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Archive for the ‘breakfast’


When in Doubt: Fritters 3

Posted on April 23, 2010 by crankycheryl

We were out to dinner the other night and a friend pulled a couple of crinkly plastic bags out of her purse.  She had a share of a wild-crafting CSA, and declared that she needed some help “appreciating” the coltsfoot and sedum with which she had been gifted that week.

We nibbled at bites, furrowed our brows, and concluded that frying was the answer.  Definitely frying.

Two days later, Z. and I were having our usual Monday at home and it was time for breakfast when I stumbled on the bags in the fridge.  Fritter time.

So I beat together until smooth:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1/4 t. kosher salt

And then stirred in a cup or so of the mixed wild stuff.

Then heated up in a large skillet until it was slightly rippling:

  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 T. olive oil

Then poured the whole mix in, and let it sit until the underside was set and the top was starting to bubble, when it got flipped.

Then I cut it into wedges and ate half of it. It was really good – the coltsfoot has a sort of cumin-like taste that I found delicious.  The sedum tasted most like wilted thick spinach, pretty green but unoffensive.

And this is when the really startling thing happened.  Z. was watching Sid the Science Kid when he started wrinkling up his little nose and said, “I smell something yummy, Mommy!”  Hmm.  I asked if he wanted some.  I gave him a little slice, which he promptly devoured.  And then he ate the rest!  Hardly picking out the greens at all!

Truth be told, I’m still a little stunned.

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Dandelion Greens, Potato & Egg Breakfast 0

Posted on April 09, 2010 by crankycheryl

The spring greens are up and I am a weed-picking fool.  Would you join me please?  Seriously – just go outside and pick a pile of dandelion greens before the flowers bloom and leave thgreens terribly bitter.  Then you’ll wash them very carefully.  Maybe even a soak in a water-bath with 1/4 c. of white vinegar in it.  Keep rinsing and soaking until they’re clean enough for you. (Over here, that was 4 times.)

Then you can go ahead and make yourself a breakfast worthy of a spring celebration.

Dandelion Greens, Potato, & Egg Breakfast, with or without Bacon
Serves 2

Wash repeatedly until clean:

  • 4 – 6 c. dandelion greens

If you want to eat bacon, cook until desired crispness and then remove from pan:

  • (For a vegetarian version heat 3 T. olive oil until rippling)

Cut:

  • 2 large potatoes into medium cube.

Saute in oil or cook in bacon grease over medium high heat, until browned, then cover pan with a lid and cook for about 20 minutes or until done.

Add to pan and cook until greens are wilted:

  • those dandelion greens you washed so well
  • generous sprinkle of kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste

Scramble and then add to pan:

  • 4 large eggs

(Vegan? Mash up and add  1 package of firm tofu instead.)

Cook until eggs are done (or tofu is heated through).  Scramble together.  If using bacon, crumble and mix in.  Serve with your favorite hot sauce.

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200th Blog Post! Deviled Eggs Three Ways 2

Posted on April 05, 2010 by crankycheryl

[4/8/10 — This picture was included in the march of gorgeous spring holiday food over at Photograzing.  If you too are a lover of food-porn take a look!]

I’d like to nominate deviled eggs for the next food craze.  They’re cute, only slightly naughty, portable, adaptable, and individually sized.  What’s not to love?

For our annual Easter brunch-egg hunt extravaganza, I wanted something simple, special and spring-like and this is what we got.  They went fast, and I think I’ve found my brunch potluck standby for the season.

Do remember that the freshest eggs are harder to peel.  If you have time to think ahead, get the eggs you’re likely to want for this a week or so before you make them.

Deviled Eggs Three Ways
yield: 36 halves

Boil eggs your favorite way, or else try this technique that allegedly preserves more of their protein and other nutrients.

Place in cold water to cover by at least an inch:

  • 18 room temperature eggs

Bring water just to a boil, stir vigorously once or twice, then cover and turn off.  Let sit for 20 minutes. (I’ll admit that I often let them sit for an extra 5 to ensure they’re done.)

Prepare a platter by rinsing and arranging:

  • about 4 c. torn lettuce or mesclun salad on a large platter

Cool the eggs by plunging into a bowl of cold water with some ice in it.  Peel, cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out the yolks into a medium bowl.  Add to the yolks:

  • 3/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 2 T. yellow or other fairly mild mustard

Beat with an electric mixer until very creamy and smooth.

Using a spoon or pastry bag, fill 24 of the egg white halves with the yolk mixture.  To the remaining yolk mixture add:

  • 2 – 3 T. pesto (I used the local Bella Pesto I picked up at a recent winter farmer’s market, which was incredibly fabulous), depending on how strong and green you want the flavor and color.

Fill the remaining 12 egg halves with the pesto mixture.

Slice or rip into 12 small square-ish pieces:

  • 1 1/2 oz. good quality smoked salmon

Curve into a small roll and tuck next to the yolk mixture in 12 egg halves.  Place next to each salmon piece:

  • 1 caper per egg

Serve, and watch ’em go.

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Blessed Silence Sunday: Dakin Farm Pancake Breakfast 2

Posted on March 21, 2010 by crankycheryl

They let you have some of each.

Bruce Martell from the Ag. Dept. relieves Sam Cuttings, Jr. at the evaporator

This is Brian's 16th year staffing the griddle.

Husband & wife team Paul & Lori cooking up bacon and sausage.

Power tools for mixing vats of pancake mix.

Their pancake breakfasts and sugar-on-snow parties are going on for the next three weekends.  Wouldn’t be spring without going to at least one.

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Green Wraps & Chocolate Guinness Cake for St. Patrick’s Day 0

Posted on March 17, 2010 by crankycheryl

Filed under the category of “Things My Children Ought to Have Liked but Instead Were the Cause of Great Consternation and Caterwauling” are these wraps that were yummy, simple, adorable, healthy, made with nearly all local ingredients, and a fun twist on St. Patrick’s Day. Dangit.

I had meant to make Green Eggs & Ham for Dr. Seuss’s birthday earlier this month but never seemed to have all the ingredients at the same time.  Then fresh spinach arrived from a friend’s CSA share, and off we went.

Green Egg Wraps with Bacon
Makes about 6 wraps

Place in a blender and puree the heck out of:

  • 2 cups of fresh spinach leaves, well washed, stems removed
  • 2 eggs

Pour the egg-spinach mixture into a medium bowl and beat in:

  • 4 eggs
  • salt & pepper to taste

In the meantime, cook:

  • 8 strips of bacon (a couple of extra never hurt)

And warm up:

  • 4 or 6 whole grain wraps

I do both of these in one easy, lazy step by placing the bacon on a rack on a broiler pan that fits in my convection oven and broiling it for 10 or so minutes, until it’s as crispy as we like.  At the same time, I place the wraps on top of the oven.  They end up just warm enough and I’m not fussing with extra dishes or labor.

While the bacon’s going, cook the eggs in a skillet until set.

Into each warm wrap, place:

  • 1 slice of cheese (we used Muenster)
  • 1 piece of bacon
  • a couple scoops of green eggs
  • favorite add-ins: tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, hot sauce, jalapenos, whatever you like.

Then wrap ’em up and serve.

For dessert we made Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Guinness Cake.  It was great, and I even lucked out and found some cream cheese frosting in the freezer to thaw to put on the top.

However, I would note that when a recipe calls for a 9″ springform pan, it really and truly doesn’t mean an 8″ springform pan.  Not that that’s a mistake you would ever make.

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Blessed Silence Sunday: Breakfast Cupcakes 0

Posted on February 07, 2010 by crankycheryl

Banana-squash muffin with cream cheese frosting.

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Apple Pie Muffins for My New Favorite Person 2

Posted on January 29, 2010 by crankycheryl

Everyone, meet Glen.  Although he wouldn’t let me take his picture head-on, Glen is my new favorite person.   Why?  Because Glen (there in the purple) is bringing to a lovely and so far uneventful close the “Leaking Bathtub, Buckling Floor, Toxic Mold of Death,” chapter of our lives.

Allow me to recount:

We purchased our unit before it was even constructed as part of this new cohousing community.  It’s a great location, with trees out every window, lovely.  It was also the first unit to be completed.  We didn’t consider that we would be moving into the beta version of the development.  Instead I simpered, thinking how precious it was that our condo would be the ground-breaker in this little eco-communitarian paradise.

Over time, various problems arose, some large, some less so, mostly of the seems-normal-for-new-construction variety.  Then, in spring 2009, I noticed that the floor of the bathtub was feeling a little soft.  I invited neighbors over and we climbed into the bathtub in our socks, springing up and down a bit.  “Hmm,” we said.  Hmm.  We shrugged.

The caulking on the side of the tub kept pulling away and I keep dutifully replacing it.  Then, sometime in June, a small hill appeared in the linoleum near the tub.  Though I tried to ignore it for a couple of days, it was hard to keep that up.  Greg tapped his foot at me, and I started asking around for recommendations for a contractor.  My mother recommended Glen, who’s a friendly and burly Australian native.  We walked around the bathroom and started talking about likely causes.  If I was lucky, said Glen, it would prove to be a leak from the toilet’s gasket.  If we were unlucky, it would be a leak from the tub.  The only way to find out the cause would be to take up the floor and look, and he’d have to line up a plumber to assist.  Hmm.

A couple of days later, CrankyGreg came into the bedroom and said, “Um, I just tried to scratch some dirt off the tub, and I poked a hole in the tub.”  A hole in the tub was not something I’d ever really considered before.  We went to look at it, said, “hmm,” a couple of times.  I got on the phone to cancel a camping trip we’d been planning, since I’d have to stick around and get this fixed.

So I started making phone calls.  I left a message with the project’s general contractor, who never returned the call.  I spoke with the foreman of the plumbing subcontractor, who was the linchpin in getting to the tub’s manufacturer, but it took him 6 weeks to write three sentences on a piece of paper and submit it to the right people.  I called my insurance company, who promptly told me that my policy excluded damage incurred over time.  I contacted the condo association’s insurance company, who told me the whole thing would take about $1,200 to fix, including a new floor, new sub floor, new bathtub, and any necessary repairs.   We said, “No, thank you.”

I reported this to Glen, who told me to call back when I knew what I wanted to do.

In the meantime, we had a hole in the tub, but it was summer and kind of fun.  I sent the boys outside in the sprinkler to get clean, or else we went swimming.  A couple of times, I borrowed neighbors’ bathrooms, which was a chance to marvel at how clean other people’s homes are.

But time went on and the leaves started turning and now I really wanted some action.  Every time someone coughed or sniffled I became surer that we were sick because of mold spores.   I contacted the supplier of the tub, who had me talk to the quality assurance person at the manufacturer.  I’m pretty sure I’m the only homeowner he had ever spoken with, because what he mostly said was that I couldn’t call him, and had to deal with the supplier.  I called my lawyer, who came over and stood with me and looked at the tub and said, “hmm,” a few times and then told me I really should make some phone calls and get it fixed.  But that now he’d know what I was talking about when I called.

I really needed help.  In desperation, I called my insurance company and asked if there was someone who could just help get something done, like quarterback this for me.  From the other end of the phone came chirping crickets, silence, more silence, then, “You want us just to help you?  No.  We don’t do that.”

If there was a bright spot in my dealings with this wacky cast of characters, it was Donna at F.W. Webb, who had purchased the unit.  Although neither of us knew what to do, she made suggestions and gave me names and phone numbers.  Finally, now in October, I told Donna that I had had it, and asked her to relay to the tub’s manufacturer that she had an extremely irate homeowner who was ready to call the state’s attorney.  A few minutes later, Donna called back with the name, phone number, email and fax number of the person who handled such claims.  She told me what I needed to do.

It took me until December to have the two necessary estimates (in Vermont, we don’t do much in the way of home repairs in November because it’s deer season), and send them off to the company.  Then just before Christmas, I got a call from Scott, one of The Big Bosses at the manufacturer, who was telling me that they were of course going to replace the tub and pay for all necessary repairs.

So as I write this, I have a newly installed tub, and am picking out new linoleum (this, I think) and paint (Misty Memories, 2nd row from bottom, 2nd column from the right).   The toilet isn’t attached, and Greg says I’m on dukey duty if the boys decide to use it anyway.

That aside, things are looking up. The damage was fairly contained to one area, and there was no actual toxic mold.  I even heard words I’ve never before heard in this context, “You know, everything went right for you that could have.”  and now Glen is leaving for the weekend.  But not without having had some Cranky Love in the form of Apple Pie Muffins, really the least I could do.

Of course, the job isn’t quite done yet.

Apple Pie Muffins
Makes 12

Preheat oven to 350.

Whisk together in a medium bowl:

  • 1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 c. unbleached white flour
  • 2 T. ground flax seed
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. cinnamon (I used cardamom, which I always do, but I don’t like to go on and on about it like I’m some kind of weird cardamom nut)

In a large bowl, mix together well:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 5 T. melted butter or olive oil
  • 1 1.2 c. peeled, cored, chopped apple, or apple pie filling

If you use fresh apples, let them sit for 10 minutes to soften.

Stir the flour mixture into the egg-apple mixture, just until mostly combined. A few lumps (not just the apples) should remain.

Put into muffin tins and bake for 14 – 18 minutes.

When done, remove pan from oven and let muffins cool for a few minutes in their pan before removing to a rack to cool completely. Feed them to your contractor and any other people who might be hanging around looking hungry.

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Guest Post: Jill McKeever’s Homemade Almond Granola 5

Posted on January 28, 2010 by crankycheryl

A virtual foodie friend let it be known that she was looking to branch out and do some guest posts on other blogs, and I thought that sounded fun.   And today, with work AT LAST starting on my bathroom, I’m especially grateful to be able to share some homemade love without a lot of work on my part.

The guest blogger is the lovely Jill McKeever from Simple Daily Recipes, another mom with an unfussy approach to homemade food.

And here’s what she sent.

Homemade Almond Granola

Homemade Almond Granola is my favorite food right now. It works on top of yogurt, bananas, baked apples, in a small bowl with milk, and my favorite way, out of the palm of my hand. Every time I peek into my pantry, there it is, staring at me. It whispers, “I’m so good for you, snack on me. Take just a handful and be on your way.” I listen and obey.

And this is not an overly sweet granola, either. Comparing it to others I’ve eaten. It’s why I like eating it all the time. This best part is the crunch, not chew, CRUNCH. I can hardly hear my kids going on about what happened to SpongeBob when I’m eating it, the crunching drowns out their narratives. Bless their hearts.

You’ll find this recipe makes a lot of granola and it takes 2-hours to bake. It’s best to make it before bedtime. You read that correctly, before bed. Leaving the baked granola to slowly cool down in the oven overnight seems to be the magic trick to getting the crunch. It stores very well in glass jars with good lids.

There’s something about granola in a big glass jar on the counter. It seems to say, “This is a healthy, happy kitchen. Eat up!”

HERE’S ALL IT TAKES

  • 10 cups old fashion oats
  • 2 cups other grains (any variety six grain mix, steel cut oats, raw barley… you decide)
  • 2-4 cups nuts/seeds (mix them up pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Stir all the dry ingredients together, then add:

  • 1 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1 large jar almond butter

Mix well and place on three 9-inch by 13-inch pans and bake at 250ºF. Stir after 1 hour; bake 1-hour longer; stir again. NEXT, turn OFF oven and leave granola in there for several hours to cool. Store in air-tight containers. Granola has been known to keep well up to 3 weeks before being completely consumed.

Recipe and photo by Jill McKeever at SimpleDailyRecipes.com

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Blessed Silence Sunday: Life of the Dutch Baby Pancake 5

Posted on January 24, 2010 by crankycheryl

Sweet Potato-Pineapple-Chocolate Cardamom Baked Things 1

Posted on December 07, 2009 by crankycheryl

I’ve been finding myself thinking about muffin tops.  Mostly in an, “Nnnnnnrrr!  Mmph!  I don’t need to, grrr,  go up a size in jeans.  Zip, damnit!” sort of way.

And then last night my neighbor presented me with the last Thanksgiving leftovers – a whole pot filled with mashed sweet potatoes with pineapple.   It seemed like an easy thing to turn into some good food, so off I went with promises to share whatever resulted.

Since we had no baked goods around for snacking or behavior-related bribery, something in the sweet and yummy category seemed right.  So half of the sweet potatoes became:

Sweet Potato-Pineapple-Chocolate Cardamom Muffins & Bread
10 – 12 servings
Adapted from Joy of Cooking

Preheat oven to 350.

Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan or 12-cup muffin pan.

Whisk together thoroughly:

  • 1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 c. unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 t. ground cardamom
  • 1/2 t. nutmeg
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. baking powder

Combine in another bowl:

  • 1/3 c. water or milk
  • 1/2 t. vanilla

In a large bowl, beat until creamy:

  • 6 T. unsalted butter

Gradually add and beat until fluffy and light, about 3 minutes:

  • 1 c. sugar or brown sugar

Beat in, one at a time:

  • 2 large eggs

Add and beat on low speed just until blended:

  • 1 c. sweet potato (or pumpkin, or butternut squash) puree

Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the milk mixture in 2 parts, stirring with firm strokes just until blended but still lumpy.

Fold in:

  • 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 c. crushed pineapple

Scrape into pan or muffin cups.  Bake about 30 minutes for muffins, or one hour for bread.  Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing to rack to cool completely.

And why did mine come out so flat?  Here are some ideas from Chowhound.  I don’t know why I can’t seem to remember that my oven’s so slow and I really have to set it 25 degrees higher.

The rest of the sweet potatoes is destined for my attempt to recreate the amazing Southwest Sweet Potato soup I had at (one of my workplaces) The Scuffer the other day.  Picturing cream, broth, chipotles en adobo, a little smoked paprika.  Of course I’ll be reporting back.

 

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    Cheryl Herrick's brave Vermont quest to bring together food-love and mom-life. All original content (written, graphical, recipes or other), unless otherwise noted, is © and/or TM Cheryl Herrick. All rights reserved by the author. Want to reprint a recipe? Just get in touch and ask.

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