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)


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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