38 Power Foods, Week 16 — Apricots– Coffee Cup Apple Cobbler with Apricots, Dates, and Walnuts

Just add ice cream

Gently put:  I’m so very, very thrilled to be able to bake.  Anything.  To leave a burner on for soup.  Any kind.  Blessed fall, I welcome you with a full slate of cooking I’ve been dying to do for a month.

My husband started wandering around a few weeks go saying things like:

Are there any cookies?  Any at all anywhere?

What he meant was Any chance there are any Christmas cookies left in the big freezer?  Because I don’t bake in the summer.  Not unless there’s a birthday and I get up very early to do it.  He was then snarfing around to see if I’d laid back any shortbread; I keep packaged Scots shortbread to crumble in ice cream parfaits.  Finally I just had to bake.  He couldn’t go another day. (There were no Christmas or any other kind of cookies in the big freezer in the garage.)

And once the baking gets going in the fall, it includes all things apple.  And since it was time for apple cobbler, I thought I’d make a new one that included a few other things.  The resulting cobbler was worthy of fall.  A few toasted walnuts…some dried figs…and of course, today’s treat:  apricots.  (In this case dried apricots.)   I had fun baking them in individual coffee cups (French porcelain by Apilco–oven-safe) and, naturally, topping them with a little vanilla ice cream.  Try this:

coffee cup apple cobbler with apricots, dates, 
    and walnuts
makes 6 or 7, depending on the size of your cups  (If you use ramekins, it will make more.) 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

For the filling:

  • 5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup each chopped dried figs and apricots
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon each:  ground ginger and nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  •  4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

Mix together all of the ingredients except the butter in a medium bowl.  Divide the mixture evenly between greased cups while you make the biscuit topping.  Dot each cup of fruit mixture with butter.

For the biscuit topping:

  •  1 cup unbleached flour
  • 2 tablespoons of white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 1/4 cup) butter, chilled
  • 6 tablespoons milk

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a bowl or in the food processor fitted with the steel blade.  Stir together with a fork or by pulsing the machine.  Cut the butter into bits and using a either a pastry blender, two knives, your fingers or by pulsing the machine, work it into the flour mixture until it resembles fine crumbs.  Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly  with a fork or by leaving machine running.  Gather the dough together on a floured board and knead ten times.  Roll or pat dough until it’s no more than 1/2 inch thick.  Cut dough in circles (size of the top of the cup diameter) and top each cup of fruit mixture with dough.

  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

  • Vanilla (or cinnamon)  ice cream for serving

Brush the top of each circle of dough with a little melted butter.  Place cups on a rimmed baking sheet.  Bake for 20-30 minutes until bubbly and golden brown.  Let cool 20 minutes or more before serving warm or at room temperature with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.  Store leftovers tightly covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Cook’s Note:

 If you want to bake this in one pan, it’ll be fine. Use a greased 8×8 square baking pan and roll the dough out to fit inside that pan.

Biscuit topping recipe courtesy  THE FANNY FARMER BAKING BOOK by Marion Cunningham.

 About those dried apricots:


A serving of this fruit supplies about 67 calories, but keep in mind that this is for 1/4 cup. Be sure to portion the fruit instead of eating straight from the bag or carton to prevent overeating.


The bulk of the calories in dried apricots is from sugar. Of the 17.5 g of total carbohydrates, 15 g are from the natural fruit sugar, providing 90 percent of the calories. A serving of dried apricots provides about 2 g of fiber, or about 8 percent of the daily value.

Protein and Fat

A serving of fruit provides about 1 g of protein and trace fat. It can be tempting to eat more than one serving at a time because of the low fat content, but remember to keep an eye on total calories.

Vitamins and Minerals

Dried apricots provide small amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. They provide about 1,171 IU of vitamin A and 1.4 mg of vitamin E. There are only 3 mg of sodium per serving, making dried apricots a low-sodium food and a good choice for those with high blood pressure.

 Nutritional information for fresh apricots available here.

Read all about apricots  here at the California Apricot site.
Want more apricot recipes?  Check out 21 of Martha Stewart’s favorites.

If you liked this recipe, you might like my Low-Fat Granola, which includes yummy dried apricots:

or my Czech Easter Bread, which should have citron, but has apricots instead!

I blog with a great group of food writers on Fridays as we cook our way through the list of foods from Whole Living Magazine’s Power Foods:  150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients:    Read more about beautiful apricots this week at these sites:

Alanna –  http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/

Ansh – SpiceRoots.com  
Minnie Gupta from TheLady8Home.com

Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink
Join us!  We’d like to have you as part of the group:

To become involved with our blogging team,  get in touch with Mireya from My Healthy Eating Habits:  Mireya@MyHealthyEatingHabits.com

30 Soups in 30 Minutes…(new book) Update

Testing Two Mushroom-Red Onion with Cheddar and
Cream of Spicy Pumpkin this week.  Good thing we like soup.
The pumpkin was done in twenty minutes.  Don’t buy
cartons of soup if you can make soup this quickly and
know exactly what’s floating around in your bowl.

two-dog kitchen and around the ‘hood: 

The squirrels are so nutty right now ( good pun)…The dogs and I counted seven right in front of us on our walk the other day.  Up trees, across roads…yes, I’ll go this way/no I’ll go that way.  They’re crazy!

Photo: Is it just me or are the squirrels a little nutty (squirrely??) right now?   Cross the road; don't cross the road.   Oops!  I changed my mind again.  Up the tree; down the tree.  Chase six of my brothers and sisters at the same time. Chaaaaatttter, chaaaateerrr....  Sit right there and don't move despite the fact that two big dogs are right on top of ya, fella.

We are screaming for rain…it’s so dry lots  of things are just browning up and dusting away instead of turning their fragrant-vibrant reds and golds.  I’m trying to plant a few things for next spring and I’m afraid it’s useless.  The grass is..  Well, the grass is just not good.  

Nothing in the forecast.
Just for fun (tea spoon for scale)  Brussels Sprouts from Trader Joe’s today
Apfel Pfannkuchen (apple pancake) on the Dinner Place/Solo Cook blog right now.

Sing a new song; bake a new anything!

Tuna Salad Quesadillas – A Recipe in a Title

Tuna Salad Quesadillas — a Recipe in a Title

 If you read both blogs regularly, you’ll be starting to feel like I’m hooked on this sort of salad.  In fact, I’m not.

Farro Salad with Canned Salmon, Basil, Tomatoes  and Spinach on my Dinner Place blog

Somehow, however, they end up in my cooking-for-one lineup fairly regularly because they’re easy to make for lunch or, more likely, because my husband adores them.  He’s pretty much a sandwich fiend ( just watch him eat a great sub), but give him egg salad, tuna salad, etc., and he’s beyond a pretty happy guy.  Add pickles?  Chips?  That’s a thrilling lunch full of smiles to see.

Here he is in Montreal last June.  Waiting for a sandwich, of course.

The other day I thought we’d have some tuna salad and crackers:

This is actually salmon salad.

 But in the frig were some high-fiber tortillas that needed to be used.  I’d make a wrap, I thought. Then I remembered some hot tuna sandwiches we often had as newlyweds.  Tuna salad on a hamburger bun with cheese that was then wrapped in foil and heated in the oven for 45 minutes!  (It must have been cooked to death.)  And the next thing I know, I’m making tuna quesadillas.   They’re my new go-to for a tuna sandwich.  And, well, I guess this sounds somewhat pedestrian, doesn’t it?  But once you’ve made it, I think you’ll be happy I took the time to write it up.

You go ahead and make tuna salad any way you like (or buy it at the deli), but if you need a recipe, I’ll put one at the bottom.  Meantime, here’s the story in a few pics, which goes just about how you’d think it would:

Melt 1 teaspoon butter in medium skillet over medium heat.  Add small tortilla and spread with about 1/3 cup tuna salad leaving a little space around the perimeter.  Top with some sliced cheddar cheese. ( I tore one slice in half.)  Top with another tortilla.

Let the quesadilla cook a couple of minutes or until quite toasty; carefully turn and cook the other side until golden.  Remove to a cutting board and gently slice in half and in half again using a serrated knife.

Serve with some pickles, greens, and tomatoes.  Ok, chips if you really need them.

Tuna Salad:

  • 1 6-7 ounce can tuna, drained, and broken up with a fork
  • 1 boiled egg, peeled and chopped (I do this in the microwave sometimes; see below*)
  • 1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon Prepared horseradish, optional
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 3 tablespoons each:    minced celery and minced dill pickles
  • Pinch each:  kosher salt, fresh-ground pepper, and dried dill
  • Pinch crushed red pepper (optional)

. In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together with a table fork.  Stir well.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Add a bit more mayo or a drizzle of olive oil if you like your salad more moist. 

*To make a “boiled” egg in the microwave: 

Grease or “Pam” a deep cereal orsoup bowl and crack an egg into it.  With a sharp knife, pierce the yolk once and the white several times to help avoid eggsplosions.  (Couldn’t resist that.)  Cover tightly with plastic wrap (or a firmly fitting second bowl or dinner plate if you’re brave) and cook on high about  a minute.  Using  pot holder or mitts (this is hot), remove the bowl from the microwave and let sit a minute or so before unwrapping.  Tip the egg out of the bowl onto a cutting board and let cool another minute or so before chopping.


two-dog kitchen and around the ‘hood

Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Bread for the Choir:

 Working on updating the Italian Beef photographs for an old post….and had to make Italian Beef (ah…)  Gotta love Chicago food.  No matter what, brown food doesn’t photograph well:

One of the last bouquets from my yard for the year:

 She’s writing again…..

  Late neighborhood hydrangeas:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Keeping the Feast by Milton Brasher-Cunningham

Keeping the Feast

by Milton Brasher-Cunningham

Being released October 01 2012
Giveaway ends in 4 days (October 01, 2012)
3 copies available, 44 people requesting

giveaway details »

Enter to win 

Sing a new song,

38 Power Foods, Week 15 — Winter Squash — Israeli Couscous-Butternut Squash Salad with Fall Fruit, Cheese and Orange Vinaigrette

How are new salads born at my house?    Like this……

I’ve had some Israeli couscous (actually a blend) in my cabinet for a few months.  Waiting.
Typically I throw some leeks, garlic, and asparagus in a sauté pan come spring and throw those lovely things into a bowl of couscous or orzo with a handful of grated Parmesan and lots of black pepper.

When I realized this was the week to blog winter squash, a different group of ingredients started to percolate.  Despite the summer tomatoes still coming on (albeit slowly) and the basil crying for that last bowl of pesto to be made, I kept thinking fall food once the squash got in my head.  Cranberries, apples, pears, sharp cheese, nuts.

Fall..I adore pears…here I’ve just poached them slowly in port with some orange peel and cinnamon sticks.

Thursday I had a big pot of turkey chili on the stove and called some friends to run over and help eat it.  This salad, which began in my head days before it ended up in our stomachs,  started the meal.  I cooked the couscous and started chopping fruit and toasting nuts.  It came together that easily; it’s fairly fast, too.  I did think I might have liked walnut oil for the vinaigrette, but the only can I had was in the frig at our Colorado house where it’ll stay a bit fresher over the time we’re not there.

Could it be a whole meal?  Definitely.  Since it has oranges to keep the fresh fruit from turning brown, I think it’ll keep a day or so…but no more.  It might be a filling and happy side for a quick Thanksgiving meal:  roast a turkey breast, make this salad, and cook some of those green beans you’ve been freezing.  Anyway, here’s how:

Follow the photo-easy recipe:

Cook 8 ounces of  Israeli Couscous*  according to package directions. Use chicken broth in place of water. You can add a few leaves of fresh sage if you have them (remove before making salad).  When couscous is tender, add 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil while still hot.  Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and fresh ground white pepper.  Optional:  Stir in 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper. Cool to room temperature.
Toast 1/4 cup pecans in a dry small skillet and chop, reserving a few whole nuts for garnish.
Dice (medium) 1 pear, 1 apple, 1 orange (peeled),  6 dried figs (or fresh), 1 small cooked butternut squash (see below for my microwave directions).  Dice (small):  2 oz. each sharp cheddar and Swiss cheese like Jarlsberg or Emmental or even Gruyere.
Mix fruit, squash,  cheese, 1/4 cup dried cranberries, and pecans with cooled couscous.  Add the juice of another orange and 1 teaspoon honey.  Stir well, taste and adjust seasonings and/or dressing.  Serve in a bowl lined with fresh spinach leaves and garnish with reserved whole pecans.

 6 servings

We liked this salad with coffee cup pumpkin-chocolate chip muffins.

*I used Harvest Grains Blend from Trader Joe’s (available on amazon.com as well), which is a “savory blend of Israeli Couscous, Orzo, Baby Garbanzo beans, and Red Quinoa.”  Regular Israeli or pearl couscous is fine and orzo or even farro would be easily workable substitutes.

Ingredients list:  8oz Israeli couscous or blend, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper (optional), fresh sage leaves (optional), 1 3/4 cups chicken broth (used 1 15 oz. can plus a little water), 1 1/2 tablespoons each canola and extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup pecans,  1 small butternut squash, 1 pear, 1 apple, 2 oranges (1 in salad, 1 juiced), 6 figs (fresh or dried), 1/4 cup dried cranberries, 2 ounces each sharp cheddar  and Swiss cheeses, 1 teaspoon honey, 2 cups fresh spinach leaves



   Place squash in a large microwave-safe dish and, using a sharp thin knife, poke a few holes in the largest section for escaping steam.  Microwave on high 3-5 minutes (depending on size of the squash–a 1.5lb squash might take 5 minutes, for example) and remove the squash to a cutting board.   Using a large chef’s knife, carefully cut the squash in half horizontally and  with a large spoon, scoop out seeds and strings.   Place the two halves back in the baking dish with a little (2 tablespoons or so) water and put the dish back in the microwave.  Cook another five minutes on high or so (depending on the size of the squash) until tender. Covering the squash with plastic wrap or a microwave-safe cover will decrease the cooking time.   I have also filled the center section with butter and a little brown sugar and served it just like that. (I often do this with acorn squash for a quick hot lunch.)  Otherwise, you can let the squash cool, and then peel and chop or mash it according to your needs.  This is much easier than peeling (or cutting) raw butternut squash, which is, at best, difficult.

I cook winter squash frequently and my reasons are many.  Here are a few:

1.  It’s delicious; it’s good for your body.
2.  It’s easy to prepare in several ways: Stick in oven, saute, braise, boil, or microwave.
3.  It’s useful as a vegetable or side, but is also hearty enough for a main dish. (Stuff with cumin rice, jack cheese and scrambled eggs for breakfast!)
4.  It’s an excellent addition to soups and stews.
5.  It’s a good substitute for potatoes with pot roast or roasted chicken.
6.  It’s inexpensive and easy to find nearly year round, but particularly now.
7.  It keeps on the counter for a long time–easily 2 months. (That’s about the limit for acorn; the others can keep much longer.)

Be brave and try whatever beautiful squash you find at the market.  Whatever you do with acorn squash, you can easily do with most of the others.  Even spaghetti squash is quickly cooked in the microwave.  Shred it with a fork, add a little butter (salt/pepper) and you have a beautiful meal.  And, yes, you can add marinara and stay on South Beach, phase 2!!

Don’t want to deal with the peel?  You can buy peeled and cubed butternut squash or pumpkin at some markets, but you will pay a premium price.

Nutrition Profile for Butternut Squash

Each cup of cubed butternut squash provides approximately 60 calories, 16 g of carbohydrates and 3 g of fiber. It also supplies almost 300 percent of your daily value of vitamin A, 50 percent of vitamin C, 7 percent of calcium and 5 percent of iron.

 Want more info on winter squash, including nutrition and recipes?  Visit the Snap-Ed (USDA) site here.


If you liked this, you might also like this recipe from my Dinner Place blog.

rosemary chicken thighs with butternut squash, onions, and fennel

Throw it all together with olive oil; slip it into the oven on a big rimmed baking sheet.  Dinner emerges in about 35 minutes!

or you might like this:

roasted orange chicken and butternut squash (meal in a pan)

or my butternut and other squash soup

This is a lovely soup for someone who is not well or can’t chew, but is luscious as well for a first course at Thanksiving.


I blog with a great group of food writers on Fridays as we cook our way through the list of foods from Whole Living Magazine’s Power Foods:  150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients:    Read more about beautiful winter squash this week at these sites:

Alanna –  http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/

Minnie Gupta from TheLady8Home.com

Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink
Join us:

If you’re interested in joining the gang writing each week, get in touch with Mireya from My Healthy Eating Habits:  Mireya@MyHealthyEatingHabits.com

Sing a new song and cook a new squash,

38 Power Foods, Week 14 — Tomatoes — Photos from my Tomato Gallery

Julia’s 100th Birthday post:  Salmon Fillet en Papillote with Spinach and Tomatoes
Just for fun this time, I thought I’d share some of my favorite tomatoes and tomato dishes  from both of my blogs …  Enjoy my crop!

Farro Salad with Canned Salmon (not on the blogs yet)

Egg and Egg White Omelet with Cottage Cheese on Toast

Basil-Tomato Egg White-Egg Omelet (not on blog)
My Little Shop of Horrors 2 Cherry Tomato plants

BLT Risotto

Shrimp-Quinoa Salad with Feta and Tomatoes

Guacamole Soup from my upcoming book, 30 Soups in 30 Minutes


Grilled Chicken Salad with Boccacini and Asparagus
Grilled Fish with Asparagus on Greens
Just making sure you’re looking.  No tomatoes, but a favorite picture!

Bacon Caprese with a Green Bean and Mustard Vinaigrette at Center
Linguine Caprese (from last Monday)
Grilled Eggplant and Sausage Pasta–made totally on the grill

Lunch Counter Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomato


Garlic Bread Grilled Tomato under Grill Press

Proscuitto Caprese with Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Crispy Parmesan Chips (not on blog yet)

Closeup of above

My ribs.  My sauce.  Dave grills!

Rice and Bean Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

Egg White – Spinach Omelet with Salsa and Fresh Tomatoes

Garlic Bread Grilled Tomato Sandwich


Chicken-Guacamole Salad with Fresh Lime Vinaigrette

Plain old tuna salad for Dave’s lunch
Diana Kennedy’s salsa


Sauteing cherry tomatoes for salad–I use the oil for the dressing
Eggs, tortillas and fresh salsa for breakfast
Fried Egg and Potato Salad

Not blogged, but Dave baked these breadsticks (made from my pizza dough) on the grill!
This is just any old salad, though it tastes just the opposite with Minnesota tomatoes.

Meatball Subs
Walleye Salad

Poached Egg Chef’s Salad

Egg Salad
Fish baked in tomatoes

These (above and below) are part of the BLT risotto preparation.

Tapenade Salad (w/ lemon vinaigrette)–a summer favorite of mine

Sole on Leeks with Salad  (also on Food52)

Alyce’s Homemade Tomato Soup with Fried Cheese
Tomatoed Cod with Spinach
Ratatouille-Steamed Salmon with Jasmine Rice and Spinach

For information on the wonderful things tomatoes do for your body (besides make it happy,) visit LiveStrong.   Thank for reading the blog today!

I blog with a great group of food writers on Fridays as we cook our way through the list of foods from Whole Living Magazine’s Power Foods:  150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients: 

  Read more about beautiful tomatoes this week at these sites:

Ansh – SpiceRoots.com  
Jill – SaucyCooks 

Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink
Anabanana – adobodownunder.blogspot.com
Alanna –  http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/
Join us:

If you’re interested in joining the gang writing each week, get in touch with Mireya from My Healthy Eating Habits:  Mireya@MyHealthyEatingHabits.com

These are my own recipes (with noted exceptions) and can be found on this blog or on my blog Dinner Place, Cooking for One. unless otherwise noted.
Photos/all copyright Alyce Morgan, 2012


two dog kitchen and around the ‘hood

Today’s activity:  brush, trim, bath, shake, dry on back porch, brush.   Repeat.  Don’t like it much.

Sing a new song,

38 Power Foods, Week 13 — Swiss Chard — Vinegar-Chard with Apples, Shallots, and Honey

Not terribly photogenic, but quite delicious.

  I don’t cook Swiss chard a lot, though when I make it, I’m always happy I have and wonder why I don’t make it more often.  It’s a fast side for chops or chicken (chop/saute),  tops rice beautifully, and fills an omelet like nothing else.  Did I mention it’s gorgeous?

Last night, after a long day full of lectionary study, lunch out, children’s music meeting, and grocery shopping, I walked in the door not knowing what in the world I was doing with my Swiss Chard for today’s post.  I also knew I wanted to be all done with dinner in time to watch the convention; I am, if nothing else, a sincere John Kerry fan. (And he was a superhero last night!! Yikes.)  I scouted around the kitchen trying to think what else could go in that pan and what I came up with was luscious–sparky with the apple cider vinegar-red pepper combination and crunchy with the added green apples, shallots, and chard stems.  A nice drizzle of local honey evened out the whole thing.  We ate it with some cold chicken and a slice of German vollkornbrot (whole grain bread) with a bit of sharp cheese.

Once in a while, just for grins, I write a recipe using only photographs and captions.  This is so simple, let’s see if I can accomplish it:

vinegar-chard with apples, shallots, and honey
 makes 4 small servings

                           Cook’s Note:  Wash chard very thoroughly before preparation.

Remove stems from 1 bunch of Swiss chard (1 – 1.5#) and slice thinly.  Set aside.  Roll up chard leaves and slice into 1/2″ pieces.


Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep saute pan over medium heat.  Add pinch crushed red pepper, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, and cook one minute.


Stir in one minced shallot, reserved chard stems, and 1/2 a chopped Granny Smith apple with skin.
Sprinkle with a generous pinch each of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

Let cook a minute or two, stirring,  until a bit softened.

Toss in chopped chard.  Season with a little more salt and pepper.  Stir.
Cook 2-3 minutes until chard wilts.  Stir in 1 tablespoon each apple cider vinegar and honey (or to taste.)  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Serve hot or at room temperature.  (Optional garnish:  finely chopped pecans)

Low in calories and vitamin-dense (C, K, A, B), Swiss chard comes from the same family as beets and is also called silverbeet.  Full of antioxidants, it’s a cancer-fighter and usable in all of the ways you use spinach. A great addition to your shopping cart, saute pan, or soup pot, with its store of various minerals (including iron) it’s also a nutritional powerhouse.  Young chard makes great salad.  Read more here.

If you like this, you might also like this week’s post on my blog, Dinner Place — Cooking for One:

ratatouille-steamed salmon with jasmine rice and spinach

Could have used young, chopped chard.

I blog with a great group of food writers on Fridays as we cook our way through the list of foods from Whole Living Magazine’s Power Foods:  150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients: 

  Read more about Swiss chard this week at these sites:

Ansh – SpiceRoots.com  
Jill – SaucyCooks 

Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink
Anabanana – adobodownunder.blogspot.com
Alanna –  http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/
Join us:

If you’re interested in joining the gang writing each week, get in touch with Mireya from My Healthy Eating Habits:  Mireya@MyHealthyEatingHabits.com


two-dog kitchen and around the ‘hood

Finches have another brood.  Here parent eats while baby waits above at my kitchen window feeder.

Feed me, fast!

Gorgeous Thai eggplants (1.5″) from the St. Paul farmer’s market–used it in the salmon and ratatouille above.

 Sing a new song,

38 Power Foods, Week 12 — Sweet Potatoes — Warm Two-Potato Salad with Tarragon-Mustard Vinaigrette

from a June, 2012 post

(A note to my readers:  This blog has been publishing with an odd display and, in an attempt to restore its appearance, I’ve inadvertently deleted all of the comments from this post.  Please accept my apologies and thanks for your lovely comments!  Now on to today’s post….)

Necessity is the mother of invention.
As is a determination to use what’s available in the larder.
Tonight, I had probably half a pound roasted pork loin and a nice dish of my favorite barbeque sauce leftover from a birthday dinner for my friend, Lani.    I had, however, eaten the side that went with it for lunch.  Of course I knew what I was doing, but I love toasted Israeli couscous with vegetables.

If this were in your frig, you’d heat it up for lunch, too.  Along with a nice big shard of parm Lani brought over Friday night as a “coming to dinner” gift.  Yow.

Anyway, when it came time for dinner tonight (and we are eating outside every night now), it was kind of, “Well, I know what half of it is.”  The rest I had to throw my eyes around the kitchen for.  Bad grammar, too.  I spy:

  • sweet potatoes
  • Idaho potatoes
  • shallots
  • fresh tarragon (out the back door)
  • red bell pepper (in the frig)
  • broccoli

And what to with it?  My first idea was to grill the potatoes and make a salad, but I didn’t want to heat the stove long enough for my big cast iron grill.  It was warm.   Dave was busy upstairs; I decided to not have him pull out the big Weber grill outdoors for me.   My 14″ saute pan was on the stove clean from yesterday’s frittata.  A little olive oil, a little chop, and the salad began. Here’s how:

warm two-potato salad with mustard-tarragon vinaigrette                4 serving for a side  (2 for a main course)

  • 2T olive oil 
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1/4 t each  fresh ground black pepper and crushed red pepper
    In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil, salt and peppers over medium heat.  Add:
  • 1 ea:  large Idaho and sweet potato, medium diced (peel sweet potato only) 

Cook, stirring often, until softened but not tender.  Add: 
  • 1 small head of broccoli, trimmed and cut into small florets  (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, small dice
Cook, stirring often, until broocoli browned (not done) and potatoes are tender.  Add:
  • 1 shallot (slice half for salad; mince half for vinaigrette)

Cook another two minutes or so until shallot is softened.   Spoon into a large bowl and toss with vinaigrette (recipe below).   Top with

  • 1T fresh lemon juice
  • 2T grated aged Gouda cheese or Parmesan cheese

 Serve warm or at room temperature.


Whisk together:  
  • 1/2 large shallot, minced (see above-you’ll use other half with potatoes) 
  • 2T white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 t Dijon mustard
  • 1T minced fresh tarragon (or 1 t dried)
  • pinch salt and pepper

Drizzle in, whisking, until well combined or emulsified:
  • 4T olive oil


 Want more great sweet potato ideas?  Check out the other beautiful 38 Healthiest Ingredient bloggers:

Ansh – SpiceRoots.com  
Jill – SaucyCooks 

Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink
Anabanana – adobodownunder.blogspot.com
As we go along, I’m guessing we’ll get some other writers involved.  If you’re interested in joining the gang writing each week, get in touch with Mireya from My Healthy Eating Habits:  Mireya@MyHealthyEatingHabits.com


On my Dinner Place (Cooking for One) blog right now:  

shrimp-quinoa salad with feta and tomatoes:

 Hot nights:  if you skip the quinoa and buy cooked shrimp, this is a no-cook dinner.  Another option is microwave rice.

Sing a new song