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Monday, May 30, 2011

Jesse James


Jesse James was one of the most famous outlaws of the American West. Young Jesse learned a lot about guerrilla activities during the U.S. Civil War, fighting and sabotaging the Union army in the cause of the Confederacy. After the war, Jesse formed a gang of outlaws, which included his brother Frank James and the brothers Cole and James Younger. In 1866 they began an on-again, off-again crime spree that lasted for 15 years. The James-Younger gang robbed banks and trains throughout the Midwest and the South, eluding law enforcement and gaining a popular following and mythic stature, although their fame soured a bit as they turned increasingly violent in later robberies. James was finally betrayed by one of his own gang, Robert Ford, who shot him to death in Missouri 1882.

James's story has been retold in many films with long names, including The True Story of Jesse James (1957, with Robert Wagner as James), The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid (1972, with Robert Duvall as James), and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007, with Brad Pitt as James)... The 21st-century mechanic and TV star Jesse James has claimed to be a distant relative; his Discovery Channel biography reported that "his great-great-grandfather was the famous outlaw's cousin"... Another famous outlaw, Billy the Kid, was killed in 1881, the year before James.

" Whatever Floats Your Boat" Brownies



Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Whatever Floats Your Boat Additions
  • 1 -2 cup chocolate chips (semisweet, white, butterscotch, peanut butter)
  • 1 -2 cup raisins
  • 1 -2 cup chopped maraschino cherry
  • 1 -2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 -2 cup M&M'
  • 1 -2 cup Reese's pieces
  • 1 -2 cup miniature marshmallow
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease an 8 inch square pan or line with foil.
  3. In a medium bowl combine melted butter and cocoa and stir until cocoa is dissolved.
  4. Add sugar and mix well.
  5. Add eggs one at a time and stir until well combined.
  6. Stir in vanilla, flour and salt until you no longer see any flour (do not overmix).
  7. Fold in "WHATEVER FLOATS YOUR BOAT"!
  8. Spread in pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes.
  9. DO NOT OVER-BAKE -- your brownies will come out dry. Adjust time/temp accordingly for your oven. If you do the knife/toothpick test, it should come out with moist crumbs, not clean.
  10. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
  11. For vegetarian omit the marshmallows.
  12. For double recipe, bake in 9x12 pan and add 5 minutes to baking time.

Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 35 mins

Scarlett Creamy Burrito Casserole



Ingredients:
  • 1 lb ground beef or 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 (1 1/4 ounce) package taco seasoning
  • 6 large flour tortillas
  • 1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
  • 2 -3 cups shreddedtaco cheese or 2 -3 cups cheddar cheese
  • 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 4 ounces sour cream
  • jarred hot sauce, if desired to spice it up
Directions:

   1.  Brown ground meat/turkey and onion; drain.
   2.  Add taco seasoning and stir in refried beans.
   3.  Mix soup and sour cream in a separate bowl.
   4.  Spread 1/2 sour cream mixture in the bottom of a casserole dish.
   5.  Tear up 3 tortillas and spread over sour cream mixture.
   6.  Put 1/2 the meat bean mixture over that.
   7.  Add a layer of cheese.
   8.  You could put some hot sauce on this now.
   9.  Repeat the layers.
  10. Sprinkle cheese over the top and bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 20-30 minutes.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cannellini bean and chorizo minestrone



The chorizo gives this soup a lovely paprika taste.

Preparation Time
10 minutes
Cooking Time
15 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)
  •  2 chorizo sausages, finely chopped
  •  1 brown onion, finely chopped
  •  2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  •  1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped
  •  2 garlic cloves, crushed
  •  2 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
  •  2 tbs tomato paste
  •  400g can cannellini beans, rinsed, drained
  •  4 cups (1L) chicken stock
  •  1 cup finely shredded savoy cabbage
  •  Store-bought basil pesto, to serve
  •  Crusty bread, to serve

Method
  1. Heat a large saucepan over high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate. Add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and stir to combine. Add the chorizo, beans and chicken stock and stir to combine. Bring to the boil.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until soup thickens slightly. Add the cabbage to the saucepan and stir until cabbage just wilts. Remove from heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Ladle the soup among serving bowls and top with a dollop of pesto. Serve immediately with crusty bread, if desired.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bourbon Chicken Recipe



Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 -2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
Directions:
   1. Heat oil in a large skillet.
   2. Add chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned.
   3. Remove chicken.
   4. Add remaining ingredients, heating over medium Heat until well mixed and dissolved.
   5. Add chicken and bring to a hard boil.
   6. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
   7. Serve over hot rice and ENJOY.

Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 35 mins

Thursday, May 26, 2011

George Stephanopoulos' Biography


George Stephanopoulos is anchor of ABC's "Good Morning America." He is also the network's chief political correspondent, reporting on political and policy stories for all ABC News broadcasts and platforms. Before being named co-anchor of "Good Morning America" in December 2009, Stephanopoulos held the dual role of ABC News' chief Washington correspondent and anchor of "This Week." 

During the 2008 election cycle, Stephanopoulos interviewed every major Republican and Democratic presidential candidate as part of "This Week's "award winning "On the Trail" series, which has been honored with the Annenberg School of Journalism's Walter Cronkite Award for Political Journalism two times in a row in 2007 and 2009. During the 2008 presidential race, Stephanopoulos conducted multiple interviews with Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. in studio and on the trail. In August 2007, he moderated separate debates for the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates in Des Moines, Ia., the only two Sunday morning debates of the primary cycle. He also moderated a Democratic debate with ABC News' Charles Gibson in Philadelphia in April 2008.

In his role as anchor of "This Week," Stephanopoulos interviewed several key members of the Obama administration, including President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and UN Ambassador Susan Rice. During the Bush administration, he interviewed every key member of the President's Cabinet, as well as President Bush, First Lady Laura Bush and Vice President Cheney. In July 2003, he conducted a rare joint interview with Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Stephen Breyer, the first ever Sunday morning interview with two sitting Supreme Court Justices. He conducted a second interview with Justice Breyer in fall 2005. 

The depth and variety of Stephanopoulos' interviews on "This Week" have generated significant accolades for the show, including from the Chicago Tribune, which said he has created the "most challenging, fluid and entertaining Sunday-morning show, far outdoing his rivals in both concept and content." In May 2008 the New York Times lauded him and "This Week" for the broadcast's "high-profile interviews and aggressive bookings."
Over more than a decade at ABC News, Stephanopoulos has played a pivotal role in the network's coverage of breaking news stories. In spring 2005, he reported from Rome and contributed to ABC News' duPont Award-winning coverage of the death of Pope John Paul II. Following the explosion of the Columbia shuttle, he anchored a two-hour special edition of "This Week" on Feb. 2, 2003. And on Sept. 11, 2001, he was one of the first reporters on the scene at Ground Zero. 

Stephanopoulos was named chief Washington correspondent in December 2005 and began anchoring "This Week" in September 2002. Previously he was an ABC News correspondent, reporting on a wide variety of political, domestic and international stories for "This Week," "World News Tonight," ""Good Morning America" and other ABC News programs and special event broadcasts. He joined ABC News in 1997 as a news analyst for "This Week." 

Prior to joining ABC News, Stephanopoulos served in the Clinton administration as the senior adviser to the president for policy and strategy. He is the author of "All Too Human," a No. 1 New York Times bestseller on President Clinton's first term and the 1992 and 1996 Clinton/Gore campaigns.
Stephanopoulos received his Master's degree in theology from Balliol College, Oxford University, England, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University and graduated summa cum laude in political science.Stephanopoulos and his wife, Alexandra Wentworth, have two daughters, Elliott and Harper.

Calories in Honey vs Sugar

A sugar free diet is the latest mantra in the market. Avoid those extra calories and reduce your weight. What's more, it helps you maintain your blood sugar level as well. In the same rhythm, people are also going ga-ga about honey. It is natural, it is healthy, and it has antioxidant properties that keeps you fit and fine. So, is eating honey better than sugar? Should I switch over to honey, or is it another marketing gimmick to make us buy their products? In order to lay all my doubts to rest, I went on to search for answers that helped me determine which is better: honey or sugar. Thus, the following write up, calories in honey vs sugar, will help you understand the difference between these two sweeteners. So continue reading further and find out more about calories in honey compared to sugar.

Calories in Honey Compared to Sugar

I shall begin with information related to calories in honey vs sugar. So, basically these are both sweeteners that help sweeten foods and drinks. Sugar is manufactured from sugarcane after denaturization of proteins, nitrogen, organic acids, vitamins and enzymes. Honey on the other hand is made from the hard work of honey bees. Coming back to calories in honey vs sugar. One tablespoon of sugar contains 46 calories. When you compare honey, it contains about 64 calories. Thus, there are more calories in honey than sugar. Do not hit the panic button, if you had honey with cereals in breakfast today. Honey is more sweeter than sugar. Thus, one adds slightly less honey than sugar. Also, honey is a lot more expensive than sugar. Thus, we are more liberal when using sugar instead of honey. So, in the end, we consume less calories with honey than sugar.

Which is Better Honey or Sugar?
As we found from the above paragraph on calories in honey vs sugar, there are more calories in honey than sugar. This made me wonder, which is better honey or sugar? People go raving about the heath benefits of natural honey. Is this true? So, I decided to dig in deeper and clear out all the doubts.

Have you heard about Glycemic Index (GI)? It is a method of measuring the effect of carbohydrate rich foods on the blood sugar levels. The scale of measuring GI is 0 to 100. Foods that rank high on the scale cause greater fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Thus, lower the ranks, healthier the food. Honey ranks 55 on the Glycemic Index, whereas sugar stands at 61. Thus, honey is better than sugar and it proves to be a better source of energy.

Speaking of energy, sugar contains 100% sucrose and honey is made up of just 1.5% sucrose. The rest is all fructose and glucose, that are a type of monosaccharides. Those who are health conscious, or athletes, will know what I am talking about. Monosaccharides or simple sugars can enter the bloodstream directly. They do not need to be metabolized into simple sugars like sucrose. Thus, they prove to be a source of instant energy and nutrients for the body.


As we move on to nutrients, you will find sugar contains no minerals, vitamins or proteins. Just plain carbohydrates (read between the lines: just plain calories). I have already explained in the beginning, sugar is made by destroying the nutrients in sugar cane. Thus, no nutrients in sugar. On the other hand, honey is a natural product made by honey bees. It contains calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, magnesium, vitamin B6, riboflavin, niacin, pathothenic acid, tryptophan, threonine, lysine, tyrosine, arginine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, serine and many more vitamins, minerals and amino acids. No, this does not mean you can eat honey and get rid of those boring vegetables in your refrigerator! One tablespoon of honey does not contain enough nutrients that meet the recommended daily dose for your body. The nutrients are present, but you will have to eat a hell lot of more honey to achieve your recommended daily nutrient dose. This will lead to weight gain and yeah, diabetes!

Weight gain occurs due to excessive calorie intake in the diet. Thus, the first thing knocked off by the dietitian is sugar from your diet. You can substitute a tablespoon of honey for the sugar you are not supposed to eat. This will give you instant energy and get easily absorbed in the body. However, too much honey will cause you to gain weight. So, if you feel you can gain all the precious vitamins and minerals by eating more honey, think again. You are going to put on more weight than normal.

Honey vs Sugar: Conclusion
So, in conclusion to the calories in honey vs sugar debate, honey proves to be a better bet than sugar. Honey contains more calories than sugar. But, it is not just full of empty calories, it is packed with vitamins, minerals and amino acids in minute levels. So, the end word here, is eating honey in moderation. You should include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet along with a tablespoon or two of honey. Sugar in moderation will also cause no more harm than honey. Watch what you eat as this will help you remain in the 'pink of health'.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

John Wayne's Favorite Casserole Rides Again


John Wayne rides again. Last week's request for a green chile and cheese casserole, which Edith Witherspoon recalled as "Duke's Favorite," turns out to be a reputed culinary indulgence of the macho movie idol.

Dozens of readers dug into their files and sent us the recipe, which, as Doreen Malin of Ross writes, "is really delicious, but you have to think twice about whether you want to eat all that cheese!" She reports that in the '70s, she got a photocopy of the recipe, which was apparently widely circulated and appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

Carole Levenson of Oakland also attributes the recipe to John Wayne trivia, adding "the recipe was supposed to be from a chef on a location catering truck."

Margaret Elliott of Alamo lived in Southern California at the time and says the dish "was described as a favorite of the Duke, John Wayne, who lived in Corona del Mar at the time. Was it his favorite? Who knows? It is a favorite in our family."

So off we ride into the cholesterol sunset.
A brown sugar cookie with a chocolate center was the treat from the past Mary Jane Swenson wanted to recreate for her children. A Peninsula reader left a phone message saying that Gerry Stagi, the son of the people who baked this at the Pink Pastry Shoppe in Menlo Park, now operates Gerry's Cakes on Chestnut Street in Menlo Park. Maybe he could lead our reader to the not-forgotten lost cookie.

New Requests: Gail Reilly of Berkeley says that for more than 30 years, she has been buying a blueberry dessert on the main drag in Carmel. The bakery was still there when she visited recently; the blueberry goodie -- she describes it as similar to lemon bars, except made with blueberries -- was not. She asks if anyone might have a similar recipe.

Cheryl Zelaya wonders if anybody has a recipe similar to Yank Sing restaurant's dressing for its Chinese chicken salad, which she describes as tangy and lemony.
We usually abbreviate reader requests, but this one, from Dave Enas in Richmond, is so eloquently evocative of treats past, we felt moved to print most of it. He writes: "Many years ago there was an eating place in Berkeley on Shattuck and Kittredge called Edy's. Diners would sit in dark wooden booths and eat salads and sandwiches and enjoy a fine milkshake, float, soft drink or coffee. But the ultimate, the main attraction, the headliner, was their hot fudge sundae.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Celebrity Chefs to Serve Food at U.S. Open

Roger Federer, Venus Williams and Rafael Nadal won't be the only ones duking it out at this year's U.S. Open tennis tournament. Celebrity chef's will be battling it out in a cook-off in which the chef who sells the most of a dish created for the tournament will win a $5,000 donation to their charity of choice, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The chefs' creations will be sold at the Master Chef Café at the event in Flushing, Queens. The special dishes will be available throughout the competition, with chefs will also be on-hand during the cook-off competition on Sept. 4 to work the kitchen and give cooking demo, the paper reported.
Chefs on the menu include: Spiaggia's Tony Mantuano of Chicago; California and Las Vegas chef Susan Feniger; Florida's Carmen Gonzalez; New York's Jonathan Waxman; and Rick Moonen of Las Vegas -- all of whom participated in the recent season' of "Top Chef Masters" in the Champions' Round.

Yucatan pork tacos from Feniger. Gonzales will feature a lobster roll, a pulled pork sandwich, a barbeque pork quesadilla, a lobster and avocado terrine and flan. Mantuano will serve up a spinach salad and antipasti platter. Moonen will have "Moon 'N Doogie" shrimp hotdogs, and Waxman will have a panini trio.

Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto will also be serving up cuisine at the 2010 U.S. Open. He'll serve sushi at the VIP and player's lounges and luxury suites, the Journal

Monday, May 23, 2011

Joplin Missouri Tornadoes Rip Across, 89 Dead



Joplin official Mark Rohr said the storm cut a path six miles (10km) long. Homes and businesses were flattened and a damaged hospital had to be evacuated. Power lines are down and telephone connections are largely cut off. The Governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, has declared a state of emergency and warned that more storms are on the way. Cities in three other Midwestern states have also been badly affected. At least one person was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Last month, tornadoes and storms killed at least 350 people in Alabama and six other southern states. 'Nothing left'

Jeff Lehr, a reporter for the Joplin Globe newspaper, said he was upstairs in his home when the storm hit the city of about 50,000 at about 1730 (2230 GMT) on Sunday but was able to make his way to his basement. "There was a loud huffing noise, my windows started popping. I had to get downstairs, glass was flying. I opened a closet and pulled myself into it," he told the Associated Press. "Then you could hear everything go. It tore the roof off my house, everybody's house. I came outside and there was nothing left." 

Another resident, Tom Rogers, said his house had been destroyed. "It's just gone. We heard the tornado sirens for the second time. All of a sudden, everything came crashing down on us. We pulled our heads up and there was nothing. It was gone," he told the Joplin Globe. Much of the city's south side is reported to have been levelled, with churches, schools, businesses and homes reduced to rubble. Power and telephone lines across the city were also downed, and many vehicles overturned.

Nearly 100 patients at the St John Regional Medical Center in Joplin were having to be evacuated from after the hospital took a direct hit. A resident living 45 miles (70km) away said debris from the hospital had landed in his yard, including medical supplies and X-rays. At a pre-dawn news conference on Monday outside the St John Regional Medical Center, Mr Rohr announced that the number of confirmed dead was 89. He said the tornado had cut a path nearly six miles long and more than half a mile (800m) wide through the city centre, and that tornado sirens had given residents about a 20-minute warning.

Fire chief Mitch Randles said the tornado "cut the city in half" and estimated that 25 to 30% was damaged. A door-to-door search of the damaged area will begin later on Monday morning, but progress will be slow because of the danger of downed power lines and gas leaks, which caused fires around the city overnight. "We will recover and come back stronger than we are today," Mr Rohr said. Earlier, the Red Cross opened a shelter at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin for victims, spokeswoman Joanne Muir told the BBC. It had also sent an emergency response vehicle with some supplies such as blankets, cots, water and food to the area, she said.

Continued risk
US President Barack Obama - on his way to the Republic of Ireland - sent his condolences to those affected.

Map of Missouri

"Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the families of all those who lost their lives in the tornadoes and severe weather that struck Joplin, Missouri, as well as communities across the Midwest today," the president said in a statement. "We commend the heroic efforts by those who have responded and who are working to help their friends and neighbours at this very difficult time."

Governor Nixon said storms had caused extensive damage across Missouri. "They continue to pose significant risk to lives and property," he said in a statement. "As a state, we are deploying every agency and resource available to keep Missouri families safe, search for the missing, provide emergency medical care, and begin to recover." he added. He warned that the storms were not finished.

Christina Hendricks Caesar Salad


Mad Men's Christina Hendricks is cooking up some classics with Rachael in the kitchen!
Ingredients
    * Two heads of Black Tuscan Kale (I always make a lot since it's so delicious)
    * These are approximates as I just eyeball it but here goes:
    * 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    * 1 1/2 tsp. anchovy paste
    * 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
    * 3 cloves garlic minced
    * 1 egg and one yolk boiled for 45 seconds
    * Dash of Worcestershire sauce
    * Ground pepper to taste

Preparation
Now, normally, I would slowly whisk in Olive oil into this dressing, but I am sort of notorious for always forgetting a main ingredient and I discovered that this is rich and thick enough that you don't actually need it if you want to cut back on some fat. But, olive oil never killed anyone if you want to go for full indulgence!

You can top this with a little more parmesan, and some home made garlic croutons.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Almond and Apricot Biscotti for Dash Diet



Dash Diet tip: This twice-baked cookie is a classic with coffee or tea. The whole-wheat and nuts are good sources of manganese (a mineral that helps bone formation) and selenium (an antioxidant important for thyroid hormone function).

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat (whole-meal) flour
  •  3/4 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
  •  1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  •  1 teaspoon baking powder
  •  2 eggs, lightly beaten
  •  1/4 cup 1 percent low-fat milk
  •  2 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  •  2 tablespoons dark honey
  •  1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  •  2/3 cup chopped dried apricots
  •  1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, combine the flours, brown sugar and baking powder. Whisk to blend. Add the eggs, milk, canola oil, honey and almond extract. Stir with a wooden spoon until the dough just begins to come together. Add the chopped apricots and almonds. With floured hands, mix until the dough is well blended.

Place the dough on a long sheet of plastic wrap and shape by hand into a flattened log 12 inches long, 3 inches wide and about 1 inch high. Lift the plastic wrap to invert the dough onto a nonstick baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to another baking sheet to cool for 10 minutes. Leave the oven set at 350 F.

Place the cooled log on a cutting board. With a serrated knife, cut crosswise on the diagonal into 24 slices 1/2-inch wide. Arrange the slices, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Return to the oven and bake until crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Nutritional Analysis
(per serving)
Serving size: 1 cookie
Calories73 Cholesterol18 mg
Protein2 g Sodium68 mg
Carbohydrate12 g Fiber1 g
Total fat2 g Potassium100 mg
Saturated fat0 g Calcium29 mg
Monounsaturated fat1 g

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Prague Food and Drink



Czech cuisine borrows the tastes of Germany and Hungary's schnitzels, strudels and goulashes, but adds the culture's own unique twists. On this short culinary tour, find out what foods are Czech staples or delicacies, and where to go to get your fill.

What to Know : The Trifecta
In main courses, there are 3 national foods always found on the menu: vepro, knedlo and zelo, or pork, dumplings and cabbage respectively. The pork can be served baked and lightly seasoned, smoked, or breaded and fried like schnitzel. Dumplings can be light and spongy or dense and pasty depending on preparation. Taking a departure from German influence, Czech cabbage doesn't resemble sauerkraut. Instead, it's usually boiled with a light sugar sauce. Preparation of these 3 main dishes can vary depending on location, chefs and preference, but they're standard fare that all travelers should taste at least once.

Other popular main dishes include rosten  (roast beef), grilovan   kure (roast chicken) and uzeniny (spicy cured meats). Cmunda is a local favorite; the dish consists of a steaming potato pancake topped with sweet, boiled red cabbage and spicy Moravian smoked pork. Czech sauces have the reputation of being heavy, creamy and characterless, but when paired with spicy meats or cabbage, the outcome can be heavenly.

The Brews
In Prague, what you wash your food down with is just as important as what you eat. The Czech Republic has a long, rich tradition of brewing and is home to Pilsner Urquell and Staropramen, but there's also a heated debate as to whether the nation originated the "real" Budweiser. Brewing a beer that tastes very different than its American counterpart, the Budweiser Budvar Brewery in South Bohemia has locked horns with Anheuser-Busch over the Budweiser name for over 100 years.

In this country, lager is king; there are only a few breweries that produce ales. When ordering a dark or light lager at one of Prague's many pubs, remember that a 10-degree light lager is lighter and has a lower percentage of alcohol than the 11 or 12 degree lagers, making it the country's most popular pint.

Where to Go : The Standard Fare
For traditional Prague food, head to U Cizku, an unassuming restaurant serving generous portions of hearty Czech food. U Modre Kachnicky serves traditional sauces and wild game with a lighter touch. At U Vejvodu in Old Town, enjoy spicy goulash and a Pilsner Urquell along with an excellent riverside view.

Fine Dining
Treat yourself during your stay in Prague by visiting C  leste, located in one of Prague's most beautiful modern constructions, the Dancing House. The curvy riverfront building was designed by Frank Gehry and Vlado Milunic and resembles a dancing couple, often referred to as Fred and Ginger. Located on the building's top floor, C  leste combines panoramic views and the culinary talents of Gwendal Le Ruyet. The menu here is notably French, but the view of Prague is incomparable. It's also one of the best restaurants for tasting fresh seafood in landlocked Prague.

Pastries and Little Breads
There are a number of delicatessens, pastry shops and cafeterias that offer light lunch fare and delicious pastries. Jan Paukert has been in business for over 90 years and claims to have invented the chlebicek, or "little bread." This treat is an open-faced sandwich topped with traditional ingredients like roast beef, ham, egg salad or salami. For some sweet desserts, like apple tarts and fresh ice cream, head to the Mysak pastry shop or cross the Vltava River to Erhartova Cukrarna. Pair these sweets with Prague's best cup of coffee at Kava Kava Kava.

Prague Pubs
Enjoy a full night imbibing at pubs in the Namesti Bratri Synku neighborhood (accessible via the No. 11 tram). At Zly Casy, choose from a rotating selection of microbrews and taste some traditional pork dishes. Nearby Pivovar Basta serves seasonal brews and some outstanding dark lagers. Ride the No. 11 tram a bit further to Prvni Pivni Tramway a theme pub with 3 standard beers and a rotating microbrew.

Maverick Ranch Spicy Chicken Pasta



Ingredients:
    * 9 ounces angel hair pasta
    * cooking spray
    * 1 cup chopped onion
    * 1 tablespoon dried basil
    * 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, minced
    * 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    * 1 cup half-and-half
    * 1/4 cup sour cream
    * 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
    * 1/4 teaspoon salt
    * 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
    * 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken breasts
    * 1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
    * 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese


Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 min

Directions:
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.
  3. While pasta cooks, heat a large non-stick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion, saute 2 minutes.
  4. Add basil, garlic, and crushed red pepper; saute 1 minute.
  5. Combine half-and-half, sour cream, and flour, stirring with a whisk. Add reseved pasta cooking liquid and half-and-half mixture to pan; bring to boil.
  6. Stir in salt, black pepper, chicken, and spinach, bring to a boil. Stir in pasta, and cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with cheese.

Belgian Wit Recipes – White Beer Styles

Belgian Wit is a wonderful light, refreshing beer that narrowly avoided extinction to become a popular hit here in the United States.  This week we’ll take a look at the history, brewing and recipes for Belgian Wit and White Beer.

History

Belgian Wit goes by many names, all variations of the term “White Beer”.  In French it is called “Biere Blance”, while the Flemish name is Wit or Witbier which is pronounced “Wit” or “Wet) [Ref: BT]  While the style was likely derived from the Belgian Monastary tradition, it reached widespread popularity in the 18th and 19th century in the towns east of Brussels.  The two beers “Biere Blanche de Louvain” and “Blanche de Hougerde” were brewed in Louvain and Hoegaarden respectively.  The Louvain version was more popular.
After the lager revolution in the 1800′s and into the 1900′s, Wit gradually declined in popularity and in fact disappeared when the last Belgian brewery went out of business in 1957.  Nearly 10 years later Pierre Celis raised money from family members to open a brewery called De Kluis and began brewing a traditional Wit called appropriately “Hoegaarden”.
In 1985, the De Klius brewery burned to the ground, again threatening Witbier with extinction.  Pierre Celis was able to raise money from commercial sources to rebuild the brewery, but by 1987 these larger brewers essentially took control from Pierre Celis and altered the recipe to appeal to a broader audience.  Pierre Celis, disappointed, moved to Austin Texas where he opened a new brewery making “Celis White” based on the original Hoegaarden recipe.

Brewing The Wit Beer Style

Belgian Wit is a light, wheat based beer with light to medium body, slight sweetness and a zesty orange-fruity finish.  It has a clean crisp profile, low hop bitterness and high carbonation with a large white head.  Traditional Wit is slightly cloudy due to the use of unmalted wheat, and pale to light gold in color.
Original gravity is in the 1.044-1.052 range, bitterness in the 10-20 IBU range and color in the 2-5 SRM range. Carbonation is high.
Belgian Wit is made from a base of around 50% pale malt, and 50% unmalted wheat.  Often 5-10% rolled or flaked oats are added to enhance body and flavor.
Unmalted wheat presents some challenges for the single infusion homebrewer.  Pure unmalted wheat will not convert well with a single infusion mash.  This can be rectified by using a multi-step infusion or multi-step decoction mash, but simpler solutions exist.  If you substitute flaked or torrified wheat, you can perform a single infusion mash easily, while still preserving the distinctive flavor of unmalted wheat.
If you are brewing from extract, wheat extract might be an acceptable option, but all grain brewers should avoid using malted wheat as it will not result in the authentic wit flavor.  Rolled oats are best if you are brewing all-grain as these two will work well in a single infusion mash.  Where possible, high diastic pale colored malt should be used as the pale base.
Hops are typically chosen to minimize the hop profile.  Low alpha hops such as BC Goldings, Hallertauer, Fuggles or Saaz with just enough hops to balance the sweetness of the malt.  Late hop additions are inappropriate, as hop aroma is not a feature of the style.  I personally prefer about 1 oz of BC Goldings boiled for 60 minutes in a 5 gallon batch.  Dry hopping and large late hop additions are not really appropriate for this style.
Spices play an important role in Wit.  Traditionally, Coriander and Bitter (Curaco) orange peel are used in small amounts at the end of the boil to add a bit of spice.  In some cases, small amounts of sweet (traditional) orange peel are also added, though sweet orange peel should not be a dominant flavor.
The coriander should be cracked, but not crushed, whole seeds.  I run my coriander seeds through the grain mill to crack them in half.  Bitter Curaco orange peel is not the type you find in the supermarket, but is available from most major brewing supply shops. I recommend about 3/4 ounce of bitter orange peel and 3/4 ounce of coriander for a 5 gallon batch added 5 minutes before the end of the boil.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Scott Peacock's Classic Buttermilk Biscuits

Scott Peacock's Classic Buttermilk Biscuits

Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon & 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbs unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
  • 2 cups chilled cultured buttermilk, plus more as needed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Set a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 500 degrees F. Sift together the cream of tartar and baking soda. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cream of tartar-baking soda mixture, and the salt. Add the butter. Working quickly with your clean hands rub it between your fingertips until half is coarsely blended in and the remaining pieces of butter are 3/4 inch thick.
  2. Make a well in the center of your mixture, add the buttermilk, and stir it quickly just until it has blended and a sticky dough forms. (If dough appears dry add 1 to 2 Tbs more buttermilk.)
  3. Immediately turn dough out onto a generously floured surface. Using floured hands briskly knead about 10 times until a ball forms. Gently flatten the dough, and using a floured rolling pin, roll to 3/4 inch thick.
  4. Using a fork dipped in flour, pierce the dough through at 1/2 inch intervals. Flour a 2 1/2 inch or 3 inch biscuit cutter and stamp out rounds. Arrange these on a heavy, parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake until golden in the preheated oven, for about 12 minutes or so.
  6. Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Melons and Salmonella



Melons, especially those with porous skin (Cantaloupe / rock melon for instance) and some other fruits (such as Papaya) can contain salmonella on their skin. That is why they should be washed properly in soapy water before cutting not to spread it with the knife into the fruit.
Not opened melons can be kept in room temperature for couple of days but once they have been cut they should be consumed within 3 hours or refrigerated for up to 3 days to reduce the risk of salmonella poisoning.
  • Finding out those facts was quite a shock to me. Since that time I don’t buy halved melons any more because I want to be sure they have been washed well before cutting.  I will also think twice before packing melon balls in my daughter’s lunchbox, in case she would not eat them within 3 hours.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Crab Cakes Fathers Day

Crab Cakes Fathers Day Gifts

Ingredients
Sassy Tartar Sauce:
  • 1 (10-ounce) bottle tartar sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 6 dashes hot sauce
  • 1 scallion finely chopped

Crab Cakes:

  • 12 ounces lump crabmeat, drained
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup herb seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon seafood seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 10 saltine crackers
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Sassy Tartar Sauce:
Directions
In small bowl combine all ingredients and mix well.

Crab Cakes:

In a medium bowl, add crabmeat, mayonnaise, bread crumbs, seafood seasoning, egg, and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Form 6 crab cakes approximately 2 1/2 inches diameter and place on baking sheet.

In small plastic bag crush the saltine crackers and place into shallow dish. Lightly dredge the formed crab cakes into the crushed crackers and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add enough oil to cover bottom of pan. When oil is hot, fry crab cakes in batches for about 3 minutes per side or until just golden brown. Transfer to a sheet pan or plate lined with a paper towel.

Serve crab cakes with tartar sauce.

Paul Simon and Ham

Although not as sweet as the ham, the new Paul Simon album, So Beautiful or So What  is nearly as tasty. Reunited with producer Phil Ramone, Simon sounds energized and tuneful as ever here, with standout cuts being “Getting Ready for Christmas Day” and “The Afterlife”.

Ham is all over the place!  For many people, a glazed ham is the centerpiece of an Easter dinner.  Consequently, when I went to the grocery on April 23rd, the meat case was piled high with hams…and they were on sale!  I don’t know why we don’t have ham more often – it is easy, it is tasty, and there’s always leftover ham for another meal.  So Saturday night, ham was on the menu!

You might think I have abandoned our primal/paleo dining principles since the title of this recipe sounds so very confectionery.  Well, glazed ham just has to have a sweet glaze…it’s a law of the universe.  I did what I could to take out processed sugars and sweetened it as naturally as possible.  Besides, the glaze is spread all over the ham, so the amount of carbs per serving isn’t as bad as eating the glaze out of the pan with a spoon (which I would NEVER do..cough, cough).  The main ingredient in the glaze, Polaner Orange All Fruit, has pieces of orange peel in it, which turn into tiny candy-like bits when cooked with the syrup and molasses.  All this caramelizes on the ham in the oven.  It was impossible for either of us to keep our hands off it – untold quantities were consumed in the short time allowed to photograph the ham.

Ingredients:
One 7 to 10 pound bone-in ham
1/2 cup apple cider (plus more for bottom of roasting pan)
1/2 cup bourbon
10 ounce jar Polaner Orange All Fruit with Fiber (sweetened only with fruit juice)
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 T apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


Boil apple cider and bourbon in a small saucepan until reduced by half.  Stir in Orange All Fruit, molasses, maple syrup, cider vinegar, cloves, and red pepper flakes.  Simmer for ~5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 325F.  Prepare a roasting pan by lining with foil, or (like we did) use a disposable aluminum roasting pan for easy clean-up.  Place a rack on the bottom of the pan.
Remove any hard rind and excess fat from ham, if present.  Score the ham all over in a crosshatch diamond pattern to create nooks for the glaze to seep in.  Place the cut side of the ham down on the roasting rack.
Roast the ham at 325 for thirty minutes.

Remove ham from oven and increase oven temperature to 400F.  Liberally brush glaze all over the ham.
Pour enough apple cider in the bottom of the pan to cover the pan – it’s okay if it touches the bottom of the ham.  This will prevent you from smelling burnt sugar for the next 45 minutes and it will help keep the ham moist.

Return the ham to the oven and bake, basting and adding more glaze every 10-15 minutes until the ham is hot throughout and caramelized on the outside (about 45 minutes to an hour).
Remove ham from oven, tent with foil, and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes.  Transfer to a cutting board and start slicing!  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Deep fried Ice Cream by Lance Lrmstrong

Recipe For Deep fried Ice Cream by Lance Lrmstrong 

This is a favourite after a big exercise day or just as a special treat at our place. I do a chocolate version also just mix in drinking chocolate powder with the flakes. Deep fried Ice Cream- Awesome! Lance armstrong Recipe

Ingredients:
    * 3 cup Your choice of flavoured ice cream
    * 2 Whole egs beaten
    * ½ tsp vanilla essence
    * 4 cup crushed corn flakes or simular cereal
    * 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
    * Clean new deep frying oil


Directions:
Temperature Converter
  1. Place six scoops about 1/2 cup each of ice cream in a small shallow pan (freeze for 2 hours).
  2. Combine eggs, vanilla in a small mixing bowl. In pie plate combine cereal and cinnamon.
  3. Dip each frozen ice cream ball in egg mixture. Then in cereal mixture. Return coated ice cream balls to pan and freeze (1 hour) or until really firm.
  4. Reserve remaining cereal mixture. Cover and chill remaining egg mixture. Remove coated ice cream ball from freezer. Dip ball in remaining egg and cereal mixture, return to pan. Cover and freeze for 24 hours or really firm.
  5. Fry frozen ice cream balls (1 or 2 at a time) in deep hot oil at 350 degrees in deep frying pan or deep fryer, 15 seconds or until brown (golden brown).
  6. Drain a few seconds, Serve immediately with ice cream topping of your choice.

Oklahoma Patties


These Fried Oklahoma Patties are made from fresh okra and onion in a cornmeal batter. A delightful southern-style snack

Ingredients
  • 3 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 pound okra, finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal

Directions

  1. Heat 1 inch of oil in a large skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the okra, onion, salt, pepper, water and egg. Combine the flour, baking powder and cornmeal; and stir that into the okra mixture.
  3. Carefully drop spoonfuls of the okra batter into the hot oil, and fry on each side until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Remove with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels.

Maurice Sendak


Maurice Sendak is an American author and artist best known for his classic children's books, including Where the Wild Things Are (1963), In the Night Kitchen (1970), and The Nutshell Library collection (1976). More recent works include We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy (1993), Swine Lake (1999), and the operatic Brundibar (2003). As the illustrator of over 60 books, Sendak has collaborated on a wide range of projects. Among these are Else Holmelund Minarik's original Little Bear books, which later spawned a popular children's TV series. Recognition for Sendak's work has included the Hans Christian Andersen Award for children's book illustration (1970); a National Medal of the Arts, awarded by President Clinton (1997); and the first Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for Literature, awarded by the Swedish Government (2003). In recent years Sendak has harnessed his prodigious imagination in writing and designing for opera and ballet productions.

Maurice Sendak was born 10 June 1928 in Brooklyn, New York, to poor Polish immigrants of Jewish extraction. He was poor at sports as a child and often sickly, spending a great deal of his childhood at home with his mother. He loved to draw, often inspired by the efforts of his older brother. An avid reader, Sendak depended on his sister to bring home books from the library. Numbered among his favorite authors were Robert Louis Stevenson, Herman Melville, and Mark Twain. But his father too was a favorite storyteller, interspersing fantastic tales with stories about the gruesome deaths suffered by relatives left in the old country. Phillip Sendak had his own versions of Old Testament tales as well. And Maurice, unaware that his father's racy embellishments were inappropriate for children, was once sent home from school for reiterating the details of one of these softcore Bible tales.

At the age of twelve, Sendak saw the film Fantasia and decided to become a cartoonist. A letter to Disney received no response, but by the time he was in high school he was already churning out professional work. He illustrated for his high school biology teacher's book, Atomics for the Millions (1947), and was hired to do backgrounds for a comic book version of the famous Mutt and Jeff strip. After finishing high school he took a job with F.A.O. Schwartz as a window dresser, studying by night at the New York Art Students League. It wasn't long before he landed his first gig as a children's book illustrator, for Marcel Ayme's The Wonderful Farm (1951). A year later Sendak paired up with Ruth Kraus for A Hole Is to Dig (1952). Kraus and her husband Crockett Johnson, author of Harold and the Purple Crayon, both took an interest in Sendak, encouraging his work and sharing a wealth of wisdom and constructive criticism.

Despite his talents, Sendak found it impossible to work on any project that didn't resonate with his personal sensibilities. At the same time, selling publishers on his personal vision was extremely difficult. Time and time again, he found rejection, given chiding advice to familiarize himself with -- and imitate -- more conventionally American styles of children's book illustration. Sendak's whimsical work had a thoroughly unique style, and a distinctly European flavor with strong influences from Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse, as well as Francisco de Goya and Pablo Picasso. Furthermore, his characters looked rumpled and dumpy compared to the fresh-scrubbed, athletic children then in fashion.

In 1963 Sendak at last broke through with a work totally of his own genius: Where the Wild Things Are. Although the work is now considered a cherished classic of children's literature, many reviewers trounced it when it first appeared, predicting that children would be terrified by the monstrous wild things. But children adored the book, especially lead character Max, who tames the wild things, and leads them in a gleefully wild rumpus. The American Library Association awarded Sendak a Caldecott Medal in 1964.

Many librarians were not so thrilled when Sendak's In the Night Kitchen emerged in 1970. In it a small boy named Mickey ends up naked as he explores the city work that goes on at night. According to Sendak this development is only sensible since Mickey goes romping through great vats of dough and milk – that is, skinny dipping is the pleasant alternative to slogging about in soggy, dough-sodden clothes. But a number of librarians and booksellers of the period promptly rejected the book. And a number of others accepted it only to turn around and deface it, giving Mickey little marker drawn shorts -- or possibly, says Sendak, taped on paper diapers.

Curiously, while Sendak admits the book is, in part, about a small boy glorifying in his sensuality, some critics have taken interpretation of the book to a Freudian sexual extreme, seeing the nudity, free-flowing milky fluids, and giant (supposedly) "phallic" milk bottle as convenient symbols within a subversive tale about masturbation. Little wonder given such conflicts, real or imagined, that the book routinely appears on the American Library Association's listings of frequently challenged and banned books: even in 2004, the book made the top-ten. Despite this fact, the book continues to be celebrated by children and parents everywhere and has become a well-loved classic.

Twenty-odd years later, with We're All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy (1993), Sendak delivered another jolt. This time the troubling storyline revolved around a kidnapped black baby and two white homeless men, who first rescue the baby and then decide to keep it and raise it as their own. Some critics of the work, not content with griping about the obvious, managed to interpret various elements and symbols for additional offense. Most notably, they claimed, the two hobos might be gay. The illustrations, they argued, were nightmarish and too strong for children. Ironically few seemed to consider that much standard children's fare -- from lullabies about babies falling from trees to witches who eat children -- are quite scary and quite, upon deeper contemplation, "inappropriate for children".

Of course, not all of Sendak's works have inspired controversy, and over the years he has produced a number of beloved classics, both as a writer and as an illustrator. His works also cover a broad range, not only in subject matter, but also in style and tone. He has produced everything from nursery rhyme stories, like Hector The Protector and As I Went Over The Water, to concept books, like Alligators All Around Us and the marvelous Chicken Soup With Rice. As an illustrator, his projects have included Else Holmelund Minarik's Little Bear, the Newbery winners Wheel on the School and The House of Sixty Fathers with Meindert DeJong, and illustrations of works by Herman Melville (Pierre) and George MacDonald (Light Princess and Golden Key).

Impressively, all of this diversity is but a subset of his entire body of work. In addition to children's books, Sendak also develops productions of opera and ballet for stage and television. Utilizing his unique graphic design talents and prolific imagination, he designs sets and costumes, and even writes librettos. Although his chief musical passion is Mozart, his productions have ranged from Mozart's Magic Flute, to Sergei Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges and Leoš Janácek's The Cunning Little Vixen. He even helped produce a paired revival of Ravel's L'Heure Espagnole and L'Enfant et les Sortileges. And despite years of vowing not to do so, he helped design an innovative an entertaining production of Hansel and Gretel.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rogue Baked Crumbed Chicken Pieces



Whole chickens are for roasting and breast meat is too dry for anything but stir-fries and sandwiches, but what about my favourite part of the chicken’s anatomy: those juicy, dark-meat drumsticks and thighs? I think they are quite tasty crumbed and baked or deep-fried. Here is my first attempt at crumbing and baking. (The stuff on the sides is potato wedges drizzled in olive oil and rosemary.) 

What you need
8 chicken drumsticks and/or thighs
1 egg
A little milk
1 cup of flour
Chicken spice
Salt
Vegetable or olive oil

What you do
Pre-heat the oven to 220 Celsius.
Break the egg into a bowl and add a dash of milk and enough salt for eight pieces of chicken.
Beat the egg mixture until it thinks you’re about to make scrambled eggs with it.
Spread the flour on a large plate or chopping board and mix the chicken spice (or whatever spice you fancy) into it.

Take a roasting tray and smear the bottom lightly with the oil.
Take the chicken pieces one-by-one, wet them thoroughly in the egg mixture, and then roll them in the flour mixture until they are completely coated. Dab or sprinkle some flour onto the bald patches where needed.
Put the chicken pieces into the roasting tray and pop them in the oven for 40 minutes, turning the pieces at half-time.

This goes quite well with potato wedges (or maybe some sort of hard vegetable) in the same roasting tray.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fudge Cake-Chicago Bulls/Michael Jordan Birthday

Tender, chocolatey, decadent, and so so easy!
Recipient: “Creative, incredible, fascinating, inventive, awesome, heartfelt”
Your Michael Jordan fan will love you!



Ingredients
  • 1 box Pillsbury Moist Supreme Devil’s Food Cake
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup oil
Directions
Bake according to directions. Line the baking pans with parchment paper for a surface smoother than baby ass.
  • 1 tub Pillsbury Milk Chocolate Frosting
  • 1 tub Pillsbury Betty Crocker Triple Chocolate
  • Fudge Chip Frosting
  • 1 tub Betty Crocker Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 2.25 oz Cake Mate Red Crystals
  • 1 tube Black Icing

writing tip and pastry bag (or sandwich bag). Paper Stencil: Jersey outline, letters if you need
Spread milk chocolate frosting between layers to desired thickness. Lick the spoon and grab another. Spread top and sides of cake with triple fudge chip frosting. Fill in blanks with milk chocolate frosting.

Lay, but do not press, the jersey stencil on to the cake. Shake on the sprinkles liberally. Really liberally. If some sprinkles drift to the side of the cake, let it. Peel off stencil and refrost if necessary.

Next, pop the writer’s tip through a corner of the sandwich bag unless you have a pastry bag. Fill it up with cream cheese frosting and outline the sleeves and collar.

Write “Chicago” from armpit to armpit, or any other name. My boyfriend’s name is Cristobal, so this (despite my terrible penmanship) fit well.

Write a block-letter “23” underneath, and you got yourself an authentic Michael Jordan Rookie Jersey Birthday Cake.

Tips: If you goof up on the lettering or outlining, relax. The sprinkles provide a surface made for corrections! Just pick it up with a fork, eat it, and try again. Resprinkle if you have too, though I didn’t. I realized I was running over the edge on the “23”, so I trimmed it with said fork. Just run it along the sides, and it picks up whatever it touches.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Milk Crumb Cookies (MCC)

When I was in Portland, I spent some time at the library. One afternoon, I happened upon a recipe in a magazine for “Blueberries & Cream Cookies.” I thought to myself: Wow. And so I scribbled the ingredients down into my journal and ran up Munjoy Hill to bake with Ben. This is what came of the BCC’s: 

I know. Amazing. And in this photo, you can see that the edges of the cookies became kind of caramelized, adding this crunchy-toffee kick. I ranted and raved: these were the best cookies I had ever made! And it was all thanks to these “Milk Crumbs” that go into the dough.Milk crumbs are made of dry milk powder, corn starch, sugar, flour, butter, salt and melted butter. You bake them ahead of time, and they keep for about a week. So there ya go. Milk Crumbs. Interesting. 

Last night, I set to work recreating MCC’s. (Since dried blueberries are so expensive, I’m changing the name of the cookies to plain old Milk Crumb Cookies. Leaves the door open for experimentation.) As you can see by the image above, baking cookies sometimes collides with apéro’s. Not a bad thing. As I’m fluffing my milk crumbs with a fork, I’m noting all of the autumn decor around the house. It snuck up on me this year. The random acorn cornucopia shrines should’ve prepped me.

So here we tumble into a new season. Working in a coffee shop, you talk about the weather with every other customer, yet it never really sinks in. The trees are props on screens, in windows. The leaves are filler. Fluff. I think I’m just now, today, realizing that my favorite season has ambushed me. Is everywhere. I ought to have made pumpkin bread the topic of this blog entry. That’s more fall-ish. However, I gotta say–these cookies totally trump the last loaf of pum’kin bread I baked. I thought they turned out a little crunchier than the Portland variety, however this batch was a little smaller than the others. Also, I changed up the ingredients. I did more dried fruits: figs, raisins, dried cranberries, and some chocolate chips, too.


It might sound funny, but I want this recipe to be my signature recipe. You know how some people have their specialty dish? I want to be the gal who makes killer Milk Crumb Cookies. Once I make a few batches and get the name out there, then maybe I can move on to the acronym that makes them sound like electronic equipment or something. For now, I bake. I distribute. I rant and rave. And soon I’ll have the whole block moony over Milk Crumb Cookies. Ahem, Kelli’s Milk Crumb Cookies.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day Recipes Taken from Anne's Page


“Don’t eat it Miss Stacey!”
“Anne, what is wrong with you?”
“A mouse drowned in the sauce, Marilla.  I was working up the courage to tell you when Miss Stacey came and…”
“Anne, if you intend to go for a teacher, you are going to have to give up your feather-brained ways.  You are not interested in anything but your silly daydreams and nothing else.”
“I really am trying to overcome my faults, Marilla.  I chatter on far too much.  But if you only knew how many things I want to say and don’t, you’d give me some credit.”

The opportunities that Marilla gave Anne to play host and cook for her guests often ended in disaster, as was the case with the famous plum pudding scene.

Living under Marilla’s shadow as a great cook, who was also famous all over Prince Edward Island for her red current wine, would have been daunting for the easily-distracted Anne.  Some daughters never feel that they are as good in the kitchen as their mothers.  But the answer might lie in trying original recipes that your mom doesn't know about.  Here is a great Edwardian recipe, taken from the "Cooking with Anne of Green Gables" cookbook, that would work perfectly for a Mother’s Day barbecue.

Mom’s Potato Salad
  1. 10 medium potatoes
  2. 1 tablespoon and 1 pinch salt
  3. ½ cup granulated sugar
  4. 1 ½ teaspoons all-purpose flour
  5. 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  6. 1 egg
  7. 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  8. 3 tablespoons water
  9. A pinch of pepper
  10. 2 tablespoons butter
  11. 1 onion, finely chopped
  12. 8 radishes, thinly sliced
  13. 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  14. ¼ green pepper, finely chopped
  15. 3 hard boiled eggs
  16. 3 sprigs fresh parsley

Boil the potatoes and peel them while warm.  Chop into cubes and sprinkle with salt before placing them in the refrigerator to cool. Combine the sugar, flour and mustard in the top part of a double boiler.  In a small bowl beat an egg slightly and add the vinegar and water.  Add the liquid to the dry ingredients very slowly and stir gently until blended.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Heat the mixture until it thickens then remove from heat before adding the butter.  Refrigerate right away.  When the potatoes have cooled, add the onion, radishes, celery, green pepper and two of the hard-boiled eggs that have been thinly sliced.  Gently mix all together while slowly adding the dressing.  Allow to sit in the refrigerator for further cooling and setting.  The longer you let it sit, the better it gets!  Garnish before serving with the sprigs of parsley and the third boiled egg, thinly sliced.  Serves 10-12.
Or, if you're hosting a brunch, here is an Edwardian recipe for a delicious hot drink that serves 30 at a time!

Hot Cranberry Punch
  •  9 1/2 cups cranberry juice
  •  Four 6-ounce cans frozen lemonade
  •  ½ teaspoon salt
  •  1 teaspoon allspice
  •  4 cups water
  •  30 cinnamon sticks
Combine ingredients, except cinnamon sticks, in a one gallon container.  Simmer gently 10 to 15 minutes.  Do not boil.  Serve hot in mugs, with cinnamon sticks to use as stirrers.  Makes 30 one-half cup servings.

Mermaids Tender Roast Chicken


Ingredients:
  •     4 lbs whole chickens
  •     2 garlic cloves
  •     3 tablespoons butter
  •     1 onion
  •     2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  •     salt and pepper

Directions:
Total Time: 2 1/4 hrs
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Place 1 tablespoon oil on the bottom of glass pan.
  3. Thoroughly clean chicken, removing all excess from cavity.
  4. Put 1 tablespoon oil on a paper towel and lightly rub the chicken down with oil Salt and pepper the skin.
  5. Insert 1 tablespoon butter, garlic and some chopped onion into cavity.
  6. Place the chicken on it's back and insert one tablespoon of butter between the skin and the breast, for   each breast.
  7. (You have to kind of pull the skin a little to get the butter underneath it. This is what causes the chicken to be so tender and juicy.)
  8.  Cook for approx 2 hours, basting every 30 minutes if possible.

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    javanese delicious food Pekalongan Soto (Taoto)

    javanese delicious food Pekalongan Soto (Taoto)
    Material of Pekalongan Soto (Taoto) javanese delicious food
    1. 500 g beef brisket
    2. bay
    3. red onion leaf, sliced ??crosswise tipis2.
    4. lemongrass leaves
    5. tauco 2 tablespoons

    Spices recipes
    1. 250 gr large red chilies, boiled 5 minutes for a nice red color
    2. 10 grains of red bawng
    3. 5 cloves garlic
    4. 5 cm ginger kurleb
    5. the laos (galangal)
    6. the kurleb 3 cm turmeric
    the more Supplementary materials foods
    1. Lontong rice sliced ??crosswise
    2. 1 piece of potato boiled, then in half-circle thick slices
    3. Belinjo fried crackers (this must exist)
    4. Celery, finely sliced??. for topping
    5. Fried red onion, for topping
    6. Lemons fruit
    7. Sprouts, flush hot water for a while, for topping
    8. Sambal / chili spice soto.
    How to make Pekalongan Soto
    • Boil the meat along with laos, bay leaves,
    • Lift the meat is already cooked, sliced ??tipis2. and enter again into the cooking water was
    • Puree onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, together with a large red chili stew.
    • Saute the spice fine until fragrant.
    • Add tauco in stir
    • Add sliced ??leaves red onions , continue saut�ing briefly.
    • Enter ingredients stir into stew meat, boiled again untill spices to infuse.
    • Serve with supplementary materials and sprinkles.
    source : http://www.recipeeasy.info/2011/05/soto-pekalongan-taoto.html
    the taste of this food is famous in all java

    delicious food the bacem chicken jogja's

    delicious food the bacem chicken jogjathe delicious recipe food the bacem chicken jogja's
    bacem chicken jogja's MATERIALS
    1. 1,000 ml of coconut waters
    2. 1 chicken cut into 12 pieces / to taste
    3. 50 grams brown sugar
    4. 3 eyes acid
    5. 5 tablespoons soy sauce
    6. salt to taste
    7. skewer

    food Spices:
    1. 1 teaspoon coriander, toasted
    2. 5 eggs pecans, toasted
    3. 4 cloves garlic
    4. 8 cloves shallots
    how to make delicious food jogja bacem chicken :
    Boil chicken with coconut milk, palm sugar, tamarind, soy sauce, salt, and spices.
    Lower the heat. Cook until the gravy dries up. Remove and let cool then. the delicious jogja bacem chicken is ready to serve.
    source :
    www.recipeeasy.info

    Belgium Malinois : Pork Roast - Cast Iron Dutch Oven


    Ingredients:
    1.   4 -5 lbs pork roast (butt, loin, etc.)
    2.   5 garlic cloves, peeled
    3.   1 small onion, thinly sliced
    4.   2 cups water
    5.   1 tablespoon Kitchen Bouquet
    6.   2 teaspoons black pepper
    7.   1 teaspoon salt
    8.   1 tablespoon lard
    9.   2 tablespoons cornstarch
    10.   1/2 cup water  

    Directions:

       1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
       2. Melt lard in cast iron dutch oven, or very heavy bottomed pot with lid, over medium high heat.
       3. Salt and pepper all sides of pork roast.
       4. When lard just begins to give off smell of being hot, place roast in pot.
       5. DO NOT move it for a minute or so, then rotate it to brown all sides.
       6. Lay garlic cloves and onion slices around the roast and stir to brown them a bit.
       7. Mix Kitchen Bouquet into the 2 cups of water.
       8. Pour in the water mixture.
       9. Bring to a boil.
      10. Cover tightly and place in lower portion of the oven.
      11. Roast 1 hour for boneless roast; 1-3/4 hours for bone-in roast.
      12. Half-way through roasting time turn the roast over.
      13. Remove roast from pan and cover to keep hot.
      14. Mix 2 Tablespoons cornstarch into 1/2 cup water.
      15. Using a whisk, stir the cornstarch mixture into the pot drippings,
            breaking up the garlic cloves as you mix.
      16. Bring to a boil, taste and season if needed with salt and/or pepper.
      17. NOTE: Pork roast made this way is ALWAYS tender.
      18. It makes wonderful hot pork sandwiches!
      19. The gravy is out of this world!

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Detroit ginger packs a healthful punch


    Ours is a ginger-obsessed household. I use fresh ginger in everything: pickles, sautes, stir fries, juices, cocktails, rice dishes, curries, breads, desserts.One of my all-time favorite writers, food writer Melissa Clark, shares this passion. She waxes poetic, in an interview, about the root as an ingredient: "Ginger adds a deep, peppery, spicy freshness to dishes — a tang of acid coupled with a musty, rich, profound flavor. I love that combination of zippiness and profundity." 

    Ground ginger perks up pumpkin pie and, of course, gingerbread. Clark also substitutes ground ginger for cinnamon, making ginger sugar to sprinkle on buttered toast. Ground ginger has a very different flavor profile from fresh ginger: It is less acidic than the root but much more intense. 

    When buying fresh ginger, look for pieces that are smooth and free of blemishes and wrinkles. It will keep well in the fridge for up to a week. If I buy extra, I grate it, add enough water to make a paste, and freeze it. Many times I will grate it along with garlic and green chilies, making an excellent base for stir-fries and curries.
    I use a knife to peel skin off the ginger, though Clark does it the correct way: with a spoon. 

    Clark shares her top tips for using ginger:
    Add it to the blender for your morning fruit smoothie.
    Grate it into the Crockpot or Dutch oven for slow-cooked stews.
    Add a few slices or "coins" of fresh ginger to homemade chicken broth.
    Add slivers of fresh ginger to chicken. Or grate it, combine it with garlic and smear it on fish fillets before cooking. 

    Ginger does more than enhance taste. It's also good for you. Historically, it has been used to relieve problems with digestion or nausea, including motion sickness and morning sickness. Dr. Wendy Bazilian, author of "The SuperFoods Rx Diet" (Rodale, 2008), told me about research at the University of Rochester, where some cancer patients get 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger daily to cope with post-chemo nausea. A couple of studies presented at the American College of Sports Medicine's last annual meeting cited ginger for reducing post-exercise pain and inflammation.
    Thai Coconut Curry Soup
    The fresh ginger in this soup will inspire a healthy appetite. The recipe comes from "Almost Meatless" (Ten Speed Press, 2009) by Joy Manning and Tara Mataraza Desmond, and is reprinted with permission.
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon red curry paste
    • 8 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
    • 2 stalks lemongrass, rough tops trimmed and bulbs smashed
    • 1 bone-in, skinless chicken breast (about 6 ounces), whole
    • 8 ounces uncooked rice noodles
    • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
    • 5 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
    • 5 fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk
    • 2 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
    • 1 lime, half juiced and half cut into wedges 

    Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for about 30 seconds, just until fragrant. Stir in the curry paste. Saute briefly, then add the stock, mixing to combine. Add the lemongrass and simmer the mixture for about 10 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 160 degrees. Transfer the chicken breast to a plate or cutting board.
    Meanwhile, add noodles; bring to a boil and cook just until the noodles are tender. 

    When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it into small pieces and return the meat to the pot. Stir in the fish sauce, basil, mint, coconut milk and green onions.Remove the lemongrass and squeeze the lime juice into pot of soup. Ladle soup into bowls, serving each with a wedge of lime. Makes 4 servings. 

    Per serving: 434 calories; 16 g fat (9 g saturated fat; 33 percent calories from fat); 58 g carbohydrates; 31 mg cholesterol; 568 mg sodium; 17 g protein; 2 g fiber.

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    IMF: Food Price Rises Threaten Efforts to Cut Poverty


    A rise in food prices of 48 percent since end-2006 is a huge increase that may undermine gains the international community has made in reducing poverty, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn warned. He told an April 10 news conference in Washington that policy responses to higher food prices have to be tailored to meet the needs of each country.

    Strauss-Kahn said the IMF could take four steps to help address higher food prices in the short term:
    • Support countries in designing appropriate macroeconomic policies to deal with shocks
    • Provide advice and technical assistance for countries where rising food prices are eroding terms of trade, through targeted income support for the poor—without jeopardizing hard-won gains on economic stabilization
    • In countries where price shocks are affecting the balance of payments, provide assistance through IMF lending facilities
    • Work, along with other agencies and donors, to help countries mitigate negative impacts.

    Open trade policies
    Longer-term answers to the problem of higher food prices centered on removing obstacles to increased supply, Strauss-Kahn said. The IMF cites increased trade as a policy option for mitigating the effects of higher commodity prices on national economies. IMF chief economist Simon Johnson told an April 9 World Economic Outlook briefing: "As a way to reduce global pressure on food and energy prices, more open trade policies in those products would be a good start. Less insular biofuels policy in advanced economies would help relieve some pressure. At the same time, we encourage countries to avoid raising taxes or imposing quotas on their food exports. These reduce incentives for domestic producers and also increase international prices."

    Impact on inflation
    IMF research shows that higher prices for food pose new challenges for African policymakers and could have particularly adverse effects on the poor. Because food represents a larger share of what poorer consumers buy, a global increase in food prices has a bigger impact on inflation in poorer countries. IMF studies show the rise in food prices reflecting a mixture of longer-term factors such as food crops being diverted to biofuel production; higher food demand from emerging economies; and higher energy and fertilizer costs. Temporary factors, such as droughts, floods, and political instability, also contributed to higher food prices.
    Strauss-Kahn displayed a map at the press briefing that showed the impact of projected food price increases on global trade balances (see chart). 

    New kind of imbalance
    In Africa and Asia the effect of higher food prices would have to be seen not only in terms of undermining the efforts to fight against poverty but also as representing a new kind of macroeconomic imbalance, Strauss-Kahn said. For a large part of Africa, a shock could be expected that was as big as, and maybe bigger than, previous shocks.

    Strauss-Kahn welcomed an initiative launched by U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown that urges the IMF, the World Bank, and the United Nations to develop a global strategy to address higher food prices. "The initiative taken by Gordon Brown is perfectly timely, We need now to consider the rise in food prices as something which is not just happening for one or two months but as probably more structural," Strauss-Kahn said. The Brown proposal would probably be on the agenda of the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings and of the ministerial meeting of the Group of Seven industrial countries, he added.