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Preview: Elle's New England Kitchen

Elle's New England Kitchen

Updated: 2017-02-08T23:51:45.315-05:00


My Blog is on the move…


I'll be officially closing my Blogspot blog sometime next week. I loved my home here, and have a lot of good memories--it's where I first started blogging, after all. But I was ready for a change. Squarespace is a great new home for my blog! The people behind the scenes are extremely helpful. And when you ask a question, you get a quick answer. From a real person. Huge, in my  book! If you're at all curious, check out their free trial! There's no catch.   Plus, they have a lot of built in features to offer.   I can change my site design, add extra columns, change the widths of the columns, add extra pages (archives, about, etc), and lots more--all with a few easy clicks!

Here is the link to the new site--it’s just about ready.   Just a few more behind the scenes details.

Please remember to subscribe to the RSS feed for this new blog if you're currently subscribed to the old one, and if you're not--now's your chance. ;) That way you won't miss any posts!   For those of you that subscribe by email, I’ll get Feedburner email services running there asap (probably right after I post this, hehe).  You’ll have to subscribe again, since the site address is different, but there shouldn’t be any problems. 

Thanks to all of you for reading my blog.  I hope you’ll join Elle’s New England Kitchen at it’s new home!


Raw Food, Part 3: Raspberry Ganache Fudge Cake


You are all going to LO-V-E this one. If this is the first time you dip your toe into the raw food waters, then let this recipe be the one you try. You will not believe how good this is. It’s from Ani Phyo’s new book, Ani’s Raw Food Desserts: 85 Easy, Delectable Sweets and Treats. Think of the most fudgy, chocolaty, rich cake, covered in a delicious, dark ganache. Are you thinking of it? It’s a nice thought, right? Now, think of all of the cream and chocolate, butter and sugar. Do you really want to eat those things? I’ve got to be honest, if you’re like me, you do! But you don’t want to feel the guilt after you do. You also most likely don’t want all of the empty calories and bad fats. Here is an excerpt from an interview with Ani Phyo, by way of Crazy Sexy Life: “Let’s take my Raspberry Ganache Fudge Cake as an example. The cake is made with walnuts, considered a super food by the FDA for it’s high levels of omega-3. Walnuts provide amino acids, vitamins E, A, calcium, iron, and have been found to keep our blood cholesterol levels in check. Walnuts are mixed with raw cacao powder, which is defined as a superfood by the FDA for it’s high levels or antioxidants, which fight free radical damage, premature aging and illness. I use dates, a whole food fruit, to sweeten and to bind together the nuts and cacao powder into a flourless cake texture. Dates are full of fiber, potassium, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. All of the ingredients in my cake are good for you super foods. On the other hand, the baked version uses bleached white flour that’s been stripped of any nutrient value. It’s sweetened with refined white sugar and empty calories, and uses eggs and butter, which contribute to high cholesterol levels. The baked version doesn’t offer much nutritional value.” Plus, avocados are good for you. So you don’t have to feel one bit of guilt eating this icing! I only had to make one substitution, and that was in the icing. I had just enough cacao to make the cake, and had to use regular cocoa for the icing. But the rest of this cake is completely raw. In the recipe, they don’t specify raw walnuts, but that’s what I used. If you don’t use raw, it’ll still be delicious, but technically not raw. Do you remember that dark, rich chocolate cake covered in ganache that I asked you to think about? Guess what?! You can have that cake! And you can eat it without an ounce of guilt, because Ani’s version is packed with things that are good for you. But when you’re eating it, you may feel that “knee-jerk guilt” reaction like I did. Because it’s that good. I’m serious! This recipe got eight thumbs up from the kids, and four more from my husband and I. I hope you’ll try it! You won’t be disappointed. Oh! For easy serving, and no messy cake slicing, I made this recipe into eight cupcakes. Just divide the “batter” into about eight equal portions, and press into a cupcake pan. A little chill in the fridge (about 5 minutes), and a nudge with a knife, and they easily come out. And while we’re on the subject, when mixing this up in the food processor, let it go until you can’t see bits of the nuts anymore. I also gave it an extra squirt or two of raw agave. You may see some of the walnut oil coming out, but just go with it, and press them into the pan, or into 2 cake layers. **For these photos, I stacked two cupcakes like a layer cake, with icing between. Find the recipe by clicking here! And in case you’re wondering, you can’t taste the dates, or the avocado. This is the most decadent chocolate cake you’ll ever “uncook!” This feed contains copyrighted photos and text from Elle's New England Kitchen. If you are not reading this material in a feeds aggregator, by e-mail subscription, or through BlogBurst, the site you are viewing may be guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact ellenekitchen (at) gmail (dot) com.[...]

Cashew Toffee Cookies


You know you want these! When you have that first bite, you’ll know it was meant to be. When you bake them, you’ll thank me. Or, you may hate me--because these are hard to stop eating. I bought this tub of little cookies at Trader Joe’s months ago. In fact, I made these months ago, but I’m just getting around to posting them now. You know how it goes. You make something, take the photos, eat or give away all of the goodies, and the cycle begins again. Before you know it, you have a bunch of recipes and photos sitting around, waiting their turn. Plus, life happens and you’re busy, maybe you can’t get to your blog as much as you’d like. My train of thought has left the station… Back to the cookies! I can’t remember what the Trader Joe’s cookies were called, but oh my gosh, were they good! Bits of cashew, pockets of caramel, crunchy cookie. I’d guess they were called something along the line of Caramel Cashew Cookies. See how I made that connection? ;)I wanted to try to make them at home, and figured it couldn’t be too difficult. And as it happened, I’d picked up the April edition of Everyday Food. There was a recipe in it for Pecan Sandies that had all of the flavors I was looking for in the cookie base, so I ran with it. And don’t believe the reviewer on the site that said the recipe needed an egg, it doesn’t. It’s basically a shortbread cookie, which doesn’t need an egg. (Yes, I know, my mom’s shortbread does use an egg, but it’s an old family recipe, and I’m not messing around with that one. It’s untouchable, like most treasured family recipes are, right? Plus, my mom loved it, and she’d be thrilled that I shared it with all of you.) I didn’t change much in the recipe, but I did double it. Because if you’re making cookies, why would make only 18 of them? And I increased the salt, to play off the sweetness of the toffee bits. mmmmm….Bonus! There’s no egg in this, so if you’re inclined to eat raw cookie dough (and seriously, who isn’t?), then this one’s for you. Cashew Toffee Sandies 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature1 cup packed light-brown sugar3 teaspoons vanilla extract1 1/2 teaspoon salt2 cups flour1/2 cup cashews, coarsely chopped1 cup toffee bits (like Heath)Heat oven to 350. In the bowl of your mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy.Beat in the vanilla and salt.With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour, mixing until combined.Fold in cashews and toffee bits. Roll the dough (it's really easy, not sticky!) into 1 1/2 inch balls, and place them on parchment lined sheets.Wet the bottom of a glass, and lightly flatten the dough balls. (you'll need to re- wet the glass a few times.)Bake 15-17 minutes, or until golden brown. If you put more than one sheet at a time in the oven, rotate them halfway through baking time.Cool on wire racks, and store in airtight container.Makes about 36 delicious cookies.This feed contains copyrighted photos and text from Elle's New England Kitchen. If you are not reading this material in a feeds aggregator, by e-mail subscription, or through BlogBurst, the site you are viewing may be guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact ellenekitchen (at) gmail (dot) com.[...]

Funky Chunks Gift Basket Giveaway--Winner Announced!


Congrats, Rachelle! And thank you to everyone that entered and retweeted about the giveaway! It’s time for a giveaway! Michele from Life, Lightly Salted has started a bath and body company called Funky Chunks. She has some very cool soaps and equally cool packaging! Add to that that she’s very creative and a sweetheart, and you’ve got a winning combination. You can also check out her soap blog called Funky Chunks for news and new items. We have a winner! Rachelle, from Mommy, I'm Hungry has won the basket. Anyway, Michele contacted me last week to see if I’d like to host a giveaway for her. Um, hell, yes! So she immediately got some samples in the mail for me to check out. Not only are they in cool packages, but they look, smell and feel great! My favorite has to be the Hot Chocolate Sugar Scrub, and the Pucker! The Pucker! is an herbal dill blend that smells so fresh and clean. But the Tuscan Summer smells great, too. Really, they all do! So what do you get? A basket with a $30 retail value, including, from Funky Chunks: 4 full size Chunks of Tuscan Summer, Pucker!, Sweet Basil and Root Beer Float 1 Sample Chunk of Green Tea Zen, a soap dish and a big bath scrubbie. And bonus! Janine, the owner operator of Things That Make Scents has thrown some stuff in, as well! Brew This! coffee - Jersey Girl flavor (apples, toffee and peanuts) Tea light candles in Melon Mania and Blue Sea Glass scents (descriptions HERE ) Michele let me know she may toss a few extra things in there, too--so that’s an extra bonus. I took a few photos of the samples Michele sent me. I thought you may want to see her products and packaging: View Full Album Here is a photo of the Gift Basket: To enter! 1) Visit Funky Chunks and have a look around. Come back and tell me which soap you’d most love to try. Leave it in a comment here for one entry. 2) Visit Things That Make Sense. Take a look around, pick a candle scent that you love, and leave another comment here letting me know which one it is--for a second entry. 3) Tweet about this giveaway, come back here, and leave your Tweet link in your comment--for a third entry. 4) You can Tweet about this giveaway as much as you like, for additional entries. Just leave your Tweet links in your comments, please! (When you Tweet, click under your message where it says, for example, One Minute Ago, and it will take you to a page where you can copy your Tweet’s link.)5) DON'T forget to leave a valid email address! This gives you a ton of chances to win the gift basket! Open to US entrants only on this one. Winner will be chosen next Friday. But in the meantime, get your butts over to Michele and Janine’s sites and make your wish lists! Guys, you should enter, too! If you win, share the basket to your favorite girl!And taking care of a little business: MySpiceSage is now offering 50% OFF the Ultimate Fathers Day Gift Set that includes Ten 1 Cup Bottles of Gourmet Spices and Seasonings perfect for dad, now $29.75! Normally, this gift set is valued at $60.25 when sold separately. Also, we are offering FREE SHIPPING for this item if ordered by 06/15/2009 AND a free personalized card for dad! has the Ultimate Gift For Fathers Day! Includes 10 Gourmet Spices, Now 50% OFF (FREE DELIVERY by Fathers Day if ordered by 06/15/2009)! This feed contains copyrighted photos and text from Elle's New England Kitchen. If you are not reading this material in a feeds aggregator, by e-mail subscription, or through BlogBurst, the site you are viewing may be guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact ellenekitchen (at) gmail (dot) com.[...]

Raw Food, Part 2: Raw Burgers on Raw Bread


Welcome to installment two in my raw food journey!  We’ve been doing well, considering that we’ve been “cooked food + meat eaters forever.  My husband is doing slightly better than I am.  He’s got the willpower of…I don’t know what, but he’s almost unbending in this raw food journey.  A bull!  He’s stubborn like a bull. We’re still in the “integrating” stage, where we do a lot of raw, some vegetarian/vegan, and meat once a week.  We had some beef ribs on Memorial Day weekend that we smoked--and oh man, they were delicious and mouthwateringly perfect!  But we both felt sort of sick after eating them.  Not only bothered in our stomachs, but it felt weird not being able to get the taste out of my mouth.  Beef, I’ll miss you.  You were always such a tasty treat…hehe.  But back to the integrating--we still have some baked bread and non-raw stuff, but overall, we’re eating much healthier than we were a month ago.  Which brings me to these raw burgers, from Ani Phyo.  They were really tasty!  Perhaps need just a bit of playing around with as far as seasonings go--I’d like to add the Weber Burger Seasoning that we always use.  Used, hehe!  And maybe a little Bragg’s Liquid Aminos.  (Which tastes just like soy sauce, only lighter, for those of you who have never tried it.) Overall, they were really good, and we’ll have them again, for sure.  I loved the flavor that ketchup added, too, surprisingly!  I didn’t make Ani’s raw ketchup, but the one we used was organic.  They definitely need some crunch, so go ahead and pile on your crisp greens and sliced onions.  I dehydrated the bread and burgers in my oven with the door propped opened, but as we prepare more and more raw foods, I am starting to see the need for and advantages of a dehydrator.  We like to have crackers and chips to snack on--and it would be nice to pop them in there and let them do their thing.  But in a pinch, the oven did the job.  The recipe for the burgers can be found here, on Ani’s site.   And the bread recipe can be found by clicking here.  My tip--if you’re making this without a dehydrator, make the bread on parchment paper, because when it’s time to flip it, it’ll be much easier.  Then peel the paper off.  And although the bread looks cracker-ish, it’s not.  It’s very pliable. Raw Burger Porn:     All of this healthy stuff… becomes this super healthy bread:   I hope you’ll continue on with me on my raw food journey.  It won’t be all I make and post, for sure.  I love to bake, and we’re still eating meat at least once a week, so there will always be something for everyone. This feed contains copyrighted photos and text from Elle's New England Kitchen. If you are not reading this material in a feeds aggregator, by e-mail subscription, or through BlogBurst, the site you are viewing may be guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact ellenekitchen (at) gmail (dot) com.[...]

Pesto Parmesan Turkey Burgers and Some New England Sights


Where to start?  I guess, with the food, since this is a food blog, right? This is a quickie recipe that I whipped up a few weeks ago.  We had some ground turkey hanging out in the freezer, like it does, and I wanted something different.  Burgers are always welcome, but a little variety is nice.  A look in the pantry turned up a jar of Trader Joe’s pesto.  Bingo!  One easy recipe, coming up! Note: We had two 3/4 pound packages of farm fresh ground turkey (one white, and one dark meat) that we combined to make these.  The farm fresh meat is very moist, so we added bread crumbs.  If your ground turkey doesn’t seem extra moist, you can skip the bread crumbs.  Bottom line--the patties should hold together, so you be the judge. Pesto Parmesan Turkey Burgers 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey 1 1/4 cups grated fresh parmesan 1/2 cup prepared pesto 1 1/2 tsp garlic pepper rub 1/2 cup bread crumbs Pesto Mayo Your favorite mayo (we like Hellman's!) prepared pesto Mix all of the burger ingredients (except the things for the pesto mayo) in a medium bowl and form into patties.  (We got 8 for this amount) Cook in a hot pan with a little heated olive oil, or grill for about 4 minutes per side. For the pesto mayo, just eyeball the amounts until you get it to your liking. Add any additional toppings you like.       And now, some shots from around NH.  These are some taken at Odiorne Point State Park, in Rye, NH.  We love visiting here, and we’re out at the coast all the time, anyway.  The park has the Seacoast Science Center, which is full of exhibits featuring the local wildlife.  The building itself is built on and encompasses the home originally built on the land in the 1600’s.  Here is a bit of history about Odiorne Point from History In the dense growth of shrubs and vines, covering much of the park's 330 acres, remnants of Odiorne's past silently remain. Reminders of other eras and stark contrasts; idyllic summer estates and gaunt reminders of coastal fortifications. In terms of man and his settlement of this coastal land, Odiorne Point remained a true wilderness until almost 400 years ago. During summer migrations Native Americans of Pennacook and Abnaki tribes visited the area which they called Pannaway. Permanent settlement began in the 1600s. In 1623 an agent of England's Council for New England cameto fish and trade in the New World. David Thomson journeyed to New England on the ship Jonathan to establish the first New Hampshire settlement at what would become Odiorne Point. Many others followed, and the original settlement grew and spread along the coast and up the river. John Odiorne joined the settlement in 1660. He acquired several acres of land from the shoreline west into the marshes beyond. Like the others, he farmed and fished. The Odiornes remained on the property for several generations, always a part of the continuing changes in the Odiorne Point community. By the 1700s the settlement was well established, but the governing and trading activities had moved north into the deep harbor area of Strawberry Banke (now Portsmouth). The farms of Odiorne Point helped to feed the burgeoning port of Portsmouth for about 150 years. After the Civil War farming gradually gave way to a colony of hotels and large summer homes. Generations of families spent their summers by the sea. In this era of large seaside resorts, a grand hotel called the Sagamore House was built on the property. Over the years smaller parcels of land were sold for summer homes and estates. Formal gardens and tree-lined drives ornamented the properties. By the late 1930s seventeen families lived on Odiorne Point, including an eighth generation descendent of John Odiorne and the last of the Odiornes to live on the ancestral homestead. [...]

Browned Butter Blueberry Maple Muffins


Think Blueberry Pancakes. In a nice little handheld size. And no slaving over a hot griddle making pancake after pancake. These are almost instant gratification! Some of you may remember the Daring Bakers Cake, Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting, from Shuna Fish Lydon. One of the best cakes ever, and the one I’m requesting for my birthday in September. It’s amazing how browning the butter makes the whole thing better. And it’s a simple step, too! Just make sure you run the browned butter through a strainer (a metal mesh one, so it doesn’t melt!) and let it cool slightly before you add it to your recipe. So, I was thinking about muffins, as I often do. Yes, really! I love them like family. They make a nice breakfast or a delicious snack. It’s cake that’s contained in it’s own little hand held package. Want fruit? Go for it! Nuts? Chocolate? Whatever you feel like! While I was thinking about muffins, I inadvertently drifted over to breakfast--->pancakes--->blueberry pancakes--->maple syrup--->muffins! The light went on over my head and hit me like a dozen muffins. Or in this case, ten. Blueberry muffins. Nearly everyone loves them. But putting a spin on them is the fun part! To mimic blueberry pancakes, I could add maple syrup. And browned butter to get the flavor you get from frying your pancakes up in melted butter. Oh, yes. Now we’re talking! These are right up there in my top 5 favorite muffins now. I’ll definitely make them more, and in fact, they’re now my official blueberry muffin recipe! I used frozen Wild Maine Blueberries in these. You know, the little tiny ones? But you can use any kind you like. And even though I think purple muffins are extremely cool, I did rinse them before using. I wanted to see if the browned butter gave the batter some color, and it did. After baking, they were a nice caramel color. Maple Syrup. Please, if you love me, use real maple syrup in these. Not the doctored up corn syrup with artificial maple flavoring and coloring. In this case, I used a maple agave blend from Trader Joe’s. It’s real maple syrup blended with agave. It’s one of my new best friends! If you can’t get your hands on that, maple syrup is perfect. I adapted this recipe from one found in 100 Muffins and Scones, by Felicity Barnum-Bobb. This book is packed with mouthwatering recipes to feed my muffin addiction! Browned Butter Blueberry Maple Muffins adapted from 100 Magnificent Muffins & Scones, by Felicity Barnum-Bobb To print this recipe, click here. 1 cup all purpose flour 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour 2 tsp baking powder 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 cup blueberries (if frozen, rinsed and set aside to dry a bit) 1/2 cup butter 1/2 cup maple syrup 2 eggs 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 cup maple syrup, for brushing over tops Heat oven to 375, and lightly grease your muffin pan. Melt the butter in a small pan, letting it go until it starts to brown and smell nutty. Don't let it burn, but stop when it gets deep brown. There will be dark sediment in the pan, so pour the butter through a wire mesh strainer and set it aside to cool a bit. Don't worry if a bit of the sediment makes it through the strainer. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder and sugar. In a smaller bowl, toss the berries with 1/4 cup of the flour mixture. In a large measuring cup or smaller bowl, whisk the melted butter, maple syrup eggs and salt. Pour the wet stuff into the dry stuff, mix just until blended--then fold in berries. Fill the muffin cups evenly (I got 10 muffins) and bake for 18-20 minutes. Do the toothpick test--it should come out clean. Let the muffins cool a few minutes in the pan, then run a knife around the edges, and turn them out on to a cooling rack. Place the cooling rack over a parchment lined pan, a[...]

Quinoa Polenta with Sautéed Lentils and Portobellos


This dinner was put together one night when looking for a way to use up a package of steamed lentils from Trader Joe’s, a few Portobello mushroom caps, and some quinoa. Yes, I said steamed lentils! It’s a pack of 2 1/2 cups of lentils, vacuum sealed and ready to go. Now, there’s no reason at all why you couldn’t make your own lentils, but I think it would be better if you made them ahead and let them sit in the fridge for a day. Just like you do for fried rice. It lets them separate and firm up, and hold up better to sautéing—so they don’t turn to mush. The quinoa part of this is done polenta-style, with some fresh grated parmesan, and is from Whole Grains for Busy People, by Lorna Sass. Couldn’t be easier! I’ve made this quite a few times already, even adding an extra bit of half and half at the end for a little more creaminess. Delicious! Lorna’s book is loaded with great recipes—I have a ton marked to try. And it’s not a vegetarian book, by any means. There’s plenty of meaty recipes in there, but whole grains are included. And they’re all quick, weeknight meals, with grains that cook quickly. But don’t feel the need to limit them to just weeknights! So get your quinoa polenta going in one pot, and start the lentils in another pan. If you like, you can do the mushrooms in a third pan, but I just transfer the lentils to a bowl when they’re done, then do the portobellos in the same pan. They’re very quick to cook up, so your other stuff isn’t going to get cold. Don’t look at the three elements and think it’s too complicated, please. Each one is extremely quick and easy, I promise! Quinoa-Style Polenta From Whole Grains for Busy People, and slightly changed 1 cup quinoa 2 cups chicken broth (or use vegetable broth if you prefer) 1/2 cup grated fresh parmesan 1 tbsp butter 1 tbsp of your favorite fresh herbs, minced (or about 1 tsp dried) salt and fresh cracked black pepper In a saucepan, bring broth and quinoa to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook about 12-15 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the remaining ingredients and set aside. Sautéed Lentils 2-3 garlic cloves, minced 1/2 cup onion, chopped 2 1/2 cups cooked lentils 1 cup chicken broth (or vegetable if you prefer) 2 tbsp of your favorite fresh herbs, minced (or about 2 tsp dried) fresh cracked black pepper In a skillet over medium low heat, heat some olive oil, then add the garlic and saute for a few minutes, being careful not to burn it. Increase the heat to medium high, and add the onions--cook for a few minutes. Add the lentils and broth, and simmer for about 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.You want to cook off most of the liquid. Add the herbs and pepper. Set aside, or remove from pan--then wipe it clean and slowly heat a little olive oil to get ready for the mushrooms... Sautéed Portobellos 2 cloves garlic, minced 3-4 large Portobello mushroom caps, stems removed and sliced, gills removed, and rinsed your favorite herbs fresh cracked black pepper and a little salt Slice the mushrooms into pieces about 3/4 inch thick. Use the sliced stems, too, if you like! Heat a bit of oil in a pan over medium low heat, then add the garlic. Saute, being careful not to burn it. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 2 minutes on each side. Add herbs, salt and pepper. Layer the quinoa, lentils, then mushrooms in your bowl, and top with extra grated parmesan. Serves 3 people My meat-eating husband absolutely loves this one! And see how it serves three people? That means the two of us for dinner, and he gets the leftovers for lunch the next day. That’s how much he loves this dish. This feed contains copyrighted photos and text from Elle's New England Kitchen. If you are not read[...]

Food Blog Code of Ethics


There’s been a lot of buzz around the food blogging world for the last few days. If you want to know why, you can click the link and read all about it. Food Blog Code of Ethics While the basic idea of this code is common sense honesty, and I’m sure—written with good intentions--there are a few things about it that rub me the wrong way. I’ll touch on those first, then give you some links to other blogs who have posted about it, as well. I urge you to also read through the comments—they’re well thought out and may bring up some points you haven’t thought of. 1) This Code of Ethics was written by two trained journalists that also blog about food. So naturally, they lean towards journalistic ethics. And that’s fine! If you’re a journalist. Which I am not. I write this blog for fun. I look at it as friends having a chat about food. 2) The authors of the code say they had heated discussions with other food bloggers before putting it in writing. What food bloggers? I wasn’t one of them. I don’t think I know any one else that was asked to weigh in on it. I think that before one word of the code was released, it should have been put out there for all food bloggers to offer up opinions on. Granted, there would have been a lot of opinions to wade through, but I think if you’re going to set up “guidelines” that you’d like to apply to all food bloggers, then you ought to give them the option to know about it and be a part of it before you release it to the world. That’s common sense. 3) Honesty. It’s a very good thing! I’m an honest person with integrity. I don’t think that if I put a little badge saying “I Follow The Code” in my sidebar, you’ll all rest easier at night. Will you? I give my readers way more credit than that! You guys can discern between bullshit and the truth. It seems silly to me to have to tell you that I’m an honest person. You’ll either think someone is or not. But more importantly, you’ll form that opinion on your own. I actually read a comment by someone who was all aboard for the code, and said it was a way to *set themselves apart as having standards* they write by. Well, excuse me (!), but I have standards already, and don’t need a code to proclaim it! Being ethical, honest, and civil are qualities you either have, or you don’t. And no code is going to help you if you don’t already possess those attributes. 4) While we’re on the subject of honesty…I really don’t expect that the thieves out there that steal blog content and photos will suddenly say “Oh, there’s a CODE? Well, that changes everything! I’ll stop stealing your content right away and never do it again!” Please. They’re going to do it anyway, because they’re unethical, and no badge or document will stop them. They have to want to do it. 5) The authors of the code think that restaurant reviews by food bloggers should be fair. I can’t argue with that at all. But they suggest visiting an establishment at least twice before reviewing. Which would be fine if I were a journalist with an expense account. But I’m a stay at home mom, and our budget for such things come out of my husband’s paycheck. I suggest that restaurants learn consistency and put out quality food every time a plate leaves the kitchen, or own up to it—and not get pissed at the food blogger that happened to get a bad plate of food. 6) I fund this blog. Which means I’m “Supreme Ruler and Dictator” when it comes to what I publish on it. If I want to be crude (which I’m not, for the most part) I will. If I don’t want to be civil, I won’t. Please refer to my title in line one, section six if you’ve got an issue with that. 7) From the code: “As the blogging world expands exponentially, more and more peo[...]

Raw Cream of Asparagus Soup


Yes, you read that right—raw!  This soup is completely uncooked, just made in a blender.  It’s not even heated up.  And don’t think I’m off my rocker, hehe.  Think cold soups and gazpacho!  My husband and I have decided to incorporate healthier eating into our diets, in a couple of ways.  One, by adding one or two vegetarian meals per week, and two, by adding a couple of raw food recipes to our repertoire every week or so.  What are some benefits of eating raw foods?  Well, the obvious, of course—you’re  not cooking the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals out of the food.  Then there’s the fiber—that's an important benefit.  But so is feeling good about what you eat. I’ll be the first person in line when someone’s grilling a steak, chicken, or a burger—I love meat.  But maybe I don’t want to eat it every single day.  Who says I have to?  No one, of course.  Maybe some of you are feeling the same way.  Especially in the summertime, when eating lighter and not heating up the kitchen sound like two really good things.  And eating lots of raw, locally grown and organic foods appeals to us right now. With these thoughts in mind, we went to Barnes and Noble last weekend, grabbed a bunch of raw (un)cookbooks off the shelf, grabbed a table in the cafe, and immersed ourselves in “uncooking.”   Some of the books were exactly what we expected.  Recipes were complicated, with three, four, or five separate components.  You “needed” a special blender, and a “must have” was a dehydrator.  Sure, the food looked amazing, but these recipes were no way to ease into a raw food lifestyle.  Not for us, anyway. Two books stood out among all of the ones we looked at, though.  First, Ani's Raw Food Kitchen: Easy, Delectable Living Foods Recipes, by Ani Phyo, and Everyday Raw, by Matthew Kenney. See them both here, on Amazon: style="width: 120px; height: 240px" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" src="<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"> style="width: 120px; height: 240px" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" src="<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">   Both of these books make adding raw foods to your diet easy and definitely not daunting.  The recipes are droolworthy and beautiful.  The ingredients aren’t hard to track down.  There  may be a few new ingredients you haven’t seen or heard of yet, but that’s what google is for, right?  And so far, I’ve had no trouble tracking down the few things I didn’t have in my pantry.  In Everyday Raw, Matthew says you don’t even need a dehydrator, which I don’t have.  You can use your oven on it’s lowest setting, with the door propped open.  What’s the dehydrator for?  Well, it’s for raw breads, crackers, crusts—in other words, they’re dried, not heated and baked.  I’m going to try my hand at making raw bread from Ani’s book this week, and will keep you posted.  It’s for the Sun Burgers on Black Sesame Sunflower Bread that she’s enjoying on the cover of her book.  They look and sound incredible!  My husband and I figured that since we’re just starting out and testing the waters, we’d compromise with crusts and breads for the most part.  In other words, if we want raw pizza, we’ll make the healthiest pizza[...]

Guacamole Ice Cream…sort of!


  Time for the monthly Royal Foodie Joust!  What’s the Joust, you ask?  It’s a monthly contest started by Jenn, The Leftover Queen.  Who also runs The Foodie BlogRoll.  And if you have a food blog and haven’t joined yet, what are you waiting for?  They have giveaways happening all the time, and all you need to do to enter is join the BlogRoll.  Plus, there are forums that are a great way to network, meet other bloggers, and find lots of great information.  So get on over there and check it all out! Last month’s Joust was won by Peter and Christey at, and they won with their entry for Almond Crusted Asparagus Rolls with Lemongrass Hollandaise.  How amazing does that look?   Well, everything they have posted does, right?    The winner of each Joust gets to choose the three ingredients for the next Joust.  And this time, instead of choosing specific ingredients, Peter and Christey chose Red, White, and Green.  I loved this idea, because it leaves the Joust wide open to interpretation.  Feeling sweet, savory, traditional or daring?  Doesn’t matter—as long as you use some red, white and green. This past Saturday, I was having a short chat with Michele, at Life, Lightly Salted.  She’s a real sweetheart and has an outstanding blog, so please go and say hello to her.  We were talking about ice cream, and she was saying she was going to try making some avocado ice cream.  I swear, I almost saw the light bulb go off over my head.   I love guacamole, and what if I could make avocado ice cream, but make it look like the dip I love so much?  It all fell into place.  Since I’d always wanted to try avocado ice cream, I knew this would be fun—plus my ice cream maker was growing far too lazy.  I decided to use diced strawberries instead of tomatoes, shredded coconut in place of diced white onion, and mint would stand in for cilantro. I used a basic recipe for the ice cream from Alton Brown.  You just can’t go wrong with his recipes.  I didn’t let the mixture chill for 4-6 hours, though.  More like 30-40 minutes, and I had no problems.  Damn my lack of patience!  And toward the end of the cycle, I tossed in a few small handfuls of coconut, and about 6 large diced strawberries.  I almost forgot the mint until my husband reminded me.  Whew!  I’d have hated to have forgotten that.  I just folded that in myself and them tossed it all in the freezer to set better. I should have taken a photo before scooping some out, though, because when it was in the container, it looked just like guacamole!  My daughter came in and said, “gross, mom, that ice cream looks like guacamole!”  Good!  that’s what I was going for!  ;) My “tortilla chips” would be played by shortbread cookies.  This recipe is from my grandmother, and we made it almost every year for Christmas.  The cookies are so pretty with red and green sugar on them.  We usually make them into individual cookies, but since I was trying to get the tortilla chip thing going, I split the dough into two portions, and patted it out into two circles on a parchment lined sheet.  Lightly score the dough into wedges, then bake.  After baking, you can separate the wedges.  (They take a little longer to bake this way—about 10 extra minutes.  they should feel set on the top.)  I know, most shortbread recipes don’t use any eggs, but I adore this recipe.  They seem lighter, and not so heavy. Mom's Shortbread Cookies To print this recipe, click here. This is my mom's tried and true shortbread recipe. She got i[...]

Greek Sandwich with Feta Vinaigrette


You’re in a hurry! Running late, maybe even stuck in traffic. What’s for dinner? With one quick stop to the grocery store, or better yet—the farmer’s market, you can have everything in one bag to make this tempting sandwich. We love this one. Seriously. L. O. V. E. It’s cool and refreshing with zero cooking involved, so that makes it great for hot summer evenings when you can’t even think of turning on the oven. What’s so great about it? Well, aside from being delicious and loaded with vegetables, it’s also crunchy, cool, and satisfying. I think it would be great with some grilled chicken tucked in there, too. And now that we can actually see the grill out there in the yard, it’s a perfect time to try that option out. We’ve been enjoying this all winter long. Yes, really! With bagged spinach, Campari Tomatoes or vine ripened, and an English Cucumber—you know the ones, all wrapped up in plastic—this still tastes like a fresh summer sandwich. Have you guys tried the Campari tomatoes? They’re the closest I've found to garden fresh. They’re sweet and so good. I think I’ll have to do a side by side when we start getting garden tomatoes this summer. Anyway, they’re a bit pricier than the pink, bland “other” tomatoes, but they’re well worth it. I found this recipe a while back at If you haven’t checked this site out yet, you should. It’s packed with great recipes and tips! Whether you want quick recipes, diet friendly, budget, or party recipes and more, you can find them there. The network has recipes from some of your favorite magazines: Cooking Light Coastal Living Cottage Living Health MyHomeIdeas Real Simple Southern Accents Southern Living Sunset Just look at all of those resources, right at your fingertips! So check them out! You can find the recipe for the sandwich here: Greek Sandwich with Feta Vinaigrette. The only thing I do differently is to use fresh spinach instead of arugula. And do make the dressing to taste—a reviewer said she thought it was a bit lemony, so she added extra oil. It’s all to taste, right? One side note—we like to really pack the salad into the sandwiches. I know, oink, right? But it’s salad! Can’t fault me for that, hehe. So it can get a little messy. Serve with a fork for picking up the salad that is going to fall out in your plate. And if you’re serving it to guests, make sure they’re people you’re not trying to impress with your graceful eating habits. This sandwich is good. Really good. And worth getting a little messy over. If any of you decide to try it, please let me know how you liked it, and also let me know if you try it with chicken! One more thing! The dressing and salad make a wonderful side salad on their own, or even with some chicken added for a main dish meal. This feed contains copyrighted photos and text from Elle's New England Kitchen. If you are not reading this material in a feeds aggregator, by e-mail subscription, or through BlogBurst, the site you are viewing may be guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact ellenekitchen (at) gmail (dot) com.[...]

Dr. Kracker Giveaway Winners!


  The Random Number Generator has spoken.  Here are the 10 random winners:   # 39:  Darshana said... 39 Hands down the Pumpkin Cheddar flavour! =) Apr 7, 2009 9:08:00 PM   # 54: Thoughts said... 54 Wow the flat breads look yummy! Apr 11, 2009 9:11:00 PM     # 44: cessc said... 44 Yum! I want to try pumpkin seed cheddar cecilycoleman at gmail dot com Apr 8, 2009 2:17:00 PM     # 40: Sylvie said... 40 Pumpkin Seed Cheddar seems like it would be tasty to munch on plain. But the original might be better to spread with toppings. Apr 8, 2009 3:07:00 AM     # 29: Anonymous said... 29 Classic 3 seed. I have had these while vacationing in Florida. Excellent!!! Apr 7, 2009 11:51:00 AM     # 65: Anonymous said... 65 I really like the 3 seed & spelt. Tried them before and would love to win. Don Frye Apr 13, 2009 11:27:00 AM     # 21: Lisa said... 21 Those look amazing! I would say I'd love to try the sunflower cheddar. They all look delicious. I have to go back now and see if they sell them in RI! Apr 6, 2009 5:43:00 PM     # 16: Maria said... 16 What a healthy snack! I would love to try the Klassic 3 Seed! Apr 6, 2009 3:03:00 PM     # 9: Tiff said... 9 I think that the pumpkin cheddar crackers sound divine! With a little jam or cheese, hey maybe both, these would hit my snacking spot! (at) Apr 6, 2009 12:40:00 PM     # 42:  (Who, sadly, doesn’t qualify because she’s in Brazil.  I’m So sorry, Cris, but thanks for helping me get the word out!) Cris said... 42 On Twitter!!! Elle! Even if it is only US I spread the word to my US blogger friends who follow me!   So!  Since we need one more winner, the Random Number thing will have to work a bit more… The final winner is # 7: haley said... 7 Those all look so good! I think I could go for some pumpkin seed cheddar right now. Apr 6, 2009 11:49:00 AM       Congratulations to all of the winners!  I’ll be emailing all of you shortly to get your mailing info for the Dr. Kracker folks.  This feed contains copyrighted photos and text from Elle's New England Kitchen. If you are not reading this material in a feeds aggregator, by e-mail subscription, or through BlogBurst, the site you are viewing may be guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact ellenekitchen (at) gmail (dot) com.[...]

Stuffed French Toast, and Breakfast Memories


  Is there anyone that doesn’t love going out for breakfast?  I don’t think it’s possible.  There’s so many choices, and I don’t know about all of you, but for whatever reason, some things just taste better when someone else makes it.  I know, I’m weird.  But I like other people’s eggs better than mine.  A peanut butter and jelly sandwich?  Great the way it is, but when someone makes it for me, it tastes better.  Are they putting extra love in it?  I have no idea.  And don’t even get me started on omelettes.  I’m still working on making decent ones—my husband makes good ones!  Mine?  I definitely need practice. Going out for breakfast has always been a special thing for us.  It wasn’t for me until I met my husband.  When we were dating, he took me to all kinds of great places (and luckily, he still does!), and breakfast was no exception.   There was one place we loved so much, that we’d wait outside in rain, snow, sweltering heat, or freezing temps just to get in.  And it was so busy, that this could sometimes take up to an hour, maybe more.  Some of you local readers may remember it—Jakes, in Dover, NH.  It was THE place to be on weekend mornings.  Seriously.    It was so funny, because there were two little tables by the the windows, on either side of the door?  And if you got a window table, you’d have starving people waiting in line, looking in your window and drooling over your food!  And when you finally made it inside the vestibule (which could fit about 4 people, but often held 6 or 7 in bad weather, hehehe) you’d see the waitresses carrying trays full of the most delicious foods ever made for feasting on—right in front of your starving face.  And everyone would say “I’m having that!  And that!  Oh, and that, too!”  They had amazing omelettes, delicious muffins, pancakes, waffles—and nothing was average.  I truly miss that place—it’s gone now.  But I have some delicious/hilarious memories of it.  Remind me to tell you all about Karl’s someday…Snotty Fries, anyone?  ;-)  (No, I didn’t go to UNH, but had friends that did, and got to enjoy Karl’s firsthand.) We still judge being full by “Jakes Full.”  As in, “I’m so full!”  “Really?  But are you Jakes Full?”  Because you’d waited so damn long to get in, that when you finally did, you wanted everything.  hehehe Good times, gooooood times.  Look at the brown sugar melting into the sour cream…     But our current favorite is Betty’s Kitchen in Hampton, NH.   Their food is great, and their menu is huge!   They have about a million* omelettes, and a hundred** Benedicts (the lobster one is always a favorite), plus all of the expected breakfast fare.   You can see a sample of the menu here.  There’s way more!  Look at the Specials!  And they also serve a great lunch.   *Slightly exaggerating. **Still exaggerating.   I’m stuck in a rut at Betty’s, though.  And by no fault of theirs!  I can’t go without ordering their Stuffed French Toast.  It gets me every stinking time.  It’s too good to pass up—I can’t help myself!  It’s French Toast, layered with strawberries, blueberries, and bananas.  And topped with a dollop of sour cream and brown sugar.  And a side note here—if you’ve never tried fresh strawberries dunked in sour cream and then in brown sugar?  You’re seriously missing out on one of life’s [...]

Doctor Kracker: The Newest Thing in Flat Breads. Plus a Giveaway


Tuna Melt with Roasted Red Pepper Strips Are they crackers, or flatbreads? Either way, they’re delicious! They’re crunchy, so tasty, and as an added bonus, good for you! They’re organic and loaded with great things like whole wheat flour, spelt, oats, bran, flaxseed, nuts and seeds. And just look at their Allergen Statement: Dr. Kracker's allergen statement: All of Dr. Kracker's suppliers of flour, grains and seeds have provided our bakery with letters that certify that their products are uncontaminated by peanuts or tree nuts. The only allergens that Dr. Kracker lists are wheat and milk. Further, our bakery is certified organic by the Texas Department of Agriculture. So for those of you with nut allergies—these are the crackers for you! Ham and Muenster with Hummus We’ve been munching on the crackers for a few weeks now—George from Dr. Kracker was very generous and offered to send us some to try, after we told him how much we enjoyed his crackers. We found a box on the shelves at TJ Maxx, of all places, and couldn’t resist. And once we tried them? We fell in love. There’s no other way to describe it. They’re super crunchy and they taste great—and it almost makes you feel guilty, like you’re indulging in bad for you snacks or chips. But wait! They’re good for you ! As I write this, I’m munching on my current favorite flavor, Pumpkin Seed Cheddar. Not only are the crackers good for you, but they’re so versatile and go well with so many things. We’ve had them with dips, with peanut butter and jelly, with hummus and cold cuts, and also tuna melts. To see their other flavors, click here. They also have some new flavors you can see here! George and crew at Dr. Kracker have been extremely generous and offered to give some of their amazing crackers/flatbreads to you, my readers! The five Original Flavors served with hummus and Tabouleh. Ten people will receive a box including eight packs of crackers. One of each of the five original flavors, and one of each of the three newest flavors. How cool is that? And seriously, when you taste them, you’ll wonder where they’ve been all your life. Look at all of the seed-filled goodness! And if you’d like to try them in the meantime, you can click to see if they’re available in your area. You can also buy them online. And if they’re not in your area, ask your local stores to carry them! Good old PB&J What do you need to do to enter? 1. Visit the Dr. Kracker site, check out the flavors, and let me know which one(s) you’d love to try. 2. Come back here, and leave a comment with a valid email address! If you don’t leave an email address, or it’s invalid, I’ll choose another winner. Seriously. I’ve had to do that already, and it wasn’t fun.3. You must have a physical address, no PO boxes, please. 4. You can get an extra entry If you Twitter about the giveaway. Come back here with the link to your Twitter post (you must have that!!) and post that link in a second comment for an extra entry. To get the link to your Twitter post, click under your message where it says "less than _____ ago" and that will take you to a page where you can copy the url of your message. So everyone has at least two ways to get entries. Limit two entries per person. I’m waiting to hear back from George as to where they ship, and will update this post as soon as I hear back from him. I’m assuming it’s US only, but I will clarify that. The contest will run until next Monday, April 13th. I’ll choose the winners on that day. Good luck! I want everyone to try these flatbreads! Thi[...]

Ingredient Wars: Fried Fish Egg Rolls with Asian Style Ricotta Dipping Sauce


Ingredient Wars!  This time around, again, was a very fun challenge for me. I went back and forth for a while about what to make (which is why I’d never cut it as a challenger on the actual show, Chopped.) and finally decided on egg rolls. Making egg rolls used to scare the heck out of me, but thanks to my good friend Canarygirl, who walked me through it a few years back, I realized it wasn’t hard at all. A little time consuming, maybe, but still—pretty easy. The ingredients this time around were : 1. Cod Fillets (or some other white fish) 2. 1 orange 3. Ricotta Cheese 4. Egg Roll Wrappers 5. Ritz Crackers (or another butter cracker) I decided I’d pan fry the fish, after dipping it in egg white and the Ritz crumbs. Than adding things from the pantry and fridge, I’d make an egg roll filling to put inside the egg roll wrappers. The ricotta cheese became an Asian Style dipping sauce for the egg rolls. The Ingredient Wars Judge, aka my husband, asked if we could make a few open-faced egg rolls. Sure, why not? So a few egg roll wrappers were just tossed into the hot oil—man are those delicious as is! But we held back some of the filling to just scoop over the top of the flat fried egg roll wrappers, and you know? That turned out to be my favorite of the two. Who knew? The filling hadn’t been heated up, so it was like a cool, crunchy salad on top. Good stuff! Recipes: To print these recipes, click here! Fried Fish Egg Rolls with Asian Style Ricotta Dipping Sauce Fish: 1 pound cod, or other white fish 4 egg whites, beaten 1 1/2 sleeves Ritz crackers, crushed into crumbs Egg Roll Filling: 5-6 green onions, chopped 1 head Napa Cabbage, thinly sliced 6 oz bag matchstick carrots 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated 3 minced garlic cloves 1/3 cup soy sauce 13 cup rice vinegar 2 TBSP brown sugar 2 tsp sesame oil 1 tsp or so of orange zest fresh cracked black pepper the cooked fish from earlier, flaked 1 package egg roll wrappers oil for frying Asian Style Ricotta Dipping Sauce 7 oz ricotta cheese juice of half an orange 1 tsp or so of orange zest 1 TBSP cilantro, minced 1 TBSP soy sauce a few drops of sesame oil 3 tsp Worcestershire sauce 1/8 tsp ground ginger Prepare the fish: Dip fish in egg whites, then in Ritz crumbs. Heat a bit of oil in a pan, cook fish for 3-5 minutes per side, or until done. Set aside to cool. Prepare the sauce: Mix all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl, set side in the fridge. Prepare the egg rolls: In a large bowl, mix all of the filling ingredients, except the wrappers. Season to taste. Fill each wrapper with 1/3 cup of filling in the center. Wet edges of the wrapper, and roll up egg roll style, sealing the edges well. Heat oil to at least 350°, and fry about 4 egg rolls at a time--3-4 minutes on one side, and 3 minutes on second side. Let the oil come back to temp between each batch--this is extremely important so the hot oil sears the egg roll, and oil doesn't seep inside. Remove to a rack placed over paper towels to drain. Serve with dipping sauce. For an open faced egg roll, fry an unrolled wrapper till golden brown on each side, then drain on the same rack over paper towels. i hope any of you that decided to participate are having fun with the ingredients! Stay tuned for the next Ingredient Wars. I hear from “The Judge” that something sweet may be on the horizon. Check out what Caleb did with the ingredients this time around! Lo[...]

Chocolate Glazed Donut Muffins


Cravings. I’m one of those people that can’t stop thinking about them once they hit me. I have to satisfy the cravings to get them out of my head. And they’re for all kinds of things, like the rest of you, I’m sure. A very common one for me is spaghetti and meatballs—I crave that all the time! My family is lucky they don’t eat it every week. Though, I don’t suppose they’d mind…hmmm…I know I wouldn’t! But that’s not what this post is about! Cravings, yes. Spaghetti and meatballs, no. I had a craving for a Chocolate Glazed donut. Could not stop thinking about them. But do I really want a deep fried, full of fat, greasy donut? Well, maybe, but should I have one? Hell, no! So I went for the next best thing. Yes. Cake for breakfast. Also known as Muffins. My friends, muffins. I love them! These are no exception—they were so. Damn. Good. And very easy to make—a bonus! Chocolate Glazed Donut MuffinsTo print these recipes, click here! makes about 9 muffins 2 cup flour scant 1 cup sugar 1 Tbs baking powder 1 tsp salt 1/4 tsp Cake Spice + 1/4 tsp nutmeg 2 eggs 1/4 cup canola oil 1/4 cup melted butter 3/4 cup milk 1 tsp vanilla extract Heat oven to 350 degrees. Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix in the eggs, oil, butter, milk and vanilla. Grease the muffin pans. Divide the batter between the muffin cups--an ice cream scoop works great! Bake for about 18 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for about 5 minutes, then turn on out on rack to cool. Cool completely before glazing. And here is the recipe for the glaze, from King Arthur Flour. King Arthur is the only flour I use, ever. It’s such great quality and never lets me down. And have you checked out their site? Bakers Heaven! Chocolate Glaze 1/2 cup (3 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) butter 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon light corn syrup (I use Golden Syrup) 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract Melt the ingredients together over low heat or in the microwave, stirring often. Add extra corn syrup if needed to make a smooth, shiny glaze. Yield: about ½ cup glaze. If you’re using sprinkles, get them on there right after glazing the muffins so they’ll stick. And then let the muffins sit for a bit so the glaze can set up. The easiest way (for me) to glaze them was to put the glaze in a bowl that’s kind of narrow at the bottom, so the glaze isn’t too shallow. If it is, you’ll be bumping the muffins on the bottom of the bowl and won’t get a pretty glaze. This feed contains copyrighted photos and text from Elle's New England Kitchen. If you are not reading this material in a feeds aggregator, by e-mail subscription, or through BlogBurst, the site you are viewing may be guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact ellenekitchen (at) gmail (dot) com.[...]

Bucatini with Tuna and Baby Peas and an Announcement


Easy dinner alert! This one’s a family favorite. We love this dish! Well, honestly, my younger kids don’t because they don’t like tuna or garlic. Crazy kids, right? But my 13 year old loves it, too! Not only does this one taste great, but the ingredients in it can be kept on hand for a complete pantry dinner! Who doesn’t love that? So not only is it delicious, but you can have everything on hand to make this at a moment’s notice. In fact, I’ll bet a lot of you have nearly all of the ingredients already! And a bonus? It’s extremely quick to make. But it’s pretty! And you know what that means. Guests will oooh and ahhh because it looks and tastes great, but you’ll know you didn’t slave over it. And that also makes this a “guests dropped in, what do I make for dinner?” dinner. I got this one in an email a few years ago—from my local news station. I’ve made a few little changes, but the main idea is the same. Pasta cooking in one pot, and the rest in a sauté pan, then toss the two together. As far as the tuna goes, I use tuna packed in oil, but if you prefer, you can use tuna packed in water. And the pasta is also up to you—spaghetti, bucatini, this would also be good with penne—but use what you like or have on hand. Bucatini is fun—the noodles are like straws! We love trying new pasta shapes. I know, I know—we need to get out more. You’re preaching to the choir here! Bucatini with Tuna and Baby PeasTo print this recipe, click here! This comes together very quickly—so have everything ready to go and right on hand. Because you don’t want to burn the garlic while running around looking for the broth and peas. That would completely ruin this, or any dish! * 16 oz. bucatini, spaghetti, or your favorite pasta * 3 tbsp. olive oil * 6 cloves garlic, minced * 1 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth, if you prefer) * 1 1/2 -2 cups frozen baby peas * 2 cans tuna packed in oil, drained and flaked * 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, or to taste * 1/8 tsp. salt, or to taste * 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese * olive oil to drizzle over Directions 1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions is a large pot of salted boiling water. 2. While the spaghetti is cooking, heat the oil in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. 3. Add the garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds--don't let it burn! 4. Add the chicken broth, peas, tuna, salt, and pepper; stir gently until heated through, about 1 minute. 5. Remove from the heat. 6. When the spaghetti is done, drain well and put it in a large bowl, then add the tuna mixture; toss gently to coat the noodles. 7. Add the Parmesan, and toss it all together. 8. Taste and adjust the seasoning. 9. Garnish with more parmesan, and add a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh black pepper. My Spice Sage I also want to take the time to announce my new partnership with They’re a great company selling quality spices—which I’ve been using for the last few weeks, and you’ll see popping up in more of my posts. I’ve loved every one of them so far! And also? The people are nice! That counts for a lot in my book. So say hello to Jon and tell him I sent you. Be sure to check out their About Us page on the site to read more about their company. Not only do they have all of the major everyday spices that we all use, but they also have some amazing blends. The Greek, Pork, and Pizza seasonings come to mind immediately. We[...]

iPod Touch Winner!!!


Hot off the presses, we have a winner!

(image) It’s Temperance!  Congratulations, Temperance, you won!  Please email me with your address and I’ll get your iPod shipped right out to you.

Temperance said... 136

I just stumbled across your blog, congatuladions on your blogaversy.
and since I love a good contest (a holdover from the publishers clearing house sweepstakes as a kid) here is my email addres

**In case any of you are wondering why her # is 136 and not 336, Blogger will only count up to 200 on one page, so on page 2 of the comments, 201-400, she’s 136, or technically 336.


Thanks to all of you for playing along, Tweeting, and reading my blog!  And stay tuned for more giveaways!

Ingredient Wars! Formerly known as Chopped, the Home Version


Some of you know I did a home version of Chopped, the Food Network show. It was a lot of fun, and forced me to be creative. A great exercise for my brain, and we got a delicious dinner out of it! And my husband has a lot of fun coming up with my surprise ingredients. And quite a few of you said you’d love to join in the next time I did it, so here it is! But with a small change. I don’t want to give the Food Network any reason to tell me I need to stop using the name “Chopped,” so I gave it some thought and came up with this name and a button you can all use on your posts: On Chopped, they start with four chefs, and they prepare three courses, with one chef getting chopped after each course. The ingredients are unknown to them until the beginning of each round. Now of course, we won’t be chopping anyone here, just doing the surprise ingredient part. Much less stress. And there’s no time limit, either. I know how tough it can be to join in blog events because of time constraints in “real” life, hehe. So if you want to join in, just take the ingredients and do something at your own pace. If you want to get back to me with what you came up with, that would be awesome! I’ll add everyone’s links and a photo in the original post. And as far as the ingredients go, if there’s something you can’t find, or can’t use because of allergies, go ahead and pick something sort of close to the original one. It’s very flexible--the main idea is to push your boundaries and come up with some new stuff. And remember, you also have access to anything in your pantry, just like on the show! So here are the surprise ingredients for this installment of Ingredient Wars: 1. Cod Fillets (or some other white fish) 2. 1 orange 3. Ricotta Cheese 4. Egg Roll Wrappers 5. Ritz Crackers (or another butter cracker) So there you go! There is no set posting date, no deadline--just take them and do something, then post what you come up with. And you don’t need to have a blog to join in, either. But I’d love it if you let me know in the comments if you participate and what you come up with!This feed contains copyrighted photos and text from Elle's New England Kitchen. If you are not reading this material in a feeds aggregator, by e-mail subscription, or through BlogBurst, the site you are viewing may be guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact ellenekitchen (at) gmail (dot) com.[...]

Sautéed Beet Greens with White Bean Mash on Toasted Baguette Slices


A couple of weeks ago, we were at the (indoor) farmer’s market, and looking at all of the gorgeous fruits and vegetables. I guess when it’s 35 degrees and freezing outside, everything that is fresh looks gorgeous, right? But really, this place has the best stuff. Anyway, I picked out some beets to oven roast, and the beet greens were just beautiful! Usually, the ones I see at the grocery store are gross. Not pretty at all, and full of dirt. Seriously, you wouldn’t even want to imagine putting them anywhere near your mouth. Ick. But the ones a the farmers market? They were so pretty and green and vibrant, and I knew we could do something with them. Wasn’t sure what at the time, but I couldn’t pass them up. A couple of days before, I’d been reading blogs and came across Pithy and Cleaver. Great blog! They had me at Garlicky White Beans. Because, yum! I had already picked up the beans for that to have on a baguette, so the beet greens just worked their way into my plans. One whole grain baguette before leaving the market and we were all set. Sliced baguette, toasted, a bit of sautéed beet greens, some white bean mash, and it’s heaven in your mouth. Seriously, we couldn’t stop eating this. And have been looking forward to it ever since! We lead such an exciting life, do we not? There’s garlic in both the greens and the beans, but it mellows out during cooking, so you won’t be keeping any vampires away with this one. And really, if they all look like Edward Cullen, why would you want to? There’s also fresh lemon juice in both. Add some fresh basil to the beans, and you’ve got some wonderful flavors going on. Sautéed Beet Greens To print these recipes, click right here! To print these recipes, click here! Beet greens from 3-4 large beets, rinsed well and drained, then roughly chopped 2 shallots, minced 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1/2 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth, if you prefer) 1/2 a lemon salt and pepper Sauté shallots with garlic in a little olive oil over medium heat--don't burn! Add the beet greens and toss them in the oil mixture, after about a minute, add the broth. Cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Remove the lid, and squeeze in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Bean Mash inspired by Pithy and Cleaver 1/4 cup olive oil 4-5 cloves garlic, minced 1 can white beans (don't drain!) about 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped 1/2 a lemon salt and pepper In a pan, heat the oil over medium low heat. When it's heated, add the garlic and cook slowly, to infuse the oil with the garlic flavor. Add the beans and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Begin to mash them with a fork, or a potato masher--even the back of a spoon. Add the basil, lemon and salt and pepper to taste. Serve the greens and the bean mash on toasted whole grain baguette slices. This is definitely one recipe that we’ll enjoy again and again. it’s so easy to prepare, and it’s not to bad for you, either. Makes a nice appetizer, or a light meal. Unless you eat all of it, like we did, and then it’s not so light. hehehe. There’s still time to enter my one year blogiversary giveaway! Just leave a comment to be entered to win an iPod Touch. This feed contains copyrighted photos and text from Elle's New England Kitchen. If you are not reading this material in a feeds aggregator or by e-mail subscription, the site y[...]

Thinking Outside the Cereal Box…


And I’m here to prove it! I was recently contacted by Katharine Schuler from U.S. Mills. She wanted to know if I would be interested in trying some of their products. One of them is Uncle Sam Cereal—we buy that pretty often at Trader Joe’s, so I said yes, please! She asked what I’d like to try, but I left it up to her—though I did add that I have four kids, so if she could tuck a few kid things in there, that would be great. My kids get so excited when a package arrives, but so bummed when there’s nothing in it that they think is cool. Katharine packed a box so full of stuff, it was like a puzzle. I don’t think I could have ever repackaged it if I had to, hehe. But I was so surprised, and the kids were thrilled! U.S. Mills doesn’t just have cereal, they have cookies, graham crackers, 100 calorie graham cracker snack packs, hot oatmeal---if it’s for breakfast, they probably have it. Have a look around their site—I’ll bet you see something you want to try, or have already tried and had no idea it was from them. So I had all of this cereal, and aside from eating it in a bowl, I knew I could find something else to do with it. I had a quick look at the recipes on the site, and messed around with a couple. I’m happy to report my experiments were successful! You all know how much I love muffins—they’re an excuse to have cake for breakfast. So I went with those first. And came up with these Chunky Monkey Muffins. What’s not to love about banana and chocolate? Nothing! And adding a healthy dose of good for you Uncle Sam Cereal was perfect. Gave them a little crunch, and the kids loved them. They were like “Cereal? In a muffin? Have you gone nuts, Mom?” But I knew they’d love them. And I was happy they were getting some good grains into their systems. Chunky Monkey Muffins Makes 2 dozenTo print this recipe, click here! 3 1/2 cups Uncle Sam Cereal (Original) 1 cup sugar 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour 1 tsp salt 2 1/2 tsp baking soda 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 2 smallish bananas (1 cup total mashed banana) 2 cups milk 2 eggs 1/4 cup canola oil 1 cup chocolate chips Preheat oven to 375. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine wet ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the wet stuff to the dry stuff, fold in chocolate chips. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for about 18 minutes, until tester comes out clean. Cool in pans for a few minutes, then remove to a rack to cool. Look who was hoping I’d drop a muffin…sorry, Hamilton! A couple of days later, while looking at the bounty of cereal in the pantry, I decided it was time to try something else. The Erewhon Raisin Bran said “Ooooh! Pick me! Pick me!” So yay, it was the lucky cereal of the day. And it had a recipe on the back for Apricot Nut Bread. I didn’t have dried apricots, but I did have dried figs, and just about everything else it called for, so I got to work and came up with this Fig Nut Bread. It’s very moist and dense, almost like a gingerbread that’s studded with raisins, figs, and nuts. It very much reminded me of Morning Glory Muffins, in fact! It was totally delicious. Fig Nut Bread Makes one loafTo print this recipe, click here! 1 1/2 cups Erewhon Raisin Bran 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1 1/2 tsp Cake Spice 1 e[...]

Chopped! Results--Rubbed Steak with Gorgonzola-Garlic Butter and Stuffed Peppers


This was a lot of fun, and something I definitely want to keep doing. Having some ingredients put in front of me that I didn’t choose, and trying to come up with something edible was a great exercise for my brain. And I surprised myself. Not only did I come up with something edible, but it was delicious, too! Here’s what I started with… First, I rubbed the steak with one of our favorite rubs. (Remember, in Chopped, you get full use of the pantry!) Let that sit for a few minutes. Trader Joe’s sells boxes of frozen, cooked Jasmine rice. I pulled one of those packets out and heated it up—I think there’s about 2 cups in each packet. Then I took about 4 or 5 of the figs and chopped those up with kitchen shears. I roughly chopped about 1/4 (maybe a little more) of the sweet and spicy pecans, and tossed both of those things into the rice. Then I threw in a couple handfuls of gorgonzola—about 1/2 cup. A little salt and pepper, about 1/4 tsp cumin, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar were added next. This is the mixture I stuffed the sweet peppers with. Those baked at 350 in a slightly oiled pan for about 15-20 minutes. Turn on the broiler for an extra few minutes for some color on the peppers. Now for the gorgonzola garlic butter. Get some butter to room temp, toss in some crumbled gorgonzola. Heat a little olive oil in a pan, add a couple cloves chopped garlic and let it slowly sauté. When that’s done, spoon it into the butter, leaving the oil behind. But looking back, I could have easily added that oil to the butter as well. Broil the steaks for about 11 to 12 minutes. Turning them over every couple of minutes, and when they’ve reached the desired doneness, remove from oven and let them sit for about 5 minutes. Serve the steaks with the gorgonzola butter and the peppers on the side. I’m definitely going to keep this up. It’s good to get the creative juices flowing, and leave the safety of recipes behind. Even more fun when you’re presented with ingredients you may not necessarily choose yourself. The next time I do it, I’ll see what my husband picks up for ingredients, and then post them just like I did here. If any of you want to participate, let me know, then when you post what you came up with, I’ll link them in my post. Sound good? This feed contains copyrighted photos and text from Elle's New England Kitchen. If you are not reading this material in a feeds aggregator, by e-mail subscription, or through BlogBurst, the site you are viewing may be guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact ellenekitchen (at) gmail (dot) com.[...]

Chopped! The Home Version


Have you guys seen the new food Network show, Chopped? It’s a lot of fun! Kind like Ready, Set, Cook, I suppose. Four chefs, three courses, and one by one, they get chopped until there’s one chef left standing. I’ve had this idea I’ve been kicking around for a few weeks. I’m going to do my own version, right here at home. Only there’s no 20 or 30 minute time limit, and there aren’t three other chefs standing next to me to make me all nervous and sweaty, hehe. My husband chose the ingredients for me, and he did a pretty good job, I think! We have Tri-tip Steak, sweet peppers, crumbled Gorgonzola, dried figs and sweet & spicy pecans. I’ll play around with the stuff tonight and see what I come up with, then post the results here in a day or two. I’d love this to become a regular thing—I just have to remind him to bring stuff home to surprise me with, hehe. I have been talking with my Twitter friends about it, and a couple of them thought it would be fun to invite anyone that would like to participate to join in. So if you’d like to join me, let me know! If there’s enough interest, maybe I’ll make it a regular thing. But no time limits—you can just take the ingredients and run with them, and post when you get around to it. Will keep you posted!This feed contains copyrighted photos and text from Elle's New England Kitchen. If you are not reading this material in a feeds aggregator, by e-mail subscription, or through BlogBurst, the site you are viewing may be guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact ellenekitchen (at) gmail (dot) com.[...]

Cupcakes are POM Wonderful


And while they’re not the prettiest things ever, they sure taste great! I never make cupcakes because something always goes wrong. They sink in the middle, or they get too puffy and then run over the sides of the pan…I’m never going to be a cupcake queen. Ever. But I found this recipe the other day, and it worked perfectly! The cakes had good texture, a slight spiciness from cinnamon and other good things, and they weren’t like cupcake-shaped hockey pucks. And even though they have whole wheat pastry flour, they don’t taste like wheat bread. Honest! And the kids loved them. The recipe is originally found here. I added vanilla and also switched out the individual spices for a Cake Spice blend. The icing…oh, the icing. I was contacted by Diana at POM Wonderful a couple of weeks ago. She offered me some samples of their juice to try. Um, yeah, thanks! Love that stuff! So in thinking about different recipes to try with it, my husband thought of cupcakes. I had originally thought about chocolate icing, but looked around and found a recipe for Pomegranate Butter Cream. I didn’t have any POM molasses, so I brought some of the regular juice to a boil, then simmered it until it was thick and syrupy—about 30 minutes or so. Then just follow the icing part of that recipe. Whole Wheat Cupcakes Makes 12 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour1/2 cup unbleached white flour2 tsp baking powder3/4 tsp Cake Spice12 tablespoons (1 1/2 stick) unsalted butter1 cup sugar2 eggs1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk1 tsp vanilla Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a muffin tin or line with paper muffin tin liners.Whisk the flours, baking powder, and spices in a small bowl.Cream the butter with the sugar for about 4 minutes.Add the eggs one at a time until blended, and scrape down the sides of the bowl if you need to.Beat in the flour mixture until just combined, and then add the milk and vanilla.Spoon the batter into the pan and bake for 15 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.To print this recipe, click here! And don’t forget to enter my One Year Blogiversary Giveaway—leave a comment to be entered to win an iPod Touch!Check out the Savory Pomegranate Chicken Michelle at Life, Lightly Salted did with some of her POM Wonderful Juice! This feed contains copyrighted photos and text from Elle's New England Kitchen. If you are not reading this material in a feeds aggregator, by e-mail subscription, or through BlogBurst, the site you are viewing may be guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact ellenekitchen (at) gmail (dot) com.[...]