Homemade butter

Every so often, I scan Rodale’s Organic Life website for tips, organic news, or ideas, and today I came across this writeup, reminding me that I really wanted to try making homemade butter. Here’s a link to the “how-to” and whatnot:

Make your own butter.

Seems simple enough and worthy of a try. Anyone out there made their own butter before?

Roasted fingerling potatoes & green bean recipe

Stringless green beans

Stringless green beans

With these guys coming in fast and strong, it’s time for a green bean recipe.

Here is one that sounded good (from Southern Living):

Roasted Fingerlings and Green Beans With Creamy Tarragon Dressing

Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings


1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes*

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 teaspoon salt, divided

3/4 teaspoon cracked pepper, divided

1/2 pound tiny green beans (haricot verts) [or why not regular green beans?]

Creamy Tarragon Dressing

1/4 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

Whisk together first 6 ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Gradually whisk in oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth. Whisk in green onion and tarragon. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 days. Let chilled dressing stand 30 minutes before using.


1. Preheat oven to 425°. Cut fingerlings in half lengthwise, and place in a large bowl. Toss with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Place potato halves, cut sides up, in a jelly-roll pan. Toss green beans with remaining 1/2 Tbsp. oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper, and place in another jelly-roll pan.

2. Bake potatoes at 425° for 30 to 32 minutes or until tender and browned. Remove from oven, and let potatoes stand in pan.

3. Bake green beans at 425° for 12 minutes.

4. Arrange green beans around roasted potatoes on a serving platter. Drizzle with Creamy Tarragon Dressing.

*1 1/2 lb. small red potatoes, halved, may be substituted with a bake time of 35 minutes. 1 1/2 lb. russet potatoes, quartered, may be substituted with a bake time of 40 minutes.

Copyright © 2015 Time Inc. Lifestyle Group. All Rights Reserved.

Summer Squash Gratin

Unsure about what to do with all that summer squash? This recipe looked good…

From the New York Times Cooking, Summer Squash Gratin:


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup chopped)
  • 2 plump garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ pounds summer squash, cut in 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 small red pepper, cut in 1/4-inch dice
  •  Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 large or extra-large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup low-fat milk
  • 1 cup cooked Arborio or Carnaroli rice (1/2 cup raw)
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (1/2 cup, tightly packed)
  • 1 ounce freshly grated Parmesan (1/4 cup, tightly packed)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, 5 to 8 minutes, and add the garlic, summer squash, red pepper, and about 3/4 teaspoon salt. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, until the squash is translucent and the red pepper tender, about 10 minutes. Add freshly ground pepper, taste and adjust salt. Stir in the parsley and remove from the heat.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Oil a 2-quart baking dish with olive oil. In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, salt, pepper, and milk. Stir in the rice, thyme, the sautéed squash and the cheeses. Scrape into the baking dish.
  3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until nicely browned on the top and edges. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for at least 10 minutes before serving, or allow to cool. The gratin is good hot, warm, or room temperature.

Cold weather activity

A few weeks ago, we were home bound due to some seriously blustery conditions – winds, sub-zero temps, and a mix of sleet and flurries.

Soooooo….what to do?


As a holiday gift to ourselves, we ordered a Marcato Atlas 150 pasta maker…that arrived just in time.

Pasta dough

Pasta dough

Following Chef Anne Burrell’s All-purpose pasta dough recipe, we prepared our dough.

Eggs, flour, olive oil, salt

Eggs, flour, olive oil, salt

This recipe was simple to follow and made a nice, soft dough.

The machine

The machine

The pasta machine is awesome. Easy. Has two cutter options. Overall, it made for a fun winter day.



And the taste? DELICIOUS!!!