Yesterday was a cool, rainy, dismal, very un-summer-like day here. It made me want to bake something. I was dying for something ooey-gooey and chocolatey, but logic took over. I decided to be a bit more practical and bake something healthy that I can take to work for breakfast. After poring over several cookbooks, I went back to one of my favorites, "Oat Cuisine" by Bobbie Hinman (you may remember this book from my "sweet, tart, and crunchy" post two weeks ago). Once again, I was craving the crunch of cornmeal. Somehow, though, I ended up making Toaster Oat Bread. I had made it once before, with good results, so it seemed like the thing to do. Plus, it would give me something new to blog about. =) It's described as a "heavy, crusty bread... really enhanced by toasting."
It is heavy, and it is crusty, and it's fantastic. I love dense bread you can really sink your teeth into. And this is so healthy, too, with 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per serving! And, of course, it is, as advertised, greatly enhanced by toasting. I like it with just a touch of butter (I am addicted to European style cultured butter!) and a good bit of honey (locally produced, of course). Here's the recipe, as printed in "Oat Cuisine:"
Toaster Oat Bread
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup oat bran
1 cup rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups skim milk
1 tablespoon honey
Preheat oven to 375.
Lightly oil a 5x9 inch loaf pan or spray with a nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients, mixing well.
In a small bowl, combine lemon juice and milk and let stand 1 minute. Stir in honey and add to dry mixture, stirring until all ingredients are moistened.
Place mixture in prepared pan. Smooth the top lightly with the back of a spoon.
Bake 35 minutes, until crusty and brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.
Remove to a rack to cool.
Cool completely, then slice and toast.
It's really easy, and you probably have most of the ingredients on hand. I didn't make any changes to this recipe at all... except for inadvertently leaving out the baking soda. I left something out of my banana cake a couple of weeks ago, too, didn't I? Must be old age. It still turned out great, though. Maybe it would have risen slightly more if I'd remembered the soda, but no one will ever know if I don't tell. =) Oh, and I used 1% milk, because that's what I had in the fridge!
And in case you were wondering -- I took care of my cornmeal craving this morning with some multi-grain pancakes!
I was so tired and antsy to get away from my computer last night, I forgot to wax poetic about how good my ice cream cones were! Just the cones. I think I covered the yogurt pretty well.
The cones are great. A lot of ice cream cones have a tendency to leak melted ice cream out the bottom, or get soggy. These ones did neither, though I guess a much warmer day might be a better test. Sugar cones are always too sugary for me, and waffle cones are always too styrofoamy. Hardy Mills cones are neither. They have a good, solid structure. The flavor is very mild. The texture is crunchy and toothsome -- probably due to the corn flour. I love what cornmeal and corn flour do for baked goods.
Hardy Mills Organic "Wholesome Waffle Cones" aren't the cheapest treats in the world -- about $3 for a box of 6, but there are only two of us, and we don't eat that much ice cream. They're an affordable indulgence. Next time, I think I'll try Stonyfield Farm's raspberry swirl yogurt. Mmm... raspberries. I'm also contemplating making some of my "pie parfaits" in these cones. Portable Pie Parfaits -- sounds like fun, doesn't it? I bought white chocolate pudding mix, and I have raspberries in the freezer. Mmm... raspberries.
If you live anywhere near Belfast and Searsport, Maine, you may remember a short-lived shop that sold "Pie Cones." Now they can only be found at a few fairs and festivals around the state (like the National Folk Festival). They are well worth hunting down. They're part of the inspiration for "Portable Pie Parfaits."
Just because I took the time to take this, and because technology allows, I'm going to leave you with one more picture of yesterday's yogurt cones...
... we all scream for... frozen yogurt, in this case. But first, a bit about the vessels that held my frozen yogurt this afternoon.
I've never been a huge fan of sugar cones, or of waffle cones. I'm a cake cone kind of girl -- especially what I call "pointy cones." You know, the cake cones that are actually cones, and not flat-bottomed "cups." I've always favored pointy cones, and have always called them that. I'm weird. I know.
Kevin and I were looking at the veggie products (Boca, Morningstar Farms, Gardenburger, etc.) at the grocery store last night, which are right across the aisle from the ice cream. In the middle of the aisle was one of those "impulse displays" ... a temporary rack full of products you didn't know you needed 'til you saw them. This one had boxes of "wholesome waffle cones."
I laughed when I read that. How can ice cream cones be wholesome? Sure, they're not particularly bad for you. They're just kind of nutritionally void. "Wholesome" implies that they're actually good for you! I picked up the box and read on. They turned out to be 100% organic. Ingredients: organic stoneground wheat flour, organic golden sugar, organic stoneground corn flour, and organic sunflower oil. I was pretty interested. The clincher is that they're produced in Quebec, so the box is bi-lingual -- English and French. "Organic" is a pretty cool word. It's natural and earthy. It sounds like what it means. I love words like that. But the French word for "organic" is "biologique (bee-oll-oh-zheek)," or "bio (bee-oh)" for short. I love that word. I always go to the "bio" market when I'm in Paris. I always buy Danone (Dannon in the States) "Bio" brand yogurt when I'm in Paris. I love to visit "bio" bakeries and buy breads full of nuts, seeds, and grains when I'm in Paris. I love "bio!" The word appears several times on the box. I was hooked.
On Tuesday I had bought some Stonyfield Farm Creme Caramel Frozen Yogurt. "Bio," of course, to go along with my organic dairy products crusade. What better filling for these cones? And what an opportunity to try out my new ice cream scoop! It was all just meant to be. As Kevin put it, this blog entry practically wrote itself!
The scoop doesn't work quite as well as I think the manufacturer thinks it should, but it's still pretty cool. The yogurt and the cones, however, worked wonderfully together! I'm a big fan of the Stonyfield Farm people. All their products are organic, there's a great variety of styles and flavors of yogurt and frozen yogurt, and it's all GOOD. Kev and I had a nice afternoon snack on a not-so-nice afternoon. Here's a little still life I took of the preparations...
I still don't quite have the hang of food photography.
I'm hot, tired, and uninspired (hey -- that rhymes!) today, but I thought I'd leave a quick note about yesterday's trip to the toy store. Smoothie glasses weren't the only thing I bought -- you didn't think I'd get out of there that easily, did you? =) I rarely do, and yesterday was no exception. I got a new, fancy-schmancy Lexan ice cream scoop!
It looks blue in the picture, and it's called "indigo," but it really looks purple in person. My kitchen, dishes, and gadgets are purple and blue, so as far as I'm concerned, it's purple. Trust me on this one. They also come in several other colors. But I like purple.
Its claim to fame is that the purple part of the "bowl" is rubber. Once you've scooped up the frozen treat of your choice, you're supposed to be able to press on the rubber part with your thumb, causing the ice cream (or whatever!) to pop right out.
Yesterday I bought Stonyfield Organic Creme Caramel frozen yogurt. Today, I bought some extra-cool, extra-special, extra-unique waffle cones. Tomorrow I will introduce the scoop to the yogurt, the yogurt to the cones, and the yogurt and cones to my mouth. I'll let you know what happens.