Tag Archives: recipe

Fiddleheads…end of the season!

I think it’s officially over. Fiddlehead season, that is! I went to the Farmer’s market last Friday and bought my last batch of fiddleheads until next year. My family has only recently been enamored with this early Spring delicacy. We tried them many, many years ago and although our friends assured us they were delicious, we didn’t agree. We had just moved to Maine and figured it was an acquired taste. My husband thought they tasted like grass! Then, last year, I tried them again – only I added a bit more flavor this time by using garlic and balsamic vinegar. We now love these little green ferns.

According to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Bulletin #4198, Facts on Fiddleheads, they are the young coiled fronds of the ostrich fern that grow on the banks of rivers, streams and brooks in late April, May and early June. It is advised not to eat them raw. They are best when fresh, but can also be frozen or pickled to preserve them for later enjoyment. Maybe next year, I’ll try a different way to prepare them and fall in love all over again…

I know they grow in New England, but I’d love to hear where else you can find them. Please leave me a comment and we can track them everywhere! Enjoy!

Saute’ed Fiddleheads

3 cups fresh fern fiddleheads
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt/pepper to taste

Clean fiddleheads thoroughly. Rinse well and remove brown, papery fronds. Trim ends. In a large saute’ pan over medium heat, add olive oil and butter. Add garlic and saute’ briefly. Add cleaned fiddleheads and cook for about 8-10 minutes, stirring often. Add balsamic vinegar and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve warm. Makes 3-4 servings.

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Posted by on June 20, 2012 in Side Dishes


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Brown Rice Crackers…make your own, any flavor you like!

Rice Crackers with Chili Powder

On a recent trip to Trader Joe’s, I bought some brown rice tortillas. I was hoping they would be a nice change for a sandwich/roll-up. When my husband and I tried them later, the tortillas broke apart and the fillings fell out all over our plates. Maybe they would’ve worked better if we’d heated them on the stove or in the microwave, but I don’t like warm bread, personally. So, I had to find another use for them because I don’t like to waste food.

These crackers are pretty simple to make and you can use whatever spices you like best – chili powder, garlic, rosemary, lemon-pepper, cayenne, dill, basil, sesame seed, cinnamon and sugar,…. the list is endless! Let your imagination run free!

Rice Crackers with Rosemary and Garlic

I didn’t do a price comparison ounce for ounce, but they may be cheaper to make yourself than buy the bags of rice crackers at the grocery store. Plus, my husband liked that he could customize them with his favorite flavors! It will also work well with soft, gluten-free, corn tortillas. If they last long enough, they will store well in an airtight container. Our batches were gone by the end of the day!

Write to me and let me know what flavors you like best…


Brown Rice Crackers

1 pkg. (12 oz.) Brown Rice Tortillas

olive oil spray


chili powder

dried rosemary

dried garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a large cookie sheet with olive oil spray. Stack half of the tortillas on top of each other and hand cut them into cracker-sized pieces. Spread evenly on the cookie sheet in a single layer. Spray the tops of the tortilla pieces with olive oil spray. Batch #1: Sprinkle salt and chili powder evenly over the pieces. Bake in oven for 12-14 minutes. Remove and transfer to a plate to cool. Stack the remaining tortillas and cut into pieces. Spread on the cookie sheet and spray with olive oil. Batch #2: Sprinkle salt, rosemary and garlic powder evenly over tortilla pieces. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a plate to cool.

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Posted by on April 13, 2012 in Appetizers/Snacks


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Kale again? Our new favorite veggie!!


Kale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, I realize I just posted a recipe using kale not too long ago (Kale Chips). But, at the dinner table Sunday evening, my husband said something like this… ” I never thought I’d hear these words come out of my mouth…this kale recipe is so delicious!!!” 

This may not sound so odd, but a few weeks ago when our son was home for Spring Break, he bought kale and prepared a tasty, warm kale salad. (I also made the kale chips mentioned above.) My husband was less than enthusiastic about eating it. He has never liked kale. Even though he enjoyed my son’s recipe, we did tweak it a little when we tried it again. What I created for Sunday’s dinner was yet another tweak, with a few new exotic ingredients.

Unlike spinach or beet greens, kale keeps it’s structure when cooked. You start off with a good amount and it stays intact, not shrinking down to nothing. Also, this side dish isn’t soggy, like so many cooked greens. Those are the reasons my husband enjoyed this recipe so much. It still had “oomph” to it! We are definitely adding it to our regular list of side dishes. My husband even asked me to add kale to the grocery list this week!

Please use the following amounts as a guide. Once you taste it, adjust anything to suit your own tastebuds. Try not to heat the walnut oil too high – it can be delicate and may change its flavor and lose some of its health benefits. Some of the ingredients may be in the Exotic/International food section of your grocery store or you may have to go to a specialty store in your area. It’s worth it!

Warm Kale Greens 

2 tablespoons walnut oil

1 medium shallot, chopped fine

1 large bunch fresh kale, rinsed, large stems removed, chopped

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (sometimes called “syrup”)

¼ cup sliced almonds

salt/pepper to taste

Heat the walnut oil over medium heat, in a large wok-type pan. Add the chopped shallot and cook for a couple minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the chopped kale and stir to coat the greens. Continue to stir/toss for about 3-4 minutes to cook the kale. Add the red pepper flakes and the pomegranate molasses. Stir/toss to blend. Cook for another minute. Add the sliced almonds, mix in with the kale and remove from the heat. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Serve warm. Makes 2 to 4 servings.

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Posted by on April 3, 2012 in Side Dishes


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Mexican Chicken Casserole…How do you say that in Spanish?

I’m not really sure what to call this recipe – quesadilla, enchilada, tostada – or a combination of all three. However it’s called, it doesn’t matter because it tastes good and is easy to make!

The quesadillas we’ve had in restaurants are usually two tortillas laid out flat with meat and cheese in the middle and grilled to get them crispy. Enchiladas are tortillas rolled around meat, cheese or beans, covered with a sauce and cheese and baked. Tostadas are more like a pizza – a tortilla crust with toppings.

At first, I was trying to make an enchilada recipe I’d received from a friend, but the tortillas were too small and they cracked when I rolled the them. As always, if something doesn’t quite work out – I improvise! I layered the tortillas flat on top of some sauce, spread my meat and cheese, added another layer of tortillas, more sauce and cheese, then baked it. So simple.

I used chicken breast pieces in this recipe, but you could substitute ground meat, shrimp, turkey or just your favorite vegetables and beans. My suggestion, if you use just vegetables, is to saute’ them in olive oil with some spices first. This will add a nice flavor to the dish. Or you could also roast them in the oven the day before. Just thinking about the variations makes me want to try this recipe again soon! Roasted summer squash, sweet potatoes, black beans…mmmmm. Let me know what combinations you’ve tried!

Buen provecho! (Enjoy your meal!)


Mexican Chicken Casserole

1½ lbs. cooked chicken, cut into bite size pieces

1 pkg. gluten-free corn tortillas (~ 10 small tortillas per pkg.)

2 cups gluten-free green taco sauce

1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

sour cream

fresh salsa

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Spread one cup of taco sauce on bottom of dish. Layer 5 tortillas on top of taco sauce, spaced evenly in dish. Layer chicken pieces evenly on top of tortillas. Cover with ½ cup taco sauce. Add the remaining 5 tortillas on top. Spread the last ½ cup of taco sauce. Cover with the cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes, until heated through and bubbly. Garnish with sour cream and salsa. Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Posted by on March 28, 2012 in Main Meals


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Five Minute Gluten-free Chocolate Mug Cake…long name, short time to a sweet treat!

I know this recipe has been all over the internet for years now, using regular all-purpose flour. I’ve tried that one and it doesn’t taste good at all. The texture just isn’t right – too rubbery. Maybe I didn’t find the right recipe? Anyway, we’re gluten-free now…

So, when I substituted Pamela’s Gluten-Free Baking and Pancake Mix for the regular flour, it came out good enough to fill my husband’s craving for something chocolate and sweet. The texture is not exactly like chocolate cake, more spongy, but we make this often enough that it is something we look forward to enjoying. It has good flavor and we can whip it up anytime we want a sweet treat.

I think it’s really important to use a baking mix that has baking soda, salt and baking powder already in it, or add it on your own. I know there is a Gluten-free Bisquick mix on the market now, and it may work in this recipe, but I have not tried it, so I can’t make any promises.

The other important piece of this recipe is the microwave wattage. If you don’t know the wattage of your microwave, check the manual that came with it. Or, look for the sticker with a serial number and other small printing on it. The sticker may be located on the back of the machine or when you open the door, it might be facing you. Somewhere on that sticker it should say what the wattage output is – microwaves have varying amounts of outputs, usually from 700W to 1400W. (My microwave is 1200W output, so I have to adjust it for this recipe.)

If you want to get the correct cooking time for your microwave for this recipe, click here and it will bring you to a Microwave Conversion chart. Scroll down to the “Convert Microwave Cooking Times” box and enter 1000 in the “From Wattage” box, enter your microwave’s wattage in the “To Wattage” box and enter 3 minutes, 0 seconds. Press “GO” and the chart will give how much time to cook this recipe using your microwave on HIGH. I’m sorry if this sounds a bit confusing, but it will help the recipe come out better, I promise!

Let me know how it comes out when you try it… I’d like to hear your ideas and suggestions! Enjoy!


Five Minute Gluten-Free Chocolate Mug Cake

4 tablespoons Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 egg

3 tablespoons milk

2 tablespoons canola oil

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons chocolate chips

In an extra-large coffee mug, add the first three dry ingredients and mix well. Add the egg, milk, oil and vanilla extract and mix very well until completely combined. Add the chocolate chips on top – don’t stir in. Place mug in the microwave oven and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts (oven watts may vary, adjust power or time accordingly). The cake will rise near the top of the mug and fall again – this is normal! Allow to cool slightly and tip onto a plate. Cut in half lengthwise and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired. Makes 2 servings.

Before cooking...

After cooking...






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Posted by on February 24, 2012 in Desserts


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Leftovers? …Turkey Pot Pie!

I know there will be plenty of leftover turkey by Friday of this week, so I’m going to turn it into another meal. One of my family’s favorites is home-made chicken pot pie – just meat, no vegetables. We used to buy it at Hungry Hollow Country Store in West Paris, Maine. They make the best chicken pie we’ve ever had!  When we started eating gluten-free food, I had to come up with a wheat-free recipe that comes close to the Hungry Hollow pies. Oooh, experimenting is so much fun and I love to experiment!!

So, I think I’ve gotten pretty close with this recipe and it’s so easy. This week, of course, I will substitute turkey and because I haven’t perfected a gluten-free flaky pie crust yet, I will use Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix (Gluten-free/Wheat-free) to make a variation of pot pie. The crust on this pot pie is more like a biscuit or dumpling. Yum! If you’d like to add your favorite vegetables, make sure they are cooked and drained well, so the gravy doesn’t get watered down. Also, be sure to use a bigger baking dish, or the gravy might spill over into your oven.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving day with family and friends. My husband and I are visiting our son in college in North Carolina. We are planning on cooking our turkey dinner in the dorm kitchen! It will be a fun adventure and we are all very excited! I’m bringing all my recipes with me – my son is already “drooling” at the thought of many home-cooked meals!

Turkey Pot Pie

2½ cups cooked, boneless turkey, cut into bite size pieces

1½ cups turkey or chicken broth

2 tablespoons corn starch

2 tablespoons cold water


1 cup Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix

¾ cup milk

2 tablespoons butter, melted

pinch of garlic powder, onion powder and whole celery seed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a large 9 inch pie plate. Place turkey pieces in pie plate, evenly spaced. Pour broth into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. In a small dish, combine cornstarch with cold water, stir until dissolved completely. Pour cornstarch slurry into hot broth, stir and bring back to a boil. This mixture will thicken as it cooks. Continue to stir. Once it becomes thick, pour over turkey pieces in pie plate. In a separate bowl, combine dough ingredients and mix well. Spoon soft dough on top of turkey mixture and spread evenly. Bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Makes 3-4 servings.


Posted by on November 20, 2011 in Main Meals


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Fresh Cranberry Relish – Tradition!

Everyone has a cranberry sauce family tradition for Thanksgiving. I grew up with the canned Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce sliced on a plate. Open both ends of the can and slide it out – it still had the indent of the ridges from the can. Sometimes my mother would also serve the Whole Cranberry Sauce by Ocean Spray – yuck, it was like eating sour sticks and twigs!

After getting married, my husband and I hosted Thanksgiving dinner for his family every year. It became our favorite holiday! For the first few years, it was the old stand-by, Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce. Then one year, 1995 to be exact (I still have the newspaper clipping!), a local newspaper had different recipes to add something “new” to the Thanksgiving table. That is where I found our new family tradition – Fresh Cranberry-Berry Relish! Ever since then, this fresh relish is the only cranberry relish we serve. Some years, I didn’t make a big enough batch and we were scraping the bowl for the last bits. When there were leftovers, they would get piled onto a turkey sandwich the next day, and again we would scrape the bowl for the last bits!

This relish is best made earlier in the day or even a day ahead. This lets the flavors and colors really blend well. I use my food processor to cut up the cranberries and apples, it saves time and energy. Don’t thaw the frozen raspberries, just blend them in and as they defrost, their juice will join in with all the other yummy flavors.

Cranberry-Berry Relish

4 cups (~1 lb.) fresh or frozen cranberries, finely chopped

2 tart green apples, cored and finely diced (skin on)

½ cup sugar

½ cup apricot jam (can substitute orange marmalade or peach jam)

1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen raspberries or blackberries

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. It’s best made a day ahead so the flavors and colors can blend. Makes about 6 cups.


Posted by on November 17, 2011 in Side Dishes


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