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Archive for the ‘all seasons’ Category

The title pretty much says it all. 

This is a Mennonite Community Cookbook recipe. Simple and old fashioned. Also delicious. 


Fried Ham in Cream

Ham steaks, cut into serving size pieces 

Flour

Oil

Heavy cream

Dip ham pieces into flour to coat. Heat a tablespoon or so of oil over medium heat and lay ham slices in pan in a single layer. Fry until browned well. Flip and fry other side. Pour cream over all and cover pan. Simmer 10 minutes. Serve over starch of choice : pasta, potatoes, rice, even buttered toast would be good!

Bonus tip: if there are leftovers, mix chopped ham with your potatoes, noodles, veggies, whatever, and add a splash of milk. The next day, heat it all in oven or microwave for a tasty lunch. 

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Well. A lot of life has been lived since I last popped in here! 

A sugar shack has been built. 

We’ve been collecting sap. 

And look! Syrup! And sugar. And sugar bears!

Last spring my brother tapped a tree up at our cabin and just for fun boiled down a cup or so and made a thin syrup. That was all that was needed to get my dad’s wheels spinning and around Christmas, he and Brad and some of my brothers started a sugar shack. Mid February they purchased an evaporator and we’ve been learning the syrup details ever since. 

What hard work! I’ll never again complain about the price of real syrup. It’s worth every penny. 

I’ve been learning so much about trees, sap, and syrup the last few weeks. This week we made maple sugar and today I baked with it. 

Whoa. So wonderful!! I never purchased maple sugar before so I don’t know if ours is the same but it made some fabulous muffins. 

We also made some maple sugar candy and the leftover wet sugar I ground up and used in these muffins. I’m guessing these would be just as yummy using regular maple sugar but for now I’m writing the recipe exactly as I made it. 


Maple Streusel Muffins 

Topping:

1/3 cup moist maple sugar

1/4 cup fine maple sugar

3 T all-purpose flour

1/4 t cinnamon

2 T melted butter

Mix all together and set aside.

Muffins:

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 T moist maple sugar

1 T baking powder

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/4 cup melted butter 

1/4 t salt

Mix floors, sugar, and baking powder in large bowl. 

In small bowl mix egg, milk, butter, and salt. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and divide between twelve greased muffin tins. Sprinkle topping on evenly. Bake in preheated 350F oven for 15-18 minutes or til toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. 

Remove from tins and place in a cloth lined basket. Eat immediately with a smear of butter. Swoon and repeat. 

Yield: 12 regular muffins 

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I realize I should probably be starting out with a how-to on feeding a sourdough starter but for now I’ll leave that to the pros like Peter Reinhart and Nancy Silverton


Once you have that figured out, waffles are easy!


I have never come close to matching my mom’s waffles but these are the ones that turn out best for me :: light and airy with just a hint of sourness. 


Sourdough Waffles

2 cups milk 

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup white starter, 100% hydration

2 T honey

2 eggs

1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 t salt 

1 t baking soda

Mix milk, flour, and starter. Cover and let sit on counter overnight, 8-12 hours. 

Add remaining ingredients and whisk well. Cool in preheated waffle iron until browned and lightly crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Eat immediately with favorite toppings or store at room temp for a few days. I’ve never frozen them but I’m sure it would work. We heat the leftover ones in the toaster. 

Yield : about 4 large waffles (serves 4)

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I’m a sucker for baked goods with molasses. I just adore the deep, rich flavor. 

These bars don’t disappoint. I’ve made them several times but this last time tried all whole wheat flour. 

These are not an overly sweet bar. I cut back on the sugar quite a bit from the original recipe, which I don’t know where I got. 

A note about the sucanat: when creamed with butter, it takes ages to dissolve so I grind it in an old coffee grinder to a powder before using it.

A delicous snack with a cold glass of milk!

Molasses Raisin Bars

3/4 cup softened unsalted butter

1/4 cup white sugar

3/8 cup brown sugar (I use sucanat)

3/8 cup molasses, part black strap is fine

1 extra large egg

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, sprouted if you have it 

1/2 t salt

1 1/2 t baking powder 

3/4 t baking soda

3/4 t cinnamon

1/4 t allspice

Heaping cup of raisins

Cream butter and sugars into smooth. Add molasses and egg and mix well. 

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Add to creamed mixture along with raisins and mix well. 

Spread into a greased 1/4 sheet pan (or 9×13). Bake at 350 for about 29 minutes or until set in center. Try not to overbake!

Cool in pan before cutting and serving. These freeze well. 

Yield: 20 small bars

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I should have been an Italian Grandmother. 

I’m not sure how those bow ties will cook up but Jada is beside herself with excitement over the prospect of taking them to school in her picnic lunch tomorrow. This week I tried using brown rice flour in my noodles and loved it. Previously when I made 100% whole wheat noodles they were gritty. We ate them but I can’t say we loved them unless they were loaded with sauce. These I enjoy, though. Much smoother!And made with sprouted flour they benefit you, too, unlike boxed pasta products. Now I must return to the kitchen and clean up my mess. And figure out what to go with my noodles for supper. Whole Grain Noodles

2 2/3 cups  sprouted whole wheat bread flour

1 cup sprouted brown rice flour

3 eggs

1 t salt

3/4 cup whey or water

Mix everything and knead for five minutes to make a smooth dough. Cover and let rest for at least 20 minutes. This helps the gluten to relax. 

Divide into two balls and roll each one out to about a 24 inch circle, using flour as needed to prevent sticking. Size will depend on how thick you want your noodles. Let rest again and then cut into desired shape. I use a pizza cutter. 

Cook in boiling salted water and serve immediately. 

If you want to dry the noodles, generously flour and lay out on a cookie sheet to air dry for a few days. If it will be a while til we eat them, I freeze them and then drop straight from the freezer into boiling water. 

Yield: 1 3/4 pounds fresh pasta

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I put out a plea on Facebook the other night asking for brisket ideas. Well apparently you just treat them like a roast…low and slow. And here I was, terrified of these humungous things in my freezer!

Well no more! That was easy. And melt-in-your mouth delicious. It even got compliments from two farmers. One beeped from the skid loader and said it was the best food he’d ever eaten. The other stopped on his way out the door the next morning and remembered to pay it a compliment. 

Well. I’ll certainly be making this again!

Oven Beef Brisket

Adapted from numerous ideas/recipes

1 beef brisket, about 6 pounds

3 T onion salt

1 T brown sugar (I used sucanat)

1 T paprika 

1 T dried mustard

1 T chili powder

1 T granulated garlic

2 T dried thyme

1-2 cups water

1 T liquid smoke

Mix all spices and seasonings and rub all over entire brisket. Place on a rack in a roasting pan. Mix water and liquid smoke and pour into bottom of pan. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 250F for about 6-10 hours or until very tender (totally depends on your individual brisket). Allow to rest 20 minutes or so and then slice across the grain and serve. Save the juices for a soup!

Serves: 8-10

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This dressing had me shoveling salad in as fast as I could. Maybe that’s not a good thing.

At any rate, it lives up to its name. It’s better than homemade ranch, which is my usual go-to when it comes to creamy dressing. Very Good Salad Dressing

Adapted from Fix It and Enjoy It: Potluck Heaven

1 cup mayonnaise 

2 T sugar

2 t prepared mustard

Pinch salt

1/2 t celery seed

1 t parsley flakes

Dill pickle juice

Mix everything together using as much pickle juice as needed to make dressing the desired consistency. Refrigerate several hours to allow flavors to meld.

Yield: a generous cup 

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