Monthly Archives: October 2012

Fresh Lima Beans with Roasted Tomatoes and Artichokes

I stopped at the farm market the other day to pick up some broccoli (Cam is demanding it every day right now) and what did they have at the checkout?  Shelled fresh lima beans!  Yay!  I immediately started tasting Never Say Never Again Lima Beans in my mind.  So, into my cart they went.

I had recently seen a recipe in Whole Living magazine for a tapas dish of dried lima beans and roasted artichokes.  That was all the inspiration I needed, I was going to try a dish similar to Never Say Never, but this time using artichokes.  I had marinated artichoke hearts in the pantry, tomato confit in the freezer, garlic, sea salt, good extra virgin olive oil and the limas.  Time to play!

Fresh Lima Beans with Roasted Tomatoes and Artichokes

1/2 to 1 lb fresh lima beans, shelled (locally grown) One note – shelled limas are not as good as when you get them in the pods and shell them yourself.  That extra freshness is worth the effort, I will not fall for ‘easy’ again.

1 6.5-ounce jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained

1 1/2 cups tomato confit (from the garden) (you can also use a 14.5-ounce can of fire-roasted tomatoes)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, chopped

Sea salt, if needed

Preheat oven 375F.

In a 9 x 13 baking dish, mix together the limas, tomatoes, artichokes, oil, and garlic.

Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oven.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, enjoy!

Serves 4 as a side dish.

Categories: Kosher, Lima Beans, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: , | Leave a comment

30 x 30 Challenge – Days 22 & 23

Days 22 & 23 were pretty much a washout thanks to Hurricane Sandy.  I am glad to say that we were lucky and were unscathed.  I got out for awhile this morning to do cleanup in the garden and went for a walk, so I go in my 30 minutes today, but not yesterday.  The closest we got to nature yesterday was carving our pumpkins.

Heading out to the compost pile while the winds were still relatively light

Our wooded wetlands are wet again!

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

I love having daughters who like to bake.  We are getting spoiled by hearing “what can we make?” whenever they are home.  I have already shared posts of Arielle’s zucchini chocolate chip bread, this time it was Emily who came home and wanted to bake.

Emily had just made pumpkin bread at school so she wanted to try my recipe;  it is one I adapted from a recipe by Kayla Bennett.


I should note that I am writing this the weekend the “Frankenstorm” Sandy is expected to pound Delaware, so Arielle will also be coming home and I expect more baking to be done before the girls return to university after the storm.

Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Bread

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

2 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

1 cup cooked pumpkin, mashed

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup canola oil

3 oz. dark chocolate chips

3 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a medium bowl, mixt together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.

In a large bowl, whisk together until smooth – eggs, pumpkin, sugar, brown sugar, milk and oil.

Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, stir to blend well.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Pour into a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan.  Cook 55 – 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from pan and cook on a rack.

Slice and enjoy!  I like  mine with cream cheese.

Makes 1 loaf.

Categories: Bread, Breakfast, Dessert, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

30 x 30 Challenge – Days 19 – 21 and Blog Glitch

I want to apologize to anyone who received notification of  2 posts last night that do not exist.  I was working on early drafts of  squash bread and pesto-ricotta souffle posts, and they were accidentally published.  So, stayed tuned for those in the future, they are not quite ready for prime time yet.

Back to 30 x 30…

Day 19 – I got to spend a good amount of time out in nature – first a run on the trail at the local community college, then time working in my garden planting more onions and garlic.  Feeling – happy.

Day 20 – So what do you do the day before a hurricane is expected to hit?  Me?  I went to the pumpkin patch.  Carving pumpkins will be a great activity on the upcoming stormy days.  Of course, I also spent time prepping my garden – harvesting leafy greens, staking some of the taller broccoli in hopes of saving them.  I am expecting a good bit of loss, but hopefully not a total loss.


Day 21 – The rains begin.  It looks like my only nature time the next few days will be looking out the window as the leaves bow off my trees and the rains pound my garden.    I will be getting out for short bouts here and there, whether it will add up to 30 minutes, I am doubtful, but I will try.


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Spider Cookies with Cam

I have mentioned before how much I like  So when it came time to find something fun to make with Cam for Halloween, that is where I turned.  I needed something he could do the decorating himself, and I found their chocolate spiders – chocolate macaroons with chocolate-covered pretzels for legs.  Perfect!  He could roll pretzels in chocolate, stick them into the macaroons and even add the eyes.

Not only are these cute, they are yummy, the mix of the sweet macaroon with the richness of the dark chocolate and the saltiness of the pretzels – wow!

Chocolate Spiders 

(slightly adapted from

Spider Bodies:

4 ounces dark chocolate pieces

3 egg whites (from Farmer Kim)

1/4 cup cocoa powder 

3/4 cup granulated white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups sweetened coconut (shredded or flaked)

Chocolate-covered pretzels:

Thin stick pretzels

3 ounces semi sweet chocolate pieces

In a stainless steel bowl, over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate. Set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract.

Stir in the coconut and melted chocolate, making sure the coconut is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for about one hour, or until firm.

While the macaroon batter is chilling, melt 3 ounces (90 grams) of semi-sweet chocolate in a heat-proof bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and dip stick pretzels into the chocolate and then place on a parchment-paper or wax-paper lined baking sheet. Let dry.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. (my note – the nice thing about using the parchment paper is that I could simply slide the paper, with the macaroons on it, onto the cooling rack.) Remove the Chocolate Coconut Macaroon batter from the refrigerator and place small mounds (heaping tablespoons) of the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing several inches apart. Bake for about 15 minutesor just until the macaroons are shiny. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for a few minutes.

Chocolate Spiders: Take the warm Chocolate Coconut Macaroons and press two candy eyes and four chocolate pretzels into each side of the cookies for “legs”.

Makes about 20-24 chocolate spiders.

Read more:

Categories: Cammy's Cooking Adventures, Dessert, Kosher, Recipe | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Guy Fieri’s Tijuana Kitchen Rice

My son loves Mexican rice.  No, he LOVES Mexican rice.

I happen grow the ingredients that make Mexican rice Mexican rice – tomatoes and jalapenos.

I really enjoy cooking Guy Fieri recipes, they are always full of flavor.

So…this recipe caught my eye as a version of Mexican rice that used veggies from my garden and  some of my home-made chicken stock.

This is surprisingly tasty, well maybe not that surprising since it is Guy Fieri’s.  We had fun with it, too; Since we did not have queso fresco, my husband and son topped theirs with cheddar, for some reason I decided to top mine with blue cheese.  After gagging at the thought, once he tasted it, my husband agreed that it made a great combo!  We also added a little bit of hot salsa and used Cam’s technique of using tortilla chips as scoops to eat the rice/salsa/cheese combo – they add a great crunch!

Guy Fieri’s Tijuana Kitchen Rice

3 Tbsp canola oil  (I used 2)

1 jalapeno, chopped (from the garden)

1 red onion, diced

3 Roma tomatoes, diced (from the garden)

2 cups long grain rice (I used basmati)

3 ounces white wine

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp paprika

1 tsp black pepper

2 cups low-sodium chicken stock (I used my own home-made)

3/4 cups water

3/4 cups tomato sauce

1 tsp sea salt (we did not use it – the cheese and chips provided sufficient salt)

3 green onions, diced

1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco (or cheddar or blue cheese)

In a medium sauce pan add oil, jalapeno, onions and tomatoes.

Saute until onions are translucent.

Add rice and stir to combine.

Saute rice for 3 minutes, then deglaze with wine.

Add oregano, cumin, paprika, and black pepper.  Add chicken stock, water and tomato sauce.  Boil for 1 minute.

Cover and simmer for 25 minutes.  Do not lift lid. Season with salt.

Top with green onions and cheese.  Serve immediately.  Try the chip-scoop technique and…Enjoy!

Serves 6-8 as a side, 4-6 as a main dish.


Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: , | Leave a comment

30 x 30 Challenge – Days 16 – 18

Day 16 – Disappointments turn to opportunities.  The day was going to be a very busy day, I was stressing over how I would fit in my 30-minute nature break.  Unforeseen, my afternoon appointment was cancelled (after I had driven an hour to get there).  SopI turned around, an extra hour in my day (aside from the wasted 2 hours driving); I decided to stop on my way and walk along the Milford Riverwalk along the Mispillian River.  I sat on a bench, enjoying the sun while I poured through paint samples.  Feeling:  pleased.

Day 17 – Another busy Philly day, but a beautiful day in which I snuck in nature moments any chance I got.  Lots of time spent looking at the beautiful colors the trees are now turning, enjoying the sunshine and the last of our 70F+ weather.

Day 18 – Wilmington Riverfront walk – are you getting the hint I like water and trees?  Feeling – Content

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A Double Dose of Indian: Bhindi (Okra) & Gobi Mattar (Cauliflower and Peas)

Ode to Okra #3 is an Indian preparation – so simple and oh, so good.  But we don’t eat that alone, there is typically another dish with it; one of my favorites is cauliflower and peas.  Normally the okra would be from my garden, but given the poor harvest, I did not have enough to use my own this time.  So these dishes were made with locally grown okra and cauliflower, and peas from Farmer Kim that I had frozen earlier in the spring.

The okra can either be sliced length-wise or into rounds.  I have done it both ways, but today I did rounds.

For the cauliflower dish, the cooking time can really vary based on the size of the cauliflower pieces you use. I have had it take as long as 50 minutes, but tonight it was 20 minutes.  The key is to periodically stir and check the dish while it is cooking.

Bhindi (Okra)

(adapted from

3 Tbsp butter

1 medium onion, chopped

1 pound okra, sliced

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp salt

In a large skillet (with a lid), melt the butter over medium heat.

Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the okra and seasonings.

Cook and stir for a few minutes, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Finish off over medium-high heat, stirring, for a few minutes.

Serve over rice.  Enjoy!

Serves 4

Gobi Mattar (Cauliflower & Peas)

(adapted from Pamela Grau Twena’s The Sephardic Table)

1/4 cup canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 Tbsp parsley, chopped (from the garden)

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/8 tsp paprika

1/8 tsp turmeric

dash of pepper

1 large cauliflower, broken into florets

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen peas (formFarmer Kim)

In a large cooks pan or pot with a lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat and saute the onion until tender, about 4 minutes.

Add the garlic, parsley, and spices, cook for 3 minutes to blend the flavors.

Add the cauliflower and peas.

Cover, reduce heat to low ad cook for 20-50 minutes, stirring every so often, until the cauliflower is tender.

Serve over rice.  Enjoy!

Serves 4

Categories: Cauliflower, Kosher, Main Dish, Okra, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

30 x 30 Challenge – Days 13 – 15

Day 13 – Once again in Philly, once again stuck in a meeting room all day – this time on the Temple University campus.  But the timing worked so that I could find a nice green spot to hang out for 45minutes before my train home.  The problem with my first choice of spots was that the initially, very cute squirrels multiplied and became 4 squirrels seemingly on the attack!  Not only did they have no fear of my presence, they literally blocked my path and came up to within 1 foot of me before I hightailed it out of that cute little garden.  But it did not end there, they followed me out, how creepy is that?!  So, my feeling is – a little scared but quite amused.

Day 14 – Garden time!  I spent some early nature time taking care of my fall vegetable garden.  The plants are still babies, but growing well:  broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach, carrots and onions.  The onions won’t be ready til next year.  It is always a surprise with the broccoli and cauliflower as to whether I will get heads or not, at this point the plants look really healthy at least.

Day 15 – I enjoyed a longer walk along the Wilmington Riverfront today.  Lots of birds!  Below is a pick of one that did not seem worried by my presence.  I also was able to spend some time amidst greenery on the Penn campus – even got to hang out with Ben Franklin for a bit. 🙂

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Green Bean Polou (Persian Rice Pilaf)

Even though my green bean harvest was a bust, I have been able to piece together a few meals with what the caterpillars left me.  I had just the right amount of green beans left to try a new Persian dish.

The green beans get infused with lime flavor and baked into the rice.  You can either use dried lime or lime juice.  I have a fair share of dried limes, so I threw one into the ever-useful coffee grinder and got fresh dried lime (is that a contradiction?). The lime scent in the kitchen during the grinding was wonderful!


One of my favorite things about Persian rice dishes is the tadig, the buttery crust that forms on the bottom of the steaming pot.  This dish uses a layer of sliced potato as the tadig, another traditional approach.

Many Persian dishes use the spice “advieh”, which is not readily available here in the states, so most recipes substitute cinnamon, which is a decent alternative.  But if you can get the real thing, definitely use it!

Green Bean Polou

2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup canola oil

1 large shallot, minced

2 cups green beans, trimmed into 1 inch pieces (from the garden)

1 tsp tomato paste

3 plum tomatoes, chopped (from the garden) (I used a mix of my late harvest tomatoes)

3/4 tsp advieh (or cinnamon)

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp ground dried lime (or 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice)

2 Tbsp butter

Pinch of ground turmeric

1 large potato

Soak the rice for 30 minutes in plenty of lukewarm water, drain.

Meanwhile, put the oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot, add the shallots.  Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the shallots are lightly browned.

Add the green beans, stir and cook for 3 minutes.

Add tomato paste, tomatoes, 3 Tbsp of water, 1/4 tsp salt, and 3/4 tsp advieh.  Cover, turn the heat to low, and simmer for 12-13 minutes, until the beans are tender.  Add the lime, stir and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.  Add 1 1/2 Tbsp salt and scatter the rice into the water, bring to a boil again.  Boil the rice for 5 1/2 minutes (it should be almost done).  Drain in a colander and rinse.

Peel the potato and slice crosswise into 1/8 inch slices.

Put the butter in a nonstick pot over low heat.  Add 2 Tbsp water and the turmeric.  Lay the potato on the bottom of the pot, starting in the center and working around in circles to the outside.

Once the butter is melted, Layer 1/3 of the rice on top of the potato.

Add 1/2 the green beans on top of the rice, distributing it evenly.

Repeat the rice, green beans, and end with a final rice layer.  Press down.

Cover with a pot lid cover or towel, then the pot lid (if you use a towel, toss the ends up over the top so they do not catch fire).  Turn the heat to medium high and cook for 4 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes.

Serve on a large serving plate.  Place the plate over the rice, and invert the pot so the rice mixture is on the plate.  It may get a bit messy, but that is ok, it will still taste just as good.  This time my tadig stuck to the pot, but a little rebuilding and everything was fine. Enjoy!

Serves 4.

Categories: Green Beans, Kosher, Main Dish, Persian, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

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