Saturday, June 20, 2009

Maple Cornbread Muffins

"recipes from Vermont's renowned vegetarian restaurant", author Ginny Callan.

I am not a vegetarian, haven't even considered it. But I am a child of the 60's having growing up in Marin County California, and as such I am attracted to ideas or ideals of a different nature. Having been exposed to the colorful world around me at a very impressionable age, I came away with what I consider to be the best of it all. Vegetarian cookbooks seem to fall in that category, for me; a carnivore.

Also they usually have great whole grain baked goods and main dish recipes that are full of vegetables. Both of these items, using more whole grain and eating more vegetables, are sadly on my side bar and have been there for a long time, unable to be deleted; because I have not accomplished either as I cook.

This was another book I was able to pickup for a song, at the local thrift store. The recipe that caught my eye right away was the, Maple Cornbread Muffins. We had these for breakfast this morning, along with bacon and eggs. The maple flavor is very faint, but it is a good recipe for a mostly whole grain baked good sweetened with a natural sweetener.

Maple Cornbread muffins
400 degree oven

1 c whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 c all purpose flour
2/3 c cornmeal
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt2 eggs
1/3 c real maple syrup
3/4 c milk ( I almost forgot this ingredient, you can tell; it is not in the photo!)
1/2 c butter - melted and cooled*

Whisk together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Beat eggs, syrup and milk together, beat in butter. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Spoon evenly into 12 prepared muffin tins.
Bake 20 minutes or until golden. Makes 12.

These are good, they are especially good with raspberry jam! They would also be great along side a bowl of soup, chili or a salad.

Recipe rating:  It's Ok. (tasty but not special)

As always, thanks for taking a minute to stop and say hello. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

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weekend cooking @ beth fish reads



*I will substitute coconut oil for the butter, that sounds really good.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Salisbury Meatbslls (fix, freeze & feast)

Flavor update: These are great, the meatballs are moist. We paired the meatballs with mashed potatoes, a nice meal.

We spent Saturday at Oaks Park with the granddaughter, and of course she loved the wild rides!

She is very tall for 4 years old, so yes she was tall enough to go on the roundup. She opted to go twice, once with her PaPa and lucky for Him she wanted to go once with me. I think Honey was pretty much out of "stomach" when that ride was done. She also loved the big slide. Everything else was fairly tame, but fun.

We stood in front of the funny mirrors, where your body is either long and thin or short and fat. We ate soft serve ice cream, well I should say we ate what did not fall to the ground. Those cones are top heavy and difficult for small hands, but it was a good excuse for me to have a proper serving size. I gave her my cone, it was just the right amount for a little tummy.

Now, back to the meatballs.

I am a little late in making this, but as things go around here; better late than never. I put the 6 pounds of ground beef in the freezer in one pound packages, when I did not get to this recipe as soon as I had hoped to. Now I think I am glad I did not make the entire recipe. Not because it will not be good (have not tasted yet) but, we are not big meatball fans. My plan is to let the meatballs cool in the sauce, and serve it tomorrow for dinner; and package the rest up. How we like or do not like will determine if I package it in dinner packages or lunch packages.

Salisbury Meatballs
adapted from Fix, Freeze and Feast

500 degree oven

1 1/2 c dry bread crumbs
1 T dried minced onion (or 1/4 minced fresh)
1 3/4 t garlic salt
1 tsp pepper
2 eggs
1/3 c milk
3 pound lean ground beef

Stir together dry ingredients, mix well. Beat the eggs and milk together. Combine crumbled meat, crumb mixture and milk mixture. Mix together in a large bowl until evenly mixed.

Shape into 1 - 1 1/2 inch meatballs. Bake 20 minutes or until done. Set aside to cool.

While the meatballs are baking begin making the sauce.

1 stick (1/2) butter
1 pound of mushrooms sliced
1/2 c flour
2 c whole milk or light cream (I used milk)
1 T beef base
1 T Worchestershire sauce
1/2 t pepper
4 c water

Saute the mushroom in the butter. Beat the flour and pepper into the milk until no lumps remain. Stir all remaining ingredients into the mushrooms, bring to a boil. Let simmer 5 minutes stirring constantly. Set aside to cool.

Divide the meat and the sauce evenly into 3 one gallon freezer bags or reusable containers. Freeze.

To serve, remove package from freezer; let thaw in refridgerator.

Stove top: Empty into skillet and bring to a simmer, do not boil.

Oven: Empty into a casserole, bake 350 degrees 30 minutes.

*Of course I am cooling my meatballs in the sauce. I never was one to follow all the rules!

We had Honey's leftover burritos for lunch, so I think dinner will be fairly small.

Small enough to be just dessert!

I will come back tomorrow and offer a flavor update.

Recipe rating:  It's Ok. (tasty but not special)

AS always thanks for stopping by,

M

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mocha Pecan Cookies


One of the books that I picked up for a song is,

Grandma
Rose's
book of
Sinfully Delicious
cakes,cookies,pies,
cheese cakes,
cake rolls &
pastries
by
Rose Naftalin

Inside the introduction reads....As a young wife during the Depression, Rose Naftalin began baking for her husband's delicatessen. Eventually "Rose's Food Shoppe" became a famous Midwest restaurant, from its base in Toledo Ohio. Rose later move to Portland Oregon, where, again her cooking and baking in "Rose's" restaurant became extraordinarily well known and sought-after in the Pacific Northwest and throughout the country.

When we moved to this area in 1987, I had the pleasure of lunch at Rose's. The dessert case was a show piece! Cakes three layers tall, with one inch icing between each layer. Cinnamon rolls that were dinner plate size. A Ruben sandwich that you could not wrap your mouth around, the meat was so thick! Most of the Rose's restaurants have closed now, but I still remember.

Where to start, I do not know; except I keep landing on this same page. I have not made these, but with the pages of the book continuing to open at the same spot; it seemed like a good recipe to share. Also I loved the descriptions of how large something should be. I wrote it out exactly as it is in the book.

Mocha Pecan Cookies

1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/4 t salt
2 t instant coffee
1 c sweet butter
2 1/2 c chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet. Sift together flour, sugar, salt and instant coffee. Cut in butter until bits are the size of peas. Press dough together. Pinch off small pieces, shape into balls about the size of large marbles and roll in chopped nuts. Place the dough balls 2 inches apart on cookie sheets and flatten with a glass dipped in granulated sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool before storing.

See, I just do not believe you can have too many cookbooks.

Thanks for stopping by,

M

Monday, June 1, 2009

Vanilla Shortcake for berries

Patty cake, patty cake, baker's man
Bake me a cake as fast as you can,
Roll it and stick it, toss it in the pan,
Bake me a cake as fast as you can.


My grandmother on my father's side, was a wonderful grandma. She cooked great Sunday dinners and had us over, she would let us spend the night, read to us, and let us be kids. I/we were never allowed to ask about spending the night a lot. And Grandmother worked, so the opportunity did not present it's self all that often. You see my Grandmother had a wondering foot. She would get tired of a particular place and move on. She could do that, she was widowed; so no one to consider but herself, and she cooked. Cooked so well in fact, that she could simply call around and yes they would love for her to come to work, when could she arrive.

She loved holding a baby and playing "patty cake". But after you were too old to play patty cake, you were old enough to spend the night. On one of those times, Grandmother and I went "to town" for the day. While were were there, we stopped for lunch at a coffee shop.

Stanton Elliot's coffeeshop in Eureka California. It was a medium size coffee shop and did a brisk business for breakfast, lunch, dinner. They also had soft serve ice cream. A very new item almost 50 years ago. After we ate our lunches we had their version of strawberry shortcake. Which was mostly the soft serve and a spoonful of berries over a small square of vanilla cake and then covered in whipped cream. To a 6 year old it looked like the best. I ate a little of it, there was not much room after our lunch of burgers and fries.

As an adult I had always remembered the combination of melting ice cream and strawberries soaking into the cake. Good, very good. There was only one thing to do, recreate that taste and make it mine. Then share with my granddaughter, and everyone else.

Patty cake
preheat oven to 400
you will reduce heat to bake, 375

2 c All Purpose baking mix
1/2 cup sugar (I use vanilla sugar*)
1/4 c butter
about 1/2 c milk (* add 2 t vanilla to bottom of measure before measuring milk, stir well if using plain sugar)
additional sugar

Cleaned and sweetened berries, allowed to juice.
vanilla ice cream
whipped cream

Combine mix and sugar, cut in butter until texture is even and there are no large lumps of butter. Stir in the milk. Scrape into a prepared pie pan. Smooth top, sprinkle generously with additional sugar. Place in oven, reduce heat to 375 and bake 20 - 25 minutes or until tests done.
Let cool until warm, cut into 8 wedges.

Place a wedge of cake on a plate or shallow bowl. Scoop a 1 inch layer of ice cream and place it between the pieces of cake. Replace the top piece.

Cover with strawberries and some of the juice, the warm cake will already be melting the ice cream. Add whipped cream to complete.

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

Here is the menu:

Hamburgers, hot dogs and grilled chicken
cheese, tomatoes and condiments
cantaloupe
potato salad
pork and beans
potato chips
Soda, beer and milk

Very casual, very nice. Everyone ate and conversed and got caught up. Oh and daughter in law brought these ready to fry..............................

Strawberry cream cheese filled wonton with sugar sprinkle and chocolate drizzle.

Thanks for taking time to stop by,

M