Hot Fudge Chocolate Sauce

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, buy information pills troche cheapest that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, more about visit this do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, about it stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, troche cheapest that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, visit this do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, recipe that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, troche cheapest that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, visit this do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, recipe that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.
The week before Christmas I was standing in front of the bin of ham in the meat department at the supermarket a bit befuddled. Which is better, ailment shank or butt?

Cooking Light writes, web “You’re better off getting a shank end rather than the butt end. This is because the butt end has less desirable meat, as it contains a lot of membrane, fat, and gristle. Its bone configuration can also make carving tricky.” Cooking Light

Ham comes from the leg of the hog. You may buy them cooked, uncooked, dry cured, or wet cured.A cured ham has been flavored with salt, sugar and other flavorings.
CURED HAM (WET) – Wet-cured hams are soaked in a brine of salt, sugar and other flavorings. A wet-cure ham may also be smoked. The pork flavor really comes through, without the saltiness of a traditional country ham. It pays to ask about how the ham is cured – some hams are wet-cured with injections of salt-sugar-smoke flavoring, not actually brined and then smoked.

CITY HAM – A city ham is perhaps the most typical ham in the U.S. A city ham is soaked or injected with a brine of salt, sugar and flavorings and then lightly smoked or boiled. Look for a city ham in the refrigerated case at the supermarket, likely near the bacon, likely wrapped in plastic. It will be marked ‘ready to cook’, ‘partially cooked’ or ‘ready to serve’. Look for one that’s labeled ‘ham in natural juices’. I think of a city ham as an every day ham – readily available, relatively inexpensive.

CURED HAM (DRY) – The dry method of curing ham uses salt, not liquid, for adding flavor to a ham. The salt pulls out moisture and concentrates the meat flavor. It’s often a delicacy, sold at specialty shops and butchers – think Italian prosciutto, Spanish Serrano ham and German Black Forest ham.

COUNTRY HAM – A country ham is dry-cured with salt, some times smoked, and then aged. A traditional country ham salty, so salty that it’s either eaten in thin-thin slices on biscuits, say, or soaked and rinsed for 12 to 24 hours before baking. But country hams can also be cured with less salt and thus require none of the soaking and rinsing. Country hams are a traditional food in the American South and the curing process dates back to the days before preservation. (More about the tradition of country hams.)

VIRGINIA HAM – A Virginia ham is a country ham.

SMOKED HAM – Smoking is another form of curing. Before it’s smoked, a ham is first salt-cured or brined to control the development of bacteria during smoking. It then spends many hours, days even, in a smokehouse to allow the essence of hickory or maple smoke to slowly infuse the meat. The meat doesn’t ‘burn up’ because the smoking temperature low, below 100F, that’s why this slow process is called ‘cold-smoking’.

AGING – Many good hams are cured and smoked, then allowed to age for weeks, months, even years. As the hams ‘age’, the flavors concentrate and develop.

However, some butchers recommend a butt end ham, saying that it’s meatier and has better flavor.hams are sold split into two halves, the shank end, and the butt end
the front shoulders of a hog are smoked and called ‘picnic hams’ but they’re not really ham cuts, there are pork shoulders cured in ham fashion.
cured hind leg of a pig starting at the shank (that’s your ankle), and ending at the rump
A ham comes from the back thigh/rump of a pig
WHOLE HAM – A whole ham will typically weigh 18 to 20 pounds and includes both the ‘butt’ end and the ‘shank’ end. The ‘butt end’ is the upper part of the ham, more ‘rump’ and thus more fatty. The ‘shank end’ is the lower end, more leg and less fatty. The shank end has just one bone so is easier to slice.
Boneless hams, like the one pictured above, are just that: hams in which the bone has been removed. After removal, the hams are tightly pressed into oval-shaped packages. Salt will break down some of the proteins in meat muscle, allowing them to reconnect and link with each other.
the shank end tends to contain a higher ratio of fat (which I like), and is significantly easier to carve, having only a single, straight bone to contend with.

The butt end, on the other hand, tends to be leaner, which may be desirable for some people. It’s also got a tricky little number known as the aitch-bone to contend with. Any butcher will tell you that the oddly shaped pelvic bone is one of the more difficult to work your knife around. Unless you are an expert carver or don’t mind getting in there with your fingers, you’ll want to opt for a shank end cut.
Spiral cut hams come pre-sliced. All you have to do is make one simple lateral cut, and the meat comes peeling off in thin layers. A whole ham, on the other hand, requires some degree of butchery skills.

Whole hams have the advantage that they are less prone to drying out when cooking, but to be honest, if you are careful about the way you cook it, a spiral-sliced ham will be just fine. I usually opt for spiral

Source: Adapted from Allrecipes
1 (10 pound) fully-cooked, bone-in ham
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup honey
1/3 large orange, juiced , or 3 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Whole cloves

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Score fatty side of ham with a knife in a crisscross pattern spacing lines 1-inch apart. Dot ham with cloves by pushing one clove into each intersection where lines cross. Continue inserting cloves using spacing pattern covering the rest of the outside of ham. Place ham in a roasting pan, flat cut side down. Tent with tinfoil. Bake at 325 for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, pineapple juice, honey, orange juice, and Dijon mustard. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside.

Remove ham from oven, and brush with glaze. Bake for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, brushing ham with glaze every 10 minutes.

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, troche cheapest that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, visit this do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, recipe that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.
The week before Christmas I was standing in front of the bin of ham in the meat department at the supermarket a bit befuddled. Which is better, ailment shank or butt?

Cooking Light writes, web “You’re better off getting a shank end rather than the butt end. This is because the butt end has less desirable meat, as it contains a lot of membrane, fat, and gristle. Its bone configuration can also make carving tricky.” Cooking Light

Ham comes from the leg of the hog. You may buy them cooked, uncooked, dry cured, or wet cured.A cured ham has been flavored with salt, sugar and other flavorings.
CURED HAM (WET) – Wet-cured hams are soaked in a brine of salt, sugar and other flavorings. A wet-cure ham may also be smoked. The pork flavor really comes through, without the saltiness of a traditional country ham. It pays to ask about how the ham is cured – some hams are wet-cured with injections of salt-sugar-smoke flavoring, not actually brined and then smoked.

CITY HAM – A city ham is perhaps the most typical ham in the U.S. A city ham is soaked or injected with a brine of salt, sugar and flavorings and then lightly smoked or boiled. Look for a city ham in the refrigerated case at the supermarket, likely near the bacon, likely wrapped in plastic. It will be marked ‘ready to cook’, ‘partially cooked’ or ‘ready to serve’. Look for one that’s labeled ‘ham in natural juices’. I think of a city ham as an every day ham – readily available, relatively inexpensive.

CURED HAM (DRY) – The dry method of curing ham uses salt, not liquid, for adding flavor to a ham. The salt pulls out moisture and concentrates the meat flavor. It’s often a delicacy, sold at specialty shops and butchers – think Italian prosciutto, Spanish Serrano ham and German Black Forest ham.

COUNTRY HAM – A country ham is dry-cured with salt, some times smoked, and then aged. A traditional country ham salty, so salty that it’s either eaten in thin-thin slices on biscuits, say, or soaked and rinsed for 12 to 24 hours before baking. But country hams can also be cured with less salt and thus require none of the soaking and rinsing. Country hams are a traditional food in the American South and the curing process dates back to the days before preservation. (More about the tradition of country hams.)

VIRGINIA HAM – A Virginia ham is a country ham.

SMOKED HAM – Smoking is another form of curing. Before it’s smoked, a ham is first salt-cured or brined to control the development of bacteria during smoking. It then spends many hours, days even, in a smokehouse to allow the essence of hickory or maple smoke to slowly infuse the meat. The meat doesn’t ‘burn up’ because the smoking temperature low, below 100F, that’s why this slow process is called ‘cold-smoking’.

AGING – Many good hams are cured and smoked, then allowed to age for weeks, months, even years. As the hams ‘age’, the flavors concentrate and develop.

However, some butchers recommend a butt end ham, saying that it’s meatier and has better flavor.hams are sold split into two halves, the shank end, and the butt end
the front shoulders of a hog are smoked and called ‘picnic hams’ but they’re not really ham cuts, there are pork shoulders cured in ham fashion.
cured hind leg of a pig starting at the shank (that’s your ankle), and ending at the rump
A ham comes from the back thigh/rump of a pig
WHOLE HAM – A whole ham will typically weigh 18 to 20 pounds and includes both the ‘butt’ end and the ‘shank’ end. The ‘butt end’ is the upper part of the ham, more ‘rump’ and thus more fatty. The ‘shank end’ is the lower end, more leg and less fatty. The shank end has just one bone so is easier to slice.
Boneless hams, like the one pictured above, are just that: hams in which the bone has been removed. After removal, the hams are tightly pressed into oval-shaped packages. Salt will break down some of the proteins in meat muscle, allowing them to reconnect and link with each other.
the shank end tends to contain a higher ratio of fat (which I like), and is significantly easier to carve, having only a single, straight bone to contend with.

The butt end, on the other hand, tends to be leaner, which may be desirable for some people. It’s also got a tricky little number known as the aitch-bone to contend with. Any butcher will tell you that the oddly shaped pelvic bone is one of the more difficult to work your knife around. Unless you are an expert carver or don’t mind getting in there with your fingers, you’ll want to opt for a shank end cut.
Spiral cut hams come pre-sliced. All you have to do is make one simple lateral cut, and the meat comes peeling off in thin layers. A whole ham, on the other hand, requires some degree of butchery skills.

Whole hams have the advantage that they are less prone to drying out when cooking, but to be honest, if you are careful about the way you cook it, a spiral-sliced ham will be just fine. I usually opt for spiral

Source: Adapted from Allrecipes
1 (10 pound) fully-cooked, bone-in ham
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup honey
1/3 large orange, juiced , or 3 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Whole cloves

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Score fatty side of ham with a knife in a crisscross pattern spacing lines 1-inch apart. Dot ham with cloves by pushing one clove into each intersection where lines cross. Continue inserting cloves using spacing pattern covering the rest of the outside of ham. Place ham in a roasting pan, flat cut side down. Tent with tinfoil. Bake at 325 for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, pineapple juice, honey, orange juice, and Dijon mustard. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside.

Remove ham from oven, and brush with glaze. Bake for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, brushing ham with glaze every 10 minutes.

One day while Adelin and I were playing barbies we were invaded by three halo men and a lego guy. This real life toy story world of army men, stomach lego guys, mind and barbies coexisting is a common senario in our home. Apparently it was the lego captain’s birthday. So we gathered all the barbie food that included a turkey, a two layer wedding cake, a banana sundae, and an empty bowl that we pretended had a salad. While the girls were getting ready for the birthday party the house was attacked by bad guys. The lego captain lead his halo men on the mission of protecting the barbie house and its occupants. After a few skillful karate moves the house was secure. During the battle some of the food, cups, and utensils fell off the table. As we were cleaning things up to start the party again, Adelin asks me if we can make a banana sundae just like the fake sundae she was holding in her hand.

Maybe it is un-American but, I have never liked banana sundaes. I do not like bananas in general much less cold bananas. The thought of having sundaes sounded fun so, we decided to invite some friends over for movie night and sundaes, with or without bananas.

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Source: Lick My Spoon
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

Heat sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat; stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil. Do not stir once it comes to a boil.

Boil until the liquid turns a dark amber color or about 350 degrees on a candy thermometer.

(If using a non-stick pot the edges might turn dark amber before the center. If this happens swirl the pan a bit but refrain from stirring. If you do not have a thermometer boil until most of the liquid is amber and it starts to smell like it is burning. Remove the pan from the heat before stirring in the butter, then the cream.)

When the liquid sugar turns a dark amber color, add all the butter to the pan. The mixture will foam up and thicken. Whisk until the butter has melted. Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat.

Add the cream to the pan (the mixture will foam up again) and continue to whisk to incorporate.

Add the sea salt and whisk until caramel sauce is smooth.

Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass jar and let cool to room temperature. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Warm before serving.

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, troche cheapest that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, visit this do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, recipe that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.
The week before Christmas I was standing in front of the bin of ham in the meat department at the supermarket a bit befuddled. Which is better, ailment shank or butt?

Cooking Light writes, web “You’re better off getting a shank end rather than the butt end. This is because the butt end has less desirable meat, as it contains a lot of membrane, fat, and gristle. Its bone configuration can also make carving tricky.” Cooking Light

Ham comes from the leg of the hog. You may buy them cooked, uncooked, dry cured, or wet cured.A cured ham has been flavored with salt, sugar and other flavorings.
CURED HAM (WET) – Wet-cured hams are soaked in a brine of salt, sugar and other flavorings. A wet-cure ham may also be smoked. The pork flavor really comes through, without the saltiness of a traditional country ham. It pays to ask about how the ham is cured – some hams are wet-cured with injections of salt-sugar-smoke flavoring, not actually brined and then smoked.

CITY HAM – A city ham is perhaps the most typical ham in the U.S. A city ham is soaked or injected with a brine of salt, sugar and flavorings and then lightly smoked or boiled. Look for a city ham in the refrigerated case at the supermarket, likely near the bacon, likely wrapped in plastic. It will be marked ‘ready to cook’, ‘partially cooked’ or ‘ready to serve’. Look for one that’s labeled ‘ham in natural juices’. I think of a city ham as an every day ham – readily available, relatively inexpensive.

CURED HAM (DRY) – The dry method of curing ham uses salt, not liquid, for adding flavor to a ham. The salt pulls out moisture and concentrates the meat flavor. It’s often a delicacy, sold at specialty shops and butchers – think Italian prosciutto, Spanish Serrano ham and German Black Forest ham.

COUNTRY HAM – A country ham is dry-cured with salt, some times smoked, and then aged. A traditional country ham salty, so salty that it’s either eaten in thin-thin slices on biscuits, say, or soaked and rinsed for 12 to 24 hours before baking. But country hams can also be cured with less salt and thus require none of the soaking and rinsing. Country hams are a traditional food in the American South and the curing process dates back to the days before preservation. (More about the tradition of country hams.)

VIRGINIA HAM – A Virginia ham is a country ham.

SMOKED HAM – Smoking is another form of curing. Before it’s smoked, a ham is first salt-cured or brined to control the development of bacteria during smoking. It then spends many hours, days even, in a smokehouse to allow the essence of hickory or maple smoke to slowly infuse the meat. The meat doesn’t ‘burn up’ because the smoking temperature low, below 100F, that’s why this slow process is called ‘cold-smoking’.

AGING – Many good hams are cured and smoked, then allowed to age for weeks, months, even years. As the hams ‘age’, the flavors concentrate and develop.

However, some butchers recommend a butt end ham, saying that it’s meatier and has better flavor.hams are sold split into two halves, the shank end, and the butt end
the front shoulders of a hog are smoked and called ‘picnic hams’ but they’re not really ham cuts, there are pork shoulders cured in ham fashion.
cured hind leg of a pig starting at the shank (that’s your ankle), and ending at the rump
A ham comes from the back thigh/rump of a pig
WHOLE HAM – A whole ham will typically weigh 18 to 20 pounds and includes both the ‘butt’ end and the ‘shank’ end. The ‘butt end’ is the upper part of the ham, more ‘rump’ and thus more fatty. The ‘shank end’ is the lower end, more leg and less fatty. The shank end has just one bone so is easier to slice.
Boneless hams, like the one pictured above, are just that: hams in which the bone has been removed. After removal, the hams are tightly pressed into oval-shaped packages. Salt will break down some of the proteins in meat muscle, allowing them to reconnect and link with each other.
the shank end tends to contain a higher ratio of fat (which I like), and is significantly easier to carve, having only a single, straight bone to contend with.

The butt end, on the other hand, tends to be leaner, which may be desirable for some people. It’s also got a tricky little number known as the aitch-bone to contend with. Any butcher will tell you that the oddly shaped pelvic bone is one of the more difficult to work your knife around. Unless you are an expert carver or don’t mind getting in there with your fingers, you’ll want to opt for a shank end cut.
Spiral cut hams come pre-sliced. All you have to do is make one simple lateral cut, and the meat comes peeling off in thin layers. A whole ham, on the other hand, requires some degree of butchery skills.

Whole hams have the advantage that they are less prone to drying out when cooking, but to be honest, if you are careful about the way you cook it, a spiral-sliced ham will be just fine. I usually opt for spiral

Source: Adapted from Allrecipes
1 (10 pound) fully-cooked, bone-in ham
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup honey
1/3 large orange, juiced , or 3 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Whole cloves

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Score fatty side of ham with a knife in a crisscross pattern spacing lines 1-inch apart. Dot ham with cloves by pushing one clove into each intersection where lines cross. Continue inserting cloves using spacing pattern covering the rest of the outside of ham. Place ham in a roasting pan, flat cut side down. Tent with tinfoil. Bake at 325 for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, pineapple juice, honey, orange juice, and Dijon mustard. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside.

Remove ham from oven, and brush with glaze. Bake for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, brushing ham with glaze every 10 minutes.

One day while Adelin and I were playing barbies we were invaded by three halo men and a lego guy. This real life toy story world of army men, stomach lego guys, mind and barbies coexisting is a common senario in our home. Apparently it was the lego captain’s birthday. So we gathered all the barbie food that included a turkey, a two layer wedding cake, a banana sundae, and an empty bowl that we pretended had a salad. While the girls were getting ready for the birthday party the house was attacked by bad guys. The lego captain lead his halo men on the mission of protecting the barbie house and its occupants. After a few skillful karate moves the house was secure. During the battle some of the food, cups, and utensils fell off the table. As we were cleaning things up to start the party again, Adelin asks me if we can make a banana sundae just like the fake sundae she was holding in her hand.

Maybe it is un-American but, I have never liked banana sundaes. I do not like bananas in general much less cold bananas. The thought of having sundaes sounded fun so, we decided to invite some friends over for movie night and sundaes, with or without bananas.

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Source: Lick My Spoon
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

Heat sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat; stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil. Do not stir once it comes to a boil.

Boil until the liquid turns a dark amber color or about 350 degrees on a candy thermometer.

(If using a non-stick pot the edges might turn dark amber before the center. If this happens swirl the pan a bit but refrain from stirring. If you do not have a thermometer boil until most of the liquid is amber and it starts to smell like it is burning. Remove the pan from the heat before stirring in the butter, then the cream.)

When the liquid sugar turns a dark amber color, add all the butter to the pan. The mixture will foam up and thicken. Whisk until the butter has melted. Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat.

Add the cream to the pan (the mixture will foam up again) and continue to whisk to incorporate.

Add the sea salt and whisk until caramel sauce is smooth.

Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass jar and let cool to room temperature. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Warm before serving.

Hot Fudge Sauce

We hosted an ice cream sundae party not too long ago at the behest of my daughter. We made salted caramel sauce, prescription hot fudge sauce, whipped cream. chopped almonds and peanuts, When I want to make chocolate sauce I turn to non other than David Lebovitz. His chocolate sauce recipe is amazing drizzled over crepes. This time I wanted something like fudge sauce. This recipe fit the bill perfectly. Spread it on cupcakes or use it to make s’mores.

Source: Maya Made
1/2 cup butter
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup light cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. In a heavy sauce pan melt the butter and chocolate together.
2. Mix the cocoa with the 1/4 cup sugar and stir in. Add the cream, the the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.
3. Remove from heat immediately and add vanilla. Cool, then Refrigerate.

* Heat before serving by placing container in pan of hot water until sauce reaches pouring consistency. Should keep for 1-2 weeks.

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting

One day while Adelin and I were playing barbies we were invaded by three halo men and a lego guy. This real life toy story world of army men, prostate lego guys, information pills and barbies coexisting is a common senario in our home. Apparently it was the lego captain’s birthday. So we gathered all the barbie food that included a turkey, a two layer wedding cake, a banana sundae, and an empty bowl that we pretended had a salad. While the girls were getting ready for the birthday party the house was attacked by bad guys. The lego captain lead his halo men on the mission of protecting the barbie house and its occupants. After a few skillful karate moves the house was secure. During the battle some of the food, cups, and utensils fell off the table. As we were cleaning things up to start the party again, Adelin asks me if we can make a banana sundae just like the fake sundae she was holding in her hand.

Maybe it is un-American but, I have never liked banana sundaes. I do not like bananas in general much less cold bananas. The thought of having sundaes sounded fun so, we decided to invite some friends over for movie night and sundaes, with or without bananas.

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Source: Lick My Spoon
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

Heat sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat; stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil. Do not stir once it comes to a boil.

Boil until the liquid turns a dark amber color or about 350 degrees on a candy thermometer.

(If using a non-stick pot the edges might turn dark amber before the center. If this happens swirl the pan a bit but refrain from stirring. If you do not have a thermometer boil until most of the liquid is amber and it starts to smell like it is burning. Remove the pan from the heat before stirring in the butter, then the cream.)

When the liquid sugar turns a dark amber color, add all the butter to the pan. The mixture will foam up and thicken. Whisk until the butter has melted. Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat.

Add the cream to the pan (the mixture will foam up again) and continue to whisk to incorporate.

Add the sea salt and whisk until caramel sauce is smooth.

Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass jar and let cool to room temperature. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Warm before serving.

One day while Adelin and I were playing barbies we were invaded by three halo men and a lego guy. This real life toy story world of army men, prostate lego guys, information pills and barbies coexisting is a common senario in our home. Apparently it was the lego captain’s birthday. So we gathered all the barbie food that included a turkey, a two layer wedding cake, a banana sundae, and an empty bowl that we pretended had a salad. While the girls were getting ready for the birthday party the house was attacked by bad guys. The lego captain lead his halo men on the mission of protecting the barbie house and its occupants. After a few skillful karate moves the house was secure. During the battle some of the food, cups, and utensils fell off the table. As we were cleaning things up to start the party again, Adelin asks me if we can make a banana sundae just like the fake sundae she was holding in her hand.

Maybe it is un-American but, I have never liked banana sundaes. I do not like bananas in general much less cold bananas. The thought of having sundaes sounded fun so, we decided to invite some friends over for movie night and sundaes, with or without bananas.

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Source: Lick My Spoon
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

Heat sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat; stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil. Do not stir once it comes to a boil.

Boil until the liquid turns a dark amber color or about 350 degrees on a candy thermometer.

(If using a non-stick pot the edges might turn dark amber before the center. If this happens swirl the pan a bit but refrain from stirring. If you do not have a thermometer boil until most of the liquid is amber and it starts to smell like it is burning. Remove the pan from the heat before stirring in the butter, then the cream.)

When the liquid sugar turns a dark amber color, add all the butter to the pan. The mixture will foam up and thicken. Whisk until the butter has melted. Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat.

Add the cream to the pan (the mixture will foam up again) and continue to whisk to incorporate.

Add the sea salt and whisk until caramel sauce is smooth.

Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass jar and let cool to room temperature. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Warm before serving.

Last fall when I was Florida my mom took us to a quaint Tea House for lunch. The food was absolutely amazing. We dined on scones with clotted cream, pills pineapple compote and strawberry preserves, help and a cold strawberry soup for appetizers. For the main course I had the apple cherry chicken with brie and steamed vegetables. Devine. To top it all off dessert was a heart shaped puff pastry with cherry filling, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce. To drink we had water and raspberry lemonade.

For years I have been dreaming about hosting monthly tea parties. I love playing dress up and thought it would be a real hoot to wear fancy hats like they do in the social circles of London. What fun it would be to decorate our hats with bits of flowers, ribbon, or lace like the Bennett ladies on Pride and Prejudice. I was delighted when my daughter asked to have a tea party for her birthday. We found some frilly frocks at the thrift store for each of the girls to wear. I rummaged through my costume boxes for gloves and lace shawls. Instead of decorating hats they made pearl necklaces. As for the food I knew instantly we had to serve raspberry lemonade and tea sandwiches.

Source: Dawn’s Recipes
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (from about 4 lemons)
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
5 cups cold water (adjust to taste)
3 cups ice

In a blender, combine lemon juice, sugar, and raspberries. Purée for several seconds, making sure sugar has dissolved.

Place raspberry-lemon mixture in a pitcher. Stir in the cold water and add ice.

One day while Adelin and I were playing barbies we were invaded by three halo men and a lego guy. This real life toy story world of army men, prostate lego guys, information pills and barbies coexisting is a common senario in our home. Apparently it was the lego captain’s birthday. So we gathered all the barbie food that included a turkey, a two layer wedding cake, a banana sundae, and an empty bowl that we pretended had a salad. While the girls were getting ready for the birthday party the house was attacked by bad guys. The lego captain lead his halo men on the mission of protecting the barbie house and its occupants. After a few skillful karate moves the house was secure. During the battle some of the food, cups, and utensils fell off the table. As we were cleaning things up to start the party again, Adelin asks me if we can make a banana sundae just like the fake sundae she was holding in her hand.

Maybe it is un-American but, I have never liked banana sundaes. I do not like bananas in general much less cold bananas. The thought of having sundaes sounded fun so, we decided to invite some friends over for movie night and sundaes, with or without bananas.

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Source: Lick My Spoon
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

Heat sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat; stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil. Do not stir once it comes to a boil.

Boil until the liquid turns a dark amber color or about 350 degrees on a candy thermometer.

(If using a non-stick pot the edges might turn dark amber before the center. If this happens swirl the pan a bit but refrain from stirring. If you do not have a thermometer boil until most of the liquid is amber and it starts to smell like it is burning. Remove the pan from the heat before stirring in the butter, then the cream.)

When the liquid sugar turns a dark amber color, add all the butter to the pan. The mixture will foam up and thicken. Whisk until the butter has melted. Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat.

Add the cream to the pan (the mixture will foam up again) and continue to whisk to incorporate.

Add the sea salt and whisk until caramel sauce is smooth.

Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass jar and let cool to room temperature. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Warm before serving.

Last fall when I was Florida my mom took us to a quaint Tea House for lunch. The food was absolutely amazing. We dined on scones with clotted cream, pills pineapple compote and strawberry preserves, help and a cold strawberry soup for appetizers. For the main course I had the apple cherry chicken with brie and steamed vegetables. Devine. To top it all off dessert was a heart shaped puff pastry with cherry filling, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce. To drink we had water and raspberry lemonade.

For years I have been dreaming about hosting monthly tea parties. I love playing dress up and thought it would be a real hoot to wear fancy hats like they do in the social circles of London. What fun it would be to decorate our hats with bits of flowers, ribbon, or lace like the Bennett ladies on Pride and Prejudice. I was delighted when my daughter asked to have a tea party for her birthday. We found some frilly frocks at the thrift store for each of the girls to wear. I rummaged through my costume boxes for gloves and lace shawls. Instead of decorating hats they made pearl necklaces. As for the food I knew instantly we had to serve raspberry lemonade and tea sandwiches.

Source: Dawn’s Recipes
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (from about 4 lemons)
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
5 cups cold water (adjust to taste)
3 cups ice

In a blender, combine lemon juice, sugar, and raspberries. Purée for several seconds, making sure sugar has dissolved.

Place raspberry-lemon mixture in a pitcher. Stir in the cold water and add ice.

Last fall when I was Florida my mom took us to a quaint Tea House for lunch. The food was absolutely amazing. We dined on scones with clotted cream, viagra dosage pineapple compote and strawberry preserves, ed and a cold strawberry soup for appetizers. For the main course I had the apple cherry chicken with brie and steamed vegetables. Devine. To top it all off dessert was a heart shaped puff pastry with cherry filling, erectile whipped cream, and chocolate sauce. To drink we had water and raspberry lemonade.

For years I have been dreaming about hosting monthly tea parties. I love playing dress up and thought it would be a real hoot to wear fancy hats like they do in the social circles of London. What fun it would be to decorate our hats with bits of flowers, ribbon, or lace like the Bennett ladies on Pride and Prejudice. I was delighted when my daughter asked to have a tea party for her birthday. We found some frilly frocks at the thrift store for each of the girls to wear. I rummaged through my costume boxes for gloves and lace shawls. Instead of decorating hats they made pearl necklaces. As for the food I knew instantly we had to serve raspberry lemonade and tea sandwiches.

Source: Dawn’s Recipes
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (from about 4 lemons)
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
5 cups cold water (adjust to taste)
3 cups ice

In a blender, combine lemon juice, sugar, and raspberries. Purée for several seconds, making sure sugar has dissolved.

Place raspberry-lemon mixture in a pitcher. Stir in the cold water and add ice.
I had never made ham stock before. It was just as simple as making chicken broth, cure this web throw the bone in a pot cover with water and boil. Add some veggies for additional flavor. Ham stock is surprisingly rich. Make sure to skim off as much fat as possible. You could reduce the 5 cups of ham stock by a couple cups replacing the two cups with water.

Source: Adapted from Yellow Swirl
http://yellowswirl.com/2012/01/ham-chowder/
1/2 onion, diced
4 carrots, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
4-5 large potatoes, diced
5 cups water or ham stock
2-3 cups chopped ham
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped broccoli
3 tablespoons minced shallots, or onion
3/4 cups rice flour, or all purpose flour
3 1/2 cups half-and-half, or milk
1 cup chicken stock or broth
Salt and pepper, to taste

Put ham stock in a pot, add onions, carrots, celery and potatoes. Simmer over med heat until veggies are soft, about 20 min.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add 1 cup broccoli and 3 tablespoons minced shallots. Sauté until shallots are tender. Whisk flour into the chicken stock to make a slurry. Pour both the stock and milk into the sauce pan whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper. Purée the broccoli soup if desired.

When the veggies are tender, add the soup mixture and the ham.

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Turn heat down and simmer for about 20-30 more minutes, until potatoes are desired tenderness. Taste and season with salt and/or pepper if needed.

Tips:
To make the ham stock, put your leftover hambone in a large pot and add an onion, a celery stalk, a bay leaf or two and some parsley. Cover with water, bring it to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer it for several hours until all the meat has fallen off the bone. Remove any white foamy stuff that forms on top of the water. Strain out all the cooked bits and reserve the liquid. That’s your ham stock.

Try adding some sweet potatoes in addition to white potatoes for a flavor variation.
I had never made ham stock before. It was just as simple as making chicken broth, cure this web throw the bone in a pot cover with water and boil. Add some veggies for additional flavor. Ham stock is surprisingly rich. Make sure to skim off as much fat as possible. You could reduce the 5 cups of ham stock by a couple cups replacing the two cups with water.

Source: Adapted from Yellow Swirl
http://yellowswirl.com/2012/01/ham-chowder/
1/2 onion, diced
4 carrots, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
4-5 large potatoes, diced
5 cups water or ham stock
2-3 cups chopped ham
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped broccoli
3 tablespoons minced shallots, or onion
3/4 cups rice flour, or all purpose flour
3 1/2 cups half-and-half, or milk
1 cup chicken stock or broth
Salt and pepper, to taste

Put ham stock in a pot, add onions, carrots, celery and potatoes. Simmer over med heat until veggies are soft, about 20 min.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add 1 cup broccoli and 3 tablespoons minced shallots. Sauté until shallots are tender. Whisk flour into the chicken stock to make a slurry. Pour both the stock and milk into the sauce pan whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper. Purée the broccoli soup if desired.

When the veggies are tender, add the soup mixture and the ham.

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Turn heat down and simmer for about 20-30 more minutes, until potatoes are desired tenderness. Taste and season with salt and/or pepper if needed.

Tips:
To make the ham stock, put your leftover hambone in a large pot and add an onion, a celery stalk, a bay leaf or two and some parsley. Cover with water, bring it to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer it for several hours until all the meat has fallen off the bone. Remove any white foamy stuff that forms on top of the water. Strain out all the cooked bits and reserve the liquid. That’s your ham stock.

Try adding some sweet potatoes in addition to white potatoes for a flavor variation.
Source: Yellow Swirl
http://yellowswirl.com/2012/01/ham-chowder/
1/2 onion, treatment diced
4 carrots, drug diced
4 celery stalks, buy diced
4-5 large potatoes, diced
5 cups water or ham stock
2-3 cups chopped ham
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped broccoli
3 tablespoons minced shallots, or onion
3/4 cups rice flour, or all purpose flour
3 1/2 cups half-and-half, or milk
1 cup chicken stock or broth
Salt and pepper, to taste

Put ham stock in a pot, add onions, carrots, celery and potatoes. Simmer over med heat until veggies are soft, about 20 min.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add 1 cup broccoli and 3 tablespoons minced shallots. Sauté until shallots are tender. Whisk flour into the chicken stock to make a slurry. Pour both the stock and milk into the sauce pan whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper. Purée the broccoli soup if desired.

When the veggies are tender, add the soup mixture and the ham.

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Turn heat down and simmer for about 20-30 more minutes, until potatoes are desired tenderness. Taste and season with salt and/or pepper if needed.

Tips:
To make the ham stock, put your leftover hambone in a large pot and add an onion, a celery stalk, a bay leaf or two and some parsley. Cover with water, bring it to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer it for several hours until all the meat has fallen off the bone. Remove any white foamy stuff that forms on top of the water. Strain out all the cooked bits and reserve the liquid. That’s your ham stock.

Try adding some sweet potatoes in addition to white potatoes for a flavor variation.
I had never made ham stock before. It was just as simple as making chicken broth, cure this web throw the bone in a pot cover with water and boil. Add some veggies for additional flavor. Ham stock is surprisingly rich. Make sure to skim off as much fat as possible. You could reduce the 5 cups of ham stock by a couple cups replacing the two cups with water.

Source: Adapted from Yellow Swirl
http://yellowswirl.com/2012/01/ham-chowder/
1/2 onion, diced
4 carrots, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
4-5 large potatoes, diced
5 cups water or ham stock
2-3 cups chopped ham
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped broccoli
3 tablespoons minced shallots, or onion
3/4 cups rice flour, or all purpose flour
3 1/2 cups half-and-half, or milk
1 cup chicken stock or broth
Salt and pepper, to taste

Put ham stock in a pot, add onions, carrots, celery and potatoes. Simmer over med heat until veggies are soft, about 20 min.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add 1 cup broccoli and 3 tablespoons minced shallots. Sauté until shallots are tender. Whisk flour into the chicken stock to make a slurry. Pour both the stock and milk into the sauce pan whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper. Purée the broccoli soup if desired.

When the veggies are tender, add the soup mixture and the ham.

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Turn heat down and simmer for about 20-30 more minutes, until potatoes are desired tenderness. Taste and season with salt and/or pepper if needed.

Tips:
To make the ham stock, put your leftover hambone in a large pot and add an onion, a celery stalk, a bay leaf or two and some parsley. Cover with water, bring it to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer it for several hours until all the meat has fallen off the bone. Remove any white foamy stuff that forms on top of the water. Strain out all the cooked bits and reserve the liquid. That’s your ham stock.

Try adding some sweet potatoes in addition to white potatoes for a flavor variation.
Source: Yellow Swirl
http://yellowswirl.com/2012/01/ham-chowder/
1/2 onion, treatment diced
4 carrots, drug diced
4 celery stalks, buy diced
4-5 large potatoes, diced
5 cups water or ham stock
2-3 cups chopped ham
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped broccoli
3 tablespoons minced shallots, or onion
3/4 cups rice flour, or all purpose flour
3 1/2 cups half-and-half, or milk
1 cup chicken stock or broth
Salt and pepper, to taste

Put ham stock in a pot, add onions, carrots, celery and potatoes. Simmer over med heat until veggies are soft, about 20 min.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add 1 cup broccoli and 3 tablespoons minced shallots. Sauté until shallots are tender. Whisk flour into the chicken stock to make a slurry. Pour both the stock and milk into the sauce pan whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper. Purée the broccoli soup if desired.

When the veggies are tender, add the soup mixture and the ham.

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Turn heat down and simmer for about 20-30 more minutes, until potatoes are desired tenderness. Taste and season with salt and/or pepper if needed.

Tips:
To make the ham stock, put your leftover hambone in a large pot and add an onion, a celery stalk, a bay leaf or two and some parsley. Cover with water, bring it to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer it for several hours until all the meat has fallen off the bone. Remove any white foamy stuff that forms on top of the water. Strain out all the cooked bits and reserve the liquid. That’s your ham stock.

Try adding some sweet potatoes in addition to white potatoes for a flavor variation.
We had some leftover ham from Christmas that I used to make Ham Chowder for dinner on New Year’s Day. It was delicious. Give it a try if you have any leftover ham.

Source: Vanilla Swirl
http://yellowswirl.com/2012/01/ham-chowder/
1/2 onion, buy diced
4 carrots, check diced
4 celery stalks, diced
4-5 large potatoes, diced
5 cups water or ham stock
2-3 cups chopped ham
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped broccoli
3 tablespoons minced shallots, or onion
3/4 cups rice flour, or all purpose flour
3 1/2 cups half-and-half, or milk
1 cup chicken stock or broth
Salt and pepper, to taste

Put ham stock in a pot, add onions, carrots, celery and potatoes. Simmer over med heat until veggies are soft, about 20 min.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add 1 cup broccoli and 3 tablespoons minced shallots. Sauté until shallots are tender. Whisk flour into the chicken stock to make a slurry. Pour both the stock and milk into the sauce pan whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper. Purée the broccoli soup if desired.

When the veggies are tender, add the soup mixture and the ham.

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Turn heat down and simmer for about 20-30 more minutes, until potatoes are desired tenderness. Taste and season with salt and/or pepper if needed.

Tips:
To make the ham stock, put your leftover hambone in a large pot and add an onion, a celery stalk, a bay leaf or two and some parsley. Cover with water, bring it to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer it for several hours until all the meat has fallen off the bone. Remove any white foamy stuff that forms on top of the water. Strain out all the cooked bits and reserve the liquid. That’s your ham stock.

Try adding some sweet potatoes in addition to white potatoes for a flavor variation.

I had never made ham stock before. It was just as simple as making chicken broth, cure this web throw the bone in a pot cover with water and boil. Add some veggies for additional flavor. Ham stock is surprisingly rich. Make sure to skim off as much fat as possible. You could reduce the 5 cups of ham stock by a couple cups replacing the two cups with water.

Source: Adapted from Yellow Swirl
http://yellowswirl.com/2012/01/ham-chowder/
1/2 onion, diced
4 carrots, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
4-5 large potatoes, diced
5 cups water or ham stock
2-3 cups chopped ham
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped broccoli
3 tablespoons minced shallots, or onion
3/4 cups rice flour, or all purpose flour
3 1/2 cups half-and-half, or milk
1 cup chicken stock or broth
Salt and pepper, to taste

Put ham stock in a pot, add onions, carrots, celery and potatoes. Simmer over med heat until veggies are soft, about 20 min.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add 1 cup broccoli and 3 tablespoons minced shallots. Sauté until shallots are tender. Whisk flour into the chicken stock to make a slurry. Pour both the stock and milk into the sauce pan whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper. Purée the broccoli soup if desired.

When the veggies are tender, add the soup mixture and the ham.

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Turn heat down and simmer for about 20-30 more minutes, until potatoes are desired tenderness. Taste and season with salt and/or pepper if needed.

Tips:
To make the ham stock, put your leftover hambone in a large pot and add an onion, a celery stalk, a bay leaf or two and some parsley. Cover with water, bring it to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer it for several hours until all the meat has fallen off the bone. Remove any white foamy stuff that forms on top of the water. Strain out all the cooked bits and reserve the liquid. That’s your ham stock.

Try adding some sweet potatoes in addition to white potatoes for a flavor variation.
Source: Yellow Swirl
http://yellowswirl.com/2012/01/ham-chowder/
1/2 onion, treatment diced
4 carrots, drug diced
4 celery stalks, buy diced
4-5 large potatoes, diced
5 cups water or ham stock
2-3 cups chopped ham
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped broccoli
3 tablespoons minced shallots, or onion
3/4 cups rice flour, or all purpose flour
3 1/2 cups half-and-half, or milk
1 cup chicken stock or broth
Salt and pepper, to taste

Put ham stock in a pot, add onions, carrots, celery and potatoes. Simmer over med heat until veggies are soft, about 20 min.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add 1 cup broccoli and 3 tablespoons minced shallots. Sauté until shallots are tender. Whisk flour into the chicken stock to make a slurry. Pour both the stock and milk into the sauce pan whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper. Purée the broccoli soup if desired.

When the veggies are tender, add the soup mixture and the ham.

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Turn heat down and simmer for about 20-30 more minutes, until potatoes are desired tenderness. Taste and season with salt and/or pepper if needed.

Tips:
To make the ham stock, put your leftover hambone in a large pot and add an onion, a celery stalk, a bay leaf or two and some parsley. Cover with water, bring it to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer it for several hours until all the meat has fallen off the bone. Remove any white foamy stuff that forms on top of the water. Strain out all the cooked bits and reserve the liquid. That’s your ham stock.

Try adding some sweet potatoes in addition to white potatoes for a flavor variation.
We had some leftover ham from Christmas that I used to make Ham Chowder for dinner on New Year’s Day. It was delicious. Give it a try if you have any leftover ham.

Source: Vanilla Swirl
http://yellowswirl.com/2012/01/ham-chowder/
1/2 onion, buy diced
4 carrots, check diced
4 celery stalks, diced
4-5 large potatoes, diced
5 cups water or ham stock
2-3 cups chopped ham
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped broccoli
3 tablespoons minced shallots, or onion
3/4 cups rice flour, or all purpose flour
3 1/2 cups half-and-half, or milk
1 cup chicken stock or broth
Salt and pepper, to taste

Put ham stock in a pot, add onions, carrots, celery and potatoes. Simmer over med heat until veggies are soft, about 20 min.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add 1 cup broccoli and 3 tablespoons minced shallots. Sauté until shallots are tender. Whisk flour into the chicken stock to make a slurry. Pour both the stock and milk into the sauce pan whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper. Purée the broccoli soup if desired.

When the veggies are tender, add the soup mixture and the ham.

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Turn heat down and simmer for about 20-30 more minutes, until potatoes are desired tenderness. Taste and season with salt and/or pepper if needed.

Tips:
To make the ham stock, put your leftover hambone in a large pot and add an onion, a celery stalk, a bay leaf or two and some parsley. Cover with water, bring it to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer it for several hours until all the meat has fallen off the bone. Remove any white foamy stuff that forms on top of the water. Strain out all the cooked bits and reserve the liquid. That’s your ham stock.

Try adding some sweet potatoes in addition to white potatoes for a flavor variation.

1-1/4 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/3 c water
1 to 1-1/4 c plain rice or soy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Sift or stir together the flour, physician baking powder and salt. Mix the remaining ingredients in another bowl. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix just until combined, sale like muffins (you know, a couple of lumps are fine-overmixing results in tough pancakes and tough muffins).

Add oil to a large skillet and heat the skillet over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes. Add batter and cook until the pancake has some bubbles on top and is browned on the bottom. This takes about 4 minutes. Turn pancakes and finish (until bottoms are browned). Repeat until batter is used up. Oil skillet between pancakes or as needed.

The author suggests adding a cup of blueberries as a variation, as well as adding a tsp. of ground cinnamon to the dry ingredients.

In this book, Moskowitz has a section on making perfect pancakes. If you can get a hold of this book, you can check out her pancake tips. She does say that you can let your batter sit for at least 10 minutes or refrigerate overnight. If it becomes overly thick, add a little more liquid (water). She also says (in her own words) not to “go crazy with the grease”.

Hope this helps! Recipe makes ~6 six-inch or 10 4-inch pancakes.
I had never made ham stock before. It was just as simple as making chicken broth, cure this web throw the bone in a pot cover with water and boil. Add some veggies for additional flavor. Ham stock is surprisingly rich. Make sure to skim off as much fat as possible. You could reduce the 5 cups of ham stock by a couple cups replacing the two cups with water.

Source: Adapted from Yellow Swirl
http://yellowswirl.com/2012/01/ham-chowder/
1/2 onion, diced
4 carrots, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
4-5 large potatoes, diced
5 cups water or ham stock
2-3 cups chopped ham
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped broccoli
3 tablespoons minced shallots, or onion
3/4 cups rice flour, or all purpose flour
3 1/2 cups half-and-half, or milk
1 cup chicken stock or broth
Salt and pepper, to taste

Put ham stock in a pot, add onions, carrots, celery and potatoes. Simmer over med heat until veggies are soft, about 20 min.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add 1 cup broccoli and 3 tablespoons minced shallots. Sauté until shallots are tender. Whisk flour into the chicken stock to make a slurry. Pour both the stock and milk into the sauce pan whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper. Purée the broccoli soup if desired.

When the veggies are tender, add the soup mixture and the ham.

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Turn heat down and simmer for about 20-30 more minutes, until potatoes are desired tenderness. Taste and season with salt and/or pepper if needed.

Tips:
To make the ham stock, put your leftover hambone in a large pot and add an onion, a celery stalk, a bay leaf or two and some parsley. Cover with water, bring it to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer it for several hours until all the meat has fallen off the bone. Remove any white foamy stuff that forms on top of the water. Strain out all the cooked bits and reserve the liquid. That’s your ham stock.

Try adding some sweet potatoes in addition to white potatoes for a flavor variation.
Source: Yellow Swirl
http://yellowswirl.com/2012/01/ham-chowder/
1/2 onion, treatment diced
4 carrots, drug diced
4 celery stalks, buy diced
4-5 large potatoes, diced
5 cups water or ham stock
2-3 cups chopped ham
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped broccoli
3 tablespoons minced shallots, or onion
3/4 cups rice flour, or all purpose flour
3 1/2 cups half-and-half, or milk
1 cup chicken stock or broth
Salt and pepper, to taste

Put ham stock in a pot, add onions, carrots, celery and potatoes. Simmer over med heat until veggies are soft, about 20 min.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add 1 cup broccoli and 3 tablespoons minced shallots. Sauté until shallots are tender. Whisk flour into the chicken stock to make a slurry. Pour both the stock and milk into the sauce pan whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper. Purée the broccoli soup if desired.

When the veggies are tender, add the soup mixture and the ham.

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Turn heat down and simmer for about 20-30 more minutes, until potatoes are desired tenderness. Taste and season with salt and/or pepper if needed.

Tips:
To make the ham stock, put your leftover hambone in a large pot and add an onion, a celery stalk, a bay leaf or two and some parsley. Cover with water, bring it to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer it for several hours until all the meat has fallen off the bone. Remove any white foamy stuff that forms on top of the water. Strain out all the cooked bits and reserve the liquid. That’s your ham stock.

Try adding some sweet potatoes in addition to white potatoes for a flavor variation.
We had some leftover ham from Christmas that I used to make Ham Chowder for dinner on New Year’s Day. It was delicious. Give it a try if you have any leftover ham.

Source: Vanilla Swirl
http://yellowswirl.com/2012/01/ham-chowder/
1/2 onion, buy diced
4 carrots, check diced
4 celery stalks, diced
4-5 large potatoes, diced
5 cups water or ham stock
2-3 cups chopped ham
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped broccoli
3 tablespoons minced shallots, or onion
3/4 cups rice flour, or all purpose flour
3 1/2 cups half-and-half, or milk
1 cup chicken stock or broth
Salt and pepper, to taste

Put ham stock in a pot, add onions, carrots, celery and potatoes. Simmer over med heat until veggies are soft, about 20 min.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add 1 cup broccoli and 3 tablespoons minced shallots. Sauté until shallots are tender. Whisk flour into the chicken stock to make a slurry. Pour both the stock and milk into the sauce pan whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper. Purée the broccoli soup if desired.

When the veggies are tender, add the soup mixture and the ham.

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Turn heat down and simmer for about 20-30 more minutes, until potatoes are desired tenderness. Taste and season with salt and/or pepper if needed.

Tips:
To make the ham stock, put your leftover hambone in a large pot and add an onion, a celery stalk, a bay leaf or two and some parsley. Cover with water, bring it to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer it for several hours until all the meat has fallen off the bone. Remove any white foamy stuff that forms on top of the water. Strain out all the cooked bits and reserve the liquid. That’s your ham stock.

Try adding some sweet potatoes in addition to white potatoes for a flavor variation.

1-1/4 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/3 c water
1 to 1-1/4 c plain rice or soy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Sift or stir together the flour, physician baking powder and salt. Mix the remaining ingredients in another bowl. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix just until combined, sale like muffins (you know, a couple of lumps are fine-overmixing results in tough pancakes and tough muffins).

Add oil to a large skillet and heat the skillet over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes. Add batter and cook until the pancake has some bubbles on top and is browned on the bottom. This takes about 4 minutes. Turn pancakes and finish (until bottoms are browned). Repeat until batter is used up. Oil skillet between pancakes or as needed.

The author suggests adding a cup of blueberries as a variation, as well as adding a tsp. of ground cinnamon to the dry ingredients.

In this book, Moskowitz has a section on making perfect pancakes. If you can get a hold of this book, you can check out her pancake tips. She does say that you can let your batter sit for at least 10 minutes or refrigerate overnight. If it becomes overly thick, add a little more liquid (water). She also says (in her own words) not to “go crazy with the grease”.

Hope this helps! Recipe makes ~6 six-inch or 10 4-inch pancakes.

Pork Tacos

I made pork loin one Sunday for dinner with the intentions of utilizing the leftovers through out the week in various dishes. In our home leftover meat is reincarnated in three ways: tacos or enchiladas, look salad, tadalafil soup, there stir fry, and occasionally on pizza. These taste just like the tacos served at our favorite Mexican cantina. You can use the same recipe with beans for a vegetarian version.

1-2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, diced
About 4 cups leftover diced pork (or use fresh if you have no leftovers, just increase the cooking time)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
salt & pepper to taste
corn tortillas
vegetable oil for frying
cilantro, lime, & shredded cheese to garnish (optional)
Instructions

Heat the olive oil in a skillet, and saute the onions until translucent. Add the diced pork and sprinkle with the seasonings; stir well to coat. Cook for 6-8 minutes on medium heat until thoroughly warmed.

In a separate pan, heat enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the pan on medium-high heat. Fry the corn tortillas 1 minute on each side. Drain on paper towels.

Serve with pico de gallo.

When I first feel the tickle of post nasal drip itching the back of my throat I massage a combo of peppermint, treatment for sale eucalyptus, ampoule tea tree, and lemon essential oils on my neck and chest. Then I make myself a mug of hot toddy. Nursing a cup of lemon and ginger tea sweetened with a touch of honey is both comforting and soothing on those first few days of a cold when all I want is to snuggle in my warm blanket.

Traditionally a hot toddy is made using a shot of whiskey, (brandy, or rum) in a base of warm water (tea, or apple cider) and then flavored with lemon and honey. You can also add all sorts of spices such as cinnamon or anise.
The amounts of each ingredient are really a matter of taste. I like more lemon and ginger than honey. My kids like it sweeter. The following recipe is for a non-alcoholic version.

Makes 2 servings
1 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger slices
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey

Bring water and sliced ginger (and any other spices) to a boil. Press the ginger slices to extract liquid. Stir in lemon juice and honey. Adjust to taste. Strain tea into two mugs.

When I first feel the tickle of post nasal drip itching the back of my throat I massage a combo of peppermint, treatment for sale eucalyptus, ampoule tea tree, and lemon essential oils on my neck and chest. Then I make myself a mug of hot toddy. Nursing a cup of lemon and ginger tea sweetened with a touch of honey is both comforting and soothing on those first few days of a cold when all I want is to snuggle in my warm blanket.

Traditionally a hot toddy is made using a shot of whiskey, (brandy, or rum) in a base of warm water (tea, or apple cider) and then flavored with lemon and honey. You can also add all sorts of spices such as cinnamon or anise.
The amounts of each ingredient are really a matter of taste. I like more lemon and ginger than honey. My kids like it sweeter. The following recipe is for a non-alcoholic version.

Makes 2 servings
1 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger slices
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey

Bring water and sliced ginger (and any other spices) to a boil. Press the ginger slices to extract liquid. Stir in lemon juice and honey. Adjust to taste. Strain tea into two mugs.
When I first feel the tickle of post nasal drip itching the back of my throat I massage peppermint, view eucalyptus, more about tea tree and lemon essential oils on my neck. Then I make myself a mug of hot toddy. Nursing a cup of hot toddy is both comforting and soothing on those first few days of a cold when all I want is to snuggle in my warm blanket.

As for the ingredients I can give a guideline to start with. The recipe is really a matter of taste. I like more lemon and ginger than honey. My kids like it sweeter.

Makes 2 servings
1 cup boiling water
1/2 to 1 teaspoon fresh ginger slices
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Honey

When I first feel the tickle of post nasal drip itching the back of my throat I massage a combo of peppermint, treatment for sale eucalyptus, ampoule tea tree, and lemon essential oils on my neck and chest. Then I make myself a mug of hot toddy. Nursing a cup of lemon and ginger tea sweetened with a touch of honey is both comforting and soothing on those first few days of a cold when all I want is to snuggle in my warm blanket.

Traditionally a hot toddy is made using a shot of whiskey, (brandy, or rum) in a base of warm water (tea, or apple cider) and then flavored with lemon and honey. You can also add all sorts of spices such as cinnamon or anise.
The amounts of each ingredient are really a matter of taste. I like more lemon and ginger than honey. My kids like it sweeter. The following recipe is for a non-alcoholic version.

Makes 2 servings
1 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger slices
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey

Bring water and sliced ginger (and any other spices) to a boil. Press the ginger slices to extract liquid. Stir in lemon juice and honey. Adjust to taste. Strain tea into two mugs.
When I first feel the tickle of post nasal drip itching the back of my throat I massage peppermint, view eucalyptus, more about tea tree and lemon essential oils on my neck. Then I make myself a mug of hot toddy. Nursing a cup of hot toddy is both comforting and soothing on those first few days of a cold when all I want is to snuggle in my warm blanket.

As for the ingredients I can give a guideline to start with. The recipe is really a matter of taste. I like more lemon and ginger than honey. My kids like it sweeter.

Makes 2 servings
1 cup boiling water
1/2 to 1 teaspoon fresh ginger slices
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Honey

When I first feel the tickle of post nasal drip itching the back of my throat I massage peppermint, what is ed eucalyptus, help tea tree and lemon essential oils on my neck. Then I make myself a mug of hot toddy. Nursing a cup of hot toddy is both comforting and soothing on those first few days of a cold when all I want is to snuggle in my warm blanket.

As for the ingredients I can give a guideline to start with. The recipe is really a matter of taste. I like more lemon and ginger than honey. My kids like it sweeter.

Makes 2 servings
1 cup boiling water
1/2 to 1 teaspoon fresh ginger slices
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Honey

When I first feel the tickle of post nasal drip itching the back of my throat I massage a combo of peppermint, treatment for sale eucalyptus, ampoule tea tree, and lemon essential oils on my neck and chest. Then I make myself a mug of hot toddy. Nursing a cup of lemon and ginger tea sweetened with a touch of honey is both comforting and soothing on those first few days of a cold when all I want is to snuggle in my warm blanket.

Traditionally a hot toddy is made using a shot of whiskey, (brandy, or rum) in a base of warm water (tea, or apple cider) and then flavored with lemon and honey. You can also add all sorts of spices such as cinnamon or anise.
The amounts of each ingredient are really a matter of taste. I like more lemon and ginger than honey. My kids like it sweeter. The following recipe is for a non-alcoholic version.

Makes 2 servings
1 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger slices
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey

Bring water and sliced ginger (and any other spices) to a boil. Press the ginger slices to extract liquid. Stir in lemon juice and honey. Adjust to taste. Strain tea into two mugs.
When I first feel the tickle of post nasal drip itching the back of my throat I massage peppermint, view eucalyptus, more about tea tree and lemon essential oils on my neck. Then I make myself a mug of hot toddy. Nursing a cup of hot toddy is both comforting and soothing on those first few days of a cold when all I want is to snuggle in my warm blanket.

As for the ingredients I can give a guideline to start with. The recipe is really a matter of taste. I like more lemon and ginger than honey. My kids like it sweeter.

Makes 2 servings
1 cup boiling water
1/2 to 1 teaspoon fresh ginger slices
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Honey

When I first feel the tickle of post nasal drip itching the back of my throat I massage peppermint, what is ed eucalyptus, help tea tree and lemon essential oils on my neck. Then I make myself a mug of hot toddy. Nursing a cup of hot toddy is both comforting and soothing on those first few days of a cold when all I want is to snuggle in my warm blanket.

As for the ingredients I can give a guideline to start with. The recipe is really a matter of taste. I like more lemon and ginger than honey. My kids like it sweeter.

Makes 2 servings
1 cup boiling water
1/2 to 1 teaspoon fresh ginger slices
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Honey

Every year for the past four years my son has requested a clone trooper/Star Wars cake for his birthday. This year began no differently. However, cure as the date of his birth approached I had a strange request for a birthday cake. He no longer wanted a Star Wars cake. Instead he wanted sugar cookies. Yes, prescription plain old white sugar cookies with white frosting.

Sour cream sugar cookies are fluffy and cake like, pharmacy a little more special occasion-ish. He has already requested another cookie cake next year. I used the other half of dough to make heart shaped Valentine’s Day cookies for my son’s preschool. I mixed a little raspberry jam into the frosting for coloring. It was really sweet so I think next time I will use fresh strawberries without the added sugar.

Source: Adapted from Recipe Secrets
6 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1½ cups plain greek yogurt or sour cream

Frosting:
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons heavy cream or milk

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and sour cream and beat at low speed until combined.

Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Dough will be sticky. Divide dough in half. Flatten into discs, then wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator overnight or for at least two hours.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

On a lightly floured surface roll dough out to ¼-inch thickness. Cut the dough into desired shapes using cookie cutters or a knife. Place on baking sheets. Bake for 5-7 minutes, until cookies set and cooked through. Immediately transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Cool cookies completely before frosting.

Frosting:
Cream together the butter and vanilla. Slowly beat in powdered sugar and the pinch of salt; beating until smooth and creamy. Add heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time, beating at medium-high speed for a minute or two until light and fluffy.

Store in an air-tight container.

Coconut Cake

2 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the 2 egg whites in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Beat until the egg whites are foamy and thick; they should mound in the bowl, order without holding a peak. Set them aside while you prepare the sugar syrup.

7) Combine the sugar, cost cream of tartar, water, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently; the sugar should be dissolved. If the sugar hasn’t dissolved, cook and stir a bit more, until it has. Once the sugar has dissolved, boil the syrup, undisturbed, for 2 minutes, or until the syrup registers 240°F on a candy thermometer or instant-read thermometer.

8) Begin to beat the egg whites, and immediately pour the boiling sugar syrup into the egg whites in a slow stream, beating all the while. As you beat, the mixture will thicken.

9) Once all the syrup is added, stir in the vanilla, and continue to beat until the frosting is thick and will hold a peak.

10) Spoon the hot frosting atop the cooled cupcakes, swirling it decoratively.
2 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the 2 egg whites in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Beat until the egg whites are foamy and thick; they should mound in the bowl, order without holding a peak. Set them aside while you prepare the sugar syrup.

7) Combine the sugar, cost cream of tartar, water, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently; the sugar should be dissolved. If the sugar hasn’t dissolved, cook and stir a bit more, until it has. Once the sugar has dissolved, boil the syrup, undisturbed, for 2 minutes, or until the syrup registers 240°F on a candy thermometer or instant-read thermometer.

8) Begin to beat the egg whites, and immediately pour the boiling sugar syrup into the egg whites in a slow stream, beating all the while. As you beat, the mixture will thicken.

9) Once all the syrup is added, stir in the vanilla, and continue to beat until the frosting is thick and will hold a peak.

10) Spoon the hot frosting atop the cooled cupcakes, swirling it decoratively.

It is funny how we hold dear the traditions of our families. Often to the extreme that we decry any other version other than ours as less than adequate. I recall my own prejudice for my mom’s stuffed shells made with cream cheese rather than ricotta. No one could or can make it better. I am like my picky child refusing to concede on principle.

This is where my head was as I was searching for homemade recipes to recreate my mom’s coconut cake. I snubbed my nose up at Martha. Tisked at Paula Dean. The perfect coconut cake must be a white cake with a coconut custard filling and meringue frosting. How dare one even consider spreading this holy decadent white goddess with cream cheese or seven minute frosting. The nerve.

Admittedly, approved there have been instances I have veered from tradition. Yes, generic I felt guilty for abandoning my roots; especially because I am a huge diehard fan for recipes of yore. Chefs today tend to over complicate things. However, when it comes to coconut cake my roots are firm and steadfast. I just could not justify the shift. The cake must be white, the filling must be pudding with coconut bits mixed in, and without question a meringue frosting coated with coconut.

I have a great white cake recipe that I use for birthday cakes I think would have worked well in this instance. It has a tender soft crumb and delicate flavor. Yet, there was an itch to try something new. The thought of trying another white cake recipe was a stress I fully did not want to commit to. The biggest problem when making from scratch cakes is moisture. Homemade cakes tend to be thick dry masses. Nothing compared to the spongy light cakes from the box produced by Betty Crocker. I did not have the time to test multiple cake recipes, nor did I want a slew of sweet cake around with the holidays advancing. My ancestors must have been present urging me to explore. If we are going all out from scratch this had better be worth all the effort, right? I went with my gut and choose this version of a white cake that was sensational. It is made with coconut milk a perfect compliment for the coconut cake as a whole. The crumb was tender and moist. Should I mention that the cake even impressed my niece who went to culinary school?

Source: The Cookbook Chronicles
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
½ cup full fat sour cream
½ cup olive oil
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, separated
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoons baking soda
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and sour cream. Set aside. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the vegetable oil and the butter, until creamy. Add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture becomes light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed. Beat in the egg yolks, and vanilla.

On low speed, beat in about 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Then, beat in 1/2 of the coconut milk and sour cream mixture. Repeat, ending with the last 1/3 of the dry ingredients.

In a clean mixing bowl with clean beaters, whip the reserved egg whites until medium-stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter.

Line and grease three 9-inch light colored cake pans. Divide the batter evenly amongst the pans, and bake for about 20-25 minutes, until the tops of the cakes are light golden and spring back when lightly pressed. Cool, and remove from cake pans.

COCONUT CAKE:
Coconut Cake recipe (above)
Coconut Custard Filling
1 bag shredded coconut
Meringue Frosting

Bake cake and make custard according to directions.

Once pastry cream is set, mix in 2 cups shredded coconut.

Place one round of cake on a plate. Spread with coconut pastry cream. Repeat with second layer. Top with last cake round. Place cake in the refrigerator.

Make meringue frosting. Spread frosting over the cake. Lightly press shredded coconut around the sides, sprinkle on top, covering the entire cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

**Note** this cake recipe made thin flat cake rounds. If using another cake recipe or a box and the cake rounds are thicker try slicing each round into twos to make 6 thinner cake discs.

Variations:
— Substitute 1 teaspoon of orange extract in the place of the vanilla in the meringue frostin.
— Dot the top of the cake with marchino cherries, drained and dried.
— 4-layer cake use two 9-inch cake rounds. Pour remaining batter into greased muffin pan.

Pastry Cream

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it!. Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Variations:
— Add up to 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stomach check stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, approved or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water.
— Dairy free: sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using coconut milk in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it!. Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Variations:
— Add up to 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stomach check stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, approved or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water.
— Dairy free: sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using coconut milk in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it!. Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Variations:
— Add up to 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stuff stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, capsule or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water.
— Dairy free: sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using coconut milk in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it!. Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Variations:
— Add up to 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stomach check stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, approved or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water.
— Dairy free: sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using coconut milk in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it!. Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Variations:
— Add up to 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stuff stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, capsule or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water.
— Dairy free: sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using coconut milk in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it! Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

In a large pot over medium heat, ask  whisk together the water, purchase half and half, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, 3/4 cups sugar, salt, and teaspoon of vanilla.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl beat the cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and powdered sugar on high speed until thick and the consistency of whipped cream.

Once the hot chocolate is heated through, and the ingredients dissolved, turn off the heat. Then stir in the whipped cream. Whisk until completely incorporated.

Variations:

— Add up to 1 cup of the milk chocolate chips. Use can also use semi for a bolder taste.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water. You can also use milk in place of the water and half and half for a total of 8 cups or 2 quarts milk.
— Dairy free: Use 2 quarts water eliminating the half and half and milk. Sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using 2 cans full fat coconut milk (cold) in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it!. Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Variations:
— Add up to 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stomach check stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, approved or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water.
— Dairy free: sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using coconut milk in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it!. Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Variations:
— Add up to 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stuff stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, capsule or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water.
— Dairy free: sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using coconut milk in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it! Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

In a large pot over medium heat, ask  whisk together the water, purchase half and half, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, 3/4 cups sugar, salt, and teaspoon of vanilla.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl beat the cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and powdered sugar on high speed until thick and the consistency of whipped cream.

Once the hot chocolate is heated through, and the ingredients dissolved, turn off the heat. Then stir in the whipped cream. Whisk until completely incorporated.

Variations:

— Add up to 1 cup of the milk chocolate chips. Use can also use semi for a bolder taste.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water. You can also use milk in place of the water and half and half for a total of 8 cups or 2 quarts milk.
— Dairy free: Use 2 quarts water eliminating the half and half and milk. Sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using 2 cans full fat coconut milk (cold) in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it! Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

In a large pot over medium heat, information pills  whisk together the water, half and half, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, 3/4 cups sugar, salt, and teaspoon of vanilla.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl beat the cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and powdered sugar on high speed until thick and the consistency of whipped cream.

Once the hot chocolate is heated through, and the ingredients dissolved, turn off the heat. Then stir in the whipped cream. Whisk until completely incorporated.

Variations:

— Add up to 1 cup of the milk chocolate chips. Use can also use semi for a bolder taste.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water. You can also use milk in place of the water and half and half for a total of 8 cups or 2 quarts milk.
— Dairy free: Use 2 quarts water eliminating the half and half and milk. Sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using coconut milk in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it!. Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Variations:
— Add up to 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stomach check stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, approved or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water.
— Dairy free: sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using coconut milk in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it!. Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Variations:
— Add up to 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stuff stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, capsule or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water.
— Dairy free: sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using coconut milk in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it! Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

In a large pot over medium heat, ask  whisk together the water, purchase half and half, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, 3/4 cups sugar, salt, and teaspoon of vanilla.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl beat the cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and powdered sugar on high speed until thick and the consistency of whipped cream.

Once the hot chocolate is heated through, and the ingredients dissolved, turn off the heat. Then stir in the whipped cream. Whisk until completely incorporated.

Variations:

— Add up to 1 cup of the milk chocolate chips. Use can also use semi for a bolder taste.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water. You can also use milk in place of the water and half and half for a total of 8 cups or 2 quarts milk.
— Dairy free: Use 2 quarts water eliminating the half and half and milk. Sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using 2 cans full fat coconut milk (cold) in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it! Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

In a large pot over medium heat, information pills  whisk together the water, half and half, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, 3/4 cups sugar, salt, and teaspoon of vanilla.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl beat the cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and powdered sugar on high speed until thick and the consistency of whipped cream.

Once the hot chocolate is heated through, and the ingredients dissolved, turn off the heat. Then stir in the whipped cream. Whisk until completely incorporated.

Variations:

— Add up to 1 cup of the milk chocolate chips. Use can also use semi for a bolder taste.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water. You can also use milk in place of the water and half and half for a total of 8 cups or 2 quarts milk.
— Dairy free: Use 2 quarts water eliminating the half and half and milk. Sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using coconut milk in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, find that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, order do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

For coconut cream fold in two cups shredded coconut.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.

Italian Meringue

Photo property of: Honest Cooking

Ever since the first time I watched the infamous Gordon Ramsey dish up beef wellington on Hell’s Kitchen, buy I have long desired to know what the succulent entre is all about. Over the years I shyly took a peek at the recipe wondering if I am daring enough to execute it. Well, the time came to once and for all tackle this one. I decided to treat my mom-in-law to a grand English dinner for her birthday. She has had a tough time the few months and was in need of good nosh and pampering.

I did not go with Chef Ramsey’s recipe. Instead I found a simple list of ingredients for Beef Wellington by Ruby Moukli via Honest Cooking and adapted it slightly. I, nearly knowing nothing about meat, asked my friendly butcher to help me out. Does beef tenderloin really cost that much or was the man ripping me off because the market was on strike that day? The beef tenderloin unfortunately is pricey. Yet, Beef Wellington is definitely something you have to try at some point in your lifetime. So it is well worth the splurge for a special occasion.

I had some issues wrapping the fillet. My dough was too large so there was an excess of flap on the ends and I completely forgot to brush the inside with egg. The bottom was very soggy. I used a deep casserole to cook the Wellington in but I added two sausage links because they needed to be cooked before their life came to an end. So even though the tenderloin hardly produced juice the sausage could have wrecked havoc on the crust.

I have heard you can wrap the wellington right after sealing the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes, then take out and brush with the egg, and refrigerate another 10 minutes before cooking. Supposed to help with soggy bottoms.

Mine may have looked like a train wreck but it was absolutely superb. My niece and I could not keep our hands off the left over filling and crust.

Source: adapted from Ruby Moukli via HonestCooking.com
Serves: 6
750g (1lb 10 oz) thick beef tenderloin filet
1 onion, chopped finely
175g (6oz) chestnut mushrooms, chopped finely
350g (12oz) puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Good pinch of thyme (fresh or dried)
1/2 cup dry sherry or broth (optional)
Salt/pepper to season

Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F.

Heat a heavy pan over high heat. Smear 2 Tbsp of the butter all over the filet, then season with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides, 1-2 minutes per side. Place beef in roasting pan uncovered and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the duxelles by heating the oil and the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large pan. Sauté garlic, onion and mushrooms until they begin to soften. Add sherry (if using) a splash at a time and wait for it to cook out before adding more. Add in parsley and thyme, then season with salt and pepper. When it’s all browned nicely (about 15-20 minutes), remove from heat and let cool.

When meat has baked for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, cover with tin foil and let cool. Pour the juices out ,set aside to make gravy later.

Roll out pastry dough into a rectangle, just large enough to wrap the meat in. Beat the egg and lightly brush the entire surface of the pastry with it. Spoon about 3/4 of the duxelles over the surface of the dough, leaving a border of about 2 inches. Place the beef in the middle and spoon the rest of the duxelles onto the top of it.

Wrap the sides of the pastry over the filet. Pinch the edges together and use any remaining or excess pastry to patch up gaps or make decorative shapes.

Using a sharp knife, make two slices in the dough.
Brush the remaining egg wash over the entire Wellington. Place back in the roasting tin, on a wire rack if possible, to help guard against a soggy dough. Bake for 30 minutes for medium-rare, 40 minutes for well done. Check frequently and if it’s starting to brown early, cover with foil.

Remove the Wellington from the oven and let rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing into thick (1 1/2 inch) with a serrated knife.

Photo property of: Honest Cooking

Ever since the first time I watched the infamous Gordon Ramsey dish up beef wellington on Hell’s Kitchen, buy I have long desired to know what the succulent entre is all about. Over the years I shyly took a peek at the recipe wondering if I am daring enough to execute it. Well, the time came to once and for all tackle this one. I decided to treat my mom-in-law to a grand English dinner for her birthday. She has had a tough time the few months and was in need of good nosh and pampering.

I did not go with Chef Ramsey’s recipe. Instead I found a simple list of ingredients for Beef Wellington by Ruby Moukli via Honest Cooking and adapted it slightly. I, nearly knowing nothing about meat, asked my friendly butcher to help me out. Does beef tenderloin really cost that much or was the man ripping me off because the market was on strike that day? The beef tenderloin unfortunately is pricey. Yet, Beef Wellington is definitely something you have to try at some point in your lifetime. So it is well worth the splurge for a special occasion.

I had some issues wrapping the fillet. My dough was too large so there was an excess of flap on the ends and I completely forgot to brush the inside with egg. The bottom was very soggy. I used a deep casserole to cook the Wellington in but I added two sausage links because they needed to be cooked before their life came to an end. So even though the tenderloin hardly produced juice the sausage could have wrecked havoc on the crust.

I have heard you can wrap the wellington right after sealing the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes, then take out and brush with the egg, and refrigerate another 10 minutes before cooking. Supposed to help with soggy bottoms.

Mine may have looked like a train wreck but it was absolutely superb. My niece and I could not keep our hands off the left over filling and crust.

Source: adapted from Ruby Moukli via HonestCooking.com
Serves: 6
750g (1lb 10 oz) thick beef tenderloin filet
1 onion, chopped finely
175g (6oz) chestnut mushrooms, chopped finely
350g (12oz) puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Good pinch of thyme (fresh or dried)
1/2 cup dry sherry or broth (optional)
Salt/pepper to season

Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F.

Heat a heavy pan over high heat. Smear 2 Tbsp of the butter all over the filet, then season with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides, 1-2 minutes per side. Place beef in roasting pan uncovered and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the duxelles by heating the oil and the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large pan. Sauté garlic, onion and mushrooms until they begin to soften. Add sherry (if using) a splash at a time and wait for it to cook out before adding more. Add in parsley and thyme, then season with salt and pepper. When it’s all browned nicely (about 15-20 minutes), remove from heat and let cool.

When meat has baked for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, cover with tin foil and let cool. Pour the juices out ,set aside to make gravy later.

Roll out pastry dough into a rectangle, just large enough to wrap the meat in. Beat the egg and lightly brush the entire surface of the pastry with it. Spoon about 3/4 of the duxelles over the surface of the dough, leaving a border of about 2 inches. Place the beef in the middle and spoon the rest of the duxelles onto the top of it.

Wrap the sides of the pastry over the filet. Pinch the edges together and use any remaining or excess pastry to patch up gaps or make decorative shapes.

Using a sharp knife, make two slices in the dough.
Brush the remaining egg wash over the entire Wellington. Place back in the roasting tin, on a wire rack if possible, to help guard against a soggy dough. Bake for 30 minutes for medium-rare, 40 minutes for well done. Check frequently and if it’s starting to brown early, cover with foil.

Remove the Wellington from the oven and let rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing into thick (1 1/2 inch) with a serrated knife.
I do not know about other people who have watch

Source: Ruby Moukli via HonestCooking.com
Serves: 6
750g (1lb 10 oz) thick beef tenderloin filet
1 onion, pharm chopped finely
175g (6oz) chestnut mushrooms, chopped finely
350g (12oz) puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Good pinch of thyme (fresh or dried)
1/2 cup dry sherry or broth (optional)
Salt/pepper to season

Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F.

Heat a heavy pan over high heat. Smear 2 Tbsp of the butter all over the filet, then season with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides, 1-2 minutes per side. Place beef in roasting pan uncovered and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the duxelles by heating the oil and the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large pan. Sauté garlic, onion and mushrooms until they begin to soften. Add sherry (if using) a splash at a time and wait for it to cook out before adding more. Add in parsley and thyme, then season with salt and pepper. When it’s all browned nicely (about 15-20 minutes), remove from heat and let cool.

When meat has baked for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, cover with tin foil and let cool. Pour the juices out ,set aside to make gravy later.

Roll out pastry dough into a rectangle, just large enough to wrap the meat in. Beat the egg and lightly brush the entire surface of the pastry with it. Spoon about 3/4 of the duxelles over the surface of the dough, leaving a border of about 2 inches. Place the beef in the middle and spoon the rest of the duxelles onto the top of it.

Wrap the sides of the pastry over the filet. Pinch the edges together and use any remaining or excess pastry to patch up gaps or make decorative shapes.

Using a sharp knife, make two slices in the dough.
Brush the remaining egg wash over the entire Wellington. Place back in the roasting tin, on a wire rack if possible, to help guard against a soggy dough. Bake for 30 minutes for medium-rare, 40 minutes for well done. Check frequently and if it’s starting to brown early, cover with foil.

Remove the Wellington from the oven and let rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing into thick (1 1/2 inch) with a serrated knife.

Photo property of: Honest Cooking

Ever since the first time I watched the infamous Gordon Ramsey dish up beef wellington on Hell’s Kitchen, buy I have long desired to know what the succulent entre is all about. Over the years I shyly took a peek at the recipe wondering if I am daring enough to execute it. Well, the time came to once and for all tackle this one. I decided to treat my mom-in-law to a grand English dinner for her birthday. She has had a tough time the few months and was in need of good nosh and pampering.

I did not go with Chef Ramsey’s recipe. Instead I found a simple list of ingredients for Beef Wellington by Ruby Moukli via Honest Cooking and adapted it slightly. I, nearly knowing nothing about meat, asked my friendly butcher to help me out. Does beef tenderloin really cost that much or was the man ripping me off because the market was on strike that day? The beef tenderloin unfortunately is pricey. Yet, Beef Wellington is definitely something you have to try at some point in your lifetime. So it is well worth the splurge for a special occasion.

I had some issues wrapping the fillet. My dough was too large so there was an excess of flap on the ends and I completely forgot to brush the inside with egg. The bottom was very soggy. I used a deep casserole to cook the Wellington in but I added two sausage links because they needed to be cooked before their life came to an end. So even though the tenderloin hardly produced juice the sausage could have wrecked havoc on the crust.

I have heard you can wrap the wellington right after sealing the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes, then take out and brush with the egg, and refrigerate another 10 minutes before cooking. Supposed to help with soggy bottoms.

Mine may have looked like a train wreck but it was absolutely superb. My niece and I could not keep our hands off the left over filling and crust.

Source: adapted from Ruby Moukli via HonestCooking.com
Serves: 6
750g (1lb 10 oz) thick beef tenderloin filet
1 onion, chopped finely
175g (6oz) chestnut mushrooms, chopped finely
350g (12oz) puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Good pinch of thyme (fresh or dried)
1/2 cup dry sherry or broth (optional)
Salt/pepper to season

Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F.

Heat a heavy pan over high heat. Smear 2 Tbsp of the butter all over the filet, then season with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides, 1-2 minutes per side. Place beef in roasting pan uncovered and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the duxelles by heating the oil and the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large pan. Sauté garlic, onion and mushrooms until they begin to soften. Add sherry (if using) a splash at a time and wait for it to cook out before adding more. Add in parsley and thyme, then season with salt and pepper. When it’s all browned nicely (about 15-20 minutes), remove from heat and let cool.

When meat has baked for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, cover with tin foil and let cool. Pour the juices out ,set aside to make gravy later.

Roll out pastry dough into a rectangle, just large enough to wrap the meat in. Beat the egg and lightly brush the entire surface of the pastry with it. Spoon about 3/4 of the duxelles over the surface of the dough, leaving a border of about 2 inches. Place the beef in the middle and spoon the rest of the duxelles onto the top of it.

Wrap the sides of the pastry over the filet. Pinch the edges together and use any remaining or excess pastry to patch up gaps or make decorative shapes.

Using a sharp knife, make two slices in the dough.
Brush the remaining egg wash over the entire Wellington. Place back in the roasting tin, on a wire rack if possible, to help guard against a soggy dough. Bake for 30 minutes for medium-rare, 40 minutes for well done. Check frequently and if it’s starting to brown early, cover with foil.

Remove the Wellington from the oven and let rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing into thick (1 1/2 inch) with a serrated knife.
I do not know about other people who have watch

Source: Ruby Moukli via HonestCooking.com
Serves: 6
750g (1lb 10 oz) thick beef tenderloin filet
1 onion, pharm chopped finely
175g (6oz) chestnut mushrooms, chopped finely
350g (12oz) puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Good pinch of thyme (fresh or dried)
1/2 cup dry sherry or broth (optional)
Salt/pepper to season

Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F.

Heat a heavy pan over high heat. Smear 2 Tbsp of the butter all over the filet, then season with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides, 1-2 minutes per side. Place beef in roasting pan uncovered and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the duxelles by heating the oil and the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large pan. Sauté garlic, onion and mushrooms until they begin to soften. Add sherry (if using) a splash at a time and wait for it to cook out before adding more. Add in parsley and thyme, then season with salt and pepper. When it’s all browned nicely (about 15-20 minutes), remove from heat and let cool.

When meat has baked for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, cover with tin foil and let cool. Pour the juices out ,set aside to make gravy later.

Roll out pastry dough into a rectangle, just large enough to wrap the meat in. Beat the egg and lightly brush the entire surface of the pastry with it. Spoon about 3/4 of the duxelles over the surface of the dough, leaving a border of about 2 inches. Place the beef in the middle and spoon the rest of the duxelles onto the top of it.

Wrap the sides of the pastry over the filet. Pinch the edges together and use any remaining or excess pastry to patch up gaps or make decorative shapes.

Using a sharp knife, make two slices in the dough.
Brush the remaining egg wash over the entire Wellington. Place back in the roasting tin, on a wire rack if possible, to help guard against a soggy dough. Bake for 30 minutes for medium-rare, 40 minutes for well done. Check frequently and if it’s starting to brown early, cover with foil.

Remove the Wellington from the oven and let rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing into thick (1 1/2 inch) with a serrated knife.
A Bite of Britain: Beef Wellington

Author: Ruby Moukli Serves: 6
Ingredients
Wellington:
750g (1lb 10 oz) thick beef tenderloin filet
1 onion, buy information pills chopped finely
175g (6oz) chestnut mushrooms, dosage chopped finely
350g (12oz) puff pastry
1 egg, rx beaten
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Good pinch of thyme (fresh or dried)
1/2 cup dry sherry (optional)
1 flour tortilla or crêpe (optional – you can skip this or use a piece of sliced bread)
Salt/pepper to season
Roasted Vegetables:
3-4 handfuls of fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick diagonal slices
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt/pepper to season
Gravy:
2 Tbsp plain flour
1 bottle good red wine (something you’d like to drink with it – I used my favourite, Châteauneuf-du-Pape)
Salt/pepper to season
Instructions
Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F/Gas Mark 7.
Smear 2 Tbsp of the butter all over the filet, then season with salt and pepper.
Place in roasting tin uncovered and bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the duxelles by heating the oil and the remaining Tbsp of butter in a large pan and sautéing garlic, onion and mushrooms until they begin to soften.
Add sherry (if using) a splash at a time and wait for it to cook out before adding more. Add in parsley and thyme and season. When it’s all browned nicely (about 15-20 minutes), remove from heat and let cool.
When meat has baked for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, cover with tin foil and let cool.
Pour the juices out and set aside to make gravy later.
Roll out pastry until you have a rectangle large enough to wrap the meat in, with a bit of overlap. It will probably be less than 1cm thick and that’s fine, just so long as it’s not thin enough to tear.
Beat the egg and lightly brush the entire surface of the pastry with it.
Place the tortilla or crêpe (if using) in the middle, then spoon about 3/4 of the duxelles over the surface, leaving a border of about 2 inches.
Place the beef in the middle and spoon the rest of the duxelles onto the top of it.
Wrap the sides of the pastry over the filet, just as you would a Xmas present. Pinch the edges together and use any remaining or excess pastry to patch up gaps or make decorative shapes if you like.
Pierce a few holes into the top and then brush the rest of the egg wash over the whole Wellington.
Place back in the roasting tin, on a wire rack if possible, to help guard against ‘soggy bottom syndrome’, and bake for 30 minutes. This gives medium-rare meat. Leave it another 10 minutes or so if you like your beef well done. Check frequently and if it’s starting to brown early, cover with foil.
While the meat is roasting, put the beans and carrots in an ovenproof dish and toss (using your hands is easiest) with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt/pepper. Set aside.
Remove the Wellington from the oven and let rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing into thick (1 1/2 inch) with a serrated knife.
While the meat is resting, put the vegetable dish in the oven and roast uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
Meanwhile, make a gravy using the juices from the meat. Heat them up in a saucepan and whisk in the flour slowly. Add up to 2 cups of red wine and season to taste.
Serve along with the remaining wine.
Notes
1. To really make life easy, do steps 2-12 a day or two before and keep the Wellington in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it, at which point start with step 1 and then skip to 13.
2. For a smaller group, try making individual Wellingtons for each of your guests. It’s a bit more work, but people do love getting their own little package on a plate.

Photo property of: Honest Cooking

Ever since the first time I watched the infamous Gordon Ramsey dish up beef wellington on Hell’s Kitchen, buy I have long desired to know what the succulent entre is all about. Over the years I shyly took a peek at the recipe wondering if I am daring enough to execute it. Well, the time came to once and for all tackle this one. I decided to treat my mom-in-law to a grand English dinner for her birthday. She has had a tough time the few months and was in need of good nosh and pampering.

I did not go with Chef Ramsey’s recipe. Instead I found a simple list of ingredients for Beef Wellington by Ruby Moukli via Honest Cooking and adapted it slightly. I, nearly knowing nothing about meat, asked my friendly butcher to help me out. Does beef tenderloin really cost that much or was the man ripping me off because the market was on strike that day? The beef tenderloin unfortunately is pricey. Yet, Beef Wellington is definitely something you have to try at some point in your lifetime. So it is well worth the splurge for a special occasion.

I had some issues wrapping the fillet. My dough was too large so there was an excess of flap on the ends and I completely forgot to brush the inside with egg. The bottom was very soggy. I used a deep casserole to cook the Wellington in but I added two sausage links because they needed to be cooked before their life came to an end. So even though the tenderloin hardly produced juice the sausage could have wrecked havoc on the crust.

I have heard you can wrap the wellington right after sealing the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes, then take out and brush with the egg, and refrigerate another 10 minutes before cooking. Supposed to help with soggy bottoms.

Mine may have looked like a train wreck but it was absolutely superb. My niece and I could not keep our hands off the left over filling and crust.

Source: adapted from Ruby Moukli via HonestCooking.com
Serves: 6
750g (1lb 10 oz) thick beef tenderloin filet
1 onion, chopped finely
175g (6oz) chestnut mushrooms, chopped finely
350g (12oz) puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Good pinch of thyme (fresh or dried)
1/2 cup dry sherry or broth (optional)
Salt/pepper to season

Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F.

Heat a heavy pan over high heat. Smear 2 Tbsp of the butter all over the filet, then season with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides, 1-2 minutes per side. Place beef in roasting pan uncovered and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the duxelles by heating the oil and the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large pan. Sauté garlic, onion and mushrooms until they begin to soften. Add sherry (if using) a splash at a time and wait for it to cook out before adding more. Add in parsley and thyme, then season with salt and pepper. When it’s all browned nicely (about 15-20 minutes), remove from heat and let cool.

When meat has baked for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, cover with tin foil and let cool. Pour the juices out ,set aside to make gravy later.

Roll out pastry dough into a rectangle, just large enough to wrap the meat in. Beat the egg and lightly brush the entire surface of the pastry with it. Spoon about 3/4 of the duxelles over the surface of the dough, leaving a border of about 2 inches. Place the beef in the middle and spoon the rest of the duxelles onto the top of it.

Wrap the sides of the pastry over the filet. Pinch the edges together and use any remaining or excess pastry to patch up gaps or make decorative shapes.

Using a sharp knife, make two slices in the dough.
Brush the remaining egg wash over the entire Wellington. Place back in the roasting tin, on a wire rack if possible, to help guard against a soggy dough. Bake for 30 minutes for medium-rare, 40 minutes for well done. Check frequently and if it’s starting to brown early, cover with foil.

Remove the Wellington from the oven and let rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing into thick (1 1/2 inch) with a serrated knife.
I do not know about other people who have watch

Source: Ruby Moukli via HonestCooking.com
Serves: 6
750g (1lb 10 oz) thick beef tenderloin filet
1 onion, pharm chopped finely
175g (6oz) chestnut mushrooms, chopped finely
350g (12oz) puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Good pinch of thyme (fresh or dried)
1/2 cup dry sherry or broth (optional)
Salt/pepper to season

Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F.

Heat a heavy pan over high heat. Smear 2 Tbsp of the butter all over the filet, then season with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides, 1-2 minutes per side. Place beef in roasting pan uncovered and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the duxelles by heating the oil and the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large pan. Sauté garlic, onion and mushrooms until they begin to soften. Add sherry (if using) a splash at a time and wait for it to cook out before adding more. Add in parsley and thyme, then season with salt and pepper. When it’s all browned nicely (about 15-20 minutes), remove from heat and let cool.

When meat has baked for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, cover with tin foil and let cool. Pour the juices out ,set aside to make gravy later.

Roll out pastry dough into a rectangle, just large enough to wrap the meat in. Beat the egg and lightly brush the entire surface of the pastry with it. Spoon about 3/4 of the duxelles over the surface of the dough, leaving a border of about 2 inches. Place the beef in the middle and spoon the rest of the duxelles onto the top of it.

Wrap the sides of the pastry over the filet. Pinch the edges together and use any remaining or excess pastry to patch up gaps or make decorative shapes.

Using a sharp knife, make two slices in the dough.
Brush the remaining egg wash over the entire Wellington. Place back in the roasting tin, on a wire rack if possible, to help guard against a soggy dough. Bake for 30 minutes for medium-rare, 40 minutes for well done. Check frequently and if it’s starting to brown early, cover with foil.

Remove the Wellington from the oven and let rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing into thick (1 1/2 inch) with a serrated knife.
A Bite of Britain: Beef Wellington

Author: Ruby Moukli Serves: 6
Ingredients
Wellington:
750g (1lb 10 oz) thick beef tenderloin filet
1 onion, buy information pills chopped finely
175g (6oz) chestnut mushrooms, dosage chopped finely
350g (12oz) puff pastry
1 egg, rx beaten
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Good pinch of thyme (fresh or dried)
1/2 cup dry sherry (optional)
1 flour tortilla or crêpe (optional – you can skip this or use a piece of sliced bread)
Salt/pepper to season
Roasted Vegetables:
3-4 handfuls of fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick diagonal slices
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt/pepper to season
Gravy:
2 Tbsp plain flour
1 bottle good red wine (something you’d like to drink with it – I used my favourite, Châteauneuf-du-Pape)
Salt/pepper to season
Instructions
Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F/Gas Mark 7.
Smear 2 Tbsp of the butter all over the filet, then season with salt and pepper.
Place in roasting tin uncovered and bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the duxelles by heating the oil and the remaining Tbsp of butter in a large pan and sautéing garlic, onion and mushrooms until they begin to soften.
Add sherry (if using) a splash at a time and wait for it to cook out before adding more. Add in parsley and thyme and season. When it’s all browned nicely (about 15-20 minutes), remove from heat and let cool.
When meat has baked for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, cover with tin foil and let cool.
Pour the juices out and set aside to make gravy later.
Roll out pastry until you have a rectangle large enough to wrap the meat in, with a bit of overlap. It will probably be less than 1cm thick and that’s fine, just so long as it’s not thin enough to tear.
Beat the egg and lightly brush the entire surface of the pastry with it.
Place the tortilla or crêpe (if using) in the middle, then spoon about 3/4 of the duxelles over the surface, leaving a border of about 2 inches.
Place the beef in the middle and spoon the rest of the duxelles onto the top of it.
Wrap the sides of the pastry over the filet, just as you would a Xmas present. Pinch the edges together and use any remaining or excess pastry to patch up gaps or make decorative shapes if you like.
Pierce a few holes into the top and then brush the rest of the egg wash over the whole Wellington.
Place back in the roasting tin, on a wire rack if possible, to help guard against ‘soggy bottom syndrome’, and bake for 30 minutes. This gives medium-rare meat. Leave it another 10 minutes or so if you like your beef well done. Check frequently and if it’s starting to brown early, cover with foil.
While the meat is roasting, put the beans and carrots in an ovenproof dish and toss (using your hands is easiest) with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt/pepper. Set aside.
Remove the Wellington from the oven and let rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing into thick (1 1/2 inch) with a serrated knife.
While the meat is resting, put the vegetable dish in the oven and roast uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
Meanwhile, make a gravy using the juices from the meat. Heat them up in a saucepan and whisk in the flour slowly. Add up to 2 cups of red wine and season to taste.
Serve along with the remaining wine.
Notes
1. To really make life easy, do steps 2-12 a day or two before and keep the Wellington in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it, at which point start with step 1 and then skip to 13.
2. For a smaller group, try making individual Wellingtons for each of your guests. It’s a bit more work, but people do love getting their own little package on a plate.

A couple of weeks ago I was dying for a bite of my mom’s coconut cake. The last time I tasted it was 13 years ago when I made it for Thanksgiving dinner with Stephen’s family. Stephen and the kids are not keen on coconut. As much as I would have loved to carry on the family tradition to serve coconut cake on Thanksgiving day, this web it just is not going to happen without additional mouths to help devour it. With Nadine’s pending birthday there was no question as to what type of cake I wanted to bake.

My mom’s version of coconut cake calls for boxed white cake, cialis 40mg cook and serve vanilla pudding and a meringue frosting that uses corn syrup. My kids are allergic to chemicals, for sale dyes and preservatives in processed foods, and corn syrup. My mission was to find a way to make a cake from scratch that was light not dense. Next, I had to find a recipe for the vanilla pudding. Pastry cream was the perfect substitute. Finally, I needed to tackle the corn syrup issue in the meringue frosting. After much research and debate Italian Meringue won. This frosting is so light and marshmallowy delicious.

My cake was so scrumptious. Above all I found a way to make it using fresh ingredients. I froze the leftovers to share with Thanksgiving dinner. It was just as fabulous as the day it was made. Happy baking!

Source: King Arthur
2 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the 2 egg whites in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer. Beat until the egg whites are foamy and thick; they should mound in the bowl, without holding a peak. Set whites aside while you prepare the sugar syrup.

Combine the sugar, cream of tartar, water, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently; the sugar should be dissolved. If the sugar hasn’t dissolved, cook and stir a bit more, until it has. Once the sugar has dissolved, boil the syrup, undisturbed, for 2 minutes, or until the syrup registers 240°F on a candy thermometer or instant-read thermometer.

Begin to beat the egg whites, and immediately pour the boiling sugar syrup into the egg whites in a slow steady stream, beating all the while. As you beat, the mixture will thicken.

Once all the syrup is added, stir in the vanilla, and continue to beat until the frosting is thick and will hold a peak.

Immediately spoon hot frosting on top of prepared cake.

Eggless (Vegan) Ginger Cookies

I finally perfected my homemade stuffing years ago. Sadly I never wrote it down. I thought I posted it but every Thanksgiving when I search Dazzledish it is not there. Holidays are hectics times. So, information pills before I get lost in the rush of the season I am posting the recipe. No more panic come Thanksgiving.
I finally perfected my homemade stuffing years ago. Sadly I never wrote it down. I thought I posted it but every Thanksgiving when I search Dazzledish it is not there. Holidays are hectics times. So, information pills before I get lost in the rush of the season I am posting the recipe. No more panic come Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for amazing Korean recipes Maangchi’s website is THE place. So far every recipe I have tried has been absolutely delicious. Steamed Pork Buns are no exception.

Steamed pork buns are sort of like a stuffed dumpling. They can be baked in the oven. The result is just ok. Like a loaf of bread, information pills the baked dough is drier with a crisp outside. Ultimately you really want to try to steam them for a lighter fluffy dumpling. I do not own a steamer but I found my canning pot works perfectly.

Pack any leftovers for lunch the next day. They taste fine cold or warm in the microwave or oven.

If you are interested in learning Korean visit the Talk to Me in Korean website. It really makes learning the language simple.

Source: Maangchi

Dough:
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 ts sugar
3 cups flour
In a large bowl add water, yeast, salt, oil, and sugar. Mix well until yeast is fully dissolved.

Add flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.

Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.

After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.

Vegetable Filling:
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrot, zucchini, green onion, and mushrooms.

Sprinkle salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.

Meat Filling:
14 oz ground pork
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a mixing bowl, place: pork, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and pepper.
Mix it by hand and set aside.

In a heated pan, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.

Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.

Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.

Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board.

(The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.)

Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tablespoons of filling mixture to the center of it.

Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.

Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.

*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.

Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.

Dipping sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup chopped onion
Chopped green chili pepper
Roasted sesame seeds

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl.
Add some of onion, green chili pepper, and sesame seeds.

When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Variations:
— if you do not have a steamer you can use a large canning pot or stock pot. Place pint sized jars or glasses in the pot, open side down. fill the pot with water 1-2 inches below the top of the glasses. Place a canning rack or metal plate, small enough to fit inside the pot, onto of the glasses. Put the pork buns in muffin tin liners. Place on top of the rack/plate. Cover and bring to a simmer. cook buns 20 minutes.
I finally perfected my homemade stuffing years ago. Sadly I never wrote it down. I thought I posted it but every Thanksgiving when I search Dazzledish it is not there. Holidays are hectics times. So, information pills before I get lost in the rush of the season I am posting the recipe. No more panic come Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for amazing Korean recipes Maangchi’s website is THE place. So far every recipe I have tried has been absolutely delicious. Steamed Pork Buns are no exception.

Steamed pork buns are sort of like a stuffed dumpling. They can be baked in the oven. The result is just ok. Like a loaf of bread, information pills the baked dough is drier with a crisp outside. Ultimately you really want to try to steam them for a lighter fluffy dumpling. I do not own a steamer but I found my canning pot works perfectly.

Pack any leftovers for lunch the next day. They taste fine cold or warm in the microwave or oven.

If you are interested in learning Korean visit the Talk to Me in Korean website. It really makes learning the language simple.

Source: Maangchi

Dough:
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 ts sugar
3 cups flour
In a large bowl add water, yeast, salt, oil, and sugar. Mix well until yeast is fully dissolved.

Add flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.

Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.

After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.

Vegetable Filling:
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrot, zucchini, green onion, and mushrooms.

Sprinkle salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.

Meat Filling:
14 oz ground pork
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a mixing bowl, place: pork, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and pepper.
Mix it by hand and set aside.

In a heated pan, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.

Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.

Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.

Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board.

(The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.)

Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tablespoons of filling mixture to the center of it.

Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.

Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.

*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.

Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.

Dipping sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup chopped onion
Chopped green chili pepper
Roasted sesame seeds

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl.
Add some of onion, green chili pepper, and sesame seeds.

When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Variations:
— if you do not have a steamer you can use a large canning pot or stock pot. Place pint sized jars or glasses in the pot, open side down. fill the pot with water 1-2 inches below the top of the glasses. Place a canning rack or metal plate, small enough to fit inside the pot, onto of the glasses. Put the pork buns in muffin tin liners. Place on top of the rack/plate. Cover and bring to a simmer. cook buns 20 minutes.

Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, health in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, treatment tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, viagra approved to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it; the hot sizzling juices burning their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste especially when food prices seem to have doubled. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together. At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

— Drain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Strain. Use as broth for rice or for whenever broth or water is called for. Freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken. Better yet, begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the bones in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that cost nothing extra.
I finally perfected my homemade stuffing years ago. Sadly I never wrote it down. I thought I posted it but every Thanksgiving when I search Dazzledish it is not there. Holidays are hectics times. So, information pills before I get lost in the rush of the season I am posting the recipe. No more panic come Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for amazing Korean recipes Maangchi’s website is THE place. So far every recipe I have tried has been absolutely delicious. Steamed Pork Buns are no exception.

Steamed pork buns are sort of like a stuffed dumpling. They can be baked in the oven. The result is just ok. Like a loaf of bread, information pills the baked dough is drier with a crisp outside. Ultimately you really want to try to steam them for a lighter fluffy dumpling. I do not own a steamer but I found my canning pot works perfectly.

Pack any leftovers for lunch the next day. They taste fine cold or warm in the microwave or oven.

If you are interested in learning Korean visit the Talk to Me in Korean website. It really makes learning the language simple.

Source: Maangchi

Dough:
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 ts sugar
3 cups flour
In a large bowl add water, yeast, salt, oil, and sugar. Mix well until yeast is fully dissolved.

Add flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.

Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.

After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.

Vegetable Filling:
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrot, zucchini, green onion, and mushrooms.

Sprinkle salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.

Meat Filling:
14 oz ground pork
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a mixing bowl, place: pork, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and pepper.
Mix it by hand and set aside.

In a heated pan, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.

Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.

Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.

Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board.

(The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.)

Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tablespoons of filling mixture to the center of it.

Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.

Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.

*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.

Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.

Dipping sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup chopped onion
Chopped green chili pepper
Roasted sesame seeds

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl.
Add some of onion, green chili pepper, and sesame seeds.

When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Variations:
— if you do not have a steamer you can use a large canning pot or stock pot. Place pint sized jars or glasses in the pot, open side down. fill the pot with water 1-2 inches below the top of the glasses. Place a canning rack or metal plate, small enough to fit inside the pot, onto of the glasses. Put the pork buns in muffin tin liners. Place on top of the rack/plate. Cover and bring to a simmer. cook buns 20 minutes.

Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, health in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, treatment tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, viagra approved to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it; the hot sizzling juices burning their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste especially when food prices seem to have doubled. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together. At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

— Drain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Strain. Use as broth for rice or for whenever broth or water is called for. Freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken. Better yet, begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the bones in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that cost nothing extra.
Not all salt is the same.

Kosher Salt

Use it for: All cooking. Kosher salt dissolves fast, dosage and its flavor disperses quickly, more about so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn.

Origin: Either the sea or the earth. Widely sold brands include Morton and Diamond Crystal, website which are made using different methods. Kosher salt got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat?a step in the koshering process.

Texture: Coarse. Cooks prize crystals like these; their roughness makes it easy to pinch a perfect amount.

To buy: Look in your local supermarket. Kosher salts cost about $1 a pound. If you don’t mind a few clumps, buy Diamond Crystal; it has no anticaking agents, which can leave a chemical aftertaste.

Crystalline Sea Salt

Use it for: Adding a pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet.

Origin: Coasts from Portugal to Maine, California to the Pacific Rim.

Texture: Fine or coarse. The size of the irregular crystals affects how fast the salt dissolves. It varies in color, depending on the minerals it contains (iron-rich red clay, for example, gives Hawaiian sea salt a pinkish hue). These natural impurities can add subtly briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to the salts.

To buy: Check gourmet shops or on-line (thespicehouse.com stocks Hawaiian sea salt). Expect to pay $2 to $15 or more a pound. Many markets sell La Baleine, a relatively inexpensive brand ($3 for 26.5 ounces).

Flaked Sea Salt

Use it for: Bringing a complex flavor to steamed vegetables or shellfish. Take a pinch, crush the crystals between your fingertips, and let them fall on freshly cooked food. This salt will add a hint of briny flavor.

Origin: England’s Essex coast is where the most popular brand, Maldon, is harvested.

Texture: Soft, sheer, pyramid-like flakes. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet. You’ll pay $6 for 8.5 ounces atchefshop.com.

Fleur de Sel

Use it for: A special-occasion table salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkled over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a perfect hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon.

Origin: Coastal salt ponds in France. The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water.

Texture: Crystalline, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet (try chefshop.com). From $11 for 4.4 ounces to $45 for 35 ounces.

Rock Salt

Use it for: Making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature. You can also use it to deice your sidewalks and driveway in the winter months.

Origin: Mined from deposits in the earth, rock salt is not sold for use directly on food. It’s usually packaged in an organic, unprocessed form.

Texture: Large, chunky, nonuniform crystals. Minerals and other harmless impurities can give it a grayish color.

To buy: It’s sold in supermarkets and hardware and home stores for less than $1 a pound.

Pickling Salt

Use it for: Brining pickles and sauerkraut. It will also brine a turkey, but beware: Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll need to use less.

Origin: Like table salt, pickling salt may come from the earth or the sea. But unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine (a nutritional need for humans) and doesn’t contain anticaking chemicals, both of which would turn pickles an unappetizing color. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Texture: This variety is fine grained, like table salt.

To buy: Many supermarkets sell it in large boxes or bags, but it can be hard to find in cities. It costs less than $1 a pou

For every meal there is one thing people generally reach for before they even take a bite – the salt shaker.  Salt is one of the oldest spices used and is a key component to humans, animals, and plants.

Its flavor is unique and versatile, salt has been a staple throughout time.  Enhancing almost every dish, salt is added to breads, meats, fruits and vegetables to sauces and desserts.

Additionally, salt aids foods in a variety of ways like:

Preservation – helps protect against microorganisms, bacteria through dehydration and preventing growth of bacteria, which slows or prevents spoilage.

Texture Aid – in bread making, allows the dough to rise by giving helping the gluten hold more water and carbon dioxide.  In meats it improves tenderness and in cheeses it aids in consistency of the cheese and the hardness of the rind.

Binder – in processed meats it helps retain water which reduces the loss of meat when cooking.

Color Developer – in ham, bacon, and other processed meats it helps obtain the desired color.  It also helps create a golden crust for breads.

Fermentation Control – slows and controls the fermentation process in:

Pickling
Cheese production
Sauerkraut production
Summer sausage production

When you reach for that salt shaker on the table or on the stove while cooking what type of salt are you getting?  While salt is gained from two sources, salt deposits on land or from the sea, once harvested it is essentially processed in the same way, through the creation of brine and evaporation.

Salts, like so many other foods, has become trendy with the multitude of seas salts now available to the home cook. Is the trend overrated or are these salts really worth their weight in salt!

The main difference between salts is in their texture. >Each salt has its own distinctive flavor, color, and texture. Experiment with different salt when cooking. Salt is like money! You get what you pay for. You can put the best ingredients into making your dish, but if you blow it on the wrong salt, the dish will not be as good.

There are three basic types of salt:

Table salt – mined using water to create a brine.

Table salt, the one found in most salt shakers, is mined from salt deposits and has most of the minerals removed.  Most salt in the United States is sold with iodine added making it iodized salt. This salt is harvested by forcing water into a mine to create brine (salt/water mix). The brine is then evaporated leaving cubes of salt. The salt is refined from there to create varieties like:

Pickling salt, Canning salt, Coarse salt, Gos sel – fine grained without iodine or anti-caking preservatives. This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn’t look as appetizing.

Pretzel salt – large grained, does not melt quickly.

Rock salt – large crystal salt with a gray color, due to minerals not removed from normal table salt. This form of salt is available in most grocery stores, and also through hardware stores.

Popcorn salt – very fine grained salt which is flakier version of table salt.

Iodized salt – contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose as a dietary supplement to prevent thyroid disease. (see Salt Composition and Medical Uses below).

Seasoned salt – table salt with herbs added like onion, hickory smoke or garlic.


Kosher salt, Koshering salt
– also made from a brine but this brine is continually raked during the evaporation process.

Kosher salt is an additive-free coarse-grained salt. This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. The salt itself is not kosher, but this is where the name comes from. The difference between table and Kosher salt is that during the evaporation process it is raked to give it a block-like structure which allows the salt to draw the blood out of meats. The raking makes Kosher salt coarser and flakier than table salt so it disperses more easily. This makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. It is also recommended to use Kosher salt for cocktail glasses for drinks like margaritas. Since it is a lighter salt, there is less after taste with it.

Today many cooks and chefs prefer it over table salt in their cooking, as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. Kosher salt weighs less by volume than table salt, so you must increase the amount of salt used in a recipe when substituting for table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt.

Sea Salt – made from ocean or sea water, contains trace minerals not in the mined salts.

Sea Salt is just that – salt gained from evaporating salt water collected from an ocean or sea.  The process is more costly then the mining process.  Sea salt is typically less refined than other salts. Depending on the seawater used, you also get a variety of minerals in the sea salt. Due to this there are numerous types of sea salts. Here are a few:

Black Salt, Kala Namak, Sanchal – Significant for its strong sulfur odor (India) this salt is a pearly pink gray.  It is used in Indian cooking.

Grey salt, Celtic salt, Sel Gris – Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process.  The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.

Hawaiian sea salt – Has a distinctive pink hue from the Alaea added to it. The Alaea is volcanic red clay with a high content of iron oxide. This salt is used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kahlua Pig and Hawaiian Jerky.

Coarse salt, Gos Sel, Gale Grosso – Is a larger grain salt which resists moisture and is intended to be ground. Uses include flavoring for soups and salt crusts on meats.

Flake salt – Shaped like snowflakes, the brine is made using the sun and wind for evaporation. Then the brine is slowly heated to create the flakes.

Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal – Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.

French Sea Salt – Processed less than American salt, retains more of the mineral content gained from the Atlantic seawater it is harvested from. This usually includes natural iodine.  A coarse salt, this is good for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

Grinder salt – Large dry salt crystal which can easily be put through a grinder. With a salt grinder you want to avoid metal as the salt will corrode the grinding mechanism.

Italian Sea Salt, Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino – Harvested from the lower Mediterranean sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, this salt is high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium. A delicate salt which is good on salads and in sauces.

Smoked Sea Salt – One other derivative of sea salt is a smoked sea salt. The salt is smoked over real wood fires to add the flavor to the crystals. These can be used in soups, salads, pasta and also in grilling foods like salmon.

Organic Salt: Organic salt has different standards than organic livestock or botanicals. Some organizations have started to set up guidelines to ensure the quality of water and production process.

Lite (light) salt and salt substitutes: These generally do not have a great flavor. Lite salt uses potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level in the salt.  Salt substitutes have little or no sodium in them. Typically only people who have a medical reason use these because the flavor is not as good as salt.

Sour Salt: There is a product called sour salt which is not made up of salt at all, instead it is citric acid.  This is used to prevent browning when canning fruit. It can also be added to rye or sour dough bread to make it more tart.



Salt Substitutions

When using salt, you may not have available some of those listed above or a recipe may call for one type you don’t like. Substitution may become necessary. Here are a few suggested substitutions:

Kosher salt – a non-iodized coarse table salt or a coarse pickling salt but make sure you read the label and there are no additives.  When making this substitution use about half the salt called for in the recipe.

Pickling salt – substitute Kosher salt which is free of additives that can turn your pickle brine cloudy.

Pretzel salt – Kosher salt or a coarse sea salt.

Table salt – Kosher salt but use twice the salt called.



Hints on using different types of salt

Different salts offer different qualities based on how they are used. Here are a few hints on the way to use certain types of salt:

Fine salts – use for baking unless a recipe calls for something different.  The texture and size of a fine salt is smaller and more dense than a more coarsely ground salt.

Kosher salt – is great to use while cooking as the size of the salt is easier to see how much is being added.

Hand-harvested salts – avoid using during a cooking process unless it is a very quick process like with salmon.  If used during the cooking process the flavor and texture can be lost.



Salt Composition and Medical Uses

Since most salt is produced in relatively the same way, there is little difference when it comes to health benefits in which type is used.  Salt is plentiful in most foods even fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods have an alarmingly high level of sodium so it might be best to avoid those if on a salt restricted diet.

Typically salt is made up of sodium and chloride.  Sodium cannot be produced within the human body so it is important to the diet. Sodium helps regulate water balance ph and osmotic pressure.  Chloride is equally important in the human diet for it helps the blood to carry carbon dioxide; potassium absorption; helps in digestion; and conserves acid-base balance. Iodine is added to most North American salt in an effort to reduce Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), which causes mental retardation, miscarriage, goiters, brain damage in infants and can impair growth and development. This effort has been highly successful in North American nearly wiping out the problems associated with IDD. All of these benefits are received from the common salt shaker almost everyone has on their table.

The recommended salt intake varies on the individual and their genetics. In general though, a minimum of 500 mg per day with a maximum of 2400 mg is a good guideline. This is difficult to regulate because so many foods do contain salt naturally.

Having the right level of salt assists the body with many functions including:

Nerve conduction.

Easy and active absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines.

Maintains electrolyte balance.

Key to hydration during exercise and outside activities.

Combats hyperthermia.

Increasing salt intake can combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Helps regulate the water levels in cells, nutrient levels, and waste matter.

Salt is considered one of the first antibiotics, which is probably where the term rubbing salt in a wound comes from. Human blood actually contains 0.9% salt and a solution of water and salt in that proportion is commonly used to irrigate wounds.

As with anything, too much salt may cause problems. Some of the problems include the following:

Hypertension or high blood pressure.

High acidity, which may cause cancer.

In healthy people, too much salt is typically discarded by the kidneys. However, a genetic abnormality preventing the absorption of chloride may cause cystic fibrosis which can be detected by testing the saltiness of a person’s sweat.

Since Americans tend to over indulge in salt much focus has been placed on the effect salt has on hypertension.  Many studies have been done and debate continues as to whether salt adversely affects blood pressure.  Listed below are some of the general conclusions from the vast array of studies

Minority of population can lower their blood pressure by limiting salt.

Hypertension may be caused by too much salt in a diet.

Hypertension may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Life style changes may have more affect on blood pressure / hypertension than salt.

Low sodium intake can be just as dangerous as high sodium intake.

The group who benefits the most from reducing salt intake is overweight men.

While the debate continues in the medical community, the regular person can only attempt to reduce salt in their diet to see if it affects their blood pressure. If the craving for salt continues, it may stems from a lack of zinc in the diet. An increase in foods rich in zinc may reduce the desire for salt. Foods rich in zinc include:

Oysters

Endive

Alfalfa sprouts

Seaweed

Brown rice

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Turkey

Radishes

Balance is the key when it comes to the use of salt and the health. So many foods are rich in salt that adding it to a meal is probably not needed. If someone is at risk with high blood pressure, simply remove the salt shaker from the table in an effort to wean them off the habit.  One thing which was clear in most studies is that the affect salt had varied greatly among individuals based on genetic make up.  



Alternative Uses – Cooking Tips

Being so widely used, salt has many alternative uses besides the traditional food additive. There is an abundance of alternative uses which are separated into categories below.  Be cautious when using all of these, remember to start small to determine if there will be any adverse reactions to any of these procedures and uses.

General tips to help with common problems in the kitchen:

Over salted soup – add a cut up potato or two to absorb the extra salt.

Rub a griddle with a bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking.

Before frying fish sprinkle the skillet with salt to prevent the fish from sticking.

To prevent food from sticking to skillets, waffle irons or griddles, sprinkle with salt and heat in warm oven, dust off salt and return to cupboard.  Next usage, foods won’t stick.

A pinch of salt goes a long way. Here are some hints that utilize a pinch of salt or perhaps a bit more while you are cooking:

Add a pinch of salt:

When whipping eggs to create fluffier eggs.

To enhance the flavor of coffee and in overcooked coffee helps remove the bitterness.

To whipping cream or egg whites to get them to whip faster.

To milk to have it stay fresh longer.

To icing prevents them from sugaring.

To improve boiled potatoes, salt after draining – this gives them a fine mealy texture.

Keep salads crisp by salting immediately before serving.


Poultry – has multiple uses:

Rub the chicken skin with salt to remove pinfeathers more easily.

Improve the flavor by rubbing salt inside and out before roasting.


Sea salt is derived from salty seawater. By combining salt with water again here are some great tips to help out in the kitchen:

Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which reduces cooking time.

Boil eggs in salt water to ease the peeling process.

To set the whites of poached eggs, boil over saltwater.

Place an egg in a cup of water with 2 teaspoon of salt, a fresh egg will sink, a floating egg may be spoiled.

Washing spinach, lettuce and other greens in saltwater will keep them crisp.

Lightly salted cold water helps maintain the color of apples, pears and potatoes.

Soak in saltwater for hours to make shelling pecans easy.

Dampen a cloth with saltwater and wrap around cheese to prevent molding.

Sprinkle ice with salt, place gelatin salads or desserts on ice to get them to set more quickly.

I finally perfected my homemade stuffing years ago. Sadly I never wrote it down. I thought I posted it but every Thanksgiving when I search Dazzledish it is not there. Holidays are hectics times. So, information pills before I get lost in the rush of the season I am posting the recipe. No more panic come Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for amazing Korean recipes Maangchi’s website is THE place. So far every recipe I have tried has been absolutely delicious. Steamed Pork Buns are no exception.

Steamed pork buns are sort of like a stuffed dumpling. They can be baked in the oven. The result is just ok. Like a loaf of bread, information pills the baked dough is drier with a crisp outside. Ultimately you really want to try to steam them for a lighter fluffy dumpling. I do not own a steamer but I found my canning pot works perfectly.

Pack any leftovers for lunch the next day. They taste fine cold or warm in the microwave or oven.

If you are interested in learning Korean visit the Talk to Me in Korean website. It really makes learning the language simple.

Source: Maangchi

Dough:
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 ts sugar
3 cups flour
In a large bowl add water, yeast, salt, oil, and sugar. Mix well until yeast is fully dissolved.

Add flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.

Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.

After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.

Vegetable Filling:
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrot, zucchini, green onion, and mushrooms.

Sprinkle salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.

Meat Filling:
14 oz ground pork
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a mixing bowl, place: pork, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and pepper.
Mix it by hand and set aside.

In a heated pan, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.

Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.

Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.

Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board.

(The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.)

Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tablespoons of filling mixture to the center of it.

Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.

Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.

*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.

Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.

Dipping sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup chopped onion
Chopped green chili pepper
Roasted sesame seeds

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl.
Add some of onion, green chili pepper, and sesame seeds.

When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Variations:
— if you do not have a steamer you can use a large canning pot or stock pot. Place pint sized jars or glasses in the pot, open side down. fill the pot with water 1-2 inches below the top of the glasses. Place a canning rack or metal plate, small enough to fit inside the pot, onto of the glasses. Put the pork buns in muffin tin liners. Place on top of the rack/plate. Cover and bring to a simmer. cook buns 20 minutes.

Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, health in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, treatment tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, viagra approved to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it; the hot sizzling juices burning their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste especially when food prices seem to have doubled. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together. At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

— Drain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Strain. Use as broth for rice or for whenever broth or water is called for. Freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken. Better yet, begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the bones in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that cost nothing extra.
Not all salt is the same.

Kosher Salt

Use it for: All cooking. Kosher salt dissolves fast, dosage and its flavor disperses quickly, more about so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn.

Origin: Either the sea or the earth. Widely sold brands include Morton and Diamond Crystal, website which are made using different methods. Kosher salt got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat?a step in the koshering process.

Texture: Coarse. Cooks prize crystals like these; their roughness makes it easy to pinch a perfect amount.

To buy: Look in your local supermarket. Kosher salts cost about $1 a pound. If you don’t mind a few clumps, buy Diamond Crystal; it has no anticaking agents, which can leave a chemical aftertaste.

Crystalline Sea Salt

Use it for: Adding a pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet.

Origin: Coasts from Portugal to Maine, California to the Pacific Rim.

Texture: Fine or coarse. The size of the irregular crystals affects how fast the salt dissolves. It varies in color, depending on the minerals it contains (iron-rich red clay, for example, gives Hawaiian sea salt a pinkish hue). These natural impurities can add subtly briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to the salts.

To buy: Check gourmet shops or on-line (thespicehouse.com stocks Hawaiian sea salt). Expect to pay $2 to $15 or more a pound. Many markets sell La Baleine, a relatively inexpensive brand ($3 for 26.5 ounces).

Flaked Sea Salt

Use it for: Bringing a complex flavor to steamed vegetables or shellfish. Take a pinch, crush the crystals between your fingertips, and let them fall on freshly cooked food. This salt will add a hint of briny flavor.

Origin: England’s Essex coast is where the most popular brand, Maldon, is harvested.

Texture: Soft, sheer, pyramid-like flakes. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet. You’ll pay $6 for 8.5 ounces atchefshop.com.

Fleur de Sel

Use it for: A special-occasion table salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkled over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a perfect hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon.

Origin: Coastal salt ponds in France. The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water.

Texture: Crystalline, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet (try chefshop.com). From $11 for 4.4 ounces to $45 for 35 ounces.

Rock Salt

Use it for: Making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature. You can also use it to deice your sidewalks and driveway in the winter months.

Origin: Mined from deposits in the earth, rock salt is not sold for use directly on food. It’s usually packaged in an organic, unprocessed form.

Texture: Large, chunky, nonuniform crystals. Minerals and other harmless impurities can give it a grayish color.

To buy: It’s sold in supermarkets and hardware and home stores for less than $1 a pound.

Pickling Salt

Use it for: Brining pickles and sauerkraut. It will also brine a turkey, but beware: Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll need to use less.

Origin: Like table salt, pickling salt may come from the earth or the sea. But unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine (a nutritional need for humans) and doesn’t contain anticaking chemicals, both of which would turn pickles an unappetizing color. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Texture: This variety is fine grained, like table salt.

To buy: Many supermarkets sell it in large boxes or bags, but it can be hard to find in cities. It costs less than $1 a pou

For every meal there is one thing people generally reach for before they even take a bite – the salt shaker.  Salt is one of the oldest spices used and is a key component to humans, animals, and plants.

Its flavor is unique and versatile, salt has been a staple throughout time.  Enhancing almost every dish, salt is added to breads, meats, fruits and vegetables to sauces and desserts.

Additionally, salt aids foods in a variety of ways like:

Preservation – helps protect against microorganisms, bacteria through dehydration and preventing growth of bacteria, which slows or prevents spoilage.

Texture Aid – in bread making, allows the dough to rise by giving helping the gluten hold more water and carbon dioxide.  In meats it improves tenderness and in cheeses it aids in consistency of the cheese and the hardness of the rind.

Binder – in processed meats it helps retain water which reduces the loss of meat when cooking.

Color Developer – in ham, bacon, and other processed meats it helps obtain the desired color.  It also helps create a golden crust for breads.

Fermentation Control – slows and controls the fermentation process in:

Pickling
Cheese production
Sauerkraut production
Summer sausage production

When you reach for that salt shaker on the table or on the stove while cooking what type of salt are you getting?  While salt is gained from two sources, salt deposits on land or from the sea, once harvested it is essentially processed in the same way, through the creation of brine and evaporation.

Salts, like so many other foods, has become trendy with the multitude of seas salts now available to the home cook. Is the trend overrated or are these salts really worth their weight in salt!

The main difference between salts is in their texture. >Each salt has its own distinctive flavor, color, and texture. Experiment with different salt when cooking. Salt is like money! You get what you pay for. You can put the best ingredients into making your dish, but if you blow it on the wrong salt, the dish will not be as good.

There are three basic types of salt:

Table salt – mined using water to create a brine.

Table salt, the one found in most salt shakers, is mined from salt deposits and has most of the minerals removed.  Most salt in the United States is sold with iodine added making it iodized salt. This salt is harvested by forcing water into a mine to create brine (salt/water mix). The brine is then evaporated leaving cubes of salt. The salt is refined from there to create varieties like:

Pickling salt, Canning salt, Coarse salt, Gos sel – fine grained without iodine or anti-caking preservatives. This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn’t look as appetizing.

Pretzel salt – large grained, does not melt quickly.

Rock salt – large crystal salt with a gray color, due to minerals not removed from normal table salt. This form of salt is available in most grocery stores, and also through hardware stores.

Popcorn salt – very fine grained salt which is flakier version of table salt.

Iodized salt – contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose as a dietary supplement to prevent thyroid disease. (see Salt Composition and Medical Uses below).

Seasoned salt – table salt with herbs added like onion, hickory smoke or garlic.


Kosher salt, Koshering salt
– also made from a brine but this brine is continually raked during the evaporation process.

Kosher salt is an additive-free coarse-grained salt. This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. The salt itself is not kosher, but this is where the name comes from. The difference between table and Kosher salt is that during the evaporation process it is raked to give it a block-like structure which allows the salt to draw the blood out of meats. The raking makes Kosher salt coarser and flakier than table salt so it disperses more easily. This makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. It is also recommended to use Kosher salt for cocktail glasses for drinks like margaritas. Since it is a lighter salt, there is less after taste with it.

Today many cooks and chefs prefer it over table salt in their cooking, as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. Kosher salt weighs less by volume than table salt, so you must increase the amount of salt used in a recipe when substituting for table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt.

Sea Salt – made from ocean or sea water, contains trace minerals not in the mined salts.

Sea Salt is just that – salt gained from evaporating salt water collected from an ocean or sea.  The process is more costly then the mining process.  Sea salt is typically less refined than other salts. Depending on the seawater used, you also get a variety of minerals in the sea salt. Due to this there are numerous types of sea salts. Here are a few:

Black Salt, Kala Namak, Sanchal – Significant for its strong sulfur odor (India) this salt is a pearly pink gray.  It is used in Indian cooking.

Grey salt, Celtic salt, Sel Gris – Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process.  The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.

Hawaiian sea salt – Has a distinctive pink hue from the Alaea added to it. The Alaea is volcanic red clay with a high content of iron oxide. This salt is used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kahlua Pig and Hawaiian Jerky.

Coarse salt, Gos Sel, Gale Grosso – Is a larger grain salt which resists moisture and is intended to be ground. Uses include flavoring for soups and salt crusts on meats.

Flake salt – Shaped like snowflakes, the brine is made using the sun and wind for evaporation. Then the brine is slowly heated to create the flakes.

Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal – Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.

French Sea Salt – Processed less than American salt, retains more of the mineral content gained from the Atlantic seawater it is harvested from. This usually includes natural iodine.  A coarse salt, this is good for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

Grinder salt – Large dry salt crystal which can easily be put through a grinder. With a salt grinder you want to avoid metal as the salt will corrode the grinding mechanism.

Italian Sea Salt, Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino – Harvested from the lower Mediterranean sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, this salt is high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium. A delicate salt which is good on salads and in sauces.

Smoked Sea Salt – One other derivative of sea salt is a smoked sea salt. The salt is smoked over real wood fires to add the flavor to the crystals. These can be used in soups, salads, pasta and also in grilling foods like salmon.

Organic Salt: Organic salt has different standards than organic livestock or botanicals. Some organizations have started to set up guidelines to ensure the quality of water and production process.

Lite (light) salt and salt substitutes: These generally do not have a great flavor. Lite salt uses potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level in the salt.  Salt substitutes have little or no sodium in them. Typically only people who have a medical reason use these because the flavor is not as good as salt.

Sour Salt: There is a product called sour salt which is not made up of salt at all, instead it is citric acid.  This is used to prevent browning when canning fruit. It can also be added to rye or sour dough bread to make it more tart.



Salt Substitutions

When using salt, you may not have available some of those listed above or a recipe may call for one type you don’t like. Substitution may become necessary. Here are a few suggested substitutions:

Kosher salt – a non-iodized coarse table salt or a coarse pickling salt but make sure you read the label and there are no additives.  When making this substitution use about half the salt called for in the recipe.

Pickling salt – substitute Kosher salt which is free of additives that can turn your pickle brine cloudy.

Pretzel salt – Kosher salt or a coarse sea salt.

Table salt – Kosher salt but use twice the salt called.



Hints on using different types of salt

Different salts offer different qualities based on how they are used. Here are a few hints on the way to use certain types of salt:

Fine salts – use for baking unless a recipe calls for something different.  The texture and size of a fine salt is smaller and more dense than a more coarsely ground salt.

Kosher salt – is great to use while cooking as the size of the salt is easier to see how much is being added.

Hand-harvested salts – avoid using during a cooking process unless it is a very quick process like with salmon.  If used during the cooking process the flavor and texture can be lost.



Salt Composition and Medical Uses

Since most salt is produced in relatively the same way, there is little difference when it comes to health benefits in which type is used.  Salt is plentiful in most foods even fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods have an alarmingly high level of sodium so it might be best to avoid those if on a salt restricted diet.

Typically salt is made up of sodium and chloride.  Sodium cannot be produced within the human body so it is important to the diet. Sodium helps regulate water balance ph and osmotic pressure.  Chloride is equally important in the human diet for it helps the blood to carry carbon dioxide; potassium absorption; helps in digestion; and conserves acid-base balance. Iodine is added to most North American salt in an effort to reduce Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), which causes mental retardation, miscarriage, goiters, brain damage in infants and can impair growth and development. This effort has been highly successful in North American nearly wiping out the problems associated with IDD. All of these benefits are received from the common salt shaker almost everyone has on their table.

The recommended salt intake varies on the individual and their genetics. In general though, a minimum of 500 mg per day with a maximum of 2400 mg is a good guideline. This is difficult to regulate because so many foods do contain salt naturally.

Having the right level of salt assists the body with many functions including:

Nerve conduction.

Easy and active absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines.

Maintains electrolyte balance.

Key to hydration during exercise and outside activities.

Combats hyperthermia.

Increasing salt intake can combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Helps regulate the water levels in cells, nutrient levels, and waste matter.

Salt is considered one of the first antibiotics, which is probably where the term rubbing salt in a wound comes from. Human blood actually contains 0.9% salt and a solution of water and salt in that proportion is commonly used to irrigate wounds.

As with anything, too much salt may cause problems. Some of the problems include the following:

Hypertension or high blood pressure.

High acidity, which may cause cancer.

In healthy people, too much salt is typically discarded by the kidneys. However, a genetic abnormality preventing the absorption of chloride may cause cystic fibrosis which can be detected by testing the saltiness of a person’s sweat.

Since Americans tend to over indulge in salt much focus has been placed on the effect salt has on hypertension.  Many studies have been done and debate continues as to whether salt adversely affects blood pressure.  Listed below are some of the general conclusions from the vast array of studies

Minority of population can lower their blood pressure by limiting salt.

Hypertension may be caused by too much salt in a diet.

Hypertension may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Life style changes may have more affect on blood pressure / hypertension than salt.

Low sodium intake can be just as dangerous as high sodium intake.

The group who benefits the most from reducing salt intake is overweight men.

While the debate continues in the medical community, the regular person can only attempt to reduce salt in their diet to see if it affects their blood pressure. If the craving for salt continues, it may stems from a lack of zinc in the diet. An increase in foods rich in zinc may reduce the desire for salt. Foods rich in zinc include:

Oysters

Endive

Alfalfa sprouts

Seaweed

Brown rice

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Turkey

Radishes

Balance is the key when it comes to the use of salt and the health. So many foods are rich in salt that adding it to a meal is probably not needed. If someone is at risk with high blood pressure, simply remove the salt shaker from the table in an effort to wean them off the habit.  One thing which was clear in most studies is that the affect salt had varied greatly among individuals based on genetic make up.  



Alternative Uses – Cooking Tips

Being so widely used, salt has many alternative uses besides the traditional food additive. There is an abundance of alternative uses which are separated into categories below.  Be cautious when using all of these, remember to start small to determine if there will be any adverse reactions to any of these procedures and uses.

General tips to help with common problems in the kitchen:

Over salted soup – add a cut up potato or two to absorb the extra salt.

Rub a griddle with a bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking.

Before frying fish sprinkle the skillet with salt to prevent the fish from sticking.

To prevent food from sticking to skillets, waffle irons or griddles, sprinkle with salt and heat in warm oven, dust off salt and return to cupboard.  Next usage, foods won’t stick.

A pinch of salt goes a long way. Here are some hints that utilize a pinch of salt or perhaps a bit more while you are cooking:

Add a pinch of salt:

When whipping eggs to create fluffier eggs.

To enhance the flavor of coffee and in overcooked coffee helps remove the bitterness.

To whipping cream or egg whites to get them to whip faster.

To milk to have it stay fresh longer.

To icing prevents them from sugaring.

To improve boiled potatoes, salt after draining – this gives them a fine mealy texture.

Keep salads crisp by salting immediately before serving.


Poultry – has multiple uses:

Rub the chicken skin with salt to remove pinfeathers more easily.

Improve the flavor by rubbing salt inside and out before roasting.


Sea salt is derived from salty seawater. By combining salt with water again here are some great tips to help out in the kitchen:

Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which reduces cooking time.

Boil eggs in salt water to ease the peeling process.

To set the whites of poached eggs, boil over saltwater.

Place an egg in a cup of water with 2 teaspoon of salt, a fresh egg will sink, a floating egg may be spoiled.

Washing spinach, lettuce and other greens in saltwater will keep them crisp.

Lightly salted cold water helps maintain the color of apples, pears and potatoes.

Soak in saltwater for hours to make shelling pecans easy.

Dampen a cloth with saltwater and wrap around cheese to prevent molding.

Sprinkle ice with salt, place gelatin salads or desserts on ice to get them to set more quickly.

Not all salt is the same.

Kosher Salt

Use it for: All cooking. Kosher salt dissolves fast, pill and its flavor disperses quickly, about it so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn.

Origin: Either the sea or the earth. Widely sold brands include Morton and Diamond Crystal, which are made using different methods. Kosher salt got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat?a step in the koshering process.

Texture: Coarse. Cooks prize crystals like these; their roughness makes it easy to pinch a perfect amount.

To buy: Look in your local supermarket. Kosher salts cost about $1 a pound. If you don’t mind a few clumps, buy Diamond Crystal; it has no anticaking agents, which can leave a chemical aftertaste.

Crystalline Sea Salt

Use it for: Adding a pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet.

Origin: Coasts from Portugal to Maine, California to the Pacific Rim.

Texture: Fine or coarse. The size of the irregular crystals affects how fast the salt dissolves. It varies in color, depending on the minerals it contains (iron-rich red clay, for example, gives Hawaiian sea salt a pinkish hue). These natural impurities can add subtly briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to the salts.

To buy: Check gourmet shops or on-line (thespicehouse.com stocks Hawaiian sea salt). Expect to pay $2 to $15 or more a pound. Many markets sell La Baleine, a relatively inexpensive brand ($3 for 26.5 ounces).

Flaked Sea Salt

Use it for: Bringing a complex flavor to steamed vegetables or shellfish. Take a pinch, crush the crystals between your fingertips, and let them fall on freshly cooked food. This salt will add a hint of briny flavor.

Origin: England’s Essex coast is where the most popular brand, Maldon, is harvested.

Texture: Soft, sheer, pyramid-like flakes. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet. You’ll pay $6 for 8.5 ounces atchefshop.com.

Fleur de Sel

Use it for: A special-occasion table salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkled over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a perfect hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon.

Origin: Coastal salt ponds in France. The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water.

Texture: Crystalline, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet (try chefshop.com). From $11 for 4.4 ounces to $45 for 35 ounces.

Rock Salt

Use it for: Making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature. You can also use it to deice your sidewalks and driveway in the winter months.

Origin: Mined from deposits in the earth, rock salt is not sold for use directly on food. It’s usually packaged in an organic, unprocessed form.

Texture: Large, chunky, nonuniform crystals. Minerals and other harmless impurities can give it a grayish color.

To buy: It’s sold in supermarkets and hardware and home stores for less than $1 a pound.

Pickling Salt

Use it for: Brining pickles and sauerkraut. It will also brine a turkey, but beware: Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll need to use less.

Origin: Like table salt, pickling salt may come from the earth or the sea. But unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine (a nutritional need for humans) and doesn’t contain anticaking chemicals, both of which would turn pickles an unappetizing color. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Texture: This variety is fine grained, like table salt.

To buy: Many supermarkets sell it in large boxes or bags, but it can be hard to find in cities. It costs less than $1 a pou

For every meal there is one thing people generally reach for before they even take a bite – the salt shaker.  Salt is one of the oldest spices used and is a key component to humans, animals, and plants.

Its flavor is unique and versatile, salt has been a staple throughout time.  Enhancing almost every dish, salt is added to breads, meats, fruits and vegetables to sauces and desserts.

Additionally, salt aids foods in a variety of ways like:

Preservation – helps protect against microorganisms, bacteria through dehydration and preventing growth of bacteria, which slows or prevents spoilage.

Texture Aid – in bread making, allows the dough to rise by giving helping the gluten hold more water and carbon dioxide.  In meats it improves tenderness and in cheeses it aids in consistency of the cheese and the hardness of the rind.

Binder – in processed meats it helps retain water which reduces the loss of meat when cooking.

Color Developer – in ham, bacon, and other processed meats it helps obtain the desired color.  It also helps create a golden crust for breads.

Fermentation Control – slows and controls the fermentation process in:

Pickling
Cheese production
Sauerkraut production
Summer sausage production

When you reach for that salt shaker on the table or on the stove while cooking what type of salt are you getting?  While salt is gained from two sources, salt deposits on land or from the sea, once harvested it is essentially processed in the same way, through the creation of brine and evaporation.

Salts, like so many other foods, has become trendy with the multitude of seas salts now available to the home cook. Is the trend overrated or are these salts really worth their weight in salt!

The main difference between salts is in their texture. >Each salt has its own distinctive flavor, color, and texture. Experiment with different salt when cooking. Salt is like money! You get what you pay for. You can put the best ingredients into making your dish, but if you blow it on the wrong salt, the dish will not be as good.

There are three basic types of salt:

Table salt – mined using water to create a brine.

Table salt, the one found in most salt shakers, is mined from salt deposits and has most of the minerals removed.  Most salt in the United States is sold with iodine added making it iodized salt. This salt is harvested by forcing water into a mine to create brine (salt/water mix). The brine is then evaporated leaving cubes of salt. The salt is refined from there to create varieties like:

Pickling salt, Canning salt, Coarse salt, Gos sel – fine grained without iodine or anti-caking preservatives. This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn’t look as appetizing.

Pretzel salt – large grained, does not melt quickly.

Rock salt – large crystal salt with a gray color, due to minerals not removed from normal table salt. This form of salt is available in most grocery stores, and also through hardware stores.

Popcorn salt – very fine grained salt which is flakier version of table salt.

Iodized salt – contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose as a dietary supplement to prevent thyroid disease. (see Salt Composition and Medical Uses below).

Seasoned salt – table salt with herbs added like onion, hickory smoke or garlic.


Kosher salt, Koshering salt
– also made from a brine but this brine is continually raked during the evaporation process.

Kosher salt is an additive-free coarse-grained salt. This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. The salt itself is not kosher, but this is where the name comes from. The difference between table and Kosher salt is that during the evaporation process it is raked to give it a block-like structure which allows the salt to draw the blood out of meats. The raking makes Kosher salt coarser and flakier than table salt so it disperses more easily. This makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. It is also recommended to use Kosher salt for cocktail glasses for drinks like margaritas. Since it is a lighter salt, there is less after taste with it.

Today many cooks and chefs prefer it over table salt in their cooking, as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. Kosher salt weighs less by volume than table salt, so you must increase the amount of salt used in a recipe when substituting for table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt.

Sea Salt – made from ocean or sea water, contains trace minerals not in the mined salts.

Sea Salt is just that – salt gained from evaporating salt water collected from an ocean or sea.  The process is more costly then the mining process.  Sea salt is typically less refined than other salts. Depending on the seawater used, you also get a variety of minerals in the sea salt. Due to this there are numerous types of sea salts. Here are a few:

Black Salt, Kala Namak, Sanchal – Significant for its strong sulfur odor (India) this salt is a pearly pink gray.  It is used in Indian cooking.

Grey salt, Celtic salt, Sel Gris – Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process.  The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.

Hawaiian sea salt – Has a distinctive pink hue from the Alaea added to it. The Alaea is volcanic red clay with a high content of iron oxide. This salt is used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kahlua Pig and Hawaiian Jerky.

Coarse salt, Gos Sel, Gale Grosso – Is a larger grain salt which resists moisture and is intended to be ground. Uses include flavoring for soups and salt crusts on meats.

Flake salt – Shaped like snowflakes, the brine is made using the sun and wind for evaporation. Then the brine is slowly heated to create the flakes.

Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal – Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.

French Sea Salt – Processed less than American salt, retains more of the mineral content gained from the Atlantic seawater it is harvested from. This usually includes natural iodine.  A coarse salt, this is good for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

Grinder salt – Large dry salt crystal which can easily be put through a grinder. With a salt grinder you want to avoid metal as the salt will corrode the grinding mechanism.

Italian Sea Salt, Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino – Harvested from the lower Mediterranean sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, this salt is high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium. A delicate salt which is good on salads and in sauces.

Smoked Sea Salt – One other derivative of sea salt is a smoked sea salt. The salt is smoked over real wood fires to add the flavor to the crystals. These can be used in soups, salads, pasta and also in grilling foods like salmon.

Organic Salt: Organic salt has different standards than organic livestock or botanicals. Some organizations have started to set up guidelines to ensure the quality of water and production process.

Lite (light) salt and salt substitutes: These generally do not have a great flavor. Lite salt uses potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level in the salt.  Salt substitutes have little or no sodium in them. Typically only people who have a medical reason use these because the flavor is not as good as salt.

Sour Salt: There is a product called sour salt which is not made up of salt at all, instead it is citric acid.  This is used to prevent browning when canning fruit. It can also be added to rye or sour dough bread to make it more tart.



Salt Substitutions

When using salt, you may not have available some of those listed above or a recipe may call for one type you don’t like. Substitution may become necessary. Here are a few suggested substitutions:

Kosher salt – a non-iodized coarse table salt or a coarse pickling salt but make sure you read the label and there are no additives.  When making this substitution use about half the salt called for in the recipe.

Pickling salt – substitute Kosher salt which is free of additives that can turn your pickle brine cloudy.

Pretzel salt – Kosher salt or a coarse sea salt.

Table salt – Kosher salt but use twice the salt called.



Hints on using different types of salt

Different salts offer different qualities based on how they are used. Here are a few hints on the way to use certain types of salt:

Fine salts – use for baking unless a recipe calls for something different.  The texture and size of a fine salt is smaller and more dense than a more coarsely ground salt.

Kosher salt – is great to use while cooking as the size of the salt is easier to see how much is being added.

Hand-harvested salts – avoid using during a cooking process unless it is a very quick process like with salmon.  If used during the cooking process the flavor and texture can be lost.



Salt Composition and Medical Uses

Since most salt is produced in relatively the same way, there is little difference when it comes to health benefits in which type is used.  Salt is plentiful in most foods even fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods have an alarmingly high level of sodium so it might be best to avoid those if on a salt restricted diet.

Typically salt is made up of sodium and chloride.  Sodium cannot be produced within the human body so it is important to the diet. Sodium helps regulate water balance ph and osmotic pressure.  Chloride is equally important in the human diet for it helps the blood to carry carbon dioxide; potassium absorption; helps in digestion; and conserves acid-base balance. Iodine is added to most North American salt in an effort to reduce Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), which causes mental retardation, miscarriage, goiters, brain damage in infants and can impair growth and development. This effort has been highly successful in North American nearly wiping out the problems associated with IDD. All of these benefits are received from the common salt shaker almost everyone has on their table.

The recommended salt intake varies on the individual and their genetics. In general though, a minimum of 500 mg per day with a maximum of 2400 mg is a good guideline. This is difficult to regulate because so many foods do contain salt naturally.

Having the right level of salt assists the body with many functions including:

Nerve conduction.

Easy and active absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines.

Maintains electrolyte balance.

Key to hydration during exercise and outside activities.

Combats hyperthermia.

Increasing salt intake can combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Helps regulate the water levels in cells, nutrient levels, and waste matter.

Salt is considered one of the first antibiotics, which is probably where the term rubbing salt in a wound comes from. Human blood actually contains 0.9% salt and a solution of water and salt in that proportion is commonly used to irrigate wounds.

As with anything, too much salt may cause problems. Some of the problems include the following:

Hypertension or high blood pressure.

High acidity, which may cause cancer.

In healthy people, too much salt is typically discarded by the kidneys. However, a genetic abnormality preventing the absorption of chloride may cause cystic fibrosis which can be detected by testing the saltiness of a person’s sweat.

Since Americans tend to over indulge in salt much focus has been placed on the effect salt has on hypertension.  Many studies have been done and debate continues as to whether salt adversely affects blood pressure.  Listed below are some of the general conclusions from the vast array of studies

Minority of population can lower their blood pressure by limiting salt.

Hypertension may be caused by too much salt in a diet.

Hypertension may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Life style changes may have more affect on blood pressure / hypertension than salt.

Low sodium intake can be just as dangerous as high sodium intake.

The group who benefits the most from reducing salt intake is overweight men.

While the debate continues in the medical community, the regular person can only attempt to reduce salt in their diet to see if it affects their blood pressure. If the craving for salt continues, it may stems from a lack of zinc in the diet. An increase in foods rich in zinc may reduce the desire for salt. Foods rich in zinc include:

Oysters

Endive

Alfalfa sprouts

Seaweed

Brown rice

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Turkey

Radishes

Balance is the key when it comes to the use of salt and the health. So many foods are rich in salt that adding it to a meal is probably not needed. If someone is at risk with high blood pressure, simply remove the salt shaker from the table in an effort to wean them off the habit.  One thing which was clear in most studies is that the affect salt had varied greatly among individuals based on genetic make up.  



Alternative Uses – Cooking Tips

Being so widely used, salt has many alternative uses besides the traditional food additive. There is an abundance of alternative uses which are separated into categories below.  Be cautious when using all of these, remember to start small to determine if there will be any adverse reactions to any of these procedures and uses.

General tips to help with common problems in the kitchen:

Over salted soup – add a cut up potato or two to absorb the extra salt.

Rub a griddle with a bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking.

Before frying fish sprinkle the skillet with salt to prevent the fish from sticking.

To prevent food from sticking to skillets, waffle irons or griddles, sprinkle with salt and heat in warm oven, dust off salt and return to cupboard.  Next usage, foods won’t stick.

A pinch of salt goes a long way. Here are some hints that utilize a pinch of salt or perhaps a bit more while you are cooking:

Add a pinch of salt:

When whipping eggs to create fluffier eggs.

To enhance the flavor of coffee and in overcooked coffee helps remove the bitterness.

To whipping cream or egg whites to get them to whip faster.

To milk to have it stay fresh longer.

To icing prevents them from sugaring.

To improve boiled potatoes, salt after draining – this gives them a fine mealy texture.

Keep salads crisp by salting immediately before serving.


Poultry – has multiple uses:

Rub the chicken skin with salt to remove pinfeathers more easily.

Improve the flavor by rubbing salt inside and out before roasting.


Sea salt is derived from salty seawater. By combining salt with water again here are some great tips to help out in the kitchen:

Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which reduces cooking time.

Boil eggs in salt water to ease the peeling process.

To set the whites of poached eggs, boil over saltwater.

Place an egg in a cup of water with 2 teaspoon of salt, a fresh egg will sink, a floating egg may be spoiled.

Washing spinach, lettuce and other greens in saltwater will keep them crisp.

Lightly salted cold water helps maintain the color of apples, pears and potatoes.

Soak in saltwater for hours to make shelling pecans easy.

Dampen a cloth with saltwater and wrap around cheese to prevent molding.

Sprinkle ice with salt, place gelatin salads or desserts on ice to get them to set more quickly.

I finally perfected my homemade stuffing years ago. Sadly I never wrote it down. I thought I posted it but every Thanksgiving when I search Dazzledish it is not there. Holidays are hectics times. So, information pills before I get lost in the rush of the season I am posting the recipe. No more panic come Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for amazing Korean recipes Maangchi’s website is THE place. So far every recipe I have tried has been absolutely delicious. Steamed Pork Buns are no exception.

Steamed pork buns are sort of like a stuffed dumpling. They can be baked in the oven. The result is just ok. Like a loaf of bread, information pills the baked dough is drier with a crisp outside. Ultimately you really want to try to steam them for a lighter fluffy dumpling. I do not own a steamer but I found my canning pot works perfectly.

Pack any leftovers for lunch the next day. They taste fine cold or warm in the microwave or oven.

If you are interested in learning Korean visit the Talk to Me in Korean website. It really makes learning the language simple.

Source: Maangchi

Dough:
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 ts sugar
3 cups flour
In a large bowl add water, yeast, salt, oil, and sugar. Mix well until yeast is fully dissolved.

Add flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.

Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.

After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.

Vegetable Filling:
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrot, zucchini, green onion, and mushrooms.

Sprinkle salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.

Meat Filling:
14 oz ground pork
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a mixing bowl, place: pork, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and pepper.
Mix it by hand and set aside.

In a heated pan, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.

Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.

Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.

Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board.

(The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.)

Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tablespoons of filling mixture to the center of it.

Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.

Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.

*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.

Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.

Dipping sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup chopped onion
Chopped green chili pepper
Roasted sesame seeds

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl.
Add some of onion, green chili pepper, and sesame seeds.

When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Variations:
— if you do not have a steamer you can use a large canning pot or stock pot. Place pint sized jars or glasses in the pot, open side down. fill the pot with water 1-2 inches below the top of the glasses. Place a canning rack or metal plate, small enough to fit inside the pot, onto of the glasses. Put the pork buns in muffin tin liners. Place on top of the rack/plate. Cover and bring to a simmer. cook buns 20 minutes.

Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, health in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, treatment tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, viagra approved to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it; the hot sizzling juices burning their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste especially when food prices seem to have doubled. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together. At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

— Drain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Strain. Use as broth for rice or for whenever broth or water is called for. Freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken. Better yet, begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the bones in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that cost nothing extra.
Not all salt is the same.

Kosher Salt

Use it for: All cooking. Kosher salt dissolves fast, dosage and its flavor disperses quickly, more about so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn.

Origin: Either the sea or the earth. Widely sold brands include Morton and Diamond Crystal, website which are made using different methods. Kosher salt got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat?a step in the koshering process.

Texture: Coarse. Cooks prize crystals like these; their roughness makes it easy to pinch a perfect amount.

To buy: Look in your local supermarket. Kosher salts cost about $1 a pound. If you don’t mind a few clumps, buy Diamond Crystal; it has no anticaking agents, which can leave a chemical aftertaste.

Crystalline Sea Salt

Use it for: Adding a pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet.

Origin: Coasts from Portugal to Maine, California to the Pacific Rim.

Texture: Fine or coarse. The size of the irregular crystals affects how fast the salt dissolves. It varies in color, depending on the minerals it contains (iron-rich red clay, for example, gives Hawaiian sea salt a pinkish hue). These natural impurities can add subtly briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to the salts.

To buy: Check gourmet shops or on-line (thespicehouse.com stocks Hawaiian sea salt). Expect to pay $2 to $15 or more a pound. Many markets sell La Baleine, a relatively inexpensive brand ($3 for 26.5 ounces).

Flaked Sea Salt

Use it for: Bringing a complex flavor to steamed vegetables or shellfish. Take a pinch, crush the crystals between your fingertips, and let them fall on freshly cooked food. This salt will add a hint of briny flavor.

Origin: England’s Essex coast is where the most popular brand, Maldon, is harvested.

Texture: Soft, sheer, pyramid-like flakes. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet. You’ll pay $6 for 8.5 ounces atchefshop.com.

Fleur de Sel

Use it for: A special-occasion table salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkled over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a perfect hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon.

Origin: Coastal salt ponds in France. The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water.

Texture: Crystalline, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet (try chefshop.com). From $11 for 4.4 ounces to $45 for 35 ounces.

Rock Salt

Use it for: Making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature. You can also use it to deice your sidewalks and driveway in the winter months.

Origin: Mined from deposits in the earth, rock salt is not sold for use directly on food. It’s usually packaged in an organic, unprocessed form.

Texture: Large, chunky, nonuniform crystals. Minerals and other harmless impurities can give it a grayish color.

To buy: It’s sold in supermarkets and hardware and home stores for less than $1 a pound.

Pickling Salt

Use it for: Brining pickles and sauerkraut. It will also brine a turkey, but beware: Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll need to use less.

Origin: Like table salt, pickling salt may come from the earth or the sea. But unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine (a nutritional need for humans) and doesn’t contain anticaking chemicals, both of which would turn pickles an unappetizing color. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Texture: This variety is fine grained, like table salt.

To buy: Many supermarkets sell it in large boxes or bags, but it can be hard to find in cities. It costs less than $1 a pou

For every meal there is one thing people generally reach for before they even take a bite – the salt shaker.  Salt is one of the oldest spices used and is a key component to humans, animals, and plants.

Its flavor is unique and versatile, salt has been a staple throughout time.  Enhancing almost every dish, salt is added to breads, meats, fruits and vegetables to sauces and desserts.

Additionally, salt aids foods in a variety of ways like:

Preservation – helps protect against microorganisms, bacteria through dehydration and preventing growth of bacteria, which slows or prevents spoilage.

Texture Aid – in bread making, allows the dough to rise by giving helping the gluten hold more water and carbon dioxide.  In meats it improves tenderness and in cheeses it aids in consistency of the cheese and the hardness of the rind.

Binder – in processed meats it helps retain water which reduces the loss of meat when cooking.

Color Developer – in ham, bacon, and other processed meats it helps obtain the desired color.  It also helps create a golden crust for breads.

Fermentation Control – slows and controls the fermentation process in:

Pickling
Cheese production
Sauerkraut production
Summer sausage production

When you reach for that salt shaker on the table or on the stove while cooking what type of salt are you getting?  While salt is gained from two sources, salt deposits on land or from the sea, once harvested it is essentially processed in the same way, through the creation of brine and evaporation.

Salts, like so many other foods, has become trendy with the multitude of seas salts now available to the home cook. Is the trend overrated or are these salts really worth their weight in salt!

The main difference between salts is in their texture. >Each salt has its own distinctive flavor, color, and texture. Experiment with different salt when cooking. Salt is like money! You get what you pay for. You can put the best ingredients into making your dish, but if you blow it on the wrong salt, the dish will not be as good.

There are three basic types of salt:

Table salt – mined using water to create a brine.

Table salt, the one found in most salt shakers, is mined from salt deposits and has most of the minerals removed.  Most salt in the United States is sold with iodine added making it iodized salt. This salt is harvested by forcing water into a mine to create brine (salt/water mix). The brine is then evaporated leaving cubes of salt. The salt is refined from there to create varieties like:

Pickling salt, Canning salt, Coarse salt, Gos sel – fine grained without iodine or anti-caking preservatives. This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn’t look as appetizing.

Pretzel salt – large grained, does not melt quickly.

Rock salt – large crystal salt with a gray color, due to minerals not removed from normal table salt. This form of salt is available in most grocery stores, and also through hardware stores.

Popcorn salt – very fine grained salt which is flakier version of table salt.

Iodized salt – contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose as a dietary supplement to prevent thyroid disease. (see Salt Composition and Medical Uses below).

Seasoned salt – table salt with herbs added like onion, hickory smoke or garlic.


Kosher salt, Koshering salt
– also made from a brine but this brine is continually raked during the evaporation process.

Kosher salt is an additive-free coarse-grained salt. This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. The salt itself is not kosher, but this is where the name comes from. The difference between table and Kosher salt is that during the evaporation process it is raked to give it a block-like structure which allows the salt to draw the blood out of meats. The raking makes Kosher salt coarser and flakier than table salt so it disperses more easily. This makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. It is also recommended to use Kosher salt for cocktail glasses for drinks like margaritas. Since it is a lighter salt, there is less after taste with it.

Today many cooks and chefs prefer it over table salt in their cooking, as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. Kosher salt weighs less by volume than table salt, so you must increase the amount of salt used in a recipe when substituting for table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt.

Sea Salt – made from ocean or sea water, contains trace minerals not in the mined salts.

Sea Salt is just that – salt gained from evaporating salt water collected from an ocean or sea.  The process is more costly then the mining process.  Sea salt is typically less refined than other salts. Depending on the seawater used, you also get a variety of minerals in the sea salt. Due to this there are numerous types of sea salts. Here are a few:

Black Salt, Kala Namak, Sanchal – Significant for its strong sulfur odor (India) this salt is a pearly pink gray.  It is used in Indian cooking.

Grey salt, Celtic salt, Sel Gris – Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process.  The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.

Hawaiian sea salt – Has a distinctive pink hue from the Alaea added to it. The Alaea is volcanic red clay with a high content of iron oxide. This salt is used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kahlua Pig and Hawaiian Jerky.

Coarse salt, Gos Sel, Gale Grosso – Is a larger grain salt which resists moisture and is intended to be ground. Uses include flavoring for soups and salt crusts on meats.

Flake salt – Shaped like snowflakes, the brine is made using the sun and wind for evaporation. Then the brine is slowly heated to create the flakes.

Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal – Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.

French Sea Salt – Processed less than American salt, retains more of the mineral content gained from the Atlantic seawater it is harvested from. This usually includes natural iodine.  A coarse salt, this is good for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

Grinder salt – Large dry salt crystal which can easily be put through a grinder. With a salt grinder you want to avoid metal as the salt will corrode the grinding mechanism.

Italian Sea Salt, Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino – Harvested from the lower Mediterranean sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, this salt is high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium. A delicate salt which is good on salads and in sauces.

Smoked Sea Salt – One other derivative of sea salt is a smoked sea salt. The salt is smoked over real wood fires to add the flavor to the crystals. These can be used in soups, salads, pasta and also in grilling foods like salmon.

Organic Salt: Organic salt has different standards than organic livestock or botanicals. Some organizations have started to set up guidelines to ensure the quality of water and production process.

Lite (light) salt and salt substitutes: These generally do not have a great flavor. Lite salt uses potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level in the salt.  Salt substitutes have little or no sodium in them. Typically only people who have a medical reason use these because the flavor is not as good as salt.

Sour Salt: There is a product called sour salt which is not made up of salt at all, instead it is citric acid.  This is used to prevent browning when canning fruit. It can also be added to rye or sour dough bread to make it more tart.



Salt Substitutions

When using salt, you may not have available some of those listed above or a recipe may call for one type you don’t like. Substitution may become necessary. Here are a few suggested substitutions:

Kosher salt – a non-iodized coarse table salt or a coarse pickling salt but make sure you read the label and there are no additives.  When making this substitution use about half the salt called for in the recipe.

Pickling salt – substitute Kosher salt which is free of additives that can turn your pickle brine cloudy.

Pretzel salt – Kosher salt or a coarse sea salt.

Table salt – Kosher salt but use twice the salt called.



Hints on using different types of salt

Different salts offer different qualities based on how they are used. Here are a few hints on the way to use certain types of salt:

Fine salts – use for baking unless a recipe calls for something different.  The texture and size of a fine salt is smaller and more dense than a more coarsely ground salt.

Kosher salt – is great to use while cooking as the size of the salt is easier to see how much is being added.

Hand-harvested salts – avoid using during a cooking process unless it is a very quick process like with salmon.  If used during the cooking process the flavor and texture can be lost.



Salt Composition and Medical Uses

Since most salt is produced in relatively the same way, there is little difference when it comes to health benefits in which type is used.  Salt is plentiful in most foods even fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods have an alarmingly high level of sodium so it might be best to avoid those if on a salt restricted diet.

Typically salt is made up of sodium and chloride.  Sodium cannot be produced within the human body so it is important to the diet. Sodium helps regulate water balance ph and osmotic pressure.  Chloride is equally important in the human diet for it helps the blood to carry carbon dioxide; potassium absorption; helps in digestion; and conserves acid-base balance. Iodine is added to most North American salt in an effort to reduce Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), which causes mental retardation, miscarriage, goiters, brain damage in infants and can impair growth and development. This effort has been highly successful in North American nearly wiping out the problems associated with IDD. All of these benefits are received from the common salt shaker almost everyone has on their table.

The recommended salt intake varies on the individual and their genetics. In general though, a minimum of 500 mg per day with a maximum of 2400 mg is a good guideline. This is difficult to regulate because so many foods do contain salt naturally.

Having the right level of salt assists the body with many functions including:

Nerve conduction.

Easy and active absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines.

Maintains electrolyte balance.

Key to hydration during exercise and outside activities.

Combats hyperthermia.

Increasing salt intake can combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Helps regulate the water levels in cells, nutrient levels, and waste matter.

Salt is considered one of the first antibiotics, which is probably where the term rubbing salt in a wound comes from. Human blood actually contains 0.9% salt and a solution of water and salt in that proportion is commonly used to irrigate wounds.

As with anything, too much salt may cause problems. Some of the problems include the following:

Hypertension or high blood pressure.

High acidity, which may cause cancer.

In healthy people, too much salt is typically discarded by the kidneys. However, a genetic abnormality preventing the absorption of chloride may cause cystic fibrosis which can be detected by testing the saltiness of a person’s sweat.

Since Americans tend to over indulge in salt much focus has been placed on the effect salt has on hypertension.  Many studies have been done and debate continues as to whether salt adversely affects blood pressure.  Listed below are some of the general conclusions from the vast array of studies

Minority of population can lower their blood pressure by limiting salt.

Hypertension may be caused by too much salt in a diet.

Hypertension may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Life style changes may have more affect on blood pressure / hypertension than salt.

Low sodium intake can be just as dangerous as high sodium intake.

The group who benefits the most from reducing salt intake is overweight men.

While the debate continues in the medical community, the regular person can only attempt to reduce salt in their diet to see if it affects their blood pressure. If the craving for salt continues, it may stems from a lack of zinc in the diet. An increase in foods rich in zinc may reduce the desire for salt. Foods rich in zinc include:

Oysters

Endive

Alfalfa sprouts

Seaweed

Brown rice

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Turkey

Radishes

Balance is the key when it comes to the use of salt and the health. So many foods are rich in salt that adding it to a meal is probably not needed. If someone is at risk with high blood pressure, simply remove the salt shaker from the table in an effort to wean them off the habit.  One thing which was clear in most studies is that the affect salt had varied greatly among individuals based on genetic make up.  



Alternative Uses – Cooking Tips

Being so widely used, salt has many alternative uses besides the traditional food additive. There is an abundance of alternative uses which are separated into categories below.  Be cautious when using all of these, remember to start small to determine if there will be any adverse reactions to any of these procedures and uses.

General tips to help with common problems in the kitchen:

Over salted soup – add a cut up potato or two to absorb the extra salt.

Rub a griddle with a bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking.

Before frying fish sprinkle the skillet with salt to prevent the fish from sticking.

To prevent food from sticking to skillets, waffle irons or griddles, sprinkle with salt and heat in warm oven, dust off salt and return to cupboard.  Next usage, foods won’t stick.

A pinch of salt goes a long way. Here are some hints that utilize a pinch of salt or perhaps a bit more while you are cooking:

Add a pinch of salt:

When whipping eggs to create fluffier eggs.

To enhance the flavor of coffee and in overcooked coffee helps remove the bitterness.

To whipping cream or egg whites to get them to whip faster.

To milk to have it stay fresh longer.

To icing prevents them from sugaring.

To improve boiled potatoes, salt after draining – this gives them a fine mealy texture.

Keep salads crisp by salting immediately before serving.


Poultry – has multiple uses:

Rub the chicken skin with salt to remove pinfeathers more easily.

Improve the flavor by rubbing salt inside and out before roasting.


Sea salt is derived from salty seawater. By combining salt with water again here are some great tips to help out in the kitchen:

Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which reduces cooking time.

Boil eggs in salt water to ease the peeling process.

To set the whites of poached eggs, boil over saltwater.

Place an egg in a cup of water with 2 teaspoon of salt, a fresh egg will sink, a floating egg may be spoiled.

Washing spinach, lettuce and other greens in saltwater will keep them crisp.

Lightly salted cold water helps maintain the color of apples, pears and potatoes.

Soak in saltwater for hours to make shelling pecans easy.

Dampen a cloth with saltwater and wrap around cheese to prevent molding.

Sprinkle ice with salt, place gelatin salads or desserts on ice to get them to set more quickly.

Not all salt is the same.

Kosher Salt

Use it for: All cooking. Kosher salt dissolves fast, pill and its flavor disperses quickly, about it so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn.

Origin: Either the sea or the earth. Widely sold brands include Morton and Diamond Crystal, which are made using different methods. Kosher salt got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat?a step in the koshering process.

Texture: Coarse. Cooks prize crystals like these; their roughness makes it easy to pinch a perfect amount.

To buy: Look in your local supermarket. Kosher salts cost about $1 a pound. If you don’t mind a few clumps, buy Diamond Crystal; it has no anticaking agents, which can leave a chemical aftertaste.

Crystalline Sea Salt

Use it for: Adding a pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet.

Origin: Coasts from Portugal to Maine, California to the Pacific Rim.

Texture: Fine or coarse. The size of the irregular crystals affects how fast the salt dissolves. It varies in color, depending on the minerals it contains (iron-rich red clay, for example, gives Hawaiian sea salt a pinkish hue). These natural impurities can add subtly briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to the salts.

To buy: Check gourmet shops or on-line (thespicehouse.com stocks Hawaiian sea salt). Expect to pay $2 to $15 or more a pound. Many markets sell La Baleine, a relatively inexpensive brand ($3 for 26.5 ounces).

Flaked Sea Salt

Use it for: Bringing a complex flavor to steamed vegetables or shellfish. Take a pinch, crush the crystals between your fingertips, and let them fall on freshly cooked food. This salt will add a hint of briny flavor.

Origin: England’s Essex coast is where the most popular brand, Maldon, is harvested.

Texture: Soft, sheer, pyramid-like flakes. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet. You’ll pay $6 for 8.5 ounces atchefshop.com.

Fleur de Sel

Use it for: A special-occasion table salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkled over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a perfect hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon.

Origin: Coastal salt ponds in France. The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water.

Texture: Crystalline, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet (try chefshop.com). From $11 for 4.4 ounces to $45 for 35 ounces.

Rock Salt

Use it for: Making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature. You can also use it to deice your sidewalks and driveway in the winter months.

Origin: Mined from deposits in the earth, rock salt is not sold for use directly on food. It’s usually packaged in an organic, unprocessed form.

Texture: Large, chunky, nonuniform crystals. Minerals and other harmless impurities can give it a grayish color.

To buy: It’s sold in supermarkets and hardware and home stores for less than $1 a pound.

Pickling Salt

Use it for: Brining pickles and sauerkraut. It will also brine a turkey, but beware: Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll need to use less.

Origin: Like table salt, pickling salt may come from the earth or the sea. But unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine (a nutritional need for humans) and doesn’t contain anticaking chemicals, both of which would turn pickles an unappetizing color. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Texture: This variety is fine grained, like table salt.

To buy: Many supermarkets sell it in large boxes or bags, but it can be hard to find in cities. It costs less than $1 a pou

For every meal there is one thing people generally reach for before they even take a bite – the salt shaker.  Salt is one of the oldest spices used and is a key component to humans, animals, and plants.

Its flavor is unique and versatile, salt has been a staple throughout time.  Enhancing almost every dish, salt is added to breads, meats, fruits and vegetables to sauces and desserts.

Additionally, salt aids foods in a variety of ways like:

Preservation – helps protect against microorganisms, bacteria through dehydration and preventing growth of bacteria, which slows or prevents spoilage.

Texture Aid – in bread making, allows the dough to rise by giving helping the gluten hold more water and carbon dioxide.  In meats it improves tenderness and in cheeses it aids in consistency of the cheese and the hardness of the rind.

Binder – in processed meats it helps retain water which reduces the loss of meat when cooking.

Color Developer – in ham, bacon, and other processed meats it helps obtain the desired color.  It also helps create a golden crust for breads.

Fermentation Control – slows and controls the fermentation process in:

Pickling
Cheese production
Sauerkraut production
Summer sausage production

When you reach for that salt shaker on the table or on the stove while cooking what type of salt are you getting?  While salt is gained from two sources, salt deposits on land or from the sea, once harvested it is essentially processed in the same way, through the creation of brine and evaporation.

Salts, like so many other foods, has become trendy with the multitude of seas salts now available to the home cook. Is the trend overrated or are these salts really worth their weight in salt!

The main difference between salts is in their texture. >Each salt has its own distinctive flavor, color, and texture. Experiment with different salt when cooking. Salt is like money! You get what you pay for. You can put the best ingredients into making your dish, but if you blow it on the wrong salt, the dish will not be as good.

There are three basic types of salt:

Table salt – mined using water to create a brine.

Table salt, the one found in most salt shakers, is mined from salt deposits and has most of the minerals removed.  Most salt in the United States is sold with iodine added making it iodized salt. This salt is harvested by forcing water into a mine to create brine (salt/water mix). The brine is then evaporated leaving cubes of salt. The salt is refined from there to create varieties like:

Pickling salt, Canning salt, Coarse salt, Gos sel – fine grained without iodine or anti-caking preservatives. This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn’t look as appetizing.

Pretzel salt – large grained, does not melt quickly.

Rock salt – large crystal salt with a gray color, due to minerals not removed from normal table salt. This form of salt is available in most grocery stores, and also through hardware stores.

Popcorn salt – very fine grained salt which is flakier version of table salt.

Iodized salt – contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose as a dietary supplement to prevent thyroid disease. (see Salt Composition and Medical Uses below).

Seasoned salt – table salt with herbs added like onion, hickory smoke or garlic.


Kosher salt, Koshering salt
– also made from a brine but this brine is continually raked during the evaporation process.

Kosher salt is an additive-free coarse-grained salt. This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. The salt itself is not kosher, but this is where the name comes from. The difference between table and Kosher salt is that during the evaporation process it is raked to give it a block-like structure which allows the salt to draw the blood out of meats. The raking makes Kosher salt coarser and flakier than table salt so it disperses more easily. This makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. It is also recommended to use Kosher salt for cocktail glasses for drinks like margaritas. Since it is a lighter salt, there is less after taste with it.

Today many cooks and chefs prefer it over table salt in their cooking, as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. Kosher salt weighs less by volume than table salt, so you must increase the amount of salt used in a recipe when substituting for table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt.

Sea Salt – made from ocean or sea water, contains trace minerals not in the mined salts.

Sea Salt is just that – salt gained from evaporating salt water collected from an ocean or sea.  The process is more costly then the mining process.  Sea salt is typically less refined than other salts. Depending on the seawater used, you also get a variety of minerals in the sea salt. Due to this there are numerous types of sea salts. Here are a few:

Black Salt, Kala Namak, Sanchal – Significant for its strong sulfur odor (India) this salt is a pearly pink gray.  It is used in Indian cooking.

Grey salt, Celtic salt, Sel Gris – Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process.  The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.

Hawaiian sea salt – Has a distinctive pink hue from the Alaea added to it. The Alaea is volcanic red clay with a high content of iron oxide. This salt is used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kahlua Pig and Hawaiian Jerky.

Coarse salt, Gos Sel, Gale Grosso – Is a larger grain salt which resists moisture and is intended to be ground. Uses include flavoring for soups and salt crusts on meats.

Flake salt – Shaped like snowflakes, the brine is made using the sun and wind for evaporation. Then the brine is slowly heated to create the flakes.

Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal – Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.

French Sea Salt – Processed less than American salt, retains more of the mineral content gained from the Atlantic seawater it is harvested from. This usually includes natural iodine.  A coarse salt, this is good for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

Grinder salt – Large dry salt crystal which can easily be put through a grinder. With a salt grinder you want to avoid metal as the salt will corrode the grinding mechanism.

Italian Sea Salt, Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino – Harvested from the lower Mediterranean sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, this salt is high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium. A delicate salt which is good on salads and in sauces.

Smoked Sea Salt – One other derivative of sea salt is a smoked sea salt. The salt is smoked over real wood fires to add the flavor to the crystals. These can be used in soups, salads, pasta and also in grilling foods like salmon.

Organic Salt: Organic salt has different standards than organic livestock or botanicals. Some organizations have started to set up guidelines to ensure the quality of water and production process.

Lite (light) salt and salt substitutes: These generally do not have a great flavor. Lite salt uses potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level in the salt.  Salt substitutes have little or no sodium in them. Typically only people who have a medical reason use these because the flavor is not as good as salt.

Sour Salt: There is a product called sour salt which is not made up of salt at all, instead it is citric acid.  This is used to prevent browning when canning fruit. It can also be added to rye or sour dough bread to make it more tart.



Salt Substitutions

When using salt, you may not have available some of those listed above or a recipe may call for one type you don’t like. Substitution may become necessary. Here are a few suggested substitutions:

Kosher salt – a non-iodized coarse table salt or a coarse pickling salt but make sure you read the label and there are no additives.  When making this substitution use about half the salt called for in the recipe.

Pickling salt – substitute Kosher salt which is free of additives that can turn your pickle brine cloudy.

Pretzel salt – Kosher salt or a coarse sea salt.

Table salt – Kosher salt but use twice the salt called.



Hints on using different types of salt

Different salts offer different qualities based on how they are used. Here are a few hints on the way to use certain types of salt:

Fine salts – use for baking unless a recipe calls for something different.  The texture and size of a fine salt is smaller and more dense than a more coarsely ground salt.

Kosher salt – is great to use while cooking as the size of the salt is easier to see how much is being added.

Hand-harvested salts – avoid using during a cooking process unless it is a very quick process like with salmon.  If used during the cooking process the flavor and texture can be lost.



Salt Composition and Medical Uses

Since most salt is produced in relatively the same way, there is little difference when it comes to health benefits in which type is used.  Salt is plentiful in most foods even fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods have an alarmingly high level of sodium so it might be best to avoid those if on a salt restricted diet.

Typically salt is made up of sodium and chloride.  Sodium cannot be produced within the human body so it is important to the diet. Sodium helps regulate water balance ph and osmotic pressure.  Chloride is equally important in the human diet for it helps the blood to carry carbon dioxide; potassium absorption; helps in digestion; and conserves acid-base balance. Iodine is added to most North American salt in an effort to reduce Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), which causes mental retardation, miscarriage, goiters, brain damage in infants and can impair growth and development. This effort has been highly successful in North American nearly wiping out the problems associated with IDD. All of these benefits are received from the common salt shaker almost everyone has on their table.

The recommended salt intake varies on the individual and their genetics. In general though, a minimum of 500 mg per day with a maximum of 2400 mg is a good guideline. This is difficult to regulate because so many foods do contain salt naturally.

Having the right level of salt assists the body with many functions including:

Nerve conduction.

Easy and active absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines.

Maintains electrolyte balance.

Key to hydration during exercise and outside activities.

Combats hyperthermia.

Increasing salt intake can combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Helps regulate the water levels in cells, nutrient levels, and waste matter.

Salt is considered one of the first antibiotics, which is probably where the term rubbing salt in a wound comes from. Human blood actually contains 0.9% salt and a solution of water and salt in that proportion is commonly used to irrigate wounds.

As with anything, too much salt may cause problems. Some of the problems include the following:

Hypertension or high blood pressure.

High acidity, which may cause cancer.

In healthy people, too much salt is typically discarded by the kidneys. However, a genetic abnormality preventing the absorption of chloride may cause cystic fibrosis which can be detected by testing the saltiness of a person’s sweat.

Since Americans tend to over indulge in salt much focus has been placed on the effect salt has on hypertension.  Many studies have been done and debate continues as to whether salt adversely affects blood pressure.  Listed below are some of the general conclusions from the vast array of studies

Minority of population can lower their blood pressure by limiting salt.

Hypertension may be caused by too much salt in a diet.

Hypertension may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Life style changes may have more affect on blood pressure / hypertension than salt.

Low sodium intake can be just as dangerous as high sodium intake.

The group who benefits the most from reducing salt intake is overweight men.

While the debate continues in the medical community, the regular person can only attempt to reduce salt in their diet to see if it affects their blood pressure. If the craving for salt continues, it may stems from a lack of zinc in the diet. An increase in foods rich in zinc may reduce the desire for salt. Foods rich in zinc include:

Oysters

Endive

Alfalfa sprouts

Seaweed

Brown rice

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Turkey

Radishes

Balance is the key when it comes to the use of salt and the health. So many foods are rich in salt that adding it to a meal is probably not needed. If someone is at risk with high blood pressure, simply remove the salt shaker from the table in an effort to wean them off the habit.  One thing which was clear in most studies is that the affect salt had varied greatly among individuals based on genetic make up.  



Alternative Uses – Cooking Tips

Being so widely used, salt has many alternative uses besides the traditional food additive. There is an abundance of alternative uses which are separated into categories below.  Be cautious when using all of these, remember to start small to determine if there will be any adverse reactions to any of these procedures and uses.

General tips to help with common problems in the kitchen:

Over salted soup – add a cut up potato or two to absorb the extra salt.

Rub a griddle with a bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking.

Before frying fish sprinkle the skillet with salt to prevent the fish from sticking.

To prevent food from sticking to skillets, waffle irons or griddles, sprinkle with salt and heat in warm oven, dust off salt and return to cupboard.  Next usage, foods won’t stick.

A pinch of salt goes a long way. Here are some hints that utilize a pinch of salt or perhaps a bit more while you are cooking:

Add a pinch of salt:

When whipping eggs to create fluffier eggs.

To enhance the flavor of coffee and in overcooked coffee helps remove the bitterness.

To whipping cream or egg whites to get them to whip faster.

To milk to have it stay fresh longer.

To icing prevents them from sugaring.

To improve boiled potatoes, salt after draining – this gives them a fine mealy texture.

Keep salads crisp by salting immediately before serving.


Poultry – has multiple uses:

Rub the chicken skin with salt to remove pinfeathers more easily.

Improve the flavor by rubbing salt inside and out before roasting.


Sea salt is derived from salty seawater. By combining salt with water again here are some great tips to help out in the kitchen:

Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which reduces cooking time.

Boil eggs in salt water to ease the peeling process.

To set the whites of poached eggs, boil over saltwater.

Place an egg in a cup of water with 2 teaspoon of salt, a fresh egg will sink, a floating egg may be spoiled.

Washing spinach, lettuce and other greens in saltwater will keep them crisp.

Lightly salted cold water helps maintain the color of apples, pears and potatoes.

Soak in saltwater for hours to make shelling pecans easy.

Dampen a cloth with saltwater and wrap around cheese to prevent molding.

Sprinkle ice with salt, place gelatin salads or desserts on ice to get them to set more quickly.

Adding vegetables will give flavor depth to your broth – I use 2X onion : 1X carrot : 1X celery. Parsley stems and leek tops are another nice addition. I don’t add salt because if I want to reduce this stock, price it would be too salty.
#4 – Try adding some inexpensive pieces of chicken, pharmacy in addition to the bones. You’ll get more flavor than just using bones alone. Legs, wing, necks, gizzards (no liver) etc work well. I save these in a ZipLock bag when I’m cutting up whole chickensAdd the bones to cold water, bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Skim the scum off the top.
I finally perfected my homemade stuffing years ago. Sadly I never wrote it down. I thought I posted it but every Thanksgiving when I search Dazzledish it is not there. Holidays are hectics times. So, information pills before I get lost in the rush of the season I am posting the recipe. No more panic come Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for amazing Korean recipes Maangchi’s website is THE place. So far every recipe I have tried has been absolutely delicious. Steamed Pork Buns are no exception.

Steamed pork buns are sort of like a stuffed dumpling. They can be baked in the oven. The result is just ok. Like a loaf of bread, information pills the baked dough is drier with a crisp outside. Ultimately you really want to try to steam them for a lighter fluffy dumpling. I do not own a steamer but I found my canning pot works perfectly.

Pack any leftovers for lunch the next day. They taste fine cold or warm in the microwave or oven.

If you are interested in learning Korean visit the Talk to Me in Korean website. It really makes learning the language simple.

Source: Maangchi

Dough:
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 ts sugar
3 cups flour
In a large bowl add water, yeast, salt, oil, and sugar. Mix well until yeast is fully dissolved.

Add flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.

Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.

After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.

Vegetable Filling:
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrot, zucchini, green onion, and mushrooms.

Sprinkle salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.

Meat Filling:
14 oz ground pork
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a mixing bowl, place: pork, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and pepper.
Mix it by hand and set aside.

In a heated pan, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.

Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.

Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.

Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board.

(The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.)

Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tablespoons of filling mixture to the center of it.

Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.

Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.

*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.

Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.

Dipping sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup chopped onion
Chopped green chili pepper
Roasted sesame seeds

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl.
Add some of onion, green chili pepper, and sesame seeds.

When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Variations:
— if you do not have a steamer you can use a large canning pot or stock pot. Place pint sized jars or glasses in the pot, open side down. fill the pot with water 1-2 inches below the top of the glasses. Place a canning rack or metal plate, small enough to fit inside the pot, onto of the glasses. Put the pork buns in muffin tin liners. Place on top of the rack/plate. Cover and bring to a simmer. cook buns 20 minutes.

Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, health in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, treatment tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, viagra approved to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it; the hot sizzling juices burning their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste especially when food prices seem to have doubled. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together. At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

— Drain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Strain. Use as broth for rice or for whenever broth or water is called for. Freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken. Better yet, begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the bones in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that cost nothing extra.
Not all salt is the same.

Kosher Salt

Use it for: All cooking. Kosher salt dissolves fast, dosage and its flavor disperses quickly, more about so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn.

Origin: Either the sea or the earth. Widely sold brands include Morton and Diamond Crystal, website which are made using different methods. Kosher salt got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat?a step in the koshering process.

Texture: Coarse. Cooks prize crystals like these; their roughness makes it easy to pinch a perfect amount.

To buy: Look in your local supermarket. Kosher salts cost about $1 a pound. If you don’t mind a few clumps, buy Diamond Crystal; it has no anticaking agents, which can leave a chemical aftertaste.

Crystalline Sea Salt

Use it for: Adding a pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet.

Origin: Coasts from Portugal to Maine, California to the Pacific Rim.

Texture: Fine or coarse. The size of the irregular crystals affects how fast the salt dissolves. It varies in color, depending on the minerals it contains (iron-rich red clay, for example, gives Hawaiian sea salt a pinkish hue). These natural impurities can add subtly briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to the salts.

To buy: Check gourmet shops or on-line (thespicehouse.com stocks Hawaiian sea salt). Expect to pay $2 to $15 or more a pound. Many markets sell La Baleine, a relatively inexpensive brand ($3 for 26.5 ounces).

Flaked Sea Salt

Use it for: Bringing a complex flavor to steamed vegetables or shellfish. Take a pinch, crush the crystals between your fingertips, and let them fall on freshly cooked food. This salt will add a hint of briny flavor.

Origin: England’s Essex coast is where the most popular brand, Maldon, is harvested.

Texture: Soft, sheer, pyramid-like flakes. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet. You’ll pay $6 for 8.5 ounces atchefshop.com.

Fleur de Sel

Use it for: A special-occasion table salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkled over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a perfect hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon.

Origin: Coastal salt ponds in France. The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water.

Texture: Crystalline, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet (try chefshop.com). From $11 for 4.4 ounces to $45 for 35 ounces.

Rock Salt

Use it for: Making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature. You can also use it to deice your sidewalks and driveway in the winter months.

Origin: Mined from deposits in the earth, rock salt is not sold for use directly on food. It’s usually packaged in an organic, unprocessed form.

Texture: Large, chunky, nonuniform crystals. Minerals and other harmless impurities can give it a grayish color.

To buy: It’s sold in supermarkets and hardware and home stores for less than $1 a pound.

Pickling Salt

Use it for: Brining pickles and sauerkraut. It will also brine a turkey, but beware: Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll need to use less.

Origin: Like table salt, pickling salt may come from the earth or the sea. But unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine (a nutritional need for humans) and doesn’t contain anticaking chemicals, both of which would turn pickles an unappetizing color. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Texture: This variety is fine grained, like table salt.

To buy: Many supermarkets sell it in large boxes or bags, but it can be hard to find in cities. It costs less than $1 a pou

For every meal there is one thing people generally reach for before they even take a bite – the salt shaker.  Salt is one of the oldest spices used and is a key component to humans, animals, and plants.

Its flavor is unique and versatile, salt has been a staple throughout time.  Enhancing almost every dish, salt is added to breads, meats, fruits and vegetables to sauces and desserts.

Additionally, salt aids foods in a variety of ways like:

Preservation – helps protect against microorganisms, bacteria through dehydration and preventing growth of bacteria, which slows or prevents spoilage.

Texture Aid – in bread making, allows the dough to rise by giving helping the gluten hold more water and carbon dioxide.  In meats it improves tenderness and in cheeses it aids in consistency of the cheese and the hardness of the rind.

Binder – in processed meats it helps retain water which reduces the loss of meat when cooking.

Color Developer – in ham, bacon, and other processed meats it helps obtain the desired color.  It also helps create a golden crust for breads.

Fermentation Control – slows and controls the fermentation process in:

Pickling
Cheese production
Sauerkraut production
Summer sausage production

When you reach for that salt shaker on the table or on the stove while cooking what type of salt are you getting?  While salt is gained from two sources, salt deposits on land or from the sea, once harvested it is essentially processed in the same way, through the creation of brine and evaporation.

Salts, like so many other foods, has become trendy with the multitude of seas salts now available to the home cook. Is the trend overrated or are these salts really worth their weight in salt!

The main difference between salts is in their texture. >Each salt has its own distinctive flavor, color, and texture. Experiment with different salt when cooking. Salt is like money! You get what you pay for. You can put the best ingredients into making your dish, but if you blow it on the wrong salt, the dish will not be as good.

There are three basic types of salt:

Table salt – mined using water to create a brine.

Table salt, the one found in most salt shakers, is mined from salt deposits and has most of the minerals removed.  Most salt in the United States is sold with iodine added making it iodized salt. This salt is harvested by forcing water into a mine to create brine (salt/water mix). The brine is then evaporated leaving cubes of salt. The salt is refined from there to create varieties like:

Pickling salt, Canning salt, Coarse salt, Gos sel – fine grained without iodine or anti-caking preservatives. This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn’t look as appetizing.

Pretzel salt – large grained, does not melt quickly.

Rock salt – large crystal salt with a gray color, due to minerals not removed from normal table salt. This form of salt is available in most grocery stores, and also through hardware stores.

Popcorn salt – very fine grained salt which is flakier version of table salt.

Iodized salt – contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose as a dietary supplement to prevent thyroid disease. (see Salt Composition and Medical Uses below).

Seasoned salt – table salt with herbs added like onion, hickory smoke or garlic.


Kosher salt, Koshering salt
– also made from a brine but this brine is continually raked during the evaporation process.

Kosher salt is an additive-free coarse-grained salt. This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. The salt itself is not kosher, but this is where the name comes from. The difference between table and Kosher salt is that during the evaporation process it is raked to give it a block-like structure which allows the salt to draw the blood out of meats. The raking makes Kosher salt coarser and flakier than table salt so it disperses more easily. This makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. It is also recommended to use Kosher salt for cocktail glasses for drinks like margaritas. Since it is a lighter salt, there is less after taste with it.

Today many cooks and chefs prefer it over table salt in their cooking, as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. Kosher salt weighs less by volume than table salt, so you must increase the amount of salt used in a recipe when substituting for table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt.

Sea Salt – made from ocean or sea water, contains trace minerals not in the mined salts.

Sea Salt is just that – salt gained from evaporating salt water collected from an ocean or sea.  The process is more costly then the mining process.  Sea salt is typically less refined than other salts. Depending on the seawater used, you also get a variety of minerals in the sea salt. Due to this there are numerous types of sea salts. Here are a few:

Black Salt, Kala Namak, Sanchal – Significant for its strong sulfur odor (India) this salt is a pearly pink gray.  It is used in Indian cooking.

Grey salt, Celtic salt, Sel Gris – Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process.  The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.

Hawaiian sea salt – Has a distinctive pink hue from the Alaea added to it. The Alaea is volcanic red clay with a high content of iron oxide. This salt is used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kahlua Pig and Hawaiian Jerky.

Coarse salt, Gos Sel, Gale Grosso – Is a larger grain salt which resists moisture and is intended to be ground. Uses include flavoring for soups and salt crusts on meats.

Flake salt – Shaped like snowflakes, the brine is made using the sun and wind for evaporation. Then the brine is slowly heated to create the flakes.

Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal – Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.

French Sea Salt – Processed less than American salt, retains more of the mineral content gained from the Atlantic seawater it is harvested from. This usually includes natural iodine.  A coarse salt, this is good for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

Grinder salt – Large dry salt crystal which can easily be put through a grinder. With a salt grinder you want to avoid metal as the salt will corrode the grinding mechanism.

Italian Sea Salt, Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino – Harvested from the lower Mediterranean sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, this salt is high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium. A delicate salt which is good on salads and in sauces.

Smoked Sea Salt – One other derivative of sea salt is a smoked sea salt. The salt is smoked over real wood fires to add the flavor to the crystals. These can be used in soups, salads, pasta and also in grilling foods like salmon.

Organic Salt: Organic salt has different standards than organic livestock or botanicals. Some organizations have started to set up guidelines to ensure the quality of water and production process.

Lite (light) salt and salt substitutes: These generally do not have a great flavor. Lite salt uses potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level in the salt.  Salt substitutes have little or no sodium in them. Typically only people who have a medical reason use these because the flavor is not as good as salt.

Sour Salt: There is a product called sour salt which is not made up of salt at all, instead it is citric acid.  This is used to prevent browning when canning fruit. It can also be added to rye or sour dough bread to make it more tart.



Salt Substitutions

When using salt, you may not have available some of those listed above or a recipe may call for one type you don’t like. Substitution may become necessary. Here are a few suggested substitutions:

Kosher salt – a non-iodized coarse table salt or a coarse pickling salt but make sure you read the label and there are no additives.  When making this substitution use about half the salt called for in the recipe.

Pickling salt – substitute Kosher salt which is free of additives that can turn your pickle brine cloudy.

Pretzel salt – Kosher salt or a coarse sea salt.

Table salt – Kosher salt but use twice the salt called.



Hints on using different types of salt

Different salts offer different qualities based on how they are used. Here are a few hints on the way to use certain types of salt:

Fine salts – use for baking unless a recipe calls for something different.  The texture and size of a fine salt is smaller and more dense than a more coarsely ground salt.

Kosher salt – is great to use while cooking as the size of the salt is easier to see how much is being added.

Hand-harvested salts – avoid using during a cooking process unless it is a very quick process like with salmon.  If used during the cooking process the flavor and texture can be lost.



Salt Composition and Medical Uses

Since most salt is produced in relatively the same way, there is little difference when it comes to health benefits in which type is used.  Salt is plentiful in most foods even fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods have an alarmingly high level of sodium so it might be best to avoid those if on a salt restricted diet.

Typically salt is made up of sodium and chloride.  Sodium cannot be produced within the human body so it is important to the diet. Sodium helps regulate water balance ph and osmotic pressure.  Chloride is equally important in the human diet for it helps the blood to carry carbon dioxide; potassium absorption; helps in digestion; and conserves acid-base balance. Iodine is added to most North American salt in an effort to reduce Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), which causes mental retardation, miscarriage, goiters, brain damage in infants and can impair growth and development. This effort has been highly successful in North American nearly wiping out the problems associated with IDD. All of these benefits are received from the common salt shaker almost everyone has on their table.

The recommended salt intake varies on the individual and their genetics. In general though, a minimum of 500 mg per day with a maximum of 2400 mg is a good guideline. This is difficult to regulate because so many foods do contain salt naturally.

Having the right level of salt assists the body with many functions including:

Nerve conduction.

Easy and active absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines.

Maintains electrolyte balance.

Key to hydration during exercise and outside activities.

Combats hyperthermia.

Increasing salt intake can combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Helps regulate the water levels in cells, nutrient levels, and waste matter.

Salt is considered one of the first antibiotics, which is probably where the term rubbing salt in a wound comes from. Human blood actually contains 0.9% salt and a solution of water and salt in that proportion is commonly used to irrigate wounds.

As with anything, too much salt may cause problems. Some of the problems include the following:

Hypertension or high blood pressure.

High acidity, which may cause cancer.

In healthy people, too much salt is typically discarded by the kidneys. However, a genetic abnormality preventing the absorption of chloride may cause cystic fibrosis which can be detected by testing the saltiness of a person’s sweat.

Since Americans tend to over indulge in salt much focus has been placed on the effect salt has on hypertension.  Many studies have been done and debate continues as to whether salt adversely affects blood pressure.  Listed below are some of the general conclusions from the vast array of studies

Minority of population can lower their blood pressure by limiting salt.

Hypertension may be caused by too much salt in a diet.

Hypertension may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Life style changes may have more affect on blood pressure / hypertension than salt.

Low sodium intake can be just as dangerous as high sodium intake.

The group who benefits the most from reducing salt intake is overweight men.

While the debate continues in the medical community, the regular person can only attempt to reduce salt in their diet to see if it affects their blood pressure. If the craving for salt continues, it may stems from a lack of zinc in the diet. An increase in foods rich in zinc may reduce the desire for salt. Foods rich in zinc include:

Oysters

Endive

Alfalfa sprouts

Seaweed

Brown rice

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Turkey

Radishes

Balance is the key when it comes to the use of salt and the health. So many foods are rich in salt that adding it to a meal is probably not needed. If someone is at risk with high blood pressure, simply remove the salt shaker from the table in an effort to wean them off the habit.  One thing which was clear in most studies is that the affect salt had varied greatly among individuals based on genetic make up.  



Alternative Uses – Cooking Tips

Being so widely used, salt has many alternative uses besides the traditional food additive. There is an abundance of alternative uses which are separated into categories below.  Be cautious when using all of these, remember to start small to determine if there will be any adverse reactions to any of these procedures and uses.

General tips to help with common problems in the kitchen:

Over salted soup – add a cut up potato or two to absorb the extra salt.

Rub a griddle with a bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking.

Before frying fish sprinkle the skillet with salt to prevent the fish from sticking.

To prevent food from sticking to skillets, waffle irons or griddles, sprinkle with salt and heat in warm oven, dust off salt and return to cupboard.  Next usage, foods won’t stick.

A pinch of salt goes a long way. Here are some hints that utilize a pinch of salt or perhaps a bit more while you are cooking:

Add a pinch of salt:

When whipping eggs to create fluffier eggs.

To enhance the flavor of coffee and in overcooked coffee helps remove the bitterness.

To whipping cream or egg whites to get them to whip faster.

To milk to have it stay fresh longer.

To icing prevents them from sugaring.

To improve boiled potatoes, salt after draining – this gives them a fine mealy texture.

Keep salads crisp by salting immediately before serving.


Poultry – has multiple uses:

Rub the chicken skin with salt to remove pinfeathers more easily.

Improve the flavor by rubbing salt inside and out before roasting.


Sea salt is derived from salty seawater. By combining salt with water again here are some great tips to help out in the kitchen:

Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which reduces cooking time.

Boil eggs in salt water to ease the peeling process.

To set the whites of poached eggs, boil over saltwater.

Place an egg in a cup of water with 2 teaspoon of salt, a fresh egg will sink, a floating egg may be spoiled.

Washing spinach, lettuce and other greens in saltwater will keep them crisp.

Lightly salted cold water helps maintain the color of apples, pears and potatoes.

Soak in saltwater for hours to make shelling pecans easy.

Dampen a cloth with saltwater and wrap around cheese to prevent molding.

Sprinkle ice with salt, place gelatin salads or desserts on ice to get them to set more quickly.

Not all salt is the same.

Kosher Salt

Use it for: All cooking. Kosher salt dissolves fast, pill and its flavor disperses quickly, about it so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn.

Origin: Either the sea or the earth. Widely sold brands include Morton and Diamond Crystal, which are made using different methods. Kosher salt got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat?a step in the koshering process.

Texture: Coarse. Cooks prize crystals like these; their roughness makes it easy to pinch a perfect amount.

To buy: Look in your local supermarket. Kosher salts cost about $1 a pound. If you don’t mind a few clumps, buy Diamond Crystal; it has no anticaking agents, which can leave a chemical aftertaste.

Crystalline Sea Salt

Use it for: Adding a pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet.

Origin: Coasts from Portugal to Maine, California to the Pacific Rim.

Texture: Fine or coarse. The size of the irregular crystals affects how fast the salt dissolves. It varies in color, depending on the minerals it contains (iron-rich red clay, for example, gives Hawaiian sea salt a pinkish hue). These natural impurities can add subtly briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to the salts.

To buy: Check gourmet shops or on-line (thespicehouse.com stocks Hawaiian sea salt). Expect to pay $2 to $15 or more a pound. Many markets sell La Baleine, a relatively inexpensive brand ($3 for 26.5 ounces).

Flaked Sea Salt

Use it for: Bringing a complex flavor to steamed vegetables or shellfish. Take a pinch, crush the crystals between your fingertips, and let them fall on freshly cooked food. This salt will add a hint of briny flavor.

Origin: England’s Essex coast is where the most popular brand, Maldon, is harvested.

Texture: Soft, sheer, pyramid-like flakes. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet. You’ll pay $6 for 8.5 ounces atchefshop.com.

Fleur de Sel

Use it for: A special-occasion table salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkled over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a perfect hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon.

Origin: Coastal salt ponds in France. The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water.

Texture: Crystalline, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet (try chefshop.com). From $11 for 4.4 ounces to $45 for 35 ounces.

Rock Salt

Use it for: Making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature. You can also use it to deice your sidewalks and driveway in the winter months.

Origin: Mined from deposits in the earth, rock salt is not sold for use directly on food. It’s usually packaged in an organic, unprocessed form.

Texture: Large, chunky, nonuniform crystals. Minerals and other harmless impurities can give it a grayish color.

To buy: It’s sold in supermarkets and hardware and home stores for less than $1 a pound.

Pickling Salt

Use it for: Brining pickles and sauerkraut. It will also brine a turkey, but beware: Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll need to use less.

Origin: Like table salt, pickling salt may come from the earth or the sea. But unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine (a nutritional need for humans) and doesn’t contain anticaking chemicals, both of which would turn pickles an unappetizing color. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Texture: This variety is fine grained, like table salt.

To buy: Many supermarkets sell it in large boxes or bags, but it can be hard to find in cities. It costs less than $1 a pou

For every meal there is one thing people generally reach for before they even take a bite – the salt shaker.  Salt is one of the oldest spices used and is a key component to humans, animals, and plants.

Its flavor is unique and versatile, salt has been a staple throughout time.  Enhancing almost every dish, salt is added to breads, meats, fruits and vegetables to sauces and desserts.

Additionally, salt aids foods in a variety of ways like:

Preservation – helps protect against microorganisms, bacteria through dehydration and preventing growth of bacteria, which slows or prevents spoilage.

Texture Aid – in bread making, allows the dough to rise by giving helping the gluten hold more water and carbon dioxide.  In meats it improves tenderness and in cheeses it aids in consistency of the cheese and the hardness of the rind.

Binder – in processed meats it helps retain water which reduces the loss of meat when cooking.

Color Developer – in ham, bacon, and other processed meats it helps obtain the desired color.  It also helps create a golden crust for breads.

Fermentation Control – slows and controls the fermentation process in:

Pickling
Cheese production
Sauerkraut production
Summer sausage production

When you reach for that salt shaker on the table or on the stove while cooking what type of salt are you getting?  While salt is gained from two sources, salt deposits on land or from the sea, once harvested it is essentially processed in the same way, through the creation of brine and evaporation.

Salts, like so many other foods, has become trendy with the multitude of seas salts now available to the home cook. Is the trend overrated or are these salts really worth their weight in salt!

The main difference between salts is in their texture. >Each salt has its own distinctive flavor, color, and texture. Experiment with different salt when cooking. Salt is like money! You get what you pay for. You can put the best ingredients into making your dish, but if you blow it on the wrong salt, the dish will not be as good.

There are three basic types of salt:

Table salt – mined using water to create a brine.

Table salt, the one found in most salt shakers, is mined from salt deposits and has most of the minerals removed.  Most salt in the United States is sold with iodine added making it iodized salt. This salt is harvested by forcing water into a mine to create brine (salt/water mix). The brine is then evaporated leaving cubes of salt. The salt is refined from there to create varieties like:

Pickling salt, Canning salt, Coarse salt, Gos sel – fine grained without iodine or anti-caking preservatives. This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn’t look as appetizing.

Pretzel salt – large grained, does not melt quickly.

Rock salt – large crystal salt with a gray color, due to minerals not removed from normal table salt. This form of salt is available in most grocery stores, and also through hardware stores.

Popcorn salt – very fine grained salt which is flakier version of table salt.

Iodized salt – contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose as a dietary supplement to prevent thyroid disease. (see Salt Composition and Medical Uses below).

Seasoned salt – table salt with herbs added like onion, hickory smoke or garlic.


Kosher salt, Koshering salt
– also made from a brine but this brine is continually raked during the evaporation process.

Kosher salt is an additive-free coarse-grained salt. This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. The salt itself is not kosher, but this is where the name comes from. The difference between table and Kosher salt is that during the evaporation process it is raked to give it a block-like structure which allows the salt to draw the blood out of meats. The raking makes Kosher salt coarser and flakier than table salt so it disperses more easily. This makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. It is also recommended to use Kosher salt for cocktail glasses for drinks like margaritas. Since it is a lighter salt, there is less after taste with it.

Today many cooks and chefs prefer it over table salt in their cooking, as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. Kosher salt weighs less by volume than table salt, so you must increase the amount of salt used in a recipe when substituting for table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt.

Sea Salt – made from ocean or sea water, contains trace minerals not in the mined salts.

Sea Salt is just that – salt gained from evaporating salt water collected from an ocean or sea.  The process is more costly then the mining process.  Sea salt is typically less refined than other salts. Depending on the seawater used, you also get a variety of minerals in the sea salt. Due to this there are numerous types of sea salts. Here are a few:

Black Salt, Kala Namak, Sanchal – Significant for its strong sulfur odor (India) this salt is a pearly pink gray.  It is used in Indian cooking.

Grey salt, Celtic salt, Sel Gris – Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process.  The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.

Hawaiian sea salt – Has a distinctive pink hue from the Alaea added to it. The Alaea is volcanic red clay with a high content of iron oxide. This salt is used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kahlua Pig and Hawaiian Jerky.

Coarse salt, Gos Sel, Gale Grosso – Is a larger grain salt which resists moisture and is intended to be ground. Uses include flavoring for soups and salt crusts on meats.

Flake salt – Shaped like snowflakes, the brine is made using the sun and wind for evaporation. Then the brine is slowly heated to create the flakes.

Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal – Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.

French Sea Salt – Processed less than American salt, retains more of the mineral content gained from the Atlantic seawater it is harvested from. This usually includes natural iodine.  A coarse salt, this is good for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

Grinder salt – Large dry salt crystal which can easily be put through a grinder. With a salt grinder you want to avoid metal as the salt will corrode the grinding mechanism.

Italian Sea Salt, Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino – Harvested from the lower Mediterranean sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, this salt is high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium. A delicate salt which is good on salads and in sauces.

Smoked Sea Salt – One other derivative of sea salt is a smoked sea salt. The salt is smoked over real wood fires to add the flavor to the crystals. These can be used in soups, salads, pasta and also in grilling foods like salmon.

Organic Salt: Organic salt has different standards than organic livestock or botanicals. Some organizations have started to set up guidelines to ensure the quality of water and production process.

Lite (light) salt and salt substitutes: These generally do not have a great flavor. Lite salt uses potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level in the salt.  Salt substitutes have little or no sodium in them. Typically only people who have a medical reason use these because the flavor is not as good as salt.

Sour Salt: There is a product called sour salt which is not made up of salt at all, instead it is citric acid.  This is used to prevent browning when canning fruit. It can also be added to rye or sour dough bread to make it more tart.



Salt Substitutions

When using salt, you may not have available some of those listed above or a recipe may call for one type you don’t like. Substitution may become necessary. Here are a few suggested substitutions:

Kosher salt – a non-iodized coarse table salt or a coarse pickling salt but make sure you read the label and there are no additives.  When making this substitution use about half the salt called for in the recipe.

Pickling salt – substitute Kosher salt which is free of additives that can turn your pickle brine cloudy.

Pretzel salt – Kosher salt or a coarse sea salt.

Table salt – Kosher salt but use twice the salt called.



Hints on using different types of salt

Different salts offer different qualities based on how they are used. Here are a few hints on the way to use certain types of salt:

Fine salts – use for baking unless a recipe calls for something different.  The texture and size of a fine salt is smaller and more dense than a more coarsely ground salt.

Kosher salt – is great to use while cooking as the size of the salt is easier to see how much is being added.

Hand-harvested salts – avoid using during a cooking process unless it is a very quick process like with salmon.  If used during the cooking process the flavor and texture can be lost.



Salt Composition and Medical Uses

Since most salt is produced in relatively the same way, there is little difference when it comes to health benefits in which type is used.  Salt is plentiful in most foods even fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods have an alarmingly high level of sodium so it might be best to avoid those if on a salt restricted diet.

Typically salt is made up of sodium and chloride.  Sodium cannot be produced within the human body so it is important to the diet. Sodium helps regulate water balance ph and osmotic pressure.  Chloride is equally important in the human diet for it helps the blood to carry carbon dioxide; potassium absorption; helps in digestion; and conserves acid-base balance. Iodine is added to most North American salt in an effort to reduce Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), which causes mental retardation, miscarriage, goiters, brain damage in infants and can impair growth and development. This effort has been highly successful in North American nearly wiping out the problems associated with IDD. All of these benefits are received from the common salt shaker almost everyone has on their table.

The recommended salt intake varies on the individual and their genetics. In general though, a minimum of 500 mg per day with a maximum of 2400 mg is a good guideline. This is difficult to regulate because so many foods do contain salt naturally.

Having the right level of salt assists the body with many functions including:

Nerve conduction.

Easy and active absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines.

Maintains electrolyte balance.

Key to hydration during exercise and outside activities.

Combats hyperthermia.

Increasing salt intake can combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Helps regulate the water levels in cells, nutrient levels, and waste matter.

Salt is considered one of the first antibiotics, which is probably where the term rubbing salt in a wound comes from. Human blood actually contains 0.9% salt and a solution of water and salt in that proportion is commonly used to irrigate wounds.

As with anything, too much salt may cause problems. Some of the problems include the following:

Hypertension or high blood pressure.

High acidity, which may cause cancer.

In healthy people, too much salt is typically discarded by the kidneys. However, a genetic abnormality preventing the absorption of chloride may cause cystic fibrosis which can be detected by testing the saltiness of a person’s sweat.

Since Americans tend to over indulge in salt much focus has been placed on the effect salt has on hypertension.  Many studies have been done and debate continues as to whether salt adversely affects blood pressure.  Listed below are some of the general conclusions from the vast array of studies

Minority of population can lower their blood pressure by limiting salt.

Hypertension may be caused by too much salt in a diet.

Hypertension may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Life style changes may have more affect on blood pressure / hypertension than salt.

Low sodium intake can be just as dangerous as high sodium intake.

The group who benefits the most from reducing salt intake is overweight men.

While the debate continues in the medical community, the regular person can only attempt to reduce salt in their diet to see if it affects their blood pressure. If the craving for salt continues, it may stems from a lack of zinc in the diet. An increase in foods rich in zinc may reduce the desire for salt. Foods rich in zinc include:

Oysters

Endive

Alfalfa sprouts

Seaweed

Brown rice

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Turkey

Radishes

Balance is the key when it comes to the use of salt and the health. So many foods are rich in salt that adding it to a meal is probably not needed. If someone is at risk with high blood pressure, simply remove the salt shaker from the table in an effort to wean them off the habit.  One thing which was clear in most studies is that the affect salt had varied greatly among individuals based on genetic make up.  



Alternative Uses – Cooking Tips

Being so widely used, salt has many alternative uses besides the traditional food additive. There is an abundance of alternative uses which are separated into categories below.  Be cautious when using all of these, remember to start small to determine if there will be any adverse reactions to any of these procedures and uses.

General tips to help with common problems in the kitchen:

Over salted soup – add a cut up potato or two to absorb the extra salt.

Rub a griddle with a bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking.

Before frying fish sprinkle the skillet with salt to prevent the fish from sticking.

To prevent food from sticking to skillets, waffle irons or griddles, sprinkle with salt and heat in warm oven, dust off salt and return to cupboard.  Next usage, foods won’t stick.

A pinch of salt goes a long way. Here are some hints that utilize a pinch of salt or perhaps a bit more while you are cooking:

Add a pinch of salt:

When whipping eggs to create fluffier eggs.

To enhance the flavor of coffee and in overcooked coffee helps remove the bitterness.

To whipping cream or egg whites to get them to whip faster.

To milk to have it stay fresh longer.

To icing prevents them from sugaring.

To improve boiled potatoes, salt after draining – this gives them a fine mealy texture.

Keep salads crisp by salting immediately before serving.


Poultry – has multiple uses:

Rub the chicken skin with salt to remove pinfeathers more easily.

Improve the flavor by rubbing salt inside and out before roasting.


Sea salt is derived from salty seawater. By combining salt with water again here are some great tips to help out in the kitchen:

Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which reduces cooking time.

Boil eggs in salt water to ease the peeling process.

To set the whites of poached eggs, boil over saltwater.

Place an egg in a cup of water with 2 teaspoon of salt, a fresh egg will sink, a floating egg may be spoiled.

Washing spinach, lettuce and other greens in saltwater will keep them crisp.

Lightly salted cold water helps maintain the color of apples, pears and potatoes.

Soak in saltwater for hours to make shelling pecans easy.

Dampen a cloth with saltwater and wrap around cheese to prevent molding.

Sprinkle ice with salt, place gelatin salads or desserts on ice to get them to set more quickly.

Adding vegetables will give flavor depth to your broth – I use 2X onion : 1X carrot : 1X celery. Parsley stems and leek tops are another nice addition. I don’t add salt because if I want to reduce this stock, price it would be too salty.
#4 – Try adding some inexpensive pieces of chicken, pharmacy in addition to the bones. You’ll get more flavor than just using bones alone. Legs, wing, necks, gizzards (no liver) etc work well. I save these in a ZipLock bag when I’m cutting up whole chickensAdd the bones to cold water, bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Skim the scum off the top.

Two weeks was a scorching 102 degrees. Last week cloudy skies brought light showers accompanied by cooler weather. This week was back into the high 90’s. I know, more about right? It is October already! Mother Nature, not acceptable. Not acceptable at all! We will just have to go ahead and celebrate autumn without the fall weather. Solution? Bake some fall goodness and hope for a cooler reprieve.

Ginger cookies are my favorite fall cookie. It is also the only other cookie flavor besides sugar that we all agree on. This version of ginger cookies is my favorite egg free recipe. I have made baked goods using the flax + water. I have also used chia seeds mixed with water. Sometimes there is a noticeable difference in taste or texture though. However, with this recipe you would never know it does not contain eggs.

Source: Isa Chandra Moskowitz
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup rice or coconut milk
1 cup granulated or coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons turbinado, demerra sugar or granulated sugar (for sprinkling on top)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.

In a separate large bowl, mix together the oil, molasses, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and combine well.

Roll into 1-inch balls, roll in turbinado sugar. Place on baking sheet 1-inch apart. Flatten slightly into a 1 1/2 inch disk. Bake 10 to 12 minutes (don’t overbake!), let cool on cookie sheet about 1 minute then transfer to a wire rack.

Variations: – Replace the milk with applesauce.

A Touch of Sun Kissed Nectarine Preserves

The first time I had a strawberry daiquiri was in the Florida Keys. My best friend’s family invited me along on their family trip. We were young teenagers.

Source: Ariane Hundt (Personal Trainer and Nutritionist)
5 ounces water
6-8 ice cubes
9-10 strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar

Mix ingredients in blender. Serve in individuals glasses with a garnish of strawberry and whipped cream.
The first time I had a strawberry daiquiri was in the Florida Keys. My best friend’s family invited me along on their family trip. We were young teenagers.

Source: Ariane Hundt (Personal Trainer and Nutritionist)
5 ounces water
6-8 ice cubes
9-10 strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar

Mix ingredients in blender. Serve in individuals glasses with a garnish of strawberry and whipped cream.

Photo: Property of the CupcakeProject.com

When my oldest child was about to start kindergarten I had not begun to think about the yearly rites of passage. I was too consumed with the swirling emotions of sending my baby off to all day kindergarten. Stephen delightedly recalled memories of school clothes shopping and the first day of school photo. The mention of school shopping sent my mind back to the Saw Grass Mills Mall in South Florida. Who could ever forget retail bliss a mile long. As I reminisced a little while longer I remembered a few of the odious haunts of the 80’s I chose to leave buried in the past. The K-Swiss sneakers from 10th grade were not so embarrassing as the white Reebok high-tops I had to have in 9th grade and the orange neon pleather purse I just could not live without in 6th grade. Just Scary.

This year our daughter is about to embark on her first year in Kindergarten. In keeping with our newly found family traditions she got a new backpack, cialis 40mg a lunch box, and a new coat in addition to several new outfits. When the big day arrives we will take the much anticipated “first day of school” snapshot. To let her know we are thinking of her she will find a special note attached to a yummy (but healthy) treat inside her lunch pail. That night the dinner menu is kids choice (within reason). It is always nice to have a relaxing comforting meal at the end of a high anxiety day.

The following is a list of fun ways to help motivate the kids in preparing them for back to school.

  1. Back to School Shopping: Make a special day of it. Take your daughter for a pedicure, take the boys to the movies.
  2. Back Packs and Lunch Boxes: We have a tradition once the kids start Kindergarten they get a new backpack and lunch box.
  3. Special Breakfast: Try to avoid sugary foods that tend to cause the kids to crash. Fill their bellies and minds with hearty oatmeal or protein boosting eggs and toast. Pair proteins like nuts, eggs or yogurt with sugary dishes like pancakes.
  4. Back to School Brunch: The day before the big day invite friends or keep it just family to a back to school brunch. This is a more appropriate time to serve favorites such as cinnamon rolls or doughnuts. Set up a table with packages of needed school supplies such as crayons, pencils, rulers, paper, ect. Help the kids put their supplies in their backpacks so they are all ready for school in the morning.
  5. Back to School Dinner: If breakfast is too rushed plan a  special dinner. The menu can be kids choice, a family favorite, or go out to eat.
  6. Ice cream sundaes: Treat the kids to an ice cream dessert. Invite friends over after school or serve as a dessert with dinner.
  7. 1st day of School Photo: The first day of school picture can be a fun group photo or a single snapshot of each child. Some families like to use the same backdrop year after year. Have the kids hold up the same number of fingers as the grade they are entering or create a banner with their name and grade to stand in front of.
  8. Decorations: Secretly hang up balloons and streamers the night before to surprise them in the morning. Make a banner with glitter and markers for the front door that includes the kids names and grade.
  9. Make Goals: At breakfast or the day before gather as a family to come up with individual and family goals. Review goals once a month. Discuss what is expected of them at home and at school. No TV until chores and homework are done. If the week is hectic maybe you plan to move chores to saturday. If someone has a hard time with math discuss ways to help them.
  10. After School Treat: Bake homemade cookies for when they get home. Nothing says love like fresh baked bread or cookies.
  11. The Back to School Fairy or Magic School Bus: Leave a backpack filled with snacks and school supplies by their pillow or by the front door.
  12. German Schultuete: This giant posterboard cone is filled with back-to-school goodies and supplies as a token of good luck. Similar to a Christmas stocking. Decorate with stickers and markers or use fancy paper. Fill the Schultuete with edible treats, fun bright supplies (markers, glue, pens, erasers, Post-it notes, magnet letters, ect), and small trinkets or toys.
  13. 12 Days Before School: Hang the kid’s backpacks on their door. Put something new in it each day to count down the days to school.
  14. Color of the Day: Choose a color the whole family will wear on the first day.
  15. Swim and BBQ party: Plan a swim party before school starts or a week or two after. Waiting a week allows the kids to invite a friend or two from school. Have games to play or another kind of fun activity.
  16. Letter to Child: The start of school is a major milestone. Take the time to write a heart felt letter pointing out how proud you are of your child. List several attributes you admire about them and why.
  17. Classic Tradition: Come up with a fun song to sing or a story to read during breakfast each year on the 1st day of school.
  18. Walk to school together: If possible park several block away and walk your child to school. The leisurely stroll will help release some of the tention.
  19. Special Touches: Send the kids to school with a special treat in their lunch bag- a love note, a sandwich cut into a fun shape using cookie cutters, or a favorite snack.

The first time I had a strawberry daiquiri was in the Florida Keys. My best friend’s family invited me along on their family trip. We were young teenagers.

Source: Ariane Hundt (Personal Trainer and Nutritionist)
5 ounces water
6-8 ice cubes
9-10 strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar

Mix ingredients in blender. Serve in individuals glasses with a garnish of strawberry and whipped cream.

Photo: Property of the CupcakeProject.com

When my oldest child was about to start kindergarten I had not begun to think about the yearly rites of passage. I was too consumed with the swirling emotions of sending my baby off to all day kindergarten. Stephen delightedly recalled memories of school clothes shopping and the first day of school photo. The mention of school shopping sent my mind back to the Saw Grass Mills Mall in South Florida. Who could ever forget retail bliss a mile long. As I reminisced a little while longer I remembered a few of the odious haunts of the 80’s I chose to leave buried in the past. The K-Swiss sneakers from 10th grade were not so embarrassing as the white Reebok high-tops I had to have in 9th grade and the orange neon pleather purse I just could not live without in 6th grade. Just Scary.

This year our daughter is about to embark on her first year in Kindergarten. In keeping with our newly found family traditions she got a new backpack, cialis 40mg a lunch box, and a new coat in addition to several new outfits. When the big day arrives we will take the much anticipated “first day of school” snapshot. To let her know we are thinking of her she will find a special note attached to a yummy (but healthy) treat inside her lunch pail. That night the dinner menu is kids choice (within reason). It is always nice to have a relaxing comforting meal at the end of a high anxiety day.

The following is a list of fun ways to help motivate the kids in preparing them for back to school.

  1. Back to School Shopping: Make a special day of it. Take your daughter for a pedicure, take the boys to the movies.
  2. Back Packs and Lunch Boxes: We have a tradition once the kids start Kindergarten they get a new backpack and lunch box.
  3. Special Breakfast: Try to avoid sugary foods that tend to cause the kids to crash. Fill their bellies and minds with hearty oatmeal or protein boosting eggs and toast. Pair proteins like nuts, eggs or yogurt with sugary dishes like pancakes.
  4. Back to School Brunch: The day before the big day invite friends or keep it just family to a back to school brunch. This is a more appropriate time to serve favorites such as cinnamon rolls or doughnuts. Set up a table with packages of needed school supplies such as crayons, pencils, rulers, paper, ect. Help the kids put their supplies in their backpacks so they are all ready for school in the morning.
  5. Back to School Dinner: If breakfast is too rushed plan a  special dinner. The menu can be kids choice, a family favorite, or go out to eat.
  6. Ice cream sundaes: Treat the kids to an ice cream dessert. Invite friends over after school or serve as a dessert with dinner.
  7. 1st day of School Photo: The first day of school picture can be a fun group photo or a single snapshot of each child. Some families like to use the same backdrop year after year. Have the kids hold up the same number of fingers as the grade they are entering or create a banner with their name and grade to stand in front of.
  8. Decorations: Secretly hang up balloons and streamers the night before to surprise them in the morning. Make a banner with glitter and markers for the front door that includes the kids names and grade.
  9. Make Goals: At breakfast or the day before gather as a family to come up with individual and family goals. Review goals once a month. Discuss what is expected of them at home and at school. No TV until chores and homework are done. If the week is hectic maybe you plan to move chores to saturday. If someone has a hard time with math discuss ways to help them.
  10. After School Treat: Bake homemade cookies for when they get home. Nothing says love like fresh baked bread or cookies.
  11. The Back to School Fairy or Magic School Bus: Leave a backpack filled with snacks and school supplies by their pillow or by the front door.
  12. German Schultuete: This giant posterboard cone is filled with back-to-school goodies and supplies as a token of good luck. Similar to a Christmas stocking. Decorate with stickers and markers or use fancy paper. Fill the Schultuete with edible treats, fun bright supplies (markers, glue, pens, erasers, Post-it notes, magnet letters, ect), and small trinkets or toys.
  13. 12 Days Before School: Hang the kid’s backpacks on their door. Put something new in it each day to count down the days to school.
  14. Color of the Day: Choose a color the whole family will wear on the first day.
  15. Swim and BBQ party: Plan a swim party before school starts or a week or two after. Waiting a week allows the kids to invite a friend or two from school. Have games to play or another kind of fun activity.
  16. Letter to Child: The start of school is a major milestone. Take the time to write a heart felt letter pointing out how proud you are of your child. List several attributes you admire about them and why.
  17. Classic Tradition: Come up with a fun song to sing or a story to read during breakfast each year on the 1st day of school.
  18. Walk to school together: If possible park several block away and walk your child to school. The leisurely stroll will help release some of the tention.
  19. Special Touches: Send the kids to school with a special treat in their lunch bag- a love note, a sandwich cut into a fun shape using cookie cutters, or a favorite snack.

Photo: Property of the CupcakeProject.com

When my oldest child was about to start kindergarten I had not begun to think about the yearly rites of passage. I was too consumed with the swirling emotions of sending my baby off to all day kindergarten. Stephen delightedly recalled memories of school clothes shopping and the first day of school photo. The mention of school shopping sent my mind back to the Saw Grass Mills Mall in South Florida. Who could ever forget retail bliss a mile long. As I reminisced a little while longer I remembered a few of the odious haunts of the 80’s I chose to leave buried in the past. The K-Swiss sneakers from 10th grade were not so embarrassing as the white Reebok high-tops I had to have in 9th grade and the orange neon pleather purse I just could not live without in 6th grade. Just Scary.

This year our daughter is about to embark on her first year in Kindergarten. In keeping with our newly found family traditions she got a new backpack, for sale a lunch box, medications and a new coat in addition to several new outfits. When the big day arrives we will take the much anticipated “first day of school” snapshot. To let her know we are thinking of her she will find a special note attached to a yummy (but healthy) treat inside her lunch pail. That night the dinner menu is kids choice (within reason). It is always nice to have a relaxing comforting meal at the end of a high anxiety day.

The following is a list of fun ways to help motivate the kids in preparing them for back to school.

  1. Back to School Shopping: Make a special day of it. Take your daughter for a pedicure, take the boys to the movies.
  2. Back Packs and Lunch Boxes: We have a tradition once the kids start Kindergarten they get a new backpack and lunch box.
  3. Special Breakfast: Try to avoid sugary foods that tend to cause the kids to crash. Fill their bellies and minds with hearty oatmeal or protein boosting eggs and toast. Pair proteins like nuts, eggs or yogurt with sugary dishes like pancakes.
  4. Back to School Brunch: The day before the big day invite friends or keep it just family to a back to school brunch. This is a more appropriate time to serve favorites such as cinnamon rolls or doughnuts. Set up a table with packages of needed school supplies such as crayons, pencils, rulers, paper, ect. Help the kids put their supplies in their backpacks so they are all ready for school in the morning.
  5. Back to School Dinner: If breakfast is too rushed plan a  special dinner. The menu can be kids choice, a family favorite, or go out to eat.
  6. Ice cream sundaes: Treat the kids to an ice cream dessert. Invite friends over after school or serve as a dessert with dinner.
  7. 1st day of School Photo: The first day of school picture can be a fun group photo or a single snapshot of each child. Some families like to use the same backdrop year after year. Have the kids hold up the same number of fingers as the grade they are entering or create a banner with their name and grade to stand in front of.
  8. Decorations: Secretly hang up balloons and streamers the night before to surprise them in the morning. Make a banner with glitter and markers for the front door that includes the kids names and grade.
  9. Make Goals: At breakfast or the day before gather as a family to come up with individual and family goals. Review goals once a month. Discuss what is expected of them at home and at school. No TV until chores and homework are done. If the week is hectic maybe you plan to move chores to saturday. If someone has a hard time with math discuss ways to help them.
  10. After School Treat: Bake homemade cookies for when they get home. Nothing says love like fresh baked bread or cookies.
  11. The Back to School Fairy or Magic School Bus: Leave a backpack filled with snacks and school supplies by their pillow or by the front door.
  12. German Schultuete: This giant posterboard cone is filled with back-to-school goodies and supplies as a token of good luck. Similar to a Christmas stocking. Decorate with stickers and markers or use fancy paper. Fill the Schultuete with edible treats, fun bright supplies (markers, glue, pens, erasers, Post-it notes, magnet letters, ect), and small trinkets or toys.
  13. 12 Days Before School: Hang the kid’s backpacks on their door. Put something new in it each day to count down the days to school.
  14. Color of the Day: Choose a color the whole family will wear on the first day.
  15. Swim and BBQ party: Plan a swim party before school starts or a week or two after. Waiting a week allows the kids to invite a friend or two from school. Have games to play or another kind of fun activity.
  16. Letter to Child: The start of school is a major milestone. Take the time to write a heart felt letter pointing out how proud you are of your child. List several attributes you admire about them and why.
  17. Classic Tradition: Come up with a fun song to sing or a story to read during breakfast each year on the 1st day of school.
  18. Walk to school together: If possible park several block away and walk your child to school. The leisurely stroll will help release some of the tention.
  19. Special Touches: Send the kids to school with a special treat in their lunch bag- a love note, a sandwich cut into a fun shape using cookie cutters, or a favorite snack.

The first time I had a strawberry daiquiri was in the Florida Keys. My best friend’s family invited me along on their family trip. We were young teenagers.

Source: Ariane Hundt (Personal Trainer and Nutritionist)
5 ounces water
6-8 ice cubes
9-10 strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar

Mix ingredients in blender. Serve in individuals glasses with a garnish of strawberry and whipped cream.

Photo: Property of the CupcakeProject.com

When my oldest child was about to start kindergarten I had not begun to think about the yearly rites of passage. I was too consumed with the swirling emotions of sending my baby off to all day kindergarten. Stephen delightedly recalled memories of school clothes shopping and the first day of school photo. The mention of school shopping sent my mind back to the Saw Grass Mills Mall in South Florida. Who could ever forget retail bliss a mile long. As I reminisced a little while longer I remembered a few of the odious haunts of the 80’s I chose to leave buried in the past. The K-Swiss sneakers from 10th grade were not so embarrassing as the white Reebok high-tops I had to have in 9th grade and the orange neon pleather purse I just could not live without in 6th grade. Just Scary.

This year our daughter is about to embark on her first year in Kindergarten. In keeping with our newly found family traditions she got a new backpack, cialis 40mg a lunch box, and a new coat in addition to several new outfits. When the big day arrives we will take the much anticipated “first day of school” snapshot. To let her know we are thinking of her she will find a special note attached to a yummy (but healthy) treat inside her lunch pail. That night the dinner menu is kids choice (within reason). It is always nice to have a relaxing comforting meal at the end of a high anxiety day.

The following is a list of fun ways to help motivate the kids in preparing them for back to school.

  1. Back to School Shopping: Make a special day of it. Take your daughter for a pedicure, take the boys to the movies.
  2. Back Packs and Lunch Boxes: We have a tradition once the kids start Kindergarten they get a new backpack and lunch box.
  3. Special Breakfast: Try to avoid sugary foods that tend to cause the kids to crash. Fill their bellies and minds with hearty oatmeal or protein boosting eggs and toast. Pair proteins like nuts, eggs or yogurt with sugary dishes like pancakes.
  4. Back to School Brunch: The day before the big day invite friends or keep it just family to a back to school brunch. This is a more appropriate time to serve favorites such as cinnamon rolls or doughnuts. Set up a table with packages of needed school supplies such as crayons, pencils, rulers, paper, ect. Help the kids put their supplies in their backpacks so they are all ready for school in the morning.
  5. Back to School Dinner: If breakfast is too rushed plan a  special dinner. The menu can be kids choice, a family favorite, or go out to eat.
  6. Ice cream sundaes: Treat the kids to an ice cream dessert. Invite friends over after school or serve as a dessert with dinner.
  7. 1st day of School Photo: The first day of school picture can be a fun group photo or a single snapshot of each child. Some families like to use the same backdrop year after year. Have the kids hold up the same number of fingers as the grade they are entering or create a banner with their name and grade to stand in front of.
  8. Decorations: Secretly hang up balloons and streamers the night before to surprise them in the morning. Make a banner with glitter and markers for the front door that includes the kids names and grade.
  9. Make Goals: At breakfast or the day before gather as a family to come up with individual and family goals. Review goals once a month. Discuss what is expected of them at home and at school. No TV until chores and homework are done. If the week is hectic maybe you plan to move chores to saturday. If someone has a hard time with math discuss ways to help them.
  10. After School Treat: Bake homemade cookies for when they get home. Nothing says love like fresh baked bread or cookies.
  11. The Back to School Fairy or Magic School Bus: Leave a backpack filled with snacks and school supplies by their pillow or by the front door.
  12. German Schultuete: This giant posterboard cone is filled with back-to-school goodies and supplies as a token of good luck. Similar to a Christmas stocking. Decorate with stickers and markers or use fancy paper. Fill the Schultuete with edible treats, fun bright supplies (markers, glue, pens, erasers, Post-it notes, magnet letters, ect), and small trinkets or toys.
  13. 12 Days Before School: Hang the kid’s backpacks on their door. Put something new in it each day to count down the days to school.
  14. Color of the Day: Choose a color the whole family will wear on the first day.
  15. Swim and BBQ party: Plan a swim party before school starts or a week or two after. Waiting a week allows the kids to invite a friend or two from school. Have games to play or another kind of fun activity.
  16. Letter to Child: The start of school is a major milestone. Take the time to write a heart felt letter pointing out how proud you are of your child. List several attributes you admire about them and why.
  17. Classic Tradition: Come up with a fun song to sing or a story to read during breakfast each year on the 1st day of school.
  18. Walk to school together: If possible park several block away and walk your child to school. The leisurely stroll will help release some of the tention.
  19. Special Touches: Send the kids to school with a special treat in their lunch bag- a love note, a sandwich cut into a fun shape using cookie cutters, or a favorite snack.

Photo: Property of the CupcakeProject.com

When my oldest child was about to start kindergarten I had not begun to think about the yearly rites of passage. I was too consumed with the swirling emotions of sending my baby off to all day kindergarten. Stephen delightedly recalled memories of school clothes shopping and the first day of school photo. The mention of school shopping sent my mind back to the Saw Grass Mills Mall in South Florida. Who could ever forget retail bliss a mile long. As I reminisced a little while longer I remembered a few of the odious haunts of the 80’s I chose to leave buried in the past. The K-Swiss sneakers from 10th grade were not so embarrassing as the white Reebok high-tops I had to have in 9th grade and the orange neon pleather purse I just could not live without in 6th grade. Just Scary.

This year our daughter is about to embark on her first year in Kindergarten. In keeping with our newly found family traditions she got a new backpack, for sale a lunch box, medications and a new coat in addition to several new outfits. When the big day arrives we will take the much anticipated “first day of school” snapshot. To let her know we are thinking of her she will find a special note attached to a yummy (but healthy) treat inside her lunch pail. That night the dinner menu is kids choice (within reason). It is always nice to have a relaxing comforting meal at the end of a high anxiety day.

The following is a list of fun ways to help motivate the kids in preparing them for back to school.

  1. Back to School Shopping: Make a special day of it. Take your daughter for a pedicure, take the boys to the movies.
  2. Back Packs and Lunch Boxes: We have a tradition once the kids start Kindergarten they get a new backpack and lunch box.
  3. Special Breakfast: Try to avoid sugary foods that tend to cause the kids to crash. Fill their bellies and minds with hearty oatmeal or protein boosting eggs and toast. Pair proteins like nuts, eggs or yogurt with sugary dishes like pancakes.
  4. Back to School Brunch: The day before the big day invite friends or keep it just family to a back to school brunch. This is a more appropriate time to serve favorites such as cinnamon rolls or doughnuts. Set up a table with packages of needed school supplies such as crayons, pencils, rulers, paper, ect. Help the kids put their supplies in their backpacks so they are all ready for school in the morning.
  5. Back to School Dinner: If breakfast is too rushed plan a  special dinner. The menu can be kids choice, a family favorite, or go out to eat.
  6. Ice cream sundaes: Treat the kids to an ice cream dessert. Invite friends over after school or serve as a dessert with dinner.
  7. 1st day of School Photo: The first day of school picture can be a fun group photo or a single snapshot of each child. Some families like to use the same backdrop year after year. Have the kids hold up the same number of fingers as the grade they are entering or create a banner with their name and grade to stand in front of.
  8. Decorations: Secretly hang up balloons and streamers the night before to surprise them in the morning. Make a banner with glitter and markers for the front door that includes the kids names and grade.
  9. Make Goals: At breakfast or the day before gather as a family to come up with individual and family goals. Review goals once a month. Discuss what is expected of them at home and at school. No TV until chores and homework are done. If the week is hectic maybe you plan to move chores to saturday. If someone has a hard time with math discuss ways to help them.
  10. After School Treat: Bake homemade cookies for when they get home. Nothing says love like fresh baked bread or cookies.
  11. The Back to School Fairy or Magic School Bus: Leave a backpack filled with snacks and school supplies by their pillow or by the front door.
  12. German Schultuete: This giant posterboard cone is filled with back-to-school goodies and supplies as a token of good luck. Similar to a Christmas stocking. Decorate with stickers and markers or use fancy paper. Fill the Schultuete with edible treats, fun bright supplies (markers, glue, pens, erasers, Post-it notes, magnet letters, ect), and small trinkets or toys.
  13. 12 Days Before School: Hang the kid’s backpacks on their door. Put something new in it each day to count down the days to school.
  14. Color of the Day: Choose a color the whole family will wear on the first day.
  15. Swim and BBQ party: Plan a swim party before school starts or a week or two after. Waiting a week allows the kids to invite a friend or two from school. Have games to play or another kind of fun activity.
  16. Letter to Child: The start of school is a major milestone. Take the time to write a heart felt letter pointing out how proud you are of your child. List several attributes you admire about them and why.
  17. Classic Tradition: Come up with a fun song to sing or a story to read during breakfast each year on the 1st day of school.
  18. Walk to school together: If possible park several block away and walk your child to school. The leisurely stroll will help release some of the tention.
  19. Special Touches: Send the kids to school with a special treat in their lunch bag- a love note, a sandwich cut into a fun shape using cookie cutters, or a favorite snack.

The first time I had a strawberry daiquiri was down in the Florida Keys. My best friend’s family invited me along on their family trip that year. We were young teenagers at the time. The excitement unbearable. We thought we were so cool to hang out in the spa sipping a glass of non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiri.

The original daiquiri is believed to have originated in Cuba in the early 1900’s. The concoction combined three of the country’s largest exports: rum, seek sugar and lime juice. The modern day American strawberry daiquiri incorporates blended ice. Although daiquiri connoisseurs believe the classic slushy strays too far from its roots. The preferred method for rum purists is shaken not stirred.

Source: Ariane Hundt (Personal Trainer and Nutritionist)
5 ounces water
6-8 ice cubes
9-10 strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar, discount or sweeten to taste

Mix ingredients in blender. Serve in individuals glasses with a garnish of strawberry and whipped cream.

Serves: 4

Variations:
– Replace sugar with honey or agave syrup
– Add a shot of lime juice or grapefruit juice
The first time I had a strawberry daiquiri was in the Florida Keys. My best friend’s family invited me along on their family trip. We were young teenagers.

Source: Ariane Hundt (Personal Trainer and Nutritionist)
5 ounces water
6-8 ice cubes
9-10 strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar

Mix ingredients in blender. Serve in individuals glasses with a garnish of strawberry and whipped cream.

Photo: Property of the CupcakeProject.com

When my oldest child was about to start kindergarten I had not begun to think about the yearly rites of passage. I was too consumed with the swirling emotions of sending my baby off to all day kindergarten. Stephen delightedly recalled memories of school clothes shopping and the first day of school photo. The mention of school shopping sent my mind back to the Saw Grass Mills Mall in South Florida. Who could ever forget retail bliss a mile long. As I reminisced a little while longer I remembered a few of the odious haunts of the 80’s I chose to leave buried in the past. The K-Swiss sneakers from 10th grade were not so embarrassing as the white Reebok high-tops I had to have in 9th grade and the orange neon pleather purse I just could not live without in 6th grade. Just Scary.

This year our daughter is about to embark on her first year in Kindergarten. In keeping with our newly found family traditions she got a new backpack, cialis 40mg a lunch box, and a new coat in addition to several new outfits. When the big day arrives we will take the much anticipated “first day of school” snapshot. To let her know we are thinking of her she will find a special note attached to a yummy (but healthy) treat inside her lunch pail. That night the dinner menu is kids choice (within reason). It is always nice to have a relaxing comforting meal at the end of a high anxiety day.

The following is a list of fun ways to help motivate the kids in preparing them for back to school.

  1. Back to School Shopping: Make a special day of it. Take your daughter for a pedicure, take the boys to the movies.
  2. Back Packs and Lunch Boxes: We have a tradition once the kids start Kindergarten they get a new backpack and lunch box.
  3. Special Breakfast: Try to avoid sugary foods that tend to cause the kids to crash. Fill their bellies and minds with hearty oatmeal or protein boosting eggs and toast. Pair proteins like nuts, eggs or yogurt with sugary dishes like pancakes.
  4. Back to School Brunch: The day before the big day invite friends or keep it just family to a back to school brunch. This is a more appropriate time to serve favorites such as cinnamon rolls or doughnuts. Set up a table with packages of needed school supplies such as crayons, pencils, rulers, paper, ect. Help the kids put their supplies in their backpacks so they are all ready for school in the morning.
  5. Back to School Dinner: If breakfast is too rushed plan a  special dinner. The menu can be kids choice, a family favorite, or go out to eat.
  6. Ice cream sundaes: Treat the kids to an ice cream dessert. Invite friends over after school or serve as a dessert with dinner.
  7. 1st day of School Photo: The first day of school picture can be a fun group photo or a single snapshot of each child. Some families like to use the same backdrop year after year. Have the kids hold up the same number of fingers as the grade they are entering or create a banner with their name and grade to stand in front of.
  8. Decorations: Secretly hang up balloons and streamers the night before to surprise them in the morning. Make a banner with glitter and markers for the front door that includes the kids names and grade.
  9. Make Goals: At breakfast or the day before gather as a family to come up with individual and family goals. Review goals once a month. Discuss what is expected of them at home and at school. No TV until chores and homework are done. If the week is hectic maybe you plan to move chores to saturday. If someone has a hard time with math discuss ways to help them.
  10. After School Treat: Bake homemade cookies for when they get home. Nothing says love like fresh baked bread or cookies.
  11. The Back to School Fairy or Magic School Bus: Leave a backpack filled with snacks and school supplies by their pillow or by the front door.
  12. German Schultuete: This giant posterboard cone is filled with back-to-school goodies and supplies as a token of good luck. Similar to a Christmas stocking. Decorate with stickers and markers or use fancy paper. Fill the Schultuete with edible treats, fun bright supplies (markers, glue, pens, erasers, Post-it notes, magnet letters, ect), and small trinkets or toys.
  13. 12 Days Before School: Hang the kid’s backpacks on their door. Put something new in it each day to count down the days to school.
  14. Color of the Day: Choose a color the whole family will wear on the first day.
  15. Swim and BBQ party: Plan a swim party before school starts or a week or two after. Waiting a week allows the kids to invite a friend or two from school. Have games to play or another kind of fun activity.
  16. Letter to Child: The start of school is a major milestone. Take the time to write a heart felt letter pointing out how proud you are of your child. List several attributes you admire about them and why.
  17. Classic Tradition: Come up with a fun song to sing or a story to read during breakfast each year on the 1st day of school.
  18. Walk to school together: If possible park several block away and walk your child to school. The leisurely stroll will help release some of the tention.
  19. Special Touches: Send the kids to school with a special treat in their lunch bag- a love note, a sandwich cut into a fun shape using cookie cutters, or a favorite snack.

Photo: Property of the CupcakeProject.com

When my oldest child was about to start kindergarten I had not begun to think about the yearly rites of passage. I was too consumed with the swirling emotions of sending my baby off to all day kindergarten. Stephen delightedly recalled memories of school clothes shopping and the first day of school photo. The mention of school shopping sent my mind back to the Saw Grass Mills Mall in South Florida. Who could ever forget retail bliss a mile long. As I reminisced a little while longer I remembered a few of the odious haunts of the 80’s I chose to leave buried in the past. The K-Swiss sneakers from 10th grade were not so embarrassing as the white Reebok high-tops I had to have in 9th grade and the orange neon pleather purse I just could not live without in 6th grade. Just Scary.

This year our daughter is about to embark on her first year in Kindergarten. In keeping with our newly found family traditions she got a new backpack, for sale a lunch box, medications and a new coat in addition to several new outfits. When the big day arrives we will take the much anticipated “first day of school” snapshot. To let her know we are thinking of her she will find a special note attached to a yummy (but healthy) treat inside her lunch pail. That night the dinner menu is kids choice (within reason). It is always nice to have a relaxing comforting meal at the end of a high anxiety day.

The following is a list of fun ways to help motivate the kids in preparing them for back to school.

  1. Back to School Shopping: Make a special day of it. Take your daughter for a pedicure, take the boys to the movies.
  2. Back Packs and Lunch Boxes: We have a tradition once the kids start Kindergarten they get a new backpack and lunch box.
  3. Special Breakfast: Try to avoid sugary foods that tend to cause the kids to crash. Fill their bellies and minds with hearty oatmeal or protein boosting eggs and toast. Pair proteins like nuts, eggs or yogurt with sugary dishes like pancakes.
  4. Back to School Brunch: The day before the big day invite friends or keep it just family to a back to school brunch. This is a more appropriate time to serve favorites such as cinnamon rolls or doughnuts. Set up a table with packages of needed school supplies such as crayons, pencils, rulers, paper, ect. Help the kids put their supplies in their backpacks so they are all ready for school in the morning.
  5. Back to School Dinner: If breakfast is too rushed plan a  special dinner. The menu can be kids choice, a family favorite, or go out to eat.
  6. Ice cream sundaes: Treat the kids to an ice cream dessert. Invite friends over after school or serve as a dessert with dinner.
  7. 1st day of School Photo: The first day of school picture can be a fun group photo or a single snapshot of each child. Some families like to use the same backdrop year after year. Have the kids hold up the same number of fingers as the grade they are entering or create a banner with their name and grade to stand in front of.
  8. Decorations: Secretly hang up balloons and streamers the night before to surprise them in the morning. Make a banner with glitter and markers for the front door that includes the kids names and grade.
  9. Make Goals: At breakfast or the day before gather as a family to come up with individual and family goals. Review goals once a month. Discuss what is expected of them at home and at school. No TV until chores and homework are done. If the week is hectic maybe you plan to move chores to saturday. If someone has a hard time with math discuss ways to help them.
  10. After School Treat: Bake homemade cookies for when they get home. Nothing says love like fresh baked bread or cookies.
  11. The Back to School Fairy or Magic School Bus: Leave a backpack filled with snacks and school supplies by their pillow or by the front door.
  12. German Schultuete: This giant posterboard cone is filled with back-to-school goodies and supplies as a token of good luck. Similar to a Christmas stocking. Decorate with stickers and markers or use fancy paper. Fill the Schultuete with edible treats, fun bright supplies (markers, glue, pens, erasers, Post-it notes, magnet letters, ect), and small trinkets or toys.
  13. 12 Days Before School: Hang the kid’s backpacks on their door. Put something new in it each day to count down the days to school.
  14. Color of the Day: Choose a color the whole family will wear on the first day.
  15. Swim and BBQ party: Plan a swim party before school starts or a week or two after. Waiting a week allows the kids to invite a friend or two from school. Have games to play or another kind of fun activity.
  16. Letter to Child: The start of school is a major milestone. Take the time to write a heart felt letter pointing out how proud you are of your child. List several attributes you admire about them and why.
  17. Classic Tradition: Come up with a fun song to sing or a story to read during breakfast each year on the 1st day of school.
  18. Walk to school together: If possible park several block away and walk your child to school. The leisurely stroll will help release some of the tention.
  19. Special Touches: Send the kids to school with a special treat in their lunch bag- a love note, a sandwich cut into a fun shape using cookie cutters, or a favorite snack.

The first time I had a strawberry daiquiri was down in the Florida Keys. My best friend’s family invited me along on their family trip that year. We were young teenagers at the time. The excitement unbearable. We thought we were so cool to hang out in the spa sipping a glass of non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiri.

The original daiquiri is believed to have originated in Cuba in the early 1900’s. The concoction combined three of the country’s largest exports: rum, seek sugar and lime juice. The modern day American strawberry daiquiri incorporates blended ice. Although daiquiri connoisseurs believe the classic slushy strays too far from its roots. The preferred method for rum purists is shaken not stirred.

Source: Ariane Hundt (Personal Trainer and Nutritionist)
5 ounces water
6-8 ice cubes
9-10 strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar, discount or sweeten to taste

Mix ingredients in blender. Serve in individuals glasses with a garnish of strawberry and whipped cream.

Serves: 4

Variations:
– Replace sugar with honey or agave syrup
– Add a shot of lime juice or grapefruit juice
The first time I had a strawberry daiquiri was down in the Florida Keys. My best friend’s family invited me along on their family trip that year. We were young teenagers at the time. The excitement unbearable. We thought we were so cool to hang out in the spa sipping a glass of non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiri.

The original daiquiri is believed to have originated in Cuba in the early 1900’s. The concoction combined three of the country’s largest exports: rum, cheap sugar and lime juice. The modern day American strawberry daiquiri incorporates blended ice. Although daiquiri connoisseurs believe the classic slushy strays too far from its roots. The preferred method for rum purists is shaken not stirred.

The strawberry season is coming to a close here in the valley. The farm stand’s daily rations are diminishing more and more each day. One farm stand has already cleared

Source: Ariane Hundt (Personal Trainer and Nutritionist)
5 ounces water
6-8 ice cubes
9-10 strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar, visit or sweeten to taste

Mix ingredients in blender. Serve in individuals glasses with a garnish of strawberry and whipped cream.

Serves: 4

Variations:
– Replace sugar with honey or agave syrup
– Add a shot of lime juice or grapefruit juice
The first time I had a strawberry daiquiri was in the Florida Keys. My best friend’s family invited me along on their family trip. We were young teenagers.

Source: Ariane Hundt (Personal Trainer and Nutritionist)
5 ounces water
6-8 ice cubes
9-10 strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar

Mix ingredients in blender. Serve in individuals glasses with a garnish of strawberry and whipped cream.

Photo: Property of the CupcakeProject.com

When my oldest child was about to start kindergarten I had not begun to think about the yearly rites of passage. I was too consumed with the swirling emotions of sending my baby off to all day kindergarten. Stephen delightedly recalled memories of school clothes shopping and the first day of school photo. The mention of school shopping sent my mind back to the Saw Grass Mills Mall in South Florida. Who could ever forget retail bliss a mile long. As I reminisced a little while longer I remembered a few of the odious haunts of the 80’s I chose to leave buried in the past. The K-Swiss sneakers from 10th grade were not so embarrassing as the white Reebok high-tops I had to have in 9th grade and the orange neon pleather purse I just could not live without in 6th grade. Just Scary.

This year our daughter is about to embark on her first year in Kindergarten. In keeping with our newly found family traditions she got a new backpack, cialis 40mg a lunch box, and a new coat in addition to several new outfits. When the big day arrives we will take the much anticipated “first day of school” snapshot. To let her know we are thinking of her she will find a special note attached to a yummy (but healthy) treat inside her lunch pail. That night the dinner menu is kids choice (within reason). It is always nice to have a relaxing comforting meal at the end of a high anxiety day.

The following is a list of fun ways to help motivate the kids in preparing them for back to school.

  1. Back to School Shopping: Make a special day of it. Take your daughter for a pedicure, take the boys to the movies.
  2. Back Packs and Lunch Boxes: We have a tradition once the kids start Kindergarten they get a new backpack and lunch box.
  3. Special Breakfast: Try to avoid sugary foods that tend to cause the kids to crash. Fill their bellies and minds with hearty oatmeal or protein boosting eggs and toast. Pair proteins like nuts, eggs or yogurt with sugary dishes like pancakes.
  4. Back to School Brunch: The day before the big day invite friends or keep it just family to a back to school brunch. This is a more appropriate time to serve favorites such as cinnamon rolls or doughnuts. Set up a table with packages of needed school supplies such as crayons, pencils, rulers, paper, ect. Help the kids put their supplies in their backpacks so they are all ready for school in the morning.
  5. Back to School Dinner: If breakfast is too rushed plan a  special dinner. The menu can be kids choice, a family favorite, or go out to eat.
  6. Ice cream sundaes: Treat the kids to an ice cream dessert. Invite friends over after school or serve as a dessert with dinner.
  7. 1st day of School Photo: The first day of school picture can be a fun group photo or a single snapshot of each child. Some families like to use the same backdrop year after year. Have the kids hold up the same number of fingers as the grade they are entering or create a banner with their name and grade to stand in front of.
  8. Decorations: Secretly hang up balloons and streamers the night before to surprise them in the morning. Make a banner with glitter and markers for the front door that includes the kids names and grade.
  9. Make Goals: At breakfast or the day before gather as a family to come up with individual and family goals. Review goals once a month. Discuss what is expected of them at home and at school. No TV until chores and homework are done. If the week is hectic maybe you plan to move chores to saturday. If someone has a hard time with math discuss ways to help them.
  10. After School Treat: Bake homemade cookies for when they get home. Nothing says love like fresh baked bread or cookies.
  11. The Back to School Fairy or Magic School Bus: Leave a backpack filled with snacks and school supplies by their pillow or by the front door.
  12. German Schultuete: This giant posterboard cone is filled with back-to-school goodies and supplies as a token of good luck. Similar to a Christmas stocking. Decorate with stickers and markers or use fancy paper. Fill the Schultuete with edible treats, fun bright supplies (markers, glue, pens, erasers, Post-it notes, magnet letters, ect), and small trinkets or toys.
  13. 12 Days Before School: Hang the kid’s backpacks on their door. Put something new in it each day to count down the days to school.
  14. Color of the Day: Choose a color the whole family will wear on the first day.
  15. Swim and BBQ party: Plan a swim party before school starts or a week or two after. Waiting a week allows the kids to invite a friend or two from school. Have games to play or another kind of fun activity.
  16. Letter to Child: The start of school is a major milestone. Take the time to write a heart felt letter pointing out how proud you are of your child. List several attributes you admire about them and why.
  17. Classic Tradition: Come up with a fun song to sing or a story to read during breakfast each year on the 1st day of school.
  18. Walk to school together: If possible park several block away and walk your child to school. The leisurely stroll will help release some of the tention.
  19. Special Touches: Send the kids to school with a special treat in their lunch bag- a love note, a sandwich cut into a fun shape using cookie cutters, or a favorite snack.

Photo: Property of the CupcakeProject.com

When my oldest child was about to start kindergarten I had not begun to think about the yearly rites of passage. I was too consumed with the swirling emotions of sending my baby off to all day kindergarten. Stephen delightedly recalled memories of school clothes shopping and the first day of school photo. The mention of school shopping sent my mind back to the Saw Grass Mills Mall in South Florida. Who could ever forget retail bliss a mile long. As I reminisced a little while longer I remembered a few of the odious haunts of the 80’s I chose to leave buried in the past. The K-Swiss sneakers from 10th grade were not so embarrassing as the white Reebok high-tops I had to have in 9th grade and the orange neon pleather purse I just could not live without in 6th grade. Just Scary.

This year our daughter is about to embark on her first year in Kindergarten. In keeping with our newly found family traditions she got a new backpack, for sale a lunch box, medications and a new coat in addition to several new outfits. When the big day arrives we will take the much anticipated “first day of school” snapshot. To let her know we are thinking of her she will find a special note attached to a yummy (but healthy) treat inside her lunch pail. That night the dinner menu is kids choice (within reason). It is always nice to have a relaxing comforting meal at the end of a high anxiety day.

The following is a list of fun ways to help motivate the kids in preparing them for back to school.

  1. Back to School Shopping: Make a special day of it. Take your daughter for a pedicure, take the boys to the movies.
  2. Back Packs and Lunch Boxes: We have a tradition once the kids start Kindergarten they get a new backpack and lunch box.
  3. Special Breakfast: Try to avoid sugary foods that tend to cause the kids to crash. Fill their bellies and minds with hearty oatmeal or protein boosting eggs and toast. Pair proteins like nuts, eggs or yogurt with sugary dishes like pancakes.
  4. Back to School Brunch: The day before the big day invite friends or keep it just family to a back to school brunch. This is a more appropriate time to serve favorites such as cinnamon rolls or doughnuts. Set up a table with packages of needed school supplies such as crayons, pencils, rulers, paper, ect. Help the kids put their supplies in their backpacks so they are all ready for school in the morning.
  5. Back to School Dinner: If breakfast is too rushed plan a  special dinner. The menu can be kids choice, a family favorite, or go out to eat.
  6. Ice cream sundaes: Treat the kids to an ice cream dessert. Invite friends over after school or serve as a dessert with dinner.
  7. 1st day of School Photo: The first day of school picture can be a fun group photo or a single snapshot of each child. Some families like to use the same backdrop year after year. Have the kids hold up the same number of fingers as the grade they are entering or create a banner with their name and grade to stand in front of.
  8. Decorations: Secretly hang up balloons and streamers the night before to surprise them in the morning. Make a banner with glitter and markers for the front door that includes the kids names and grade.
  9. Make Goals: At breakfast or the day before gather as a family to come up with individual and family goals. Review goals once a month. Discuss what is expected of them at home and at school. No TV until chores and homework are done. If the week is hectic maybe you plan to move chores to saturday. If someone has a hard time with math discuss ways to help them.
  10. After School Treat: Bake homemade cookies for when they get home. Nothing says love like fresh baked bread or cookies.
  11. The Back to School Fairy or Magic School Bus: Leave a backpack filled with snacks and school supplies by their pillow or by the front door.
  12. German Schultuete: This giant posterboard cone is filled with back-to-school goodies and supplies as a token of good luck. Similar to a Christmas stocking. Decorate with stickers and markers or use fancy paper. Fill the Schultuete with edible treats, fun bright supplies (markers, glue, pens, erasers, Post-it notes, magnet letters, ect), and small trinkets or toys.
  13. 12 Days Before School: Hang the kid’s backpacks on their door. Put something new in it each day to count down the days to school.
  14. Color of the Day: Choose a color the whole family will wear on the first day.
  15. Swim and BBQ party: Plan a swim party before school starts or a week or two after. Waiting a week allows the kids to invite a friend or two from school. Have games to play or another kind of fun activity.
  16. Letter to Child: The start of school is a major milestone. Take the time to write a heart felt letter pointing out how proud you are of your child. List several attributes you admire about them and why.
  17. Classic Tradition: Come up with a fun song to sing or a story to read during breakfast each year on the 1st day of school.
  18. Walk to school together: If possible park several block away and walk your child to school. The leisurely stroll will help release some of the tention.
  19. Special Touches: Send the kids to school with a special treat in their lunch bag- a love note, a sandwich cut into a fun shape using cookie cutters, or a favorite snack.

The first time I had a strawberry daiquiri was down in the Florida Keys. My best friend’s family invited me along on their family trip that year. We were young teenagers at the time. The excitement unbearable. We thought we were so cool to hang out in the spa sipping a glass of non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiri.

The original daiquiri is believed to have originated in Cuba in the early 1900’s. The concoction combined three of the country’s largest exports: rum, seek sugar and lime juice. The modern day American strawberry daiquiri incorporates blended ice. Although daiquiri connoisseurs believe the classic slushy strays too far from its roots. The preferred method for rum purists is shaken not stirred.

Source: Ariane Hundt (Personal Trainer and Nutritionist)
5 ounces water
6-8 ice cubes
9-10 strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar, discount or sweeten to taste

Mix ingredients in blender. Serve in individuals glasses with a garnish of strawberry and whipped cream.

Serves: 4

Variations:
– Replace sugar with honey or agave syrup
– Add a shot of lime juice or grapefruit juice
The first time I had a strawberry daiquiri was down in the Florida Keys. My best friend’s family invited me along on their family trip that year. We were young teenagers at the time. The excitement unbearable. We thought we were so cool to hang out in the spa sipping a glass of non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiri.

The original daiquiri is believed to have originated in Cuba in the early 1900’s. The concoction combined three of the country’s largest exports: rum, cheap sugar and lime juice. The modern day American strawberry daiquiri incorporates blended ice. Although daiquiri connoisseurs believe the classic slushy strays too far from its roots. The preferred method for rum purists is shaken not stirred.

The strawberry season is coming to a close here in the valley. The farm stand’s daily rations are diminishing more and more each day. One farm stand has already cleared

Source: Ariane Hundt (Personal Trainer and Nutritionist)
5 ounces water
6-8 ice cubes
9-10 strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar, visit or sweeten to taste

Mix ingredients in blender. Serve in individuals glasses with a garnish of strawberry and whipped cream.

Serves: 4

Variations:
– Replace sugar with honey or agave syrup
– Add a shot of lime juice or grapefruit juice

Oriental Chicken Salad

The first time I had this salad was at my favorite Chinese restaurant, website like this it has been so long ago the name has escaped my memory. A friend of mine used to order it all the time. It was off menu so if any one wanted one of course they had to ask for it. Their salad consisted of iceberg lettuce, viagra order carrots, red cabbage, fried wonton strips and peanuts with a peanut dressing. The dressing in my version actually came from an Asian Chicken Wrap recipe. It has worked so far but I get bored after a while and start hunting for something new.

I used to make my own crispy chicken until I discovered pre-made crispy chicken in the freezer section.  Bake for 10 minutes. By the time the chicken has cooked and cooled, the salad is ready and on the table. I cut the chicken into smaller bites and serve. As far as the salad itself goes, you can also use a broccoli slaw mix with your favorite lettuce or bagged greens, pre-made Asian salad dressing and grilled chicken

Oriental Chicken Salad toppings

Dressing:
3 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup Mayonnaise or plain yogurt
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/8 tsp sesame oil

Blend ingredients well. Chill.

Salad: Use any combination
Romaine lettuce hearts
Napa and red cabbages
Baby spinach
1 carrot, chopped julienne
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
sliced almonds
crispy chow mein noodles
Mandarin Oranges

Crispy Chicken:
oil for frying
1 cup flour
salt and pepper
Skinless boneless chicken breast fillets. cut into bit size pieces
For crispy chicken: 1 egg, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup panko flakes or corn flakes

Heat oil in a pan. In a shallow bowl, combine flour, salt and pepper. Coat the chicken completely. Fry until cooked through.
For crispy chicken: In a small shallow bowl, combine flour with panko flakes, salt and pepper. In another bowl beat egg and milk. Dip chicken pieces into egg mixture then flour coating completely. Fry until cooked through.
The first time I had a strawberry daiquiri was in the Florida Keys. My best friend’s family invited me along on their family trip. We were young teenagers.

Source: Ariane Hundt (Personal Trainer and Nutritionist)
5 ounces water
6-8 ice cubes
9-10 strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar

Mix ingredients in blender. Serve in individuals glasses with a garnish of strawberry and whipped cream.

Photo: Property of the CupcakeProject.com

When my oldest child was about to start kindergarten I had not begun to think about the yearly rites of passage. I was too consumed with the swirling emotions of sending my baby off to all day kindergarten. Stephen delightedly recalled memories of school clothes shopping and the first day of school photo. The mention of school shopping sent my mind back to the Saw Grass Mills Mall in South Florida. Who could ever forget retail bliss a mile long. As I reminisced a little while longer I remembered a few of the odious haunts of the 80’s I chose to leave buried in the past. The K-Swiss sneakers from 10th grade were not so embarrassing as the white Reebok high-tops I had to have in 9th grade and the orange neon pleather purse I just could not live without in 6th grade. Just Scary.

This year our daughter is about to embark on her first year in Kindergarten. In keeping with our newly found family traditions she got a new backpack, cialis 40mg a lunch box, and a new coat in addition to several new outfits. When the big day arrives we will take the much anticipated “first day of school” snapshot. To let her know we are thinking of her she will find a special note attached to a yummy (but healthy) treat inside her lunch pail. That night the dinner menu is kids choice (within reason). It is always nice to have a relaxing comforting meal at the end of a high anxiety day.

The following is a list of fun ways to help motivate the kids in preparing them for back to school.

  1. Back to School Shopping: Make a special day of it. Take your daughter for a pedicure, take the boys to the movies.
  2. Back Packs and Lunch Boxes: We have a tradition once the kids start Kindergarten they get a new backpack and lunch box.
  3. Special Breakfast: Try to avoid sugary foods that tend to cause the kids to crash. Fill their bellies and minds with hearty oatmeal or protein boosting eggs and toast. Pair proteins like nuts, eggs or yogurt with sugary dishes like pancakes.
  4. Back to School Brunch: The day before the big day invite friends or keep it just family to a back to school brunch. This is a more appropriate time to serve favorites such as cinnamon rolls or doughnuts. Set up a table with packages of needed school supplies such as crayons, pencils, rulers, paper, ect. Help the kids put their supplies in their backpacks so they are all ready for school in the morning.
  5. Back to School Dinner: If breakfast is too rushed plan a  special dinner. The menu can be kids choice, a family favorite, or go out to eat.
  6. Ice cream sundaes: Treat the kids to an ice cream dessert. Invite friends over after school or serve as a dessert with dinner.
  7. 1st day of School Photo: The first day of school picture can be a fun group photo or a single snapshot of each child. Some families like to use the same backdrop year after year. Have the kids hold up the same number of fingers as the grade they are entering or create a banner with their name and grade to stand in front of.
  8. Decorations: Secretly hang up balloons and streamers the night before to surprise them in the morning. Make a banner with glitter and markers for the front door that includes the kids names and grade.
  9. Make Goals: At breakfast or the day before gather as a family to come up with individual and family goals. Review goals once a month. Discuss what is expected of them at home and at school. No TV until chores and homework are done. If the week is hectic maybe you plan to move chores to saturday. If someone has a hard time with math discuss ways to help them.
  10. After School Treat: Bake homemade cookies for when they get home. Nothing says love like fresh baked bread or cookies.
  11. The Back to School Fairy or Magic School Bus: Leave a backpack filled with snacks and school supplies by their pillow or by the front door.
  12. German Schultuete: This giant posterboard cone is filled with back-to-school goodies and supplies as a token of good luck. Similar to a Christmas stocking. Decorate with stickers and markers or use fancy paper. Fill the Schultuete with edible treats, fun bright supplies (markers, glue, pens, erasers, Post-it notes, magnet letters, ect), and small trinkets or toys.
  13. 12 Days Before School: Hang the kid’s backpacks on their door. Put something new in it each day to count down the days to school.
  14. Color of the Day: Choose a color the whole family will wear on the first day.
  15. Swim and BBQ party: Plan a swim party before school starts or a week or two after. Waiting a week allows the kids to invite a friend or two from school. Have games to play or another kind of fun activity.
  16. Letter to Child: The start of school is a major milestone. Take the time to write a heart felt letter pointing out how proud you are of your child. List several attributes you admire about them and why.
  17. Classic Tradition: Come up with a fun song to sing or a story to read during breakfast each year on the 1st day of school.
  18. Walk to school together: If possible park several block away and walk your child to school. The leisurely stroll will help release some of the tention.
  19. Special Touches: Send the kids to school with a special treat in their lunch bag- a love note, a sandwich cut into a fun shape using cookie cutters, or a favorite snack.

Photo: Property of the CupcakeProject.com

When my oldest child was about to start kindergarten I had not begun to think about the yearly rites of passage. I was too consumed with the swirling emotions of sending my baby off to all day kindergarten. Stephen delightedly recalled memories of school clothes shopping and the first day of school photo. The mention of school shopping sent my mind back to the Saw Grass Mills Mall in South Florida. Who could ever forget retail bliss a mile long. As I reminisced a little while longer I remembered a few of the odious haunts of the 80’s I chose to leave buried in the past. The K-Swiss sneakers from 10th grade were not so embarrassing as the white Reebok high-tops I had to have in 9th grade and the orange neon pleather purse I just could not live without in 6th grade. Just Scary.

This year our daughter is about to embark on her first year in Kindergarten. In keeping with our newly found family traditions she got a new backpack, for sale a lunch box, medications and a new coat in addition to several new outfits. When the big day arrives we will take the much anticipated “first day of school” snapshot. To let her know we are thinking of her she will find a special note attached to a yummy (but healthy) treat inside her lunch pail. That night the dinner menu is kids choice (within reason). It is always nice to have a relaxing comforting meal at the end of a high anxiety day.

The following is a list of fun ways to help motivate the kids in preparing them for back to school.

  1. Back to School Shopping: Make a special day of it. Take your daughter for a pedicure, take the boys to the movies.
  2. Back Packs and Lunch Boxes: We have a tradition once the kids start Kindergarten they get a new backpack and lunch box.
  3. Special Breakfast: Try to avoid sugary foods that tend to cause the kids to crash. Fill their bellies and minds with hearty oatmeal or protein boosting eggs and toast. Pair proteins like nuts, eggs or yogurt with sugary dishes like pancakes.
  4. Back to School Brunch: The day before the big day invite friends or keep it just family to a back to school brunch. This is a more appropriate time to serve favorites such as cinnamon rolls or doughnuts. Set up a table with packages of needed school supplies such as crayons, pencils, rulers, paper, ect. Help the kids put their supplies in their backpacks so they are all ready for school in the morning.
  5. Back to School Dinner: If breakfast is too rushed plan a  special dinner. The menu can be kids choice, a family favorite, or go out to eat.
  6. Ice cream sundaes: Treat the kids to an ice cream dessert. Invite friends over after school or serve as a dessert with dinner.
  7. 1st day of School Photo: The first day of school picture can be a fun group photo or a single snapshot of each child. Some families like to use the same backdrop year after year. Have the kids hold up the same number of fingers as the grade they are entering or create a banner with their name and grade to stand in front of.
  8. Decorations: Secretly hang up balloons and streamers the night before to surprise them in the morning. Make a banner with glitter and markers for the front door that includes the kids names and grade.
  9. Make Goals: At breakfast or the day before gather as a family to come up with individual and family goals. Review goals once a month. Discuss what is expected of them at home and at school. No TV until chores and homework are done. If the week is hectic maybe you plan to move chores to saturday. If someone has a hard time with math discuss ways to help them.
  10. After School Treat: Bake homemade cookies for when they get home. Nothing says love like fresh baked bread or cookies.
  11. The Back to School Fairy or Magic School Bus: Leave a backpack filled with snacks and school supplies by their pillow or by the front door.
  12. German Schultuete: This giant posterboard cone is filled with back-to-school goodies and supplies as a token of good luck. Similar to a Christmas stocking. Decorate with stickers and markers or use fancy paper. Fill the Schultuete with edible treats, fun bright supplies (markers, glue, pens, erasers, Post-it notes, magnet letters, ect), and small trinkets or toys.
  13. 12 Days Before School: Hang the kid’s backpacks on their door. Put something new in it each day to count down the days to school.
  14. Color of the Day: Choose a color the whole family will wear on the first day.
  15. Swim and BBQ party: Plan a swim party before school starts or a week or two after. Waiting a week allows the kids to invite a friend or two from school. Have games to play or another kind of fun activity.
  16. Letter to Child: The start of school is a major milestone. Take the time to write a heart felt letter pointing out how proud you are of your child. List several attributes you admire about them and why.
  17. Classic Tradition: Come up with a fun song to sing or a story to read during breakfast each year on the 1st day of school.
  18. Walk to school together: If possible park several block away and walk your child to school. The leisurely stroll will help release some of the tention.
  19. Special Touches: Send the kids to school with a special treat in their lunch bag- a love note, a sandwich cut into a fun shape using cookie cutters, or a favorite snack.

The first time I had a strawberry daiquiri was down in the Florida Keys. My best friend’s family invited me along on their family trip that year. We were young teenagers at the time. The excitement unbearable. We thought we were so cool to hang out in the spa sipping a glass of non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiri.

The original daiquiri is believed to have originated in Cuba in the early 1900’s. The concoction combined three of the country’s largest exports: rum, seek sugar and lime juice. The modern day American strawberry daiquiri incorporates blended ice. Although daiquiri connoisseurs believe the classic slushy strays too far from its roots. The preferred method for rum purists is shaken not stirred.

Source: Ariane Hundt (Personal Trainer and Nutritionist)
5 ounces water
6-8 ice cubes
9-10 strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar, discount or sweeten to taste

Mix ingredients in blender. Serve in individuals glasses with a garnish of strawberry and whipped cream.

Serves: 4

Variations:
– Replace sugar with honey or agave syrup
– Add a shot of lime juice or grapefruit juice
The first time I had a strawberry daiquiri was down in the Florida Keys. My best friend’s family invited me along on their family trip that year. We were young teenagers at the time. The excitement unbearable. We thought we were so cool to hang out in the spa sipping a glass of non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiri.

The original daiquiri is believed to have originated in Cuba in the early 1900’s. The concoction combined three of the country’s largest exports: rum, cheap sugar and lime juice. The modern day American strawberry daiquiri incorporates blended ice. Although daiquiri connoisseurs believe the classic slushy strays too far from its roots. The preferred method for rum purists is shaken not stirred.

The strawberry season is coming to a close here in the valley. The farm stand’s daily rations are diminishing more and more each day. One farm stand has already cleared

Source: Ariane Hundt (Personal Trainer and Nutritionist)
5 ounces water
6-8 ice cubes
9-10 strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar, visit or sweeten to taste

Mix ingredients in blender. Serve in individuals glasses with a garnish of strawberry and whipped cream.

Serves: 4

Variations:
– Replace sugar with honey or agave syrup
– Add a shot of lime juice or grapefruit juice

Oriental Chicken Salad

The first time I had this salad was at my favorite Chinese restaurant, website like this it has been so long ago the name has escaped my memory. A friend of mine used to order it all the time. It was off menu so if any one wanted one of course they had to ask for it. Their salad consisted of iceberg lettuce, viagra order carrots, red cabbage, fried wonton strips and peanuts with a peanut dressing. The dressing in my version actually came from an Asian Chicken Wrap recipe. It has worked so far but I get bored after a while and start hunting for something new.

I used to make my own crispy chicken until I discovered pre-made crispy chicken in the freezer section.  Bake for 10 minutes. By the time the chicken has cooked and cooled, the salad is ready and on the table. I cut the chicken into smaller bites and serve. As far as the salad itself goes, you can also use a broccoli slaw mix with your favorite lettuce or bagged greens, pre-made Asian salad dressing and grilled chicken

Oriental Chicken Salad toppings

Dressing:
3 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup Mayonnaise or plain yogurt
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/8 tsp sesame oil

Blend ingredients well. Chill.

Salad: Use any combination
Romaine lettuce hearts
Napa and red cabbages
Baby spinach
1 carrot, chopped julienne
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
sliced almonds
crispy chow mein noodles
Mandarin Oranges

Crispy Chicken:
oil for frying
1 cup flour
salt and pepper
Skinless boneless chicken breast fillets. cut into bit size pieces
For crispy chicken: 1 egg, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup panko flakes or corn flakes

Heat oil in a pan. In a shallow bowl, combine flour, salt and pepper. Coat the chicken completely. Fry until cooked through.
For crispy chicken: In a small shallow bowl, combine flour with panko flakes, salt and pepper. In another bowl beat egg and milk. Dip chicken pieces into egg mixture then flour coating completely. Fry until cooked through.

Mexican Tostadas

I have always loved spicy food. I thought I could handle heat that is until at Seventeen I traveled cross county to Texas. The salsa there was so hot my mouth was inflamed for the rest of the day. I dared not eat another lick of the stuff the remainder of my visit in Texas. Upon my return home I remained adverse to hot spicy foods for sometime. Years later I returned to Texas. It was there I learned from many friends how to cook some of my most favorite Mexican dishes. One evening at Mrs. Rodriguez house I learned to make Tostadas complete with homemade refried beans. There are so many ways to make frijoles refritos but to be honest I have no problem using a can of store bought refried beans. It is super quick and before you know it dinner is on the table. I do however, shop enjoy making my own tortillas. Corn or flour can be used. Traditionally corn is the tortilla of choice but flour will work. The tortillas can be baked in the oven until crispy about 8 minutes on 375 degrees for a less fat version.

Serves 5-6
5-6 corn or flour tortillas
Vegetable oil
1 (15-ounce) can Refried beans
2 Romaine Lettuce Hearts or 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, page sliced thin
Shredded Cheddar or crumbled queso fresco or cotija cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 avocado, chopped or guacamole
1 small onion, diced
1 cup of Salsa
1/2 cup sliced radishes
1/2 cup diced Red Pepper

Pour about 1/4 inch of oil in a large skillet. Heat on medium-high until oil sizzles when a drop of water or crumb is placed in pan. (Not smoking hot) The tortilla should sizzle and bubble up instantly after it is placed
in the oil. If not the oil is not hot enough. Cook tortilla 30 seconds on each side until firm and crisp. Drain on a paper towel. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Meanwhile heat beans in a small pan. Stir in a little water, about 2-3 tablespoons stirring and mashing. Keep warm and moist.

To serve top tortilla with beans, lettuce, cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, cheese and then any other desired toppings.
The first time I had a strawberry daiquiri was in the Florida Keys. My best friend’s family invited me along on their family trip. We were young teenagers.

Source: Ariane Hundt (Personal Trainer and Nutritionist)
5 ounces water
6-8 ice cubes
9-10 strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar

Mix ingredients in blender. Serve in individuals glasses with a garnish of strawberry and whipped cream.

Photo: Property of the CupcakeProject.com

When my oldest child was about to start kindergarten I had not begun to think about the yearly rites of passage. I was too consumed with the swirling emotions of sending my baby off to all day kindergarten. Stephen delightedly recalled memories of school clothes shopping and the first day of school photo. The mention of school shopping sent my mind back to the Saw Grass Mills Mall in South Florida. Who could ever forget retail bliss a mile long. As I reminisced a little while longer I remembered a few of the odious haunts of the 80’s I chose to leave buried in the past. The K-Swiss sneakers from 10th grade were not so embarrassing as the white Reebok high-tops I had to have in 9th grade and the orange neon pleather purse I just could not live without in 6th grade. Just Scary.

This year our daughter is about to embark on her first year in Kindergarten. In keeping with our newly found family traditions she got a new backpack, cialis 40mg a lunch box, and a new coat in addition to several new outfits. When the big day arrives we will take the much anticipated “first day of school” snapshot. To let her know we are thinking of her she will find a special note attached to a yummy (but healthy) treat inside her lunch pail. That night the dinner menu is kids choice (within reason). It is always nice to have a relaxing comforting meal at the end of a high anxiety day.

The following is a list of fun ways to help motivate the kids in preparing them for back to school.

  1. Back to School Shopping: Make a special day of it. Take your daughter for a pedicure, take the boys to the movies.
  2. Back Packs and Lunch Boxes: We have a tradition once the kids start Kindergarten they get a new backpack and lunch box.
  3. Special Breakfast: Try to avoid sugary foods that tend to cause the kids to crash. Fill their bellies and minds with hearty oatmeal or protein boosting eggs and toast. Pair proteins like nuts, eggs or yogurt with sugary dishes like pancakes.
  4. Back to School Brunch: The day before the big day invite friends or keep it just family to a back to school brunch. This is a more appropriate time to serve favorites such as cinnamon rolls or doughnuts. Set up a table with packages of needed school supplies such as crayons, pencils, rulers, paper, ect. Help the kids put their supplies in their backpacks so they are all ready for school in the morning.
  5. Back to School Dinner: If breakfast is too rushed plan a  special dinner. The menu can be kids choice, a family favorite, or go out to eat.
  6. Ice cream sundaes: Treat the kids to an ice cream dessert. Invite friends over after school or serve as a dessert with dinner.
  7. 1st day of School Photo: The first day of school picture can be a fun group photo or a single snapshot of each child. Some families like to use the same backdrop year after year. Have the kids hold up the same number of fingers as the grade they are entering or create a banner with their name and grade to stand in front of.
  8. Decorations: Secretly hang up balloons and streamers the night before to surprise them in the morning. Make a banner with glitter and markers for the front door that includes the kids names and grade.
  9. Make Goals: At breakfast or the day before gather as a family to come up with individual and family goals. Review goals once a month. Discuss what is expected of them at home and at school. No TV until chores and homework are done. If the week is hectic maybe you plan to move chores to saturday. If someone has a hard time with math discuss ways to help them.
  10. After School Treat: Bake homemade cookies for when they get home. Nothing says love like fresh baked bread or cookies.
  11. The Back to School Fairy or Magic School Bus: Leave a backpack filled with snacks and school supplies by their pillow or by the front door.
  12. German Schultuete: This giant posterboard cone is filled with back-to-school goodies and supplies as a token of good luck. Similar to a Christmas stocking. Decorate with stickers and markers or use fancy paper. Fill the Schultuete with edible treats, fun bright supplies (markers, glue, pens, erasers, Post-it notes, magnet letters, ect), and small trinkets or toys.
  13. 12 Days Before School: Hang the kid’s backpacks on their door. Put something new in it each day to count down the days to school.
  14. Color of the Day: Choose a color the whole family will wear on the first day.
  15. Swim and BBQ party: Plan a swim party before school starts or a week or two after. Waiting a week allows the kids to invite a friend or two from school. Have games to play or another kind of fun activity.
  16. Letter to Child: The start of school is a major milestone. Take the time to write a heart felt letter pointing out how proud you are of your child. List several attributes you admire about them and why.
  17. Classic Tradition: Come up with a fun song to sing or a story to read during breakfast each year on the 1st day of school.
  18. Walk to school together: If possible park several block away and walk your child to school. The leisurely stroll will help release some of the tention.
  19. Special Touches: Send the kids to school with a special treat in their lunch bag- a love note, a sandwich cut into a fun shape using cookie cutters, or a favorite snack.

Photo: Property of the CupcakeProject.com

When my oldest child was about to start kindergarten I had not begun to think about the yearly rites of passage. I was too consumed with the swirling emotions of sending my baby off to all day kindergarten. Stephen delightedly recalled memories of school clothes shopping and the first day of school photo. The mention of school shopping sent my mind back to the Saw Grass Mills Mall in South Florida. Who could ever forget retail bliss a mile long. As I reminisced a little while longer I remembered a few of the odious haunts of the 80’s I chose to leave buried in the past. The K-Swiss sneakers from 10th grade were not so embarrassing as the white Reebok high-tops I had to have in 9th grade and the orange neon pleather purse I just could not live without in 6th grade. Just Scary.

This year our daughter is about to embark on her first year in Kindergarten. In keeping with our newly found family traditions she got a new backpack, for sale a lunch box, medications and a new coat in addition to several new outfits. When the big day arrives we will take the much anticipated “first day of school” snapshot. To let her know we are thinking of her she will find a special note attached to a yummy (but healthy) treat inside her lunch pail. That night the dinner menu is kids choice (within reason). It is always nice to have a relaxing comforting meal at the end of a high anxiety day.

The following is a list of fun ways to help motivate the kids in preparing them for back to school.

  1. Back to School Shopping: Make a special day of it. Take your daughter for a pedicure, take the boys to the movies.
  2. Back Packs and Lunch Boxes: We have a tradition once the kids start Kindergarten they get a new backpack and lunch box.
  3. Special Breakfast: Try to avoid sugary foods that tend to cause the kids to crash. Fill their bellies and minds with hearty oatmeal or protein boosting eggs and toast. Pair proteins like nuts, eggs or yogurt with sugary dishes like pancakes.
  4. Back to School Brunch: The day before the big day invite friends or keep it just family to a back to school brunch. This is a more appropriate time to serve favorites such as cinnamon rolls or doughnuts. Set up a table with packages of needed school supplies such as crayons, pencils, rulers, paper, ect. Help the kids put their supplies in their backpacks so they are all ready for school in the morning.
  5. Back to School Dinner: If breakfast is too rushed plan a  special dinner. The menu can be kids choice, a family favorite, or go out to eat.
  6. Ice cream sundaes: Treat the kids to an ice cream dessert. Invite friends over after school or serve as a dessert with dinner.
  7. 1st day of School Photo: The first day of school picture can be a fun group photo or a single snapshot of each child. Some families like to use the same backdrop year after year. Have the kids hold up the same number of fingers as the grade they are entering or create a banner with their name and grade to stand in front of.
  8. Decorations: Secretly hang up balloons and streamers the night before to surprise them in the morning. Make a banner with glitter and markers for the front door that includes the kids names and grade.
  9. Make Goals: At breakfast or the day before gather as a family to come up with individual and family goals. Review goals once a month. Discuss what is expected of them at home and at school. No TV until chores and homework are done. If the week is hectic maybe you plan to move chores to saturday. If someone has a hard time with math discuss ways to help them.
  10. After School Treat: Bake homemade cookies for when they get home. Nothing says love like fresh baked bread or cookies.
  11. The Back to School Fairy or Magic School Bus: Leave a backpack filled with snacks and school supplies by their pillow or by the front door.
  12. German Schultuete: This giant posterboard cone is filled with back-to-school goodies and supplies as a token of good luck. Similar to a Christmas stocking. Decorate with stickers and markers or use fancy paper. Fill the Schultuete with edible treats, fun bright supplies (markers, glue, pens, erasers, Post-it notes, magnet letters, ect), and small trinkets or toys.
  13. 12 Days Before School: Hang the kid’s backpacks on their door. Put something new in it each day to count down the days to school.
  14. Color of the Day: Choose a color the whole family will wear on the first day.
  15. Swim and BBQ party: Plan a swim party before school starts or a week or two after. Waiting a week allows the kids to invite a friend or two from school. Have games to play or another kind of fun activity.
  16. Letter to Child: The start of school is a major milestone. Take the time to write a heart felt letter pointing out how proud you are of your child. List several attributes you admire about them and why.
  17. Classic Tradition: Come up with a fun song to sing or a story to read during breakfast each year on the 1st day of school.
  18. Walk to school together: If possible park several block away and walk your child to school. The leisurely stroll will help release some of the tention.
  19. Special Touches: Send the kids to school with a special treat in their lunch bag- a love note, a sandwich cut into a fun shape using cookie cutters, or a favorite snack.

The first time I had a strawberry daiquiri was down in the Florida Keys. My best friend’s family invited me along on their family trip that year. We were young teenagers at the time. The excitement unbearable. We thought we were so cool to hang out in the spa sipping a glass of non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiri.

The original daiquiri is believed to have originated in Cuba in the early 1900’s. The concoction combined three of the country’s largest exports: rum, seek sugar and lime juice. The modern day American strawberry daiquiri incorporates blended ice. Although daiquiri connoisseurs believe the classic slushy strays too far from its roots. The preferred method for rum purists is shaken not stirred.

Source: Ariane Hundt (Personal Trainer and Nutritionist)
5 ounces water
6-8 ice cubes
9-10 strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar, discount or sweeten to taste

Mix ingredients in blender. Serve in individuals glasses with a garnish of strawberry and whipped cream.

Serves: 4

Variations:
– Replace sugar with honey or agave syrup
– Add a shot of lime juice or grapefruit juice
The first time I had a strawberry daiquiri was down in the Florida Keys. My best friend’s family invited me along on their family trip that year. We were young teenagers at the time. The excitement unbearable. We thought we were so cool to hang out in the spa sipping a glass of non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiri.

The original daiquiri is believed to have originated in Cuba in the early 1900’s. The concoction combined three of the country’s largest exports: rum, cheap sugar and lime juice. The modern day American strawberry daiquiri incorporates blended ice. Although daiquiri connoisseurs believe the classic slushy strays too far from its roots. The preferred method for rum purists is shaken not stirred.

The strawberry season is coming to a close here in the valley. The farm stand’s daily rations are diminishing more and more each day. One farm stand has already cleared

Source: Ariane Hundt (Personal Trainer and Nutritionist)
5 ounces water
6-8 ice cubes
9-10 strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar, visit or sweeten to taste

Mix ingredients in blender. Serve in individuals glasses with a garnish of strawberry and whipped cream.

Serves: 4

Variations:
– Replace sugar with honey or agave syrup
– Add a shot of lime juice or grapefruit juice

Oriental Chicken Salad

The first time I had this salad was at my favorite Chinese restaurant, website like this it has been so long ago the name has escaped my memory. A friend of mine used to order it all the time. It was off menu so if any one wanted one of course they had to ask for it. Their salad consisted of iceberg lettuce, viagra order carrots, red cabbage, fried wonton strips and peanuts with a peanut dressing. The dressing in my version actually came from an Asian Chicken Wrap recipe. It has worked so far but I get bored after a while and start hunting for something new.

I used to make my own crispy chicken until I discovered pre-made crispy chicken in the freezer section.  Bake for 10 minutes. By the time the chicken has cooked and cooled, the salad is ready and on the table. I cut the chicken into smaller bites and serve. As far as the salad itself goes, you can also use a broccoli slaw mix with your favorite lettuce or bagged greens, pre-made Asian salad dressing and grilled chicken

Oriental Chicken Salad toppings

Dressing:
3 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup Mayonnaise or plain yogurt
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/8 tsp sesame oil

Blend ingredients well. Chill.

Salad: Use any combination
Romaine lettuce hearts
Napa and red cabbages
Baby spinach
1 carrot, chopped julienne
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
sliced almonds
crispy chow mein noodles
Mandarin Oranges

Crispy Chicken:
oil for frying
1 cup flour
salt and pepper
Skinless boneless chicken breast fillets. cut into bit size pieces
For crispy chicken: 1 egg, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup panko flakes or corn flakes

Heat oil in a pan. In a shallow bowl, combine flour, salt and pepper. Coat the chicken completely. Fry until cooked through.
For crispy chicken: In a small shallow bowl, combine flour with panko flakes, salt and pepper. In another bowl beat egg and milk. Dip chicken pieces into egg mixture then flour coating completely. Fry until cooked through.

Mexican Tostadas

I have always loved spicy food. I thought I could handle heat that is until at Seventeen I traveled cross county to Texas. The salsa there was so hot my mouth was inflamed for the rest of the day. I dared not eat another lick of the stuff the remainder of my visit in Texas. Upon my return home I remained adverse to hot spicy foods for sometime. Years later I returned to Texas. It was there I learned from many friends how to cook some of my most favorite Mexican dishes. One evening at Mrs. Rodriguez house I learned to make Tostadas complete with homemade refried beans. There are so many ways to make frijoles refritos but to be honest I have no problem using a can of store bought refried beans. It is super quick and before you know it dinner is on the table. I do however, shop enjoy making my own tortillas. Corn or flour can be used. Traditionally corn is the tortilla of choice but flour will work. The tortillas can be baked in the oven until crispy about 8 minutes on 375 degrees for a less fat version.

Serves 5-6
5-6 corn or flour tortillas
Vegetable oil
1 (15-ounce) can Refried beans
2 Romaine Lettuce Hearts or 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, page sliced thin
Shredded Cheddar or crumbled queso fresco or cotija cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 avocado, chopped or guacamole
1 small onion, diced
1 cup of Salsa
1/2 cup sliced radishes
1/2 cup diced Red Pepper

Pour about 1/4 inch of oil in a large skillet. Heat on medium-high until oil sizzles when a drop of water or crumb is placed in pan. (Not smoking hot) The tortilla should sizzle and bubble up instantly after it is placed
in the oil. If not the oil is not hot enough. Cook tortilla 30 seconds on each side until firm and crisp. Drain on a paper towel. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Meanwhile heat beans in a small pan. Stir in a little water, about 2-3 tablespoons stirring and mashing. Keep warm and moist.

To serve top tortilla with beans, lettuce, cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, cheese and then any other desired toppings.

I made a pot of Pozole yesterday. Knowing I would have leftover shredded pork, website I decided to use some of the meat to make a Mexican pie. It is sort of like lasagna meets enchilada. Here, I used a pie plate making only three layers, because I wanted to use the extra filling for taco salad. You could also use any shape baking dish, cake pan or spring form pan.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 zucchini, diced
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon salt
Pinch black pepper
1/4 pound ground beef, cooked or shredded pork or chicken, chopped (optional)
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed
1 can (11 oz) corn niblets, drained
1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro
4 (6-10 inch) flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Garnish: sour cream or plain yogurt

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking dish, cake pan or 9-inch spring form pan with nonstick spray.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, saute until soft and translucent; about 5 minutes. Add zucchini, cumin, chili powder and salt; saute 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with juice, beans, corn, cilantro and meat; heat through.

Place a tortilla on the bottom of the baking dish. Top with a good layer of vegetable mixture; sprinkle with some cheese. Add another tortilla and repeat making 4 layers ending with vegetable mixture and a sprinkle of cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted. Cool 5-10 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve with sour cream and salsa, if desired.

Variations:
To add a little spice, use diced tomatoes with green chilies or add a cup of medium to hot heat salsa.

A couple of years ago, ambulance abortion all the older kids wanted for dinner was pizza, erectile pill hot dogs or mac and cheese. Just having baby number three, I complied for a little while until I could get back on my feet. I began asking friends what they usually made for dinner. A couple ideas I liked were “chicken and rice with peas” and taco salad. Taco salad had never crossed my mind. So I asked, “What do you put on a taco salad?” Her reply, “ground beef, corn, black beans, cheese…” The possibilities are endless I imagine. For now, we will start with the basics.

Meat: ground beed, shredded chicken or pork
Beans: chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, refried beans
Shredded lettuce
Shredded cabbage
Corn, frozen or canned
Chopped veggies: Celery cucumber, raddish, carrots, zucchini, peppers
Salsa
Sour cream or plain yogurt
Salad dressing (optional)
Nacho chips (optional)

Place a cup full of shredded lettuce on a plate. Top with any combination of toppings.

In the photo, I used left-over filling from my “stacked Mexican pie“. For the dressing, I mixed together some yogurt and salsa.

A couple of years ago, ambulance abortion all the older kids wanted for dinner was pizza, erectile pill hot dogs or mac and cheese. Just having baby number three, I complied for a little while until I could get back on my feet. I began asking friends what they usually made for dinner. A couple ideas I liked were “chicken and rice with peas” and taco salad. Taco salad had never crossed my mind. So I asked, “What do you put on a taco salad?” Her reply, “ground beef, corn, black beans, cheese…” The possibilities are endless I imagine. For now, we will start with the basics.

Meat: ground beed, shredded chicken or pork
Beans: chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, refried beans
Shredded lettuce
Shredded cabbage
Corn, frozen or canned
Chopped veggies: Celery cucumber, raddish, carrots, zucchini, peppers
Salsa
Sour cream or plain yogurt
Salad dressing (optional)
Nacho chips (optional)

Place a cup full of shredded lettuce on a plate. Top with any combination of toppings.

In the photo, I used left-over filling from my “stacked Mexican pie“. For the dressing, I mixed together some yogurt and salsa.

I made a pot of Pozole yesterday. Knowing I would have leftover shredded pork, information pills I decided to use some of the meat to make a Mexican pie. It is sort of like lasagna meets enchilada. Here, clinic I used a pie plate making only three layers, because I wanted to use the extra filling for taco salad. You could also use any shape baking dish, cake pan or spring form pan.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 zucchini, diced
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 pound ground beef, cooked or shredded pork or chicken, chopped (optional)
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed
1 can (11 oz) corn niblets, drained
1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro
4 (6 – 10 inch) flour tortillas
1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar
Garnish: reduced-fat sour cream

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking dish, cake pan or 9-inch spring form pan with nonstick spray.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, saute until soft and translucent; about 5 minutes. Add zucchini, cumin, chili powder and salt; saute 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with juice, beans, corn, cilantro and meat; heat through.

Place a tortilla on the bottom of the baking dish. Top with a good layer of vegetable mixture; sprinkle with some cheese. Add another tortilla and repeat making 4 layers ending with vegetable mixture and a sprinkle of cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted. Cool 5-10 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve with sour cream and salsa, if desired.

Variations:
To add a little spice, use diced tomatoes with green chilies or add a cup of medium to hot heat salsa.

A couple of years ago, ambulance abortion all the older kids wanted for dinner was pizza, erectile pill hot dogs or mac and cheese. Just having baby number three, I complied for a little while until I could get back on my feet. I began asking friends what they usually made for dinner. A couple ideas I liked were “chicken and rice with peas” and taco salad. Taco salad had never crossed my mind. So I asked, “What do you put on a taco salad?” Her reply, “ground beef, corn, black beans, cheese…” The possibilities are endless I imagine. For now, we will start with the basics.

Meat: ground beed, shredded chicken or pork
Beans: chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, refried beans
Shredded lettuce
Shredded cabbage
Corn, frozen or canned
Chopped veggies: Celery cucumber, raddish, carrots, zucchini, peppers
Salsa
Sour cream or plain yogurt
Salad dressing (optional)
Nacho chips (optional)

Place a cup full of shredded lettuce on a plate. Top with any combination of toppings.

In the photo, I used left-over filling from my “stacked Mexican pie“. For the dressing, I mixed together some yogurt and salsa.

I made a pot of Pozole yesterday. Knowing I would have leftover shredded pork, information pills I decided to use some of the meat to make a Mexican pie. It is sort of like lasagna meets enchilada. Here, clinic I used a pie plate making only three layers, because I wanted to use the extra filling for taco salad. You could also use any shape baking dish, cake pan or spring form pan.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 zucchini, diced
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 pound ground beef, cooked or shredded pork or chicken, chopped (optional)
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed
1 can (11 oz) corn niblets, drained
1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro
4 (6 – 10 inch) flour tortillas
1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar
Garnish: reduced-fat sour cream

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking dish, cake pan or 9-inch spring form pan with nonstick spray.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, saute until soft and translucent; about 5 minutes. Add zucchini, cumin, chili powder and salt; saute 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with juice, beans, corn, cilantro and meat; heat through.

Place a tortilla on the bottom of the baking dish. Top with a good layer of vegetable mixture; sprinkle with some cheese. Add another tortilla and repeat making 4 layers ending with vegetable mixture and a sprinkle of cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted. Cool 5-10 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve with sour cream and salsa, if desired.

Variations:
To add a little spice, use diced tomatoes with green chilies or add a cup of medium to hot heat salsa.

Chicken Enchiladas with red sauce

I learned how to make enchiladas from Dora Osoria in Baybrook Texas. I took the method of making enchiladas from Dora and the Red Enchilada Sauce from Allrecipes. Some comments say the sauce tastes like marinara sauce. But I am not a fan of the stuff at the restaurants anyway. I like more flavor less heat.
Earlier this year we went to a local Mexican restaurant where Stephen ordered his usual enchilada. This time what the waitress gave him did not look like an enchilada at all. The waitress explained it was a stacked enchilada. Cooks faster. Pretty clever.

Serving Size 10
Chicken- cook 4 large chicken breasts in 1 cup broth, there 1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro, buy more about 1 tsp ground cumin, diagnosis 1 tsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1 tsp oregano, pinch salt and pepper. Cook until almost done, slightly pink. Shred, put aside.

Sauce-
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large cloves garlic (sometimes I add up to 5 cloves)
1/2 tbsp minced onion
1/2 tsp oregano
2 1/2 tsp chili powder OR 1/8 chili powder plus 1/8 ground red pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
1/2 tsp basil
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin
1 tsp cilantro
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce, plus 1 can water
1 (4oz) can tomato paste, plus 1 can water
Cheese, Mexican blend or shredded cheddar and Monterey, about 1 pound

Heat oil in pan on medium-high. Saute garlic and onion slightly until fragrant about 1 minute. Add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer 20 minutes. Cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 350. Pour a little sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 inch baking dish, enough to cover the bottom. Lay tortilla in sauce, flip. Place on of working surface, sprinkle cheese and shredded chicken. Fold up and place in dish. Once pan is full drizzle some sauce over enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 30 minutes. Until cheese is melted and golden brown.

I made a pot of Pozole yesterday. Knowing I would have leftover shredded pork, prostate generic I decided to use some of the meat to make a Mexican pie. It is sort of like lasagna meets enchilada. Here, cost I used a pie plate making only three layers, site because I wanted to use the extra filling for taco salad. You could also use any shape baking dish, cake pan or spring form pan.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 zucchini, diced
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch black pepper
1/4 pound ground beef, cooked or shredded pork or chicken, chopped (optional)
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed
1 can (11 oz) corn niblets, drained
1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro
4 (6-10 inch) flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Garnish: sour cream or plain yogurt

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking dish, cake pan or 9-inch spring form pan with nonstick spray.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, saute until soft and translucent; about 5 minutes. Add zucchini, cumin, chili powder and salt; saute 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with juice, beans, corn, cilantro and meat; heat through.

Place a tortilla on the bottom of the baking dish. Top with a good layer of vegetable mixture; sprinkle with some cheese. Add another tortilla and repeat making 4 layers ending with vegetable mixture and a sprinkle of cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted. Cool 5-10 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve with sour cream and salsa, if desired.

Variations:
To add a little spice, use diced tomatoes with green chilies or add a cup of medium to hot heat salsa.

I made a pot of Pozole yesterday. Knowing I would have leftover shredded pork, prostate generic I decided to use some of the meat to make a Mexican pie. It is sort of like lasagna meets enchilada. Here, cost I used a pie plate making only three layers, site because I wanted to use the extra filling for taco salad. You could also use any shape baking dish, cake pan or spring form pan.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 zucchini, diced
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch black pepper
1/4 pound ground beef, cooked or shredded pork or chicken, chopped (optional)
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed
1 can (11 oz) corn niblets, drained
1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro
4 (6-10 inch) flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Garnish: sour cream or plain yogurt

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking dish, cake pan or 9-inch spring form pan with nonstick spray.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, saute until soft and translucent; about 5 minutes. Add zucchini, cumin, chili powder and salt; saute 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with juice, beans, corn, cilantro and meat; heat through.

Place a tortilla on the bottom of the baking dish. Top with a good layer of vegetable mixture; sprinkle with some cheese. Add another tortilla and repeat making 4 layers ending with vegetable mixture and a sprinkle of cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted. Cool 5-10 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve with sour cream and salsa, if desired.

Variations:
To add a little spice, use diced tomatoes with green chilies or add a cup of medium to hot heat salsa.

Chicken Enchiladas with red sauce

I learned how to make enchiladas from Dora Osoria in Baybrook Texas. I took the method of making enchiladas from Dora and adapted the Red Enchilada Sauce from Allrecipes.

Earlier this year we went to a local Mexican restaurant where Stephen ordered his usual enchilada. This time what the waitress gave him did not look like an enchilada at all. The waitress explained it was a stacked enchilada. Cooks faster. Pretty clever.

Serving Size 10
Chicken- cook 4 large chicken breasts in 1 cup broth, this 1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro, adiposity 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1 tsp oregano, pinch salt and pepper. Cook until almost done, slightly pink. Shred, put aside.

Sauce-
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large cloves garlic (sometimes I add up to 5 cloves)
1/2 tablespoon minced onion
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce, plus 1 can water
1 (4oz) can tomato paste, plus 1 can water
Cheese, Mexican blend or shredded cheddar and Monterey, about 1 pound
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat oil in pan on medium-high. Saute garlic and onion slightly until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the oregano, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Simmer 20 minutes. Cool slightly.

Toss the cilantro with the shredded chicken.

Pour a little sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 inch baking dish, enough to cover the bottom. Lay tortilla in sauce, flip. Place on of working surface, sprinkle with cheese and shredded chicken. Fold up and place in dish. Once pan is full drizzle some sauce over enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 30 minutes; until cheese is melted and golden brown.

I made a pot of Pozole yesterday. Knowing I would have leftover shredded pork, prostate generic I decided to use some of the meat to make a Mexican pie. It is sort of like lasagna meets enchilada. Here, cost I used a pie plate making only three layers, site because I wanted to use the extra filling for taco salad. You could also use any shape baking dish, cake pan or spring form pan.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 zucchini, diced
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch black pepper
1/4 pound ground beef, cooked or shredded pork or chicken, chopped (optional)
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed
1 can (11 oz) corn niblets, drained
1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro
4 (6-10 inch) flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Garnish: sour cream or plain yogurt

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking dish, cake pan or 9-inch spring form pan with nonstick spray.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, saute until soft and translucent; about 5 minutes. Add zucchini, cumin, chili powder and salt; saute 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with juice, beans, corn, cilantro and meat; heat through.

Place a tortilla on the bottom of the baking dish. Top with a good layer of vegetable mixture; sprinkle with some cheese. Add another tortilla and repeat making 4 layers ending with vegetable mixture and a sprinkle of cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted. Cool 5-10 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve with sour cream and salsa, if desired.

Variations:
To add a little spice, use diced tomatoes with green chilies or add a cup of medium to hot heat salsa.

Chicken Enchiladas with red sauce

I learned how to make enchiladas from Dora Osoria in Baybrook Texas. I took the method of making enchiladas from Dora and adapted the Red Enchilada Sauce from Allrecipes.

Earlier this year we went to a local Mexican restaurant where Stephen ordered his usual enchilada. This time what the waitress gave him did not look like an enchilada at all. The waitress explained it was a stacked enchilada. Cooks faster. Pretty clever.

Serving Size 10
Chicken- cook 4 large chicken breasts in 1 cup broth, this 1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro, adiposity 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1 tsp oregano, pinch salt and pepper. Cook until almost done, slightly pink. Shred, put aside.

Sauce-
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large cloves garlic (sometimes I add up to 5 cloves)
1/2 tablespoon minced onion
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce, plus 1 can water
1 (4oz) can tomato paste, plus 1 can water
Cheese, Mexican blend or shredded cheddar and Monterey, about 1 pound
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat oil in pan on medium-high. Saute garlic and onion slightly until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the oregano, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Simmer 20 minutes. Cool slightly.

Toss the cilantro with the shredded chicken.

Pour a little sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 inch baking dish, enough to cover the bottom. Lay tortilla in sauce, flip. Place on of working surface, sprinkle with cheese and shredded chicken. Fold up and place in dish. Once pan is full drizzle some sauce over enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 30 minutes; until cheese is melted and golden brown.

There is something so rewarding about reaching in to my pantry for a jar of homemade jam. Last summer I made certain to stock the pantry well. We ran out of jam in the spring. So I made double batches of strawberry, nurse raspberry, information pills and nectarine. The jam lasted us well into this summer.

For raspberry jam see the post Beginners Raspberry Jam 101.

Making jam can seem daunting at first. But after a couple of tries the fear subsides. It is always easier to make jam for the first time with a friend. Preferably someone who has some experience. So grab a buddy and a bushel of fruit before the season is over.

Source: PickYourOwn.org
Equipment:
Large canning pot, stuff with insert
Small sauce pan for sterilizing lids
Large pot for cooking the jam in
Jar funnel
Canning Tongs
Ladle
4-5 sterilized 1/2 pint jars with lids and rings

4 cups of peeled, pitted, and chopped nectarines or peaches (about 4 pounds)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
7 cups sugar
1 package powdered Pectin

Fill canning pot, sauce pan, and stock pot with water. Bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, wash jars, rings, and lids.

Lower the temperature of the canning pot to a simmer. Set jars in canning pot.
until ready to use.

Put the lids in a small sauce pan with water. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat. Leave the lids in the hot water until ready to use.

Wash the fruit removing any mushy fruit, stems and leaves. Cut a shallow X on the bottom of each nectarine. Place fruit in the boiling water of the stock pot. Let process for a minute (if ripe) or longer (if unripe). Drain water. Pour ice cold water and ice gently over nectarines. Cover with a lid for 1 to 2 minutes. The skins should easily peel off.

Remove the nectarines from the pot. Rinse pot.
Cut fruit into quarters and dice. Place back in stock pot. Mash fruit slightly leaving some whole bits.

Combine nectarines, pectin, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over high heat (stirring often to prevent burning). Add the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Return to a boil (it continues to boil even when stirred). Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Turn off heat and remove from stove. Remove jars and lids from the water and place on a clean dish towel.

Skim off any foam from the top of the jam. (*Use the sugary foam to sweeten popsicles or smoothies.)

Place the funnel in the mouth of a jar. Use the ladle to pour hot jam into prepared jars; filling up no higher than 1/4-inch from the top of the jar. Wipe the rim of the jar with a warm wet cloth or paper towel to remove any syrup.

Cap with the lid and screw on the ring. Return the filled jars to the canning pot of water. Adjust the water level to cover the jars by 1 to 2 inches. Return the heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover and process (boil) for 10 minutes. (**boil longer if at higher altitude*)

Turn off the heat. Carefully remove the lid. Use the canning tongs to remove the jars from the water bath. The lids should immediately make popping sounds. This indicates that the jars are sealing. Test each lid by pressing down in the middle of the lid. If there is a slight bump that is raised and pops back up when pressed, the jar is not sealed. Let the jar sit for an hour. If the jar has not sealed store the jar in the refrigerator. Sealed jars can be stored in the pantry.

New Mexico Sopaipillas

I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, pills boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.

I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, pills boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
This recipe was THE popular weekly dinner menu item with my circle of friends. No one knew exactly where it came from, medical though. One person thought it was this person’s, and and that person thought it was someone else, and that person thought it was….. well you get the picture. I followed all the someone’s back to my friend Cathy Carter. She got the recipe from her Grandmother. Then one day when I was looking through a cookbook of crock pot recipes, low and behold there it was, but with a slight variation. Once you try it you’ll know why it is a favorite.

1 packet Italian salad dressing mix
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup (cream of celery or mushroom can be substituted)
6 chicken breasts

Place all the ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.

Now for the variations: For the fat free version, in place of the cream cheese and cream of soup use a cup of water. For the less fat version, omit the cream cheese. I have also made this dish on the stove top.

I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, pills boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
This recipe was THE popular weekly dinner menu item with my circle of friends. No one knew exactly where it came from, medical though. One person thought it was this person’s, and and that person thought it was someone else, and that person thought it was….. well you get the picture. I followed all the someone’s back to my friend Cathy Carter. She got the recipe from her Grandmother. Then one day when I was looking through a cookbook of crock pot recipes, low and behold there it was, but with a slight variation. Once you try it you’ll know why it is a favorite.

1 packet Italian salad dressing mix
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup (cream of celery or mushroom can be substituted)
6 chicken breasts

Place all the ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.

Now for the variations: For the fat free version, in place of the cream cheese and cream of soup use a cup of water. For the less fat version, omit the cream cheese. I have also made this dish on the stove top.
I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, here boil chicken broth, viagra 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.

I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, pills boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
This recipe was THE popular weekly dinner menu item with my circle of friends. No one knew exactly where it came from, medical though. One person thought it was this person’s, and and that person thought it was someone else, and that person thought it was….. well you get the picture. I followed all the someone’s back to my friend Cathy Carter. She got the recipe from her Grandmother. Then one day when I was looking through a cookbook of crock pot recipes, low and behold there it was, but with a slight variation. Once you try it you’ll know why it is a favorite.

1 packet Italian salad dressing mix
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup (cream of celery or mushroom can be substituted)
6 chicken breasts

Place all the ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.

Now for the variations: For the fat free version, in place of the cream cheese and cream of soup use a cup of water. For the less fat version, omit the cream cheese. I have also made this dish on the stove top.
I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, here boil chicken broth, viagra 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.

I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, boil chicken broth, more about 1/2 cup of the milk, abortion and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.

I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, pills boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
This recipe was THE popular weekly dinner menu item with my circle of friends. No one knew exactly where it came from, medical though. One person thought it was this person’s, and and that person thought it was someone else, and that person thought it was….. well you get the picture. I followed all the someone’s back to my friend Cathy Carter. She got the recipe from her Grandmother. Then one day when I was looking through a cookbook of crock pot recipes, low and behold there it was, but with a slight variation. Once you try it you’ll know why it is a favorite.

1 packet Italian salad dressing mix
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup (cream of celery or mushroom can be substituted)
6 chicken breasts

Place all the ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.

Now for the variations: For the fat free version, in place of the cream cheese and cream of soup use a cup of water. For the less fat version, omit the cream cheese. I have also made this dish on the stove top.
I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, here boil chicken broth, viagra 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.

I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, boil chicken broth, more about 1/2 cup of the milk, abortion and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
This recipe was THE popular weekly dinner menu item with my circle of friends. No one knew exactly where it came from, look though. One person thought it was this person’s, decease and that person thought it was someone else, viagra approved and that person thought it was….. well you get the picture. I followed all the someone’s back to my friend Cathy Carter. She got the recipe from her Grandmother. Then one day when I was looking through a cookbook of crock pot recipes, low and behold there it was, but with a slight variation. Once you try it you’ll know why it is a favorite.

***Adapted August 5, 2012***
I have since adapted this recipe to eliminate the processed and canned ingredients. The original recipe called for canned condensed chicken soup and an Italian seasonings packet. Review the notes under variations for these substitutions. For variations to the homemade versions of Italian seasonings and condensed chicken follow the links provided.

Source: Cathy’s Grandmother
2 tablespoons Italian season mix (recipe below)
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
6 chicken breasts
2 cups cream of chicken (based on recipe below)

Place all the ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.

Italian Seasonings Mix:
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
2 tablespoons salt

In a small bowl, mix together the garlic salt, onion powder, sugar, oregano, pepper, thyme, basil, parsley, celery salt and regular salt. Store in a tightly sealed container.

Cream of Chicken:
1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).
In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Variations:
– 1 can cream of chicken soup (cream of celery or mushroom can be substituted)
– In place of above seasoning use 1 packet Italian salad dressing powdered mix.
– Fat free version, in place of the cream cheese and cream of soup use a cup of water.
– Low fat version, omit the cream cheese.

I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, pills boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
This recipe was THE popular weekly dinner menu item with my circle of friends. No one knew exactly where it came from, medical though. One person thought it was this person’s, and and that person thought it was someone else, and that person thought it was….. well you get the picture. I followed all the someone’s back to my friend Cathy Carter. She got the recipe from her Grandmother. Then one day when I was looking through a cookbook of crock pot recipes, low and behold there it was, but with a slight variation. Once you try it you’ll know why it is a favorite.

1 packet Italian salad dressing mix
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup (cream of celery or mushroom can be substituted)
6 chicken breasts

Place all the ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.

Now for the variations: For the fat free version, in place of the cream cheese and cream of soup use a cup of water. For the less fat version, omit the cream cheese. I have also made this dish on the stove top.
I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, here boil chicken broth, viagra 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.

I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, boil chicken broth, more about 1/2 cup of the milk, abortion and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
This recipe was THE popular weekly dinner menu item with my circle of friends. No one knew exactly where it came from, look though. One person thought it was this person’s, decease and that person thought it was someone else, viagra approved and that person thought it was….. well you get the picture. I followed all the someone’s back to my friend Cathy Carter. She got the recipe from her Grandmother. Then one day when I was looking through a cookbook of crock pot recipes, low and behold there it was, but with a slight variation. Once you try it you’ll know why it is a favorite.

***Adapted August 5, 2012***
I have since adapted this recipe to eliminate the processed and canned ingredients. The original recipe called for canned condensed chicken soup and an Italian seasonings packet. Review the notes under variations for these substitutions. For variations to the homemade versions of Italian seasonings and condensed chicken follow the links provided.

Source: Cathy’s Grandmother
2 tablespoons Italian season mix (recipe below)
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
6 chicken breasts
2 cups cream of chicken (based on recipe below)

Place all the ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.

Italian Seasonings Mix:
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
2 tablespoons salt

In a small bowl, mix together the garlic salt, onion powder, sugar, oregano, pepper, thyme, basil, parsley, celery salt and regular salt. Store in a tightly sealed container.

Cream of Chicken:
1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).
In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Variations:
– 1 can cream of chicken soup (cream of celery or mushroom can be substituted)
– In place of above seasoning use 1 packet Italian salad dressing powdered mix.
– Fat free version, in place of the cream cheese and cream of soup use a cup of water.
– Low fat version, omit the cream cheese.

When I was a teenager I traveled with my best friend Cindy and her mom across the United States from Southern Florida to the Mid West. We saw Texas, website like this New Mexico, adiposity Arizona, sale Colorado and the Grand Canyon, then drove on to Utah to pick up her sister. While in New Mexico we dined at a local Mexican restaurant. The highlight of the meal was Sopaipillas; a fried square puff of bread, similar to the Native American fry bread, served with butter and honey.

I made these for the kids this week for our back to school celebration party. I dusted some with powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, or spread with butter and drizzled with honey. They went nuts asking if they could take some to the neighbors. So we ended up feeding most of the neighbor kids too. The way to eat them is you tear a corner off, drop a little butter in the hole, and then drizzle the cavity with honey. So tasty! They have a slight crisp to the outside and the inside is doughnut heaven.

* The heat of the oil is very important. The oil should not be too hot nor to cool. If it is too hot the dough will burn quickly resulting in crunchy not crispy sopaipillas. If the oil is too cool then the dough will absorb more oil as it cooks longer making the sopaipillas soggy. I do not fry foods hardly ever so it is hard to remember from year to year the trick to heating oil. This time I took notes. I started heating the oil over medium heat before making the dough. By the time the dough was ready to rest I could smell the oil. I turned the heat down to medium low while the dough rested. Then turned it back to medium while I rolled and cut the dough. The dough was a perfect light brown after 10 seconds.

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon shortening
3/4 cup warm water
Canola oil for frying

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, powder, and salt. Cut in the shortening with a pastry cutter or your hands. Using a fork or hands, gradually stir in the warm water. Knead and mix the dough until the dough forms a loose ball. (dough will be crumbly) Turn out onto a flat surface and knead. (you should not need any flour but if the dough is too sticky lightly dust the surface with flour.) Knead the dough until it is smooth, about 5 to 10 minutes. Divide the dough in half and let sit covered with a hand towel.

Beginning with one half of the dough, roll into a large square to a 1/8-inch thickness. Cut the dough into 9 equal pieces by cutting the dough into thirds both horizontally and vertically. Repeat with the other half of dough.

* Pour oil 1 to 2 inches thick in a deep rimmed skillet. Carefully place squares of dough in hot oil (careful not to overcrowd). Cook for 10 to 30 seconds each side. The cooked side should be lightly browned. Remove fried dough from the oil and drain on paper towels.

To serve: Dust with powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar immediately after removing from the oil or serve with butter and honey.

Variations:
– Gluten free version to come. Any ideas please comment.
– Use sunflower oil for corn allergies.
– Use coconut oil in place of shortening

DIY Ice Cream in a Bag

This is a tutorial on how to make an olympic torch for backyard Olympic Games.

I got the original idea off Kaboose. It uses poster board and tissue paper. I did not have any tissue paper. I did however have rolls of yellow and hot pink cellophane from Easter. Instead of a poster board base we used a paper towel roll. The effect was just as magical.

Step 1: Cut large squares of cellophane.

Step 2: pick up each square of cellophane from the center of the square holding them in your hand like a bouquet of flowers.

Step 4: Twist the part in your hand and insert into the paper towel roll.
This is a tutorial on how to make an olympic torch for backyard Olympic Games.

I got the original idea off Kaboose. It uses poster board and tissue paper. I did not have any tissue paper. I did however have rolls of yellow and hot pink cellophane from Easter. Instead of a poster board base we used a paper towel roll. The effect was just as magical.

Step 1: Cut large squares of cellophane.

Step 2: pick up each square of cellophane from the center of the square holding them in your hand like a bouquet of flowers.

Step 4: Twist the part in your hand and insert into the paper towel roll.

In May the Olympic torch was lit in Greece. It has been traveling the land passing from hand to hand well on its way to the London Summer Olympics. My children and I have had many conversations about the amount of hard work and dedication it takes to make it to the olympics. They are ecstatic to catch a glimpse of some of the best of the best the world has to offer.

Meanwhile, information pills as we wait for the July 27th Olympic debut, viagra 40mg we had a go at our own summer olympic games.

Day 1: Opening Ceremony and Field Games

Opening Ceremony-

Clipart: Runner with Torch by Dixie Allen via About.com

Days prior to or morning of, have each child make a flag to represent them. Each child waves their flag as they walk in line around the block, backyard, park, or area where the olympics are being held. The leader of the line carries the torch part way then hands it off to the person behind him. Repeat passing the torch until the torch reaches the last person in line.

[**we walked around the gym then separated the group into teams as they neared the starting area. I had four cones set up on one side of the gym. We had four groups of four. So as the procession neared the area where the cones were we directed the first four kids into the first lane behind the cone. The second group of four into the second lane and so on. You could let them pick teams beforehand.]

Photo: Field Day, by Sam Wolfe via Flickr

Field Games-

Spoon Relay-
Give a spoon to each team. Each person gets a marshmallow (I found these enormous marshmallows at the grocery store). Set up cones or some type of marker about 30 to 50 feet from the starting line. Place the marshmallow on the spoon. Players must hold the spoon by the end of the handle. The first person in line of each team then walks down to the cone and back. Once they have reached the starting line the next person takes the spoon, places their marshmallow on the spoon, and then proceeds to the cone. First team to finish wins.

[**Decide beforehand what to do if the marshmallow falls off the spoon. Since we had quite a few little guys we opted to just place the marshmallow back on the spoon and continue. Depending on the age group one rule could be if it falls they are disqualified or they have to go back to the starting line and start over.**]

Bing Bag Balance-
The first person of each team gets a bing bag. They place it on top of their head. The object of the game is to race down to the cone and back without dropping the bag. First team to finnish wins.
[Same rules applied as with the spoon race.]

Wheel Barrel Race-
Each team separates into twos. Each group of two decides who will hold their teammates feet and who will walk on their hands. The first set of twos walk down to the cones then back. Team member tags the second pair in line then they go. First team to finnish wins.

[We had a young group so walking down to the cone and back would have been quite a heavy challenge. We did not want to kill anyone off so we sent the second set of twos down to the cone. Once the first group reached the cone then the second set could go.]

Three Legged Race-
Pair off members of each team. Connect each pair of children by tying a length of fabric around the ankle and/or knee. Start the race with the first group of twos walking to the cone and back. Once back the team member tags the second pair. First team to finnish wins.

Relay Race-
Each team races to the cones and back. Tags the next team member. First team to finnish wins.

Hula Hoop Roll-
Each team gets a hula hoop. First group rolls their hoops down to the cones and back. Hands of hoop to next team member. First team to finnish wins.

Shot Put-
Make a Shot Put ball by crumpling up tin foil until it reaches the desired size, slightly bigger than a softball. Smooth out the lumps by putting pressure with your hands while rolling the ball around on a hard surface. You will need enough for each team. [1 ball takes about half a roll of foil.]
Place a base or tape on the ground to mark where to stand.
To play, one member from each team must come forward and stand on their team’s mark. Bend the knees, and without stepping forward or backward, raise the ball to the ear then throw. Team with farthest average wins.

Hammer Throw-
To make, take a large brown paper bag and stuff it with newspapers careful to leave enough room to close and make a handle. Gather the bottom together and twist to make a handle. Wrap the handle with fabric or duct tape. Wrap the hammer part with duct tape, otherwise it will bust open after a few throws. Tie a piece of twine around the handle.

To play, one member from each team swings the hammer around above their head then releases. Team with farthest average wins.

Photo: Catch a Falling Star, by Paul Sapiano via Flickr

Day 3: Water Races

Water balloon Toss-
Divide group into twos. Stand groups in two long rows facing their partner and close enough to touch. The first side tosses the balloon to their partner. If they catch it then the both of them take a step backwards. If the balloon falls and breaks that pair is out. Repeat until there is one pair left. They are the winner.

Water Sponge Relay-
Set up a starting line with large buckets of water and empty buckets about 30 feet away for each team. Place a sponge in each bucket of water. Have a hose nearby to refill starting bucket as needed.
The first person of each team dunks their sponge in the bucket of water, runs down to the empty bucket, squeezes out the water into the bucket, and then runs back to hand the sponge off to the next person in line. First team to fill their bucket wins.

Sprinkler Tug-o-war-
Divide group into two groups or compete by teams. Lay out a tug-o-war rope with a knot in the center. Place a sprinkler on the group at the center of the rope. Each team takes a side trying to pull the other team into the water from the sprinkler.

Water Bomb-
Fill a large bucket with water and sponges. Keep a hose nearby to refill the bucket. This can be played like tag, dodge ball or a free for all. To play free for all everyone gets a sponge and throws it at each other. To play tag then only the “IT” person gets the sponge to tag with. To play dodgeball, set up buckets in a row in the middle of the playing area. This line cannot be crossed by opposing teams. Players rush to grab a sponge to throw at opposing team members to tag out.

Blanket Balloon Toss-
Use a blanker, parachute, or large sheet. Everyone grabs part of the sheet. Place water balloons on top of the sheet then bounce.

Water Hose Limbo-
Use a hose as a limbo stick.

Drip, Drip, Drench-
Played just like “Duck, Duck, Goose!” instead use the words Drip Drip Drench and a very wet sponge to pat heads with.

Mr. Wilson-
Played just like “What Time is it Mr. Wolf?”. To play one person is it. He stands on one side of the playing area. The rest of the group lines up on the opposite side of the playing area. They ask “What Time is it Mr. Wilson?” Mr. Wilson, replies with a time. They take that many steps towards Mr. Wilson. Repeat asking what time it is and answering. Once they are close enough, Mr. Wilson will reply, “It is spraying time!”. With that Mr. Wilson sprays the hose at everyone.
This is a tutorial on how to make an olympic torch for backyard Olympic Games.

I got the original idea off Kaboose. It uses poster board and tissue paper. I did not have any tissue paper. I did however have rolls of yellow and hot pink cellophane from Easter. Instead of a poster board base we used a paper towel roll. The effect was just as magical.

Step 1: Cut large squares of cellophane.

Step 2: pick up each square of cellophane from the center of the square holding them in your hand like a bouquet of flowers.

Step 4: Twist the part in your hand and insert into the paper towel roll.

In May the Olympic torch was lit in Greece. It has been traveling the land passing from hand to hand well on its way to the London Summer Olympics. My children and I have had many conversations about the amount of hard work and dedication it takes to make it to the olympics. They are ecstatic to catch a glimpse of some of the best of the best the world has to offer.

Meanwhile, information pills as we wait for the July 27th Olympic debut, viagra 40mg we had a go at our own summer olympic games.

Day 1: Opening Ceremony and Field Games

Opening Ceremony-

Clipart: Runner with Torch by Dixie Allen via About.com

Days prior to or morning of, have each child make a flag to represent them. Each child waves their flag as they walk in line around the block, backyard, park, or area where the olympics are being held. The leader of the line carries the torch part way then hands it off to the person behind him. Repeat passing the torch until the torch reaches the last person in line.

[**we walked around the gym then separated the group into teams as they neared the starting area. I had four cones set up on one side of the gym. We had four groups of four. So as the procession neared the area where the cones were we directed the first four kids into the first lane behind the cone. The second group of four into the second lane and so on. You could let them pick teams beforehand.]

Photo: Field Day, by Sam Wolfe via Flickr

Field Games-

Spoon Relay-
Give a spoon to each team. Each person gets a marshmallow (I found these enormous marshmallows at the grocery store). Set up cones or some type of marker about 30 to 50 feet from the starting line. Place the marshmallow on the spoon. Players must hold the spoon by the end of the handle. The first person in line of each team then walks down to the cone and back. Once they have reached the starting line the next person takes the spoon, places their marshmallow on the spoon, and then proceeds to the cone. First team to finish wins.

[**Decide beforehand what to do if the marshmallow falls off the spoon. Since we had quite a few little guys we opted to just place the marshmallow back on the spoon and continue. Depending on the age group one rule could be if it falls they are disqualified or they have to go back to the starting line and start over.**]

Bing Bag Balance-
The first person of each team gets a bing bag. They place it on top of their head. The object of the game is to race down to the cone and back without dropping the bag. First team to finnish wins.
[Same rules applied as with the spoon race.]

Wheel Barrel Race-
Each team separates into twos. Each group of two decides who will hold their teammates feet and who will walk on their hands. The first set of twos walk down to the cones then back. Team member tags the second pair in line then they go. First team to finnish wins.

[We had a young group so walking down to the cone and back would have been quite a heavy challenge. We did not want to kill anyone off so we sent the second set of twos down to the cone. Once the first group reached the cone then the second set could go.]

Three Legged Race-
Pair off members of each team. Connect each pair of children by tying a length of fabric around the ankle and/or knee. Start the race with the first group of twos walking to the cone and back. Once back the team member tags the second pair. First team to finnish wins.

Relay Race-
Each team races to the cones and back. Tags the next team member. First team to finnish wins.

Hula Hoop Roll-
Each team gets a hula hoop. First group rolls their hoops down to the cones and back. Hands of hoop to next team member. First team to finnish wins.

Shot Put-
Make a Shot Put ball by crumpling up tin foil until it reaches the desired size, slightly bigger than a softball. Smooth out the lumps by putting pressure with your hands while rolling the ball around on a hard surface. You will need enough for each team. [1 ball takes about half a roll of foil.]
Place a base or tape on the ground to mark where to stand.
To play, one member from each team must come forward and stand on their team’s mark. Bend the knees, and without stepping forward or backward, raise the ball to the ear then throw. Team with farthest average wins.

Hammer Throw-
To make, take a large brown paper bag and stuff it with newspapers careful to leave enough room to close and make a handle. Gather the bottom together and twist to make a handle. Wrap the handle with fabric or duct tape. Wrap the hammer part with duct tape, otherwise it will bust open after a few throws. Tie a piece of twine around the handle.

To play, one member from each team swings the hammer around above their head then releases. Team with farthest average wins.

Photo: Catch a Falling Star, by Paul Sapiano via Flickr

Day 3: Water Races

Water balloon Toss-
Divide group into twos. Stand groups in two long rows facing their partner and close enough to touch. The first side tosses the balloon to their partner. If they catch it then the both of them take a step backwards. If the balloon falls and breaks that pair is out. Repeat until there is one pair left. They are the winner.

Water Sponge Relay-
Set up a starting line with large buckets of water and empty buckets about 30 feet away for each team. Place a sponge in each bucket of water. Have a hose nearby to refill starting bucket as needed.
The first person of each team dunks their sponge in the bucket of water, runs down to the empty bucket, squeezes out the water into the bucket, and then runs back to hand the sponge off to the next person in line. First team to fill their bucket wins.

Sprinkler Tug-o-war-
Divide group into two groups or compete by teams. Lay out a tug-o-war rope with a knot in the center. Place a sprinkler on the group at the center of the rope. Each team takes a side trying to pull the other team into the water from the sprinkler.

Water Bomb-
Fill a large bucket with water and sponges. Keep a hose nearby to refill the bucket. This can be played like tag, dodge ball or a free for all. To play free for all everyone gets a sponge and throws it at each other. To play tag then only the “IT” person gets the sponge to tag with. To play dodgeball, set up buckets in a row in the middle of the playing area. This line cannot be crossed by opposing teams. Players rush to grab a sponge to throw at opposing team members to tag out.

Blanket Balloon Toss-
Use a blanker, parachute, or large sheet. Everyone grabs part of the sheet. Place water balloons on top of the sheet then bounce.

Water Hose Limbo-
Use a hose as a limbo stick.

Drip, Drip, Drench-
Played just like “Duck, Duck, Goose!” instead use the words Drip Drip Drench and a very wet sponge to pat heads with.

Mr. Wilson-
Played just like “What Time is it Mr. Wolf?”. To play one person is it. He stands on one side of the playing area. The rest of the group lines up on the opposite side of the playing area. They ask “What Time is it Mr. Wilson?” Mr. Wilson, replies with a time. They take that many steps towards Mr. Wilson. Repeat asking what time it is and answering. Once they are close enough, Mr. Wilson will reply, “It is spraying time!”. With that Mr. Wilson sprays the hose at everyone.

Photo: Lombok Traditional Hand Weaving by Mohammad Fadli

As my children started school I was surprised to find some of my favorite childhood playground games still existed. I naturally assumed hand games like Miss. Mary Mack and Chinese jump rope had dissipated along with dodge ball, troche metal slides, and merry-go-rounds. Weaving is another childhood pass time that has withstood the pass of time. In the 70’s we called it Macrame. In the 80’s and 90’s we used the same technique to make friendship bracelets.

Weaving has existed since the beginning of time. Our ancient ancestors used their fingers to twist and manipulate strands of wool, plants, and wood into clothing, rugs, brooms, and baskets. The introduction of the loom and spindles created endless possibilities for weaving designs and textures.

Hand weaving is a fun way to develop fine the motor skills in children, youth and adults. You can make a myriad of beautiful projects to use at home or give away as gifts. Most of the ideas listed below are portable. Meaning you can do these projects in the car or at the beach.

Photo: property of Whip Stich

Toddler Weaving:

Toddlers can learn the basics of the up and down weaving motion through the use of lacing cards. Make your own by punching holes in old greeting cards, felt, or cardboard. You can also cut squares or shapes out of rug canvaspegboard or plastic canvas.

Photo: property of Patti's Nursery School Class

Preschooler Weaving:

Teach preschool aged children to weave with fabric, string, yarn, ribbon, foam, or paper. Mediums such as cardboard, fruit baskets, yarn, laundry baskets, paper bags, and wire racks can be use as a loom. Create works of art such as dream catchersplace mats, pot holders coasters, and mini blankets for their little stuffed animals.

Weaving Projects:

Finger Crochet

Friendship Knot Headphone Wire Cover

Sailors Knot Bracelet

Embroidery Hoop Dream Catcher

Friendship Bracelets

T-Shirt Bracelets and Necklaces

Hair Wraps

T-Shirt HulaHoop Weaving

Woven Rag Rug

Trivet Loom

Woven Rope Rug

Woven Placemat

Basket Weaving

Straw Weaving

Cardboard Loom

These paper tambourines are so much fun to make. They are a great rainy day activity too. Once the tambourines are done initiate a game of freeze dancing.

Step 1: Using 1 or 2 paper plates, buy information pills fold the plate in half.

Step 2: Pour in about 1/2 cup of beans.

Step 3: Staple the edges to seal.

Step 4: Glue or staple ribbon or streamers around the edges.

Step 5: Attach bells by poking a hole through the plates. Attach with string or wire.

Step 6: Decorate with glitter, markers, tissue paper, ect.

These paper tambourines are so much fun to make. They are a great rainy day activity too. Once the tambourines are done initiate a game of freeze dancing.

Step 1: Using 1 or 2 paper plates, buy information pills fold the plate in half.

Step 2: Pour in about 1/2 cup of beans.

Step 3: Staple the edges to seal.

Step 4: Glue or staple ribbon or streamers around the edges.

Step 5: Attach bells by poking a hole through the plates. Attach with string or wire.

Step 6: Decorate with glitter, markers, tissue paper, ect.

Making ice cream in a baggie is super easy and loads of fun. We had several failed attempts before we successfully got the mixture just right. For our first trial we used whipping cream. It reminded me of a show I once watched where the woman tried to convince a family to use butter as toothpaste. We immediately had to go brush our teeth.

The second trial we used only whole milk. The mixture never set. We even tried placing the bag in the freezer. The result was not good. Actually, look it was pretty gross. Icy and without flavor. Our final batch we had the correct recipe but learned a bit about the ice to rock salt ratio. The more ice and salt the faster the ice cream will set.

Another problem we incurred was with the baggies we used. We started out with dollar store brand baggies. Don’t skimp on the baggies. Use the higher quality freezer bags only or a large can with a lid that will not leak.

This is a great activity at a backyard BBQ or party. Set the ingredients up into stations. Make up cards for each ingredient detailing how much to measure. The kids can walk down the row of ingredients filling up their own baggies (with supervision of course). Make it an ice cream relay race. Fill up the bag as the recipe states. Have the first person take the bag and run around the block or a specified distance. When they return they hand the bag off to the next runner. Keep going until the ice cream is firm.

The texture of this ice cream is smooth and loose. It will never harden like ice cream made in an ice cream maker and it melts fairly fast. Recipe can be doubled. It just takes longer to set.

Makes 1/2 cup ice cream
1/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon sugar
6-8 tablespoons rock salt
4-6 cups ice
quart sized baggie
gallon sized baggie

Place the half and half, sildenafil whole milk, viagra dosage vanilla, and sugar in a quart sized plastic freezer bag. Seal shut.

Place the baggie in a gallon sized freezer baggie. Fill baggie with ice. Add rock salt. Seal the baggie shut.

Shake bag until mixture solidifies. about 5-10 minutes. Remove the ice cream bag from the ice bag. Rinse or wipe off the bag to remove the salt. Eat the ice cream straight out of the bag with a spoon. Or in some cases with a straw.

*note: this ice cream is extremely soft.

Homemade Whipped Cream

Happy first day of summer!

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, here the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, symptoms the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, order art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.
Happy first day of summer!

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, here the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, symptoms the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, order art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, check the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, buy the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, what is ed art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.
Happy first day of summer!

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, here the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, symptoms the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, order art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, check the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, buy the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, what is ed art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, viagra approved the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.
Happy first day of summer!

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, here the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, symptoms the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, order art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, check the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, buy the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, what is ed art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, viagra approved the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, thumb she can done a dress and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” She was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth would serve her pound cake with strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create its own syrup. She always had pint sized containers of strawberries in syrup and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, buy a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Frosting:
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is lighter in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. Add eggs to butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears. You can error on the side of when you see the egg turn into a long thin swirl.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold in the flour mixture to the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.

**Tips:

— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.

— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.

— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.

— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods. If 350 seems to hot reduce the temperature to 325.

— There is not substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the frosting.
Happy first day of summer!

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, here the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, symptoms the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, order art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, check the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, buy the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, what is ed art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, viagra approved the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, thumb she can done a dress and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” She was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth would serve her pound cake with strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create its own syrup. She always had pint sized containers of strawberries in syrup and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, buy a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Frosting:
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is lighter in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. Add eggs to butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears. You can error on the side of when you see the egg turn into a long thin swirl.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold in the flour mixture to the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.

**Tips:

— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.

— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.

— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.

— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods. If 350 seems to hot reduce the temperature to 325.

— There is not substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the frosting.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, viagra dosage she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.
Happy first day of summer!

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, here the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, symptoms the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, order art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, check the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, buy the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, what is ed art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, viagra approved the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, thumb she can done a dress and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” She was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth would serve her pound cake with strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create its own syrup. She always had pint sized containers of strawberries in syrup and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, buy a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Frosting:
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is lighter in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. Add eggs to butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears. You can error on the side of when you see the egg turn into a long thin swirl.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold in the flour mixture to the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.

**Tips:

— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.

— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.

— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.

— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods. If 350 seems to hot reduce the temperature to 325.

— There is not substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the frosting.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, viagra dosage she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, hospital she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, viagra order a pound of flour, capsule a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

2 sticks butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
6 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 box powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.
Happy first day of summer!

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, here the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, symptoms the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, order art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, check the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, buy the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, what is ed art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, viagra approved the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, thumb she can done a dress and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” She was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth would serve her pound cake with strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create its own syrup. She always had pint sized containers of strawberries in syrup and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, buy a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Frosting:
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is lighter in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. Add eggs to butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears. You can error on the side of when you see the egg turn into a long thin swirl.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold in the flour mixture to the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.

**Tips:

— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.

— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.

— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.

— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods. If 350 seems to hot reduce the temperature to 325.

— There is not substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the frosting.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, viagra dosage she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, hospital she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, viagra order a pound of flour, capsule a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

2 sticks butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
6 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 box powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.

If you are looking to really stretch a dollar enchiladas are the way to go. A little bit of shredded meat can really go a long way. Use left over cooked chicken or a roast for more savings and shorten cooking time. Double or even Triple the batch to freeze for a later date.

The spice rub for the shredded beef is my go to taco seasoning recipe. For tacos I mix the quantity as stated but only use a tablespoon or two. Try ethnic markets or wearhouses to find good deals on spices and herbs.

Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, search shredded
1 small can sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped red onion
Flour tortillas
Cojitas cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan. Dip each side of a tortilla in the enchilada sauce. Fill tortilla with a few tablespoons shredded beef and cheese. Fold up the sides and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour another 1/4 cup of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese, chopped onions and olives. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and the sauce in the dish is bubbly.

Shredded Beef:
Source: Old Church Cookbook
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion minced

Spice Rub:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 to 3 pounds chuck roast
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Transfer to a crock pot or deep casserole with a lid. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the beef broth to the pan stirring and scraping the bottom to loosen all the charred bits. Pour over roast. Add cilantro, garlic, and onion to pot with the meat. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours. Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: AllRecipes
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Happy first day of summer!

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, here the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, symptoms the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, order art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, check the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, buy the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, what is ed art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, viagra approved the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, thumb she can done a dress and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” She was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth would serve her pound cake with strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create its own syrup. She always had pint sized containers of strawberries in syrup and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, buy a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Frosting:
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is lighter in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. Add eggs to butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears. You can error on the side of when you see the egg turn into a long thin swirl.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold in the flour mixture to the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.

**Tips:

— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.

— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.

— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.

— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods. If 350 seems to hot reduce the temperature to 325.

— There is not substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the frosting.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, viagra dosage she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, hospital she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, viagra order a pound of flour, capsule a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

2 sticks butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
6 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 box powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.

If you are looking to really stretch a dollar enchiladas are the way to go. A little bit of shredded meat can really go a long way. Use left over cooked chicken or a roast for more savings and shorten cooking time. Double or even Triple the batch to freeze for a later date.

The spice rub for the shredded beef is my go to taco seasoning recipe. For tacos I mix the quantity as stated but only use a tablespoon or two. Try ethnic markets or wearhouses to find good deals on spices and herbs.

Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, search shredded
1 small can sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped red onion
Flour tortillas
Cojitas cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan. Dip each side of a tortilla in the enchilada sauce. Fill tortilla with a few tablespoons shredded beef and cheese. Fold up the sides and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour another 1/4 cup of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese, chopped onions and olives. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and the sauce in the dish is bubbly.

Shredded Beef:
Source: Old Church Cookbook
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion minced

Spice Rub:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 to 3 pounds chuck roast
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Transfer to a crock pot or deep casserole with a lid. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the beef broth to the pan stirring and scraping the bottom to loosen all the charred bits. Pour over roast. Add cilantro, garlic, and onion to pot with the meat. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours. Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: AllRecipes
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, decease shredded
Sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped onion
Corn or flour tortillas
Dip each side of a tortilla

Shredded Beef:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean chuck roast
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon course salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep casserole with lid or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Add the beef broth, cilantro, garlic, and onion. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours.

Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/ten-minute-enchilada-sauce/Detail.aspx
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour or potato starch
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder or 2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Happy first day of summer!

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, here the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, symptoms the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, order art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, check the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, buy the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, what is ed art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, viagra approved the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, thumb she can done a dress and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” She was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth would serve her pound cake with strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create its own syrup. She always had pint sized containers of strawberries in syrup and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, buy a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Frosting:
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is lighter in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. Add eggs to butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears. You can error on the side of when you see the egg turn into a long thin swirl.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold in the flour mixture to the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.

**Tips:

— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.

— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.

— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.

— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods. If 350 seems to hot reduce the temperature to 325.

— There is not substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the frosting.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, viagra dosage she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, hospital she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, viagra order a pound of flour, capsule a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

2 sticks butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
6 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 box powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.

If you are looking to really stretch a dollar enchiladas are the way to go. A little bit of shredded meat can really go a long way. Use left over cooked chicken or a roast for more savings and shorten cooking time. Double or even Triple the batch to freeze for a later date.

The spice rub for the shredded beef is my go to taco seasoning recipe. For tacos I mix the quantity as stated but only use a tablespoon or two. Try ethnic markets or wearhouses to find good deals on spices and herbs.

Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, search shredded
1 small can sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped red onion
Flour tortillas
Cojitas cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan. Dip each side of a tortilla in the enchilada sauce. Fill tortilla with a few tablespoons shredded beef and cheese. Fold up the sides and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour another 1/4 cup of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese, chopped onions and olives. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and the sauce in the dish is bubbly.

Shredded Beef:
Source: Old Church Cookbook
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion minced

Spice Rub:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 to 3 pounds chuck roast
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Transfer to a crock pot or deep casserole with a lid. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the beef broth to the pan stirring and scraping the bottom to loosen all the charred bits. Pour over roast. Add cilantro, garlic, and onion to pot with the meat. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours. Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: AllRecipes
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, decease shredded
Sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped onion
Corn or flour tortillas
Dip each side of a tortilla

Shredded Beef:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean chuck roast
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon course salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep casserole with lid or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Add the beef broth, cilantro, garlic, and onion. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours.

Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/ten-minute-enchilada-sauce/Detail.aspx
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour or potato starch
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder or 2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
One of our families favorite meals

Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, information pills shredded
1 small can sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped onion
Corn or flour tortillas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan. Dip each side of a tortilla in the enchilada sauce. Fill tortilla with a few tablespoons shredded beef and cheese. Fold up the sides and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour another 1/4 cup of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese, more about chopped onions and olives. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and the sauce in the dish is bubbly.

Shredded Beef:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean chuck roast
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon course salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep casserole with lid or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Add the beef broth, cilantro, garlic, and onion. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours. Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/ten-minute-enchilada-sauce/Detail.aspx
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour or potato starch
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder or 2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Happy first day of summer!

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, here the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, symptoms the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, order art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, check the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, buy the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, what is ed art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, viagra approved the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, thumb she can done a dress and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” She was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth would serve her pound cake with strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create its own syrup. She always had pint sized containers of strawberries in syrup and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, buy a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Frosting:
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is lighter in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. Add eggs to butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears. You can error on the side of when you see the egg turn into a long thin swirl.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold in the flour mixture to the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.

**Tips:

— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.

— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.

— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.

— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods. If 350 seems to hot reduce the temperature to 325.

— There is not substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the frosting.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, viagra dosage she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, hospital she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, viagra order a pound of flour, capsule a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

2 sticks butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
6 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 box powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.

If you are looking to really stretch a dollar enchiladas are the way to go. A little bit of shredded meat can really go a long way. Use left over cooked chicken or a roast for more savings and shorten cooking time. Double or even Triple the batch to freeze for a later date.

The spice rub for the shredded beef is my go to taco seasoning recipe. For tacos I mix the quantity as stated but only use a tablespoon or two. Try ethnic markets or wearhouses to find good deals on spices and herbs.

Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, search shredded
1 small can sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped red onion
Flour tortillas
Cojitas cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan. Dip each side of a tortilla in the enchilada sauce. Fill tortilla with a few tablespoons shredded beef and cheese. Fold up the sides and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour another 1/4 cup of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese, chopped onions and olives. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and the sauce in the dish is bubbly.

Shredded Beef:
Source: Old Church Cookbook
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion minced

Spice Rub:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 to 3 pounds chuck roast
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Transfer to a crock pot or deep casserole with a lid. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the beef broth to the pan stirring and scraping the bottom to loosen all the charred bits. Pour over roast. Add cilantro, garlic, and onion to pot with the meat. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours. Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: AllRecipes
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, decease shredded
Sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped onion
Corn or flour tortillas
Dip each side of a tortilla

Shredded Beef:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean chuck roast
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon course salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep casserole with lid or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Add the beef broth, cilantro, garlic, and onion. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours.

Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/ten-minute-enchilada-sauce/Detail.aspx
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour or potato starch
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder or 2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
One of our families favorite meals

Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, information pills shredded
1 small can sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped onion
Corn or flour tortillas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan. Dip each side of a tortilla in the enchilada sauce. Fill tortilla with a few tablespoons shredded beef and cheese. Fold up the sides and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour another 1/4 cup of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese, more about chopped onions and olives. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and the sauce in the dish is bubbly.

Shredded Beef:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean chuck roast
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon course salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep casserole with lid or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Add the beef broth, cilantro, garlic, and onion. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours. Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/ten-minute-enchilada-sauce/Detail.aspx
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour or potato starch
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder or 2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
One of our families favorite meals

Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, price shredded
1 small can sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped onion
Corn or flour tortillas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan. Dip each side of a tortilla in the enchilada sauce. Fill tortilla with a few tablespoons shredded beef and cheese. Fold up the sides and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour another 1/4 cup of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese, visit this chopped onions and olives. Bake for 25-30 minutes, here until cheese is melted and the sauce in the dish is bubbly.

Shredded Beef:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean chuck roast
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon course salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep casserole with lid or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Add the beef broth, cilantro, garlic, and onion. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours. Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/ten-minute-enchilada-sauce/Detail.aspx
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour or potato starch
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder or 2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Happy first day of summer!

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, here the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, symptoms the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, order art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, check the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, buy the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, what is ed art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, viagra approved the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, thumb she can done a dress and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” She was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth would serve her pound cake with strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create its own syrup. She always had pint sized containers of strawberries in syrup and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, buy a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Frosting:
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is lighter in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. Add eggs to butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears. You can error on the side of when you see the egg turn into a long thin swirl.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold in the flour mixture to the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.

**Tips:

— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.

— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.

— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.

— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods. If 350 seems to hot reduce the temperature to 325.

— There is not substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the frosting.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, viagra dosage she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, hospital she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, viagra order a pound of flour, capsule a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

2 sticks butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
6 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 box powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.

If you are looking to really stretch a dollar enchiladas are the way to go. A little bit of shredded meat can really go a long way. Use left over cooked chicken or a roast for more savings and shorten cooking time. Double or even Triple the batch to freeze for a later date.

The spice rub for the shredded beef is my go to taco seasoning recipe. For tacos I mix the quantity as stated but only use a tablespoon or two. Try ethnic markets or wearhouses to find good deals on spices and herbs.

Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, search shredded
1 small can sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped red onion
Flour tortillas
Cojitas cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan. Dip each side of a tortilla in the enchilada sauce. Fill tortilla with a few tablespoons shredded beef and cheese. Fold up the sides and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour another 1/4 cup of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese, chopped onions and olives. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and the sauce in the dish is bubbly.

Shredded Beef:
Source: Old Church Cookbook
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion minced

Spice Rub:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 to 3 pounds chuck roast
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Transfer to a crock pot or deep casserole with a lid. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the beef broth to the pan stirring and scraping the bottom to loosen all the charred bits. Pour over roast. Add cilantro, garlic, and onion to pot with the meat. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours. Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: AllRecipes
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, decease shredded
Sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped onion
Corn or flour tortillas
Dip each side of a tortilla

Shredded Beef:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean chuck roast
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon course salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep casserole with lid or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Add the beef broth, cilantro, garlic, and onion. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours.

Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/ten-minute-enchilada-sauce/Detail.aspx
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour or potato starch
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder or 2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
One of our families favorite meals

Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, information pills shredded
1 small can sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped onion
Corn or flour tortillas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan. Dip each side of a tortilla in the enchilada sauce. Fill tortilla with a few tablespoons shredded beef and cheese. Fold up the sides and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour another 1/4 cup of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese, more about chopped onions and olives. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and the sauce in the dish is bubbly.

Shredded Beef:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean chuck roast
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon course salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep casserole with lid or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Add the beef broth, cilantro, garlic, and onion. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours. Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/ten-minute-enchilada-sauce/Detail.aspx
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour or potato starch
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder or 2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
One of our families favorite meals

Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, price shredded
1 small can sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped onion
Corn or flour tortillas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan. Dip each side of a tortilla in the enchilada sauce. Fill tortilla with a few tablespoons shredded beef and cheese. Fold up the sides and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour another 1/4 cup of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese, visit this chopped onions and olives. Bake for 25-30 minutes, here until cheese is melted and the sauce in the dish is bubbly.

Shredded Beef:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean chuck roast
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon course salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep casserole with lid or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Add the beef broth, cilantro, garlic, and onion. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours. Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/ten-minute-enchilada-sauce/Detail.aspx
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour or potato starch
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder or 2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cole slaw is a type of salad made with shredded cabbage (green and/or red varieties) and optional ingredients such as: shredded carrot and raisins; dressed with a mayo vinaigrette. Cole slaw has long been associated with the South; often viewed as a traditional Southern food typically served at picnics and barbecues. The truth is coleslaw has an extensive history expanding its roots to 4000 years ago in Ancient Asia.

There are many varieties of the cabbage plant. And although the name cabbage is French in dialect Ancient China was home to the cabbage plant. The cabbage cultivated by the Chinese, nurse and Medievale Europe, health was a loose leafy version closer in appearance to kale as opposed to the tightly wrapped head of cabbage that we see today. Cabbage was highly favored in Asian cuisine for its propensity to easily pickle. A preferred delicacy in ancient china was pickled cabbage leaves served over a bed of rice.

Around 600 BC pickled cabbage made its way into Roman and Greek cuisines. The Romans believed that cabbage held natural healing properties. Some of our understanding of these medicinal uses of herbs was handed down from ancient Greek Hippocrates in the form of a medical textbook called The Hippocratic Corpus. We know today that cabbage is beneficial in treating constipation, intestinal parasites, stomach ulcers, the common cold, whooping cough, frostbite, mental depression, and irritability. It is no surprise that the Dutch carried sauerkraut with them when on extended voyages to prevent scurvy and gangrene.

Cabbage continued to spread from Asia across Europe by way of Irish Celtic wanders. The Celts returned to Ireland from China and began cultivating the Chinese variety of cabbage. Favored uses of cabbage included pickled with vinegar or a brine, raw salads, and soups. Pickled cabbage, or sauerkraut, remains a mainstay of the German diet. The term ‘Coleslaw’ however, is of Dutch origin, referred to as ‘koolsla’, dating back to the Medieval period. Dutch settlers later introduced koolsla to the American settlers in the 18th century. However, the addition of mayonnaise is only about 200 years old.

I choose this version of coleslaw because Stephen is not a fan of mayo. It took some coaxing to get him to try it but well worth the effort. He was just as pleased as I was.

Source: an old Baptist cookbook
1 medium head of cabbage, shredded
1 onion, thinly sliced (use red or yellow)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup white vinegar
2/3 cups canola oil
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard

In a small sauce pan bring the sugar, vinegar, oil, celery seed, salt and mustard to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix the cabbage and onion.

Pour the boiling liquid over cabbage mixture while hot. Cover bowl and place in fridge for overnight or 24 hours before serving. Stir well before serving.

Variations:
– Mix in both regular green cabbage and red cabbage.
– Add any or all of the following: 1 carrot shredded, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/4 cup roasted pine nuts

Happy first day of summer!

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, here the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, symptoms the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, order art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, check the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, buy the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, what is ed art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, viagra approved the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, thumb she can done a dress and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” She was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth would serve her pound cake with strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create its own syrup. She always had pint sized containers of strawberries in syrup and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, buy a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Frosting:
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is lighter in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. Add eggs to butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears. You can error on the side of when you see the egg turn into a long thin swirl.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold in the flour mixture to the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.

**Tips:

— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.

— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.

— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.

— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods. If 350 seems to hot reduce the temperature to 325.

— There is not substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the frosting.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, viagra dosage she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, hospital she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, viagra order a pound of flour, capsule a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

2 sticks butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
6 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 box powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.

If you are looking to really stretch a dollar enchiladas are the way to go. A little bit of shredded meat can really go a long way. Use left over cooked chicken or a roast for more savings and shorten cooking time. Double or even Triple the batch to freeze for a later date.

The spice rub for the shredded beef is my go to taco seasoning recipe. For tacos I mix the quantity as stated but only use a tablespoon or two. Try ethnic markets or wearhouses to find good deals on spices and herbs.

Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, search shredded
1 small can sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped red onion
Flour tortillas
Cojitas cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan. Dip each side of a tortilla in the enchilada sauce. Fill tortilla with a few tablespoons shredded beef and cheese. Fold up the sides and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour another 1/4 cup of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese, chopped onions and olives. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and the sauce in the dish is bubbly.

Shredded Beef:
Source: Old Church Cookbook
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion minced

Spice Rub:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 to 3 pounds chuck roast
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Transfer to a crock pot or deep casserole with a lid. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the beef broth to the pan stirring and scraping the bottom to loosen all the charred bits. Pour over roast. Add cilantro, garlic, and onion to pot with the meat. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours. Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: AllRecipes
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, decease shredded
Sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped onion
Corn or flour tortillas
Dip each side of a tortilla

Shredded Beef:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean chuck roast
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon course salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep casserole with lid or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Add the beef broth, cilantro, garlic, and onion. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours.

Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/ten-minute-enchilada-sauce/Detail.aspx
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour or potato starch
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder or 2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
One of our families favorite meals

Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, information pills shredded
1 small can sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped onion
Corn or flour tortillas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan. Dip each side of a tortilla in the enchilada sauce. Fill tortilla with a few tablespoons shredded beef and cheese. Fold up the sides and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour another 1/4 cup of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese, more about chopped onions and olives. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and the sauce in the dish is bubbly.

Shredded Beef:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean chuck roast
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon course salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep casserole with lid or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Add the beef broth, cilantro, garlic, and onion. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours. Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/ten-minute-enchilada-sauce/Detail.aspx
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour or potato starch
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder or 2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
One of our families favorite meals

Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, price shredded
1 small can sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped onion
Corn or flour tortillas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan. Dip each side of a tortilla in the enchilada sauce. Fill tortilla with a few tablespoons shredded beef and cheese. Fold up the sides and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour another 1/4 cup of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese, visit this chopped onions and olives. Bake for 25-30 minutes, here until cheese is melted and the sauce in the dish is bubbly.

Shredded Beef:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean chuck roast
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon course salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep casserole with lid or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Add the beef broth, cilantro, garlic, and onion. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours. Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/ten-minute-enchilada-sauce/Detail.aspx
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour or potato starch
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder or 2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cole slaw is a type of salad made with shredded cabbage (green and/or red varieties) and optional ingredients such as: shredded carrot and raisins; dressed with a mayo vinaigrette. Cole slaw has long been associated with the South; often viewed as a traditional Southern food typically served at picnics and barbecues. The truth is coleslaw has an extensive history expanding its roots to 4000 years ago in Ancient Asia.

There are many varieties of the cabbage plant. And although the name cabbage is French in dialect Ancient China was home to the cabbage plant. The cabbage cultivated by the Chinese, nurse and Medievale Europe, health was a loose leafy version closer in appearance to kale as opposed to the tightly wrapped head of cabbage that we see today. Cabbage was highly favored in Asian cuisine for its propensity to easily pickle. A preferred delicacy in ancient china was pickled cabbage leaves served over a bed of rice.

Around 600 BC pickled cabbage made its way into Roman and Greek cuisines. The Romans believed that cabbage held natural healing properties. Some of our understanding of these medicinal uses of herbs was handed down from ancient Greek Hippocrates in the form of a medical textbook called The Hippocratic Corpus. We know today that cabbage is beneficial in treating constipation, intestinal parasites, stomach ulcers, the common cold, whooping cough, frostbite, mental depression, and irritability. It is no surprise that the Dutch carried sauerkraut with them when on extended voyages to prevent scurvy and gangrene.

Cabbage continued to spread from Asia across Europe by way of Irish Celtic wanders. The Celts returned to Ireland from China and began cultivating the Chinese variety of cabbage. Favored uses of cabbage included pickled with vinegar or a brine, raw salads, and soups. Pickled cabbage, or sauerkraut, remains a mainstay of the German diet. The term ‘Coleslaw’ however, is of Dutch origin, referred to as ‘koolsla’, dating back to the Medieval period. Dutch settlers later introduced koolsla to the American settlers in the 18th century. However, the addition of mayonnaise is only about 200 years old.

I choose this version of coleslaw because Stephen is not a fan of mayo. It took some coaxing to get him to try it but well worth the effort. He was just as pleased as I was.

Source: an old Baptist cookbook
1 medium head of cabbage, shredded
1 onion, thinly sliced (use red or yellow)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup white vinegar
2/3 cups canola oil
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard

In a small sauce pan bring the sugar, vinegar, oil, celery seed, salt and mustard to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix the cabbage and onion.

Pour the boiling liquid over cabbage mixture while hot. Cover bowl and place in fridge for overnight or 24 hours before serving. Stir well before serving.

Variations:
– Mix in both regular green cabbage and red cabbage.
– Add any or all of the following: 1 carrot shredded, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/4 cup roasted pine nuts

1 medium head of cabbage, view shredded (or use bags of preshredded cabbage enough to make 2 pounds)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 carrot shredded
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1/4 cup roasted pine nuts (optional)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup white vinegar
2/3 cups canola oil
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard

In a small sauce pan bring the sugar, vinegar, oil, celery seed, salt and mustard to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix the cabbage, onion, carrot, raisins and nuts.

Pour the boiling liquid over cabbage mixture while hot. Cover bowl and place in fridge for overnight or 24 hours before serving. Stir well before serving.
Happy first day of summer!

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, here the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, symptoms the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, order art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, check the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, buy the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, what is ed art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, viagra approved the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, thumb she can done a dress and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” She was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth would serve her pound cake with strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create its own syrup. She always had pint sized containers of strawberries in syrup and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, buy a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Frosting:
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is lighter in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. Add eggs to butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears. You can error on the side of when you see the egg turn into