02.14.2017

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To celebrate Valentine’s Day I made my loves a lemon tart while watching Beyonce’s grammy performance over and over and over again. Now I’m tearing up looking at these amazing pictures my pal Becca snapped of me and the boys in the fall. I love you Waldman boys – so very very much.

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Lemon Tart from My Kitchen Year

makes 1 9-inch tart

1/2 cup cashews (or unsalted almonds or hazelnuts)

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

3/4 cup flour

Salt

10 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons olive oil

5 large eggs, separated

4 large lemons

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

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Begin by making a tart shell. Toast the cashews then grind them in a food processor with the flour, confectioner’s sugar, and a pinch of salt. Add in 4 tablespoons of butter and pulse until it is the size of peas. Stir in the olive oil and 1 egg yolk.

Form the dough into a disk, put it between two pieces of plastic wrap, and roll it out to an 11-inch round. Press dough gently into a 9-inch tart shell with a removable bottom, and chill for half an hour. Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 15 minutes and allow to cool on a rack.

To make the filling, grate the zest from 1 lemon. Squeeze all 4 lemons and mix the juice with the zest. Put the lemon mixture into a heavy-bottomed pot and whisk in the sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in 2 eggs plus 2 additional yolks.

Put the pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium high. Whisk constantly until the mixture begins to boil, then keep whisking for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth and thick.

Remove from the heat, add 6 tablespoons of butter (cut into pieces), and whisk the mixture until the butter has vanished. Spread into the tart shell and allow to cool. Put the tart in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.

I sliced a few kumquats for the top and served slices with whipped cream.

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02.10.2017

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I know weather talk is really boring most of the time but this has been a wild weather week for us so, forgive me. It was 55 degrees on Wednesday. We stayed late after school playing soccer, football, and sliding down the slide 1,000 times. Nobody had a jacket on. Then came Thursday. A storm blew in and dumped wet, heavy snow all across the island. Most houses lost power, the ferries stopped running, and school was canceled. Today, the island looks pretty and sparkly with its fresh coat of white but it hasn’t gotten warmer than 25 degrees and I do prefer those jacket-less winter days, however abnormal they are.

If you’re looking for an easy cooking project this weekend or simply want a new snack to toss into lunch boxes next week give these Popcorn “Granola” Bars a try. The list of ingredients is completely adaptable to your tastes and your pantry.

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Popcorn “Granola” Bars slightly adapted from Food52

Makes 1 9-inch by 13-inch pan of bars

cup almond or peanut butter

1/3 cup honey, agave, or maple syrup

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce or fruit compote 

Olive oil, as needed

4 to 6 cups popcorn

1 1/2 cups whole walnuts or almonds or a combination

1/3 cup raw hulled pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/3 cup raw hulled sunflower seeds (I used raw sesame seeds) 

1/3 cup ground flax seed

 

1. Line a 9- by 13-inch baking pan with parchment or wax paper so that you have overhang.

2. In a small pot over low heat, warm the nut butter, honey, and applesauce until melted. You want a sauce that is loose enough to cover the popcorn kernels and become evenly distributed amongst them. You may need to whisk in some olive oil (a couple of tablespoons) to achieve this consistency.

3. In a large bowl, mix together popcorn, nuts, pumpkin seeds, coconut, sunflower seeds, and flax seed. Pour over the nut butter mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.

4. Dump into the prepared pan, then use plastic wrap to mush the mixture down evenly. Freeze overnight, then slice into bars! Store in the freezer.

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12.01.2016

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As you may have gathered from my instagram I am thoroughly enjoying Genius Recipe’s Kale Salad this fall. The recipe originates from Northern Spy Food Co., a little NYC cafe that is now closed, and is the perfect thing to make at the beginning of the week, stored in the fridge for last minute lunches or snacks.

I’ve eaten this salad warm, at room temperatures, topped with a friend egg, and pressed onto avocado slathered toast – all are good.

Here is the salad’s recipe introduction in Genius Recipes “Raw kale is like any other green we’ve ever put to dressing-just a little more resilient. And that’s a very helpful trait, making it an ideal leafy salad to make ahead for company or tomorrow’s lunch. This particular kale salad is at once substantial and spry. It’s dressed with just lemon and olive oil, making it a bit like a raw version at a health store salad bar-but filled out with roasted kabocha squash, almonds, and two kinds of cheese. Depending on the season, Northern Spy trades out the kabocha for fresh apricots, kohlrabi, or pattypan squash. I sometimes go with slices of apple or persimmon. Kale’s amendable.”

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Kale Salad from Genius Recipes

Serves 2

1/2 cup peeled, cubed kabocha, butternut, or other winter squash

Extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 bunch kale (preferably laminator or dinosaur kale), ribs removed and leaves finely sliced, about 2 1/2 cups

1/4 cup almonds, cut roughly in half

1/4 cup crumbled or finely chopped Cabot Clothbound Cheddar (or any good, aged cheddar-if you can’t find aged cheddar, use Parmesan)

Fresh lemon juice

Pecorino or other hard cheese, for shaving (optional)

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1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Toss the squash cubes in just enough oil to coat and season with salt and pepper. Spread on the baking sheet, leaving space between the cubes. Roast in the oven until tender and caramelized, about 40 minutes, tossing with a spatula every 10 to 15 minutes. Toast the almonds on a baking sheet in the same oven until they start to smell nutty, tossing once, about 10 minutes. Let cool.

3. In a large mixing bowl, toss the kale with the almonds, cheddar, and squash. Season to taste with lemon juice and olive oil (using about 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Divide the salad between two plates or shallow bowls. Garnish with shaved Pecorino cheese and serve.

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10.03.2016

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Gray turned 3!!! on September 22nd and we celebrated with a box of Grape-Nut and Chocolate Chip Kitchen Sink Oatmeal Cookies on the playground and this over-the-top decadent Chocolate Pudding Pie after dinner. As birthdays always make me nostalgic, I thought it would be fun to take a little walk down birthday cake memory lane. Here we go…

Gray comes home with Apple Crisp.

Gray turns 1 with Spiced Applesauce Cake.

Gray turns 2 with undocumented ice cream sundaes because life was like this.

Dylan turns 1 with a classic birthday cake in Providence then we move here.

Dylan turns 2 with Strawberry Layer Cake.

Dylan turns 3 with Full Moon Chocolate Cake.

Dylan turns 4 with Chocolate Cake.

Dylan turns 5 with an undocumented mint chocolate chip / brownie ice cream cake decorated with dragons the same week as Frozen Summer Treats.

Dylan turns 6 with another undocumented mint chocolate chip / brownie ice cream cake shaped into a lightning bolt the same week as Peach Frozen Yogurt.

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Chocolate Pudding Pie adapted from an old Gourmet Magazine

makes 1 pie

Crust:

1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs (from about 10 crackers)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 pinches sea salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Pudding Filling:

1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (not more than 60% cacao), finely chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chilled heavy cream

Bittersweet chocolate shavings for garnish (optional)

Make crust: Heat oven to 350°F. Combine graham crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl and stir until mixed. Add butter and stir until crumbs are evenly coated. Press crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a standard 9-inch pie dish. Bake the crust until lightly browned, about 9 to 10 minutes. Set on cooling rack to cool completely. Once cool, you can even transfer it to the freezer to get it started on the chilling process.

Make pudding filling: Whisk together cornstarch, 1/3 cup sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, then boil, whisking, two minutes (mixture will thicken). Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate and vanilla until smooth.

Pour filling into cooled shell and chill, its surface covered with wax paper (if you want to prevent a skin from forming), until cold, at least two hours.

Just before serving, beat cream with remaining two tablespoons sugar until it just holds soft peaks. Spoon onto pie and garnish with bittersweet chocolate shavings, if you’re feeling fancy.

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Grape-Nut and Chocolate Chip Kitchen Sink Oatmeal Cookies slightly adapted from Food52 Baking

Makes 24 to 48 cookies, depending on the size

 

1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups plus 2 tablespoons rolled oats

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup wheat germ

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 cup raisins

1 cup toasted nuts, preferably pecans or walnuts, chopped

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup Grape-Nuts cereal

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut

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Preheat oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars until very pale and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. In another bowl, mix together the rolled oats, flours, wheat germ, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, raisins, nuts, chocolate chips, cereal, and coconut. Add this dry mixture to the butter and egg mixture and stir until combined.

For smaller cookies, drop the dough with a tablespoon, allowing 2-inches between each. For larger cookies, use an ice cream scoop or 1/4-cup measure to portion the dough and allow for 3-inches between each one.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies, until firm and golden brown at the edges. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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08.09.2016

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I often strike up conversations with other parents at the beach. There we are, all settling in for snack-time, chasing 2-year olds into the surf, and trying to carry 3,000 pounds of beach gear to the car. Happily, I have met a lot of lovely people this way, quickly learning where they are from, what kind of work they do, and their family favorites here on the Vineyard. I am always shocked when I hear about school starting in August. To us, August is the epitome of summer – the crowds, the fair, the hottest beach days of the year. But like these families heading home to dig out lunch boxes and backpacks, my work also reminds me that school is almost upon us (as hard as we try to deny it).
Nutella, the queen of breakfast spreads, recently asked me to create a healthy breakfast idea to help busy families ease their way into the school year while keeping up the fun of summer. I spent a morning in the kitchen playing with pancakes, fruit, nuts, and Nutella and came up with this adorable lion face. How cute is it!? Dylan and Gray were besides themselves when the sat down at the little breakfast table in the kitchen to find a furry friend staring back at them. I am planning on making this again on the first day of school to help pump us all up for the new rhythms and changes ahead.
Below are the simple steps to create your own breakfast lion at home:
Nutella Lion
1 pancake (from the freezer or skillet)
2 tablespoon Nutella spread
2 clementines
4 slices of banana
2 blueberries
1 slice of apple, cut into a triangle
6 thin slices of apple
1 cashew nut, halved lengthwise
Place the pancake on a plate and spread with Nutella. Next, peel the clementines and arrange the slices around the perimeter of the pancake. Arrange the sliced banana eyes and ears. Top the two banana eyes with blueberries. Place an apple triangle under the eyes for a nose and fan out apple strands as whiskers. Finally, split a cashew nut lengthwise and arrange as a little lion mouth. Serve with a couple of small plates and dig in!
This recipe development work was sponsored by Nutella.