The Dumpling Diary

Dis cooking so you cooking too.

Buttermilk Buckwheat Pancakes with Maple-Lime Blueberry Syrup August 22, 2011

Filed under: Breads,Breakfast — Meg @ 10:10 am

1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup white flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Mix all dry ingredients well, then add wet, and stir until moistened, mixture will still be lumpish. Ladle a small amount into skillet, frying in butter over medium-high heat until bubbles appear, then flip and cook till browned. Transfer to a plate.

To make the syrup, combine:

1 1/2 cups blueberries
1/4 cup water
6 Tbsp maple syrup (the good stuff)
2 tsp lime zest, 1 Tbsp juice

Let it bubble away for a few minutes, then mix 1 Tbsp of cornstarch with 1 Tbsp water, stirring until no lumps are present. Add to bubbly hot blueberry mess, and stir, letting it thicken. Take off the heat, pour it all over dem pancoo, and enjoy, whilst feeling super-duper Canadian!

The process:

 

Cranbaby-Cashew Zucchini Loaf

Filed under: Breads,Breakfast,Desserts — Meg @ 10:04 am

Lubob gave me a thwack of zucchini and peppers, so I made this. Sans shishito peppers.

2 eggs
1 cup sugar (white or brown, who cares)
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cimmanon
1 tsp vanilly
1 1/4 cup grated zucchini
1/4 cup of chopped, toasted cashews
1/3 cup dried cranbabies

Preheat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, add sugar and oil and mix well. In another, larger bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Stir cranberries and cashews (it’s nice to leave a little handful of those to sprinkle on top though), so they won’t float to the top only when baking. Stir zucchini into wet ingredients, then add all wet ingredients to dry. Mix until just moistened. Pour into a greased loaf pan, bake for around 60 minutes, or until springs back, or tests clean with a toothpick!

 

Maple Granolies with Lots of Goodies

Filed under: Breakfast,Desserts,Uncategorized — Meg @ 9:59 am

4 cups oats (not instant!)
1 cup oat bran flakes
1 cup coconut (shredded is nice)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/3 cup walnut pieces
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup maple syrup (the real stuff!)
1/2 Tbsp milk
little pinch o’salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large (LARGE!!!) bowl, or a roasting pan works well, mix ingredients from oats down to nutmeg. Place butter, maple syrup, milk and salt in a small saucepan, and stir to combine over low heat, until homogeneous. Pour evenly over oat mixture, stir very well, but don’t break it up too much (clusterfuck granolie is what you want). If you’re using a roasting pan, just keep it in there. Otherwise, place on a large baking sheet with edges. Place in oven, for 20-30 minutes, stirring about every 10. Be careful for scorching, this recipe is fast and wonderful, you just have to pay attention!

Fall in love with a bearded man, start wearing sandals all year round, and enjoy a bowl with some yogourt and Jerry Garcia.

 

It’s not oatmeal! It’s Cranberry-Oatmeal Muffins! April 3, 2011

These taste great! …but you won’t like them.
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Look at me, ripping off Oatmeal Crisp commercials. Like a boss.
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Okay, all of that riffa-raffa (?!) aside, here is a recipe for you. I made these this morning, after being lame and falling asleep at midnight at my own get-together last night. So, if you ever find yourself waking up, joyful upon not having a hangover (hello, Swedish pear cider), give these babies a try. Also, if you want to feel wholesome, and can’t find a marathon of Seventh Heaven on television, these should suffice. Note: I realize that many people who often wake up with hangovers generally do not get urges to feel wholesome on weekends… Although our get-together did entail some serious hide-and-seek playing and a fancy dress code.
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Whatever. Muffang time. Wonderful. These aren’t heinously spongy like most goatmeal muffins, and they actually have respectable mushroom-y muffin tops. You could always change up the berries in this, if you want, go with seasonal. Seasonal for me, at this point, means freezer cranbabies. These aren’t too-too sweet, so if you have extra cash for trips to the dentist’s office (I do not!), feel free to increase the sucré.
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Cran-Oat Muffins
(with a crispy-crumble toppin’!)
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Ingredients
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2 cups oatmeal (not 1-minute instant, I repeat! NOT instant!)
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
small pinch salt
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ cup brown sugar (you can increase to ½ cup if you want these sweeter)
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup fancy molasses
1 ½ cups milk (I used sour milk)
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
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For the crispy-crumble toppinz:
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2 Tbsp oatmeal
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp butter
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Method:
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Pre-heat your oven to a hhh-whoppin’ 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease muffang tins, or use liners (pro-tip: spray muffin liners with a bit of aerosol spray/Pam, lightly, to prevent muffin-stick-to-liner discomfort), but grease all around the tops of the tin anyhow. I happened to use delightful little gem tins (which make the bottoms look kind of like mini-bundt cakes), origin unknown. Now, mix all dry ingredients in a medium-large bowl. Mix them well! Stir in the cranbabies now. The flour that sticks to them will keep them afloat in the batter, and they won’t all stick to the bottom. Now, mix up all your wet ingredients, in the order they are listed. Add those to the dry ingredients all at once, and fold it all together lightly, until everything is just moistened, don’t give a damn about lumps! Just moistened, do not over-mix, or your muffins will take immediate and fierce revenge upon you, and your baker’s pride.
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Okay. Now make your topping, if you so choose to use it. Aesthetically, I think it is necessary, and it also helps sweeten them up a touch. Mix the oatmeal, brown sugar and flour in a little container. Then, work the butter in with your fingers, until it’s little crumbs, like what goes on top of Apple Crisp.
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Drop batter into your tins now, and then sprinkle with the topping, a little on each one. I fill the tins right up, because it makes for a good muffin top (yes, a good thing, in this case).  They’ll looka-like this:
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Okay, thwack those into the oven for 15-20 minutes. Mine took 16 minutes, but you’ll know they’re done when they spring back upon gingerly poking with your finger, and/or, when a toothpick comes out clean. Now eat those, and feel wholesome, in a way only listening to Joni Mitchell made you feel before.
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Peace out, river trouts! megohmnomnomnom

 

I do what I want! December 13, 2010

Oh, hello. I didn’t see you there!
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Yes, I know I am a sorry excuse for a blogger, but we recently got Netflix, and now I occupy my time with ungodly foreign films. Also, I’ve been on an Italian rampage (after spending, oh 3-4 hours eating a six course meal at Trattoria Giuliana last week), and I’ve already shared most of the recipes I’ve been cooking, so, there’s that, too. Oh, and Jon and I discovered the best wine at that restaurant, Brindisi Rosso. 17 dollars for 1000mL. I do not think I need to explain the pros and cons of that kind of a deal. I have embarrassed myself enough, I think.
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Anyhow, this post is going to be fairly short and sweet, but I’ll leave you with a really great recipe that belongs to my mumma. So, let’s start off with that, and then I’ll spend the rest of the post boasting about my terrific baked goods that I took my blog vacation for!
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Mum’s Applesauce Cake (in LOAF FORM!)
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Oh, how festive our apartment has become!
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Ingredients:
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1/2 cup butter (softened slightly – room temp works well)
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 egg
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup raisins
(a handful of walnut pieces – this was my own addition)
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Method:
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Okay, basic stuff here, kiddos. Get a nice biggish-sized bowl, put the butter and sugar in. Mix until your arm falls off (wait, no, you could use beaters or something – I went old school last night – made it hurt so good). The sugar and butter should be thoroughly combined! This is called creaming the butter and sugar. I would have mentioned this initially, but I know half of the people who read this blog are filthy perverts, very unsavory sorts of people. CARRYING ON, add the egg, mix to combine. Add the applesauce, mix to combine. Then, stir in spices and baking soda, then raisins (and walnuts?), and then flour, until just combined and there is no dry flour hanging around anywhere. Alternately, you could take the classical method and sift the spices and soda into the flour, but I’m too lazy for that, and thus, devised this crafty method instead. So, now that that’s done, put the batter into a greased loaf pan (I think a little bundt cake pan might be nice too, though), I don’t know what size, just… Standard meatloaf size, that’s all I’m giving you. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, or until it springs back when the surface is touched, and a toothpick will come out clean.
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Okay, got that? Now, my favourite part! Let the self-glorification BEGIN!
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This is a fig and almond custard pie. It was delicious.
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This is a grapefruit pie. It was also delicious, and made me feel ever-so-Hannibal-Lector-ish!
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This is some giant wheat bran bread that I made last night!
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This is Big Suze trying to sneak her way into getting some giant bread. The blurry photo leads her to believe she is incognito.
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That’s all I’ve got. Cheerio, readers!
megohm, over and out!

 

Scones of Yore! November 19, 2010

Oh, scones.
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Every day, I go to work, and after I’m done frying up, dipping, sprinkling, filling and traying up doughnuts, I move on to tea biscuits. The obtuse, tired old cousin of dear, sweet Missus Scone. By the end of the week, I’m so tired of goddamn tea biscuits, I have to force myself to create “innovative,” varieties like sage & onion, or cheddar-dill. Do they sell? I do not know. At least it’s a meager form of personal therapy/preservation of sanity for me.
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Well, here’s a thought. A slight tweak of shape, a sprinkle of sugar, and old-timey British snobbery is just the ticket! My current cultural tangent sent me a message, a voice straight from Jane Austen’s Regency-era England. It said, “Megohm, on this blustery night, I beseech you to reacquaint yourself with the forgotten fullsome delights of buttery quickbreads! Forget the monotony of a day’s work and make scones, at my behest!”  Who am I to question such statements?!
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Good old scones. What’s better with a cup of tea on a cold, windy night? With a  little jam or marmalade, for the sweet tooth? Anyhow, last night, I dug through some of my olde English cookbooks, and settled on a recipe for the quintessential scone, and adjusted as I saw fit. It worked out quite nicely!  I used my scale, since it was such an old recipe, it was in weight (which I prefer, working in a bakery will get you used to that in no time). I’ll post the weight, along with imperial units of measurement as well. These are some big-ass scones, by the way. Here’s the recipe!
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Ingredients
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1 lb all-purpose flour (4 cups)
5 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 oz white sugar (4.5 Tbsp, use more if you like)
2 oz butter (4 Tbsp)
a handful of raisins, currants or dried cranberries, dates, whatever you like. (Optional)
1.5 – 2 cups of milk (or you can use some cream) – Use what you need. I’ll ‘splain.
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Method
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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (moderate oven!). In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and sugar, mix well to combine. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter, two knives or your hands, until the size of small peas (plus some little crumbly cornmeal-esque bits). If you’re adding dried fruit, add it now. Stir in enough milk, starting with 1.5 cups, adding more as you need to, to make a soft dough, not too sticky, but pliable, not crumbly. Turn out into a ball, onto a baking sheet (don’t grease). Pat down with hands into a circle, 1 inch thick. Using a knife, carefully (you don’t have to be TOO careful, but just so it looks pretty and clean) cut into 8 wedges: Cut in half (moons), Cut those in half, and then cut your quarters in half, so you have 8 roughly even pieces. Don’t separate them though! Cut after baking. Brush the top with cream or milk, and sprinkle with sugar. Put ‘er in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until nicely browned around edges, and the scones have a little “give,” when you poke them. They shouldn’t cave/sink in, they should spring back, in the most pitiful way possible. Not super-springy like a cake, but just so you know they’re cooked inside. Fluffy, and so forth.
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Lo and behold, scones!
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Bluegrass Sunday! October 3, 2010

This morning when I awoke, I proclaimed it to be a Bluegrass Sunday. When I was younger and still lived with my mom, we used to listen to the Folk Roots station on satellite, because they played Bluegrass all morning! Last night, I actually went out to play fiddle with my mom and some of her music buddies in Brantford, and had a ton of fun, also acquired a loaner cookbook. South Carolina Low Country cookbook, from one of my mom’s friends’ in-laws, down South. I am damn excited about the cookbook. Anyhow, between that, and Bluegrass Sunday (Iceberg Radio, everyone!), I needed some slow-ass comfort food to fuel the day. Also, I’m in dire need to go grocery shopping, and only have a few cuts of inexpensive meat left – my favourite kind!  Best for soups and stews. So, being poor and bursting at the seams with dried beans and legumes, and cuts of pork you’ve probably never even thought of before, here’s what I did today.
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No, those aren’t pork muffins, although I’ve been seriously contemplating bacon muffins… I made soup! With FOUR, count ’em, FOUR kinds of beans. Pretty meager compared to some of those 15 bean soups I see online all the time, but I don’t like the pre-mixed soup bean things they sell in the dried foods section at the store, because they have split peas, lentils, and all kinds of other things mixed in. Chickpeas, sometimes! NO, thank you. I like to choose what’s going in! So, for this old-timey bean soup, I used pinto, navy, and lima beans, as well as black eye peas, which are far better in the food form than musically. The soup was delicious, and there are lots of way you can vary it, I’ll get to that in the recipe though. This is basic, which is a good starting point.
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Also, those non-pork muffins shown, those are Banana-Raisin bran muffins. A recipe which I stole from Roger’s Wheat Bran and altered, and then took my own altered version and altered it again today. I forgot how goddamn delicious those suckers are, honestly the best muffin I’ve ever made. I sincerely encourage any muffin and/or fibre aficionados out there to try the recipe (6 grams of fibre EACH). I ate two already, and want another. I defy all shame derived from gluttony tonight!
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Four-Bean Bluegrass Soup

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Ingredients
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1/2 cup each, pinto, navy, lima beans and black eye peas (soak overnight)
1 Tbsp fat (oil, butter, I used bacon fat, HEH HEH)
3 meaty pork breast bones (what I used today, normally I might use a ham hock – smoked is a real treat! Or, salt pork, a ham bone, even bacon)
3 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery (leaves too! you’re being economical today!), chopped
2 small onions, chopped
4 small cloves garlic, minced
8 cups water (ish, you will probably have to add more as you go, just guesstimate!)
1/2 – 3/4 tsp cayenne
1 bay leaf
2 tsp paprika
a few shakes of Worcestershire, if you like.
salt and pepper, to taste
(Optional – 4 or 5 small potatoes, and/or 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn)
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Optionally, you could throw in a can of diced tomatoes, or a can of paste, for a bit of a different flavour and some more colour (this isn’t the prettiest soup, heh heh). Also, feel free to add herbs, I sometimes like a bit of thyme, and quite often, will use this wonderful spice blend, which I make frequently and keep on hand. That entire site is fantastic, by the way. Makes for a nice, peppy soup. I just was in the mood for plain and simple flavours today, nothing too zesty, ahah. Oh, and like I mentioned before, a smoked ham hock can really make this soup something entirely different and really special. Anyhow, you can just play around with this soup.
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Method
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Heat the 1 Tbsp fat in a large pot or dutch oven and brown pork breast bones or ham hock (you can omit this step if you’re using a smoked hock, ham bone, etc. If you’re using bacon, just fry it as per usual and don’t drain the fat). When sufficiently browned, remove and set on a plate. Add chopped vegetables and saute till soft and lightly browned. Stir in garlic and cook for a minute or so. Add soaked beans, meat you’ve set aside (and juices that have collected), 8 cups water, bay leaf, spices, and Worcestershire, if you’re using it. Bring to a boil, skim off scum, then let simmer over medium-low until meat is tender, then remove pork and when cool, pick meat from bones and add back into the soup. If you need to add any more water, add a bit more, no problem! Just do it whenever you think you need to throughout the recipe. Once the beans are cooked, you can add potatoes and/or corn at this point, if you’d like, with some salt and pepper. When potatoes are cooked through, it’s ready to serve, but check for seasoning first. Serve with cornbread or a nice crusty yeast bread – I had some amazing sage bread we made at work recently!
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Banana-Raisin Bran Muffins
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Hghghhhhh. These are sooo good. Super moist and fluffy, not like the bran muffins most of us are accustomed to. Lots of banana flavour too, and this is a very versatile recipe as well. You could substitute chopped dates or figs, or chocolate chips for the raisins, or stir in half a cup of coconut, all are really good in this recipe. I have the original recipe (in it’s Meg-Altered form) posted on Food.com, and it’s all five-star reviews! So, these are GOOD.
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Ingredients
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1 1/2 cups wheat or oat bran
1 cup buttermilk (or add a Tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar to a one cup measure before you add milk)
1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 small bananas, mashed
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup raisins
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Method

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Preheat oven to 365 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine buttermilk and bran, stir to combine, and let it hang out for ten minutes. Maybe you’d like to grease muffin tins at this point. This makes 8 regular sized muffins, by the way. Grease the top as well, because these have muffin tops (these are legit muffins). Mix oil or butter with beaten egg, brown sugar and mashed bananas and in another small bowl. Add to buttermilk-bran mixture when it’s done it’s thing for ten minutes and stir well to combine. In a small bowl (or  2 cup measure, if you’re lazy like me), mix remaining dry ingredients, including raisins. Add into wet mixture all at once, stir just until there is no dry flour left, and NO MORE STIRRING after this point. If you even THINK about building gluten in these muffins, I’ll hunt you down. So, now scoop this into your greased muffin tin, don’t be afraid to fill them to the top. This is how we do it at the bakery, and it helps get the huge mushroom-shaped muffin top effect. That, and I added more baking powder to the recipe. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes out clean when inserted into a muffang.
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Okay, that’s all for now! Good, homey food for crummy weather like today’s.
Bisous!
megohm