The Glory of Crisps: The Fruit Dessert for Everyone

April 29, 2009

crispsFinding a good dessert for just the two of us can be a challenge.  Most make just too much for two people.  And what about single people.  When I was single, I had no business baking a whole cake and eating it by myself.  Which is one of the reasons I love crisps.

Crisps are wonderful. You can make a small amount or a big amount.  I usually use a muffin pan.  And you can make it around whatever fruit is in season.  This week I made up several different crisps with whatever fruit looked good at the grocery store – blackberry, apple, pear, cherry and peach.  If you just want to make single servings, you can use a oven-safe custard cup or even a muffin pan.

I used a muffin pan and did a different fruit in each cup.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place fruit into cups.  For pears, apples and peaches, that’s about a half a fruit sliced.

Squeeze lemon juice over fruit.  Top each cup with –

1 t. brown sugar
1 T. oatmeal
1/2 T. chopped nuts (I like walnuts or pecans)
1 thin slice of butter
Pinch of cinnamon

Bake for about 20 minutes  crisps-in-muffin-tin

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7 Grain Pancakes

April 26, 2009

7-grain-pancakes

A few years ago I began having problems with eating things like pasta, pancakes, pizza and sweets.  After eating these items I would feel like I had drunk too much caffeine.  I’d be hungry shortly after eating, even if I’d partaken in a large portion.  I visited the doctor and he said my symptoms didn’t quite sound like hypoglycemia or a food allergy.  To remedy the situation I avoided the foods that made me feel bad.  I also found that by ingesting protein throughout the day, usually milk, I felt better.  After avoiding these foods for several years I was able to begin eating them in small quantities.  I could eat spaghetti as a side but not as a main course.  Fast forward to today.  I’m able to eat pizza or pasta as an entree but I can’t do it every day.  Pancakes have been an exception though.  It must be the combination of sugar and the refined wheat.  A few months ago we were visiting Matt and Alicia (Melissa’s sister and brother in law) and Alicia served pancakes using a mix from Paul’s Grains.  I felt fine after eating the pancakes, so upon returning home, I looked up Paul’s Grains and discovered their products could be purchased online.  I finally ordered some flour last week and made my first batch of pancakes today.  They were delicious and I felt fine after eating them!  The recipe I used was out of Michael Ruhlman’s new book, Ratio.  The recipe called for all purpose flour, I used Paul’s 7 Grain flour, so I ended up using more liquid to compensate.  Ruhlman’s book mostly uses weight to measure ingredients, which I’m liking more and more.  The base ratio is: 2 part liquid, 1 part egg, 1/2 part butter and 2 parts flour.  This is my adaptation.

Wet Ingredients:

  • 4.5 oz buttermilk
  • 8.5 oz skim milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 oz butter (1/2 stick), melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients:

  • 8 oz Paul’s 7 grain flour or all purpose flour (1-1/3 to 1-1/2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar (turbinado)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Combine dry and wet ingredients in separate mixing bowls.  Then combine the wet and dry mixes together, stirring until smooth.  Cook the pancakes over medium heat on a greased skillet.

By Kenton


Griddle Scones

April 5, 2009

griddle-sconesYears ago, I went through a big mystery novel phase.  In one of the mysteries, the heroine is stranded at a cabin with only a few items for food in the pantry – flour, baking soda, dry milk, etc.  Of course, she is able to whip together a totally appetizing meal with minimal ingredients in a skillet in the fireplace.  I was reminded of this story this morning when I wanted to bake but didn’t want to use the oven.  (Kent turned our oven into a high-powered pizza oven with fire bricks last night and I was hoping that if I left his construction undisturbed he would make pizza again tonight).

So here’s a recipe for scones done in a skillet.  As I was baking them this morning, it dawned on me that this might be a good recipe for a camping trip.  The ingredients are all dry but water and a little vegetable shortening so most of it can be easily mixed up and placed in a baggy to go.  They taste a little like french toast so they’re perfect for a Sunday morning.

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. cream of tartar
1/4 t. salt
1 T. sugar
1 t. cinnamon
2 T. dried milk
1/2 c. water
2 T. vegetable shortening

Stir the dry ingredients together.  Add the water and mix well.  Place batter on a well floured board and knead 8-10 times.  Pat into 6 inch circle.  Cut into wedges, 6-8.

Heat skillet on medium heat and melt shortening.  Place wedges in skillet and leave until the bottom side is golden.  Flip and brown other side.  Split a scone to test for doneness.

PS – I did get more fresh pizza for supper.  Watch for Kent’s upcoming post on it.  Yummy.


Cranberry Mango Granola

March 30, 2009

cranberry-mango-granolaCranberry Mango Granola

Have you ever noticed how small the boxes of granola are in the store?  I love granola but it seems like a person only gets a couple of bowls per box.  Here’s a granola recipe that is easy and you can make as much as you want.

3 c. oatmeal
1/2 c. wheat germ
1/2 c. chopped almonds
1/3 c. honey
1/3 c. orange juice
Grated orange peel from one medium orange
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. dried mango

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Toast wheat germ on low heat.  Mix with oatmeal and almonds.

Stir honey, orange juice, orange peel and cinnamon together in a saucepan.  Heat until boiling.

Pour over oatmeal mixture and stir until coated.

Pour onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Add dried fruit to partially cooked granola.  Bake for another 10 minutes or until light brown.


Raspberry Coffee Cake

March 10, 2009
Raspberry Coffee Cake

Raspberry Coffee Cake

I love this recipe.  In fact, I recommend you double it because you’ll wish it was bigger when comes out of the oven.  This recipe is from my increasingly favorite cookbook The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix and set aside:

3/4 c. brown sugar
1 c. fresh raspberries (I actually used frozen – thawed and drained off the juice)

Combine dry ingredients

1 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/8 t. salt

In a separate bowl, mix together

1/2 c. nonfat plain yogurt
2 T. melted butter
1 egg, beaten
1 t. vanilla

Add the about wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir well.  Spread about 2/3 of the batter into a greased 8 inch round baking dish or pan.  Spoon raspberries on batter leaving a 1/2 inch border.  Dab the remaining batter on top of the raspberries.  Sprinkle with sliced almonds.  The recipe calls for one tablespoon of sliced almonds but that never seems like enough.  A few more won’t hurt.

Wesler, C.A. (Ed.). (2000).  The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook.  Birmingham, AL:  Oxmoor House.