Friday, October 31, 2008

Hay Hay: A Rosy Recipe

"Hay hay, it's Donna day!" That's just fun to say! It sure can garner some confused looks from people who aren't familiar with Donna Hay, though, and then their foreheads begin to wrinkle even more as I attempt to explain it away as simply a food blogging event. A what? Um, never mind.

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For most of you, there's no need for explanation, so let me just hurry up and tell you about this amazing yogurt. I was excited and intimidated by the prospect of something so simple to work with in Marita Says' pick for HHDD and vacillated between a lot of different options. The idea that kept nagging me involved a bottle of rose water I bought at a great Egyptian restaurant in Fort Worth. I knew it would work wonderfully in a syrup, and then a few days before the deadline, I promptly settled on a new idea of keeping the rosewater but including the mint from the original recipe. I didn't want the yogurt to get too perfume-y, and the two flavors seemed to fit together perfectly. They definitely did. And my kitchen filled with such a sweet, heady smell as the syrup simmered away on the stove. I wish I could have captured that in a bottle.

Instead, I have a container of creamy, drinkable yogurt sitting in my refrigerator, and I'm not looking to make any trades. After whisking everything together, I poured myself a small glass and sipped it slowly and deliberately. I may have even run my finger along the inside of the glass afterward and licked it clean. It was that good.

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So, while this is perfect on its own, it occurred to me that including it in müesli might work out quite nicely. My mom included two müesli recipes in our family cookbook, a sign that we've eaten a lot of it. Growing up, my family never had boxes of sugary cereal in our pantry or gallons of milk in our fridge, so müesli, oatmeal, and homemade granola were our basic breakfast foods.

For a single portion, I tweaked my mom's "Müesli II" recipe by halving the amount of oatmeal and water I mixed together the previous night and then just tossing in the handful or two of fruit and nuts that looked appropriate. I squeezed in some lemon juice, poured yogurt on top, and called it good. The last thing I wanted was to overpower or complicate the pure taste of the flavored yogurt, so I kept it to pistachios, sesame seeds, and sultanas. It was possibly my favorite breakfast this year. (...Wait, too many others are coming to mind. How do people make blanket statements like that? Let's just say it tied with a lot of great stuff.)

Happy Hay Hay It's Donna Day!

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Rose & Mint Yogurt
Adapted from Donna Hay's recipe, on Marita Says

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup mint leaves, shredded
1/3 cup water
2-3 Tbsp. rose water
1 cup chilled yogurt
1 cup half & half*

Make a syrup by putting the mint leaves in a small saucepan with the water, rose water, and sugar over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar, and let it simmer for four minutes. Remove from heat and sit for five minutes.

Meanwhile, measure the yogurt and half & half into a large bowl.

Strain syrup through a sieve, pressing moisture out of the mint leaves with the back of a spoon. Whisk everything together, and that's it!

*I used half & half because that's what was in my fridge at the time. Obviously, the result is a more fluid consistency, more lassi-like, but if you want something spoonable, use cream, as suggested in Donna's original recipe.

Mum's Müesli (#2)
By my mother/mom/mum.

Combine & refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight:
1 cups rolled oats
1 cup boiling water

Before serving, add:
2 cups dried fruits (e.g.: dates, prunes, figs, apricots, raisins)
1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds (or any other nuts)
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cups grated apple

Serve, passing yogurt and additional honey to add, if desired.

11/04/08: The roundup of delectable yogurts can be found here at Marita Says. Thank you so much for hosting, Bordeaux!

6 comments:

Joie de vivre said...

That sounds amazing. I've seen Rose water as an ingredient in Martha Stewart's recipes but have never been able to find it myself. I'll be sure to pick up a bottle if I ever do find some!

Bordeaux said...

Fantastic way to start the day, or any other time of day. Thanks for participating!

ChichaJo said...

Oh yum!!! That sounds delectable and with the muelsi...perfect breakfast :)

Lael said...

joie de vivre: Thanks so much for visiting my blog! And definitely grab some of that rose water if you ever spot a bottle of it. You won't regret it!

bordeaux: so true. Yogurt isn't restricted to just breakfast. And thanks to you for being our host!

chichajo: thanks! I agree.

brenna said...

oh girl! you are good. muelsi and yog. you really cannot go wrong! got your voice mail and we should talk asap. now i will email you i guess. love and rosewater...

lauren said...

oh friend, what a treat. these recipes look simply amazing,and how fun that you referenced King Tut´s. Speaking of King Tut, dates are currently in season in Egypt so of course I bought some to send to you, but then I accidently left them in Cairo. I suppose it´s the effort that counts. Well, I am definately testing your recipes, and trying to find rose water in Barcelona should be quite the venture. Also, did I see Bulgarian Yogurt in one of your photos? What great taste you have, Lael. I love that stuff. You´re an inspiration, deary. Keep it up.