Saturday, December 10, 2016

5 mother Sauces:Bechamel Sauce

The following post are to help Young People in the kitchen. They seem to love cheese and will eat almost anything covered in it. At our house, I've back off purposely to allow them to gain confidence in the kitchen and maybe even make light some of my work :)

My son who's a young person, says his favorite sauces are ketchup, mayonnaise, tartar, bar b-Q and Tariyaki.  All though those are great sauces along with Hot sauce.  I know for a fact that he love cheese and macaroni and cheese especially. So I will start with our favorite cheese sauce, Mornay.

There are five mother sauces Bechamel, Espagnole, Tomato, Hallendaise, Veloute' and Demi Glaze
They are called Mother sauces because all the Sauces we use are started from one of these sauces. Today I'm posting the Bechamel it is relatively easy to make and double because the formula is equal parts butter and flour and milk. Read and follow the recipe below and enjoy.

Fondu is fun and easy to make. I have a fondu that holds about 2 cups, but with a few safety considerations a small sauce pot can be used. We use ours to melt chocolate, cheese and other delicious sauces. All it take is to put a few ingredients in the pot and let it melt. Gather a few ingredients to dip depending on if the fondu is savory or sweet. Today I'll post an easy savory cheese fondu, which starts out as a Bechamel sauce, but once the cheese is added it is Mornay sauce.

Three Cheese sauce
I Love how Bechamel becomes Mornay:D  It's easy and cheesy. 
what can you use this for? 
·      Fondu lay out veggies, Croutons, apple slices you get the idea!
·      Take out my veggie chips and use as a dip
·      spread on crackers
·      Spread or pour over tortilla fillings or have in tortillas on it's own.
·      Fondu bacon

Stir 3 Tblsp. flour into 3 Tblsp. melted butter and cook stirring constantly for 2 min. Gradually pour in 1 c. heavy cream until smooth, then wisk in 2 c, milk. Simmer gently until sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon, about 5 min. Remove from the eat and whisk in 2 1/2 c. grated sharp cheddar and 1/4 c. grated paresan cheese until melted smooth. season with salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Non-dairy or Vegan Cooks

You can switch out the milk for other non-dairy milk like soy milk or almond milk. Switch the butter out for vegan butter or spread or a good olive or coconut oil. 
Or Try The Organic Authority and check out the 
3 ingredient mac and cheese 

http://www.organicauthority.com/3-ingredient-vegan-mac-and-cheese-recipe-kid-approved/



Saturday, December 3, 2016

Easy Pizza

Home alone, how about Pizza?

Here's how you can have home made
Pizza in a flash. I packed this in the fridge. the night before. It's fun to do this with your child just before retiring for the night.
...
1.soft Tortilla shells in sandwich bags
2.favorite shredded cheese
3.Vegetables, pepperoni and bacon bits or cooked crumbled sausage or ground beef in a container or baggies
4.a container of pizza sauce or refried beans
5.Here are the directions I left my two children 10 and 13. Using a toaster oven is Ideal, but a conventional oven works just the same. Just be sure to use safety...like oven mits and have a cleared off area, to place the hot pizza tray after the pizza comes out of the oven. Plan ahead saves time and keeps you safe...plus it's more fun.

Directions
How to make pizza safely make sure you have all your tools ready on the counter where you are cooking .
* Oven mitts and pot holders to place the tray when the pizza is done.
* A sponge or paper towel to wipe up spills
* Plates
*Spatula to move the pizza to the plates.


1.Take the cooking tray out of the toaster oven
2.Turn on the toaster oven to pizza setting(350)
3.Take out all the ingredients I left for you.
4.Place tortillas on tray
5.Spread on thin layer of sauce or refried beans
6.Top with favorite toppings
7.Open oven and carefully place tray onto the shelf.
8. close the door and push the timer button. I already have set for the exact time...10 min. Set your watch if you have to leave the room for some reason. It's best to stay in the kitchen.
9. When the pizza smells toasty and cheesy all the smells come to your nose, check it even if the timer hasn't sounded...flick on the light and check it...Look at your timer and see how much time is left. If the cheese is all bubbly and everything's browned and looks good take it out if not. Just keep an eye out for it until the timer goes off or it gets to that point...
10 Once the pizzas are done. put on an oven mits and carefully slide the shelf out and then remove the pizza tray. Taking care not to touch the heating elements in the oven.

Set the tray on a oven mitts or stove top to cool a bit.
Set out your plates and enjoy.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Vegetarian: Rutabegga and Collards

 
Rutabaga is a very interesting root vegetable. I love the smell, it smells like cabbage. In my effort to try and fix veggies in different ways...I didn't want to get away from my favorite way to eat my vegetables.  Mostly raw or stir fry/ saute'. I mixed these in with our greens.  Yummy.
My Father in Law has a nice size garden and these collards remind me of his. Only without the holes because the grubs have eaten like crazy!!
How I Stir Fry Collards
Ingredients.
Cleaned and chopped Collard Greens
Sliced Rutabaga
a large onion
garlic
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes (optional)
olive oil, bacon grease or clarified butter
a splash or two of cider vinegar
chicken stock just enough to keep the greens moist and tender not soaking in the juices

Begin by,
  • Chopping all the veggies you need
  • Start to saute' with the oil, garlic, onions and a little bit of red pepper flakes until it has a lovely aroma
  • Then add in you rutabaga and your greens simmer until wilted then add more greens until you've used all you want.
  • Season with salt and pepper to your taste ( I use Kosher and Cracked pepper mostly)
  • Add in a splash of Vinegar
  • Then pour in enough chicken stock to cover greens half way. Let simmer in the saute' pan or in a crock pot until they are tender  
Other options* Many times I've used hot sauce instead of red pepper flakes it's a little less intense to  me. 
Enjoy

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Chicken Bean Vegetable or Simple Bean Veggie soup

I can't tell you where I found this recipe. My mother in-law told me how to cook them for my husband early on in our marriage. Then I watched Julia Child's and took her way of preparing beans and finally came up with the way I make beans today.  I've tweeked it so much it wouldn't be recognizable anyways. My favorite way to make them is in the oven. They cook slow like a crock but all the flavors seem to meld wonderfully.  What started out as a chicken with bean soup, has become Roasted Chicken with beans and vegetable. At the end of  a cold day you want to sit down to something warming and it's often what we have on hand. Many times If I had a bag of beans, Salt and Onions. We had a meal. Throw in a slab of ham or a few pieces of chicken and slice of bread, what a good times we had over simple meals like this. Then retire to our beds with full bellies
In this picture I roasted chicken thighs
 in the oven and served with the beans.


Ingredients

1 bag dry great northern beans
6-7 cups water
1 cup chopped onion
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 medium potatoes
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 boullion cubes
a few shakes of liquid smoke
1 tsp. salt to start

Directions
1.Pick and Rinse beans; drain. In a large saucepan, combine beans and the 6 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans.
2.Place in your crock pot on high to cook until tender.
3.Meanwhile, chop veggies and saute in a frying pan with 1 bay leaf, season to taste.
4.When the Beans are tender add in your veggies with bay leaf and boullion and a few shakes of liquid smoke.
5. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.
Makes about 15 servings. I'm sure this changes the nutritional info below, a bit since I didn't use meat or tomatoes.

Original Recipe
Ingredients
1 cup dry great northern beans
6 cups water
1 cup chopped onion
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4-1/2 cups chicken broth
2-1/2 cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken(e.i. rotisserie chicken or your own roasted or any type of chicken or meat you perfer, bone in is best for flavor)
1 14-1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained

Directions
1. Rinse beans; drain. In a large saucepan, combine beans and the 6 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans.
2. Meanwhile, in a 3-1/2-, 4-, or 5-quart crockery cooker, combine onion, fennel, carrots, garlic, parsley, rosemary, and pepper. Place beans atop vegetables. Pour chicken broth over all.
3. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.
4. If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting then Stir in chicken and tomatoes. Cover and cook for 30 minutes longer or until heated through on high-heat setting. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nutrition facts per serving: calories: 426; total fat: 10g; saturated fat: 3g; cholesterol: 78mg; sodium: 1454mg; carbohydrate: 46g; fiber: 15g; protein: 40g; starch: 2.5 diabetic exchange; vegetables: 2 diabetic exchange; very lean meat: 4 diabetic exchange; fat: 1diabetic exchange

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Strawberry Mango Bliss

 

Good Morning, 
Today I still had half of my mango and strawberry ices. So I made a bit of granola to go in it...thus the spoon. I'm going to need a straw too. Do you eat your mint? I do. It's growing like crazy, why not eat it?

Mango smoothie recipe

Peel & Chop 2 mangos.
Freeze 2 mangos.
I let them mine soften just a tad because my freezer is crazy cold...
Blitz in the blender or food processor until smooth.
 Serves 2  greedy mango lovers


Loving Body Benefits of
  Mango, Strawberry and Mint

Mango  Boost your immune system,  some B6,  Eye and Skin Care and beat the heat back with it's natural cooling effects. 

Strawberry Wrinkle preventative? who knew, antioxidant and more, so much more.

Mint If breath freshener isn't enough benefit...??  This little gift helps your digestion, gives boost of iron and making almost any smoothie taste way more palatable. After Thyme it's my favorite herb.



Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Fresh tomato salsa





Salsa for tortilla tonight. I'm always in the mood for the red, yellow or orange peppers...rarely the green ones. Still I chopped one into the salsa anyway.  I also added a few tart strawberries  in too.They are full of vitamins and an extra way I get H2O! After that, a few onions, cilantro, and herb spices, with lime juice.  I let it sit a few minutes in the fridge.
In the mean time I'll whip up some coconut cream with a bit of lime and mint. Chop, chop, chop, yum!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Mr. Rogers Neighborhood Granola Recipe

My daughter  mixed this whole recipe herself, when she was small an still does it. I did the stove work, then she'd form granola balls. This the recipe I remember off the top of my head...just add whatever fruit or extras you want. It's also the granola I layer in my yogurt and strawberry Parfait!

Mr. Rogers Granola..easy as 1, 2, 3

Ingredients
3 c. Old fashioned oats uncooked
1/3 c. vegetable oil (olive for
1/3 cup honey
1/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

*mix in nuts and chocolate or even a trail mix.


  • You'll want a large bowl...mix everything. Then place on a cookie sheet. 
  • Bake in the oven at 350° for 15-20 min. Turning with a spatula 2 -3 times.  Until you notice a golden brown hue all over. 
  • Every oven Cooks different, so be careful to check it often.
  • Remove the granola from the oven to cool and then add other ingredients like chocolate, yogurt covereed fruit and the like.
  • Pack in a large jar with a lid or sandwich baggies. 
EASY AND DELICIOUS ....ENJOY!



Cabbage Greens:


This is the way I dream of cooking fresh home grown vegetables....

1.Fresh from the Garden
2. Never has having a Big head been
a great compliment
3. Washed outer Cabbage Greens


4. Sauted in olive oil with garlic, onion and s/p


Cook as long as you want to achieve desired tenderness,  adding a splash of Apple cider
Vinegar and water to keep them simmering/steaming in a covered pot.




I chopped the cabbage head and saute for Yakasoba dinner the next day

I love Fresh, Simple and Delicious!



Simple snacks

1. Blanch the leave, let them get cool to touch and fill them with your favorite filling
as you would stuffed shells... 
  • cooked beans, 
  • seasoned Quinua with peppers, 
  • brown rice caramelized onions.

2.  Add to a cup of soup
3. Blanch and roll like a log then cut quite thin....add to your salad


How to Blanch ... Granted you can blanch without salt at all...

Ingredients and tools

1 c. Salt
1 Gallon of water
Xtra large bowl filled with edible clean ice and water..
a scooping tool or extra long tongs to fish out the vegetable

  • 1 gallon of water to 1 c. of water...Formula I was given....but I use  less salt depending on if I'm consuming the vegetables and paring it with. ...So adjust the salt to your needs.
  • Boil the water. 
  • Once the water is boiled carefully place the vegetables into the water...

  • 2-5 min...while still bright green.
  • Place in the ice bath
  • Place on paper towels to pat dry
  • Place in a pan or prepare to fill.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Honey Almond Butter

I have always wanted to make almond and cashew butter.  After my father in laws 90th birthday we came home with a whole can of mixed nuts. So I just had my dd pick out the almonds. Then I brushed off the excess salt. Walla. I added a touch of honey for a bit of sweetness. Now I have another way to get a meatless protein.
I could have gotten an even creamier texture but I don't have the best processor, besides i think it looks more like crunchy.
Nuts can be a bit pricey...plus I'm always making trail mix or some other quick treat.
Well who knew making a nut butter was this easy...The machine does all the work after you pick out
the nuts you want. So I made almond butter this time. Next time I'll make Brazillian...I love those.

Here's the recipe...

1 cup almond butter
a food processor
1 Tbsp. Honey

Instructions
Place the almonds into the processor
Close it properly
Turn on the machine and let it go until smooth....I took about 20 min.

There are 1000 ways to use Almond Butter. Literally anywhere you'd use peanut butter. Here's 5.

 Chocolate covered  almond cups
Almond Butter Glaze 
Almond Sauce for Pasta
Almond Butter Cream
Dipped pretzels sticks





Sunday, March 6, 2016

Recipe Zaar/Food dot com: Granola


Tasty Granola
The first time we made this we sort of burnt it, but besides that it tastes awesome esspecially when you add the chocolate chips and nuts... Mmmmm!!! It tastes great as cereal with milk added when it's cooled off.

The original recipe can be found here Original Granola Recipe


Ingredients
3 cups Old Fashioned Oats
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
chocolate chips and peanuts ( as much as you like )

To Make It:
Pour oatmeal into a glass microwaveable dish and cook for two minutes; stirring once. Combine all other ingredients into a bowl. Add in oatmeal.Stir until well blended.

To finish, use either the microwave or oven. Both methods are listed below --

Microwave method: Pour mixture into a glass dish and microwave on high for 4 minutes or until golden brown.Stir every minute.Cool on wax paper.
Enjoy!

OR

Oven method: Pour mixture into a large cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. I'd start watching it after 10. It can burn fast! Stir every 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of raisins. Cool on wax paper.
Enjoy!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Quick Salsa Soup

This was my go to meal after having my babies...it was soo easy to have already seasoned wrapped chicken breast in the freezer or frigde. All you have to do is add it to the soup, let it simmer and serve.  If you have freezer space, this can be a make ahead and stored in freezer safe containers to prepare at will. More time to spend with the new baby than standing at the stove.


Braised chicken breast ( about 8 ounces or two boneless chicken halves)
1 3/4 c. water
1 3/4 c. (14 1/2 oz. can) reduced fat chicken broth , Once I used the bullion and made the same amount of broth
1- 2 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 c. frozen corn... the loose kind was suggested in the original recipe... but fresh corn will work excellent too if you have it on hand
1 c. Salsa!!!
1/2 c Pepper jack or your fav. cheese shredded for topping
some tortilla chips!

When the chicken's not cooked I start by prepping the chicken with (optional s/p) and chili powder, braise it in a sauce pan,  then I add it to the water/broth. Bring it to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer covered for 8 min. Add in th corn and cook uncovered until the meat is done(no pink). Stir in the salsa! :D Let that get heated thoroughly. Get out the bowls, spoons and chips.
Serve sprinkled with cheese and a side of chips. Oh boy I Love this soup...yum!
I love when a magazine includes the nutritional facts

Only 190 cal. per serving and 6g total fat(3.5g salt fat), 50 mg chol. 800 mg sodium, 17 g total carb, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugars, 20 g protein. The daily values are 10% vit. A. 8 % vit. C, 10% Calcium, 6% Iron.

taken from The very best baby magazine
try www.verybestbaby.com/recipes

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Herb mixes

My favorite seasoning honestly is Salt. Salt is the Base for most savory cuisine and the catalyst for sweets. Sprinkle herbs and Seasoning, then salt plays the supporting role is every bite. When it's too much ... ruine. When it's just the right amount all the other flavors chin and grin, like they're doing all the work!
When I'm working with spices, I feel like a scientist so I experiment a lot :) .
Himalayan Pink Salt

*Fine Herbs
I have a little herb book that's old but not antique, I keep it because I love the dainty pictures, the recipes and remedies. I also love Mother Earth's Site...Chervil and tarragon.. Check it out and learn about how to use herbs and their benefits.
Suggested uses for this mix:



















  • omelets and other eggs dishes. 
  • I love it for Steamed, Baked or Broiled Talapia...just a little splashed of lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt at the end. mmmm
Other dishes to use Chervil
  • green salad
  • steamed or boiled beets
  • beet salad
  • mashed, steamed, boiled, fried or baked potatoes or sweet potatoes
Mix Fine Herbs
1 tsp. chopped fresh chervil
1 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon
1 tsp. chopped fresh chives or scallions.
Mix together the ingredients add at the very end of cooking or if it's an uncooked dish just before serving.



My Bar-b-q seasoning spin on the Neely's
1 1/2 c. paprika (hot)
3/4 c. sugar or brown sugar or a mix of both
3 3/4 Tbsp. garlic powder or Garlic Salt



Mix the seasonings and store for 6 months. 
Makes 2 1/2 c.

Chile-thyme Spice Mix For seasoning potatoes and corn...I'm not sure where I gleaned this recipe from...if someone knows I'd love to post it with this entry, because it's just so good. It looks and sounds like something...Roger Mooking would whip up.
It's like the Old bay seasoning, only rustic/chunky. Almost Everyone Knows Old Bay...to me it's the smell of Baltimore City Harbor. With the old Old Bay factory ... I worked there as a teen one summer, in the mail room. The Smell of Seasonings...I loved coming there everyday! One of my fondest memories.


Makes about 1/4 c.

2 dried chiles de arbol, stemmed
4 tsp. coarse sea salt
4 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
4 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

Chiles de arbol are available at better supermarkets and at Latin Markets
Pulse chiles in a spice grinder until coarsely ground. Transfer ground chiles to a small bowl and add salt. Scatter lemon zest on a 6x6 in. piece of parchment paper and microwave on high for 1 min. Add thyme to parchment and microwave until dry about 1 min. 30 sec.( time will vary). let cool and lightly crush zest and thyme; combine with ground chiles and salt.  Do ahead: Spice mix may be made a week ahead. Store in a airtight container at room temperture.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Vegetarian: A Spiffy Salads or Spicy Tortilla?

Who said salads had to be limited to lettuce and low fat dressings ( even though I like those . . . a lot )? Whenever I think of my Grandmother Ernestine I remember her Waldorf salad, because of her I have some sweet ideas for salads, odd and traditional. Matter of fact your salad can become a rainbow!
#1 - Citrus Rainbow Salad, to make this salad remember Roy G. Biv. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet.
Begin by adding in crazins (red), mandarin oranges ( orange, obviously ), then shake up lemon juice olive oil and a few spices, for dressing ( 1Tbsp with 1tsp of sugar if you like, ( somewhat yellow ), grape slices ( green), or you could use shredded lettuce :) or the mixed lettuce greens there's purple (with hues of blue and indigo). I also love olives, and julienne purple carrots.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Fudge Nuggets

Fudge Nuggets

We love Quick and Easy fudge. My 1st and 2nd daughters loved Spatulata when they were little. Big and small kids love sweets sometime, and especially around 3 o'clock you get a craving for something and usually it's your sweet tooth. These recipes are great because they set up within an hour after only spending around 5 min. to make! The beauty of them is you can mix just about any dried fruit, nuts, seeds or other hard candy. I love to experiment and taste the outcome.
I placed two recipes here for the vanilla lover too.
With all the different shaped molds and ice cube trays a person could have a party table setting ready in no time. All you need is pretty plates and trays with tons of sparkling water, fruit water or almond milk...
Let get into the kitchen and make some fudge.
Chocolate Fudge with M&M's
3-1/2 c. confectioners sugar
1/2 c. cocoa
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter or margarine, cut into pieces
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. candy coated chocolate


Combine and stir the sugar, cocoa and salt. Drop Butter into the sugar and microwave on 100% for 1-2 min. Until the butter melts. Stir in the milk until smooth then cook for another minute. Stir and pour in the vanilla and mix in the candies. Pour into the pan and spread out. Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Cooks Note: Let me just say...sweetened condensed milk is one of the best inventions or innovations to make dessert making easy! Just because fudge uses dairy doesn't mean we can't convert it to Vegetarian or Vegan diets. Believe it or not it's really easy to make too. I love these kinds of projects and I'll set a day or days to do something, but this is so simple you can do it in minutes, once you gather all you need.

I'm including one of the Vegan recipes I found around the web to include the non dairy/vegan desserts.
For the Milk : 
*1 can (about 14 fluid ounces) canned (not low-fat) coconut milk 
*1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar (can be replaced with 1 1/4 cups (420 g) maple syrup, or 1 cup (336 g) honey) 
*1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
To make ... bring to a boil and allow to simmer fro 45 min. Until thickened.

Click the hyper link if you're interested in making your own coconut milk.



Cherry Vanilla Bean Fudge (Vegan option)
Ingredients
3 cups white chocolate chips
14 oz. sweetened condensed (non-dairy)milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp vanilla extract(optional)
1/2 cup candied cherries chopped
Line an 8 by 8 inch  with aluminum foil and set aside.
Melt the chocolate chips and the sweetened condensed milk in a medium sauce pan over medium heat, stirring regularly.
Once completely melted, stir in the vanilla bean paste, extract, and then the cherries.
Pour into the foil lined pan. Put in the refrigerator and let set overnight. Cut into square pieces and store outside of the refrigerator for up to two weeks in an airtight container.

½ c. butter
1 13 oz(one 12 oz. can, plus 2 Tbsp.) of evaporated milk
1 lb brown sugar
2 c. granulated sugar
⅛ tsp. salt
1 lb of confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla


Instructions

  1. Combine butter with milk and brown sugar in a 6 qt pan, over medium.
  2. Stir in the granulated sugar and salt as you bring the mixture to a boil. Test for the soft ball stage. When I reaches the soft ball stage take off the heat. let it cool in the pot for 20 min.
  3. Beat in confectionery sugar and vanilla with electric mixer until thick.
  4. use some butter spray to butter pan, use a 9 in. pan, and smear it all in.
  5. Cool in the fridge. for at least 1-3 hrs.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Cracker Worthy Snacks: Egg Salad or Peanut Butter and Jelly

The Quick and Easy Snacks 
 Crackers


Egg Salad, I like mine a bit sweet so I put in fresh relish, when I can. I always start with four eggs, chopped, then gauge the mayonnaise(1/4 c.) and relish 2 Tbsp. at a time)

Seasoning: rule of thumb not too many dominant flavors at once...so cardamom or coriander...

  • Ground coriander (optional)
  • Ground cardamom (optional)
  • salt (fairy dusting, pinches)
  • pepper (fairy dusting, pinches)
  • minced sweet pickles/ or sweet relish in a jar, from the grocery
  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise or 1 part yogurt and 1 part low fat sour cream.
After the eggs are chopped place them in a bowl and season with a fairy dusting pinch of s/p. Stir in mayonnaise adding more as needed and relish. Pinch a bit of coriander/ cardamom to season. Gently mix/fold, so you don't break up too much of the chopped eggs whites. Taste. Keep in mind if you want it cold, once it's cold the flavors of the seasonings are muted a bit. Taste before serving and see if it needs more seasoning and serve with crackers or on toast, a top leafy greens, in celery or fennel heart. Go crazy with it!

Whole Wheat the beginning of a beautiful Friendship

Sometime we are in a hurry to go out to an appointment or famished when we come in. Just something quick to knock the edge off while dinner is cooking.  My dd doesn't even like Peanut butter nor whole wheat...A young man heard her exclaim her distaste for whole wheat anything, on the way to school one morning and agreed with her. I gave him a motherly look, but they both just laughed!
I never give up and I usually have to sneak it in cake, cookies, tortilla or biscuits, but I finally hit on a winner with crackers! Just try them I say. Put whatever you want on them. Serve with apple sauce and chocolate coconut milk!
Maybe I can get them to like beets next time. Wish me luck!

Subscribe to this page and get the skivvy on your next quick nutritional snack and stay ahead of the snack attack hour.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Easy Snacks: Caramel/Toffee Popcorn

In Baltimore on Eastern Ave. we live near a thrift store...on the same block. Too convenient, because almost on a daily basis I was in there...some days just to look around. It was like a museum. This of course was before the new management took over and well they raised prices...nothing like NY prices though, but still. I recall being in there on one of my excursions and I found this popcorn pot for popping popcorn...It claimed ease and perfect popcorn...almost aluminium type of pot. I took it home and the first time I burned myself on the pot I gave it up and went back to my old faithful heavy metal pot for popping popcorn. However I kept the popcorn recipes that came with the pot. There were so many easy to make recipes...Cheddar, Cheyenne pepper, Bar-b q, herbs and Caramel, you get the idea. I learned that aside from my favorite salty popcorn I could easily add a bit of flair to my go to snack in a snap.
I made toffee and caramel recently for Christmas to fill butter cookies and I still had quite a bit left so I thought I'd just use the technique to Rechel's Toffee popcorn and walla Toffee/Caramel Popcorn M's way!


Toffee Popcorn


Adapted from "Rachel Allen Home Cooking"
This version of Toffee is very liquid and hot...be careful. I used the toffee and Caramel from Mich Turner's book because it's thicker and I like the salty flavor of the Caramel better. We tried them and everyone liked the caramel best. See what you and your family or friends like best.

Equipment
a really large heavy pot with a tight top (clear if you can)
 Large fork
tea or kitchen towel
measuring cups 1/3- 1 c.


Toffee Popcorn
(I use 1 c. popcorn kernels and about 3 Tbsp. or more of oil)

1/3 c. (75 g.) popcorn

2 Tbsp. sunflower oil

1/4 c.(25 g.) butter

For toffee
40 g. brown sugar
1 pinch of salt

To make
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, sprinkle in a kernel or two of popcorn and then coat it evenly in oil. cover the pot listen for the pop. Pour in the rest of the kernels. Cook until the popping "slows" down.  As soon as the popping quiets down, take it off the heat and uncover. Place in a warmed oven in aluminum pan or keep in pot.
Meanwhile, in another saucepan, melt the butter, add the brown sugar and golden syrup and stir over a high heat for 1-2min.

Tip: half of the popcorn out of the saucepan and toss with 25g. butter and a pinch of salt.
Pour the toffee over the remaining popcorn, replace the lid on the pan and shake to mix the toffee sauce. Pour out into bowls, cool a little and serve.



Salted Caramel-- I love this caramel...honestly the salt can be decreased to half...but it's so good either way! I melted this on low in the microwave because i kept it in the refrigerator. Then I poured spoonfuls of it over every ones bowl...











Makes 1# 2oz.
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
¾ c. (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
⅓ c. plus 2 tsp. golden superfine sugar
4 Tblsp. golden syrup or dark corn syrup
1 to 2 tsp. sea salt to taste
Place all the ingredients in a pan. Heat over a medium heat until the butter melts and continue until the caramel comes to a boil. Cook for 8 to 10 min. until it has thickened and darkened. Transfer to a clean bowl and let cool. Storage keep in  the refrigerator for up to 7 days.


Toffee-
Obviously I left out the Brandy for mine...not a fan of Alcohol anyways. Candy Tip: The same rules apply when working with sugar...let the phone ring...stay on top of it ...and watch it...when it looks beige consider stopping the heat and remove from the burner. It will continue to cook and get even darker...

Makes 10 ½ oz.
½ c. golden superfine sugar
½ c. (1 stick) unsalted butter
⅔ c. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tblsp. brandy
Preheat a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat and add the sugar with the butter dotted on top. Let heat, melt and caramelize without stirring. Add the cream and stir until it thickens and caramelizes. Let it cool. Stir in the vanilla and brandy;) Storage keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

*cooks note... use a wooden spoon to get the toffee all over the warmed pop corn, if the shaking method doesn't satisfy.