Lamb Kofta Meatballs

In a large bowl, use your hands to combine 1.5 pounds of ground lamb (you can use beef if you don’t like lamb), 1 ground yellow onion, 1/4 of a bunch of parsley leaves (diced), 15 diced mint leaves, 2 teaspoon minced garlic, saffron “tea”*, 1 teaspoon ground turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper and 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt. The warmth of your hands should help any fat in the lamb/beef warm a little and hold the meatballs together.

*For the saffron tea, crush one large pinch saffron threads into a pinch of fine salt, add one teaspoon of hot water and allow to steep for approximately 5 minutes before combining into mixture, above.

Once the ingredients are thoroughly combined, shape into meatballs about 1.5 inches across. Cook these either in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat (approximately 6-8 minutes both sides) or in an air fryer (approximately 13 minutes at 450*).

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Vanilla Matcha Latte

Whisk together 1 cup hot water with 1 teaspoon matcha powder. Warm 1 cup of milk (I use vanilla almond) in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir two tablespoons of vanilla powder (available from the bulk section at Sprouts or in a cannister from Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf – or Amazon) and any sweetner you use into the warmed milk, then combine the warmed milk mix and the matcha. Stir and enjoy!

For an iced version, allow the latte mix to cool slightly before pouring over ice.

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Baked Potato Bennies

This recipe was borne of the idea that baked potatoes should somehow be breakfast foods. After all, they’re already in breakfasts everywhere as hash browns and country potatoes. 

Scrub one medium sized russet potato. Bring 6 cups of heavily salted water to a boil. Slice the potato into 1/4″ rounds. Drop these rounds into the salted water and boil approximately 15 minutes. Remove from the water and place into a lightly oiled cast iron pan. Spray a bit more olive oil over the potatoes and get it into a 425 degree oven. Cook 30-45 minutes. If this sounds familiar, it’s similar to the Crispy Rosemary Potatoes.

When about 10 minutes remain on your potatoes, poach as many eggs as you have potato rounds/as many bennies as you’d like. With about 3 minutes to go, melt 1/2 cup butter in a sauce pan over medium-low heat. In a small bowl, whisk two egg yolks and a tablespoon of lemon juice. When the butter has melted, take two small spoons full and add to the yolks. This is to temper it so you don’t scramble the yolks. Then, whisk the yolk and lemon juice mixture back into the butter. Continue to whisk over low heat until it begins to thicken. Turn off your burner and whisk in 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Yeah, cheddar hollandaise. We’re doing it. Remove from the burner completely so it doesn’t get too hot and separate.

Plate your potato slices, add eggs, top with hollandaise. Garnish with crumbles of bacon and chives if you want to get to full baked potato status.

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Flowery and Buttery Goodness

If you don’t like lavender or don’t have access to food grade lavender, omit it. 

Pulverize 2 teaspoons dried lavender (with a mortar and pestle, blender, or food processor). Cream this together with 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup granulated sugar. Mix in 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour. Shape this into a ball and let sit in the fridge for at least an hour. Chilling the dough keeps it from spreading when it bakes and makes this a great cookie to use a cookie cutter with.

After the dough has chilled, roll out to about 1/4″. Cut out your desired shapes. You don’t need to leave much room on a cookie sheet between them. Cook about 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool so they get crunchy.

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Pickling a Peck of Peppers

I post this with the full knowledge that half of my family categorically avoids spicy foods. These mellow pretty well because of the sugar, though.

Slice about 20 jalapenos or other red peppers into 1/4″ – 1/2″ disks. 

In a saucepan, bring 3 cups water, 3 cups distilled white vinegar, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup kosher salt, and 2 cloves minced garlic to a boil. Add the jalapenos or other red peppers into the mixture and boil for about 7 minutes. Transfer to sterile jars and either heat seal them or store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. I like to heat seal them so I can share with friends and family.

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Sparkling Cider Muffins

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For a variety of reasons, we open a bottle of Martinelli’s each holiday we host. The thing is, we never finish a bottle of it. This recipe uses up some of the leftover and some pureed pumpkin (for when I don’t use the whole can making puppy treats for Gibbs and Nugget).

Combine 1/2 cup oat flour, 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 3/4 cup pumpkin puree, 2 eggs, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1/3 cup sparkling cider and 1/4 cup olive oil.

Pour into lined mini or full sized muffin tins. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes and check for doneness. The full-sized may take an extra minute or two.

When still hot, sprinkle with a 1:1 sugar:cinnamon mix.

If you’d like to eat them my favorite way, eat them while a bit warm still and reading a good book.

 

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