ANGEL FOOD CAKE – SUMMER PERFECTION

Angel Food Cake is like it’s name implies – ‘light and heavenly’.  Angel Food Cake is the perfect summer dessert.  It can be eaten plain (and not make you feel too full or sugared out) or it can be topped with Strawberries and Whipped Cream or filled with Ice Cream and covered with a Baked Meringue for a faux ‘Baked Alaska’.

 

The main structure of an Angel Food is Egg Whites whipped full of air which in turn provides the leavening for your cake.  Because it has no fat, an Angel Food Cake has fewer calories than most other shortened cakes.  There are three main ingredients in Angel Food Cake – Egg Whites, Sugar & Flour. Add a little salt for balance and Vanilla for flavor and lots of air for your leavening agent.

 

To have your Angel Food Cake come out like it should, just follow a few important rules:

 

1.  Separate the Egg Whites from the Yolks and make sure that not a speck of Yolk gets into the White portion.  Egg Whites are mainly Protein and Egg Yolks contain a good portion of Fat.  The Whites will not beat up like they should if you get even a tiny bit of yolk into them.  So, when you separate your Whites from the Yolks, follow a few simple rules.

 

  • Separate the Eggs when they are still cold from the refrigerator.  There is less chance of getting the yolk into the white this way.
  • Have a clean bowl for the Whites and another bowl for the Yolks.  Have a second smaller bowl to separate the White into before adding to your larger bowl.  This way, if some yolk gets into the white by mistake, it is only one white that you cannot use, instead of a whole bowl full of them.  If you do get some yolk into the white this way, just combine the White and the Yolk and set aside for another use, such as scrambled eggs or cookies that require a whole egg.
  • If you are not going to use the yolks right away, cover with a thin layer of water and then plastic wrap and refrigerate.  The water will prevent the yolks from drying out.  When ready to use, the water should be easy to pour off or just incorporate them into the eggs.
  • Allow your Whites to come to room temperature before beating them.  Cold Egg Whites will not beat up as well as the warmer ones and therefore will not be able to incorporate enough air to make a light cake.

2.  Use a tube pan that is large enough to hold at least a 12 Egg White Cake.  Never, ever grease the pan when making Angel Food Cake or other Sponge Cakes.  The lubricant will make the batter fall down and not raise up sufficiently.  The Angel Food Cake needs the ungreased walls of the pan to cling to when raising in the oven.

Tube Pan

Tube Pan

 

3.  Always use Cake Flour for an Angel Food Cake.  (Cake Flour is lighter than All-Purpose and will therefore give you a lighter cake.  Spoon the Flour into a dry measuring cups and level off with a straight-edged spatula.

4.  Sift the Flour and half the Sugar into a clean, dry mixing bowl.

5.  Make sure the bowl that you are going to beat the whites into is clean and dry;  any speck of grease or other residue will prevent the Whites from beating up properly.

6.  Always, fold the flour into the beaten whites, DO NOT MIX – the folding process is an over and under motion.  Beating will deflate the Whites and prevent the cake from raising up properly.

7.  When you are ready to begin your cake preparation, lower your oven rack to the lowest setting and heat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the recipe go to angel-food-cake/.  This recipe is a 12 Egg White recipe – for a taller cake increase the recipe by 1/2 – use 1 1/2 cups of Whites instead of 1 cup.   Increase all the other ingredients accordingly.  For the increase recipe use a 12 inch tube pan.  The cake pictured in the recipe was made in a 10 inch tube pan.  I prefer the large one because it make a more attractive cake.

 

Beaten Egg Whites

Beaten Egg Whites

 

The best and easiest way to beat your Whites if to use a ‘standing electric mixer’.  hand mixer can also be used but the standing mixer will give you the best results.  As an anecdote, the very first Angel Food Cake that I made was when I was a teenager and decided to make for my Mother for Mother’s Day.  We did not own an electric mixer or even a hand electric mixer.  All we had was a Rotary Egg Beater and this was before they put ball bearings into the wheel.  It took me so long to beat those Egg Whites that I ended up with a blister on my thumb.   If we had even a wire whisk, that would have been infinitely better.  But the Cake turned out fine but I don’t think I made another Angel Food until I owned an electric mixer.

 

 

Sifted Flour

Sifted Flour and half the Sugar

 

Sift the Flour/Sugar mixture over the Beaten Egg Whites and use a rubber spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the Whites.  Be sure and get all the dry ingredients incorporated.

Folding In Flour

Folding In Flour

Use a rubber spatula to scrape the batter from the mixing bowl to the baking pan.  Level off the top and then place in the lower third of the pre-heated oven and bake for 45 minutes.  The increased recipe bakes for the same time as the original one as the pan you use is larger.

Batter in Pan

Batter in Pan

 

There are many ways to serve Angel Food Cake – the photos below show two different ways –

With Ice Cream, Chocolate and Strawberries

With Ice Cream, Chocolate and Strawberries

At right, Angel Food Cake with Strawberries,

Vanilla Ice Cream and a Chocolate Sauce made

from Bittersweet Chocolate melted with Butter and

a little Heavy Cream, Powdered Sugar and Vanilla.

Keep it thin so it can be poured over the cake.

 

The photo below shows Angel Food Cake with

fresh Peaches and fresh Pitted Cherries which

have been cut in half.  Add a little Whipped

Cream or just pouring Cream and you have a

delicious dessert or even breakfast.

Angel Food Cake with Peaches and Cherries

Angel Food Cake with Peaches and Cherries

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Posted by Admin Test - 2015/08/04 at 10:57 PM

Categories: Baking, Dessert Ideas, Fruit, Main   Tags: , , , , ,

NATIONAL HOT DOG MONTH

July is ‘National Hot Dog Month’ and nothing is probably more American than a Hot Dog except for perhaps a Hamburger.  These two popular foods though made thoroughly American have their roots in Europe and mainly Germany.  It’s just that we have so thoroughly Americanized these products that if this were a hundred years or so ago, they wouldn’t even be recognized in Europe.  Thanks to vastly improved communication, Hot Dogs and Burgers are seen not only in Europe but all over the world.

 

We all have our favorite Hot Dogs and will probably remember at least one Hot Dog Stand as ideal.  Since as a child I never had Hot Dogs outside of our home (except once) I cannot remember one single Hot Dog Stand.  However, my sons have a whole repertoire  that they can recite to you – many of which are of course my adult favorites too.  The most recent addition to our locale is Dayne’s Chicago Dogs.  Dayne’s is located on Thousand Oaks Blvd. in the city of Thousand Oaks and their specialty is the Chicago Dog.  What makes a Chicago Dog different from other dogs?  The points are listed below.

1.     A Chicago  Dog  has to be in a natural casing – it just isn’t a Chicago Dog unless it has that crunch         to it.

2.    It also must come with Tomatoes, Green Relish and Peperoncini in the bun along with the Dog.              And of course  don’t forget the mustard.

2015-07-06 13.50.15

2015-07-06 13.52.06

2015-07-06 13.52.00 Dayne’s Chicago Dog

 

Also pictured with Dayne’s Dog is Garlic French Fries.  If you are a Garlic Lover these are ‘Heavenly’.

 

One of the oldest Hot Dog Stands in the city of Los Angeles is Pink’s which is on La Brea and ironically is practically right next door to where I went to school.  Oddly enough, I never heard of Pink’s until maybe a dozen years ago.  However, I’m sure I did have a Pink’s Dog unknowingly which was given to me by the Aunt of a girl who I was playing with at the time.  This was the first time I had ever had a Chili Dog and quite honestly at 9 years old, I did not like it.  More recently though, I did a class that featured the most popular Hot Dogs in and around the Los Angeles area.  While I do not like Hoffy Dogs (which Pink’s uses) the toppings at Pinks were outstanding but oddly enough the item I liked best at Pink’s was their Coconut Cake.

 

Probably my favorite San Fernando Valley Hot Dog was Cupid’s.  I first noticed the Cupid’s stand when I was about 11 years old and we had just moved to the Valley.  By the time I got around to eating at Cupid’s their main stand was at Victory and Tyrone and it is still there today.  The other stand that they have that I have frequented is across the street from Cal State Northridge.  For years, Cupid’s only sold their Dogs one way and that was in a bun with mustard and Chili and Onions.  As I recall the last time I was there they have added a few things to their dogs such as cheese.

 

2015-07-16 14.09.49

 

2015-07-16 14.00.32

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My favorite Dog to cook at home has to be a Kosher Dog with a crunchy skin.  I usually buy Vienna as they fit the bill.  Boar’s head is second best for at home purchase.  Today for lunch I had a Coleslaw Dog made with Boar’s Head Hot Dogs, Homemade Coleslaw and home-grown Yellow Roma tomatoes.

 

2015-07-20 13.44.59

 

 

 

 

 

Last year when we were on Kauai, I had a Pineapple Dog – certainly something you would expect to get in Hawaii if nowhere else.  It was delicious – just the right amount of sweet/tangy compliment to the Hot Dog.

 

 

Pineapple Dog

Pineapple Dog

 

 

 

If you have a favorite dog and pictures of such please feel free to comment and share your photos.

 

On an ending note, Hot Dogs can be boiled, grilled, barbecued, baked with beans broiled and/or wrapped in pastry.  Take advantage of ‘National Hot Dog Month’ and frequent your favorite local Hot Dog Stand.

 

 

 

 

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Posted by Admin Test - 2015/07/14 at 10:57 PM

Categories: Cooking for Kids, Dinner Ideas, Family Fun, Lunch Ideas, Main, National Food Days   Tags: , , , , , ,

SHRIMP QUESADILLAS

Summer weather is ideal for treating your family to Mexican Food and what tastes better than Grilled Shrimp nestling inside a Quesadilla?  Add to that freshly made Guacamole and Salsa Cruda.  A little salad and some Mexican Rice and you are set for the evening.  Sound like too much work – well maybe a little but it is also fun if you love to cook and simple enough for those of you who do not love to cook.  Follow the directions and photos below and you will be able to cook up a wonderful meal for your family or even for your next party!  Okay, let’s get busy!

 

The first thing you need to do is check up on the items that you have in your kitchen and then make a list of those that you will need to purchase.  Follow the simple suggestions below or create your own list.

 

Flour Tortillas

Olive Oil

Lemons

Garlic & Cilantro

Shrimp   (preferably large ones – they have more flavor)

Tomatoes & Avocadoes

Cheese for Quesadillas (your preference)

Sour Cream or Mexican Crema

 

Here are the  links for the recipes for the Grilled Shrimp

Salsa and Guacamole.

 

Once you have your ingredients on hand and know when you are going to be serving the Quesadillas you can plan your preparation.  The Salsa can be prepared hours ahead of time, unlike the Guacamole which tends to oxidize and become unappetizing in appearance.  The  Shrimp can be shelled and de-veined, but you do NOT WANT TO MARINATE them for more than 20 minutes before grilling, otherwise they will become mealy, mushy and not appetizing at all.

 

Probably Quesadillas are not going to be the only thing on your menu so you can prepare the other items ahead.  Re-fried Beans can be prepared hours ahead and reheated as can Mexican Rice.  If you are planning on having a salad, the components can be washed, dried and sliced and then refrigerated until just before serving time.

 

Shown below is a suggested timetable for preparation and serving.  To prepare this meal and have everything come together at the proposed time,  I would start the preparations no later than two hours before serving time.

 

1.     Wash, dry and slice, grate or dice Salad Ingredients.

2.     Prepare Salsa and refrigerate.

3.     Cook the re-fried Beans and set aside.  If you are using canned re-fried beans, saute some diced             onion in a little Olive Oil before adding the beans.  Also, if you are using canned beans, prepared             just before serving.  Home-made re-fried beans take hours to prepare, especially if you are using           dried beans that have to be soaked and cooked.  Actually, the canned ones are very good,                     especially if you doctor them up a little bit with the sauteed onions and anything else that                     you may  wish, like maybe cilantro.

4.     Make the Mexican Rice and set aside.    Mexican Rice

5.     Shred your Cheese or Cheeses, depending on whether you use one or more varieties.

6.     About 30 minutes before serving time, prepare your Guacamole.  To prevent it from oxidizing                 squeeze a thin layer of Lime Juice on the surface and then cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate           until serving time.

7.     Prepare the Shrimp – remove the Shrimp Shells and save to make Seafood Stock.  If using                     medium size Shrimp, slit down the back and remove the vein.  Wash and dry.  If using large                   Shrimp, slice in half lengthwise.  Be sure to remove the vein.  Wash and dry.

8.     Prepare the marinade per the directions in the Grilled Shrimp Recipe.  Allow the Shrimp to                     marinate for at least 15 minutes but no longer than 20.  (Marinating the Shrimp too long will                 make them mushy and mealy.)

Marinating the Shrimp

Marinating the Shrimp

9.     Before grilling the shrimp, make sure you have all your other dishes ready to serve.  Grill the                  Shrimp per the recipe directions.

10.   Place  2-3  Tablespoons of shredded Cheese in the middle of a Flour Tortilla; top with 3-4 pieces of          Shrimp 2-3 Tbsps. more  Cheese and a few sliced Scallions.  Add a second Tortilla on top.

 

Filling the Tortillas

Filling the Tortillas – ingredients on bottom half – top half not yet added

 

 

 

11.  Place the filled Tortillas on a lightly greased skillet or comal (griddle) and cook on each side until              golden in color and the Cheese begins to melt.  (If you have trouble keeping the two tortillas        together, secure them with wooden sandwich picks – remove the picks before serving.

12.   Remove from the griddle with a spatula; remove the sandwich picks and serve.

13.   Serve Guacamole, Salsa and Sour Cream on the side.

 

  Salsa Cruda

Salsa Cruda

 

 

 

Chunky Guacamole

Chunky Guacamole

 

 

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Posted by Admin Test - 2015/06/26 at 4:29 PM

Categories: Condiments, Cooking for Everyone, Dinner Ideas, Main, Mexican   Tags: , , ,

NATIONAL ASPARAGUS MONTH

 

 

May is ‘National Asparagus Month’ so what better time to plan a menu or menus around this delectable vegetable.  Asparagus which are perennials are native to Central and Southern Europe and Central and West Asia.  Today they are cultivated world-wide and are especially favored in the United States.

There are several varieties of Asparagus available in the Super Markets and at the local Farmer’s Markets.  Green is the most commonly available variety with White and Purple also being available.  The White Variety tend to have less flavor than the Green ones and are very popular in Belgium, Holland, Southern Germany and Spain.  Here in California the White and Purple are almost always more expensive than the Green.

Spring is the ideal time to harvest and eat young and tender Asparagus.  There are several ways to cook them.  For eons, the accepted way to cook Asparagus was to stand them up in a tall pot with an inch or two of water at the bottom and to just steam them.  If you buy young Asparagus with slender stalks, you can just steam them in a steamer (mine is a round one and the asparagus have to be lain flat), or microwave them (1- 2 minutes is usually sufficient).  One of my favorite ways to cooks Asparagus is to place them in a shallow roasting pan, sprinkle them with Sea Salt, Olive Oil and julienned Basil and then roast them in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the Asparagus are tender.  Add a few grape tomatoes for color and you have a beautiful and delicious vegetable dish with very little effort.  roasted-asparagus/

Supposedly, because Asparagus tips have to push their way up through the dirt, the tips can contain grains of earth so you want to wash them well.  I actually have never seen Asparagus tips with dirt on them and usually I just rinse them off with cold water.  The books tell you to soak them thoroughly to remove dirt but if on close inspection you do not see any dirt, just rinse them.  Soaking any vegetable for a long period of time will also leach out valuable nutrients.

If you are one of those people that prefer the tips to the stalks and cut off a good portion of the stalks before cooking your Asparagus, please DO NOT THROW OUT THE CUT OFF PORTIONS!  The stalks make a wonderful Cream of Asparagus Soup.  Just cook the stalks in Chicken or Vegetable Broth or even Water until they are very tender.  Then puree them in your Food Processor or Blender.  Make a Béchamel Sauce by melting 4 Tbsps. of Butter and then stirring in 4 Tbsps. of Flour.  Cook for a minute or so to remove the starchy taste from the Flour and the add two cups of Cream or Milk and cook until thick.  Add enough of the Béchamel Sauce  to the Asparagus Puree to create your soup.  Season to taste with Salt and White Pepper.  Voila, you have a very easy to make Cream of Asparagus Soup made out of the stalks that you were probably going to throw out.  soups-chowders/cream-of-asparagus-soup/

 

Finally, next time you go to the market pick up some Asparagus and experiment with them or just follow one of the recipes posted here.

 

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Posted by Admin Test - 2015/05/07 at 7:40 PM

Categories: Main   Tags:

PIZZA PIE DAY

Monday, February 9th is ‘Pizza Pie Day’.  Are you going to go out and have pizza?  Or are you going to make and bake your own?  Homemade Pizza is delicious and easy to make.  I will say that it probably won’t cost you any less to make it than to buy it but the ingredients you use will be better than the ‘Take-Out Pizza’ or the Pizzeria Pizza.

 

To start with, you need good ingredients.  You could cheat a little and buy the Dough already made at Trader Joe’s or an Italian Deli.  But, if you have a Food Processor or a Sanding Mixer making the Dough is a cinch.  For the recipe see pizza-dough/

 

Shaped Pizza Dough

Shaped Pizza Dough

 

 

 

 

 

For the toppings you will need:  Crushed Tomatoes  (use a good brand – you want a thick one)

Basil, Oregano, Salt & Pepper

 

Crushed Tomatoes

 

 

 

 

Whole Milk Mozzarella (whole milk is by far better tasting than low-fat)

 

 

Shredded Mozzarella

Shredded Mozzarella

 

Other additional ingredients:  Mushrooms, Onions, Bell Peppers, Olives,

 

 

Vegetable Topped Pizza

Vegetable Topped Pizza

Pepperoni or whatever else you want on your pizza.

 

Pepperoni and Vegie Pizza

Pepperoni and Vegie Pizza

 

If you don’t want to create your own, here are some suggestions from other Posts and Pages from Sylveees Kitchen.

Sun-dried Tomato Pizza – -sun-dried-tomato/

 

Hawaiian Pizza

Hawaiian Pizza

Mexican Pizza                 -   mexican-pizza

Pizza Night                          pizza-time/

 

Okay everyone, get busy and make some Pizza tonight or tomorrow.  If you don’t get around to it tomorrow which is Pizza Pie Day, you can still do it anytime this week.  The second week in February is ‘American Pizza Bake Week’.

 

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Posted by Admin Test - 2015/02/08 at 12:40 PM

Categories: Baking, Bread, Cheese, Dairy, Italian, Main, Mexican, National Food Days, Pizza, Tropical   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

VALENTINE POPS TO MAKE WITH YOUR CHILDREN

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and the weather is wintry – rainy, snowy or windy!  What better way to spend an indoor afternoon or morning making Valentine Lollipops with your Children.  Children very often make paper Valentine’s to give to their friends, but Chocolate ones are even better.  They taste good and Chocolate is good for you!

 

What you will need to make these treats is:

 

Candy (Heart-shaped Lollipop Molds) – available at your local Cake Decorating Store or Craft Shop such as Michael’s or JoAnn’s.

 

Lollipop Molds and Sticks

Lollipop Molds and Sticks

 

 

Pre-tempered Chocolates (Wilton’s) 

 

Melt 'n Molds

Candy Melts

 A sheet of waxed paper or a flat pan to put the molds on.

 

A melting pot or double boiler  If you don’t have either you can make a double boiler by placing a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water.

 

Melting Pot

Melting Pot

 

To make the Pops first set up your molds.  Make sure they are clean and dry.  Water and chocolate do not mix and your pops will not set up properly.  The best thing to do is to wash and dry them 24 hours before you are going to use them.  When you are finished with them, wash (DO NOT USE SOAP) just hot tap water and dry and then after 24 hours place them in a sealed plastic bag so that the next you need them they will be ready to go.

 

Lollipop Molds and Sticks

Lollipop Molds and Sticks

Place the molds on the waxed paper or sheet pan.   Place the sticks in the molds (make sure that at least one inch of the stick is in the candy portion ) If you are using a Melting Pot place the Candy (the melting pots will hold a 12 oz. bag of candy) in the Melting Pot and set it to MELT.  Once the Candy has thoroughly melted turn the setting down to WARM.

 

Melted Chocolate

Melted Chocolate

 

Once the Candy has melted you can then spoon it into the molds.  Be sure and completely cover the Lollipop Sticks.  DO NOT fill the mold to the top.  Once they are about 3/4 full, stop and tap the molds to get rid of the Air Bubbles.  If there is still space left in the mold slowly add additional candy until the mold is full.

Allow at least an hour for the candy to set at room temperature or about 20-30 minutes in the refrigerator or 15-20 in the freezer.

 

Melted Candy in Molds

Melted Candy in Molds

Once the Candy has set up turn the molds over onto a sheet of waxed or parchment paper and gently press on the backs to un-mold.  If they are not going to be eaten right away place into bags (lollipop bags can be purchased at Cake Decorating Stores, Party Stores or Craft Stores).  Tie with red curling ribbon.  These lollipops are a great replacement for Valentines.

 

For heat loving Valentine recipients you can add a little bit of Chili Flakes (Old Boney Mountain Grotto Dust) available at http://www.oldboneymountainhotsaucecorp.com/

 

Bagged & Tied Valentine Pops

Bagged & Tied Valentine Pops

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by Admin Test - 2015/02/07 at 4:40 PM

Categories: Birthday Parties, Cooking for Kids, Family Fun, Food as Gifts, Holiday Ideas, Main   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

NATIONAL OATMEAL MONTH

Oatmeal is one of those foods which we think of as a Breakfast Item, but it has many more uses than just that for Breakfast.  Even though Oatmeal makes a wonderfully satisfying and nutritious breakfast, start thinking about it in other terms.  In other words, what Oatmeal can and should be used for besides a breakfast cereal.

 

Here are some of the things that I use Oatmeal for:

 

#1 is probably what everyone thinks of as a use for Oatmeal besides breakfast and that is Oatmeal/Raisin Cookies.  Well, what about Oatmeal/Raisin Waffles.  Combining the Cookie and the Waffle in a newly delicious and nutritious breakfast. oatmeal-raisin-waffles/

 

Oatmeal/Raisin  Waffle

Oatmeal/Raisin Waffle

 

Of course, the Oatmeal/Raisin Waffle is still a Breakfast Food but can be used for Lunch or Dinner as well.  And speaking of Dinner, how about using Oatmeal in your Meatloaf instead of Bread Crumbs.  It actually works much better because it absorbs a lots of moisture and helps to hold the Meatloaf together better than bread crumbs do.  Just substitute and equal amount of Oatmeal for the Bread Crumbs in your recipe.  ( I usually use about 1 cup of Oatmeal to 3 lbs. of ground meat.

 

Let’s not leave out the Cookies, though.  Here is a link to a kid-friendly  recipe for Oatmeal Cookies.

/post.php?post=52&action=edit

 

 

Meatloaf b4 Baking

Meatloaf before Baking

 

 

The next item that i use Oatmeal for is for part of the coating for Fried Chicken.  Try using my recipe – just substitute one cup of Oatmeal for 1 of the cups of Flour.  You will be surprised how good and crunchy it is.   /fried-chicken/

 

Oatmeal Fried Chicken

Oatmeal Fried Chicken

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Posted by Admin Test - 2015/01/27 at 12:14 AM

Categories: Dinner Ideas, Main, National Food Days   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

NATIONAL WHEAT BREAD MONTH

January is ‘National Wheat Bread Month’.  What better time than now to start making and baking your own bread.  With what the prices have risen to in fresh bakeries you could make 2-3 loaves for the same price and very little time.  If you have a Food Processor or Kitchen Aid, making your own bread is simple, quick and economical, and much more tasty than what you buy in the markets.  If you don’t have one of the above appliances, you can still make your own bread with just a little elbow grease and it will help to rid you of any anxiety that you may have incorporated into your body.

 

Just to show that the bread is easy to make and it doesn’t have to turn out perfectly formed to taste good.  Today i made Wheat Bread Dough and then my husband informed that he had just bought some at the market the other day and hadn’t told me about it.  Okay, so what do I do now?  Make my dough into rolls which really was perfect because we were having Pulled Pork Sandwiches for dinner and they don’t really have to be on French Rolls or regular Hamburger Buns.  So here goes – follow the process and see the results.  As you can see far below, the rolls are not so perfectly shaped, but this just adds to the interest – they taste good and because they are different shapes you can have them different uses.

 

The complete recipe can be found under recipes    /breads/whole-wheat-bread/

 

 

 

Dry Ingredients in Processor

Dry Ingredients in Processor

 

Dough completely kneaded

Dough completely kneaded

Dough being formed

Dough being formed

 

In Bowl covered with Plastic Wrap

In Bowl covered with Plastic Wrap

 

Flattened Risened Dough

Flattened Risen Dough

Risen Dough

Risen Dough

Sliced Dough

Sliced Dough

Shaped into Rolls

Shaped into Rolls

 

 

Baked Rolls

Baked Rolls

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Posted by Admin Test - 2015/01/13 at 7:50 PM

Categories: Baking, Bread, Main, National Food Days   Tags: , , , , , ,

VEGETABLE SOUP – COLD WEATHER FOOD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cold Winter Weather always makes me want something hot and hearty – today it is Vegetable Soup.  When I was teaching High School Culinary Arts, one of the things I taught my students was to make ‘Clean Out the Refrigerator Vegetable Soup.  Now, that may not sound too great, but how many times have you had small amounts of many Vegetables that you really did not know what to do with?  Making Vegetable Soup is the best way to use up these odds and ends and at the same nourish your family and keep them warm.  So, here we go with ‘CLEAN OUT THE REFRIGERATOR VEGETABLE SOUP’.

 

The Vegetables that I had on hand were  Celery, Carrots, Red Cabbage, and Onions.  Small amounts of Red Cabbage or any other color for that matter are good for Vegetable Soup.  You do not want to use too much or it will overpower the other Vegetables in your soup.

 

Celery and Carrots

Celery and Carrots

 

 

Red Cabbage

Red Cabbage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Vegetables that I purchased for the Soup were Golden Beets and Mushrooms.

 

Golden Beets

Golden Beets

 

Mushrooms and Onions

Mushrooms and Onions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Golden Beets are pictured before being peeled and the Onions are pictured with the

Mushrooms.  I also used Frozen Peas, Crushed Tomatoes and Turkey Broth.

The Turkey Broth was my hold-over from Thanksgiving.  It is a waste to just throw out the carcass because there is always some pieces of meat clinging to it and the bones themselves do provide some flavor and of course gelatin.  To make the Broth, I placed the Turkey Carcass in my largest pot along with  Onion, Celery, Carrots, Bay Leaves, Peppercorns and Parsley.  Just cover it all with water, place a lid on the pot (offset) and bring to a boil.  Once it comes to a boil, remove the lid and turn the flame down to a simmer and just let it cook until the liquid has cooked down to at least half.  Even more is better.  Shut off the flame, let it cool to room temperature and then pour through a colander into a clean container.  Refrigerate if you are going to use within a day or two or freeze until you are ready to use it.

 

Before starting to cook the Soup, wash and towel dry your Vegetables and then prep them.

 

  • Onions -peel and dice
  • Celery – remove any loose strings and then cut into 1/4 to 1/2″ thickness.
  • Mushrooms –  Cut up your cleaned and dry Mushrooms (how you cut them depends on the size and type tht you have.  Mine were small brown Crimini so I mostly quartered them. Cabbage – cut into pieces about 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick and about 3/4″ long.Beets – Peel and then quarter and then slice the quarters into smaller pieces.  (The beets are actually easier to peel if they are par-boiled first or microwaved.  If you do par-boil them, Scrub them clean first and then save the water to add to the soup.
  • Carrots – either scrub or peel and then slice in half lengthwise and then cross-wise into about 1/4 to 1/2″ pieces depending on how small you want them or on how large your carrots are.  Generally, the smaller carrots have more flavor and are sweeter.  The larger ones are older and tend to lose flavor as they age – also they are less tender

 

 

To cook, start with the Onion -by sautéing in a small amount of Olive Oil. Add the Mushrooms to the Onions and add a little Salt.  The Salt not only seasons them but helps them to release their water and cook down faster.  Add the Cabbage and Celery and then the Carrots and Beets. Adding some dried Basil (fresh is best, but mince and add at the end so the flavor is not lost) After all the Vegetables are in the Pot, add your cooking liquid and a couple of Bay Leaves (dried or fresh – remove them before serving).  You can also add some garlic to the vegetables while they are sauteing, but this would be a personal choice.  Not everyone likes garlic.  After the soup has cooked for a while, taste for seasoning and add more Salt and some freshly ground Pepper.  Oregano is also good added to Vegetable Soup.  If you are using canned Tomatoes, Tomato Sauce  or Crushed Tomatoes, add it now and then thoroughly mix in.  If desired, you can add some tiny pasta at the end or cook it first and then add.  Add the frozen peas and or corn if desired at the very end.  They need only minutes to cook.

 

Vegies before Broth Added

Vegies before Broth Added

 

Tomato Sauce

Crushed Tomatoes

 

Tomato Sauce added

Crushed Tomatoes added

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The soup does not need to cook for a lengthy time – one hour is more than enough – 30 minutes will probably suffice.  This soup can be eaten right away or you can cool it and refrigerate it – the flavors will intensify if held overnight in the refrigerator.

 

Serve and enjoy – this will easily make a delicious and hearty one-dish meal.  Serve with Garlic Bread or Croustades.

 

 

 

 

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Posted by Admin Test - 2015/01/06 at 5:06 PM

Categories: Cooking for Everyone, Dinner Ideas, Leftovers, Main, One Dish Meals   Tags: , , , , , ,

GINGERBREAD HOUSE WORKSHOP

Saturday, December 6th was my Gingerbread House Workshop at the Academy of Culinary Education in Woodland Hills.  There were 11 attendees.  Each team made one house and the single attendee made her own house.  One team had dough left over so they got to make a smaller version of their house to go along with on their board.  Unfortunately, it seems that all the pictures I took did not come out.  There were several more houses along with these.  Will try to find them and update.

All in All everyone had a very good time and took home a completed house.  Decorations that were used ranged from M & M’s to Tootsie Rolls, Candy Canes and Nerds, Peppermint Wheels and Licorice Twists.

Here are pictures of the houses.

 

Cee's House

Cee’s House – Red, White and Green

 

 

Side View

Side View

Elliot and Nina with Mother

Elliot and Nina with Mother

Solar Star Panels

Solar Star Panels

Tootsie Roll House

Tootsie Roll House

Tina and Michelles House

Tina and Michelles House

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Posted by Admin Test - 2014/12/09 at 12:02 AM

Categories: Baking, Cookies, COOKING CLASSES, Cooking for Kids, Family Fun, Food as Gifts, Main, Parent Child Classes   Tags: , , , , , , ,

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