Monday, December 29, 2008
I've been collecting cookbooks for years now...and I've had up to 3,000 at one time. Yes, it's a sickness but I took the first step to recovery over our long holiday weekend. I spent hours deciding which ones to keep and which ones to donate. Believe it or not I now only have about 500. My cookbook library looks so empty and the ones that are left look lonely!
We're all singing "Simplify!" so I took it to heart. All those cookbooks were just making me feel guilty for not paying attention to them....or I had promised myself that I would go through them and clip out the recipes that I just had to keep (but it didn't get done).
As I left this morning, I looked back at the many, many grocery sacks full of cookbooks for one last goodbye. So long to all the casseroles and grill-out recipes, the appetizer and salad dressing recipes, the desserts, the dips, the salads and soups. I have to stop now because I'm feeling a little "Seussical".
I actually do feel a bit lighter...a little less responsible...a lot more grateful for the cookbooks that remain.
Until next time,
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
In the meantime, my website is getting a facelift and it looks terrific thanks to some very talented people that I work with. Please visit it and let me know what you think at www.cookingwithangel.com. New logo, extras, links, etc....and I've been busy writing little descriptions of each recipe. Wow! I didn't know there were so many on the site! Anyway, it should be completed entirely by the first of the year and I hope you enjoy the new look.
Earlier this week I did another Macey's Little Theatre Cooking Class in Sandy. We made the Angel Food Pound Cake and the Sugared Fairy Pecans. The best part was the end since we decided to cut the cake into cubes, top it with ice cream and chocolate sauce and top it with the pecans. Delicious! You'll find both of those recipes in my Stick of Butter Cookbook, available through Barnes and Noble and Seagull Books as well as on www.amazon.com.
I hope you're taking care of yourself, staying out of stress and in the holiday spirit. Life can be so distracting but if you'll just remember to give yourself some quiet moments throughout the day, the payback will be huge. If we can't hear our own inner voice we certainly can't hear any Divine guidance, right? Our only job here is to live joyously....write that down and keep it close. In the middle of chaos, just remembering to live joyously will bring you peace and calm, giving you a new perspective on any situation.
Have a wonderful weekend and I'll check back soon. By the way, I love your comments...they always make my day!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
- Thaw turkey in the fridge? Figure 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey
Thaw submerged in cold water? Change out the water every 30 minutes and a good measure is 1 pound for each half hour
- Internal temperature of 180 degrees (measure in the innermost part of the thigh….we recommend roasting your bird at 325. Please use a meat thermometer even if you have a pop up timer…just a good safety precaution
- If you stuff your turkey, make sure the dressing reaches 165 degrees. Some families don’t even stuff their bird anymore..and if you don’t…fill the cavity with chunks of onion, maybe big slices of oranges to help keep the turkey moist…oh & don’t forget to pull out the little packet of giblets!
- How long can you leave your food out…for example on a buffet table? Bacteria likes to show up between 40 degrees and 140 degrees…keep cold foods cold, hot foods hot….room temperature is not your friend.
- If you have leftovers, all of your hot foods like Gravy, vegetables, stuffing…reheat those to 165 degrees before eating them.
- My favorite personal tip? I like to take thick slices of bacon and lay them across the top of the turkey, the fat self bastes the bird and you get some great bacon to cut up into your mashed potatoes or sprinkle over your green beans.
If you have anything to add...please post it in the comments section of this message. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and make sure to watch ABC4's Good Morning Utah this Wednesday for more great ideas to keep in mind for the holidays.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Thanks for checking in!
Hugs as always,
Super Show-off Chocolate Crepes
When you want to impress your guests just say “Oui-Oui!” to this delicious dessert recipe. You make the crepes and your guests fill them with their own personal delicacies from your filling buffet.
· 1 ½ cups whole milk
· 1 cup flour
· ¼ cup cocoa powder
· 3 T. powdered sugar
· 1 large egg
· 1 T. butter, melted
· ¼ t. vanilla extract (you can choose your own favorite flavoring)
· 1/8 t. salt
Whisk all ingredients together until batter is completely smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. You can keep this batter in the fridge up to 2 days before you use it.
Using a non-stick 6½-inch skillet (or crepe pan), liberally spray butter-flavored oil into the bottom. Place pan over medium-high heat until you can see the oil barely starting to smoke. Remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons of batter to the pan, swirling until the bottom is covered. Return to heat and cook crepe for 1 to 1½ minutes. You’ll notice the crepe getting a dry look on top and around the edges. With plastic spatula or flipper, loosen edges if necessary. Slide the spatula underneath the crepe and gently flip it upside down in the pan. Cook for at least 1 minute more and slide onto plate to keep warm. Lightly spray pan in between making each crepe. Easily makes 15 crepes.
· Practice makes perfect. Know that you’ll probably tear the first few crepes as you adjust
the heat and get used to the swirling motion. No problem! It happens to all of us.
· Your crepe pan should be really quite hot.
· Make sure the crepe cooks long enough on the second side. Rushing this process will give
you a rubbery consistency in the center of your crepe.
· Have fun! Those French Chefs don’t have a thing on you!
Thick Chocolate Almond Sauce:
· 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
· 6-8 oz. semi sweet mini chocolate chips
· 1 t. almond extract
· Chopped almonds (if desired)
In medium size glass bowl, microwave milk on ½ power for 1-2 minutes or until hot. Remove from microwave and stir in chocolate chips until melted. Mix almond extract in last and, if desired, add chopped almonds.
What to have on your Crepe Buffet? Here’s a list (I prefer all of my fillings warmed):
First, the spread
· Peanut Butter
· Marshmallow Crème
· Fruit filled jam
· Cream cheese sweetened with powdered sugar
Next, the specialties:
· Fresh sliced strawberries, pineapple, blackberries, bananas (can use frozen if necessary)
· Chopped nuts, toasted coconut, crushed cookies or graham crackers
· Pie filling
· The only exception to warming would, of course, be any type of mousse
· If using whipped cream, place it to the side of the crepe so each bite can be dipped
· Syrups, i.e. chocolate, caramel, berry coulis…even maple syrup can be used!
· Sprinkling of powdered sugar
Folding your crepes:
Traditionally, dessert crepes are folded into quarters….savory crepes are rolled. Whatever makes you happy is exactly what you should do.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Simple Cashew Chicken
1 t. sesame oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup cooking sherry
1 t. garlic powder
1-1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken, cubed
3 T. cooking oil
3 cups broccoli florets
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
2 t. cornstarch
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup Hoisin sauce
1 T. ground ginger
1 cup roasted, salted cashews
cooked white rice
Pour sesame oil, vinegar, sherry and garlic powder into a large resealable bag and shake to combine. Toss in chicken, seal and refrigerate for 2 hours. Remove chicken from marinade (saving marinade). Heat cooking oil in wok or heavy skillet; stir fry chicken until done then add broccoli and carrots for 3 minutes or until crisp tender. Combine cornstarch, soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, ginger and reserved marinade; stir into chicken & vegetables. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and heated through. Stir in cashews and bring to serving temperature. Serve over rice. Makes about 6 servings. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds if desired.
Now for a few helpful Tips and Tidbits:
- What is Hoisin Sauce? It's a condiment and flavoring in Chinese cuisines made from soybeans, garlic, chiles and other spices. It's also known as Peking sauce.
- Arkansas is the leading rice producing state in America
- Rice vinegar comes in 3 types; white, red and black. White rice vinegar is the most versatile and is used in many Asian inspired sauces. Red rice vinegar is mostly used as a dipping sauce. Black rice vinegar is an ingredient in Chinese pickled pigs' feet (just in case you were wondering).
- If you prefer not to use sherry, you can use an equal amount of apple or white grape juice
- Did you know that cashews are in the same family as poison ivy?
See you Friday on Good Things Utah....I'll be making a little treat from walnuts, dates and sweet dough...and thanks for stopping by!
Monday, November 10, 2008
Over the weekend I was talking with my sister about the power of "hope". Can we pinpoint it to November 4th or just an overwhelming desire to get past all the challenges and know that the answers are already within us? Hope is what helps us see the vision of a better life. Hope allows us to dream of unlimited possibilities. It's hope that helps us remember the strength that we all carry and the unique qualities that each of us bring to the table.
This Thursday, I hope you'll join me at the Sandy Macey's as we sit down at a table of desserts! I'll be there at 7p for another visit to the Little Theatre. Classes are free and last about an hour (unless I start yakking way too much and stop looking at the clock!). This week's menu is 2 desserts from my Stick of Butter Cookbook. We'll do Cranberry Walnut Pie and Peanut Butter Cups...both are super easy and great to give as gifts.
Have a great week...and next time I check in, I promise an update on my little puppy Buddy and another bonus recipe....plus a few holiday tips.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I know it's not right....but I can't or..don't want to help it. I always preach portion control which means a cookie in each hand. I've tried smaller plates, eating less food at more sittings throughout the day, being mindful of each bite. I've taken to the treadmill and yes, I must admit, it does feel better being a few pounds lighter....but wait! I'm working on a Dessert Cookbook!
Perhaps, in the future, I'll look at a salad-seafood-fruits & veggies cookbook - but in the meantime I'll be sampling my Chocolate Truffle Torte and Buttery Ginger Gems. The good news is that my cholesterol and blood pressure have always been low...the bad news could be that, as Maxwell Smart would say, I'll "miss it by that much"!
Wish me luck,
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Today I was up in Brigham City for their Annual Women's Forum. It was so nice to meet such wonderful ladies all gathered to celebrate the feminine spirit! As keynote speaker, I focused on staying out of stress and drama....and staying connected with your higher self, balanced and re-energizing your life's passion. We laughed and chatted....and then it was time for the breakout sessions.
I had the most considerate assistants who helped me demonstrate stuffing wontons and frying up some delicious holiday appetizers. We made a South of the Border
stuffing and, a Pizza stuffing....plus I shared lots of tips on how to make wonderful desserts with cheesecake, fudge, even pumpkin pie filling. Everyone got a taste and I signed lots of cookbooks. All in all it was a lovely Saturday. Special thanks to Joan Bell for the invitation - you are truly a beautiful woman.
One of the audience members took these photos...so I wanted to share. If you're feeling stressed out, run down and out of sorts...please let me know. I'd love to come visit with your group too!
Until next time,
Friday, October 31, 2008
We've been so blessed with such fabulous weather, but this weekend it looks like we'll be welcoming rain and possibly snow early next week. Being raised in Oregon, I love the rain...but it wasn't like that when I was a kid. I remember staring out the window wishing I could go play as a 10 year old. As a teenager it was just a downer. Then I moved to Texas.
I had never seen it rain so hard that you had to pull the car over because you couldn't see the road. That was Texas. I'd never seen steam rise off the pavement at 4am after an early morning sprinkle. That was Texas. I'd never experienced 112+ degree weather or ice storms. Turns out growing up in Oregon was quite docile compared to places my future would bring me.
I guess that's my point. When we're younger we can't wait to move on. But what's the hurry? There's no doubt that the memories you form as a child will come back as some of the best times of your life. These days I appreciate rain for so many reasons. It brings "green" to nature and fills our lakes and rivers. It helps us stay home with our families in the cozy comfort of our kitchen....or lazing out in front of the television snuggled up on the couch....or just simply enjoying the sound of the rain on the roof. It's definitely home baked bread weather so here's a terrific recipe that'll make your house smell like heaven! It's one of many you'll find on my website at http://www.cookingwithangel.com/.
SUN-DRIED TOMATO CHEESE BREAD
1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda1
¼ t. salt
4 ounces shredded provolone
½ cup finely chopped green onion
2 t. minced fresh parsley
¾ t. dried rosemary, crumbled
2/3 t. coarsely ground pepper
2 t. shortening
2 t. sugar
2 large eggs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1¼ cups buttermilk
1/3 cup chopped pine nuts
Drain tomatoes, reserving 2 t. oil; chop tomatoes and set aside. Cook garlic in a small amount of boiling water for 15 minutes; drain; peel and mash garlic, set aside.
Combine flour, baking powder, soda and salt; stir well. Add chopped tomatoes, cheese, green onion, parsley, rosemary and pepper; stir well. Combine reserved oil, shortening and sugar; beat with whisk until smooth. Add mashed garlic, eggs and buttermilk; stir well. Add chopped tomatoes, garlic mixture and pine nuts to flour mixture; stirring just until blended.
Spread batter in greased 8 ½ x 4 ½ by 3 in loaf pan; smooth top. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely on rack.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
In the photo above, from left to right is Kim Wirthlin - VP of Government Relations at the UofU and Associate VP for Health Care; Amanda Dickson - KSL Morning Radio Goddess, and me! Also joining in the discussion was Joanne Milner - Education Partnership Coordinator with Mayor Ralph Becker.
This Saturday, I hope to see you in Brigham City for A Women's Forum at the high school. I'll be keynote speaking at 9:10a on how to Rebalance, Refresh and ReEnergize your Life's Purpose...then, it's on to the kitchen for two sessions about Cooking With Wontons. I'll bring back pictures!
In the meantime, see you in the morning on ABC4's Good Things Utah....have a Happy Halloween and thanks for checking in with me today.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Here's the recipe that's being referred to:
Beefy Corn Chip Casserole
1 lb. ground round
½ cup chopped onion
½ t. garlic salt
2 small cans tomato sauce
1 cup chopped sliced olives
1 cup sour cream
1 cup small curd cottage cheese
canned chopped green chili peppers to taste
6.5 oz. corn chips
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
Fry beef, add onions, garlic salt, tomato sauce and olives: set aside. Combine sour cream, cottage cheese and chopped chili peppers. Crush corn chips and place ½ in bottom of casserole dish. Add ½ meat mixture and sprinkle with 1 cup grated cheese. Spread sour cream mixture evenly over casserole. Repeat first two layers. End with cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes.
....and here's the question
I'm a big fan of yours. Love your Butter cookbook. I want to make some freezer meals and I was wondering if the Beefy Corn Chip Casserole you made on Good Things Utah will freeze well?
I'd appreciate any recipe ideas that freeze well that you may have too.
I would say that the Beefy Corn Chip Casserole isn't a good candidate for freezing. Neither sour cream or cottage cheese freeze well....you'd also probably have soggy corn chips! There are lots of great recipes on my website at www.cookingwithangel.com that would freeze well. Just remember that soft dairy products, i.e. cream cheese don't usually stand up well to freezing, neither do bread crumbs (or casserole toppings of any kind), cubed cooked potatoes (mashed are fine), and you may find a taste change in herbs and spices, especially garlic.
I hope that answers your question....and thanks for the compliment on my Stick of Butter Cookbook! Take care of yourself Amy and let me know if you need anything else at all.
Hugs as always,
Monday, October 27, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
JACK O’ LANTERN CHILI CUPS
2 cans (11.5 oz. each) refrigerated corn breadstick dough..or3 cans (4.5 oz each) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1 can (15 oz.) mild chili with beans
1 cup frozen corn
Sliced Cheddar Cheese
Olive slices, bell pepper, and carrot pieces for decoration
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease 16-18 regular-size (2-½ inch) muffin pan cups. Lightly roll out corn breadstick dough to press together perforations. Cut out 18 circles with a 3-inch round cookie cutter. Press 1 circle onto the bottom and push up the side of each muffin cup about one inch.
Combine chili & corn in medium bowl. Fill each muffin cup with 1-tablespoon chili. Cut out 16-18 circles from cheddar cheese slices and place rounds over the chili mixture in cups. Decorate cheese with olive, bell pepper & carrot pieces to resemble jack-o’-lanterns. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until corn bread is completely baked and cheese is melted.
Makes about 8 servings
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I came across some very interesting facts today...all about fast eating. Not fast food...fast eating! Did you know that:
People who eat quickly until they're full are 3 times more likely to be overweight? The World Health Organization estimates around 400 million people are obese, 20 million of those under the age of 5.
Slow eating encourages conversation, good digestion and a chance for your body to actually realize you're full instead of overstuffing yourself. My Mom used to sit at the table with me for our PB&J sandwich lunches and it was fun. We enjoyed ourselves and I still remember learning so much from my Mom just because we took the time to "sit a spell" (as they used to say). When we're old enough to go to school, we learn really fast how to gorge down our lunch in 20 minutes. Then we go to work and most likely are opting for the drive-through and lunch on the run. Sooner or later we pay the price. Where's the Tums? Did I eat lunch or not? My pants must have shrunk! You get the idea...so slow down, take the time to enjoy every bite, be mindful of your meal and anyone sitting around the table with you. I refuse to let life push me through a great steak and even better company! I hope you'll join me in savoring every bite.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The best part, besides the cooking comradery, is when things don't quite go as planned. I use a pastry bag to "inject" the jelly into the biscuits and I had selected a tip that was way too big...so....can you say "free-flowing raspberry jelly"? What a mess! I felt like I was in an "I Love Lucy" episode (and if you don't know what that is...think goofy, slapstick comedy with a happy ending).
Thanks to everyone who came along for the ride...especially Susan, who is Macey's most dedicated, fabulous, sweetest, hard-working, incredibly multi-tasking, not-so-secret weapon.
She took today off and I hope she's letting somebody else pamper her!
Where can you pick up my Stick of Butter Cookbook? At Barnes and Noble, Seagull Books, and other fine bookstores...online at http://www.amazon.com/. It's full of retro recipes with at least a stick of butter in each one!
Tonight? My husbands grilling hamburgers to take advantage of our sunny weather....and I can't wait! Isn't it true that the best burgers come out of your own kitchen? Here's a quick tip: if you buy extra lean ground beef, mix yourself up some chopped garlic and butter and harden it up in the fridge - cut it into small pieces and mix it into your beef just before throwing it on the grill. You'll have the juiciest, best tasting burger on the planet - after all, isn't everything better with butter?
Monday, October 20, 2008
For Sunday Supper I whipped up a Sausage and Steak dish served over buttered noodles...which I then made this morning on ABC4's Good Things Utah. Yummy! My favorite weekend treat? I chopped up leftover tri-tip and roast beef, mixed them up with pizza toppings like pepperoni, onions, lots of cheese and mushrooms...heated it up and served it over a nice crisp green salad topped with Jalapeno Ranch dressing. What a great way to use leftovers...and now I guess I'll just have to make more.
Did you know that paprika is actually dried pimiento peppers ground up? That in the Middle Ages, students were encouraged to wrap rosemary sprigs around their hair to stimulate their brains? Oh wait! Here's a good one! You can make your own sweetened condensed milk by putting 1 cup instant nonfat dry milk into a blender along with 2/3 cup sugar, 1/2 cup boiling water and 3 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter. Process until smooth and creamy and you'll have enough for 1 (14 oz.) can! I bet that'll come in handy for the holidays.
Hope your having a happy Monday...and if you'd like to see how to make that sausage and steak over buttered noodles dish, just visit http://www.abc4.com/ , click on Good Things Utah and watch today's recipe....you'll also see my new puppy too!
Keep on Cookin'!
Friday, October 17, 2008
Let's just say that this weekend my neighbors will love me even more...and that's okay. If delicious food works on my husband it will surely work on them. Wish me luck...and lots of self control!