Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Grill & Picnic

How better to end Memorial Day with an inaugural grill and picnic?

From Food, Wonderful Food!

In what looks to be the second night of a series of meal-time get togethers, Delaware Street Commons cohousers gathered in the common green space last night to grill and picnic. After a week of relentless sun and temperatures in the 80s, Memorial Day was cool and cloudy, making it near perfect for a cookout. While two gas grills were fired up (one for burgers and hotdogs, one for veggies, pineapple and tofu), table and chairs were brought out, along with all sorts of yummy food.

One contribution on the meat side of the grill was turkey burgers, using green onions and parsley pulled out of the gardens just minutes before grilling:

1.25 lb ground turkey (one package)
2 T. oatmeal (in lieu of breadcrumbs)
2 T. diced (green) onion
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2T fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 clove garlic, chopped
salt and black pepper

Mix thoroughly, form into patties, grill on medium heat, add bread and condiments, and enjoy!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Irene's Peppermint Butterball Cookies

My mother always made batches of cookies for Christmas. This one is my favorite, and when she and Dad had to move into assisted living, I took some of the old recipe books and cards. I've made these the past two years. As with the chocolate chip cookies, these slide right off if you use parchment paper.

Also, smashing up peppermint candy canes is easier than trying to smash the round peppermints. I usually wrap a batch of candy in freezer paper, put it on the breadboard, and start pounding with the side of the hammer.

1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. peppermint flavor

1 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 c. crushed peppermint stick candy

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.).

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. (Or, be lazy, and melt the butter first.) Add the flavorings and the egg; beat well. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Mix into the creamed mixture along with the candy. Chill several hours.

Roll into small balls (1/2 - 3/4" diameter) and roll in granulated sugar. Place on a lightly greased and floured cookie sheet (or use parchment paper) 2 inches apart. Bake for ten minutes or until slightly brown.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, My Way

I've made this variation of chocolate-chip cookies for meals both at the Common House and for family get-togethers. They come out nice and crisp, and everyone loves them. One secret? I use parchment paper on double-layered cookie sheets (the 'air' cookie sheets which supposedly never burn.) I love using parchment paper for cookies -- just let the cookies cool a few minutes, and they come right off the paper with no fuss and very little mess.

Special Oatmeal Chocolate-Chip Cookies

1 cup butter
1.5 cups brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1.5 cups whole wheat flour, sifted
2 cups (regular) oatmeal
2 cups (12 oz) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place rack in top position.

Melt butter. Whisk together butter and brown sugar. Let cool a couple of minutes, then whisk in the eggs and vanilla.

Sift together flour, salt and baking powder, and stir into the butter/sugar mixture.

Stir in oatmeal and chips.

Drop small spoonfuls onto parchment paper on cookie sheets. (Allow sufficient space for cookie dough to spread!) Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool for several minutes before removing from the paper.

A Big Loaf of Seeded Bread

Several months ago, I discovered the goodness of no-knead bread -- just stir the dough, let it rise for a day, then bake it in a cast-iron dutch oven or other covered oven dish. Crunchy crust, no kneading (my hands end up cramping these days when I try that), no dragging out the bread machine, yummy results.

The only problem has been that the dutch oven I have is large enough that a normal recipe creates a rather flat loaf of bread. This recipe works very nicely when doubled in size.

Four-Seed No Knead Bread

60 grams rye flour (1/2 cup)
140 grams strong whole wheat bread flour (1 1/4 cup)
740 grams strong bread flour (5 cups)
1 Tbs. salt
1.5 Tbs. quinoa
1.5 Tbs. millet
4 Tbs. amaranth
1 Tbs. poppy seeds
1/2 tsp. yeast
600 ml water (2.5 cups)
4 Tbs. yogurt

Seed Topping Ingredients:

1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 1/2 Tbs poppy seeds

Directions are at the above link.

Now, most of us use cups to measure ingredients, rather than grams. I have a small digital scale that can be set to ounces or grams. (It's really much easier to weigh ingredients than measure them, by the way.) But I did some sleuthing on the 'net and discovered how to convert grams to cups. For the amount of water, just stir until all the dry ingredients are absorbed, and the dough is 'shaggy'. (You want no-knead dough to be wetter than kneaded dough, because it's going to steam itself inside the covered pot.)

I should note that the topping ingredients were not doubled. Doubling creates a lot of leftover seeds, so I use just slightly more than the amount listed for a regular sized loaf.

You can also make this without the yogurt.

Tracking the Good Recipes

Welcome to a new blog! Several people at Delaware Street Commons have talked about needing a place to accumulate successful recipes, not only physically, but somewhere online. Well, here's one possibility I thought I'd create. I hope to make this blog open to anyone at DSC who wants to post a recipe--the only restriction is that someone has to have liked the results! The left hand column will have a list of labels, which can be used to categorize recipes. That is, in the next post, where I will post a bread recipe, there will be a label 'bread'. This label should show up, and clicking on it should bring up all the posts that have bread recipes. Other labels which I will probably be using are

- crockpot
- cookies
- dessert
- vegetables
- casseroles
- salads

More than one label can be used per recipe.

If this works out, then we can try to transfer ownership to our common e-mail, which would then give access to the Picasa site that Ralph has set up.