So simple Banana muffins.

No eggs?  No problem.  Eggs are often thought of as a must-have for baking.  This is because they are an excellent rising agent (I almost typed eggcellent, would you have ever forgiven me?).  Along with eggs, baking soda, honey, and yeast help as well.  So one part the egg does that yeast and baking soda don't do is also help bind the ingredients together.  For that bananas are wonderful, however they do not really aid in rising so along with them you'll need baking soda like in most egg baking as well.

You can also use bananas and/or applesauce in a pinch for recipes that require eggs when you are out.  Or a bit more oil than you'd like to use in a recipe?  Swap some or all of it out for applesauce.  If you want it to have LESS banana flavor use slightly greener bananas.  The less ripe the banana the less banana flavor, but they'll still bind like a champ.  I recommend if your plan is to stay away from the bad stuff (MSG, broken proteins or amines), then using just spotty bananas will suffice for banana flavored things.  It has really good flavor without too much of the bad stuff (blackened bananas are bad for you. sigh. I love them - but nature is right, rotten isn't good for me or you).

Banana anything is usually good but often not amazing.  Whenever folks would cook for me as a vegetarian they'd usually serve up a banana something for dessert.  And it was generally decent tasting but nothing to rave on about.  Bananas cooked in rum or over a campfire might send me, but alas no muffin did that.  It was always. "yum" in the tiniest print.  I think there are two fruits that go extraordinarily well with bananas: strawberries and blueberries, but they get to fight over who wins.  You win by eating them.  These muffins can be made with fresh or frozen blueberries OR fresh or frozen strawberries.  These have blueberry.  See the bounty!

So on with it.  Banana muffin time. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • 1 and 1/2 Cup whole wheat flour (as usual, you may use the flour you favor or do a combo)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice (this is my favorite spice in this recipe and I feel makes it less ordinary)
  • 1 Cup slightly heaping blueberries (or strawberries)
  • 2 lightly spotted bananas
  • 3/4 Cup olive oil (you can get away with less and always add up to the 3/4 to make sure the flour combines)
  • 3/4 Cup vegan sugar ( or sneak less in there until the family noticeably gets irritated with you)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Yield is approx. 1 dozen
    I had forgotten salt when making these on a whim, it was not missed -so I left it out.  I do find this recipe to be a tad sweet for me, Jason would not have me change it for the world so your family may also like it as is. I plan on probably sneaking less in next time as the bananas and the blueberries are quite sweet and don't rely as heavily on the sugar as other fruits may - like cranberries.

    Combine dry ingredients except sugar (sugar always goes with wet ingredients).  Add the 1 Cup auxiliary fruit and toss to coat in flour.  Chop bananas in a separate mixing bowl until small bits, cover in the oil, sugar and vanilla.  Beat senseless until nearly fluffy like eggs or butter would be and once well combined scrape into the dry ingredients and combine well until no dry flour remains. I use a 1/4 Cup scoop to pour into paper lined muffin tin.  Cook for 20-30 minutes. My oven in Portland, Oregon took 28 minutes the longest of all my muffins your oven in Istanbul may take longer.  The tops should have golden brown kisses and start to crack with fault lines and when pressed spring back just so.  Then perfection.


    Pizza Update

    So you may have glanced at the cast iron skillet pizza and thought "I am never going to make that."  Well jerk, you're missing out.  And if you've made it, BRAVO! Was it tasty?  What did you put on it?  Wasn't it simple and now you're a master?  I knew you could do it.  For the skeptics I'm including favorite toppings as encouragement and a reward to those who ventured to make their own pizza.

    When I am making a pizza with meat I don't use more than a 1/3 Cup to 1/2 Cup ground meat.  This way a pound of meat will go very far in feeding the family.  1 pound can make several pizzas and multiple meals. Neither of the recipes below have meat nor depend on meat for flavor, and yet they remain favored by the man of the house as well.

    For sauce I have done loads of variations.  I have stewed fresh tomatoes, home canned tomatoes, brand canned tomatoes and have found no matter the masterpiece, the sauce gets lost in the toppings. So in the end I've concluded that the best red sauce is straight tomato puree (not paste, as it's boiled down and becomes more saturated in excitotoxins).  I know, right?  Any ingredients (herbs, garlic, etc.) can be added directly to the pizza before the toppings stage for the same tasty effect.   Had I known this before, I could have saved myself probably a thousand hours spent perfecting sauces that would have fared better over fresh pasta than to be baked under veg and cheese.

    My favorite thing is to clean out the fridge into pizza toppings.  It sounds worse than it is.  I don't use moldy potato salads... I just go through the crisper drawer and use whatever may have lost its crispness.

    I do a sauce layer, a green layer, and a veggie layer, fruit layer and top with onions (I do the onions last so they cook nicely, they have a way of remaining somewhat raw when hidden in layers).

    Don't be afraid to experiment and use your imagination on the sauce.   It can be honey and olive oil with curry powder, or tomato puree, roasted garlic spread, a jerk sauce, blended vegetables or just a red pepper and wine sauce.  Every kind gives you the option to showcase a masterpiece of toppings.

    I usually prefer making both a very spicy pizza and a very savory pizza. When I use pear I like Goat cheese, when I use Jalapeno I like apple pieces.  These are all things you'll discover through your adventure trials.  The following are some favorites.

    The order of things: crust -> sauce layer -> veggie layer -> fruit layer-> (optional cheese) -> onion and garnish on the top

    Cherry bomb vegan:
    • just enough tomato to cover the crust  I used a small gravy ladle to scoup 2-4 scoops of sauce on, too thick and the crust will be soggy towards the upper layer.(sauce layer)
    • a handful of diced kale, or cilantro (greens/herbs layer)
    • 1-2 cherry bomb peppers diced including the seeds
    • 1 pinch dried peppers (jalapeno, morita, serrano, banana, ancho, pasilla, poblano, cayenne any of these) and their seeds.
    • 1/2 small yam or sweet potato sliced thinly and diced again {or pulse in processor} (veggie layer)
    • 1/2 -1 whole apple peeled, cored and diced (fruit layer)
    • some ground pepper
    • pinch of salt
    • slices of onions scattered on top with some parsley sprinkled about.

    If your pizza has reached a critical level of heat on the spicy index of hot then you can tame it back with some extra apple, some honey, agave or cheese.  Sweet and dairy help lower spicy heat.

    Savory Pear and goat cheese:

    • just enough tomato to cover the crust  I used a small gravy ladle to scoop 2-4 scoops of sauce on, too thick and the crust will be soggy towards the upper layer.(sauce layer)
    • a handful of diced fresh parsley with or without a handful of fresh basil (herbs/greens layer)
    • some ground pepper
    • pinch of salt
    • slices of red, orange or yellow peppers (these are sweeter than green - veggie layer)
    • 1/2-1 whole pear, peeled, cored and sliced (fruit layer)
    • 1-2 heaping TBSP goat cheese crumbled on top (cheese layer)
    • slices of onions scattered on top with whatever garnish you'd like like fresh thyme, sage or oregano
    There aren't strict rules to pizza.  You can do it without a sauce.  I would lower the cooking time and adjust accordingly.  You can roast a pile of root vegetables with maple syrup at the end and toss and cover the crust in that.  It is open season on creating your signature pie!


    Pear Dutch Baby

    A Dutch Baby is essentially a pancake cooked in a cast iron pan where the batter is poured over slices of fruit.  The benefits of the Dutch Baby is that it's always moist and springy and everyone gets to eat 20 minutes after putting it in the oven.  No flipping, no inconsistent misses that get pushed onto the least favored member of the family - you know who you are.  It's said that it started in Seattle where at the very least it acquired it's endearing name; a bastardized pronunciation of "Deutsch"  -- yet another insult to German Americans who have been called Dutch and Pennsylvania Dutch.  Not that Dutch is an insult, but that who wants to be called incorrectly.   It's hard to believe that grandmas everywhere haven't tried this before, especially to feed their small armies or those who kept chickens and had an abundance of eggs. The following recipe will fill a 1-2 quart pan.  Although the pancake slices are light, they are quite filling and a small pan should feed 6 normal folks who don't overeat, or 4 easily like princes or feed 2 like Henry the VIII.  For the more insatiable group of eaters, I recommend serving with sliced fruit.

    • 4 eggs
    • 1 Cup water or tea of your choice - light herbal or a black is good (When I am out of cinnamon powder, I make a hot cup of water and put in a few cinnamon sticks 3 or 4 to steep then I use it once it is tepid)
    • 1/2 scant Cup of Olive Oil (You can use butter, but it is not necessary)
    • 2 TBSP Sugar of your choice (It should not be so much that it makes it sickeningly sweet)
    • 1 tsp Vanilla
    • 1/4 tsp baking soda
    • 3/4 scant Cup of flour (I do 50/50 unbleached white and whole wheat pastry as whole wheat can make it denser)
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp allspice
    • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
    • 1 pear peeled, cored, sliced (or fruit of your choice)

      For the topping, your choices are unlimited and for myself I don't use anything with cornstarch in it, like powdered sugar.  Here are some ideas:
      • Honey
      • Maple syrup
      • Cocoa syrup 
      • A simple syrup (syrup made of sugar of choice and enough hot water to make into a syrup)
      • Agave nectar
      • Buttercream (eggs, butter, sugar)
      • Spiced Honey butter (butter whipped with cinnamon, ginger, and honey then chilled and sliced into servings)
      •  Fruit compote
      • Berry preserves
      • Yogurt
      Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Oil or butter cast iron pan.  Lay pear (or other fruit) in butter (maybe a tablespoon not more) and flip until coated, set aside.  Blend all dry ingredients except sugar (your sugar always goes with the wet ingredients). Beat eggs, sugar, vanilla and olive oil together gently.  Slowly add water and then beat into dry ingredients bowl scraping sides and combing until thin and syrupy.  Pour over the pears and put into hot oven for 20 minutes.  It will be largely puffy and have a gorgeous sheen across a light brown fault lined terrain.  Fruit may float to the top but if it doesn't it is fine.  Enjoy this easy dish.


      Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

      It rarely gets more simple than crisp.  Crisp is made of either crumbs of bread/crackers or a flour blended with oats, sugar, and butter.  You put this on top of whatever fruit you wish.  I like to make up an amount enough for about 3-5 medium sized crisps (each serving 4 heartily or 6 reasonably) and then keep that in the freezer and when I want a crisp I put a little flour over my sugared fruit, a layer of oats, a layer of crisp and another layer of oats.

      I never use crumbs of crackers unless I've made them because I don't know what is going on in there otherwise.  I have used day old bread and think this is a favorite use for it aside from croutons and Italian bread soup.

      The Crisp:

      • 1 Cup flour (I use whole wheat)
      • 1 Cup rolled oats, not instant (you can add a little steel cut pre-cooked oats for texture)
      • 3/4 C Light Brown Sugar (you can use any kind of sugar you like, I use light brown because it contains only a little molasses as opposed to dark brown, and still gives a richer sugar flavor with using less of it)
      • 1/2 stick or 1/4 Cup very cold butter (make sure the butter is not cultured, it is code word for headache/stomachache - Unsalted butters will often be cultured because it makes you feel like it tastes better when it is the fermentation creating the excitotoxin and salt is better for you than eating too much of the cultured butter) I prefer Kerrygold salted butter, and even their unsalted is cultured.
      • The spices in the crisp are up to you. What follows are the standard ones.
      • 1 scant TBSP cinnamon
      • 1/2 tsp nutmeg or more
      • 1/2 tsp allspice (depending on the fruit I'll use more or less when making bulk I opt for less)
      *this recipe is the large amount that I store in the freezer for quick desserts each time I make a whole crisp I use a third or a quarter of this recipe from the freezer - putting the rest back for later. 

      The fruit:
      • 1 1/2 C rhubarb (washed, diced into 1/8th inch coins)
      • 1 1/2 C strawberries (washed, quartered)
      • 1/4 C rolled oats
      • 1/8 C flour (I use whole wheat)
      • you can also add extra of any spice you wish
      I wash, then dice 1/8th inch coins out of the rhubarb until I have a heaping cup or 1 and 1/2 cups (3-5 stalks depending).  Put into casserole dish without grease or oil I toss the rhubarb with the 1/4 cup loose light brown sugar. And top with 1 and 1/2 cup strawberries washed and quartered.  I then put a scant 1/4 cup flour sprinkled to top the fruit (this will help the fruit thicken and hold together).  Then a thin layer of rolled oats, as much crisp as you like, and a sprinkle of extra oats on top of that.

      Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes checking on darkness of your crisp.  It should be golden with dark spots and a lot of red bubbling sauce around the edges.

        I like to serve a smaller amount of the good stuff along with a pile of fresh cut fruit.


      Flour Tortillas

       Tortillas are really just a flatbread minus all the scariness that the word bread carries with it.  They are very quick in the world of breads and probably the easiest of all.  You can roll them thick and make gyros and falafel styled sandwiches or make them thin and load them with vegetables and hot sauce.  Not much else is tastier than cucumber sauce and whole wheat tortillas.  SO good.  I have tried dozens of variations (at least) over the years and a dozen recently to find a good ratio, good ingredients and the best result.  My favorite of them all is below. 

      Ingredients:   This recipe makes approximately one dozen 6-8 inch tortillas.
      •  2 Cups flour (I use 1 Cup Whole wheat pastry flour, and 1 Cup unbleached white flour)
      • 1 fat pinch of salt (not too much more than a teaspoon)
      • 1/2 tsp baking soda
      • 2-3 TBSP olive oil
      • 1/2-3/4 cup hot water (as hot as you can do without boiling) 
      Finger sift dry ingredients together first, then drizzle the olive oil over the top then without concern for its well-being pour hot water in a little at a time.  Fold ingredients with a spatula taking the outside of the flour and pushing it into the center, and as the flour sticks together it should form one mass.  If there are a lot of crumbles outside of the mass or a lot of flour remaining all over the bowl then add more water and fold any remnants in to your dough ball.

      Turn out the dough onto a floured surface. Using the heel of your hand, knead the dough out to collect a little flour and then fold it back onto itself.  Rotate this as you do it and it will become less sticky and trade that for silky.  Once it has become completely silky and the texture is like a love handle or an ear lobe then you have a perfect dough. Wrap the dough disk in some plastic or slip into a plastic baggie  (covered by a towel on a table is fine too).  Let it rest for about 15 minutes.

      Put the dough ball onto a lightly floured surface and roll out a disk to where it is still nice and thick (approx. 3/4 - 1/2 of an inch).  Put it on a cutting surface and cut into 2" squares.  Videos for help are available and I've included the links within the writing where it matches the video information.

       You can then use a tortilla press to help flatten the dough quickly and without overworking.  Or you can do all the rolling needed manually with a pin.  I split the difference.  I flatten it a bit with a tortilla press to get it started.  When using a press plastic wrap or parchment paper between the dough and the wood or metal will help you in removing the tortilla and lessen the clean up. My press is a wooden version and cost 12 dollars new.  Often you can find these at thrift stores like the Salvation Army and most folks don't know what they are unless it states so on the tag.  Sometimes you can get them at ridiculously low prices used.

      Anyhow,  if you are rolling out the dough by hand or are planning on making more breads like this or any breads then I'd recommend using a "French" pin.  I find them easier to use especially if you are wanting speed, or working with multiples (tarts and pastry dough too).  French pins have a totally smooth tapered end with no separations for handles.  Mine is a Polish pin, it cost 3.50 new from Pasta Works in Portland.  No need to get too fancy... it's a piece of wood for crissakes!

      Your tortillas should be thin enough that if you hold it on top of one of your hands it drapes nicely and takes your finger impressions into it.  Once they are ready - have a pan warming.  I cook mine on a med-High heat and I use a DRY (no oil, no butter) cast iron skillet.  This means great things.  It holds heat fairly evenly, stays hot for a long time, no added fat or waste of fat that can go in something else, and clean up is as simple as wiping the scorched flour dust out of it. 

      Carry your tortilla using your whole hand to support it,  you don't want it to stretch or slip out of your fingers.  Place your tortillas into the pan.  It will take only a few seconds before you see little bubbles on the surface... once those appear then flip the tortilla, the second side will take even less time to cook and you can judge your pan's heat from the darkness of the bubbles or scorch marks.  Adjust to your tastes.  I like a little darkness in spots.  Too much and it is carbon.  None at all and it looks like packaged food.  Variety is nice.

      Brocoli Rabe and Sweet Potato tacos
      On the right you can see the nation's 5th president, Lex Luthor.

      These are good the next day without any fuss over them.  I don't even bother heating them up again as they remain pliable as long as they are stored outside of the fridge overnight and covered.  If you wish them to last longer you can refrigerate them.  I haven't.   If you see that you forgot them two nights out of the fridge after their debut, then you can cut them up and bake them to make little toasts for soup, salsa, salads and other meals that begin with 's'.  These do not last long.  They will mold.  I would say within 5 days sooner if warm and humid.  Unless you are sneaking some sort of preservative in there.  Fresh or day old is the way to go with these.

      Besides, now you're a master and can make them anytime so don't bother hoarding them!  Cut the recipe in half if you don't want extras next time. MMMmmm.


        Dill Mashed Potato Soup with Roasted Baby Broccoli

        First... What the hell is Baby Broccoli if it isn't actually young broccoli?  Or Broccolini for that matter?   Let us not worry too much and just look for organic and sexy food.

        This soup is a great one to herald in spring while enjoying the remnants of winter.  For those concerned with cholesterol make up your potatoes with a bit of olive oil instead of butter.  It is decadent tasting and compliments most foods.  I was having a bad mashed potato craving when this struck me.  For cream soups I often use a little bit of mashed potato and roasted garlic to give soups the creamy without cream. ( Boiling any milk usually makes even the most cast iron of stomachs a bit upset - it is the break down of protein that does this to any belly.  Boiling and frying being the most severe ways to do this.)  So it was not really any great stretch for me to just make up a soup that was mostly mashed potato.  It really was just over due!

        Broth: For the soupy part I made a vegetable stock out of my veggie scraps (sometimes this includes apple peels, cores and pear peels and cores - its amazing with this. Cores are best without the seeds) I used a lot of water and made sure it covered the vegetables as I wanted a light colored broth and a fair amount of it.  I boiled the vegetables just until they were tender.  More than that and you're over doing it really.  No need for it. The whole it will taste better thing is chemical.  It will taste better with more and more days of boiling.  It would be like finding carrion vegetable carcass you are built to like it when it is not necessarily good for you but great for survival. So be aware why that happens. Besides over boiling makes a broth you have to strain or RE-strain.  I try to avoiding picking out debris.

        Mashed potatoes: I used russet potatoes as they were handy and cheap.  Yukon golds are also AMAZING for this.  I kept a little of their boiling water with the potatoes after they are cooked to help blend and mash them with either butter or olive oil (I do a little of each as I have very low cholesterol and a strong heart - weak ankles but I'm hoping that isn't related to butter). After salt, pepper, butter and/or olive oil is blended into the potatoes and fluffed I added a giant handful of dill I washed and pulled all the frilly fronds from the stalks and piled them on top of the potatoes and let them wilt and folded them in.  Fresh dill is quite light in flavor and I have a hard time overdoing fresh herbs. I like a lot of them in there.

        Baby Broccoli: For the baby broccoli I drizzle (really you don't need much) it with olive oil then lightly salt it, and for my tastes I sprinkle it with jalapeno seeds.  The oven is heated to 450 and once hot, the broccoli wont take long to get bright green with a couple of darkened patches.  I use the higher heat to keep the broccoli firm and crisp with a few roasty parts.  You can manipulate it if your OCD makes you.  Mine did... So I jossled it and put it back in.  Total cooking time plus OCD was not more than 20-25 minutes.  Just keep a close eye on it.

        To serve pour a small amount of broth in a bowl make a nice little mountain of potato in the center and lay a mountain of broccoli over the peak.  Munch well!   I think an Asparagus version of this is in order.


        Veggie bake

        What? They can't all be fancy.  I want to just tell you grab a favorite fruit and a favorite lettuce and combine them - but either you will or you won't.  What I don't have to tell you is that salt, pepper and olive oil make simple things delicious.

        This meal is a chopped bed of cabbage, a layer of thinly-sliced carrots, red peppers and 1/2 chopped jalapeno, and then some zucchini slices piled on with sprinkles of sea salt, smoked salt, cracked pepper, and olive oil drizzled over the top.

        For the topping I shredded {thin shreds} of cheddar and cubed one slice of bread - that is it.  I put the cheese on first so it wilts and I like the bread on last to be extra crunchy.

         I baked these for about 35 minutes at 375 - 400 degrees. Then in the last minute added a shred of cheese and a thin slice of my favorite European styled sourdough from, gasp, a package {French Meadow -- it is vegan and not adulterated with the bad stuff} (how Rachel Ray of me - It isn't the grossest I've been, but it is close). This is put in only long enough for the tiny cubes of sourdough to crust up.  This casserole is then served over the top of whole wheat pasta with as much fresh basil as you can handle.  I don't bake the pasta in the casserole as in order to get the timing of the veggies done and the pasta done without the over baking is tough and as stated before I am not a patient woman.  I like easy. So everything but the pasta went into a casserole dish to bake.  I put cabbage on the bottom because it wont stick to the dish and doesn't need oil to do it, its magic.

        3/4 Cup shredded cabbage
        1 big carrot
        1 red pepper
        1 small zucchini
        1/2 jalapeno (more if you wish)
        drizzle of olive oil (it wont need much at all!)
        salt and pepper
        sliver of cheese shredded after it is nearly ready to come out
        slice of day old bread for croutons -best on top

        Fresh Basil or cilantro
        However much pasta you need to feed your tribe.  I used Organic Whole Wheat.

        My casserole dish will fit about 5 cups of goods in it before it is maxed out.  So up the numbers if you need.  This is a quick throw together.  Clean out your refrigerator into this tasty dish.

        You can serve this without cheese and bread slice and instead serve it over a tortilla, or with cornbread, or with rice or shepard's pie style... yum.  No matter your choice, this is an excellent wine drinking meal.


        Carrot Juice

        Sometimes it is hard getting variety.  Even as an adult it becomes hard to eat your veggies.  When I was a vegetarian (mostly because shamed to say "meat" always made me have terrible poos when in reality it was the additives and processing not the actual thing -- anyhow...) I managed to not eat a lot of fresh or raw vegetables.  Doughnut vegetarians, I was one.  I do and did have a love affair with raw fruit and veggies.  NOTHING makes me happier than pear slices over a bed of arugula sprinkled lightly with sea salt, and still I'll contently eat rice and pasta and bread the week away until I start to look like pasta.

        So I got a juicer some time ago.  I did all my research and found some amazing ones.  They all had amazing price tags.  I got the Waring Pro for 49 dollars ... instead. The reviews were very high and the price was not. Now I cannot sing its praises as the reviewers do.  It leaks a little from the spout after the juicing is done, it gets full of the debris quickly and the remains of veggies and fruits are still wet to the touch - that is precious juice I could be drinking!  So what this means is the leftovers are soft and flavorful enough to be fed to voracious little chickens (NOT SOLELY.  But as a supplemental treat). Where the more expensive models, the one in particular I did not get because it is 350 dollars leaves the remains dry and sapped. Which is good for you, and the debris is good for compost but not feeding.  The chickens will stare blankly at what you are trying to do to them.

        The downer with this (waring pro) juicer is you see all the stuff that COULD be used. All that stuff that gets tossed, wet and sad into the compost or chicken bucket.

        So I do enjoy some tasty juices and then afterwards have guilt at what seems like waste.  For now anyway.  I will do a post on the compost and tell all if that becomes successful.  But in the interim I think it is important for everyone to take some time out for themselves and treat yourself occasionally to some juice.

        My favorite juice is Carrot.  For people who feel they don't like carrots this is something that usually wins them over.  Folks think that it will be bland or woody or something of a vegetable nightmare.  I think the light earthy flavor is divine, and that carrot juice goes down like chocolate milk goes down in a kid. Second in line would be Carrot, Apple and Ginger (fresh of course) and you can get a large ginger root and keep it in a container garden even in apartments and use pieces from it.  I love using Apples that you otherwise wouldn't enjoy eating.  You get a big bag of apples and you wash it, love it and then take a bite and dear God, it is THAT texture.  That mealy terrible texture that makes you rethink whether you actually ever liked apples at all.  YOU DO, you still do.  These are great for juicing. They are failures at being good on salads and even sometimes baked... but succeed as being juice.

        Carrot juice:
        5-8 carrots for one person (approx. you can do more... I do often.)

        Carrot, Apple, Ginger:
        5-8 carrots
        1-2 apples (you can substitute pears, if the price is right or you have a tree etc.)
        1/2 inch chunk of ginger
        This will make JUST enough to share... or not. 

        The sooner you drink it, the better.  Straight from the juicer it will be frothy and wonderful.  You CAN juice more ahead of time and refrigerate the rest for drinking for the next few days.  I would strongly recommend drinking it within the week it is made.  Fresh is fresh and not, well... isn't.


        Onion tart

        My, my, my, onions.  They make me cry twice, once while cutting and again while eating them.  This is one that is easier with a couple trials.  Don't worry too much, as failure in this case still yields very tasty food.  I have faith in you all.

        The easiest tart to make uses a large tart pan with a removable bottom, and by large I mean it's diameter, not it's height - anything around or over 9 inches.  This makes a thinner to cut and easier to wield tart with plenty of canvas for spreading out foods (the deeper the tart the most wild the interior gets when removing it from the pan or slicing it).  I don't recommend cutting IN or ON your tart pan.  Move your tart to a cutting surface. 

        Onion tarts are very versatile in how savory or sweet you wish to make them. For mine I opt for a middle of the road which is a win for me.  You can be onion exclusive using just vidalias or you can create a blend.  I'm cheap and impatient so I use whatever is readily available. You can easily make this tart into a quiche with a bunch of eggs or a pepper-laden tart with any mix or blend of peppers you choose.  You are only limited by your imagination and of course if you choose the worst ingredients ever like everlasting gobstoppers with a bubblegum sauce. Then, that is just nasty.

        Base Ingredients: (most tart recipes are approximately the same if you do as I and avoid laboratory made binding agents - shortening and margarine) For a sweeter recipe you can use a sugar instead of a salted crust.
        • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, and a little for dusting your work surface
        • Salt
        • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-1/4 inch dice ( you want the butter cold as possible while working with it you'll warm it up so you wont want to hand hold it while cutting )
        • 1/4 cup cold water (you may need a few drops more)
        • 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
        • 2-4 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 pounds, this will change by size of tart pan, and whether or not you've chosen to add other things to your tart)

        For the tart so many instructions recommend you refrigerate overnight or for 4 hours beforehand .  I haven't the patience for all that noise so I make it before cutting my onions.   The following have two ways of working a pastry dough (don't kid yourself tarts are pastry - anything with a stick of butter may even fall under the definition). So read through and pick the one for you.

        1. For a food processor -pulse the flour with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the diced butter and pulse until it’s the size of small peas, you want these little butter lumps - they make a flaky crust. Sprinkle in the cold water and pulse again until the tart dough begins to come together. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap (I use a baggie) and gently pat into a circle/disk/discus/round doorstop. Wrap the dough and refrigerate until it is firm, at least 1 hour.  While chopping onions, you'll want to preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

        Or do like me-
        2. Old school - and cut the pieces of butter in with a pastry cutter, use swift hands or rubber spatula to blend in salt and cold water to make a ball put it into a plastic freezer bag and then once covered in plastic swiftly push ball into a disk (you can use plastic wrap - I repeated use a dedicated freezer bag for all sorts of dough things when it needs resting periods or chilling) and without sealing just tuck the zipper side under the dough and put into the freezer while cutting onions up. Once the onions have started and are in the pan then that will be your cue to work on rolling out your tart. It should be a little firm, the firmer the better. Which is why the hour in the previous set. It wont have to be that long, I promise!  While chopping onions, you'll want to preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

        The tart will need 20-23ish minutes by itself in the oven to bake its shell through.

        First get this step going, then work on tart (following step)
        Put chopped onions in a small amount of olive oil for 25 minutes on a medium heat stirring enough that it doesn't stick or blacken if you see signs of this you'll need to turn down your pan and or cover with a lid.  You want to do this part slowly so the onions become loose and translucent.  Some folks will add salt or sugars at this stage.  I add nothing.  Just stir and as they become fragrantly sweet and soft turn the burner down all the way and give it not much more than another 10 minutes.

        Meanwhile - On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 12-inch round er your size of pan. Wrap the dough around the rolling pin and transfer it to a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough into the pan.  If parts stick out you can trim and use scraps to patch any cracks that occur. Prick holes all over the bottom of the crust with a fork. Bake until the crust is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. I use a liner of foil and put pie weights into the shell.  You don't have to have them but it seems no matter what magic tricks I've tried otherwise the shell will puff.  Some folks use dry beans as pie weights.  Never did it.  I received pie weights as a gift, and so I use them.

        Once the shell comes out, fill with your selected goodness/onions and toss into oven to warm everything just for about 5 minutes on 400.

        What I chose was :
        2 med-large onions plus onion scraps
        1/2 Cup cooked ground turkey
        1 TBSP heaping goat cheese
        drizzle of maple syrup
        salt and cracked black peppercorns

        Served with Arugula salad and Anjou pears with sea salt.

        Lovely.  This is "What about Bob?" good.