January 18, 2009

Weekend Morning Treats


Treat yourself and your family to a treat on a weekend morning.

Like some basic homemade muffins, like these Cinnamon Muffins with Streusel Topping. It gets your weekend off to a wonderful start!

Butternut Squash Pizza

This is a really warming pizza.

Chop 1/2 a yellow onion and cut up one butternut squash into 1.5" pieces and roast in the oven (with a touch of oil) until tender.

Get a pre-made pizza dough and add the roasted butternut squash and onion atop. Throw on a cheese of some sort. Ricotta is great, but my favorite is feta. Add some favorite fresh herbs--or dry if you're in a pinch. I like thyme on my pizza.

Bake according to the pizza dough directions. I think the only way to make pizza is with a baking stone.

Bread Baking

A few photos from a day of happy bread baking.




(above) letting it rise





(above) proofing, slashing and dusting with flour





(above) the finished product.

January 03, 2009

Pancakes for Dinner

I am not one to shy away from breakfast for dinner. It's one of my favorites!

But this is a dinner-take on this breakfast classic. Leek and Spinach Pancakes. I had some leftover (once frozen, now thawed) spinach that I used for an improvised egg/spinach/cheese baked in ramekins. So how to use it? This recipe is perfect for it--and quick!

I based this off a recipe from Real Simple, where they use asparagus and spinach. I never did try it with asparagus. Anyway. It goes something like this...

1 c. milk
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. sour cream
about 3/4 of a package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and dry
1 leek, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c. shredded cheese, whatever you have on hand. Even a firm cheese like parm is good.
1/2 c. flour--I used whole wheat flour for extra heartiness and healthiness
2 T. olive oil
3 T. wheat germ, ground flax seed or fiber of some sort, optional (it adds good texture)
salt and pepper

Serves 4

Begin with a little oil in a fry pan and gently saute the leeks until softened. Avoid browning. At the very end, when you think the leeks are a good texture, add the garlic and then stir over the heat until the garlic is fragrant. Then remove from the heat.

Mix the milk and eggs together, then add the sour cream, spinach, cheese and salt/pepper (be generous with the S+P). When the leek mixture has cooled just a bit, add it in as well. Then gradually add in the flour/ wheat germ until it resembles a typical pancake consistency. I think I added slightly more than 1/2 c. flour.

Spray cooking surface with oil and heat to about medium. (Pancake tip: I usually turn the heat a little high and then turn it down. So I may start just over medium and then bring it to just under medium heat. I find this gets a nice golden color without burning.) Using about 1/4 c. batter per pancake, make in batches. When the pancake is golden around the edges, flip.

Serve with sour cream. I think a flavored sour cream would do better than plain, though I haven't tried it. Try mixing a seasoned salt you have on hand with the sour cream.

Give it a try!
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