Tag Archives: vegetarian

Strawberry Sundae Sauce & Summer Siesta

31 Aug


Actually, it’s not a siesta at all.  It’s the anti-siesta.  No lounging, no meandering, just lots of work.  I’m busy stocking up the Pantry for falls orders.  Today is Strawberry Jam and Strawberry Sundae Sauce.  I’m also nearly ready to unveil my new website!  The Well-Cooked Life will launch soon and you’ll be able to find my books, jams, recipe blog, and brand new household object store all under one umbrella of delicious chaos.  In the meantime, enjoy the last few moments of summer and daydream of sundaes.



Italian Plum Tart (Crostata alla Confettura di Prugne) & Finding Treasures

14 Jul


This is a classic southern Italian dessert, though my favorite time to eat this is in the morning.  I especially like the crisp pastry and the tart plum when we’re down to the last few slices and the very last one is a bit stale, and thus crunchy and I can peck at the crumbs with my finger when the summer hours seem to stretch from one walk or snack to the next.

The prune plum jam available for purchase at the market in Italy is good…its not quite as good as homemade, but close.  And both have the added bonus of decent-sized chunks of fruit within the jam.  At lunch, the kids and I wait to see who will get the treasure, the single whole spreadable plum. I’ve been doing some treasure-hunting myself as I get ready to relaunch my emilyfranklin.com website, this blog, Emma’s Pantry, and my store which will have vintage and new finds from around the globe…custom-made floor joist bench, antique Japanese fishing float (a great book end or end table object), a perfect French enamel pitcher, and of course blue vintage canning jars…

Crostata alla Confettura di Prugne can be made with apricot jam, but  then it wouldn’t be the same in name or have the same delicious, pensive quality that arries so well with the lightly sugared crust.  What treasures do you seek?

Italian Plum Tart (Crostata alla Confettura di Prugne)

Note: This makes one large tart, but you could cut the recipe in half easily, or make 2 tarts…

For the Crust and Lattice:

3.cups ’00’ flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 1/2 cups butter, cut into cubes

4 egg yolks

few dashes of cinnamon

12-16 oz plum jam

Work the flour  and sugars into the butter by hand, pinching and pressing.  Add the egg yolks and knead them in by hand.  Add cinnamon, roll into ball, and wrap in towel.  Place in fridge for 20-30 minutes.

Oven to 375.  On parchment or pasty marble or lightly floured surface, roll out dough to fit your tart pan – leave enough to do bottom and form sides.  Once crust is formed in pan, prick with fork.  Bake for 10 minutes while you do the lattice.  Use remaining dough to cut strips.  Remove crust from oven, slather with a thick coating of jam, and top with lattice or shapes (above look is simply strips one way, turn pan, more strips at diagonal).  Bake for 25-30 minutes until crust is lightly browned.  Let cool entirely.  Slice into wedges and look for treasures to share.

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Loaf, Parmesan Zucchini & A Vegetable that Requires Cooking

28 Jun

 This is what is known in the food industry as a shitload of zucchini.  Oh, it’s not that much you say?  This is just from this morning.  NOT this afternoon.  NOT tomorrow.

I have to start this post by stating a few facts:

I am in Italy at my dad’s house (read: not on the map) and the service is down.  The electrician arrived today to look at things which means we might have service next year.

The garden, which last year overflowed with arugula, spinach, long beans, three lettuces, and chard is spewing zucchini every few minutes, as you might have guessed from the photos and dishes mentioned herein.

Along with the zucchini, there are animals enough to merit a children’s book; wild boar, hare, cats and their kittens, a tame lamb who wanders inside and cries like a human baby which startles me every time, and a goat who managed to butt Daniel in the stomach.  Daniel has sworn revenge even though “he doesn’t really think it’s a great plan.”

Also, I am eating a lot of cheese, which is easy to do here.  It’s also easy to eat gelato and pick basil from the garden and check on the stone fruits in the orchard.  Less easy to post things so I am going to show some photos…

 It’s the farm helper, Giulio’s, anniversary tomorrow so I made him and Pina, his wife, a deep dish chocolate chip zucchini loaf.  Once they got over the shock of eating zucchini in a sweet form (they know not from zucchini bread), they were thrilled.  Plus, I used up three zucchini batons!

 1) wash everything.  2) slice radicchio in ribbons along with onions 3) cook in olive oil.  4) add a bunch of anchovies and stir to form a slight sauce.  5) add spinach just to wilt.  remove from heat. 6) make interestingly shaped pasta 7) combine and add handful of leftover cheeses, making sure pecorino is one of them.  6) cover to melt  7) meanwhile, realize this meal has NOT used any zucchini.  8) begin to panic.  what if they multiply overnight and attack?  9) quickly flash-fry in olive oil a bunch of zucchini rounds.  10) once browning, cover with parmesan and shove in oven.  11) eat before the garden calls you back


More soon!



Oven S’mores & A Hairy Beast

17 Jun

Inevitably, the subject of pets comes up at various points – college, for example, or pre-school parent chit chat or little league chit chat or pediatrician appointments.  “Any pets?”  “Yes, a dog.” “Oh, we want one but my husband’s allergic/my kids won’t take care of it/we don’t have the space/I like cats.”  “We have a puppy.”  “Oh, a puppy and four kids.  You must have had a dog growing up.”

A dog?  No.

Many dogs?  Sure.

We had: multiple chocolate labs, 2 basset hounds, 2 golden retrievers, another basset hound, an Akbash, a terrier, a whippet, a yellow lab, a grande bleu de gascogne.  This is not including the Saint Bernard, other labs, and dalmatian before I was born. We weren’t dog hoarders – these dogs came and went, some stayed long enough to be hit by a car or have fleas or try to kill our friends.  It’s possible we were not meant to have dogs or, in fact, any living creatures.  But we did so love them.  We fed, groomed, checked for ticks, cuddles, rubbed tummies and yet Clover ran four towns away (over 50 miles!) to mate with some dog he hardly knew.  And Woody’s best feature was his immunity to all flea meds.  Stilton served only as a way for me to kiss our neighbor (“Just going to walk the dog, Mom!”).  Some got canine cancers.  Others, a swift kick to the head by the horse in the English countryside.  It was tough to be a dog in our house.  The odds weren’t great: maybe Fido would go off with the Corsicans on their farm when we moved yet again, but it was just as likely that Fido would wind up losing his tail or getting hit by lightning.

In grad school I lived with a pack of dogs (some human, others canine) and they all survived!

So now, we have a dog.  We have A dog.  He is six months and only 1/3 his full size.  He is a hairy, furry beast.  And I adore him.  He is the living, dog equivalent of a s’more.  Sweet, compelling, beautiful, and the cause of much drool.

In the fall, he will be my blanket around the campfire.  Meanwhile, tonight it’s oven s’mores.  And tomorrow?  Frozen s’mores!

Oven S’mores

1 square chocolate per person

1 large marshmallow per person

2 graham cracker squares per person

Oven to 300.  Layer ingredients (graham, then chocolate, then marshmallow, then graham) in deep non-greased baking dish.  Bake for 10 minutes and turn off oven.  Wait until you are ready to eat.  Remove while still warm and pat your dog with your bare feet while you make a mess.

To freeze, wrap individually in parchment paper.  Freeze overnight or longer.  Eat cold.

Deep Dish Raspberry Cornmeal Pudding Cake & Too Darn Hot

9 Jun



Yes, I wrote about deep dish cornbread yesterday.  But the bright yellow cornmeal called out to me again and the raspberries are so sweet and plump and let’s be honest: it’s hot as the dickens in the Northeast today.  That’s the first time I’ve ever used that expression.  This is not the first time I will serve my family a summer dessert as the main course.  Sometimes I make granola and fruit parfaits for an easy porch dinner.  Tonight, it’s this.  I’ll cook it this morning when we’re not gathered in the kitchen.  Then we’ll scoop out portions and serve with a side of organic yogurt and a platter of vegetables to share.  The kids will run around the yard, oblivious to the heat and sweat while I melt into a mom-shaped puddle on the porch.

Deep Dish Raspberry Cornmeal Pudding Cake

1 1/2 cups cornmeal

1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp baking powder

1 cups buttermilk

12 oz. raspberries

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

Oven to 375.  Mix all ingredients in order except for raspberries and extra brown sugar.  Grease a deep baking dish (an 8 inch souffle dish is great).  Pour in 1/2 the batter and then a layer of raspberries.  Cover with rest of batter.  Top with rest of raspberries and dust with extra sugar.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until raised and set through.  Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream or yogurt.

 <a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/2641378/scrambledpreservedfriedcured?claim=tehdyrymb8m”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Summer Creamy Onion Soup & Harry Potter

7 Jun

Parenting makes you grow.  It makes you love more than you thought possible.  It also makes you say sentences that you never thought you’d say.

“Because toothbrushes aren’t for vaginas, that’s why.”

“Because I’m positive Axl Rose’s name didn’t used to be Steering Wheel Dandelion.”

“Because we don’t eat chili from our hands.”

And so on.  As I sauteed onions, 9-year-old Daniel continued his Harry Potter game.  There are no rules.  There is no end point.  The object is to repeat the spells and use a pencil or ladle as the wand.  I listen and then tune it out.  My husband has a harder time with this.  He gets annoyed.  Daniel tapped the air near his dad’s head and said, “Leviosa terrarium von schmistedlhorn” or whatever for the quadrillionth time and Adam yelled, “Stop casting spells on me, I mean it!”

Then we had soup (not from a cauldron).

Summer Creamy Onion Soup

3 red onions, sliced

1 yellow onion, sliced

2 tbsp olive oil

2 pinches sea salt

1 tbsp marmite (yeast extract)*

2 cups vegetable stock or broth

1 pint half & half

shredded parmesan for top (optional)

Let the onions and olive oil saute on medium, stirring now and then, until onions are wilting.  Add salt.  Continue cooking until onions are quite soft.  Add marmite and turn heat off.  Cover and let sit for as long as you want (3o+ min).  Uncover, add stock and half & half.  Blend to desired texture.  Serve with bits of cheese on top or over bed of greens.  Can be served hot, room temp, or cold.

*a) no, it is not gross and b) yes, you can find it at a regular grocery store and c) if you can’t be bothered, use some Worcestershire sauce and/or anchovy paste or some molasses and salt

Garlicky Green Tart with Sunflower Crust & Being Straightforward

1 Jun

4-year-old: Do you have any gum?

Me: No.  Ask Daddy.

[4-yo goes upstairs, comes back down]:  Daddy’s in the shower. he says i can have gum when he gets out.

Me: Okay.

[4-yr-old considers something]: Can I sleep with gum?

Me: that wouldn’t be a good idea.  It could get stuck in your hair or make you choke.

4-yr-old: But can I get IN my bed with gum?

Me: I suppose.  Why?

4-year-old: Because what I want to do is get some gum and then go in my bed and chew gum and play with my penis.

Me: Sounds like you have a plan.

[4-year-old leaves, I proceed with my plan, which is to make a tart]

Garlicky Green Tart with Sunflower Crust

3 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 1/2 lbs chard or kale, washed, trimmed and cut into smallish pieces

pinch salt

pinch pepper

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

3 tbsp whole wheat flour (or your favorite wheat-free)

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Heat oven to 400.  Heat olive oil and crushed garlic in a large pan and add greens, dusting with salt and pepper as the greens wilt. Remove from heat after 3-5 minnutes and set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, mix egg, cheese, and flour. Add vinegar and stir. Add greens and sunflower seeds to egg mixture and combine well. Grease a springform pan (8 or 9 inch) or a tart pan. Spread the mixture into the pan, pressing down firmly and making sure the mixture is evenly distributed. Bake for about 10-12 minutes until egg is set and cheese is melted. Let pan sit for a couple of minutes before removing springform ring. Cut into slices and serve warm or room temperature.

%d bloggers like this: