The Friday Poem: July Arrives

JulyArrives

Smashwords Book Sale!

Hi Folks – my paranormal romance, Earthbound is on sale for just $2, along with a host of other great ebooks at Smashwords. Check it out!

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The Sunday Recipe: Upside Down Almond Sponge Cake

RhubarbAlmondSpongeCake

Upside Down Almond Sponge Fruit Cake

I’ve been using Laura B. Russell’s wonderful almond cake recipe for a couple years now. (If you want the original recipe, check it out here https://laurabrussell.com/almond-cake/) For this cake, I’ve combined her almond cake with a classic recipe for baked apple pancakes, and made a few changes. Rhubarb is wonderful in this, but I’ve also used frozen blueberries, halved sweet cherries, and drained canned peaches. It’s all good, simple, and gluten free.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter (unsalted preferred)
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups fruit (rhubarb, blueberries, cherries, or peaches, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 6 ounces almond flour (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 5 large eggs (separated)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt the butter in a deep-dish pie plate, either in the microwave or in the warming oven.
  3. Spread the butter around the plate and arrange the fruit on top in a single layer.
  4. Drizzle the maple syrup over the fruit.
  5. Sprinkle with cinnamon, if using.
  6. Separate the 5 eggs into 2 mixing bowls. (I highly recommend you do the actual separating over a small bowl and then dump the egg yolk into the one bowl and transfer the egg white into the mixing bowl.) If you don’t know how to separate eggs, here’s a simple 1-minute video on it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAGX-54iR30
  7. Mix the maple syrup into the egg yolks then stir in the vanilla and almond flour.
  8. Using a mixer, beat your egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. (Tip: for best results make sure your bowl and beaters are clean and dry, free of any oil.)
  9. Fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, about one third at a time. (Basically, folding means to use a large rubber spatula to stir up gently from the bottom.)
  10. Pour the mixture over the fruit and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  11. Serve warm or cold, with or without whipped cream.

The Sunday Recipe: Enchilada Casserole

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Enchilada Casserole

This is something that I have thrown together before with varied ingredients. This time I wrote it down. I used ground beef, but I’ve also used ground venison, and I imagine it would work just fine with chopped cooked chicken, soy crumbles, or even just leave the meat out altogether. With the beans and cheese, there is plenty of protein. I like to serve it with a little salad on the side, and/or chopped tomato, avocado, and sour cream.

Ingredients

  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup beef broth (or water with beef bouillon cube or powder)
  • 1 teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon chili powder depending on how spicy.
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 and ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 5 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (Monterey jack or Mexican blend)
  • 1 cup frozen corn

Directions

  1. Combine the tomato sauce, broth or water and bouillon, and seasonings in a medium pot over medium heat.
  2. Bring sauce to simmer and let it bubble gently for 15 minutes.
  3. Brown the ground beef or prepare other meat, if using.
  4. Mash or puree the pinto beans with ¼ cup of the sauce.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Reserve ¼ cup sauce and ½ cup cheese for top of casserole.
  7. Prepare a round 1.75-quart casserole with cooking spray.
  8. Place ¼ cup sauce, without meat, in bottom of dish.
  9. Put one tortilla in dish.
  10. If using, now stir the meat into the sauce.
  11. Layer ¼ of sauce onto tortilla.
  12. Dollop ¼ of bean mixture on.
  13. Sprinkle ¼ of corn on.
  14. Sprinkle ¼ of cheese on.
  15. Place a tortilla on and press down lightly.
  16. Repeat steps 9 through 13, 3 more times.
  17. Spread reserved sauce on top of last tortilla.
  18. Sprinkle reserved cheese on.
  19. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
  20. Enjoy!

Mexican steps

 

The Friday Poem: Be Careful What You Meme

BeCarefulWhatYouMeme

The Sunday Recipe: Perfect Rice Pudding

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Perfect Rice Pudding

There is nothing more comforting to me than a perfect bowl of rice pudding, warm or cold. I’ve tried a lot of different recipes lately. I tried replacing some milk with whole cream, whole eggs versus egg yolks, butter or no butter, and different types of sugar versus maple syrup. In the end, I combined elements of several different recipes, along with my favorite ingredients, to create what is perfect for my palette. It is an utterly creamy, less sugar, gluten free, and wholesome dessert/snack. I hope you enjoy. (This is also a great way to use leftover rice from Chinese takeout. Raisins are a great addition too.)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice (white rice works too)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

  1. In a sauce pot over medium heat, combine 1 and ½ cups of milk with maple syrup and rice.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks and remaining milk.
  4. After the rice mixture has simmered and thickened a little, whisk a quarter cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolk mixture.
  5. Do that 3 more times, to temper the egg yolks.
  6. Now stir the egg yolk mixture into the sauce pot.
  7. Return to a simmer for about 5 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat.
  9. Stir in butter, vanilla, and cinnamon.
  10. Enjoy hot or chilled. (I think it tastes better chilled.)

The Friday Poem: I, You, He, She, They . . . Protest

Protest

The Sunday Recipe: Oatmeal Muffins with Orange Cranberries

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Oatmeal Muffins with Orange Juiced Cranberries

Though my recipe is gluten free, I provide the original recipe at the bottom from my mother, directions are largely the same. I used Ocean Spray reduced sugar craisins for this recipe. These are perfectly scrumptious – crispy on the outside, soft and sweet on the inside. I really hope you give them a try. (Last time I made them, I used 1 tablespoon  cornstarch instead of tapioca starch, so I think either works.)

Ingredients

  • 60 grams dried cranberries (about 1/3 cup)
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 cup rolled oats (quick or old fashioned)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup light olive oil or melted butter
  • ¾ cup white rice flour (120 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Combine dried cranberries with orange juice in a glass container or measuring cup.
  2. Microwave on 50 % for one minute, just until warm.
  3. Allow to sit for at least ½ an hour, but preferably an hour or two. (May be put in the fridge for a more extended period.)
  4. When ready to make the muffins, strain the cranberries and set aside.
  5. Place 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar in a measuring cup then fill to the one cup mark with milk. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. (This is a substitute for 1 cup buttermilk.)
  6. Combine oats and milk. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  7. In a measuring bowl, whisk eggs.
  8. Add maple syrup
  9. Mix in light olive oil or melted butter
  10. Add white rice flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  11. Stir in cranberries.
  12. Mixture will be thin.
  13. Divvy up into a 12 muffin pan.
  14. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
  15. Allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before running a thin knife around edge to lift out.
  16. Enjoy!

 

Original Oatmeal Muffin recipe ingredients from my mother –

  • 1 cup of oats
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 1 cup of unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup melted shortening or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Friday Poem: A Mental Check

MentalCheck

The Sunday Recipe: Pasta e Fagioli

PastaeFagioli

Pasta e Fagioli

Okay, so this is basically a cross between chili and soup. I refer to it as Italian Chili. It is perfect for cooler weather or to serve a crowd who needs nourishment.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 7 ounces carrots, sliced (couple dozen baby carrots, 2 large carrots)
  • 7 ounces celery, sliced (3 or 4 celery ribs)
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 32 – 64 ounces beef broth, depending on how soupy you like it (Start with 32.)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • ½ – 28 ounce jar spaghetti sauce, or 1 can of pizza sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot sauce or cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ½ cup elbow macaroni. (Gluten free works well.)

Directions

  1. In a large pot, saute the onion, garlic, celery and carrots in olive oil until softened.
  2. Push veggies to edge of pot and add ground beef.
  3. Chop the ground beef every few minutes until browned.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the pasta.
  5. Simmer for 30 – 60 minutes to meld flavors.
  6. Add the pasta and simmer until soft, about another 20 minutes.
  7. Enjoy.

 

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