Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Chick-Pea Tomato Stew with Moroccan Flavor

Modified from Epicurious 

  • 2 cups kala chana, picked over
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 large onions, sliced thin (about 7 cups)
  • two 28- to 32-ounce cans whole tomatoes, drained, reserving juice, and chopped
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup chopped peel of preserved lemons (substituted amchur powder)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, stems trimmed and leaves washed well and drained (about 10 cups packed)

Dried Beans
  • 1/2 to 1 pound dried beans, picked over

  • Accompaniment: couscous and crusty bread


In a bowl soak chick-peas in water in cover by 2 inches overnight and drain.
In a 3-quart saucepan combine chick-peas, cinnamon, cumin seeds, and water to cover, by 2 inches and simmer, covered partially, adding more water if necessary, 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until chick-peas are just tender. Discard cinnamon. Chick-peas may be made 1 day ahead, cooled completely, and chilled in their cooking liquid, covered.
In a large heavy kettle heat oil over moderate heat and cook onions, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown, about 15 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with reserved juice, chick-peas with cooking liquid, raisins, preserved lemon peel, ground cumin, and coriander and bring to a simmer. Cook stew about 45 minutes, or until chick-peas are tender and liquid is thickened slightly. Stir in spinach, a heaping handful at a time, and cook until wilted and just tender.
Season stew with salt and pepper and serve with couscous and bread.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hamburger Buns / Dinner Rolls

The dough for these buns was inspired by a request for Fat Daddy's hamburger buns. Fat Daddy's was a neighborhood restaurant in Raleigh that had ok hamburgers, a 'fixins' bar and freshly baked tender buns. We went for the buns and fixins.

3 cps bread flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbs sugar
2 tbs olive oil (substitute butter for cinnamon buns)
0.5 cp warm milk
0.5 cp warm water
1 large egg
1 tbs active dry yeast
lg dollop of unfed starter

Make dough in bread machine. I've made rolls right away and also kept dough overnight in fridge with good results.

Roll out buns by rolling dough into ball (wipe on, wipe off) on cutting board. Start cupping your fingers while rolling then pull down from top while rolling. Better instructions can be found online.

Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
Melt butter and brush it over the risen hamburger buns. This helps the tops to brown and keeps the crust soft. Bake the buns until golden, 15-18 minutes.
Makes 8 hamburger buns, 16 slider buns, 12 cinnamon buns. One batch make 24 mini cloverleaf rolls + 10 pumpkin dinner rolls.

Pizza Dough

After much experimentation, this seems to be working…

4 cps bread flour
2 tsp gluten
dollop of unfed starter
1.5 cps warm water
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp active yeast

Put all ingredients into bread machine.  Age finished dough in fridge overnight. After warming to room temp, roll out wit several rests in-between to allow the dough to relax. Toss the dough if you feel brave.

...last time tried 1 tbs gluten

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Home Made Goat Yogurt

This takes a minimum of 6 hours to complete.

I used Trader Joe's European yogurt as the initial starter. I believe the TJ yogurt it tastes just like the Strauss yogurt we fell in love with in SFO.

Put 1.5 tablespoon of yogurt as starter into a 1 cup container to be warming up while you heat the milk.

Pour 2 quarts of Sugar & Spice goat milk into a stainless steel pot.

Heat Milk: Heat as slowly as possible to 180F, stirring occasionally with a stainless steel spoon. Do not use a wooden spoon. You should stir more often once the milk gets warmer to keep it from scorching on the bottom. Hold the milk between 179 - 184 for 15 min.

Cool Milk: Place pot of milk into a cool water bath in sink and stir until milk reaches 110F. This goes pretty quickly.

Add Starter: Add about a cup of warm milk to starter and stir with stainless spoon. Add diluted started back into pot of warm milk.

Wait: Pour milk with starter into yogurt Vita Clay crock pot and put on yogurt setting. Leave it alone for 5-6 hours or to taste. Don't move it or stir it. It is pretty forgiving on time if you forget it. I have done from 4 - 9 hrs, but at 9 hrs it was fairly sour.

Enjoy: Remove crock insert from Vita Clay and place in refrigerator. It will be firmer in the morning.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Peach Dutch Baby

This is a great summer breakfast. We freeze peaches to use all year for this warming dish. Found this recipe on Seasons and Suppers.Only made the sauce twice so far, once with blackberries.


  • Blueberry Sauce:
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • 1 cup wild (or regular) fresh blueberries
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

  • Dutch Baby Batter:
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt (or pinch of table salt)
  • 2-3 peaches, halved, pitted, cut into 1/2-inch wedges (no need to peel)

  • Powdered sugar,for dusting
  • Vanilla Ice Cream (optional, but desirable)


  1. Prepare blueberry sauce:
  2. In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in water. Add blueberries and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and berries are softened, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Set aside. (Can be made ahead and refrigerated. Simply re-warm before using to top dessert).
  3. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  4. Melt 2 Tbsp. in the microwave and then pour into a blender or food processor. Add the eggs, milk, flour, 1 Tbsp. sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Blend batter until smooth. Let sit in blender, while you prepare the peaches.
  5. Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp. of butter and melt. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp. sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar starts to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Add peaches to skillet and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 2 minutes.
  6. Briefly re-blend the batter, then pour evenly over peaches. Transfer the skillet to the pre-heated oven.
  7. Bake pancake until puffed and golden brown all over, about 25 minutes. It will deflate as soon as it’s removed from the oven. Don’t despair. That’s what it is supposed to do.
  8. You may dust pancake generously with powdered sugar, but we don't, Serve from the skillet and top with optional berry sauce.
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 25 min | Total time: 40 min
Number of servings (yield): 4

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Jen's Pasta Salad

Use these ingredients and but feel free to improvise. Have made this with torcheitte & orzo. Either works fine. The lemon, dill & feta are the only must have ingredients. Cook and rinse pasta before coating with a little olive oil, then add your choice of:

minced dill
lemon zest & juice
crumbled feta cheese
sliced olives
grilled/roasted eggplant cubes
minced raw garlic
bell pepper
chopped artichoke hearts
something red: tomato or sun-dried tomato or roasted red pepper
celery or fennel
green onions

boiled/ sautéed  shrimp
marinated tofu

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Broccoli & Spinach Soup

Did this for Halloween - the kids (and adults) loved it. Change the name if you are serving to kids.

(Serves4 | Preparation10 minutes |  Cooking25 - 30 minutes)

300g Broccoli, cut into chucks (about 1/2 of a grocery store bunch)
2 Potatoes (200g),  cubed
50g Spinach Leaves, roughly chopped (about a bag or 1/2 a bunch of medium leaves)
1 Small Onion, roughly chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1 Knob (15g) Of Butter
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
750ml Vegetable Stock 
1/3 (90g) Cup Greek Yogurt / Light Sour Cream 
Some Crusty Bread to Serve

Saute onions &; garlic in olive oil till transparent. Add stock (water + 1 bouillon cube), broccoli & potatoes and cook until potatoes are tender.

Add spinach & butter, salt to taste & cook 2 more minutes. 


Serve with dollop of cream & bread

Friday, September 20, 2013


One of the down-sides of moving from SFO was leaving some of the foods we loved. After being spoiled by the wonderful granola at Arizmendi Bakery, I have set out on a quest to re-create this marvelous taste treat. Inspired by the tasty homemade granola our neighbors have shared, I have tried combining the ingredient list from Arizmendi with the proportions and directions from a neighbor's recipe. I'm sure this will be an evolving recipe.

6 cups thick-rolled oats
3/4 cup golden raisins
1 cup pumpkin seeds
2 cups pecans
1 1/2 cup sweetened coconut (not sure I should be using sweetened)
1/2 cups sunflower seeds (not in Arizmendi recipe)

3 tbs rice bran oil
1 tbs butter
1/4 cup molasses
1/4/cup honey (light - like clover)
1/8 cup dark brown sugar

Preheat oven to 300℉.

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Warm oils and sugars together in microwave so they will blend with oats. Pour oil/sugar mixture over cereals and mix well. It doesn't seem like enough, but it will eventually cover the oats.

Divide granola between 2 pans and spread out evenly. Bake for approximately 50 min, or until lightly browned, stirring after 20, 30 & 40 minutes.

Stir several times as it cools to break up any clumps. Store in airtight containers for up to 1 week or refrigerate for longer storage. Freeze for up to 2 months.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Provencal White Bean Salad

Eric made this for us on a visit and I just had to have the recipe.

  • 2 cups dried small white beans
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbs dijon style mustard (do not sub french mustard - tried this and it reminded me of hotdogs)
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 small bunch green onions, tops only, very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup black olives, pitted and halved
  • salt & pepper
  • grape tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • handful of parsley or spinach and a few sprigs of rosemary 
  • 1 lemon, juice & zest
Rinse & put beans and water in crock pot on high for 4 hours until beans are tender. Pour them into a colander and drain. We rinsed them as well since they were a bit over done.

Add olives, onions, herbs & tomatoes to beans in a large bowl.

Combine vinegar, oil, mustard, lemon and garlic. I also added herbs to marinade, but may not do this next time. 

Pour marinade over beans, season with salt & pepper & toss.

Refrigerate overnight.

You can mixed this with chopped salad greens or spinach to serve.

Summer Squash Soup

This recipe was derived from a recipe by Faith Durand.

I initially made this with yellow squash, all thought the original recipe was for zucchini.

This makes 1 1/2 quarts - appetizers for 4 or  dinner for 2

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 8 to 9 large cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 4 medium squash, about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cube Rapunzel veggie boullion
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • Salt and pepper
  • yogurt
  • chopped mint leaves
Melt the butter in a heavy 4-quart stock pot over medium heat. When it foams, add the sliced garlic and onions and cook on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent. Keep the heat low enough that the garlic doesn't brown; you want everything to sweat.
When the onions are soft, add the squash and cook until soft. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer at a low heat for about 45 minutes.
Let cool slightly, then blend. 
Taste and season with ginger, salt and pepper. When serving, top with a dollop of yogurt and sprinkle with finely chopped mint leaves

Unike most soups, this is not significantly better after a night in the refrigerator. The flavors meld, but IMHO the soup was slightly better fresh.