Granola Bark

From the new Tartine All Day cookbook. This is my latest favorite cookbook and it is chock full of wonderful recipes! The bark is good for snacking and the crumbs are perfect for ice cream!

1½ teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
3 cups Rolled Oats, not quick-cooking
1¼ cups Almonds, chopped
1¼ cups Shredded Coconut, unsweetened
½ cup Flax or Chia Seeds, whole or ground
¼ cup Sesame Seeds
½ cup Almond or Hazelnut Flour
½ cup Maple Syrup or Honey, or ¼ cup of each
½ cup Coconut Sugar
¼ cup Water
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
½ teaspoon Sea Salt
⅓ cup Olive or Vegetable Oil
1 Large Egg White, whisked until frothy

Combine the cinnamon, oats, almonds, coconut, flax or chia seeds, sesame seeds and almond flour or hazelnut flour in a large bowl.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 13 x 18 inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Combine the maple syrup or honey (or a mix of both), coconut sugar, water, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove from the heat and let cool to warm room temperature.
Add the olive oil and egg white to the cooled syrup mixture and whisk to incorporate. Pour over the oats mixture and mix well.
Spread the mixture evenly across the prepared baking sheet. Using another same-size baking sheet or the bottom of a pot, press the mixture down firmly to compact it before baking.
Bake for 45 minutes or longer, until dark golden brown, rotating the sheet after about 15 minutes to promote even browning. While the granola bakes, open the oven door a couple of times to release steam.
Set the baking sheet on a cooling rack until the surface of the granola is crisp. Leave the oven on. If the surface is still tacky to the touch once it has cooled, return the pan to the oven and continue baking for another 10 to 15 minutes, checking every 5 minutes. Don’t let the bark get too dark, or it’ll taste bitter.
Once cool, break the bark into pieces and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, or in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting

From the Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten)-another fabulous recipe. The cake is so light and the frosting is so delicious! Very easy to make and a perfect chocolate cake!

12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt2/3 cup hottest tap water
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Pernigotti
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
2/3 cup half-and-half

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 × 13 × 2-inch baking pan. Line with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.

Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer -fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl. On medium speed, add the vanilla, then beat in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated and the batter is smooth.

Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. In another bowl or a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the hot water, cocoa powder, and espresso powder until smooth. Add the half-and-half and whisk until smooth. With the mixer on low, add the flour and chocolate mixtures alternately in thirds, starting and ending with the flour. With a rubber spatula, scrape down the bowl to be sure the batter is well mixed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan. Turn out onto a flat platter or board and frost the top with the mocha frosting. Cut in squares and serve.

Mocha Frosting (Frosts one 9 x 13-inch Cake)
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, such as Lindt, ¼-inch-chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1¼ cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon Kahlúa
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place the chocolate, butter, and espresso powder in a bowl. Heat the cream to simmer and pour it over the chocolate mixture, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted. (If the chocolate isn’t melted, microwave the mixture for 15 seconds.) Stir in the Kahlúa and vanilla and stir until the mixture is smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes only, until cool but not cold.

Scrape down the bowl and beat the frosting with a handheld mixer on high speed for 15 to 20 seconds only, until the mixture forms soft peaks. (If you overbeat it, it will curdle!) Note: I beat my frosting for at least 1-2 minutes-watching it very carefully! Spread on the cake immediately with a metal spatula.

Loca’s Pork Green Chile

From Denver’s Work+Class restaurant, this is the best green chile recipe I have ever made! I skinned and seeded all of the peppers as there was no way I would be able to eat it with the heat from all of the chilies. The poblano peppers add so much depth to the recipe, both in flavor and texture.

10 fresh New Mexico or Anaheim green chiles, or 1 lb. thawed frozen New Mexico green chiles
5 poblano chiles
2 jalapeño chiles
6 medium tomatillos, husked and rinsed well in warm water, then dried
1 large white onion, halved and peeled
About 6 tbsp. canola oil, divided
3 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 1/2-in. cubes
6 garlic cloves, gently smashed and peeled
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon coriander
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano leaves
About 1 tbsp. kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 qts. low-sodium or homemade chicken stock
1 bunch fresh cilantro with stems
6 fresh epazote leaves* (optional)
For topping:
2/3 cup each crumbled fresh goat cheese or queso fresco
very thinly sliced red radishes
toasted salted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
chopped cilantro
Warm corn tortillas

Preheat a grill to medium heat (350° to 400°). Put chiles, tomatillos, and onion in a very large bowl. Drizzle with about 3 tbsp. oil and turn to coat well. Grill vegetables, covered, turning as needed, until softened and charred in spots, about 12 minutes. Let cool.
Meanwhile, heat 3 tbsp. oil in a 6- to 8-qt. pot over medium-high heat. In three or four batches, brown pork pieces until golden brown, adding more oil as needed, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer pork with a slotted spoon to a bowl.
Stem chiles, but don’t peel or seed them **I highly recommend seeding them and peeling them as much as you can
Return pot to medium heat, add garlic, and cook until pale brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in cumin, coriander, oregano, 1 tsp. salt, and the pepper; let sizzle 1 minute. Stir in grilled vegetables and cook, uncovered and stirring occasion­ally, 5 to 8 minutes to blend flavors.
Add stock, cover pot, and bring to a boil; then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer 20 minutes, covered.
In batches, blend vegetables with their liquid, the cilantro, and epazote (if using) until almost smooth. Fill blender no more than half-full and cover blender top with a towel, since hot liquids can spurt up.
Pour green chile sauce back into pot, add pork, and simmer, covered, over low heat until pork is very tender, about 1 hour. Season with 2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste.
Ladle into bowls and top with goat cheese, radishes, pepitas, and chopped cilantro. Serve with tortillas.

Street Corn Pasta

From A Cozy Kitchen’s blog, called Creamy Elote pasta-a wonderful recipe for summer corn!

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ears of corn, husks and silk removed
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 pound pasta (I used spaghetti)
3/4 cup reserved pasta water
4 tablespoons crumbled cotija cheese, plus more as garnish
Juice from 1 lime
1 bunch of cilantro, stems removed, minced
To a medium to large skillet or Dutch oven, set over medium heat, add the butter. When melted, add the corn kernels, shallot and garlic. Cook until the shallot has softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cayenne, salt and heavy cream; cover the pot to cook for about 5 to 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (mine took about 8 to 9 minutes). Scoop out about 1 cup of pasta water and set it aside. Drain the pasta and set aside.
To the corn mixture, add 3/4 cup reserved pasta water, juice from 1 lime and mix. Cook until warmed, about 1 minute. Add the pasta, the crumbled cotija cheese and toss until combined. If you need to, add a bit more pasta water or cream. Give it a taste and adjust the salt to your liking (it should be ok!).
Divide amongst bowls or plates and garnish with a bit more cotija cheese and some leaves of cilantro.

Pasta with Pesto, Peas and Chicken

I like all of the flavors in this pasta-it is good hot, cold or room temperature. I use the pesto recipe from my August 10, 2015 recipe. You can use leftover chicken from a roast chicken dinner or buy a rotisserie chicken from the market. I think you could use any pasta but I chose small bowtie pasta as it is similar to the size of the shredded chicken.

1 recipe pesto, see above link
1 c. frozen peas
2 c. bowtie pasta
reserved pasta water
2 c. shredded chicken

Cook the pasta til al dente, add frozen peas for 20 seconds. Reserve about 1 c. of pasta water. Drain pasta and peas. Thin the pesto out with 1/2 c. of pasta water. Add pasta, peas and chicken. Season to taste.

Cold Cucumber Soup with Shrimp

From Ina Garten-another winner! I used my home grown cucumbers, peeled and seeded. I would reduce the salt for sure. The flavor and texture is perfect! The shrimp garnish is wonderful in this soup and dresses it up.

2 (17-ounce) containers Greek yogurt
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
3 hothouse cucumbers, unpeeled, seeded and chopped
3/4 cup chopped red onion
9 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (6 lemons)
3/4 pound cooked large shrimp, halved
Thin slices of lemon, halved, for garnish
Fresh dill, for garnish

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yogurt, half-and-half, cucumbers, red onion, scallions, salt, and pepper. Transfer the mixture in batches to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until the cucumbers are coarsely pureed and then pour into another bowl. Continue processing the soup until all of it is pureed. Fold in the dill, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until very cold.

Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice. Serve chilled, garnished with the shrimp, lemon, and fresh dill.

Green Corn Soup plus Corn Stock

From Field of Greens cookbook by Annie Somerville. The corn stock only simmers an hour so you can be prepping the soup ingredients while it cooks. The corn stock makes a huge difference in this soup and adds lots of flavor. Use your own discretion about the jalapeños (or you can use serranos)-the soup is not overly spicy as you seed the peppers which removes the heat.

Corn Stock
Shaved corn cobs, broken in thirds or halves (I used the cobs from the 6 ears for the soup)
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 medium size potato, sliced
1 celery rib, sliced
5 parsley sprigs, coarsely chopped
5 garlic cloves, in their skin, crushed on the side of the knife blade
1 t. salt
1/2 peppercorns
9 c. cold water
Combine all ingredients in a stockpot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for one hour. Strain stock, pressing out as much liquid as possible. Discard vegetables. Yield about 7 cups.

Green Corn Soup

Corn Stock (about 5 cups)
1 T. light olive oil
1 large onion, diced into 2 cups
3 garlic cloves, chopped
6 ears of corn, shaved (about 6 cups)
cayenne pepper
3/4# tomatillos, husked and halved
2-3 green jalapeños, seeded and chopped
5 cilantro springs
2 T. chopped cilantro
Make stock and keep warm over low heat. Heat olive oil in a soup pot and add onion, garlic, and 1/2 t. salat. Saute over medium heat until onion is soft, 5-7 minutes. Add the corn, a few pinches of cayenne, 1 t. salt; saute until corn is heated through, then add 2 cups of stock, cover and simmer 20-25 minutes until the corn is tender. Set aside 2 cups of sautéed corn to add to soup later. Add tomatillos and one jalapeño and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Puree the remaining jalapeños with 1/4 c. stock in blender, set aside. Add cilantro sprigs and puree the soup with 1 cup stock in blender or food processor. Pass it through a food mill for smooth texture and return to pot. Add reserved corn and stock to desired texture. Season with salt and jalapeño puree to taste. Cook over low heat for 25 minutes. Add chopped cilantro just before serving.

Carrot Cake

From King Arthur Flour, a wonderful company and resource of great recipes. I did not have the pineapple although I love the sound of either the dried pineapple or the can of crushed pineapple. I substituted 1/3 c. golden raisins that I soaked in 2 T. Meyers rum. This cake easily serves 24 small squares, you don’t need more than that! I think you could also make this into a layer cake-2 or 3 8 or 9″ layers but you may need a little more frosting. Please excuse the bad photo as I had already cut up the cake and shared it with friends to get a whole picture!

4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) melted butter
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
3 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
1 cup diced pecans or walnuts, toasted if desired
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (preferred) or sweetened coconut
1/2 cup diced dried pineapple*
*Substitute one 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained and squeezed dry, if preferred
3/8 cup (6 tablespoons) butter, room temperature
1 cup cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk, or enough to make frosting spreadable, if necessary.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan.
Combine the eggs, sugars, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until smooth.
Mix the melted butter with the oil. With the beater running, add the oil mixture in a stream, beating until smooth.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, leaveners, salt, and spices. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring to make a smooth batter.
Stir in the carrots, nuts, coconut, and pineapple.
Spoon the batter into the pan, spreading it to the edges.
Bake the cake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the cake is golden brown, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven, and cool in the pan.
To make the frosting: combine the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and salt in a medium-sized bowl, and beat together until light and fluffy.
Add the sugar gradually, beating well.
Add the milk a little at a time, until the frosting is a spreadable consistency.
Spread frosting over the cake. Garnish with minced crystallized ginger, if desired.