Blood Orange Coleslaw

Continuing with the today’s theme, Blood Oranges.

If you miss the short season or can’t find any locally when they are in season, you can substitute half navel oranges and half ruby red grapefruit for a nice sweet-tang. Alternately you can use all navel oranges and it will work fine. Toss a few red raspberries in the mix and you’ll have a great flavor combo.

Here’s a recipe that I adapted from somewhere or other.  I substituted a lot of ingredients to match my flavor palette, you should feel free to do the same. The dressing would work well over spinach or other greens, as well as the cabbages listed.

Blood Orange Coleslaw

  • 6 tbsps fresh blood orange juice
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey (more as desired)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 finely sliced red onion (try using the mandoline or slicing blade on a box grater for a pretty effect)
  • 1 large head of savoy cabbage, finely sliced, or 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 head red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 blood orange, peeled, sectioned and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans (opt)

Prepare dressing in advance: Whisk juice, vinegar, and honey in bowl. Whisk in oil, then mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper. Store in a covered glass container.

Toss onion, cabbages, bell pepper and oranges in large bowl. Just before serving, shake dressing well and pour over vegetables; toss. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with pecans.  Serves 4-6

Friday Recipe Exchange: En Papillote

Let’s start with a few housekeeping tasks: First, stay safe today if you’re in the snow path (SNOWMYGAWD!) and second, the latest Katie-on-the-run update is here.  In the shadow of the Rockies we are expecting about 4 inches of the white suff Saturday.

So Valentine’s Day. I’m not a fan. I’m not anti-Valentine’s Day anymore than I’m anti-New Year’s Eve. But I am of the opinion that going out to a restaurant on Valentine’s day is a recipe for disaster: so-so food and rushed service, even at the best restaurants.  Instead, I like to cook – ok, I guess that’s nothing new.  One of my favorite menus for the big day is here. This year I was looking for something new. I’d been thinking for a while about testing out a recipe “en papillote”, quite literally, in parchment. I thought this would make for a special dinner.

I tested out two types of parchment – the first was a parchment bag and the second was parchment lined foil. Below you’ll find detailed instructions and a couple of simple recipes.

But first, what are your plans for Valentine’s? Do you go out, do you cook and most importantly, is there chocolate?

1Parchments styles

In any of these recipes you can use plain parchment, as well. With the parchment paper – plain or foil lined, you start by cutting it into a heart shape. I cut it at 16″ long, but it probably would have been ok at 12 inches.

I focused on chicken, but the technique is often used for fish. Kirk Spencer has a lovely stuffed fish recipe here.  You can adapt any of these recipes to fish or chicken. The key is to make sure you have enough liquid and you make a tight seal in order to poach/steam the ingredients.

The recipes were pretty simple. In the parchment bag, I placed carrot and zucchini sticks, a chicken breast and drizzled with lemon butter, garlic, rosemary and sage. I added a bit of butter and lemon slices on top.

1Parchment Bag

On the parchment I put cooked rice, vegetable curls (using the vegetable peeler), chicken breast and drizzled with soy sauce and rice vinegar.

Foil Parchment

Then fold up the edges and seal tightly. I really like the foil for this, it was easy to roll up and seal.

Foil Parchment closed

While you’re putting everything together, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and heat a baking sheet. Place the sealed packets on the heated baking sheet. Bake for about 15-18 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Cooked Packets

You can serve it on the plates in the packets or plate it up. I like having the packets.

All in all, I think I  preferred the parchment with the foil back. It was as easy to deal with as the parchment bag, a bit easier to arrange the ingredients, it sealed better and I think the presentation is prettier.

Final 2

The best part of this cooking method is that it was easy, quick, no clean-up and made a fun plate.  Leaves plenty of time to make the fancy chocolate dessert.  Have a happy Valentine’s Day!

Sauteed Kale


With ham and lima beans and cornbread.  The red things in the bottle behind the plate are habaneros I have in a shaker bottle with vinegar.  It is excellent as a table dressing for the kale.  This is the first time I have used dry lima beans but it won’t be the last.  Mrs J claims a long association with “butter beans”, as she calls them.  No way is the recipe difficult – soak over night then drain and rinse and cover again with water in a big pot and set them to simmering for a few hours with ham hocks or whatever flavoring you prefer.

The kale is just as easy, strip and discard the thick stalks from the leaves and chop the leaves coarsely.  Heat oil (or bacon fat) in a large pan and mince a few cloves of garlic, toss them in for a minute to become fragrant before you add all the leaves.  Pour in a half cup of water or stock and cover over high heat for a few (5) minutes, then uncover and continue cooking until the excess water is gone.  At the end add a few tablespoons of vinegar, your choice.  Red wine or apple cider vinegar will work, sweetened rice wine vinegar is a good call.

Serve with cornbread.  Enjoy!

Cranberry Roasted Chicken

I was reorganizing the freezer today and found two bags of cranberries. Not possible! By this time I’m usually out and anxiously waiting for the season to begin again. But last year they were really inexpensive and I stocked up..then the bags got buried under vegetables. I took one out and thawed it, along with some chicken thighs. I used the recipe below, which is an adaptation of my original Cranberry Grilled Chicken from July 2010, but did a bit of experimentation. I lifted the skin on the thigh, seasoned and added the sauce between the meat and the skin. I replaced the skin, brushed it with olive oil and roasted at 400 degrees. The skin was crisp and flavorful and the meat was moist, tender and had cranberry infused through it.

No secret for anyone who reads the blog with any frequency that I love cranberries.  This cranberry chicken is tangy with a sweet and tangy crust.  Great with rice and a salad. I left out the marinade of cranberry juice and wine with this adaptation.

Cranberry Roasted Chicken

  • 4 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
  • 8 oz whole berry cranberry sauce (I made my own from fresh cranberries)
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp ground dried mustard
  • ¼ tsp crushed garlic

bowl, saucepan, baking dish

In saucepan, mix together all ingredients except chicken, bring to a boil, stirring constantly, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Loosen skin from chicken thighs, season meat, add 2-3 tbsp of cranberry mixture between skin and meat (I pulled the skin most of the way off, covered the meat with cranberries and folded the skin back over it). Brush the skin with olive oil and roast at 400 degrees until cooked through.

Beauty in the Kitchen: Cinnamon

Every once in a while I write about how things you find in the kitchen can work to improve hair and skin. Oat flour, olive oil, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice are all things I’ve used with great success for healthy skin and soft, shiny hair. I have very sensitive skin, so I’m always on the look out for things I can use without a lot of chemicals in them. (You can read about my journey from irritated skin to beauty in the kitchen here.)

I was googling something the other day, can’t even remember what it was – definitely not looking for beauty tips – and stumbled across this from Dr. Oz (of the Dr. Oz show) and I thought, “sounds interesting”:

Spice Up Your Skin

As your skin ages, not only do wrinkles appear but the fresh dewy look of youth is replaced with dullness and even dry patches.

When combined, the spices cinnamon and nutmeg can soften fine lines and make your skin glow. Nutmeg actually lightens age spots by turning off melanocytes (pigment cells), while cinnamon helps plump skin, filling in fine lines and minor wrinkles. 

Nutmeg & Cinnamon Face & Body Wash

To make this inexpensive, skin-rejuvenating wash, take 6 teaspoons each of ground cinnamon and nutmeg and run through your coffee machine’s filter. Pour the mixture directly into a warm bath and soak in it. Or allow the mixture to cool and use as a face or body wash that you can leave on and let penetrate your skin for up to 10 minutes a day.

I actually mix 1/4 tsp of cinnamon with my oat flour mask (now I really am an oatmeal cookie). The one caution here is that cinnamon, like ginger, brings on the heat and using too much can irritate the skin. I don’t think I would do a straight mixture and leave it on for 10 minutes, but for me it works well in combination with the oat flour. I haven’t tried the “bath tea” yet.

Do you have anything from your pantry that has worked its way into your skin or hair routine?

Thursday Recipe Exchange: Tomatoes

Photo by JeffreyW

I am not a fan of canning. When I am overrun by tomatoes, I lean more towards freezing bags of pureed cooked tomatoes to use in sauces and soups later on. I also love to make a batch of salsa each week when the produce is fresh. Since I was faced with an abundance of tomatoes this week, I felt it was time for some salsa.

I have a Vita-Mix, which means if I’m not paying attention, salsa quickly goes from chunky salsa to picante sauce in the blink of an eye. Tonight my first batch went to full juice before I realized what I was doing. I’ll pulse my next batch and pay closer attention. Not sure what I’m going to do with the juice – but it sure tastes good.

Tonight’s recipes are all about tomatoes and what to do with the bounty from the garden or farm stand. I bet everyone has a favorite salsa recipe, I like mine fresh and simple. JeffreyW has a good salsa recipe and a nice Salsa Verde in case you’re tired of tomatoes, recipe here. He also makes and cans batches of his Awesome Sauce™, recipe here.

I love tomato season – sliced on a plate, grilled with olive oil, tomato cucumber salad (recipe here), or just going out to the garden and eating the grape tomatoes right off the vine. Are tomatoes a summer favorite? What’s your favorite way to prepare them? Anyone (besides JeffreyW) canning? And I know you have some salsa recipes to share…

Featured tonight, salsa recipes from me and from JeffreryW:

TaMara Fresh Salsa

  • 4 tomatoes, quartered
  • 6 green onions
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • ½ to 1 bunch cilantro, remove stems
  • 2 to 4 jalapenos*, remove stems
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • dash of limejuice if desired

blender or food processor

In blender or food processor, add all ingredients and coarsely chop until blended well**.  If you can make a day ahead, it gets even better.  Seal in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week.

**If you prefer a chunkier style salsa, you’d be better off chopping vegetables by hand.

JeffreyW’s  Salsa:

(Oh, you wanted his recipe…)

Couple of the jalapenos, a smallish onion or two, those green peppers, and most of the tomatoes.  Added a couple of dried ancho peppers all snipped small, a dash of chili powder, a few garlic cloves, a good squirt of lime juice, a bit of salt and fresh ground black pepper

(I think this is why I write the recipes and he takes the photos – both of us working to our strengths)

Spring Potato Salad

A fresher version of potato salad:

Spring Potato Salad

  • 2 lbs small new potatoes or fingerlings
  • 1 lb asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas or green beans, trimmed
  • 6 green onions, chopped


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Clean potatoes, cut in half, add to saucepan with enough water to cover.  Bring to boil and cook until tender (about 15 minutes). Drain and run cold water over them until cool, refrigerate.  Fill saucepan with water and a dash of salt. Bring to a boil, add asparagus. After one minute, add peas or green beans. Cook 2 more minutes, drain and blanch in ice bath.  Drain and dry with paper towel.  Mix together vinaigrette. Combine all ingredients and toss well. Salt and pepper to taste.

Jalapeno Bushes

We’ve had wonderful luck with the two jalapeno plants we grew in containers this year.  Productive and tasty, I just loved being able to go out the door and be back in thirty seconds with a fresh jalapeno or two for using in an omelet or burrito or whatever else.  I am going to miss them.  I was letting the peppers ripen to a nice deep red just because they were so pretty but noticed a few were getting a bit soft.  I decided to strip the plants and can everything save for a pint or so that I will try to use before they go bad in the fridge.

I washed and sliced and chopped and ended with another 8 pints of peppers.  I have lost count but I think we have 12 more pints from earlier canning sessions.

I have been adding onion slices, chunks of carrot, and cloves of garlic to previous batches but these went into the jars with just the vinegar and the brine mixture with a few whole black peppercorns, some coriander, bay leaves,  and a dash or two of oregano.  I made 2 batches of pickling liquid, each batch was 3 cups cider vinegar, 1 cup water, 3 T sugar, and 1 T pickling salt plus the aforementioned spices.  This time I remembered to add the calcium chloride granules to the jars that are supposed to keep everything crisp.  We will see.  Each batch was enough for 4 pints of the peppers.  I gave them all 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.  Everything sealed nicely.  Love that snap! when the lids seal as the jars cool.