Thursday, April 27, 2017

Cucumber-Basil Egg Salad by Janice Cole

 This egg salad recipe is a favorite for our Last Weekend in June party. La, MarieNicole and I discovered it for lunch a few years ago and we have been fawning after it ever since. The recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks Chicken and Egg by Janice Cole. It is full of wonderful ideas for both chicken and eggs. Buy it - you will not be disappointed.

It was this morning when I put up my own egg salad recipe that I realized that this recipe still  has not made my blog despite being online in various other sources.
This recipe is on  Serge the Concierge
This recipe is on Epicurious
This recipe is on
This recipe is on my mind and now it is on my blog.

6 hard boiled eggs
3/4 cup seeded and diced cucumber
1/4 cup minced shallots
1/3 cup sliced green onions (green part only)
3 Tablespoons lightly packed chopped basil
1/2 cup Hellmann's mayonnaise
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Image result for hellmans

1. Hard boil the eggs. 
2. Run eggs through an egg cutter and into a large bowl.
3. Gently combine eggs, cucumber, shallots, green onions, and basil in the bowl. 
4. Stir in the mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. 
5. Store in refrigerator for up to three days. 
6. Serve with greens, pita pockets, or slices of crusty bread.

My Egg Salad

I recently made egg salad out of our Easter eggs and realized that I don't think I have put up a recipe for my egg salad.

 One might wonder why/how I used our Easter eggs dye and all, but this year I made sure to do it right. First of all, we dyed the eggs with the very messy but all edible Cool Whip and food coloring. I never managed to get a picture of them but they were beautiful. I fastidiously kept them refrigerated whenever they were not decorating our table. It always amazes me how long egg salad can last when made with more than 6 eggs!

There's nothing very scientific about my egg salad but everyone raves over it. This is not to be confused with the amazing cucumber egg salad from Janice Cole a few years ago. I just realized that that is not on my blog! I will amend that post haste! Anyway, back to why I am here.

Ingredients (this is not done with measurements - you decide your proportions)
had boiled eggs
(Hellman's)  Mayonnaise - and yes I will forever shameless plug this brand.
curry powder
salt and pepper to taste

The above is my "famous" go to recipe. I vary from time to time, depending on my mood or the fridge or the contents of the herb harder. That said, here are some optional additions:
chopped pimentos?
cumin powder?
chopped herbs?
finely chopped pickle?

Lentil Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

This recipe is an adaptation of a recipe from Hannaford's March/April Fresh magazine. The original recipe is the Asparagus and Lentil Salad with Buttermilk Dressing. The dressing is easily one of my favorite buttermilk dressing ever!

We had everything but the radishes so we made it without. You can make and refrigerate the dressing and lentils up to 2 days in advance.
for the dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. minced fresh chives
For the lentils:
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups water
1 cup French lentils, rinsed
6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. lemon zest and 3 Tbsp. juice from 1 lemon
1 head Bibb lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
Salt and pepper
1.  To make buttermilk dressing, whisk together mayonnaise, yogurt, buttermilk, parsley, chives, lemon juice, and mustard in a medium bowl until smooth and season with salt and pepper to taste; refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. Combine water and lentils in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook until lentils are tender but still hold their shape, about 20 minutes. Drain lentils and transfer to a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup oil and lemon zest and juice to bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside. (refrigerate for a cold salad)
3. To serve, line a platter with lettuce. Stir lentil mixture to re-coat with lemon and oil, then spread evenly over lettuce. Spoon dressing evenly over top and serve.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Puffed Pastry Tarts or Asparagus, salmon and egg tarts


These wonderful puffed pastry tarts were inspired by the cover page recipe on Hannaford's Fresh this spring. The recipe found HERE was the basis for our nice spring dinner soon after Easter.You have to prep the dough in advance and refrigerate before using so plan ahead. You also can keep the prepared dough ( (steps 1 through 4) at room temperature for up to 4 hours or refrigerate for up to 1 day.
Ingredients - but also additional suggestions. 
1 (12-oz.) container plain whipped cream cheese
2 Tbsp. minced fresh chives
2 sheets puff pastry (about 1 lb.), thawed
2 1/2 lb. small to medium asparagus spears
9 medium eggs
Salt and pepper
8 oz. thinly sliced smoked salmon
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
Other topping options we did:
goat cheese
pickled red onions
sliced carrots (I used lacto-fermented ginger carrot slices) 
sliced tomato

1. On a lightly floured surface, cut each pastry sheet into quarters. Roll each piece into a 6x6" square, then trim with a paring knife to create even edges. Using the paring knife, score a 1" border around each square, being careful not to cut through dough.
2. Working one at a time, pierce area inside the border of each square all over with a fork. Transfer squares to two parchment-lined baking sheets and refrigerate until ready to assemble.
3. When ready to assemble,  Place racks in upper-middle and lower-middle of oven and heat to 400. 
4. Mix together cream cheese and chives in a small bowl and set aside. 
5. Cut asparagus into 4"-long spears. 
6. Beat 1 egg and brush along the border of each square.

7. Working inside the border, spread 3 tablespoons cream cheese mixture in an even layer.

8. Arrange asparagus side by side on top of cream cheese, alternating the direction of the tips.

9.  Season with salt and pepper and bake until pastry edges are golden and puffed, 10 to 12 minutes.

10. Remove baking sheets from oven. Gently push centers of tarts down with the back of a spoon, then crack eggs into each indent. 

11.  Return to oven and bake until egg whites are just set, 12 to 14 minutes, switching and rotating baking sheets halfway through. Top evenly with salmon and dill and serve immediately.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Chicken Stock

After making all that vegetable stock, I felt like I was on a roll and ready to tackle the world. In the freezer I had noticed many bones and bags of meat, incorrectly assuming they were pig for Shane to make pea soup out of!

But no! These are all poultry carcasses saved from a winters worth of eating! That one all the way in the back might even be our Thanksgiving Turkey!

Easy recipe...followed the one in Food in Jars and in my Pressure canners direction booklet.

Look at the time - almost 10 and canner coming up to pressure!

Waiting is the longest part!

6 quarts in the canner!

The chicken stock is such a rich golden color unlike the browner vegetable stock color.

Vegetable Stock

All winter I have been saving every vegetable scrap from the kitchen and freezing it instead of composting it. I did so for the purpose of making stock. This was probably one of the more sustainable things I have ever done. It was a good use of time and to get myself primed for using my pressure canner more often.

See that there thing on the left freaks me out!

All those gauges and buttons and rules and stuff make me cringe. It makes me want to whimper in a corner and cry for my Mommy. The hot water bath is just SO MUCH EASIER!

Frankly, pressure canners bring back a bad memory from high school when a poorly sealed espresso maker exploded in the kitchen. The bang and his caused most of us to hit the floor. I don't know that I've ever entirely recovered.

Here's the 3 Quarts of Vegetable Stock going into the pressure canner.

Here they are coming out. Just noticing it, but how the heck did my lid get such a dent in it?

These 6 pints are waiting to go in. Voila! They are done! 3 quarts and 6 pints worth from roughly 3 freezer bags full of scraps.

Recipe Links

Installment #2 of Recipe Links!

Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies from Mom on Time Out

Shakshuka by Smitten Kitchen

Chile Con Queso by Bon Appetite

Cold Sesame Noodles by New York Times Food

1 Hour Cinnabons by Lauren's Latest

Dandelion Jelly by Simply Canning

Samoa Bundt Cake by Delish

Lilac Jelly from Common Sense Home.

Recipe Links

I recently realize that I have sent so many recipes to SP via Messenger or text that they are promptly getting lost. Therefore, I do declare the new - weekly or biweekly - edition of "Recipe Links" where I will share the ideas I have sent Shane, in the hopes of better keeping track.

Here is the first installment - looking back to January on my husbands Messenger thread. 

Asian Sloppy Joe Sliders by Cooking for Keeps

Cauliflower Bread Sticks by Real HouseMoms

Vegan Involtini by Whole Foods

Violet Syrup by Use Real Butter

Veggie Nuggets from Buzz Feed of all places

Balsamic Glazed Caprese Chicken by Cafe Delites

Bacon Stuffed French Toast by Twisted

Red Lentil Dal from Nigella Lawson and New York Times Cooking

Rigatoni Pie by Food Network

Turmeric Pickled Eggs

I made these this weekend on a marathon in the kitchen.
I even made stock again.

I can't wait to try these.

 From The Prospect Pantry

Turmeric-pickled Eggs
adapted from Heidi Swanson, 101 Cookbooks


6-8 eggs, hard-boiled and peeled (see tip below)
1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced (or use a yellow onion)
1 tbsp whole peppercorns
1 1/3 c Apple Cider vinegar
½ c water
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp fine grain sea salt
2 tsp ground turmeric

1. Prepare hard boiled eggs.
2. Sterilize a one-quart jar with lid. Place the eggs in the jar with the sliced shallots or onion and the peppercorns.
3.  Place the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and turmeric in a small saucepan over medium heat, and warm slightly, stirring until the sugar and salt dissolve and the turmeric is well combined.
4. Pour over the eggs in the jar.
5. Cover the jar and shake it gently to allow the liquid to surround the eggs completely and distribute the peppercorns and the shallots or onions.
6. Allow to cool to room temperature.
7. Once the liquid is completely cooled, place the jar in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours, or up to a week.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Pickled Red Onions

As part of the April Food in Jars Challenge, I added two quick pickles to the fridge. Having tried and loved the hot water bath pickled red onions, I felt comfortable with the "Put 'Em Up" quick pickle version (haven't tried them yet).

One of my Favorite Pickling books. 

Put 'Em Up is by far one of my favorite canning books. The Curried Cauliflower is to die for! When I decided to use this recipe, I realized that I could easily just switch the vinegars and put together a nice batch of pickled sweet peppers that will be a great addition to Grilled Cheese sandwiches (which they are!).

I am very tempted to make this potato salad on the same page. Yum!

For my red onions, I followed the recipe to a T.

They look so much better now that they have been sitting in the fridge for a while. I still have yet to try  them but have mu sights set on some tuna salad!
As for the pickled peppers, I replaced almost all of the red vinegar with white vinegar. These are really yummy especially on a grilled cheese sandwich. 

 Yummy Pickles!

As a post note - A Farmgirl Dabbles posted a recipe for this in May 2017 so I thought I should add it to this post. Pickled Red Onions