Friday, June 24, 2011

Easy Homemade Chocolate Pudding

One thing that I've been trying to do more is make homemade versions of things that I would buy pre-packaged or use store-bought mixes for (granola bars, muffins, brownies, cakes, breads, etc).

Next to be tackled was chocolate pudding. This is an easy, relatively healthy dessert. And it's a great recipe for kids to help with.


  • 1/2 C. sugar
  • 1/4 C. cocoa powder
  • 1/4 C. corn starch
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 C. milk
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
In a medium-sized saucepan, mix the sugar, cocoa, corn starch, and salt. Turn on the heat to medium and slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly so that no lumps form. Continue whisking for about 10 minutes, until the mixture has thickened and is starting to bubble. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Allow the pudding to cool completely before serving or refrigerating. The pudding will thicken more as it cools, so don't worry if it still looks a little thin. If you have some of those small reusable containers, it's great to store the pudding in the fridge in those. Makes 6-8 servings.

CSA Week 4: Beets

We got one of my favorite ingredients this week: beets! If you've only had pickled beets and didn't like them, reserve your judgement until you've had fresh beets. They are so yummy. And the beet greens are probably my favorite green - simply saute them like you would spinach.

The rest of this week's box: cilantro seedling, blueberries (already used them for muffins), spring onions, lettuce, and kale.

I think beets are best when served simply, like this fantastic salad with beets, maple-glazed nuts, and goat cheese.


  • 2-3 beets, trimmed and halved (save the greens for another use)
  • 1/4 C. walnuts or pecans
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 oz. goat cheese
  • vinaigrette of your choice (I used my favorite maple balsamic vinaigrette)
Put the beets in a small saucepan and cover with water. Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the beets have softened. Meanwhile, toast the nuts in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the maple syrup and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring to cover the nuts. Set aside to cool. When the beets are finished cooking, drain them in a colander and run cold water over them. When they are cool enough to handle, use your fingers to remove the skins - they should come off easily. Slice the beets and arrange them in bowls with the nuts and goat cheese on top. Drizzle with the dressing and serve.

The Best Blueberry Muffins

We got our first container of blueberries from our CSA this week, and the first thing my older son said was "Can we make blueberry muffins?" So the crisps, crumbles, and cobblers will have to wait until the next batch.

There are two things about this recipe that make it the best. First, the lemon really enhances the blueberry flavor. And second, the sprinkle of sugar on top gives it a great "crust". These do not last long in my house.


  • 1 1/2 C. flour
  • 3/4 C. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 C. blueberries
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 C. vegetable oil
  • 1/3 C. milk
  • 1 egg
  • sugar, for sprinkling
In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Carefully add the blueberries and stir to coat. In a separate bowl, mix the lemon zest, juice, vegetable oil, milk, and egg. Add to the dry ingredients and mix only until just combined. Spoon the batter into greased muffin cups (fill about 2/3 of the way). Sprinkle the top  of each muffin with a little sugar. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes until light golden brown. Cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, then remove and cool completely. Makes 10-12 muffins.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sweet Cherry Cake

I had a bunch of sweet cherries that I needed to use up, but I just made a pie last weekend. I remember this yummy rhubarb buttermilk cake that I made a while ago, so that was my inspiration for this.

Do not be intimidated by this cake - it's actually super simple to make.


  • 1/4 C. unsalted butter (half a stick), melted
  • 1/4 C. brown sugar
  • 2-3 C. pitted, chopped sweet cherries
  • 1 1/2 C. AP flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 C. unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C. milk
Butter the sides of a round cake pan. Whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar until combined. Pour evenly into the bottom of the cake pan. Sprinkle the cherries on top of the butter/sugar mixture.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix until combined. Add half the flour mixture and mix until combined, being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the milk and mix until combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until combined. Pour the batter over top of the cherries.

Bake at 350 for about 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan. Invert the pan on a serving plate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Slowly remove the pan and you should have a beautiful cake.

Serve plain, or with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Beef Ribs with Pineapple Glaze

We don't eat a lot of meat around here, so for a special Father's Day treat, I decided to make the mother of all meat dishes: ribs. I've never made them before, so I scouted around a lot before deciding on what to do.

My main inspiration is this recipe from Kitchen Explorers. I used beef ribs, though, and the weather wasn't cooperative enough for grilling, so I had to modify the recipe.

I served the ribs with mashed red potatoes, sauteed swiss chard and fresh peas, and a simple green salad.


  • 1 rack of beef or pork ribs (about 2-3 lbs.)
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 can pineapple rings, reserve 1/2 C. juice
  • 1/2 C. ketchup
  • 1/4 C. brown sugar
  • 1/4 C. worcestershire sauce
Line a large baking sheet with alumnium foil and lay the rack of ribs on top. Combine the paprika, cinnamon, chili powder, salt, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Rub both sides of the ribs with the spice mixture.

Bake at 325 for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the pineapple juice, ketchup, brown sugar, and worcestershire sauce. Simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes until thick.

Remove the ribs from the oven and baste them with the sauce. Flip the ribs and baste some more. Bake for another 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and flip them and baste them again. Bake for 15 more minutes.

Remove from oven and baste. Add the pineapple rings to the tray around the ribs and baste them with any remaining sauce. Bake for 15 minutes, for a total bake time of 90 minutes.

Let stand about 5 minutes, then slice and serve!

Blackberry Syrup

June is one my favorite months in the mid-Atlantic region, since berries are in season. I made a quick blackberry syrup to go with the crepes I made for breakfast. This syrup is also great over pancakes or ice cream!

For the crepes, I used Emmy's recipe, which only makes 6-8, perfect for our family.

This syrup recipe only makes enough for 2-3 people, but it is easily doubled or tripled.


  • 1 C. blackberries
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 a lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1/2 tsp. corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp. water
In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the blackberries, sugar, lemon juice, and zest. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the berries begin to break down. Mix the corn starch and water in a small bowl to make a "slurry". Add the slurry to the berry mixture and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes more; the syrup will thicken. Turn off the heat and cool for several minutes before serving.

Carrot Fennel Soup

This soup is light and delicious, perfect for a hot day. Fennel has a anisey, licoricey flavor, but the carrots keep it from overpowering the soup. You will need a blender (stand-alone or immersion) as this is tastiest when pureed until smooth.


  • 1-2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced (discard the stalks and fronds, or reserve the fronds for a salad or other use)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 6-8 carrots, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 C. vegetable broth
  • 1/2 C. orange juice
  • 1/4 C. heavy cream or half-and-half
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sliced spring onions, for garnish
Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion, carrots, and garlic, and saute until browned and softened, about 10 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, cover, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for about 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through. Puree in a blender until smooth. Return to the pot and stir in the orange juice and cream. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with spring onions.

I served the soup with a salad of lettuce, orange sections, radishes, cucumbers, pepitas, and goat cheese. For the dressing, I combined 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 2 tsp. dijon mustard, 2 tsp. maple syrup, and salt and pepper to taste. This is similar to my balsamic dressing, but it is lighter tasting due to the lemon juice, perfect for a salad with fruit in it!

Friday, June 17, 2011

CSA Week 3: Swiss Chard

The CSA parade of greens continues. In this week's box: dill seedling, peas, garlic scapes, spring onions, lettuce, swiss chard, and sweet cherries. I used the cherries to make some quick cherry-chocolate chip muffins yesterday.

I used the swiss chard, garlic scapes, and spring onions to make a quick pasta for last night's dinner. Swiss chard is super tasty, and you can eat the stems - they just need a little longer to cook.


  • 8 oz. pasta, prepared according to package directions
  • 1 large bunch of swiss chard, thoroughly washed, leaves torn, stems chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (I used a garlic scape)
  • 3-4 spring onions, sliced (or use 1 regular onion)
  • 1/4 C. pine nuts
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice (about half a lemon)
  • olive oil, salt, and pepper, to taste
  • feta cheese for garnish
Start cooking the pasta. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the garlic and onions and saute for 2-3 minutes until soft and fragrant. Add the stems of the swiss chard and saute for about 10 minutes, until they start to soften. Add the leaves and continue cooking until the leaves have wilted, about 5-10 more minutes. Turn off the heat and add the drained pasta, pine nuts, and lemon juice. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a sprinkle of feta cheese on top.

Note about cleaning greens: This time of year is when I'm glad to have a salad spinner. I have a tiny kitchen, so I'm not one for kitchen gadgets, but between the CSA, the farmer's market, and what we're growing out back, the salad spinner saves me a lot of time cleaning the grit off of all the yummy greens we're eating. 

If you don't have a salad spinner, here's a tip: Fill your sink halfway with cold water. Add the greens and swish them around to remove the grit (they should float in the water). The grit will fall to the bottom of the sink. Remove the leaves to a colander on the counter and shake out the excess water. Dry the greens with a towel before using. Don't forget to clean out your sink before you use it to wash dishes (not that I've ever done that or anything...)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cherry Chocolate Chip Muffins

I love the combination of cherries and chocolate, so when my oldest asked if we could make muffins ("from scratch," he specified), I decided to try a cherry-chocolate chip muffin.

The thing that's great about baking is that if you know a basic recipe, you can tweak it pretty easily. You could easily change this recipe and replace the cherries with blueberries or the chocolate chips with nuts (or both) or use whatever combination your heart desires - for my 5 year old, that would be all chocolate chips!


  • 2 C. AP flour
  • 2/3 C. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 C. pitted, diced sweet cherries
  • 1/2 C. chocolate chips
  • 1/2 C. butter (1 stick), melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 C. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the cherries and chocolate chips and mix to coat (I find this helps keep them from sinking to the bottom of the muffin). In a separate bowl, mix the melted butter (make sure it's cool or you may cook the eggs), eggs, milk, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined. Spoon the batter into 12 greased muffin cups (they will be nearly full). Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan, then eat them warm or cool on a wire rack before serving.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bruschetta with Tomatoes, Basil, and Mozzarella

This makes a quick dinner or lunch and is perfect for showcasing what's in season. This is a very simple recipe, but it tastes best if you use quality ingredients: freshly baked bread, mozzarella from the cheese case (it's worth the extra cost), fresh basil (plucked out of the garden, if possible), good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sadly, tomatoes aren't in season quite yet, but look for greenhouse grown tomatoes at the farmer's market.


  • freshly baked baguette (bought day of, if possible), sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced in half
  • cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • huge bunch of basil, roughly chopped
  • fresh mozzarella (I used smoked), chopped
  • good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
Rub both sides of the sliced bread with the garlic. Place the bread on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 400 for about 5 minutes, until toasted. Alternately, you can grill the bread.

Meanwhile, mix the tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella in a bowl. Drizzle with vinegar and olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the bread alongside the tomato mixture. When ready to eat, scoop some tomato mixture onto the bread and try not to eat it all yourself!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

CSA Week 2: Collard Greens

I'm a little behind on posting an update of last week's CSA goodies. Last week's basket contained lettuce, garlic scapes, spring onions, a dill seedling, cherries, strawberries, and collard greens.

I used some of the garlic scapes in the caramelized onion and goat cheese pizza and the cherries in the cherry-rhubarb pie.

I wanted to post a simple recipe for collard greens, in case you've never cooked them before. Even though we technically live in the south, I had never had them until a few years ago. They take a little longer to cook than some other greens, but they are really yummy.


2-3 C. collard greens, washed and torn (remove the stems)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (I used garlic scapes)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the collard greens and cook for 10-15 minutes. Drain thoroughly. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the drained greens and saute for 5-10 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cherry-Rhubarb Pie

Cherries are just coming into season here in the mid-atlantic, and I love cherry pie. But it is often too sweet for my taste, so I added some rhubarb (much like I do with strawberry pie). The result was fantastic. I made a two crust pie this time - it definitely makes for a more elegant presentation.

I had some leftover rhubarb, so I also made rhubarb sauce (see below), which is a tangy version of applesauce, sort of like cranberry sauce.

Cherry-Rhubarb Pie

For the Crust:
2 C. flour
1/4 C. sugar
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
2 egg yolks
1/4 C. water

For the Filling:
1 1/2 C. pitted chopped cherries
1 1/2 C. chopped rhubarb
2/3 C. sugar
2 Tbsp.  corn starch
Pinch of salt

Mix flour and sugar in a bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in egg yolks. Add the water slowly until a smooth dough forms. Separate the dough into two balls and chill until ready to use, at least 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the cherries, rhubarb, sugar, corn starch, and salt.

Take one ball of dough out of the refrigerator and quickly roll it to form a thin circle. I do this in between pieces of parchment paper. Work quickly before the dough gets sticky. Put the dough in the bottom of a standard pie dish, trimming any excess dough from the edges.

Pour the filling into the crust.

Remove the other ball of dough from the refrigerator and quickly roll it to form another thin circle. Carefully place the dough on top of the filling and seal the edges, trimming excess dough as you work. Cut a few slits in the center of the crust to allow steam to escape.

Bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes until the crust is light brown. Allow to stand at least an hour before serving.

Rhubarb Sauce

1/4 C. water
1/4 C. sugar
2 cups chopped rhubarb

Add water and sugar to a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the rhubarb and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until the rhubarb has broken down and a thick sauce has formed. 

Allow to cool, then cover and refrigerate until serving. It is great as an ice cream topping or eaten by itself.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza

This is a delicious white pizza (no tomatoes) that is fancy enough to impress dinner guests. As is typical for a weeknight, I used frozen pizza dough (just thaw on the counter for a few hours), but homemade would be even tastier.

And because I had some super ripe peaches, I made peach sangria (recipe below) to make dinner a little more festive.

I typically use garlic in this recipe, but I had some garlic scapes from our CSA, so I used one of those instead. If you've never had a garlic scape, it's the top of the garlic plant. It looks like a curly Q spring onion. It has a mild garlic flavor and can be substituted for garlic or spring onions in any recipe.

Ingredients for the Pizza:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2-3 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic scape, chopped
  • pizza dough for 1 pizza
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 C. chopped basil or other fresh herbs (or substitute a smaller amount of dried herbs)
  • 4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium low heat. Add the onions and cook slowly, so that they caramelize, about 20 minutes. Add the garlic scapes and heat for 1-2 more minutes.

Meanwhile, stretch the pizza dough onto a pizza pan. Brush with 1 tsp. olive oil and top with the basil and goat cheese. Pour the onions over the top. Bake at 450 for 20-25 minutes, until the crust is brown and crispy.

For the Sangria:

  • 2 ripe peaches, sliced
  • 1 bottle white wine
  • 3/4 C. Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
Put half the sliced peaches in the bottom of a pitcher. Use a potato masher or wooden spoon to crush the peaches. Fill the pitcher halfway with ice. Add the wine and Grand Marnier. Still thoroughly. Add the rest of the sliced peaches. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Note: The peaches make this plenty sweet for my taste, but you could always add a little simple syrup if it's not sweet enough for you. To make simple syrup, heat equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Cool and use in mixed drinks, lemonade, or iced tea. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Crispy Tortilla Wedges

This is a take on tortilla chips, made with flour tortillas. I served them as a crunchy addition to the salads we were having for dinner, but they are also great for snacking. I usually bake them in the oven, but it is just too darn hot around here to turn on the oven. So I fried them in a small amount of oil on the stove-top. You could also do this with corn tortillas for a different flavor and texture.


  • flour tortillas
  • vegetable oil (do not use olive oil!)
  • salt
In a large skillet, pour in enough oil to coat the entire bottom of the pan (probably about 1/4 C). Heat the oil over medium-high until it begins to shimmer. Do not let it smoke - that means the oil is too hot. Meanwhile, stack the tortillas and cut them into wedges (I think 6ths is perfect). Have a plate lined with paper towels ready. When the oil is shimmering, gently add a few wedges at a time. Do not crowd the pan. After 30-60 seconds, you will see the edges browning. Using tongs, carefully turn the wedges over and let them cook for about 30 seconds more. 

Remove the wedges to the paper towels to drain and sprinkle with salt. Repeat until all the tortillas have been fried. Try not to eat them all at once!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Black Bean "Falafel"

I got the idea for this from my weekly Scramble menu - one of the meals was a black bean burger, but we had a bunch of tortillas that I wanted to use up. So I started thinking about how I could change the recipe to make it easier to serve in a tortilla, and then I thought of falafel. Normally falafel is made out of chickpeas so this is a very loose interpretation.


  • 1 can of black beans, drained and mashed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 C. panko bread crumbs (could also use regular bread crumbs)
  • hot sauce, to taste
  • 1/4 C. cornmeal
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • tortillas, for serving
  • salsa, for serving
  • shredded cheese, for serving
  • greek yogurt or sour cream, for serving
Combine the mashed black beans, egg, panko, and hot sauce in a small bowl. Have the cornmeal ready on a shallow plate. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Use a large spoon to scoop out a few tablespoons of the black bean mixture into the cornmeal. Use your hands to make a small disc, coating with cornmeal and shaking off any excess. Add to the hot oil and do not move. Continue until you have used all the black bean mixture. Cook without moving for about 3 minutes. Then flip over and cook for about 3 minutes more. 

Cut in half and serve on tortillas, topped with salsa, cheese, and yogurt.

I served these with sweet potato fries and roasted asparagus and spring onions.

I have made my own sweet potato fries in the past, but for me, the best ones are the frozen Alexia brand - my 5 year old just gobbles them up. 

To make the roasted asparagus and spring onions, toss them with olive oil and a little salt and pepper and roast them at 400 for 20-30 minutes. If you've never tried roasting spring onions, you are missing out! They become sweet and crunchy and are a delicious compliment to the asparagus.

Friday, June 3, 2011

I Love Our CSA!

A few years ago, I was introduced to the concept of a CSA - community shared agriculture - otherwise known as a farm share. If you're not familiar with the concept, you buy a share of a local farm - paying upfront in the winter to help finance their operations. In return, you get a weekly delivery of the produce that is grown throughout the summer and fall. Not only is the produce fresher and tastier than what I'd normally get at the store, it's grown without chemicals or pesticides and using more sustainable methods. I'm a big fan of supporting local businesses, especially farmers. If you've never seen the documentary Food, Inc., you should - it really opened my eyes to industrial farming practices and has changed how I shop and eat. If you're interested in this sort of thing, I'd also recommend the book The Omniovore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan.

This is our third year as members of Great Country Farms in Bluemont, VA, about a 90 minute drive from DC. I love this farm not only for the produce deliveries, but also because members can pick produce at the farm every week and they have lots of great family activities like slides, mazes, tractor rides, and so on. Even if you're not a member, you can pay admission and check it out. I'd highly recommend it!

I love the assortment of produce that we receive every week starting at the beginning of June, especially because it makes us eat more fruits and vegetables and allows us to try things we wouldn't normally buy. I enjoy the challenge of what to make with the various items in our box - my neighbor Kathleen once compared it to the TV show Chopped.

Every week, I'll try to post what was in our box and some recipes that I came up with to use everything.

This week, our box included spring onions, asparagus, basil, kale, lettuce, garlic scapes, and strawberries.

Last night I made Kale and Bulgur Wheat Pilaf for dinner and Strawberry Shortcake for dessert. Kale is an intimidating ingredient, if you've never cooked it before, but it's one of my favorite greens. It has almost a nutty flavor, and it is so good for you! I used all of this week's kale in the pilaf, but next time, I'll be sure to make kale chips, which are roasted pieces of kale with olive oil and salt. They are like potato chips - so addictive!

This year, we're also growing a little garden in the back, mainly as a learning experience for the boys. We planted from seed and so far, things are looking good. I did a little research and planted things that grow well in our area: zucchini, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, and snap peas. I'll keep you posted on our progress - the lettuce is almost ready to harvest.

As I've done in the past, I'm also growing herbs on our patio. Even if you don't have space for a garden, all you need is a sunny spot, pots, and potting soil to grow your own herbs. It is so nice to just run outside and snip some of whatever I need. This year, we're growing cilantro, basil, parsley, chives, and oregano. Our farm also sends seedlings occasionally, so I will probably pot those too when they come.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake

This recipe is NOT low-fat. But I only make it once per year, right at the peak of strawberry season, so I'm okay with it.


  • 2 C. strawberries, chopped
  • 1-2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1.5 C. AP flour
  • 1/4 C. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 C. (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 C. heavy cream
  • 1 egg, beaten
Macerate the strawberries in 1-2 Tbsp. of sugar and set aside. If the strawberries are really ripe, they won't need that much extra sugar. In a small bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and baking powder. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the cream and egg and mix until combined. Drop the batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to form 6 round shortcakes. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, until light golden brown around the edges. 

Cool slightly. Slice in half, fill with some of the strawberries, then top with whipped cream or ice cream and more strawberries.

Kale & Bulgur Wheat Pilaf

Here's a great way to use kale (or other leafy greens, like spinach, collards, or chard). I love bulgur wheat - if you've never tried it, it's got a delicious nutty flavor, sort of a mix between brown rice and quinoa. It is super easy to cook too. If you have trouble finding it in the rice/grains section of your grocery store, look in the cereal aisle, near the hot cereals. If you still can't find it, you could substitute quinoa, brown rice, orzo, or cous cous.


  • 1 C. bulgur wheat (or other grain)
  • 2 C. chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1/2 C. white wine (or can use more chicken broth)
  • juice of one lemon, divided
  • big bunch of kale, washed and torn (remove the bigger stems as they can be tough)
  • 1/2 C. pine nuts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • feta cheese, for garnish
In a medium saucepan, combine the bulgur wheat and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and half the lemon juice and stir to deglaze the pan. Add the kale. Do not panic if the kale is overflowing the pan. It will cook down. Stir the kale for about 5-7 minutes until it has wilted. 

Add the bulgur wheat, pine nuts, and the rest of the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.

Serve with feta cheese on top.