Thursday, May 29, 2014

Encore Presentation: My Mother's Meatloaf

It's "Turn Back Thursday" and nothing reminds me more of dinners at home in my mother's kitchen than her wonderful meatloaf. I've written about it before, and am posting the link below.

As I announced in my last post, I'll be re-posting recipes from the past five years while I write my cookbook! There's a treasure trove of great recipes that deserve a second look. Here's the first of many!

#TBT to my mother's meatloaf! Recipe, once again, right here!

Check back for more great re-runs and updates about progress with the cookbook! Speaking of which, I'm in the research phase right now. So exciting!

NOTE: If you have an especially favorite family recipe that you continue to make or enjoy, please share it with me for possible inclusion in the cookbook. In a couple of paragraphs, provide the story and tradition behind the recipe, and a few words about why it means something to you. A photo associated with the recipe or memory would be great (of the person who shared the recipe with you, of them and you, anything), and of course the recipe itself. I'll be testing recipes soon so get those recipes in and maybe you'll see your family's story and recipe in the cookbook!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Change Is In The Air!

Dear followers of the Adirondack Baker Blog,

Yesterday marked five years since this blog's first post. It's quite a milestone, one that I've anticipated with a lot of thought about what this blog is, what it does, and how it serves its readers. It's been a wonderful experience, one I hope to build on in a very positive way.

Today I announce that I am formally starting to write my cookbook, an anticipated  year-long project that will build on the foundation of 5 years of my ADK Blog, with the addition of tested recipes from contributors and other sources. This will be a narrative cookbook, where the story, family tradition, and history of a recipe take center stage, followed by the recipe itself.  And there will be photos, lots of delicious photos. I have lots of ideas about how it will all take shape, and I promise that I will put my heart and soul into it!

You will continue to see posts from Adirondack Baker on my fb pages and linked on the blog itself, but they will be re-posts of favorite recipes and stories from the past five years. I hope you enjoy them again, or for the first time. I'll update you regularly on the progress of the cookbook project. 

I'd love to have your support and encouragement (and recipes!) as I dive in head first! It's daunting and exciting. Stay tuned, it will be great to have you all along for the ride!

Thanks everyone!

Jeannie O'Farrell Eddy
Your Adirondack Baker!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Half-a-batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies!

...for when you want to feel only a little guilty
(makes 20)

This morning Pete and I made half a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Half a batch for a number of reasons - first, if we had a whole batch, we'd eat a whole batch. Second, I only had enough brown sugar for half a batch. Third, I had to borrow a cup of chocolate chips from Katie. That made it pretty simple - a half a batch it was.

This recipe uses melted butter. I melt the butter and brown sugar together. I think it makes for a great cookie - crisp on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. It comes together in just a few minutes. I chill the dough in the fridge for a while and then stir the chocolate chips in to the cold dough, since it's too warm when it's just mixed and the chips would melt and not keep their shape.

When you want to make chocolate chip cookies but don't want a ton of them, make this half-batch and enjoy them while you can!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (buy some if you don't have any - one of the most useful kitchen tools you'll ever use).

Step one: Melting

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed (I only use brown sugar, no white)

In saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, melt butter with brown sugar until it's completely melted.

Pour butter/brown sugar mixture into a mixing bowl. To that, mix in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Add one egg, mixing well.

Add dry ingredients:

1 cup plus 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix on very low speed until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated.

Place bowl with batter in the fridge for 15 minutes or so.

Stir in: one cup (6 oz. by weight) semi-sweet chocolate chips. I used mini since that's what Katie had.

Drop by generous teaspoonfuls onto parchment paper.  Bake 8 minutes until the edges start to brown but the tops are still light.

Cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes and move to wire rack and allow to cool completely.  Share with the ones you love (or keep them all to yourself!).

Final note: here's a photo of my Dad, Val O'Farrell, taken March 12, 1945 on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. He's on the left and his buddy Randy Mantooth is on the right. They were serving in the Army after Pearl Harbor. I love this photo.

I love seeing my Dad's handwriting again...

God Bless Our Troops, all who have served and all who serve. This Memorial Day 2014 is in honor to them all.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Buttermilk Banana Walnut Muffins for a Crowd!

Cooling on my King Arthur Flour
folding rack! A favorite kitchen tool!
First of all, before it's over, I'd like to wish a Happy Mother's Day to my readers. Whether or not we are moms, we all have or had a mother and this day is significant. So, I hope that you had happy times or happy memories of time with your mom (as I do). Mine was a lovely Mother's Day, spent with some of my kiddos and also with my two little grandsons as we visited their great-grandmother, Mary Lou Eddy. My own beautiful mother has been gone for 12 years this spring, and that awareness has me cherish those too-rare moments I get to spend with Mary Lou. It's wonderful that she's been able to nurture three generations of children, all of whom adore her. I am forever grateful that she's been a part of my life for over 40 years. She is a wonderful woman.

When we visited, Henry (six years old) had very exciting news to share with "Grammy" Eddy - he's lost his first tooth, just last night! He was very proud to show his great-grandma this recent development. It is a big deal in his young life!

So, beyond little lost teeth, what else is new? Well, I didn't bake today - I gave myself the day off! My daughter Katie baked enough for both of us with an incredibly delicious Cooks Country lemon pound cake (I found it posted on she served with a mixed berry compote for dessert tonight, along with a strawberry/mango shortcake. I had the lemon pound cake but had to pass on a 2nd dessert (!). Anyway, after baking a LOT for the past few days, I welcomed the day off after keeping my kitchen in over-drive! Katie's husband Bill brought in dinner, again this year from Augie's in Ballston Spa. They make a dish called "the kitchen sink" which is a penne pasta in a creamy tomato sauce with chicken, shrimp, and sliced sausage. There was a container of spaghetti with marinara, and four meatballs the size of my fist which we divided up. It was a great dinner, and the fact that we didn't have to prepare it was a bonus!

It was great that my kitchen (and I!) had the day off! But, when my kitchen is busy, it's VERY busy! I don't usually bake in small quantities. Most of the time, I make batches by the dozens. This recipe for Buttermilk Banana Walnut Muffins is one that I make in large quantities all the time. The buttermilk ensures a light, tender muffin with a high rise. Chopped walnuts inside and sprinkled on top add a nice nuttiness and as well as a healthy boost. With half the sugar compared to other muffin recipes, this muffin is sweet enough when paired with ripe, mashed bananas. It also freezes very well so go ahead and make a big batch, take some to work, give some away, and keep some out for a great start to your day or as a not-so-guilty snack during the day!

Makes 24 (half the recipe for one dozen)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit. Get two big bowls out.
Spray muffin tins with cooking spray or line with paper liners

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons (or 1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon) baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

4 bananas
2 cups buttermilk (or, 4 tablespoons vinegar plus enough milk to make two cups total, let sit for 5 minutes)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup melted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup chopped walnuts plus more for sprinkling on top.

In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In another large mixing bowl, mash four bananas. I do this with a whisk attachment. To the mashed banana in the bowl, add and mix in buttermilk, beaten eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.

Pour liquid banana mixture into dry ingredients in the other bowl. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold wet and dry ingredients together until all dry particles have been incorporated and there are no more pockets of the flour mixture. Fold in walnuts.

With an ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measure, drop batter into prepared muffin pans. Sprinkle top of batter in muffin tins with crushed walnuts (see photo). Bake for about 20 minutes or until tops are dry and bounce back when pressed lightly.

Cool in pans on wire rack for about 20 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Yukon Gold and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

So pretty before it all got tossed together!
Here's a recipe you might just love! It's quite a departure from a traditional potato salad, with the colorful addition of sweet potatoes, and a dressing made with more Greek yogurt than mayonnaise. The inspiration for this recipe is a salad my daughter Meghan shared with me, one that is made at the restaurant where she works. I loved the flavors and the lightness of it all. If you want to incorporate a boatload of healthy ingredients into a cool and creamy summer salad and still feel as though you're indulging, this potato salad is for you (and your happy friends!). 


2 bags of the small Yukon Gold potatoes (about 4 lbs. total), unpeeled
2 sweet potatoes, peeled
¼ of a small red or sweet onion, finely chopped
zest of half a lemon
one half to one cup chopped Kale (I just used the fringy outer leaves)

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar

salt and pepper to taste (I didn't add any!)

Boil the Yukon Gold potatoes just until fork tender (about 20 minutes). Drain. Allow to cool.

Roast the sweet potatoes: cut in ½-inch slices and toss in a couple of tablespoons olive oil. Place on cookie sheet (I lined mine with parchment paper) and bake in 425-degree preheated oven for 20 minutes, turning with a spatula at 10 minutes.
Allow to cool.

Cut potatoes in fourths (both the Yukon gold and the sliced sweet potatoes). Place in a large bowl. Add chopped onion, lemon zest, and chopped kale.

Make dressing: whisk together Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, and sugar.

Pour dressing over potatoes and the other ingredients in the bowl and toss lightly.

Chill, and then chill with your friends!