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! :)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Peanut Butter Waffles with Banana and Nutella

Peanut Butter Waffles with Bananas and Nutella Drizzle: Hye Thyme Cafe

I've been torn over the years by waffle makers - growing up, my Mom made awesome waffles, and the maker she had was not a deep, Belgian waffle maker or one of the thin waffle makers you typically find, but one sort of in between, and it accommodated four squares. I have never found one with that particular depth (I always check yard sales hoping to find a vintage version), so I finally broke down and bought a two-square standard version. I had a jar of Nutella in the pantry at the time, so I decided to put it to use and make a batch of Peanut Butter Waffles to drizzle it over instead of syrup.  Don't get me wrong, I love syrup, but I have to watch my carbs count, and since there are cabs in not only the waffles but also the peanut butter and bananas, I figured I could shave a few by using the Nutella, which has fewer carbs than syrup.  Not much of a compromise there considering how delicious Nutella is!

If you're going to plate the waffles two at a time as they come off the griddle, that's fine, but if you are going to make them all and then serve them together, because the peanut butter makes them a little more dense than plain waffles, I recommend heating a baking sheet at 250-275 and transferring the waffles to the oven to stay warm and crisp as they come out.

2 c flour, sifted
2 T sugar
1 t salt
1 T baking powder
1 t cinammon
4 eggs, separated
1 1/2 c milk
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 c peanut butter


  1. Sift together the dry ingredients.
  2. Whisk together the milk and egg yolks.
  3. Add the milk/egg mixture to the dry mixture until combined.
  4. Stir the peanut butter into the melted butter, then into the batter - slightly cooled to not cook the egg.
  5. Beat the egg whites until stiff, then slowly fold into the batter.
  6. Cook on well-oiled or sprayed waffle maker until crispy.
  7. Top with sliced bananas and Nutella mixed with a splash of milk to achieve a pouring consistency.  
And, as they say ... bacon makes everything better ... so add a side of nice crispy bacon, and you're good to go!  No need to worry about carbs there.

Peanut Butter Waffles with Bananas and Nutella Drizzle: Hye Thyme Cafe

Peanut Butter Waffles with Bananas and Nutella Drizzle: Hye Thyme Cafe

Monday, September 18, 2017

Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal Cookies

Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe

In a long, convoluted series of events, I somehow recently ended up with a food storage container belonging to my sister's best friend. Always looking for an excuse to cook or bake something new, I decided to follow that old adage of never returning a container empty - despite the fact that it wasn't me who had emptied it. During her last visit here, my sister had left me with a container of quick-cooking steel cut oats. Although I always make my oatmeal with steel-cut oats, I have to admit to never having seen the quick-cooking version before and wasn't sure what to make of them - literally or figuratively. Sounds like an oxymoron since steel cut oats are the least processed version.

Because I typically like to play with a mixture of old fashioned and quick-cooking oats when baking cookies, I decided to throw some of the quick-cooking steel-cut oats into the mix and try these Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal Cookies. Don't worry, you can use whatever type of oats you have on hand - they will still be plenty tasty, only the texture will be different. I got a chuckle later when I received a text from my sister's friend saying that her husband wanted to send me some more containers. 😊

1 1/2 c dried cranberries
1 large orange (juice and zest)
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 c Crisco shortening
1/2 c light brown sugar
1/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground cloves
3 c oats (I used 1/3c each quick and quick-steel cut and 2 1/3 c old fashioned)

  1. Start by zesting your orange and setting the zest aside, then placing your cranberries in a medium sized mixing bowl and squeezing the juice from the orange over the cranberries. This will allow them to plump up and not dry out while baking. Set that bowl aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, Crisco, and sugars until light and fluffy.
  3. To the butter mixture, add the eggs, one at a time until incorporated, then the orange zest, so the zest will permeate the butter with its flavor - since fat carries flavor.
  4. Now that the cranberries have had a few minutes to soak up some of the orange juice, stir the oats in with the berries to soak up the rest, and set aside for the moment. Letting the oats soak up the additional liquid will prevent the juice from gumming up your flour mixture.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and clove, to make sure the spices are evenly distributed, then add to the butter mixture, at little at a time until incorporated.
  6. Stir in the oat and cranberry mixture last.
  7. Using a cookie scoop or rounded tablespoon, drop dough onto ungreased baking sheet and lightly pat into rounds.
  8. Bake at 375 for 12-15" until golden and set.
  9. Slide a spatula under the cookies to release them from the tray, but allow them to cool in place for a few minutes before transferring them to racks to cool completely. If you transfer them to racks immediately, they will still be soft and are likely to bend and fall through the racks.
Makes approximately three dozen cookies.

Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe
Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe

Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe

Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe

Friday, August 25, 2017

Curried Granola-Crusted Shrimp with Grilled Pineapple

Curried Granola-Crusted Shrimp with Grilled Pineapple : Hye Thyme Cafe

I was very excited when Golden Girl Granola reached out to see if I would be interested in participating in their annual recipe challenge again this year. The first year was Entrees, last  year Desserts (I placed 2nd - yay me), and this year Appetizers. The first thing that came to mind was using the granola in some sort of Stuffed Mushrooms. The problem with that... I loathe mushrooms, so I wouldn't even begin to know how my own recipe turned out! Then I thought of some sort of cheese ball or brie, but that would have been too easy. 

Golden Girl sends each participant a bag of their choice of flavor/blend to use in their recipe, but that's always a tough call if you don't know what it is you'll be making when you first sign up. For that reason, I opted for the "Original," which is a mix of rolled oats, honey, almonds, coconut, non-GMO/expeller-pressed canola oil, vanilla, and sea salt. The inclusion of the coconut sent my mind down the tropical path toward pineapple, which then led me to the shrimp and curry.

The recipes will be evaluated at 25% each on Taste, Visual Appeal, Creativity, and Crowd Appeal. I'm crossing my fingers that my shrimp dish hits all those notes with the judges. 

1 pineapple
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and cleaned *
1 1/2 c Golden Girl "Original" Granola, crushed fine
3 egg whites, beaten
1/2 c rice flour *
2 T curry powder *
1/4 t each Salt and Pepper
Oil for frying
Skewers or Picks
Optional: Chutney, or Plain Yogurt with Curry Powder for dipping ****
* I would have preferred to use fresh shrimp, but none of my local markets had raw, large shrimp, so I went with a bag of frozen, pre-cleaned, easy peel - thawed, peeled, and blotted dry. While rice flour tends to produce the best "crisp," you can use AP flour, or even cornstarch. If you "like it hot," but your curry blend is on the mild side, pump it up with a pinch of cayenne. A nice Mango Chutney would be great with these as well, but I opted to use some of my homemade plain yogurt mixed with additional curry powder.

  1. Peel your pineapple by slicing off the top and bottom, then carefully making lengthwise slices all the way around the outside, going back with the knife to shave any remaining rind.
  2. With your naked pineapple standing on end, make one slice down its length, right along the edge of the core, set that slice aside and lay the pineapple cut-side down to repeat slicing along the core on each side so that you end up with four strips and the core - discard the core, then slice the widest strips in half lengthwise, so you are left with approximately 1" wide pineapple "sticks."
  3. Heat a well-oiled grill pan or grill, and grill the pineapple sticks until nicely caramelized on each side; set aside until cooled, then slice into chunks. It's much easier to grill the pineapple in slices than to flip all those chunks, but if you're feeling ambitious and don't want any edges without grill marks . . . 
  4. Set up your dredging station by setting out one bowl containing your flour (again, feel free to add a pinch of cayenne if your curry blend is mild) curry, S&P whisked together, a second bowl containing your beaten egg white, and a third containing your ground granola.
  5. Heat your oil - I prefer to work in smaller batches/smaller pot and about 1" of oil.
  6. Blot your cleaned/peeled shrimp dry and, holding each by the tail, dip first into the flour mixture (shaking off any excess), then the egg white, then the granola (shaking off any excess) - repeat and set aside.
  7. When all of your shrimp have been double-dipped, fry them a few at a time for about 3" until golden.
  8. Skewer a pineapple chunk, followed by a shrimp, then another pineapple chunk, and serve with your preferred dipper.


Okay, I have a confession to make ... while not in my "loathe" category with mushrooms and cauliflower, and while I do occasionally eat shrimp, a bite or two of lobster, or even a few crawfish, I'm not a seafood person either, but these shrimp really are good! If even I enjoyed them, I'm fairly certain you will enjoy them!

Best of luck to everyone participating in the challenge, and a BIG thanks to Golden Girl for inviting me to play with their granola again. :)

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Pistachio-Mahlab Scones with Pistachio Creme

Pistachio-Mahlab Scones with Pistachio Creme : Hye Thyme Cafe

I baked a few batches of Choreg a while back and had some leftover mahlab that I wanted to use up while it was still good. If you're not familiar with mahlab, it's actually the inside of a pit from the St. Lucie Cherry. It has a warm, almost nutty flavor, said to resemble a combination of almond and cherry, like marzipan, although that's not what my taste buds bring to mind. I can't really describe it, but if you were ever around a kitchen with a batch of Choreg baking, chances are the aroma would draw you in like a magnet. I haven't found a local source for mahlab, so I order it online through Massis Bakery. It arrives whole, and I grind it in my spice mill as needed.

Thinking about Baraze, Lebanese cookies that include both mahlab and pistachios, gave me the idea to incorporate them into a scone, since I've also had scones on the brain lately. When it comes to the Pistachio Creme, when it first hit my tongue, I thought uh oh, too salty, but then the cream and powdered sugar quickly balanced that out, and I quite enjoyed it. If you are particularly sensitive to salt, you can either give the pistachios to be used in the creme a quick rinse, or completely soak them to reduce the salt.

My preference is to use pistachios that are still in their shell - both for their color and because it's easier to remove the skins. I have found that when purchasing already shelled pistachios for baking, they tend to be a darker roast, and the skins are more difficult to remove. With the in-shell pistachios, I shelled them all, then rubbed them by the handful to remove the dry outer skins. Don't stress over breaking a nail shelling them - reserve one of the shells to use like a can opener - just insert it into a tight shell and twist to pop it open. Because the pistachios come salted, I did not include salt in the recipe.

2 1/2 c flour
3 T baking powder
1/4 c sugar
1 T ground mahlab
2 eggs (+1 for egg wash)
1 stick butter
1/2 c heavy cream
1 lb in-shell pistachios (divided)
Coarse sanding sugar (optional)

3 oz cream cheese, softened
2 T confectioner's sugar
1/3 c heavy cream
1/2 lb pistachios

  1. Shell all of your pistachios, then rub them to remove as much of the outer skin as possible. Measure out 2c and rough chop them for the scones, then process the rest into a paste using a spice mill/coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle; set aside.
  2. Sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and mahlab.
  3. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, then stir in the cream, eggs, and pistachios just until the dough comes together.
  4. Pat out to about 1" thick on a flour-dusted surface, then slice or use cutters to shape, and transfer to a parchment-lined tray.
  5. Beat the remaining egg and brush over the tops of the scones, then sprinkle with the sanding sugar (optional).
  6. Bake at 350 for about 20" until golden.
  7. For the pistachio creme, beat together the cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, and cream until smooth and fluffy, then blend in the pistachio paste.
Pistachio-Mahlab Scones with Pistachio Creme : Hye Thyme Cafe

Pistachio-Mahlab Scones with Pistachio Creme : Hye Thyme Cafe

Pistachio-Mahlab Scones with Pistachio Creme : Hye Thyme Cafe

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

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