De Ma Cuisine

Dairy Archive

Monday

6

October 2014

0

COMMENTS

Grape Toasts

Written by , Posted in Appetizers, Baking, Bread, Cheese, Fruit, Kid-Friendly, Lunch, Quick and Easy, Sandwiches, Sides, Snacks, Toasting, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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One of my all time favorite snacks is crackers and cheese with grapes. When I used to teach aerobics many years ago, I’d come home starving, and would eat like it had been a really long time since I’d last eaten (when in fact it had probably just been a few hours).

Back then, I wasn’t eating seasonally. I didn’t realize that grapes were a late summer/early fall fruit. I didn’t know, guys. I mean, the grocery stores have almost everything available year round. I didn’t really question where things were coming from or if it was beneficial to be eating things that were coming from so far away. I didn’t realize that they were often so flavorless because they were picked green and transported to us, so we could have oranges in June and peaches in December.

That’s just the way it was.

No longer.

At least, not for us, if we can help it.

I love that we’re eating with the seasons. Some say it’s better for your health, some say it doesn’t matter. Whatever. I’m not going to argue with them. Potential health benefits aside, I love that by buying things that are in season, we’re supporting our local/California farmers. We’re also doing the environment a favor by not buying foods that are shipped from ridiculously far away, whenever possible. We’re just two of us here in our little home, but we’re trying to do our part.

This means we wait all year for things like grapes.

It’s worth it.

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These sweet fall treats are sliced in half, seeds removed.

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A baguette is sliced about 1/2″ thick.

I would always prefer homemade. But, I don’t have any right now. They’re a bit of a process, so I don’t make them as often as I wish I would. Every time I do I decide that I’m never going to buy a baguette again (unless we’re back in Paris, obviously). Then we run out and the cycle starts over.

I digress.

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Bari’s olive oil is second to none. This goodness gets drizzled on the baguette.

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So many good things come from a sentence that begins with, “cheese is grated”. Cheddar or monterey jack would be great. Gruyère would be awesome. Havarti would be divine. Use whatever cheese is your favorite, even if it’s not one of my suggestions.

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A generous plomp of the cheese is placed on the grapes. And then it’s sprinkled with a bit of cayenne.

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I’ve used the broiler at our new house now twice. I’m a little bit scared of it. No one knows why. I think it’s that it gets so very hot and can burn things when they’re forgotten about for just a minute. Thankfully, the stove has one of those broiler drawers that pulls out, so I don’t have to lay on the floor to check on the foods. Makes it much less scary.

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I love the little crispy cheese crumbles that get stuck to the pan. I don’t usually share those.

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Last step is to drizzle each toast with a bit of honey.

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A little sweet, savory, kick of spicy treat. Perfect for right now.

Happy Eating!

Grape Toasts
Recipe Type: Appetizer, Snack, Fruit, Cheese
Author: Rachel Oberg – De Ma Cuisine
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 3 mins
Total time: 8 mins
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 6 slices baguette, about 1/2″ thick
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 9-12 grapes, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • to taste salt
  • 1/4 C cheddar or monterey jack cheese
  • pinch cayenne
  • 1 t honey
Instructions
  1. Drizzle bread with oil. Top with grapes, a sprinkle of salt, cheese, and a sprinkle of cayenne.
  2. Broil for about 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  3. Serve drizzled with honey.
3.2.1311

Monday

15

September 2014

0

COMMENTS

Cheesy Chicken and Grapes with Rice

Written by , Posted in Braising, Cheese, Dinner, Fruit, Gluten Free, Grains, Kid-Friendly, Lunch, Main Dishes, Meat, Poultry, Rice

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We don’t usually have a problem finishing off the grapes (or most any fruit that comes our way from Abundant Harvest Organics). We usually eat it raw. But, sometimes it’s super fun to try something new.

Like grapes with chicken and rice.

Oh yes I did.

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It all starts with some thighs. I had a package of two, so that’s what I used. Add more (using a larger skillet) if your family needs more.

It’s seasoned simply, with cayenne and salt. This is gonna be a simple, humble dish, where the flavors really shine.

Shine chicken shine.

Go grape! Go grape! It’s grrrrrrrrrrrrape!

(I don’t know… Sorrynotsorry. I blame it on the Christmas music I’m listening to, in the 100 degree weather, to prepare for a concert in December… Not really. But, the heat makes my brain a little kooky.)

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I made chicken stock the other day and then froze it. So, to quickly defrost the stock, I brought it to a boil. I don’t normally use hot stock when cooking rice (except when making risotto). So, you could use cold stock, if you’ve planned ahead and put it in the fridge overnight. I didn’t. Just adjust the cooking time as needed.

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Once the stock + rice + chicken comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for a few minutes.

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While these few minutes pass, halve and de-seed some grapes.

Eat them all.

Halve and de-seed some more.

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Add the grapes to the skillet. Pick them off the top of the chicken, and stir slightly into the rice. Then cook for a good long while (you know, until the rice is done and the chicken is hot). You may need to add more liquid partway through, and stir every once in a while.

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Is one of your favorite snacks crackers and cheese with grapes? Do you wait expectantly for fall to arrive, so you can eat this snack as often as possible?

I do.

So, why not add some cheddar to the mix? Right?!

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It’s sprinkled on and popped in to the broiler for just about 3 minutes. It’s like a bazillion degrees in there, so it’s not gonna take long. Don’t leave the kitchen to go wash your hair while it broils. You may have a smoky situation on your hands if you do.

Also, you remembered to use an ovenproof skillet, right? I know you did. But, just making sure. ‘Cause if you decided to not use one AND wash your hair while it broils, well, that’d be just disastrous. Let’s avoid kitchen catastrophes when possible.

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Once the rice is cooked, the chicken and rice all kinda brown a bit, creating this amazing sauce that I just want to soak up with a piece of crusty bread.

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Apples go so nicely with grapes and cheese, so serve some (on their own, or in a salad) with this easy, comforting dish that welcomes fall (cough cough, seriously, fall, let’s do this now, enough with the hundred degree weather).

Happy Eating!

Cheesy Chicken and Grapes with Rice
Recipe Type: Dinner, Main Dish, Meat, Chicken, Fruit, Grapes
Author: Rachel Oberg – De Ma Cuisine
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 96 mins
Total time: 1 hour 46 mins
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2-3 chicken thighs
  • to taste salt
  • dash cayenne
  • 2-3 C hot chicken or vegetable stock (or water)
  • 1 C brown rice
  • 1 C grapes, halved, seeds removed
  • 1 C cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 apple, sliced, for serving
Instructions
  1. Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, add olive oil. When oil is hot, add chicken. Sprinkle with salt and cayenne. Sear on each side for 3 minutes.
  2. Add 2 C stock, rice, and salt. Stir gently around chicken (make sure all rice is in stock, not on top of chicken). Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add grapes, and simmer, adding more liquid if needed, cooking until chicken reaches 180F and rice is to desired tenderness, about 45-50 minutes (cooking uncovered, until the last 20-30 minutes), stirring occasionally.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Top with cheese and broil for 3 minutes.
  5. Serve with a side of apples.
3.2.1311

Thursday

28

August 2014

3

COMMENTS

Squash and Scrambled Egg Wraps

Written by , Posted in Breakfast, Brunch, Cheese, Dinner, Eggs, Fruit, Kid-Friendly, Low Carb, Lunch, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Thoughts, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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My family lives entirely too far away from me. Or I live too far away from them. Today has been one of those days where I’m missing them especially a lot.

Sniff. I’ll be ok. It’s always too long in between in person visits, but I’m always thankful for the technology like Skype, so we can talk and see each others faces every week. Usually at some point someone sounds like a robot, there’s a delay and we all talk over each other, or it sounds like there’s a train rushing by at someone’s house. But, we’re hearing each other’s voices, seeing each other’s faces, from so far away.

If Anja (who is almost 2 years old) is on, we’re just dying at the cuteness, as she says our names and chats about the puzzle she just got.

Oh I love technology…

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These wraps seem like the kind of thing that we would enjoy together when we’re all gathered around the table for a meal. In person. All of us at the same table.

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We all enjoy food. In fact, all three of us kids are involved in the food industry in some way. My mom and dad have a banquet hall and have passed on their love for eating, cooking, and gardening to us. I have fond memories of plucking still warm raspberries and cherry tomatoes from the garden that we had in our backyard growing up. There are so many things about those years that I find myself trying to duplicate now as an adult with my own home.

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I don’t know if I was crazy about squash as a kid. Mom would hide it in “Zoo Bread” (made with zucchini), which we loved. But, I love squash now and can’t get enough of it this summer especially.

One of my favorite easy lunches is Squash’n Eggs. This is almost the same thing, just topped with cheese and salsa, and all wrapped up.

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If possible, I always have eggs on hand. They’re the perfect meal saver. From pasta topped with a fried egg, to Pasta Carbonara, to Roasted Broccoli and Fried Egg Sandwiches, it’s eggs to the rescue.

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I whisked the eggs with a little bit of milk, some salt, and pepper. Keeping it simple.

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Once the eggs start to set, they get scraped off the bottom of the pan a bit. Low heat is key with scrambled eggs. Cook them gently.

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Once they’re just set, they’re ready.

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Half of the mixture is scooped out on to each tortilla. Whole wheat for me, white for Tim. It’s what we both prefer.

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I like to add a little bit of monterey jack or cheddar cheese to them. Tastes so good.

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A plomp of salsa, then they get rolled up. My whole wheat tortillas aren’t as flexible as Tim’s white ones. But, even cracked, they taste good.

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We have tons of fresh tomatoes right now and they’ve got the most incredible flavor, so we’re eating them on everything! I hope you are too. And, I especially hope that you’re enjoying these wraps with your family. Even if it’s just via Skype.

Happy Eating!

Squash and Scrambled Egg Wraps
Recipe Type: Main, Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Brunch, Quick and Easy, Eggs, Vegetarian
Author: Rachel Oberg – De Ma Cuisine
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
One of the quickest, easiest lunches for those super busy days. Squash and scrambled eggs are topped with cheese and salsa, and all wrapped up.
Ingredients
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 medium summer squash, chopped
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1/2 C corn
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 T milk or water
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 2 tortillas
  • 1/4 to 1/2 C monterey jack (or cheddar) cheese, grated
  • salsa
  • 1 tomato, chopped, for topping
Instructions
  1. Heat skillet, add oil, when oil is hot add squash, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium-low heat. Add corn and cook for about 2 minutes more.
  2. Turn heat to low. Whisk together eggs, milk or water, salt, and pepper. Add to squash skillet. Gently scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or heat-safe spatula to scrape up the eggs as some bits begin to set. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until eggs are just set, scraping occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  3. Scoop egg mixture into the tortillas. Top with cheese and salsa. Fold ends in and then sides.
  4. Serve topped with tomato.

 

Monday

4

August 2014

0

COMMENTS

Summer Pizza

Written by , Posted in Baking, Cheese, Dinner, Fruit, Herbs, Lunch, Main Dishes, Pizza, Quick and Easy, Vegetables, Vegetarian

SummerPizza-8Eeets thyme fur peeeetsa.

Sorry. Kinda. It’s been one of those days. Sometimes stress is released in the form of weirdness.

And managed by eating pizza.

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Cutting veggies is therapeutic too. I have lots of cutting boards, and two are designated for onions and garlic. My beautiful new cutting board is not one of them. I never want anything sweet to accidentally taste like raw onions. Nope. Yuck. So I have two cutting boards with an X on the back that are special and a little bit stinky. 

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We had a similar pizza to this the other week. Ahem, I did. Tim doesn’t agree that squash belongs on a pizza. He will eat it in pretty much anything else though, so it’s cool. He made his own personal pizza and I made mine. Mine had lots of veggies. His didn’t. They both tasted good.

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I used Alana’s recipe for the pizza crust (from her cookbook). You can use hers, or whatever you would normally use. I like my crust thin and crispy. If you like it thicker and chewier, adjust the recipe accordingly.

Because of my taste for crispness, I like to par-bake the crust a bit before topping it.

Par-bake means to partially bake it (as par-cook means to partially cook).

I topped it with a bit of olive oil and some herbs, because I wanted two layers of herby flavor. (Helpful tip: If you need some bread to go accompany a dish and you don’t have a baguette on hand, you could just all the way bake the crust and eat it like a sort of focaccia bread.)

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Then it’s topped with some tomato sauce (it’s also great with olive oil if you don’t like sauce), and more herbs.

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Lots of different veggies, like kale, zucchini, corn, and tomato (tomato is a fruit, but in this case let’s pretend it’s a veggie since it’s acting like one), but not so many that it weighs down the pizza. It’s still a light summer meal.

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I opted for some parmesan and an aged cheddar. Because it’s what I have in the fridge.

I’d planned to use feta, but it’s smelled baaaaad. There’s stinky cheese and then there’s steeeeenky cheese.

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It’s topped with a bit of basil (from my garden – all the basil that I got as an add-on from AHO last week is gone gone gone). And as soon as the last photo was taken I ate as much as I could, as quickly as possible because I was starving! And then I ate it again today before I typed up this post.

Happy Eating!

Summer Pizza
Recipe Type: Main, Dinner, Pizza
Author: Rachel Oberg – De Ma Cuisine
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Summer squash, corn, and tomatoes all top this light summer pizza.
Ingredients
  • 2 t olive oil, divided
  • 1 pizza crust
  • 2 t dried Italian herbs (mixture of basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme, and parsley), divided
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1/4 C tomato sauce (optional – could also just use olive oil)
  • 12-15 slices zucchini/summer squash
  • 8-10 tomato slices
  • 2 T raw corn (frozen is fine)
  • 1/4 C kale (spinach, chard, collard greens), cut in a chiffonade (small ribbons)
  • 2 T green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 C cheese (parmesan and cheddar), grated
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • fresh basil, for topping
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 450F.
  2. Grease pizza pan with 1 t olive oil. Press out crust onto pan so it’s fairly thin. Top crust with remaining olive oil, and sprinkle with 1 t Italian herbs, salt, and pepper. Bake for about 5 minutes (optional – you can bake it all at once too).
  3. Top par-baked crust with sauce, remaining Italian herbs, veggies, cheese, salt, and pepper. Bake an additional 7 minutes (or until crust is to desired crispness and cheese is melted – it will be longer for thicker crusts).
  4. Serve topped with fresh basil.

Monday

28

July 2014

0

COMMENTS

Parsnip Fries with Dip

Written by , Posted in Appetizers, Cheese, Condiments, Dinner, Gluten Free, Herbs, Kid-Friendly, Leftovers, Lunch, Quick and Easy, Roasting, Sides, Snacks, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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I have something to confess. Other than roasting parsnips, or using them in soups, I don’t have many other ways that I use them.

Maybe because I know how good they are roasted. Think fried plantains meets roasted carrots.

I figured that it was time to try something a little bit different. I mean, I’m still roasting them, but this time there’s dip.

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As with most of the veggies that I roast, they are tossed with Bari’s Organic Olive Oil, salt, and pepper. Simple.

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Then they go onto a baking sheet with a bit of room around each one. They’ll roast a bit better that way. I used two baking sheets for the seven parsnips, flipping the parsnips and rotating the sheets in the oven partway through.

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And then there is dip.

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A creamy, herby, garlicky dip.

You could dip so many things in this. Roasted veggies, obviously. Fresh veggies, yum. Or you could thin it out a little with some buttermilk and make it into a salad dressing.

The taste is a bit like caesar dressing meets ranch dressing.

Or, goodness in a bowl.

Confession number two: I couldn’t stop dipping.

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I can’t get enough of roasted veggies. They get all crispy on the outside, and tender on the inside.

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I made these to eat while we watched the All-Star Game the other week.

They’re best hot out of the oven, but room temperature is perfectly acceptable too.

If you don’t eat them all in one sitting (it was difficult for me to not eat them all before Tim even got home from work) and there are leftovers here are some yummy ways you could use them:

  1. Re-heated in some tinfoil (closed to start with, then once they’re warm, open to let them crisp up).
  2. Chopped up and sautéed with some greens.
  3. Re-heated and pulsed a couple times in the food processor (regular blender/hand blender) with some of the dip to serve alongside a roasted chicken.
  4. Chopped and added to soup (near the end of the cooking time).

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If you do eat them all in one sitting, I understand.

Happy Eating!

Parsnip Fries with Dip
Recipe Type: Side, Snack, Appetizer
Author: Rachel Oberg – De Ma Cuisine
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Sweet and crispy roasted parsnips are dipped in a creamy garlicky herb dip, making a delicious appetizer or snack.
Ingredients
  • 7-8 parsnips, cut into 3/8″ x 3/8″ x 3″ sticks (or French fry shape)
  • 1-2 T olive oil
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • dip: 3/4 C yogurt
  • 1/4 C parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • pinch ginger
  • 1/2 T honey
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 t dried thyme
  • 1/4 to 1/2 t dried parsley
  • 1/4 C fresh basil
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1/4 C olive oil
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
  2. Toss parsnips with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on two baking sheets, without overcrowding. Bake for 10-15 minutes, flip, rotate position in the oven, and bake for about 10 minutes more (or until parsnips are crispy outside, tender inside).
  3. Blend dressing ingredients together (in food processor or blender). Adjust seasoning if needed.
  4. Serve immediately.
Notes
This makes a lot of dip, so you could probably halve the recipe and be just fine… probably. 😉