Citrus Spring Vegetable Crostini


  • 1 cup shelled fava beans (from about 1¼ lb. pods)
  • 8 oz. asparagus, woody ends trimmed, cut on a diagonal into 1″ pieces
  • 5 oz. frozen shelled edamame or 10 oz. edamame pods, shelled (about 1 cup)
  • 4 oz. French green beans, trimmed, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 orange
  • 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1½ tsp. Diamond Crystal or 2½ tsp. Morton kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. sugar


Cook fava beans in a large pot of generously salted boiling water until pale green and tender and skins look swollen, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beans to a large bowl of ice water. Let cool completely, about 2 minutes. Remove from ice bath with slotted spoon and peel outer layer from fava beans; set aside.

Combine asparagus, edamame, and green beans in the same pot of boiling water and cook until bright green and slightly tender, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to ice bath and let sit until cold, about 10 minutes.

Using a vegetable peeler, remove zest from lemons, leaving as much white pith behind as possible. Cut lemons in half and squeeze juice though your hand or fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Remove peel from orange with peeler; set fruit aside for another use (or eat!)

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium until shimmering, about 5 minutes, then remove from heat. Add garlic and let sizzle until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in lemon and orange zest, thyme sprigs, rosemary sprigs, salt, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, and sugar. Let cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Drain vegetables, discarding any remaining ice cubes, and add to infused room-temperature oil along with lemon juice; stir to combine. Transfer vegetables and oil to a 1½-qt. glass jar; cover and chill at least 4 hours before serving. Vegetables can be marinated up to 6 days ahead. Keep chilled.

Serve over toast spread with goat cheese (recipe suggests ricotta) or drizzle over baked fish.



  • 2 (14-ounce) cans fire-roasted tomatoes, drained if you like a thicker salsa
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 1 bunch (about 2 cups loosely-packed) fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 1 jalapeno, stem removed (and seeded, if you want less heat)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional, I didn’t use)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor or blender until smooth, or your desired consistency is reached. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

Baked Brie With Quick Cranberry Jam


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ cup thinly sliced shallots (about 2 shallots)
  • 1 cup whole fresh cranberries or frozen cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest and 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from about 1 orange)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  •  Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 sheet puff pastry (about 8 ounces), defrosted and chilled
  • 1 (8-ounce) wheel of brie
  • 1 large egg
  •  Honey, for serving (optional)
  •  Finely chopped pistachios, for serving (optional)
  •  Baguette slices or crackers, for serving

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly caramelized, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add the cranberries, orange juice, sugar and salt, then stir and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is very thick and the liquid in the pan has completely evaporated. Stir in the orange zest and transfer to a small bowl to cool completely. (The jam may be made up to 1 day in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.)

When you are ready to bake the brie, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Working quickly, unfold the sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured piece of parchment. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll it out to an 11-by-11-inch square (the pastry should be about 1/8-inch thick). Place the brie in the center of the pastry. Use a paring knife, and leaving a 3 to 3 1/2-inch border, trim the pastry to form a circle around the brie. Discard the scraps or save them for another use.

Spoon the reserved cranberry jam on top of the brie, spreading it into an even layer about 1/4-inch thick. (You might not use all the jam.)

In a small bowl, beat the egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush the pastry border lightly with egg wash, then lift the puff pastry to wrap the brie snugly, one side at a time, trimming the pastry so you don’t have too many overlapping layers. Press all sides of the brie firmly, making sure to tightly seal any seams in the pastry with your hands. Transfer the puff-pastry wrapped brie and the parchment to a sheet pan. At this point, if the pastry has warmed up considerably, place the brie in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill slightly before baking. (You can assemble the brie up to this point and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before brushing on the egg wash and baking.)

Brush the whole exterior of the pastry generously with egg wash, then bake until the pastry has puffed and is golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.

Drizzle the brie with honey and sprinkle with pistachios, if using. Allow to cool for about 15 to 20 minutes before cutting into it, so the cheese has time to firm up slightly. Serve warm with baguette slices or crackers.

Zucchini Jalapeno Soup


  • 4 organic green zucchini
  • 1 organic jalapeno
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


Dice / slice all veggies into small pieces.
Heat olive oil in large pan over medium heat.
Add all veggies and allow to soften / brown slightly.
Add veggie broth and set heat to low – let rest for approx 20 mins.
Transfer all to blender and puree.

Butternut Squash Galette


  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or full-fat Greek yogurt, strained
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 small or 1 large butternut squash, about 21/2 pounds
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1½ teaspoons tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 large sweet onions, such as Spanish or Vidalia, halved, thinly sliced in half-moons
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional
  • 2 cups grated Italian Fontina cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water, for glaze

    To make pastry: In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the whole sticks of butter and, using a pastry blender, break up the bits of butter until the texture is like cornmeal, with the biggest pieces the size of pebbles. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, vinegar and water, and pour this over the butter-flour mixture. Stir with a spoon or a rubber spatula until a dough forms, kneading it once or twice on the counter if needed to bring it together. Pat the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic and chill it in the refrigerator for an hour or up to two days.

    To prepare squash: Peel the squash, then halve and scoop out seeds. Cut into ½-inch to ¾-inch chunks. Pour 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of the olive oil into one or two smaller baking sheets, spreading it to an even slick. Lay the squash chunks on the baking sheet in one layer, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon (2 g) of the salt, and freshly ground black pepper, and roast in a 400 F oven for 30 minutes, or until squash is tender, turning the pieces occasionally so that they brown evenly. Set aside to cool slightly. Leave the oven on.

    While the squash is roasting, melt the butter and remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy frying pan, and cook the onions over medium-low heat with the sugar and remaining teaspoon of salt, stirring occasionally, until soft and tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in the cayenne pepper, if using.

    Mix the squash, caramelized onions, cheese and herbs together in a bowl.

    To assemble the galette: On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 16- to 17-inch round. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread the squash-and-cheese mixture over the dough, leaving a 2 to 2½-inch border. Fold the border over the squash and cheese, pleating the edge to make it fit. The centre will be open. Brush the outside of the crust with the egg-yolk wash, if using.

    Bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the galette from the oven, let stand for five minutes, then slide onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Sara’s Spicy Chicken Dip


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 8 oz Franks hot sauce
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 2 c colby jack
  • Ground celery seed
  • Garlic salt
  • Pepper
  • Onion powder

Boil chicken with spices to taste (or shred 1 small roasted chicken). Shred meat and soak in hot sauce for at least 1 hour. Combine sour cream, cream cheese, and cheese with additional spices. Add chicken mixture and stir well. Place in baking dish, cover with cheese and bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips.

Sour cream, cream cheese, Franks, cheese is a good dip too.

Velda’s BBQ Pork


  • 2 pound Boston Butt Roast (pork sirloin tenderloin)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, diced
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon 5 spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • hot mustard
  • sesame seeds


Score each side of the tenderloin with 3 slashes 1/4″ deep.  Comine sugar through honey, mix well.  Combine pork and marinade in a ziploc bag.  Marinate 2-4 hours or overnight. 

Preheat oven to 375. 

Take pork out of marinade (reserve marinade) and place on a rack in a roasting pan filled with 1/2 cup water.  Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.  Turn over.  Back for 17-20 minutes.  Turn oven to broil.  Baste both sides of pork with marinade.  Bake 1 minute on each side. 

Remove pork from oven and cool.  Slice into 1″ think slices.  Serve with hot mustard and sesame seeds.

Mozzarella and Tomatoes


* mozzarella
* tomatoes, sliced
* fresh basil leaves


Slice mozarella and tomatoes. Place on plate slightly layered, alternating between tomato and mozarella. Top with basil leaves.

Spinach Artichoke Dip


* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 3/4 cup oinion, diced
* 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, minced
* 1/2 cup flour
* 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
* 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
* 3/4 cups parmesian, grated
* 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon cubes
* 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 3/4 cup sour cream
* 12 ounces frozen spinach, drained and chopped
* 6 ounces canned artichoke bottoms, drained and cut into 1/8 inch slices
* 1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
* 3/4 teaspoon tabasco sauce


Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute onions for 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute 3 minutes longer. Add flour and cook until the mixture becomes golden (10-15 minutes). Whisk in chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Stir in cream and return to a simmer. Remove from heat, add parmesian, bouillon cubes, lemon juice and sugar. Stir until blended.

Add sour cream, spinach, artichoke bottoms, Monterey Jack cheese and tabasco sauce. Stir until combined. Serve immediately.