Saturday, December 1, 2012

Bacon Jam and a new Grilled Cheese with a Twist II

I will say it again, you just can't go wrong with a recipe with bacon in it, especially local bacon! So when this recipe for bacon jam popped up I thought I had died and gone to heaven!  Since our family now includes only two people anytime we cook up bacon we have so much left over that we usually freeze it for later use. Well, this recipe gives us a reason not to do that! Now we can eat this jam on a slice of toast in the morning, make a grilled cheese with it and pear or apple slices an some arugula, throw it in potato leek soup or use it mixed up in some of your cooked squash. We did all of these over the course of a few weeks and liked it no matter what we did with it! I think it would even be great with scrambled eggs.  My mother loves it on toast in the morning, especially a thick slice of crusty Crumb Brothers bread (which she now buys at our local Whole Foods). Make up your own uses for the bacon jam and I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we did. Any local bacon is delicious, but Julie Clifford's bacon and Christian Christiansen's bacon are definitely our favorites. We will be having it tonight on grilled cheese sandwiches with asian pears (Utah Farms CSA), Beehive Cheese, and some braising greens! 

Bacon Jam:

1 pound bacon
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic,  crushed and minced
3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
1/4 cup honey or cider vinegar (Slide Ridge Honey Vinegar)
1/4 cup honey
2 tbls. brown sugar

1. Cook bacon in large, heavy weight skillet until just beginning to brown. Remove bacon from pan and place on paper-towel lined plate.  Save 1 tablespoonful of bacon grease, drain off the rest and clean out pan with paper towel. Once bacon is cool, break up slices into small pieces.

2. Add one tablespoonful of bacon grease back to pan. Over medium heat, add onions and garlic and sauté, stirring often, until onions are translucent. Add the next 4 ingredients to pan and heat to boiling. Add bacon and turn down heat to low.

3. Simmer on the stovetop for 1-1 & 1/2 hours, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid is absorbed and remaining liquid is of a syrupy consistency. Turn off heat and let cool in the pan.

4. Add to food processor and pulse 5-10 times until the "jam" is a chunky consistency.

5. Store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks or you can freeze it (which we did) and then defrost and add to any dish you like.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Russian Cabbage Borscht

What do you do with four heads of cabbage that you have been accumulating over the past few weeks from your CSA? Nothing!! That is what we were doing until my Mom complained about the cabbage to some of her friends. We got many suggestions, but not many that I liked, including sauerkraut! My Mom's friends brought her the old Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen and the Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas Cookbook. We had some turnips from our CSA and my Mom had just bought some beets at the new 'Pop-Up' farmers market so she went ahead and made this Borscht. I missed the 'Pop-up' market myself in November but my Mom took some pictures you can see below. She said it was really fun and we are both looking forward to the one in December.

As for the Borscht, surprise, surprise...I actually liked it, although I liked mine without the sour cream since I am not a sour cream lover.

And don't forget to check out the next Winter 'Pop-up' Farmers Market from the Salt Lake Downtown Alliance on December 17th and the Wasatch Front Winter Market at Wheeler Farm the 1st Sunday of every month. I plan to check both out in December.


2 large potatoes, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
2 cups beets, thinly sliced (Downtown Market)
8 cups vegetable stock or water
1 large onion, chopped (about 3 cups)
2 tsp. caraway seeds
2-3 tsp. salt
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced (Utah Farms CSA)
1 small head cabbage, chopped (about 6 cups)
2 tsp. caraway seeds
8 cups vegetable stock or water
1 tbl. salt
2 tbls. honey vinegar Slide Ridge Honey
2 tbls. honey
1/2 tsp. dried or fresh dill
sour cream (Winder dairy)

1. Place potatoes, beets and water in large saucepan and heat over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat.
2. Melt butter in large dutch oven. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add caraway seeds, salt, carrots and cabbage and sauté for additional 3-5 minutes. Add water from the beets and potatoes and cook until all the vegetables are tender. Add the beets, potatoes, honey vinegar, honey and dill.
3. Cover and simmer slowly for about 30 minutes. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
4. Serve topped with sour cream and extra dill weed if desired

Monday, November 12, 2012

Grilled Cheese with Twist

Grilled Cheese with a Twist

Looking for a quick and easy meal, like a grilled cheese, but tired of the same sandwich over and over again, then this is the recipe for you! This new take on a classic is delicious. All you really need to do is choose what kind of cheese you want and you are good to go. Bacon is good on anything, as I am sure you all know, and on this sandwich it is no different. The pears and bacon together with the cheese makes the perfect mix of salty, sweat, and creamy. Apples are also good. Feel free to experiment and try different fruits and cheeses. Of note, check out the Gold Creek Farm website. They are now selling some of their cheeses in local Harmon's store in the Salt Lake Valley. This is perfect for a quick meal and can be entirely local! Please enjoy and keep yourself warm in this chilly weather! 

Grilled Cheese with Bacon and Pear

  • 8 slices bacon, cooked (Clifford Farms or Christiansen Farms)
  • 2 pears (or apples), thinly sliced (Utah Farms CSA)
  • Smoked cheddar cheese from Gold Creek Farm or blue cheese from Snowy Mountain Creamery or Barely Buzzed from Beehive Cheese. 
  • Sourdough bread, 8 slices (Crumb Brothers)
  • Butter (Winder Farms)

Make like you would any grilled cheese sandwich but only this one uses fruit and bacon and is great when the weather starts getting a little chilly.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pears in Mulled Red Wine or Port Wine

During the fall season, we tend to get a fair amount of local pears from our CSA.  Years ago my mom remembered this recipe that her friend Kris made with pears poached in Port Wine and then served on a salad but she could not find the recipe. Instead, I found this recipe for canning the pears in red wine. These are pictures of the pears we canned last year and then used in salads over the winter. Our problem is we don't really know how to can that well so we placed these in the refrigerator since my Mom didn't trust our canning skills (she also placed some pickles she made this year in the refrigerator). Maybe, we will get better at canning if we do it a bit more and take a class next year with Wasatch Community Gardens.
Anyway, these pears are really delicious on a fresh salad with some toasted nuts and blue cheese. We add toasted pecans that you can order from Thompson Family Farm and blue cheese from Snowy Mountain creamery. We got some arugula from our CSA this week but the pears we made this year aren't really ready to eat yet. You can use the wine to make the dressing for the salad.  We'll post a picture of the salad with these pears once they are ready.

2 cups dry red wine
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 and 1/2 pounds pears
lemon juice, mixed with water to make 10% solution
small handful of cloves
2 pieces of 2-inch cinnamon stick

1)  Sterilize two 32 ounce canning jars and lids.
2) Make the wine syrup.  Mix sugar in 2 & 1/4 cups water in heavy saucepan and heat over medium heat until it comes to a slow boil and all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add in the wine. Place cover on pan to keep warm.
3)  Peel and slice pears. Place sliced pears in 10% lemon juice solution to keep from browning.
4) Pack the pears into the sterilized jars. Add cloves and one piece of cinnamon stick to each jar.
5) Bring the wine syrup back to a boil and pour over the pears. Leave a 1/4 inch headspace. Process the jars in boiling water canner for 20 minutes. Use within one year (if they last that long).

Red Wine and Balsamic Wine Reduction

1/2 cup of the red wine from the pears
1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
2 tbls. honey

1) Combine red wine, vinegar and honey in small saucepan.  Cook over low-medium heat for about 5-10 minutes or until reduced to a syrup-like consistency.

2) Mix red wine reduction with 1/4 cup of olive oil and serve over fresh green salad with pecans, pears and crumbled blue cheese.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pasta with Broccoli Aioli

Did you know that Gold Creek Cheese is now being sold at select Harmon's Stores in the Salt Lake Valley? Do you like Gold Creek Cheese as much as we do? Then be excited! This new development means a great opportunities to cook all kinds of delicious dishes like this one. This dish uses delicious broccoli and Gold Creek Cheese to make a tasty pasta dish. Local broccoli has become on of my favorite local vegetables to eat. Local broccoli seems to have more flavor and can be slightly sweeter then the broccoli you get from the grocery store. Along with the cheese this dish is amazingly flavorful. Enjoy this dish and Gold Creek Cheese as much as you can!


8 ounces fresh pasta
2 cups broccoli, diced into florets (Utah Farms CSA)
1/4 cup butter (Winder Farms)
2 tbl. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, mashed and minced
Salt (Redmond Sea Salt)
Red pepper flakes
Grated parmesan cheese (Gold Creek Farms Cheese)

1) Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook according to whether you are using fresh or dry pasta. Drain pasta but reserve about 1 cup of pasta water.
2) Heat 2 tablespoonfuls of olive oil in large skillet and saute garlic for 2-3 minutes but do not brown. Add broccoli florets and cook for additional 2-3 minutes.  Add hot pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, and continue cooking until broccoli is tender. Keeping over low heat, add the drained pasta to the skillet. Add remaining olive oil, butter, parsley and red pepper flakes. Toss until all the butter is melted and pasta is well coated. Serve with generous sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Barley Risotto with Eggplant and Tomatoes

We really love risotto at our house. When we visited Italy this past summer, we drove by rice patties in the Emilia-Romagna region where arborio rice is grown. Since no arborio rice is grown locally here in Utah, we have learned to make our risotto with barley, which I also think makes for a healthier dish in general. We get our barley from West Mountain Wheat that is supplied to us via our Utah Farms CSA. You can make this barley risotto from so many different things that we thought we would try it with eggplant, mostly because we had bought a bunch of eggplant at the Farmers Market and did not have time to fry them up to use in Eggplant Parmesan. Since eggplant do not last long uncooked, we needed to cook them fast and this sounded like a good way to do it without having to egg, bread and fry eggplant all night long. Don't get me wrong. I love Eggplant Parmesan and fried eggplant can be frozen to use over the winter but with all my school work, soccer, Girl Scouts and college entrance exams, and all my Mom's work and volunteer activities, frying eggplant just wasn't going to happen and letting the eggplant rot was also not going to happen. 

Once again, one of the only ingredients we ever use that is not local is olive oil! You can substitute
butter for the olive oil but it wouldn't be as healthy so we just go ahead and use olive oil without feeling guilty. Now if only someone could grow olives in Utah! Hope you enjoy this delicious recipe and get creative with your own barley risotto recipe.


6 cups diced eggplant
2 cups peeled and diced tomatoes
3 tbls. olive oil
1/2 tsp. freshly grated black pepper
5 cups homemade vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups water
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup (2oz) crumbled feta cheese
grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup basil, thinly chopped
chopped nuts, optional (walnut, pine or pistachio)

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Place foil on jelly-roll pan.
2) Toss eggplant, tomatoes, 2 tbls. olive oil and freshly grated pepper in a bowl until vegetables are well coated with oil.
3) Place vegetables in a single layer on prepared jelly-roll pan. Bake in 400 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes or until eggplant is tender and tomatoes collapse.
4) Combine broth with water and heat to simmer on the stove top. Keep this warm over low heat.
5) Heat remaining 1 tbl. olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion to pan and cook until just beginning to turn translucent. Stir in barley and garlic and cook about one minute; stirring constantly.
6) Add wine. Stirring constantly; cook until wine evaporates.
7) Add one cup warm broth to pan. Stirring constantly until broth is absorbed, then add additional cup of warm broth. Continue this process until barley is tender but firm. You may reach this step before adding all 6 cups of liquid so make sure that nearly all liquid is absorbed before adding the next cup of broth and test the barley with each addition for doneness.
8) Stir in the roasted vegetables.
9) Top with cheese, basil and nuts if desired.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Gnocchi with Blue Cheese and Pear Sauce

Gnocchi! I am sure you have seen this one before on my blog, but I repeat only to remind you what a wonderful, entirely local dish this is! When we bought Snowy Mountain Creamery's Delano Peak cheese the idea of a cheese sauce popped into our heads. What better way to use this cheese then to make a delicious pasta dish. The entire idea came when we were participating in the Eat Local Challenge. We were tasked with making a entirely local dish and this was  created. Everything in this recipe can be bought or made locally. All you have to do is sit down and make it. I know I loved this recipe and the pears we got in our CSA, that we added in at a whim, made it even more delicious. I could eat these every week and never get tired of them, so of course I think you should try them.  Enjoy what is left of this season and don't forget to start preparing for the winter!


Homemade gnocchi (see previous post)
2 tbls. butter (Winder Farms)
2 tbls. flour (we use freshly ground wheat)
1 cup 2% milk ( Winder Farms)
1/2 cup homemade vegetable broth
1/3 pound Delano Peak cheese (Snowy Mountain Creamery)
1 pear, diced
grated parmesan cheese

1) See previous post on the making of homemade gnocchi. Remember to use fresh russet potatoes since these work the best for gnocchi. Don't work the dough too much or the gnocchi will be heavy instead of light and fluffy.  Cook as directed in previous post.
2) Melt butter in the saucepan and then add flour to create a roux, about 3-4 minutes, . Stir continuously so as not to burn the flour. Meanwhile, heat the milk and broth to warm in the microwave.
3) Slowly add the liquid to the roux while continually stirring with a whisk. Continue to cook over low heat until the sauce thickens. Add the Delano Peak cheese and continue to cook until most of the cheese has melted. Add the diced pears.
4)  Toss gnocchi with the sauce and sprinkle with the grated parmesan cheese. Serve warm

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pappardelle with Roasted Butternut Squash


3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tbl. honey
1 & 1/2 tbl. olive oil
1 tsp. Redmond Sea Salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
8 shallots, peeled and halved
1 tbl. chopped fresh sage
4 ounces uncooked pappardelle pasta (Nu-Nooz)
1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese (Gold Creek Farms)

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
2. Combine squash, honey 2 & teaspoons oil, salt, pepper and shallots in a shallow pan. Toss well. Bake at 475 degrees for 20 minutes or until tender. Stir occasionally during roasting. Add sage and toss well.
3. Cook pasta according to instructions. Drain and place pasta in a bowl. Add 2 teaspoonfuls oil, roasted squash and shallots and cheese; toss well.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Spaghetti Squash with Feta, Zucchini, Tomato, Garlic and Basil

We are members of the Bell Organic CSA as we have stated before. This week, we got spaghetti squash, tomatoes, and some sweet red peppers. They gave us a recipe for this dish but, of course, we adjusted it a bit for what we had on hand and what we thought we would like. At the Downtown Farmers Market last week, we bought the Feta Cheese from Gold Creek Farms so we already had this on hand along with some their great parmesan cheese. There are so many local cheese purveyors that I will update my blog to include as many as I can this week. I thought this was an incredibly delicious recipe and it had multiple different flavors that complimented each other. Not only did it taste delicious, it looked delicious. And every ingredient was local except for the olive oil! How is that for being LocaliciousUtah!


1 medium sized spaghetti squash
2 tbl. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 gloves garlic, mashed and minced
1 cup sliced zucchini
1/2 sweet red pepper, chopped
2 cups chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
shredded parmesan cheese
Torn basil leaves to taste, or about 2 tbls. of chopped basil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds (my Mom uses an ice cream scoop to remove the seeds). Place squash cut sides down on a baking dish or baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes or until soft. Saute onion and garlic until tender, add zucchini and red pepper and sauté until tender. Add tomato and cook for additional 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, use the tines of a fork to gently pull strands of squash away from the peel. Add the strands of squash to the sautéed vegetables and heat. Add the cheeses and serve.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Mustard Green and Sweet Onion Frittata

We seem to make the same mistake all the time. We get low on eggs, go out and buy some and then receive another dozen in our CSA so then, well, too many eggs and we need to make a frittata. Not too much of a mistake since we love frittatas and you can make them with just about anything including vegetables, cheeses and meats (bacon is my favorite). So, since we had mustard greens from our CSA, why not a mustard green frittata. Frittatas are simple and delicious and if you want a quick meal make one of these. Pair it with some good bread and it will be one of the best meals you have had in a while. So don't remember about your eggs and just buy too many, because frittatas are a delicious way to make that mistake over and over. 


1 large sweet onion, diced
2 tbls. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, mashed and minced
1-2 pounds mustard greens, washed and chopped (chop the stems finely)
1 dozen eggs, beaten
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to broil. First wash the greens. I find the best way is to soak them in a large pot or bowl of water and then swish them around. Remove and drain in a colander. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof skillet. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until tender, over moderate heat. Add the mustard greens and cook until wilted. Add the cheese to the beaten eggs and season with salt and pepper. Add the eggs to the pan and gently rotate the pan until the eggs are evenly spread over the greens.  Gently lift the sides of the frittata to let any uncooked egg seep underneath as the frittata begins to set. Continue to do this all around the edges of the pan until most of the egg is set. Set the frittata under the broiler for just a 1-2 minutes to cook the top of the frittata. Remove and serve with a nice slice of crusty bread.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Traveling Foodie

First of all, I apologize for not posting for the summer but I have been really busy. I spent the first three weeks of summer in California, working at my Aunt's FANTASTIC Coffee shop that she has owned for 7 years and is still going strong. She roasts her own coffee beans and sells retail under the name Wild Chicken Coffee. I don't drink coffee but my Mom says it is really good stuff.

Then, back to Salt Lake City for about two weeks and off to Colorado for a soccer tournament. We didn't make it to the finals but we were pretty happy with how we did.

Then, off to counselor-in-training Girl Scout Camp for three camps which was awesome. I just loved everything about it, especially working with the younger girls.

Then, my Mom, cousin and I were off to Europe for two weeks. I promised myself that I would take pictures and comment about all the great food that we ate but we kept on eating it before we could remember to take any pictures! We managed to take some pictures, mostly of the most delicious gnocchi that I have ever had.

We also laugh because when we were eating at my cousin Giacomo's house in Italy, he said how he likes to eat "slow food" so we of course thought he knew about the Slow Food movement. But no, he just meant that he likes to eat his food in a slow and relaxed way! That must be what the global Slow Food movement is all about. In Italy, we saw fresh produce everywhere. It looked like every square inch of ground was productive, even in the cities.

In Slovenia, there was a large garden plot at the railway station that an old woman was harvesting. Everywhere we have been, it seems as if the Italians and Slovenians are all growing their own food, even if it is just in their backyard or at a community plot.

So, here are some of the pictures of the great food we have eaten.

 Gnocchi in Slovenia

Eggplant in Italy
Falafel in Rue de Rosiers in Paris
 Crepe in Colmar, France
Grilled Meat in Slovenia

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Roast Chicken Salad

Recently, my Mom's friends have been having a monthly cookbook dinner, were the host chooses the cookbook and then each person, or family, chooses a recipe to bring. Two months ago, my Mom's friends Sue and John hosted the party. Since Sue had just returned from Great Britain in December, she choose  Jamie Oliver's, Jamie's Great Britain. Of course, every time we get the cookbook, we try to pick a recipe where we can use a majority of local ingredients. Through Utah Farms CSA, we had received some greens from Julie Clifford and had some bacon from her farm that we bought last summer and froze, we substituted frozen corn from last summer for the green beans, used fresh local bread from Harmon's that uses local wheat, chicken from the McDowell's, mint and parsley we grow ourselves and garlic from Utah Farms CSA so that the only thing not local was the mustard! 

Everyone enjoyed it and I am sure we will be making it again.


4 lb. free range chicken (McDowell Family Farm)
olive oil or butter
Redmond Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper
few sprigs of thyme (from our garden)
1 lemon
2 cups cherry tomatoes (Utah Farms CSA)
1 bulb garlic
1 country loaf of bread, torn into one inch cubes (we love Harmans)
6 pieces of country bacon (Clifford Family Farm)
2 cups corn kernels (from the summer), thawed
1 tablespoonful whole grain mustard
2 tablespoonfuls honey vinegar (Slide Ridge Honey Vinegar)
a bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
a bunch of fresh mint, chopped
some chives

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place chicken on medium to large roasting pan. Drizzle olive oil all over the chicken, or if using butter, place pats of butter under the skin of the chicken and the rub a little on the outside of the skin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Take thyme leaves and rub all over the skin of the chicken. Cut the lemon in half and place it, along with the thyme sprigs, into the chicken cavity. Place in the oven and set the timer for one hour. Meanwhile, half the cherry tomatoes and then smash the garlic bulb, discarding the skins. After about 30 minutes, put the tomatoes and garlic into the bottom of the roasting pan and stir to make sure the tomatoes are coated with the juices. Cook for additional 30 minutes or until done.
2. Transfer the roasted chicken to a plate and cover with foil. Let cool.
3. Toss the bread cubes into the roasting pan and toss them until they are coated with the juices. Spread the cubes of bread out in the tray and place the strips of bacon on top. Put the pan back into the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the bread and bacon are crispy and golden.
4. Once the chicken has cooled, remove all the chicken skin and set aside. Strip all the meat off of the bone (don't forget to save the carcass and skin to make some chicken broth).  Add the thawed corn, about 5-6 tbls. of extra-virgin olive oil, the wholegrain mustard and the vinegar. Add the parsley, mint and chives and stir well.
5. Add the croutons to the chicken mixture and toss well right before serving.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Vegetable Barley Soup

I believe there is a soup season, a time when the weather is just right for a bowl of nice warm soup. Over this winter I know my mom and I have been having a lot soup.  I like soup a lot, especially after a soccer practice that ended up being in the snow.  So, when we got barley in our winter CSA, we were excited to make this delicious barley soup. Barley has a ton of fiber, as you might have guessed, which is great for your body. This soup is flavored with garam masala, which is a blend of ground spices common in North India and other South Asian cuisines.  This mixture of spices adds just the right amount of flavor and kick to the barley. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did and are getting ready for the farmers market!


1 tbl. olive oil
2-3 onions, chopped
3 big carrots, peeled and chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, split, germ removed and chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
3/4 tsp. garam masala or curry powder
1/2 tsp. turmeric
6 cups homemade chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup pearl barley

1.  Heat the oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven.  Add the next 5 ingredients and stir them in the pot until they glisten with oil. Season with salt and pepper, cover, and cook for 5 minutes over low heat. Stir in the spices,  then cover and cook additional 15 minutes, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft but not browned.
2. Add the broth and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the barley. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the barley is tender and puffed, about 20-40 minutes so you need to check it often. Season with salt and pepper if needed.

Recipe for homemade garam masala:

4 tbls. coriander seeds
1 tbl. cumin seeds
1 tbl. black peppercorns
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 & 1/2 tsp ground ginger
3-4 pods cardamon
3/4 tsp. whole cloves
2- 1" pieces of cinnamon
3/4 tsp. crushed bay leaves

1. Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat and gently roast all ingredients, except for the ground ginger, until they turn a few shades darker. Stir occasionally and be patient. Do not turn heat to high or you can easily burn the spices and ruin the overall taste.
2. Once roasted, turn off the heat and allow to cool.
3. Once cool, remove the cardammon seeds from their pods and mix them back in with the other spices. Add the ground ginger and nutmeg.
4. Grind them all together either in a mortar and pestle or clean, dry coffee grinder to a fine powder.
5. Store in an air-tight container in a cool, dark place.

Meyer Lemon and Pepper Barley Risotto

My mom has always made risotto and I have always loved it.  Risotto is usually a dish of arborio rice slow-cooked in broth to a creamy consistency and mostly combined with parmesan, butter, and onions. You have to be willing to stand by the stovetop and slowly stir in the broth in small additions to make sure you have a nice and creamy risotto. If fact, if you order it in a restaurant in Italy, they will warn you how long it will take since the chef makes each dish individually.  This recipe uses barley instead of rice, which is not something I knew you could do.  Even so, this barley risotto is just as delicious as any rice risotto. I like this recipe without the mushrooms, since I am not a big fan of fungi, but I would assume that even with mushrooms this recipe would be delicious! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!! 


2 tbl. butter (Winder Farms)
1 cup diced onion (Utah Farms CSA)
2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped (Utah Farms CSA)
2 red or yellow peppers, seeded and diced (Utah Farms CSA)
1 & 1/2 cups pearl barley (West Mountain Wheat)
1 cup white wine
4-6 cups hot chicken or vegetable broth (homemade)
Grated zest of 4 Meyer lemons
1/2 cup grated parmesan or swiss cheese (Beehive Cheese)
2 tbl. sour cream (Meadow Gold)
sunflower sprouts (Sunbridge Growers)

1. Melt butter in large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook over medium, stirring constantly for approximately 5 minutes. Add diced peppers and cook for additional 5 minutes.
2. Add barley to the pan and stir until pearls are covered well with butter and are shiny. Add the wine and simmer until all the wine is absorbed. Stir often.
3. Add one cup of broth to pan. Simmer and stir mixture until most of the broth is absorbed. Add additional broth one cup at a time, allowing each addition to be fully absorbed before adding the next cup of broth. Continue this step when the barley has reached the degree of tenderness or chewiness desired.
4. Remove pan from heat and add in the lemon zest and cheese. After addition of cheese, season with additional salt if desired and ground pepper to taste.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Roasted Butternut Squash and Greens over Pasta

Hi, this is Bianca's mom again. My girlfriends and I got together this past week for one of our monthly birthday parties. I usually make the dessert but was assigned a vegetable dish this go round. As Bianca has stated previously in her blog, I usually don't like to go out to the store to buy ingredients but try to find  recipes that match the ingredients that I already have on hand. This saves me a lot of running around, gives me some fun time to research recipes, and usually leads to some interesting meals. I had just gotten Lynne Rossetta Kasper's cookbook The Splendid Tables How to Eat Supper from the library thinking it would be my turn to pick our next cookbook for our cooking club but looks like my turn won't come until June for that club so I started combing through the book to see what I could make for the birthday dinner. This recipe looked interesting since it called for roasting spring greens along with the onions, garlic and butternut squash. I was a little skeptical since I have never roasted salad greens before but the worse that could happen would be that I wouldn't like it and then have to come up with a different recipe for the birthday bash. Utah Farms CSA has delivered fresh spring greens from Julie Clifford for the past 2 weeks so I had some on-hand along with a butternut squash, onions and garlic that I had in storage. For the pasta, I had some bow-tie pasta that I received as a gift (imported from Italy) but you can get local pasta from either Chidester Farms (at Dan's supermarkets) or Nu Nooz pasta at Harman's. We always have cheese on-hand from the multitude of our local providers so that wasn't a problem.

It is amazing how easy this dish is to prepare. I usually hate peeling, seeding and dicing a butternut squash but his cookbook gave a great tip on an easier way to do it. First, half the squash lengthwise and then place it cut side down on your cutting board. Cut it crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices. This makes it easier to trim away the peel and seeds from each slice. Wish I had known about this years ago.

All together, this dish took about 35-40 minutes to prepare with only about 5-10 minutes of prep time. Easy enough to handle for a quick, weekday meal.


3 to 3 1/2 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 medium to large onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 big handfuls of spring greens (Utah Farms CSA)
1/3 cup basil, torn (
16 large, fresh sage leaves (fresh from my garden)
5 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbl. tightly packed brown sugar
salt and pepper
1 pound bow-tie pasta or wide noodles
1/c cup half-and-half (Winder Farms)
1 to 1-1/2 cup shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place one large shallow sheet pan in the oven to heat it up.
2. Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot.
3. In a big bowl, toss together the first 8 ingredients and generously season with salt and pepper. Being careful not to burn yourself, pull out the oven rack containing the cookie sheet and spread the vegetables evenly on the cookie sheet. Return rack to oven and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Turn the vegetables one to two times during roasting.
4. Meanwhile, cook pasta in the salted, boiling water until al dente, which is tender but still firm. Drain.
5. When the squash is tender, turn the oven to broil to help roast and caramelize the vegetables. Watch the oven closely to prevent burning and turn often to roast all vegetables evenly. The greens will almost become crispy and the squash should brown a bit around the edges, about 5 minutes total broiling time. Remove for the oven.
6. Place all the vegetables in a large serving bowl. Add the hot pasta, half-and-half and one cup of the cheese. Toss well. Add more cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
adapted from The Splendid Tables How to Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift

Monday, February 27, 2012

Crème Brûlée

Crème Brûlée has always been delicious, but when it is local it is even better. Recently, my mom and her friends have been having cookbook parties where each of them cooks one recipe from the same cookbook.  With all these great meals we are having, we are getting introduced to all these new great cookbooks. This recipe is from one of those cookbooks and it is great! We personally had a little trouble with our culinary torch to solidify the sugar, but other than that, it was a great recipe. The jams and jellies at the bottom perfectly round off this delicious dish!! I hope you enjoy this!

Note: these need to chill at least 3 hours in the refrigerator before serving so, if you are planning these for a dinner party, it is best to make them the night before.


 2 tbl. jam or jelly
1 & 1/4 cups heavy cream (Winder Farms)
1/2 cup whole milk (Winder Farms)
3 large egg yolks (Clifford Family Farm)
1/3 cups sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
brownulated or strained brown sugar for topping

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Center rack in the oven.
2. Place six ramekins on a baking sheet lined with silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Spoon 1 tsp. of jam or jelly in bottom of each ramekin and spread out as evenly as possible.
3.  Using a medium sized bowl or 4 cup glass measuring cup, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together and set aside.
4. Mix the cream and milk together and bring just to a boil in microwave or on stovetop.
5. Place the bowl with egg yolk mixture on a silicone baking mat or dish towel to keep it from sliding around. Whisking constantly, add about one quarter of the hot cream mixture to the egg yolks slowly in a small stream to avoid cooking the eggs. If you add the hot liquid to quickly to the egg yolks, you risk cooking the eggs so be very patient. The slower you go, the creamier the mixture and the less likely that you will need to strain the final mixture. Continue to whisk in the remaining hot cream in a slow but steady stream. Stir in the vanilla.
6. Rap the bowl to remove any air bubbles. If there is a lot of foam on the top of the mixture, skim it off. Pour approximately 1/2 cup of the cream into each individual ramekin. You may need to strain the cream if you notice any lumps. Again, tap each ramekin to remove bubbles and skim any foam off the top.
7. Carefully place the baking sheet with prepared ramekins in the center rack of the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until the centers are just set.  You can test this by tapping the side of the ramekins. The custard should jiggle just a little but should appear firm and set.
8. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Cover each ramekin with plastic rap and place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.
9. You can serve these without caramelized sugar on top but if you have a kitchen torch, working with one creme at a time, sprinkle one tablespoonful of brown sugar on top of the chilled creme and then caramelize with your torch until the sugars bubbles and browns. We have tried using less than one tbl. of sugar to save calories but it doesn't really work and you just end up heating up the creme itself so if you are going to caramelize the creme, I think you are stuck using that additional tablespoonful of sugar.
from Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Garlic and Lemon Chicken in a Pot

I was thinking that my poor friend Leslie would never get her cookbook back from me! Every evening we would come home and just leaf through Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan and then 'localize' the recipes and plan out our week. I just wasn't ready to move to the next cookbook for February! This recipe is pictured on the cover of her cookbook and, of course, looks better than the picture here but I am sure it didn't taste any better than ours. The seal from the dough almost makes the pot act like a pressure cooker making the chicken so tender and juicy. The vegetables and broth just give the entire dish a great flavor. The only ingredients you can't get locally are the preserved lemons, olive oil and sugar. Everything else we get from Utah Farms CSA except for the chicken which I buy from the McDowells about 5-6 chickens at a time and then place in my freezer. You can even make your own preserved lemons with just some salt and Meyer lemons.  Liberty Heights fresh has some really fresh and well prized lemons.

My only issue is that I am not sure if you are supposed to actually EAT the bread around the pot rim. There isn't any salt in the dough so, when cooked, it tends to be fairly hard and not too tasteful by itself but gets nice and flavorful and moist if you just break off some pieces and let them soak in the broth, which is what I did.  

You need to pry the pot lid off with either a screwdriver or strong knife so try not to scratch your Dutch oven in the process. It makes a beautiful presentation and we just carved the chicken in the oven itself at the table.


1/2 perserved lemon, peel only, cut into small squares
1 cup water
1/4 cups sugar
5 tbls. extra-virgin olive oil
2 large potatoes (russet or sweet),  peeled and each cut into 8 pieces
2 onions, peeled, each cut into 8 pieces
8 carrots, peeled, trimmed and quartered Utah Farms CSA
4 celery stalks, peeled, trimmed and quartered
4 garlic heads, cloves separated but not peeled
3 thyme sprigs (still alive in my herb garden)
3 parsley sprigs (frozen from my friend Sue's summer garden)
2 rosemary sprigs (still alive in my herb garden)
1 chicken, about 4 pounds
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 & 1/2 cups freshly milled flour
3/4 cup hot water

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Center a rack in the oven.
2. Bring water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, drop in the lemon peel and boil for one minute; turn off heat; drain and save the lemon peel.
3. Heat 2 tbl. of olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the vegetables and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are brown on all sides. Spoon the vegetables into a large Dutch oven or other large pot with a lid. Stir in the herbs and the preserved lemon.
4. Return the skillet to the heat, add additional tbl. of olive oil and brown the chicken on all sides. Place the browned chicken into the Dutch oven, surrounding it with the vegetables. Mix together the chicken broth, wine and remaining 2 tbls. of olive oil and pour over the chicken and vegetables.
5. Mix the 1 & 1/2 cups flour with the hot water in a medium bowl. With hands dusted with flour, roll the dough out into a long rope. Place the long rope of dough on the rim of the pot. Piece it together if it breaks apart but cover the entire rim. Press the lid onto the dough to seal the pot.
6. Bake in preheated oven for 55 minutes.
7. Remove from oven. Now you will need to pry the top off the pot either using a heavy spatula or screwdriver.
8. I just carved the chicken while it was in the pot and then you can dip some of the cooked dough in he broth to soften and eat.
adapted from Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Potato, Onion and Leek Soup

This is just another recipe out of Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table cookbook that my Mom's cookbook group had in January. Her friend Barb made this recipe but choose to add some brussels sprouts with the leeks and potatoes although I think you could add almost any vegetable to this soup and it would give it a different flavor. I love it just the way it is but my Mom said she would love to try it with some sautéed red peppers, spinach, or corn but she is very reluctant to use up any more of our winter store of vegetables. Barb served this as the first course of the meal, but as with the stuffed squash recipe posted previously, it is a full meal in itself.

It is a really quick meal to make and you should have most ingredients in your larder. We did have to go out and buy whole milk since we usually only have 2% milk in the house and we didn't know if that would work. We made this right before I had to go off to a viola lesson and then come back to a girl scout meeting. Things then got a little crazy when I accidentally left my viola at home and so we had to turn around and come back home to get it for my lesson. Of course, now we were running really late and had girl scouts waiting on our front stoop when we got home. We couldn't eat in front of them but still hadn't eaten dinner so we offered all the girl scouts a bowl of this soup. They all loved it so I guess it isn't true that kids don't like healthy-homemade food!


2 tbl.  butter
2 onions, peeled and chopped
4 small cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 large leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
2 cups peeled and cubed russet potato
6 thyme sprigs (still alive in our herb garden)
2 fresh, large sage leaves (still alive in our herb garden)
4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (homemade)
3 cups whole milk (Winder Farms)
Redmond Sea Salt and pepper to taste

1. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or heavy soup pot over low heat. Add the onion and garlic and stir until well coated with butter. Season with salt and pepper. Cover pot and let cook over low heat for about 10 minutes to sweat the onions. Cook until onions are soft but not colored.
2. Add the remaining ingredients, raise heat to medium and bring to a boil. Once the soup boils, reduce heat to low, cover the pot and simmer gently for another 30-40 minutes. Stir pot often, and add salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook until the vegetables are soft and can be mashed.
3. Season again with salt and pepper if needed.
4. Once vegetables are soft, you can puree some or all of it or serve chunky. My preference is to slightly puree the soup with my immersion blender.
adapted from Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan
---our friend Barb added some brussels sprouts in step #2. Now, I am a BIG lover of brussels sprouts but other "non-lovers" still thought this soup was delicious
---Barb also added homemade croutons to each bowl. We make these all the time by taking some stale bread, cutting it into cubes, spraying with olive oil and then baking in a 350 degree oven until a golden brown.
--- I would love to try this recipe with a little added corn but I am reluctant to use up my stored, frozen kernels in a dish that is delicious already. It being February, I am starting to hoard some of my stored food to last until spring and summer come around!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Margherita Pizza

To say that this pizza is delicious isn't the only word I would describe this pizza as.  This pizza is simple yet incredibly tasteful.  Our winter CSA continues and this week we got tomatoes.  Who could imagine getting tomatoes at the end of January and beginning of February? Well now we know better! These tomatoes are grown with geothermal energy and taste as good as the ones we get during the summer.  Check out Castle Valley Tomatoes video to learn more about how these tomatoes are grown in our own state of Utah year round. Then, we didn't have any basil left at home so we went to the Dan's to buy some fresh basil and what do we find but Farmers Daughters herbs which are grown right here in Salt Lake Valley. That was a really big surprise for us and we just laughed about it once we read the My mom and I instantly thought of making a Margherita Pizza, which simply is a pizza with tomatoes, basil, garlic, and mozzarella. Well, we didn't have any basil left so we were going to have to go to the store to buy it and likely it wouldn't be local but we really wanted to make this pizza.  So off we go to Dan's to buy the basil and to our surprise, they are selling fresh herbs from Farmers Daughters Herbs grown right here in Salt Lake Valley. Check out their website. It is full of information and recipes for herbs.

This pizza is a  really fast meal and an easy one to make too, so don't be afraid to try it.  It will thrill your taste buds and make you feel like it is summer again!  I hope you enjoy it! 

P.S. I must add that in our winter CSA we got pistachios.  It was simply amazing to find out that those delicious nuts can be grown right here in Hurricane, Utah.  I was very excited and told all of my friends who weren't quite as excited as I,  but now I know I can eat pistachios and not feel like I am cheating!

You should also check out the Harmons Grocery Store website since they partner with local growers like Castle Valley and sell these tomatoes in their stores. Just click on Great People then local partners to learn more. They even talk about selling the pistachios from Hurricane, Utah. I never knew that before!


Pizza dough recipe:

2 tsp. dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
 3 & 1/2 cups flour (we use freshly ground)
1/4 cup semolina flour (freshly ground durum wheat)
1 tsp. Redmond sea salt
3/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup olive oil

1. Stir yeast and lukewarm water together in a bowl. Add 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 semolina flour. Let sit about 30 minutes or until bubbly.
2.  Combine remaining flour and salt in another bowl. Add to the yeast mixture with the cold water and olive oil and mix to make a soft dough. Place dough in Kitchen Aid mixer and, using bread paddle, mix on low-medium speed for 10 minutes or knead with hands until smooth and elastic.
3. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double in volume, about 1-2 hours. Punch dough down and let rise another 45 minutes.
4. Divide dough into 2 discs and let rest for 30 minutes before shaping.  Using pizza peel, shape dough into 10 inch round. Recipes makes 2-10 inch pizzas. Dough can be frozen after first rising for later use.

For pizza:

Dough above
1 tbl. extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped (Utah Farms CSA)
4-6 large basil leaves, cut into strips (Farmers Daughter Herbs)
2-3 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced (Utah Farms CSA)
4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (Gossner Cheese)
2 tbls. grated parmesan cheese plus additional for taste (Gold Creek Farms)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place pizza stone in oven.
2. Spread olive oil over pizza dough with a brush and spread the finely chopped garlic evenly on the crust.
3. Spread the mozzarella cheese over the crust evenly.
4. Place thinly sliced tomatoes across the pizza and then season with salt and pepper.
5. Spread the basil strips evenly across the pizza and sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese across the top
6. Slide prepared pizza from pizza peel onto to heated pizza stone in the preheated oven.
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until bottom is a nice brown and cheese is melted.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Baked Brie with Pecans and Pear Jam

Hi, this is Bianca's Mom. Since Bianca has now finished her Gold Award, she has agreed to let me share her blog! Now, let me clear on this. I could not figure out how to set up a blog myself and I was little help for her in setting up this blog. What I did do was give her support, encouragement and transportation in order for her to get her project done.  She had some problems and failures along the way and I made sure that she learned from these failures rather than be discouraged by them. When she was very busy with school homework, I would go ahead and cook some of the recipes she had chosen with the caveat that we would not go out and buy anything extra to make the recipe. This helped her to learn how to make many substitutions in the recipes to incorporate local food products. She also learned how to read recipes and quickly learn which ones would most likely be delicious and which ones were dubious. Over the course of this past year, she rarely choose recipes to test that we didn't like although some she choose had more of an "adult" spin to them, like the one below. This is a wonderful dish to bring as an appetizer to a party. It uses a majority of local products and you could make your own puff pastry but...we have done this and it is more work than most people would want to do, including us. Bianca and I have made homemade puff pastry in the past, but we lost patience with how many times you have to refrigerate, roll out, fold, refrigerate, roll out, fold, etc. that we just did everything at once and it wasn't very puffy! So, we used store-bought puff pastry for this recipe and it was still delicious.
Anyway, I look forward to joining Bianca on this blog and eating delicious, local food.


1 sheet puff pastry
8 oz. round brie (Snowy Mountain Sheep Creamery)
1 tbsp. butter (Winder Farms)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (Thompson Family Pecan Farm)
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup pear jam (homemade from my friend Lila)
1/4 tbl. honey (Clifford Family Farm)
1 egg, beaten (Clifford Family Farm)
crackers or cubes of fresh bread (all homemade!)

1. Defrost the puff pastry for 15-20 minutes, then unfold and place on cookie sheet prepared with parchment paper.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
3. Melt the butter in medium pan over medium heat. Add pecans and saute about 5 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add cinnamon and stir until pecans are well coated.
4. Slice the top rind off the brie round with a sharp knife without removing too much of the cheese itself.
5. Spread pear jam over top of brie then spread the pecans on top of the jam and drizzle with one tbl. of honey.
6. Place the brie in the center of the defrosted puff pastry. Gather up the edges of the pastry and gently squeeze the pastry into the brie round. Gently fold the pastry around the top and seal. Brush the beaten egg over the top and side of the brie.
7. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is a golden brown.
8. Serve warm with cubes of fresh bread or crackers.
adapted from
-use different jams. We have made this with pepper jam and raspberry jams and it is really delicious.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Roasted Hubbard Squash with Goat Cheese

Hi, this is Bianca's Mom. At the very last Farmers Market of the season, I bought two very large Hubbard Squash and then stored them in my garage and forgot about them.  As some of you may know, we lost Doug last year but his 61st birthday would have been today and I wanted to have some friends over to help me celebrate. He loved a good hearty soup, especially French Onion Soup so I went ahead and make a big pot of that (see previous post) but then thought I would need another large pot of soup to feed everyone and that got me thinking about those Hubbard Squash. So, I grabbed the big one and tried cutting it, which didn't work well at all. Then I remembered a friend from work who told me that he just drops his Hubbard Squash on pavement to break it apart so I walked out the front door with my squash and slammed it on the sidewalk and it split into 4 pieces. They were just the right size to roast in my oven.  Let's just say it was one big squash. Bianca laughed since I accurately guessed that it weighed about 12 pounds. This required me to double this recipe which was fine. This recipe called for Hazelnuts which believe it or not, I had in stock but we added the goat cheese for some extra bang.  This was an absolutely hardy and delicious soup and we will be buying many more Hubbard Squash next year!


3 tbls. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic cloves, peeled (Utah Farms CSA)
1 tbl. coriander seeds
1-1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1-1/2 tsp. dried sage (our own herb garden)
1 small (5.5-6 pound) Hubbard Squash, split open (Wheeler Farm Market)
2 tbl. unsalted butter (Winder Dairy)
1 large leek, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into small dice (East Farms)
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth (homemade)
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts, skinned and chopped
goat cheese

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Use large pyrex baking dish.
2. Grind the oil, garlic, sage, coriander and fennels seeds in a mortar and pestle to a coarse paste. Rub the mixture onto the flesh of the squash pieces. Set them cut side down on the baking dish and roast about one hour, or until the flesh is tender. Let cool, cut side up. Scrape the flesh away from the rind. You'll need about 5 cups of the mashed squash. You can freeze any remainder.
3. Melt butter in a 5-6 quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leek, carrots, and big pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leek is soft, about 8-10 minutes. Add the squash, broth, bay leaf and 1 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a slow simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes.
4. Remove the bay leaf and allow soup to cool slightly. Puree in batches or better yet, get yourself a very inexpensive immersion mixture and puree the soup right in Dutch Oven. In fact, I think we need to add Immersion Mixture to the list of necessary pantry items! Add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with hazelnuts and one tbl. of goat cheese per bowl.
Serves 8-10 or 16-20 if you have a 12 pound squash!
adapted from Fine Cooking
--make extra and store in the freezer for up to 2 months
--season with chives or cayenne pepper
Calories: 240

Update on My Gold Award

I just want to tell you all that I have earned my Gold Award.  For those of you who don't know what this means, the Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouts and I have slowly but surely been earning it.  This blog has been part of my project and is probably the part that turned out the best. Even though my project is now done, this blog will continue to grow and I hope be it will be used by people who are looking to use more local foods.  Now that I have earned my award, my Mom is going to join me in keeping this blog up-to-date. We will be adding new recipes and comments at any free moment and when we have a delicious recipe.  

I have learned so much from doing this project and I loved doing it, too.  I learned how to cook better and because of this I have been eating tons of more delicious food.  The new fruits, vegetables, and other types of food that I have gotten to try have widened my taste pallet and maybe made me gain a few pounds, but really, who cares! My leadership skills improved and I learned how to really get out there and support things I believe in. The farmers I met are great and fascinating people that you should get to know as well.  Talking to them was so interesting and I learned so much more from them that I never knew before.  With all this talking, I think I became more confidant and comfortable with voicing my ideas and thoughts.  There are many more things I learned from this project, including learning that failure is always going to occur but you just have to keep going since this project had a couple of glitches and issues along the way. For example, next time around,  I will know how to make the Annual Girl Scout Day at the Downtown Farmers Market a little different and interesting for kids since I plan to help make this an annual event. 

I truthfully couldn't have done it without a great number of people, but there are a few I would love to name. Gwen Crist was my advisor and she was so supportive and encouraging.  She is in charge of Slow Food Utah and helped me throughout the project. I met a lot of farmers because she introduced me to them and got to help at many local food events because she encouraged me to do so. Kim Angelli was another wonderful woman who helped me with everything Downtown Farmers Market related. She runs the market with incredible grace and encouraged me to get out there and talk to the farmers.  Every week she printed my recipes and I would just grab them and hand them out.  Tara Poelzing has also been a great person to get to know as she also builds her local food website,, which talks about local food in Utah. Her support was very helpful throughout my project.  Connie Gates, my mentor for a long time was a great support as well as a great reminder to get my Gold Award final report submitted (which is a big ordeal).  The last, but definitely not least, is my mother Doreen Kulikowski. She is a wonderful woman who has made a big difference in my life.  Her enthusiasm, support, and help with cooking has definitely has been super helpful.  Without my Mom's guidance, I could have not done so well, not just with this project, but with many other things.  

Thank you all!

This project has just been so amazing and I personally believe that even if you are not a Girl or Boy Scout, you should get out there and do some advocacy or community service, because it feels great.  I hope you all enjoyed some aspect of my project as much as I did and thanks. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Beer Bratwurst with Onions

Do you love sausage? I know I do! This recipe is a great one for those sausage lovers out there as well as those who are willing to try them. Colosimo Sausage is a family business based right here in Utah that was established in 1923. All of their pork sausages are made from only the finest cuts of pork and by the taste you can definitely tell that is true. They use the pork shoulder commonly referred to as the Boston Butt. The sausages are made daily and are inspected in their facilities in West Jordan.  Colosimo's makes over 25 kinds of sausages. Some of the more popular flavors include: Mild Italian, Hot Italian, Bratwurst, Polish, Cajun, and Tuscan Red Wine.  I love this recipe and recommend it for any family meal or dinner party.  I hope you enjoy this delicious local food.  


2 tsp. butter or olive oil (Winder Farms)
6 bratwurst sausages (Colosimo's)
1 large sweet onion, sliced into 1/1-inch slices (East Farms CSA)
6 ounces beer (Wasatch Beer)

1. Heat one tsp. butter or olive oil in large Dutch oven. Brown the sausages until a deep golden brown, making sure to turn them over during browning without piercing the skin. Remove to a dish.
2. Add additional tsp. of butter or olive oil and the onion slices. Toss the onions to coat and cook, stirring often until translucent and golden, but not brown.
3. Return the sausages to the Dutch oven and add the beer. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beer has cooked down to a syrup, about 15-20 minutes.
4. Serve on buns with the onions or alone.

French Toast

Ah, French toast! A classic breakfast made local! Personally, I have loved french toast for a long time, especially when I would wake up to my stepdad making it in the morning.  Now my mom and I have made our own local version with Vosen's Bakery bread serving as the light, fluffy base of this meal.  It is extremely delicious, but any other bread that is nice and soft as well as tasty will work perfectly. The bread isn't the only part that makes it delicious, the syrup helps as well.  I personally love Pioneer Valley raspberry syrup and my mom loves the blueberry syrup, but anything you desire will taste great on top.  Enjoy this simple and delicious meal and don't forget to eat local this winter.


1/2 loaf Roman Filoni Bread from Vosen's Bakery (Liberty Heights Fresh), cut into 1/2-inch slices
6 eggs Clifford Family Farm
2/3 cup milk (Winder Farms)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Salt (Redmond Sea Salt)
1 tsp honey
Butter (Winder Farms)
Syrup or jam (Pioneer Valley Fancy Syrups)

1. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cinnamon and honey in a wide bowl. Soak both sides of bread slices in the egg mixture.
2. Heat a lightly buttered non-stick skillet over medium heat until hot.
3. Place soaked slices in warm skillet and cook until both sides are a golden brown. Serve hot.

---We cook many slices on the weekend, let them cool and then place them in a plastic bag, with wax paper between each slice, in the freezer. Then during the school week, I take out a slice or two and place them in our toaster at the highest temperature. Then, I have fresh french toast during the week!

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Yummy Localicious Ingredients

In preparation for our new Cooking Club which starts this month, we made Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good from around my french table by Dorie Greenspan. We did stuff the pumpkin but then had extra stuffing so we went ahead and stuffed some acorn squash, too. We liked the taste of the acorn squash better although the presentation of the pumpkin was really cool. Look for the rest of the recipes from our Cooking Club evening in the next few weeks.


2 acorn squash, cut in half and seeds removed (Utah Farms CSA)
1/4 pound stale bread, thinly sliced and cut into 1/4-inch chunks (Vosen's Bakers)
1/4 pound cheese, cut into 1/2 inch chunks (Beehive Cheese), 
   you can use cheddar, Gruyere, swiss cheese or any combination
3 garlic cloves, chopped (see my Mom's post on garlic)
1 sausage, sliced (Colosimo's or Cremenelli)
1 tbl. olive oil
1 onion, sliced and sauteed in the sausage grease above (East Farms CSA)
1/2 cup heavy cream and additional milk if needed (Winder Farms)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat olive oil in a skillet. Cook sausage in oil until well browned. Remove sausage from pan. Add sliced onions and saute until translucent and slightly golden, but not brown. Remove from pan.
2. Toss together the bread, cheese, garlic, cooked sausage and onions in a bowl. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste and toss together well.  Add cream and stir together. If not creamy enough, add a little extra milk instead of cream until the mixture is fairly moist. If the crust is pretty thick on your bread chunks, made sure the mixture is on the moist side.
3. Take bread and sausage mixture and place evenly in each acorn squash halve. Place in oven-proof casserole dish and cover with foil or casserole dish cover. Place in oven and bake for approximately one hour or until squash in tender when pierced with a fork.
adapted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan
---Dorie Greenspan calls this recipe, Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good.  We made it by stuffing a pumpkin we had from our CSA and our acorn squash and we liked the acorn squash better. My Mom also had leftever cooked Pork Roast and some alfredo sauce so she added chopped pork and substituted the alfredo sauce for the cream. So, I think this recipe can be whatever you want to add that you would consider "everything good".
---Add bacon instead of sausage
--Add some greens such as kale, spinach, or chard.
--Use rice or quinoa instead of the bread
--Add some chopped pears or apples to give it some sweetness