Ms. Kaczkiewicz's French Clafoutis

A French summertime classic, every year once spring and summer roll around my mother will make this easy dessert with whatever fresh fruit is available – or dried fruit, if that’s all she has.

Fast, flavorful, and vibrant, Clafoutis (pronounced clah-foo-tee) is part custard, part cake studded with brilliantly colored berries, or cooling fruits.

Add a dollop of Schlag (hearty German-style whipped cream), or a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you’re left with a brilliant dessert ideal for weeknight meals, or dinner with guests.
 
Basic Clafoutis (borrowed from Epicurious.com)

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup whole milk*
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
Instructions:
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 325** 

Step 2: Choose your fruit! In these pictures I used raspberry and peeled, sliced pear but most fruits will work just as well. Berries of all kinds are always a winning choice, but cherries, apples, peaches, figs,  etc… even dried fruits make delicious choices! Arrange the fruit in a cast-iron skillet or pie pan.

Step 3: Make the batter! Whisk together all of the listed ingredients until it is a smooth batter. It will be quite liquid and easy to pour.

Step 4: Pour over the fruit, then bake for 35-40 minutes. Serve warm – though it is just as good chilled the next day.
 
*My mother skips the whole milk and flour and substitutes about 1 cup-1 ½ cups of plain Greek yogurt. I personally prefer this recipe, which has a more cakelike texture but the carb-conscious might prefer the substitute!

**It can easily be baked at 350, for a shorter duration, but the lower, slower cooktime lets the top develop a beautiful golden hue.

Cole P.'s Homemade Lasagna

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 lb.  lasagna noodles
  • 1 tsp.  extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 lb.  Gardein-brand meatless ground substitute
  • 4  cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp.  dried oregano
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  (32-0z.) jars marinara
  • 16 oz.  whole milk ricotta
  • 1/2 c.  freshly grated Parmesan, divided
  • 1/4 c.  chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
  • large egg
  • lb.  sliced mozzarella 
Instructions:
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375º. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente, less 2 minutes. Drain and drizzle a bit of olive oil to prevent noodles from sticking together.
 
Step 2: Meanwhile, in a large pot over medium-high meatless substitute, garlic, oregano and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, then add marinara and stir until warmed through. 
 
Step 3: Combine ricotta, 1/4 cup Parmesan, parsley, and egg in a large mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
 
Step 4: In a large casserole dish, evenly spread a small amount of the meatless sauce across the bottom of the dish, then top with a single layer of lasagna noodles, a layer of ricotta mixture, and a single layer of mozzarella. Repeat layers, topping the last layer of noodles with meat sauce, Parmesan, and mozzarella.
 
Step 5: Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes, then increase temperature to 400º and bake uncovered for 18 to 20 minutes.
 
Step 6: Garnish with parsley before serving.

The Perez Family’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

Ingredients:
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour (unbleached, if you have it)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or your favorite)
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
Instructions:
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350.  

Step 2: Grease and flour a 9x13 pan

Step 3: In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, eggs, sour cream, vanilla, baking powder and baking soda.  Mix well.

Step 4: Add the flour and stir to combine. The batter will be thick.

Step 5: In a separate bowl, combine chocolate chips, sugar and cinnamon.  Set aside.

Step 6: Spread half of the cake batter in prepared pan.

Step 7: Sprinkle half of the chocolate chip mixture over the batter.

Step 8: Repeat with the remaining batter and chocolate chip mixture.

Step 9: Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Ms. Zarrow's Vegan Oatmeal Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients: 
  • 1 cup of butter (use coconut oil or vegan butter) 
  • 1 cup of sugar (change it up and purée some dates or use other sweetener) 
  • 1 cup of light brown sugar 
  • 2 eggs (I use 1/4 cup of unsweetened apple sauce per egg) 
  • 1.5 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt 
  • 3 cups of quick oats 
  • 1 cup of chopped pecans
  • 6 oz of semi sweet chocolate chips  
Instructions:
Step 1: Cream butter substitute and both sugars 

Step 2: Add egg substitute and mix 

Step 3: Add flour, baking soda, and salt

Step 4: Mix

Step 5: Add oatmeal, pecans, and butter

Step 6: Mix 

Step 7: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and while oven is preheating, put batter into fridge to stiffen. 

Step 8: Line baking sheet with baking silicone or parchment paper

Step 9: Scoop spoonfuls on to baking sheet - space them out as they spread

Step 10: Bake for 12 minutes or until light brown 

Step 11: Enjoy :)