Tag Archives: family
Post by Alison Hein.
Oh no! I cannot believe I forgot to do a Valentine’s Day post!
Well, as they say, better late than never, so here’s a sweet recipe you can either save until next year or surprise your beloved with an unexpected, heartwarming anytime breakfast in bed.
These little pies are deliciously spiced with an amalgam of exotic flavors, and tuck neatly into a small hand for nibbling on the go. If you like, use a small heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out a heart in each half-moon. Then gently lay the little heart back over the filling before baking.
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon water
1/3 cup butter
2 tart apples, such as Granny Smith
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon sugar, plus an additional 1 teaspoon for topping
½ teaspoon flour
¼ teaspoon cloves
A dash each of cardamom, ginger, mace and nutmeg
1 egg white, lightly beaten
To make crust, sift together flour and salt. Remove half of the flour mixture and add to a separate small bowl. Add water to flour mixture and stir to make a paste. Cut butter into small cubes and cut into remaining flour mixture, using a pastry cutter or two forks. Mix all ingredients together until a smooth, uniform dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°. Remove dough from refrigerator and cut in half. Gently roll out one piece of dough on a lightly floured board, adding more flour as needed to prevent sticking. Roll dough to form an approximate 12×12-inch shape. Cut 3 to 4 6-inch circles from the dough, using a large cookie cutter, a tin coffee can, or cutting around a small plate. If possible, re-roll any leftover dough to form an additional 6-inch circle. Set circles aside until ready to use.
To make filling, peel and finely dice apples. Add to a large bowl and stir in cinnamon, ½ teaspoon of sugar, flour, cardamom ginger, mace and nutmeg. Place about 1½ teaspoons of filling on the lower half of each circle, leaving enough room to crimp dough ends together. Fold top half of dough circle over filling to create a moon shape. Crimp edges together with the tines of a fork. Repeat with remaining dough. Poke a few holes in the top of the pie for venting.
Place pies on lightly greased baking sheets. Brush with lightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until crust is golden brown.
Makes 6 to 8 hand pies.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
We don’t have a TV in the bedroom. We just have the one, in the front room. But that doesn’t stop us from snuggling up on the couch under a bunch of blankets on Saturday mornings for cartoons. And now, our Saturday ritual is so much better, and nostalgic, thanks to the release of the complete Pee-wee’s Playhouse series on Netflix! Also on Blu-ray if that’s how you roll. I was the perfect age to watch this when I was a kid, if a little bit too old towards the end.
Pee-wee’s Playhouse is a joyful half hour full of talking animals and furniture, refrigerator drama, surprising celebrities, and the occasional morality lesson. Phil Hartman (rest his soul) and Laurence Fishburne were regulars. My son was an instant fan. He is always asking me who my favorite character is. That’s like choosing my favorite Chinese dish! I love most of them. But Terry (Pterry?) I guess is preferable to Chairry or Globey. It’s a wonderful new world that has opened up to my kid and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I had forgotten how utterly weird and silly the show is. I’d also forgotten about the little moral lessons, like when Randy tries to get Pee-wee to smoke. All in all, it’s the goofiest, most harmless show. Except for that intro song. That can hurt after hearing it a few times!
Post by Alison Hein.
Our garden is very shady and rocky, with just enough light and soil to grow a few herbs. Fortunately, lush green parsley, silvery thyme, and sprightly rosemary are a weedy bunch at heart, demanding little more than a touch of sun and a few drops of water to flourish.
During the winter months, I have been forced to rely on supermarket purchases to dress up my dishes with greenery. Until this year, that is. My son and daughter-in-law gifted me with the most adorable (and highly effective) indoor grow garden. It requires even less care than my outdoor plants, and grows at a remarkable rate with 16 hours of light a day. Such a perfect gift for a cook and food blogger! A handful of this, a sprig of that – photos (and dishes) are markedly enhanced.
So, I decided to create a simple breakfast to showcase my lovely stash. A simple golden omelet makes the perfect palette for my fine greenery. And, rolled up crêpe-like, it also makes the perfect presentation. I used an equal mix of fresh parsley, basil, cilantro and chives in my whipped cream cheese base, but feel free to experiment with the herbs of your choosing for a breakfast in bed filled with garden greenery – smack dab in the middle of February! J
P.S. The herbed cheese also makes a wonderful filling for earthy buckwheat crêpes, or spread on cooked artichoke bottoms for a healthy nosh.
¼ cup whipped cream cheese
2 tablespoons chopped, mixed herbs (try equal portions of parsley, basil, cilantro and chives), plus additional for garnish
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
Add cream cheese and herbs to small bowl and mix together gently. Set aside until ready to use.
Melt butter in small, heavy pan over medium heat. Break eggs into small bowl, add milk, and whisk until thick and smooth. Pour egg mixture into heated pan all at once and swirl to evenly cover the pan. Reduce heat to low. Continue to cook, occasionally pushing eggs back around the edges to allow uncooked portion to flow through. Alternatively, reduce heat to simmer, cover pan and continue to cook until set. Cook until eggs are firm and set in one flat round.
Slide egg round from pan onto work surface or plate. Spread herbed cheese on top of cooked egg. Season with salt and pepper. Roll up omelet and top with additional fresh herbs, if you like. Serve immediately.
Makes 1 serving.
Post by Alison Hein.
I’ve been thinking about Washington state since the Super Bowl last week (one I’m sure Seahawks fans would like to forget). But Washingtonians can still be thankful for the glorious bounty of local food products. If you’ve ever been to colorful Pike Street Market in Seattle you’ll know what I mean – fresh seafood piled artfully on crushed blue ice; reds and purples and greens of giant radishes, eggplants and peppers; and the lovingly grown apples, berries and ruby red cherries.
Many years ago I picked cherries while I was living in eastern Washington. They were so lush and plump, so fun to snap off the branches, a sturdy pop and then the freeing of the fruit. Many were eaten right on the spot, but many more ended up in a heavy cardboard box. I took them home and ate some more. Then I froze some, canned some, dried some, and made cherry jam. Finally, I made the pièce de résistance – bubbling hot, sweet and spiced, lattice work cherry pie.
Later that year, during a sparse winter, I remembered my dried cherries. Why not bring some cheer to my boring oatmeal breakfast? I would add some dried cherries to my rolled grain, some brown sugar and a touch of cinnamon, then let the flavors slowly simmer and meld. Why not have a cherry-pie-like breakfast in bed?
1 cup water
Dash of salt
½ cup rolled oats
¼ cup dried tart cherries
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Dash of cinnamon
Pat of butter
Pour water and salt into a small heavy saucepan. Bring liquid to a slow boil over medium heat. Stir in oats, reduce heat to low, and cook for a minute or two, stirring occasionally. Stir in dried cherries, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Cover and cook on very low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until oats are soft and mixture is thickened. Spoon oatmeal into a bowl and top with a pat of butter. Serve immediately.
Makes 1 serving.
Post by Alison Hein.
If I close my eyes, I can smell tangy citrus mingling with the aroma of warm butterscotch. A feathery light, golden yellow cake appears in my mind, glistening with a sweet drizzly glaze, sparkling with lemon zest – my mother’s unique and lovely Lemon Bundt Cake.
My mother, Evelyn, cooked with the hands of her mother before her, and her mother’s mother before that. Flavors, methods, timing so ingrained, memories and tradition moving seamlessly from generation to generation. No written recipes required.
So, while I like to imagine I am the kind of baker who can exactly replicate flavors from memory, my cake is a second runner up to Mom’s. Nevertheless, this cake is permeated with pure, fresh lemon juice and intriguing bits of tangy rind. Nothing more than a dusting of powdered sugar is needed to finish this moist, golden bundt. If you like, a sweet confectionary glaze with just-squeezed lemon juice is also lovely sometimes.
To make the glaze, pour some powdered sugar into a bowl (start with ½ cup and make more as needed) and add just enough lemon juice to make a thick but pourable substance. Pour the liquid on top of the cake, and allow it to drizzle down the sides a little without touching the plate. When set (wait at least 30 minutes), the sweet, drippy patterns are nearly irresistible and add a touch of elegance to this simple cake.
In the morning, delicately toast a slice or two and serve them with hot tea or coffee for a memorable breakfast in bed.
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
Juice and grated rind on one lemon
1½ teaspoons lemon oil or lemon flavoring
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix well. Stir in lemon juice, rind and oil. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to batter, alternating with milk, stirring gently after each addition until batter is thick and creamy. Pour batter into greased tube pan. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in pan before inverting. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, or cover with lemon glaze.