Saturday, October 26, 2013

Whole Grain Pumpkin Pancakes

Small changes, that's all it takes.
Traditional pancakes, not always the healthiest breakfast choice...but when made from scratch, with more of the right carbs, almond milk instead of cows milk, cutting back on sugar and adding in honey are all small changes that make a big difference.  
These pancakes are so light, fluffy and delicious, no one, except you, will know that they're healthy too!

1 cup oat flour (put old fashioned oats in a blender and process until flour consistency)
1 cup white whole wheat flour or brown rice flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon EACH ground cardamom, allspice and nutmeg
2 cups almond milk
1 cup pumpkin
2 eggs
2 tablespoons raw honey
Real maple syrup

Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a large bowl.

Combine almond milk, pumpkin, eggs and honey.  Whisk until smooth.  Stir milk mixture into flour mixture until smooth.

Heat griddle or nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot.  Brush with a little melted butter. 

Pour batter into skillet, using about 1/3 cup for each pancake.  Cook 4 minutes or until tops are bubbly and edges are set.  Flip and cook 3 to 4 minutes until golden.  Repeat with remaining batter.  Serve with maple syrup. 

Freeze leftover pancakes in a ziploc.  Just heat in the microwave or toaster oven for a delicious breakfast or snack anytime.

Batter can be used for muffins too!  Fill mini muffin tins 3/4 full and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Caramelized Scallion, Garlic Scape and Asparagus Pizza

We're halfway through June already and Farmers' Markets are in full swing.  This year, I joined a CSA - Community Supported Agriculture - and bought a half share from my farmer, Ort Farms.  Every week, from May through October, I get a bag full of amazing goodies.  It also means, I have a week to use up all of those amazing goodies before the next bag arrives.  As a result, the good news is,  I'm cooking more.  The bad new is, I'm cooking more! 
This week, poking out of my goody bag, was one of my favorite farmers market items...garlic scapes. What, you ask, is a garlic scape?  Exactly the question I asked myself the first time I laid eyes on them.

When you sign up for a CSA you have to have at least a little bit of an adventurous nature when it comes to food.  Garlic scapes are your first test of the season.  One look at them and you think "what the heck to I do with them?!"
The twisty, curly, bright green stems, sometimes called garlic shoots, stems or spears are the top of the garlic plant.  The bulb and roots grow underground while the stem, leaves and scapes soak up sunshine above.
These treats show up late spring or early summer.  They taste like garlic, but a bright, fresh version of it. You can use them anywhere you'd use regular garlic. Cooking with garlic scapes is bit like having a very garlicky scallion -- so be adventurous and get some while they're around!

I wanted to make something that used lots of the gorgeous purple scallions that were in my bag as well as the bright scapes.  I also had an abundance of asparagus, which is a perfect partner to the scallions and scapes.  I caramelized the scallions to intensify the flavor, added the scapes and asparagus and put all of that goodness on a whole wheat pizza crust and finished it off with some smoked fresh mozzarella - delicious! Can't wait to see what's in next week's goody bag!

Caramelized Scallion, Garlic Scape and Asparagus Pizza

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bunches purple scallions, sliced*
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 garlic scapes, chopped
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound refrigerated fresh whole wheat pizza dough
2 tablespoons prepared pesto
8 ounces smoked or regular fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Lightly oil a 16-inch pizza pan and sprinkle with cornmeal.

In a 12-inch skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add scallions and salt and cook 5 minutes or until tender.  Add garlic scapes and cook 5 minutes or until scallions begin to caramelize and scapes are tender.  Add asparagus and cook 5 minutes or until tender-crisp.

Roll or stretch dough out to a 15 to 16-inch circle.  Place on prepared pan.  Brush dough all over with pesto, then top with asparagus mixture.  Arrange cheese evenly over pizza.

Bake for 15 minutes or until crust is crisp and cheese is golden brown.

Slice, serve and enjoy!

*If you don't have scallions from a farmer's market, look for very large scallion in your supermarket.  You can also substitute a large onion for the scallions.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mocha Torte with Hazelnut Ganache

This dessert is so easy to pull together, you can have it in the oven in less than 10 minutes.  It's so rich and decadent that a small piece goes a long way.  Flavor the ganache with your favorite liquor or make it without the liquor for pure chocolate flavor.

photography by Paul Gelsobello Studio

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time:  25 minutes
Makes: 12 servings

1 can Baker's Joy¨ non-stick spray with flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Frangelica or other hazelnut flavored  liquor

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch round cake pan with Baker's Joy cooking spray.
Melt 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup chocolate chips in medium saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in espresso powder, sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Stir in flour just until blended. Spread batter into prepared pan.   

Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Do not overbake. Cool 15 minutes on wire rack. Remove from pan and cool completely.

Meanwhile, bring cream just a boil. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips until melted; stir in Frangelico. Let cool, slightly, to thicken, stirring occasionally.

Place rack with cake on waxed paper, then pour ganache in center of cake.  Spread the edge with spatula, allowing some ganache to drip down sides of torte.  Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Garnish with raspberries or chopped hazelnuts, if desired.

food stylist - Catherine Paukner
food stylist assistant - Lauren Dellabella
prop stylist - Heather Bean

recipe developed for Baker's Joy

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Grilled Eggplant Parmesan Pizza

Grill season is finally upon us and I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for something new to make on the grill.
You can’t go wrong when you pair two favorites – Eggplant Parmesan and pizza!  Grilling this pizza results in a perfectly crisp crust every time.
photography by Paul Gelsobello Studio

Prep Time:  15 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
6 servings

1 small eggplant, (about 12 oz.), sliced into 1/4 thick slices
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 can (10 oz.) refrigerated pizza crust
flour or cornmeal
3/4 cup prepared pasta sauce
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil

Spray grill with non-stick grill spray and preheat grill to medium.  Season eggplant with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Grill 4 to 6 minutes turning once, until tender.  Remove eggplant and reduce heat to medium-low.

On lightly floured surface, roll dough to 15x11-inch rectangle.  Sprinkle flour or cornmeal on baking sheet.  Transfer dough to baking sheet.  Invert baking sheet to place dough on grill.  Grill, covered 3 to 4 minutes or until dough is crisp and lightly browned on bottom.  Using a large spatula, carefully flip crust over.  Spread pasta sauce on crust, leaving a 1-inch border. Quickly top with eggplant slices, cheeses and basil.
Reduce heat to low and grill, covered 6 minutes or until the cheese melts and bottom of crust is golden brown.

food stylist - Catherine Paukner
food stylist assistant - Lauren Dellabella
prop stylist - Heather Bean

recipe developed for Baker's Joy

Friday, April 5, 2013

3 Ingredient Slow Cooked BBQ Beef

Easy as 1-2-3!
3 ingredients, that is, tossed into your slow cooker.  Now that's a recipe for success!
Once your slow cooker does all of the work, this meat is so tender you barely need a fork to shred it.

2-1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 2-inch pieces
3/4 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice

Add all ingredient to slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours or high 4 to 6 hours. Break meat up with fork and mix with juices; skim any fat if needed.

Serve on buns with shredded cabbage or slaw if desired.

Also tastes great in tortillas or over rice or polenta.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Chai Spiced Tea Bread

Chai, an aromatic spiced tea, has been the Indian drink of choice for hundreds of years.  It's the perfect blend of freshly ground spices, like cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom and pepper. The aroma and flavor are almost intoxicating.  I love the exotic flavors in my tea, so why not turn in into something even better.  A moist, rich tea bread with the warming flavors of chai.
 photography by Paul Gelsobello Studio

1can Baker's Joy¨ non-stick spray with flour 
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup prepared strong chai or regular tea, cooled
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
5 teaspoons milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray 9x5-inch loaf pan with Baker's Joy spray.

Combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon, salt, ginger and allspice in large bowl.  Cut butter in to flour mixture until mixer resembles coarse crumbs (Can use paddle attachment of stand mixer).  Stir in eggs, tea, milk and vanilla just until moistened.  Pour batter into prepared pan. 

Bake 1 hour 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaf from pan; remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.  

Glaze:   In small bowl, combine all ingredients.  Stir until smooth.  Drizzle evenly over cooled bread.  Let stand 15 minutes or until glaze hardens.

food stylist - Catherine Paukner
food stylist assistant - Lauren Dellabella
prop stylist - Heather Bean

recipe developed for Baker's Joy

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Polenta Squares with Roasted Tomato & White Bean Bruschetta

The perfect recipe for entertaining.  Not only can you make it ahead of time, but it's actually better if you do!  Serve as a first course, side dish or double the beans for a meatless main dish.

 photography by Paul Gelsobello Studio

olive oil
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 large tomatoes, diced (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup small white beans
1/3 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Lightly oil a 9 x 9 inch baking dish. 

Polenta: In a large saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle boil and slowly whisk in cornmeal. Cook and stir with wire whisk for 5 minutes or until polenta is thickened and pulls away cleanly from the sides of the pan. Stir in cheese. Pour into prepared pan.   Cool and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 450˚F.  Flip polenta out of dish and cut into 9 squares.  Lightly oil baking sheet.  Arrange polenta squares on baking sheet and bake 15 minutes or until hot and lightly browned. 

Preheat oven to 425˚F. Lightly oil baking pan. Spread chopped tomatoes evenly on baking pan, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 30 to 40 minutes or until tomatoes are very soft and beginning to brown.
Combine tomatoes with beans, onion, garlic, basil and vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Can be made one day ahead.


To serve, spoon bruschetta over polenta squares.

Tip:  Buy prepared polenta logs, slice into circles and bake as above.  Serve bruschetta over polenta circles.

food stylist - Catherine Paukner
food stylist assistant - Lauren Dellabella
prop stylist - Heather Bean

recipe developed for Baker's Joy