Browse Author by Elaine
Dad, Dawn Butler, Mom, Vegetables

Lighthouse Inn Potatoes

2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated on a rasp-style grater (to make 1 cup)
1 cup panko bread crumbs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, not melted but cut into 6 pieces
2 ½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
3 cups light cream (or heavy cream but do not use half-and-half)
⅛ teaspoon baking soda
salt
pepper

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine Parmesan, panko, melted butter, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in bowl; set aside.
  3. Bring potatoes, 2 ½ cups cream, baking soda, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to boil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook at bare simmer, stirring often, until paring knife slides easily into potatoes without them crumbling, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat. Stir remaining 1/2 cup cream and remaining 6 tablespoons butter into potato mixture until butter has melted, about 1 minute.
  5. Transfer potato mixture to 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle Parmesan-panko mixture over top. Bake, uncovered, until bubbling around edges and surface is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Elaine Walker, Soup

Rocket Soup (Shorbat Jarjir)


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 medium russet potato, chopped
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
7 ounces arugula
5 1/4 ounces fresh spinach
1/2 cup cilantro sprigs (optional)
Greek yogurt (optional)

Heat light olive oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Stir in turmeric, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and allspice; cook, stirring often, 2 minutes. Add potato and stock, and bring to a simmer. Cook until potato is tender, about 10 minutes.

Add spinach, cilantro, and arugula to pan. Bring to a simmer over medium, and cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender, process until smooth.

Spoon a tablespoonful of Greek yogurt onto the top of each serving of soup.

Dad, Dawn Butler, Mom, Vegetables

Easy Parmesan Baked Potatoes

6 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
8 red* potatoes (about 2-3/4 pounds), washed, unpeeled, halved lengthwise

Pour butter into a 13×9-in. baking pan.
Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over butter.
Place potatoes with cut sides down over cheese.
Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 40-45 minutes or until tender.

*Only use red potatoes for this recipe. They are the most tender.

Appetizers, Elaine Walker

Avocado Goat Cheese Truffles

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1/4 cup fresh goat cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
3 medium ripe avocados, peeled
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 cups salted pepitas, finely chopped
pretzel sticks

In a small bowl, beat cheeses, garlic, lime zest, oil, chili powder and pepper flakes until blended. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.

With a small melon baller, scoop out avocado balls onto a baking sheet; sprinkle with lime juice. Shape 1-1/2 teaspoons cheese mixture around each ball, then roll in pepitas. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until serving.

If desired, put a pretzel stick into the top of each truffle.

Elaine Walker, Soup

Hot & Sour Soup

40 dried lily buds (about 1/2 ounce)*
1 tablespoon dried wood ear mushrooms
1/3 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
5 cups chicken stock, low-sodium (do not substitute vegetable or mushroom broth)
1/2 cup drained canned bamboo shoots, rinsed and julienned
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 cups Napa cabbage, chopped
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cold water
1 large egg, beaten
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
4 ounces firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/3-inch cubes
1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar*
1 teaspoon white pepper powder

*Note: these items are very hard to find. Do not use substitutes. Best to order ahead of time online.

Step 1
Place lily buds and mushrooms in a small bowl, and add very hot water to cover by 1 inch. Let soak until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain and rinse thoroughly. Trim and discard tough ends from buds, and cut in half crosswise. Thinly slice mushrooms.

Step 2
Stir together lily buds, mushrooms, chicken stock, bamboo shoots, and ginger in a large saucepan over high. When the soup starts to simmer, add Napa cabbage and turn to medium-low heat. Cook until the Napa cabbage turns tender, 5 to 8 minutes.

Step 3
Whisk together cornstarch and 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Whisk cornstarch mixture into chicken stock mixture in a slow, steady stream; cook 1 minute. Pour beaten egg into chicken stock mixture in a slow, steady stream, stirring gently.

Step 4
Stir in tofu, soy sauce, and sesame oil, and cook another 2 minutes.

Step 5
In small bowl, add the vinegar and pepper. Whisk to blend thoroughly. Stir into soup mixture and serve immediately.

Elaine Walker, Seafood

Baked Salmon

2 pounds salmon
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
juice of one lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil. Fold up the sides of the aluminum foil around the salmon.

In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, and lemon juice. Pour the glaze over the salmon. Top the salmon with aluminum foil and seal.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until salmon is cooked throughout.

Take the foil off of the top and baste the salmon with the sauce in the foil. Broil for 3-5 minutes or until brown and caramelized.

Dawn Butler, Salads

Sweet & Savory Balsamic Salad Dressing

1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons water, divided
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon honey

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and 3 tablespoons of the water. Heat over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil and turns to a light golden color. Immediately remove from the heat and add the vinegar (stand back – it might spatter!!)

Whisk well. Add the mustard and garlic.

Add the olive oil to the vinegar mixture in a thin stream, whisking constantly.

Add 1 tablespoon water and season with salt and pepper. Add the honey. Whisk again.

The dressing will keep for several months if stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Let it come to room temperature or warm slightly in the microwave before serving.

Breads and Muffins, Elaine Walker

Flax and Sunflower Seed Bread

1 1/3 cups warm water
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/3 cups whole wheat bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flax seeds*, ground (you can grind them in a coffee grinder)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, unsalted
2 tablespoons butter, softened

In a small bowl, combine the warm water with honey and yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix together together the flour, salt and ground flax seeds in a large bowl. Stir in the sunflower seeds, butter and the yeast mixture.

Combine well and then knead the dough for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth.

Set to rise in greased bowl for 1.5 hours or until doubled in size. Punch it down, then transfer the dough to a greased bread pan. Cover and let rise again for 30 to 45 minutes.

Bake in a 375 oven for about 30 minutes or until lightly brown.

* Note: The flax seed flavor is strong in this bread. Might want to try a substitute – chia seeds, oatmeal and/or potato?

Breakfast

Maple Cranberry Granola

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 ½ cup raw, unsalted nuts (I used 1 cup of raw, unsalted cashews and one-half cup of roasted, salted macadamias)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
½ cup unrefined coconut oil, melted
½ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅔ cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment* paper. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, nuts, salt and spices. Stir to blend.

Pour in the oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Mix well, until every oat and nut is lightly coated. Pour the granola onto your prepared pan and use a large spoon to spread it in an even layer. Bake until golden, about 50 minutes. (If you like clumpy granola, stir when half way through baking.) The granola will further crisp up as it cools.

Using a spatula, move the granola from the hot baking sheet and put it onto another baking sheet (with no parchment or wax paper) to cool. Let the granola cool completely, undisturbed, before breaking it into pieces and stirring in the dried fruit. Store the granola in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks, or in a sealed freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.

*Note: If you substitute wax paper for parchment paper, the wax tends to melt and the granola sticks to it.

Beverages, Elaine Walker

Iced Tea Lemonade

10 cups of water
8 packets of Sweet & Low
4 tea bags of mint tea
1 lemon

Instructions:
1) Add 4 packets Sweet & Low to 2 cups of water. Heat in microwave for 3.5 minutes or just until it boils. (Note: if making iced tea without the lemon, only use two packets of Sweet & Low per 2 cups of water.)

2) Remove from heat. Add to water 2 tea bags of mint tea. Steep for 5 minutes.

3) Transfer tea to pitcher.

4) Repeat steps 1 through 3.

5) To pitcher, add the juice of one lemon.

6) Add 6 cups of tap water.

7) Chill.