When I was a kid we had a children’s cookbook filled with recipes designed for grade schoolers. I can picture the book exactly: yellow cover, line drawings and a red plastic spiral binding. As vivid as that image is, I can remember only one recipe we made from that book. I can’t actually be certain that it wasn’t the only one we tried, but I recall the taste perfectly. Essentially they were no-bake peanut butter balls, in which peanut butter and honey held O-shaped oat cereal together (okay, fine, I’ll say it: Cheerios). We used a health food brand called Oatios (which I just confirmed still exists and is sold through Amazon, what a trip!), so my sister and I dubbed these Oatio balls. The recipe also called for powdered milk, which I assume was mainly for the nutritional boost.
I had several reasons for recalling these recently and attempting to make them with my son (who is nearly 3). Continue reading Big O’s peanut butter snacks
I’m back. Sorry for the hiatus. There were colds, holidays, travel, life, yada, yada, yada. Anyway, I’m back, and I have lots of ideas for new posts. Today’s is about oranges. And baked deliciousness.
This time of year my mind turns to citrus. There’s something magical about the sunshine a Florida orange or Texas grapefruit represents on your breakfast plate when the weather in your neck of the woods is dark and dreary.
Growing up in New England, we relished such treats from faraway lands. When I was young, my great-grandfather wintered in Florida and every year he’d ship a box of grapefruits to us. I can still picture where the case sat on the bench in our mudroom, just off the kitchen. My mother would ration them, reminding us each time she prepared one for us (all those little cuts being a true act of love, wouldn’t you say?), that this was a treat to have them shipped to us. I can’t explain why that makes them superior to those that had been shipped to the grocery store, but I still (perhaps irrationally) agree.
Alas, this is not a recipe inspired by exotic treats shipped from distant groves by a loved one. No, it’s an updated version of a family favorite, busted out to use up our sadly sour oranges.
Allow me to share a bit of background. Continue reading Cranberry-orange bread, or What to make when life gives you sour oranges
After a major food-focused holiday sometimes I like to eat a bit lighter for a spell, trying to focus on the veggies and lean proteins that may have been conspicuously absent from my carb and gravy laden plate. Eggs nestled in sautéed greens is one such recipe. Perfect for restoring order to your body while still fueling you through the morning.
And I don’t know about you, but I feel mighty accomplished if I’ve eaten dark leafy greens before noon. It leaves me with one less thing to worry about over the course of the day. Like exercising first thing in the morning. You get to feel healthy and righteous all day long, never worrying you might not get around to it later. But this is easier and yummier than working out. Continue reading Green eggs, no ham: A post-holiday restorative breakfast
My mother has always said that the Canadians have it right: Thanksgiving should be in October. The harvest is so much more bountiful a month earlier than American Thanksgiving. However, there are some great vegetables that are in season this time of year. In our area, that includes many varieties of winter squash, carrots, kale, chard, and beets.
While beets haven’t featured often in our Thanksgiving line up of side dishes, there’s no good reason for that. Except perhaps that we have them with dinner regularly. If you do too, consider preparing them a different way for Thanksgiving (check out the three options below). If you don’t make beets, give them a try. My husband swore he hated them until about 3 years ago, when a good preparation won him over. I’m still working on our son, but he will eventually join us on the bright side, too.
I love beets for their distinctive taste, nutritional value, and flexible preparation. Allow me to elaborate. Continue reading Thanksgiving side dish: Beet salad three ways
We eat a lot of oatmeal around here. Rolled and steel-cut. Simmered and microwaved. Baked in muffin tins and in slabs. So when I came across a recipe for pumpkin oatmeal, you knew I had to try it. (It is pumpkin season here at Economist at Home, after all!) The prep for this version is quick and easy, but it requires a long lead time – 24 hours to soak the oats before cooking and 40 minutes to bake before serving.
So, pick a day you could realistically pop this in the oven 40 minutes before breakfast and not have your whole day thrown off (a weekend perhaps?). Working backwards, set aside 5 minutes two nights prior to your baking day to soak the oats and another 10 minutes the next night to mix in the other ingredients. Continue reading Make-ahead breakfast: Pumpkin pie baked oatmeal
Here we go. Pumpkin recipe number two. This one uses up, or perhaps annoyingly leaves you with, half a can of pumpkin puree. Never fear. There are more pumpkin recipes coming that will give you additional excuses for opening another can, or using up what’s left from making these smoothies.
This recipe uses traditional pumpkin pie spices, but is a bit tart. If you’d like, add extra maple syrup to make it sweeter. Either way, the earthy pumpkin and tangy yogurt will come through. Sweet, sour, earthy and spicy. Delicious.
Time: 5 minutes
Yield: ~4 cups
2c plain yogurt (or vanilla, omitting the vanilla and maple syrup)
1c pumpkin puree
1-2T maple syrup
½ t ground ginger
½ t ground cloves
½ t ground nutmeg
1-2T coconut oil (optional)
Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!
Do you have a favorite way of using up half-cans of pumpkin? We’d love to know. Share your ideas in a comment below.
Are you ready for the onslaught of pumpkin recipes??? Now that zucchini season is winding down my thoughts turn to pumpkins, squash and apples. I haven’t made it out to the orchards for apple picking just yet, so pumpkin it is!
I found some beautiful heirloom varieties at the farmer’s market, which I’ll use to make a simple dessert (perhaps a custard?) in which the pumpkin really sings. And, my grocery store ran a sale on organic canned pumpkin last week so I stocked up to use in recipes where the taste of pumpkin (and possibly tin) is more muted. Think muffins, bread, and pancakes.
The first in that series is pumpkin pancakes. Continue reading Lazy weekend breakfast for autumn: Pumpkin pancakes
I love a hot breakfast. During the week we rely on homemade muffins and oatcakes stashed in the freezer, and oatmeal cooked on the stovetop or in the slow cooker (the recipes for which I will eventually post). But on the weekends I like to make something that I wouldn’t have time to do during the week. Something that has us lingering around the table in our pajamas and feeling the sheer joy of a leisurely Saturday morning. Continue reading Maple-lime yogurt sauce
I had in my mind that I didn’t like minestrone. I probably got that idea from the numerous cans of it I’ve eaten over the years, with their suspicious cubed carrots and potatoes. All the chunks have the same texture, except the beans, which are mealy. And the taste of tin pervades each bite. Restaurant soup, with few exceptions, isn’t much better. It tastes like nothing more than tomato, holds no surprises, and is still a bit tinny. So I was convinced minestrone itself was deeply flawed.
Folks, I was wrong. (See, honey, I can admit it.) Continue reading Stone soup. Not really, it’s Minestrone.
Recently I inherited a package of pre-cooked lentils when my sister left for a business trip. I’m not sure if she thought they’d expire while she was away (they wouldn’t have) or was just taking pity on my family while we conducted a $200/month grocery experiment (read all about it next week!). Either way, I gratefully accepted them, and then privately scoffed the frivolity of her purchase. Lentils are so easy and inexpensive to prepare. Plus, our mom’s lentil salad is one of my sister’s favorites, and I promise you that recipe does not start with pre-cooked lentils. What could she have been thinking?
I couldn’t imagine buying those little vacuum-sealed packs. However, they were delicious. They had been simmered with a variety of herbs that gave them a lovely flavor. But most importantly they were a wonderful variety (French, I think). Small, firm, black. Like vegan caviar. Okay, maybe that’s a stretch. But still, they were great. A little balsamic vinegar and olive oil really made them sing. The only sour note (aside from my ugly moment of judginess) Continue reading Lentil soup