Category Archives: Snack

Spicy Island Cornbread – Ethnic Vegetarian


Kim here with a great spicy cornbread recipe!

I have made only one recipe from the book, The Ethnic Vegetarian, but the names of the recipes alone make this book so appealing to me. Not only is there spicy island cornbread, but there is South African corn pudding, fruit and sweet potato fritters, peanut biscuits, caribbean sweet potato bisque, and black bean and plantain fritters. Seriously. this book is for me. I don’t own it, but rented it from my local library. I know I need to own this now.

The  spicy island cornbread was amazing, and I didn’t even have tofu or hot sauce like the recipe calls for. (I love spicy cornbread, but I was home for the holidays and I took all the hot sauce from my parents for my own apartment. Talk about backfiring.)

The recipe I did was similar to the original and goes like this.

Ingredients:

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat or all-purpose flour (I used the latter)
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cayenne pepper
1 large egg
1 cup milk (original recipe calls for soymilk)
4 tablespoons sour cream (original recipe calls for 2 oz soft tofu)
1/4 cup softened butter
2 tsp orange juice (I used this to replace the lack of hot sauce, it was delicious!)
1 tsp grated orange zest

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sift flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, garlic powder, black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper.

Beat egg, add milk, sour cream, butter, orange juice, and orange zest. Mix together.

Combine wet to dry ingredients. It will be bery thin liquid. Pour into prepared muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes. Makes 12.

This was a delicious and spicy bread. Peppery and sweet and buttery, and would have been spicy if I put in the hot sauce. If you really don’t like spice, you can omit the cayenne pepper. It will still be a great muffin!

Advertisements

Nostalgia for a German/Austrian/Dutch breakfast.


Kim and I often feel nostalgic for our times abroad – the scenery, the people, the culture – and of course the food.

The other day, we were longing for the traditional breakfasts of central Europe. Or at least German, Austrian and Dutch breakfasts. We did a good job putting together a fantastically reminiscent meal of pretzel rolls, meats, cheeses, homemade Preiselbeeren jam (cranberry jam), homemade appelstroop (thick apple syrup), with tomato and cucumber.

When I was visiting a friend of mine in Cologne, Germany, her family’s breakfast table had an assortment of dense rolls, jams, chocolate spreads, cheeses and meats. My friend said she normally ate Meusli for breakfast during the week, but this was a special occasion, so they brought out the goods!

While Kim and I were eating our dinner, Kim said she could be in Austria right then, sitting in her host family’s kitchen. The only thing missing was the liverwurst pate!

Kim’s breakfast at our friend Barbara’s in Tettnang, Germany

When I was in Amsterdam for work, our hotel breakfast included slices of bread, salamis and ham, cheeses, tomato, cucumber, and of course Appelstroop.

Breakfast at my hotel in Amsterdam

A terrible photo of Appelstroop

So anyway, our dinner:

The Preisselbeeren jam and Appelstroop both turned out to be ridiculously easy to make.

Preiselbeeren Jam (Cranberry Jam)
On stovetop, cook cup of cranberries on medium heat. Spritz about half a lemon’s juice (a tablespoon) and add cinnamon, sugar. Cook until the cranberries have burst and become a spreadable delicacy!

preiselbeeren jam (with ricotta on bread)

Appelstroop (Apple Syrup)
The appelstroop is made of apple juice, lemon juice, whole anise, cinnamon and sugar. In a saucepan, add 6 cups of apple juice, two anise (seeds?) and a teaspoon or two of cinnamon. Boil until it’s 1/3 the amount, then add 1/2 cup of sugar and continue to boil until it’s a syrupy mass. BUT DON’T BOIL TOO LONG 0r the sugar will thicken too much, and you and that pan will be spending a lot of time with each other, you scraping off incredibly goopy syrup with a knife.

Anise – similar in taste as fennel, liquorice or tarragon. Pairs well with cinnamon.

Review: It was delicious of course! I love discovering food, or new ways of eating the same food, in this case, from different regions of the world!

-Beth


Cherry Cheese Scones



A rare occurrence, but Kim and I followed this recipe exactly, and guess what? They turned out amazing! Many times, when we’re just cooking for the two of us, we skimp on or swap ingredients, to make it healthier, and the dishes (usually) turn out tasting good, but nothing to rave about. THESE are rave-worthy!

Kim was craving the scones we had while in London, specifically the ones from our hostel cafe, which were fantastically buttery and rich. (with clotted cream and jam!) So she insisted we follow the recipe to see how close our Joy of Cooking got to English scones.

The English, historically and/or traditionally, have something called Afternoon Tea or High Tea (or just Tea, actually) that is served with little biscuits, scones and light sandwiches. We wanted to have a traditional “Afternoon Tea” while there, but they’re quite expensive – cheapest was £19 per person!

Kim had these juicy dried cherries – they were halfway between normal cherries and dried cherries. I’ve never seen that before, but I’m glad I’ve been introduced to them – they’re delicious! Very sweet on their own, but delicious.

Kim and I LOVE to mix sweet and savory, so of course we opted to make cherry cheese scones, so we swapped out the blueberries from the Joy of cooking recipe and added the cherries and cheese, hoping the consistency wasn’t changed too much by the cheese, and nixed the streusel topping. (Okay, I lied, I guess we did change the recipe…) Oh, and we forgot the vanilla extract too, but I think that worked in our favor, with the cheesiness.

Cherry Cheese Scones (altered from this recipe in Joy of Cooking cookbook.)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
6 Tbsp chilled, unsalted butter
1 egg
1/2 cup heavy cream (or milk)

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend with flour mixture until it’s crumbly. You can do this with a pastry cutter, grinder, or with your hands (my favorite way!) But we ground in in a grinder this time.

In a second bowl beat the egg, then add the cream. Add to flour mixture and stir/blend until dough comes together. Don’t overmix the cough, or your scones will be tough.

Spray the pan and transfer dough to pan. Knead the dough 4 or 5 times and mold into a flat round shape and cut into eighths, and separate the triangular pieces so each side bakes with a crusty exterior.

Bake for about 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean. I’d check after 15 minutes though, to see how they’re doing. Scones are best eaten fresh, but they were alright the next day too.

What we thought: DELICIOUS! I raved about them to everyone. I already remade them for co-workers and will make them next week when my friends and I have our own little afternoon tea! Cheers!

I know what a scone is, but what is clotted cream, cumpets, or lemon curd???
A brief history of the scone.
Wait, the English don’t pronounce it scone as in cone?

UPDATE: And speak of the devil (scones), a new YouTube food channel, Sorted, I started watching, literally yesterday, posted scones today! And they look so good, I think I might just have to make them tonight, for dessert!

-Beth


Peanut Butter Banana Bread Pudding


Kim here.

I invited my brother’s girlfriend, the wonderful Sarah, over to finally bake together! And Beth came home as well! We all love to cook and bake, so honestly, I have no idea why it took this long for this to happen. We made an amazing bread pudding, and I LOVE peanut butter, bananas, bread, and I love them all together in bread pudding. I used the photos of this recipe for my 365 photography challenge. Recipe below.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread Pudding


Sweet Potato Latkes


So, it’s basically a given, when Kim and I are together on a lazy morning, that we’re making something fun for breakfast. Well, she brought quite a few sweet potatoes with her from home, which naturally means that we’re making something fun with sweet potatoes for breakfast.

I walked into the kitchen this morning to find her preparing Sweet Potato Latkes!

Sweet Potatoe Latkes fresh out of the oven!

She followed this recipe, but as is usual and expected from Kim and my cooking, she added her own flair to them with a bit of chili and curry powder. 😛

2 grated sweet potatoes
1 small onion, grated
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp curry powder

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray or butter cookie sheets. We ground the sweet potatoes and onion in a food processor instead of grating it, and it seemed to work fine. Combine all ingredients. Spoon about 1/3 cupfuls onto cookie sheet; flatten.

Bake 25 minutes. Flip over, bake another 15 minutes. Should be slightly crispy. We enjoyed them with greek yogurt, but the original recipe suggests a dollop of sour cream.

Sweet Potato Latkes with cinniman sticks and greek yogurt

Kim’s addition of chili and curry was great! It added a nice punch that made this originally sweet dish have a hint of savory to it.

Great breakfast Kim! Thanks!

-Beth


Sweet Potato Banana Mexican ‘Cake’


Yet another way to combine several heavenly foods. This recipe originated from this recipe, Mexican Banana Cake, which is more of a dessert, whereas Kim and I turned this into a breakfast _____. I don’t really know what to call it. I guess it’s still a cake – we only lessened the sugar and butter, which, in addition to an egg, are the only other ingredients anyway!

If following the linked recipe, know that Kim and I are equally confused about the recipe calling for milk, but then never instructing you to put it in the mixture. We nixed it and it turned out great!

Makes enough for 2 people:

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp softened butter
  • 2Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Suggestions for dressing/frosting: We mixed Chobani Plain greek yogurt with Krema natural creamy peanut butter and that was our (delicious!) ‘frosting.’ If that’s not sweet or tasty enough, add cinnamon, honey, apple butter, things like that! The original recipe calls for jam, so I’m sure that’s delicious too.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Take butter out of fridge to soften at room temperature, or soften it in microwave for 10-ish seconds. Peel and cut up sweet potato and bananas and boil until sweet potatoes are soft. With a blender, blend egg and sugar together until it’s a light and fluffy cream. In a separate bowl, blend butter, vanilla extract, sweet potatoes and bananas together. Then mix egg/sugar mixture into sweet potato/banana mixture.

Spray two ramekin bowls. Pour mixture into bowls and place in oven. Bake for approx. 30 minutes. We checked on ours every 10 minutes.


Kidney Bean Garlic and Herb Bean Dip


I feel like I post a lot of bean dips, but I just love them! They’re like chili, in that you can put in almost anything and call it bean dip. (In fact, chili is bean dip in a way, isn’t it?)

Well. I wasn’t too hungry, but I wanted a little som’m som’m. I wanted cheese, but not a lot of fat. So I used Garlic and Herb Laughing Cow, which is an amazing 35 calories, given the rich and creamy texture it added to my bean dip!

This recipe is for one person:
2/3 cup cooked Kidney Beans
1 Garlic and Herb Laughing Cow slice
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 chopped mushrooms
Dash of salt, red pepper flakes, and anything else you desire

Saute onions a minute or so, add mushrooms. Saute until onions are translucent. Add beans and mush with a fork until no full beans are left. Add spices and laughing cow cheese.

Eat with veggies or pita chips!

-Beth