Posts by Erin Gleeson

Erin Gleeson

Let’s Party: Stuffed Baked Apples

It’s starting to feel like fall in the woods which makes me want to bake and be cozy indoors. This week is the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashana) which my family celebrates. It’s traditional to ring in the new year with apples & honey, so I thought I’d make a warm apple dessert which I grew up having, Baked Stuffed Apples.

Use a small paring knife to remove the apple cores.

Then create a filling for the apples by mixing the following ingredients in a small bowl: chopped dried figs (3T), chopped walnuts (3T), room temperature butter (1/3 stick), dried berries/raisins (3T), brown sugar (2T), and cinnamon (1/2 t). This is enough filling for about 6 apples.

Use a small spoon to stuff the apple cores from both ends.

Load them into a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour and 15 minutes or until desired apple softness.

When they come out of the oven, spoon the pooled butter mixture at the bottom of the dish over the apples.

Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle the whole dish with honey. These are great to make for a dinner party because they can easily be kept warm in the oven until it’s time for dessert.

This recipe was inspired by BHG’s Stuffed Apple recipe and adapted by Erin Gleeson of The Forest Feast, a cookbook and food blog inspired by cooking with fresh fruits and vegetables from a cabin in the woods in California. Photos & illustrations by Erin Gleeson, www.theforestfeast.com

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Erin Gleeson

Let’s Party: Peach Caprese Salad

I love using summer fruit in salads these days. My friend who has an amazing peach tree recently invited me over to pick to my heart’s desiire and I went home with more peaches than I knew what to do with! One dish I ended up making was this twist on a Caprese Salad. I started with this basic BHG recipe, but simply included peaches, tomatoes, basil and cheese. As for the cheese, I chose Burrata, a cheese that’s similar to fresh mozzarella, but softer (and pure heaven!).

I love using yellow tomatoes when I can find them!

My friend’s peach tree:

I served this salad recently at a party alongside other summery dishes and it was a hit!

This Peach Caprese was inspired by this basic recipe for a Caprese Salad. Enjoy, and happy summer entertaining!

Recipe adaptation, photos & illustrations by Erin Gleeson of The Forest Feast, a blog and cookbook inspired by living in a cabin in the woods.

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Erin Gleeson

Let’s Party: Watermelon Bites

Inspired by this BHG Watermelon Salad, I decided to make an appetizer version perfect for an outdoor summer gathering. Just stack cubes of feta and watermelon on a toothpick with a leaf of fresh mint! Simple, refreshing and delicious. Summer in a bite!

Try to cut the feta and watermelon cubes the same size:

You can mix up the order of the 3 items however you like! However, for thin toothpicks I prefer to put the feta on the bottom as I think it keeps the items from falling off the tooth pick. This could also be served as a salad skewer by putting about 3 watermelon cubes, 3 feta cubes and mint leaves on a longer kebab stick.

I served them at a party recently and they were a hit:

The recipe for these watermelon bites was based on the ingredients in this Watermelon Salad. Happy summer entertaining!

By Erin Gleeson for The Forest Feast, a food blog and cookbook inspired by living in a cabin in the woods in California.

 

 


Erin Gleeson

Let’s Party: Blueberry Arugula Salad

Nothing reminds me of summer more than berry picking. Most summers, we head to Vermont for a week to stay at my relative’s house and we always go blueberry picking nearby. Usually it’s so hot that I can’t manage to bake a pie when I get home, so instead I love throwing the berries in a fresh salad. The sweet and savory together are divine! Plus, it’s great alongside a BBQ meal.

For this fresh summer salad, I created a vegetarian version of this BHG salad, subbing spicy arugula for lettuce, and adding feta and pecans. However, feel free to include the turkey, or perhaps some chicken if you’ve fired up the grill.

I just used a light vinaigrette I bought at the store, but even olive oil and lemon would be lovely! For the recipe that I adapted, please click here.

Cheers to outdoor summer meals!

Recipe adaptation, illustrations and photos by Erin Gleeson of The Forest Feast, a food blog and vegetarian cookbook inspired by living in a cabin in the woods.

 


Erin Gleeson

Let’s Party: Curly Kale and Curly Pasta Salad

I love making pasta salads when entertaining because it’s easy to make a lot, not too pricey, filling, and they are great at room temperature. This pasta salad recipe is nicely balanced with beans and greens, and a store-bought pesto makes it so easy! I adapted BHG’s Italian Pesto Pasta Salad recipe by adding kale and pecans.

I pull the kale off the stalks and shred them into pieces by hand. After boiling the pasta, I throw the kale in that same pot, with a bit of olive oil, and saute´ briefly until wilted and bright green. I then toss the hot pasta with the greens, canned beans and pesto.

Chopped green scallions and toasted pecans can be sprinkled over the top before serving, or mixed in, for an extra crunchy kick.

This dish is great served warm or at room temperature, and is easily made ahead.

For the full recipe, click here. I simply substituted kale and pecans for the suggested arugula and pine nuts. The dish could also be made vegan by leaving out the cheese and using a dairy-free pesto. It could easily be made with gluten-free pasta as well. Enjoy!

Recipe adaptation and photos by Erin Gleeson for The Forest Feast, a cookbook and food blog inspired by living in a cabin in the woods. 


Erin Gleeson

Kale Caesar Salad + The Forest Feast Cookbook Giveaway

My new cookbook, The Forest Feast, just came out and we are doing a GIVEAWAY!

A couple years ago, my husband and I left New York City for a cabin in the woods in Northern California. I had worked as a freelance food photographer in New York, so being in California meant starting over in a way. I decided I needed a new portfolio so I set out to create one at our new cabin, by cooking and shooting with local produce outside amongst the forest. This became my blog, The Forest Feast, and now this cookbook! The book is unique because it’s an art book/cookbook blend. The recipes are displayed visually so there’s not a lot of text to read through. Instead, my own handwriting, photography and watercolor illustrations guide you through the steps. The book features 100 vegetarian recipes that are super simple- most have fewer than 5 ingredients and are easy enough for a weeknight, yet unique enough for entertaining. For a little preview, watch my book trailer, HERE.

Below is one of my favorite recipes from the book. I make it often for dinner parties and it’s a hit! The dressing is super garlicky and the polenta “croutons” make it filling.

Photos and Recipe by Erin Gleeson for The Forest Feast cookbook.

As I mentioned earlier, BHG and I are giving away a couple of copies of The Forest Feast cookbook! To enter to win one of 5 copies of The Forest Feast: Simple Vegetarian Recipes from My Cabin in the Woods, tell us below: “What is your favorite way to use kale?”.  For another opportunity to win, connect with Better Homes and Gardens on Twitter and re-tweet the tweet marked with the hashtag #BHGForestFeast. We’ll conduct a random drawing from the entries received to select the winners. See the official contest rules here.

Note: This contest has ended.

Our winners for the blog comments were  Allie who said “Making a simple kale salad…”, Carol who loves “Kale chips,” and  Alex who said “A wilted kale salad and sauteed with quinoa and sweet potato.”

Good luck and Happy Cooking!