Category Archives: Main dish

Recipe: Spicy, Sweet ‘n Smokey Cowboy Chili

It’s that time of year that this owner of a spice company looks forward to the most:  the annual Chili Contest at Catamount Ski Resort!

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This great event brings together chili competitors from all over — home cooks, caterers, chefs, restaurants. It’s great fun but also a great cause, as both the competitor registration fee and the tasters’ entrance fees are donated to the Roe Jan Food Pantry.Chili cookoff image

According to Heather White, Communications Manager for Catamount,

“A total of $676 for the Roe Jan Food Pantry during the event, so please give yourselves a hand!  We had 95 people as taste testers, who voted for the winners.”

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19 bubbling pots of chili were available for tasting this year. Read the rest of this entry

Recipe: Sage Butternut Lasagna

Another recipe in the series of “Christmas Eve dinner 2013”:

The plan was to make 3 very different types of raviolis, from scratch:

  • porcini mushroom with black truffle oil
  • butternut squash with brown sage butter
  • two cheese with roasted tomato and caper sauce

The thing with planning, is that not everything cooperates, right? The kitchen sink backed up during the prep phase, which put a stop to all washing of dishes, pots and utensils. I had already prepared the butternut squash filling, so I decided to make a lasagna out of it, and skip the other 2 raviolis in the interest of reducing cookware that would need to be washed.

Butternut-Sage Lasagna

Butternut-Sage Lasagna

Not a bad move, all told;  it was freaking delicious. Read the rest of this entry

Recipe: “Magical Fish”

Magical Fish recipe at HLM cropped

When talking about “healthy eating”, fish comes up in the conversation almost every time.  Why?

Fish is a high-protein, low-fat food that provides a range of health benefits. White-fleshed fish, in particular, is lower in fat than any other source of animal protein, and oily fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, or the “good” fats. Since the human body can’t make significant amounts of these essential nutrients, fish are an important part of the diet. Also, fish are low in the “bad” fats commonly found in red meat, called omega-6 fatty acids. — source:  EDF Seafood Selector

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Recipe: Portabella, Polenta & Peppers

We all do it — we make crazy combination dishes, using what we find in the fridge then throwing in a little of this,  a little of that. Once in a while, though, magic happens, and the dish turns out so surprisingly delicious that we scramble to write it down.

Polenta stir fry 2

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Recipe: Korma ~ Vegetable Curry with Coconut

I am a lucky girl.

HDF flower garden and hills cropped

Hawk Dance Farm ~ Hillsdale NY

I live in the foothills of the Berkshires,  surrounded by farms of all types — produce (veggies, fruits, herbs), pasture-raised meats, apple orchards, free-range chickens, dairy farms that turn out delicious cheeses, and more.  For any cook,  this is an almost indescribable blessing. I can get the very best AND get to know the people who produce it.

With summer crops at their peak right now, I have a large variety of produce to choose from every week. Doing some menu planning,  I called three of my favorite farmers — New Leaf FarmHawk Dance Farm, and Honey Dog Farm — to check on what each was harvesting

(Did you know that they all grow different crops — sometimes VERY different?  Even when they plant the same vegetables as another farmer, it could be 2 weeks earlier or 3 weeks later, so the harvest times are completely different. AND even when it is the same vegetable at the same time, the VARIETIES of that vegetable can be radically different.  I didn’t realize the extent of these differences in farming, until I moved here and got to know them better — amazing how much I was a victim of supermarket ignorance).  Read the rest of this entry

Recipe: Bread, rolls, pizza, oh my!

I have learned how to bake bread… and I feel like I have just invented fire. Yeah, I am Wonder Woman.

You have no idea how proud (and surprised) I am at this accomplishment! Why did I think that making bread was beyond my capabilities?

basil bread rolls

Basil whole wheat rolls with Viva Italia and parmesan

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Recipe: Spicy Grilled Cod

You’ve heard that fish can be a valuable part of a healthy diet. It’s naturally low-fat, high in protein, and easy on the calories (depending on how you prepare it). The health benefits read like an alphabet: fish can help to prevent asthma, fuel your brain, stave off some cancers, lower your risk of dementia, and more.

Grilled fish

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Recipe: Rockin’ Moroccan Chicken Stew with Couscous

This is my first “illustrated” recipe!

The steps for making this Moroccan Chicken Stew are not complicated, but I thought it would be fun to show you the instructions along the way — you know, the whole picture is worth 1000 words thing.

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This dish is a variation of my Moroccan Lamb Stew, subbing chicken thighs, because some people just don’t, or won’t,  do lamb. Read the rest of this entry

Recipe: Stuffed Manicotti with Spicy Turkey Sausage

It’s darn cold around here, these days, so I thought that a nice, hearty lasagna would be just the thing to warm me up. Any excuse to fire up the oven, you know? But lasagna can be a lot of work… so I decided to make some stuffed manicotti instead (doesn’t it actually LOOK just like lasagna?).

Stuffed Manicotti

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Recipe: “Don’t be a turkey 4-bean chili”

It’s chili time!

Catamount Chili Contest poster2Yesterday, I took part in a chili cook-off at Catamount Ski here in Hillsdale. This incredibly busy ski resort repeated one of their most popular events, inviting over 20 local chefs and amateurs to compete for prizes and bragging rights. It only cost each guest $5 to taste all of the dishes, and the competitors each paid $10 to enter. All of these proceeds went to the Roe Jan Food Pantry.

The Tavern was absolutely packed, with diners, skiers, cooks and even members of the press. We all lined up proudly with our chili creations in front of us, doling out samples to hundreds of people. Read the rest of this entry

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