Monday, September 27, 2010

Tuna Noodle Casserole



 It’s our first fall feeling day here in Ohio and I wanted good
and warm comfort food and what better than a nice
Tuna noodle casserole. Makes some great leftovers
for lunch or even a second dinner. Served with
7 Grain Harvest Bread Roll and a couple of boiled
Red Potatoes! Too good!

Ingredients
* 1 (8 oz) bag of Ronzoni Healthy Harvest  Egg Noodles
* 1 (6 oz) can of tuna, liquid removed
* 2 tbsp of All-Purpose Flour
* 1 cup of 2% Milk
* 2 tbsp of butter (I Can't Believe it's Not Butter)
* 1 cup of Cheddar cheese (sharp), shredded
* 1 tsp of salt (this step is optional)
* 1/4 Cup Bread Crumbs

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2 qt casserole dish with cooking spray. Boil your noodles in a large pot of water (salted) until “al dente”, then drain. Add butter, flour and salt in a medium sized saucepan. Blend until the butter is melted and remaining ingredients are mixed well. Then, stir in your milk. Continue until the sauce thickens (this will usually take place by the time the mixture comes to a boil). Add the cheese, and stir until melted and the mixture is blended well. Finally add the noodles and tuna and stir. Apply evenly into the casserole dish.Sprinkle lightly with shredded Cheese and Bread Crumbs on top. Bake for 30 minutes, and serve.

Food Prep - Poaching

Poaching is an incredibly versatile cooking method; just about everything from fruits to meats can be cooked using this technique. Poaching is merely simmering food in liquid until it is cooked through.

As with baking, the density of the food will determine the cooking duration time; fish is cooked for a short amount of time in liquid that is gradually heated, while denser meats cook longer starting with a cold liquid, so as ensure thorough cooking.

The key to poaching meats and proteins is to make sure that your stove temperature is not too high and that your liquid does not come to a boil, as this will cause the meat to break down, resulting in a greasy meal in which the fats are no longer separated on the top of the liquid. (Most cooks choose to skim the fat off of the top of the poaching liquid when cooking meat this way, either reserving it for use in a gravy or sauce or simply discarding it.) Because eggs cook quickly, the liquid is first brought to a boil and then turned off. Then, the eggs are added and covered until cooked to the desired doneness. When poaching eggs, in order to keep the whites in tact, it helps to add a bit of vinegar to the water (about 1 t. to 2-3 cups of liquid).

Spice of the Week - Ginger

Ginger is native to India and China. It takes its name from the Sanskrit word stringa-vera,  which means “with a body like a horn”, as in antlers. Ginger has been important in Chinese medicine for many centuries, and is mentioned in the writings of Confucius. It is also named in the Koran, the sacred book of the Moslems, indicating it was known in Arab countries as far back as 650 A.D. It was one of the earliest spice known in Western Europe, used since the ninth century. It became so popular in Europe that it was included in every table setting, like salt and pepper. A common article of medieval and Renaissance trade, it was one of the spices used against the plague. In English pubs and taverns in the nineteenth century, barkeepers put out small containers of ground ginger, for people to sprinkle into their beer — the origin of ginger ale. In order to ’gee up’ a lazy horse, it is the time honored practice of Sussex farmers to apply a pinch of ginger to the animal’s backside..

Attributed Medicinal Properties
Ginger has long been ascribed aphrodisiac powers, taken either internally or externally. It is mentioned in the Karma Sutra, and in the Melanesian Islands of the South Pacific it is employed ‘to gain the affection of a woman’. Conversely, in the Philippines it is chewed to expel evil spirits. Ginger is a known diaphoretic, meaning it causes one to sweat. It was recorded that Henry VIII instructed the mayor of London to use ginger’s diaphoretic qualities as a plague medicine.

Ginger is most commonly known for its effectiveness as a digestive aid. By increasing the production of digestive fluids and saliva, Ginger helps relieve indigestion, gas pains, diarrhea and stomach cramping. The primary known constituents of Ginger Root include gingerols, zingibain, bisabolenel, oleoresins, starch, essential oil (zingiberene, zingiberole, camphene, cineol, borneol), mucilage, and protein. Ginger root is also used to treat nausea related to both motion sickness and morning sickness. Ginger has been found to be even more effective than Dramamine® in curbing motion sickness, without causing drowsiness. Ginger's anti-inflammatory properties help relieve pain and reduce inflammation associated with arthritis, rheumatism and muscle spasms. Ginger's therapeutic properties effectively stimulate circulation of the blood, removing toxins from the body, cleansing the bowels and kidneys, and nourishing the skin. Other uses for Ginger Root include the treatment of asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory problems by loosening and expelling phlegm from the lungs. Ginger Root may also be used to help break fevers by warming the body and increasing perspiration.

Culinary Uses
Fresh ginger is essential to Asian and oriental cookery. It is used in pickles, chutneys and curry pastes and the ground dried root is a constituent of many curry powders. Tender young ginger can be sliced and eaten as a salad. Sometimes the roots will produce green sprouts which can be finely chopped and added to a green salad. In the West, dried ginger is mainly used in cakes and biscuits, especially ginger snaps and gingerbread. Ginger is also used in puddings, jams, preserves and in some drinks like ginger beer, ginger wine and tea. Pickled ginger is a delicious accompaniment to satays and a colorful garnish to many Chinese dishes. Preserved ginger is eaten as a confection, chopped up for cakes and puddings, and is sometimes used as an ice cream ingredient. For more on cooking with ginger see

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Dr. Pepper Cake

   Dr. Pepper Cake 

  • 1 1/2 cups high gluten flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup granulated Splenda
  • 1/4 cup Diabetisweet
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 4 Tablespoons Dutch-Process Cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 large egg whites (room temp)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup cold Diet Dr. Pepper *
  • 2 Tablespoons Buttermilk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Dr. Pepper Cake Grease and flour (use the gluten flour) two 8" or 9" round cake pans. Preheat oven to 325°F.

In large mixing bowl, sift together high gluten flour, almond flour, granulated Splenda, Diabetisweet, baking powder, cocoa, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.



In another large bowl, whip egg whites until soft peaks form. Pause and sprinkle cream of tartar over egg whites, then continue beating until stiff peaks form.

In small bowl, mix cold Diet Dr. Pepper with egg yolks and whisk well. Add oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Add egg yolk mixture to flour mixture and beat till smooth.

Add 1/2 of the whipped egg whites to the batter mixture and beat again until well blended (but no more than a minute.)

Then carefully add batter to remainder of whipped egg whites and mix gently using a rubber/plastic spatula, being careful not to break down whites, until batter is fully incorporated.

Pour into cake pans evenly and bake at 325°F for 20-30 minutes turning half-way through. Keep an eye on them and don't overbake. Baking time can vary a bit depending on oven, elevation, etc. Cake is done when lightly golden brown on top and puffed and cracked at edges. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to cool on cake racks. When fully cool, assemble and frost with your favorite low-carb frosting. (A chocolate/peanut butter/cream cheese frosting is great on this cake!)

Total carbs in whole cake: 96. Cut into 16 pieces for 6 grams per slice or 12 pieces for 8 grams per slice. Thank you to The Low Carb Connoisseur


Mediterranean Chicken w/Angel Hair Pasta - by Good Earth Products

After trying Good Earth Spicy Shrimp, which was delicious, I decided to try a different one for tonight's dinner. I'm making the Mediterranean Chicken w/Angel Hair Pasta.Once again everything tasted great!
I boiled some mini carrots and had Whole Grain Loaf Bread as sides. The Good earth Dinners are easy
to make, great tasting, plus are low calorie and low carb.

Ingredients
1 Lb. uncooked Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Cup of Hot Water
1/4 Cup of Milk
1 Box of Good Earth Med. Chicken, which includes:  
100 % Whole Grain Angel Hair Pasta
Creamy Sauce w/Olive Oil
Mediterranean Seasoning w/Tomatoes
Seasoned Whole Wheat Flour

*Fill 2 quart saucepan 2/3 full of water.Heat to boiling and add Pasta. Gently boil uncovered 5 minutes,
stirring occasionally. While water is heating and pasta cooking prepare the Chicken.
*Cut Chicken Breast into 3 or 4 slices.
*Empty Seasoned Flour into a medium bowl or food storage bag. Coat Chicken pieces with the flour.
*Heat Olive oil in a 10 inch skillet over medium high heat. Carefully add Chicken to hot oil and

cook 2 to 5 minutes per side or until golden brown.
*Reduce heat to medium carefully stir in hot water, milk, Creamy Sauce, and Mediterranean Seasoning
until well blended. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Simmer uncovered about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until Chicken is no longer pink in center (sauce will be thin).
*Drain Pasta. Serve Chicken and Sauce over pasta or toss with pasta (Sauce will thicken as it stands).

Makes 5 servings
290 Calories and 23 Carbohydrates per serving.

Shrimp Gumbo Low Carb Style!

Ran across this recipe and it looked too good to pass by. Low carb and low calorie!

 

Shrimp Gumbo from Atkins Kitchen

Shrimp Gumbo from Atkins Kitchen
Recipe adapted from Chuck Taggarts gumbopages.com


Creole spices, fresh seafood and lots of Southern vegetables make this stew hearty, flavorful and full of glorious colors.

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons Carbquick *
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
small onion, chopped
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced sodium chicken broth plus 1 cup water
1 cup diced stewed tomatoes
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning blend
2 garlic cloves, pushed through a press
1 pound collard greens, washed, cut in strips, or 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen
1 package (10 ounces) frozen cut okra
2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined
Hot red pepper sauce
Salt and pepper

1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat, whisk in bake mix and cook, whisking, until golden brown and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Add celery, bell pepper and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes, until vegetables are softened.
2. Add chicken broth, water, tomatoes, Creole seasoning and garlic to vegetable mixture and bring to a boil.. Add collards and okra, cover and cook until collards are tender, about 10 minutes.
3. Add shrimp to gumbo, mix well, cover, and cook 3-4 minutes, until shrimp are pink and cooked through. Season to taste with hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper.

Servings: 6
Prep time: 25 minutes
Bake/Cook time: 25 minutes
Carbohydrates:16.5 grams Net Carbs:10.5 grams Fiber:6 grams Protein: 26 grams Fat: 7 grams Calories: 232

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Another Batch of the 3 Bean Turkey Chili


I made another batch of the 3 Bean Turkey Chili.

Some for dinner tonight, some for lunch later in the week,

and I’m going to freeze some this time.

Ingredients

1 lb. Ground turkey
3 Cans (6 oz.) Hunt’s Tomato Paste
1 Can (15 oz.) Chili Beans, rinsed
1 Can (15 oz.) Kidney Beans, rinsed
1 Can (15 oz.) Great Northern Beans, rinsed
1/2 Cup of Water
1 Packet of McCormick Chili Mix
1 Tbs Ground Cocoa Chili Blend (McCormick)
1/2 Tsp Ground Chipotle Chili Pepper (McCormick)
1 Tsp. Ground cumin
1 Tbs of Cilantro Leaves
5 Dashes of Frank’s Hot Sauce or to taste.
1 pkg. (7 oz.) KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Oyster Crackers, Reduced Fat

*COOK turkey in large saucepan on medium-high heat 10 min. or until no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Add all remaining ingredients except 1 can of the tomato paste and the cheese and crackers.

*ADD to slow cooker and add in the remaining 1 can of tomato paste.

*COVER with lid. Cook on HIGH 3 to 4 hours (or on LOW 5 to 6 hours).

*Serve in bowl or mug with cheese and the oyster crackers, or serve with some home made cornbread ears.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Food Prep - Broiling

Broiling is a cooking process which involves the use of very high heat for a short period of time. In addition to producing food quickly, broiling is also used for low fat cooking. As a general rule of thumb, thinner cuts of meat are more suitable for broiling, to ensure that the meat is cooked all the way through. Meat, poultry, vegetables, and seafood can all be broiled.

There are two different types of broiling. One involves cooking the food in an oven which is set to a “broil” setting. The other is called pan broiling, and it takes places on the stovetop using dry, high heat. Both produce slightly different end products, especially pan broiling, which can sometimes be closer to sauteeing than broiling. Broiling tends to produce a large amount of smoke, so it is important to do it in conditions with good ventilation.

To broil in an oven, most people use an oven with a separate broiler rack, usually located beneath the oven. The food being broiled is inserted, and the oven is turned to “broil.” Broiling directs intense heat at the food from directly above to quickly sear and cook it. The food may need to be turned if it is particularly thick, and it should be broiled in a sturdy cooking pan over a broiler tray.

To broil on the stovetop, a sturdy frying pan is used. The stove is adjusted to a high setting, which sears the meat when it is placed in the pan. As fat is produced, it is usually poured off. Thick foods should always be flipped to ensure that they are properly cooked.

Some people liken broiling to grilling, since it is essentially grilling in reverse. The heat comes from above, rather than below, but in both instances high heat quickly sears the food, sealing in flavor and moisture. As the heat penetrates the food, the food is cooked through. Both broiling and grilling can cause food to burn if it is not carefully watched, so always keep an eye on foods being broiled.

Spice of the Week - Rosemary


Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant evergreen needle-like leaves. It is native to the Mediterranean region. It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, which also includes many other herbs.Forms range from upright to trailing; the upright forms can reach 1.5 m (5 ft) tall, rarely 2 m (6 ft 7 in).
The leaves are evergreen, 2–4 cm (0.8–1.6 in) long and 2–5 mm broad, green above, and white below with dense short woolly hair.
Flowering, very common in a mature and healthy specimen, blooms in summer in the north; but can be ever blooming in warm-winter climates and is variable in color, being white, pink, purple, or blue.

Attributed Medicinal Properties
Rosemary is a circulatory and nervine stimulant, which in addition to the toning and calming effect it has on digestion, is also effective for distressing. Rosemary is useful for flatulent dyspepsia, headache or depression associated with debility. Externally, Rosemary oil may be used to ease muscular pain, sciatica and neuralgia. The constituents of Rosemary act as a stimulant to both the hair follicles and circulation in the scalp, and thus may be helpful in treating premature baldness - the oil is most effective in this case. The plant contains essential oils (borneol, camphor, cineole, linalol, verbenol), tannins, flavonoids (apigenin, diosmin, luteolin), rosmarinic acid, rosmaricine, heterosides, triterpene (ursolic acid, oleanic acid), and resin. Rosemary is considered a rejuvenative skin toner. It is an important ingredient in Queen of Hungary water, a popular beauty tonic. When used on the skin, it helps to strengthen the capillaries. As a bath herb, it acts as a rejuvenative and helps sore muscles. Rosemary can also be used as a gargle for sore throat, gum ailments, canker sores and as a breath freshener. And Rosemary is often used as an ingredient in shampoos & conditioners for dandruff, where it is believed to prevent premature graying of dark hair and hair loss.

During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, rosemary branches were burned in homes to keep away the black death. More recently during World War II, a mixture of rosemary leaves and juniper berries was burned in the hospitals of France to kill germs. These practices may not be as strange as they seem. Research has found that rosemary oil does indeed have some antibacterial effects.

As a medicinal herb, rosemary should he used carefully. Larger quantities of the pure oil used therapeutically can irritate the stomach, intestines, and kidneys. However, don't let this worry those of you who cook with rosemary. As a seasoning, it is perfectly safe to use.

Culinary Uses
Rosemary has one of those distinctive, strong flavors that convinces the palate that herbs aren't just delicate things reserved for dainty soups and sprinkling on baby vegetables. It takes hold of the taste buds with a woodsy flavor, somewhat piny, mint like yet sweeter, with a slight ginger finish. It can also be used as a subtle accent, using just a hint of the flavor lightening the mood of an otherwise mundane sauce or pastry.

Its flavor harmonizes with those of poultry, fish, lamb, beef, veal, pork, and game, particularly in their roasted forms. Rosemary enhances tomatoes spinach, peas, mushrooms, squash, cheese, eggs, lentils, and complements the herbs chives, thyme, chervil, parsley, and bay in recipes. Gentle soups like potato and eggplant benefit from rosemary's robust character, as do marinades, salad dressings, bouquet garnis, and cream —sauces.

You can use both the flowers and leaves for garnishing and cooking. Crush or mince the spiky leaves before sprinkling over or rubbing into foods.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Nothing but Good, Good Earth!



Tried something new for dinner tonight a product called Good earth Restaurant Favorites. They have five or so different ones and I had the Spicy Citrus Glazed Shrimp with Angel Hair Pasta. They supply you with the Spicy Citrus Glaze, 100% Whole Grain Angel Hair Pasta, Whole Wheat Flour, and Pasta Seasoning.I supplied the Shrimp. It was very easy to make, about 15 - 20 minutes, low calorie and low carb. The Spicy Citrus Glaze is fantastic with the Shrimp. everything tasted great. I would highly recommend this!

Ingredients

1 Box of Good Earth Spicy Citrus Glazed Shrimp
1 Lb. uncooked Shrimp (26 - 32 Medium), thawed
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter"

*Fill 2 quart sauce pan 2/3 full of water. Heat to boiling and stir in Pasta.
*Gently boil uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
*While Pasta is cooking empty Whole Wheat Flour into medium bowl or food storage bag.Coat well drained thawed Shrimp with Flour.
*Heat oil in non-stick 10" skillet over medium - high heat. Carefully add Shrimp to hot oil and cook 1 - 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
*Reduce heat to medium. Cut off 3/4 inch corner of Spicy Citrus Glaze pouch. Carefully pour glaze into skillet with Shrimp. Cook uncovered 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until Shrimp are cooked through and coated with glaze.
*Drain Pasta. Add Butter and Pasta Seasoning to Pasta and toss with fork to coat.
Serve Shrimp with Pasta.

1 Cup prepared has 290 Calories and 38 Carbs.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati USA




When the people of Cincinnati start measuring their dachshunds for hotdog bun costumes and practice their Chicken Dance moves, it can only mean one thing – that it is time for Oktoberfest.

Cincinnati is proud of its German heritage and during the months of August and September, the entire city celebrates the German tradition of Oktoberfest with not just one but three festivals taking place in and around the city. Possibly more beer, bratwursts and potato pancakes are consumed in Cincinnati during Oktoberfest than in any other city in the country.
Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, 18-19 September 2010

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati claims to be the second largest Oktoberfest in the world which would make it second only to the world-famous celebrations in Munich. The festival has been held in downtown Cincinnati since 1976 and has grown steadily over the years. Today, it covers an area of six city blocks, from Race Street to Broadway, devoted to German music, food and beer. Over 500,000 people attended Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in 2009.

http://www.oktoberfest-zinzinnati.com/

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Sandwich



This will be dinner tonight along with some seasoned potato wedges! This was on the Cooking Channel this morning. Replaced the White flour with Whole Wheat Flour, used Sea Salt, and added 2% Swiss Cheese.

Recipe courtesy Aida Mollenkamp

Serves:
2 sandwiches

Ingredients

* 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* 2 (6 to 8 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
* 1/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
* 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
* 1/8 Teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
* 2 Slices Turkey Bacon
* 1/2 Cup Apple Juice
* 2 Whole Grain rolls, halved lengthwise and toasted
* 1 Tablespoon Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
* 2% Swiss Cheese
* Lettuce
Directions

*Place chicken between 2 sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper and use a frying pan to gently pound the breasts to an even thickness. (They should be about 1 inch thick.)

*Combine flour, salt, and freshly ground black pepper in a wide, shallow dish and mix thoroughly. Coat each breast by dredging it in the flour mixture then shaking off excess flour. Wrap one piece of bacon around each piece of chicken and secure with a toothpick.

*Heat oil in a medium, heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium heat. Add chicken breasts and cook until bacon is well browned , about 5 minutes per side.

*Add the juice, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until cider is reduced by 1/3, and chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and remove toothpicks.

*To make a sandwich, spread mustard evenly on cut sides of bread. Layer Lettuce and Swiss cheese alternately on one piece of bread, top with a chicken breast, drizzle with pan juices, season with freshly ground black pepper, and close sandwich. Repeat to make a second sandwich.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Skillet Salmon and Parmesan Potatoes

Two of my favorites! Salmon and Potatoes all in one meal. Serves 2.

1 (6-ounce) salmon fillet (about 1-inch thick)
Cooking spray
2 medium potatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cups mixed salad greens
1 cup chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons low-fat balsamic vinaigrette
1 lemon

1. Heat a nonstick skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat fish with cooking spray. Add fish to pan, and cook 6 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
2. While fish cooks, pierce potatoes with a fork; arrange in a circle on paper towels in a microwave oven. Microwave at HIGH 8–10 minutes, turning potatoes after 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes.
3. Cut the cooked potatoes in half, and sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese.
4. Combine greens, tomatoes, and vinaigrette in a bowl; toss gently.
5. Cut lemon in half, and squeeze lemon juice over fish. Serve salmon with potatoes and salad.

Serving size: 3 ounces salmon, 2 potato halves, and 1 ½ cups salad
Calories 410; Fat 12g (sat 3g, mono 2g, poly 2g); Cholesterol 50mg; Protein 30g; Carbohydrate 49g; Sugars 7g; Fiber 7g; RS 2.1g; Sodium 660mg

Thanks to Health Magazine - The Carb Lovers Diet

Cheddar and Apple Melt

Nice mid day or evening snack. Low carb, low calorie and quick and easy to make!

Ingredients

1 Small Apple, Thinly sliced
1 6 Inch Corn Tortilla
1 Tablespoon of Kraft Shredded Sharp Cheddar

*Place Apple slices on tortilla. Sprinkle with Cheese.
*Microwave on high for 30 seconds or until Cheese is bubbly. Cut into quarters and serve.

**1 Melt is 160 Calories and 31 Carbs. Lower the carbs by using Kraft 2% Shredded Sharp Cheese and Whole Wheat Tortillas.**

Thanks to Health Magazine - The Carb Lovers Diet

Food Prep - Baking

Cooking food by surrounding it with hot, dry air, usually in an oven. This technique is very similar to Roasting, but baking is the preferred term applied to vegetables, breads, fish, and pastries.

The dry heat of baking changes the form of starches in the food and causes its outer surfaces to brown, giving it an attractive appearance and taste, while partially sealing in the food's moisture. The browning is caused by caramelization of sugars and the Maillard reaction. Moisture is never really entirely "sealed in", however; over time, an item being baked will become dry. This is often an advantage, especially in situations where drying is the desired outcome, for example in drying herbs or in roasting certain types of vegetables. The most common baked item is bread. Variations in the ovens, ingredients and recipes used in the baking of bread result in the wide variety of breads produced around the world.

Some foods are surrounded with moisture during baking by placing a small amount of liquid (such as water or broth) in the bottom of a closed pan, and letting it steam up around the food, a method commonly known as braising or slow baking.

When baking, consideration must be given to the amount of fat that is contained in the food item. Higher levels of fat such as margarine, butter or vegetable shortening will cause an item to spread out during the baking process.

With the passage of time breads harden; they become stale. This is not primarily due to moisture being lost from the baked products, but more a reorganization of the way in which the water and starch are associated over time. This process is similar to recrystallization, and is promoted by storage at cool temperatures, such as in a domestic refrigerator.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Grilled Bison Tenderloin

I use Bison instead of regular beef almost all the time. Ran across this recipe earlier.

Grilled Bison Tenderloin

Ingredients
4 Garlic cloves, minced
2 Shallots, minced
1/4 Cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 Cup chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 Cup sherry wine
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs dijon mustard
1/4 Cup lemon juice
1/2 Tbs black peppercorns
1 Lb bison tenderloin

*Combine all ingredients except the bison tenderloin in a food processor or blender to make the marinade. Process until smooth.
*Place the bison tenderloin in a shallow glass baking dish and pour in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours to 2 days, turning meat occasionally.
*Turn on grill. Place bison tenderloin on grill. Brush with marinade. Let cook 15 minutes. Turn over and brush with marinade. Cook another 10 minutes for rare or longer as desired. Slice and serve.

*Serve with potato wedges and boiled carrots.

Spice of the Week - Nutmeg


Spice Description
The nutmeg tree is a large evergreen native to the Moluccas (the Spice Islands) and is now cultivated in the West Indies. It produces two spices — mace and nutmeg. Nutmeg is the seed kernel inside the fruit and mace is the lacy covering (aril) on the kernel.
The nutmeg seed is encased in a mottled yellow, edible fruit, the approximate size and shape of a small peach. The fruit splits in half to reveal a net-like, bright red covering over the seed. This is the aril which is collected, dried and sold as mace. Under the aril is a dark shiny nut-like pit, and inside that is the oval shaped seed which is the nutmeg. Nutmegs are usually sold without the mace or hard shell. They are oval, about 25 mm (1 in) in length, lightly wrinkled and dark brown on the outside, lighter brown on the inside. Nutmeg is sold whole or ground, and is labeled as ‘East Indian’ or ‘West Indian’ indicating its source. Whole nutmeg may be coated with lime to protect against insects and fungus, though this practice is giving way to other forms of fumigation.


Attributed Medicinal Properties
Used in small dosages nutmeg can reduce flatulence, aid digestion, improve the appetite and treat diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. Nutmeg’s flavor and fragrance come from oil of myristica, containing myristicin, a poisonous narcotic. Myristicin can cause hallucinations, vomiting, epileptic symptoms and large dosages can cause death. These effects will not be induced, however, even with generous culinary usage.

Culinary Uses
Nutmeg is usually associated with sweet, spicy dishes — pies, puddings, custards, cookies and spice cakes. It combines well with many cheeses, and is included in souffl├ęs and cheese sauces. In soups it works with tomatoes, slit pea, chicken or black beans. It complements egg dishes and vegetables like cabbage, spinach, broccoli, beans onions and eggplant. It flavors Italian mortadella sausages, Scottish haggis and Middle Eastern lamb dishes. It is often included as part of the Moroccan spice blend ras el hanout. It is indispensable to eggnog and numerous mulled wines and punches.
One whole nutmeg grated equals 2 to 3 teaspoons of ground nutmeg.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Aunt Millie's Breakfast Sandwich


Had a tasty and healthy breakfast this morning the "Aunt Millie's way!
Simple and quick breakfast, low carb and low calorie.

Ingredients

1/4 Cup Egg Beater's - 30 Calories 1 Carb
Mrs. Dash Salt Free Table Blend for seasoning 0 Calories 0 Carbs
3 Pieces of Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Smoked Shaved Ham 98% Fat Free - 45 Calories
0 Carbs
1 Slice Kraft Deli Fresh 2% Sharp Cheddar - 60 Calories 0 Carbs
1 Aunt Millie's Whole Grain English Muffin - 100 Calories 20 Carbs
Pam w/Olive Oil Spray - 0 Calories 0 Carbs

* Spray skillet with Pam and heat on low-medium heat.
* Heat Muffins in toaster, remove when done.
* After skillet is heated add Egg Beater's folding the eggs frequently, for the perfect
scrambled egg! Add seasoning to taste as stirring. Heat until egg's are no longer runny.
* Remove Eggs and add them to the Muffins. In the same skillet add the Ham and heat until hot and add the Ham to the Muffin.
* Add the one slice of Cheese to the Muffin and enjoy!

235 Calories 21 Carbs and a filling and healthy breakfast!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Food Prep - Boiling

Each week I'll have a different food preparation and it's back ground. Something different! This week is Boiling Food.

BOILING food is the process of cooking it in a boiling liquid, usually water. Boiling water has a temperature of 212°, and no matter how long it boils or how hard it boils, it never becomes hotter; for at that point it is transformed by the heat into steam, and in time boils away. Boiling is marked by rapid bubbling and the breaking of the bubbles into steam.

The chief food elements affected by boiling are the starch and the albumen. Cold water has no effect upon starch. It will mingle with it, but if allowed to stand, the starch will soon settle to the bottom of the vessel. If boiling water be poured upon finely ground starch those granules which the water first touches will swell and burst, allowing the contents of each granule to mix with the boiling water. But these granules which the water does not reach will be unchanged, and the mass will be lumpy. If, how-ever, the starch be rubbed up with cold water to a consistency sufficient to permit the mass to run, and it be then poured into boiling water, the granules will all burst, and as the contents mix with the water, a smooth, uniform mixture results. This applies only to those starchy foods Used in the form of a fine powder. Solid, compact, starchy foods should be put at once into boiling water.

Starch in a Fat, or uncooked, state is not wholesome. When a starchy food is cooked the grains of starch swell and burst. For this reason cooked potato which contains much starch is mealy and flaky. New potatoes do not become so on boiling, as they contain but very little starch. In potatoes which have been allowed to sprout, the starch is changed into gum and this renders them unfit for food.

Albumen is purest in the white of an egg, in which it occurs in it liquid form. It is also found in meats, especially in the juices and fibers of lean meat; this is called blood albumen.

If an egg is put into boiling water the white or transparent portion soon becomes opaque; it next becomes tough; and, finally, hard or brittle. The yolk, too, contains some albumen, which becomes mealy and dry in boiling.

When a piece of lean meat is placed in boiling water it will seem to shrivel and diminish in size. All of its juices will be retained, and the water will remain clear and uncolored.' But if it be placed in cold water the latter will be discolored by the juices which have been soaked out. The water, as it becomes hotter, will assume a brown color. The cold water has extracted the juices from the meat, while the boiling water hardened the albumen and closed the pores of the meat, thus preventing the escape of the juices. If the meat is to be boiled it must be put at once into boiling water, so as to cause it to retain the juices. But if soup or broth is to be made by the extraction of the juices the meat should be placed in cold water, , and the water should never pass the simmering point.

Water containing salt or sugar is denser than ordinary water, consequently it is more difficult to bring it to a " boil." Soft water extracts the juices of the meat more readily than does hard water. Hard water is best for boiling meat or vegetables. If only soft water is at hand it should be salted in order to preserve vegetables whole while cooking.

When a piece of meat is boiled it is essential to retain its nutritious juices and not to allow them to escape into the water. To accomplish this, the meat is placed in boiling, salted water and allowed to boil as hard as possible for from five to ten minutes. This is enough to harden the albumen and to close the pores. The vessel,, tightly covered in order to retain the steam, is placed where the water will gently simmer.

The scum which forms on the top of the water is albumen from the outside of the meat; it should be removed by skimming, as otherwise it will settle upon the meat and spoil its appetizing appearance.

Great care is necessary in turning the meat in boiling so as not to allow the escape of its juices. A fork should never be used for this purpose. When soup, broth, and teas are to be made it is essential to extract all of the juice and strength of the meat. To do this, place the meat, cut in small pieces, in cold water, and allow it to soak as long as possible. Do not let it boil, but only simmer until all of the nutriment is extracted.

When stews and fricassees are made, it is intended that both the meat and liquid shall be eaten. It is, therefore, necessary that the nourishment be retained in both the solid and the liquid. To accomplish this a combination of both of the above principles is called for. Place the meat in cold water. Let it boil quickly, and after skimming place it where it can simmer. By placing in cold water some of the nutriment is-extracted, and the rapid boiling stops the extraction before it has gone too far, while the simmering cooks the solid thoroughly.

As vegetables, contain a little albumen and much juice, it is best to place them in hot water and bring them to a boil quickly. This will harden the albumen, keep in the juices, and cause them to be absorbed by the bursting starch granules.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Spice of the Week - Turmeric


Spice Description
Turmeric is the rhizome or underground stem of a ginger-like plant. It is usually available ground, as a bright yellow, fine powder. The whole turmeric is a tuberous rhizome, with a rough, segmented skin. The rhizome is yellowish-brown with a dull orange interior that looks bright yellow when powdered.
Bouquet: Earthy and slightly acrid.
Flavor: Warm and aromatic with a bitter undertone.

Turmeric is an ancient spice, a native of South East Asia, used from antiquity as dye and a condiment. It is cultivated primarily in Bengal, China, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Java. Peru. Australia and the West Indies. It is still used in rituals of the Hindu religion, and as a dye for holy robes, being natural, unsynthesized and cheap. Turmeric is in fact one of the cheapest spices. Although as a dye it is used similarly to saffron, the culinary uses of the two spices should not be confused and should never replace saffron in food dishes. Its use dates back nearly 4000 years, to the Vedic culture in India where it was used as a culinary spice and had some religious significance. The name derives from the Latin terra merita “meritorious earth” referring to the color of ground turmeric which resembles a mineral pigment. In many languages turmeric is simply named as “yellow root”.

Attributed Medicinal Properties
Turmeric is a mild digestive, being aromatic, a stimulant and a carminative. An ointment base on the spice is used as an antiseptic in Malaysia. Turmeric water is an Asian cosmetic applied to impart a golden glow to the complexion. Curcumin has been shown to be active against Staphlococcus aureus (pus-producing infections)

Culinary Uses
Turmeric is used extensively in the East and Middle East as a condiment and culinary dye. In India it is used to tint many sweet dishes. Apart from its wide use in Moroccan cuisine to spice meat, particularly lamb, and vegetables, its principal place is in curries and curry powders. It is used in many fish curries, possibly because it successfully masks fishy odors. When used in curry powders, it is usually one of the main ingredients, providing the associated yellow color.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Blackened Chicken

Tasty, low Calorie, and low carb equals one nice recipe! This would make a great grilled chicken breast also or with a nice Butterfly Chop. From the allrecipe web site.

Ingredients:
1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
1/8 Teaspoon Ground White Pepper
1/8 Teaspoon Onion Powder
2 Skinless, boneless chicken breast
halves

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Heat a cast iron skillet or regular skillet over high heat for 5 minutes.

2. Mix together the paprika, salt, cayenne, cumin, thyme, white pepper, and onion powder. Oil the chicken breasts with cooking spray on both sides, then coat the chicken breasts evenly with the spice mixture

3. Place the chicken in the hot pan, and cook for 1 minute. Turn, and cook 1 minute on other side. Place the breasts on the prepared baking sheet.

4. Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 5 minutes.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Are there any bad recipes that come out of a slow cooker? For the first time I used "the other white meat", Pork in my slow cooker. What took me so long! What's nice about this is my roast was about 5 1/2 lbs. so there will be plenty of leftovers! It turned out too good!


Ingredients

5 Lb. Boneless Pork Butt Shoulder
1 1/2 Tsp Paprika
1 Tsp Ground Mustard
1 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
2 Tsp Black Pepper
1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Tsp Dried Thyme
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Onion Powder
1 Cup Water
Aunt Millie’s Whole Grain Buns


*Combine all seasonings in a bowl and mix well.

*Rub seasonings evenly on to roast and place roast

into slow cooker ans add the water.

*Cover and cook on low 6 – 8 hours or on high

for 4 – 5 hours or until pork is very tender.

*Place finished roast on large cutting board or platter

and let the roast rest for 15 min. Pull or chop and

to serve. serve on buns along with your favorite

barbecue sauce.