Saturday, September 23, 2017

Bring on September

With summer coming to an end, I'm ready to trade in my smoothies and salads for some heartier fare.

Check out these gorgeous eggs from my friend's chickens! I secretly want her to adopt me - her house is a wonderland of native plants and animals. :)

And one of my absolute favorite things to do with fresh eggs is...

Breakfast Hash
Serves 4
1 package frozen sweet potato fries
8 breakfast sausage patties
8 eggs
2 avocados
Hot sauce and cilantro for serving
Cook sweet potatoes and sausage according to package instructions. Cook eggs any way you like them. Top fries with sausage, eggs, avocado, cilantro and hot sauce.

Creamy and deliciously "dill"-y, this potato salad is a Labor Day essential!

Holly's Potato Salad (courtesy of Holly Redmond's Mom 😊)
Serves 8
3 pounds red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch dice
8 oz. light sour cream
8 oz. olive oil mayonnaise
2 t. seasoned salt
2 t. dried dill weed
1 1/2 T. dried parsley flakes
1/2 T. onion flakes
In a large pot, cover potatoes with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Drain. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl and add cooked potatoes. Chill several hours before serving.

Sauteed Cauliflower + Cheesy Pasta = Get in my belly now!

Serves 8
1 lb. medium shell pasta
3 T. olive oil, divided
1 large head cauliflower cut into bite-sized florets (about 2 1/2 lb.)
3 T. fresh sage leaves, chopped
2 T. capers, drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
Salt & pepper
2 c. grated Fontina (~10 oz. with rind)
8 oz. Neufchatel cheese
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
6 T. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. fresh parsley, minced
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain.
2. Heat 1 T. olive oil in large saute pan over medium heat. Add half of cauliflower and cook until lightly brown and tender, about 6 minutes. Repeat with 1 T. olive oil and remaining cauliflower.
3. In a large bowl, combine sage, capers, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, 1 t. salt and 1 t. pepper. Add cauliflower and pasta. Stir in Fontina.
4. Transfer half of pasta mixture to large baking dish. Spoon rounded tablespoons of Neufchatel evenly on top and cover with remaining pasta.
5. In now empty large bowl, combine remaining 1 T. oil, panko, Parmesan, and parsley. Sprinkle on top of pasta. Bake for 25 minutes until golden.

After living in Maryland for 16 years of my life, I get some MAJOR crab cake cravings! These aren't nearly as good as G&M Restaurant (which ships nationwide, BTW). But, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

Serves 4
Cooking spray
8 oz. small size fresh crabmeat (special or claw)
8 oz. large size fresh crabmeat (jumbo lump or backfin)
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise
Juice of 1 lemon
1 egg
1/2 T. Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
15 whole wheat saltine crackers, processed to fine crumbs
2 T. cold butter cut into 8 cubes
Tartar sauce for serving
1. Preheat broiler with rack 4 inches from heat. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat lightly with cooking spray. Keeping the two types separate, turn crabmeat out onto 2 paper towel lined plates and pick through for pieces of shell or cartilage.
2. In a large bowl, combine parsley, mayonnaise, lemon juice, egg, Old Bay, Dijon, salt, and pepper. Add small size crabmeat and cracker crumbs. Gently fold in large size crabmeat.
3. Use a large cookie scoop to evenly portion into 8 small crab cakes on the prepared baking sheet. Gently press one cube of butter into the top of each cake. Broil 5-10 minutes or until golden brown.

This easy, yummy soup is a great way to use up an excess of tomatoes. It also freezes well so you can enjoy its bright summery flavor anytime of year.

Serves 4
2 lb. tomatoes
1 small yellow onion
1 T. olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 T. chopped parsley
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (I like Pacific brand)
2 T. tomato paste
1/2 cup milk of choice or cream
Large croutons and shredded Parmesan for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut tomatoes and onions into wedges. Spread onto rimmed baking sheet and toss with olive oil, 1/2 t. salt, 1/4 t. pepper, and parsley. Tuck garlic cloves inside the tomatoes so they don't burn. Roast for 30 minutes, let cool slightly, and then puree in a blender. Warm broth and tomato paste in a large pot. Add pureed vegetables and milk. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with croutons and shredded Parmesan.