Archive for ‘vegan’

September 6, 2013

brûléed apricots

brulee apricots 03

The other morning I woke up fully intending to just have some baguette with butter and jam for breakfast. Then I spied the apricots I bought at a farmstand sitting on the counter. My intention was to make preserves with them the night before, only to realize I was running low on sugar. I know, that sounds hard to believe, but all my summer vacationing has left my home pantry in need of restocking.

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September 4, 2013

all-purpose baking mix

all purpose baking mix 01

People often ask which recipe is my all-time favorite, to which I always answer “that would be like saying which one of my kids I like best”. I simply can’t do it. There is one recipe, though, which I am particularly proud of, and it came about while writing my cookbook Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie’s Kitchen.

What started as two recipes, one for a pancake & waffle mix, and another for a dry muffin mix, morphed into my All-Purpose Baking Mix. One mix is all you need to make cupcakes, muffins, pancakes and waffles, all at a moment’s notice. Since writing the cookbook, I’ve continued to work on developing new recipes using my All-Purpose Baking Mix as a base ingredient. I thought I’d share the master recipe for those of you who don’t yet have the cookbook. Please be sure to read the recipes through carefully moving forward, as some may call for all-purpose flour, and others my All-Purpose Baking Mix.

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August 28, 2013

blueberry kale smoothie

kale blueberry smoothie

After an indulgent summer, and a few rounds of fried food between the OC Fair and the fish shacks along Route 6 in Cape Cod, this smoothie is the perfect energy booster. I can’t think of an easier, or tastier way, to get two cups of kale into my body in record time. Frozen blueberries are the trick to keeping this smoothie icy cold without watering it down, which is what plain old ice cubes would do. It does need a little liquid to help puree everything. I used some fresh squeezed OJ in an effort to keep it dairy-free, but you can use yogurt or milk if you want to add a protein punch to it. A spoonful of flaxseeds would be great too; I just didn’t have any in my vacation pantry.

If you want to make a vegan version, just swap in agave nectar for the honey. I’m thinking maple syrup might be nice too, but I haven’t tried that yet. I do recommend using some sort of sweetener, though, to temper the tartness of the berries and earthy taste of the kale. As-is, this blueberry kale smoothie was a homerun with my five-year old.

One last note—you don’t need a fancy high-powered blender to whip up this smoothie (though that’ll make the job faster, no doubt). I made this using a 350 watt Black & Decker blender I found in the vacation cottage we rented. No crazy motors, or bells and whistles. I did have to stop every minute or so, and push the ingredients down with a wooden spoon, but that didn’t discourage me in the least.

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August 28, 2013

easy homemade peach jam

just peachy jam

All you need are three ingredients to make this easy peach jam—peaches, sugar and lemon juice. A bit of patience is necessary too, but I’m taking that ingredient as a freebie, and not adding it to my count. A note about selecting your peaches—try to get freestone peaches, as the pits release easily with minimal coaxing from the tip of your thumbnail. Cling peaches work absolutely fine, but you’ll lose a little of the meat cutting the flesh from the pit. At this late point in the game, I say go with whatever peaches you’ve got, but thought I’d add that tidbit if you do have a choice when you’re at the market.

As for peeling the peaches, a very ripe peach usually sheds it’s skin easily. I get it started with the tip of a paring knife, and pull it away from there. If your skins are persistent, you can score them (cut an “X” in the bottom), and add them to a pot of boiling water for one minute, until the skins loosen. You’ll need to let them cool enough so you can handle them, before slipping the skins off. This means you’ll need more prep time for making your jam, but it’s not at all difficult—just plan accordingly.

The jams I’ve been making this summer, this one included, remind me a lot of Christine Ferber’s, in that they’re a little on the runny side when first made. They set up more, and thicken further once opened and chilled. I wanted to create a jam with a pure peach flavor, but feel free to experiment if you want to dress it up a bit. I can see vanilla bean, lemon thyme, mint, or a hint of cinnamon working very well.

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October 17, 2012

chai masala

Chai Masala 01

Chai Masala
Makes a scant 1 cup / 95 grams

1/4 cup / 26 grams ground cardamom
1/4 cup / 34 grams ground cinnamon
1/4 cup / 18 grams ground ginger
1 tablespoon / 9 grams ground cloves
1 whole nutmeg, freshly grated
1 tablespoon / 8 grams freshly ground black pepper

Add all of the ingredients to a small bowl. Whisk well to combine. Transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store in a cool dry place for up to two months. Shake well before using.

March 15, 2011

15-minute homemade granola bars

Finding a way to navigate life in these ever-changing times can be paralyzing. The advent of technology and explosion of 24/7 media means we have more information at our disposal than we can ever really hope to digest.

A simple trip to the supermarket requires the stealth research of a journalist, armed with credible sources.

But what is credible in this day and age, since news—be it in print, online or television is not objective? You know where someone stands immediately whether they watch Fox News or CNN, reads the New York Post or New York Times.

The best advice I can offer is to take a moment and consider the effect our collective purchasing power has on what makes it to supermarket shelves. Perhaps if we truly pondered the big picture—the world beyond our borders, the planet we are leaving to our children, then there would be only one real convenient way of eating.

I find my curiosity piqued as my eyes wander over the ingredients strewn across the conveyor belt just ahead of my own items. Is it fair to cast judgement based solely on one’s grocery purchases? I know deep down the answer is no. Food is a complicated ingredient in all of our lives. The decision of what to buy is often compromised by budget and time available.

I sometimes question if I’m over-thinking my own approach to feeding my family. Then as I peruse labels, I realize cooking from scratch is the only way I can peacefully co-exist with the planet.

This article from NPR’s Public Radio Kitchen is a glimpse of what is inherently wrong with today’s food system. Then I read this piece in the New York Time’s and it reminded me I’m not alone in my struggles with decisions when it comes to politics of the plate. I find myself raising many of the same questions as Yoon does in her article.

As those moments creep into my daily life, I stop myself and take a long, deep breath. Rather than feel overcome with helplessness, I retreat to the kitchen and go on with life the only way I know how.

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January 15, 2011

arugula salad + blood orange vinaigrette

It’s just about mid-January, and while I’m not exactly in a root vegetable rutt yet, I couldn’t help think about all the summer salads that are months away for us farmers’ market shoppers here in the northeast. I had no intention of even making a salad, but after spying some blood oranges at the little market I inhabit a few times a week, I soon found myself picking up some organic baby arugula too.

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