Tag Archives: yogurt

Rethinking Breakfast

Kefir cheese with a bit of honey and sliced strawberries on sprouted grain toast.

 

For most of my life, my morning routine involved waking to an alarm set to sound well before the the sun had even thought about sending its rays to brighten the black horizon outside my window.  I was ready for work in less than forty minutes and shuffling out the front door with my coffee in hand, satchel thrown over one shoulder and purse over the other.  There was rarely a thought for breakfast of any kind unless I remembered to grab a cup of yogurt I could eat in the car — not the safest decision one can make.

Although I no longer have that routine, the habit of not eating breakfast has stayed with me and I’ve had to work to remember to eat before 9am each day.  I’m rarely hungry first thing in the morning, and once I’ve had coffee, that seems to delay any hunger pangs that remind me to eat.  I get busy with my day and then don’t think about eating until I look at a clock and realize it’s nearly noon.   I’m famished by that time so reach for something with little or no thought.  A portion much too large.  Something — anything with some nice rib-sticking carbs.

Two pieces of toast with butter and maybe some jam or honey for added flavor.  A cup and a half to two cups of cereal.  A piece of left-over cake or pie.  Perhaps another of the muffins I’d baked the day before.  Left-over white rice with warm milk, butter, cinnamon, and sugar.  Lots and lots of carbs.  I will admit the toast was always whole wheat or multi-grain and the cereal the likes of Raisin Bran or Wheaties.  And thankfully there wasn’t always cake or pie sitting around, but I think you get the idea.

Clearly, I needed to make some adjustments with the first being to actually eat breakfast early in the morning instead of at lunchtime.  Next, I needed to make sure there were better options available.  That meant I had to spend more time thinking about what to put in the cart when I was at the market.

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it?  It’s not.  It’s become routine in the last couple of months and I’ve noticed the more I stick with it, the more ideas I get.  Variety seems to be the key for me because I’ll stay interested.  Otherwise, I’m afraid I’ll ease back into my old habit of skipping breakfast.

What do you eat breakfast every day?

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Banana Caramel Nut Frozen Yogurt

dipped pops

I like bananas when they’ve just yellow but tinged with the faintest color of green on the ridges that run their length.  No spots, firm, and crisp sounding when I pop the top and pull that first piece of peeling away from the fruit.  If bananas could stay like this for days, I’d enjoy one every day all by itself.

But they don’t.

I don’t like the cloying sweetness that begins to take over once the ripening process gets going, and the softer texture leaves much to be desired.  I wish I was better at pulling out the blender because I wouldn’t have trouble making a smoothie and putting a too ripe banana out of its misery with some yogurt and orange juice, but I’m not.

Recently, we’ve had quite the ripe banana back up so I spent more time than I normally would looking for something different to make with them — something other than banana bread or muffins.  I love frozen bananas dipped in chocolate and nuts, but they’re not something to be made with brown bananas.  Pastry Chef Sherry Yard has some delicious ideas involving frying and dipping, so that’s on my list, but I wasn’t in the mood to get too involved.

If not frozen banana pops, then why not banana ice cream — or frozen yogurt since I had Greek yogurt and kefir cheese in the fridge.  Then I could make banana frozen yogurt pops.

Hmmm…

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Fresh Corn and Tomato Pie

Fresh Corn and Tomato Pie

It’s been a couple of weeks since my youngest headed off to college, and it’s become very apparent that tailoring my cooking portions down by a third is not going to be as easy as I first thought.  Let’s discuss the fresh corn I purchased recently, shall we?

I bought four ears, restraining myself because they were 10 for a dollar.  Sure, I could have purchased 10, and like an organized consumer, freeze most of it for later use.  You should see my freezer.

No, I settled with the four ears knowing I’d be able to make a few recipes before we felt as if we were on corn overload.  Bear in mind that each ear of corn produces more than one cup of kernels and that one serving is only 1/4 cup.  Two recipes for two would mean 16 meals consisting of…

Corn.

Sweet, crunchy, versatile corn that, when enjoyed in a nice pie made with homegrown tomatoes, won’t get stuck in your teeth.

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Mama Mia! Greek Night In

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There’s a Greek bistro not too far from where I live called Apollonia.  It rates as one of the casual places I’ve enjoyed locally whose food has had me thinking about it long after I’ve eaten there.  Maybe it’s because I don’t eat Greek food very often, and so my weary taste buds long for something unique.  Or, it could be that the food is just plain delicious.

Valentine’s week (and I have to call it that since my husband treated me to days of lovely surprises) one of my gifts was dinner at Apollonia.  Ohhh, the hummos and the dolmathakia.  The spanakopita and tyropita.  The souvlaki.

Sheer heaven.

Clearly, there was a Greek dinner in the works for us at home after this, and I decided that since the Academy Awards was rapidly approaching, I’d spend the day in the kitchen cooking and watching what my husband calls my “pre-game show” of all things Oscars:  gowns and botox lips, padded rumps and tatooed eyeliner.  You’ve got to love Hollywood at least once a year.

No sooner had I begun the prepping than my oldest son called to ask what we were doing.
“Watching the Oscars and eating Greek food.  Why?”  I asked.
“Because I’m coming over,” he told me and with a quick “See Yah,” he hung up leaving me with my list of what to chop when and Mama Mia running through my mind.  Not the movie — the song.  Well, actually, both.

The connection?  My son is a huge ABBA fan and my husband and I are pretty sappy over the movie, too.  I know.  You can think what you will, but since I was actually around when ABBA’s songs routinely blasted from my car radio, I can be sappy about them if I want.  Besides, who can resist the amazing cerulean water in the film and seriously hunky Pierce Brosnan belting out, “So when you’re near me, darling can’t you hear me…SOS…The love you gave me nothing else can save me SOS!” to an I want to look like that when I’m 60 Meryl Streep.

Ahhhh….

I see a Greek island vacation in my future.

But in the meantime, I’ll settle for homemade hummus, Briami, and Chicken Souvlaki from Peter of Kalofagas.  With ABBA, of course, and this does involve a bit of dancing barefoot without warning.

I’ve been singing ABBA tunes all day every day for weeks.  In the car, at the grocery store…

Mama Mia.  Here we go again…

I just need a sailboat.

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Tuiles and Orange Yogurt Sabayon

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Thursday:  8:10 am

I swore I'd not be late on this month's Daring Baker's challenge.  I even mentioned to others I'd complete it two weeks into the month, but time has a way of passing so quickly these days and before I knew it, this week was upon me and bearing down hard.

Two days ago, I cut some forms for the tuiles we are to have made.  And even yesterday, I retrieved some egg whites from the freezer to thaw so I could begin work.  But did I?  No.  So here I am today just getting started.

I know what you're thinking.  What a slacker.  And you'd be right, but it's only a bit after 8am, and I've got plenty of time even with the refrigeration time that's required for the recipe.

I'm thinking that zabaglione or pots de creme should go with my tuiles.  But I'll let you know.  So come back later even though you've got hundreds of others to visit.  I'll be posting in stages.  This month's challenge is
brought to us by
Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte
aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by
Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.

11:12 am

The good news is that it's still Thursday.  Even better?  I'm done with the tuiles!  They're very easy to make, but do require a 30-minute refrigeration time before baking, and if you're me, then you forgot to turn on the oven and had to wait an addition period of time after the cookies were were already on the chilled baking sheets.  It never fails…

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Very few ingredients are needed to make tuiles:  only 1/4 c. softened butter, 1/2 c. sifted powdered sugar, 1/2 c. sifted all-purpose flour, 2 large egg whites, and a splash of vanilla.

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The soft butter and powdered sugar are mixed to a paste, the egg whites added gradually while stirring to bring the mixture together.

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The flour is added gradually as well, stirring, but not over-mixing until everything comes together.  A splash of vanilla is incorporated and then the whole mixture goes into the fridge for about 30 minutes.  Line the baking sheets with parchment or silicone and chill them as well.

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Use some cardboard to cut out the shape you'd like to use.  I used corregated cardboard and then pinched the inside edges before using an offset spatula to spread batter over the forms.

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If you'd like, add some of the cocoa powder to a small amount of the batter and mix well before spooning it into a decorators bag with a plain tip.  Make whatever decorations you'd like and then put the sheets into a 350 degrees F oven for about 7 minutes or until the edges of the tuiles are barely brown.

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Remove them immediately from the pan with a thin edged spatula and use wooden spoon handles or rolling pins to shape them.  But you really have to hurry, because if you don't, then yours will be as flat and crisp as mine, poor little cute things.

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Have some fun making other shapes, too, and maybe, just maybe, you'll be able to twist a few!

Okay, off to make the dessert they'll go in.

6:30 pm

Yes, it's late.  A lot later than I thought I'd be, but the goings on of a day tend to make some things take longer than I'd like.  Especially this dessert which, by comparison, is very easy.

Orange Sabayon

1 lg. egg

1 lg. egg yolk

1/3 c. sugar

zest of 1 orange

1/3 c. freshly squeezed orange juice

1 T lemon juice

For the dessert…

1 orange

0% fat Greek yogurt

Prepare an ice bath in a bowl large enough to set the top pan of a double boiler.

In the top of a double boiler pan, whisk the eggs until foamy.  Gradually mix in the sugar whisking until well combined.  Add the juices and the zest, mixing well.  Place the pan over a gently simmering pan of water and stir the citrus mixture constantly until the mixture thickens like a pudding.  Place the pan in the ice bath and continue to stir until it cools.

To create a light dessert, section an additional orange and place the segments in a wide-mouthed glass.  Make sure they're well drained or the juice will pool in the bottom of the glass.  In a small bowl mix 1/2 of the chilled sabayon and 1/4 c. of the yogurt.  To serve, mound the orange yogurt sabayon over the oranges.  Don't forget to include the tuiles!

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Notes:

  • The tuiles are surprisingly easy to make.  Unfortunately, I baked mine for 7 minutes instead of 5 while I was looking for the browned edges and then didn't move quite fast enough to get them positioned over the rolling pin and wooden spoon handles.  I did have a chance to try it with another batch, so know not to bake them quite so long.
  • The sabayon is also easy to put together.  If you wanted to fatten it up a bit, you could mix it with whipped cream and/or a bit of mascarpone.

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