Two batches of cheesy scones
Scone recipe (2 cups flour, half cup sugar, one egg, 1ts baking soda, one stick butter, half cup milk)
Added half a package (1 cup) grated pepper-jack cheese
Baked at 400 for 18 mins
One batch of sultana scones
Same recipe as above but half a stick more butter for ‘flakiness’
Used quarter cup regular sugar and quarter cup brown sugar for ‘taste’
Golden sultana raisons
Made a dozen 2.5″ scones
SOUTHWESTERN EGG MUFFINS
A dozen eggs, whipped with cayenne pepper and italian seasoning
Poured over finely chopped sweet peppers and a large pinch of grated sharp cheddar
Baked at 375 for 22 minutes in large silicon muffin pan (dozen)
Delicious with guacamole, served warm
We are set for the week with quick finger food now, savory and sweet.
I learned this week that I have an occlusion in my vision that will eventually become severe enough to need surgery. It isn’t so bad yet. I learned that the blur I am experiencing is called a cataract, something my grandmother also experienced. At first it freaked me out. Well, I’d be lying if I said I was over that reaction entirely. I shall think of it as having something in common with my Nan; and when she had the surgery it turned out just fine.
For now, the visual blur is the equivalent of a 10% gaussian blur filter applied to a photograph – that’s the designer speaking, when I looked at the pictures of my eyes, that’s just what it looked like. I guess the world will have a soft focus depending on the eye I use to view reality. That could even prove to be a useful metaphor. By which eye am I seeing?
Meantime, I get some smashing new glasses with serious trifocal lenses and a frame in deep metallic purple. Tres chic.
On the positive side, no diabetic retinopathy is present. The blood vessels in my eyes look splendid. Huzzah.
Tipsy tarts are a treat for the holidays. Laced with rum and brandy and sweetened with honey, the fruit steeps for a week in the refrigerator.
I tend to avoid cherries and nuts in my holiday fruit mix and instead use a more European combination of raisins, apricots and dates. I start with soaking chopped dates in boiling water with molasses overnight and then add the other fruit until the bowl is half full. Add half a cup each of a decent brandy and a dark rum. This time I included dark agave syrup, and a jar of local honey. Covered with plastic and put it in the fridge, stirring every day for a week. The fruit soaked up the grog and became sticky and delicious.
Spooned the resulting mix into tiny pie tarts (you can make your own or buy them pre-made – there are even gluten free varieties available).
This weekend, we picked up some fresh mushrooms to make a delicious one-pot savory dish to serve with rice.
3 large cups white mushrooms, sliced
silken tofu, rough chopped
garlic, 2 teaspoons
Worcestershire sauce 1/4 cup
lime and lemon juice
Sautee the mushrooms in olive oil and garlic
Add lemon, lime and Worcestershire sauce
Stir in coconut milk and simmer with thyme
Add chopped tofu
Add pepper to taste
Serve with rice and orange wedges for color
These are not really pancakes, nor yet crepes, but fall somewhere in between as ‘pancrepes’. The main difference is in the consistency of the batter and the number of eggs. I also serve these as sweet rather than salty. Most recipes call for salt, which I leave out altogether, or call for both baking soda and baking powder. I just use a teaspoon of baking powder for the whole mix, bringing the whole down to a fraction of the salt found at restaurants. You can leave the egg out if you like – I like the flavor it adds. Same for the whipping cream. You can use just milk, or milk and water to make a thinner recipe.
Pancake crepes ‘pancrepes’ with maple syrup and lemon
2 cups of flour 1/3 cup of baking sugar (fine) 1 cup milk 1/3 cup whipping cream 1 egg 1 teaspoon baking powder Butter for the pan Maple syrup and ‘true lemon’ crystals or lemon juice
Sift flour and baking powder a couple of times to combine Combine with the sugar Make a well Pour milk into the well, mixing the dry into the wet to avoid lumps Keep pouring the milk in a little at a time until all combined. Reserve some milk. Pour in the cream and mix in with a fork or knife Add the rest of the milk (you can add more to make the mix thinner if you like) Rest the mixture in the refrigerator for half an hour or so before cooking Put it into a container with a spout so you can pour it Heat a non stick skillet until a drop of water sizzles Add a little butter to coat the pan Keep the butter handy to coat the spatula Pour small circle into the pan and tilt the pan around to make the circle larger (4-5″) When first bubbles form (count 15) turn it over (count 15) Makes around 25 ‘pancrepes’ 5 minutes to mix the batter | wait half an hour | 15 minutes cooking time (you can make the batter the evening before and cook these up for breakfast) Put remainder into a container and microwave for 15 seconds for each plate of 3 Makes an easy stand-by snack if you are busy around the house
It is that lovely time of year when Coho salmon is fresh-caught and available in the local market, along with fresh local greens. Refrigerated, but not frozen, the salmon bakes up in just twenty minutes for a medium rare salmon steak. This is my second week enjoying it with a light salad and smashed yellow potatoes. Seasonal and delicious, both wins.
Medium rare coho salmon over potatoes with green salad. Photo by Ria Loader
Tiny tomatoes, halved
White baslamic infused with peaches and citrus
Yellow potatoes, steamed, mashed
Oven at 350 degrees
Salmon steak with lemon zest, mango puree and pepper
Bake for 15-20 minutes
Rough slice butter lettuce
Slice tomatoes in half
Drizzle with white baslamic infused with peach / citrus
(white baslamic will do okay. Add some zest to taste)
I added a scone sliced in half as I had made those the previous day
Coho salmon, fresh scone and greens – Photo Ria Loader
My sister taught me this recipe when she was here over the summer. In Australia we call these ‘scones’ and in America, these are often called ‘biscuits’. It’s a quick recipe that relies on the ‘shortness’ of the pastry by way of butter. In this case, it is low salt, and low sugar, but not low in fat, just so you know. The buttery taste is the point, in this case. Something that satisfies the craving for fat, but without blowing out the salt requirement. Giving in to cravings occasionally is a good way to stick to the low-salt diet.
2 cups of flour
2 tablespoons flour for coating the final mix
1/2 cup baking sugar (or splenda, xylitol, date sugar, your choice)
1 egg (optional)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk (or substitute)
1 stick of butter
Chopped dates, apricots, sultanas, raisons
Combine the dry ingredients – flour, sugar, fruit
Soften the butter and combine by hand until it makes ‘crumbles’
Make a well in the middle
Add the milk (Colleen says the milk should be 1/3 up the well so vary accordingly. I just pour it by eye)
Combine by hand until it sticks together
(yes, you can add extra flour or milk to make it sticky but maleable but do not overwork it)
Form into a rough square about an inch thick
Cut with a knife into 12-16 pieces
Rough form with palms and put onto parchment covered baking sheet about 1/2 inch apart
Put into pre-heated oven at 400 degrees farenheight for 18-22 minutes until golden
Done when they spring back
Cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!
Red white and blue fruit salad – Image by Ria Loader
The past few weekends have included a trip to the local farmer’s markets, both in the U District in Seattle, and the new Shoreline Farmer’s Market at City Hall. The fresh produce has been delicious – tomatoes, tiny potatoes, greens and fresh fruit. This week I’ve been making fruit salad as part of dinner. It’s a good combination with a protein, and with creamy gouda on the side, it feels like dinner and dessert at the same time.
Red, white and blue
For 4th July, I made a red, white and blue salad using berries and nectarines.
1 pint raspberries
1 pint blueberries
3 medium sized white flesh nectarines
2 tablespoons raw agave nectar
crystalized lemon (1/4 teaspoon)
Chop the nectarines in 1/2 inch chunks, wash and combine the berries. No salt in the recipe at all. You can feel free to substitute the agave nectar for something else, sugar free vanilla syrup works, or honey if you like it better. The lemon adds a brightness of flavor to the raspberries. You could also use lemon juice.
One of my favorite comfort dishes is tiny potatoes pan fried in a wok with herbs, accompanied by fresh-made onion relish. For a 3 pound bag of golden potatoes, I use only one stick of butter. It takes only ten minutes to chop everything, and twenty minutes to fry up the potatoes and then the onions. Drain the potatoes in paper towels in a bowl while you fry the onions at the end.
3 lbs of potatoes – golden baby potatoes
Herbs – Herbs of Provence, or fresh rosemary from the garden
Butter – no salt, a swirl of olive oil to stop the butter from burning
A teaspoon of olive oil
Greek yoghurt with honey (optional finishing ingredient to smooth out the flavors)
A non-stick wok, stir with a wooden spoon
Heat – High
Use the left-over browned butter in the bottom of the wok
Add chopped onions at high heat, stir constantly
A cup of raisons
Chocolate balsamic vinegar (regular white balsamic otherwise)
Two tablespoons brown sugar
Tiny chopped tomatoes
Finish off with a dollop of honey yoghurt
It is a dish with no salt, and the sweet and sour onion relish is perfect with it. Better than going out to a restaurant any day.