Monthly Archives: November 2013

Crispy Potato Puffs

Just a few days until Thanksgiving, and I've got one more dish you might consider making for your feast! Crispy Potato Puffs are a different take on basic mashed potatoes. Cheesy mashed potatoes are rolled into balls, coated in cornflake crumbs, and baked until golden brown and crispy.

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The great thing about these potato puffs is that you can make them ahead! (Even months in advance.) Once you have formed and coated the potato puffs, freeze until firm, and then store them in a plastic freezer bag. You can bake as many as needed at a time, for a great last-minute side dish.

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My husband and I enjoyed these just as they are, but I kept thinking of more additions to make them even better! Bacon bits and green onions would have been a fabulous addition. Give these a try for your next holiday meal! _______________________________________________________________________________________________

Crispy Potato Puffs

Servings/Yield: 4-6 servings
  • 2 lbs cubed peeled potatoes
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup shredded colby cheese
  • 1-2 cups crushed cornflakes
Method Place potatoes in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 10-15 minutes until potatoes are tender. Drain and return to pan. Mash potatoes, adding milk, butter, salt, and pepper. Stir in cheese. Transfer to a bowl; refrigerate until cool. When potatoes are cool, shape potato mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll in crushed cornflakes. Place on baking sheets; cover and freeze until firm. Transfer into resealable plastic freezer bags. Potatoes can be frozen for up to 3 months. To serve, preheat oven to 400*F. Place frozen potato puffs on greased baking sheets, and bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Source: Taste of Home  

Mary’s Memo – November 25th

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF


Vegan cookbooks are popular this fall and we have another one to call to your attention: Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats: Allergy-Free & Vegan Recipes from the Famous Los Angeles Bakery (Harlequin Nonfiction; on sale November 2013) by Debbie Adler. Every recipe in her book is gluten, dairy, soy, nut and sugar-free. But the goodness doesn’t stop there and also includes nutritional facts for each dessert, sugar and allergen-free power foods like coconut nectar, stevia, quinoa flour and more that work as amazing substitutes for their more common, unhealthy counterparts. There are also opportunities for readers to make their own substitutions such as gluten-free flour mix, homemade vegan chocolate chips and sunflower seed butter. Debbie Adler is the owner of Sweet Debbie’s Organic Cupcakes in Los Angeles. She has appeared on NBC’s evening news and her recipes have been published online by Food Allergy Research and Education, the Chalkboard and Life Goes Strong, also AllergyMoms.com. Adler lives in Los Angeles, CA, with her husband and son.

The bestselling book on your stand mixer is back in a newly expanded version. The Mixer Bible, 3rd Edition (www.robertrose.ca; October 2013, $27.95/softback) by Meredith Deeds and Carla Snyder includes 125 step-by-step color photos that depict and highlight the use of the KitchenAid mixer, the Rolls-Royce of culinary equipment. In an understanding fashion, Meredith and Carla guide you through use of this amazing machine. Deeds has spent 15 years writing and teaching about foods all over the country. She has co-authored four cookbooks with Carla Snyder, among them 300 Sensational Soups, chosen by Good Morning America as one of the top ten cookbooks of 2008. Carla Snyder has spent 30 years in the food world as a caterer, artisan baker, cooking school teacher, freelance food writer and co-author.
Make Blue Cheese and Walnut Mini Muffins for Thanksgiving dinner this week.

BLUE CHEESE AND WALNUT MINI MUFFINS


• 1 cup + 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1/3 cup cornmeal
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
• 2 tablespoons butter, softened
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 cup whole milk
• 1 cup walnut halves, toasted and finely chopped

In medium bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and pepper. Set aside. Place cheese and butter in mixing bowl. Attach the flat beater  and mixer bowl to the mixer. Set to Speed 2 and beat until combined. Add eggs and beat 2 minutes, stopping once to scrape down bowl. Decrease speed to Stir and mix in flour mixture alternately with milk, making 3 additions of dry and 2 of wet. Add walnuts and mix until just combined. Spoon mixture into greased mini muffin cups and bake in the middle of preheated 400ºF oven until a tester inserted in center of muffin comes out clean, about 10 minutes. Remove from tins and let cool on wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. If made ahead, store tightly wrapped in foil in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. Recipe makes 36.

Source: The Mixer Bible by Meredith Deeds and Carla Snyder.

WE GATHER TOGETHER


If you love Thanksgiving as much as I do, you’re already working on meal preparation. Mother made Pumpkin Chiffon Pie and decorated the top with Philadelphia Cream Cheese (there was no lightened version in the beginning). But after my sister and I married she asked us to bring the pie and requested the traditional recipe and there is none better than Libby Pumpkin Pie that is still on the label. Pecan pie and mincemeat are also favorites although mincemeat, I found, is a love-hate food when I served Pear Mincemeat at the Bryan Chief. For meat abstainers, this meatless version will be appreciated. The ladies from Bryan Lick Creek Church of the Brethren and their spouses used to make and sell the “real stuff’ and the ones who tasted it at the Chief thought this version had merit.

PEAR MINCEMEAT


• 5 lbs. Bartlett pears, unpeeled, cored and cut into 8ths (weigh in the produce department)
• 1 medium navel orange, cut into 8ths
• 15 ounces of dark raisins taken from 20-ounce canister
• 4 cups granulated sugar
• 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
• 2 teaspoons ground allspice
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1 teaspoon ground cloves

Coarsely chop pears and orange in a food processor, stopping once to scrape down sides. Combine chopped fruit, raisins and remaining ingredients in a large Dutch oven or roaster. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally. Cover and chill or freeze. Recipe can be halved. Recipe makes about 10 cups.

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Macaroni and Cheese (by the Pioneer Woman)

For this week's Thanksgiving recipe, I'm featuring a recipe from one of the first food bloggers I ever read... The Pioneer WomanShe's a former city-girl turned country gal, and whips up some great hometown favorite foods. (Think chicken-fried steak, mashed potatoes, meatloaf, pot pie, etc...)

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I know that macaroni and cheese is probably not the most traditional Thanksgiving side dish, but it has always made an appearance at my family's Thanksgiving table. For the kids! And adults, too, I'm not gonna lie. ;) The Pioneer Woman's version is pretty intense - in a good way. Lots and lots of cheese is combined into a homemade cheese sauce and tossed with elbow macaroni noodles. Then, it's baked with more cheese on top. Gotta love that crispy topping! Get started with your cheese sauce. Add butter to a saucepan and let it melt. Whisk in the flour, and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until it turns a golden brown color. This is called a 'roux'; it's what thickens the cheese sauce. Once it's browned (about 5 minutes), whisk in the milk. Let it cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and bubbly. roux Now you're going to add the egg. Instead of adding it directly, add about 1/4 cup of the sauce mixture to the egg in a separate bowl, whisking to combine. Then whisk the egg-sauce mixture back into the big pot of sauce. This prevents the egg from cooking or curdling. (No one wants scrambled eggs in their mac & cheese!) Next up: the CHEESE! You need one pound of cheese; use your favorite. I used a combo of sharp cheddar and gruyere, and they worked great together. Make sure to use freshly grated cheese (grate it yourself!) because the pre-shredded cheese comes with certain coatings that prevent the cheese from melting smoothly. IMG_5293    

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Add it into the sauce, and you've got cheesy perfection! Now it's time for the seasonings. Salt, pepper, seasoned salt, and whatever else sounds good. Cayenne would add a bit of a kick! IMG_5303 Once your sauce is ready, stir in one pound of elbow macaroni cooked slightly less than al dente. It will continue to cook as it bakes in the oven. Spread the macaroni and cheese into a greased baking dish and top with additional cheese.

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Bake at 350*F for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly!

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This macaroni and cheese is definitely a crowd-pleaser. My favorite part is the crispy cheesy topping. I just might have scraped my whole serving just off the top... _______________________________________________________________________________________________

Macaroni & Cheese (by the Pioneer Woman)

Servings/Yield: 8-10 servings
  • 16-oz box dried macaroni
  • 1 whole beaten egg
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 lb freshly grated cheese, plus additional for topping
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
Method Cook macaroni until very firm, 2-3 minutes shy of al dente. Drain in a colander. In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk butter and flour together over medium-heat, until it turns golden brown, about 5 minutes. Whisk constantly to avoid burning. Add milk and dry mustard and whisk until smooth. Cook five minutes until thick and bubbly. Reduce heat to low. Take 1/4 cup of sauce and slowly pour it into the beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid curdling. Whisk egg mixture back into the sauce, stirring until smooth. Add cheese; stir to melt. Add salt, seasoned salt, pepper, and any other seasonings. Taste sauce and add more seasonings as needed. Add drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine. Pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake 20-25 minutes at 350*F until bubbly and golden on top. Source: adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Mary’s Memo – November 18th

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF


I am really excited about this week’s new cookbook: Kate Gosselin’s Love Is in the Mix, featuring family-friendly recipes, tips and traditions. As the well-known mom to eight growing and hungry children, Reality TV personality and bestselling author Gosselin also knows her way around the kitchen, bestowing her passion for cooking onto her brood of budding chefs. Love Is in the Mix offers a repertoire of recipes for any home cook, from crowd-pleasing appetizers to decadent desserts, from lazy weekend breakfasts to speedy weekday suppers, plus company worthy dishes you can serve without a hassle. Trust me; these recipes will become regulars in your kitchen rotation!

The author’s cooking expertise was inspired by a grandmother who allowed Kate and her sisters to bake in her kitchen. “I’ve learned from Grandma that nothing that comes from the kitchen is a mistake when you add love to the mix,” says Gosselin in the introduction. With a harsh winter predicted, nothing is more warming than a bowl of hot flavorful soup! But why wait for winter. Make the soup now!

TURKEY, CORN AND WHITE BEAN SOUP


• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 medium red onion
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 1/2 cup store-bought Italian or balsamic vinaigrette
• 2 pounds ground turkey
• 3 cups chicken broth
• 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro or 3 teaspoons dried cilantro
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried
• 2 tablespoons chili powder
• 3/4 cup salsa
• 2 (15-ounce) cans great northern beans, undrained
• 2 (15-ounce) cans whole kernel corn, undrained
• Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter and olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring until tender. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add the vinaigrette to the pan with the ground turkey; brown the turkey thoroughly. Once the turkey is cooked through, add the broth, cilantro, basil, chili powder, salsa, beans, corn, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to medium-low for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Kate created Farm to Table Stir Fry in the middle of summer when fresh beautiful produce was plentiful.

FARM TO TABLE STIR FRY


• 1/2 cup soy sauce
• 1 teaspoon brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 tablespoon sesame oil
• 1-1/2 pounds round steak, thinly sliced
• 1 quart snow peas
• 1/2 head cabbage, slivered
• 1/2 bag baby carrots, quartered lengthwise
• 1 head broccoli, florets and stems, chopped small
• 8 scallions, whites and greens, chopped coarsely
• 1 red and 1 green pepper, sliced lengthwise
• 3 teaspoons sesame seeds
• 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 to 3 cups cooked brown or white rice

Mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, olive oil and sesame oil together. Toss mixture with steak and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add all of the vegetables to the pan and sauté, turning occasionally until vegetables are steamed but still firm in texture. Add the sesame seeds and garlic and cook for 3 to 4 minutes more. Serve over rice.
Source: Kate Gosselin's Love Is in the Mix (HCI, September 2013, $22.95/hardcover). O rder from Amazon.com or call 1-800-441-5569.

STOCK UP ON BAKING SUPPLIES


It isn’t too early to stock up on supplies for C hristmas baking. Watch for specials on butter, sugar and flour, staples I certainly need as the holiday season approaches. I already have additional sugar on hand to make peanut brittle, butter in the freezer to make cookies and extra flour for sweet rolls.

SECRETS TO HEALTHY HOLIDAY EATING


Don’t let the span from Thanksgiving to New Year’s undo the rest of the year’s smart choices. Whether you’re worried about your weight or your cholesterol levels and blood pressure, there are some smart strategies you can adopt to minimize the negative effects of holiday feasts and parties. Some of the experts’ might surprise you: “Banking” calories by eating less before an indulgence opportunity, for example, just makes you hungry and causes you to eat more unhealthy fare. For many people, their real downfall during the holidays isn’t the occasional big feast but the day-to-day temptations. Suddenly there is candy everywhere, co-workers bring holiday snacks to the office, and eating opportunities stack up faster than letters to Santa. Before you go to a party, eat something healthy like raw vegetables or fruit to take the edge off your appetite. Distance yourself from the buffet table and snack bowls, then concentrate on the people at the party instead of the food.

Source: Tufts U niversity Health & Nutrition Letter, November, 2013.

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Roasted Vegetable Medley

The next few blog posts will be devoted to the Thanksgiving (aka a foodie's DREAM holiday!) I don't know about you, but the turkey is not my favorite thing on Thanksgiving. In fact, I think there have even even been a few years when the turkey doesn't even make it onto my plate! I am all about the side dishes and desserts. IMG_5312   When you think of a green vegetable side dish, the most common culprit is probably the green bean casserole. While it's good, I thought I'd try something new with a Roasted Vegetable Medley that incorporates many of my favorite green vegetables. Roasting vegetables really brings out their flavor and a little bit of sweetness. These veggies are tossed in a lemon-olive oil-parmesan coating when they are finished, and they are delicious! The recipes states that it serves 12, but my husband and I definitely ate more than our fair share! Start out by prepping your veggies - broccoli, green beans, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, carrots, and onion. You could omit any of these if you don't care for them, or add your favorite that's not included. Toss them with a bit of olive oil and spread onto a couple baking sheets.  

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  Roast at 425*F about 25-30 minutes, until tender and just a bit crispy.

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While they are roasting, mix up the olive oil coating - just a mix of olive oil, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.  

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  When the veggies are done, add them to a serving bowl and stir in the olive oil coating. Such an easy dish, and so tasty!   IMG_5312 P.S. Leftover roasted veggies make excellent salad toppings! ________________________________________________________________________________________________

Roasted Vegetable Medley

Servings/Yield: 10-12 servings
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 1 lb. fresh mushrooms, halved
  • 16 fresh brussels sprouts, halved
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
Method Preheat oven to 425*F. Combine all veggies with 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl; toss to coat. Divide between two 15x-10-inch pans. Roast 25-30 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil with Parmesan cheese, parsley, lemon juice, lemon peel, salt, and pepper. When vegetables are done, toss with oil mixture in serving bowl. Serve warm. Source: adapted from Taste of Home November 2013

Mary’s Memo – November 11th

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF


From Mark Bittman’s transition to mostly vegan eating to Gwyneth Paltrow’s emphasis on vegan meals in her new family cookbook, more and more people are realizing that they can enjoy the benefits and satisfaction of a vegan diet without having to commit to plant-eating at every meal. And thanks to Fran Costigan’s Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts (Running Press, November 2013, $30.00/hardcover), either full-time or part-time vegan eating can include rich, sinful-tasting and delicious chocolate desserts. Cookbook includes recipes for chocolate cakes, brownies, truffles, puddings, ice creams and more that will appeal to every chocoholic, vegan or otherwise! All the recipes are plant-based, some are gluten-free and some are raw, but every single one is absolutely chocolate and made with quality, easily sourced ingredients without dairy, eggs and white sugar.

Fran Costigan is an internationally recognized culinary instructor, recipe developer and innovative vegan pastry Chef and author of three cookbooks. A graduate of the New York Restaurant School and the National Gourmet Institute, Fran is a pastry chef in both traditional and vegan restaurant kitchens. She teaches her distinctive courses in her hometown of New York City at the Institute of Culinary Education. Visit her at francostigan.com.

YOU ASKED ME


A customer asked me recently about a recipe calling for escarole. Think curly leaf endive because it is a form of it. Curly endive, what the Chief produce departments sell, is available year round. It’s used mainly in salads but can also be cooked and used in soups such as Italian Sausage, Endive and White Bean Soup. For more kick use spicy Italian sausage in the recipe.

SPICY SAUSAGE, ENDIVE AND WHITE BEAN SOUP


• Extra-Virgin Oil for sautéing
• 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 teaspoon dried basil
• 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
• 2 tablespoons fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
• 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and diced
• 1 small zucchini, diced
• 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
• 1 head of curly endive, core removed and chopped
• 2 cans Bush white beans (Navy or Great Northern), drained
• 12 cups chicken stock
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper or to taste
• Grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add sausage and cook until crumbled. Add the onion and carrots and cook about 5 minutes. Add garlic, basil, oregano and parsley. Cook another 2 or 3 minutes. Add squash and again cook another 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, endive, beans and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then allow to simmer for 30 minutes to blend flavors. Add salt and pepper. Before serving garnish with a generous amount of Parmesan cheese. Recipe makes about 16 cups. Leftovers can be frozen. Source: Adapted from a Dorothy Lane Market recipe.

A MAKE AHEAD FOR THANKSGIVING DINNER


Chutney is a spicy condiment made with fruit, vinegar and spices. I recently served chutney at the Bryan Chief made with cranberries. Chutney isn’t a food that one eats by the dishful but a little-dab-will-do-accompaniment to any meat or served over cream cheese with crackers on the side as an appetizer. Make this recipe now and freeze it for your Thanksgiving dinner. That’s what a lot of tasters were going to do.

CRANBERRY CHUTNEY


• 1-3/4 cups sugar
• 1-3/4 cups water
• 4 cups fresh cranberries, sorted, washed and drained
• 1 cup golden raisins
• 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
• 1-1/2 tablespoons curry powder
• 2 teaspoons ground ginger
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
• 2 tablespoons molasses
• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
• 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Combine sugar and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add cranberries; simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes or until cranberry skins pop, stirring occasionally. Stir in raisins and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 40 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Recipe makes 1.5 pints.

MORE ON CRANBERRIES


Many of you tell me you buy cranberries and store the bags in the freezer for use when they’re not available. When you take them out of the freezer you can’t tell if there are berries that should have been discarded. My recommendation is to sort and wash them before they are frozen. Or if you’re like me, grind them with 2 naval oranges per 12-ounce bag, add sugar to your taste, and freeze in proper containers.

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Pumpkin Pie Smoothies

One of my favorites treats to enjoy in the fall is a Pumpkin Pie Blizzard from Dairy Queen. Creamy vanilla soft serve blended with pumpkin and pie spices, pie crust, and a whole lot of whipped cream! I set out to re-create a healthier version at home... one that still tastes like pumpkin pie, but could be eaten more regularly. (Maybe even for breakfast??!)   IMG_5220   Pumpkin Pie Smoothies blend together pumpkin pie filling, Greek yogurt, milk, and cinnamon into a creamy concoction that is perfect for the fall. I will admit, it does taste 'healthy', but it is also really good. (Though my hubby did say, "I think this would be really good with vanilla ice cream instead of yogurt!" Haha.) It's full of protein from the yogurt and fiber from the pumpkin. The key to the creaminess of these smoothies is the frozen pumpkin pie cubes. By using frozen pumpkin pie filling (instead of ice), you still have the consistency of a frozen smoothie without the ice to water it down. To make the pumpkin pie cubes, simply place about 2 tablespoons of pumpkin pie filling into an ice cube tray and freeze until firm. A large can will make about 30 cubes, and once they are frozen, you can store them in a zipper bag in your freezer.   IMG_5209   IMG_5210   To make your smoothie, just combine 3 pumpkin pie cubes with 2/3 cup milk and 1/3 cup vanilla Greek yogurt in a blender. Add a little cinnamon if you want a little extra spice. IMG_5212 Then, let it whirl away! IMG_5214 To serve, top with crushed cinnamon graham crackers. (Or maybe some whipped cream.) Yum! IMG_5218 ________________________________________________________________________________________________

Pumpkin Pie Smoothies

Servings/Yield: 1 smoothie
  • ~⅓ cup pumpkin pie filling, frozen into cubes (3 cubes)
  • cup milk
  • cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • dash cinnamon
  • crushed cinnamon graham crackers, for serving
Method To prepare the pumpkin pie cubes, place pumpkin pie filling into ice cube trays and freeze until solid. A 29-oz can will make about pumpkin pie cubes. For the smoothie, add the milk, yogurt, and frozen pumpkin pie cubes into a blender. Blend until the frozen pie filling is completely pulverized. Add more milk or yogurt as needed, until it is your desired consistency. Pour into a glass and sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs. Serve immediately. Source: adapted from The Pioneer Woman 

Mary’s Memo – November 4th

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF


Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie (University of Nebraska Press, November 1, 2013, $19.95/softback), by Midwestern Writers on Food, brings to the table an illustrious gathering of 30 Midwestern writers with something to say about the gustatory pleasures and peculiarities of the region. With its corn by the acre, beef on the hoof, Quaker Oats and Kraft Mac n’ Cheese, the Midwest eats pretty well and feeds the nation on the side. But there’s more to the Midwestern kitchen and palate than the farm food and sizeable portions the region is best known for beyond its borders. It is these heartland specialties, from heartwarming to weird, that Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie invites the reader. Did you know that the Bundt baking pan that most of us own was inspired by two Jewish women living in Minneapolis in the forties who pressured Minnesota-based Nordic Ware to make a pan that could help them reproduce their longed-for kugelhopf?

The book is edited by Peggy Wolff who has written for publications including the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Hartford Courant and Orlando Sentinel. She is the food editor of for Realize Magazine.

Since we can identify with so much of the contents of Walleye and Cherry Pie, you’ll want to order your own copy ASAP from Amazon.com.

BUYER BEWARE!


Once upon a time a bag of potato chips weighed 16-ounces. Now my favorite Frito Lay Sour Cream & Onion weighs only 9.5-ounces although the bag looks the same as it did when it held more chips. Citing another example, Kraft Caramels, originally were sold in a 14-ounce bag; now it weighs 11-ounces. This year Werther’s came up with a baking caramel but it weighs even less. I have news for both of them; I am not buying 2 bags of their caramels to make a recipe that calls for 14-ounces! Instead, I’ll make other kinds of cookies. A lot of recipes call for 8-ounces of cheese but watch out because some packages only weigh 7-ounces. I can also remember when the small can of coffee held a pound. The can is still about the same size but there’s only 11-ounces in it. Manufacturers think we don’t notice the difference if it doesn’t cost more. And don’t get me started on toilet paper …. The biggest rip off of all! Used to be that we could tell which kind was the best when Mr. Wimple squeezed it. No matter which one you choose today it has far less sheets per roll than it had in the past!

NEW PRODUCTS


New from Ballreich’s, located in Tiffin, OH, is All Natural Sweet Potato Chips with 0 grams of trans fats and seasoned with sea salt. Although I won’t eat their regular chips because they still insist on frying them in hydrogenated fat, these are addictive! Look for the 6-ounce bag at Chief (yes, bag looks like it should have more chips in it).

AT LAST …. GLUTEN-FREE LABELS


Long after Canada and the European Union have allowed gluten-free labeling on foods, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will allow gluten-free labels starting August 2014. Only products containing fewer than 20 parts per million of gluten can be deemed “gluten-free” for food labeling. This is considered a safe threshold of gluten to be eaten by people with celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders.

THINK EATING HEALTHY


Daughter Mary Ann shared this recipe with me. It’s a four season kind of side dish.

CABBAGE & KALE SAUTE


• 2 teaspoons canola oil
• 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 2 teaspoons minced ginger, peeled
• 2 cups onion, sliced
• 1 tablespoon chopped, seeded jalapeño
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
• 5 cups chopped kale
• 2 cups green cabbage
• 2 tablespoons water

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add cumin seeds; cook 1 minute. Add ginger; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add onion; cook 5 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender. Recipe makes 6 servings.
Source: myrecipes.com via Mary Ann Thaman.

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