Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What I am not reading......

Ok I will warn you this is a rant, please read on you may want to help me. There are lots of books I like to read, however my favorites are cook books. Right now however I am not reading anything. It not because I don't have the time or desire, I have both. I also believe in what is right is right and last Friday I decided I did not want to use my credit card any longer and I also did not want it stored any place. I removed my credit card info from Barnes & Noble as well as a few other places that had my information scattered around on. I also had an issue with my iPad and had to have it exchanged. As two side notes, 1. make sure you have apple Plus coverage on your iPad. 2. Don't believe you have a 100% backup as passwords and things like ebooks are not backed up! Well in the process of restoring my I pad I discovered that my ebooks are NOT MY ebooks but apparently belong to Barnes & Noble, because when I went to download the one book that I have been referencing a lot lately ( The Home Made Pantry, 101 things you can start making and stop buying by Alana Chernila ) I could't access and a message popes up saying something about my credit card info was not current. Well I called Barnes & Noble and there response was You Can Not Access The ebooks with out a credit card on file. That Sucks! This did not set well with me and if there is one thing that you should know about me is do not take away my rights without a logical reason! My logic is I paid for the freaking books I should have access to them! Barnes & Nobles logic is unless you have a credit card stored in there files you don't need to be reading e-Books! I have decided that unless Barnes & Noble changes there policy I will not be using them for any of there services. That goes for e-Books, hard print books, music or anything else. I hope that you will join in my crusade and boycott Barnes & Noble until they give anyone that does not want to use a credit card access to e-Books. This to seems a lot like discrimination against poor people, against conservative people and consumers who just do not want to use credit cards. FYI! All my purchases on the Internet are now with Paypal. No Barnes & Noble you will not get my password for PayPal! Oh by the way if you don't already have "The Home Made Pantry, 101 things you can start making and stop buying" by Alana Chernila you need to get it! She has some wonderful tales of family and very good recipes. It looks like I will own 2 copies of the book because I want it as a reference and I can't access my e-book that I own so I went to Amazon to purchase a hard cover version and waiting for it to arrive!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Rice from the microwave


In my world the microwave is used for warming things with one exception!





Don't try and tell me that putting a TV dinner in that box is cooking, Its NOT!





However you can use it to make things like roux which is major component of cooking in the south. What I most often "cook" in the microwave is rice. Basic white Rice 2 cups rice, 4 cups water, 2 tbl butter or olive oil . Put everything in a microwave safe dish and microwave , un-covered for about 20 minutes. Every microwave is different so adjust your time accordingly.





The butter does several things, it stops the rice from boiling over by binding with the starch and provides additional flavor and helps keep the rice from sticking. This is the same reason you add oil to you pasta water to stop the boil over.

Brown rice takes longer to cook so you may have to add more water per cup of rice.

Options for your rice: ( choose what you like )

Sugar – Yes sugar, white or brown and eat rice for desert or for breakfast. Sugar can be added after you have cooked the rice. Add a little cream or pet milk with the sugar and your in a good place.

2-4 Chicken bouillon cubes if your on a low sodium diet you need to go with the lesser amount of cubes as bouillon is loaded with salt.

Vegeta - vegetable bullion powder. Vegeta is a condiment which is a mixture of spices and various vegetables. There is a low sodium version that can be found in most European ethnic groceries. This can used in a lot of dishes and is more convenient than broth.

Onions - sautéed in olive oil until slightly brown mixed with the raw rice.

Saffron - which departs a mild flavor and yellow color

Turmeric - to give the rice a yellow color and provide health benefits.



Highlighted Herb:

Turmeric:

Many herbs have been used for centuries as healing foods. From time to time I will focus on an herb to provide you with a taste of why we should eat certain vegetables and use spices. I myself us turmeric often at least 3 times a week. It departs little or no flavor to a dish but does add a nice golden yellow color to the food and the health benefits are outstanding. If there is one herb you need to use more often it is turmeric. Turmeric The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. Turmeric has been used for over 2500 years in India. It has long known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

There are many reasons to add turmeric to your diet:

  1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
  2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.
  3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.
  4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide. 5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.
  5. Is a natural liver detoxifier.
  6. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain. And many more you can do further research if you wish.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Whats For Breakfast? - Biscuits

Do you know what the first thing everyone is taught to make in the south (besides coffee)?
It's not grits, however that is close second.

Its biscuits!
Used a scoop.
Don't think the biscuits are the only thing we eat for breakfast. I like to have bacon, grits, and eggs with these biscuits. Yet sometime I just like a little more butter and honey. These biscuits can be eaten plain, dressed up or eaten with lots of company. These biscuits are good enough to take to church.

Biscuits are what starts the day and sometimes shows up on the table at the end of the day. There are a thousand recipes out there and everyone has there favorite. I would be hard pressed to find anyone who does not like Popeye's Buttermilk Biscuits! Why is what I always asked myself until one day, about 6 years ago, I sat down and visualize those warm pillows of soft goodness, with there slightly oily touch to the finger and there silky feel on the tong and that hint of salt along with a rich buttery flavor and aroma that meet the nose just seconds before it meet the taste-buds.

What makes the difference is butter, lots and lots of butter! Butter in the biscuit and more butter on the biscuit! Don t forget to brush the butter on top of the biscuit because it just ain't the same!
I work hard to make these biscuits so I don't want to waist anything. I sometime get lazy, OK I am lazy, so most of the time I use a large cookie scoop and flatten the top out with my hand. Then there are times when company is coming and I use my large square biscuit cutter. Nothing goes to waste even the little pieces that are left over get cooked (and eaten). One of my other shortcuts is to just through everything into the Kitchen Aid mixer with the mixing blade and blend until the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl. Please don't over beat the dough as it will make a tough biscuit.
Used Biscuit cutter.
This recipe is mine, all me, and it took me almost 3 months of tweaking and several trips to Popeye's to compare, you can just eat just so many biscuits. This is the original taste alike. It does not match the current version that they now serve.

Yes I am proud of these biscuits as this is the home of Popeye's and I knew the originators and remember when Popeye's could only be found in New Orleans area.

Ok with the scoop you get 14 - portion control.
POPEYE'S BUTTERMILK BISCUITS

Prep Time: 18 mins | Cook Time: 22 mins | Servings: 10 - 14 biscuits | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
3 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup (2 stick) butter, cold unsalted
2 tbsp butter, melted salted
1 1/2 cup buttermilk

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Slice the cold butter into cubes and use a pastry knife or potato masher to cut the butter into the dry mixture until no large chunks of butter remain.
Add the buttermilk and milk and stir with a spoon until a dough forms. Roll out to 1/2 inch thick on a floured surface.
Cut out biscuits with a 3-inch biscuit cutter and arrange on a lightly
greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 22 to 24 minutes, or until the tops begin to turn light brown.
Remove the biscuits from the oven and cool for a couple of minutes, then brush each biscuit top with melted salted butter.

NOTE: To make buttermilk use 3 tablespoons of vinegar and add milk to the 1 1/2 cups mark and let set for about 10 minutes.

Source: Kelly R

I am sure you will like these biscuits.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Whats for breakfast? - Eggs

I have problems being creative with breakfast, don't you?

I am not sure why perhaps my body is willing but the brain is not.  I get stuck in ruts, oatmeal, oatmeal, oatmeal, eggs and toast, eggs and biscuits, the breakfast wheel spins but doesn't get very far. Do you have the same problem?

I am always searching for something quick and easy to fix. While searching the web I came across the following recipe. It is quick, 30 minutes or less. I used my blender and through everything in except the cheese. OK I will tell you now I have a tendency to be very creative once I have a recipe. So I used Smoked Gouda Cheese rather than Cheddar. I wanted more comfort food than a wake-up call. The smoked Gouda sprinkled on the eggs just before rolling melts into the warm gooey mess that is like silk on the tong and slides down your throat and creates this warm satisfying feeling. It is a true comfort food. The smoked Gouda adds that feeling and enjoyment of bacon. The spinach is visible however the flavor is so delicate that it is not noticed and that is plus in my book.  There are 3 in my family and for the other 2 if it is green it had better be money, so anytime I can use a vegetable with out a fuss this is a good thing. 

Just as a reference as I go along I will post the cost of some of the items that I use.  I usually shop where I can get the best prices but for some things, like milk, I need it to last longer and what I have found is that Klinpeter's Whole Milk is at the top of the list for flavor and last past its expiration date. For things like sour cream, because I make 1/2 gallon at a time and the milk does not sit in the refrigerator I buy it at Sam's, 3.76 per gallon.

Today (May 20th, 2012)  the cost of 1/2 gallon Klinpeter milk is $3.99 at Rouses.
Grade 'A' Large Eggs at Sam's are $1.42 for 18.

I like Sam's because I can buy thing in bulk so you will always find at least 25 pounds of flour and 20 pounds of sugar in my pantry. 

Here you are the recipe that I am sure you will enjoy and be commenting on.


Family-Style Rolled Omelet with Spinach and Cheddar

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes | Servings: Serves 4 | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
Olive oil, for pan
1 cup milk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
6 large eggs
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Coarse salt and ground pepper to taste
1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar (6 ounces) or Smoked Gouda

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 10-by-15-inch rimmed baking sheet or jelly-roll pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment, spray with your favorite cooking spray, leaving a 1-inch overhang on the two shorter sides.
2. Defrost the spinach and remove as much water as possible.
3. In a bowl, whisk together milk and flour. Add eggs, mustard, spinach, salt, and pepper; blend to combine. Pour into pan.
4. Bake until edges of omelet are set, 10 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle with cheddar; bake until cheese has melted, 2 to 4 minutes. Beginning at one shorter end, lift parchment, and roll up omelet tightly, peeling back parchment as you go. Slice and serve.
Source: http://www.marthastewart.com/335400/family-style-rolled-omelet-with-spinach

I have done the omelet on several occasions lately, following the recipe to the letter and then with my twist.  Here are the pictures to prove it.

The above picture was when I put the spinach in the blender with every thing else.  You can see the difference between this omelet and sprinkling it in top of the egg mixture as the original directions called for.
In this one I added salsa and ham.
Enjoy!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

OK! I’ve done it! I’ve really done it!

After thinking for what seems forever about writing a food blog, I have actually begun my journey. 

With so many other obligations taking up my time these days, it may take me a while to set up a posting schedule, but I’ve taken the first step. I’ve set up my blog, which by the way, I’ll be tweaking as I go along. I really want to add extras such as the cost of making a particular dish and tidbits that you might find helpful as well as interesting.

And, for those who know me best, know that I’ve been known to rant and rave; so I’ll probably be doing some that as well. I hope you’ll join me on this journey as we explore food and food related stories. There will be plenty of pictures for you to enjoy along the way, so let’s get started!