14 December 2006


I miss my family. I mean, I miss them much of the time but lately there have been a few issues demanding my emotional attention more acutely than usual. So the other day, in preparation for Hanukkah dinner with my husband's family (who live in town) I decided to make some homemade applesauce for the latkes-which I bought from Whole Paycheck, thank you kindly.
I miss my family.
But it is amazing how therapeutic it can be to stand over a sink and stare out a kitchen window at little squirrel families arguing over their winter worries, while carefully peeling every last tart, green bit off of 3 lbs. of apples. And then there's the smell...that whole mess of apples, spices and sugar slowly melting down into softness and warmth and pure appley love.
*A slow-cooker ROCKS for this recipe.

3 lbs. Granny Smith apples
1/2 lb. Rome apples
5 cups+1/2 cup water, divided
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 T. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
6 T. sugar (or to taste)
1 T. candied ginger
pinch cloves to taste

Pour 5 cups water into a LARGE bowl. Stir in lemon juice, cinnamon and 1 tsp. cloves. Peel and chop the apples. Discard the peels. As you work, submerge each chopped apple into the lemon juice mixture to prevent browning and to soak in the flavors. Let sit in juice mixture 10 minutes. Drain apples and place in large slow cooker (or deep pot on the stove). Add the rest of the water, lemon zest, ginger and sugar. Stir gently and cook on low for 4-5 hours until apples are very soft. Stir gently until a thick sauce forms. Taste and add more sugar and a pinch of cloves, if desired. Cool and refrigerate in an airtight container. Serve warm or cold (with sour cream) on top of potato latkes!

13 December 2006

Feelin' my oats

Because it's December. Because it's the holiday season. And because I'm completely bored with eggs, PB toast and other breakfast choices, I have discovered a new obsession: Irish Steel Cut Oats.* To be completely honest, I've had these oats a few times before but for some reason, never really latched on to them until recently. There really is something LUXURIOUS about the fact that they are at once creamy AND chewy, rather than simply slimy (like their more common relative, the rolled oat). They are so decadent that my mom enjoys a warm bowl each evening for dessert!

So here's my recipe for the loveliest bowl of winter breakfast (or dessert, as my mom calls it) you may ever encounter:
Heavenly Oats
1/2 cup quick cooking steel cut oats (I use McCann's)
1/2 tsp. good cinnamon
3/4 cup plain soymilk (not lowfat)
2 T plain applesauce
1 T ground flaxseed meal

Mix the first 3 ingredients together in a DEEP,microwave safe bowl and cook on HIGH for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes, depending on how your microwave cooks.
Let sit for at least 1 minute to cool down and thicken up. You can also stir in a bit more milk if you'd like a smoother consistency. Stir in the applesauce and flaxseed.
For a more complete "experience" I highly recommend finding a comfy chair and a good book to enjoy while you savor your breakfast!

*While I hate to ruin your enjoyment of this recipe with boring nutrition facts, it IS worth noting that this oatmeal is terribly healthy and chock full of good fiber and protein. Sorry.