1
Chocolate Spinach Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting
2
EASY BAKED Onion Rings
3
The Best Stewed Tomatoes Ever
4
EASY Stuffed Pepper Casserole
5
Vegetable Garden Salsa
6
4 Ingredient Fudgy Pumpkin Pie Brownies
7
Oven Roasted Creamy Cherry Tomato Sauce
8
1 Pint Blueberry Jam
9
Homemade Tomato Paste Cubes
10
Turkey Kale Meatball Sub
11
Half Sour Pickles
12
Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole
13
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
14
Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli
15
Creamy Lettuce Soup
16
Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese
17
Braised Lettuce
18
Preserving Strawberries, Kale and Basil
19
Banana, Strawberry, Pineapple Smoothie
20
Tri Color Pasta Salad

Chocolate Spinach Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting

Chocolate Spinach Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting recipe.  This is a sneaky way to get kids or adults to eat their vegetables.  You won’t believe how delicious these brownies are!  They’re also made with the best peanut butter frosting recipe ever!

The color green.  What do you think of?

In many people’s minds, the color green isn’t something you usually think of when you think of sweet desserts.   I hear that little kids fear their green vegetables so sneaky parents have to find ways to incorporate it into their meals.  Well I don’t have a little kid, but I still like being sneaky, even if it  means just being sneaky to myself.  

Spinach Brownies.  

What am I going to do with you?

Chocolate Spinach Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting recipe. This is a sneaky way to get kids or adults to eat their vegetables. You won't believe how delicious these brownies are! They're also made with the best peanut butter frosting recipe ever!

As soon as I picked the New Zealand Spinach multiple people asked what kind of sweet was  I going to make with it since they know I like mixing vegetables into treats (see: avocado brownies, pumpkin brownies).  So I decided to keep it simple and keep the brownie tradition alive.  The brownie tradition should never end.  Can you imagine a world without brownies?  I surely cannot! 

I have to say I was unsure about how these brownies were going to turn out.  I had some experience with spinach treats as I baked these spinach cupcakes which are still one of my baking highlights because everyones eyes are shocked after I tell them (after they declare how delicious it was) it’s full of spinach.    I was worried because of the amount of spinach that are in these brownies, 1 whole cup pureed, which equals about 4-5 cups raw.  That is a large amount of spinach.  But as soon as I poured the spinach puree, gave it a few twirls with my spoon then tasted it, worries were erased.   100%.  Can you taste the spinach? The short answer is sort of.  The long answer is not really.   I like spinach, I know what it tastes like, so I can pick up a slight spinach taste.  But for those who are unaware there is spinach in them, or don’t often eat spinach, they will pass it off as “dark chocolate” tasting.  I think that’s the best way to describe them, dark.  If you store them in the refrigerator so they remain set and cold, the spinach taste is pretty much all gone.  We’ve been eating them this way as a cold brownie and my oh my, it’s delicious!

Another first, usually when I make brownies I leave them “as is”.  But I’ve been seeing alot of brownies with frosting and if you’re making a chocolate brownie, why not go that extra step and throw more sweetness on it with some frosting?  So I decided peanut butter frosting because peanut butter can go with anything (including spinach – who knew).  Let’s just take a minute, hold hands and thank the peanut butter frosting for how good it is.    I made a batch of this and I put so many spoonfuls in my mouth before even getting to the brownies that I feel that I might have to lay down (and then go running).  But goodness, this frosting is it.   Boom.  Done.  Never making another peanut butter frosting again.  This is it.  Thank you frosting.  Thank you!

Chocolate Spinach Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting recipe. This is a sneaky way to get kids or adults to eat their vegetables. You won't believe how delicious these brownies are! They're also made with the best peanut butter frosting recipe ever!

Chocolate Spinach Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting
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Spinach Brownies
  1. 1 cup pureed spinach
  2. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  3. 1/2 cup sugar
  4. 1/4 cup salted butter - melted
  5. 1/2 cup chocolate chips - melted
  6. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  7. 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  8. 1/2 cup flour
  9. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Peanut Butter Frosting
  1. 1/2 cup butter - melted
  2. 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  3. 1 1/2 cup confectioners powdered sugar
  4. 2 tablespoons milk
Spinach Brownies
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray 8x8 pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Take your spinach leaves and put them in the food processor with 1-2 tablespoons of water and pulse until it turns into a puree. Keep doing this until you get 1 full cup of spinach puree. This usually equals about 4-5 cups raw spinach leaves.
  3. Mix melted butter, brown sugar and sugar together in a bowl. Stir in melted chocolate chips, spinach puree and vanilla.
  4. In another bowl mix your flour, cocoa powder and baking powder together.
  5. A little at a time, add your dry flour mixture to your chocolate spinach mixture, stirring continuously until it's all smooth.
  6. Pour batter in 8x8 pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until your toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Let cool.
Peanut Butter Frosting
  1. Put butter and peanut butter in a bowl and mix with electric mixer.
  2. Slowly pour in your powdered sugar a little at a time. When it starts to thicken, add your 2 tablespoons milk in and continue to mix. You should keep mixing for about 2-3 minutes until your frosting is fluffy. If it's still thick, add a additional tablespoon of milk if needed.
Chocolate Spinach Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting
  1. Once brownies are cool, spread your peanut butter frosting across them.
  2. Pat the frosting down with a spatula so it becomes a smooth layer.
  3. Put in refrigerator for one hour to let the frosting set.
  4. Cut brownies into squares, enjoy!
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
 Chocolate Spinach Brownies with Peanut Butter FrostingIMG_4655
Pretty Pretty Spinach.  You are so pretty.  How are you so pretty? Teach me to be this pretty.

Chocolate Spinach Brownies with Peanut Butter FrostingIMG_4656
Into the food processor it goes.  I did 2 batches.  Add a tablespoon or 2 of water in with the spinach so it gets pureed. 

Chocolate Spinach Brownies with Peanut Butter FrostingIMG_4658
You will need 1 full cup of spinach.  This is about 4-5 cups raw.   Whole lotta spinach going on…

Chocolate Spinach Brownies with Peanut Butter FrostingIMG_4662
But when you add it to the chocolate mixture, you can’t even tell.  Magic!

Chocolate Spinach Brownies with Peanut Butter FrostingIMG_4669
The peanut butter frosting.  It deserves “the” in front of it because it is amazing.  I ate so many spoonfuls, don’t even ask.

Chocolate Spinach Brownies with Peanut Butter FrostingIMG_4673
Pat it down with a spatula and put it in the refrigerator for 1 hour to set..

Chocolate Spinach Brownies with Peanut Butter FrostingIMG_4683
Then cut those brownies up!  Look at those babies!

Chocolate Spinach Brownies with Peanut Butter FrostingIMG_4691
Can you tell there is spinach in them? Nope!  I already used the word magic but I’m going to use it again. Magic!

Chocolate Spinach Brownies with Peanut Butter FrostingIMG_4695
I am pretty much in love with these and they are a great way to use up lots of spinach. I mean you can have salads for a week, or chocolate brownies.  Make your decision wisely.

Chocolate Spinach Brownies with Peanut Butter FrostingIMG_4692

Enjoy!

Chocolate Spinach Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting recipe. This is a sneaky way to get kids or adults to eat their vegetables. You won't believe how delicious these brownies are! They're also made with the best peanut butter frosting recipe ever!

EASY BAKED Onion Rings

EASY BAKED Onion Rings! This homemade oven baked onion rings recipe is a great side to cheeseburgers! The batter is made with flour, milk, egg, breadcrumbs and spices! We use our garden grown onions to make them – we love how crispy they are! 

Let’s talk onion rings. We have harvested so many onions our kitchen looks like a onion shop (if that exists).   So after Matthew threw me so many onion ring hints, I took them and promised him onion rings would be made.  These onion rings are so easy to make and so delicious to eat! 

EASY BAKED Onion Rings! This homemade oven baked onion rings recipe is a great side to cheeseburgers! The batter is made with flour, milk, egg, breadcrumbs and spices! We use our garden grown onions to make them – we love how crispy they are! 

This recipe uses creole spice mix which I include in the ingredients list to make your own.  This seasoning is great for meat rubs, rice dishes and soups too.   You can also buy this seasoning mix already made, but you probably have all the ingredients already in your kitchen.  If you made this seasoning and put it into mason jars it would be make a awesome gift for fellow cooking lovers.  

EASY BAKED Onion Rings! This homemade oven baked onion rings recipe is a great side to cheeseburgers! The batter is made with flour, milk, egg, breadcrumbs and spices! We use our garden grown onions to make them – we love how crispy they are! 

 

 EASY BAKED Onion Rings! This homemade oven baked onion rings recipe is a great side to cheeseburgers! The batter is made with flour, milk, egg, breadcrumbs and spices! We use our garden grown onions to make them – we love how crispy they are! 
Beautiful garden onions.  You guys are very pretty.

Slice them into 1/4 to 1/2 inch rings.
EASY BAKED Onion Rings! This homemade oven baked onion rings recipe is a great side to cheeseburgers! The batter is made with flour, milk, egg, breadcrumbs and spices! We use our garden grown onions to make them – we love how crispy they are! 

Here’s your 3 bowls you need. Regular flour, flour batter mixture and bread crumbs.
EASY BAKED Onion Rings! This homemade oven baked onion rings recipe is a great side to cheeseburgers! The batter is made with flour, milk, egg, breadcrumbs and spices! We use our garden grown onions to make them – we love how crispy they are! 

Step 1: Dip the onions into flour.
EASY BAKED Onion Rings! This homemade oven baked onion rings recipe is a great side to cheeseburgers! The batter is made with flour, milk, egg, breadcrumbs and spices! We use our garden grown onions to make them – we love how crispy they are! 

Step 2: Into wet flour mixture. This is very important: Make sure to let them drip to get all the excess off. If you don’t, your bread crumb mixture is going to become clumpy and a mess very quick.
EASY BAKED Onion Rings! This homemade oven baked onion rings recipe is a great side to cheeseburgers! The batter is made with flour, milk, egg, breadcrumbs and spices! We use our garden grown onions to make them – we love how crispy they are! 


Step 3: Dip into bread crumbs.
EASY BAKED Onion Rings! This homemade oven baked onion rings recipe is a great side to cheeseburgers! The batter is made with flour, milk, egg, breadcrumbs and spices! We use our garden grown onions to make them – we love how crispy they are! 

Into the oven they go…
EASY BAKED Onion Rings! This homemade oven baked onion rings recipe is a great side to cheeseburgers! The batter is made with flour, milk, egg, breadcrumbs and spices! We use our garden grown onions to make them – we love how crispy they are! 

You want to keep a eye on them so they don’t burn. Mine took 16 minutes.  Also you want to flip them midway, I say at the 8 minute mark is good.
EASY BAKED Onion Rings! This homemade oven baked onion rings recipe is a great side to cheeseburgers! The batter is made with flour, milk, egg, breadcrumbs and spices! We use our garden grown onions to make them – we love how crispy they are! 

And out of the oven they come. All crispy and brown and gorgeous!
EASY BAKED Onion Rings! This homemade oven baked onion rings recipe is a great side to cheeseburgers! The batter is made with flour, milk, egg, breadcrumbs and spices! We use our garden grown onions to make them – we love how crispy they are! 


Grab a few Easy Baked Onion Rings and enjoy!  

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EASY BAKED Onion Rings

EASY BAKED Onion Rings! This homemade oven baked onion rings recipe is a great side to cheeseburgers! The batter is made with flour, milk, egg, breadcrumbs and spices! We use our garden grown onions to make them – we love how crispy they are! 

Ingredients

  • 2 large onions - sliced into 1/4 to 1/2 inch rings
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg - beaten
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon creole spice mix
  • salt + pepper to taste

creole spice mix

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon thyme

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place half or your flour into a bowl.
  3. Mix the other half of flour with milk and beaten egg. Mix in breadcrumbs, creole spice mix, salt + pepper.
  4. One by one, dip your onion into the plain flour mixture.
  5. Next, dip your onion into the flour batter mixture. Let excess batter drip off before moving to the next step.
  6. Next, dip your onion into breadcrumbs so covered.
  7. Put onion slices on parchment lined baking sheet.
  8. Cook until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Halfway through baking, flip each onion ring so it's baked evenly.

EASY BAKED Onion Rings! This homemade oven baked onion rings recipe is a great side to cheeseburgers! The batter is made with flour, milk, egg, breadcrumbs and spices! We use our garden grown onions to make them – we love how crispy they are! 

 

The Best Stewed Tomatoes Ever

The BEST Stewed Tomatoes Ever recipe!  This easy to make recipe simmers tomatoes for 30 minutes to make homemade stewed tomatoes that can be served as a dinner side dish or can be canned.  This how to make recipe shows you how easy they are to make! Find out why everyone considers them THE BEST!   We always use this as a canning recipe for our Summer garden tomatoes! 

Stewed tomatoes, sigh.  

Our tomatoes are turning red quicker than I’m able to pick here.    So between tomato sauces, diced tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, tomato pesto, roasted tomatoes,  tomato soup… there’s lots of tomato dishes going on  in our kitchen!  I will be  having alot more upcoming tomato recipes…get ready tomato lovers!  But for now… stewed tomatoes!

The BEST Stewed Tomatoes Ever recipe!  This easy to make recipe simmers tomatoes for 30 minutes to make homemade stewed tomatoes that can be served as a dinner side dish or can be canned.  This how to make recipe shows you how easy they are to make! Find out why everyone considers them THE BEST!   We always use this as a canning recipe for our Summer garden tomatoes! 

These stewed tomatoes are the best,  I’m not fibbing either.  If you are having a tomato harvest soon or would like to  make your own instead of the canned version, please please please please please make these!

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EASY Stuffed Pepper Casserole

EASY Stuffed Pepper Casserole is baked in the oven for a cheesy dinner meal! This dish uses my Mother’s famous stuffed pepper recipe but I turned it into a casserole to make it quicker. It’s filled with ground beef, green peppers, diced tomatoes, rice and smothered in mozzarella cheese.

Growing up one of my Mother’s favorite meals to make was stuffed peppers.  She sure loved making those.  Whenever I go back to visit my father I always ask him to think of a meal or two he wants me to make for him and usually always one of his favorites are stuffed peppers.  What isn’t there to love about stuffed peppers?  Fresh peppers, meat, tomato sauce, rice and mozzarella cheese.   Yes, please!  

EASY Stuffed Pepper Casserole is baked in the oven for a cheesy dinner meal! This dish uses my Mother's famous stuffed pepper recipe but I turned it into a casserole to make it quicker. It's filled with ground beef, green peppers, diced tomatoes, rice and smothered in mozzarella cheese.

With so many green peppers growing in the garden I wanted to take my usual stuffed pepper recipe but turn it into Stuffed Pepper Casserole.  I wanted it have the original taste, but I wanted to throw some more greens in there like spinach.  That’s the best thing about casseroles, because they get baked and because no one can really see inside, you can throw so many healthy vegetables in there and noone really seems to notice.  I would assume if you have kids this is a great thing!  This casserole is a real winner in our kitchen.

Stuffed Pepper Casserole recipe. This is a quick and easy casserole based on traditional stuffed peppers.

 
Stuffed Pepper Casserole recipe. This is a quick and easy casserole based on traditional stuffed peppers.

Here’s my green peppers.  Aren’t they beauties?  I’m sorry, I say that all the time.  But I’m really in love with them.

Stuffed Pepper Casserole recipe. This is a quick and easy casserole based on traditional stuffed peppers.

I usually chop them up into quarters first.


Stuffed Pepper Casserole recipe. This is a quick and easy casserole based on traditional stuffed peppers.Then I cut them into little size pieces.

Stuffed Pepper Casserole recipe. This is a quick and easy casserole based on traditional stuffed peppers.Grab your spinach leaves.  This is my bag of wrinkly spinach leaves that I try to throw in every meal.  This recipe calls for 12 spinach leaves, but feel free to use more if you’d like. Double it! Or triple it! 

Stuffed Pepper Casserole recipe. This is a quick and easy casserole based on traditional stuffed peppers.Ground beef and garlic, all cooked. I love the smell of this don’t you?

Stuffed Pepper Casserole recipe. This is a quick and easy casserole based on traditional stuffed peppers.Now let’s stat adding the ingredients.. Spinach.. Seasonings..

Stuffed Pepper Casserole recipe. This is a quick and easy casserole based on traditional stuffed peppers.Rice, Tomatoes..

Stuffed Pepper Casserole recipe. This is a quick and easy casserole based on traditional stuffed peppers.

Sauce, Broth.. Everything! Except the cheese!

Cook for 1 hour, covered.
Then take out, sprinkle cheese on top and bake for 5 more minutes..

Stuffed Pepper Casserole recipe. This is a quick and easy casserole based on traditional stuffed peppers.
And this masterpiece will come out of your oven and you will sit down and stare at it because it’s so darn pretty!

Stuffed Pepper Casserole recipe. This is a quick and easy casserole based on traditional stuffed peppers.Spoon some onto your plate and enjoy this Stuffed Pepper Casserole! It’s hard not to go back for seconds. 🙂

Update: This recipe now has a video to go along with it!  If you like this recipe, please share the video!

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EASY Stuffed Pepper Casserole is baked in the oven for a cheesy dinner meal! This dish uses my Mother's famous stuffed pepper recipe but I turned it into a casserole to make it quicker. It's filled with ground beef, green peppers, diced tomatoes, rice and smothered in mozzarella cheese.

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Stuffed Pepper Casserole

EASY Stuffed Pepper Casserole is baked in the oven for a cheesy dinner meal! This dish uses my Mother's famous stuffed pepper recipe but I turned it into a casserole to make it quicker. It's filled with ground beef, green peppers, diced tomatoes, rice and smothered in mozzarella cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 large green peppers chopped
  • 12 spinach leaves ripped
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup long grain rice uncooked
  • 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. In a skillet, add your garlic and ground beef and cook until browned.
  2. Transfer your beef and garlic into a casserole baking dish.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients except the mozzarella cheese. Stir to combine.
  4. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
  5. Take out of the oven, sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and bake 5 minutes more.
  6. Enjoy!

Vegetable Garden Salsa

SUPER FRESH Vegetable Garden Salsa straight from your garden!  This easy HOMEMADE recipe is made in minutes filled with tomatoes, onion, peppers, cilantro, and red pepper flakes!  Friends BEG for me to make this salsa because it’s everyone’s favorite! Serve with Chips or with your next Mexican meal!

This right here is my go to salsa.  It wins hearts, it makes bellies happy, it makes you friends.  It’s a win win situation.  We make this salsa all the time to snack on, it’s also one of my most requested recipes to make to bring to get togethers.   I think one of the main reasons why people love it so much because it’s so fresh.  Every single vegetable in this recipe comes straight from the garden.  I also try not to pick the tomatoes, peppers and onions until the day of or the day before to really make it fresh.  Nothing beats the taste of home grown tomatoes!

SUPER FRESH Vegetable Garden Salsa straight from your garden!  This easy HOMEMADE recipe is made in minutes filled with tomatoes, onion, peppers, cilantro, and red pepper flakes!  Friends BEG for me to make this salsa because it's everyone's favorite! Serve with Chips or with your next Mexican meal!

This salsa took me some time to get right.  Sometimes I would make it and it would be too runny, too chunky, the peppers would be too mushy, the tomatoes would be too whole, the tomatoes would be too smooth.  But after summers of practice, I got it.  And when I did, the clouds parted and a smiling red tomato shined down on me and said “you go girl”.

The magic touch here is to cut up the tomatoes slightly, then throw them in the food processor to get them just right.  They aren’t too whole, they aren’t too runny.  They are perfect!  So that’s my salsa story. After many batches, this is it.  This is the salsa champion.  Raise your hands and dance with me, “Salsa, Salsa, Salsa”. 

SUPER FRESH Vegetable Garden Salsa straight from your garden!  This easy HOMEMADE recipe is made in minutes filled with tomatoes, onion, peppers, cilantro, and red pepper flakes!  Friends BEG for me to make this salsa because it's everyone's favorite! Serve with Chips or with your next Mexican meal!

 

Garden Harvest Salsa
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Ingredients
  1. 1.5 pounds of roma tomatoes
  2. 1 small onion
  3. 1 small green pepper
  4. 3 teaspoons chopped cilantro
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  7. 1/3 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Chop your tomatoes up into small pieces.
  2. Put your tomatoes in your food processor and pulse 8 times. Depending on the size of your food processor you might have to do this in 2 batches. Transfer to a bowl once processed.
  3. Chop up your green pepper and onion with knife.
  4. Add your green pepper, onion and all seasonings to the tomatoes in bowl.
  5. Stir so all ingredients are combined evenly.
  6. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. This makes 32 ounces of salsa.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Vegetable Garden Salsa recipe using fresh ingredients straight from your garden! Friends beg for me to make this because it's that good! Ingredients are tomatoes, onion, green pepper, cilantro, salt + pepper and red pepper flakes!I wanted to show you this page out of my recipe book I keep.  This is the salsa page.  It has no amounts at all, it has no directions.  It’s just a horrible picture in black and white that I printed out.   This is one of the recipes I have  made so  many times I just know how much and what to do.   Do you have any recipes like that?


Vegetable Garden Salsa recipe using fresh ingredients straight from your garden! Friends beg for me to make this because it's that good! Ingredients are tomatoes, onion, green pepper, cilantro, salt + pepper and red pepper flakes!Here is the gorgeous cast of characters for this salsa, straight from our garden.  Prettiest guys ever. 


Vegetable Garden Salsa recipe using fresh ingredients straight from your garden! Friends beg for me to make this because it's that good! Ingredients are tomatoes, onion, green pepper, cilantro, salt + pepper and red pepper flakes!I cut each roma tomato up into about 12-16 pieces.  I do it quick and throw them in a bowl. 

Vegetable Garden Salsa recipe using fresh ingredients straight from your garden! Friends beg for me to make this because it's that good! Ingredients are tomatoes, onion, green pepper, cilantro, salt + pepper and red pepper flakes!
Then I throw the tomatoes in the food processor and pulse 8 times.  You can pulse 6 times and then check to see if the consistency is good enough for you.  But I really like 8 pulses.  This is just right for us. 


Vegetable Garden Salsa recipe using fresh ingredients straight from your garden! Friends beg for me to make this because it's that good! Ingredients are tomatoes, onion, green pepper, cilantro, salt + pepper and red pepper flakes!Chop up your pepper and onion with a knife. I would suggest not putting this in a food processor as I find they become too liquidy and mushy quick and lose their crunch.  


Vegetable Garden Salsa recipe using fresh ingredients straight from your garden! Friends beg for me to make this because it's that good! Ingredients are tomatoes, onion, green pepper, cilantro, salt + pepper and red pepper flakes!Now throw all your ingredients in a bowl… the tomatoes, the pepper, the onion, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and cilantro.  I’m going to tell you something here and it’s kinda a secret but I often use frozen cilantro for my salsa.   Frozen cilantro is great because it lasts forever and you won’t be making salsa and think “I forgot to buy cilantro!”.  If I have fresh on hand I will use it, but if not, frozen cubes work amazing.  Just throw them in the microwave for 10 seconds and ta-da.  You’re cilantro set!

Vegetable Garden Salsa recipe using fresh ingredients straight from your garden! Friends beg for me to make this because it's that good! Ingredients are tomatoes, onion, green pepper, cilantro, salt + pepper and red pepper flakes!
Then mix it all together.  Boom! Bam! Wam! Tada! Salsa is done!


Vegetable Garden Salsa recipe using fresh ingredients straight from your garden! Friends beg for me to make this because it's that good! Ingredients are tomatoes, onion, green pepper, cilantro, salt + pepper and red pepper flakes!Enjoy however you want! Serve it with some chips! Serve on some tacos.  Serve on some chicken.  Serve it with a spoon directly into your mouth.


Vegetable Garden Salsa recipe using fresh ingredients straight from your garden! Friends beg for me to make this because it's that good! Ingredients are tomatoes, onion, green pepper, cilantro, salt + pepper and red pepper flakes!Enjoy this Vegetable Garden Salsa everyone!

SUPER FRESH Vegetable Garden Salsa straight from your garden!  This easy HOMEMADE recipe is made in minutes filled with tomatoes, onion, peppers, cilantro, and red pepper flakes!  Friends BEG for me to make this salsa because it's everyone's favorite! Serve with Chips or with your next Mexican meal!

4 Ingredient Fudgy Pumpkin Pie Brownies

Delicious and Extra Fudgy 4 Ingredient Pumpkin Pie Brownies.  All you need is brownie mix, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and chocolate chips!

So far this week it looks like Fall on Brooklyn Farm Girl,  first pumpkins, then apples, I know I know… but I’m very excited for Fall, I love it!

Did you know I love pumpkins? Read this post in case you didn’t know.

The first thing I had to make with our fresh pumpkin harvest from the garden was pumpkin pie brownies.   I had such a great success with my avocado peanut butter chocolate brownies that pumpkin brownies were next on the list!


Delicious and Extra Fudgy 4 Ingredient Pumpkin Pie Brownies.  All you need is brownie mix, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and chocolate chips!

This recipe is so easy because it only involves 4 ingredients: brownie mix, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and chocolate chips.    If you notice there’s no butter, eggs or vegetable oil in these brownies.  The pumpkin puree takes care of all of that! The pumpkin adds moisture to your brownies so there’s no need to add those other fattening ingredients.    Pumpkin puree is healthy too!  1 cup of pure pumpkin is 49 calories!   Pumpkin is rich in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins (vitamin-A, vitamin-C and vitamin-E).    Did I mention it’s delicious too? Because it really is!

Delicious and Extra Fudgy 4 Ingredient Pumpkin Pie Brownies.  All you need is brownie mix, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and chocolate chips!

These brownies are super fudgy. Warning:  If you love pumpkin pie and chocolate, once you eat one of these brownies you will enter a magical  world.    I also find that people who aren’t huge pumpkin fans also love these brownies due to how moist and chocolatey they are.  They really are a hit all around for the brownie crowd.

I love you pumpkins, I love you!

Delicious and Extra Fudgy 4 Ingredient Pumpkin Pie Brownies.  All you need is brownie mix, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and chocolate chips!

4 Ingredient Fudgy Pumpkin Pie Brownies
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Ingredients
  1. Family Size Brownie Mix (I used Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix)
  2. 2 cups of fresh pumpkin puree (if not fresh, 15 oz can will work)
  3. 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  4. 1/3 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a 8x8 pan with nonstick spray.
  3. Mix your Brownie Mix, Chocolate Chips and 1 1/2 cup of your pumpkin puree together in a bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl mix the 1/2 cup of your remaining pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice together.
  5. Spread 3/4 of your brownie mix mixture into your pan.
  6. Spread your pumpkin puree mixture on top.
  7. Spread your remaining brownie mix on the very top.
  8. Then with a knife gently swirl around the top layer of the brownie so it gets mixed up with the pumpkin puree.
  9. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Tip: If you want your brownies more firm, store in the refrigerator.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
Delicious and Extra Fudgy 4 Ingredient Pumpkin Pie Brownies.  All you need is brownie mix, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and chocolate chips!
Here are your ingredients.  Simple, right?


Delicious and Extra Fudgy 4 Ingredient Pumpkin Pie Brownies.  All you need is brownie mix, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and chocolate chips!Mix your brownie mix, chocolate chips and 1 1/2  cup of pumpkin puree together.

Delicious and Extra Fudgy 4 Ingredient Pumpkin Pie Brownies.  All you need is brownie mix, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and chocolate chips!
It will look something like this. I demand (nicely) you take a spoon right away!

Delicious and Extra Fudgy 4 Ingredient Pumpkin Pie Brownies.  All you need is brownie mix, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and chocolate chips!
Then mix your remaining 1/2 cup pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice together.

Now let’s begin layering these brownies..

Delicious and Extra Fudgy 4 Ingredient Pumpkin Pie Brownies.  All you need is brownie mix, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and chocolate chips!
First 3/4 of your brownie mix goes into your pan.

Delicious and Extra Fudgy 4 Ingredient Pumpkin Pie Brownies.  All you need is brownie mix, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and chocolate chips!
Then your pumpkin mixture goes on top.

Delicious and Extra Fudgy 4 Ingredient Pumpkin Pie Brownies.  All you need is brownie mix, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and chocolate chips!
Then your remaining brownie mixture on the very top.  Swirl with a  knife so it blends nicely with the pumpkin below it.

Throw it in the oven…

Delicious and Extra Fudgy 4 Ingredient Pumpkin Pie Brownies.  All you need is brownie mix, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and chocolate chips!
In the mean time, clean your bowl.  With a spoon and your tongue. Have no shame!

Delicious and Extra Fudgy 4 Ingredient Pumpkin Pie Brownies.  All you need is brownie mix, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and chocolate chips!
When the time is up, your pumpkin brownies will emerge from the oven with a delicious smell..  Leave cool to set.

Delicious and Extra Fudgy 4 Ingredient Pumpkin Pie Brownies.  All you need is brownie mix, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and chocolate chips!
Cut up into pieces, I usually do 9 brownies per 8×8 tray.

Delicious and Extra Fudgy 4 Ingredient Pumpkin Pie Brownies.  All you need is brownie mix, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and chocolate chips!
The edges remain firm to keep the brownies in tact.


Delicious and Extra Fudgy 4 Ingredient Pumpkin Pie Brownies.  All you need is brownie mix, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and chocolate chips!But the middles are pure ooey gooey fudgy delight.  

Delicious and Extra Fudgy 4 Ingredient Pumpkin Pie Brownies.  All you need is brownie mix, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and chocolate chips!
Enjoy! These won’t last for long…

Delicious and Extra Fudgy 4 Ingredient Pumpkin Pie Brownies.  All you need is brownie mix, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and chocolate chips!

Oven Roasted Creamy Cherry Tomato Sauce

Oven Roasted Creamy Cherry Tomato Sauce is a sweet and creamy tomato sauce recipe using cherry tomatoes.

My life has officially been taken over by tomatoes.   Is there anything else to talk about except tomatoes right now?    Tomato this, tomato that, do the tomato dance.

Do you know how many cherry tomatoes are in this big bowl below? 16 cups! And there’s a few plants that need to be picked… so double that or more.  And that’s just cherry tomatoes!

Oven Roasted Creamy Cherry Tomato SauceIMG_3689

I love cherry tomatoes and they work great for snacking and halved in pasta, but what about tomato sauce?  Cherry tomatoes aren’t usually the first choice  to use for homemade tomato sauce but I’m out to change that.  Cherry tomatoes can result in a creamy tasty sauce which will knock your red socks off (red because it’s tomato season – what, you don’t match your socks to your harvest?).    The key to this recipe is first we oven roast the tomatoes – oh yeah, baby.  Then after that we throw them in a food processor with some fresh basil and season them.  Then it’s made!  It’s that easy.   This homemade sauce doesn’t require you to simmer over the stove for 2 hours.   I really love this creamy sauce over pasta, with lasagna, stuffed shells.  It’s also pretty fantastic to add to pizza as a creamy sauce.    

Oven Roasted Creamy Cherry Tomato SauceIMG_3756

So when you pick your cherry tomatoes,  change it up a bit and make some sauce.   Bonus: You can freeze this sauce, throw in the freezer and defrost it months later for a spaghetti dinner in February.  

Oven Roasted Creamy Cherry Tomato SauceIMG_3760

 Oven Roasted Creamy Cherry Tomato SauceIMG_3692
Gather your tomatoes, make sure to take the stems off.

Oven Roasted Creamy Cherry Tomato SauceIMG_3706
Put them in a pan, single layer.  I was making a few batches so I had multiple pans.

Oven Roasted Creamy Cherry Tomato SauceIMG_3716
Drizzle your olive oil over the tomatoes.  Take a picture and completely miss the olive oil coming out of the bottle.

Oven Roasted Creamy Cherry Tomato SauceIMG_3717
Sprinkle your onion powder over the tomatoes.  Take a picture and completely miss the onion powder being sprinkled. 

Oven Roasted Creamy Cherry Tomato SauceIMG_3723
Bake for 35 minutes until your tomatoes are all wrinkly.

Oven Roasted Creamy Cherry Tomato SauceIMG_3725
Let them cool then put them in the food processor with your other ingredients.  Fresh basil – doesn’t it smell great?

Oven Roasted Creamy Cherry Tomato SauceIMG_3728
Give it a few pulses, it doesn’t take much.

Oven Roasted Creamy Cherry Tomato SauceIMG_3737
And you are left with some creamy, amazing smelling cherry tomato sauce!

Oven Roasted Creamy Cherry Tomato SauceIMG_4794
This makes 3 cups of sauce.  Feel free to use immediately after, put in the fridge for tomorrow, or freeze (in a freezer bag) for a few months later.

Oven Roasted Creamy Cherry Tomato SauceIMG_3818
Whenever I freeze sauce, puree, diced/stewed tomatoes, I always put in a freezer bag and lay flat while pressing it out, so it’s as thin as possible.  Then once it’s frozen, I stand it up.  This saves space and lets you have a better organized freezer.

Oven Roasted Creamy Cherry Tomato SauceIMG_4782
To defrost it I throw the bag into a pot of hot tap water.  It defrosts pretty quickly.  Then into a saucepan it goes to heat up.

Oven Roasted Creamy Cherry Tomato SauceIMG_4802
Enjoy! This sauce is a favorite. 🙂

Update: This recipe finally has a video to go along with it!  Hope this helps when making it!  Please share on Facebook so other people can enjoy!

 

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Oven Roasted Creamy Cherry Tomato Sauce

Oven Roasted Creamy Cherry Tomato Sauce is a sweet and creamy tomato sauce recipe using cherry tomatoes.  

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of tomatoes cherry tomatoes stems off
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt + pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Spread tomatoes single layer in a pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with your onion powder.
  3. Bake for 35 minutes, your tomatoes should be wrinkly.
  4. Let cool for a few minutes, then put tomatoes in food processor.
  5. Add fresh basil, garlic powder and salt + pepper to taste in food processor.
  6. Blend to smooth and creamy.
  7. Use it right away, or throw it in the fridge to use tomorrow, or freeze it for next month.
  8. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

This makes 3 cups of sauce.

Oven Roasted Creamy Cherry Tomato Sauce is a sweet and creamy tomato sauce recipe using cherry tomatoes.

1 Pint Blueberry Jam

HOMEMADE Blueberry Jam made from 1 pint of blueberries! This easy to make no pectin, no sugar recipe is perfect for eating and canning.   This healthy jam is delicious served over toast, pancakes, french toast and ice cream!    

We’re jammin’, I wanna jam it wid you. We’re jammin’, jammin’, And I hope you like blueberry jammin’, too.  

I was craving fresh blueberry jam but I didn’t want to make a big batch of it, in fact I wanted to make jam with just 1 pint of blueberries. Maybe you’ll pick fresh blueberries from your garden or maybe you’ll pick up a pint of blueberries from the farmers market, either way you can enjoy this easy and quick recipe.  
HOMEMADE Blueberry Jam made from 1 pint of blueberries! This easy to make no pectin recipe is perfect for eating and canning. This healthy jam is delicious served over toast, pancakes, french toast and ice cream!

I love spreading this blueberry jam on toast, muffins, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pancakes, french toast or more.  It’s also delicious served over ice cream!  However you serve it – I hope you enjoy it!
HOMEMADE Blueberry Jam made from 1 pint of blueberries! This easy to make no pectin, no sugar recipe is perfect for eating and canning. This healthy jam is delicious served over toast, pancakes, french toast and ice cream!
HOMEMADE Blueberry Jam made from 1 pint of blueberries! This easy to make no pectin, no sugar recipe is perfect for eating and canning. This healthy jam is delicious served over toast, pancakes, french toast and ice cream!

1 Pint Blueberry Jam
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pint blueberries
  2. 1/4 cup honey
  3. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  4. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients into a saucepan and stir.
  2. Bring to boil, then simmer for 30-35 minutes until jam consistency.
  3. Keep in jar refrigerated.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

HOMEMADE Blueberry Jam made from 1 pint of blueberries! This easy to make no pectin, no sugar recipe is perfect for eating and canning. This healthy jam is delicious served over toast, pancakes, french toast and ice cream!

Homemade Tomato Paste Cubes

This is the beginning of many tomato posts to come in the next few weeks.   Right now we’re handling Tomato Season 2013 so I’m constantly looking for new tomato ideas to both use our harvest, but also preserve so we can enjoy it until next summer!

Homemade Tomato PasteIMG_3618

A great way to use up lots of tomatoes you have is to make homemade tomato paste.  Tomato paste is a great ingredient to have on hand to thicken up sauce and soups.  Not to mention it’s a great base to make some yummy marinara sauce.  I love this specific recipe because we are going to freeze them in ice cube trays which means you can use a little bit  at a time. No more using one of those tomato paste cans that you only need 2 tablespoons for.   By using ice cube tray size you use what you need, nothing goes to waste.  

The best type of tomatoes for paste is roma or plum tomatoes (think elongated in shape) because they have the least amount of seeds.  In this recipe, we don’t take the skin off or deseed the tomatoes, we just cut them in half.   Tomato paste is super easy to make, it just takes a little patience until it’s done.  It’s made by cooking the tomatoes on the stove for hours to the point of where you boil away all the liquid, causing a very concentrate form of tomatoes, which turns into “paste”.     By the time the hours are over, you are going to have beautiful tomato paste.. and a house that smells wonderful!  You will be hungry after smelling this on the stove.. 🙂  These cubes last a very long time, months. I could easily throw a cube in some tomato sauce in January that I make this week.   I love these tomato paste cubes because when it’s snowing out and I reach for one, I get to remember the good garden days had months prior.. and that just makes me smile!

Homemade Tomato PasteIMG_3629

Homemade Tomato Paste
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Ingredients
  1. 3-4 pounds of roma or plum tomatoes
  2. 1 teaspoon salt
  3. 3 cloves garlic
Instructions
  1. Slice tomatoes in half.
  2. Put tomatoes and garlic in food processor (in batches), pulse until smooth.
  3. Put your tomatoes in a pot, add salt and stir.
  4. Turn your stove on to medium high heat and bring the tomatoes to a boil.
  5. Turn your stove down to low medium heat to keep them at a constant low simmering boil.
  6. Cover and cook for 3 hours, stirring once in a while, until tomatoes turn into a paste and liquid is gone.
  7. Put your paste in ice cube trays and freeze.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

 Homemade Tomato PasteIMG_3608
Here’s your beautiful roma tomatoes.  

Homemade Tomato PasteIMG_3611
Slice them in half and take the stems off if there are any.

Homemade Tomato PasteIMG_3612
Throw in food processor and pulse until liquid smooth.  Then it goes onto the stove.. in a few hours all that liquid tomato  will turn into…

Homemade Tomato PasteIMG_3626
Great smelling tomato paste!

Homemade Tomato PasteIMG_3632
Fill up your ice cube trays and throw in the freezer.

Homemade Tomato PasteIMG_3633
Pop a tomato paste cube out whenever you need one!

Tomato Paste CubesIMG_3639
Easy and fresh, does it get any better?

Turkey Kale Meatball Sub

HEALTHY Ground Turkey Kale Meatball Sub!  These meatballs are fried on the stove and then covered with tomato sauce and American cheese on  a sub roll! This homemade recipe is easy, healthy and your family will love it!  Even my Midwest husband thinks this is the BEST meatball sandwich!

Who doesn’t like a good meatball sub?  It’s quick, it’s hearty, it’s sloppy, you get to eat it with your fingers.  It’s meat, cheese and tomato sauce – how can you go wrong? But with this one we’re going to mix it up a little bit and add some kale to get your greens in!  Don’t be alarmed by the combination of kale and meat together in this sub – once everything is mixed together, it just works. My husband is a Midwest boy who loves his hearty dinners and this sub is A+ in his book!

HEALTHY Ground Turkey Kale Meatball Sub!  These meatballs are fried on the stove and then covered with tomato sauce and American cheese on  a sub roll! This homemade recipe is easy, healthy and your family will love it!  Even my Midwest husband thinks this is the BEST meatball sandwich!

This meatball sub is based on my kale meatballs recipe which I first made last summer and fell in love with.  These meatballs are great over spaghetti, yummy grilled as a finger food on a stick, but they are delicious on a sub roll!  A meatball sub isn’t finished until it’s slathered in tomato sauce and then American cheese is melted on top – then it’s ready to eat!

HEALTHY Ground Turkey Kale Meatball Sub!  These meatballs are fried on the stove and then covered with tomato sauce and American cheese on  a sub roll! This homemade recipe is easy, healthy and your family will love it!  Even my Midwest husband thinks this is the BEST meatball sandwich!

Enjoy one of my all time favorite sandwiches!  

HEALTHY Ground Turkey and Kale Meatball Sub! These meatballs are fried on the stove and then covered with tomato sauce and American cheese on asub roll! This homemade recipe is easy, healthy and your family will love it! Even my Midwest husband thinks this is the BEST meatball sandwich! 

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Healthy Turkey Kale Meatball Sub

HEALTHY Ground Turkey Kale Meatball Sub!  These meatballs are fried on the stove and then covered with tomato sauce and American cheese on  a sub roll! This homemade recipe is easy, healthy and your family will love it!  Even my Midwest husband thinks this is the BEST meatball sandwich!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups uncooked chopped fresh kale
  • Pinch of dried rosemary parsley, oregano, thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • Sub Rolls
  • American cheese slices
  • Tomato Sauce

Instructions

  1. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan over medium high heat. Add kale and spices. Cook until your kale is wilted.
  2. Put kale mixture and garlic into a food processor to mince. Add your turkey and egg and pulse until it’s all combined.
  3. Form this mixture into 2 inch balls.
  4. Use your same pan (its already greased) and heat to medium high.
  5. Add your meatballs and cook until browned on all sides (make sure to flip them), about 10-15 minutes.

For the sub

  1. Cut your sub rolls down the middle.
  2. Add meatballs on sub roll to fit.
  3. Add 2 slices of American cheese slices on top of the meatballs. Melt cheese in microwave or toaster oven if needed.
  4. Spoon tomato sauce on top.

Recipe Notes

Servings: 3-4

HEALTHY Ground Turkey and Kale Meatball Sub! These meatballs are fried on the stove and then covered with tomato sauce and American cheese on asub roll! This homemade recipe is easy, healthy and your family will love it! Even my Midwest husband thinks this is the BEST meatball sandwich!

Half Sour Pickles

The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they’re so popular!

If  I could stand on top of a mountain I would yell “I love pickles!”.  I really do.   They’re pretty, they’re crunchy, they’re full of flavor, they hit the right spot in the afternoon when you need a snack, they’re great on a burger, they’re great at 4AM standing in front of the refrigerator.  Pickles, they’re just really good.

The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is! These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles. No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days! Make them to find out why they're so popular!

The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!

With the cucumber plants in full producing mode right now we have been picking  (and pickling!) quite a few kirby cucumbers.  We currently have 6 mason jars full of pickles in the refrigerator!  If you are in Brooklyn and are in need of a pickle, I’m your girl!  I have been trying to get the perfect half sour pickles after years  of swooning at all the NYC pickle places.  Finally, I got it just right!  

The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!

A few notes about these  half sour beauties:

-These don’t have vinegar in them.  You see I have a fear of the smell of vinegar, I just get freaked out.  So I have been desperately trying to figure out how to make delicious pickles with seasonings to make up for the lack of vinegar. THIS IS IT!  In this one instead  of using vinegar  we use sea salt water! 
-I would leave these  in your refrigerator  at least 4  days before you bite  into one.    After that, good luck not finishing  the jar in a day or 2.  If you have  control of your fingers going in the pickle jar though, these last for weeks.
-Kirby cucumbers are the best for pickles.
The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!
-If you don’t have Kirbies, that’s totally ok, but I recommend if you are using big cucumbers to  cut them up  into spears first (they will fit better into the jar most likely too).
-Please don’t skip on the seasonings.  These pickles soak alongside delicious garlic, fresh dill, peppercorns, coriander seeds, mustard seeds and bay leaves.
-This recipe uses a half gallon mason jar.   The ingredients and amount of water to salt ratio in this recipe is for this sized jar.  
-If your pickles are soft and not crunchy when done, please check out Ball Pickle Crisp.  It works great to keep that fresh crunch!
The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!

The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!
Fresh kirby cucumbers just picked from the garden!  

 The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!
One of the yummy herbs in this recipe is coriander seeds.  If you have a cilantro plant and you neglect it, it will turn into coriander seeds. Awesome,  right?   I always  do this every year so I get fresh coriander to last until next harvest season. 

The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!


You can  use a mortar and pestle to crush your dry ingredients  or you can be like me and  just use a tool (I don’t know the name of this so let’s  just go with “tool”) to bash  it all together. A rolling pin works great too.  So does a hammer. 

The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!
Put your cucumbers in the jar, then add your garlic.


The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!
Then your crushed dry ingredients.

The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!
Pick a few  pieces of fresh dill. Doesn’t it smell great?


The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!
Then add your salt water  and fresh dill.The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!
Keep filling your jar with water until your cucumbers are completely covered.  In  the  jar above, a little bit  of the salt water still needs to be added.

The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!
Now it’s  the hard  part.. waiting for a few days to eat them!

But when it’s time… it will be worth it!

The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!
If you are making batches as you harvest, and you use similar jars sometimes it gets confusing to keep track of the ones that have been sitting the longest.  To do this I use chalk or a Sharpie and write on the lid.  #1 = eat first, #2 = eat next, #3 = eat next next.. etc.

Half Sour Pickles Recipe

Enjoy! 🙂

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Half Sour Pickles

The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is!  These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles.  No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days!   Make them to find out why they're so popular!

Ingredients

  • 5 kirby cucumbers or however many you can fit into your jar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • few pieces of fresh dill
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • 6 cups water
  • additional whole coriander seeds and peppercorns to add on top

Instructions

  1. Wash your cucumbers.
  2. Dissolve your sea salt in the water.
  3. Grind up all the dry ingredients (coriander, mustard seeds, peppercorns, 2 bay leaves). If you don’t have a mortar/pestle, throw it in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them.
  4. Put the cucumbers in your jar.
  5. Put the minced garlic in the jar, then ground up spices, then pour the salt water mixture on top. If you have any water left, disregard it.
  6. Add a few pieces of fresh dill on top.
  7. Add in your additional coriander seeds, peppercorns and bay leaf.
  8. Make sure your cucumbers are completely covered in water and close the jar.
  9. Put in the refrigerator. Let them sit for at least 4 days before eating.
  10. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

This recipe is for a half gallon jar. Please make sure you are using this size as it's important for the salt to water ratio.
For a crunchy pickle add 1/4 teaspoon Ball Pickle Crisp Granules at the end.

The BEST Half Sour Pickles recipe there is! These easy homemade pickles taste just like New York Crunchy pickles. No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just throw them in the refrigerator for a few days! Make them to find out why they're so popular!

 

Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole

You’ll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.  

Who doesn’t like pizza?  I love it.

You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.

Who doesn’t like cauliflower? I love it.    

Cauliflower pizza casserole is born!

When I first found a great cauliflower pizza casserole recipe it called for pureed cauliflower, but pureeing cauliflower that we grew seemed like a absolute sin to me.  I can’t give so much energy and love to our garden cauliflower and then just blend it up, that would be the saddest thing ever.  If we were ever to sell produce commercially I would put on every single package a (cute) warning sign that says “YOU MAY NOT PUREE ME, IT WILL MAKE PAMELA VERY SAD, PLEASE LOVE CAULIFLOWER WHOLE.  THANK YOU VERY MUCH”.  So in my recipe, we cut it into small bite size pieces.  I prefer it this way as well as the cheese will get in all the nooks and crannies of the cauliflower.    And who doesn’t’ like cheese?    Especially with cauliflower.  This is a absolute win situation.

You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.Here’s your cauliflower.  Mine happens to talk.



You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.Here’s your cream, butter and garlic mixture.  Pizza always needs a little garlic.



You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.And here’s your pepperoni.  I quartered each slice.  Do this with scissors, a knife or just tear it apart with your hands.



You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.This is step 1 of the casserole, your cauliflower/butter mixture/pepperoni are all mixed up. 



You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.Step 2: Add your pizza sauce.



You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.Step 3: Add your cheese!  Be brave, cover this sucker.



You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.Step 4:  Pepperoni time.  Feel free to eat a few slices too, I won’t tell anyone.

Then into the oven it goes…



You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.And out of the oven it comes! Mamma-Mia!



You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.The cheese is melted, a little bubbly, a little brown. I have pure joy right now.



You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.Then take a few whole basil leave and put it on top.  I love pizza with fresh basil. 

You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.

Cauliflower Pepperoni Pizza Casserole, it’s like having your own garden pizzeria!  Major winner here – enjoy!

Cauliflower Pepperoni Pizza Casserole
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large cauliflower head - cut up into small bite size pieces
  2. 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  3. 1 tablespoon butter - melted
  4. 2 cloves garlic - minced
  5. 15 slices of pepperoni - quartered
  6. 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
For on top of the casserole
  1. 3/4 cup pizza sauce
  2. 12 slices pepperoni
  3. 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  4. fresh basil to garnish
Instructions
  1. Chop your clean cauliflower into small bite size pieces. Steam for 2 minutes, drain. Put into casserole dish.
  2. In a bowl mix your butter, heavy cream and garlic.
  3. Pour butter mixture over cauliflower.
  4. Add quartered pepperoni slices, 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella on top of your cauliflower.
  5. Mix everything up so cauliflower is coated.
  6. Spread your pizza sauce evenly on top of your cauliflower.
  7. Pour your 1 cup shredded mozzarella evenly on top.
  8. Put your sliced pepperoni on top.
  9. Cook at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.
  10. Garnish with basil when it comes out of the oven.
  11. Enjoy!
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
 You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.

 

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

I have a few rules for lunch.

-It has to be yummy.
-It has to be easy.
-It can’t use the oven.  

Every single day when I eat lunch I sit in front of my computer, usually catching up on email or going through my blog reader to see what all my great recipe/garden friends are up to.   You know lunch is exceptional when you plan to do this, but the only thing you can do is turn your monitor on before you devour your entire lunch without touching the keyboard or mouse once.    This lunch time experience was just me and the stuffed pepper and it was a good one.

These stuffed peppers are:
-Yummy.  Very.
-Quick and easy.  The thing that takes the most time is making the quinoa.
-It doesn’t use the oven.  It uses the stove top and the microwave.  
-Fresh!  Garden pepper and spinach, yum!

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Quinoa-Stuffed-Peppers
Here’s all your beautiful ingredients.  Such a pretty lunch we’ll be having!

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Hello Mr. Pepper!  You are huge, beautiful and delicious. I love you dearly.

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Here’s your quinoa with chopped up spinach and garlic.   The way I make my quinoa is 1/4 cup dry  quinoa with 1/2 cup water.  Bring to boil, then simmer and cover for 15 minutes.  

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After I melt the cheese, I put the pepper top back on.  More pepper to eat makes me a happy girl!

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If you have any quinoa that can’t fit in your pepper, I just put it on the side.  Also, I always put extra tomato sauce on top. I love tomato sauce. When it’s time to start picking tomatoes from the garden this will all be fresh. I can’t wait!

Lunch Time Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 green pepper - seeds removed and top cut off (but keep the top!)
  2. 1/4 cup dry quinoa
  3. 4 spinach leaves - chopped
  4. 1 clove garlic - minced
  5. 2 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  6. tomato sauce - amount depends on your preference
Instructions
  1. Cook your quinoa as instructed on box.
  2. Cook green pepper in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain, set aside.
  3. When quinoa is done, add spinach and garlic and mix around.
  4. Fill pepper with quinoa mixture. Add a spoonful of sauce on top, then cover with your mozzarella cheese.
  5. Microwave for 20-30 seconds until your cheese is melted.
  6. Add another spoonful of tomato sauce on top.
  7. Put your green pepper top on.
  8. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. You can add additional tomato sauce all over the pepper as desired.
  2. This recipe is for one 1 pepper, if you want 2 peppers, duplicate it and so on.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli

Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli. You will never order takeout Chinese again after you learn how easy (and healthy!) it is to make yourself!

When I get Chinese takeout I usually order:

Chicken & Broccoli
Broccoli & Garlic Sauce
Shrimp & Broccoli
Lo Mein with Added Broccoli

Do you see the broccoli love?

I have been trying to perfect a takeout restaurant version of chicken and broccoli for many years.   I was close but the broccoli was never perfectly crunchy, the sauce was too thick, the sauce was too thin, the taste was off.  But finally, finally!  I shake my fist at you chicken and broccoli because I did it!  It was a great moment sitting down at dinner to eat this and hear the cheers from both my and Matthew’s mouths.  It’s really good.  I don’t think I can ever order takeout again if I know it’s this easy (and much more healthier) to make at home.  

If you love Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli, you will like this version.   Alot!

Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli. You will never order takeout Chinese again after you learn how easy (and healthy!) it is to make yourself!

Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli. You will never order takeout Chinese again after you learn how easy (and healthy!) it is to make yourself!

Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli
Print
Vegetables
  1. 1 head of broccoli, cut up into florets
  2. 1 small green pepper - cut up into small slices
  3. 3/4 cup sugar snap peas - chopped into thirds
For the chicken marinade
  1. 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts - cut up into bite size pieces
  2. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  3. 1 teaspoon sugar
  4. 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  5. 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  6. 1 tablespoon water
  7. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
For the sauce
  1. 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  2. 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  3. 4 cloves garlic - minced
  4. 2 tablespoons flour
  5. 1 tablespoon rice cooking wine
  6. 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  7. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Additionally
  1. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to fry in
  2. 1/2 cup water
Instructions
  1. Mix your marinade ingredients in a bowl - add your bite size chicken pieces and stir. Set aside.
  2. Mix your sauce ingredients in a bowl - set aside.
  3. Steam broccoli for 3 minutes, drain - set aside.
  4. Heat up 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken, it's marinade and 1/2 of the sauce mixture. Keep cooking until chicken is fully cooked.
  5. Add steamed broccoli, sugar snap peas, green pepper and remaining sauce with 1/2 cup water.
  6. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until sauce thickens up.
  7. Serve and enjoy!
Adapted from a teaspoon of happiness
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli. You will never order takeout Chinese again after you learn how easy (and healthy!) it is to make yourself!
Oh garden greens, I love you.   I picked some fresh broccoli, green peppers and sugar snap peas.  You can omit the sugar snap peas if you want to, but I would highly recommend keeping them in. It gives it a great additional crunch!   

Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli. You will never order takeout Chinese again after you learn how easy (and healthy!) it is to make yourself!
You want your chicken to be cut up into bite size pieces, and then you let them marinate for a bit until you are ready to move on to the next step with them.

Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli. You will never order takeout Chinese again after you learn how easy (and healthy!) it is to make yourself!
This is the magic sauce that holds everything together.  It’s the sauce I have fought with to get just right.  It was a glorious moment!

Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli. You will never order takeout Chinese again after you learn how easy (and healthy!) it is to make yourself!
The sauce turned out so well due to these 3 great ingredients.  I’ve really come to love sesame oil in cooking the past few years.  PS. Make sure you use low sodium or lite soy sauce, we want to cut back on the salt in this recipe.

Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli. You will never order takeout Chinese again after you learn how easy (and healthy!) it is to make yourself!
And when it’s all done you will have one beautiful skillet full of chicken and broccoli.  

Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli. You will never order takeout Chinese again after you learn how easy (and healthy!) it is to make yourself!Dive right in, it’s delicious!

Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli

Creamy Lettuce Soup

Creamy Lettuce Soup is a delicious, healthy recipe that uses 1 head of lettuce.  Combined with heavy cream, chicken broth and spices, this is a great way to add lettuce to your diet! I love using Bibb lettuce in this recipe but Romaine and Iceberg work good too! Who knew cooked lettuce could taste so yummy for dinner – even kids love it!

Hi,

Do you want to come in?

I’m going to make us some soup.  It will be delicious.

Oh, what kind of soup you ask?

*LOCKS DOOR, REALLY QUICK*

Lettuce soup.

Creamy Lettuce Soup is a delicious, healthy recipe that uses 1 head of lettuce.  Combined with heavy cream, chicken broth and spices, this is a great way to add lettuce to your diet! I love using Bibb lettuce in this recipe but Romaine and Iceberg work good too! Who knew cooked lettuce could taste so yummy for dinner - even kids love it!  

That is how I feel everytime I bring up lettuce soup.  Most people are frightened of it, the idea of lettuce pureed into a creamy soup doesn’t sound that appetizing to most.  And I will be honest, when I first heard about it I was like eh?  When I told Matthew I was making lettuce soup for dinner, first he asked “Is that is?”, then after he smelled what was going on in the pot he asked “What is that great smell?”.    Lettuce soup does that to you.  It turns your frown upside down.  It makes your fears turn into smiles.  It holds you tightly.  It kisses your bruises.  I don’t know where I’m going with this.

But here’s what I’m saying.  You should give this a try.   Not only is it a truly pretty soup (the lettuce + the cream makes it a lovely light green), but it’s full of taste.   Not only are we adding lettuce, but we’re adding broth and lots of spices.     So next time you have a head of lettuce and you’re not sure what to do.. lettuce soup!

Creamy Lettuce Soup is a delicious, healthy recipe that uses 1 head of lettuce.  Combined with heavy cream, chicken broth and spices, this is a great way to add lettuce to your diet! I love using Bibb lettuce in this recipe but Romaine and Iceberg work good too! Who knew cooked lettuce could taste so yummy for dinner - even kids love it!

Creamy Lettuce Soup
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 clove garlic - minced
  3. 1 head lettuce (12-16 oz head), leaves separated and lightly chopped. Any lettuce works, but Bibb is best.
  4. 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  5. 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  6. 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  7. 1/2 cup heavy cream + additional to garnish
  8. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  9. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil on medium heat in medium sized pot.
  2. When hot, add the garlic until slightly brown.
  3. Add your lettuce, parsley and oregano and stir until lettuce is wilted.
  4. Add your chicken broth and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
  5. Transfer in batches to blender or use immersion blender to puree soup. If using a blender do this in batches and be careful as the liquid will be very hot.
  6. Transfer back to pot.
  7. Add your heavy cream, salt and pepper and stir until all heated (about 5 minutes).
  8. Serve, garnish with additional heavy cream on top if desired.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
 
Creamy Lettuce Soup is a delicious, healthy recipe that uses 1 head of lettuce.  Combined with heavy cream, chicken broth and spices, this is a great way to add lettuce to your diet! I love using Bibb lettuce in this recipe but Romaine and Iceberg work good too! Who knew cooked lettuce could taste so yummy for dinner - even kids love it!This is when your lettuce starts to wilt, the smell of it with the spices will be real good.  Just keep stirring it until completed wilted.

Creamy Lettuce Soup is a delicious, healthy recipe that uses 1 head of lettuce.  Combined with heavy cream, chicken broth and spices, this is a great way to add lettuce to your diet! I love using Bibb lettuce in this recipe but Romaine and Iceberg work good too! Who knew cooked lettuce could taste so yummy for dinner - even kids love it!
This is your soup pureed in a blender.  Be careful when using a blender, hot liquids will shoot up, so do it in batches with smaller amounts.  I learned the hard way with some tomato soup one summer, had to wear a bandage for weeks!

Creamy Lettuce Soup is a delicious, healthy recipe that uses 1 head of lettuce.  Combined with heavy cream, chicken broth and spices, this is a great way to add lettuce to your diet! I love using Bibb lettuce in this recipe but Romaine and Iceberg work good too! Who knew cooked lettuce could taste so yummy for dinner - even kids love it!
And when it’s all done, you’ll  be surprised by how creamy it is.  I like to add some additional cream on top because who doesn’t like more cream?  Serve alongside crunchy Asian noodles or crusty Italian bread!  Hope you enjoy this lettuce soup!  
Creamy Lettuce Soup is a delicious, healthy recipe that uses 1 head of lettuce.  Combined with heavy cream, chicken broth and spices, this is a great way to add lettuce to your diet! I love using Bibb lettuce in this recipe but Romaine and Iceberg work good too! Who knew cooked lettuce could taste so yummy for dinner - even kids love it!

PS.  If you’re looking for ways to keep your lettuce fresher longer – check out my post on how to make it last for weeks!

Creamy Lettuce Soup is a delicious, healthy recipe that uses 1 head of lettuce.  Combined with heavy cream, chicken broth and spices, this is a great way to add lettuce to your diet! I love using Bibb lettuce in this recipe but Romaine and Iceberg work good too! Who knew cooked lettuce could taste so yummy for dinner - even kids love it!

 

Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese

We’ve harvested alot of broccoli this season.  Every single plant produced a beautiful big head of broccoli.  You guys know I love broccoli already,  but do you know I love macaroni and cheese too?  Macaroni and cheese is a comfort food and it holds dear memories of my father making me dinner every single day he was home from work during high school.  He knew I loved that mac and cheese so he made it once a week, I was a very happy girl.  Thanks Dad!

 So what happens when you mix comfort food with happy harvest?  You get one of  my favorite broccoli dishes: Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese. I love macaroni and cheese of all sorts.  I’m fine with the box, I’m super fine with homemade.  I’m fine with it made with cheese that comes in a foil package (Where my Velveeta fans at?), I’m super fine with a baked version.    This recipe is a in between, yes it’s baked, but the inside of the dish is still soft and cheesy and gooey.   It’s just perfect, the best of both worlds.

So if you like mac and cheese and you like broccoli, this dish is for you!

 broccoli macaroni and cheeseIMG_2912broccoli macaroni and cheeseIMG_2931      
broccoli-mac-cheese

 

Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cup elbow macaroni
  2. 4 cups broccoli florets
  3. 1/2 cup butter
  4. 2 tablespoons flour
  5. 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  6. 1 teaspoon pepper
  7. 2 cups milk
  8. 8 ounces Velveeta cheese
  9. 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese
  10. 1/4 cup bread crumbs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Boil water and cook macaroni as instructed on box. When there is 3 minutes left, add your broccoli to the boiling pot. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan melt your butter over medium heat. Slowly add flour, dry mustard and pepper until it's smooth.
  4. Add your milk slowly and keep stirring until it's smooth.
  5. Add in your cheese and continue to stir until it's smooth.
  6. Take off burner.
  7. Add your macaroni to cheese mixture saucepan and stir until all noodles are coated.
  8. Transfer your mixture to a baking dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top.
  9. Cover and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly.
  10. Enjoy!
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
broccoli macaroni and cheeseIMG_2851
We have a big bag right now full of broccoli.  Every time I open it I just smile and breathe in the scent of broccoli.  

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For this recipe, you need 4 cups of florets.  I leave mine pretty big.

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For this, we’re going to cook our macaroni, then when there’s 3 minutes left we’re going to throw our broccoli in too.  This means only one pot to clean.  High 5.

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Drain and set aside for a few minutes.

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Hello cheese. I love you so much. I like to use 2 different versions of cheese for this recipe so I use good ol Velveeta and Monterey Jack. 

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Shred it however you want.  I was lazy so I put it in my food processor.

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Now we want to start to make the cheese sauce so get your butter melted.

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Then add in your flour, dry mustard and pepper.  You’ll want to mix quickly until it’s smooth.

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Then add your water and keep stirring.

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Then your beautiful cheese.  This take a few minutes for it to melt, but  keep stirring.

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Great job, some yummy cheese sauce  there.

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Take your macaroni and broccoli and add to the cheese sauce.

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Perfect! 

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Transfer to a baking dish.

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You can see here it’s still pretty soupy, but this cheese is going to melt beautifully and hold it all together.

Add your bread crumbs and into the oven it goes…

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And out pops out this beautiful dinner after 20 minutes!

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The bread crumbs are just slightly golden brown, just how I like them.

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And see how the cheese all melted together and it’s no longer too wet, instead it’s gooey and cheesy and oh my!

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Serve some up.  You can add some bread on the side if you’d like too.   Who doesn’t like bread on the side? 

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And enjoy this broccoli macaroni and cheese!

Braised Lettuce

You’ll start to love lettuce once you make this Braised Lettuce recipe!   Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew for full flavor!

I love this braised lettuce.  Love, Love, Love.

As we have been harvesting our lettuce plants, I have been requesting this almost every single night.  Most people use lettuce in salads or as a topping, but  in this recipe you can use it as a entire side dish.   When I first learned about braised lettuce I didn’t think twice about making it because just lettuce as a side, really?   Then I tried it and my opinion changed immediately.   It’s such a easy recipe consisting of just a few ingredients, but it packs such a hit in taste.   Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew.  Just as you would expect in the greens family, lettuce wilts much, so  as it simmers,  it gets tender.  As it simmers, the lettuce will pick up the garlic and broth.  Your lettuce will be full of flavor.  It’s so great.

Please, please see this past recipe as “just lettuce” and give it a try.

 You'll start to love lettuce once you make this Braised Lettuce recipe!   Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew for full flavor!

Braised Lettuce
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 head of lettuce cut up into quarters - washed
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  4. 1 clove minced garlic
  5. salt + pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Take your washed lettuce head and cut it up into quarters.
  2. Head olive oil and minced garlic in pan over medium heat. Add your quarters of lettuce, cut side down.
  3. Saute until the side is lightly brown. This takes about 10 minutes.
  4. Turn over, add your chicken broth and bring to a slight boil.
  5. Turn down to low, cover and heat for 15 minutes.
  6. Add salt + pepper to taste.
  7. Serve as desired.
Notes
  1. Bibb or Romaine lettuce works well.
  2. You can substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
You'll start to love lettuce once you make this Braised Lettuce recipe!   Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew for full flavor!
First, let’s take a minute and admire this gorgeous lettuce we grew.   Sigh.   

You'll start to love lettuce once you make this Braised Lettuce recipe!   Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew for full flavor!
This recipe calls for one head, so cut it into quarters so you have 4 pieces.

You'll start to love lettuce once you make this Braised Lettuce recipe!   Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew for full flavor!
Lettuce, you are so pretty.  For this recipe I used buttercrunch because that’s what we grow.  You can use Bibb variety, or Romaine – it’s up to you.  

You'll start to love lettuce once you make this Braised Lettuce recipe!   Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew for full flavor!
Take your lettuce and put it in a pan with olive oil and garlic.  Make sure you put it cut side down in the pan.

You'll start to love lettuce once you make this Braised Lettuce recipe!   Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew for full flavor!
Once it’s slightly golden brown, you’re going to flip it over to the other side.  

You'll start to love lettuce once you make this Braised Lettuce recipe!   Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew for full flavor!
Then add your chicken broth.  Alternatively, you can use vegetable broth if you’d like.    Bring to a boil, then put your heat on low and cover for 15 minutes.

You'll start to love lettuce once you make this Braised Lettuce recipe!   Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew for full flavor!
When the 15 minutes is up, you will notice how much your lettuce has wilted.  Then you will smell that aroma and smile.  Then you will taste the lettuce and faint.

You'll start to love lettuce once you make this Braised Lettuce recipe!   Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew for full flavor!
Who knew, lettuce could be this good? I’m a lettuce believer now. 

You'll start to love lettuce once you make this Braised Lettuce recipe!   Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew for full flavor!
You can use this in many ways, feel free to even think outside the box, like putting it on pasta or rice… or a sandwich!

You'll start to love lettuce once you make this Braised Lettuce recipe!   Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew for full flavor!

Preserving Strawberries, Kale and Basil

As the garden season takes off, I will be doing a series of posts on how to preserve everything you grow so you can enjoy them now and many months later.   We won’t let any of our hard work that went into planting and caring for these plants go to waste here!

I often say “I garden because I cook”.    My love for being in the kitchen goes hand in hand with getting my nails dirty pushing down seeds.    My fulltime job is being an artist with my partner Matthew, and I would say our “day job” couldn’t be farther away from gardening and cooking.   Did you ever go from shooting a pair of shoes that cost close to your monthly rent, to sprinkling manure over your soil?    But it’s amazing because away from the stressful world of advertising, fashion and due dates, there is the kitchen and garden.    These are the stress-free zones for me.  Sure, there comes stress like weather that can destroy crops, oven temperatures that can burn cookie bottoms – but those are all you, noone is judging.  It’s just you with your apron or garden raincoat on, singing along to a rap tune, cats at your feet, enjoying your time.   One hour we can be in our home, sending over files to complete a job.  But wait, the creative director didn’t like that change, so now redo those last 8 hours you spent cutting it together.  Take a deep breath.  Eat a cookie.  Then go up to the garden.  None of this stress exists there.  You can just sit in your garden, with NYC surrounding you, listen to the hum of police sirens (it turns into a hum after you’ve lived here for a while) and forget about everything else.  I love it.

Here are other reasons why I love bringing these worlds of gardening and cooking together:

-You learn where everything comes from.  Did you know Brussels Sprouts grow the way they do? I didn’t either!    By gardening you see the process from seed to harvest, it often surprises you!
-You respect everything you grow.   Those pumpkins that I grew? They came from me pollinating them for a week straight at 5:30AM in the morning.   Those tomatoes that are beautiful red and perfect?   They stayed alive because you ran out into the pouring rain to make sure their windblocker fabric was up and everything was secure.    Those sugar snap peas?  Do you know how long they take to pick? Oh my!
-You try new vegetables.   I hated lettuce before we had our garden, now I’m like a rabbit where Matthew has to shoo me away.    I never tried radishes before, now I eat them whole.  
-This results into trying new dishes in the kitchen.  Pesto? Never made before, except now I have about 10 different recipes for it with every different plant.   I scour websites and cookbooks looking for new ways to use tomatoes, broccoli, carrots.  Dinner, Lunch, Desserts – I try it all!    The most important part is starting with a base you love.  So grow what you like!  
-Preserve! Preserve! Preserve!   This is the big one for me.  There are a few weeks in July and August that I am spending many hours every single day preserving our tomatoes to last us (forever).  So you just grew those kale plants – but did you have any idea how much kale grows on a plant? Or those edamame plants that I grew last year – did I know that I would get 20 pounds of edamame, all at once?  What are you going to do?  Well you just spent so much time and energy and love on these plants to grow great vegetables so now we’re not going to let it go to waste! Oh no we aren’t!  We are going to preserve it!    Did you know I had to buy my first can of diced tomatoes earlier this month because I had enough saved from last summer’s harvest?  Do you know how awesome of a feeling that is to have fresh vegetables you grew in your freezer all winter long?  Oh it’s snowing out and 3 degrees, let me just grab a extra fresh pack of frozen green beans that I grew a few months back.  *High 5’s*

 I spend quite a bit of time preserving everything we grow, and figuring out new ways to try.  One year I went as crazy as literally not wasting any of the broccoli plants, by finding ways to use the leaves and chop up the stems.    I blanch, I freeze whole, I puree,  I turn into sauces, I chop, I husk, I dry.  I do whatever it takes to preserve everything.   This post will be dedicated to strawberries, kale and basil.    Sometimes in future posts, I will give you another idea for the same vegetable.  There are many ways to preserve each plant, so I want to share some options for whatever is best for you in your kitchen. 🙂

Strawberries
Who doesn’t love strawberries?  And is there anything better than a sweet strawberry picked right off the vine and plopped straight into your mouth?  Oh yum!  But what happens when you are are harvesting pounds of strawberries?  Or what happens when you go the grocery store and find out that they are selling pints of strawberries for 89 cents.  Buy a bunch, we can keep your strawberry love stocked up for months!

We are going to freeze strawberries.   Strawberries keep in a freezer for a long time, I’m talking  a year.  Amazing, right?

What can we do with frozen strawberries? Well I’m glad you asked.
Smoothies!  My favorite.  Throw frozen strawberries in your blender and continue as usual in creating your favorite smoothie.
-Throw them into pies.
-Strawberry jelly!
-Strawberry sauce! Blend them up and pour over ice cream, cakes and waffles.
-Strawberry butter.  Yup,  you heard me right!
-Make strawberry bread.
-Strawberry salad.

Here are your beautiful strawberries.  
preserveIMG_2394
Seriously, aren’t they the most loveliest things in the world?   I hope one day I can be at least 1% cool and classy as strawberries.
Now you want to wash them, wash them real good.
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Then once they are washed, you want to hull them.  Basically you want to rip off their green tops and cores.  You can do this a variety of ways with special tools, or just a knife.  Personally I just use my finger nails to get in there.   Then lay them on a cookie sheet and let freeze.    Once they are frozen, put them into freezer bags.  
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Then when you need some strawberries, take them out of your freezer and bask in the glory of them!  Use them however you want.  I will be making myself one happy strawberry smoothie. 🙂
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Kale
Kale, the winner of everything cool in 2013. Do you hear all the buzz about kale?  What a popular guy.    It seems to be the king of greens!  One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6, 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K.  It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.  Can we say it’s healthy?  


So what to do with kale?  When you’ve eaten your share of fresh raw kale, let’s figure out ways to preserve it, so you can be eating this vegetable powerhouse for months to come!
I like to make kale cubes, which is basically kale all chopped up, frozen into cubes.  It’s all kale, nothing else added in. 

What you can do with those frozen kale cubes?
-Smoothies! Again!  Want a real pick me up?  Throw a kale cube into your next smoothie.  
-Defrost and mix into pasta.  Warm through.  
-Throw a cube or two into any soup or stew.   Just a little bit of frozen kale goes a long way in getting your vitamins in!
-Defrost and mix with meats to make delicious ravioli.
-Defrost and mix with meats to make delicious meatballs!

Kale!  You hearty animal you (not really a animal). 
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I destem it.  I do this with my hands too, I just rip it off.  Maybe I’m the animal here.  Then I rip it into pieces to fit it into my food processor.preserveIMG_2401
A few pulses later and your once entire food process cup hardly has any kale in it.  Kale likes to shrink.  preserveIMG_2403
Then spoon it out and throw in some ice cube trays.
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Fill them up to the top.    A entire bushel of kale filled up one ice cube tray, so pack it down.  Now put into the freezer.
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Once they’re frozen, poke them out with a fork.    I find it works best to let them sit on your counter for a few minutes, then poke them out.  They defrost pretty quickly for you to grab one out of the tray.  From here you can keep them in the tray and use as you want, or throw them in freezer bags.
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Because you packed them in, they stay in cube form nicely.preserveIMG_2475

 

Basil
Who else loves the smell of basil?  I love picking fresh basil and putting it in pasta, and especially on pizza! A slice of margarita pizza with basil is the key to my pizza loving heart.   But what do you do when you have pounds of basil and you can’t eat 8 pizzas a nights (don’t try this, just believe me).  You can dry it!
I love dried herbs.  Almost 80% of the time if a recipe calls for fresh herbs, I will ignore it and use dried herbs.  Why? Because I know the dried herbs are ones I grew, loved and they will taste just as good in the dish!  
What can you do with dried basil?
-Any dish call for fresh basil? You can substitute with dried basil.
-Use in any tomato pasta.
-Sprinkle over each lasagna layer.
-Sprinkle over pizza.
-Use in rices.
-Use in a varieties of stews and soups for extra seasoning.
-Use in pasta salad.
-Sprinkle on garlic bread.

So let’s pick your basil!  What you want to do is wash it, then let dry.  I do this by putting it on paper towel sheets and then help blotting excess water on top.  Let dry completely.
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Then find a space of your home that you want to smell like basil for the next few weeks.  Grab a rubber band and hang on something.  We have screws in the top of our loft that we drilled in just for drying herbs.  This is at the very front entrance of our loft, so as soon as you walk in… it’s fresh city USA.preserveIMG_2412
Then just let dry until they are completely brittle.  If the basil seems “fresh” and flexible they aren’t dry enough.  You basically want them to the point of if you touched a leaf, it would crack.  You can see in the top right of this picture I have some dried oregano ready to go.  
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Then pick the leaves off the plant (do this over a bowl, the leaves are going to fall apart beautifully).  Throw in your food processor and you’re done.  If you don’t have a food processor, just crumble with your fingers.  Now you have dried basil ready for whenever you want!preserveIMG_2467

 

Banana, Strawberry, Pineapple Smoothie

The last few afternoons I have been craving a smoothie.  We’ve been hard at work gardening and all I want is a cold “pick me up” when I’m exhausted.  This does the trick!  The best thing about this recipe is that you can match fruit to your liking and create your own. Other examples:  banana, orange, pear watermelon, kiwi banana, orange, strawberries banana, blueberries watermelon, orange, pineapple banana, apple, orange pineapple, kiwi orange, strawberries banana, peach strawberry, banana blueberries, apple, banana banana, cherries pineapple, blueberries blueberry, pomegranate, banana There are so many more variations.  Isn’t it amazing?   I also love this recipe because it gets rid of any fruit where you aren’t sure what to do with.  Many times I’m left with a few random strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, a banana that is very ripe, half an orange, etc.    Put all the soon to go bad fruits in your blender and you’ll quickly have a delicious drink.

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Tri Color Pasta Salad

As I’m writing this, it’s raining.  It’s a dreary morning.  The sky is grey, the weather requires a sweater, the “drip drip” sound is heard on the windows.   May brings rain showers, and it’s definitely brought rain this past week.  It seems like this week it was either extra sunny to the point of sunburn, or you needed a umbrella.    Even when I wake up in the morning and check the weather, it would give me high hopes, then afternoon would come and suddenly I’d get a unexpected alert on my phone “Rain is coming”.  By the way, who else sets up weather alerts on their phone? We do it for the garden.  It’s good to know when a heavy storm or high winds are about to roll in, gives us a few minutes to throw on some shoes and get up to the garden to protect it.    With all the rain I needed some cheerful colors in my life, and something that reminds me of picnics in the park or on the roof.  I made pasta salad.   What kind of memories does pasta salad give you?  As a kid pasta salad was always served at family picnics, it was a fork happy staple of my youth.

 The great thing about pasta salad is once you have the basics of pasta, salad dressing, herbs – the vegetables are really up to you.  There needs some type of tomatoes (I prefer halved grape tomatoes).   There needs to be celery chopped up.   What else?  Well that’s up to you.  You can add carrots.  You can add onions.  You can add broccoli.  You can add chopped up cauliflower.  You can can add black olives (yum!).  Mushrooms are always a hit too, especially when they get marinated by the salad dressing.  Peas, corn, sundried tomatoes, chopped up kale – throw in whatever you  like.   To finish it all, you need some type of cheese to sprinkle all over, I like to add some shredded mozzarella.   How do you like your pasta salad?

You can make your pasta salad with a wide variety of noodles, so use what you like.  I’ve been making our pasta salad with tri color rotini pasta.  The extra color  kick of this pasta makes it special in my opinion.   Bow ties and penne pasta are great too!

Finally, pasta salad is a favorite because you can make it advance.  You want it chilled, so all the pasta and vegetables pick up that salad dressing taste.  Plus when it’s a hot summer day, a little chilled pasta salad will bring your spirits up.    You can make this a few hours in advance, or even the day before.  If I have leftovers, I will eat it for a few days after.   The celery stays crunchy, I love that.  

So go ahead, let’s make it feel like summer and make some pasta salad.  

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Tri Color Pasta Salad
Print
Ingredients
  1. 12 oz bag of tri color rotini pasta
  2. 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
  3. 3 stalks of celery (chopped up)
  4. 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes (halved)
  5. 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  6. 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  7. 1 tablespoon dried basil
  8. 1 tablespoon dried oregano
Instructions
  1. Prepare your pasta as directed. Drain.
  2. Put your pasta in a big bowl.
  3. Add your chopped vegetables, salad dressing and dried herbs.
  4. Mix together so everything is coated in salad dressing.
  5. Add in your mozzarella cheese, toss around.
  6. Cover, put in fridge to chill.
  7. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. If your pasta salad looks a little dry when it comes out of the fridge, add a tablespoon of salad dressing and mix.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

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Pretty vegetables.  I love black olives, but Matthew hates them.  When he eats pasta salad, it’s just a bowl left of black olives.  Then  I steal his bowl and eat them all.

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Tri color pasta – it’s a beauty, isn’t it?

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This serves up a big fresh bowl of pasta salad.  

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This can be a side dish or main dish.  In my opinion, it makes a great dinner!

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