I have some very fond bread memories from childhood. My sister and I could hardly wait for this bread to be ready to cut. We would immediately hack a chunk off as soon as it came out of the oven, much to mom’s dismay. Well, we couldn’t wait! True, it didn’t cut very easily our way, but taste-testing probably encouraged the two of us to continue our work in the kitchen.
The original 60’s version of this seemed more complicated, IMO. The cottage cheese was warmed to that perfect temperature for yeast, then the yeast got proofed, etc.
Now that I’m too into sourdough bread, I wanted to adapt this to use with my starter. It worked!
Makes one loaf, about 2 lb.
1 c. cottage cheese
1 c. sourdough starter
2 TBS honey
1 TBS. dry onion
1 TBS. butter, soft
2 tsp. dill seed
Optional- 2 tsp. dill weed
2 1/4 -3 c. whole wheat flour, divided
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
In medium large bowl, mix together: > 1 c. sourdough starter > 1 c. cottage cheese > 2 1/4 c. whole wheat flour > 1 egg > 2 TBS. honey > 1 TBS. dry onion > 1 TBS. butter, soft > 2 tsp. dill seed > optional- 2 tsp. dill weed
Let the above ingredients rise in a warm place until double, about 4 hours.
Stir in the following, adding enough flour so dough isn’t too sticky to handle. Dough will still be somewhat moist though. Use: > About 3/4 c. whole wheat flour > 1/4 tsp. baking soda > 1 tsp. salt
Knead dough about three minutes, until mixed well. Put in buttered 1 1/2-2 qt. casserole dish. Let rise until double again (another hour or two), then bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes Brush top w/ butter and salt when done, if desired.
I made this dessert for our granddaughter’s second birthday–it was a hit! I can’t always understand what she’s saying, but “Birthday Cake” came out loud and clear. A festive family gathering it was, complete with a rolling-weasel ball that made her giggle in delight (hey, the label says it’s for pets AND children).
A similar dessert, “Pavlova”, has fresh fruits garnishing a meringue crust, with plenty of whipped cream in between. I wanted to use the egg yolks though, so the chocolate mousse gave me a way to work those in. I guess you could also call this “Gluten-free Chocolate Dessert”, since that’s the trend lately. Or maybe, “Healthy Chocolate Pie”, since it uses bittersweet chocolate and not very much sugar at all. Oh, who am I kidding?! I just love meringue, and take any excuse to eat it!
I feel really good about eating this “gluten-free” dessert. Yes, it has a bit of cream, and some sugar too, but still seems to be a light dessert. My friend has often made the lemon curd version of this for our women’s group celebrations—it’s also quite delicious!
Makes one 12” dessert, serving 12
2 1/4 c. sugar, divided
Scant 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
3 c. cream, divided
6 eggs, divided
1 1/2 c. bittersweet chocolate pieces (6 ounces)
4 1/2.tsp. vanilla, divided
1 TBS. cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp. white vinegar
1 pint fresh strawberries (or more)
In saucepan, heat sugar, salt, and cream together, stirring for 3-4 minutes until sugar dissolves. (Or, microwave 1-2 minutes): > 1/4 c. sugar > scant 1/4 tsp. salt > 1 c. cream
Beat egg yolks lightly, then stir into hot cream mix. Leave on medium low heat while stirring constantly, until the mix thickens. (Or, microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring after each heating, just until mixure thickens.) Use: > 6 egg yolks
Stir chocolate and vanilla into heated ingredients: > 1 1/3 c. bittersweet chocolate pieces (6 ounces) > 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Refrigerate mixture. Let cool completely (making a day ahead is convenient).
On serving day, prepare meringue crust.
Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Using a 12-inch round cake pan, trace a circle onto a piece of parchment paper with a pencil or marker. Flip the paper over and place it on a baking sheet (the traced circle should be visible); set aside.
Place the egg whites and salt in the very clean, dry mixer bowl. Use dry whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed until the whites begin to lighten in color and only small bubbles remain, about 2 minutes. Use: > 6 egg whites with no traces of yolk, at room temperature > scant 1/4 tsp. salt
Increase the speed to high and very slowly add the sugar in a thin, continuous stream. Whisk until firm, shiny peaks form, resembling marshmallow cream, about 3 minutes. Use: > 1 1/2 c. sugar
Remove the bowl from the mixer and sift the cornstarch through a fine-mesh strainer into the meringue. Use: > 1 TBS. cornstarch
Drizzle with the vinegar and vanilla and fold them into the meringue with a rubber spatula until no streaks of vanilla remain, being careful not to deflate the whites. Use: > 1 1/2 tsp. white vinegar > 1 tsp. vanilla
Using the rubber spatula, pile the meringue into the center of the circle drawn on the parchment paper. Smooth it to the edges of the circle to form a rough, even disk about 1 inch tall. (If the parchment shifts while spreading the meringue, weigh down two opposite corners with small, heavy objects like cans; remove them before baking.)
Bake until the meringue is firm to the touch but slightly soft in the middle, about 60-70 minutes. Remove from the oven, place the baking sheet on a wire rack, and let cool completely. Run a thin metal spatula under the meringue to loosen.
Carefully slide it onto a serving platter or cake stand; set aside.
Finish making the mousse (which gets half of the extra whipped cream added to it). Whip cream until stiff peaks form. Use: > 2 c. cream > 1/2 c. sugar
Set whipped cream aside; add cooled chocolate mousse to bowl and whip until light. Fold in half of the whipped cream. Spread the chocolate mousse onto cooled meringue.
Use the other half of the sweetened, whipped cream to spread on top of the chocolate mousse. On top of that, add strawberries, or some shavings of chocolate. Use: > 1 pint (or more) strawberries
I’ll be hosting a shower for a friend’s vegan daughter this spring. I think I’ll add this recipe to the menu! It does contain cheese and egg, so it’s not vegan. But it is vegetarian, and the bride-to-be has been known to splurge on a few non-vegan items. So hopefully she’ll think this recipe’s worth checking out!
I made this dish back in my hippie days (in the seventies). “Diet for a Small Planet” was on the bestseller list, and vegetarianism was gaining popularity; a far cry from the Paleo trend of late. (Does sharing this recipe mean we have now gone full circle?)
This dish is a great change of pace, vegetarian or not. (My husband thinks I need to make it more often.) Serves 6.
1 1/2 c. whole wheat crumbs
28 oz. can tomatoes, whole
1/2 c. Muenster cheese (or other favorite)
3 TBS. butter
1 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1 1/2 c. chopped celery
1 medium onion, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
Ahead of time, toast (overnight in gas oven with pilot light on, or baked at 200 degrees for 15 minutes or so): > 1 1/2 c. whole wheat crumbs
Also ahead of time, drain: > 28 oz. can tomatoes, whole
Grate: > 1/2 c. Muenster cheese
Melt butter on stove or in microwave: > 3 TBS. butter
To butter in bowl, add the following: > 1 1/2 c. chopped walnuts > 1 1/2 c. chopped celery > 1 medium onion, chopped > 2 eggs, beaten > 1/2 tsp. salt > the toasted bread crumbs > the drained tomatoes > the grated cheese
Mix the above and bake in 8” x 5″ buttered loaf pan at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Unmold.
Serve warm. Or refrigerate. Slices of the nut loaf can be seared in a dash of olive oil or butter; a great way to serve leftovers.
Our church’s annual Women’s Christmas Dinner was a success- beautiful music, good message, great company. And apparently, “the best mashed potatoes ever” Cool, since my team and I did a lot of mashing to feed two-hundred-plus folks that evening!
This past year, I came up with a new recipe for mashed potatoes, and I’ll do it this way forever now. I cooked the potatoes whole, adding a few inches of boiling water to the pot, essentially steaming them.
Compared to using peeled, cubed potatoes, they took longer to cook this way, but oh. My. They were so good! No flavor lost to a bunch of liquid that usually gets thrown away. Just lots of potato flavor. With some added heavy cream, butter, and seasoning, how could they not be good?!
Serves 12 or so
4 lb. Russet potatoes
1 TBS. fine-chopped rosemary
2 TBS. fresh chopped parsley
1 TBS. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
2 sticks butter
2 c. cream
Hours ahead, or day before, let rosemary and parsley steep in the oil with the salt and pepper. This mellows the flavor of the rosemary a bit. Use: > 1 TBS. fine-chopped rosemary > 2 TBS. fresh chopped parsley > 1 TBS. extra virgin olive oil > 2 tsp. salt > Pepper to taste
Steam whole, unpeeled potatoes in a covered pot or pressure cooker, using 2-3 inches boiling water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender. Check that the water doesn’t evaporate, if using a pot instead of a pressure cooker. Use: > 4 lb. potatoes
Spread potatoes out on cookie sheet, peeling off skins when cool enough to touch.
Return the skinned potatoes to the pot and mash well. Add: > 2 sticks butter > 2 c. cream > the steeped rosemary/salt/pepper/oil mix
Add boiling water if necessary, to get potatoes to right consistency. Heat in oven if necessary, before serving.
Mashed Potatoes for 210
OK, so you probably won’t need these quantities! But this is what we used for all those ladies… About 200 servings
72 lb. potatoes
8 lb. butter
16 lb. cream
½ c. + 2 TBS. Salt
1 c. extra virgin olive oil
Steam whole, unpeeled potatoes in large pressure cooker, using 4 inches or so boiling water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender. Peels slip off easily.
This is a simple-enough dish, perfect for those cooler evenings we’ve been having. I was able to multiply this by a lot, to serve fifty or so, for a small wedding the deli catered at one point. Because- it is simple enough, but is also colorful (appetizing) and delicious (so folks eat it up!).
My mom made this a bit when we were kids. I think she might’ve like the fancy name, which put a smile on dad’s face when he asked, “What’s for dinner?” Or maybe she liked that she’d have to open a bottle of wine and have a sip herself. (Not that she was a whino! But a glass of wine’s good for you, right?!)
Mom typically dredged the chicken in flour before cooking, but the method below makes this dish gluten-free (if you skip the optional pasta). But still delicious!
“Cacciatore” literally means “Hunter”. And while there have been a few hunters in the family, most of my hunting will be in the grocery aisle!
When using boneless, skinless chicken thighs, a brine makes it extra tasty, although the traditional method of using the whole chicken (bones and all) will yield a most flavorful dish. What a comfort food! Serves 6-8.
2 lb. chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, or one 4-5 lb. whole fryer, cut up
1 TBS. sugar
1 TBS. salt
1 TBS. Italian Herbs
Olive oil (for grilling veggies)
8-12 oz. pasta
1 green pepper
8 oz. mushrooms
28 oz. can tomato pieces (large chunks, drained)
1 c. chicken stock (include cooking juices from cooking the chicken, also)
1 c. red wine
1 small jar (2-3 oz. or so) capers
1/2 TBS. minced, fresh garlic
A day ahead, prepare brine for the chicken by bringing to a boil: > 2 c. water
Turn off heat, add: > 1 TBS. Italian Herbs > 1 TBS. salt > 1 TBS. sugar
Add to mix, refrigerating until completely cooled: > 2 c. cold water
When brine has cooled, add: > 2 lb. boneless chicken thighs, or one cut-up fryer
Refrigerate chicken in the brine overnight.
To prepare dish, pour off brine and bake chicken in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes, until done.
Meanwhile, boil until liquid is reduced by about half: > 1 c. chicken stock > 1 c. red wine
Also, prepare the vegetables. In iron skillet, cook until tender: > 2 carrots, peeled, sliced into rounds > 1 onion, diced coarse > a splash of olive oil
For tastiest, sweetest veggies, add a few tablespoons of water to the pan while they cook, which will eventually evaporate, but which will help them to cook in the meantime.
When water’s evaporated and carrot/onions are tender, add to the pan and grill: > 1 green pepper, diced coarse
Add the peppers/carrot/onion to a stewing pot; also add: > 28 oz. canned tomato chunks, drained > any chicken broth accumulated from cooking the chicken > reduced broth > 1/2 TBS. minced, fresh garlic
In the skillet, grill the mushrooms (being careful not to crowd them, as then they steam and don’t brown properly). Grill in batches if necessary: > 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
Bring the vegetables up to a boil, simmering until of a sauce-like consistency. Finally, add: > small jar of capers, drained > fresh herbs, if desired (thyme, rosemary, parsley, and oregano are all good choices) > the chicken pieces
Add salt if necessary. Serve over pasta if desired.
You might’ve tasted this cake before- I think the recipes’s been around. Soft, sweet apples inside, but a crunchy crust on top. It’s mostly apples, so I figure it’s practically a health food, right? Sure, ha…
This is an easy recipe that’s so darn good! Give some to friends and family. Or, well, to me—I love it!
Makes one 9″ square cake; serves 4-6
1/4 c. olive oil
1 1/2- 2 c. peeled apple slices
1 c. sugar
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
Measure into mixing bowl: > 1 egg > 1/4 c. olive oil > 1 1/2 c. apple > 1 c. sugar > 1 c. flour > 1/2 tsp. salt > 1 tsp. cinnamon > 1 tsp. baking soda
Mix all ingredients until blended. This will be thick, almost a paste. Spread into an oiled 9″ square pan, bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
My great grandpa used to bring us pastries from a Dutch bakery, some with poppy seed paste in them. My mom and I adored these! And thus began our love affair with poppy seeds.
But what’s not to like? Poppy seeds contain omega-3s, plus minerals like iron, calcium, zinc, and phosphorus. I suppose getting these nutrients in cake form isn’t for daily consumption, but this nutritional profile may help us rationalize eating it on occasion!
I imagine this to be a kind of romantic dessert; a few edible flowers go well with it, or perhaps some vanilla ice cream with a sprinkling of poppy seeds.
2/3 c. chocolate chips
1/3 c. room temperature butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 c. poppy seeds
6 egg whites
3/4 c. sugar
6 egg yolks
2 TBS. flour
Melt in double boiler or microwave until melted (30 seconds or so); stir until smooth: > 2/3 c. chocolate chips
Stir into melted chocolate: > 1/3 c. butter > 1 tsp. vanilla
Let chocolate and butter cool some while preparing seeds. Grind in small spice grinder, a smaller amount at a time: > 2/3 c. poppy seeds
Beat until creamy: > 3/4 c. sugar > 1 tsp. vanilla > 6 egg yolks
Add to the whipped mixture, stirring until mixed: > Melted, cooled chocolate > Ground poppy seeds
Stir in: > 2 TBS. flour
Whip until stiff: > 6 egg whites
Fold egg whites into the batter and pour into a buttered, floured 9″ cheesecake pan.
I wanted to put pistachios and dried cranberries together in some kind of rice pilaf—so colorful! And I was wondering what else I could do with the precious saffron I had on hand. Turns out that a combination of these and other ingredients is a classic Persian recipe (AKA “Jeweled Rice”).
I took liberties with the original recipe, to make it easier. The traditional method includes specifics for cooking the rice to attain a golden “crust” on the bottom of the pan. For me, it’s enough to put the main ingredients together—it still makes a beautiful dish!
15 saffron threads (Iranian is best)
1 orange, organic
1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. dried cranberries
1 carrot, julienned in short strips
2 c. basmati rice
4 c. boiling water
Seeds from a few cardamom pods
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. unsalted butter
1/2 c. slivered almonds
1/2 c. chopped pistachios
1 tsp. salt
2 TBS. olive oil
Start by soaking the saffron—it’ll bring out more color if it steeps in water for at least an hour. (Or do this step the night before). Use: > 15 saffron threads > 2 TBS. warm water
Peel strips from the orange, with minimal of the bitter white pith; slice into very thin strips. Add to pot: > thin orange peel strips > 1/2 c. sugar > 1/2 c. liquid (use juice of orange, plus water to make up difference)
Bring mixture to boil, stirring. On medium heat, continue stirring as it boils, for about 3-5 minutes, until liquid is reduced and syrupy.
Remove from heat and add: > 1/3 c. dried cranberries
Add soaked saffron plus its liquid to the orange/cranberry mix and set aside.
In medium pot, cook for 12-15 minutes, until done: > carrot > 2 c. basmati rice > seeds from several cardamom pods > 1/2 tsp. cinnamon > 4 c. boiling water
When rice is done, refrigerate to cool completely.
Saute nuts in butter until lightly browned. Use: > 1/2 c. pistachios, chopped > 1/4 c. butter
Set nuts aside.
When rice has cooled, take 1/2 cup of it and mix it with the saffron-water/orange-peel/cranberry mixture. Set aside for garnish.
Mix together: > the cooked, cooled rice > 1 tsp. salt > 2 TBS. olive oil
To serve, mound rice mixture onto a platter, into a cone shape if desired; top with: > the saffron-water/orange-peel/cranberry/rice mixture > the sautéed nuts
This rice is delicious served with roasted chicken that is seasoned with lemon, sage, and foenegreek seeds (ground to a powder).
I wanted to make a poppy seed cake for my husband’s birthday, but he hadn’t been too thrilled with the original recipe. Fine. He was right. The first cake was not exceptional. So I pushed myself to create a better dessert. “Poppy Seed Honey Cake” sounded awesome, so at least I had a good name.
I searched the web, but didn’t find anyone else who had used honey in a simple syrup to pour on while the cake’s still warm. But that was my plan. In my research, I did find an article about the virtues of not over-heating honey. Supposedly, the flavor is better when the honey isn’t baked into the cake, and it’ll retain more nutrients. Perfect—my plan was to thin the honey in a bit of warm water, then pour it over the baked cake. If it would have even more flavor this way, hurray!
I still let the poppy seeds soak in some scalded milk first; they pop a little this way, which I think improves the texture of this cake. An easy Bundt cake for casual gatherings, picnics, and such. And for my husband’s birthday! It’ll keep well too, as the honey syrup keeps it moist.
1 1/2 c. milk
1 c. poppy seeds
1 TBS. lemon juice
6 eggs total (divided)
1 c. butter
1 c. packed brown sugar
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. boiling water
1 c. honey
Scald milk in small pot, remove from heat, Add poppy seeds and lemon juice; let stand for an hour or more. Use: > 1 1/2 c. milk > 1 c. poppy seeds > 1 TBS. lemon juice
Beat until light: > 6 egg yolks > 1 c. butter > 1 c. brown sugar
Set aside whipped yolk mixture; whip egg whites until stiff: > 6 egg whites
Measure and mix together: > 2 c. flour > 2 tsp. baking soda > 1/2 tsp. salt
Fold all the above ingredients together. Bake in well-buttered Bundt pan, at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.
A few minutes before cake is done, mix together: > 1/2 c. boiling water > 1 c. honey
The cake’s done when a tooth inserted comes out clean. Leave cake in Bundt pan, pouring the honey mixture over cake. Let the cake sit in the pan for about an hour, until the liquid’s absorbed.
Remove from pan, inverting onto a plate. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.
This pasta salad is made with “Perciatelli”, AKA “bucatini”. Sounds fancy, but what is it, right? It looks like a fat spaghetti noodle, but it has a tiny hole in the middle. Kind of like a very skinny straw. This gives it a great “chew”, in my opinion!
I love this salad. It doesn’t hurt that it also has grilled sweet potatoes in it, cooled off to build up their “resistant starch” (good stuff for our bods). And the grilled zucchini lightens it up some. Add a honey-mustard dressing, made from scratch, and it’s a treat! Perfect for potlucks and parties.
Serves 16 or so as a side
1 lb. perciatelli pasta
3 zucchini (about 1 11/2 lb.)
3 sweet potatoes (about 1 11/2 lb.)
One recipe Honey Mustard Dressing (see below)
Add uncooked noodles to boiling, salted water and cook on medium low heat for 11 minutes, or to taste: > 1 lb. perciatelli pasta
Add sweet potatoes to hot iron skillet, adding water almost to cover. Let them steam as the water boils away, for about 5 minutes. Use: > 3 sweet potatoes
Turn sweet potatoes over, adding another splash of water, and cook until tender. As water evaporates, add a drizzle of olive oil. Let cool when finished.
Grill: > 3 zucchini
Let pasta and veggies cool in a big bowl. Toss the cooled ingredients with one recipe Honey Mustard Dressing (about 1 cup).
Garnish the bowl of pasta salad with fresh herbs. And maybe a nasturtium flower!
Honey Mustard Dressing
We make our salad dressings from scratch at the deli, although we’ve never found time to make homemade mayonnaise. We just go through too much! So this dressing’s only made at home, for family and friends. It’s great on greens, and also, for the pasta salad recipe, above.
Makes just over a cup.
3 TBS. Dijon mustard (.12)
2 tsp. vinegar, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. olive oil (.185)
2 TBS. honey
1/8 tsp. orange extract
1/8 tsp. liquid smoke
fresh tarragon and thyme
In small, narrow container, whip the following with immersion blender: > 1 egg > 3 TBS. Dijon mustard > 1 tsp. vinegar > 1/2 tsp. salt
Measure olive oil into a pouring cup, and very slowly, drizzle in a few tablespoons of the oil into the above mix
Once the first oil is emulsified into the mix, slowly add the rest, beating continually until all the oil is absorbed.
Add and blend until ingredients are mixed in.: > 2 TBS. honey > 1/8 tsp. orange extract > 1/8 tsp. liquid smoke > fresh tarragon and thyme > 1 tsp. vinegar
Use for green salads, or as the dressing for pasta salads.