Author Archives: TempInnKeeper

About TempInnKeeper

Margot loves people and is very energetic and organized. She is also a quick study. Her background includes having renovated, owned and operated an 1887 Victorian bed and breakfast in Paso Robles, CA for 5 years. Her guests loved her and she loved her guests. What a perfect combination. Margot’s marketing skills and love of people also was used in her career as a Realtor and in participating in many charitable non-profit organizations. Margot loves to cook and to offer concierge services to people. She was born in Geneva, Switzerland.; has lived all over CA. including Beverly Hills, in the Silicon Valley area, Paso Robles, the San Joaquin Valley as well as in Sun Valley, ID. She has traveled extensively throughout the world; is a CAL alumni (go Bears!); and also speaks French fluently and Spanish semi-fluently. Her interests are people, cooking, arts, books (look at the blog book club and join if you wish), travel, sports, gardening, painting, music, playing classical piano and animals. Margot Van Horn 208-721-3551 PO Box 3788, Ketchum, ID. margot6@mindspring.com TempInnKeeper@mindspring.com

Cajun Shrimp Bruchettas

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 Cajun Shrimp Bruschetta
Make the sauce the day before and refrigerate for the ingredients to meld well.
Serve on bruchettas or some good crunchy crackers; if you wish, spread some whipped cream cheese before topping with the sauce; be sure to place one good sized basil leaf as the very last topping.
Ingredients for sauce:
1. 1-2 tblsp. olive oil
2. 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3. 1 small onion, finely chopped
4. 2 or 3 small garlic cloves minced
5. S&P to taste
6. Cayenne to taste
7. 1/4 C. finely chopped Basil
8. 3/4 to 1 C. bay shrimp—chopped
9. 1 C. canned crushed tomatoes or 3-4 fresh finely chopped Roma tomatoes

Ingredients needed for the finished product
a. Whipped cream cheese to spread on bruschettas before putting the shrimp mixture on.
b. Bruschettas that you have made or bought
c. Whole basil leaves for very last topping

Directions:
1. In a medium sized frying pan, sauté the celery, onion and garlic. Season with S&P and cayenne to taste.
2. Add the chopped basil, chopped shrimp and the canned crushed tomatoes if you are using that or the fresh chopped tomatoes if you are using that. Sauté over low heat uncovered for 5-10 minutes.
3. Place sauce on bruschettas or some nice crackers which, if you wish, have been spread first with whipped cream cheese; top it all with a large whole basil leaf.
4. Serve and enjoy.

Below are 2 ways to make your bruschettas: (PS—this is an Italian word so the “ch” is pronounced as a “k” for a totally correct pronunciation. )
1. Preheat oven to 450.
2. Slice the baguette on a diagonal into about 1/2 inch thick slices. Using a pastry brush, coat one side of each slice with olive oil. Place slices on a cooking sheet, olive oil side down. You will want to toast them in the top rack in your oven, so you may need to do these in batches depending on the size of your oven and baking sheet. Place the tray of bread slices in the 450 degree oven on the top rack. Toast for 5-6 minutes, until the bread just begins to turn golden brown. Watch carefully so they don’t burn. Serve olive oil side up.
3. Alternatively, you can toast the bread without coating it in olive oil first. Toast on a griddle for 1 minute on each side. Take a sharp knife and score each slice 3 times. Rub some garlic in the slices and drizzle half a teaspoon of olive oil on each slice. This is the more traditional method of making bruschetta.

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Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce

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DSCN0471

Bread Pudding with Whiskey (or whatever flavor you prefer) Sauce
Serves 8 to 10 serving
Ingredients:
• 1 pound loaf Soft French Bread Loaf or Challah bread,( crusts trimmed if you wish however I don’t do that), bread cut into 1-inch cubes.
• 8 eggs
• 1 ½ C. whipping cream
• 2 ½ C. whole milk
• 1 ¼ C. sugar
• Optional: Some whole caramelized (by you) pecans to add after you have baked the dish
• Optional: 1 drained can of fruit cocktail if you wish to make it “Deep Southern”. Sprinkle the fruit on the pre-baked pudding after you have poured the custard over it. Then press down all to make sure all is submerged. When serving in this manner, place a mint leaf on top of all.

Directions for Bread Pudding:
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees DSCN0473
• Lightly butter a 13X9X2-inch baking dish
• Arrange the bread cubes in the prepared dish
• In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, milk and sugar to blend.
• Pour the custard over the bread cubes, and press the bread cubes gently to submerge.
• Let stand for 30 minutes, occasionally pressing the bread cubes into the custard mixture.
• Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours up to overnight.
• After 2 or more hours, remove dish from frig. and bring up to room temp.
• Bake until the pudding puffs and is set in the center, about 45 minutes. Here in our altitude it took almost 60 minutes.

Ingredients for your sauce:
• ½ cup whipping cream
• ½ cup whole milk
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• ¼ cup amaretto or whatever liquor you prefer
• 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Directions for the sauce:
• Bring the cream, milk, and sugar to a boil in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat, STIRRING FREQUENTLY.
• In a small bowl, mix the amaretto and cornstarch to blend and then whisk into the cream mixture.
• Simmer over medium-low heat until the sauce thickens, STIRRING CONSTANTLY, about 2 minutes.
• Set aside and keep warm.
• This sauce can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate and re-warm before serving.

End result:
Spoon the bread pudding into bowls, drizzle with the warm amaretto sauce, serve, and don’t plan for any left-over’s.

 

Fresh Boiled Tongue with Assorted Winter Veggies Served with Mustard Sauce

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Fresh Boiled Beef Tongue

Fresh Boiled Tongue with Assorted Winter Veggies Served with Mustard Sauce

Serves 6-8

 OK—I was bored with the usual and when I encountered a beef tongue decently priced at Atkinsons’ Valley Market, I bought it with gusto.  20 degrees outside is perfect for an interior made tongue dish.  As I was cutting away the skin, I had warm memories of my mother serving my first introductory tongue at the table—skin on-in full glory and I was only 5 or 6.  Oh my—I couldn’t believe it however when my mother was done peeling off the skin and serving it, I thought differently.  It was delicious and still is—but the memories are strong and I had a good laugh today as I was pealing the skin—in memory of my dear mother. (Hint: You really are supposed to peal the skin pre-serving it.)  Oh well, leave it to the Dutch.

Ingredients for the cooking of the tongue:

  1. One Fresh Beef Tongue
  2. 2 Medium Sized Onions—Peeled and Left Whole
  3. 1 Large Peeled Carrots Cut into Large Pieces
  4. 4 Celery ribs with Leaves
  5. 8 Peppercorns
  6. 1 Tsp. Salt
  7. 6 Sprigs Flat Leaf Italian Parsley
  8. 1 Small Green Cabbage cut into small wedges
  9. 10-12 Small Red Potatoes
  10. I More Large Peeled Carrot Cut into Large Pieces
  11. More Flat Leaf Italian Parsley to serve as garnish (this is really delicious to eat with the tongue)

Instructions for the cooking of the tongue:

  1. In a large deep pot, place ingredients # 1-7 mentioned above in the pot and barely cover all with water.
  2. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a rolling simmer; cover and cook for about 3 hours. Do watch to make sure you aren’t simmering to much or that the water level is still adequate.
  3. At the 3 hour point, remove the tongue (it should be fork tender at this point) and add to the pot the cabbage, small red potatoes and 2nd carrot.
  4. Peel the tongue and remove the roots.  Place the prepared tongue back in the pot on top of everything.
  5. Simmer fairly briskly covered for another 1/2 hour or until the potatoes, 2nd carrot and the cabbage are done.
  6. When they are done, turn off the heat.
  7. Now is the time to make the mustard sauce.

Ingredients for the mustard sauce:

  1. 3 Tblsp. butter
  2. 2 Tblsp. flour
  3. 1 Tsp. prepared mustard—which ever kind you wish
  4. 1 C. of the tongue broth.

Instructions for the mustard sauce:

  1. In a pan, over medium heat, melt the butter and stir in the flour till totally dissolved.
  2. Add the prepared mustard and slowly add in the tongue broth.
  3. Bring to a gentle boil and take off heat.  If there are still lumps in your sauce, strain it.
  4. Serve in a gravy bowl for guests to pour for themselves or pre-plate for guests with the sauce over all.
  5. 5.       Make sure to add more roughly chopped flat leaf Italian parsley to your servings. 

Veal Meatballs with Tomatoes, Mushrooms and Black Olives

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veal mealballs with tomatoes, black olives and mushrooms

Veal Meatballs with Tomatoes, Mushrooms and Black Olives

Serves 4

It’s nice to see different kinds of ground meats at the markets today.  I just made a wonderful free form ground lamb puff pasty tart and now that I spied ground veal at Atkinsons’ I thought that I would do something with that.  This is an easy recipe with some variations for you to choose that will make the end result zing in different ways and is pretty enough to serve for company.

Ingredients:

  1. 3/4 to 1 Lb. ground veal
  2. 5 large whole white or brown mushrooms—one finely chopped
  3. 3 garlic cloves –diced
  4. 1 egg-well beaten with some  salt and freshly ground pepper
  5. 1 Tblsp. grated Parmesan
  6. 1 medium onion diced
  7. 3 Tbsp. chopped parsley
  8. 1 Tsp. minced fresh sage leaves or a pinch of dried crumbled sage leaves or instead with a pinch of nutmeg
  9. 1/2 C. (or more) plain bread crumbs
  10. 5 rinsed plum tomatoes-cut long ways in quarters
  11. 3 Tblsp. olive oil or butter or a combination of both
  12. S&P
  13. 1 large bay leaf
  14. 1 C. white vermouth or white wine and possibly some chicken broth
  15. 1 Tsp. minced fresh rosemary or fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 Tsp. of dried of whatever you choose)
  16. 1/2 Tsp. Turmeric
  17. 1 C. pitted black olives (optional if you don’t care for olives)

Directions:

  1. For the meatballs, combine the ground veal with 1 finely chopped mushroom, 1 diced garlic clove, 1 Tblsp. grated Parmesan, 1 Tblsp. diced onion, 1 Tblsp. chopped parsley, the sage (or pinch of nutmeg) and the well beaten egg.  Mix well with your hands and then add 1/2 C. (or more if you feel necessary) breadcrumbs. Form the ground veal into 1” diameter meatballs.
  2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil/butter and then gently place in the meatballs.  Turn them gently with a fork or tongs till they are nicely browned (about 5 minutes). Remove them to a plate.
  3. In the same pot you should have enough oil and juice to brown the remaining onion.  Stir the onion till softened (5 to 10 minutes) and then add the remaining garlic and cook one minute more.  Add the S&P and the wine; if you would care for more liquid you can add 1/2 C. or more chicken broth.  Let come to a slow simmer and add the tomatoes, 2 Tblsp. chopped parsley, bay leaf, turmeric and rosemary or thyme.  Stir gently and then add the meatballs.
  4. Turn the heat to very low, cover and cook, stirring very gently every now and then for about 45 minutes.  Add the whole mushrooms and black olives at the very end; continue simmering with a cover on till the mushrooms are tender and done (about 5-10 minutes).
  5. I like this stew served on top of fluffy white rice and a green salad for a side.  Crusty French bread is always a nice addition.

Zucchini Pasta Topped with Roasted Tomatoes, Basil Pesto and Walnuts

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zucchini pasta and roasted tomatoes

Zucchini Pasta Topped with Roasted Tomatoes, Basil Pesto and Walnuts

Serves 4

 Here’s a very delicious and economical healthy dish that is perfect for the vegetarian, the person who wants no carbs and for the person who wants to loose some weight. It’s also a pretty one to serve.  It’s a dish that does entail a bit of effort and time but the end result is well worth it and you can cut out some steps if you so desire.  As well, if you wish to serve it for guests as a more “complete” meal, you can serve it topped with lightly sautéed shrimp–and I like them sprinkled with some crushed red pepper flakes- and a side of crusty French bread.  Bon Appetite!!

roasted tomatoes

Ingredients for the Roasted Tomato Topping:

  1. 1 ¼ lb. Roma Tomatoes, sliced thin
  2. 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  3. 3 Tblsp. olive oil
  4. S & P
  5. 5 sprigs fresh rosemary
  6. 5 sprigs fresh thyme

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Line a cookie sheet or other baking sheet with aluminum foil
  3. In a medium size bowl lightly mix the tomatoes with the garlic cloves, olive oil and S&P until they are evenly coated.
  4. Place the seasoned tomato slices in one layer on your pan and bake on middle rack in the oven.  Bake for about 30 minutes—till the tomatoes are shriveled and softened.
  5. Also bake the zucchini inner cut parts for the last 15 minutes (see step #2 below in the instructions for the Zucchini Pasta).
  6. Remove the tomatoes from oven and wrap the aluminum foil around them and place back in oven to keep warm.  Same for the zucchini. Hint: Before serving the tomatoes, remove the herb sprigs.

zucchini pastazucchini ready to be made into pasta (2)zucchini ready to be roasted

Ingredients for the Zucchini Pasta:

  1. 2 ½ lbs. of zucchini, julienned into long strips with your vegetable peeler
  2. 1/2 C. Pesto –(see recipe below—or you can use a purchased product)

 Instructions for the Zucchini Pasta:

  1. With a vegetable peeler, peel the unskinned zucchini into long strips down to the soft and seedy inner part. Save these parts and cut them into halves. You will be roasting these for a side garnish to your dish. (see instruction step # 5 above).  Place the zucchini “pasta” peels in a large pot along with the pesto. Mix well to coat all of the peels and cook and stir lightly over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Do this step right before serving.
  2. Place the cut seedy zucchini parts on a separate baking dish lined with aluminum foil.  Brush each slice with some of your pesto and bake in the oven for the last 15 minutes of your tomato slice baking.  When somewhat browned and softened, you can wrap this in the aluminum foil to keep warm in the oven. (see instruction step #5 above)

Ingredients for the Basil Pesto (This makes 1/2 C. of pesto):

  1. 1 C. of washed torn off basil leaves
  2. 1 garlic clove, minced
  3. 1 Tblsp. lightly toasted chopped walnuts or whole pine nuts
  4. 1/4 C. olive oil
  5. S&P

Instructions for the Pesto:

  1. Place ingredients basil leaves, clove, nuts and half of the olive oil in a processor.  Process and then add the rest of the olive oil.  Finish processing.
  2. If you want extra pesto, double (or more) this recipe.  It’ll store in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks and will also freeze well (particularly if you top it with additional olive oil) for several months.

Ingredients for the topping of the served dish:

  1. 1 Tblsp. lightly toasted chopped walnuts or whole pine nuts. So when you toast the nuts for your pesto toast an extra Tblsp. for your topping.
  2. Shaved Parmesan

zucchini pasta and roasted tomatoes

Serving the dish:

  1. Place the zucchini pasta in the middle of your dish. Top with the tomatoes and garlic and the toasted nuts and Parmesan.  Place the roasted inner zucchini halves around the “pasta” (pictured above) or if you wish you can serve the “pasta” surrounded by shrimp.  (pictured below)

zucchini pasta with shrimp

Ground Lamb, Greens and Cheese Puff Pastry Torte

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ground lamb and greens puff pastry tart

Ground Lamb, Greens and Cheese Puff Pastry Torte

Serves 6 to 8

 

It was the time of the Trailing of the Sheep Fest here in Ketchum, ID and just the sound of the baaaa’s made me hungry for a little lamb.  So, I found some nice ground lamb at Atkinsons’s and inspired by a recipe from my “Puff” cookbook by Martha Holmberg, I made this yummy dish.  Ground lamb is usually not that cheap but honestly, when you consider that I had so many servings of it for myself and even for a guest one evening, I bet that I didn’t spend more than $2.00 a night for my healthy and lovely meals.  I had a little salad on the side and a bit of my homemade coffee ice cream accompanied by our tasty fall pears; the whole repast was perfect. And by the by, I did have this dish several nights in a row and did NOT get tired of having it—because it was so light and flavorful.

 

This is a 3 part recipe—one for the lamb filling, one for the greens and one for the puff pastry assembly:

 

Ingredients for the lamb filling:

  1. 3/4 lb. to 1 Lb. ground lamb
  2. 2 Tblsp. for the lamb browning and another 2 Tblsp. olive oil for the sauce
  3. S&P
  4. 1 small onion, finely chopped
  5. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 1/2 C. white wine or vermouth
  7. 1 C. chicken broth
  8. 1-14 oz. can whole tomatoes, drained HOWEVER RESERVE 1/4 C. of juice for later use
  9. 1-5 inch. sprig of fresh rosemary or 1 Tblsp. dried
  10. 1/4 Tsp. nutmeg
  11. 1 Tsp. balsamic vinegar
  12. 6 drops Tabasco or more according to your taste
  13. 3/4 C. plain breadcrumbs
  14. 1/3 C. finely grated fresh Parmesan
  15. 2 Tblsp. chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (optional)

Directions for the lamb filling:

  1. Heat 2 Tblsp. of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the lamb, breaking it up so that there are no large pieces.  Season with S&P and cook till it’s no longer pink.  Remove the lamb and set aside.  Pour off the remaining grease.
  2. Add the remaining 2 Tblsp. oil to the skillet and place on medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook stirring until very soft and fragrant—but don’t let brown (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the wine and boil till the mixture is glazed (about 1 minute). Add the chicken broth, tomatoes and the 1/4 C. reserved tomato juice, rosemary sprig and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg.  Adjust heat to a lively simmer and cook until it has a nice thick consistency—like a marinara sauce (10-15 minutes).
  3. Remove from the heat, stir in the lamb, balsamic vinegar, hot sauce, breadcrumbs, Parmesan and optional sun-dried tomatoes.  Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt, vinegar or hot sauce.  Set aside and if you wish this can be refrigerated and saved till the next day.

 

Ingredients for the greens:

  1. 1 Lb. (roughly) fresh Swiss chard, kale or spinach
  2. 1 Tblsp. olive oil
  3. S&P
  4. 1 Tblsp. sweet butter
  5. 1 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
  6. 1/4 C. half and half
  7. 1/4 Tsp. nutmeg
  8. 1 egg, well beaten

Directions for the greens:

  1. Clean well and rough chop the greens.
  2. In a large skillet or wok, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, add the greens and toss with tongs until wilted; cook them until tender. Hint: if you are using kale, it will take longer than the chard or spinach, the latter which will take the least amount of time.  Squeeze out the juice from the greens by pressing against the side of the pan and pouring off the juices.
  3. Over medium heat add the butter to the greens in the skillet/wok and toss to blend ; then add the flour and toss to blend; add the half-and-half stirring frequently until the greens are coated by a nice creamy sauce (2-3 minutes).  Season with S&P to taste and nutmeg.  Taste, adjust the seasoning and stir in the well beaten egg.

Ingredients for the final assembly:

  1. One sheet puff pastry, unthawed—per package directions
  2. 1 C. crumbled feta or 1 C. grated parmesan plus 1/4  to  1/2 C. chopped ricotta—your choice
  3. 1 plum or juicy tasty tomato, thinly sliced
  4. 1-10” Pyrex pie dish or something similar which is oven proof (you don’t need to pre-oil)

Very Final Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. On a lightly floured board, roll one sheet of pastry into a 14-inch square and transfer to your pie dish with the pastry edges sticking over the pie dish.
  3. Spread the bottom of the pastry with 1/2 of the cooled lamb filling ; spread half of the cheese of your choice next; top with the greens then repeat these layers once again ending with the greens and very lastly finishing with the sliced tomatoes.
  4. Crimp the edges from the pastry over the filling.
  5. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes till filling is hot and edges are browned; let it rest about 15 to 30 minutes before serving.
  6. If you have left over’s, you can reheat the remainders in the dish at the same oven temp for about 20 minutes.
  7. You can also pre-make the sauce and the greens without the final addition of the egg the day before and then add the egg to the greens and assemble it all the next day.
  8. If you wish to make it into a real pie, you can unthaw and roll out the second sheet of puff pastry and use that as your topping.  I frankly like the open face look and feel that the extra crust is unnecessary both for pretty presentation and calories.  However, if you choose to place a top crust, make sure to make slits in it  for the steam to escape before baking and cut the baking time by 10 to 15 minutes.

Eggs in Mini Pumpkins with Squash or Sweet Potato Hash

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Eggs in Mini Pumpkins with Squash or Sweet Potato Hash

mini-pumpkin, egg and squash hashegg in mini pumpkin w sweet potato hash

Serves 4

Left picture with squash; right one with sweet potato

This is probably not a dish that you will make more than once or twice a year, but for around Halloween or Thanksgiving, it’s a colorful and yummy dish with which to surprise your family and overnight guests for a breakfast or brunch. It’s a pretty and unique dish to serve and I think just plain memorably fun.

Ingredients:

  1. 4 mini orange pumpkins (4 inches in diameter) which you’ve cut about 1/3rd of the way down, seeded and spoon-scraped clean the insides so that an egg will fit in nicely. The pumpkin inner flesh is delicious to eat with the egg. SAVE THE TOPS FOR DÉCOR and if they have a stem, all the better.
  2. 1-2 Tblsp. olive oil for the frying pan
  3. 1 small package cut up fresh squash and cut up even smaller by you into 1/2 inch diced pieces or 1 sweet potato peeled and coarsely shredded or grated.
  4. 1/2 C. onion or shallot, minced
  5. 1 red pepper cut longwise into slender strips
  6. 1/2 C. uncooked bacon, diced or Black Forest ham diced
  7. 1/2 C. olive oil
  8. 1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
  9. 1-2 Tsp. red chili flakes
  10. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  11. 2 Tblsp. fresh sage or rosemary, minced
  12. S&P
  13. 4 large eggs

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 the day of serving.
  2. In a small bowl whip together the olive oil, vinegar, chili flakes, garlic cloves and sage or rosemary. Reserve about 2 Tblsp. to either brush on the bottom of the pumpkins before placing in an egg or to drizzle on top of your egg when the egg is cooked.
  3. In a medium sized frying pan, heat up the 1-2 Tblsp. olive oil and sauté the onion or shallot along with the red pepper strips until both are softened (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add the vinaigrette to the onion/red peppers and quickly add the sweet potato or squash; gently stir everything so well mixed.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, uncovered until softened and tasting pretty good (about 10 minutes).  At this point you can put a lid over the skillet to keep warm until you serve your egg/pumpkin or you can refrigerate it and reheat it with the pumpkins and eggs when you cook them. If you refrigerate the hash, let it come to room temp before putting in the oven with the pumpkins. Baking the hash in the oven will crispen the hash and you may prefer it like that.
  5. The day of serving, for the pumpkins, line a baking sheet with foil and place them on the foil lined baking sheet, cut side down.
  6. Bake the pumpkins on the sheet for 15 minutes. Remove from oven.
  7. Turn the pumpkins right side up on your baking sheet and if you wish, brush the inside of the pumpkins with a little of the leftover vinaigrette and season with S&P or save the vinaigrette for top of the egg drizzle when the egg is cooked. Crack one egg into the center of each pumpkin and if you wish to have a crisper hash or need to reheat your room temp hash, single layer that around your pumpkins.
  8. Return the baking sheet to the oven and continue baking until the eggs are almost set—around 15 minutes.  Start keeping a close eye on them about 10 minutes on and remember that when the pumpkin is out of the oven, the eggs will cook a bit more inside the hot pumpkins.
  9. To serve: Spoon the hash onto plates and nestle the pumpkins in the center. Lean one pumpkin top on the side of each pumpkin.  Drizzle a bit of the vinaigrette on top of the egg if you desire.

Lavender (Or Not) Puffs

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Lavender (or Not) Puffs

Makes 3 dozen cookies

IMG_3890
lavender

(Puff in foreground of plate pictured above)

Here’s is cookie that everyone likes.  And—it’s so very easy to make.  It also freezes well.  So what more can you want———Furthermore, you can make them without the lavender.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 ½ C. all purpose flour
  2. 1/2 C. Cornstarch
  3. 1/4 Tsp. salt
  4. 1 Tsp. culinary lavender buds
  5. 1/4 C. confectioners/powdered sugar
  6. 1 Tsp. vanilla extract (the real thing is sure better than the imitation kind)
  7. 1/4 to 1/2 C. powdered sugar for last minute dusting

Instructions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt and lavender buds.
  2. In another medium sized bowl, beat the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth (about 2 minutes).
  3. Beat in the vanilla extract and then add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.
  4. Cover and put in the refrigerator for an hour until batter is firm. If it seems to firm when you have removed it from the refrigerator, let it sit out for a bit.
  5. Pre-heat oven to 350 and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  6.  Form 1-inch balls and place on your prepared cookie sheets about 1-inch apart.
  7. Bake for about 10-14 minutes (mine took 12 minutes here in Sun Valley) until the edges just start to brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and place on wire racks that have been placed above paper towels to cool for about 3-5 minutes.
  9. Put the extra powdered sugar in a fine strainer/sieve and sprinkle the tops of the cookies with the sugar.
  10. Place in an airtight container and they will keep for a couple of weeks.  I froze mine and they taste just fine out of the freezer.  You may want to refresh the powder sugar dusting before serving if they had been frozen.

Winter Greens, Potatoes and Chickpeas Stew

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Winter Greens, Potatoes and Chickpeas Stew

Serves 4

Greens, Potatoes and Chickpeas Stew

This is a nice soup for those desiring a vegetarian meal for a cool day’s lunch or dinner. The ingredients can be varied which I feel always adds interest to your dish. It’s also a complete protein meal so you don’t have to worry about having poultry, meat or fish as well.  Bon Appétit.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 Lb. Chard, stems removed (I used the rainbow variety) You could also use spinach or Kale or a combination of the greens.
  2. 1 ½ Lbs. Baking Potatoes (I used 2 large ones but 3 medium ones would be OK as well)-Sliced in 3/4 inch-slices
  3. 1-2 Onions, rough chopped or even thinly sliced
  4. 2-3 Garlic Cloves-minced
  5. 3 Tblsp. Olive Oil
  6. 1 Tsp. Paprika
  7. 1/4 Tsp. Turmeric
  8. 1/8- 1/4  Tsp. Cayenne Pepper (depending how “hot” you want your stew)
  9. 1 Tsp. salt (optional)
  10. 4 C. of  Vegetarian Base Bouillon or Chicken Stock, heated
  11. 2 C. (1-16 oz. can) of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (you can also use another type of white bean)
  12. 2 Hard Boiled Eggs, Sliced or cut into wedges (optional)
  13. One Tasty Tomato, Sliced (optional)
  14. Shaved Parmesan or Jack Cheese for topping (optional)
  15. Chopped Parsley for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Cook your greens any which way you wish; drain thoroughly and set aside.
  2. In a large stove top Dutch oven or similar kind of pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the potatoes, onions and garlic cloves.  Sauté for 5-10 minutes—watching carefully and stirring quite often—until the potatoes have started to brown. Add to this the paprika, turmeric, salt and cayenne until the mixture smells fragrant (around 1-2 minutes).
  3. Add the bouillon, greens and chickpeas and bring to a simmer.  Simmer with a tipped top for about 15 to 20 minutes—or till the potatoes are tender.
  4. Serve the stew topped with the hard boiled eggs, tomato slices, cheese and chopped parsley.

Victorian Lavender Cookies with Rose Water Icing

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Victorian Lavender Cookies with Rose Water Icing

Makes 4 dozen cookies

(In the left picture, shown in the foreground and not those with the jam)

 margot 244 (2) lavender

This is another cookie that I served at the Sept. 22, 2013 Sun Valley Harvest Festival’s Grand Tasting.  It was a big hit.  The combination of the lavender and rose water is so beautiful and tasty.  I have frozen these cookies with the icing and they taste just fine; however the rose water icing doesn’t seem to have as strong a smell as when first put on but it still tastes like rose water.

Ingredients for the cookies:

  1. 1/2 C. Sweet Butter
  2. 1 C. Bakers Sugar
  3. 2 Eggs
  4. 1 Tsp. Culinary Lavender, crushed
  5. 1 ½ C. flour
  6. 2 Tsp. Baking Powder
  7. 1/4 Tsp. Salt

Directions for the cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and lavender.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together and add to the butter, etc. mixture.
  4. Drop by teaspoons onto a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.  I lined mine 3 across because they do spread out flat-about 2” or so.
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes.  Watch carefully to see that the bottoms don’t get too brown.  Mine here took about 8-9 minutes.
  6. Let cookies sit a minute on the cookie sheet and finishing cooling them on racks.

Ingredients for the Rose Water Icing: (I started with ½ of this recipe and that’s about all I used.  You may want more though.)

  1. 2 C. Powdered Sugar
  2. 5 ½ Tsp. water
  3. 6 ½ Tsp. Rose Water (can be procured at Atkinsons’-about $5)

Icing Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar with the water and rose water.

Finishing Directions:

  1. When the cookies have cooled, drizzle over them the icing.