Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Buttermilk Waffles

  
Sometimes I wonder if I should give up blogging just because I have so many pictures of food clogging up my computer memory.  Then there are a ton of other reasons that anyone who blogs knows.  The time factor and the scheduling of that time.  I do my best to keep up.  For the most part blogging has become my habit.  I started in January of 2008.  Eight years!  I can hardly believe it sometimes.

I have been away in Paducah KY for a Quilt Show.  If you are into quilting, you know this is a pretty big show.  You can read all about it on my blog, Craftication, as soon as I write it...

Anyway, after a week of nothing, I am here to tell you about these amazing waffles.

I found this recipe on Serious Eats, one of my favorite sites.  Such a diversity of food, well written, easy to find recipes, clean looking and good recipes that come out like they say they are going to. This recipe is no exception to the good recipes I find there.  It delivered a great waffle.  I am pretty sure it will be my go to waffle from now on.

I am not a syrup girl, too sweet for the morning in my opinion.  I love a waffle covered in an over easy egg or two with a little bit of butter.  Heavenly.

The only drawback of this recipe is that not everyone has a vanilla bean laying around.  You can substitute vanilla extract though.  This time I did mine with the bean. Next time it will be with the extract because when my children cover it in maple syrup anyhow the vanilla gets a little lost.  A big expense for them not to even notice.  If you eat them plain though, I would totally make them with a the vanilla bean pod.

Buttermilk Vanilla Waffles
From this recipe at Serious Eats.

1 1/3 cup (185 grams) flour
1/4 cup (45 grams) powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cup (395 grams) buttermilk
3 tablespoons (40 grams)  butter
2 large egg whites
1 vanilla bean scraped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix dry ingredients, set aside.  Mix wet ingredients.  Pour the wet into the dry and whisk all together. No need to beat the egg white prior to their addition.

Make sure your waffle iron is hot and ready to go.

I found they took about five minutes on my waffle machine.

Monday, April 18, 2016

FAUX SAUSAGE AND SPLIT YELLOW PEA SOUP


I love going to Amish stores.  Some are more expensive than others but I like the deals, I like looking at the different things they have.  Recently I found this mix, it's  a spice mix for sweet sausage.  I bought because I want to make my own sausage.  I was making soup yesterday and decided to add it in.  Pow! Sausage flavor in the soup without the sausage.  Perfect for my vegetarian daughter.

I realize that you may or may not be able to find this mix so I listed out the ingredients for you to add to the soup., so there will be a similar effect.

As for me.  I will use it again.

Just a note, when cooking dry beans, don't be afraid to add in flavors while you are plumping them up.  I usually do the customary soak overnight.  I drain in the morning and add the seasoning and cook until plumped.  I often times put Montreal Seasoning in with mine.  The flavor goes into the bean and helps the over flavor of whatever you are using it for.

Faux Sausage and Split Yellow Pea Soup

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 rib celery
2 whole carrots, chopped
2 cups fresh spinach
2 cups yellow split peas
3 quarts water
1 tablespoon sausage seasoning (see below if you dont have it)

Saute onion, celery and carrot in butter in a soup pot.  Cook until lightly golden.  Add in water, seasoning and yellow split peas.  At the end of the cooking time, about 50 minutes, add in spinach.  Cook until spinach has wilted and the yellow split peas are soft.

Sausage Seasoning Mix

1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons fennel, crushed
1 tablespoon cane sugar or brown sugar if you dont have it
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon anise seed, crushed
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ascorbic acid or fresh lemon juice if you dont have it

Mix all ingredients together.  If you are using lemon juice instead of ascorbic acid.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Cauliflower Ceci Bean Tacos

I know, cauliflower everything.  You see it everywhere.  Just like kale.  Every way you can imagine eating cauliflower.  I have to say, this is one of my new, favorite ways of eating cauliflower.
Very tasty and easily translated into tacos.  Next time, we will have it with slaw, which is like, all over Pinterest.  Believe me, there will be a next time.  It was a great, healthy, low calorie meal.
Cauliflower Ceci Bean Tacos

2 cups or one can ceci beans, drained
4 cups cauliflower, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup taco seasoning (store bought or home made, see below.)
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of oil
1/4 cup cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Toss the cauliflower and chick peas with the seasoning and sugar and then drizzle oil over top.  Mix completely and bake at 375ยบF for about 20 to 30 minutes.  It should be nice and tender.  Remove from baking sheet and toss with cilantro.  Serve with tacos, cheese, sour cream, whatever way you like your tacos.


Taco Seasoning

1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon (heaping) garlic powder
1 tablespoon (heaping) onion powder
1 tablespoon (heaping) oregano
2 tablespoons salt
2 1/2 tablespoons pepper
1/4 cup cumin
2 tablespoons (heaping) paprika
1 tablespoon chipotle powder (if you can find it and you like the heat)

Add corn starch of arrow root powder to 1 pound of meat.  This is in the packets of seasoning that you buy in the store.  It makes the "saucey" consistency when  you add the water and the tomato paste.

Note: I did not do the tomato paste and water for the cauliflower but I probably will try adding it next time.  Or not.  Because why mess with a good thing.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

CAPPUCCINO CHEESECAKE BARS

This is a great cheesecake to take to a potluck.  Portable and delicious.  A little whipped cream on top would be a great addition as well.


CAPPUCCINO CHEESECAKE BARS

crust:
16 whole graham crackers, broken up
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) chilled unsalted butter, melted

filling:
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder, divided
1/4 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
2 large egg
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup mini chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 13 x 9 baking pan (2 inches + deep). Grind graham crackers in processor to small crumbs. Pour into baking dish. Add the sugar and mix well. Add the melted butter. Blend until crumbs are moist and stick together. Press mixture onto bottom of the baking pan. Bake crumbs in pan and pie dish until golden, 10 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.

In a small bowl, stir together the espresso powder, heavy cream and vanilla extract until smooth and the espresso powder is dissolved, set aside.

Beat cream cheese and sugar until mixed, about three minutes.  Add eggs one by one and scrape down sides of bowl as you go.  Add in the cream/espresso mixture.  Mix until thoroughly combined. Smooth into prepared crust in pan, evening it out.  Bake for 30 to 45 minutes. It should jiggle in the middle just a bit when you pull it out of the oven.  It will set as it cools.  

Best to chill over night before serving.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

CREAMY FRENCH LENTIL SOUP


Its still soup weather here in Western NY.  It hints sometimes of warming up but it is only a tease at this point.  I love winter but I am ready now for the weather to turn warm.  I'm ready for stuff to grow.  Ready for the Farmers Market and ready to get my own garden growing.

CREAMY FRENCH LENTIL SOUP

1 cup French Green Lentils or Black Beluga
2 pounds mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons thyme
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic
1 quart beef broth
1/2 cup white wine
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
a couple grinds of black pepper

Bring a medium saucepan of water (about 2 1/2 cups) to a boil. Add the lentils to the water along with a fat pinch of salt. Simmer the lentils until they’re just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a soup pot, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onions and stir. Cook the onions until slightly softened and translucent, about 4 minutes. Saute mushrooms until golden. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and thyme to the pot and stir. Once the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds, add the white wine, broth and soy sauce to the pan. Add the lentils. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes.

Just before serving add in the milk to soup.  Heat until just warmed and serve.



Tuesday, April 5, 2016

TRINIDAD SALT COD FRITTERS



I saw this recipe in Food and Wine the other day.  It was one of those moments when a visual cue of a recipe, the contents of your refrigerator and your mood for a certain food all collide into one Perfect Storm of a Foodie Moment.  Next thing you know, its there in front of you.  Color me blessed that I can say that.  It happened twice in the past couple weeks, once with these amazing fritters and once with a recipe I will share in the next couple days.   Both times we were rewarded with amazing deliciousness.

TRINIDAD SALT COD FRITTERS

This recipe is adapted to suit me and my family's taste.  I combined two recipes. The first one I used for the pepper sauce. If you want to see the original recipe, go here to Food and Wine. The second one is the one I used for the actual fritters.  If you want to see that recipe at Food and Wine, go here. After looking at the original recipe you might ask why I chose to use sparkling water.

PEPPER SAUCE
1/2 small onion, coarsely chopped
6 scallions, green parts only, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 roasted red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 roasted serrano chile, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 small Scotch bonnet chile, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons peanut oil
Salt

FRITTERS
1 1/2 pound dried salt cod, rinsed in several changes of cool water and soaked overnight
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup cornstarch
4 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 1/2 cups cold sparkling water (Yes, it made a difference)
1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small green bell pepper
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
Vegetable oil, for frying



For the pepper sauce:
In a food processor, puree the onion, scallions, garlic, bell pepper and serrano. Pulse to incorporate. Let cool to room temperature. Add the lime juice and peanut oil and season with salt. Pulse briefly, then transfer to a serving bowl.

For the fritters:
Saute onions and peppers in a tablespoon of butter until softened. Add in garlic, cook one minute more.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Rinse the cod and pat dry. Using your hands, shred it into small pieces. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder. Add the eggs and sparkling water and whisk just until combined. Fold in the chopped cod along with the onion, garlic, bell pepper and black pepper.

In a large, deep skillet, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil to 375°. Working in batches, scoop tablespoon-size mounds of batter into the hot oil and fry, turning once, until the fritters are deeply golden all over, about 1 1/2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Transfer to a platter and serve hot, with the pepper sauce.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Lemon Drop Cookies


This is an old recipe that a friend of mine gave me.  I think you will love these.  So lemony and light. Very moist and tender!  They are a traditional Italian favorite for the Easter Holiday.







LEMON DROP COOKIES

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1-2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2-3 Tbsp warm milk  or lemon juice instead
1/2 tsp juice from a fresh lemon (optional- if you don't use all lemon juice)

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Spray cookie sheets with cookie spray or line with a silpat.

In a large bowl, beat together shortening and sugar until light. Add eggs and lemon zest; beat until combined, scraping down sides of bowl.

In another bowl or large measuring cup, combine flour, salt and baking powder; add to mixture in bowl alternately with sour cream and beat just until moistened.

Spoon onto cookie sheet, smooth into round balls or not with wet fingers.

Arrange about 1 inch apart on cookie sheets. Bake 10 min, until lightly browned. Do not overbake. Remove from pans and cool.

Combine confectioners' sugar and milk in small bowl; whip lightly with spoon until smooth and slightly thick. Add 1/2 tsp lemon juice if desired; stir briskly until well-combined.

While cookies are still warm dip tops of cookies into icing. Let set until icing is dry to the touch. Store in closed container.

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