Monthly Archives: September 2010

More Cupcakes

Variety pack: raspberry, vanilla, mint, and chocolate buttercream frosting.

Seriously, no more cupcakes for awhile. I mean it.

Buttermilk Pancakes

Nothing gets my family out of bed faster than the smell of buttermilk pancakes puffing up on the stove. (Also true for roommates.) This particular recipe tastes like weekends should: light and easygoing, but a little bit indulgent. Like staying in bed snoozing for that extra hour on Saturday morning. Delicious accompanied with a dab of butter and a generous gulp of maple syrup, they also taste amazing peppered with blueberries or chocolate chips or pecans or… I love that this recipe helps me get rid of all the extra buttermilk I perpetually have in the fridge, but I’ve heard rumors that yogurt makes an equally yummy substitute.

One added benefit of these pancakes: they’re just a bit spongy, soaking up maple syrup on your plate and, once consumed, that last regrettable cocktail you had last night.

Buttermilk Pancakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 TB sugar
3/4 t baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
blueberries or chocolate chips or pecans, if desired

1) Whisk dry ingredients together.
2) In a separate bowl, blend butter and eggs, then add buttermilk and milk.
3) Add wet to dry and stir until well-combined.
4) Let batter rest 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, set a pan on medium heat.
5) Depending on pancake size preference, pour batter onto pan. Add blueberries or chocolate chips or pecans, etc.
6) When batter has been bubbling for about a minute, flip the pancake. Cook for another minute or two.
7) Eat with maple syrup. The real kind. I promise, it’s worth it.

Zucchini, Squash and Tomato Gratin

One woman’s trash is another’s treasure. Or, in this case, my mom’s surplus of squash is my opportunity to get a lil’ crazy in the kitchen. I need to know more people with CSA memberships. They have so much to give. Like vegetables. Especially as the summer comes to a close, I’m trying to find ways to throw those last lovely summer squashes into everything I consume.

So, I made a gratin. The word rolls off the tongue almost as deliciously as the meal tastes on the tongue. Sure, roasted vegetables are great, but when you add cheese and bread crumbs, there’s really no need to eat anything else. Unless you’re a lush like I am and put the gratin on top of pasta with walnut pesto.

The recipe came from Healthy Delicious. I’m kind of in love with that blog–yummy recipes. (And I won a Dutch oven from a contest held there. I admit my bias.)

Zucchini, Squash and Tomato Gratin:
olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TB fresh thyme
1 zucchini, sliced
1 summer squash, sliced
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
1 TB Italian herbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1) Heat olive oil in a medium skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook stirring occasionally, until golden brown and very soft — about 5 minutes. Stir in the thyme. Spread the onions in the bottom of a baking dish.
2) Layer the squash, zucchini and tomato in the dish. Alternate layers of vegetables with some cheese and herbs.
3) Top with the rest of the herbs de Provence and the cheese. Sprinkle a thin layer of panko bread crumbs over the top and drizzle with more olive oil.
4) Bake at 375 for 60 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

What recipes are you making to commemorate the end of the summer?

Walnut Pesto

I’m attempting to refrain from any assertions that my pesto is the best-o. For one thing, it’s not my recipe. For another, I haven’t been to Italy. Quite simply, I’m unqualified.

This pesto, however, has the mark of a good pesto, in my opinion: garlic. Keep vampires at bay. Entice humans with your culinary prowess. Everyone wins.

I like walnut pesto on homemade French bread (see above) or a simple angel hair pasta. I also slather it on pizza. (Okay, actually, I slather it on any savory carb I can find. It’s green–it’s healthy.)

This recipe is also from the Italian momma.

Walnut Pesto:
4 to 5 cups fresh basil leaves, washed and spun or patted dry (no stems)
8 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 and 1/2 to 2 cups walnuts
2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and ground pepper to taste

1) Combine garlic and walnuts in processor and chop (don’t pulverize it too much) then remove the mixture and put on plate.
2) Chop basil leaves in processor, and then add back the nut mixture. Mix a little.
3) Slowly add olive oil then shut off motor. Add all the cheese, a pinch of salt, and a liberal grinding of pepper.
4) Process briefly to combine. Refrigerate or freeze.

Roasted Broccoli

Vegetables should not taste like candy. And yet, roasted broccoli, with its caramelized freckles, bright lemon bite, and peanut-y garlic companion, could be candy. It’s the best way to eat green things. (Granted, I love plain broccoli, too. But this way is just… better.)



Unlike steamed broccoli, this broccoli maintains its crispy integrity while keeping that cooked tenderness that I adore.

I don’t know what else to say. Roasted broccoli is delicious–divine, even. It’ll make a broccoli believer out of you.

Roasted Broccoli:
A few heads of broccoli washed and dried thoroughly
3 cloves of garlic, minced
A few tablespoons of olive oil
Salt & pepper
1 lemon
Parmesan cheese

1) Cut broccoli into similarly-sized pieces and place evenly in one layer on baking sheet.
2) Drizzle olive oil over the broccoli, then sprinkle minced garlic on top.
3) Season with salt and pepper as desired.
4) Roast for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove from the oven and stir, then roast for another 10 minutes and remove from the oven.
5) Zest lemon over the broccoli, then sprinkle with lemon juice and parmesan cheese.

What’s your favorite way to eat vegetables?