Monday, March 12, 2012

social recipe exchange

A few weeks ago, the lovely Karl Blau, invited me to be a part of a Social Recipe Exchange, which was basically a chain email to receive new recipes . . . but in a good way! The idea is really simple -- I'll actually cut and paste the email below so that you can get an idea (and if you want to start it up yourself, you have the template!). I followed through and forwarded to my friends, and recipes have slowly been finding their way to my inbox. How fun! Below the hearts are the recipes that I've received so far. I'll continue to update this page as more show up! Enjoy!

Here's the email -- give it a shot for yourself! It's totally exciting to see what will pop up! :)


Hi Friends,

We are participating in a collective, constructive, and hopefully TASTY experiment. As such, you have been invited to be part of a recipe exchange concept. We hope you will participate. We have picked those we think would make this fun. Please send a recipe to the person whose name is in position 1 (even if you don't know him/her) and it should be something quick, easy and without rare ingredients.
Actually, the best one is the one you know in your head and can type right now. Don't agonize over it, it is one you make when you are short of time.

After you've sent the recipe to the person in position 1 below and only to that person, copy this letter into a new email, move my name to position 1 and put your name in position 2 and where you live. Only my and your name should show when you send your email. Send to 20 friends BCC (blind copy). If you cannot do this within 5 days, let us know so it will be fair to those participating.
You should receive 36 recipes. It's fun to see where they come from!

Seldom does anyone drop out because we all need new ideas. The turnaround is fast as there are only 2 names on the list and you only have to do it once:

1. Sarah Cass, Olympia, Washington sarahcass (at) gmail (dot) com

2. Name Two, City, State

"Pile of Food" from Reid T.

(I have no idea how much I use each time, most of these amounts are just guesses).

1 Onion (yellow, white or red), chopped
6 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup Sauerkraut
3 Leaves Kale, chopped
1/4 cup chopped Green olives
2 Eggs
Pepper Jack Cheese
Olive Oil


(Could be summarized: Heat it up in a big pan and put it all on a plate)

1. Heat about 1/2 cup of olive oil in a large pan. Saute onions and garlic, stirring occasionally.

2. In a smaller pan, heat olive oil. Add the kale and reduce it for about 5 minutes. When finished, throw kale in with the garlic and onions. Add green olives and sauerkraut and stir well.

3. Fry 2 eggs in a separate pan. When finished, put them on a large plate.

4. Dump the contents of the large pan on top of them eggs. The result should be a steaming heap of food in a more or less conical shape. Top with grated pepper jack cheese. Enjoy!

Olive garlic french bread -- from Andrea C.

if you like to get into it as much as I do- WEAR AN APRON or clothes that you don't mind getting dirty
Read the whole recipe before getting started, this takes time, all day/ overnight type of process. You have to be in a bread mood, this ain't no bread machine shit!! You must be in a BREAD MAKING MOOD. :) It is wordy, and I'm sorry, but now you will know how to make good good french bread
2tsp live active yeast

1/2 cup warm water (make sure its warm enough for the cultures to activate)

5 1/2 cups flour (3 whole wheat, 2 regular, or use what you have it will still be good)

2tsp salt

1 1/2 cup COLD water, use at least an extra half cup after for wetting hands while kneading. (if you're using a new can of olives, you can mix the water and the olive water/juice from the can for more flavor, I put them in the freezer while the yeast is activating to make sure they are cold, you can even add some ice cubes)

1 can whole olives, roughly chopped (pre-chopped ones just don't have as much flavor, but if you have them on hand go ahead)
If you would rather, you can add other ingredients, green or katamala olives, sun dried tomatoes, or whatever you fancy that you think would be an awesome addition.

about 3 cloves of garlic, chopped

2-3 shallots or 1/4 onion (optional) chopped,

about a 1/2 cup Corn meal for dusting pans, oil is also optional, but cornmeal is more important

I mix in various spices, I used sage, basil and thyme for this one, but these are also optional (rosemary, oregano, parsley are all good too, think green and savory)

The trick to good french bread is to keep it cool, in winter this is more simple, but don't let it get over 70 degrees F, this is why you use cold water to wet your hands. This is a long process but its easy.

Combine the warm water and yeast in a small bowl, letting the yeast work together and do its thang, when its all "dissolved" and has incorporated itself, smelling all yeasty, then its ready.

During this time, combine flour and salt (and herbs), use a whisk or your fingers to make sure its all evenly distributed.

Pour in the yeast mixture and cold water together, and then throw on the olives, garlic and shallots.
Mix it all together, with spoon or hands, I use my hands since I'm kneading it all together immediately after anyway, might as well get messy now.
Knead for 20-30 minutes, the dough should be smooth and "silky"

Let rise in a cool area for 2-3 hours. Room temp is fine, or you can put it in the fridge and do 3-4 hours, this will make it even better, more "french bready" because of how it relaxes the gluten in the flour patience is key, because if its not ready when you take it out, you have to wait another 2 hours. HA! or BOOO! Depending on your mood.

After this amount of time, you will check the dough, wet your finger and poke the top of the dough, if the impression stands alone and the rest of the dough stays put, then it is ready to deflate and round. The dough should not feel sticky at all. If the whole ball collapses, even slightly, then it needs more time rising. Gently turn out the dough on a LIGHTLY floured cutting board (try not to tear it because the smooth surface of the dough will be the crust of the bread), press down slowly on the dough and fold it in half, work to reform the ball and put it back in the bowl to rise for another 2 hours. If it is not ready still after this time, then repeat the process. If you are doing this at room temp then perhaps switch to the fridge. If you start in the fridge do not move to a warmer temperature because it will mess up the gluten and the yeast that are processing together during the rising process. Unless you don't care, then I don't care.

So. You are ready to round/deflate the dough. Surprise! After this you'll have to wait another ten minutes. (not so bad, use this time to prepare your baking stuff, preheat the oven, ) Do the same process of turning out the dough and deflating it, but instead of folding in half, flattening it out into a circle about 1 inch thick all the way around. Now gently fold the edges in thirds overlapping each other. And reform a ball in this way and place the seams of the fold face down. Surprise! After this you'll have to wait another ten minutes. (not so bad) use this time to prepare your baking stuff, preheat the oven, clean out bowls, that sort of stuff.

in preheating the oven

You can decide the shape you want now. You can make a rounded loaf and cook it in a porcelain dutch oven/ slow cooker in the oven (AT 450 DEGREES). If you do this, oil the bottom and sides of the pot (again, optional) and put an even dusting of cornmeal on the bottom, my rule is to cover the bottom completely, so you can see nothing but cornmeal, but only "1 layer" if it is too thick the bottom of the bread will not cook. Then place your ball in the pot and cut whatever fancy slits/ design you want so it looks extra rustic! The dutch oven allows you to not have to pay attention to the steam (french bread is technically steamed!!) or heat of the oven because it controls it in a smaller area. I however have done this other ways and still had some great bread. So if you don't have one never fear!

To shape the dough to the traditional shape or baguette (there is enough dough for multiple ones) press it out again after it has rested to its previous puffy state, then fold the sides into the middle and press or roll it to 1 inch again. fold lengthwise and shape/ roll until it the length and width that you desire. Slit the bread like you wants it. If you want little rolls or hoagies or something, just make sure you let the bread rest a little before baking it, same with the baguette.

If you are picky you can prep your oven to be a steamer by putting a cast iron or sturdy pyrex dish on the lower rack filled with water (something where nothing will melt or be ruined basically), or add boiling water if you are concerned of the water not heating up fast enough. You can remove the water when you put the bread in, or leave it to continue the steaming process.

The easiest way- and the way that I usually do it- but DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN IF YOU DO THIS, you shouldn't anyway, at least not for the beginning, because you will have to check it. Just wet the crust/outside of the bread and put it in the oven on a baking sheet, no matter the shape you should do this, maybe even if you do the pan of water. Do the same thing with the cornmeal to the baking sheet too.

A large loaf can take up to 45 minutes, small rolls can cook in only 10. The best way to tell is by the crust being golden brown, and when you thump it with your fingertips it sounds hollow. I would give it a good half hour, don't open the oven for 20 minutes, unless you are doing rolls and such. Mine took half an hour -35 minutes (ok, I kinda forgot to rush when the timer went off...) and I am satisfied.

AND TO DO IN THE MEANTIME AS I DID-- or if the other recipe is just too annoying, cookies!!
This is my go to recipe and it is my absolute favorite. I know the message says to do 1 recipe, but I feel bad for giving such an intense one

Here's a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies, made with butter and brown sugar.

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes


  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Directions for chocolate chip cookies.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Cream butter or margarine; add sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Sift together flour, salt, and soda; add to creamed mixture. Stir until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans. Drop the batter from a teaspoon, well apart, on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes.
Recipe makes about 2 dozen chocolate chip cookies.

Ginger Citrus Tea from Kaila M.

This is a great recipe to pull out when you have an awful, scratchy throat. The ginger gives a nice little kick and works well with the honey to soothe the throat. Enjoy!

4 cups of water
5 oz. fresh ginger
1/4 lemon, peel only, zested
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 1/2 lemons)
1/3 cup of honey
1/4 bunch of fresh mint, washed
1/2 cinnamon stick

Bring water to a boil with cinnamon stick. Peel ginger with a spoon, paring knife, or vegetable peeler. Roughly chop ginger and add to the pot along with lemon zest and juice. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. And honey, stir well and simmer (covered) for another 20 minutes. Using a strainer, pour liquid over fresh mint and serve. Can be served hot or cold.

Un-beet-able soup recipe by Rachel B.

Ok, this one is easy and sure to convert those that think they don't love its a stunning vibrant color!

6 Tablespoons of butter (you could also use olive oil)
8-9 cups of beets, scrubbed and cubed
4.5 cups of onions, coarsely chopped/ diced
1.5-2.5 Tablespoons of peeled and chopped ginger
I T of finely grated lemon peel
6 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
2-3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add beets, onions, ginger, and lemon peel. Cover; cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 6 cups broth and bring to boil. Cover; reduce heat and simmer until beets are very tender, 1 hour. Remove from heat; let stand 20 minutes.Puree soup in blender in batches until smooth (I use an immersion blender so it's a one pot soup). Return puree to pot. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice to soup and thin with more broth, if desired. Season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice.


Winter Squash Gratin from Adam O.

1-2 large or 2-3 small hard squash or pumpkins
4 tbsp flour (try sorghum flour if you don't eat gluten)
4 tbsp butter
3 cups milk
a moderate amount of cheese - chedder, gruyere, manchego... something that melts well
1 egg
black or white pepper

chop that squash into big chunks. boil it for 15 minutes or so in salty water, should be soft enough to cut through w/ a butter knife. drain, and rinse w/ cool water. take the skin off and discard it.
take 2/3 of the squash and mash it in a baking dish. add some salt and pepper and put it in the oven @ 350 degrees.

in a medium saucepan or skillet, heat the butter over medium-low heat until it melts. add the flour and stir it in w/ a wood utensil until smooth. turn heat up to medium and cook (stirring often) until the mixture turns a golden sandy color. 6-7 minutes should do it. while it's cooking, heat the milk in a separate pan until it's just about to boil. add the hot milk to the butter/flour roux bit by bit, whisking continuously, until it gets very smooth! bring to a simmer then cook for 10 minutes, stirring all the while. season w/ salt, pepper and nutmeg.

take the baking squash out of the oven, add the white (aka bechamel) sauce and stir it into the squash puree. add your cheese, grated. then add the remaining chunks of squash, cut into bit sized pieces. stir, and then taste and adjust the seasoning. when it tastes right, add the egg and incorporate it completely into the gratin. stick it back into the oven for 30-40 minutes. put more cheese on top and brown it under the broiler. if you like that sort of thing. finished!

bon appetit! this recipe works well w/ all sorts of vegetables. it's also good without the bechamel sauce, or just w/ less.

Mint Chocolate Delights from Tamara B.

This is my favorite cookie recipe:

2 cups flour
2/3 cups Baking Cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
12/3 cup dark chocolate and mint morsels

Baking Instructions:
Preheat over to 325
Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt to small bowl and mix
Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla together in large bowl.
Add eggs 1 at a time to cream mixture
Gradually beat in flour mixture
Add chocolate min morsels and mix
Roll into balls and place on cookie sheet
Bake for 11 to 13 minutes

*Add 1/4 cup flour when in high altitude.

Pepper Chicken from Jaculin F.

Here is something I make which is ridic simple. I call it "Pepper Chicken".

Preheat over to 400 degrees. Grease/oil a baking dish.
I take a trimmed, washed chicken breast, put a little bit of olive oil on it, and then ABSOLUTELY COVER IT with black pepper. No white showing. Place in baking dish, cover with tin foil, and put in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. SUCCLANCE ENSUES.
I usually serve w/ a basic garden salad w/ quinoa. Yum-town.

Pasta with Eggplant Sauce from Jill's Mom

1 lb short shaped pasta - such as penne
1 medium size eggplant
1 small onion diced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
about 8-10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
grated pecorino romano cheese
Peel and cut eggplant into 1/2 cubes. In a large skillet, heat oil add eggplant and onions, salt and pepper. Saute until lightly browned(about 5 min). Add tomatoes and basil. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cover. Simmer for approx 45 min. Remove cover and continue simmering for another 15 min.
Meanwhile prepare pasta according to package directions. Do not overcook. Drain pasta and add to the skillet with the eggplant sauce, stirring until fully coated.
Sprinkle with grated cheese.Serve and enjoy

Mexican Dip

In a pyrex dish, put from bottom up:
1 package cream cheese
1 can Hormel chili- no beans
1 onion cut small pieces
1 can black olives cut small
1 bag shredded cheese
Bake about 30 minutes at 350 degrees
need tostitos

Oshima's sandwich from Roussa C.

Adapted from Haruki Murakami's novel Kafka on the Shore. Oshima is a character in the book, a librarian.

Toasted bread (rye is good)
Horseradish on one side
Butter on the other side
Smoked salmon (flaked)

Vegan Chocolate Mousse from Mariella L.

1/2 cup soy milk (you could use rice, almond or whatever you have on

9 or 10 ounce bag of semisweet chocolate chips

12 ounces silken tofu

1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

pinch of salt

Pour the milk into a small pot and bring to a simmer. Remove the milk from heat and let cool a
bit while you melt down the chocolate chips. You can melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler
or if you are like me, and don't own a double-boiler, you can zap them in the microwave at 30
second intervals till they are done.

Add the soymilk and silken tofu to the melted chocolate chips. Process with a hand or regular
blender until completely smooth. Stir in vanilla. Taste and adjust for flavor, adding a bit more
extract if needed.

Chill in the big bowl (or in individual bowls - I use little coffee cups) for at least 1 1/2 hours, the
longer the better. The pudding will set up nicely as it cools.

Strawberry-Lavender Pavlova with Vanilla Bean Whipped Yogurt from Janet C.

This is a tangy, light-as-air filling for crispy meringues.

4 egg whites, room temperature
2  tablespoons lemon juice
Pinch salt
1  cup confectioners' sugar
1  teaspoon vanilla extract
1  tablespoon cornstarch
1  pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
2  tablespoons sugar
1  tablespoon lemon juice
8  sprigs fresh lavender, optional
Whipped Yogurt
¾ cup heavy cream
1  cup low-fat plain yogurt
1  vanilla bean
1/4  cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make Meringues: Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Beat egg whites, lemon juice, and salt with electric mixer on low until foamy. Increase speed to medium, and add sugar 2 tablespoons at a time. Beat egg whites 6 minutes, or until stiff and glossy. Fold in vanilla, then cornstarch.
Spread 8 mounds of mixture on prepared baking sheet, making indentation in center of each. Bake 90 minutes, or until Meringues are crisp and dry on outside and slightly soft inside. Cool.
To make Topping: Combine strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and lavender, if using, in bowl. Let sit 30 minutes, or until sugar has dissolved and strawberries are juicy. Remove and discard lavender sprigs, if using.
To make Whipped Yogurt: Place heavy cream and yogurt in large bowl. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into bowl with back of knife. Whip with electric mixer on medium-high until beginning to thicken. Add sugar and vanilla; beat 2 to 3 minutes, or until soft peaks form.
Fill each Meringue with 1/4 cup Whipped Yogurt mixture. Top with 3 tablespoons strawberries.
Nutrition information
Calories 22, Total Fat 9 g, Saturated Fat 6 g, Cholesterol 33 mg, Sodium 76 mg, Carbohydrate 32 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 4 g, Sugars 29 g. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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