Happy New Year! January is the time of year when everyone has resolutions to eat better and lose weight. In my effort to find healthier solutions for traditional southern cooking, I've made a "hash brown" with quinoa. It's healthy, filling, and packed with delicious flavor. 

1 cup quinoa, dry
2-3 eggs, see note*
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepperolive oil

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Let cool. While cooling, mix all other ingredients together. *Add one egg at a time. You don’t want the mixture to be too wet, just enough to hold it together.* 

Add cooled quinoa. Form into patties using 1/4 cup of the quinoa mixture. Makes about 11 patties.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Depending on the size of your skillet, add olive oil to the pan. I use about 1/2 tablespoon for 3 patties. Cook patties 4-5 minutes each side, until golden brown and crispy on the edges. 

Enjoy on their own or as part of your breakfast. I like these so much, sometimes I have them for lunch or dinner! 

Makes Two Coffee Cakes
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons shortening
3/4 cup scalded milk
1 packet of yeast
1 egg well beaten
2 3/4 cups flour
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup raisins (optional, or use cranberries, apples, jelly beans, whatever you like)

Scald the milk, add 3 T of sugar, salt & shortening to milk.  Soften the yeast in a small amount of cooled milk mixture (let proof about 5 minutes) then add to rest of milk mixture.  Add beaten egg and flour.  Mix well and turn out and knead on a floured board until smooth (3-4 minutes).  Place in a greased bowl, cover and allow to rise is a warm place (80-85 degrees) until double in bulk (about 2 hours).  Punch the dough down and divid into two lumps.  One at a time roll out into a rectangle (about a 12 X 18").  Spread butter evenly over the dough.  Blend 1/4 cup sugar and Cinnamon and sprinkle all over the the dough, then sprinkle raisins or other fruit.  Starting at each end (long way) roll up (like a jelly roll) then make the ends meet in a circle.  Place on a greased pan, or pan lined with parchment paper or silpat.  Use scissors and make cuts 1 1/2" apart and twist to the side and press down slightly.  Cover and let rise (1 1/2 hours).  Bake 35 minutes in a 375 oven.  

Make a thin icing with powdered sugar, milk and a dash of almond extract.  Drizzle on top.

Enjoy XO  Martha
Kiwi/American Cheese Scones

3 cups flour
4 tspns baking powder
1  1/2 to 2 cups milk
100gms/1 stick/4oz  COLD butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups grated cheese (I use Trader Joe's NZ Cheddar but if you're lucky enough to be in NZ, anything will do - otherwise sharp American cheddar)

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a big bowl.  Chop up butter into very small pieces and rub through flour with your fingers until it resembles medium-fine breadcrumbs.  Add 1 cup of the cheese and mix through.
Slowly stir in milk and mix with a knife to combine into a moist bread-type dough (you may need to add a bit more flour if it's too sticky).  Turn out onto a floured oven tray and shape into a large rectangle brick shape.  Cut wedges approx 4cm/2 inches thick and place on oven tray.

Using the extra 1/2 cup of cheese, place a bit on the top of each scone, brush with milk and bake in a medium oven for approx 10 minutes or until golden.
Serve with butter - jam optional  (a bit weird I know but trust me it works!).

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Anna's Granola
(Makes 2 cookie trays worth)

12 cups Oats or 1 large container of old fashioned (not quick cook ones)
1 cup canola or vegetable oil - measure this first so honey and syrup (coming next!) will slip out easily
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
Any nuts/seed you like - 3/4 to a cup of each:  Walnuts, almonds, pepitas, sunflower seeds
1 - 1/2 cups dried fruit..apricots, sugared pineapple, raisins, craisins, figs or mixed dried fruit diced into small pieces.

Pre-heat oven 250 F (Regular Bake)
Spray 2 cookie trays with cooking spray or non stick oil.Mix all ingredients [except fruit]* together in a VERY large bowl (or lobster pot if that's your largest receptacle, as Anna does) and spread out onto greased cookie trays with wooden spoon that has also been sprayed with cooking oil. Set oven timer for 20 minute intervals and bake, rotating trays periodically. Cook for approx.1hr 10 mins in total or until golden.  

*NOTE: You MUST add fruit AFTER cooking otherwise you'll end up with nasty charred leather, that not even vaguely resembles dried fruit!

Let cool in trays and then spoon into jars, bags etc.

They call them Jane Michaelson's Homemade Rolls.  Bless her heart, whoever Jane Michaelson is, for setting such a delicious legacy.

In a 5-or-six cup bowl, combine: 

4 cups very warm  water (note: NOT scalding...no need to massacre such a crucial ingredient.)
2 TBS granulated sugar 
6 scant tablespoons dry yeast; sprinkle; stir gently to moisten 

Set aside in a warm place for the yeast to grow while mixing other ingredients. (My favorite place is on the stove top with the oven temp set at 200 degrees F) 

In a large bowl, combine: 

4 large eggs, well beaten
1 cup canola oil
4 tsp salt
1 ¾ c. granulated sugar 

Stir well; add the yeast and water mixture and whisk lightly. 

Gradually add 12-13 cups flour, two cups at a time. Whisk well after each addition until the dough is too thick for the whisk. Then use a large mixing spoon to fold-in the remaining flour. Set in a warm, non-drafty place to rise. (Again, my favorite location: a stovetop with the oven on) 
When risen, turn-out the dough on a floured board or counter. Flour hands and divide the dough into six lumps.

Do not knead the dough. Handle it as little as possible. Pat down to desired height and then cut or roll or shape as desired. 

For dinner rolls, roll to ½” thick and then cut with biscuit cutter (or small drinking cup). Place in greased pan next to each other. Let rise, bake, brush with melted butter. (...and by brush with butter they mean smother) (I use dairy-free butter).

And there you have it. Rolls yummy enough to make a Celiac cry. 

Just try not to cry on my rolls, okay?

I like to give the kids raisins to stick on top and make jack-o-lantern faces.  You can add chocolate chips or nuts, but these muffins are yummy on their own!
Pre-heat oven to 350

2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. each cinnamon & nutmeg
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. ginger
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. canned pumpkin puree
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/4 c water

Grease loaf pans or line muffin tins.  MIx flour baking soda & spices in a bowl.  WIth electric mixer on medium bled the following until smooth:sugars, pumpkin, oil, and eggs.  Add flour mixture and mix on low.  Finally add water and beat until blended.  

Makes 4 mini loaves -bake 35 minutes or
24 muffins - bake about 25 minutes

Maple, Cranberry and Almond Oatmeal (Porridge)
Serves 3-4 

1  1/2 cups oats (I use Trader Joe's Steel Cut oats)
pinch of salt
1 cup water
2 cups milk* 
2 Tblpns maple syrup
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries (TJ's orange cranberries are delish)

Bring water and milk to a boil and add oats, salt cranberries and maple syrup.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring quite a bit.  Finish cooking when favourite consistency is reached.  Pour into bowls and sprinkle on chopped almonds.  Serve with extra milk/maple syrup as needed.

NOTE: You can substitute almond milk for cows milk which gives a lovely creamy flavour.

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