Monthly Archives: July 2008

Macaroni and cheese done light

Every now and then I get sick of boxed mac and cheese and get a craving for the real deal. I try to be health conscious and recognize that homemade mac and cheese is fat-a-ning! Well, it doesn’t have to be. I tooled around with it for a while until I came up with simple, yet low fat way to make mac and cheese without losing any of that good homemade flavor. I think I did it. You won’t believe how easy it is to make.

Low-fat Macaroni and Cheese

1 box of elbow macaroni (16oz)

2 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons of flour

2 Cups skim milk

2 Cups low fat cheddar cheese

S&P to taste

Boil macaroni, drain and set aside.

Melt butter into a dutch oven or large soup pot, when butter is melted add flour and wisk for a bout 1.5 mins (I like to cook the flour a bit to get out the starchy-flour taste). When butter and flour is incorporated, add milk and whisk/stir until thick.

When thick add cheese and stir until melted.

Add cooked macaroni stir until well mixed.

Pour into greased casserole dish and bake at 350 for 30-40 mins.




Potatoes and Zucchini with crunchy shallots

I had gotten some new potatoes and zucchini in my CSA box this week. I also had on hand the garlic I picked my self (thankyouverymuch) at HighCross Farm on Tuesday. I decided to throw a litte sautee together and see how it came out.

1 zucchini sliced into rounds

4 small new potatoes cut into rounds

1 shallot finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic finely chopped

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

First, I sliced up my potatoes. I wanted to sautee the potatoes and the zucchini together and didn’t want raw potatoes with soggy, overcooked zucchini. I decided to steam my sliced potatoes first. Put your potatoes in a steamer (or a make-shift steamer of a sauce pan, colander and lid). I steamed the potatoes until soft enough not to be crisp yet with enough bite (new potatoes can sog up on you if overcooked as well).

Put your olive oil in the pan…medium high heat…add shallot and let fry until crispy. Add garlic and let sautee until clear but not brown (brown garlic is bitter garlic). add zucchini and potatoes, S&P, sautee zucchini starts to get opaque in the center.

The picture doesn’t do this dish justice. It was fantastic. I liked the crunchy shallot against the softer potatoes and zucchini. I will definitely make this again.

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Posted by on July 28, 2008 in sautee, shallots, squash, zucchini


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Baby back ribs

These were so good! They are very simple to make as well. Make sure when you buy your rack of ribs that the membrane in the back is taken out. If you buy your ribs from the meat counter, have them do it for you.

Rub what ever seasoning you want on them. Tonight I just kept it simple and used salt and pepper. I like to use Emeril’s essence, but I’m out.

Cook for 2 hours on low heat…225. Increase heat to 350 and baste with bbq sauce of your choosing every 15 mins for another hour. I like to put the broiler on and let them get good and crusty for another 5-10 mins. (if you do this, watch your ribs! bbq sauce has sugar in it and it will burn easily).

Let stand for 15 mins or so…cut along the rib and enjoy!

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Posted by on July 28, 2008 in baby back, bbq, pork, ribs


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Stuffed Patty Pan Squash

Inside this weeks CSA box were some gorgeous patty pan squash. I love these little things.  For something so small, they sure do have big flavor. I decided to stuff them.  I took a recipe I found here and added my own twist to it.  Recipe to follow pics.

My loot…

Turned into this….


This was beyond delicious.  I think everyone should make this tonight for dinner. 🙂

  • 6 pattypan squash, stem and blossom removed
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • any herb of your choice

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Bring one inch of water to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add squash, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, or until a fork can pierce the stem with little resistance. Drain, and slice off the top stem of the squash. Use a melon baller to carefully scoop out the centers of the squash. Reserve all of the bits of squash.
  3. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Remove bacon to paper towels, and set aside. Saute onion in bacon drippings. Chop the reserved squash pieces, and saute them with the onion for one minute.
  4. Remove the skillet from heat, and stir in the breadcrumbs. Crumble the bacon, and stir into the stuffing along with the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stuff each squash to overflowing with the mixture, and place them in a baking dish. Cover the dish loosely with aluminum foil.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until squash are heated through.

I topped mine with extra cheese so they would get a nice crust on the top.  I didn’t have any Parmesan in my fridge so I used Romano.  Also, I took the foil off the baking dish for the last five minutes or so, it helped make my cheese crusty.  I only used about 2 tbs of the bacon fat to sautee my onions to cut down on fat.  I drizzled some olive oil to add some moisture to the stuffing because I used less bacon fat. (note: the recipe calls for a lot of bacon..six pieces!…if that seems too overpowering, go ahead and cut that in half.  It will still taste great).


Posted by on July 26, 2008 in Uncategorized


Raspberry Crumble

Red and Black raspberries in the CSA box this week. Yay! I know, I just had some earlier this week. Well, I will never tire of berries.

Tonight I took both berries, spread them on the bottom of my small casserole dish…

Sprinkled a little sugar over the top…

Made a streusel topping… (1/2 C flour, 1/3 C oatmeal, 1/3 C brown sugar, 4 tbs of butter, 1 tsp cinnamon..mix until all crumbly) sprinkled it on top of the berries…

40 mins later in a 350 oven…

keep going…I love the deep red color…

On my plate..



Posted by on July 25, 2008 in crumble, rasberries


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CSA Box 3

HighCross Farm NEVER disappoints! See those berries…yeah…next post 🙂

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Posted by on July 25, 2008 in Uncategorized


Zucchini Blossoms

While at HighCross Farm on Tuesday, I noticed Farmer Steve had a ton of squash blossoms in his garden. I was so excited I think I blurted out that you can eat those. He in turn cut me a few to take home and try (since I’ve never actually eaten a squash blossom). So without further ado….


I filled the blossoms up with a concoction of items I had on hand and what was given to me at HighCross Farm. The recipe is as follows:

1 8 oz package of cream cheese at room temp

1 glove of garlic minced

1 handful of basil (I used the wonderful lemon basil Kath had given me on the farm)

1 egg

salt, pepper to taste…I added

red pepper as well because I like things spicy.

Mix all ingredients until well blended.

I made a make-shift piping bag with a plastic baggy and carefully piped the filling into the blossoms. I attached a toothpick on the tops to prevent the filling from spilling out while frying. I fried them in about 2 inches of vegtable oil. This is what I got…

This is what they looked like inside…

What I love about these is they are very versatile. If you don’t have cream cheese try a goat/ricotta mix. No basil? Try rosemary or dill. What ever cheese/herb you like. They were delicious by the way. 😉

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Posted by on July 25, 2008 in squash


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Raspberry Gratin

No meal at my house is complete without dessert. As I stated in my prior post, I was blessed with a bin of goodies from HighCross Farm. Part of the goods were two containers of raspberries (black and red).

The last time I had raspberries, I made sorbet. This time I wanted to make a warm dessert with them. I fiddled around with a panna cotta recipe and included marscapone cheese and made a Rasperry Gratin of sorts..

It looks like a cake…but oh no….



This was beyond good. You have the warm…creamy..sweetness of the custard with the tartness of the berries and the crunch of the pistachios. Definitely a winner.

Note: I doubled the recipe since I do not have gratin dishes. I sprinkled chopped pistachios on top of mine, but put whatever you like on yours. 🙂

Marscapone Raspberry Gratin

1/2 cup (4 oz) mascarpone, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, seeded
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup fresh raspberries

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the mascarpone with the sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla, the egg and the egg yolk. Whisk until fully incorporated and add the heavy cream. Make sure everything is well combined pour into baking dish or gratin pans. (put another baking dish filled with water on the rack beneath to prevent gratin from cracking) and bake at 350 for about 45-50 minutes or until they seem to be barely set: still jiggling a little when you move the pan but not completely wobbly. They will continue to bake and set as they cool. Let cool and serve either chilled or at room temperature.

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Posted by on July 23, 2008 in Uncategorized


What a day….

My day stared out at HighCross Farm. My daughter and I went to help out and wound up being blessed in ways I don’t think words could describe. All I know is it was solidified that I was called to HighCross Farm.

I was sent home with a huge bin of veggies, berries, and a whole chicken. Awesome!

I am an impatient woman and really wanted to make the chicken tonight. When I got home I started the defrost process, ran some errands, then came home and got started on dinner.

One of the items in my bin today was a nice freshly picked head of savoy cabbage. With that I made an impromptu coleslaw. (All recipes will be at the end of the post)

Then I got busy on the chicken. I decided to make my honey butter chicken a recipe I found here, and use the new potatoes I had gotten today as well.

The chicken came out fantastic and I encourage anyone who may read this to try this chicken recipe out. I never thought to use honey..but once I did, I won’t go back.

The chicken was so tender and moist.

My plate. This meal was out of this world! Thanks Farmer Steve and Kath for a truly wonderful day.

Creamy Coleslaw

1 head of cabbage shredded

1 carrot shredded

  • 1 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • salt and pepper to taste

Shred your cabbage and carrot. Mix mayo, sugar, vinegar, celery seed, s&P in a bowl. Pour over cabbage, stir..chill.

Honey Butter Chicken and Potatoes

1 whole chicken
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon honey
a few sprigs fresh thyme
a few sprigs fresh rosemary
2 cloves of garlic
6 red potatoes

preheat oven to 375°

  • bring water to boil in large saucepan. add potatoes and garlic and boil for 12 min.
  • drain potatoes and rough them up in the strainer.
  • take garlic from strainer, along with the thyme and stuff into cavity of chicken.
  • slather the chicken with 1 Tablespoon of the butter and pop it the oven for 45 minutes.
  • melt remaining Tablespoon of butter and add honey to it.
  • lift the chicken up and toss the potatoes around in the pan, coating them with the juices. make room for the chicken and set it back in the pan.
  • brush honey butter over chicken and put it back in the oven. repeat every 15 minutes twice, for a total of 45 more minutes in the oven.
  • Let it sit for a few minutes before carving into. Enjoy!

Posted by on July 23, 2008 in Uncategorized


Carrot Cake…

I had gotten some really nice carrots in my CSA box and thought it would be fun to make a carrot cake.  I didn’t want to make a whole cake per se, since I would probably nibble on it whenever I saw it.  I found a great carrot cake recipe on that called for using a bread pan instead of a cake pan. Perfect! less there for me to pick at.  I doubled the recipe and made two loaves. I put one in the freezer for another time.  I did not make a cream cheese frosting, I made a cream cheese glaze instead and it came out WONDERFUL. This is an easy to make recipe that tastes out of this world.

Room-temperature butter and flour for preparing pan
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil, hazelnut oil, or walnut oil
2 eggs
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped, drained pineapple
1 cup finely grated carrot (from about 1 large carrot)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-by-5-inch or 4 1/2-by-8 1/2-inch loaf pan. Coat the pan with flour, tapping out the excess. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt, and then sift them into a second bowl to make sure the spices are well combined. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil and eggs until blended, and then stir the egg mixture into the flour with a rubber spatula. Fold in the walnuts, pineapple, and grated carrot. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula.

Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool until easy to handle, and turn out onto a cake rack.

Cream Cheese Glaze

1 ounce cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and milk, beating until smooth and of desired consistency. Drizzle over cooled cake.

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Posted by on July 21, 2008 in cakes


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