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: , , , , , , ,

Cranberries and their Use

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and the day after there are usually so many leftovers that you don’t know what to do with them.  The Turkey is easy – it makes great sandwiches and even the Potatoes are not too difficult.  They go with anything.  But what happens to that Cranberry?  Cranberries unlike most Berries are not sweet – they are usually tart and sugar must be added to them to make them palatable.  But Cranberries do make a wonderful sauce that complements the Turkey and even the Ham.

 

So, what if you have Cranberry Sauce left over and no one wants to eat it anymore?  Help is around the corner or literally just up above in the recipe section of this blog.  You can make Cranberry Sauce Cornbread or Biscuits.

 

What if you just have Cranberries that haven’t been used.  Many people are probably like me and buy the big bag just because it is more practical.  I buy the big bag because Cranberries are not usually available all year long and I like to have them on hand, so I keep the excess in the Freezer.  One dish, using whole Cranberries is one that my whole loves.  It is Cranberry Chicken – Chicken made with the whole Cranberry and then there is Cranberry/Pineapple Chicken.  Whichever you decide to make, they are both delicious.  But right now, let’s get back to the leftover Cranberry Sauce.

 

First on the Agenda is the Cranberry Corn Bread- so just up above to the recipe section and click on baked goods and then click on breads and then on the Cranberry Cornbread.  In that same section is the Cranberry Sauce Biscuit Recipe (only all that reads in the index is Cranberry Sauce) – just click on that and it will take you to the Biscuit Recipe.

 

Cranberry Cornbread -cranberry-cornbread

The Baked Cranberry Bread with cut edge exposed

The Baked Cranberry Bread with cut edge exposed

 

Cranberry Sauce Biscuits –  cranberry-sauce-biscuits

 

Cranberries can also be used for Fruit Muffins or Bread          breads/fruit-muffins

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Posted by Admin Test - 2014/11/23 at 10:11 PM

Categories: Baking, Bread, Condiments, Dinner Ideas, Holiday Meals, Leftovers, Main   Tags: , , , , , , ,

GINGERBREAD HOUSE WORKSHOP

The December Holidays are coming up very fast and what better way to help celebrate them than to build a Gingerbread House.  It really help to have a little expertise, someone who has built many over the years and has overcome all the pitfalls that hinder the novice. I have been teaching people (Adults and Parent/Child Teams) how to make Gingerbread Houses for the last 26 years.  This year I am going to be teaching my Gingerbread House at the Academy of Culinary Education in Woodland Hills.  You will learn how to make the Dough, how to make house templates and how to cut out the house parts from the dough in an efficient manner.

 

After the House parts are baked and after lunch and a short demo, each team or participant will build and then decorate their house according to their own specifications.  Not only will the class be fun and enjoyable, but you will learn skills that you will be able to use throughout your lifetime.

Come to our Gingerbread House Class at the Academy of Culinary Education in Woodland Hills.on December 6th – this is an all-day class starting at 10:30 and ending at 5 with a lunch break in-between.

For photos of Gingerbread houses please go to https://www.flickr.com/photos/sylveeeskitchen/sets/

The class is open to singles or pairs – parent/child or spouses or partners or an older sibling with a younger one.

 

To sign up for the class go to http://www.academyofculinaryeducation.com/singleclasses.html

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Posted by Admin Test - 2014/11/19 at 3:02 PM

Categories: Food as Gifts, Holiday Ideas, Main   Tags: , , , , ,

THANKSGIVING LEFTOVERS

Thanksgiving is one of those Holidays that we celebrate with food and usually with an abundance of food – more food at the table than can possibly be eaten.  Ah- but those leftovers are probably some of the best leftovers of the year.   Just think:

Turkey Sandwiches with Cranberry Sauce and maybe Hot Gravy.

Mashed Potatoes – are good for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner.  For Breakfast yo can turn those                                     Mashed Potatoes into Pancakes or Waffles.  For Lunch just eat them with                                                     the leftover Turkey and Gravy and for Dinner turn them into Potato Bread                                                   or more Turkey Sandwiches.

Leftover Mashed Potatoes

Leftover Mashed Potatoes

Cranberry Sauce –   Use to make Fruit Bread or Biscuits or eat them with your Mashed                                   Potato Pancakes or Waffles.

 

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

Sweet Potatoes   –   Eat as is or again make Pancakes or Waffles.  Sweet Potato Waffles for                                         Dinner with Creamed Gravy on top.  Yummy!

 

Sweet Potato Waffles

Use your imagination and come up with your own ideas to use those Thanksgiving leftovers or try my recipes below:

 

Turkey Frittata:                  turkey-frittata

Turkey Croquettes:            turkey-croquettes

Turkey Pot Pie:                 dinner/turkey-pot-pie

Cranberry Biscuits:          cranberry-sauce-biscuits

Potato Bread:                   breads/potato-bread/

Cranberry Cornbread:    cranberry-cornbread/

 

 

 

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Posted by Admin Test - 2014/11/12 at 8:14 PM

Categories: Baking, Dinner Ideas, Holiday Ideas, Leftovers, Main   Tags: , , , ,

USES FOR LEFTOVER PIZZA DOUGH

 

IF YOU MAKE YOUR OWN PIZZA YOU MAY TEND, LIKE I DO, TO HAVE EXCESS DOUGH.  THERE ARE 3 WAYS IN WHICH I LIKE TO USE THE EXCESS DOUGH AND AM GOING TO SHARE THEM HERE.

A. BREAD

Unless your Pizza Dough is made with a lot of Olive oIl, the Bread made form it may be somewhat chewy. For those that like that kind of Bread, then there is no problem. Personally, I love my Bread to be chewy. However, if you want it to be softer, work some Olive Oil or softened Butter into the Dough before shaping it.

To make Bread from your leftover Pizza Dough just shape it into a round or oblong loaf. If you have a Bread Shaping Basket you can sprinkle that with flour and place your Bread in it to rise. If not, place it in a greased loaf pan or on a greased and corn-meal sprinkled baking sheet. However, the problem with using a large baking sheet is that the Bread will tend to spread out rather than raise up, thereby making it sort of flat.

Cover the shaped Bread with a clean Dish Towel or Plastic Wrap and place in a warm spot to raise. When it has risen to twice its size, brush with a Beaten Egg and sprinkle with Sesame or Poppy Seeds and/or some Coarse Sea Salt. Bake on the bottom shelf of a 400 degree oven for approximately 25 minutes or until the top is Golden Brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped on.

If your Bread has risen in a Basket, gently turn it over (to release it) onto a greased Baking Pan and bake as in the paragraph directly above.

B.  FRIED DOUGH

Roll you Dough out as thinly as possible, then cut into 4″squares.  

Add Peanut or Vegetable Oil to a depth of 3″ and heat to 350 degrees.  (Test with a Deep Fat Thermometer or a Laser Thermometer.

Fry no more than 4 pieces of Dough at a time;  when they are golden brown remove with a spider or tongs and drain on a cooling rack placed over a jelly roll pan or on paper towels.

Sprinkle with Powdered or Cinnamon Sugar or serve with Whipped Cream and sliced Fruit.

C.  FOCCACIA

My favorite use for leftover PIZZA DOUGH is Foccacia.  Foccacia is a popular flat bread and is simple to make.  You do need to have a decent amount of Dough left over (at least half a pound).

Roll the Dough out to a thickness of at least 1″.  Place on a greased baking sheet and then make indentations with your fingers.  Brush with Olive Oil and then sprinkle with shredded Parmesan Cheese.  If desired, dress with sliced Olives and/or Sun-dried Tomatoes.  (The featured photo shows a Foccacia with an Olive Salad on it)

Bake on the lower shelf of a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on both the top and bottom.

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Posted by Admin Test - 2014/11/05 at 7:04 PM

Categories: Baking, Bread, Cooking for Everyone, Leftovers, Main   Tags: , , , , , , ,

NATIONAL PEANUT BUTTER MONTH

November is ‘National Peanut Butter Month‘. Peanut Butter as we probably all know is made from grinding Peanuts.  Now, technically Peanuts are not actually nuts.  The Peanut does not grow on a tree but rather from plants that are much like Vegetables. Peanuts are also known as ground nuts because of this reason.  But to repeat, Peanuts are not actually nuts;  they are  legumes. Unlike legumes, Peanuts are not usually cooked as a vegetable or even as a main dish.  Instead, they are treated much like the tree nuts – they are roasted and salted and eaten out of hand.  They are chopped up and added to baked goods.  But probably the most popular use for Peanuts is that rich spread we all know as ‘Peanut Butter’.

Peanut Butter has long been a favorite of kids and adults alike.  Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches not withstanding, how many different ways can you think to use Peanut Butter?

My favorites are Peanut Butter Cookies, Thai Peanut Sauce (made with Peanut Butter) and Reese’s Pieces.  There is Peanut Butter Fudge and Peanut Butter Brownies just to name a few.  So to observe ‘National Peanut Butter Month‘ I am going to share with you a couple of my favorite recipes.  If you have any favorite recipes using Peanut Butter please feel free to share them with my readers.

/One of my very favorite things is the Peanut Butter Sauce served with Chicken and Beef Satay in Thai Restaurants.  Technically, Satay is an Indonesian Dish but it has become a popular mainstay in Thai Cuisine.  And it is the sauce that really makes the dish!  Try this recipe – if you don’t like Chicken you can always substitute Beef or Pork or even Lamb!     chicken-satay-with-peanut-butter-sauce/

 

For lunch today I made a Salad with leftover Shrimp Taco Ingredients.  The salad consisted of shredded Lettuce, diced Tomatoes, Cilantro with a squeeze of Lime and Dressed with Spicy Thai Peanut Dressing.  Very delicious and taste bud pleasing.

 

Shrimp Salad with Peanut Dressing

Shrimp Salad with Peanut Dressing

Growing up, Peanut Butter Cookies were always a favorite in our household.  Probably the most intriguing thing about Peanut Butter Cookies is those ‘Criss-Cross’ marks made with a fork.  Why, I don’t know but if the cookie does not have them, there is definitely something missing!  It is those tell-tale marks that tell us that the cookie is a Peanut Butter Cookie.  I know of very few other cookies that use this decoration.  Instead of plain Peanut Butter Cookies, try this recipe that mimics that childhood favorite – the Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich.  cookies/peanut-butter-jelly-cookies/

Everybody loves Rice Krispy Marshmallow treats and what better than Rice Kirspy Marshmallow treats with Peanut Butter added to them!  Try it for yourself or your kids and you will never make them without the Peanut Butter again!  /peanut-butter-rice-krispy-candies/

In Hong Kong there is a favorite street food known as Hong Kong Waffles.  They are soft waffle that can be rolled up.  Before they are rolled they are usually spread with Nutella or Peanut Butter.  They are quite delicious and not at all hard to make if you have a waffle iron.  deserts/hongkong-style-waffles/

Last but not least there is Chocolate/Peanut Butter Fudge.  This contains two favorites – Chocolate and of course Peanut Butter.  This is a really simple fool/proof fudge recipe that anyone can make in a very short amount of time.  So if you are a Chocolate and Peanut Butter Lover, be sure and try this recipe.  candy/peanutbutter-chocolate-fudge/

Then there are the items that we don’t need recipes for.  Celery stuffed with Peanut Butter, Crackers with Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter and Jelly or Honey Sandwiches, etc.

All in all, enjoy ‘National Peanut Butter Month’ and see which ways you come up with to enjoy this all time favorite.

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Posted by sylveee -  at 1:35 PM

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

PUMPKIN SEASON

 Today is Pumpkin Day.  How many ways can you think of to use Pumpkin other than Pie?

There are many and I am going to give you recipes for just a few.  They certainly don’t have to be used today, but remember that Fall and October and November especially are just the right times for the use of Pumpkin.  You can use canned Pumpkin but if you can get hold of ‘Sugar Pie Pumpkins’. they are definitely the best to use for any of your baked goods or savory dishes.

Pumpkin Cornbread is a different and delicious way to make almost everybody’s favorite – try the recipe at     bakrnbread/ed-goods/breads/pumpkin-co

Biscuits are another family favorite and my Pumpkin Yeast Biscuits are just different enough to spark your Thanksgiving Table.  They do take a little longer to make as the Yeast Dough has to raise up but of course you can be doing other things while the dough is raising.  Try them and see how you like them.  Serve them with Honey Butter.  Recipe is at breads/pumpkin-yeast-biscuits/

Pumpkin Ravioli is a tradition in Italy and the first time I heard of it was when my eldest son came back from Italy and told me about the Pumpkin Ravioli that he had when visiting there. If you look for it in Italy you are going to find Ravioli de Zucca. Zucca means squash and since Pumpkin is a form of squash that is what you will look for, hence the name of the recipe. Ravioli de Zucca. Find the recipe at  www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/pasta/ravioli-de-zucca/

Pumpkin Cheesecake makes a delicious dessert for Thanksgiving.  It takes care of the Pumpkin Pie tradition and gives those people who like Cheesecake a little different taste treat.  Easy to make and delicious to eat.  Recipe at /ed-goods/breads/pumpkin-co

Haunted Pumpkin Pasta Salad does not have any Pumpkin in it but it is a fun dish for your kids to help make and to eat.  It makes a great Halloween Supper or Party Dish.  Try it and be sure to use orange Pumpkin Pasta which can usually be found at this time of the year at Cost Plus Stores or other specialty stores. If you can’t find Pumpkin shaped Pasta just follow the directions in the recipe for coloring Wagon Wheel Pasta Orange to represent Jack O’Lanterns. Here is the recipe  /halloween-recipes/haunted-pumpkin-pasta-salad/

Another dish that can be made with Pumpkin is Pumpkin Soup.  As unlikely as it sounds, it is really delicious.  I also love making Pumpkin Bread and Muffins, Pumpkin Cookies and don’t forget that Pumpkin can be cooked as a vegetable as any other squash can be and even cooked in Stews.

Try your hand at Pumpkin Recipes and see what you can come up with.

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Posted by Admin Test - 2014/10/26 at 3:51 PM

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