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Good morning, good readers. We have a spate of requests from Adelaide E: a seven-layer dip not Mexican style but Mediterranean style; a blond brownie recipe that does not contain baking powder or soda, and anybody’s favorite soup.
“Knowing the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, when I saw a Mediterranean seven-layer dip in a magazine at the doctor’s office, I was intrigued,” she wrote. “Did anybody else see it? I know it contained white beans.
“I am sending below a recipe for blond brownies that I love, but I am really looking for one that doesn’t have leavening in it. Lastly, I am getting hungry for soup and would love anybody’s favorite recipe.”
Here is her brownie recipe, which she credits to Annie Mae Kulp.
Butterscotch or Blond Brownies
2 sticks butter, melted
2 cups light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans or 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Put melted butter in a bowl, add brown sugar and stir. Cool slightly. Add eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour. Add pecans and chocolate chips, if desired. Put in an ungreased 9-by-13-inch pan and bake at 325 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.
Some cautions: Be careful. If you put too little flour in, they will be too gooey. A little more flour than is required makes them more cake-like. My son prefers them a little gooey, which is what you usually get with a carefully-measured 2 cups of flour.
It’s the persistent and successful cook who keeps playing with a recipe, tweaking it, until he or she has it just right. So it is with Jane Guthrie, who says, “I finally have guaranteed success with a chess pie. I haven’t been adding enough cornmeal.” Following are the particulars for that pie and a second, peachy pie.
Mother’s Chess Pie
2 Pillsbury refrigerated rolls of pie crust
2 1/2 sticks of real butter at room temperature, unsalted or salted
3 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup self-rising cornmeal
8 large eggs
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Vanilla extract (optional)
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Put crust in two 9-inch Pyrex pans or three smaller pie pans, cover and refrigerate; the cold crust keeps pies from browning during baking.
Using a large bowl, at least 6-cup capacity, put in butter and sugar and cream well. Add self-rising cornmeal.
In a separate bowl, beat eggs with a fork until lemon yellow. Mix into the butter/sugar mixture thoroughly until there are no lumps. Add the zest and juice of the lemon. Add vanilla, if desired.
Divide the mixture between the cold pie crusts.
Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 degrees. Bake until top is set. Turn off oven, open the door for a minute to drop the heat to 200 degrees, and let the pies sit in the warm oven until they cool.
Low Country Summer Peach Pie
1 refrigerated Pillsbury pie crust roll
4 to 5 peaches, peeled and sliced
1 handful of sugar
Squeeze of lemon juice
Pinch of ground ginger
1/4 cup finely minced crystallized ginger
Fat-free half and half, or whipped cream
Roll out pie crust and refrigerate until ready to bake; a cold crust keeps it from browning too much.
Mix together peaches, sugar, lemon juice, ground ginger and pour into a Ziploc bag, then squeeze out the air. Refrigerate mixture until you plan to serve, then bring to room temperature.
Remove pie crust from refrigerator and bake as directed. Leave pie crust in warm oven during dinner. When ready to serve, fill the crust with the peach/ginger mixture.
Serve with half and half to pour over or with whipped cream on top.
Jeana Reidl is always on the lookout for good breakfasts foods for her family, and this one fit the bill for their family of five.
Whole Grain Blueberry Muffins
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, spooned and leveled
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1/4 cup pecans
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon grated orange zest, plus 1/4 cup orange juice
1 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups fresh blueberries, or 2 (8-ounce) bag frozen blueberries
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a food processor, process the flour, oats, flaxseed meal, pecans, baking powder, baking soda and salt until finely ground.
In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, butter, orange zest and juice, egg and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated; do not overmix. Fold in the blueberries.
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 22 to 25 minutes.
The muffins will keep at room temperature for three days and in the freezer for 1 month. Warm in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes when ready to serve.
I love recipes that caution you to eat something within a very narrow time frame. Anyway, whoever had blueberry muffins like this lying around, uneaten?
Just a Dash …
Jane Guthrie’s tip for today very literally calls for a dash.
“A dash or two of arugula makes an ordinary cole slaw extraordinary with chives and/or green onions. Put in a Ziploc bag with a small amount of rice vinegar to refrigerate. Add a tablespoon or more of mayonnaise before serving.”
I love the light simplicity of this. Add the darker, sometimes bitter arugula to the light cabbage along with something onion-y and vinegar, then finish with mayo. Obviously, you will have to figure out proportions to dress the salad based on how much cabbage you have.
Thank you for the pleasure of your company, and your contributions. Always.
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