Tuesday Tips ~ 12 March (on Wednesday!)

Yes, I know…I’m late…again!

Let’s get on with it, shall we?

And here is today’s yesterday’s tips………….

🙂  To rescue overcooked meats, slice thinly and cover slices with a salsa made from olive oil, lime juice, chopped tomatoes, onions and chilli.  The acid and oil replace the moisture in the meat.

TT:  Sounds good to me even if you don’t overcook the meat!

🙂  Don’t add soy sauce to the wok until right at the end of the cooking time.  if added earlier it will cause the food to stick to the pan and may give a bitter taste.

TT:  I’ll have to try this next time I make a stir-fry.

🙂  Clingfilm/plastic wrap can sometimes be very difficult to handle.  Try keeping it in the fridge ~ it also helps with finding the end.

TT:  Sorry, but I’m not keeping it in the fridge….too inconvenient.  My rolls of foil and clingfilm, plastic bags, etc. are in a drawer right at my work area.

entertaining guests🙂  Whether planning a dinner party or a meal for someone special, never try a new recipe and/or a new ingredient at the same time.

TT:  Instead, test it out on your family first!

🙂  If a recipe calls for self-raising flour and all you have is plain flour, use 1 level teaspoon of baking powder to every 110g/scant 4oz of flour.

TT:  Tried and tested and yes, it works.

🙂  Coffee grounds, filter paper, teabags, egg cartons and scrunched-up paper wrappers can all be added to the garden compost.

TT:  Raw egg shells can also be added.  Just crush them up first and with the egg cartons, tear it up into pieces.

tomato🙂  Put fresh tomatoes into boiling water for one minute to loosen skins before peeling and adding to sauces.

TT:  I usually score an ‘X’ on the bottom first as it helps to start the peel coming off.

browngrocerybag🙂  Drain foods cooked in oil on an empty brown grocery bag rather than paper towels, as this will retain the crispness.

TT:  Well this is fine IF YOU LIVE IN THE U.S. WHERE THEY ACTUALLY HAVE THESE!!  This country does not have brown grocery bags…everything is PLASTIC!  I wish we had brown grocery bags as at least they could be recycled.  I have a real problem with this tip considering it’s from a UK calendar!  (as a side note:  We bring our own reusable canvas bags when we go shopping so that we do not add to the already-full-of-plastic landfills areas)

OK kids, there you go.  I will try not to be late next week with my tips, but you know, sometimes life just….happens!

♥  Terri  ♥

Terri’s Tuesday Tips ~ Jan 29

Good day, dear readers!

Here’s another round of tips for this week!

Θ To prevent cupcakes rising in the middle, try turning the oven down slightly and adding less mix to the cases.  Use the standard recipe to make 15 instead of 12 cakes.  This will make icing them easier.

TT: Personally, I like the little dome on my cupcakes as I feel it gives them more height.  Who wants a short cupcake?

Θ Make a fruit smoothie to help sooth indigestion.  Use 4 slices of pineapple, 2 apples and a papaya.  Juice, mix and serve with crushed ice.

TT:  Seems like an awful lot to go through just to cure indigestion.  I’d rather be eating the proper foods to avoid it in the first place.

meatΘ Meat is usually the most expensive element of a meal.  Get together a ‘meat club’ with several friends, then approach your local butcher to negotiate a discount on bulk buying.

TT:  I guess this is OK if you have friends who want to do this, but everyone buys things differently, so to each their own on this idea.

Θ Roll whole chillies on the chopping board before cutting, to loosen the seeds and make them easier to remove.

TT:  Can’t say I’ve ever tried this, but sometimes I just leave the seeds in or just scrape them out once I slice it down lengthwise.

Θ Try sucking on a metal spoon while chopping onions to stop eyes watering.

crying-chefTT:  Sorry, but I don’t think any of these gimmicks work when it comes to preventing your eyes burning.  I don’t normally have a problem with this when I’m working with one or two onions as I can peel and cut them fairly quickly, however it can be a burning situation when there are more.  That’s where the food processor comes in handy!

Θ Duck egg shells form late so to avoid salmonella poisoning, a duck egg should be well cooked.

TT:  Good to know, although I’ve never eaten duck eggs…at least not yet.

Θ Make a series of small holes in the screw-top of a jam jar with a carving fork and you have a homemade shaker/sifter.

TT: Good way to recycle, although I think I would use an awl to put the holes in the cap.

So there’s your kitchen tips for this week.

What’s for dinner?

♥  Terri  ♥

What to do with….Eggs

How do like your eggs in the morning?

Fried, scrambled, baked or poached, Brits on average eat 3 eggs per week and the average person will consume a whopping 7,300 over his or her lifetime.

eggs

Ah, the incredible, edible egg. (who remembers that ad??)

There are around 29 million of these in the UK, we consume more than 10 billion of what comes out of these each year, one in five adults cannot boil one and the longest throw of a fresh one – without breaking – is 98.51 metres or 323 feet! Also, a medium one only has 80 calories and are a great source of protein!

Eggs can be used in a variety of different ways, they are an important part of cooking and baking, they can bind ingredients together, they have a thickening ability as seen in custards, used to leaven baked high-rises such as soufflés, and they emulsify mayonnaise and Hollandaise sauce plus are used in glazing breads and cookies – making eggs an ‘anytime of day’ food.

Don’t have the faintest idea how to cook an egg?  Here’s some of the basics…

Hard-boiled

Place eggs in a pot and cover with water.  Cover and bring to a boil. After the water is boiling, boil eggs for 5-6 minutes. When 5-6 minutes are up, remove the pan from the heat and pour out the boiling water. Run cold water over the eggs for several minutes, until they are cool to the touch.  Gently tap them on the counter or against the inside of the pan to help crack the shell and peel off.  Refrigerate.

Deviled Eggs

Cut hard-boiled eggs in half length-wise and carefully scoop out the yolk into a bowl.  Smash the yolks with a fork until smooth.  For about 6 eggs, add 1-2 tsps of mayonnaise and 1-2 tsps of Dijon mustard to the yolks and mix thoroughly.  Using a teaspoon, put a spoonful of the yolk mix into each half of the egg white.  Garnish with a sprinkling of dried parsley or paprika.

Soft-boiled

In a saucepan, bring water to the boil and then add eggs in shells. Boil for 3-4 minutes then remove from water and run under cool water for about a minute. Sit the egg in an egg cup and carefully crack the top portion of the shell to remove.  Use a spoon to eat as the yolk will still be quite soft, as it should be.  You can also remove the complete shell and put into a bowl with pieces of bread or toast and enjoy them that way.

Fried

Put 1-2 tsps of butter, margarine or olive oil into a frying pan over medium heat.  Crack the eggs (1-2) into a small bowl then gently pour the eggs into the hot fat.  Gently let the egg cook until the white is no longer transparent.  Use a spatula to flip the egg over and let cook about 20-30 seconds.  Serve.  (Try making your own ‘egg mcmuffin’…place the egg on an English muffin with a slice of Canadian bacon and a slice of cheese.)

Sunny-side Up

Same as fried, but don’t flip the eggs over. Let them cook an extra 30-60 seconds then remove with spatula.  I like to spoon some of the fat in the pan over the eggs while they’re cooking as it helps seal the yolk a bit.

Scrambled

Heat a frying pan and add about a tablespoon of butter or oil to the pan.  Break 2 eggs into a small bowl and add a small amount of milk or water, about a tablespoon worth.  You can even add cream if you want to be really decadent about it! Whisk with a fork or small whisk until the egg is thoroughly mixed with the milk.  Season with salt and pepper, if desired.  Pour the eggs into the pan and stir around until completely cooked.  I sometimes like to serve scrambled eggs with a few sauted mushrooms and grated cheese and strips of crispy bacon in a tortilla wrap.  Makes a great on-the-go breakfast.

So, how DO you like your eggs in the morning, afternoon or evening?

♥  Terri  ♥

Christmas Drinks ~ Homemade Eggnog

Eggnog.

As much a staple for an American Christmas as Christmas Pudding is for a British Christmas.

And it’s for this very reason that I am not able to find eggnog in this country, at least not yet.  In the States you can find eggnog in cartons in the dairy section of your local supermarket.

It was always a part of our Christmas celebrations.  I remember one Christmas that is was a BIG part of my and my sister-in-law’s celebrations!  It was early years, before my niece came along.  We were celebrating Christmas at a place called Timberline Lodge in Lancaster County in Pennsylvania.  It has since closed down, but we had many a good time there.

We were in one of the cabins that was able to sleep all of us (my parents, brother and Sis-in-law and me and my ex-husband) and included a full kitchen and a fireplace.  We would bring all the tree decorations, gifts, food; you name it, we brought it as we were usually there for about 4-5 days over Christmas.  We’d even buy a tree once we got there…we usually left mom to do the haggling as she could always chew the guy down on the price!

On this occasion, we decided to make an Eggnog Punch.  (Forewarning:  Not for the calorie conscious!)

eggnog

eggnogice

Another item that you can get in the States is eggnog ice cream.  So we got a half gallon of the ice cream, a couple of quarts of eggnog and the most important item…the rum….dark rum.  Yup, three simple ingredients.  I think we started with just one quart of the eggnog and added probably a third of the ice cream and then poured in the rum a bit at a time.  Of course we had to keep tasting it to get it myersright!

I think we just about finished it off between the two of us on Christmas Eve.  Mind you, we were both worse for wear the next morning but as they say, hair of the dog, so we made more for Christmas Day!

Now for those of you in the good old U.S of A., this will be easy for you to do.  For those of us without the possibility of obtaining two of the three items listed, you can make your own.

I’m sure there’s lots of recipes out there, but this is the one I’ve chosen.  Make this ahead of time so the flavors have a chance to mix while you keep it chilled before serving.  Serve it in a large punch bowl so everyone can help themselves.

***Homemade Eggnog***

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 90g (1/3 C) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 315ml (1¼ C) hot milk
  • 125ml (½ C) dark rum (or white rum if you can’t find dark)
  • 125ml (½ C) double (heavy) cream
  • Grated nutmeg for sprinkling

Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl until light and fluffy.  Slowly add the hot milk and stir to combine.

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, then reduce the heat until simmering.  Place the bowl over the simmering water and stir with a wooden spoon for about 5-10 minutes or until the mixture thickens and lightly coats the back of the spoon.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Stir in the rum.  Beat cream and the egg whites in SEPARATE bowls until soft peaks form.  Fold half of the cream into the milk/rum mixture, then fold in half the egg whites.  Fold in the remaining cream and then the remaining egg whites.

eggnogBowlPour the mixture into a punch bowl or serving glasses and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Enjoy!

♥♥ Terri ♥♥

How do you Like your Eggs in the Morning?

I thought I would give you myself a break from all the ‘bad’ food I’ve been making.  Being one who has low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) I have to have breakfast, and a proper one at that.  I admit I sway from having a proper breakfast on occasion and I do pay for it later on in the day.  I can become irritable, get internal shakes, lose concentration, get a headache, break out into a cold sweat…the list goes on and none of it is pleasant.

I get lazy sometimes and just don’t feel like cutting up veggies or preparing other foods to eat; usually because I’m so busy doing other things and I almost feel like I can’t be bothered to eat, but I know I must.  So what happens?  I eat the wrong things.  I might have a couple of crackers with some butter or peanut butter or perhaps a banana.  I might even grab a slice or two of ham from the fridge or eat a handful of nuts.  Now granted, none of this is absolutely terrible, but it’s not really a proper meal, nor do I eat this all at one time.  It’s usually over a period of about 2-3 hours but it’s still not a good meal.  I’m much better when I have a good breakfast consisting of eggs and veggies and grains or a bowl of porridge with fruit and nuts.  Either of these meals will hold me for a good 3-4 hours, although I will have a mid-morning snack.  There are times when I will even have leftovers from the previous night’s dinner.

I just get tired of having eggs most mornings.

This morning I decided to see what I could find in my GI Recipes book.  Even though this has eggs, it sounded different and tasty.  This would suit Phase 2 on South Beach Diet…

~~SCRAMBLED EGGS w/HONEY-ROASTED TOMATOES~~

Serves 1 (easily increased for any number of servings)

2-3 small tomatoes

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp honey

1 Tbsp olive oil

salt & freshly ground black pepper

2 eggs

1-2 slices whole grain bread (wholewheat, granary, rye, etc.) (I used a wholewheat bagel)

Preheat oven to 220°C/425°F.

Halve the tomatoes and arrange in a baking dish, cut side up.  Sprinkle over the cinnamon and drizzle with honey.  Season with salt and pepper and roast for 30 minutes.

When the tomatoes are nearly cooked, put the eggs in a bowl, season and beat.  Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan until sizzling.  Reduce the heat, pour in the eggs and cook gently, stirring constantly until thick and creamy.

Toast the bread and place on plate.  Spoon on the eggs and pile tomatoes on top.  Spoon over any juices from the tomatoes, sprinkle with black pepper and serve.

Enjoy!

♥ Terri  ♥♥

Makin’ Whoopie!

Good Day, dear readers!

Some of you may remember my rant angst disbelief post a while back about whoopie pies and the horrid transfiguration that was bestowed upon them when they traveled over here to the UK.  For those of you who didn’t see it or want a refresher, you can find it here.

As I’ve also been having fun with my new mixer, I’ve been making a few cakey type stuff to sell at the Family Fun Day (FFD) in a couple of weeks.  This coming weekend is the monthly market at Cliftonville and the following weekend is the FFD.  As there will be lots of kids there, I decided to make things that the little brats tots would like.  I’ve made brownies and some tea loaf (for the adults) and I’ll be making those yummy vanilla cupcakes and I also decided to make whoopie pies to show these Brits what a whoopie pie is supposed to look and taste like.  (In case you’re wondering, I’ve put the brownies, tea loaf and whoopie pies in the freezer until needed.  I’ll make the cupcakes towards the end of next week, probably on Thursday or Friday as the FFD is on Saturday).

Homemade Whoopie Pies

This recipe is from an Amish cookbook so it is a traditional recipe.  For those of you who want to try making these, you will get a good many of them…I got 30 pies (60 cakes).

They’re not difficult to make; just a wee bit time consuming as you can only make about 6 cakes per pan.

There’s also more than enough filling for all of them, although you won’t have that much left over.  I just put extra filling in the last 6 or so that I made.  I also made the cakes one day and the filling the next day.

Some of the cakes will come out slightly bigger or smaller.  Try to match up same size cakes with each other.

~~WHOOPIE PIES~~

2 C sugar

1 C shortening or butter

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 C plain flour

1 C cocoa powder

1 tsp salt

1 C sour milk (add 1-2 Tbsp white vinegar to milk)

2 tsp baking soda

1 C hot water

Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F.

Cream the sugar and shortening until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder and salt.

Add to creamed mixture alternately with sour milk until well incorporated.

Dissolve baking soda in hot water and add to mixture, mixing well.

Using a small ice cream scoop (about 2 Tbsp), drop onto greased cookie sheet or silicone mat. Depending on the size of your baking sheet, you may only get about 6 on each sheet.  Don’t forget, they will spread to about a diameter of about 2 to 2½ inches.  You want to make sure they are all uniform in size, as best you can.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cakes sit on pan 1-2 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

~~CREAM FILLING~~

2 egg whites, beaten until foamy

¼ C milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 C powdered/confectioner’s/10X/icing sugar, divided

1½ C shortening or butter

Mix together the egg whites, milk, vanilla and 2 cups sugar.

Beat in shortening and remaining sugar until smooth and fluffy.

Spread a dab on the flat side of half of the cooled cakes.  Top with another cake to form a sandwich pie.

Pies can be individually wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen.  Allow to thaw at room temp. (They taste pretty good right from frozen too!)

Enjoy!

♥ Terri  ♥♥

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Breakfast, the most important meal of the day.  Sometimes it’s a struggle trying to decide what I want to should eat.  Usually I’ll make myself a nice warming bowl of porridge or maybe a veggie filled frittata or even a smoothie. However, every now and then, I want something different, something that I really shouldn’t eat, and today was one of those days.

I wanted pancakes.  Proper pancakes.  Not the crepes that they call pancakes here, but proper, fluffy, hearty American pancakes!

Now I had a choice; do I make then with all the ingredients I shouldn’t really have (white flour, butter and sugar) or do I attempt to make them a bit healthy (whole wheat flour, low fat margarine and fruit sugar/fructose)?  I went with the latter.  Do I get a gold star for that?

Pancakes are really easy to make and it’s 99.9% guaranteed that you have these ingredients in your kitchen cupboard at any time.  I mean really now, who doesn’t have eggs, milk, butter, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in their kitchens??

I’ll give you the white flour recipe and the whole wheat flour recipe…the choice is yours on which ingredients you use, but the method is the same.

The most important thing when making pancakes is that you want your pan to be hot right from the get go.  If the pan isn’t hot enough from the beginning, the batter will stick.  If you have a cast iron fry pan, all the better.

~~AMERICAN PANCAKES~~

Before you even start getting the ingredients together, get that pan on the stove and get it heating up.

(healthy)                                                      (not so healthy)

1 egg                                                            1 egg

3/4 C low-fat milk                                           3/4 C whole milk

2 Tbsp low-fat margarine, melted                    2 Tbsp butter, melted

1 C whole wheat flour                                     1 C white flour

1 Tbsp fructose/fruit sugar                              1 Tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt                                                    1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp baking powder                                    1 Tbsp baking powder

 

Combine the egg, milk and fat and whisk.  If you have an electric mixer, use that to make it more fluffy.  Mix the dry ingredients together and add to the wet ingredients and blend together.  (I like to mix everything together in a 2-Cup Pyrex measuring jug)

Pour the mixture (or use a ladle) into the HOT dry pan in the size of pancake you wish.  It may be easier to make one at a time unless you plan on making silver-dollar pancakes, then you’ll be able to make 2-3 at a time, depending on the size of your pan.

Leave undisturbed for 1-2 minutes or until you start to see bubbles forming on the surface.  Gently lift the pancake with a metal spatula and flip over.  Again leave for 1-2 minutes or until you see the pancake really starting to fluff up.  Remove to a warm dish and continue with the remaining pancakes.

To the batter you can add sliced fruit such as bananas or strawberries or even blueberries. Or try chopped nuts such as walnuts or pecans or perhaps chocolate chips. (I added walnuts and topped with more walnuts and raisins).

The traditional ‘serve with’ items are butter and maple syrup but that is your choice.  I had mine with a bit of maple syrup only.

 

 

Enjoy!

♥ Terri  ♥♥