30 July 2014

Summer Salad with Israeli couscous

My dear friend Candace shared this recipe from the Los Angeles Times with me.  Electronic communication makes it so much easier for us to communicate though we are hundreds of miles apart.  During the hot weather this turned out to be a good choice for a hot day, and even better the next day as left overs.  This will be what accompanies me to potlucks for the rest of the summer!

Russ Parsons, who authored the article in the Times, said that you can interchange the grain using quinoa, farro or barley.  Just adjust the cooking time accordingly.  I learned that Israeli couscous is not really a grain, but a pasta.

Yield:  6 servings
Time:  20 minutes plus cooling time

1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 to 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped, green part only
1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous
3 cups water
2 Persian cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise and cut into 1/3 to 1/2 inch slices
3 ounces (about 1/2 cup) crumbled feta
2 tablespoons chopped mint
1/3 cup chopped parsley
Fresh Ground Pepper

1. Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise and place them in a medium mixing bowl.  Add the salt, garlic, jalapeno, olive oil, lemon juice and green onions and stir to combine.  Set aside to let salt draw out the tomato juices.

2. Toast the couscous in a dry medium sauce pan over medium high heat  and cook stirring frequently until it smells nutty,  3 to 5 minutes.  Add 3 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and cook, partially covered, until the couscous is just tender, but still a little chewy, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and rinse under cool running water and shake well to remove as much moisture as possible.

3.  While the couscous is still slightly warm, add it to the tomato mixture and toss to coat.  Add the cucumber and set aside to cool completely.

4.  Add the feta, mint, and parsley, just before serving and stir gently to combine.  Add black pepper to taste and stir that in.  Taste again and add more salt or lemon juice if you feel it necessary.

From The Los Angeles Times

Click here for printable recipe

29 July 2014

Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread

I arrived home from my Pacific Northwest Vacation to an abundance of strawberries.  The following day this recipe was in my inbox so I decide it would be a good way to save the strawberries.  I must have been right, it only lasted one day!

I used my glass pan that I make meatloaf in and it overflowed.  Perhaps it's not exactly 9x13.  Next time I'll make 3 little loaves or muffins, rather than clean out my oven after baking.

Yield: 1 loaf



1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups strawberries, rinse, dried and chopped


1. Grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
2. With electric mixer cream butter, sugar and cream cheese until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in vanilla.
3. In separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Blend flour mixture with butter mixture just until blended. Add buttermilk and only stir until just combined; do not over mix.
4. Carefully fold in strawberries. Dough mixture will be thick.
5. Bake in a 350°F oven for 50 to 60 minutes.
From My Baking Addiction

Click here for printable recipe

20 July 2014

Any Berry Puff Pancake

A few weeks ago I made the Double Berry Puff found on Recipe Girl.  It was a hit, with Rob and Kaci enjoying the leftovers.  This morning I picked this bounty of berries thinking her recipe used strawberries, 

I was surprised to see I had used raspberries, not strawberries!  I searched the raspberries and picked about 6 puny ones, it was strawberries and blueberries or nothing. We actually found it just as good, if not better with strawberries, so I altered the recipe and renamed it.

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 20 min


4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup halved strawberries or raspberries or 1 cup of any berry
powdered sugar, syrup and/or freshly whipped cream for topping


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Use a blender or hand mixer to combine the eggs, milk, flour, sugar, lemon zest and salt.
3. Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over high heat on the stove. Add the butter and melt. Pour the batter into the skillet, then scatter the berries on top. Put the pan in the oven, and bake until puffed and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Slice and serve, topped with powdered sugar, syrup and/or freshly whipped cream, as desired.

Recipe Adapted from Recipe Girl 

Click for Printable Recipe

07 April 2013

Blueberry Danish Puff

I was asked to contribute to the Coffee Hour after church on Easter Sunday.  My memory recalled many hectic Easter mornings of Easter Egg Hunts and getting children ready for church when I would have loved to have a morning treat that looked nice, went together quickly and tasted as good as this does.  This is a keeper!


1 box puff pastry {2 sheets}, thawed to room temperature
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. Almond Extract
1-1/2 cups frozen blueberries


Frosting (I skipped this)

1 cup powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. Heavy Cream
1 tsp Almond Extract
3 shakes of salt
chopped almonds (optional)

Lay one whole pastry sheet onto a greased cookie sheet.Mix softened cream cheese, sugar, and almond extract together until well blended.  Spread on top of pastry sheet.
Top with frozen blueberries.
Cut second puff pastry sheet into 10 long strips.  Weave strips on top of blueberries.
Bake at 375 F for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown.
I sprinkled mine with powdered sugar.  The recipe states: you can pipe the frosting on for a fancy effect and sprinkle with chopped almonds if desired.


Click here for printable recipe

23 March 2013

Date Nut Bars

Things must get so hectic at Christmas that I forget to write about my Christmas cookie traditions.  I know I planned to because I found pictures of them on my phone!  This recipe is one that my mother made up until her last Christmas, when Rob baked them for her.  I've continued, and this easy bar cookie is found on the plates of cookies and candy I give to my friends neighbors every Christmas.  Thanks to my sister-in-law, Mary, for asking for it, which caused me to realize I had yet to include it here.  As I was writing it I realized it was one of those recipes mom did by sight, so no times were included.

Date Nut Bars

Heat oven to 350


1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 1/2 cups flour plus 4 Tablespoons flour
4 egg whites
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 cups of chopped walnuts
2 cups of chopped dates
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Powdered Sugar for sprinkling on top


Cut butter into brown sugar and 2 1/2 cups of flour.  (I use the food processor)  Press in to a cookie sheet and bake  until light brown.

Beat egg whites until stiff.  Mix in 4 T. of flour along with remaining ingredients.  Spread over top of cookie base and bake until brown on top.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Cut into squares.

Click here for printable recipe

03 February 2013

Honey-Orange Pork Tenderloin

 Honey Orange Pork Tenderloin


1/3 cup orange marmalade 3 tablespoons cider vinegar 3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic 1 1/2 teaspoons honey 2 tablespoons canola oil 1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 350°. 

Combine first 5 ingredients, stirring well with a whisk. Reserve 2 tablespoons marmalade mixture. Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Add pork to pan; cook 5 minutes or until browned. Turn pork over; brush with 1/4 cup marmalade mixture. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Turn pork over; brush with 1/4 cup marmalade mixture. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until a thermometer registers 150°. Remove pork from pan; brush with reserved 2 tablespoons marmalade mixture. Let stand 10 minutes; slice.

Source:  Cooking Lignt

To Printable Recipe

Tuscan Coffee Cake

This is where it all began.  

My sourdough starter needed to be replenished, or "fed" and I hadn't mixed the sponge for waffles on Saturday Night.  I began searching for something to make for breakfast so as not to have to throw a cup of the starter away.  On the King Arthur Flour site I found a recipe for popovers using half a cup of the starter, then I'd only have to throw away 1/2 cup. 
.  The search continued, coffee cake sounded good for a change.  Clicking on sourdough starter led me to this coffee cake.  The recipe called for dates and golden raisins, having lots of dried cherries I substituted them.  It was a successful substitution.  I can imagine this cake with dried apricots and almonds.  

We were in such a hurry to eat breakfast that I forget to take a picture before we chowed down! 

My husband is so thoughtful, Super Bowl Pre-Game is turned on for me as I type this, ...like I care.  He's in his office working!  Ok honestly, I am enjoying the stories about the two Harbaugh brother coaches, their parents win no matter what!  Go Giants!  Oops, I meant 49ers!

 (I used my sourdough starter, and didn't start the night before)
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cool water
1/16 teaspoon instant yeast

Mix the starter ingredients in a small (about 1-quart) bowl, and let rest overnight at room temperature.

all of the starter
2/3 cup water
2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 large egg
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 cup toasted walnuts, very coarsely chopped
3/4 cup chopped dates
3/4 cup dried cherries

2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon water
Combine the dough ingredients, mixing and kneading to form a smooth, supple dough. It’ll be very slack; for this reason, I suggest kneading in a bread machine, or with a mixer, rather than by hand. Place the dough in a bowl, and let it rise about 1 hour. It may not double in bulk; that’s OK.

Gently deflate the dough, and knead the nuts and fruit into it. Shape the dough into a flat ball, and place it in a 9-inch round cake pan. Cover the pan with a proof cover or lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the loaf to rise for 30 minutes, or till it barely crests over the top of the pan.

Combine the sugar, vanilla and water, and drizzle this mixture over the top of the risen coffeecake. Bake it in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 minutes, or until it’s golden brown and the internal temperature registers 190°F. Remove it from the oven, and after 5 minutes, carefully turn it out of the pan. Allow it to cool on a rack. Yield: 1 cake, about 8 to 10 servings.  

Slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour