Hye Thyme Cafe

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)


Monday, August 25, 2014

Corn Salad

Corn Salad: Hye Thyme Cafe


August is the height of corn season in my area, but as much as I love corn on the cob, I decided to try something different for a change, so I threw together this salad.  I have lived here for almost nine years now, and I still smile every time I see a little unmanned, self-serve roadside farm stand. I saw a kitten trying to steal an ear of corn from one the other day.  I guess he forgot his wallet.  

INGREDIENTS :
6 ears of corn
1 small red bell pepper
1 small orange bell pepper
3-4 scallions
1 cucumber
cilantro
1 t sugar
1/4 t cumin
1/2 t black pepper
1 small lime
1 t oil (veg or canola)
1 t rice vinegar (or white balsamic)

  1. Shuck your corn and drop it into lightly salted boiling water for about 3 minutes - you just want to take that raw, starchy crunch off of it.  Pour out the hot water and run under cold to cool the corn.
  2. Remove the kernels from the cob.  To do this, hold the ear by the tip so it's standing on your cutting board on its "handle," and run a sharp knife down the length, close to the cob. There are a bazillion posts going around about doing this in a bundt pan to catch the kernels so they don't fly all over your kitchen, but unless you're maybe cutting raw (hard) corn, or not cutting close enough to the cob, that's not going to happen. You can see in my pics below just how far the kernels jumped.
  3. Petite dice your peppers, scallion, and cucumber so they are all roughly the same size as the corn. I know I say this all the time, but I actually prefer to buy the mini pickling cukes for better flavor without all the mushy seeds (so I used 3-4 minis).  If you can find a good firm cucumber, that's great.  If not, maybe an English cucumber or the minis.  If all you have access to is big cucumbers with tons of seeds, I'd scoop out the seeds so you don't end up watering down your salad - unless you think it will be gone in one sitting.
  4. Wash the cilantro really well, then squeeze dry with paper towels or a clean dish towel and chop.  I thought I was going to use about half a bunch but found myself sneaking in more.
  5. Toss all of your veggies and cilantro together in a big bowl and zest the lime right over the top.
  6. Squeeze the juice from the lime into a small bowl, and to that add the sugar, salt, cumin, black pepper, oil, and vinegar; stir together to dissolve the sugar, then pour over the veggies and toss.
  7. Sprinkle the chili powder over the top and toss again - I waited to the end to add the chili powder because I was afraid if I added it to the liquid, it would just turn everything reddish-brown.  This way gives the liquid a chance to be distributed first.


See - if you have kernels flying everywhere, you're not cutting close
enough to the cob and are actually wasting a lot of your corn.

Corn Salad: Hye Thyme Cafe




Corn Salad: Hye Thyme Cafe
Corn Salad: Hye Thyme Cafe
 

You can break up the strips of corn if you want,
but I like to let it break up on its own as I mix,
leaving some small strips like pictured below.

Corn Salad: Hye Thyme Cafe




Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Half and Half Chocolate Chip Cookies

Half and Half Chocolate Chip Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe


I was torn between making a batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies and making a batch of Chocolate Cookies with White Chocolate Chips, so I decided to combine the two. I wasn't sure what to call them so that someone interested might be able to find this post. Should I refer to them as half and half, mixed, black and white, something else? So I did a Google search to see what would turn up. I found a bazillion Half and Half Chocolate Chip Cookie posts, so I opened a bunch of them out of curiosity. I found it funny that every single post I opened had you make a ball of one dough and a ball of the other and stick them next to each other on the tray. That never even entered my mind. I actually think my way is faster/easier and better for storing leftovers, but that's up to you.

WHITE SIDE:
1/2 c (1 stick) butter, softened
1/3 c sugar
1/3 c light brown sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1c plus 2T flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)

DARK SIDE:
1/2 c (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 t vanilla
1c plus 2T flour
3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 t instant espresso granules
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
white chocolate chips


  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients (minus the chips) for both mixes in separate small bowls and set aside.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugars for the white side until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg, followed by the vanilla.
  3. In two or three additions, blend in the dry mixture that doesn't have cocoa powder in it, then your chocolate chips.
  4. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on your work space and spread the batter lengthwise down the center and set aside.
  5. If there isn't a lot of dough left in the bowl, you can use the same one for the next batch - cream together the butter and sugar for the dark side until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg, followed by the vanilla.
  6. In two or three additions, blend in the dry mixture with the cocoa powder, then your white chocolate chips.
  7. Stack that dough on top of your finished dough on the plastic wrap.
  8. Roll the plastic wrap around the dough, then pick it up by each end and spin to tightly wrap it like a Tootsie Roll.
  9. Chill the dough in the refrigerator or freezer for a bit to make it easier to cut without squishing it out of shape - just slice and bake as many as you want (at 350), re-wrap the rest, wrap it in foil or put it in a zip-lock bag and store it in the freezer for whenever you want more cookies.
NOTE:  If you happen to be an engineer - or suffer from OCD - feel free to wrap the dough batches separately, then flatten out the sides that will merge before wrapping them together, so you get a more distinct dividing line.  I happen to like the "wave" effect.  ;)

Half and Half Chocolate Chip Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe

Half and Half Chocolate Chip Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe


Half and Half Chocolate Chip Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe


Half and Half Chocolate Chip Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe

Half and Half Chocolate Chip Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe