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Danish Creamed Cabbage

The first time I had Oda’s Danish creamed cabbage was at Christmas time. After a fancy Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas Day offered a more laid-back menu — Danish Frikadeller (meatballs) and creamed cabbage.

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Cabbage is one of those nutritional unsung heroes — full of dietary fiber, vitamin C, K, and B6. It’s also a great source of potassium, manganese, magnesium, copper, and folate, to name a few. It’s versatile and delicious, too! The Danes use cabbage in many recipes, and this side dish is one of my favorites.

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Danish Creamed Cabbage

Serves about 8

You’ll Need:

  • 1 head green cabbage (about 3 lbs)
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 6 TBSP flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • Reserved cabbage water, about 1/2 cup
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Cinnamon sugar or nutmeg or cardamom

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Instructions:

  • Wash cabbage head, cut in quarters, removing stalk
  • Cook in covered saucepan with 1″  salted water until tender
  • Drain, reserving water, then press out moisture ( I use a wooden spoon)
  • Chop and squeeze out more moisture
  • Make white sauce:
    • Melt butter, add flour and whisk
    • Add milk a little at a time and whisk until smooth
    • Add reserved cabbage water a little at at time until sauce is the right consistency, stirring constantly. You’ll want to keep it a little on the thicker side, since the cabbage will give up some moisture
    • Season with salt and pepper to taste
  • Add cabbage to white sauce, stir to combine
  • Serve with cinnamon sugar to top ( the traditional Danish way) or salt and pepper. I’ve also seen some people sprinkle nutmeg or cardamom on top.

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Enjoy!

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Love,

Lassen’s

Dessert

We Call it Dessert, and it’s Perfect for Summer!

A Delicious, Rich, Summery Treat

Danish+recipes, danish+dessert+recipes, buttermilk+desserts, summer+desserts, creamy+desserts, Kærnemælkfromage

I love to make this Danish dessert whenever we have guests come to dinner because it is different from anything they have ever had. We always make a game of having them guess the main ingredient, and they can never figure it out. It’s simple to make and so delightful — rich, and yet light.

So, drumroll…

The secret ingredient is buttermilk! Kærnmælk, in Danish.

So here is it is: kærnemælkfromage, Buttermilk Dessert

Kærnemælkfromage

You’ll need:

  • 1 TBSP unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 3/4 to 1 cup sugar (depends on how sweet you like your desserts)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup cream, whipped until stiff

Instructions:

  • Dissolve the gelatin in the cold water in a 2-quart saucepan, and then put on the stove over low heat. 
  • Stir constantly until disolved (which will take less than a minute), then add the sugar and stir until dissolved
  • Remove from heat and add the vanilla, orange juice, and buttermilk; stir to blend well
  • Place the saucepan in the refrigerator to cool and gel
  • Check in about 30 minutes. When the mixture starts to firm, whip the cream
  • Pour the buttermilk mixture into the whipped cream, and blend with a wire whisk until smooth
  • Pour into a bowl and refrigerate until firm, about an hour
  • Serve with Danish Strawberry Pudding (Jordbær Grød — the recipe can be found here). It’s also wonderful with fresh berries
Danish+recipes, danish+dessert+recipes, buttermilk+desserts, summer+desserts, creamy+desserts
I like Great Lakes Kosher Gelatin (we carry this in our Supplement Department, so you should be able to find it there) or Knox, which is found in our Grocery department
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Dissove the gelatin and the sugar over low heat, stirring constantly
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Add vanilla, buttermilk, and orange juice and stir to blend
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After the buttermilk mixture stiffens (it doesn’t have to be this stiff — it gelled really quickly this time!) whip the cream, pour the buttermilk mixture into the cream and blend  with a wire whisk until smooth
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Pour into a bowl to chill
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It looks like ice cream, but it’s a totally different experience! You’ll love it!

Try this amazing dessert!

Love,

Lassen’s

 

Danish

A Danish Taste of Summer! Jordbær Grød

The Fields are Bursting with Berries!

Danish+Strawberry+Pudding, danish+recipes, strawberry+recipes

This Danish Strawberry Porridge is one of the first Danish recipes that I tasted when I met the Lassen family. Simple and tasty, it takes advantage of the beautiful fresh berries we have in California. It makes a wonderful stand-alone dessert (served with cream or coconut cream), but can also be used as a topping for cheesecake or rice pudding.  

You’ll Need:

  • 4 lbs fresh strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

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Danish+Strawberry+Pudding, danish+recipes, strawberry+recipes

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Instructions:

  • Wash strawberries and remove stems, place in heavy pot
  • Pour sugar on top of the berries, stir, and place over low heat. Cover
  • Open up the vanilla bean lengthwise and open it up, then scrape the inside with a knife to remove the soft insides with the seeds. Add both the scrapings and the bean to the berries and sugar
  • As the berries heat up slowly, they will soften and release juice, so watch carefully so they don’t burn. (Some recipes add some water, but I generally don’t. Just keep the heat low until the berries are soft and juice has formed.)
  • Once the berries are soft, bring to a slow boil

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Danish+Strawberry+Pudding, danish+recipes, strawberry+recipes

  • Meanwhile, mix the cornstarch in the cold water, stirring carefully
  • While stirring the berries, pour the cornstarch water into the pot, and stir until thickened. This will happen quickly
  • Remove from heat and cool, then remove the vanilla bean
  • Serve warm or cold with cream or coconut cream

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Enjoy this wonderful, summery dessert!

Love,

Lassen’s

DIY Gifts for Your Favorite Foodies!

Dipping Oils and Flavored Vinegar

Written by Gayle

These gifts for foodies are so much fun to make and give! The vinegar takes about a month for the flavors to “marry”, so be sure to let your loved one know before they pop it open for a tasty salad!

Flavored Vinegar

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Place your chosen flavorings in a quart-sized jar. For these three, I used
Raspberries and fresh mint leaves (I used champagne vinegar)
Slices of lemon peel, sliced garlic cloves, chopped fresh rosemary (I used white wine vinegar)
Fresh cranberries (I used rice vinegar)

Pour the vinegar over the items into the jars. Cover with a non-metal lid (or put a piece of plastic wrap between the lid and the jar). Refrigerate for about three to four weeks, swirling it around every day.
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After a month or so, pour the contents through a strainer and then into your chosen bottles (with a funnel). Add a gift tag (mine were just printable business cards that I got at an office supply store) with a ribbon. Viola!

Italian Sun-Dried Tomato Dipping Oil

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I love to use dipping oil on bread when we eat Italian food. Here’s a simple recipe to do it yourself!

1/4 tsp each dried italian herbs–basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary
1 TBSP chopped sun-dried tomato (the kind that is packed in oil)
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly-ground pepper
1/2 TBSP chopped fresh organic parsley
3 TBSP grated organic parmesan cheese
2 cups Organic Extra-virgin Olive Oil

In a small pan, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil. add the herbs and the garlic, and just heat until softened.
Remove from the heat and let cool. Add the rest of the ingredients and the rest of the oil and then blend well. Pour into a bottle and allow to sit for several hours before serving. You can pour into gift bottles and spread a bit of your kitchen magic around to your friends and family! These should be used within about a week, or kept in the refrigerator.

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Happy gift-giving from Lassen’s!

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Noodle Bowls

Make it Your Way!

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One of the easiest — and most fun — meals is a Noodle Bowl. Popular in many different varieties, I love to make and eat them. I also love the way I can toss just about anything that I have in my refrigerator into my noodle bowl and change the experience! This recipe is more savory than some that I have eaten, but I like the kick of the lime juice and vinegar. If you want to cut down on the acid, just leave out the vinegar and add an extra teaspoon of agave nectar.

If you are looking for a great entertaining menu, a Noodle Bowl Bar could satisfy all of your friends or family! So let’s get cooking!

Noodle Bowls

Serves 3-4

You’ll Need:

  • 1 lb rice or other noodles, cooked per package directions, drained and rinsed in cool water. Set aside.
  • Sauce — whisk all until blended, set aside:
    • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed organic lime juice
    • 2 TBSP sesame oil
    • 2 TBSP fish sauce
    • 2 TBSP rice wine vinegar
    • 1 tsp agave nectar (optional)
    • 1 tsp sriracha sauce, or to taste (optional)
    • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

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  • Toppings — choose as much as you’d like of any or all of the following:
    • shredded roasted or poached chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp
    • diced tofu
    • diced organic cucumber
    • diced organic tomato
    • shredded organic carrots
    • chopped organic jalapeño pepper
    • slivered organic green onion
    • chopped organic cilantro
    • chopped organic romaine lettuce
    • sautéed organic sugar snap peas
    • chopped roasted and salted peanuts

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Instructions:

  • Cook the noodles and blend the sauce
  • Pour the sauce over the cold noodles, toss to coat and then set aside
  • Prepare the toppings as desired
  • Place the noodles in 3-4 bowls, then top with desired toppings.
  • Garnish with lime wedges and sesame seeds,  and serve with additional sriracha sauce

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Don’t forget the chopsticks!

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Love,

Lassen’s

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Apples–The Fruit That Can Do Everything!

We’re Coming Up Galas at Lassen’s!

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The Gala apples are gorgeous and so delicious!  I love the crispy snap of Galas, and the taste has just enough tart and just enough sweet.  A friend of mine recently used Gala apples, sliced thin, in a turkey sandwich!  Great idea!

Yesterday I took advantage of the proliferation (and great price!) of Gala apples, and made some apple crisp for my family.  This is one of the simplest fruit desserts possible, and you can use all kinds of fruits to make a crisp!

Gala Apple Crisp

 
 
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You’ll Need:

  • 5 organic Gala, or other crisp apples (you could also use pears–especially the firmer Asian varieties, cherries, berries, or any combination of fruits desired.)
  • 1/4 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup organic rolled old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup organic unbleached white or whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup organic brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP chia seeds
  • 3/4 tsp organic cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 TBSP organic butter, softened
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  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • Wash, peel (if desired) and slice the apples into a 8- or 9-inch baking dish
  • Pour the maple syrup over the apples, and stir to coat.
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  • Mix the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chia seeds until well blended.
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  • Add the softened butter and blend with the back of a large spoon. 
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  • Blend until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs
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  • Pour the oat mixture over the top of the apples
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  • Spread the topping evenly over the apples.
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  • Bake 35 minutes, or until the topping is browned and the apples are tender when pricked with a fork.
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  • Remove from the oven, and serve warm.  I poured a little half-and-half over my warm apple crisp!
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I’d love to hear your favorite ways to use apples!  

Make a comment with your ideas for cooking or baking with apples!
 
love,
 
Lassen’s
spinach+salad, easy+salad, pear+salad, gorgonzola+cheese, easy+salad+recipes, Newman's+Balsamic+Dressing, balsamic+vinegar, delicious+salad, spinach+recipes

Pears to the Rescue!

Simple, Delicious, Nutritious!

Lassen's+Organic+Bartlett+Pears, Bartlett+Pears
 
I have always love Bartlett Pears.  They are sweet and the texture is just right.  We would eat them by the dozens when I was growing up.  But when I left home for college I learned that some people did not love them like I did!  
 
Maybe you are one of those who haven’t yet learned to appreciate the humble pear.  So here are some great facts about them!
 
A medium pear has about 100 calories, and no fat, cholesterol, or sodium.  They are nutrient dense; high in Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.  A single pear has almost 25% of the recommended daily amount of fiber!   Here is a brochure with pear facts and more recipes.
 
Pears are one of the few fruits that do not ripen on the tree.  They are mature, but still green, when they are harvested.  If you leave the green fruit in a bowl for a few days, you’ll see them begin to lighten to a nice yellow color.  Eat them before they get too yellow or start to brown.  Delicious!

Pears are Wonderful in Many Recipes! 

Lassen's+Organic+Bartlett+Pears, Bartlett+Pears
 
 
Many times when I am going out to eat I will find a spinach salad on the menu that appeals to me.  I often order it, and I’m always happy with my choice (I have no menu envy when I do!)
 
When I noticed that these salads often only have four or five ingredients, I realized that I could make them myself, and now I do–a lot!  
 
So instead of spending upwards of $15 for a spinach salad, make it yourself!  This recipe serves 3-4 (2 for a main dish salad).

Spinach Pear Gorgonzola Salad

 

You’ll Need:

  • 1 package of washed, organic, baby spinach 
  • 2 TBP organic raw sugar (optional)
  • 1/4 cup organic raw pecans
  • 1/4 cup crumbled organic gorgonzola cheese
  • 2 ripe organic Bartlett pears
  • Organic Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil, or your choice of Organic Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Optional — Candied Pecans

If you’d like, you can candy your pecans.  I think it adds a nice crunchy sweetness to the salad, but it is optional.  If you want to do it, here’s how.

 

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In heavy-bottomed dry pan, pour 2 TBSP sugar.  Shake the pan to spread the sugar evenly over the bottom of the pan.  Turn the heat to medium and watch the sugar as it heats.  Be careful to not let the sugar burn on the sides, where the pan may be thinner.  You can stir it around.

 

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The sugar will melt.  Right when the sugar crystals have all melted, turn off the heat and sprinkle the pecans over the top.  

 

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Using a spatula, turn the nuts over.  You have to move quickly to coat the nuts with the sugar.

 

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Turn the nuts onto a plate to cool.  I try to separate them as much as possible as I get them onto the plate.
 
While the nuts cool, assemble the salad.  

 

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Place the spinach on a plate, core and slice the pears, sprinkle the cheese and nuts over the top of the salad.

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I twisted a few grinds of fresh pepper over the top.  
 
Then just choose your dressing!  Lassen’s carries a large variety of delicious balsamic vinaigrette dressings!  I like the Newman’s Own brand, but sometimes I just like to use plain Extra-Virgin Organic Olive Oil and Organic Balsamic Vinegar with some freshly ground salt on top.

 

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And there you have it!  A restaurant quality salad with your own, gorgeous organic ingredients, including the humble and delicious Bartlett pear!
 
Happy eating!
 
Love,
 
Lassen’s
waldorf+salad+recipe, waldorf+salad, apple+salad, grape+salads, easy+salads, easy+waldorf

Grapes–Those Little Orbs of Happiness!

I’ve Been Making this Salad for Years!

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I grew up in the Apple Capital of the World–Yakima Valley, Washington.  So I love my apples! (When they are good — I will reject a mushy apple with one bite, and there are varieties that I won’t touch.  Yes, I’m that spoiled.)
 
And putting them in recipes with other fruits is a real treat.  The summer grapes are so wonderful right now, so pairing them with apples makes perfect, fresh, delicious sense.  Grapes can be used in so many ways!  For a recipe of how to make your own grape soda, see this post from lassensloves.com.
 
Here’s a recipe that has been around for years, and I’ve been making it for a long time, too!

Waldorf Salad

 
 

 

This recipe was created in the late 1800s by the chef at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City.  Traditionally made with apples, celery and walnuts, it now has many variations.  Here’s mine, which serves 8-10.

 

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You’ll Need:

  • 4 crisp organic apples, cored and chopped in bite-sized pieces.  I used two Granny Smiths and two Pink Ladies
  • 4 stalks of organic celery, chopped
  • 2 cups of organic red grapes, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 cup organic pecans, toasted lightly
  • 1/2 cup organic yogurt (I used Fage Greek Yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup organic mayonnaise (I used Spectrum Organic)
  • 2 TBSP fresh-squeezed organic lemon juice
  • a couple of twists of fresh-cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp organic nutmeg
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Procedure:

Chop the apples and the celery.

 

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Slice the grapes.  

 
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Mix together

 

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Toast the pecans lightly in the oven or in a dry pan over medium heat on the stove, and set aside.

 

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Make the Dressing

Mix the yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, pepper, and nutmeg together until smooth.

 

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When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the cut apples, celery and grapes.  Stir to coat, then add the toasted pecans and stir.

 

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This is a great salad for those outdoor barbecues and picnics!  Enjoy this fresh taste of summer!  

 
love,
 
Lassen’s
healthy+lunches, pizza+rolls, homemade+lunch+rolls, ham+and+cheese+rolls, cooking+with+kids

Take Some Time to Save Some Time on Healthy Lunches

Homemade Lunch Rolls

Making lunches before school was always such an ordeal at our house.  With kids going different directions and with different schedules and tastes, it was a huge challenge every weekday morning.

 

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But one year I started doing something that made a big difference.  And yesterday I recreated it with four grandsons: We made pizza and ham-n-cheese rolls.

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Back in the day, about once per month, I would make a large batch of these rolls.  Then I would  individually wrap and freeze them, and each morning the kids could choose the kind they wanted (or make another kind of sandwich) and pack their own lunch.  Since the roll was frozen, it would slowly thaw until it was just right at lunchtime.  

It seems like a big job, but the kids had fun helping to make them, and then the morning routine was much faster.

You Will Need:

 
https://sites.google.com/site/lassenslovesgaylerecipes/homemade-healthy-lunch-rolls

Makes 12-15 Lunch Rolls

  • 2 cups organic whole wheat flour, divided
  • 2 cups organic unbleached white flour, divided
  • 1 TBSP yeast (or two packages)
  • 1 cup organic whole or 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup organic raw sugar
  • 1/3 cup organic butter
  • 2 organic eggs, beaten
  • Fillings such as pizza sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, sliced ham, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped vegetables, sun-dried tomatoes, left-over shredded chicken, pulled pork, etc

Step One:

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Make the Dough

  • Blend 1 cup each of whole wheat and white flour, add the yeast and stir together
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  • Heat to about 100 degrees (it should feel slightly warm to the touch) the milk, sugar, and butter.  Do not overheat or you will kill the yeast.
  • Slightly beat the eggs with a fork
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  • Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture, and blend on low with a hand mixer
  • Add the eggs and mix at medium speed for 3 minutes
  • Add 1/2 cup of white flour and 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour and blend, using a wooden spoon
 
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  • Remove the spoon and blend with your hand until the flour is incorporated.   Add enough of the remaining flour to get a smooth and slightly sticky dough.  You don’t want it dry.
  • Pick up the dough and pour 2 tsps organic olive oil on the bottom of the bowl.  Put the dough on top of the oil and turn it over and over until it is coated.  This will prevent the dough from drying out.
 
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  • Cover with a clean light dish towel, and let raise until double in size.  This depends on the temperature of the room, but it will take at least an hour
 
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  • Gather your fillings
  • When the dough has risen double, punch it down and clear your workspace.  Since I had helpers, I cleared the whole counter!
  • Take about a 1/3 cup size of dough, and flatten it into a circle about 5″ across and 1/4 inch thick

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  • Add your fillings–pizza sauce, pepperoni, cheese, or ham and cheese (Sun-dried tomatoes and olives would be great!  Or chopped broccoli and cheese!)
 
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  • Fold up three edges and pinch together, and then fold up the rest and pinch together to hold the filling inside
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I did it!
  • Place the rolls on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray
 
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  •  Brush with butter.  This will help the rolls to bake a golden brown color.  
 
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  • Allow to raise for about an hour.  The won’t get significantly bigger, but you’ll see the dough gets puffier.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until golden
 
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We had these for dinner last night with watermelon and cucumbers!

 

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Yum!
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Even the pickiest eater ate it!
 
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And the one-year-old loved it!

Lassen’s carries a selection of fun lunch boxes to help reduce lunchtime waste!  This one is a full kit! 

 
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Or you can add these fun reusable containers to the box you already have
 
 
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How do you like this stainless steel stacking set?
 
 
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Or a spaceship fabric set!
 
 
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With a little planning and preparation, making school lunches doesn’t have to be stressful!
 
 
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Happy Back to School!
 
Love,
 
Lassen’s
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Flashback! Cooking as a Kid–or with one!

4-H In My Youth

I know that 4-H in this part of the country (and many others) means hogs and steers, but my introduction to 4-H was with a group of my girlfriends when I was about eight or nine.  One of the moms decided to start a 4-H club for us, so we spent lots of time at her house learning homemaking skills.
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Sounds old-fashioned, doesn’t it?

And I suppose it was.  But I was just having fun with my friends, learning some food basics, and gaining confidence in the kitchen.  I did lots of cooking with my mom so it wasn’t all that new to me, but I loved my 4-H time nonetheless.  
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That 4-H Club experience helped me to not be afraid of being in the kitchen or of having my children in the kitchen with me.  So my kids regularly made salad or peeled vegetables or measured ingredients or made dessert.  They assisted with everything I was doing.   When they went off to college I knew they wouldn’t starve — or live on fast food — because they were comfortable in the kitchen.

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Some of my favorite phones calls when they were away at school were the ones that started, “Mom, how do you make…?” asking for a recipe.  (I always knew when it was one son’s turn to cook for his dinner group!)

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One of the keys to cooking with kids is to make it fun, not a chore.  Kids are much more likely to eat healthy foods when they have had a hand in growing, harvesting, shopping, and preparing the foods themselves. 

I always loved to eat this side dish when I was a kid, because I got to make the bunny face!

 

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We didn’t have a lot of junk food around our house when I was growing up–no chips or sodas–but we always had the makings for this kind of a snack! 

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Invite your kids into the kitchen!  It will be fun for you and for them.  Teach them how to use the juicer and the blender, the oven and the stove.  Maybe you could be that mom who gets a bunch of giggly girls together to learn to be healthy gourmet cooks.  They will thank you some day!

I found a very simple kid-friendly hummus recipe here.  I think I’ll be making this recipe with my grandsons at Grandma Camp this year!  (They love to be in charge of turning the food processor on and off!)
 
Enjoy the kids in the kitchen!
 
love,
 
Lassen’s
 
 
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Comfort Food to the Rescue!

Simply Stroganoff

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Once in a while an old-fashioned dish like stroganoff is what you need to feel satisfied!  I started making this dish back in college when money was tight, and it has remained a family favorite.  This recipe makes 4-6 servings.
 
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You Will Need: 

  • 1 lb organic ground beef–I love our Eel River Extra Lean Grass Fed Beef!
  • 1/2 cup organic chopped white or spanish onion
  • 6 oz organic mushrooms.  I used the white mushrooms, but other varieties work just as well
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1 qt organic beef cooking stock, divided
  • 2 tsp Better than Bouillon Beef Base (If you haven’t tried this, you are missing something delicious for your flavorings!)
  • 1/3 cup organic unbleached flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 lb organic ribbon pasta

Directions:

Bring 2 qts of salted water to a boil.
Meanwhile, start browning the organic lean ground beef, breaking it up, and chop the onion.
 
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Add the onion to the ground beef and stir regularly. When browned, if you did not use lean ground beef you will want to skim the fat off of the meat. Turn the heat to low and add 3 cups of beef stock and the beef base.
 
If the water has come to a boil, add the ribbon noodles and stir.  Keep your eye on them so they don’t boil over or overcook.
 
Wash and slice the mushrooms.

 

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Melt the butter in another pan and sauté the mushrooms until golden, then remove from the heat.  

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Put the remaining beef stock in a shaker cup, add the flour, and shake until well blended.

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Pour the flour/stock mixture through a sieve into the meat mixture, and stir well.  (The sieve is the key to a gravy without lumps!)  Turn the heat up to medium.   It should thicken fairly quickly.  Add the mushrooms and stir.

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I like to taste the gravy at this point to see if I need to adjust the seasonings.  I usually don’t add more salt, but we like a little pepper added. 

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Add the sour cream and stir to blend.  Ready to serve over the drained, hot noodles!

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I served the stroganoff with simple wedged tomatoes and stir-fried zucchini.  Love the colors!

Enjoy the bounties of the summer, including delicious beef!
 
Love,
 
Lassen’s
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Another Quick Dish–this one can be Vegetarian!

Kalamata Olive Pasta…Otherwise Known as Pasta Puttanesca

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I always have the ingredients for this easy Italian Pasta dish on hand for those busy days when I just don’t want to cook, but I want to eat!  This dinner takes only about 30 minutes, including the salad shown!

Kalamata Olive Pasta (Pasta Puttanesca)

(This recipe is adapted from one found on the Epicurious website)  Serves 6

 

 

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You will need:

  • 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
  • 5 cloves organic garlic, minced or forced through a garlic press
  • 1 TBSP Wild Caught Anchovy Paste
  • 1/2 tsp hot red-pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 28-oz can of Muir Glen organic diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup drained pitted Kalamata olives
  • 2 TBSP drained organic capers
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh organic basil

Begin:

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil
Puree the tomatoes in a blender (I used my small food processor because my blender was broken!  Boo! But it worked alright)

 

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Mince or press the garlic
Coarsely chop the olives
When the water boils, add the pasta and cook until al dente
 
Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat
Add the garlic, anchovy paste, and red pepper flakes, and stir occasionally until fragrant.  This only takes about 2 minutes.
 
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Add the tomato puree to the garlic oil 

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Stir and then add the Kalamata olives and capers, then bring to a gentle simmer and add salt and pepper to taste 

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Meanwhile, chop the basil, and check the pasta to see if it is done.  When it is al dente, drain.  You can toss the pasta into the sauce if you would like.  Or serve the pasta and sauce separately.   

Make the salad–this takes only about 5 minutes!

Easy Caprese Salad

 

This is one of my favs!

You Will Need:

  • Mozzarella Fresca (Fresh Mozzarella), drained.  I like the little balls–they are about 1/2″ rounds
  • Organic cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • Organic Basil, coarsely chopped
  • Organic Balsamic Vinegar
  • Organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fresh-ground salt and pepper, to taste
Just toss everything together!  I do about half the amount of Mozzarella Fresca to the amount of tomatoes (2 cups of tomatoes, 1 cup of Mozzarella Fresca), then add the basil, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper to taste

Now Serve!

Stir the basil into the pasta sauce, and pass shredded parmesan cheese, if you’d like.  Everything is ready!
 
We like to have some Lassen’s Baked Rosemary Bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil on the side.

 

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Seriously!  It’s dinner in about a half hour!

This is a perfect meal for a busy summer day when you don’t want to heat up the kitchen!  
 
Happy pasta-ing!
 
Love,
 
Lassen’s