Spiced Candied Almonds


I love spiced nuts and I find these addictive. They’re great on their own but can also be added to a nice green salad for a sweet and spicy crunch. They also make a great hostess gift.

A word of warning, once you start eating these, it’s difficult to stop. I can easily eat a whole jar in a sitting.

For this recipe, you want to make sure you have some type of flaky sea salt, like Maldon. I don’t recommend using table or Kosher salt in this recipe. You also want to make sure that you’re going to be near your oven for the short time that these nuts need to bake because they need to be stirred every five minutes or so to make sure that they brown evenly.

I have made these several times in the last two weeks and I plan to make another batch today. They’re that good.    

Spiced Candied Almonds
Recipe via David Liebovitz, adapted from Almonds, Anchovies and Pancetta: A Vegetarian Cookbook, Kind Of by Cal Peternell

2 cups sliced almonds, natural or blanched
1/4 teaspoon curshed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt (I use Maldon)
freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 325ºF.

Put the almonds in a medium-sized bowl along with the red pepper flakes, sea salt, and several generous turns of freshly ground black pepper.

In a small saucepan, heat the water and sugar, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir the syrup into the almonds so they’re completely coated.

Scrape the almonds into a mesh strainer set over a bowl or pan, and let drain 5 minutes.

Spread the almonds on a baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake the almonds in the oven until the almonds are golden brown, removing them from the oven to stir them twice during baking, so they brown evenly. They’ll take about 15 to 20 minutes to bake. Remove the almonds from the oven and let cool before removing them from the baking sheet.

Storage: Store the almonds in an airtight container. They can be left at room temperature up to two weeks.

Yield: 2 cups of nuts

One year ago: Gingerbread Biscotti
Two years ago: Cake Batter Truffles
Three years ago: Stuffed Cookie Dough Bites
Four years ago: Graham Cracker Bites
Five years ago: Sugared Pretzel Cookies
Six years ago: Homemade Wheat Thins
Seven years ago: Orange-Scented Almond and Olive Oil Muffins
Eight years ago: Alsatian Pizza
Nine years ago: 
Honey Wheat Cookies
Ten years ago: Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing
Eleven years ago: Chewy Sugar Cookies

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The BEST Chocolate Cake


I can safely say that this is the best chocolate cake I have ever made. It is really moist, even several days after it’s made, and it’s incredibly chocolatey. I have made a number of cakes that have “essence of chocolate’, as my grandmother used to say, meaning it barely had any real chocolate taste at all. This cake is not something you’re going to make a couple of hours before a party starts. For me, this cake took a couple of days to make; it’s definitely time consuming. I baked the three chocolate layers on the first day. When they were cool, I wrapped them tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerated them overnight. This isn’t necessary, but I started baking at the end of the day, and there wasn’t enough time to make the frosting that night. The frosting is delicious and like no other that I have made before. I have never before put frosting in the freezer, then whipped it up again.
Try this cake if you have some time and you want to make something show-stopping. I brought this to our Thanksgiving celebration and everyone raved about it. We ate some of the leftover cake five and six days after Thanksgiving and it was still incredible.

This cake calls for one ingredient that you might not have in your kitchen cabinets: Lyle’s Golden Syrup. It’s worth finding. Worst case, Amazon has it (is there anything that Amazon doesn’t sell these days?)

NB:  I just made this cake again, and didn’t realize that I didn’t have enough Lyle’s Golden Syrup.  I had 2 Tbsp. and I needed 4.  I substituted corn syrup and it worked like a charm.  Another tip about this cake – it’s great frozen.  If there’s any left over after we serve it, we put it in the freezer and eat ice cold slices.  They’re really good!



The BEST Chocolate Layer Cake
Recipe from Fine Cooking

For the cake:
6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter; more for the pans
13-1/2 oz. (3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for the pans
3/4 cup canola oil
4-1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 cups granulated sugar
2-1/4 oz. (3/4 cup) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
2-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

For the frosting:

2-1/2 cups heavy cream
3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups granulated sugar
6 oz. (2 cups) natural unsweetened cocoa powder; more for decorating
1/2 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup
1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Position racks in the bottom and top thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.

Butter three 9×2-inch round cake pans and line each with a parchment round. Butter the parchment, then dust with flour and knock out the excess.

In a 3-quart saucepan, combine the butter, oil, chopped chocolate, and 1 cup water. Heat over medium heat until melted.In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, and cocoa powder. Pour the hot chocolate mixture into the sugar mixture and whisk until combined.

Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then whisk in the buttermilk, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans.Set two pans on the top rack and the third on the lower rack. Stagger the pans on the oven racks so that no pan is directly over another. Bake, swapping and rotating the pans’ positions after 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on racks for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the racks, remove the parchment, and cool completely.

Make the frosting; In a 4-quart saucepan over low heat, combine the cream, butter, and vanilla bean and seeds and stir until the butter is melted. Remove the vanilla bean and whisk in the chopped chocolate until melted. Whisk in the sugar, cocoa powder, syrup, and salt until smooth—be sure the cocoa powder dissolves completely. Pour into a 9×13-inch pan and freeze until firm, about 2 hours, or refrigerate overnight.

Assemble the cake; Remove the frosting from the freezer or refrigerator. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes to soften. Change to a whisk attachment and beat at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Put a cake layer on a flat serving platter or a cake stand lined with strips of waxed paper to keep it clean while icing. Top the layer with 1-1/2 cups of the frosting, spreading it evenly with an offset spatula to the cake’s edge. Repeat with another cake layer and 1-1/2 cups frosting. Top with the last cake layer. Put 1-1/2 cups of the frosting in a small bowl. With an offset spatula, spread this frosting in a thin layer over the top and sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake until the frosting firms enough to seal in the crumbs, 20 to 30 minutes.Spread the remaining frosting in a smooth layer over the top and sides of the cake. If necessary, you can rewhip the remaining frosting to loosen and lighten it. Remove the waxed paper strips.

Make Ahead Tips

You can bake, cool, wrap, and store the cake layers at room temperature for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 1 month. You can refrigerate the frosting for up to 3 days. The assembled cake can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours (return to room temperature before serving).

Yield: 16 servings

One year ago: Gingerbread Biscotti
Two years ago: Cake Batter Truffles
Three years ago: Baked Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Curry Chickpeas
Four years ago: Candied Orange Peel
Five years ago: Sugared Pretzel Cookies
Six years ago: Quinoa Mac and Cheese
Seven years ago: Granola
Eight years ago: Boston Cream Pie
Nine years ago:
Pear Salad with Raspberry Cream
Ten years ago: Roasted Potato Leek Soup
Eleven years ago: Zucchini Gratin


Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


I wouldn’t usually be posting a recipe with raisins in it, because as a rule, I don’t love raisins, or mushrooms for that matter. That said, we have a neighbor, who is basically like family, that LOVES oatmeal raisin cookies. He recently had surgery, so I made these for him. Two of the six of us in my family told me that the cookies were really good (four of us don’t like raisins), so I decided to post the recipe in case I need to make them again.

I made these to send to our neighbor, even though he’s a Patriots fan. One of these years, our Jets will trounce the Patriots. It may be a while before that happens, but I’ll root for the Jets until it does.

If you like oatmeal raisin cookies, try these. They’ve received great reviews the few times I’ve made them.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup (125 grams) light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 cups (120 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup (120 grams) raisins
1/2 cup walnuts (65 grams), chopped (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, raisins and walnuts, if using them.

At this point you can either chill the dough for a bit in the fridge and then scoop it, or scoop the cookies onto a sheet and then chill the whole tray before baking them. You could also bake them right away, if you’re impatient, but they may end up slighly less thick.

Scoop the cookies onto the baking sheets and place them two inches apart. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes (baking time will vary, depending on your oven and how cold the cookies were going in), taking them out when golden at the edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.

Yield: ~24 cookies

One year ago: Loiusa’s Cake
Two years ago: Pumpkin Lentil Soup
Three years ago: Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Four years ago: Mallobars
Five years ago: Sweet Potato-Sausage Soup
Six years ago: Marcus Samuelsson’s Spiced Coconut Lentil Soup
Seven years ago: Rosemary-Lemon Sandwich Cookies
Eight years ago: Weeknight Bolognese
Nine years ago:
Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops
Ten years ago: Mahogany Beef Stew with Red Wine and Hoisin Sauce

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Chocolate Nut Zucchini Bread


One of my favorite cooking magazines is called Fine Cooking. I subscribe to their email newsletter, which is where I found this recipe. Having made it several times now, it’s being officially added to my rotation of quick breads. It’s not overly sweet, and it’s not overly chocolatey either, with just 1/3 cup of chocolate. It’s perfect with a cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon. A slice is also nice as dessert after dinner.

Use chocolate chips if you don’t have bittersweet chocolate on hand and don’t skip the walnuts.


Chocolate Nut Zucchini Bread
Recipe from Fine Cooking

4 oz. (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter; more for the pan
9-1/2 oz. (2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for the pan
3/4 lb. zucchini (about 3 small), stem ends trimmed
3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup strongly brewed coffee, cold or at room temperature
1/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt or buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 oz. finely chopped bittersweet chocolate (1/3 cup)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (2 oz.)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 8-1/2 x 4-1/2-inch metal loaf pan and dust with flour; tap out any excess.
Using the large grating disk on a food processor, pass the zucchini vertically through the feed tube to grate. (If the zucchini is too wide to fit, slice in half lengthwise.) Discard any remaining ungrated portions wedged on top of the disk. Transfer the grated zucchini to a colander or sieve set over a bowl. Sprinkle 1 Tbs. of the sugar over the grated zucchini and toss to distribute. Sprinkle another 1 Tbs. sugar over the zucchini and toss again. Set aside for 20 minutes.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Pour the butter into a medium bowl and let cool slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. Whisk the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, coffee, yogurt or buttermilk, and eggs into the butter.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, chocolate, walnuts, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

Squeeze the zucchini by the fistful to thoroughly wring out excess liquid. Add the zucchini to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Pour over the flour mixture and, using a large wooden spoon, stir until just blended.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and release the bread, turning it upright onto the rack until completely cooled.

Yield: 1 loaf

One year ago: Veggie Nuggets
Two years ago: Pumpkin Lentil Soup
Three years ago: Giant Bubbles
Four years ago: Mallobars
Five years ago: Quick Poached Salmon with Mustard Dill Sauce
Six years ago: Granola-Crusted Nuts
Seven years ago: Orzo with Roasted Vegetables
Eight years ago: Pumpkin Muffins
Nine years ago:
Go Green Giant Calzone
Ten years ago: Broccoli Salad

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Plum Torte


I have made this torte many times over the last year and I’m just getting around to posting the recipe. It’s delicious when plums are in season, and when they’re not, it’s quite tasty with berries as well. Make sure the berries on top are well packed; don’t leave too much interstitial space. Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream are nice additions.

This is an incredibly easy recipe to make, it’s very forgiving, and it’s a great dessert to serve at a dinner party. It’s always a big hit.


Plum Torte
Recipe from the NY Times

3/4 to 1 cup sugar (I typically split the difference and use 7/8 cup of sugar)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup unbleached flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt (optional)
2 eggs
24 halves pitted Italian plums (I use ~4 – 5 regular plums (not the small Italian ones) and slice each plum into 8 wedges and tightly pack them on top of the batter)
Sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon, for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the sugar and butter in a bowl. Add the eggs and beat well. Mix in the flour, baking powder and salt.

Spoon the batter into an 8″, 9″ or 10″ springform pan. Place the plum halves skin side up on top of the batter. Tightly pack the fruit. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and lemon juice, depending on the sweetness of the fruit. Sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, depending on how much you like cinnamon.

Bake for approximately 40-50 minutes. Watch the torte so it doesn’t burn or dry out. Remove from oven and cool; refrigerate or freeze if desired. Or cool to lukewarm and serve plain or with whipped cream. (To serve a torte that was frozen, defrost and reheat it briefly at 300 degrees.)

Yield: 8 servings

One year ago: No Bake Healthy Breakfast Cookies
Two years ago: Salted Caramel and Chocolate Rice Krispies Squares
Three years ago: Curried Peas and Tofu
Four years ago: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Energy Bars
Five years ago: Crispy Chicken and Apple Salad
Six years ago: Baked Orzo with Mozzarella and Oregano
Seven years ago: Classic Tomato Soup
Eight years ago: Whole Wheat Apple Muffins
Nine years ago:
French Toast
Ten years ago: Fun Fall Cookies

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Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Chicken Skillet


My husband said that this is one of the best chicken dishes he has EVER eaten! How’s that for an endorsement?

For me, this dish is reminiscent of the birthday meal that I chose year after year as I was growing up, Chicken Divan. for decades, it was my favorite, until I switched to my mom’s Eggplant Parm, and then her Cashew Chicken, which I still ask for today. This dish and Chicken Divan are not exactly the same, but both have a flavorful, creamy sauce over chicken and vegetables. Next time I make this, I will double the spinach and maybe even add a few more artichokes. I like dishes that are heavy on vegetables.

This is comfort food at its best. Serve it over rice or noodles. Leftovers are great too.

Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Chicken Skillet
Recipe from FoodNetwork.com

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Four 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces cream cheese, cut into chunks
1 cup half-and-half
One 5-ounce package baby spinach (about 4 cups)
One 14-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
Steamed rice, for serving

Whisk together the flour, 1 tablespoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a pie plate or shallow dish. Coat both sides of the chicken breasts in the seasoned flour. Shake off any excess and set aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, undisturbed, until deeply golden, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook the second side. Remove the chicken to a plate. Add the remaining tablespoon oil to the skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted. Pour in the half-and-half and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken back to the skillet, reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook, turning about halfway through, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F, 12 to 14 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. At this point, you can leave the chicken breasts whole or cut them into chunks (I like mine cut into chunks.) Add the spinach to the sauce in the skillet, cover and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the artichoke hearts and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the creamy sauce over the chicken. Serve with steamed rice.

Yield: 4 servings

One year ago: Cocoa Buttermilk Breakfast Biscuits with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Butter
Two years ago: Tomato, Melted Leek and Feta Galette
Three years ago: Summer Squash Casserole
Four years ago: Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches
Five years ago: Chickpea Vegetable Stew
Six years ago: Apple Chips
Seven years ago: Oatmeal Cookies with Tart Cherries and White Chocolate
Eight years ago: Smoked Chili Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
Nine years ago:
Billy’s Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes
Ten years ago: Frosted Pumpkin Muffins

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Coconut Corn Salad


This recipe piqued my interest because it contained a lot of ingredients that I really like. I can’t say that I would ever have imagined putting them together, but they surprisingly work very well together.

This is a prefect recipe for late summer when fresh corn is plentiful, at least in the Northeast. Most of the remaining ingredients can be purchased fairly inexpensively (at least by NYC standards) at Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s sells a delicious bag of what it calls coconut chips. I took these and tossed them into a dry frying pan and tossed them over medium heat until they started to turn brown.

Fresh thyme and fresh citrus juice are key here. Do not used dried thyme and don’t use bottled lemon or lime juice.

Coconut Corn Salad
Recipe from https://www.101cookbooks.com/corn-salad/

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 ears of corn, shucked
fine grain sea salt
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 cup big coconut flakes, well toasted (in a dry frying pan)
1 cup sliced almonds, well toasted
3 tablespoons chopped red onions
big squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the corn, sprinkle with a couple pinches of salt and stir well, you want all the corn to be coated. Cook for just a minute or so, stir in half the thyme, and then transfer the corn to a large serving bowl.

Just before you’re ready to serve, add most of the coconut flakes, most of the almonds, the rest of the thyme, red onions, and citrus juice. Stir well. Taste, season with more salt, to taste, and serve topped with the remaining coconut and almonds (and another splash of citrus if needed!).

Yield: 4 servings

One year ago: Cocoa Buttermilk Breakfast Biscuits with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Butter
Two years ago: Pumpkin Lentil Soup
Three years ago: New York Salt Potatoes
Four years ago: Corn-Shrimp Dumplings
Five years ago: Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Six years ago: Breakfast Crepes
Seven years ago: Cannellini Beans with Lemon, Roasted Red Peppers, and Bacon
Eight years ago: Apple Cake
Nine years ago:
Southwestern-Style Succotash Chili
Ten years ago: Incredibly Easy Apple Sauce

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Delicious Lemon Loaf


I love a good lemon bread. It’s great for breakfast, dessert or an afternoon snack. This one is quite moist and bursting with flavor. Starbucks sells something just like it, and although I’ve never tried theirs, I bet this one is better. I have made this recipe several times now and it has always been a hit.

One of my sons has been baking up a storm this summer. Everything he bakes is delicious. Like his mother, he loves to try new recipes, and unlike his mother, he is bold enough to try to invent new recipes on his own. I must say, we’ve been having a lot of fun in the kitchen this summer. My son is actually the one who made (and photographed) this lemon bread. It didn’t last long in our kitchen.  It’s great to have around if company is coming.


Delicious Lemon Loaf
Recipe from Averie Cooks

3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream or Greek yogurt
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons lemon zest
2 Tablespoons lemon extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Lemon Glaze
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice, or as needed for desired consistency


Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, sour cream, and whisk vigorously until smooth and combined.

Add the oil and whisk to combine.

Add the lemon zest, lemon extract, and whisk to combine.

Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and stir until just combined, don’t overmix. Some small lumps will be present and that’s okay.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula. Bake for about 50 to 52 minutes, or until top is domed, set, and toothpick inserted in the center crack comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs but no batter. In the last 10 minutes of baking, tent pan with foil (loosely drape a sheet of foil over pan) to prevent excessive browning on the top and sides of bread before center cooks through.

Allow loaf to cool in pan on top of a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before turning out onto rack to cool completely before glazing.

Lemon Glaze – To a small bowl, add the confectioner’s sugar and slowly drizzle in the lemon juice while whisking until smooth and combined. Begin by adding about a Tablespoon of juice at a time and keep adding the lemon juice until your glaze reaches your desired consistency. I tend to like my glaze on the thicker side.

Evenly drizzle glaze over bread before slicing and serving. If you have extra glaze you can spread it on individual slices of the bread. You can also cut the glaze recipe in half if you don’t love glaze.

Store bread at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Yield: 1 loaf

One year ago: Sprinkle Cookies
Two years ago: Black Bean Burgers
Three years ago: Smooth and Creamy Polenta
Four years ago: Dark Chocolate Butterscotch Brownies
Five years ago: Roasted Shrimp and Orzo
Six years ago: Spicy Pickled Cucumbers
Seven years ago: Grilled Eggplant Salad
Eight years ago: Blueberry Crumb Cake
Nine years ago:
Fresh Corn and Avocado Salad
Ten years ago: Asian Style Three Bean Salad

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Tomato and Feta White Bean Salad


It’s summer here in the Northeast and there’s nothing better than a hearty salad that doesn’t involve any cooking, especially one that calls for tomatoes, which are at their peak right now. If you’re a tomato and feta cheese fan, definitely try this. It comes together in no time. The ingredients are simple, but the fresh parsley and oregano give it a punch of flavor. If you don’t have fresh herbs on hand, skip this recipe until you do.

I know that this salad looks a lot like the one I posted yesterday, but they are completely different. They taste nothing alike. Yesterday’s salad is slightly sweet because of the pineapple. This salad is not sweet at all. This salad is great as a leftover too.

Because it’s loaded with beans, add a slice of crusty bread and you have a nice, light summer dinner.

Did my boys try this? The vegetarian did. Didn’t like it. My husband and I loved it. The rest would have nothing to do with it. Some things never change.


Tomato and Feta White Bean Salad
Recipe from The Kitchn

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon minced shallot
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes (about 2 cups), halved
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves

Whisk the oil, vinegar, shallot, a big pinch of salt, and a few generous grinds of black pepper together in a large bowl. Add the beans, tomatoes, feta, parsley, and oregano and toss to combine. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.

Yield: ~ 5 cups of salad to serve four as a side dish

One year ago: Sprinkle Cookies
Two years ago: Shortbread
Three years ago: Nutella Cheesecake Chocolate Cookie Cups
Four years ago: Shrimp and Grits
Five years ago: Marion Cunningham’s Raised Waffles
Six years ago: Marion Cunningham’s Raised Waffles
Seven years ago: Lemony Parsley-and-Egg Soup
Eight years ago: Zucchini Pancakes
Nine years ago: Baked Apple “Donuts”
Ten years ago: Double Chocolate Cookies

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Black Bean Salad


Hello! I know I haven’t posted in ages, but now that school is out for the summer I have more time. The boys all successfully finished their sophomore and freshman years in high school. I’m told that next year, which is junior year for the triplets, is going to be a doozy — apparently lots and lots of work and the beginning of the college process. Yikes!

I wanted to make sure this summer salad recipe got posted before we all move away from light and refreshing summer bean salads into heavier fall and winter root vegetables. For me, this salad rivals my all-time favorite summer bean salad. Warning: this salad contains a healthy dose of cilantro, and if you’re anything like my mother, you avoid cilantro like the plague because it tastes like soap. If you’re a cilantro lover, like I am, this salad could be right up your alley.

I have served this numerous times as a side dish, but I think it would also make a nice salsa served with sturdy corn chips.

You have a lot of freedom with this recipe. For example, the recipe calls for 1/4 cup of diced red peppper. When I diced my pepper, it yielded more than 1/4 cup, but I just threw all of it into the salad. Unlike baking, you can be loose with the measurements.



Black Bean Salad
Recipe adapted ever-so-slightly from Guy Fieri

2 cans black beans, drained, about 30 ounces
1 1/2 cups frozen corn or one (15-ounce) can corn, drained or kernels from 2 ears of corn, blanched
2 Roma tomatoes, diced (or any similarly sized tomatoes that look good to you)
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup diced green onions
1/4 cup diced pineapple
1 – 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves (depending upon how much you like cilantro)
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Juice of one lime
3 tablespoons honey, heated for 10 seconds in the microwave
1/2 – 1 tablespoon salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch ground cumin

Add all of the vegetables to a large bowl. If you’re not a fan of raw red onion, dice it and put it in a small bowl or mug and add water until is just covers the onions. Heat in the microwave for a minute or two until the onion is softened. Doing this will take some of the bite out of it.

Make the dressing by whisking together the vinegars, the lime juice the warmed honey and the salt, pepper and cumin. Start by adding the smaller amount of salt and taste the dressing. Add more to taste. Pour the dressing over the salad and refrigerate for an hour (if you have the time.) If you don’t have the time, like I didn’t one night, serve it as soon as it’s made. It’ll still be delicious.

Yield: ~6 servings as a side dish

One year ago: Sprinkle Cookies
Two years ago: Shrimp Scampi with Spiralized Zucchini
Three years ago: Mint Chocolate Chip Meringues
Four years ago: French Chocolate Macarons
Five years ago: Chocolate Chip Scones
Six years ago: Spicy Grilled Corn Salad with Black Beans and Feta
Seven years ago: Blackberry Muffins
Eight years ago: Cake Pops
Nine years ago: The Simplest Bean Burgers
Ten years ago: Crispy Kale Chips

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