Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Another Fruity Lavash...

This is simply another variation on my initial "Loony Lavash"… I made a small modification and liked it so much I decided to share.

This time on my Lavash I put both Chèvre and my Low Sugar Strawberry Freezer Jam….

Pineapple on top...

Roll it, wrap it in a paper towel...

Microwave for just a bit (30-60 seconds)… Yum Again!!  

I'm liking these fruity Lavash… lunch or snack, it works for me!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Super Simple Sourdough Sandwich Bread

I'm finally happy with this method… it took a few tries, but it works great!!

I had been reading about No-Knead methods of making bread, and I'd tried it with my Sour Dough with mixed results… many times with very "flat" loaves… (not happy with that)…

The problem was that Sour Dough is a much more wet/tender dough than traditional doughs, but I still felt the method could work if I could just figure out a way to not "wreck" the dough after its first rise… 

Here's what I've done, and the results, try it out yourselves, its so simple its crazy!!

First, you don't need any special kind of baking pan, a simple glass loaf pan works great…  You will need something to put the loaf pan in - a large piece of plasticware, or a large bowl you can cover with plastic wrap… you might even be able to use a large casserole dish with a lid...

Carefully shape a piece of parchment paper to fit your loaf pan - think Origami & fold neatly to keep from having lots of creases in the final product.

Mix the following ingredients together in a large bowl, and place directly in the parchment lined loaf pan:
  1 cup Levian (a.k.a. sourdough starter - I use the equal-measure method)
  1 pound, by weight, Bread Flour
  2 tsp Salt
  1 cup Warm Water (not hot, just warm)

Placing un-risen loaf in container...

Seal the loaf pan up and wait 6-12 hours, I've done both lengths of time & they've worked well… you can also choose (after this period) to refrigerate overnight to allow the sour flavor to develop, just remember to bring it up to room temp (a few hours on the counter) before baking.

Risen loaf 6 hours later...

Preheat oven to 375F, once preheated place loaf pan in oven and bake for 40 minutes.

Carefully remove pan from oven, the bread can be pulled out by the parchment paper immediately and placed on a rack.  After a few minutes (just long enough for things to be able to be handled) remove the parchment paper, leave bread covered with a cloth on a cooling rack until cool enough to store…

I love the soft nature of this bread!!  And cleanup is easy… the loaf pan & sealing container have never been touched by dough, they are already clean - Yes!!

Mmmm!!  Jeff loves this bread!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Strawberry Yogurt Coffee Cake

Out in the fields
I've been out to the Strawberry fields again - Mmm!!

As long as the weather is nice going to the Strawberry fields is fun… now it may not sound like fun, because you're crawling along on the ground, pushing leaves aside to discover these tasty morsels, but before long (an hour) I had 9+ pounds of Strawberries… and they cost me less than $18… and they are so much tastier than what we've been getting at the store!!

Berries waiting to be picked
Add to that the adventure of meeting complete strangers who are like-minded, hearing the parents & grandparents interact with the kids they've brought along, sampling a few along the way… and you've got a very tasty & enjoyable morning!!

What to do with all the Strawberries???  I made another batch & a half of my Low Sugar Strawberry Freezer Jam, but I still had lots of berries…

I saved quite a few (a quart or two) for just snacking - Jeff & I love our strawberries.

I also cut up another pint & mixed them with just a tiny bit of sugar for Jeff to have on Ice Cream.

But what to do with the rest??  

I decided to try to make a cake, using my own crazy experimental method of doing things, and this recipe was the result… a very tasty result if I do say so myself!!

It smelled so good we dug right in, it wasn't until the
next morning that I thought to get a picture (oops!)

  1 1/2 cups Flour
  1 cup Sugar
  1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  1/2 tsp salt
  1/4 cup Egg Beaters
  1 tsp Vanilla
  1 cup Fat Free Plain
        Greek Yogurt
  2 cups cut up Strawberries

It makes a very moist & dense cake
  Preheat oven to 350 F, spray an 8x8 glass pan (or equivalent) with some Spray Crisco or Baker's Joy.
  Throw all ingredients in a bowl and mix it up, it will be a thick batter & will turn pink from the berries.  Pour the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out relatively clean (center of cake should not "jiggle" when moved).
  It can be eaten warm, its not a super-sweet cake so when warm its best with a dab of Fat Free Cool Whip (or the like).  I actually liked it better once it had chilled overnight, then it doesn't need anything else on it & is great with a cup of coffee - I confess I've had it for breakfast twice this week :)

I'm looking forward to Raspberry & Blueberry picking seasons coming up a bit later this Summer… I'll have to try this again with those berry types.

Update on 7/12/12 - I tried with Blueberries… Yum!!
Update on 7/30/12 - I've also done Mixed Berries… as well as Nectarine (not posted), Peach (not posted) and Cherry (not posted).  For the Nectarine adding in a bit of Ground Cloves (1/8 - 1/4 tsp) can be nice, but is not necessary. For the Peach adding in a bit of both Ginger and Cinnamon (1/2 tsp each) adds nice spice.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fresh & Fruity & Tangy Crumpets!!

After yesterday's success with my Looney Lavash I decided to experiment more with fruit & Chèvre, this time at Breakfast.

I started with a fresh peach I'd picked up at the market (they were particularly good this time)… cut it up & put it in a small saucepan, sprinkled on a little powdered Ginger and Cloves, and started cooking…

I let it warm until juices flowed & started bubbling, then I set the temp to low & let it simmer a bit… while...

I made a small batch of my Sourdough Crumpets

After cooking & toasting my crumpets I put them on a plate with about an ounce of Chèvre [If you don't like Chèvre try Light Cream Cheese instead].  I put the cooked fresh Peach into a bowl on the side…

Top a crumpet with some chèvre and a little fresh fruit topping… Mmmm!!  Sweet & Tangy & Wonderful…

I'm going to have to keep experimenting along these lines… this was just too good to not repeat!!

Loony Lavash for Lunch...

Yesterday I was "off", having a bit of a "mood", dealing with life being just a bit unfair…

I needed to eat but wasn't wanting to eat… and normally I love to eat!

So I forced myself to nibble on some fruit, and while nibbling on some Pineapple had an epiphany… and did something completely new - or at least completely new to me…

In my brain popped the idea of making a fruit wrap sandwich, yep, I was definitely "off" the norm… and I remembered I had some Chèvre that I'd picked up on a BOGO deal at my local market…  so I grabbed a Lavash…  [Note: if you don't care for Chèvre you could replace with light Cream Cheese]

Put about an ounce of Chèvre and a couple Pineapple planks on it…

Sprinkled with Penzey's Cinnamon…

Rolled it up in a paper towel…

Microwaved it for a minute (my microwave is relatively low powered)… and Wow!!  This was so yummy!!  Warm, sweet, tangy, gooey, Mmmm!!!

I ate this as my Lunch, but it could just as easily have been a sweet Snack or Dessert.

I'm thinking I'll be experimenting more with this idea over time, using different fruits (or maybe even some of my Strawberry Freezer Jam)… vary the spices… Ooooo… the possibilities…

Update: I tried another one, a Strawberry Pineapple Chèvre Lavash - Yum!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Strawberry Freezer Jam

I went on an outing to a local Strawberry Field and came home with 8+ pounds of freshly picked Strawberries (I picked them myself)…

One thing I'd been wanting to try to make/lighten is Strawberry Freezer Jam, so some of these Strawberries were used to come up with this yummy & light Freezer Jam recipe…

  4 cups mashed fresh Strawberries
  1 1/2 cups white Sugar
  2/3 cups water
  3 Tbl Ball No Sugar / Low Sugar Pectin

Mash Strawberries a bit at a time, with a potato masher, until you have 4 cups of mashed berries.  Add Sugar and stir to mix well.  In a medium saucepan whisk together water & pectin, bring to a boil stirring constantly, once boiling for about a minute add in berry mixture & cook for another 3 minutes.  Remove jam from heat, ladle into freezer safe containers (leave space for expansion during freezing process), and place either in the freezer (for long term storage) or in the refrigerator (use within about a month).  I made enough to fill 3 pint containers (one is pictured above).

Use Freezer Jam as a Jam or as a  topping on Waffles, Crumpets, Ice Cream, etc… Freezer Jam has a much fresher fruit taste than traditional Jams… here's what I've done in the last couple days since making my Jam:

Yesterday: Waffle Topping… I used about 2 Tbl to top my Sour Cream Waffle… Mmmm!!

Today: Crumpet Spread… I used about 1 Tbl each (1/4 cup total) to top my Sourdough Crumpets… Yummy!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sour Cream Waffles… Yum!!

I finally got around to trying something I'd wanted to try for a while… I took my recipe for Sour Cream Pancakes and made Waffles out of them!  I just made sure to leave the batter thick by not adding any water…

Ingredients, all mixed together:
  2 cups Fat Free Sour Cream
  1 cup Egg Beaters
  3/4 tsp Salt
  1 tsp Baking Soda
  1 tsp Vanilla Extract (optional)
  1 Tbl Sugar
  1 cup All Purpose Flour
  PAM Cooking Spray*

* I have tried many other spray oils, all result in waffles that stick like glue to the waffle iron.

The batter didn't "flow" onto the waffle iron, but a blob placed in the middle of the iron spread out just fine when it was closed… resulting in…

A beautiful golden Waffle, which I then had to embellish with some fresh blueberries & some fat free Cool Whip… 

Mmm, Mmm!!

I made a 1/4 batch, resulting in 2 waffles… which means this recipe should make around 8 waffles (give or take)…

Have Fun With It!!

Update on 6/11/12: I changed the quantity it makes (from 10 to 8)  after trying a larger batch, and I added the optional Vanilla.

Update on 8/24/12: Many appologies to any who have tried this recipe and didn't use PAM... due to the nature of the batter it will stick like crazy... I've tried other options & scraped off the results, so trust me on this one...  Sorry if you've had a sticky mess because I didn't add this info earlier :(

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Fresh Dressing for Summer Salads

This is my take on a Honey-Lemon-Dijon salad dressing that is fresh & wonderful & just perfect for sunny warm weather… very refreshing!!  And of course I make it light…

  2 tsp finely chopped Fresh Lemon Zest
  1/4 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  3 Tbl Honey
  1 Tbl Dijon Mustard
  1 Tbl Olive Oil
  2 Tbl fresh chopped Parsley
  1 Garlic Clove, pressed/crushed
  1/2 tsp Salt
  1/2 tsp Black Pepper

Stir well then place in a tightly sealing container, chill, shake well to mix prior to use.  This fresh dressing will keep pretty well for as much as a week.

This dressing is especially good on a salad of fresh vegetables & fruits, perhaps with some edible flowers… like this one I had at a picnic yesterday with a dear friend:


Another Bread Experiment….

This was another experiment with bread… again I'm using my own Sourdough dough… again I'm trying a no knead method (but not the same method)… and I'm making progress… 

This was the resulting loaf… much more suited to sandwiches than previous loafs… still needs more work… I'll post my method here when I think I've got it just the way I want it… so stay tuned!!

Isn't she lovely!!