Friday, April 25, 2014

Fresh Orange Cookies

I made these the other day for a housewarming party I'm no longer having.  They are soooooo good.  I didn't have any walnuts, but I had a ton of coconut, so I substituted that.  Pure win!  The recipe came from The Cookie Bible.

Fresh Orange Cookies

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 unpeeled orange (seedless, of course), finely chopped, either in a blender or food processor
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or shredded coconut

Orange Glaze

1 cup icing sugar
1 - 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tbsp butter, softened
zest of one orange
- mix all this together in a bowl until smooth

1. Beat butter & sugars until light & fluffy.  Add egg and orange and beat well.  Gradually blend in dry ingredients, then stir in nuts or coconut.  Cover and chill the dough in the fridge for at least an hour.  Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets and bake at 375F for 10 - 12 minutes, or until lightly golden.  Spread with glaze.

Awesome!  And a great way to use up oranges you have kicking around that might be past it slightly.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Cooking With Betty Crackpot: Quiche Lorraine

OK, so this is not a recipe you'd want to feed someone with a heart condition where arteries are an issue.  Thank God my arteries are fine, so I went ahead with this recipe, which I'd had my eye one for some time, as I am a huge fan of quiche, and this quiche in particular.  I made the crust from scratch, and while I was doing that, I thought Why don't I do this more often?  Making pie crust is no big deal, IMO.  I don't know why I don't do it more often.  Perhaps I will.

As far as sodium is concerned, well...I used low sodium bacon. I also used one cup of whipping cream and 1 cup of 1% milk instead of 2 cups of cream.  I omitted the salt and sugar.

Here is the recipe, from page 218 of the 1969 version of Betty Crocker's Cookbook.

Quiche Lorraine

Pastry for a 9" one crust pie
12 slices of bacon, crisply fried and crumbled
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/3 cup minced onion
4 eggs
2 cups whipping cream or light cream (20%)
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Heat oven to 425F.  Prepare pastry.  Sprinkle bacon, cheese, and onion in pastry-lined pan.  Beat eggs slightly; beat in remaining ingredients.  Pour cream mixture into pie pan.  Bake 15 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 300F and bake 30 minutes longer or until knife inserted 1" from the edge comes out clean.  Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

A couple of issues.  First, the onions should be sauteed a bit because they gave off a lot of liquid during the cooking process and that made for a soggy crust. Also, I have no idea why the recipe instructs the cook to bake the quiche at 425F to begin with and then turn the temperature down.  I think this also contributed to a not-so-perfect crust bottom (pale and undercooked-looking).  So next time I make this, I'll cook down the onions a bit first and back the quiche at a one temperature...perhaps 350 or 375.  Also, I had to bake this way longer at 300 than the recipe suggests, like almost for an hour instead of 30 minutes.

Flavour-wise, however, this was great!  Loved it!  And I'll make it again for sure.  I served the quiche with some asparagus plainly roasted in a bit of olive oil.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Lemon "Brownies"

I have been back on Pinterest - that's how bored I am!  What a time-sucker it is.  But it's irresistible at the same time.  I have posted a few recipes I've found there on here, but then they marked this blog as spam and I was pissy about it, sent an email, which was never responded to, and then I promptly left the site for over a year and a half.  Now I am back...and once more addicted.

There is so much food on Pinterest it's ridiculous.  I found this recipe for Lemon Brownies the other day and was immediately intrigued.  I love a good lemon square, but this was a different kind of bar, so I wanted to try it.  There is a bit of risk with Pinterest recipes; some of them don't turn out and you never really know if they're as tried and true as they claim to be.  But this worked out wonderfully, despite the fact that there is no leavening agent in it.  I was worried about that small detail; I thought perhaps the cake part of the brownie would turn out like a chunk of cement.  I needn't have worried.  Though I slightly over baked it, the cakey part was just great.

I took them to a dinner for dessert and they were a big hit!  I will definitely make these again!

The recipe is here.


Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Stirfry, Low Sodium Version

Regular soy sauce is pretty much off limits for me now, and recently a Facebook friend sent me the link to a low sodium soy sauce replacement she used herself as she requires a low sodium diet, too.  I made it yesterday for the first time, and it was OK.  Granted, I didn't have one of the ingredients; I had to substitute vinegars. The original recipe calls for red wine vinegar but I subbed with malt because that's what I had on hand.  The flavour was OK, and seemed like it would go well with beef.  This afternoon, after my obligatory 30 minutes of exercise - walking to the grocery store - I got some stirfry ingredients and made a beef and broccoli stirfry for dinner with the new sauce.

Before I get much further, here is the recipe for the sauce.

For the stirfry, I used a whole recipe of the sauce and added a heaping teaspoon of cornstarch to thicken it before throwing it in the wok.

The end result:

Well, it was different, that's for sure.  I'm going to make the sauce again for sure, but I am going to use red wine vinegar, which I picked up this afternoon, and I'm probably going to adjust the molasses amount because this was a bit too sweet.  But it's got potential for sure, and it was definitely low in sodium.

Thanks to Pale of A Creative Revolution for the sauce recipe!


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