Cooking like a First Lady, circa 1965?

This is one of my vintage cookbooks and I recently thought I’d look a few things up.

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It’s from 1965 and the first thing I wanted to see is what the President’s wife contributed to the book.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was a recipe for one of my favorite things to eat, Popovers!  Now I don’t know why, but hardly anyone ever makes them anymore.  If you’ve ever read Little Women, you’d know that the girls take their precious breakfast popovers to the poor family and Amy is upset by the loss!  Also, when I was a youngster, my father used to take us to a lovely restaurant, called The Proud Popover.da4d031395c932ff4cdebe4c2d5e3ae6

This restaurant was a colonial in theme, with big pewter mugs and plates and gigantic popovers.  I was addicted to those things.  I’d drench them in butter and honey.  Wonderful.    Our family wanted to make them at home, but as my mother had passed away, and we kids were not the best cooks yet, my dad found a mix that he’d buy and they were as close as possible to heaven for a couple of 70’s era kids.

Well, now I make these from scratch, because really, what could be easier and Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson’s recipe is practically the same as anyone you might find online.  (I don’t like that tradition of the ladies going by their husband’s names as if her only identity is through the husband, but that’s for another blogger to write about.).

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I don’t use melted shortening, however, I use canola oil , but everything else is the same!  Also, she tells us you can use a regular muffin tin, but to get that true popover height, you need a good iron popover pan.  I found mine at…you guessed it!  Resale!

You have to eat them right out of the oven.  The crispy outside and the almost empty middles, make a perfect vehicle for adding veggies or casseroles if desired, but I prefer them as I did when a child, with butter and honey.  Here.  Have one.

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Let me feed you.

 

 

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes

Buckwheat is an awesome flour.  However, so many recipes for my favorite breakfast include wheat flour.  I’m not gluten-free, by any means, but it’s nice to have options to offer friends who need to be, due to health issues or just preference.

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I recently discovered Cassava flour.  Now, you should know.  If there is a flour that I haven’t yet worked with, I’m buying it.  I currently have 11 different types of flour in my house.  I use them all for different things.  I hope to give examples of recipes for you in later posts.

Back to Cassava, it is a tuberous root, that must be cooked otherwise it is poisonous.  (I guess you should not eat raw cookie dough with this product!).  It’s very processed, however, in order to make the flour and really does not have a lot of nutrients, other than a higher fiber content.  However, the plus side is that it is gluten-free!  I’ve had friends request my buckwheat pancake recipe, but I’ve had to tell them that it also contains wheat flour.  So, in honor of my gluten-free pals, here’s my adjusted recipe, now gluten-free!

    Gluten-free buckwheat pancakes

   Brush griddle with oil.  Heat until nicely hot.   

Whisk all the ingredients together until smooth.  Pour scant 1/4 cup of batter onto hot griddle, turning them when bubbles appear on their surface.  

Serve with whatever toppings you like.  I’m a gal who just like butter and nothing else, but you do you.

Extra pancakes can be frozen or kept in the refrigerator.

Unlike Amaranth, Cassava flour is very similar in texture to white flour and imparts no flavor, so I think one could use it in many recipes in order to convert them to gluten-free.  Buckwheat flour has a stronger taste and my family does not care for it, but I think it’s heavenly.  Of course, I’m right.

So that’s one more group of people that I can confidently tell,

Let me feed you!

 

 

 

Cooking Vegan for the first time

Cooking new ways and using new ingredients is the best way of understanding people and cultures.  Though we are not a vegan family, I am intrigued by the lifestyle and food options.  So, naturally, when my daughter invited a few friends for an Independence Day celebration and one happened to be vegan, it gave me the opportunity to try something different.

These tacos are made with Tempeh, which is a fermented soybean product, sort of in a pressed cake-type thing.  I’ll admit it does not look very appetizing, but I’m game to try most things, so why not?  Besides, every year I have a list of foods to try and this was number one!36580986_10212644190325790_1342196345359826944_n

I used a recipe from Thug Kitchen.   Breakfast Tempeh and Potato Taco Bar.  The link will take you to the recipe, which is copyrighted, and I respect other people’s creations too much to steal them.  However, here is what the filling looked like going into the oven. 36640267_10212655711653816_2212548511294029824_n

See?  All nice and soaking in that spicy liquid, which is vegetable broth, (easy to make from scratch and freeze for when needed), and spices!  The broth cooks into the tempeh and softens the potatoes so nicely.  I made this slight in advance and put in the slow cooker so our guests could help themselves.  Here is the finished taco! 36753588_10212655711453811_1613652739621912576_n

Not only did our lovely vegan friend eat about 4 of them, but our other guests, who tried them out of curiosity originally, kept coming back for more!  These really were simply fabulous!

So what did I learn from this?  Tempeh, despite its appearance, is really versatile and I can’t wait to try it in other things.  Wouldn’t you think this old broad would know not to judge appearances?

The Thug Kitchen books are delightfully fun.  However, I should add a caveat.  If you are a bit sensitive, be warned, there is lots of bad language in them.  As for myself, I swear like a sailor, so I find the books quite amusing!   It’s up to you, however.  Don’t let a few cuss words having you leaving a valuable vegan resource behind!

Now I can say, confidently, to my vegan friends, Let me feed you!

Crepe bar

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     It’s fun when the gang has guests sleepover!  When the kids were little, sleepovers were very carefully planned.  They tended to be full-blown productions, loud and chaotic.  Now that my kids are college-aged, they tend to be much more sedate, usually because it was a late night or a night of indulgence and I insist they not drive home.  Either way, I like to feed whoever stays the night with us and my favorite way to do that is with a Crepe Bar.  Crepes are really simple to make and if you set out a few extra ingredients, your guests can customize their breakfast!  36598405_10212621973210376_8746434386993348608_n

  The recipe is a basic one, you can find anywhere on the internet, reproduced here for your use.

                                       Crepes

  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1/2 t. vanilla

   Mix all ingredients in a bowl until smooth.  Spray small fry pan with oil or melt a pinch of butter.  Heat.  Pour scant 1/4 cup batter into pan and swirl with wrist until batter coats pan evenly.  Cook about two minutes, flip and cook the other side quickly.  Place finished crepe on a plate and cover with a clean dish towel until ready to serve.  Add favorite fillings and toppings.

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You can make these right as the gang is waking up and by the time they are all finished, the kids are up and eating and you can polish one off yourself.  Also, leftovers, if there are any, keep nicely in the fridge for a few days.

Happy hosting!