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Monday, February 27, 2012

The Mayonnaise Jar...& a Recipe



The Mayonnaise Jar 

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. 
He picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and start to fill it with golf balls.

 He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.


 He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
 
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.  He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
'Now,' said the professor, as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.
 

The golf balls are the important things - God, family, health, friends, and favorite passions- things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the things that matter like your job, house, and car. The sand is everything else --
The small stuff­‑'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important.

 So... Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner.
There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping tap.
 'Take care of the golf balls first --
 The things that really matter. The rest is just sand.'

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.
The professor smiled. 'I'm glad you asked'. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle,
when 24 hours in a day is not enough; remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee.


Homemade Mayo


Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 3/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Combine the egg, garlic, lemon juice and mustard in the container of a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, then blend on low speed while pouring oil into the blender in a fine stream as the mixture emulsifies and thickens.


Confectionately Yours,

Sue

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cheesy Tortilla Soup


 Hi WEEC listeners,

Below is the soup recipe mentioned on today's segment.  The cookie recipe is farther on down the blog.  I sure hope you enjoy them both.


Cheesy Tortilla Soup

1/4 cup butter OR margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
8 oz. Velveeta process cheese food - cubed
10 oz. can
Ro*Tel® tomatoes and chilies
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1-3 tsp. chicken soup base, to taste
pepper – to taste
Dried cilantro, to taste
flour tortillas – as needed, about 4 - 6
shredded Colby Jack cheese OR Mexican blend cheese – as needed



-In a pot, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes.
-Slowly whisk in small amounts of chicken broth at a time, then whisk in milk.
-Reduce heat to low and stir in Velveeta cubes; stir until melted.
-Stir in Ro*Tel, chicken, and spices.
-Once soup is heated through, it is ready to serve at this point. However, if you wish to make tortilla strips, it can sit over low heat while they are made. Stir the soup occasionally.
-For tortilla strips, cut tortillas into strips and deep-fry in 350 degree vegetable or peanut oil until golden, then drain on cooling racks.
-Spoon a ladleful of soup into a bowl, add a handful of shredded cheese, then spoon another ladleful of soup over cheese. Sprinkle tortilla strips over top. Repeat for remaining servings.
Note-I did not use the butter and I increased the flour a bit.  I whisked it into the chicken broth and heated until boiling, stirring constantly.  When mixture was thickened, I added the Rotel, and cheese (I had actually made cheese sauce with Velvetta and cream cheese & I used that.) (See pretzels and cheese sauce recipe in Baking a Memory. (my cookbook)  Turn down the heat to very low, add the milk, and chili powder and cumin.  Taste and add enough soup base to taste along with the pepper and cilantro.  It was wonderful!
Confectionately Yours, 
Sue

Monday, February 20, 2012

Burnt Cream

The lovely thing about recipes are that they can remind us of the people or places where the recipe originated.  This one was discovered in a restaurant in Fairbanks, AK when my husband & I were stationed there in the military over 25 years ago.


CREME BRULEE or Burnt Cream
2 c. whipping cream
1/2 c. sugar
4 egg yolks
2 tsp. vanilla (Mexican, if possible)


Heat cream until bubbles form around edge of pan. Beat egg yolks and sugar together until thick, about 3 minutes.


Whisk a small amount of the heated cream into the egg yolks, gradually adding more until all is incorporated. Add vanilla. Pour about 1/2-2/3 cup. into custard cups. Place in large pan or casserole dish. Add enough water to the pan, bringing water level about 1/2" up the sides of the cups.


Bake in a preheated 350° oven about 45 minutes or until set. Cool to room temp, then cover and refrigerate. 


For authentic creme brulee,at serving time, sprinkle extra sugar on top and broil until it melts and is golden the sugar cools, it will form a sweet crust you break through to enjoy the creamy custard.  (I prefer it plain, garnished with mandarin oranges and mint.) 


Yield: Four-1/2 cup servings


Note: I have successfully made this with half and half instead of cream and also fat free half and half with Splenda as the sweetener for those with lower fat/calorie restrictions. I have also baked this in decorative glass punch cups, making sure to allow the custard to cool for 20 minutes in the water bath, then removing it to cool completely at room temp before refrigerating.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Not-so secret Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies


Twenty-three years ago these cookies were delivered to my door after the birth of my daughter.  My friend would not share the recipe as it was a family recipe, BUT with a little perseverance, I finally discovered a recipe that leads me to believe the secret is out!!                 Enjoy!!


Crispy CC Cookies

Ingredients:

·                     1/2 cup butter
·                     1 cup sugar
·                     1 egg
·                     1 teaspoon vanilla
·                     1 1/4 cup flour
·                     1/2 teaspoon baking soda
·                     1/4 teaspoon salt
·                     2 cups Rice Krispies or Special K cereal
·                     1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
·                     1 cup chopped nuts, optional 

 Method:

1.            Beat butter and sugar together until well blended.
2.            Add egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.
3.            Combine flour, soda and salt.  
4.            Add to creamed sugar mixture and mix until combined.
5.            Stir in rice cereal and chocolate chips (and nuts). 
6.            Drop by tablespoon onto parchment lined cookie sheets.
7.            Bake at 350° F for  10-12 minutes...or until lightly browned.
8.            Allow to cool for several minutes, and then transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.  Or better still...eat them warm!
          Yield: about 3 dozen fair-sized cookies.

Confectionately Yours,

Sue

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Homemade Marshmallows & Marshmallow Cream


Hi WEEC listeners,


Today's recipe is a delicious candy that actually travels well through the mail.  When making S'mores with it, I lined up the graham crackers & placed the marshmallow cream into a piping bag.    
It was an assembly line from that point-graham cracker, marshmallow, chocolate, a smidge more of marshmallow, & another graham cracker.


HOMEMADE
MARSHMALLOWS
colorless, non stick cooking spray
1/4 tsp. salt
2 T. + 1/2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
2 large egg whites
2 c. granulated sugar 
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1/2 c. each cornstarch and powdered sugar, mixed together
1/2 c. hot water

Lightly spray a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Pour 1/2 cup cold water in a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over it; let stand to soften.


 In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together sugar, corn syrup, hot water and salt. Place over
medium heat and cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture reaches the soft-ball stage (about 240°) on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and add the gelatin mixture.


In the bowl of an electric mixer, use whisk attachment to beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. With the mixer running, slowly add the hot sugar/gelatin mixture. Add vanilla and continue beating for 10 minutes until mixture looks like marshmallow. 


Transfer marshmallow mixture to prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Spray a piece of   parchment paper with the non stick spray and cover marshmallow. Let stand overnight. No further
covering is needed. 


Remove parchment paper and invert marshmallow onto work surface dusted with cornstarch mixture. Trim 1/4" from sides and cut marshmallows into cubes. Roll marshmallows into a bowl filled with the cornstarch mixture, tossing to coat. 


(Alternate idea for the fresh soft marshmallows-You can also fill a piping bag with a large round tip and pipe a slender line, roll it in cornstarch, then cut into mini marshmallows.) Store covered at room temp for up to a week.
Note: Of all the equipment I've purchased for my kitchen, a digital candy thermometer has made the most impact in recent years. These marshmallows are so delicious and the flavors & color can be varied by adding different extracts and food coloring during the mixing phase. My favorite is to add 1/2 tsp. coconut extract along with the vanilla.



HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOW
CREAM
3 large egg whites
 3/4 c. light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
2/3 c. granulated sugar
2 T. granulated sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until light and frothy. With the mixer running, slowly pour in the 2 T. sugar; beat until soft peaks form. Set aside. 


In a small saucepan, combine 1/3 c water, corn syrup, and 3/4 c. sugar. Place over medium heat and cook until boiling. 


Cook, stirring, until mixture reaches the firm ball stage (about 242 to 248 degrees) on a candy thermometer, about 6 minutes. Immediately remove from heat. With the mixer on low, slowly add hot syrup to egg white mixture. Increase mixer speed to high and continue beating for 5 minutes. Add vanilla and continue to beat until mixture looks like marshmallow cream, about 1 minute more. Makes about 5 cups.


Store at room temp. for up to 1 week.


Note: I can guarantee you will never buy marshmallow cream again once you taste this recipe. You may use it to make the marshmallow cream fudge or "fluffer-nutter" sandwiches. (7oz= 2-1/4 c. of the marshmallow cream for the fudge.) A heavy duty mixer is needed for this recipe also.


Confectionately Yours,


Sue