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Rosh Hashanah, and a Clean Slate

Happy New Year to all of you this Rosh Hashanah for Hebrew year 5783. The holiday begins at sundown on Sunday, September 25, 2022, and ends at nightfall on Tuesday September 27. May your New Year be sweet and filled with inspiration and potential.

Like all holidays, Rosh Hashanah is celebrated symbolically in many ways through events, activities and, of course, food. The New Year is a time for looking forward and honoring the cycle of life. Round challah breads are a traditional celebration food on the Rosh Hashanah table representing that cycle. Honey, apples, and carrots symbolize sweetness in the coming year. And we all could do with more of that.

A newer tradition is the serving of a fruit that is just coming into season, has never been sampled by participants before or is popular in another culture. The succulent seasonal fruit represents a fresh start and new possibilities. So, as the wheel turns each cycle, Rosh Hashanah marks our opportunity to make a fresh start and reinvent ourselves in the coming year. What an opportunity!

For your New Year celebration or any day, you’d like a bit of sweetness in your life, my original recipe for Egg Challah with apple & honey follows. For my savory sweet finalist entry from the National Festival of Breads, several years ago, check out Red Apple & Golden Cheddar Challah. It’s made with Tillamook Sharp Cheddar. And my delicious raw local honey is from Nehalem River Ranch in the foothills of the Oregon coastal range.

New Year Egg Challah with Apple & Honey

4 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 Tablespoon instant/rapid rise dry yeast

2 teaspoon kosher salt

6 Tablespoons vegetable oil

4 Tablespoons local honey

2 large eggs + 1 extra yolk (at room temperature)

1 small apple including skin, coarsely grated (shredded), about ½ cup packed

¾ cup lukewarm water (100 degrees F.)

1 large egg white, beaten until foamy

Oil for rising.

Poppyseeds or fennel seeds, optional

Combine flour, yeast, and salt in bowl of stand mixer with dough hook. Mix on low speed about 40 seconds. In a separate bowl, combine oil, honey, 2 eggs + 1 yolk and shredded apple. Stir. The stir in the lukewarm water. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix on medium low speed about 5 minutes or until a sticky dough forms and attaches to the bottom of the bowl. The dough will be very moist; that’s good. Flour your hands and scrape the wet sticky dough to a lightly floured board. Flour your hands and the top of the dough, knead for just a minute and form into a smooth ball.

Lightly oil a large bowl for rising. Turn the top of the dough ball into the oil then turn it back up. Cover bowl tightly with plastic. Put in a warm place to rise about 2-3 hours. When the dough has risen to twice its size, turn onto a floured board and deflate.

Cut the dough in half. Put one half aside. Cut the other half into 3 parts. Place the three pieces on a sheet of parchment. Roll each piece of dough between your hands until they are all about the same size (at least 12 inches long) then braid them together tightly, pinching the ends under. Bring both ends together into a round, attaching so it doesn’t come apart. Place braided loaf, on parchment, onto a large baking sheet. Repeat the process with the second dough half, placing the loaves as far apart as possible on the large sheet pan. Lightly cover the loaves with plastic wrap. Allow to rise again, in a warm place, for 1-2 hours.

When dough is ready, preheat oven to 350 F. Set oven rack to middle position. Brush loaves completely with the beaten egg white and sprinkle with seeds, if desired. Bake in preheated oven about 20-25 minutes or until an instant thermometer inserted in loaf shows a temperature of at least 190 F. Remove loaves from oven and allow to cool completely. Serve with butter and honey if desired. 12 servings.

One loaf may be bagged in a large freezer bag and saved for another occasion. Defrost and eat within 2 months.

For 100 more tasty, nutritious, and comforting recipes, you can own a copy of my new cookbook, “Thrifty Comfort Cooking for Challenging Times” through Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.com. Remember, 100% of author royalties go directly to the Oregon Food Bank to help those impacted by food insecurity. As a mother who experienced food insecurity, when my son was just a toddler, writing this cookbook was on my bucket list and a joy to know it might help others in that same untenable situation.  Bon Appetit!

Amazon.com : thrifty comfort cooking for challenging times

Thrifty Comfort Cooking for Challenging Times by Judith Berman-Yamada, Paperback | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)

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STAFF of LIFE

by Judi Yamada, http://www.kitchenmaven.org

The first known use of the idiom “Staff Of Life” was in 1638; it meant “a staple of diet”, and the meaning hasn’t changed. Obtained from Western man’s most abundant foods: seeds, grasses and grains, bread has been a valued sustenance since before recorded time. Grains include wheat and rice, but legumes such as beans and lentils are also classed as grains.

The first breads we know of were unleavened buns of Celtic origin, but the Romans eventually improved the quality and quantity of available bread as well as bread making equipment. Whiter breads (some even whitened with chalk) were saved for the aristocracy, while coarser bran and whole grained breads were allocated for the common folk.

Since wheat was not always readily available, Saxon successors used barley, rye and a crop called maslin to extend the wheat as a precaution in case of a wheat crop failure. This is something many farmers still do today to assure a saleable crop. Community supported agriculture (CSA) is based on the principal that the customers pay for crops ahead of time, based on a variety of plantings. If one crop fails, the customers get those that have thrived. It saves the day for the farmers and the recipients have a meal either way.

Nowadays, many people avoid bread due to low carbohydrate diets and an intolerance of wheat products. Over the last several years gluten free and high protein breads have improved greatly and become a lot more available – an example of supply and demand changing market availability and even quality. 

Well, it’s bread baking season again. This gal loves bread and bread baking, and often sleuths around for new recipes containing high protein and high fiber ingredients and delicious gluten free options. The two recipes in this post are ones I found and slightly adapted from other blogs, and they are simple and fabulous. In fact, they’re so easy that I baked the lemon zucchini bread while the rosemary garlic bread was still rising, then raised the oven temperature and popped it in. They were both ready for last night’s dinner, but we saved the zucchini bread for breakfast. So good!  Hope you enjoy them both. The original website links follow each recipe.

No Knead Rosemary Garlic Bread (one loaf)

3 cups all-purpose flour OR 2 cups bread flour & 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, or more, to taste

1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 teaspoon instant yeast

1 1/2 cups water, at tepid room temperature

Oil or pan spray

2 tablespoons cornmeal

In a large bowl, combine flour, garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper and yeast.

Using a wooden spoon or your hand, add water and mix until a wet, sticky dough forms, about 30 seconds.

Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until surface is dotted with bubbles, about 18 to 24 hours.

Lightly oil a 10-inch cast iron skillet or coat with nonstick spray; sprinkle with cornmeal.

Working on a lightly floured surface, gently shape dough into a round. It will be quite soft and spongy. Handle carefully.

Place dough into the prepared skillet. Cover with a clean dishtowel and let stand at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with a finger, about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place into oven and bake until golden brown, about 30-40 minutes.

                 Serve warm.

No Knead Rosemary Bread Recipe – Damn Delicious

GLUTEN FREE LEMON ZUCCHINI BREAD (one loaf)

GLUTEN FREE LEMON ZUCCHINI BREAD

3 eggs large

1 large lemon all yellow zest and all juice

1/2 cup real maple syrup or honey

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 cup shredded zucchini with skin, packed, not squeezed

3 1/3 cups almond flour (blanched, natural or a combination)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, line 9 x 5 loaf pan with unbleached parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add eggs, lemon zest and juice (zest first before squeezing juice), maple syrup, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract, and salt. Whisk until combined. Mixture will be foamy.

Immediately add zucchini and almond flour (when measuring, don’t forget to level the top of measuring cup with a knife). Mix gently with spatula to combine.

Pour batter into previously prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Remove bread from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool off for 10 minutes. Holding onto the flaps of parchment paper remove bread from a loaf pan and let it cool completely before slicing with sharp serrated knife.

Notes

  • Store: Store covered in a cool dry place for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: In an airtight container for up to 3 months.
  • Almond flour must be used for this recipe to be successful.
  • Feel free to add 1 tbsp of poppy seeds or 1 tbsp culinary lavender to the batter, if desired.

Healthy Lemon Zucchini Bread – iFoodReal.com

For 100 more tasty, nutritious, and comforting recipes, you can own a copy of my new cookbook, “Thrifty Comfort Cooking for Challenging Times” through Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.com. Remember, 100% of author royalties go directly to the Oregon Food Bank to help those impacted by food insecurity. As a mother who experienced food insecurity, when my son was just a toddler, writing this cookbook was on my bucket list and a joy to know it might help others in that same untenable situation.  Bon Appetit!

Amazon.com : thrifty comfort cooking for challenging times

Thrifty Comfort Cooking for Challenging Times by Judith Berman-Yamada, Paperback | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)

Strawberry Delights

STRAWBERRY CREAM SCONES

Delicious Healthy Strawberries

This recipe and photo for Strawberry Cream Scones were posted a few months ago at the beginning of berry season. Now seems the perfect occasion to prepare them again before this most delicious season ends.

 Most mornings, we start our day with healthy yogurt parfaits. Plain probiotic or Greek yogurt is layered with whatever berries we have on hand, some banana or mango or halved grapes or peach slices, seasoned with a little cayenne and cinnamon then sprinkled with toasted almonds or walnuts. It’s especially delicious with strawberries and a healthy way to start the day.

For a treat that’s a bit more decadent, Strawberry Cream Scones are my favorites. They get rave reviews when shared with friends, they’re very quick to throw together and may be prepared either with cream or half and half and either with whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour – depending on the preferences of the baker. With strawberry season nearing its end, you might want to try them.

Strawberry Cream Scones

Preheat oven to 400 F. degrees / line a large baking sheet with parchment

In a large bowl combine:

3 cups flour (whole wheat pastry flour, A.P. flour or half of each)

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking soda

Whisk together all the dry ingredients

In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix:

1 ½ cups heavy cream OR half & half

1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (yellow only)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Drizzle the liquid mixture over dry ingredients. Stir to combine.

¾-1 cup coarsely chopped fresh strawberries

2 Tablespoons coarse sugar (optional)

BREAKFAST BERRY PARFAIT

GAD ZUKES!


People living in Central and South America have been eating squash for several thousand years. When European explorers first came to the Americas, they discovered that squash was one of the three major food sources eaten by Native Americans. A Three Sisters Garden is an example of a Native Garden, containing squash, beans and corn grown as planting companions. This type of garden serves as a means to help all the vegetables do their best. Corn gets plenty of sun, beans climb the corn, and both shade the squash.

However, the green squash we know as zucchini is a variety of summer squash first developed near Milan, Italy in the latter part of the 19th century. Zucca is the Italian name for pumpkin or squash. And the name for zucchini comes from the Italian word zucchino, meaning little squash. As we gardeners know, zucchini can be a lot more than a “little” squash. Those of you who’ve had baseball bat sized ones growing and growing, etc., know what I mean.

Remember, ratatouille isn’t the only recipe for using up zucchinis. You can add zucchini to your ground beef taco mixture, to pasta sauce or Sloppy Joes. It’s great in soups and stews.

My favorite uncomplicated way to eat zucchini when it’s small is steamed then dressed in melted butter, freshly grated nutmeg, white pepper and a bit of salt. But the ways of zucchini are endless. It’s also amazing in Wholewheat Zucchini Pancakes, one of my cookbook recipes, recently posted in the Tillamook County Pioneer.

And here are some simple, straightforward ways to use this summer treasure.


Green Chile Calabacitas

2 Tablespoons butter or olive oil (or combination of both)
1 large red onion, thinly sliced in half moons
2 large zucchini or comparable yellow summer squash cut in 1-½ inch cubes (about 4 to 5 cups cubed – large seeds removed)
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
2-3 ears fresh corn, kernels scraped from cobs into a bowl OR use fresh frozen corn, defrosted
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup roasted green chile (stems removed)
Optional: 1 ½ cups Tillamook sharp Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

Heat oil/butter in a large saucepan or large high-sided frying pan. Add the onions and cook about 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring often. Add the cubed squash, season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Gently stir a few times while cooking. Don’t overcook the squash or it will be mushy. Add the corn and sliced garlic. Cook another 10 minutes, stirring as needed. Add the green chile and stir again to mix. Turn the heat to low; cover and let cook another 10 minutes to heat through. If using, sprinkle the cheese over all while it’s hot so the cheese melts over the calabacitas. Serve as a side with enchiladas or rice or use as a filling in lieu of meat. Serves 4

Mock Green Pea Soup

This is a must try, and so easy. You’ll be amazed at how tasty this thrifty, nutritious soup can be. It’s perfect for summer days (when we simply don’t know what else to do with all that zucchini) and winter nights when we discover 6 bags of shredded zucchini in the freezer. The zucchini puree gives this soup delicate flavor, and the evaporated milk gives it an ultra-creamy texture reminiscent of either cream of pea soup or asparagus bisque. It’s pure comfort food. Serve it cold in summer and warm in winter. This recipe makes about 3 bowls of soup. So, I always double it, to use up a lot of zucchinis. This soup is perfect for those giant zucchinis as long as the skin is pretty soft and easy to cut. Made my recent soup with a 14” zuke and shredded another huge one for future soups, pancakes, breads, and casseroles.

3-4 cups sliced zucchini (with skin on) *

2 Tablespoons instant (freeze dried) minced onion OR 2 Tablespoons instant minced shallots OR 1 teaspoon onion powder

1-2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley OR 1-2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes

1 cube vegetable bullion OR 1 cube chicken bouillon

½ cup water

½ teaspoon dried thyme

¾ teaspoon salt, divided

12 ounces evaporated milk (NOT condensed) OR fat free evaporated milk OR unsweetened plant-based milk OR whole milk

2 Tablespoons butter OR plant butter

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour OR 2 Tablespoons gluten free flour OR corn starch

1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

12 ounces warm water OR vegetable broth

Sour Cream OR plain Greek Yogurt, optional

Paprika, optional

In an appropriately sized saucepan, combine zucchini, water, onion, parsley, bouillon cube ¼ teaspoon salt and thyme. Cook the zucchini mixture on a stovetop burner, over medium heat, until zucchini is very tender and only a small amount of water is remaining, about 15 minutes Remove the pot from heat and allow mixture to cool for a few minutes. When the zucchini mixture has somewhat cooled, transfer it to a blender**. Blend well.  Return the zucchini mixture to the soup pot. Set aside.

Heat a medium saucepan at medium heat on a stovetop burner. Melt the butter for the white sauce. When the butter is melted, whisk in the flour ½ teaspoon salt and cayenne pepper, stirring for a couple of minutes. Slowly add the milk while continuing to whisk. The white sauce will gradually thicken as the evaporated milk heats and absorbs the flour and butter. When the white sauce is smooth and thickened, stir it into in the zucchini puree. Thin the soup by whisking in a little warm water. At this point, warm the soup to eat hot, but don’t allow it to boil. Or chill the soup and eat it cold. If desired, top the soup with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of paprika. Serves 4

*If using frozen zucchini, defrost first.

** If using an immersion blender, blend the zucchini mixture after the white sauce has been added to the soup pot.

To thin the soup further (or stretch it) slowly stir in up to 2 cups additional warmed water, broth, or milk.

Adapted from original: Virg & Jo Lemley/Wilderness House

Mock Green Pea Soup, Wholewheat Zucchini Pancakes and 100 more thrifty, eclectic recipes are compiled in my book “Thrifty Comfort Cooking for Challenging Times” by Kitchen Maven and available for purchase online through Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com

Amazon.com : thrifty comfort cooking for challenging times 

Thrifty Comfort Cooking for Challenging Times by Judith Berman-Yamada, Paperback | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)

All author royalties go directly to the Oregon Food Bank to assist our neighbors experiencing food insecurity. When you purchase this great book as a gift for yourself, you’ll be donating to others.

Mock Green Pea Soup
Calabacita Casserole

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.

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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

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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”.