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a home version of the recipe from A Fork in the Trail ©2008
makes 2–3 hearty servings

Italian for “little ears,” orecchiette has a shell-like appearance and holds delicate sauces well. If you cannot find it in your grocery store, you can use baby shells or linguini. I like to use a good quality extra virgin olive oil in this dish.

orecchiette with clams

orecchiette with clams


1/2 pound orrechiette or linguini (uncooked measurement)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 – 2 cans whole baby clams
1 tablespoon dried parsley
Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop garlic finely. Shave Parmesan cheese. Set both aside. Boil salted water and add the pasta. When the pasta is about halfway through cooking start the clam sauce in another pot or frying pan. Heat 2 tablespoons each of butter and olive oil. Add the garlic and cook for a few moments, over medium heat, being careful not to brown it. Add 1/4 cup white wine and lemon juice. Let simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the clams and parsley and heat through. Drain the pasta when it is al dente. Meanwhile season the clam mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir gently to coat. Garnish with plenty of shaved Parmesan.

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A magazine called Get Out! Outdoor Adventure in the Ohio River Region used a recipe from my book A Fork in the Trail called Banana Breakfast Bars in their March issue. It is a filling a decadent treat for the trail that you make at home for a grab-and-go breakfast. The beauty of this recipe is that it makes a great bar for other activities too. It will give you energy for that bike ride on the city trails or working in the garden.

Here is the recipe.

banana breakfast bars

© 2008 Laurie Ann March
this recipe is an excerpt from the book A Fork in the Trail

makes 10–12 servings

This is another one of those make-at-home recipes where the bars seem to disappear before the trip.

1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
3 ripe bananas
3 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup malted milk powder, such as Ovaltine, or chocolate-flavored protein powder
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins or chocolate chips (or 1/2 cup of each)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Mix the butter and sugar together in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Beat the egg and pour it in the bowl. Mash the bananas in a separate bowl, add them to the eggs, and mix well. Stir in the oats, salt, and milk powder combining well. Add the walnuts and the raisins or chocolate chips and stir to combine.

Line the tops and sides of a 9 x 9 inch baking pan with a single piece of parchment paper. Then butter the top of the paper. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake at 350º F for 1 hour. After the slab has cooled, cut it into bars and wrap them in waxed paper. Place the wrapped bars in a ziplock freezer bag. These bars freeze very well for several months.

Tip: To make the parchment paper easier to manage, place a little butter in the bottom of your pan and then place the parchment paper in the pan. The butter underneath with hold the paper in place, making it easier for you to butter the top of the paper.

banana guard

banana guard

Last fall I was in the Oakville Hiker’s Haven store and I found this great little product called a Banana Guard.

One thing I dislike is a bruised banana and my little boy is the same, so I thought this would be great for his school lunches. If you ever saw how that boy throws his backpack to the ground you’d be surprised that anything in his lunch survives, let alone a banana. So, using my son as the tester, we put it through the rigors and it has held up extremely well, as did the contents.

The company says that it also protects the banana from premature ripening. I decided to do a test with two organic bananas from the same bunch. I put one in the Banana Guard and the other just sat in the basket on the kitchen counter. It seems that the guard does prevent the banana from ripening too fast. That’s another thing I don’t like — overripe bananas.

You can find out more about the Banana Guard and the companies other fruit protection products at www.BananaGuard.com.

When I was a child I used to head down our road to Farmer Dan Weadick’s place.  Farmer Dan had a beautiful sugar bush in back of the farm and he used to let me help check the pails and take off the sap. I haven’t done that since I was 14 and we moved to the city.

Recently I had a trip down memory lane while reading my friend Heather’s blog where she has posted a photo essay of their 2009 sugaring adventures.

It made the day a little sweeter. 😉

Perhaps tomorrow I will post one of my favorite Maple recipes.

It’s been months since I’ve blogged on craveable. Many things have been going on — everything from working on my next book to some medical issues.

I’ll be posting new ideas, recipes and wine finds over the coming months.

tomato salad

tomato salad

This isn’t a recipe but it is one of my favorite lunches. Sometimes I make it as a course for a dinner. So what’s in it? Sliced tomatoes, bocconcini, fresh whole basil leaves, and some wickedly delicious hot peppers. Then it is drizzled with some good olive oil, seasoned with some cracked pepper and kosher salt and served with a nice slice of Italian bread.

It looks very pretty on the plate and it is healthy. The hot peppers are from our friend Antonietta. If I am not mistaken the plants came from her Mother in Italy. Every year Antonietta harvests the peppers from her garden and packs them in olive oil. She gives a few jars to my brother-in-law and he always saves one for me because he knows how much I love these firey peppers. They are much hotter than a jalapeño pepper.

Yum! Definitely craveable!