Showing posts with label breakfast. Show all posts
Showing posts with label breakfast. Show all posts

Monday, December 15, 2014

Finnish Pulla {Cardamom Coffee Braid}

This is a recipe for Finnish Pulla, a cardamom-spiced lightly sweet braided bread. It is delicious plain or with butter, served alongside tea or coffee, or as an after school snack. The recipe makes three loaves which is terrific for gift giving during the holidays. 

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Baking: art or science? Discuss.

When I first saw this bread being made it was all art: building the fire in the wood stove, mixing the ingredients until the dough looked right then braiding, decorating, and finally baking the bread. To my young, fresh-out-of-college eyes Eila Akkanen's ability to create this bread was purely magic. [Looking back on that summer, Eila was doing her weekly baking in the the farmhouse kitchen where she'd raised her family and had probably performed that 'magic' thousands of times.]

I think baking used to be considered an art, or perhaps more accurate, a series of crafts. Building a fire to the proper baking temperature is as much a learned skill as kneading dough or even beading bracelets. Nowadays I don't need to know much about building a baking fire--I use the keypad on the oven to type in the precise temperature I'd like, and double check it with my oven thermometer. I could re-learn the chemical equations which describe the reactions of a pile of ingredients turning into a loaf of bread, but I don't need to know how it works--just that it does.
I braid one side towards the middle, then the other, then finish by pinching the end pieces together.

My approach to this recipe is a mixture of science and art. Because my kitchen temperature averages 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, I use my bread machine to mix the dough [don't worry if you don't have a freezing kitchen and a bread machine, I'll provide directions for mixing the dough]. When the machine is finished, though, my experienced eye takes over and shapes the dough until it looks right.

The inspiring recipe came from Beatrice Ojakangas' book Fantastically Finnish. Instead of starting with whole cardamom pods I use the ground spice, and because I first had this while working on a dairy farm I like to use a richer milk. I have made this bread using all cream--very rich dough, very tender crumb, great way to use up 2 cups of heavy cream--as well as half & half and even 2% milk. Normally I'll say 'use what you have on hand' but if you've only got fat free milk please go grab a pint of half & half before making this. It is the holidays after all. 

Speaking of holidays, I'll be sharing sweet recipes each day during #ChristmasWeek. Tuesday I'll be sharing 3 lessons learned making Pecan Brownie Bites for a Cookie Drive, Wednesday it's back to Scandinavia for Fruit Soup, Thursday we're keeping things simple with Toffee Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Friday I finish getting my ethnic on with My Mother's Norwegian Lefse
If you're not into sweets, check out my Visual Recipe Index for more savory ideas for what to do with the produce from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share, farmer's market, and garden.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Roasted Sweet Potato & Turkey Sausage Breakfast Casserole (Welcome Costco!)

A gluten free breakfast casserole full of hearty roasted sweet potatoes and turkey sausage topped with gouda cheese. No need to assemble the night before and take up space in the fridge--this throws together fast and goes straight into the oven.

I get so much mileage out of having roasted vegetables on hand. Each week as I empty the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share box into various locations around the house--the refrigerator for the greens and most vegetables, tomatoes on the counter, and potatoes, onions, and winter squash in the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve--I plan a time to roast some veggies just to have them standing by.  Usually I'm roasting beets, knowing that eventually I'll find a way to use them. I hope. This time, however, I knew I wanted to have blobs of color [note to self that will be left in the post--really, blobs? maybe something more appetizing?] in a breakfast casserole so I roasted a mess of sweet potatoes as well.
I roast my sweet potatoes by peeling, cubing, tossing with a teaspoon or so of olive oil and spreading them in an even layer on a piece of parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet. I put them into the oven, turn it on to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and let them go about 20 minutes. After that I stir them, then roast in 10 minute increments (usually just one increment) stirring each time the timer dings until they are tender. Depending on the size of the cubes, they are done in 30 to 40 minutes. These keep overnight in the fridge.
This breakfast casserole is not really a 'make ahead' type.  I have a hard time finding room in my fridge for those pans anyway. There is no bread to soak--it is naturally gluten free. I didn't want to wake up, peel, and roast sweet potatoes and then assemble the casserole before my book group arrived. It was easier to get the sweet potatoes prepped while dinner was in the oven and pop them in to roast since I already had the oven on. Using precooked sausage links meant that it was simple to dump everything in the baking pan, top with cheese, pour the eggs over top, and slide into the oven. The pan, not me. I'm too big for my oven.

I've got a vegetarian (and also gluten free) version of this casserole coming up later. I'm sharing this recipe now because a Costco store is opening up in my neck o' the woods this week (I bought both the turkey sausage and the gouda cheese at Costco) and because I think it would be great to serve guests over the holidays.
How do I shop at Costco if there hasn't been one near me for the past 3.5 yrs we've lived in Ohio? Sled hockey! October through March my son has hockey practice Monday nights an hour away from our home. One of the things you just deal with in disabled sports, I suppose. I find ways to enjoy the outing--like shopping at the Costco or Cincinnati Asian Market that are located a few minutes from the rink. I'm glad to have a closer source for my Costco staples April through September though.
For other recipes using sweet potatoes, please see my Sweet Potato Recipe Collection.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Pear Walnut Sourdough Coffee Cake

Chopped pears and walnuts flavor this simple sourdough coffee cake.

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My sourdough starter is a toddler now, and moving into a big kid bed back onto the kitchen counter. When the starter lives on the counter, I feed it every few days and take out a cup or so with each feeding.

In the past year I've used that cup of starter to make countless loaves of Multigrain Sourdough Bread, monthly batches of sourdough waffles using this King Arthur Flour recipe, and the occasional treat:  this sourdough coffee cake.

During the summer, though, my kitchen is too warm to leave the starter out--it gets funky fast--so it lives in the fridge.  Out of sight, out of mind. I can't tell you how many times I realized we would need bread ready to eat before I'd have time to wake up the starter and bake a loaf--so off to the store we'd go--walking, for exercise but still. Blerg. I'm glad the weather is turning so the kitchen is cooling down. It's great for the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve, great for canning tomatoes, and great for the sourdough starter. Remind me of this fabulousness when there's frost on the inside of the kitchen windows, please?

While the recipe title says pear, I've also made this with chopped apples. Apparently the type of fruit doesn't even matter, because my son looked over my shoulder at the post title as I sat writing in the orthodontist's office--the free samples at Costco resulted in a lost retainer--and remarked "there was fruit in the coffee cake?" I try and try to nourish the family with wholesome food, and while it does get shoveled in the pie holes perhaps the subtle nuances in flavor get missed.

Note: here's the inspiring recipe for this coffee cake. I added fruit, used no sugar in the batter, changed up the spices, and pumped up the topping with oats because I love throwing my oats around. I also tried the method of starting it the night before--using unfed starter straight out of the fridge. This works fine in my kitchen. I've also let it rise in my oven on the bread proof setting until the top is gently puffed.

For more recipes using pears, please see my Pear Recipes Collection. It's part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.

I'm sharing more recipes on my Pinterest boards, follow me there. If you like a good peek behind the scenes like I do, follow me on Instagram. Need a good read? I'm sharing articles of interest on my Facebook page, follow me there. Want to know How to Use This Blog?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Banana Blender Waffles

Easy banana oatmeal waffles using a blender, a bowl, and a bit of time

Banana Blender Waffles from Farm Fresh Feasts

Weekend breakfasts should be easy and special, I think. Especially on the days we all wake up cranky and retreat to our separate computers corners pre and post breakfast, it's enough to know that we sat and shared a meal. During the week my spouse nukes his oatmeal and is gone before the kids wake to eat leftovers, sandwiches, toast or cereal. Me? I just drink tea unless I'm lucky enough to get beet greens in the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share. Then I'll make this for brunch.

But on the weekends I like to do a little more. Even if your "weekend" happens on a Tuesday/Wednesday, it's nice to relax and enjoy a less-hurried meal. I'm a fan of waffles for weekend breakfasts for a few reasons. First, waffle batter mixes up easily and improves with a short rest. Second, it's easy to keep waffles warm in the oven while you're making enough for the whole bunch. Third, it's super easy to double the batter, make all the waffles, and freeze some for your kids to eat on weekday mornings.

Banana Blender Waffles from Farm Fresh Feasts

I've shared a variety of waffles on this blog. I've got waffles using butternut squash, tangerines, zucchinicarrots, and even corn and blueberries. Time for one of my standby, 'always in the kitchen' fruits:  bananas. Ripe bananas freeze beautifully in the packaging nature provides and thaw quickly.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wild Violet Granola (On Mothers and Mentors)

Nutty crunchy granola, sweetened with wild violet sugar and wild violet syrup, is a tasty breakfast or bedtime snack.  The mothering/mentoring part is just bonus.

Nutty crunchy granola, sweetened with wild violet sugar and wild violet syrup, is a tasty breakfast or bedtime snack.

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Mentors are a lot like Mothers.

Both mentors and mothers nurture their protégées.  They provide support--practical, physical, and emotional support.  They want to see their charges succeed.  Mentors gently correct mistakes and provide honest feedback.  Mothers do as well [even if it exasperates us to provide the same feed back again and again].  While I don't think I am exactly friends with my own children, I do consider my mentors to be my friends.

My friend and mentor Meghan is to blame responsible for this recipe.  She handed me a bag of her Basic Granola when we met.  I brought it home and was blown away by the chunks, the tender nuts, and the amazing flavor. [And I'd been pretty happy with the Trader Joes granola I'd eat with kefir whenever the mood struck.]
Granola and kefir?  I got into that tasty combination after spending a lovely weekend with my mom and her college buddies and their daughters. The weekend was hosted by my friend and mentor Alanna, and I hope we honored her mom's memory. We sure did it up right.
My own mom continues to be an excellent mentor.  My attitude towards leftovers I learned from her.  Not being afraid of canning the summer harvest? Learned at my mom's shoulder.  Now she's showing me how to age gracefully. Watching my folks pro-actively move to a more supported living arrangement is something I've observed since they moved out of the big suburban house into a city condo the summer I graduated from high school.

Nutty crunchy granola, sweetened with wild violet sugar and wild violet syrup, is a tasty breakfast or bedtime snack.

What do these three women have to do with the recipe I'm sharing today? Let me braid the strands together. Meghan got me interested in making homemade granola.  My mom taught me to use what I had on hand to create new meals. Alanna has been mentoring my blogging since I first emailed her saying 'I'm thinking of starting a CSA blog' . . . later she told me about the 30 Days to Better Food Photography course I finished a year ago which has helped me improve my images.
We eat first with our eyes, if we are fortunate enough to see, and since I can't have you reach through the screen to sample this granola the least I can do is make it look appealing.

For other recipes using wild violets, please see my Wild Violet Recipes Collection. It's a part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the front yard, the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.

I'm sharing more recipes on my Pinterest boards, follow me there. If you like a good peek behind the scenes like I do, follow me on Instagram. Need a good read? I'm sharing articles of interest on my Facebook page, follow me there. Want to know How to Use This Blog?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Overnight Yeasted Carrot Waffles

A light and fluffy waffle tinged with shredded carrots for a Spring breakfast--start it the night before, then enjoy waffles without having to wake up enough to measure the batter ingredients.

A light and fluffy waffle tinged with shredded carrots for a Spring breakfast--start it the night before, then enjoy waffles without having to wake up enough to measure the batter ingredients.

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I promise you I am not that distractible . . . Squirrel! . . . I just have so. many. recipes to share and I want to share them all now.  Easter, Passover, Grilled Cheese month, Spring--ack!  But I don't want to post more than Monday/Wednesday/Friday.  What's a blogger to do?

When I started hashtagcarrotweek last month I fully intended to share 3 recipes, take a brief break from carrots and post some other seasonal recipes, then wrap it up with these waffles.

In the meantime my girl Julie has done WaffleWeek, so I'm awfully excited to point you over to Texan New Yorker if you're intrigued with waffles and want some more options, perhaps without yeast . . .
Me and yeast, we are friends--joining forces on pizza dough and bread.  Me and cutting butter or lard or shortening to make pie crust?  Not so much.
A light and fluffy waffle tinged with shredded carrots for a Spring breakfast--start it the night before, then enjoy waffles without having to wake up enough to measure the batter ingredients.

This is not my first rodeo throwing vegetables into a waffle.  I started with Butternut Squash Waffles, continued through Sweet Corn and Blueberry Waffles, and now carrots?  Carrots.  And not just carrots.  Yeasted Carrot Waffles. Overnight Yeasted Carrot Waffles, if like me you're perkier in the evening and can assemble the batter and let it hang out in the fridge, so that all you need to do in the morning is preheat the waffle iron while your tea is steeping.

Each time I incorporate vegetables into waffle batter I find the flavor of the vegetable subtly enhances the finished product.  The result is a waffle that is familiar enough for those who just want a waffle, dammit, without all this vegetable tomfoolery, but different enough to be a unique change of pace as well.  It is a versatile waffle.

A light and fluffy waffle tinged with shredded carrots for a Spring breakfast--start it the night before, then enjoy waffles without having to wake up enough to measure the batter ingredients.

The first time I made these was for a traditional weekend breakfast.  Subsequent editions got served with fried chicken [store bought--inches of oil are like me and cutting in butter].  All good, though.  This is a flexible, flavorful, unexpected way to incorporate Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share carrots into your family's meal.

For more recipes using carrots, please see my Carrot Recipes Collection. It's part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.

I'm sharing more recipes on my Pinterest boards, follow me there. If you like a good peek behind the scenes like I do, follow me on Instagram. Need a good read? I'm sharing articles of interest on my Facebook page, follow me there. Want to know How to Use This Blog?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Citrus and Honey Whole Grain Muffins

Oranges and tangerines paired with honey in a whole wheat and oatmeal muffin

Citrus and Honey Whole Grain Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts

When you first get cases of citrus for the Band Fruit Fundraiser, your family is gobbling up oranges, grapefruit, and tangerines as fast as you can peel them.  My family is as spoiled as the composting pig.  I peel the oranges for them as well. I have that hook thingamajig from Tupperware.  It makes it easy.
But after a while, the joy of juice bursting in your mouth pales a bit.  The palate gets a bit tired of such unrelenting sweet goodness. Like living in Hawaii with unrelenting sunshine. It happened to me!
So you get creative, and start serving the citrus as the main event at breakfast.  That goes over well, so for special people you serve salmon and oranges with dinner.  You throw orange sections in spinach salads and fruit salads. [And you freeze the leftovers of those fruit salads for smoothies.]  You buy apples.  And grapes. And you kinda forget about the handful of citrus still in your crisper.
As Norah Jones just sang on my stereo, <they're> just sitting here, waiting for you to come on home <and make a muffin>.
I wanted to make another muffin without added refined sugar, this time on purpose, so I grabbed the honey out of the pantry. Honey pairs very nicely with citrus.  Add in the whole grains--oats and wheat--and you're good to go.  This muffin is a great use for leftover peeled citrus.  Chop the citrus finely, or you will have odd lumps sticking up here and there. You'll live if you do.  I did.  Kids still ate them.
I like to soak my oats in buttermilk overnight because I like the texture of the resulting whole grain muffin, but even an hour's soak makes a difference if you didn't mix these up the night before.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Roasted Pumpkin and Eggnog French Toast

French toast made with roasted pumpkin and eggnog batter for a seasonal brunch

Roasted Pumpkin and Eggnog French Toast

My kids are very fortunate French toast eaters.  They are blessed with not one but two grandmothers who rock at making French toast.
Can a grandmother rock at something?  Well, these women sure do.  My kids love Grandma's French Toast--regardless of which grandma they are visiting.
When I first met my mother-in-law, she told me she was a "plain Jane cook".  She sure makes something 'plain' like French toast taste super when we visit!  She has her recipe memorized (and now I do, too):  for every 4 pieces of bread you need 1 egg, 1/4 cup milk, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  It's a no-fail recipe that we love to eat while gathered around the large table, watching the woods outside.

My mom's contribution to my kids' Grandma French Toast Experience is her choice of bread.  Mom buys day-old bread (hmm, I wonder where I get my love of marked down food from?), usually hoagie rolls, and slices it into thick rounds.  She serves the kids breakfast on the bar while they sit on stools overlooking her kitchen.

Combining mom's bread with my mother-in-law's batter results in a delicious breakfast treat when it's just mom making the French toast.  For this post, though, I decided to kick it up a notch.  I thawed some packages of pumpkin (that I'd roasted and put up for muffins) and added it to the batter.  I had eggnog, and decided to use that in place of milk.  Because the pumpkin was pretty thick, I opted to toss the whole thing in the blender to mix it up.  This creamy concoction was so delicious I had to share.

Try this for a special brunch or just for an everyday weekend breakfast.  My kids tell me that the leftovers made a tasty school-day breakfast treat.  Even if it's not as good as when Grandma makes it!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Chocolate Zucchini Waffles

Chocolate Zucchini Waffles

I never set out to make zucchini waffles.  I'm such a fan of shredded zucchini pancakes/latkes, with butter and parmesan, that I think of zucchini nearly always as a savory, not a sweet. [Heed the words!  Pay no attention to this cake or these muffins!]
When I get overwhelmed with zucchini in the summer I reflexively grab the Food Processor, slap on the 'fine shred' disc, and shred those puppies up before freezing cups of shredded squash in bags.  I've noticed I get about 1/2 cup of squash back, when it's thawed and I've squeezed all the water out, so this summer I will be packing 2 cup bags, though right now all the garden volunteers are pie pumpkins, not zucchini, so I'm not overwhelmed.  Yet.  
Chocolate Zucchini Waffles
Just another week in Squashzilla-land.
In the dead of winter (see photo below), when even my never-say-die Swiss chard has given up, these bags of green goodness cheer me and make me want to celebrate. With chocolate.  It's good to celebrate with chocolate, right?

Try these now, or shred and freeze some zucchini to have a mini summer celebration this winter.  Either way, you're in for a treat.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Sweet Corn and Blueberry Waffles

Sometimes it takes my subconscious a bit of time to catch up with the rest of my brain.

The other day I was looking at a recipe round up email digest when these cornmeal waffles with a blueberry compote caught my fancy.  I thought I'd throw some of my freezer stash of blueberries into the cornmeal waffles instead of a compote on top.  Then I thought I'd toss in some frozen sweet corn that I'd also put up, because for some reason sweet corn and blueberries sounded good.

What I didn't realize, until the day after I'd made these, was that I'd taken the flavor combo from this amazing corn, cucumber, and blueberry salad and stuck it in a waffle iron.  Without the cucumber--cucumber waffles do not sound appealing.

Corn and blueberries are amazing together.  The salad was delicious, as are these waffles.  I love fresh corn, and fresh blueberries, in the summer.  When you have them both fresh in your kitchen, I recommend making the salad.  I'm not much of a chunky waffle fan (and my son cannot stand oozing blueberries in his waffles) so I knew I wanted to chop up the frozen corn and blueberries from my freezer stash into smaller bits.  When you have both corn and blueberries frozen, I recommend making these waffles.  Besides, I tend to prefer summer salads and winter waffles.  And alliteration.  You do what you like.

Note:  these waffles are a bit softer straight out of the iron than other waffles that I've made.  Flip 'em over--they'll be sturdy enough for the buttery spread and real local maple syrup.  These freeze well and can be toasted for weekday breakfasts.  I tripled the recipe and made waffles for 7 hungry folks with 2 breakfasts worth of leftovers, but I'm sharing the recipe that serves 2-3 folks.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Double Chocolate Raspberry Muffins--and they're Whole Grain! (Monday Muffins)

I like to eat seasonally, and locally, which usually means that I'm eating fruits and vegetables when they are at their peak flavor.  No tasteless January store tomatoes for me!  For berries, however, that means my "eat them fresh" season is very short--weeks, at best.  Most of the berries we eat have been frozen and put up in the fruit and veg freezer during the season.  We put frozen berries in fruit salads, on oatmeal, and waffles to name a few.  My spouse and daughter even like a bowl of frozen berries for a snack or dessert.  Me?  I like to bake with them.  I don't care if the berries lose their shape when they thaw in a muffin or cake batter.  They still taste fine to me!
I needed a muffin to take to a morning coffee gathering. I'd been gathering pizza ingredients out of the fruit and veg freezer when a bag of raspberries caught my eye.  Dark chocolate and raspberries go well together, so the recipe was starting to form in my mind.  My mom had emailed me to use cocoa powder in another dish, and I always listen to my mom ;) so I added a couple of tablespoons into the batter.
Then the fun began.  I used my standard soaked oatmeal muffin recipe as the base, but the first batch wasn't quite right.  I suspected the culprit was the additional bitterness of the cocoa powder, and made a second batch using a bit more brown sugar.  That tasted good.  But now I had 22 Chocolate Raspberry Soaked Oatmeal Whole Grain muffins staring at me.  Eep!  Conveniently, my daughter had recently enrolled in a home ec practical arts class, so I emailed her teacher and asked if the class could do a taste test for me.  The teacher was happy to oblige.  My daughter came home for lunch and I sent both batches of muffins off with her.  The class verdict?  Overwhelmingly in favor of the slightly sweeter muffin.
The actual data sheet, grease stains and all!
That meant that I still had no muffins for the morning coffee.  When I made my third batch of chocolate raspberry muffins for the day, I tossed in a handful of dark chocolate chips to the batter.  I liked these best, and that's why you're getting this version.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sweet or Savory Yeasted Waffle Sandwiches

“The best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley.”

The cover story in yesterday's Parade magazine was all about the winner of the 2013 Armed Forces Chef of the year competition, Senior Chief Derrick Davenport.  As a side bar, there was a "By The Numbers" section that showed what the US Armed Forces consumed in 2012.  Guess what was glaringly missing from that list of milk, bacon, ground beef, and soy sauce?  Eggs!  Fresh eggs aren't commonly found in a war zone.  I knew that already, thanks to my spouse and my brother.

One night my spouse said to me "could we have eggs for breakfast?"  Of course I'm indulging the guy--he's going to be eating powdered eggs, if he's lucky, for a long stretch so I'm happy to fix over easy eggs for him while I can.  But what to serve with the eggs?  If you've checked the breakfast section of the recipe index up there ---------------->  to your right, you'll know I am a waffle fan.  I like how I can easily make up the batter at my convenience and then take Simon for a walk.  When I'm back, I fire up the waffle iron, keep the first few rounds of waffles warm in the oven, and then sit down to eat with my family.

The quote above, and the reason for this post, came about because I ran out of baking powder.  I can handle running out of all purpose flour (I've got whole wheat, bread, and cake flours as well), running out of pumpkin (I've also roasted and put up butternut, acorn or mystery winter squash in the freezer), running out of honey (what about molasses, maple syrup, or sugar?), or running out of spinach (kale, swiss chard, turnip or mustard greens?).  But not baking powder.  I NEED that stuff!

Without baking powder, I needed to use something else to give that "lift", so I grabbed my jar of yeast and fired up the computer.  I found a recipe at the King Arthur flour website.  Since you only need to let it sit an hour, it fits in with my usual waffle M.O. and I went for it.

But sometimes your plan goes awry, or agley, and your end result is not as expected.  Which is where my creativity kicked in.  The waffles turned out kinda flat.  Instead of despairing over a failed fluffy waffle recipe*, because life is too short to despair over still perfectly edible food, I seized the opportunity to make some waffle sandwiches.  Enter the well-stocked pantry:  I grabbed some cheeses, some put up peach preserves, some 'too runny for sandwiches' blueberry jam, and some leftover chopped meat and veg from a pizza you'll be seeing soon.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Molasses Date Oatmeal Muffins (Monday Muffins)

I started posting Monday Muffins when I realized I was accumulating a pile of muffin recipes and I ought to get them posted with some sort of regularity.  So on my old-fashioned paper calendar pages <gasp> I plotted out all the recipes I had in the can.  So to speak.
Some of these were easy to schedule.  Pink Beet and Horseradish muffins?  They go in February before Valentine's day.  Butternut Squash and Ham muffins?  They will go in the fall.  Creamy Banana and Dark Chocolate Chip muffins?  They can go up any time (and will appear in a month, if you're worried the link isn't yet live).
I'd originally scheduled a batch of Nutella and Zucchini muffins to appear here today.  They are the Matt Damon of muffins on the Jimmy Kimmel of this blog--they keep getting bumped!  It's a great recipe, but I've decided that most other people don't have bags of shredded zucchini in their freezer in late winter, and teasing you with the enchiladas was enough, so I've permanently moved Nutella and Zucchini muffins to the summertime.  You can see them here!
Why did I bump those muffins?  Because I could. not. wait. to share this recipe with you.  It's delicious!  I picked up a vat of dates at Costco during sled hockey practice, and after we enjoyed a bunch straight outta out of the container I started thinking about cooking with them.  For my first attempt, I chopped up the dates, ate a few, chopped a bit more . . . and decided that they were so sweet I didn't need to use sugar.  I added extra buttermilk, but it still wasn't quite right.  I knew for the next batch I would process the dates in the small cup of my smaller and cheaper version of this Food Processor, but I was hoping to do another muffin without refined white or brown sugar.  Then I hit on it--molasses!  Sweet, but not too sweet.  Adds a bit of iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium to go with the whole oats and whole wheat.  And the color pairs marvelously with the dates.

Because I thought of this at suppertime, I was able to soak the oats, dates, and buttermilk overnight.  I like soaking oats overnight, but even an hour helps break down the whole oats into great-for-baking consistency.
If you have fresh dates--eat some.  When you get sick of them, or if you have a package of dried out dates in the back of the pantry--make these muffins!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Green Eggs No Ham**

A Vegetarian Eggs Benedict with a Spinach-Hollandaise Sauce

I have frequently shared kitchens with vegetarian roommates and friends.  While I do eat meat, I try to be sensitive to those who do not.  One happy merging of meat-eating and non-meat eating friends was a  weekly Sunday brunch of Eggs Benedict.  The meat eaters would layer ham or sausage--my preference--onto their English muffins.  The non-meat eaters would layer a slab of Monterey Jack cheese instead.  Everyone sat down to eat together.

I woke up the other morning with a hankering for Eggs Benedict, but wondering how it would be to add some of my CSA farm share spinach to the sauce Hollandaise.

I didn't have any sausage handy, having used it up on this pizza.  I also didn't have any Monterey Jack cheese.  However, I did have Icelandic School cheese. (I can hear you now, "Wait, what?  Icelandic School cheese?  Who keeps that in the fridge?"  To you I  ask--where else would you keep it?).  My kids have loved Icelandic School cheese for years, it's very mild, and my folks brought some back from a trip recently.  So I have Icelandic School cheese in my fridge, but you can use Monterey Jack if you aren't planning a trip to Iceland any time soon.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Back Bacon, Chinese Cabbage, and Potato (Eggless) Brunch Skillets (Quick Take)

I love weekend breakfasts, especially weekends that don't involve sled hockey or wheelchair basketball tournaments.  That's not to say that I don't like eating breakfast away from home at the tournaments, don't get me wrong, but I do enjoy my spouse and I waking up before the kids, walking the dog, and then fixing a big breakfast for the whole family.  I love it when that breakfast comes together quickly!

Here's one breakfast that happened not to contain any eggs.  I saw Back Bacon marked down, decided to try it (why not?) and looked around to see what else I could pair with it.  I have Chinese cabbage from the farm share, and I know my family likes that sautéed for dinner, why not try it for breakfast?
 But there needs to be more to round out the meal.  Conveniently, I've also got new potatoes from the farm share, and I know my family likes to eat fried potatoes.  Throw all this together, jumping from skillet to skillet, and we've got ourselves a hearty winter breakfast.  Plenty of good food to fuel us up for a day in the cold!

If you were serving more folks, eggs would be a lovely addition to this spread.  But if you're serving folks with egg allergies, consider this combination.  It satisfies the appetite of egg eaters and non-egg eaters alike.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Butternut Squash Waffles

Putting up packages of fruits and vegetables when they are ripe from the farm share means that I can pull them out in the middle of winter and feed my family from the farm share all year 'round.

Like the other morning.

I had buttermilk and was in a waffle mood.

A long time ago, while watching the Food Network, I'd written down Alton Brown's waffle recipe.  I love his Wet Team and Dry Team talk.  When I got to the "just walk away--walk away" part of the recipe (let the batter rest) I decided to take him literally.

We took the dog for a walk!

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Bag of Cranberries aka Cranberry Apple Pecan Chocolate Chip Bread

(Subtitle:  Baking a Batch of Cranberry-Apple-Pecan-Chocolate-Chip Bread) ((Sub-Subtitle:  Recipe After a Rant))

When I buy a dozen eggs from my farm share, I neither expect to use them all up in a single recipe nor get cranky when I have some left over.  Same with a package of bread.  Or cheese sticks.  Or mushrooms.  Or carrots.  Or pepperoni.  You get the idea.

But a bag of cranberries?  Something that is such a seasonal item, and comes in 1 size only?

I'm just not jiggy with recipes that call for part of a bag of cranberries.  Yes, I know I can freeze cranberries.  In fact, I've got a few bags in my fruit & veg freezer right now.  Fifty cents a bag at Aldi--couldn't pass it up.  They are sitting on top of the bags of blueberries put up during Aldi's 49 cent pint sale in the summer. But this blog is not about Aldi deals, it's about using what you've got.  All of it.

Cranberry Apple Pecan Chocolate Chip Bread | Farm Fresh Feasts

Updated with a photo of a finished loaf!  [I'm still ranting about the inequality of it all, however.]

Because I was in such a hurry to get the finished 'good' loaf to the function, I never took a photo.
Just like recipes that call for 1 cup (8 ounces) of canned pumpkin (sold in 15 ounce cans), it irritates me to have dribs and drabs left over.  Sure there are plenty of things to do with dribs and drabs, but it's not the point. (Notable exception:  I'm happy to open up a can of tomato paste to use in a recipe that only needs 1 Tablespoon.  I happily freeze the remaining contents in 1 Tablespoon mounds on parchment squares, transfer them to a zip top freezer bag, and next time I need a small amount I am set.)

When I open up a bag of cranberries, I want to use the whole thing all at once.  When I make my Apple/Apricot/Beet/Cranberry sauce, I do.  You probably do when you make your own version of cranberry sauce, right?  So why does the bread recipe on the bag of Ocean Spray cranberries, the bag that contains 2+ cups of whole cranberries, call for a mere 1 1/2 cups?

Cranberry Apple Pecan Chocolate Chip Bread | Farm Fresh Feasts

Today, I needed to make a loaf of quick bread for a school function.  I wanted something that would appeal to kids while using up a whole bag of cranberries in the process.  I looked in the crisper and saw some lonely apples, looked in the freezer and saw an open bag of pecan parts, grabbed the chips and got to work.  Come join me!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tangerine Waffles (Fruit Fundraiser #1)

When you open up the fridge and see this, it's time to find recipes that put your Fruit Fundraiser produce to work for you.  I got an early start with the 'I've got a case of oranges what do I do?' phase when my young son's wheelchair basketball team did a fundraiser so they could buy equipment. (A basic pair of court shoes costs $50, a basketball chair costs $2K!).  Over the years I've gathered a few recipes for using citrus fruit and, now that I've got Band Fundraiser fruit filling up the fridge I am compelled to share them.

Let's start with breakfast, shall we?

This recipe takes its start from this waffle recipe, and its finish from this waffle recipe. The bright tangerine flavor really comes through but is not overpowering.  If you have a blender that crushes ice, don't knock yourself out seeding the tangerines, just pick out any obvious ones and the rest will get ground up.  I particularly liked this with pear butter, but the kids preferred maple syrup.  I think it'd be great with mini chocolate chips tossed into the batter too!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Quick and Crunchy Multi Grain Pumpkin Muffins

The overnight soaked-oatmeal muffins only work if you remember to set them up overnight, or at least an hour before baking.  Somedays, though, you remember to thaw a cup of pumpkin puree but forget to soak the oats.  And forget to put a tea bag in your mug of hot water . . .

For those days, here's a quick and crunchy muffin with the same whole grain goodness in less time.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Red Russian Kale, Tomato, and Eggs Baked in Ham Cups

My mother, myself, most of her best buds from her first job (pre-marriage, pre-kids, when she was Just Herself), and most of the daughters of these women gathered for a weekend in St Louis.  A reunion for the moms, in some cases a first meeting for the daughters.

It is a gift, to hear all about your mom from her friends, when your mom is sitting right next to you.

Three of us daughters got that gift.  Our hostess, Alanna, did not.  Instead, she selflessly created the opportunity for her mother's friends to reminisce about the one member of their group who is no longer with us.  It was a very special weekend.

Alanna, of Kitchen Parade and A Veggie Venture, is a clever Foodie.  She arranged for our meals to be catered by Karen of Family Style Food.  So a bunch of women who all enjoy delicious food got to sit back, relax, visit, and be treated to fabulous dishes like the one I'm writing about today.

This dish was inspired by Karen's Individual Prosciutto, Spinach, and Egg Pies.  I loved it at that weekend, begged for the recipe, and have made it on many occasions since.  It's great for a weekend brunch, a weeknight dinner, even a PTA teacher appreciation breakfast!  Extra veggies without bread products are always appreciated on a breakfast spread.

I usually don't have baby spinach, the original veggie.  But many other greens from the farm share or the garden or the farmer's market will work--Swiss chard, Tat soi, or the Red Russian kale used here to name a few.

The original recipe uses prosciutto, but I had a fair amount of ham slices on hand so I decided to forgo a trip to the grocery store and use what I got.  Frugality!

If you happen to have 4 sizes of muffin tins like I do, let's start a support group use the second largest.  It's larger than a standard muffin tin (7/8 ounce vs 3/8 ounce). If you only have the standard muffin tin, just use a little bit less of everything but the egg.