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  

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

slightly modified from Sugar Spun Run

This coffee cake (which we love as a dessert too) is super-cinnamony, which is perfect for our family. You can cut back on the cinnamon a bit if you prefer.

Streusel Topping

1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon table salt
10 Tablespoons butter, cut up into about 10 pieces, so it will melt more quickly

Cake

1/2 cup butter, softened
8 oz low-fat cream cheese softened
1 cup light brown sugar tightly packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup buttermilk

Cinnamon Ripple

Whisk together in a small bowl
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon

Glaze (optional)

Whisk together in a small bowl
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2-3 teaspoons milk

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 13×9 baking pan.

Prepare the streusel topping: Microwave butter in a small bowl or glass measuring cup for 10 seconds, stir, then another 10 seconds, repeating until just melted. Set aside to cool a bit. In a medium bowl, using a fork, stir together flours, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  Add the melted butter and stir until combined. Set aside.

Make the cake: In a stand mixer, or using an electric mixer in large bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Scrape down sides and bottom of mixing bowl with rubber spatula. Stir in vanilla extract.

In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, cornstarch and salt.

Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients, alternating with buttermilk, until all of the flour mixture and buttermilk have been combined.

Spread about half of the batter into prepared pan (batter will be thick). Sprinkle the cinnamon ripple mixture evenly over the batter. Using two teaspoons or a small cookie dough scoop, drop small spoonfuls of the remaining batter evenly over the cinnamon ripple layer, covering it as much as you can. With your fingers, sprinkle streusel evenly over everything. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes (check doneness with a toothpick inserted in center). Allow to cool, then glaze if desired.

Glaze (optional)
If desired, make glaze by whisking together powdered sugar and milk.  Drizzle over cooled coffee cake with a spoon.

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Individual servings are delicious when warmed slightly in the microwave, 10-30 seconds depending on the size of the piece.

Published in: on December 31, 2020 at 9:15 am  Leave a Comment  

Blueberry Oat Scones

slightly adapted from a recipe in Bon Appetit magazine, July 2009 issue

Makes 11-12

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup packed golden brown sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
11 Tablespoons (1 stick plus 3 Tablespoons) chilled butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 cup old fashioned oats
3 Tablespoons quick oats (this is for the topping.  you can use old fashioned for this if you don’t have quick)
1 cup fresh or frozen (unthawed) blueberries (about 5.5 oz)
1 3/4 cups half & half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 teaspoons raw sugar (aka turbindo or demerara)

Position 1 rack in the top third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and coarse salt in food processor; blend 5 seconds.  Add butter cubes.  Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.  Gently stir in 1 cup of old fashioned oats and the blueberries.

Add the vanilla to the measuring cup the half & half is in, and stir it in.  Gradually add this to the flour mixture, tossing until the dough just comes together (dough will be very moist).

Using a 1/2-cup measure for each scone, drop dough in mounds onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing 3″ apart.  Sprinkle tops with the quick oats, then the raw sugar.

Bake 15 minutes.  Reverse sheets and continue baking until scones are golden and a tester inserted into the center from the side comes out clean, about 12 more minutes.  Transfer scones to a rack and col slightly.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Freeze if storing for longer than 1 day.

 

 

Published in: on July 25, 2020 at 7:33 am  Leave a Comment  

Granola Biscotti

Very slightly modified from the recipe in smitten kitchen EVERY DAY

Makes 36 biscotti.

1 cup (130 grams) all purpose or whole wheat pastry flour
1.5 cups plus 2 tablespoons (130 grams) rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table or fine sea salt
6 Tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted, or virgin coconut oil, warmed until liquified
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated or raw (turbinado) sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) light- or dark-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1/2 cup (45 grams) thinly sliced almonds (I used slivered and it was fine)
1/2 cup (40 grams) shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup (about 150 grams) dried fruit of your choice, such as raisins, cranberries, cherries or chopped dried apricots, or a mix
1 egg white (I skipped this and it was fine)

Mix the flour, rolled oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bow. Whisk the melted butter (or coconut oil) and sugars in a large bowl.  Whisk in the eggs and vanilla.  Stir in the dry ingredients, nuts, coconut, and dried fruit.  Expect a stiff batter.

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat to 325 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

OPn a floured board, using floured hands, roll half the dough into a log a little shy of the length of your baking sheet, 12 to 14 inches.  Transfer the dough log to the baking sheet, and pat lightly to flat it to about 1/2″ thickness.  Repeat with the second half of the dough.  Beat the egg white until foamy, and brush it over the logs.  Bake the logs for2 0 minutes, untl they are lightly golden brown and begnning to form crakcs.

Let cool almost completely (it’s okay if the centers are still lukewarm), about 1 hour.  With a serrated knife, ut the logs on the bias into 1/2″-thick slices.  They will be crumbly; cut as gently as possible.  Transfer the slices back to the parchment-lined baking sheet, and lay on their cut side in a single layer.  Bake for another 20 minutes, until toasted and crisp.

Cool on the baking sheet, or transfer to a rack.

NOTE:  This recipe should prove very tweakable; you could use cinnamon, or almond extract, add citrus zest, very the fruits and sweeteners.  You could add some chocolate chips.

DO AHEAD:  They keep in an airtight container at room temp for up to 2 weeks, and longer if well wrapped in the freezer.

Published in: on December 30, 2017 at 12:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Apple-Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal with Walnuts

From You Have It Made by Ellie Krieger

6 servings

3/4 cup walnut pieces, chopped, divided
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
2 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups 1% milk
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 medium apples, unpeeled, cored, and cut into 1/2″ dice (2 cups)
1/2 cup raisins

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Coat an 8″ square baking dish or 9″ deep dish pie plate with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup of the walnuts, the brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, the remaining 1/2 cup walnuts, baking powder, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and the salt.  In another bowl, whisk the milk maple syrup, egg, oil and vanilla.  Pour the liquid ingredients over the oat mixture and stir to combine.  Stir in the apple and raisins.
  4. Pour into the prepared baking dish.  Top with the walnut-brown sugar mixture.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until it is set and the top is golden.
  5. Store leftovers in the fridge.  Warm individual servings in the microwave for about 60 seconds.

Serving size:  1 1/4 cups.  Per serving:  Calories 420; Total Fat 18g (Mono Fat 5.5g, Poly Fat 9.1g, Sat Fat 2.4g) Protein 10g; Carb 58g; Fiber 6g, Cholesterol 35mg; Sodium 330mg; Excellent Source of: Fiber, Calcium, Maganese, Protein, Riboflavin; Good source of: Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potasium.

Published in: on July 17, 2016 at 5:24 am  Comments (1)  

To Try: Almond Puff Loaf

Almond Puff Loaf

At a Glance

Prep
30 mins.
Bake
60 mins.
Total
1 hrs 30 mins.
Yield
16 to 20 servings

The recipe for this buttery, flaky, tender confection has been around for years and years but, like all fine classics, its beauty never fades. It’s incredibly easy to make, yet tastes and looks as though a professionally trained pastry chef might have labored over it for hours. Hey, a little subterfuge never hurts any bakers’ reputation!

First Layer

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) high-quality butter*, cut into pats or 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract
  • *If you’re using unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Second Layer

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter*
  • 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature; warm them, in the shell, in hot tap water for 10 minutes if they’re cold from the fridge
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • *If you’re using unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Topping

  • 2/3 cup jam or preserves
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds, toasted in a 350°F oven for about 7 to 10 minutes, or until they’re a light, golden brown

Icing

  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ or glazing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 teaspoons milk or water (approximately)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) a large cookie sheet.
  2. First layer: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the butter, flour, and salt (if you’re using it), working the butter into the flour with a pastry blender or fork, your fingers, or a mixer. Mix until everything is crumbly, then stir in the water. The dough will become cohesive, though not smooth.
  3. Divide the dough in half; if you’re using a scale, each half will weigh about 4 5/8 ounces. Wet your hands, and shape each piece of this wet dough into a rough log. Pat the logs into 10″ x 3″ rectangles on the sheet, leaving at least 4″ (but preferably 6″) between them, and 2″ on each side. These puff up in the oven (hence the name), and you need to leave them room for expansion.
  4. Second layer: In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the water and butter to a boil. Stir until the butter melts, then add the flour (and salt, if you’re using it) all at once. Stir the mixture with a spoon till it thickens, begins to steam, and leaves the sides of the pan; this will happen very quickly.
  5. Transfer the stiff batter to a mixing bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat it at medium speed for 30 seconds to 1 minute, just to cool it down a bit.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; beat until the batter loses its “slimy” look, and each egg is totally absorbed.
  7. Mix in the almond extract.
  8. Divide the batter in half. Spread half the batter over one of the dough strips on the pan, covering it completely. Repeat with the remaining batter and dough.
  9. With a spatula (or your wet fingers) spread the batter until it completely covers the entire bottom layer of dough. Smooth it out as best you can.
  10. Bake the pastry for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until it’s a deep golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and transfer each pastry to a wire rack.
  11. Topping: Spread each warm pastry with about 1/3 cup of jam or preserves. (Any flavor is fine, but our favorites are raspberry and apricot.)
  12. Sprinkle the toasted almonds atop the jam. By this time, your beautifully puffed pastries are probably starting to sink; don’t worry, this is all part of the plan.
  13. Icing: Stir together the sugar, vanilla, and enough milk or water to form a thick but “drizzlable” icing.
  14. Drizzle the icing atop the pastries.
  15. Cut into squares or strips to serve.
Published in: on May 30, 2016 at 12:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Broccoli Quiche Lorraine

from The Moms’ Guide to Meal Makeovers

Serves 4

2 cups fresh broccoli
2 Tablespoons dried whole wheat bread crumbs
2 ounces lean ham, diced
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
5 large eggs
1 cup 2% milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
pinch of pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Steam the broccoli until tender, about 5 minutes.  Chop to desired size (I suggest smallish) and set aside.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Butter the bottom and sides of a 9″ pie pan and sprinkle with the bread crumbs.  Arrange the broccoli, ham and cheddar cheese in the bottom of the pie pan.  Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, thyme and pepper in a medium bowl.  Pour over the broccoli and top with the Parmesan.  Bake uncovered until golden brown, 35-40 minutes.

Ma yes
Sean no
Anna yes
Sam no

Published in: on February 12, 2016 at 4:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sweet Potato Home Fries

image

I am not a sweet potato fan in general.  I am happy to say that this recipe (slightly modified from the recipe by the great Jeanne Lemlin, in her book “Simply Satisfying”) is delicious and super-easy!!

Serves 4

4 medium sweet potatoes or yams (about 1.5 lbs), peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
1/4 cup oil (olive, canola, whatever you like)
2 large onions, cut into 1″ dice
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
other spices to taste (cayenne?  chili powder?  Cajun seasoning?)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Toss everything together in a large bowl.  Spread on a large sheet pan in a single layer.  Bake for 50 – 70 minutes, until as brown as you desire, turning every 20 minutes.

Published in: on January 2, 2016 at 7:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Diner Hash Browns

serves 4

3 small Russet potatoes
1 Tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons butter

Put a large skillet on medium-high heat.  Add the oil and butter.  Peel potatoes, rinse them, and dry them completely with a clean kitchen towel.  Place a clean dry kitchen towel (but not your favorite one, because the potatoes will stain it brown) on the counter, and put your box grater on it.  Grate potatoes on the large holes.  Remove grater, bring the edges of the towel together with the potatoes in the center and squeeze out water.  Repeat, moving the potatoes to a dry part of the towel.  On a large plate, place a double layer of paper towels. Spread the potatoes in an even layer and microwave on  high for 2 minutes.  Turn out the partially cooked potatoes into the hot skillet, pressing down with a spatula.  Cook for about 5 minutes, until as brown as you like on the bottom.  Turn in sections, adding more oil or butter for the second side if it seems necessary.  Cook for 4 or 5 minutes more until done.  Hold on a cookie sheet in a warm oven if necessary.

Published in: on December 18, 2015 at 7:06 am  Leave a Comment  

Poached Eggs

Select a saucepan with 2″ straight sides.  If it is not non-stick, pour in a half-teaspoon of canola oil and smear it all over the bottom and sides with a paper towel or pastry brush.  Add 1.5″ filtered water and 1/4 teaspoon salt, cover and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, have ready a slotted spoon (sprayed with cooking spray to make clean-up easier) and a small clean folded towel (I use a washcloth).  Break an egg into a small dish (or two eggs into two small dishes) being careful to keep the yolk intact.  When you’re ready for breakfast, turn off the heat under the pan of water, and just after the water has stopped boiling, pour the egg carefully into the water.  Repeat as needed.  Cover the pan and let it sit undisturbed for 3 minutes 30 seconds for a slightly runny yolk.  (Start the toast now!) When the timer goes off, remove the egg with the slotted spoon.  Bring your folded towel (in your other hand) to the slotted spoon and gently tip the spoon to drain off as much water as possible.  Spoon the egg onto a plate and repeat as necessary.  Serve immediately.

Published in: on November 24, 2015 at 8:03 am  Leave a Comment