Sunday, January 13, 2019

Marinated Vegetable Salad

I'm always looking for ways to get more fruits and vegetables in my diet. . . smoothies, salads, soups and stews.  Here is one of my newer ones that I really like.  It has a nice blend of flavors and loaded with nutritional value.

For the dressing:

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the salad:

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup broccoli florets, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, sliced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup Kalamata olives
6 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled

Whisk together the dressing ingredients.  Mix together with the salad ingredients.  Chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator or overnight.

Monday, December 31, 2018

A New Twist on Pumpkin Pie

Now this is one you have to try!  A friend brought this to my home for dinner recently.  I had never heard of a pumpkin pie with a cream cheese layer.  It was divine!  It is a recipe handed down in her family for generations.

Cream cheese bottom layer:

12 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

Pumpkin top layer:

just under 2 cups of canned pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
a dash of salt
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
3 eggs

Use a generous sized pie pan and preheat oven to 359.

Combine all cream cheese layer ingredients and mix until well blended.  Pour into the bottom of the pie shell.

Combine remaining ingredients and mix well.  Pour slowly over the cream cheese layer to avoid marbling.

Bake for 65 to 70 minutes.

Friday, December 28, 2018

French Toast

This morning I had French Toast for breakfast.  Not the fancy, gourmet recipes for French Toast prevalent today.  I made them the way I grew up eating them for breakfast!

Here is the "real" French Toast recipe!

whole wheat sandwich bread
a mixture of raw eggs and milk

For one person, use 2 slices of bread.  Heat a cast iron skillet over medium to high heat and coat with butter.

Let bread soak in the milk and egg mixture for a minute or two.  Then place in heated skillet.  Sprinkle top of each side of the bread with cinnamon.

Cook about 3 minutes per side.  Serve with maple syrup.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Cranberry Orange Salad

This unique and delicious recipe is from my daughter-in-law's family and is a Christmas and Thanksgiving tradition.

Equal amounts fresh cranberries and oranges

That's it!  Use the whole orange, peeling and all.  Cut the oranges in chunks.  Place the cranberries and orange chunks in a food process along with the sugar and process until in fine pieces.  Start with 3/4 cup sugar and add more to suit your preference.  Mix well.

This is a colorful dish that is a sure winner!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Azuke Bean and Spinach Soup

This delightful soup is from one of my Moosewood cookbooks, Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health.  If you are not familiar with the Moosewood restaurant and their many cookbooks, you are missing a lot!  The Moosewood restaurant is in a small town in upstate New York and over the years, they have published numerous cookbooks that are just fantastic.  I have at least half a dozen of them in my collection.

This recipe calls for using vegetable broth.  Not being a strict vegetarian, I use chicken broth.

1 1/2 cups dried azuke beans
1 quart vegetable broth
4 cups water
5 cups chopped, fresh spinach
1/2 cup diagonally sliced scallions
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar

In a large pot, bring the beans, broth, and water to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer with the pot lid slightly ajar for about 50 minutes.

When the beans are soft and tender, but not falling apart, stir in the spinach, scallions, soy sauce, and rice vinegar.  Add more water or broth for the consistency you like.  For the best color and freshest flavor, serve this soup as soon as the spinach is wilted.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Oatmeal Muffins

One of my newer cookbooks, The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook, has many wonderful recipes of cookies, cakes, muffins, pies, and other sweets that has quickly become one of my favorites.  This recipe is a sure winner!   I encourage you to get a copy of this cookbook.  The Magnolia Bakery was started in New York City by two young women who were unhappy with their day jobs and had a passion for fine baking.  It became an instant success.

2 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking oats)
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Grease well a 12 cup muffin tin (although I got 16 muffins!)
In a medium bowl, mix the oats and the milk and set aside for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, making a well in the center.  Stir in the liquid ingredients and the oatmeal mixture until just combined, being careful not to overmix.  Batter may be lumpy.
Fill muffin cups about three quarters full.  Bake for 16 to 18 minutes until lightly golden.  Don't overbake.

Success tips:  All ingredients should be at room temperature before mixing.  Use large eggs.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Delicious Chocolate Buttermilk Cake

One of the things I have enjoyed most since switching my blog to all recipes, is during the process of deciding which recipes to include, I often run across old, old ones and think, "Now how could I have forgotten about THIS one???"  That is the case with this one.  I haven't made it in years but I still remember how delicious it is.  Serve this one to guests to make a big impression!  Although I have two tube pans, I like to use my Lodge cast iron tube pan when the recipe calls for one.  The cake just falls out easily with no crumbling and it is easy to clean.

3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups flour
6 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Beat together the first five ingredients until blended.  Combine and add the remaining ingredients and beat until nicely blended.  Don't overbeat.  Spread batter into a greased 10 inch tube pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick, inserted in the center, comes out clean.  Allow to cool in pan.

When cool, remove from pan and frost top and sides with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting (below).

Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting:

1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat together chocolate and butter until blended.  Bear in sour cream and powdered sugar until blended.  Beat in vanilla.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

A different kind of snack

I admit it.  I'm a chocoholic.  When I come home, hungry and sometimes stressed out, I grab something sweet. . . chocolate or whatever sweet I can find.  Yes, I know better.  That's when I looked for something different.  Something that would satisfy my hunger and also be nutritious.

I don't recall where I heard about this idea or maybe I dreamed it up.

Combining several varieties of dried beans, soaked and cooked, with my "old stand by" sauce that I use for stir frying, I came up with a pleasing quick snack.

Here's how to prepare it:

Choose 3 or more types of dried beans.  Go for variety in color and size, such as kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and maybe cannellini or other white bean.  Use equal amounts of each.  After soaking, cook until tender, but not mushy.

While they are cooking, combine olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.  Now you are thinking, 'okay, but what amounts?'  That is a matter of taste!  Start with half cup olive oil, a little less lemon juice, and salt.  From there, adjust to your own taste.

Combine beans and the sauce, just enough to coat the beans but not so that they are drowning in the sauce!

This keeps in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days.  I call it my guilt-free snack!

I always have a large supply of a variety of dried beans on hand.  I should own stock in Bob's Red Mill!  I use them in soups, salads, and other recipes.  My Adzuki Bean casserole is a real winner!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

A new smoothie recipe

I make a lot of smoothies.  I do it to get more nutrition.  After all, you probably wouldn't sit down to eat a large bunch of spinach or kale, an apple, a banana, a couple of kiwi fruits, an orange. . . But put them in a Vitamix and blend and you have a tasty, highly nutritious drink.  For the most part, I don't follow smoothie recipes.  I just throw in whatever fruits and vegetables I have laying around.  I've never been disappointed in taste or nutritional value.

But I ran across this recipe recently and it caught my attention.  It's great!  It has a mild, sweet taste and is packed with vitamins.  Try it!

1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 mango, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup water.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Confetti Chowder

Even though it is still hot and humid here in Western New York State, my thoughts are slowly turning to my favorite fall and winter recipes!  This one is a sure winner.  It comes from my 10,000 Tastes of Minnesota cookbook, copyright 1990, published by the Women's Club of Minneapolis.

3 cups shredded cabbage
2 cups sliced carrots
2 cups chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter
1 (10 oz) package frozen peas, thawed
2 (11 oz) cans corn
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (or few dashes powdered thyme)
2 cups shredded cheddar

Cook and stir cabbage, carrots, celery and onion in butter in large saucepan or Dutch oven until crisp tender.  Add peas, corn, milk and seasonings.  Simmer over low heat about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  In a food processor, blend about 2 cups of hot milk mixture and cheese until smooth.  Return this to the pan;  mix well.  Adjust seasonings.  Heat thoroughly but do not boil.
6 servings.