Batch no. 740

I have been sitting on this jar of fig and black tea jam for way too long. A billion years ago in September, I won a contest at the Willy Street Co-op and acquired a haul of local products, including this jar of Quince of Apple preserves.

To be honest, I forgot about it until I was inspired by the third installment of all whisked up! to make a recipe from this seasonal blog. There were lots of recipes on Liz’s blog that tempted me, including the beet butter, but I couldn’t resist the oat and jam bars. I eat oatmeal almost every morning and it’s the one thing that Half-moon will eat these days, too. The original recipe calls for cranberry sauce, but Dan remembered the fig jam and that was that. The thing I like about this recipe is that it’s not too fussy or too sweet (especially if you skip the glaze, like I did.)

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And I think it’s perfectly acceptable to eat these for breakfast along with a big cup of coffee. Happy almost March.

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Oat and Jam Bars

From Inspired by the Seasons

1 c of cranberry sauce or your favorite jam heated to a spreadable consistency
1/2 c cold butter cubed into small pieces
1 3/4 c all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp molasses
2 large eggs
1 c rolled oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8″ baking dish with parchment paper to allow for easy removal of the cooked bars.

Work the butter into the flour with your fingers until it reaches a course crumb consistency.  Using a fork, stir in baking powder, sugar, vanilla and molasses. Mix in eggs and oatmeal.

Take 2/3rds of the dough and press to the bottom of your baking dish, using the greased bottom of a measuring cup to press the dough into place makes this step a lot easier.   Spread the jam in an even layer and top with remaining dough by dolloping with spoonfuls of the remaining dough.

Bake until golden, about 45 minutes.

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Click on the frog below to see all of the other Wisconsin Whisk all whisked up recipes!

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You had me at kale

In a few days this (b)log will be celebrating its fifth birthday. It’s fun to go back and read the beginning of what has become, for me, a source of joy in my life. I get to be creative and think about food and words and pictures, and it helps to keep some of the other noise out of my head. I think what I’m trying to say is- I really love writing.

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This is also the second edition of Wisconsin Whisk‘s “All Whisked Up!” For this round I got to make to make something from Vicky Cassidy’s blog, Things I Made Today. Vicky’s blog is beautiful- I am mesmerized by the ever-changing drawn pictures of fruits and vegetables that grace each page- and full of delicious sounding recipes (she also loves blue cheese as much as I do, so I know we’ll be friends.)

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This unseasonably warm November weather has been incredible, but it is confusing my taste buds. The early darkness of the day calls out for soup, but the warmth is crying for something lighter. In the end I decided on Vicky’s kale salad with maple citrus dressing because it all goes back to kale (and I already had a bag of it in the fridge from my friend’s garden.) I also felt bad for badmouthing squash the other day, so I decided to give it another chance. This salad is incredibly tasty. I accidentally devoured the leftovers before I remembered that I was supposed to photograph it, which is testament to the salad, I suppose. I substituted raisins for the dried cranberries (the co-op was out of dried cranberries and I could not bring myself to pay $4.16 for a bag of 11 organic dried cherries) and I used an unidentified winter squash, but I am posting the recipe as it appeared on Vicky’s site, as it was meant to be. We ate bowls full of the salad for dinner along with a Madison Sourdough Co. baguette. It was pitch black outside, but the windows were wide open to the warm November wind.

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Kale, Squash, Quinoa Salad with Maple Citrus Dressing

From Things I Made Today

INGREDIENTS
For the squash:
2 medium sized patty pan squash, cut into small wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon Kosher salt

For the dressing:
zest and juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons olive oil
1½ teaspoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt to taste

For the salad:
½ cup red quinoa, dry
1 large bunch kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped (about 6 cups)
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

INSTRUCTIONS
Roast squash:
Preheat oven to 400.
In a large bowl, combine squash, olive oil, paprika, chili powder, and salt. Mix well so squash is covered. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning half way, until squash is tender and slightly browned.
Let cool to room temperature.
Make the dressing:
In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for dressing. Set aside.
Make the rest:
Combine dressing with kale in a large bowl. Let sit while remaining ingredients come together.
Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Transfer to a plate and let cool to room temperature.
Combine dressed kale, quinoa, roasted squash, feta cheese, and dried cranberries and mix well.

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Enjoy.

To see other All Whisked Up recipes, click on the smiling frog:

All whisked up!

My friend Martha says that sometimes if you want something, you just need to put it out there to the universe and see what happens. This is how I felt one morning in August when I opened my computer to find an email request to do some freelance writing and an invitation from this woman to join a new collective of Wisconsin food bloggers called Wisconsin Whisk. With taking the year off of teaching, I knew I wanted to do more writing, but I needed some sort of a cosmic kick in the buns. And that morning I got it. Since then I have written several articles (including this one and this one), been mentioned in a Capital Times article highlighting Wisconsin Whisk, and was a guest judge at a vegan chili cook-off fundraiser for the Alliance for Animals.

And now I want to introduce you to Tara at Yummy Sprout and her farmer’s market biscuits. For a fun Wisconsin Whisk event (All Whisked Up!), we were assigned another blog to read and find a recipe to recreate. I knew as soon as I saw Tara’s biscuits that I was going to try those. If you read my blog regularly (thanks, immediate family), you know I’m not much of a baker, but these were super easy to make and taste delicious.

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I substituted jalapeno peppers from my garden, but otherwise made them just the same.

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Cheddar and Jalapeno Biscuits

From the website Yummy Sprout

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup flour (plus extra for dusting)
1/2 teaspoons organic sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 cup cheddar (shredded)
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl. If using a sifter you may need to push organic sugar through as it is a bit courser.  Next add the butter and use your fingers (if you have a pastry cutter you can use that too) to work butter into the flour until you have a course meal, with pieces no larger then pea size.  Add the vinegar to the milk and allow it to sit for a couple minutes, to make buttermilk.  Stir in most of the buttermilk (reserving about 1 tbsp), cheese and peppers, just until mixed.

Knead dough briefly on a lightly floured surface, just until it holds together. Coat a rolling pin with flour and roll out the dough to about 1/3 inch thick. Cut little biscuits out with any cookie cutters you like. Place biscuits on un-greased baking sheets. Brush the tops of biscuits with remaining buttermilk and bake until biscuits are golden, 10 minutes.   .
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 Happy Friday.