Tapas Talk

Tapas are a wide variety of appetizers, or snacks, in Spanish gastronomy. They may be cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or warm (such as fried baby squid or crispy potatoes). In many Spanish bars, tapas have evolved into a sophisticated cuisine. Many American restaurants and bars also taken offer small plates, similar to tapas, on everyday menus so patrons may sample small amounts of several specialties instead of ordering a large meal.

The meaning of tapas has changed over time. According to the official Spanish dictionary any small portion of food that is just enough to eat along with a drink is considered a tapa. The accurate meaning for the word “tapa” is “cover”.  The word “tapas” is derived from the Spanish verb tapar, “to cover”, a cognate of the English word “top”.

According to old legends, in Castilla, Spain, the land of Don Quixote, red wine was a popular drink of the men who frequented taverns. And the wine barrels, in those taverns, attracted wine flies and other flying pests. So, it became the custom to cover a glass of wine with a tapa to avoid flies drowning in one’s drink.

Here are some tapas that I particularly enjoy.

Fried Almonds / serves 4

9 ounces blanched almonds

3 or 4 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt

Warm the oil in a non-stick frying pan. When hot, sauté the almonds until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and immediately sprinkle with coarse salt.

White Beans with Vinaigrette Sauce

Two 15-ounce cans white beans (Great Northern or Cannellini) rinsed with cold water and drained

1 medium red or green bell pepper (or 1/2 each)

1/2 medium size sweet onion (Walla Walla, Maui, etc.)

1/3 cup red wine vinegar or Champagne vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

Salt

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Stir well. Transfer to serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate one hour before serving. Serves 8-10 as appetizer.

Patatas Bravas

5-6 medium potatoes

Salt to taste

1 ½ cups olive oil

Pepper sauce, mustard, tomato sauce (optional)

Peel the potatoes. Cut each potato into 4 even lengthwise pieces, then cut crosswise to ½” chunks. Sprinkle with salt. Pour olive oil into a wide deep-frying pan with a heavy bottom. Heat the oil on medium high until hot. To test the oil, drop in a chunk of potato. If it immediately starts frying, the oil is hot enough. If it doesn’t begin frying, the oil isn’t hot enough and the potatoes will absorb too much oil. Cook the potatoes about 10 minutes; using a slotted spoon, remove potatoes from the pan and drain onto paper toweling. Serve with mustard, pepper sauce or tomato sauce, if desired. 4 appetizer servings.

Marinated Green Olives

1-pound brine cured green olives, well rinsed

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 long thin orange or lemon zest strips

Olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a bowl or large Mason jar, adding olive oil to just cover. Stir. Cover and refrigerate two or more days. Bring to room temperature before serving. Serves 4-6

Marinated Black Olives

8 ounces (one cup) black olives

2 dried red chiles

12 cloves garlic

Red wine vinegar, as needed

Dash of lemon juice

Lightly crush the olives without breaking them and pour into a glass jar with a lid, discarding any oil produced.  Add the chiles and garlic, lightly shaking the jar to evenly distribute. Pour in enough red wine vinegar to entirely submerge the contents of the jar. Add a dash of lemon juice. Seal the jar and store at room temperature for a few days, shaking the jar twice or more daily. Serves 2-4. All these recipes would be great served with a glass of sherry or wine, lemonade, Sangria or other refreshing beverage.

Recipes adapted from original: Asoliva of Spain

The Taste of Summer

Last Friday, I made my first yearly venture to a local farmers’ market hunting for fresh local deliciousness including lots of summer berries. Even during the winter, I must admit to consuming berries as often as possible and available.

This berry addiction started during the pandemic, when trying to turn my health around and get a grip on my future, I joined a well-known weight loss program, thus replacing a lot of the sugar and a bit of the fat in recipes with some actual nutrition. All fruits, but especially berries are my go-to choice when it comes to desserts. Being a long-standing sweet tooth, I began adding more nutrition to all our meals, but especially dessert. As just admitted, I love sweets and hoped at least reducing some useless ingredients and adding a bit of nutrition might be a tiny step toward improved health. That takes us right back to the berries. We bought half a flat and I proceeded to eat and bake.

A bit of information about berries: They are reliable sources of fiber, including soluble fiber. Studies have shown that eating soluble fiber can slow down the movement of food through the digestive tract. So, one feels fuller longer, is less hungry, and eats less. Berries may improve your blood sugar and insulin levels, especially when consumed with high carbohydrate foods or blended in smoothies. Berries are some of the lowest calorie fruits there are, yet they’re high in vitamin C (especially strawberries) and manganese and have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Concentrates of blueberry may help lessen the eye pressure associated with glaucoma. And blackberries are high in fiber with a low glycemic level. Wow! Another super food!

For your enjoyment, this post includes two berry recipes from my recently published (unique, comforting and eclectic) cookbook, “Thrifty Comfort Cooking for Challenging Times”. This morning, in mere minutes, I had the Twin Rocks Blackberry Bread in the oven. The Raspberry Crème Mascarpone takes even less time to prepare (and is made just before serving). They’re both pretty to look at and even better to taste and contain the flavor of summer. They’re just two examples of over 100 recipes you’ll find in my cookbook. Remember, purchasing this cookbook serves as a donation to Oregon food banks and besides donating to help neighbors experiencing food insecurity, you come away from your good deed with a modern culinary masterpiece (my opinion) of comfort, taste, thrift, and nutrition.

Links to purchase “Thrifty Comfort Cooking for Challenging Times” are on my webpage (below).  Bon Appetit!

www.https://Amazon.com

www.https://barnesandnoble.com

Raspberry Crème Mascarpone

4 servings

A lightly sweetened fresh fruity cheesecake flavor and mousse like appeal. This recipe takes just a few minutes to prepare but looks fancy and tastes great. Combine the components together just before serving. This is a great addition to tea time and also nice with a glass of champagne on a warm summer evening.

8 ounces mascarpone cheese OR softened light cream cheese

2 Tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (yellow only)

2 cups fresh ripe raspberries + 12 extra berries for decoration

8 small fresh mint leaves OR small fresh basil leaves.

In a 6-cup bowl, lightly combine mascarpone and honey with a whisk. Stir in lemon zest. In a separate bowl, lightly crush 2-cups fresh raspberries. Add lightly crushed berries to mascarpone mixture, folding in very gently. Transfer raspberry crème mascarpone to attractive dessert dishes or stemmed wine glasses. Top each with 3 whole fresh raspberries and 2 small mint leaves. Serve immediately.  

Twin Rocks Blackberry Quick Bread

Fresh Blackberries grow wildly all over the place, free for the picking near my home in late summer. I’m sure many neighborhoods, particularly in rural areas, also have their share of these healthy, sweet, and tasty, low glycemic fruits growing for anyone with the time and the gloves (to avoid thorns) to harvest them. This quick, impressive recipe will be the star of your summer picnic or brunch.

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

2/3 cup milk

½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted and slightly cooled

1 large egg

2 teaspoons real vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest – yellow only (optional)

1 – 1 ½ cups fresh blackberries, well rinsed and well drained

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan or line the bottom and up the long sides, of the pan, with parchment, leaving wings on those sides to easily lift baked bread from pan. You can use clips to hold the paper in place before pouring in the batter but remove clips before baking.

Combine flours, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Whisk well. Add milk, melted butter, egg, vanilla and lemon zest, if using, to the flour mixture. Stir until well mixed. Gently fold in the blackberries. Spoon batter into prepared pan.

Bake bread in preheated oven until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 50-65 minutes. Cool 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan. Cool completely on wire rack before cutting or bread may fall apart. Store in foil or food storage bag. Makes 1 loaf

Adapted from original: International Masters Publishers recipe card

The Taste of Summer

Speeches, Cannons & Turtle Soup

John Adams wrote to his wife on July 3, 1776, that he believed Independence Day “will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival”. He called for people to celebrate the day with “pomp and parade” “cannon and musket fire” “from this time forward forevermore”. The Continental Congress actually voted for independence on July 2, and Adams felt the second should be the day of celebration. When he failed to get his way, he refused to attend any July 4 celebrations or events for the rest of his life.

Early 4th of July celebrations included the firing of cannons, bonfires, parades, speechmaking, and public readings of the Declaration of Independence. Philadelphia held the first Independence Day commemoration on July 4, 1777.  The first public Independence Day celebration was hosted by Thomas Jefferson at the White House in 1801. In 1870 the U.S. congress made July 4 a federal holiday, but the day wasn’t expanded to a paid holiday for federal employees until 1941.

As for food, did you know?

  • Eating salmon is a July 4 tradition in parts of New England
  • Based upon legend, John Adams and his wife Priscilla enjoyed a celebratory meal of turtle soup, poached salmon in egg sauce, peas, and boiled new potatoes on July 4, 1776.
  • President Zachary Taylor died in 1850 after eating spoiled fruit at a July 4 celebration. So be careful what you eat.
  • Americans typically consume 150 million hot dogs on Independence Day.
  • As of 2016, July 4 was the number one holiday for beer sales in the U.S.
  • Undoubtedly the best-known 4th July tradition is the barbecue. About seventy-four million Americans will light up that barbecue for one giant holiday backyard grill fest.

That’s it for the history, and if you still need a couple of really delicious, easy, fairly healthy recipes for your celebration, you might want to try one of these.

Chocolate Almond Drop Cookies

This is an original recipe I created when I wanted to enjoy a chocolaty, protein rich, high fiber cookie with little added sugar and use up some ingredients in my pantry. Now, that may not sound as good as they really are because these cookies are delicious, gluten free, easy to prepare and keep extremely well.

8 large whole Medjool dates with pits

2 cups water

½ cup vegetable shortening OR coconut oil OR unsalted butter

¾ cup bittersweet OR semisweet chocolate chips

¼ cup real maple syrup OR honey OR agaves nectar

2 large eggs, well beaten OR equivalent amount flax eggs +1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract, optional

1 ½ cups ground natural almonds (almond meal)

¼ cup quick rolled oats (not instant)

3 Tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

Walnut halves OR maraschino cherries

Bring water to a boil. Pour it over the whole dates in a heat resistant small bowl or measuring cup. Set aside for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt shortening; remove from heat and add chocolate chips. Stir until chips have melted. 

Remove pits from cooled dates, saving all liquid. Chop or mash the pitted dates with a potato masher, pestle or large spoon until pieces are very small and nearly a puree. Alternately, puree until nearly smooth in food processor.

Combine almond meal, oatmeal, unsweetened cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk well.

Combine chocolate mixture, maple syrup, well mashed dates including liquid, beaten eggs and extracts. Stir well.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.  Stir well. Refrigerate dough at least 30 minutes to firm dough so it bakes properly.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Line large baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a 1 ½ – 2 Tablespoon scoop, place dough balls 2-inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Press a walnut half or cherry into the top of each dough ball. Bake in preheated oven 10-12 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to cooling rack until completely cooled. Store completely cooled cookies, between squares of wax paper, in a cookie jar or container with a seal to keep cookies fresh. Stored in this manner, the cookies will be delicious for at least two weeks. Makes about twenty cookies depending on size.

To make ice cream sandwiches:

Freeze cookies in a single layer until hard. Soften ice cream until just soft enough to easily spread on cookies. Use about 2 Tablespoons to ¼ cup softened ice cream for each sandwich. Press a top cookie over ice cream, pressing gently. Wrap each sandwich with plastic wrap or wax paper and refreeze in a freezer bag until ready to enjoy.

Original recipe: Kitchen Maven 2022

And if you’re still looking for a really great salad to enjoy with your barbecue, try “Favorite Broccoli Salad”, easy and delicious. It’s on the Cookie and Kate website Favorite Broccoli Salad Recipe – Cookie and Kate

References:

Parade; June 18, 2022, “What’s the History of July 4th”.

History.com; June 21, 2022, “4th of July Independence Day”.

Huff Post; July 3, 2013, “July 4th Food History Smithsonian Share Secrets of Independence Day Favorites”.

Kitchen Maven Cookbook

Local author donates pandemic cookbook to the Oregon Food Bank

Rockaway Beach, Oregon— Date: July 6, 2022 — 

When the 2020 pandemic brought upheaval to everyone on the planet, Oregon grandmother, home chef, and food writer Judi Berman-Yamada (Kitchen Maven) set to work, in near isolation, writing her bucket list cookbook to benefit the Oregon Food Bank and her neighbors experiencing food insecurity in these challenging times. While creating her cookbook, Yamada began eating better (she lost forty pounds), moving more and improved her own health. 

“This ongoing shortage has become more crucial than ever as local hunger relief programs observed a 40% rise in food insecurity and the need for assistance during the pandemic,” cited Yamada. “Access to nourishing food is difficult for countless people in rural, inner city and low-income communities. To maintain services for those affected by food insecurity, local Food Banks and other food relief agencies need continued aid. Whether we make donations, volunteer time, grow and distribute food, or even contribute a cookbook, we can all help.”

All (100%) author royalties for retail and online sales will go directly from the publisher, Gatekeeper Press, to the Oregon Food Bank (OFB). The OFB and a select group of local food resources/producers will have unlimited access to author pricing for fund raising purposes.

###

The cookbook became available July 1, 2022, on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com and through links at https://kitchenmaven.org

For more information, press only:

J.B. Yamada

Judith@kitchenmaven.org

PRESS RELEASE

PRESS RELEASE, Rockaway Beach, Oregon, July/01/2022

“Thrifty Comfort Cooking for Challenging Times” – Cookbook Provides Easy, Affordable Recipes for All Cooks; Proceeds of Cookbook Sales to Benefit Local Food Banks.

This is one of the good things that has come from the pandemic – Judith Berman Yamada’s cookbook “Thrifty Comfort Cooking for Challenging Times.”

Seeing a need to help all cooks be more efficient in the kitchen when dealing with food shortages and high prices, Yamada’s cookbook provides a welcome guide to making the most of what you have on hand. Filled with helpful tips as well as over 100 delicious (and easy!) recipes this cookbook is truly a comfort, that will also benefit our local Food Bank.

Yamada has written articles for several publications by her own name and as “Kitchen Maven”, she says, “I’ve always loved to cook and bake – and eat.” She continues, “When the 2020 pandemic brought upheaval to everyone on the planet, my first concern as a senior citizen was for my own health, that of my family and for the lives in my community. Thankful for being retired, healthy and financially secure, Yamada spent her time in isolation improving her own health (she lost 40 pounds) and creating this cookbook in support of people experiencing food insecurity.

Daily life during a pandemic is unnerving enough without constant worries over whether you will go hungry tomorrow or have enough nutritious, sustaining meals to feed your family. This ongoing shortage has become more crucial than ever as local hunger relief programs observed a 40% rise in food insecurity and the need for assistance during the pandemic. According to Yamada, “I vividly remember being a young mother, scrimping to buy my toddler meat and vegetables and being grateful for my own meal of oatmeal and tea.” The current situation is even more challenging.

In February 2021, while focusing on improving her own health, she began writing a cookbook of modern cooking for challenging times, and these are definitely challenging times. The recipes are geared to help people cook with what they have at hand, to make substitutions as needed, and incorporate more nutrition, easily and frugally, into everything from soups to desserts.

“The objective in writing this cookbook was to share wholesome, comforting, and thrifty recipes to help all cooks be more creative using whatever ingredients are available – fresh seasonal, frozen, or canned, and combine foods to improve both nutrition and satisfaction,” says Judith.

Most of the recipes are simple with a few basic ingredients. Many contain nutrient-boosting additions to enrich common meals and retain great taste, and offer a variety of options, so cooks may substitute with ingredients they have on hand. Being more flexible with ingredients, saves money and can increase nourishment in our meals and snacks; we can all eat better, waste less and enjoy mealtime more than ever.

To maintain services for those affected by food insecurity, local Food Banks and other food relief agencies need continued aid. Whether we make monetary donations, volunteer our time, or write and contribute a cookbook, we can all help.

The Oregon Food Bank and the services it supports will be the recipients of 100% of author profits (royalties) from all retail sales of the cookbook, unlimited access to the cookbook, at author’s cost, for fund raising or distribution and free copies of the cookbook will be donated to the local Tillamook Food Bank for public sale or distribution.

“Thrifty Comfort Cooking for Challenging Times” is now available for purchase (07/01/2022). For more information and to order go to Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)

Website: https://kitchenmaven.org

Email: judith@kitchenmaven.org

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/…/thrifty…/1141712043…

For recipes, tips, and food history follow Kitchen Maven on Facebook.

Thrifty Comfort Cooking for Challenging Times|Paperback

BARNESANDNOBLE.COM

Thrifty Comfort Cooking for Challenging Times|Paperback

Discover Thrifty Comfort Cooking for Challenging Times by Judith Berman-Yamada and millions of other books available at Barnes & Noble. Shop paperbacks, eBooks, and more!

SPEECHES, CANNONS & TURTLE SOUP

John Adams wrote to his wife on July 3, 1776, that he believed Independence Day “will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival”. He called for people to celebrate the day with “pomp and parade” “cannon and musket fire” “from this time forward forevermore”. The Continental Congress actually voted for independence on July 2, and Adams felt the second should be the day of celebration. When he failed to get his way, he refused to attend any July 4 celebrations or events for the rest of his life.

Early 4th of July celebrations included the firing of cannons, bonfires, parades, speechmaking, and public readings of the Declaration of Independence. Philadelphia held the first Independence Day commemoration on July 4, 1777.  The first public Independence Day celebration was hosted by Thomas Jefferson at the White House in 1801. In 1870 the U.S. congress made July 4 a federal holiday, but the day wasn’t expanded to a paid holiday for federal employees until 1941.

As for food, did you know?

  • Eating salmon is a July 4 tradition in parts of New England
  • Based upon legend, John Adams and his wife Priscilla enjoyed a celebratory meal of turtle soup, poached salmon in egg sauce, peas, and boiled new potatoes on July 4, 1776.
  • President Zachary Taylor died in 1850 after eating spoiled fruit at a July 4 celebration. So be careful what you eat.
  • Americans typically consume 150 million hot dogs on Independence Day.
  • As of 2016, July 4 was the number one holiday for beer sales in the U.S.
  • Undoubtedly the best-known 4th July tradition is the barbecue. About seventy-four million Americans will light up that barbecue for one giant holiday backyard grill fest.

That’s it for the history, and if you still need a couple of really delicious, easy, fairly healthy recipes for your celebration, you might want to try one of these.

Chocolate Almond Drop Cookies

This is an original recipe I created when I wanted to enjoy a chocolaty, protein rich, high fiber cookie with little added sugar and use up some ingredients in my pantry. Now, that may not sound as good as they really are because these cookies are delicious, gluten free, easy to prepare and keep extremely well.

8 large whole Medjool dates with pits

2 cups water

½ cup vegetable shortening OR coconut oil OR unsalted butter

¾ cup bittersweet OR semisweet chocolate chips

¼ cup real maple syrup OR honey OR agaves nectar

2 large eggs, well beaten OR equivalent amount flax eggs +1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract, optional

1 ½ cups ground natural almonds (almond meal)

¼ cup quick rolled oats (not instant)

3 Tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

Walnut halves OR maraschino cherries

Bring water to a boil. Pour it over the whole dates in a heat resistant small bowl or measuring cup. Set aside for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt shortening; remove from heat and add chocolate chips. Stir until chips have melted. 

Remove pits from cooled dates, saving all liquid. Chop or mash the pitted dates with a potato masher, pestle or large spoon until pieces are very small and nearly a puree. Alternately, puree until nearly smooth in food processor.

Combine almond meal, oatmeal, unsweetened cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk well.

Combine chocolate mixture, maple syrup, well mashed dates including liquid, beaten eggs and extracts. Stir well.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.  Stir well. Refrigerate dough at least 30 minutes to firm dough so it bakes properly.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Line large baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a 1 ½ – 2 Tablespoon scoop, place dough balls 2-inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Press a walnut half or cherry into the top of each dough ball. Bake in preheated oven 10-12 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to cooling rack until completely cooled. Store completely cooled cookies, between squares of wax paper, in a cookie jar or container with a seal to keep cookies fresh. Stored in this manner, the cookies will be delicious for at least two weeks. Makes about twenty cookies depending on size.

To make ice cream sandwiches:

Freeze cookies in a single layer until hard. Soften ice cream until just soft enough to easily spread on cookies. Use about 2 Tablespoons to ¼ cup softened ice cream for each sandwich. Press a top cookie over ice cream, pressing gently. Wrap each sandwich with plastic wrap or wax paper and refreeze in a freezer bag until ready to enjoy.

Original recipe: Kitchen Maven 2022

And if you’re still looking for a really great salad to enjoy with your barbecue, try “Favorite Broccoli Salad”, easy and delicious. It’s on the Cookie and Kate website Favorite Broccoli Salad Recipe – Cookie and Kate

References: Parade; June 18, 2022, “What’s the History of July 4th”.

History.com; June 21, 2022, “4th of July Independence Day”.

Huff Post; July 3, 2013, “July 4th Food History Smithsonian Share Secrets of Independence Day Favorites”.

Happy Fathers’ Day!

Strawberry Rhubarb Springtime Pie for Fathers’ Day

Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 19, 2022. If you have a dad at your house or plan to visit a dad this weekend, you might want to try this easy springtime filling for a Happy Father’s Day Pie. If he enjoys rhubarb or strawberries, he’ll be thrilled to both be with you (the thoughtful baker) and sample this simple homey seasonal treat.

 If you try the oil-based press in pie dough recipes, in my cookbook (available later this month), you’ll find them much easier and less intimidating than roll out pastry, and they’re healthier. When you don’t have strawberries or rhubarb, use any fresh or frozen fruit. Pitted defrosted cherries and fresh sliced apples, or defrosted peaches with fresh blueberries are good choices. Always defrost and drain frozen fruit before using in a pie. Go ahead and use your own pastry recipe or try my wholewheat adaptation of a King Arthur pat in pan crust. You’ll find that recipe on the Kitchen Maven Creative Pen & Pantry website. Link is below. Here’s the filling.

Pastry for double crust pie OR single crust pastry and streusel topping (see website)

Filling:

3 cups coarsely chopped ripe strawberries OR other fresh berries

3 cups sliced rhubarb (1/2- inch slices)

2/3-cup light brown sugar OR ½ cup honey

1-teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon OR 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (yellow only)

¼ teaspoon salt

 ¼ cup instant tapioca.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Spread or roll pie dough to evenly fit over the bottom and sides of the 9-inch pie pan. Crimp the edge or flatten edge with the tines of a fork. Prick bottom and sides of unbaked crust and refrigerate at least 15 minutes. In a large bowl, combine and stir together all filling ingredients. Allow filling to sit 15-20 minutes for the tapioca to activate. Stir again before filling pastry. Fill chilled pastry with fruit mixture. Seal and crimp pastry topping over all or crumble a streusel over top of filling. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Without opening oven, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake another 25 – 35 minutes. If crust gets too brown, cover edge with foil. Pie is done when the filling is bubbling, and the crust is golden. Cool on a cooling rack completely before cutting (one hour) so slices hold together.

EASY Pat in Pan Pie Dough and streusel topping

This oil based whole-wheat crust is both healthier and easier to prepare than the roll out variety. It’s great for fruit pies. It works deliciously in my Springtime Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. Or try a combination of fresh or defrosted frozen pitted cherries and fresh sliced apples, or a combination of fresh or defrosted frozen peaches and blueberries or whatever is handy or in season. Always defrost and drain frozen fruit before mixing with other filling ingredients.

 2 ¾ cups white whole-wheat flour OR whole-wheat pastry flour

¾ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon baking powder

2/3 cup neutral tasting vegetable oil

 ½ cup cold water

2 Tablespoons sugar

 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Set oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 400 F.

Whisk the together the flour, ¾ teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons sugar and baking powder in a large bowl.

In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together the oil and water until they combine (homogenize) and look like cream. Pour the creamy oil mixture over the dry ingredients and stir with a silicone spatula or fork until the dough is evenly moistened.

Gather the dough together with your hands. If dough is too dry, add up to 3 more Tablespoons cold water, one Tablespoon at a time. In a small bowl, reserve 1/3 of the dough mixture for the streusel top. Place 2/3 of the dough (bottom crust) into a 9-inch pie pan. Spread and smooth the bottom pie dough, evenly over the bottom and sides of the pie pan with a flat-bottomed measuring cup, small handheld wheel roller or your fingers. A sheet of plastic wrap between the cup and dough makes it much easier to spread. Leave the dough a little thicker at top edge. Crimp the edge or flatten edge with the tines of a fork. Prick bottom and sides of unbaked crust and refrigerate at least 15 minutes.

 To prepare the streusel, combine the remaining 1/3 of the dough with 2 Tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg.

Stir ingredients into dough with a fork, and then crumble lightly with fingers. Set streusel aside. Place chilled, pastry lined, pie pan on a baking pan, fill pastry with fruit pie filling. Crumble the prepared streusel over top of filling. Place on middle rack of preheated oven for 20 minutes. Without opening oven, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake another 25 – 30 minutes. Check doneness of crust edge after the additional 25 minutes to prevent burning. Cover edge with foil or crust protector if the edge is browning too fast. Pie will be done when the filling bubbles and the crust appears nice and golden. Remove pie from oven; then remove it from the flat baking pan to a cooling rack. Best to cool completely, but cool at least one hour before cutting so slices hold together. 8 servings

Adapted from original: King Arthur Baking

I Love Pancakes!

Now, don’t get me wrong. When I get that taste for pancakes it isn’t a desire for those plain boring pancakes that many people say they don’t like. You know what I mean, the questionable bagged mixes and tasteless plain fried dough cakes with no flavor. In fact, when I told one neighbor about the various pancake recipes in my upcoming cookbook “Thrifty Comfort Cooking for Challenging Times” she asked, “Why do you eat pancakes, they’re so tasteless?” I answered, well, I make them tasty, that’s why.

Anyway, pancakes are a perfect example of thrifty hearty comfort food. Inexpensive and easy to prepare even from scratch, kids love them and can even help in preparation. I still have fond memories of Mum making homemade silver dollar pancakes for Saturday night suppers when Dad worked past our bedtimes.

They can, of course, be simple and splathered with butter and maple syrup. They can be nutritionally motivated by incorporating nutrition rich ingredients like eggs, tofu, pumpkin puree, yogurt, whole grains, summer squash or fruit. And they can become delicious savory suppers with the addition of herbs, squash blossoms, cheese (ricotta is especially good) nuts, veggies, sour cream, smoked fish, caviar or cooked lean meats.

One of my favorite pancake recipes is Whole Wheat Zucchini Pancakes which I serve with fresh berry sauce. What’s great about these is the use of all that zucchini. You can go through a lot of summer zucchini during the growing season, making those yummy pancakes. And, for a taste of summer, these are just as delicious and fluffy using frozen shredded zucchini that’s been defrosted and drained.

Amazingly, my hubby (who doesn’t love vegetables) loves these. In my kitchen, that says a lot

Wilderness House Zucchini Pancakes

My old Zucchini cookbook from 1976 has the most wonderful zucchini recipes, and this one is no exception. These are speckled in green, fluffy, tender, delicious – and healthy. You’ll be amazed.

2 large eggs – beaten

1 cup low fat unsweetened milk OR buttermilk

1 Tablespoon honey OR maple syrup

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 ½ cups shredded zucchini, including green skin but no seeds*

1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour OR gluten free flour mix

1 Tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking soda

 Oil for griddle

In a medium bowl, whisk together the beaten eggs with other liquids.

In another bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.

Combine both mixtures, stirring very little. Don’t over mix.

Gently and evenly fold in the shredded zucchini throughout batter.

Spoon ¼ cup batter (for each pancake) onto lightly oiled griddle, preheated to medium low or medium heat. Turn cakes when bubbles begin popping on top but turn only once and don’t press them down. Brown other side. Keep warm in oven (170 F.) until all the pancakes are done. Top with fruit, honey, soft cheese, syrup or a little butter. 3-4 servings

Adapted from original: Zucchini Cookery/Wilderness House

*Frozen shredded zucchini works perfectly for these. Defrost and drain 2 cups of shredded zucchini before using.

Warm Berry Sauce

3 cups washed fresh berries

¼ cup water

3 Tablespoons real maple syrup or honey or natural fruit spread**

Pinch salt

If using for a pancake or waffle topping, start the sauce first.

If using strawberries in the sauce, hull and slice them. Halve blackberries. Use any combination of berries you have*. Put all ingredients in a 2-quart saucepan on medium high heat until mixture simmers. Lower heat to maintain a constant, light bubbling. Stir every few minutes. Sauce will thicken as liquid evaporates (about 15 minutes). When the liquid is syrupy dripped from a spoon. It’s done. Remove from heat. Serves 2-4 as a topping for pancakes, waffles, shortcake, yogurt, or ice cream. If you don’t use all the sauce, refrigerate for another use. Use within 3 days.

*Frozen berries may be substituted. Use a 12-ounce package frozen unsweetened berries, and mash while cooking to obtain the preferred texture. Do not defrost the berries for this recipe.

** ½ cup unsweetened pineapple or orange juice may be substituted for the sweetener and water.

Original: Kitchen Maven

Remembrance, Appreciation & the Coming of Summer.

At first known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originated in the years following the Civil War. The holiday honors those who died while serving in the U.S. military. By the 1860s people in towns and cities all over the country were holding spring tributes to our fallen heroes, traditionally visiting cemeteries, attending or participating in parades and gathering to travel down memory lane with friends and family. It’s been difficult to prove the origins of the holiday because dozens of towns have claimed it. However, in 1966 President Lyndon Johnson officially proclaimed that the holiday originated in Waterloo New York.

Observed on the last Sunday in May, this American holiday provides an opportunity to thoughtfully appreciate the sacrifice so many have made, the birth of spring and the folks we love.  During these difficult times, it’s more important than ever to get outdoors, be with buddies and socialize safely. Many people throw barbecues or go camping during this long three-day weekend that unofficially marks the beginning of the summer season.

If you are planning a Memorial Day gathering and could use a couple of festive easy recipes, please check these out. Both recipes are in my cookbook “Thrifty Comfort Cooking for Challenging Times” which will be available for sale next month. All proceeds/royalties from the sale of my (very eclectic) cookbook will go to the Oregon Food Bank, Tillamook Services. Enjoy! http://kitchenmaven.org

White Beans and Spinach Antipasto

This colorful well-balanced recipe uses freezer and pantry ingredients along with a few fresh staples. Not only is it inexpensive but takes just minutes to prepare and is a quick flavorful and light meal for those warmer days we’re expecting. Serve it alongside crusty bread, focaccia, garlic toast or warm rolls as an entrée. It also makes a great summer side dish for barbecued or roasted meats and fish.

1 – 10-ounce package frozen

leaf spinach

1 – 15 ounce can great

northern beans OR other

white beans drained and rinsed

1 clove fresh garlic, grated or finely chopped 

2 Tablespoons snipped fresh chives or scallion tops

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Follow the package directions on the frozen spinach; don’t overcook. Drain, squeeze dry, and finely chop. In a bowl combine the spinach with the beans, bell pepper, garlic, chives, oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Serve, chilled, with crusty bread, rolls, garlic toast or your favorite barbecued specialty. Serves 6 as appetizer, 3 as an entrée.

Original Source Unknown

Spicy Ginger Teriyaki Sauce

This makes enough zesty spicy sauce for 1 ½ pounds basted ingredient. That ingredient could be salmon, chicken, tempeh, tofu, pork, eggplant or whatever you want to bake or barbecue per the chef’s usual method.

6 Tablespoons soy sauce or Tamari

¼ cup Mirin (Japanese cooking wine) OR white wine OR orange juice

1-2 Tablespoons Agaves nectar OR honey, to taste

1-2 teaspoons garlic, finely minced or grated

2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated

½ teaspoon crushed dried red pepper flakes OR ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne

Garnish: chopped scallions, parsley, cilantro or crumbled dry seaweed or kale chips, optional

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

1-2 Tablespoons water, optional

Combine all sauce ingredients and whisk well. Cook over medium heat until it comes to a simmer and slightly thickens. Lower heat and simmer 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat. If sauce is too thick add 1-2 Tablespoons water. Spoon or brush half the sauce over chicken or salmon or meatballs, etc. while cooking. If brushing over raw fish, meat, or poultry, to avoid cross contamination, first separate half the sauce to another bowl. Use remaining sauce to drizzle over the protein after it’s done cooking.

Garnish as desired.

Original: Kitchen Maven

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 Memorial Day 2022: Facts, Meaning & Traditions – HISTORY

Memorial Day: Complete History, Meaning, Facts & Traditions (usmemoria

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Here you will find food for thought and food for sustenance. Thrifty comfort cooking for every season and pantry, backdoor herbal gardening, experimental baking and interesting food history will guide the page. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit me here again and also check my Kitchen Maven Facebook posts.