German Plum Cobbler

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I always want to buy plums in the market, but honestly have never enjoyed eating a plum by itself that much. Cobblers are summer’s way of saying “I love you” to fresh fruit – all kinds of fresh fruit.

While the word “kuchen” means cake in german, I found this recipe to be so reminiscent of a summer cobbler. There is no better way to eat cobbler than with vanilla ice cream melting slowly over the top!

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GERMAN PLUM COBBLER

Adapted From Cooking Light’s Plum Kuchen, July 2011

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour

2/3 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar, divided

2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

3/8 Teaspoon Salt, divided

1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon, divided

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger

1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg

7 Tablespoons Butter, divided

1/2 Cup Milk

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 Large Egg

1/2 Pound Black Plums (about 6 medium) or any variety of plums, pitted and quartered

1 Teaspoon Grated Lemon Rind

PREPARATION

Preheat Oven to 425°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, 2 Tablespoons of granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, 1/4 Teaspoon Salt, and Spices (1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg) in a medium bowl. Using two knives or a pastry blender, cut in 4 Tablespoons Butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Whisk together Milk, Vanilla, and Egg in a bowl. Add milk mixure to flour mixture, and stir until just comvined.

Spoon batter into a 9-inch square metal cake pan coated with butter using a butter wrapper or cooking spray. Arrange plums in a linear pattern over batter.

Combine remaining 2/3 Cups Granulated Sugar, remaining 1/8 Teaspoon Salt, and 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon in a small bowl. Melt remaining 3 Tablespoons Butter. Stir into sugar mixture. Sprinkle plums evenly with sugar mixture.

Bake at 425° for 35 minutes or until browned and bubbling. Cool in pan for 20 minutes. Serve for dessert, warm with vanilla ice cream or as a breakfast cake.

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Basil Gazpacho with Homemade Crunchy Croutons

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This is  Helen’s Basil Gazpacho and Crunchy Crouton recipe and it is worth the trouble!  I am not saying you will need to grow your veggies in a garden like Helen’s –  see below – but according to Helen “If you want something good then you have to go to a lot of trouble and that’s just the way it is.”  Helen is an extraordinary cook, gardener, knitter and friend.  Thank you for doing this post with me Helen – now I have one of my favorite Helen creations down on the books.

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The reason you want the croutons to get extra crispy is so they stay crispy once they are put in the Gazpacho. This is the best Gazpacho so get ready!  Helen says “god help you if there are any leftover croutons because you will just sit there eating them.” It is SO true.

INGREDIENTS for Crunchy Croutons

1 day old free form loaf or baguette

3 – 6 T each – butter & olive oil,  – adjust amount depending on the size of the loaf.

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garlic powder

onion powder

dried parsley

OR

use Cavender’s All Purpose Greek Seasoning as an alternative to the individual seasonings

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to Bake  300°
  2. Cut bread into 1 inch cubes
  3. Bake for 1 hour
  4. Heat butter and oil in a large skillet on Medium, add toasted bread and toss until well coated in oil and butter
  5. Turn heat to low, add spices and toss
  6. Remove from heat and set aside

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INGREDIENTS for Basil Gazpacho

Serves 4 – 6

INGREDIENTS

1 large sweet onion, chopped

2 medium cucumbers, peeled and chopped

4 large or 6 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped with juice

2 garlic cloves minced

1 4 oz jar of pimento, drained

3 cup of vegetable stock

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 c white balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons parsley, chopped

4 tablespoons basil, chopped

  1. Skin tomatoes: submerge tomatoes in hot water for 2 minutes, until skin cracks easily.  Cool and peel.
  2. Chop all the veggies and place in a large bowl.
  3. Add other ingredients and spices.
  4. Blend ingredients with a hand blender (or use a food processor) until you reach the right consistency.
  5. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours.
  6. Garnish with herbs and Crunchy Croutons and serve chilled.

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Fresh Veggie Frittata

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Temperatures are rising here in Bozeman. Today we enjoyed a bike ride through town which led us to a community garden just beginning to really take off with everyone’s love-sewn vegetables. I just like to peek at what everyone is growing. It made me think of what to make for dinner. Summer is in our faces today. What are your favorites to make on a warm day?

This frittata was a tasty meal to close our day; sweet bursts of flavor soothed by creamy goat cheese, feeling ultimately healthy. I had never made a frittata. I mean, I had certainly come close, making an omlet will guarantee you to be almost there. Simply leave it alone in its pan, dollop with the cheese and bread crumbs and bake in the oven to get the eggs to set. It will work with what your garden offers you, but I really love the corn and tomatoes in this.

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SUMMER VEGETABLE FRITTATA

Inspired by Clean Eating, July 2011

INGREDIENTS

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Medium Onion, Diced

1 Clove Garlic, minced

1 Meduim Zucchini, cut into half moons

1 Ear of Fresh Corn Kernels, sliced from the cob

1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, Cut in half length-wise

Salt and Pepper

6 Eggs

1 Teaspoon Water

1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard

2 Oz. Soft Goat Cheese

1/2 Slice of Whole Wheat Bread, processed into Crumbs

PREPARATION

Set oven to Broil.

In a large, oven-safe skillet, pre-heat Olive Oil and/or Butter. Add Onions and Garlic and cook for 3 minutes.

Add Zucchini and Corn Kernels and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until softened.

Add Tomatoes and cook for 1 more minute. Add Salt and Pepper to taste and stir.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine Eggs, Water, and Dijon Mustard and a little Salt and Pepper. Whisk to combine. Pour Egg Mixture into skillet with Vegetables. Allow to set over medium heat for about 3 minutes, pulling back sides to allow eggs to settle in evenly. After 3 minutes, it will be wet on top, but nearly set on the bottom.

Dollop Goat Cheese over Frittata and sprinkle Bread Crumbs on top.

Place into oven for 4-5 minutes or until completely set. Remove from oven and let sit for 1 minute before transferring gently, with a spatula, to a cutting board.

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Blueberry-Orange Sour Cream Muffins

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Welcome to my latest creation. My daughters are crazy for baked goods so this summer we are trying some new recipes.  The blueberries are so beautiful right now and bursting with flavor.  The topping is crumbly and makes these muffins a bit irresistible.  My first thought this morning was “maybe I should have one for breakfast.” Yumm….

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First make the topping and refrigerate until you are ready to use.

MUFFIN TOPPING

Makes topping for 18 – 24 muffins

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup light brown sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed

1 teaspoon cinnamon

PREPARATION

  1. Cube butter and allow it to reach room temperature
  2. Combine ingredients in a bowl
  3. Use your fingers or a fork to mix ingredients to form coarse crumbles


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MUFFINS

Makes 18 – 24 muffins

INGREDIENTS

3 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 cups sour cream

2 teaspoons orange extract

1 teaspoon vanilla

Zest 1 large orange or 2 small oranges

2 cup fresh blueberries

PREPARATION

  1. Heat the oven to  375°. Butter muffin pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the 3 cups of flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, wisk the egg until frothy. Add the sugar and melted butter and beat until pale yellow, 1 minute. Beat in the sour cream, orange extract, vanilla and orange zest until blended.
  4. Add the blueberries  to your dry ingredients and toss. Using a wooden spoon, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Do not over mix – batter should be lumpy.
  5. Fill the muffin cups three-fourths full of batter and sprinkle with the topping. Bake for 25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when placed in the center of a mufffin. Remove the muffins from the pan and let cool on a rack.

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Lemon Basil Granita and Frozen Raspberry Lemonade

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A name says a lot for a recipe. This is why I am giving you two names for something that could easily be two flavors of the exact same thing…

I shied away from making “granitas” and I can’t pinpoint exactly why. Once I finally tried it, I was telling everyone how easy it was and was proud of how elegant it could be. Dress it up, or dress it down; that’s my reasoning for giving these two variations on a fruity, refreshing summer treat different titles.

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These two delicious refreshers begin with the same bunch of lemons and their tart juices mixed with a simple syrup. Once combined into a modified lemonade, you can take the flavors in different directions. Here’s how:

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LEMON BASIL GRANITA

INGREDIENTS

For the lemonade base:

3/4 Cup Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (from 5-6 lemons)

1 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Water

1/4 Teaspoon Lemon Zest

——-

1 Cup Lemonade Base

1 Teaspoon Chopped Fresh Basil

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Sliced Lemon for Garnish

PREPARATION

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine water and sugar. Bring to just under a boil, stir to dissolve sugar, and cool.

Stir in Lemon Zest.

Divide Lemonade Base into equal parts (approximately 1 cup each). Reserve one for Frozen Raspberry Lemonade  and pour remainder into a small, freezer-safe pan.

Sprinkle Basil into lemon mixture and stir to combine. Place pan into freezer. After 3 hours, use a fork to scrape granules of the lemon mixture. Allow to freeze for another 3 hours. Scrape again.

Spoon into a glass or bowl and garnish with sliced lemon and fresh basil.

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FROZEN RASPBERRY LEMONADE

INGREDIENTS

For the lemonade base:

3/4 Cup Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (from 5-6 lemons)

1 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Water

1/4 Teaspoon Lemon Zest

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1 Cup Lemonade Base

1/4 Cup Fresh Raspberries

1/4 Cup Sugar

1 Tablespoon Water

Sliced Lemon and 2 or 3 Fresh Raspberries for Garnish

PREPARATION

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In a saucepan over medium heat, combine raspberries, water, and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring, then remove from heat and cool.

Pour 1 Cup Lemonade Base (For Lemonade Base preparation, See Lemon Basil Granita Recipe) into a shallow pan. Place into freezer for 3 hours.

Remove pan from freezer and gently stir in Raspberry mixture to form a swirl. (…no, I did not make this happen for my pictures, but I believe it can happen. If not, they are pretty when pink…)

Return to freezer for another 3 hours. Scrape into granules with a fork.

Spoon into a glass or bowl and garnish with sliced lemon and fresh raspberries.

These are so refreshing. Tart, yes. I like them that way. If you feel like you might want a little less zing, omit the lemon zest from your lemonade base.

This recipe makes about a cup of each flavor, which could work into two servings for both. Of course, if you’re feeling like serving up raspberry goodness on a fine summer day, double the raspberry sauce and go all raspberry, by all means…serve them in glass stemware and call them granitas to be fancy! ..Or don’t.

It’s all about the name and how you dress it, right?


Summer Broccoli Salad

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I hope you enjoyed everyone’s favorite picnic holiday this Fourth! We had quite a unique celebration, camping for the weekend in Yellowstone National Park. It was Harper’s first camping experience. That child got dirtier than she has ever been before and loved every minute of it. Our scenic campsite included some extremely interesting visitors at nearly every meal. There were two gigantic bison (largest North American animal, by the way) that wandered right into our campsite each day and sniffed around to see what might appease their palates. Thankfully they were satisfied with their grass, but those guys are so huge. It was incredible…and a bit scary to have them so close. Had they decided they wanted to partake in our meal, I’ll be willing to bet their dish of choice would have been this broccoli salad. It was certainly a big hit among the humans.

I brought two cookbooks to Bozeman this summer. One was Martha Stewart’s Living Cookbook, which I was excited to have the time to explore. The other was my Big Green Cookbook, a gift from people who know just how to please me. This book not only  has a lot of great recipes and grand variety, it is full of tips for living a greener life, both in and around the kitchen.

This broccoli salad uses yogurt for the sauce and is ever-so-slightly sweetened with both honey and jam (in my adaptation). Even if you have a broccoli salad recipe standby, you should really try this one. It is different without neglecting the reasons we love broccoli salad. This travelled well in our cooler and lasted through several meals with 6 or 7 munchers.

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SUMMER BROCCOLI SALAD

adapted from Big Green Cookbook,Jackie Newgent, RD

Makes about 8 cups; great for a large crowd.

INGREDIENTS

7 Cups Broccoli Florets

1/2 Large Red Onion, very thinly sliced

3/4 Cup Sharp Cheddar, Grated

1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries

1/2 Cup Plain Yogurt

2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Honey

1 Tablespoon Jam (I recommend Raspberry, but whatever you have on hand will do)

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/4 Cup Chopped Cashews

PREPARATION

Layer the broccoli, onion, cheese, and cranberries in a large bowl.

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Whisk together yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, jam, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pour the dressing evenly over salad and gently toss.

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Sprinkle with cashews and serve.



Tacos

The taco is a  delicious creation in which the eater is able to design a new masterpiece with each tortilla. Really…building a taco is just good fun. On tap tonight; a meatless taco, made with Morningstar Crumbles, topped with all the good stuff.  Super easy to throw together and you can use any filling that sounds tasty – try grilled shrimp, ground beef, or tofu.
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TACOS

makes 8 tacos

INGREDIENTS

1 bag of Morningstar Crumbles

1 avocado diced

1 tomato diced

1/2 cup red onion diced

10 sprigs of cilantro

1/2 cup  cheddar cheese shredded

1/2 cup sour cream

1 lime cut into wedges

flour or corn tortillas

hot sauce

PREPARATION

Prepare your toppings

Cook your filling

Heat tortillas  – I use tongs and heat mine over the flame of my stove top

Build a taco and enjoy!

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