Food for Thought (and Discussion)

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Re: Food for Thought (and Discussion)

Postby SnowAngel » May 25, 2016 9:21 pm

The Rose-Tree Dryad wrote:That peanut butter whipped cream sounds so tasty, SA! Especially combined with chocolate. =p~ I wonder if you could cut down on the richness by using something like PB2 (essentially defatted powdered peanuts, popular with dieting peanut butter addicts) instead. I did see a recipe the other day for greek yogurt whipped cream, but I haven't had a chance to try that yet.
I did use an off brand PB2, my mom has it for her healthy recipes. My brother has the strangest taste buds, he can eat several candy bars a day, but our homemade sweets are too sweet. 8-|

It was a chocolate/peanut butter mix, so next time I think I should use just plain peanut butter powder and maybe add peanut butter to the pie for a stronger flavor.

I haven't been baking much lately, but my siblings and I have been making strawberry jam. We have made 15 batches for a total of 7.5 gallons. The jam shelves are full. :) We made one batch of mix berry and one of strawberry/rhubarb with fresh rhubarb (not our own though). My younger brother was so excited to help make the jam, he loves homemade jam and he really enjoys helping cut and crush the strawberries. I had a blast balancing helping make the jam and photographing my siblings working together in the kitchen. :)

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Re: Food for Thought (and Discussion)

Postby fantasia » May 31, 2016 7:27 pm

SnowAngel wrote:My brother has the strangest taste buds, he can eat several candy bars a day, but our homemade sweets are too sweet.
I don't know what kind of homemade sweets you make, but there is something about the combination of chocolate + sugar that is irresistible to me vs just plain sugary candy which I almost never eat unless it's offered to me.

Mmmm... strawberry jam. One of these years I may try to make a jelly or jam. Seems difficult for this lazy person :P but the results are oh-so-tasty!
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Re: Food for Thought (and Discussion)

Postby wild rose » Jun 01, 2016 12:04 pm

So I recently tried making my very own kissel as opposed to buying the instant mix. (Kissel is a dessert or drink that is made from fruit and potato starch, you can read more about it here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kissel )I made apple because it was the only fruit we had at home at the time. It didn't come out to bad actually. Though I do need more practice before I can boast of being able to make it good enough for somene other than me drinking it ;)) . I'm going to try my hand at it again once the cherries and red currant come around. I didn't take a picture of the apple kissel, but I'll post pictures when I get around to the cherry one. (the season is starting soon, so it shouldn't be a long wait). I had a Polish friend who made it for me once and he served it thick and hot, but in Russia we always serve it liquid and cold ;))

Either way it's super yummy.
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Re: Food for Thought (and Discussion)

Postby johobbit » Jun 20, 2016 3:10 pm

Interesting, wrose!

Snow Angel, for years when our kids were younger, I made dozens upon dozens of jars of freezer strawberry jam—lots for us; lots to give away. In fact, when cleaning out our big chest freezer when we moved, I found, tucked away, an entire box of Mason jars of jam, of which I still have a few left. :) Great stuff! Strawberry season here would be just as the school year was concluding (end of June), so we'd get right out to the pick-your-own patches and pick-pick-pick! Then, of course, because strawberries don't keep long, the next few days were filled with jam-making. 'Twas a fun family activity, although, I must admit, mid-way through I wondered if we were ever going to be done. ;)) So worth it, though! :D

EDIT: I meant to respond to this ages ago ...


Puddleglum wrote: They have an annual wild game feed, and the Offspring, and I will be donating some squirrel. I need to boil, and de-bone them in advance, but it will be worth it.

Are you serious?! Wow, I have never tried squirrel. I forget if you said in your post what it takes like, but ... what does it taste like? And what is its texture? Hmmm, we have lots of squirrels here in Ontario. :ymsmug: :P
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Re: Food for Thought (and Discussion)

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Jul 13, 2016 1:29 pm

It sounds like your brother is filling up on storebought sweets and not saving enough room for good homemade cooking, SnowAngel! Sigh. Brothers. /:) ;))

That kissel sounds so intriguing, Wrose! It's the first time I've ever heard of it. Cranberry seems like it could be refreshing served cold in summer, but apple seems like it would be tasty as a hot drink in winter. I'll have to try to make it sometime!

Mmm, strawberry jam. I've never tried my hand at making homemade jam before; I think I need to put it on my culinary bucket list! :D

I've been building up quite a collection of liquid whey in the refrigerator from making my own greek yogurt, and yesterday I used some of it to make mysost, a Scandinavian delicacy. You boil down whey, stirring every so often to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot, and add cream (or in my case, butter) when most of the water has evaporated. At the last stage of cooking, the lactose in the whey starts to caramelize, resulting in a caramel-colored cheese. You really have to watch it at this point, though, or else it will burn when you're not looking, just like caramel.

It's a really unique flavor and very delicious to a cheese lover like myself! Since the amount of lactose in whey can vary due to the length of fermentation time, the mysost can range from being almost like a cheese-flavored candy to a sharp, intensely umami flavor. It's also quite nutritious, being a great source of potassium and calcium. It takes about a quart of whey to make a quarter cup of mysost.

Switching gears, a YouTube channel that I've really been enjoying the past few months is Jas. Townsend and Son. It's about life in the 18th century and many of their videos are about the recipes, cooking styles and food preservation techniques from that era. It's really fascinating to see how people put food on the table before modern conveniences like refrigerators came into play! I thought some of you guys might find it interesting as well. :)
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Re: Food for Thought (and Discussion)

Postby SnowAngel » Aug 05, 2016 7:46 pm

fantasia_kitty wrote:
SnowAngel wrote:My brother has the strangest taste buds, he can eat several candy bars a day, but our homemade sweets are too sweet.
I don't know what kind of homemade sweets you make, but there is something about the combination of chocolate + sugar that is irresistible to me vs just plain sugary candy which I almost never eat unless it's offered to me.
We often bake cookies twice a week. Our favorites are chocolate chip, double chocolate, peanut butter oatmeal, and angel sugar cookies. If we are in hurry to bake something and forgot to soften the butter, we have a couple of brownie recipes that the whole family loves. I love chocolate cookies and brownies too, I can't understand my brother's candy bar "addiction".

The Rose-Tree Dryad wrote:It sounds like your brother is filling up on storebought sweets and not saving enough room for good homemade cooking, SnowAngel! Sigh. Brothers. /:) ;))
Yep, brothers.

A recent first time culinary endeavor at our house was Fireweed Jelly. It didn't look very pleasant when my sister was making the tea for the jelly, but the finished product is delicious and very pretty. It tastes similar to wildflower honey.

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Re: Food for Thought (and Discussion)

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Sep 10, 2016 2:55 pm

I have burned food twice in the past two weeks on account of being distracted by thinking about Narnia. :| "Bother! I've left my brain in Narnia!" :P I'm reminded of a story about one of my favorite authors, Diana Wynne Jones, who once was so distracted by a new story idea that she put an old shoe in the oven for her children's lunch. :))

I was pretty busy in the kitchen last month testing out different cake recipes for my birthday. I ended up making a grain-free version of a hummingbird cake, a classic Southern recipe that's made with pineapple, chopped bananas, pecans and cinnamon and is iced with cream cheese frosting. (This fun article gives a rather detailed account of the recipe's history.) It's one of my absolute favorite cake recipes! My version cuts down on some of the oil by using sweet potato puree and I also add a little bit of pumpkin pie spice to go with the cinnamon.

One other thing I've been enjoying this summer is testing out ice cream recipes with a kind of freezer mug. It has refrigerant in the walls of the mug and is meant for making slushies in a short amount of time. (The one I've got is made by Zoku.) If your freezer is cold enough and you churn the mixture in the mug for about 15-20 minutes instead of 10-15 for a slushie, you end up with soft-serve. It's great for experimenting (who wants to make a quart of an untried ice cream recipe?) and also good because I can only make about a cup at once and I don't have to deal with the temptation of having a tub of ice cream in my freezer. ;))

Oh, and speaking of ice cream recipes—this article has some great tips on how to make homemade ice cream softer/less icy! I don't put much sugar in my recipes, but I've been utilizing gelatin with good results.
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Re: Food for Thought (and Discussion)

Postby fantasia » Oct 13, 2016 10:24 am

Today is my daughter Ariel's second birthday, so I am making a Red Velvet cake from scratch for the first time ever. I'm also making something called Ermine Icing (aka Boiled Milk Icing) which I had never heard of before but I needed an alternative to Cream Cheese Frosting which my son hates. Apparently Ermine Icing was the original official Red Velvet cake frosting. Interesting!
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Re: Food for Thought (and Discussion)

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Oct 15, 2016 2:16 pm

That's interesting indeed, fantasia! I've never heard of ermine icing before. How did it turn out? I'm always intrigued by icing recipes that don't call for powdered sugar, since I often use sugar alcohols like xylitol and erythritol to cut down on my sugar intake and they are hard to find in powdered form. I've read that back in the old days, those types of icings were seen as more economical because you didn't have to keep both granulated and powdered sugar in the kitchen.
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Re: Food for Thought (and Discussion)

Postby fantasia » Oct 18, 2016 3:06 pm

Ermine Frosting, I don't know why I didn't post the link here....
http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1016330-ermine-icing
So, it did not turn out well. :)) If I were to guess, I would guess that I did not get the milk and flour mixture thick enough, because once I added it to the rest of the frosting ingredients, the consistency was more like a glaze instead of whipped cream. It tasted good though and we spread it on French Toast. :P
For the cake we made good ol' vanilla buttercream. ;)

To post a separate recipe that I made today, Beef and Butternut Squash Soup by Giada.
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giad ... ecipe.html
I am not a squash fan usually, but I have tasted it and it's awesome, and now I'm sitting here waiting for my husband to get home so we can eat it! ;))
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Re: Food for Thought (and Discussion)

Postby stargazer » Oct 18, 2016 5:01 pm

This time of year around here, the attention turns to apples. Fresh apples from the orchard, apple pies, apple turnovers, and so on.

Around mid-October I like to take a drive down the Mississippi River valley to look at fall colors, find tasty apple snacks, and end the day with a nice bonfire. I did this over the weekend and hoped to find some apple fritter bread at a place I frequent - it's so good! Alas, I'm not the only one to think so, and it was all sold out.
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Re: Food for Thought (and Discussion)

Postby HazyHays » Nov 15, 2016 10:14 am

I am not much of the cook or baker, but my Mom is wonderful at it. Now that I am 16 years old I think it just might be time to get into the kitchen with Mom and start learning because I don't want to end up with a Hubby in the future that has a wife who doesn't know how to boil an egg. :)
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Re: Food for Thought (and Discussion)

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Nov 15, 2016 2:03 pm

Sorry to hear that the ermine frosting didn't turn out quite as planned, fantasia, but I heartily approve of the french toast solution. ;))

That beef and butternut squash soup recipe sounds really good! Now that the weather is turning colder, I've been making a tomato pumpkin soup with tomato paste, canned pumpkin and milk with a few spices. It's really easy and very tasty.

All of those apple treats sound delicious, gazer! I've been baking granny smith apples with cinnamon lately, but suddenly some apple dumplings sound like a very good idea. ;))

Sounds like you'll be able to learn a lot from your mom, Hays! I'm pretty comfortable in the kitchen, but my boiled eggs always end up impossible to peel cleanly. :P I've heard that using eggs that are a few weeks old works better; I'll have to make sure the eggs aren't super fresh the next time I try to boil some.
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Re: Food for Thought (and Discussion)

Postby HazyHays » Nov 15, 2016 2:19 pm

Is is true that before you boil eggs like before you do it for Easter Egg Coloring you should put them in your Fridge for several hours in ice cold water? My Mom could teach me a ton, but she will have to have a lot of patience just like my Dad does with teaching me driving. :)
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Re: Food for Thought (and Discussion)

Postby fantasia » Nov 15, 2016 3:15 pm

So for boiled eggs, I always use store bought as my in-laws eggs are far too fresh and won't peel.
Here's the fool-proof way my mom taught me and it works every time, provided I'm paying attention. ;)
Put your egg in a pot of room temperature water on the stove and crank up the temperature. Once it reaches a rolling boil, start a timer for 13 minutes. When your timer goes off drop your egg into ice water to cool.
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Re: Food for Thought (and Discussion)

Postby HazyHays » Nov 15, 2016 3:37 pm

OK, that is what I was thinking about the ice cold water, but it was after you boil them. I think I will go down to the kitchen a help Mom with making Dinner tonight. I hope she doesn't faint. :)
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