Category Archives: Recipes

Classic Fourth of July Recipes!

Here are some wonderful recipes to brighten up your Fourth of July picnic table!

Dill Potato Salad

5 lbs potatoes peeled and boiled and cubed

6 hard boiled eggs sliced

salt and pepper to taste

Fresh dill chopped added to taste

1-2 cups mayonnaise

Directions: Peel and boil potatoes until fork can pierce through, then dice. Hard boil eggs and peel and slice them. Add salt, pepper, dill and mayonnaise to potatoes and eggs while they are still warm so flavor permeates. Cover and refrigerate until serving.


Bacon Deviled Eggs

6 -12 eggs

1/4-1/2 cup mayonnaise

1-2 teaspoons yellow or Dijon mustard

1-2 slices bacon crisp and crumbled finely

Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste

Smoked Spanish paprika, for garnish

Directions: Hard boil 6-12 eggs for 15 minutes and let stand for five minutes then peel under cold running water and cool.  Crisp 1-2 pieces of bacon and drain on paper towel, then when cooled, chop finely. Once peeled, slice the eggs in half and scoop out the hardened yokes into a bowl and add mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper and bacon pieces and mix. Scoop mixture back into halved eggs. Garnish with paprika. Serves 12-24 eggs.


Pistachio Fluff

1 20 oz can of crushed pineapple, drained

1 3 oz package of pistachio pudding mix

1 8 oz container whipped topping

1 10.5 package marshmallows

Have a wonderful holiday!


Feasting like the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag

Native American Food In Baskets At A Market


We all know about the typical holiday fare: turkey, potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes. A little googling, though, reveals some interesting facts about what the Pilgrims and Wampanoag were most likely to have indulged in on their historical three day feast, which by the way was not actually the first Thanksgiving. Natives had had harvest feasts for many years leading up to this first big shared feast, and Europeans had various versions of autumn feasting as well, some of which were called “Thanksgiving” feasts.

The Wampanoag were likely to have brought to the table not potatoes (because potatoes were actually only grown in South America during this time) but a variety of exotic seafood including lobster and oysters. The English were not huge seafood eaters, sticking largely to fish.

Native foods almost certainly included squash, beans, cornbread and turkey to the table. Maybe even fried green tomatoes! Other seasonal foods may have included native fruits: cranberries, plums, melons. The English could have contributed items such as grain breads, chickens, eggs, cheese, turnips, cabbage, carrots, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. There may have been beer, but more likely the only beverage was water.

We’ve gathered up these resources for native recipes, which may be a meaningful and interesting contribution to your holiday table this year!

Washington Post: “How to eat like a Native American this Thanksgiving”
The grape, squash and green pea salad in this looks intriguing!

NPR: “The Native American Side Of The Thanksgiving Menu”
Roasted Maple Brined Turkey Breast With Crab Apple And Cranberry Relish

Seasonal Chef: “A Native American Thanksgiving Feast”
Bread Pudding with Pumpkin and Cranberries

Harvest Time

Geauga Family Farms

It seems like everything is ready to harvest, suddenly and in a big way. Over the summer, we leisurely pick organic blueberries out in Amherst at Chance Creek Blues. It’s convenient, because it lasts much of summer, and we do pies and jam, sometimes enough to give away as presents.

We also have a weekly farm share with Geauga Family Farms (mostly organic produce grown by five Amish families from Middlefield). On Thursdays, we work the farm share table as volunteers at the Lakewood pickup point during LEAF Night, right outside the library. It’s such a nice time with kids running around behind us and other local food folk selling their wares.

This month we came into a large number of other things that we just cannot eat right away. Our farm shares were lush with sweet onions, pickling cucumbers, cabbage, green beans, banana peppers and sweet peppers. Like a strong suggestion, GFF packed a huge quantity of dill with this week’s share.

We spent all day Saturday picking concord grapes and making a traditional Italian sugar-free jam, scrucciata, at my parents’ small farm. Because everything boils down, skins and pulp, it condenses into a gently sweet, thick spread. This year, the arbor produced much more than we can easily handle, so my parents are finishing up the job today by making grape juice.

Most exciting: our bees’ honey is mostly capped and we’re planning to do honey extraction next weekend.

I’ve collected some pickling and canning recipes and would like to share them. For health, we’re focusing on low sugar preparations.

When pickling or preserving fruits with Splenda, it’s good to process in a hot water bath for a longer amount of time; recipes that don’t depend on the preservative properties of sugar (water packed fruit recipes) are better for Splenda.


How to Have a Healthy Fourth

grilled salmonYou don’t have to ditch a healthy lifestyle to enjoy the Fourth of July! Some menu ideas to trigger salivation and satiation – in a healthy way!


Deviled eggs: Eaten in moderation, these actually aren’t that bad for you. And if you eat them as your first thing at the gathering, they help satisfy and moderate your appetite so that you are less likely to overeat. My favorite way to make a healthier deviled egg is with nonfat greek yogurt, light mayo, dijon mustard, paprika, sea salt and relish. Using a large star tip, piping the yolk mixture into the eggs makes for a nice presentation. Garnish with chives.

Pickle plate: You can pickle almost any veggie. Try pickled beans, garlic scapes, the traditional pickling cucumber, carrots, cauliflower.

Cherries: This is the season to buy them!

Peanuts in the shell: This is a great way to provide an interesting snack that is healthier because one has to “work” to get at the peanuts, so taking a mouthful all at once is avoided. A lot more satisfying.

Hearty Salads

Kale: Try kale with ground pepper, minced tarragon, sunflower seeds, cabbage and spiralized beets. A tip to making a kale salad easier to chew: using a creamy dressing, massage the dressing into the kale for a minute. A great benefit to bringing a kale salad to an event is that kale does not immediately wilt!

Carrot salad: Spiralize carrots and toss with a dressing made from lime juice, honey, sesame oil and soy sauce. Garnish salad with sprinkled, chopped peanuts and cilantro. Tip: A spiralizer works best with a carrot that is large in diameter, and I like to sprinkle extra lime juice on the carrots and toss prior to adding the rest of the dressing.

Garden salad: Red or green leaf lettuce, fresh, curly parsley leaves in quantity that is around half of the lettuce, julienned carrots (use a mandolin), julienned red pepper, diced green onion, a generous amount of shredded basil, fresh ground pepper and your favorite dressing. A julienned carrot is a great means of providing an interesting variety of mouth feel to the salad. Tip: tossing the salad with the dressing to evenly distribute if you can plate the salad and serve it right away. Otherwise, it will wilt. If you need protein, try some fried, seasoned chickpeas!

Other Sides

Hummus and fresh pita – if you have a bakery that makes pita, it’s best to get it the same day you are going to eat it.

Sweet corn on the cob – no need to add butter.

Grilled zucchini and vidalia onion – season with salt, fresh chopped thyme, olive oil; place right on the grill.

Bean salad – surely some aunt or grandma has a recipe for this in your family! My favorite: pinto beans, fresh chopped basil, olive oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, salt, fresh corn kernels, diced red pepper.

Grilled cauliflower steaks – brush with dressing made from smoked paprika, honey, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. After grilling, garnish with chopped chives and ranch dressing.

Main Fare

Grilled, herbed salmon. Grill with skin on for best result. Brush salmon with oil and season with fresh ground pepper and himalayan salt. After grilling, season with fresh lime juice and garnish with a chopped herb mixture such as tarragon, marjoram, thyme and parsley.

For vegetarians: Try grilled Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage Sausage in a whole wheat bun with mustard.

Refreshing Drink Ideas

Seltzer and unsweetened cranberry juice.

Frozen red grape, berry and nonfat greek yogurt smoothie. The grapes make it such that you don’t need to add an extra sweetener – they’re already sweet enough! Tip: blend with a decent amount of very cold water to make the smoothie pourable.


The old summer standby – watermelon!

Fruit salad: Nectarine, blueberry, lime juice, honey and celery seed. Take advantage of nectarines and blueberries in season!

Angel food cake with macerated, fresh berries.



Holiday Cookie Idea – Italian Ricotta Cookies

Italian Ricotta Cookies


These Christmas cookies are legendary, and for good reason. They are light yet delectably rich cookies with a hint of almond in the glaze.

Italian Ricotta Cookies

Makes around 6-7 dozen cookies.

2 sticks of butter
1 3/4 cups white sugar
2 eggs
15 ounces ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

3 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 cup colored candy sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream butter, sugar, eggs, ricotta and vanilla. In large bowl sift flower, baking powder and baking soda. Blend into the creamed mixture. Roll dough into tablespoon-sized balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8-12 minutes; let cool.

The glaze is simple: simply mix milk, confectioners’ sugar and almond extract until smooth. Spoon over cooled cookies and decorate with sprinkles.