Holiday Cookies

You may remember that I Have the Coolest Brother. Period. Additionally, I know everyone thinks they have the best Mom in the world. But I really do!  😍

**Before I go further, if you know my Mom, please do NOT mention this blog post. I’m going to write a couple “Odes to Mom” and print them to give to her as a Christmas gift this year! Shhhhhh! 🤗**

Everyone who knows my Mom, knows that she is a kind, gentle and sweet soul. Those who are lucky enough to have been in a group or organization with her have benefited from her thoughtful, clever, creative side. A collector of cartoons and articles, she has accented many a church Circle lesson and choir rehearsal with a perfectly selected New Yorker one-framer — clipped long ago and saved, in case an occasion presented itself for use. Recently, while we enjoyed a snack together, she casually quoted one: “You know, the early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!”

A lover of language, she weaves carefully-selected words and phrases into her conversation and writing. Often times we kids received witty poems with our birthday cards, or to provide cheer when we were blue. I remember learning the phrase “to gild the lily” when we were traveling together through the Arizona desert and I cleaned my windshield at a gas station with a squeegee, followed by dispensing the car’s wiper fluid and using my windshield wipers as we pulled away from the station. Before we all carried smart phones with their instant access to information, I used to call Mom with any of my questions: “Mom, what’s the difference between an accordion and a concertina?” I called her my “Mom-clopedia” and my “Mom-tionary.”

Endlessly supportive and enthusiastic, I was the lucky recipient of many a gift or lesson, after just the slightest indication of interest. I followed baseball with my father for a little while — and a subscription to Sports Illustrated appeared in my Christmas stocking that year! When I presented an ad for a Wilton cake decorating class, not only did she register me, but bought me a kit of decorating tips and all the introductory tools for success. Her support went well past gifts. When my brother took an interest in computing back in the early 80s, his birthday cake was decorated with the Apple logo that year! Our cakes were always cleverly decorated, many times incorporating puns. For my boat-loving, sport-fishing father whose standard response to the question what do you want for your birthday/Christmas was “A 20-foot Bertram,” I remember her decorating his cake with a toy boat with twenty tiny feet attached to its base. Her support wasn’t only demonstrated with gifts and creations, but also with her compassion. If I were sick, she’d smooth-back the hair from my forehead, with the soothing phrase “poor little lamb.” Beyond gifts, creations and compassion, her love is unconditional and deeply-felt by all of us. Qualifying her to be Best Mom Ever! (hover over the photos below to reveal their captions)

The irony is not lost on me … the classically trained chef … that the recipes I make that people enjoy the most … and are most-often requested … are the ones I inherited from my Mom. During this Christmas season, I thought I’d share my holiday favorites, starting with sweets. This is the first of at least two posts I’ll share with her recipes.

I am transcribing these exactly — points for the use of “blobs” in the directions below:

Applesauce Coffee Cake

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups applesauce
  • cinnamon-sugar

Cream softened butter and sugar. Add eggs and stir well. Add baking powder and salt and stir well. Add flour and stir well. Dough will be very stiff and sticky and form a ball. Cut off 1/3 of the dough ball and set aside. Press remaining dough into a parchment-lined (or greased) 15x10x1″ jellyroll pan. Spread dough with applesauce and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Pinch-off pieces of remaining dough that you set aside, and drop evenly in blobs on top of applesauce until the dough is used up. Sprinkle again with cinnamon-sugar. Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes. Let cool before cutting into squares. Freezes beautifully. Serve warm or room temperature. It’s even good warm with ice cream — rather like apple pie.

Notes from me: I serve this as a bar cookie, and I vary the fruit-sauce with whatever I have on-hand. These photos show nectarine and raspberry sauces, from fruits I picked this summer. I find that tart, not overly-sweet fruit sauces, such as those containing sour cherries or rhubarb, get rave reviews in these bar cookies. These actually get better over time, as they soften more each day.

Holiday Spice Cookies — like a glorified oatmeal-raisin cookie

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature & soft
  • 1-3/4 cups brown sugar

Stir together butter and sugar, until just combined — no need to whip air into the mixture.

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Add to butter-sugar mixture and stir to combine.

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups flour

Add oats and flour to butter-sugar-spice mixture and stir to combine.  Separate 2/3 of the mixture out into a parchment-paper-lined (or very well-greased) 9″x13″ baking pan, and press to create an even crust in bottom of pan.

Pour contents of one 1-lb 12oz jar of mincemeat (3 cups) over crust, and spread evenly. In the past I bought Cross & Blackwell brand mincemeat, but now I usually only find Nonesuch brand, which is equally good.

To remaining 1/3 of butter-sugar-spice mixture, add 1/2 cup toasted, chopped nuts (I use toasted pecan pieces).

Crumble the remaining 1/3 of the mixture evenly over the top of the mincemeat.  Press slightly into the fruit compote.

Bake for 1 hour. Allow to cool at least 30 minutes before cutting.

Yield: approximately 48 bars. These freeze beautifully, and can be thawed for about 30 seconds in the microwave, and would be very good, slightly heated, with vanilla ice cream on top.

Pecan Pie Bars  I like these so much more than a slice of pecan pie, which is too rich for me. This has a better ratio of filling to crust, in my opinion.

Cookie crust: Line a jelly-roll pan (15″x10″x1″-deep) pan with parchment paper — with generous overhang of paper around all 4 sides of pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 sticks frozen butter that has been grated on the large holes of a cheese grater
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine ingredients in a large bowl, and use pastry cutter, two knives, or mixer to blend until mixture resembles fine crumbs.

Press crumbs evenly and firmly into parchment paper-lined pan. Bake 12 minutes. Rotate pan 180 degrees for even baking, in case there are hot spots in your oven. Bake another 12 minutes or until golden brown.

While Cookie Crust is baking, make Filling:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups Karo® Light or Dark corn syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2-1/2 cups toasted, chopped pecan pieces

Add ingredients in large mixing bowl and stir to combine.

  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Add to above, and stir to combine.

Pour Filling over baked Cookie Crust, and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 13 minutes. Rotate pan 180 degrees for even baking, in case there are hot spots in your oven —  and bake another 13 minutes, until filling is firm, lightly browned and even slightly domed in center.

Cool completely. Cut into squares. Yield: approximately 48 bars.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this mini-series which will be my favorite appetizer recipes of hers. ❤️

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Orange Blueberry Bread

Next week is Administrative Professionals Week. As much as that may seem like a cheesy Hallmark holiday, may I please encourage all you working folk out there to do something for your administrative staff? I’ve been an Executive Assistant for over 10 years, and it is behind-the-scenes-helping-others-look-good-organizational-planning-and-forecasting work I (usually) enjoy. However, it is, by and large, thankless work.

Just for a single appointment to “hold,” and for the executive to be prepared for it, requires several things to go seamlessly. Now imagine all that has to be done for a successful trip: airline reservations, car services, multiple appointments, restaurant and hotel reservations — all of this in cities that are sometimes unfamiliar to both assistant and executive.

Sadly … and I choose that descriptor intentionally … well-executed in-office meetings and out-of-town trips often go unnoticed and unrecognized. Attention is usually only brought to the assistant when mistakes are made or when things go awry.

So please take a moment before the end of the week to write a thank you note, get a gift card, do *something* to recognize the staff that keep you looking good and equipped with all you need. I assure you that a small gift for your administrative staff is money extremely well-spent. Good support staff are worth their weight in gold. “Thank you” and recognition go a lllllllooooooonnnnnnggggg way! 

Looking for ideas for something homemade? Perhaps you might bake a loaf of Orange Blueberry Bread to take to your office staff — or for anyone who deserves a “thank you” and a little recognition:

Orange Blueberry Bread

Yield: 2 loaves or 1 fluted Bundt® cake. Recipe can be halved to make just 1 loaf.

Preheat oven to 350-F.

  • 2 sticks (1 cup / 8 oz.) butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Minced, grated or microplaned zest of 2 oranges (approx 2 Tablespoons)

Cream together in a large bowl — stir together, incorporating some air until light and fluffy. Can do by hand or use a mixer.

  • 4 eggs

Add one at a time to butter-sugar-zest mixture above, stirring well after each addition

In separate, smaller bowl combine:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

I don’t sift the flour, but stir these ingredients with a fork, to break-up lumps. I’m efficient like that — easier to wash a fork than a sifter. 🙂

Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar-zest-egg mixture. Stir only enough to combine. You don’t want to incorporate more air into the mixture at this point, as you will begin to develop the gluten-strands from the flour, which will result in a tough bread versus a tender one. 

  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup sour cream + 1/2 cup low fat milk; or 1 cup low fat milk; or 1 cup whey that you have leftover from making homemade Greek Yogurt from last week’s post; or any combination of these liquids. Adding something sour like sour cream or buttermilk or whey will give the bread another dimension of flavor. I like how sour helps balance out sweet … all about the balance in life!)

Stir half of the liquid into your batter. Stir only enough to combine.

Add other half of dry ingredients, stirring only enough to combine. Finish with other half of your liquid, stirring only enough to combine.

  • 1/4 cup orange juice — squeeze the oranges you zested (above) or use store-bought juice

Stir into batter, and reserve the rest of the freshly squeezed juice for glaze (below).

  • 2 cups frozen blueberries (or fresh). If using frozen, do not thaw — add frozen. I picked mine last summer and am VERY excited to get out and pick more in just a couple months!

Stir berries into batter.

Line 2 loaf pans with parchment paper (or grease and flour the pans, or grease and flour 1 Bundt® pan). Distribute batter into pan(s).

Bake in a 350-F oven for 60-70 minutes. Insert wooden toothpick or skewer to test for a moist crumb (versus liquid batter). Loaves should also be slightly browned and pulling away from edges of pan.

Allow to cool about 15 minutes before removing from pan(s).


While loaves are cooling, pour remaining juice from the 2 oranges you zested into a small pan. If using store-bought juice, add 1/2 cup juice to a small pan. Add 1 Tablespoon sugar. Simmer on low, until volume of liquid is reduced by half. You should have a lovely medium-thick syrup after about 10 minutes.

While loaves (or Bundt® cake) are still warm, brush with glaze. Slice and enjoy warm. Or later, once cooled. I betcha you guessed — these freeze and thaw beautifully, so make 2 loaves … one for now and one for another time.

As the tagline says: Make a lot. Freeze some. Now go play!

Mr. Batch and I have been burning the candle at both ends recently — all good stuff though. Hover over the images below to reveal the captions. His first PhD student has successfully defended her thesis, and we couldn’t be more proud!

I attended the Easter service at Third Presbyterian Church, where my parents sang in the choir over 40 years ago when they completed their grad studies here in Rochester. That afternoon, we joined friends for an Easter dinner together. Coconut cake recipe forthcoming.

And we’ve undertaken a huge plumbing project to replace the galvanized steel pipes in one of the bathrooms of our almost-100-year-old house. Galvanized steel rusts from the inside out, which meant water couldn’t get through the pipes and into the sink for running water, nor could it get out to drain away. Luckily the plumbers were able to go through the ceiling and one wall (versus busting up a beautiful tile floor in the bathroom), but there is dust EVERYWHERE and our kitchen is fairly useless. Cold cuts, grapes and raw veggies, anyone? 😜

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Almond Thumbprint Cookies with Sour Cherries

Rochester got hit by Blizzard Stella this week — dumping 26.7″ — the third worst snowstorm in recorded history. Mr. Batch and I are the unusual Rochesterians who like snow and Winter. Probably because we’ve only been through five of them! We still think snow is pretty, love the change of seasons and the hibernation that cold weather brings, and don’t mind shoveling … forces us to exercise when the weather inspires otherwise.

Before moving here, we got fantastic advice: Embrace the Winter. Don’t resent it. Pick a sport or activity and get out into it. Though we haven’t found that activity yet, we LOVE walking around different parts of the city to see how they look covered in snow: up to Highland Park and through Mt. Hope Cemetery, to name a few:

I grew up on the most southern coastal tip of North Carolina where we frequently wore shorts on Christmas. I’ll always remember the first time walking through Ellison Park here in Rochester, and finally understanding the lyrics to the Christmas carols I grew up singing: “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” and “Marshmallow World.”

And just when I was reveling in all of the beauty and replaying holiday songs in my head with new comprehension … in the distance I heard jingling. ***Sleigh bells!!!*** I turned over my shoulder, and there was a horse-drawn sleigh coming toward us!!!!  So that’s what sleigh bells sound like, and that’s how a sleigh glides along in the snow!!!

Through our years here in Rochester, Mr. Batch and I have had opportunity to go out on frozen lakes, which has been another mind-blowing event for this Southern girl. I’ll never forget standing out on frozen Lake Placid in the Adirondacks and thinking “I’m standing on water!  We’re walking on water!” (hover over images to reveal captions)

And then there was the year when temps hovered for a month below zero, and our friends Lynne & Allen invited us to walk on frozen Irondequoit Bay with them. It was just uhhh-mazing to li’l ol’ me:

Possibly one of my favorite parts of the snow in Rochester, is that the city plows the sidewalks! Not only is it a fantastic service (thank you, tax dollars at work!) but watching the workers clear the sidewalks is always fun! Our favorites are the steam-punk looking tractors:

This tiny truck, which seems more like it brushes and then throws the snow out of the way, is also fun:

To this day, I get excited when I hear the prediction of snow. It’s almost a visceral response, that I equate to having grown-up in an area where snow is SO rare. I remember once in 2nd grade, a fellow classmate yelling out “It’s SNOWING!” And all 30 of us audibly gasping and running to the window to gawk in wonder. This mysterious, frozen precipitation swirling out of the sky that we’d heard about, but rarely experienced.

One of my closest friends is a New Englander, Erika, and she feels the same way about snow as I do, which I think is promising that even she still likes it. She gave me valuable advice when we first moved here of what snow boots to buy, long underwear, water-proof gloves for shoveling, mini-shovel and other items to keep in the car in case we got plowed-in or stuck, etc. After she saw how well I “took” to snow, she surmised, “I always knew you were a misplaced Yankee!”  So true!  😉

With all of this said, even *I* am looking forward to Spring and Summer. I am getting excited to get out and pick fruit in the nearby orchards. And to preserve and freeze the produce from the nearby farm-stands and farmers’ markets. Opening bags of frozen raspberries and slices of peaches and smelling their intoxicating perfume (even when they’re frozen!), brings me *right* back to the summer months. So I thought I would share some of the things I’ve been doing with what I “put away” last year.

For breakfasts, I’ve been enjoying my “frittata”, made with G&S Farmstand broccoli that I blanched and then froze, and pesto that I made from the Lovely Lisa’s basil from her garden, and served with a Slow-Roasted Tomato half (also made with tomatoes and herbs from her garden):

Kevin West’s Sour Cherry Preserves, made with cherries I picked at G&S Orchards, shaped into a heart (awww) and sent on a pancake with Mr. Batch to work on Valentine’s Day:

A lovely salad made with yellow wax beans from the Rochester Public Market, pickled into Kevin West’s Dilly Beans — added to chopped red cabbage, tomato, green onion and cucumber. We poured just the brine over the salad and it was scrumptious — no oil (low fat!!!) needed:

And on the day of Blizzard Stella, I thought it was time to remedy the cookies I’d made that spread so unexpectedly:

I’m pleased to now present a workable recipe for Almond Thumbprint Cookies with Sour Cherries:

Yield: 36 cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar

Stir ingredients together in a large bowl and beat air into the mixture to make it light and fluffy. You can do this by hand or with a mixer.

  • 2 egg yolks (egg whites reserved, in a separate bowl)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract

Add to butter-sugar mix and beat until light and fluffy

In a separate bowl, combine the following dry ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup almond meal (I buy this at Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Add dry ingredients slowly to butter-sugar-egg mixture, stirring only enough to combine (don’t incorporate more air into mixture at this point).  Cookie dough will be stiff. Roll into walnut-sized balls.

  • 3/4 cup toasted almonds, fine-chopped by hand or in food processor

Dip cookie ball into egg white and then roll in chopped toasted almonds. Space about 2″ apart on parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake at 350-F for 15 minutes, rotating pan half-way through baking, to ensure even baking in case your oven has hot spots. Lift a cookie to check for doneness — if cookies are not golden-brown on bottom, might bake for another 5 minutes.

Once cookies are out of oven, press the back of a spoon or small scoop into each mound, to make indention. Then, once cookies are cool, fill with sour cherry preserves or other favorite jam … or even lemon curd. Yum!

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Black Bean-Brown Rice Veggie Burgers; Guacamole; Burmese-Inspired Soup with Coconut Milk and Fish; Pecan Pie Bars; Roast Turkey for Thanksgiving!

Woo, boy, am I late in posting last week’s post!  Since it was a short work-week due to Thanksgiving, my cooking was light for our pre-holiday meals, which might make you think I’d be early-to-post!  Ooopsie!  Mr. Batch’s Mother has been visiting, so I’ve been hostess-with-the-mostest and haven’t been near the blog!  🙂

Ah well, last week I made batches of:

I started by cooking a batch of black beans in my slow cooker, after soaking them overnight. Once cooked, these would become an ingredient in a batch of Black Bean-Brown Rice Veggie Burgers:


While those cooked, I started a batch of brown rice that would also be used to make Black Bean-Brown Rice Veggie Burgers. As the brown rice cooked, I prepped some Roasted Sweet Potatoes, and some zucchini and a chopped onion to roast:


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Bone Broth; Roasted Sweet Potatoes; “Frittata;” Quinoa-Lentil Veggie Burgers; Guacamole; Freezer Clean-Out of Leftover Proteins with Potatoes and Veggies; Baked Wild Haddock with Ginger-Lemon Sauce; Sunshine Cake

This week’s cooking included batches of:

I started by making a batch of Bone Broth, using beef bones from McDonald Farm. Each week, in the freezer in a big Ziploc bag, I save what I call “ends-n-nubs,” as pictured below and to the right — that is, mushroom stems, the ends of carrots and onions, parsley stems, etc. I use the “ends-n-nubs” in batches of Bone Broth or Veggie Broth:

While that simmered away, I started a batch of quinoa for Quinoa-Lentil Veggie Burgers, and also boiled some fingerling potatoes on the stovetop. And then loaded up the oven with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, and roasted zucchini and roasted cauliflower, both of which I tossed only with olive oil, salt & pepper:

As those cooked, I cut some brussels sprouts off the stem and simmered those in the same water I cooked the fingerling potatoes in. And I gathered the ingredients for and started cooking the lentils for Quinoa-Lentil Veggie Burgers:

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Asian Pesto to add to Soup, Two Ways; Paleo Korma; Vegan Dhal; Apple Butterscotch Blondies

I absolutely LOVED eating so much delicious food in San Francisco and Portland as I mentioned in my last post … and I absolutely LOVED getting back into the kitchen again this past Sunday!  This week’s cooking included batches of:

(not pictured) I began my cooking session by slicing a block of Trader Joe’s Extra Firm Tofu into thick slabs, and freezing it for a batch of Crispy Baked Tofu.

Next on my list: using my big ol’ wok to cook some vegetables. I started by cooking a batch of broccolini and then rinsed the pan to use again to sauté some sliced baby portobello mushrooms, followed by sautéing some onions. When I was finished sautéing the mushrooms and onions, I added some Asian Pesto (pictured in the upper right corner of the photo with the whole ‘shrooms, below):

I thawed the frozen tofu slices and squeezed excess water from them. I brushed them with sesame oil and sprinkled salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides, and popped them in the oven to roast, using the method in my recipe for Crispy Baked Tofu:

Frozen-then-thawed tofu slices, squeezing out excess water to make Crispy Baked Tofu

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Pork Chile Verde, Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie, Sage-Rosemary Baked Chicken

This week’s cooking included batches of:

I started by marinating some pork shoulder with a spice-mixture, to make Pork Chile Verde:

Simultaneously, I also marinated some chicken legs in fresh herbs and lemon zest to make Sage-Rosemary Baked Chicken Legs:

While both of those hung-out and got more flavorful, I filled my big ol’ wok with boiling salted water and briefly cooked some sugar snap peas that I portioned for our Veggie Snacks this week, and then used that same water to boil some fingerling potatoes. In the oven, I roasted some sweet potatoes:

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Indonesian Marinade for Broiled Tofu andBaked Chicken; Guacamole; Steamed Baby Bok Choy; Roasted Leg of Lamb; Gingerbread Apple Upside Down Cake

In case you missed the “Reflection” I published this week and you need a good laugh, check out all of the mishaps from our civil ceremony in Mr. Batch and I Get Married.  🙂

This week’s cooking included batches of:

I started by making two batches of Indonesian Marinade — one for marinating and then broiling some tofu for Mr. Batch; and one for marinating and then baking some chicken breasts for myself:

Many of the same ingredients from the marinade go into Guacamole, so while those proteins marinated, I made some Guacamole for Mr. Batch’s Vegetarian Sandwiches and for dipping veggie snacks into:

Next, I roasted a batch of delicata squash slices. These squash are usually only available briefly because of their delicate skins, which is one reason why I love them — the skins are so delicate (hence, the name) that you can eat them!  I scrubbed the squashes, sliced them in half and removed the seeds, and then brushed them with a bit of olive oil and sprinkled with salt & pepper, and baked them on a sheet pan at 400-degrees F for approximately 35 – 45 minutes (flipping them over, half-way through the roasting):

While those roasted, I prepped this week’s “Frittata,” which included a chunk of previously frozen wilted greens + Slow Roasted Tomatoes (from my September 14th post) and 1/3 of a pound of previously cooked and frozen breakfast sausage. This combination is one of my favorites for my weekly  “Frittata.”  Once the delicata squash slices were out of the oven, I lowered the temperature and baked my  “Frittata.”

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Southeast Asian Meatballs; Lentils with Roasted Eggplant, Pine Nuts & a Lemon-Tahini Sauce; Comforting Chicken Soup; Apple Pecan Cake

It’s officially Fall here in Western New York, which means time for roasted hard squashes; simmering soups; apples, nuts and pomegranates; and zesty warming foods with spices and ginger.  To that effect, this week’s cooking included batches of:

I started by using some of my freshly picked Hurd Orchards apples (pix below) to bake an ApplePecan Cake for Mr. Batch’s group meeting:

While that baked, I worked on a Poached Chicken, using most of the bag from the freezer of veggie ends-n-nubs I collect each week when cooking (ends-n-nubs of carrots, onion, celery, fennel, tomato, ginger, and parsley and thyme stems) and a chicken that I had bought locally from McDonald Farm:

(not pictured) Once the Poached Chicken was finished, I removed the chicken from the broth and let it cool in the refrigerator; and then strained the broth and discarded the vegetables.  Once the chicken was cool enough to handle, I removed the meat and saved the bones in the freezer for a future batch of Bone Broth. I stored 2 portions of the picked chicken in the refrigerator, and stored the rest of the portions of chicken in the freezer. I used most of the broth for the Comforting Chicken Soup (below), and froze the rest.

Then I prepped the next round of items that would go into the oven once the cake was out: this week’s “Frittata” with 1/3 of a pound of cooked breakfast sausage, leftover roasted butternut squash from the freezer, and some of the farm stand broccoli that I had blanched (cooked just briefly & then cooled) and then frozen earlier this Summer:

And prepped an acorn squash from my friend Hiram’s garden, to be roasted simultaneously while baking the “Frittata”:

Acorn squash from my friend Hiram’s garden, to be roasted

And prepped a batch of Southeast Asian Meatballs, to be baked at the same time as the items above. I used ground lamb and ground beef that I bought from the fabulous McDonald Farm:

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Black Bean “Gazpacho” Salad; Greek Salad with Roasted Pork Tenderloin; Tomato & Garlic Cauliflower Rice with Lemon; Almond Nectarine Upside Down Cake; NY State Fair

This week’s cooking included batches of:

I started this week’s cooking session by roasting a pork tenderloin with Penzys Greek Seasoning. The pork was from Aberdeen Hill Farm — no one has better tasting pork than Aberdeen Hill!  I used the same technique as described in this Roasted Pork Tenderloin recipe: roast in a 400-degree Fahrenheit oven for 10 minutes; rotate the pan 180-degrees (in case there are hot spots in the oven) and roast for another 10 minutes; then remove from oven and insulate in foil and pile kitchen towels on top of the foil-wrapped tenderloin for 10 minutes; then cool and slice. Once sliced, I kept 2 portions refrigerated, and then froze the rest.

While that roasted, I also baked one potato (not pictured). Once that was done baking and had cooled a bit, I sliced it into chunks and added it to my “Frittata” which I made with the other half of the spinach-mushroom-and-onion mix from the week before, which I had frozen and then thawed (also not pictured).  While I worked on all of that, I simultaneously wilted some chard from Lisa’s garden on the stove-top:

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