All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2025

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Italian salad greens with ham, apple, and roasted cranberries

Post Christmas I was suddenly ravenous for ham and raw greens, salad - anything but cookies, which seemed to have been my diet for two or three weeks.  I haunted the supermarket and came home with a fat slice of ham and Italian salad greens - baby kale, baby mizuna, baby arugula, and radicchio ( which I left out because I didn't feel it fit in)

I made a very nice little oregano salad dressing, and tested an idea for roasted cranberries.  You can use raw cranberries easily, simply sliced in half.  Nice, sour, crunchy, but I liked the idea of a sweet/sour, barely roasted berry.  I think it's a nice perky addition, but go with the raw if you prefer.

Such a nice lunch!  But..... then I discovered I had left my camera at my daughter's house on Christmas Day.  I scrambled and searched and found a 2008 Powershot and took these remarkably retro photos of that very delicious salad.  Oh, how cameras have changed!

For the greens:  
Arrange in a large salad bowl or platter

For the ham :
Slice strips of ham about 4-5 inches long, maybe 1/2 inch thick
Arrange on top of greens.

Sliced apple chunks:
Slice a Granny Smith apple into thick slices, removing the core.
Cut each slice in half and arrange on greens.

The oregano salad dressing:

3 T. red wine vinegar
3 T. California olive oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 heaping teaspoon dried oregano
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper

Drizzle on top of the greens as desired.

For the roasted cranberries:
Marinate whole raw cranberries in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 2 tablespoons sugar for an hour.
Preheat oven to 350F.  
Spoon the raw cranberries onto a baking sheet covered with foil or parchment.
As soon as the oven is at 350F, turn off the oven.
Slide the cranberries into the turned off oven and let sit in oven for 25 minutes.
Remove, cool, and sprinkle on salad.

A very Happy New Year to you all - hug people (and pets) you love, and believe in the goodness.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

a merry little Christmas

Wow - it's been a long time between posts, but here I am today to wish you the most wonderful Christmas and holiday!  I've been baking for friends and family, attended a delightful cookie baking and decorating party with my grandchildren, delighted in a true snowfall here in the city, made more cookies, and my Christmas biscotti, and , as always, missed my sister, especially this time of year.

Looking forward to Christmas with family, and making resolutions , which includes being a little better with posting:), taking the time to make a real meal for one or two, rather than just heating up leftovers - I tend heavily toward huge pots of soup which somehow have to be eaten.  More walks, more city exploring (though I am not a city person), some meaningful volunteering as the next year ticks closer, and political activism.  Be well, dear friends, and enjoy the day.

Ginger stars recipe here!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Fresh Apple Bread puddings

It's been a while since I went food shopping, I realized last night as I searched the fridge and pantry - and the cold snap is here, further reason not to bundle up for the twenty block walk.  But - AH!  One lovely apple, some leftover rosemary bread, and eggs. I always have eggs and spices - and that meant I could make those lovely Fresh Apple Bread puddings!

You can , of course make it in a large oven-proof dish, but I usually make individual servings, using souffle cups or my little ovenproof plates. Tantalizing smells and the scent of apples and cinnamon made it really hard to wait, but wait I did, and it was well worth it.  It always makes me think of my mother, who was not a great cook, but her goulash and bread puddings were always filling and delicious.

For two servings:

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a bowl mix:

2 cups cubed bread (I used rosemary bread)  I have never used gluten-free, but I'm sure it will work just fine.
1 heaping cup peeled Granny Smith apple, cut in large dice
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon melted unsalted or salted butter
1 large egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
a dusting of grated nutmeg
Optional:  raisins

Distribute the pudding mixture evenly between two ovenproof dishes and bake for 40 minutes.  Let cool before serving. Top with ice cream, cream, or honey or maple syrup.

Guess who is hiding in my pantry?  Stuart the mouse, sitting in a teacup!  And a mound of gold ornaments , sitting in my casserole dish, reminding me of my stepmother's beautiful bowls of silvery and gold balls everywhere at Christmas.