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! :)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Honeybell Orange Sponge Cake

Honeybell Orange Sponge Cake : Hye Thyme Cafe

While still trying to make my way through a box of Honeybells sent to me by my office, a vision of my sister's Lemon Sponge Cake suddenly danced in my head, so I decided to translate my own version using the Honeybells, which are a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit. I had a hard time not scarfing the whole cake down in one day!

6 eggs, separated
1 1/2 c sugar
2/3 c Honeybell juice
2-3 T Honeybell zest
  (I say zest 1 and if you don't get 2/3 c juice out of it, zest another since you'll be juicing it anyhow)
1 1/2 c flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cream of tartar

  1. Beat the yolks until thick and lemony.
  2. Gradually add the sugar, then the juice and zest.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add to the yolk mixture, a little at a time.
  4. If using a stand mixer, and you only have one bowl, pour the mixture out into a separate bowl and clean the mixer bowl well. Now use that bowl to beat together the whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form.
  5. Gently fold the whites into the yolk mixture and transfer to your baking pan (see NOTE)
  6. Bake at 325 for 60-65" until toothpick tests clean.
  7. Invert to cool - if using a tube pan, that will mean inverting the pan over a bottle to insert the bottle neck into the tube. If using a bundt, invert onto a cooling rack. 

NOTE:  There are two schools of thought with sponge cakes - some say to NEVER grease the pan, because the batter needs something to "grab onto" to climb the pan, while others say to go right ahead. Not only did I spray my pan with baking spray, but I made it in a non-stick bundt pan, rather than the traditional tube pan. (That also accounts for my slightly over-filled pan - I knew better but rolled with it anyhow and ended up with a cake that sort of has what you would call feet on macarons.)

Honeybell Orange Sponge Cake : Hye Thyme Cafe

Honeybell Orange Sponge Cake : Hye Thyme Cafe

Honeybell Orange Sponge Cake : Hye Thyme Cafe

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Vegetable Soup with Great Northern Beans

Vegetable Soup with Great Northern Beans : Hye Thyme Cafe

A lot of times, if I'm making vegetable soup, I'll throw in a can of Great Northern Beans to add some protein to the mix. Vegetable soup is really kind of a no-brainer, so this is more of an idea inspiration than for actual recipe value. I'll usually start with the basics - garlic, onion, celery, and carrot. After that, it's all about what mood I'm in or what's lurking at the back of the crisper drawer. Soup is a great way of using up all those odds and ends in your fridge and freezer. If you've got veggies and herbs hanging around that seem to be more questionable than what you want to include in your soup, go ahead and freeze them rather than throwing them out - that way, you can use them down the road to season a batch of stock.  

For some reason, I usually use beef broth when making vegetable soup, but I went with chicken broth this time - maybe because I was including spinach and associate spinach with chicken. More often than not, I'll include at least one color of bell pepper in my soup, usually red or orange. I decided to skip the peppers this time, but did add something else that I love in soup for another texture - water chestnuts! They add a great crunch. 

1 T olive oil
3 stalks celery, diced
3 carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t each salt and pepper
1/2 to 1 t crushed red pepper flakes
1 box frozen chopped spinach
1 c frozen corn
32 oz carton chicken broth
1 small can sliced water chestnuts
1 can Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
Grated Parmesan - optional

  1. Saute the celery, carrots, and garlic in the olive oil until the onions are translucent.
  2. Season with the salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper, then add the spinach and corn - frozen is fine, they will thaw in just a few minutes, and the spinach will give off more liquid and flavor for your broth that way.
  3. Once the spinach is thawed, go ahead and add the broth and bring up to a simmer.
  4. Add the water chestnuts and beans last and let simmer for a few minutes more to heat through.
  5. Serve up a cup/bowl with a sprinkle Parmesan over the top.
Vegetable Soup with Great Northern Beans : Hye Thyme Cafe

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