Monday, September 6, 2010

Shaker Pancakes

Finally, another use for that thing you have to make protein shakes (or in our case, gravy and white sauce). I've been tempted by the Dr. Oetker version in the grocery store, but could never bring myself to spend $3 on a little tiny shaker of pancake batter. This recipe is from my grandma's Blue Ribbon Cook Book.

Blue Ribbon Pancakes
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons canola oil (or other veggie oil)

Add all ingredients to shaker. Seal lid well. Shake shake shake. Open the little spout to pour perfect pancakes into a frying pan heated to medium (I find I don't need any oil in a non-stick pan). Turn when pancakes have lots of bubbles. Remove when browned on both sides.

Serve with whatever you like on pancakes: syrup, jam, strawberries, whipped cream, Nutella, or today's choice: caramelized bananas (slice and fry some bananas with a bit of butter and sugar).

This recipe just barely fits in my shaker, which has a capacity of about 2 cups. Makes enough pancakes for 2-3 adults.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pickled Green Beans

A couple years ago, I bought some green bean seeds to plant in my garden. It seemed wise, until my first picking of beans when I realized neither of us really loves beans.

Not one to give up, I planted a bunch more from the same packet this year. I have a new garden space, and it's huge, so I sort of planted everything I had. As a result, I have many green beans and no end in sight. My houseguests enjoyed a few good meals, but even with that, they got ahead of me.

Enter the solution: pickles. I haven't eaten any yet, as they need to sit a couple of weeks, but I like pickles of all varieties and expect these to be great. I used this recipe: Crisp Pickled Green Beans. I don't mess around with canning recipes, but pickles are a really safe beginner project if you're not too confident. The vinegar kills everything, so you are unlikely to food poison yourself.

I gave one jar to my mom, and will likely continue to spread the dilly bean love once they're ready to eat.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

No-Tahini Hummus

My cupboards are already bursting with odds and ends of specialty cooking ingredients. Many kinds of spices and herbs and sauces are stashed away, waiting for their own little obscure calling. When I can, I try to avoid shelling out for yet another ingredient I need only a little of. This recipe works well to avoid buying tahini - providing, of course, that you have sesame seeds already. For some reason, I do. Sesame seeds may also be easier to find if you're not near a store which caters to ethnic ingredients.

No Tahini Hummus

2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
1 15-20 oz. can chickpeas, drained - reserve juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon (or lime) juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
pepper to taste (optional)
finely chopped parsley (optional)

Toast sesame seeds, either in a small frying pan over med-high heat or in a hot air popcorn popper. (Some did escape the popper on me, but it still beat trying to keep them in motion on my own.) Dump everything in a food processor or blender. Puree well, stirring to mix everything to a spot where it is blended. If it won't quite mix, use some of the reserved chickpea juice to thin it a bit. Taste, adjust as you like.

I used a blender - it did work, but took some stirring to get it all down to the bottom where it would mush together. A food processor would make this easier, without a doubt.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Carrot Lentil Soup

It is another pureed vegetable soup! Plus, it has the goodness of lentils. Lentils are high in fibre and a good source of vegetarian protein. The best part? You won't even know they're there after they're pureed. It's a great soup if you're not really into lentils (or you're feeding a picky eater).

Carrot Lentil Soup
1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil
3 carrots, sliced
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp (15 mL) minced gingerroot
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
6 cups (1.5 L) vegetable stock or chickenstock
3/4 cup (175 mL) red lentils
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh coriander or parsley
1/2 cup (125 mL) plain low-fat yogurt
(Alternately, sour cream and dill)

Heat oil in saucepan over medium. Cook everything except the lentils and stock in the oil for about 5 minutes (until onions start to soften).

Add stock and lentils. Bring to boil, then simmer 20 minutes. When carrots and lentils are soft, puree soup with immersion blender or in batches in regular blender.

Garnish with herbed yogurt pr sour cream when serving. This soup freezes well.

Assuming 4 servings (and these would be very large servings):
Calories: 248, Protein: 13g, Fat 6 g (1 g sat), Carb 38g (7 g fibre)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lemon Poppy Seed Sour Cream Loaf

Fresh and delicious! I had a lonely lemon in the fridge and some poppy seeds that have been in the pantry far too long... and now I have this delicious cake instead!

Lemon Poppy Seed Sour Cream Loaf from Canadian Living Magazine
1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
2 tbsp (25 mL) freshly grated lemon rind
1 cup (250 mL) butter, softened
4 eggs
1/4 cup (50 mL) lemon juice
2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp (25 mL) poppy seeds
3/4 tsp (4 mL) baking powder
1/4 tsp (1 mL) baking soda
1/2 cup (125 mL) sour cream
1 cup (250 mL) icing sugar
5 tsp (24 mL) lemon juice, (approx)
2 tsp (10 mL) lemon juice

Mix the grated lemon rind with the white sugar. Add butter/margarine (softened in microwave), eggs, and lemon juice. Mix well. Add flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and sour cream.  Mix well again, until batter is uniform. Pour into small loaf pan (9 x 5 inches). Bake 1 hour at 325*F, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Mine took more like 1 hour 15 minutes.

Mix icing sugar and 5 teaspoons lemon juice to make icing. Divide in half and thin one half with 2 teaspoons more lemon juice. Brush thinned glaze onto loaf while warm. After cool, spread icing on top. Slice. Serve with coffee. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Free OAMC e-book!

If you're a first-timer wondering if it's possible to prep such a great number of recipes all in one go, or an old hat at OAMC, this is a great resource:

Freezer Cooking Guide from 30 day Cafe

Full of checklists to get you organized and general logistical solutions. And all for the low, low price of free!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

It's got cheese. What's not to love about soup with cheese?

A word of caution: boiling cheese is a bad idea. Remove soup from heat, add it at the end, and stir like crazy. When reheating, use low heat and avoid boiling.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup
4 servings

  • 2 cups chopped broccoli, stems included
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock (or water with bouillon powder)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika (optional)
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, low fat
Cut up the broccoli and carrot. Cover with chicken stock and bring to a boil in a medium saucepan. Simmer until carrot is tender - about 10 minutes. Broccoli will be overcooked at this point, but that's okay.

Puree veggies using an immersion blender or in batches in a normal blender. Return to pot over medium heat. Add garlic, basil, and paprika.

Put flour in a liquid measuring cup. Add milk to make 1 cup. Mix well with a fork to remove lumps. It often works better to add the milk a bit at a time, mixing as you go. Add floury milk to soup, stirring well. Bring to boil - stir frequently to keep it from sticking to the bottom. Soup should get very thick and creamy.

Remove put from heat. Add cheese, stirring very well. Serve with crackers or bread, and add pepper to taste.

Per serving (using 1% milk and low fat cheese): Calories 134, Fat 3.0 g (2 g sat), Carb 15.8 g, Protein 11.6 g, Fibre 2.2 g, Sodium 814 mg.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Menu

Just in case you're seeking inspiration, for Valentine's Day we will be dining on:

Appetizer: Cheddar Beer Fondue with bread, mushrooms, apples, broccoli, red pepper, and baby corn for dipping.

Main Course: Bacon-wrapped sirloin steak from Costco, with baked potatoes on the side. Alternately, last year I made Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breast. Bacon-wrapped = special.

Dessert: Chocolate Mousse

Wine: We have one bottle left from our trip to BC last year, so we'll be drinking it. I think it's a blush. Don't judge me! I'll probably pick up a bottle of port tonight to go with dessert.

My plan is to make the mousse on Saturday. That should make prep pretty easy on Sunday - just slicing up fondue stuff, making the fondue, baking the potatoes (or microwaving them), and letting the steak-man cook the steaks as he sees fit.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup

This soup is fantastic. Probably because it has a brick of cream cheese in it. I used "light", though, so clearly it's okay. It's creamy and rich and just a wonderful meal for a February evening. Rumour has it this also makes an excellent pasta sauce.

Adapted from Allrecipes. How could 1,000 people steer me wrong?

Butternut Squash Soup
1 large butternut squash
1 onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons oil

3 cups water
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder
1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning (or marjoram or oregano)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
dash liquid smoke
1 8 oz brick light cream cheese*

1. Wash the outside of the squash well. Microwave whole for 3 minutes on high to soften. Slice in half and scoop out and discard the seeds and pulp. Place in a microwavable dish and microwave until soft, 10-15 minutes on high. Let cool for a few minutes.

2. Chop onion. Peel garlic. Put in a large saucepan with the oil. Cook over medium until onion is cooked through and just a little brown. Add the water and bouillon (or, of course, sub real chicken broth). Scoop squash flesh into soup using a large spoon or ice cream scoop. Add seasonings. Simmer 5 minutes to blend the flavours and make sure all parts of the squash are evenly cooked.

3. Add cream cheese. Remove from heat. Blend with immersion blender, or in batches in a normal blender (carefully!). Adjust seasoning to taste.

*If a brick of cream cheese isn't your style, you can add anything you like for a creamy dairy product: 1 cup half and half, 1 cup milk, 1 cup plain yogurt, or 1 cup evaporated skim milk.

Assuming 8 servings: Calories 181, Fat 10.8 g (3.7 saturated), Protein 5.1 g, Carbs 16.3 g (2.9 g fibre), Sodium 95.6 mg

Monday, February 1, 2010

Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup

The recipe makes enough to feed an army - I'd guess 15 servings, so either make it for a crowd or plan to freeze a bunch. Apologies for the lack of photo - I didn't intent to blog this, but I've been recommending the recipes often so this will give it a home.


Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cup carrot, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (I minced in a food processor)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 4 teaspoons salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (3 1/2 lb) roasting chicken (frozen utility grade is usually the best value - if prepping the night before, just put frozen into pot)
  • 1-2 cups frozen veggies (corn, peas, etc)
  • 3 cups noodles, uncooked (egg, bowtie, or whatever you like)


1. In 4-1/2 to 6-quart slow-cooker bowl, combine water, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, poultry seasoning, 4 t salt, 1/2 t pepper.
2. Place whole chicken on top of vegetables.
3. Cover slow cooker with lid and cook as manufacturer directs on low setting 8 to 10 hours or on high 4-5 hours.
4. Transfer chicken to cutting board. Add noodles and frozen veggies to slow-cooker; cover with lid and cook (on low or high) 20 minutes.
5. While noodles cook, remove and discard skin, fat and bones from chicken; shred meat.
6. Skim fat from soup and discard. Return half of chicken to soup to serve. (Reserve the rest of the chicken meat for another use.)

Estimated nutrional content per 1 cup serving (14 servings in above recipe, half the chicken meat added back):
Calories: 112
Fat: 1.4 g (0.3 saturated)
Sodium: 711 mg
Carbs: 16 g (2 g fibre)
Protein: 9.3 g

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Aloo Paratha (Curry-stuffed flatbread)

The library had a gift for me: Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes A Day. I got the original book for Christmas, and love it to death. The sequel is equally fabulous. I haven't actually mixed up a dough recipe yet, but this Indian dish had to be made and eaten as soon as possible.

Aloo Paratha

1 pound bread dough (whole wheat, white, pizza dough, whatever)
2 potatoes, boiled with skin on
1 1/2 tbsp ghee (or butter or margarine), melted, plus a bit for brushing on the top
1 1/2 tbsp neutral oil
1 tsp curry powder (know your curry - mine is mild, so I added a bit of cayenne for kick)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup frozen peas

Preheat oven to 450*. If you have a baking stone, preheat that too.

Boil potatoes, drain, and mash. Add ghee, oil, curry and salt. Mix well. Fold in peas (don't mush the peas).

Roll dough out into large circle, 1/8" thick (use lots of flour to prevent sticking). Put potato mixture on half. Wet edge, fold over, and seal edge. Brush with ghee, sprinkle with curry.

Bake 25 minutes on a stone (or parchment lined cookie sheet).

Friday, January 1, 2010

Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

If you were wondering what I did about the other half of my Brioche dough from a few days ago, here is the answer: Cinnamon Rolls. The original recipe had pecans, but I prefer raisins so mine has raisins.

Cinnamon Rolls
1 1/2 pounds brioche dough or other white bread dough (a cantaloupe-sized piece)
For bottom of pan:
5 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
For rolls:
4 tablespoons butter/margarine
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins (or pecans if you prefer)

Melt the 5 T butter and add a half cup of brown sugar. Mix up, put in the bottom of an 8 or 9 inch square or round pan. Roll the dough out into a rectangle (about 1/4" thick). Spread with butter, sprinkle on brown sugar, top with cinnamon and raisins. Roll up, slice into 8 pieces. Place into prepared pan.  Let rise an hour, covered with plastic. Preheat oven to 350*, bake 40 minutes until golden brown. Let cool about 5 minutes, then invert onto a plate or into a storage container. Do not cool completely in the pan, or they may never come out.