Sunday, March 31, 2013

In Celebration of Warmer Weather! Taste of Tropics for Springtime



Happy Easter! And happy Springtime!!... Such a marvelous time of year... the Weather is warming up... Sun is shining, Plants are beginning to grow again, Birds are singing ..and having babies.... :)
This Easter I made my traditional Angel Food cake...so light and fluffy!  I don't ever remember an Easter without one.... and of course, the annual colored eggs... fun to do, for big kids too!.... I decided, for Easter, to bring a little Tropical taste to my menu with lots of fruit and veggies to enjoy...A toast to Sunny Days with wonderful Apricot Bellinis with Prosecco at Breakfast... And Sun inspired slaw, as well as Couscous with palate warming Chicken Fingers for Dinner. BTW... any of the three recipes I'm about to share with you would be great going into Summer! Easy, quick to make.. and fun to eat!  This is what I came up with...

First, let's get going the main EntrĂ©e... my Hot Chick Chicken Tenders. To make them...

7-8 Chicken Tenders
1/2 Cup of Honey
1 Tblsp. Sriracha Sauce
2-3 Cups of Panko Crumbs

Line a baking pan with Heavy duty Foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray.

I combine the Honey and Sriracha sauce in a small bowl. ( you may want to adjust the Honey/ Sriracha Sauce ratio to your own taste, as the Sriracha is very hot and spicy)

I place the Panko Crumbs on a plate.

One at a time, dip the Chicken Tenders in the Honey/Sriracha Sauce, then roll the tenders in the Panko Crumbs. Place on the foil lined baking tray. Spray the Crumb coated tenders with a little cooking spray. ( This both seals the juice in the tenders as well as encourages the crumbs to brown nicely. Bake the tenders at 385' until the Panko crumbs are Deep Golden Brown. See my Photo below.

Caribbean Carrot Slaw




1 Cup diced fresh Pineapple
1/2 Cup Raisins
10 Oz. matchstick cut Carrots
2 Tblsp light Olive Oil
2 Tblsp. Lemon Juice
2 Tblsp. Maple Syrup
1 Tblsp. Pineapple juice
2 Tblsp. chopped fresh Italian Parsley                       
Cracked Black Pepper to taste



Combine the Carrots, Raisins, Pineapple and Parsley in a medium sized bowl, and toss. In a Salad Dressing Cruet, combine the Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Maple Syrup, Pineapple Juice, and cracked Pepper. Shake well and pour over the tossed Fruit/ Vegetables. ( If you don't have a Cruet, then whisk the liquid ingredients in a separate bowl) Toss further to coat.


Coucous a L'Orange         


                                          

3/4 Cup of Orange Juice
1/2 Cup of Water
1 Tsp. ground Coriander
1/4 Tsp. Cinnamon
Cracked Black pepper to taste

Combine the Orange Juice, Water, Coriander, Cinnamon and Pepper in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Then remove from the heat. Add in

1 Cup of uncooked Couscous 
1/4 Cup of dried Cranberries
1/4 Cup of chopped Red Onion

Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile take 1/4 Cup of slice Almonds and toast. ( I toasted mine in my toaster oven, or you can toast stovetop in a skillet)

Add the toasted Almonds, and 3 Tblsp chopped fresh Italian Parsley to the Couscous.

In a small bowl,  whisk

1/4 Cup Orange Juice
1 Tblsp. Lime Juice
2 Tsp. Stoneground Mustard
1 1/2 Tblsp. Olive Oil

Drizzle this mixture over the Couscous and toss to coat.

If you have a taste for adventure, You are going to love these...  Amusez-vous!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Jane Dough's Strawberry Fields Donuts



Who doesn't love Donuts?! I just don't know... I especially love donuts with fruit in them. :) This is a recipe I came up with that allows me to keep my donuts 'somewhat' healthy... and I bake the fruit right in... yes, that's right... I bake them, not fry. That requires special pans for baking them... but for me, well worth the investment... after all, it's an investment in keeping my Breakfast fun, but 'somewhat' healthy!! :P  My Donut pans are from King Arthur Flour Co. where you can buy pans to make mini or standard sized Donuts.... hope you will try these...and Happy Baking!!


                                                  Jane Dough's Strawberry Fields Donuts


1 1/3 Cup of Pastry Flour ( You can also use All-Purpose Flour, but Pastry Flour makes them more fluffy & tender)
1/2 Cup Stevia/Sugar Blend ( You can use all Sugar, but I use part Stevia to cut calories)
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp. Cinnamon
3 Tblsp. Dried, Powdered Milk
2 Large Eggs
3 Tblsp. Vegetable Oil
1/3 Cup Strawberry Jam ( You can substitute your favorite Fruit Jam.. )
2 Tblsp. Water

Preheat oven to 350'. Generously grease Donut Baking Pans. Beat Eggs in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add in Jam, Water and Oil. Then add in Stevia/ Sugar, Baking Powder, Cinnamon, Powdered Milk. Blend well. Last, add the Flour. Fill each Donut form about half full. I put my batter in a sandwich bag w/ the corner cut off and 'pipe' the batter into each Donut form. Bake the Donuts for about 10 to 12 min. Time will vary depending on the power of your oven. They are done baking when they are golden brown on the top.

Once baked, remove the donuts from the pans and allow to cool. I lightly glaze them with  1/2 Cup of Powdered Sugar, 1/8 tsp. Vanilla Extract, 1 Tblsp. Water. ( I added in a drop of food coloring in keeping with the Strawberries baked inside.) Your glaze should not be too loose, but just loose enough to run in a stream from your spoon.

 I find the quickest way to glaze 'en masse' is to simply line up the donuts on my countertop and run the glaze in long lines over the donuts. Enjoy this Spring-y little Breakfast treat.... :)


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Meadow Beckons




                                                  The Meadow Beckons  

The meadow beckons to a meandering day.
She follows in its carefree lead.
As goes and blows the breeze at hand, so goes the dancing hay.
 

Wild are flowers, tossing beauty to the breeze.
Her glance she casts to venues new.
As goes and flows the languid seed, so goes her path with ease.
 

The grass may bend to the will of winds, but the grass to itself be true.
Woman’s growth stems from her field of dreams.
As goes and grows the tender root, so goes her day anew.   
 
 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Jane Dough's Blackberry Forest Breakfast Cake




I combined the sweetness of Almond Extract with the 'Sweet-Tartness' of Blackberries dusted in Cinnamon and Turbinado. Add the Crunch of Slivered Almonds, Pepitas, and Pumpkin seeds, and you've got a really lovely breakfast cake. I kept this low fat and kept the calories down by using Stevia. Here is my recipe:



                                                  Blackberry Forest Breakfast Cake

1 Large Egg
1/2 Cup 1% Milk
1/2 Cup Lowfat Plain Greek Yogurt
3 Tblsp. Vegetable Oil
1 Tsp. Almond Extract
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/4 Cup Domino Sugar Stevia blend
4 Tsp. Baking Powder
1 1/2 Cups Fresh Blackberries
2 Tblsp. Turbinado Sugar
2 Tblsp. Sliced Almonds
2 Tblsp. Pepitas ( Organic Pumpkin Seeds)
2 Tblsp. Sunflower Seeds
1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon

In a Large Bowl, combine Egg, Milk, Yogurt, Veg. Oil & Almond Extract ; whisk together. Into a separate bowl, sift together the Flour, Sugar/Stevia, and Baking Powder. Add the dry ingredients to the moist ingredients and stir until a smooth batter forms. Gently fold in 1 cup of Blackberries. Pour batter into a lightly greased Spring form pan.




Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 Cup of Blackberries onto the top of the batter.


In a small bowl, combine Turbinado Sugar, Sliced Almonds, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds and Cinnamon. Lightly toss together, and sprinkle this mixture on top of the Berries and Batter.




Bake at 350' for approx. 30 min. ( Time will vary, depending on your oven's power) Your cake should begin to get lightly golden and an inserted toothpick should come out of the cake clean.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Jane Dough's Strawberry/Rhubarb Pie




I'm basically blogging my recipe for this pie... so that I don't forget what I did.... this is probably the best Rhubarb pie I have ever had.... I got it right on my first attempt... somehow.... I hope you give it a try...  I managed, at least for my tastes, to balance the sweetness of the sugar with the tartness of the Rhubarb... just the right amount ...

For the Crust:

3 cups All Purpose Flour
1 cup Butter Shortening
Approx. 10 tblsp. cold water ( you might use more or less, you do not want your dough to be sticky)

With a fork, cut butter into the flour until blended to consistency of small peas.  Then, sprinkle in cold water until pie dough is moist and firm enough to form two equal sized balls of dough. Flour wax paper and with a rolling pin, roll out 1 ball of the pie dough to fit into a 9 inch pie dish.

For the filling:

Finely chopped Rhubarb
De-stemmed and quartered Strawberries
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup White Sugar
1/2 cup Corn Starch
1 tblsp. Cinnamon

In a large bowl, combine and toss the filling ingredients. Place the filling into the unbaked pie shell.

With a rolling pin, roll out the second ball of pie dough and cut vertically into strips of dough, with a pastry cutter or knife. 
 
Weave the strips of dough over the filling and tuck the ends of the dough as shown. I had a little extra dough, and embellished my pie with a little bird. :) I lightly sprinkled Turbinado Sugar on the crust.
 
Bake at 350' until the filling is bubbly and the crust bakes lightly golden, as in my opening photo. Enjoy!
 
 
 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Hybrid Harmony




Recently, I was reading about the Cycles of Civilization as envisioned many, many years ago by preeminent, Sociologist, Pitirim Sorokin.  How better the world, if we could temper what we do to advance society with science and technology, with a keener eye on our spiritual footprints. Both so important to the legacy that we are leaving to our future generations. The following is a supplicant poem, of hope, for a time that we might live with the harmony of  our empirical pursuits, married with reason and faith.  Idealistic, yes... but why ever not?

                                                              Hybrid Harmony


Through Hemera's eyes flows a faithful 'soul' light
Alighting the darkened harbor of empirical ways.
Enlightenment is shed on those who take to sensate flight.
There, askew senses, balanced with reason, avert an ill-conceived gaze.

Metis speaks to all ears, of reason and of truth.
Ways and means flow and the misguided reign of Prometheus it upends.
Spirit and Science wake and synthesize to holistic youth.
A river of hybrid harmony taxes the trick of dominance to a bankrupt end.

So swings the pendulum and cuts the bulwark of a singular view.
When Hemera like a faithful candle burns, and Metis stokes an ardent, mindful flame
Intelligence tempered clear by faith sets the course anew.
To a world where awakened souls carry forward and share gifts from where they came.
                

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