Archive for September, 2012

NATIONAL PANCAKE DAY

 

September 26th is ‘National Pancake Day’.  I do not know of anyone who does not like Pancakes.  Pancakes are an exceptional food and can be made for any meal of the day or just for dessert.  Pancakes can be found in many varieties around the world and they are not just made from wheat products.  Pancakes may be made from Vegetables or Fruit.  If you know the basic formula for making good pancakes, you can just about make them from any of the ingredients you may have in your pantry or refrigerator.

Pancakes normally eaten for breakfast can be made with All-Purpose Flour, Whole Wheat Flour, Buckwheat Flour or even Cornmeal.  There are almost always Eggs in Pancakes and in fact, the more Eggs in the recipe, the lighter and thinner your pancakes will be.  In addition to Eggs, there should be some liquid which is usually in the form of a Milk product.

Buttermilk is popularly used for pancakes as not only does it provide flavor but helps to make your pancakes lighter and fluffier.  If you do not have Buttermilk, but do have Sour Cream, that can be used also.  To make a facsimile of Buttermilk just add 2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice to your measuring cup before adding your milk product.  After putting in the Lemon Juice, then add the milk and let it stand for a few minutes.  The Lemon Juice will add some tartness to the milk and actually make it curdle, thereby giving you the effect of Buttermilk.  I have even used Cottage Cheese or Cream Cheese in my Pancakes. In the case of the last two ingredients you may have to use additional eggs or even add some water to get the consistency you will want for your pancakes.

If you have fruit that is getting too ripe to eat, you can mash it up and put that in your pancakes.  Bananas or Apples are especially good for this purpose.

My over-all formula for making Pancakes from whatever I have on hand at the moment is:

3 Eggs

Two Cups of Milk Product

2 cups Flour

½ tsp. Baking Soda*

¼ tsp. Salt

1-3 tsps. Sugar**

2 – 4 Tbsps. melted Butter or Vegetable Oil

While you are making up the Batter, begin heating your griddle over low heat.  To make the Batter follow the general directions below.

Whip up the Eggs and then add your Milk Product.  If you are adding fruit, this   the time to add them is right after the Milk.  Just stir in the fruit.  Combine the Dry Ingredients and add, stirring only to combine the ingredients.  Next, stir in the melted Butter or Oil.

Turn the heat up on your griddle.  Your griddle will be hot enough when a drop of water will sizzle upon contact with the surface of the griddle.

Rub a thin layer of Butter on the griddle (this will be for the first batch only) or use a Vegetable Spray.  Then ladle or pour your batter onto the hot griddle.  For he-man size pancakes, use up to a whole cup of Batter and cook just one at a time.  For smaller pancakes, use anywhere from ¼ cup to 1/3 cups of Batter.  Once bubbles form on the surface and the edges begin to dry, then it will be time to turn them over and cook the other side.  The second side will cook considerably faster than the first one.

 

Bubbles Forming

If you like your pancakes thinner than the first batch turns out, add a little more milk or if you like them thicker, stir in a little more flour.

If you are feeding a crowd, turn the oven to 250 degrees and put your pancakes on a shallow baking sheet as you make and keep warm in the oven until time to serve.

 

Ready to Serve

Serve your pancake with melted Butter and Hot Syrup.  There are many types of Syrup that can be used, however Maple seems to be the most popular in the US.  Other syrups that are available are Apple Syrup or Berry Syrup.  In Hawaii you can also get Pineapple or Coconut Syrup.

Caramelized Fruit is also a nice accompaniment to Pancakes.  Fruit that can easily be Caramelized is Apple, Banana, Mango, Papaya.  Berries can be sliced, sugared and served with Pancakes also or they can be turned into a Sauce by cooking them with a little sugar and a dash of Lemon Juice.

Whichever way you like your pancakes, do enjoy them!

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Posted by sylveee - 2012/09/26 at 5:29 PM

Categories: Breakfast Ideas, Cooking for Everyone, Dessert Ideas, Dinner Ideas, Lunch Ideas, Main, National Food Days   Tags: , , , , , , ,

NATIONAL WHITE CHOCOLATE DAY

                Sunday, September 23 is ‘National White Chocolate Day’.  Even though there are probably many, many Chocolate Lovers in this country and around the World, White Chocolate is probably not considered to even be in the Chocolate Category.

Even though White Chocolate is made from ingredients derived from Chocolate, it cannot actually be considered ‘Chocolate’.  It is a combination of Cocoa Butter, Milk Solids, Milk Fat and Sugar.  What White Chocolate is missing as compared to ‘real’ Chocolate are the Cocoa solids which are separated out during the processing of the Cocoa Bean.  In Dark and Milk Chocolates the Milk Solids are recombined with the other ingredients.  Therefore, ‘White Chocolate’ is lighter in color (actually a creamy ivory color) and has a much milder taste than Chocolate.  If you are a real Chocolate Lover, you probably won’t like White Chocolate but for those of us who prefer the lighter and milder taste, White Chocolate is the perfect thing.

White Chocolate is used in baking and candy making and in creamy desserts.  Some of my favorite items made with White Chocolate are:

 White Chocolate Cheesecake with a Raspberry Sauce.

White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Blondie Brownies

White Chocolate Covered Strawberries white-chocolate-covered-strawberries/

White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting  white-chocolate-butter-cream-frosting/

White Chocolate Rice Krispy Candies white-chocolate-rice-krispy-candies/

White Chocolate Cheesecake makes an elegant dessert, especially with the Berry Sauce served with it.  White Chocolate Chip Cookies are a nice variation on Chocolate Chip Cookies as are the Blondie Brownies.

White Chocolate Covered Strawberries are delicious, especially in the Spring when Strawberries are at their best.  It is also nice to dip the Strawberries in dark Chocolate on one side and the White Chocolate on the other side or to just stripe the dipped berries with the opposing color.  Whichever way you do it, the Berries will be delicious.

White Chocolate Buttercream frosting provides a nice contrast to a Dark Chocolate Cake.

And White Chocolate Rice Krispy Squares takes everyone’s favorite treat one step ahead.

 

White Chocolate Rice Krispy Squares

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Posted by sylveee - 2012/09/21 at 11:57 PM

Categories: Baking, Cooking for Everyone, Dessert Ideas, Food as Gifts, Main, National Food Days   Tags: , , , , , , ,

‘FIRE & ICE’ – PRETEEN/TEEN CUISINE

 

Friday night, September 7th was our Teen Cuisine Class at Let’s Get Cookin’. 

The theme this month was ‘Fire & Ice’ – grilled Appetizers and Frozen Desserts.  The Students made:

 

Chinese Style BBQ Chicken Wings

Teriyaki Beef Kabobs

Louisiana Style Grilled Shrimp with ‘Dirty Rice’

***

Pomegranate Sorbet

  Ice Cream Sandwiches 

Tempura Ice Cream

Shown below are some photos from the class.

Giselle & Elsie with Teriyaki Beef Skewers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cassie Grilling Shrimp

Louisianna Shrimp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dirty Rice

 

Amanda & Ryan making Tempura Batter

 

Cassie

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2012/09/09 at 7:04 PM

Categories: Cooking for Everyone, Cooking for Kids, Dessert Ideas, Dinner Ideas, Main, Pre-Teen Classes   Tags: , , , , , , , , ,