Saturday, June 10, 2023

Bring Spring into your kitchen!

Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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I am over Winter and I am ready for Spring to arrive! I love Springtime with all of the new life being brought into the landscape. Flowers develop, leaves begin to sprout on trees, and soon enough there will be sunshine, green space and life happening all around us! So, that means that our recipes will be able to change a bit. Why? Well, Spring is when many gardens are planted and therefore the variety of available produce grown locally will begin to increase as the months proceed and the weather warms. Let’s see what kind of recipes will make this new Spring season really shine!

Dump-and-Bake Spring Pasta

Dump-and-Bake Spring Pasta

  • 1 cup diced cooked chicken*
  • 1 14 ounces can quartered artichokes, drained
  • 1 cup diced fresh asparagus about 10 spears
  • ½ cup grated carrots I used a bag of “matchstick carrots” from the produce section as a shortcut
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 1 ¾ cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth for a vegetarian option
  • ½ cup loosely-packed chopped fresh chives or green onions divided
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley divided
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese divided
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220C). Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In the prepared dish (or in a separate bowl), stir together cooked chicken, artichoke hearts, asparagus, carrots, uncooked pasta, chicken broth, about half of the chives, half of the parsley, minced garlic, and salt, and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan.
  3. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 35 minutes.
  4. Uncover; stir. At this point, you should check the pasta to make sure that it is al dente (firm but just about finished cooking). If it’s still too hard, cover the dish and return to the oven until pasta is al dente. Then move on to the next step.
  5. Stir in the frozen peas and sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan over the top. Bake uncovered for 5-10 more minutes (or until pasta is tender).
  6. Garnish with remaining chives and parsley just before serving.
Spring Vegetable Grain Bowl

Spring Vegetable Grain Bowl

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked farro
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped beet greens or arugula
  • 1/4 cup blanched English peas
  • 2 baby carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red beet, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  1. Combine farro, 3 cups water, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan over medium-low; cook, covered, 25 minutes or until farro becomes tender. Place farro in a strainer; drain well.
  2. Place hot farro in a large bowl. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, oil, vinegar, greens, peas, carrots, onion, celery, and beet; stir gently to combine. Top evenly with cheese and parsley.
Mini Lime Tarts

Spring Desserts: Mini Lime Tarts


  • 12 graham crackers (1 package + 3 crackers in a standard box)
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 granulated sugar
  • 5 tbsp lime juice
  • 1-1/2 tbsp lime zest (the zest from one lime)
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Place cupcake liners in a cupcake pan.
  2. In a food processor, process graham crackers, sugar, and the 6 tablespoons of melted butter.
  3. Place approximately 1-2 heaping tablespoons of graham cracker crust mixture into each cupcake liner and press into the bottom and slightly up the sides.
  4. Bake for 5-7 minutes. Set aside.
  5. While the crust is baking, make the filling. Place enough water to cover the bottom of a saucepan and bring to a boil. In a large bowl placed over the saucepan, whisk together eggs, sugar, lime juice, and lime zest.
  6. Whisk vigorously for about 7-10 minutes, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and whisk in the final 4 tablespoons of melted butter.
  7. Pour a heaping tablespoon of filling into each of the pre-baked crusts and continue adding more evenly to each until you’ve used all of the fillings. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-7 minutes, just until the filling is slightly set and jiggles a bit in the center.
  8. Place in the refrigerator and cool for at least two hours before devouring.

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