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Archive for the category “Recipes”

Homemade Worcestershire Sauce

Who makes homemade Worcestershire Sauce?

Oh yeah, me.

First I had to admit to Google that I had misspelled Worcestershire. (It’s not pronounced with 5 syllables, now, is it?!)

Then, the first recipe I stumbled upon was Emeril’s, which began, “Saute onion in olive oil….” Nope, not gonna do that.

So then I added “easy” to the end of my Google query. Behold, this lovely, very simple recipe.

I made it in 5 minutes, and had all of the ingredients on hand already. Smells like Worcestershire Sauce in my apartment now.

Best Granola Recipe Ever

I made some granola from a recipe by Laura of Wholesome Junk Food and loved it.  I gave the recipe to my sister and she loved it.  She told me later that she had passed the recipe on to several other people who had tried it and loved it.  I recently gave the recipe to my cousin, who is enjoying it, and now her sister wants the recipe too.  Obviously time for a Smorgasbite recipe post!

Honey Toasted Granola
Adapted from The Wholesome Junk Food Cookbook by Laura Trice
Yield: 6 cups

4 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds (I often use a variety of nuts/seeds, combining to 2c)
2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup sugar (I usually omit this)
2/3 cup honey (can substitute maple syrup)
1/2 cup oil (olive, canola, whatever)

1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease shallow 14 x 11 inch pan.

2. Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately and then mix well. Spoon into prepared pan, firmly patting the mixture to the edges.

3. Bake for 30 minutes, turning the pan and stirring every 10 minutes or until golden brown.  (I find it often takes longer but that may be because I usually make a double batch. Just bake until it’s golden brown, that’s the key.)

Pretzel Crisps Make Fun Appetizers

Check out new Pretzel Crisps by the makers of New York Style Bagel Chips and Pita chips!

They’re perfect for fun appetizers.  Above left is smoked salmon, cream cheese and dill atop an “Everything”-flavored pretzel crisp.  Above left is jalapeno cheddar and salami atop an Original flavor.  More pairing ideas on the website.

I’m not a huge pretzel person, but I preferred this shape (and ease of adding other flavors) compared to regular pretzels.  I served them with a cheesy sage dip at a recent dinner party and people seemed to enjoy them.  Thanks to Shaina for sending some samples my way.

Simply Suppers’ Lemon Pound Cake

My friend Rachel hosted a Saturday brunch a couple of weeks ago.  My contribution was Lemon Pound Cake from the cookbook Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.  Thanks to Katie for sending me this cookbook; I’ve been loving many of its recipes.

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened, plus extra to grease the loaf pan
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra to flour the loaf pan
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter-flavor all-vegetable shortening
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest

For the Lemon Glaze:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons water

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs and mix until well combined. Add the reserved flour mixture and mix until well blended. Add the milk, vanilla extract, lemon extract, and lemon zest. Stir to blend. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean,
about 60 to 70 minutes. While it is still in the pan, pierce several holes in the cake with a knife or skewer. Prepare the glaze and top before the cake is completely cooled or removed from the pan.

4. To make the glaze: In a small bowl combine the melted butter, sugar, lemon juice, and water.  Stir until the sugar has dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the glaze over the cake and let the cake sit in the pan until the glaze is fully absorbed, about 20 minutes.

5. Remove from the pan and transfer to a serving plate. Serve at room temperature.

Serves 8.

Camping Oatmeal

The summer I was 12 years old, my friend Emily and I attended a hard-core canoeing camp in the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area of northern Minnesota.

It was on this trip that I learned an incredible fact about camping: that it makes all food taste amazing, regardless of its actual quality/flavor.

This fact was confirmed a couple of weeks ago when my husband and I ventured north of the city to camp and hike.  Breakfast was incredibly simple: rolled oats boiled in water over a camp stove, with raisins, walnuts and cinnamon added thereafter.

Result?  Best. Oatmeal. Ever.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

The following recipe for Butternut Squash and Apple Soup is just one of many delicious entries in a new cookbook of recipes using apples by Philip & Lauren Rubin called The Comfort of Apples: Modern Recipes for an Old-Fashioned Favorite.

This recipe was sweeter and richer-tasting than my usual butternut squash soup, while still being cream- and butter-free.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
4 cups apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 quart chicken stock
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Salt and pepper
½ cup walnut halves
4 ounces goat cheese, sliced in ¼ -inch rounds

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent about 3 minutes. Add the squash, apples, carrots, stock, and cinnamon and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer until the vegetables are soft when pierced with a fork, 20 to 30 minutes.

2. Ladle the vegetables and half of the broth into a blender or food processor. Puree until very smooth. Return soup to the pot and stir in the remaining broth, one ladleful at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. Season well with salt and pepper.

3. To serve, place a few walnuts in the center of a soup bowl. Shingle 2 slices of goat cheese on top of the walnuts and ladle the soup around the goat cheese. The idea is to have the goat cheese visible atop the soup. (Hint: it may be easier to ladle the soup into a large measuring cup with a spout and pour from there.)

Serves 6

Carrot Tomato Soup: Tastiest and Simplest Ever

One of my favorite inventions this summer has been this Carrot Tomato Soup.  I started with the most basic ingredients- carrots, tomato sauce, water and salt.  And then before I decided what to add next, I tasted it: perfect.  Stop there!

Simple, tasty and healthy, it’s the perfect summer soup.

Carrot Tomato Soup

1 pound carrots, scrubbed or peeled and then diced
8oz tomato sauce (1 small can)
8oz water (could substitute milk or cream for a creamier soup)
1 tsp sea salt
Black pepper to taste
Optional: olive oil to drizzle on top

1. Boil or steam carrots until tender.  Let cool.

2. In a food processor or blender, combine carrots with tomato sauce, and water.  Blend until smooth.

3. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Put in fridge if you’d like to serve a chilled soup, or reheat on stovetop for a warm soup.  May also serve room temperature, as is my custom.  You may choose to drizzle some olive oil on top of each portion before serving.

Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean Cookbook: Corn Muffins

The Eat Clean Cookbook by Tosca Reno is full of healthful, delicious recipes.  I enjoyed making many recipes in this cookbook, but there is one I return to again and again: Corn Muffins.  (Often I make it as cornbread in a loaf pan.)  Maybe it’s because I’m married to a southerner, but in our house, you can never have too much cornbread around.

Super Simple Corn Muffins by Tosca Reno

Dry Ingredients:
1 and 1/3 cups / 320 ml whole-wheat flour
1 1/3 cups / 320 ml cornmeal
1/3 cup / 80 ml skim milk powder
2 Tbsp / 30 ml Sucanat or rapadura sugar
2 tsp / 10 ml baking powder
2 tsp / 10 ml baking soda
1 tsp / 5 ml finely ground sea salt

Wet Ingredients:
½ cup / 120 ml unsweetened applesauce
2 cups / 480 ml skim milk, soured with 2 Tbsp / 30 ml lemon juice
2 Tbsp / 30 ml coconut oil, canola oil or melted butter
4 egg whites, beaten

1. Preheat oven to 425°F / 220°C. Line a muffin tin with unbleached paper liners.
2. Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
3. Place wet ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mix together well.
4. Add wet to dry ingredients and mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix.
5. Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until just golden on top.

A cool thing about this cookbook is that Tosca Reno has some signature ingredient blends that she incorporates into several recipes.  Power Flour, for example, is a combination of various flours that can be used in place of regular or whole-wheat flours.  She also has a recipe for Eat Clean Cooking Spray to use in place of PAM or the like.

Thanks to Rechelle for sending me a review copy of this cookbook.  I’ll be using it for years to come.

Organic, Shaken and Stirred: Cocktail Recipes

Organic, Shaken and Stirred: Hip Highballs, Modern Martinis and Other Totally Green Cocktails is an awesome new collection of recipes by Paul Abercrombie, published by Harvard Common Press.

I had the pleasure of being asked to look at a copy of the book and give my take here on Smorgasbite- thanks Paul!

I enjoyed sampling several of the cocktail recipes -delicious- and I enjoyed drooling over the rest.  The photography is exquisite and the ingredients- muddled blackberries, fresh mint, crystalized ginger- are, shall we say, top shelf.  That said, not too many of the recipes can be made with ingredients just lying around the house (save you tropical island dwellers, perhaps) so it pays to plan and shop accordingly.  Meanwhile, while the book calls for organic spirits (rum, tequila, etc) – regular will do.

I’m happy to be able to share with you a recipe.

Coming in Hot!

2 organic strawberries, hulled
4 slivers peeled and seeded organic jalapeno chile
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed organic lemon juice
1.5 ounces organic repasado tequila
1/2 ounce organic agave nectar

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the strawberries, 3 of the jalapeno slivers, and the lemon juice until well mashed.  Add the tequila and agave nectar, and fill the shaker with ice cubes.  Shake vigorously, then strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass.  Garnish with the remaining jalapeno sliver.

Lastly, Paul writes a great blog about all things cocktail at, you guessed it, organicshakenandstirred.com

Recipe: Taste of Home’s Honey-Oat Granola Bars

I had a small gathering of friends over on Friday night to watch some livestream of TED 2010 in Long Beach.

We decided on a potluck approach to the evening so, among other things, I whipped up a batch of some Honey-Oat Granola Bars from the Taste of Home Cookbook, Cooks Who Care edition (by the people who publish Taste of Home cooking magazine- free issue offer on the website).

This is a pretty new cookbook, and it’s enormous with over 1300 recipes in every category imaginable.  A person’s name and hometown is associated with each recipe, which gives me that all-fuzzy-inside feeling.  You know, if Marlys in Cincinnati loves this recipe, it must be good 😉   I’ve noticed the ingredients tend to be budget-friendly and many of the recipes could likely be made with staples you already have in the pantry.

The Taste of Home Cookbook also features 21 heart-warming stories of people helping others through food-related efforts. The Cooks Who Care cookbook ed. celebrates the recipes and charitable acts performed by Cooks Who Care. The hope is that these stories and recipes will hopefully inspire others to make a difference in their communities.

I added a meyer lemon glaze to the top of mine to add a bit of festivity.

Honey-Oat Granola Bars with Meyer Lemon Glaze

Bars

4 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped salted peanuts
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sunflower kernels
3/4 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a large bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, peanuts, chocolate chips and sunflower kernels. Stir in the butter, honey and vanilla until combined (mixture will be crumbly). Press into a greased parchment paper-lined 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan.

2. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack; cut into squares. Cool completely before removing from pan. Yield: 3 dozen.

Glaze

1 Meyer lemon (can substitute regular lemon)
1-1.5 cups powdered sugar

1. Place powdered sugar in a small bowl.  Squeeze lemon over bowl so juice pours into bowl, being careful to catch any seeds.  Whisk until combined and smooth.

2. Pour over honey-oat granola bars.

Thanks to Anjali for sending me this cookbook!

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