Cactus Cooler

Based on the drink served at Macheezmo Mouse in the ’80s.

2 cups decaf Earl Grey Tea, chilled
2 cups fresh orange juice, chilled
1 cup apple juice, chilled
1/2 cup Mint Simple Syrup, chilled
Lemon juice, chilled, to taste (1/2 cup?)
Sparkling water, to taste, optional

Serve over ice.

Mint Simple Syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (packed) mint leaves

In a 2 cup glass measure, heat the water in the microwave until boiling. Stir in the sugar until dissolved. Add the mint leaves and steep for 30 minutes. Strain, cool, and refrigerate.

Published in: on July 3, 2021 at 2:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Peachberry Buckle

Slightly adapted from King Arthur Baking

This is rather coffeecake-ish and would be lovely any time of day.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 4 tablespoons (57g) butter, at room temperature, at least 65°F
  • 3/4 cup (149g) sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup (113g) milk, at room temperature

Filling

  • 1 cup (142g to 170g) berries, chopped if large (e.g., strawberries)
  • 1 cup (213g) sliced peaches, peeled or not, your choice (unpeeled was totally fine)

Topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ round cake pan.
  2. To make the cake: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar.
  3. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  4. Stir in the baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
  5. Add the flour in three additions, stirring it in alternately with the milk, and beginning and ending with the flour. Set the batter aside while you make the topping.
  6. To make the topping: Mix all of the ingredients until crumbly. Don’t over-mix, or you’ll get a smooth paste, rather than crumbs.
  7. To assemble the buckle: Spread half the batter (about 10 ounces) in the prepared pan. Layer with the peach slices.
  8. Fold the blueberries into the remaining batter, and dollop it on top; a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here.
  9. Sprinkle the topping over the batter.
  10. Bake the buckle for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until it’s a deep golden brown and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  11. Remove the buckle from the oven, and cool it on a rack. Serve warm, or at room temperature. Store at room temperature, wrapped in plastic, for several days; freeze for longer storage.
Published in: on June 22, 2021 at 4:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Slightly adapted from King Arthur Baking

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F; lightly grease an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Add the salt, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder, cocoa, and flour, mixing until well combined.
  4. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate chips.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake the bread for 65 to 75 minutes, until the loaf tests done (a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center will come out clean, save for perhaps a light smear of chocolate from the melted chips).
  7. Remove the bread from the oven, and let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes before turning it out of the pan onto a rack.
  8. Cool completely before slicing; store well-wrapped, at room temperature.
Published in: on June 22, 2021 at 4:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cauliflower Quesadillas

Slightly modified from Charred Cauliflower Quesadillas from Smitten Kitchen

Deb writes: Poblanos are very mild hot peppers. You could use fewer or swap them with a small bell pepper for less heat, or swap one or both with a hotter jalapeño or other chile for more heat.
Kristin says: I didn’t have a poblano on hand, and didn’t want the heat of a jalapeno, so I substituted a small can of chopped fire-roasted green chiles and it was delicious (and made the recipe even easier and quicker).

Yield: 6 quesadillas, serves 6

2 small or 1 large fresh poblano chiles OR 1 can (small or large, as you choose) chopped fire-roasted green chiles
1 small head cauliflower, cored and cut into rough 1-inch chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for cooking quesadillas
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 cups (about 8 ounces) coarsely grated Monterey jack cheese
12 small (7-inch) flour tortillas OR 6 burrito-sized tortillas, cut in half

If using fresh peppers:
Char peppers: Over a gas burner turned to high, hold the poblanos over the flame with tongs and char them until they are black and blistered all over. Alternatively, you could do this under a broiler, turning them frequently for even blistering. Transfer hot chiles to a bowl and cover tightly with foil. Set aside to steam and let their skins loosen while you cook the cauliflower.

Char cauliflower: In a large bowl, toss cauliflower with 3 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper, until it’s evenly coated. Heat your largest heaviest frying pan over high heat until almost smoking, add cauliflower, and let it cook until each piece has a few black spots but is not mushy, turning and moving it frequently to ensure even cooking. This will take 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer florets to cutting board to rest.

Mix filling:
If using fresh peppers:
When poblanos are cool enough to handle, peel the charred skin off with your fingertips or a paring knife. Pull out and discard stems and seed clusters, and slice peppers into 1/4-inch wide strips.

Add (fresh or canned) peppers to cauliflower on board and give both a rough chop together, reducing the cauliflower to no bigger than 1/2-inch chunks. Return cauliflower and peppers to the large bowl, add scallions, lime juice and salt to taste. You should have about 2 cups of cauliflower filling.

Assemble and cook quesadillas: Lay out 6 tortillas and spread 1/3 cup cauliflower filling and 1/3 cup shredded cheese on each. Place second 6 tortillas on top as lids. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, coat lightly with olive oil and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook quesadillas until browned underneath, about 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully a flip — a large, thin spatula helps here — and repeat on the second side. Repeat with remaining quesadillas.

To serve: Cut quesadillas into wedges and serve with your choice of fixings. Two choices are below.

Cumin-Lime Crema

1/2 cup sour cream or Mexican crema
A few gratings fresh lime zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of salt

Combine, adjust seasonings to taste, and serve alongside quesadillas.

Lazy Taco Slaw

1 bag coleslaw mix, or 3 cups finely shredded red cabbage and 1 coarsely grated carrot
Coarse salt
Juice of half a lime
2 scallions, sliced thin
A dollop of mayonnaise, sour cream or plain yogurt
A dash of hot sauce (optional)
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley leaves

Toss cabbage mix, salt and lime together in a large bowl; set aside for 5 minutes. It will shrink down a bit. Stir in scallions, then mayo and hot sauce. Adjust seasonings/ingredients to taste, then stir in cilantro leaves. Serve alongside quesadillas or any of your favorite tortilla-clad meals.

Published in: on June 5, 2021 at 1:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

Simple Beef Stew

Lynda Balslev is a cookbook author, food and travel writer, and recipe developer based in the San Francisco Bay area.

Total Time: 3 1/2 hours

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

2 1/2 pounds beef chuck, excess fat trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large shallot, finely chopped, about 1/4 cup
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 cups dark beer, such as porter or stout, divided
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 cups beef or chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 large carrots, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large yellow onion, cut into 1-inch chunks

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Season the beef with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. (Burns family note: Use Le Creuset Dutch oven.) Add the beef in batches in one layer, without overcrowding, and brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate and repeat with remaining beef.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from the Dutch oven. Add the shallot and saute until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Add 1/2 cup beer to the pot and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits with a spoon. When the beer is nearly evaporated, add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly caramelized, about 1 minute. Return the beef to the pot and stir to coat.

Add the remaining 1 cup beer, the stock, bay leaf, brown sugar, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. The meat should be just covered with liquid. If not, add additional stock to cover. Bring to a boil, then cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook until the meat is tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

While the meat is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots, potatoes and onions and lightly season with salt. Saute until the vegetables begin to soften without browning, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the carrots, onions and potatoes to the stew and stir to combine. Return to the oven and cook, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender and the sauce slightly thickened, 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove bay leaf and serve warm ladled into bowls.

Sean: Omit carrots and potatoes

Published in: on April 11, 2021 at 8:23 am  Leave a Comment  

Meyer Lemon Loaf Cake

Modified from recipe by Erin McDowell on PureWow

Just delicious, and the perfect texture.

Makes one 9-by-5-inch loaf (about 8 servings)

½ cup (113g) butter, at room temperature
¼ cup (60g) vegetable oil
1 cup (212g) light brown sugar
½ cup (99g) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Meyer lemon zest
3 large (170g) eggs
½ teaspoon lemon extract
2 cups + 2 Tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
¾ cup (170g) light sour cream
demerara sugar

Glaze – optional (I didn’t use it)

1 cup (113g) confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
1 tablespoon heavy cream, plus more as needed
Meyer lemon zest, as needed for finishing

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
Or make 8 mini-loaves (bake for 25 minutes); or 4 mini-loaves (bake for 25 minutes) and 6-8 cupcakes (bake for 20 minutes).

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition until fully incorporated, then scraping the side of the bowl before adding the next. Add the lemon extract and mix to combine.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add half the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix to combine. Add the sour cream and mix until incorporated, then add the remaining flour and mix to combine.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread into an even layer. If you won’t be glazing the cake, sprinkle the top with demerara sugar. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (or with just a few moist crumbs), 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Make the Glaze (If Using): In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and cream to form a thick glaze. It should fall off the spoon in a thick drizzle, but if it’s too thick, add more cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches the desired consistency. Spoon over the cooled loaf, then garnish with lemon zest. Let set 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Published in: on March 22, 2021 at 11:46 am  Leave a Comment  

Bacon

Pork bacon

At the store: check the packages and select the meatiest bacon.

When ready to cook: Open the package and take out all the slices of bacon in one block.

With a sharp knife, cut the whole block of slices in half cross-wise. You will now have twice as many short slices. These shorter slices are easier to manage in the pan and to get them cooked evenly. Trim large areas of fat from the sides and ends of the slices. Wrap the fat scraps tightly in the bacon packaging, secure with a rubber band, and throw in the garbage can outside.

Place a large cast-iron or non-stick skillet on the stove and turn on the heat to medium. Lay as many trimmed slices in the cold pan that will fit without touching each other. Let the slices cook on the first side for a few minutes, then turn with a fork. Repeat cooking and turning until the slices are as done as you like.

Cover a large plate with three layers of paper towels. Lay the cooked bacon on the paper towels in a single layer to drain.

Under your sink you should keep an empty rinsed-out can from soup or tomatoes or beans. Now get out that can and put it in the sink. Cover the bacon pan handle with a potholder, grab the pan and take it over to the sink and pour the bacon grease into the can. (Grease/drippings should never be poured down the sink to avoid clogging the plumbing. Bacon grease will solidify completely within several hours. Drippings from cooking chicken may stay a bit liquid so be careful not to knock over the can.)

Return the pan to the stove and cook the remaining bacon in batches. (I recommend cooking the whole package of bacon in one session.)

Put the bacon grease can back under the sink. (When the can is eventually full, put it into a plastic bag [a newspaper bag, or a bread bag is good], twist the bag at the top of the can, pull the top of the bag back over the can, and secure the bag with a rubber band around the can. Take this carefully out to the garbage and put it in the garbage can right-side up.)

Refrigerate leftovers.

To reheat slices: warm in a pan on the stove; or put on a plate, cover with a paper towel, and microwave for a few seconds at a time until as hot as you like.

Turkey bacon

At the store: select a package without any large white bits appearing in the bacon slices – they could be bone or cartilage, which you don’t want to eat.

When ready to cook: Open the package. Place a large cast-iron or non-stick skillet on the stove and turn on the heat to medium. Lay as many slices in the cold pan as will fit without touching each other.

Place a large cast-iron or non-stick skillet on the stove and turn on the heat to medium. Lay trimmed slices in the cold pan so they are not touching each other. Let the slices cook on the first side for a few minutes, then turn with a fork. Repeat cooking and turning until the slices are as done as you like.

Cover a large plate with three layers of paper towels. Lay the cooked bacon on the paper towels in a single layer to drain.

Repeat with remaining bacon.

Turkey bacon is best served immediately. It gets rather hard and leathery when reheated so I don’t recommend cooking it ahead to serve another day.

Published in: on March 21, 2021 at 8:03 am  Leave a Comment  

Whole Wheat Biscuits

These did not rise much, but they were tasty and easy.

2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter, cold, cut into small pieces.
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup milk

Put the dry ingredients into a medium-sized bowl. Stir them together with your pastry blender until evenly mixed.

Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs (with the occasional lump).

Add the milk and buttermilk and mix with a rubber spatula until the dough just holds together. Do not overmix. Dump onto a floured board or smooth counter.

Pat it out flat with your hands into ¾-inch thick square or rectangle (sprinkle with a little flour if necessary).

Using a sharp knife, cut the into 12 equal squares/rectangles.

Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet or in a cast iron skillet and bake at 450 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy while warm.

Published in: on March 10, 2021 at 5:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ellie Krieger’s Zucchini-Walnut Bread

From “Comfort Food Fix”.
This bread is barely sweet and quite delicious for a healthy treat.

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoonbaking soda
1/2 teaspoonnutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 large eggs
1 small zucchini (6 oz), coarsely grated (about 1 1/4 c)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350° F. Coat 9″x5″ loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. In another large bowl, whisk together oil, applesauce, and eggs. Stir in zucchini. Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients, add the walnuts, and stir with a rubber spatula just enough to combine.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until wooden skewer inserted into center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool 15 minutes in pan, then transfer bread to rack to cool completely before slicing.

NUTRITION (per serving: 1″ thick slice) 270 cal, 5 g pro, 33 g carb, 3 g fiber, 14 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 250 mg sodium

Published in: on February 21, 2021 at 11:39 am  Leave a Comment  

Ellie Krieger’s One-Skillet Grain Bowl with Chicken, Spinach, and Tahini Dressing

From Whole in One

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, pounded to 1/2″ thickness
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided, plus lemon wedges for serving
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 cups fresh baby spinach
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 cups quick-cooking (fine) bulgur wheat
1/4 cup tahini
1 cup diced cucumber (or more)
1 cup chopped fresh tomato (or more)
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves

Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Heat 1 Tablespoon of the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet, then lower the heat to medium and cook until the the chicken is browned and cooked through, 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes, then slice it across the grain and drizzle with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the lemon juice.

Heat the remaining Tablespoon of oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Then, stir in the spinach and cook until it is just wilted, 1 minute more. Transfer the spinach mixture to a bowl. Season it with 1/8 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper.

Add the broth to the skillet and bring to a boil, then stir in the bulgur. Lower the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 8 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to steam, covered, until the bulgur is tender, 5-7 minutes more. Fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, make the tahini dressing: stir together the tahini and the remaining 1 1/2 Tablespoons of lemon juice with 2 Tablespoons of water, then add more water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until the sauce is the consistency of a thin pancake batter. (The mixture will seize up at first, but don’t worry — it will become smooth again as you add the water.) Stir in the remaining 1/8 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper.

To serve, put 1 cup of the bulgur into each of four bowls and top with a few slices of chicken, some spinach, cucumber, tomato, and olives. Drizzle with the tahini dressing and top with the parsley leaves.

Each of the elements will keep in the refrigerator in separate containers for up to 4 days.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: Calories 490: Total fat 20 g (Sat Fat 3 g, Mono Fat 16 g, Poly Fat 6 g); Protein 37 g; Carb 43g; Fiber 8 g; Cholesterol 85 mg; Sodium 520 mg; Total Sugar 2g (Added Sugar 0 g.)

Excellent source of: copper, fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, pantothenic acid, phosphorous, potassium, protein, selenium, thiamine, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K.

Good source of: calcium, riboflavin, zinc.

Published in: on February 7, 2021 at 6:06 am  Leave a Comment