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Posted by on Feb 15, 2017 | 0 comments

Recap: Kremena’s Sweet ‘n Savory Pastry Class

Recap: Kremena’s Sweet ‘n Savory Pastry Class

A couple of weeks ago, we hosted our first ever in-house cooking class, How to Make Pastry Dough with Kremena Stefanova. Many of you know Kremena from around Del Ray — during the week you may see her at the Caboose Cafe and on the weekend at Four Mile Run Farmers Market (when in season). But for the class, she came to my house and demonstrated how to make dough for sweet and savory dishes for me and eight other attendees. The class was just as we had hoped — informative, fun and very tasty! Everyone got to sample all the dishes Kremena made while sipping wine. First, Kremena walked us through a standard quiche dough: 2 cups flour, 2 sticks cold butter, 5-6 T cold water, 1/2 t salt. Kremena usually mixes this by hand or with a pastry cutter, but today she used my Kitchenaid mixer. You can also use a food processor, but she says mixing by hand works just as well. After forming the dough,...

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Posted by on Sep 22, 2016 | 1 comment

3 Healthy (& Yummy) Recipes for Kids

3 Healthy (& Yummy) Recipes for Kids

When the school year starts, I like to revisit some of my tried-and-true recipes that sneak veggies into my kids’ lunches. These are all pretty easy to make, with or without your kids’ participation, and are healthy and delicious in lunches…or anytime! Corn, cucumber, and bean salad This is one I just made the other day. I started with 2-3 cups of frozen corn that I microwaved with a dash of salt until thawed. I then opened a can of black beans and rinsed them in a strainer. Diced a medium-sized cucumber… Tossed the three main ingredients together and then squeezed lots of lime juice in – almost two whole limes worth. That’s it! Of course, you could add cilantro to the salad or other ingredients, but my kids like it very simple. Sweet potato muffins The main attraction in this recipe are two baked sweet potatoes which you can prepare ahead. Justine used honey instead of sugar. She added molasses too, which adds some valuable vitamins and minerals...

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Posted by on Sep 13, 2016 | 3 comments

Spicy Red Banana Pepper Relish

Spicy Red Banana Pepper Relish

We ended our summer garden season with a whole bunch of banana peppers. They hung out long enough to turn red, making them spicier than normal, perfect for a batch of pepper relish. I looked around for a recipe, but couldn’t find anything that matched the ingredients I had, so I came up with my own version: 14 red banana peppers 1/4 – 1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 1/4 cup water 1/3 cup sugar 1 tsp salt First, I quartered the peppers which gave me a little over 2 cups. I kept some of the seeds for the relish, but most ended up as scraps on my cutting board. Using my mini processor, I coarsely chopped the peppers and the onion, then I transferred them to a sauce pan with the rest of the ingredients. I added enough vinegar mixed with some water to just cover the peppers. I simmered the mix for about 30 minutes until the liquid had reduced and thickened. When...

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Posted by on Aug 9, 2016 | 0 comments

Refreshing Summer Shrubs for All Ages

Refreshing Summer Shrubs for All Ages

The shrub, the tangy syrup made from fruit that’s mildly fermented in vinegar, is usually mentioned as a cocktail mix, but it’s also great on its own mixed with seltzer water and lots of crushed ice. Justine and I made some with help from our kids and then offered them some refreshing mocktails to enjoy on a hot summer evening. You can make shrubs a few different ways: Katie made cranberry shrub in one go, without fermenting the fruit. She made a strawberry shrub in a similar way. For our part, we made the shrub over two weekends. On the first day, we started with nectarines, peaches, and sour cherries I had been saving the freezer. While sterilizing the mason jars, we peeled and sliced the fruit. The girls filled up the jars with the fruit… Meanwhile, we heated up the distilled white vinegar almost to boiling and then filled up the jars with the hot vinegar just about to the top, wiped off the lids and capped the...

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Posted by on Jul 5, 2016 | 1 comment

Summer Strawberry Shortcakes

Summer Strawberry Shortcakes

Strawberry shortcakes are one of my favorite summer desserts. They are easy to make, only require a few ingredients I usually already have on hand and the messier they are the better. I use the Joy of Cooking dropped biscuit recipe for for my cake, a mix of strawberries and blueberries and top it off with mascarpone whipped cream. Dropped biscuits come together in about 5 minutes, with only 12 minutes in the oven. Ingredients are: 1 3/4 cup flour 1/2 tsp salt 3 t baking powder 5 T cold butter, roughly chopped 1 cup milk In a mini food processor, combine all the ingredients except the milk — just a few whirls, you can also used a pastry cutter or your hands. Then, transfer the mix to a bowl and stir in the milk. The batter will be thick and lumpy. Drop heaping spoonfuls of batter on a baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes, or until the tops start to brown. This makes about...

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