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Monday, 26 August 2013
Stovetop Strawberry Oat Squares - a cooking experiment of my own invention
Topic: Recipes

Rolled oats (8 rounded soup spoons)
Mixed well with EVO olive oil (2? Soup spoons). (This was a  light flavored oil. Next I will try a stronger flavored one, just to see if I can get away with it.)
Toast on stovetop in cast iron fry pan - keep turning so it does not burn.
Remove from pan
Melt pat butter (c.1 T.) in the pan
Oatmeal back in the pan on the heat. Shape into patty of sorts c. 1/4" thick
pour fruit over the oatmeal patty. The fruit in this case was  defrosted strawberries and sugar, a leftover ingredient for a strawberry shortcake made several days earlier. The fruit was only supposed to be stored two days after defrosting. This was older than that.
Cook this whole mess down. Keeping scooping the runaway juices back into the patty. When it is finally not running juicy anymore, transfer the mess with a spatula onto a parchment paper. I formed a tinfoil 'pan' and lined it with parchment paper. Shape the mess as you wish. Cut and separate the pieces. Cool in fridge. This could probably stand to be coated in something so that one could pick them up easily. Coconut, cocoa, ground nuts. Yes, it is delicious.
strawberry oatmeal squares

Posted by Catinka Knoth at 4:36 PM EDT
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Saturday, 5 February 2011
Raisin Olive Oil 'Shortbread' Step-by-Step
Topic: Recipes
raisin olive oil shortbread

raisin olive oil shortbread 'recipe'

Step-by-Step Photos of Raisin Olive Oil Shortbread by Catinka Knoth

Above is the list of scribbled down approximate ingredients. The photos show my second making of this big 'cookie' and give an idea what the measurements are and the order. My cooking is unorthodox in that I like to do it by sense (feel and look) rather than exact measurements. In some places "t" refers to a cutlery teaspoon, other places it is a guess. Here "T" is my guess at a tablespoon.  The photo page show it better.

Instead of using a big oven for just one cookie, I cooked this on the stovetop in a cast iron fry pan with a little rack inside - covered. I used wax paper. Parchment paper would be better. It cooked/baked 18 minutes? What temp? That point where it is hot but won't burn right away! That differs on every stove. Just a bit lower than medium?

The idea for this came when I learned through the work of Fran Costigan, whose cookbook specializes in dairy-free and vegan desserts,  that one can bake sweets using Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO). What a revelation. I had to try it right then. If this were true, then one could make an almost healthy cookie. I have tried light olive oil in dessert baking, but I don't do it often enough and the oil ends up going to waste.  EVOO, however, is a staple in my cooking - always on hand. And yes, it worked. This is really just a big cookie rather than a shortbread. It is too chewy to be a shortbread. It is just enough of a sweet treat to satisfy the desire for a treat.   

Posted by Catinka Knoth at 2:23 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 5 February 2011 2:55 PM EST
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Thursday, 2 December 2010
Pan Blackened Sweet Potatoes & Green Beans
Topic: Recipes
sweet potatoes and green beans dish photo

Just saute in a bit of olive oil, potatoes first. Set them aside when done. Then do the beans. (Potatoes get covered while cooking but not the beans.) Mix together with a touch of vinegar, sprinkled and tossed.

remote Posted by Catinka Knoth at 11:55 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 3 December 2010 12:02 AM EST
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Sunday, 21 January 2007
Apple, Cranberry, Raisin Stovetop Fruit Torte for One Recipe - another 'steamed baking' experiment.
Topic: Recipes

apple cranberry torte photoI had a hankering to try out this idea yesterday. What prompted the idea? Someone had arrived at my blog entry for stovetop chocolate bread by googling "how to bake a cake on a stovetop", according to my traffic logs. I usually replicate such searches to see just where my site turns up in Google. In the process I look into any results that intrigue me. Such a one, and I've found and read this one before, is an article by Ruth Ross on making stovetop steamed breads and cakes in Mother Earth News  from the 1970's. The article reinspired me, gave me the idea to try a fruitcake. I peruse recipes to get a general gist or feel of how to make something. I find it so much more fun to invent my own recipe just to see if I can do it, or to see what comes out. However, I use a mix of eyeball measuring and exact measuring, and only write things down afterwards. I try to hold on to the memory until I get to a pencil. This is much like painting. I cannot know until I see how things mix up if the proportions are right. Everything depends on everything else - as in Life.

I started out by imagining what fruit I had on hand, and did I want to try to make it like a fruitcake or like a pie without a crust or perhaps a cross between the two. Pie without a crust called louder. Would I use the Macintosh apple or the Empire apple - Mac was better for cooking. But wait, this lot of Macs had been so tasty. I had to eat some of it first. Then there was a bowl of cranberries that had never made it into sauce at Thanksgiving. I salvaged a handful of those. And I had some good raisins. This was a perfect combination. The old raspberries in the freezer would have to wait for another experiment.


Posted by Catinka Knoth at 2:09 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 21 January 2007 2:50 PM EST
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Saturday, 6 January 2007
Chocolate Cake Recipe for One - or a Kids' Teaparty
Topic: Recipes
For years it has been a private tradition to make myself a chocolate cake on my birthday. It is usually invented on the spot, no recipe.  I try to remember the recipe afterwards and write it down with notes on how it turned out. It is so much fun to cook this way. Try my recipe or make one up yourself. There is nothing to lose in such small quantities. Have fun.

chocolate cake photo


c. 1 T butter
3 rounded cutlery teaspoons sugar
dash salt
6 heaping soupspoons whole wheat flour
1 soupspoon soymilk powder
2 heaping soupspoons dutch process cocoa
c. 3/4 cutlery teaspoon baking powder
c. 1/2 cup leftover eggnog with some whiskey & dash of nutmeg


Cream together butter, sugar and salt in small mixing bowl

Add dry ingredients on top. Mix dry ingredients well without yet mixing into butter/sugar mix. When the dry stuff is well mixed you can start mixing it into the butter sugar mix. Get it thoroughly mixed.

Alternate splashes of eggnog with quick mixing strokes. Mix quickly so as not to develop the gluten in the flour. Add enough eggnog so that you have a loose but not liquid batter.

Grease a small round crepe or casserole dish with butter.
Spoon in the batter.

Set the pan on a low rack in a two quart saucepan 1/3-1/2 full of water.
Cover saucepan. Turn on heat and get water to boil. Turn down heat so that water is at a high simmer. You don't want the dish to rock wildly in there but you want as high a heat as you can get.

Let simmer covered for c. 1 hour 20 minutes
(I think that is how long I cooked it for.) It's deceptive knowing when its done. The steam rises up and dampens the top so it will still be sticky while in the pan. I used the knife test several times hoping I'd get a clean knife. Finally I just said, this has to be done.

Use dishtowels to retrieve the cake/pan from the pot of hot water.
A china dish is harder to retrieve from hot water than a metal pan or a loaf by itself. You want a good grip on the edge of the dish. (Perhaps one should fashion a wire ring with handles onto the dish before setting in the water.)

Turn the cake out by putting a plate on top of pan and turning upside down. The cake should fall out. Quickly and carefully turn it back over onto its bottom. Place on a rack to cool. You can then decorate with powdered sugar, jam, or frosting if you must, or leave plain. This cake was delicious. I have yet to taste better chocolate cakes here in Maine than my own concoctions. Perhaps it is just the butter even though this has minimal butter? Also, this does not have a 'whole wheat' taste. It is as fancy and rich as it can be while still being somewhat good for you. And even though it is quite small, it will last one person for several servings. Or would make a perfect kids' teaparty cake. It is so cute.

Posted by Catinka Knoth at 2:37 PM EST
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