Friday, April 30, 2010

Honey-Oatmeal Bread

Yummy honey-oatmeal bread, which made delicious mint tea sandwiches for lunch. (See this post; and if you've never tried a mint tea sandwich, well, you simply haven't lived. Just sayin'.)

If you have a bread machine, you'll be able to throw together the ingredients for this in just minutes.

1 c. water
1 T. vegetable oil (I used Canola)
1/4 c. honey
1 t. salt
1 c. oatmeal
2 c. bread flour
2 1/2 t. yeast

Toss all ingredients into the bread machine pan and push the little button.


Recipe from The Bread Machine Cookbook II by Donna Rathmell German.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Chai (Indian Milk Tea)

Please ignore the muffled sobs coming from this little corner of the blogosphere. It's just me, quietly (ok, not so quietly) mourning the loss of my FAVORITE DRINK IN THE WHOLE WORLD, Starbucks' mocha frappuccino. The company has decided to discontinue the beloved old formula -- which is a whole 'nother matter -- but rather than continue to weep and wail over this sad day in American history, I have begun my quest for alternate wonderful beverages.
And this one's a fine start.
It contains plenty of sugar, making it a drink you'll want to consume in moderation. I'm choosing to call it dessert -- then I can calmly sit and sip my drink in peace.
CHAI (Indian Milk Tea)
3 c. cold water
2 three-inch cinnamon sticks, broken in half
1 1/2 T. loose tea
3/8 c. sugar
1 c. milk
In medium saucepan, combine water and cinnamon sticks. Bring to boil, then cover and boil for ten minutes. Add the tea. Return to boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered, for three minutes. Stir in sugar and milk until sugar dissolves. Cover and simmer for four more minutes. Strain before drinking. Serves 3. (You can keep this in the fridge and reheat in the microwave later.)
Do you have a great beverage recipe you'd be willing to share? Perhaps one that contains sugar, caffeine, and chocolate, she asks with a wee bit of hope in her voice?


Monday, April 19, 2010

This Week's Quiz

So what do you think? Which of the following recently-made dishes was the hands-down favorite, the one I'll be making again soon? Was it the sour cherry-chocolate chip scones, sprinkled with sugar?
Was it the potato, sliced almost all the way through and studded with onions and butter, topped with mushrooms and Parmesan cheese, then wrapped in foil and baked?

Was it the honey-balsamic mixed berry fruit salad?

Or was it the chocolate tea bread, flecked with chocolate chips?
Cue the Jeopardy music here. Doo doo doo, doo-doo, doo doo doooooo. Doo doo doo doo DOO! Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo.
Got your answer? You sure?
Okay, here's the scoop.
The scones were pretty good, but at the risk of sounding like a scone snob I've got to say they were not nearly as tender my regular chocolate chip scones. I won't be making these again -- though I'll definitely consider adding chopped dried sour cherries next time I make my favorites.
The potatoes? These were supposed to be slowly grilled on the barbecue as we roasted a chicken. But we were too engrossed in our weeding and wall-building to get to the store to buy the chicken to roast the chicken to roast the potatoes. So I ended up baking them instead. They were not bad, but I have plenty of potato recipes I like better. Like this one, for example; you can't go wrong with Mom's roasted garlic potato wedges.
The fruit salad? Delicious. A winner. If you guessed this one, you get a million billion points. Sorry, the points are redeemable for exactly nothing. But you get the pride of knowing you were absolutely, one hundred percent right. And how often do you get to hear that in your life? This dish was simple to make and the taste was outstanding -- two of my favorite qualities in a recipe. Best of all, I got to use some homegrown blackberries from last summer I still had stashed in the freezer. I will be making this one again. Soon. And repeatedly.
The chocolate tea bread was definitely in the running, but it crumbled when cut. Big time crumbled. It's hard to serve crumbs, even chocolate ones, to hungry guests. Sorry, chocolate tea bread. You were edged out by this nummy fruit salad.
2 c. mixed fresh berries (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.)
2 c. seedless green grapes
2 T. honey
2 T. balsamic vinegar
mint sprigs for garnish (optional)
Wash the fruit, drain, and place in bowl. Mix honey and vinegar; pour over fruit and mix gently. Refrigerate until time to eat.
NOTE: This recipe comes from the book The Universal Kitchen by Elisabeth Rozin.
NOTE #2: Rozin suggests serving this in small ripe cantaloupe halves (seeded, of course), one half cantaloupe per person. If I'd had cantaloupes on hand I would have done it; I'll bet it would be beautiful.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Red Snapper with Anchovy Butter

In our attempt to eat healthier, the Kahuna and I enjoyed this Weight Watchers meal for dinner tonight: red snapper topped with anchovy butter, small baked potato, vegetable, and V8 juice with celery stick.
I'm not sure if kids would go for this dish as the parsley and chives leave green flecks hovering suspiciously in plain view. But Kahuna gave it two thumbs up, making it a winner on my blog.
2 red snapper fillets (1/4 lb. each)
1 T. chopped shallots (or garlic)
2 t. chopped fresh parsley
2 t. dry vermouth (I substituted white wine vinegar)
2 t. lightly salted whipped butter (I used soft margarine)
1 t. mashed drained canned anchovies
1 t. lemon juice
1 t. chopped chives
1/4 t. Dijon mustard
With sharp knife, lightly score skin side of fillets and place (skin side down) on broiler pan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Mix together remaining ingredients, and spread evenly over fish. Broil, six to eight inches below heating element, for about five minutes, until fish flakes easily with fork. Transfer to plates and pour over any remaining juices from pan. Serves 2. (Recipe from this book.)
Now if we can just steer clear of these . . .


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Kiwi Cheesecake with Key Lime Sauce

Consider yourself fortunate if you have friends who invite you over for the occasional dinner. Consider yourself inordinately fortunate if said friends are amazingly good cooks.
We are inordinately fortunate.
I won't induce you to envy by describing our dinner of succulent smoked ribs, creamy potato salad, or beans simmered with bits of pork.
Envy is not an attractive quality and I want no part of leading you down that dark path.
But in the spirit of sharing that typifies bloggers and food lovers everywhere, I would like to share with you this dessert that our good friend and accomplished kitchen genie Stuart made for us the other night.

Cheesecake (you can buy it or make your own), topped with thinly sliced kiwi that's swimming in this key lime sauce.
Arrange kiwis artfully over creamy cheesecake, spoon on a bit of the sauce, and serve to applause.
Thank you, Stuart.