Thursday, June 29, 2017

Dad's Sourdough Waffles

I can't remember a time when there wasn't a jar of sourdough fermenting in my parents' refrigerator.  My dad frequently made bread and sourdough waffles and pancakes for us when I was growing up, and still does when I visit.  During orange season, he makes a sauce out of fresh squeezed orange juice with a little grated rind and some tapioca to thicken it.  So good!

I got this recipe from him.  It actually calls for the eggs to be separated so that the whites can be beaten and folded in at the end, to make the waffles more light, but I've found they're light enough without that extra step.  I've also sometimes substituted melted butter or ghee for all or part of the oil, and I'm guessing melted coconut oil would also be a tasty option.

I make my sourdough with 100% white whole wheat flour, but my dad uses red wheat flour, and that's also good.  The fermenting process helps break down the whole grain so it's a little more tender and easier to digest.  It works well to feed your sourdough the night before making this so you have plenty to use and so that the sourdough isn't too sour (since this recipe doesn't call for any additional flour, I've found that if I use really ripened sourdough without feeding it first, the flavor is a little too strong).

Dad's Sourdough Waffles

2 1/2 c. sourdough
milk to thin (or buttermilk or yogurt, or water)
2 eggs
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbs. sugar
1/4 cup oil (or melted butter, ghee, coconut oil)

Mix together the baking soda, salt, and sugar in a small bowl.  Stir together the sourdough, eggs, and enough liquid to make it a good waffle consistency, then stir in the oil and the dry ingredients just to blend.  Cook in waffle iron.

Note:  it works well to freeze any leftovers and then warm them in the toaster when ready to eat them.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Inarizushi (Seasoned Sushi Pockets)

Inarizushi are at the tip of the boat

We like to include these in our sushi parties - a nice variation that's sweet and usually a good way to get your kids to decide they like sushi, since it doesn't include anything fishy.  You can also just stuff the pockets with sushi rice or add some other toppings, but I like it this way.

1 1/2 cups rice prepared for sushi*
1-2 Tbs. minced pickled ginger
2 Tbs. chopped peanuts
1 Tbs. sesame seeds
2 dates, chopped
2 Tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped
tofu pockets

Mix flavorings into rice. Squeeze most of the liquid out of the pockets.  Press into egg shape, then stuff into pocket.  Fold top over and press the whole thing together.

*For sushi rice instructions, see Sushi Bowls Recipe

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sweet Potato Burrito Bowls with Lime Chipotle Dressing

Image may contain: food

One of our favorite meals has always been beans and rice, and last year I started making a more complicated version with lots of delicious toppings like sauteed peppers and onions, shredded chicken in green sauce, roasted corn, cheese, salsa, and sour cream.   I was looking for variations that would work for Zoe's mostly vegetarian and tightly budgeted house, and came across a lot of recipes that included sweet potatoes.  This is the version I came up with after looking at several.  I think it turned out great!

Sweet Potato Burrito Bowls with Lime Chipotle Dressing

For about 4 servings:


2 cups cooked black beans*
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, in strips
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in cubes.
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 sliced avocado (opt)
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro (opt)

for the dressing:
2 Tbs. sour cream
2 Tbs. mayonnaise
2 Tbs. lime juice
1/4 tsp. paprika (smoked if you have it)
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. ground chipotle powder (or some finely chopped canned chipotle)
1/8 tsp. cumin
salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  If you have one (or two), preheat a pizza stone or roasting pan. Drizzle the bell pepper and onion with about 1 Tbs. olive oil, sprinkle on a few pinches of salt and toss to coat.  Spread out on pizza stone or roasting pan or large cookie sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until they've developed some spots of brown roasted color.

Peppers and onions as they start roasting
Peppers and onions after they're roasted 

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Toss the sweet potatoes in another Tbs. of olive oil and sprinkle with salt, and roast those the same way as the peppers and onions.

Mix together the dressing ingredients.

Chipotle Lime Dressing

To serve, put a scoop of rice, beans, and each of the kinds of veggies in a bowl, top with the optional avocado and cilantro, and drizzle with the dressing.

Cooked black beans
*For black beans, I cooked these in my instant pot.  3 cups of black beans, 9 cups of water, 1 Tbs. salt, 2 Tbs. dried minced onions, 2 cloves garlic, 2 dried chiles (I used Oaxacan pasilla, but the chiles are optional and you can use whatever type you prefer) and 2 dried avocado leaves (totally optional).  Pressed "beans" and did a quick release when they were done cooking.  This time I had presoaked them a few hours before cooking, and forgot to reduce the 30 minute automatic cooking time, so they're a little softer than I might prefer.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

This recipe is originally from Joanne Wheatley, from the Great British Bake-Off.  It has a mixing method I haven’t tried before in a cake batter, where you blend the dry ingredients with the butter in a food processor, kind of like you would for a pie, then you mix in the liquid ingredients.  I think I didn’t blend the butter in quite enough because the batter had butter lumps in it, but they weren’t a problem in the finished cupcake.

I made her version today and it was a little too sweet for my taste.  I’d prefer a more tart orange flavor and darker chocolate.  So here is what I’d do the next time around.

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

For the cupcakes
120g/4oz (1 cup) all-purpose flour
140g/5oz (2/3 cup) sugar
1 tsp baking powder
40g/1½ oz unsalted butter
50g/2oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1 free-range egg
125ml/4fl oz (1/2 cup) milk 

For the orange drizzle

2 Tbsp orange juice concentrate
2 Tbsp orange juice
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp orange liqueur or 1/2 tsp orange extract

For the white chocolate and orange buttercream

125g/4½oz unsalted butter, softened
250g/9oz icing sugar
2-3 tbsp milk
50g/1¾oz white chocolate, melted
1 orange, zest only
1 oz dark chocolate


Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.

Mix the flour, sugar and baking powder together in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until combined.

Whisk the melted chocolate, egg and milk together in a jug.

Stir the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.

Spoon the mixture into the cases and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until risen and and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the orange juice, concentrate, liqueur and granulated sugar together in a bowl. Carefully pour the orange juice mixture over the warm cakes and set aside to cool completely.

For the white chocolate and orange buttercream, beat the butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Carefully stir in the icing sugar and continue to beat for five minutes. Beat in the milk, melted chocolate and orange zest.

Decorate the cupcakes with the buttercream.

Use a sharp knife to make chocolate shavings from the dark chocolate and use them to decorate the cupcakes.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Dragon Noodles

This is my latest discovery, and I've been making it often because it satisfies all my cravings for takeout, is fairly quick to make, and is easily adaptable to whatever ingredients I have on hand. The sauce is sweet, tart, and spicy.

Dragon Noodles

1 pkg tofu (or cooked chicken, shrimp or beef or ground meat or skip it and add more eggs)
1/2 lb cooked noodles (spaghetti, angel hair, rice noodles -- whatever you've got)
2 cups (about) chopped vegetables (any mix of the following: carrot, celery, broccoli, snap or snow peas, shelled edamame, cabbage, onion, green onion, mushroom, bell peppers)
2 eggs, beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. ginger, minced

2 Tbs. chili paste
2 Tbs. brown sugar
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1-2 Tbs. fish sauce
juice of 1 lime

optional garnishes:
1/4 c. chopped peanuts
1/4 c. chopped cilantro 
2 green onions, thinly sliced
If I have the time and energy, sometimes I fry or bake the tofu to give it more texture.  To fry, just cut in cubes or strips and fry until golden and crispy.  To bake, stir cubes with a little soy sauce and sesame oil (1-2 tsp each), then bake at about 425, stirring occasionally, until they're a little golden on the corners.

Mix together the sauce.  

Heat a couple tablespoons of oil (vegetable, canola, peanut) in a wok or large frying pan.  Saute the vegetables (start with carrots, celery, onion first, because they take a little longer to cook), adding the garlic and ginger about a minute or two before the rest of the vegetables will be crisp-tender.  

Push the vegetables off to one side and pour the beaten eggs into the pan.  Let them cook until they're cooked about halfway through, then give them a little stir and let them finish cooking before mixing into the vegetables.  

Pour the sauce into the pan and stir in the noodles and tofu.  Serve quickly, garnishing with peanuts and cilantro or green onions if desired.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Whole Wheat Lentil Burrito Filling

I don't make this recipe often because it's easier just to use beans, but when I make it we all like it a lot and I wonder why I don't make it more.  Very healthy, cheap, easy, and delicious.  And it uses 2 things I always have on hand in my food storage: wheat and lentils.

Whole Wheat Lentil Burrito Filling

from Laurel's Kitchen

1 1/2 cup cooked whole wheat berries (see other post about cooking whole wheat berries)
1 cup dry lentils
1 quart tomatoes (or 28 oz. can) plus their water, diced
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1 cup water as needed

Mix all together and cook until lentils are tender, about 1 1/2 hours.   Use as a filling in flour tortillas.  You can top it with cheddar or jack cheese, olives, salsa, sour cream, lettuce, shredded cabbage, etc.

Mint Chocolate Brownies

Mmmmm.  So good.  I made these using my zucchini brownie recipe, but you can use your favorite brownie recipe.

Mint Icing Layer
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tbs. milk
1 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
1 drop green food coloring

Mix together until smooth and well blended. Spread over cooled brownies.

Ganache Layer
1/3 c. butter
1 heaping cup chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli's 60% dark)

Microwave together in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until chocolate is melted.  Spread gently over mint icing.  Allow it to set before slicing.  For neater edges, wipe blade between cuts.