Kate's Recipe Book

November 24, 2011

Dave’s Very Good Pancakes!

Filed under: Breakfast,Dessert — Kate @ 10:50 am

Apparently the volcano is key.

1 1/3 cups flour

3 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3 tblsp sugar

mix that all and make a volcano shape

then separately mix:

1 egg

1 1/4 cup milk

3 tbslps vegetable oil

1/4 tsp vanilla

and pour the wet into the volcano’s center, so it explodes over the sides and you can pretend you’re at Pompei.

Mix it up, but not too much, and cook ladlefuls in butter over medium heat.

Apple/Peach/Anything Crisp

Filed under: Baking,Dessert — Kate @ 10:46 am

Mom’s recipe!


2/3-3/4 cup brown sugar packed

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

then mix in with a fork:

1/3 cup soft butter

that’s the crisp.

cut up apples, peaches, or whatever (approx 4 cups to match the amounts above, which I always double)

put them in an oven dish, cover with the crisp, put some pats of butter on top and bake at 375 for 1/2 hour.

Serve with yogurt, if you’re me.

February 16, 2011

The Kate and Jonathan

Filed under: Jonathan's Favourites,Kate's Favourites,Main dish — Kate @ 12:01 pm

Our most frequent meal.

Buy whatever vegetables you can find, as long as they are the steamable variety.  Pick at least three different ones.  We have used kale, spinach, mushrooms (many kinds), broccoli, green/red/yellow peppers, string beans, tofu (ok, that’s not strictly speaking a vegetable, at least not in its current form, but it often finds itself in the pot), cauliflower, leeks, grape or cherry tomatoes (whole), eggplant, zucchini, bok choy, others.  Steam them all together in a big pot.  If some are more resistant to cooking, put them in first, as the bottom layer, while you chop others.  Cook Sobaya Soba Natural Wheat and Buckwheat Pasta.  Put vegetables on the pasta in a bowl, and add:

… cottage cheese, for a Jonathan

… toasted sesame oil and feta cheese, for a Kate

That’s what you’ll find if you analyse the origin of the organic molecules that make us up.

Split and Green Pea Soup

Filed under: Soup — Kate @ 11:53 am

My mom made some soup while we were visiting home, from this recipe.  So I tried it myself.  Here’s how it went for us:

Get a big pot and put olive oil to cover the bottom, then fry a whole bunch of leeks (most of two average sized ones, probably, but Jonathan brought home a very masculine looking huge monster of a leek this time), and a couple of bay leaves.  When they’ve gone translucent, or maybe even browned a bit, throw in 2 cups of dried split peas, coat, then 11 or 12 cups of broth.  We used boullion cubes according to directions and it came out much too salty to our taste, so next time I’d use fewer cubes, or a different source of broth.  Cook around half an hour, till the peas are chewable but still have texture, or however you like them.  Then, in the blender, put in two cups of frozen peas (I defrosted them but I doubt you need to), an entire package of fresh dill, minus a bit saved to garnish, and a cup or two of the soup solids and enough of the soup liquid to keep things lubricated.  Blend it all up, which creates an electric green goop (keep in mind for a hallowe’en party), which you should add to the soup.  I had some dill and yogurt on top.  Yum!

Next time I might try making more of the blender goop per amount of soup, or using less broth overall to make it a thicker soup.  I also really love the electric green colour.  The split peas sit in the bottom of the bowl, so with too much broth it’s kind of like fishing.  I think my mom added a few frozen peas to the soup whole, as well.  I bet you could make it a cool looking soup by adding the goop to each bowl, together with yogurt, in a swirl, then putting the dill on top of that.  We’re not so fancy in these parts, though.

September 26, 2010

Pumpkins According to Mistress La Spliffe

Filed under: Main dish,Sauce,Soup — Tags: , — Kate @ 9:22 am

Mistresse La Spliffe writes about pumpkins and I find I want to rush out and buy many.  Yesterday was a culinary disaster: a very complicated method of making dirty dishes, is what it amounted to.  But I’m hopeful the next adventure will involve pumpkins.  Here’s what she writes, in entirety, with permission:

“Pumpkin is a beautiful and generous thing, and makes a sauce with a versatility approaching tomato sauce. If I said that in front of my family, whose pumpkin techniques are limited quite strictly to casseroles or frittelle, I don’t know whether they’d laugh or smack me one, but I do feel it’s true. While tomato sauce can give you degrees of what I consider a feminine sharpness, acidity, and clarity, running the gamut from invigorating to heartburn, pumpkin sauce gives you a gamut I imagine as masculine, from strongly comforting and fortifying to stolid.

“I suppose if God held a gun to my head and told me to choose, I’d choose tomato; pasta in tomato sauce is my eternal comfort food, and I don’t think the world has ever come up with anything lacking animal flesh in it that’s quite as good as gazpacho. But I’d miss the pumpkin fiercely, and part of that is because the truth is a tomato sauce or gazpacho can be ruined, while a pumpkin sauce can be poor in relation to other pumpkin sauces but it will seldom be a disaster – unless you simply don’t like it.

“Here’s the process, it’s basically the same as the process for pumpkin soup, and applies to most varieties of pumpkin I’ve came across.

“1. Fry your base (onions, garlic, the white part of leeks, celery, maybe some seedy herbs, like cumin or coriander seeds, or peppercorns, or whatever your taste runs to). Pumpkin takes kindly to a base fried in butter if you’re not averse to heavier flavours.

“2a. Once the base is sizzling enthusiastically add chunks of peeled, diced pumpkin and fry them for awhile (do yourself a favour and bake the pumpkin for ten minutes ahead of time, and then the skin lifts off quite easily with a normal veggie peeler.)

“2b.You also have the option of splitting the pumpkin down the middle, roasting it at high heat face-down in an oiled tray, and then scooping out the cooked flesh after about half an hour. I like doing that because I think it makes it rather sweeter, but it depends on your tastes; it also tends to make it heavier.

“3. Once the chunks have fried for awhile, or immediately if you have used roasted pumpkin flesh, add water or something else wet, translucent and inoffensive, just enough to cover. Anything from a rich meat broth through a veg broth back to water. Once again it’s a question of your tastes.

“4a. If you have used raw pumpkin chunks, cover and boil at medium heat until the chunks are tender, and puree – then you’re fundamentally done.

“4b. If you have used roasted pumpkin, you can puree immediately, but I suggest leaving it on low heat for ten minutes or so to make sure it’s all melded, if that makes sense.

“And there you go. More liquid gets you a pumpkin soup, less gets you a highly goopy sauce that is very nice for pizzas, especially paired with stinky cheese. Whether soup or sauce, this base also takes very kindly to the addition of curry paste to taste. It is also lovely with roasted red pepper pureed into it towards the end of the cooking; you can stick one or two in to roast at the same time as the pumpkin halves, if you go the roasting route. Green herbs should go in at the end, after removing it from the heat.

“It also takes well to the addition of cheese, but to avoid clumps and ugliness mix in the cheese in the form of a bechamel-based cheese sauce.

“As a soup, it works well either on its own or with the addition of other features, like (pre-cooked!) chick peas, or chunks of potato, shrimp, or white fish cooked directly in it. During this last shitty winter, I made a big batch of it every other week, in alternation with tomato sauce, and then froze it in jars that were just big enough to serve as a base for a quick but hearty and delicious soup for two in the evenings, so long as one or the other of us remembered to take out a jar to defrost in the mornings.

“Finally it can be enriched either with cream out of cows or goats, or with milk out of coconuts. In either case it should be added after the soup or sauce has been pureed and taken off the heat, or, if you freeze it in batches, after it has been defrosted and re-heated.”

Acid Goo Onions

Filed under: Condiment,Jonathan's Favourites,Side dish — Kate @ 9:09 am

Here’s one from the internet’s vast store which we particularly liked.  The way it turned out for us was very strong, and we found it’s best use was as a spread on toast.  A real hit with Jonathan.  If we follow the recipe next time, and it saves us the peeling time, this might become a regular.  Otherwise, peeling shallots is significantly worse than peeling garlic.

  • 2 pounds fresh small cipolline onions or pearl onions (we used shallots, and it was great)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

The recipe calls for the following which we didn’t do: “Blanch onions in large pot of boiling salted water 15 seconds. Using slotted spoon, transfer to large bowl of ice water to cool. Trim root end if necessary, leaving core intact. Peel onions.”  I imagine this would have saved the 30+ minutes of peeling the little sons of mothers.

The rest of the official instructions we basically stuck to:  “Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add onions and sauté until onions have deep golden brown spots, about 9 minutes. Add orange juice and vinegar; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until onions are just tender when pierced with knife, about 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer onions to medium bowl. Boil juices in skillet until syrupy and reduced to 2/3 cup, about 3 minutes. Pour over onions. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm or bring to room temperature before serving.)”

September 25, 2010

Jam Strip Cheesers (Cream Cheese Cookies)

Filed under: Baking,Dessert — Tags: — Kate @ 5:40 pm

My mom makes these cream cheese cookies and I love love love love love love love them.  Here’s how we make them:

2 cups of flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup margarine

3 oz. cream cheese

Preheat to 350.  Let the margarine/cream cheese soften while you mix the dry ingredients.  Put dry in wet, mix to get a flaky, powdery batter.  Roll into balls, put a thumbprint in each on an ungreased cookie sheet, fill with jam, bake 20-25 minutes or until they golden a bit, then shake some powdered sugar over them.  My favourites!

Here’s the scan from an old recipe book of my mother’s.

recipe scan

and here’s a picture of what they are not supposed to look like (because we don’t follow the recipe):

April 22, 2010

Huevos Haminados

Filed under: Side dish — Kate @ 12:03 pm

I followed a recipe found at thekitchn.com which goes like this:

Huevos Haminados

Onion skins
2 tablespoons peppercorns
2 tablespoons salt
4 tablespoons of white vinegar
4 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 dozen eggs

I’ve altered the instructions to reflect the way I did things.  I used the onion skins from one bag of onions I’d saved up (washed any suspect parts).

“Fill a large soup pot with the skins, cover with water, and bring it to a boil. Add the peppercorns, salt, and white vinegar [I used cider vinegar]. Turn down the heat to a simmer.  Gently lower the eggs in the water, making sure they are completely covered, and add more water if necessary. Cover the surface of the water with the oil, and then cover the pot with a lid. Let simmer, covered, until the eggs are a rich mahogany color – about an hour.”

It says you can cook them longer, so I did — they had quite a strong taste. I think they simmered for a good 3-4 hours.  The website also gives instructions on decoration with pantyhose and parsley which I didn’t do… only because I don’t have any pantyhose.

Check out a picture.

March 2, 2010

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples

Filed under: Kate's Favourites,Side dish — Kate @ 1:48 pm

This is a recipe from the New York Times (apparently by Martha Rose Shulman).  I was so taken with it the first time I made it that I’ve just been waiting to make it again in larger quantities.  The apples kind of melt away and just leave their taste behind, while the cabbage becomes soft and sweet.

1 large red cabbage, 2 to 2 1/2 pounds, quartered, cored and cut crosswise in thin strips

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 small onion, thinly sliced

2 tart apples, such as Braeburn or granny smith, peeled, cored and sliced

About 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Prepare the cabbage, and cover with cold water while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, lidded skillet or casserole, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until just about tender, about three minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar and cook, stirring, until the mixture is golden, about three minutes, then add the apples and stir for two to three minutes.

2. Drain the cabbage and add to the pot. Toss to coat thoroughly, then stir in the allspice, another 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, and salt to taste. Toss together. Cover the pot, and cook over low heat for one hour, stirring from time to time. Add freshly ground pepper, taste and adjust salt, and add another tablespoon or two of balsamic vinegar as desired.

Advance preparation: This dish tastes even better the day after you make it, and it will keep for five days in the refrigerator. Reheat gently.

[EDIT:  I tried this with apple cider vinegar instead of balsamic for Passover and it was still pretty good, but the colour doesn't come out as lovely.  I eat it with yogurt, but that's just me.]

January 9, 2010

SPinaCH Cheese Pies (Levine, 1998)

Filed under: Main dish — Kate @ 2:21 pm

Copied from a recipe card in my friend Lionel‘s handwriting.

Note first that we need only purchase the following:

Bundle ‘o’ spinach
Chunks ‘o’ feta
Ricotta (Extra Smooth tacitly assumed hereafter)
Other vegges (e.g. peppers!) (optional)

The reader who is unfamiliear with our terminology is asked to consult the appendix.

Chop and cook spinach (the burner lemma allows us to do this), drain well (domain restriction) mix with cheese (axiom of choice?) and other veggies.  Enclose in dough (why?) and “cook till done.”  square-images

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