Everything INCLUDING the Kitchen Sink…

My adventures in the kitchen

Remembering Favorites… April 11, 2010

Filed under: Recipe — Carey @ 4:01 pm

I was browsing through recipes last night and came across one for waffles. Now, we’re not big on breakfast, since neither of us is ready to eat before 10:00 am, and my daughter prefers a salty breakfast over sweet. So waffles, pancakes, etc, don’t show up on the table very often. And frankly, I’d forgotten the waffles…

I blogged about the basic recipe a while back. My dad came up with the recipe when I was a kid, and for years that was Sunday morning breakfast – Dad made waffles, and we’d have fresh figs, homemade apple or pear sauce, fruit syrup, persimmons…whatever was in season or we’d preserved.

Since I finally got a waffle iron, I’ve started making them, and of course each time is a little different. Today, I grabbed the rye and barley flakes. We’d gotten a batch of rather disappointing blueberries a couple of weeks ago that I had boiled down to syrup. And a bag of strawberries that was getting pretty badly freezer burned. Mmmm, the makings of breakfast…

The beauty of this waffle recipe is that it can easily be gluten-free. And it has so much flavor – I ate the first two squares just plain. And even though the basis of the sauce was homemade blueberry syrup, a store bought syrup will work just as well.

Growing up, eating at IHOP was a big treat as we never had anything remotely similar to eat at home. My favorites were the fruit and cheese blintzes. I’ve made them at home, but it takes a fair amount of work. I also really like potato pancakes with sour cream, which gave me the idea of a short cut – sour cream, berries and waffles. It makes an easy, tasty and healthier breakfast treat than the IHOP version – in fact, IHOPs are too sweet for me nowadays.

Waffles (Made 4 2-square waffles)

1/2 c cashews, almonds or walnuts
2/3 c rolled rye flakes
2/3 c rolled barley or oat flakes
1 TBS oil
1 TBS sorghum or molasses OR 2 TBS brown or raw sugar
1 tsp coarse sea salt
Water to cover, 1 – 1 1/2 c.

Put all ingredients in blender and blend until fairly smooth (add small amounts of water if necessary to keep the batter thin enough to blend).

Let sit while waffle iron heats up. Whiz batter briefly and pour into waffle iron. Bake a minute or two longer after “Done” light comes on.

Strawberry Sauce

2 c. Blueberry syrup (use commercial, or use recipe below)
1 pkg frozen strawberries
1/4 candied citron
2 TBS candied orange peel

Put syrup and strawberries in saucepan and simmer until berries are thawed. Use a potato masher and smash the strawberries up. Add the candied citron and orange peel and let sit 15-20 minutes.

To Serve:
Spread a tablespoon of fat-free sour cream over each waffle. Pour the syrup over and enjoy.

Blueberry Syrup
1 pint blueberries
1 c apple juice concentrate
1 cinnamon stick
pinch of ground cardamom
Pinch of salt
2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 TBS cold water

Put all ingredients except cornstarch into saucepan and simmer for at least 1 hour (blueberries should be very soft). Let cool for 15-20 minutes. Add cornstarch water and mix. Bring syrup back to a boil stirring constantly and boil until all milkiness has disappeared. Let cool at least 1 hour. Mash the blueberries (I used a large sieve and just mashed the blueberries in it while the juice ran through).

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Pies, It’s All Pies, I Tell You… April 3, 2010

Filed under: Recipe — Carey @ 7:55 pm

So my daughters summer appetite this year seems to be for pies. Well, maybe that’s kind of my fault, since we were at the grocery store and I said I was in the mood for a fruit pie. Now mind you, we hadn’t had any pies since Christmas, and while I like pecan pie and tolerate pumpkin pie, I love a piece of fruit pie. It can be most any kind of fruit.

And it HAS to have milk on it. Well, fruit pies do. My grandfather always had something on his cake and pie – when he was younger it was cream. As he got older and more “health conscious” (I do use that term advisedly!) he used 1/2 & 1/2. When we were in Colorado for my grandmothers funeral last month, the whole family got into a big discussion about whether or not pie should have milk/1/2 & 1/2/cream on it, and there were only 3 of us that didn’t think that was gross – but they all like ice cream on their pie – go figure.

So where was I…oh yes, pies, pies, and more pies…Anyway, it’s still a little early for good fruit, so we got some frozen peaches and blueberries, with the intention of making a peach-blueberry pie. Then we went to the farmer’s market, and my daughter walked up to me with a bag of Key limes. The conversation went something like this:

Daughter: “These look nice”.
Mom: “What are we going to use that many for?”
Daughter: “Key Lime Pie??”

And so Key Lime pie it was, and the blueberry-peach pie got put off a week. I made my blueberry-peach pie last weekend, and thought I was done with pies for a while. Then last night my daughter brought home 4 pounds of strawberries. They were gorgeous, but have you seen 4 pounds of strawberries??? And the conversation went something like this:

Daughter: “Look what we had today.”
Me: “Those are gorgeous. How much is there?”
Daughter: “4 pounds.”
Me: “What are we going to do with that many strawberries.”
Daughter: “Pie??”

Ok, yeah, I got it. Next time she shows up with a boatload of anything, my response is going to be “Pie?”

So, strawberry pie. I’ve never made a pie with strawberries. The two options that came to mind were strawberry rhubarb and strawberry cream pie. My daughter nixed the strawberry rhubarb, so strawberry cream it was.

I started looking for recipes, and there seemed to be 3 main variations: Strawberry with a chilled cream cheese base; a pudding/whipped topping base; a baked “cheesecake” base. None of these really appealed to me, so it was time to improvise. The first option was the closest, since we wanted a nice, cool summery pie. But mixing some sugar and cream cheese just wasn’t cutting it. So I opted for a combination; cream cheese and pudding.

I also liked the idea of a “glaze”, but didn’t want to cook the living daylights out of those gorgeous strawberries. So instead of a “glaze”, the pie has a strawberry “sauce”. I wanted to “spark it up” a bit, but didn’t want to bury the flavor of the strawberries in spices, so I added the juice and zest of a couple of Key limes to the strawberries (we came home with another bag of Key limes today:D)

This is a pretty easy recipe, you just need to allow some time for the cooling stages.

Strawberry Cream Pie

Cookie Crust:
1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
5 TBS butter, melted

OR
1 Prepared chocolate cookie crust

Cream Cheese Pudding:
4 oz. Neufchatel or fat-free cream cheese
1/2 pkg Instant Sugar-free Lemon Pudding mix
1/2 c. milk
1/8 tsp. salt

Strawberries:
1+1 pints Strawberries
2 TBS. raw, turbinado or brown sugar, or Splenda brown sugar substitute
Juice and zest of 2 Key limes
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
pinch salt

Crust:
Mix cookie crumbs and butter. Pour into pie plate and press out and up sides of pie plate. Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes, or until edges start to brown. Allow to cool completely.

Pudding:
Put ingredients in a bowl and mix with electric mixer until smooth. Pour into pie plate and spread out evenly across bottom of pie crust. Cover and put in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Strawberries:

Wash and dry 1 pint of the strawberries. Hull and cut in half length-wise. Layer around edge of pie, wide side out. Continue until pudding surface is covered with sliced strawberries. If you have some left over, add them to the next step.

Wash and hull the remaining strawberries. Use a potato masher and smoosh the strawberries. Add the sugar, lime juice and zest, cornstarch and salt. Mix until cornstarch is fully dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Allow to cool for 1/2 and hour. Pour over strawberries and pie and spread evenly. Recover the pie and refrigerate until strawberries are thoroughly chilled.