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    Oven-Roasted Fiddleheads with Capers and Lemon #SundaySupper

    Another Sunday … another Sunday Supper Movement. This week hosted by Christie at A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures. Stop by and check out her blog … scroll to the bottom and check out all of the Healthy Green Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day.

    I will admit from the outset, that this recipe has been sitting on my to-do list since last spring. I’ve just had a hard time sitting in front of this computer and writing. Seeing this week’s theme jolted me into, Come on, girl, get off yer are and write. So here I am.

    Besides, it’s cold here in Maine. I am longing for springtime. Remembering this recipe and the lovely spring day I found these green beauties makes me warm and happy. Perhaps by you, the little fiddleheads are pushing through the ground as you read.

    Fiddleheads are the young unfurled fronds of ferns that pop their little heads out of the ground in the spring. Usually an Ostrich Fern. You harvest them in the spring before they unfurl and are close to the ground. This involves a lot of tramping around – well, treading lightly around the woods, peering on the ground for these little prized gems. Usually under or near trees, so they’re in a cool-ish, damp-ish place. You cut close to the ground and try not to take too many from the same cluster so as not to kill the fern – we’ll want more next year, right?

    They are high in omega- 3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and high in iron and fiber and potassium.

    They are fiddly to clean – hahaha, get it? Fiddleheads? Fiddly? – oh, I crack myself up. Cutting off the bottom, peeling the brown papery stuff and soaking, and soaking, and soaking.

    But once soaked they look like this:

    Cool, right? And a little weird.

    I wanted the preparation method to be light as the flavor of the Fiddlehead is delicate. They taste like spring-time, a little grassy, a little nutty, a bit like an asparagus. and I think a bit like an artichoke.

    • cups fiddleheads
    • tablespoons capers
    • tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4teaspoon sea salt
    • 1-2 thin lemon slices

    NOTE: I left the capers out. Someone here has an issue with capers. I’m not quite sure what or shy, but for marital harmony, I left them out.

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

    Wash fiddleheads thoroughly, in at least 2-3 changes of water. Trim away any brown, woody ends of fiddlehead stems.

    Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and blanch fiddleheads for 5 minutes. Drain and plunge into an ice water bath to stop cooking.

    Drain thoroughly and toss with lemon juice, olive oil, capers, salt and lemon slices.

    Spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 8-12 minutes, until lightly browned and crisp around the edges.

    Healthy Green Foods for St. Patrick’s Day

    Healthy Green Main Meals

    Super Green Side Dishes

    Sunday Supper MovementThe Sunday Supper Movement is committed to bringing our readers delicious recipes that encourage them to gather and eat together around the family table. Search for your favorite ingredients on our Sunday Supper website. Also check out the Sunday Supper Pinterest boards for plenty more ideas and inspiration.

    Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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    Caramel Brownies

    Brownies.

    I love brownies.

    I’m not much of a sweet tooth person, but I am a total sucker for a good brownie. Tell me I can make brownies  in a small batch and you’ve won me completely.

    Most of my brownie recipes call for an 8×8 pan, so to me these aren’t really small batch, but still totally worth it.

    I am totally addicted to Dessert for Two … not just desserts, but dinners for two as well. With just the Dear One and I at home these days, I always have a hard time cooking for just two people. Christina is the solution for everything … desserts, mains, drinks, cookies! It’s all there!

    We invited our dear friend Dave for dinner and while dessert isn’t usually on the menu, one of the dear daughters brought chocolates, lots of chocolates to the house. One of the selections was Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Caramel squares. The stars aligned. Tonight we needed dessert and this had to be the one.

    • 10 T unsalted butter, diced
    • 1 1/4 C granulated sugar
    • 3/4 C + 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
    • 1/2 t espresso powder
    • 1/4 t salt
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/2 C all-purpose flour
    • 9 caramel-filled chocolates

    NOTE: I used Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate & Salted Caramel squares.

    Preheat the oven to 325, and make sure an oven rack is in the lower third of the oven.

    Line a 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper in two directions, overlapping. Leave enough excess to make handles so it’s easier to pull the brownies out once they’re baked.

    NOTE: My parchment paper is really wide, so I just used one piece and tucked it in. I always find it hard to keep the paper in place and those large metal clips do the trick.

    Next, in a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar and cocoa powder.

    Microwave for 30 seconds, stop and stir, and microwave for another 30 seconds. The mixture will be quite hot.

    NOTE: So we don’t have a microwave. I know. I know. I’ve been living int he woods for far too long. But when someone who will remain nameless put something with metal in the microwave, she did us a favor. We really only use it to start potatoes and melt butter. Why take up all the cabinet or counter space? I did this on the stove top and it was fine.

    Let the mixture rest on the counter for a few minutes to cool, stirring occasionally.

    When the mixture feels warm, not hot, stir in the vanilla, espresso powder and salt. Finally, stir in the eggs.

    Add the flour to the batter, and using a spatula, vigorously stir the mixture for 50 strokes. This activates the gluten and makes for a rich, chewy brownies.

    Spread the batter into the prepared pan evenly.

    Bake for 23-26 minutes, until the top is dry.

    Unwrap the squares while the brownies are still hot, and press into the top of the brownies evenly. Slice and serve.

    Pistachio Lemon Bars #SundaySupper

     

    This week’s Sunday Supper is brought by Anne from Simple and Savory. The theme is Easy Spring Recipes. There are so many spring vegetables that I would love to write about, but this is Maine. Spring doesn’t hit until June and we’re pretty lacking in local produce at the moment. I haven’t even begun to think about the garden yet! I am dreaming about it … but in the meantime …

    There’s a little happy dance being done here – a very tentative happy dance, mind you. This is, after all, Maine. The snow has started to melt (hard to believe 2 1/2 weeks ago there was 4 FEET of snow out there), seems as though the grip of winter has started to ease. I realize, that merely typing these words can bring upon us another snowmageddon, but we’re hopeful.

    We have a short growing season here, so vegetables that take a longer time to mature grow in our greenhouse, all else in the garden. I CAN NOT WAIT!

    I’m not quite sure why lemons and pistachios remind me of spring, but they do. Perhaps it’s my Greek roots. Perhaps it was my Papoo’s love of pistachios and sneaking handfuls out of his night stand drawer – though, those were the red dyed ones. Not easy to be sneaky when your fingers and lips and tongue are dyed bright red!. Perhaps it was his idea that lemons were good for everything – softening your hands, flavoring things, making you feel better, taking away unpleasant smells.

    So, Papoo, this one’s for you …

    THE CRUST:

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
    • ½ cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    • ¼ cup shelled unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped

    THE FILLING:

    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup sugar
    • ½ teaspoon baking powder
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
    • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    •  cup shelled unsalted pistachios
    •  Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper (if using foil, lightly butter it). Place flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add butter and process until well combined. Stir in chopped pistachios. Firmly press mixture into the bottom of the lined pan using the flat bottom of a glass or measuring cup (if it sticks, place a piece of parchment paper on the dough before pressing).

    Bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

    Meanwhile, whisk together the filling ingredients. When the crust is baked, pour the filling into the pan and bake until set, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely.

    Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and cut into 2-inch squares.

    Breakfast

    Cakes, Pies, and Sweets

    Cookies and Bars

    Main Courses

    Pastas

    Seafood

    Veggies and Sides

    Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

    Green Goddess Dip #SundaySupper

    done

    Here we are again. Another Sunday Supper, Healthy Green Recipes, this week hosted by Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures. Thank you, Christie.

    It’s snowing. It’s been snowing. It will never stop snowing.

    What do you do when it’s snowing?

    Cook

    Eat

    Bake

    Eat

    Nap

    Shovel

    That’s it!

    3/4 cup sour cream
    1/2 cup firmly packed fresh parsley leaves
    1/2 cup mayonnaise
    1 green onion, chopped
    1 tablespoon firmly packed fresh dill leaves
    1 tablespoon firmly packed fresh tarragon leaves
    2 teaspoons lemon zest
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    1 garlic clove
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    Garnish: fresh dill sprig

    Process first 11 ingredients in a food processor or blender 30 seconds or until smooth, stopping to scrape sides as needed. Cover and chill 1 hour before serving. Garnish, if desired. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week.

     

    Check these other Healthy Green Recipes!

    Best Breakfasts

    Dreamy Desserts

    Must Make Main Dishes

    Scrumptious Salads

    Stunning Sides

    Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

    Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookeis

    Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

    I should start this with … these are THE BEST vegan chocolate chip cookies EVER. And quite nearly the best chocolate chip cookies. But …

    I am a carnivore. A carnivore through and through. A believer in a well balanced diet being far better for you than one completing omitting a food group.

    I now find myself surrounded by vegetarians and vegans, many of whom consider themselves foodies (?). Always hungry. Always looking for snacks. I need a cookie that would work for everyone and this is the one.

    I have found most homemade vegan cookies to be either tasteless, ridiculously complicated to make, way too many ingredients and ending up with a crumbling, sandy cookie like substance.

    Try these once and you’ll be hooked. It’s all in the mixing.

    • ½ C coconut oil
    • 1 C brown sugar
    • ¼ C almond milk
    • 1 T vanilla extract
    • 2 C flour
    • 1 t baking soda
    • 1 t baking powder
    • ½ t salt
    • 1 C vegan chocolate chips (I love ‘Enjoy Life Mini Chips” for this)

     

    Preheat oven to 350

    Cream coconut oil and brown sugar. Best to use stand mixer, second best a hand mixed.

    NOTE: The key to this cookie is the length of time you spend combining the ingredients. This should look like butter and sugar having creamed before you continue. It’s not always quick.

    Add almond milk and vanilla. Mixture may be a little liquidy.

    In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

    Combine the wet and dry ingredients using a hand mixer or stand mixer. Fold in chocolate chips.

    Scoop tablespoon sized balls and place on cookie sheet. Flatten the balls a bit with your hand.

    Bake 7 – 10 minutes

    NOTE: You want the dough to be the consistency of cookie dough and not crumbly or sandy as many vegan recipes tend to be.

    NOTE NOTE: I have varied the size of the cookie from half-dollar sized to 3 inches around. It holds up no matter the size. Just vary the cooking time.

    Rhubarb Coffee Cake

    Done

    As Robert Burns once wrote … ‘The best laid schemes ‘o mice an’ men’ …

    As anyone still out there may recall, this past January I took a stand against cyber stalking, pledging to not allow fright and fear of judgment curb my enthusiasm for writing.

    AND THEN …

    Came the snow! (Imagine that, snow in Maine …) And there was the Dear One, shoveling and shoveling and shoveling. It pained me to watch him do this all alone, so off I went to help. It pained me to watch him and then it pained me the next morning ~ SCIATICA. Crippling sciatica. Off we go to the doctor. Here’s some meds. They will help. Rest. Heat. Cold. Drugs. Repeat.

    After a few days, they did help. Helped enough so I was able to get myself out of bed and go downstairs.

    At our house in cold and snowy and blowy Maine, it was not easy to keep the outer door closed tight and we would offer awake to inches of snow inside the porch doorway. The solution? Put a log there.

    Physically fragile and compromised me goes to walk outside and instead of bending over to move the log, I pushed it aside with the outside of my left foot. No big deal.

    HA!

    I opened my eyes the next morning in the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life. It was blinding. I couldn’t stand or walk or sit. I had one comfortable position and one emotion ~ hysteria.

    Dear One and I drive off to the doctor again, this time with me lying across the back seat in the fetal position sobbing. Different drugs. Rest. Heat. Cold. Drugs. Repeat. No better come in and we’ll start running tests.

    And really crappy drugs. I needed the mother of all muscle relaxers and I truly felt this medical office was ‘not getting it’. I managed to get flexeril, but I was in pain. I needed relief. It wasn’t happening. I was just stoned out of my head. Not sleeping, just passed out. Not eating (not the worst thing in the world). Sad. Deflated.

    A friend or two stepped in and suggested an osteopath. Being the skeptical gal I am, I just didn’t see that working. But at this point – three weeks of being in bed – I would have done nearly anything anyone suggested for relief.

    On a ridiculously snowy day, the Dear One and I drive 40 minutes to see the osteopath. I walk in the door and there’s sitar music playing and incense burning and I’m thinking – ‘yeah, right. This ain’t gonna work. $230 down the drain.’

    I lay on the table and the doctor placed his hands on my middle and lower back. Then my knee and hip. Light little fluttery touches. Nope, nope, nope, not working, not working … OH MY GOD, the muscles I pulled and twisted and tore RELAXED. No more drugs, slow pace, less bed rest, more sessions with him. And after 6 weeks, I felt like … well, at 80%.

    What I didn’t realize at the time was the emotional and mental blow this took on my psyche. I was just unhappy and unmotivated. I did just the bare minimum I needed to do to get by. Quite frankly, I didn’t even realize this was happening. I wasn’t writing or cooking anything new, certainly not taking photos. I felt myself slipping away. Nothing was fun. Nothing was interesting. Get up. Shower. Eat. Work. Sleep. Repeat.

    Finally, a dear friend who had been trying to reach out to me over and over again, cornered me. And we started talking … and talking … and talking … it didn’t hurt that she is an incredible neuropsychologist …

    Everything had caught up to me after the injury … moving, being away from my family, my friends, being away from my darling son and his new bride, trying to find a place to fit in with the Dear One and his children, making new friends, being seriously injured, feeling isolated and alone. I don’t have those bring you chicken soup at 2:00 am friends here yet. No one who would reach out and come and visit or … It all just came crashing down on my soul at once. I was just paralyzed. My dear friend has known me for many, many years and heard the sadness and desperation creeping into my head. Her answer … let’s talk some more and let’s think about prozac.

    I knew what I thought about prozac and I was VERY reluctant. The first pill I took was truly really hard to swallow. I was terrified. And I sat, patiently (well, as patient as I am capable of being) waiting for something to happen. As if there would be a TA-DA! moment. There wasn’t.

    But one morning I woke up, just as dear Dr. D.T. said, and it felt as though the haze was gone. I felt happier in my head, my heart and soul felt lighter. I tried a new recipe. I giggled. I’m sleeping.

    I’m getting better. I’m at the edge of the woods about to step into the sun light. Thank you, Dear one for being so patient and for dropping everything to stay home and take care of me. Thank you, D.T., I would have been able to get to this point without you. To my friends and family I’ve hidden from for the last number of months, I’m sorry, I love you all, and I’m back amongst the living.

    So, while in bed I saw this recipe for Rhubarb Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping from Melissa Clark in the New York Times Cooking section. It looked like it had to be made. I had rhubarb that had to be cooked.

    Tender, sweet, easy, yummy. The true testament is it being gone in a day!

    Cake

    • 1 C of sugar
    • ½ C of butter
    • 1 egg
    • 1 C buttermilk
    • 2 C flour
    • 1 t baking soda
    • ½ t nutmeg (optional)
    • 2 C rhubarb, diced

     

    Streusel Topping

    • ½ C sugar
    • ½ C walnuts, chopped
    • 1 t cinnamon
    • 1 T butter, melted

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a nine-by-thirteen pan. Assemble the cake, cream together the sugar and the butter, beat in the egg and buttermilk. Whisk or sift together the flour, soda, and optional nutmeg, and add it to the sugar, butter, egg, buttermilk mixture. Mix all together completely, and then fold in the rhubarb. Spread in the baking pan.

    Mix the topping by combining the sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, and melted butter, and distributing it over the top of the cake batter.

    Bake for forty-five to fifty minutes. Serve warm.

    Makes one nine-by-thirteen cake.

    Artichoke Lemon Spread

    Done

    Silence is deafening, they say.

    And, by the same token, words can be weapons.

    I’ve been having a terrible time getting started blogging again. And I really do miss it. I have at least 20 recipes from 2014 that I never blogged. It isn’t that I don’t want to .. or that I don’t think about what I’d like to write about. I have still been cooking up a storm (get it, get it, haha), photographing dishes, getting them ready. I hadn’t been quite able to put a finger on the reason. AND THEN …

    … while listening to This American Life one fine (SNOWY) Saturday, there was an entire segment with Lindy West on just the topic of internet trolls. I suddenly realized that a situation that had happened to me beginning in November of 2013 and finally ending at the end of February 2014 had emotionally and artistically crippled me. What had happened to Lindy was slightly different, but the sentiment was the same. At the beginning we agreed on one basic tenet … DON’T FEED THE TROLLS … which is why I never made the hurtful comments public, nor ever responded to them. Linda realized that silence is what best feeds a troll, giving them more power, giving them exactly what they want. Silencing the person at whom they aim their vitriol.

    I don’t think … or at least I truly hope … the people leaving snide comments or sending snarky tweets realize the damage they do to the people they campaign against. While cloaked in the perceived comfort of anonymity, perhaps even giggling, the person reading these messages is hurt, cut to the quick, and left wondering WHY. Why me?

    Just as an aside, let’s just touch on the illusion of anonymity on the internet. For this is truly an illusion, there’s no such thing as anonymity on the internet. Everything and anything you put out into the universe over the internet really does go out into the universe … FOREVER.

    For me, dear readers, this is just food. Nice photos, good recipes (I hope), sharing with a community of like-minded foodies. There’s no political agenda, I’m not skinning cats, and I’m not polluting the world by burning vast amounts of fossil fuels to get my own point across. I write this for me. It’s nice to have readers, but even without a single reader, this would still be something I do for me. A form of expression. Coupling three of my joys in life … cooking, photography and writing.

    Sadly, there had certainly been fear and a bad taste left in my mouth regarding blogging, something I really love to do. The thought that my personal words and thoughts could be used against me again, by someone who knew nothing about me had proven to be daunting.

    I keep coming back to WHY. Why me? What did I do to cause this and what could I have done to avoid it?

    I thought about giving up my blog entirely. I thought about starting a brand new blog. After listening to Lindy, realizing I wasn’t alone in this dilemma, I decided to sit down,w rite this post, get it all off my chest and continue soldiering on. I’m not giving up what I like to do. I’m not changing myself or what I write for acceptance. This is who I am. I have been basically the same person since I popped out of the womb (thanks Mom & Dad). I live my life trying to leave no carnage in my wake, treating people the way I would like to be treated.

    While it still smarts, I challenge all internet trolls and stalkers out there … get to know the subject of your attack. You may just find you like them. Think before you push that button … if someone did this to me, how would I feel.

    Linda has given me renewed strength where my public, blogging life is concerned. I will not allow someone else to rule my life, I will not live in fear.

    I have come too far in my life, given up too much to be where I am right now to be stopped by anyone or anything.

    Hello, World, I’m back and hopefully better than ever.

    You’ll have to pardon a number of ‘off-season’ posts while I catch up. Thank you.

    So with that in mind …

    While poking around online for some yummy before dinner nibbles, and being tired of the ones I was using over and over and over again, I came across this recipe for Artichoke Lemon Pesto from Ciao Chow Linda.

    It’s fabulous! It’s easy!

    Vegetarian, filling, slightly tangy.

    Everything goes into the food processor and with a whirl is finished!

    Try it, you’ll be hooked.

    • 1  14-ounce can of artichoke hearts  in water (unseasoned)
    • 1/4 C parmesan cheese
    • 1/8 C finely chopped parsley
    • a few small sprigs of thyme, minced
    • 2 cloves of garlic
    • 1 t lemon peel, finely minced
    • 2 t lemon juice
    • 3 T olive oil
    • salt, pepper

    Mince the parsley and thyme roughly with the garlic and lemon peel. Place the artichoke hearts, the parsley and thyme and all the remaining ingredients into a food processor. Pulse or whir until everything is chopped finely and blended. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.

    NOTE: I roughly chopped the parsley, thyme and garlic. I mean, it’s going in the food processor, after all. As for the lemon peel, I used a zester instead of peeling and didn’t need to mince it further.