Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lunch: 4.29.11

Snack for Friday is some cheddar cheese crackers and an applesauce.

Lunch is cheese quesadilla pieces, some dried pineapple, yogurt raisins she got for Easter, and some apple slices.

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Lunch: 4.28.11

Snack today was nutella on a tortilla with some dried plums.

Lunch was ham, dried pineapple, applesauce, and some cheddar crackers.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lunch: 4.27.11

 Snack is yogurt and apple slices (not pictured)

Lunch is a ham & pineapple melt, raisins, and an applesauce.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Recipe: Ham & Pineapple Melts

More Easter leftover fun!

Ham & Pineapple Melts

6 whole wheat english muffins, cut in half
6 teaspoons mustard (your favorite - honey dijon is delicious)
leftover ham slices
12 slices pineapple (fresh or canned - you can even use crushed)
12 slices cheddar cheese
a dash of Worchestershire sauce for each English muffin
Spread the mustard and a splash of worchestershire sauce on the english muffin halves.  
Top with a slice of pineapple and then some ham.
Put a slice of sharp cheddar on top of each English muffin.  
Broil until the cheese is melted and golden brown, about 2-4 minutes.  Enjoy.

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Lunch: 4.26.11

Snack is a couple almond paste stuffed maple wheat bunny rolls, an applesauce, and a juice.

Lunch is some cheddar crackers (the butterflies), a (formerly butterfly shaped...) cheese sandwich, apple slices, raisins in the butterfly container, a couple chocolate covered pretzels, and some purple and red potato skillet potatoes.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Recipe: Hard Boiled Egg Masala

In the ever important post-Easter hunt for hard boiled egg recipes, this is one of my absolute favorites.  It's one of the simplest Indian dishes to make, in my opinion, and it is delicious.

I used a mixture of two of my favorite spices from Teeny Tiny Spice Company, but you could use separate spices.  I'll include directions for a spice mix as well.

Hard Boiled Masala

Spice Paste*:
1 Tbsp Teeny Tiny Spice Co. Garam Masala
1 Tbsp Teeny Tiny Spice Co. Vindaloo
1 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp water

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp black cumin seeds
5 Tbsp finely chopped onion
1/2" ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 c canned diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp sugar
3-4 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered

*If you don't have the spice mixes from Teeny Tiny Spice Co, you can make your own spice mix.  It won't be quite the same, but it will still be delicious.  Mix together 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp ground tumeric, 1 tsp ground cumin, and 1 tsp ground coriander along with the lemon juice and water.

Mix together ingredients for the spice paste.  Set aside.

Put the oil in a large non-stick saute or frying pan and set over medium-high heat.  When oil is hot, add the cumin seeds.

About 10 seconds later, add the onion and ginger.  (I like to slice the ginger with a vegetable peeler).  Stir and fry until the onions are medium brown.

Add in the spice paste.  Stir and cook for 15 seconds.

Stir in the tomatoes and sugar.  Bring to a simmer.  Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Ok, so I cut them into 6ths.... not quarters

Peel and slice eggs into quarters.  Lay the cut eggs into the sauce and spoon the sauce over them.  Cover and simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Serve with naan, or rice or even plain bread.

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Recipe: Indian Naan

I cannot make Indian food for my family without making naan.  Lots of naan.  Of course, if I was going to make it traditionally, I would need to get a tandoor.  Oh, how I would love to have a tandoor...

I know you can buy naan at most stores, but seriously?  Very expensive for not so many pieces of bread.  And I always prefer to make things myself if I can.  These naan have gotten thumbs up from an Indian friend of mine, so I think they are pretty good.
Naan, wonderful naan (with hard boiled egg masala and an assortment of Indian chutneys and pickles...

I make the dough in the bread machine, and it is super simple.  I set the timer to have the dough ready when I get home from work, and then roll them on out and cook them!

Indian Naan

1 1/2 c water or liquid whey
4 Tbsp vegetable oil (or ghee, if you have it)
4 c whole wheat flour
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp yeast

Place ingredients in your bread machine in the order recommended by your manufacturer (or use a stand mixer or mix the dough by hand).  Select dough setting.

Once the dough cycle (including rise) is done, punch the dough down and divide into 16 equal parts. Let the dough rest about 10 minutes under a kitchen towel.

On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a very thin circle (or oblong shape, which is more traditional).  Cover each piece with a kitchen towel and let rise for about 20 minutes.

Place a cookie sheet on the lowest rack in the oven.  Preheat the oven, with the cookie sheet in it, to 500 F.  One or two at a time (if two will fit on the cookie sheet), bake the naan for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.  The bread will rise and form bubbles.

When done baking, place in a bowl covered with a kitchen towel.  They will deflate somewhat.

Serve with Indian food, chutneys, Indian pickles... use your imagination and enjoy!

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lunch: 4.25.11

Back from school break with Easter leftovers!

Snack is some maple wheat bunny rolls stuffed with almond paste, along with a juice.

Lunch is some ham, homemade wheat bread, pan roasted potatoes, apple slices, and "Easter decorated" chocolate covered pretzels.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Award: Best of the Web - Be @ Home #22

Thanks to the folks over at Be@home who gave me a special mention as "Best of the Web" this week!

 I appreciate the mention, and I hope that I can continue to provide information and inspiration.  I love sharing with all my wonderful readers.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Crackers (take 2)

I have made cheddar cheese crackers before.  They were good, but I saw this post on Smitten Kitchen, and I wanted to try that recipe (with my own variations). 
Burned crackers.  Not nice.

The first try, I burned.  It was tragic.

So, I tried again.  This time turned out much better.

They're still not like goldfish crackers.  But they are yummy.  And really easy.  I did some in mini butterfly shapes, and some I just cut out with a pasta bike into squares.  I baked the squares all in one piece (meaning, I did not separate them before baking) and it turned out ok.  Probably would have been better separated.  I also probably undercooked them a tad, because I was nervous about burning another batch.

Whole Wheat Cheddar Cheese Crackers
(a variation from Smitten Kitchen)

1 1/2 c sharp cheddar cheese, orange if you can find one you like (*I use Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar.  It's white)
1/4 c Vermont cheddar cheese powder
4 Tbsp butter
1/2 c  whole wheat flour
1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp table salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine all ingredients in a food processor, running the machine until the dough forms a ball, about two minutes.Wrap dough in parchment paper or plastic wrap and chill for about 30 minutes to make for easier rolling.  The crackers will hold their shapes better, too.

On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out 1/8-inch thick. Form shapes with a cookie cutter, dipping it in flour from time to time to ensure a clean cut. Gently transfer crackers to an ungreased cookie sheet with a 1/2 inch between them.

All broken up
Bake the crackers on the middle rack for 8-12 minutes, or until they are barely browned at the edges. Remove from the oven and set the cookie sheet on a rack to cool.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Recipe: Maple Wheat Bunny Rolls

Fun for Easter, or anytime.. Delicious and adorable.

You could use honey instead of maple, but I happened to run out of honey, and I so rarely run out of maple syrup.  Being in Vermont and all.  Tee hee.

I saw large loaves of Bunny Bread at Great Harvest Bread Co, and I knew I had to make it.

And I knew I had to make it mini.

Maple Wheat Bunny Rolls

2 c whey (or 1 c water + 1 c skim milk)
4 Tbsp melted butter
4 Tbsp maple syrup (Dark Amber or Grade B - can also use honey)
3 c all-purpose flour
2 c whole wheat flour
2/3 c dry milk
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp yeast

Combine ingredients in your bread machine in the order specified by your machine and allow to go through dough cycle.  (You can also make the dough in your stand mixer)

When the dough is done, punch it down.  Taking small pieces, make two small balls, and two slightly larger ones, to use as feet for your bunny.

Make another ball as a body for the bunny, twisting a small nub for a tail.

Roll another ball smaller than the body ball for a head.

Take a small piece of dough and roll into a thin snake.  Cut in half and form two loops for ears.  Attach them under the bunny's head and lay them over the back of the bunny.
Yeah, the raisin eyes fell off.  I wouldn't bother if I were you.

Repeat with remaining dough.  Cover with a towel and allow to rise for about 40 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350 F.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Big bunny
Filled with almond paste.  Mmmm.  Secret deliciousness.
I also made a big bunny, because I didn't have time to make a lot of small ones.  And for kicks... I put some almond paste inside the body and the head.  Mmmm.  Almond paste.  The larger bunny, I baked for an extra 10 minutes.

When the rolls come out of the oven, rub them with butter or spray with butter flavor cooking spray, wrap with a kitchen towel, and put into a plastic grocery bag, tightly closed.  This will keep the crust soft.

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Recipe: Maple Shortbread Cookies

I posted a poll on my Facebook page to see what you wanted to see me make this weekend.  The winner was homemade goldfish/cheddar crackers.

I made some last night, and they burned.  *sigh*

I will make a second batch hopefully tomorrow and hopefully not burn them, but in the mean time, I decided to make the runner up, maple cookies.

These are really simple.  I used my favorite maple shaped pastry press, but you can use any cookie cutter - a mini maple leaf would be perfect.

Use real maple syrup.  Maple flavored corn syrup doesn't cut it.  I also included maple flav-r-bites from King Arthur Flour, and they are wonderful, but not really necessary.  If you can find it, you could top them with a little maple sugar for extra punch.

Maple Shortbread Cookies

1 c butter, frozen
1/2 c real maple syrup, Dark Amber or Grade B preferred
1 tsp maple extract
1 c whole wheat flour
1 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c Maple flav-r-bites (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Shred frozen butter (a grating disc on a food processor works very well for this).

Pulse together butter, maple syrup, and maple extract in the food processor.  Add in flour and flav-r-bites if using, and mix until a ball forms.

Roll out on lightly floured surface to about 1/8" thickness.  Cut with desired cookie cutters and bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Allow to cool on pans for a couple of minutes before transferring to wire cooling racks.

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