Thursday, April 22, 2021

Beet, Goat Cheese and Arugula Salad

The ties that bind.  In a time when there are so many forces trying to tear us apart, highlighting our differences, pitting us against one another – isn’t it time to focus on what we have in common, what we like and appreciate about one another, and what binds us together?   

When I partnered with the Saint Michael’s Farmers Market, Tricia asked if I had a beet recipe, because they are in season.  I have never cooked a beet; I have eaten them and will admit that I wasn't the biggest fan.  They are so “red” and seem to turn everything red.  With a little encouragement, our family tested a few baking methods and recipes and this combination bound us together to declare it a winner.  This Saturday’s recipe at the Farmers Market: strawberry drop biscuits.


  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 4-6 beets, tops removed and scrubbed
  • 6 cups arugula
  • 1/3 cup roasted, salted Marcona almonds
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed
  • 3-4 oz goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 400.  Wrap the beets individually in aluminum foil and place them on a sheet pan. Roast them for 50-60 minutes, until a small sharp knife inserted in the middle indicates that they are tender. Unwrap each beet and set aside for 10 minutes, until cool enough to handle. Peel the beets with a small, sharp knife and cut into bite size slivers.  To prevent staining, consider covering your cutting board with parchment paper and wear gloves.

Whisk the vinegar, shallots, and honey in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Toss the arugula, almonds, and cranberries in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad, to taste, with salt and pepper. Transfer the salad onto plates then arrange the beets, sprinkle with the avocado and goat cheese, and serve.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Strawberry Drop Biscuits

For the second year in a row, you do NOT owe taxes today (and before you try to nit pick me on the detail of estimated tax payments are still due… I did my research.  I am aware.  You’d think I have an ex-accountant and tax lawyers in my family or something).  There is still reason to celebrate today.   

And let’s celebrate that the weather is warming up which means more fruit!  This recipe was published in New York Times Cooking.  It’s part scone – part biscuit – part muffin top - all yummy.  Strawberries hold up better during the cooking process but the raspberry version was a family favorite too.

Something else to celebrate today – the Saint Michael’s Farmers Market turns 10 this year.  Opening day is this Saturday, April 17, 8am-noon, and runs for the next 24 weeks.  How would I know?  The Baker’s Mann is honored to partner with SMFM and will be providing weekly recipes which include items sold at the market.  Be sure to stop by and check out all of their wonderful vendors!  This Saturday’s recipe: orzo salad.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons cold salted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes or grated
  • 4 medium strawberries (about 2/3 cup), cut into small 1/4-inch or 1/2-inch pieces, or whole blueberries, raspberries or other diced stone fruit like peaches
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream, plus more if needed (divided: 4 T, 1 T, 1 T)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup unsifted confectioners’ sugar
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment.

Whisk the flour, granulated sugar and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl. Toss the butter into the flour mixture to coat. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, work the butter into the flour until the mixture is mealy and small pieces of pea-size butter remain.

Add the diced strawberries and toss with a fork to combine. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add 4 tablespoons of the heavy cream and 1/4 cup water. Continue tossing with the fork until the dough is just evenly damp and shaggy, being careful not to overwork the dough too much. Add 1 to 3 teaspoons more water, as needed, if the dough is still too dry to work with.

Drop 6-8 mounds of dough (each a generous 1/3 cup) onto the baking sheet and press them down slightly, leaving at least 1 1/2 inches of space between each mound and gently padding any stray bits of dough back into place as you work. Lightly brush the tops with 1 tablespoon heavy cream and bake until deep golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes.

Add the confectioners’ sugar to a small bowl, and whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon heavy cream, adding more if needed to make a thick icing that is just thin enough to drizzle. Spoon over the warm biscuits; serve warm or at room temperature.