I made my first foray into the world of grain bowls tonight.

And in typical Keyboard fashion, I perused two brand new “bowl” cookbooks, and then made a recipe and a dressing up out of the whole cloth. Well, I did get an idea from them for the dressing.

Grain bowls, apparently, are the new “thing.” They sound like a perfectly reasonable way to cook and serve a meal, to me. One cooks a whole grain of some description. One uses it at a base, and builds on top of it. Typically, it’s veggies, a protein, and a dressing. (OK, for breakfast, it might be fruit, a protein, and a dressing.)

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You can even see the layers; could’ve seen them better if I’d waited a bit longer.

Every once in a while, you just want a throwback meal. In my case, that’s often, but I want a throwback to what my mama and grandmama and assorted aunts used to cook, not necessarily a throwback to the tried-and-trues I used to throw together in the 30 minutes we had between getting home and getting to the ballpark or auditorium.

I had some standards. Tuna and noodle casserole. Chicken pot pie. And Mexican lasagna. All were cheap, and all were quick, and all were easy. And the kids liked all of ’em.

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Cold day odds and ends

April 15, 2018

A hearty brunch for a chilly, lazy day.

It is frigid outside, and I ought to be in the kitchen, which is something I haven’t done a lot of this week.

However, I am also lazy, and comfy on the couch, so I am not in the kitchen. Although I’m about to get in there in a bit, to make an old standard for dinner, with which I’ll entertain you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em later on.

There has not been much cooking at Chez Keyboard this week. I made a pot roast when friend Kate was visiting. It was a good pot roast. You’ve seen pot roast, I’ve described pot roast. It was another one. Only difference was the addition of some sauteed mushrooms I had hanging about in the fridge, which did not hurt it one little bit.

There have been a couple of hastily assembled breakfasts and lunches, and one good brunch, which was earlier today, because I was a heathen and did not go to church (see above re: lazy).

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Lovely, warm, tasty breakfast kolaches.

When one has ham…and one has yeast roll dough in the freezer…and one always, always has cheese around…

One makes kolaches!

I’ve fallen in the habit of making something to take to church on most Sunday mornings for the Sunday School class to munch on. The Friday after Easter, I set about vac-packing and sealing and freezing the leftover ham and cooking the bone for stock, and had the predictable ham scraps I just ground up in the food processor (because you can make all kinds of things with them). I also had only baked half a batch of dough for rolls, so I stuck the rest in the freezer before Easter, and that came out to thaw.

Saturday, I set about making kolaches.

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Time for baking

April 8, 2018

King Arthur Flour harvest grains loaf

Hadn’t baked in a while, so…it was time for

Veggie pizza with labneh, a la Man’oushe’


And pizza.

I’ve been reading through a new cookbook, Man’oushe’, Inside the Lebanese Street Corner Bakery. It’s all based around dishes involving and accompanying Lebanese flatbread, which is, essentially, a pita. And they top them with assorted stuff like you would a pizza, so I

thought I’d try that.

And I was in the mood for some multigrain bread, and I’d gotten some multigrain mix from King Arthur Flour recently, so I made that, too. And I am here to tell you, it makes some fine breakfast toast.

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Yes, there was Easter lunch.

It has just NOT been a writing week. After the hustle and bustle of an Easter Sunday that began at 3 a.m., thanks to the AGC waking me up by kicking the wall between our bedrooms, up through sunrise service, breakfast at church, egg hunt, Sunday school, and service, and then Easter dinner, it about zapped me for the entire first half of the week.

And I did not cook. Much. I made myself some potato salad, and an asparagus and sugar snap pea slaw, one day. That was really about it.

Easter dinner was predictably good. I made use of a trick I learned on the food forum regarding deviling eggs. Cook, peel and halve your eggs; make up your filling. Put your empty whites in one zip-lock bag, and your mixed-up yolks in another. Stick both in the fridge, up to a full day before serving.

When you’re just about ready to serve, pull both bags out, arrange your whites, let your filling warm up a little (just roll the bag between your hands) and snip a corner off the bag. Then pipe into the whites. Garnish as you wish, and set them out.

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Ecumenical Easter treats

March 31, 2018

Get your ecumenical Easter treats, right here!

I have wanted for years to fold some traditional Passover dishes into our Easter dinner. This year, I’ve made a start at it.

The above plate of cute things are coconut macaroon bird nests with eggs, and haroseth truffles. Easter-y, Passover-ish, and cute, all up in here on one plate.

The coconut macaroons are, well, coconut macaroons. They needed an additional egg and some more almond flour to make them hold together better as nests; a couple of them had a side blow out. Didn’t hurt the taste, though. The eggs are a combo of Whoppers baby robin eggs, the candy-coated malted milk ones, and Starburst jellybeans, all incited by a stop I made by Walgreens and the fact it was last gasp for Easter candy.

The haroseth is another critter altogether. Haroseth is a very traditional fruit mixture served at Passover; it symbolizes the mortar with which the Israeli slaves worked to build the pyramids in Egypt before their liberation. The most traditional version uses apples, nuts and dates, and a sweet red wine. This, whose recipe is courtesy the NYTimes “Cooking” section, purports to be a Sephardic Jewish version, made from dried fruits common to the Middle East. Although, the bag of apricots I KNOW I had seems to have taken feet and walked away, so I used plums instead. I also subbed walnuts for the pistachios I didn’t have.

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