Sunday, December 8, 2013

My Faster Clam Chowder

My Faster Clam Chowder
As shared by Once Upon a Plate by Mari

I rarely measure when I'm making soups, stews or chowders but I've given the basic measurements and directions below. As always, feel free to adjust to your own taste!

1/3 cup cubed salt pork,
OR 6 to 8 strips thick-sliced bacon, cut cross-wise into 1/4" wide strips
4 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced
4 ribs celery, small to medium dice
You may want to add a finely diced carrot, I usually don't
1 to 2 cloves chopped garlic (optional)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon or more fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1 to 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 cans (6 ounce can) chopped clams, with their juices
2 large Russet potatoes, peeled and diced, about 1/2" dice. (May use waxy potatoes if you prefer)
10 ounces clam juice (can use chicken stock)
3 cups half-and-half (can use whole milk)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt (more or less, to your taste)
A few dashes hot sauce (optional)
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley leaves, or fresh thyme leaves, for garnish

Slowly cook salt pork or bacon in a large stockpot until fat is rendered (don't overcook); remove salt pork or bacon from pan and reserve.

Melt butter in the bacon fat in the stockpot. Add onions, celery, and garlic to the pot; cook on medium-high heat until the vegetables are transparent. Add flour, stir and cook for about 5 minutes. Then add diced potatoes, clam juice and milk, bay leaf and thyme; bring to a boil. Simmer and stir for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in clams to heat through. (At this point you can add in the cooked pork or bacon, if desired.) Season to taste with salt and pepper and hot sauce if using.

Please Note: (If you like a thicker chowder you may thicken this with a bit of Beurre Manie*)
*Softened butter mixed with an equal amount of all purpose flour until completely smooth. Stir a bit into gently
simmering chowder until thickened. Begin with a small amount (a teaspoon or two), simmer and check consistency. Add a bit more if chowder is not thick enough.

Remove from heat, find and discard bay leaf. Allow chowder to cool just slightly. Serve, garnished with chopped parsley.

I don't add the fresh, minced parsley to the chowder while it's cooking because it loses it's bright green color. Instead I serve it on top, or in a small serving dish with a spoon and let each person add, and stir in their own. And I pass the peppermill at the table ~ some people I know like lots of freshly ground black pepper in their chowder. Others like a couple of shakes of hot sauce, or a pat of butter to float on top so I offer those, too.
Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Roasted Carrot Soup with Fresh Ginger

As shared by Once Upon a Plate by Mari
4 to 6 servings  (I like to serve smaller portions of this soup)  Use vegetable broth to make Vegetarian-friendly. For appetizer: Serve in tiny cups/shot glasses.
This soup reheats well, may be made ahead and refrigerated, covered, for up to 3 to 4 days, you may need to add additional liquid while reheating if soup is too thick.
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon olive oil, divided use
1 cup diced onions
Up to 1/4 cup peeled, minced ginger (according to your preference, the more you add the spicier soup will be)
1 to 2 cloves minced garlic
1 pound carrots, peeled,cut into large chunks 
4 to 6 cups chicken stock/broth* (may need more: see note at end of recipe)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 bay leaf

Optional add-ins, to be added after pureeing soup
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
To make it more spicy: 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon (or more if you dare) Harissa from the tube

Suggested garnishes to add to soup when serving:
1 Tablespoon of sour cream
Chopped chives
Grated orange zest
roasted shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitos)
1/2 teaspoon of butter for each serving
toasted chopped nuts of your choice
buttery croutons
a tiny sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon

Center rack in oven, preheat to 400ºF
Place peeled carrot chunks on a rimmed baking sheet that is large enough to hold carrots in one layer without crowding. Drizzle 1 Tablespoon olive oil over carrots and toss until they are coated in oil. Place baking sheet in oven and roast until tender, rearranging and rolling the carrots over once or twice during baking so they do not burn, its okay if they char slightly on edges. Timing will vary due to the diameter age, and size of carrot chunks ~ mine usually take between 12 and 20 minutes (pierce with tip of knife to test for doneness.)

Warm large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 Tablespoon olive oil and the 2 Tablespoons butter to pan, when butter melts add onions to the pot. Gently cook until onions are limp, slightly translucent (not crisp or browned), about 4 to 5 minutes.  Add the ginger and garlic to the pot and cook for 30 seconds. Place all of the roasted carrots in the pot and add 4 cups of the chicken broth/stock*, salt pepper and bay leaf and bring to a boil. When contents of pot reaches a boil, reduce to a simmer. Simmer, partially covered for 20 minutes or so.

Remove the bay leaf from the pot and either puree the soup in a blender (working in batches if necessary), or using an immersion blender, puree the soup directly in the pot. 
(consider adding a little honey to soup when pureeing if your carrots are not sweet.) If using the heavy cream or orange zest, stir in when you are finished blending. Adjust the seasonings.  To serve, add your choice of garnishes, serve hot.

*Start out with 4 cups of stock/broth; may need  more as soup simmers, and while blending to make the consistency you like.)  Can make vegetarian friendly by subbing Vegetable stock/broth for the Chicken stock/broth.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix ~ it's better than store-bought!

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix ~ it's better than store-bought!
As shared by Once Upon a Plate by Mari

One recipe makes the equivalent of one packet store-bought. Enough to season 4 to 6 servings of filling. I always triple or quadruple recipe and store in an airtight jar in the pantry or refrigerator.

Please do adjust the seasonings according to what you like, feel free to increase or decrease the ingredients to your taste. I like to use less salt in the mix, as you can always add more as you're cooking your taco meat, but you cannot "unsalt" the mix!  ;)

1 Tablespoon chili powder* 
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoons garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoons onion powder (not onion salt)
1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (I only add a tiny pinch)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 to 1 teaspoon paprika
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt*
1/4 to 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Use about 2 Tablespoons mix to 1 pound of meat (more if you like it more flavorful)

If using to season ground beef: Brown beef in pan, drain/pour off fat. Sprinkle seasoning over meat and add 1/3 cup of water; stir. Simmer until water is absorbed, taste and adjust seasonings. 

Click here for recipe for delicious Mexican style chicken meat recipe to use in your favorite Mexican dishes.

*Chili Powder: I just use the kind usually labeled "Dark Chili Powder" ~ check the label;  it usually lists Chili Pepper, Spices, Salt, and Garlic in the ingredients. (Because it already has salt in it, I take that into consideration when adding to other recipes, like this one.)

I hope you love it!

Mexican-Style Cooked Chicken meat ~ For your favorite Mexican recipes

Mexican-style Chicken meat from the Slow Cooker
As shared by Once Upon a Plate by Mari
Mexican-Style chunk/shredded chicken that can be used in a variety of ways. (for Tacos, Enchiladas, Tamales, Nachos, Salads, Casseroles, etc.) I always make plenty as it freezes, in the portion size you want, very well. 
Special Equipment: Slow Cooker
Special Seasoning:  Homemade Taco Seasoning (click)

Recipe yield ~ The basic recipe below is for 1 recipe (increase seasoning, and broth/water in proportion as you increase amount of chicken.)The basic recipe below is for 1 recipe (increase seasoning, and broth/water in proportion as you increase amount of chicken.)this recipe is adjustable, use as much chicken or as little according to your needs, increase Taco Seasoning amount. 
The basic recipe below is for 1 recipe (increase seasoning, and broth/water in proportion as you increase amount of chicken.)

Original Basic Recipe

Basic recipe:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts*
3 Tablespoons dry Taco Seasoning (Homemade or Commercially made)
1 cup chicken broth (preferably low sodium)
---Stir taco seasoning into chicken broth.  Place chicken (and onion, bay leaves and oregano) in the slow cooker container, pour broth mix over.  Cover and cook on low-setting for 6 to 8 hours.
With 2 forks or your fingers, break apart or shred chicken meat into bite-size pieces.
Use as you wish, or  ~
To freeze: Place shredded chicken meat into freezer bags, dividing juice evenly among bags. Press out as much air as possible, seal and freeze.

My Most Flavorful Version: (This is the favorite at my house.)
Chicken ~ your choice of any of the following:
---boneless/skinless breast and/or thigh meat
---bone-in/skin-on meaty chicken parts
---whole chicken(s) ~ quartered or cut into serving pieces
Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix  (Preferred! ~ Click here for recipe)
or Taco Seasoning Mix* (1 packet commercial mix, additional packs if you are preparing more chicken)
Chicken Broth (preferably low sodium)
Optional (I always add):
1 or 2 onions, chopped
1 or 2 bay leaves
Additional dried Oregano

Follow directions above. If using bone-in/skin-on chicken: After cooking allow chicken to cool enough to handle. Remove skin and bones, discard. Shred chicken or break into bite size pieces. Spoon any accumulated fat from surface and discard. Alternately, place chicken meat with broth  in a container and cover. Chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight, when fat has

solidified simply remove and discard.  Note:  We like it VERY flavorful; I always add more of my homemade taco seasoning, and additional low-sodium chicken broth (and a little water if you like at the end of cooking time if broth is too concentrated to your liking.)

You can make a wonderful EASY sauce for enchiladas using some of the juices from this chicken:

Simply whirl in blender or food processor some of the hot cooking juice, your favorite jarred salsa with low sodium chicken broth until smooth. May add water to thin the sauce, taste for seasonings and use in your favorite recipe calling for enchilada sauce.

* 1 commercial Taco Seasoning packet is the approximate equivalent of 2 to 3 Tablespoons homemade Taco Seasoning mix.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Split Pea & Bacon Soup from the Pressure Cooker

Split Pea and Bacon Soup
As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate by Mari
8 servings

Special equipment, Pressure cooker (stovetop or electric type)

1 pound split peas, rinsed and picked over for any debris/pebbles, etc.
8 cups water or broth/stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 pound thick cut bacon cut into 1/2-inch strips, crosswise
   or 1 pound salt pork, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
   May use a smoked ham hock, or 3/4 to 1-pound ham chunks
1 onion diced
2 large carrots, peeled if desired, diced 
2 or 3 ribs celery, diced
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled or scant 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
A bay leaf, or two
Splash or two of sherry wine
Salt and pepper to taste

Optional for garnish:

Reserve some of the cooked bacon
Crisp, buttery croutons
A small lump of butter for each serving
Small sprigs of fresh thyme

PRESSURE COOKER METHOD: Before beginning recipe, make sure your pot is large enough, do not fill over 1/2 full, per pressure cookers instructions.

In the pot of the pressure cooker sauté bacon until almost done, slightly crisp but not brittle. Remove bacon from pot, place on a paper towel lined plate, set aside. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from pot, add onions and sauté until translucent but not browned, add diced carrots and celery, cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. If using a ham bone or chunk ham omit browning and add 1 tablespoon oil to the pressure cooker pot and sauté  the onion, carrots and celery as directed above, then continue with recipe as follows:

Add rinsed and sorted peas, water/stock, thyme, bay leaf to pot.

Bring contents of pot to a boil over medium heat, lock pressure cooker lid in place (if your cooker has a pressure rocker, put it in place.) Bring pressure cooker to full pressure, set timer for 20 minutes. At 20 minutes, remove pot from heat and allow pressure to disperse naturally.  When pressure is released remove lid from pot (tipping lid away from you as you do so.)  If using ham bone, remove ham from bone and shred or chop meat from bone and return to pot.)  Remove bay leaf and discard.  Stir content of pot, add a splash or two of sherry if using. Taste soup for seasonings adding salt and pepper to taste.  To serve garnish as you desire; with reserved bacon, croutons, a pat of butter, thyme springs, freshly ground pepper, etc.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pasta with Cauliflower-Tomato Sauce (Slow Cooker) and Flavorful Crumb Topping

As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate by Mari

Pasta with Spicy Cauliflower and Flavorful Crumb Topping
Yields 6 servings
Special equipment:  Electric slow cooker


1 small cauliflower (or 1/2 of very large cauliflower), trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, (or 28-oz. can whole tomatoes, cut into small pieces)
1 cup water
3 to 5 Tablespoons olive oil (divided use between sauce, and crumb topping)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, (or more)* crumbled
Pinch of crushed red pepper (I add very, very little. If you like it spicy, add more)
My additions:  
6 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, or more if you love them (drained and roughly chopped)
1 Tablespoon capers in brine, (or more to taste) drained
* I add a generous 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, crumbled

Crumb Topping:

1/3 cup plain dried bread crumbs (I use about 1/2 cup plain Panko crumbs)
2 Tablespoon olive oil (a little more if you increase the amount of crumbs)
4 anchovy fillets  (or substitute 3 cloves minced garlic and a bit of kosher or sea salt)
Freshly ground black pepper

1 pound (16 ounces) dried pasta;  fusilli, shells, or similar shape


-In the container of a medium to large slow cooker stir together the water, 2 to 3 Tablespoons oil, tomatoes, garlic, oregano, salt and crushed red pepper. Set slower cooker to high, stir in the cauliflower cover and cook until the cauliflower is very tender (approximately 3 hours.)  Note, if you are sensitive to the odor of cauliflower as it cooks, place the cooker in laundry/utility room, enclosed garage, etc. ;)

-Just before sauce is finished, stir the chopped artichoke hearts and capers into the sauce and allow to heat through.
-Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions. 
-While pasta cooks prepare the crumb topping: Heat the remaining 2 to 3 Tablespoons olive oil in a small skillet. Add the anchovies (or the minced garlic) and cook over medium heat, stirring all the while until the anchovies are dissolved (or garlic is golden brown and fragrant), stir in the bread crumbs and cook, stirring frequently until the crumbs are a rich golden brown and crispy, a few minutes more. Watch carefully as they can go from perfect to burned in moments.  Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. (Crumb topping may be prepared ahead.)

To serve: Toss the sauce with the hot cooked pasta. Sprinkle with the crumbs and serve while piping hot.


Recipe adapted from cookbook author Michele Scicolone 
(as shared on

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ghastly Ghosts ~ Halloween S'mores with Peeps®

As shared from the kitchen of Mari @ Once Upon a Plate
With many thanks to Mary @ Home is Where the Boat is

Package of Peeps® Ghost Marshmallow (you'll need 12)
1 1/2 cups Graham Cracker crumbs, finely crushed
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 Tablespoons sugar
pinch salt
8x8-inch baking dish
Generous amount of butter for baking dish

Your favorite Brownie recipe (or boxed mix)
1/2 cup Chocolate chip morsels
36 Mini chocolate morsels (3 for each ghost, for eyes, nose/mouth)

Preheat oven, center rack 350ºF

For the Graham Cracker Crust: Generously butter baking dish and set aside. In a medium bowl mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter, blend in sugar and salt until completed mixed. Press mixture into bottom of buttered baking dish, as evenly as possible. Place in preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. 

In the meantime, prepare brownie batter. When graham crust is baked, remove from oven and pour brownie batter over crumb crust and spread evenly. Bake according to recipe/boxed mix directions. Scatter the chocolate morsels over the brownies during last 5 minutes of baking (this will help the marshmallow 'ghosts' adhere to the brownies.)

Remove the baking dish from oven and arrange 3 rows of 4 Ghost Peeps®
over the chocolate morsels, pressing lightly.  Place pan a few inches from hot broiler element in oven, do NOT walk away (these will burn in an instant once they begin to turn golden.)  When the marshmallows are the color you like remove from oven, you'll notice the chocolate for eyes/mouth have all but disappeared. Remove from broiler, cool a bit then place chocolate mini-morsels to represent ghosts' eyes and mouth. These are easiest to cut neatly when completely cool. Cut as desired and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Smoky Cheddar Cheese Spritz Crackers

As shared by Mari of Once Upon a Plate
These are really good for snacking, on a cheese/fruit tray, or served along with soups or salads.

Special equipment needed: A cookie press and disk/s of your choice


  • 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese (finely shredded)*
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika** (to make them 'smoky', see below)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper **

  1. Center rack in middle of oven, preheat oven to 375ºF
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk dry ingredients. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment) cream the Cheddar cheese, butter and Worcestershire sauce together until smooth and well combined.
  4. Gradually add dry ingredients, mixing until a smooth dough is formed.
  5. Fill cookie press with dough and press dough onto an un-greased cookie sheet. 
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are a light golden brown.*** (See special tips, below)
  7. Allow to cool slightly and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before storing in an airtight container for up to one week.
* For best results always shred your own cheese. Pre-shredded cheese contains additives that preserve it and prevent it from clumping, it can adversely affect end results. 

Don't refrigerate dough, use at room temperature. Press crackers onto
un-greased cookie sheet (cookie sheets should also be at room temperature.)  Wash cookie sheet/s between batches and make sure they are cool (room temperature) before pressing next batch. If your room is very cold, you might want to bring the
dough to a warmer part of the house to soften it up a bit, the cookies/crackers will release from the press more cleanly if the dough is not too firm/cold.

I always add the following to these cheese crackers (optional):
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder
May use part smoked paprika instead of plain
May increase cayenne if you like spicy crackers

***For crispy crackers:
I like my crackers to be crispy, yet just very faintly colored (not too brown), so they retain their pretty color.  Bake and cool the batch ofcookies.  When they are cool, place in single layer on shallow rimmed baking sheets. Allow to crisp up in a preheated 175ºF oven for 7 to 14 minutes, they should barely color. Remove to cooling racks, crackers will crisp further as they cool.
Alternately, follow directions above but instead place in oven set to 'warm' for several minutes until they crisp up, then turn off oven and leave ajar until crackers are cool.

Store in airtight containers for a week or so.  These methods also work well in re-crisping crackers that are a few days old, if they need it. (Makes a fine gift from the kitchen, too!)


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Herb Batter Bread ~ Quick and Easy

Herb Batter Bread ~ Quick and Easy
As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate by Mari
Makes one 8" or 9" round cake pan (or equivalent)

This is a recipe that dates back to at least 1970, I first began making it while in high school. I cannot tell you the number of times I have made it since then! It's an easy, friendly dough to work with that produces a good little bread that smells wonderful as it bakes, and it's delicious warm, or toasted the next day. You can use any herbs that you like; fresh or dried, (or a combination of herbs that pleases you.)  I sometimes make this with half whole wheat flour and half all purpose flour.

You can mix this by hand, or use your stand mixer.

1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons butter or margarine
1 package yeast, (or a scant 1 tablespoon dry yeast)
1/2 cup warm water
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (sift before measuring)
1 tablespoon dried/instant minced onion
1/2 to 1  teaspoon dried herbs, or more (your choice; dill, rosemary, etc.)
        OR 1 to 3 teaspoons minced fresh herbs
Melted butter
coarse salt

Heat milk in a small pan over medium heat until small bubbles form around edge of pan
(don't boil), remove from heat and stir in sugar until dissolved. Cool to lukewarm.

In a large bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer), dissolve yeast in the warm water. Add cooled milk mixture. Stir flour into yeast mixture. Add dried/instant minced onions and dill or
other herbs, stir all together until well blended, about 2 minutes. Cover and let rise in a warm place until tripled in bulk; about 45 minutes. Stir down and beat vigorously about  30 seconds. Turn into a greased 8-inch cake pan, or 9-inch pie pan. * Bake in a 350ºF oven center rack about 1 hour. Brush top crust with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with salt (salt is optional).

* Once batter is in the pan, before putting in the oven, I always allow it to rise another 45 minutes. This step is NOT necessary, but I like the texture the extra rise produces.

Just wait until you smell this bread baking in your own kitchen ~ YUM.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Spiced Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting

Pumpkin Spice Sheet Cake with Maple Frosting
As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate by Mari

Makes a 9 x 13-inch pan

I usually make half a recipe (baked in a 9-inch square baking pan) unless we're having company

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup melted butter, cooled

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), at room temperature
2 tablespoons good, pure maple syrup (no substitute)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups confectioners sugar
Optional: Toasted pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350ºF (rack in center of oven)
Combine cake ingredients, EXCEPT butter. Whisk until combined, when mixed add melted butter and
stir until smooth. Pour batter into a 9x13-inch baking pan.  Bake until cake springs back when touched
lightly, about 40 minutes.

Cream together cream cheese and butter. Add remainder of ingredients and mix well. Spread on cooled
If desired sprinkle toasted, chopped pecans over frosting.  (I serve the chopped nuts in a small bowl with a spoon so each person can add nuts if they like and those that don't want them can pass.)

Bon Appetit!

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Butcher's Pasta Sauce ~ Slow Cooker

The Butcher's Pasta Sauce (Slow Cooker)
As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate by Mari
Makes about 10 cups

Special Equipment:
Electric Slow Cooker

Use any of the following raw meats (or any combination)~ half a pound ground beef, a pork chop, an extra sausage, or a chicken breast (chop meat up in food processor.)  This sauce is usually served on a chunky pasta; cavatelli, orecchiette, etc. I used perciatelli (bucatini).

1 large onion, chopped
2 medium celery ribs, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground lamb
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine (may use red)
2  28-ounce cans Italian peeled tomatoes, packed in tomato puree, chopped

Optional (I always add): 
Dried oregano, crumbled
a sprig or two of fresh rosemary


Cook vegetables in the oil over medium heat in a large skillet,  cook until tender, but not browned. This will take approximately 10 minutes. Add a little water if the onion begins to brown, and lower heat just a bit.

Add the meats and cook, with the back of a spoon, break up any large lumps of meat. Cook until lightly browned, stir in the tomato paste, salt and pepper and herbs if you are using them. Add wine and bring the mixture to a simmer.

Pour the tomatoes into the cooking container of a large slow cooker, scrape the meat and vegetables from the pan into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours, until the sauce is thickened.  Adjust seasonings and serve. After cooling, it keeps covered in the refrigerator for about 4 days. This freezes beautifully.


Recipe adapted from Michele Scicolone's "The Italian Slow Cooker"

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
Yields 10 ~ 1/2 cup servings
Shared by Mari @ Once Upon a Plate

Special Equipment needed: 
Ice cream maker

3 ounces cream cheese (room temperature soft)
1-1/2 cups sugar * (Can reduce amount, see below)
1 cup pureed, strained Raspberries (may use frozen)
1 cup whipping cream (heavy cream)
1 cup whole milk

Method:  (You can either whisk ingredients together
or combine in food processor)
Mix softened cream cheese until smooth.
Whisk/blend in sugar
Whisk/blend in strained raspberry puree
Whisk/blend in cream and milk until combined.

Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturers direction.

*Note: There are at least two versions of this recipe floating around
on the internet.  The Southern Living Magazine calls for 1 cup sugar, the other for 1-1/2 cup sugar. I used 1-1/4 cups sugar, so please adjust to your preference.

Stores well for a few days in the freezer (if it lasts that long!)

Recipe adapted from "Southern Living" magazine

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Quiche d'Olives

As shared by Mari @ Once Upon a Plate
Adapted from "Gathering in the Garden" by Shelley Snow and Elaine Husband

Quiche d'Olives (or mini quiche)
Serves 8

2 Tablespoons shallots, chopped
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
4 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
1/2 pound black nicoise olives, or other black olives, pitted
1 (9-inch) deep dish pie shell
1 (6 ounce) package fresh spinach, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 400º(F)
Saute the shallots in the butter until lightly browned.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, cream, and pepper. Add the shallots, spinach, and cheese to the egg mixture and pour into the pie shell. Arrange black olives over the top of the quiche. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
Can be served warm, or at room temperature.


Basil Tomato Tart (or small tarts)

As shared by Mari @ Once Upon a Plate
Adapted from "Gathering in the Garden" by Shelly Snow and Elaine Husband

Basil Tomato Tart
8 to 10 servings

12 cup flour
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 large or 2 medium ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 pie crust (home made, or frozen, etc.) *see notes below
3 green onions (scallions), chopped ~ both white and green parts
1/3 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup real mayonnaise (not sandwich spread)
2 cups grated Swiss cheese

8-10 black olives
8-10 fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 350º(F)
Pour flour, salt and pepper into a plastic bag, place sliced tomatoes into bag and shake well to coat evenly. Layer tomatoes on bottom of piecrust. Sprinkle green onions and basil evenly over the tomatoes,  mix the mayonnaise and Swiss cheese together and spread it evenly over the ingredients in the pie crust. Bake for approximately 35 to 40 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish each slice with a basil leaf and olive if desired.
Delicious warm or at room temperature.

This can be made into small tarts: Cut pastry into rounds, larger than tartlet pans.  For the tomatoes use either smaller tomatoes (to fit into bottom of tartlet lined pastry, chopped and drained tomatoes, or
cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half.)  Proceed with recipe.