Showing posts with label kitchen hack. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kitchen hack. Show all posts

Monday, January 29, 2018

Blueberry Banana Muffins with Steel Cut Oats #MuffinMonday

Bananas and blueberries are the sweet fruit and steel cut oats are the hearty grains packed into a healthy breakfast treat to power you thru until lunchtime. These muffins contain whole fat dairy instead of oil.

image of a plate of blueberry banana muffins with steel cut oats

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I think I'm more fond of baking with bananas than eating them fresh. There's a small window of banana perfection for me--I prefer mine just barely ripe with a bit of green on the stem. Once the bunch of bananas has moved on to full ripeness I'm more likely to make a Banana PB and Spinach Smoothie, or Banana Blender Waffles, or a Ham & Banana Pizza. Or muffins!

photo of a plate of banana blueberry muffins made with steel cut oats

It's easy to store ripe bananas in the freezer--just open the door and slip them inside! There's no need to remove the skin and store in a different container, since the banana skin is the perfect covering for the banana no matter what the outer environment is like. That's better for the environment as well. Bananas take just a few minutes to thaw on the counter (put them on a plate if you think they'll get weepy) and they are ready to use in all sorts of baked goods. I made a video about how to deal with overripe bananas, another in my Cooking Hacks series. Please enjoy!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How to Make Dill Butter When You've Got a Lot of Herbs

Got a lot of dill? Quickly turn it into an herbed butter. Use this butter on potatoes, fish, or bread. It's a fast way to add a little something local & homemade to your holiday table.

Got a lot of dill? Quickly turn it into an herbed butter. Use this butter on potatoes, fish, or bread. It's a fast way to add a little something local & homemade to your holiday table.

Time for another Practical Support for Local Eating lesson. This one is about herbs. When we get herbs in our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share it's not usually a sprig here and there. Instead it is a significant amount.

Got a lot of dill? Quickly turn it into an herbed butter. Use this butter on potatoes, fish, or bread. It's a fast way to add a little something local & homemade to your holiday table.

Sometimes I view the abundance of herbs as an opportunity to use them all in Pot Luck Tabbouleh. Sometimes this will coincide with another vegetable and create an opportunity to put something up [a bunch of cucumbers and dill means I'll throw a few jars of quick refrigerator kosher dills into the back of the fridge to cure]. Sometimes a large quantity of basil from the farm share coupled with my own large quantity from the garden means I can Process a Pile of Pesto. Most of the time, however, the herbs are on their own.

Got a lot of dill? Quickly turn it into an herbed butter. Use this butter on potatoes, fish, or bread. It's a fast way to add a little something local & homemade to your holiday table.

Making herb butter when you've got a lot of fresh herbs is one way to make the most of the farm share. This freezes nicely and makes a special addition to a holiday meal. Too early for Thanksgiving talk? Canadian Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away and I've got a beautiful bunch of dill from my farm share so I think it's quite timely.

Got a lot of dill? Quickly turn it into an herbed butter. Use this butter on potatoes, fish, or bread. It's a fast way to add a little something local & homemade to your holiday table.

Before I get to the recipe, though, I asked a few food bloggers for additional ideas on how they deal with a large amount of herbs. Brandy of Farmer's Wife Rambles shares how she dehydrates parsley. Tara of Noshing With The Nolands turns her basil abundance into Basil Ice CubesSheri Silver freezes her herbs in oil--with a clever tip for telling them all apart in the tray. Meghan of Clean Eats Fast Feets shares how she deals with her chives (and shares a recipe for Blue Cheese & Chive Drop Biscuits). Janelle of Barn2Door dries thyme, oregano for cooking, mint & blackberry/raspberry leaves/fennel seed for tea, and freezes finely chopped chives. She even has a Pinterest board of herb-y ideas.

Left to right photos from Brandy, Tara, Sheri and Meghan. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Pot Luck Tabbouleh with Feta and How to Chop a Lot of Herbs Easily

Feed a crowd at a summer gathering with this vegetarian salad that shows off the flavors of summer. Packed with herbs, tomatoes, cucumber, feta, and chewy bulgur wheat grains lightly coated with lemon juice and olive oil this side dish can sit on a buffet table and keep its flavor.

For other recipes using a massive bounty of herbs, please see my Herb Recipes Collection. For other recipes using Cucumbers, please see my Cucumber Recipes Collection. For other recipes using ripe red tomatoes, please see my Red & Yellow Tomato Recipes Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, or the garden abundance. For another kitchen hack please see my Sun Gold Tomato Panzanella.

Normally I'm just cooking for our family of four so when I go bigger with a recipe that works for a crowd, and also uses the produce from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share, I want to share with the rest of the class. I've done it before with my Pot Luck Asian Chicken Cabbage Salad.

The First Tomato of Summer [yes, worthy of capitalization if you're like me and just don't buy fresh tomatoes November through June] needs something worthy to celebrate its arrival [then you can move on to the weekly Summer Tomato Sandwich]. I'd been eying my unruly mint patch and craving tabbouleh--oh, my mommy pronounces it tah-BOO-lee so that's what I say--so I picked up a package of bulgur and gathered my goodies. I followed the directions on the package and used Bob's Red Mill Red Bulgur (Amazon affiliate link). No sponsorship--I tell you the brand name because the recipe I started with came from the back of the package and because I'd never tried red bulgur before. Usually I buy it in bulk somewhere, and since I know the company name I thought I'd share. The product did work great, though, if you're looking for bulgur. I picked mine up at the grocery store down the street.

That tabbouleh was all I'd hoped for--bright and fresh with all the herbs, tangy but not gloppy from the dressing, crunchy from the cucumber, chewy and filling from the wheat. Plus the flavor of a local tomato picked when ripe and grown for flavor, not travel ability. /rant.

After the success of that tabbouleh I thought it would be good with feta, and with loads of herbs still to use I was looking for an excuse a reason to make more. Lots more. Cue marching band camp--filled with hungry teens, who arrived promptly at 11:30 each day and, like polite locusts, left the serving area decimated 10 minutes later. The band has both vegetarians and kids with sophisticated taste, as well as my kid (I shouldn't rag on him, but he's delighted with leftover concession stand hot dogs . . .). I knew it would not be ignored. One musician came back for seconds 3 times! That's probably not called seconds, but you know what I mean.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Sun Gold Tomato Panzanella with Mozzarella and Capers

Cherry tomatoes tossed with cubes of bread to soak up the luscious juices, seasoned with capers and marinated mozzarella. This salad is an excellent, fast, and easy addition to summer entertaining.

This tomato bread salad with mozzarella and capers makes a terrific meatless main dish in the summertime, as well as an excellent addition to a summer cookout or potluck.

It is easy to throw together at the last minute. Why? Here's a kitchen hack for you:
If you have unsliced bread--from your oven, your bread machine, or your local bakery--you know how hard it is to slice the last couple of inches? STOP DOING THAT. Cut it into cubes instead, and store those bread cubes in the freezer.

Having bread cubes on hand comes in pretty handy. In the winter I make Panade, in the summer I make panzanella, and one of these days my son is going to make croutons on the grill. Or so he claims. Teenagers.

Besides the bread cubes in the freezer, this salad also uses cheese, capers, and vinaigrette that can all hang out for weeks in the fridge. This means it's an excellent last minute recipe--when I've got onion, basil, and of course the star of the show--cherry tomatoes.

When I get a pint of cherry tomatoes in the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share I usually snack on a few bunch on the way home, then my spouse snacks on them if he's around--and otherwise they need a job. The kids aren't snacking on them. Throwing together a salad like this takes care of a pint quickly, though you can always use chopped regular tomatoes if that's what you've got. 
Now the photo above is this week's pint from the farm share. The tomatoes in the salad were from last week's share, and were all Sun Gold tomatoes (like the lil' orange one in the photo above). I just didn't get an ingredients shot since I was throwing the salad together minutes while a cake was baking and we were fixing to go to a cookout. A very last-minute dish, but since the cake took longer than I expected I snapped some photos of the completed dish.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Caramel Toffee Apple Parfaits With Cream Cheese Ice Cream (#IceCreamWeek)

Welcome to Day 6, the final day of Ice Cream Week 2014! This year the event is hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Susan of The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen. We have teamed up with 25 amazing bloggers to bring you ice cream treats all week long. I hope you all threw out the scales this week. Better not to look!

Caramel Toffee Apple Parfaits With Cream Cheese Ice Cream | Farm Fresh Feasts

I'm happy to have an opportunity to share a parfait with you for #IceCreamWeek. I developed this recipe because while I like the taste of caramel apples, I don't like biting into them. Since my kids were recently in braces I've learned to adapt recipes to suit our needs. This parfait marries a caramel apple with my favorite apple dip (made with cream cheese and toffee bits). I especially like digging into the chunks of caramel-drenched apples and crunchy toffee bits at the bottom of the glass.
When I was a kid, we'd celebrate the last day of school by walking to DQ to get a treat. My favorite was always a Peanut Buster Parfait because I loved those last, ice cream-tinged spoonfuls of fudge and salted Spanish peanuts at the bottom of the glass. Nowadays I cannot finish an entire DQ parfait myself, so I make do at home.
Caramel Toffee Apple Parfaits With Cream Cheese Ice Cream | Farm Fresh Feasts

Bonus Kitchen Hack:  you've probably heard the trick of dipping apple slices in lemon juice or salt water to keep the slices from oxidizing and turning brown. I hope to change your habit to using pineapple juice instead. I keep little cans of pineapple juice in my pantry for this purpose. In my experience, apple slices dipped in pineapple juice will keep chilled for up to 3 days without turning. And they taste terrific! Another note--you can easily substitute vanilla ice cream if you don't want to make the cream cheese ice cream.

Caramel Toffee Apple Parfaits With Cream Cheese Ice Cream | Farm Fresh Feasts

You will need an immersion blender, an ice cream maker, and a freezer for this recipe.

Caramel Toffee Apple Parfaits with Cream Cheese Ice Cream (makes 8 or more)

2 cups heavy cream
½ cup half & half
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup whipped cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 large apple, chopped into bite-sized pieces
6 ounces pineapple juice
1 jar caramel topping (you'll have leftovers, and I'm sure you can find something to do with them)
½ cup toffee bits (I prefer the kind with chocolate, but whatever you can find)

To make the Cream Cheese Ice Cream, combine the cream, half & half, brown sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth. I've used a blender, an immersion blender, and a whisk. I don't like the whisk. Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions, and freeze for an hour until firm. You'll have about a quart of ice cream. In a large bowl or zip top bag, combine the apple chunks and pineapple juice. They can hang out together for a while or just meet briefly before draining.
Your choice.
To assemble the parfaits, spoon a tablespoon of caramel topping into the bottom of a tall glass, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of toffee bits and 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple chunks. Top with a scoop of cream cheese ice cream. Repeat the layers as often as you can to fill up the glass (we use little glasses that hold 2 layers), finishing with caramel, toffee, and apples. 

Be sure to visit all of today's Ice Cream Week Participants:
  Oreo Ice Cream Cake by Cravings of a Lunatic
  Coffee and Donut Sundae by The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
  Pinot Noir Ice Cream by The Redhead Baker
  Triple Peach Ice Cream by Cookistry
  Root Beer Float by My Catholic Kitchen
  Black Forest Ice Cream Shots by The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch
  Ice Cream Sundae with Homemade Hot Fudge by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
  Key Lime Pie Milkshake by Love and Confections
  Caramel Toffee Apple Parfaits by Farm Fresh Feasts
  Orange Creamsicle Float by Noshing with the Nolands
  Gluten Free Baked Alaska by Gluten Free Crumbley
  Toasted Almond and Cherry Ice Cream by The Messy Baker
  Gluten Free Toasted Marshmallow Brownie Batter Ice Cream by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
  Coconut Ice Cream Snowballs by Mother Would Know
  No Churn Low Carb Zesty Citrus Ice Cream by Yours and Mine are Ours
  Pina Colada Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Magic Shell by Quarter Life (Crisis) Cuisine

We would like to thank you all, our readers, for joining in the indulgence this week. 
Ice cream is always best eaten with friends. 
Kim and Susan would like to thank all the participants and sponsors for joining in the fun. 
It takes a village to make this much ice cream!