Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Another batch of treats for the co-workers

As you know, Tuesday is the day where I bake something for Jeff to bring into the office for Wednesday Treat Day. I went browsing through some cookbooks and magazines for something a bit different and gave Jeff a couple different options. He picked a good one to try!

Whole Wheat-Date Bars requires some pre-planning as there are a couple steps where the dough needs to sit in the refrigerator for an extended amount of time. A combination of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour form a cookie base over a smooth date filling. The dates are first softened in apple cider so they can be easily pureed in a food processor. The crust has a hint of lemon, is nutty and firm enough to keep the filling from squishing out when you eat them.

These bars have a wholesome taste but the sweetness from the dates balances the wheaty flavor.

The side dish for dinner tonight was Toasted Coconut Rice. Cardamom is first toasted in a dry pan and then coconut is thrown in to get a bit of color. Garlic is then lightly browned in some olive oil, followed by the rice to allow it to toast before adding the liquid. The flavors are enhanced quite a bit which makes these extra steps worth it. Everything is mixed back in and allowed to simmer until the liquid is gone, creating a fluffy and slightly nutty dish. A bit of butter is thrown in with some cilantro at the end. We found the coconut to be not so pronounced, but fit in well as a background flavor. Very good.

Wasabi and Panko-Crusted Pork with Gingered Soy Sauce was a perfect weeknight dish since it was pretty quick to throw together. The tender pork is encrusted with a simple panko coating and cooked until golden brown on both sides. If you find that the crust is browning too quickly, you can throw the pan in the oven to finish cooking the pork for a few minutes. To take advantage of the tasty bits on the bottom of the skillet, the heat is lowered and fresh ginger is added to the pan. Quickly followed by a mixture of chicken broth, sake, soy sauce, some sugar to balance the flavor and wasabi paste to punch up the spice. The sauce is finished with some green onions and spooned over the chops.


  1. All three of these dishes sound just wonderful to me.

  2. Oh I wish my hubby liked coconut as well as I do, maybe I can find some guests to make the rice for!

  3. Everything looks so tasty, especially the Whole Wheat Date Bars!! I envy your co-workers.

    BTW, I tried out your creamy key lime bar recipe again, and I loved it. Thank you so much for sharing :)

  4. Hi Joe. Glad to hear the pork was easy to throw together - it's on our list of dishes for this week. The bars look good too!

  5. Those bars look so delicious, Joe. I'm saving the recipe and hopefully I have a chance to bake them for my mom sometime, since she just adores fig newtony things.

  6. Kalyn - Thanks!

    Cameradawktor - It was not too "coconutty" but I hope you can try it!

    obachan - Glad you gave the bars another try!

    Alysha - Can't wait to see what you think of the pork dish!

    Nic - Thanks! Jeff actuall requested something like fig newtons and this was the among the first I found and he liked the sound of them!