Homemade Pop-Tarts

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It’s probably a good thing that some of the kids in my fourth grade class have never eaten a Pop-Tart. I mean they aren’t exactly healthy and more importantly they are actually kinda dry and bland. You can totally make them way better yourself.

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Sure there’s a certain nostalgia to buying that familiar box of shiny, foil-wrapped “tarts” that keep forever. We ate them every now and then growing up, though of course Mom often bought the low-fat unfrosted kind, in which case… what’s the point? That crispy, crunch of dried frosting is part of what makes the Pop-Tart so delicious, and when you’re talking about a pastry, (whether processed or homemade) reducing the fat is the last thing that you need. In pastries, butter equates to flakey, melt-in-your-mouth texture so you don’t want to skimp on that. But of course there was that period of time when everything was offered in a low-fat version because that’s what was supposedly better for us. Anyway, I’m not a dietician.

I remember also eating Pop-Tarts sometimes in college. There was an on campus convenience store called “Mom’s” that sold them in two-packs. Being a newly independent adult who was busy with homework and probably eating mostly unhealthy foods, (especially those that might have been restricted as a child) I probably bought a few too many Pop-Tarts from Mom’s. That and pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream…

I made Pop-Tarts with my fourth graders yesterday as part of a thing we do called, “Each One Teach One.” It’s basically an opportunity for kids to practice their presentation skills and teach the class about something that they love. As one of their teachers, I demonstrated mine yesterday by making Pop-Tarts. To save time we used store-bought pie dough. Then I did a demo of how to make homemade dough if you wanted to start from scratch.

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The purchased pie dough tarts were a grand success and I enjoyed the chance to share something I loved with the kids. Of course I ended up with the leftover dough I had showed them how to make so I decided to make it for myself at home… I didn’t get a picture of the ones made with the pie crust, but I can promise you they were not nearly as flakey as these guys. I mean check out those layers!

If you want to make it yourself, follow this recipe for homemade dough or this one for making it the easier (yet less tasty!) way. The first recipe uses a brown sugar cinnamon filling and the second uses a jam filling. I made both.

I had some extra dough leftover so I ended up making some C’s and S’s for fun. At first Sam thought the S was for him and asked, “Who’s the C for?” Ha!

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Warning! These are super rich and buttery and flakey! I made mine a little large and a sliver of one was plenty for me. These might make a super scrumptious dessert if left unfrosted (gasp!) and topped with ice cream.

Hope you go make some!

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Post 108 – Homemade Mac and Cheese… and what to do with the leftovers

Sunday macaroni and cheese was an unspoken tradition for my family growing up. We came home from church, hungry for lunch (despite the cookies we probably gobbled down at “coffee hour”) and looking for something quick and tasty. My mom cooked plenty of homemade meals when I was young, but for reasons unknown we always had the blue box Kraft Mac n’ Cheese instead of homemade. Perhaps Mom had grown up on it too. Perhaps she wanted something quick and easy. Perhaps her three daughters had tried homemade mac and cheese and turned their noses up at it. Who knows.

IMG_1311We loved it of course and made it pretty much every Sunday. It counted as the main meal, though now and then we’d mix in some cut-up hot dogs while our parents opted for the more adult mix of canned tuna mac.

At some point, however, I learned how to make the basic roux (flour and butter) that started any good bechamel sauce. Mom probably used it at some point to make nacho sauce or homemade mac and cheese, but in general, I remember the Kraft mac and cheese – the familiar blue box, the bright orange powder packet, the black pepper our neighbor and babysitter, Lee, always put on his.

IMG_1314As an adult I have tried making mac and cheese, but always to my disappointment. It’s hard to compare to that bright cheesy flavor and color that I remember from my childhood. The flavor always seems to miss the mark. I’ve made it at work with butternut squash mixed in (that obviously changes the flavor) and for the growing toddlers almost 5-year old twins I cook for who request it every time they see me (not because it’s particularly good, but because it’s a kid-approved favorite). Nonetheless I have yet to find a recipe I’m thrilled about. This one gets me much closer. I’m sure the kind of cheese you use makes all the difference.

IMG_1318In my Cookbook Challenge adventures for this week, I turned to a compilation of recipes from Lamar County in Georgia where my aunt and her family live. She has a love for cooking as I do and has given me several cookbooks throughout the years, including this one. Though I was tempted to make many of the student-submitted recipes for “a saled” with “curumbers” and “geshin” (dressing), I chose this mac and cheese recipe instead. I modified the recipe slightly, making more noodles for the amount of cheese sauce called for, and was very happy with the results. It has a slight mustard-y taste, which I don’t mind so much, but I tried to adjust for it in my version here. I also used my favorite brand of Dijon mustard – Maille – which is particularly pungent. Also, her recipe originally calls for extra sharp cheddar and I only used sharp cheddar. You choose which one you prefer.

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It certainly doesn’t have that bright orange color that Kraft does, but it made for some lip-licking mac and cheese.

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

adapted from A++ Recipes from Lamar County

1/2 lb. elbow pasta

1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk

1/3 cup chicken broth

1 T. butter

2.5 T. all-purpose flour

1/2-1 tsp. Dijon mustard

2.5 T. grated Parmesan

5 oz. shredded sharp cheddar

salt and pepper to taste

Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil. Add a hefty pinch of salt and the elbow noodles. Stir to break up the noodles and cook according to the package directions (5-7 minutes) until al dente. Drain the noodles and spread out on a cookie sheet or large dish to cool so they don’t stick together. In a microwave-safe measuring cup, heat the evaporated milk and chicken broth until hot and steaming, but not boiling (1-2 minutes in the microwave). Meanwhile in the same pot, melt the butter, add the flour and stir. Gradually whisk in the milk mixture, carefully breaking up any clumps if you can. At this point it may look very curdled and chunky, but as long as most of the lumps are out, it will be fine when the dish is finished.

Continue to whisk until the milk mixtures thickens a bit, 3 minutes or so. Whisk in the mustard and Parmesan. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheddar until melted. Add the cooled pasta, stir to incorporate and reheat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fresh fresh ground black pepper or garlic powder.

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WAIT WAIT WAIT! Don’t go away. This is a two-in-one deal. “What to do with the leftovers?” you say!

Leftover macaroni just doesn’t have the same creamy appeal as the fresh from the stove version, but that doesn’t mean you should let those leftovers go to waste in the fridge. If you’re feeling extra decadent, just waffle it.

What?

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That’s right, waffle it. (Waffle is now a verb). What could be better (and healthier -ha!) than breaded and waffle-fied mac and cheese? Daniel Shumski’s book Will it Waffle? fulfills all your waffle fantasies. I bought this book as an impulse buy at Brookline Booksmith. Shumski himself was there giving out waffled samples and promoting his book. Feeling bold I went over to talk with him (I’d seen the blog) and ended up buying the book (with the intention of giving it to someone for Christmas). My mac and cheese solidified magnificently, making it especially easy for breading. This recipe adds a great crunch and pizzazz to an otherwise stiff leftover dish.

Waffled Mac and Cheese

adapted from Will it Waffle?

Leftover Macaroni and Cheese (see above recipe)

2 eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup grated hard cheese such as Parmesan

salt and pepper to taste

non-stick cooking spray

Heat your waffle iron to medium if possible (mine only has on or off and it worked well).

Cut the macaroni into slices about 1/2 thick. If it is much thicker, it may not heat all the way through without burning your breading. Set up three shallow bowls – the first with the flour, the second with the eggs and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and the third with the breadcrumbs and Parmesan. If your breadcrumbs are plain you might consider adding a sprinkle of black pepper or garlic powder (as I did to my Panko crumbs).

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Now carefully dredge your macaroni slices, one at a time, in the flour, egg, and breadcrumbs. Put in the middle of a well-sprayed or greased preheated waffle iron. Close the lid and press down gently. Allow to cook for 3 minutes or until nicely browned. Carefully remove with a spatula and/or tongs and enjoy hot! Repeat with remaining macaroni slices.

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Bon appetit! Two more cookbooks checked off my list!

Post 86 – Summer Pasta Salad

Happy 4th of July! (Happy wedding month!) Happy summer!

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If you’re looking for a delicious potluck picnic dish this July 4th, here is a crowd-pleasing pasta salad recipe. I based the idea on a simple salad my mom used to make for us in the summer. She’d mix pasta, kielbasa, chunks of cheese, and fresh veggies and toss them in a light vinaigrette. It made a nice summer salad because all you had to do was cook the pasta and the rest was assembled cold. My version calls for roasting the vegetables and pan-searing the sausage, which adds an extra layer of flavor that is not to be missed, though these steps do add extra time and labor and if it’s too hot to run the oven you might be tempted to skip it. However, if you make a big batch of this, you only have to run the oven once and you have lunch for the whole week. Try it once. I promise it’s delicious.

To roast your veggies, simply chop them up into even pieces (not too small as they do shrink slightly when roasting). Coat lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast at 400 degrees on a parchment lined baking sheet. The key to good roasting is spreading them out so they don’t touch each other.

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Look at these beautiful roasted grape tomatoes!

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Pan-sear the sausage for extra flavor. First cut the links in half lengthwise and then into bite-size pieces. Sear in a hot un-greased skillet for a few minutes on each side.

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Basil chiffonade adds fresh summer flavor

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And then your pasta of course – I chose Tinyada rice noodles this time.

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Put it all together

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photo 3(29)Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and a splash of olive oil. Add your favorite cheese in cubes. Refrigerate until serving time!

 

Summer Pasta Salad

(as usual this recipe has been written by estimating as I tend to not measure these days…)

1 lb. pasta

1 large zucchini

1 large summer squash

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes

2-3 cloves fresh garlic, whole, unpeeled (optional)

2 T. fresh basil chiffonade

1 lb. kielbasa or Italian sausages, pre-cooked

balsamic vinegar

olive oil

1/4 pound cubed provolone or other cheese

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Half the tomatoes lengthwise and toss with a small amount of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to add a few whole cloves of garlic to roast with them as well if you like. Spread out on a parchment paper lined sheet pan and roast in the oven while you cut the squash.

Dice the zucchini and squash into bigger than bite-size cubes (they shrink as they roast) and toss with oil, salt, and pepper. Spread out on a parchment paper lined sheet pan and put in the oven with the tomatoes. Roast the tomatoes until they begin to shrivel and caramelize slightly, probably 25-35 minutes. Roast the squash until it browns slightly, turning the pieces and stirring them if desired for more even browning.

While the veggies are roasting, prepare your sausage. Slice in half lengthwise and cut into bite size pieces. Heat a large skillet on the stove over medium heat. When hot, add some of the sausages cut side down without any oil, (being sure not to crowd them) and cook for a few minutes before flipping to the other side to cook for a few minutes more. Remove the cooked pieces and cook the remaining sausages the same way. Let cool. Meanwhile cook the pasta according to package directions (I recommend in lightly salted water), drain, and rinse with cold water.

Pour the pasta into a large bowl and toss with a splash of balsamic vinegar (start with 1 tablespoon at a time) and a bigger splash of olive oil. Sprinkle with black pepper and your fresh basil chiffonade. Toss well to coat. When vegetables and sausage have cooled, carefully stir them into the pasta. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary by adding more vinegar, oil, salt, or pepper. Add the cheese cubes or keep them on the side until ready to serve. They will be fine if you mix them in now, though they do become a little softer.  Refrigerate or serve slightly warm as is.

Bon Appetit!

 

 

Post 70 – Reverse Hot Chocolate

I can picture the hills that we rode down on our sleds, my sisters and I. There was the one across the street in the neighbor’s yard that was short and sweet and easy to climb back up over and over, and the hill in Miamisburg whose descent landed you near a frozen pond and patch of trees.

photo 1(18)On snow days Mom would get the call around 5:00 am that school was closed and she’d call her chain of other teachers to share the news. We three girls were thrilled at the idea of a snow day not only for the sake of missing school, but for the joy of playing in the snow. We built snow couches and igloos and rolled around outside, our cold cheeks turning the color of blush as we rolled in the soft white powder.photo 2(15)

As part of any good snow day, we would come inside to warm up with a good cup of hot chocolate. Mom stirred the milk, sugar, and cocoa on the stove and ladled it into our cherry and raspberry-painted mugs. My mom doesn’t like marshmallows – I guess it’s the texture – so we rarely had them in our hot chocolate. I told myself I didn’t miss them. They always melted anyway.

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Aside from hot chocolate, my mom would often fix us another comforting, warm drink when we were little: vanilla milk. We would drink it at night to help us sleep, slurping from our green and blue plastic cups that once had sippy lids. For this simple treat, she warmed milk with a drizzle of honey, a dash of cinnamon, and splash of vanilla extract. Simple, sweet, and pure.

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I have been dying to make this recipe for Chocolate Marshmallows ever since I read The Sweet Life in Paris because who has ever had a chocolate marshmallow (?!). Since today was a snow day it seemed the perfect occasion to tackle this recipe. Inspired by my mom’s warm vanilla milk and these already chocolate-flavored marshmallows, I made a Reverse Hot Chocolate to comfort me on this snowy day. As the marshmallow melts into your warm vanilla milk, it becomes its own form of hot chocolate and the cinnamon gives it a wonderful upgrade. So I give you the Reverse Hot Chocolate. Now go earn it first by taking a long walk in the snowy wonderland. You’ll feel all the better for it!

photo(59)Cinnamon-dusted Vanilla Milk

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Chocolate Marshmallows

Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Sweet Life in Paris

3 egg whites

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup light corn syrup

1/3 cup + 6 T. cool water, divided

2 packets unflavored gelatin – 15 grams each (such as Knox)

6 T. cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy

pinch of salt

1/4 tsp. vanilla

powdered sugar, cornstarch or 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Now’s the time to put your mise en place to work. Measure out all of the ingredients. In a small bowl, measure out 6 tablespoons of water and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Let sit. In a medium heavy-bottomed pan melt corn syrup, sugar, and 1/3 cup of water over low to moderate heat. If you have a candy thermometer, attach that to your pan. If not, get a digital thermometer on hand.

In an electric mixer put your egg whites and a pinch of salt. Begin to beat the egg whites on low as you let you sugar mixture come up to temperature. You want the syrup to reach 250 degrees before removing it from the heat while the egg whites beat enough to begin to hold their shape. Once the syrup has reached 250 degrees, remove it from the heat and stir in the gelatin and water mixture until completely dissolved. Carefully whisk in the cocoa powder.

With your electric mixer on high, carefully pour your chocolate syrup mixture into the egg whites as it beats. Make sure to pour it closer to the side to avoid hitting the beater and whipping the mixture around. Continue to beat on high as your prepare your pan.

Dust an 8-inch square pan with a mixture of half cornstarch, half powdered sugar OR unsweetened shredded coconut (David Lebovitz’s recipe). Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl, adding your vanilla. Continue to beat until the mixture thickens slightly and the outside of the bowl no longer feels warm. (Do it longer than you think, because if you don’t your marshmallows will be wet on the bottom, like mine!) Carefully pour your chocolate mixture into your pan and dust with another layer of powdered sugar or coconut. Allow to dry uncovered at room temperature for at least 4 hours.

When dried, remove from the pan on to a cutting board and cut with a knife or scissors into squares, dusting with more powdered sugar or coconut as you go to dry out the sticky edges. Serve in your favorite form of vanilla or dark hot chocolate! Store in an airtight container.

For the Vanilla Milk, heat a mug of milk in the microwave or on low on the stove with vanilla, and honey. For about 1 cup of milk I would start with a teaspoon of honey and a 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Add more honey if you like it sweeter. Top with a dash of cinnamon and a few chocolate marshmallows.

Happy Snowing!

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Post 49 – Applesauce like Momma Makes It

This is starting to look familiar – a pile of fruit, a giant pot, and hours later a thick sauce of smooth, tart beauty. I’m getting good at this game. This time – it’s applesauce.

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My mom made applesauce when we were little.

No peeling – well except for that one year when we got out the hand-cranked apple peeler and whatchamacallit and had a go at it. We quickly abandoned that machine as you had to stop and fix it as often as you turned the crank.

Thanks to the food mill there’s no mashing and thanks to the flavorful apples, no unnecessary ingredients.

Love the colors!

Love the colors!

Apple cores

Apple cores

As a little girl, my family and I would go blueberry picking in the summer to stock the freezer with “beeble-berries,” as Momma called them. After the summer ended, we’d pull them out for blueberry pancakes, blueberry sauce for pancakes, or our favorite semi-dessert: a personal bowl of frozen blueberries sprinkled with sugar and doused in milk. After a few minutes of sitting, it became like blueberry ice cream as the sugar and milk froze in the crevices between the berries. It wasn’t exactly dessert, but it kept me fooled for a while.

In the fall there were apples. I don’t remember many apple picking outings with my family, but we must have gone once or twice or bought bags at the store. However we acquired our apples, Mom would make gallons of applesauce and, just the same as the blueberries, put some in the freezer for later. You knew it was homemade from its rose-colored tint, dyed from leaving the red skins on as it cooked. Then when it was done, we ground it through the food mill so it came out smooth and pure and apple-skinless.

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So I made applesauce this weekend, just like Momma made it. I cut up my apples, skins on, and simmered them on the stove until they melted and perfumed the apartment with the glorious smell of autumn’s coziest scent. The apples cooked down to half the height of the pot, but we still ended up with a giant bowl of applesauce. No fear – Sam the applesauce-eating maniac is here to eat it up in no time (and consequently I won’t have any to freeze like Mom did).

 

Speaking of Sam, he has taken to making me dinner a few nights a week now that I started cooking for this family (more on that later). This past week he made a wonderful Moroccan Chicken and the week before that a tofu stir-fry! It’s hard giving up my kitchen sometimes, but I love when he cooks for me! Below is a picture of the Moroccan chicken with butternut squash, dried apricots, and wild rice.

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Homemade Applesauce

There is no real recipe for this. I take some apples, core them, and slice them about ¼ inch thick. I put them in a big stockpot and add enough water to cover the bottom by an inch or two (depending how thick you like it). I bring it to a boil and then turn it down to simmer with a lid on until the apples are falling apart, stirring often near the beginning to be sure all the apples are getting an even amount of heat. Add sugar if you like (I didn’t) or cinnamon (either during the cooking or at the end).

When soft, run it through a food mill and let cool.

The food mill

The food mill

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The apple skins that remain

The apple skins that remain

If you don’t have a food mill, you can peel the apples ahead of time and use an immersion blender or food processor, being sure to puree in small batches. Freeze in gallon size freezer bags or enjoy right away. Be sure to try a bite when it’s warm – it’s delicious!

 

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Oh and if you’re wondering how many apples we have left from our original 35 ish pounds, here it is. I weighed them.

Apple count – About 12 lbs.

Happy Fall!

Post 21 – Banana Bread Mode

I have been in automatic mode lately. In a bad way. I come home from work and automatically stuff food in my mouth as if it’s something I haven’t already been doing all day (that’s what you get when you work in a kitchen). I respond to what I perceive as dumb questions with automated sarcasm. “No, this chicken isn’t what we’re having for lunch.” Really? Are you really asking me that?

When they respond with a hurt look, I realize I should think before I speak. Do you ever feel like you are not in control of yourself because you are in automatic mode?

No excuses.

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In my case I am on auto-mode mostly when it comes to my food and work habits. At work I’m getting especially lazy. As the school year draws to a close, most of the kids have checked out and so have I, knowing that only a few days remain until summer. Ah summer. The word feels like magic to those mentally still in kid mode (like me!) – summer means freedom from work and responsibility, sidewalk chalk, walking on stilts, fireflies (though alas now I work in the summers). This is not good for my work ethic.

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When it comes to my eating habits, I also fall into automatic mode. I get up and eat the same breakfast (homemade granola with yogurt, fruit, and nuts), snack on random food at school (without thinking about it), go home and snack some more and make dinner when the clock says so. I am in such a rut. Things need to chaaaaaange. (Insert cool time machine sound effects)

Erin Eating Everything!

Erin Eating Everything!

 

We bought a few too many bananas earlier this week, and by mid-week a few had blossoming brown spots sprouting on their yellow skins. The sight of these banana freckles immediately started my culinary wheels a-turning, as I tried to decide what these precious fruits could become: the classic banana bread, banana “soft serve,” or bananas foster?

 

Lewis, the cat, helping out

Lewis, the cat, helping out

In the spirit of operating outside of auto-mode, I opted for something different. I came across a chocolate bar that has been sitting purposeless in my pantry a few too many weeks and decided to put it to work. I melted it into smoothness on the stove and I dunked the banana chunk in it, sprinkling them with cocoa nibs and putting the whole mess in the freezer.

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Now that the beauties are made and sitting in the freezer, I have reverted back to automatic mode: open the freezer and look for a treat. At least this time it’s a different treat.

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(Note to self: Next time don’t forget to put the bananas on parchment paper because otherwise the chocolate bottom layer gets stuck to the ceramic plate! Also, this recipe probably works best with firmer bananas.)

 

Homemade granola - for dipping in the leftover melted chocolate. Mmmm

Homemade granola – for dipping in the leftover melted chocolate. Mmmm

If you’re feeling in a rut, try doing something new for a change – a new workout, a new recipe, some self-discipline (I’m talking to you, me!) You might just find you end up with the life equivalent of chocolate-covered bananas instead of banana bread (what does that even mean?)

I mean, they say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade, but when life gives you bananas… make whatever the heck you want!

Happy Friday 🙂

Post 14 – English Muffins (and other childhood dislikes)

Lately I’ve been reminiscing about my life as a kid. I think it has something to do with being on a school schedule and seeing kids daily at work (I work at a school so it’s a given). Of course reminiscing is all about remembering everything in the sunniest of light, the most perfect way possible. I want after school snacks and easy homework. I want play dates and adult supervision.

I remember some of my favorite kid foods. Though I can still replicate many of them, the effect is not necessarily the same. Kraft macaroni and cheese does NOT taste as good as it always did on Sundays after church. Taste buds change and memory forever keeps the flavors as perfect in my child mind.

When I packed my lunch, I used to put cheddar cheese in a tortilla, microwave it in the morning, and take it to school, the cheese a solid blob by the time I ate it. My mom used to make us peanut butter “balls” for a snack – they were gooey and sweet and delicious – globes of peanut butter, honey, oats, and chocolate chips or raisins. Sometimes we’d pack them in bags and they’d get smushed a little, but they still tasted good (I have since tried making those and boy are they good!) Then there were the foods I disliked – chunky tomatoes in spaghetti sauce, tuna in my mac and cheese (my parents looooved it), and English muffins. For some reason I remember not liking English muffins. (Weird, right? It’s just different shaped bread). I didn’t like the dips and holes in them, I didn’t like how hard it was to spread jam right across the surface, and I didn’t like the slight sourdough tang. My dad liked to toast his and eat it with apricot jam.

Needless to say I’ve grown up since then. I still don’t like canned tuna and I prefer my tomato sauce not too chunky, but I have been recently reacquainted with the craggy breakfast bread and have grown to like it. I recently bought a pack at the store, but when I failed to eat it all before they molded, I decided that I could easily make my own. Now if I ever want English muffins, I can have them in a pinch (well maybe a big pinch). It is these kinds of recipes that are especially useful on days like this past Friday where all of Boston was on lockdown and I was going antsy stir-crazy… So I made English muffins – twice actually – because they were that good and that easy. Naturally I ate my first one spread thick with apricot jam.

English muffins are basically a stove-top yeasted biscuit, which makes them great in the summer if you don’t want to turn on your oven or great in a pinch because they don’t have to rise that long (the first recipe I found they only need a 30 minute rise. Granted this recipe takes longer. For a recipe with a shorter rise, check out Alton Brown’s).

Start with some warm milk and sugar, melted shortening, water and yeast, and whole wheat flour. Combine and add all-purpose flour and salt. Dump into a greased bowl and let rise for two hours.

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I love my Kitchenaid mixer!

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Punch down and roll out into a thick slab. The recipe I followed said to cut out circles with a biscuit cutter, but I’d rather not re-roll scraps so I opted for non-traditional square muffins by cutting the slab into 16.

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Let these babies rise on a cornmeal covered sheet pan.

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When ready to cook, heat a skillet or two (or a grill pan) and cook each muffin until lightly browned – 5 to 10 minutes per side.

Look at how risen they are!

Look at how they rose!

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Cool and enjoy with our favorite jam or make into your own “McMuffin” sandwich.

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I enjoy mine with turkey, cheddar, apricot jam, and Dijon mustard!

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Homemade Whole Wheat English Muffins

Adapted from The Sweets Life

Ingredients:

1 cup milk

2 tbsp. granulated sugar

1 package (2+1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast

1 cup warm water (90-110 degrees F)

1/4 cup melted shortening

3 cups whole-wheat flour

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp. Kosher salt

1. Heat milk in a small saucepan until warm. Remove from heat, add sugar, and stir until dissolved. Allow to cool to lukewarm.

2. Meanwhile, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand for 10 minutes.

3. Combine milk, yeast mixture, shortening, and 3 cups flour in a mixing bowl. Beat with dough hook until smooth. Add remaining 2 cups flour and salt, beating until dough comes together. Knead for 2 minutes before placing dough in a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise for 2 hours.

4. Punch dough down. Roll out on a floured surface to 1/2-inch thick. With a sharp knife, cut into even squares or cut rounds with a biscuit cutter. Place on sheet pans sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and allow to rise for 30 minutes to an hour.

5. Heat ungreased griddle or skillet over medium heat and cook muffins 5-10 minutes a side (just until lightly browned). Flip and brown the other side. Cool on wire rack.