Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Easy-to-fix spinach and ricotta muffin cups make great "sides" for December meals

Baking and freezing the emergency meals for the crazed month of December was one thing. But now that December's here and we're frantically popping those meals out for our dinner table, they still need sides to accompany them.

So to go with our meatloaf, packed away in November for these fast-moving December nights, here's a wonderful, unusual side dish that utilized the remainder of my fresh spinach from my previous blog. Baked Ricotta and Spinach Cups! Who knew? The Chickasaw Nutrition Services office had this trick up its sleeve. I couldn't believe it when I read the recipe. Grease eight muffin tins, wilt some spinach in a hot skillet, mix ricotta cheese with egg and Cheddar. Fold in the spinach. Bake as you would muffins in a 375-degree oven for 20 minutes.

We served 'em for dinner (diehard ketchup lovers like Hubby just can't resist adding a few drops of the salt-free red stuff) and then had 'em for breakfast the next day. I even smoothed out half a spinach cup onto a warm meatloaf sandwich the next day for lunch. Freeze some for Christmas-morning breakfast to accompany a breakfast casserole? Serve some for a Christmas covered-dish event? The possibilities are endless—you'll have a conversation-piece recipe, to be sure!

Baked Ricotta and Spinach Cups

1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
8 ounces (6 cups) baby spinach leaves
1 1/2 cups low-fat ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten lightly
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 cup shredded low-fat Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease eight muffin tins. Cook oil and garlic over medium heat until lightly browned. Add baby spinach leaves and heat until leaves wilt. In a separate bowl mix ricotta cheese, egg, salt, pepper, and cheddar cheese. Fold in spinach and garlic mixture. Pour ricotta mixture into the eight muffins tins equally. Bake for 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center of a muffin round emerges nearly clean. Makes 5 servings.

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