Posts tagged "kids cooking"

NATIONAL WAFFLE DAY TREATS

Today is ‘National Waffle Day’.  Here are some Waffle Treats for you to make for your friends and/or family.

 

Sweet Potato Waffles – a great way to use leftover Sweet Potatoes or just to use your Sweet Potatoes.  Good for Breakfast and or Dinner instead of Potatoes.

 

Sweet Potato Waffle

                                   Sweet Potato Waffle with Apples

 

 

Gingerbread Waffles – this is definitely a ‘makeover’ using leftover Gingerbread pieces.  This may not be appropriate for ‘National Waffle Day’ in August but keep it mind for your Winter Breakfasts or Desserts!

Gingerbread Waffles

 Gingerbread Waffles

 

Hong Kong Waffles – a favorite of mine – fun to make and fun to eat.  These Waffles are sold as ‘Street Food’ in Hong Kong but can easily be made with your Belgian Waffle Iron.

 

Hong Kong Egg Waffles

             Hong Kong Egg Waffles

 

 

 

 A Hong Kong Waffle spread with Peanut Butter and Sugar

A Hong Kong Waffle spread with    Peanut Butter and Sugar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Waffles – just an overview of the types of Waffle Irons and recipes available today!

 

Try one or more of these today or for your weekend Brunch, Lunch or Supper

Berry Heart Waffle

 

 

5 of Hearts Waffle Iron

5 of Hearts Waffle Iron  

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Posted by Admin Test - 2016/08/05 at 10:35 AM

Categories: Cooking for Everyone, Cooking for Kids, Dessert Ideas, Family Fun, Holiday Meals, Leftovers, Main, National Food Days   Tags: , , , , , ,

RECIPES FOR CINCO DE MAYO

Cinco de Mayo will be here in 2 hours or earlier for East Coasters.  Here are a few recipes you can use for your Celebrations tomorrow.

 

We will start with Appetizers including Salsas and conclude with Rice, Empanadas and Lemonade.

 

Mango Salsa which makes use of fresh Mangoes, Limes, Red Bell Peppers and Jalapenos if you wish.

Tacos w. Mango Salsa and Guacamole (3)

Tacos w. Mango Salsa and Guacamole

 

Nachos start with good quality chips, Cheese Sauce with Jalapenos (if desired) and serve with Salsa and Guacamole.

Nachos - Cheese Sauce on the Bottom - Salsa and Guacamole can go on top

Nachos – Cheese Sauce on the Bottom – Salsa and Guacamole can go on top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Salsa Cruda

     Salsa Cruda

 

 

 

Salsa Cruda – incorporates diced fresh Tomatoes, Jalapenos or Serranos, Cilantro, Lime Juice and a little Salt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beef Empanadas are more traditionally an Argentine Dish but they can also be found in Mexican Cooking.  The Empanada can be filled with whatever you please – diced Steak or Chicken or Ground Beef along with Tomatoes, Onions, Cheese and maybe some Chilies.

 

 

Beef Empanadas...

Beef Empanadas…made in one of my classes.

 

 

Sparkling Lemonade – we first had this in Acapulco and I have been making Lemonade this way every since.  It is delicious, refreshing and a great accompaniment to any meal.

 

Sparkling Lemonade

        Sparkling Lemonade

 

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Posted by Admin Test - 2016/05/04 at 10:30 PM

Categories: Beverages, Condiments, Cooking for Kids, Dinner Ideas, Family Fun, Food Festivals, Holiday Ideas, Holiday Meals, Holiday Tidbits, Main, Mexican, Tropical, Tropical Food   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

CULINARY MAKEOVERS # 18 – Sweet Potato Waffles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our ‘Culinary Makeover’ today is a relatively simple one.  Mashed White Sweet Potatoes turned into Sweet Potato Waffles which I served with Chili con Carne.

 

 

Chili con Carne

Chili con Carne

 

 

A very delicious meal, but with only 2 people in the household we had Waffles left over which we in turn toasted for Breakfast the next day.  They tasted really delicious with melted Butter and Maple Syrup!

Sweet Potato Waffles with Bacon for Breakfast

Sweet Potato Waffles with Bacon for Breakfast

 

The Sweet Potatoes I purchased had red skin and I had forgotten that the Red Skinned Sweet Potatoes are not red inside but White.  They were a little more starchy than the gold ones but they still tasted good and were perfect for making Waffles.

 

For the Waffles I used:

2 cups mashed Sweet Potatoes

3 Eggs

1 cup flour

1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar

2 Tbsps. Olive Oil (melted Butter can be used instead)

 

I had forgotten to put in a leavening agent which would have been maybe 1 tsp. Baking Powder, but the waffles came out very well without it.  You can use any type of Sweet Potato or even Russets that had been mashed for dinner the night before.  Try your hand at it and see what you can come up with!

 

 

 

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Posted by Admin Test - 2016/04/06 at 1:52 PM

Categories: Breakfast Ideas, Dinner Ideas, Leftovers, Main, One Dish Meals   Tags: , , , , , ,

GINGERBREAD APPLESAUCE CAKE – Culinary Makeovers

Here we go again!  Remember the Gingerbread Waffles made from the leftover pieces of Gingerbread Houses?  Well, with only a 2 person Household, you can only eat Gingerbread Waffles so many days in a row and since I hate to throw good food away, I did it again!  I decided to make cookies with the Waffle Batter and wouldn’t you know, I did not think about putting extra sugar into it – Waffles don’t need a lot of sugar since you usually pour syrup on them or top with sweetened fruit and when we tasted the cookies – uh oh!  They tasted like Gingerbread Biscuits – not very palatable –  so instead of throwing the cookies away, I just dried them out and pulverized them again just like I did with the leftover House pieces.  I then used my Zucchini Bread Recipe as a guide and made a delicious moist Gingerbread Applesauce Cake with Raisins.  This was a delicious and satisfying Breakfast Delight!

 

So here is how I made the Gingerbread/Applesauce Cake.  The recipe can be adapted for use without the leftover Gingerbread pieces.  Just let me know and I will change it for whoever would like it.

 

Pictured below are the cookies – i left them uncovered for a couple of hours to dry them out – they were a moist cookies and would have been really good with some sugar and maybe some raisins added to them.

 

Gingerbread Waffle Cookies

 Gingerbread Waffle Cookies

 

Place the cookies in your Food Processor and chop them up, using the PULSE BUTTON at first;  once they are broken up, then turn it on and run just until they are a fine crumb – not more than a couple of seconds at a time.

 

Measure the crumbs – if you do not have 2 cups of crumbs, adjust the other ingredients accordingly

 

 

  • Gingerbread Crumbs

     Gingerbread Crumbs

    The remaining ingredients that you are going to need are:

     

    1 cup All-Purpose Flour

    1/2 tsp. Salt

    1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

    1 tsp. ground Cinnamon

    1/2 tsp. ground Ginger

    1/4 tsp. ground Cloves (optional)

    3 large Eggs

    1/2 cup Butter, melted

    1 tsp. Vanilla

    1 cup Brown Sugar

    1 cup Applesauce

    1/2 cup Raisins

     

    The Applesauce pictured below was homemade chunky Applesauce

     

     

     

    Applesauce

      Applesauce

     

    This cake was all made in the Food Processor, but if you don’t have one or prefer not use it, you can do this with a Portable Mixer, Standing Mixer, or even with hand implements.

    Once you have your crumbs, Applesauce and Rasins prepared and measured, begin making your cake.

    • Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat to 350 degrees.
    • Butter, or spray an 8 or 9″ round or square pan and set aside.
    • Combine the Flour, Salt, Baking Soda and Spices in a medium size bowl.
    • Place the Eggs in the Food Processor and run until they are well mixed.
    • Add the Brown Sugar, Butter and Vanilla and mix again.
    • Add the Applesauce and Pulse until it is well distributed.
    • Add the Flour Mixture and run until well – mixed.  (DO NOT OVERMIX!)
    • Add the Raisins and pulse, just until they are distributed throughout the batter.
    • Pour the mixture into the prepared pan;  tap lightly to level and then bake for 45 minutes or until a pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
    • Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack before inverting onto a serving platter.
    Baked Cake

      Baked Cake

     

    Serve warm or at room temperature with Vanilla Ice Cream or top with a Cream Cheese Frosting.

     

    Cake Portion with Ice Cream

     Cake Portion with Ice Cream

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    Posted by Admin Test - 2016/01/19 at 9:58 PM

    Categories: Baking, Cookies, Dessert Ideas, GINGERBREAD HOUSES, Main   Tags: , , , , , ,

    GINGERBREAD WAFFLES – A Culinary Makeover

     

    Baking is one of my favorite things to do and during the Winter Holidays I make Gingerbread Houses and I teach other people how to make Gingerbread.  This past December, in addition to my classes I baked and built four different houses.  One for the Cancer Support Community’s Holiday Boutique, one for a sample for my class, one for home and one as a gift.  There are two ways to bake the houses – one is to cut out the pieces from the unbaked dough and the other is to bake the dough first before cutting out the pieces.  The advantage of the second method is that the pieces will all fit together without additional trimming after the baking process.  The disadvantage is that there are going to be a lot of sections of cookie that will not be big enough for any house, except for the chimney and how many of those do you need?  Now we do love to eat the leftovers but when there are a lot of leftovers, you can only so much.

     

    As I said, Baking is one of my favorite things to do, but another one of my favorite culinary activities is to turn leftovers into new products and that is what I did with the leftover Gingerbread pieces.  I pulverized them to a fine crumb in my Food Processor and turned them into a Waffle Batter.  If you like Gingerbread, then you certainly will like Gingerbread Waffles.  Here is how I did it.

     

    • Break up the leftover Gingerbread pieces into sections that will fit in your Food Processor that has been fitted with the Chopping Blade.  Use the Pulse Button to break up the pieces into small pieces and then turn it on to finely chop the Gingerbread pieces.  You should end up with a medium to fine crumb.
    • Measure the Crumbs – 2 cups of Gingerbread Crumbs will make enough waffles for 3-4 people.

     

    Gingerbread Crumbs

              Gingerbread Crumbs

    • Use your Food Processor (do not wash out the bowl) or a large mixing bowl.  Beat 3 Eggs until well mixed and then add 1 1/2 cups Buttermilk and blend together.
    • Combine the Gingerbread Crumbs with 1 1/2 cups of All-Purpose Flour, 1 tsp. Cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger and 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda.  Add to the Buttermilk/Egg mixture and Pulse, just until mixed.  If doing in a bowl, with a whisk, just mix until the Ingredients are blended – DO NOT OVER-MIX!  (Over-mixing Waffle, Pancake or Muffin Batter will make the product tough.
    • Stir in 1/4 cup Melted Butter.
    Gingerbread Waffle Batter

            Gingerbread Waffle Batter

     

    • Heat your Waffle Iron until the indicator light tells you the Iron is hot.  If necessary, lightly oil or spray the surface of the Iron.
    • Pour approximately 1/2 cup of Batter on each section of you Waffle Irons Grids (this will vary, depending on the size and shape of our Waffle Iron)

     

    Batter on Grids

                  Batter on Grids

    • Close and Bake until the steaming stops.  Keep the baked Waffles warm in a low oven until you are ready to serve them.
    Baked Waffles

                 Baked Waffles

    • Serve with Fruit Compote and or Maple Syrup and melted Butter.  The Waffles in the Feature Photo are served with crisply cooked bacon.
    • For the Fruit Compote,I melted about 2 Tbsps. of Butter along with Brown Sugar (2-4 Tbsps.).  I then added pitted and halved Cherries, Blackberries and fresh Pineapple pieces.  This will work with just about any fruit – Apples are great with Gingerbread as well as Bananas, Mango or Papaya.
    Making Fruit Compote

         Making Fruit Compote

     

    And this is how you use leftover Gingerbread to make Waffles!  As a convenience, I have also listed the ingredients below.

     

    2 CUPS Gingerbread Crumbs

    1 1/2 cups Flour

    1 tsp. Cinnamon

    1/2 tsp. ground Ginger

    1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

    3 Eggs

    1 1/2 cups Buttermilk

    1/4 cup melted Butter

     

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    Posted by Admin Test - 2016/01/15 at 2:47 PM

    Categories: Bread, Breakfast Ideas, Cooking for Kids, GINGERBREAD HOUSES, Holiday Meals, 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: , , , , , ,

    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 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 - 2014/11/05 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: , , , , , , , ,

    NATIONAL APPLE MONTH

    October is ‘National Apple Month’ so I decided to look up and see how many different kinds of Apples there are.  Wow, I did not expect to find the number I did – there are literally dozens and maybe hundreds – the only letter in the Alphabet that does not bear the name of an Apple is  ”X”.  There are numerous kinds of Apples for each and every letter, however most of us are familiar with only a small number of them.

     The most common Apples are the Red and Golden Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Pippins and Granny Smith.  The best for eating are the Delicious, of course and the Gala and Fuji.  The best for baking are Granny Smith and Pippins.  The last two are not terribly sweet and have a firm flesh which lends them well to baked goods such as pies and pastries.  For cooking and Applesauce the Winesap and Gravensteins are excellent.  

    My favorite use for Apples is to make Pie and of course, there is nothing as American as ‘Apple Pie’. I also love Apple Turnovers made with Puff Pastry.  Puff Pastry is a pain to make but you can purchase frozen Puff Pastry Sheets which work very well.  You can also use Pie Crust or even Yeast Dough for your Turnovers Shells.

    There are also many other ways in which we can use Apples and so I am going to explore some of them here and reference several really great recipes.  The first one is for Apple Bread – what a good way to use up those Apples from your tree or even the ones you bought.   You can even use Applesauce.  Try the referenced recipe. This recipe makes two to three loaves, depending on the size of the pans you use.  You can also make Muffins from the same recipe.  If there is too much for your family to consume at one time, these loaves freeze well or you can share them with your friends.  www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/baked-goods/breads/apple-bread/

    Apple Pie can be made in various ways – there are French Apple Pies with a streusel topping and then there are the traditional ‘American’ type Apple Pies with both a bottom and a top crust.  The referenced recipe is for a French Apple Pie  which always easy to make because there is only a bottom crust and you don’t have to worry about getting the top crust to fit and look beautiful.  www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/baked-goods/pies-pastry/

    Apple Turnovers are absolutely my favorite way to go!  You can eat them out of hand without utensils;  they are good for Breakfasts on the Go  or for snacks or Desserts.     You can use Puff Pastry or Pie Crust or any of your favorite pastry doughs.

    www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/baked-goods/pies-pastry/apple-turnovers/

    Apple Brown Betty is an old fashioned dish which can also be used for dessert or for Breakfast.  There is no Pie Crust to worry about, just a cumbly topping.  It is fast and easy to make and is great with Vanilla Ice Cream or Whipped Cream on top.  www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/deserts/apple-brown-betty/

    Caramel Apples are one of my favorite ways to eat Apples.  I love Apples and I love Caramel and nothing goes better together than Apples and Caramel.  And since Halloween is this Month what better treat than Caramel Apples to share with the kids.  This recipe is simple to make and the Apples are fun to eat.  The best Apples to use for Caramel Apples are Granny Smith or Golden Delicious.  Pippins are also good, but make sure that they are somewhat ripe or they will be to tart to eat, even with the Caramel.  www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/halloween-recipes/caramel-apples/

    Remember, October is ‘National Apple Month’ and there is no better time to buy and eat Apples than now.  Even better is if you can pick your own, either from your own trees or nearby orchards.  Play around and experiment – Apples are a wondrous fruit and don’t forget ‘An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away’.  Try a different Apple Recipe for the Month of October – ‘National Apple Month’.  And another reason for eating and using them now is that later on, the Apples you buy will all have been in cold storage which makes them mealy and less tasty.  So take advantage of ‘National Apple Month.  

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    Posted by sylveee - 2014/10/04 at 10:53 AM

    Categories: Baking, Baking Tidbits, Bread, Main, Pastry   Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

    ADVENTURES IN CHEESE MAKING

    One of my sons who lives in a country where Cheese is not a commonly found product has experimented with making his own.  His adventures have inspired me to try my hand at Cheese Making even though Cheese is readily available where we live.  So the first Cheese that I tried making is Ricotta.  Ricotta or Cottage Cheese is probably the simplest of all Cheese to make.  It took about an hour and a quarter and that includes draining time.

     

    The products you need are readily available at your local grocer and you probably have the cooking vessels and containers that you need at home.  Listed below are the groceries that you need and the equipment you should have.

     

    Let’s start with the Equipment so that when you go out to buy the groceries, if you don’t have all the equipment, you can purchase it at the same time you purchase your groceries.

     

    5-6 Quart Cooking Vessel

    Large Colander or Sieve (Strainer)

     

    Cheesecloth on Colander

    Cheesecloth on Colander

    Cheese Cloth

    5-6 Quart Bowl

     

    The Groceries that you will need are:

    1/2 Gallon of Milk  (preferably from a local dairy and is not over-pastureized

    1 cup of Heavy Cream

    Heavy Cream

    Heavy Cream

    1/2 tsp. Salt

    3 Tbsps. Lemon Juice

     

    Start by combining the Milk, Cream and Salt in your large cooking vessel.  Place it over high heat and bring to a rapid boilstirring continuously to prevent burning.

     

    Once the mixture comes to a rapid boil, stir in the Lemon Juice, lower the heat and cook (again stirring continuously until the mixture curdles completely.  (About 2 minutes)

     

    Curdling

    Curdling

     

    Remove from the heat and pour into the Cheese Cloth lined colander.  Allow to drain for one hour.

     

    Draining in Colander

    Draining in Colander

    Wrap in the Cheese Cloth and plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.  This Cheese will keep for only 2 days, so plan on using it as quickly as you can.

     

    Completely Drained

    Completely Drained

    You can see that the drained Cheese has taken on the shape of the colander and is formed into a perfectly round parcel.  This is not so important with Ricotta Cheese as it usually gets mixed with other ingredients to form a filling for Ravioli, Lasagna or Blilntz, but if you are making semi-hard or hard cheeses this is a bonus.

    After the Ricotta had completely drained I had about a quart of the residual whey (the portion of milk that does not form the curd)  Some people feed this to their chickens ( if you have them), their cats or dogs (again if you have them).  I no longer have pets but I did find uses for the Whey.  I made a loaf of Wheat Bread with some of it and used another portion to make Crepe Shells for Blintz which I will show in my next blog.

    This was the best Ricotta Cheese I have ever eaten and I usually buy an expensive brand that is made from whole milk and is very good.  This at least matched it, but I think it was better.  It costs no less to make it at home than it does to buy, but it is good and it is fun.

    Check my next blog to see what I did with this Ricotta.

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    Posted by sylveee - 2014/07/28 at 7:07 PM

    Categories: Baking, Bread, Dairy, Main   Tags: , , , ,

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