Thursday, August 11, 2011

Spelt Pancakes

Gluten-free is definitely a food trend that I didn't quite understand until I tried it out for myself.  Well, I understand it, but I didn't quite catch the vision of it until recently.  Though this recipe is not considered entirely gluten-free, it is definitely low-gluten, and won't leave your stomach feeling super-ballooned.  We are quite picky about our pancakes (and waffles) around here, and whenever we see a new recipe, we try it out.  Very few actually make the cut though.  This pancake recipe passed with flying colors, and is now our go-to recipe for Saturday morning breakfast.

Spelt Pancakes
by Bon Appetit, July 2011

1 Cup whole grain spelt flour
1/4 Cup oat flour
1/4 Cup rice flour
1 T (packed) light brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 Cup rice milk, soy milk (or almond milk...mmm)
1/2 Cup plain whole-milk yogurt
3 large eggs
3 T olive oil plus more for griddle

Sift first 8 ingredients into a large bowl (or blend in food processor) and set aside.  Whisk together rice milk, yogurt, eggs, and 3 T of oil in medium bowl to blend.  Mix into dry ingredients and stir to blend (do not over mix).
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Preheat griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Lightly brush with oil.  Working in bathes, scoop 1/4 cup measurement for each pancake onto griddle.  Cook until bottoms are golden and top bubbles begin to pop.  Flip; cook until just cooked through, about 1 minute, then transfer to cookie sheet and place in warmed over until ready to eat.

Sare's notes:
I didn't have oat flour, but I had whole oats, so I just mixed them into powder in the food processor
We used almond milk instead of rice or soy.
Another variation could be to use flavored yogurt.  We used "Vanana" from Trader Joe's (it's a really mellow banana flavor, and it worked splendidly)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Warm Arugula and Mushroom Salad

Sometimes, I get inspired.  I mean really inspired...with food.  I was in one of my favorite little stores recently, and I grabbed a bag of arugula.  I never buy arugula, but I thought, why not.  When I got it home, I noticed a recipe on the bag.  I had everything except the goat cheese.  I know goat cheese, it's pretty incredible stuff, one of those ingredients that, if it is included, it pretty much canNOT be replaced, removed, or otherwise ignored.  I don't know if it was the next day, or just a handful of days later, but I returned to Trader Joe's and purchased some goat cheese.

This dish came together so quickly, and disappeared almost as fast.  The meatiness of mushrooms really helps when making vegetarian dishes.  Beware though.  If you have leftovers, they will shrink.  Or maybe you've just forgotten that you've been sneaking bites now and then.

Warm Arugula and Mushroom Salad
adapted from Trader Joe's

7oz. Trader Joe's Organic Arugula
6 oz portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced (or other mushrooms of choice, I used cremini)
1 Tbsp. minced shallots
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar (I used fig balsamic vinegar)
1/2 Cup crumbled goat chees
3 Tbsp. Pine nuts, lightly toasted (optional)

Saute shallots in olive oil until soft.  Add mushrooms and continue to saute until browned.  Toss mushrooms with arugula in large bowl. Add balsamic vinegar to coat, sprinkle with toasted pine nuts, and top with goat cheese.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Apple Cranberry Crisp and Review

Several months ago, I mentioned an upcoming review. And this post has actually been in need of some editing for quite some time. I know you've been on the edge of your seat to see what I was going to say.  I apologize for the delay.  Earlier this year, my family was stricken with many an illness.  Within this whole cycle of sickness, I decided to do some early spring cleaning (HA!  And now it is almost summer).  In that process, I got rid of 15 garbage bags worth of stuff that had cluttered my life.  I decided, if it wasn't helping me, it's getting the boot.

Happily, many things have remained with me.  Only useful things, mind you.  Among those which I have found most useful recently, is this handy little numberThe Microplane 45000 Gourmet Coarse Grater. A friend recommended this brand to me, so when I had the chance, I snatched one up from CSN, and I have not turned back.  My old hand held grater was probably never as sharp as this new one.

The grater comes with a sheath, keeping it protected in the knife drawer, or whichever gadget location of choice.  So far, I've used it on hard cheese, semi soft cheese, and for zesting oranges, but I know it also works well for grating chocolate.

The friend who recommended this wonderful gadget moved away and left me with some cranberries.  I did a quick search and found this recipe which turned out pleasingly sweet and tart.  So great, in fact, that I didn't get a picture of the end result.  Pictures of the process will have to do.

Apple Cranberry Crisp
by Emeril via Martha Stewart Recipes

unsalted butter for baking dish
  • 2 1/2 - 3 pounds sweet, firm apples, such as Gala or Braeburn, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 12 ounces cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • Crisp Topping (see below)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, combine apples, cranberries, sugar, flour, vanilla, and orange zest and juice. Transfer to baking dish and sprinkle with topping.
  3. Bake until topping is browned and juices are thick and bubbling around edges, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

    you can use fresh or frozen berries and there is no need to defrost before using.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pão de Queijo---Brazilian Cheese Bread

When I saw this post, over on Our Best Bites, I can't even describe the joy that consumed me.  You have to understand, I lived in Brazil for a year and a half, and have been missing it ever since.  I miss the people, the places, and the food.  There is something to be said about cooking food from scratch, and I experienced homemade goodness every day while living in Brazil.  One of my favorite things were these cute little cheese bread rolls called Pão de Queijo.  You have to make these for yourself to appreciate the bready cheesy goodness.  They kind of fill with air, and have a denser, cheesy squishy part.  The texture

I had quite the experience making these though.  I am now turned off of non-stick bakeware.  I don't want to gross anyone out, but check it out.

When I checked my little rolls, they looked perfect.

Then I removed them from the pan.  Bummer.  Lesson learned.

I made another batch in my regular cupcake pan (took a few more minute to bake), and they were wonderful.
Oh, and these are GLUTEN FREE!

Quick Brazilian Cheese Rolls {Pao de Queijo} – Gluten Free!
Recipe by Our Best Bites

1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup tapioca flour (sometimes labeled tapioca starch) no substitutions
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 C grated cheddar cheese* (preferably medium or sharp)
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
*you can play around with the cheese.  OBB's Sara has used Monterey Jack, low-moisture mozarella, swiss, and even gruyere in place of the cheddar.

Optional:  extra cheese to sprinkle on top and any herbs/flavorings you’d like to add.  Try rosemary and or garlic powder, my favorites!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place egg, milk, oil, tapioca flour, and salt in blender and blend until smooth.  Add cheeses and pulse 2 times.  Immediately pour batter into a mini muffin tin (if your muffin tin isn’t non-stick, spray lightly with non-stick spray first), filling each well about 3/4 full, or just slightly less.  If desired (and I recommend), sprinkle a bit of parmesan cheese on top and/or a tiny sprinkle of kosher salt.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until puffed and golden.  Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes before removing rolls from pan.  Serve warm. {Que Gostoso!}  These actually don’t re-heat well so I recommend making and eating fresh.
Yield: anywhere from 16-24 rolls, depending on how full you fill your muffin pan. I fill  mine pretty full (a good 3/4 full) and I generally get about 16-18.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Corn and Black Bean Quinoa

I just started receiving fresh organic produce a few weeks ago from a company that delivers right to your door.  Pretty awesome. (I am not going to give a huge plug for them or anything, but for anyone interested, I can give you a code to get you $5 off if you sign up and mention that I sent you)

I am still weighing the value of it all, but in addition to the great fruits and veggies we've received, the box also has a list of recipes.  I gave this recipe a try when we were going to a graduation party for one of my husband's (vegetarian) sisters.  Everyone loved it. One cousin even asked for the recipe.  I'd say that's a success.  I guess you can call this a salad.  It works well as a side dish for a summer party, but it would also serve as a main dish for those hot summer nights, which we will hopefully be receiving soon. Please, use fresh corn in this. My husband is anti-canned corn, so I didn't really have a choice, but I don't regret it either.

Corn and Black Bean Quinoa
from Farm Fresh to You

1 Cup uncooked Quinoa
1 can black beans, rinsed (or about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper (I used orange and the color was wonderful)
2-3 ears of corn, cooked and cut from the ear
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 TBSP red-wine vinegar
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/3 cup olive oil

Cook the quinoa in 2 cups of water in a 1 1/2 quart saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed (about 15 minutes).  Allow quinoa to cool.

Soak black beans in the vinegar until ready to use (you can use more vinegar if you like).  Drain beans, leaving a little bit of the vinegar if desired, and mix together quinoa, beans, corn, bell pepper, and cilantro.  Toss well.

In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, salt, and cumin, whisk quickly while pouring in the olive oil.  Pour into the quinoa salad evening, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Double the recipe for serving at BBQs and picnics

Monday, February 14, 2011

Random Thoughts from the Chilton "Kitchen"

I have a confession.

My kitchen has multiple personalities.  It is also a sewing room, classroom, and office.  Not too shabby for something the size of my parents' closet.  Speaking of office, the Modern Office Furniture offered by All Modern has really caught my eye. I wish we could re-arrange this multi-purpose room of ours, but alas, that will have to wait until we actually own a place.

I have a lot of posts in the works, but my camera hasn't been so helpful lately.  Would you rather have recipes without pictures, or recipes with somewhat unappetizing pictures? 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Another Review Coming Soon

I'm pleased that, once again, I've been asked to review a product for CSN.  Did you know that they have practically every houseware and furniture item you can imagine?  Even wardrobes!  What I wouldn't give for a little extra space in my house.  I wonder if they have kitchen wardrobes..hmmm, then it'd be called a cabinet I guess.  Or a buffet?  If I only had a house, this white buffet would top my wishlist. Or maybe this one in black.
Wow, I could spend hours sifting through their products, like this Le Creuset Carribean Blue Collection.

CSN has over 200 stores, so you are bound to find what you're looking for.

Thank you CSN Stores!