The growing season is sadly coming to a close in the mid-Atlantic.  Dedicated locavores will find their selection of summer greens, vegetables, and fruits rapidly diminishing and in their place find the comforting return of autumn root vegetables and late season tree fruits like apples.

Pablo found this beautiful late-planted-and-early-harvested baby broccoli at Gardener's Gourmet in last weekend's FRESHFARM Market at Dupont Circle.
Blanched quickly in salted boiling water, this delicious green treat was welcomed.  Regional farmers are extending their growing season -- and the availability of wonderful vegetable treats like baby broccoli -- through the use of high-tunnels: covered growing spaces.
The hydroponic growing space at Endless Summer Harvest enables beautiful greens year-round in Loudoun County, VA
Organically-Certified high tunnels at Cottingham Farm in Talbot County, MD
In season or grown indoors using innovated and season-extending technologies, greens like baby broccoli, leeks, spinach and other bitter green are delicious with a bit of creamy FireFly Farms goat cheese served melted on top.  The creamy backdrop makes for easy and healthy comfort food.
This is one of my favorite go-to recipes for the entire holiday season. 
It's easy to prepare, gets better after a few days in the refrigerator, and is a classic crowd-pleaser.

What you'll need...

1/2 loaf Panettone (cut into 1 inch cubes, about 1 pound or half the Bindi Panettone available in the market)
8 eggs (room temperature)
4 cups milk
4 cups cooked pumpkin (you can bake and use a fresh one, or easily substitute 2 16-ounce cans)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 log Allegheny Chevre (optional if you are a purist)
Preheat your over to 350 degrees.  Spread the cubed Panettone in the bottom of a 9 x 13 buttered baking pan -- the deepest one you have.  In a mixing bowl, combine the milk, eggs, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla and cinnamon.  Using a whisk, beat until the custard mixture is well-combined.  If you like a cheesy custard, mix in the Allegheny Chevre; it adds a creamy, cheese-cake-like quality to the bread pudding you'll really enjoy.
Pour the custard mixture over the cubed Panettone; spread to cover the bread and let it soak for 30 minutes.  That's it!  Bake the bread pudding for 45-60 minutes until the center is firm and the custard is fully baked.  Serve warm with a drizzle of maple syrup and a healthy scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream.
This holiday bread pudding gets better after refrigeration. Make it ahead of time; you'll be glad you did.
You can cover and store, cut portions and microwave before serving - an easy holiday treat!
This dip is all about presentation. Super easy and looks oh so fancy!
My favorite thing about taking this to a party is you do not need to worry about getting a container back. You just leave that cute little pumpkin.

What you will need..

A nice little round Pie Pumpkin
2 Logs of Allegheny Chevre (Room Temp)
1 Piece of Black and Blue, at least 6-8 ounces
4 Tablespoons of Apple Cider, Whatever you have on hand
6 Tablespoons of Milk, I used Skim.
4-5 Pieces of Chives, Chopped
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

You will need to cut and clean out the pie pumpkin. Be careful those little things are tough to cut!

Grab a large mixing bowl toss in the two logs of Allegheny Chevre. Then add the  chopped chives and the freshly ground black pepper. Give it a good mix around. Next add the Black and Blue, I wrote 6-8 ounces so about a cup. But If you want it a little more tangy add more of the Black and Blue. The mix is going to be pretty dry and crumbly, now you will want to add the milk and the apple cider. This is going to give a nice creamy texture which makes it really good for dipping.

This dip can be served with celery, sliced apples or just a nice baguette. If you wan to get extra fancy you could roast some of the pumpkin seeds and toss a few on top.
The Green Tomatoes Are Still Out There!!!

If you are a fan of these well its totally worth it. I love fried green tomatoes. You can do lots with them. I went simple with this post and just put them on a nice mixed green salad. But another favorite of mine is putting them on a BLT. Oh its pretty dreamy. A nice way to sass up your regular BLT, although there is nothing wrong with the way it is!

What You Will Need

3 or 4 Large Green Tomatoes, Buttermilk about 1 cup, Self Rising Flour about 2 Cups, Fresh Ground Black Pepper, Sea Salt and Lots of Chives. Also some vegetable oil for the frying. Oh and Black and Blue, as much as you want!

This is a two step process. The wetting and the dipping of the tomatoes.. You will get your hands messy!!

Slice the tomatoes about an a quarter inch thick. Lay them out on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. You want to pull some of the water out of them. So let them sit about 15 minutes then change the paper towel and leave them for another 15 minutes. 

You can get your pan ready while these are sitting. In a deep flying fan add the oil and set it to medium high heat. Definitely want them to sizzle.  Also you do not want them to be completely covered, just about half way. 

Now the fun stuff.. Get two medium sized shallow bowls. The first one add your flour, black pepper and chives. The second bowl pour the buttermilk. Get your tomatoes and dip them in the buttermilk to get them wet then drag them and coat them in the flour. Get a thick coat, because that means lots of crunchy stuff.
Place them gently in your hot pan and let them cook till they area golden brown then flip them and then the other side.

When they are finished cooking place them onto a paper towel and keep them in the
oven to stay warm. When you are completely finished cooking all of them. Take your Black and Blue and crumble the cheese all over the top to get nice and gooey.... That is it. 

Oh So Delish and so very simple.... 
You can totally impress your friends with this simple combination.
Besides this salad being really tasty, it looks fantastic.

A take on an easy Greek Salad instead of the traditional Feta we used our very own Allegheny Chevre. The trick is finding a very sweet watermelon, which is still a mystery to me.

What you will need -
A Watermelon, Chevre, Cucumbers, Mint, Sea Salt, Freshly Ground Black Pepper and Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

I like the contrast of shapes, watermelon in larger cubes and cucumbers in nice half slices. You can use whatever mint you have, I happened to have Pineapple Mint out in my garden, it has a nice flavor.

Once everything has been cut up and placed in a bowl, you can choose to chill it for a few minutes especially if it is hot outside or eat it right away. Add as much Allegheny Chevre or as little as you like. Everything is based on which you prefer.  Enjoy!!

It is that time of year for backyard BBQ and the perfect time to go to your Local Farmers Market.. Give the regular potato salad a little fun twist with some Buche Noire! Great for for the person who loves Goat Cheese and those who didn't know they did. The amazing Italian Sausages are from our friends at Eco Friendly Foods located in The Dupont Circle Farmer's Market in DC every Sunday.
The Stuff you will need. Potatoes, Chives, Half a Log of the Buche Noire, Salt, Pepper, Some Light Mayo or Olive Oil Mayo and a Little Patience. I used about 2 lbs of potatoes for this which depending on how much you want to make change as needed. In potato salad everything is adjustable based on preference.

After washing the potatoes place them in water and let them boil for about 10-12 minutes, until they are soft.
Remove the potatoes from the boiling water and drain in the sink. Do not let them cool. Place them in a large bowl and add the sliced Buche Noire. You want the heat from the potatoes to soften and melt the cheese. If it does not melt completely place the bowl into a warmed oven for a few minutes. Once the cheese has melted add the chives and about a half a cup of the mayo, which ever kind you are using. Now you can add more or less, which ever you prefer. My hubby likes lots of mayo, so we met in the middle on this. Season with Salt and Pepper to taste and that is it! You can eat it still warm or chill it in the fridge for bit before serving. Enjoy with your grilled Italian Sausages and a nice salad.
Bella Vita Baby!
This a Greek Dish that I have modified to make it work with our amazing Bella Vita Cheese. Called a Yiouvetsi because of the earthenware baking dish that it is traditionally cooked in.

This is a super easy dish, although it does require a lot of chopping. But it does go from range top straight to the oven. Truly a one pot meal. 

This is What You Will Need

  • 5 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Red Onion (Yellow if that is what you have)
  • 1/2 Orange Bell Pepper (Seeded and Chopped)
  • 1 and a 1/2 lbs of Ripe Tomatoes (Roughly Chopped)
  • A Good Pinch of Sugar
  • 2 Pinches of Dried Oregano
  • 1 Pound of Raw Shrimp Peeled (Tail Shells On)
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley
  • A Decent Handful of Bella Vita Cubed with Rind
  • Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black pepper


Heat the oil in a Dutch Oven add the onions and saute gently for a few minutes until translucent. Then add the cubed orange pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Stirring occasionally. Next, Stir in the chopped   tomatoes, sugar and oregano. Then season with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Let this cook gently over a low heat for about 15 minutes, until the sauce slightly reduces and becomes thicker. Stirring occasionally. At this time preheat the over to 350 degrees. Once the sauce has thickened sprinkle your parsley all over and tuck your shrimp deep into the sauce tails up. Generously sprinkle your cubes of Bella Vita all around. Place into the oven uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until your shrimp look completely cooked.

Serve immediately with a few slices of warmed french bread for dipping. A nice fresh green salad won't hurt either.
Mother's Day Lunch Made Easy

This is an quick fix for a special lunch. Looks fabulous and only takes a few minutes to prepare. It can be made gluten free if you like. This will make two large sized pieces or several smaller pieces.

What You Will Need

1 Log of Allegheny Chevre  (room temperature)
A few chives, chopped
1 Cup bread crumbs (gluten-free or regular)
A few pinches of thyme, fresh ground black pepper
 1/2 Tablespoon Oil from Sun dried Tomatoes

Mixed Green Salad and whatever else you like in your salad.

Crumble up the chevre into a large bowl, add the chives, pepper and drizzle in the oil
. Stir until well mixed. If making two large pieces separate in half and shape into a patties.

On a large plate spread your bread crumbs and the thyme and roll around the cheese until it is completely covered. Carefully place onto a piece of non stick foil into the oven. Bake for about 8 minutes on 325 degrees. The breadcrumbs may brown a little or not. Keep an eye on it for it may need to come out sooner. When it starts to break apart it is ready.

Tricky part is getting onto the salad, carefully using two spatulas get it to sit on top of your salad. We used a Tessemae's all Natural Zesty Ranch to drizzle on top and you are all set to enjoy!

 Happy Easter Everyone

I had to sneak this recipe in. It is a kind of Aegean Cheesecake for lack of a better description and are an Easter speciality in certain parts of Greece. In Crete they make mini tarts known as Lyhnarakia which translates to Little Lanterns. But we will be making our full size version, so a Large Lantern I would say.
This recipe might look intimidating, but trust me it is not. I used a  ready made pie crust to save time and I had a 9 inch baking tin. Not a proper pie pan. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees while you are getting ready.

What You will Need

  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup of Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp of Regular Unbleached Flour
  • 2 Logs of Allegheny Chevre (Room Temperature)
  • 3/4 to 1 Cup of Milk  (I used Skim)
  • 4 Tbsp of Honey 
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon

This recipe calls for a cheese similar to a ricotta. Keep that in mind. We are going to make our chevre have that kind of consistency. When your logs of chevre have gotten to room temp toss them into a bowl and grab your mixer. Slowly add the milk and mix on low until its good and mixed. You can mix it on high for a few seconds. It needs to be fluffy and a have a slight resemblance to ricotta cheese.

For the filling: Beat the eggs in a bowl, add the powdered sugar and the flour and beat until well mixed. Add this mixture to cheese. Add the honey and half of the cinnamon and blend until well mixed.

Get your baking tin ready. Place your crust in there and push it all the way to the bottom edges, you want the filling all the way in. With a sharp knife trim off any pieces that are sticking up. Pour in the cheese mixture and let it level out.

Place a large baking sheet in the warm oven on the middle rack. Place to pie tin on top and let bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the edges get a nice golden brown. Do not get alarmed when it puffs up above the height of the baking tin. It will sink back down when it is removed from the oven. Sprinkle on the rest of the cinnamon and let rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

This is great all alone but it is really nice with some fresh sliced peaches or nectarines.
Flour Mixed with Pepper and Onions.
Waiting to go into the Batter.
Going in the Oven to Bake.
The House Smells Amazing.

Welcome to My Very First Post! Thank You for Checking it Out!

This is an easy favorite when I have lots of eggs and milk in the house. I have made this from multiple other recipes and finally morphed it into my own. It was total curiosity that I put the cheese into it. Oh am I glad that I did! These babies are good for anytime of the day. 

What You Will Need..

2 Cups all-purpose unbleached flour

2 Tablespoons Chopped Spring Onions (Green Parts Only)

1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper (More if you Like)

1 Teaspoon Nutmeg

3 Large Eggs (Room Temp)

2 1/2 Cups Whole Milk (I used skim because that’s what I had and prefer)
Of Course Cabra la Mancha! Cut it up in small cubes. About a small handful to toss in.

I do not own a specific "pop over" pan. I already had a Texas Muffin Pan.

    Whisk flour, spring onions, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs and milk in a large bowl
     until  well blended. Gently whisk in flour mixture (do not over mix).

    Preheat oven to 425°. While the oven is heating, place the pan inside to warm it up. Remove the pan and grease         the  6 oversize muffin cups with 1/2 teaspoons butter each. Pour batter into prepared muffin tins, filling cups             three-quarters full and dividing equally. Sprinkle on the cubes of Cabra la Mancha.

    Bake popovers until puffed, golden brown, and crispy around edges, 30-35 minutes. Using a thin knife or an             offset spatula, remove popovers from pan. Serve immediately.