Sunday, February 17, 2008

Maple Oat Bread

We've had very mixed reviews of our meals lately. Everything has been ok but nothing really stood out. Finally this bread changed that. We all were really surprised at how good this was. It is quite sweet so you definitely want to eat it as a snack kind of bread. The crust is a little crunchy but the inside is very moist. We had to really concentrate so that we didn't eat the whole loaf in one setting!

It comes from a book with a very unappetizing title and topic so I will link you to it here in order to give all due credit, but won't actually state the name!

Maple Oat Bread

1 3/4 cup white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups soy milk blended with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup regular rolled oats
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9 X 5 loaf pan with cooking oil. In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together until blended. In a medium bowl whisk the egg whites with the oil until smooth. Whisk in the maple syrup, brown sugar, and soured soy milk. Stir in the oats. Add pecans.

Add wet ingredients to dry and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Pour into pan, smooth top, and bake until golden brown and a tester inserted into center of loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool on a rack in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out of pan onto rack and cool completely before slicing. Freezes beautifully.

Kay: This bread tasted like corn bread and bananas to me even though it didn't have any cornmeal or bananas in it!

Mom (Dana): The soy milk and vinegar is used in place of buttermilk. If you eat dairy, you can use an equal amount of buttermilk.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Paper Chef Challenge - Thyme for Latkes

I was so happy to see that Ilva over at Lucullian Delights was taking over the Paper Chef challenges. You can read the instructions for the challenge on her blog but the main idea is that everyone tries to come up with a recipe using the same 4 randomly selected ingredients.

This time the ingredients were potato, rutabaga, plum tomatoes, and bacon. The only substitution we had to make was Bacos for the real bacon. I had never had rutabaga before but I did a little research and found out they are often prepared similarly to potatoes so that made it a lot easier. Grocery shopping was actually the most challenging part because the rutabagas didn't have stickers on them. Based on the fact that Kay and I recognized all the other vegetables in that produce aisle, we took a chance and bought the one that was left. The check out clerk verified that we had gotten the correct thing so that was one challenge down!

(Kay chopping onions for the first time - she didn't even cry!)

Kay helped a lot in making these. For the first time, she chopped the tomato and onion. She also got to do her favorite cooking task - shredding things in the food processor! The whole family was really happy with how these turned out so I'm sure we'll be repeating this recipe.

Thyme for Latkes


2 plum tomatoes, diced

1/2 cup minced onion

salt and pepper to taste

leaves removed from 4 sprigs of thyme

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and set aside. If it is winter you will want to leave this mixture sit for a couple hours to get some flavor into the tomatoes.


2 pounds shredded potato (not peeled)

1 pound rutabaga, peeled and shredded

1/4 of a large onion, shredded

2 eggs

1/3 cup flour

leaves from 4 sprigs of thyme

salt and pepper to taste

peanut oil for frying

Place the potato, rutabaga, and onion in a large bowl. Mix in the eggs, flour, thyme, salt and pepper (hands work best).

Heat about 4 tablespoons peanut oil in a saute pan over high heat for 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high. Form patties with the potato mixture, squeezing out any excess moisture and place 2-3 in the pan at the time. Press each patty with the back of a spatula. Cook until browned, 3-4 minutes, flip, and cook other side. Remove the patties from the pan onto paper towels to drain. Continue with the remaining potato mixture.

After every few batches, you will need to add more oil to the pan.

The fried latkes can be kept in a 200 degree oven while you continue to cook.

When completed, top each latke with some sour cream, a spoonful of the salsa, and a sprinkling of Bacos (or real bacon bits if you prefer).

Kay: These were really good but I didn't use the salsa. I used ketchup instead which is still tomatoes so I think it counts! The rutabaga tastes just like potatoes to me so these tasted just like regular latkes.
(Yes, Kay still eats off her Blue's Clues plate!)

Mom (Dana): In the middle of cooking I made the mistake of assembling one to take a picture of. Then I had to eat it, of course, and was dying for more! I really liked these. I wasn't too sure about the bacos but they worked well with the other flavors. I was also really worried about my rock hard winter tomatoes but they ended up tasting fine. The thyme added a nice flavor change from our regular latkes.

Thanks for hosting this Ilva. We had lots of fun!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Corny Biscuits au Gratin

As we were going through Bill's grandma's house a few months ago, we came across a cookbook called "Ford Treasury of Favorite Recipes from Famous Eating Places" with a 1950 copyright. I love old books and cooking so I was really excited to look through this. It appears that this was a cookbook given to Ford customers. Somehow, buying a car and receiving a cookbook seems strange to me but maybe that was normal in 1950!

There are recipes from all across the country. Kayleigh was horrified that there were several recipes for frog legs! These biscuits seemed like a safer bet.

I've typed up the recipe as is (because I found it charming) but added my notes to the side where necessary.

Corny Bisuits au Gratin from Phil De Graff's Lodges in Trout Lake, Michigan

4 cups Bisquick (I didn't have any so I used this recipe.)

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 heaping tablespoon shortening

Cheddar cheese to individual taste (I used 1 cup of misc. cheeses we had left over)

1/2 cup cream style corn

Water enough for a soft dough (about 3/4 cup)

Bran (I used oat bran)

Mix dry ingredients, then work in shortening as for pie crust. Grate cheese into the corn and water, and mix together into a soft dough. Add corn-cheese mixture to dry ingredients and mix fast, adding water as necessary to make a very soft biscuit dough. (I wasn't really sure what they meant here so I added the corn and cheese to the dry ingredients and then stirred in enough water to make a nice batter.) "Flour" the board with bran and pat out dough about 3/4 inch thick on top of it. Cut into biscuits and bake in a moderately hot oven (375 degrees for 18 minutes).

Kay: These were ok but a little dry. I couldn't really taste the cheese in them though.

Mom (Dana): I liked these. I thought they were really moist. They were pretty easy to make, too so I would probably make them again. I was thrilled to find an old recipe that didn't contain tons of butter, cream, and eggs!