Sunday, January 20, 2019

Oat Flour Cake, Berries & Cream

Many of Alice Medrich's Flavor Flour Cakes are one layer sponge cakes, cut into halves or thirds for layers.  The ingredient list is quite small:  oat flour, eggs, sugar, salt and buttery stick.  I cut the sugar and salt in half.  I'm a real fan of desserts with fruit and who doesn't like strawberries? 

Oat Flour Cake with Berries & Cream

(Serves 8)

Line bottom of 8 inch springform pan with parchment paper.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt buttery stick. 
3 tablespoon buttery stick

In a separate bowl, mix sugar into oat flour.
1 cup oat flour
1 tablespoon sugar

In bowl of electric mixer with whisk in place, beat eggs, sugar and salt at medium speed for 4 minutes.
4 eggs
4 tablespoon 1 teaspoon sugar
Dash of salt

Remove the bowl from the mixer.  Sift 1/3 of the flour into the eggs.  Fold with rubber spatula until almost blended.  Repeat with 1/2 the flour, then the remaining flour.  

Scrape 1/4 the batter into the hot butter. Fold until completely blended.

Add the buttery batter to the remaining batter and fold just until blended.

Scrape batter into prepared pan. 

Bake at 350 30 minutes.  Place pan on cooling rack.  
While still warm, run spatula around sides of pan, pressing against the outside.  
Remove sides of pan.  Turn cake layer over to remove parchment paper, then turn to right-side up.

Strawberries and Cream

Blend strawberries and sugar in mini food processor.
1/4 cup fresh strawberries
2 teaspoon sugar
Strain to remove excess liquid.

Slice cooled cake layer into 2 layers using serrated knife.
Spread blended strawberries on top of bottom layer.

Whip cream with extract and sugar on medium speed of electric mixer.
1 cup cream
2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Spread 2/3 of whipped cream over strawberry coated layer.
Top with sliced strawberries.
1 cup sliced strawberries.

Top with 2nd layer of cake.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Slice in 8 servings.
Top with remaining whipped cream and strawberry garnish.

Store leftovers in refrigerator.



Thursday, January 17, 2019

Polenta Parmigiana Cookies-A Real Treat!

Though not a consumer of much added sugar-I love my whole grains and a little sweetness every day.  These shortbread type cookies are made with roasted whole cornmeal.  The aroma of the flour alone is "to die for"!  This recipe originated in Food Network Magazine

Polenta Parmigiana Cookies

(40 Cookies)

Mix cornmeal, flours, pepper, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. 
3/4 cup whole roasted cornmeal
1/4 cup spelt or whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

In bowl of electric mixer, beat together buttery stick and sugar.
1 buttery stick 
1/3 cup sugar

Beat in finely grated cheese and egg.
1/2 cup grated Parmigiana cheese
5 tablespoon beaten egg

Mix in flour until dough comes together.

With hands, form dough into a ball.  Divide dough in half.  Press each piece into a log with square sides, approximately 7 inches long and 1 inch wide.  Wrap each piece in plastic wrap.  Place in freezer for 45 minutes.

Remove 1 piece at a time from freezer.  Cut into slices, about 1/4 inch thick. 
In a small bowl, mix together sugar and pepper.
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Dip 1 side of each slice into sugar-pepper mixture.  Arrange squares sugar side up on parchment line baking sheet about 1 inch apart.  Bake at 350 F for 12 minutes.  Allow to cool in pan on cooling rack.

Each of these cookies have less than 1 teaspoon of added sugar.  That's 4 grams.  The American Heart Association recommends that women limit their added sugar intake to 24 grams or less per day. 



Monday, January 14, 2019

100% Spelt Bread-100% Delicious!

Most sources recommend using only 25-50% spelt flour in bread and muffin recipes.  This recipe from Sue Becker uses only spelt flour in baking yeast bread.  Only the total amount of flour changes, increasing the total by 25-33%.  The resulting loaf was soft, with no tunnels.  I reduced the kneading time slightly.  The dough rose nicely and browned perfectly when baked.

Spelt Bread

(1 8 X 4 inch loaf pan-14 slices)

Mix 1 cup spelt flour and dry yeast in bowl of electric mixer.  Dissolve honey in warm water.  Slowly add to bowl of mixer.  With dough hook in place, beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, stirring down sides of bowl.
1 cup freshly ground spelt flour
1 1/2 teaspoon instant dry yeast
3/4 cup 125F water
3 tablespoon honey

Add 1/2 cup spelt flour, egg, oil and salt.  Beat at medium speed 2 more minutes, stirring down sides of bowl.
1/2 cup spelt flour
1 egg
3 tablespoon 2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Reduce speed to low.  Slowly add additional flour, kneading after each addition for about 6 minutes.
1 1/2 cup spelt flour

Place dough in bowl greased with olive oil spray.  Turn to coat.  Cover and let rise until double, about 1 hour.  Punch dough down.  Turn into greased loaf pan while shaping dough into the loaf.  Cover and let rise until almost double, about 45 minutes.

Bake in 350F oven 25 minutes. 




Saturday, January 12, 2019

Book Review: Party Cookbook

The Southern Living Party Cookbook is a remake of their 1972 Party Cookbook.  This one is subtitled "A Modern Guide to Gathering".  Author Elizabeth Heiskell includes the entire planning process, from menu and drinks to invitations, table settings, recipes and thank you notes.  There are beautiful full page photos of table settings, with the full view and close-ups.  The contents include coffees, cookouts, brunches and celebrations.  All include gorgeous invitations, menu cards or place cards. Suggestions I want to remember: 
  • Hostess gifts.  My favorite is a "breakfast nibble" to help with the morning after.  
  • Party rules:  There are "no return" on dishes.  If you take an item in a dish, don't expect to get it back.  
  • Know your guests food intolerances.  There is "no dish to die for".
  • Write charming thank you notes.  Don't be afraid to go over the top.

Recipes I tested include the two pictured above:  Beef Bourguignon and Potatoes Dauphinoise.  I added additional vegetables to the beef entree.  My potatoes were made with skim milk instead of whole.  I haven't purchased Swiss Cheeses for a while, and many of the recipes in this book are made with that-but I like the taste of Swiss Cheese, with less sodium and fat than most other cheeses.

My version of the Squash and Swiss Cheese Casserole included added vegetables and a little Ricotta cheese and Greek yogurt. It was delicious out of the oven and reheated the next day.

These Cheese Tomato Tartlets were absolutely delicious.  I made the dough (using 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 all purpose flour) one morning, refrigerated, cutout, filled and baked that evening.  The dough recipe made twice as much as the printed yield, though my version of the pastry was probably thinner.

I also tried the Swiss Fondue, which was not quite as "modern" to us seniors.  

It's winter here, so my Pasta Salad with Chicken became the hot version and the Tomato Relish and Marinated Vegetables will have to wait for warmer weather.

This book probably would have been more useful to me in my catering days.  The recipes are for 12-24 and I rarely prepare for that many these days.  There are many adult drink recipes-which all sound good-though I doubt I ever have a need for those.  

The recipes often include processed foods for the breads, like hot roll mix, Bisquick and hush puppy mix.  I'd make my own and include whole grains.  While there are some vegetables, they are often presented as garnishes and centerpieces.  Many recipes involve lots of preparation, like the heirloom herbed tomatoes (these look wonderful) where the cherry tomatoes are blanched and peeled. 

I love the quote that concludes the book:  "A recipe is a story that ends with a good meal.  Just remember there's more than one way to tell it" 

Thank you Meredith Publishing for the complimentary review copy.  The above post and pictures are my own.  I received no other compensation for this review, other than the pleasure of an enjoyable read and eating experience!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Book Review: Martina's Kitchen Mix

"Cooking is like singing-when I have something delicious, I want to share it!"  Martina McBride's philosophy on good recipes is one I too share.  This 'recipe playlist for real life' is a good one in that it involves getting into the kitchen and using whole foods to create the many components of a healthy meal.  The ingredients include a variety of colorful vegetables, dried beans, non-processed meats, poultry and seafood and some whole grains.  It was easy for me to prepare my weekly menu around this cookbook-and I was able to prepare the recipes using the foods I had on hand.

I highlighted several entrees I wanted to try.  The Pan Roasted Halibut I prepared (above) was an easy one to put together after a busy day away from home.  My breading is made from a ground whole grain cracker.  (I ground that in the morning before I left the house.)  It includes vitamin rich spinach and tomatoes, olive oil and a sustainable seafood.  My pesto butter is prepared with a vegan buttery spread.

The Taco Rice Bowl I prepared has leftover Christmas turkey breast in place of the recommended seafood.  I applaud her choice of brown rice.  A simple seasoning of chili powder and cumin was all I needed to add to the cooked rice and turkey for a flavorful base of the beans and vegetables.

The Fresh Apple Cake is so moist and delicious.  I enjoyed a piece today at room temperature without ice cream.  My cake is made with half whole wheat flour, 1/2 the salt and 1/3 the added sugar.  I like the variety of nuts Martina uses in her recipes.  In this one, I ground a mix of walnuts and pecans.  I did not prepare the caramel sauce.

Martina was right in that the deliciousness of the Thai Slaw was in the dressing-which I prepared as in the cookbook recipe with the addition of pineapple juice in place of the lime juice.  The dressing was excellent.  There is a nice assortment of fresh vegetables-cabbage for vitamin C, carrots for vitamin A and carotene and red peppers for more vitamin C.  There's edamame and shelled peanuts-another plus for me with the addition of legumes and good fats!

I did not take a picture of the Grilled Pineapple Salsa.  It too was delicious and made good use of my leftover fresh pineapple from Christmas.

Tonight's meal featuring the Cream of Tomato Soup and Pumpkin Cornbread recipes was delightful. I see why Martina's youngest daughter likes the soup.  It was simple blend of sauteed vegetables (onion, garlic, celery and red pepper), chicken broth and diced canned tomatoes.  I use a low sodium chicken broth and chose evaporated skim milk in place of cream.  My tomatoes are canned without added salt.  For my cornbread, I used whole grain cornmeal and fresh ground local popcorn for half the flours.  The pumpkin was pureed from a fresh pie pumpkin.  Using 3 tablespoon of sugar instead of the recommended 8 tablespoons was plenty.  In place of sour cream, I used plain nonfat yogurt.   My cornbread was made in portion controlled muffin tins instead of the square baking dish. 

My Kitchen Prayer-from a plaque in the kitchen of Martina's Grandma-expresses my feeling as I create meals.  "Bless my little kitchen-I love every nook".

Thank you Meredith Publishing for the complimentary review copy.  The above post and pictures are my own.  I received no other compensation for this review, other than the pleasure of an enjoyable read and eating experience!


Sunday, December 23, 2018

Whole Grain Cornmeal Crescent Rolls

These soft colorful rolls with the slight crunch of whole grain cornmeal had a delightful taste that complemented the fresh baked turkey or glazed ham we served for this Christmas meal with Bob's brother.  Since the recipe made 16 large rolls, we had plenty to eat with leftovers as sandwiches too.

I started with a recipe from Southern Living Magazine.   I used whole grain cornmeal and whole wheat flour for half the flours in the recipe.  I mixed the dough the night before and refrigerated overnight.  This morning I shaped the rolls and refrigerated until about 1 hour before baking.  They rose nicely and even more when baked.  There was no need to brush with butter after removing from the oven-as the finished product was soft and delightful.

Whole Grain Cornmeal Crescent Rolls

(Serves 16)

Bring milk to a simmer on stove top.  Stir in cornmeal for 30 seconds.  Remove from heat and cool 10 minutes.
1 cup skim milk
2/3 cup whole grain cornmeal

In bowl of electric mixer with dough hook in place, mix flour, yeast and sugar.
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar

Gradually add warm water to mixer bowl.  Beat at medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
1 cup 125 F water

Add eggs, sugar, salt, melted buttery stick and more flour.  Beat at medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
2 eggs, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttery stick, melted
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup all purpose flour

With mixer on low speed, gradually add remaining flour, kneading for about 8 minutes.
2 cups all purpose flour

Place dough in bowl greased with olive oil spray.  Turn to coat.  Cover and place in refrigerator overnight.

Punch dough down.  Divide in half.  Roll half into a 13 inch circle.  Cut in 8 wedges.  Roll each wedge to 9 inches.  Starting with wide end, roll dough.  Place point side down onto parchment lined baking sheet.  Coat with olive oil spray.  Cover.  If not baking for a while, place covered tray in refrigerator until 45 minutes before placing in oven.

Repeat with remaining dough.

Let rise at room temperature for 45 minutes.

Bake at 400 F for approximately 25 minutes.  Remove from parchment lined paper and baking sheet to cool or serve.


Thursday, December 20, 2018

Book Review: Breakfast-the Best Meal of the Day

"Get your spatula out and stay in your kitchen.  Say no to brunch lines and oat bars-you'll realize how exciting breakfast can be!"  I am one who loves to eat breakfast food for any meal of the day.  And I agree that breakfast food is economical.  "When you're broke, breakfast is hot, buttered hope." 

This cook, by the editors of Extra Crispy, has lots of recipes, 100 photos and great graphics.  I enjoy the history of foods ("Thank goats for coffee").  There are many cooking and preparation tips.  (The temperature of water to poach eggs is between 160 and 180 F.).  
I'm one who knows that breakfast food can be made with healthy ingredients.  This book features many meals with eggs.  The book is inclusive of recipes with vegetables, fruit and dairy.  There are even some with whole grains.

My recipe testing included:

 Breakfast Strudel
(Mine has unsweetened applesauce and part-skim ricotta cheese)

Granola Coffeecake
(Mine made in individual bundt pans with part whole wheat flour)  

Green Shakshuka
(I enjoy "cleaning out the crisper" of assorted green vegetables)

Pot Sticker Huevos Ranchero  
(This was my favorite-my dumpling is filled with mashed cooked pinto beans, 
chili powder and cheddar-brushed with egg and baked, not fried.  I was out of 
tomatoes, yet found plenty of vegetables to saute and finish with an egg) 

Texas Red Chili with Egg
(Each serving of ours has the equivalent of 1/2 sirloin steak, made with sweet peppers and chili powder instead of hot peppers. That's 1/2 Khachapuri bread on the side)
(This delightful boat shaped bread is filled and topped with a ricotta and blended cheese mix, partially baked, then finished with a baked egg). 
Fruit Mimosa
(Fresh sliced fruit with a mix of wine or liquor and fruit juice)
      Cornmeal Pancakes
(I was out of maple syrup, but the mascarpone, applesauce 
and strawberries suited me just fine)

 Thank you Meredith Publishing for the complimentary review copy.  The above post and pictures are my own.  I received no other compensation for this review, other than the pleasure of an enjoyable read and eating experience!