Better Homes and Gardens
Today was designated Magazine Meal Day. I chose to do this because I did not feel I was getting sufficient value from my magazine subscription to Better Homes and Gardens. I realized I had three unread Better Homes and Gardens magazines stacked on my coffee table; they covered Halloween Treats, Thanksgiving Traditions, and Holiday Festivities. Yesterday, I opened October’s issue and flipped through it. I found a few recipes that looked interesting and worth trying. I copied the ingredients I needed onto my grocery list and made sure all the supplies were on hand.
I started with the Apple Cheddar Bagel Snack. Initially, these little treats seemed rather labor intensive for breakfast, but they were worth the effort. I used mini-cinnamon raisin bagels, Paula Red apples, my own cinnamon-sugar mixture and sharp Vermont cheddar. I left off the savory sage topping -- just not breakfastlike to me. I added a Morningstar sausage patty to the plate (yes, tofu can be used to make both edible and healthy foods). This concoction requires the use of a broiler, but if you are fortunate enough to have a toaster-oven, the browning step is easy. Essentially, this recipe tops a toasted bagel with cinnamon sugar, slightly cooked apples and melted cheese. How can you go wrong?
Lunch. As suggested, I turned to the common cabbage. I used it and other vegetables in chicken stock to create a speedy soup. I added garbanzo beans and parmesan to raise the protein count. Very edible, but nothing special.
Dinner was called Asian-Style Fried Rice and Beans. I was particularly intrigued by the use of grilled fresh pineapple in a stir fry. It was lovely to see the pineapple sear in a hot pan. The rest of the meal was profoundly unremarkable. I will serve grilled pineapple again, however. Heating the fruit brings out the sweetness and the sear marks look cool!
I did not forget about dessert. I made Almond Blondies...except I used pecans rather than almonds, and I added chocolate chips. The recipe differs from others I have used in the manner in which the flour is added to the melted butter and brown sugar. This recipe calls for the butter to be melted on the stove and all the remaining ingredients to be stirred into the original pot. It wasn’t until I had added just about everything that I discovered I was out of vanilla. Zut Alors! I spread the ingredients in a 9 x 13” pan with light-handed finesse. I thought the heat of the oven would cause the ingredients to meld together and appear smooth. Not so. After 25 minutes, I removed a pan of blondies that still bore the mark of the final swirl I made before putting them in the oven. They were unremarkable. Partly my fault, no vanilla.
At the end of this day, I have learned the following: both apples and pineapples fare well when browned in a pan. While cabbage and vegetables are tasty in a tomato broth,there is nothing remarkable about them sharing a pot. Garbanzo beans and pineapple do not belong in a sentence involving Asian Stir-Fry. What was I thinking?
There is such a thing as too much butter! Who would have guessed? The brownie recipe demonstrates this very well. In point of fact, I did alter the recipe a bit and the vanilla was missing, but the palate does not lie. Too much butter.
Maybe I should have another one just to be sure...
Maybe tomorrow I will tackle Magazine Decorating.