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Showing posts from May, 2010

05-31 Fresh Berry Syrup

Its syrup, its got a lot of sugar =)

Bing to a simmer:
3 c fresh berries: blueberries are really good
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c agave
1/4 c water
2 t ginger, minced
Stir until sugar dissolves and reduce to low heat.
Let cook for 25-30 minutes* on low then
Remove from heat and add:
2 T lemon juice
Pour over your pancake or french toast
*You can use it thin instead of letting it thicken if you don't have time to wait for it.

05-30 Blueberry Pancakes

These are the best when the blueberries are fresh from the backyard. The wild Maine blueberries are best if you are using frozen.

Whisk together
1 1/3 c flour
1/3 c sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

Mix together in separate bowl:
2 large eggs
1 c cottage cheese
3/4 c milk
2 t freshly grated lemon peel
1 t vanilla
When smooth, combine with dry ingredients.
Then carefully FOLD in
2 c blueberries
Bake on a hot griddle.

05-29 Italian grill seasoning

This is yummy on vegetables and meat for the grill or broiler.
Slather the food with olive oil and then sprinkle this mixture on.
If you want to get fancy, add the mixture to lemon oil and then use it.

Mix dry in similar amounts:
lemon zest (dried)
black pepper

05-28 Homemade noodles for a soup

It is a Cooper family tradition to make Turkey soup after Thanksgiving but they work in any soup anytime, of course.

1 egg
2 T milk
1 c flour
1/4 t salt
Mix well and roll flat. Cut into squares or strips
Add to boiling broth when soup is almost done, only needs a few minutes to cook.

You can flavor the noodles with dried herbs like onion, celery, etc.

05-27 Scandia fruit and cheese board

As you know, its a Scandinavian tradition to serve this... I like it when I am not very hungry or its very hot outside.

For 6 servings, you need this amount:
feel free to substitute...
1/2 lb mild, soft cheese like Havarti
1/2 lb sharp cheese like Cheddar
1/2 lb spiced cheese like a Gouda with spices
1 lb each red and green grapes
2-3 ripe pears, sliced
water crackers or similar mild crackers (so you taste the cheese)
Serve on cutting board with a cheese slicer

05-26 Douillons

This is the dessert our French exchange student, Louise Chaillous, made for us.

Peel and core 8 pears
Cut each puff pastry sheet in two along diagonal
Center pear on cut triangle
Put 3 slices unsalted butter inside of each pear
Sprinkle about
1/4 t sugar
1/4 t cinnamon
in and on each pear.
Enclose pear inside of pastry, use water to smooth seams so none appear.
Cook for 30-45 minutes at 375 until lightly golden.

Apples work also. The Swedish version uses cardamon instead of cinnamon.

05-25 Asian Side Salad

I like the salad to match the theme so I serve this with Asian dishes when we need another dish.
Hee Jin put the baby squid on hers... you serve it how you like it =)

mixed baby greens
almonds slivers
dry chow mein or rice noodles
orange or mandarin sections

Sesame dressing (see recipe)

Also good with left over Teriyaki chicken, tempeh or tofu

05-24 Robyn's Teriyaki Chicken

Combine in a sauce pan:
1 T cornstarch
1 T water
1/2 c sugar or agave
11/2 c soy sauce
1/4 c vinegar
1 clove garlic
1 t ginger, minced or 1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t pepper.
Bring to simmer until thickens.  Remove from heat.

Place in a 9 x 13 pan:
2 - 3 lbs chicken thighs or boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut to thigh size)
Pour thickened sauce over chicken.  Cover with foil and cook at 350 for 30-45 minutes

Also tastes great served cold on an asian salad

05-23 Potlucks and groups

If you have to feed a group or take a large dish to a potluck, many of the recipes are easy to make in large quantities, just double or triple the recipe.

Here are a few suggestions:
Feta burgers
Quick and easy pasta salad
Italian goulash
Robyn's Teriyaki chicken
Sopa tortilla gringa
Pizza, french bread pizzas
Butterfly chicken
Corned beef salad
Hoisin turkey rice
Baked Bechamel pasta
Veggie Curry
Veggie Chowder
Amazing soup
Mexi bar

05-22 Teriyaki tempeh skewers

These are great, especially as a side to Asian dishes when you want a bit more protein.
Next time you go to a bring-your-own-meat bbq,
this is an easy option besides the usual burger or hot dog.

Simply slice some tempeh into wide and thick wedges
slather it in Teriyaki sauce (I like Annie Chun's, it doesn't have msg, etc. )
Place on skewer and roast under your broiler, turning halfway or on the barbie
It only takes 5-10 min depending on the size.

See Brant's or Robyn's teriyaki chicken recipes to make Teriyaki from scratch

05-21 French Bread Pizza

Another one of those anything goes meals

Make or buy a french loaf or use leftover garlic or french bread
Slice on the diagonal for more surface area if not already sliced

If its fresh and/or soft, drizzle each side with olive oil and toast under the broiler until golden brown to keep the bread from getting soggy.

At this point you can add fresh toppings and eat it cold:
salad greens and/or baby spinach tossed with olive oil and lemon juice
thin slices of asiago , parmesan, etc. or crumbled, herbed feta
slices of tomato, super thin slices of raw colored peppers, zucchini, red onions.
leftover cooked veggies
tomato or fruit chutney (like the one used for Tandoori chicken)
slices of apple or pear on the greens

Or add more traditional pizza toppings and put it back under the broiler to warm and melt:
bruschetta sauce, anitpasta sauce, spaghetti sauce,
thinly sliced zucchini, red onion, colored peppers, baby spinach
grated cheeses
artichoke hearts, capers, corn, tomato
cooked, shredded …

05-20 Bursting with Berries Cake

I was trying to wait for berry season to post this but it still is so good with frozen berries!
It is my very favorite cake, EVER!
From a book called get-togethers with Gooseberry Patch.

Combine in large bowl:
5 eggs
1 2/3 c sugar
set aside.
Beat until fluffy:
1 1/4 c unsalted butter, diced and softened
2 T blackberry syrup or berry jelly
Add to egg mixture. Then add:
1 t baking powder
1/8 t salt
2 1/2 c flour, save 2 Tablespoons
Beat until well blended and there are no lumps.
set aside
Toss together:
3 c berries: raspberries, blackberries, blueberries
(if using frozen, be sure they are thawed)
2 T flour saved from above
Gently fold berries into batter
Pour into greased and floured bundt pan
Bake at 325 for about one hour
let cool 20 minutes
Sprinkle top with powdered sugar and set a few fresh berries to the side

05-19 Strawberry Spinach Salad

Whisk and chill for one hour:
1/2 c agave
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c white vinegar
2 T sesame seeds
1 T poppy seeds
1 T dried, minced onion
1/4 t paprika
1/4 t Worcestershire sauce

10 oz baby spinach, torn
1 qt strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/4 c slivered almonds
Pour desired amount of dressing over salad, toss and refrigerate 10 min before serving

05-18 Pasta Primavera

This is a catch-all recipe for a variety of veggies.
These amounts work for 1 lb of cooked pasta.

Saute about 1 minute in hot pan:
2 T butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
then add:
1 c water
3-4 cups very thinly sliced, diced veggies from among:
asparagus, carrots, edamame, green onions, leeks, snow peas (thin, Asian), zucchini...
Cover and simmer about 3 minutes until veggies are tender. Then add:
1 c milk
1 T lemon zest
Now add
1 lb cooked pasta, drained (reserve some water for sauce if needed)
1-2 c baby spinach
1/2 c fresh Parmesan
1/2 c coarsely chopped fresh herbs: basil, chives, parsley, etc.
you can use dry if you don't have fresh, just a different taste
salt and pepper
Stir well and serve immediately.
If sauce is too thick, add pasta water.
Top with
1/2 c lightly toasted pine nuts
and a sprinkle of herbs and cheese

05-17 Estimating Portion Sizes

Found this in the newspaper & thought it would come in handy.
You'd think they would have come up with a catchy name
with a reference to games....

A serving of meat = a deck of cards

A serving of fruit = a tennis ball

A serving of nuts = a golf ball

A serving of cheese = 6 dice

05-16 Easy fish marinade

In a processor or blender, puree:
1/2 small white onion
3 garlic cloves. coarsely chopped
3 T lime juice
1/4 t cumin
1/2 t salt
Place in shallow container or ziploc with
up to 2 lbs of fresh fish
Refrigerate 3-8 hours
Broil, turn over halfway through so each side is lightly browned and fish begins to flake.

To use for fish tacos, break fish into large chunks and sprinkle with fresh cilantro

05-15 Quick Paella

In Spain this is taken seriously...taking hours to prepare properly.
this is a "cheater" version, around 20 minutes, if you chop quickly=)
This has a very mild flavor.

Saute about 1 minute
1 T olive oil, hot in pan
2 c diced onions
(if using 1 fresh colored pepper, thinly cubed - add here, OR if using 1/2 c canned & roasted pepper, add with tomatoes)
then add:
4 garlic cloves or 1 1/2 t minced garlic
about 1 minute. Now add:
3/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken, cubed and cooked OR
if using raw chicken, brown on each side for 2 minutes before adding:
1/2 c Valencia or Arborio rice
Stir one minute to coat rice then add:
1 1/2 c chicken broth
1-2 zucchini, sliced thin
4 large roma tomatoes, cubed
1 c frozen peas
1/4 t saffron
Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes
the liquid will be absorbed and you can now season with
salt and pepper to taste
2-4 servings

We ate it with a green salad and artichoke antipasto on sourdough
and had plenty of room for your lemon scones later=)

05-14 Sesame dressing

This turns your green salad into a companion to an Asian entree.
I like it best on greens with almonds and mandarins

2 T canola oil
1 1/2 t sesame oil
1/4 c white wine vinegar
2 T sugar or agave
3/4 t salt
1 T soy sauce
Mix well.

05-13 Mexi Bar

This is an easy way to feed lots of people or just find some little leftovers floating around to make a meal with.

Set out some or all of the following suggestions and anything else that sounds good:
Warmed flour tortillas, corn tortillas, or tortilla chips

Warm and seasoned (taco or fajita) ground beef or shredded beef or chicken, refried beans or pinto, black, red kidney beans, or fish, fish sticks, shrimp...

Cubed and roasted sweet potatoes, sprinkled with cinnamon or cumin
Cooked corn
Sliced and sauteed colored bells and/or onions, seasoned or not
Chopped or sliced avocados or guacamole
Black olives

Fresh cilantro sprigs
Shredded cabbage or lettuce
Chopped tomatoes
sliced green onions

Shredded cheeses
Salsa, taco, enchilada and hot sauces
Sour cream
Yumm! sauce

05-12 Honey Mustard Chicken N Rice

Remember in second grade when you would only eat a sandwich if it had honey mustard on it?
Maybe that's why you like this dish so much.

Saute until just softened:
sesame oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 carrots, thinly sliced or julienned
(and any other veggie you want to add)
Place in 2 quart casserole and add:
1 1/2 c mixed long grain wild rice or any combination of rices
Then layer on top:
2-3 lbs (5-6) boneless chicken breasts (cut into even pieces)
Sprinkle with
salt & pepper
Pour over chicken:
2 1/2 c HOT chicken broth
Bake, covered, about 40 minutes @ 350 degrees
(If you add other veggies, check it at 30 minutes, you may need to uncover it early to let some liquids evaporate before adding the mustard sauce)
In mixing bowl, combine:
3/4 c plain yogurt
1/4 c agave or honey
2 T Dijon mustard
2 T soy sauce
1/2 T minced ginger or 1/2 t ground ginger
Pour sauce over cooked chicken and place in oven uncovered for 10 more minutes.
Serves 4-6

05-11 Fajita Seasoning

Next time you want something a bit different than a bean and cheese burrito...

2 T chile powder (experiment with less until you get the desired spiciness)
1 t dry oregano
1 t cumin powder
1 t salt
Rub seasoning in your choice of meat, even shrimp.
Grill, broil, etc. Let it rest a minute then slice and serve with warm tortillas and all your favorite fajita extras like avocado, tomatoes, shredded cheese, lettuce, salsa, etc.

05-10 Grilled Asparagus

Yes, its easy.

Select fresh, bright, skinny asparagus since you are a new eater

Place washed asparagus on a cookie sheet and drizzle with
olive oil
Sprinkle with

Try italian herbs (or anything else)
Place under broiler in oven or if your neighbors have a grill...
Watch carefully, as you want to remove them just as they become tender.

05-09 Mother's Day Eggs

"Eggs a la Goldenrod" is a Cooper recipe. Grandma says she has eaten it at a restaurant. This has become our Mother's day breakfast tradition served with fresh fruit (I like the grapes and strawberries), sometimes crispy bacon, fried apples and orange juice. Guess that is what you kids always thought was the perfect breakfast =) I have always liked it!

Prepare 6-8 hard boiled eggs
(It makes about as many servings as eggs used)
Separate the yolks from the whites.
Chop the whites
Crumble the yolks

To make sauce, melt over medium heat:
6 T unsalted butter
Then whisk in
6 T flour
Add in slowly, whisking constantly
3 c milk (don't use nonfat)
Sprinkle with salt and pepper
When thickened and bubbly,
stir in whites and remove from heat.
Serve this sauce over a piece of toast
Sprinkle on 1/6 of the egg yolks and

05-08 Rhubarb Strawberry Crumble

Rhubarb is in season. There are many versions the traditionally English crumble-

Combine in mixing bowl:
1/2 c white flour
1/4 c whole wheat flour
2/3 c ground almonds or pine nuts, lightly toasted
1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 c agave or brown sugar
1/2 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1/3 c unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
Use fork to stir and make crumbly.
Set in freezer if kitchen is warm or you will take a while to get to it.

For filling, whisk together:
1 T cornstarch
1/2 c vanilla sugar or sugar
Toss with
1/2 lb strawberries, sliced thickly
12 oz rhubarb, sliced into 3/4" chunks
zest and juice of 1 orange or 2 T water
Place fruit in bottom of 9x9 square pan
Sprinkle crumble mixture on top.
Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes, until bubbly and golden.

If you want to speed baking time to 20-25 minutes, cook the filling stove top until the rhubarb is tender. Then you can assemble and bake.
Tastes great alone or with a bit of cream on top

05-07 Chicken Spezzatino Soup

Saute 5 min on Med. heat:
2 T olive oil
2 celery stalks, cubed
1 Carrot, sliced
1 small onion or 2-3 leeks, sliced
Then add:
1 t salt and pepper
4-5 Roma tomatoes, chopped or 1 14.5 oz can chopped tomatoes & juice
14 oz chicken broth
1/2 c fresh basil, torn small
1 t tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 T fresh thyme, crushed or 1/2 t dry thyme
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed if using cooked chicken, add with beans
Simmer uncovered over Med-lo for 20 min.
1 can kidney beans (white or red)
add cooked chicken here
Simmer 5 more minutes
Discard bay leaf
Remove from heat and cool 5 min before serving.

05-06 Ensalada Guacamole

You can put together the salad anytime but prepare the dressing just before serving.
This always disappears at the potlucks. Its a great side with Mexican dishes.

Layer in a large salad bowl:
1 head of romaine lettuce or that amount of baby lettuces
1/2 c Monterey, cheddar or similar combo cheese, grated
1/2 c scallions or green onions, chopped fine
8 -10 cherry tomatoes halved or 4-5 Romas, chunked
Cover and refrigerate until serving

Dressing- Mix together well:
1 avocado, peeled and mashed
1/2 c plain yogurt
1/3 c canola oil
1 T picante sauce or salsa
1 T lemon juice
Pour dressing over salad and top with:
1 c corn chips, crushed

You can add chicken strips or beans for a cool meal at the end of a hot day.

05-05 Agua Fresa

Esta receta es para el dia Cinco de mayo. Es una bebida fresca.

4 c fresas (strawberries)
2 T agave (mas si necesario)
1 T jugo de limon (lime juice)
2 c agua fria (cold water)
1 c agua fria mas

Dilute to taste. Strawberry water is meant to be a light drink, not like a lemonade.
Add more agave if you want it sweeter, depending on the quality of your berries.
This can be made with other fruits like melon, pineapple or a combo.

05-04 FRESH! Orange Chicken

This is a very light sauce, not the sticky Chinese fast food version.
Sauce inspired by a Register Guard "Ask Mrs. Oliver" recipe.

You will use half of this sauce to marinate chicken overnight
and half to use as a sauce for the veggies.
Mix together:
1 c orange juice
2 T orange juice concentrate
4 T agave
4 T Worcestershire sauce
4 T quality Dijon mustard
2 T olive oil
zest from two small or one large orange
2 T fresh tarragon or 2 t dried tarragon

Pour half or less of this sauce over
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
place in refrigerator overnight

Place marinaded chicken on baking sheet and broil in oven for 5-10 minutes each side, depending on size of strips.

1-2 T sesame oil
1 onion, chopped
3 lg carrots, sliced thin or diced
1 colored bell pepper, cubed or in strips
When the peppers and carrots are soft and glistening, add:
1/2 - 1 c frozen edamame, thawed
1/2 - 1 c frozen green beans, thawed
Pour remaining unused sauce over the veggies, bring to a boil, then remove f…

05-03 Fish Seasoning

Sprinkle in decreasing amounts on top of your fish of choice

brown sugar
lemon juice
black pepper
garlic powder
onion powder

This is especially good on white fish such as halibut, roughy or tilapia

05-02 Ani's Angel Food Birthday Cake

This is a simple and delicious recipe for Angel Food Cake from
The Best Recipe - Cooks Illustrated

WARNING: you will never be able to go back to store bought again.
Definitely use, beg, borrow, etc. a kitchen countertop mixer for this!
That being said, it is not impossible with a handheld mixer.

Sift together in small bowl:
1 c plain cake flour (or 1 c minus 2 T of all purpose flour)
3/4 c granulated sugar

In separate small bowl, sift:
3/4 c granulated sugar

In large mixing bowl of mixer on low speed, begin to beat:
12 large egg whites
When frothy, add
1 t cream of tartar
1/4 t salt
and turn up mixer to medium speed.
When soft mounds begin to appear and the whites are getting shiny,
add the separated, sifted sugar in slowly.
Continue letting it mix on Med. until soft peaks form.
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 1/2 t lemon juice
1/2 t almond extract
When blended, turn off mixer and begin to add in flour/sugar mix 3 T at a time with the
sifter on top of egg whites. Gently fold and add more and repeat until all is inc…

05-01 Pumpkin Risotto

Ani's bday dinner...

Heat in sauce pan:
4 c vegetable or chicken broth

In large pan, saute:
1 T olive oil
1 onion, diced
1/2 t fresh garlic, minced
When onion is soft, add:
2 c arborio rice
Stir rice to coat with oil, add more oil if needed
Then add
1/4 c white cooking wine
let wine evaporate, stir and then start adding the heated broth 1/2 c at a time
Stir and let arborio rice soak up the broth before adding more broth.
This will take 15- 20 minutes for all the broth to be absorbed.
When finished, add:
about 22 oz pumpkin, cooked and mashed or cubed
1/2 - 1 c chicken, cooked and cubed OR ham or pancetta
1 c baby spinach leaves, chopped (opt)
6 oz feta, cubed and lightly toasted/melted in oven (opt)
Stir well to combine and remove from heat
Add to taste: