Fish + Chips, Part 1: French Fries + Harissa Mayo

Fried potato slices.  Golden and crisp on the outside with a warm, fluffy interior.  There are several important things to be mindful of when making fries.  First, they need to be rinsed well.  This removes some of the starch.  This makes for a less soggy, more crispy fry.    Blanching potatoes first, in the oil at a lower temperature, gives them a chance to cook a bit.  They can then be thrown back into hotter oil and will crisp up perfectly.  Be sure to season them while they're still hot.  

2-3 servings.

French Fries

3 idaho potatoes

about 48 oz canola oil

lots of old bay seasoning

s + p

Peel potatoes and slice into batons of desired thickness.   Place slices in a bowl of cold water as you go, soak for 20 minutes.  Rinse potato slices very well, until water runs clear.  Dry completely.  

In a large pot, heat canola oil to 300 degrees.  Add potato slices and cook about 2 minutes.  Potatoes should not change color.  Remove from oil, transfer to towel to drain.  

Raise oil temperature to 390 degrees.  Add blanched potatoes back to the hot oil.  Work in batches if needed.  Fry until golden brown.  Remove from oil, transfer to towel to drain.  Season with old bay seasoning, salt and pepper.   Serve with harissa mayo.  Recipe below.  

Harissa Mayo

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vinegar (white, white wine, champagne...)

1/2 teaspoon water

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

pinch salt

8 oz canola oil

2 teaspoons to 2 tablespoons harissa

Place egg yolk, vinegar, water, dijon and salt in a bowl.  Whisk to combine.  Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking slowly.  Whisk faster once half the oil is added and a thin mayonaise has formed.  

Stir in harissa.  Not all harissa is created equally so you might only need 2 teaspoons or you may need more.  (We added 2 tablespoons.)  

Serve with fries. 

Ginger Peach Margarita

A tasty margarita might be just the thing you need to cool off during these hot summer days.  For an extra kick of ginger, throw in a small slice and muddle it with the peach.  

Serves 1. 

Ginger Peach Margarita

3 peach slices

1.5 oz blanco tequila

.5 oz triple sec

1 oz fresh lime juice

.5 oz ginger simple syrup

lime wedge + thin ginger slice for garnish

Muddle the peaches in a glass.  Pour in tequila, triple sec, lime juice and simple syrup.  Add ice, shake and tumble into a salted glass.  Garnish with lime wedge and ginger slice.  


Ginger Simple Syrup

Ginger syrup, it's so simple to make.  (ha! Sorry.)  It's great way to punch up your lemonade, ice tea or cocktails this summer.  You'll find it in a margarita in an upcoming post.  Store it in the fridge.

Ginger Simple Syrup

8 oz water

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup chopped, peeled fresh ginger

In a small sauce pot, combine water, sugar and ginger.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes.  Strain.  

Street Corn

Elote, elote, elote!  It's summer and there's plenty of delicious corn just waiting to be grilled and slathered with toppings, right?  My favorite street fair snack.  

Cotija cheese is a salty, dry, firm, cow's milk cheese made in Mexico.  It can be found at most grocery stores, usually around the cheese counter.  It will most likely be sold in rounds or blocks that are easily grated.  Think of it as a Mexican parmesan cheese. 

If cooking on a grill, corn can be dipped in water and grilled in it's husks.  Cool, remove husks and silks.  Return to the hot grill for a few minutes then dress with toppings.  

Make as many servings as you need.

Street Fair Corn

fresh corn, on the cob, in its husk, stemmed trimmed

mayo or Chipotle Aoli

grated cotija cheese, about 1 oz per cob

ancho chile powder

lime wedges, for serving

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Add corn cobs, husks on, and blanche 10 minutes.  Shock in an ice bath until cool.  Remove husks.  Dry.  Place in hot pan, directly over flame (gas range) or grill to blacken slightly.  

Lightly brush with mayo or chipotle aoli.  Roll in grated cotija cheese.  Season with a dusting of ancho chile powder and serve with lime wedges.  

White Chocolate Brownies + Blueberries

These were almost raspberry brownies but we made a split decision at the market.  I think any kind of berry would be great in these.  

White Chocolate Berry Brownies

1 stick unsalted butter

8oz white chocolate (I like chips)

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup ap flour

3/4 cup fresh blueberries

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line an eight inch square pan with foil or parchment paper and grease.  Set aside.

Place a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water.  Add butter and melt.  Add chocolate chips, and melt.  Remove from heat.  Mix in sugar and vanilla.  Beat in eggs.  Mix in salt and flour.  When well combined, fold in berries.  

Pour into prepared pan and bake until center of brownies are set and test clean, about 30 minutes.  



Summer Clam Chowder

A soup for summer!  Just like a manhattan style clam chowder but a little sunnier.  

Summer Clam Chowder

3 - 4 strips bacon, chopped

1 tablespoon grape seed oil

1 shallot, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

splash dry white wine

1 quart vegetable stock

1 14oz tin diced tomatoes

1 cup chopped clams in their juices

1 tablespoon thyme

1 teaspoon celery seeds

1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes

2 bay leaves

1 potato, peeled, medium dice

kernels from 2 ears of corn

1 1/4 cup (4.5oz) green beans, chopped small

s + p

In a large pot, over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp.  Transfer to a paper towel to drain.  Wipe out pot.  Add grape seed oil.  When oil is hot add shallots, cook until clear.  Add garlic and cook 30 seconds, stirring, not letting garlic burn or become too brown.  Carefully deglaze pot with a splash of white wine.  Add stock, tomatoes, clams, thyme, celery seeds, chile flakes, bay leaves, potato and corn kernels.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Simmer 20 minutes, until potato and corn are soft.  Add green beans.  Cook 5 minutes, or until green beans are soft.  

Season with salt and pepper.  


Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles

Fruity, frozen and delightful.  I love a cold treat in the summer.  

The more ripe your strawberries are the less sugar you're going to need.   Things taste less sweet once frozen so take that into consideration.  

Also, the yogurt you choose will alter the taste of your popsicles.  I used fat free vanilla yogurt and did not add any sugar, because the yogurt is sweet I wanted to keep these in the snack territory instead of dessert.   If you use plain yogurt, you will want more sugar.  Full fat yogurt will result in a creamier, less icy popsicle but does have more fat.  

Makes about 10 popsicles, depending on mold sizes. 

Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles

1 lb fresh strawberries, hulled

1 cup fat free vanilla yogurt

1 tablespoon sugar, optional

Blend strawberries, yogurt and sugar, if using.  Blend to your preferred consistency:  chunky, smooth... whatever.  Pour into popsicle molds, insert sticks and freeze until completely frozen, about 4 hours.  


Natural Chemical free Household Cleaner

Our new favorite cleaning product.  It's chemical free and easy to make.  I especially like this one for the kitchen as it's food safe and edible.   It does smell mildly of vinegar before it dries, if that bothers you add a few drops of lavender or a eucalyptus oil.  

Orange Vinegar Household Cleaner

1 cup water

1 cup white vinegar

peels of 2 oranges

Place water, vinegar and orange peels in a jar.  Let it sit for 1 week.  Remove orange peels and funnel into a squirt bottle.  

To use:  spray surface and wipe with a dry or damp towel.  Let dry.

Ginger Peach Mini Pies + Coconut Crust


What's better than pie?  Lots of things, but pie is pretty great.  Even better when it's served as a miniature/individually sized portion that you can eat all by yourself.  Just make a little dent in the middle, ad ice cream and it's perfect.  

Coconut oil pie crust is great if you're vegan.  It's tender and has a mild taste of coconut.  

Recipe makes 4 mini pies but portion will also make 1 normal sized pie.  

Makes 4 mini pies.

Ginger Peach Mini Pies + Coconut Crust

for the crust

 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup coconut oil, cold and solid

ice cold water

for the filling

2 lb ripe apricots, pitted, sliced

1 tablespoon grated ginger  

3 tablespoons flour

2 pinches salt

12 scrapes of whole nutmeg

4 tablespoons light brown sugar

In a bowl, whisk flour, brown sugar and salt to evenly combine.  Add cold coconut oil with a pastry cutter.  Use your hands if necessary.  Combine just enough so pea sized pieces of coconut oil remain and the rest looks like sand.  Add cold water tablespoon at a time until dough feels very hydrated and sticks together as a ball.  Cut dough into 8 pieces or 2 pieces.  Flatten each piece into a disc.  Wrap securely in plastic and let rest in fridge 20 minutes.  

While dough is resting in the fridge, heat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease pie tins and set aside.  Toss apricot slices, ginger, flour, salt, nutmeg and light brown sugar.  Set aside.  

Roll out 4 discs for bottom crusts:  place a dough disc between two sheets of parchment paper and roll with rolling pin to 1/8 inch thick.  Carefully peel back top sheet, invert over tin and peel away remaining piece of paper.  Gently press into tin.  Fill each tin with apricot mixture.  

Roll out remaining 4 pieces of dough for top crusts between two sheets of parchment paper to 1/8 inch thick.  Carefully peel back top sheet and use a pastry decortaing tip or straw to poke out holes.  Invert polka dotted dough sheet over filled tin with paper side up.  Carefully, peel back paper, seal and trim edges.  

If you're not vegan you can use a pastry brush to apply an egg wash of 1 egg yolk whisked with 1 tablespoon of milk.  To keep things vegan, use soy milk. 

Place in oven and bake 30 minutes.  Crust should be golden brown and pies fragrant.  

Cool and serve. 



Chocolate Cherry Sea Salt Cookies

These chewy little things have a lot of great things going for them:  chocolate, sea salt, olive oil and dried cherries.  Yum!

Makes about 16 cookies.

Chocolate Cherry Sea Salt Cookies

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon course salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup olive oil

2 eggs

1/2 cup dried cherries

pinches of maldon sea salt, for finishing

Whisk together cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda and salt.  Stir in olive oil and eggs.  When combined, fold in cherries.  Wrap and chill in fridge at least 3 hours.  

Once chilled, heat oven to 350 degrees.  Scoop tablespoonfuls of dough and roll into balls.  Sprinkle a bit of maldon sea salt on a plate and lightly touch the balls to the salt to pick it up.  Arrange on lined baking sheet with room for spreading during baking.  Bake immediatly, for about 10 minutes.  Let cool.  


Chile Lime Noodle Salad

Noodles are one of my favorite foods.  This includes anything that could be described as noodles.  This weekend, I was really wanting a noodle dish full of vegetables with a lean protein that we full of lime and spicy flavor that I could eat cold.  Here it is.  Toss this one all together, portion into servings and you have an easy takeaway lunch.  

Makes about 4 servings.

Chile Lime Noodle Salad

for the sauce

1/2 cup lime juice, about 4 limes

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

1 clove garlic, grated

almost 1 inch ginger, peeled, grated

chile flakes, to spicy taste

for the salad

2 boneless skinless chicken cutlets

1 teaspoon high heat oil

1 red bell pepper, seeded, thinly sliced

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, thinly sliced

3 carrots, peeled, cut into matchsticks

5oz rice vermicelli noodles

1/2 cup crushed peanuts

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine lime juice, brown sugar, tamari, fish sauce, oil, garlic and ginger.  Add chile flakes to taste.  Should be spicy.  Set aside and allow flavors to mingle while other components are prepared.  

Place chicken between two pieces of plastic and pound to very thin, even thickness.  Lightly oil a skillet and place over medium high heat.  When hot, add chicken.  Cook, flipping once.  Transfer to a plate to rest.  Rest 5 minutes and chop.  Set aside.  

While cooking chicken, prepare noodles as per package instructions.  Most rice vermicelli noodles will need to be covered with boiling water and left for 3 minutes, strained and lightly rinsed.  

Toss chicken with bell pepper, cucumber, carrots, noodles, peanuts, cilantro and sauce.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.  





Chinese Takeout Style Ramp Pancakes

Not a breakfast pancake, more like a scallion or sesame pancakes.  (For me, those are a must on all chinese take out orders.)  These are made with ramps.

Oh, ramps.  Would I go as crazy for them if they're availability was longer than 2 weeks?  Possibly not.  Every year we pick up a bundle or two at the farmers market and then the question is: What are we going to make with the ramps?  Last year it was pasta.  This year, it's pancakes!  

Ramps, if you're unfamiliar, have a garlic and onion flavor with purple tinged whites and long delicate leaves.  All parts are edible.  If you can't find ramps, use leeks or scallions.  No problem.

Chinese Takeout Style Ramp Pancakes

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour, plus more for kneading

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup almost hot water

6 ramps, greens only, chopped  (you can use the whites but the taste will be strong)

sesame oil

high heat oil, grapeseed, peanut....

soy sauce

Combine flour, salt and warm water in a bowl.  It will be shaggy.  Work with your hands, kneading for 5 minutes or so until smooth.  Oil a small bowl with sesame oil,place dough in bowl, turn to coat, cover with plastic wrap or damp towel to rest.  Let rest 30 minutes.  Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface, Cut into 8 pieces.  Roll each piece out into a 6 inch round, brush with sesame oil and sprinkle lightly with chopped ramps.  Roll up into a tube and curl around into a pinwheel.  (Imagine your winding your hair up into a bun.)  Flatten bun out with rolling pin about 6 inches across.  

Heat 1/4 inch high heat oil in a small skillet over high heat.  Once hot, add a flattened dough round, cook 20 seconds, or until golden brown, on each side.  Transfer to paper towel and brush with soy sauce.  Finish with remaining dough rounds.  Serve with sauce of soy, lime juice and a dash of sesame oil.  

Paprika Chicken Braise

This one's a little weird but I love it.   Weird because I used globe artichokes that to eat, need to be pulled out and eaten with a bit of assistance from your hands, which will then need a napkin.  I found this fun and enjoyable but if it sounds odd use baby artichokes.  They're so cute.  

Serves 6.  

Paprika Chicken Braise 

1 lemon, halved

1 globe artichoke or 3 baby artichokes

s + p

1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in half

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

3-4 carrots, peeled, chopped

8 oz fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise

1 tablespoons sweet hungarian paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon cumin

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

1 big tablespoons tomato paste

1 heaping tablespoon flour (or gluten free flour of your choice) mixed into 3 tablespoons water

14 oz cups chicken stock

Fill a large bowl with cold water and juice from half a lemon.  Trim up the aritchoke(s) by removing an inch or so from the top, any spines and any nasty part from the stem.  For baby artichokes, remove tougher outer leaves down to the more yellow ones.  Cut in half, remove hairy choke.  A spoon works well for this.  Cut artichoke half into 4 pieces.  Place in cold lemon water.  Let them chill for about 10 minutes.  Drain and set aside. 

Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper.  Heat a heavy bottom, lidded pot oven medium high heat and warm the olive oil.  Add chicken and brown for 2 minutes on each side.  Remove from pot and set aside.  

In the same pot, add onion.  Cook onion, while stirring for 2 minutes, until glossy and translucent.   (If you feel all brown crust of deliciousness at the bottom of the pan is going to burn, use a splash of white wine or stock to deglaze it.  Just puch the onions to the side of the pan and pour a bit of wine on the exposed crust.  Stir and scrap as it boils.)  Add garlic, carrots, potatoes and artichoke slices.  Cook, stirring until browned, about 5 minutes.  Add stock, tomato paste and flour water mix, stir to coat.  Slowly mix in the tomato paste, stock and wine.  Add paprika, cayenne and cumin.  Stir.  Bring to a boil.  Add chicken.  Bring back up to a boil.  Cover, 

Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, about 25 minutes.  (After 10 minutes of cooking I like to give it a stir.)  



Strawberry Rhubarb Buttermilk Pancakes

Walking around Williamsburg, brooklyn the other weekend and saw these on a brunch menu.  Although I did not try them (I was on a BLT mission.)  I have been thinking about them since.  In fact, they've been on the top of my to do list for the past two weeks.  

Finally.  Strawberry rhubarb pancakes.  

If you find you have extra compote left make fruit leathers!  Just blend it smooth, spread it evenly on a silpat lined sheet tray and bake it at 160 degrees, in the oven until set.  Remove from oven, cool and cut to desired sized strips.  

About 12 pancakes

Buttermilk Pancakes + Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

for the compote

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons water

squeeze of lemon

2 rhubarb stems, chopped

1 lb strawberries, stemmed, sliced

for the pancakes

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons sugar

2 eggs

2 cups buttermilk

2 tablespoons olive oil 

high heat oil, for the griddle

Warm sugar, water and lemon juice in a small pot over medium low heat, stir to dissolve sugar.  Add rhubarb and strawberries.  Let simmer 15 minutes, or until rhubarb is soft, stirring frequently.

While compote is stewing, set a griddle or skillet on stove and brush with oil.  Turn on burners to medium heat.    

In a bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, powder, salt and sugar.  Set aside.  

In another bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk and oil.  Fold into flour mixture.  Fold until all flour in hydrated but batter still contains small to medium lumps.  Use a 1/3 cup to portion out pancakes.  Pour onto hot griddle.  Wait for bubbles to form, about 2 minutes, and flip.  Cook 2 minutes more.  Reduce heat if needed to avoid burning.  Work in batches.  Cooked pancakes can be held in a 200 degree oven, if needed.  Stack just before serving to help maintain fluffiness.  

Top with warm compote and serve.  






Homemade Peanut Butter

Put the jar of JIF down!  Peanut butter is super easy to make - you just need a food processor.  Substitute almonds, cashews or hazelnuts for the peanuts.  

Use raw or roasted, shelled nuts.  Raw nuts will need to be roasted.  Heat oven to 300 degrees and spread nuts out onto a baking sheet.  Nuts should be stirred at least once during roasting.  Peanuts will need about 30 minutes and almonds about 20.  The best part of roasting your own nuts is that the level of roastiness (not a real word) is up to you.  Do you prefer dark roasted peanut butter or a super light roast?  

Peanut Butter (or nut butter)

2 cups shelled roasted peanuts

2 tablespoons peanut, almond or olive oil

pinches of salt, to taste

Place nuts in the bowl of the food processor fitted with the blade attachment.  Process nuts until they resemble a course nut flour or meal.  Pulsing can be helpful for this step.  The finer the nut crumb, the smoother you nut butter will be.  With processor running, pour in oil in a slow stream. Process about 2 minutes or until a smooth, peanut butter like consistency has been achieved.  




Fresh, Home Made Butter

Something to smear all over those everything bagels.  

So, as mentioned in my previous post, I used my new stand mixer for this but a hand mixer, immersion blender, blender or small capacity food processor would work just as well.  

Home made butter is great but is only as good as the cream you begin with,  Farmer's markets and dairy farm stands/stores are a great for finding high quality cream. 

Makes about 1/2 cup.


1 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons kosher salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add heavy cream and salt.  Begin on a low speed, once cream becomes thick, like whipped cream, bump up the medium speed.  

Basically, we're over whipping the cream so it breaks.  After about 10  minutes of whisking liquid will release.  (I like to drape dish towels over the mixer and just wait til I hear splashing.)  Once the liquid and solids separate, stop the machine.  The butter solids will be stuck in the whisk and the buttermilk liquid will be in the bowl.  The buttermilk can be saved and used to make crazy perfect corn bread or pancakes.  It's going to be very salty so don't add salt to what you end up making. 

There's  going to be a lot of liquid still in the butter that needs to be removed.  Chill your hands with ice or cold water.  Squeeze all the liquid you can out of the butter,  Next, rinse the butter under cold water until the water runs clear.  Squeeze as much water as possible from the butter. 

Butter is now ready to use.  I like to rewhip it for better consistency but that's optional.  Butter may be left at room temperature for no more than 1 week or in the fridge for no more than 2 weeks.  

We enjoyed it heavily scraped over the homemade everything bagels posted a couple days ago.  I think this would also be a great thing to bring to a holiday dinner or potluck.  This summer I plan to make it with cream from my favorite local dairy and mix it with chopped herbs from fire escape garden.  (Summer Savory herb butter smeared over grilled corn on the cob, anyone?)  

Everything Bagels

OH YEAH!!!!  We made everything bagels over the weekend and I will be eating them until they are gone with home made butter or sandwich fixings.  Or maybe even as delightful little pizza bagels.  I love pizza bagels.  They're so difficult to find in nyc.  Why is that? 

Also, I am the happy recipient of a kitchen aid artisinal stand mixer.  (Thank you mom + dad!)   This bagel dough is the first thing I used it for.  (Followed by fresh butter, recipe to follow!)  I love this pretty machine already.  Do you have one?  In what color and what's your favorite thing to make with it?

Makes about a dozen bagels.  

Everything Bagels

For the bagels

 1 packet dry active yeast (7 oz) + 1/2 cup warm to hot water

2 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 cups unbleached whole wheat flour

2 1/2 cups a.p. flour

1 tablespoon salt

1 cup warm to hot water

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 egg yolk

For the toppings

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes (optional, for a spicy kick)

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Use either a food processor with a dough blade or a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment.  The food processor will be quicker. 

Place yeast, the half cup of warm water and sugar.  Wait 5 minutes.  If there's evidence of activity like foam or bubbles then we're good to go. The yeast is activated.  Give a little stir to dissolve sugar and yeast granules

Add flours and salt.  Slowly add warm water.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Knead or process until dough is elastic, satiny and clings to the hook/blade.  About 1 minute in the food processor or 5 minutes in the stand mixer.  

Transfer to a large oiled bowl.  Turn to coat all sides of dough in the oil.  Cover completely in plastic wrap and set aside to rise.  Let rise 1 - 3 hours.  Dough will have doubled in size.  

Unwrap and turn out onto a well floured surface.  Press on the dough to release gases and deflate.  Cut dough into 12 pieces.  Form into balls.  Press a hole into the center of each and gently stretch until the hole is 2 to 3 inches across.  Place each on a floured surface and cover with a towel or plastic.  Let rise for at least 10 minutes.

While the dough is rising, boil 4 quarts of water in a large pot.  Dissolve brown sugar in the water.  

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare 2 baking sheets with a silpat or parchment paper. 

Use a slotted spatula to lower bagel forms into the boiling sugar water.  Work in batches of 2-3. Boil for 30 seconds, flip, boil 30 seconds more.  Remove from boil, transferring to  towel to dry.

In a small bowl, mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water.  In another small bowl, combine all toppings ingredients.  With a pastry brush, apply egg wash to bagels, sprinkle generously with topping mixture,  Line up on baking sheets.  (The bagels will not expand much during baking.)

Bake 25 minutes.  Bagels will be very golden brown when done. 

Cold Brew Coffee

Very easy to make and great for those of us who are in a rush in the morning.  Cold brew coffee is strong but less acidic than traditionally brewed coffee.  Make a double batch for the week, doctor it up with milk and sweetener and it's a ready to be splashed over ice for a quick pick me up.  

Espresso beans are great here but any roast can be used. 

Cold Brew Coffee

1.5 oz coffee beans

2 cups cold water

Coarsely grind coffee beans.  Place grounds and water in a lidded container.  Place in fridge or at room temperature.  Leave alone for 24 hours.  Strain, discard grounds.  

Ham Wrapped Asparagus

Have any of that easter ham left?  Perfect.  Serve these with a poached or fried egg for breakfast or alone as a party snack.

Serving size is up to you.  This recipe is easily changed as you need one thin slice of ham for each asparagus spear.  

Ham Wrapped Asparagus Spears 

12 spears asparagus, trimmed

12 thin slices of ham, (1/2 lb at the deli counter will do it)

Lightly oil a large skillet, set over medium heat.  Wrap each asparagus spear with one thin slice of ham.  Place in skillet.  Cook 2 minutes on each side, turing frequently to avoid burning the ham.  Total cooking time should be at least 8 minutes, 10 for a  more tender spear.  

Serve with a poached egg. 

To poach an egg:  Bring a small pot of water to a boil.  Add a pinch of salt and a splash of white vinegar.  Reduce heat to just below a simmer - 200 degrees.  Crack egg into a small bowl.  

Give the water a couple stirs to establish a current.  Carefully, slip the egg into the 200 degree water.  Leave it alone for 4 minutes.  (3 minutes for a gooey egg) Remove egg from water with a slotted spoon.  Transfer to paper towel or asparagus spears.

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Hey there, vegetarians.  I have a stuffed red pepper recipe for you.  These are a healthy take on the classic with red quinoa for rice and lots of veggies.  

Serves 2 - 4.

Kale + Mushroom Stuffed Red Peppers

1/2 cup uncooked red quinoa

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

6 oz cremini mushrooms, chopped

1/2 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed, leaves chopped

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

s + p

2 oz feta, chopped

5 basil leaves, chopped

juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/2 tin diced tomatoes

2 red bell peppers, seeded, halved lengthwise

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a small pot, bring 1 cup water and quinoa to a boil, cover.  Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes or until water has evaporated.  Fluff with fork, set aside.  

In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion, cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add garlic and mushrooms.  Sauté 3 minutes more.  Add kale and red pepper flakes.  Cook 1 minutes, stirring.  Remove from heat.  

Stir in quinoa, salt, pepper, feta, basil and lemon.  

Evenly spoon into red pepper halves.  Arrange on lined baking sheet and cover well with foil.  

Bake 30 minutes.