Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category


I love going to my local farmers market. Recently, my bounty  included celery root, carrots, and leeks. I have very little experience with celery root, but it seemed like something I would like. Hey, I like celery, I like leeks, and I like carrots!

I did a little google searching. The recipe that kept combining the ingredients was celery root and leek soup. I like bacon, and I know that almost anything is better with bacon. So a celery root, carrot, leek, and bacon soup it would be.

I found a recipe on the web that gave me the bones for the soup that I made (I wish I could find it now, but I can’t), and I took it from there. It was delicious! Delicate flavor, with just the right touch of savory saltiness from the bacon. And of course, I convinced myself that it was perfectly healthy. And it might have been, but for the bacon.


About 4 pieces bacon, coarsely chopped. I typically keep good bacon in the freezer, and pull it out and cut it with kitchen shears as needed for recipes. 2 medium leeks, sliced in half, rinsed well, and sliced into ¼” pieces; white and light green part only 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into ¼” slices One head celery root; peeled and cut into about 1” pieces (~1 lb)  2 T olive oil salt 3 garlic cloves 1 t fresh thyme leaves 2 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock 1 ½ t fresh lemon juice


Heat a #8 cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook until crisp. Remove bacon and all but about 1T bacon fat. Place carrot rounds into pan; sauté about 5 minutes until somewhat softened.  Remove carrots from pan. Sauté leeks in remaining bacon fat, along with a pinch of salt, for about 10 minutes, until tender but not browned. Add garlic and thyme, and sauté about 3 more minutes.  Add celery root, a pinch of salt, and a generous grinding of black pepper to the pan.  Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Put all but about 1/3 c of the bacon, leeks, and carrots back into the pan. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until the celery root can be easily pierced with a knife.  Puree in the pan using an immersion blender. Add lemon juice and taste for seasoning. Top with remaining bacon pieces, and serve.



I have mentioned before that I have been trying Blue Apron and really enjoying the experience. Sometimes I LOVE what I’ve made, sometimes I like it, and only once did I actively dislike what I made.

This is one of of those occasions where I LOVED what I made. The steak and sauce was fantastic! I over-salted the kale, so didn’t love it, but without so much salt I am sure I would have enjoyed it more. The potatoes were good as well.

Yet another occasion to cook steak in my Griswold #8 slant logo skillet!

Steaks au Poirve with Crispy Fingerling Potatoes and Sautéed Kale

From Blue Apron. Serves 2 (though I loved the steak and sauce so much I ate most of both at once!), ~700 calories per serving.

Ingredients: 2 top sirloin steaks (about 10 oz. total was provided – use more or less to your taste) 2 cloves garlic 1 bunch kale 3?4 lb fingerling potatoes 2 T crème fraîche 1 T butter 1 T beef demi-glace 1?2 t coarsely ground black ppper 1/4 c grated parmesan cheese Salt, pepper, olive oil


Cook & peel the potatoes:

Wash and dry the kale. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the potatoes and cook 14 to 16 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain thoroughly and set aside to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, using a paring knife, carefully peel the cooked potatoes; discard the skins. Transfer to a bowl.

Note: I thought that peeling the potatoes was a pain. Were I to make them again, I would leave them unpeeled.

Prepare the ingredients:

While the potatoes cook, peel and mince the garlic. Remove and discard the kale stems; coarsely chop the leaves.

Cook the steaks:

Pat the steaks dry with paper towels; season both sides with salt and half the black pepper (reserving the rest). In a size 8 or larger cast iron skillet (one big enough to hold your steaks without crowding), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the seasoned steaks and cook 2 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare, or until browned and cooked to your desired degree of doneness. Transfer to a plate, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan. Set the cooked steaks aside to rest for at least 5 minutes.

Cook the kale:

Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the cast iron pan with reserved fond; heat on medium until hot. Add the garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the kale and 1?4 cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up any fond from the bottom of the pan, 3 to 5 minutes, or until the kale has wilted and the liquid has cooked off. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl and set aside in a warm place. Rinse and wipe out the pan.

Note: I followed the Blue Apron directions and added salt and pepper at various stages of cooking the kale. I deleted that from the instructions, as my kale was far too salty. The parmesan itself is salty; I would hold off on seasoning with salt until you taste after cooking.

Brown the potatoes:

In the same cast iron skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the peeled potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until crispy and browned on all sides. Transfer to a bowl and set aside in a warm place. Wipe out the skillet.

Finish & plate:

Return the rested steaks to the pan. Add the demi-glace, crème fraîche, remaining black pepper and 1?4 cup of water; cook on medium, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly reduced (note: this happened very quickly for me). Add the butter; cook, spooning the sauce over the steaks, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the finished steaks to a cutting board; thinly slice against the grain. Divide the cooked kale, browned potatoes and sliced steaks between 2 plates. Top with the pan sauce. Serve any remaining pan sauce on the side.

Enjoy, and just try to restrain yourself from eating both steaks, as I did!





blue apron chicken pot pie sage biscuit griswold cast iron skillet pan slant logo heat ring 704 8

…on my glass top cooktop. Wow, this was delicious! Another admission – while I love pot pie, I have never before made one. I don’t even think I have ever purchased one at the store, so I am not sure when I have had them and how I know I love them…I just know I do. I am quite sure I have never had one topped with biscuits; this was a nice twist on the standard.

Again, this is a Blue Apron recipe and meal meal. I am really having fun with the service. No, I am not a paid spokesperson for Blue Apron. I should be!

Chicken and Sage Biscuit Pot Pie w Cremini Mushrooms and Purple-Top Turnip

Per Blue Apron, this serves 2. I found it served more like 3 hearty meals or 4 reasonably-sized servings.

Ingredients: 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts 1 c Buttermilk Biscuit Mix 4 oz Cremini Mushrooms 1 Carrot 1 Stalk Celery ½ lb Purple Top Turnip 1 bunch Sage 3 T All-Purpose Flour 2 T Chicken Demi-Glace 2 T Crème Fraîche Olive Oil Salt & Pepper Directions:

Poach & shred the chicken:

In a medium pot, combine the chicken, a big pinch of salt and enough water to cover the chicken by 2 inches; heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, remove from heat and cover with a lid or foil. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Thoroughly drain the poached chicken and transfer to a cutting board. Using 2 forks, shred into bite-sized pieces.

Prepare the ingredients:

While the chicken poaches, preheat the oven to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and medium dice the turnip. Cut the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. Thinly slice the celery crosswise. Peel the carrot and thinly slice into rounds. Pick the sage leaves off the stems; discard the stems and thinly slice the leaves.

Cook the vegetables:

While the chicken continues to poach, in a number 8 cast iron skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned. Add the carrot, celery and turnip; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender.

Cooking the vegetables in my Griswold slant logo #8 skillet w heat ring.

Make the filling:

Add the flour and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan of vegetables; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the flour is golden. Add the crème fraîche, demi-glace, half the sage and 1½ cups of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 5 minutes, or until the liquid has thickened. Stir in the shredded chicken; season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and heated through.


Make the biscuit batter:

While the filling cooks, in a medium bowl, combine the biscuit mix and remaining sage (just until combined – for tender biscuits you don’t want to mix too much!); season with salt and pepper. Gradually stir in 1/2 cup of cold water until just combined.

Finish the pot pie & serve your dish:

Using a spoon, top the skillet full of filling with about-equal-sized scoops of the biscuit batter, leaving some space between the scoops. Place the skillet into the oven and bake 12 to 14 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown and cooked through. Remove from the oven. Let stand for at least 2 minutes. Serve directly at the table – be careful when transferring the skillet to the table; it will be hot!

One of the great things about making this in a cast iron pan is that the pot pie will stay plenty warm in the skillet while serving, so if people want more than one serving, they can scoop up another and it will still be warm.



Wow. If you have a cold, this soup will clear your sinuses right up!

I have been enjoying Blue Apron for a few months now. The meals I get are mostly vegetarian, because there are a lot of proteins that I consider scary and won’t eat. I will try any vegetable, however.

Today I made Vadouvan-Spiced Parsnip Soup. Prior to making this recipe, I had never heard of Vadouvan spice. Per Blue Apron, I learned that it is a “French-influenced curry powder best known for its addition of aromatics like shallow and garlic to traditional Indian curry spices.” And I did’t even think I liked curry powder! I also have never had soup that had raisins as an ingredient.

This soup has a wonderful spicy heat that lingers with you; the Greek yogurt cuts it nicely. Very complex flavors and tasty! Great for a light lunch.

Vadouvan-Spiced Parsnip Soup

Recipe from Blue Apron. I made very few modifications; just tot change the heat for using a cast iron pot, and to adjust for leftovers – adding the lemon to the soup once served, and only seasoning part of the yogurt. I’ll add more lemon to my leftovers once reheated, and mix the yogurt just prior to serving the leftover soup. While the recipe says it serves 2, it easily makes 4 luncheon servings. I suppose it could serve two if someone had a very very hearty appetite, but I’m sure I’ll get four bowls from this recipe.

Makes: 2 Servings (I found it makes more like 4 luncheon-sized servings) Calories: About 550 Per Serving Cooking Time: 25 to 35 minutes

Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the collard greens. Remove and discard the collard green stems; roughly chop the leaves. Medium dice the baguette. Peel the parsnip; quarter lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Peel and small dice the sweet potato and onion. Quarter and deseed the lemon.

Make the croutons:

In your cast iron Griswold Iron Mountain chicken pan (or other suitable pot, if you insist), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. Add the diced baguette; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 4 to 6 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out the pot.

Start the soup:

Add 2 teaspoons olive oil to the same pot in which you made your croutons. Add the parsnip, sweet potato and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned.

Add the tomato paste & spices:

Add the tomato paste and spice blend to the pot; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and fragrant.

Finish the soup and season the yogurt:

Add the collard greens, raisins and 4 cups of water to the pot; season with salt and pepper. Heat to boiling on medium. As soon as it starts to boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and the liquid is slightly reduced in volume. Place your desired amount of yogurt into a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the juice of 1/4 lemon. Remove the pot from the heat. Spoon your desired amount of soup into a bowl. Squeeze the juice of 1/4 lemon into the bowl.

Serve your soup!

Top your bowl of soup with the desired amount of croutons and seasoned yogurt. Eat and enjoy!

Nick's Panna Cotta in Griswold heart patty molds.Happy Almost-Valentine’s Day!

My dear friend Mary and her son Nick came up with some creative ideas for using Griswold heart patty molds for Valentine’s Day. Mary figured that chocolate was a necessity for Valentine’s Day, so they made double-chocolate soufflés, using a recipe from Food & Wine. Don’t they look beautiful?

Double Chocolate Soufflé in Griswold #2 Heart Patty Molds.

Nick also created a pan cotta with rosewater syrup and cardamom, topped with pistachio praline. He tinkered a bit with the recipe but there is one similar here. Showstopper!

Nick’s Cardamom, Rose Syrup, and Pistachio Praline Panna Cotta, made and served in Griswold #2 Heart Patty Molds.