Friday, March 30, 2012

Baked Peach Pancakes


This is another brunch dish that my family loves that came from a Bisquick recipe booklet. I have mentioned in the past that I now try to keep a homemade biscuit mix in my fridge all the time and use that in place of Bisquick. So I made this with my homemade mix that is part white whole wheat and part all-purpose flour and it turned out perfect. Originally, the recipe turns out a little more wet and "eggy"; so I have added about an additional 1/3 cup biscuit mix than what was called for in the original recipe. I also really liked the flavor of the peach syrup over top, but I added the recipe for the Honey-Raisin Syrup that was part of Bisquick's recipe.

Servings: 8 


Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/3 cup biscuit/baking mix
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 medium peaches, peeled and thinly sliced (or may use 1 1/2 cups canned, drained and sliced peaches or frozen but thawed ones)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place 2 Tbsp butter in each of 2 pie plates (9x 1 1/4 inches). Heat in oven until melted. May instead melt the butter in the pie plates in the microwave for a minute or two.
  2. Beat baking mix, milk and eggs in a small bowl, using a wire whisk or fork, until smooth. Arrange half of the peach slices in each pie plate. Divide batter evenly between pie plates, pouring over the peaches. Mix sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over batter.
  3. Bake uncovered 20-25 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Serve with Honey-Raisin Syrup (or I used the syrup from my canned peaches over top of the pancakes).





Honey-Raisin Syrup
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Heat all ingredients over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot.

adapted from Bisquick Breakfasts & Brunches (No 22) copyright 1999 "Baked Peach Pancakes"



Shared with the following:
     Country Momma Cooks: Link and Greet #12
     Six Sisters' Stuff: Strut Your Stuff Saturday Linky Party #38
     The Grant Life: Financial Friday + Fabulous Features
     The Country Cook: Weekend Potluck #11
     The Taylor House #3
     Miz Helen's Country Cottage: Full Plate Thursday 4-12-12

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Shortcakes



Even though it is a little early in our area for homegrown strawberries, I just had to share this recipe with everyone. My husband came home from the grocery store with another great deal recently- beautiful, ripe and wonderful strawberries for a steal! So we had to make strawberry shortcake with some of them. I have often used the little individual cakes that are sold in the store to eat with strawberries- sweet and yummy. However, we did not have any of these on hand, and I have been trying to make more foods from scratch when possible. So I decided to make biscuits, which are actually the traditional way to eat fruit shortcakes. 

Lately, I have been trying different biscuit recipes and found some really good ones that are wonderfully flaky and tasty. I have almost become addicted to them with various sweet and savory spreads and toppings. It is a little funny because I rarely, if ever, made these up until now- thought they were too much work and did not really enjoy them. This time, I found a winner recipe for shortcake that I was so thrilled with and will be THE ONE for shortcakes. This recipe was from an older cookbook I have titled Fannie Farmer Boston Cooking School Cookbook, (tenth edition, 1959). Three interesting ingredients that differ from many biscuit recipes were a little spice (nutmeg- or cardamom would also be good), cream of tartar and egg, which gives a richer biscuit.

Here is a picture of the biscuits- I did not make them as thick because I did not want so much biscuit with each serving of fruit. 


Ingredients:


2 cups flour (I used 1/2 white whole wheat flour)
4 tsp cream of tartar or phosphate baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp nutmeg or cardamom
1/3 cup butter
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup milk


Directions:


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Mix together dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Cut butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, fork or may use fingers until butter is well incorporated (may also use a food processor just until the butter is mixed evenly in the flour). Combine milk and egg together into measuring cup and gradually add to the flour mixture just until the dough begins to hold together. If the dough is too dry and there is much excess flour in the bowl, add more milk one Tbsp at a time but do not mix excessively. 


Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly a few times to get it to stick together. Pat out into a circle about 1 inch thick and either cut into desired pieces or use a biscuit cutter or cup/drinking glass to cut out individual biscuits. Place on a  lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. If using a darker baking sheet, bake at 400 degrees and check them at about 10 minutes or even sooner so they do not become too browned.


*If you want higher rising biscuits, do not pat the dough out as thin- make it 1 1/2 inches-2 inches thick and cut out the biscuits.


Option: the original recipe calls for using a 9 inch buttered cake pan and dividing the biscuit dough into 2 parts. Each part is rolled out to 9 inch rounds, the first round placed in the cake pan and a little melted butter is brushed on it. Then the 2nd round is placed in the cake pan and more butter is brushed on top. It is then baked for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.

The original recipe also called for using unsweetened, unwhipped heavy cream over the berries and shortcake, but I prefer a lighter sweetened whipped cream.



*The leftover biscuits are wonderful with cream cheese (strawberry flavored or other fruit flavored) or butter after being warmed a few seconds in the microwave or a couple minutes in the toaster oven.



This recipe was shared with the following:
     Sweets For A Saturday #62
     Weekend Potluck #10
     Crumbs and Chaos: Seasonal Inspiration: 3-24-12
     Country Momma Cooks- Link and Greet Party #11
     Jam Hands: Recipe Sharing Monday #13
     Delightfully Dowling: Mangia Mondays 55
     Miz Helen's Country Cottage: Full Plate Thursday 3-29-12
     Something Swanky: Sweet Treats Thursday
     Simple Lives Thursday #89- A Bit of Spain In Iowa
     The Taylor House #3
Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Thai Shrimp Curry



In the past, I never thought I wanted to eat Thai food because my perception has always been that it is spicy hot. However, I occasionally watch Chef Tommy Tang on PBS making easy Thai food, and I absolutely salivate over his dishes. In addition, last year I was looking for other ways to use coconut milk and came across this recipe online. The thing I love about this dish is that it is pretty fast and you can adjust the level of heat- making it mild or spicy.  Every time I make it, we all spend the meal exclaiming how good it is. I have also made this dish and served it over angel hair pasta. In addition, this dish would also be good with fish or chicken. The recipe I am posting is an adaptation of one I found on Epicurious.com- I followed the basic recipe but added in some other vegetables and seasonings.

     Ingredients:
2 Tbsp oil
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 cup chopped green onion
1-2 Tbsp Thai green curry paste
1  14 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
2-3 cups chicken broth (or enough to cover vegetables)
3 Tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 cup diced plum tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes)
2 pounds uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
chopped cilantro
lime wedges
*optional (I also added these items)- 
  •      2 stalks of celery, bias cut 
  •      1 small yellow summer squash, quartered and thinly sliced
  •      1/2 sweet green or red pepper, chopped (may use any combination of sweet or hot peppers)
  •      1/2 cup carrots, julienned
  •      3 cloves garlic, pressed/finely minced or 1-2 Tbsp of garlic paste
  •      1-2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger or may use ginger paste (this really adds wonderful flavor), may substitute 1-2 tsp dry ginger powder
  •      1-2 shrimp flavor bouillon cubes


     Directions:
Heat oil in bottom of a large soup pot and add sliced onion (not the green), celery, peppers, squash and carrots. Cook for approximately 2-4 minutes until the onion is just becoming translucent. Season with some seasoned salt. Add in the garlic, ginger and green curry paste and stir around for about 1 minute. Then add in coconut milk, chicken broth, fish sauce and sugar. Boil for 2 minutes.  Add in green onions, shrimp and tomatoes and cook for about 2 minutes if using medium shrimp or a couple minutes longer if using larger shrimp- just until they begin to turn pink. Serve over prepared rice or noodles and garnish with chopped cilantro and lime wedges.   

  Serves approximately 4-6 people   

Shared with the following:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Moroccan Beet Salad


Beets are such a lovely vegetable- great color and have such a wonderful flavor, and they are another one of those superfoods that is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that our bodies crave. I have always loved them and this dish is just another big reason why! Last summer, my family went to a mission open-house at a local church and had a great time talking to people from all around the world and sampling some wonderful food. While there, I found this beet salad and could not believe how good the flavors were. Near the end of the day, I asked someone about what was in it- she didn't know for sure because it was made by a local man from Morocco. She then offered me an entire large pan of it since there were a lot of leftovers, which I readily accepted. My husband and I were in heaven for the next few days eating the leftovers. After eating this and trying to figure out what this was made out of, I decided to try making it myself. I think the key to the great flavor is the cilantro, which I have never had with beets before. Somehow, the onion and cilantro give such a brightness with the sweetness of the beets and the marinade (dressing) imparts a subtle flavor that results in such wonderful combination! This is a great summer salad, but it is also great anytime of the year when you want a little different beet dish.

     Ingredients:
3  15 oz. canned beets, (drained, chopped into strips or cubes if not already done for you)
     or you may use approximately 5-6 cups cooked and chopped beets
1 medium red onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (may use more or less or substitute chopped fresh flat leaf parsley)
1/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup vinegar (or may use 1/2 cup vinegar and 3 Tbsp lime juice)
3/4 tsp salt (may adjust to taste)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2/3 cup sugar  
   
     Directions:
Mix together olive oil, vinegar/lime juice, salt, pepper and sugar in a large bowl. Add in the prepared beets, onion and cilantro. Stir well. Refrigerate in a covered dish for at least 4 hours, mixing ingredients every couple hours. Mix again before serving.


Yields approximately 8-10   1/2 - 2/3 cup servings
     

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Portuguese Soup (Caldo Verde)



Here is another soup that I made for the first time a few months ago and really enjoyed. In fact, the entire family liked it. This is one of the many variations of Portuguese soup- which is reportedly their national soup. The main elements, I have learned, are kale- lots of it and thus called "Green Soup", potatoes and some type of a broth. Many other people add in any or all of the following: cabbage, beans, tomatoes and andouille or another type of sausage. Of course, I have a hard time making a dish with just a couple ingredients for some reason. Maybe it is because I feel the need to always try to pack as much nutrition in one dish, and I am a big one for one-dish meals! So this is why my Portuguese soup is full of ingredients and not just a simple dish. Feel free, though, to make it with any or all of the ingredients- you might substitute the kale for some other type of greens if you do not care as much for the kale.

Ingredients:

1-2 large onions, chopped 
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil or butter
3-4 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
2-3 cups of chopped starchy vegetable- white and/or sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips, etc
1/4 medium head of cabbage, coarsely chopped (optional)
2  15 oz. cans of kidney beans or cannelini or whatever other combination desired, drained
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes, or 1  24 oz. (large) can diced tomatoes with the juice
1-2 Tbsp dried parsley
12-16 oz. sausage of choice
8-10 cups chicken broth or water with chicken flavor bouillon (may need to add more)
1 pound kale, center rib removed, finely chopped
Adobo seasoned salt to taste

Instructions:

In a large stockpot, sauté the onion and celery with oil or butter until the onion is translucent. Add in the minced garlic and sauté a couple minutes longer, stirring constantly. You may brown the sausage in a separate pan or in the same pot with the vegetables. Then add in the remainder of the ingredients except the kale and cook over medium heat until the vegetables have cooked and the potatoes are soft. Add in the kale and cook about 10-15 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Serve with a hearty bread.

Serves approximately 8-10 as a main dish




Shared on :
Simple Lives Thursday #87

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cilantro, Lime and Lentil Salad



I got this recipe from my daughter's diabetes specialist's office last summer where they usually have some recipes that people can take that feature healthier diet choices. This recipe caught my eye because I have really come to enjoy the flavors of cilantro and lime and am also trying to incorporate more beans into my family's diet. The recipe originally called for 1 pound of lentils, but it ended up being such a huge amount that I decided to adjust it down to 1/2 pound. Even this amount makes a large salad. I also increased most of the other ingredients in the recipe and added some olive oil. However, my husband and I enjoyed eating this like a dip with chips or crackers, as well as as a salad. I have posted this recipe with the changes I made and am not sure who made the original recipe. The nice thing about this recipe is that you can add a number of different vegetables

Ingredients:

1/2 pound lentils, sorted and rinsed
1/4 - 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (I used approximately 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup minced red onion
juice of 1-2 limes (adjust to taste)
2-3 medium or large tomatoes, diced (may substitute canned diced tomatoes)
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 - 1 1/2 tsp salt, or adjusted to taste (I used Adobo seasoned salt)
1 Tbsp cumin (may start with less and adjust to taste)
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/4 cup chopped bell peppers
hot pepper sauce (green or red) to taste

Directions:

     Simmer lentils in 6 cups of water until soft, about 25-30 minutes. Drain any excess liquid. Cool. Add the remaining ingredients together in a bowl and toss. Add in the cooled lentils and stir well. 

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Also shared on Simple Lives Thursday # 87