Foie Gras and Asparagus

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So last year before the ban on Foie I stocked up! I’ve been saving this little luxury for special occasions and decide that was just silly, we just need to eat it!

Ingredients:
4 TBSP flour
Salt and pepper
2 – 2 oz slices of Foie Gras
1 bunch of asparagus, lightly steamed
Balsamic Glaze

Combine flour, salt and pepper in a small bowl, dredge Foie and set aside.

In a 10 inch skillet, over medium high heat, sear Foie Gras about 1 minute on each side. Remove from pan and toss asparagus in the the drippings for about a minutes.

Plate asparagus, Foie and drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Serves 2.

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Gyro Bread

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Lately I’ve been really into making my own simple breads: biscuits, pizza dough, pretzels and since I’m not a fan of store bought pita I figured I’d make my own gyro bread. It’s super easy and I doubled the batch and froze 1/2. For freezing follow directions up to rolling out the dough – wrap the dough balls in wax paper and freeze in a ziplock.

Ingredients:
2½ tsp active Dry Yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Sugar
4 c flour
1½ c warm Water (105 – 120)
1 tbsp Olive Oil

Mix yeast and sugar with warm water. Leave aside for 10 minutes to ferment. Combine flour with salt and dissolved yeast in a large bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook. Knead for 5 minutes.

Pour olive oil over the dough and knead again to absorb the oil completely.

Cover with plastic wrap and keep in a warm place for 2 hours to rise and double in size. Knead again.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Preheat a cookie sheet or pizza stone in the oven.

Form the dough into two-inch balls and set these on a floured plate; let them rise for 15 minutes. Then place them on the floured board and flatten them out with a lightly floured rolling pin until they are about five inches around and 1/8″ thick.

Place the dough on a preheated cookie sheet in a 500-degree oven for five minutes. Turn the breads over and bake for an additional two minutes. Remove the breads from the oven and poke the tops with a fork to release the air inside. Serve hot or let them cool. Store the bread in plastic bags.

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Beef Gyro

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I love gyros! i found this recipe on pintrest and had to try it. I’m not a huge fan of pita bread so I made my own. Even the kiddos liked these!

Ingredients:
8 oz greek yogurt
1/3 c chopped seeded cucumber
2 TBSP finely chopped onions
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb lean ground beef
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp mint
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper

4 pita breads
3 c shredded lettuce
1 large tomato, chopped
1 small onion, chopped

In a bowl, combine first 5 ingredients. Cover and refrigerate.

In separate bowl, combine ground beef and seasonings. Mix well. Shape into 4 patties.

Grill, over medium to high heat for 10 to 12 minutes or until meat is no longer pink, turning once.

Cut patties into thin slices. Stuff into pitas. Add lettuce, tomato, and onion.

Serve with yogurt.

Serves 4.

Chocolate Mocha Cake

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This is a fun little cake. Super moist!

Ingredients:
1 c-purpose flour
1 c unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 c coconut palm sugar
1 c buttermilk
4 TBSP butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 c strong brewed coffee

Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat an 8-by-8-inch square baking dish with butter and set aside.

Combine flour, 3/4 c of the cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to break up any lumps. In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 c of the sugar, milk, butter, egg, and vanilla until evenly combined and smooth. Add flour mixture to milk mixture and whisk until just combined (some lumps will remain).

Transfer batter to the prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Combine remaining 1/4 c cocoa, remaining 1/4 c sugar in a small bowl until well mixed, then sprinkle over batter. Pour coffee over batter, do not stir, and place in the oven.

Bake until cake is bubbling, puffed, and set at the edges but still a bit loose in the middle, about 25 minutes. Remove to a rack and let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Coconut Carrot Muffins

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These are healthy and my kids eat them!! They take just a couple minutes to mix together and freeze like a charm – perfect for weekday breakfast.

Ingredients:
1 c whole-wheat flour
1/2 c old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 large eggs
1 c unsweetened applesauce
1/3 c honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c coconut oil, melted
2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 c raisins

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.

Whisk whole-wheat flour, 1/2 cup oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and allspice in a medium bowl.

Whisk eggs, applesauce, honey and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk in coconut oil. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until moistened. Fold in carrots, 1/2 cup coconut and raisins.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons each oats and coconut.
Bake the muffins until they spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes.

Let stand in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pasta with Asparagus, Ricotta and Proscuitto

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Ah spring, time for lots of dishes featuring asparagus and green garlic! Today it’s a pasta dish.

Ingredients:
1 lb thick asparagus, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
8 oz pasta
1 bunch green garlic, chopped
8 oz ricotta cheese
2 tsp olive oil
2/3 c Parmesan cheese, grated
Zest and juice of one lemon
3 oz Proscuitto, chopped

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook asparagus for 2 minutes, transfer to a 12 inch skillet. Cook pasta according to package.

In a 12 inch skillet heat 2 tsp of olive oil, garlic and asparagus over medium heat. Cook for 2 minutes, add ricotta, reduce heat to low, add 1/4 – 1/2 c pasta water to thin into sauce like consistency. Add proscuitto, pasta and lemon juice, cook for 2 minutes, add parm stir and serve.

Serves 2 – 4.

Asparagus and Chorizo

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Yup it’s spring and that means 12 weeks of asparagus! Now the challenge to come up with recipes I have not cooked already, and I accept that challenge. This dish was inspired by a nice Spanish chorizo I had, the cured kind and the first of the season asparagus. I served atop some cheese polenta with manchego cheese – yum! I’m having the leftovers for lunch.

Ingredients:
4 oz chorizo, sliced thin
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 bunch of green garlic, sliced thin
Olive oil
Manchego cheese
Polenta, cooked

In a large skillet heat oil, add green garlic and asparagus, cook over medium heat for 3 min. Add chorizo, cook for 2 more minutes.

Serve on polenta, top with manchego cheese.

Serves 2.

French Toast

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Creamy rich stick to your ribs French Toast!

Ingredients:
6 eggs
1 1/2 c half-and-half or milk
Zest of 1 orange
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 TBSP honey
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 large loaf challah or brioche bread

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, orange zest, vanilla, honey, and salt. Slice the challah in 3/4-inch thick slices. Soak as many slices in the egg mixture as possible for 5 minutes, turning once.

Spray griddle and heat over medium hear. Add the soaked bread and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Place the cooked French toast on a sheet pan and keep it warm in the oven. Cook the remaining soaked bread slices, adding butter and oil as needed, until it’s all cooked. Serve hot with maple syrup, raspberry preserves, and/or confectioners’ sugar.

Chai

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Chai is the speedball of the drink world. Soothing warm milk with a caffeine kick I love the spice blend of the recipe, I can’t remember where I found it, but it rocks!

Ingredients:
3 c water
3 c whole milk
2 whole cloves, lightly crushed
1 4-inch cinnamon stick
1 (1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, sliced thinly
1 TBSP fennel seeds, lightly crushed
6 whole cardamom pods, lightly crushed
5 TBSP sugar
3 TBSP unflavored loose black tea

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Heat over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serves 4.

Chai Pistachio Cake

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I love chai tea and cake. what could be better than bringing these two wonderful things together for a sweet and spicy dessert.

Ingredients:
1 c flour
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 bag Chai Tea
2 TBSP browned butter
1/2 c low fat buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg, room temperature

glaze:
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 T milk or cream

topping:
1/4 c shelled, roasted pistachios, roughly chopped
sprinkle of salt

Preheat to 375.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl, stir with a whisk. Use scissors to snip open the tea bag – add loose tea into the flour mixture, stir to combine.

Make a well in center of dry mixture and add buttermilk, browned butter, vanilla and egg – whisk until just combined.

Line the bottom of a 6 inch round cake pan with parchment and butter generously. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack – remove from pan and transfer to a serving plate.

Combine glaze ingredients in small bowl – stir until smooth. Drizzle 1/2 of glaze over cake , sprinkle with chopped pistachios and then drizzle remaining glaze over nuts – sprinkle with Maldon salt.

Serves 8.