Monthly Archives: August 2013

My Favorite Green Smoothie

Really? Yes. One of the blogs I follow declared it is national green smoothie day and I thought ..what a perfect time to post this delicious start to the day!

Green Smoothie you say, How can that be anything I would want to drink?

Because it has under 300 calories, 40 grams of protein and makes your body hum with satisfaction!

This recipe is vegan, raw, grain free, dairy free and sugar free, it covers a lot of current food trends!

You will need a powerful blender: Vitamix or Ninja are really good.

Ingredients:

2 cups almond milk

1 cup fresh blueberries. I like to freeze mine overnight and use them like ice cubes.

2 cups loose packed raw spinach leaves

1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted

1 scoop PLANTFUSION vanilla protein mix ( all plant based)

bee pollen

coconut water

Add in this order to the blender:

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Almond milk, protein powder, spinach, avocado and blueberries.

Pulse to combine and then puree at the highest speed for one minute.

Check the mix and if it is too thick, thin it with the coconut water to your liking.

Pour into a glass and sprinkle it with 1 teaspoon bee pollen.

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Peach & Habanero BBQ sauce

I love savory spicy BBQ sauce especially if it is made with Masumoto Peaches.

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Our friends Cindy and Ed Beck shared their tree with us!Image

Masumoto Farms is an organic peach farm near Fresno in Northern California. It has been in his family for generations.

Mas and his peaches, as well as his two books are delicious. Epitaph for a Peach and Wisdom Of the Last Farmer are absolutely two of my favorite books. His connection to his family and land are awe-inspiring!

Mas and his family share their heirloom peaches with a select group of people who adopt an heirloom peach tree for the year and then get the opportunity to pick from the tree over the course of two weekends in late July and Early August…My husband and I went with the Beck’s two years ago & their tree was right next to the Whole Food tree. 

The first bite of that peach in the hot August sun was a revelation! It is imprinted on my taste-buds forever, Just like a first kiss (:

Masumoto Peach and Habanero BBQ sauce: Makes 6 pints of sauce

If you can get Masumoto peaches from Whole Foods buy them, but any fresh ripe peach will make great sauce. You may even be lucky enough to have your own peach tree!

The following recipe includes Mas peaches, picked  and shared by my peachy friend, Cindy Beck, and habanero peppers from my garden.

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 It is a little bit sweet and a little bit spicy (humm, sounds like someone I know) and perfect with Pork of any cut.

Canning Supplies:

You will need pint canning jars, a canning kettle, tongs, canning funnel,

BBQ Sauce ingredients:

5 pounds of ripe peaches, skin removed and cut into thin slices

2 large Habanero chili, finely minced.

Use Caution and wash your hands immediately after handling these..they are hot!!! Wear gloves if you have them.

1/2 c. unsalted organic butter

1 large white onion, chopped into 1/2″ dice

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 c. maple sugar

1/2 c. dark brown sugar

1/4 c. dark Grandma’s molasses

1/2 c. Bragg’s apple cider vinegar

2 Tsp. smoked chipotle chili in adobe sauce, slightly chopped with the sauce

To peel the peaches:

Start a large pot of boiling water. wash the peaches gently. Place the peaches 6-8 at a time in the gently boiling water and let poach for one minute. Immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water. The skins will slip off easily and you will get the most peach flesh! Do this with all of your peach until they are all skinned. 

In a dutch oven melt 1/2 cup of unsalted butter over medium heat. add the onion, habaneros and garlic, saute for five minutes until  the onion is slightly translucent. Slice your peaches directly into the pot and stir together with the other ingredients. Add everything else and cook for thirty minutes on a slight simmer. The peaches will soften and cook down in volume.

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Meanwhile, place your canning kettle on a large burner, filled with water to the water line at the top, about two inches from the lip of the pot. bring the water to a boil. lower the jars in the jar rack into the boiling water , add the lids and rings & sterilize the pint jars for five minutes.

Image Remove to a clean towel on your work surface. Ladle the hot BBQ sauce into the jars , be careful to fill only to the first line. I use a ladle and a funnel with a large opening. Leave room for the liquid to expand in the jar when you put the seal on. 

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carefully remove the hot seals and rings from the hot water and place on the jars. do not over tighten the caps.

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Bring the water back to boiling in the canning kettle.

Place the filled jars into the rack and lower back into the kettle.

Boil for five minutes. You will hear the jars start to pop. Remove them from the water to your towel again and let them cool to room temperature. Tighten the rings after they are cool and store in the refrigerator until ready to enjoy.

I like to purchase a high quality pork shoulder and put it into the crock pot with this sauce..Let it simmer all day……. Great served with homemade cornbread and a large arugula salad..

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Mas, Cindy and I.. A very special & treasured farm adventure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thin-fully Delicious Pizza Crust Dough

I made this recipe four or five different times with different flours and yeast types and the resulting adaptation is the best thin crust dough we have ever tasted. BY “we” I mean the 60 guests at the wedding celebration I prepared last Sunday for Yvette and Todd! What a great party and the guests all raved about this crust. Of course ,we are very lucky and have a ceramic Cobb pizza oven at The Ecology Center site which cooks it perfectly!

http://www.theecologycenter.org

check it out if you live in the area and need a site for a private or corporate party. It is unique and the grounds are beautiful and best of all, I can  plan your event and cook for you!

Thin Crust Pizza Dough

This recipe makes three 14″ dough rounds

1 envelope Fleischmann’s active dry yeast

2 cups warm water (90-105 degrees)

1 tsp. raw sugar

4 cups all purpose King Arthur Flour, plus more for kneading

2 tsp. kosher salt

1. in a large mixing bowl mix the yeast with the sugar and 1/2 warm water. Let stand until it foams, about ten minutes. stir in the remaining water, 4 cups flour and salt. Turn soft dough onto a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour as needed. add the flour a little bit at a time so that the dough stays soft and silky.

1 TBSP. EVOO, (extra virgin olive oil)

lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in to it. brush the olive oil over the top of the dough and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or up to three days.

2. When ready to use the dough  turn it onto a floured surface and punch it down to get the air bubbles out. Make three dough balls from the large round and shape into a ball, let stand for one hour.

3. stretch each dough ball into a 14′ Pizza round. transfer to your pizza stone, baking pan or directly to your pizza oven, if you have one. par cook for 5 minutes to set the dough shape. take out of the oven and add your toppings.

Enjoy!

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Life is One Big Complicated Recipe To Be Savored.

I have been on blog-cation. It started out that I was crazy busy with a bunch of summer cooking classes & catering and escalated into a real vacation with my husband.

Came home on a Saturday and Monday morning one of my dear friends passed away. Jamie was 34 years old and had been cooking with me for 8 of the past fifteen years. When I had my first store front and then my first restaurant she was right beside me, working crazy hours between school, catering and the restaurant. Her death made me think about her life and what she always gave to others. 150%. always. no other way.

This was Jamie’s recipe the way I know it and tasted it all of the days we worked together:

In a very large heart add:

unlimited friendship, pure & unselfish, hers was organic.

toss in:

an equal mix of loyalty, hard work ethic & the ability to sustain long hours without complaining.

combine  with a huge dose of laughter, sarcastic wit and self- deprecating humor.

simmer all of this together with many days & nights of

catering catastrophes (especially the lemon tart fiasco), cooking together, managing staff, outlandish events, Jack Daniels, camaraderie, friendships, family adventures,  hard endings and new beginnings.

Jamie’s recipe is like all of our own  recipes but hers ended too short and I will miss her very much.

Today write out what you want your life to be and how you want to live it. If it does not bring you or others joy then rewrite it until you find the best mix for yourself. I hope it contains as much friendship and laughter as my time with Jamie did.

Thank you my  friend for all that you shared with me and all that you let me share with you.

I am a better person because of our friendship. Peace.