Sunday, January 03, 2010

Fun Cooking Weekend (and back to work tomorrow!)

My Saturday morning started with picking up my organic produce share, along with 5 pounds of raw unpasteurized almonds. Our share this week, and what I have used it or will use it for:
fennel - roasted fennel
blueberries - flash frozen and will go in pancakes or waffles
collard greens - sautéed and served with pinto beans and cornbread
spinach - in spinach-artichoke bread soufflés (below)
celery - will be sliced and frozen
broccoli - we like this steamed and buttered
mushrooms - had these sautéed and served with some chicken last night
cucumbers - cucumber salad and chopped in romaine salad
granny smith apples - out of hand, in the breakfast bundt cake (below), in pancakes
bananas - out of hand
onions - in various recipes
leaf lettuce - salad
oranges - out of hand
parsley - in some spaghetti sauce, maybe
carrots - in the breakfast bundt cake (below)

I had gone to Costco earlier in the month, and got 20 pounds of Eagle Mills Ultragrain All-Purpose Flour. It's made with white wheat instead of red, and has twice as much fiber per serving as regular all-purpose flour. What I really like about it is that it can be used cup-for-cup in place of regular apf. The first thing I did was make a loaf of bread with it in the bread machine. Since I was using up a couple cups of whole wheat flour, I used the whole wheat flour recipe that came with the machine. When that was finished and cooled, I used a couple of slices to throw together some little soufflés - though they're not technically soufflés. They're like the little egg pastries you get at Panera Bread - and I made mine with spinach and artichokes.

Spinach Artichoke Bread Soufflés

3 large slices or 4 regular slices whole grain bread, cut in small cubes
2 cups (about 2 large handfuls) spinach leaves (about 1/2 a small bag, if you buy it at the store), finely chopped
1 14-oz can artichoke hearts (not the marinated ones), drained, chopped
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
6 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt

Spray the insides of six 6-ounce ramekins with nonstick cooking spray. Divide the cubed bread evenly among the ramekins. Divide the spinach and artichoke hearts evenly among the ramekins, placing on top of the bread. Sprinkle each ramekin with cheese. In a small bowl, mix together the egg, milk, dry mustard, and salt. Pour evenly over each ramekin. Cover ramekins and refrigerate overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake at 350˚ for 25 minutes. Makes 6

In preparation for returning to work, I made Breakfast Bundt Bread, based on a recipe I saw on Being Cheap Never Tasted So Good. Moni had made hers with spelt flour, agave, carrots, and raisins. I made mine with the ultragrain flour, brown sugar and apple juice, carrots, dates, and apples. Since I used so much more fruit than Moni did, I increased the batter by half - resulting in a larger cake than hers. Don and I will have this for breakfast a few mornings this week.

Breakfast Bundt Bread
adapted from Being Cheap Never Tasted So Good

3 cups flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple juice
2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped dates
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (I used both)
1 medium apple, cored and chopped (no need to peel it)

Preheat oven to 350˚. Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray (for best results, use the kind mixed with flour). In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, oil, and apple juice. Fold in the dry ingredients. If the batter is dry, add a little more apple juice. Fold in the carrots, dates, nuts, and apple, and spread in bunt pan. Bake approximately 40 minutes. Cake is ready when the top springs back lightly when touched and toothpick tester comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan; cool another half hour before trying to slice it.

This next recipe is something I've had for years and never tried - and now I'm kicking myself for it since it's wonderful. You can use pecans or walnuts, too - they're all good for you.

Sugar and Spice Almonds

⅓ cup brown sugar
⅔ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pound almonds
1 egg white, room temperature
1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 300˚. In a medium bowl, mix together sugars, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon. Reserve. In a large bowl, beat egg white until frothy but not stiff; add water and stir until combined. Add almonds and stir to coat evenly. Sprinkle nuts with sugar mixture and stir until evenly coated. Spread sugared nuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet fitted with a Silpat nonstick liner or parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally as needed. Remove from the oven and separate nuts as they cool. Let cool for at least an hour before serving.

1 comment:

Moni said...

Cyndi I'm so glad the bundt recipe worked out! I love your addition of dates. I rarely think of them, so thank you for that. :)