Friday, January 18, 2013

Baked Oatmeal

"Baked Oatmeal" was a new term for me up until a couple years ago when Jerms' grandpa married again to his delightful new wife, Glennis. This recipe comes all the way from Pennsylvania and is breakfast bliss. I'd recommend this dish if you're having a big crew for breakfast and don't want too much hassle to go along with it. The great thing about making baked oatmeal is that you can prepare the dish the night before and then just pop it in the oven the following morning. I decided to make up a fresh-blueberry addition, but you can do all sorts of different ingredients that spark your interest and appetite (raisins, cinnamon/nutmeg, peaches, bananas, etc. etc.). Bon appetite!

* I usually double this recipe for 4 or more people.

1/3 Cup vegetable oil
1/2 c. sugar (I use brown)
1 egg beaten
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2/3 c. milk
2 c. oats
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
raisins or blueberries optional

Mix everything in an oval pan. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350. 
I often make it up the night before and just turn the oven on in the morning. If you are adding fruit, add it the morning of to prevent significant smearing. 

photo cred to the family kitchen - my camera had run out of batteries :(

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Coconut Thai Red Lentil Suop

This is quite possibly one of the tastiest soup recipes I've come across in a long time. Jerms made it up for the House last week and it was a big hit. The soup is  served with fresh slices of lime & cilantro and I mean, really, how can you go wrong with a coconut milk base? Definitely a keeper for those long cold stretches in winter. Bon appetit! 

1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs curry powder (or up to 2tbs if you are a big curry fan)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/3 cup tomato paste
5-7 cups water (depending on consistency you're looking for)
1 (15oz) can coconut milk
2 cups red lentils
1 (15oz) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
1 tbs freshly squeezed lime juice
fresh cilantro and lime wedges for serving

1. To a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat, add the oil. Add the curry powder and cinnamon and cook, stirring often, until the spices are fragrant, about 2 minutes.

2. Add the onion and cook 2-3 minutes, followed by the carrots, ginger, and garlic, salt, sugar, and tomato paste. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more.

3. Pour in the water, coconut milk, lentils, and chickpeas. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes or until the lentils are tender and the soup has thickened.

4. At the very end, stir in the lime juice. Taste for seasoning and serve with fresh cilantro and lime wedges.

Chicken Pot Pies

Anytime I cook with puff pastry, I feel like a baking queen. If you've never used it before - I highly suggest you give it a go. It's remarkably easy and the results are always beautiful. I made up these little pot pies for a dinner with some wonderful friends of ours and we all thought they tasted great. To save time, I made the filling a couple days beforehand. Just a reminder that it takes a good 2 hours for the pastry to thaw - that, or leave it in the fridge overnight.

The egg wash at the end is completely optional, but if you've gone through all the work already, why not give it that last little sparkle? Bon appetit!

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
2 carrots, diced medium
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1/3 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups diced cooked chicken
Salt and pepper
1 sheet thawed puff pastry
1 beaten egg

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high. Add onion, celery, and carrots and cook until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in green beans and chicken and season with salt and pepper.

Divide filling among four 8-ounce ramekins. Roll out 1 sheet puff pastry and cut 4 rounds to fit ramekins. Cut a small X in center of each to vent, then place on top of filling. Brush with beaten egg. Bake at 375 degrees until filling is bubbling and crust is golden, 30 to 40 minutes.

Jeremiah's Pancakes (lactose free)

For breakfast this morning we made up a nice batch of pancakes with some fruit salad on the side. A perfect Saturday morning "fun breakfast" as it's referred to in our house. I will admit that I am not exactly a "pancake person" (hisses and boos from all Canadians, I know, I know) - but I just LOVE these guys. We first got this recipe from our very dear friend when we hiked through Frontenac Park earlier this summer. The nice thing about it is that it has no dairy products - ie. great for those are are intolerant to lactose. They make up such an incredibly light, fluffy little pancake - it's amazing that there's no milk in them. I find that this recipe makes enough for about 3-4 people. We make a half batch for 2 people for breakfast. Enjoy!

2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

The man himself, making up pancakes in the bush
Mix all of your dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients and stir until just moistened (the batter will still be a little lumpy... that's okay!). Heat some oil on medium heat in a large skillet. When the pan is nice and hot, add 1/3 cup servings of batter - flip when bottom is lightly browned and you start to see little bubbles on the top of the pancake. Serve with maple syrup!