Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ultimate Mashed Potatoes

Serves 8

3 lbs. russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
1-1 1/2 cups of Organics Milk
2-8 tbsp. Lucerne Sweet Cream Butter, at room temperature seasoning choices (optional)
salt and pepper

Prep & cooking time: about 45 minutes

1. in a covered 5 to 6 quart pan over high heat, bring 1 quart of water to a boil
2. peel and rinse potatoes. Cut into 1 inch chunks; carefully add to boiling water, cover and return to a boil, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are tender when pieced with a fork, about 8 to 10 minutes
3. Meanwhile, heat milk in a microwave oven just until steaming (do not boil.
4. Strain potatoes. Mash with a potato masher or mixer. Add butter, hot milk and/or desired seasonings, if using, a little at a time. Mix or beat until potatoes are fluffy. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Easy Turkey Gravy

Serves 4

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
drippings from the turkey roasting pan
1 3/4 cups safeway chicken broth
2 tablespoons dry white wine (optional)
salt and pepper

prep time: about 15 minutes
1. in a 10 to 12 inch frying pan over medium high heat, stir flour until medium-brown in color, 6 to 7 minutes.
2. Skim off and discard most of fat from drippings in turkey roasting pan. Whisk toasted flour into drippings in pan until smooth. Slowly add broth and wine, whisking until smooth.
3. Set pan over high heat and stir, scraping drippings free from pan until gravy boils vigorously. Simmer and Stir until smooth 5 minutes more. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, November 9, 2012

80 interesting food facts.

Strange Food Facts

  1. The citrus soda 7-UP was created in 1929; "7" was selected because the original containers were 7 ounces. "UP" indicated the direction of the bubbles.
  2. Ketchup was created for use as a drug, not as a condiment.
  3. The liquid inside young coconuts can be used as substitute for blood plasma.
  4. Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning.
  5. The 57 on the Heinz ketchup bottle represents the number of varieties of pickles the company once had.
  6. The first product to have a bar code was Wrigley's gum.
  7. The average American/Canadian will eat about 11.9 pounds of cereal per year!
  8. Eskimo ice cream is neither icy, or creamy!
  9. A company in Taiwan makes dinnerware out of wheat, so you can eat your plate!
  10. You'll eat about 35,000 cookies in a lifetime! Wow!
  11. The average American/Canadian drinks about 600 sodas a year!
  12. Fortune cookies were actually invented in America, in 1918, by Charles Jung!
  13. Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying!
  14. Smelling bananas and/or green apples (smelling, not eating) can help you lose weight!
  15. Two-thirds of the world's eggplant is grown in New Jersey.
  16. Americans on average eat 18 acres of pizza every day.
  17. Almonds are a member of the peach family.
  18. Peanuts are one of the ingredients in dynamite.
  19. During an average person's life, they will consume about 60,000 pounds of food.
  20. Every time you lick a stamp, you're consuming 1/10 of a calorie.
  21. Did you know that there are coffee flavored PEZ?
  22. The world's largest wine cask is in Heidelberg, Germany.
  23. Hershey's Kisses are called that because the machine that makes them looks like it's kissing the conveyor belt.
  24. Coca-cola was originally green.
  25. The world's oldest piece of chewing gums is 9000 years old.
  26. It takes about a half a gallon of water to cook macaroni, and about a gallon to clean the pot.
  27. They have square watermelons in Japan. They stack better.
  28. Cream does not weigh as much as milk.
  29. Iceland consumes more Coca-cola per capita than any other nation.
  30. Pilgrims ate popcorn at the first Thanksgiving dinner.
  31. Only food that does not spoil: honey
  32. Cranberries are sorted for ripeness by bouncing them;  a fully ripened cranberry can be dribbled like a basketball.
  33. The average ear of corn has eight-hundred kernels arranged in sixteen rows.
  34. A full seven percent of the entire Irish barley crop goes to the production of Guinness beer.
  35. Nutmeg is extremely poisonous if injected intravenously
  36. In Japan meat from the 'Fugu' or spiny puffer fish is considered a rare delicacy, however the liver and intestines contain a powerful neuro-toxin and the slightest contamination during preparation can be deadly. Restaurants who serve fugu must have 'Fugu certified' chefs. In Japan about one hundred people on average die annually from fugu poisoning.
  37. Broccoli is a vegetable with a nervous system. Primitive though it may be, it CAN feel pain.
  38. It is believed ALL citrus fruits derived from the Chinese orange.
  39. There are 18 different animal shapes in the Animal Crackers cookie zoo!
  40.  round 19 billion hotdogs are eaten annually in the United States.
  41. Five hundred and fifty (550) hot dogs are eaten every second of the day in the United States.
  42. During the Fourth of July weekend, Americans will consume 175 million hot dogs.
  43. Hot dogs are served in 94% of homes in the USA.
  44. Children prefer hot dogs (first choice) to hamburgers (second choice) and ice-cream.
  45. The average hot dog is consumed in 6.1 bites. (average sized mouth tested)
  46. Mustard remains the most popular hot dog topping - 88% of hot dog eaters use mustard.
  47. Children prefer ketchup to mustard as their favorite hot dog topping.
  48. Hot dog consumption is uniform throughout various income levels.
  49. Southerners eat the largest portion of hot dogs.
  50. NASA has approved hot dogs as a regular item on Apollo moon flights, Skylab missions and space shuttle flights.
  51. The world’s biggest hot dog was 1,996 feet long, created by Sara Lee Corp. in honor of the 1996 Olympics. A 2,377-foot chicken dog was made in 1985 by Maple Lodge Farms in Norval, Canada.
  52. Marlene Dietrich said that her favorite meal was hot dogs & champagne.
  53. Babe Ruth once ate 12 hot dogs & 8 bottles of soda between games of a double header. He was reportedly rushed to the hospital after the game with a severe case of indigestion.
  54. Al Capone’s favourite food was Nathan’s Coney Island hot dogs, as was Cary Grant’s.
  55. On July 4, 1916 four Irish immigrants held a hot dog eating contest to decide which of them was the most patriotic. The winner, James Mullen, at 13 dogs & buns in 12 minutes.
  56. President Franklin Roosevelt served King George VI of England hot dogs & beer during a White House visit in 1939. Mrs. Jimmy Carter served hot dogs at a White House picnic in 1977. Queen Elizabeth II served hot dogs at a royal banquet held for the American Bar Association.
  57. During the war, soldiers were fed the dreaded K-rations which often consisted of beans, corned beef, or hot dogs. To make the hot dogs seem a little bit more appetizing, the mess staff referred to them as steaks in a tube, or Tube Steaks.
  58. 7-Eleven sells close to 100 million fresh-grilled hot dogs every year, more than any other retailer in America
  59. apple is made of 25% air, that is why they float.
  60. apples, onions, and potatoes all have the same taste? Try the test: Pinch your nose and take a bite out of each. 
  61. avocado has the highest protein and oil content of all fruits, but most of this is the healthier unsaturated type. 
  62. cabbage is 91%  water. 
  63. carrots were originally purple in colour, changing in the 17th Century to orange with newer varieties.
  64. celery requires more calories to eat and digest than it contains. 
  65. cherries are a member of the rose family.
  66. corn always has an even number of ears. 
  67. corn makes up about 8% of the weight in a box of corn flakes.
  68. eggplants are actually fruits, and classified botanically as berries.
  69. honey is the only edible food for humans that will never go bad. 
  70. lemons contain more sugar than strawberries.
  71. orange does not rhyme with any other word.
  72. peanuts are legumes and not a tree nut. 
  73. peanuts are one of the ingredients in dynamite. 
  74. pear is a fruit that ripens from the inside out. 
  75. strawberries are the only fruit which has its seeds on its outer skin.
  76. Microwave cooking was discovered accidentally, when a chocolate bar melted in someone’s pocket. This is very true and very scary – imagine what it was doing to his leg! The fact is, Percy LeBaron Spencer of the Raytheon Company was walking past a radar tube and he noticed that the chocolate bar in his pocket melted. He then tested popcorn in front of the tube (surely turning up the power and standing out of the beam), and it quickly popped all over the room. He is (obviously) known as the inventor of the Microwave oven.
  77. Worcestershire sauce is made from dissolved fish. Worcestershire sauce, the popular English sauce, is made from dissolved anchovies. The anchovies are soaked in vinegar until they have completely melted. The sauce contains the bones and all.
  78. Refried beans are only fried once. The reason for this misconception is a translation error. The originals are frijoles refritos which actually means “well fried beans” – not re-fried.
  79. The FDA allows you to sell bugs and rodent hair for consumption. The FDA allows an average of 30 or more insect fragments, and one or more rodent hairs, per 100 grams of peanut butter. I will certainly think twice before buying my next jar!
  80. The most expensive coffee in the world comes from civet poop. Kopi Luwak are coffee beans that come from Civet (a cat sized mammal) poo. The animals gorge on only the finest ripe berries, and excrete the partially-digested beans, which are then harvested for sale. Kopi Luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world, selling for between $120 and $600 USD per pound, and is sold mainly in Japan and the United States, but it is increasingly becoming available elsewhere. My question is: who the hell discovered that it tasted good?

Grandma's Green Bean Casserole

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 cup sour cream
3 (14.5 ounce) cans French style green beans, drained
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup crumbled buttery round crackers
1 tablespoon butter, melted.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth, and cook for one minute. Stir in the salt, sugar, onion, and sour cream. Add green beans, and stir to coat.
3. Transfer the mixture to a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Spread shredded cheese over the top. In a small bowl, toss together cracker crumbs and remaining butter, and sprinkle over the cheese.
4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden and cheese is bubble.


Pumpkin Cheese Pie

1 (8ounce) package cream cheese
2 cups pumpkin puree
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie

1. preheat oven to 350 degress F (175 degrees C)
2. Mix cream cheese and condensed milk together until smooth. Stir in the pureed pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and eggs. Mix until well combined. Pour batter into the pie shell
3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean. Serve warm.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Festive drinks

1 oz cranberry juice (either regular or sugar free)
1 oz cranberry vodka
Splash of Lime Juice
Top with Sierra Mist

Directions: In shaker combine: Cranberry Juice, cranberry vodka and lime. Shake over ice and strain into glass. Top with Sierra Mist.

Berry Christmas
2 oz cranberry juice (or other favorite red juice)
Splash of lime juice
Sierra Mist

Directions: Fill glass with ice (or chill all ingredients and skip the ice). Add to glass: cranberry juice, splash of lime juice and then top with Sierra Mist. Granish with something festive and fun (above: glass is rimmed with green sugar crystals and adorned with a candy cane twist).

Cosmopolitan Slushy

10 ounce (1 1/4 cups) citrus-flavored vodka
1/2 cup Rose's lime juice
2 cups cranberry juice
4 ice cube trays

1. Combine vodka, lime juice, and cranberry juice  in a pitcher with 2 cups water and stir to blend. Divide between ice cube trays and freeze at least 4 hours or overnight (the drink cubes will freeze only partially.
2 Just before serving empty trays into a large bowl and using a fork, break up cubes to loosen ice crystals (the ice will be slushlike). Spoon slush into tall stemmed glasses and serve immediately.

Lime Sorbet Margaritas
1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
1/4 cup sugar
2 pints lime sorbet
1/2 cup tequila

1. rub the lime wedges around the rims of 8 stemmed glasses. Place the sugar on a small plate. turn each glass upside down and dip the rims in the sugar to coat.
2 place 2 scoops of sorbet in each glass and pour 1 tablespoon of tequila over the top of each serve with a spoon.

 Cucumber Saketini
3 ounces gin
1/2 ounce sake
5 thin slices of cucumber.

1. In a shaker with ice, mix together the gin and sake. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with the cucumber.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Peppermint Mocha

It is the greatest time of the year. The Christmas drinks are finally out at Starbucks. It really does make me feel in the spirit of Christmas.