Monday, April 28, 2008

Pork Tenderloin with Sage, Garlic, and Honey

This was pretty tasty, and was very easy to make. I had a pork tenderloin I needed to cook, and thought I'd try a recipe for a pork roast.

Pork Tenderloin with Sage, Garlic, and Honey
adapted from Cooking Light

2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 Tablespoons fresh sage, minced
2 teaspoon crumbled dried sage
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 Tablespoon honey

Heat oven to 400˚. In small bowl, stir together oil, lemon juice, garlic, sage and pepper. Brown meat in a little olive oil in an ovenproof skillet. Brush with lemon juice mixture; roast for 10 minutes. Brush honey over top and sides; roast another 15 minutes more.

Two Low Carb Recipes

These were inspired by Kalyn. She'd made some Hamburger Kebabs, and I wanted the same flavors in ground turkey. I didn't have any pine nuts, but I had plenty of pistachios - and they're definitely Mediterranean, too.

Mediterranean Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

1/3 cup pistachios
½ medium onion, cut in chunks
¾ lb. ground turkey
1 egg
2 Tbsp. dried parsely
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 Tblsp. bottled Italian dressing for basting the tops

Preheat oven to 400˚. Combine pistachios and onion in food processor; pulse until nuts are finely chopped. Add turkey, egg, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper, and pulse until mixed well. Divide into 6 lightly-greased muffin cups. Baste tops with Italian dressing. Bake 30 minutes.

Dessert was another low carb treat borrowed from the South Beach Diet folks. I found almond meal at a good price at Trader Joe's today, and made this mini-cake.

3-Minute Chocolate Cake
from the South Beach Diet

2 Tbsp butter or nontrans fat marg. (Smart Balance)
¼ c almond flour
1 Tbsp cocoa (heaping is best)
¼ tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp + 1 tsp measurable Splenda have also used 2-3 packets too)
1 Tbsp water
1 egg
Melt butter in microwave; add rest of ingredients and stir. Cover with plastic wrap, slice a hole in the center and microwave for 1 min, 20 secs; until center is set but still moist. Serves 2.

I would bet that if you really wanted to make a frosting, you could mix up some cream cheese with cocoa and Splenda.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Hearty Onion-Dill Bread

I plan to make split pea soup in the crockpot tomorrow, since I have to work late, and I think this bread will go great with it. It's part whole wheat and part white flour, and with the high altitude adaptation of using just a smidge more than a teaspoon of yeast, it came out very well.

Hearty Onion-Dill Bread
high altitude recipe

1 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons dried minced onion
2 tablespoons dried dill
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/8 teaspoon bread machine yeast

Place ingredients in bread machine in order listed. Use whole wheat cycle. When bread is finished, remove from bread pan to cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. Makes a 1 1/2-pound loaf.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Did a Little Baking Today

First up, I made a second batch of some muffins that appeared in this month's Cooking Light. I had made them earlier this week, but Don and I ate them all before I could take a picture! These are hearty enough (and healthy enough) to eat for breakfast - I would take two each morning along with a piece of string cheese.

Tropical Muffins with Coconut-Macadamia Topping
from Cooking Light

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 ounces)
1 cup regular oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2)
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple in juice, drained
1/3 cup flaked sweetened coconut
3 tablespoons finely chopped macadamia nuts, toasted
Cooking spray

2 tablespoons flaked sweetened coconut
1 tablespoon finely chopped macadamia nuts
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon regular oats
1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. To prepare muffins, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl. Make a well in center of flour mixture. Combine banana and next 5 ingredients (through egg) in a medium bowl; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Stir in pineapple, 1/3 cup coconut, and 3 tablespoons nuts. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray.
3. To prepare topping, combine 2 tablespoons coconut and the remaining ingredients in a small bowl.
4. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of topping over each muffin. Bake at 400° for 18 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pans immediately; place on a wire rack.

Yield 18 muffins. (Cooking Lightsays this recipe will make 12, but even with almost-full muffin cups, it made 18. Also, since half of a small can of crushed pineapple is 1/2 cup, you might as well make two batches. What else can you do with half a can of crushed pineapple?

Next, I tried a new bread recipe in the bread machine - rye bread. I found a recipe that sounded more like pumpernickel, and thought I'd give it a try. The original recipe called for 2 teaspoons of yeast, but keeping with my practice of cutting the yeast nearly in half, I used a teaspoon and an eighth. It worked! And this bread really does taste more like a pumpernickel. I didn't put in the caraway seed - don't really care for it - and so now the bread will be good for sandwiches or toasted with jam.

Rustic Black Rye Bread
high altitude recipe

1 ½ cups water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons softened butter or margarine
2 tablespoons molasses
2 ½ cups flour
1 cup rye flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 1/8 teaspoons active dry yeast

Place ingredients into the bread machine in order listed. Use the whole wheat, regular crust setting. Press start. After the baking cycle ends, remove bread from pan, place on a cake rack, and allow to cool for 1 hour before slicing.

Note: In the top photo, the reason there's a dent in the top is because halfway during baking, I blew a fuse in the kitchen. When I reset the power, I couldn't finish the loaf in the bread machine (it automatically starts at the beginning), so I finished it in the big oven. My big oven mitt made the dent while I was moving it. In the photo at right, you can see a couple large air bubbles - I think perhaps I could use even less yeast next time - but the texture of the bread was perfect. Not bad for 6000 feet!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Banana Nut Bread in the Bread Machine

This was a quick bread recipe - yet it took longer to do it in the bread machine than it would take to do it in the oven. I think the only time I would do this again would be if it were in the middle of the summer on a hot day and I didn't want to heat up the kitchen by using the regular oven.

Banana Nut Bread for the Bread Machine

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
⅔ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup vegetable oil
2 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
⅔ cup mashed bananas
⅓ cup pecans or walnuts, finely chopped

1. Into baking pan measure flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt.
2. Add oil, eggs, sour cream, and vanilla.
3. Insert pan securely into unit; close lid.
4. Select"Cake" setting; press"Start.
5. When beep sounds after about 5 minutes, add mashed banana and nuts.
6. Press"Start" again.
7. The"Complete" light will flash when cake is done.

Coconut Tart

A few weeks ago I was stitching a Christmas ornament from Just Cross Stitch Magazine. Many of the designers include recipes with their designs, and the one included with the piece I was working on was this coconut tart. This is a really simple recipe to make - just mix everything together all at once, pour it into a pie plate, and bake it. It puffs up nicely and forms a crunchy top crust that reminds me of a coconut macaroon. Underneath the crust is a light custard. Don and I tried it both warm and chilled, and I liked it both ways.

Coconut Tart
from Just Cross Stitch Magazine

1 c coconut
1 c sugar
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened *
2 c milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325˚. In a large bowl, beat all ingredients together until thick and creamy. Pour into a greased 9" pie plate and bake for approximately 30 minutes, until risen and golden.** Serve warm or cold. Makes 6-8 servings.

* I used salted butter and it was fine.
** I had to cook mine 40 minutes before it would set up.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Wurstsalat and Baked Apples

We had a simple dinner tonight - wurstsalat the way Don likes it, with rye bread, and some baked apples for dessert. While I prefer fleishsalat, with its blend of meat, cheese, pickle, onion, tomato, and vinegar, Don prefers wurstsalat. It's made using ring bologna.


1 ring bologna, thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2-3 small tomatoes, halved and sliced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons white vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients. Serve with rye bread. Makes 4 servings.

I put dessert in the oven before I made dinner, and we enjoyed baked apples while helping to heat the house (it's still chilly up here in the mountains!). I saw this recipe yesterday on Frugal Friends in the Kitchen, a Yahoo group I belong to, and knew I had to make it as soon as possible. I used Braeburn apples instead of the Rome Beauty, but they're just as good for baking.

Maple Glazed Baked Apples

from Russie on Frugal Friends in the Kitchen

4 Rome Beauty or Braeburn apples
½ cup raisins
½ cup light brown sugar
⅓ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup apple juice
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Core apples, leaving bottoms intact.* Peel top half of apples. Arrange apples in
8X8 inch baking pan. Combine raisins, brown sugar, walnuts and cinnamon. Spoon
mixture into apples, mounding over top of apples and letting excess fall into
pan. Pour apple juice into bottom of pan. Combine maple syrup and butter and spoon over top of apples. Cover pan with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 55 min. or until apples are tender. Serves 4

*I cored them all the way through, and they came out fine. Also, I used a Corningware casserole dish with lid instead of a pan with foil.

Using up Leftover Corned Beef

Corned Beef hash is one of my favorite breakfast foods, and until my trip to Boise, I thought I preferred it from a can. Most of the homemade corned beef hash I've tried in restaurants was made with onions. I don't care for it that way. But at Goldy's, in Boise, I had some homemade hash that was wonderful. And naturally, I thought, "I can do that!" So I did. I made a corned beef brisket in the crockpot for St Patrick's Day, and kept some of the leftovers just for this. It was great! What I do with it once it's cooked is make two "wells," and put two eggs in each "well." Then I put the lid on the pan until the eggs are cooked.

Has anyone reading this ever tried making corned beef hash using canned corned beef?

Getting Away From it All

The past two weeks have been spring break in our school district, and Don and I spent the first 11 days of it in the southern Sierras. First, we went to a place new to us - Kaweah Lake. It's between Visalia and the south entrance to Sequoia National Park. We camped at Horse Creek Campground, and for most of our stay had our loop of the campground to ourselves. I called our site "a room with a view." I sat outside nearly every day while Don was fishing, just so I could enjoy that view. To our left was Lake Kaweah, and to the right was a view up the Kaweah River.

We learned that the lake was built for flood control, and it fills up every year. By the end of May or early June each year, the water comes up and covers almost all of the campground. We could see it changing each day we were there - small islands and bushes became covered by the end of our stay. The campground is not open during the summer - it's under water!

After we left Lake Kaweah, we had reservations at a Forest Service campground on Lake Isabella. When we got there, it was a nightmare. First of all, more than half of the campground was closed - and I'm sure that's where the sites were that were large enough for RVs and trailers. We drove through a few loops - getting stuck several times and tearing up the side of our trailer against some trees and rocks. When we could finally make it back to the entrance, we saw that there wasn't even a camp host there to tell us where a decent site could be found. Soooo, we decided to go to Don's favorite campground - Rivernook - a private campground with full hookups and CABLE TV. Yeah, we were really roughing it. But he likes Rivernook, since he can fish in the Kern right from the campground. He also can drive up and down the Kern and fish all he wants. The picture to the left was taken from one of the places we stopped (the day I accompanied him up the river). Six days there was nice -all I did was sit and cross stitch and read and not even think about work.