Monday, December 15, 2008

We Can't Let This Bank Fail

The Community Food Bank of New Jersey needs our help this holiday season. Everyone's help.

Some facts about the Community Food Bank of NJ: It annually assists charities serving approximately 500,000 people in need in 18 of Our Fair State's 21 counties. CFBNJ has distributed more than 300 million pounds of food and groceries valued at more than half-a-billion dollars. Today, the FoodBank distributes over 21 million pounds of food and groceries a year, ultimately serving nearly 1,700 non-profits including 436 programs served by its Partner Distribution Organizations (PDOs). If you don't know where the food pantries are in your part of the state, the Statewide Emergency Food and Anti-Hunger Network has helpfully provided a list by county.

At the Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ), requests for food have gone up 30 percent, but donations are down by 25 percent. Warehouse shelves that are typically stocked with food are bare and supplies have gotten so low that, for the first time in its 25 year history, the food bank is developing a rationing mechanism.

Check with your local food pantry as to their needs. Also, I bet your library/workplace/school/house of worship/fire department/municipality/scout troop/etc. is having a food drive right now- give generously. I will, too. Bought me some extra cans of soup and cereal this week; sent them to the house of worship drive. Next is the work and library drive. A few cans of soup and pasta won't break my budget, but they will keep a kid from going to bed hungry.

No kid should ever go to bed hungry.

We can help. We must help. This Bank can't fail.

Thanks to all 100 participating blogs in New Jersey: Jersey Girl Cooks Simply Sable John and Lisa are eating in South Jersey Padma's Kitchen Chefdruck Life Lightly Salted My Italian Grandmother Cook Appeal Crotchety Old Man Yells at Cars Mommy Vents This Full House Paper Bridges Motherhood Avenue The Kamienski Chronicles Down the Shore with Jen Fits and Giggles House Hubbies Home Cooking Nourish Ourselves Off the broiler Mrs. Mo’s New Jersey Baby Savy Source Newark Momlogic New Jersey Best of Roxy Citizen Jersey Beat Pop Vulture Phil Mike Halfacres Blog Somerset08873 Family, Friends and Food New Jersey Real Estate Report More Monmouth Musings Man of Infirmity Another Delco Guy in South Jersey Average Noone Cleary’s Notebook Welcome to my Planet The Center of New Jersey Life Sharon’s Food Blog Morristown, Chatham, Summit, and Madison NJ Real Estate Midtown Direct Real Estate News New Jersey Real Estate The Ridgewood Blog Book a Week with Jen Banannie Matawan Advocate Take Back the Kitchen The Joy of Toast Route 55 Montclair SaveJersey Stompbox Joe the Blogger Environmental Republican Stacey Snacks Subversive Garden New Jersey Pathfinder Cooking With Friends Blog Triple Venti Read All About It Rich Lee on Media Likelihood of Success Cape Cuisine The Business At Hand NewJerseyTaxRevolution Figmentations MiddletownMike Caviar and Codfish A Day in the Life Mack’s Journey Through Life Alice’s Restaurant Tiger Hawk Politics Patrol, The Bob Ingle Blog The Food Chain Henson’s Hell Cranbury Conservative Baristanet New Jersey: Politics Unusual Jersey Shore Blog

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hunger in NJ

Tomorrow is the big start date for the Blogging Out Hunger campaign!

More important than reading about it, however, is doing something about it. Get some food ready for donation, and get some time set aside to help out.

People need help this winter. Right now.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Foo Fighters are going to be on Top Chef!

The Foo Fighters are going to be on Top Chef! The Foo Fighters are going to be on Top Chef! The Foo Fighters are going to be on Top Chef! Celebrating Thanksgiving, no less!

It's the convergence of my entertainment universe!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ready for Thanksgiving yet?

I was too late to order the fresh turkey this year from Lee's Turkey Farm, so I had to go with the frozen. (I couldn't get there early enough today to try my luck at sizes for the remaining fresh birds.) I did get my menu planned and my grocery shopping done, and the bird is defrosting in the downstairs fridge. I'll make the pie crust tomorrow; bake the bread and the pie off on Wednesday while getting the cranberry sauce done.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday as a foodie. It's an annual feast held to commemerate a feast held to give thanks for having enough food.

It's all about the food.

I love food.

How 'bout you? Are you ready?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Best Granola So Far

The Recipe

6 cups rolled oats (old-fashioned, not instant!)
1 cup chopped almonds
1 cup wheat germ (in the back of the fridge, behind the milk)
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg (optional)
1/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 300. Mix together all ingredients except dried fruit. Spread out onto 2 cookie sheets. Bake for 35 minutes (total), stirring and turning twice during baking for even browning. Remove from oven and stir in cranberries. Let cool on the sheets, then pack into large jars ( you do save large jars, right? If not, a plastic bin will do.) Makes more than you think and less than you need.

The Story

The kids like granola so occasionally I buy it. Pre-made granola is tricky, however- for all its health-food connotations, it's often high in both fat and sugar. I bought a box a few weeks ago, and youngest complained that it was too sweet.

I'll let that sink in for a moment. A child complained that a breakfast cereal was too sweet. Way, way over the top.

Time to act! I'd made granola before but didn't like the specific recipes I'd found, so time to make my own. I started with the basic one in Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and went from there. My recipe here is the best ratio of ingredients I've come up with so far.

You may be tempted to make a half recipe because this makes so much, but don't bother. First, you'll lose a bunch while it's cooling on the stovetop, because it smells so good with all that cinnamon- everyone walking through the kitchen will sneak a handful. Second, it's a great snack for after school. Third, it's a nice before bed nibble in lieu of dessert. The list goes on.

A word to the wise- granola (and this granola in particular) is pretty dense, so the first time you have a bowl for breakfast, pour half of what you normally take. Also, give the jar a shake before pouring. The loose flaxseed and wheat germ tend to sink to the bottom.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Two new loves in the vegetarian cookbook world

My family isn't vegetarian, but we're pretty darn close. I have bunches of meat-based recipes that we make, most of them long time favorites, but finding new vegetarian fare that we love is sometimes hard to do. Luckily, the local library has many choices. Here are two that I've checked out so many times that I've decided I should just buy:

Mediterranian Harvest, by Martha Rose Shulman: I have another of her books, The Vegetarian Feast, which has several recipes in it that are now favorites 'round here. The new book is a winner, too; try the Baba Ganouj and the Greens and Sweet Onion pie.

Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, by Deborah Madison: James Beard Award winner. Julia Child Cookbook of the Year. IACP Best General Cookbook. Get it and you'll find out why. If you need a basic vegetarian all-around cookbook, a Fannie Farmer for the veg set, this is it.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Peach and Almond Coffee Cake

The Recipe

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 cups AP flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp. brown sugar, packed
2 peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced thinly
1/3 cup whole almonds (see notes)
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 Tbsp. milk
a few more drips of almond extract

(Need to know how to peel and pit peaches?)

Spray a Bundt pan with oil; preheat oven to 350.

Cream butter in mixer until light, at least one minute. Add sugar and continue to beat until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, thoroughly incorporating each egg and scraping down sides as needed. Mix in 1/2 tsp almond extract and cinnamon.

In separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Alternate beating dry ingredients and buttermilk into butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour (1/3 flour mix, 1/2 buttermilk, 1/3 flour mix, rest of buttermilk, rest of flour mix.) Batter will be smooth. Make sure the sides have been scraped and all is nicely mixed.

Pour 1/2 of batter into pan; smooth top. Top with 1 Tbsp. of brown sugar, then layer on the peach slices evenly. Top with remaining brown sugar, then pour on remaining batter; smooth top. Bake cake until tester comes out dry, about 35 minutes.

-When the cake comes out of the oven, maintain oven temp. Roast almonds in small pan for about 15 minutes, shaking pan every 5 min or so so they cook evenly. Let cool then chop coarsely.-

Let cake cool in pan about 15 minutes, then turn out onto serving plate. Must let cool for at least 10 more minutes before adding glaze. Yes, I know how good it smells, you really should wait or the glaze will melt down the sides into puddles. As AB says, your patience will be rewarded.

Mix powdered sugar, milk and a few drops of almond extract in small bowl. Drizzle decoratively over cooled cake and top with chopped almonds.

The Story

If you have slivered almonds or sliced almonds in the fridge, go ahead and use them instead, but shorten the roasting time severly or they'll burn. (Remember, if you can smell the nuts while roasting, it's too late- they've burned.)

The glaze might be a little thin; I like it this way, but if you don't, use 2 tsp of milk instead.

If the cake is put under a cake dome to keep it fresh (if you serve it later or you don't finish it), the glaze will become soft and puddle down the sides. It doesn't look all that great but it tastes just fine.

I love peach season in New Jersey, I do.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Best Chicken Salad

The Recipe:

2 Chicken breasts, with bone & skin
4 stalkes of celery, chopped fine
2 tart apples, chopped medium fine
1 bunch scalions, chopped fine
about 3/4 cup mayonaise
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh or 1 Tbsp. dried tarragon
1/2 cup roasted almonds or walnuts, chopped up a little

Poach the chicken: put in a 3 qt. pan with water to cover. Bring up to a boil, drop to a simmer and simmer 30 min. Check the temp- internal temp of the chicken should be 165. If it's not, put back in for 5-10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the broth and let cool until you can handle it. Pull off the skin, then remove the meat from the bone. (Bonus- add the bones & skin back to the pot with the celery trimmings, some broken bay leaves from the bottom of the bottle and any spare carrots or onion you have lying about, and simmer for a couple more hours- simple chicken stock!)

Once chicken is free from its bony prison, dice to about 1/2 inch chunks. Let cool a little (while you chop up all other ingredients) and toss everything EXCEPT THE NUTS with some salt & pepper to taste. Pop in the fridge and let the flavors meld and the salad cool off completely, at least one hour but 2 or 3 would be better.

Just before serving, mix in the chopped nuts and taste for seasoning and moisture. Some folks like their salad more mayonaise-y, so add more if you like. I love tarragon and may add more here.

Great served on croissants, in lettuce cups, or on plain ol' wheat bread. Serves 4 for dinner with leftovers for lunch for a couple days. Keeps in the fridge for 3 days max.

The Story

Y'know, I don't have much of a story here. It's kind of like a Waldorf salad, kind of like a chicken salad, and it's all good. I made it up years ago and it's a favorite summer dish around here. The kids love it.

Tarragon is one of those herbs which is cheaper to buy once in a pot and use fresh forever. I have it on my deck, a plant I put in a larger planter years ago, and it keeps coming back with enough leaves to make this dish several times a summer.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ready to bake yer blueberries?

Terhune Orchard is having a Blueberry Bash later this month, which includes a bake-off.

Get your blueberry recipes ready!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Cheese and Onion Enchiladas

The Recipe:

8 Dried Ancho Chiles
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 clove Garlic
1 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. (about) salt

12 corn tortillas
1 lb. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
2 large onions, sliced
1 bunch scalions, sliced

Start with the sauce. Put the dried chiles in a pot and cover with water; bring to a boil, then turn off and let sit for at least 1/2 hour (an hour is better but that means you had to plan farther ahead than I remember to do.) Reserving the water, pull out the stem and remove the seeds from the chiles; puree the chiles with about half of the water from the pot. Set aside the water and the chiles.

Heat the Tbsp olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Slice the garlic thinly and add it to the pot; cook for several minutes but do not let it brown. Once your kitchen smells like garlic heaven, remove the garlic from the oil and whisk in the flour. Cook about 1 minute and remove from heat.

Strain the pureed chile peppers into the pot, running the remaining soaking water over the remains to force through all the lovely goodness. Whisk the mixture back over heat, adding the oregano, vinegar, cumin and salt. If necessary, add enough water to make about 3 cups of sauce. Bring up to a boil, turn off the heat and let sit. Can be made several hours ahead.

To assemble the enchiladas: saute the sliced onions in a little olive oil until nicely brown. Pour about 1/3 cup sauce into a 9x11 glass baking dish, tilting to coat bottom and sides. Set up an assembly line where your onions, sliced scalions, grated cheese are handy, and you'll need two plates. Fill the first plate with enchilada sauce.

Heat the oven to 350. Heat a skillet with a little oil. Put in one tortilla and heat on each side for about 20 seconds; remove from skillet and place in the sauce plate. Turn to coat. Move it to plate #2 and place a layer of cheese in a stripe down the middle, then a bit of the onions and scallions. Roll up around the stripe of filling and place seam-side down into the dish. Repeat until all tortillas have been used. (I usually put eight enchiladas along one side of the dish in a straight line, then push the remaining four across the top.) Pour all the remaining sauce, including what's left in your sauce plate, over the top of the enchiladas; scatter any remaining filling ingredients over the top. Bake for 20 minutes, then let sit out for at least 5 before you try to serve. Feeds a family of four easily, probably with leftovers.

The Story:

In high school, I had to make something for a Spanish class meal, and I found a basic enchilada recipe in some old cookbook. I wrote it down on two little shards of paper from my handbag and I've been working from the two little shards of paper ever since. I've made so many changes, however, it's high time to get this written down right. However, I just sat here and wrote this up from memory (after having made it for dinner tonight,) so I guess I could let those little green scraps go now. But I won't; they'll stay in their honored place in my recipe folder for another twenty years, I'm sure.

The sauce stains. Bad. Remember this.

Ancho chiles are dried poblanos. They're not all that hot, but this might be a little much for some folks. Also, depending how big the chiles are, you may want to use less or more; use your best judgement.

Serve with Black Bean Salad and plenty of ice cold cerveza. Yum!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Locally Grown 2008

Many of the farmer's markets in Central NJ are open or are opening soon! Susan Sprague Yeske gave us a rundown in this week's Trenton Times of many local markets. Here are the highlights, with some extra:

West Windsor Community Farmers Market -- Saturdays through October, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Vaughn Drive lot of Princeton Junction Train Station (southbound). (609) 577-5113
Lawrenceville Farmers Market -- Sundays June 8 through Oct. 28, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot of Lawrenceville Fuel, 16 Gordon Ave., Lawrenceville. (609) 206-0344
Hopewell Community Market -- Wednesdays through October, 2 to 7 p.m. near the train station, at Railroad Place off Greenwood Avenue in Hopewell Borough. (609) 466-8330.
Trenton Farmers Market -- Open year round; for the harvest season through October, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. Located at 960 Spruce St., Lawrence. (609) 695-2998,
Sergeantsville Farmers Market -- Saturdays through September from 8:30 a.m. to noon on the township green on Route 604 Rosemont-Ringoes Road in Delaware Township. (609) 397-8768.
Liberty Village Premium Outlets Farmers Market -- Sundays through Nov. 30, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Liberty Village Shopping Center, off Route 12, Flemington. (908) 782-8550.
Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers Market -- 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays at Dvoor Farm on the Route 12 circle in Flemington through October.
Burlington County Farmers Market -- 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays at the former Winner Farm at Hartford and Centerton roads, Moorestown. (609) 265-5020. June 14 through October.
Columbus Farmers Market -- Daily, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Route 206, one mile south of Columbus.
(609) 267-0400.
Montgomery Friends Farmers Market -- 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays from June 21 through Oct. 25 at the Village Shopper on Route 206, just north of Route 518.
Rutgers Gardens Farmers Markets -- Fridays 2 to 6 p.m. through Oct. 31 on the Rutgers Garden grounds on Ryders Lane in New Brunswick.
Franklin Township Farmer's Market -- Through Nov. 29, Sat. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at John's Plaza 720 Hamilton St. (Across from New Millenium Bank; Franklin Twp., Somerset County)
Bound Brook Farmers Market -- Sat. 9a.m.-2p.m. through October. At the NJ Transit Parking Lot on Main Street in Bound Brook.
West End Farmer's Market -- Every Thursday 12-6 p.m. June 5-December 4, Parking lot behind Jesse's Cafe & Catering at 139 Brighton Avenue in the West End Section of Long Branch
Freehold Farmers Market -- Tuesdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The American Hotel, 18 E. Main St., Freehold. (732) 946-9639. July to October.

Some of these, such as the Trenton Farmer's Market, have rules about only selling what you grow- but there's no guarantee for the rest. There are lots of "farmer's markets" and roadside stands where, if you look carefully, you can see the folks unloading fruit and veggies out of the same boxes they get at Shop-Rite! Be careful. Don't be afraid to ask where the produce is grown. If you want Jersey Fresh, speak up! Buy local!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Vegetarian Times?

Since I'm looking to replace my subscription to Bon Appetit...

Does anyone get Vegetarian Times? I looked over their web site briefly, and while there was a heavy use of soy meat replacement ingredients, it did look like there was some interesting recipes.

There's a two issue free trial offer there, so I took them up on it. Worth a try!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


The Recipe

1 1/2 cups assorted dried beans (I like kidney, big lima, chickpeas, pinto- use what you've got)
1 bay leaf
2 rinds from pieces of Parmesan cheese (more or less)
7 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp dry thyme
1 tsp dry savory (or marjoram if you don't have savory)
14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp oregano
2 zucchini, sliced into rounds or half rounds as you prefer
1 small bunch beet greens, kale, spinach or what you like, sliced into thin short strips
1/2 cup orzo or other small soup pasta- OPTIONAL
2 Tbsp. fresh or frozen pesto -OPTIONAL

Soak beans overnight or at least 6 hours in water to cover by 2 inches. Drain well and add to a medium-large pot; add the broth, cheese ends and bay leaf and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Turn off but keep handy.

Meanwhile, in a larger (6-7 quart) pot, heat olive oil over med-high heat. Saute carrot, onion and celery for 4-5 minutes until beginning to brown. Add garlic, thyme and savory; stir one minute. Add the beans in the Parmesan broth to the pot along with the tomatoes & oregano; bring back to a boil. Reduce to simmer for 15 minutes. Add sliced zucchini and greens; cook until greens are almost tender, maybe 5 minutes or so, depending on the green. Add the pasta at the appropriate time to cook per package directions, and serve.

If you have leftover or frozen pesto cubes, adding 2 or 3 right before serving is nice. Don't forget to remove the bay leaf. The cheese rinds should be soft enough now to cut into smaller chunks if you like to eat them (we do!)

The Story

I always keep the rinds from wedges to Parmesan in the back of the cheese drawer, wrapped in plastic with a rubber band, waiting to make this soup. The Parmesan adds a richness and depth of flavor that is otherwise unattainable without meat stock. The cheese is very tasty to eat after it's been cooked so long.

The last time I made this soup I bough kale to use, but a day or so before I made it I came across some great organic beets and used those leaves instead. Use what you like, but remember that kale will need more time than beet tops, which need more time than spinach.

If you use the pasta and there are leftovers, the pasta will continue to soak up broth and the soup will become very thick while the pasta gets soft.

At the end of the season, I harvest all my remaining basil and make pesto. I freeze it in ice cube trays and put the cubes into bags to add to soups and sauces all winter long. I'm just using up the last ones now.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Swedish Meatballs

The Recipe

3/4 cup bread crumbs (unseasoned)
1 cup cream, divided
1 onion, medium-finely chopped
1 egg
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp (generous) ground allspice
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 cups milk

Stir 1/2 cup of cream into bread crumbs in a large bowl. Let sit 5 min. Add the onion, egg, ground beef, salt & allspice. Combine with your hands (this will not be easy, since the breadcrumbs are now like cement, but you'll get it.) and shape into meatballs*.

Melt butter in skillet over med-hi heat. Add the meatballs in two batches and brown; remove to plate. Sprinkle flour over pan drippings and stir to form roux, making sure to scrape up brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add remaining cream and milk, whisking continuously. Bring up to boil; add meatballs and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes or so. Serve over noodles. Easily feeds a family of four with leftovers for lunch.

The Story

This is not for the weak of heart or the high of cholesterol. Only have this dish twice a year, even if your health is good. Savor it like crazy when you do.

This is a (very slight) variation of a recipe from "Many Hands Cooking: An International Cookbook for Girls and Boys" by Terry Touff Cooper and Marilyn Ratner. I started my cooking career young, since my parents hated to cook and I showed some promise in it. I made all sorts of ghastly things involving hot dogs, frozen vegetables and canned soup that my folks and I found in pamphlets and on the backs of boxes & cans. Rarely was fresh food involved. When I was ten, my grandmother bought this cookbook for me for Christmas; I quickly found recipes that we would eat (Dad was picky) and went to town. These meatballs are among the best.

The sad thing is, I never got to thank my grandmother. She was the kind of person who bought gifts well in advance of holidays. She bought this book for me for Christmas, but she died in the summer and it was given to me when her house was cleaned out.

Thanks, Grandma.

Last year, at a library book sale I found the sequel "Many Friends Cooking" by the same two authors. I snatched it up immediately. I haven't made anything from it yet, but maybe it's time to teach my oldest to cook more things...

One thing that I have changed is I now cook with organic butter/meat/cream/milk. Unfortunately, the organic label doesn't change the fact that this dish has enough saturated fat in it to suggest you should put a cardiologist on speed-dial. Man, though, as a splurge- it is yummy.

*note on meatball size: I always made these too big. Swedish meatballs are usually small, cocktail size meatballs, but I'd make them the size of meatballs you'd find with spaghetti. My mother even went so far as to buy me a scoop to try to make them the small size. I never did it. I still don't. Make 'em as big as you want.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Whole Earth Center

Fantastic article in the U.S. 1 Newspaper about the expansion of the Whole Earth Center in Princeton.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

So disappointed.

Do you subscribe to Bon Appetit Magazine?

Bon Appetit, the long-established king of food porn, recently underwent many changes in its appearance and some in its content.

Some of the changes are bad. Really, really bad.

The photography in BA has always been key to enjoying the magazine. The pictures were of beautiful food, artfully presented in trendy dishes and stylish settings. Food you wanted to eat in an environment you wanted to inhabit. Now? Extreme close-ups of ingredients which are brightly backlit. Ugh. See January '08, pg. 86-89 as an example, but the absolute worst is the March '08 article "The Perfect Potato." Pg. 84 has extreme close-ups of whole potatoes (who thought that would be interesting?), Pg. 86-87 is a potato gratin extreme close-up that looks so greasy I no longer had any interest in making it, and the backlit extreme close-up of roasted potatoes on pg. 88 which made them look burned. I love potatoes, but by the end of the article they turned my stomach a little bit. The photography is supposed to make us want to make the food, not retch.

There is also a font change in the text. It's smaller. Why oh why, with an aging core group of subscribers, would a magazine make their font smaller and less easy to read? The "What to buy now", admittedly never my favorite part of the issue since I don't spend money, is now an unreadable page of postage stamps.

I save old copies of the magazine and often pull them out to make favorite recipes again. I made the leg of lamb from April '95 for Easter this year (YUM!) and I was surprised how far downhill the whole magazine had come. From a high point in the early 2000s to what they have now- so disappointing.

Yes, the recipes are probably still good- I don't know, I haven't been inspired to make any. Yes, the writing is still of a high quality- even if the print makes me wonder if I'll need reading glasses before I'm forty. However, when my current subscription runs out, I'm not renewing. I'll stick with searching their web site for the best recipes.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Our Carbon Foodprint

Big Foot: In measuring carbon emissions, it’s easy to confuse morality and science, by Michael Specter. Fantastic article in the New Yorker about our carbon footprint when it comes to food- including how Conventional Wisdom isn't always right. Specter was on Fresh Air yesterday discussing the same issue.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Oatmeal Muffins

The Recipe

1 cup rolled oats (old-fashioned, not instant)
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
3 Tbsp. ground flax seed
1 cup AP flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries (my favorite)

Mix oats & buttermilk in a large bowl; let stand 30 min. to one hour. Preheat oven to 400 and spray 12 muffin cups with oil (or use papers, if you wish.)

Add egg, sugar and oil to oats and mix well.

Whisk all dry ingredients, including spices, in a medium bowl. Add dry to wet ingredients, folding until the flour disappears; then fold in dried fruit. Don't overmix! Divide among muffin cups and bake about 20 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes back clean.

The Story

This is based on an old recipe I had from someone's web site years ago, but changed to make tastier and healthier. These are not light and sweet muffins, but more substantial for breakfast.

A great way to use up the buttermilk that you bought to make pancakes or cornbread. I've substituted some yogurt for the buttermilk when I didn't have enough; it loses something in flavor but does work well in a pinch.