Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tamari Almonds - well, Soy Sauce Almonds, really

Tamari Almonds - well, Soy Sauce Almonds, really
From: Lissla Lissar

I made tamari almonds yesterday, only I didn't because I used soy sauce. It was based on a recipe from Cheap Healthy Good. Loosely based. Bake a lot of almonds at 300F for about fifteen minutes. Mix soy sauce and brown sugar in equal proportions (I think I did about four cups of almonds and half a cup each soy and brown sugar) in a big heatproof bowl. Mix in almonds, stir for a couple of minutes.

Spread them back on the cookie sheet and bake for between 20-30 minutes, until the almonds are browner and the coating looks cooked on. Cool and eat.

Next time I'm doing it on a silicone sheet because they stuck like crazy to the cookie sheet.

They're really yummy and relatively low-carb. I'm going to see if Gnat likes them.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Creamy Turkey or Chicken Enchiladas

Creamy Turkey or Chicken Enchiladas
From: Bumbazine

Mix up a can of cream of chicken soup with a bunch of sour cream. I think we put in a pint. You can use low fat sour cream here if you want, it'll be fine.
Mix in about 2 cups, or more, of leftover turkey, or chicken, we're very democratic here, and about half a medium yellow onion, chopped fine. Put in a can of diced chilis. We put in a 4 oz can, but I personally think it could use a lot more chilis.
Put in some shredded cheese. We used a 'mexican mix' (cheddar, mozzerella, colby and something else), but you use whatever you want.
Add some salt and pepper. We decided afterwards that we should have put in some dried red chili flakes too. I think some cumin would be welcome here too, but we didn't do that. We also didn't put in the chopped olives.

Smear some of the mix on the bottom of a 9x13 inch casserole dish.

Now you need to heat up some corn tortillas to make them more pliable. The original recipe calls for frying them in oil.
Forget that. Heat up a heavy skillet over medium high heat, cast iron if you have one, and heat the tortillas for a few seconds on each side in the dry(!) skillet. That's all you need to do.
The best method is for one person to heat the tortillas while the other person rolls the enchiladas. Anyway, smear a bunch of goop on each enchilada and roll it up and put it in the casserole. You'll get 12 to 15 enchiladas. Save some of the goop to put on top. Put some more minced onions and shredded cheese on top too.

Bake in a 350 oven for about 25 - 30 minutes.

Turkey Spaghetti

Turkey Spaghetti
From: Dolores Reborn

Boil pasta in turkey stock, or chicken stock. Drain, reserving a cup of stock. Saute onions, celery, mushrooms. Add canned diced tomatoes and cream of mushroom soup. Add diced cooked turkey. Add salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients with two cups of shredded cheese - or small diced Velveeta! Thin out with some reserved stock. Bake in a greased 13x9 baking dish for 30 minutes at 350°.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Opera Fudge

Opera Fudge
From: picunurse

2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup diced apricots or raisins
Grease, with butter, an 8" square pan, set aside.
In a 3 qt, heavy sauce pan stir well the sugar, cream and salt.
Over medium heat, stirring constantly, bring mixture to a boil.
Cover pan for 2-3 minutes. (watch it carefully, it and boil over at this point.)
Uncover, wipe down sides with cold water on a pastery brush.
Continue to boil, WITHOUT stirring until it reaches 234°F on a candy thermometer. Or until a small amount dropped into cold water holds a soft ball shape.*
Remove from heat
Place the pan in a shallow cool water bath until the mixture reaches 110°F.
Add apricots or raisins.
Stir until it just begins to lose its gloss, then turn it into the greased pan.
Once cool, cut into squares. Enjoy.

*biginners always use a candy thermometer. Do the soft ball test a few times to see what it feels like.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Yummerrific Oatmeal Cookies

Yummerrific Oatmeal Cookies
From: FairyChatMom

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease cookie sheets - cooking spray works fine.

3/4 cup shortening (I use butter, but have used veg. shortening)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar

Cream the above together, then add:
1 egg
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Blend well. Then sift together:
1 cup flour (white or whole wheat)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Add to wet mixture and mix well. Then stir in
3 cups quick oats
raisins, chocolate chips, or chopped nuts are optional and to taste.

Drop by spoonsful on greased cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool approx 3 minutes before removing to cooling rack.

This will make 4-6 dozen depending on how big a glop of dough you use. Mine are a bit bigger than a walnut and I get 4 dozen 3" cookies. And if you have a big enough bowl, this is best doubled, 'cause they're good and they won't last long!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Coconut Chocolate Pudding (Link)

Coconut Chocolate Pudding

Shared by: taxi78cab
From: 101 Cookbooks

taxi recommends this highly, although without curry.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Vanilla Coffee Cake

Vanilla Coffee Cake
From: Ivory Tower Denizen
Based on recipe in The Breakfast Book, Marion Cunningham.

2 sticks butter at room temp
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2.5 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
5 tsp vanilla

350F oven, butter/flour bundt pan.

Beat butter briefly. Add sugar and beat until creamy. Beat in eggs until well mixed. Add flour, powder, soda and salt and mix until smooth. Mix in sour cream and vanilla until smooth. Bake for 50 minutes in bundt pan until toothpick comes clean. Cool 5, turn out onto cooling rack and eat warm.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

Mini Cherry Cheesecakes
From: gardentraveler

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place oven rack in middle.

2 packages (8 oz) cream cheese
3/4 c. suger
2 eggs
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
24 vanilla wafer cookies
1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling (or any other pie filling or fruit/glaze combination that you like)
24 cupcake liners

Thoroughly blend cream cheese and sugar. Add eggs one at a time and continue to beat. Add lemon juice and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.

Place one vanilla wafer in each of the cupcake liners, flat side down. Fill cupcake molds until 1/2 to 3/4 full.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes until top is set. Cool in pans on wire racks. When cooled, add topping (3 cherries per cheesecake).

Chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Maryland Fried Chicken

Maryland Fried Chicken
From: Taters

Taters says: "Swampy, you asked for the recipe. Mine is kind of a hybrid of one that I have in cookbooks and that I've seen on the internet."

The recipe:

Basically season some flour with paprika, salt, pepper. Mix it all up and dredge your chicken pieces in it.

Shake off the excess flour and dip in a beaten egg mixture. I add a couple tablespoons of milk to it the egg mixture (usually two eggs), more if you're making more chicken.

After dipping in the egg, roll it around in dried breadcrumbs or crushed saltine crackers that you've seasoned. I seasoned mine with thyme, old baby (OK...Taters meant Old Bay, but I have to leave the original in.:D), parsely, salt and pepper.

Next, throw in pan that you've added vegetable oil to and brought up to cooking temperature. Brown the chicken pieces for 10 minutes or so, turning to facilitate even browning. Cooking temp should be on medium to medium high.

Drain most of the drippings and fat from the pan, reserve some for later use in this recipe, put the chicken and pan back on the heat, and add a cup of milk to it. (Some people use water, and some people use chicken stock. The stock would be good too). Turn it down to a simmer, cover the pan tightly, and let it simmer for 35 minutes.

Take the lid off the pan, and let it go for another 10 minutes to firm up the crust.

Remove the chicken from the pan, cover to keep it warm. Add about three tablespoons or so from your reserved drippings to the pan. Add about two tablespoons of flour and make a roux. Next, dump in about one and two thirds cup of cream or milk and whisk. Bring it to a boil, whisking, turn it down, and let it simmer until it thickens, whisking occasionally. I cut mine down to one cup of milk and 2/3 cup of cream.

I then put a little touch of Better than Boullion chicken paste in the cream mixture, adjusted the seasonings and served.

I made mashed taters to go with the chicken.

If you look on the internet, you'll see variations telling you to use stock or water in the pan. You'll also see variations telling you to use ONE CUP OF OIL. I use enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. I'm not deep frying the stuff for pete's sake.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Healthy White Sauce

Healthy White Sauce
From: FairyChatMom

1 cup water
1 bouillion cube (your choice - I use chicken)
1 tablespoon dried minced onion or the fresh equivalent

Bring the above to a boil, breaking up the cube and stirring, then add

1# frozen cauliflower pieces

Bring back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Stir periodically, breaking up the florets. Overcook till the cauliflower is mush. Then set aside to cool.

In a blender, dump the cauliflower mush with all its liquid and about 1/2 cup of milk or other liquid. Salt and pepper or other seasonings or spices to taste. Process till smooth.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake
From: moorland reiver

She states that this cake is "addictingly delicious."

2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 pound carrots, grated
1/2 cup drained crushed pineapple

For the frosting:
3/4 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans.

For the cake:
Beat the sugar, oil, and eggs together in the bowl of an electric mixer until light yellow. Add the vanilla. In another bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups flour, the cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Toss the raisins and walnuts with 1 tablespoon flour. Fold in the carrots and pineapple. Add to the batter and mix well.

Divide the batter equally between the 2 pans. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans set over a wire rack.

For the frosting:
Mix the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer until just combined. Add the sugar and mix until smooth.
Place 1 layer, flat-side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with chopped walnuts

Monday, August 23, 2010

French Yogurt Cake (Link)

French Yogurt Cake
Shared by taxi78cab
From: Dorie Greenspan, via NY Times

Aubergine (Eggplant) Pasta Bake

Aubergine (Eggplant) Pasta Bake
From: ScareyFaerie

I got the recipe from my Fat Club site and I made it according to the instructions apart from using canned tomatoes because I didn't have enough fresh ones, and I used halloumi instead of mozarella.

1 tsp Marmite
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
454g/1lb tomatoes
284ml/½ pint passata (tomato puree)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
340g/12oz penne pasta
fresh basil leaves
170g/6oz mozzarella cheese
1 aubergine

1. Dissolve the Marmite in a pan with 284ml/½ pint boiling water. Chop the onion, garlic and tomatoes and add to the pan with the passata and seasoning to taste. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 12 minutes until slightly reduced.

2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, drain and refresh under cold water, then add to the sauce.

3. Place half the pasta in an oven-proof dish. Top with half the aubergine and scatter over some basil leaves. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Slice the mozzarella and place on the top. Season to taste, then bake for 20 minutes until the cheese has melted.

It's simple and effective, and I think it would work well with all sorts of veggies. I faithfully put the aubergine in but I am still not taken with the taste/texture of that particular thing. I'm stumped now, I have another aubergine at home and am wondering what to do with it. Curry, maybe?

BooFae also reports that she cubed her aubergine, but thinks it would work sliced as well. All you need to do is make sure it covers the pasta. Here's more information about cooking eggplant in case you've never done so.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Howmany Casserole (also, Toomany Casserole)

Howmany Casserole
From: Bumbazine

For four people, assemble;
1 lb ground beef
½ lb mild cheddar cheese
2 (#2) cans golden hominy
1 (#2) can tomato sauce
An onion
Grate the cheese. Sauté the meat in butter, (this is the original recipe, remember), and onions.
Season fairly profusely with;
Garlic powder
& a touch of cayenne.
Drain off all the fat from the meat. Add the tomato sauce (to the meat)
In your casserole dish, place layers of hominy, meat-sauce mixture, and grated cheese. Repeat.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until cheese is thoroughly melted.

As I recall this is really good impoverished student fare, but Wifey doesn't like hominy, so I don't make it anymore.

BTW, my recipe for Toomany Casserole involves hamburger (and onion & garlic), cheddar cheese, chilis, and noodles. Assemble and season just about as you would the Howmany Casserole, only you can leave out the oregano.

These recipes are from an old, old book called The Impoverished Students' Book of Cookery, Drinkery, & Housekeepery, My copy is so old the price on the cover is $1.50!

Mary's Hominy and Corn Casserole

Mary's Hominy and Corn Casserole (So named because, well, Mary is the one who gave me the recipe)
From: swampbear

2 15-1/2 oz. cans hominy (the sorta large cans)
2 15-1/2 oz. cans whole kernel corn (see can comment above)
1 4 oz. can chopped green chilies (I prefer the ones with heat but if you are inclined toward the mild, have at it. I won't judge, you wimp!)
1 8 oz. container sour cream (Hey, sour cream! How can this be bad then!)
1 8 oz. pkg shredded Mexican cheese (the kind with peppers in it, OLE!)

Drain the hominy and corn and mix with the green chiles. Add the sour cream. Mix it some more cause otherwise it'll be all ick.

Dump half of the mixture into a three quart casserole dish sprayed with your desired brand of that veggie spray stuff (no name brands used for fear of being hunted down and sued for copyright infringement.). Top with half of the package of cheese (OLE!)

Dump the other half of the mixture on top of the cheese (OLE!) and top with the rest of the cheese (OLE!)

If'n you want to purty it up a little more sprinkle a little paprika on top.

Also, if onions float yer boat, fine chop some and throw it in the hominy/corn/sour cream/chile glop. I've done it both ways and personally, onion lurver though I am, I think it's better without the onion and I'm a good cook so that oughta count for sump'n.

Put in a preheated 350 degree oven for about half an hour. Just make sure the cheese is all melty.

If you got all the way to the put in oven part without readin' the recipe first and you have to wait for your oven to heat up, then shame on you! You should know by now to read a recipe all the way through first.

And that, folks, is Mary's Hominy and Corn Casserole. Mary is the wife of a retired Episcopal Priest and qualifies as a bonafide church lady so y'all know this is good based on that fact alone.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Creamy Garden Pasta Salad

Creamy Garden Pasta Salad
From: gardentraveler

So, I saw these two recipes and thought both sounded yummy. Of course, I didn't have all of the ingredients for either one, so I used them as inspiration to create my own. You'll probably want to increase the ingredients some; this one makes 3 servings or so (maybe 4 small servings). Turned out tasty.

2 oz. spinach spaghetti, broken into 2" lengths

1/2 c. (2 oz.) frozen peas (I used petite peas)
1/2 c. (2 oz.) frozen corn

approx. 1 T. minced chives
1/2 t. minced garlic
1/2 c. (2 oz.) chopped carrot
1 large plum tomato, chopped (approx. 1 cup)
1 small avocado, chopped (approx 1 cup)

1/4 c. packed cilantro
1/4 c. nonfat greek yogurt
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 t. ancho chile powder
salt, to taste

Cook spaghetti until al dente, drain and rinse in cold water. Place in bowl and add a small amount of olive oil to keep the spaghetti from sticking.

Cook peas and corn (I zap them in the microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes. Add to spaghetti along with chives and garlic and refrigerate to cool).

Place cilantro, yogurt, olive oil, lime juice, chile powder and salt in small food processor. Blend until smooth. Mix into spaghetti and return to refrigerator.

Peel and chop the carrot (I used one large), tomato and avocado. Add to salad, blend, and refrigerate. I ate the first serving while it was just below room temperature and it was delicious.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


From: taxi78cab

wrote about the Spanikopita she had made and how she had it down to a science. I asked for the recipe because it's always intimidated me. Here's her response:

GT, I don't really have a spanikopita recipe. I just sort of wing it. Generally the filling is 1-8oz block of feta; broken into chunks, 1 egg (I don't like eggs so this makes a very un-egg-y filling. If you like eggs, I'd try 2 eggs instead.); 1-10 oz box of frozen, chopped spinach; 1 roasted red pepper (I just pull approx a whole one from a jar of them.); garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste. OK, so I don't generally taste the raw egg mixture, but put a bunch of garlic powder and some pepper in. I actually usually don't salt the mixture 'cause the feta is salty enough.

Take one sleeve of phyllo dough from a box (usually boxes have 2 sleeves... freeze the other one for later). Cut it in half. Find a pan that's the right size for half. It's ok if the phyllo is a little bigger than the pan so it goes up the side a little bit. I use a small-ish casserole dish. Something smaller than an 8x8 pan and kind of deep is good. Put the rest of that sleeve of phyllo, tightly wrapped, into the fridge. Try to use it within a couple weeks.

Melt 1-2 tbsp of butter in a microwave-safe bowl in the micro. Add ~1-2 tbsp olive oil and some salt. (If you're using salted butter, leave out the salt. And shame on you for using salted butter. It's better to be able to control the amount of salt yourself.)

Spray you pan with Pam. Count out 8 sheets of phyllo. Cover the rest with a damp towel and set aside. Lay one sheet in the bottom of the pan. Use a pastry brush to brush with a little of the olive oil-butter mix. Add another layer of phyllo. Generally if they're longer one way than the other, I alternate the long sides in the pan. Add a little more butter/oil. Repeat with all 8 layers, but don't put butter on the last one.

Take 1/3 of the filling and layer on top of the phyllo. Add two sheets of phyllo with butter/oil in between (not on top though). Add another 1/3 of the filling. Add another 2 layers of phyllo with butter/oil. Add the last 1/3 of the filling. Top with a final ~8 sheets of phyllo with butter/oil in between. Usually I have 9-10 sheets left total at this point so I just put them all on. Top with a little more butter/oil and some ground pepper.

Bake at 350, covered, for ~1/2 an hour. Uncover and turn up the heat to 375 for 10-15 min. The unbaked spanikopita keeps well in the fridge, but then it needs at least a full hour at 350 covered plus 15 min at 375 uncovered.

It's not hard to make at all, but it does take some time. But after your first 3, you get a routine down, and it's much faster than you think.

Besides, once you get the technique down, you can make your own baklava too!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Flan Cake (Link)

Flan Cake

Shared by: Lissla Lissar
From: her blog

In the comments, LiLi recommends making the cake from scratch.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Peanut Butter Dots (Brownies)

Peanut Butter Dots (Brownies)
From: taxi78cab

1/3 C creamy peanut butter (I used natural and it was fine.)
1/3 C powdered sugar
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
3 eggs
1 1/3 C sugar (I used 1 C which was plenty sweet for our taste.)
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 C flour
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9” sq baking pan with foil; spray foil with Pam. (Note: I used an 8x8 glass pan, sprayed with Pam but without foil… it was fine. Skip the foil.)

Combine PB and powdered sugar in a small bowl until paste forms; roll into 16 balls of about 1 tsp each. (Note: I put these in the freezer to harden up a bit before trying to push them into the batter. I’d recommend doing that, especially if you have natural PB, which is softer at room temperature than the major brands.)

Microwave butter and chocolate in 30-second increments, stirring after each to distribute the heat. (Don’t skip the stirring! The microwave heats unevenly and you will get burned pockets if you don’t stir.) Allow to cool a bit before adding to the egg mixture. (Temp should be below 120 if you have an instant-read thermometer in order to avoid cooking the eggs.)

Beat eggs in med bowl then add in sugar and beat until frothy. Stir in cooled chocolate mixture and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt and then add to chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Spread in pan, tapping on counter to smooth top.

Place PB balls on top of chocolate mixture, pressing slightly into batter and arranging so that each bar will have 1 ball in center (i.e. 4x4). (This is where it's nice to have slightly firmer PB balls from the freezer. It's really hard to press mooshy, soft PB into the batter.)

Bake 25-30 min or until toothpick inserted 1” from side comes out clean and when inserted in center comes out with a trace of chocolate. (Don’t wait until it comes out completely clean… the brownies are too dry if you do that.) Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into 16 bars.  

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

S'Tyger's Chocolate Rocks

S'Tyger's Chocolate Rocks*

Ingredients: Chocolate chips, peanuts, coconut in approximately equal amounts (I usually do about a cup and half of chocolate chips... or whatever is left in the bag)

Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl.
Mix in the peanuts and coconut to taste. I prefer to have a lot, with just enough chocolate to hold it together. My mom prefers more chocolate.
Drop in bite-size spoonfuls onto a lined cookie sheet or plates.
Optional: Sprinkle coconut and/or peanuts on top.
Let cool.

They're strangely addictive.

You can also melt the chocolate in a double boiler with a bit of paraffin which will make them not so quick to melt on your fingers. But that's too complicated for me. =^_^=

* I call them rocks because they were created when for a science class we had to bring in some sort of edible rock, to explore the varieties of rock. They're neither really hard nor untasty.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bobbio’s Stuffed Jalapenos (and more)

Bobbio’s Stuffed Jalapenos (and more)
From: VunderBob

1 lb. bulk sausage
1 lb. fresh jalapeno peppers (about a dozen if thumb sized)
1 block cream cheese (or Neufchatel)
1 package shredded parmesan cheese
Powdered garlic to taste

Cook the sausage, chop it up fine, and drain. Add the cream and parmesan cheese, retaining a tablespoon or two of the parmesan.

Cut the ends off the jalapenos, split them lengthwise, and remove the seeds and membrane. Add about a teaspoon of the sausage mixture to the peppers, and mold to fit the cavity. Sprinkle garlic and the retained parmesan cheese over the tops, and bake at 425F for 20-25 minutes until the filling is browned a bit and the peppers are soft. Nom nom nom.

VWife uses the same stuffing on French bread, and I’ve tried talking her into using it to stuff mushrooms (I personally hate mushrooms). If you like spice, try hot sausage instead.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Weight Watcher's Cards, ca. 1974 (no recipes, link)

Weight Watcher's Cards, ca. 1974

Shared by: Lissla Lissar

Consensus is that one is guaranteed to lose weight. Possibly from excessive laughter.

Allegedly Perfect Scrambled Egg Breakfast (Link)

Allegedly Perfect Scrambled Egg Breakfast (link, with video)
Shared by: gardentraveler
From: Lifehacker (who knew they had recipes?)

I linked to this and it caused rigs to make scrambled eggs. Interesting technique. I especially like not having to beat the eggs ahead of time (fewer dishes to wash!)

Yummy with toast made with Italian bread.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

GT Bakes Italian Bread

I blame taxi.

For some reason, her question sent me on a hunt for a good Italian bread recipe. Found this Peter Reinhart recipe on smittenkitchen. Also found some additional bread-baking advice in general and for this recipe. The recipe is from The Bread Baker's Apprentice, by the way, which is supposed to be a wonderful book. Another link about bread baking: Better Bread with Less Kneading.

Also went back to take a look at the place where I got my first bread advice, sometime before I knew about the internet (early '80s, I think), The Enchanted Broccoli Forest.

Other info I discovered; best find: Food Blog Search, which you can add to Firefox search, by the way...

Anyway, here's a brief account of my bread-baking adventures:

As I mentioned in the MMP, I only made one loaf. (The linked recipe makes 2.) To do this, I made the full recipe for the biga (pronounced BEEG-ah, I think, Italian-speakers feel free to correct me), and then only used 1/2 for the bread.

What I did differently with the biga: Instead of letting it ferment for a few hours at room temperature, I left it in the fridge all day (nearly 12 hours), then let it sit for an hour or so to come back to room temperature before degasing and placing in the fridge overnight. I used one of my large kitchen knives to cut it into 16 pieces. I placed my small silicon mat on a small baking tray, place 8 of the biga pieces (isn't that fun to pronounce?) on the mat and covered them with the mat. Placed the tray in the freezer for about an hour, then put the frozen pieces in a freezer bag so that I can use them later either for 1) another loaf of bread, 2) a couple of smaller loaves, or 3) pizza dough. By the way, I used all-purpose flour because it's what I had and the recipe said I could.

Mixing the dough: Mixing old dough into a new batch of dough, was an odd though to me, but it's not much different from using the sponge method that I learned from Mollie Katzen. It mixed much more easily than I'd anticipated. I used one of my large silicon spatulas to do the initial mixing and it formed a uniform-looking dough very quickly.

Kneading the dough: I don't have a standing mixer or bread machine because I don't bake bread all that often and because really like kneading dough. Because you're incorporating the biga into the dough, you'll feel sticky spots as you're kneading. The recipe said to knead until the dough was tacky, but not sticky. I spent all ten minutes kneading, wondering what that point would be. What I decided was: the dough should hold together, and want to stick to the counter and to your hands, but still come off without leaving globs of dough on either surface. I kneaded for just over 10 minutes, adding little bits of flour as I went, until the dough was uniformly mixed, tacky and still slightly glossy.

It's on it's next rise right now... More detail as I finish.

Shaping the bread: Followed instructions, but didn't really seal. Just placed the bread seam side down on the parchment paper. Also didn't dust with cornmeal.

Baking: Put my cast iron pan on the top shelf of the oven and placed a square baking pan on the oven floor. Turned the heat down to the lower recommended temperature. Wound up baking for about 50 minutes, I think.

Bread turned out excellent. The texture was denser than I was expecting (maybe because the dough never got up to the temperatures mentioned in the recipe? also, my ingredients weren't super-fresh). The flavor was really nice, too. A bit tangier than most white bread, but not as tangy as sourdough.

I'll definitely make again and make a version with part whole-wheat flour.

So far, I've made: 1) plain bread with butter, 2) toast with scrambled eggs, 3) Mexican sandwich with refried beans, ham, salsa and cheese, and 4) grilled ham and cheese and am very pleased with all of the results.

Hazelnut Oatmeal Pancakes

Hazelnut Oatmeal Pancakes
From: gardentraveler

Based on a recipe published in Bon Appetit. The pancakes take longer to cook than any pancakes I've ever made, but they're totally worth it. You can freeze them and reheat in the microwave on defrost.

Makes 12-18 pancakes.

2 c. buttermilk
1 1/2 c old-fashioned oats
2 eggs
1/2 c. flour
1 T. sugar
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. chopped toasted hazelnuts

Mix buttermilk and oatmeal and let stand for at least a few minutes. You can do this step the night before.

Whisk in eggs. Mix in remaining dry ingredients. Stir in nuts. (As with most pancakes, you should mix as little as possible.)

Wipe skillet with oiled paper towel or cloth. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Drop batter by 1/3 cupfuls. Cook until pancakes puff out and bubbles form on top, about 2 minutes.

Turn and cook until bottoms are browned (about 2 minutes more).

I made 3 at a time in a 10" skillet and made 18.

(This is a recipe that Bon Appetit requested from the House in the Woods bed and breakfast in Eugene, OR.)

Buttermilk Oatmeal Pancakes (Link)

Buttermilk Oatmeal Pancakes
Shared by: Dottygumdrop
From: Recipezaar

Dotty shared these and reported that HRH loves them too.

They're very similar to one of gardentraveler's favorite pancake recipes: Hazelnut Oatmeal Pancakes. Very yummy.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hello Dolly Bars/Magic Cookie Bars (Links)

rigs announced that she was going to make Hello Dolly Bars. Which led GT to Google a recipe (from Southern Food on

Later, taxi linked to the recipe she uses (from the nice people at Eagle Brand).

These are also known as "Magic Cookie Bars" or "7-layer-bars".

Irish Cream Brownies

Irish Cream Brownies
From: taxi78cab

Brownie Base:
1 box fudge brownie mix
½ C veggie oil
¼ C Irish cream
2 eggs

½ C butter, softened
1-2 C powdered sugar (Original recipe said 2, but I made them with 1 and they were plenty sweet.)
2 Tbsp Irish cream
½ tsp vanilla
2-3 tsp milk

Combine all brownie ingredients. Spread in 13x9 pan. Bake at 350 for 28-30 min. Cool completely.

Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add all remaining frosting ingredients, adding enough milk for the desired consistency. Spread over cooled brownies.
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Crab Quiche (Link)

Crab Quiche (Link)

Shared by: FairyChatMom

FCM reports that it turns out perfect every time. She's made variations on it as well, for example: with Swiss Cheese and peas.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cajun Chicken Sandwiches (Link)

Cajun Chicken Sandwiches
Shared by: Dottygumdrop
From: Life's Ambrosia (blog)

Spinach-Sausage Pasta

Spinach-Sausage Pasta
From: Taters

She says: "It doesn't sound like much, but it was actually very, very good."


Cook one package of small shell pasta, according to directions.

Brown up one pound of italian sausage. The recipes said to use they type with casings removed and then break it up on your own, but I bought some pre-ground italian sausage.

After the sausage is cooked, remove to a paper towel line plate or bowl.

In the pan, on medium heat, add two cloves of minced garlic and two teaspoons of sage. Cook about 30 seconds, or, until aromatic.

Add one 19 ounce can of drained and rinsed white or cannelini beans, three cups of fresh spinach and two cups of low sodium, low fat chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then simmer long enough to let the spinach wilt a little.

Finally, add the drained, cooked pasta, and the cooked ground sausage to the pan. Stir and cook until warmed through again. Add a little kosher or sea salt and some fresh, cracked pepper.

Serve up.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Yummy Salmon Casserole

Yummy Salmon Casserole
From: Silver Tyger Girl

1 bag pasta (shells, elbows, or whatever your preference is)
Leftover salmon (about two cups shredded) or two small cans salmon (drained)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Green peas to taste (I do about two cups)
Rosemary to taste

Cook the pasta and drain.
Mix everything else. Microwave until warm.
Delicious with fritos and gives a single person enough food for about a week.

Greek Zucchini Fritters (Link)

Greek Zucchini Fritters
Shared by HazelNutCoffee

From: The New York Times

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Margaret's Meatloaf

Margaret's Meatloaf
From: anyrose

Margaret was the housekeeper of the parents of a high school friend of anyrose, who thought the recipé sounded yummy enough to share and is certain he had shared it on fb because he thinks it's yummy, too.

2 lbs ground beef
2 eggs
1 cup chili sauce
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
23 saltines, crushed
1/4 - 1/2 cup dried onion, diced
1/2 cup green pepper, diced

Mix together ground beef, chili sauce, eggs, worcestershire sauce, salt, ground pepper. 20 crushed saltines, onion, and green pepper. Grease a loaf pan (preferably pyrex) and pack mixture into it. Crush last 3 saltines over the top, and smear about 2 tbsp chili sauce/ketchup over the top.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Orange-Almond Scented Fruit Dip

From: gardentraveler

I improvised this to take to dinner. I served it with apple slices, grapes, strawberries and pineapple. Not really sure what to call this, because the flavors are subtle. So I came up with something pretentious-sounding. It was pounced on by everyone very unpretentiously and I ate the leftovers for breakfast with some of the leftover fruit. Measurements other than the cream cheese are total guesses. I'll be making it again because I'm thinking of serving it when my book group comes over and want to make sure I have the measurements down.

1/2 tub soft cream cheese
3 T. plain yogurt
Penzey's orange extract (1/8 t.? You could substitute orange zest; I was being lazy)
Penzey's almond extract (1/8 t.?)
Penzey's vanilla (1/8 t.?)
Dash Penzey's Baking Spice (similar to pumpkin pie spice)
Graftschafter Goldsaft Sirup (Here's another explanation.)(1 t.)Substitute a few drops of unsulphured molasses or use brown sugar instead of white sugar)
2 t. sugar (or to taste; might need more if using molasses)
1 T. sweetened coconut flakes
1 T. dried cranberries
1 T. blanched slivered almonds

Beat yogurt with cream cheese. Add sugar and flavorings and continue beating until smooth. Add mix-ins and beat until evenly distributed.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pioneer Woman on Good Morning America

Since we've shared a number of her recipes through the MMP, I thought I'd link to her appearance on Good Morning, America. WARNING: The link is to a video that autoplays.

Creamy Rosemary Potatoes (these sound really rich)

Perfect Pot Roast

Homemade Ranch Dressing

Mocha Brownies

Beer Basted Chicken with Asian Flavors

Beer Basted Chicken with Asian Flavors
From: Hockey Monkey, shared by gardentraveler
(Sent with 2008 Valentines; came across it in cleaning and thought I'd post it because it sounds yummy)

One 3 1/2 to 4 lb. chicken
12 oz. beer
6 green onions, chopped
1/2 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 T. brown sugar
2 T. fresh ginger, chopped
1 T. garlic, chopped
1 T. sesame oil

Place all ingredients in a heavy, resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate 1 hour to 1 day. Place chicken and marinade in a 9 x 13" pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. until juices run clear. Remove chicken and reduce marinade by half. Serve with rice. 4 servings.

Unstuffed Cabbage

Unstuffed Cabbage
From taxi78cab

Following discussion of a lasagna-like version, taxi says: "My version is strictly a weeknight, ready-in-half-an-hour variety. General directions:

Cook some rice in one pot. In another pot cook up some ground beef with some onions. Add a whole diced green peppers at the end so they don't get mushy. Toss in a can of diced/crushed/stewed/whatever tomatoes. Add some spices. Chop/shred/slice up some cabbage into bite-ish sized pieces. Add that in. When the cabbage is just slightly softened but not mushy, add the rice to the pot. Taste and adjust the spices/salt as necessary. Done. Twenty minutes on a good night. And really healthy if you use brown rice (obviously this needs longer to cook, though, so leftover is better here) and a leaner ground meat. Plus pepper+tomato+cabbage = a LOT of vitamin C!"

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie II and III (also with link)

Chicken Pot Pie II and III
From: taxi78cab

Follow-up from the discussion that led me to post the first recipe.

"BooFae, if you want easy chicken pot pie, just combine cooked, cubed chicken, a bunch of frozen veggies (the mixed carrots, peas, corn variety is good here), and a can of cream of chicken soup in a pan. Add milk to get the right consistency on the sauce. Cook just enough to heat through. Put in a casserole/baking pan and top with either a premade frozen pie crust or biscuits (i.e. raw biscuit dough). Bake at ~350-375 until the pie crust or biscuits are cooked. Easy. My husband does prefer the made-from-scratch variety (like Rebo's recipe) so I don't do this easy version much any more, but it does work and is quick and easy. If you want a variation, these tarragon polenta chicken pot pies are wonderful. (I usually make that recipe in one big pan instead of little individual dishes like the recipe calls for.)"

Chicken Pot Pie (Link with tweaks)

Turkey Pot Pie
Shared by: Dolores Reborn

Here's how Rebo turns this recipe into Chicken Pot Pie:

I substitute chicken, and I make the roux without the meat in it, then add to the veggies. I use chicken stock instead of boullion cubes, and I cut down on the amount of oregano. Typical recipe tweaking!

Second and third recipes here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hamantaschen (Link)

From: Zev Steinhardt (Well, from Lisa, really.)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Get-Well Garden Soup

Get-Well Garden Soup
From: gardentraveler

I've had this recipe for more than 25 years and made it at least once a year. Very yummy. This is one of a very few recipes that I make pretty much as instructed. I usually make the broth using a cut up chicken. Sometimes, I'll add leeks in addition to the onion. I generally use a whole package of chopped spinach.

Make your own chicken broth for more flavor: Cover 4-5 pounds of backs, necks and giblets and/or a chicken desired for other use, with 6 cups of water. Use bouillon for salt. Add onion, celery tops and base of stalk, a carrot and a garlic bud for additional flavor. Simmer for a couple of hours, drain and cool.

Saute in chicken fat or butter the following: 1 c. finely diced onion, 1 c. finely diced carrot, 1 c. finely diced celery, 1 minced garlic bud, 3 T. raw rice.

Add the vegetable mixture to 5 c. chicken broth, with 1/2 package chopped spinach, defrosted. Simmer 10-20 minutes, but don't overcook the vegetables. When ready to serv, add 1 pint 1/2 and 1/2. If you like spinach, add the whole package.

One of my all-time favorite soups. I'm always sad when it's all gone.

Pumpkin Seed Dried Cherry Trail Mix (Link)

Pumpkin Seed Dried Cherry Trail Mix

Shared by: taxi78cab

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Minestrone in the Crockpot

Minestrone in the Crockpot
From: Dolores Reborn

(adapted from Robin Miller)

3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
2 small-to-medium chicken breasts, diced and sautéed (or any cooked chicken - raw would work, too, I suppose)
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can white (cannellini or navy) beans, rinsed and drained
handful of baby carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
2 bay leaves
Salt and ground black pepper
2 cups cooked ditalini pasta
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh or frozen spinach, defrosted
grated parmesan, for garnish (optional)

In a slow cooker, combine broth, chicken, tomatoes, beans, carrots, celery, onion, thyme, sage, bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 12 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.

Thirty minutes before the soup is done cooking, add zucchini and spinach. (I actually transferred the soup into a large pot, as I wasa running out of room.) Cover and cook 30 more minutes. Remove bay leaves and season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Serve with pasta in the bottom of the bowl, and garnish with grated parmesan.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Crunchy Granola (Link)

Crunchy Granola

Shared by: Always Brings Pie
From: Kathleen Daelemans, The Food Network

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Asian Noodles

Asian noodles
From: taxi78cab

Boil some whole grain pasta. I prefer linguine, but rotini is good too or soba noodles if you want to be more authentic (not that anything about this is remotely authentic).

In a large skillet, saute any of the denser veggies like carrots, tossing in bell peppers just for a couple minutes. When those are almost ready, add any other veggies you want. I like to throw in frozen (without the shell) edamames, snow peas (frozen is great here too), waterchestnuts if I have them on hand, maybe some bean sprouts, and maybe shredded cabbage if I have that. I always try to include shredded carrots, peas, and edamames (for protein), but other than that, all items are optional depending on what you have available. Not so optional are some green onions/scallions although I did use regular onions last night 'cause that's all I had, but it wasn't as good.

Make the sauce in the skillet with the veggies at the end: Add 2-4 Tbsp cider vinegar, a whole lotta peanut butter (the natural kind with just peanuts and salt in it is better here) like 1/4 to 1/2 cup, some sweetener - molasses is good - usually around a Tbsp, and a bunch of soy sauce. Add some sort of hot sauce, just a dash of Sriracha is good or more to taste.

Toss the noodles with the vegetables and sauce. At the very end, right before serving, add some sesame oil (just a little... this stuff is strong!) and a bunch of chopped cilantro. These two items add a lot of flavor so don't skip them. Some peanuts on top are very nice too, but we didn't have those last night either. Most things are optional in this recipe, but I do recommend having the scallions, the sesame oil, and the cilantro because they really bring the flavor together. And obviously the PB is necessary for peanut noodles! That's it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Red Cabbage & Cranberry Stuffed Pork Loin with Cider Cream (Link)

Red Cabbage & Cranberry Stuffed Pork Loin with Cider Cream

Shared by: Mahna Mahna after tarragon918 requested suggestions for a New Year's pork roast. tarra reported that it was tasty.

Cottage Pie Explanation and Recipe (Link)

In this post we get the answer to "What is Cottage Pie?"

And here's the link to the recipe on the BBC recipe site. Shared by ScareyFaerie.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Beef Mushroom Barley Soup/Stew

Beef Mushroom Barley Soup/Stew
From: tarragon918

1 lb, more or less, stew beef--I cut it into bite-sized pieces; dredged in flour
1 large onion, chopped
1 lb button mushrooms, chopped
2 cups of beef broth (I use the no sodium bouillon packages)
chopped carrots, green beans, more onion (if desired)
1/2 to 1 cup of medium or pearl barley
spice as desired - I use Mrs. Dash salt-free lemon pepper and table blend

Saute the onion and mushrooms until translucent (I just use a bit of olive oil spray); set them aside. Note: you can add chopped celery to this if you like celery

Next, brown the stew meat until it's seared; add a bit of the broth to the pot to make a little gravy, then begin putting the meat into the crock pot. Add the onions and mushrooms (and celery) next, followed by the broth/boullion. If you do add fresh chopped veggies, layer them on the bottom, before you put the meat in.

Turn crock pot on to low and let cook for 4 or so hours, then add the barley. Cook another 2-3 hours. This makes a nice, hearty soup that is really more of a stew. I've tried several different types of barley; the medium barley works best for me--it's more substantial than the pearl.

Dang, now I wish that I had made it, my tummy is grumbling at me! LOL BTW, I tweak this recipe every time I make it, so anyone else making it might want to experiment with it a bit to their own tastes as well.