17 July 2012

Pup Trail Mix

Last week, a customer at The Boulevard Market asked me to fill a couple darling little cookie jars that she was donating to a local charity's silent auction.  Chocolate is always the first thought of course, but really it's all about how much the charity's fundraiser could gain, so a little creativity was in order.  We decided to fill the cookie jars with dog treats, but the rest was up to me!

I decided upon "Pup Trail Mix"!

I baked up a batch of "Pumpkin Dog Biscuits" and cut them into the smallest bone size.  With the scraps of that dough, I added ground cinnamon for different flavor/color and cut them into small squares.  I also made a batch of  "Pup Granola" and gathered up carob chips and a handful of bison bites from Pierre's Solid Gold dog food to mimic seeds and nuts.  I think dried cranberries would have looked cute too!

I mixed it all up and bagged the trail mix and attached some black raffia to tie them up.  For all of Pierre's "cousins" I added a fun little label with a tiny French dog!

Below are the recipes I used, but feel free to substitute your dog's favorite!  "Bone Appetit"


2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 1/2 cups rice flour
1 teaspoon dried parsley (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.
In large bowl, whisk together eggs and pumpkin to smooth. Stir in yeast and dried parsley.
Add brown rice flour gradually, combining with spatula or hands to form a stiff, dry dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface (can use the rice flour) and if dough is still rough, briefly knead and press to combine.
Roll dough between 1/4 – 1/2″ and cut with smallest size biscuit cutter.  Place biscuits on baking sheet.  If desired, press fork pattern on biscuits before baking, a quick up-and-down movement with fork, lightly pressing down halfway through dough. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully turn biscuits over, then bake additional 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely on rack before feeding to dog.

I purchased rice flour at the local bulk foods store, but I'm sure you could substitute whole wheat flour, you may need to adjust the amount a bit.  

1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups whole oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Blend peanut butter and egg together until combined and add to oats.  Mix until oats are moist and large chunks are formed.  Spread on baking sheet in bite size clumps and bake about 20-25 minutes depending on the size of chunks.  Remove from oven when golden brown and crunchy.  Allow to cool completely.


04 July 2012

Homemade Pizza we LOVE!!

Does homemade Pizza leave you wanting?  Not crispy enough crust, kinda doughy, doesn't have that same gooey cheese that's crispy, toppings are just ho-hum?

Well, look out!  I have the recipe for you!!  This recipe has gotten us through 3 teen-agers and all their friends, we-are-too-tired-to-cook evenings and lots of family over for supper nights!  Super easy and about 30 minutes of prep time (includes baking) plus you can make the dough ahead and keep in the fridge for hungry kids out of school for the summer.  If your kids are old enough to use the oven, they can make this pizza too!

1 cup hot tap water
1 Tablespoon INSTANT yeast
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2-3 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In your mixer with dough hook attached, combine water, yeast, olive oil and salt.  Stir to combine.  Set your mixer on the lowest speed and add 2 1/2 cups flour.  Allow to blend for about 4 minutes, check dough.  If it's stringy, wet and really stretchy, add another 1/2 cup of flour until a solid mass of dough that only clings slightly to the dough hook is achieved.  Knead until smooth and a bit shiny.

Allow to rise (here's where the instant yeast kicks in!) until double, about 15 minutes.

Grease 2 - 14 inch pizza pans with olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of corn meal if you've got it.  Divide dough in half and begin stretching with your hands.  I put the lump of dough in the middle of the pan and spin the pan as I push the dough to the outer edges until evenly thick all over.  Crimp the outer edge of dough a little. Place in hot oven and cook crust 5 minutes.  It should be dry to the touch, but not browned.

Remove crust and brush with a tablespoon of melted butter immediately and sprinkle with garlic, parmigiano cheese and/or herbs of your choice.

We use a bottled pizza sauce as they are all pretty tasty.  Spread the sauce only about 1/4 inch thick over crust, coming up to an inch away from edge of pan.  Cover sauce with about 6 ounces of shredded cheese of your choice.  I usually use a combination of part skim mozzarella, asiago and parmigiano reggiano.

Place your toppings evenly over cheese.

(In these photos I used Smoked Fresh Mozzarella, Caramelized onions and Fried Mushrooms.  Cherry tomatoes, fresh Sage and Fresh Mozzarella.  If you're looking to make a "White Pizza", one of our favorites, I omit red sauce and throw a few small spoonfuls of fresh ricotta on top and drizzle the whole pizza with thinned pesto sauce.  (Options are endless!)  My personal favorite is a Mediterranean style with green olives, sun dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, fresh diced onions, jarred banana peppers and feta or goat cheese.    

Bake pizzas on top and bottom oven racks for 7 minutes, exchange pans on racks (move top to bottom and bottom pan to top rack) and bake an additional 6 minutes until slightly browned and bubbly.

03 July 2012


I don't live in a fancy house, or drive an expensive car.  I can wear a shirt from Target just as easy as a designer brand.
I was thrilled to get these beautiful champagne glasses at a flea market (they're pink and from France :)) for 25 cents each, and love old things with character. 

I spend more money on food than anything else.  And cookbooks.

I just don't find much pleasure from pure consumption, whether food or goods.

Then I shopped and fell in love with this;

OMG.  All of the above went right out the window and I bought the biggest one they had.  10 quarts of shiny, hammered copper. 

Beautiful handles;

Warm patina;

It's 95+ degrees in Michigan this week and I'm plotting new soup recipes, looking for fruit to cook and preserve, creating excuses to boil stuff and basically gawking at the loveliness of this Ruffoni pot.  

I guess it suits the time of year for me, as I am also placing holiday orders for The Boulevard Market.  Christmas in July! 


01 July 2012

Delicious Zucchini in Parchment

I've missed everything about blogging lately!  I've missed being in this "space"!  I promise there's a very good reason and I'll share it soon, but until then, I am knee deep in Zucchini!!! 

I fall in love again, every early summer, with zucchini.  For about 3 weeks.  Then the buggers sit around looking all wrinkly and I feel guilty for not using them up. 

Until now, until this recipe. 

This is the recipe that will make you turn on the oven in 100 degree heat, fuss in the kitchen when there is no time and thank your lucky stars when your neighbor or co-worker asks if you would like a zucchini.  Even the zucchini that are the size of toddlers taste great here (just peel them first!)!



4 cups zucchini, chopped into 1 inch pieces
5 red baby potatoes, sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
8 Tablespoons Chives, minced
4 Tablespoons Parsley, minced
4 Tablespoons Olive oil
8 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
2 Tablespoons Anise Liquor (optional, I used Absinthe)
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut 6 squares of parchment paper about 10X10 inches.

In a large bowl, blend all ingredients except zucchini and potatoes.  Stir until well combined.  Add vegetables and toss gently to coat.  Place 1/6th of the mixture onto square of parchment, gather edges and tie with cooking twine.  Place bundles on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes.  Allow to cool a few minutes and serve a package per person.   Yields 6 packages.

PLEASE use the anise liquor....I promise it's worth the minimal bottle cost.  You can substitute any combination of fresh herbs to suit your tastes!

BTW; The picture is a little deceiving for the fact you cannot see the sauce that is created in the packet since I didn't stir the vegetables.  A lovely, creamy, rich sauce awaits under the slice potatoes and zucchini!!