Thursday, May 20, 2010


We eat crumpets with tea sometimes in the afternoons or for breakfast with a steaming cup of coffee. You can easily double this recipe, it doesn't make that many, ten, maybe.
1 1/2 cup flour
1 ts salt
1 ts yeast
1 ts sugar
1 cup + 6 tbs milk

Heat the milk in a small saucepan till 'hand hot'.
Stir in the sugar and dried yeast and leave it in a warm place for 10-15 minutes till there is a good frothy head on it.

Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and set aside.

When the yeast and milk are frothy, pour it all into the mixing bowl.

Slowly work the flour into the liquid with a whip or wooden spoon. Beat well at the end to make a perfectly smooth batter.

Cover the mixing bowl with a tea-towel and leave to stand in a warm place for about 45 minutes - It will become bubble and double in size.

Not quite ready

Now it's ready

When you're ready to cook, heat the pan to medium, butter the insides of the cooking rings, set them inside of the pan, and add a dab of butter inside the ring.
Add a tablespoon or two of the batter into each ring.

Let them cook for 4 or 5 minutes: you will see the first tiny bubbles will appear on the surface and then they will burst, leaving those traditional holes.
I use tongs to remove the rings and set aside to cool until I will start the next batch.

Flip over the crumpet, and cook on the other side until golden.
Re-butter the rings and begin again.
Serve the crumpets while still warm, generously buttered and topped with anything that takes your fancy.  You can also reheat the crumpets the next day by placing on a hot griddle for a minute or two on each side.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Fluffy Light Pancakes

2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
3 tbs melted butter or vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 ts salt
2 ts baking powder
2 tbs sugar

Beat the eggs until thick and frothy.

Add the sugar, salt, and milk and beat until well combined.

I whisk the flour and baking powder onto the top of the milk. This is not necessary if you live in the States and buy high quality flour.

Gently and quickly mix everything together. You can see the lumps, DON'T mix them away that's what makes fluffy and soft not rubbery pancakes.

Let the batter rest for at least 15 minutes. I wait a good ten minutes then heat up griddle; it"ll thicken slightly.

You can tell that your pan or griddle is ready if a drop of water will skitter across the surface, evaporating immediately. I use cast iron, but any pan will do just fine.

For measuring out the batter, I use my soup ladle, which is about 1/3 to 1/2 depending on how full.

Bake on one side until bubbles begin to form and break, the sides will be kinda drier looking than the middle.

Turn the pancakes and cook the other side till brown. Turn over only once.

Serve immediately with topping of your choice.
This is what I like, two fried eggs, salt pepper and honey drizzled on top.


Homemade Bread


This is a pretty quick bread! Since moving to Algeria my oven is remarkably smaller, doesn't have a reading for the temperature and is not very reliable.. it fluctuates in temperature throughout baking times and throughout the oven itself. So, for me, it must be done in two batches, however, if you reside in the States or have an imported stove you should cook both loaves together. As always you can cut this recipe in half, or double it and freeze a couple of loaves for tomorrow.

6 cups flour
2 tbs yeast
2 tbs sugar
1 tbs salt
2 cups very warm water
2 tbs oil, I love olive oil
dried herbs, rosemary from my sister in laws garden is what I used today

Preheat the oven to 400.

Combine the flour, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl, if kneading by hand.

Combine salt, olive oil and water in measuring cup and pour onto the flour.

Knead until a soft and smooth dough is achieved. To get a tight small crumb try to keep the dough slightly sticky, not wet, but like touching scotch tape.

Set aside, covered for twenty minutes. It will rise considerably.

Divide into two even portions, shape into boules and place on a cookie sheet several inches apart. 

Let them rest for ten minutes.

If your kitchen is warm, like mine, being in the desert and all, you will see that the loaves have risen again.
Slash the bread two or three times to allow for the steam to escape. I love using a very sharp knife, dough slashers are a complete waste of money!

Let them rest after slashing them for another ten minutes or so.
Add dry herbs and olive oil if you like.

Place the rack in the middle, put the bread there, and then place a pan of boiling water below the bread.
Cook until browned and when tapped sounds hollow.

Break open the bread and slather with butter and jam.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Apricot Jam Cake

If I don't have anything sweet or salty to munch on for tea time in my home, and we have tea time daily, usually around three pm, I make this. It's quickly done by hand, doesn't require anything that I don't already have in my pantry and is pretty tasty. It also makes a nice Sunday breakfast, which can be really enjoyable with coffee for overnight guests.

Cake Batter:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 ts baking powder
pinch of salt
2-4 eggs
1 cup yogurt
1 tbs vanilla extract
4 tbs canola oil or melted butter
2/3 cups preserves or jam

Preheat the oven to 350, grease and flour your pan of choice and set to the side.
Combine all the dry ingredients and set aside.
Combine the wet ingredients plus the sugar and whisk until thick and creamy.

Add the dry ingredients and whisk until no lumps and silky smooth.

Your batter will be thick.

Spoon the batter into your prepared pan, evenly press it out.
Spoon out the preserves, dotting it onto the surface of the cake then insert a butter knife and swirl gently to distribute the jam throughout the cake.

Bake 40-45 minutes until it's slightly browned, the sides have pulled away from the dish and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, cut and serve warm or room temperature.


Macaroni Salad with Homemade Mayo

I love macaroni salad during the summer! It gets incredibly hot here and this salad is very nice, either as a side or main dish, for lunch or for dinner.

celery tops or stalks or both, we don't have the stalks here
green pepper
boiled and chopped eggs

Hard boil or soft boil eggs. Set aside to cool and peel.
Boil, drain and cool macaroni.

Chop veggies to desired consistency and combine with macaroni, eggs, and mayonnaise.

Adjust for salt and pepper.


Homemade Mayonnaise

Once upon a time, a long time ago, a young girl who loved mayo asked her father where it came from, he with all certainty and utter thrill that his only daughter asked him something of importance, something that he could answer, announced it was from raw eggs.........

Eww, raw eggs?

I then tried to boycott it, I didn't like it on anything.....

....except macaroni salad, oh and potato salad, oh yeah, and egg salad and of course dabbled on tomato and lettuce sandwiches, and hamburgers grilled by my father. Needless to say the boycott didn't last long .... LOL!

About a year ago I started making my own, so I know the eggs weren't cracked, dirty, old etc. etc. etc.

Here it is, simple, easy and tastes so much better than any of that store bought stuff.

2 egg yolks
2 ts mustard
1 small clove of garlic
1/4 cup vinegar
1 1/2 - 2 cups oil of your choice, I use olive oil sometimes and vegetable ie. corn oil other times

Add the eggs, seasoning, garlic and vinegar.

Whip by hand, or process in a food processor, or like myself use a handy dandy blender until thickened a bit.

S-L-O-W-L-Y pour the oil as you whisk the egg yolks. When it starts looking like mayo go ahead and stream in the rest of the oil. Adjust the amount added for the consistency you prefer.

To thin, I added more EVOO.

Taste and adjust seasoning.