Hello! I am the new person at this blog! (you can call me little metafora) We are sorry for the no

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Dutch Baby(Dutch Pancake)

Hello. I am Little Metafora... And it's story time. Once upon a time, a child and his grandma made a Dutch baby for his little sister and cousin. The cousin loved it and asked for the recipe. And here I am... Talking about it.
Liam, Little Metafora
This pancake can have syrup on top or powdered sugar... Or both.

Recipe Time!

2 Tablespoons butter,softened
2 eggs, large
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup of milk
Pinch of salt

1.Heat oven to 400 degrees.  
2.Spread butter on bottom and sides of a 9" pie plate
3.Put eggs in medium bowl, beat with wire whisk or handheld egg beater.
4.Beat in flour, milk, and salt. Gently mix, Avoid overbeating  so pancake will puff.
5.Pour batter into buttered pie plate
6.Bake 25-30 minutes. Pancake is done when puffy and deep golden brown. 
7.Serve immediately sprinkle with powdered sugar or syrup. Or both. Dutch Baby can also be sprinkled with fresh lemon juice or topped with fruit.

Note: Dutch Baby doesn't stay puffy but it still tastes good.

Saturday, March 25, 2017


I am the new person at this blog! (you can call me little metafora)
We are sorry for the no posts recently, we are sure a new one will come soon. Maybe.
Just introducing  myself.

-          Liam Melnick / little metafora

Thursday, October 13, 2016

More political cartoons from Artemis

There are several more political cartoons from Artemis at https://www.facebook.com/Artemispoliticalcartoons/

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Papa's Caesar Salad

Papa's Caesar Salad (added recipes - and political cartoons - are forthcoming):

     This version of Caesar salad is a big hit and is often requested at pot lucks. Papa generally doubles the recipe for such occasions.

Ingredients : 1/2 large head of romaine lettuce, 1/4 baguette or crusty Italian bread, olive oil(extra virgin), 2 fresh garlic cloves, fresh lemon, salt, mayo (we use either Hellman's or our homemade  vegan mayo - recipe for vegan mayo at end of this recipe), Parmesan cheese, and avocado (optional )     

1. Prepare croutons: cut bread into 1/2 inch pieces, crust and all. You will have about 1 1/2 to 2 cups bread.  In a skillet warm 1 tablespoon olive oil, add one clove garlic (either minced or crushed ). As soon as garlic begins to color, add the croutons. Mix around until croutons are mixed in with the garlic and oil. Place in preheated 375 degree oven and bake until toasty, 10-15 minutes.  Let cool.
2. Thoroughly rinse 1/2 head of large romaine lettuce.  Spin or towel dry.  Tear into medium pieces into salad bowl.
3. Dressing : whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, juice of one fresh lemon, with 1/2 teaspoon salt (and optionally a half teaspoon of wine vinegar); then whisk in 2 tablespoon of mayo.  (You can substitute the vegan homemade mayo  which will be in a recipe following this one).
4. Grate  1/4 cup parmesan cheese,medium size on grater (i.e. not too fine).
5.Avocado-this is optional, but not to papa, who uses about 1/2 of an avocado, sliced  into pieces, and puts the pieces directly into the dressing until he is ready to serve.
6. To serve: Toss salad with the dressing (and avacado, if using), then toss with the croutons and Parmesan cheese.  Eat soon after tossing.

Homemade Vegan Mayo

     I had stopped making mayo for the same reason I don't use raw eggs in my chocolate mousse-the possibility of salmonella et al.  So when I discovered a healthy alternative, made with the liquid of canned garbanzo beans, I tried it, loved it, and nobody could tell the difference between this mayo and my usual  brand Hellman's(which I believe is still called "Best Foods" in the western United States.)
Only one problem: an immersion blender is needed for this recipe.

Vegan Mayo
15 oz. can of garbanzos(chickpeas)
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teas salt, preferably sea salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 cup vegetable oil (I generally use safflower oil)

  1. Reserve the liquid from the drained chickpeas.  The chickpeas you can save for another use such as salads  or hummus.
  2. Measure 1/4 cup of this liquid into your immersion blender container.  This liquid is  called "aquafaba" (Latin words for water and bean). Use a little less liquid if your first batch comes out too thin for your taste.
  3. Add lemon juice, salt, mustard and mix with immersion blender to combine.
  4. With blender running, add your oil in a slow,steady stream.  This process will take four or five minutes to emulsify and thicken.
  5. I now put my mayo in a glass jar and refrigerate it.  How long does it last?  Good question.  I used a two week old batch yesterday for deviled eggs and it was as good as fresh made.   

Monday, March 7, 2016

Five Political Cartoons

Here are five cartoons by Mama Metafora. About the first, some Sanders supporters were concerned about my presenting Hillary Clinton as President. I'm a staunch believer in the secret ballot and am not here disclosing my preference, but cartoonists are often realistic and I expect her to be the Democratic nominee. Of course, the point of the cartoon is that a Democrat wins the 2016 election.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Choreg, Armenian Easter Bread: Great Anytime

      I love egg based breads, whether it be Jewish challah, French brioche, tsoureki tou paska (Greek Easter bread), or the Italian pane di Pasqua - all are delicious.  My earliest memories of egg bread go back to earliest childhood and Armenian Choreg, which would be my memories answer to Proust's madeleines, such an iconic memory are these small braided sweetbreads to me.  Of course my mom and aunt made the best Choreg in California - of course.  Though made with yeast, this is a more time-consuming recipe, than it is difficult.  I usually bring the dough to the first rising, then divide the dough in half, freezing it for future baking.


4 cups(plus) unbleached flour (these doughs always need more or less flour  
    depending on the flour)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground mahlab (optional). But I love the flavor of this spice from the 
   kernel of the black cherry stone with its sweet fragrance.  Available at
   Middle East markets.  Keep in freezer to ensure freshness.
2/3 cup milk, low fat, 1 or 2 percent is fine.
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 1/2 teaspoons dried yeast (preferably not rapid rise - it's usually the amount in one 
      individual package)
1/4 cup warm (not hot) water mixed with 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Note: depending on my energy level I mix my choreg either  by hand(high energy) or for lower energy days, in my mixer (I have a kitchen aid), starting with the paddle attachment then changing to the dough hook after about half of the flour has been added.  Even with the mixer a few minutes of hand kneading with a bit of bench flour is necessary.
  1. In large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and Mahlab (if using); set aside.
  2. Heat milk in saucepan, then add butter until melted.  Cool to lukewarm.
  3. Proof yeast: in measuring cup mix 1/4 cup warm water with 1/2 teaspoon sugar.  Sprinkle yeast over water.  After a minute or so mix yeast in with fork and set in a warmish place.  Should start rising within several minutes.
  4. Whisk eggs in large bowl.  Add milk-butter mixture.  While mixture is luke warm, add the proofed yeast (sometimes the yeast doesn't rise, so you need to do step 3 again - it's rare, happened only twice in my 55 years of baking).
  5. Add the flour-sugar mixture about a cup at a time until dough no longer can absorb the flour.  Transfer dough to a lightly floured board and knead adding flour until dough is no longer sticky.  Some judgement needed here, since this dough will not be as dry as most bread doughs lacking butter and eggs.
  6. Place dough in a large buttered bowl, cover with towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about two hours.
  7. "Punch " down the dough.  If dough feels too sticky at this point, knead in more flour, a little at a time.  As mentioned above, I immediately freeze half the dough for use in the next three  months. (When ready to use, simply thaw out the dough and proceed as follows).
  8. On lightly floured board, pinch off enough dough to make balls approximately 2 1/2 inches in circumference. Roll each ball into rope shape approximately index finger width (about ten inches long).  Then make a simple two strand braid (see picture above). Place each braid on parchment lined cookie sheet (the heavier insulated cookie sheets such as cushion-aire, work best since they keep the bottoms from browning too much.)  Continue making the braids, placing them a couple of inches apart, they double in size from the yeast action.  Repeat using another parchment-lined cookie sheet until the dough is used up. (Any extra dough can also be covered and refrigerated for a couple of days.) Now follow the next stage for second rising:
  1. Cover Choregs with tea towel for second rising.  This usually takes about 45 minutes, so after a half hour of rising time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix one egg yolk with a tablespoon of water and gently brush over the raised choregs just before putting cookie sheet in oven. (You can chill second cookie sheet in fridge so it stops rising while first batch bakes.)
  3. Bake for eight minutes, then turn the cookie sheet around in oven to ensure even baking.  Bake an additional 7 minutes or more until the Choregs are light golden brown.  Bake second cookie sheet in same way.  Let cool for five minutes on sheet, then transfer Choregs to wire rack to cool.  Eat that same day.  Any choreg left over should be frozen, since they are not as wonderful the next day.  Enjoy with tea, coffee, or as bread with a meal.
Note: for this type of recipe, or any baking you do, I highly recommend an oven thermometer which can be affordable - some good ones are $10.  My oven was 25 degrees too low, while my former stove was 50 degrees too high.  It happens.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Poppy seed "thumbprint" cookies with lemon curd filling

 Why Didn't You Make More Cookies ?
         With any wonderful new recipe there seems to be a story.  This started with two ingredients.  The first were Meyer lemons, plump juicy ones, my oldest (not oldest in age, but oldest in time known) friend Janeen sent me from Chico, California.  The second were poppy seeds I bought on a trip to our local Penzey's (a wonderful spice and herb store).  Magic happened when I combined my favorite thumbprint cookies with the poppy seeds and substituted home made lemon curd for the jam, using the Meyer lemons.  Everywhere I serve these cookies huge raves follow.  The Meyer lemons are long gone but regular lemons work very nicely, though you may need more of them, since they are less juicy.  Perhaps you have an excellent lemon curd that you purchase, and it would probably work well too. I make enough to freeze since these cookies freeze very well.

Thumbprint Cookies
         Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Ungreased cookie sheets.  Yield: 48 cookies
2 cups flour (gently spooned into measuring cup to avoid too tightly packing the flour)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter(2 sticks) - bossy tip: nothing but butter for the great taste. Room 
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup poppy seeds (I keep these in the freezer to ensure freshness along with other 
       seeds and nuts).
  1. Combine flour and salt in small bowl, I use whisk to mix thoroughly.
  2. Cream butter and sugar  until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in flour, about 1/2 cup at a time. 
  4. Gently mix in poppy seeds
  5. At this point I usually freeze half the dough unless I need a large batch of cookies.
  6. Shape dough into one inch balls, spacing the cookies 2 inches apart on 
       ungreased cookie sheet.
   7. Bake for 5 minutes, remove from oven and make thumbprint in center of each 
       cookie.  Clever tip: cover regular sized wine cork tightly with foil and use cork to 
       make  "thumbprint".  Rinsed off cork can be used again and again.
    8. Return cookies to oven and bake a total of 15 to 20 minutes, turning cookie sheet
         around 1/2 way to ensure even baking. When cookies are golden, remove from 
         oven and cool on wire rack.  
     9. When cookies are completely cooled fill each cookie with lemon curd.  Keep  
          well wrapped in fridge until serving time.  I do this since the lemon curd contains 
         eggs.  If using jam instead, the cookies can be kept at room temperature.(Papa 
         Metafora also loves these cookies filled with apricot jam when there is no lemon

Homemade Lemon Curd
    Basically this is a "Joy of Cooking" recipe, still a bit of a bible for many basic recipes. As mentioned above I was lucky enough to have the wonderfully flavorful and juicy Meyer lemons on hand, a gift from my dear friend, Janeen. Regular lemons will work just fine.

3 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
Lemon zest, grated from one lemon
  1. Whisk the above ingredients together in medium sized stainless steel saucepan until light in color.     Then, Add:
  2. 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, strained.
  3. 3/4 stick unsalted butter (6 tablespoons), cut in small pieces.
  4. Place the saucepan over medium heat until the butter is melted.
  5. Then whisk constantly until mixture thickens and simmer gently a few seconds. Longer simmering could curdle the eggs, don't want that!
  6. Scrape the filling using spatula into medium -mesh sieve placed over a bowl. Let cool, cover and refrigerate until ready to fill cookies.
  7. When cookies are completely cool fill evenly with the chilled lemon curd.  May need a small metal spatula to even top.
  8. Taste one with tea or coffee.  Very yummy!