Tomato Bread Bake

We are drowning in tomatoes. I have been a making and freezing sauce as fast as I can and still can’t seem to keep pace.

These are not your average tomatoes. These are peak of the (end) of summer sweet heirloom tomatoes.

Tomato and bread bake. Delicious way to use up end of the summer tomatoes.

I am not bragging about my ability to grow tomatoes. I am fairly incompetent in the garden and we operate on a ignore it policy around here. Somehow ever since we adopted this we don’t care philosophy we have had bumper crop after bumper crop of tomatoes.

Bliss.

Tomato and bread bake. Delicious way to use up end of the summer tomatoes.

The first few big heirlooms were eaten on the back porch sprinkled in salt. They never even made it inside. I have made mozarella from fresh raw milk for a spectacular capresse salad. And as I mentioned earlier I have been making lots and lots of sauce. also I have been on a hunt for recipes that use lots of tomatoes to put these beauties to good use. Thankfully Smitten Kitchen came to the rescue.

Tomato and bread bake. Delicious way to use up end of the summer tomatoes.

I have no idea why she calls this scalloped tomatoes. Well… in all reality if I had made the recipe correctly maybe I would know but I kinda misread an ingredient on the list and wound up with this deliciousness.

I have no idea if the original way is better but I love this .It reminds me of pappa al pomodoro (an italian tomato and bread soup) but it is baked with cheesy goodness. A delicious side to whatever your main entree might be or just a gorgeous light dinner all on its own. You just can’t go wrong.

And believe it or not this is even better as leftover. Incredibly delicious the day of, mindblowingly good the next day.

Tomato and bread bake. Delicious way to use up end of the summer tomatoes.

One year ago today: Oatmeal cookies your way

Tomato Bread Bake (serves 6 as a main 8-10 as a side)
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

3 tablespoons olive oil
One loaf French boule in a 1/2-inch dice
2 1/2 pounds whatever good tomatoes you’ve got, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup thinly slivered basil leaves, lightly packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high. Add the bread cubes and stir so that they are evenly coated with oil. Cook cubes, tossing frequently, until toasty on all sides, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. When the bread cubes are toasted, add the tomato mixture. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Stir in the basil. Pour into a shallow (6 to 8 cup) baking dish and top with Parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Bake 30 to 35  minutes until the top is browned and the tomatoes are bubbly. Serve hot or warm.

Tomato and bread bake. Delicious way to use up end of the summer tomatoes.

Peach Coffee Cake Bread

We have already talked about my love of peach season. We have chatted about my preference of crisps over cobblers, enjoyed the deliciousness that is peaches meet olive oil, and even made a little frozen yogurt.

Peach Coffee Cake Bread

Somehow there seem to be peaches in piles at our house at all times. Piles. Literally. It is a lovely lovely problem.

We are eating them out of hand about as fast as we can but I am enjoying baking with them as much as possible. Soon the last of my favorite peaces will be ripe (Improved Elbertas) which I will can and then we swiftly will dive into pears and apples and pumpkins along with the rest of fall. I love fall don’t get me wrong but I will miss the peaches.

I have been avoiding Pinterest lately because it is replete of christmas decorating ideas and recipes involving pumpkin. A couple of days ago I gave in and mercifully ran across a few recipes that still called for summer bounty.

Peach Coffee Cake Bread

This was originally a recipe for blueberry coffee cake bread. With all the peaches in the house it didn’t make sense to me to use the blueberries I froze earlier this summer. What a perfect substitution it was! This cake tastes like peach cobbler but it fits perfectly in your hand rather than needing a bowl and a spoon.

Canning of peaches happens next week. Hopefully I can squirrel away away a few for making one more batch of this bread before peaches bid is adieu.

Peach Coffee Cake Bread

One year ago today: Lentils, sausage and swiss chard

Peach coffee cake bread (makes one loaf)
Adapted from Erica’s Sweet Tooth

For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1-1/2 cup of coarsely chopped peaches

For the topping:
3 tbsp cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bread pan and line with parchment. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, and cream for an additional 2 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together salt, baking powder, and flour. Slowly add this mixture to the butter mixture with mixer on medium to low speed. Add buttermilk in a steady stream, with mixer still on low. Continue to mix until everything is evenly incorporated (about 3-5 minutes). Use a spatula to fold in the fresh peaches and pour batter into prepared pan. In a bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in the cold butter until mixture is crumbly. Add crumb mixture to the cake pan and gently press down. Bake in the oven for about 60 minutes. Remove from oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes before removing the pan.

Peach Coffee Cake Bread

Tuna Roll Ups

I start work this week.

Type those very words have brought tears to my eyes. It has been a hard to come to decision. I have been a stay at home mama since April last year. One year and five months. I am so incredibly grateful for all the time I have had at home with Little.

Tuna Roll Ups- delicious and easy weeknight dinner

Can we talk about my feelings for a moment? We are about to get super honest here. Mothering doesn’t come naturally to me. I miss working- project completion, adult interaction, mental stimulation, etc etc. I feel like a bit of a failure as a mom that I WANT to go to work. Sorting out daycare, getting work clothes altered so they fit, planning how our week is going to look has all been a huge challenge. I want to go to work but my heart wants to stay home. But staying home makes me a bit crazy. But getting ready to go back to work is making me a bit crazier.

Tuna Roll Ups- delicious and easy weeknight dinner

It will be fine. That’s my mantra. It is only 20 hours a week and it is only four days a week. I bet after a month of this we will find a quiet rhythm and we will all be happier. In the meantime cut me some slack. There will be tears. I will most likely eat way too much chocolate and drink too much coffee.

One thing I am doing to help my sanity is plan out dinner. Lots of foods I know Little enjoys and eats easily along with what I consider to be comfort foods. Nathan is headed off into another long juice fast so it will be cooking for just Little and me.

Tuna Roll Ups- delicious and easy weeknight dinner

Last night was comfort food. It was an overcast cool August day that hinted fall is coming. These tuna roll ups were on the regular menu rotation when I was a kid and I hope Little grows up loving them as much as I do. Such a simple dinner that can be thrown together in minutes for a hot homemade dinner that is faster than take out. Certainly a must for a soon to be working mama.

Tuna Roll Ups- delicious and easy weeknight dinner

Ps. Can we please note the fact that I am not a “add a can of cream of whatever soup” type of cook. This is one of my FEW exceptions. I love the cream of portabella mushroom soup from Trader Joes. I can live with most of the ingredients in it.

Tuna Roll Ups- delicious and easy weeknight dinner

One year ago today: Brownies Plain and Simple

Tuna Rolls Ups (makes 6)
Biscuit recipe from Joy of Cooking, rest is my own

2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 to 3/4 tsp salt
5-6 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup milk
One can of tuna
1 egg
6 small slices of cheddar cheese
1 box/can of cream of mushroom soup

Preheat the oven to 450 F. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt thoroughly into a large bowl. Drop in 5-6 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces. Cut in the butter with 2 knives or a pastry blender, tossing the pieces with the flour mixture to coat and separate them as you work. Continue to cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Do not allow the butter to melt or or form a paste with the flour. Add 3/4 cup of milk all at once and mix with a rubber spatula until most of the dry ingredients are moistened. With a lightly floured hand, gather the dough into a ball and knead it gently against the sides and bottom of the bowl 5 to 10 times, turning and pressing any loose pieces into the dough each time until they adhere and the bowl is fairly clean.

Dump out the dough onto the floured counter and pat into a disk. Gently roll out to about 12 x 8 rectangle. Cut into six pieces. In a small bowl mix the drained tuna with the egg. On each square place a small piece of cheese then top with 1/6 of the tuna/egg mixture. Gently fold each square around the filling pinching the edges to seal. Place seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. While the roll ups are baking place the soup in a sauce pan and only add half the recommended amount of liquid (so it is thick). Once biscuits are done allow to cool for 5 minutes. Serve in a bowl topped with the soup.

Tuna Roll Ups- delicious and easy weeknight dinner

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

A little over a year ago I share with your the very best zucchini bread recipe.

An award winning recipe in fact. Just the local country fair but nonetheless award winning.

Chocolate zucchini bread- dense and brownie like!

In our attempt to power through all the zucchini that our garden is producing I have been making muffins but haven’t gotten around to making any bread yet this year. Then last week a friend on mine posted that she was making chocolate zucchini bread. Um. Yes please.

And wow. World changed.

This bread is somewhere between a brownie and zucchini bread. And as if the bread itself doesn’t pack an incredible chocolate punch it has chocolate chips for that extra umpf.

Chocolate zucchini bread- dense and brownie like!

I love bread recipes that make two loaves. I am not sure how we managed to not inhale both in an instant. One even managed to wait a day to be part of a delicious dinner delivery for a friend of mine with a new a little.

If you have any manner of self control please keep in mind this bread truly is best the next day.

But if you eat it all in the same day I wont judge. These things happen. I get it. We can still be friends.

Chocolate zucchini bread- dense and brownie like!

One year ago today: Lemon Dream Bars

Chocolate Zucchini Bread (makes two loaves)
From All Recipes

2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups grated zucchini
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans and line with parchment. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate until melted. Stir occasionally until chocolate is smooth. In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil, grated zucchini, vanilla and chocolate; beat well. Stir in the flour baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared loaf pans. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a loaf comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before slicing.

Empanada de Atun

Two days ago there was a horrific train accident in the northwest of Spain. If you have been reading here for any length of time you will well know that I grew up in Spain and consider myself to be at least part Spanish.

Empanada de Atun (spanish galician tuna pie)

By fate it would seem that day I was already thinking about making this recipe. Empanadas (kinda like a big calzone) are a typical Galician dish. Once learning of the crash it felt so right so spend my morning making something that would remind me so much of home.

My heart and prayers are with the families of the deceased and injured. I can’t fathom their pain.

Empanada de Atun (spanish galician tuna pie)

To me Spanish food has and always will be my ultimate comfort food. Dishes like tortilla espanola and ensalada mixta are very near and dear to my heart. The flavor combination in this empanada filling of peppers, onions, tuna, and tomato is absolutely spot on to the taste in my memories.

It was a hit all around. A lovely dinner shared amongst friends in solidarity for the pain Galicia is feeling. I know it can seem a bit silly but it meant a lot to me.

Empanada de Atun (spanish galician tuna pie)

If you have never tried this flavor combination I highly encourage you to give it a shot. The dough is easy and the filling comes together in a flash.

Can I be honest for a minute? My heart is heavy. I’m kinda out of words but you should know I am praying you and yours are safe and healthy and for comfort comes to those in mourning.

Empanada de Atun (spanish galician tuna pie)

One year ago today: Mac and Cheese Two Ways and Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Empanada de Atun (Tuna Galician Pie) (serves at least 8)
From 1080 Recipes and Directo al Paladar

1/4 ounce (1 package) active-dry yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm water
3 eggs
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
2 cloves of garlic
1 onion sliced thin
1 12 oz bottle of roasted red peppers drained and coarsley chopped
3 cans of tuna in water drained and flaked
3 1/2 cups tomato sauce
3/4 cup green olives
olive oil
salt and pepper

Mix the yeast with a pinch of salt and the lukewarm water in a cup or small bowl, then let stand for about 10 minutes, until the mixture is frothy. Beat two of the eggs in a bowl. Sift the flour with a large pinch of salt onto a work surface. Make a well in the center and pour in the beaten egg and yeast mixture. Gradually incorporate the flour into the liquid, then knead well for 10 minutes. Dust the surface lightly with flour to prevent the dough sticking. Add the margarine and knead for 10 minutes more, banging the dough onto the surface. Add a little water to the dough if necessary. Once the dough is smooth and elastic, form it into a ball, place it in a bowl, and cover with a clean dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours, until doubled in volume.

Meanwhile sautee the onion in a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Once softened add the peppers, tuna, tomato sauce, and olives. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 10 minutes or so till reduced and thickened.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Divide the dough in two and roll one pieces out to about 14 inches wide. Slide on to a parchment lined baking sheet. Place the filling on top of the dough soaking up any excess juices with a paper towel. Roll out the second piece of dough to roughly the same size and carefully draper over the base and filling. Seal the edges of the dough carefully, pressing them together and rolling them slightly. Beat the remaining egg and brush it over the dough to glaze. Sprinkle with salt then carefully poke vent hole in the top with a fork. Bake for 15 minutes, then increase the oven temperature to 375°F, and bake for 15 minutes longer. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F and bake for 10-15 minutes more, until golden brown. Remove the pie from the oven. Serve at room temperature.

Empanada de Atun (spanish galician tuna pie)

Strawberry Jam Scones

Strawberry jam making was supposed to happen yesterday.

It didn’t.

Strawberry jam scones

Little woke up all kinds of sick so the day was spent mostly on the couch. We watched lots of TV. Which he never watches TV. By 4 in the afternoon I was going stir crazy and he was thankfully on the mend.

There were lots of cuddles. It was pretty sweet. But he was ouchy and not feeling well and that was sad.

Today the toddler is back in full force. A little bit crankier version of his usual self but himself nonetheless.

Strawberry jam scones

That leaves jam making for next weekend. Not just jam making but strawberry picking too. I can’t wait.

However I still have some of last season’s jam to use up. Last week I make strawberry blondies and this weekend I put more the jam to use in some frosting (coming later this week) and these delicious scones.

These scones would be delicious with any kind of jam. I bet you could even make a simple compote with fresh fruit and use that. I have taken this exact same basic scone recipe and just kneaded in berries. Any berry will do.

Strawberry jam scones

To boot these scones are just pretty. Cut them up smaller before baking to serve at a tea with your best friends. Or keep them big for a brunch. Either way yum.

One year ago today: Strawberry cupcakes, Blueberry Muffins

Strawberry Scones (makes 8)
Adapted from Simply Scones cookbook

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2  tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 tablespoons cup cold unsalted butter
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup strawberry jam (or any jam)

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives cut the cold butter in till the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the buttermilk and vanilla till just combined. Dump the mixture out on to the floured counter and kneed briefly to bring it all together. Pat in to a 8-10 inch wide circle and cut in to eights. Transfer to the baking sheet. Make a slit on the top of each scone and place a spoonful of jam in the slit.  Bake for 15 to 17 minutes. They will brown slightly. Remove from the baking sheet to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Strawberry jam scones

Lamb Burgers

Are you a burger person?

I am a made at home burger person. When eating out it seems like the burgers are never quite right. Plus it seems absurd to pay $12 for something I can make four of at home for that price. Or more if I make the bread from scratch. Yes even lamb burgers.

Delicious lamb burgers. Perfect for summer grilling.

Nathan is the burger master at our house. If you recall he is in charge of some of the cooking duties around here- anything involving the wok, until recently anything involving yeast, and most certainly burgers. I would say most things involving the grill but I have been know to start the BBQ and grill things myself.

Although that hasn’t happened of late.

Ok Nathan the grill is yours.

Delicious lamb burgers. Perfect for summer grilling.

He really makes the best hamburgers. We need to actually sit down and write out what he adds the ground beef when he makes them and share them with you. Out of this world delicious.

These lamb burgers are almost not made without his help. I hate forming the meat into patties so I leave that up to his expertise. When making this recipe I put everything in the bowl for him then move on to other dinner prep duties.

These delicious burgers are a bit different. They contain some sweet spices (allspice, cinnamon) so they have a distinct greek or moroccan flavor to them. The grated onion gives it moisture and another tasty layer of flavor. Try it out. I promise they are good. Branching out in burger land is good for you.

Do not skip topping these with feta, tomato, lettuce, and vinaigrette. It completes the whole burger and elevates it to tasty perfection.

I’m not trying to tell you what to do. I am just trying to make your at home burger as perfect as it can be.

Delicious lamb burgers. Perfect for summer grilling.

Lamb Burgers (serves 4)
Adapted from Rachel Ray

1 pound ground lamb
1 medium yellow onion, peeled
1 teaspoons allspice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Ciabatta rolls (homemade ones if you have the time)
Juice of 2 small lemons
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
Feta, tomatoes, lettuce for topping

Put the lamb in bowl. Using a box grater, grate the onion over the bowl so that the pulp of the onion and juices fall into the meat. Add the spices, pepper flakes, egg, bread crumbs, salt and pepper, to taste, and mix to combine. Form the meat mixture into 4 patties, thinner at the middle and thicker at the edges for even cooking. Fire up the bbq. Once the coals are a medium high heat (hold your hand about 6 inches up for 5 seconds) grill for 5 minutes per side.

While the burgers are cooking combine the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt in a container with a lid. Put the lid on and shake hard to mix.

Place the burgers on the ciabatta rolls. Top with lettuce, tomatoes and feta. Drizzle generously with the vinaigrette.

Delicious lamb burgers. Perfect for summer grilling.

Homemade Butter

Don’t make this.

After one taste of homemade butter on fresh out of the oven artisan bread I am ruined for life. You have no idea how good this is. Unless you have made your own butter in which case you do.

Homemade butter

I recently have had the privilege to purchase some raw milk directly from a local farmer. She has just one sweet Jersey cow who produces the most amazing milk. I skimmed the cream off the first gallon I purchased and made ice cream. The last time I got milk from her she also happened to have an extra quart of cream. Um. Yes please. I knew it was destined for butter.

Problem is I had no idea how to make butter. I asked my husband and brother in law if they had made butter before both of whom replied with “yes but only on accident.”

Homemade butter

I too have whipped cream too long on accident but never have I made real butter. What I learned in making butter this week is that getting from the whipped just a bit too long to actual butter take a LONG time.

Butter, I have decided, is best made when you have other things to do. That is if you have a stand mixer. Just pour it in and walk away. I suspect that if you have a smaller amount of cream it wont take nearly as long but whipping the whole quart in to almost butter took nearly 15 minutes plus then there was draining and mixing more after that. I spent a lot of time staring at the mixer waiting and waiting.

It was totally worth the wait and effort. At first I thought “I’ll never do this again” and grumbled but one taste, yes straight plain off the knife, and I was hooked.

Homemade butter

And the color! It is so incredibly yellow. For comparison here is my butter next to store bought Tillamook. I have always thought Tillamook was SO yellow. Not anymore! Granted I used raw grass fed cream so I’m sure that helps….

Get your hands on some really really good cream and whip it in to butter. You wont regret it.

You might have to buy the next size up in pants but it will be worth it..

Homemade butter

Homemade Butter (makes 8 oz of butter)
Followed the directions from Joy the Baker

1 quart of cream (you can make it with less)
1/4 tsp salt.

Place the butter in your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Turn on to a medium speed and whip it. First you will get silky whipped cream (below). Keep going.

Homemade butter

Then it will start to break.

And finally it will separate after about 10-15 minutes.

Homemade butter

Drain off the buttermilk (save for pancakes!) then return the butter to the mixer and whisk again.

Homemade butter

Drain one more time and return to the mixer.

Homemade butter

Add about 1/4 cup of ice cold water and whisk for a minute.  This is called washing the butter and will help it last longer. Drain the water and repeat. After the second washing press out all the water you can out of the butter. Kneed in the salt. Store covered.

Best eaten on homemade bread. Yum

 Homemade butter

 

 

Rye Caraway Scones

This is the last recipe in my scone making blitz. Most scones I have had in life have been sweet (like the orange poppy seed scones I made) but some reason I have much preferred the savory versions of late (like this recipe or the roasted red pepper and feta ones).

I hold a very special place in my heart for rye. I know it is a love/hate thing for most people and I am decidedly in the love camp. Hands down the best sandwich bread out there has to be dill rye bread. Yum.

Rye Caraway Scones

While perusing other scones recipes I stumbled on this one. The small paragraph at the top of the page suggested filling these scones with ham, cheese, and spicy mustard for mini sandwiches. Sold.

While the scones themselves are incredibly tasty, as mini sandwiches they are superb. Please, please, please do NOT put plain yellow mustard on these though. Either find a big flavored robust mustard or make your own. Because that’s what we do around here.

Rye Caraway Scones

Can we all just take a second and look at how incredible the above picture is? I didn’t even take it! My sweet friend Kristen did on that fun Friday morning food photo shoot.

And now I need another sandwich.

Rye Caraway Scones

On another note….

We are quickly approaching one year on this little blog. I have learned so much and come so far this past year. All I really want it to hang out with YOU. If I promise to make these sandwiches (and some other sweet treats) and serve up a classic style tea will you come over?

Mark your calendars. May 18th. Details to follow.

Don’t worry. I’ll remind you as we get closer but I am ridiculously excited about it and can’t wait to see you!

(now I need to go dress shopping….)

Rye Caraway Scones

Rye Caraway Scones (makes 8)
Adapted from Simply Scones cookbook

1 cup flour
3/4 rye flour
2 Tbs granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup cold unsalted butter
2/3 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside. In a large bowl combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, caraway seeds, baking soda and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives cut the cold butter in till the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the buttermilk till just combined. Dump the mixture out on to the floured counter and kneed briefly to bring it all together. Pat in to a 8-10 inch wide circle and cut in to eights. Transfer to the baking sheet and bake for 15 to 17 minutes. They will brown slightly. Remove from the baking sheet to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Rye Caraway Scones

On Delivering Dinner

Hopefully we have been friends for a bit. If not no worries. I’m always happy to make new friends.

If we have been friends for a awhile one thing you will know about me is my reaction to pretty much any major life event is to throw food at it. Not literally but figuratively. You moved? Had a death in your family? New baby? Generally speaking an awful week? Birthday? Anniversary? I’m there with food in hand.

On delivering dinner

Over the years I feel I have become a bit of an expert on what to take to people. There are a few things I try to take into consideration:

1. I never make anything for a someone I wouldn’t feed my family. Good food but also good for you (well besides the cookies maybe). This means whole grains, locally sourced meats, as much organic produce as I can afford, little or no refined oils

2. Aim to include veggies. So often I feel when people drop off dinner the dishes are rich and calorie laden. I always pick main dishes that are chocked full of veggies.

3. Include something for breakfast. Ages ago I read a post about delivering dinner to a new mom and it suggested to take breakfast foods along with the dinner. I tend to make something like muffins or scones for an easy next day breakfast.

4. If you can just bring along some plain fresh fruit- apples, watermelon, grapes, strawberries. you know- whatever is in season. When we are in the midst of a life changing event I don’t think we tend to eat well. Wash and cut up the fruit for easy, mindless snacking.

5. Always ALWAYS ask about allergies, aversions, preferences before deciding on your menu. I don’t like blue cheese but you wouldn’t know that unless you asked. Or know me well.

6. Don’t break the bank. The reason I have such a deep repertoire of recipes is I cook and deliver based on what is in season, on sale, or on hand. Most meals I deliver cost me less than $10 to make. The entire meal- fruit, breakfast, and entree.

7. Only deliver on dishes and in tupperware you don’t want or need back. The last thing these people need is to keep track of your stuff. Make sure they know they don’t need to wash or return anything.

Do you ever make and deliver food to friends and family? This little blog has a long list of recipes that are perfect for delivery. Here is a list of my favorites:

Casseroles:

Black bean and spinach enchiladas

Black bean and spinach enchiladas– Healthy and hearty. I actually delivered this to a new mama yesterday.

lighter tuna noodle casserole

Tuna noodle casserole– First reference #5 above. Not everyone loves tuna casserole BUT if they do this lighter version is packed full of veggies and is sure to please!

chicken or turkey biscuit pot pie

Chicken or turkey biscuit pot pie– A twist on pot pie that is a bit quicker to prepare. Still a showstopper and again loaded with veg.

Baked penne bolognese

Baked penne with bolognese– This dish packs a veggie punch without you realizing it. Plus there isn’t anything out there as hearty or heartwarming as homemade pasta sauce.

Baked mac and cheese

Baked mac and cheese– This recipe offers two ways to make it- both with veggies! And who doesn’t love homemade mac and cheese? Fascists that’s who.

Easy to reheat dinner:

Easy veggie curry

Easy veggie curry– Perfect vegan or vegetarian dish. Make brown rice for an extra hearty fiber punch.

Lentils, sausage and swiss chard

Lentils, sausage and swiss chard– Yes this sounds a bit unusual but make it and I promise the recipient will be impressed. This basic dish has so much flavor.

Soups:

Broccoli cheese soup

Broccoli cheese soup– Loads of veggies in this lighter version of an all around classic. Be sure to include bread for dipping!

Beef barley stew

Beef barley stew– Veggies, meat, barley. Yum. Stick to your ribs soul food.

Saffron chicken veggie soup

Saffron chicken veggie soup– Did you know saffron is a mood booster? Ideal dish if someone if having a particularly hard time.

Leek and potato soup

Leek and potato soup– One of our standby faves for weeknight dinner. Simple mild soup made with nourishing chicken or veggie broth. A must make for anyone recovering from illness.

Sweet potato quinoa chili

Sweet potato quinoa chili– Another great recipe for the vegetarian or vegan. Be sure to make cornbread (suggested recipe below).

Breakfasts:

Banana bread

Banana bread– Does this really need an explanation? A classic favorite.

Cranberry orange muffins

Cranberry orange muffins– Perfect around the holiday season or if you have frozen cranberries lurking in your freezer.

Homemade granola

Homemade granola version one or version two– Cereal lovingly made by someone else is always a welcome treat.

blueberry-muffins

Blueberry muffins– I make this recipe so often I have it memorized. First time I made them was to deliver to a friend at the hospital right after she had her baby.

Sides (to go with soups or casseroles!):

Brown butter rosemary cornbread

Brown butter rosemary cornbread– I think this would go great with the sweet potato quinoa chili. Just sayin.

Artisan bread

Artisan bread– This bread is no effort at all on your part and is a stunner. Sure beats spending $5 on a loaf at the store.

Cheddar scallion drop biscuits

Cheddar scallion drop biscuits– Ridiculously cheesy and flavorful biscuits. Goes great with the saffron veggies soup.

 

I hope this has given you some ideas and inspiration. What are your favorite recipes to deliver?