Monday, June 22, 2009

Email Question!

Email question:

Hey I was wondering if u could give some tips for a good herb butter?

ilieaskitchen answers:

i have made herb butter out of fresh herbs for bread and crackers...  is this what you are talking about?
be sure to use the freshest best quality butter, and always keep butter well covered and in the coldest part of your fridge, as butter easily (and noticeably) absorbs surrounding odors, or can loose alot of flavor if left out or if it kept at inconsistent temperatures.

take 1/2 a stick of cold butter
and about 1 TBS fresh herb or herbs or fresh minced garlic or a combo of some kind...
use more or less herb to taste. practice makes perfect!

chop herbs and butter together on a large cutting board with a large, sharp knife until well blended. place into a bowl and mix well.  shape butter or place into a very Small mold or dish and chill at least 3 hours. (till it's hard again).
spread butter on hot toasty bread, corn on the cob, toss with warm noodles, or use in cooking in place of regular butter for an added kick (like in scrambled eggs, for example...).
does that help?  let me know what you think...



Sunday, June 21, 2009

Corn Cakes: Fried In The Pan!

Corn Cakes
They Love to be Fried.

   Like Grandma used to make. These were often side dish for Grandma's Chicken vegetable soup, or for Chicken and zucchinis. i also like to use them as a side for chicken (fried, roasted, or grilled) or fish. Quicker than cornbread, delicious and pretty simple. Mom's favorite too she gets really exited when i make these for her. Use Whole Wheat Flour to make a more nutritious version. 

Corn Cakes Recipe:
Makes about 6

1/4 Cup Flour (minus 2 TBS if using whole wheat)
1/2 cup corn meal
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 pinch salt
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
oil for frying, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan.

Mix together dry ingredients. stir in all other ingredients. Don't over mix. Fry in oil over medium heat. Drain on wire rack or over paper towels. Serve immediately topped with butter.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Greek Yogurt How-To

Hey! Strain your own greek yogurt!

An easy way to have rich, thick yogurt on the cheap. Bamboo strainer idea credited to Simon Darling. thank you! here is the slideshow how to! yay!

what you will need:

1 pint of your favorite plain yogurt.

1 quart size bamboo steamer

1 regular coffee filter

so here is the as promised greek yogurt how-to. now you can make your own creamy greek yogurt.

...ready..... set..... go!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sloppy Joes!: Turkey Or Beef

Sloppy WHO?!

(So tasty, you'll never want to open a can again.)

   I don't know about you, but when i was growing up it was hot in the summer, and mom's favorite thing to cook was anything that involved minimal effort. So i had many hot summer days topped off with a Manwhich or Sloppy Joe. You Know, brown the cow, open the can, stir-simmer-eat. I still feel nostalgic for the taste of sloppy joes every now and then, but i can't bring myself to buy a can-o-sloppy joe stuff, so here is the  pretty easy, all fresh ingredients- and healthy recipe for Sloppy Joe's. Enjoy!


Turkey Joes

serves two hungry people or three people with smaller appetites.

1/2 medium yellow onion diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/4 lb ground turkey thighs
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1 Can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1tbs balsamic vingar
fresh cracked black pepper to taste

in a skillet over medium flame, heat onions, salt, and oil till onions are soft. Add diced bell pepper, toss to coat with oil. Add ground turkey and sugar, cumin, Cayenne, and pepper, brown turkey for a minute, but don't cook all the pink out (this will keep turkey meat tender). Add diced tomatoes, vinegar, tomato sauce, and garlic. Lower flame to simmer, cover, cook 20 minutes, till turkey is soft and flavorful. Serve over dense multi-grain bread as a sandwich.

For this recipe, the only thing i can imagine anyone wanting to change is the ground used. I like beef, but turkey is healthier, flavorful, and less expensive than beef. Also, it is a better environmental choice, turkey meat requires far less resources to produce than cow. Anyhow, i really liked how this turned out with turkey. You could try Ground Chicken as well, let me knw how that works out.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Pancakes: Make Them Yourself!

Screw Bisquick! Really! 

for two big appetites or four smaller ones.

Pancakes are this really easy delicious food that people don't know how to make anymore. Everyone uses these pre-made pancake mixes- "JUST ADD WATER!"... and so the art of the real pancake is lost to the masses. Pancakes are so easy, you'll forget you ever heard of jiffy mix or bisquick. This recipe is adapted from a buttermilk pancake recipe i used for years, but i don't always make pancakes everyday, and having buttermilk in the fridge for the recipe meant planning ahead. i am kind of a spur of the moment pancake eater, so i invented and perfected this recipe using things i almost always have on hand...

by the way, Breakfast is the best meal.
*ahem, the recipe.

1 cup flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup PLAIN Greek* style yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1 egg

2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter
1/3 cup grade B maple syrup

Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl. set aside. in a clear measuring cup, measure yogurt. fill with milk to 1 cup. whisk till smooth. set aside. heat a skillet pan over medium high heat and coat with olive oil. while that is heating, add yogurt mixture to the flour mixture, add egg, stir just to combine, being careful not to overmix. you want the batter lumpy. turn down pan to medium, and add a tsp of test batter. cook pancake, discard or feed to impatient husband/boyfriend, dog, etc... add pancake batter to pan for first pancake. cook till edges are dry, flip. repeat for the rest of the batter. makes about 6 smaller pancakes, or 4 larger ones.

*What is GREEK yogurt?
Greek yogurt is a yogurt that has had a lot of it's water content strained out. it is thicker and richer. this yogurt works best for this recipe, but if you dun have any, you can make some. Recently i have been doing this all the time because organic plain greek yogurt is impossible to find, and i get regular organic yogurt for cheap at work anyhow. Just strain it with a coffee filter or cheese cloth overnight. i will put up a how-to soon.

What if i don't have/can't find Greek yogurt?
+You can substitute regular plain yogurt in this recipe, but you will have to cut out a lot of the milk. i think the right ratio would be 2/3 cup regular yogurt and 1/3 cup milk. Many yogurt brands are different, so adjust as needed for a nice thick mixture. You are aiming for a "buttermilk" consistency.
+you can also substitute sour cream for yogurt if you are in a pinch, but the results are not gonna be as great. So, you have to increase baking soda to 1 tbs, and use 2/3 cup sour cream to 1/3 cup milk.

Healthier version:
This recipe makes your pretty basic pancake. You can cut a lot of fat out of the recipe by using fat free milk and yogurt. You can use whole wheat flour to up fiber, but you will have to add more liquid, perhaps a tbs or two of water/milk. also you could skip the butter topping and go for maple syrup. By the way, if you use "conventional" syrup, like Mrs. Butterworth's or something, look at what you are really eating! it's all super sweet dense sugar may eventually kill you! (ha ha). Grade B Maple Syrup, by contrast is a natural sugar, closer to that which is found in fruits. it also has vitamins and such. and, a little goes a long way! so, save yourself from diabetes, and use a little maple instead of corn syrup.

Blueberry Pancakes
add a few fresh blueberries to a pancake once you have poured the batter to the skillet. if you can't find fresh blueberries, always thaw frozen blueberries, or they will create pockets of raw batter around them.

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