Christmas Salad

Christmas SaladsI came up with this recipe on Christmas day as I was having a group over for Turkey and Latkes. The holidays did collide this year, 2016. It is light and refreshing and a good foil to the latkes and all the other rich food that we eat at this time of the year. Note that it should be made the day that you are serving it as it wilts and looses its brightness by day two.


3 Persian cucumbers, sliced very thin ( the small seedless ones in the supermarket )
.5 bunch of red radishes, thinly sliced
2 Watermelon Radishes, thinly sliced
1 avocado, cubed
3 scallions chopped
half a bunch of Italian Parsley minced. About 1/4 cup
juice of 1.5 limes
juice of half a lemon
1 T. White Balsamic vinegar
.25 cup of olive oil or more as to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Cut all of the vegetables as listed and toss with dressing ingredients.  Serve the same day.

Serves 10 with other food on the menu.

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Empress Rice

I know that you are all thinking chocolate for Valentines day, but think again and try this recipe for Empress Rice. A  little complicated but well worth it said my vegan friend who had two helpings.


1.25 cups white rice
1 cup water
2.5 cups light cream or half and half or 3.5 cups whole milk
1.5 tsp vanilla extract, or .5 vanilla bean, split
.5 tsp salt
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
.5 cup cold water
.75 cup fine quick dissolving granulated sugar
2 Tbl Brandy, Cognac or Ginger Liquor  which is what I used the last time that I made this. The original  recipe calls for Maraschino liquor which I did not have.
3 cups heavy cream, whipped
2 cups mixed candied fruits, such as citron, orange or lemon peel, candied cherries, soaked in the liquor or brandy and then drained.
Strawberries or raspberries for garnish
1 pint whipping cream for garnish

  1. Empress RiceWash rice well and drain thoroughly in a strainer. Place in a large saucepan along with water and cream or milk, vanilla bean, and salt. If you are using vanilla do not add at this time.
  2. Simmer, covered, over low heat, stirring every few minutes. Cook until tender but not overdone, about 15 – 20 minutes for converted rice.
  3. If using vanilla extract stir it in now. If using the bean remove it from the cooked rice and scrape seeds into the mixture.
  4. Let rice cool to lukewarm. Do not drain. Turn into a large bowl
  5. Soak gelatin in cold water for 5 minutes, or until soft. Set over hot water in a double boiler until completely dissolved, stirring frequently.
  6. Stir gelatin into lukewarm rice mix, along with sugar, and brandy of your choice.I used the liquor from the drained fruit. Chill about 15 minutes, or until mixture thickens but does not set.
  7. Beat 3 cups heavy cream until stiff and place on top of the rice mixture. Sprinkle with drained candied fruit and fold all in together using a rubber spatula.
  8. Rinse an eight or ten inch cup ring mold or fluted bombe, do not wipe dry, and fill with the rice mixture. Chill overnight in the frig.
  9. To unmold, wrap the outside of the mold with a cloth wrung out of hot water. May need several applications to come out. Turn onto a decorative plate.
  10. Whip whipping cream and pipe onto rice mold. Decorate with fruit. If the rice unfolds perfectly just pipe the top with whipped cream. As mine did not, I also piped whipped cream in to the center  and covered with fruit.

Serves 16 – 20

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Lemon Roasted Chicken

This recipe will give you a very moist and delicious roasted chicken.
1 red onion
.5 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
2 T. fish chopped rosemary
2 T. chopped fresh mint
1T. chopped Fresh Sage
2 tsp kosher salt
.5 tsp black pepper
Grated Zest of 1 lemon
.25 cup of olive oil
2 each 3 lb chickens
Lemon Roasted ChickenYou may mix the herbs to your liking. Use basil, thyme, marjoram, oregano instead of what I have listed.
Combine all ingredients except olive oil and chicken a food process and pulse to chop.While machine is running add olive oil in a steady stream. Process until smooth. Put chicken in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Spread the mixture over the chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
Discard excess paste.  Preheat oven to 450. Bake for one hour or until juices run clear.
If you put the mixture under the skin, salt the birds with kosher salt before baking.
Should make 8 portions, 1/4 bird per person.
Or slice and serve for more servings.

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Baked Cod With Cherry Tomatoes

This delicious fish dish is quick and easy to prepare.  Panko crumbs give it nice crunch, and the cherry tomatoes add a sweet/sour note that complements the cod.


1 lb of cod, thick cut end
1/4 cup of panko crumbs
salt and pepper
2 – 3 tbs. butter
2-3 tbs. oil, olive or vegetable
1 medium onion, sliced and large dice
1 box of mixed cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 sprig of fresh thyme or rosemary

Baked Cod with Cherry TomatoesHeat oven to 375.

Sprinkle Cod with salt and pepper and panko crumbs.
Melt 2 tbl.butter and 2 tbl. oil in an oven proof  frying pan.
Sear cod on both sides and remove to a plate.

Saute the onion in the same pan, you may need to add the extra oil and butter at this time.

Cook 2 minutes or until starting to brown slightly. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until they start to loose their juice.  Make room in the middle of the pan and return the cod to the pan. Spoon some of the sauce over the fish. Sprinkle with the sprig of fresh herbs.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Can be served over rice, lentils or couscous with a light green salad.

Serves 2 or 3


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Blueberry Scones

If you like scones, you’ll love these seasonal blueberry scones even more…


1.5  cups of all purpose flour.
.5 cup corn meal, organic stone ground
1/4 or 1/3 cup of granulated sugar,  depending on the sweetness that you prefer
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 stick butter, cold
grated rind from one orange
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk, save the white
.5 cup of buttermilk
1 cup of blueberries

1 egg white beaten
2 tsp sugar for topping

Blueberry SconesCombine the flours, sugar, baking powder and soda, salt and orange rind.

Cut in the butter until it resembles a fine mix.

Stir in the blueberries.

Mix egg, yolk and buttermilk and add all at once to the dry mixture. Stir until just moist.

Turn out on to a lightly greased surface and knead gently until it comes together. You might need to add another tbsp. of buttermilk.

Pat into a 9 inch circle about .5  inch thick. Transfer to a buttered cookie sheet. Score into 8 or 10 pieces.

Brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with the 2 tsp of sugar.

Bake in the center rack of the oven at 425 for 20 minutes or until golden and a cake tester comes out clean. Let sit a few minutes before cutting through.

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Zucchini And Yellow Squash Soup

Enjoy when summer squashes are plentiful or any time!

Zucchini and Summer Squash SoupIngredients:

6 T butter
3 leeks,  white part only sliced and washed
4 garlic scapes, sliced  (you can substitute 8 cloves of garlic)
4 medium yellow squash, sliced
3 medium zucchini, sliced
Fresh Sage,  3 stems, about 8 – 10 leaves chopped
Water to cover plus one inch
2 T vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup of cream
Salt to taste

Melt the butter on a large soup pot.  Add the leeks and garlic scapes and brown lightly.

Add the two types of squash and stir until coated with the butter. Add the water, bring to a boil and cover. Let simmer 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

Puree the soup with an immersion blender. Add the cream and salt to taste

Serve hot or cold.

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Grilled Shrimp

Grilled ShrimpWho doesn’t love grilled shrimp “on the barbie” in late summer. This spicy shrimp recipe will satisfy your need for heat! the sauce, on the other hand, will cool you back down.


Shrimp and Marinade:

1 lb of P & D Shrimp
1/2 cup of chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
grated rind of 1 orange
grated rind of 1 lemon
3 tsp of chopped Ancho Chili in Adobe Sauce ( or more to taste )
You could use jalapeño but I did not have any in the house.
s & p

2 pints of orange cherry tomatoes, cut in half
4 cloves of garlic, minced
8 stems of ramps, thinly sliced.
1/3 cup of olive oil
s & p

To serve:
Italian style bread, sliced, brushed with olive oil and grilled

In a large bowl mix the parsley, cilantro, garlic, lemon and orange zest and the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss in the shrimp. Cover and refrigerate one hour or more

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil. Toss in the cherry tomatoes, garlic and ramps. Cook down until a nice sauce forms. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile heat the grill. Once hot cook the shrimp turning once until charred and cooked through. 6 minutes. Add the remaining marinade to the sauce and cook down a bit.

Add the shrimp to the sauce and serve with the grilled bread slices.

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Polenta With Sauteed Swiss Chard And Raisins

This is my favorite 5 minute recipe for when I’m hungry and need comfort food. I make it a lot in the colder months when I get home late and want something delicious and fast.


1 cup of 5 minute polenta
4 cups of water
1 Tbs of salt
2 Tbs of butter
1/4 cup light cream
1/4 cup of grated parmesan
1.5 lbs of Swiss chard, stemmed and sliced
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
salt and pepper
1/4 cup of golden raisins
additional parmesan for garnish

Polenta With ChardBring the 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot. When boiling add the salt. Slowly pour in the polenta and stir. Keep stirring until it has softened and thickened. About 5 minutes. Add the butter, cream and parmesan and stir until blended. Cover and hold.

While the polenta is cooking prepare the greens.

Wash, stem and tear or slice the chard. Slice the onion and garlic. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Sauté the onion until it is soft. Add the chard and garlic and stir to coat with the oil. Add salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes until the greens are tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the golden raisins. Uncover and stir until most of the moisture has evaporated.

Spoon the polenta into 4 serving bowls. Top each with the sautéed greens.

Sprinkle with additional parmesan if desired.

Adapted from “The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook” by Jack Bishop

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Thai Carrot And Kabocha Squash Soup

This is a recipe that I developed for the Cafe that I am doing this weekend for Brattleboro West Arts Group of which I am am member. I wanted something vegan to go with the other items on the menu.


1 dried Thai red chili , seeds removed, or not if you like it spicy
3 lbs Kabocha squash, half inch chop
.5 lb butternut squash, half inch chop
1 lb carrots, sliced
.25 cup oil ( I use a mix of olive and canola )
1 lb onions, diced
1 cup celery, sliced
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 stalk of lemon grass, sliced
1 oz fresh ginger, chopped
2 cans of coconut milk plus 2 cans of water
1 Tbs vegetarian vegetable bouillon
3 cups of water
1.5 Tbs kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

Chop, dice and mince vegetables.

In a large soup pot, heat the oil until hot. Add the onion and cook, stirring until starting to brown. Add the garlic and celery along with the hot chili broken into pieces, ginger and lemon grass. Stir and cook for a few more minutes. Add the squashes and carrots. Lower the heat. Cover the pot with a piece of waxed paper and put the lid on top. Let the vegetables sweat for 10 minutes. Stirring regularly. This intensifies the flavor.

Lift the lid and remove the waxed paper. Add the coconut milk, vegetable bouillon, all the water.
Cover and continue cooking until all of the vegetables are very soft.

If there are stringy pieces of lemon grass remove them from the pot. If you do not want it hot, pick out the Thai Chili.

Let cool a bit. Season with salt and pepper. Puree with an immersion coil.
If you are using a cuisinart let it cool a lot first as they can explode with too much liquid or if it is too hot.

Makes approximately 16 cups

You can substitute Thai Red Chili Paste for the whole chili. Watch the heat level.

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