Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Vegetable Pot Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping


Adapted from my new Gourmet Today cookbook (thanks, Mom!). This is true comfort food.

Serves 8-10

For filling
1 1-pound package frozen pearl onions (not thawed)
2 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 fresh thyme sprig, plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
1 large parsnip, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 medium boiling potato, peeled and coarsely chopped
10 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
Any other veggies: sweet potatoes, turnips, squash, etc., coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas, thawed

For biscuit topping
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour - I used a mix of white and white whole-wheat
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
1 cup coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar (about 4 ounces)
3 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk or yogurt

1. Combine pearl onions, water, 1 tablespoon butter, thyme sprig, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a 2-quart heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until onions are tender, about 8 minutes. Drain in a sieve set over a bowl; reserve liquid and discard thyme sprig.

2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a 12-inch deep heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides. Add chopped vegetables, mushrooms, garlic, chopped thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to brown (bottom of skillet will become crusty), about 15 minutes.

3. Sprinkle vegetables with flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add reserved onion cooking liquid and milk (and wine, if using) and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up brown bits. Reduce heat to moderate and simmer, covered, until vegetables are barely tender, about 10 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and stir in peas, pearl onions, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a 9x13-inch baking dish.

5. Put a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450F. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in cheeses, add buttermilk or yogurt, and stir just until combined.

6. Drop biscuits onto filling in 12 equal mounds, leaving spaces in between. Place baking dish on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until topping is golden and filling is bubbling, 25-30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Babkalicious

This is one of the most delicious Babka recipes I've tried, from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads. Although the almond paste in the filling makes this recipe very moist, be warned that there is a strong almond flavor as well, which is different from most Babka recipes. With a few small revisions, here it is:

[two loaves: 2 8" cake pans, 2 medium loaf pans, or 1 baking sheet- all greased]

Sponge:
2 C unbleached white flour
2 packages of dry yeast, or 4 1/2 t yeast
1/2 C nonfat dry milk
1 1/4 C very warm water

Stir all ingredients together with a wooden spoon or in a mixer with a flat beater. It will be a heavy and wet dough. Cover tightly with a plastic bag and leave at room temperature to allow the sponge to form and ferment and double in bulk, about 2 hours.

Dough:
1/2 C sugar
1 t salt
1/2 t ground cardamom
1/2 t vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
2 1/2 C unbleached white flour, approximately
1/2 C (1 stick) butter, softened

Filling:
1 1/2 C almond paste
2 C chocolate chips or grated chocolate
ground cinnamon to taste

Mixing dough: remove plastic from the sponge, stir down, and measure in the sugar, salt, cardamom, and vanilla. Stir well to blend. Add the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating each into the batter. Add 1 1/2 C flour and beat with a wooden spoon or flat beater until it has been absorbed into the batter-like dough. Drop in the butter, a small amount at a time, beating until it is mixed into the dough. Add flour, 1/4 C at a time, to form a dough that is quite soft, yet elastic. It will have enough flour when it can be turned from the bowl and be worked without it sticking to your hands or the table.

Kneading: Sprinkle the table lightly with flour, if necessary. Knead the dough only until it is smooth, about 5 minutes. (If using a mixer, use a dough hook.) Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover tightly again, and put aside to double in bulk, about 1.5 hours.

Shaping: Punch down and turn out on the floured table and divide into 2 pieces. Roll each to form a thin piece about 1/4" thick. Combine all the ingredients of the filling in a food processor is you have one- adjust to your liking, adding more chocolate, nuts, dried fruit, etc. Spread each rectangle with half the filling. Roll up the dough longwise, like for a jellyroll, and pinch the seas tightly to secure. Try to roll each snake a little bit longer.

For the cake pans, simply lay the twists loosely in the pan in a spiral form beginning in the center and working to the sides. For the loaf pans, fold the snakes at their halfway mark and twist them on themselves, kind of making a figure-eight formation, and lay in loaf pans or the baking sheet. Cover the loaves loosely and let rise not quite to double in bulk, about 1 hour.

Baking: 20 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 350. Brush the tops with melted butter or the leftover egg whites. Bake until each twist is deep brown, about 45 minutes. If the crusts seem to be browning too quickly, cover with foil. Remove loaves from pans and cool before cutting.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Alexis's Arabian Spinach

My friend Alexis brought this delicious and simple dish to my Chanukah potluck.

1 onion
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
14 oz spinach, washed and shredded
1 tsp cumin seeds
15 oz can chick peas, drained
a knob of butter (1-2 tbsp)
salt and pepper to taste
optional: feta

1. In a large frying pan or wok, fry the onion with the oil for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cumin seeds, then fry another minute.

2. Add the spinach, in stages, stirring it until the leaves begin to wilt. Fresh spinach condenses down dramatically on cooking and it will all fit into the pan.

3. Stir in the chick peas, butter and seasoning. (Optional: add as much feta as you like!) Reheat until just bubbling, then serve hot. Drain off any pan juices if you like, but this dish is rather nice served slightly saucy.

Honey-Ginger Carrot & Parsnip Latkes

Adapted from Straight from the Farm blog. Wonderful flavor and texture - tender on the inside and crisp on the outside. A fun twist on potato latkes - these were more popular at my Chanukah party than the traditional ones!

Makes 12-14 latkes

2 cups packed grated carrots
2 cups packed grated parsnips
2 eggs
1/3 c flour
1 t salt
1 heaping T freshly grated ginger
1 heaping T honey
Vegetable oil

Grate the vegetables using the large holes on the box grater or a cuisinart with a grater attachment. Place grated vegetables on dish towel and squeeze tightly to remove as much water as possible. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, flour, salt and ginger. Stir in the grated vegetables. Drizzle with honey and stir to combine.

Heat a few glugs of oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, use a 1/4-cup measure to form the latkes. Drop in the oil and flatten gingerly with a spatulat. Cook until the edges start to turn golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel. Serve hot with dollops of crème fraiche or applesauce on top.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Sudanese Red Lentil Soup

This recipe is adapted from a soup mix made by the First Congregational Church in Williamstown, MA. They sell the mix to raise money to support elementary schools and other programs for internally displaced persons in Sudan (through the ecumenical Williamstown Sudan Relief Task Force). The soup is very easy and will warm you up on a cold day.

2 cups red lentils
1 1/2 t ground coriander
1 1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1 t salt
1 t dried mint (optional - I don't use it)
4 1/2 cups veggie broth, chicken broth, or water (I use veggie broth)
1 onion, chopped
1 T butter
2 T olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz feta cheese
1 lime

1. Soak lentils in cold water. Stir. Remove anything that floats up. Drain. Repeat. Discard water.
2. Put lentils in a large heavy pot. Add spices, 3 1/2 cups broth or water, onion, and 1 T each of butter and olive oil. Be sure the mixture is well covered with liquid. Bring to a gentle boil and stir often so the bottom doesn't burn. After 10 minutes, add one more cup of broth or water. Boil gently, stirring often, for 30 minutes. Soup will become yellow, creamy and thick.
3. In a separate pan, saute 1 T garlic in 1 T olive oil until fragrant. Add to the soup. Cut the feta into chuncks and add to the soup. Gently boil for 5-8 minutes, stirring to break up the feta.
4. Taste the soup and adjust seasonings. Squeeze the lime in and stir its juice into the soup. Serve!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Autumn Stuffed Squash


Loosely adapted from the Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates cookbook. This would be a great Thanksgiving dish!

Makes 6 squash halves (~3 servings)

1 cup mixed raw brown rice and raw wild rice OR 1 package Near East Long Grain & Wild Rice mix
1/2 T butter
3 small winter squash (acorn, delicata, etc.)
1/2 onion, chopped
4 leeks, sliced (white parts and a little bit of green) - you can also just substitute another 1/2 cup of chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 cup chopped, peeled carrots
1 t dried crumbled rosemary (or 2 t chopped fresh)
3/4 t salt
pinch of ground nutmeg
ground black pepper to taste
dash of crushed red pepper flakes
optional: 1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup ground, lightly toasted walnuts
optional: 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese or parmesan

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
2. Combined 1 3/4 c water, the rice, the butter, and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan. Cover tightly and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
3. While the rice cooks, rinse the squash, cut in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds (you can roast them if you want!). Rub the squash halves with olive oil and place them cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, for about 30 min until tender (less time for delicata squash).
4. While the squash halves bake, saute the onions, leeks, and garlic in olive oil for 5-10 min, until the onions are translucent and slightly golden.
5. Add the carrots, rosemary, salt, nutmeg, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Continue to cook for 5 minutes. If you're using mushrooms, add them now and saute just until the mushrooms are tender and release their juices.
6. Stir in the walnuts and remove from heat. When the rice is ready, mix it in. Taste and readjust seasoning as needed.
7. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Turn the baked squash halves cut side up, sprinkly the cavity with salt and pepper, and mash the flesh lightly with a fork. Mound each half with the rice filling and top with 2 T cheese if using.
8. Bake for 20 minutes, until heated through and lightly browned. Serve warm!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fat Free Souper Simply Lentil Soup



1/2 Teaspoon of Crushed Red Pepper

2 Onion, finely diced

1 Carrot, peeled and finely diced

1 Stalk of Celery, finely diced

5 Cloves of Garlic, finely minced

1/2 Teaspoon of Salt

3 Bay Leaves

1 Pound of Lentils

2 Quarts of Broth

1 Cup of White Wine

3 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce

3 Healthy Dashes of Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar



Saute everything up to the bay leaves till soft and translucent (doing this in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil adds a nice richness). Add the rest of the ingredients and cook till done. Pick out the bay leaves and done!

Fat Free Souper Quick Butternut Squash Soup


5-6 Pounds of Butternut Squash (1-2 Squash)

1 Quart of Veggie or Chicken Stock

1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

2 Yellow Onions

3 Cloves of Garlic

1 Teaspoon of Salt

1/4 Cup of Brown Sugar

1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

2 Tablespoons of Dry Sherry

Water



Garnish:

Flaked Sea Salt

Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

Dried Rosemary

Molasses



Use a vegetable peeler to peel the squash (not only the waxy skin, but also the thin white layer). Remove stem and seeds from inside. Cut into 3/4 in cubes (doesn't need to be exact). Put in microwave safe bowl with enough of the stock to come halfway up the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave until it can very easily be mashed with a fork (8 minutes or so). While it is cooking small dice the onion and mince the garlic. Toast the chili in the pan until it is fragrant (add a couple of table spoons of olive oil before this step to add richness to the soup). Add the onion, garlic and salt (to bring out the moisture of the onions). Once soft, add the brown sugar and allow it to dissolve in the onions. Add the cooked squash, soy sauce, sherry, and both the broth it was cooked in and the reserved broth. Mash with a potato mashed until smooth. For an extra luxuriously-smooth soup, blend with a stick blender or in a food processor or blender. (also you can strain it if you really really care). Add enough water to achieve desired consistency.



Serve warm and top with course flaked sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, dried rosemary, and a drizzle of Molasses (grate any aged/sharp/hard cheese and drizzle with more olive oil if more richness and deliciousness is desired)

Thin Crust Pizza Dough


Pizza americana dough


Makes four dough balls. Adapted by DPaul Brown from Peter Reinhart's American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza


22.5 oz unbleached bread flour (all purpose will do)
3 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp table salt or 3.5 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp instant yeast
1/4 c. olive oil
1 c. milk
3/4 c. room-temp water


I suggest mixing by hand versus using a stand mixer as you get a better feel for the dough. You do not get the same tactile experience with a stand mixer, and there's not too much kneading anyway.


Have a large container of room-temperature water than you can dip your hand into. During the mixing process submerge your hand in the container of water; a wet dough will not stick to a wet hand. You want this dough to be fairly wet.


Combine all dry ingredients in a large metal bowl and mix thoroughly; then add wet ingredients to the bowl. (If using shortening, mix it in with the dry ingredients first, combining with your fingers, then add the remainder of the wet ingredients.) Using one hand that has been dunked in to your container of water, mix the dough vigorously. As the dough starts to come together, use your wet hand and scoop under the dough and fold back on itself. You want to grab all the loose flour or scraps of dough. Rotate the bowl 1/4 turn, again scoop under the dough and fold back on itself. Do not be afraid to repeatedly dip your hand in water -- it is counterintuitive, but it works. Continue to work this dough in this fashion, rotating and folding, until it begins to resist to your kneading, roughly four to eight minutes. Let the dough rest for five minutes, then continue kneading for an additional four minutes. Though the dough will appear wet, it should hold its shape. When you touch the dough with a dry hand it should appear tacky, but release.


Using a flexible board scraper, divide the dough in to four equal pieces. Place the dough in freezer bags, with a tablespoon of olive oil. Let the dough rest on the counter for 15 minutes. You can either freeze the dough balls now or place in the fridge for an extended fermentation. I prefer to make the dough two days in advance and let the dough rise very slowly in the coldest part of the fridge. The resulting dough will have built up a lot of gas (be sure to have an opening in the bag) which will result in a pizza with good rise and blistering. You can make the dough for the same day by letting the dough rest for an hour on the counter, then refrigerate for two hours. If you freeze your dough, place the dough in the fridge for two days prior to cooking for the long fermentation. Freezing will also help relax the gluten and make for a softer, fluffier crust.


When you are ready to make the pizza, preheat your oven as hot as it can get with a pizza stone on the lowest rack or on the floor of the oven if possible. Pull the dough out of the fridge roughly one hour prior to cooking. Dust your workspace with flour and flour your hand (top and bottom). Dust the dough with flour and place on the workspace. Form the dough gently in to a round, carefully so as not to degas the dough. If you are comfortable with handling dough, dust the back of your hands with flour, place the dough on the top of your hands and using your knuckles to gently stretch out the dough. Otherwise, gently stretch the dough with your fingers horizontally on your floured surface. It is important to handle the dough gently as you do not want to lose all the gas bubbles you've worked hard to create.


Once the dough is stretched to roughly a 10" round, transfer to a dry, floured peel. Top with your favorite toppings, ensuring that no wet ingredient touches the peel. If you have any wet spots on the peel, the dough will stick when you transfer it to the hot pizza stone. Give the peel a gentle jiggle to make sure it's not sticking.


Apply your toppings, and give the peel another jiggle. Open the oven, and gently jiggle the pizza to the end of the peel, then slowly jerk it back, leaving the pizza on the hot stone. If you are not comfortable trying to slide a made pizza on to a stone, you can make the pizza on parchment paper. You can slide the whole kit and kaboodle onto the stone, then remove the paper after a couple of minutes.

(http://hedonia.seantimberlake.com/hedonia/2009/09/white-pizza.html)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Butter


1 medium-large pumpkin
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (or fresh!)
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Wash the pumpkin with water; don’t use soap. Cut the pumpkin in half, leaving the rind on, and scrape out the stringy pulp and seeds with the spoon. Save the seeds to roast!

2. Place the pumpkin halves, cut side down, in 2 large baking dishes. Add about 2 inches of water to each dish to keep the pumpkin from drying out. Cover the pumpkin with aluminum foil, and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, or until it is very tender when poked with a fork.

3. Let the pumpkin cool and then scoop the pulp out of the rind with a spoon. Puree the pumpkin pulp in the blender or food processor to make it smooth or just mash it with a fork.

4. Combine pumpkin puree and the rest of the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed stainless-steel or other nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; lower the heat and simmer the mixture, stirring it very often with a wooden spatula, until it has become very thick, 15-20 minutes. Sample the butter and add a little more of any or all of the spices, if you like (remember, the flavors will blossom in storage). Add more sweetening if your tastebuds request it.

5. Remove from heat and ladle into jars with lids (I used tupperware). Store in refrigerator 2-3 weeks. Serve with warm, fresh bread or scones.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Chunky Apple Cake

With the apples I picked in New Jersey during my recent vacation, I decided to make an apple cake. After perusing a new website I like a lot, tastespotting, which collects recipes from lots of blogs, I found a cake recipe on a blog called Smitten Kitchen.

(NOTE FROM MOM 11/6/10: To make this in a full-size bundt pan you need to double the cake recipe, and multiply the apple portion by 1.5)

I adapted the recipe slightly. Here's my version, which stayed moist for several days. Enjoy!

4 apples
2 t cinnamon
3 T sugar
- - - - - - - -
1 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 C vegetable oil
1 C sugar
splash of OJ or AJ
2 t vanilla
2 eggs
2 T molasses
juice from 1/2 lemon, or to taste
1/2 C toasted, chopped walnuts

Peel and chop apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside. Stir together wet ingredients + sugar. Add dry ingredients and walnuts. Pour half of batter into a grease pan (bundt or otherwise deep pan). Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 45 min- 1 hr at 350 degrees, or until a tester comes out clean.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Zucchini Oat Bread

This recipe is healthy and hearty, and has great spices. Adapted from this blog: http://dlynz.com.

5zob

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grate enough zucchini to measure 2 cups
Mix in 1 teaspoon kosher salt
And 1 cup regular oats, and let sit for about 30 minutes. This will draw some of the moisture from the squash and allow the oats to absorb it, which will soften them up a bit.

In another bowl, whisk together:
3 1/2 cups flour (I suggest half white and half wheat)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cloves (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cardamom (optional)

Add to dry mixture: 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Add to zucchini mixture:
3/4 cup dark brown sugar (light brown is ok)
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry mixture, until combined. Divide evenly between 2 greased 5 x 8 bread pans. Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes. A toothpick inserted near the center should come out clean. Remove from pans and cool on a wire rack.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

No Knead Four-Grain Honey Bread

Four Grain-Honey Bread

From Nancy Baggett, author of Kneadlessly Simple.

Four Grain-Honey Bread

- yields 1 large loaf -

Ingredients

2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached white bread flour, plus more as needed
1 cup (5 ounces) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white or yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground, plus more for garnish
1/3 cup rolled oats, plus more for garnish
1/3 cup cooked and cooled brown rice (I used cooked barley!)
Generous 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon instant, fast-rising, or bread machine yeast
1/2 cup clover honey or other mild honey
1 1/4 cups ice water, plus more if needed
Corn oil or other flavorless vegetable oil for coating dough top and baking pan

Procedure

First rise: In a large bowl, thoroughly stir together the bread flour, whole wheat flour, cornmeal, oats, brown rice, salt, and yeast. In another bowl or measuring cup, thoroughly whisk the honey into the ice water. Vigorously stir the mixture into the bowl with the flours, scraping down the bowl sides and mixing just until the dough is thoroughly blended. If the ingredients are too dry to mix together, gradually add in just enough more ice water to facilitate mixing; don't over-moisten, as the dough should be stiff. If necessary, mix in more bread flour to stiffen it. Brush or spray the top with oil. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap. If desired, for best flavor or for convenience, refrigerate for 3 to 10 hours. Then let rise at cool room temperature for 12 to 18 hours; if convenient, stir once during the rise.

Second rise: Vigorously stir the dough. Using a well-oiled rubber spatula, fold the dough in towards the center, all the way around the bowl. Dust an oiled 9x5-inch loaf pan with 1 tablespoon each cornmeal and rolled oats, tipping it back and forth to coat the pan sides. Turn out the dough into the pan. Brush or spray the top with oil. Smooth out the top and press the dough into the pan with oiled fingertips or a rubber spatula. Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon each cornmeal and rolled oats over the top. Press down to imbed. Cut four or five 3-inch-long, 1/4-inch-deep evenly spaced slashes diagonally across loaf top. Cover the pan with nonstick spray-coated plastic wrap.

Let rise using any of these methods: For a 2- to 4-hour regular rise, let stand at warm room temperature; for a 1 1/2- to 2 1/2-hour accelerated rise, let stand in a turned-off microwave oven along with 1 cup of boiling-hot water. Or, for an extended rise, refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours, then let stand at room temperature. Remove the plastic when the dough nears it, then continue the rise until the dough extends 1/2 inch above the pan rim.

Baking preliminaries: 15 minutes before baking time, put a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 350°F.

Baking: Bake on the lower rack for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the loaf is well browned and firm on top; cover with foil if necessary to prevent over-browning. Continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes longer, testing until a skewer inserted in the thickest part comes out with just a few particles on the end (or until the center registers 207 to 209°F on an instant-read thermometer). Bake for 5 to 10 minutes more to ensure the center it done. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn the loaf onto the rack; cool thoroughly.

Serving and storing: Cool thoroughly before slicing or storing in a plastic bag or foil. The bread will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, and may be frozen, airtight, for up to 2 months.

Printed from http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2009/03/kneadlessly-simple-nancy-baggett-four-grain-honey-bread-recipe.html

© Serious Eats

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sweet Potato Pone

From WPA (writers project) book
yield: 12 - 2"x2" squares

Ingredients:
2 c sweet potato, grated (1 large potato)
1/4 c molassas
1/6 c sugar
1/2 c milk
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t salt
1 t lemon rind, grated
1 t cinnimon
butter size of walnut, melted

Preparation:
Soon after grating, mix sweet potatoes and milk to prevent discoloring
Mix in molassas and eggs
Mix rest of ingredients together, then mix in with potatoes
Pour into a greased shallow baking pan
Bake in a 350° oven for 30 min then stir with a fork
Bake 15 min longer or until browned and crusty on top

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Bread Machine Challah

Everyone in my family has his or her own version of bread machine challah. Mom's might have some leftover oatmeal, mashed potatoes, or bran flakes in it; Tova's might be rosemary-lemon (thank you WSM) or 7-grain vegan. This recipe is for a straight-forward half-white/half-wheat challah, with a touch of honey. Adapted from http://koshercamembert.wordpress.com.

Makes one big or two small challahs.

1 1/8 cup warm water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 T honey
1/8 cup sugar
1 t salt
4 cups flour (2 cups white and 2 cups wheat)
2-3 t vital wheat gluten (optional - helps the bread rise)
1 packet dry yeast (2 1/4 t)
additional egg for egg wash

1. Measure wet ingredients into bread machine bowl - water, oil, eggs, and honey. Make sure the water is warm but not hot, to activate the yeast without cooking the eggs.

2. Add the sugar, salt, and flour(s). Make sure that the salt is under the flour because you don't want it to touch the yeast. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour the yeast into the well.

3. Put the bowl into the bread machine and set to "dough" setting.

4. When the dough cycle is done, punch it down (this is my favorite part) and invert onto a lightly-floured counter. Knead the dough a little bit and add more flour if needed. Preheat the over to 350 degrees.

5. Divide and braid the dough into 1 or 2 challahs! See the bottom of the poast for how to make a 4-stranded braid.

6. After loaves are formed, place on a lightly greased and floured cookie sheet (you can use a Silpat). Allow to rise again on top of pre-heating oven, covered with a clean cotton towel.

7. Make an egg wash by beating 1 egg with 1 t cold water. Brush this mixture over the challah with a pastry brush - do this once before the challah goes in the oven and once about 10 minutes after the challah has been in the oven.

8. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the challah is golden brown (if you're like me and like your challah a little bit doughey, don't cook it for more than 25 minutes).

9. Cook on a baking rack and serve warm!


TO MAKE A 4-STRANDED BRAID:
Always braid from one direction (either right or left, doesn't matter, just be consistent). Place "outside" strand (A) over second strand (B), under third strand (C), and then over fourth strand (D). The new "outside" strand (B) goes over (C), under (D), and over (A). Then the new "outside" strand (C) goes over (D), under (A), and over (B), etc.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Easy Chocolate Mousse

No one will be able to guess what the secret ingredient is! This is a mish-mash of a bunch of recipes, but the final recipe is all mine! It has a bit of a Mexican-chocolate flavor - you can omit the cinnamon and use other flavorings (amaretto, orange, etc.).

1/2 cup whole or lowfat milk
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6-7 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
12 oz (1 package) silken tofu
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons brewed dark coffee or espresso (pref. at room temperature)

Pour the milk into a small pot and bring to a simmer. Remove the milk from heat stir in the cocoa powder, sugar, and cinnamon. Let cool.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler - if you don't own a double-boiler, you can cobble one together using a tiny saucepan set under a larger mixing bowl. Fill the tiny saucepan with an inch or two of water and bring barely to a simmer - place the big mixing bowl with the chocolate on top of the tiny saucepan and let the heat come up and gently warm the chocolate while you stir occasionally until completely melted. Remove from heat.

Add the milk mixture and silken tofu to the melted chocolate. Process with a hand or regular blender until completely smooth - or process everything in the Cuisinart. Stir in the coffee and vanilla. Taste and adjust for flavor, adding a bit more sugar if needed.

Chill in the big bowl (or in individual bowls) for at least 1 1/2 hours, the longer the better. The pudding will set up nicely as it cools.

Makes 6 decadent servings.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The BEST Rosh haShana HONEY CAKE

(Adapted from Marcy Goldman’s Treasure of Jewish Holiday Baking)

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup honey
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup warm coffee or strong tea
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup rye or whiskey
1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds (optional)
Chocolate chips or ground chocolate (optional)

Fits in three regular-sizeloaf pans, about 5 small pans, two 9-inch square or round cake pans, one 9 or 10 inch tube or bundt cake pan

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease pan(s) with non-stick cooking spray. I dust the bottom with cake mix.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Make a well in the center, and add oil, honey, white sugar, brown sugars, eggs, vanilla, coffee or tea, orange juice and rye or whiskey, if using. (If you measure your oil before the honey, it will be easier to get all of the honey out.)

Using a strong wire whisk or in an electric mixer on slow speed, stir together well to make a thick, well-blended batter, making sure that no ingredients are stuck to the bottom.

Spoon batter into prepared pan(s). Sprinkle top of cake(s) evenly with almonds, if using. Put a layer of chocolate in the middle (between layers of batter), if using.

Place cake pan(s) on two baking sheets, stacked together (this will ensure the cakes bake properly with the bottom NOT baking faster than the cake interior and top).

Bake until cake tests done, that is, it springs back when you gently touch the cake center. Small loaves take about 30 minutes, large pans can take up to 45 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK, OR THE CAKE WILL BE DRY.

Let cake stand fifteen minutes before removing from pan.

Have a sweet new year!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Perfect Oatmeal Chocolate-Chip Cookies

These are really easy, yummy, and fool proof! Adapted from this post from the blog Food Loves Writing.

1/2 cup of margarine/butter/oil (or some combination - I used half butter and half oil, Food Loves Writing recommends margarine)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 t vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 c old fashioned oats (I used quick oats and it turned out fine!)
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the oatmeal and chocolate chips. After well-mixed, add the oatmeal and stir together. Then add the chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto greased or Silpat cookie sheets. Bake for ~12 minutes. Cool and eat!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Zucchini & Corn Pancakes

This recipe comes from Verrill Farm in Concord.

2 cups roasted corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1 1/4 cups grated zucchini (1 med.)
1 cup chopped, washed, leeks
1 TB chopped fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried)
2 eggs
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup corn oil (in 3 stages)

Cut kernels off the cobs and toss with 2 TB corn oil. Spread in a shallow baking pan and roast at 400 degrees for 12 min. Sauté chopped leeks, thyme, and salt in 2 TB corn oil for 3-4 min. Combine corn with leeks and remaining ingredients in large bowl. Heat remaining 1/4 cup oil in skillet over med. heat and drop in heaping TBS. of batter. Cook 2-3 min. on each side and drain on paper towels. Keep warm while finishing batter. Can be served with sour cream and chopped chives or applesauce. Makes approx. 20 pancakes.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fresh Peach Coffee Cake

This is really more like a big muffin cake - light, fluffy, and not too sweet. Adapted from Susan Purdy's book, Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too.

1 egg
1/2 c skim milk
1/2 c nonfat plain yogurt
3 T butter or canola oil
3/4 c sugar (more if needed)
2 c all-purpose flour
4 t baking powder
1/8 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 t vanilla
1/4 t almond extract
1 1/2 - 2 cups fresh peaches, peeled and cut into small pieces
1/4 c granulated sugar
1 t cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400. Coat an 11x7 (or similar) pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl or cuisinart, whisk together the egg, milk, yogurt, butter/oil, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract. Set a strainer over the bowl and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir and sift the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, then stir to just blend. Don't overbeat. Fold in the peaches.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle on top. Bake for about 30 minutes (check after 25), until the top is well risen and golden brown, and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool for about 5 minutes. Cut into squares and serve warm.

NOTE: To make these as muffins, cook for 15-20 minutes. This recipe will make about 12 muffins.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

a really good VANILLA ICE CREAM recipe

Here's a really good, very rich, kind of expensive ingredient purchase, but well worth it ice-cream recipe, from Crooks Corner.

Whisk 3/4 C sugar with 8 egg yolks.
Scald 1 3/4 C half-and-half with 1 split vanilla bean.  When hot, not boiling, whisk slowly into eggs.  Put mixture on top of a double boiler and stir to thicken.  Custard should coat back of a spoon.  Lower heat and add 2 T butter.  Turn off heat and add 2 more T butter.  Add 1 1/2 C cream, mix and strain.  Chill and churn in ice-cream maker.  


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Pud Makua Yow (basil eggplant)

Pud Makua Yow (basil eggplant)

From: thaitable.com
Prep time: 15
Cook time: 15
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:
10 big basil leaves (or equivalent smaller ones)
1 T sugar
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped (optional)
2 T fish sauce (substitute soy sauce for vegetarian dish)
4 c cut up eggplant (see below)
2 small chili peppers

Notes on eggplants:
1) Any kind of eggplant can be used, long green Thai eggplants, small white ones, or the more common large purple (aka Japanese) ones.
2) Cut the eggplant into irregular shapes for easy turning in the pan. If sliced into small disk, it tends to stick to the bottom of the pan and makes it difficult to flip.
3) don't cut eggplant until just before it goes into the pan, else it will turn brown.

Method:
Chop garlic, slice chili peppers, and mix
Pick leaves from stem of basil, if needed
Chop onions, if needed but don't mix with garlic
Heat wok over medium high heat
When hot, add oil, chili peppers and garlic
Stir until the garlic turn golden brown
Add onions
When onions are translucent, add eggplant, stir, and add 1 cup of water immediately (or else the eggplant will turn brown)
Cover wok until eggplant is cooked, which should take 5-7 minutes. It will turn from white to translucent, and most of the water should have been absorbed or evaporated. If eggplant is still not cooked, add a little bit more water and close lid again.
Add fish sauce and sugar and stir
Turn off heat
Add basil and quickly stir to heat the basil but not cook it (so it retains color)
Serve hot with rice

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tomato Watermelon Salad

Delicious and refreshing salad from Crooks Corner in Chapel Hill

5 C watermelon, seeded and cubed
1 1/2 lbs very ripe tomatoes, chopped
3 t sugar
1/2 t salt
1 small red onion
1/2 C red wine vinegar
1/4 C good quality olive oil

Combine first 4 ingredients and let sit for 15 minutes.  Then add the rest of the ingredients.  Good immediately eaten or the next day. Serve cold.  

Friday, July 17, 2009

Olive Oil Granola


Adapted from Wednesday's New York Times recipe: Olive Oil Granola with Dried Apricots and Pistachios. This recipe is addictive!

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped (or another nut such as pistachios, or a mixture of nuts)
1 cup raw sunflower or pumpkin seeds, hulled
3/4 cup pure maple syrup (I like to use a mixture of maple and agave syrups - you could also use some honey)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 - 3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped dried apricots or golden raisins

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, seeds, maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and cardamom. Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown and well toasted.

2. Transfer granola to a large bowl and add fruit, tossing to combine. Store in a ziploc bag or other airtight container.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Swiss Chard Gratin

Really good and simple recipe for chard! Adapted from Andrea Chesman's book about fresh veggies, Serving Up the Harvest.

2 lbs (12-16 stems with leaves) ruby, green, or rainbow chard, stems sliced and leaves cut into 1-inch ribbons
4 T butter
1 onion, halved and sliced
1/4 c flour
2 c milk (skim is fine)
1 c grated Gruyere cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 c dried bread crumbs

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the chard stems and cook for 2 minutes. Add the leaves and continue to cook for another minute. Drain well.

2. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 1 1/2-quart casserole of 9x13 inch baking dish. You can also use two smaller dishes which will cook for less time.

3. Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and saute until soft, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the flour to form a paste. Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and stir in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Fold in the chard.

4. Transfer the chard mixture to the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top.

5. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the top is browned. Serve hot (with a slice of crusty bread)!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Spanikopita with Fresh Greens

This recipe comes from Ina Garten and was a great way to use up various greens from my CSA.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
8 or more cups spinach or other hearty greens (chard, beet greens, escarole, etc.), rinsed and chopped roughly
3 eggs, lightly beaten
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
40 sheets (1 box) frozen phyllo dough, defrosted overnight in the refrigerator
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a saute pan and add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat until soft. Meanwhile, squeeze most of the water out of the greens and place it in a bowl. When the onion is done, add it to the greens. Mix in the eggs, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Gently fold in the feta.

Keep the phyllo dough sheets covered with a damp kitchen towel. Unfold 1 sheet of the phyllo dough. Brush the sheet with melted butter. Repeat the process by laying a second sheet of phyllo dough over the first sheet, and brush it with melted butter. Pile four layers total on top of each other this way. Cut the sheets of phyllo in half lengthwise. Spoon 1/3 cup of the spinach mixture into the corner of piece of phyllo dough.

Roll the phyllo up diagonally as if folding a flag. Then fold the triangle of phyllo over straight and then diagonally and then diagonally again. Continue until you reach the end of the sheet. The filling shold be totally enclosed. Continue assembling phyllo layers and folding the filling until all the filling is used. Place on a sheet, seam sides down. Brush the top with butter and place it on a baking sheet.

Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the phyllo is browned and crisp. Serve warm.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Escarole Soup with White Beans and Sausage


This is an easy and tasty slow-cooker recipe I made to use up some of the greens from my CSA share.

12.oz chicken sausage (any flavor), cut in 1/4" rounds
2 15oz. can cannellini beans,drained and rinsed
1 15oz. can garbanzo beans,drained and rinsed
1 28oz. can tomatoes, chopped, with juices
1 1/2 c chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
1 small head escarole, chopped
1/4 c coarse ground parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

1. Combine sausage, beans, tomatoes, broth, bay leaf, and thyme in slow cooker and cook on low for 4-8 hours.
2. Stir in escarole and cook an additional 8-10 mins,until just wilted. Stir in the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Cardamom Rice

Cardamom Rice (Cooks.com & RecipeHound.com)

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 25 min
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:
2 cups long-grain rice (prefer basmati)
2 medium carrots
1 medium onion, in fine half-rings
1 cup frozen or fresh, not canned, peas (optional)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 cardamom pods
1 t cumin seeds or caraway seeds (optional)
3/4 t salt
1 t chicken bouillon or 2/3 c chicken stock (optional)

Method:
Wash rice in several water changes and drain.
Dice trim carrots to 1/4" cubes.
Split cardamon pods, remove seeds and crush (with opt. cumin/caraway).
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pot over a medium-high heat.
When hot, add cardamom for 30 seconds while stirring.
Add onion and carrots and saute until the onion browns slightly.
Load rice maker with rice and required amount of water (2 cups water if using rinsed
basmati rice). Add optional bullion now or reduce water by the additional stock.
Dump in onion/carrot mixture and rice.
When rice is done, stir to mix onions/carrots and to mix in peas.
Let sit for 5 min or until peas are done.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Caramelized Turnips

And you thought you didn't like turnips...

Preheat oven to 475.

Rinse and dry young and tender turnips, peel older purple-top turnips.

Cut small turnips into halves or quarters, larger ones in half lengthwise, then into wedges.

Toss the turnips with a generous amount of olive oil and salt and pepper.

Spread them out in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes, then toss only once (otherwise they will break apart).

Roast 5 minutes more or until fork tender and nicely caramelized.

Hoboken ice cream soda

Hoboken ice cream soda (this is a favorite drink of Dorette when she moved to this country...will try it for her 90th birthday):

From: From floras-hideout.com/drrecipes, practicallyedible.com, & wisegeek.com)
Prep time: 10
Cook time: 0
Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients:
1 large, tall glass (plastic obscures the bubbling action)
1 round scoop, very firm chocolate ice cream, the diameter of the glass
1/4 c pineapple bits or 8 chunks in pineapple juice
4 T unsweetened pineapple juice (pineapple usually comes packed in this)
2 T simple beverage syrup (see recipe below)
hard carbonated water (club soda or seltzer water)

Method:
If using pineapple chunks, cut each chunk along each axis to make 16 bits
Mix pineapple juice & simple syrup well in the bottom the glass
Add seltzer water, to about 2" below the lip of the glass
Stir to mix in the syrup
Carefully drop in the ice cream. It will float and create a foamy head (if the ice
cream is too deep, the soda will overflow.
Sprinkle pineapple bits on top & serve with both a straw and a long-handled spoon.
--
Recipe for simple syrup for beverages:
Bring 2 cups of tap water to a boil.
Stir in 2 cups of plain granulated sugar.
Turn the heat to low and stir constantly until the sugar dissolves completely. To
test if the sugar is completely dissolved, use a metal spoon to scoop up a small
bit of the syrup. Tilt it over the pan and watch carefully as it pours. You
shouldn't be able to see any crystals in the liquid.
At this point flavorings can be added; add about a tablespoon of any liquid extract.
You can also stir in 1 T corn syrup to ensure the syrup stays smooth.
Let the syrup cool to room temperature, pour into a clean glass jar and store in the
refrigerator.
--
Notes & tips:
> Some folks like the taste when a splash of milk or a small amount of ice cream
(mixed until the ice cream softens) is mixed in to the juice & syrup at the start,
but this makes the soda cloudy so it doesn't looks as neat when it's bubbling.
> The foaminess is a result of the ice cream interacting with the soda water. You
don't want to mix them, instead let them react on their own. You want the contrast
in tastes and textures. Ice Cream Sodas need to be drunk right after being made
or you loose this contrast.
> Special ice cream soda glasses are wider at the top than the bottom, to hold the
ice cream.
> Purists insist on soda water, not carbonated water. Soda water is distinguished by
the addition of various sodium or potassium compounds as flavourings and acidity
regulators.
> Ice cream is a mixture of liquid, ice crystals, and air pockets. When soda water
hits the ice cream foam is created as the surface of the ice cream melts and mixes
with the carbon dioxide. Therefore, if you want to make an ice cream soda with a
lot of foam, put the ice cream in the glass before pouring the soda.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ginger Scones with Cardamom


This recipe is adapted from Joan Nathan's cookbook, New American Cooking. I brought theAdd Imagem as a treat to Eli's graduation in New Haven last weekend.

Makes 12 scones

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups quick oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cardamom pods, crushed and inner seeds ground (or 3/4 t ground cardamom)
dash of cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped in 1/4-inch pieces
3/4 cup sour cream or yogurt
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons sugar
2 large eggs

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two baking sheets and set aside.

2. Place the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and mix. Sift ground cardamom seeds and cinnamon into mixture; stir to combine. Add butter and mix until crumbly (use your fingertips).

3. Add ginger, sour cream or yogurt, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 egg. Mix, blend, or pulse, just until combined; do not overmix.

4. Form 1/4 cup dough into a ball or use a large ice cream scoop, and place dough on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing scones about 2 inches apart.

5. In a small bowl, mix together remaining egg with a dash of water. Brush scones with egg mixture and sprinkle evenly with remaining 4 teaspoons sugar. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

RUSKS (dry biscuits/cookies)


(from Sunday at Moosewood Restaurant)

Rusks are hard, very dry biscuits, originally prepared in South Africa b the Dutch for traveling lost distances in a hot climate. Rusks were a bread that wouldn’t spoil Now, all over south Africa, rusks are eaten as snacks, dipped in coffee, tea, or milk. In the cities , man different varieties of commercially baked rusks are available. There are raisin, chocolate chip, almond, peanut.

Yields about 2 dozen

2 cups unbleached white flour
2 cups whole wheat bread flour
1/3 cup sugar
½ t. salt
2 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
½ cup melted butter
2 eggs
¾ cup buttermilk
2 t. vanilla
2 t. almond extract

Preheat oven to 400

In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix the dry ingredients. Combine all the wet ingredients, purl them into the dry ingredients and stir until you have a soft dough, similar to biscuit dough

Turn the dough on to a well-floured surface and roll or pat it to about 1/2 “ thickness. Cut the dough into rectangles about 2 X 4”.

Bake the rusks about 2” apart on buttered baking sheets for about 25 minutes until the tops are crisp and browning a little Now, eat a few “soft” rusks warm from the oven.
Loosely pile the rusks on a baking sheet and keep them in a 200 degree oven all day or all night (about 12 hours) to dry. The finished rusks should be very dry and hard. Cool and store in an airtight container. Rusks will keep for weeks.

NANCY’S NOTES:
1. I made it in the CUISINART, mixing the wet ingredients, then adding everything except flour, then added flour last
2. Instead of rolling/patting the dough on a floured surface, I used a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Yum!
3. I cut the rusks into smaller parallelograms instead of squares – more pointy and crisp corners
4. Instead of leaving the oven on all night, I just put them back into the oven which was turned off, but still warm and left them there all night
5. They do not keep for weeks because we ate them all in 48 hours


VARIATIONS
Oatmeal – reduce white flour to 1 ½ cups and add 2 cups rolled oats (and add currants/raisins/chocolate chips)
Almond rusks: Add 1 cup chopped almonds and omit cinnamon
Peanut: add 1 cup chopped peanuts

Simple Vinagrette

First I will go over the generic technique, then I will give a few specific recipes.

Generic:

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard (you can substitute 2 Tsp of raw egg yolk)
1 Tbsp sweetener (usually honey, but anything will work like molasses or sugar)
1/3 Cup of Flavorful Liquid (usually something acidic like vinegar or citrus Juice, but you could use something like soy sauce too)
2 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1-3 Tsp Any other flavoring agent (fresh chopped garlic, herb, etc)
1/4 Oil (Usually olive oil, but you can play with using something less flavorful like canola oil to let the other liquid shine through, or something more flavorful like toasted sesame or walnut to add more flavor or enhance other flavors)

Thoroughly mix everything except the oil. Slowly stream in the oil while whisking continuously. Use this method for all of the recipes.


My Favorite Apple Cider Vinaigrette

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Honey
1/3 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 Tsp Fresh Chopped Garlic
1/4 Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Honey
1/3 Cup of Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 Tsp Fresh Chopped Thyme
1/4 Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Asian Sesame Vinaigrette

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Honey
1/4 Cup of Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
2 Tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
3 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
2 Tbsp Canola or Vegetable Oil (any light colored, flavorless oil)

Vegetable Lo Mein with Edamame and Mustard Greens


Charlie and I made this for dinner last week and it was a big hit! Healthy, yummy, and not too hard. You can substitute other veggies for the edamame and mustard greens if you want, and add chicken if you're looking for more protein.

Ingredients:
2 quarts water
3 cups chopped mustard greens (or other dark leafy greens)
1 (14-ounce) package fresh Chinese egg noodles (or fresh angel hair pasta)
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce, divided
1 T dark sesame oil
2 T canola oil
1 T grated peeled fresh ginger
1 container shiitake or other fancy mushrooms, sliced
1 1/4 cups (1/4-inch-thick) red bell pepper strips (about 1 medium)
3/4 cup chopped green onions
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed (you could also try asparagus or broccoli)
3 T hoisin sauce

Preparation:
1. Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add greens, and cook for 1 minute or until greens wilt. Remove greens from water with a slotted spoon. Plunge the greens into ice water; drain and squeeze dry. Set greens aside.
2. Return water in pan to a boil. Add egg noodles, and cook for 2 minutes or until done. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Drain and rinse with cold water, and drain well. Place noodles in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce and sesame oil, tossing to coat, and set aside.
3. Heat canola oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger; stir-fry 5 seconds. Add mushrooms, bell pepper, onions, and garlic; stir-fry 2 minutes or until bell pepper is crisp-tender. Stir in greens and edamame; stir-fry 30 seconds. Stir in reserved noodle-cooking liquid, noodle mixture, remaining 3 tablespoons soy sauce, and hoisin sauce; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Adapted from a Cookling Light recipe.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

2 recommended recipes from Deb/Susan Bishop

Goat Cheese with Olives, Lemon, and Thyme
File this one under "secret weapon" and pull it out whenever you need a quick but impressive appetizer. Warming the olives in thyme- and-lemon-zest-infused oil awakens their flavor and transforms a goat-cheese medallion into a sumptuous warm spread for flatbread.

Yield: Makes 4 (hors d'oeuvre) servings

1/2 cup assorted olives
3 fresh thyme sprigs
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 (4- to 5-ounce) fresh goat-cheese medallion or 2 (2-ounces) goat-cheese buttons

Heat olives, thyme, oil, zest, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small skillet or saucepan over low heat until fragrant (do not simmer). Cool to room temperature. Serve olive mixture over goat cheese.


Crisp Rosemary Flatbread

Think of it as a cracker version of rosemary-flecked flatbread. But these are the easiest crackers you'll ever make: Rather than cutting the dough into small pieces, you bake three large pieces, then break them into smaller ones to serve. The jagged edges invite nibbling. (From Gourmet 2008)




Yield: Makes 4 servings

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary plus 2 (6-inch) sprigs
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil plus more for brushing
Flaky sea salt such as Maldon

Preheat oven to 450°F with a heavy baking sheet on rack in middle.

Stir together flour, chopped rosemary, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in center, then add water and oil and gradually stir into flour with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Knead dough gently on a work surface 4 or 5 times.

Divide dough into 3 pieces and roll out 1 piece (keep remaining pieces covered with plastic wrap) on a sheet of parchment paper into a 10-inch round (shape can be rustic; dough should be thin).

Lightly brush top with additional oil and scatter small clusters of rosemary leaves on top, pressing in slightly. Sprinkle with sea salt. Slide round (still on parchment) onto preheated baking sheet and bake until pale golden and browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer flatbread (discard parchment) to a rack to cool, then make 2 more rounds (1 at a time) on fresh parchment (do not oil or salt until just before baking). Break into pieces.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Peach Soup


This is a surprisingly delicious soup that Nikki, from upstairs, made for a recent potluck. I think it will be especially good when peaches are actually in season. The recipe I believe is from Crook's Corner.



2 1/2 lbs peaches
1/4 c. sugar
1 c. med. sweet white wine or cream sherry
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 c half & half
fresh mint for garnish

Peel the peaches, slice them & toss them in the sugar. Let stand for 30 min.
Place them in a shallow pan w/wine & seasonings (put the peppercorns in a tea ball & let it sit in the pan)
Bring it to a simmer until the peaches are just heated through (if you are heating too much the peaches will start to turn brown)
Remove the bay leaves & peppercorns, put mixture in blender & puree.
Add the half & half, then mix & chill

Monday, May 4, 2009

Roasted Asparagus

Springtime means asparagus! Adapted from one of my favorite food blogs, http://orangette.blogspot.com.

This method is quick, easy, and delicious. Nothing fancy. The high heat of the oven intensifies the flavor of the asparagus, and the result is fork-tender, lightly caramelized, and unexpectedly sweet and juicy.

1 bunch green asparagus, preferably on the fat side
Olive oil
Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Snap the woody ends off the asparagus stalks, rinse them well, and dry them thoroughly with paper towels. Lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet, and drizzle them with a thin stream of olive oil—it doesn’t take much. Use your hands to roll the stalks in the oil to coat them lightly but thoroughly, and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 10 minutes; then shake the baking sheet to turn and roll the asparagus. Bake for another 4-5 minutes, until the asparagus are a vibrant, shiny, cooked shade of green and their skins are lightly blistered and slightly wrinkled. They should be soft and yielding but not shriveled or mushy. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

sweetners

thanks to the weave's employee newsletter, here are alternatives to using white sugar. oh boy, its good to be eating bread again!

sweetener amount to replace 1 c of sugar
sweetener will be followed by the amount to replace 1 c of sugar and then the amount to reduce liquid by
barley malt: 1- 1 1/4 c, 1/4 c
agave nectar: 3/4 c, 1/3 c
brown rice syrup: 1- 1 1/4 c, 1/4 c
date sugar: 2/3 c, none
honey: 1/2 c, 1/4 c
maple syrup: 1/2 - 1/3 c, 1/4 c
molasses: 1/2 c, none
sucanat: 1 c, none

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Shepherd's Pie


NOTE: This recipe is modified from the one in Edmond's NZ Cookery
(serves 4)

1 onion, chopped (plus celery, cabbage, carrots, etc)
1 lb. ground meat (beef, turkey, mixture....)
2 T flour
1 T tomato sauce or ketchup
1 T chutney or apricot jam
3/4 beef (or chicken) stock
3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 T butter
1 T finely chopped onion
1/2 c. grated cheese
salt
pepper

MEAT BASE
Sauté meat until cooked. Drain off fat. Put meat in separate bow.
Sauté onions (and other vegetables) until the onions are clear
Combine cooked meat with sautéed vegetables
Stir in flour and cook for one minute
Add tomato sauce or ketchup and chutney/jam and stock
Bring to the boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.
Set aside

POTATO TOPPING
Cook potatoes in boiling, salted water until tender
Drain water
Mash potato, adding butter, onion, half the cheese, mixing until smooth & creamy
Season with salt & pepper to taste

PUT IT TOGETHER
Put mince into pie dish
Top with potato mixture
Sprinkle with remaining cheese
Bake at 400 degrees until golden and heated through

Friday, April 10, 2009

ALMOND MACAROONS

These are Kosher for Passover!
Makes about 2 dozen

3 or 4 egg whites
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 ½ cups blanched almonds
1 ½ t almond extract
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats (Silpats).
2. Toast almonds in a skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan frequently until they become fragrant, about 5 minutes.
3. Combine sugar and almonds in food processor fitted with metal blade. Process for about 3 minutes, until it becomes a fine powder. Remove from food processor.
4. Clean and wipe dry food processor. Whip egg whites, salt, and extract together at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Fold almond mixture into egg whites, turning over and over until incorporated. Batter will sticky.
5. Spoon batter by tablespoons onto prepared pans; cookies will spread to about 3-inch rounds, so leave plenty of room. Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are brown around the edges, 9-11 minutes. As soon as cookies come out of the oven, remove paper or Silpat with cookies on it from baking sheet. Let cookies cool completely before removing from paper; use a thin metal spatula if cookies stick.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Caramel Matzoh Crunch

It's almost that time of year...
  • 4-6 unsalted matzoh boards or sheets
  • 1 cup unsalted butter or unsalted Passover margarine
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed firm
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 375 Degrees F.

Line a cookie sheet completely with foil. Cover bottom of pan with baking parchment - on top of foil. This is very important as mixture becomes sticky during baking. Line bottom of pan evenly with matzoh boards, cutting extra pieces of matzoh, as required, to fit any spaces on the cookie sheet as evenly as possible.

Combine margarine or butter and brown sugar in a 3 quart, heavy-bottomed, saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking 3 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour over matzoh.

Place in oven and immediately reduce heat to 350 F. Bake 15 minutes, checking every few minutes to make sure mixture is not burning (if it seems to be browning too quickly, remove from oven, lower heat to 325 F, and replace)

Remove from oven and sprinkle matzoh boards immediately with chopped chocolate or chips. Let stand 5 minutes then spread melted chocolate over matzoh. While still warm cut into squares or odd shapes. Chill in refrigerator until set. You can also serve it in confectioners' paper cups as a candy.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Roasted Carrots and Sweet Potatoes

I made this original dish for the potluck on March 18. A big hit!

Carrots and (peeled) Sweet Potatoes, chopped into bold, attractive pieces. Peel the carrots, if not organic.
Enough to fill one-ish layer in a 9 x 13 glass baking dish.

Combine and drizzle over the vegetables, mixing to incorporate:
1/8 - 1/4 C olive oil
spponful of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
large pinch of fresh thyme, chopped
1 T brown sugar
1 T honey
1 t ground garlic (fresh would be good too)
1/2 t cayenne pepper
salt to taste

Bake at 375 until carrots are al-dente and sweet potatoes are soft.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Muhammara

Muhammara is a Syrian roasted-pepper and walnut spread - it's a great alternative to hummus. I found this yummy recipe on a friend's blog, sweetamandine.blogspot.com - she adapted it from Bon Apetit.

1 12-ounce jar roasted red bell peppers, drained
1.5 c walnuts, toasted
3-4 slices of sourdough bread (for 1/2 cup breadcrumbs)
2 cloves garlic
2 T extra-virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 (heaping) t ground cumin
1/2 t sweet paprika
1/4 t cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On one rack, toast walnuts on a baking sheet until fragrant (about 7 minutes). On another rack, toast the sourdough bread.

Grate the toasted bread to produce 1/2 cup of crumbs.

Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend to form a coarse puree. If you want it chunkier, add more crumbs and/or walnuts. If it's too dry, add a bit more olive oil.

Serve with toasted pita triangles.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ginger Chocolate-Chip Biscotti

I made this recipe for the big meeting of the parents (Boehm/Luberoff + Upton/Cadwell). Great flavors and a good crunch, not to mention very low fat.

Yield: 3 dozen

1 t vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 egg white
2 c all-purpose flour
1 c sugar
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 t ground cloves
3/4 c semisweet chocolate minichips
2-3 T chopped crystallized ginger

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Combine vanilla, eggs, and egg white in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine the flour and next 6 ingredients (flour through cloves) in a medium bowl. Add flour mixture, chocolate minichips, and crystallized ginger to egg mixture; stir mixture until well-blended.
3. Divide dough in half, and turn out onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Shape each portion of dough into a 12-inch-long roll; flatten to 1/2-inch thickness. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove rolls from baking sheet; cool rolls for 10 minutes on a wire rack.
4. Cut each roll diagonally into 18 (1/2-inch) slices. Place slices, cut sides down, on baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Turn cookies over; bake an additional 10 minutes (cookies will be slightly soft in center but will harden as they cool). Remove from baking sheet; cool completely on wire racks.

Adapted from a Cooking Light magazine.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

New Zealand Truffles

These are from the infamous Avonhead Playcentre Family Cookbook from when we lived in Christchurch.

1/2 tin sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon cocoa
1 packet malt biscuits
vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar
7 Tablespoons butter
1 packet marshmallows
shredded coconut

Melt sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, cocoa, butter, and vanilla. Do not boil. Crush biscuits and add to all ingredients except marshmallows. Roll mixture around a marshmallow, then roll in coconut and put into fridge to chill. Wet hands during rolling process is easier. If mixture gets hard to work with, reheat a little bit.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Moroccan Carrot Salad

Amazing and simple! Improvised it and loved it-

Take as many carrots as you want, peel them and slice them into rounds which are about a 1/4 inch thick.  Boil them until they are al dente (tender but still with a bite).  While they are boiling mix olive oil, lemon juice, ginger power, fresh finely chopped garlic (only a little), lots of cumin, lots of salt, pepper, and a little cayenne pepper. Drain carrots and chill quickly (with ice, in the freezer, under cold running water, etc) and mix with dressing.  Mix in some chopped parsley if you want for garnish, color, etc.

Red Wine Pear & Plum Tart with Walnut Crust

This recipe was created by me and got great reviews from both my roommates and my book club.

C
rust:
2 cups flour
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup light brown sugar
12 T cold unsalted butter, diced
1 egg yolk

Filling:
2/3 cup cabernet sauvignon or other dry red wine
1/2 cup sugar
1 T grated lemon rind or 1.5 T lemon juice
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground allspice
1 lb plums, prune or red plums, each cut into 6 thick slices*
1 lb pears, preferably Bosc pears, cored and thinly sliced*

* you can also use all plums or all pears - you could even try apples or another firm fruit

To prepare filling, combine wine and granulated sugar in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat; bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium. Add lemon rind or juice, cinnamon, allspice, and fruit to pan, stirring to coat; simmer for 15 minutes or until the fruit is tender.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees.

To make the crust, combine flour, walnuts, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter and the egg yolk. Mix, either by hand (using your fingertips) or with an electric mixer, until crumbly.

Press 1 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture in an even layer into the bottom of a 9 1/2-inch springform or tart pan. Spoon fruit mixture onto crust, draining off the liquid as you go (you don't want the tart to be soggy). Sprinkle the rest of the crumb mixture evenly over the fruit.

Bake the tart for 40 or 50 minutes, or until it's lightly browned and the juices are bubbling. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and transfer the tart to a flat plate.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Matzoh balls

Matzoh balls
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 12 balls

Ingredients:
3 eggs
4 T schmaltz or oil
4 T ice cold seltzer water (or cold flat water)
1 C matzoh meal (from box or from matzohs)
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
4 qt chicken broth (store bought, or water with chicken bullion, or just water with 1 t salt)

Method:
Separate eggs
Mix all ingredients except egg whites and put into refrigerator
Beat egg whites until peaks form
Retrieve mixture and fold in eggs whites gently
Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour

Matzoh balls expand as they cook, so choose a pot large enough to allow for expansion
Fill pot with broth and bring to a boil
Using 2 soup spoons, form balls gently to 3/4" diameter
Gently drop into boiling broth
Keep flame high because each new ball will cool the pot
Once all the balls are in cover the pot
Once it boils, lower the flame to keep it simmering
Cook for 30 min, or until the largest ball is done
Turn off the flame, keep the pot covered and let it cool for 10 min.

If storing, drain the liquid and store the balls in the refrigerator for up to 4 days

If using immediately, don't use the liquid in the soup
Add the balls to the soup no more than 15 min before serving or else the balls will come apart

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rosemary or Parmesan Cream Crackers

This recipe is from the New York Times (Mark Bittman). I made them for a dinner party at Deb's house in Minneapolis. They're really easy and it's definitely a treat to have homemade crackers!

1 c flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 c grated fresh Parmesan cheese (optional)
4 T unsalted butter
1/4 cup cream, half and half, or whole milk, more as needed
Coarse salt
Rosemary (optional - you can also use pepper, sesame seeds, minced garlic, etc.)

1. Heat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly dust with flour. Put flour, salt, cheese (if using), and butter in bowl of food processor. Pulse until flour and butter are combined. Add cream/half and half/milk and let machine run for a bit. Continue to add liqud a teaspoon at a time, until mixture holds together but is not sticky.
2. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until 1/2 inch thick or even thinner, adding flour as needed. Transfer sheet of dough to prepared baking sheet (drape it over rolling pin to make it easier). Score lightly with a sharp knife or pizza cutter into squares or rectangles. Sprinkle with salt and/or other topping.
3. Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cool on rack; serve warm or at room temperature or store in a tin for a few days.

Yield: About 16 crackers

Friday, February 13, 2009

sprouting

per elana's request:

sprouting setup: use a wide-mouth jar of any side with a piece of mesh or cheesecloth stretched over the mouth, secured with a rubber band.

process:
1. fill jar 1/4 way full with whole grains and cover with water. (when grains begin to sprout, they expand)
2. soak for 8-24 hours.
3. drain and discard water
4. rinse the sprouts with fresh water at least twice a day; more often if you think of it. the aim is to keep the sprouts from drying out or molding.
5. you'll know the grains have germinated when you see little tails emerging from them. use them (or dry them) within 2-3 days of germination for maximum sweetness/awesomeness. be sure to keep rinsing the sprouts a least twice a day.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mom's Ten Basic Car Snack Rules

1. Good to eat but not too irresistible
2. Not too crumbly
3. Not too mushy
4. Must be a bit special
5. What you take for a snack for your first road trip immediately becomes a tradition, so choose something you'll like for many more car trips
6. Doesn't melt
7. Doesn't cause gas
8. Doesn't cause constipation
9. Won't get too gross if you forget about it and it stays in car for multiple days
10. NEVER get yourself in a situation where you have to purchase snacks on the road.

Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup

A staple in our Somerville apartment, 2007-2008.

1/4 c olive oil
1 large onion, medium diced
6-8 cloves garlic, pressed
1 t ground cinnamon
1 t ground cumin
1/8 t cayenne pepper
1 t sweet paprika
1 (14.5-oz) can chopped tomatoes
3 (15-oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 quart vegetable broth or chicken broth
1 t sugar
salt & pepper
1 (5-oz) package pre-washed baby spinach

1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until the onions begin to turn translucent; lower heat if browning starts to occur. Add spices and saute a minute or so.
2. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, broth, and sugar. Season with a couple pinches of salt and 10 grinds fresh pepper. Stir well. Chickpeas should be just covered with liquid. If level is shy, add some water so the chickpeas are just covered.
3. Bring to a simmer, then lower heat to low and gently simmer for 45 minutes.
4. Remove from heat. Use a potato masher to mash up some of the chickpeas right in the pot. Stir in the spinach and let heat through until wilted, just a couple minutes. Season again, to taste with salt and pepper. Ellie likes to add raisins at this point, but I'm not really a big raisin person - your call.

Tortilla Soup

This is a delicious recipe from my Texan friend, Laura Gilbert.

Ingredients:
3 chicken breasts
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups of chicken broth
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp lemon pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
1 lime
2 cans tomatoes with green chilies
Monterey jack cheese, grated
Tortilla chips
1 avocado

Cut raw chicken into bite-size pieces and cook on the stove. Set chicken aside, leaving grease in pan. Chop celery, carrots, onion, and garlic and saute in left-over chicken grease (mmm) and olive oil. Bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add chili powder, lemon pepper, cumin, lime juice, and tomatoes. Add chicken and veggies. Simmer all for 20 minutes.

To serve: Crush tortilla chips in bottom of bowl. Add soup and top with avocado slices and grated cheese.