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Archive for July, 2009

homemade granola

breakfast table

breakfast table

It’s funny how you just do things and don’t ask your self why; I thought this as I automatically brought ingredients to make this granola before going to the beach last weekend.  It’s another thing my mother made before went on a trip when I was growing up, and I’m only just realizing that I am continuing the tradition today. (more…)

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Blooming Hill Farm

grilled vegetables and salad

grilled vegetables and salad

Last weekend we went up to Guy Jones’  Blooming Hill Farm. I love this place and think of it as the next best thing to having a country house. Located about 60 miles from the city, it only takes a little over an hour to get to. (more…)

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sprouted spelt bread with seeds

sprouted spelt bread with seeds

“Sprouts represent the point of greatest vitality in the life cycle of a plant.”

Paul Pitchford, Healing with Whole Foods (more…)

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local blueberries

local blueberries

This one is for my father. If you saw his comment back in June he hasn’t had a decent muffin in very long time. I broke out the frozen organic blueberries (that I preserved in the freezer from the summer before) xmas morning and whipped up a batch for him.  Although it was years ago, I still clearly remember his enthusiastc response. (more…)

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Tasty Condiments

condiments

condiments

I have had a lot of requests for simple, quick meals and it’s got me thinking about how I eat at home on a daily basis. It’s definitely not complicated and time consuming but it is delicious and healthy. I think the key is to have good condiments on hand so you can turn simple whole grains and or beans into something tasty and beautiful really fast. (more…)

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polenta, romano beans and pesto

polenta, romano beans and pesto

A post about Cayuga Pure Organics has been bubbling to the surface of my blog for weeks now. I have been buying their delicious dried beans at the farmers market (recipes to follow soon) and discovered recently that they also grind their own spelt and wheat for flour, and corn into a coarse meal that inspired this polenta.
How cool is it to buy local flours with the milling date stamped on the bag!

corn meal

corn meal

I really only cook polenta for 15 minutes which makes this dish so quick and easy, and a great last minute whole grain side or main course. I had never tried grilling Romano beans before, who ever bothers with a grill pan? Usually not me, but these turned out so good that I think I’ll move my pan closer to the top of the drawer and use it instead of dreaming of country decks with outdoor grills.

romano beans in the sun

romano beans in the sun

grilling romano beans

grilling romano beans

Since the basil in my fridge just had to be used I made a pesto to accompany.
I love making pesto this way but before I had this mortar and pestle I would just finely chop all the ingredients and then mix them in a bowl. If it’s speed you’re after get out the food processor.

making pesto

making pesto

rustic pesto

rustic pesto

Today my friend Bex is coming over for lunch, and since she usually dosen’t like polenta, I was interested if this could change her mind. Luckily for me it did. It turned out creamy but had some texture from the coarse pieces of ground corn. Still, I prefer even more texture and next time, I’ll do half corn grits. This would also help prevent the meal from lumping when first added to the water.

For some color I added a few halved cherry tomatoes tossed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

If you like Parmesan cheese pass some around the table.

Rustic Pesto

2 cups chopped basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup pine nuts
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt

Place all ingredients into a mortar and pestle and crush until everything is well combined. Add sea salt to taste.
Makes about 2/3 cup

Romano beans

1 handful green romano beans, trimmed
1 handful yellow romano beans, trimmed
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt

Heat grill pan over medium heat for 4 or 5 minutes. Lightly coat beans in olive oil. Lie on grill pan in one layer and grill 4 minutes on each side. Repeat with remaining beans. Place in a serving dish and sprinkle with sea salt.

Polenta

4 cups water
2 bay leaves
pinch red pepper flakes
sea salt
1 cup corn meal or corn grits
black pepper
1 table spoon extra virgin olive oil

Put water, bay leaves, red pepper flakes and sea salt in a heavy medium size pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove bay leaves and slowly add corn meal whisking constanly. Raise heat to medium-high and continue whisking until any lumps are gone and mixture begins to bubble. Lower heat again and cook polenta for 15 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes with a wooden spoon.
Stir in black pepper, olive oil and extra sea salt to taste.
Spoon onto plates and top with beans and pesto.
Enjoy in the city or on a country deck!
Serves 4 as a main course.

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