Giveaway: Ad Hoc at Home (Hardcover)

Wow, what a lot great recipes for home-cooked dishes!  This has surely one of our best giveaways yet – thank you all so much for participating!

I’m pleased to announce that the winner of the Thomas Keller book is Elya (elfimka).  Congratulations, Elya!  Please email me with with shipping information and I’ll get the book out to right away.

Be sure to stop back now and again for news about the next giveaway  🙂


I have a copy of this book in front of me right now, and let me tell you- it rocks!

“In the book every home cook has been waiting for, the revered Thomas Keller turns his imagination to the American comfort foods closest to his heart—flaky biscuits, chicken pot pies, New England clam bakes, and cherry pies so delicious and redolent of childhood that they give Proust’s madeleines a run for their money. Keller, whose restaurants The French Laundry in Yountville, California, and Per Se in New York have revolutionized American haute cuisine, is equally adept at turning out simpler fare.

In Ad Hoc at Home—a cookbook inspired by the menu of his casual restaurant Ad Hoc in Yountville—he showcases more than 200 recipes for family-style meals. This is Keller at his most playful, serving up such truck-stop classics as Potato Hash with Bacon and Melted Onions and grilled-cheese sandwiches, and heartier fare including beef Stroganoff and roasted spring leg of lamb. In fun, full-color photographs, the great chef gives step-by-step lessons in kitchen basics— here is Keller teaching how to perfectly shape a basic hamburger, truss a chicken, or dress a salad. Best of all, where Keller’s previous best-selling cookbooks were for the ambitious advanced cook, Ad Hoc at Home is filled with quicker and easier recipes that will be embraced by both kitchen novices and more experienced cooks who want the ultimate recipes for American comfort-food classics.”

OK, so here’s the deal.  Submit a recipe (use the comment area below) for a favorite home-cooked dish (preferably featuring fresh, local ingredients) and I’ll put your name in the hat for the drawing.  Pretty easy!  Submit 2 recipes and I’ll put your name in twice.  Blog, Stumble or Twitter about the giveaway and I’ll put your name in once more!

The recipe(s) that you submit don’t have to be fancy and can be just about anything, so long as its yours or one that has been handed down in your family.  The winner will be drawn at random from all qualifying entries.  I can only ship the book to a US address (sorry), but everyone is welcome to participate!

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39 thoughts on “Giveaway: Ad Hoc at Home (Hardcover)

  1. This is a comfort food from my childhood, which is more of a method than a recipe.

    My grandmother’s potato soup:

    Peel and dice about 6 -8 medium, organic potatoes, and place them in a stock pot. Season potatoes with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, then cover with filtered water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender. In the meantime, mix 1 cup organic unbleached flour (I haven’t tried whole wheat or sprouted flour yet) with 1 pastured egg. Cut egg into flour with a fork until it resembles small “noodle” pieces. When the potatoes are fork tender (don’t drain), add about 2 cups of raw milk (which will become pastuerized, but is much healthier than conventional milk), and 4 T grass fed butter. Bring back to a simmer, and stir in the “noodles”. After 5 minutes, adjust salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

    This is fantastic served with homeade crackers/bread and butter. It’s a simple, depression era soup that I make over and over again. I LOVE comfort food! 🙂

    • Yikes! I forgot to say that when the potatoes are fork tender, mash them somewhat in the pot with a potato masher, without draining, before adding the milk and butter. Sorry! 🙂

  2. Another comfort food from my childhood. 🙂

    Chop one head of organic green cabbage, and place in a stock pot. Season with sea salt and pepper, and cover with filtered water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer until cabbage is soft. Add small organic red potatoes (or halved or quartered larger potatoes), and simmer until they’re fork tender. Add 1 pound sliced, pastured polish sausage, and simmer an additional 15 mintues.

    You could serve this as a soup, but I like to dish out the cabbage, potatoes, and sausage separately onto a plate for serving. YUM!!!

  3. Looks like an excellent book! I like that it is down home and simple. I would love to win it – but will be happy for whoever does. 🙂

    Here are two Middle Eastern soup recipes that have been in my family for ages.

    Mujederah (Arabic Lentils and Rice)

    3 cups lentils, uncooked
    1 cup brown rice, uncooked
    8 to 12 cups filtered water
    2 large onions, sliced
    4 T extra virgin olive oil
    salt and pepper to taste

    Put lentils, brown rice, water and salt in a 8 to 9 quart stock pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender, about 50 minutes.

    Meanwhile, brown onions in oil over medium to medium/low heat. Continue browning until onions are very brown, soft and carmelized, 20 to 30 minutes. Turn off heat. Blend in blender until smooth (preferred method) or mash lightly with potato masher.

    When lentils and rice are tender, add mashed or pureed onions. Cook for 5 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent burning or sticking. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Note: There shouldn’t be remaining water. If there is, let the pot simmer with the lid off to allow the excess water to evaporate.

    Loubieh — Arabic Green Bean Stew

    * 1 to 2 pounds grass-fed stew lamb (or beef)
    * 1 onion, chopped
    * 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    * 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
    * 1 can tomato paste
    * 4 cups filtered water
    * 2 16-ounce packages frozen green beans (or 2 pounds fresh green beans)
    * 2 teaspoons sea salt
    * 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    * 4 cups brown jasmine or basmati rice (cooked and warm)

    Saute lamb and onions in olive oil over medium heat in a 6 quart stock pot. After a few minutes, add garlic. Let onions saute until transparent and soft. In a 4 cup measuring cup, mix tomato paste, salt and pepper with water until smooth. Add tomato paste mixture to pot. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until lamb is tender (about an hour). Add the green beans. Let simmer, covered, until tender, about 20 minutes. Adjust seasonings. Turn off heat. Serve over cooked brown rice.

  4. Sadly I don’t have recipes from my mother. Not for any other reason then I’ve seen her ruin hamburger helper! Gravy is a must to attempt to save the desert that is her Thanksgiving Turkey:) So I’ve had to learn as an adult. This summer I’ve been lucky to have some great local flavors to cook with here in Hungary. I’ve been able to get plums off the neighbors tree and tomatoes out of the garden. My favorite thing to do this summer was so horribly simple I’m half afraid to share! But as I’d really love to have a book to learn from, here goes:

    I’d take garden fresh cherry tomatoes and cut them in half, along with a bit of diced herb (gernerally a bit of basil), and fried up a bit of diced, uncured, local bacon. Add the bacon on top, let it slightly warm the tomatoes and basil and in, like, 5 minutes you have a great summer meal!

  5. We eat this often. My 3 small children enjoy it!

    Homemade Mac & Cheese (the specific ingredients is what makes it healthy)

    2 tbsp. pasture-fed butter (HEB has Kerrygold in the imported cheese section)
    2 tbsp. spelt flour
    1 cup homemade chicken stock, using Dewberry Farms local chicken
    1 1/2 c whole milk-PromiseLand Milk
    2 c grated Cheddar cheese (cultured or raw is best, I buy Tillabrook from Costco)
    1 tbsp. dijon mustard
    1 lb. brown rice pasta (easier on the digestive system, I buy Pasta Joy shells from HEB, in the allergy-free section)

    In a saucepot, melt butter over med. Heat, add the flour, and cook for 1 min. Whisk in chick. Stock and milk. Thicken the sauce for 5 min., then stir in the cheese, season w/salt and pepper, and stir in the mustard. Toss w/pasta. Serve immediately.

    Serve w/any veggie and all the good ingredients makes it a meal! If we are extra hungry, I serve w/left-over biscuits.

    Health benefits of grass-fed butter
    Read benefits of homemade stock here
    Health benefits of raw or cultured dairy products

  6. My mom made salmon patties alot, growing up, but I tweaked it a bit.

    Tuna/Salmon Patties and Brown rice

    Cook brown rice early in the day, to get it out of the way. Just follow package directions.
    Add 1 tbsp. white vinegar at the boil, to have fluffy rice

    Two cans tuna or salmon, Do Not drain
    1 pkg. saltine crackers or equivalent amt. bread crumbs (I use homamade breadcrumbs)
    2 eggs, from local Alexander farms
    Oil to sauté/fry (I use coconut oil for health benefits read the benefits here, but you can use olive as well, just don’t overheat)

    Mix tuna, crumbs, and eggs well
    Form into patties and fry/sauté in oil on both sides. One of my kids likes with ketchup, but we like with a cream sauce. To make cream sauce, melt 2 tbsp. butter in sauce pan, and stir in 2 tbsp. flour, till bubbly. Add 1 cup milk or 1/2 & 1/2 (or even heavy cream). Simmer, while stirring till thick.

    Serve with brown rice w/melted butter, and steamed veggie of your choice.

  7. We eat this at least 2x a month!

    Homemade Mac & Cheese (the specific ingredients is what makes it healthy)

    2 tbsp. pasture-fed butter (HEB has Kerrygold in the imported cheese section)
    2 tbsp. spelt flour
    1 cup homemade chicken stock from our local Dewberry Hills Farm
    1 1/2 c whole milk; PromiseLand milk
    2 c grated Cheddar cheese (cultured or raw is best, I buy Tillabrook from Costco)
    1 tbsp. dijon mustard
    1 lb. brown rice pasta (easier on the digestive system, I buy Pasta Joy shells from HEB, in the allergy-free section)

    In a saucepot, melt butter over med. Heat, add the flour, and cook for 1 min. Whisk in chick. Stock and milk. Thicken the sauce for 5 min., then stir in the cheese, season w/salt and pepper, and stir in the mustard. Toss w/pasta. Serve immediately.

    Serve w/any veggie and all the good ingredients makes it a meal! If we are extra hungry, I serve w/left-over biscuits.

    Health benefits of grass-fed butter
    Read benefits of homemade stock here
    Health benefits of raw or cultured dairy products

  8. Old Country Boil

    Prepare ingredients as follows or to personal taste:

    5 quarts water
    1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning
    4 pounds small red potatoes, sliced or quartered
    2 pounds kielbasa or hot smoked link sausage, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
    6 ears fresh corn, halved or sliced 1/2 inch slices
    4 pounds unpeeled, large fresh shrimp
    Old Bay seasoning
    Cocktail sauce

    Bring 5 quarts water and 1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning to a rolling boil in a large covered stockpot.

    Add potatoes, return to a boil, cook uncovered for 10 minutes.

    Add sausage and corn, return to a boil, cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

    Add shrimp, cook 3 to 4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Don’t overcook shrimp.

    Drain. Serve with cocktail sauce

    Clean out the fridge veggie soup

    * 2 (or 3) carrots, chopped in bite-size chunks
    * 1 medium onion, quartered
    * 1 cup cabbage, chopped
    * 1-2 cups meat, chopped in bite size pieces (see note below)
    * 2 potatoes, peeled and cut in 2 inch chunks
    * 1 stalk celery, chopped
    * 1 cup white beans, cooked (optional)
    * 2 tablespoons white vinegar
    * 1 small can tomato paste or large can of tomato sauce (see directions)
    * 6-8 cups water (i use homemade chicken stock)
    * 1 large tomato, cubed (optional)
    * 1 teaspoon oregano
    * salt and pepper to taste
    * anything else left over in the fridge that you want to add
    Note: Meat: I prefer left over beef pot roast but you can use anything you want; ground beef, pork, chicken or…no meat at all. I would not use fish. Never tried it but it just doesn’t sound good. Any meat you use should be cooked or at least browned before adding to soup.

    Pretty simple…throw everything in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about an hour or until vegetables are tender.

    If you use tomato sauce, start with about 1/2 large can. If you use tomato paste, start with 4 tablespoons. Add more or less water and tomato sauce/paste according to your preference for a thick or thin soup and how strong a tomato flavor you like. Stir and taste occasionally. Add salt and pepper (and anything else) to taste.

    The number of servings will vary by the amount of liquids you use. Should make 4-6 people very happy.

    I tweeted also!

  9. My mother, and her mother, were fantastic cooks. They could make something from nothing.
    One thing that brings childhood home to me is this comfort food classic~ it’s a pantry staple recipe, rather than fresh. Although we always had fresh veg, and grew everything and canned, dried and froze, this is my comfort food memory.

    Toad in the Hole

    Brown off some nice brats or beef sausage
    Place in a casserole dish, including at least some of the fat . .
    Make YORKSHIRE PUDDING and pour over the top
    Bake according to pudding recipe.

    Meanwhile heat some stewed tomatos and make a salad.

    Not the healthiest meal, but sure goes good on a cold night!

    My mother always made fabulous soups, too. I love to make them as well but my husband is a meat and potatos man and discounts soup as supper, so the kids and I have them for lunch~ ;p

    Have a fabulous day . . .


  10. I love (LOVE!) swiss chard. Thankfully, so do my girls.
    This is our favorite way of eating it.

    Beans n’ greens

    Melt a couple TB of butter in a pan
    Add 1 onion, chopped and 3 cloves of garlic, minced
    Cook over medium-low until softened
    chop up one large bunch of swiss chard and add to pan. Wilt.
    Add two pints of canned diced tomatoes (I use home canned, but you can use store bought)
    While simmering fry up some organic turkey bacon in lots of butter (We don’t eat pork, but I’m fairly certain it would be yummy…Maybe. I don’t know what pork bacon tastes like!)
    Chop up.
    Add a cup or so of cooked great northern beans to greens. Add bacon.
    Season with salt and pepper.

    Serve with cornbread.

    My favorite dessert?

    Kim’s almond joy

    1 cup coconut oil
    1 cup organic cocoa powder
    1/2 cup maple syrup
    1/4 cup palm sugar
    1/4 cup almond butter
    1/2 cup coconut flakes (I love wilderness family natural’s)
    1/2 ts vanilla extract
    dash of sea salt

    Gently melt oil. Mix with the rest of ingredients (I use a stand mixer) until well combined.
    Cover bottom of square baking pan with plastic wrap and pour “fudge” in. Refrigerate or freeze until firm. Cut into squares.

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  12. Here is my mother-in-law’s favoirte beetroot salad it’s Georgian in origin – but a great favorite in the Soviet Union.

    Beet-Root Salad
    4 or 5 medium beets (adjust as needed for more people)
    handful of walnut halves (adjust depending on how nutty you like it)
    3-4 gloves of garlic
    abt 2 Tblsp of Mayonnaise
    abt t 2 Tblsp of yoghurt
    salt +pepper

    Boil or roast beets until soft. Skin and shred on a coarse grater. Mince the garlic. Grate the walnuts (you can use the food processor, but it does seem to taste better if you hand grate them – my daughter is always willing to do this). Add to the beets and mix well.

    Mix the yoghurt and mayonnaise in a seperate bowl, and add the salt and pepper. You can adjust the proportion of the two ingredients to your liking. Mix with the beetroot.

    The salad should be moist but not very wet. Put it in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to settle and check the season before serving. We like it with a strong garlic bite.

    It is also traditional to add chopped dried prune if you like.

  13. One of my faves is my dad’s famous sauerkraut. I make the kraut from local cabbage (or homegrown if we have it) in October and we always eat it on New Year’s as a family tradition. I have photos of my dad making it on my blog here:

    Here’s his famous recipe for the most delicious kraut ever:

    Spectacular Spareribs and Incredible Kraut
    Guaranteed for prosperity

    2 racks of pork spareribs (4 to 6 pounds of local pastured)
    3 to 4 pounds of sauerkraut (homemade is best)
    4 finely chopped unpared tart local apples (about 2 cups)
    4 finely chopped or shaved (with vegetable peeler) large carrots (about 2 cups)
    3 cups of tomato juice (or V8 if you don’t have homecanned)
    1 cup of diced tomatoes
    6 finely chopped dried apricots
    1 cup of brown sugar
    4 teaspoons of caraway seed

    Cut ribs in pieces, season with salt and black pepper (approximately 2 teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper); place in a large stock pot with olive oil and brown well. Combine the kraut with remaining ingredients; spoon over ribs to mix thoroughly until well mixed.

    Simmer covered for three hours at low heat making certain the liquid covers the kraut and ribs. Skim off excess fat. Then remove lid and allow the kraut to simmer until some liquid had simmered away, leaving top of kraut exposed. Then make dumplings and place on top of the kraut and over, allowing the dumplings to bake for about fifteen minutes. Makes approximately ten servings and will warm your house for days.

    Fluffy Dumplings
    2 cups of sifted all purpose flour
    4 teaspoons of baking powder
    1 teaspoon of salt

    1 cup of whole milk
    4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

    Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together and make certain the dry ingredients are well mixed. Add the milk and oil and kneed with pastry blender until moistened. Drop onto the kraut and cover. Do not lift cover and let mixture return to a slow boil for 12 to 15 minutes. This will make 10 generous dumplings.

  14. I have a family recipe handed down for generations on my dad’s side. I once posted it on my blog (which I haven’t kept up in ages) so I will link to it as it is a long recipe only due to the instructions, really it is easy to make. It is for a Kosher-Style Water Brine Dill Pickle. A true lacto-fermented pickle. I grew up with these and my kids love to make and eat them, never realized till I was an adult they were actually so good for you!!

    I also have a great recipe for Stuffed Cabbage. This comes from my husband’s grandmother who was from Germany and lived in Hungary and also Israel before coming to the US. She doesn’t have written recipes but is a great cook. My brother and sister-in-law went and cooked this with her and wrote down a recipe based on what she did. We make it every year and it is so good my kids will barely wait till it is done cooking, the entire process they are begging to know when it will be ready. They help roll the cabbage rolls and love to help. Having two people makes it much easier to make. I did change a few ingredients to make it healthier (brown rice, etc.)

    Grandma Fanny’s Stuffed Cabbage

    1 cabbage head
    1/2 cup Brown Rice
    3 onions — chopped
    1 pound ground turkey — or ground sirloin
    1 egg
    salt and pepper — to taste
    2 large cans and 1 small can Tomato puree (or homemade tomato sauce, plain)
    1 small can tomato paste
    1 large can Water
    1 piece flank steak — cut into small cubes or pieces

    Boil Cabbage for 2-3 minutes (root end down, take out core). Remove leaves (return cabbage to pot to boil until you can get all the leaves off).

    Wash rice, Place in bowl.

    Add two chopped onions to rice in bowl, add one chopped onion to a large stock pot.

    Add ground turkey (or sirloin if you want) to rice and onion, add egg, salt and pepper. Mix well.

    Add the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes and tomato paste to stock pot with onion, add 1 large can full of water to stock pot. If you want you can also chop up the core of the cabbage and any remaining leaves and add to pot.

    Bring all contents of pot to boil, and then simmer.

    Take a cabbage leaf, add scoop of ground turkey mixture in center, put a piece of the flank steak in the center (hide it in the ground mixture). Fold over cabbage leaf, roll over and tuck top inside (make a package). Repeat till mixture is gone or out of cabbage leaves.

    Add all the stuffed cabbages to the simmering tomato sauce in pot, simmer covered for 2-2 1/2 hours. Add a handful of raisins if you want 1/2 hour before completed cooking to give it a sweet note.

    Freezes well.


  15. Totally sucks that I’m not eligible. But my favourite home cooked dish with fresh local ingredients is a good tomato sauce (recipe on my blog) – it is so versatile!

    In case my number pop’s up, I can give you a US address to ship it to?

  16. Here’s one I posted on my blog this week. Our favorite breakfast. Love your blog!

    Our Favorite Breakfast

    Soaked Steel-Cut Oats

    With rare exception, this is our breakfast everyday. One of our boys is eating it too! We set up the oats to soak in the evening and then the cereal takes only about 10 minutes to cook in the morning. We vary our additions: raisins, prunes, mulberries, walnuts, fresh fruit – take your pick.


    ½ cup Organic Steel-Cut Oats
    1 cup water
    2 tablespoons organic, preferably homemade kefir (you can also use whey, buttermilk, yogurt or lemon juice)
    ½ tsp. celtic sea salt
    ½ cup water
    ¼ cup dried fruit, chopped if larger then raisins
    1 tablespoon Organic Coconut Oil
    ¼ cup Kefir, Buttermilk or Yogurt

    The evening before, put the first three ingredients in a small pot, stir, cover and leave sitting until the next morning.

    In the morning add the salt, dried fruit, and ½ cup water.

    If you like your oatmeal creamy, add the salt after cooking.

    Cook, uncovered, over medium heat until it’s gently boiling, then cook for five minutes more. If we’re not going to eat it right away we turn the heat to low and let it sit covered, until we’re ready. Just before serving stir in 1 heaping tablespoon coconut oil and ¼ cup kefir. You can add nuts, more dried fruit, sprouted flax – anything else you like as an add in – and enjoy!

    Serves 2

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  18. Here’s the okra recipe I remember best from my childhood:
    heat to boiling a quart of salt water
    add a pound of okra
    boil okra for 20 minutes, then flush it down the john

    Ironically, okra is now one of my favorite foods Here’s my shorty:

    Steamed Okra

    place steamer basket in pot and boil water
    add fresh, just picked organic okra pods and steam for no more than 4 minutes
    immediately dress with a little evoo and good quality coarse sea salt

    great as an appetizer, or as the major green on the plate

  19. Quinoa Salad
    1 cup Quinoa cooked in 2 cups of water or chicken broth for about 20-30 minutes simmering covered. Don’t over cook or it gets mushy.

    1 cup (measure before cooking) Quinoa pasta (Sunflower market) cooked according to directions (about 14 minutes for my liking

    Process in food processor or chop finely (I process each item separately so nothing turns to mush):
    Red onion
    3-4 cloves of garlic
    1-2 bunches of cilantro
    1 bunch of parsley
    Mix everything together in a large bowl and add some frozen corn, black beans, and anything else you like in pasta salad and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil (I use red palm oil, but not everyone has that in their pantry) and some lemon juice. Lastly salt and pepper to taste.

    For those that soak their grains, soak 1 cup quinoa in water (and a little whey) for 8+ hours and cook with only 1 cup of broth or water. I have found that a rice cooker works best for me.

  20. These are the pancakes I make for my daughter most mornings.

    1 cup all-purpose flour 2 whole eggs
    1 cup whole wheat pastry flour 3- 31/2 cups buttermilk
    2T. flax seeds 4 T. melted browned butter
    4 T. sugar 11/2 tsp. vanilla extract
    2 tsp. baking powder Combine dry ingredients with liquids. Fold in 1 cup
    1 tsp. cinnamon or more fresh or frozen blueberries. Cook till golden
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. baking soda

  21. Kutya (traditional Russian Christmas snack)

    2 cups whole wheat
    1/2 cup poppy seeds
    1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
    1/2 cup raisins
    1 cup raw honey

    Simmer the wheat for about two hours. It should be cooked through, but not falling apart. Drain the water.

    Cover the raisins with hot water and let them sit until plump.

    Boil the poppy seeds for 5-10 minutes, drain through the cheese cloth, and smash them using a rolling pin.

    Make raw honey syrup by mixing 1 cup honey and 1/2 cup water.

    Mix wheat, raisins, poppy seeds, nuts and honey syrup and place in the center of the Christmas table.

    ** If you soak the wheat overnight with some whey, the cook time should be much shorter. You could also use sprouted wheat.

  22. I think I’ve vastly improved the quality of my life (and those of others around me, lol) by eating a hot breakfast every day. Cereal just isn’t cutting it anymore! Right now my favorite love is frittatas – I work outside the home and I can make a big frittata on Monday (in about 30 min, no less!) and then reheat the leftovers for at least a few days after.

    This week my combo was:

    1 tbsp coconut oil
    5 local, pastured eggs
    1/4 cup or so of raw milk
    1/2 a bunch of lacinato kale, chopped into 2 inch chunks or so
    4 small portobella caps, sliced
    1/2 to 1 cup of shredded cheddar (double points for raw)

    Preheat oven to 375

    Melt coconut oil over med-high heat. Add kale and mushrooms and sautee until soft.

    Beat eggs with milk in bowl. Add in cheese, kale and mushrooms. Stir until combined. Pour into 9″ pie pan and bake for 30 min or until set. Slice into wedges and serve with salsa (fermented, if you can swing it).

    This also would be good with cream cheese in place of the cheddar. I love cream cheese and eggs!

  23. My job was to string the beans and husk the corn. I don’t have specific handed-down recipes, but more a comfort in the kitchen and a lot of experience improvising with fresh foods. Here’s one of my favorite stand-bys, sweet potato soup.

    Prick and bake sweet potatoes in a 400 degree oven until soft (plunge in a fork to test). Let cool. Peel.

    Chop some onion and put it in a glass measuring cup with some butter and a bit of curry powder (I use a bit of cumin, sweet curry from Penzey’s or any other garam masala mixture I have handy). Microwave until the butter has melted, the spices have roasted and the onions are soft – not long!

    Put the onion/spice mixture in a big pot with the sweet potato, add water to cover, chicken bouillon cubes (1 for each cup of water used) and bring to a simmer. Use a masher, portable blender (the kind you put right in the pot) or cuisinart to blend. Add water and chicken bouillon cubes until you have a thick soup.

    Add heavy cream or milk and pepper to taste. Heat and serve with fresh ground nutmeg (optional).

    You can freeze this soup before you add the cream.

  24. And one more – one of our go-to soup recipes.

    Chicken Noodle Soup

    1 whole chicken – 3-4 pounds
    button mushrooms
    bay leaf
    rice pasta (we use tinkyada, usually the schells or bowties)
    Other seasonings as desired (dulse flakes, red pepper flakes, etc)

    Poach chicken in stockpot about 3/4 full of water. Remove, let cool, shred the meat and reserve. Sometimes we save the carcass to make another batch of stock.

    Boil noodles and reserve.

    Saute onion, carrots and celery in some olive oil until softened. Add minced garlic, thyme and mushrooms and cook another few minutes until mushrooms are soft. Add to the chicken broth made by poaching the chicken. Add a bay leaf if you’d like.

    Bring to a boil and then simmer for at least 20-30 min. Stir in reserved chicken and noodles. Add red pepper flakes or dulse flakes or any other seasonings as desired.

    If you keep the noodles separate you can freeze the soup; if the noodles are left in they get mushy.


    This is quick, easy, deliciously rich and nutritious. I love making very simple dishes with vegetables that allow them to shine and then accent with high quality fats. I make this with whatever hearty greens are in season: kales, spinach, swiss chard, broccoli raab, broccoli and so on.


    -Fresh, local greens: approximately 1 large bunch of kale, spinach or broccoli raab, 2 large bunches of spinach or 1 large head of broccoli.
    -2 medium red onions
    -1 tablespoon butter, preferably local and raw if you can get it, otherwise I like Organic Pastures Cultured Butter as an alternative
    -3 large cloves garlic
    -dash of cayenne pepper

    -4 egg yolks from local, pasture-raised hens, separated out from whites which can be saved for another recipe
    -4 teaspoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice (squeeze them into a bowl over a sieve to avoid seeds in the juice)
    -7 oz butter, cut into approx ½ inch cubes, room temperature

    -Sea salt to taste


    -Prepare the Hollandaise ingredients and set them close to the stove top, with a small, thick-bottomed saucepan (with a lid) ready for use when needed.

    -Wash greens of choice, cut as desired and set aside.

    -Peel and chop garlic into rough pieces and set aside

    -Prepare onions, cut into medium slices.


    In large saucepan with a lid, cook onions in 1 tablespoon butter over very low heat for 10-15 mins, allowing to soften and sweeten, stir occasionally.

    While onions are cooking, make Hollandaise Sauce: whisk egg yolks and lemon juice together in small saucepan until fluffy. Place over the lowest heat possible on your stove, whisking gently. Add a couple cubes of butter and watch carefully for when those cubes start to disappear. When that moment comes, add a few more lumps, always whisking. If you can actually see them melting, as opposed to just sort of disappearing, lift pan off stove to stop getting too hot. You don’t want to cook the egg yolks. Continue with whisking, watching temperature, and adding butter cubes until all cubes are absorbed. Add salt to taste. Turn off the heat and cover.

    Turn up heat on the onions to medium, now that they are soft and translucent. Add garlic and greens, stir around in butter and onion mixture for about one minute. Salt according to taste. Add cayenne pepper to taste. Add large dash of water, cover pan immediately and adjust heat so the liquid simmers nicely. Steam mixture as long as needed for greens to cook, shaking pan occasionally to keep things loose: about 3 minutes for spinach, 5-7 for chard, kales and broccoli raab, 10 for broccoli. Check on Hollandaise sauce while cooking greens and give it a whisk if it starts to harden on the top.


    Spoon lots of Hollandaise sauce over each portion of greens and enjoy! This is a great accompaniment to simple grain dishes, or meat and fish.

  26. Here is one of my favorites from my mother.

    Shepherd’s Pie

    2 lbs ground grassfed beef
    1 large onion, chopped
    1 cup (or more) of leftover gravy – beef, pork, chicken
    1 TBSP worcestershire sauce
    6 large white potatoes, peeled
    butter, milk, white pepper

    Place the beef, onions, and gravy in a pot. Cook on medium heat stirring often until the meat is beginning to cook. Add the worcestershire sauce and simmer on low , partly covered, for about 20 mins. until thoroughly cooked, if the mixture seems too dry add a little water. If it seems too moist, cook uncovered until it reduces. Pour into a 9 x 13″ glass casserole or equivalent dish.

    Boil the peeled potatoes until soft. Mash with milk and butter, leaving them a bit dry. Add a dash or two of white pepper.

    Top the meat with the mashed potatoes, sealing to the edge of the dish.

    Bake at 350 degrees for ~ 40 mins. or until the top is slightly browned and the meat is bubbly.

    Serve with a fresh green vegetable.

  27. My room mate and I started cooking salmon like this one year in college. We’ve stayed close friends, and better yet are now related since my sister married her brother. So I guess you could say this is a family recipe.

    Salmon with Onion,Tomato and Herbs

    Salmon fillets or steaks, enough for one per person
    sliced red onion
    sliced tomato
    minced garlic
    olive oil
    fresh or dried basil and thyme
    salt and pepper

    Place a piece of fish inside a sheet of foil. Salt and pepper both sides, drizzle one side with olive oil, and sprinkle herbs and garlic over the fish generously. Layer the tomatoes and onions over the fish. Fold up the foil over the fish to make a packet, sealing the ends as well so the juices won’t escape. Repeat for each piece of fish. Grill over a medium hot fire for about 10 minutes on each side. (Maybe 15 on the veggie side.) Fish is done when it flakes away in the center and the veggies are soft and caramelized. We like to open our packets over brown rice. The juice from the fish, herbs and veggies is wonderful!

    We call this Wedding Chicken. It was served at a wedding reception and my mom and I sat there the whole time trying to figure out what was in the recipe. This is what we came up with and we think it’s a winner!

    Wedding Chicken

    4 Chicken breasts cut into large (2 inch) pieces
    flour for dredging
    garlic salt ( or herbamare)
    olive oil
    2 leeks sliced
    1 clove garlic minced
    1 can of stewed tomatoes, drained
    1/2 cup white wine
    3/4 cup chicken broth
    1 bay leaf
    2 cups sliced mushrooms
    1 can artichoke hearts
    parsley (1 tsp dried or 1 Tbsp fresh)

    Add some garlic salt or herbamare to a cup of flour and dredge the chicken pieces in the flour. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil and brown the chicken in the oil. Remove the chicken and keep near by on a separate plate. Add the sliced leeks and garlic to the oil and saute for a minute or two. Add the tomatoes and cook a few more minutes until some of the liquid has evaporated. Add the chicken back in along with the wine, broth, mushroom and herbs. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add artichoke hearts and parsley and simmer a few more minutes uncovered until the sauce begins to thicken.

  28. Ren, I got the book today, thank you SO MUCH! Let’s just say my children were severely neglected since the UPS guy showed up with the package. I’ve been reading and reading and can’t get enough!

    This is now my second favorite cookbook (the first one will be yours when you write it)

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