondies.
Forgive me, I’m going to kvell (Yiddish for expressing great pleasure, perhaps with a sprinkling of pride). We came to Camp Blogaway for the seminars, the terrific speakers, the s’mores. But most of all, we came for the chance to meet and hang out with other food bloggers. People who talked about food with the same passion and zest. At least, that’s how it is for me. For Novio and I, we also like to eat with passion and zest. The weekend didn’t disappoint; we had a fabulous time.
Every year, Patti Londre, creator of Camp Blogaway, wraps up the weekend with her award, The Golden Pine Cone, presented to the camper who best exemplifies the spirit of Camp Blogaway. She began to describe this year’s winner, who captures not only the spirit and the enthusiasm but figures out all kinds of ways to show up and participate.
I’m standing there trying to figure out who this year’s award, now in the Camp’s fifth year, is going to. Could it be…..? No, doesn’t sound like it. Maybe….? Nope, doesn’t quite fit what Patti’s saying. And next thing we know, she’s getting all choked up and we hear our names being called. Yes, that’s right. Novio and I won this year’s award!
Wow! The Golden Pine Cone! That’s as good as The Oscar!
And in some circles, better!
We were shocked! There are a bunch of people who put in volunteer time to make sure the weekend goes smoothly. Lots of heavy lifters. I don’t exactly engage in heavy lifting, not in the physical sense, anyway. But Patti recognized something in us, we do heavy lifting of another dimension.
Thanks, Patti. We love you and we love what you have created at Camp Blogaway.
For a brief de-briefing video, click here.
So fellow food bloggers out there, anyone up for a great weekend in the mountains near Los Angeles, see you next year!
“M&M’s melt in your mouth, not on your hands.” Remember that commercial? Can someone please tell me to stop dating myself? During hot humid New York summers, M&M’s melted in my hands all the time. But I loved them anyway.
I rarely eat them these days. I try to stay away from processed foods. For the most part. Let’s say I’m a work-in-progress. If I’m at a gathering with M&M’s, Reese’s, Kit Kats… OK I must stop here. This is NOT a post on candies. Can someone give me a little shake? Thank you.
This is about beets. (Yoni, please tell Karen to stop making that face.) I love beets. A lot of people love beets. Beets come in several varieties – red, yellow, orange, even striped. I love them all, but the vibrant red remains a favorite. What I don’t love is beet juice on my counters and on my (usually) white shirt.
Note to Self: Dear Self- Do yourself a favor. Try to remember not to wear a white top when going out to have dinner at an Italian restaurant.
I have a solution to the beet juice situation. Get them ready-steamed and vacuum-packed. The issue with staining pots is eliminated. Now just be mindful when you get them out of the package. The fuss is reduced significantly. Amazing!
There are no additives in this package which makes me smile. This is a “convenience” item that works for me and it allows me to whip up a delicious salad in a few minutes…
I made a very simple vinaigrette. Should there be any other kind?
Swap out vinegar for fresh lemon juice, add olive oil, a bit of mustard, a little salt and pepper and a few spoons of chopped herbs. Mint made a showing here. Fresh and clean!
So many pairings for beets… so little time. I do this as a composed salad, layering on the ingredients- what you get is simple, elegant and very satisfying.
With gratitude to the good folks at Melissa‘s, I offer up this salad. Eat in Joy!
Beet & Avocado Salad with Gruyere
Ingredients:juice of 1/2 lemon 2 T. olive oil 1/2 t. Dijon mustard, regular or stone-ground salt & pepper 2 c. mache, butter lettuce or mixed baby lettuces 1 c. steamed baby beets, quartered 1 avocado, cut into bite-sized chunks, sprinkled with a little lemon juice to prevent discoloration 1 green onion, sliced
1 T. fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/4 c. shredded Gruyere cheese (Manchego is another great choice)
2 T. walnuts, roughly chopped
Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, mustard and salt and pepper. Or shake it up in a little glass jar. (Do I need to add to be sure the lid is secure? Yes, I’ve been there.) Set aside.
Divide greens between 2 plates. Toss with half of the dressing.
Layer the beets, avocado and green onion on the plates. Sprinkle on the remaining dressing. Top with mint, cheese and nuts. Serve immediately.