Farro with Kale and Fennel

2- farroI was first introduced to farro by a restaurant here in Seattle called Bar Cotto.  They had a delicious appetizer that opened my eyes to the world of nutty, chewy, savory farro.  My friends who I share my CSA vegetables with introduced me to a farro recipe.  This recipe is adaptable to whatever you have on hand.  I will share my version which includes kale and fennel.  If you saute fennel, it does not have the strong licorice flavor as raw fennel.

Farro with Kale and Fennel

adapted from sugarlaws


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2-4 beets, chopped and roasted at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes until tender
  • 5-6 green onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1 bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2 cups farro
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock


In a large pot, heat the farro and stock to a simmer.  Leave cooking uncovered for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Cook until farro is slightly crunchy with a little stock still left in the pot.

While the farro is cooking, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan.  Add the chopped kale and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Then remove from the heat and place on paper towels and allow to cool.  Add the chopped fennel, green onion, and garlic.  Saute on medium for 10-15 minutes.  Once the kale has cooled, squeeze out the juice and then add back into the frying pan.

Next add the lemon zest and vegetable mixture to the farro once it is done cooking.  Once everything is heated through and most of the stock as been absorbed, serve hot!

*additional add in options include roasted butternut squash, toasted nuts, swiss chard


Darjeeling Tea Chocolate Chip Cookies

Darjleeing Tea Cookies 5

Oh chocolate chip cookies!  This is my favorite dessert, especially hot from the oven.  I rarely ever eat a room temperature cookie.  I have been working on perfecting my microwaving times to recreate fresh from the oven melty goodness.

Darjleeing Tea Cookies 3I found this recipe from one of my favorite bloggers une gamine dans la cuisine.  I had never tried to make a tea flavored cookie and felt up to the challenge.  I do not think I was effective in extracting as much butter as needed from the tea/butter mixture so I had to add butter in until I got the right texture for the cookie dough.  But the result was worth it, these cookies were soft with great texture.

Darjleeing Tea Cookies 2Above is the tea/butter mixture.  It smells delicious!  I found the tea flavor to be quite subtle but the cookie over all was fantastic.  I think making them without the tea would also be great!  Due to the variable amount of butter I added, I would not recommend this unless you bake enough cookies to be comfortable deciding if your dough is the correct consistency.

Darjeeling Tea Chocolate Chip Cookies

adapted from une gamine dans la cuisine


  • 12-16 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup Darjeeling loose leaf tea
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsp firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 12 oz semisweet chocolate chips


Place the 10 tablespoons butter and tea leaves in a saucepan over medium low heat.  After the butter is melted, increase the heat to medium and cook the butter until it turns light brown and develops a nutty aroma.  Browning butter usually takes 5-8 minutes, if you try to brown it too quickly it will burn.   After the butter has browned, remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla.  Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes.

Use a sieve to strain the butter into a bowl.  Using the back of a large spoon to press down on the tea leaves to squeeze out as much butter as possible.  Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the microwave and add it to the strained butter.  Let cool for 15-20 minutes.  Add the white and brown sugar and beat on medium high speed with a hand mixer until combined.  Add the egg and beat in.

Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Beat on low speed until just combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

**at this point my dough was too dry so I added in 1 tablespoon at a time of melted butter until I got a cookie dough that was the typical consistency.

Place cookie dough onto baking sheets.  The cookies above were 1/4 cup full of dough.  The original recipe called for refrigerating dough for 12 hours.  I  did not and the cookies were still great!  Preheat the oven to 350 F.   Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges have set.  The centers will look undercooked, but they will finish baking while on the cookie sheet out of the oven.  Leave the cookies on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.  This is the key to having soft cookies the next day!

Darjleeing Tea Cookies 4

Asian Sweet and Spicy Green Beans, Broccoli and Tempeh

2- sweet and spicy green beans and broccoli Ohh this recipe!  It’s hard to describe how amazing this recipe is.  It is from Mark Bittman’s website that originally calls for just green beans.  Since I have a love affair with broccoli I of course added them.  Then, I loved this recipe so much I added tempeh to make it a meal all in itself!  (tempeh not pictured above but mixes in easily).

1- sweet and spicy green beans and broccoliImportantly, do NOT skip the step of shocking the broccoli and beans.  This step ensures that your veggies will be crunchy and not overcooked mush.

Asian Sweet and Spicy Green Beans, Broccoli and Tempeh

adapted from Mark Bittman


  • 8 oz tempeh, cut into 1/4 in. by 1 in. cubes
  • soy sauce
  • 1/2 pound green beans
  • one crown of broccoli broken up into bite sized florets
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce


Place the chopped tempeh in a baggie with enough soy sauce to coat the tempeh.  Let soak for 30 minutes-overnight.  Then heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Saute the tempeh until golden brown.  Set aside in a separate bowl.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the green beans and broccoli and cook until crisp-tender, about 2-3 minutes. Shock the beans in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and drain again (this can be done up to a day ahead of time).

Put the almonds, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a food processor and process.  Add 2 Tbsp of the olive oil and continue to process, it will be a chunky mixture.

Put the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet and cook the shallots over medium heat.  Stir occasionally, until they’re just soft, about 3 minutes. Add the almond paste and continue cooking for another couple of minutes, then add the honey and soy sauce. Cook for another minute or 2 stirring constantly and then add the green beans, broccoli and tempeh. Toss to coat everything well in the almond-shallot mixture and cook until everything is warmed through.  Serve hot or at room temperature.