Oatrageous Oatmeals

Butternut Squash Maple Scones

Butternut Squash Maple Scones

Lauren and Jason Frank 2012

Mushroom Sun-dried Tomato Steel Cut Oat Risotto


Kathy Hester, who is the best selling author of The Great Vegan Bean Book among others, has done it again! Her new book Oatrageous Oatmeals had me intrigued. Who knew this simple grain could be used in so many delicious ways? She has managed to come up with “delicious and surprising plant-based dishes from this humble, heart-healthy grain. Now I have always loved oatmeal for breakfast. I was a little girl when my Daddy would make me a special treat of oatmeal with cinnamon and raisins for a hearty breakfast before school. But I have never thought of oatmeal as anything but a breakfast dish or an ingredient in a somewhat healthy cookie.

In her great wisdom Kathy has come up with such a variety of dishes that it blows my mind. Now you all know that I am not vegan, vegetarian or gluten free. But that doesn’t stop me from incorporated such dishes into my repertoire on a weekly basis. And this book will help you do that as well. It is divided into wonderful categories such as: Do It Yourself Staples, Warming Oats for Fall and Winter, Cooling Breakfast Oats for Spring and Summer, Granolas and Bars for Breakfast and Beyond, Satisfying Soups and Stews, Savory Oats for Lunch and Dinner, Delightful Desserts, Drinks, Oat Milk and Even an Oat Liquor and lastly Beyond the Dining Room, Other Uses for Oats.

Just the mere diverseness is mind boggling! But really who wouldn’t enjoy Baked Apple-Blueberry Pancakes or Pumpkin Coffee Cake Oatmeal or Bourbon Scented Pecan Granola? Just thinking about them makes my mouth water. I never imagined that you could make fabulous risotto with oats. But Kathy proved me wrong with her savory Mushroom Sun Dried Tomato Steel Cut Oat Risotto. And really made me sit up and take notice with her Oats-bury Steaks and Not-from-a-Box Mac and Oat Chez. 

To learn more about Kathy and her recipes you owe it to yourself to first off buy the book, but also check out her blog at HealthySlowCooking.com. And to entice you even further here are a couple of examples of her delicious recipes.

Butternut Squash Maple Walnut Scones
Yields 12
These scones are only slightly sweet so they are just as great with a soup or salad as they are as a delicious breakfast. If you’d like them sweeter, make a glaze by adding a few drops of maple syrup to ¼ cup (60 g) powdered sugar.
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Dry Ingredients
1½ cups (198 g) whole wheat pastry flour (**use a gluten-free baking mix)
¾ cup (72 g) rolled oats
¼ cup (60 g) coconut sugar or brown sugar
1 tablespoon (15 g) baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
Wet Ingredients
½ cup (123 g) butternut squash purée (see note)
2 tablespoons (14 g) ground flax-seed mixed with 4 tablespoons (60 ml) warm
¼ cup (60 ml) nondairy milk
¼ cup (60 ml) maple syrup
1 teaspoon maple extract
½ cup (55 g) chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and oil a large cookie sheet (*or line
with parchment to make oil-free).
Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in a
smaller bowl.
Right before baking, add the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix until
thoroughly combined, then mix in the walnuts.
Scoop out the batter to the middle of your prepared cookie sheet and pat it
into a big circle about ¾-inch thick. Using a chef’s knife, score into 12
triangles by cutting halfway through the dough.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.
NOTE: You can use canned pumpkin in place of the butternut squash if that’s
what you have on hand.
Per scone: Calories 100.8, protein 2.9 g, total fat 2.8 g, carbohydrates
16.5 g, sodium 200 mg, fiber 3.0 g
Recipe from OATRAGEOUS OATMEALS by Kathy Hester
Page Street Publishing/September 2014
foodandfondmemories.com http://www.foodandfondmemories.com/
 Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge to read and review but the opinions are 10% my own.


SLOW COOKER DOUBLE DINNERS FOR TWO: Cook Once, Eat Twice! By Cynthia Graubart Gibbs Smith/April 2014 Hardcover/$19.99 ISBN: 978-1-4236-3625-0

By Cynthia Graubart
Gibbs Smith/April 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4236-3625-0


Chicken with Zucchini and Mushrooms from Slow Cooker Double Dinners for Two: Cook Once, Eat Twice

Slow Cooker Double Dinners for Two: Cook Once, Eat Twice! is a brand new book by Cynthia Graubart. The  book is special in so many ways, not the least of which is the fact that you can use the slow cooker to create two totally different meals at one time. This is both a great time saver and great energy saver. I bought my very first slow cooker after being married for over forty years. Would you believe I never got one as a shower gift? I finally broke down and bought a 7.5 quart one at Costco because it was priced so right. It is a magic cooker. I don’t use it very often but it always amazes me at how delicious and tender brisket turns out when cooked low and slow. And of course the best part is that it needs no tending.

Then I received Cynthia’s fabulous book to review and was drooling at practically every recipe. For me the down side was that my slow cooker was too large. But guess what? Just as I was lamenting that fact, the slow cooker that I coveted went on half price sale! So I ran to the mall to purchase my four quart All-Clad Slow Cooker and I have been making spectacular dinners for two, two at a time ever since. One of the most clever features of this book, and what enables you to make two different meals at once, is the use of disposable oven bags. The real pleasure is that when you are all finished cooking you throw the empty bags away and have absolutely no clean up. None. Zip. Zero. My slow cooker was immaculate! All I had to do was put it away for another day. And also enjoy the fruits of its labor.

And enjoy we did! The duo that I prepared yesterday was actually from two different combos in the book. But Cynthia encourages us to mix and match as long as the cooking times are the same so that’s what I did. I had taken some beef stew cubes out to defrost in the fridge the night before. All I had to do to prep was cut up my vegetables and prepare two different sauces by mixing a couple of ingredients together. Easy peasy. The result was two remarkably different beef stews. The first which we devoured last night was a Beef and Vegetable Stew with Ginger that I served over bow ties pasta. It was rich and spicy with a hit of cayenne, garlic and soy sauce enhancing the meat, carrots, leeks and sweet red bell peppers. The beef was fork tender and succulent! Later in the week we will enjoy the Spicy Mustard Beef Stew that is loaded with potato, carrots and mushrooms with a sauce of beef broth, tomato paste and spicy brown mustard. I had to take a taste last night because the aroma was killing me and begging me to dig in. Wow! That is pretty much all I can say except that I can’t wait until later in the week for that one.

Here is a recipe sampling from the book but if you want more be sure to get yourself a copy of SLOW COOKER DOUBLE DINNERS FOR TWO: Cook Once, Eat Twice! by Cynthia Graubart. Gibbs Smith/April 2014 Hardcover/$19.99 ISBN: 978-1-4236-3625-0.

Chicken with Zucchini and Mushrooms
Serves 2
Such humble ingredients yield such a delicious dish! Feel free to leave the mushrooms sliced, or chop to a dice if you prefer. In an effort to add more healthy grains to our diet, I serve this dish with red quinoa.
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4 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1⁄3 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese, divided
4 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
1 small zucchini, sliced
1⁄3 cup chicken broth
1. Insert liner into the slow cooker, fully opening the bag and draping the excess
over the sides.
2. Add chicken to the bottom of the liner. Season with salt, pepper, and Italian
3. Sprinkle chicken with 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese.
4. Reserve remaining Parmesan cheese to top finished dish for serving.
5. Top chicken with mushrooms and zucchini.
6. Pour chicken broth over chicken and vegetables.
7. Fold the top of the bag over to one side and push ingredients at bottom of liner
over to create room for the second bag.
8. Follow directions for the second recipe.
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Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Figs
Serves 2
Sweet potatoes and figs taste like fall, and when the first tease of cooler weather arrives, this is the first dish I serve.
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4 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1⁄3 cup chopped dried figs
1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 small onion, diced
1⁄2 cup chicken broth
1⁄4 cup orange juice
1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander
1⁄2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Dash of cayenne pepper, optional
1. Insert liner into the remaining space in the slow cooker, fully opening the bag
and draping the excess over the sides.
2. Add chicken to the bottom of the liner. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Top chicken with figs, sweet potato, and onion.
4. Stir together chicken broth, orange juice, ginger, coriander, turmeric, cumin,
and cayenne pepper, if desired, in a small bowl. Pour over chicken and vegetables.
5. Fold the top of the bag over to the opposite side of the first bag and nestle the
ingredients of each bag so that they are sharing the space evenly.
To Complete the Recipes
1. Each closed liner should be draping away from each other, extending over the
sides of the slow cooker.
2. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours.
3. Move two shallow serving dishes or bowls next to the slow cooker. Remove cover
and using pot holders or oven mitts, carefully open each liner and remove the solids
with a slotted spoon or tongs to its own serving bowl. Still using a pot holder,
gather the top of the first liner, carefully lift the bag from the slow cooker and
move over its serving bowl. Cut a corner off the bottom of the bag, large enough to
allow the remaining contents of the bag to be released into the
bowl. Discard the liner. Repeat with the second liner.
4. Allow the recipe not being served to cool, and package in a re-sealable plastic
freezer bag or freezer container. Label and freeze up to 3 months.
5. Before serving, taste, and season again with salt and pepper. Top the Chicken
with Zucchini and Mushrooms with reserved Parmesan before serving.
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 Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge to review, but the opinions expressed are 100% my own. 


Food, Family and Tradition

FOOD, FAMILY AND TRADITION Hungarian Kosher Family Recipes and Remembrances By Lynn Kirsche Shapiro The Cherry Press/August 2014 Hardcover/$35.00 ISBN: 978-0-9898479-0-2 (Photo Credit: Nick Ulivieri Photography)

Hungarian Kosher Family Recipes and Remembrances
By Lynn Kirsche Shapiro
The Cherry Press/August 2014
ISBN: 978-0-9898479-0-2
(Photo Credit: Nick Ulivieri Photography)

Food, Family and Tradition Hungarian Kosher Family Recipes and Remembrances is the full title of a new book by Lynn KIrsche Shapiro. This was the hardest and at the same time most wonderful cookbook I have ever read. Now of course I must explain. This book is about Holocaust survivors and the recipes they enjoyed since long before World War II. Throughout history, and still today, not everyone has religious freedom. Jews, especially, have been persecuted and executed for their religious beliefs. They often had to flee, when they were able to, or hide their religion when they were not. Even through years of desperation and annihilation we have survived.

For my family it was Tsarist Russia. My grandparents were young a young, happy married couple with an infant, my mother, when they were forced to flee. First they had to stay safe until my mother was old enough to travel. Then it took two years living in fear of being caught traveling on foot and sometimes by train until they reached Riga, Latvia. From there they went to Southampton, England and boarded a ship to America where they truly believed the streets were paved with gold.

(Photo Credit: Nick Ulivieri Photography)

(Photo Credit: Nick Ulivieri Photography)

For the family of Lynn Kirsche Shapiro it was the Hitler and the Nazis. It was a miracle that anyone survived the death camps. Over six million Jews did not. Lynn has brilliantly told her family’s story starting before the gates of Hell opened. Life was rich and full of celebrations as there are many Jewish holidays and joyous occasions to celebrate. Food was plentiful and the meals were bountiful. That all changed when the Third Reich took control. But Lynn has interwoven the history with the amazing recipes. Her families recipes are some similar to my family recipes. I was immediately transported to my Bubie and Zeyda’s home for holiday meals and shabbos dinners. I wanted to cook everything in the book.

But the first thing I made was blintzes and the recipe was perfection. Unlike the first time I made them. When I was newly married and wanted to show Steve what a good cook, a balaboosta, that I was. I went to my grandmother’s for the recipe. I actually don’t know that she ever used one. But she gave me very clear instructions. Except for one tiny detail. She forgot to tell me that I needed a 6 or 7 inch pan to make the crepe. Well I used the only frying pan I had at that time and it was 12 inches in diameter. When Steve came home for dinner he wanted to know what was for dinner because it really smelled wonderful in our little apartment. I responded with a blintze. Steve said “You mean blintzes?” No, I replied and presented him with his plate. On it was a blintze hanging over the sides of our 10.5 inch dinner plate. It was really quite laughable but tasted yummy. We still laugh about it to this day and that was about 45 years ago!

But I digress. The difficult part of reading Food, Family and Tradition was trying to see through my tears. So many horrifying and tragic memories. When I got to the recipes I was quite relieved and thought that I could put my tissues away. But there are many anecdotes that are very moving interspersed with the mouth watering recipes. But like my father’s mother, who I am named for, used to say “It was so good. I had a good cry!” Of course she probable said it in Yiddush.

Each recipe (labeled dairy, meat, or parve), has headnotes that inform today’s cook about ingredient substitutions, preparation tips, serving suggestions and timing along with priceless remembrances – sweet, bitter and bittersweet – that puts these recipes in the context of rich, vibrant Jewish life and culture in Eastern Europe prior to the Holocaust.

Candied Carrots
Serves 4
Candied Carrots, traditionally served on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, when we pray for a “sweet year” has been a family favorite for generations. It can be a side dish for meat or poultry and also a dessert. My mother says her mother cooked it on Rosh Hashanah and also for dessert on Friday, Shabbos, dinner.
Her father, Samuel Weisz, explained his soft spot for the dish by saying “carrots are very healthy.” Just as my mother remembers it as one of her father’s favorites, I remember it as one of my father’s favorites. Candied Carrots appealed to my father in so many ways: he loved to snack on vegetables and fruits and he loved sweets.
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1 tablespoon oil
1 pound carrots, peeled and thinly sliced horizontally
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons flour
1 cup water
Pinch salt
Place oil in a 2-quart saucepan. Add the carrots and the sugar. Cover and cook
very low heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid reduces, approximately 1
Meanwhile, in a small separate bowl, stir flour into ¼ into cup of the water, mixing
until smooth. Add the remaining water, stirring to mix.
Add flour-water mixture slowly to cooked carrots, stirring; add salt. Increase heat
and bring to a boil. Decrease heat to low, stirring gently so as not to break
carrots, and cook until sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
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Honey Cake, Lekech Parve
Honey is traditionally eaten on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, for its sweet taste. As we pray to God for a “sweet New Year,” we set our table with sweet foods. Either challah or apples dipped in honey begin the festive meal. Honey Cake, or Lekech, is a special recipe from my aunt Goldie for the Kiddush or dessert on Rosh Hashanah.
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1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
1 ¼ cups honey
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 cup strong brewed coffee
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 eggs, separated
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
3 to 4 drops lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray and line sides
and bottom with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, place oil, honey, sugar, coffee, baking soda and egg yolks. Mix
until smooth. Reserve.
In another medium bowl, mix flour with baking powder. Slowly add the flour mixture
into the cake mixture, beating on a low speed.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites on high, adding 3 to 4 drops of lemon juice,
until whites are stiff. Carefully, fold the whites into the cake mixture.
Divide batter equally among the prepared baking pans. Bake in the center of
oven, until the top browns, about 10 to 15 minutes. When the top is brown,
reduce the temperature to 325°F. Continue to bake until a toothpick inserted in
center comes out clean or the cake springs back when pressed lightly, about 1 hour.
Cool to room temperature and slice into ½ -inch slices.
foodandfondmemories.com http://www.foodandfondmemories.com/
 Disclaimer: This book was sent to me free of charge to review but the opinions stated are one hundred percent my own.