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A Perfectly Delicious Granola Recipe

I am not really a cereal person. At least not in the morning. Cereal is a great late night snack, but breakfast? I would much rather have something warm like toast and bacon. Cold cereal is just not a motivator to get me out of bed – with one exception – a perfect homemade granola. And of course a delicious cup of artisan coffee (we just got a monthly subscription to Ruby and are LOVING it). After trying a slew of granola recipes, I have landed on this one as my favorite go-to.

INGREDIENTS:
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup cashews (my preference is to roughly chop them, but on afternoons like mine today when you are feeling lazy, just leave them whole)
3/4 cup shredded coconut (I prefer unsweetened, but sweetened works great too)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup (the real stuff please)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon salt

Ice cold milk or plain yogurt for serving

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar, maple syrup, oil, and salt. Stir well.

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Pour onto large sheet pan. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes-ish to achieve an even color.
Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl.

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I let mine cool and then store it in a large ziplock bag, where I have never had it last longer than a week, but it would probably easily keep at least a month.

Note: I am sure you could easily make all sorts of modifications based on your nut preferences, level of sweetness you like, adding dried fruit etc. But, for me, this combination is quite perfect.

Recipe based on the brilliant Alton Brown’s version here.

‘Hangry’ No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls

My mom would make these for us as kids. They are the perfect snack to keep in the fridge and pull out when the “its five o’clock, I am only just starting dinner and everyone is yelling ‘Mom!! We are starving!!!’ hits.” 

1 C. peanut butter (other nut butters work too)

1 C. dry milk powder – this is really the magic ingredient. It makes everything less sticky.

1/3 C. honey (or less)

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 C. Cocoa powder

1/2 C. puffed rice cereal (my mom would also used crushed Wheaties)

1-2 Tbs water (if mixture is too crumbly

Optional – 1/4 cup shredded coconut

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Shape into balls with hands(about 1 rounded teaspoon each). Place on a cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in refrigerator.

These are also great because you can make all kinds of substitutions based on what you have on hand – nuts, sesame seeds, wheat germ, maple syrup, nut butters – anything goes.
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Betony’s Custard Filled Blue Cornbread

This recipe has become a 4th of July tradition at our house. It is rich and satisfying. The blue cornmeal has a slightly more delicate texture than the yellow and just elevates it to the next level. And, its patriotic…

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup blue cornmeal (yellow is fine too if you can’t find blue)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-2-inch round baking pan, and place in the oven to preheat. Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.

  2. Whisk eggs and butter in a large bowl. Whisk in sugar, salt, milk, and vinegar. Add flour mixture, and whisk until just smooth. Stir in corn kernels.

  3. Transfer batter to heated pan. Pour cream into center of batter; do not stir – this part will seem a little weird, but just trust me, its glorious and works. Bake until pale golden brown and set, about 50 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack 15 minutes. Unmold, and serve warm.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

My Two Very Favorite Biscuit Recipes

 


There are two kinds of biscuits – ones that you put toppings on and ones that you don’t. As much as my husband would like to argue there is a third kind that comes in a can, he is wrong. This first recipe acts as a perfect vehicle for toppings – sausage gravy, salted butter and strawberry jam, maple cream (if you are so lucky), homemade apple butter, etc. In this case, I want a thick simple biscuit, served right out of the oven, split in half and slathered with whichever toppings I have on hand. In this case, the biscuit I want is my mother’s (which is adapted from Better Homes & Gardens).

Preheat oven to 450°. In a bowl stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (you can do this in the food processor if you want). Make a well in the center; add milk all at once. Stir just till dough clings together. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough gently for 10-12 strokes. Roll or pat dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter (a drinking glass works great), dipping cutter into flour between cuts (my kiddos like shaped cookie cutters). Transfer biscuits to a baking sheet. Bake in a 450° oven for 9-11 minutes or until golden on the edges. Serve warm with butter and toppings. Makes 10.


This second biscuit recipe is the kind of thing I would want to have with a cup of tea in the afternoon. If you were coming over to my house for an afternoon chat, or in need of a little extra love, I would make you these. They are buttery, salty, and crispy on the outside, and sweet and tender on the inside. They need absolutely no adornments – just eat them the way they are. They are little pillows of magic. We made two pans of these for Easter dinner this year. There wasn’t a single one left. You must eat these while still warm out of the oven. Fortunately, the prepped pan of biscuits freezes great. You can make them ahead of time and then bake when ready.

Note: This recipe is Rosa’s almost exactly except that I cut down the sugar a bit.

Ingredients

SERVINGS: MAKES 24

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces; plus 6 Tbsp. (¾ stick), melted
  • ¾ cup chilled buttermilk

 Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and 1½ tsp. salt in a large bowl. Add chilled butter and toss to coat. Work butter into flour mixture with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal with several pea-size pieces of butter remaining.
  • Using a fork, gently mix in buttermilk, then gently knead just until dough comes together (do not overmix).
  • Pinch off pieces of dough and gently roll into 1” balls; place on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2” apart (you should have about 24). If butter softens too much while you are working, chill dough until firm before baking, 15–20 minutes.
  • Bake biscuits until golden brown, 25–30 minutes. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with more salt (I use flaky sea salt). Serve warm.

    Recipe adapted from Rosa Pacheco, Del Posto, NYC, Photograph by Dustin Aksland – published in Bon Appetit, 2014

Moonwalk Cocktail

For Christmas, Tim (who knows me a little too well 🙂 got me an awesome new cookbook.
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I am only just getting around to trying some of the recipes (it is a pretty gigantic tome). One of the first we tried is a cocktail called “Moonwalk.” It is delicious! It is already a go-to cocktail for us. Here is story they have before the recipe –

In 1969, Joe Gilmore, head barman at Savoy Hotel’s American Bar in London, invented this citrusy champagne cocktail to commemorate the Apollo 11 moon landing. The drink—a lively combination of grapefruit juice, orange liqueur, and a hint of rose water, topped with bubbly—was the first thing astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin sipped upon returning to earth.

With a story like that, how could we not try it?! (That and I just happened to have some rose water that I really wanted to try using)

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MAKES 1 COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
    • 1 oz. orange liqueur, preferably Grand Marnier
    • 3 drops rose water
    • Champagne or sparkling wine, for topping

INSTRUCTIONS
Combine grapefruit juice, orange liqueur, and rose water in an ice-filled shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into a champagne flute; top with champagne.This recipe appears in the SAVEUR New Classics Cookbook.
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Buffalo Chicken Bites

In honor of the super bowl this weekend (an event that around here is much more about the delicious finger food than the actual game) I thought I should post my very favorite hot appetizer recipe. Even though these involve making your own dough they are really not too fussy and the are INCREDIBly tasty. Warm, buttery, little pillows of sweet bread wrapped around a cheesy melty buffalo chicken. I am getting hungry just thinking about them. Trust me, you won’t regret making these.

Buffalo Chicken Bites

Note: I usually set aside some of the chicken and make a few that are more kid friendly using ranch dressing instead of hot sauce for the kids.

recipe adapted from Gourmet

1 cup finely diced cooked chicken breast or thighs (I use frozen and throw mine in the crock pot with some salt a pepper, only takes a couple of hours)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup hot sauce (Frank’s brand is what I use)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 1/4 teaspoons rapid rise dry yeast

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm milk ( I used 2%)

2 1/2 cups of flour

To make the buffalo chicken mixture, in a small bowl, combine the chicken, blue cheese, cheddar cheese, melted butter and hot sauce; salt and pepper to taste, set aside.

In a 1 cup measuring cup, heat the milk and then add the 2 tablespoons brown sugar; stir into warm milk until dissolved; place in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.

Add 2 1/2 cups flour, yeast and salt to the stand mixer and mix on low speed until a soft dough forms, adding up to 1/2 cup additional flour, a little at a time, if necessary. Allow the dough to knead in the stand mixer for 5-7 minutes. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead a few times to form a smooth ball. Place dough into a clean bowl that’s been lightly oiled. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled and bubbles appear on surface, about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and cut into 4 equal pieces. Lightly dust your hands with flour, then gently roll and stretch 1 piece of dough to form a 12-inch-long rope. Flatten dough and arrange so a long side is nearest you, then roll out to a roughly 12- by 4-inch rectangle with a lightly floured rolling pin. Gently press one fourth of buffalo chicken mixture into lower third of rectangle, leaving a 1/2-inch border along bottom edge. Stretch bottom edge of dough up over filling and press tightly to seal, then roll up as tightly as possible to form a rope. Cut rope into 12 pieces and transfer to a sheet pan. Make 3 more ropes with remaining dough, filling and cut into pieces, transferring to sheet pans. Let rest at room temperature, uncovered, 30 minutes (dough will rise slightly).Bake buffalo chicken bites in the preheated oven for 5-7 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned. Remove from oven (some cheese may have melted out.) and brush tops with melted butter before serving.

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Recipe: Beef Stroganoff

Sometimes when beef stroganoff is suggested people
immediately think of cafeteria food or frozen dinners.
Perhaps we’ve had bad experiences with this dish and it’s funny name (which apparently comes from a Russian family named Stroganov).
It’s like beef stroganoff needs new PR.

Let Giants & Pilgrims take on such a challenge.

This uncomplicated recipe comes with hunks of steak in a creamy, sweet sauce and the noodles create a perfect bed for such riches. It is simple, warm comfort food that goes down soul-deep. There is nothing cafeteria, pre-made, or cheap about it.

Betony presents a family recipe here that has been passed down for generations. Make this pasta and invite some friends over. It’s time they had their mind changed too.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. sirloin steak

1/2 C. minced onion

1/2 lb. mushrooms

2 Tbs. butter

2 beef bouillon cubes + 2 C. water

2 heaping Tbsp. ketchup

1 clove garlic

1 tsp. salt

3 Tbsp. flour

1 C. sour cream

DIRECTIONS:
Cut up beef into little bite sized bits. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook mushrooms and onions in butter until tender. Remove mushrooms and onions. Do not wash skillet. Brown meat in same skillet – don’t stir too much. Let it get some nice color on a side then flip.
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Set aside 1/2 cup bouillon. Add remaining bouillon, ketchup, garlic, and salt to skillet. Stir, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Blend reserved bouillon mixture with flour. Stir into meat mixture. Add mushrooms and onions. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute. Stir in sour cream and serve over egg noodles or rice.
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Recipe: Banana Bread with Chocolate

To me the taste of fall is found strongly in sweet breads- dense and wonderful loaves of pumpkin or zucchini or banana. The smell of them baking in the oven can make a house into a home.

This banana bread recipe is one that Betony often makes come autumn. And the warmth of a slice provides great contrast against the continuing crisping days of September. Enjoy.

Makes 1 loaf

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 large eggs
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup well-stirred whole-milk plain yogurt
(not low or nonfat)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Set a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350F.
Grease a 9-by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or butter.
2. Melt the butter on the stove or in a microwave and set aside to cool slightly.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate chips and whisk well to combine. Set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork. Add the mashed banana, yogurt, melted butter, and vanilla and stir to mix well. Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir gently with a rubber spatula, scraping down the sides as needed, until just combined. Do not overmix. The batter with be thick and somewhat lumpy, just make sure all the flour has been incorporated. Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top.
5. Bake until the loaf is a deep shade of golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 mins to an hour. If the loaf seems to be browning too quickly, tent with foil.
6. Cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Then tip out onto the rack, and let it cool completely before slicing. The loaf freezes well wrapped in plastic wrap and again in foil to protect from freezer burn. This is great eaten warm out of the oven, but also delicious grilled in a skillet on both sides with some butter. Yum.

Spicy Glazed Chicken Skewers Recipe – BBQ

There are really three High Holy Days of Barbecue. Labor Day and Memorial Day are the “lesser” encounters of the grill; a wondrous pair of Mondays we all look forward to honoring. The grandest and holiest of them all is, however, July the 4th. It seems absolutely appropriate that the culmination of pride for my country is best celebrated with fire and delicious meats. The corn, biscuits, chicken and steak are the best fair our great country has to offer. I will showcase my nationalism this year, same as years past by setting this good table.

May your charcoal be hot and your propane plentiful.

-Tim

You can’t go wrong with these Spicy Glazed Chicken Skewers. They always turn out amazing. The yogurt dipping sauce is the perfect cooling complement to the kick from the chicken.

Spicy Glazed Chicken Skewers

Adapted from Bon Appetit, July 2013

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar

1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar

1/3 cup hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek)

1/4 cup fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)

1/4 cup Sriracha (or less if avoiding spice)

2 teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger

1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs trimmed of fat

       cut into 1 1/2-inch–2-inch pieces

8 bamboo skewers soaked in water at least 1 hour (or metal if you have them)

PREPARATION

Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Whisk brown sugar, vinegar, chili paste, fish sauce, Sriracha, and ginger in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Thread 4 or 5 chicken pieces onto each skewer.Transfer marinade to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until reduced by half (about 1 cup), 7–10 minutes.Grill chicken, turning and basting often with reduced marinade, until cooked through, 8–10 minutes. Serve with garlic yogurt sauce.

(Original Recipe – http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/sambal-chicken-skewers)

Garlic Yogurt Sauce

Just trust me on the anchovy and mayonnaise. It won’t be what you expect. 

Whisk one finely grated garlic clove, 1/2 finely chopped anchovy fillet, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup plain

whole-milk yogurt, and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice in a medium bowl; season with kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper and more lemon juice, if desired. Cover and chill.

May Recipe: Strawberry Shortcake

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I didn’t like strawberry shortcake growing up. Then I met my wife. 

You see, I had a preconceived notion of the dessert in my mind: it was made with strawberries, dry- pre-packaged- store-bought angel-food cake, and cool whip thrown over it all. That was the way I’d had it prepared by relatives and pot-lucks over the years.

Then my wife cast a new vision for me, repainting the glory of what could be… nay, what strawberry shortcake was MEANT to be.

When she made it, it was homemade shortcake, hand-spun whipped cream, sugared strawberries. 

THIS is strawberry shortcake. How it was really meant to be enjoyed. I love how the truth of something can be revealed by experiencing the real thing. There’s a larger story in there somewhere…

Enjoy the real thing here. And make this great recipe for May.

-Tim

HOMEMADE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE 

6  C. sliced strawberries
1/2 C. sugar, divided
2 C. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
2/3 C. milk

Homemade Whipped Cream 

1 C. whipping cream
1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Stir together berries and 1/4 C. of the sugar; set aside. Stir together remaining sugar, flour, and baking powder. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (can be done in the food processor). Combine eggs and milk; add all at once to dry ingredients. Stir just to moisten. Don’t over mix! Spread into a greased 8 inch round baking pan, building up the edges slightly. Bake in a 450 degree oven for

15-18 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Split into 2 layers. Spoon the fruit and whipped cream between the layers and over the top. Serve immediately.

For whipped cream, beat cold cream, sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form.
Note: for a yummy variation, add some thinly sliced mint or basil to the sliced strawberries and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
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