Monday, January 31, 2011

Wafflini Breakfast Sandwich

Last year we went to the Finger Lakes, NY and stayed at a great bed and breakfast that fed us homemade yogurt and granola, omelets, oatmeal, fruit and last but not least a wafflini!

You might ask yourself, "what is a wafflini?"  It is a super yummy breakfast sandwich that you press in the waffle maker to make a panini kind of sandwich in the shape of a waffle.  I know, kind of silly, but for some reason it tastes better this way and makes it officially a breakfast sandwich.  And it takes only 2 minutes!

To make one decide on your favorite breakfast sandwich fillings and assemble the sandwich, then press. This is how I made these:

4 slices wheat bread
2 eggs
1/4 c green onion, diced
handful of spinach
1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese
Nectarine Mustard (Handmade by Jess, thank you)


Beat the eggs with 1/8 c water until mixed and pour into small heated skillet, add green onion and cook like an omelet.

Spread mustard on bread and top with spinach, eggs, and cheese.

Spray the waffle iron with olive oil.  Place sandwich inside and press for 2-3 minutes.


What do you like in your breakfast sandwich?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Soup #2: Black Eyed Pea and Kale Soup

I threw this one together the other morning when it was snowing and cold outside.  I used dried black eyed peas and used the quick soak method** to get them going while I prepared everything else.  Feel free to use canned beans but if you have time please try dried beans, they are sooooo yummy!  Unfortunately I don't have pictures of this soup because it was eaten before I took them, sorry.

1/2 lb dried Black Eyed Peas, soaked in 6 c water, reserve the liquid OR 24 oz beans with juice
1/4 lb Kale, deveined and chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 c pumpkin puree
salt and pepper to taste

** add any veggies you want, and for those meat eaters out there I bet sausage would taste pretty good in this soup.

Once your beans are soaked (or cans are opened), preheat your slow cooker on high.  In a separate pan saute the onion for 3 minutes then add bell pepper and carrots and saute for 5 more minutes.

Place beans and veggie mix in slow cooker.  If you used canned beans you should add 4 cups of veggie broth at this point.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook on low for 4-6 hours in the slow cooker adding kale after 3 hours.

Once the beans are soft I pureed about 1 cup of beans with 1 cup of pumpkin puree then added it back to the soup to make it thicker.

Dish up and enjoy!  I especially liked this soup with a little dash of Braggs.

NOTE: a couple differences if you use canned beans:  You could just cook this on the stove top in a big pot by sauteing your veggies in the pot then adding the beans, broth, and kale and cook until the veggies are just tender, about 30 minutes total.

**Quick Soak Method: boil 6 cups water, add 1/2 lb beans and bring back to a boil, let sit one hour.


Coming Up: Curried Carrot Ginger Soup

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Soup, Soup and More Soup

I have been loving soup lately.  In the last week alone I've made Italian Wedding Soup, Miso Matzo Ball Soup, Black Eyed Pea and Kale Soup, and Carrot Ginger Soup.  I've been able to share some of these with friends and am excited about attending a soup swap on Friday to share the miso matzo ball soup.  What a great way to share warmth this time of year!

I will eventually share all the recipes here except for the Italian Wedding Soup.  I got the recipe from The Splendid Table and followed it fairly closely.  I tripled the recipe so I could share it... :-)

Today I will share the recipe for Miso Matzo Ball Soup.  A couple years ago I went to dinner and had miso soup and thought "wow, this would be way better if it had matzo balls in it."  So the next time I made mazto ball soup I just added some miso and seaweed and boy was I pleased.  We love this soup and my 1 year old loves the matzo balls cut up just her size.

Matzo ball mix
4 cups Veggie Broth
2 carrots sliced
1 bell pepper chopped small
1 onion, diced
1/3 c Miso paste
dried wakame seaweed (optional)
** other optional ingredients: tofu, green onions, broccoli, any veggies.

I use these to make this easier:

Prepare the matzo balls as per package and make sure to refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes.  While it is in the fridge saute your veggies in a large pot for 5 minutes then add and boil your broth and 2 cups water.

Next add your matzo balls, boil 10 minutes then add miso paste and optional seaweed.  Boil for an additional 10 minutes, stirring several times to break up miso paste.  Be careful during this step not to break up your matzo balls.  If using add the green tops of your green onions during the last couple of minutes.

Dish up and enjoy.

I froze this for my soup swap so I will let you know how it does.

I wish you enough!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Garden Planning

It may be hard to think of when it is icy and cold outside but it's time to start thinking about the garden for this year.  I like to plan this far ahead mostly because it gets me through the cold winter by thinking about all the yummy veggies I will be munching on soon.

If you want to make seed starts inside it is time to order seeds and gather equipment.  A lot of seeds can be started as early as mid-March to be planted in the ground mid-May for our zone in Maryland.

Last year I ordered seeds from The Cooks Garden and they were great.  After browsing the catalogue last week I decided that I just want to plant too many things and need to pare it down a bit.  We usually plant two gardens: a small one in our yard, and a large one at the farm.  Last year we had about 24 tomato plants, 100 row feet of edamame, sweet potatoes and potatoes, and many plants of eggplant, peppers, cabbage, leeks, melon and winter squash.

For 2011 I would like to do a family style co-op garden project.   So I've invited people to share in the whole process of preparing, planting, grooming, and harvesting and I am hoping for a great first year.  My only worry is that last year we had more bugs than ever before so I need to research ways to control them without pesticides.

Wishing you a great winter, a renewing spring, and a bountiful summer!

If you have a gardening tips please share them with us.

I wish you enough!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Savory Stuffed Bread

I got several cook books for Christmas and have been cooking a bit in the last week.  This weekend we may have snow so I think a few soups may be on the horizon.

Last weekend was chilly and rainy so I made some savory stuffed bread and we took them with us on a hike at North Point S.P.

It rained the whole time but the trails were nice and the company the best.  We were the only people in the park so we asked a ranger if it is always like that.  He said that they close the park on busy summer days because they run out of parking so I felt lucky to be there when it was so quiet.

Here is the recipe for the breads.  It takes a total of 2 hours because you have to let the dough rise before you cook them, but overall time of actual work is about 30-45 minutes... and it's worth it!

Makes 6 Breads

1 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp honey
3/4 c warm water
1 T oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c wheat germ
2 c all-purpose flour

1 med onion diced
2 T oil
2 carrots diced
1 1/2 c cauliflower, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne
pinch of ground cloves
salt to taste

1. Dissolve yeast and honey in warm water and set aside until is gets foamy, about 10 minutes.

2.  While you are waiting for that, cut up your veggies and measure out the spices into a small bowl.

3. Bread: in a medium bowl combine the oil, salt and flour, stir in yeast mixture and mix until the dough comes together.  Sprinkle dough with flour and knead for 5-10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.  Let the dough sit in a warm place covered by a cloth until doubled in size.  About 40-50 minutes

4. Heat the oil in a skillet and saute the onions about 5 minutes.  Add carrots and cauliflower and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the spices.  Cook on low until veggies are very tender.

5. Bread: when the dough doubles, punch it down and place on a floured surface.  Knead for 1 more minute then cut the dough into 6 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a ball and roll out into 5-inch circles.

 6. Fill: place 1/6th of veggie mix in the center of each dough circle.  Pull sides of dough up over the feeling and press down until the circle is about 5 inches again.  You could use a rolling pin to roll it out but I thought my fingers worked just as good.

7. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Place the stuffed bread on a baking sheet either oiled or use a silpat.  Cover the tray and let them sit 10 minutes.

8. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until firm to the touch and sound hollow then thumped with fingertips.

Options: you can put any veggies or bean in these but make sure they are not juicy or else the bread gets soggy.

Enjoy!  Happy New Year!

I wish you enough!