Hye Thyme Cafe: 2018

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! :)

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Zucchini Bread ... and Saying Goodbye (Soon)

Zucchini Bread: Hye Thyme Cafe

I've been thinking about this for a while now. I was originally talked into starting this blog by some friends, and it was a lot of fun at first - sharing recipes, participating in challenges and cookie swaps, reviewing cookbooks, "meeting" other bloggers through various blog hops, etc. Over time, it seems like everyone has moved away, so while I once had lots of folks around to share my goodies with, that's no longer the case. That in itself took a lot of air out of my balloon. Then I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, which I manage just by limiting my carb intake, but that means not making many of the things I'd like to. I also have no desire to turn my kitchen into a TV studio or keep up with six bazillion social media platforms. Then there's Google (Blogger site host), which keeps changing, so one day, people can leave comments but the next they cant, or I'm told a required message about cookies has been added to my site, only it hasn't, and I need a four-year old to explain to me how to fix it. Then there's the frustration of finding my recipes and photos stolen and posted as someone else's. The list goes on - basically, I'm just over it. I had fun with it for quite a while, but it just doesn't give me the joy it once did, so I'll be working on extricating HTC from the various associated services and bowing out in the not so distant future. That said, I should probably at least end off with an Armenian recipe, since that's where we started. 

THANK YOU to all who have been following along. I've especially enjoyed communicating with and getting to know those of you who reached out through email. If you want to stay connected via my "people" page(s) once I shut down the blog, feel free to message me.  So, if there are any recipes you've been meaning to come back to, get em' while you can ... 

3 eggs
1 c vegetable (or canola) oil
1 T vanilla
2 c grated zucchini (about 2 small to med)
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
3 1/2 c flour
2 t cinnamon
1 t cardamom (optional but very tasty)
1 t salt
2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 c pecan halves, chopped

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, and vanilla, then add the zucchini.
  2. In a second bowl, whisk together (or sort of mash with a fork) the sugar and brown sugar. I like to do this when using both white and brown sugar to prevent little brown sugar "pebbles" from forming when introducing it to the wet ingredients. Stir the sugar into the egg mixture.
  3. In the now-empty sugar bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, then stir into the wet mixture, in two or three additions until just combined.
  4. Stir in the pecans last.
  5. Pour into two greased or sprayed loaf pans. (You will see from my pics that mine are different sizes. My sister got me using vintage aluminum ice cube trays, which accounts for the longer thinner one. Just shave a few minutes off the bake time - great size for when there are lots of different things being served and folks might want a smaller slice.)
  6. Bake at 350 for about 1' - time will vary based on size of pan, whether it's glass or metal, etc., so start checking at 40-45".
Zucchini Bread: Hye Thyme Cafe

Zucchini Bread: Hye Thyme Cafe

Zucchini Bread: Hye Thyme Cafe

Monday, August 27, 2018

Marshmallow-Nutella-Granola Bites (Golden Girl Granola Recipe Challenge)

Marshmallow-Nutella-Granola Bites: Hye Thyme Cafe

It’s that time of year again … time for the annual Golden Girl Granola Recipe Challenge. This year’s category is Summertime Snacks. When I think of summertime snacking, I immediately think watermelon, but I really couldn’t imagine a new snack with granola and watermelon. The next thing that came to mind was toasting s’mores around a campfire. Thinking down those lines … marshmallow, chocolate … I opted to create a recipe using their Chocolate Decadence Granola. (“Bittersweet chocolate is tossed among toasted oats, almonds, and coconut, glazed with pure maple syrup, to make the most delectable treat for the chocolate lover.”)

Thinking over my options while waiting for the granola to arrive, I decided on a hybrid of a s’more and a rice crispie treat, taking things one step further by adding a family favorite – Nutella. Not only is it a tasty treat, but with so few ingredients and such simple steps, it's a recipe older kids can make on their own.

If you weren’t following along when I participated in their prior challenges, you missed out on my realizing just how spoiled I have become. In placing each year, I was sent various quantities of granola, and when my stash ran out, I went back to other brands at the grocery store and found I could no longer enjoy them, so unless I’m lucky enough to place again this year, or do some online shopping, I now have to resort to making my own granola. If you’re an online shopper, or lucky enough to have Golden Girl in your local markets, I highly recommend you try it.

3 T Butter
4 c Mini Marshmallows
1/2 c Nutella
10 oz Bag Chocolate Decadence Granola
  1. Spray 8x8" baking dish with cooking spray (or lightly butter); set aside.
  2. Over medium heat, melt butter, then stir in marshmallows, stirring first to coat in butter, then continuing until just a few bubbles remain.
  3.  Turn off heat and stir in Nutella until almost combined, then stir in granola. (A silicon spatula is good for this because it doesn't stick as much as other utensils.)
  4. Press into greased baking dish and let set, then cut into 16 pieces. (Lightly spray a piece of waxed paper with cooking spray to press into dish without sticking.)


Thanks to the folks at Golden Girl for giving me another opportunity to play with their product! Hope they like these treats as much as I did.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Tzatziki Salad

Tzatziki Salad: Hye Thyme Cafe

A lot of times, especially on "movie nights," my sister and I would put together individual antipasto platters for everyone, with olives, meats, cheeses, veggies, pita wedges, and Tzatziki. Typically, Tzatziki consists of plain yogurt, cucumber (usually grated or minced), garlic, and dill - sometimes olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, and other herbs such as mint, parsley, or thyme. I sometimes like to convert the Tzatziki into a salad, which is a great summertime side dish for cookouts, because it's very cooling and refreshing. 

One thing you want to be sure to do, especially if you'll be preparing it earlier in the day, is to strain the yogurt and/or salt and strain the cucumbers, because they both tend to give off water, and you want a salad, not soup. Another tip is to mince your garlic and stir it into the yogurt before straining. That will save you time, because you want that flavor to infuse into the yogurt, so doing it at the same time will save you from having to wait later.

Yes, of course, if you have a garden and lots of fresh cucumbers, go ahead and use those, but for this dish, I prefer English cucumbers for a large salad, or the mini pickling cukes for a small version. If you do use garden cucumbers, you will definitely want to go ahead and salt those, because they tend to be more watery/seedy. When it comes to straining the yogurt, you will see that I like to keep a stack of coffee filters on hand for just such an occasion. I let the yogurt strain for at least an hour (overnight if I know I'll be using it the next day), and just lift the filter out of the strainer, tip it over a mixing bowl, and the strained yogurt sort of just peels right off the paper. 

2 English cucumbers, sliced thin
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 c plain yogurt, strained
2 T dill (plus more for garnish)
Optional - pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

  1. Mince the garlic and stir into the yogurt, transferring to a strainer (as I mentioned, I like to line it with a coffee filter) over a mixing bowl to drain the liquid.
  2. Because you will be leaving the skin on the cucumbers, be sure to wash them well to remove any wax or pesticides, then thin slice into coins. If you are going to salt your cucumbers, line the slices in a large colander, sprinkle with a big pinch of salt, and set in the sink or over another bowl to catch the liquid.  After about 20", pat dry.
  3. In a large serving bowl, stir the 2T of dill into the yogurt/garlic, then stir in the cucumbers, to coat evenly.
  4. Sprinkle with additional dill for garnish, and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes if desired.
Tzatziki Salad: Hye Thyme Cafe
Tzatziki Salad: Hye Thyme Cafe

Tzatziki Salad: Hye Thyme Cafe
Tzatziki Salad: Hye Thyme Cafe

Tzatziki Salad: Hye Thyme Cafe

Tzatziki Salad: Hye Thyme Cafe

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Banana Cardamom Cake with Pecan Streusel

Banana Cardamom Coffee Cake with Pecan Streusel: Hye Thyme Cafe

I frequently end up with a surplus of bananas, and wanted to branch out from the recipes I usually make with them. I also have a full jar of ground cardamom and wasn't sure whether I would have an opportunity to use it all while it was still good, so when I read that banana and cardamom are a good match, I knew I had to go that route, and I'm glad I did!

The one thing you will have to pay attention to is the timing. I read a number of my own recipes and others to get a sense of the baking time and temp for this recipe, but it took longer than anticipated. That will also vary with the size/shape/material of the pan you use, so plan to start checking at around the 45" mark.

Something I had never done before is to pour a layer of the streusel directly into the pan, so when inverted, that would be the top. While I like having that layer of sweet and nuts on what will be the top, what I didn't like was the look once it cooled. Having made this cake both ways, I actually prefer to keep all of the streusel on the inside.

3 c flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 t baking sodea
1/2 t salt
1 T cardamom
1 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
1 T vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 c milk
3 bananas, mashed

1/4 c flour
3/4 c brown sugar
4 T butter, softened
1 c chopped pecans
1 t cardamom
1 t cinnamon

  1. Spray/grease bundt pan and preheat oven to 350.
  2. In one bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom.
  3. In a second, larger bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. To the sugar mixture, add the eggs, one at a time until incorporated, then the milk and vanilla.
  5. A little at a time, blend in the flour mixture, then the mashed bananas.
  6. In another bowl, use a fork or your fingertips to combine the streusel ingredients until they reach a sort of pebbly texture.
  7. Depending on whether you want the streusel on top, alternate layers of cake batter/streusel. Because the batter is thick, I use a rubber spatula to spoon it into the pan, then with the spatula straight up/down, I sort of tap the batter into place, because trying to spread it will drag your streusel with it.
  8. Bake for 45" to 1', until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.
  9. Let cool in pan for a few minutes before inverting onto a rack to cool completely.
  10. If you started with a streusel layer, a spot or two may have stuck to the pan. Because it is extremely hot, use a spoon or tip of a butter knife to remove it from the pan and stick it back onto the bare spot.
Banana Cardamom Coffee Cake with Pecan Streusel: Hye Thyme Cafe

Banana Cardamom Coffee Cake with Pecan Streusel: Hye Thyme Cafe
Banana Cardamom Coffee Cake with Pecan Streusel: Hye Thyme Cafe

Banana Cardamom Coffee Cake with Pecan Streusel: Hye Thyme Cafe

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Habanero Cheddar and Ham Corn Muffins

Habanero Cheddar and Ham Corn Muffins: Hye Thyme Cafe

It took a few tries to get this one right, but they were soooo worth it! I finally hit on that perfect balance of sweet, heat, and savory. As you can see below, they are also not at all dry like some corn muffins or cornbread can be. Because of the ham, be sure to refrigerate or freeze any that don't get eaten right away.

1 1/2 c fine cornmeal
1 c flour
1/3 c sugar
1 T baking powder
1 t salt
1 egg
1/2 c milk
3 T Dijon mustard
1/4 c honey
8.25 oz can creamed style corn
8 oz cooked ham, diced fine
6 oz habanero cheddar, shredded

  1. Preheat oven to 400० and spray or line muffin pans (makes 18).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg and milk, then stir in the mustard, honey, and corn.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and stir until just combined.
  5. Stir in the ham and cheese.
  6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins and bake for 20-25" until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Habanero Cheddar and Ham Corn Muffins: Hye Thyme Cafe

Habanero Cheddar and Ham Corn Muffins: Hye Thyme Cafe

Habanero Cheddar and Ham Corn Muffins: Hye Thyme Cafe

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Kale Salad with Pine Nuts and Currants

Kale Salad with Pine Nuts and Currants: Hye Thyme Cafe

Have you ever been shopping at World Market? We don't have one in our area, but I love that place. It's a great way to buy small sizes of products you haven't tried before, etc. That's what makes this post kind of crazy - I had a small bottle of pomegranate balsamic vinegar from World Market, and with the recent hoopla over romaine lettuce, I decided to make a kale salad for dinner one night and figured it was time to try out the balsamic. The problem was that when I tried the dressing, it tasted bitter to me. I increased the honey, but that didn't help, and it was very thick, despite using a 2:1 ratio of oil/vinegar, when the standard is 3:1 for a vinaigrette. I did like it when everything was mixed together (love the salad mix despite the dressing), but I didn't want to post a dressing I didn't like on its own, so I made the salad again the following week with a different mix - it still tasted bitter to me. 

When I started making the dressing the second time, I remembered that the first time, my little bullet blender was on the counter, so I made it in that. It occurred to me that the problem may have been adding the garlic in the blender rather than mincing it and adding it separately - I usually just whisk my dressings. When I tried it and it still tasted bitter, it dawned on me that I have a thyroid condition that sometimes exacerbates sour/bitter notes or leaves me with a metallic taste in my mouth, so in this case, it could very well be me!  

Sooooo, you may or may not want to try the (either) dressing. Another thought I had was that strawberries would make a nice addition to this salad, so maybe some sort of strawberry vinaigrette. Also, when making it the second time, I switched from the pomegranate vinegar to white wine vinegar and pomegranate juice. I don't happen to like eating pomegranate arils in a salad, because I don't like the seeds, but if you go that way, you might want to use a whole pomegranate, juice some of it for the dressing, then use the rest of the arils for garnish.

Roughly 1 lb kale (I used a bag of pre-washed chopped)
1/2 c pine nuts, lightly toasted
1/3 c currants
1/2 sm red onion, thinly sliced
1 mini cucumber, thinly sliced
(Optional - add sliced chicken to make it a heartier meal)

1/2 c Olive Oil
1/4 c Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar
1 t Dijon Mustard
1 T Honey
1 Small Clove Garlic
1/4 t each Salt, Pepper, Crushed Red Pepper

1/2 c Olive Oil
1/4 c White Wine Vinegar
3 T Pomegranate Juice
1 t Dijon Mustard
1 t Honey
1 Small Clove Garlic
1/4 t each Salt, Pepper, Crushed Red Pepper

  1. Whisk together your dressing ingredients first, to give the flavors a chance to blend.
  2. Add your kale to a large bowl. It might be overflowing at first, so just fit what you can, and add more as you go along.  If you're starting from whole bunches of kale, wash well, trim the large stems, and chop.
  3. Pour about 1T of the dressing over the kale and massage/knead for a good 3-4 minutes, to soften the kale and bring out its sweetness, adding more kale as there is room for it.  Remove any pieces of stem that pop up.
  4. Over medium heat in a dry pan, lightly toast your pine nuts, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Likewise, immediately remove from pan once toasted, to stop the cooking process.
  5. Thin slice the onion and cucumber, then toss the onion, cucumber, and most of the pine nuts and currants with the kale, reserving some of each for garnish. If you're currants have been in the pantry for a while and have dried out, cover with hot water and let sit for about 10" to plump up, then drain the water.
  6. Transfer the salad to a serving platter and top with shaved Parmesan and the reserved pine nuts and currants.
Kale Salad with Pine Nuts and Currants: Hye Thyme Cafe

Kale Salad with Pine Nuts and Currants: Hye Thyme Cafe

Kale Salad with Pine Nuts and Currants: Hye Thyme Cafe

Kale Salad with Pine Nuts and Currants: Hye Thyme Cafe

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Cardamom Scones with Candied Ginger and Almonds

Wandering down the spice aisle at the grocery store one day, I noticed a bottle of ground cardamom and thought hmm, that would make it much easier when making Gundi than dealing with the cardamom pods I have at home, so I added it to my cart. The thing is, that's a lot of cardamom, and as much as I love Gundi, there is no way I'd use the whole bottle while it was still good, so I had to think of other uses. I checked my flavor reference guide and saw that ginger is something that pairs well with cardamom, so I decided to bake scones. This is unusual to me for scones, but I have to say - I really think they were even better the second day. I usually make a batch of clotted cream to accompany scones with jam or a curd, but because of the bold flavors here, I wanted them to stand on their own, so I just had them plain with coffee. These are definitely going on my "favorites" list.

2 1/2 c flour
5 t double acting baking powder
4 t sugar
1/8 t salt
1 heaping t ground cardamom
3/4 stick cold, unsalted butter, grated or diced
3/4 c heavy cream
2 eggs (plus one for topping)
1/3 c finely chopped candied ginger
1/2 c almond slices
Sugar (preferably coarse) for topping
  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cardamom.
  2. Add the butter and mix until it comes together like a coarse meal.
  3. Stir in the cream and eggs until combined.
  4. Add the ginger and almonds last, lightly squeezing the almonds to crush.
  5. Pat out on lightly floured surface to about 1/2 inch thickness.
  6. You can either form a disc and cut into wedges, or use a 2" cutter to make 12 scones.
  7. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet.
  8. Beat the extra egg with a splash of heavy cream and brush over tops, then sprinkle with sugar.
  9. Bake at 350० for about 20" until golden.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A Look Back at 2017 (Top 10 Recipes)

It's always interesting for me to see which recipes attract the most interest in comparison to my favorites for each year. Looks like the top recipes were definitely in that Middle-Eastern/Mediterranean area for 2017. I was a little sad to see that my personal favorite just missed the Top 10, especially since it was so good, I made it several times in a row!

Reader favorites for 2017 ...

While my personal favorites did include many of the above, there were a few differences ...

My personal Top 10 included ...

Curried Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Wishing everyone a healthy, happy, and flavor-filled 2018.

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