Pumpkin Spice Applesauce

 

What’s the perfect fall combination, well apples and pumpkin spice! Now before you dismiss this idea because you see everything with pumpkin spice this time of year , let me make my case for this delicious recipe. Nothing beats home made apple sauce, especially this time of year when we have so many apples available. I always flavor my apple sauce with cinnamon, using my homemade pumpkin spice , it’s amped up flavor, with nutmeg, cloves, ginger and allspice. The resulting taste is so good, you will only want pumpkin spice applesauce from now on ! Honest!!!

From by the bay , wishing you pumpkin spice food memories!

Maryann

Pumpkin Spice Applesauce

Ingredients

  • 6 large red apples – peeled, cored and sliced, approximately 2 lbs. ( like Macoun or Macintosh)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice mix ( recipe below)

Directions

Place all the ingredients into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until apples are soft. Remove from heat and cool. Mash the apples together with a potato masher. Place in an air tight container and refrigerate until ready to use. It will keep in a refrigerator for about 1 week.

Pumpkin Spice Mix

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Directions

Mix all spices together well and store in a closed air tight container.

Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw

Here is a delicious, quick and oh yes, healthy meal – Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw. It’s great to serve family style for ease. It also makes a great meal for guests since it can be prepared quickly and most of it in advance. This is one of my favorite go to summer dishes, because it’s light , easy and cool but of course it’s great all year round !

From by the bay, wishing you spicy taco food memories!

Maryann

 

Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw

Serves 4

Red Cabbage Slaw

  • 1 pound shredded red cabbage slaw, approx. 4 cups
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • fine sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

Avocado Sauce

  • 1 Haas avocado, flesh scooped out
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 lime juiced
  • fine sea salt, to taste

Spicy Shrimp Taco

  • 1 pound shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile
  • 8 soft corn tortillas
  • 8 lime wedges
  • optional: to garnish cilantro leaves and jalepeno chili sliced in very thin sliced rounds

Directions

To make the Red Cabbage Slaw

In a medium bowl add the lime juice, orange juice, olive oil and sugar. Whisk together until sugar is dissolved. Add the red cabbage to the bowl and mix until cabbage is coated with the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let sit in the refrigerator covered for approximately 4 hours before serving.

To make the Avocado Sauce

In a small food processor or blender add the avocado, lime juice, sour cream and salt. Blend until smooth. Place in a covered container and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To make the Spicy Shrimp Taco

Heat a grill pan until hot, add the shrimp and grill approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side or until the shrimp turn opaque. Warm soft tortillas in the microwave for a minute. To serve, place the shrimp, slaw, avocado sauce along with garnishes of lime, cilantro and jalapeno on platters and allow guests to make their own tacos.

Entertaining: What’s Cooking Labor Day Weekend!

If you are like me, you are finding it very hard to believe that September and Labor Day Weekend are here!  But with that we like to celebrate Labor Day Weekend with friends and family. Here are a few of the recipes I’ll be using to entertaining this weekend!

Part of my holiday weekend will be filling the house with some sunflowers, while I still can. Nothing says late summer more to me than sunflowers! In addition, I’ll be using the best of the produce from the farm stands this weekend and corn is still at it’s peak! I’ll be making some corn hummus with corn leftover from another meal. You need just four extra ears.  This recipe calls for roasting the corn in the oven at 425 for 45 minutes wrapped in foil. I’ve been making my corn like this all summer, it’s easy to prep in advance and really easy to serve a crowd of people. I prep it before anyone arrives, leave it on a tray in the oven and just turn the oven on an hour before I want to serve it warm. Delicious!! so make a few extra and also make Roasted Sweet Corn Hummus

Another favorite meal that is an easy meal for a crowd that is delicious and super simple to make is Brisket with Cola Barbecue Sauce. You’ll love the flavor using your favorite NON-DIET Cola in your sauce!

Wondering what to serve along side this dish , you definitely need some fresh coleslaw. I like to make my Grandma’s Coleslaw with Warm Dressing.  Definitely, a comforting complement to the brisket!

The perfect dessert for a crowd is a crumble and this crumble mixes blueberries and plums for a slightly sweet and spicy dish. You will love my Blueberry Plum Crumble!

If you need a breakfast brunch idea for the weekend, one of my favorite dishes is Vanilla Bourbon Soaked French Toast. I use big thick slices of brioche soaked in vanilla and bourbon. Bourbon? Why not it’s a holiday weekend and the french toast is topped with a  yummy mixed berry and plum compote!

I will definitely try to bake some cookies this weekend to have around the house and in celebration of sunflowers I think I’ll be baking sugar cookies topped with sanding sugar to look like my beautiful sunflowers! Use my Favorite Sugar Cookie recipe!

From by the bay, make great friends and family food memories this weekend!

Maryann

 

Roasted Sweet Corn Hummus

Brisket with Cola Barbecue Sauce

Grandma’s Coleslaw with Warm Dressing

Blueberry Plum Crumble

Vanilla Bourbon Soaked French Toast

Favorite Sugar Cookie

Cold Cucumber and Buttermilk Soup

Cool and refreshing, this simple cold soup uses only four ingredients. Don’t let the simplicity deceive your perception of this recipe, the taste is delicious!  This is definitely one of my favorite soups to enjoy over and over again this summer. I use whatever cucumbers I have around and it’s especially a good way to use cucumbers that are a few days old and not at peak.

From by the bay, wishing you cool and refreshing food memories!

Maryann

 

Cold Cucumber and Buttermilk Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound cucumbers, peeled, halved and seeded
  • 2 teaspoons jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups buttermilk ( whole if available)
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • optional: diced cucumber to garnish and coarse sea salt such as Maldon

Directions

Coarsely chop the cucumbers. Place cucumber along with the remaining ingredients in a food processor. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Place in a container and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours before serving.  To serve, garnish with diced cucumber and a little coarse sea salt.

Roasted Sweet Corn Hummus

Inspired by my quest to enjoy the sweet corn this summer which is really at it’s height of flavor I’ve continued to explore using corn in different recipes. This roasted sweet corn hummus has become an instant favorite. It’s also the perfect way to use any leftover corn you might have after a meal, that said don’t wait for leftovers, this recipe is one you will want to try immediately! I was looking for the perfect balance of corn, chickpeas and tahini … 4 ears of corn is perfect to achieve a strong taste of corn in every bite – but the recipe is forgiving so feel free to adjust based on the amount of corn you might have available.

From by the bay, wishing you sweet corn food memories!

Maryann

 

Roasted Sweet Corn Hummus

Ingredients

4 ears of fresh corn, shucked

15 ounces ready to eat chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup tahini

6 tablespoons water

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1 1/2  teaspoons fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Optional: additional olive oil and coarse sea salt ( such as Maldon)

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Wrap corn in a piece on aluminum foil , place on a baking sheet and in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and take corn out of the foil and place directly on the rack in the oven for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Cut kernels off the cob and place half of the corn, into a food processor. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the fresh corn kernels and place remaining corn into the food processor. Blend until corn is not quite smooth, so there is some texture to the hummus. Place in a covered container and chill for two hours before serving. To serve place in the shallow bowl. Drizzle hummus with olive oil, sprinkle remaining corn kernels and a touch of coarse sea salt.

Entertaining: What’s Cooking? It’s Yellow!

Here is what’s cooking this weekend by the bay and I’m keeping it yellow, hopefully as yellow as the sun brightly shining in the sky.

To kick off my weekend of sunshine eating, I’m making my Cornmeal and Sweet Corn Pancakes. A delicious start to any weekend, using some farm fresh yellow corn or use your leftover corn from the night before mixed with some corn meal .

Dinner is a nice bowl of Fresh Corn with Shrimp Grits, it doesn’t get better than a bowl creamy grits made with a corn broth, cooked along with shrimp and bacon and splashed with lemon juice to brighten the flavor. Served on the side a nice plate of yellow tomatoes, simply drizzled with a good olive oil and sprinkled with coarse sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Perfection.

Dessert is a lovely light and lemony pudding using my recipe for Lemon Posset

Sunday Lunch, I’ll be keeping it light and serving Ricotta stuffed PattyPan Squash , I like to find lovely smaller squash to fill and serve on a bed of arugula. Along side this another great yellow dish is Fresh Corn and Zucchini Salad.

A weekend of great food!

From by the bay, wishing you sunny yellow food memories!

Maryann

 

Cornmeal and Sweet Corn Pancakes

Ricotta Stuffed PattyPan Squash

Fresh Corn with Shrimp and Grits

Fresh Corn and Zucchini Salad

Lemon Posset

Entertaining: What’s Cooking this Weekend!

Enjoying another summer weekend,  I think I’ll wake up early and make a batch of my favorite Homemade Granola, perfect with some greek yogurt and all the seasonal berries.

After breakfast and a quick class at the gym it’s off to the farmstand, where I’m bound to find some of my favorite ingredients – sweet corn, kirby cucumbers and some juicy peaches.

I don’t plan to spend much time in the kitchen this weekend, but I will make some quick pickles using my recipe for Pickled Cucumbers with Dill and Lemon.

I’m keeping it simple this weekend, something quick on the grill – one of my favorite chicken recipes is Barbecue Chicken Breasts with Fresh Peach and Jalapeno Sauce

Corn of course is the perfect side dish – anyway you want to serve as long as you eat it the day it’s picked on the farm the freshness is the star of the show – so grill, boil, it’s so fresh you can eat it raw, but if you want to try a new corn side dish, you will want to try my recipe for Corn in a Cup!

Now for dessert, it’s an easy  Stone Fruit Crostata, using the rest of my peaches!  a recipe that is so forgiving and beyond delicious with it’s crispy and buttery crust.

From by the bay, make great friends and family food memories this weekend!

Maryann

Homemade Granola

Pickled Cucumbers with Dill and Lemon

Barbecue Chicken Breasts with Fresh Peach and Jalapeno Sauce

Corn in a Cup

Stone Fruit Crostata

Chilled Zucchini Soup with Mint

Zucchini – one of the favorite staples of the summer harvest is showing up in farmer’s markets and grocery stores. If you are lucky like me it shows up at your door courtesy of a generous neighbor with a fabulous vegetable garden. No matter how you get that zucchini into your kitchen you must try this recipe for chilled zucchini soup. Super simple to make this is a refreshing treat to enjoy for lunch or dinner. Try drinking this cup of summer freshness!

From by the bay, wishing you chill food memories!

Maryann

 

Chilled Zucchini Soup with Mint

Serves 6

  • 4-5 medium zucchini sliced in rounds approximately 2 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup fresh mint chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • additional coarse sea salt to finishing

Directions

In a large pot heat olive oil and sauté the white onion until softened about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini, salt and pepper stirring occasionally until the zucchini is softened, about 5 more minutes. Add the broth to the pot, bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer until the zucchini is tender, about 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Using a food processor puree the zucchini mixture along with the parmesan cheese, pine nuts, mint and lemon juice. Pour into a bowl adding the buttermilk and blend. Cover and place in the refrigerator to cool for at least 3 hours. Adjust seasoning with coarse sea salt. Serve chilled and garnish with toasted pine nuts and a drizzle of olive oil.

Entertaining: What to Cook for the 4th of July Weekend!

It’s a big holiday weekend – family picnics, barbecues with friends, sun, water, fireworks ….. food is an important part of our celebrations! Here are a few of the recipes, I’ll be cooking over the long weekend. Mornings will start slowly, after that first cup of coffee I’ll be taking out my muffin pan to make Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins

I like to keep lunches light , it’s better for jumping into the pool or to enjoy a game of kanjam so a salad is nice, I’ll probably make a nice Heirloom Tomato Salad with Fresh Ricotta

Keeping it easy for dinner so starting with a great burger topped with my Whiskey Special Sauce

Side dishes are the key, make them in the morning before the day gets going and you can enjoy the day your self, I’m going old school with my Deli Style Macaroni Salad

Another classic side dish with a twist is my Jalapeno Kale Coleslaw, it is a delicious and healthy second side.

If I can find some corn in the farm stand, you can be sure that I’ll be making and although it’s perfect just grilled or even boiled, I’ll like make Fresh Corn and Zucchini Salad

Now for dessert…. I’ll still be taking advantage of all those fresh berries that are around and make my Red and Blue Firework Crisp and if I have time I’m make some star shaped  cookies using My Favorite Sugar Cookies !

From by the bay , wishing you and your family a very Happy 4th of July!

Maryann

Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Fresh Ricotta

Whiskey Special Sauce

Deli Style Macaroni Salad

Jalapeno Kale Coleslaw

Fresh Corn and Zucchini Salad

Red and Blue Firework Crisp

My Favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe

Whiskey Special Sauce for Hamburgers

There is nothing like a summer hamburger cooked to perfection on an outdoor grill.  You may want to stop there but I strongly suggest that if you want to really amp up the flavor of your grilled burger, try making your own version of special sauce. Usually, special sauce is a combination of your favorite condiments – mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup. The base of my special sauce is the same but I like to chop up bread and butter pickles for a little sweetness  along with pickled jalapenos for some spice and heat to mix into my sauce so that every bite of my burger has a combination of many tastes. I could have stopped here but decided to take my sauce up one more level of flavor.  I added to my sauce one of the best ingredients I could think of – whiskey! Whiskey really makes that special sauce a “special, special sauce”.  The whiskey enhances the salty and sweet flavors.  As for topping the burger feel free to have a slice of melted american cheese. You can also try my new favorite, freshly grated parmesan cheese generously grated over the burger like a big cloud of freshly fallen snow! It’s burger time with your own special sauce!

From by the bay, wishing you whiskey special sauce food memories!

Maryann

 

Whiskey Special Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup good quality prepared mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon whiskey
  • 3 tablespoons chopped bread and butter pickles
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapeno

Directions

In a small bowl mix all the ingredients until well combined. Place in a covered glass container and refrigerate for at least one hour below using. The sauce keep refrigerated for up to one week.

Note: You can make the special sauce without the whiskey