Archive for April, 2010

It’s Not Easy Being Green

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Lately, when I am browsing the produce stands, I am finding pale green beans.  If you are experiencing this same phenomenon, here’s a tip to bring out the vibrant, vivacious and vivid green color.

Bring 1 quart of water to a boil and and a pinch of salt and about 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda to the water.  The baking soda will sweeten the water pulling out the natural sugars and pigment in the green beans.  Trim the stem and blanch in the water for about 3-4 minutes.  Shock them in an ice water bath until completely cool and save for the next day in a sealed container, if you aren’t eating them right away.

You will see an enormous change from doing the pale green beans in your steamer basket.

Cut out the fat? NEVER!

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Let me clarify.  When I render bacon for weekend breakfasts, I have been saving the bacon fat in a lidded container and storing it in the fridge.  One can use this fat as an ingredient for homemade dog cookies or seasoning cast iron.

When re-seasoning cast iron, lightly brush the entire cooking surface with an even coating of bacon fat and bake in the oven at 185 degrees F for about 1 hour.  Repeat the process three more times and allow to cool completely.

When making dog cookies, your pooch will love and appreciate the addition of this tasteful, toothsome, tantalizing treat.

Tip

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Always have a bottle of bleach water solution handy in a spray bottle.  When you trim meats and poultry, you can immediately sanitize your counter tops and prep surfaces.  The ratios that make up a SAFE  bleach water solution are 1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 gallon of water.  Clearly label your sanitizer bottle for safety.

Having a solution like this on hand will help control the spread of dangerous bacteria and prevent food born illnesses.

Not on the fence? Start Waffling!

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Tip:

For lighter, fluffier waffles, add some seltzer water.  The CO2 in the seltzer acts in a similar way to egg whites to provide leavening (lift) to your waffles.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup dried buttermilk powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups unflavored seltzer water

Method:

1.  Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees.  Set a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet and place in oven. (This is to keep the waffles warm until ready to eat)  Whisk flour, sugar, salt, buttermilk powder, and baking soda in a large bowl to combine.  Whisk sour cream, eggs, vanilla and oil in a medium bowl to combine.  Gently stir seltzer into wet ingredients.  Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients.  Using a rubber spatula, gently stir until just combined.  Batter should remain slightly lumpy with streaks of flour.

2.  Heat waffle iron and bake waffles according to the manufacturer’s instructions (use about 1/3 cup for 7-inch round iron).  Transfer waffles to rack in warm oven and hold for up to 10 minutes before serving with butter and maple syrup.

-recipe courtesy of Andrea Geary

Keep It Simple

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

For Easter dinner, I will be traveling to my in-laws and dining with them this year.  We are all responsible for bringing a side dish or dessert.  This is a tradition for most of our family gatherings and I find it serves us well.  No one person is solely responsible for all of the food, and the ease of setting up the meal is an added benefit.  We all can add our own personal touch to our contributions, and the meal is less stressful on the host.



 
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