Spitzbuben

Spitzbuben

The name of these Swiss sandwich cookies means “bad boys,” or “little rascals.” Reader Lanis Monfried isn’t sure why these delicious bites have been tarred with a less-than-kind name, but despite their bad reputation they are a vital part of her holiday cookie tray. Makes 4½ to 5 dozen cookies. 

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Pistachio Cookies

Pistachio Cookies

Edible Pioneer Valley reader Geraldine Borrell says, “I make pistachio cookies every year for our family holiday party. The recipe developed from one for a pistachio tart crust that was not appealing, but I love pistachios so wondered how the crust recipe would work as a cookie. It was a hit then and is every year.” These keep well when stored in a tightly sealed cookie tin. 

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Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake with Mocha Frosting

Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake with Mocha Frosting

Sauerkraut for dessert? This cake can be found in community cookbooks from areas with large German populations. As crazy as it sounds, the kraut adds a sweet-sour tang and a lot of moisture to this cake. Whether you disclose the identity of secret ingredient is up to you. If you don’t feel up to making a layer cake, bake the cake in a 9- by 3-inch baking pan instead.  The cake is best the day it is made; the frosting will start to “wilt” after a day, but will still taste delicious!

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Roasted Brassica Leaves

Roasted Brassica Leaves

Kale chips have become the belle of the ball in recent years. I predict the next gourmet chip will be these Roasted Brassica Leaves. Just like kale chips, they’re a kid-friendly—and grown-up friendly—way to crisp up some greens into snackable bites. Serve these up and you, too, can be a hipster food trailblazer.

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Pickle Spice Mustard

Pickle Spice Mustard

My dear friend Luke Easter turned me onto this trick. Making mustard from the dregs of the pickle jar is an easy way to turn would-be trash into a zippy little spread. Of course, it helps if your brine is studded with mustard seeds, the common spice in many pickle recipes, such as bread-and-butter pickles and dills. You can mix the mustard half and half with mayo for an even creamier spread.

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Greens and Goat Cheese Pizza

Greens and Goat Cheese Pizza

Call it a nifty shortcut or a sneaky cheat, but using a tortilla as a pizza crust makes this little homemade pie a snap. Whip it up for lunch or a light dinner, or cut it into squares and serve it as an afterschool snack or cocktail nibble. I use sautéed greens and goat cheese as the toppings here, but you can riff on the recipe with any combos that you like: traditional tomato/mozzarella, Swiss/mushroom, fig/blue cheese and on and on. 

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Salads in Jars

Salads in Jars

There’s too much to do outside this summer to be stuck in the kitchen making lunch. A great strategy for using up all the produce in your CSA box, and keeping you fed with ease, is popping your lunch into jars for grab-and-go meals. You should feel free to use what you’ve got in the crisper, but here are some tips for success and some combinations we love.

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A Recipe for All Season[ing]s

A Recipe for All Season[ing]s

One of the greatest things about summer is cooking with gorgeous fresh vegetables. But my heart always breaks a bit when I look at the detritus littering my workspace after a marathon cooking session. Those scraps, peels, and leafy tops always promise even more pleasure. For years I’ve wracked my brain for ways to use it all.

Stocks, soups, pestos … all these options have been fully explored in my kitchen. I recently discovered yet one more way to use those scraps and it has changed the way I cook and season my food. (It’s also given me a bottomless arsenal of hostess and holiday gifts.) 

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Zucchini-Cheddar Cornbread Muffins

Zucchini-Cheddar Cornbread Muffins

If you’ve got a set of little hands to help with baking, let them mix, measure, and stir the batter, then use an ice cream scoop to put it in the pan. Using a mini cookie cutter for shaping the squash slice atop each muffin will add some whimsy and fun to the process, but the end result will be just as tasty with simple rounds. 

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Sweet & Spicy Purslane Relish

Sweet & Spicy Purslane Relish

This recipe is adapted from the website LedaMeredith.com. If you’re new to boiling water bath canning, please visit The National Center for Home Food Preservation for USDA guidelines on safe home canning. If you don’t want to can the relish, store it in a clean glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.

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