Loaves & Dishes
By Jennie Geisler Erie Times-News staff blogger
Follow Jennie Geisler's kitchen adventures on her Loaves & Dishes blog.   Read more about this blog.
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Archive for August, 2012
Posted: August 31st, 2012

This dish from Epicurious needs to get in my belly.


It’s tomato canning weekend at my house, at long last. It’s the first weekend we’ve had free in what seems like months, and the tomatoes are practically crawling into the kitchen on their own. It’s time to buckle down.
After all the jars of diced tomatoes and salsa are done, though, I’m hoping to have fun Monday making a big picnic for 5. Which means I’ll cook for 12. Leftovers, you know.
Penne with Tomato Pesto and Smoked Mozzarella will be on the menu. It calls for sun-dried tomatoes. I’m going to fake those with a simple recipe from SparkPeople for oven-roasted ones..
Yeah, It seems like a lot of work, and I might not actually get to it. But the fact is I can. That’s the cool part.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 30th, 2012

Me eat dry-rub spareribs soon. Me find on Epicurious.com.

I almost licked my screen a moment ago. That’s where there was a picture of Grilled Peppered Dry Spareribs from Epicurious. For some reason, the image of intensely seasoned grilled meat grabbed my inner carnivore and shook it awake, throwing off my over-vegetable-ized stupor. There’s only so much tomato and basil I can eat, apparently, before my mind screams “ANIMAL FLESH!!!!”
I don’t want anything between me and this meat. No sticky sweet sauce, glaze, marinade, nothing.
Just a crust of roasted gritty salt and spice. And meat.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 29th, 2012

This book could change the lives of gluten- and dairy-free dieters.

Thanks to everyone who entered the book drawings this week.
“Wild Sugar” goes to Linda Sipple, and “Homemade Ice Cream” goes to Janis Millu. I’ll pop them in the mail today.

This week’s book didn’t have much of a title, “Culinary Creativity: Let Your Restrictions Set You Free: Breakfast to Dessert Over 110 Gluten-free, Dairy-free Recipes,” but after thumbing through it, I thought some of the recipes seem pretty good and simple enough to try. While some of the ingredients, such as arrowroot and hemp milk, might seem unusual, but I have no doubt you can find most of them at the Whole Foods Co-op or natural foods sections of supermarkets. Bulk foods stores might also stock them.

The book is available at www.dawnallet.netand will be available on Amazon Sept. 1.

If you want the book, send an e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com including your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS and the NAME OF THE BOOK you want.

Here’s a good looking recipe:

FALAFELS (book spelling) WITH HUMMUS SAUCE
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 large onion, finely chopped (2 cups)
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup rice flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon water
SAUCE
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 lemon juiced
2 tablespoons raw tahini
1 clove garlic, minced
Water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and prepare 2 baking sheets with oil.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine half the onion and half the parsley. In a food processor, combine the remaining parsley, remaining onion, chickpeas, garlic, coriander, cumin, rice flour, salt, pepper, oil, and the water, and then pulse until slightly chunky. Scoop the contents of the food processor into the mixing bowl and stir.
3. Form the falafel mix into ping-pong-sized balls; set on the baking sheet and then flatten slightly. If the balls are falling apart when being formed, add a touch of water.
4. Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, flipping after 10 or 15 minutes, until golden on both sides.
5. Meanwhile, for the sauce, combine the chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini and garlic in a food processor. Add 1/4 cup water and puree until very smooth. Add more water as needed until sauce is thick but pourable.
6. Transfer to a small saucepan and heat on low. Cooking the sauce is not necessary, but it is nice to serve a warm sauce with the falafels. Add salt and pepper to taste, and add a bit more water if needed.
Serve with shredded lettuce and Chapatis.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 22nd, 2012

Sorry I was out last week, especially to book-drawing devotees. I went on vacation and some of you were none too happy about it.
As penance, I’ll give away two books in this week’s drawing. This is also related to the fact that I’m DROWNING in dessert books. My desk is in a sugar coma.
Anyway, the winner of the Aug. 8 drawing, for “Hello Cupcake!” by Leila Lindholm, is Teresa Chatman. I’ll pop it in the mail today.
Next week, you can enter for two books:

“The Ultimate Guide to Homemade Ice Cream: Over 300 Gelatos, Sorbets, Cakes and More,” by Jan Hedh and photographed by Klas Andersson

and

“Wild Sugar Desserts,” by Skye Craig and Lyndel Miller.

They’re both gorgeous and creative, the only caveat being that they’re kind of fancy, where most of the recipes call for some crazy ingredient or technique. They’re mostly eye candy to me, but if I got a wild hair, a really wild hair, I’d probably try one of the simpler recipes and sub in more common ingredients, such as

ROASTED PEACHES WITH ORANGE BLOSSOM YOGHURT
(You can already tell this cook is European by the spelling. She also lists measurements in metric weight, as well as American weights and volume. I’ll use the numbers that make the most sense to us.)
Butter, for greasing
8 3/4 ounces plain, unsweetened yoghurt
2 tablespoons honey
1/8 teaspoon orange blossom water, optional
4 peaches, halved and deseeded
1 tablespoon raw sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla paste
(You can make this yourself, but it looks kind of complicated. If I make it, I’ll use 1 teaspoon vanilla)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a roasting pan or cake tin with butter. Combine the yogurt, honey and orange blossom water and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, toss peaches in sugar and vanilla paste and place in the baking tray. Bake for 25 minutes.
Serve with the yoghurt, whipped
Serves 4
– adapted from “Wild Sugar Desserts,” by Skye Craig and Lyndel Miller

To enter the drawing, send an e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com including your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS and NAME OF THE BOOK YOU WANT. Yes, you can enter for both books, but it would be helpful if you send separate e-mails.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 21st, 2012

Black beans, mixed with seasonings and rice, offer a cheap route from hungry to happy.

On our recent vacation with John’s immediate family, we cooked most of our meals in the kitchen of his parents’ timeshare. One night, though, we went out to a “Brazilian” restaurant, where servers brought roasted meat on skewers and sliced it onto our plates.
The meat choices seemed endless, and most were delicious, but first they let us fill up on cheaper salad bar fare. One of the offerings was black bean sauce you could pour over rice. It was so good, I could have just eaten a plate of that.
Both John and I came home craving more, so I tried a recipe for Black Beans and Rice out of “Joy of Cooking.” It was good, but this recipe looks better — even without skewers of roast meat wandering around waiting to be had.

BLACK BEANS AND RICE
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 onions, minced
2 green bell peppers, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 red bell peppers, diced
4 cups hot cooked rice
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 cups shredded cheese (Monterey Jack, sharp cheddar, or a combination)
Hot sauce

1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onions, green peppers, and garlic and saute for 3 minutes. Add the black beans and oregano. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
2. Add the balsamic vinegar and remove from the heat. Stir in the red peppers.
3. To serve, place the rice in individual serving bowls and spoon the beans on top. Offer the tomatoes, cheese, and hot sauce on the side.
Serves 4 to 6
www.recipedujour.com

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 20th, 2012

This recipe looks promising as a way to hide vegetables and protein from my kid. From www.cookcleancraft.com.

As the school year approaches, I’m somehow feeling compelled to become Serious Conscientious Mom, rather than Whatever It’s Summer Mom.
First and foremost, I’m starting to get worried about my son’s diet. He loves fruit and chicken, fat-free baloney and eggs, yes.
But he also likes Ramen noodles (had at a friend’s house), Fiber One bars (my fault), Lunchables (school chum), Chef Boyardee (friend’s house) and french fries (everywhere).
And have you ever noticed that the only thing restaurants have on their kids’ menu is chicken tenders? Served with fries? He hates burgers and can’t have milk products, so anytime we go out, he wants chicken tenders. He’s actually grown tired of them himself, it seems, preferring to eat the fries, drink his juice and ask for a snack later.
Sigh.
This child is by no means in danger of becoming obese. You can see his ribs when he moves. He looks like he’s standing on broomsticks.
Now, I refuse to force him to clean his plate. In my mind, the amount I give him on said plate is arbitrary. I have no idea how hungry he is. If he wants to push the plate away after eating half of it, that’s fine.
I do usually insist on half, withholding his beloved fruit and “treat” until he’s ingested some form of protein.
But I’d really like him to expand his horizons, so I’m looking for ideas.
This one for Pizza Rolls looks like a great way to hide stuff like small diced vegetables, tomato sauce and meat. I’ll just leave out the cheese. Maybe it will look like fun to him.
Which would be fun for me.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 10th, 2012

Doesn't this make you want to run screaming into the kitchen? OK, maybe that's just me.

Those first precious red globes of summer are making their ways from backyard vines onto kitchen cutting boards.
For those not fortunate enough to have their own, local growers are more than happy to serve them up at local stands and supermarkets.
Wegmans is celebrating them in a big way today and Saturday, offering up locally grown maters as well as free tastings of many dishes that contain them, including
caprese salad, heirloom tomato salad, tomato bruschetta, tomato and hummus naan pizza, roasted tomato basil soup and a European baguette with prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, sliced plum tomatoes and lettuce with a pesto mayonnaise.
The meat department will offer a BLT sandwich with beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes and Wegmans applewood-smoked bacon.
Get your fill today from 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, visit Tomato Harvest event at Wegmans.
Here’s Wegmans recipe for the Tomato Hummus Naan Pizza.
P.S. Wegmans will also be serving cake tomorrow at noon, celebrating the Olympic athletes.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 8th, 2012

I’ve been getting some really over-the-top cookbooks lately. I thought Vegan a La Mode about vegan ice “cream” (this week’s drawing) was a little out there, but this week’s book, “Hello Cupcake!” by Leila Lindholm is even more exotic.
All the recipes list ingredients in weights (ounces), rather than volume (cups). This is the best way to ensure consistency between your finished product today vs. your finished product a year from now, and it’s how professional bakers, British and Europeans cook. Most Americans don’t want to be bothered with a scale, though. Well, you’ll need to get one, or pull yours out of storage to make the most of the recipes in this tome.
I will admit that these recipes and pictures do, in any case, look luscious, and if I were independently wealthy and could hang around in my kitchen all day, it would be fun to play with them. Could even serve as a rainy Saturday project for, well, OK never.
If you want a chance at greatness however, throw your name in the hat, by sending an e-mail containing your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS and the NAME OF THE BOOK you want to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com.

Last week’s winner, of “Vegan a la Mode” is Teresa Chatman. I’ll pop it in the mail today.
For a taste of the cupcake book, I’ll add one of the more pedestrian recipes in Linholm’s book, modified to include only the American measurements.
STRAWBERRY CUPCAKES
2 eggs
5 ounces sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 ounces butter
2 1/2 ounces milk
9 ounces all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
Grated peel and juice from 1 lemon
10 1/2 ounces fresh strawberries

1. Turn the oven to 345 degrees.
2. Whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla until white and really fluffy.
3. Melt the butter and add the milk; then mix it into the eggs.
4. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt, and carefully fold it into the egg mixture.
5. Mix in the grated peel and lemon juice.
6. Slice the strawberries and carefully fold them into the batter.
7. Set out paper cups in a muffin tin and fill the cups until 2/3 full with the mixture.
8. Bake them in the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes. Leave them to cool.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
2 ounces softened butter
17 1/2 ounces confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 1/2 ounces cream cheese
Fresh strawberries for garnish

1. Whip the butter, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and cream cheese until creamy.
2. Spread the frosting on the cupcakes.
3. Garnish with strawberries.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 7th, 2012

Thanks, Martha Stewart. Now I'm hungry.

Roasted tomatoes in any form are welcome in my gullet anytime.
Add goat cheese, sour cream and mustard, and I start start gazing off into space, distracted and oblivious.
I suppose there are some who would say I’m like that all the time, but they’d be wrong. It’s more like half the time: the half that I spend looking at delicious-looking recipes like this one.
Tomatoes are starting to come on in my garden. I’ve gotten about six smallish ones, and there are dozens and dozens of green ones.
I’ll be out of town for a week here pretty soon, and I’m worried I’ll miss a huge chunk of the harvest. Whatever I get, though, will find its way onto the puff pastry in this recipe. A combined spread of sour cream and dijon mustard, as well as goat cheese and herbs all promise layers and layers of flavor.
Last summer, I wrote about TOMATO COBBLER and it was my favorite Loaves & Dishes recipe of the year.
TOMATO AND GOAT CHEESE TART promises to be just as good.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 2nd, 2012

Melon Panzanella from Huffington Post struck my fancy.

Sorry if Melon Panzanella seems a little out of left field. I don’t want anyone wrinkling their nose, but I think this is so creative, I want to try it myself, which is my most important criteria.
The only caveat is that the only way this salad will work is with one of those tender, sweet, succulent honeydews. Without a good melon, it will really fall down and just taste like ham and arugula. Not horrible, but definitely less intriguing.
The recipe comes from Huffington Post, and in the introduction to the slide show offers a few tips on judging the ripeness of canteloupe and honeydew:

  1. “A ripe cantaloupe will be have an orange blush and a ripe honeydew will be yellowish.” (I would also add that a canteloupe’s skin should be pale color that also matches the raised netting. If the skin is dark green between the netting, it was picked too soon.)
  2. “Press the stem end”: If it gives a little, it’s ripe.
  3. Follow your nose: A ripe melon will smell really good.
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