plump pancakes

Plump with fruit that is.

Raspberries and bananas to be exact.

And you won’t find any baking powder or baking soda in this recipe – we like pancakes, dense and moist…

No fluff here.

Cakes – thin, yet plump with fresh or frozen fruit.

Stack high and top with a bit of butter and then drizzle warmed maple syrup over top ’till it drips down the sides…

stacked high

enjoy with homemade homefries and breakfast is served.

homefries

Pancakes with raspberries and bananas

Print this recipe!

Ingredients;

2 cups flour

2 cups buttermilk (can substitute regular milk)

1 Tbs. melted butter (or olive oil)

2 eggs (beaten)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

mini pinch of salt

1-2 cups fresh or frozen fruit

What to do;

Add buttermilk, tiny pinch of salt, melted butter and eggs to flour. Mix until smooth.

Add vanilla, stir

pancake batter

Blend in fruit

How to cook;

Heat skillet over medium to high heat and coat with butter.

Before butter starts browning or bubbling, pour one ladleful of batter onto heated skillet. Continue as space allows.

Let each cake sit (and cook) until little bubbles begin to appear on the top side of cake. Once a few bubbles have ‘popped’, flip gently to the other side…and cook opposite side.

Pancakes on griddle

Keep warm in oven until all batter has been used…cover slightly to prevent drying out, though not entirely, to prevent ‘sogginess’ from trapped moisture.

If you make too many (is that possible?), just freeze and enjoy on another day…what fun!

stacked high

Fun fact; pretty flower plate picked up at my local freebie barn (actually an entire set). What?

Have a great weekend!

summertime strawberries make fabulous smoothies

Yeah for fresh picked summertime strawberries! Picking strawberries is such a delight this time of year in Maine…even on a cloudy cool day…

Finn and I went picking last week and we had so much fun. We were the only ones there!  I think the clouds and drizzle kept everyone else away – which was just fine with us…it was like having our own private strawberry field. It was lovely and so peaceful…snacking on berries, looking out at cloud shrouded hills with a gentle mist falling all around, and cows grazing nearby…it was a magic day in Maine, to say the least…

The strawberry fields were a part of a larger organic farm, Uncas Farm, in Whitefield Maine. The farm is an organic farm and they have a super sweet general store on the premises where they offer sandwiches, soup, coffee, local meats and their own produce…plus, lots of other fabulous goodies…enjoy them in their homey cafe and peruse a book or two (they have a mini library there too!) or take lunch with you…either way, it’s a great spot to go picking organic strawberries, so we did.

sheepscott general

happy boy

picking

deliciousness

organic strawberries

strawberry thief

Now, what to do with all those strawberries…hmmm…last year we made biscuits and then topped them with strawberries and cream – this year, we’ll do the same, though we’ve also been enjoying a super simple, nutritious and quick snack – strawberry banana smoothies!

They are so easy with fresh or frozen fruit that you should try them this summer too…

Here’s what you’ll need;

smoothie ingredients

1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries

1-1.5 cups plain yogurt

1-2 tablespoons ground flax (easy way to get all those omega benefits!)

a bit (or more) of honey

and that’s it!

Chop and place all in blender.

in the blender

Blend and pour.

smoothie servedThere is nothing better than a freshly made batch of fruit based beverage – added bonus are all the nutrients and the versatility…

Other combo. possibilities;

peanut butter and yogurt

yogurt and blueberries

blueberries, rasberries and banana

What’s your favorite combo?

Try it for yourself and see how refreshing (and filling) this beverage is -especially on those sweltering summer days…

enjoy.

P.S. Fun fact – my blender and fun strawberry glass were picked up for free at my local ‘freebie barn’.

the perfect pizza

Yeast free, thin and crispy pizza dough. Yum.

It takes little to no time to make this dough and it requires the most basic of ingredients (recipe below).

Flour, water, baking powder, salt and olive oil. That’s it. No waiting for the yeast to rise and then rise again…no.

Simply blend dry ingredients, make a well, add wet ingredients, mix then knead and roll.

What’s left to do? Bake and top with the delicacies of your choice.

Pizza made by your own two hands is not only budget friendly and versatile, it’s also forgiving and delicious. Top it with whatever you have on hand or go all out and intentionally plan your pizza party…

Perhaps your in the mood for a white pizza? Go for it. Maybe you want the richness of tomatoes, so you start with a red sauce base and build from there…can’t decide to go vegetarian or not – why not make one of each? (do pre-cook your meats). Veggie options are practically endless…here’s a few of my favorites – roasted red peppers, yellow peppers, sauteed zucchini, sauteed mushrooms,  smashed sweet potato (seriously good with goat cheese), roasted corn, artichokes, olives, spinach, swiss chard, kale, broccoli, (lightly sauté these greens prior to using), red onions, fresh tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted fennel, garlic.

One cheese or three cheese? Mozzarella is the classic cheese, but don’t forget about asiago, feta, goat, asiago or ricotta…or any combination thereof…

Lastly, finish with fresh herbs – basil, parsley, fennel or green onions – freshly cracked pepper (or spicy red pepper) and a pinch of salt.

Bake in oven at 425 F for 10-15 minutes or until cheese (or toppings) start (s) to melt and brown, just slightly.

Rest for 5 minutes, cut and serve.

Thin and crispy pizza crust

Print this recipe!

1.5 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1.5 cups warm water + 1 tablespoon

2 tablespoons olive oil

Mix dry ingredients.

1.dry ingredients mixed

Make a well in the center.

Pour in wet ingredients.

2.wet into dry

Blend with fork or spoon until a ball begins to form.

3.dough mixed with fork

Incorporate as much as you can from the sides and bottom of bowl with your hands…

4.mix with hand

Form into ball.

5.blended into ball

Add 1/2 teaspoon +/- of water if needed…sometimes I need more, sometimes I need less…not sure why? Perhaps begin with less and add as needed…if it ends up too wet, add a bit more flour…

Knead dough in bowl 2-3 times.

Move to floured surface and work/knead dough until elastic. A few minutes should do…

Toss a bit more flour out on the counter.

6.crust on floured surface

Place dough in center. Press down to flatten.

7.press flat with palm of hand

Finish to size using a rolling pin.

8.finish with rolling pin

Lightly dust pizza stone/dish with corn meal.

Carefully lift rolled and flattened dough onto cornmeal dusted pizza stone.

9. crust on stonejpg

Drizzle edges with olive oil – smooth into dough with hands.

10 crust with oil

Bake 6-8 minutes, or until lightly golden, in a preheated 375 F oven.

Remove from oven. Let rest 4-6 minutes.

Cover base with red sauce.

13

Add whatever toppings you choose.

11. ingredientsjpg

12 saute

14

Top with cheese – mozzarella, asiago, parmesan, feta, goat or ricotta

15

 Enjoy!
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What’s your favorite pizza combination?

Do you have a fabulous recipe for pizza? Link up here…

Have a great weekend!

*fun fact – pizza stone picked up for free from my local transfer station

hand cut fries – at home…

Hand cut fries are something you can make at home. Seriously.

Want to know why making them at home is not only possible, but better than out?

1. If your like me and live 25 minutes from the nearest restaurant, well, it just makes sense to know how to make them. And if your a city/town dweller, well, what’s the harm in knowing how?

2. You can choose to go organic, plus your oil will be super fresh (unlike most restaurant deep fryers which cook up all sorts of foods, sometimes for days, with the same oil…).

3. They will cost you a fraction of the cost of going out.

4. They will be made with love.

…revel in the simplicity of homemade hand-cut fries…you’ll wonder why you don’t make them more often…

Here’s what you’ll need;

Print this recipe!

Russet potatoes (I actually used yukon golds and they worked just fine and were delicious!) – quantity depends on how many you’d like to make. I used about 12 smallish potatoes – russets are larger, so less would be needed.

1.potatoes

My suggestion, cut up 3 russets and see how much you end up with – if you need more, cut up another, if its enough, perfect. If it’s too much, store cut potatoes, covered with water, in the fridge for up to two days. Who says you can’t have fries (homemade) twice in one week?

Coarse salt or sea salt

High heat oil – I use sunflower oil. Peanut oil works well too.

A pot for frying. I use my wok or cast iron frying pan. Any heavy bottomed or deep heavy bottomed pot will do.

You’ll also need a slotted spoon, some brown paper (think paper bags), a tea towel (or two), a candy/frying thermometer (if you don’t have one, don’t fret), and (if making a few batches) a cooling rack (with baking sheet placed underneath) to store cooked fries on while keeping warm in the oven…

Here’s what you’ll need to do;

Fill a large glass or ceramic bowl, half-way, with cold water.

Slice potatoes into the thickness and length you like – here’s yet another added bonus – you choose how thick or thin to make them!

2.hand cut potatoes

As your chopping away, place the cut pieces into water, in bowl. This helps release their starch as well as prevent browning. Add more water as necessary…

Once all potatoes have been cut and covered with water, pour cut potatoes into a colander and drain cloudy water. Refill bowl with fresh cold water. Add potatoes again. Continue this until water is no longer cloudy. Two or three times should do…

Drain water again, though now, place cut potatoes onto a tea towel and thoroughly dry. Remember, water and oil do not mix. So, if you need to use a second tea towel to ensure their super dryness, do so.

While your drying the potatoes, get the oil heating up. You’ll want to use enough oil to cover the potatoes, yet not so much that the oil would bubble over once heated up with potatoes in…trouble for sure…

*be sure to leave enough space at the top of the pot for the bubbling hot oil and the potatoes – do not overfill your pot.

If you have a candy or frying thermometer, great, use it. The oil should be between 350 degrees F and 375 degrees F. If you don’t have such equipment – don’t fret. If you drop a 1″ cube of white bread into the oil and it browns in 60 seconds or less, your up to temperature. You can also try tossing a cut potato slice into the oil, if it starts to sizzle, a lot, well, it’s probably up to temperature… if it doesn’t, let it heat up some more…

The key is to not overcrowd the pan.

Too many and the oil will cool and the fries will absorb too much oil and become soggy. Too few and they fry up super fast – almost to the point of burning…so best to cook in smaller batches, leaving enough room around each piece to allow for proper cooking.

Once potatoes have been added to the hot oil, increase heat, slightly, to compensate for the heat absorption from the fries…Keep an eye on them as they cook. Stirring occasionally and regulating the heat as necessary.

4.sizzeling and crispin'

Once the fries look nice and browned, remove with slotted spoon and place on paper bags/paper. Salt generously.

Turn heat slightly down while removing. Once all fries have been removed, increase heat again to bring back up to temperature and repeat the process all over again…

I place the salted and cooked fries onto my cooling rack (seems to prevent them from getting soggy) which is also placed over a cookie tray (to catch the ones which fall through the ‘cracks’) and then tuck them into the warmed oven (200 degree F) until all fries have been cooked or all food is ready to be served…

5.fried and salted

This recipe can also be used with sweet potatoes – sweet potato fries – YUM!

What do you like your fries with?

I like mine with fried fish – fish ‘n chips – dipped in organic ketchup and malt vinegar. Super deliciousness – at home…

Enjoy!

blueberry muffins

Looking for something to do on a rainy day?

Why don’t you bake muffins? Blueberry muffins!

They are super easy, yummy and perfect for breakfast or as a snack. They can be frozen for another day or enjoyed immediately, still warm, and slathered with butter… or given as gifts…what friend wouldn’t just love a dozen of freshly baked muffins?

So why don’t you get out your muffin tins and get going!

Blueberry Muffins

baked muffins:browned

Print this recipe From the Joy of Cooking – All About Breakfast & Brunch

makes 12 muffins

Assemble Ingredients;

assemble your ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder (aluminum free)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs (don’t fret if you don’t have ‘large’ eggs – use what you have)

1 cup milk (or cream – you decide the richness)

2/3 cup cane sugar or light brown sugar (try not using white sugar)

4 tablespoons warm, melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1.5 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Here’s what you need to do;

Grease or line with paper/silicone muffin cups for 12-cup muffin, standard muffin pan…

get your tins ready

Whisk together in a large bowl;

flour (2 cups)

baking powder (1 tablespoon)

salt (1/2 teaspoon salt)

Whisk together in a seperate bowl;

eggs (2 eggs)

milk (1 cup milk)

sugar (2/3 cup light brown/cane, white if necessary)

butter (4 tablespoons warm, melted butter)

vanilla (1 teaspoon)

wet:dry - sort of

Add ‘wet’ mixture to the ‘dry’ mixture, until just blended, moistened. Don’t over mix – batter should not be smooth…add the blueberries (1.5 cups), gently…

blueberry thief

add blueberries to batter

Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Careful not to overfill or underfill – nearly to the top, without going to the top…Sprinkle brown/cane sugar on top.

in tins - topped with sugar sprinkle

Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in a few muffins, comes out clean…

muffins cooling

Let cool 15 minutes on cooling rack before removing.

close-up scrumptiousness

Serve warm, with butter or as is…

muffin thief

enjoy the weekend!

(and the muffins!)

PS. The cooling rack and the cook book were picked up, for free, from my local transfer station…I just love that place!
(:

white bean cutlets save the day

Thankfully, the official last frost date has passed…though, only two days prior to ‘the’ date, we had a frost warning – what? – it’s May, practically June, what’s with this frost advisory?

I couldn’t believe my ears.

Frost advisory?

‘Are you serious?’, I said, out loud, to no one…but the radio…

My immediate next thought was, ‘Well, if this is true, I better go cover the greens in the garden and get cooking – something to not only warm our tummies, but our sprit as well’, so that’s just what I did.

I decided to make white bean cutlets.

They are a lovely blend of warming herbs, fresh bread (crumbs) and sublime white beans…add to this loveliness, chopped carrots, celery and chives and well, you’ve got cutlet love…

Top it all with mushroom gravy and serve alongside freshly steamed, buttered green beans and you’ve got the perfect solution to the ups and downs of spring in New England.

This dish is both for warming and soothing…just what the body (and mind) needs when facing the reality that in the morning there just may be frost on the ground – despite the fact that June is only 12 days away (well, it was when this was written)!

White Bean Cutlets

adapted from savvyvegetarian

Print this recipe!

Ingredients

1

2 cups white beans rinsed and drained (try preparing yourself from dried)

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 good pinch freshly chopped chives (or two scallions, chopped)

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

2

1 carrot, finely chopped

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. fresh thyme

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

parsely

2 Tbsp. parsley, chopped

1/4 cup flour – not all may be needed – any flour will work

1 cup finely chopped fresh breadcrumbs*

* no breadcrumbs?  No problem, chop and whiz bread pieces/slices with crusts in food processor. No processor? Simply rip and finely chop bread and crusts. No bread? Try this yeast free recipe. 

I’m all about being resourceful… (: One has to be when living milessssss from town

Here’s what you’ll do

1. Heat oil on medium/low in heavy bottomed fry pan.

2. Saute carrot and celery until soft, about 5-8 minutes.

3. Add all herbs and spices, except parsley, to fry pan and saute another 2-4 minutes. Constantly stirring…

4

4. Place cooked and rinsed beans in food processor, add sauteed veggies and spices, parsley, salt, pepper and bread crumbs into processor and combine just until mixed.

5

6

5. Add flour, 1 Tbsp. at a time until mixture is thick enough to form patties. aka, cutlets.

7

6. Form into patties and let chill one hour in fridge.

8

7. Heat oil in fry pan and fry each 6-8 minutes each side, until nicely browned.

10

8. Top with Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy.

9

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Vegetarian deliciousness served up in a cutlet…feeds not only the body, but the soul as well…

Enjoy

PS. If you omit the milk and butter in the gravy, you’ll have a delicious vegan recipe too!

loveliness in a loaf pan

Meatloaf. I love meatloaf. Not meat meatloaf, but meat(less)loaf.

I love slicing into it, topping it with extra sauce and then serving it alongside mashed potatoes with freshly snipped chives…

I love its texture and hardiness. Its down home simplicity. Its common ingredients…

Especially on fog enshrouded evenings…comfort food in spring I say, and healthy at that!

Meatloaf without the meat.

Try it.

You’ll never know ’till you do…

Mushroom meat(less)loaf

adapted from the silver palette

Print this recipe!

2 cups white beans

1/2 cup walnuts, ground

generous pinch of coarse salt

generous pinch of ground pepper

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 cup organic ketchup (no high fructose corn syrup here)

1/2 tsp. basil (dried or fresh)

1 cup old fashioned oats (not instant)

2 eggs

2 tbsp. parsley, chopped

4-6 ounces fresh mushrooms, sauteed till browned

1/2 tsp. oregano

1

Cook beans and drain. If using canned, drain and rinse. Mash beans with fork.

2

Slice and saute mushrooms until browned (saute in butter or olive oil)

3.eggsjpg

Add oatmeal, nuts, and eggs, to mashed beans, mix well.

4

5

Blend mixture with herbs, ketchup, mushrooms, onions, salt + pepper

6

Place mixture in a greased 9″ X 5″ X 2″  (or thereabouts…)loaf pan.

7

Top with red sauce. (recipe below)

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

8

Red Sauce

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp.olive oil for sauteing

1 cup crushed tomatoes or diced

1 handful fresh spinach, kale or swiss chard, chopped

Saute onion in olive oil until browned.

Add chopped greens, saute until softened.

Add tomatoes.

Stir.

9

10

enjoy!