Creamy Cucumber-Avocado Salad

This fabulously easy salad was creamy and delicious. We ate it as a side with grilled vegetable and fresh ricotta sandwiches, but it could also be served as a light summertime main dish.

The recipe is from Smitten Kitchen.com. I used avocado mayonnaise, chipotle Cholula hot sauce, and cilantro. My kids thought that it tasted like guacamole. 🙂 Great.

Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side

  • 1 seedless cucumber (about 3/4 to 1 pound), washed and chopped into chunks
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large avocado, pitted and diced
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (I used avocado mayonnaise)
  • juice of half a lime, plus more to taste
  • coarse salt, to taste
  • hot sauce, such as Sriracha or Chipotle Cholula, to taste
  • chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
  1. Combine cucumber, scallions and avocado in a bowl.
  2. Whisk together mayonnaise, lime juice, salt, and hot sauce; adjust to taste.
  3. Drizzle salad with dressing and garnish with chopped herbs.

Sourdough Popovers

This deliciousness was dangerously easy to throw together. :/

This recipe was adapted from King Arthur Flour. I used a popover pan and modified the baking time for a convection oven. We ate them with rocket soup and green salad but they would also be incredible for breakfast- maybe even with jam.

Instructions for sweet and savory variations are below the recipe.

Yield: 6 popovers

  1. In the microwave or in a small saucepan, warm the milk until it feels just slightly warm to the touch.
  2. Combine the warm milk with the eggs, sourdough starter and salt, then mix in the flour. Don’t over-mix; a few small lumps are OK. The batter should be thinner than a pancake batter, about the consistency of heavy cream.
  3. Heat a muffin or popover pan in the oven while it’s preheating to 450°F, preferably on convection.
  4. Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven, and spray it thoroughly with non-stick pan spray, or brush it generously with oil or melted butter. (To use melted butter: Melt 2 T butter and then distribute 1/2 tsp to the base of each popover cup before adding batter.)
  5. Quickly pour the batter into the cups, filling them almost to the top. If you’re using a muffin tin, fill cups all the way to the top. Space the popovers around so there are empty cups among the full ones; this leaves more room for expansion.
  6. Bake the popovers for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven heat to 375°F and bake for an additional 10 (in a convection oven) or up to 20 minutes in a standard oven, until popovers are golden brown.
  7. Remove the popovers from the oven and serve immediately.

Variations:

  • For sweet, cinnamon-sugar popovers: Prepare and bake the popovers as instructed. When the popovers come out of the oven, brush them with melted butter (about 1/4 cup per batch), and roll them in cinnamon-sugar (about 1/4 cup per batch).
  • For savory, cheddar-herb popovers: Mix 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence and 1/4 cup shredded Vermont cheese or cheese powder to the flour before stirring it into the sourdough-egg mixture. Finish the popovers according to the recipe instructions.

Broccoli & Egg Fried Rice

I am taking a break from bombarding everyone with sourdough recipes. I still have quite a few tasty ones to share! 😉

This vegetarian fried rice dish was fast, easy, crowd-pleasing comfort food. Making it in a large cast iron skillet was the perfect vessel to create just the right amount of crispy rice and caramelized vegetables. According to the original recipe, another secret to getting color on the rice was the inclusion of sugar.

The recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Kat Boytsova. I modified the proportions and substituted Basmati rice for sushi rice. It is a wonderful base recipe to incorporate any vegetables and/or protein with leftover rice in the fridge.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

  • 5 cups of broccoli florets and stems (pieces should be of similar size)
  • 1 large bunch scallions (I used 7)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 T granulated sugar
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 4 large garlic cloves, grated
  • 6-7 T vegetable oil, divided
  • 4-5 cups cooked, day-old sushi rice (I used leftover brown and white Basmati rice)
  • 4 T toasted sesame oil
  • 3 T unseasoned rice vinegar

This fried rice comes together really quickly, so it’s important that all of your ingredients are prepped and ready to go before you start cooking.

To Prep:

  1. Place broccoli to a medium bowl.
  2. Trim scallions on both ends, then cut crosswise into 1″ pieces. Transfer to bowl with broccoli.
  3. Whisk eggs in another medium bowl to combine and season with 3/4 teaspoons of salt.
  4. Whisk sugar, soy sauce, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt in a small bowl.
  5. Grate the ginger and garlic cloves into the bowl of sauce and give it another whisk.

To Cook:

  1. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large cast-iron skillet (or non-stick if you don’t have one)over medium-high until just beginning to smoke. (I used a 12-inch cast iron skillet.)
  2. Add broccoli and scallions, season with a good pinch of salt, and toss with a spatula to coat in oil. Cook, undisturbed, until well charred on one side, about 5 minutes. When we say “undisturbed,” we mean it! You need consistent, direct contact with the hot pan in order to get color on the veggies, so resist the urge to constantly fuss with them.
  3. Mix with spatula and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until broccoli is crisp-tender and scallions are wilted, about 2 more minutes. Transfer veggies back to the bowl they came from.
  4. Heat remaining 5 tablespoons vegetable oil in skillet over medium-low.
  5. Add eggs and cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until large curds begin to form, about 30 seconds. The eggs will cook very quickly, so try to err on the side of runny and less-cooked because they can become spongy if overcooked.
  6. Add the rice and soy sauce mixture to eggs. Toss well to combine, then press down evenly into skillet. Cook, undisturbed, until rice is slightly crisped on one side, about 5 minutes. (Remember: undisturbed!)
  7. Return veggies to skillet and toss well to combine.
  8. Remove from heat, add sesame oil and rice vinegar, and toss once more. Serve.

Buttery Sourdough Sandwich Biscuits

I usually eat my favorite Saturday morning fried egg over a bed of arugula with Swiss cheese and extra pepper. This biscuit sandwich brought it to the next level! The bacon was a nice bonus too. 🙂

This recipe was adapted from King Arthur flour. I grated the butter and modified the baking time. They were very buttery and full-flavored.

Yield: 6  3-inch biscuits

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F, preferably on convection, with a rack in the upper third.
  2. Grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Work the cold, grated butter into the flour until the mixture is unevenly crumbly.
  5. Add the starter, mixing gently until the dough is cohesive. If necessary, depending on the consistency of your starter, add buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to make the dough come together.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface (a piece of parchment works well), and gently pat it into a 6″ round about 1″-thick.
  7. Use a sharp 2 3/8″ biscuit cutter to cut four rounds, cutting them as close to one another as possible.
  8. Gently push and pat the scraps into a 2 1/2″ x 5″ rectangle. Cut two more biscuits.
  9. Push and pat the remaining scraps into a 1″-thick biscuit; it’ll be slightly smaller than the others.
  10. Place the biscuits onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2″ between them; they’ll spread as they bake.
  11. Bake the biscuits in the upper third of your oven for 17 to 23 minutes, until they’re golden brown.
  12. Remove the biscuits from the oven, and serve warm.

Note: Once cooled completely, the biscuits can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for several days. Freeze, well-wrapped, for longer storage.

*To make smaller biscuits: The dough can be patted 1/2-inch thick, cut into 2-inch rounds, and baked for 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden brown.*

Sourdough Pancakes & Waffles

I apologize in advance for bombarding everyone with sourdough starter recipes. 😉

During this extended time at home, I decided to make a sourdough starter but started regretting throwing out the discarded starter on a daily basis- a twice daily basis. So, I started saving it to make other goodies. (I am keeping it in a jar in the refrigerator!)

These sourdough pancakes may be some of the best pancakes I’ve ever made. AMAZING. The first sourdough waffle recipe is a wonderful way to use an excess of starter without incorporating a lot of other ingredients, and, finally, the cinnamon-sugar sourdough waffles were a close second to the pancakes in terms of deliciousness factor. All great!

The recipe for the sourdough pancakes was adapted from theperfectloaf.com. I weighed the ingredients and used whole wheat flour and full fat Greek yogurt. We ate them topped with fresh berries and drizzled with pure maple syrup.

Sourdough Pancakes

Yield: about 16 pancakes

  • 2 large eggs
  • 245g (1 cup) whole milk
  • 61g (1/4 cup) Greek yogurt
  • 250g (about 1 1/2 cups, stirred down) non-fed sourdough starter
  • 4g (1 tsp) pure vanilla extract
  • 180g (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose and/or whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat flour)
  • 6g (1 tsp) baking soda, sifted
  • 4g (1 tsp) baking powder
  • 5g (1 tsp) fine sea salt
  • 50g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 63g (1/4 cup, 4T, or 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  1. Beat eggs in a medium bowl.
  2. Add milk, yogurt, sourdough starter, and vanilla. Stir to incorporate.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
  4. Add dry mix to the egg mixture, mixing well.
  5. Stir in melted butter.
  6. Let rest for about 30 minutes to let your sourdough starter get going just a bit. Adjust the consistency of the batter, if needed. (see note below)
  7. Lightly grease a hot griddle. (I used cooking oil spray.)
  8. Ladle the batter onto the griddle and cook until light brown and bubbles start to appear on top, then flip to cook the other side. Refrain from flipping multiple times.
  9. Serve with fresh berries and pure maple syrup, as desired.

Note: You may need to adjust the amount of milk depending on the stiffness of your sourdough starter and your preferred batter consistency. The above ingredients worked well with my starter; if you’re using a stiff starter, you might want to add around 1/2 cup more milk.

These sourdough waffles are the perfect option if you have a lot of starter to discard. I made them plain but plan to try them with incorporated fresh or frozen blueberries next time. We ate them topped with sliced bananas and pure maple syrup.

Sourdough Waffles

Yield: 8 waffles

  • 2 cups (454g) milkshake-thick sourdough starter discard (non-fed)
  • 4 T canola oil or melted butter
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup granulated or light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking soda, sifted
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • milk, if needed to adjust the batter consistency
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, optional
  • sliced bananas and/or fresh berries, to serve
  • maple syrup, to serve
  1. Combine starter, oil/butter, vanilla, sugar and egg in a large bowl. Whisk well to combine.
  2. Add baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine. Adjust the batter consistency with milk, if necessary.
  3. Fold in berries, if using.
  4. Lightly coat the waffle iron with cooking spray.
  5. Ladle some of the batter into the waffle iron to fill the pan. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
  6. Transfer to a cooling rack for a minute or two and then to a cutting board. Separate and keep warm.
  7. Repeat with the remaining waffle batter.
  8. Serve with fruit, drizzled with maple syrup, as desired.

These cinnamon-sugar sourdough waffles were very special. The recipe was adapted from Artisan Sourdough Made Simple: A Beginner’s Guide to Delicious Handcrafted Bread with Minimal Kneading by Emilie Raffa, via epicurious.com. I used white whole wheat flour and incorporated vanilla extract.

We ate them with cubed pineapple and fresh berries. My son sprinkled them with additional cinnamon-sugar. 🙂 Fabulous! I actually made a double batch.

Cinnamon-Sugar Sourdough Waffles

Yield: 7 to 8 waffles

For the Cinnamon-Sugar:

  • 1⁄4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp (3 g) cinnamon

For the Waffle Batter:

  • 1⁄2 cup (120 g) leftover starter (non-fed)
  • 1 cup (240 ml) milk, whole or 2% (I used 1%)
  • 3 to 4 T (42 g) unsalted butter, melted, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (120 g) all-purpose flour and/or whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat flour)
  • 1 T (12 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp (10 g) baking powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp fine sea salt
  • cooking oil spray, for coating

Optional Toppings:

  • cubed fresh pineapple
  • mixed seasonal berries
  • coconut flakes
  • pure maple syrup, to serve (we ate them without syrup)
  1. Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a shallow bowl. Set aside.
  2. Preheat your waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Combine the leftover starter, milk, 2 tablespoons (28 g) of melted butter, egg, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk well to combine.
  4. Add the sugar, baking, powder and salt and whisk until smooth.
  5. Add the flour and continue to whisk until smooth. If the batter seems too thick, add more milk to thin out the texture. (This will all depend on the consistency of your sourdough starter.)
  6. Lightly coat the waffle iron with cooking spray.
  7. Ladle some of the batter into the waffle iron to fill the pan. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
  8. Transfer to a cooling rack for a minute or two and then to a cutting board.
  9. Brush lightly with some of the remaining melted butter. Sprinkle with reserved cinnamon sugar to coat the top.
  10. Repeat with the remaining waffle batter.
  11. To serve, top your waffles with the pineapple, mixed berries, and coconut flakes, as desired. Enjoy with sweet maple syrup on the side. (We ate them without syrup.)

Note: Once completely cool, these waffles can be frozen for up to 2 months. Cover in plastic wrap and a layer of foil before freezing. Bake frozen at 350°F (180°C) until warmed through.

Cream of Fresh Pea Soup

I have one more green soup to share. This bright green soup screams “springtime” to me but it can be a wonderful summertime soup because it is also delicious served chilled. It is a classic soup in my house- I have made it for years using both fresh or frozen peas.

The fresh herbs provide the bright flavor in the finished soup. I have always incorporated fresh dill but I can imagine that it would also be delicious with basil or a combination of fresh herbs.

This recipe is adapted from Mollie Katzen’s The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. Fast, healthy, and delicious.

Yield: 5 to 6 servings

  • 1 T unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock, or water
  • 4 cups peas, fresh (about 20 oz) or frozen
  • 1 cup milk (low-fat or soy okay)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 T minced fresh dill, mint, basil, tarragon, parsley, and/or chives
  1. Melt the butter in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Add onion and salt, and cook over medium heat until the onion is soft, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add the stock/water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the peas, cover again, and remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes, or until the peas are tender.
  4. Purée the soup with the milk using an immersion blender, food processor, or blender, then return the purée to the pot.
  5. Reheat the soup very gently. Add the minced fresh herbs just prior to serving.

Note: This soup also tastes wonderful served at room temperature or chilled.

One-Pan Shrimp Scampi with Orzo

This is an incredibly full-flavored one-pan dish. I made it when my mom was visiting because she is such a fan of shrimp. She loved it! 🙂

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Ali Slagle. Fast and fabulous.

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, patted dry
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup orzo
  • cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups boiling water, seafood stock, or chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the shrimp, 1 tablespoon olive oil, the lemon zest, red-pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and half the garlic. Set aside to marinate (this step can be done up to 1 hour in advance).
  2. To a medium skillet, add the butter, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and remaining minced garlic; heat over medium.
  3. When the butter starts to bubble, add the orzo and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until the orzo is toasted, about 2 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent the garlic from burning.
  4. Carefully add the wine (it will bubble) and stir until absorbed, about 1 minute.
  5. Stir in the water or stock, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until the orzo is al dente, about 12 to 16 minutes.
  6. Add the shrimp in a snug, even layer on top of the orzo, cover, and cook until all the shrimp is pink and cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, 2 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle with parsley and lemon juice, season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

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