Salad…Who Eats Salad???

In our attempt to not waste as much food, Steve and I have started eating more salads…which is a good thing right? Packed with vitamins…and if we didn’t pile on the cheese they’d probably be considered healthy too.


Yep, Steve will eat beets!!! And he doesn’t gag when I serve them anymore.


2 servings as entree or 4 servings as a side.

3 beets
1 big handful of green beans, trimmed
1 bag of organic salad mix
goat cheese (about 1-1 1/2 oz. per person)
2 green onions, diced
1 shallot, finely minced
1-2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed with a garlic press
1/4 cup EVOO
1/4 cup red wine vinegar, plus some to drizzle on beets (takes away some of the earthiness that some people can’t stand)
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon stone ground mustard
salt and pepper to taste


1. Rinse your beets well before adding them to a large pot of boiling water. Boil the beets until they are fork tender, this could take anywhere from 25 minutes to an hour (maybe more) depending on the size and freshness of your beets.

2. While your beets are boiling prepare a second smaller pot of boiling water. In this pot you will add your green beans. Boil them for 2-3 minutes until bright green then strain them and add them to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

3. Once your green beans are cooled cut them into 1-1 1/2 inch segments and set aside.

4. Once your beets are tender, strain them in the sink. I’ll usually run a little cold water over them and put a handful of ice cubes on them to speed up the cooling process. Once they have cooled you can peel them and dice them up.

5. Drizzle your beets with a little red wine vinegar while you prepare the dressing.

6. To make the dressing combine EVOO, red wine vinegar, mustard, honey, minced garlic, and minced shallot in a small bowl and whisk until blended.

7. Toss the beets in a tablespoon or two of the dressing.

8. In a large bowl toss the salad greens, green beans and dressing until covered, then serve the salad greens on small plates and top with the beets and goat cheese. Garnish with some of the diced green onion.




Pumpkin Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with Caramelized Pears

So we opened a can of organic pumpkin puree to make our pumpkin crème brûlée last week, but we didn’t finish it off, so we made orange-pumpkin spiced macarons, and still hadn’t finished the pumpkin. So to finish it off we created this slightly wacky panna cotta. Panna cotta  means cooked cream in Italian and is historically from the Piedmont region of Italy. It’s a super smooth, creamy eggless custard that is super easy to make and is great with fresh fruit, or in this case pumpkin and caramelized pears.

goat cheese pumpkin panna cotta

okay…so maybe we used more than a dollop of whip cream

Pumpkin Panna Cotta Recipe

3-4 servings.

4 oz. plain goat cheese
1/3 cup milk
1 ½ cups half and half (heavy cream or even milk, you can make this as full fat as you want)
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 packet gelatin (1/4 oz)


1. To soften gelatin add it to 1/3 cup milk and stir gently. Let sit while you prepare rest of the panna cotta mixture.

2. In a sauce pan combine goat cheese, pumpkin, half and half, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and bring to a quick simmer.

3. Remove from heat and add the gelatin mixture. Whisk briskly to make sure everything is blended well. We used the whisk attachment that came with our Cuisinart hand blender’s whisk attachment and the cream turned out super smooth.

4. Divide into 4 lightly greased ramekins and refrigerate for 2 ½ to 3 hours.

Caramelized Pears Recipe

2 pears
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


1. Peel pears, quarter and core them; then dice into small cubes (1/4 in. or smaller).

2. In a small frying pan melt the butter until frothy then add pears, sugar and cinnamon. Over medium heat continue stirring until pears are tender and golden.

3. Remove from heat and set aside till ready to use.

goat cheese pumpkin panna cotta with caramelized pears

Serving Instructions

1. Remove the panna cotta from the ramekin by boiling an inch and a half of water (enough to cover atleast ½ of the ramekin).  Remove the pan from the heat and dip one ramekin at a time in the water for about 45 seconds. Then take a butter knife and run it around the inside edge of the ramekin. Take your ramekin and place it upside down on a pretty plate, tap each side of the ramekin a few times to loosen the panna cotta from the ramekin. This takes practice, but the presentation is way prettier than serving it in a ramekin….unless of course you have beautiful ramekins.

2. Once you’ve successfully removed the panna cotta, dress it up with a spoonful or two of caramelized pears and a dollop of homemade whip cream.

3. Serve with a whiskey or rum spiked hot apple cider or strong french pressed coffeecoffee for an ultimate fall treat.