Archive for the ‘Using Your Basket’ Category

Bacon and Hatch Chile’s, Enough Said!

Friday, October 17th, 2014

You know what I love about Bountiful Baskets? What I REALLY love? Beyond the healthy food on my dinner plate; beyond the rewards I get when I volunteer and do my part to ensure the success of our co-op, which is helping countless people; even beyond money I am saving by participating in Bountiful Baskets….

What I REALLY love about Bountiful Baskets is that because of Baskets, I have found joy in food! Clean, healthy, amazing food that I had walked past in grocery aisles for years. Not noticing them, not knowing how to use them and especially not knowing how much I loved them! (more…)

Squeezing the most out of your lemons and limes

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

One of my favorite sayings is “Waste not, Want not”. Getting the most bang for the buck out of my basket is one way I do that. I also find it kind of fun to find new ways to use every part of my basket.

Step 1: I always give them the good old vinegar and water bath for 1 hour. This cleans the skins so I can safely use them later on. I use 1 cup vinegar to 8-9 cups of water and soak my produce. I then rinse and dry them.

 

Step 2: Get the microplane out and get as much rind off them as humanly possible. . Be sure to only get the rind as the white part is bitter.

Step 3: Microwave the lemons and limes for 1 minute. This helps to get the juices flowing. I then let them cool down a bit before rolling them with the palm of my hand. Apply slight pressure to help get even more juice.

Step 4: Cut in half and squeeze the juice out of them. I like to do this in a bowl or measuring cup so that I can get the seeds out if any fall into it.

Step 5: Measure 2 tablespoons into each ice cube tray and freeze. When they are frozen remove and put into a freezer bag. Label the bag with the date, type of juice and amount of juice per cube.

The zest goes into the dehydrator for 3 hours or until completely dry.

 

  • 1 lemon or lime has about 2 tablespoons of juice in it

Use up some of that wonderful juice in this recipe.

Best ever lemon bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a medium bowl blend together butter, 2 cups flour, and 1/2 cup sugar. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9X13 pan.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until firm and golden. In another bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice. Pour over baked crust.
  4. Bake for an additional 20 minutes. The bars will firm up as they cool.
  5. Hint: Use lime juice and a few drops of green food coloring for lime bars.

 

Cindy

Adventure into making raisins

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

The making of raisins is a wonderful journey. For me there is no better way to show my love for family and friends then by cooking for them.  These raisins are just another way for me to do that. I first started by doing a vinegar water wash of the grapes with a good rinse and dry. Then let the grapes sit on the trays for a hour so they don’t add moisture to the dehydrator. The hardest part was making sure the little stems were removed on all of the grapes. What I did find is that after drying if you missed any they stood out and you could remove them at that time. Each dehydrator is different so times will be to. Mine took 48 hours on at 145 degrees and 14 hours at 125 degrees. Every few hours I rotated the trays and stirred around the grapes on each tray.

 

 

The finished product was amazing!I decided to put 1 cup in snack bags and freeze the end product for making Christmas goodies. With this size packs I can take one or 2 out depending on what my recipe calls for. Out of my 1 case of BB grapes I ended up with 22 cups of raisins after some were eaten for taste control. LOL My only advice is that it is much better to over dry than to under dry as they will mold fast if they have any moisture left in them.  Next time I might try canning some to see how they hold up. When I use raisins I like to pre-soak in a warm liquid to soften the raisins up. Sometimes I use hot coffee for a added punch to the recipe. Enjoy

 

Cindy

 

Swiss Onion Soup…move over Frenchy!

Thursday, October 16th, 2014


This soup has been haunting me for just over 25 years. I first had it when I was working night shifts at a large hospital in the Midwest. How often can you say you look forward to hospital food? It has taken me a few years but I have finally duplicated it! Its nutty, sweet, tangy and just a bit of heat at the finish. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do!

This soup starts like a French onion soup, lots of onions. Cut the onion in half for root end to top. Cut off the top and peel. Now cut it in half again and thinly slice. Repeat with the other half. (save those onion skins for stock!)

In a Dutch oven add olive oil and butter. When it’s melted turn down heat to low and add the onions. Stir to coat them all with oil and butter. They need to cook and start to caramelize, this is a slow process. It will take about 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

Gather your ingredients as the next part moves pretty fast.

Now add the flour and stir, allow this to cook on low for a couple minutes.

Once the flour has cooked we will begin whisking in the 4 Tbsp. Sherry, (this is optional) now whisk in the chicken stock (vegetable stock can be substituted). The mixture will be thick, just keep whisking in the stock.

Now whisk in the milk or cream and season with salt and pepper.

Add the shredded Swiss cheese and stir until melted.

Stir in the Dijon mustard and cayenne pepper (optional)
Allow to simmer a few minutes, taste and re season as need.

 

Swiss Onion Soup…move over Frenchy!

Swiss Onion Soup…move over Frenchy!

Ingredients

  • 3 large onions, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 4 Tbsp. sherry
  • 3 cups chicken stock (vegetable stock can be substituted)
  • 1 cup milk or cream
  • Salt and white pepper (black pepper is fine)
  • 2 ½ cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of Cayenne (optional)

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice onions
  2. In a Dutch oven or soup pot melt butter and oil together.
  3. Add onions and allow onions to sweat and caramelize on low heat for 10-12 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle the flour over onions and stir, allow it to cook 2-3 minutes to cook flour.
  5. Whisk in sherry.
  6. Whisk in chicken stock and milk.
  7. Stir in mustard and seasonings.
  8. Add cheese and stir until melted.
  9. Allow to simmer on low for 5 minutes.
  10. Serve.

 

Sunny California Blend Cheese Soup

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

When I saw the California blend of veggies (carrots, cauliflower and broccoli) sitting In the refrigerator, I knew it had to become a beautiful soup. I kept remembering a soup from my childhood called Normandy blend soup. I remember it having big chunks of the California blend of veggies, and a velvety cheesy base. I searched for a recipe but never found one, so I decided to give it a try without one.

I chopped up the veggies in nice bite size pieces, and finely chopped an onion and celery, they are necessary for flavor but not the stars of the show.

I decided to blanch the California blend prior to putting it in the soup. I wanted the veggies to still have some texture but not crunch and to keep them vibrant. To blanch them bring a pot of salted water (it should taste like ocean water, this is your chance to bring out the flavor of the veggies) to a boil. Start with the carrots, let them simmer for 6-8 minutes. Using a strainer place the carrots into an ice water bath to stop the cooking. Remove the carrots from water and place back in their bowl. Repeat with cauliflower blanch 4-5 minutes and the broccoli only 3-5 minutes.

Sauté onions and celery in the butter and oil til translucent 4-5 minutes.
Add about 1/4 cup of flour and stir, making sure all the oil has been absorbed, now allow this to cook a couple minutes. If you don’t the soup will taste of raw flour.

Now use a wire whisk and whisk the soup base while slowly adding the chicken stock. It will be very nice and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Whisk in a cup of milk or half and half.

Allow this to come to a simmer. Stir in the shredded cheddar and stir until melted. Now carefully add the California blend of veggies. Allow to simmer 8-10 minutes, making sure the veggies are still al dente. At this point I also added 2 TBSP Dijon mustard to really finish the flavor and texture, as well as a Tbsp. Of Emerils essence seasoning to kick it up! (I use the salt free.) season with salt and pepper to taste.

Served with a couple warmed pretzel slider buns. Delicious.

Sunny California Blend Cheese Soup

Sunny California Blend Cheese Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into bite size florets
  • 1 bunch broccoli, cut into bite size florets
  • 1 pound of carrots scrubbed and cit into bite size coins
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 3 ribs celery finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk or half and half
  • 2 1/2 cups medium cheddar
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Emerils essence (salt free)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Prep veggies
  2. Bring large pot of water to a boil, add salt. Water should be salty like the ocean. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
  3. Add carrots to boiling water, let simmer 8-10 minutes. Remove to ice bath with a spider or strainer. Allow to cool, using spider it strainer remove to bowl. Repeat with cauliflower, blanch 5-6 minutes followed by broccoli, blanch 3-5 minutes.
  4. In a soup pot or Dutch oven melt oil and butter. Add celery and onion and cook until translucent 4-5 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle flour over celery and onion and stir making sure all oil is absorbed. Allow to cook 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Now whisk in chicken stock followed by milk.
  7. Add the cheese and stir while it melts. Carefully add in the California blend and stir. Add in mustard and Emerils essence.
  8. Bring to a simmer, allow to simmer 8-10 minutes.
  9. Season to taste, serve.

 

Grilled Brussel Sprout and Broccoflower Pizza

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

 

Brussel sprouts! I have been waiting for them so I could make pizza! I know it’s sounds odd, but really good. My husband who doesn’t like them much actually likes the pizza! I also had a head of broccoflower, which we like roasted and then covered in buffalo sauce and blue cheese crumbles. As long as I was making one pizza I decided to make a second one using the buffalo broccoflower.

I always make my dough from scratch, I love the feel and smell of fresh dough. We didn’t want to heat up the house, so we fired up the gas grill instead. The temperature needs to be about 375-400 degrees F. Roll out your crust to a size you are comfortable handling on the grill. (we often do individual sized crusts) Brush the crust with a little olive oil and place it oiled side down, close lid and wait 2-3 minutes, open lid, with long tongs carefully flip the crust over and cook another 2 minutes. Pull them off the grill and onto a baking sheet.
Add sauce and toppings, then back on to the grill, close lid and cook 2-3 minutes or til cheese melts. The crust will be dark and crisp. Carefully remove them with tongs and grill safe spatula (we found a giant grill spatula; see photo) to a baking sheet or cutting board, cut and enjoy!

My husband made the grand declaration, “This is looking a little healthy for pizza!” and then he ate three slices of each! Yay! Score for me, he ate two green veggies in one meal and liked it!

Grilled Brussel Sprout Pizza

Grilled Brussel Sprout Pizza

Ingredients

    Grilled Brussel Sprout Pizza
  • One grilled 12 inch crust (homemade or store bought)
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 pound brussel sprouts, shredded
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl place shredded brussel sprouts, and 1 Tbsp. Olive oil, 1 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Stir to evenly coat.
  2. Place the grilled crust on a baking sheet, evenly spread the cheddar cheese on crust.
  3. Add the brussel sprouts, bacon and feta cheese.
  4. Slide pizza onto a hot grill, close lid and wait 2-5 minutes until brussel sprouts wilt.
  5. Remove by sliding to a baking sheet using tongs and or grill safe spatula.

Grilled Buffalo Broccoflower Pizza

Grilled Buffalo Broccoflower Pizza

Ingredients

    Grilled Buffalo Broccoflower Pizza
  • One grilled 12 inch crust (homemade or store bought)
  • 1/2 head of broccoflower, in bite size pieces steamed or blanched to soften slightly
  • 1/2 cup buffalo sauce
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz blue cheese crumbles

Instructions

  1. Place grilled crust on a baking sheet, drizzle or brush grilled crust with buffalo sauce.
  2. In a small bowl place drained broccoflower, pour remaining sauce over it and toss to coat.
  3. Evenly place broccoflower on the crust, add celery and blue cheese crumbles.
  4. Slide pizza onto a hot grill, close lid and wait 2-5 minutes until cheese begins to melt.
  5. Remove by sliding to a baking sheet using tongs and or grill safe spatula.

 

Garlic Pesto Chicken

Friday, July 18th, 2014


Have you ever tried pesto? I saw it for the first time about a year ago….Standing there in the noodle aisle, doing what I always do; trying to get some inspiration from the food in front of me. I saw this little jar that struck my fancy. Skip forward, the pesto is still here. The stores version. Not so much.
So anytime I try something new, I immediately start thinking of ways I can make it different; make it my own. I love cooking. I love making food taste gooooooood! I LOVE seeing the smiles on peoples faces when they are trying a new food and the moment it hits their system, when the flavors come together and it all reaches their brain…THAT moment, is the moment that I cook for.
Pesto, it has many purposes, each one good in their own right. It can be an appetizer dip, spread on a bread or used with noodles; the possibilities are endless! And lucky for us, it’s easy to make. (more…)

Spicy Coconut Kissed Egg Rolls with Dipping Sauce Trio

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

 
One of my favorite add-ons is the Asian Pack!  It always gives me the excuse to make up a big batch of stir fry.  Today I wanted to do something different. Why not egg rolls! Simple enough, as all I needed were the wrappers. These egg rolls receive their heat from the dried Chiles de árbol in the pack.  The coconut kiss, is a result of the rolls being fried in Bountiful Baskets scented organic Coconut Oil. Trust me, my house smelled amazing all day! (more…)

Firecracker Corn Dip

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

If your family loves chips and dip, they will enjoy Firecracker Corn Dip. Making a spicy corn dip is easy and delicious.  With a few ingredients from the Firecracker Bountiful Basket add on, you can have a tasty dip perfect for a party!  Using the onions, garlic, and peppers, with corn and bell peppers makes a hearty and spicy dip. Corn dip can be served with tortilla chips or as a relish on any dish. This is mouth wateringly good! (more…)

Guacamole Citrus Twist

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

I love guacamole!  Guacamole is a dip made traditionally from avocados, with additions of tomato, onion, lime juice, and seasonings. It ranges in texture from a thick sauce to a chunky dip. Health tip–Avocados are packed with more than twenty vitamins, contain “good fats” that reduce cholesterol, can help fight cancer, and can be used as a substitute for butter or shortening in baking! (more…)