Friday Feast of the Week: A real treat

squares 006

(I made some the other day, so this photo is evidence!)

 

When I used to assist with special needs children in kindergarten classes back in the 80s and 90s we often had days where moms came in to help as well.  In one of the classes I worked in, I was fortunate to meet the mother of one of the little boys when she visited.  She brought with her these amazing butter tart squares that she had baked for the occasion.  Of course, I had to get the recipe off her and I still have it, printed on a card in blue Sharpie marker. (It has a few grease spots after all these years.)

These are fast, easy and delectable.  I don’t indulge my sweet tooth too often, but when I do, this is one of my first impulses:

Michael Banducci’s Mom’s Butter Tart Squares

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour (I use 1 cup regular and 1/2 cup whole wheat and add 1 Tbsp. flax meal)

2 Tbsp. sugar (I use organic)

1/2 cup of butter (don’t use margarine—this IS an indulgence, remember)

2 eggs

11/2 cups lightly packed brown sugar

1  Tbsp. vinegar

1 tsp. flour

1 cup raisins (I use sultanas)

 

Method:

Combine flour and sugar in mixing bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly.  Press into 9” square pan or oven-proof dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Beat eggs and brown sugar together in a small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Stir in remaining ingredients, pour over base.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or just until set and golden.  Cool and cut into squares.

Try and resist them!

Friday Feast of the Week: Let ‘em eat cake!

crancake
Not my cake, but close!


Kat’s Cranberry-Orange Streusel Cake
(Tangy and sweet; it’s hard to beat!)

Ingredients:

1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
1 Tbsp. sugar plus 1 Tbsp. orange juice.
2 Tbsp. grated orange rind.

Streusel Topping:

1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. butter or marg, melted

Method:
Stir chopped cranberries with a Tbsp. each of sugar and orange juice. Set aside.
Cream butter, sugar and egg together in a good-sized  mixing bowl.
In medium bowl, stir flour baking powder and salt together.
Add milk to butter mixture, alternately with the flour mixture.  Fold in cranberries.
Scrape into a bundt pan and smooth the top.
Blend streusel ingredients together in a small bowl and sprinkle topping mixture over top of batter.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Serve warm with coffee or tea, or ice cream on the side.

Feast of the Week 2010 #3: Lentil Curry

curry

Click for source (I’ll be adding my own photo as soon as I prepare this again, myself.)

I love a good curry and this is one of the easiest and most versatile you’ll come across.  It is simple and delicious, but also very healthy and low in fat.  Rinse the lentils well, however, or I  won’t be responsible for the after-effects.

By the way, if you have a minute, please take my poll in the sidebar and let me know what you think about this feature on Poetikat’s Invisible Keepsakes. Thanks!

Kat’s Lentil Curry

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

2 Tbsp. curry powder (at least)

2 tsp. freshly grated ginger (or 1 tsp. dried)

2 Tbsp. flour

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 cup raisins (I use golden Sultanas)

1/4 cup flaked coconut

1 tart apple, peeled and grated

1 tsp. each: ketchup, sugar and Worcestershire sauce

1 can lentils, rinsed and drained

Method:

Saute onion in oil until tender.  Add green pepper and stir-fry for a few minutes. Stir in spices and flour until veggies are coated.  Add stock slowly, stirring constantly.  Add remainder of ingredients except for lentils.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Add lentils and stir to blend.   Adjust seasoning.  (I usually add another Tbsp of curry and 1 extra tsp. of ginger)

Simmer another 10 to 15 minutes and serve over cooked Basmati or Jasmine rice.  Garnish with parsley or cilantro.  (Goes really well with the nutty flavour of any brown rice too.) Or try it with pasta, couscous or noodles.  Anything goes, really and leftovers heat really well too.

N.B. For a nice variation, add diced, cooked, sweet or regular potato. Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) may also be used in place of lentils to great effect.

Friday Feast of the Week 2010 #2 – Black Bean Soup

bbsoup2 bbsoup

Photos by Kat

On cold winter days (and we all know about those right now, don’t we?) warm yourself with this spiced and tasty bean soup.  Double the recipe; you’ll want seconds!

Kat’s Black Bean Soup

Ingredients:

1/2 red onion, chopped

2 tsp. minced garlic

1 Tbsp. canola oil

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

4 cups vegetable stock (I use organic cubes)

1 can diced tomatoes (or 2 fresh, chopped)

1/2 red pepper cut into thin strips

1 cup cooked pasta (bowties, fusilli, rotini)

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. dried oregano (double, if using fresh)

1/2 tsp. dried marjoram  (as above)

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. dried chili pepper flakes

1/2 cup orange juice

 

Method:

Saute onion and garlic in oil with spices until onion softens.  Add remainder of ingredients. Simmer at least 15 minutes. (May be done in crockpot on low for 2 hours.)

Garnish with a dollop of plain yogurt and chopped cilantro. Serve with toasted pita bread or nachos.

Que aproveche! (Bon appetit! in Spanish)

This recipe serves about six people.

Kat Mortensen©2010 
Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Friday Feast of the Week 2010 #1: How to start your day.

smooth1 smooth2

Kat’s Rejuvenating Smoothie Recipe

We started drinking a smoothie every single day at breakfast (and sometimes after dinner as well). Along with reducing sugars and fats, like margarine and cheese in our diet, this simple blended drink has effectively changed our lives! (I know, I sound like an infomercial, don’t I? )

The daily smoothie has allowed me to sleep solidly again (I noticed that right away), my skin is looking great, my body-functions are regular (if you know what I mean) and even my dormant menopausal mojo is alive and kicking. (Enough said about that!) We have also lost a bit of weight with the implementation of this drink into our diet.

All I can say, is that adding a smoothie with different fruits providing anti-oxidants, has made a HUGE difference to both of us. For this reason, I’d like to pass along my recipe in the hope that some of you may choose to try it and reap the rewards too.

Get yourself a good quality blender. I have an Oster with push-pad controls (easier to clean) and a solid glass pitcher. It cost me around $60. Cdn. and it has paid for itself 10 times over since November!

Ingredients

Fresh or frozen fruits (Your grocer is probably stocking a line of pre-packaged frozen fruit in resealable bags. These are a godsend! In season, fresh fruit is always the best.)

I use blueberries, mango chunks, strawberries, raspberries, mixed berries, peaches, fresh pineapple, etc. and lots of bananas. Make sure you always have ripe bananas on hand as they are a really good base. We go through so many now that the cashier at the grocer must think we have a chimp at home!

Here’s the recipe for this morning’s smoothie (as seen above):

Mango-blueberry-orange Smoothie (no bananas)

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 cup frozen mango chunks

2 Tbsp. fresh-ground flax-seed (use your coffee-grinder)

2-3 dates (I squeeze them between my fingers to check for pits)

2 cups orange juice

1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt

1 cup plain or vanilla organic soy milk

1/2 tsp. organic cinnamon (or to taste)

1/8 tsp. minced ginger (for zing!)

(note: if using fresh fruit, add 2-3 ice cubes)

1 cup cold water (not always necessary – gauge the thickness of the drink and add accordingly)

Blend on Medium speed to mix together. Use “Ice-crush” button to break up chunks. Blend on “Drinks” setting for a few seconds.

If necessary, remove lid and stir with a spoon or spatula, replace lid and blend for a few more seconds.

Pour into a tall glass and enjoy! Save the leftovers for after lunch or to use in place of dessert after dinner.

You’ll thank me!

Friday Feast of the Week #10

pastafagioli Click photo for source.

Kat’s Pasta e Fagioli

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp. olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 can diced tomatoes

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp. each basil and oregano

1 cup canned, white kidney beans (rinsed and drained)*

freshly ground black pepper

1 cup pasta (I use whole wheat or spelt penne, fusilli or farfalle)

parmesan cheese

Method:

Cook pasta and set aside. Saute garlic in oil for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, parsley, basil and oregano. Simmer for 15 mins. Add beans and simmer for 5 more minutes. Season to taste. Add pasta and mix well. Serve with grated parmesan. Goes well with a vinaigrette salad and a French loaf.

*In a pinch, a tin of baked beans works really well too.

Friday Feast of the Week #9

ratpasta Click for source

Kat’s Ratatouille Linguine

Ingredients:

1 medium eggplant (aubergine)

1 medium onion, chopped

1 zucchini, chopped (courgette)

1 green pepper, diced

2 large cloves garlic, minced

10 cremini mushrooms, chopped

1 can unsalted, diced tomatoes, drained

1/2 jar organic pasta sauce (your choice)

1 tsp. each, dried oregano and basil

(or use fresh if it is available)

1/2 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground

salt to taste

goat’s cheese to top

Packaged linguine (I use spelt – about a quarter-size diameter per person)

1 Tbsp. olive oil for cooking

Method:

Puncture eggplant all over with fork. Bake at 375degrees for 40 mins+.

Section eggplant, peel skin off and discard. Chop pulp into cubes. Heat oil in pan and saute eggplant, mushrooms, onions, zucchini and green pepper until soft. Add garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds. Add tomatoes, herbs, pepper and salt to taste. Add pasta sauce. Stir to heat through. Turn saucepan down to low and cover. Cook linguine until just tender (al dente). Drain. Spoon 1/4 of sauce over pasta and toss. Serve on plates 0r in shallow bowls. Add more sauce and top with crumbled goat cheese.