Sunday, October 17, 2021
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
5 tablespoons rye flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon and ginger
2 pinches cloves or allspice
pinch of salt
In a small dish, melt butter in microwave. Add honey and beat with a fork. Add egg, brown sugar, and vanilla and mix well. Scoop flour into a measuring cup and mix in baking powder and spices. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth.
Pour batter into two lightly greased ramekins and sprinkle a few walnut pieces on top. Cover with parchment paper. Microwave for 90 seconds and check cakes. If not yet firm, microwave for 10 seconds more and check again. Repeat if necessary. Let cool on a rack and unmold.
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Onion skins at last!
I couldn't believe my luck. Last year, I had to improvise, since we were having our groceries delivered, and there was no way to get a whole bag of onion skins.
But these year, now that I was vaccinated, I was starting to venture into local grocery stores. And in one small market, just as I walked in I discovered a man unloading a crate of onions, pulling off the skins, and placing the onions in a bin.
He was happy to oblige me with a small bag of the discards.
What a treasure in pandemic times!
I did my usual thing. I simmered the eggs for about three hours with a bunch of onion skins in water, salt and pepper, a chopped up clove of garlic (a new touch this time), and a little olive oil on top.
The project was on a smaller scale this year--and it was simplified. Just a half dozen eggs, and without the added decorative touches provided by those little leaves attached to the eggs with nylon. Call in pandemic burnout, but I just didn't have the time or energy.
That clove of garlic wasn't the only change. At my husband's suggestion, after simmering the eggs for about three hours and letting them cool off, I let them sit in the water overnight in the the fridge.The result was the deepest color yet.
The other change? I found a new use for hard-cooked eggs that are getting a little bit old. But that will have to wait for my next post!
Sunday, March 28, 2021
Where has the time gone?
My last post was a Christmas greeting back in December: The familiar gnome with a plate of potica and medenjaki. I had made those tasty spice cookies a little differently this year and had planned to follow up with the recipe. And now it is almost April. Funny how the same thing happened last year, right after our first pandemic Christmas, when I seemed to run out of blogging steam for three months.
No excuses, except to say that living and cooking through a pandemic is a new experience for all of us.
Now I have some catching up to do!
So here is a tasty dinner I made in early January. Two dependable favorites with a few new twists that worked out well.
Jota, Slovenia's traditional bean-and-sauerkraut stew, has become one of our favorite comfort foods, especially after I arrived at my new and improved version. We had almost everything on hand--including some garlic sausage (made with chicken, our preference) and homemade sauerkraut, courtesy of my husband. We were missing just one ingredient: Potatoes. Unless you count sweet potatoes. Which I did.
My husband had his doubts, but those sweet potatoes turned out to be more than just a good substitute. They added a touch of sweetness and color that provided a whole new dimension to the dish.
Saturday, December 26, 2020
Monday, December 21, 2020
Thursday, November 12, 2020
It was late summer, about a month after I had made that tasty jota, when I rediscovered another Slovenian soup/stew.
"I bet I can figure something out," I offered. I had a feeling there was some Slovenian dish I had made once or twice with those ingredients and started browsing the recipe list on this blog.
And there it was, Slovenian minestrone.
How did I forget how satisfying this simple dish is?
It was one of the dishes I discovered in 2012, my year of Slovenian cooking. I made it again the following year, when I did more research and discovered how many variations there are: With beans and without, with pasta or rice, and a variety of meat choices (including none at all). That second version was even better than the first. But I realized there was nothing fixed about the recipe, especially when it came to the veggie possibilities.
Even working from our more limited pantry, I discovered that we had most of the ingredients I had used that last time. In fact, they had become our pandemic staples: Sausage, usually chicken or turkey versions. Dried beans and canned tomatoes. Pasta. Onions, garlic, cabbage, carrots, and parsley. Luckily, we happened to have a few potatoes this week. But no leeks, peas or celery root, those interesting additions from last time. We did have regular celery--and some zucchini to add. No parsley for a final garnish. But we did have plenty of white wine, for drinking as well as for cooking
I was all set to make the minestrone myself. But then I figured this might be a good time to deputize my husband, since he seemed more in need of a project. So I printed up the recipe from the last time--and was surprised to realize that salt and pepper had been the only seasonings. I suggested he might want to add some marjoram. He agreed, and he also decided to cook the beans with some bay leaves.
As I suspected, this improvised version was delicious. I was reminded once again that beans you cook yourself taste better, although the canned variety is a perfectly acceptable option. Like most soups and stews, the minestrone tasted better on the second and third days. It was a hearty and sustaining choice as we headed into our sixth month of sheltering in place.