Blue Cornmeal Applesauce Breakfast Bars

Blue Cornmeal Applesauce Breakfast Bar

  • 2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cup blue cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom (optional)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 stick butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)
  • 1 cup dried figs (optional)
  • sugar and cinnamon for dusting

Heat oven to 400 degrees Mix dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Cut in pieces of butter using a pastry blender. Add applesauce and sour cream and mix. The batter will be more solid than cake batter, but not stiff and dry like scone batter. Add optional nuts and dried fruit. You can experiment with different nuts and fruits, including currants, raisins, pecans, walnuts, or pepitas.

Roll into a log using parchment paper or wax paper. Then slice into  12 pieces and layer on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.

Bake 15 minutes at 400, remove for a moment, shake some mixed cinnamon and sugar over the top and return to oven, lowering temperature to 300 for 15 more minutes.

These are a nice moist, breakfast/dessert bars. They are toothsome, hearty, and slightly sweet. Goes well with coffee or tea. A good afternoon snack. They’re not as sweet as dessert bread, but not as “healthy” as corn muffins.

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Plum Tostada

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I got about 5 pounds of fresh plums from Oregon Food Bank’s Harvest Share a few weeks back. I have been waiting for them to ripen, but decided to just try cooking one to see what happened. I was really not sure what I wanted to make. Well, I wanted to make a cake but I don’t have a mixer or blender and it’s hot and I didn’t want to turn on the oven, so I stood in front of the fridge hoping something would leap out at me. I saw some fresh rosemary a friend gave me from her garden and wondered how plums would taste sautéed in a bit of butter with some onions and rosemary. I have some tostadas from WinCo, so decided to try something crazy.

So, I melted

  • 1 tsp of butter in a small sauce pan and added about
  • 1 tbsp of finely chopped onions. I tossed in about
  • 1 inch long piece of fresh rosemary. I cut up
  • 1 large plum into about 8 segments and then chopped them in half. I added them when the onions were tender. I sautéed for about 8 minutes on a low heat. I added about
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla sugar (I have a vanilla bean in my tea sugar and used it instead of my cooking sugar.) I added about
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. Stirring everything, I thought about adding lemon, but thought the unripe plum was so tart on its own, I didn’t really need the lemon.

I spread it on the tostada, added some sour cream and lightly toasted pecans.

This was so good, I washed out the pan and made myself a second one. Who knew rosemary and plums were divine? That is a flavor combination I am going to try again. Perhaps in a cake when it’s not so dang hot.

Makes one serving, darn it.

 

Apple, Celery & Celeriac Puree

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Since this will be pureed, there is no need to dice or chop finely. Big chunks are just fine, so long as they can cook evenly and will fit in blender or Magic Bullet.

Heat 3 TBSP of butter (or olive oil for vegan option) at medium low (4 on a 10 point electric dial) in a large stock pot. Add 2 yellow onions and a bunch of celery, all chopped. Add salt and pepper. Cook until the onions have sweat and are translucent.

While that’s cooking, chop up 4 large or 6 small apples. I used some Galas and a Pink Lady. Eating apples, not cooking apples because we are not adding any sugar. Crush and peel 3 cloves of garlic. Add the apples and garlic to the stock pot. Add tsp of thyme. Add salt and pepper. Put the lid on a let cook about five minutes.

Meanwhile peel and chunk the celeriac. Add to the crock pot with 1 quart of vegetable broth. Add salt and pepper.  Bring heat up to medium. When everything is tender, remove from heat and let cool.

After it’s cooled down, puree with an immersion blender, blender or Magic Bullet. Serve hot with a bit of chopped parsley and toasted pumpkin seeds and, if you’re feeling ambitious, some thinly sliced pear grilled on a hot burner. I accidentally spilled enough pumpkins seeds to two servings in this picture. They were delicious, though.

The soup is a smooth, mildly tart puree with a delicious, rich flavor. There’s a nice bit of bitter heartiness from the celery that is lightened and balanced by the apples, the onions adding some bright notes and of course, celeriac is always delicious.

This makes about 8 servings, but it also tastes better as leftovers. In fact, it’s so much better the next day that I didn’t eat it the day I made it but let it wait overnight. Unlike most celeriac purees, I don’t add any cream so it will keep several days and can also be frozen.

 

 

Sour Cream Slaw with Fennel

Sour Cream Cole Slaw with Fennel, Carrots and Dried Cranberries

I had company the other day and decided to make a big batch of cole slaw. I love cole slaw and am always trying to find new ways to make this favorite form of salad. Of course I started with cabbage. Using a mandoline, I cut 1/2 of a medium sized head of cabbage into thin slices. I added some salt and let it rest for an hour. After an hour, I squeezed the excess liquid out. This keeps the salad from getting watery after it is dressed.

Next I sliced one bulb of fresh fennel on the mandoline, I set the slicer blade at the thinnest option for both the cabbage and the fennel. I then peeled and sliced on carrot, switching out the triangular piece of the mandoline from flat to one that cuts matchsticks. I chopped up one half of a Spanish or red onion and added that. I shook all the ingredients together.

For the dressing, I added about 1/2 cup of sour cream and squeezed in the juice of one fresh lemon. I then added 1 TBSP of white wine vinegar, some salt and pepper and a tbsp of poppy seeds. Lastly I added a large handful of dried cranberries.

The fennel adds a great light tanginess to the hearty slaw. The dried cranberries balance the sourness of the sour cream and the choice of sour cream instead of mayonnaise made this salad much lighter and fresher tasting, perfect for a hot summer day.

This made 8-10 servings.

Omelette with Scapes, Green Onions and Sour Cream

Scapes Omelette

Spring means fresh garlic scapes – a delicious and transient treat to look forward to each year. Because their season is so short, you have to take full advantage of it. So, I decided to have scapes for breakfast.

Scapes can be a little tough if they are not well cooked, so I cooked them before putting them in the omelette. I cut the tops off three scapes and 2 green onions. I sliced the scapes down the center and then chopped the scapes and green onions into pieces about 1.5 – 2 inches long. I heated 1/2 tbsp of butter in a small pan and sautéed the scapes and green onions with salt and pepper until they changed color. Then I added just enough water to cover them and let them simmer for about five minutes until tender. I drained the fluid off and let them rest before adding them to the omelette.

For the omelette, I used three eggs which I whisked 2 tbsp of water and 1/4 tsp of paprika because its smokiness will complement the garlic. I heated my griddle to 250° F and melted as little butter as possible to coat the surface. I poured the omelette mixture and let cook.

I did not add salt. Salt is good on fried eggs, eggs sunny side up, eggs over easy , but for scrambled eggs and omelettes – when the yolk is mixed with the whites, salt will make the eggs get tougher and rubbery. No salt makes tender eggs .Add the salt when you are done.

I spread the scapes and green onions over the omelette mixture and dropped two small dollops of sour cream on top. Then using a thin piece of wood (a lefse turner) I rolled the omelette up. You can use a very thin spatula, but I love my lefse turner.

I make omelettes on a lefse griddle. It’s hard to go wrong with such precise temperature control and all the space in the world for the omelette to spread out thin. The edges are shallow, so it’s easy to lift the edges of the omelette for turning – with no sides of a fry pan interfering with your ability to get under the omelette.

The blend of garlic scapes, green onions and sour cream was delicious and the hint of paprika smoke was perfect.

Kale & Italian Sausage Lasagna

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I seldom make lasagna. How seldom was brought home to me when I was washing out my food storage bins and discovered that my lasagna was past its expiration date. I had not realized pasta had an expiration date, so there you have it. That poor box of lasagna has been dragged through two moves and I still had not emptied it, so I decided to finish it off and actually make a pan of lasagna. Now, I didn’t happen to have ricotta or mozzarella on hand since I seldom buy specialty cheese as I don’t use them quickly enough and they spoil. So, I made do with substitutes that made a tasty but totally inauthentic lasagna.

But let’s work through it. First I started water boiling. When it began a rolling boil I added eight pieces of lasagna pasta. I also added 3 pieces of Italian Sausage right out of the freezer. I figured why dirty two pans…and if anything the sausage might add some flavor to the pasta.

I got out a rectangular baking dish that was about as wide as 2.5 pieces of lasagna and just a bit shorter than the pasta. I laid down three pieces of lasagna, the middle one overlapping the two outer pieces. I then thinly sliced one of the pieces of Italian sausage and laid it down over the pasta. Taking about 1/2 cup of cream cheese, I dotted cream cheese in the spaces between the sausage. I then layered finely chopped kale on top. I used one full stalk, removed the ribs, and then chopped the kale.

Then I laid down two more strips of lasagna for another layer. I took the other two Italian sausages and  removing the skins, I chopped them up in a bowl and added 1 14.5 oz can of chopped tomatoes with jalapeños. I would have used fresh but didn’t happen to have any on hand. I mixed the sausage and tomatoes together and layered them on the pasta. On top of that I added a layer of black beans from a can, thoroughly rinsed in cold water.On top of that I added some sour cream which made a nice bed for the next layer of kale – using one more more stalk of kale finely chopped. I added a final layer of pasta and baked until done in a 350° oven. When it was done, I sprinkled some parmesan and some pepper jack cheese on top and broiled for just a few minutes to brown the cheese.

So, this made 12 servings which is why I don’t make lasagna very much. Luckily my friend came over and had some, too. It was delicious and easy to make and really did a good job of cleaning out some remnants in my fridge (cream cheese and sour cream). It was not too spicy, rich and flavorful.

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Bushi’s Bacon, Brussels Sprouts & Red Pepper Omelet

Bacon, Brussels Sprouts & Red Pepper Omelet

I was DJ’ing at The Velvet this morning and wondering what to fix for breakfast. I asked for ideas and Bushido Fretwork suggested caramelizing onions and brussels sprouts with some bacon. Well, everything goes better with bacon, so I decided to try it.

I fried two slices of bacon, removed from the pan to a paper towel. While the bacon was cooking, I chopped up 2 TBSP of yellow onion, 2 TBSP of red pepper and 5 brussels sprouts. I added 1/2 tsp of dry oregano and the onions and let them start to caramelize before adding the red peppers and brussels sprouts.

While the veggies cooked, I mixed 3 eggs with 1 TBSP of flour, salt, pepper and 2 tBSP of water. I spread thinly on a large griddle set to 250° F. I then cut the bacon into long strips and chopped them into pieces about 1/4 inch or so, the same size as the onions and red pepper. I mixed with the vegetables and set aside.

I also mixed 2 TBSP of sour cream with 1 tsp of dry dill weed, 1/2 tsp of garlic powder and some salt and pepper.

I let the omelet cook until the top was close to done, then spread the sour cream across the inner circle of it and then I spread the bacon and veggie mixture and turned the four sides over, enveloping the veggies, before rolling the omelet.

It was delicious and the freshness of the sour cream was a perfect accompaniment.

 

 

 

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

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Hungarian Mushroom Soup

  • 12 ounces Fresh Mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1-tablespoon tamari soy sauce
  • 1-tablespoon paprika
  • 2 cups water

Clean and slice the mushrooms. Put your soup pot on a low medium heat (2 out of 10 on my electric range) and dry cook the mushrooms for about 10 minutes. This will bring out much richer flavor and keep the mushrooms from absorbing too much liquid and getting mushy. Add 2 TBSP of butter and 2 cups of onions and continue cooking on low heat so the onions sweat, enriching the flavor. Add the dill weed, paprika and tamari sauce and let cook for a minute or two to release their flavors before adding the 2 cups of water. Cover and bring the heat up to about 4 of 10 on the stove, a low-medium heat. Let simmer for about 10 minutes.

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1-cup milk

While the mushrooms are simmering, in a separate pan melt 2 TBSP of butter. Add 3 TBSP flour and mix into a roux and cook. Raw flour is yucky. It will get a rich golden brown. Add the milk and cook for a few more minutes. (I mix up nonfat dry milk for my cup of milk since I use too little milk to buy fresh.)  Add to the mushrooms, stir in and cover and simmer about 10 more minutes.

  • 1/2 fresh lemon juiced
  • 1-cup fresh parsley
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp dill weed

Add the lemon juice, chopped parsley, sour cream, dill weed and pepper. You can serve garnished with parsley or a dollop of sour cream or both.

Per serving: 190 Calories; 14 g Fat (61% calories from fat); 4 g Protein; 14 g carbohydrate; 34 mg Cholesterol; 288 mg Sodium

Hungarian Mushroom Noodles

Hungarian Mushroom Noodles

Heat saute pan to medium, add 1 TBSP olive oil, 2 tBSP of chopped onions and 2 large mushrooms sliced in half and then sliced into 1/4 slices. Add salt, pepper and 1 TBSP of paprika. Cook until tender. Add 6 ounces of ground turkey. Put a sauce pan of water on to boil. When the meat is browned, add 1 TBSP of tamari sauce, 4 TBSPs of sour cream, 1 TBSP of dill weed and juice of 1/2 fresh lemon. Add some salt and pepper to taste. Add noodles to the boiling water, they will cook quickly. Meanwhile, taste the sauce and add paprika to taste. Drain the pasta and toss the sauces with it.

Pierogies, Salad and Cherry Vinaigrette

Pierogies & Salad with Balsamic Cherry Vinaigrette

I had some leftover chicken stock from soup and I heated it up and cooked the pierogies in it. While the pierogies cooked, I made a simple salad with some cranberry beans I boiled and drained and cooled in the fridge earlier. I tore up some lettuce, tossed thinly sliced red onion and red cabbage in the mix with some cherry vinaigrette on top. I served the pierogies on the side with salt, pepper, dry dill weed and a dollop of sour cream