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Maine Wild Blueberry Pie

Posted by on Sep 7, 2014 in Baking, Pies and Tarts, Summer Recipes, Uncategorized | 0 comments

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Maine Wild Blueberry Pie

September is one of my favorite months – the weather is getting cooler, the leaves are turning color, and the breezy nights remind us that Summer is coming to an end with a bountiful harvest to come. I especially love the fruits and vegetables of late Summer/early Fall – especially Maine blueberries, which are primarily found in the Downeast areas of Bar Harbor where they grow wild. They are typically smaller than regular blueberries, giving them a high amount of antioxidants and other healthy nutrients, and have an intense sweet and tangy flavor. They also stay whole when you cook them, making them perfect for baking up a gorgeous berry pie. Although August is the peak season for picking them fresh, they can also be frozen (harvesters freeze them within 24 hours) so they are available year round – Wyman’s and Cascadian Farms are my favorite brands.

In a recent cooking class (that was centered around classic Summer foods of Maine, of course), we made a Wild Blueberry Pie with a gorgeous homemade piecrust with cut holes on top for venting the filling. We used frozen blueberries and thickened them up with a little ground tapioca and apple pectin to create a juicy sliceable filling, that wasn’t too loose and runny. The secret to a crispy piecrust is plenty of super cold butter with a small amount of vegetable shortening to crisp it up, and a touch of vodka for texture, making the crust light and flaky.

Make the Pie Dough

 

Make the Blueberry Filling

 

Cut Pie Holes in Crust

 

Blueberry Pies-2

 

We also made a slew of other Maine-inspired dishes for our feast: Lobster Pie, Lobster Rolls, Fish Chowda, Summer Corn Pudding and Seaside Slaw, served with Blueberry Beer and some lovely cocktails – Tart Cherry and Blueberry Vodka Lemonade. I’m not sure I’m ready for Summer to be over yet, but these recipes I’ll be making all year around whenever I’m missing sunny skies and blue waters. Next year a Summer vacation on the Maine coast is definitely in order!

 

Maine Wild Blueberry Pie

Yield: Makes 1 pie, serving 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • Perfect Pie Dough
  • 2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 ½ ounces), divided, plus more for work surface
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks), cut into ¼ inch slices
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening, cold, cut into 4 pieces
  • ¼ cup vodka, cold
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • Wild Blueberry Filling
  • 6 cups fresh wild blueberries (about 30 ounces), if using frozen, cook but do not mash the berries, as described below
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated on large holes of box grater
  • 2 teaspoons grated zest and 2 teaspoons of juice from 1 lemon
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca, ground in a clean spice grinder
  • Pinch table salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ¼ inch pieces
  • Egg wash; 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Instructions

  1. Process 1 ½ cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 (1 second) pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until a homogenous dough starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds; dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour. Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup of flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.
  2. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until it is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into 2 even balls and flatten each into a 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.
  3. Remove 1 disk of dough from refrigerator and roll out on generously floured (up to ¼ cup) work surface to a 12-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhand on each side. Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Leave dough that overhangs plate in place; refrigerate while preparing filling until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
  4. Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on oven rack, and heat oven to 400 F.
  5. Place 3 cups berries in medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Using potato masher, mash berries several times, to release juices. Continue to cook, stirring frequently and mashing occasionally, until about half of berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduce to half (about 1 ½ cups), for 8 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  6. Place grated apple in clean kitchen towel and wring dry. Transfer apple to large bowl. Add cooked berries, remaining 3 cups uncooked berries, lemon zest, juice, sugar, tapioca and salt, toss to combine. Transfer mixture to dough-lined pie plate and scatter butter pieces over filling.
  7. Roll out second disk of dough on generously floured (up to ¼ cup) work surface to 11-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Using a 1 ¼-inch round biscuit cutter, cut round from center of dough. Cut another 6 rounds from dough, 1 ½ inches from edge of center hole and equally spaced around center hole. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll over pie, leaving at least ½-inch overhang on each side.
  8. Using kitchen shears, trim bottom layer of overhanging dough, leaving ½-inch overhang. Fold dough under itself so that edge of fold is flush with outer rim of pie plate. Flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with tines of fork to seal. Brush top and edges of pie with egg mixture. If dough is very soft, chill in freezer for 10 minutes.
  9. Place pie on heated baking sheet and bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F and continue to bake until juices bubble and crust is deep golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes longer. Transfer pie to wire rack; cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours. Cut into wedges and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
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King Crab BLT’s + a Gorgeous New Candy Red Toaster | KitchenAid Blog

Posted by on Jul 26, 2014 in BBQ, Entrees, Food and Cooking How-To's, Food Styling & Photography, Gourmet Food and Drinks, Healthy Cooking, Product Reviews, Sauces, Savory Dishes, Seafood, Seafood Recipes, Special Occasion, Summer Recipes, Things I Love, Uncategorized | 0 comments

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Crown the BLT for KitchenAid

Crown the BLT for KitchenAid

There’s nothing I love to eat more in the summer than some fresh seafood to enjoy with friends for a backyard BBQ, picnic or beach party. Everyone loves Lobster Rolls, but they can get a little pricey, and take a lot of work to make enough for a crowd. If you’re in the mood for seafood, Alaskan King Crab BLT sandwiches are a fresh, healthy and less expensive alternative, and a fun addition to your next outdoor BBQ party or picnic. And, they’re a breeze to make with the help of the new KitchenAid Pro Line® Series 4-Slice Automatic Toaster.

KitchenAid Toaster

KitchenAid Toaster

This gorgeous candy apple red beauty is a new product in the KitchenAid’s Pro Line® Series engineered and designed for culinary pros (and is no ordinary toaster at that!) It’s not only a beautiful addition to your kitchen appliance collection, but also smart as a whip with plenty of options to make the perfect piece of toast in a snap. And it even comes in three sleek colors to choose from: black, white or red. Isn’t it pretty?

King Crab BLT

King Crab BLT

These delicious Crab BLT’s are made with fresh lump Alaskan King crab meat (you can find it in your local grocery market in the seafood section or buy it fresh from a seafood market). They have tons of flavor from all the fresh veggies and herbs inside: minced red bell peppers, jalapenos, fresh cilantro, scallions and chives. For some extra kick, I add a dash of spicy Sriracha (hot chile pepper sauce), a little bit of mayonnaise, fresh lemon juice and capers, and a few breadcrumbs to bind them all together. Simply make the crab cakes by patting them into medium size patties, then coat them in some Japanese Panko breadcrumbs and lightly fry them to perfection in some oil and drain. Rest the crab cakes on a gorgeous bed of lettuce and juicy tomatoes, garnished with crispy bacon and a light and refreshing coleslaw for crunch. The crowning touch is a homemade Sesame-Sriracha Mayo on a beautifully toasted  (or grilled) sesame hard roll. Let the fun begin!

CLICK HERE TO GET THE RECIPE & LEARN MORE ON THE KITCHENAID BLOG

 

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The Perfect Beach Bash + An Amazing Shrimp & Veggie Salad w/ Lemon-Herb Dressing

Posted by on Jul 10, 2014 in Dressings/Marinades, Grilled Recipes, Healthy Cooking, Holiday, Holiday Recipes, Pasta, Product Reviews, Salads, Savory Dishes, Seafood, Seafood Recipes, Side Dishes, Special Occasion, Spring Recipes, Summer Recipes, Things I Love, Uncategorized, Veggies | 0 comments

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TableHeroShot_Crop

Summer is here and it’s absolutely my favorite time of the year! The sun is shining, the trees are in bloom, and everyone is outside enjoying the weather making it prime time for entertaining family and friends with barbecue and cocktails by the beach, lake or even in the backyard by the pool. I’ve put together some party planning and decorating tips for the perfect summer outdoor beach party, along with some menu ideas featuring lots of fresh seafood, finger foods, and refreshing fruits and veggies.

ShrimpPastaSalad-RecipeShot

One of my favorite recipes to make for a summer outdoor beach party is a Shrimp and Veggie Pasta Salad with Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette. It has a light, lemony herb dressing with fresh basil and tarragon, lots of veggies including cucumbers, celery, roasted red peppers, grilled corn and scallions for some extra crunch, and fresh sautéed savory shrimp. It goes perfectly with grilled chicken, burgers, skewers and fresh fruit like watermelon, pineapple and mango.

Standalone_1175X1290

I made this amazing summer salad using my KitchenAid® 3-Speed Hand Blender – check out the full post on KitchenEnthusiast.com for the full recipe and all my fun tips on creating the Perfect Beach Bash this Summer!

CLICK HERE FOR PARTY PLANNING TIPS AND THE FULL RECIPE! http://blog.kitchenaid.com/tips-perfect-beach-party-recipe/

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Going Low-Carb & Healthy for Spring! Grilled Parmesan Zucchini Beef Burgers & Sauteed Lemon Garlic Squash

Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 in Beef, Diet, Entrees, Gluten-Free Recipes, Grilled Recipes, Healthy Cooking, Nutrition, Salads, Savory Dishes, Side Dishes, Spring Recipes, Summer Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetable Dishes, Veggies | 0 comments

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Spring Flowers in Bloom

Spring Flowers in Bloom

Well, Spring is FINALLY here and the weather in NYC has been absolutely gorgeous this past week. I get so motivated when the weather warms up to go walking in the park, get moving around town, and most of all start eating healthy and maybe drop a few pounds or two to get ready for Summer. Plus, with all the gorgeous fresh fruits and veggies at the farmers markets – it’s hard to resist dreaming up some healthy, light recipes to get excited about making.

I know what you’re probably thinking – sometimes “low-carb diet” is a taboo word. And I’ve tried a few of them that have worked in the past (Atkins and South Beach Diet), but once I started eating normal again, the pounds just came back. So I’m making over my diet for the long term with foods that are good carbs – fresh green non-starchy veggies, low-glycemic fruits like berries and melon and citrus, light dairy including cheese and Greek yogurt, and healthy lean proteins across the board with omega3-enriched eggs, turkey, chicken, fish, beef, pork and seafood. My main goal is to cut out sugar and refined carbs like flour, pasta, bread, crackers, processed foods. Oh, the sugar cravings start kicking in the first few days, but once I get through the first week – it’s amazing how those cravings just go away. And my palate changes to crave all the good, healthy foods that actually keep me full and keep those cravings at bay. Yes, I will miss chocolate dearly. And crackers, and bread and pasta. But at the end of the day, once I start eating healthy low-carb, I actually FEEL better. And SLEEP better. And my allergies and body aches GO AWAY.

I’m not talking about living on cheeseburgers, bacon and eggs my whole life. Just cutting down on the bad carbs that make me cranky. And tired. And have mood swings and blood sugar swings. It’s crazy how good I feel and hey, it doesn’t hurt to lose a few pounds along the way. So here goes – Day 1 of my Get Into Shape Low-Carb, Feel Good Diet for Spring. Let’s see if I can keep this going for a few weeks – who knows. I might not miss that chocolate as much as I think I will. And if I feel like cheating? Well a square of dark chocolate here and there (or a glass of wine!) might just have to happen. And I won’t feel guilty one bit. Especially when I’m feeling amazing in my bikini on the beach this summer :)

Parmesan Zucchini Burgers & Sauteed Lemon Garlic Zucchini

Parmesan Zucchini Burgers & Sauteed Lemon Garlic Zucchini

I whipped up this tasty recipe today for some grilled Parmesan Zucchini Beef Burgers & Sauteed Lemon Garlic Squash. The burgers are made with lean beef (but you can substitute ground chicken or turkey if you like), finely minced zucchini, egg, grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, garlic powder and red pepper flakes, then grilled to perfection, served over an arugula salad with a light vinaigrette dressing. I sauteed the zucchini and yellow squash in a lemon-infused olive oil, with some crushed garlic cloves, a pinch of dill and red pepper flakes, and that’s it! Light, healthy, filling and totally delicious. I think I could do this all the time. Enjoy! (and wish me luck!)

Going Low-Carb & Healthy for Spring! Grilled Parmesan Zucchini Beef Burgers & Sauteed Lemon Garlic Squash

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 4-6

Ingredients

  • Burgers:
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, diced fine
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste (about 6 grinds for me)
  • Arugula, dressed with a light vinaigrette, for serving
  • -----
  • Zucchini Squash:
  • 2 tablespoons lemon-infused olive oil
  • 2 small-medium zucchini, sliced and halved
  • 1 small-medium yellow squash, sliced and halved
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dill (dried or fresh)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (a few grinds is good, but adjust to taste)

Instructions

  1. Heat a grill over medium-high heat.
  2. Place all the burger ingredients into a large bowl and mix together well with hands, make 4-6 burger patties.
  3. Grill burgers for 4-6 minutes (depending on how well done you like them).
  4. Add a slice of melted provolone cheese on top and some hot sauce, if desired.
  5. Serve burgers over arugula salad dressed in a light vinaigrette dressing.
  6. -----
  7. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
  8. Slice zucchini into small moon-shaped slices, peel and smash garlic.
  9. Saute zucchini and squash and garlic cloves for about 5-7 minutes until soft and cooked through (but not mushy).
  10. Add red pepper flakes, dill, sea salt and pepper, stir together.
  11. Serve immediately with burgers and arugula salad.
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Parmesan Zucchini Burgers & Sauteed Lemon Garlic Zucchini Squash

Parmesan Zucchini Burgers & Sauteed Lemon Garlic Zucchini Squash

 

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Spring is here! Spring Canapes & Cocktails Party with KitchenAid

Posted by on Apr 12, 2014 in Appetizers, Cocktails, Drinks and Cocktails, Food and Cooking How-To's, Food Styling & Photography, Gourmet Food and Drinks, Healthy Cooking, One-Pot Dishes, Savory Dishes, Spanish Food/Tapas, Spreads/Dips, Spring Recipes, Summer Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetable Dishes, Vegetarian, Veggies | 0 comments

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Spring Canapes & Cocktails!

Spring Canapes & Cocktails!

Spring is here, and there’s nothing better than gathering a few friends together for a casual get together with some canapés and cocktails featuring the fresh produce of the season. Fava Beans, Baby Garden Peas and Strawberries are a few of my favorites that start popping up in April and May with the first bloom of Spring.

I love to use my KitchenAid® 13-Cup Food Processor for making quick and tasty dips and spreads – I simply toss all the ingredients in the bowl of the food processor and give it a few whirls to make easy canapés and appetizers for sharing with friends.

An easy, fun idea is to serve crostini with a spread made of baby garden peas and fava beans, mixed with roasted garlic, mint, greek yogurt, feta cheese, lemon zest and olive oil. The flavors are bright, and it’s a light and healthy appetizer, perfect for spreading on toast and serving with fresh veggies for dipping. I love to serve them with some light Spring cocktails made with vodka, lemonade, fresh strawberries, mint and soda – perfect complement for the bite sized crostini! You can also make crostini with different veggies such as roasted red pepper, artichokes, avocado, olives – whatever you’re in the mood for!

Check out my post on KitchenAid’s Kitchenthusiast Blog for recipes, party ideas and how-to’s to get your Spring party started!

Spring Ingredients

Spring Ingredients

Minted-Pea-&-Fava-Bean-Crostini

Minted Pea & Fava Bean Crostini

Strawberry Mint Vodka Lemonade Cocktails

Strawberry Mint Vodka Lemonade Cocktails

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Summer Veggie Pasta with Roasted Garlic, Tomatoes, Zucchini & Corn

Posted by on Aug 20, 2013 in Entrees, Food Styling & Photography, Gourmet Food and Drinks, Healthy Cooking, Italian, Italian Dishes, Italian Food, Markets, NYC, One-Pot Dishes, Pasta, Savory Dishes, Spring Recipes, Summer Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetable Dishes, Vegetarian, Veggies | 0 comments

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Summer Veggie Pasta with Roasted Garlic, Tomatoes, Zucchini & Corn

Summer Veggie Pasta with Roasted Garlic, Tomatoes, Zucchini & Corn

There’s nothing better in the Summer than a visit to the Farmer’s Market to get some super fresh veggies that are ripe in the peak of the season. Some of my favorites are fresh cherry tomatoes, zucchini and corn that are lightly roasted or sauteed tossed with some roasted garlic, fresh herbs, extra virgin olive oil and freshly grated parmesan cheese over pasta. It’s light, healthy and refreshing for a Summer dinner with a glass of wine with some friends at a table out on the back patio served with a green salad and some crusty bread.

Summer Veggie Pasta with Roasted Garlic, Tomatoes, Zucchini & Corn

Yield: 4

A light and healthy Summer pasta dish with farm market fresh vegetables including roasted garlic, cherry tomatoes, corn and zucchini topped with fresh herbs and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1 package fresh or dried spaghetti (can sub fettucine, penne or tagliatelle)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small to medium garlic bulb
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced into ribbons
  • 1 or 2 ears of corn, husked
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint or basil leaves, torn
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Shave off ¼” of the top of garlic bulb and peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and wrap in foil. Roast for 45 minutes up to one hour and let cool. Squeeze out the garlic bulbs, slice or mash, and place in a bowl to the side.
  3. Bring a pot of water to a boil (you can add a teaspoon of sugar and milk to the water if you like sweeter corn), and add the corn, bringing water back to a boil (about 5-7 minutes.) Once water is back to a boil, remove the corn ears. Let cool, shave off kernels and set aside.
  4. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and then cut in half again into quarters. Shave zucchini into thin ribbons and set aside.
  5. In another large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain; place pasta in a large serving bowl.
  6. While pasta cooks, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add zucchini to pan; and sauté for 5-7 minutes until soft and cooked through, stirring often. Add cooked corn kernels and roasted garlic and sauté together for another minute or so.
  7. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan along with tomatoes and ½ teaspoon salt; cover and cook 4-6 minutes. Add tomato-garlic-corn mixture to the cooked pasta; toss to combine. Top with torn mint or basil leaves, shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and freshly ground black pepper.

Notes

Serve with a green salad and crusty bread and a glass of crisp white wine such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.

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Here are some photos from my trip to Union Square Greenmarket in NYC – enjoy the fruits (and veggies!) of the Summer season while it lasts! :)

Fresh Cherry Tomatoes

Fresh Herbs

Fresh Pasta

garlic

fresh veggies

fresh corn

cherry tomatoes

fresh garlic

fresh herbs

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