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Rhubarb Rosemary Cocktail
Serves 8
Great for entertaining larger groups in early summer.
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  1. 1 1/2 cups vodka
  2. 1 cup strawberries, green tops removed
  3. 3 cups rhubarb, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  4. 1/3 cup of sugar
  5. 5 ounces of lemon juice (about 5 or 6 lemons)
  6. 1 1/4 cups of water
  7. 1 cup rosemary simple syrup
  1. Place all the ingredients except for the vodka in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth.
  2. Strain mixture into a bowl or pitcher, pushing on the mush with a wooden spoon to get all the liquid out. Discard mush.
  3. Chill for at least an hour.
  4. Add 1 cup of Rosemary simple syrup (see below0 and the vodka to the strawberry rhubarb mixture.
  5. Serve in glasses filled with lots of ice.
  1. Rosemary Simple syrup
  2. 3 tablespoons sugar
  3. 1 cup water
  4. 5 large sprigs of rosemary
  5. Bring the water and sugar to a simmer. Remove from heat and add Rosemary. Let the rosemary steep for a half hour. Discard Rosemary and chill. Makes about a 1 cup.
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Blackberry Basil Bellini
Yields 2
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  1. 1/2 Cup fresh blackberries
  2. 1 Ounce basil simple syrup (see below)
  3. 1/2 Ounce lime juice
  4. Prosecco, Cava or other sparkling wine
  1. Muddle the berries, simple syrup and lime juice in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add ice and shake like crazy for about a minute.
  3. Strain mixture evenly into two fluted glasses.
  4. Top of with the sparkling wine.
  5. Garnish with Basil leaves and a lime wedge.
  1. Basil Simple Syrup
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 1/2 cup sugar
  4. 10 large Basil leaves
  5. Bring water and sugar to a simmer in a pan set over medium high heat. Dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and add the basil leaves. Steep for a half hour, discard basil and chill.
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Rhubarb Syrup
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  1. 1 Cup rhubarb cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  2. 1/2 Cup sugar
  3. 1/4 Cup water
  1. Put all the ingredients into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Let it boil for about 5 minutes.
  2. While the mixture boils, crush the rhubarb with a wooden spoon.
  3. Strain the mixture and let cool.
  1. Add the syrup to cocktails, lemonade or use it in a vinaigrette
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Lemon Curd
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  1. 6 egg yolks
  2. 3/4 cup of sugar
  3. 1/2 cup of lemon juice
  4. Zest of one lemon
  5. Pinch of salt
  6. 4 tablespoons of cold butter
  1. Mix all ingredients except for the butter together in a glass bowl that can sit atop of a sauce pan.
  2. Fill the sauce pan with water about two inches from the top of the pan. Bring the water to a heavy simmer.
  3. Once the water is heated, place the bowl with the egg mixture on top and start whisking. Whisk constantly until the mixture begins to thicken to the consistency of cake batter.
  4. Take the lemon curd off the stove and whisk in the cold butter one tablespoon at a time.
  5. Place plastic wrap on the surface of the curd (so that it doesn't form a skin) and cool in the fridge.
  1. Lemon curd is great with scones or used as a filling for cakes and tarts!
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Nettle Soup
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  1. 2 Cups chopped onion
  2. 2 Medium Russet potatoes – peeled and chopped (1/2 in pieces)
  3. 6 Cups Vegetable Broth
  4. Bring the above to a boil, then simmer for 20 min.
AFTER the 20 min. simmer
  1. 4 heaping cups of Nettles, loosely packed. About 1/4 of a brown paper grocery bag. Wash in warm water (it helps remove the sting), but wear the gloves.
  2. Add the nettles to the pot
  3. Bring back to boil, then simmer for 10 min.
DURING the 10 min. simmer, add
  1. 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
  2. 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt to taste
AFTER the 10 min. simmer, add
  1. When cooked, purée
  2. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and/or a splash of lemon juice
  3. Remember to add love and/or magic
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Ricotta and tomato Bruschetta
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  1. 15 ounces whole milk ricotta (about 2 cups)
  2. 1 & 1/2 pints cherry tomatoes, cut in halves or sliced thin, which ever you like.
  3. 10 basil leaves, Chiffonade
  4. 1 Tablespoon chives, minced
  5. 2 teaspoons terragon, minced
  6. 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  7. Salt and pepper
  1. Salt and pepper your tomatoes and set aside. Mix the rest of the ingredients together until combined.
  2. Spread a bit of the ricotta mixture on toasted baguette rounds. Artistically place tomatoes on top. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and serve.
Adapted from a recipe by
Adapted from a recipe by
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Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
Serves 4
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  1. 1 whole chicken cut into 8 pieces
  2. 3 bulbs of garlic (roughly 40 cloves, go ahead and count them if you really want to) Peel all the cloves.
  3. A few tablespoons of sunflower oil for the pan and to rub on the chicken
  4. 1 Cup of dry Vermouth (also lovely in a martini)
  5. 1/2 Cup of cream
  6. 1/2 Stick of butter ( I know, I know, but thats what makes it so good!)
  7. Salt and Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Rub the chicken pieces all over with a bit of sunflower oil. Salt and pepper the chicken pieces.
  3. Add some sunflower oil to a frying pan and thats set over medium high heat.
  4. Brown all the chicken pieces in batches adjusting the heat of the pan so that the chicken browns and doesn't burn ( you know your stove better than I do)
  5. Once the chicken is brown set it aside and throw the garlic into the pan. Stir it around the pan for a few minutes until it becomes fragrant, then take it out and set it aside.
  6. Add the Vermouth to the pan and scrape up all the brown bits. Once you have all the brown bits scraped up add the chicken and the garlic back to the pan. Cover tightly with a lid or foil and bake it in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes or until its done.
  7. Once the chicken is done remove it from the pan and tent it with foil.
  8. Add the cream and the butter to the pan, cooking it over medium heat until the butter is melted.
  9. Check to see if it needs an extra bit of salt or pepper, then pour the sauce over the chicken and enjoy!
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Smoked Trout Canapés on Cucumber Round
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  1. 3 or 4 cucumbers cut into 1/2 inch rounds
  2. 4 ounces smoked trout, skin removed
  3. 2 & 1/2 ounces of cream cheese
  4. Juice of one lemon
  5. 1 heaping tablespoon of fresh dill, roughly chopped
  6. Salt & pepper
  7. A bit of cream
  1. Add all the ingredients except the salt and pepper and cream to the bowl of a food processor. Process gently until ingredients and just mixed. Thin the mixture with a bit of cream to get a nice Greek yogurt like texture. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add mixture to a pastry bag or large ziplock bag with the tip cut off.
  3. Pipe smoked trout onto cucumber rounds. Garnish with fresh dill.
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Spicy Heirloom Bloody Marys
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  1. 2 Heirloom tomatoes, quartered
  2. 2 Ounces Midwestern Vodka
  3. 1 Tablespoon basil, Julienned
  4. 1/2 Clove garlic, minced
  5. 1 1/2 Teaspoons Worestershire sauce
  6. 2 Teaspoons pickle juice
  7. 1 Teaspoon prepared horseradish
  8. 1 Teaspoon Sriracha
  9. Pinch of sugar
  10. Salt & Pepper to taste
  11. Kosher salt for the rim of the glass
  1. We the rim of two glasses, dip we rims in kosher salt to coat the rims. Set aside.
  2. Squeeze the quartered tomatoes through a ricer to extract the juice.
  3. Fill the glasses with ice then add the tomato juice and the remaining ingredients. Stir well to incorporate all the ingredients.
  4. Garnish with cherry tomatoes, pickles, and what ever else you can think of!
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Wild Food Potato Cakes
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  1. 2 cups of leftover mashed potatoes
  2. 4 strips of bacon, sliced into 1 inch pieces
  3. 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  4. 1 Clove of garlic, minced
  5. A cup of Cheese
  6. A few tablespoons of fresh or dried herbs such as, parsley or chives
  7. About a half cup of wild greens such as chickweed, daisy leaves, dandelion leaves, or you could also use garden greens like spinach, chard or kale. Wash the greens and chop them up.
  8. Salt & pepper
  9. Fried eggs for serving
  1. Fry up the bacon, then remove from the pan. Use the bacon grease to fry the onions. Cook onions until they are soft the add the greens, herbs and garlic. Cook over medium heat until the greens are wilted. Add the bacon and the onion, cheese and greens mixture to the mash potatoes. Add salt and pepper and mix up all the ingredients with your hands until well combined.
  2. Using your hands make 4 to 6 patties. Fry them up in the frying pan until the outsides are nice and crisp. Make sure you have plenty of bacon grease or butter in the pan so the patties don't stick. Serve the Wild Food Potato Cakes with fried eggs on top.
  1. These potato cakes are meant to be made from leftovers so throw anything in that sounds good. Just like all of my recipes, make sure to have fun making these and mix and match ingredients to make them your own.
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For the Crust:

1 3/4 cup warm water (about 100 degrees)
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons cornmeal
2 tablespoons olive oil

Step 1
Whisk the yeast and sugar gently into the warm water. Set aside and let sit for about five minutes or until yeast becomes foamy and begins to activate.

Step 2
In a large bowl or the bowl of a kitchen aid add flour, salt and cornmeal, stir to combine. slowly add the water/yeast mixture to the flour mixture until combined. Drizzle olive oil into the dough and knead for about five minutes. If you are using a kitchen aid leave it running for about three minutes.

Step 3
Place the dough in a oil lined bowl, seal with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for a few hours. If you think about it punch the dough down after an hour or two and let it rise again for another hour. Then stick the dough in the fridge for at least an hour before making the pizzas.

This recipe makes 2 pizza crusts. It’s easy to double if you would like to make more.

For the Pizza:

The best part about these pizzas are to be as inventive as possible, use what you have on hand and have a ball experimenting.

Tomato Mozzarella:
2-3 ripe tomatoes (When tomatoes are not is season I use a 15 ounce can of tomatoes and add a pinch of sugar)
2 or 3 cloves of garlic depending on your taste, minced
10-12 fresh basil leaves or a few tablespoons of dried basil
salt & pepper to taste
a splash of olive oil
fresh mozzarella, sliced

Step 1
Chop the tomatoes into 1/2 inch chunks, collecting the juice as you go. Add the tomatoes to a medium size bowl. Julianne the basil and add to the tomatoes, mix in the garlic and salt and pepper. Drizzle the mixture with a bit of olive oil. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for an hour or so so that the flavors can come together.

Step 2
Roll the dough out into 2 very thin crusts. This will take a little practice to get right, depending on the heat of your grill you may need to leave it a bit thicker, just play around and find out what works for you.

Step 3
Grill one side of the pizza crust on a medium high grill. When the crust is golden remove from the grill, flip over and begin adding ingredients. Add a bit of the mozzarella and tomato mixture, not too much, less is always more with these. Then place the pizza topping side up onto the grill. Grill until the crust is golden.


Bonus: Gruyere, bacon and Thyme Pizza – One of my favorites!
Make a batch of crust and this time dress it us with grated Gruyere cheese, fried bacon bits and fresh time, a lovely combination!


Free Form Apple Tart
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For the pastry
  1. 2 1/2 cups flour
  2. 2 sticks of butter
  3. 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup ice water
  4. pinch of sugar
  5. pinch of salt
For the tart
  1. 2 medium apples
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  4. 3 pats of butter
  5. egg yolk and a splash of cream for the egg wash
  6. sanding sugar (optional)
  1. To make the pastry, add the flour, the pinch of sugar and pinch of salt to a medium size bowl. Set the bowl in the freezer to chill for a half hour or longer.
  2. Cut the butter into 1 inch pieces. Place the butter on a small plate, wrap it in plastic then stick it in the freezer for at least a half hour.
  3. When all the ingredients are chilled, add the flour mixture and butter to the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is the consistency of course sand.
  4. Slowly add the ice water—how much you will need will depend on the temper of the day. Stop adding water when the pastry just begins to come together. It’s always best to add less water than you think you will need. It may take a time or two before you get the pastry down, but it’s worth it!
  5. Turn the pastry out onto a lightly floured surface. Using your hands, push the pastry together, then cut the pastry in half and form two equal disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and place back in the fridge for at least a half hour.
  6. When the pastry is chilled remove one of the disks. Use the second disk for another recipe or double up on apples and make two tarts.
  7. Roll the pastry out into a about an 1/8 inch thick. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of cinnamon and sugar on top of the rolled out pastry.
  8. Cut and core the apples then slice into about 1/4 inch pieces. Layer the pieces how ever you please onto the pastry, leaving an inch or so free around the edges of the pastry. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon and sugar over the apples. You may not need all of the cinnamon and sugar depending on your taste and the sweetness of the apples. Dot the apples with a few pats of butter. Now fold in the outer edges of the pastry, overlapping a bit.
  9. Mix an egg yolk with a bit of cream and brush along the pastry. Sprinkle with sanding sugar if you desire.
  10. Bake the tart at 425 for 20 minutes. Then lower the oven to 350 and continue baking until the tart starts to bubble and the crust is golden, another 15 minutes or so.
  1. Enjoy with Cinnamon scented whip cream!
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For me the New Year doesn’t start when the ball drops at midnight in Times Square. It begins somewhere around the second or third week in March, when mud takes the place of snow, the robins return, and the cows begin to calve.

Joe and I have what is referred to as a seasonal dairy, meaning we try to get all the cows pregnant at the same time, so we can dry them up at the same time, so we can take two months off while the cows are dry, and so on and so forth.

Getting all the cows pregnant at once is about as realistic as me sticking to my new year’s resolutions. What usually happens is I get two or three cows calving the second or third week in March and the rest a month later. The three cows that are “fresh” (as we call it on the dairy farm), will not produce enough milk to have the milk truck stop every other day for a pick up—so that means until I have more cows freshen, I am stuck with about a hundred and eighty pounds of milk every day. What’s the saying? When life hands you lemons make lemonade? Well, when life hands you a hundred and eighty pounds of milk you make yogurt, fresh mozzarella, pancakes, milkshakes, butter, and you start eating cereal three times a day.

Well, it seems like home cheese making is all the rage, so I decided to try my hand at making whole milk ricotta, and the results were/are delicious.

Fresh Ricotta Cheese
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  1. 1 Gallon of milk
  2. 2/3 Cup fresh squeezed lemon juice or distilled vinegar (vinegar seemed to give the best yield)
  3. Salt to taste
  4. Cheesecloth
  5. Colander
  6. Thermometer
  1. Slowly heat milk to 180-185 degrees in a heavy bottom pot, stirring constantly as you increase the heat.
  2. When the milk has reached 180-185 degrees, remove the pot from the heat and gently stir in the lemon juice or vinegar. The milk will begin to coagulate immediately.
  3. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, then pour slowly into a colander lined with cheesecloth.
  4. Let ricotta drain for as little as 15 minutes or as long as an hour—depending on the consistency you desire. The longer the ricotta drains, the drier it will be.
  5. Season the ricotta to taste with sea salt.
  1. Ricotta lends itself nicely to flavors like almonds, berries, honey, cinnamon, lemon, herbs, nutmeg, orange, garlic, and chives.
  2. Mix a bit of honey and lemon zest with fresh ricotta and serve on a toasted bread.
  3. You can also season the ricotta with a few teaspoons of herbs and fresh cracked pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
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  • thebigcheese
  • ricottacheese
  • honeyornothing
  • ingacalf
  • smalllemon
  • smallmilkpour

Whisk in a small bowl:
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon  honey
1 teaspoon  Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Makes ¾ cups

Combine into a food processor:
4 oz. local goat cheese, room temperature
¼ cup whole milk
2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon grainy mustard
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
1 tablespoon minced parsley
Pinch of salt, pepper, & lemon zest

Thoroughly combine ingredients, add more milk to thin the dressing if desired.

Makes 1 cup

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