a little of each

A family's cookbook

Creamy Corn Soup July 24, 2015

Filed under: Soups and Salads — alittlemoreofeach @ 10:08 pm
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My two girls love to cook. Mostly it’s macaroni and cheese, but to help expand their culinary horizons, I got them each a book by Moosewood Cookbook author, Mollie Katzen. Five-year-old Alice got Pretend Soup, while eight-year-old Adeline got Honest Pretzels, and I have to say these books have been perfect for them and for us to cook together. The instructions are laid out as step-by-step pictures, but Katzen offers more detailed instructions for a supervising adult.  She also makes it clear which parts a child should be able to do on their own and which parts might require an adult’s help: uncovering the pot and deciding if the liquid is hot enough, setting up the blender, taking the pureed soup out of the blender. These are great reminders for me to go ahead and let them chop things up, stir things in a hot pot, mash the button on the processor. How else will they learn if not by doing?

When I manage to be organized and create a weekly meal plan (man, I feel like a rock star when that happens!), I ask the girls to each pick a recipe. For her first selection, Adeline chose Creamy Corn Soup.  And we made it together.
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Look at that proud face!  She was thrilled to serve it to the family, and you know what? It was good!  Not made-by-my-own-child-so-I-have-to-act-like-i-like-it good. Like, honest to goodness tasty!  It was fresh, healthy, perfectly balanced between light and filling, and inexpensive.  Pretty much perfection, no?

Ingredients

1 Tbl butter

6 scallions, minced (just the white and lower half of the green part)

1 stalk celery, chopped small

2 cups corn (we used Trader Joe’s frozen white corn – it’s awesome! You can use fresh, frozen, canned.)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dried basil

1 cup vegetable broth

1 cup milk

shredded cheese for garnish (optional)

Directions

Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan on low heat until melted. Add the scallions, celery, corn, salt and basil.

Increase heat to Medium and cook for about eight minutes.

Add the broth and heat until it begins to boil.

Reduce heat to low and cover the pot. Let cook covered for five minutes.

Add the milk and then blend or process the soup until it is smooth. (We left some texture.)

Return to saucepan to reheat if needed and serve with a little shredded cheese garnish.

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Prize-Winning Hamantaschen March 2, 2015

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 12:39 pm
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Alice’s First Place poppy seed hamantaschen!

 

Recipe adapted from the Holiday Kosher Baker by Paula Shoyer.

The Jewish holiday of Purim is a little bit Halloween (costumes and sweets are involved), a little bit Mardi Gras (imbibing and parties too!), but there are a few staples: retelling the story of Esther, Mordecai, and the dastardly Haman, usually as a fun play; a drink or two, and noshing on hamantaschen, triangle-shaped cookies with a variety of fillings.

This year we hosted our first (but not the last!) Hamantaschen Bake Off with great success.  Adults and children each submitted entries in either Traditional flavors (prune, poppy, apricot, or strawberry – a recent “traditional” addition, that last one) or Gourmet, which covered everything else and then some!

I’m so proud to say that my girls who already enjoy baking have been inspired by BBC/PBS’s Great British Bakeoff/Baking Show and were more than eager to enter the contest.  We started with the same basic dough recipe, and then Adeline turned hers into chocolate chip hamantaschen with a white chocolate drizzle, and peanut butter and chocolate hamantaschen. Alice went traditional with poppy seed and strawberry.

Alice’s poppy seed entry won first place in the Kids Traditional category, and her strawberry took third!  Adeline’s chocolate chip entry tied for third in a crowded field of Kids Gourmet!

Ingredients

Dough:

3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
½ cup canola or vegetable oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp baking powder
dash salt
For the chocolate chip and peanut butter versions, you’ll need 3 oz of chocolate, chopped to less than 1/4″ pieces.

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Filling:

1. Chocolate chip hamantaschen: mini chocolate chips, and/or chopped chocolate
2. Poppy seed hamantaschen: prepared poppy seed filling
3. Strawberry hamantaschen: seedless strawberry jam
4. Peanut butter chocolate hamantaschen: two parts peanut butter to one part powdered sugar

Directions

In a large bowl mix together eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla. Add flour and salt, and mix until dough comes together. If making the chocolate chip or peanut butter version, add the chopped chocolate to the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for one hour to firm up

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two or three large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats, or plan to bake in batches. Divide the dough in half. Take another two pieces of parchment and sprinkle flour on one, place the dough half on top, then sprinkle a little more flour on top of the dough.

Place the second piece of parchment on top of the dough and roll on top of the parchment until the dough is about ¼ inch thick. Every few rolls, peel back the top parchment and sprinkle a little more flour on the dough. Use a 2-3 inch drinking glass or round cookie cutter to cut the dough into circles.

Place up one teaspoon of filling in the center of the dough circle and then fold the three sides in towards the middle to form a triangle, leaving a small opening in the center. Pinch the three sides together very tightly. Repeat with the remaining dough and scraps, making sure to sprinkle a little flour under and over the dough before you roll.

Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until the bottoms are lightly browned but the tops are still light. Slide the parchment paper onto wire racks to cool the cookies. If desired, drizzle melted chocolate across the cookies. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days or freeze for up to three months.

 

 

Brussels Sprouts with Goat Cheese and Honey February 26, 2015

Filed under: Fruits and Vegetables,Sides — alittlemoreofeach @ 11:50 am
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Who would’ve guessed that Brussels sprouts would become such a thing? They’ve transformed from the very bottom of the list of Delicious Vegetables, just below lima beans, to Princess of Pinterest recipes (quinoa is Queen, obvs). And this thrills me because I love those mini cabbages, especially if they are roasted or broiled, as this recipe calls for.

These were served at our Thanksgiving in 2014, and, like everything offered there, were wonderful.

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Ingredients

1 lb Brussels sprouts
1-2 Tbl oil
2 oz goat cheese
2 Tbl honey
salt and pepper

Directions

Heat oven to 375. Slice the Brussels sprouts in half and place in a baking dish. Drizzle the oil over and then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes or until the sprouts are beginning to color and even get crispy in parts. Remove from the oven. Drizzle the honey and sprinkle the goat cheese over the hot sprouts. Serve warm.

 

Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon February 25, 2015

Filed under: Fruits and Vegetables,Sides — alittlemoreofeach @ 1:40 pm
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Ingredients
4 strips thick-cut bacon
2 Tbl butter
1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved
1/2 large onion, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate, then roughly chop. In same pan with bacon fat, melt butter over high heat. Add onions and Brussels Sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, until sprouts are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and toss bacon back into pan. Serve immediately.

 

Almost-Famous Pumpkin Cheesecake

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 1:37 pm
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Ingredients

12 Tbl unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 3/4 cups sugar
Salt
2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1 15-oz can pure pumpkin
6 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 Tbl vanilla extract
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 cups sweetened whipped cream
1/3 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped

Directions

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325.

Brush a 10-inch springform pan with some of the butter. Stir the remaining butter with the crumbs, 1/4 cup of the sugar and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pan, packing it tightly and evenly. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on a rack, then wrap the outside of the springform pan with foil and place in a roasting pan.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese with a mixer until smooth. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups sugar and beat until just light, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beaters as needed. Beat in the sour cream, then add the pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, 1 teaspoon salt and the spices and beat until just combined. Pour into the cooled crust.

Gently place the roasting pan in the oven (don’t pull the rack out) and pour the boiling water into the roasting pan until it comes about halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake until the outside of the cheesecake sets but the center is still loose, about 1 hour 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and open the door briefly to let out some heat. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 more hour, then carefully remove from the roasting pan and cool on a rack. Run a knife around the edges, cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

Bring the cheesecake to room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Unlock and remove the springform ring. To finish, place a dollop of the whipped cream on each slice and sprinkle with the toasted pecans.

 

Leek and Artichoke Bread Pudding

Filed under: Sides — alittlemoreofeach @ 1:33 pm
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Adam and Jenn discovered this winning recipe at their small but delicious Thanksgiving dinner in 2014.

Ingredients

8 cups (1-inch-diced) day-old bakery white bread, crusts removed
3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta
6 cups (1/2-inch-diced) leeks, white and light green parts (5 leeks)
3 Tbl unsalted butter
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (9-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted
3 Tbl minced fresh chives
2 tsp minced fresh tarragon leaves
4 extra-large eggs
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup good chicken stock, preferably homemade
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups grated Emmentaler Swiss cheese (8 ounces)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350. Place the bread cubes on a sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes, tossing once, until lightly browned. Place the pancetta in one layer on another sheet pan and bake in the same oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Place the pancetta on a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.

Soak the leeks in water until they’re clean, and spin them dry in a salad spinner. Heat the butter in an 11-inch pot over medium heat; add the leeks and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the wine, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and cook for 5 minutes, until the wine almost evaporates and the leeks are tender. Off the heat, mix in the artichokes, toasted bread cubes, chives and tarragon.

Whisk the eggs, cream, chicken stock, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon salt together in a large bowl. Spoon half of the bread mixture into a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with half the Emmentaler and add the remaining bread mixture. Pour on the cream mixture, sprinkle with the remaining Emmentaler and press lightly to help the bread absorb the liquid. Dice or crumble the pancetta, scatter on top and sprinkle with pepper. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the cream mixture. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the custard is set and the bread pudding is puffed and golden. Serve hot.

Make it ahead: Assemble the bread pudding and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Bake before serving.

 

Warren’s Banana Bread

Filed under: Breads,Breakfast — alittlemoreofeach @ 12:27 pm
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Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 Tbl baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts, optional*

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugar.  Beat in eggs (one at a time) until batter is smooth.  Blend in mashed bananas. Combine flour, baking soda and powder, and salt.  Add flour mixture to banana mixture until just moistened (do not over mix).  Fold in nuts, or sprinkle on the top before baking. Pour batter into well-greased loaf pan.  (Warren lines his with parchment paper, too.) Bake for one hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Remove from pan.  Place bread on a cooling rack.  Serve warm with butter and a mug of hot tea.  (Or in George’s case, cold milk.)