Sunday, June 15, 2008

Hummus Wrap

This is such a healthy and tasty lunch. Humus is something I forget about a lot and I am so glad we made this, it is perfect for summer lunches.

This is the recipe we used. Then we put it on a multi-grain tortilla with chopped avocado, red-leaf lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and yellow bell pepper. Yum!

If you have had hummus you most likely had it as a dip, which is very good for snacking. Try spreading it on a sandwich or a wrap you won't be disappointed.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Saturday Pancakes

I love breakfast foods. I like having them any time of the day. I will ask for pancakes when I am feeling under the weather and need a little cheering up. I don't know if it has any relation to being a kid and going to Sunday breakfast with my Grandpa and having the Smiley Pancake Delight, you know what I am talking about right? Oh, the round, cheery faced pancake with whip cream hair flashing a blueberry smile, giving me a little wink with it's sliced banana eyes and reminding me to save the Maraschino cherry nose for last - aaah, childhood.

Chris made me whole grain pancakes for breakfast sans smiley face decorations. He knows how much I love having special weekend breakfasts - after a work week of cereal, yogurt, or toast for breakfast - it is so nice to have something different. Though I know my healthy whole grain version of pancakes would be quite disappointing to my younger self, but really it tastes so much better. I have had other whole grain pancakes and this recipe really blows them out off the skillet.

He made a full batch and we are freezing the rest. We have about 8 cups left for future use.

Homemade Whole Grain Pancake Mix

YIELD: 10 cups dry mix; a batch using 1 cup of the mix willmake about 10 (3½-inch) pancakes.

COOKING TIME: 3 to 5 minutes.

3½ cups (12¼ ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats
4 cups (1 pound) white whole wheat flour
1 cup (4¼ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (1¼ ounces) sugar
3 tablespoons (1½ ounces) baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
¾ cup (5¼ ounces) vegetable oil

TO MAKE THE MIX: Grind the oats in a food processor until they're chopped fine but not a powder. Put the ground oats, flours and the remaining dry ingredients into the bowl of a mixer with a paddle. Mix on slow speed, and drizzle the vegetable oil into the bowl slowly while the mixer is running. When all the oil has been added, stop the mixer and squeeze a clump of mix in your hand. If it holds together, it's just right. If it won't hold together, stir in 1 tablespoon of oil at a time until the consistency is correct. Store in an airtight container indefinitely in the freezer.

TO MAKE THE PANCAKES: Whisk together 1 cup of mix, 1 cup buttermilk (or you may use ½ cup plain yogurt plus ½ cup milk),
1 tablespoon orange juice and 1 large egg. Don't worry if the batter seems thin at first: the whole grains will soak up the liquid , and the mixture will thicken as it stands. Let the batter stand for at least 15 minutes before cooking. Heat a nonstick griddle if you have one, or a heavy skillet, preferably cast iron . If your surface is not nonstick, brush it lightly with vegetable oil. When the surface of your pan is hot enough that a drop of water sputters across it, give the pan a quick swipe with a paper towel to remove excess oil and spoon the batter onto the hot surface, 1/4-cupful at a time. After 3 to 4 minutes, when the surface of the cake is no longer shiny and small bubbles are beginning to form around the edges, it's time to flip the cake. Cook on the other side until it's browned, 1 to 2 minutes more and serve immediately, or keep warm in a 200° oven while you finish cooking the rest of the cakes.

We got the recipe from this book - King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking. I just got it this week and we are very excited about trying more of the recipes. If they are all as tasty as the whole grain pancakes I am going to be very happy.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Baking - Rocky Road Brownies

These are simply fantastic! I am so glad I made them, though I want to try making them again and play with the recipe to see if I can cut some of the fat out by using egg whites instead of whole eggs.

Rocky Road Brownies

• 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan
• 1 bag (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 large eggs
• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
• 1 cup miniature marshmallows
• 1/2 cup chopped nuts, such as cashews, pecans, or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; butter paper.

In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, combine butter and 1 cup chocolate chips. Heat, stirring occasionally, just until melted, 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove mixture from heat; stir in sugars and salt, then eggs, and finally flour, stirring just until combined. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes.

To prevent toppings from sinking into the batter, remove brownies from oven, and sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips, then marshmallows and nuts. Bake until chocolate is shiny and marshmallows are puffed, about 5 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Using paper overhang, lift cake onto a work surface; cut into 16 squares.

You can also get the recipe here.