8.15.2015

Chickpea, Feta and Cilantro Salad

Chick Pea and Cilantro Salad

I had visited a friend who had made a chick pea and parsley salad, which was surprisingly tasty for me.  I love chick peas (garbanzo beans), whether they are in a salad or whizzed into a creamy hummus.

I am also a lover of cilantro and began to wonder, as I usually do, as to whether I could successfully change up this recipe.   I was delighted to discover that it worked phenomenally well!

Try it.  If you are not a fan of cilantro, then change it back to parsley, either way its a lovely salad for a summer day!

2 tins of chick peas, drained
4 spring onions, chopped
1 c cilantro
garlic puree (tube version) - 1-2 inches
5 oz feta
1-1/2 T olive oil
juice of one lemon
red pepper flakes

Combine garlic puree, olive oil, red pepper flakes and lemon.  Whisk together until well combined and slightly emulsified.

To a medium bowl add chick peas, spring onion, cilantro and feta.   Mix.  Add dressing and combine. Chill before serving!

Printable Chick Pea and Cilantro Summer Salad

8.10.2015

Strawberry Banana Dixie Trifle


So this is a variation on a theme.   A few years ago I created in a frenzied moment, a trifle dessert at the last minute.  All I had was a leftover cake, some bananas and a few other dairy items.   I put together a dessert that has become quite the favorite of my friends (and on here).   
With a little bit of time and some more creativity, I came up with this updated version.   I call it Strawberry Banana Dixie trifle.   
Here is the link to the original recipe.   Dixie Banana Trifle Original recipe
The changes I made:  

I layer in fresh strawberries sprinkled with a bit of sugar.  I also added some shaved milk chocolate to the top and layered the entire dessert in a lovely trifle dessert dish.  

Enjoy!



8.04.2015

Gold Medal Flour Cookbook of 1904 - A good look at the history of what we make and eat!

I am a collector of cookbooks.  The older the better.  I find them fascinating.  The history of where the average housewife/cook came from and how we got to where we are today with the foods we prepare for those we love.   Most of my readers know that the very name of my business comes from an old cookbook, The Buckeye Cookery cir 1876.   My most recent addition has me completely enthralled.   While in Mineral Point Wisconsin last weekend, just milling around a small flea market mall, tucked in amongst a few other old books, was the Gold Medal Cook Book.   Compliments of Gold Medal Flour manufactured by Washburn-Crosby CO., Minneapolis Minn.  cir 1904.   (For just a mere $7.00).    My love of all things Edwardian causes a conflict within as to whether my most favorite part of this find are the recipes or the advertisements.  

Which brings me to why I am devoting an entire blog entry to this crumbling gem.   The first page, following the cover/title page is devoted to Tables.   Tables for measurement, table of proportions, time for baking, time for summer veggies and winter veggies, broiling and meats.   Standard you would think.  However, what is standard for us in 2015 is far from standard in 1904.   I was reading the Table of Proportions to my husband (he is a patient and tolerant man!) and he looked at me and said, you really should blog about this.  It is classic!  So here I am.

A measurement for a "gill".
Standard 1/2 c (4 oz) in US,  and 5 oz in the UK.  
When perusing the first Table of Measurements, I came across a measurement I had never heard of previously.   Two gill's make one cup.  Okay - so it wasn't hard to figure o
ut the measurement of a gill - equal to 1/2 cup.  But, did you know that One quart, less one gill, sifted patent flour makes one pound?   Even more fascinating is that One quart of sifted pastry flour makes one pound.  No need to take away that extra gill.   Thus the difference between pastry flour (made from soft wheat flour) and patent flour (made from hard wheat flour) comes down to the weight of a soft wheat versus hard wheat -  Something completely new for me.

It was the Table of Proportions which grabbed my attention enough to start a conversation with Tom. In this table you will find the proportions of flour to another substance, in order to get a standard result.   I always knew the math was important, but in contemporary cooking classes and in our contemporary cookbooks, we have many tables, but not this one.  This table is basically the math required to make your own recipes!  Bingo!!!!   Here are some highlights...

"One quart of flour required one pint of butter to make pastry (or a mix of butter and lard)
One quart of flour requires one heaping tablespoon of butter for biscuits
One quart of flour requires two tablespoons of butter for shortcakes
One quart of flour requires one cup of butter for cupcakes.

One measure of liquid to three measures of flour for bread.
One quart of flour requires one scant quart of milk for all batters.
One quart of flour requires one pint of milk for muffins, gems, etc."  (The next blog will be about Gem Cakes and have a few recipes.  They are a forgotten goodie that should be returned to our standard of fares!)

It then goes on to tell us the proportions of soda to liquid, molasses, salt to meat and then defines what a spoon means, how a half-spoon is measured and finally, the definition of a speck.   ("A speck is what is placed within a quarter inch square surface.")

Over the next several months, I will be preparing and writing about some of these historical recipes.  I will include their origins, as far back as my research can take me and then hope to make a contemporary version that you and your families/friends/guests will enjoy!   Please comment and add your suggestions.  Try the recipes, tell me what you think!