Fruit Compote Inspired by Alice Waters

I recently joined Alice Waters Master Class.  I was so delighted to watch her passion and joy when just touching the beauty of what the earth provides.  She coined the term “farm to table” and everything she serves is in season and very, very earthy.  Her gratitude and appreciation for what grows, put a smile on my face while watching and occasionally a misty eye from the beauty of her sincere passion and care she took with each beautiful item she prepared.  Her food is simple, each item comes from the ground, each herb specially cared for as it goes into the dish.  This fruit compote originated with her and I have adapted it to the season.  Enjoy!

Serves:

6-8

Total Time:

30 minutes

To Make

Ingredients:

    • 1 Red pear
    • 1 Anjou pear
    • 1 Bosc pear
    • 1 Honey Crisp Apple
    • 1 Granny Smith Apple
    • 1 pint raspberries
    • 1 handful mint
    • 3 Tbs. Jam or marmalade of your choice (room temperature)
    • 2 Navel oranges juiced

               

              Directions:

              Gradually add the fresh squeezed orange juice to the jam whisking as you go.  Be careful not to add too much juice at one time or the jam will become lumpy.

              Slice all of the fruit in thin wedges about ¼ inch thick and then slice about half of those wedges in half so you have varying sizes in the bowl. 

              Mince the mint for sprinkling on top of the compote.

              Drizzle the orange juice/jam mixture over the top of the compote and toss.  Sprinkle with the mint and serve.

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              Retro Pasta Salad

              I remember this very retro recipe that was going around about the time that the Runnin’ Rebels began their streak of final fours which eventually ran to a National Championship.  This recipe brings back memories of the late 70’s and 80’s and I have kept the recipe exactly as it was then!  Packaged seasoning, dressing and all!!!  Enjoy!

              Serves:

              10

              Total Time:

              30 minutes

              To Make

              Ingredients:

              • 1 English cucumber, cut lengthwise and seeded, then chopped into ½-inch pieces
              • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
              • 4 scallions, minced white and green parts or 1 chopped red onion
              • 1 bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange), chopped in ½-inch pieces
              • ¼ C. basil, minced (reserve 1 Tbsp. for garnishing the top before serving)
              • 1 2.62 oz bottle of McCormick Salad Supreme
              • 1 16 oz bottle Newman’s Own Italian salad dressing
              • ¼ c. shaved parmesan cheese for topping
              • 1 box or 1 lb. Rotini or Fusilli pasta

              Directions:

              Prepare the Rotini pasta per directions on package but cook one minute less than package directions.

              Chop all of the necessary vegetables and then combine pasta and all ingredients in one large bowl. 

              Mix the salad dressing and poor liberally onto the salad mixture and toss.  This can be done an hour before serving or overnight and placed back into the refrigerator.  Top with the basil and shaved parmesan cheese.

              Tip: If you do place it back in the fridge before serving, when you take it out reserve a good 1/2 C. of dressing to re-toss the salad with as the pasta will absorb the dressing while resting a bit too much and it will taste slightly dry.  Once you add the other dressing it springs right back to life.

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              Shakshuka Inspired By Tanya Murray

              My first morning in Jerusalem I woke up to a beautiful breakfast buffet in the hotel dining room.  In the middle of the buffet was the star of the show, something I had never seen or heard of before, “Shakshuka”!  There it sat in all its glory, beautifully placed for all to enjoy!  When I asked what it was, since I had never seen or heard of it before, the answer was, “you’ve never had Shakshuka, boy, you are in for a treat”!!!  And they were right!  Whether it is breakfast for dinner, lunch or breakfast, you are going to love this delicious indulgence!  Enjoy!

              Serves:

              2-4

              Total Time:

              45 minutes

              To Make

              Ingredients:

              • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
              • 2 small yellow onions (or 1 medium), peeled and diced
              • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
              • 2 bell peppers (red, orange or yellow), diced
              • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
              • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
              • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
              • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
              • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
              • 2 28-oz cans fire roasted diced tomatoes, lightly drained
              • 2 cups finely chopped power greens or other hardy greens like kale or spinach
              • ½ c. Cocoyo yogurt
              • 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
              • 6-9 eggs
              • Handful chopped cilantro, basil, parsley and/or 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary (1 ½ teaspoons dried)

              Directions:

              In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and bell pepper and cook, uncovered, for about 8 minutes, until softened. Do not brown; reduce the heat if necessary.

               Add the smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, and 1-1/4 teaspoons of the salt and tomatoes.

              Cook, uncovered at a low simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened.

              Add about two tablespoons of the sauce to the yogurt and mix. Then add back to the pan.

              Add the greens and stir till wilted.

              Cook uncovered about 10 minutes more so the greens are just wilted. For advance batch cooking you can stop at this point.

              Let mixture cool and then package in freezer safe containers or Food Saver bags.

              Set oven rack to top position and turn on broiler if you will be broiling to cook eggs. Turn off (or remove the pan from) the heat. Using a spoon, make 6-9 “wells” in the sauce. Crack an egg into each well. Sprinkle the eggs with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, then sprinkle the feta around the eggs.

              To cook eggs:

              Set the pan on the stove over low heat and cover with a lid and cook until eggs are done to your preference (usually 5-7 minutes for medium, hard yolk). To melt and brown the cheese, stick under broiler for 3 minutes.

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              Cast Iron Skillet Pan Lasagna

              I am so taken by the idea that sheet pan dinners have become all the rage when it comes to recipes.  It is kind of fun to create and the optics make the dinner preparer feel like it is easier to create a sheet pan dinner than a regular dinner.  (Even though, sometimes it is more complicated).  This got me thinking!!!  I love cooking in cast iron far more than a sheet pan.  It feels like less work because you don’t have to line the sheet pan with parchment or foil, and a cast iron pan is so much easier to clean.  This is an idea for cast iron skillet lasagna, and I promise you, you may never go back to regular lasagna again!  This is so fun to assemble and a great way to cook with kids.  Enjoy!

              Serves:

              6-8

              Total Time:

              75 minutes

              To Make

              Ingredients:

                • 1 Can (28 oz.) crushed fire roasted tomatoes
                • 1 jar (24 oz.) Rao’s arrabbiata sauce
                • 1 Tbs. EVOO
                • 1 Tbs. Grass Fed organic unsalted butter
                • 1 chopped red onion
                • 3 minced garlic cloves
                • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
                • 1 lb. spicy Italian sausage (out of the casing)
                • 1 lb. lean ground organic beef
                • 12 oz. whole-milk Ricotta cheese
                • 1 egg lightly beaten
                • 1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
                • 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
                • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
                • 12 no boil lasagna noodles broken in half
                • 3 Tbs. chiffonade fresh basil

              Directions:

              Pre heat oven to 400 degrees

              Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. 

              Add the oil and butter and heat till shimmering.  Add the onion and ½ teaspoon salt and cook until translucent and slightly browned, about 6 minutes. 

              Stir in the garlic and pepper flakes and cook until the scent becomes strong for about 20 seconds.

              Add the meats and cook breaking up the meat with a spatula or wooden spoon.  Cook for approximately 5-7 minutes until the meat is no longer pink.

              Stir in the tomatoes and the arrabbiata sauce.  Bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes and transfer to a bowl after the sauce has thickened a bit.

              In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, thyme salt and pepper. 

              Then combine the Mozzarella and paremesan in a third bowl.

              Now let’s assemble:

              Spread enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pan about ½ inch deep. Then shingle the 6 noodle halves around the sauce in the pan, then place a sheet over the middle. 

              Dollop 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over the noodles, then the mozzarella mixture, then the sauce. Repeat this same layering order 2-3 times as your pan will allow.

              Always begin with the noodles, always end in sauce.

              Top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan.

              Place skillet in oven and bake until cheese is bubbly and golden brown about 40 minutes.

              Let lasagna cool and set for about 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with basil, cut as you would a pizza or pie and serve.

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              Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs w/ Miso & Ginger

              Everyone loves a one step sheet pan dinner.  The first time I mad this dish I placed it on the table but stepped outside for a moment to grab some waters for dinner.  All of a sudden I heard my husband exclaim, “OMG!!!  Marla!!!  This is DEEEEELIIICOUS!”  I could not believe it.  I realized that what really got his attention is that I was cooking with 2 flavors that I rarely have ever cooked with before.  One is Miso and the other is ginger!!!  Needless to say, it was a hit and now it is one of our most requested dinner staples.  I hope you enjoy!!!

              Serves:

              4-6

              Total Time:

              45 minutes

              To Make

              Ingredients:

              • 5 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
              • 4 Tbs. Stone ground Dijon mustard
              • 3 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
              • 2 Tbs. minced Garlic
              • 5 Tbs. white miso
              • 2 Tbs. fresh squeezed orange juice
              • 1 Tbs. orange zest
              • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
              • 2/3 cup olive oil
              • 5 Lbs. of bok choy cut length wise in quarters
              • 6 carrots cleaned and unpeeled sliced thin on the diagonal
              • 1 fennel bulb chopped coarsely
              • Sauteed riced cauliflower, rice or potatoes (Chef’s choice)

              Directions:

              Pre heat oven to 450 degrees

              In a glass bowl, combine the scallions, mustard, ginger, garlic, miso, orange juice, orange zest, 1 tsp salt, ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper and ½ c. of olive oil.  Mix well with a whisk.

               On a rimmed baking sheet covered in parchment paper or a silicone mat, toss the bok choy, carrots and fennel with the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Spread all veggies evenly in one layer on the sheet pan.  Season chicken with the salt and pepper, place on top of the sheet pan vegetables and rub chicken all over with the ginger-miso marinade.

               Roast until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender about 30 minutes.

              Serve chicken and vegetables over the riced cauliflower, rice or mashed potatoes and spoon the pan juices over the chicken and garnish with scallions.  Enjoy!

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