Saturday, November 29, 2008

No Fuss Blue Cheese & Pear salad with Apricot Nectar Dressing

This is the salad i made for Thanksgiving 08, and i have to say it turned out better than i thought. Just isn't a very good "travelling" salad, as you can't combine everything right away (or you can, but the leaves will be sloppy.)


1/2 c. apricot nectar

1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil

1/3 c. white wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. dijon mustard (maybe a honey dijon might be nice too? or mix with a seeded mustard?)

1/2 tsp. salt

Wisk together, in a rather large bowl, these ingredients until they are well blended. Then add:

3 green onions, finely chopped

1/2 c. dried apricots, snipped

6 pears (i used a mix of Barlett and Seckel) cored and cut into wedges

Toss to coat pears and cover to refrigerate for 30 minutes to 3.5 hours. (any longer, the vinegar will start to break down the pears making them mushy.)

To serve:

On a large platter place:

10 cups of mixed greens (mesclun, romaine, etc.) and 1/2 head of radicchio (or herbed salad greens).

Then remove pear slices from dressing and arrange on greens, reserving vinaigrette.

Arrange 8 to 10oz cambazola or other blue cheese (use wedges or crumbles) or goat cheese (cut into rounds) over the salad.

Sprinkle with 3/4 c. coursely chopped toasted almonds (or nuts of your liking)

Drizzle with reserved dressing or serve on the side.

Makes 12 servings.
242 cals, 16 g fat, 4 g fiber

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Corn Muffins

Cooking spray (or parchment for pan liners)
3 T butter
1 c. plain yoghurt
1 large egg
1 cup cornmeal (i use a mix of course ground and regular ground for a grittier effect)
1/4 c. brown sugar
1T white sugar (i forgot to add this--and sprinkled just a pinch on the top of each muffin and it was sweet enough--you can probably just leave it out.)
1 c. unbleached white flour (i use whole wheat)
2 tsp baking pwdr
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

topping: butter, jam, or real maple syrup

Preheat oven 375. spray a 6 muffin capacity muffin tin with the cooking spray.

Measure out yoghurt in a small bowl. Beat egg and add to yoghurt. Add melted butter to this. Whisk until all ingredients are blended.

In another bowl, combine cornmeal, brown sugar (and white sugar), flour, baking pwdr and soda, and salt. Combine well. Make a dent in the flour mixture with a wooden spoon. Add yoghurt mix to the flour mix and stir with wooden spoon until everything is wet and well blended. Use spoon to transfer batter to muffin cups.

Cook for 20 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes. Extra muffins freeze well. Also great to reheat in the toaster.

(recipe found in one of Molly Katzen's cooking with children books)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mike's Mom's Famously Coveted Granola (recipe)

Mike's mom's granola is perfectly plain just taste the toasted oatie goodness and barely the sweetness of the honey, etc.

8 c. old fashioned oats
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. oat bran
1/2 c. wheat germ
1 c. chopped nuts
1 c. canola or olive oil
1/4 c. molasses
3/4 c. honey or maple syrup (i tried it with fruit syrup sweetener made of peaches and pineapple and it was pretty good)
3/4 to 1 c. water

mix till flour is incorporated (add up to 1 c. more water for big clumps of granola) Place in two HUGE corningware roasting pans. Cook in oven 350 degrees for 25 min, then stir and cook at 325 for another 25 minutes.

I've experimented with: 3/4 c. flax seed (maybe less is better, but we need all the fiber we can get around here), 1-2 tsp of cinnamon...nutmeg, you name it.
Because there isn't a thousand different flavours going on in here like with some of the store brands, this is super with all flavours of yoghurt and fruit!
Jeanette's Chuck Wagon Beans

I remember these most delicious beans when Jeanette surprised us with lots of homemade food when Mike was ill. I've been pining for the recipe as of late, and sent this is my new "recipe file", now you get to share in it's yummy goodness!

1 lb sliced bacon
6 lb ground beef
6 cups finely chopped onion
2 cups finely chopped celery
4 beef boulllion cubes
1 1/3 cups boiling water
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups catsup
1/4 cup plus 2 TB prepared mustard
1 TB salt
1 tsp pepper
4 cans (1 lb 13 oz) baked beans

Heat oven to 375'

Cook bacon until crisp in large heavy roaster; remove and drain on paper towels.
Drain bacon fat from pan. In same pan, cook and stir ground beef, onion, and celery until ground beef is browned and onion tender. Dissolve bouillion cubes in boiling water; stir boullion and remaining ingredients into meat mixture. Cover and bake 1 hour 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Before serving, crumble bacon on top of beans. Serves 24

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Cookies 'n' Cream Cupcakes with Tangy Vanilla Frosting

Nona made these great cupcakes for her Uncle T's 40th birthday present. Very flavourfull!


Add #c. pwdr'd sugar to 1 stick softened butter and cream together with mixer. Stir in 2 tsp vanilla, 2 TBSP milk, and 1 tsp orange flower water. Beat until smooth and spreadable. Add more milk or sugar as needed.

Note: to make fabulous vanilla frosting, skip the orange water. to make licorice frosting, sub 2 tsp licorice or anise extract for the vanilla.


Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream together 1 stick softened butter, milk, and vanilla with mixer until fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Mix in 2.25 c. all purpose flour, 1 TBSP baking powder, & 1/2 tsp NaCl until integrated. Stir in 1 2/3 c. sugar and beat with mixer on low for 30 seconds. Turn up mixer to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes. Add 3 large egg whites. Beat for 2 more minutes. Stir in 1 cup sandwich cookies lightly crushed (we used ginger creme cookies, recipe calls for chocolate, you could use nutter butters--yum!)

Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick test works. Cool in pan.