Have you tried any of these recipes?

Have you tried any of these recipes? If you have, please leave a comment to let me know how it worked for you and if you suggest any changes!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Caramelized Fruit and Buttermilk Corn Cakes

This was a brunch inspired by the fact that I had a huge mound of fruit that I didn't know what to do with and buttermilk in the fridge that needed also to be eaten. However, it turned out FABULOUSLY and is quite easy to make! I suggest making the fruit first and while it is cooking, starting on the pancakes.

I love my griddle
This was just what I needed
On a cold morning.

Caramelized Fruit
  • 1/2 to 3/4 lb of fruit, fresh (I used two apples and a pear)
  • 1-2 Tsp unsalted butter (I misread it as tablespoons, and used a full two)
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar (I used pomegranate balsalmic, though raspberry, cider or balsalmic will do)
  • 3/4 to 1 tsp sugar
  • Orange juice (up to 1/4 cup)
  • Squeezable lemon or lime wedges
  1. Chop the fruit in thick slices.
  2. Place a medium-sized skillet over medium heat for about a minute. Add the butter, and when it melts, swirl to coat the pan.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Place the fruit, skin side down, in the melted butter, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until it softens slightly.
  4. Turn the fruit over, and press it down gently. Drizzle with the vinegar, and cook on the second side for about 3 minutes, or until tender. Sprinkle the sugar over the top, and continue to cook just until the sugar melts.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the fruit to a plate with a rim. Any sauce that comes out of the pan easily can be spooned over the fruit.
  6. Pour the orange juice into the pan, mixing to dissolve the remaining sauce. Spoon this over the fruit and serve hot or warm with squeezable citrus wedges.
Buttermilk Corn Cakes
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • Nonstick spray
  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Measure the buttermilk into a 2 cup liquid measure. Add the egg, and beat gently with a fork or small whisk until thoroughly combined. Beat in the vanilla.
  3. Pour the buttermilk mixture, along with the melted butter, into the dry ingredients. Using a spoon or a rubber spatula, stir from the bottom of the bowl until the dry ingredients are all moistened. Don't overmix; a few small lumps are okay.
  4. Place a griddle or skillet over medium heat. After a minute or two, spray it lightly with nonstick spray. Using a 1/4 cup measure with a handle, scoop up batter and pour it onto the hot griddle.
  5. Cook the pancakes for 3 - 4 minutes on the first side, or until really golden on the bottom. The second side will go a little faster; 2 - 3 minutes will usually do it, depending on the heat.
  6. Serve immediately with topping.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Warming Winter Tea

This is a very cozy, warming tea that is perfect for cold afternoons and evenings. The stimulating spices is excellent for sluggish digestive systems and helps flush out symptoms of a cold.

  • 1 tsp whole cardamom seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole dried cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch of black pepper

Place the above in a french press, or a tea strainer and add hot water. Let steep for 10 minutes; strain and serve.

Recipe from The Spa Deck, put out by Chronicle Books.

One tall cup a day
Will keep the doctor away
It's so tasty too!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Orange-Cherry Corn Muffins

I love mini-muffins. These are great for a quick pick-me-up or even for a breakfast on the go. I made a whole batch of them and have them in an airtight container for the week. They're not very sweet though. If you're wanting a dessert muffin - make cupcakes!

Morning pick-me-up
Eat a handful at a time
Great with a mocha!


Nonstick spray
1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1 c cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/3 c sugar
1 Tbsp grated orange zest
1/2 c orange juice
1/2 c buttermilk
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 c cherries (fresh or frozen, undefrosted), pitted and sliced, or 1 c dried cherries

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly spray mini muffin tray with nonstick spray.
  2. Combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and orange zest in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Measure the orane juice and buttermilk into a 2-cup liquid measure. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat gently with a fork or a small whisk until smooth.
  4. Slowly pour this mixture, plus teh melted butter, into the dry ingredients. Using a spoon or a rubber spatula, stir from the bottom of the bowl. When it is almost all mixed, add the cherries, then complete the mixing with a few swift strokes until the dry ingredients are all moistened. Don't over-mix; a few lumps are okay.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
  6. Bake in the midde of the oven for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven, then remove the muffins from the pan and place them on a rack to cool. Wait at least 30 minutes before serving.
* You can make regular sized muffins too. Just bake them for 20 to 25 minutes.
* You don't have to wait 30 minutes before serving. I waited a mere 3 minutes.

Recipe taken from Mollie Katzen's Book Sunlight Cafe.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sweet Potato Quesadillas

When root vegetables are cheap, local and abundant, it is nice to have new ways of cooking them. I came across this recipe this morning, realized I had everything in the house I needed, and made these quesadillas for breakfast - though they would be great for any other hearty meal.

Sweet Potato Que -
-sadillas! These were tasty!
Healthy and hearty.


2 medium sweet potatoes 4 flour tortillas
1/2 onion 4 oz Brie or other medium soft cheese
1 clove garlic 2-3 leaves Swiss chard (or other greens)
1 Tbsp oregano
1 Tbsp basil
1 tsp cumin
Chile powder to taste
Olive oil for saute

  1. Cut sweet potatoes into chunks, cook in steamer basket or microwave until soft, then mash.
  2. Chop and saute garlic and onion in a large skillet. Add spices and sweet potato and mix well, adding a little water if it's too sticky. Turn burner very low to keep warm without burning.
  3. Preheat oven to 400.
  4. Oil a large baking sheet, spread tortillas on it to lightly oil one side, then spread filling on half of each.
  5. Top with slices of Brie and shredded chard, then fold tortillas to close (oiled side out). Bake until browned and crisp (about 15 minutes); cute into wedges for serving.

I actually didn't have any oregano and only had laughing cow spreadable cheese in the fridge, but the quesadillas turned out fabulously anyway.

Recipe taken from Barbara Kingsolver's book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.


Okay - time to find a new go-to vegetable (Midwesterners - stop it.  Asparagus is NOT in season.)  You know what I have right now?  Kale, leftover basil and oregano, peppers (mmmm poplanos) and sweet potatoes.  This recipe is PERFECT.  Pictured here, about to be topped and cooked:


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sunlight Souffle

Happy New Year! It is a little dismal in Chicago and I miss the sunshine. Here is a recipe that I'll probably make again in February, when the greyness really gets me down:

Sunlight Souffle, Mmmmmm!!!!
Ate it all in one sitting.
I had help - Thanks Tim!


2 cups ricotta
6 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract
6 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
2 medium-sized ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly spray a 1 1/2 quart souffle dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Place the ricotta in a large bowl and add the egg yolks, extracts, flour, salt, sugar, and lemon zest. Whisk together until fluffy and smooth.
  3. Beat the egg whites until they form peaks that don't fall over when the whisk or beaters are lifted and just a little liquid is left in the bottom of the bowl. Don't overbeat, which is easy to do when using an electric mixer. *
  4. Fold the beaten whites into the cheese mixture until they are mostly incorporated. The mixture will not be uniform - there will be little puffs of "cloud" here and there - and that is fine. (It's best not to overfold, as this will deflate the egg whites.) Transfer the mixture to the prepared dish.
  5. Toss together the peach slices and the lemon juice, then arrange the peaches in a design on top of the souffle.
  6. Bake in the center of the oven for 45 minutes, or until the souffle seems solid when you gently shake the dish. Serve immediately.
* Don't underbeat, which is easy to do when using a fork.

Recipe taken from Mollie Katzen's Book Sunlight Cafe, lent to me by Megan. Thanks!
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