‘Heirloom Tomatoes with Ricotta & Savory Granola’

Recipe Courtesy of Food & Wine Magazine

Recipe Courtesy of Food & Wine Magazine

What an incredible and unique idea!  We all love a sweet, buttery, crunchy granola at breakfast time, but why not make a savory granola to top a salad or plate of seasonal veggies?  This recipe hailing from Food & Wine magazine does just that–a savory granola is made with rolled oats, a touch of olive oil, a drizzle of agave nectar and nuts.  Baked until crunchy and lightly browned, you use this savory granola over a plate of heirloom tomatoes and a lovely, creamy lemon ricotta cheese.  (I had some snap peas on hand from our CSA, so I roasted those and added them to the salad for a splash of color.)

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/heirloom-tomatoes-ricotta-and-savory-granola)

Herb-Crusted Fish

Recipe Courtesy of Martha Stewart.com

Recipe Courtesy of Martha Stewart.com

This recipe is as simple as 1-2-3.  1) Choose your favorite fish 2) Top the fish fillets with a thin layer of Dijon mustard, and 3) Finish the mustard-coated fish off with an assortment of your favorite chopped, fresh herbs.  Bake after seasoning with a touch of salt and pepper, and voila!  A healthy and elegant dinner entree is served.

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://www.marthastewart.com/348684/herb-crusted-snapper)

‘Pumpkin-Chai Muffins’

Recipe Courtesy of Food & Wine Magazine

Recipe Courtesy of Food & Wine Magazine

The first two ingredients I can’t wait to use each Fall are local apples and pumpkin puree.  When these two items become part of my cooking repertoire each year, the cooler morning temperatures and the anticipation of Fall colors are very near.  This lovely recipe for spiced muffins are very moist, and filled with the warm flavors of the season.  The base of the muffins are simply melted butter, flour, sugar and baking soda with the addition of rich pumpkin puree and a special spicy ingredient: crushed chai tea.  Adding crushed chai tea adds a fragrance and warm spicy taste to the muffins that is subtle but unique. The pumpkin puree adds a perfect moist crumb into the mix and the crunchy top comes from buttery walnuts.  A delectable breakfast-time treat to help usher in the new season.

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/pumpkin-chai-muffins)

Roasted Delicata Squash with Gorgonzola & Walnuts

roasted-delicata-squash-with-gorgonzola-walnuts

Delicata squash are a variety of winter squash that are cylindrical in shape, and have a yellow and green-striped skin.  Similar in taste and texture to butternut squash, this variety of squash is buttery in flavor and can be used in soups, side dishes or any other way you enjoy using squash this time of year.  For this simple recipe, I seeded the squash and washed the outside skin thoroughly before roasting cut pieces of the squash with oil, salt and pepper, and fresh thyme.  I served the roasted squash on a bed of steamed spinach, with a lovely topping of crunchy walnuts and dreamy crumbles of Gorgonzola cheese.  Feta cheese or Parmesan cheese would be nice here as well.

(To view this recipe, click on the blue title of the blog post above*)

‘Chicken Romano Meatloaf’

Recipe Courtesy of Good Housekeeping Magazine

Recipe Courtesy of Good Housekeeping Magazine

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who does not like meatloaf. Especially one like this that is really moist and has an Italian flavor profile.  This meatloaf is made with ground chicken which gives it a nice texture, and the ground meat is combined with breadcrumbs, salty Pecorino Romano cheese and marinara sauce for that comforting Italian flavor that we all crave.  You top the formed meatloaf with more marinara sauce before baking–and I like to serve the meatloaf on a bed of more marinara sauce to carry the flavor profile over even more.

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/a6446/chicken-romano-meat-loaf-2501/)

Saffron Risotto with Delicata Squash, Green Beans & Feta

saffron-risotto-with-delicata-squash-and-green-beans

Saffron imparts not only a lovely yellow hue to dishes, but also a rich flavor.  In this risotto dish I paired the al dente Arborio rice with not only a pinch of saffron, but flavorful chicken broth and roasted cubes of squash and green beans.  The finishing touches to this comforting dish (crumbled feta cheese and crunchy sliced almonds) are not Italian, but really make each bite of this creative risotto even more unique.

(To view this recipe, click on the blue title of the blog post above*)

Blackberry Crème Brûlée with Cassis

Recipe Courtesy of DairyGoodness.ca

Recipe Courtesy of DairyGoodness.ca

A classic crème brûlée is just about as decadent as decadent gets.  A creamy baked custard topped with a crunchy layer of torched sugar…who doesn’t like that?  My favorite thing about a crème brûlée is not only its elegance, but its versatility.  If you are a lemon fan, add in some lemon zest and juice; if you are a chocolate fanatic, add in some melted chocolate of your choice; if you have some berries on hand, add them into your baking dishes before you pour in the custard mixture.  That is what I did here–plump, sweet blackberries add a perfect sweetness to the custard.  And because I love the pairing of blackberries with creme de cassis liqueur (a black currant liqueur), I added that plus some vanilla extract into the custard base as well.

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: https://www.dairygoodness.ca/recipes/blackberry-creme-brulee/)

‘Seared Salmon Noodles with Scallions’

Recipe Courtesy of Real Simple Magazine

Recipe Courtesy of Real Simple Magazine

I adore the quick-and-easy dinner ideas featured monthly in Real Simple magazine. They are just that: really simple to make, but they always include lots of flavor and fresh, healthy ingredients. For this Asian-inspired noodle dish you toss buckwheat soba noodles (which take 3 minutes to cook by the way…) with a mixture of thinly sliced snow peas, carrots, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil.  All of those lend a nice crunch to the pasta, and for added flavor (and more crunch!) in comes sliced scallions and salty roasted peanuts.  For a healthy protein, you flake seared salmon into  the mix before serving.  I like serving this dish with a squeeze of Sriracha sauce and of course, chop sticks.

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/seared-salmon-noodles-scallions)

‘Chicken Cutlets with Summer Squash & Feta’

Recipe Courtesy of Martha Stewart Living Magazine

Recipe Courtesy of Martha Stewart Living Magazine

This idea for a late summer dinner is the perfect way to use last of this season’s summer squash.  A colorful, flavorful and healthy plate, the idea starts with lightly browned chicken cutlets and then moves to a lovely side of sautéed spinach along with pan-sautéed yellow squash and zucchini.  Everything is topped off with a lovely pan sauce, crumbled feta cheese and briny capers.  The magic of this recipe also comes from the fact that it is all made in one pan! (Easy clean-up is always icing on the proverbial cake.)

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://www.marthastewart.com/1161712/chicken-cutlets-summer-squash-and-feta)

Wheatberry Soup with Black Beans, Kale & Sausage

wheatberry-soup-with-black-beans-kale-sausage

The soup I crave the most is a hearty vegetable soup like this one.  Not only are they fun to make year round, but they are healthy and a great way to use a lot of pantry staples and frozen goods that you probably already have! Take this version for example; I grabbed some frozen chicken stock from the freezer, along with frozen cooked black beans and frozen smoked turkey sausage.  A can of diced tomatoes from the pantry, along with a half cup of wheat berries and now we’re talking!

Essentially the only ingredient I had to buy to finish off the soup was a gorgeous head of Lacinato kale to toss into the soup last minute.  A lovely thing to also buy when you come across it and keep in the fridge are Parmesan cheese rinds.  Supermarkets are selling them nowadays and they keep for quite a long time; toss one into a soup like this one or even a pot of homemade marinara sauce for an added richness that only a salty hard Italian cheese can bring.

(To view this recipe, click on the blue title of the blog post above*)