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Snow day recipe: Welsh Cakes (or scones made in a skillet)

Welsh Cakes with tea (Photos by Kimberly L. Jackson)Snow days always make me want to cook up a soup or bake some sort of comforting treat. Today, with a considerable amount of snow forecast, I decided to revisit Welsh Cakes.


Any recipe with “cake” in the name will get my attention, and I first learned of Welsh Cakes from a cookbook by one of Britain's top pastry chefs. I was intrigued by maître pâtissier Will Torrent's recipe where rounds of a scone-like dough are shaped by a cookie cutter and then griddled like a pancake. The recipe, from his cookbook “Afternoon Tea at Home” (Ryland Peters & Small, $24.95), has less than five steps and fewer than 10 ingredients, which tends to be my personal limit with the usual kitchen rush.


Torrent's take on Welsh Cakes also offered an opportunity to explore the flavor of allspice, an ingredient that rarely gets to shine on its own. It's often mingled with other spices to season foods ranging from pumpkin pie to jerk chicken.

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Apple smoothie recipe update

Icy apple smoothieWe told you that icy apple smoothies are a smart snack with less sugar and more nutritional value than milkshakes, but they're not a very appealing substitute when they taste like gritty liquid paste!

We missed a correction on the recipe for the shake, so way too much oatmeal is added. The drink also benefits from a little maple syrup. Here's the correct recipe:

For two servings: Core, chop and peel your favorite apple variety. Process in a blender until smooth with 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce, 2 tablespoons quick oats, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1/2 teaspoon pie spice, 1 cup of light coconut milk (or rice milk), 2 teaspoons maple syrup and 4 ice cubes.    

Also, in the article about Zulka's sparkling apple sangria, there was an unfortunate transposition of numbers on the year William Laird produced what was believed to be the original Applejack in Monmouth County. That year was 1698.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Apple Association


Savory oats: Flahavan's oatmeal salsa recipe and more to explore

Oats are a secret ingredient that make a salsa recipe from the Irish brand Flahavan's more filling and nutritious. It involves cooking a blend of chopped onion, olive oil and the brand's steel-cut oats with fresh and canned tomatoes and seasonings.

Oatmeal-fortified salsa


2 tablespoons olive oil

5 tablespoons Flahavan’s steel cut oats

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Juice of half a lemon

Juice of 1 lime

1 red chilli chopped with seeds (see note)

2 cans (14 ounces), chopped tomatoes

2 large tomatoes, chopped

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon cilantro


Heat oil in a large pan and sauté onions for 2 - 3 minutes. Add oats and cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice and chilli. Add the 2 cans of tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, cilantro and sugar. Season well. Cook over medium heat for 20 – 25 minutes until the sauce reduces and the oats soften. Add water if to thin, if desired. Cool before serving.


Note: Wear gloves when chopping chili. For less intense heat, remove the seeds and add only half the chili.


Adapted from the original Irish recipe by Mary Flahavan for Flahavan's


Turn a zesty cheddar bread into Parmesan-chile cheese bread

Parmesan-chile cheese bread Last winter, I fell in love with the recipe for Zesty Cheddar Bread from Betty Crocker's "The Big Book of Bread."

The recipe is perfect for winter soups, and it is so easy and so successful that it just makes sense to try making it with other cheeses.

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Recipe: Turkey apple cider bacon gravy that makes a great leftover soup

Turkey and shiitake mushroom soup made from turkey apple cide bacon gravyTurkey gravy is so easy to make from scratch. It can be whisked up in about 10 minutes, making pan juices a delicious bonus of turkey roasting.


Add the flavor of apples and smoky bacon to the roasting pan, and the resulting juices are even tastier. That's why we were surprised to read the words “Discard pan juices” in the U.S. Apple Association's recipe for a roasted turkey breast swaddled in bacon and basted with fresh apple cider. Used in gravy, the roasting stock can make an unexpectedly pleasing addition to the Thanksgiving spread. Even if you don't make gravy, spoon the delicious juices over turkey slices before serving, or just freeze to make soup later.

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