Thursday, March 31, 2016

Our Favorite Chicken Sandwich Sports Watercress & Avocado

Chicken and watercress sandwiches on brown bread are a specialty of downtown Scranton, PA's PJ Scanlon's Restaurant.  They've moved around the city's square but still attract the courthouse and professional crowd alongside tony shoppers.  For years we did our best to imitate the original whenever watercress was in season.

Thinly sliced poached chicken breast on a light whole wheat bread-- just warmed-- and a schmear of mayonnaise to hold in a handful of peppery watercress.  We thought this lily could not be gilded. Then one day we added a few slices of avocado.


Our new favorite springtime chicken sandwich.

Thank you PJ Scanlons.  We never miss going back for the original to remind ourselves of how great, pure food should be made and served with joy.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Extra Light Waffles

These special occasion waffles are light as air thanks to separating the egg yolks and egg whites for a little extra whip. The stiffly beaten egg whites are folded back into the waffle batter just before cooking.  We reserve these elegant waffles for special occasions and Easter, the egg king of holidays, is one of them.  They freeze well so if your next special occasion is a little too hectic for a leisurely breakfast prep, make them ahead.

Those are not jelly beans on our waffles; they're blueberries heated with a little maple syrup and jam. For breakfast add a little plain yogurt and if you are having these for dessert, some freshly prepared whipped cream is the topper of choice.

Extra Light Waffles
Yield: 8 large waffles

1 1/2 cups milk
3 eggs, separated
4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups cake flour*
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon sugar

Use 2 large mixing bowls and one 2-cup liquid measuring cup to makes this recipe with ease.  

  1. Measure out milk in the measuring cup.  Separate eggs and add yolks to measuring cup and whites to the first large bowl.  
  2. Add melted butter to measuring cup and stir ingredients together with a fork.  Be sure the egg yolks break and are throughly mixed in.  
  3. In second large bowl, combine cake flour with baking powder, salt and sugar.  Stir dry ingredients together well. 
  4. Use a whisk to beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry.  If you have a hand mixer with a whisk attachment, use this but be careful not to over whisk.  
  5. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture. Combine with a few swift strokes.  Do not over mix.  Batter will look pebbly.  
  6. Turn on waffle iron so it preheats while you finish the batter.  Add egg whites to batter and fold into batter until barely blended.  It is OK if you see a few pockets of egg white.
  7. Cook waffles according to your machines instructions.  Our round waffle iron cooks these waffles in a little over three minutes each.  We use about 3/4 of a cup of batter for each thick waffle. The batter is thick enough to puff up your waffle iron and will not drip out like a traditional thinner batter.  Experiment starting with 2/3 cup of batter and add more if you are able.  

*Cake flour is the other ingredient that makes these waffles light.  You can use regular cake flour if you do not have cake flour on hand.  Waffles will still taste amazing.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Phyllis' Almond Butter & Yogurt Protein Dip

Lazy days poolside or hectic days deskside both benefit from a pure snack that's easy to whip up.  Our much loved cousin Phyllis shared her recipe for Almond Butter & Yogurt Protein Dip that will carry you through the afternoon.

Be sure to use plain yogurt, not flavored or even vanilla, to keep this dip really pure.  If you want to add a drop of vanilla extract, that's fine with us.

Phyllis' Almond Butter & Yogurt Protein Dip
Yield: a little over 1 cup

1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons almond butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
optional: milk to thin and stevia or honey for extra sweetness

  1. Combine yogurt and almond butter in a small bowl.  Use a fork or small whisk to combine yogurt and almond butter.
  2. Add in cinnamon.  If the dip is very thick, add a little milk - up to a tablespoon-- to thin dip to your desired consistency.
  3. Taste and add in a small amount of honey or stevia to sweeten.
  4. Serve with slices of apple, banana even graham crackers.
Thanks Phyllis!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Egg Avocado Toast

It's hard to get more pure than a three ingredient breakfast like this.  A perfect fried or poached egg on whole grain toast with mashed avocado. Salt & pepper optional.

Spring forward!

Egg Avocado Toast
Serves 2, easily halved or doubled

2 slices whole grain toast
1 avocado, mashed
2 fried or poached eggs

  1. While bread toasts and eggs cook, mash a ripe avocado roughly with a fork.
  2. Spoon a generous layer of avocado on warm toast.
  3. Top with cooked egg.  Link here for a great tutorial on how to cook our "froached eggs."
  4. Enjoy!