Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Cinnamon Palmiers by Kay

This Saturday, my friend, Anna, came over and Mom had Cinnamon Palmiers in the oven. Anna and I were doing our homework and then she spotted my new voice alarm. We started to scream in it and held down the play button. We laughed so hard, Anna fell when she was trying to get to the bathroom.

Then Mom said that the palmiers were ready. She made about 15 of them and there were none left when I wanted one 2 hours later. Anna had about 3 because she liked them so much. I knew what regular palmiers tasted like so I knew I would like them. I think next time we make them, we should roll chocolate chips in them and then put cinnamon on top of them.

Cinnamon Palmiers Recipe by Kay

1 package of puff pastry, thawed
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Pre heat oven to 450 degrees. Open puff pastry and roll lightly with rolling pin to seal the seams. Spread the cinnamon sugar mixture over the pastry. Lightly roll with the rolling pin to seal it into the dough.

Fold 1 long side to the middle. Fold the other long side to meet in the middle with the other side. Now fold in half again so the 2 folds are on top of each other.

Slice into 1/2 inch pieces. Place on pan with cut side up. Bake 6 minutes. Flip the cookies and bake 4 more minutes.

Mom(Dana)- This recipe is for a full package of puff pastry. I only made half a recipe this weekend. These are really good. Bill said they needed more sugar but then he ate most of them!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Cuban Bruschetta

This weekend I went through several cookbooks and my big pile of recipes printed from blogs and spent hours and hours cooking. Unfortunately for Kayleigh, I didn't let her help with any of it. She has a really bad cold and should consider herself lucky she is even allowed in the house! I did let her eat the food, though. I've noticed when she has a cold she seems to like new foods more so maybe I shouldn't be complaining that she is sick again!

I adapted this recipe from The Perfect Pantry for lunch yesterday. It had such strange ingredients and Bill and I agreed that the first bite was really weird. After 2 or 3 more tastes, though, it got better and better. It was a little involved for lunch but not so bad since it was the weekend.

Cuban Bruschetta

Multi grain baguette, sliced

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped

1/2 red onion, diced

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

1 tsp vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 small zucchini, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 dill pickle, diced

sliced cheese (we used emmentaler because that is what was on hand)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the baguette and toast for 5 -10 minutes.

Combine half the chopped onion, mayo, cilantro, and chipotle in a small bowl.

Heat the oil over medium high heat in a skillet. Cook the onion and garlic until softened. Add the zucchini and carrot and continue sauteing for 10 minutes or until the carrot is soft. Remove from heat and stir in the dill pickle.

Top each piece of toast first with the mayo mixture, then the vegetables, and then a slice of cheese. Bake for 5 minutes.

Kay - These were OK. I don't usually like carrots but they were so-so in this. Zucchini I usually like so that was OK. The cilantro was a little strong. (Mom's note: I don't think it was the cilantro she was noticing. I bet it was the chipotle.)

Mom (Dana) - The key is to dice the carrot, zucchini and pickle all pretty small so that you can fit it onto the bread. The cheese is really just there to hold it all together so the slices don't have to be very thick. For Kay's I cut the cheese thicker and then put a thinner layer of the mayo mixture and vegetables. I figured she would be more likely to eat it if she couldn't see what was under the cheese!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

White Beans and Red Chard

For Christmas this year I got Heidi Swanson's fantastic book "Super Natural Cooking". Since Kay and I both had 2 weeks vacation, I had a lot of opportunity to cook from this book and I took advantage of it. I read it straight through in one sitting. Not only are the recipes delicious but it also has very interesting information about various flours, sweeteners and fats. I highly recommend it!

We've decided to post this recipe because we found it the most surprising. Who knew that Kay and I both love chard?!! We'd never had it before but we are now big fans. To begin with, I didn't even care how it tasted because it was so beautiful with those dark green leaves and red stalk but then we tasted it, raw and cooked, and it tasted good too so that was a bonus!

As I keep saying, Kay doesn't really like cooked greens so I saved a handful of the chard for her to eat raw but I also gave her a small portion of the cooked meal. She ate it all without any complaining so that is success in my book!

Giant Crusty and Creamy White Beans with Greens

1/2 pound large dried white beans

3 tablespoons olive oil

Fine grain sea salt

1 1/2 cup onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

5 large red chard leaves with 2 stems reserved

Black pepper

Place the beans in a bowl and cover with water. Leave overnight.

Drain the beans. In a large pot, cover the beans and 1/2 cup chopped onion with plenty of water. Leave to simmer on the stove top for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours (until cooked but not so mushy that they are breaking in the water). After about 1 hour add a pinch of salt and pepper. (I cooked the whole bag of beans but only used 2 cups for the recipe. I froze the remaining beans in 2 cup batches).

Chop the chard by removing the stem and then rolling the leaf lengthwise. Then slice into thin ribbons. Chop two of the stems in a small dice.

Using your largest non stick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the beans in one layer, stir to coat in the oil and then let cook without stirring for 3-4 minutes (until they start to brown slightly). Turn the beans and let cook an additional 3-4 minutes to brown the other side.

Add the remaining onion, garlic, and chard stem and cook 2 minutes. Add salt to taste. Stir in the chard leaves and cook until slightly wilted, about 3-4 minutes.

Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan if desired.

Kay: Red chard tastes like spinach and lettuce put together and I like both of them. This tasted good cooked too. I didn't like the beans too much though.

Mom (Dana): This was so much better than I ever expected! I ate two huge helping of it. My chard leaves must have been much larger than Heidi's because she calls for 6-7 leaves but I used only 5 and mine had a much higher chard to bean ratio than what her picture showed. Also, we forgot to put the cheese on at the end but I don't think it needed it.