My brave Vermont quest to bring together food-love and mom-life.

CrankyCakes



Maple-Ginger-Bacon Blondies for the Maple Cook-Off 2

Posted on March 29, 2010 by crankycheryl

UVM decided to host a cook-off to celebrate the launch of their library’s new Maple Research Website and, what the heck – I hadn’t entered any contests since last year so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

The categories were Savory, Sweet & Judges’ Choice, and the criteria were simple: Appearance (25%), Taste (50%), and Use of Maple (25%).  I liked the straight-forwardness, and think it’s a nicely democratic approach that encourages all sorts of folks to participate.  There was music and Island Ice Cream and a cool tasting table set up where you could try your hand at identifying the mineral content of the soil upon which various saps were grown.  (I didn’t try, though I was geekily tantalized by a geological thrust on the terroir of maple syrup – why is Vermont’s product so good?  Maybe it’s because of our dirt’s mineral content.)

The competition was good-natured but serious.  There were around 30 entries, a few from UVM students, from local restaurants and bakers, and from local folks and families.  The mix was a great snapshot of the food-world of Vermont, with beautiful, sculptural entries like individual Maple Cheesecakes with Maple-Caramel Glaze alongside traditional humble fare like Maple Baked Beans and Butternut Cake with Maple Meringue frosting.  My personal favorite was a pork tenderloin with maple-habanero glaze.

I’m sorry I didn’t get more pictures, but you can imagine the stampede when they let guests help themselves after the judges had been through.  Here were some of the entries I was able to snap before we hordes descended with forks.

The music played, the judges sampled, E. & Z. ended up sticky and covered with frosting and finally sat staring into space, unsure how they had been allowed to consume so many sweet treats.  Then the winning entries were announced: Maple Pulled-Pork Sliders, excellent looking wraps with meat and root vegetables called The Beef Explosion (long gone before I could get one), Maple Baked Beans, and Maple Bars (didn’t get one of these either).

It was an opportunity to teach the boys about how to act when we lose.  After I coached them on applauding and congratulation, Z. told me, “Mommy, when we lose I’m just going to say, ‘phooey,’ quietly like this: phooey.”

Yeah, phooey, but yum.

Maple-Ginger Blondies with Maple Glaze, Nuts & Crispy Bacon

2 dozen

Butter 9 x 13 pan and set aside.

Melt together in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until nicely blended:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 c. maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 c. brown sugar


Let cool for a few minutes then beat in until well-combined:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/3 c. pumpkin puree


Sift in:

  • 1 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. powdered ginger

Put into prepared pan.  Bake for 25 minutes, then cool on rack completely

In the meantime, prepare the glaze and topping:

Cook until crisp then crumble and place aside:

  • 6 slices thick cut bacon

Very coarsely chop:

  • 1/2 c. maple-roasted or salted nuts

Make glaze. Sift:

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar

Beat in on high speed:

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 T. maple syrup
  • 1 T. milk

Adjust by adding more confectioners sugar, or milk, until thick but pourable. Once blondies have cooled, spread with glaze, top with nuts and bacon and serve.


Apple Truckload Saturday 2

Posted on October 17, 2009 by crankycheryl

applepicking 006

Today was Shelburne Orchard‘s Truckload Saturday, and some neighbors and I went to load up – $50 for two carloads of Macs, Galas, Liberty’s, and Empires.  These neighbors, in fact:

applepicking 021

CrankyGreg says we looked like a bunch of hip, radical nuns, which I can live with.  We took our blessed selves and went and scavenged the “falls,” and jostled the last attached ones out of their branches.  And I’m wildly pleased to report that I climbed a tree to chase down some high-hanging Galas.

After a couple of hours we had two cars full of apples and were hungry, so we went up to the Orchard’s store and food area, where we found an enormous apple pie,

applepicking 019and these nice people frying up onion rings made with Ginger Jack in the batter,

applepicking 025

and sausages roasting inside their brick oven.

applepicking 028So now I’ve got 4 bags (about 2 bushels) of apples hanging around.  I’ve taken the first batch and started some Crock Pot Apple Butter.  With the rest, I’d like to can Apple Pie Filling, but can’t seem to find the Clear Jel I’d need.  Maybe more applesauce, maybe something else, whatever it is I’m sure E. & Z. will be tired of it long before it’s gone.

Blessed Silence Sunday: Bacon Apple Blackberry Crisp 1

Posted on September 05, 2009 by crankycheryl

We Crankies celebrated International Bacon Day with an Apple-Blackberry Cobbler with bacon and sage in the biscuit topping.

We Crankies celebrated International Bacon Day with an Apple-Blackberry Cobbler with bacon and sage in the biscuit topping.  (Recipe to come with the EatLocalVT Challenge.)

Nearly Silent Sunday 0

Posted on August 23, 2009 by crankycheryl

This Thursday is the last Thursday at the Intervale for the summer.  $5 family pass for American Flatbread Pizza, salads from Bluebird Tavern, Slow Food tastings, and all the wholesome summer evening fun you can shake a stick at.  You know, just saying.

Bee's Knees: Restaurant Review 0

Posted on August 13, 2009 by crankycheryl

I can’t imagine going near Morrisville without a stop at the Bee’s Knees.  And having just had a Twitter conversation with the lovely Leftover Queen about its charms, I’m reminded that I never posted these pictures from our recent visit.

I’m also using this post as the first official CrankyCakes Restaurant Review. I’ve been polling food-loving parent friends about what matters to them when they go out to eat.  I’ll be reviewing by going twice – once with E.  & Z. and once with just adults.

I was first introduced to the Bee’s Knees by friends who live in Craftsbury, who were big fans of the food.  Though they found the very eclectic, kind of mussed decor a little off-putting, I found it was easy to feel comfortable – and a place that it was clear many local people did just that.  Customers felt right at home moving furniture around to accommodate their group, or helping themselves to a book, or perching with a laptop.

On my first visit, I tried their Big Salad, because that’s what everyone else had ordered and I didn’t want to appear so piggish as to order one of the bodacious sandwiches or specials that really tempted me.  I started out a little dubious about the chevre-carrots-glazed-walnuts combo, but ended up liking it.  It’s a bit of a hippie affair – lots of wholesome ingredients thrown together – that’s elevated by the high end cheese and nuts.  Nothing at all to complain about, but not the dish that brings me back there.

I was so happy that I felt downright naughty ordering the Cowboy BLT on my second trip.  Featuring chipotle mayo, local humanely-raised bacon, and Cabot pepper-jack cheese, it was crispy, creamy, fresh, and spicily comforting.  (Can spicy food be comfort food?)  I remember nothing of the conversation, or who I was with, or what we might have been meeting about at that visit, I’m sorry to say.  But I do remember my regretful last bite of that wrap.

All right, so the recent visit wasn't all that recent.

Since then, I’ve been several times, often ordering off the specials board.  What I like about bringing my boys there is that we can put together a happy combination of baked goods, fruit, and milk for my pickier guy, while getting good and more interesting food for his brother and for me.

And that’s what we did on our last visit.

Tomato-Fennel-Chick Pea Soup, with Batman spelunking under the bowl.

Caramelized Onion, Oyster Mushroom & Thyme Quiche

I have no excuse for leaving without a Chocolate-Sriracha muffin.

I have no excuse for leaving without a Chocolate-Sriracha muffin.

So, how does it measure on the official Cranky Scale?

  • Fast service? Not always.
  • Welcoming attitude? Definitely.  Not only did they not roll their eyes at us, they actually beamed at my kids.
  • Interesting choices for kids’ meals? Yes!  And willing to make substitutions for picky eaters.
  • Presence of toys, books, drawing implements, or other appropriate diversions? Lots of em.  It was hard to get my kids to leave, but fortunately there’s a little vest-pocket sort of park next door and I bribed them by telling them I’d bring them to the elf house in it.  I’m going to be at a loss when I lose weapons like this from the parenting arsenal.
  • Parent-friendly food. Most definitely.

2.  Meals with Grown-Ups:

  • Food quality? Really good.  I’ve not yet encountered any slimy lettuce or sub-par anything.
  • Value. Good.  More expensive than a chain restaurant, but really good value for the price.
  • Good service. Casual but caring.
  • Atmosphere. Funky, a bit disheveled, but now with a more formal dining area behind the main room.

Should you go with kids? Absolutely.  With adults? Yes.  And with any out of town guests who want to get out and eat local foods and experience some of Vermont’s funky charm.  And don’t forget to tell them that CrankyCakes sent you.

[By the way, I’d love a comment from you if you’ve been at night.  How does it work to eat there when all that live music is happening?]

White Bean Salad with Steamed Greens and Roasted Summer Vegetables 9

Posted on August 01, 2009 by crankycheryl
july food blueberries pasta dinner 074

Sorry to put up such a fuzzy picture - it's the only one I took of this!

I was getting ready to make a warm salad to accompany the localvore pasta dinner, picturing some wilted greens, tomatoes, slivered garlic, and white beans.

Because it’s cheaper and you get better results using dried beans, I had gotten out my crockpot and cooked a pound and a half of them for a couple of hours on the “high” setting.

Then I steamed the greens, shocked them with a quick plunge in cold water, and chopped them fine.

Then a neighbor showed up with a basket of peppers, eggplant, zucchini, and yellow summer squash and asked if I could use those.  As the guest list kept growing and I was getting nervous about quantities, I gladly accepted.

I realized I had to do the easiest, quickest thing possible with these late-arriving friends.  Roasting was perfect.  Wash, chop into a large dice, toss with oil and salt & pepper, cook, and it’s ready to be tossed together, which was just what I did with all my prepped ingredients.

I hear that it was terrific.   Except for my check-for-seasoning nibble, I never got to have any.

White Bean Salad with Tomatoes, Steamed Greens and Roasted Summer Vegetables
8 – 10 servings

  • l lb. dried cannelini or great northern beans, cooked in a crockpot until just tender, or substitute 4 14-oz. canned beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 lbs. (a.k.a. “a whole mess of) greens of your choice (I used lacinata kale, rainbow chard, and beet greens)
  • 3 large tomatoes, diced
  • 2 large or 3 small eggplants
  • 4 zucchini and/or summer squash
  • 4 peppers (we had green bell pepper and Hungarian wax)
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ~ 3/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. lemon juice (you could use your favorite vinegar instead)
  • ~ 1/4 c. fresh herbs – I used flatleaf parsley and basil, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400.  Oil 2 baking sheets and set aside.
  2. Place the beans in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Roast the eggplant, zucchini, squash and peppers by cleaning well, then dicing into a fairly large dice – like 1 1/2″.  Toss with a generous amount of olive oil – you want it glistening – and season with salt and pepper.  Spread in a single layer on baking sheets, and roast for 25 – 30 minutes, until tender and browned, turning halfway through cooking.  Remove from oven and let cool.
  4. Rinse the greens very well.  With the rainy season we’ve been having, they seem especially gritty/dirty this year.  My favorite method for chopping them is to place them inside the large colander-like insert for my pasta pot and go to town with a pair of kitchen scissors.  Then I give them a second plunge to remove any dirt I missed the first time.  Steam them for 3 or 4 minutes, until just wilted.  Have a large bowl of cold, cold water ready to place the colander in (or just dump them in if you don’t have one of these pots), then remove from water and drain very well.
  5. Place 2 T. olive oil in a small skillet and cook just to the point of fragrance (i.e., when you can smell a nice warm garlicky smell).  Remove from heat.
  6. Add greens to beans and mix well to break up any clumps.  Then mix in tomatoes, roasted vegetables, garlic and chopped herbs, using your hands or a wooden spoon.  Add in about 1/3 c. olive oil, lemon juice, and salt (start with about 1/2 t.) and pepper.  Taste for your preferences, adjusting as you go.
  7. Serve at room temperature.  A great meal on its own, maybe with some feta crumbled on top, and a slice or two of good bread.

Beet Gnocchi with Chevre Cream Sauce 2

Posted on July 28, 2009 by crankycheryl

Good Vermont goat cheese about to dive into cream sauce.

Thank you friends and foodies for all the nice thoughts about our dinner, and support for saving our beloved strip of trees!

Oh, I cooked for three days and sweated and calculated and worried, and in the end CrankyGreg and I produced a three course plated dinner for 41 neighbors, friends and well-wishers.

The only thing we ran out of must have been the best thing, it seems to me, and so that’s the recipe I’ll post first.  I was so excited to make this as part of the big feast, even though I had to buy (local) beets since the ones in the cohousing garden remain kind of puny.

Z. has a current love affair with all things pink and purple, and I had chosen this with him in mind.  He squealed adorably when I showed them to him while I was making them, and could barely keep his tiny little hands off the tray of magenta balls of goo.

If only it kept this color after cooking.

Beet gnocchi dough: if only it kept this color after cooking.

I know:  you don’t have any plans to slave stoveside with steaming pans or fuss with handmade pasta.  I agree with you.  But you should do it anyway because this is so darn good.

Beet Gnocchi
From The Recipe Files
Serves 6

  • 1 medium or two small red beets, washed
  • 1 pound ricotta, set in cheesecloth-lined colander set in a bowl and allowed to drain for a day
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 cup grated imported Parmesan cheese plus more for the table
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dredging
  • Chevre cream sauce (recipe below)
  • 1/4 c. chopped parsley for serving

Place clean beets with their skins on inside a baking dish with a snug-fitting cover. Bake in 450 degree oven until tender, 45 minutes – 1 hour. Remove from oven, remove lid and let beets cool. Slip the skins off with your hands. Grate the beets into a mixing bowl on the large hole of a box grater. [I questioned grating rather than pureeing, but concluded that it may matter to have the extra structure that having shreds would provide.]  Add the ricotta, eggs, Parmesan cheese and salt and freshly ground black pepper to the beets. Mix well with a whisk or wooden spoon. Add 2/3 cup flour to the ricotta mixture and whisk together to mix. Set the mixture aside for a minimum of 2 hours in the refrigerator. Can be made up to two days ahead.

While the gnocchi dough is resting, go ahead and make the Chevre Cream Sauce.

  • 2 T. butter
  • 4 T. unbleached flour
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 6 oz. chevre, broken or sliced into 1″ pieces
  • 1/2 t. salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1/2 t. smoked paprika

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat, and then slowly and thoroughly whisk in the flour.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Whisk in the milk and cream, beating thoroughly after each addition to prevent lumps.  Bring to a slow but steady boil, then turn down and simmer for one minute or until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.  Remove from heat, and stir in goat cheese a little bit at a time.  Whisk, whisk, whisk until thoroughly melted and incorporated.  Add nutmeg, garlic and smoked paprika.  Place aside to keep warm while you form and cook the gnocchi.

Back to the gnocchi:  I’m writing in the instructions I followed for making them, but let me tell you that mine were really unattractive, like a platter of gizzards once cooked.  You surely are more dextrous than I am and will end up with something beautiful.  But just in case, here’s a link to alternate instructions for making them.

Our Dinner

Our Dinner

To form the gnochetti roll a walnut-sized piece of beet mixture into a nice [whatever] round. Drop it into the bowl of flour, carefully turning to coat all sides. Lay each dumpling on a parchment lined baking sheet lightly covered with flour. Continue forming the Gnochetti until all the mixture is gone.  Slip the gnocchi into a pot of gently simmering salted water [this is important since a big old energetic rolling boil can bubble your poor little dumpling to smithereens]. Wait until they float to the surface of the water and continue to cook for an additional minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove them from the water as they are done and place them on a serving platter.

When all are cooked and are on the platter top with the cream sauce and parsley and serve.

So Summer, Quiche and Clafouti 2

Posted on July 20, 2009 by crankycheryl

bread bcoho july dinner 008Oh, it’s summer, green and wet and if not exactly sunny, then still with beautiful days for the beach and camping and adventure seeking.  The boys are covered with dirt and mosquito bites and scraped knees, whirling around in a perpetual cloud of brotherly violence/love, worlds of pirates and griffin-hunting and trucks and dinosaurs, pleas for more ice cream, for just five more minutes at the beach, in the water, under a tree.

“Be here,” I keep telling myself.  Just be here with them, in the streams of light through pine trees while we’re camping.  With the smells of leaves and the sounds of their laughs as they run to the far side of the pond to capture a frog or tackle a friend.

And I’m trying, I’m trying.  To be here, to breathe deep of this beautiful life, my wild and wonderful boys.  To keep the joy in balance with all the worry, my fears about taking a brave plunge, about money, work, how I’m going to deal with fixing my bathroom floor, all of it.

In the midst of it, it was still my turn to make a cohousing community dinner last week.  And what else is there to do but use the what we have at hand to celebrate, even sanctify these full moments?   So though I was packing to go camping, and in a full-scale anxiety attack over the rest of it, we grabbed vegetables from the garden, and Vermont cheeses and cream and eggs from our co-op and off we went to cook and feast together on this beautiful, thrifty, simple and custard-y Vermont Bastille Day meal.

Rolling Out the Piecrust

Rolling Out the Piecrust

Summer Quiche
4 – 6 servings

Preheat oven to 375.

Gather and prepare ingredients:

  • 3/4 c. sauteed or steamed vegetables, well-drained.  (This amount is the yield you want after it’s cooked, so make sure to start with more!)  We made two combinations:  1.  Broccoli, mushroom, basil and sage.  2.  Swiss chard, lacinata kale, zucchini, garlic scapes.  We sauteed each combo in a large pan with butter and olive oil.

Beat together:

  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups cream, whole milk, or creme fraiche
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch freshly ground nutmeg

Arrange vegetables on bottom of crust, then sprinkle over them:

Pour the egg mixture over the top.  Bake until the filling is browned and well set, 25 – 35 minutes.

Clafouti Egg Breakin'

Clafouti Egg Breakin'

Nectarine & Strawberry Clafouti
6 servings

Preheat oven to 375.  Butter a 10-inch deep-dish pie pan.

Beat until very frothy:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 c. sugar

Add and beat until smooth:

  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 T. cognac or rum (optional), or
  • 2 t. vanilla

Stir in:

  • 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt

Arrange evenly over bottom of pie pan:

  • 1 lb. mixed nectarines, cut into 1″ cubes, and halved strawberries, rinsed and dried

Pour batter over the fruit and place the pie pan on a baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 and bake until puffy and well-set, about 35 minutes.  Cool on a rack for about 20 minutes, then dust with:

  • Powdered sugar.

Serve in wedges, or sloppy scoops, whatever seems to come out of the pan.

bread bcoho july dinner 022

Zucchini-Greens Quiche

Finished Clafouti, Ready to Serve

Finished Clafouti, Ready to Serve

Leftover clafouti batter, mixed with strawberry jam and baked into a dutch-baby style pancake for breakfast the next morning.  Yes, that's a Blue's Clues plate.  What of it?

Leftover clafouti batter, mixed with strawberry jam and baked into a dutch-baby style pancake for breakfast the next morning. Yes, that's a Blue's Clues plate. What of it?

Strawberry-Honey Jam 9

Posted on June 15, 2009 by crankycheryl

bread and jelly 002Allow me to start with what is not included in this post:

  • How I brought my children to a hot field on a sunny day with milk in sippy cups, but no water at all.
  • How Z. clung to my leg and whined and pleaded to go home, insisting we hold hands every time I took a step.
  • How I went to pick a week too early, knowing we’d be away for the peak berry-picking weekend, which resulted in twice as much work for half the results.  And a sunburn.
  • The growing awareness of how so many of these allegedly golden, wholesome childhood moments I seem so hellbent on providing are like this.  Sigh.

Regardless, we are completely out of last year’s jam, and I heard that the call had gone out that strawberries were ready.  So off we went to Adam’s Berry Farm in Burlington’s Intervale, at which we can pick our own organic strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.  (For blueberries, I’m also especially fond of Owl’s Head, which has an astonishingly beautiful hillside setting and live music, even if its berries aren’t organic.)

june 007One double bedtime, some serious lolly-gagging, and seven pounds of berry-cleaning later, I was getting ready to can.  Well, truth be told, I was trying to talk myself out of canning because it was 11:00 and I wanted to go to sleep.  But I had washed the berries and couldn’t trust them not to spoil, and there was no way I was letting all that suffering be for naught.

I pulled out the Pomona’s, a citrus pectin that’s activated (i.e., is able to gel your preserves) with the addition of the calcium powder that’s included.  I know some serious jam-makers who don’t like its texture, but I think it makes great stuff.  Plus it doesn’t require a crazy amount of sugar (in fact, you don’t really have to use any), and you can double or triple batches, unlike with many traditional recipes.  Isn’t flexibility nice?

strawberries and chicken 002Strawberry-Honey Jam

About 5 pints

  • 8 cups of strawberries, cleaned, with stems removed, and cut into halves or quarters, depending on how chunky you want the results.
  • 1 cup honey
  • peel from 1/2 organic orange, or 1/2 t. dried
  • 4 t. Pomona’s pectin
  • 4 t. calcium water made from packet included with pectin

Wash and rinse jars, lids and bands.  Some boil everything, and some say this isn’t necessary.  Whichever way you decide to go, do that and then keep in hot water until ready.

Place water in boiling water canner deep enough so that it will cover the jars you’re going to fill once you put them in.

Mix calcium water according to package instructions and set aside.

Put berries, orange peel, and calcium water into stockpot and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Stir pectin into honey.  As berries are approaching a boil, look at the texture and either leave as is, or use a potato masher to smooth out chunks as desired.  When berries are at full boil, vigorously stir honey-pectin mixture in for 1 – 2 minutes, being sure to stir hard enough to dissolve the pectin.  Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.  Remove orange peel if using large pieces.

Fill prepared jars to 1/4″ of top, wipe around the rim with a wet cloth, then place on lids and bands.  Carefully strawberries and chicken 007place jars into boiling water, and boil for 5 minutes.

Place on a rack to cool.  In the next little while you should hear the slight snap of the lids sealing completely, which will let you know that they’re ready to store.  To test the seal, tap on them.  If they move or wiggle at all, just keep in the fridge and use within three weeks.

This jam is delicious.  Like fresh strawberries themselves, bright and sunny and not overly sugary.  My mom (and you know how moms are always the most objective of critics) said it was the best strawberry jam she had ever had.  It may be immodest, but I agree.  What a treat it’ll be if that taste lasts into the depths of winter.  And by then, I’ll have forgotten the rest.

Salad! Flowers! Mwa Ha Ha Ha! 5

Posted on June 11, 2009 by crankycheryl

[6/13/09 Update:  Check out this picture and much more frightfully gorgeous food at Photograzing!]

crazy-hair-and-evil-salad-021So one spring day you’re in your kid’s class during their free choice time, and his friend sits down and starts drawing.  He wants to draw you, he says, and before you know it there you are in a field of grass with the black t-shirt and shorts he had you add in.

Then he puts stripes on your shorts and you ask, “”Dude!  What am I, like a bee?”  And then he’s giggling madly and drawing wings and a stinger on your behind and antennae on your head.  And then he draws flowers and you ask what kind they are and his eyes get big and sincere and he spurts out, “EVIL SORCERER FLOWERS!”  You gasp and he’s giggling again, and you ask if you can bring the picture with you.

And then later you update your Facebook status so it says, “Cheryl says things can’t be all bad if your son’s 6-year-old friend draws you as a bee-girl in a field of Evil Sorcerer flowers.”  Then a food-writer friend you really respect tells you that you owe it to the bees to post a honey recipe.  And then you realize that your CSA share is about to start, and after you pick up your greens and cheese and bread, you go home and make something like this.

Evil Sorcerer Salad with Bee-Girl Dressing

Per diner:

  • 3 cups of spicy greens (arugula, mustards and the like), cleaned
  • 2 strawberries, cut into the shape of broken hearts
  • 1 slice of a nice seedy bread, lightly toasted
  • 2 smallish slices of a brie-type cheese (if you’re local or have access to Vermont cheeses, try Does’ Leap Caprella and gleefully eat whatever isn’t destined to go on someone’s salad)
  • A sprinkle of chipotle powder
  • A handful of edible flowers like pansies and nasturtiums.  Make sure they’re organic, and really try to include the nasturtiums, which are spicy, and therefore more nefarious.

Bee-Girl Dressing (enough for 4 diners):

  • 2 T. honey
  • 1 t. hot sauce (I used Sriracha)
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 4 T. olive oil
  • 1/8 t. (a.k.a. “just a little bit”) kosher salt

Whisk together dressing ingredients and set aside.  Put cheese on bread, sprinkle with chipotle, and then toast just until warm and melty.  Toss greens with dressing and then put onto plate.  Cut bread/cheese into triangles and place on top of salad, with broken-hearted strawberries in the middle.  Arrange evil sorcerer flowers according to your dastardly plan and serve.  Your own villainous chuckle wouldn’t hurt.

beegirl

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    Cheryl Herrick's brave Vermont quest to bring together food-love and mom-life. All original content (written, graphical, recipes or other), unless otherwise noted, is © and/or TM Cheryl Herrick. All rights reserved by the author. Want to reprint a recipe? Just get in touch and ask.

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