Buttermilk, Brown Butter, Blueberry Mini Muffins

The Kitchen Beet - Blueberry Muffins top

Say that five times fast. If unsuccessful, well, then, better make the muffins! Here in Michigan we are buying, consuming, freezing and baking with blueberries as fast as we can. These sweet, beautiful berries are my little saving grace in the middle of winter when I make pancakes on Sunday morning. For now, however, they are ripe and fresh and ready to be tucked in a not-too-sweet, but pretty decadent mini muffin.

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Zucchini Bruschetta with Lemon, Basil and Sweet Tomatoes

The Kitchen Beet - Zucchini Bruschette close-up

It would seem irresponsible to be a food blogger and not give you uses for all that zucchini and summer squash that starts crowding farmer’s market tables and CSA pick-ups come July. These delicate vegetables are ones that need to be used sooner rather than later. This makes a perfect appetizer, certainly works for dinner and basically tastes like sun-kissed goodness anytime you choose to make it. The ingredients are simple; this is definitely an example of the sum being greater than its parts.

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Road Trip Snacks: Cacao-Coconut Power Balls

The Kitchen Beet - Cacao-Coconut Power Balls - top

Over the course of the last two weeks, I’ve road tripped from my home state of Michigan to Wisconsin, as well as New York. I have spent approximately 36 hours total in the car over the course of those trips. This amount of time in the car demands you really like who you’re traveling with, have similar tastes in music and have excellent snacks. Enter these power balls. I like them because they come together super easily during a time when you’re packing, can hang out in the freezer until you leave and simultaneously satisfy your car need for something sweet, something salty and a little protein boost.

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Kale + Garlic Scape Pesto

The Kitchen Beet - Kale-Garlic Scape Pesto

We’ve reached that stage where summer’s beautiful abundance is almost startling. It seems one moment we’re begging for anything green to come out of the ground, and the next moment there are 50 garlic scapes sitting on the counter! I’m not complaining in the least. Having a bunch of vibrant beets, spicy greens, crisp sugar snap peas and imperfect bundles of carrots around is among my favorite problems to have. This time of year reminds me a bit of a room of children – the loudest one crying often demands attention. If a vegetable is starting to wilt, it gets my time. There will be no veggies dying on my watch! If you’re starting to get to that point where the gifts of kale and garlic scapes are approaching a volume that requires your kitchen love, read on. This delicious pesto is great now, great tomorrow and excellent in January, when you pull it from the freezer in the midst of a snowstorm.

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Balsamic Mushroom Tart with Parsley-Walnut Pesto

The Kitchen Beet - Balsamic Mushroom Tart

Say  hello to your next favorite appetizer (or dinner, or snack). I realize that’s kind of a bold statement, but unless mushrooms aren’t your friend, I’d suggest you plan on taking this to your next gathering. Of course, you’ll have to taste test it first. (Be responsible!) And then you might have to taste test it again, just to ensure the first time wasn’t a fluke. And then you’ll know. It’s really just awesome.

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