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Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

 

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Photo: Buzzfeed
Reducing our intake of meat, especially beef, can reduce global warming. Want to help me find quick non-meat recipes that work for the whole family?

Back in the 1970s, my sister gave me Frances Moore Lappé‘s Diet for a Small Planet. So even back then, I was hearing that eating meat was bad for Planet Earth. But I never gave it up completely. I had a few non-meat recipes that I liked, including a delicious Eggplant Parmesan from that book, but my commitment wavered.

Lately, there’s been a lot in the news about what the individual can do to fight global warming, and one of the most frequently mentioned ideas is to give up meat, especially beef. There are lots of reasons, including the fact that livestock gives off too much methane and requires extensive grazing land that could be better used. Also, destroying trees in the rainforest and elsewhere is like destroying the lungs of the planet.

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Photo: One Green Planet
Many environmentalists say that beef production is killing rainforests, which are the lungs of the planet in that they absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen.

Suzanne and I are giving meatless meals another shot. We’re unlikely to get as far as a true vegan diet, but we can start by serving smaller and smaller amounts of meat and larger and larger amounts of grains, nuts, fruits, eggs, veggies, and dairy products. (Dairy cows are just as flatulent as cattle raised for meat, so in California, scientists are experimenting with seaweed added to food to cut down on the methane released.)

Both Suzanne and I value prep speed. We have meat-centered meals we make quickly on autopilot. Now we need to retrain our muscle memory to make vegetarian recipes quickly.

I’ve started searching the web and would be open to ideas from readers, many of whom probably had this whole concept nailed down years ago. John’s family has an ongoing Tofu Tuesday, so I hope to get a favorite recipe from them.

BuzzFeed offers a list of 30 intriguing meals here. They’re a bit heavy on the bean component, which won’t work for me, but how do you like the one pictured at the top of the post, which BuzzFeed found at the Bojon Gourmet? It involves tofu and shiitake mushrooms roasted in a mixture of toasted sesame oil, tamari, and sriracha and transferred to a miso soup containing noodles, ginger, and kale. Mmmm.

Photo: Yale Environment 360
According to environmentalists, when humans destroy the rainforest to graze cattle, they are shooting themselves in the foot.

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For a few years now, I have sent readers to the “From Scratch Club” to get the best-ever cranberry sauce. Alas, the club seems to have dispersed and is no longer maintaining a website. Fortunately, I printed out the recipe and will share it here. Enjoy!

Maple, Citrus & Ginger Cranberry Preserves
Makes about two pints

12 ounces whole cranberries
3 clementines or 1 very large orange, peeled and cut in small chunks
½ lemon, juice and zest
½ tart apple, in small chunks
¾ cup maple syrup
½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger root
a pinch of sea salt
(optional: a crank of freshly ground pepper)

1. Bring cranberries & maple syrup to a low boil. Keep a close eye on the mixture so the syrup doesn’t burn. You want the fruit to break down, and you can use a potato masher after 5-8 minutes to speed things up.

2. Once you have a rolling boil, add apple chunks, lemon juice & zest and clementines. Stir. Apples need to get soft but not mushy.

3. Add sea salt & ginger. Cook a bit more and use the potato masher to make sure all berries have popped.

If you end up using this, do let me know.

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Back when Suzanne was a Girl Scout, one of the mothers (I think it was Grace) came up with a spring project, a recipe for a Greek cookie that the girls could mold into bunny shapes for Easter.

It was called koulourakia, and it was yummy. I still have a copy of the recipe the mom printed by hand. She had provided the girls with an extra challenge by listing all the ingredients as anagrams: trebut for butter, gusra for sugar, kilm for milk, and so on. They had to translate before getting started baking.

I looked online for relevant pictures. I love that the Greek recipe with the most rabbit-like photos was from a South Indian cooking site, here.

For the Girl Scout bunnies, we didn’t twist the dough as in the picture but instead formed it into fat bunny shapes.

Someone remind me to make this recipe next year.

Photo: Zesty South Indian Kitchen
Greek Easter Cookies (koulourakia)

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On days when you are thinking a lot about a faraway relative in need of heavy doses of good vibes, it may make sense to do some baking.

Fortunately, I worked at home today, so I was able to spend the time between 5 and 6:15 baking rather than running for trains. The no-peel apple crisp recipe I attempted was one that Lisa posted recently on Facebook. Although it didn’t specify an oven temperature or size of pan, I guessed 350 degrees and 9 x 13, and it came out great. The ingredients include dried apricots, an orange, and walnuts. Oh, boy. Here’s the link.

More constructively, many of us sent loving messages both for the relative and her son in San Francisco, and posted and contributed to a GoFundMe site. I especially liked Suzanne’s recommendation of a visit to Glide Memorial, a comforting San Francisco church she learned about when a former colleague suffered something dark. (I have mentioned the church a few times on the blog.)

What else can you do but let people know you are thinking of them a lot? In spite of everything, I think my relative will be deeply thankful at Thanksgiving for two Good Samaritans who chose not to pass by.

Photo: http://food52.com/blog/11755-no-peel-apple-crisp

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Photo: Tracy Lee’s Signature Apple Nut Cake

The other day I realized that since I have no plans to go apple picking this year, I better come up with a substitute apple activity to fill that seasonal need. Tracy Lee Karner had a yummy-looking apple cake recipe at her WordPress blog, here. I made up my mind to try baking it.

With the understanding that I, too, require only ingredients and utensils I happen to have handy, I baked it in an 8-inch-square glass pan instead of Tracy Lee’s 10-inch round — for 43 minutes instead of 40. I can’t be sure it was as yummy as Tracy Lee’s because I haven’t tried it in the 10-inch round, but it was pretty darn yummy.

P.S. You may have received random photos from me with no text. This will pass. I’m getting used to the Lumia 1020 phone Suzanne gave me for uploading pictures directly from the camera to the blog, which as you know, is part of Suzanne’s birthstone jewelry company, Luna & Stella. Sometimes I hit the wrong button.

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On Christmas Eve we have always gone to First Parish for one of the candlelight services. Nowadays we go to the early one because we have a toddler in the family.

Today we got a big kick out of watching him take it all in: so many grownups in the house at once, so many boxes covered with paper you’re allowed to rip, so many curiosities to remove from the bottom of a tree and show people. And rather nice chicken sausages.

The kitchen cupboards were interesting, too. They have different stuff from the ones at home and everything badly needs organizing.

We cooked and ate, and cooked and ate, and cooked and ate.

For lunch, Meran made tarts suggested by Cook’s Illustrated. One was a shitake mushroom and leek tart, the other was butternut squash and spinach. Both had cheese. There also was a salad with fennel, pears, and sugared pecans.

The main course at dinner was a Lamb Tagine we always like. This one is made with prunes and cinnamon, but there are recipes with raisins and almonds or apricots and caramelized onions. Meran contributed a lovely couscous with veggies.

Suzanne and Erik made an apple crisp that we ate with ice cream. There were loads of Christmas cookies.

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Here is the Christmas cookie recipe I have used ever since John put together his little recipe book in nursery school.

(have ingredients at room temperature)

Rolled Sugar Cookies

2 cups sifted flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg, well beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. milk

Sift together first three ingredients.
In another bowl, cream margarine, add sugar gradually. Cream until light and fluffy.
Add egg, vanilla, milk and sifted dry ingredients.
Mix dough well, chill at least one hour.

Roll approximately 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured board and use good-sized cookie cutters so children can be successful in handling shapes.
Place cut out cookies on ungreased cookie sheets and let children sprinkle sugar on them.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. (My oven prefers 350 for 6-10 minutes.) 2 doz.

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