Sunday, November 20, 2011

Apples and Apples

On a recent trip to the apple orchard near my home located in Tennessee, we recently purchased 3 bushels of apples.  Pippin, Granny Smith, and Red Delicious.  The Red Delicious was not our favorite and they have been dried and apple sauce has been made from them but the Granny Smith, a nice tart and crisp apple has been put into pies and dried for later consumption. The Pippins have been a great all round apple.  I have used this for just good ole eating along with cooking and pie making, and drying.  This morning I am making some apple muffins.  This recipe was taken from an old Better Homes and Garden cook book (can by that I mean real old)  But that seems to be where I like to get my recipes.  I like the older versions.  So without further ado....
Sweet Brst-ever Muffins

Sweet Best-Every Muffins 

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons Baking powder
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup cooking oil or melted shortening
1 cup peeled and chopped apple
1/3 cup raisins

 Here's what ya do:
Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and slat: make a well in center,  Combine eggs, milk and oil:  add all at once to dry ingredients, stirring just till moistened, fold in carefully the apples and raisins.   Fill greased or paper back cup-lined muffin pans 2/3 full.  Bake at 375 for 18 to 20 minutes.  Makes 12 muffins


Melt about 1/4 cup butter and dip the tops of the muffins in them and then roll the tops in sugar.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sourdough Starter and Bread

I love sourdough breads.  They have a unique taste that incorporate your environment.  Each sourdough bread has its own individual taste.  Food is unique in general it is the only medium that you can convey an exact since to others.  For instance if you remember the time that your Mother or Grandmother made bread, you remember that smell and that taste.  You can them make it for you children and convey that same since.  Food performs on taste as well as visual and textural.  I love this medium.  To be able to experience it on several different levels of sensory perception.   I love the fact that when you need a pick me up you can go to the kitchen and create a favorite food and have a since of better times.
My dear Dragon Princess (my daughter in Law although I hate using that label since she just feels like she has always been with us) The way she got her nick name well that is another story for another time.  Any way back to the recipe.  My dear Dragon Princess asked me for a starter and bread recipe for Sourdough so here goes.
It may be said here that there are some different ways to make starter and I will post another sourdough starter at a later time but this one I have used and it has turned out fine.
Special thanks goes to: The Cotton Country Collection recipe book. Sorry in advance if the images are not showing up but I had a hard time with blogger this morning.

<a href="" title="Yes starting the long process of creating my sourdough   starter #food by Jeweledfrogcreations, on Flickr"><img src="" width="240" height="240" alt="Yes starting the long process of creating my sourdough   starter #food"></a>
Sourdough Starter;
1/2 cup warm water 
1 Package yeast
1/2 cup cooked unseasoned mashed potatoes

Dissolve yeast in the water and mix into mashed potatoes.  Put i a jar with loosened screw lid and sit on counter for 3 days.  Stir Occasionally.  After 3 days, and 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water and let sit for 8 Hours.  Then add 1 cup flour and 1 cup water.  Stir in and let sit for 8 hours.  Now you may add 2 cups flour and 2 cups water.  Let sit for 8 hour.  As you see, it may be doubled ever 8 hours.  At this point there is enough starter in the jar where it can be used and still leave at least a half cup starter in the jar.  Store in the refrigerator and stir occasionally, through the week.  Keeps indefinitely.

<a href="" title="Finished #bread #food by Jeweledfrogcreations, on Flickr"><img src="" width="240" height="240" alt="Finished #bread #food"></a>

Sourdough French Bread
2 Packages dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups sourdough starter
5 cups flour
2 teaspoons Salt

Sourdough French Bread
In a s large mixing bowl sprinkle yeas over warm water.  Let dissolve for 5 minutes. Stir in sugar, sourdough starter and 4 cups flour mixed with salt.  Cover bowl with a damp towel.  Let rise 1 1/2 hour in a warm place.  Turn dough into a floured board, work in about 1 additional cup  flour until dough is n longer sticky.  Knead until satiny, about 5 minutes.  Shape into 1 large or 2 small loaves.  Set on cookie sheet which has been sprinkled with cornmeal.  Let rise again i a warm place until doubled in size.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place a shallow pan of boiling water on the bottom self.  Brush the tops of the loaves with melted butter or water.  Slash the top of the loaves diagonally with a razor blade so the dough does not fall.  Bake 40 to 50 minutes until the crust is medium-dark brown.  Set on a rack to cool bread may be frozen.  Reheat in oven but do not reheat in foil.

Now in using the recipe I have found that it will take a bit more flour then a cup to make it the satiny texture that you are looking for.  The crust is wonderfully flaky and crisp and goes will with your Italian dishes or soups

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Banana Nut Bread

1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sour milk
3 bananas
1/2 cup nuts

Cream sugar and shortening. Add egg. Sift dry ingredients together. Add remaining ingredients with dry mixture to sugar and egg. Pour into greased 5x9 loaf pan. Bake one hour at 350°.

Note: to make sour milk mix 1 cup of milk with 1 table spoon vinegar. Let stand 15 minutes.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

Do you have a memory from childhood that involves food?  Chances are you do.  Mine involves a favorite cake, a Sour Cream Chocolate Cake and my grandmother.  This was her answer to a bad day or a shared joy.  We would scarf down slice after slice and when the cake got a bit dry we would stuff it in a glass and pour milk over it and eat it with a spoon.  Yes it was that good.
Over the past few years (with this ecconomy)  I have needed a slice of sour cream chocolate cake.  Some solice, some reminder that money issuses are transiant in nautre and what goes down will eventually come back up.  But every once in a while you just need to tast that silver lining.
I have long since lost or thought I lost the recipe but this morning it was like my Grandmother came into the room,  tapped me on the shoulder and sliped it into my hand.  I had been reading a recipe book and getting some ideas for different ways to make some bread when the thought of the chocolate cake came to my mind.  I put the recipe book that I was currently reading down in my chair got up and walked into my kitchen and pulled out my edition of "A Taste of  Georgia" thumbed exactly to page 107 and there it was "Sour Cream Chocolate Cake"  I read it over and OMG it was the recipe.  So here you are a taste of my silver lining,  a little reassurance that things will and are getting better.  This is good for skint knees, tears, breakups, and just the all round blues.  It will make a good time better so serve it often and with a glass of cold milk.

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake
1 cup sour cream 
2 teaspoons soda 
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, melter and cooled
(I substituted 3/4 cups Hershey's cocoa  here )
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour 

1/4 reaspoon slat
1 cup boiling water.
Cake: Combine sour cream and soda.  Let stand.  Cream butter and sugar, Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after addition.  Add cooled Chocolate and vanilla extract: (here if you substitued the powered coco you will want to just add the vanilla and mix the powered coco in with the flour and salt mixture) Add the sour cream and soda mixture.  Combine flour and slat:  add flour mixture alternately with boiling water.  Bake at 325 for 1 hour (I would start checking it after 45 minutes just to ensure not over baking.) Pour in 2 greased and floured cake pan.  After baking cool for 10 minutes on a wet towel (this prevents sticking) then remove from pans and cool on cake rack. 

1 (6 oz ) pag semi-sweet chocolate chips ( again you can substitue 2/3  Hershey's cocoa. 
1/3 cup evaporated milk 
1 1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar (more if needed)
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
Stir in cocoa to melted butter and then alternated add powdered sugar and milk beating to spreading consistency. 

Sour cream Chocolate cake

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Home Made White Bread

There is nothing like the smell of bread baking in the oven and I don't know of one loaf left to cool long enough befor sliced and buttered and eaten.
Here is a tasty recipe I got from "Southern Sideboards"
1 pkg dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
3 teaspoons salt
8 cups flour
1 1/2 cup water

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Cream shortening and sugar; combine with yeast. Add egg. Mix salt and flour together. Add flour mixture and water alternately to yeast mixture until dough is not sticky. Cover with warm damp towel put in warm place and leave to rise until doubled (1 to 3 hours). Punch down knead; then form into loaves on a floured board. Place in buttered loaf pans. Let rise again until doubled. Bake at 350 until brown (20 to 30 min.) brush with melted butter. Makes 5 small loaves or 3 medium loaves.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cotton Country

I have been making home made bread in an attempt to save some much needed moneys.  After a bit of getting the basics down, I found that I enjoyed making it but soon discovered that I wanted to move from just the basics to some variety.  I have yet to try different flour so my methods are the same for choosing flour.  That is I go to Sam's and purchase the Bread Flour or the All Purpose Flour in order to make any and all of my bread.
As I was looking for some new recipes I happened across this book called "Cotton Country" that my Grandmother had given my Mother back in 1974.  I started thumbing the pages and saw to my delight that there was tons of great recipes that I could use to get more flavor and variety on my table.
Being raised southern and having those wonderful food flowing through my veins (probably indeed clogging them up at times) I found a great recipe for Sourdough Starter and Sourdough French Bread.

The Starter 
Okay, get ready because this recipe will take some planning but it is worth it. 
1/2 cup warm water
1 Package yeast (this would be about 2 1/2 teaspoons of fast acting yeast if you buy in bulk)
1/2 cup cooked unseasoned mashed potatoes

Dissolve yeast in the warm water and mix it into the mashed potatoes.  Then put it in a jar (I used a canning jar but have since graduated into a handsome clay pot with like like a mustered pot with lid).  Keep the lid loose and sit it on the counter for 3 days.  Stir occasionally.  After 3 days, add 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water and let sit for 8 hours.  After 8 hours then add 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of water.  Let sit again for 8 hours then add 2 cups of flour and 2 cups of water.  Let sit again for 8 hours.  As you are starting to notice you can double every eight hours.  At this point you are ready to make your bread or you can use it in Hot Cakes or Waffles.  Just keep about 1/2 always in reserve that way you can have sourdough goods. 

 Sourdough French Bread
2 packages dry Yeast (5 tsp fast acting yeast if bought in bulk)
1 cup of warm water 
2 tablespoons sugar 
1 1/2 cups sourdough starter 
5 Cups Flour (now you may need more)
2 teaspoons salt 
 In a large bowl sprinkle yeast over warm water and let dissolve. (about 5 minutes).
Stir in sugar, sourdough starter and  4 cups of flour mixed with salt.  
Place in a warm location cover with warm damp cloth and let rise for 1 1/2 hours. 
After that add 1 cup of flour then turn out on floured surface (or use your kitchen aid with bread hook) and knead in enough flour to make a stiff non sticky dough.  Then shape into two long loafs and place on cookie sheet dusted with corn meal and place in warm area and let rise until double its size.  You can then top as you like by brushing the loafs with melted butter or an egg wash ( 1/2 cup warm water and 1 to 2 tablespoons of egg white or just water) Slice three slashes with a razor in the top of the loafs then bake at 400 for 40 to 50 minutes.  
The recipe calls for you to put some boiling water in a shallow tray in the bottom of the oven.  I have done it with and with out this.   The recipe also calls for 1 1/2 hours on the second rise.  I have found this to be a little too much as their call for the 5 cups of flour to be too little.   All in all I love this recipe and will make my notes on it for successful baking as I am sure you will add yours.   

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Welcome All

Thanks so much for joining me here at my newest blog and welcome to my kitchen here at blogger.  I have been cooking in the kitchen and wanting to share some of my experiences and learning experiences.  Food is always better when shared and shared with friends and family is the perfect accompaniment for any dish. 

Lately I have been keeping a kitchen journal.  That is my name for a small leather bound journal (one that my beautiful Daughter in law brought back from one of tours in Iraq.  I keep it handy and jot down any and all items that I may be throwing into my latest bowl of soup or newest meatloaf. 


Yes this has finally been accomplished in my kitchen.  I had for a while experimented with this particular endeavor and had gotten some results.  I say some because they varied greatly.  But I believe that this time I did a great job. 

Here's How 

4 egg yolks 
1cup to 1 cup 1/2. oil
2 tbls. lemon juice 
1 teasp. salt (or to tast)
1 rounded teaspoon of minced garlic 

 Now Blend

Place the 4 egg yolks in a bowl and beat with a standing mixer (I used my Kitchen Aid but if you have a food processor that will work just as well)  mix on high until the eggs are creamy about 1 minute. Now put in the salt.  Start adding the oil 1/4 teaspoon at a time or in a slow drip.  Now here is the trick-  You MUST keep adding it slowly until you have added all the oil.  I know some recipes say that you can add it all at once after you have added 1/4 to 1/2 a cup with the drip method but that DID NOT work for me.  You will start to see the egg and the oil come together and  blend.  If you add the oil all at once it will separate.  To use the drip method is well worth it in the end. 

After you have finished adding the oil you can add in the other ingredients.

The taste is great.  Creamy and beautiful to behold.