Four Hour Pork with Star Anise and Housin Sauce


This is from The French Kitchen Cookbook by Patricia Wells, if you don’t own it, go to Amazon and buy it. We received a 3 lb pork loin in our Ag Local box and this is what I did I with it. Mostly hands off, packed with flavor you can’t go wrong. 


  • 3 lb pork loin roast
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/8 c olive oil 
  • 3 TBSP julienne ginger
  • 12 large shallots peeled
  • 12 cloves garlic peeled
  • 6 whole star anise
  • 1/2 c Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 tsp honey

Hoisin Sauce

  • 1/4 c soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP peanut butter
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 1 TBSP rice wine vinegar
  • 1 plump glove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Combine in a jar and shake.

Preheat oven to 275.

Season pork with salt as pepper. In a large casserole with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add pork and sear on all sides. Removed add remaining ingredients, and cook for 3 – 4 minutes. Add 1 1/3 c water and cook for 2 more minutes. Add pork, cover and bake for 3 – 4 hours. Baste every 30 minutes. When it is tender and falling apart remove from oven. Let meat rest for 10 min. Strain liquid and remove aromatics. 

Slice think and serve with the sauce.

Serves 10.


Asparagus Tart


This recipe came out of leftovers from other meals – extra pizza dough and pesto – made for a wonderful lunch.


  • 1 pizza dough ball
  • 1/2 c asparagus pesto
  • 1 lb thin asparagus
  • 1/2 c ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 c shredded mozzarella 
  • 3 garlic scapes sliced thin
  • 3 spring onions, sliced thin
  • Truffle salt
  • Espelette Pepper

Preheat oven to 450 with a pizza stone of baking steel inside.

In a large pan, steam asparagus for 2 minutes, remove and set aside.

Roll out pizza dough. Spread with pesto, mozzarella, garlic, dollops of ricotta, asparagus and spring onions. 

Bake for 8 – 10 minutes until crust is crispy. Top with a little truffle salt and espelette pepper.

Serves 2 – 4.

Pepperoni Pizza with Spring Onions and Garlic Scapes


We had some amazing pepperoni come in our Mantry box (I need to get more now) this is the pizza I came up with to honor it choke full of spring goodness.


  • 1 ball of pizza dough
  • Olive oil
  • 1 bag 4 cheese blend of white cheese  Trader Joe’s 
  • Thick slices pepperoni or regular 
  • 4 garlic scapes sliced thin
  • 4 spring onions sliced thin
  • 1/4 c mozzarella cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 500 with baking steel or pizza stone inside.

Roll out dough. Drizzle with olive oil, tops with garlic scapes, 4 cheese blend, pepperoni, onions and mozzarella.

Bake 5 – 8 minutes until crust is crispy and cheese is starting to brown.

Serves 4. 

Asparagus with  Poached  Eggs and Dijon Sauce


This is a super simple weeknight meal. I use the same pot to steam the asparagus and poach the eggs.


Dijon sauce

  • 2 TBsP mayo
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon
  • Salt and pepper

Combine and set aside.

  • 1 bunch of asparagus, steamed
  • 4 eggs, poached
  • 1/4 c breadcrumbs, toasted
  • 4 slices of Proscuitto

Divide asparagus among 2 plates, top with Proscuitto, 2 poached eggs, drizzle with mustard sauce and breadcrumbs.

Serves 2.

Zucchini Carbonara


Trying to make one of my fav dishes a little more healthy by swapping out pasta for zucchini. You always use pasta instead.


  • 1 lb zucchini, spiral or julienne cut
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 oz pancetta, clubbed
  • 1/2 c parmigiano, grated
  • 1/2 c pecorino, grated
  • Pepper

In a 12 inch skillet over medium heat, cook pancetta until crispy. Remove pancetta, add zucchini and cook for about 5 minutes.

In a bowl combine eggs and cheese.

Remove pan from heat, stir in eggs and cheese quickly to keep the eggs from scrabbling. Add pancetta and serve.

Serves 2 – 4.

Chartreuse Gin Daisy


I found this cocktail recipe on F&W  – it called for yellow Chartreuse, which I did not have so I used green Chartreuse instead. The perfect cocktail for the first day of spring.


  • 2 1/4 oz London dry gin
  • 1/4 oz Chartreuse
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice

1/4 oz agave nectar

  • Dash of orange bitters


  • 1 brandied cherry, for garnish

Combine in a cocktails shaker. Shake. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with a cherry.

Serves 1

Asparagus Pesto Pasta


F&W had this amazing fresh pesto recipe on their site and I took things a bit farther by steaming the tips, adding breadcrumbs and crispy proscuitto.


3/4 lb pasta

1 lb asparagus, trimmed and coarsely chopped, tips reserved

1/2 c olive oil

    • 1/4 c grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

      1 c basil leaves

    • 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice

    • Salt and pepper

    • 1/2 c bread crumbs

      2 slices of Proscuitto 

      Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the asparagus tips for 2 minutes then remove. Cook pasta according to package.

      In a blender combine asparagus, olive oil, basil, lemon juice, olive oil and parmigiano blend until smooth.

      In a small nonstick skillet toast the breadcrumbs. Wipe out skillet and cook Proscuitto over medium heat until crispy.

      Toss pasta with some pesto until nicely coated. Top with asparagus tips, bread crumbs and Proscuitto.

      Serves 2 – 4.

Pasta Caprese

The perfect pasta for meatless Monday and faster than take out.


  • 8 oz pasta
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 16 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 oz mozzarella balls, torn into small pieces
  • 2 c basil, torn

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package.

In a 12 inch skillet heat olive oil over medium heat add tomatoes, dried basil, salt and pepper until tomatoes are spftened. Drain and add pasta, stir in mozzarella and basil. 

Serves 4.

Zucchini Lasagna

You won’t miss the pasta here – hubby actually liked it better than regular lasagna.


  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb pork sausage, casing removed
  • Salt and pepper
  • Red chili pepper flakes
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 1 lb Zuks, slicked 1/8 thick
  • 16 oz ricotta
  • 1/4 c grated Parmesan 
  • 1 egg
  • 16 mozzarella 

In a large skillet, heat oil and add onions and garlic cook until soft. Add pork and break up as it cooks, season with salt pepper and chili flakes, stir in tomatoes and simmer.

Grill zuk slices over medium heat. Set aside.

Combine ricotta, Parm and egg.

In a 12×12 pan, spread 1/3 sauce, layer with Zuks, spread 1/3 cheese mixture, 1/3 mozz and repeat.

Preheat oven to 325. Bake for 30 min covered with foil, remove foil and bake 20 more minutes to brown cheese.

Serves 8 – 12.


Chocolate Meringue Hearts

This cookies are great served with a mix of fresh berries.


  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 3/4 c granulated sugar 
  • 1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 225. Trace six large hearts (roughly 3 inches tall x 2.5 in wide) on a large sheet of parchment paper. Place parchment paper on a large baking sheet–pencil side facing down. 

Place the egg whites in the bowl (clean and free of any grease) of stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk over low speed for 1-2 minutes, or until egg whites are foamy. Increase speed to medium and continue to whisk for an additional 1-2 minutes. 

Slowly start sprinkling in the granulated sugar, while continuing to whisk at medium speed. Increase speed to high and whisk until meringue reaches a stiff peak (10 to 12 additional minutes).
Gently fold in the cocoa powder with a spatula. 

Place the meringue in a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip. Pipe a thin layer (roughly 1/2″ thick) of meringue–filling the entire heart–to form the base of the cup. Carefully trace the edges of the heart four times with piped meringue to form the sides of the heart meringue cups. It should be relatively tall, about 1.5 inches tall at least. Repeat until all of the meringue cups are formed. 

Immediately (and carefully) place the meringue in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes, or until the meringue is dry. Once baked, turn off the oven and allow meringues to dry in the warm oven for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. 

Meringue should be crispy, hard, and not sticky. If the meringue is wet or sticky (which can depend on humidity levels), allow them to bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. 

Remove the meringue cups from the parchment paper and set aside. Allow the meringue to cool completely.

Makes 6 – 8.