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Mary’s Memo #2160

FROM THE COOKBOK SHELF

Although I am not a fan of Martha Stewart Living magazine, I love Everyday Food, another Martha Stewart publication. Their first cookbook was Everyday Food: Great Food Fast and mine is in a convenient place where I refer to it often. Their newest book is Every Day Food: Fresh Flavor Fast featuring 250 easy, delicious recipes for any time of the day. What cooks will like most about the cookbook is that recipe ingredients are readily available, affordable and suit a healthier lifestyle! There’s something for everyone all day long.



I’m always thinking about fruit and vegetable recipes I can serve at the Bryan Chief and the first one to catch my eye was Caramelized Pears that take only 15 minutes to make.






CARAMELIZED PEARS

4 ripe but firm red Bartlett pears
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup water, plus more if needed



Halve pears lengthwise; remove cores (use a melon baller or small spoon). Place sugar on a plate. Heat a large 12-inch nonstick skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Press cut side of each pear in sugar, then place cut side down in skillet (fit will be snug). Cook uncovered until sugared sides are beginning to brown, about 7 to 8 minutes. Pour water in skillet. Cover; simmer until pears are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, 5 to 10 minutes (depending on ripeness), adding more water if sugar begins to burn. Remove pears from skillet with a slotted spoon. If liquid in pan is thin, simmer until thickened to a sauce-like consistency; if it is very thick, add more water. Serve sauce over pears. Recipe makes 4 servings.




HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!


Cinco de Mayo is Spanish for “fifth of May.” It is a regional, voluntary holiday in Mexico, primarily celebrated in the state of Pueblo. It is not Mexico’s Independence Day (celebrated September 16th) but it does commemorate the Mexican army’s victory over the French forces at the Battle of Pueblo on May 5, 1862. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo celebrates the culture and experiences of Americans of Mexican ancestry, much as St. Patrick’s Day, Oktoberfest and the Chinese New Year are used to celebrate the Irish, German and Chinese ancestry respectively.


Source: Information taken from Wikipedia, the free internet encyclopedia.



I used my own pastry to make Mini Mexi Bites but Land O’Lakes suggests commercial refrigerated pie crusts (like Pillsbury brand).



MINI MEXI BITES

2 large eggs
¼ cup milk
2 tablespoons chopped roasted red pepper
2 tablespoons sliced scallions (green onions)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups (6 ounces) shredded hot pepper jack cheese
1 15-ounce box refrigerated pie crusts, at room temperature


Heat oven to 350F. Spray mini muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. Combine all ingredients except cheese and pie crusts in small bowl. Stir in cheese; set aside. Cut each pie crust into 12 rounds using 2½-inch round cookie cutter. Gently press 1 pie crust round into each muffin cup. Evenly pour egg mixture into crust-lined muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Recipe makes 24 appetizer bites.

Source: Land O Lakes.com.





THINK YOU DON’T NEED COFFEE FILTERS? THINK AGAIN!


Coffee filters are better for a multitude of tasks than paper towels and a lot less expensive. Even if you’re not a coffee drinker you may want to put the filters on your next shopping list!
Some versatile ways to use filters include:
1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave.
2. Protect good dishes by separating with a coffee filter between each dish.
3. Protect a cast iron skillet by placing a filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.
4. Use them as a spoon rest while cooking and clean up small counter spills.
5. Use to hold dry ingredients when baking or when cutting a piece of fruit or veggies (saves on having extra bowls to wash).
6. Use them to remove fingernail polish when out of cotton balls.
7. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.
8. Put baking soda into a coffee filter and insert into shoes or a closet to absorb or prevent odors.
9. Use as a disposable “snack bowl for popcorn, chips, etc, especially when traveling.
10: Naturally, they’re great for coffeemakers, too!
Source: Internet via Jane Poeppelman, Fort Loramie, OH.
Download PDF of Memo #2160

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