Archives for the month of: April, 2012

At the beginning of summer last year our property care taker Rick was telling me about the bad experience that he had with a volunteers that come up each summer from an international volunteer program.  He spoke of young people who were lazy and always partying.  I was worried.  Our summer calendar was full and I did not need to babysit or clean up after some lazy kids.  They were also supposed to use my kitchen on the weekends to cook their meals.  I had visions of a messy kitchen with my lovely equipment broken or missing.  Needless to say I was very concerned.

I can happily say that the group of international volunteers that came last summer proved all of Ricks dire predictions completely wrong.

Last summer we were given a wonderful group of volunteers from all over the world.  One of young people really made an impact on all of the staff at Cal-Wood.  Rocky came to us from London England where he is an engineering student.  Rocky was always in a good mood and always smiling.  If you needed a hand with anything he was there and worked tirelessly the whole time he was with us.  All of the volunteers worked hard and were a joy to have at Cal-Wood.

Sometimes it is hard to get to know people for short periods of time and then they move on and you do not hear from them again.  Not with Rocky!  He keeps in touch with many of the staff members at Cal-Wood and is planning to come back this summer.  He also reads this blog and has cooked some of my recipes at home.  This makes me very happy and is the very reason I write this blog.

Rocky asked me if he could have the recipe for my Roasted Veggie Lasagna.

Here is the recipe for Rocky and we are all looking forward to seeing him and meeting our new volunteers this summer.  No matter what Rick has to say.

Fire Roasted Veggie Lasagna

For the sauce

1 425g (15oz )can of good quality diced tomatoes

1  425g (15oz) can of fire roasted tomatoes (I use Muir Glen but you can use regular tomatoes)

2 170g (6oz) cans tomato paste

2 garlic cloves minced finely (Here is a good video link from another of my favorite Brits, Jamie Oliver on how to mince garlic)

1/4 cup red wine

2 tbs good olive oil

1 tbs sugar

1/4 tsp chili pepper flakes

1 cup water

salt and pepper to taste

Add olive oil to a large pot and heat at medium high.  Add garlic when oil is hot and cook for 30 seconds or until you can smell the garlic cooking. Cook garlic over medium heat. About thirty seconds will do the trick. This is just enough time to cook off the rawness, allow the flavor to mellow into the dish.  Add tomatoes immediately.  I usually have cans open and ready when I add the garlic.  Add wine, tomato paste, sugar, chili pepper and 1 cup water.

Simmer for 15 minutes and season to taste and set aside.

For the veggie mixture

Cut 2 medium zucchini in half lengthwise.  Cut 1 red onion into thirds lengthwise.  Cut 3 sweet red bell peppers in half and remove seeds.

Marinate veggies in a splash of balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 clove garlic minced and salt and pepper.

After marinating veggies for 15-20 minutes heat your grill to hot and add veggies.  Grill veggies until they have good grill marks but they do not need to be fully cooked.  The peppers can be roasted on the stove top directly over your gas flame if needed.  Clean the black bits mostly off the peppers after they have cooled.

Pour marinade back over the cooked veggies.  Never do this with raw meat marinade.

After veggies are cooled cut to desired thickness.  My hubby like the veggies cut finely but I like a medium dice.

The ricotta cheese mixture.

1 2lb tub of whole milk ricotta cheese (or you can make it with this delightful recipe from David Lebovitz via Simply Recipes)

4 large eggs

1/4 cup good quality parmesan cheese grated

1 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

1 tsp basil

Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and mix together well with whisk or spoon.  You can also whip the mixture on your stand mixer until light and fluffy.

For the noodles…

I use Barilla no boil lasagna noodles.  If you cannot get these noodles in your area then boil your noodles and drain well before assembling the lasagna.

Many restaurant cooks simply soak the raw lasagna noodles in hot water for about 30 minutes to soften them and then use them in the dish as is. I boil mine,when using traditional lasagna noodles, but the trick to this, and to cooking any pasta, is to use plenty of well salted water, and keep the noodles moving by stirring until it returns to a boil. This keeps water circulating around the full noodle surface so that the starch on the surface of the individual noodles can set, which keeps them from sticking together.  Make sure to rinse in cold water after draining and this will help minimize the stickiness of the noodles.

Ready, Set, Assemble!

Now is the time to assemble all of the lovely ingredients you have worked hard to get together and make yourself a wonderful lasagna.

Get your sauce, ricotta mixture, veggie mixture (diced to taste), cooked or no boil noodles and 1/2 cup heavy cream together as well as a casserole style baking dish.

Add 1/2 cup sauce to the bottom of the pan.  Spread out and lay enough noodles to cover bottom of pan in single layer.

Add ricotta mixture about 2 cups on top of  noodles.

Add another noodle layer.

Now you add 1/2 cup sauce and 2 cups of the veggie mixture as the next layer.

Add the next noodle layer.

Top with 1/2 cup sauce, 1/2 cup heavy cream drizzled over the top and cover tightly with foil.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees until the sauce begins to thicken and reduce and the lasagna begins to puff slightly.

Remove the foil layer and sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top of the lasagna.  I use about 1 1/2 cups good quality whole milk mozzarella.

Put back in the oven at 450 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes or until cheese begins to brown and set.

Let the lasagna rest for 15-20 minutes before cutting.  Better yet make the lasagna a day ahead and let sit overnight in the fridge and warm in the oven at 350 degrees (covered in foil) for 30 minutes or until internal read thermometer reads 145 degrees in the center.  The flavors of a lasagna are best the next day!

Let rest before cutting.

Uncooked lasagna freezes great so make 2 ro 3 and freeze them for later.  If you are going through all the trouble why not make more than one dinner.

Here is a comprehensive list of what you need to pick up at the store:

1 box of no boil lasagna noodles or traditional lasagna noodles.

1 2lb tub of whole milk ricotta cheese

4 large eggs

Parmesan cheese grated

Mozzarella cheese

1 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

1 tsp basil

1 425g (15oz )can of good quality diced tomatoes

1  425g (15oz) can of fire roasted tomatoes (I use Muir Glen but you can use regular tomatoes)

2 170g (6oz) cans tomato paste

2 garlic cloves

1 tbs sugar

1/4 tsp chili pepper flakes

Olive oil

2 medium zucchini

1 large red onion

3 sweet red bell peppers

heavy whipping cream or double cream

balsamic vinegar or red wine

I love grilled food.  Anything really…pizza, meats, fruit, veggies…you name it  I will grill it.

This weekend I was cooking for a church retreat at Cal-Wood.  Columbine Unity Youth Group.  What an absolutely charming group of teenagers.  No less than 8 of these great kids asked me if I needed any help in the kitchen.  They were so eager to lend a hand.  While these teenagers were visiting Cal-Wood half of the group stayed on site to help our forestry manager Angie with some physically taxing outside volunteer work while the other half went to one of our neighbor camps Colorado Mountain Ranch to help with the ongoing clean up from the devastating 4 Mile Canyon Fire.  This was the most destructive forest fire in Colorado history. Colorado Mountain Ranch lost many cabins and much of their land was burned during the fire.  The clean up will go on for years.

The volunteer work done by the kids of Columbine Unity Youth Group was not easy and when they came back to camp they were tired and hungry!

Since the weather was as warm as a summer day I decided to dust off the grill and make some bbq chicken.

I wanted to make sure the menu was both filling and healthy.  I was making my famous baked mac and cheese and wanted to lighten up the rest of the meal.

I used boneless skinless chicken breasts for the bbq and grilled up a bunch of fresh veggies.

For the chicken I made sure to paillard the chicken breasts and marinate them in balsamic vinegar, garlic, sea salt, cracked pepper and canola oil.  This deeply flavors the bland chicken breast and helps to  caramelize the chicken for more flavor during grilling.  I made my own bbq sauce that simmered most of the afternoon on the stove.

I  cut my zucchini lengthwise down the center, toss in some sweet red bell peppers cut down the center in halves and de-seeded and large red onion slices.  I used the same marinade as the chicken and let the veggies marinate for most of the afternoon.  I tossed them on the grill first and then chilled the grilled veggies before cutting.

I blanched broccoli spears separately on the stove and let them chill for at least 1 hour

For the chicken I grilled it until I had good grill marks on the meat and finished it in the oven.  Often when you cook chicken breasts on the grill they dry out before they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees.  When I finish the chicken in the oven it helps keep the moisture in and lets the meat cook slowly without drying.

When the teenagers of Columbine Youth Group tucked into this meal there is very little left over.  Nearly everything was devoured from the green salad, veggies, mac and cheese and chicken.

Grilling Tender Chicken Breasts

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breast

1/4 cup good balsamic vinegar (I use Costco Balsamic)

1/4 cup canola oil

1 minced garlic clove

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

Paillard your chicken breasts to flatten them out and make sure the meat is evenly flattened.  This will ensure that the chicken will cook quickly and not dry out.  If you pound the chicken thin you may not even need to use the oven to finish it.

Marinated the chicken in balsamic, canola, sea salt, pepper and minced garlic for at least 1 hour.

While your chicken is marinating prep your veggies for the grill.

Grilled Balsamic Marinated Veggies

4 zucchini cut lengthwise into 2 pieces

4 sweet red bell peppers cut in half and de-seeded

2 sweet red onions cut into third horizontally with the skin removed.

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (again I used Costco Balsamic)

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

1 tsp dried thyme (I used my lovely French Thyme from Savory Spice Shop)

Marinate veggies for 15 minutes and cook on the grill until slightly charred.  I usually take the zucchini off a little under done as they finish cooking after removing from the grill.  I like my veggies to have a slight crunch and not be soggy.

Reserve the marinade and pour back over the veggies.  Never do this with meat marinade but you can with clean veggies.

To add another element to the salad I blanched 1 head of broccoli in salty boiling water until al dente.  Chill and add to grilled veggie before adding marinade.

Chill veggie for 1/2 an hour to 45 minutes.  Cut and serve.

Pre-heat the grill and when it is hot place the chicken on the grill.  It will only take about 4-5 minutes for each side of chicken to be cooked.  The balsamic vinegar will help create nice grill marks and caramelization on the chicken adding great flavor.  This step can be omitted if you are using bbq sauce but I feel it makes the chicken much more flavorful.

Coat with BBQ sauce and put back on the grill for 3-4 minutes.

Let chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

chefconnie:

I had to re-post this. At Cal-Wood this is a list of all of the things we make from scratch. Literally!

Originally posted on The Adventures of Thrive Farm:

Nix those suspicions that good, homemade food comes with an exorbitant price tag. We found exactly the opposite, actually. If we roll up our sleeves and make homemade pasta, cookies, or just about any other food, it costs a whole lot less than buying the pre-made versions. Not to mention the pride of putting a from-scratch meal on the table.

Breakfast

1. Granola bars
$0.48 each for homemade  | $0.69 each for Kashi brand
Who doesn’t love a crunchy, chewy grab-and-go snack? But there’s no need to shell out big bucks or entrust our health to unpronounceable ingredients. Oats, nuts, berries, and honey star in this recipe and significantly cut back on costs.

2. Granola/Breakfast cereal
$0.37 per ½ cup homemade | $0.41 for Arrowhead Mills brand
Skip the boxed stuff and DIY it for a personalized cereal. These homemade bran flakes rival the…

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I love my job.  Really… Of course it can be hard and working for a non-profit in a small mountain community where you spend literally all of your time with the same people can be tough but it is well worth it.  Cal-Wood Education Center is staffed by some remarkable people with talent and enviable enthusiasm for outdoor education and environmental education.

This is a beautiful view of Longs Peak with the Lodge at Cal-Wood Education Center taken on Wednesday morning.

A diverse population use the facilities at Cal-Wood but the main type of group to come up to the retreat center are school groups participating in our outdoor education program.  Most of the groups are kids from ages 9-11.

It is a never-ending delight to see these kids get off the bus and just stare at the surrounding mountains.  The energy and happiness that emanates from these little people is infectious.  They are just having a good time and it shows.

One of the main concerns for most kids is the food and what is going to be served to them and if they will like it or not.

With super picky kids to kids with long lists of food allergies my job can be difficult and I  am constantly working to create foods that are not only delicious and healthy but cater to everyone despite allergies or food dislikes.

This brings me around to why I am writing this post.  A couple of weeks ago and young lady came to the door of my kitchen after dinner.  She had a huge grin on her face and she was bouncing up and down.  “Did you make those red velvet cupcakes” she gushed.

“Yes” I replied.  “Did you like them?” I asked.

“Oh yes, those were the best cupcakes I have ever had!”   She continued to jump up and down and asked if she could have the recipe so that her mom could make them for her birthday coming up at the end of May.  I said “of course just visit my blog”.

This is why I do my job and go the extra mile for every single thing that I make at Cal-Wood Education Center.  This moment is what it all boils down to.

So here is the Red Velvet Cupcake recipe that has been requested by a young lady who took time out to come in my kitchen and make my whole week!

Red Velvet Cupcakes  (inspired by The Brown Eyed Baker and Cooks Illustrated)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
1 egg at room temperature
2½ tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons red food coloring
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk at room temperature
1 cup
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons distilled white vinegar

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line your muffin tin with papers and spray lightly with non-stick baking spray.

On medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to high and add the egg. Scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.

In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and red food coloring to make a thick paste. Add to the batter and mix on medium speed until completely combined.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add half of the buttermilk. Add half of the flour and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining milk and flour. Beat on high until smooth.

Again, reduce the mixer speed to low and add the salt, baking soda and vinegar. Turn to high and beat for another couple of minutes until completely combined and smooth.

Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a thin knife or skewer inserted into the center of the largest cupcake comes out clean.

Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon sea salt

In a stand mixer or with hand held mixer whisk butter and cream cheese for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar until all is incorporated. Add the vanilla and sea salt and mix to combine. Increase the speed to medium high and whip for a few minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary.

chefconnie:

Check out this wonderful tip from the Thrive Farm.

Originally posted on The Adventures of Thrive Farm:

The next time you have green onions, don’t throw away the white ends. Simply submerge them in a glass of water and place them in a sunny window. Your onions will begin to grow almost immediately and can be harvested almost indefinitely. We just use kitchen scissors to cut what we need for meals and periodically empty out the water, rinse the roots off and give them fresh water.

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Cal-Wood in the Spring

In my quest to make everything from scratch that my family eats one of the items that has slipped from the list is crackers.  My husband and son love to eat cheese and crackers.  My son also adores cheese crackers like cheese its.  I decided to give crackers a try for Easter.

When I am trying a new recipe I google recipes for what ever it is I am making.  This is the best cookbook around.  As a professional chef many people ask what my favorite cook book is and I usually say Google.  The reason Google can be so powerful as a cookbook is that you can peruse many different recipes in minutes.  Then you can see what underlying themes or techniques are used.  At this point I will usually build my own recipe or try one from a respected source.

There are thousands of places to find recipes on the internet.  With recipe sites, blogs and food sites, lists can be endless.  How do you know which ones are any good?  Over the years there are a number of sites that I find are invaluable resources and I am sure the recipes are well written and tested.  Here is a list of sites that I find have great recipes every time.

www.cooksillustrated.com  If you are not familiar with Cooks Illustrated I encourage you to pick up a copy of the magazine at your grocery store or check out the website.  They literally test recipes many  times and find the best possible way to make each recipe.  On their website you can pay a small yearly fee and have access to hundreds of tested recipes for everything from cupcakes to pot roast. Money well spent in my household.

www.marthastewart.com  Now I am sure everyone is familiar with Martha.  Not only are her recipes good but the comments section at the bottom of each recipe contains comments from people who have made the recipe and what they found worked or did not work.  It is great information. Martha also has great recipes for the season with stunning photos.  This site is a great inspiration.

www.smittenkitchen.com   This veteran blogger has not only some of the most beautiful photos on the web but she is honest in her posts.  A good example would be her Everyday Chocolate Cake post.  She was not successful with her first attempt and discussed where she got her original recipe, how she tweaked it and what worked and what did not work.  This kind of information is great for home cooks and professionals alike. It is always good to learn from someone elses mistakes.

www.simplyrecipes.com  Another talented veteran blogger whose beautiful pictures and simple prose get right to the point and convey great information on how to make nearly everything.

www.realbakingwithrose.com  Rose Levy Beranbaum is the queen of pies and cakes.  She writes her recipes in weight measurement, she has adjustments for altitude and gives you just about any information you may need.  Her meticulous recipes have been a staple in my kitchen for years.  I usually consult one of her cookbooks or website where ever I bake anything!  Check out some of her cookbooks.  The Cake Bible, The Pie and Pastry Bible and Rose’s Heavenly Cakes.

www.davidlebovitz.com  The undisputed pastry king he writes a wonderful blog about making everything from appetizers, entree and baking all set in lovely Paris.  I have never made one of his recipes that failed.  All of his recipes are meticulously tested and documented.  This blog is beautiful, fun and informative.

There are also many different personal blogs that I follow but that is going to have to be another post.

So on with the cracker trials.  I decided to try a recipe that I found on www.foodnetwork.com.  This recipe is by Ina Garten.  Parmesan and Thyme Crackers.

On the first try the dough came out too dry.  This could be because it is a very dry climate here in the mountains.  I added a teaspoon of water and then the dough came together nicely in the food processor.

I chilled the dough and rolled it out with minimal flour on the rolling surface.  The dough rolled out nicely.  I used a flower shaped cutter and lined the baking sheet with parchment paper.  The crackers baked nicely and came out lightly browned.

They were delicious.  Much like a tiny and thin biscuit.  I recommend these crackers for entertaining.  A bit heavy for everyday snacking but great for a special occasion.  After Easter dinner some of my family and friends went home smiling with little bags of crackers for later.

Parmesan and Thyme Crackers

Inspired by Ina Garten

1 stick or 1/4 lb unsalted butter at room temperature

2 1/2 oz freshly grated aged parmesan cheese ( I used Parmigiano Reggiano – Riserva Stravecchio from Costco which is a great price and very tasty)

187.5 grams of all-purpose flour or 1 1/2 cups

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp dried thyme or 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Place butter in the bowl of food processor.  Process until creamy.  Add cheese, flour, salt and thyme.

Process until dough forms a ball.  Dump the ball of dough out on a lightly floured surface.  Push down into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap.

Chill for half an hour.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured surface.  Flouring your rolling-pin if needed.

Roll to about pie dough thickness.  You can roll it out thicker if you like.  They were good both ways.

Cut with a cookie or biscuit cutter.

Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned about 20 minutes.

Salt is one of the most powerful tools and chef can use.

Not only does is enhance the flavor of fresh food and preserve foods but combined with water, salt becomes more powerful and will aid in keeping meats moist and tender when cooking.

We are all familiar with the difference in flavor from well seasoned food and un-seasoned food.  Most people have enjoyed a good cured ham or some tasty beef jerky but the use of salt as a brine has not come into popularity until recently.

The most familiar use of brining has been brining turkey.  Many people now use brining as a method to keep big Thanksgiving turkeys moist.

Brining is an important tool to helping to keep many different cuts of meat moist during cooking.  Brining is the most effective marinade because it penetrates meat quickly and seasons the meat to the bone.  The salt water solution of a brine will enter the meat and expand the size of the protein molecules allowing for more moisture to stay in the meat during and after cooking.

I am often faced with cooking large quantities of meat and need to make sure every piece is tender, moist and seasoned properly.  Brining is an essential tool in my kitchen to make sure all meats are tender and tasty.

Last week I had a group of 100 kids and adults at Cal-Wood Education Center and wanted to roast  chicken leg quarters for dinner.  I needed to cook 75 lbs of chicken and had to be sure it every piece would turn out perfectly.

I was looking for a moist and tender piece of chicken with a crisp skin.  I used five gallon bus tubs to brine the chicken and a 2 to 1 ratio for the brine.  2 cups kosher salt and 1 cup of sugar for every 2 gallons of water.  The recipe was 5 cups of kosher salt and 2.5 cups sugar to five gallons of water but I wanted to give the chicken an interesting flavor  I replaced 1/2 of the water for apple cider.  I added some granulated garlic, thyme, rosemary and lemon juice.

The result was amazing.  The chicken literally fell off the bone.  Most of the fat reduced off while cooking and the skin became crisp and browned.

There was a hint of sweet apple cider, lemon and herbs in the meat.  The chicken was not salty but seasoned perfectly.  Such a simple meal made a big impact on the guests at Cal-Wood.  No less than 10 people came into the kitchen to say that it was the best chicken they had ever had.   Yay!  Mission accomplished!

This dinner is exactly what I strive to provide for my guests.  A simple and healthy meal made to taste wonderful.  Let me assure you that this time consuming process is well worth the effort.  Once you get in the habit of planning ahead and brining meat, poultry and pork you will not want to cook it any other way!

I recently posted a recipe for how to make corned beef.  This is essentially a brine as well.

Here are some brining tips and ratios from one of my favorite books.  Charcuterie-the craft of salt, smoking, and curing by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn

All-Purpose Brine

1 Gallon Water

1 Cup Kosher Salt

1/2 Cup Sugar

Optional Seasonings such as rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, garlic, onion, parsley and black peppercorn

Combine all of the ingredients in a stock pot and simmer on the stove until the salt and sugar are dissolved.   Refrigerate until chilled.

Brining is a powerful tool so use with care.

Make sure to brine all meats in chilled brining solution in the refrigerator.

Do not go over the recommended time for brining as this may cause your meat to become salty.

Always let the meat rest for 2-4 hours after brining and rinsing to evenly distribute the seasonings.

Salt will be most concentrated at the outside of meat just after brining and will distribute evenly during the resting period.

Recommended Brine Times:

Boneless Chicken Breast (approx 8 oz)  2 Hours

Pork Chop (approx 1.5 inches thick) 2 Hours

Whole Chicken (approx 2 lbs)  4-6 Hours

Whole Chicken (approx 3-4 lbs) 8-12 Hours

Boneless Turkey Breast 12 Hours

Pork loin Roast (4 lbs)  12 Hours

Whole Turkey (10-15 lbs) 24 Hours

Thin Fish Fillets  1 Hour

Cider Brine Chicken

4-6 chicken leg quarters

1/2 gallon water

1/2 gallon apple cider

1 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 tbs rosemary

1 tbs thyme

1 tbs granulated garlic or 4 cloves minced fresh garlic

Simmer brining ingredients in a stock pot on the stove top until sugar and salt are dissolved.  Refrigerate brine until chilled.  Submerge chicken leg quarters in the brining solution.

Brine chicken for 4 hours.  Take the chicken out of the brine and make sure you discard used brining liquid.  Do not re-use brining liquid.  Rinse chicken throughly under cold running water.

Let chicken rest for 2-4 hours in the refrigerator after rinsing.

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

Pat chicken dry and place on a foil lined sheet pan. Roast in hot oven until internal temperature of 165  degrees and skin is crisp and browned.

Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Another great herb growing idea.

These little beauties came from my sister Carman’s garden in California.  She is an outstanding cook and I really enjoyed cooking with her when I visited recently.

She brought over a huge box of beets.  I jumped right on it.  When I roast beets I usually peel them and wrap them in foil.  About 2 years ago I started to roast the beets diced and laid out on a sheet pan tossed in olive oil with sea salt and cracked pepper.  This is now my favorite way to cook beets.

All you need to do is crank up the oven to 450 degrees.  Cut the beets into a medium dice and toss with olive oil, sea salt and pepper.  It makes for easier clean up if you line the sheet pan with foil.  Roast for about 15 minutes or until beets are tender.

My favorite way to enjoy the roasted beets is to sprinkle some goat cheese over the top and put back in the oven for another five minutes.

Serve hot!

Here are some tasty links to other beet recipes.

Beet basics from Martha Stewart

Roasted Beets with Cumin and Mint

Various Beet information from the Farm

 

 

 

 

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