I haven’t been baking much, and I’m still trying to decide on my next cookbook. The one thing that I have been doing is making this granola at least once a week. It’s nutty and toasty and full of crunchy things. I’ve been eating it on yogurt and straight out of the jar by the handful. I liked it so much, that I included it in my Christmas candy packages to friends and family.
The original recipe is from the Tasty Kitchen website. So far, the only change I’ve made is to not include the dried cranberries or chocolate. Honestly, I like it plain. It is plenty sweet from the brown sugar and agave syrup. One of these days, I’d like to try using honey or maple syrup instead of the agave syrup, and I’d like to experiment with different combinations of nuts and seeds. Recipe after the jump.
No pictures today, but I do have a recipe. Here’s the modified sourdough multi-grain bread that I’ve been baking the past couple of weeks. The original recipe is here. See my version after the jump.
Currently cooking out of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer
Remember this ice cream from Pure Scoop? Ever since I started make ice creams out of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, I’ve wanted to try this flavor. Bauer doesn’t include a recipe for coconut ice cream, so I used David Lebovitz’s technique with Bauer’s ice cream base. The result was a huge success.
I started out by seeping about a cup and a half of toasted coconut in the milk/cream part of Bauer’s recipes. After a couple of hours, I strained the liquid, pressing on the soaked coconut to get as much of the liquid out as possible. Then I followed Bauer’s formula of boiling the milk and cream with sugar, salt and corn syrup, then adding a cornstarch slurry and, finally, whisking in some cream cheese. Chill and churn.
This was so very good. When you first see it, you think its going to be vanilla. Surprise! Instead you get a light coconut flavor accented by just a touch of cream cheese. The texture was perfectly smooth. I loved the ivory color of this ice cream; it seemed very elegant.
I’m down to my last pound of hazelnuts, so I’m being careful about how and where I use them. I don’t want to reorder more so soon; I might become known as the Crazy Idaho Hazelnut Lady.
Anyway, I decided that a revamping of The Perfect Scoop’s Gianduja-Stracciatella Gelato was worth using some of those precious nuts. As I said in my review of the original recipe, I loved the flavor but thought it was a bit rich and heavy. I took a basic gelato recipe from here and adapted it using some of Lebovitz’s techniques. The two recipes were very close, the main difference being the proportion of milk to cream. Lebovitz uses more cream; the other recipe uses more milk. I also cut down the amount of sugar as the milk chocolate adds its own sweetness. Finally, I took the liberty of adding some chopped hazelnuts for a little texture. This ice cream was light and flavorful. It was substantial, but didn’t leave that coating in your mouth like really rich (read cream-heavy) ice creams sometimes do. Recipe after the jump.
I am lucky to have several friends who are fantastic cooks and don’t mind sharing recipes with me. One, Missy, makes the most heavenly red beans and rice. And gumbo.
Did I mention that she grew up down south?
A few weeks ago, Missy gave me some soup to try. It was thick with vegetables and sweet, almost like there was sugar in it. And there was just enough meat in it to satisfy Bryan who thinks a meal without meat is not complete. Missy graciously agreed to send me the recipe, and it has quickly become one of my favorite soups.
I didn’t make too many changes to the original recipe; mostly I just increased the amount of vegetables in it. I also found that a handful of pearl barley or small pasta shapes isn’t a bad thing at all. Recipe after the jump.
Currently cooking from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce
One of the less intimidating flours in this book is oat flour. Ground from oat kernels, oat flour is milky and slightly sweet. It doesn’t have any gluten in it, so it has to be used with other flours, usually all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour. Besides oat flour, Boyce includes recipes that use cooked oatmeal, rolled oats and oat bran. In many cases, several different kinds of oat products are mixed together. These pancakes, for example, use both oat flour and cooked oatmeal.
The recipe begins with a cup of cooked oatmeal, or, as I refer to it, snot. Melted butter, milk, eggs and molasses are stirred into the snot, uh, oatmeal. On the dry side, oat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mixed together and then mixed with the wet ingredients. Although I hated the cooked oatmeal on its own, it disappeared into the pancakes and gave them some chew. Without the cooked oatmeal, I think the oat flavor would really be missing.
I really liked these pancakes. They were hearty and filling, and I felt extremely virtuous eating them. Then I drowned the pancakes in homemade syrup that contained a full stick of butter.
See recipe after the jump.
I’m taking a break from the sweet stuff to bring this salsa to your attention. The original recipe comes from The Pioneer Woman. You’ve heard of her, right? We’ve been eating this salsa just as fast as I can make it, and every time I make it, it comes out just a little differently. The really nice thing with this recipe is that you can customize it a hundred different ways. Hate cilantro? Leave it out. Want your salsa hotter? Add more jalapeno.
After making eight or nine batches, here’s my spin on the recipe:
We like our salsa less liquidy, so I briefly drain the tomatoes, and then add in some of the tomato juice at the end.
I also dislike getting chunks of raw onion and jalapeno in my salsa, so I process them into very small pieces first
And finally, I like more lime juice than the original recipe calls for, so I use the juice of a whole lime.
My version of the recipe is after the jump. Continue reading
This is my go-to recipe whenever I have an excess of lemons. It’s fast and easy. I discovered the recipe several years ago in a book by Alice Medrich called Chocolate and the Art of Low Fat Desserts.
Sometimes I find lemon curds to be either too eggy or really rich. This lemon curd only uses 3 whole eggs and no butter (hence the “light” part of the recipe). The lemon flavor is bright and tart. The only drawback to this recipe is that the curd doesn’t set up enough to use as a filling in a cake. But it’s perfect over ice cream or strawberries and as a filling for lemon tarts. Heck, it’s perfect straight out of the bowl, on its own.
Recipe after the jump. Continue reading
Peanut butter AND chocolate chips AND oatmeal? Overkill? I don’t think so. Neither did anybody who tried these cookies.
I found the original recipe on www.browneyedbaker.com and made my first batch exactly as the recipe was written. Then I decided to experiment a little bit.
My first change was to use chunky peanut butter instead of creamy. It increased the peanutty flavor and gave the cookies a little more texture. I also increased the amount of oatmeal because I thought the original amount (1/2 cup) was skimpy. I increased the ratio of brown sugar to white sugar and added an extra egg yolk. My final change was to double the recipe and refrigerate the cookies for a couple of hours before baking them. This batch was a keeper.
The cookies stayed on the thick side, with crunchy edges and chewy centers. Be careful not to overbake these. You want them to just start browning around the edges. The middle may look a bit undercooked, but the cookies will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet.
Recipe is after the jump. Continue reading
Lest you think we are only about sugar and cream and flour around here, take a look at that picture. Black. Bean. Soup. Served over chewy brown rice with a dollop of sour cream, this stuff is heaven.
I got the original recipe here. When I first saw it, I was smitten. I immediately ran out and bought a slow cooker (I know, I know. I’m the last person in the food blogging universe to get one). The first time I made the soup, it was a little thin and watery. Despite the onions, peppers and copious amounts of cumin, there didn’t seem to be much flavor in the soup. After the first bowl, Bryan politely declined any more.
(That was okay by me. I ate the rest of the soup for lunch for more than a week straight. And I don’t do that. Usually.)
The second time I made this soup, I made some small changes that made all the difference. I used yellow onions instead of red onions. I used yellow and red bell peppers and several stalks of celery. And, most importantly, I used two cans of chicken stock instead of water and cut down the liquid by two cups. This version was wonderful. It was full of flavor and not too thin. I have a feeling that I’m going to have to share this soup with Bryan for lunch.
Recipe after the jump. Continue reading