08 September 2022

An Announcement - Does "On Hiatus" Sound Too Grand?

This post has absolutely nothing to do with apples, but I had to put up a picture of
 something. And an apple made more sense than some of the stuff I paint.

Hello, friends! After 10 years of posting weekly, I switched to posting every other week, which has worked well for the past 2 1/2 years and likely will continue to work well once I get through a very busy time the next month or two. So don't count me out!

I may pop in and put up a new post or two during that time, but I don't want to have the pressure of having to do so, as I've got a lot on my plate just now with family health issues. But I'm sure not all of you have read all 600 of my posts, so there you go!

May I suggest you go to my Recipes index page and just pick a category! There are 13 categories: Appetizers, Beverages, Breads, Breakfast, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Main Dishes, Salads and Dressings, Sauces, Side Dishes, Soups, Teatime, and Miscellaneous.

And, please, leave comments on the posts. I may not be able to reply to all comments as I always have done, but I will read, enjoy, and post them all (though you may not see it right away as I moderate comments but may not do so as speedily as usual).


And, in keeping with autumn, a couple of pears. And one
of my favorite pear recipes, Pear Frangipane Tart.

As summer is winding down, I will take this opportunity to wish you an Awesome Autumn, or Fabulous Fall, whichever you prefer! 

Jean

18 August 2022

Intermittent Fasting - Update Four and a Half Years Later

Intermittent Fasting - Update Four and a Half Years Later / www.delightfulrepast.com
Why a photo of loose leaf black tea? Because it's the only thing I consume during the fast.
Water, black coffee, and herbal tisanes are also allowed.

Since I've been at this intermittent fasting lark for several years now, I thought it was time to give you an update. It is something I researched for several months before I started doing it more than four and a half years ago (I don't like to rush into things!). 

Other than my emphasis on sustainable, local, organic whole foods, I don’t follow any particular diet or have a lot of food rules. Just three:
    Always interested in maximizing my health and preventing problems before they occur, I’ve always believed something Mark Hyman, MD, said so succinctly: The most powerful medicine is at the end of your fork.

    I do a bit of daily exercise, including weight training, to prevent the loss of muscle mass that starts occurring much earlier in life than you might imagine. According to WebMD: Physically inactive people can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30. Even if you are active, you'll still have some muscle loss.

    The other key to avoiding muscle loss is maintaining healthy insulin sensitivity. And that is what got me interested in intermittent fasting, specifically 16/8 intermittent fasting.

    Disclaimer: I am not a doctor of any kind, have no formal education in the field of diet or nutrition, and would suggest that anyone who is under a doctor’s care for any condition should consult their doctor about dietary changes as their medication dosages will likely need adjusting. According to Dr Jason Fung, people who should not fast are those who are: underweight, malnourished, children, pregnant, or breastfeeding. And if you’ve ever had any sort of eating disorder, consult your doctor. I'm not an expert, I’m simply telling you what works for me.

    But there is plenty of information out there from people who are experts. So do your own research before making up your mind. On completion of my research, I knew this was something I would do for the rest of my life.

    This is not “a diet”—I don’t believe in temporary diets—it is a way of eating that can be done for a time or for a lifetime. I spent months researching it before starting it. I learned it has many benefits and is really quite easy to do. You can choose any 16 hours to fast, including however many hours you sleep. If you sleep 8 hours, that’s half of it right there.

    Since I had already stopped after-dinner evening snacking a few years before, it was really just a matter of postponing breakfast until 10:00 in the morning. So I decided to do all my eating between 10 am and 6 pm. This might mean packing a breakfast to have at work or wherever you're going—something with lots of protein, not Starbucks and a donut!

    But no need to get obsessive about it. If the 16/8 schedule won't work for you some days, just make it 15/9 or even 14/10. It's all good! I was not doing it for weight loss, but soon found myself losing weight. Had I continued with the 16/8 regimen, I would have continued to lose weight, which I did not want to do.

    So I switched to 15/9 to give myself an extra hour to eat enough food to maintain my weight. That did the trick. Stable weight for four years and counting! Anyone interested in losing and maintaining, or just maintaining, a stable weight will appreciate that a stable weight means not having to keep three sizes of clothes in their closet!


    Intermittent Fasting - Update Four and a Half Years Later / www.delightfulrepast.com
    Black tea - my beverage of choice during the fasting hours
    (and every other waking hour!)

    Benefits of 16/8 Intermittent Fasting

    • Regulates insulin and glucose, lowering the risk of diabetes, obesity, fatty liver disease, fatty pancreas
    • Stimulates metabolism for slow, steady loss of body fat (including that dangerous excess visceral fat) rather than loss of lean body mass
    • Improves lipid profile and heart function
    • Stresses the brain in the same (good) way that exercise stresses the body, reducing amyloids in the brain and lowering the risk of stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and dementia
    • Increases human growth hormone and boosts immune system
    • Reduces oxidative stress and stimulates the body to maintain and repair cells and tissues
    • Increases energy level
    • Eliminates food cravings
    If this is something you think you might like to try but think it's going to be difficult, I'd just like to tell you it's really quite easy. If you like, you can build up the number of fasting hours gradually. It's compatible with any diet (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, keto ...), compatible with any schedule, and doesn't require willpower.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on fasting, dieting, nutrition and health. And don't worry, I'll be back with a really good comfort food recipe next time!

    Jean

    04 August 2022

    Veering Out of My Lane - Talking About Clothes


    Veering Out of My Lane - Talking About Clothes - Curating a Wardrobe / www.delightfulrepast.com

    A wardrobe post at Delightful Repast? That's right. No food today! For the first time in 12.5 years, I'm posting about something besides food. And that is because the weather has made me lose all interest in cooking and even eating this week, so instead I've been spending time "curating" my wardrobe, weeding out the unworn clothing.

    Some people who know me would call me a minimalist, but I recently saw the word 'enoughism' and decided that I'm really more of an enoughist. Of course, if you could see all my kitchen equipment, you'd question how I could call myself an enoughist! I wrote a bit about minimalism six years ago in this Pasta with Chicken and Spring Vegetables recipe post.

    And the year before that I wrote about conquering a very specific type of clutter in this In My Kitchen post. I hope you'll read these two posts if you're at all interested in the topics of decluttering, organizing, minimalism, or enoughism.

    There are many ways to pare down one's wardrobe. One is the capsule wardrobe, great for some people, but it would take up way more time than I’m willing to spend. I've always limited my wardrobe to what would fit in my small closet and chest of drawers by practicing the one-in-one-out rule, but I decided to take it a step further. 

    My 90-Hanger Closet

    I started by measuring my closet rods. There is one rod for long items on the right side, and an upper and lower rod on the left side for short items. The three rods total 90 inches, so I decided to have 90 hangers. Sounds like a lot, but I also decided to stop storing any clothes in drawers. So now ...  

    All of my clothes—except underwear, swimsuits and coats—go on a hanger. No folded garments on a shelf or in a drawer. Every item, including scarves and belts and my workout pants and tops, is on a hanger. Nothing gets rotated in or out for seasons or any other reasons. It’s all there, all the time. 

    If I want to add a new garment, it has to replace an old garment that will be promptly relegated to the rag bag, if it's worn out or damaged, or donated to a charity shop, if it no longer fills a need.

    It would be grand if I had the "bandwidth" to deal with consignment shops or other methods of selling things, but I don't. So the ordinary items go to an ordinary thrift store and the really good stuff to a special thrift store that is very particular about what they sell.

    A Working Closet, Not a Warehouse

    I purged 13 items that had been taking up space for far too long, most of which were going to require altering if I was going to wear them. Six of those pieces were three rather elegant pantsuits that I wore regularly for years in a business that called for that level of dressing. It was hard to let them go, but it made no sense to go to the expense of alterations for things I no longer needed.

    Three hangers out of the 90 are empty. Three have skirts that need altering. And I have resolved to get that done before the end of the year. If I don't, they must go. The empty hangers can stay empty! If I find I can whittle those 90 hangers down even more, that will be wonderful. I don't want anything in my closet that isn't getting worn somewhat regularly.

    I need business-type dresses or skirts and tops (including blazers, jackets, and cardigans), a few times a week; dresses that can be worn for special occasions every couple of months; dressy-casual (also called, smart casual) pants and tops; casual pants/jeans and tops; workout pants and tops. I am not likely to have need of a ball gown or evening gown ever again, so no need to keep one of those on hand.

    What is your take on this subject? I hope you'll tell me all about how you handle your wardrobe. And then, I promise, I'll get back in my lane—food! The cake above, by the way, is French Almond-Rum Cake, and you need to make it! 

    Jean

    Veering Out of My Lane - Talking About Clothes / www.delightfulrepast.com

    If you liked this post, please Pin it and share it!

    14 July 2022

    Salisbury Steak - Classic Comfort Food

    Salisbury Steak - Classic Comfort Food / www.delightfulrepast.com

    Salisbury Steak popped into my head this morning when I was thinking about dinner. Then I thought how nice it would be to make a big enough batch to make four dinners for the two of us, one for this evening and three for the freezer.

    So I scaled up my usual Salisbury Steak recipe. This is what I call streamlined cooking and why I have so many of these Pyrex 3-cup rectangular storage dishes, perfect for my make-ahead freezer meals for two. 

    Wish I'd had them in the freezer last week when I needed to take food to a sick friend. But, no, I had to make a batch of chicken soup when I wasn't feeling all that great myself. Can't let my freezer stash get down to zero again!

    Let me assure you, my Salisbury Steak is good old-fashioned comfort food, not like the TV dinner version with painted-on "grill marks" or like the school lunch version I avoided throughout elementary school.

    What is one of your favorite comfort food meals when life has gotten hectic or stressful?


    Salisbury Steak - Classic Comfort Food / www.delightfulrepast.com

    If you like it, please Pin it and share it!
      

    Salisbury Steak


    (Makes 8 servings)

    The Steaks

    2 pounds (32 ounces/ grams) lean ground beef (organic and grass-fed, if possible)
    1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (about 3 slices/3.5 ounces/99 grams good sourdough or white bread)
    2 large eggs
    2 tablespoons ketchup
    2 teaspoons dry mustard
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon marjoram
    1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

    The Gravy

    1 small (4 ounces/113 grams) yellow onion, thinly sliced
    1/2 pound (8 ounces/227 grams) mushrooms, sliced
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
    1 quart (32 fluid ounces/946 ml) lower sodium beef broth
    2 tablespoons ketchup
    1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces/59 ml) water

    1 In medium bowl, mix together ground beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, ketchup, dry mustard, salt, pepper, marjoram and Worcestershire sauce. Using 2/3-cup measuring cup, divide mixture into 8 equal portions and shape into oval patties about 5 inches long and 3/4 inch thick.

    2 Heat (I mean really heat!) a large skillet*, add butter and oil, and brown the steaks well (I mean really well!) over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer steaks to a plate and pour all but about 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan. Do not clean it or scrape it! Add the onion and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently and scraping up the tasty brown bits in the pan, until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms (and a little more butter or oil, if needed) to the pan, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Cook, over medium heat, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes.

    * I use this All-Clad 6-Quart Saute Pan (12-inch, 2.75 inches deep, straight sides). Being stainless steel with no nonstick coating, you can get it really hot to put a brown crust on things. I can't imagine that my gravy would have turned out so beautifully brown if the steaks hadn't been browned really well, leaving fabulous fond in the pan. And its straight sides mean a large surface area for cooking.

    3 Add beef broth, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce to skillet. Mix well, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and stir in cornstarch mixture. When sauce begins to bubble and thicken, add steaks back to pan. Cover loosely and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, to heat through. When 2 or 3 minutes remain, taste and adjust seasoning.

    4 If you're making meals for two for the freezer, put 2 steaks in each of 4 Pyrex 3-cup rectangular storage dishes, use a slotted spoon to divide the mushrooms between the 4 dishes, then divide the sauce between the four dishes. Put the lids on and allow them to cool for 1 hour, then transfer them to the refrigerator until they are thoroughly chilled before placing them in the freezer.

    Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support.

    Jean

    If you liked this post, please Pin it and share it! 

    30 June 2022

    Apricot Upside-Down Cake

    Apricot Upside-Down Cake / www.delightfulrepast.com

    Apricot upside-down cake, especially this one made with almond meal (also called almond flour or, in the UK, ground almonds) and just a dash of almond extract, is the perfect midsummer dessert. If you don't eat almonds, simply replace the almond meal with an equal measure of flour and leave out the almond extract. 

    Apricots and almonds have an affinity for each other, so unless you're allergic to almonds I hope you'll try it. Just don't increase the amount of almond extract as it can be quite overpowering. As you know, I appreciate subtlety rather than being slapped in the face by heavy-handed flavors. 

    As I poured the batter into the pan, I was regretting putting "plus 2 tablespoons milk," thinking the cake was going to be too light to support the apricots. I needn't have worried. The cake didn't collapse even a smidge when I turned it upside down and lifted the pan away. 

    Summer fruit is just about the only thing I like about summer! How about you? I hope you're having a super summer!



    Apricot Upside-Down Cake / www.delightfulrepast.com

    If you like it, please Pin it and share it!


    Apricot Upside-Down Cake 


    (Makes one 8-inch/20 cm cake, 8 servings) 

    3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces/43 grams) unsalted butter, melted
    6 packed tablespoons (2.625 ounces/74 grams) dark brown sugar
    10 smallish apricots, halved and pitted
    3/4 dip-and-sweep cup (3.75 ounces/106 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
    1/3 packed cup (1.75 ounces/51 grams) almond meal or finely ground almonds
    2/3 cup (4.67 ounces/132 grams) sugar
    2 teaspoons non-GMO baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon mace or 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
    5 tablespoons (2.5 ounces/71 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
    1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 fluid ounces/148 ml) milk, room temperature
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4 teaspoon almond extract
    1 large egg, room temperature 


    Note: For a gluten-free cake, replace 3/4 cup flour with 1/4 cup sorghum flour, 1/4 cup potato starch, 1/4 cup tapioca flour and 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum. 

    1 Halve and pit the apricots. Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. Spray the sides and bottom of a 2-inch deep 8-inch round cake pan with vegetable spray, line bottom with a round of parchment paper, and pour the melted butter in the pan. Add the brown sugar to the butter and blend. Starting at outer edge, arrange apricots, cut side down, in single layer in bottom of pan and press lightly to make them stick; set aside.

    2 In large mixing bowl, combine flour, almond meal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and mace; mix on low speed for 1 minute to "sift.". Add the softened butter; mix on low speed for 1 minute. Add milk and extracts; mix on low speed for 1 minute. Add the egg; mix 1 1/2 minutes longer. 

    3 Spread the batter carefully over the apricots with a rubber spatula. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven, let stand for just 3 minutes, loosen edges with knife and invert onto a platter. Carefully peel off parchment paper. Let cool about 45 minutes, or up to several hours, before serving slightly warm or at room temperature. Serve with vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream.

    Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support.

    Jean

    If you liked this post, please Pin it and share it!

    26 May 2022

    Chocolate Tart - Tarte au Chocolat

    Chocolate Tart - Tarte au Chocolat / www.delightfulrepast.com

    Mr Delightful doesn't usually comment on food when we're watching a movie or video, but he did so when a travel vlogger was eating and describing a chocolate dessert on a train journey. So I knew it had been too long since I'd made a Chocolate Tart.

    I've made it with chocolate pastry before, but to me that is overkill. A filling with this much chocolate does not need a chocolate crust. To fancy it up for a dinner party, I might garnish with a bit of whipped cream and a few raspberries; but they are not needed and I've photographed for you the plain-jane slice that can stand alone.

    Not just intensely chocolatey, this tart is ethereally light. Take a bite, put it in your mouth and the chocolate filling seems to disappear in your mouth. I hope you'll try it soon and let me know if you agree!


    Chocolate Tart - Tarte au Chocolat / www.delightfulrepast.com

    If you like it, please Pin it and share it!


    Chocolate Tart - Tarte au Chocolat


    (Makes one 9-inch/23cm tart, 8 servings)

    The Pastry - Pâte Sucrée (a sweet shortcrust pastry)

    1 1/4 dip-and-sweep cups (6.25 ounces/177 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
    1/4 packed cup (1 ounce/28 grams) unsifted powdered sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    8 tablespoons (4 ounces/113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    1 large egg

    The Filling

    1 3/4 sticks (7 ounces/198 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 7 chunks
    10.5 ounces (298 grams) bittersweet (68 to 78%) chocolate, coarsely chopped
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    3 large eggs, room temperature
    2 large egg yolks, room temperature
    1/3 cup (2.33 ounces/66 grams) sugar


    1 Add flour, powdered sugar and salt to work bowl of food processor; turn on for about 3 or 4 seconds to combine. Add chunks of butter; pulse to a crumb texture. Add egg; pulse until the dough starts clumping together. This is to be a crisp, more cookie-like crust, rather than a flaky pastry; so there's not quite the concern about over-processing. Flatten slightly into a 5-inch round disk, wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.

    2 Lightly butter a 9-inch/23cm tart tin and set it on a baking sheet. On lightly floured 12-inch square of aluminum foil, roll out the pastry to a 12-inch circle. Transfer dough to tart tin, pressing dough (but not stretching it) to fit the tin. Save the foil; you're not done with it. With scissors or knife, trim the overhang to 1/2 inch all around. Fold it in and press it to the sides to form a thicker side crust. Trim the edges by rolling the rolling pin over the top. Press the pastry into the flutes so that it rises a bit above the edge (in case of shrinkage). Pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven to 375F/190C/Gas5.

    3 Cover chilled pastry with reserved piece of foil, clean side up, pressing it to fit well. Spread 2 cups of ceramic pie weights (that's two packages of Mrs. Anderson's ceramic pie weights) over the foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and weights; continue baking for 10 minutes, until lightly browned to a pale golden.

    4 While the pastry is baking, start the filling. In a heavy-bottomed 3-quart saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the butter until melted and small bubbles begin to form around the edge. Remove from heat; add the chopped chocolate and stir until thoroughly smooth. Stir in salt. The melted mixture needs to be tepid when you fold in the egg mixture. If at some point it begins to solidify a bit, you might need to apply a bit of low heat just to thin the mixture, not warm it.

    5 Remove tart shell from the oven and turn the temperature down to 325F/165C/Gas3. While the pastry is cooling, continue with the filling. In a 2-quart bowl, beat the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed for about 10 minutes, until the mixture is light and airy and doubled or tripled in volume. You may also use a heavy-duty stand mixer with the whisk attachment, and it may take less time.

    6 Fold about a third of the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture, gently but rather thoroughly. Then very gently fold in the remaining egg mixture, just until no visible streaks of egg remain. Try not to deflate the eggs.

    7 Pour filling into prebaked pastry shell. Bake (with tart tin on baking sheet) for about 25 minutes, until just set but still with a bit of a wobble. Do not overbake. Cool on wire rack at room temperature for at least 2 hours. If you make it a day or two ahead, refrigerate it until 2 hours before serving time; allow it to come to room temperature. Cut into 8 to 12 wedges and serve with a dollop of unsweetened or barely sweetened whipped cream.

    Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support.

    Jean

    If you liked this post, please Pin it and share it!

    12 May 2022

    Sheet Pan Pancakes

    Sheet Pan Pancakes / www.delightfulrepast.com

    My Sheet Pan Pancakes recipe isn't one of those silly ones you see, with a load of sugar, that's more cake than pancake! This is breakfast, people, not dessert!

    Pancakes are my favorite comfort food breakfast. I can't eat pancakes without thinking of my Southern grandmother. Grandma made The Best pancakes—actually, she called them hotcakes (Is that a Southern thing?). She made them really thick and fluffy, about 4 inches in diameter, and served them with lots of butter and hot homemade syrup.

    This is my basic pancake batter recipe for thick and fluffy pancakes, arrived at through trial and error over the years, but with directions for sheet pan baking rather than 12 individual round pancakes. If you want to make some really good regular, not sheet pan, pancakes instead, use the same ingredients.

    If you like the super thin, but not quite as thin as Crepes, pancakes my mother liked (Is that an English thing?), then try my Swedish Pancakes. What is your ideal pancake? Do you make them yourself or go out for them? Or do you prefer Waffles?


    Sheet Pan Pancakes / www.delightfulrepast.com

    If you like it, please Pin it and share it!

    Sheet Pan Pancakes

    (Makes 12 pancakes)

    4 tablespoons (2 ounces/57 grams) unsalted butter
    1 1/4 cups (10 fluid ounces/296 ml) milk
    1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    1 1/4 dip-and-sweep cups (6.25 ounces/177 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon (12 grams) sugar
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3 large eggs, room temperature

    In 1-cup glass measure, melt the butter in the microwave (or melt the butter in a small saucepan on the stove); set aside to cool slightly. In 2-cup glass measure, measure the milk and stir in the vinegar. 

    2 In medium bowl (I use a 2-quart Pyrex glass measure), whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

    3 In small bowl (I use a 4-cup Pyrex glass measure), whisk together eggs, soured milk, and 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Pour into dry mixture and whisk gently until just combined. Let the batter rest at room temperature for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven.

    4 Put one oven rack in the middle of the oven and one about 6 inches from the broiler at the top. Preheat the oven to 425F/220C/Gas7. Line the bottom of a 15x10x1-inch "jelly roll" sheet pan with baking parchment paper. Brush paper and sides of pan with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter.

    5 Scrape batter into the prepared pan and give the pan a gentle shake to spread the batter out. Bake for about 8 minutes, until the center is springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

    6 Remove pan from the oven and turn the oven to Broil. Brush the top of the pancake with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Place under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes, watching it closely, until lightly browned, turning pan as needed for even browning.

    7 Cut into 12 squares and serve immediately (to everyone all at once!) with warm maple syrup or Homemade Blueberry Syrup/Sauce. Or store cooled squares in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

    Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

    Jean

    If you liked this post, please Pin it and share it!

    28 April 2022

    Swedish Pancakes - Pannkakor

    Swedish Pancakes - Pannkakor / www.delightfulrepast.com

    Swedish pancakes came about because a friend asked if I could pick up an order of Swedish pancakes from a local restaurant for her visiting grandchildren because it was one of their favorites. And I, of course, said "Why don't I just make some?"

    So I read all about how they differed from crepes and then adjusted my carefully formulated crepes recipe accordingly. Some people use no sugar in Swedish pancakes, but others use crazy amounts of the stuff! Let me assure you the lone half tablespoon of sugar in my recipe is plenty for a sweet pancake.

    Lingonberry jam is the traditional accompaniment and cannot be improved upon. The small sour berries make a delightfully tart jam that goes so well with a meal of Swedish meatballs as well as with Swedish pancakes. Some say it is raspberry jam that is "authentic."

    But any berry jam will work. That and a light dusting of powdered sugar and a little whipped cream never go amiss. Wonderful for breakfast, but also great for dessert. In fact, they are the dessert following pea soup for a traditional Thursday night Swedish dinner.

    And my British readers will notice straight away that Swedish pancakes themselves are the same as British pancakes! But the traditional accompaniment to British pancakes is a tiny sprinkle of sugar and a squeeze of lemon. Scrummy!

    Do leave a comment and tell me about your favorite pancakes—Swedish, British, American, or otherwise—because I love them all! 


    Swedish Pancakes - Pannkakor / www.delightfulrepast.com

    If you like it, please Pin it and share it!

    Swedish Pancakes - Pannkakor


    (Makes 12 8-inch pancakes)

    1 2/3 dip-and-sweep cups (8.33 ounces/236 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3 large eggs
    2 1/4 cups (18 fluid ounces/532 ml) milk
    2 tablespoons (1 ounce/28 grams) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

    1 In 1-quart glass measure, vigorously whisk together flour, sugar, and salt.

    2 In a bowl, whisk eggs together, then whisk in milk and melted butter.

    3 To get a really smooth batter, whisk no more than half the milk mixture into the flour mixture until smooth before adding the rest. Whisk well. The batter (about 4 cups) should be about as thick as heavy cream. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

    4 Use a 10-inch nonstick fry pan (I love this tri-ply stainless steel pan!) with flared (not straight) sides to make 8-inch pancakes. Put a tiny piece of butter in the pan and brush it around as it melts. Heat the pan over medium heat until it is thoroughly heated (droplets of water sprinkled onto the pan will sizzle and disappear immediately), about 3 minutes, depending on your pan and your stove. 

    Tip: People are always saying the first pancake is just a tester. But your very first pancake will be perfect if you just have the patience to heat your pan properly. Don't waste your batter in an insufficiently heated pan. And remember to gently stir the batter before using it. Give it a stir before each pancake. Tender and seemingly delicate, the pancakes are really quite easy to handle.

    5 Here it is now, The Swirl: Holding pan off heat, quickly pour into the center of the pan 1/3 cup of batter, and immediately begin swirling, tilting and rolling, the pan until the batter covers the bottom of the pan evenly. Cook until lightly browned on the bottom and looking dry on the top, particularly the edge. The time will vary, depending on your pan and your stove; 1 to 1 1/2 minutes is about right for mine. Using both hands, lift the edge with your fingers and turn it over. The second side will need less time, about half, to cook.

    Tip: I use a 1/3-cup measure, from my stainless steel measuring cup set, for just the right amount of batter. And I use a mini silicone spatula to start lifting the edge, then take hold of it with the thumb and index finger of both hands and quickly flip it over. To remove the finished pancake from the pan, just tilt it over the plate you're stacking them on and let it slide out.

    6 Repeat until all the batter is used. This recipe makes precisely enough batter for 12 pancakes. For immediate use, stack pancakes and keep covered. Or stack on a plate and store, wrapped, in the refrigerator until ready to use, up to 2 or 3 days; may also be frozen for up to 2 months. Allow frozen pancakes to thaw completely before unwrapping, separating, and reheating.

    7 Serve with lingonberry jam or another type of berry jam, a dusting of powdered sugar, a dollop of whipped cream, or whatever you like.

    Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

    Jean

    If you liked this post, please Pin it and share it!

    14 April 2022

    One-Bowl Guinness Chocolate Cake

    Guinness Chocolate Cake - Easy and Has No Eggs or Dairy / www.delightfulrepast.com

    Guinness Chocolate Cake can be done as a single 8-inch layer with a simple icing or dusting of powdered sugar or as two 6-inch layers filled and frosted. But unless it's going on the afternoon tea table, I just make the single layer. With whipped cream, above, or a thin layer of icing, below.


    Guinness Chocolate Cake - Easy, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free / www.delightfulrepast.com


    Made without eggs or butter, Guinness Chocolate Cake also just happens to be vegan. I once saved a piece for four days, just for test purposes, and it was still fresh and fabulous! I had thought it might dry out since it has no eggs.

    What does the Guinness add to the cake? What does it taste like? I can't really describe it, but it's different. The Guinness enhances the chocolate flavor and gives it a slightly tangy, malty flavor—a bit of an "edge," you might say.

    Another thing you'll love about it is that it is so easy and no-muss-no-fuss. No need for a stand mixer or even a hand mixer. A one-bowl cake that will never wear you out or let you down!


    Guinness Chocolate Cake - Easy and Has No Eggs or Dairy / www.delightfulrepast.com

    If you like it, please Pin it and share it!

    Guinness Chocolate Cake


    (Makes one 8-inch round layer)

    1 1/3 dip-and-sweep cups (6.67 ounces/189 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
    1 cup (7 ounces/198 grams) sugar
    1/3 packed cup (1 ounce/28 grams) natural unsweetened cocoa
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 1/4 cup (10 fluid ounces/296 ml) Guinness stout
    1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces/59 ml OR 1.875 ounces/53 grams) extra virgin olive oil
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    1 Grease and flour one 8-inch round 2-inch deep cake pan (Don't even bother with shallow cake pans!). And a circle of parchment paper in the bottom will ensure successful removal from the pan, if you have that concern. Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. 


    Note: If you want to get fancy and make a sweet little layer cake (the size I make for an afternoon tea), divide the batter between two 6-inch round 2-inch deep cake pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. (I also love, and have several, Fat Daddio's cake pans.)

    2 In a 2-quart bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add Guinness, oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk vigorously for about a minute, or until smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Run a knife through the batter a few times to break up any large air bubbles. Bake for about 35 to 45 minutes, or until it tests done with a toothpick.

    Note: When measuring the stout in a 2-cup glass measure, let it stand a minute for the foam to settle and make sure the liquid, not the foam, comes up to the mark.

    3 Let cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert onto the rack to cool completely. 


    Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

    Jean

    If you liked this post, please Pin it and share it!

    31 March 2022

    Baba Ghanoush with Oven-Toasted Pita Wedges

    Baba Ghanoush with Oven-Toasted Pita Wedges / www.delightfulrepast.com

    Baba Ghanoush, my second favorite Middle Eastern food (after hummus) is another one of those things my texturally challenged husband won't even try. He's just not a dip/spread kinda guy. But since most people are, you should have some of this on hand over the weekend. Make a big batch, serve some tonight and the rest over the weekend. It keeps nicely for a few days.

    As with the hummus, don't get too carried away with the garlic. Remember the garlic is just a minor player, the eggplant is the star. You'll have plenty of time to make the oven-toasted pita wedges (see below) while the baba ghanoush is chilling. Tell me, do you or someone you know have these texture issues, or is Mr Delightful the only person on the planet who doesn't like dips of any kind?

    If you'd like to make your own pita bread for the Oven-Toasted Pita Wedges (below), it's really quite easy. I hope you'll try it soon. (And, yes, I do know that 'pita' means bread and that saying 'pita bread' is really saying 'bread bread'!)


    Baba Ghanoush with Oven-Toasted Pita Wedges (watercolor by me) / www.delightfulrepast.com)

    If you like this post, please Pin it and share it!

    I have to admit, baba ghanoush is not the most photogenic food in the world and needs some serious styling, which I didn't have time to do, so I used my watercolor eggplant painting for the "Pinnable-size" image in this post!

    Baba Ghanoush - Caviar d'Aubergine

    (Makes 2 cups)

    2 medium (1 1/2 to 2 pounds total) eggplants
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1/4 teaspoon (1/2 small clove) minced garlic
    1/4 cup unsalted tahini
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    1/8 teaspoon cumin
    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

    1 Preheat oven to 450F/230C/Gas8. Cut eggplants in half, score tops with diamond pattern, rub with just enough oil to coat. Place on foil-lined baking sheet and roast about 30 minutes or until very soft. Cool slightly. Scoop out flesh into colander and let stand a few minutes to drain off any liquid.

    2
     In bowl of food processor, place drained eggplant and all remaining ingredients. Pulse 8 to 12 times. Put into serving dish and cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface. Refrigerate for at least four hours before serving. Can be made a day or two ahead.

    3
     Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and some finely chopped mint, flat-leaf parsley or pistachios. (I didn't have any of those on hand, so I just used some paprika.) Serve with oven-toasted whole wheat pita wedges (see below), sliced baguette or Armenian cracker bread (I love ak-mak!) and raw vegetable strips.

    Oven-Toasted Pita Wedges

    (Makes 48 wedges)

    Preheat oven to 375F/190C/Gas5. Brush a little extra-virgin olive oil on both sides of 6 whole wheat pitas (one package). Cut each into 8 wedges. Place on two large baking sheets. Sprinkle with a little salt, if you like. Bake for 6 to 10 minutes or until crisp; no need to turn. Can be made day ahead, cooled completely and stored in airtight container.

    And here's my favorite kitchen timer, the TimeStack, 'cause if you're like me and have a lot going on at one time, you need more than one or two timers!

    Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

    Jean

    If you liked this post, please Pin it and share it!
    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...