Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

When we visited Ellen and Roger, my great aunt and uncle, a few weekends ago, we were blessed with a cooler full of apricots from their trees out back. Most were RIPE and ready to be used immediately. Apricot mustard sounded great to me – but whenever I mentioned to friends that I was going to make it – they were skeptical. “Really, what will you put it on?”

Well, I was right. It turned out great. The best thing? The apricots did not need to be peeled!

Apricot Mustard

Apricot Mustard

from Urban Pantry by Amy Pennington

Before you start, read up on your water-bath canning techniques. Also, this is a 2-part recipe, so don’t start your boiling water bath until Step 3.


  • 2 pounds apricots, pitted and halved
  • 2 ¼ cups sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 lemon, outer peel grated, halved, and juiced (seeds reserved in a muslin bag) **I used 1/4 cup lemon juice**
  • ¼ cup brown mustard seeds
  • ¼ cups yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground yellow mustard
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the apricots, sugar, water, lemon juice, lemon halves, seed bag, and grated peel. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a simmer. Skim away any foam from the surface as it cooks. Cook until the fruit is soft and the sugar is dissolved, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and, leaving the mixture in the saucepan, cover and hold in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  2. While the apricots are cooking, smash the brown and yellow mustard seeds with a mortar and pestle, working in small batches. Or use a spice grinder, grind to a coarse meal. Put the smashed seeds and ground mustard in a small glass bowl, pour in the apple cider vinegar, and set aside, covered, on the counter top, at least 6 hours or overnight.
  3. Prepare jars for canning. You will need to sterilize the empty jars.
  4. Put a small plate in the freezer to check the set later on. Return the saucepan of fruit to medium heat on the stove top and cook down until thickened and amber in color, about 30 minutes. Stir in the vinegar-mustard seed mixture. Scoop out about a cup of the apricot mustard and puree in a blender, on high speed, until creamy and smooth. **I used my immersion blender and just blended the mustard in the saucepan until it looked how I wanted it.** Add the pureed fruit back to the pot and cook until thick and the mustard has set, about another 15 to 30 minutes. Skim foam as necessary. Remove the lemon halves and seeds from the stockpot, pressing out any mustard or remaining juice and pulp, and compost.
  5. To test the set, remove the plate from the freezer and spoon a small amount of mustard on it. Push the mustard with your fingertip. It should wrinkle, indicating it has set. If the mustard is loose, return the mixture to the heat and cook for another 10 minutes, checking the set until the desired consistency is reached.
  6. Add the mustard to the prepared jars and gently tap the bottom of the jars on the counter to release any air bubbles. Using a clean damp cloth, wipe the rims of the jars and put the lids and rings on the jars. Process in a water bath for 5 minutes (whether using half-pint or pint jars).
  7. Remove the jars with tongs and let cool on the counter. When the mustard is cool, remove the metal rings, check for proper seals, and label with date and contents.
  • Store in a cool, dark cupboard until ready to use, for up to one year.
  • Once opened, store in the fridge for many months
  • as a pretzel dip
  • with pork or cured meats
  • on brats (with Luce’s zucchini relish!)
  • as a glaze on roasted meats

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Summer came to Bellingham this weekend! We have waited a long time.

Climbing into bed on Saturday night I was  reminded of how great it is to feel tired from the sun and tired from walking around town all day. It was perfect. It felt right.

Sightings of Summer-

Three children playing with a little red wagon, each with a pixie hair cut and dresses, like an image from 1957.


Sprinklers. (seriously? it is going to rain tomorrow, you know)

Playing Frisbee on our extended front yard.

Bellingham Farmer’s Market Finds: a big bunch of spinach and a beautiful bunch of beets from Rabbit Fields Farm.

Beets mean summer to me. They are beautiful and earthy and oh so tasty. I roasted the beets for a salad, but then I just ended up eating them plain because they were so good.

{Beets, ready to roast}

{Beets, roasted and steaming}

Roasted Beets (from Good to the Grain, Quinoa and Beet Pancakes, recipe below)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Place the beets in a glass or metal baking dish with about 1/2 an inch of water in the bottom.
  3. Cover with aluminum foil and roast until very tender, about 1 hour.
From this point you can eat them warm, chopped over a salad, marinate them, or puree and freeze so that you can make Quinoa Beet Pancakes later. Also, just enjoy the beauty of the beet juice left in your dish for a bit after eating them!

{Quinoa and Beet Pancakes}

Quinoa and Beet Pancakes (from Good to the Grain)


  • Butter for the pan
  • Roasted Beets, 3 medium-small red beets
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 egg
  1. Roast the beets (see above). Cool, peel, and puree the beets in a food processor or blender until smooth. You will need 1/2 cup of beet puree (freeze the rest for later).
  2. Mix the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, melted butter, egg, and 1/2 cup of beet puree until smooth. Using a spatula, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently combine. The batter should be the consistency of lightly whipped cream and crimson in color.
  4. Heat a griddle over medium heat until water sizzles when splashed onto the pan. Rub the pan generously with butter. Dollop 1/4-cup mounds of batter on to the pan. Once bubbles have begun to form on the top side of the pancake, flip it over and cook until the bottom is dark golden-brown, about 5 minutes total. Wipe the pan with a cloth before the next batch. Rub the pan with butter and continue with the rest of the batter.
  5. Enjoy with maple syrup and plain yogurt on top.
  • I am sure that I used 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour and omitted the all-purpose flour. When you are eating beets I don’t think that you are probably too worried about the flavor of the whole wheat flour shining through.
  • Use honey or another sweetener, or omit altogether as beets have a lovely amount of sugar present.
  • These freeze well for later – just pop them into the toaster straight from the freezer.

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Farmer’s Market finds Saturday, May 21:

    • Kale flowers (which I thought was broccolini last week), Giant Spinach, Lettuce, and Garlic Greens from Rabbit Fields Farm
    • Bunny Box CSA from Rabbit Fields Farm – I paid for my main season share – I will get a box of fresh, local, organic produce every week from June 11th to October 22nd – one step closer to becoming a more fresh, local, organic eater!
    • Nettle Soup with Creme Fraiche from 22 Greens (I am going for a salad next time – check out their video below!)

22 Greens at the Bellingham Farmers Market from ENW with Deb Slater on Vimeo.

And here is what I made for dinner with all of my spring greens:

Spring Greens Pizza with an Egg on Top

Spring Greens Pizza with an Egg on Top


  • pizza dough
  • olive oil
  • sauce and/or cheese (white sauce, feta)
  • fresh greens (spinach, garlic greens, kale flowers)
  • fresh eggs
  1. Prepare your pizza dough a few hours before you want to eat. I used a recipe from Smitten Kitchen.
  2. Preheat the oven to the highest temperature with a pizza stone set on a top rack positioned in the middle of the oven.
  3. Prepare your sauce while the dough is resting. I made a white sauce from my Betty Crocker cookbook because I didn’t have any cheese or red sauce.
  4. Form the crust and bake it for a few minutes on the pizza stone while you chop your greens. I did this so that the sauce would not interfere with the crispiness of the crust.
  5. Mix greens with olive oil and feta (I tossed my greens in the bowl I made my dough in because it had a little oil in it already and I wanted to limit Tommy’s time at the sink washing dishes after dinner)
  6. Take the barely cooked dough out of the oven, spread the sauce evenly over the crust, dump and distribute the greens, and if you are brave and feeling European, crack an egg on top.
  7. Bake your pizza until it looks tasty to you. To me, that means no runny egg whites, a golden crust, and wilted greens.

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This week I made two batches of Turkey Chili. It was so easy when I made it Monday night, that I made it again for my small group to enjoy after a little walk in the rain Wednesday afternoon.

Last summer I found a packet of Tiger’s Eye Beans and I  decided to try my hand at growing dry beans in my garden. When my dad came to visit, he made fun of me because I only had one 5-foot row of the beans. He said I would yield only a handful of beans. He was right:

Tiger's Eye Beans 2

This is how many beans I harvested.

I left the bean pods on the plant until the end of the summer until the pod was completely dried out. Then I shelled the beans and let them dry out some more on the counter.

They are so pretty.

Tiger'e Eye Beans

To make the chili, I did a quick soak method and then cooked the beans until they were soft.

Since this made about 1 cup of cooked beans, I also added canned pinto beans that I had in my cupboard.

I also got to use some of my home canned tomatoes in the chili. I made these in my pressure cooker with Alex last summer.

Canned Tomatoes

This chili is especially tasty because it is so fresh, with lots of yummy toppings. It didn’t even need cheese or sour cream.

Turkey Chili toppings

Go  make some!

Turkey Chili with Tiger’s Eye Beans
Turkey Chili with Tiger's Eye Beans
recipe from: Healthy Seasonal Recipes

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Homemade Granola

My mom requested that I bring granola when I come to visit during Spring Break, so I had to make a fresh batch.

I love granola.

granola with yogurt and lemon curd

I actually have to restrain myself from making it too often. I will eat it for breakfast, after school snack, dinner and after dinner snack if possible. Tommy likes it too.

Granola is super easy to make. Oats, nuts and seeds, a little fat and a little sugar. This recipe makes a lot – so use your math skills to make a half version if you just want to try it out. You can use any nuts and seeds that you like or have on hand – this is just what I like. You can also use different oils and sweeteners. Using the best ingredients will result in the best tasting granola – so use real maple syrup!

Homemade Granola

Dry Ingredients

  • 7 cups regular rolled oats (don’t use quick oats!)
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 – 1 cup toasted nuts (I used sliced almonds this time)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and mix well.
  3. In a measuring cup, combine all of the wet ingredients and mix well.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and thoroughly incorporate.
  5. Spread granola mixture into two rimmed baking dishes.
  6. Bake 30 – 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Watch the edges closely so it doesn’t burn.
  7. Let cool and add dried fruit if you like.

I used to mix the granola in my KitchenAid, thinking that it would be too hard to fully incorporate all of the ingredients, but then I realized that the paddle was crushing the oats into tiny bits. It really isn’t that hard to mix everything up, as long as your bowl is big enough.

This makes a flaky granola. If you want clumps of goodness, you will have to find another recipe, possibly with more sugar or water. I have never been able to make  granola with clumps – so let me know what you find or how you make it.

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On Saturday after the market, Alex and I tried to recreate the sprouts from Copper Hog. Alex thought she tasted capers and balsamic vinegar, and this is what we came up with:

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Capers and Balsamic Vinegar


  • Brussels Sprouts – rinsed, cleaned and halved
  • Capers
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Toss Brussels sprouts and capers in a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake 20-30 minutes, until slightly browned and crispy.

We thought they tasted pretty yummy, but not quite like the Copper Hog’s.  So I went to the CH and asked how they made them. Turns out they are deep fried. No wonder they taste so good. They deep  fry the Brussels sprouts and capers, then add toasted hazelnuts and a homemade vinaigrette.

I don’t think I will invest in a deep fryer.

How do you like your Brussels sprouts?

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