Friday, April 20, 2012

Potato "Lasagna"

The farmers' market is officially back in business in Ithaca and already has a plethora of spring vegetables. This means that I have to be extra creative with my cooking to take advantage of the season's bounty. Last week I bought farm-fresh eggs (with the brightest orange yolks you have ever seen), a bunch of kale, arugula, a couple pounds of yukon gold potatoes, and some spicy goat sausage (yum!).

After the excitement of this vegetable purchase, I wanted to find a way to showcase the beautiful yukon gold potatoes. I thought about slicing the potatoes and making some sort of gratin, but I didn't have any ingredients to make this delicious dish. I did have some spicy diavolo sauce on hand and some parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, so I played with the idea of making a potato "lasagna."

It's a very simple dish that requires ingredients you will likely already have on hand, and it was a delicious side-dish paired with the goat sausage and strawberry arugula salad that I made. If you need a simple, filling side-dish only using panty and fridge staples, then this potato "lasagna" is a great choice.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thompson Family Dinner Rolls

Many families have their own coveted recipes that have been passed down through the generations. In my family, we have a fabulous recipe for dinner rolls that are delicate, flaky, moist, and flavorful. They are well revered amongst all of my father's side of the family, and we often have them at large family gatherings (partly because we love them and partly because the recipe makes 144 rolls!). The person that makes them for family gatherings is seen as some sort of saint because few people in my family take the time to make them.

I am one of the few family members that dares to make these rolls. I don't think they are particularly difficult or labor-intensive, but the recipe is a two-day process. If you want to make these but don't often have large gatherings, go ahead and make the entire recipe. It's worth it because they take so long, and they freeze and reheat extremely well. You will have easy go-to dinner rolls on nights where you need some sort of starchy side in a hurry.

The dough itself is also quite versatile. We have another recipe for cinnamon rolls that uses the dough from this recipe. I'm sure you can use it in many other applications that call for a basic dinner roll dough, like monkey bread.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cranberry and Cinnamon Coffee Cake

One of my favorite foods during the holiday season are beautiful, bright red and tart cranberries. They are so versatile that you can combine them with savory as well as sweet flavors. I prefer fresh cranberries much more than their dried and sweetened counterpart because I enjoy the sour flavor.

On top of being tasty, cranberries have a number of health benefits. They contain vitamin C, lots of fiber, phytochemicals and antioxidants (both have similar effects in fighting oxidative damage), and they help prevent the development of urinary tract infections if ingested regularly.

Cranberries go so well with typical holiday flavors and spices, like cinnamon and brown sugar. This recipe for coffee cake I adapted from the King Arthur Flour website, but I only used the recipe as a general base with which to add other ingredients. This cake makes a great breakfast, as it is only lightly sweet, and the tart cranberries help wake up your palate in the morning.