At the last second tonight I deviated from my normal sweet potato recipe, which ends up tasting deliciously like pumpkin pie. So I oiled the sweet potatoes, wrapped them in tin foil, and baked them at 375 degrees until squishy to the touch. Then comes the tricky part… you need to peel them while they’re still hot and it’ll slip right off. Needless to say, my fingertips hurt! Once peeled, mash them and add butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, honey, and orange juice to taste. Normally I would also add ginger, molasses, and boiled cider … but I didn’t have any of the latter ingredients in my cupboards. You can also top it with walnuts or pecans if you like, but I prefer little marshmallows! What? Its tradition ūüôā

Okay, so here is where I deviated… I was putting them in little individual serving dishes (cause I live alone… makes sense) and at the last second decided to add salt, smoked paprika,¬†turmeric, and¬†garlic powder. OMFG! It tasted amazing… I was actually really hard to put the little top on and put it in the fridge!

I love the weekend. It gives me the time that I need to experiment and test out really elaborate dinners. Tonight, I went with Indian food. This is because the farm I get my yogurt from – Sidehill Farm (, Paul usually sells at the market.¬† It is wonderful to meet the farmer that raised and made the product you’re purchasing, plus, the yogurt is only $3.99/container at the market, and Whole Foods sells it for a dollar more.¬† That’s a dollar I’d rather save for Paul and Amy!)¬† – has been selling home grown/made paneer at the farmers’ market for the past few weeks…and I decided I needed to try and make Palak Paneer.

In addition to the paneer I purchased, I also bought a loaf of “San Francisco” sourdough french style bread, some purple potatoes, yellow potatoes, radishes, and tomatoes from Simple Gifts Farm, and then a peck of Macoun apples, one and a half of McIntosh apples, and a peck of Red Bartlett pears from my favorite orchard guy at the market.¬† I don’t even know what his farm is called, but, he uses these small baskets that his father made and used and they’re unique and lovely.¬† He has the best fruit and the best prices at the market.¬† Plus, he always throws in something extra for me – usually a different type of apple, maybe a few plums, or even a peach.¬† It’s great.¬† I decided I’m making apple butter this weekend.¬† The apple butter batch will conclude my “jamming session” for the season.¬† Jamming session has included strawberry jam (from berries Paul and I hand picked at our CSA), strawberry rhubarb jam (berries picked by us, rhubarb from the farmer’s market), cinnamon plum jam (plums from the orchard man), plum and pear jam (plums from the orchard man, Bartlett pears from Atkins farm)…and it should likely end with apple butter.¬† Unless I decide to make pumpkin butter.¬† Which is highly probable.¬† Anyways…

I came to the realization that I love any kind of food that I can scoop up and eat with some kind of bread.  Love it.  I enjoy Moo Shi/Shu Vegetable with rice pancakes (Amherst Chinese has the best version РI have not yet attempted rice pancakes), fajitas and tacos, and all types of Indian bread with sambals and dals.  Another delicious dish is the Moroccan Ragout at the Medici (  Mmmm.  Yum.

Anyhow‚ĶPalak Paneer is one of my favorite ‚ÄúIndian food‚ÄĚ recipes. With the bounty from Sidehill Farm, I figured I would try it.¬† I also have been dying to try making naan.¬† I‚Äôve made chapattis numerous times, but never naan ‚Äď a yeasted Indian flat bread.¬† I also wanted a protein and some more veggies, so I made a black lentil dal and a roasted vegetable compilation as I ran out of stove top burners.

Recipes used:

Whole Wheat Naan: (Monsoon Spice has a wonderful blog, check it out!)

Palak Paneer: (I omitted the butter and used 1 T cream)

Dal Makhani: (I omitted the cream and reduced the butter)

Curry Vegetables: I had planned to make this on the stove top and nice and saucy, but I ran out of burners, so I adjusted for the oven.  I winged it using what I had in the fridge from our CSA (Riverland Farms).


1 carrot, diced
1 scallion, chopped
4 mushrooms, chopped
4 small parsnips, chopped
1 t ginger, 1 t cumin, 1/2 t fenugreek, 1/2 t galangal, salt and pepper to taste

Drizzle olive oil in a pan, add veggies, roast at 350F for up to 30 mins or until tender.

From start to finish, everything took 3 hours.¬† Not all of that time was “active,” as the bread took 2 hours to rise to double.¬† The naan turned out perfectly and was extremely soft and delicious.¬† As much as I love chapattis and the fact that it’s made of only flour, water, and a bit of ghee…the naan is certainly a step up.¬† I think I’ll save it for special dinners.¬† It is much more forgiving to work with than the chapattis.

I took liberties with the dal and added cayenne pepper, red pepper, and substituted two tsin tsin peppers for the green.  It resulted in good, lingering, complex heat.  I did not expect the paneer to be so thick!  It was actually hard to chop.  It turned out fairly well Рmore salt and cream next time.  The vegetable medley was just fine.

All in all a wonderful experiment for a Saturday night!

I just pulled my lasagna out of the oven.

Spinach/Ricotta Lasagna
– Spinach from our CSA (
– Tomato sauce made from locally grown organic tomatoes obtained at the farmer’s market this morning (
– Homemade, hand rolled and hand cut pasta made from white whole wheat flour, semolina flour, butter, and water.
– Garlic from our CSA

Garlic bread
– Homemade buttermilk spelt/wheat bread
– Garlic from our CSA
– Cabot extra sharp cheddar cheese (local to MA, as they’re from VT)

I’m feeling the locavore love.

Tomorrow – we plan to go to the Garlic and Arts festival! It’s spectacular. I’m looking forward to the wood fired brick oven.

I also plan to test out a sweet potato pie recipe, along with a locally raised (soon to be roasted) chicken, “wild” rice, and roasted carrots and beets from our CSA. Life is food. Food is good.

Now I know what you’re thinking… if it isn’t all greasy, porky, and crispy how can a Cuban sandwich taste good? Au contraire my friends! Take two slices of sourdough (or farmer’s bread or a nice hoagie roll) and spread lightly with Miracle Whip, horseradish, pickle relish, and I like to add just a drizzle of chipotle BBQ sauce for kick. For cheese use Sargento reduced fat cheese. I prefer provolone to swiss, but it does sweat more and swiss would hold the sandwich together better. As for the meat selection, instead of loading it up with ham, roasted pork, and salami… try Oscar Mayer fat-free turkey bologna. Slather the outside¬†pieces¬†of bread with¬†margarine¬†and¬†Cajun¬†seasoning¬†before pressing the sandwich in a George Foreman grill until crispy and you’re set!

Now personally I believe that warm sandwiches should congeal in the middle. However, when the provolone sweats and the bologna sweats things can get slippery. So I add just a pinch of shredded asiago or parmesan cheese between the layers. This is also nice because it adds a bit of salt to the equation.

I made these cupcakes for Memorial Day a couple years ago and they were absolutely¬†delicious. So below I’m posting the recipe I put together verbatim:

Peach Amaretto Cupcakes (makes 24)

Roasted Peach Mush:

  • Halve and pit four medium peaches
  • Preheat oven at 350
  • Let cool then scoop out and mush

Cupcake Batter:

  • ¬∑ Preheat oven at 350
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¬Ĺ tsp salt
  • 2 ¬Ĺ cups sugar
  • 1cup unsalted butter (Oberweis sweet cream butter)
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ¬Ĺ cup milk, amaretto, and orange juice (proportioned to taste)
  • Roasted peach mush


  • Marzipan
  • Peach Butter
Using electric an mixer, beat together sugar and butter until well combined. Add eggs one at a time until light and fluffy. Prepare rest of wet and dry ingredients separately and alternately add slowly to mixture. Beat until smooth. Fold in peaches. Pour batter into cupcake tins halfway. Roll marzipan balls and dip in peach butter then drop into cupcake tins and let settle. Cover marzipan balls with batter until full. Bake for 28-34 minutes or until golden brown and tops of cupcakes spring back lightly when touched.

This morning… erm uh afternooon… I made my first poached egg! ūüôā

Okay yeah so I cheated and used alittle silicon boat, but I’m a big fan of not making dishes dirty if I don’t have to!


0813091929Sometimes the simplest dishes are the best and¬†I absolutely¬†love making baked potatoes. I had some crumbled feta in the fridge so I washed my taters before rubbing a bit of olive oil on the outside and wrapping them in saran wrap. These lil fellas were on the small side so they only took 7 min before they were ready. I pretty much just give them a poke to check squishiness. The next step is a bit of a scramble as I pull off the hot saran wrap, split the spuds and cut grooves for the flavors to seep into. If you’re quick enough at adding margerine, salt, and malt vinnegar it creates a sweet little foam. Then I added paprika and tumeric and topped it off with the feta. Next step, double baking it in my toaster oven until the cheese is a bit melty. I was hoping it would toast, but for some reason that didn’t happen. Anywho, add a side of grilled zucchini and eggplant and you’re set!

Now its true that if I did my potatoes properly in the oven they would be much tastier and the skin would definitely be crispier instead of all wrinkly, but then this wouldn’t be as simple of a dish. Plus I started my variations of baked potatoes back when I was still scared of the oven so I’m just more comfortable nuking my taters.

The thing that always fascinates me is how the taste of malt vinnegar changes. Its something about the heat and the salt I think because if you add it when the potato isn’t piping hot it tastes normal instead of having this subtle sweetness.

Although my husband and I have a tiny charcoal kettle grill, we seem to be the only ones we know with an actual grill. This summer, we have spent a few weekends grilling.

Last night, I attempted kabobs for the first time. I knew from my research that the best thing to do is to cook meat kabobs separately from veggie kabobs, as the cooking times vary greatly. Although the veggie/meat combo looks pretty, it is not practical if you want your items cooked appropriately!

I picked up some patty pan squash at the farmer’s market yesterday morning. They’re so cute and beautiful I just couldn’t resist!

I made veggie skewers out of the patty pans, baby cremini mushrooms, red bell peppers, and red onion. I bought chicken tenders and flank steak for our proteins. I marinated the flank steak in lime juice, soy sauce, olive oil, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. I marinated the chicken in sour cream, jalapeno mustard, chopped red onion, and a splash of red wine (I had a half bottle from the other day). I did put one grape tomato on each chicken skewer, for added color. I splashed some olive oil on the veggie skewers and sprinkled them with lemon pepper.

They all turned out marvelously! The steak’s marinade really came through. The chicken had a great texture. The veggies were a great addition, especially the grilled red peppers and mushrooms – YUM.

I also made a German potato salad, using lemon cucumbers I bought at the farmer’s market instead of the traditional cucumbers. It turned out well, but, not as good as Paul’s mom’s. I think I need to add more vinegar next time.

For dessert, I decided to make a basic sponge cake (2 eggs, 6 T sugar, 6 T flour), and use that as the basis for a trifle. The trifle consisted of black cherries and nectarines with a splash of limoncello, blueberries, chunks of sponge cake, and whipped cream I whipped up from a carton of heavy cream. It turned out marvelously. Unfortunately, I was the only one that ate any…which made me sad. Our friends are “cookie” people…I’ll remember that for the future!

All in all, a very successful dinner ūüôā

Okay so we have been derelicht in sharing what Emily and I did on July 4th with you all. Of course this is partially due to exhaustion (and a bit of a hangover on my part) but nonetheless we made some really cool dishes that we should share! That said, the recipes are at my parents house in PA and I can’t recall the names off the top of my head let alone the ingredients ūüė¶

We started by heading to the Landcaster County Farmer’s Market, which is amazing. I’ve been going there with my dad ever since I was a kid. We usually go before special occasions like Thanksgiving or when family visits. It has spoiled me for grocery shopping anywhere else! The meat and produce are beautiful… but the candy counter (with old fashioned rock candy) holds a special place in my heart ‚̧


Okay, so a month later and I still never finished writing this up. I wish I could remember exactly what dishes we made, but we had chosen things that we’ve never done before from a Mexican cook book my parents had. Both were slow roasted dishes; one lamb and one pork. The pork one was delicious while the lamb one somehow made everyone sick ūüė¶ … My¬†favorite¬†part of the pork dish was actually the sandwich we had the next day!

Liberal use of food processor. Man that thing sucks to clean!

Liberal use of food processor. Man that thing sucks to clean!

We also made a red velvet cake. Okay, so Emily made most of it, but I snapped a few pictures ūüôā I’ve always loved the idea of red velvet cake, but every time I’ve tasted some it never tastes the way I feel it was supposed to. I mean in theory it sounds like the perfect cake, but everyone seems to change it by adding things like butter cream or cinnamon. So we decided to find a traditional recipe and make a real red velvet cake:

rvc 1

This is the way vanilla should look!

rvc 3 rvc 4

rvc 5

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June 2021