Friday, February 25, 2011

National Pancake Week

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Recently I received a package of King Arthur Flour's white whole wheat flour to review over on Moana Saves. Since the package was only 5 pounds I left it on my counter for weeks while I debated the different recipes to try with the prized amount of flour.  One night as I was planning to cook my typical dinner standby (breakfast for dinner!) I decided to use a portion of the precious flour (yes, it's that good and can not be wasted!) in King Arthur Flour's whole grain pancake recipe. I reviewed the flour over on Moana Saves but I just want to say that this recipe includes whole wheat flour AND oats yet it was still such a light and flavorful pancake. Mmm-mmm!

Homemade Whole-Grain Pancake Mix
Recipe courtesy of King Arthur Flour with my addition noted in red below

  • 4 cups King Arthur white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 1/2 cups old-fashioned or rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
(*My notes: When cooking my pancakes I used 2 cups of the dry ingredient mix, doubling the pancake instructions below. My sole variation was adding 3-4 small over-ripe bananas, throughly mashed, to the wet ingredients prior to combining wet and dry to make the pancake batter.)

To make the mix:
1) Grind the oats in a food processor until they're chopped fine, but not a powder.
2) Put the flour, oats, and all other dry ingredients into a mixer with a paddle. Mix on slow speed, and drizzle the vegetable oil into the bowl slowly while the mixer is running.
3) Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks at room temperature, or indefinitely in the refrigerator or freezer.
To make pancakes:
1) Whisk together 1 cup of mix, 1 cup of buttermilk (you can use soured milk, but buttermilk gives noticeably superior results; a combination of half plain yogurt and half milk also will do), and 1 large egg. Don't worry if it seems thin at first: the oats will soak up the milk, and the mix will thicken a bit as it stands. Let the batter stand for at least 20 minutes before cooking.
2) Heat a lightly greased griddle to 350°F (if you've got a griddle with a temperature setting; if not, medium-hot will do).
3) Drop the batter onto it in 1/4-cupfuls (a jumbo cookie scoop works well here) to make a 4" diameter pancake. If you have English muffin rings, use them; they make a perfectly round, evenly thick pancake.
4) When the edges look dry and bubbles come to the surface without breaking (after about 2 minutes, if your griddle is the correct temperature), turn the pancake over to finish cooking on the second side, which will take about 2 minutes.
5) Serve pancakes immediately, or stack and hold in a warm oven.
Yield: a batch using one cup of the mix will make about eight 4" pancakes.
Note: If you don't have buttermilk in the house, try the yogurt and milk combination first; if you happen to have buttermilk powder, try this: In place of the buttermilk, add 1/4 cup buttermilk powder to 1 cup of dry mix, then stir in 1 cup water and 1 large egg. The results won't be as magnificent as using liquid buttermilk, but you'll still have very tasty pancakes.
Variation: Add 1 tablespoon orange juice to the dry mix along with the buttermilk. We've found that the acidity and sweetness of the orange juice helps mellow the tannic taste some people perceive in whole wheat flour; while the pancakes won't have any orange flavor, they may taste slightly milder to you, if you're not a fan of whole wheat flour (but still want to get more whole grains into your diet).

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

BBQ Fun with Country Bob's

Have I ever told you how much I love hamburgers? Without a doubt my dish of choice is a hamburger. Whether it's PW's Blue Cheese & Bacon Burgers or Cheese-Stuffed Southwest Turkey Burgers from Perry's Plate or even a plain ol' grilled beef burger with ketchup and mustard...I love them ALL!

Recently Country Bob's sent me some of their all-purpose sauce to try along with a pamphlet that included some of their favorite recipes. As I scanned the pamphlet my heart skipped a beat when I read: "Honolulu Bob Burgers". What better recipe of choice to try with Country Bob's than a Hawai'ian style burger with fresh pineapple! Below is the recipe along with a few alterations of my own.

Honolulu Bob Burgers
Recipe originally found at Country Bob's, altered by me @ The Dish List
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • County Bob's All Purpose Sauce
  • 1 small pineapple, sliced to desired thickness (can substitute with well-drained canned pineapple slices)
  • sliced Cheddar cheese
  • 1 small purple onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
Place the ground beef in a large bowl and add the desired seasonings to taste.  Shape a handful of the ground beef mixture into a patty and repeat with the remaining beef. In a separate pan, melt the butter and add the purple onions. Cook over medium heat until the onions begin to brown and caramelize. Remove from heat and set aside.

Grill the patties over hot coals until cooked on one side. Turn the patties over, spread with the desired amount of Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce and top with a pineapple slice. Grill for several minutes or until cooked through. At the last minute add the cheese slice on top of the pineapple and grill until melted. Place the patty on a bun and top with the caramelized onions. You may add more Country Bob's sauce if desired.

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I enjoyed the flavor of Country Bob's All-Purpose Sauce served on my BBQ hamburger. The savory yet sweet sauce has a slight kick to it, enough to make your mouth water for more. To purchase your own bottle of sauce you can purchase ONLINE or find the nearest store location HERE.

The kind people at Country Bob's have generously offered to send TWO Dish List readers their very own bottles of Country Bob's All-Purpose Sauce. To enter just leave a comment answering this question: Who grills the food in your house, the man or the woman?

To earn an additional entry, do one (or all) of the following and leave a separate comment for each thing you do:

1. Follow Country Bob's on Twitter.
2. Like Country Bob's on Facebook.
3. Like The Dish List Facebook page.
4. Follow The Dish List on Twitter.

Only one person per email/household/IPaddress can enter this giveaway.  He/she must be 18+ years old and reside in the U.S.  This giveaway ends on 3/10/11 HST (Hawaii Standard Time).  One winner will be chosen randomly via Random.org.  I will notify the winner via email and he/she must respond to claim the prize within 48 hours or I will draw another winner.

I was not compensated for this giveaway although I did receive samples of products to facilitate the original review.  Any and all opinions here are mine.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Retail Therapy with CSN Stores

Feeling the wintertime blues? Punxsutawney Phil thinks we'll have an early spring but really what does a groundhog know. I think the best fix for your winter blues is a little springtime retail therapy. If your kids are anything like mine they are biting at the bit for a brand new swing set to enjoy this summer. We've looked at other sets in the past and one of our biggest concerns has always been the shipping. This set sold through CSN Stores ships free!

You might be asking how this relates to food. Well, the generous people over at CSN Stores are sending me a nifty new cooking product for review. Ahh, the joys of retail therapy!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Chicken Thighs in Red Wine Vinegar

Happy Valentines Day!
Today is the day for candlelight dinners and romantic strolls along the beach. If you're avoiding the holiday restaurant crowds like we are and you're still not sure what to make for dinner I think this is a perfect choice. It is loaded with flavor and substance for the husband but little does he know that it has a lower calorie count for the woman. My philosophy is: save calories while eating the main dish so that you can enjoy more dessert! We all know that Valentines Day is one day when you must save room for the dessert!

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Chicken Thighs in Red Wine Vinegar
Adapted from Gina's Skinny Recipes


  • 8 lean chicken thighs, skin removed
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups fat free chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 4 small diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp butter
  • ¾ cup thinly sliced purple onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp light sour cream

Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a medium saucepan, combine vinegar, honey, 1 cup of chicken broth and tomatoes. Boil about 5 minutes or until it reduces down to about 3/4 cup. Remove from heat.

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat and add chicken. Cook on both sides, until brown, about 6-8 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside. Add the onion and garlic to the skillet and cook on low until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken back into the skillet with the onions and garlic, pour the sauce over the chicken and add the additional cup of broth. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes until tender. Add the sour cream the last minute of cooking. Before serving you may top your dish with fresh parsley if desired.
*I actually forgot to add the sour cream to this dish and it still tasted fabulous!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Different Kind of Brownie

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It's Sunday and my family wanted dessert with their dinner. In an attempt to appease their sugar tooths (teeth? tooth?) and my desire to eat healthier I tried a new brownie recipe. These brownies are low fat,  high in fiber, high in protein and they are made from a box and can. Hmm... What in the world is this dessert made of? The ingredients are simple: 1 box of brownie mix and 1 can of black beans. That's all. No eggs or oil. Are these going to taste good? The verdict: everyone enjoyed these moist and fudge-like treats. The beans do make for a denser brownie similar to fudge but the cocoa covers any residual bean flavor. My husband is a purest when it comes to dessert and especially chocolate. After a wicked glance from me to forgo questions in front of the children he said he honestly enjoyed the brownie's taste and texture. I know I haven't converted him to black bean brownies every time but with his gourmet taste pallet he still can't figure out what ingredient I substituted in the recipe.

Now I know that if I'm stranded with only a brownie mix and a can of black beans (and a way to cook) then I can make brownies! This is great practice for me as an island resident who is trying to build up her food storage and plan for a day when the docks are closed due to either worker strike or natural disaster. When that day comes at least we'll be enjoying a plate of fudgey brownies!

Black Bean Brownies
  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 19.5 oz box chocolate brownie mix
Open a can of beans then drain and rinse well*. Put beans back in the can and fill can with water. Put beans and water in blender until smooth. Mix pureed beans with brownie package mix. DO NOT add eggs or oil. Spray baking dish with Pam. Cook brownies according to package directions. Cool and serve.

*My notes: I usually soak and cook my lentils and beans ahead of time instead of purchasing them canned since it's cheaper and has less sodium. I usually cook a large amount of beans in the crock-pot and then drain and freeze them for later use. I'm assuming if I was using home cooked beans that I would weigh 15 ounces of beans and add enough water (not too much!) to fill in the spaces between the beans. Recently I purchased more canned items because if I'm without electricity (as unfortunately I OFTEN am) then I'll have beans ready to eat.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

King Arthur Flour Kids Pizza Dough Kit


This week I reviewed a kids pizza dough kit from King Arthur Flour over on Moana Saves. The kids had a great time making pizza and I had a great time sitting back and watching them do the work. Check out the review!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Whole Wheat Pita Bread

I am playing tour guide this week as family is in town. Don't you love hosting friends and family? It means doing activities you wouldn't normally do (yesterday I went on a catamaran ride in the beautiful sea-green ocean) and eating out (I ate a fabulous seaweed crusted fish with wasabe butter the other night at a local restaurant. To. DIE. FOR!).  Living more than 2000 miles from relatives has been hard but on the bright side our family is more inclined to visit us seeing as we live in a tropical paradise and they are freezing on the mainland this winter.

One of our visitors is my sister and she is totally schooling me in my efforts to fulfill a New Year's resolution of dieting. The other afternoon she was eating store-bought humus with vegetables for lunch. That's when I jumped up and said: "Let me make you some delicious home-made hummus!" I whipped up the hummus in no more than 10 minutes and then pulled some of these pitas from the freezer that I had pre-cooked.

I love whole wheat breads because they taste great, they're freshly baked at home without preservatives (I grind my own wheat flour) and the whole grains are healthy for me and my family. The Foodie Bride has adapted a recipe from Gourmet (May 2003) for pita bread and I am loving it! Next on my list of recipes to make is some fabulous Greek gyros!

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Whole Wheat Pita Bread
Recipe courtesy of Gourmet 2003 (adaptation per the Confections of a Foodie Bride)

Ingredients:
2¼ tsp. instant yeast
1 tbsp. honey
1¼ cups warm water (105˚-115˚ F), divided
1½ cups bread flour, divided
1½ cups whole wheat flour, divided
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. salt
Cornmeal, for sprinkling

Directions:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast, honey and ½ cup of the water.  Stir gently to blend. Whisk ¼ cup of the bread flour and ¼ cup of the whole wheat flour into the yeast mixture until smooth.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in bulk and bubbly, about 45 minutes.

Remove the plastic wrap and return the bowl to the mixer stand, fitted with the dough hook.  Add in the remaining ¾ cup of warm water, 1¼ cups bread flour, 1¼ cups whole wheat flour, olive oil and salt. Knead on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.  Transfer the ball of dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat, and let rise in a warm draft-free place, about 1 hour, until doubled in bulk.

Place an oven rack in the middle position.  Place a baking stone in the oven (if using) and preheat to 500˚ F.

Once the dough has risen, transfer to a lightly floured work surface, punch down the dough and divide into 8 equal pieces.  Form each piece into a ball.  Flatten one ball at a time into a disk, then stretch out into a 6½-7 inch circle.  Transfer the rounds to a baking sheet or other work surface lightly sprinkled with cornmeal.  Once all the rounds have been shaped, loosely cover with clean kitchen towels.  Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, until slightly puffy.

Transfer 4 pitas, 1 at a time, onto the baking surface.  (Note: These can be baked on a baking stone or directly on the oven racks. If baked on the rack don't use the cornmeal.) Bake 2 minutes, until puffed and pale golden.  Gently flip the pitas over using tongs and bake 1 minute more.  Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.  Repeat with the remaining pitas.  Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or place in freezer for later consumption.
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