Friday, November 16, 2007

Gearing up for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, in some families, is prepared by Grandma, who has been slaving in the kitchen all day and then everybody shows up, watches football, inhales all the food, and forgets to thank her while they drift into food comas.
Thanksgiving, in my family, is a massive potluck to which everyone is expected to bring a dish. At least. You are expected to bring as much food as you plan to eat.
So portability is a problem. Tupperware melts when you put hot stuff in it, sometimes you don't want to transfer things from the dish you baked them in, and things get cold!
So I am pleased to share with you the greatest tool ever, not to oversell it.
The Pyrex Portables
These are great. They keep food hot, cold, and well packaged. They are insulated packages with hot/cold packs that solve the problem of melted tupperware.
Investing in plain old Pyrex dishes with lids is still a worthwhile thing to do - they're great for cold/cooled dishes, desserts, etc. and will make your holidays infinitely easier!
And if you grandma makes everything? Call her up and ask if you can bring anything. There is no better way to get favored grandchild status. Unless you clip her toenails. I think this is a no-brainer.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Honey Bran Waffles

This is a great healthy waffle recipe from The Joy of Cooking - which I still maintain that everybody needs to own. I usually half this for two people.
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup coarse wheat bran or miller's bran
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Waffle iron
Mixing bowl

  1. Combine dry ingredients.
  2. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients.
  3. Combine. Pour into waffle iron.

Quick Potato and Carrot Latkes

Here is another Rachel Ray Recipe (from her small "comfort food" book).
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 sack (24 ounces) shredded potatoes for hash browns
1 large carrot
1 medium onion
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons matzo meal, cracker meal, or all purpose flour

Heat 1/2 inch oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. To test oil, add a piece of bread to the pan. It should turn golden brown in a count of 10. Adjust heat as necessary.
Place potatoes in a large bowl. Using a hand grater, grate the carrot and onion into the bowl. Add beaten eggs, salt, baking powder, and meal or flour. Combine vegetables and meal with a wooden spoon. Drop mixture into oil in 3 inch mounds. Press down gently with spatula to form patties. Friy in batches of 4 to 6 patties, 1 inch apart, until golden, about 3 minutes on each side. Drain on a paper towel or parchment-lined tray.

I did this with regular potatoes that I shredded myself, but its a pain. Also, making potato pancakes is a messy business and takes a lot of practice.

Chunky Golden Applesauce

This is a Rachel Ray recipe. I haven't made it yet - but it looks good.
4 Golden delicious apples, cored and chunked
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 cup apple juice or cider
3 tablespoons honey

Combine all ingredients in a medium pot and cook over medium to medium-high heat until apples begin to break down and raisins are plump, 10 to 12 minutes.

Sounds like a great fall recipe!