Savor The Earth

eat tastier, eat greener, eat cheaper

Wing-it Bicuits May 4, 2010

Filed under: biscuits,bread,breakfast,easy,fast,locavore,vegetarian — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 1:34 pm

Why yes, I would like some biscuit with my butter!

OK, so I was VERY hungry and late on my lunch this afternoon, having flowered and delivered a cake for the Teachers Appreciation lunch at my kindergartner’s school.  (My carrot cake really “rose” to the occasion—see photos.)  But biscuits never fail me—butter and starch, spread with more butter and maybe even some honey?  Bring it on, honey!

Richardson Farms locally grown whole wheat flour (available at their Barton Creek location) shines its fresh and sweetly wheaty glow onto every recipe it touches.  These super easy, quick as a flash, homey drop-style biscuits are no exception.  With a light and fluffy texture (not at all heavy, despite their whole grain content), these fast little breads fill you up like royalty when spread with great butter and local honey or your favorite fruit preserves.  Let ’em cool down and you can even shortcake ’em!  Plenty of local strawberries teasing at our farmers markets lately.  And dewberries!  We’ve been keeping an eye on our patch in the woods and so far have collected two—berries that is.  But our pint from Naegelin Farms (SFC market at Sunset Valley) this past Saturday helped put the color in our kids faces, literally!

WING-IT BISCUITS makes 8 biscuits

  • 140 grams organic all-purpose flour
  • 100 grams organic or local (Richardson Farms) whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder, sieved.  I prefer Rumford, aluminum-free and non-GMO.
  • ½ Tablespoon organic sugar.  Widely available in bulk departments around town.
  • generous ½ teaspoon baking soda, sieved.
  • scant teaspoon salt.  I use Real Salt.
  • 1 cup yogurt.  I make my own from local goat milk.  Check out how.  The folks at Swede Farm Dairy just had a baby and Wateroak Farms will be taking a two-month break.  I’ll let you know how our options are faring.
  • 1 stick organic butter, cut into bits and well-chilled.  Organic Valley is my favorite.  Natural Grocers has OV butter on special for only $3.99 a pound through May 15.  Closer to my hood, Sprouts counters with a price of $4.49, through May 5.

Preheat your toaster oven to 425°.  You can use your full-size oven, of course, but it’s May and warm here already.  I use the toaster oven whenever I can in hot weather as it heats up the kitchen less.  Plus it uses less energy than the big oven.  Have a 9″ round cake pan handy and get out your ¼-cup scoop.

Combine the dry ingredients (flours through the salt) in the bowl of a food processorRun the machine to thoroughly mix them.  Add the butter and process for a few seconds to cut it in.  Turn the flour mixture out into a bowl and pour on the yogurt.  Stir together quickly to moisten all the flour.

Using your scoop, preferably spring-loaded, scoop out 8 rounds and place them in a 9″ pan.  You’ll have seven mounds around the perimeter and one scoop in the middle.  Bake at 425° for about 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 400° and bake for 5 to 10 minutes more, until biscuits are browned and cooked through.

Place pan on a cooling rack for a few minutes before carefully loosening biscuits from pan.

Fill your belly!

 

Food Pantry Manifest—Provisions To Live By April 24, 2010

Here’s the list of groceries participating bloggers received of items typifying a share of food provided recently by a local food pantry.  This allotment represents a family’s one month allowance:

2 cans spaghetti sauce
4 cans veggies (choice of green beans and/or corn)
4 fruit cans (choice of sliced pears and/or mixed fruit)
1 meat selection: Anything and everything HEB has. Most of what was available was whole chickens, fryers and pork chops. But we really get everything from pig trotters to ham.
3 drink items: choice of large bottle of cranberry apple juice and/or powdered milk (shelf stable milk) boxes and/or apple juice boxes
1 bag spaghetti or bag of egg noodles
1 bag of pinto beans or white navy beans
1 bag of white rice
1 package of jalapeno slices
1 ready-made dinner (hamburger helper)
1 bag/container of rolled oats
1 bag of cheerios
5 lb bag of potatoes

I see potential here!

spoonful o' oats

We already eat oatmeal almost every morning.  I’ve come up with a method for cooking rolled oats that conveniently yields a less-sticky texture, with the individual oat groats nearly separate.  For my two children and myself (my husband’s not on board for this breakfast), I measure a rounded cupful of oatmeal into my pan and turn the burner on to HIGH.  I swirl in ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon and let the oats toast a bit.  Then I pour in just over ¾ cup water and swirl the pan to distribute the liquid (do NOT stir to achieve this texture).  As soon as I can hear the water steaming, I turn the heat off and let the pan sit there for a couple minutes (my stove is electric).  For the fluffiest texture, you can soak and steam the oats over boiling water, but I find my method a texturally-satisfactory compromise.

Lactating moms appreciate medium-chain fatty acids so in my normal life of luxury I dollop some coconut oil on top.  The kindergartner enjoys honey on his share.  A qualifying food pantry recipient’s food stamp benefits, which max out at $50 per week for one adult, may not leave room in the budget for such gilt, but the canned fruit off the list would complement the morning’s porridge.

I had stocked up on organic bulk rolled oats, quick oats and steel-cut oats when Newflower Market last had a great sale on those items.  We had already eaten our way through the rolled and quick oats (the quick oats I buy for baking but I’ll cook them for breakfast when necessary), and now are working on the steel-cut.  In the spirit of the challenge, and frankly, keeping within my  own budget, I am trying to hold out on purchasing more oatmeal until another sale comes along.  So, steel-cut it is!


 

Crummy Top—Strictly Streusel April 2, 2010

Filed under: breakfast,cake,dessert,easy,locavore — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 10:06 am

slice o' streusel

I’ve been putting our locally-grown, freshly ground Richardson Farms whole wheat flour through its paces lately.  Here’s a quick cake composed of a slightly dense and chewy spongecake layer blanketed with an unreasonable heap of sweet, cinnamon-y crumbles.  More streusel than substrate, crumb bums will appreciate this easy, tweedy whole grain goodie.  For streusel fans only!

TEXAS MUFFIN TOP CAKE makes one 9″ round

Streusel:

  • 1 stick organic butter, melted.  I love Organic ValleyClick for a coupon.
  • 4 3/8 ounces organic light brown sugar.  Central Market’s brand usually costs less.
  • 5¼ ounces Richardson Farms whole wheat flour.  Sifting out the bran is optional.
  • ¼ teaspoon salt.  I use Real Salt.
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract.  I used my homemade Christmas gift from SouthAustinFoodie Adventures.  Check out her foodie fun this week on the Anthony Bourdain trail.
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • zest of one Texas orange, optional

Cake:

  • 2 local eggs
  • 200 grams turbinado sugar.  I buy this in bulk at Central Market.  Bring your own container and a staff member can tare the weight for you.  We go through a lot of this—we always have homemade lemonade on hand—so I buy about three pounds at a time.
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 121 grams Richardson Farms whole wheat flour, most of the bran sifted out.
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder.  I use Rumford, aluminun-free and non-GMO.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup boiling water

Preheat your oven to 350°.  You can melt the butter in the oven while it’s heating up.  Combine the remaining streusel ingredients and stir them into the melted butter.  Line a 9″ X 2″ round pan with a piece of waxed paper or parchment (I use If You Care brand) and butter the bottom, but not the sides.

Combine the eggs, turdinado sugar and salt in a mixer bowl and begin whipping (with the whip attachment if using your stand mixer, which I recommend) at low speed.  Gradually increase the speed to medium-high.  You’re starting the eggs and sugar out slowly to give the sugar a chance to dissolve.  It won’t liquefy completely, however.  Meanwhile, whisk together the flour and baking powder.  Get your water heating up.  I use the microwave.  It’s fast and energy efficient.

When the eggs look very light and fluffy and fall back into the bowl in ribbons that take a moment to dissolve when the beater is lifted, gently add the flour and quickly whisk it in.  Pour in the boiling water and quickly and gently whisk it in to achieve a smooth batter.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan right away.  Working quickly, squeeze handfuls of streusel into clumps and distribute them in chunks over the batter, moving from the outside to the center.  You don’t want the middle of the cake to be too heavily laden with topping so be more generous around the perimeter.

Bake for about 35 minutes, until the cake portion tests done in the center.  The lava-like batter will erupt magmaticaly, creating a sweetly fissured surface.  Never mind the cratered face, she’s tastes like a beauty!

 

Texas Velvet Biscuit Cake March 28, 2010

Filed under: biscuits,bread,breakfast,cake,easy,locavore,vegetarian — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 10:00 pm

honey me this

Back to baking!  With the reintroduction of beans into our diet after last week’s brush with death (well that’s what it felt like, anyways), and it being Sunday and coolish, I decided that biscuits were in order.  And honey.

This super easy recipe combines local Richardson Farms fresh ground whole wheat flour with a softer flour from King Arthur for a fluffy and super-light texture that soaks up a hive of honey.  So comb your cupboards and nectar nooks for the bee sap to enjoy this mound melligenously.  Yeah, that’s right.  I made up an adverb.

TEXAS VELVET BISCUIT CAKE makes a 9″ round of 6 (sort of) large biscuits

Combine the dry ingredients in your food processor and whirl until mixed.  Add the butter and lard and process until the mixture looks mealy.  You’re not going for flaky here so do blend the fat in well.  Turn the flour out into a bowl and stir in the yogurt with a fork until well blended.  Using a greased ½-cup measure or spring-loaded scoop (best), scoop out six heaping ½-cup portions and place them in a buttered 9″ round pan (1½” to 2″ high).  You’ll get five biscuits around the perimeter and one in the middle.

Bake at 425° for 20 to 25 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown and well-risen.  Let the biscuits cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes before turning them out.  Use a fork to pull the biscuits apart (they’ll have coalesced) and split them for honeyin’.

Bzzzzzzzzzzzz!

 

Fluffata January 18, 2010

Filed under: breakfast,vegetarian — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 3:47 pm

brunch on this!

A while back we used up the rest of the spinach queso from game night.  Refrigerated previously boiled local potatoes–ready to be called into action, braved friendly fire to yield quick homefries.  I smash ’em with the heel of my hand for rough chunks, season them with plenty of salt and pepper and give ’em a hot fat bath for crispy crusts.

Wipe out the pan and get to work on the protein:

FLUFFATA serves several brunchers

  • 7 local eggs, room temperature
  • generous ¼  cup organic heavy cream, chilled.  Organic Valley is great. Click for a coupon.
  • generous ¼ teaspoon seasoned salt, such as organic Herbamare
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons organic butter.  I love Organic Valley.
  • plenty of fresh cracked black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400º.  Whoop up your eggs til foamy and at least tripled in volume.  A stand mixer is best for this.  Meanwhile, whip your cream to soft peaks.  I use a cold balloon whisk.  Cold bowl, cold cream and cold whisk equals minimal whoopin’ time so don’t worry about throwing your arm out.  And meanwhile meanwhile, heat up the butter and black pepper in a 12″ nonstick or well-seasoned skillet (with an ovenproof handle) on medium-low heat, swirling the pan to spread the butter around.  You want the butter to bubble and brown a bit for a toasty, tasty crust on your omelet.

When your eggs have achieved their loftiest volume, quickly fold in the cream using the whisk.  Pour the mixture into your hot pan and cook for three minutes, until the edges of the omelet have begun to set.  Place the pan in the hot oven and bake for six or seven minutes, until set in the middle.

Slide the omelet onto a cooling rack and slice and serve right away.  Actually cold leftovers are still delicious.  We enjoyed our most recent fluffata on a bed of those homefried local potatoes, topped with the spinach queso (Cora Lamar’s triple-washed savoy greens from Poteet) and salsa.

The incredible local egg.  Can’t be beat!      (sorry!)

 

Broccoli Brings It! January 8, 2010

Filed under: breakfast,dessert,easy,leftovers,muffins,thrift,vegetables — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 1:33 pm

muffins askew

The kindergartner’s show-n-tell/snack day at school done snuck up on us.  On game day to boot!  Local broccoli stems saved me again, investing mini-muffins with the good nutrition necessary for all that learnin’ the kids are up to.  Although I had none left over to enrich the (orange!) carrot cake (see Broccoli Bonus) I made for Longhorn viewing, a cake full of local carrots tastes just as sweet.

These muffins might not fool the herbiphobic adult or teenager, but kids won’t notice the jolly green goodness in these tasty treats.  The students wolfed ’em down!

(SWEET) BROCCOLI BITES makes about 3 dozen mini muffins

  • 227 grams (2 cups packed) finely shredded well-peeled local broccoli stems.  You can substitute half or more shredded local carrots for especially finicky palates.
  • zest of one local an/or organic lemon.  Ask your neighbors!
  • 2 local eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt.  I like Real Salt.
  • 163 grams (¾ cup, firmly packed) organic light brown sugar.  Central Market’s organic brand sells for $2.99 for a 1½ pound bag.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 170 grams (about a scant 1½ cups) organic all purpose flour or King Arthur cake flour blend (unbleached!)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda, sieved
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup chopped toasted Texas pecans, optional.  I omit these for the classroom.
  • 107 grams (½ cup) organic coconut oil or other oil suitable for baking sweets.  Whole Foods 365 brand virgin coconut oil is a good value.  Coconut oil will solidify when it’s chilly, so warm it up if necessary.

Get your oven going to 350º and grease up 3 one dozen cavity mini muffin tins, or whatever configuration you have.  I find Spectrum baking spray to be the easiest greasing  option, but I’ll leave that choice up to you.

Whisk together the shredded broccoli and the next five ingredients.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and the next four ingredients.  Whisk the oil into the broccoli mixture, blending it in very well, then top with the flour and the pecans, if using.  Stir it all up quickly to blend completely.https://savortheearth.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=3782&message=1

Fill the prepared tins (I like to use a spring-loaded scoop) and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the muffins test done.  Let cool in the pans on a rack for a couple minutes before gently releasing the muffins from their wells (I use a bamboo skewer, the same one I test them with) and letting the muffins cool obliquely in their cups.

Frost with organic cream cheese frosting if desired.  Whip together ½ stick organic butter, ½ block organic cream cheese (CM organics brand is the best buy at only $1.99 per ½ pound), 100 grams (1 cup) organic powdered sugar (CM organics again), 1 teaspoon local honey (I like Good Flow—we have many honeys to choose from around here) and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract.

 

Take these Waffles and Stuff ’em! (in your stuffing hole) November 29, 2009

Filed under: breakfast,easy,leftovers,vegetarian — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 1:32 pm

two small waffles for mankind

We eat stuffing all year round.  It’s a delicious and thrifty way to use up stale bread, which we accumulate in the freezer. When the “old bread for stuffing” bag is full, I bake up a batch.  No tellin’ what’ll end up in the pan:  assorted vegetables, nuts, cooked grains and meats (bacon!).  Mix ‘n’ match bread types for hybrid vigor.

What are you gonna do with that leftover Thanksgiving stuffing?  Today’s Sunday, so make waffles!

STUFFING WAFFLES yield varies

  • 1 stick (4 ounces) organic butter, melted and cooled a bit.  You know I love Organic Valley.  Use a Whole Foods Whole Deal coupon for $1 OFF or click for a coupon to use at another store.
  • 2 cups yogurt (homemade is great), buttermilk or a 50/50 combo of yogurt and milk (stir it up and let it sit while the butter melts).  I buy local goat milk from either Swede Farm Dairy or Wateroak Farm.
  • 2 local eggs
  • about ½ teaspoon salt, to taste.  I use Real Salt.  I get this in bulk at Whole Foods.  You can bring in your own jar.
  • sweetener to taste.  For a cornbread dressing version (baked with unsweetened cornbread) I use 2 Tablespoons local honey (Good Flow).  For a (regular) bread stuffing version, I’ll use maybe 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar.
  • 41 grams (1/3 cup) organic all-purpose flour.  WF 365 brand in the 5# bag is usually the best buy.
  • 41  grams (about 1/3 cup) whole wheat flour.  I use either organic or Richardson Farms locally-grown.
  • 40 grams (about 1/3 cup plus 1½ Tablespoons) organic whole wheat pastry flour.
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder, sieved.  I like Rumford, aluminum-free and non-GMO.
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda, sieved.
  • freshly ground black pepper, optional
  • 2 cup leftover stuffing, chopped.

Whisk together the yogurt, eggs, salt and sweetener, then whisk in the melted butter.  In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients, through the black pepper, and whisk until mixed.  Whisk the stuffing into the yogurt mixture, then whisk in the flour.  Let the batter rest, covered,  in the refrigerator for about an hour.  Bake in a greased, preheated waffle iron.  Timing and batter amounts will vary depending on the size and design of your iron.  I prefer a deep-pocketed Belgian-style waffle iron for most of my waffle recipes and I recommend that style for this one as well.

Organic maple syrup tastes great on these savory waffles.  Or, pour gravy on em!  We already ran out.  Leftovers only stretch so long.