Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lemon Poppy Seed Pinwheels

It’s Sunday morning and the sun is shinning..or attempting to shine.  It seems like we haven’t seen blue sky in weeks, just rain and fog and more rain.  To celebrate the sun,  I felt inspired to make something special for breakfast.  I’ve still got a number of Meyer lemons in my fridge so why not lemon poppy seed something.  I love that combinations of flavors, so I whipped up a batch of poppy seed paste.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Daring Bakers' Challenge: Nanaimo Bars

The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen.  Lauren chose Gluten Free Graham Wafter and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month.  The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and

These little bars were invented by a Canadian woman who entered a baking contest 35 years ago.   Because she named them after the city in BC where she lived, they’ve become a symbol of civic pride.  When I first read the challenge, I thought, chocolate, coconut, almonds, graham crackers and more chocolate, sounds yummy to me.  Then, when I studied the ingredients more closely, I thought, seriously, you crazy Canadians... 2 cubes of butter in one 8x8 pan of bars!  They should be called heart attack bars... 

Monday, January 25, 2010

Perfect Split Pea Soup

Whenever I suggest soup for dinner, it’s always the same request.  Split Pea.  It’s my family’s favorite soup.  My split pea soup is the best I’ve ever tasted, anywhere.  I don’t make this claim lightly and I don’t feel this way about many of the things I cook.  If you like split pea soup than you should try this recipe, and if you don’t like it, well, maybe this recipe will change your mind.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lemon Pine Nut Muffins

I was given a gift of some Meyer lemons last week and I’ve been wondering what to make with them.  After eating so many sweets during the holidays, I decided to make something a little more savory.  Meyer lemons are a sweeter, less acidic cousin to the more common varieties available in most stores.  They were brought to this country by Frank Meyer, a US Department of Agriculture employee, in 1908.  They’re thought to be a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange, which explains their rounder shape and more orangey color.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Creamy Cauliflower & Carrot Soup

When Mr RK goes grocery shopping he often brings home a cauliflower.  I’ve never quite understood the attraction.  They are pretty, in a this is what your brain looks like sort of way.  They don’t have much in the way taste.  I think it’s probably his way of hinting that he wants cauliflower soup. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Harvesting Satsuma Mandarins

Satsuma Mandarins are the last crop of the year that I harvest from my garden.  Commercial satsumas are usually available in early late November or early December but mine take a little longer to ripen.  I don’t know if it’s the variety but I’m guessing it has more to do with the cold weather.  I harvested these on January 1st.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Jamaican Rice and Peas

Rice and peas is a staple Jamaican dish, steeped in coconut milk and seasoned with thyme, onions and pepper.   My sister taught me how to make it when she was living in Jamaica .  The peas are not really peas, but gungo beans (also called pigeon peas or cow peas).  They’re small red beans that I can’t find here so I use aduki beans.  They’re about the same size and higher in protein than most other beans, but you could also use red chili or kidney beans.   The dish is traditionally made with white rice, but I’ve substituted a long grain brown rice.  A healthier choice.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Hoppin' John Updated

Hoppin’ John is a black eyed peas and rice dish traditionally eaten on New Year’s Day for good luck.  This dish probably originated in West Africa and was brought to the American south during the slave trade by the Africans.  The first written record of this recipe was in The Carolina Housewife, a cookbook written by a Charleston woman in 1847.