Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili

Every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving, out-of-town family visits and I’m in the mood for something other than leftover turkey. This year, Vegetarian Chili and Red Lentil and Barely Soup took center stage with lots of “fixin’s” on the side. As a time-saver, I made the chili ahead and froze it. After defrosting at room temperature for a day, it simmered over a low flame for a few hours. It was a hit! This hearty, healthy chili is so delicious, I’ve already made it again.

Chili is perfect when it’s, ummm, chilly! Stay warm, hon.

Vegetarian Chili

Ingredients:

1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 jalapeno, finely chopped (seeds and veins removed) (I omitted this since my family does’t like things too spicy.)
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
3 heaping tbsp tomato paste
3 soft plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup veggie stock or water
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1.Heat the olive oil in a pan* and add onions and garlic. Saute until translucent. Add the jalapeno (keep some of the vein and/or seeds for more heat) and saute for another minute.

2.Add the chili, cumin and garlic and continue to saute until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and saute for another 1-2 minutes.

3.Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally so that the chili doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add additional veggie stock, if needed.

*Tip: The first time I made this recipe, I sautéed the onions and garlic in a saute pan, followed the directions, and then poured the mixture in a large pot to simmer. The second time, I sautéed the onions and garlic directly in the large pot, added the remaining ingredients, and simmered. It was less work and just as yummy.

Source: http://www.busyinbrooklyn.com/vegetarian-chili-cornbread/

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Thanksgiving Dinner–Pumpkin Pie

Happy Thanksgiving!

For all of the bakers, here’s another great recipe. Happy holiday, hon!

PUMPKIN PIE

Basic Pie Crust:  Single Crust

(to make two pies crusts, see Double Pie Crust measurements in Apple Pie recipe)

1 1/3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1/4 cup ice water

Food Processor Directions:  Insert steel blade in food processor. Mix flour and salt, then place the mixture in the food processor. Add shortening and process until mixture resembles cornmeal (about 5 seconds). Slowly pour ice water through feed tube and process until dough forms a ball (about 5 to 10 seconds). Chill dough for easier handling.

Roll out ball of dough into a circle. Line a 9-inch pie dish with crust. Flute the edges.

Shortcut:  If you don’t have time to make your own crust, use store-bought pie crusts.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Filling (for one pie)

2 eggs

2/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 16 ounce can cooked pumpkin

1 13 ounce can evaporated milk–0R–3 ounces non-dairy creamer

1 egg, beaten (used to brush on top of crust before baking)

Beat 2 eggs in a large mixing bowl.  Add remaining ingredients except extra egg to be brushed on crust and blend thoroughly.  Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell.  Brush egg on edges of crust.  Bake at 425 degrees F for  20 minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees F and bake another 35 to 45 minutes.  Pie is done when middle of pie is set.  Tip:  If edges of pie crust are getting medium brown and middle of pie isn’t set yet, gently wrap tin foil around perimeter of crust until it’s done.

*This pie freezes well.  Let pie cool completely before wrapping in aluminum foil and freezing.  A day before you are going to serve it, defrost at room temperature (not in the fridge).

Serving options:

Serve warm–after removing from oven, let cool for 20 minutes.

Serve room temperature–cool completely.

Rewarm frozen pie– warm in a preheated 275 degrees F oven, uncovered.

Thanksgiving Dinner–Apple Pie

Basket Weave Crust on Apple Pie

Basket Weave Crust on Apple Pie

Hon, it’s that time of year, so here’s what I’m baking.

Thanksgiving’s at my house and I love the company and food. Every year, my family can’t eat another bite…and then out comes dessert. (Hon, there’s always room for dessert!) Sure, apple pie isn’t just for Thanksgiving, but here’s my take on a classic. It’s a mash-up of recipes from a very old cookbook and a newer one called Essentials of Baking put out by Williams-Sonoma. Happy baking!

APPLE PIE

Basic Pie Crust:  Double Crust

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup vegetable shortening

1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water

Food Processor Directions:  Insert steel blade in food processor.  Mix flour and salt, then place the mixture in the food processor.  Add shortening and process until mixture resembles cornmeal (about 5 seconds).  Slowly pour ice water through feed tube and process until dough forms a ball (about 5 to 10 seconds).  Chill dough for easier handling.

Basket Weave:  If you want to form a basket woven crust, make extra dough ahead of time.  Shortcut:  If you don’t have time to make your own crust, use store-bought deep dish pie crusts.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Filling

6 cups apple slices (I use a combination of Granny Smith and other varieties)

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

approximately 1 Tablespoon flour

dash salt

1 egg, beaten (used to brush on top of crust before baking)

Combine apples, sugar, lemon juice, salt and spices.  This mixture will give off a lot of liquid so use a slotted spoon when spooning into pie crust, allowing you to spoon the apple mixture without the excess liquid.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

Split dough in half, form two dough balls and roll out each half into a circle.  Line a 9-inch pie dish with the bottom crust.  Spoon apple filling into the crust and smooth apples into an even layer. Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of flour on top of filling mixture.

Position top crust over the filling and trim and flute the edges.  (Photos and a short crust rolling video will be added to the blog soon.)

Basket Weave:  I was inspired Martha Stewart Living’s November 2012 magazine cover which features a basket woven pie crust.  To form the basket weave, cuts the dough into 8 strips.  First lay 4 strips across the filling.  Secondly, carefully weave remaining strips through the dough strips already laying across the filling.  Then press top and bottom crust edges together and flute edges.

Egg Wash:  Without brushing fluted edges, brush top of pie with beaten egg.  Cut steam vents in the top crust if needed.

Bake the pie at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F  and bake for another 40 – 45 minutes.  Pie is done when top crust is lightly browned, the apple filling is bubbling, and the apples are tender when tested through the slit in the crust with a toothpick.

*This pie freezes well.  Let pie cool completely before wrapping in aluminum foil and freezing.  A day before you are going to serve it, defrost at room temperature (not in the fridge).

Serving options:

Serve warm–after removing from oven, let cool for 20 minutes.

Serve room temperature–cool completely.

Rewarm frozen pie– warm in a preheated 275 degrees F oven, uncovered.

Maple-Walnut Chicken with Sweet Potato Aioli

Dinner’s ready! Maple Chicken, garlic rice, steamed green beans.

Mix syrup and panko crumbs.

Combine canola oil, Dijon mustard, and thyme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drizzle maple syrup in cutlet pockets.

Brush cutlets with mustard mixture.

 

 

 

 

 

After cutlets are baked, spoon and press on panko paste to form a crust.

Broil cutlets for about 2 minutes, until crust is golden-brown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maple-Walnut Chicken with Sweet Potato Aioli

This chicken recipe in Kosher by Design, Short on Time by Susie Fishbein caught my eye. I should rename it “Maple Chicken” since I made it without walnuts and skipped the sweet potato aioli. Why? Because a) my-picky-eaters-aka-my-daughters don’t like nuts and b) I was really short on time! This recipe was easy and yummy which means next time I make the dish–preparing some cutlets with walnuts, some without, and leaving time for the aioli–it’ll taste even better.

Happy cooking, hon!

Ingredients:

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup), divided

fine sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons canola oil

2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1 1/2 cups canned sweet potatoes, drained

1 1/2 Tablespoons light-brown sugar

2 Tablespoons mayonnaise

1 1/2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup, not pancake syrup

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. Lay chicken breasts on a cutting board, and make a cut to form a pocket in each cutlet.

3.  Stuff each pocket with 1 Tablespoon walnuts. Drizzle in 1 teaspoon maple syrup. Close up the pocket. Place pocket-side down on prepared pan. Repeat with remaining breasts. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Combine the canola oil, Dijon mustard, and thyme. Brush each cutlet with this mixture.

4.  Bake for about 18 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup maple syrup and panko crumbs to make a paste.

6. After the cutlets are baked, remove from the oven and spoon and press on the panko paste to form a crust. Turn the oven to broil, return the chicken to the oven, and bro 6-8 inches from heat source for 2 minutes, until crust is golden-brown. (Tip: watch cutlets so they don’t burn.)

7. In a small pot, heat the sweet potatoes, smashing them with a fork or spoon. Mix in light -brown sugar. Turn off the heat and whisk in the mayonnaise and 1 1/2 Tablespoons maple syrup.

Serve each cutlet with a dollop of the aioli.

Yield: serves: 6

Source: Kosher by Design, Short on Time

 

Blueberry Buckle

Blueberry Buckle.

Cream butter, sugar and egg.

Add dry ingredient to butter mixture.

 

 

 

 

 

Fold in blueberries.

Sprinkle topping on top, pressing into batter in 3-4 places.

 

 

 

 

Ready for the oven.

Ready to eat.

Two adorable little girls.

Two beautiful teenagers. Friends since 1st grade.

Blueberry Buckle

In lots of my cookbooks, stories accompany recipes. A recipe might be passed down, a family favorite, or bring up a funny memory. This Blueberry Buckle comes with a story, too. I had just turned to the recipe in my daughter’s elementary school cookbook when my daughter’s friend said, “That’s my mom’s recipe!” And so it is. Now, every time I make this not-too-sweet-but-deliciously-tart Buckle, I will think of the two adorable little girls who have grown into beautiful teenagers right before my eyes.

Shout out to Wendy Nubel for the recipe and Linda Eagle for putting the Wyoming Wild Cooks Cookbook together.

Happy baking, hon.

Ingredients Cake:

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature (I used margarine.)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1/2 cup low-fat (2%) milk (I used almond milk.)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed and drained

Ingredients Topping:

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour

1/3 cup quick-cooking oats

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature (I used margarine.)

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 10-inch round springform pan or a deep-dish pie pan.

2.  In a small bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt.

3. In a medium bowl, cream butter, sugar and egg with an electric mixer. Add milk and vanilla, then beat until light yellow and fluffy. Stir in flour mixture, then carefully fold blueberries and spread in pan.

4. In a small bowl, mix topping ingredients with fingers until blended, then sprinkle on top of batter. Press your fingers about half-way down into batter in 3 or 4 places until batter looks bumpy.

5. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist, but not wet, crumbs. It can be served warm right from the pan. Heads up: it took longer to bake, which may be a result of my substitutions.

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Bakers.

Summer Guests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snickerdoodles Cookies

What’s my go-to indoor activity with kids? Baking, of course! When my friend and her daughters visited recently, this easy recipe was a hit. These Snickerdoodles are cake-y, light, and so yummy, we had to limit ourselves or we could have eaten the whole batch at once!

 Ingredients:

2 3/4 cups (385 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature (the Joy of Cooking recipe calls for 1 cup butter, but we thought it was too much)

1  1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Coating:

1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated white sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder.

3.  With an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar until smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg. Scrape down sides of bowl. Beat in vanilla extract.  Add flour mixture and beat until dough is smooth. If dough is soft, cover and refrigerate until firm enough to roll into balls.

4.  Shape dough into 1-inch (2.54 cm) round balls.

5.  Coating: In a large, shallow bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon.

6. Roll balls of dough in the cinnamon/sugar mixture and place on prepared being sheets, about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.

7. Then, using the bottom of a glass, gently flatten each cookie to about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) thick.

8. Bake cookies for approx. 8 – 10 minutes, or until they are light golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.

Yield: About 6 dozen cookies

Store cookies in an airtight container, at room temperature, for about 10-14 days.

Source: www.joyofbaking.com

 

Herbed Celery-Potato Salad

Small purple and yellow potatoes.

Herbed Celery-Potato Salad

Herbed Celery-Potato Salad

We hosted a Memorial Day bbq and, in addition to needing dessert ideas (the search resulted in Top Ten Patriotic Desserts), I needed a side dish. The Herbed Celery-Potato salad from a Martha Stewart Living magazine was easy and delicious.

Make ahead. Serve with lunch or dinner. Pack a picnic. Hon, it tastes like summer.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds peewee potatoes, scrubbed (I used both yellow and purple potatoes.)

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

5 teaspoons apple-cider vinegar

1 1/2 cups mixed fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley and basil, chopped

2 scallions, chopped

1 stalk celery, finely diced (1/4 cup)

Directions:

1. In a medium saucepan, cover potatoes with 2-inches of cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat and season generously with salt; cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, 10-12 minutes. Drain. (Note: the purple potatoes needed less cooking time, so next time, I’ll remove them earlier than the yellow potatoes.)

2. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, halve and transfer to a large bowl.

3.  Add oil, vinegar, herbs, scallions, and celery. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

4.  Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled.

Tip: “Make ahead to let the flavors meld, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you’re using larger potatoes, boil them longer, and quarter or cut them into one-inch pieces after cooking.”

Serves: 6 (I think it serves more than that, but I guess it depends on how big a serving  people take.)

Source: Martha Stewart Living

 

Crispy Potato Cake (Galette De Pomme De Terre)

Crispy Potato Cake (Galette De Pomme De Terre)

Crispy Potato Cake (Galette De Pomme De Terre)

I made this delicious dish a long time ago and wanted to make it again many times, but I couldn’t find the recipe. (I didn’t trust myself to make it from memory). When I finally organized cut-outs from newspapers, chicken-scratched napkins, and a ton of loose recipes, I found it.  Yay!  It takes some patience, but it’s worth it.

Happy cooking, hon.

Layer potatoes in a spiral.

Slowly cook potatoes until well browned.

  Ingredients:

2 pounds (about 3 medium) potatoes, peeled and sliced very thinly

1 Tablespoon olive oil, or as needed

Freshly ground nutmeg

Freshly ground black pepper

1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

Salt

Fresh thyme leaves for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Pat potatoes dry if very starchy or moist. In a sauté pan large enough to fit potato slices in just two layers, spread 1 tablespoon oil with and sprinkle with nutmeg and pepper to taste. Starting in center, arrange potato slices in a closely overlapping, attractive spiral. When pan is filled, repeat to make second layer.
  2. Place pan over medium heat and cover. Slowly cook potatoes until well browned on underside, about 15 minutes, occasionally shaking pan gently to avoid sticking. Wipe inside of lid as needed to keep it dry.
  3. Press potatoes down with a flat spatula and remove from heat. Place a larger platter over pan and flip it upside down, transferring potatoes to the platter. Check pan to make sure it is clean and has enough oil to keep potatoes from sticking.
  4. Slide galette, raw side down, back into pan, and return to medium heat. Cover and cook until browned, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare a persillade by combining parsley and garlic in a small bowl. To serve, slide galette onto a serving platter, season to taste with salt, and garnish with persillade or thyme.

Yield: 4 servings.

Source: “A Culinary Journey in Gascony” by Kate Hill

 

 

Baked French Toast with Oat Crumble Topping

Baked French Toast with Oat Crumble Topping

Gather ingredients.

Combine custard filling and bread crumbs.

 

 

 

 

Spread diced pears over bread crumb/custard mixture.

Sprinkle topping evenly.

Ready to eat.

Baked French Toast with Oat Crumble Topping

Breakfast in our house is usually a quick bowl of cereal or a smoothie, so when I made this recipe, it was for dinner. And why not? Breakfast for dinner has been a staple in our house ever since the triplets were little. Sometimes, the best meals are served with warm Vermont Maple Syrup.

Happy baking, hon.

Ingredients for the French Toast:

9 cups (455 grams) challah, brioche or other soft bread cut in 1-inch cubes, preferably day old (from a large, 1-pound loaf)

butter, for the baking dish

8 large eggs

1 1/2 cups (355 milliliters) whole milk

1/2 cup (118 milliliters) heavy cream or creme fraiche

1/4 cup (60 milliliters) honey

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Ingredients for the Topping:

1/2 cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour

1/3 cup (30 grams) rolled oats (or use chopped nuts or sliced almonds)

1/3 cup (67 grams) light brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 cup (114 grams) cold, unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into cubes

1 large or 2 small pears, peeled or unpeeled as desired, cored and diced into 1/4-inch pieces

Ingredients for the Honey-Vanilla Syrup (Optional):

1/2 cup (118 milliliters) honey

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

Directions:

1.  Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Spread bread crumbs out and toast until lightly golden, 7 to 15 minutes. Let cool. (Tip-err on less time since oven is so hot.)

2.  Generously butter a 2-quart casserole or 9 by 13-inch baking dish and fill with bread crumbs.

3.  In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, honey, vanilla, nutmeg, cardamom and salt until smooth. Pour over bread, tossing well. Press down on bread so it forms an even layer that is mostly submerged in custard. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight (or up to 48 hours ahead).

4.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

5.  Prepare the topping: In a large bowl, stir together flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. You can also pulse the topping ingredients together in a food processor if you’d rather. (The topping can be prepared up to 48 hours in advance; store covered in the refrigerator until needed.)

6. Spread diced pears, if using, evenly over the top of the bread, then cover with crumble mixture. Bake until golden and firm, 40 to 50 minutes. If you’d like a crunchier crust, broil for the final 1 to 2 minutes. Or leave the topping softer; it’s good both ways.

7. Meanwhile, prepare the syrup, if desired. In a small saucepan, combine honey and 1 to 2 tablespoons water, depending on how thick you want the syrup to be. Using a paring knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add seeds to the pot. Bring to a simmer, then turn off the heat and let the vanilla infuse for at least 10 minutes. (Syrup can be made up to 1 week ahead.) Serve the French toast warm with the honey-vanilla syrup, or maple syrup.

Yield: 12 servings

Source: Melissa Clark for The New York Times

 

 

Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

Winter puts me in the mood for hearty soups, and this one is practically a meal. Serve it as a soup or over quinoa, brown rice or polenta. Yum.

Happy cooking and stay warm, hon!

ITALIAN STEW with WINTER SQAUSH and CHICKPEAS

3 cups chopped onions

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 Tablespoons olive oil

6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1/2 teaspoon ground Coriander

1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups water

2 cups diced peeled butternut squash (I substituted yellow squash)

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced bell peppers (optional)

5 cups chopped kale (see note)

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Directions:

  1. In a soup pot on medium-high heat, cook the onions and salt in the oil, stirring often, until very soft and beginning to caramelize, 12 to 15 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, coriander, thyme, and black pepper and stir for a minute. Stir in the water, squash, chickpeas, tomatoes, carrots, and bell peppers. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the kale, cover, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until the greens are tender but still bright green. Stir in the basil and vinegar.

Note: About 1 pound of kale will yield 5 cups sorted (discard yellow or wilted leaves and large center stems), stemmed, and chopped kale.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings or about 8 cups