Spicy & Sweet Roaster Cauliflower

auliflowerHeadcauliflowerRstdCauliflowerSo much good bounty at the farmers market, I love this time of year. I found this beautiful head of cauliflower, I had to spend some time with it taking it’s portrait.

This roasted cauliflower recipe so delicious and addictive. The flavor of the coconut oil and maple syrup really shine through.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons Sriracha
  • 4 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Tamari
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. In large bowl combine all the ingredients and toss around till the cauliflower is well coated.
  3. Pour the cauliflower onto the cookie sheet, make sure the cauliflower is spread out and has lots of room to breathe.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes

 

 

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Spicy Maple Candied Bacon

I am lucky enough to have this served to me when I visit Wild Country Maple Syrup farm.  This recipe transforms bacon into a sweet and salty candy treat with a nice thick chewy bite. Great to snack on its own or use in other recipes. I recommend a bloody Mary garnish.

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Ingredients
  • 1 pound sliced bacon
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a jelly roll baking pan with foil. Spray with nonstick spray.
  2. Combine maple syrup, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Drizzle the maple syrup over the slices of bacon and grind Black Pepper on top and for some more spice sprinkle some red pepper flakes.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until the bacon is browned and crisp.
  5. Let cool on a rack for a few minutes to let them dry and stiffen up.

Enjoy

RealZa

This is a new pizza I photographed that is in now in the grocer stores.  I thought I would share this today because I thought it was a great new product.  It has all natural ingredients with a nice flaky cornmeal crust. One of my favorites is the mushroom, I recommend adding fresh arugula to the top right out of the oven.  Give it a try.

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Fun with Cucumbers

Hot Off the Press: a new magazine start-up called Our Green Plate—focused on farm to table and food culture in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. #ourgreenplate

I had the opportunity to do some recipe photography for the magazine. It was so much fun to work with the art director Brian Donahue at BeDesign Inc. and Karla Spies the amazing food stylist and set design collaborator.  cucumberMartini_heroThe recipes are delicious and perfect for the bounty of cucumbers harvested from the garden.

 

Cucumber Martini

1 serving

7 1⁄2 tablespoons or a scant 1⁄2 cup vodka, preferably organic

1 1⁄2 teaspoons cucumber simple syrup*

1 cucumber 1 lime

lemon bitters (optional)

Peel and thinly slice the cucumber. Cut the lime into eighths. Place 4 cucumber slices in the bottom of a cocktail shaker and add the simple syrup. Squeeze in one of the lime pieces and muddle them together.

Fill the shaker with ice, add vodka, cover and shake for about 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Add 2 or 3 drops of lemon bitters and garnish with thin slices of cucumber.

*For cucumber simple syrup, mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water together in a small saucepan. Heat on low, stirring, until sugar is dissolved, about 5–8 minutes. Remove from heat, add 6 or so cucumber slices. Pour in glass jar and store in the refrigerator up to a week.

 

Tzatziki Dip

This is a very flexible recipe; you can make it with or without the herbs, and omit any herb you don’t like or don’t have. If you just have parsley, that’s delicious too. If you like it extra garlicky, add another clove. Bottom line: it’s basically impossible to mess this recipe up!

4 servings

1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt

  • 1⁄2  cucumber, English preferred
  • 1⁄2  tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 clove garlic, mashed to a paste or put through a garlic press olive oil

Peel and grate the cucumber on the large holes of a grater. Place in a small sieve and sprinkle with 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt. Let it sit for 10 minutes and then squeeze out all the excess water. Mix the cucumber in a small mixing bowl with the Greek yogurt, garlic, chopped herbs, and lemon juice. Allow to rest in refrigerator for an hour or more before serving to develop flavors. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. Serve on a plate or in a bowl with a little olive oil drizzled on top (optional).

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GIARDINIERA – pickled vegetables

Directions:

In a large non-reactive bowl, combine vegetables with the garlic and herbs; toss well to mix. To prepare brine: In a medium pan, combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt, crushed bay leaves, fennel seed and peppercorns. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 3 minutes (salt and sugar should be completely dissolved). Immediately pour hot brine over the vegetables, and mix gently. Allow mixture to sit undisturbed until cooled, then ladle into clean jars, distributing garlic, herbs, spices and brine as evenly as possible. Cover jars tightly and refrigerate.

Last weekend I went to the Mpls Farmers Market and picked up all these fresh vegetables.     I have wanted to do a veggie pickle, but I am pretty intimidated on the process.  In friday’s Taste section of the newspaper was this recipe for Giardiniera pickled vegetables that looked more my style. I have never pickled a vegetable before-baby steps to a full on vegetable pickle. My grandma used to make great pickels,-in hindsite I should have paid more attention to my grandma’s recipes when I was a kid.  The whole process was pretty simple and fun.  I chopped up all the vegetables, boil the brine and then pour it over the veggies and let cool to room temp. Put the veggies in some cleaned jars-toss in the refrigerator.  You can eat the veggies after a couple of hours-I let mine sit for a week before I sampled the first jar.  The veggies are still nice and crunchy and taste fresh with a little pickle bite for flavor.  The recipe says it can stay in the frig for a couple of months, but once you open a jar it’s best to eat in a day or two to keep the veggies crunchy.  I brought a jar camping this weekend and we munched on the Giardiniera vegetables with our Bloody Marys -yes they are great as garnish in your Bloody Mary.

Spicy Dark Chocolate Bacon Popcorn

Fresh popped popcorn is always a good snack or dinner.  I had a roommate in college who used to make peanut butter popcorn, ooo that was good. Till she went on a diet and we didn’t have much peanut butter popcorn after that.  This recipe is in honor of the good old days, before the freshmen 10 lbs; that still won’t go away.

What could be better than chocolate and bacon on your favorite snack.

There is a local movie theater that serves bacon popcorn. -sounds interesting- A tip I learned from a friend;  next time you’re at the movies order some junior mints with your popcorn, and mix the junior mints in with your popcorn..mmmmmm

I think this recipe is worthy a try if you like to experiment with your popcorn.