Category Archives: Recipe Ideas

Garlic Scapes

It may sound crazy, but I love when garlic scapes are in season. They are not around for long, but yet, I want to use them all year. Here is my solution…garlic scape butter.

I take about two large handfuls of garlic scapes, cut off any dry ends, and chop into 2-inch pieces. Put the scapes into the food processor with 3 sticks of softened butter. Process until smooth.

I make my garlic scape butter on the strong side because: 1) I love garlic scapes, and 2) more importantly, I know how I plan to use them.

I use the garlic scape butter for sauteing vegetables, chicken, fish or as a base for a quick sauce.

After you decide if you need more butter in the food processor. Dollop he garlic scape butter onto a parchment lined sheet pan and freeze.

Once frozen, place the dollops into a freezer bag to use the rest of the year!

Big Game Ready!

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Just because the title of the class is “Game Day” doesn’t mean that the recipes we make during the class won’t be great all year round. You may not be thinking that a fruit salsa is a winter food, but our recipe includes Ghost Pepper Honey and Bourbon…that is a game-changer!

Ghost Pepper Honey and Bourbon Fruit Salsa

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Five 10-inch flour tortillas 

Cooking spray 

2 Granny Smith apples, grated 

1 Bartlett pear, small-diced 

Juice of 1 lime 

1-3 tablespoons ghost pepper honey 

8 ounces strawberries, chopped 

4 ounces raspberries, chopped 

1 ounce bourbon 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Spray the tops of the tortillas with cooking spray and sprinkle with the cardamom sugar. Cut each tortilla into 10 to 12 wedges and place on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake until crispy and golden, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Meanwhile, make the salsa by combining the apples, pear, lime juice and preserves in a medium bowl. Fold in the strawberries, raspberries and bourbon. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for an hour to allow all the flavors to marry.

Happy Hour

happy hour at
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We are starting the year off with our signature Happy Hour class.  Don’t know what that is at Vintage Kitchen?  It is 5 appetizers and a drink all surrounding a theme.  The catch is that the theme is a secret until you get to the class!

The theme for tonight:  Comfort Foods!  It’s winter and comfy cozy is what we need.  And we are playing with lots of cooking toys and ingredients.

During class, I am usually asked where I get the equipment and ingredients we use, so I thought I would list them.  I am also sharing the recipe for Buffalo Sauce that we used in class.

The menu for this class:

Bacon Jam Grilled Cheese.  We used Tastefully Simple Bacon Jam on the grilled cheese.  Instead of making the grilled cheese on the stove, we used the panini press.  With a class of 20 people, we have two presses: Bella Panini Press and Breville Panini Press.  Confession: One of my panini presses lives at my house most of the time…

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese. See the recipe below for the Buffalo Sauce we used in the recipe…we used Sylvia’s Hot and Spice Seasoning…it is so good!

Buffalo Wing Sauce

6 ounces hot sauce

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons honey

1-2 teaspoons Sylvia’s Hot and Spice Seasoning

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan until the flavors blend.

Chili  Instead of slow cooking the chili, we used the Instapot to meld the flavors quickly and have the chili ready before the end of class.

Individual Chicken Pot Pies  Regular pot pie is great, but individual pot pies are outstanding!  We used the Baby Cakes Individual Pie Maker.

Also on the menu:

Roasted Tomato Soup, Skillet Apple Pie, White Queso Dip, and Mulled Wine

Yes, that is actually seven recipes…but we have a big class…and we are hungry!

White Chocolate Lime Bark

lime bark

It all started with an idea to upgrade a lime cupcake for a cooking demo…

I was scheduled to give a cooking demonstration at Woodloch Lodge that focused on using Young Living Essential Oils in recipes.  I had prepared lime cupcakes previously, and since it is my newest “recipe of the season” (expect to see the cupcakes appear frequently this spring), that was going to be one of the recipes for the demo.

Northeast Pennsylvania. March. Storm. No electricity.

The spa was running on generators (and doing very well with that!), and while I could have baked the cupcakes, I could not demo the frosting.  Time for plan B.

The “house” trail mix was available.  It contained dried fruit, cashews, nuts, and sunflower seeds.  A new recipe was born. And it is tasty.

Lime White Chocolate Bark

8 ounces white chocolate melts (preferable Ghirardelli)

Green paste food coloring

3-4 drops Young Living Lime Vitality Essential Oil*

1 cup trail mix of your choice

In a double boiler, melt the white chocolate. Once the chocolate is smooth, add the food coloring (liquid food coloring will mot work) and essential oil. Spread mixture on a sheet of wax paper or parchment. Sprinkle the trail mix on top of chocolate.  Press slightly.

Let chocolate set. When firm, break into pieces and serve.

*To order Young Living Lime Vitality Essential Oil, please send me an e-mail.

 

Slow Cooker Love!

It is no secret that I love using my slow cooker to get family meals together.   Here are my top three reasons for using the slow cooker:

  1. Foods can be cooking while away at work.
  2. Foods can be cooking without heating the kitchen during the summer months.
  3. Foods can be cooking while I am at home, spending my time entrenched in an activity…sewing, reading, sewing, working, sewing…you get the idea!

I use my slow cooker so much, I own two of them, and today, they were both being put to work.

dual crock pots

One is the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go Slow Cooker that often travels to tailgates, friend’s homes, sport concession stands, and family gatherings.  Today, I was preparing Tex Mex Potato Soup that was prepped during Jamie’s Tastefully Simple Freezer Workshop held at Vintage Kitchen.  To make clean up easier, I used a slow cooker liner.

The second slow cooker that I own has a divided insert.  I purchased it at a discount store years ago and it has been performing ever since.  Today’s dinner was one of the best recipes I have ever tried.  Slow-Cooked Italian-Style Braised Chuck Roast  was on one side of the slow cooker.  I did not adapt the recipe except to use the slow cooker instead of the oven. As I got closer to serving, I put vegetables on the right.  Dinner finished!!! (I don’t have a link to the brand I bought, but a similar crockpot is the Crock Pot Double Dipper.)

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Skillet Lasagna

lasagna

The “Cooking in College” class featured recipes that were inexpensive, could be cooked quickly with a few ingredients and minimal mess.  Hmmm… sounds like something families can use on most weeknights.!!!  No matter if you live at college, in dorms or apartments or have 5 kids to feed, this recipe is for you!

This recipe uses one of my all-time favorite small appliances: the electric skillet.  I began using the electric skillet while in college to cook venison.

It is not that I don’t like my other small appliances (and I have many), but the electric skillet is a necessary one in my kitchen.  The features of the electric I love is the heat regulation, and that is why it is perfect for tis recipe; you are more likely to get an evenly cooked lasagna.

You can adjust this recipe for meat lovers as well as vegetarians.

Skillet Lasagna

1 pound ground beef or Italian sausage, or for a vegetarian version, chop your favorite vegetables

Fresh ground pepper, to taste

1/2 cup diced onion

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 (25 ounce) jar marinara sauce

2 cups water

10 curly edged lasagna noodles, each broken into 4 pieces

1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella/provolone or Italian blend cheese

1/3 cup shaved or grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup chopped, fresh basil

Coat a deep 12″ skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Cook the ground beef, breaking up with a spoon, over medium-high heat until no pink remains. Drain off as much of the grease as you can and return the pan to the stove. Season the meat with salt and pepper and add the onion and garlic. Continue to cook; stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork, approximately 5 minutes or more.

Meanwhile, combine marinara sauce, diced tomatoes, and water in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.

Add uncooked lasagna noodles to pan to cover the meat, breaking each noodle into 4 pieces as you add them to the pan. Pour the tomato mixture evenly over the pasta, making sure that the edges are covered. Bring to a good simmer then reduce heat to medium, cover pan, and simmer for 25 minutes.

Remove cover and drop spoonfuls of the ricotta over the surface of the lasagna. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella/provolone and Parmesan. Cover pan and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Sprinkle with basil and serve.

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Pork Burger

pork burger

I get a lot of ground pork from the local farm and it is excellent!  I am always looking for new ways to use it and this time is was a new burger.  I mixed the pork with Worcestershire sauce, ground sage, crushed red pepper, and a chopped apple.  Once grilled, it was topped with Cooper cheese, bacon, and pepper jelly.  Fantastic!

Eat Your Veggies

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When I have a lot of vegetables on hand and want to use them up, I often make this meal.  I find it to be highly satisfying…and simple.

The first step is to roast the vegetables.  Cut the veggies to similar sizes and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  You can add additional spices if you like. Place  the vegetables on a sheet pan and roast for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Toast some hearty bread (multi-grain, French or Italian bread all work well.)  Spread the toast with goat cheese, top with the roasted vegetables, and drizzle with some local honey.  Serve with a salad, or not.

Swiss Chard Meatballs

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What do you do when you have Swiss Chard?  Make meatballs.  It is probably not the first thing you thought of to make, but what a success it was!  I had Swiss Chard from the CSA delivery and happened to be looking through America: Farm to Table by Mario Batali and the recipe I used was in that book.

If you don’t have that book, the process can be used in your regular meatball recipe. Cook the chard with some onion and garlic until it is wilted.  Chop the chard and cook.  Add to your meatball mixture.

I served the meatballs with pasta and sauce.  Delicious!