Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Borders family pita sandwiches

1-2 sliced smoked or Italian sausages
1 medium carrot, cut into thin rounds
1 large zucchini, cut into thin rounds
1-2 sliced red bell peppers
1 sliced onion
2 crushed garlic cloves
¼ c Italian dressing
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
Goat cheese (or feta)
Pita bread

Heat a non-stick skillet to med-high. Cook sausage and carrot slices in Italian dressing for 3-4 minutes. Add remaining veggies and sauté until tender crisp. Sprinkle on vinegar or lemon juice. Serve in pita bread pockets with goat cheese.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Walnut brownies

1/2 cup oil
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 Tbsp coffee

Combine oil, sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in cocoa, flour, salt, baking powder and coffee. Stir in walnuts. Spread batter into greased pan. Bake in preheated oven at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Orange rolls with cinnamon glaze

My mother-in-law makes amazing cinnamon rolls. I make good cinnamon rolls. After a few attempts at capturing her recipe, I decided to branch out and develop my own specialty. Fortunately, this one came along quickly and has quickly made its way into our hearts. (And it's easier to make!) I like to start making them the night before for fresh rolls in the morning.

Rolls (directions below)
1/2 tsp yeast
1/8 cup hot water
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp lemon juice
2 1/4 cups flour + 1/4 cup set aside
pinch nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Honey glaze
1/8 cup honey
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp milk

Orange cinnamon glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp butter
1 tsp orange zest
1 1/2 Tbsp orange juice
2 tsp lemon juice

Combine water, 1 tsp sugar and yeast in a small bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter then gradually add 1/4 cup sugar and salt. beat until light and fluffy. Add egg, milk and lemon juice and mix until blended. Stir in yeast mixture.

Gradually add 2 1/4 cups flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Once mixed in, turn dough out onto floures surface. Knead for five minutes, adding from reserved 1/4 cup flour as needed. Once dough is smooth and elastic, place in well-oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise one to two hours.

Punch dough down. Divide into 12 pieces. Roll each one out into a 'snake' like you used to do with play-dough. Wrap each snake into a coil and pinch the end into the side to seal. Place side-by-side in a greased baking dish.

In a small bowl combine Honey glaze ingredients. Microwave on low for a few seconds to soften butter and honey, then stir to mix. Brush over tops of the rolls.

**If you're making these at night for the following day, stop here and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight and pull out in the morning and bake as soon as the oven reaches 350°.**

**If making immediately, let rise uncovered one to two hours . Bake in preheated oven at 350°**

Bake 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool two minutes. Mix together ingredients for orange cinnamon glaze until smooth. Spoon or brush over rolls.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Jonathan's 12-minute lasagne

I used to make a lasagne with spinach and goat cheese that we both liked. One night I was really busy and asked Jonathan to take over dinner for the night - and lasagne was on the menu. A few minutes later I looked up to see him mixing all the ingredients together in one big bowl...and it did not look appetizing.

I was so irritated that he had 'ruined' dinner but didn't say anything, thinking the best way to show him would be when he took a bite of that disgusting mixture he'd concocted. I was wrong - way wrong. His method came out tasting the same as mine - and it only took 12 minutes to put together!

I've not made my old version since that night. And I learned a little lesson about my way not always being the best way!

10-12 lasagne noodles
2 cups tomato puree (pomadoro)
1/4 cup cooked carrot purée (opt)
2 1/2 cups frozen spinach, thawed
4-6 rounds of fresh goat cheese (chèvre) OR 1 small container fromage en faiselle, drained
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp Italian seasonings (mix of thym, basil and oregano)

Mix together goat cheese, spinach and garlic. Stir in tomato purée, carrot purée and Italian seasonings.

In a baking dish spread a layer of spinach mixture sauce, then top with layers as follows:

spinach mix
spinach mix
sprinkling of mozzarella

Repeat until all ingredients have been used. Top with mozzarella. Bake at 350° until bubbly, golden and a knife goes easily through the layers. Let cool 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sun-dried tomato and feta foccacia

Last weekend on our regular pizza night I made up a recipe and half of the dough and saved the extra for this foccacia for lunch the next day. After rising, punch out the air and wrap in two layers of plastic wrap then refrigerate. One hour before baking, remove from fridge and place in a well-oiled bowl to come to room temperature.

4-5 sun-dried tomatoes
2 Tbsp crumbled feta
2-3 cloves crushed garlic
3-4 sprigs fresh thym, or 1/4 tsp dried
olive oil
1/2 recipe pizza crust

Make crust as directed, omitting wheat bran, through first rise. Punch down and place on aluminum foil rubbed down with olive oil - don't be stingy! Pushing gently with fingertips, push the dough out into a rough circle or oval. The thickeness is up to you, but I find some variation makes a nice texture in the end. Brush the dough lightly with olive oil. Let the dough rise another 30 minutes as the oven heats to 400°. Top dough with tomatoes, feta, garlic and thym. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until just golden.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Veggie omelet

1 red pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 white mushrooms, sliced
1 cup broccoli florets
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 Gouda cheese, shredded (or Cheddar)
1/4 tsp salt
pinch pepper
pinch nutmeg

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Add veggies and cook until just beginning to soften and the broccoli is bright green.

In a bowl, beat the eggs, then mix in the milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour over the veggies in the frying pan. Sprinkle cheese on top.

Reduce heat to medium-low. As eggs set, lift edges, letting uncooked portion flow underneath. Once done, serve immediately.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Applesauce spice bread

From here...

...to here.

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs
1 cup applesauce
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup raisins (soaked first in very hot water)!

In a large bowl, combine the applesauce, sugar, oil, and eggs. beat well.

In a second bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Stir until just mixed (flour 'disappears') then stir in raisins.

Pour batter into non-stick loaf pan. Bake in preheated oven at 350° for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cheater's coleslaw

I have a really great coleslaw recipe that's untouchable. But this one is pretty good and easier! Cheaters never win...but maybe they do make good coleslaw!

1/2 head cabbage, chopped finely
1 1/2 cups grated carrot salad (carrottes rapées)
1/2 cup prepared Bernaise sauce
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard (more to taste)
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Lots of fresh black pepper

In a large bowl, mix Bernaise sauce, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper. taste and adjust as needed. Stir in cabbage, then carrots. Chill 1-2 hours before serving.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Cinnamon rounds

Seriously good. These aren't 'cinnamon rolls' but a sweet breakfast treat with just the right amount of richness and goodness without overdoing it.

2 Tbsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 cup warm water
2 Tbsp melted butter
3 1/3 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp oil

To make dough, follow the steps from the dough tutorial through the first rise here.

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup raisins
2-3 tsp cinnamon

2 delicious options for icing
- sauce caramel
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar + 1/4 hot, strong coffee to make a coffee-flavored glazee

After the first rise, roll dough into a long rectangle about 1 cm thick.

Place the raisins in a mug and cover with water. Microwave on high one minute, then drain. Combine sugar, cinnamon and raisins. Spread over dough.

Roll the dough into a long cylinder (think paper towel tube, not t.p. roll). Using a sharp knife, cut the dough at one inch intervals. Place rolls side-by-side in a non-stick pan.

(Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, if desired.)

Let rolls rise an hour. Bake at 350 degrees in preheated oven for 25-35 minutes or until bubbly and rolls are golden - don't overbake!

Top with icing of your choice.

Dive in...before they're all gone!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Rustic fresh peach tart

I'm not exactly sure what makes a tart 'rustic' but I think it means freeform and unique in character. But when I went hunting for a recipe like the one in my head, they all called themwelves 'rustic'.

4 ripe peaches, rinsed and thinly sliced
1 prepared pastry crust (feuilletée)
1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp peach, apricot or orange jam (opt)

Mix together flour, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Add peaches and toss to coat.

Lay the pastry crust over a round pie plate. Place the peaches in the center of the crust, spreading them out to be about one layer thick. Pull the edges of the crust up gently to cover the outer edge.

Bake in preheated oven at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until crust begins to brown. Using a pastry brush, paint the crust with jam if you'd like. Bake another five minutes.

Let cool about 15 minutes before serving.

(And yeah. It makes a wonderful breakfast treat the next morning.)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Baked beans

This is the recipe I use in France, starting with a can of cassoulet beans.

1 large can white beans OR cassoulet (beans only)
2 strips of bacon
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp yellow mustard
1 tsp sugar
4-6 dashes Worcestershire sauce

Cook the bacon in a frying pan until crisp. Set bacon asside and sauté the onions in the bacon grease.Once soft and slightly golden, Add beans, crumbled bacon and remaining ingredients. Simmer until hot. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Apple-raisin coffee cake

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup softened butter
1 pot yogurt (I used apple flavor)
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 apples, chopped
1/2 cup raisins

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and and salt. In a bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Beat in the egg. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and yogurt, beating until just combined.

Spread apples and raisins on the bottom of a glass baking dish. Pour batter over top. Bake in preheated oven at 350° for 35 to 45 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Sprinkle sugar on top. Let cool before serving.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Moroccan beet salad

I had an amazing beet salad while we were Prague. While trying to track down the recipe online, I came across a recipe for Moroccan beet salad and also Lebanese fatouche salad. This is a compromise between the two - and it's good. We'll be eating it often - fast, easy and cheap. But most importantly, healthy and really delicious!

4-5 beets, cooked and peeled, then cut into small pieces
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
mint leaves

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil and lemon juice. Add garlic, cumin and salt, mixing well. Pour over beets and stir in mint. Cover a refrigerate at least an hour.

Serving ideas:

- Scoop onto lettuce leaves and eat as a salad.

- Stir in a can of chickpeans (drained) and chill before serving as a side.

- Serve over cooled white rice as light meal.

- Scoop with pita bread as a snack or appetizer.