All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2017

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

orange avocado breakfast salad






Isn't this the prettiest breakfast?  Avocado, fresh oranges, a few sprinkles of dill and scallions - and a few sugar snap peas for the delightful crunch.  

I was sorting through the newspapers for recycle, and it caught my eye, even though the picture was black and white.  I've been thinking much more about what I eat, and it should include far more fruits and vegetables.  I also think I crave chicken, bacon, and ham when I'm feeling any stress or when I'm worried, so back to my normal eating pattern I go.  The original recipe credited to Deborah Madison had a lime-cumin sauce, quite a bit of shredded radicchio, or napa cabbage, garlic, a chile, cilantro (you know how I feel about cilantro!) paprika, mustard.  I went with a very simple lemon-olive oil, sea salt flake and pepper dressing, a little sprinkle of fresh dill and sliced scallions.

Orange Avocado Breakfast salad

For two servings:

2 navel oranges, peeled and sliced into rounds
1 ripe avocado, cut in half lengthwise and peeled, sliced thickly and cut in two
1 or 2 sliced scallions
a few springs of fresh dill
a small handful of sugar snap peas, raw

Dressing:

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (next time I'm trying orange juice)
3 tablespoons olive oil
a few pinches of sea salt
freshly ground pepper
a pinch of dried dill

I'm digging a little garden for my soon to be bought herbs !  I use a lot of herbs, and they often seem to wilt in the fridge, even in packaging, so it's been frustrating. Much better to have them close by (and I hope the wild rabbits leave them alone!).





Wednesday, April 19, 2017

the last of the brussels sprouts




I'm always a little sad when the brussels sprout season is over - I do love them!  But on that sunny, warm day, I blanched them for barely 10 minutes (they were very small), drained them, and made a summery marinade:

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
oregano - a pinch or two
a pinch of so of caraway seed
a generous sprinkling of crisp bacon

Makes two servings.

Happy Spring!





Thursday, April 13, 2017

lemon shortbread cookies

Inspired by the first wildflowers of spring, I headed to the kitchen to make these intensely lemony , flaky shortbread cookies.  I know most people crave chocolate, but lemon is my very favorite flavor of all .  I never use lemon extract, because it doesn't have the same tang that freshly squeezed lemon juice has, though I do add vanilla to balance these cookies.  A little sweet, a little puckery.





You make the dough ahead of time and stick in the fridge or freezer.  It thaws fairly quickly if you freeze it, thanks to the unsalted butter, then just roll it out fairly thickly, cut out the cookies and bake.  I tend to use my round fluted cookie cutters  - perfect for a sturdy cookie that shows just the tiniest amount of toasty edges.  Yummers!


This made about 40 cookies for me today - I forgot to count!


Lemon Shortbread cookies

2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar (plus more for sprinkling on top, if you'd like)
2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
1 and 3/4's cups King Arthur flour
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of kosher salt

Cream the butter in the mixer bowl, add the sugar and mix.
Add the lemon zest and juice and mix.
Add the flour and mix.
Add the vanilla and pinch of salt and mix.
Gather the dough into a ball, pat it down into an oval, and wrap in plastic wrap and place in freezer.  I left it in the freezer for two days before I was ready to make the cookies.

Later:  take the dough out of the freezer to thaw a bit.
Preheat oven to 325F.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
As soon as the dough is pliable, mold into an oval with your hands, roll, and proceed to cut out your cookies.  If you'd like, sprinkle a little granulated sugar on top of the cookies.
Bake one cookie sheet at a time for 20 minutes .  I like a little toasty browning on the edge, but that's up to you.  Remove cookies to a cooling rack and continue rolling and cutting out cookies - but make sure the cookie sheet has cooled in between batches.

That's it!

Happy Easter to you all!







Saturday, April 8, 2017

spring is spronging!




A long delay in posts, my apologies.  My ankle is slowly getting better, making it a little easier to get to the supermarket - but often I get there and realize I forgot my shopping list.  I do make a list and email it to myself on the cellphone, but just as often "forget" my cellphone, which I have a love/don't love relationship with - I had a landline in NH all those years because of the mountains, and definitely prefer it.   My camera is acting up (I love, love those Canon PowerShot cameras, lightweight and small enough to stick in my pocket) but a trip to Target turned up empty - the only Canon on the shelf was the the Rebel, much too big to cart around, and much more expensive.

Spring comes earlier here in Minnesota, and I discovered these pretty wildflowers suddenly blooming all along the back yards in my neighborhood - it gives a lift to the soul!

I think cookies are in my future, a request from the almost 4-year old, so stay tuned!

Happy Spring!