Memories and healthy recipes for your dinner table.

Tag: RECIPES – Snacks

Jen’s Basic Granola Reserve

Granola is a combination of grains (particularly oats), nuts, dried seeds and fruits seasoned with spices. It makes a terrific breakfast cereal with yogurt or milk. Take some along for a quick pick-me-up snack. Homemade granola is not like the hard clusters found in cereal boxes […]

Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe came about in two ways. First it was Sunday– dessert night. The one night of the week I make dessert. And we were completely out of eggs. The reason I went ahead and made a dessert rather than postponing until Monday night was […]

Biscuit 101- The History of…

In the South the term “biscuit” often refers to a light, fluffy, flaky, buttery bread usually served with breakfast. In England and other places around the world however, a biscuit is more like a hard scone or “cookie” served with tea or coffee.

The History:
The word “biscuit” derives from the Latin “panis biscoctus,” meaning “bread twice baked.” The history books tell us that the “biscuit” began as a simple paste of flour and water. The paste was baked, removed from the pan; then cooked again in a cooler oven until thoroughly dried out. The result was a hard, portable “cracker” with an extraordinary extended shelf life. “Biscuits” were very popular among the sailors and travelers because they were lite and could last for months.

Meanwhile, the more civilized areas of the world started exploring alternate baked goods. These ancient civilizations experimented with eggs, butter and cream; in addition to, sugar, fruits and honey as well as spices from the Middle East. The first shift from the unyielding biscuits were small cake like confections popular in Persia during the 7th Century AD. During the Medieval Ages the culinary techniques for making sweet and savory cake-like biscuits were introduced to the Europeans during the invasion of Muslims into Spain and the Crusades.

Biscuits World Wide:
Throughout the centuries biscuits have been called many things:
British- Ship’s Biscuit (Hardtack)
French- Gaufrettes wafers,
Jewish- Mandelbrot
South Africa- Rusk
German-Zwieback
Australian / New Zeland- ANZAC (War Biscuits), (Afghan biscuits were derived from the Australian ANZAC)
Dutch- Speculaas (ginger flavored type cookie)
Scotish- Shortbread
Italy- Biscotti
Russain / Ukraine- Tea Cakes
Egypt- millet bread called dhourra cake
Persia- cookies
Middle East- Barazek

In early America the pioneers favored the “soda biscuit” or as the Chuck Wagoners referred to them, “Cowboy biscuits”. Soda biscuits were usually cooked in iron dutch ovens.These were cast-iron pots with lids that could be used over an open fire. The biscuits were were rolled then placed in the pot. After the lid was set in place the cook would layer coals from fire on top of the lid. The heat created a small portable oven.

The “Marlyand”, “Beaten Biscuit” or “Appalachian biscuit” is thought to predate the leavened soda biscuit of the settlers. Before the 1900’s corn bread was a favored commodity in the Appalachian mountains. Corn bread was cheap to make as the corn was grown in abundance locally. The bread did not require a fancy oven or pans as did the “biscuits” eaten by those of society.

At the turn of the century the settlement movement placed women volunteers in low income areas in the South to help alleviate poverty. The Appalachians contaminated corn products or “musty corn” were thought to be the cause of pellagra. “A life-threatening disease similar in effect to leprosy.” Families were faced with a choice to eat the stores of corn and risk death or starve during the winter months. The women hoped to help the Appalachians adopt a healthier diet. They taught them cooking lessons introducing the wheat flour “Beaten Biscuit.” The beaten biscuit was not a realistic choice for the impoverished community. The biscuits required imported wheat flour in addition to a special oven to regulate temperatures; moreover, the biscuits needed to be beaten with a mallet on a marble slab 300-500 times to incorporate air into the dough.

Seeing the need for reform the Appalachains were taught how to make a simpler version called the “Cat Head”. It was basically a Southern buttermilk biscuit the size of a cat’s head. The dough was pinched off, then rolled into a ball, and placed with sides touching into an iron skillet. Today corn bread still remains the chosen bread for many in the Appalachian territory.

Other biscuits from the 1900’s include:
–The “Touch of Grace” or “Angel” biscuit. These are very light and similar to a yeast roll but still considered a biscuit. They were a fool-proof recipe for new brides because the recipe called for two leaveners in case one failed.
–The “Rolled” biscuit- dates back to the late 1800’s. The dough was rolled out then shaped with a cutter.
–The “Drop” biscuit– the dough is the consistency of a batter. The batter is dropped by spoonfuls rather than cut or pinched.
–“Refrigerator” biscuits – arrived in the 1930’s. They are tubes of prepackaged biscuit dough.

Other ways to eat biscuits:
Cream Cheese Biscuits with Chocolate Gravy
Peach Cobbler
Shortcakes
Chicken and Dumplings
Biscuits and Gravy
Scones
Cheddar and Herb

Cranberry Orange Baked Oatmeal To-Go Bars

Next to pancakes oatmeal is our second favorite breakfast food. What I love most about baked oatmeal however is it is portable. Wrap some up to take on a hike or make a batch for an afternoon snack. Reheat the leftovers for breakfast the next […]

Cheddar and Herb Biscuits

Growing up in the south biscuits were common whereas in California rolls or bread usually accompany a meal. We rarely serve bread with a meal. The exception would be if we are having soup or a dinner salad. Biscuits are a great choice because they […]

Pumpkin Walnut Bread

The week after Autumn Solstice the soccer league voted to cancel soccer practice because it was too hot. I wanted to make Vegan Pumpkin Walnut Bread but the grocery store did not carry cans of pureed pumpkin yet. While I was trying hang up a curtain the rod fell and smacked my forehead. I was behind on laundry. The house was a mess. I took the kids to the shoe store against my better judgment. Alexander would agree with me that it was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. The moral of the story? Stock up on cans of puree pumpkin. Then when you are having a bad day no matter what the season you can make Pumpkin Walnut Bread.

This recipe from Joy the Baker is by far our favorite. We love the crunchy walnuts and the wonderful fragrant spices. I have tried walnuts in a pumpkin roll before and was not impressed. Here they add a wonderful layer of texture it is almost like capping the bread with a nutty caramel topping.

This recipe for pumpkin walnut bread is Vegan in that there are no eggs. It makes a great snack for kids who have egg allergies. I would avoid the temptation to substitute applesauce for part of the oil because the recipe already has plenty of sugar from the syrup and sugars. You could reduce the oil slightly and replace some of the sugar with applesauce.

Source: Joy the Baker
–makes 2 loaves–
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour ( or whole wheat flour… or just use only all-purpose flour)
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree, or just under two cups
1 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup water
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a rack in the center of the oven. Grease and flour two loaf pans and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.

In a medium bowl, carefully whisk together pumpkin puree, oil, maple syrup and water.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and use a spatula to fold all of the ingredients together. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl well, finding any stray flour bits to mix in. Fold in most of the chopped walnuts, reserving some to sprinkle on top of the batter once in the pan.

Divide the dough between the two greased pans and sprinkle with a few walnut pieces. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven. Let rest in the pans for 20 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack.

Caramel Apple Brickle Dip

Caramel apple dip was once one of my favorite sweet guilty pleasures. It was all the rave in my circle of friends. If there was a baby shower, birthday party or get together you can bet caramel apple dip was on the table. I have […]

Family Campout Tips and Checklist

Photo: El Capitan, Yosemite National Park While I love living in our time period and the technology that we are blessed to have I feel it refreshing to escape the fast paced world of video games and internet to reconnect with nature. I feel like […]

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini

There are so many recipes for banana bread and zucchini bread it is enough to make the head spin trying to decided which one is going to turn out right. So I have a couple of recipes for you to try. One is a traditional zucchini bread with a hint of cinnamon. The other combines sweet potatoes with an assortment of spices.

Zucchini Sweet Potato Bread
Source: Bon Appetit Magazine, November 1992
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup grated zucchini
1 1/2 cup peeled and grated sweet potato
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan and set aside.

Sift the first 7 ingredients into a medium sized bowl. In a separate, large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Mix in the zucchini and sweet potato. Add the dry ingredients and stir just to combine. Fold in the nuts and cranberries and stir well.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Cool bread in pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Loosen the edges of the bread with a butter knife and turn out on a rack to cool completely. Can be prepared 1 day in advance. Wrap in foil and keep at room temperature.

Variations: By Joy the Baker
-The nutmeg and the cloves are optional.
-For less fat use 1/2 cup oil and 1/4 cup apple sauce in place of the 3/4 cup oil.
-Use 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup brown sugar.
-Replace the 2 cups flour with 1 cup all-purpose and 1 cup whole wheat flour.

Zucchini Bread
This is a nice version of zucchini bread with less sugar and half the oil.
Classic Zucchini Bread
Source: Coconut Lime
2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 and 1/2 medium sized)
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs, room temperature, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Stir flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large bowl.

Beat eggs separately and add sugar until fluffy. Fold egg mixture into dry ingredients. Add oil, shredded zucchini and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
Divide batter into two greased loaf pans. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on rack, then remove from pan and continue cooling on rack.

For muffins, bake for about 15-20 minutes.

Variations:
-Add 4 tsp cinnamon for a spicier flavor.
-Add 1 cup chopped walnuts for crunch.
-Half the oil and replace the 1/4 cup with applesauce.

Apple Tart Cake Recipe

I was finally able to salvage enough apples to make this apple tart cake. Fruit does not last very long around here. You know the saying, “If you have not used it in a year then toss it?” I can’t remember the last time I […]