Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bread Pudding

A great way to use up crusts and other bits and pieces at the end of the bread bag...just store them in the freezer until you have enough to make this pudding!


4 cups diced somewhat stale bread
3 cups milk
3 medium eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup raisins

To do:

Butter a 2 quart casserole dish and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the bread cubes in a large mixing bowl.

Scald the milk and then allow to cool.

Put the egg whites in a small bowl and set aside.

Stir sugar into the egg-milk mixture, and add the lemon juice, vanilla, lemon zest, and cardamom. Stir until soft and creamy.

Pour the egg-milk mixture over the bread and blend lightly with a fork. Set aside to soak for five minutes.

Beat the egg whites till they form soft peaks. Fold gently into bread mixture.

Pour into casserole dish and bake 40 minutes.

This is a yummy treat...full of protein calcium, other good things. Ideal for dessert, an after school snack, or reheated for  breakfast!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Freezing Leeks

It's mid-November, and here in here in Connecticut that means the ground will soon be frozen, so it's time to harvest the rest of the leeks and get them into the freezer. This is a very simple process.

Chop your leeks into medallions about one eighth of an inch thick.
 I freeze them in one quart freezer bags.  They are thin enough that they freeze quickly in the bag and don't need to be flash frozen on a cookie sheet.
It's a good idea to double bag the leeks to prevent their smell from permeating the freezer.

Once frozen you will be ably to shake out just the amount you need. You may just have to give the bag a gentle smack.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ginger Blondies

During the four days and nights without power due to the October snowstorm, I became obsessed with ginger cookies. After making the hermits, I set out to perfect a ginger blondie recipe. 

Did I mention the snowstorm?  I became obsessed not only with ginger, but also cinnamon and cloves.  All three are considered to be herbal stimulants, "activating the inner vitality of the body through nourishment, warmth, and circulation."  (This is a quote from herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, in her publication,
"The Science and Art of Herbology.")

Unlike harsher stimulants such as caffeine, these spices don't give a speedy lift followed by a crash. Rather, it is a slow, steady building of the body's inner resources for staying healthy. Perfect for this time of year as cold and flu season approaches!
3 cups flour
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
pinch cloves

2 large eggs
7/8 cup canola oil
2 Tablespoons molasses
1 cup organic sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9 x 13" pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the first 7 ingredients.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs till light and fluffy, then whisk in the oil, molasses,sugar and vanilla.

Stir in the chips and nuts. 

Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 35 - 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool before cutting into squares.