Hot Cross Buns

According to Wikipedia.org, “Hot Cross Buns” is an English language nursery rhyme, Easter song and street cry referring to the spiced English bun associated with Good Friday known as a Hot Cross Bun. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 13029.

 

Lyrics:

The most common modern version is:

Hot cross buns!
Hot cross buns!
one a penny, two a penny,
Hot cross buns!

If you have no daughters,
give them to your sons.
One a penny two a penny,
Hot cross buns!

 

Origins
The earliest record of the rhyme is in Christmas Box, published in London in 1798. However, there are earlier references to the rhyme as a street cry in London, for example in Poor Robin’s Almanack for 1733, which noted:

Good Friday comes this month, the old woman runs
With one or two a penny hot cross buns

 

Below is a recipe from Pioneer Woman by Ree

Ingredients:  

BUNS:

  • 2 cups Whole Milk
  • 1/2 cup Canola Oil
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 package (2 1/4 Teaspoons) Active Dry Yeast
  • 4 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup (additional) Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • Spices: Cardamom, Nutmeg, Allspice (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Raisins

GLAZE:

  • 1 whole Egg White
  • Splash Of Milk

ICING:

  • 1 whole Egg White
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Splash Of Milk

 

Directions:

BUNS:

  1. Combine 2 cups milk, canola oil, and 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan. Stir and heat until very warm but not boiling. Turn off the heat and allow to cool until mixture is still warm, but not hot–about 30 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle yeast over mixture. Add 4 cups of flour and stir to combine. Mixture will be very sticky. Cover with a towel and set aside for 1 hour.
  3. Add 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir till combined.
  4. Combine 1/4 cup sugar with cinnamon and whatever other spices you want to use.
  5. Lightly flour surface. Press to slightly flatten dough. Sprinkle a couple tablespoons of the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Sprinkle on about a third of the raisins. Then fold the dough over on itself and flatten again so the dough is “plain” again. Repeat the sugar/raisin process, then fold the dough again. Repeat a third time until all the raisins are used. (You won’t use all the sugar/cinnamon mixture.)
  6. Pinch off ping pong or golf ball-size bunches of dough. With floured hands, quickly roll it into a ball, then turn the edges under themselves slightly. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for at least 30 minutes…an hour-plus is better.
  7. PREHEAT OVEN TO 400 degrees

GLAZE

  1. Mix 1 egg white with a splash of milk. Brush onto each roll.
  2. Bake for 20 minutes, give or take, or until tops of buns have turned nice and golden brown.
  3. Remove from pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack.

ICING

  1. Mix 1 egg white with enough powdered sugar for icing to be very thick. Splash in milk as needed for consistency.
  2. Add icing to a small Ziploc bag and snip the corner. Make icing crosses on each roll, making sure they’re completely cooled first.

Passover Meal – Tilapia with Horseradish and Beet Green Chimichurri

By Melissa d’Arabian,
The Associated Press

Tilapia With Horseradish and Beet Green Chimichurri. (AP photo/Matthew Mead)

Tilapia With Horseradish and Beet Green Chimichurri. (AP photo/Matthew Mead)

As published on Register Guard.com, d’Arabian wrote “When I was growing up, my family celebrated both Jewish and Christian holidays. And one of my favorites was Passover.

Perhaps it was the Hebrew singing that made it special for me. Or maybe it was the rich meaning behind the foods that were served. One food I remember more than any other — the horseradish that was traditionally served as the “bitter herb” portion of the meal.

My mom would scoop a tiny bit of freshly grated horseradish onto a crispy matzo cracker, then hand me a pickled beet as a chaser. I was only a child, but the memory of that flavor combination has stayed with me, attached to memories of family dinners and my mom.

This recipe celebrates horseradish — not the creamy sauce you find next to the roast beef at an all-you-can-eat buffet, but rather the actual root. Technically, horseradish is a vegetable and has health benefits similar to its root vegetable cousins. But with its strong flavor, we typically eat very small quantities, using horseradish more as a condiment.

Condiments that are low in sugar, fat and calories are an excellent way to infuse a healthy dish with tons of flavor. You can buy horseradish in root form at well-stocked markets, or keep a jar of grated horseradish in the refrigerator like I do. Mix it into salad dressings, meat rubs and tangy acidic foods such as freshly pickled veggies.

If raw horseradish is too strong for you, toss veggies or potatoes with it, then roast. This softens the flavor considerably. In this recipe, I make a chunky chimichurri sauce (with beet greens instead of herbs, as a wink to mom) to spoon over roasted fish right as it comes out of the oven.

The heat will make the flavors in the sauce sing.”

Yield: 4 Servings

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds tilapia filets
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch beet greens, washed thoroughly and dried
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons grated fresh horseradish

Directions: 

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with kitchen parchment.
  3. Use 1 tablespoon of the oil to brush over both sides of the fish filets, then season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the tilapia on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the tilapia is no longer translucent, about 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, finely chop the beet greens (you should have a little over 1 cup), and set aside.
  6. In a blender, place the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the lemon juice, vinegar, shallot, Worcestershire sauce and horseradish. Blend until the shallot is pureed, about 10 seconds.
  7. Add the beet greens to the blender and pulse a couple of times, just to coat the beet greens with vinaigrette.
  8. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if the mixture is too dry. Pour the chimichurri into a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Once the fish is cooked, place the filets on serving plates, then spoon the chimichurri over the hot fish.

Nutrition information per serving: 240 calories; 90 calories from fat (38 percent of total calories); 10 grams fat (2 grams saturated; 0 grams trans fats); 85 mg cholesterol; 4 grams carbohydrate; 1 gram fiber; 2 grams sugar; 35 grams protein; 420 mg sodium.

Food Network host Melissa d’Arabian is the author of the cookbook, “Supermarket Healthy.” www.melissadarabian.net

Passover Bread Recipe from Abigail’s Bakery, Inc.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup water, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Directions:

  1. Place a baking stone or a large baking sheet in the oven and preheat at 450°F with the rack on the middle shelf.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a mixer and stir until the dough comes together in a ragged ball. Fit the mixer with the dough hook attachment and knead on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the edges of the bowl. If the dough seems sticky, add a tiny bit of flour as necessary.
  3. Place the dough in a well-oiled container and let rest for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide into 6 equal pieces. Flatten the pieces into discs and cover. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes to relax.
  4. Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough out until roughly 1 foot in diameter, making sure to dust with flour underneath to keep the dough from sticking. Poke the flattened dough a few times with a fork. Using a paddle or a floured baking sheet, slide the dough directly onto the bread stone or hot baking sheet. Bake for 3 minutes then flip and bake for 3 more. The bread should be lightly browned on both sides.
  5. Remove the bread from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. If the bread is not crisp after the first bake, or if it goes stale, it can always be refreshed in a hot oven. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Click here to learn more about Abigail’s Bakery.

Easter Pie Recipe

Easter Pie is a specialty in many Italian homes, so mothers make sure their daughters master the recipe to ensure that the tradition continues. —Barbara Tierney, Farmington, Connecticut

Yield: 6-8 Servings

Easter Pie

photo by Taste of Home©

Ingredients:

CRUST:

  • 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

FILLING:

  • 1 carton (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • Dash salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup diced citron, optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Dash ground nutmeg
  1. Directions:
    In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder; cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles small crumbs. Add eggs; stir until moistened and mixture forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 10-in. circle. Place in a 9-in. pie plate; flute crust. Refrigerate.
  2. For filling, beat the ricotta, sugar and flour in a bowl. Add peels and salt; beat until smooth. In another bowl, beat eggs until thick and lemon-colored, about 5 minutes; slowly fold into ricotta mixture. Gently mix in remaining ingredients. Pour into the crust. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool. Store in the refrigerator.

Nutritional Facts
1 serving (1 piece) equals 482 calories, 23 g fat (11 g saturated fat), 196 mg cholesterol, 349 mg sodium, 56 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 14 g protein.

Originally published as Easter Pie in Reminisce March/April 1995, p47

Rabbit Facts

  • Contrary to popular belief, rabbits main food source is hay and leafy greens, not carrots!
  • Because of the position of their eyes, rabbits are able to see close to 360 degrees all around! However, they have a blind spot in front their nose.
  • Adult Rabbits have 28 teeth including 4 incisors. Their teeth grow continually for their entire life, but they are normally worn down through constant chewing.

Source: Animal Planet.  Check out Animal Planet’s Live Bunny Cam.  

Karl Szmolinsky and his rabbit "Robert", the World's Largest Rabbit

EBERSWALDE, GERMANY – Pensioner Karl Szmolinsky, who raises a breed of rabbits called giant grays, shows Robert 2, an 8.5kg giant grey who is 74cm long and has ears 25.5cm long, in the backyard of his house on January 15, 2006 in Eberswalde, Germany. Szmolinsky said his rabbits reach a maximum weight of 10.5 kg (23.1lbs.). (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Top 20 Facts about Rabbits

Here is a list of the top 20 interesting facts about rabbits…

1. The World’s Largest Rabbit named “Darius” weighs approximately 50 pounds and is currently 4 feet, 3 inches. Although this might sound unbelievable, “Darius” is indeed a real rabbit that currently lives with its owner Annette Edwards from the UK. It has been reported that Darius thinks he is a dog.
2. The “most valuable” rabbit on Earth, “Darius”, is currently insured for around $1.6/million and has his own personal caretaker aka body guard. (Not that anyone would be brave enough to mess with a 50 pound rabbit anyhow.)
3. In the wild some female rabbits can produce about eight litters of bunnies per year.
4. The largest litter of bunnies every reported consisted of 24 kits.
5. Rabbits are natural runners and can reach speeds of up to 30 to 40 mph.
6. Domesticated rabbits that people raise do not open their eyes until they reach about 2 weeks of age.
7. Baby domestic rabbits are actually born fur-less.
8. Rabbits have 28 teeth.
9. The World’s oldest rabbit on record lived to be 16 years old.
10. The average lifespan of a domesticated rabbit is around 5 to 8 years.
11. Pet rabbits generally live longer than rabbits used for production and those living in the wild.
12. With the right guidance rabbits can be trained to live indoors perfectly.
13. In the UK the rabbit is the third most popular pet option.
14. The average heart rate of a rabbit ranges between 130-325 beats per minute.
15. It is estimated that over 2 million U.S. households own a pet rabbit.
16. Thousands of rabbit shows take place annually in the Continental United States alone, each year.
17. Male rabbits are referred to as “bucks” and female rabbits are referred to as “does”.
18. Believe it or not, a rabbit’s teeth never stop growing throughout its life.
19. Rabbits can jump up to 36 inches or higher.
20. In general rabbits are very clean animals that will groom themselves and even each other.

Check out this article on the topic of raising rabbits.

 

Hot Cross Buns

Recipe courtesy Levain Bakery

Hot Cross Buns

Make your Easter holiday dinner special. 

Hot cross buns are now traditionally served during the Christian Easter season, on Fridays during Lent and on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. However, their roots are rumored to have come from pagan spring festivals. Easter and the spring equinox all represent the season of renewal of nature in different traditions. What we now consider a cross symbol on top of hot cross buns was also originally a cross in honor of the moon for Egyptians and Greeks, a representation of a full moon and its four quarters to Romans.

Yield: 12 buns

Ingredients:

Buns:

  • 2 ounces fresh yeast
  • 2 cups lukewarm milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 1/2 cups high-gluten flour
  • Spice mix, recipe follows
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup dark raisins
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins

Glaze, recipe follows
Spice Mix:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Glaze:

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk, plus more as needed
  1. Directions:
    Buns:
    Crumble the yeast into a large mixing bowl and add 1 cup of the warm milk (the milk should feel just warm to the touch but not hot). Using the dough hook attachment, gently mix together.
  2. Add the honey, butter, 2 eggs, flour, spice mix, salt, and raisins. Start the mixer and gently pour in the remaining 1 cup of milk while mixing. The dough should come together as a soft ball after a few minutes of mixing. If it is too sticky add a few sprinkles of additional flour; if it is too hard add a few more drops of cold milk.
  3. Turn this soft dough out directly onto a sheet pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise until about doubled in size.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. When it has double in size, turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Cut the dough in half and each half in half, etc. until you have a dozen pieces. Shape these pieces into rounds with your hands. Place these rounds equally spaced apart on a floured piece of parchment on a sheet pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until almost doubled in size. (If you press gently with your finger on a bun it should bounce back but your fingerprint should remain a bit.)
  6. Beat the remaining egg with a fork in a small bowl. Very gently brush this mixture on each of the buns. Using a sharp knife cut a cross shape in the top of each bun. Besides being decorative this allows the bread to rise nicely as it bakes.
  7. Bake in for about 15 minutes or until browned. Let cool.
  8. When cool, ice each bun with the glaze in a cross shape, following your cuts and using your spatula to drizzle icing on.
  9. Spice Mix:
    Mix together all the ingredients.

Glaze:
Put the sugar in a large bowl with the milk. Work the sugar and milk together until combined, adding additional milk 1 teaspoon at a time, until you have a nice smooth thick glaze.

White Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes Recipe

Yield: 10 Servings

White Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes

White Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 8 cups thinly sliced peeled potatoes
  • 3-1/2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp white cheddar cheese

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender. Stir in flour and seasonings until blended; gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in soup. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream.
  2. In a greased 13×9-in. baking dish, layer half of each of the following: potatoes, ham, cheese and sauce. Repeat layers.

Bake, covered, 30 minutes. Bake, uncovered, 40-50 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender.

 

 

Nutritional Facts
1 serving equals 417 calories, 20 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 88 mg cholesterol, 1267 mg sodium, 37 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 22 g protein.

 

Originally published as White Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes in Taste of Home December/January 2006, p27

Salmon with Brown Sugar Glaze Recipe

Salmon with Brown Sugar Glaze

Photo from Taste of Home©

Yield: 8 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 salmon fillet (2-1/2 pounds)

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook and stir the brown sugar, butter and honey until melted. Remove from the heat; whisk in the oil, mustard, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Place salmon in a large foil-lined baking pan; spoon brown sugar mixture over salmon. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Nutritional Facts
4 ounces cooked salmon equals 295 calories, 18 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 84 mg cholesterol, 403 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 28 g protein.

Originally published as Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon in Taste of Home December/January 2009, p69