Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Cookbooks to check out

I feel sure many of you have cookbooks you love to look thru for a certain recipe. Or you may have cookbooks you thought you just had to have and still have not opened. I usually order a cookbook cuz I like the way the author cooks. One thing I like to do is copy out special recipes and save them to my own special cookbook.
Here are two new cookbooks I would like to bring to your attention. "Eating-Well-Healthy-Heart-Cookbook" by Philip Ades offers great recipes to help us out to eat better when it comes to our heart. No fast food stuff but good tasting and healthy. On April 29th this book--The-Oprah-Magazine-Cookbook-2008 will be available. These recipes are from O magazine showcasing great chefs who submitted their ideas to her magazine. In the event you don't get her magazine, here is a chance to get those recipes from great chefs all in one book.
Here is a tip I picked up at the food blog--Lunch in a Box . Look for April 15th and how to freeze meats. When I get ground meat I like to separate it into patties for future use. The idea here is to open and place the packaged meat into a baggie; flatten it out to about a 1/2 inch. Now take a long chop stick or ruler and "rule" out the portions. Close the baggie and freeze. This makes for taking individual portions out when needed as it should break off easily. Whether for hamburgers or chili or spaghetti, you now can take out just what you need. Can't get much easier! Try it and see how it works.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Ever had a shrimp po-boy!

Looks like I am slacking off some. Could be the weather being that it is so nice, I have been outside just enjoying. I have been crusing the area for new places to eat and what is on their menu. The menus vary with the restaurant but mostly the seafood is really great. Our waters were rather stirred up since Katrina and the oyster beds are being restocked and the catfish look really good. The biggest problem is where to find fresh seafood as so many of the places were wiped out. Anyway I got a great shrimp po-boy yesterday with the biggest shrimp going. If you don't know what a po-boy is, here goes.
A good roll or french bread loaf
Freshly fried breaded shrimp
lettuce and tomato
mayo (mainly)
Mayo the bread and place lettuce and tomato on it. Place lots of fried shrimp on top of this and top it with more bread. Some folks press the bread with all the goodies(like a panini) which makes the bread nice and crispy. This definitely is a great way to eat shrimp or any other seafood or meat as well.
Living on the coast seafood is plentiful but what is better is to get it fresh off the boat. In June the shrimp season opens and there are so many dishes that can be made. The shrimp can be just cooked and eaten with cocktail sauce, deep fried shrimp, shrimp salad and casseroles as well. Besides shrimp, I feel catfish comes in second followed by bait and hook fish--flounder, red fish and snapper. Not to leave out blue crab for crab cakes. So with seafood so plentiful, I love to search out new restaurants to see what their ideas may be.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Carrot cake or cupcakes

How do you feel about carrots? Maybe take them or leave it alone!!!! Well it seems baking carrot cake or cupcakes is the online "in thing" for baking. Numerous sites are touting using carrots, so I figured I may just as well join in. I have just recently taken to eating the baby carrots with a meal but now I am into using them in baking.
My favorite is the carrot cake but not so much the three layer one as it is just too much cake for me. I went to visit Martha's site and found a great recipe for cupcakes that I turned around and make a 8 X 8 one layer. Yep, even spread the cream cheese frosting which really makes it all the better. Here are the ingredients and go over to her site and get the how-to which is just combining the ingredients and baking at 350ยบ.
Martha Stewart's Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes or 8 x 8 pan
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled) 1 1/2 cups FINELY shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup shredded coconut, plus more for garnish
8 ounces bar cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
So I now have a great recipe to take care of carrot cake. A much bigger sheet cake is here beetgoeson.blogspot.com/2008/03/grin-and-carrot.html. Lots of other carrot cake recipes at Group Recipes.
If you would like to read more about carrot cake and its origin, I found a wealth of information at FoodTimeLine by Lynne Olver (IACP & ALA), editor.