Friday, December 21, 2012

Random Kitchen Information

Rather than buy brown sugar I buy molasses.  Add it to crystalized sugar, and you have brown sugar.  It is true - just read the bag of brown sugar you just purchased.

Cumin is the key ingredient in taco seasoning.  I never buy packaged taco seasoning instead I use this approximate recipe (I rarely measure, just guess).  As long as I have cumin it tastes like tacos!  1t salt, 2T Chili powder, 1t cumin, 1t garlic powder/clove garlic, 2T paprika.  Sometimes I add oregano.

Teriyaki sauce can be replaced with 2T soysauce, 2T apple cider vinegar, 2T honey.

Baking is my favorite way to prepare bacon.  It stays flat so it stacks in sandwiches nicely, plus I love the finished taste and texture.  Lay it on a  metal cooling rack in a pan (single layer), or if you have a crisping pizza pan that just happens to fit perfectly on top of your deep dish pizza pan you can lay your bacon on it.  It sometimes helps to coat the pan before placing the bacon to avoid sticking.  Put it in a cold oven, turn on your temperature to 400 and bake for about 20 minutes.  I have tried it with a warm oven and it does not work as well.

I like to make a large batch of bread dough in a 5 gallon covered pail and pop it into the fridge.  Similar to the 5 minute artisan bread books.  The 5-minute doughs tend to be wetter doughs so you do not have to knead them... however, for my basic bread recipe, I make it the same way whether I am baking that day, or prepping the dough for use throughout the week.  Make your dough per the usual directions, only rather than letting it rise in a warm place for 1 hour or so (first rise), put it in your bucket and put it in the fridge.  Want fresh baked bread, reach into the bucket and pull out a hand-full.  My loaves usually start with 20oz of dough.

That is all for today!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pumpkin Waffles or Pancakes

This recipe first came to my attention on pinterest.  It is such an amazing place to browse food, and craft ideas.

It linked to the recipe here:

I made these for the first time in the evening after everyone was in bed, pre-made breakfast for the next morning (hubby does not like running the waffle irons).  As usual, I did not follow the recipe exactly, nor did I take the time to complete all the steps as thoroughly as the author.  After taste testing most of the first batch, I made a second batch that same night so the kids would have breakfast.  I do not have a belgian waffle maker, but I do have 2 antique irons.  In my irons it takes 3 - 5 minutes per waffle.  The second time, I made them as pancakes.  I should have used lower heat so they cooked through or thinned the batter, instead I just flattened them down after flipping.  They were loved both ways.

INGREDIENTS My alterations are in red
makes 4 round “Belgian” style pumpkin waffles
Click here for the metric version of the recipe.
• 1/4 cup light brown sugar 1/4 cup white sugar with about 1t molasses
• 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
• 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 50-100% Whole Wheat Flour
• 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
• 2 tsp. ginger  We did not have ginger - I threw in a mystery spice (long story - it was cloves or nutmeg or allspice or?)
• 1/4 tsp. cloves
• 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg dried powdered
• 2 large eggs
• 1 cup whole milk   whey - the first time it was vanilla whey, so the second time I added 2t vanilla
• 1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin  1C fresh pumpkin or squash
• 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and warm  Olive oil
*Grated and lightly packed into the spoon, use 1/2 tsp. Grated and loosely scooped, this is about 1 tsp. of nutmeg. If you have to use pre-grated, dried nutmeg, use 1/4 tsp.
1. Lightly oil the waffle iron with vegetable oil  I always melt butter and brush it on, and set it to the desired temperature.
 The first time I did the extra work of 2 - 8, the second time I just threw everything in the food processor and mixed.  My blender is super weak or I would have use it instead.  I would have mixed it all with a hand whisk, but my pumpkin was a little frozen still so I ran it through the processor first.
2. Combine brown sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Whisk together to break apart the cornstarch. Add the remaining dry ingredients, and whisk to blend. 
3. Separate eggs: yolks go in a medium sized bowl and whites get set aside in a smaller bowl.
4. Add pumpkin and milk to the egg yolks. Whisk to blend and set aside.
5. Whip egg whites with a hand mixer on high until stiff peaks form – about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes. Set aside  the author must have a supper powered hand mixer, because after 5 minutes mine weren't peaked so I just dumped them in - impatience runs great in my blood.
6. Pour melted butter into the yolk/milk/pumpkin mixture. As you pour, whisk to combine.
7. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients, and mix them together until just combined. A little lumpiness is fine. That will smooth out when the egg whites are added.
8. Slide the whipped egg whites out of the bowl and onto the mixture you just prepared. Gently fold them in until no white bits are obvious.
9. Once the waffle iron is heated, you’re ready to pour the batter! In my Presto FlipSide waffle maker, cook time is exactly 2 minutes 30 seconds.  My thin/crunchy waffle iron cooks in 3 minutes, my thicker puffier iron cooks in 5.

Japanese Chilcken & Egg on Rice

Made this recipe last night.  It was super yummy!  I of course did not follow the recipe to the letter, mostly because I did not have some of the ingredients.  My modifications are in red.

Found the recipe here:
  • 2 cups white rice 2 C brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil Olive oil
  • 4 chopped scallions a small amount of green onions
  • 1 cup chicken broth 1 C water plus a bullion cube
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots skipped
  • 2 cups baby spinach chopped collard greens
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 4 chicken cutlets, cut into strips 2 C of chicken thigh pieces
  • 5 large beaten eggs

How to make it

  1. Cook the rice (for a total of 4 cups of cooked rice).
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped scallions green onions and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the shredded carrots and baby spinach collard greens and stir until the spinach has completely wilted. Actually I put the collards in with the green onions and sauteed then added the broth.
  3. Stir in the sugar and soy sauce. Add the chicken and simmer for 3 more minutes.
  4. Pour the eggs over the chicken mixture and simmer until the eggs are cooked through, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. I think I actually had it cooking in this last phase longer.  Maybe more like 20 minutes. Serve the mixture over the cooked rice.