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Monday, October 14, 2019

Buttermilk Pie Bars

Custardy, light and super easy to make
Taste: 5 (out of 5)
Difficulty: 2 (out of 5)

Source: adapted from here and there

For the crust
- 150 g animal crackers
- 1/3 cup (70 g) butter, melted
For the filling
- 4 Tbsp flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp orange extract (or lemon extract, or omit)

1. Grease a 5'x7' pyrex pan and preheat the oven to 350F
2. Place the crackers in a food processor and pulse until you have fine crumbs
3. Pour melted butter into cracker crumbs, mix well, and spread to cover the bottom of the pyrex pan
4. Mix all the filling ingredients and pour over the crumb base
5. Bake for 55 minutes or until the top is light golden and the pie is still soft but no longer liquid.

- This was a really easy recipe and worked very well the first time around. But I used 1 1/2 cups of sugar and the aftertaste in the mouth was a bit too sweet. So I will cut the sugar to 1 cup next time.
- Might be wise to check the pie after 40 minutes or so depending on the oven.

To Recipe...

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Salted Cucumber Pickles (NO Vinegar)

If you don't like the taste of vinegar in your pickles 
Taste: 4 (out of 5)
Difficulty: 1 (out of 5)
Source: trial and error

- 1 kg / 2 lbs of cucumbers
- 1 liter / 4 cups of boiling water
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp dill flakes
- 1 tbsp whole mustard seeds or 1/2 tbsp mustard powder
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- a dash of cayenne
- 4-5 bay leaves

1. Leave cucumbers in cold water for 1-2 hours (this is supposed to keep them crispy).
2. Boil 1 liter of water and mix in all spices except bay leaves. While cucumbers are soaked in cold water, let the boiled water with spices cool down.
3. Cut off the tips of the cucumbers. Place cucumbers in a 2 liter / half gallon glass jar and pour the chilled water with spices over them so that all cucumbers are covered. Place bay leaves on top.
4. Loosely cover the jar with the lid and Let ferment for 1 to 3 days at room temperature. Taste the cucumbers at the end of each day. The longer they stay out the saltier they become. For me one day is usually enough.
5. When the cucumbers reach desired degree of saltiness, close the lid and refrigerate. They will keep in the fridge for months.

To Recipe...

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Bok Choy Soup

Delicious, healthy, easy and practically calorie free

Taste: 5 (out of 5)
Difficulty: 1 (out of 5)
Source: trial and error (actually, success the first time around)

- 2 lbs bok choy
- 2 liters / 8 cups water
- 1 tbsp miso paste
- 1 tbsp Better than Bouillon Beef soup base (or another soup base, or another tbsp of miso)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- yogurt to add to the finished soup as desired (optional)

1. Wash the bok choy, add to a big pot with cold water and bring to a boil.
2. Place the softened bok choy with some of the water, the miso, the soup base and the spices into a blender and blend until uniform. (I actually don't add turmeric to the blender to avoid coloring the blender. I add turmeric once I return the pureed bok choy to the pot).
3. Return the bok choy to the pot (add the turmeric, if you haven't yet), bring to boil and keep simmering on medium high heat for another 10-15 minutes.
4. Serve with yogurt (1 tbsp for 2 cups of soup feels perfect to me).
5. Additional serving options: croutons, bacon, crumbled dried seaweed, sesame seeds, or whatever you like adding to your soup.

I am not a big fan of soups or of bok choy. This soup was first made on a cold winter detox day to save calories (because bok choy has only 13 calories per 100 g). But it turned out surprisingly tasty. I made it many times since. It turns out bok choy is some kind of underappreciated super food with lots of nutrients. You can google it to feel even better about using it in your recipes. But this recipe does not really need external motivation - it simply tastes great!

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Sirloin Tip Roast

Super easy and just right
Taste: 5 (out of 5)
Difficulty: 1 (out of 5)
Source: trial and error

- 3 lbs sirloin tip
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 4 garlic cloves, halved

1. Preheat the oven to 425F (450F in my oven - the thermostat is off) and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and parchment paper.
2. Make 8 cuts in the roast and insert the garlic.
3. Coat the roast with salt and pepper on all sides.
4. Roast the meat at 425F for 20 minutes, then at 350F (375F in my oven) for 30 minutes, then at 300F (325F in my oven) for another 30 minutes.
5. Check roast temperature in several places. If it's around 145F - good for you, if not, turn the oven off and leave the roast in the switched off oven for another 15 minutes. At that point the temperature reached 148F and the roast was just perfect.

To Recipe...