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It's Chocolate Pudding Day, which brings up the question: What's the difference between chocolate pudding and chocolate mousse? Answer: chocolate pudding is usually thickened with gelatin (in the case of the instant mixes you buy in a box) or with flour (if you make it from scratch). Chocolate mousse is so easy to make and so much better in texture and flavor that it's what we always do around here when we're in the mood for such a dessert. Chocolate mousse also has the advantage of being ready to eat the moment you finish mixing it; it doesn't need to set up in the refrigerator, although some think that the refrigeration improves the texture of the mousse. But many people grew up eating chocolate pudding and still love it.
Pudding Creek runs along the northern edge of Fort Bragg, California, ending in the Pacific Ocean. It's a former route to the sea of the Noyo River, which now runs along the southern limits of the same town. All this is on the dramatic Pacific coast just northwest of the Napa and Sonoma wine districts. On a visit there, it's fun to take a day off of tasting to ride along the cliffs on State Highway 1. The best place to eat is the Old Coast Hotel Bar and Grill, right in the middle of Fort Bragg, and two miles from Pudding Creek.
Yorkshire pudding, n.--An eggy popover bread made with the drippings and rendered fat from a roast beef instead of butter. It's the classic accompaniment served with prime rib. Yorkshire puddings are usually made in a size meant to be eaten by one person, but some restaurants in England--notably Rules in London--makes them as big as bowls. Like most popovers, they're hollow on the inside, and are at their best right out of the oven. The name is an example of how broad is the meaning of the word "pudding" is in England.
Annals Of Food Writing
Today is the birthday of Milton Glaser, in 1926. He is best known as a trend-setting graphic designer and illustrator from the 1960s onward. But in our narrow outlook he is distinguished as the New York Underground Gourmet, a reviewer of hidden, often ethnic restaurants in that city. He wrote a weekly column under that name in New York Magazine for many years, as well as the first of a series of Underground Gourmet books. Richard Collin was the Underground Gourmet here in New Orleans.
Roy J. Plunkett was born today in 1910. While working for DuPont, he discovered a new polymer that led to his invention ofTeflon. DuPont saw the possibilities for cookware immediately and the first Teflon-coated pots and pans rolled out in the 1960s. Nothing sticks to Teflon, which is both its advantage and disadvantage. How do you make it stick to the thing it's coating? To this day that remains a problem, and the flaking off of Teflon and other non-stick coatings vexes all who use them. From a cooking perspective, I find that there are better ways to keep most things from sticking. And that for many dishes you want the food to stick a little (as when searing meats). However, there's nothing like a Teflon pan for cooking omelettes, or a Teflon muffin tin for making popovers.
Everything But The Oink Department
Today in 1498 is reputed to be the day the toothbrush was invented. It happened in China, when the stuff bristles from a back of a hog were attached to either a bone or wood handle. Hog bristles continued to be used for toothbrushes well into the twentieth century. One wonders how successful the invention was before the introduction of toothpaste. Especially flavored toothpaste with stripes, which my children tell me is essential or no go.
Candy Land, the board game for kids, was patented today in 1951. My kids liked it when they were little, because it involves no reading or counting to play. However, even they were grossed out by the fantastic amount of sticky-gooey candy that one moves through. Playing it always made me feel like I did after making the first pass through the trick-or-treat bag on Halloween night.
Food And The Law
Today in 1848, the first federal legislation designed to regulate the purity of food and drugs went into effect. The Drug Importation Act was as much about raising the standards of foreign drugs as about getting domestic makers to also improve their products. It worked, and more such laws began being enacted.
Annals Of Barcoding
The first grocery store item to be scanned for its price barcode was a ten-pack of Wrigley's Juicy Fruit gum. It went across the scanner today in 1974, at the Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio.
Words To Eat By
"Blessed be he that invented pudding, for it is a manna that hits the palates of all sorts of people; a manna better than that of the wilderness, because the people are never weary of it."--Francois Maximilien Mission, French writer of the 1600s.
Words To Drink By
"There's nothing serious in mortality.
All is but toys; renown and grace is dead,
The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees
Is left this vault to brag of.
--William Shakespeare, Macbeth.
The young Queen Victoria ascended to the throne on this day in 1837, and it proved to be the first day of an extraordinarily long reign. Victoria occupied the throne of England for sixty-three years and seven months, which meant that she celebrated three jubilees: Silver Jubilee in 1862, Golden Jubilee in 1887, and her Diamond Jubilee in 1897.
The word “jubilee” has a Jewish heritage, and comes from the name of a ram’s horn used as a trumpet. The the word “jubilant” obviously comes from the same root, and would have aptly described the mood of Her Majesties subjects had she fulfilled the obligations required under the original definition of the word “jubilee”. The OED gives this as:
“A year of emancipation and restoration, which according to the institution in Lev. xxv was to be kept every fifty years, and to be proclaimed by the blast of trumpets throughout the land during it the fields were to be left uncultivated, Hebrew slaves were to be set free, and lands and houses in the open country or unwalled towns that had been sold were to revert to their former owners or their heirs.”
It is doubtful if much emancipation and property restoration happened anywhere in Her Empire during any of Her Jubilees, but there is no doubt that may dishes bear the name “jubilee’. Not all were invented for Her special days of course, many organisations and individuals have celebrated their 50 th anniversaries with a new dish. The famous Escoffier gives a recipe for Potage Jubilé and it seems likely that it might have been in Victoria ’s honour. It is a very elegant take on pea soup, and here it is.
Potage Jubilé (Pea soup with quenelles of chicken)
1. Purée de pois frais.
This can be made in two ways:
(i)2 lb garden peas, white stock.
Cook the peas quickly in boiling salted water, strain and rub the peas through a fine sieve. Return the purée to the pan and add some white stock.
In this way the purée has a good colour.
(ii)2 lb garden peas, 3 oz. butter, 1 small lettuce, pinch sugar, 2 spring onions, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ pint water.
Put all the ingredients together and cook until the peas are tender. Rub through a fine sieve. Return the purée to the pan, add some white stock and bring to boiling point.
In this way, the purée is less bright in colour but has a more delicate flavour.
In both cases add 2-3 oz butter before serving and a little chopped chervil or mint.
2. Fine forcemeat of chicken with cream.
1 lb boned young chicken, 1 level teaspoon salt, very small pinch white pepper, 2 egg whites, 1 – 1 ¼ pints fresh thick cream.
Pound chicken in a mortar with seasoning. Add the egg-whites slowly then rub through a fine sieve. Put into a flat dish and leave on ice for at least 1 hour. Then stir in the cream very gently and keep on ice until required for use.
Preparation of Quenelles.
These are shaped in a spoon or ladle, in various sizes, put into a buttered fireproof dish and carefully covered with boiling white stock or simply with salted boiling water. Cover the dish and allow the quenelles to poach ofr 10-12 minutes on the corner of the stove. Above all, do not let the liquid boil, the quenelles should poach very gently.
Good soup is one of the prime ingredients of good living. For soup can do more to lift the spirits and stimulate the appetite than any other one dish. Louis P. De Gouy, The Soup Book (1949)
Five Layer Mediterranean Chicken Dip
Would it be awful to suggest you make Slow Cooker Greek Chicken Tacos just to have the leftover meat to make this appetizer? Oh, and make Avocado Feta Dip (my variations are below) too, because that's what provides the foundation for this delicious appetizer. If you don't eat chicken, scroll down and see the photo I took yesterday of something I think would go great instead, marinated chick peas, or skip it and just use the rest--still utterly delicious, but you'll have to call it a Four Layer Dip.
When I think of appetizers, I tend to return to my favorites time and again. After all, they are favorites for a reason! You can find them over there -----> in my Recipe Index By Category. In the Appetizer category. That was probably redundant.
I always like to try new things, however, so this recipe came about as a combination of wanting to try something new, wanting a familiar appetizer, and the desire to use what I've already got in my fridge. Voila! Taking a page from the many Mexican layer dips I've enjoyed over the years, I present to you Five Layer Mediterranean Chicken Dip. Thank you to Linda for help with the name. I can develop the recipes, grow the celery, prepare the food, take a few photos, write the post . . . but dreaming up recipe names is HARD! (Yes, I'll take some feta with that whine.)
The Food Almanac: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - Recipes
Scones are one of those things I never make or buy, but whenever I eat one I wonder why I don't! To me, scones are a breakfast thing and I like my breakfasts savory. I'm all about the eggs, bacon, and hash browns. So instead of the basic scone with jam on top, I decided to give savory scones a try with my favorite herb ever. rosemary!
I adapted this recipe from one of my favorite food bloggers, Joy the Baker. She is pretty experienced when it comes to butter and flour combinations, so I figured her scone recipe wouldn't steer me wrong. I'm happy to report my hunch was correct and these scones are awesome! They are best served warm, sliced in half with some melty butter. These would make some pretty awesome breakfast sandwiches too!
Feta & Garlic Rosemary Scones (Recipe highly adapted from Joy the Baker)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 egg, beaten
3 tbsp. cold water
3/4 cup sour cream, cold
1 1/2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 egg for egg wash
Monday, June 17, 2013
1 - 16 oz can tomato paste
1 ½ lbs ground beef
1 large onion diced
1 large red onion diced
2 mushrooms, diced
1 green pepper, diced
4 cans dark red kidney beans
1 Portuguese sausage, sliced
3 T chili powder
2 cans tomato sauce
2 T cumin
1 T oregano
2 T coarse Hawaiian salt
2 cups stewed tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 red chili pepper, diced (optional)
In a frying pan or skillet, fry sausage and drain excess oil, when done. To that pan, add the onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, saute in drippings, margarine or butter. In separate pan, fry ground beef. Meanwhile, drain and rinse beans. In large pot, combine all ingredients. Bring to quick boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Turn off and reheat again just before serving. Enjoy with rice and a dallop of sour cream or mayo. ONO.
The Food Almanac: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - Recipes
Can you believe that it is already the last week of June? This year has flown by!
I'm really looking forward to next week, not just because it's a short work week (Mike and I both have Thursday and Friday off--yay!), but also because it's one of my favorite holidays. I love the 4th of July. The parades, car shows, chicken lunch in the park, grilling for dinner, craft shows, and fireworks, plus the patriotic attitude of everyone around is just so exciting to me.
Makes 2 large pizzas (approximately 20 servings each) or 5-6 dozen individual cookies
1 batch Copy-cat Lofthouse Sugar Cookie Dough
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
2 (7 ounce) jars marshmallow cream
1 pint blueberries, washed
2 quarts strawberries, washed and hulled
1. Prepare cookie dough and bake according to recipe directions for individual cookies. For 2 large pizzas, roll each half of the dough into a circle, about 1/2" thick and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 425 for 15-18 minutes, until lightly browned.
2. Mix the cream cheese and marshmallow cream together until smooth.
3. Spread frosting onto cookies/pizzas.
4. Cut strawberries into quarters, lengthwise.
5. Place blueberries in the upper left corner of each cookie. Arrange strawberry pieces in horizontal lines, leaving space between each line (to form red and white stripes).
Store decorated cookies in an airtight container in the fridge.
**Just a note: One batch of the cookie dough makes a lot of cookies. If you don't want to make them all into fruit pizzas, just make what you want, and then freeze the remaining cookies. That's what I did and it worked out great. You can also make one large cookie and a bunch of small ones--the possibilities are endless!
The Food Almanac: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - Recipes
I wasn't sure if I could get any time off work since I'm still fairly "new" to my new position and a coworker had already requested time off. We thought about having a "staycation" in downtown San Diego or flying up to Napa for the weekend, but we knew those would be great options because we had already done them. And five years felt like it deserved something original. Something we would remember on our 50th anniversary. A true adventure.
As the weeks passed, we couldn't figure out what to do. We have a trip to Kauai planned for October, so we didn't want to spend a lot of money. Our trip ideas for Napa resurfaced and we came to realize we were probably too late to plan anything that wouldn't cost an arm and a leg. About two weeks before our anniversary, Steven suggested a cruise to Ensenada, Mexico. We've been before (for Steven's grandparents 60th anniversary), but it's quick and fairly cheap and would let us get away for a few days. But I would need to request time off from work. So I did. And I got it off.
I think my mind, in this case, lent itself to the "give an inch, take a mile" paradigm. Once I had the time off work I started thinking about all the things we could do in that time that would be great and exciting and new. So we started brainstorming again.
Then one morning I got a text from the husband that read, "Ok I have another CRAZY idea. How about 3 days in the Bahamas?"
Incredibly, a 3 day cruise from Miami was a really good deal and Steven's dad was able to use his points (he flies a lot for work) to get us plane tickets. So we booked it, exactly 2 weeks before the trip.
Part of me felt crazy - I am such a planner when it comes to vacations and usually book them 4-6 months in advance. Not to mention it is a 5 hour flight from San Diego to Miami. It seemed like a short time to go a long ways, but we both knew this was the adventure we were looking for.
So Thursday before our anniversary we took a red-eye and landed in Florida on Friday morning. We boarded the boat and started our vacation!
Happier Than A Pig In Mud
These are very tasty beans and perfect for folks that don't like them spicy hot, I wouldn't hesitate to make them for a crowd. Personally I'd use jalapeno and maybe a little cayenne the next time. If you're having a BBQ, they would be perfect to make on the grill. This recipe can easily be cut in half, and half fit nicely into my 8" cast iron skillet. Gotta tell ya, they're great slathered on a hamburger bun too:@)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Brown ground beef, onion and bell pepper.
- Add pork and beans and everything except bacon. Stir well and cook for 5 minutes.
- Pour into prepared casserole dish.
- Top with bacon and cover dish with tin foil.
- Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Let casserole stand for 10 minutes before serving.
My assigned dish to bring to a friend's birthday picnic is baked beans. Love them! This recipe looks so good for a main dish.
I've had them like this at pot lucks before. Yummy!
My hubby would love these! I need to treat him to a batch. what a flavorful recipe.
Baked beans are a MUST for summer cookouts. These look delicious! :)
For me, adding the mustard is the secret. We love these with a slab of ribs.
The Food Almanac: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - Recipes
I love blueberry pie, but I don't always have the time to make pie crust and since store bought just isn't an option I needed to come up with some other way to get my blueberry pie fix. The recipe below combines oatmeal and whole wheat to produce a crust that is not only simple to make but also somewhat healthy
Anything that saves me time in the kitchen is a plus in my book specially during the hot months of summer. I haven't tried it yet, but my gut is telling me this crust would work well for any fruit pie. So pick your favorite and start baking.
Of course less time in the kitchen means more time "hunting" for ingredients and one of my favorite places to do that is Whole Foods Market. Whether your a novice or newbie at Whole Foods be sure to enter below for a chance to win a $25 gift card.
Easy Blueberry Pie
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 Tbs orange zest
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks butter, cubed & cold
3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
4 tsp cornstarch
In a medium pot, bring the berries, sugar, and water to a boil, simmer until berries are tender. Whisk the cornstarch with a few tablespoons of water in a cup, until the lumps are gone. Then whisk the mixture into the berries. Stir frequently until it thickens. Remove from heat and refrigerate until cold.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, sugar, zest and salt. Cut in the butter, using a pastry blender or fork, until it resembles small crumbs.
Press half of the oat mixture into a pie dish. Pour the cold berry mixture over top and sprinkle with the rest of the oat mixture. Bake for 45 minutes at 350F, until the top is golden brown. Let cool before cutting.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Pupils of 3rd Grade have been working on descriptions of animals. We learnt these sentences to make our texts (oral and written):
- It's . big/small, tall/short, fast/slow.
- It's . yellow, green, brown, black, white.
- It has got . 2 legs, 4 legs, 2 arms, a long neck, a short tail, claws, a big body, 2 wings, 2 horns, 2 ears, .
- It can . / It can't . fly, swim, run, walk, jump, hunt.
- It eats . fruit, fish, meat, plants, grass, insects, leaves.
After some oral practice, we wrote compositions. We made animal descriptions and our classmates had to guess them:
Cristina brought this funny book from the Natural History Museum, in London.
. and we decided to create a similar one:
We used our books to play a guessing game in pairs:
Has it got.
Yes, it has.
No, it hasn't.