Kale Caesar Salad

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I love a good caesar salad, and I love kale. So I was pretty excited to give this recipe from Real Simple magazine a shot. Couldn’t have been easier to make! Caesar dressing isn’t the healthiest thing out there, but kale is so incredible good for you that you don’t feel as bad when you’re scooping out mayo and mixing it with cheese. I put some onion in seeing the recipe called for it, but am not a huge raw onion fan. In the future I might leave this out or substitute it for something else like shredded carrots.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Medium bunch of kale, stemmed and leaves chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper

Start by boiling your eggs, as they will take about 10 minutes to cook. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, Djion mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Chop your kale, egg, and onion. Toss together and combine well. That’s it!

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Roasted Vegetables with Lentils

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As I’m sure you have noticed, a lot of my recipes are the result of whatever items I am surprised with in my CSA bag each week. This week I got a bunch of nice roasting vegetables as well as lentils, so when I came across this recipe on Whole Living, it was meant to be! And very delicious. The great thing about roasting a ton of vegetables together is that you can use them in different ways for your other meals over the next few days. I ended up making parmesan polenta topped with my leftover vegetables and a poached egg the next night. Can’t go wrong!

Ingredients:
1 red onion (or two small), cut into quarters
1 small shallot, halved
3 carrots and/or parsnips, halved lengthwise
1 acorn squash, halved, seeds removed and cut into 1/2 inch slices
Brussel sprouts (about 10-15)
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried green lentils, rinsed
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Course salt and pepper

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut up the vegetables and place on a baking sheet (everything but the celery) and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bake in oven for 30 minutes, turning once half way through.

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20130119-143656.jpg Next, rinse the lentils well then add them along with the shallot to a pot of water, covering everything by two inches or so. Bring to a boil then simmer, covered, until the lentils become tender, about 20 minutes. In the meantime, mix your vinegar and mustard in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. When your lentils are ready, drain and toss the shallots. In a medium bowl, mix together the lentils, celery, and dressing. Salt and pepper to taste.

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20130119-144823.jpg Remove roasted vegetables from the oven. To plate, scoop some of the lentil mixture and top with the vegetables…enjoy!

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Mom’s Raspberry Turnovers

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Another special recipe my mom agreed to share while I was home! She makes these raspberry turnovers every Christmas and I LOVE them. And now I have the recipe. So I shall make them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until the end of time.

Ingredients:
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Raspberry preserves/jam

She makes the dough the day before and lets it sit in the fridge overnight to harden. I wasn’t there when she made the dough, so I don’t have photos for that part, but it’s pretty simple: mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside. In a separate bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla, until light and fluffy. Mix in the flour a little bit at a time until fully incorporated. Remove from the bowl and shape into a ball. Wrap in Saran wrap/waxed paper and place in the fridge overnight.

When you are ready to make the turnovers, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees and remove the dough from the fridge, dividing it into four parts with a knife. Work with one part at a time and throw the rest in the fridge to keep cold. Flour your surface, dough, and rolling pin then roll out your dough into a big rectangle shape, leaving it 1/8 of an inch thick. If it’s too thin then it is more likely to tear. From here, use a sharp knife to cut out little 4×3 shapes.20130117-204836.jpg20130117-204908.jpg20130117-204947.jpg

Plop a scoop of jam in the center and fold in half. Use a fork to seal the edges. Flouring the fork here and there helps it from sticking. Poke a few little holes in each turnover (to keep them from exploding when in the oven) and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Work fast otherwise the dough will warm up and begin to stick to things. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

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Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure they cool enough before you eat them. Many times in the past I have been very impatient and burned a layer of skin off my tongue!

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Beef Stew and Vegetables

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I love beef stew! How can you not? Great comfort food if you ask me. My grandmother (the famous Bumma) puts dumplings in her recipe and I absolutely love it. I believe she makes them with Bisquick actually, which is a neat trick! I had never made beef stew myself, and when I came down with a cold this week, I wanted something warm and hearty to make me feel better. It was also great timing because I happen to receive most of the vegetables I needed right in my CSA this week! I’d also like to note that I bought my meat at Dickson’s Farmstand in Chelsea Market, which is a really great place for local (and humanely raised) meat products. Always important to believe in the food you’re eating!

Ingredients: (adapted from the Pioneer Woman)
2 lbs stew meat, I bought chuck
4 whole carrots, roughly sliced
4 whole potatoes, quartered
1 whole medium onion (or two small in my case), diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 12oz can beer
4 cups beef stock (or you can use bouillon cubes w/water)
2 tablespoons tomato pasta
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1-1/2 teaspoon sugar
Parsley for topping (optional)

Start by heating your butter and oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. I got to use my new Dutch oven for the first time which was exciting (thanks Santa!). Brown the meat in two batches and place on a plate off to the side. Make sure not to overcook the meat at this point, otherwise it will get chewy later.

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Dice your onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion to the pot first and cook about two minutes until it starts to become translucent, then throw in the garlic and cook for an additional minute or so. Next, add the beef broth followed by the beer, which will make it get a little foamy on top! Cut the meat into nice bite size chunks and add that as well.

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Next add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, salt, pepper, paprika and sugar. Cover and cook for 90mins-2hrs.

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When there was about 15mins left, I washed and roughly chopped my carrots and potatoes. It was nice because I actually had a few orange carrots, some yellow ones, and some parsnips that I used. Plus my potatoes were purple! Quite the tie-dye stew I was making. When the 90 mins were up, I was expecting my stew to have thickened a lot more than it did, but I continued with adding my carrots and potatoes anyway and let it cook for another 30 minutes until the vegetables softened. What I ended up doing to thicken it a tiny bit was mix 2 tablespoons of flour with half a cup of cold water, then adding that to the stew which helped a little bit, especially after it sat a little. Came out really great, and I’ve been eating it all week!

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Mom’s Coconut Chocolate Roll

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My mom makes some really great desserts around the holidays, and this is one of them! When I was home for Christmas she agreed to share her special recipe and let me photograph her making it. What a lady, huh? Hope this makes you as warm and happy as it makes me!

Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter
1 cup chopped nuts (we used walnuts)
1 1/3 cup shredded coconut
1 (15oz) can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Line a 15x10in baking sheet with parchment paper. Make sure the the paper comes up over the edges, this will be helpful later. Melt the butter and pour it over the parchment and spread it around. Sprinkle evenly with shredded coconut, followed by the chopped nuts. Next, drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the entire pan. Place aside.

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In a mixing bowl, beat 3 eggs at high speed for 2 minutes. Gradually add the 1 cup of sugar, followed by the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, water, and vanilla extract (I forgot a few photos here, my mom moves fast!). Blend well. Pour this over the coconut/nut mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until the cake springs back then touched in the center.

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After removing the cake from the oven, sprinkle with the powdered sugar. It helps to fold back the parchment a little to unstick the cake from the edges, this way when you roll it, it’s already a little loose. Place a clean kitchen towel over the cake, followed by a flat cookie sheet. Hold the edges tight and flip over onto a flat surface! Remove the top baking sheet and parchment paper.

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To roll the cake, start at one end using the towel to help guide it. You’ll notice as you pull the towel up and over, the cake will continue to roll up. Great trick! Once all rolled up, remove the towel and wrap it up in plastic wrap, as well as foil. Place in fridge over night so that it firms up.

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