Super Snacks for Super Bowl

January 31st, 2011 / comments 11

Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday, the day that many Americans have been anticipating since this time last year. For most Americans, Super Bowl Sunday is celebrated with an all day party and an unending spread of finger food.

pd Football c egbert 02  Super Snacks for Super BowlPre-game activities begin after lunch, the game, liberally dotted with commercials, starts at six, is interrupted by the half-time show, then more of the game, and finally the wrap-up. It’s no wonder that most hotels offering Super Bowl packages have a four-day minimum stay – it must take at least two days to recover.

I’m not a football fan. My mind wanders with the interminable delays. I worry about mortal injuries to the referees and camera operators when I see enormous bodies, protected by even more enormous plastic helmets and shoulder pads flying through the air and landing in heaps. I’ve been told that the creative commercials that debut on Super Bowl Sunday are enough reason to watch but I’d rather be putting finishing touches on Super Bowls, Super Platters and Super Sweets to sustain Super Friends who are eating and drinking, cheering and booing in front of the television.

One Super Bowl party website suggested, “serve everyone’s favorite high fat, finger-licking snack foods. After all, your television set is the focal point, not the food.” (Those are fighting words to a cook.) Another site suggested serving “salami, pepperoni, cheese whiz, chips and dips, beer and hot sauce, zingers like salami & cheese stuffed pepperochini.” (I wonder if beer and hot sauce is new mixed drink?) Tailgate classics like Buffalo wings, chili, and layered dips are all possibilities, but I want Super Food, healthy food that is not fussy to prepare and has enough flavor to be a bit of a distraction from the game.

PT Megaphone c egbert Super Snacks for Super BowlChickpeas and chickpea flour, also called besan and gram flour, are on the Super Food team I’m inviting to be part of my Super Bowl menu. They taste good and are an excellent source of protein, fiber, iron, potassium and B vitamins. It takes only a minute to make the batter for Besan flatbread that can be served either hot from the oven or at room temperature. It meets my requirements for a super finger food.

Hummus, a party regular at my house, is also a Super Snack. This blend of ancient ingredients – chickpeas, sesame seeds, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil is readily available at the market but when made at home it is absolutely fresh, with a minimum number of ingredients and is preservative free. When combined with warm pita bread, it is a complete protein that will build muscles so necessary for passing and blocking on the gridiron. (Not bad for a non-sports writer!) Best of all, homemade hummus costs half as much and is at least twice as good as store bought. I took a bowl of hummus, surrounded with carrot sticks to a potluck lunch last Sunday and it disappeared before the chocolate chip cookies.

Here’s how I made Besan Flat Bread and Hummus: … read more

Cardamom Buns – Better than facebook!

January 12th, 2011 / Comments 0

The first time I tasted cardamom, it was the spice that scented sweet breakfast bread that a friend had baked. I was twenty-four, living in a fourth floor walk-up apartment on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C. My nearest neighbor and close friend Char and her husband, Rob, lived  next-door. Our kitchens opened onto the same fire escape.

capu mug c egbert Cardamom Buns   Better than facebook!

Char had a way with spices. She brought whole cloves, allspice and cardamom across the fire escape and into my kitchen. When my apartment was filled with the smell of burned popcorn, Char suggested that I simmer a tablespoon of mixed pickling spices in a saucepan of water to get rid of the smell. She served hot tea with lime slices that were dotted with whole cloves. Slow cooked, steel cut oats topped with heavy cream and brown sugar tasted even better when she sprinkled freshly ground allspice on top. I have whole cloves, allspice and mixed pickling spices in my pantry and use them all, but it was the scent and flavor of cardamom that made me remember Char when I made a batch of cardamom buns last weekend. Here’s how I did it: … read more

Australian Scones

November 2nd, 2010 / Comments 0

tea cup 2 c egbert Australian SconesWhether you make them sweet or savory, pronounce it skan or skoon, or call them bannock, tattie or girdle scone as they do in Scotland, farl as they do in Ireland, or puftaloons as some Australians do, they are delightful at breakfast, tea time and dinner whether you are traveling or snuggled up at home.

When I wanted quick, savory scones to serve with dinner last weekend, I made lemonade scones using a recipe I got from my friend Robyn. She is from Oz, (that’s what she calls Australia), and the lemonade called for in this recipe is actually fizzy lemonade. Bitter lemon soda works perfectly. Here’s how I did it: … read more

English Scones

November 1st, 2010 / Comments 0

A couple of weeks ago, I was missing my son Matthew who lives in Brighton, England.

Tea cup c egbert English SconesI made a batch of English scones, whipped some cream, dished out the strawberry jam and nibbled on them while we chatted on the phone. Here’s how I did it: … read more

Hint from the ’50s – Pancakes and Waffles

September 20th, 2010 / comments 2

pancake hint 03 Hint from the 50s   Pancakes and Waffles

Cinnamon Toast for Santa’s Helpers

December 22nd, 2009 / comments 4

Last December, after I had mailed out the final gift boxes of cookies to friends, I realized that I had forgotten to save cookies to serve to Christmas Eve visitors and any of Santa’s helpers who might stop by.

Pt Peace Bell c egbert copy 314x305 Cinnamon Toast for Santas Helpers

Out of time, frosting and cookie-baking energy, I wondered if the adage, “less is more” was true and then I remembered my breakfast in bed at the Colony Club twenty years earlier.

Pt Four girls c egbert Cinnamon Toast for Santas Helpers

The Colony Club, established in 1902, was the first social club for women in New York City. It is an elegant and very private club with members whose last names range from Astor to Whitney. I spent a weekend there as the guest of my friend Jean. She was my guide in the culinary world and to the rarified dining of the Colony Club. As we planned my trip to New York, she took me under her wing and insisted that my day begin with “perfect Colony Club cinnamon toast” served on a tray in my bedroom. Perfect cinnamon toast? I had my doubts but Jean was a Manhattan matron with a sophisticated palate who was not to be denied. She ordered my breakfast, it was perfect and I’ve never thought of cinnamon toast in the same way since. Inspired by that memory I decided that Colony Club Cinnamon toast would be perfect Christmas Eve treat. Here’s how I made it: … read more

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