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12/5/2013

The marinade used on the chicken is fast and easy to put together. You can start preparation in the morning by getting the chicken into the marinade and keeping it covered in the fridge. When you’re ready to cook it, cut up some potatoes and use them as a bed underneath the chicken. Spoon the marinade over the chicken and potatoes and bake. This is a one pan wonder and you will have a fully cooked meal in 45 minutes without having to babysit anything at the stove. You could also add some frozen broccoli on top of the potatoes and in amongst the chicken and bake it all together.

I used Vermont Maple Syrup for this recipe. I suggest you use a real maple syrup for this recipe; you won’t regret it, I promise.

Maple Mustard Chicken

"Delishious" Maple-Mustard Chicken Recipe

Ingredients for the marinade recipe: (per pound of chicken)

• 1/4 cup real maple syrup
• Good heaping tablespoon grainy mustard or Dijon Mustard
• 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
• 1/2 shallot, diced
• 1 large clove garlic, minced
• Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a small bowl combine all the ingredients. Taste the mixture to see if there needs to be any adjustments made before you add the chicken.

2. If you had you chicken in brine remove the chicken from the brine. You do not need to pat it dry. Pour the Brine out of bowl and place the chicken back in the bowl (Skip this step if you were NOT brining).

3. Pour the mixed marinade over the chicken.

4. Cover and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

5. When you are ready to bake the chicken, remove it from marinade and place in oven safe roasting pan.

6. Spoon the marinade over the chicken.

7. Bake at 400 degrees for about 40 to 45 minutes until internal temperature reads 165 degrees or until juices run clear.


Sam PierreSam Pierre loves everything that involves the kitchen and the process of preparing food.  When she is not in the kitchen, she’s thinking about new recipes and flavors that would complement each other. Between running around after her daughter and maintaining a healthy household, she blogs about her food adventures and experiences in the kitchen on delishious food.



11/25/2013

If you are in search of delicious meals for Thanksgiving, check out the new holiday website from Frontier Natural Products Co-op. It's filled with recipes perfect for the holiday season. Complete with beautiful photos and varying recipes—from appetizers and main dishes to desserts, as well as vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options—this website is something you will want to bookmark and come back to time and time again.

Frontier was kind enough to share one of their holiday recipes with us. Try this vegetarian pot pie in your home later this week, and check out their beautiful new site for even more delicious recipes.

Vegetarian Pot Pie

Vegetarian Pot Pie with Cracked Black Pepper Biscuit

Filling:

• 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash
• 4 carrots
• 2 small rutabagas
• 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 4 shallots
• 1/4 cup dry white wine
• 1/2 teaspoon Frontier sea salt
• 1/2 teaspoon Frontier white pepper
• 2 teaspoon Frontier dried rosemary, crumbled
• 1 teaspoon Frontier ground sage
• 2 cups frozen peas
• 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
• 2 cups vegetable broth or 2 cups warm water with 1/4 cup Frontier vegetable broth powder

Biscuits:

• 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon Frontier sea salt
• 2 teaspoons Frontier cracked black pepper
• 1/4 cup, plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 2/3 cup 2 percent or whole milk
• 2 cups cheddar cheese, optional

Note: Frontier Co-op has provided this recipe as a suggestion for your use based on commonly available ingredients understood to be "vegetarian," which we define as not including any meat, fish, seafood or any products derived from them or any other part of an animal. This recipe may include animal byproducts such as eggs, dairy, honey and substances derived from them. Please review the recipe carefully to determine your personal preference.

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut butternut squash, carrots and rutabaga into ¼-inch cubes. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and spread onto a baking tray in a single layer. Roast until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

2. In a large pot or skillet with deep sides, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter over medium-low heat. Mince shallot, add to pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

3. To the shallots, add the white wine, sea salt, white pepper, rosemary and sage along with the roasted vegetables. Stir and cook for 4 minutes.

4. Stir in peas and flour. Cook for 1 minute then add the vegetable broth. Continue to cook, stirring often, until the filling has thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Divide the filling into 4 oven-safe soup bowls.

5. To make the biscuit topping, combine the flour, baking powder, and sea salt in a bowl. Add in olive oil and with your fingers, work the olive oil into the flour until the mixture looks crumbly. Pour in milk and add ½ cup shredded cheese. Stir until dough comes together. Divide dough into 4 pieces and pat into a ½-inch thick circle. Place biscuits on top of the filling and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

6. Bake pot pies at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until biscuits are golden and the filling is bubbling. Serve while hot.

Note: To make vegan, leave the cheese out of the biscuits and sub in your favorite non-dairy milk.

Don't forget to check out Frontier's new holiday website for even more recipes. 



11/22/2013

When fresh Wisconsin cranberries begin to appear in early November at the farmer’s market it’s like nature signaling the holidays are here. With their scarlet red hue matching the universal color of the season, they brighten many Thanksgiving tables in the form of relish or a smooth sauce, but this Cranberry Orange Salsa recipe is my favorite. A little bit sweet, spicy, and tart all at the same time makes it a definite palate awakener.

Cranberry Orange Salsa Recipe

I’ve tried many raw cranberries salsas, but I’m just not a fan of their texture. I’ve remedied this by cooking half of the cranberries down during a short stint on the stove with ginger, orange zest, and a bit of sugar to bring out their natural sweetness. Many times you’ll find cranberry recipes loaded with sugar to temper the tartness, but stewing the fruit a bit achieves the same result.

The raw cranberries take a spin in the food processor with orange segments, leeks, and as much or as little jalapeno as you’d like. Fresh mint and cilantro give it a twist and balance the bold flavors. Combined with the juicy cranberries from the stove, the texture is just perfect.

Raw Cranberries

And let’s not forget about their smashing healing properties!  When the berries are water harvested from natural bogs, they have a larger amount of anthocyanin (what gives the berries their amazing red color). This is because they float and are therefore exposed to more direct sunlight, increasing the concentration of this antioxidant. Additionally, cranberries are also high in anti-inflammatory properties.

Ideally I like to give the salsa a few hours in the refrigerator for all the flavors to mingle, but if you’re in a pinch it’s still great right after it’s made. Another reason I love this recipe—its versatility. Go ahead and amp up a few dishes after you’re done noshing on it with crunchy tortilla chips. I enjoy it spread on gluten free bread with triple crème brie for an easy, gourmet grilled cheese sandwich. Whisked with olive oil, it also makes a punchy vinaigrette for a hearty green salad. Whatever way you choose, enjoy this fresh and zesty salsa over the upcoming holiday season!

Cranberry Orange Salsa Recipe Close Up

Cranberry Orange Salsa Recipe

For cooked cranberry portion:

• 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
• 1 tablespoon water
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
• Zest of one orange

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, water, and cranberries. Stir and cook until sugar is dissolved. Continue to cook until cranberries start to soften and release their juices (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat, and set aside.

For raw cranberry portion:

• 2 cups fresh cranberries
• 1 orange, white pith removed, cut into segments and coarsely chopped
• 1 small jalapeno, seeds removed and chopped (or a 1/2 jalapeno if you prefer less heat)
• 1/3 cup sliced leeks, white & green parts (could use chopped red onion instead if needed)
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• 3 tablespoons each of chopped fresh mint and cilantro

Add cranberries, sugar, and orange to food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add leeks, jalapeno, and fresh herbs to mixture, then pulse 6 to 7 more times. Add this mixture to cooked cranberries and stir to combine. Refrigerate for a few hours, then serve to let flavors marry, then serve. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead.


Amanda PaaAmanda Paa is a passionate tastemaker, self-taught cook and author of the blog HeartBeet Kitchen. She focuses on eating seasonally and embracing a farm-to-table philosophy with respect to developing recipes every home cook can recreate. She enjoys celebrating her own roots, as well as incorporating other world cuisines that make meals different and interesting. Amanda believes the heart of living lies within sharing wholesome, nourishing foods with the ones she loves most.



11/21/2013

I bet you never thought you'd drink anything quite this green before, but you may think differently after you try this delicious and healthy drink recipe.

Green smoothies are becoming increasingly more popular as more and more people have discovered how easy they are to make and the health benefits they so easily provide. As an added bonus, if you are trying to get little ones to eat more fruits and vegetables, I can say from personal experience having spent nearly a whole hour at times negotiating with a 3 year old regarding a plate of said veggies that have never been touched, that I feel your pain. Enter the hero of this story, The Green Smoothie Recipe! My kids love them! They love the interesting color and because they truly do taste amazing, it isn't hard to get them to drink them. For Halloween I was going to put little faces on the cups and tell the kids they were Green Monster Smoothies!

Green Smoothie Recipe
Photo By Fotolia/vanillaechoes

The recipe I tend to use is quick and easy and you can mix up the ingredients to your liking. I have found that if I keep most of the frozen ingredients on hand in the freezer it is much easier to whip one of these up whenever I want one. They are really great for kids and families who are on the go and need a quick breakfast or energizing snack.

Green Smoothie Recipe

• 1 cup mango (fresh or frozen)
• 1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
• 2 cups of water
• 2 cups of fresh baby spinach
• 1 ripe banana
• 1 apple cut into pieces

Blend all ingredients together a little bit at a time until smooth. The resulting smoothie should be medium to bright green. Pour into your favorite cup or to-go cup and you are all set.

Green smoothies are much more than just delicious. They are loaded to the tippy top with things that are really good for you. They are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Since you are getting a good amount of greens and various fruits in the smoothie you are more likely to reach the daily recommendation of 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables your body needs on a daily basis. These smoothies have been found to increase energy, promote health, and deliver more radiant skin.

Don't be afraid to mix it up a bit and try your own variations. I've replaced the water with soy milk, added a tbsp of protein powder, a few tablespoon's of flax seed, or a 1/4 cup of organic oats. I've also added a tbsp here and there of sunflower seed butter or peanut butter for added protein. For a slightly sweeter smoothie a dash of honey can be used too. The possibilities are truly endless. Have fun and enjoy!


Christy KenyonFreelance writer, sales assistant, and mother of two, Christy Kenyon hails from Ann Arbor, MI. Christy is an avid gardener and nutrition enthusiast and loves learning and studying about anything that involves improving the health of people, animals, and the planet.



11/8/2013

At our local farmers market I picked up two unsuspected dinner guests: an acorn squash and some baby kale. I know, I know...doesn't my author biography say that I very much dislike kale? Well, a lady at the market told me that baby kale has a more pleasant taste and isn’t as “tough and chewy” as the more mature greens can be. "Okay—that's a good start," I thought. "I will give it a shot." It was $3 for a gallon-size bag stuffed full of this leafy green. That seemed like a small price to pay—we will wipe the slate clean about kale…for now.

As far as the other interesting item I picked up at the farmers market—the acorn squash—I have recently developed a taste for butternut squash. I had always considered this taste more decorative than delicious, but as of recent I have changed my tune. Same goes for the acorn…it seems like a really great Thanksgiving cornucopia filler, but it has never struck me as “dinner-worthy.” Until now!

Farmers Market Produce
I acquired an acorn squash and a bundle of baby kale at my local farmers market.

Because I am trying to cook with both of these for the first time, I am starting with something nice and easy. Nothing too difficult, mind you…let’s not put the cart before the horse here.

Baking Acorn Squash
Dip your halved acorn squash cut-side down in a baking dish; fill with a little water.

Roasted Acorn Squash Recipe

• 1 acorn squash, halved, seeds and pulp removed
• 2 tablespoons of butter (1 tablespoon for each half)
• 2 tablespoons of brown sugar (1 tablespoon for each half)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place the cut-sides down of the halved and seeded acorn squash in a baking dish and add about an inch of water to the dish. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the squash is tender and the skin can be easily poked with a fork.

3. Remove squash from the oven and flip them over onto their backs. Add a dollop of butter to the tops, and sprinkle over with brown sugar. Put them back in the oven and broil just long enough to let the butter and brown sugar caramelize a little bit. 

Roasted Acorn Squash
All done! This is how my acorn squash looked after I removed it from the oven.

Voila! Finished with that. Moving on. Now, let’s go for the gusto here with the baby kale.

Baby Kale Saute
This chopped bundle of baby kale is wilted and almost ready to serve.

Baby Kale Sauté Recipe

• 1 to 2 large bunches of baby kale
• 2 garlic cloves, diced
• 1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
• 1 to 2 tablespoons butter
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 2 to 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
• 1 to 2 tablespoons of pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated
• 2 tablespoons of pine nuts, toasted (optional)

1. Cut the spines off of the baby kale, although you can leave them on if you like. I am sure they are packed with nutrition…personal preference…mine had to go. Next, slice the leaves into “ribbons.” Set aside. 

2. Sauté garlic and onion in butter over medium heat. When finished and ready for company, toss in the baby kale. Cook until kale wilts, about 2 to 4 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, as well as a healthy squeeze of lemon juice; toss.

3. Remove from heat and toss in pecorino Romano cheese and pine nuts.

I randomly found a small scoop of pine nuts in the pantry. I gave them a quick toast and tossed them in with the kale as well. I mean who could go wrong with toasted pine nuts and a little grated cheese? Surprisingly delicious!

Acorn Squash With Kale
This Meatless Monday meal is cooked and ready to eat!
Photos By Jennifer Rose

So now I am a kale-loving-convert. Give my recipe a try! Or try your own new recipe and tell me about what twist you put on it in the comments below!


Jennifer RoseJennifer is a lover of all things yummy! After traveling the states for five years, this Mississippi native planted her southern roots in funky, easy-to-love Chattanooga, Tennessee, where she resides with her husband, Phil, and two dogs. She is an avid cook, baker, gardener and creator of all things wonderful. She loves being in the kitchen, gardening, hiking, biking, traveling, yard work, anything DIY, good beer and great food! Except kale. She doesn’t like kale...until today!



10/30/2013

Whoever is responsible for the phrase “easy as pie” must have been either a master pie baker or someone who has only ever eaten pies. From the perspective of an eater of pies, pies are simple, delicious, and are only composed of two major ingredients: crust and filling. But we should all know that there are about a million things that can go wrong with pies: soggy crusts, burnt crusts, watery filling, and over flowed filling that leaves behind a sticky, messy pie. So, eaters of pies, listen up! Hug and cherish your favorite pie baker, because making pies is not easy.

Fixing Pie Crust Problems

Upon one of my latest adventures to my local kitchen shop I discovered a cute, cleverly laid out section dedicated to pies. Giddy with my discovery, I scanned the shelves looking for the cure to my pie-making woes. Oh! There were silicone pie crust covers, specialty pie pans and decorative pie crust cutters. Then I spotted an old-fashioned pie-making tool—an oldie but a goodie—the pie bird.

The pie bird is a ceramic beacon of hope to those who have problems with their pie filling over flowing. The concept behind the pie bird is that hopefully steam will build inside the pie bird, forcing out a whistle before your filling over flows. In theory, this little gadget should work really well, but in reality your pie bird will fall over spewing filling from her “whistle hole.” If you own a pie bird and have used her successfully please let me know because I have no idea what I am doing wrong!

Needless to say, I left the kitchen shop with a Le Creuset pie pan in cobalt blue, convinced I did not need any silly contraptions. “It is all in the recipe” I kept telling myself. I went home and opened my faithful “Betty Crocker” cookbook from 1976 and began to make what I thought would be the perfect pie crust. The recipe calls for 1 cup shortening and no butter. This was a big ol’ pain in the buns! Now I hate to go against anything Mrs. Crocker says, but too much shortening makes a pie crust impossible to roll out. You don’t get that wonderful smooth pie crust with a shortening-based recipe; instead you get striated flaky pastry dough. I was also missing that buttery crust that tastes so good, so I altered the recipe. The recipe now uses 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter and 1/2 cup cold shortening. I also found that the amount of ice water in the recipe is tangible. Add as much as you need in order to make the dough pliable. I even added egg wash (for a golden brown crust) and turbinado sugar to the recipe, and made my dough in a food processor.

I am sorry Betty. Please forgive me.

Perfect Pie Crust 

Betty Crocker’s (but Better!) Perfect Pie Dough Recipe

• 2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup shortening
• 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
• 7 to 8 tablespoons ice water (more if needed)
• Egg wash (1 egg plus a tablespoon of water whisked)
• Turbinado sugar or Sugar in The Raw

1. Measure flour and salt and combine in a food processor fitted with dough blade.

2. Add shortening and pulse until thoroughly combined. Add cold butter and pulse 10 times.

3. Sprinkle in iced water, 1 tablespoon at a time until flour is moistened.

4. Gather dough into ball and flatten on floured surface. For 2-crust pie, divide dough in half.

5. Roll 2 inches larger than pie pan. Fold pastry into quarters; unfold and ease into pan.

6. Add filling or follow the rest of your favorite pie recipe. Top with egg wash and turbinado sugar. MAKES ONE 10-INCH, 2-CRUST PIE.

The next problem that I run into when baking a pie is over flowing or wet filling. Wet filling is caused by the fruit’s juices being released while the pie bakes. You can fix a wet filling several ways you may choose firmer fruit, coat fruit in flour, partially dehydrate your fruit, or add a little bit of pectin. I prefer pectin because I make a lot of hand-held pies and I love the hot jam consistency that is reminiscent of Pop Tarts and strudels. As much as I want that pie bird to whistle; these simple solutions keep that pie bird employed as a permenate fixture in my curio.


Kristina Mickey HartKristina “Mickey” Hart is a pretty fun mom and auntie who openly wishes she was Amish. Her many loves include backyard chickening, gardening, honeybees and carbohydrates.



10/18/2013

It happens every year. I get ready to clean up the garden and plant my cover crop, only to find that I have the biggest tomato harvest of the year out there waiting for me. 

harvest of green tomatoes
Photo By Pier Jones

Green tomatoes are easy. They can become pickles or relish, frozen sliced or whole, canned, or put in boxes and slid under the bed in the guest room until they ripen. But what to do with all those cherry and paste tomatoes that seem to have appeared overnight? Especially when, by this time, I have likely canned all I want or need for the upcoming year.

Oven-drying is a quick way to get those tomatoes from the garden to the freezer, and since they take up very little freezer space, the fact that it is the end of the growing season is not a problem in that regard, either.

Here's how to make oven-dried tomatoes:

Halve cherry or small paste tomatoes, slice larger paste tomatoes, and squeeze out the excess pulp. (If you are using heirloom tomatoes, this is a great time to save seeds, by the way.)  Place the tomatoes cut-side up on cookie sheets. Lining the pans with parchment paper is not necessary but sure makes for an easy clean-up. 

tomatoes in the oven
Photo By Pier Jones

Place the tomatoes in your oven, set to 175 to 200 degrees, and dry until wrinkled and leathery, which will take most of a day. That's really all there is to it! 

seasoned tomatoes
Photo By Pier Jones

Before placing the tomatoes in the oven, you can sprinkle them with sea salt and herbs or drizzle them with balsamic vinegar or olive oil, but it's not necessary. You'll be amazed at the flavor these little tomatoes will pack, seasoned or not.

oven dried tomatoes in oil
Photo By Pier Jones

I always pack one jar with tomatoes and cover them with olive oil to be refrigerated and used immediately. The rest, I just toss in plastic freezer bags and freeze until winter when I crave something that tastes like summer. 


Pier JonesPier Jones is an Oklahoman who is passionate about many things—her family, gardening, yoga, food preservation, herbs and all things food-related. Like most Southern women, she lives to feed people! Follow her on her Facebook page, A Year of Traditional Living 





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