Caucasian Curry

Caucasian Curry
Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry X-mas from me and my Ginger Peeps to you and yours


i hope you all have a delicious and wonderful feast where ever you find yourself this holiday.

thanks everybody for following along with all the fabulous comments.  i love it when i get feedback after a tested recipe or new information on something you've done different or even better!.  when i see a new follower or get a new comment on my emal it absolutely makes my day and keeps me going out there to find new and fun recipes to bring to the table.

nothing fancy...classic taste and they hold up very well for days and days.
from good ol' Betty Crocker
if you don't have a tattered old three ring binder of Betty's recipes somewhere in your library of cookbooks...then you can find the recipe  HERE at Betty Crocker's website.

these little guys and gals AND piggies are definitely a labor of love, but well worth the giggles as you are decorating and the huge smiles you'll get giving them away.

i hope you put her recipe in your files for next year's holiday treats.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tamale Fusion...A savory and sweet success.


'tis the season for TAMALES

fist time out of the gates with the tamales and i think i did alright..
maybe i bit off more than i could chew, but i made 3 different tamales... shredded Asian duck with lightly sauteed Comice pears in tarragon...then i made some with pulled pork smothered in Mexican Red Sauce (Red Sauce Recipe found here), Hatch Chilis and queso fresco...then to round out the trio i made sweet tamales with apples and sultana raisins sauteed in butter, brown sugar and cinnamon and topped with toasted pecans...WHEW that's a mouth full.  i'm tired just thinking about it.  they were all fabulous.

there really is nothing like a fresh tamale right out of the steamer.  i can't remember the last time i had one, but it was probably packaged or frozen or brought home and reheated.

once a year at this time our good long time friend, Lupe,  brings us "REAL" authentic Mexican Tamales...and i say real because she was born in Mexico and her mother taught her how her mother taught her and so on and so on...
below is a quick photo of the loot that Lupe brought to us on Saturday night...
i must state that Lupe's Tamales ROCK !...experience definitely shows in flavors and texture.
making them yourself is so rewarding and like i said...fresh from the steamer these tight little packages are unbelievably delicious.  it really isn't rocket science (when you take a few short cuts like i did) and they ARE a little labor intensive and tedious....BUT well worth the effort.

above is the shredded Asian Duck.
if you would like to know how i prepared the duck meat please refer to an earlier post i did on Asian style Duck Rillettes...just go as far as shredding the duck to bite size pieces.  i sauteed the Comice pear with a little butter, brown sugar and dried tarragon...then added fresh tarragon before wrapping.  this needed a little sauce to go with it.  my first thought was Sriracha (Asian HOT sauce)...but i think i could have been more creative.

above is the sweet tamale filled with 2 kinds of apples (Granny Smith and Yellow Delicious) sauteed in butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg...with a few chopped toasted pecans.  i mixed a bit of sugar into the masa.  serve with whipped cream, ice cream or as i did with a little maple syrup for breakfast...YUMMM !

i have no real written recipe, BUT i do have...
from a first time tamale maker.

1.  buy prepared masa made for tamales.  find a real Mexican market or tortillaria near you.  i found mine at El Matate.  go in the morning, it's still warm in the bag.  now that's fresh.  try not to fall for anything pre-packaged.  the fresh will come in a big plastic bag and hopefully still warm, but definitely moist and mooshy.
2.  make your stuffing/filling the day before...or pull from your freezer like i did with the pulled pork and Mexican Red Sauce.  you don't want to do all this in one me, the tortilla assembly and cooking will be enough for one day.  i did, however, make the sweet tamale stuffing that day...quick and easy.  like making your favorite apple pie filling.
3.  if you can't deal with the corn husks, try wrapping them in parchment squares.  they aren't as cute and authentic, but it does the trick.  i think you can also purchase pre-cut tamale wrapping paper.  i would have bought a package had i known, but i'm glad i went with the husks on the first time out.
4.  when wrapping, make sure they are totally covered and your husks haven't split.  the filling WILL squish out during cooking.
5.  you can use string instead of corn husk strips to tie them up...this is not an easy task using the husk strips.

6.  if you don't have a proper tamale steamer, use your pasta strainer or vegetable steamer at the bottom of your stock pot.  i used a large vegetable steamer insert, as shown above, and had to lay my tamales flat instead of the traditional upright cooking method.
7.  you need to have them sit a coup[e inches from the bottom and not touch the water. need enough water to be able to steam for 1 hour.

8.  these can be wrapped ahead of time and cooked before serving.  they will take approximately 1 hour to steam.
9.  they keep well in the fridge for a quick meal and i suppose they can be frozen as well.
10.  reheat in the microwave wrapped in a damp paper or cloth towel to keep moist.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Old Fashioned Ginger Bread

this deep dark moist ginger molasses cake screams...



yes, there are many ginger bread recipes out there...i think i looked at them all.  i had intended to bake good ol' Betty Crockers' ginger bread because i think it's always a classic when found in the tattered old 3 ring binder recipe book that i use as my tried and true recipes....
BUT then i fell on this recipe by a fellow blogger from London.  well, anything from "across the pond" goes over well in this house full of Anglophiles.

you must visit Marie Rayner's post about this wonderful cake...The English Kitchen
she explains how she came about this recipe and calling it "THE WORLD'S BEST"...
she came up with the recipe after years of trying many many ginger breads and finally through trial and error she tweaked this one to perfection.  it's a "no-fail" recipe if followed to the "T".  i did as suggested and the cake turned out absolutely delicious,

i know everybody probably has their favorite ginger bread cake recipe that their Grandmother used to make at X-mas, BUT you really should try this one just for kicks


copied for your convenience below

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1 /2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
8 1/2 ounces of plain flour (2 cups)
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
10 fluid ounces of boiling water (1 1/4 cups)
2 fluid ounces of dark treacle
4 fluid ounces of Golden Syrup
(you may use 6 ounces of mild molasses instead (3/4 cup)...I USED MOLASSES
3/4 tsp baking soda
6 Tbsp butter, softened
5.6 ounces of dark brown sugar (3/4 cup, packed)
1 large egg at room temp.

preheat oven to 350 F.  butter and flour a 9 inch square baking tin...set aside

add the treacle and syrup, OR molasses to the boiling water along with the baking soda.  set aside and let cool to room temperature.

cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy with an electric whisk (i used the paddle attachment).  beat the egg with a fork and then beat it into the butter mixture a little at a time.  whisk together the flour, spices, baking powder and salt...set aside.  On low speed add the cooled water syrup (or molasses) mixture to the creamed mixture.  stir (low speed mixer w/paddle attachment)in the dry ingredients only to blend.  pour into the prepared baking tin.

bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until well risen and the tops springs back when lightly touched, or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  i always do the toothpick test.

this cake is fabulous on it's own, but Marie suggests serving with a Spiced Lemon Sauce (found here with the original)...sound divine, BUT i was lazy and didn't have a lemon in the house so i simply went to the cupboard and whipped out some caramel sauce.  oh boy...that worked !

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Giada's Parma Carrot Cake

this unassuming simple looking cake is...


a new favorite carrot cake is on your me

this is a carrot cake like i have never tasted...not too too sweet like a lot of carrot cakes.  you can actually taste the sweetness from the carrots.  the pine nuts give it a buttery texture, you get a hint of fennel and the lemon just wakes everything up.  all those flavors combined create this very unique dessert.

i caught this on the Food Network show, "the Perfect 3".  Ina Garten and her perfect Classic Chocolate Cake, Paula Dean with her Red Velvet Cake and then there was Giada De Laurentiis with this interesting Parma Carrot Cake that caught my attention.

i DO love carrot cakes but sometimes they can just be over powered by spices, stringy carrots and cloyingly sweet with cream cheese frosting.  when i saw her adding fennel seeds and pine nuts i immediately pushed the record button and googled the recipe.

this is a definite winner and a "must-try" recipe.  the cake is versatile...can be baked in different vessels and served any way you choose.  serve as a star quality dessert or a simple tea cake...enjoy for breakfast brunch or snack...a warm frothy cappuccino or just a spot of tea...

recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
i have copied it for you below with my slight changes in italics

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour...i substituted 1 1/4 white whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup pine nuts (about 6 oz.)
1/2 cups sugar, plus 1/2 cup sugar...
NOTE...i mixed 1/2 cup splenda with 1/2 cup sugar and separated that.
also...on the show Giada did not separate the sugar.  she creamed the butter and the 1 cup sugar.  i did as the written recipe, so either way will work.  no need to separate...
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 lemon zested and juiced
2 cups peeled, shredded carrots (about 6 carrots)
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
5 eggs
powdered sugar for garnish

preheat oven to 375 F
in a medium bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  set aside

place the pine nuts, 1/2 cup sugar and fennel seeds in a food processor and pulse to mince the nuts.  add lemon zest, lemon juice and the shredded carrots.  pulse to mince the carrots.  add the mascarpone cheese and pulse until cheese is incorporated

in a large bowl, using a stand mixer, cream together the butter and remaining 1/2 cup sugar.  add the eggs one at a time, until well combined.

add the carrot mixture to the butter mixture and stir until combined.  add the reserved DRY ingredients in 3 intervals and stir until just incorporated.

place the mixture in a slightly greased and floured 8 x 10 by 2 dish
NOTE...i used a 9" springform pan.  2 loaf pans might work well for serving as a sliced tea cake.  on the show Giada used some star shaped baking paper molds.

bake for 55 - 60 minutes...golden brown on top and toothpick comes out with a slight crumb.
let the cake cool for 1 hour, then lightly dust with powdered sugar.

i let the remaining cake sit out over night, then refrigerated it.  this cake keeps well for at least a few days.  bring to room temp before serving.  (great treat for breakfast).

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Francois Payard's Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookies

few words to say about these cookies except...


the best compliment in the world came from my ever so  fabulous chocoholic mother, who just so happens to be my greatest 'constructive' criticizer...

at first i hear nothing...silence.  then...

"hmmmm...this tastes like one of those $5.00 cookies"

these little, or rather large, gems have been around the block a few times and i have made something similar a while back, BUT i have never used this recipe and exact method...and i made sure i used grade A fabulous Dutch cocoa powder.  well worth the trip to the culinary store (SLT) to get the good stuff.

like i said...few words.  not only do i implore you to add these to your holiday treat list, BUT these are so easy to make, they are a huge chocolate lovers dream AND a big hit for those GLUTEN-FREE peeps that often have to miss out on a good thing.

a few quick notes...
do not over beat.  this should be a little runny, gooey and sticky.
when taking them off the parchment...peel them as though you are peeling an annoying sticky price tag off.  these DO stick to the parchment a don't be in a rush with the spatula. 
these keep well if completely cooled and stored in an airtight container.  do not stack.  i put a double piece of parchment in between the layers and was very careful not to put one directly over the other.
they get chewier the second day, but still have a crisp to them.

recipe found here and copied for your convenience below

2 3/4 cups walnut halves...i only had about 2 cups
3 cups confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsp. unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 large egg whites, room temp.
1 Tbsp (TABLESPOON) pure vanilla extract
i also added 1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate...GOOD for extra WHAM factor.

preheat oven to 350 F. to toast your walnuts.
lay your walnuts out on a sheet pan and toast your walnuts, approx. 9 minutes.
(i did them in my Breville Smart Oven on # 2) them closely.
let the walnuts cool and coarsely chop.  set aside.
position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and...
in a large bowl, or on low in a stand mixer,  whisk the powdered sugar, cocoa and salt followed by the chopped walnuts.  while whisking, turn your speed to medium and add the egg whites and vanilla extract.  beat until just combined.  DO NOT OVER BEAT OR THE BATTER WILL STIFFEN.  
spoon the batter onto parchment lined cookie sheets.  Francois says 12 evenly spaced mounds...i got 8 per tray (2 trays) and did a second baking with 4, making 20 total.  as you can see mine were fairly large.  
bake them for 14 - 16 minutes until the tops are glossy and lightly cracked.  shift the pans bottom to top and front to back halfway through to ensure even baking.
slide the parchment paper with the cookies onto 2 wire racks and cool cookies completely before attempting to remove. 
as stated above...don't rush to use a spatula.  these will be semi stuck to the parchment.  peel the parchment slowly from the bottom of the cookie.
store in airtight container.  do not stack without parchment or something in between.
i know they will disappear quickly, but i kept a couple aside and the 3rd day they were still outstanding.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Low Fat Pumpkin Bread w/Chocolate Chips


this might be my favorite pumpkin bread so far.
moist, dense, full of flavor AND it's low calorie-low fat...

then it's outta this world delicious !!!

one nice thick slice is very satisfying for a quick breakfast, light afternoon snack or a safe answer to the midnight munchies.  a healthy treat for any time of the day.
on it's own the nutrition count is quite low compared to full fat, full sugar loafs.
1 loaf cut into 10 slices is  138 cal, 5.2 fat, 21 carbs and 3.5 protein per slice and 1/10th is a very thick slice.

try adding different things...i've made this 3 times already...the last one i made was with crystallized ginger instead of chocolate chips.  i LOVE ginger and peanut butter together...the chocolate was fabulous, but the ginger might be my

you would never know this is a "healthy" Pumpkin Bread, but it go ahead and try it with some peanut can still feel slim and healthy about it.  with all the goodies coming our way this season, it's nice to have a little less guilt about something so delicious.

(many thanks to Gina and please visit her site for original recipe and comments)

11/2 cups pumpkin puree
3/4 cups AP flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup splenda
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix
1/2 tsp nutmeg...if using fresh ground, i suggest a little less
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
baking spray
1/2 oz. pepitas
60 grams (approx. 1/4 cup) mini chocolate chips

preheat oven to 350 F.  spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with baking spray
NOTE...i baked mine in a convection oven at 330 F degrees for 47 minutes

in a medium bowl, combine flours, sugar, splenda, baking soda, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt with a whisk and set aside.
in a large bowl mix the oil, egg whites, pumpkin puree and vanilla, beat at medium speed until thick and well combined.
add, on low speed, dry mixture to wet mixture in 3 batches, scraping sides in between just until combined.  stir in chocolate chips...DO NOT OVER MIX

pour into loaf pan, sprinkle with pepitas and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean 

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Trotter Terrrine with Roasted Chicken

not your basic head cheese, but visually something very similar.  

maybe it's just the fact that it's meat held together by gelatinous broth..or maybe it's just that i used pig parts that are out of the norm,  but this was far more palatable than the sliced head cheese you've been afraid of since childhood AND a little more pleasing than snout, tongue  and jowls...
quite tasty i must say.  of course, i did run out and buy me some REAL head cheese.  not bad, but i wanted something a little more friendly...AND i didn't want to mess with all those various head parts.  i wanted easy...i wanted to enjoy the whole thing...lord knows no one else was going to have any...
what a bunch of pansy palates!

(above is store bought head cheese...not so scary at all)


recipe?...there really isn't much of a recipe to convey, BUT here goes...

cut to the're going to make stock from the trotters.  the trotters are necessary for the stock because that is the glue or gelatin that holds the terrine together.
you may make your stock any way, flavor, you please, but this is my usual method... above is purely inserted to let you know what you will be dealing with...


you'll need 2 full TROTTERS, cut in half to make 4 pieces...they are usually sold cut in half
1 yellow or white onion
couple stocks of cut celery
couple cut up carrots
5 -6 smashed cloves of garlic
1 bigTbsp Mexican oregano
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp Mexican chili powder
1 tsp coriander
fresh pepper
salt when you're almost done reducing
water, or water and chicken stock, to cover...go ahead and use a can or 2 of chicken stock with the water if you have it...i might have used 1/2 and 1/2.
don't over fill.

bring to a boil and then to a slow simmer.  simmer for at least 3 hours.  the pig's feet skin should be falling off the bone and very fork tender.
check water level during cooking to make sure feet are still covered.
remove trotters and strain broth through very fine strainer...i suggest cheese cloth as well.  you want this broth to be very clean.  let broth cool and then refrigerate so that the fat will rise to the top for easy removal.
let your trotters cool to the you need to go through every bit and remove any small bones.
put all the trotter meat (skin) into a container with a little broth and refrigerate until ready to use.

roasted chicken...just go out and buy one...(can you spell "COSTCO")
cut or torn into big bite size pieces...i think i used about 1/2 a chicken
remove fat from broth container while it's cold...should pop right off the top.
warm the broth until it is liquid...TASTE TEST your broth...add a little more salt and pepper.  terrines always need a little extra flavor.
warm the trotter meat to loosen it up and cut into large pieces (or small if you don't want to really see them)
lightly spray a medium glass loaf pan
add meats to the loaf can layer if you'd like, but i just put it all in evenly dispersed.  you want to get a little something in every bite...pack it quite full.
then pour in your trotter broth.
i wanted my terrine to look packed so i pressed the meat down with another loaf pan and some soup cans.  you might find that more meat will fit in.  don't press too hard or you will have an over-flowing mess on your hands, but hard enough as to close the gaps between the meats.
put in fridge to cool and completely set.  this shouldn't take long...a couple of hours.
remove from loaf pan by slipping a knife around the edges and inverting onto plate.

slice and enjoy...this will keep for at least 5-7 days.

as far as any kind of serving suggestions?...i don't really know what you would pair this with.  i gobbled it up mostly by the slice, but served along with other cut meats and or some charcuterie type faire i think would be nice.  maybe some cornichons and a little Dijon or slap it between some bread and call it a "soup sandwich"...
any way you serve it you will enjoy it with a sense of pride knowing
you tackled the TROTTER

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Baby Bella, Shiitake Mushroom Soup...(non dairy)

move over pumpkin...there's a fungi in town...
(sorry, i get carried away.  i'll just stop there with the bad puns)

but really...isn't everybody talking about pumpkin or butternut squash soup for the holiday?...

how predictable...change things up a little.

this creamy unctuous soup is so delicious.  rich deep flavors but very light on the palette.
no cream and very little fat.

the key ingredients here are the roasted garlic and some homemade roasted chicken broth
and the key utensil is an immersion blender 

trust me, take the time to roast the garlic...
 eat a roasted chicken this week and make some good broth.  chicken broth from a roasted chicken carcass is like liquid gold.  i always have some on hand in the freezer.  
and... go out and buy yourself an immersion blender.
your soup will be tasty and your puree-ing world will be forever changed.

in a nut shell...roast garlic, saute mushrooms and aromatics, whiz it up with some broth and serve.


3 oz. Baby Bella (Crimini) mushrooms
30 grams dried Shiitake mushrooms
1/2 medium onion
1/2 shallot 
3-4 cloves roasted garlic
approximately 4 cups of chicken broth or vegetable broth...home made is best, but...
2 cans  (15 oz.) low sodium chicken broth will be fine (more or less depending on how thick you like your soup)
NOTE...i used 1 whole can and about 1 1/2 cups homemade chicken broth...
vegetable broth works very well with this for a pure vegetarian version
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste

FIRST...before you do anything...roast your garlic.  i like to roast mine whole with the top sliced off and drizzled with olive oil inside.  wrap in tinfoil.  oven at 370 F and it should take about an hour.

meanwhile, rehydrate your dried mushrooms as the package instructs if using dried.  saute your veggies in about 2 Tsp olive oil (maybe less if possible).   do not salt your veggies while sauteing.  you can add your tarragon and thyme in when they are almost done.  when everything is done and mushrooms look yummy and golden transfer to a sauce pan (3-4 quart works for me).  reserve a few mushrooms for garnish.  squeeze the water from the rehydrated mushrooms and chop them up a little and add them with the roasted garlic cloves to the pot.  add chicken broth, a little less than you think you might need because you don't want your end product to be too thin.  bring to a boil then lower to a simmer.  when everything has been heated through take off the stove and get your immersion blender in there and blend away...blend it to the texture you like.  i like it creamy.  you might need to add more broth at this point (heat through if you add more).  when you have it just right check for seasoning...salt and pepper to your liking.  i like the base creamy, then i add a few whole reserved mushrooms or use as garnish.
reheat just before service.  this soup can be made ahead and keeps well for a few days.

NOTE..the fresh thyme is for presentation and photos only.  i found when eating the finished photographed bowl of soup i didn't care for the pieces of thyme interrupting the smooth creamy be the judge.

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Chocolate Pear Tart


sometimes Martha has a winner...and this is one of them.
or should i say "Martha's People"...
there's just NO WAY she comes up with all this stuff on her own.

YES, i DO fall into the "Martha vortex" every now and then and i'm not afraid to admit it.
i'm not going to shout it from the roof tops or buy her dinnerware at K-mart, but i sure wish i'd bought some of her stock when it plummeted a few years back.
when things turn out as good as this lovely tart, i assure myself it's OKAY to wander through the Martha one's gonna get hurt until something turns out bad.

regardless of how you feel about Martha...good, bad or just don't care...
you should really try this super easy tart.
the base is done in the food processor, slice a couple of pears, bake and VOILA!

a delicious, beautiful tart to be proud of

and...a fabulous addition to the pumpkin, pecan and mince pie line-up that are always regulars at the party.

here's where to find the original with comments, but i have copied it for you below.
i made zero, changes...(well...i only used 1 3/4 Bosc pears instead of 3)

8 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temp., plus some for the pan
1 cup blanched almonds
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
3 firm, ripe Bartlett pears...i used 1 3/4 Bosc pears
1/2 lemon
2 Tbsp apple jelly...i used strained apricot preserves (Bonne Maman)

preheat oven to 350F degrees.  brush a 9 inch removable bottom tart pan with butter, set aside.

in a food processor, combine almonds and sugar...process until very finely ground.  add butter, eggs, cocoa, vanilla, salt and almond extract, if using...process until combined.

spread mixture evenly into prepared pan

peel, halve and core pears...cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices and rub them with lemon juice to prevent browning
NOTE...i used a small bowl of lemon water for the pear and then blotted them dry before arranging them on the tart
arrange slices on chocolate mixture, slightly overlapping, without pressing in.

place on a baking sheet and bake until top is puffed and toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached (be careful not to mess up the pretty top).
should be about 45-50 minutes.  cool completely in pan

briefly heat jelly or preserves in the microwave until liquefied...strain if necessary.  gently brush the pears with the jelly and set aside for at least 20 minutes.

remove tart from pan, and serve.  
slice with a very sharp knife and you will get pretty slices...take your time or you will drag the pears through with the incorrect knife.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Bars

apologies for not getting anything posted for a few weeks...i have writers block.  still cooking up a storm with tons of recipes and photos, but i just can't seem to get a post out.  so pardon me if the next few post are a bit short on words...sometimes i like those posts best.  who needs to here all the blah blah blah.



the original recipe can be found at Cooking Light.  great reviews, but i knew i could make it even lighter by what i had gathered from the other bakers.  i substituted the sour cream with non fat greek yogurt and sub'd the white sugar with Splenda.
one thing i would say is don't weigh out your flour...measure it out in a cup.

2 friends already asked for the recipe and i have made them a second time using figs, cardamom, toasted pistachios and lemon zest (might be posting about it).  this second batch i weighed out the flour and they came out a little too moist for my liking, but it DID lend itself to the fig bars.  they turned out like a glorified middle eastern flavored fig newton...DELICIOUS !

try different filling and spices...check the original at Cooking Light and read the reviews.  my friend made the original recipe and said they were great...i just lightened them up a little.  oh, and i added more lemon zest.  enjoy.


for the crust...
1 cup white while wheat flour
1 cup oats...i used old fashioned
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (do not substitute)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
6 Tbsp butter, melted
3 Tbsp fresh orange juice
cooking spray

for the filling...
1 1/3 cup dried cranberries (6oz.)
3/4 cup non fat greek yogurt
1st time i used 1/4 sugar and 1/4 splenda, but you might try 1/2 cup all splenda
2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp grated orange rind
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

preheat oven to 325 F degrees
to prepare the crust, combine flour and the next five ingredients, through cinnamon, into medium bowl.  stir well with whisk until combined.  drizzle melted butter and orange juice over flour mixture, stirring until moistened...mixture should be crumbly.  RESERVE 3/4 CUP OF CRUST MIXTURE.  press remaining mixture into the bottom of an 11 x 7 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

to prepare filling...combine cranberries, yogurt, splenda and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well to combine.  spread cranberry mixture over prepared crust and sprinkle remaining oat crust mixture evenly over filling.  i made sure it was crumbly looking by pressing some of it between my fingers and then gave it a little over all pat down to secure the crumble...
i hate it when you take a bite of a good crumble and it all ends up in your lap !

bake at 325 for 40 minutes or until the edged are golden.  cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

when cut into 16 squares the nutrients are approx...
(nutrition for 1/4 cup sug. and 1/4 cup splenda recipe)
107 calories, 18. carbs, 3.3 fat, 2.1 protein

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