A Mediterranean Brunch or What the Heck’s an Aubergine?

A Mediterranean Brunch or What the Heck’s an Aubergine?

Hey everybody!  I did a really fun Greek inspired brunch for some friends this weekend.  Amy’s pictures were so good, I had do share.

This is a hearty, county style bread.  Served with honey butter.IMG_0057_2

This is a souvlaki style grilled chicken breast with Spinach and Tomato and Tzatziki IMG_0059

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Tomato and Feta Quinoa Salad, the vinaigrette is a white balsamic and orange.IMG_0069_2

This is Eggplant(aubergine) with Buttermilk Sauce, Rhubarb and blueberries.  This is adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi in his book “Plenty”.  I love that I was finally able to do something like it for an event.

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And Baklava, the perfect mixture of honey, lemon, and cinnamon

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Thanks to everyone that watched the Under the Apple Tree premier and don’t forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel.  Follow me on twitter @appletreeshow.  Now on instagram too at appletreeshow.   Thanks for hanging out! See you all soon!

Premier of Under the Apple Tree

Hey everybody!  The premier of Under the Apple Tree is today after my Fox11 appearance!  Tune in to both!
Here is the focaccia recipe featured in this week’s Under the Apple Tree.  I hope you all enjoy the video and try out the recipe!

Chef Todd’s Foccacia with Honey and Rhubarb

Sponge ingredients and process

8 oz flour

6 oz water

.12 oz fresh yeast

Mix in glass bowl until moistened cover with towel and let set at about 70 degrees for 8-16 hours.  I get much better results with at least a 12 hour fermentation

Dough

12 oz unbleached flour

8 oz whole wheat flour

.12 oz fresh yeast

.5 oz salt

1 oz olive oil

2 oz honey

2 cups chopped rhubarb
Mix ingredients (except rhubarb) in a mixer with dough hook, food processor, or by hand.  When it forms a ball, transfer to work surface and knead for 5-10 minutes.  You are looking for it to change texture and become smooth and elastic.  If you overwork it, the gluten strands will tighten and it will result in a heavy bread.

Pour a little oil in a bowl, put in your dough ball and coat with oil.  Cover and let rise 30-45 minutes, until doubled in size.

Punch down and roll in the rhubarb,then roll and stretch dough into a well oiled half-sheet pan and proof (let rise) for another 30 minutes or until doubled in thickness.  Top bread with 2oz olive oil and poke holes heavily at regular intervals.  Sprinkle with coarse salt and garlic chives (or whatever topping you prefer).

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

Quinoa salad w/ Garlic Scape and Basil Pesto

Pesto sauce

1 # garlic scapes

1 # basil leaves

1 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until mostly smooth
Salad

3 cups cooked quinoa

2 cups chopped assorted vegetables (asparagus, mushroom, tomato, kohlrabi, or whatever you have on hand)

½ cup dried fruit

2 cups pesto

Toss all ingredients together until well coated. Serve on a bed of greens for added coolness!

  Have a great weekend!

Follow us at @appletreeshow. And subscribe to the Under the Apple Tree YouTube channel.  Post questions for me to answer in either place!   

Aqua Fresca with Rhubarb, Kiwi, and Herbs or Looking for Refreshment in all the Wrong Places…

Aqua Fresca with Rhubarb, Kiwi, and Herbs or Looking for Refreshment in all the Wrong Places…

I just tasted the drink I made for today’s video, and oh my, it is refreshing!   We talked about Aqua Fresca, or flavored water.  We used the following

2 cups cold water, bottle, filtered, whatever you use

1 stalk garden fresh rhubarb

1 kiwi (not local)

2 mint leaves, a few arugula leaves, and a couple basil leaves
Simply mix ingredients together and roughly blend or mash with you preferred implement!  Let sit for 15 minutes or more, strain and served chilled.  It really is best if it sits in the fridge overnight, but I rarely have such foresight.
It was great seeing so many of you at the Sheboygan Farmer’s Market last Saturday. I will be on Fox 11 Good Day WI around 7:45 on Saturday morning to promote the premier of the youtube show, Under the Apple Tree.  I have had so much fun working on this project and seeing it come together.  I hope you all enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed working on it so far.  It will be a once a week show focusing on sensible and fun ways to have a more handmade life.  Recipes for eating fresh and local, home projects, gardening and yard endeavors and more will be explored. It’s going to be a blast.  Please follow the show on Twitter @appletreeshow and YouTube “Under the Apple Tree”.  Click here for the video for this recipe Chef Todd talks Aqua Fresca.

Thanks again for following! See you soon.
Chef Todd

Penning pertaining to problematic pests!  Or Dealing with bugs in the garden

Hey everybody thanks for checking us out!   Recently, I have had some questions posed regarding dealing with pests in the yard and garden.  Most of us want to avoid harmful chemicals, especially around food.  I. Have three ideas to present here.  

First, the most basic pest control is manual. Pick bugs off of plants and put them in some soapy dishwater. You can also put this in a spray bottle or yard sprayer and it will deter pest for a short time.  It needs to be reapplied every couple days and/or after rain.  It works but it’s time consuming.  Start with ratio of 5T soap to 1 gallon of water. Or 1 heaping T to 1 qt water.   There are dither things you can add to this solution to make it more useful. Diluted Solution: If the spray causes damage or burns your plant foliage, cut the amount of soap in half and try a 1% solution. This is the concentration usually found in commercial sprays. The lighter solution might be less effective but is gentler on plants.

Cooking Oil: To help the solution stick a little longer, add two tablespoons of light cooking oil (such as corn, canola, olive, or safflower) per gallon of water to the mix.

Vinegar: To make a spray that also targets powdery mildew, add a teaspoon of cider vinegar per gallon of water to the mix.

Garlic or Pepper: To help repel chewing insects, add a teaspoon of ground red pepper and/or garlic per gallon of water to the mix.

Companies like Safer Brand and Bayer make commercial organic insecticidal soaps that are usually less than 10 dollars for a standard bottle. 

Finally, I recently saw a “This Old House” episode where they used a compost tea to help build up the immune system of trees.  This is from an experiment at Harvard that is regarded with mixed feelings.  It makes sense to me and we will give it s try this year.  Essentially, you are soaking 2 parts dried carbon material, 1 part green nitrogen materials, a bit of molasses and maybe fish fertilizer.  This steeps for 12-24 hours while being aerated with a fish tank pump or similar device.   Then you take out your huge teabag and spray the liquid.  I will document and share as we walk down this road!   
Thanks for reading. Remember to follow and send your questions to  @appletreeshow on Twitter and Under the Apple Tree on YouTube!   Amy and I will be with Nourish at the Sheboygan Farmer’s Market from 9-1 on Saturday June 20. Stop by and say “Hi”.  See you all soon!

Debuting Nourish and the Culinary Art Car or Han Solo and Sulu got nothing on me!

Debuting Nourish and the Culinary Art Car or Han Solo and Sulu got nothing on me!

 

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Hey everybody!  Saturday was Nourish’s opportunity to unveil the Culinary Art Car at one of our events.  The Culinary Art Car is a kinetic sculpture through which messages of sustainability, healthy eating and local foods are brought to our community through this collaboration between the John Michael Kohler Arts Center and Lakeshore Technical College. Last year at the fundraiser (which is coming up on October 3 this year).  A Plymouth family had the winning bid to bring us and the Art Car to their home for a catered party!  It was a great event with a ton of fun had by all and the food was well liked!  We served curried chicken salad in cucumber boats, sweet potato and horseradish croquettes, blueberry cream cheese wontons, caesar salads in parmesan cups, mini BLT quiches, and trio of brushcettas (tomato basil, mushroom, or white bean).  All items were, of course, focused on local grown and sourced food.  We had produce from the farmer’s markets, Springdale Farm, and our home garden.

 

 

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Piloting this “sexy beast”, as designer Mac Maker put it, is one of the highlights of my career!  Such an honour to drive this masterpiece around.  People stop, stare, smile, wave, give a thumbs up, and then giggle or chuckle when I press the crazy horn!  None of this would have been possible without the great volunteers we had from auction to prep to execution and of course, clean up.  I am blessed to work with people that there because they WANT to help and truly put the concerns of others before themselves.  Sounds like what restaurant service ought to be, but I digress.  If you or your group would like to volunteer, please contact me.  There are many opportunities available.  Thank you all for your help!

 

 

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Sheboygan Farmer’s Market on July 20th

Sheboygan Farmer’s Market on July 20th

Hey everybody!  Had a ton of fun in Sheboygan area this weekend.  Camping, farmer’s market, and a brief demo at the Midsummer Festival of the Arts to mark the the debut of the culinary art car!  Amy helped with all of it, also.  One of my favorite things about working with Nourish, is the opportunities presented for Amy and the boys to hang out with me!

We sampled a wonderful cucumber salad with apple cider vinegar, honey, and dill.  The best was the looks and questions we received after telling folks the other item was Chocolate Beet Cake.  All who tried it loved it, though!  I will get the recipes posted here or you can click through to nourishfarms.org.

Here is the recipe for the Beet Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

·
o 4 medium beets, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 2-inch chunks
o 2 cups all-purpose flour
o 1 1/2 cups sugar
o 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
o 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
o Salt
o 2 large eggs
o 3/4 cup warm water
o 1/4 cup safflower oil
o 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
o Vegetable oil cooking spray
Directions

Cover beets with 2 inches water in a pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until very tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp paring knife, about 30 minutes. Drain. Puree beets in a food processor until smooth.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Whisk in eggs, water, oil, vanilla, and 1 1/4 cups beet puree (reserve remaining puree for another use).
Coat a 9-inch round cake pan (3 inches deep) with cooking spray. Line bottom with parchment, and coat with spray. Pour batter into pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Turn out cake from pan, and discard parchment. Let cool completely, right side up.
Trim top of cake using a serrated knife to create a level surface. Transfer cake, cut side down, to a cake plate.

Finish with your favorite frosting or simply powdered sugar!

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Thanks to all who came out.  We will be out again on August 2 from 8:30am-1:30pm.  Here are some pictures of the food and people we saw!

 

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Farmer’s Market Finds on Fox 11!!

Farmer’s Market Finds on Fox 11!!

I was invited back to Good Day WI for a couple segments with Emily Deem.  We talked about fresh food, hunger, and shared a few recipes!  Check out the videos here.

And then this great still from the television!

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Summer Berry Sangria with Rhubarb
1 250ml bottle of red wine
1/4 cup pomegranate or other flavored vodka
1/4 cup triple sec or other orange flavored liquor
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup blue berries lightly pressed
1 cup sliced and and macerated strawberries (to macerate, sprinkle sliced berries with a couple teaspoons of sugar and let sit for 30 minutes)
1 cup raspberries lightly pressed
1 cup diced and pressed rhubarb
Combine all ingredients.  Taste and adjust sweetness with honey as preferred.
Vanilla Beet Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons assorted herbs (sage, basil, green onion, lavender)
1 cup chopped canned or roasted beets
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Salt and pepper
Blend ingredients in a food processor or your favorite blending gadget until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Use as you would any salad dressing or dip