Archive for the ‘Food/Recipes’ Category

Talking Turkey Part 2

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

So you have followed the instructions on cooking a turkey.  Now what? Where do you put the knife in for white meat, how do you get the drumsticks and wings off this bird? Sharpen your knives and let Jamie Oliver show us the way to carve a roasted turkey.  Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Talking Turkey-Thanksgiving side dishes

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

This is my favorite part of preparing a Thanksgiving meal for my family.  It’s all about the veggies, so if you have a few non bird eaters, there is plenty of food for them. How about a Vermont classic, corn fritters, or a cold brussell sprout dish or a squash ratatouille?

Sausage and Apple Stuffing

Start with you basic stuffing recipe and add cooked crumbled sausage, large chopped apples and pecan.  I take a classic green bean casserole and substitute the beans with broccoli (or maybe do both veggies). For the non meat eater, forget the sausage.

Classic Green Bean Casserole

Our everyones’ favorite, garlic mashed potatoes.  Saving calories, making mashed cauliflower gives you the creamy texture without the points.

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Whatever your veggie cravings are, check out WWMS side and veggie dishes to add to your Thanksgiving meal.

Talking Turkey Part 1

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

Thanksgiving is almost here and for some, cooking a turkey is a daunting task.  But in fact, it’s really one of the easiest holiday meal entrees. First, take a look at your oven and make sure it’s big enough for a whole turkey.  If it’s a small oven , you might consider cooking a whole turkey breast instead of the whole turkey.  If your oven is regular size, choose the turkey size according to the number of guest eating. The basic rule of thumb is 1-1 1/2 pounds per person. I usually go a little more since I like to have leftovers.  Survey the roasting pans for the correct size.  Now all you need is the turkey, small herbs and veggies.  Here’s a video from Chef John at Food Wishes that makes cooking a turkey pretty simple.

So, let’s get cooking.  Check out WWMS recipes for more holiday ideas and tips.

Fall Vegetable Saute

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Here’s a super simple and delicious recipe that can be used as an entree or side.  This dish is full of good fiberous vegetables and can be served with lentils or brown rice to make it a super food!

1 small head of cauliflower cut into small pieces

1 small head of broccoli cur into small pieces

8 brussel sprouts halved

1 leek, cleaned split and rinsed throughly (get out all the sand)

2 cloves of garlic chopped

1  1/2 cups of vegetable broth

2 tablespoons butter

Place the first three veggies in a heavy bottomed fry pan, pour the stock over and boil until the veggies are slightly soft.  When the broth cooks down add leeks, garlic and butter and saute until the veggies are golden brown.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Visit the WWMS Cookbook for more vegetarian recipes.

Eggplant Parmesan

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Eggplant is a versatile vegetable.  It can be fried, broiled, grilled and mashed.  But an all time favorite recipe for this veggie is eggplant parmesan.  Have olive oil,eggs, breadcrumbs, tomato sauce and Italian cheeses on hand. This recipe can be done ahead and baked later. Check out Cindy’s recipe in the WWMS cookbook under main and vegetarian recipes.

The best lobster bisque … it’s that time again!

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Thinking about making something different for New Year’s Eve? Lobster Bisque is a festive, filling soup that let’s your friends know you care enough about them to make something special. I’m not going to tell you that this is one of our super simple dishes but it is worth the time.

lobster bisque

I can’t take credit for this dish, I’ve taken it from the New Basics Cookbook (the original Silver Pallet writers)  changed a few ingredients.  The complete recipe is in our cookbook but I included a few step by step pictures here to help.

chop tails into 2 inch pieces and find a good fish stock

watch Cindy making roux on you tube

If the lobster is too expensive for your budget try switching out the lobster with crab and shrimp.  This time a year many markets put their frozen shrimp and crabmeat on sale.

after the "meat" is cooked, marinate in Madera or Marsala wine

almost finished, remove the shells, strain and use your emulsion blender before adding the meat back into the soup.

If you do go this route, find a good fish stock to “beef” up the broth. I serve the bisque in a small bread bowl.

Bread Bowls

Hollow the bowls out, reserving the inside bread and warm the “bowls” in the oven.  Scoop a ladle full of bisque into the bowls and place the top and insides on the edge for dipping.  If you get into trouble, shoot us an email. Good luck and have a fun, festive and happy New Years Eve!

Roasting the Thanksgiving Bird

Friday, November 16th, 2012

THANKSGIVING, It’s all about the…food, family, football, friends? How would you finish the statement? In my family, it’s all about turkey,stuffing,mashed potatoes, gravy, pumpkin pie; except for Jay, for some reason he thinks it’s all about the ham. Ham Jay?  We’ve never had ham for Thanksgiving. You don’t even eat ham! But anyway, it’s time to stock the shelves for the holidays.

Fresh is more expensive and should be bought one or two days before you cook it. Frozen can be bought in advance, but must be defrosted. This could be a problem in a crowded fridge. Make room.
Figure on about a pound to a pound and a half per guest, depending on whether or not you want left-overs. Defrost in the refrigerator, 1 day for every 5 pounds, In other words, a 20 pound bird will take 4 days to defrost.
If you must, and only if you must, thaw the turkey in cold water in your sink, keeping it completely submerged for safety reasons. Weigh it down,use cans or plates, change the water every 30 minutes and defrost for 30 minutes per pound. A 20 pound turkey will take 10 hours to defrost.

Roasting The Bird:

Approximate Roasting Times for Stuffed Turkey
Turkey Weight Time
6 to 8 pounds – 3 to 3-1/2 hours
8 to 12 pounds – 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours
12 to 16 pounds – 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 hours
16 to 20 pounds – 5-1/2 to 6 hours
20 to 24 pounds – 6 to 6-1/2 hour

Whole Foods Market Golden Roasted Turkey

Approximate Roasting Times for Unstuffed Turkey
Turkey Weight – Hours
6 to 8 pounds – 2-1/2 to 3 hours
8 to 12 pounds – 3 to 4 hours
12 to 16 pounds- 4 to 5 hours
16 to 20 pounds- 5 to 5-1/2 hours
20 to 24 pounds- 5-1/2 to 6 hours

Invest in a meat thermometer! When The thickest part of the thigh reaches 180 degrees, you’re cooked. Let the bird sit for 20 minutes before carving.

If this all seems too much for you, get a canned ham, serve it with Mac and Chese, and invite Jay.

Squash Ratatouille and other Foods for Fall

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

I wish I could say that I’m a super gardener like our Garden Maiden, Joanna.  But I’m not.  I’m ok with flowers but terrible when it come to having lots of bounty from my vegetable garden.  It’s September and the only thing I’ve harvested were cherry tomatoes, chives and spearmint. I’ve had to rely on the local farm markets to bring in the fall staples, zucchini and squash.  I really get my renewed interest in cooking with the fall produce.  Such beautiful colors to add to dishes.Tonight we’ll trying Squash Ratatouille.  I added nutmeg and curry as well as some of my spearmint from the garden to enhance the favors of the squash.  If it’s soup you want, our Butternut Squash soup is super simple!Lots of zucchinis in the garden? Try cutting them length-wise and scooping out the seed and make zucchini boats.  You can fill them with a variety of foods.  The coconut milk in the Stuffed Zucchini with Jasmine Rice gives the vegetable a creamy sweet texture. And how could any resist, Cindy’s Famous Artichokes? While you’re waiting to cook these beauties off, arrange them in a bowl with limes and dried hydrangea for a table centerpiece. Before you put the grill away for the winter cook up some veggies and toss them with a dressing for a light dinner.  It’s hard not to mourn the end of summer but our colorful fall veggies sure give us something to look forward to in the kitchen.

If you have any recipe suggestions or question, please email us at or visit our cookbook and kitchen how tos on

Botswana Baked Polenta

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Botswana is not only known for it abundance of elephants but their many fabulous chefs.  While we were traveling on safari this summer we were treated to some delicious locals foods. They are tasty and inexpensive.This baked polenta recipe is from Kwetsani Camp in the Okawango Delta, part of the Wilderness Safari group. Since it’s a water based camp, the staff needs to plan their meals carefully and load up on pantry items.  This recipe uses instant polenta and a jarred relish (but I’ll include a homemade relish too).Botswana Baked Polenta

Chef Olivia and her trusted assistant

Serve the polenta hot with a green leafy salad and ginger lemonade. Simple and delicious!

ITS Tomato Time Again

Friday, September 14th, 2012

I was lucky to have my tomatoes come on and get beautiful and plump at the end of the season. I was getting ready to leave town and I saw that I had baskets of them and  I realized that I really wanted to can them this year. It had been probably ten years since I had last canned tomatoes. I was worried that I might have forgotten some secret, but it is very straight forward.

Get your equipment together.

Your quart jars and lids( use fresh lids every time you can unless you have those pretty glass lids that I haven’t tried yet but want to use because of their elegant beauty)

The large enamel pot for the boiling water bath, the jar caddy that helps to set the group of jars into and lift the jars out of the water bath

A tea kettle of boiling water to pour over the lids to sterilize them

A pot to boil water in for the removal of tomato peel

Colanders for your washed tomatoes and peeling tomatoes both

Drop the tomatoes into boiled water for one minute only… a little longer if the skin doesn’t readily peel away from the fruit, but watch it closely as too often I have forgotten and then the fruit of the tomato just isn’t as firm and pretty in the can or I should say JAR. You end up cooking it a little. It is easy to forget as you are peeling the tomatoes that you just put another batch in the hot water. I try to remember to put on the timer so I don’t let them sit too long in the water. Notice how long it takes yours. It can vary with the age of tomato and the variety all have their individual traits. Yes every variety of tomato has its own personality. Some are delicious and firm to slice, some are super watery and have so many seeds that they aren’t very good to can because your later soups and sauces made from them will have too many seeds. If you are making tomato sauce or soup, you can strain the seeds out or even squeeze them out of the tomato when you are preparing them for cooking…. So when you take the tomatoes out of the hot boiled water to loosen the skin… then you want to put them into a bowl of cold water or I often put them in a colander and run cold water over them.

As you are going along you are putting the lids of your jars in a bowl and pouring boiling water on them to sterilize them. You can let them sit until ready to screw on the filled jars. Do not take them out of their hot water bowl before or they start becoming non sterile immediately.

You get ahead of your self with the peeling or skinning of the tomatoes and filling a bowl… Then when you have them ready fill the jars. You can fill the jars to the brim with the tomatoes. Fit as many in as you can because after they are canned and out of the ” boiling water bath” they will be taking up much less space. See in the finished photos how much the tomatoes deflated and left space in the jar. Those jars were packed full.

The time in the water bath depends on the size of the jar or the type of vegetable. For tomatoes in quart jars it is about 45 minutes. After you take them out and set them on the counter to cool, you may need to tighten the lids. Do so CAREFULLY as these jars are boiling HOT. The lids will become concave as they become sealed in this vacuum cooling process. The ones that don’t seal you can process again in the bath. If you just can’t get one to seal, change the lid and if that happens to you again like it has for me for some unknown reason( I blame the redwood forest Elves), then just put it in the refrigerator and use it as soon as possible.

If you have enough after your harvesting projects are done, home grown and home made products make great gifts for the holidays. Take a jar of your canned or dried and oil and garlic soaked tomatoes to a friend for a gift. There is a lot of love in that jar.