Hye Thyme Cafe: May 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! :)

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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