Harriet’s Dragon’s Tail Radishes Summer Salad with Ginger-Miso Dressing – E.A.T #41

My friend and neighbor Harriet is a very generous gardener. As well as fresh kale and cucumbers, she recently shared some of her very interesting radishes. Not the round or oval red, pink and white variety, but a bag full of Dragon’s Tail Radishes. I am totally enchanted by their unusual beauty…colors from almost black, to a dark purple and a hint of lime green and their very peppery flavor with long curly “dragon’s tails”. They are a crisp, tender edible roots, with an intense peppery bite. The larger the stem the spicier. Have you ever grown these? I have not, but Harriet says they are easy to grown from seeds, and prolific. Next year. Thanks, Harriet.

Isn’t it fun to try something new? Or to use something you eat all the time in a new way? All of the ingredients in my salad could also be just as delicious quickly stir-fried with some shrimp or tofu. I hear they are great pickled as well.

Dragon’s Tail Radishes (or any radish) chopped up and added to a bowl (is there any reason at all to turn on the stove for meals this very hot summer?) along with a few large cucumbers peeled, seeded and sliced, homegrown sweet golden cherry tomatoes cut in half (from our small garden) with a few of your favorite greens, then drizzled with the ginger-miso dressing…a complete joy to eat.

For the “there-is-no-recipe dressing” you toss into a blender 1 heaping tablespoon freshly grated or chopped ginger, 2 tablespoons white miso, 1/2 cup rice vinegar, 2/3 cup canola or vegetable oil, a splash of orange or apple juice, 1 tablespoon honey and some red pepper flakes to taste. Blend, taste, adjust, pour into a container with a lid and chill. Shake and drizzle on whatever salad you like.

Bon Apetit…

This summer might be a good time to try some new things all around. Wear less clothing to stay cooler? Spend more time in the shade? Sit in a comfy cool indoor space and read, read, read a book or 10? Give and take dinner ideas that are easy, healthy and fun from your friends and neighbors? Take very early morning or late day strolls? Doze in a hammock? Take up cards or board games? What do you like to do to get outside your life-box? Do share.

Take care and stay cool

Dark Chocolate Coin Cookies…Slice and Bake

Make the cookie dough, shape into rolls, chill and bake….or make, shape, wrap and freeze for later. These thin very chocolatey, buttery, crispy lovelies would be so pretty for Valentines.

I am not one to go overboard at Valentines, but I do love a good cookie anytime of the year and this one is rather special. I used De Zaan cocoa and Kerrygold butter, Olive and Sinclair dark chocolate and Maldon sea salt flakes. The hibiscus tea is steep deep red and strong from dried hibiscus flowers I bought in Mexico. But, you can use any cocoa, butter, chocolate or sea salt you might have in your pantry. Delicious either way.

Cocoa powder and chopped dark chocolate, butter and pistachios or hazelnuts with a drizzle of dark chocolate and sea salt create a cookie that is not too sweet with a salty crunch.

Use a small metal whisk to drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookies in a random pattern and immediately sprinkle on the salt.
Beautiful hibiscus tea hot and steamy, a few cookies to share…Imagine.

Double Dark Chocolate Coin Cookies – Slice and Bake

Make, shape, slice and bake these double chocolate, nutty, crisp, cookies for a Valentine's treat.
Total Time1 hour 45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy, Valentines, special dessert cookies
Yield: 60 more or less
Author: Teresa Blackburn


  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg room temp
  • 1/4 cup cocoa good quality
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup chopped pistachios or hazelnuts
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon solid shortening
  • 2 tablespoon flakey sea salt for topping such as Maldon


  • Beat together the softened butter, sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt on high until well blended. Scrape down bowl as needed.
  • Add and beat in the egg and the cocoa powder until blended.
  • Beat in the flour bit-by-bit using the mixer as long as possible. If dough gets too thick stir remaining flour in with a spoon. Stir in the chopped nuts.
  • Scrape dough out onto a work surface and using your hands knead dough into a ball. Divid dough in half. Form dough into two logs about 1.5 inches in diameter and wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill for an hour or two. You can freeze at this point to bake later if you like. If baking from frozen thaw in refrigerator overnight before slicing.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice cookie logs into 1/4 inch slices and place on an ungreased cooked sheet. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until the tops of the cookies are a bit firm to the touch. Cool cookies on wire racks.
  • For the chocolate drizzle, melt the chopped chocolate and the shortening in a pan over low heat. Stir with a metal whisk and use the whisk to drizzle the melted chocolate over the baked and cooled cookies in a random pattern. While drizzle is still melted sprinkle on the sea salt flakes. Allow drizzle to set for about 30 minutes.

Black-eyed Pea Potato Salad with Pickled Okra

2023…Happy New Year….This recipe is from a cookbook I worked on 2016 entitled “The Peace, Love and Potato Salad Cookbook”. It is very easy and quick to make and delicious for all seasons, but for New Years especially so. A definite twist on the traditional hoppin’ John, this bowl of “good luck” has the bright freshness of a salad and the coziness of a winter entree.

You can use cooked, canned black-eyed peas if you are in a hurry, or dried peas if time is on your side, frozen or refrigerated black-eyed peas cook pretty quickly and have lots of flavor. I used Marsh Hen Mill Black-eyed Peas and just reading the label is enough to make you feel better about life.

I understand that pickled okra might not be everyone’s thing, but the saltiness, slight crunch and tang is perfect with this dish.

A cold dark beer or chilled crisp white wine, maybe a skillet of cornbread will surely turn this entree salad into a hearty meal certain to increase your sense of well-being and make you feel lucky and relaxed….ready to meet 2023 with vim and vigor.

Here is the original image from the cookbook….by the amazing Danielle Atkins Photography.

And….here is the recipe for you to concoct from…enjoy, be kind and share…Happy, happy new year.

Fresh Cranberry-Pear-Orange Relish E.A.T #40

This is a re-post from November 2019….deep in the land-of-covid…not so long in the past. This is just so good and simple I wanted to re-share. Have a grateful, thankful and really good day.

I must confess I have a weakness for that (kinda gross) jellied cranberry sauce in the can. I am sure it has to do with childhood Holiday memories nested deep in my brain.  On the other hand, I really love this cranberry relish that is quick, easy and fresh. It is a little bit sweet, a little bit tart and very special with a baked ham or a roasted chicken or turkey, not to mention roasted vegetables.. All you need is a food processor and about 10 minutes. It will keep in the fridge for a few days in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid so it is an excellent make-ahead.

There really isn’t any need for an official recipe, but I put a quick one at the end just in case.

About 2 cups of fresh cranberries,  2 firm but ripe pears (or apples), 1 orange including the peel and a 1/2 cup raw or turbinado sugar are the 4 ingredients needed. All chopped in a processor, jarred and chilled. It really is “easy-as-this”. What a nice jar of this would be for a food-lover on your Holiday List!

Fresh Cranberry, Pear and Orange Relish


  • 2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained
  • 2  firm, but ripe pears, cored
  • 1 orange, cut into wedges, seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup raw or turbinado sugar


  1. Medium chop cranberries in a food processor. Scrape into a mixing bowl.
  2. Puree pears and add to mixing bowl.
  3. Medium to finely chop orange wedges and add to mixing bowl.
  4. Add sugar and stir ingredients together. Taste and adjust sugar if needed.
  5. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid for up to 4-5 days.

Note: For gift-giving, add a ribbon or tag with the date made and ingredients in a pretty jar. How easy is that?

Teresa Blackburn.       http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com


Matzo Ball Soup My Way – E.A.T. #53

Cool fall day…soup day…Matzo Ball Soup My Way day….restorative and nourishing. My way with lots of fresh lemon juice and chopped parsley, freshly ground black pepper…it is as “easy-as-this”.

You know what else is as “easy-as-this”? Voting. It is also restorative and nourishing for the soul. Coming up in just a few days is one of the most important times to get out and vote to keep women’s health care a free choice for all, to keep it safe and legal. It is a time to say no to no-background check gun purchases. It is a time to support our public schools. It is a time when doing good is possible if we vote. Vote early if you can or on Tuesday November 8th at your local voting location. It is as “easy-as-that”.

First grab a box of matzo ball and soup mix…there are quite a few to choose from. I use whatever is on the shelf..Streit’s or Manischewitz are the most common in my supermarket. They are very similar in what is in the box….a packet of matzo meal for making the balls and a packet of dried soup mix. Follow the directions on the box, but with a few additions to make it “my way”.

The additions of fresh lemons, low salt chicken stock or bone broth, generous amount of freshly ground black pepper and chopped fresh parsley turn an already good packaged product into something special. Adding chopped fresh parsley and black pepper to the matzo balls and the broth adds an updated flavor profile while the lemon juice brightens up the overall finished soup.

Restorative and nourishing this soup is ready to eat in under 1 hour…as easy-as-this dinner on brrrrrr chilly days.

Restorative and nourishing voting only takes minutes.

Matzo Ball Soup My Way


1box matzo ball and soup mix, usually 4.5 oz

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large eggs

6 cups water

4 cups low sodium chicken broth or bone broth

freshly ground black pepper – 1 teaspoons for the matzo balls + extra for serving

3 lemons – 2 juiced + one l sliced thinly for garnishing soup

fresh parsley chopped – 1 tablespoon for the matzo balls + extra for serving


  1. In a mixing bowl whisk together the vegetable oil and 2 eggs until light and frothy. Add the matzo ball packet contents, 1 teaspoon of the black pepper and 1 tablespoon of the chopped parsley to the bowl, cover and chill for about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, add the water and chicken broth to a large stock pot. Stir in the soup mix packet and bring to a boil.
  3. Form chilled matzo ball mixture into balls about 1 inch in diameter to make about 12 balls. Wet hands if need be while rolling.
  4. Drop matzo balls into the boiling broth, add a tight-fitting lid to the pan, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until matzo balls are throughly cooked. Remove pan from heat and add the juice of two lemons, additional black pepper and fresh parsley. Stir and serve bowls of hot soup with slices of lemon.

Be well.

Sheet-Pan Peach Jam with Thyme and Lemon A Sunday Morning in June – E.A.T. #52

If I keep at it, I will find the absolute easiest way to do everything. It is not that I am lazy, but that I do not like to fuss. I want to start a task and take it through to the end as effortlessly as possible while ending up with something special…whether it be food, or art, or gardening. I am pretty sure my personality leads me in my approach…c’est la vie. Whipping up a batch of homemade jam and the time needed to do so can be at odds with one another…full of desire to do the first without the time usually needed, my recipe for oven roasted fresh peach jam makes the process of jam making doable and satisfying in all ways.

It seems a lot of friends and acquaintances are in traveling in France this Spring, which started me thinking about how much I love a simple French breakfast…why not partake of one here in Nashville this Sunday morning? So freshly baked croissants, just made peach jam and cafe au lait is close enough to please me and Wouter. C’etait tres bon. Oui? Oui.
Fresh Peach Truck peaches from the Downtown Nashville Farmer’s Market.
Nicely ripened, unpeeled and rough chopped, fresh thyme from my herb garden and the zest and juice from one lemon, along with a little brown and white sugar..that is all you need.
Sheet pan jam in the works.
Ready to mash…..
….voila! One hour from sheet pan to jars. It is as Easy-as-This to make your own petit dejeuner francais.

Sheet Pan Jam with Thyme and Lemon


  • Around 3 lbs fresh, ripe peaches, not peeled, but pitted and stems removed, chopped
  • The zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar + 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves


Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl. Let sit while oven pre-heats. (The peaches I used were clingstone, meaning the fruit’s flesh clings to the pit, so I cut the fruit away from the pit and then squeezed the juice around the pit into the bowl as well. More peach flavor and not waste.)

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Scrape peach mixture out onto a baking sheet pan. Spread out evenly. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until fruit has softened and juices on pan start to thicken. Ovens may vary so keep an eye on the progress.

Remove baking sheet from the oven when fruit is quite soft and then mash with a potato masher or fork until it looks like jam.

Fill two pint jars, or more jars if using smaller ones, with the warm peach jam and allow to cool to room temperature. Add a lid and refrigerate or freeze until ready to eat.

Note: This basic method could be used for plums, cherries, apples, and berries. It’s a great way to keep the summer in the freezer for later.

Be well. Be kind and take care.


Creamy Roasted Poblano Pepper Soup

Hot or cold depending on our tempestuous Spring weather…served in a bowl or sipped from a cup…easy and quick.

I realize that food always seems to taste better when you are sitting at a table on a rather idyllic beach as the sun sets, surrounded by tropical flora, the waves crashing and having great company alongside. Nothing to do, no pressing work, a hammock nearby. Really, that is a no brainer I think.

No matter how many times I have been to the Yucatan Peninsula, I still discover new dishes that are delicious in any setting. A roasted poblano pepper soup served chilled, a little creamy with a very fresh roasted poblano pepper flavor and a spicy bite at the end. Lovely, subtle green color laced with darker green flecks of pepper and cilantro and freshly ground black pepper rounded out a memorable meal in a memorable setting and was just as delicious here at home.

An easy recipe based on four or five large poblano peppers roasted……
….until well charred. Peeled and ready for the soup pot.
All the ingredients cooked down in chicken broth ( you could use veg broth), then blended until somewhat smooth and cooled to room temp.
A tiny bit of cream added to the pan. Chilled and ready to serve. Garnished with a drizzle more of cream, black pepper and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. More cilantro and chopped tomatoes if you like.

Creamy Roasted Poblano Pepper Soup


  • 4-5 large poblano peppers
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic smashed
  • 6 cups chicken broth (can use veg)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves & stems
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream + more for serving
  • Fresh limes
  • Optional for garnish: chopped tomatoes; hot sauce; cilantro leaves


  1. Turn oven to 425 degrees. Place poblano peppers on a sheet pan and roast for about 15 minutes, flip them over with tongs and roast another 10 minutes or until they are charred and softened. Remove peppers and place in a reclosable plastic bag/or paper bag to sweat. After they have cooled somewhat, remove from bag and peel a much skin as you can off, remove and toss stem and most of seeds. Give the peppers a rough chop and set aside.
  2. While peppers are roasting, heat the olive oil in a pan over medium high heat and saute the onions and garlic for a few minutes until softened. Add chopped poblano peppers to the pan and saute another 5 minutes or so. Turn heat to medium. Toss in cilantro leaves and stems and mint. Add broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, turn to simmer and cook for another 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  3. Working in batches (do not put too much hot soup in the blender at one time) puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Return soup to the pan.
  4. Stir in 1/4 cup cream. Taste and adjust seasonings. Creamy poblano soup is delicious served hot or cold. If serving cold, chill in refrigerator in pan, uncovered until cold.
  5. Serve hot or cold with a drizzle of additional cream, cilantro leaves, fresh lime juice and black pepper if you like. A sprinkle of chopped tomatoes and a splash of hot sauce is great if soup needs more heat.

Be kind, be well.


One Recipe, Two Loaves – A Savory and a Sweet Irish Soda Bread

A re-post from the past for current days. An easy bread to empower the most hesitant. Deliciously simple.

“So, her hands scuffled over the backboard, the reddening stove sent its plaque of heat against her where she stood in a floury apron by the window.” By Seamus Heaney, from “North”, 1975

March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day and the return of Daylight Savings Time…all in the same week.
A couple of days to celebrate in spite of all the turmoil in the world.
Make some time for yourself, perhaps in your kitchen? Let it be a haven of appreciation and thankfulness. Bread baking is a personal restorative process. When all else seems overwhelming, baking a loaf of bread can be both grounding and nourishing. It can be a connection with history, the now and hope for the future.

Of all the past two years of Pandemic Baking going on, with lots of talk and attention going to yeast breads, sour dough in particular, little was mentioned about soda bread. I am not sure why, but there was a noticeable absence of tribute to this historic bread. Soda Bread doesn’t take a lot of time nor skill to complete…maybe that is why it was lacking in attention. Little ado and you have a loaf of bread. No waiting for a culture to develop. One just does it. Plain and simple. In an hour your loaf if ready to slice.

Irish Soda Bread has a long history connected to both Ireland and surprisingly American Indian cooking. The texture and grain is beautiful and sturdy. It works well for sandwiches and toast. It is simply a good everyday bread. This recipe as you will see can be savory or sweet with just a few tweaks. I have made this recipe many time adding fresh herbs, nuts, grated cheese and even red pepper flakes.

Irish Soda Bread…timeless and timely on this Day, March 17th, 2022.

Warm loaf with a smear of softened Kerrygold Butter.

A Sweet and Savory Irish Soda Bread - One Recipe, Two Loaves

Ingredients for Loaf #1 – Plain and Simple

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups buttermilk

Ingredients for Loaf #2 – Marmalade Loaf

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade, divided in half

Directions for Loaf #1

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Sift the flour, salt and baking soda together in a mixing bowl.
  3. Make a “well” in the center and pour in 1 1/2 cups buttermilk and mix gently. Add more buttermilk if dough seems too dry. This dough should be soft and somewhat wet. Scrape dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.
  4. Knead dough until smooth and shape into an 8 inch round, slightly flattened disk. Place dough on prepared sheet pan and using a sharp knife dipped in water, make an “X” in the top.
  5. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until bread is golden brown and crusty. When you remove the loaf from the oven and tap on the bottom it should sound hollow. Serve warm with softened butter.

Directions for Loaf #2

  1. Preheat oven to 425 and prepared sheet pan.
  2. Sift flour, salt and baking soda together, making a “well” in the center. Add yogurt, cream and half of the marmalade. Stir together quickly. Scrape dough onto a floured work surface and knead a few times.
  3. Shape dough into a disk and place on sheet pan. Smear outside of dough with remaining marmalade. Using a sharp knife dipped in water, make an “X” in the top of the dough.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and crusty.

Both of these loaves keep well for a few days.

Teresa Blackburn. http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

Inflation Inspired Pantry Granola E. A. T. #51

Everyday healthy. A Grab-and-Go snack. Simple is good. Make it cheaper, make it better.

Homemade granola is so much tastier and healthier than anything available store-bought….and more definitely more affordable. At times when I am really busy I will buy my favorite brand from the supermarket, but earlier this week while grocery shopping I had a few “arresting inflation shopping moments” that did not have anything to do with filling my car up before entering the grocery!

Limes, which I had to have for a photo shoot recipe, were 89 cents each! Two large crisp apples cost $2.64, etc, etc. The granola I buy “in a pinch” was $1 more per package and the package is not very large. Granted it is low sugar, low-batch produced and has a lot of really good ingredients, but I just could not make myself toss it in the cart. Why now? Why not now? Why not make my own using what I already have at home in my pantry. It is quick and easy and based on good whole grain oats and whatever else I can rummage up so I call this batch “Inflation Inspired Pantry Granola”.

Pantry Granola is delicious with yogurt and fresh fruit, but also as a sprinkle over a scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt, and can be stirred into oatmeal right before eating to add a little crunch. Sometimes I take it in a little container with me in the car for when I get the munchies. A little bit salty and a little bit sweet. Very satisfying.

This batch of granola has pecans, large coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pistachios, almonds, old-fashioned oats, maple syrup, brown sugar and olive oil with a bit of sea salt tossed in. I have attached a recipe or how-to, but truthfully you can add as much or as little of any nuts, grains, dried fruit, etc as you like. It is pretty hard for this to not be a success. It is absolutely as easy-as-this.

Giant bowl of good stuff…..
….all tossed together.

Spread out on parchment lined baking sheets and popped into the oven until a bit caramelized. We like our granola pretty toasted & roasted, but that is totally up to you. Less toasted, more toasted, anyway you like it.

Cool down time.

Stored in large airtight containers ready for the pantry. It is as easy-as-this.

A few jars of healthy goodness.

Other granola post links: “Orange Peel-Cardamom Gluten-Free Granola” and “Hola! Granola!” Different versions, same results.

Pantry Granola


  • 3 cups whole grain rolled oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill), not quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup each pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans (or any mixture to make 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup each pistachios, walnuts, slivered almonds (or whatever nuts you have to make 1.5 cups)
  • 1 cup flaked coconut (shredded works as well)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (you can use honey, just take it down to 1/3 cup)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • Sea salt flakes (kosher will do)
  • Note: Use whatever combination of ingredients you prefer or have on hand for your own mix. You can add dried fruit such as chopped dried apricots or dried cranberries, banana chips, but add these the final 15 minutes of cooking so they do not get to dried out! I have added in flax seeds and cracked black pepper as well as a bit of coffee grounds. Make it how you like it…the process is the same.)


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking pans with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together in a large bowl the oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, slivered almonds and coconut.
  3. Add maple syrup, olive oil and brown sugar and sea salt flakes. Toss all of the ingredients together until well combined.
  4. Divide the granola mixture between the two pans and spread out evenly. Bake granola, stirring every 15 minutes, until the granola is toasted to your liking, for about 45 minutes. (Adjust time based on your oven and how toasted you like your granola.)
  5. Remove granola from the oven and let cool completely. Store in airtight containers for up to 1 month. I have found that one batch usually lasts us about a month with both of us having it most mornings.

Be well.