I use extra virgin olive oil and garlic in my mayonnaise (it’s so much healthier than the alternatives), but that means it’s almost “Aioli”. Which sounds so classy. Aioli is an emulsion of garlic and olive oil, sometimes containing egg yolk to help it emulsify.
If the olive oil flavor is too strong, use part coconut oil or refined olive oil, for a milder dressing.
I sabotaged my early efforts at making mayonnaise by using an over-sized mixing container. The food processor did work, as long as I was making deli-sized quantities. But for smaller, home-sized quantities, best results come with using an immersion blender and a narrow, tall container.
Note that, unlike the typical preservative-laden mayonnaise, homemade mayonnaise won’t keep as long. At all. Eat it all now! Or a week or two, for optimum freshness and flavor.
Makes almost a quart
2 TBS. Dijon mustard
3 egg yolks (or 2 whole eggs)
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. white wine vinegar
2 3/4 c. olive oil, divided
3 TBS. lemon juice (or to taste)
Optional: Chopped herbs and black pepper
In a narrow, tall container, mix well with an immersion blender: > 2 TBS. Dijon mustard > 3 egg yolks > 1/4 c. olive oil > 3 cloves garlic > 2 tsp. salt > 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
Add the next round of oil in very slowly, letting it get emulsified into the mix: > 1/2 c. olive oil
As soon as it thickens, add remaining oil in steady stream: > 2 c. olive oil
When thick, stir in just until smooth: > Chopped herbs and black pepper > 3 TBS. lemon juice (or to taste)
Use this special sauce as a veggie or bread dip, or on seafood, in slaws, potato salad, etc.
I had been pretty disappointed in my earlier attempts at homemade probiotic root beer. I bought all these individual ingredients to make it from scratch, only to realize it would’ve been much easier to just buy natural root beer extract
(or even a root beer blend
But then I started adding “Ginger Bug” to the second ferment of this “root beer”. I discovered this made a pretty authentic, healthy substitute for the typical root beer soda. And now that I have the root beer ingredients on hand, I can make many batches of this extract, for considerably less cost than buying the store-bought extract. And–the blend can be customized to individual tastes.
I finally have a great root beer soda recipe, even though it took awhile. First off, some folks said, “boil the bark for for a long time”, or “pour more boiling water on the strained bark, to extract more flavor and make a second batch.
Nope–that did not work out well. I discovered that the best flavor comes from simmering the first four ingredients for twenty minutes only. I suspect that other less-desirable elements start coming out when it’s simmered for longer. Personal opinion- just sayin’.
This recipe makes 2-3 cups, enough for two or three batches of 32-oz. brew. The extra can be stored in refrigerator for several months.
This was a popular thirty-some years back, when we first opened the deli. It still goes over well when I bring it to a potluck. One nice feature: it uses ingredients I usually have on hand–carrots and frozen peas. They give it color, and the sunflower seeds and pine nuts add a nice crunch.
Orzo is a rice-shaped pasta. Rice could also be substituted for the pasta, making it gluten-free.
Serves 6-8 or so.
8 oz. orzo
Splash olive oil
3/4 lb. carrots, peeled
1/4 c. mayo
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 TBS. rubbed, dry Italian herbs
Half bag (12 oz. size) green peas, frozen, thawed
2/3 c. sunflower seeds
1/3 c. pine nuts
Cook: > 8 oz. orzo
Drain and rinse pasta; let cool. Toss cooled pasta with: > splash olive oil
Steam or microwave until tender, then dice when cooled. Use: > 3/4 lb. carrots
In bowl, mix well: > 1/4 c. mayo > 1/2 tsp. pepper > 2 tsp. Vege-Sal > 1/2 TBS. rubbed, dry Italian herbs > pinch cayenne
Mix all ingredients in bowl, adding: > 12 oz. green peas, frozen, thawed > cooked, diced carrots > cooled pasta > 2/3 c. sunflower seeds > 1/3 c. pine nuts
Back in the seventies, my first job was as a busgirl at a fancy restaurant. I filled the Green Goddess dressing crocks hourly during the dinner rush–it was a very popular, signature dressing at “Cooper’s Arms”.
The chefs-in-training got to make the dressing during off hours. Now I realize it would’ve been nice to check out their recipe and compare it to mine. But I would’ve wanted to make my own Paleo-style mayonnaise for the base, so it wouldn’t have been quite the same.
I made a batch of this to bring to the cabin on the family’s annual summer vacation. I guess it was a success–my granddaughter put it on several items. It was a hit!
A combination of herbs, garlic, and anchovy, blended with homemade mayonnaise, makes a delicious dip for veggies, bread, or a spread for sandwiches. Add spinach leaves to make a healthy substitute for Spinach Dip!
Makes 3 cups
1 TBS. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. salt
2 TBS. + 1/4 c. + 1 c. olive oil
2 TBS. lemon juice
GREEN GODDESS MIX:
1 c. green onions, chopped
1/2 c. favorite herbs (tarragon, thyme, watercress, basil, mint, etc.)
1/2 c. fresh parsley
4 cloves fresh garlic
1 2-oz. can anchovies
Optional: 1/2 c. sour cream
Optional: Sliced vegetables to dip
To make homemade mayonnaise, mix with an immersion blender, in a small, deep container: > 1 TBS. Dijon mustard > 1 tsp. white wine vinegar > 2 egg yolks > 1 tsp. salt
Add and mix some more: > 2 TBS. olive oil
Very slowly add the next quantity of olive oil: > 1/4 c. olive oil
Then blend in the last of the olive oil more quickly, as it will incorporate more easily: > 1 c. olive oil
Last, blend in: > 2 TBS. lemon juice
Remove mayonnaise to a separate bowl, and use the immersion blender to process the remaining ingredients: > 1 c. green onions, chopped > 1/2 c. favorite herbs (tarragon, thyme, watercress, basil, mint, etc.) > 1/2 c. fresh parsley > 4 cloves fresh garlic > 1 2-oz. can anchovies > 1 TBS. lemon juice
Fold the pureed herb/anchovy mix into the mayonnaise. Optional: Fold the sour cream in as well, if desired.
Serve with sliced vegetables or as dip for bread, or on sandwiches. Keeps one to two weeks.
*Substitute 1 1/2 c. mayonnaise for the homemade mayonnaise, if desired
Like a lot of health-foodies, I got into making my own golden milk. I also created a blend for the morning, which includes matcha green tea, gelatin, and some serious power herbs. (The benefits of these herbs are impressive, as a quick word-search will prove!)
This recipe is not the one you stir together in the evening, in some “relaxing” ritual. (I don’t have time for that myself!) No, this is a quick, handy version, to get optimal nourishment in minimal time, Perfect for those of us who need to stay healthy and keep up with a tight, rigorous routine.
Every morning, I whirl up a hot drink for husband Tom and I in the blender. I use a scant 1-oz. scoop of this Golden Milk AM blend, plus about 2 TBS. “bullet-proof coco-nut milk” (or coconut cream or oil), for two drinks. I fresh-grate some black pepper on top, since it works synergistically with the turmeric.
Oh, I also add a raw egg (yes, I sometimes feel like Rocky Balboa). But it’s delicious!
You can leave some of these items out. Or you could do like me and invest in these bulk herbs. After researching their benefits, I invested, and have been glad I did!
This particular recipe yields almost a quart of concentrated blend, and will make about 40 drinks.
My mom subscribed to Sunset and Bon Appetit magazines for years (back in the seventies and eighties), and was inspired to make fancy cakes like this, found among the pages. I made the cake again, some fifteen or more years ago, for our oldest son’s birthday. I guess it made quite an impression–he recently asked if I could make it again. I had to do some serious file-digging to turn it up, but I found it. We really enjoyed this birthday cake!
I originally made this cake with cake flour. Well, I don’t make too many cakes, so the next time I went to use it, ew–it had bugs in it! So…I’m much happier with the alternative: using less regular flour and adding a bit of cornstarch. That brings the protein level to that of cake flour, and makes quite a light cake in the process.
Serves 12 or so.
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. corn starch
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. sugar (.96 lb.)
1 c. butter (.50 lb.)
1 TBS. lemon peel
4 large eggs
Scant 2 TBS. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. room-temperature buttermilk
2 TBS. poppy seeds
3/4 c. sugar (.37 lb.)
3 TBS. lemon juice
8 oz. white chocolate, chopped
3 c. cream, whipped
2 pt. fresh strawberries
Optional: White chocolate curls or leaves*
Use 10″ spring form pan; line the bottom with a circle of buttered wax paper.
Mix and set aside: > 2 1/2 c. flour > 1/3 c. corn starch > 2 tsp. baking powder > 1/2 tsp. baking soda > 1/2 tsp. salt
In stand mixer, beat until light: > 2 c. sugar > 1 c. butter
Add one at a time: > 4 large eggs
Also add: > scant 2 TBS. lemon juice > 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Bake 50-60 minutes at 375 degrees, until toothpick comes out clean.
White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
The sugar-lemon-egg mixture can be done pretty quickly in the microwave, or use a double-boiler. First, heat sugar and lemon juice until bubbly: > 3/4 c. sugar (.37 lb.) > 3 TBS. lemon juice
In a separate bowl, beat well: > 2 eggs
Pour the hot sugar-lemon mix into the beaten eggs, stirring well.
Microwave about three times, at about 11 seconds per time, stirring well afterward, until mixture thickens. Or, stir constantly while heating gently in a double boiler until thickened.
When eggs have thickened the mix, add: > 8 oz. white chocolate, chopped
Stir until chocolate’s incorporated, then let cool.
Fold cooled mixture into the following: > 3 c. cream, whipped
Cut cake into 3 layers, using buttercream and strawberry halves between layers. Optional—garnish with: > White chocolate curls or leaves, plus any additional strawberries
* If cake flour is on hand, use 3 c. cake flour, sifted (.75 lb.), omitting the all-purpose flour and the corn starch
* For chocolate leaves, microwave a half cup or more of chocolate for a minute or so, until melted when stirred. Then, paint the undersides of lemon leaves with the chocolate; refrigerate on wax paper until firm. Gently peel leaf away from chocolate.
My husband says a cake can use a fancy name, to distinguish it from any average cake. Of course, a good recipe helps too!
There are a lot of recipes for this type of cake, but I wanted one that wouldn’t leave me with pools of leftover Tres-Leches liquid. Yes, we managed to gag down the extra liquid the first time, when I had to leave some of the mix out to avoid an over-soggy cake. (We had some especially-good coffees.) But I didn’t want to make a habit of that!
I discovered I could sub coconut manna (found on Amazon here), for the evaporated milk–the cake had just the right consistency. (But I’ve also included directions for using the traditional ingredients too, sans coconut.)
I made this cake yesterday for a going-away party for two of our New Deli staff. I topped it with chocolate leaves, writing on it, “So sorry you have to leave”. That was fun!
Serves 12 or so.
4 eggs, divided
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. + 1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1 TBS. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. whole milk
1 can sweetened, condensed milk
1 c. + 1 c. cream
1/2 c. coconut manna (ie “spread”, “manna”, “concentrate”, “butter”)*
Optional: 14-oz. can evaporated milk to sub for coconut manna
1/4 c. confectioner’s sugar
Optional: maraschino cherries
Beat to soft peaks: > 4 egg whites
Add slowly, beating until stiff: > 1 1/2 c. sugar
Lower speed and mix egg yolks in one at a time, plus the vanilla: > 4 egg yolks > 1 tsp. vanilla
Mix dry ingredients together: > 1 1/2 c. flour > 1 TBS. baking powder > 1/2 tsp. salt
Slowly add the dry ingredient mix to the whipped egg mix, alternately with the milk: > 1/2 c. whole milk
Bake in buttered, floured 13×9″ (or 2- 9″rounds), at 350 for 30 minutes
Prepare the “three-milk mix”, stirring until smooth: > 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk > 1 c. cream > 1/2 c. melted coconut manna* (see directions below to sub evaporated milk for the coconut milk
Pour the mixture over the cake after it has cooled a few minutes. For that, poke holes in the cake with fork tines, and pour the three-milk mix over it. Loosen edges of cake as needed, for mix to flow everywhere.
Let cake soak for hours or overnight.
To frost, whip cream with the sugar until light. (For a layer cake, use double these amounts). Whip: > 1 c. cream > 1/4 c. confectioner’s sugar > 1 tsp. vanilla
Frost cake with whipped cream frosting. Traditionally, maraschino cherries might garnish the top, or festive, colored sprinkles. I’ve used candied citrus peel—also very good!
Chocolate Leaves worked well to decorate our going-away cake!
* Or sub 12-oz. can evaporated milk (the traditional ingredient), boiling the evaporated milk and cream down to about a third (1 1/3 c. volume or so)
For our first granddaughter’s first birthday, my daughter-in-law and I made this cake. Everything went fairly well except that the cocoa powder was especially stiff; it did not want to break up, so the cake had teeny little cocoa balls in it! Not what we were going for, but it was still delicious.
This dessert uses the “Chocolate Sponge Cake” (recipe here). The frosting is made with “Crème Fraiche”, which is a fancy name for cream that’s been allowed to “mellow”. This adds a touch more flavor—delicious!
So, the cake and flavored layers are pretty fancy, but decorating the cake can go fast if you use something like real roses (or other edible flowers). Beautiful and easy.
1 qt. whipping cream
1/4 c. buttermilk
Chocolate Génoise Cake (see recipe)
1/3 c. seedless raspberry jam
1/3 c. Frozen Raspberry/White Grape Juice Concentrate
Process dry, blanched almonds until smooth. To processor, add: > 2 egg whites
Process until fairly smooth. Add: > 1 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar > 1/2 TBS. almond extract
Set almond paste aside.
Prepare chocolate mousse filling, and frosting for cake. For that, microwave 30 seconds or so, and stir until melted: > 1 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips > 1/4 c. water
Set the melted chocolate mixture aside and let cool off some. Meanwhile, whip just until soft peaks form: > 6 1/3 c. chilled Crème Fraiche (or substitute straight whipping cream)
To prepare the Chocolate Mousse, fold into the cooled chocolate mixture: > Approx. 1-2 c. of the above whipped Crème Fraiche.
Meanwhile, to the rest of the whipped Crème Fraiche add: > 11/2 c. Confectioner’s sugar > 1 1/2 TBS. vanilla
Set the frosting aside.
Split the sponge cake into three layers using serrated knife, setting the first layer (cut-side up) on a cardboard cake square (or flat, square plate). Set the other two layers on wax paper, cut side up. Drizzle the raspberry mixture over the cut side of all three layers.
For the first layer, after adding the raspberry mixture, add about half of the chocolate mousse mixture. Next, add half the Almond Paste, rolled out into a 9″ square (or whatever shape the cake is). Roll it between two layers of plastic wrap, then lift onto the cake, pulling the top half of the plastic wrap off afterwards.
For the next layer, carefully set the middle layer of cake drizzled with raspberry syrup, on top of first layer of cake, raspberry, and almond paste. Add the other half of the chocolate mousse mixture. Also, add the second half of the almond paste, again rolled into a 9″ square.
Finally, lift the top layer of cake (raspberry side down) onto the other two layers.
Frost the cake with the Whipped Crème Fraiche/Confectioner’s sugar mixture. Decorate accordingly. Can make a day ahead.
*For home-blanched almonds, dry them thouroughly before processing, for a smoother almond paste.
I took a picture showing all the possibilities for risotto–a perfect vehicle for mushrooms, peas, garlic, herbs, etc. After I took the picture, I made husband Tom and I a batch, adding all the pictured ingredients. He asked the question you want to hear: “What makes this so creamy?” (Since he knew it was “just rice”…) I could tell him about how it’s the special way you cook this special rice. So good!
My mom and aunt were such starch fiends… they waxed poetic about the virtues of risotto. Of course I had to make it and see what all the fuss was about. It’s true- it is a treat—an Italian-style comfort food.
Risotto is versatile (see variations at end of recipe). Add favorite ingredients: grilled mushrooms, garlic, browned sage butter, truffle oil, green peas, etc.
To make a super-quick batch of this, prep for the dish ahead of time. Partially cook the rice, stopping after the first 10-minute cooking time. Spread the undercooked rice out in a thinner layer in a glass pan (so it cools quickly and doesn’t overcook), storing it in the refrigerator until meal-time. The rice won’t get soggy this way, but can be reheated. The last batch of liquid can be added to it when reheating; stir it constantly, finishing the recipe as described below
1/4 c. olive oil
1 small onion (about 1 c.), finely diced
3/4 c. c. white wine
3 c. Arborio rice
6 c. water (or, part or all chicken stock, if desired)
1 c. Parmesan + more for garnish
1/4 c. cream
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. fresh parsley or other herbs
2 tsp. salt, or to taste
Optional: grilled mushrooms, seafood, asparagus, peas, for garnish (see “variations”, below)
Bring to a boil and set aside: > 4 c. water (or chicken stock)
In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium-high heat, add oil and onion: > 1/4 c. olive oil > 1 c. chopped onion
Cook until onion is translucent. Add rice and stir to coat all the grains: > 3 c. Arborio rice
With pan on medium high, continue stirring the rice and onion a few minutes. Rice should not brown, but will become fragrant. Add wine and cook until almost completely evaporated: > 3/4 c. white wine
Add all but 2 c. of the hot liquid, stirring once and simmering for 10 minutes with lid on. Use: > 4 c. hot water/stock
Stir rice again, then cook another 10 minutes on low, until liquid is mostly absorbed.
To develop the starch in the rice, which gives this dish its creamy texture, add more hot liquid to the rice, stirring constantly, until liquid is absorbed. Use: > 2 c. hot stock/water
The rice is finished when it is creamy and al dente.
Remove from heat, then stir in: > 1 c. Parmesan cheese
Continue stirring until cheese has melted in, then add: > 1/4 c. butter > 1/4 c. cream > 2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
To serve risotto, garnish with chopped parsley, or see variations below.
Risotto w/Brown Rice: Add the brown rice to the sautéed onion and oil, add the wine and boil until evaporated. Then, after adding the 4 c. boiling stock (and/or water), let the brown rice simmer for 20 minutes on low. Resume recipe after it’s gotten a head-start on cooking.
Risotto w/Browned Sage Butter: Add 1/4 c. or so fresh sage (or other herbs) to a small iron skillet; turn pan on medium high heat. As herbs begin to get toasty, turn off heat and add 1/4 c. butter, letting the butter brown slightly; herbs will also get slightly crisp. Pour the browned herb butter over the risotto to serve,.
Risotto w/Peas: Green peas add color and complement the creamy texture of the risotto; just add thawed frozen peas after the last addition of liquid has been stirred in. (Then add parmesan, etc.)
Risotto with Mushrooms, Dried: Soak dried mushrooms for 30 minutes in boiling water to cover. Add the soaking liquid to the risotto, cooking it off (it’ll add more flavor to the dish). Slice the soaked mushrooms into strips and add to the rice with the last addition of liquid. (Then add parmesan, butter, cream.) Before serving, top the dish off with a drizzle of truffle oil, if available.
Risotto with Garlic: Add 1 TBS. fresh minced garlic to the rice with the last addition of liquid.
I was never big on potato salad. I figured it wasn’t exactly healthy. But what if it WAS healthy? Turns out, cold potato starch (along with other “resistant starches”) can improve gut health, which can help with obesity, inflammation, mood (etc., etc.). Wow–sign me up, right?! Cold potato starch contains certain “prebiotics”, which are highly beneficial. Hooray- a superfood for the digestive system! (If you want to get all scientific, there’s more info here.)
Needless to say, I’ve started making/eating potato salad again. And this particular recipe is pretty dang good.
This potato salad uses olive oil in the dressing, and it tastes deluxe. With or without the bacon!
3 lb. potatoes
2 eggs, hard-boiled
1/4 lb. bacon
1 TBS. hot Dijon mustard
1 1/2 TBS. apple cider vinegar
2 TBS. honey
1 tsp. salt
Pinch of celery seed
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/4 c. chopped red onion
Earlier in the day, or the day before, cook: > 3 lb. potatoes (then strain, cool in refrigerator)
Hard boil: > 2 eggs
Optional: fry until crisp, and then drain: > 1/4 lb. bacon
Make dressing, mixing the following in a small bowl: > 1 egg > 1 TBS. hot Dijon mustard > 1 1/2 TBS. apple cider vinegar > 2 TBS. honey > 1 tsp. salt > pinch celery seed > 1/2 tsp. pepper > 1/2 c. olive oil
Reserve hard-boiled eggs and crumbled bacon as a garnish. When ready to serve, mix the following: > Cubed, cooled potatoes > 1/2 c. chopped celery > 1/4 c. chopped red onion > Dressing (premixed in separate bowl)