Hye Thyme Cafe: 2017

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 14, 2017

Sun Dried Tomato-Basil Hummus

Sun Dried Tomato-Basil Hummus: Hye Thyme Cafe

OK, I think this might be my new favorite Hummus! Although I must admit that when I picked up the package of sun dried tomatoes, I had a pasta dish in mind, so you might prefer to work with the jarred option so you don't have to re-hydrate them. I purchased the dry because I knew I wouldn't be using them all right away. Totally up to you.

The other thing to consider is the use of basil. My first thought was to make a sun dried tomato hummus. Then it occurred to me that I have a beautiful basil plant in my kitchen window, so why not make it tomato-basil? I was afraid that blending all of that beautiful greenery into reddish-brown tomatoes would result in a really gross brown, so I was going to just stick with the tomatoes. Then a light bulb went off in my mind, and I remembered that I had a small bottle of basil oil in the pantry and could use that instead. After I made the hummus, I looked it up online, and sure enough, there are plenty of recipes using fresh basil, so feel free to replace the oil with olive oil and use fresh. If you prefer the idea of the basil oil but don't have access, there are also plenty of posts out there for how to make your own.

15 oz can chick peas, rinsed and drained
1/4 c tahini (well stirred/shaken to redistribute the oil)
12 sun dried tomatoes, re-hydrated per pkg instructions (reserve liquid)
2 cloves garlic
1 lemon
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 t smoked paprika (optional)
2 T+ basil oil

Sun Dried Tomato-Basil Hummus: Hye Thyme Cafe

Sun Dried Tomato-Basil Hummus: Hye Thyme Cafe

  1. Give the chick peas a whirl in the food processor to get the party started.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the tahini, re-hydrated tomatoes, garlic, juice from the lemon, salt, pepper, paprika, and 2T of basil oil.
  3. Process until smooth.
  4. To thin the batch, a little at a time, stream in some of the reserved liquid from re-hydrating the tomatoes until you reach your desired texture. If you used jarred tomatoes, you can use some of the liquid from the jar - if that will leave the rest of your tomatoes naked, use a little water or olive oil instead.
  5. Garnish the top with a drizzle of additional basil or olive oil, and serve with veggies, crackers, pita chips, etc.
As I was just thinking about what to serve it with, it crossed my mind that I should pick up a ball of fresh mozzarella and a baguette when I'm out later and use them with the hummus and my fresh basil to make crostini. [drool]

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Buffalo Chicken Burgers

Buffalo Chicken Burger : Hye Thyme Cafe

I was recently having a craving for something Buffalo, so I decided to make burgers for a change. Don't be alarmed by how soft the mixture is, it's all good! A little mayo helps make sure the chicken doesn't dry out while grilling, and it works as a binder along with the fresh bread crumbs. When it comes to the crumbs, I always keep a stash in the freezer for just such an occasion. Whenever I have odds and ends of any type of bread, I pulse it in the food processor and add it to the stash. It doesn't matter what kind of bread it is.

If you absolutely must ... feel free to add some bleu cheese crumbles to the top, or try stuffing your burger with it. As for me, I'll pass on the stinky stuff! I do, however, like Ranch dressing with my buffalo, and it usually comes along with celery in some form, so I dressed not only shredded lettuce but also the celery tops/greens with some sliced celery in Ranch as a topper. Dressing the lettuce and celery rather than pouring the Ranch over the top holds everything together and prevents dripping.

1 lb ground chicken
4 buns
1/3 c Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Sauce
2 T mayo
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c fresh bread crumbs
Butter for grilling your buns
1 stalk celery - leaves included
Small onion, sliced into thin rings
Ranch dressing

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the Buffalo Sauce, mayo, garlic, and bread crumbs and let sit for 10-15" to allow the crumbs to soak up the moisture.
  2. While that's going on, let your chicken sit out so it's not super cold when hitting the grill.
  3. Mix the chicken into the Bufflo mixture, divide into four parts and shape into patties.
  4. Grill until cooked through - time will vary depending on how large/small your patties are to accommodate the size of your buns. If you press a burger with a finger and it's still soft, give it another  minute; will be firm when done.
  5. Shred some lettuce and toss with the sliced celery and leaves, then toss with Ranch dressing to coat.
  6. Butter your buns and grill until nicely browned.
  7. Spread a little Ranch on the bottom half of your toasted bun, top with a burger and top with sliced onion and a pile of the dressed lettuce and celery.
Buffalo Chicken Burger : Hye Thyme Cafe

Buffalo Chicken Burger : Hye Thyme Cafe

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Butterfinger Cookies

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Butterfinger Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe

I recently encountered Butterfinger Baking Bits for the first time and couldn't resist the temptation, so I had to buy a bag. I decided to make a batch of cookies to bring to the office and was admonished by someone in HR because she has to pass through the kitchen to get to her office and said that every time she did, she ate another cookie. 😉

I decided to make them Peanut Butter Cookies, and because Butterfingers are already "peanut-buttery," I figured I'd up the ante and include more peanut butter. I also upped the chocolate by incorporating some chocolate chips. I like to run a knife through them to break them down somewhat so some of the chips remain intact, while some of the chocolate melts into the cookies. As for the oats, some folks like to bake with old fashioned, some with quick cooking, some use old fashioned but first pulse them in the food processor - personally, depending on the cookie, I like the texture achieved by using both old fashioned and quick-cooking oats. If going for a super soft cookie, I'll go with the quick - for crispy, stick with the old fashioned. When looking for somewhere in between, I use both.

1 c butter, softened
1 c light brown sugar
1 c peanut butter
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
1 c flour
1/2 t salt
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 c old-fashioned oats
1 c quick-cooking oats
10 oz package Butterfinger Baking Bits
1/2 c chocolate chips, chopped
  1. Cream together the butter and sugar, then add the eggs and vanilla until combined.
  2. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, then add to the butter mixture, a little at a time until combined.
  3. Mix in the oats, baking bits, and chocolate chips last.
  4. Scoop by rounded tablespoon onto parchment-lined trays and pat into rounds with the back of your spoon or a fingertip.
  5. Bake at 350 for 15" until the edges are browned and the centers are set.
  6. Let cool on trays for a few minutes before moving to cooling racks to cool completely.
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Butterfinger Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Butterfinger Cookies: Hye Thyme CafePeanut Butter Oatmeal Butterfinger Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Butterfinger Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Crustless Quiche

Crustless Quiche: Hye Thyme Cafe

Aside from being tasty and perfect for any time of day, an egg dish, whether it's a quiche, omelette, frittata, scromelette, or crustless quiche, is a great way to clean out the fridge. If you haven't pre-planned your dish with specific add-ins, you can use up whatever veggie, meat, cheese, and/or herb scraps are lurking int the fridge. For a 9" quiche, I start with 5 or 6 eggs, 1/4 c of milk, and then start adding whatever happens to grab my attention. For this particular version, I used ...

1 T butter (or cooking spray)
5 eggs
1/4 c milk
Olive oil
1/2 t each salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 c each onion and red bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 c broccoli, diced
8 oz ham steak, diced

  1. Grease a 9" pie place, either with cooking spray or butter. I add the butter, nuke it for about 7 seconds to soften it, then spread it around the plate.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together your eggs and milk; set aside.
  3. Coat a skillet with a bit of olive oil, and saute the onions and bell pepper until the onions are just about translucent, seasoning with the salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes; add the garlic just until it starts to take on some color and the onion is cooked through.
  4. Giving the peppers and onions a minute or two to cool, dice your ham and broccoli - I like to use the broccoli stalks as well as the florets, and for me, baking the broccoli in the quiche leaves it still a bit crisp. If you prefer it soft, go ahead and saute it with the onions and peppers.
  5. Add all of your mix-ins to the egg mixture, giving it a stir to combine, then pour into the greased pie plate.
  6. Bake at 350 for about 40" until set and starting to brown. If it starts to brown too much before the center is set, just go ahead and throw a sheet of foil over the top.
Slice into wedges to serve - for breakfast, maybe with toast and sliced melon, or for lunch or dinner, with a nice side salad. I had mine with a bit of Beet, Carrot, and Apple Salad over mixed baby greens.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli : Hye Thyme Cafe

Let me preface this post by saying that the only reason I made such a HUGE batch was that when my sister moved out of state, she passed along what was left in her kitchen, including a bag of Great Northern Beans and a bag of Black Beans that I decided it was time to put to use. I have never actually worked with dry beans before. You more typically find Pasta e Fagioli recipes using Cannellini and Kidney Beans, but I'm not fond of Kidney Beans, and the Great Northern make a great substitution for Cannellini.  You can easily reduce this recipe by half and substitute rinsed and drained canned beans for a quicker version. Many also prefer their Pasta e Fagioli as more of a soup, so feel free to increase the tomato sauce or broth to suit your preference.

If you keep it on the thick side, this is a great cool weather stick-to-your-ribs kind of dish. It may be June now, but it worked out great for me on a chilly, rainy day. Of course, I now have an entire freezer full! 

16 oz bag Great Northern Beans
16 oz bag Black Beans
2 T olive oil
6 oz pancetta, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
20 oz can tomato sauce
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
48 oz chicken broth
16 oz ditalini pasta
Optional garnish: basil, shaved Parmesan

  1. Pre-soak your beans per the package instructions. I used the overnight method.
  2. In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat, then add the pancetta to render the fat and get some crisp on it.
  3. Add the garlic until it starts to take on some color, then add the onions, carrots, and celery, and continue cooking until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, broth, and beans, bring up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until the beans are just about tender.
  5. Add the pasta and continue to simmer until al dente, adjusting the liquid to suit your preference for how thick/thin you want your final dish to be.
  6. Serve up a bowl topped with shaved or grated Parmesan and fresh basil.
If you decide to go with the dry bean option, I will point out one more thing - it took MUCH longer to cook the black beans than indicated on the package, so be prepared to give it some time to simmer. I actually stopped paying attention to the time.

Pasta e Fagioli : Hye Thyme Cafe

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Apricot-Almond Granola Sweetened with Apricot Preserves

Apricot-Almond Granola Sweetened with Apricot Preserves : Hye Thyme Cafe

Granola has been spoiled for me by the Golden Girl Granola Company. I was introduced to them a few years back and love their granola. Last year, I won second place in their annual recipe challenge and scored several bags, which I made the mistake of sharing with friends and family. I say it was a mistake because not long after that, I started eating homemade yogurt with fruit and a sprinkle of granola practically every morning for breakfast. I had shared it thinking there was no way I would be able to get through all of that granola. Once I ran out, I picked up another brand and hated it, then another that was so bad, I actually threw it away. Once I had been introduced to Golden Girl, no other brand seemed to stand up next to it - they all seem like cardboard to me or have too much junk in them. So what's a girl to do?? I started making my own!

4 c old fashioned oats
1 c sliced almonds
1 c unsweetened coconut chips
1/2 c apricot preserves
3 T canola (or other neutral) oil
1 t almond extract
1/2 t salt
3/4 c diced dried apricots

  1. In a large bowl, toss together the oats, almonds, and coconut chips.
  2. In a small pot, heat the preserves with the oil, extract, and salt, until the preserves are dissolved - you can use the back of your spoon to sort of press out any chunks of apricot to break them down a bit.
  3. Pour the preserve mixture over the oat mixture, and stir until well coated.
  4. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for about 20" at 300, give it a stir, then continue for another 20" or so until golden.
  5. Transfer the baked granola to a tin for storage, and toss in the diced apricot pieces. You want to add them at the end so they harden.
Very easy to make, and you get to control what goes in it! You can adjust for sweetness, swap out the preserves for some agave nectar if you prefer, etc.

Apricot-Almond Granola Sweetened with Apricot Preserves : Hye Thyme Cafe
Apricot-Almond Granola Sweetened with Apricot Preserves : Hye Thyme Cafe

I just recently received a message from Golden Girl about their new challenge coming up. Last year was desserts, so I made a Coconut Granola Custard. This year, it's appetizers. I've got my thinking cap on!  😉

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Curried Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Curried Roasted Butternut Squash Soup : Hye Thyme Cafe

This was so good, I made it, made it again, then made it yet again the other night for company, who gave it great reviews and asked for the recipe - that's always a good sign.

I was going to pick up a bottle of chili oil to dot on the top for a bit of heat and colorful garnish, but I was surprised to see a little bottle of gochujang at my local market (which often lacks local products, never mind Korean "ketchup"), and since I keep hearing about that on episodes of Chopped and Top Chef, I couldn't help but give in to my curiosity and try it. It's very tasty and did the trick, but it's a lot thicker than I was expecting, so it was strangely difficult to squeeze out just a small drop here and there. If you don't want to spring for a bottle of that, you can use a chili oil, Sriracha, or anything else that tickles your fancy.

1 lg butternut squash, cubed
1 lg onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, split in half
1 t salt
1 t pepper
2 t curry powder
1 T olive oil
Chicken broth

Plain yogurt (or sour cream)
Prosciutto - crisped
Gochujang or other hot sauce
Pumpkin or sunflower seeds

  1. Preheat oven to 375⁰.
  2. Cube the squash, chop the onions, transfer to a baking sheet, and toss with the garlic, salt, pepper, curry powder, and olive oil until nicely coated.
  3. Flipping once or twice along the way, roast until the squash is very soft and starting to caramelize around the edges (about an hour but will vary with size of cubes, etc.)
  4. If you plan to garnish with Prosciutto, about 15" before your veggies are done, shove them over to make room and add two strips of prosciutto to the tray
  5. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes, then transfer to food processor or blender to puree, adding a bit of the broth to help loosen it up.
  6. Transfer to a pot on the stove to re-heat, adding broth a little at a time until it reaches your preferred consistency - I like mine a little on the thick side.
  7. Garnish as desired with yogurt, crispy prosciutto, gochujang, and pumpkin seeds. To create the swirl, I just dropped a spoonful of yogurt into a snack-sized zip-top bag, snipped a corner and piped it on (You could wrap a small piece of waxed paper or parchment into a cone for that).

Curried Roasted Butternut Squash Soup : Hye Thyme Cafe
You want to see this browning going on - brings out the sweetness of the squash.

Curried Roasted Butternut Squash Soup : Hye Thyme Cafe
Tastes better roasted - burned easily when nuked and caused a smoke
 cloud when crisped on the stove, even at a low temp.

Curried Roasted Butternut Squash Soup : Hye Thyme Cafe

Curried Roasted Butternut Squash Soup : Hye Thyme Cafe

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Imrig Paklava (Sweet Semolina Cake with Pecans)

Imrig Paklava : Hye Thyme Cafe

I used to love Cream of Wheat (farina) for breakfast growing up, but of course, that included sprinkling lots of sugar over the top. Having outgrown the sugary breakfast phase, I tend not to reach for the farina unless I'm baking a tray of Spanakopita, since there is a little in the filling. That said, the rest usually sits in the pantry and ends up going to waste. I have made a few bread recipes with farina over the years, but I wanted to try something different and settled on this version of a semolina cake - inspired by Paklava. This recipe is an adaptation of that found in the Treasured Armenian Recipes cookbook.

Although this is referred to as a cake, don't be expecting that texture. Because this is made from farina, it has a denser texture. I want to say more brownie like, but that's not it either - closer in density but wrong texture. Polenta maybe?

6 oz bag pecan (or walnut) halves (roughly 2c)
6 eggs
1 1/2 c sugar
1 c (2 sticks) melted butter
14 oz (1 3/4 c) farina
1 1/2 t cinnamon

1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 c water
2 t lemon juice

Pistachios (optional) - just take a few, finely chopped
  1. In a dry pan, lightly toast the pecans, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. Remove from heat, let cool, then chop; set aside.
  2. Beat together the eggs and sugar until very light and fluffy.
  3. Melt the butter (microwave is fine), and let cool a little so you don't end up with bits of scrambled egg, then slowly stream into the egg mixture.
  4. Stir in the farina, cinnamon, and chopped nuts.
  5. Transfer to sprayed 11x7" pan and bake at 350 for 35-40" until set - (time will vary with pan size) top will be brown, and edges will start to pull away from the sides.
  6. Place pan on rack to cool, then cut into diamonds.
  7. Stirring to dissolve the sugar, bring the 1 1/2 c sugar and 1 1/2 c water up to a boil. Add the lemon juice and simmer for about 5", then pour evenly over the top of the cooled cake. Start with about half the syrup, wait a bit to see how much it will soak up, then add more as desired.
  8. Decorate each diamond with a bit of pistachio "dust." Works best with in shell pistachios, since pre-shelled nuts are roasted to a darker color and difficult to remove the skins from - when you use them straight out of the shell, they are that nice bright green, and the dry skins will usually rub right off.

Imrig Paklava : Hye Thyme Cafe

Imrig Paklava : Hye Thyme Cafe

Imrig Paklava : Hye Thyme Cafe

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Rice Kufte (Meat-Filled Rice Balls)

Rice Kufte / Kofta : Hye Thyme Cafe

These can be frustrating to get started. Because the rice is sticky, you need a little bowl of water to dip your fingers in. Too much water and the rice won't stick together - too little, and it won't let go of your hand. Don't give up! You'll get the hang of it after the first few. No wonder they use bamboo mats to roll sushi! 😉

1/2 lb ground beef or lamb
1 stick butter
1 small onion, finely diced (or lg shallot)
Salt & Pepper
1 t cumin
1/4 t cayenne pepper
3/4 c fresh chopped parsley
1 1/2 c water
1 c medium-grain rice
2 eggs

  1. Seasoning with 1/2 t each Salt and Pepper, the cumin, and the cayenne, saute the ground meat and diced onion in 1T of the butter until the meat has just a bit of pink left to it, then add the parsley and continue until the meat is cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.  (Especially given the leaner packages of ground meat nowadays, the butter will give it a little extra help with flavor, texture, and help hold things together as it cools to make it easier for stuffing.)
  2. Bring the water to a boil, season with salt, stir in the rice, then cover and reduce heat to low, stirring once or twice along the way to prevent sticking to the pan, until the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. When the rice and the beef mixture are cool enough to handle, pinch off about a walnut-sized ball of rice, and press it into the palm of your hand, forming a well - fill the well with some of the meat mixture, then pinch the rice around it to close the ball.
  4. Once all of your kuftes are formed, beat the two eggs with a little salt and pepper, then roll the kuftes in the egg to coat.
  5. Over medium heat, pan fry in the butter (starting with about half the remaining butter and adding more as needed) until golden.
Rice Kufte / Kofta : Hye Thyme Cafe

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt Dipper

Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt Dipping Sauce : Hye Thyme Cafe

These meatballs are super tender, and although I could only find Australian ground lamb, the yogurt cut that typical gamey taste. Serve up a few with mini pita rounds or wedges and cucumber slices to get some extra mileage out of your yogurt dipper. Or serve with Pilaf and a salad.  

Plain yogurt (1c +)
2 cloves garlic
1 egg
1/2 small onion
1 handful parsley
1 pkg mint leaves
1/2 t each Salt & Pepper
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 c fresh bread crumbs *
1 lb ground lamb
Olive Oil

* I always throw any odd pieces of bread in a container in the freezer to grind when I accumulate a good amount - doesn't matter if it's end slices, a hamburger roll, etc. Comes in very handy for meatballs, meatloaf, croquettes, toasting for a crispy garnish ...
  1. Start by making your yogurt sauce to give the garlic and mint a chance to impart their flavor. Mix 1c yogurt with 1/2 to 1 clove garlic (minced), depending on your preference, and about half the mint leaves (finely chopped). Cover and store in the fridge until needed.
  2. Let the lamb sit out for a while so it's not extremely cold - you don't want it to toughen up when it hits a hot pan.
  3. Preheat oven to 350. If you do not have an oven-proof skillet, line a baking sheet with foil and place it in the oven while pre-heating so you can transfer your browned meatballs to it without cooling them down.
  4. In a blender or food processor, puree the remaining clove of garlic with the onion, egg, parsley, remaining mint leaves, 3T yogurt, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.
  5. Mix the lamb, bread crumbs, and puree until well combined, then roll into 1" balls. The mixture will be soft and somewhat sticky.
  6. Coat the bottom of an oven-proof skillet with olive oil over moderate heat, then - using a spoon to keep them rolling, brown the meatballs all the way around.
  7. Transfer the pan to the oven to finish cooking through. I had mine in for about 20", but I realize people are leaning toward lamb that is more and more rare over time, so that's up to your preference. Just cut one open to check.
Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt Dipping Sauce : Hye Thyme Cafe
Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt Dipping Sauce : Hye Thyme Cafe

Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt Dipping Sauce : Hye Thyme Cafe
You can see how juicy they are.  :)

Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt Dipping Sauce : Hye Thyme Cafe

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Blor (Armenian Grain Soup)

Blor (Armenian Grain Soup) : Hye Thyme Cafe

I was browsing through my Treasured Armenian Recipes cookbook for inspiration, and this recipe caught my eye, but it really didn't make sense to me as written. I tried Googling it but only found a few hits, each of which was the exact same recipe. There was one other hit that was not a recipe but referenced the soup, noting that they had included lemon juice in theirs, which is always a good idea - a little acid to wake things up - and they commented that some of the blors (balls) had broken apart.

The first thing that threw me was that one of the ingredients was oatmeal - not oats, but oatmeal, which would mean it was already cooked, making me think that maybe this recipe had originated from leftovers. It also includes bulgur, which made me wonder if that should be pre-cooked as well. Additionally, the only seasoning was a bit of salt, and the ratios seemed off - too little onion and tomato to the amount of broth and spinach. The recipe also called for boiling the broth, adding the blors to the broth, then frying the onions separately and adding those, the tomatoes, and spinach to the broth later.

I changed things up by cooking the oatmeal and bulgur together, along with pepper and cumin in addition to the salt. I also sauteed the onions with garlic, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes, then added the spinach and tomatoes (I used a mini-blend), with the blors jumping into the pool last. I really enjoyed this soup, but without the additional seasonings, it would have been rather bland. I also chose to use baby spinach, so I did not feel the need to chop it as referenced in the directions - the baby spinach wilted down nicely.

I was happy at first that the blors came out unscathed but noticed later when I went to refrigerate the rest that some of them had disintegrated. I'm wondering if that's a result of not kneading the oat mixture well enough. Not a big deal - it's still a tasty dish, and with the blors having fallen apart, it was like other soups that contain rice, barley, or some other grain.

2 c water
3/4 c old fashioned oats
1/2 c fine bulgur
1 t salt (divided)
1 t black pepper (divided)
1/2 t cumin
2-3 T butter
1 onion, diced
1 lg or 2 small cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
10 oz carton fresh baby spinach
12 oz medley mixed mini tomatoes, diced
2 32-oz cartons beef broth
1 lemon

  1. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to medium and stir in the oats, bulgur, 1/2 t salt, 1/2 t pepper, and the 1/2 t cumin, cooking for about 5", stirring frequently. Remove from heat and set aside. That will give it a chance to cool and allow the bulgur to soak up more of the moisture.
  2. Over medium heat, saute the garlic, onion, remaining 1/2 t each salt and pepper, and the 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes in the butter until the onions are translucent.
  3. Wash your spinach, removing any particularly large stems or chopping any large leaves, then add to the pot, a handful or two at a time, stirring until wilted down.
  4. Add the tomatoes and broth and allow to come up to a boil.
  5. While that's going on, knead or mash the oat mixture well - I used the back of a large spoon to mash it.
  6. Reduce the soup to a simmer, then roll the oat mixture into roughly cherry-sized balls, dropping them into the soup as you go along. (It helps to have a little bowl of water to dip your fingers in because the oat mixture is sticky.)
  7. Once the last blor is dropped into the soup, add a good squeeze of lemon juice and allow to simmer for an additional 8-10".
Blor (Armenian Grain Soup) : Hye Thyme Cafe

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Coconut, Almond, and Cranberry Granola

Coconut, Almond, and Cranberry Granola : Hye Thyme Cafe

I have always loved granola, whether it's the big clusters you munch on for a snack or eat like a bowl of cereal, or the loose kind you sprinkle on your yogurt. For some reason, I haven't been happy with the versions I've been getting lately - one was just eh, and another was so bad, I actually threw it away. How bad can toasted oats be that you need to throw them away?!? I decided to make my own - it's cheaper that way anyhow. I do actually love Golden Girl Granola, but we don't seem to have it locally.

Because I have to watch my carb intake, and I knew I wanted to use dried cranberries (extra sugar), I decided to use unsweetened coconut and reduce the amount honey by incorporating some Amaretto. That way, the Amaretto would help carry that honey to all of the oats and then bake off in the oven, while slightly boosting the almond flavor. If you're not concerned with carbs and want a sweeter version, go ahead and increase the honey, omit the Amaretto, and include 3-4 T of brown sugar with the honey - as well as some vanilla or almond extract if skipping the Amaretto.

4 c old fashioned oats
1 c sliced almonds
1 c unsweetened coconut chips
1/4 c Amaretto
1/2 t salt
1/4 c honey
1/4 c neutral oil (canola, etc.)
1 c dried cranberries 

  1. In a large bowl, combine the oats, almond slices, and coconut chips
  2. In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together the Amaretto, salt, honey, and oil
  3. Pour the oil mixture over the oats, stirring until well coated
  4. Bake at 300 for approximately 20", stir, and continue for another 10-15" until golden
  5. Stir in the cranberries last so they don't dry out by baking; let cool
Coconut, Almond, and Cranberry Granola : Hye Thyme Cafe
Coconut, Almond, and Cranberry Granola : Hye Thyme Cafe

Coconut, Almond, and Cranberry Granola : Hye Thyme Cafe

Coconut, Almond, and Cranberry Granola : Hye Thyme Cafe

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...