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Archive for the ‘Info’ Category

postheadericon White bread

Now this one sounds a whole lot harder than it actually. Take it from someone who was taught to make it by my mom and grandma and, somehow still seemed to make flat bread. This one is tried and true. In fact I’ve done live video’s on my periscope channel http://www.periscope.tv/voice4silent. I am trying to upload here too.

White bread

Don’t you want to have a slice of fresh, homemade bread? You can make this.

Maker level: Easy to medium

Here is what you need:

Large bowl

Smaller bowl

Mixing spoon unless using a machine to mix

Bread loaf pan

Saran Wrap or other plastic wrap

Measuring cups: 1 c (250 mL) 1/2 c (125 mL) + liquid measuring cup

Measuring spoons: 1 tsp (5 mL) 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) 1 tbsp (15 mL)

Oven set at 400 F

Ingredients:

1 egg

1 egg yolk

4 1/2 c flour + extra                                                                    1064 mL

1 1/2 tsp salt                                                                                  7.5 mL

2 tsp super fine sugar or icing sugar or honey                       10 mL

1 tsp or 1 package of yeast                                                           5 mL

2 tbsp butter                                                                                   30 mL

1 1/2 c warm water                                                                        355 mL

Vegetable oil

How to do it:

  1. If using non fast rise yeast, measure 1/4 c warm water, sugar or icing sugar or honey, and package or 1 tsp of yeast. Add all the ingredients into a bowl and mix gently. Set in warm area for 10 minutes. *
  2. If using fast rise yeast, add to the dry ingredients instead of making the yeast mixture.
  3. Put 1 egg and 1 egg yolk into the bowl. Add wet yeast mixture if doing step one.
  4. Put flour, salt, and diced butter. Break up butter with your fingers until there are a lot of small pieces. Add quick rising yeast if doing step 2.
  5. Now either mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients or add a little dry ingredients to the wet mixture. Add water until you form a smooth, elastic ball.
  6. Knead for 10 minutes if by hand or by mixer. If by machine, dump out dough and knead for five minutes or until it’s all mixed up. Form smooth elastic ball.
  7. Put into clean large, oiled bowl. Place dough in bowl, brush or spray top of dough with oil to prevent sticking. Cover with plastic wrap. Rest in warm space until double.
  8. Punch down dough when doubled in size and knead five minutes to form a loaf shape.
  9. Place loaf shape in pan, cover and rest until doubled in size.
  10. When doubled in size: Crusty top? Don’t brush with oil or butter before placing in oven or after removal from oven. Soft top? Brush with oil or butter before and after oven.
  11. Remove from oven when top is golden brown and sounding hollow when knocked on. Yes my grandma and mom did this.
  12. Turn out pan and enjoy! Warm or cold, this is yummy.
  13. Helpful hint: Single person? Why not make buns which are sandwich size. To keep bread longer, put half the loaf in your freezer and remove when you need to.
  14. Check out the Cinnamon Bun recipe made using this basic bread recipe. Check out the Reese’s pieces, Chocolate, Honey Peanut Butter Buns using this basic bread recipe.

*This is a great experiment to show the kids that yeast is alive and how it works. The sugar, warm water and heat activate the yeast and brings them to live to make our bread rise. My grandchildren loved this experiment and the bread of course!

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postheadericon Oh so yummy Pulled Pork

Image: simpleeasymeals.com

Image: simpleeasymeals.com

This recipe is yummy!  We made this for a recent family event and it was the first thing to go!  I guarantee you that your family and friends will absolutely love you after they taste this pulled pork.  You will need at least two days to do this right but the end result will be well worth it.

Image: simpleeasymeals.com

Image: simpleeasymeals.com

What you need:

  • Large Zip Lock bags
  • Large pan to bake in oven
  • Oven of course
  • Large liquid container for holding 2L of fluid
  • Medium size bowl to mix dry rub
  • Large spoon or spatula to mix

Ingredients:

1 whole boston butt

Dry Rub

1 tbsp of ground cumin
1 tbsp of garlic powder
1 tbsp of onion powder
1 tbsp of chili powder
1 tbsp of cayenne pepper
1 tbsp of salt
1 tbsp of ground pepper
1 tbsp of paprika
1/2 cup of brown sugar

Brine Solution

1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 qts cold water
2 bay leaves
3 tbsp dry rub mix

Optional:

  • Bun
  • Homemade coleslaw (recipe to come)

What to do:

  • For the dry rub: Mix well and store in an air tight container.  Put aside.
  • For the brine mix:  Add salt to cold water and stir very well until all the salt is completely dissolved. Then add the brown sugar, dry rub, and bay leaves and stir well to combine.

Now to add it all together:

  • Rinse the pork shoulder and place in a large container, pour in the brine solution until the shoulder is completely covered. Cover the container and place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
  • Remove pork shoulder from brine solution, pat dry with paper towels, place in baking pan that is bigger than the shoulder by at least a inch in length and width and at least 3 inches deep.
  • Sprinkle dry rub onto the surface of the shoulder and massage in such that it adheres to the surface. Coat all sides.
  • Make sure the fat layer on the shoulder is facing up before cooking! Place baking pan uncovered in a 225 degree F oven on the middle rack.
  • Insert a probe thermometer into the center or thickest part of the shoulder, but not touching the bone. Monitor the temperature throughout cooking (a digital thermometer with an alarm function is the easiest way to do this). Do not remove from the oven until the center of the shoulder reaches 200 degrees.
Image: simpleeasymeals.com  Don't worry it's not burnt, that's just the fat layer getting some color.

Image: simpleeasymeals.com Don’t worry it’s not burnt, that’s just the fat layer getting some color.

  • When the shoulder has reached 200 degrees, shut off the oven and let the roast cool for a couple of hours before removing from the oven. If the bottom of the pan is dry (or crusted with dried spices) then cover the pan with foil to retain internal moisture of the meat during the cooling period.
  • When the temperature drops to 170 degrees or slightly lower, remove from oven. Place on a large, clean work surface such as a cutting board, and remove the large sheet of crusted fat on the top. Pull apart with two forks, it will pull apart very easily. Serve for friends and family!

 

Image: simpleeasymeals.com

Image: simpleeasymeals.com

Optional:

  • Open bun
  • Add some of your delicious pulled pork
  • Top it off with some homemade or store bought coleslaw
  • Enjoy!

 

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postheadericon BANANA’S, TO EAT OR NOT TO EAT THAT IS THE QUESTION

banana

Banana’s, to eat or not to eat that is the question

(Note:  I am not a health professional and cannot give medical advice but I can research what works and share it with you.  Please talk to your health care professional if you have any questions or concerns about your health.)

If you’re like a lot of people, you are trying to get on the healthy food train and cut out the processed and sugary foods which tend to cause health problems.  One thing I consider when eating is what effect the food has on my body.  Simple foods like banana’s can have no problems for one person and in someone like me, they have the opposite effect.  So let’s learn about banana’s shall we? lol

Sometimes banana’s can cause your belly to bloat and your poop to closely to resemble that of a rabbit.  And here you thought those little easter eggs were eggs!  Nah just kidding they are!

Okay so why the heck do they cause constipation in some people and not in others?

The answer lies, partially, with their color believe it or not.  If you eat a banana before it is ready, you know that greeny colour, you aren’t eating ripe fruit but are eating it when it has a ton of starch in it.  The starch is what is believed to be the cause of bloating and constipation after eating one or several in a day.  The chart below shows when you should eat a banana.

Do bananas cause constipation?

Banana’s also have big fiber muscles when it comes to food.  One medium size banana may have as much as 3% of fiber which is only 10% of the maximum daily recommended amount of fiber, but the fiber content is a lot higher than many foods.

Drink that water, silly!

How many times have you heard, drink that water!  Well if you like to eat banana’s but don’t like the side effects, drink, drink, drink and then drink some more.  Think of how cement is made.  If you mix a little water to it, it can be a majorly strong compound but if you add a lot of water to it, it just becomes a thin soup of goop.  When you don’t drink enough water, the banana’s will work against you and harden your poop to block your intestines and make you have pellets instead of well formed poo.

I don’t want to give up eating banana’s so what can I do?

Here is what to do if you love banana’s and have hard poo…gee that’s kind of poetic in a “crap” sort of way.  Okay I couldn’t help myself.

Eat ripe banana’s and drink lots of water.  Simple right?  It is.  If you eat them at the right time, you will have dippity dog doo, normal kind of poo.  Okay I did it again sorry.

Okay I’m swimming in water but still having pellet poo, so what else could it be?

You might have heard of something called pectin, it’s what your mom or grandmom used to make those awesome jams and jellies.  Banana’s have a big amount of pectin which helps to pull out the water you are drinking and giving you those rock hard poops you probably know and hate.  That is crappy when that happens isn’t it!

Hmmmm that’s interesting.  What if the only healthy thing I eat are banana’s, that can’t be bad can it?

If you enjoy dining with Ronald McDonald, Sonic the Hedgehog, the Burger King or even that cute little Wendy’s, you may not be eating enough wholesome foods like fiber and may be even eating too much of the scrumptuous tasting food which is ooooh so bad for you.   Burger, fries and pop?  Heart attack in a bag to go please.  You may also be eating too many factory foods like those yummy Twinkies or Dad’s cookies.

Eating bananas that are almost ripe (see the 4th banana) can cause constipation as they contain a lot of starch.
Eating banana’s from #5 on is a ton healthier for you and your poo!  Number 7 is sublime!

Source: Google Images

If you drink a ton of water, you should be able to eat three banana’s in the morning before work or school.  Some people can eat way more than three and still not have a problem.  Every body is different so do what’s best for you.

If you do everything and still find yourself having a belly full of lead from eating those banana’s, then don’t eat them.  Pretty easy.

Bake them, freeze them or eat them…banana’s are versatile.

Happy pooping and remember to talk to your health professional if things are not working in your body or you have any questions.

***This blog also appears on my recipe site at: www.simpleeasymeals.com

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postheadericon Homemade Butter

homemadebutter

That’s right!  You can make this simple butter in under 10 minutes and choose to add salt or flavors.  Try it!

 

What you need:

A good mixer or food processor

Bowl

Spoon

Optional: Cheesecloth to drain

 

Ingredients:

 

For plain table butter:

1 litre of Whipping Cream

Optional: Sea salt or regular iodized table salt

 

To make Orange Honey Butter:

1 cup (250 ml) homemade or store  bought butter softened

2 tbsp (30 mL) Orange Zest (Peel)

Honey to your taste as needed

 

How to make it:

 

Plain butter:

  1. Empty entire 1 liter carton of whipping cream into a bowl.
  2. Using high speed on either your mixer or food processor, blend the cream until it starts to thicken and the fat and liquid are separated which takes about 8 or 9 minutes.
  3. When it is thickened, remove the blades from the bowl and then scoop out the butter.  You can keep the liquid and use it in a recipe for buttermilk or just toss it down your sink.
  4. Put the butter into another bowl of icy water and squeeze out the excess liquid.  You can use the optional cheesecloth for this if you like.
  5. You can add a little salt if you want now and it’s ready to be refrigerated.  This will stay for up to one month.
Orange Honey Butter:
  1. Using the above homemade butter recipe or softened store bought butter, put the butter back into your mixing bowl and add the orange zest and honey to one cup of softened butter.

You can also make garlic butter with this recipe and adding crushed garlic to your liking for awesome garlic bread!

Good luck!

 
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postheadericon Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

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Yield: Makes 12-18 peanut butter cups if you are using a standard muffin pan or double if you are using the mini muffin pans for bite size treats  (depends on how thick you make the layers)

What you need:
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Ingredients:

  • 16 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter or your favorite brand
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup +2 tbsp sifted confectioner’s sugar

Directions:

  1. Line a standard 12 cup muffin tin with paper cupcake liners or a mini muffin pan for smaller bites.

Melt the Chocolate

  1. Melt half the chocolate either in a double boiler (Use a metal bowl for chocolate and place over a pot with slow boiling water) or in the microwave (easier method). I prefer the first method.

20131204_135605

  1. Distribute the melted chocolate into the 12 muffin tins (Use a icing bag or make one using a plastic food storage bag, cutting on corner to pipe through), only barely filling the bottom of each cup. Drop the pan repeatedly on the counter to get rid of air bubbles, and it to flatten and smooth out. Place the pan in the freezer for 15 minutes.

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  1. Next, whip the peanut butter, butter, and confectioner’s sugar together with a hand mixer until mixed and light. Taste it and make sure the sweetness is to your liking (add more icing sugar as needed). Place small tablespoons of peanut butter into each cup (or use the method above for icing bag), drop the pan repeatedly on the counter again, so the peanut butter layer is flattened out & air bubbles are removed. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.

20131204_135016

  1. Melt the last 1/2lb of chocolate, and portion small spoonfuls of chocolate into the cups (or use the icing bag above), one cup at a time, dropping the pan repeatedly on the counter to flatten each cup as the chocolate will harden due to peanut butter.  Place the peanut butter cups in the freezer for 15 minutes to set the top layer of chocolate.

20131204_140017 20131204_140042

 

  1. Now either refrigerate them for a peanut butter cup with more bite, or leave them at room temperature for a softer, creamier bite. Just peel the wrapper off, and enjoy the awesome treat you made all by yourself!

 20131204_144629

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postheadericon Homemade Corn Dogs

Oh so good and nothing hard to pronounce went into making them!

Oh so good and nothing hard to pronounce went into making them!

What you need:

  • 2 bowls – 1 large and 1 medium
  • Sifter or just a thorough mixing
  • Spoon
  • Deep fryer or deep frying pan
  • Paper towels
  • Plate

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup flour
  • ¾ Tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • ½ Tsp. salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. cooking oil
  • 4 to 6 hot dogs
  • 4 to 6 wooden sticks

How to make it:

  • Sift together flour, baking powder, cornmeal, sugar and salt.
  • Stir together milk, egg and oil. Beat in dry ingredients.
  • Skewer each hot dog on wooden sticks.
  • Dip in batter and fry in hot oil using sticks or tongs.
  • Drain onto paper towels.

Enjoy with your favorite topping!  Guess what?  You did it!

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postheadericon Homemade Chocolate Pudding

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Making things from scratch is much better than buying it pre-mixed since you know what goes into your homemade food and more importantly can pronounce everything.  Things that end in …yl or …ine etc scare the pants off of me.  Our children do not need preservatives in every treat they have.  This recipe is great for getting the older kids to help prepare.  Happy cooking!

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 cups milk, divided
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Measure cocoa powder into a saucepan. Whisk in enough water to make a smooth paste. Stir in sugar and salt. Add 1 1/2 cups milk, reserving 1/2 cup.
  2. Heat cocoa/milk mixture over medium heat, stirring regularly, to boiling. Meanwhile, mix cornstarch and milk together.
  3. When cocoa/milk mixture reaches a boil, whisk in cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly. Bring back to a boil and cook and stir for 1 minute.
  4. Remove pudding from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour pudding into individual dishes or a large bowl. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Yields:  2 cups.

*For bigger families just double the recipe!

*Make your own pudding pops by pouring some of the pudding into containers and freezing!

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postheadericon Peanut Butter Cookies with Reese’s Pieces

So good you won't be able to eat just one!

So good you won’t be able to eat just one!

Super easy and super yummy!

What you need:

  • Medium size bowl
  • Smaller bowl
  • Electric mixer or pastry blender or even a good ole fork will work
  • Cookie tray – non stick preferably
  • Tin foil or parchment paper
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Oven

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) Peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) Butter or Margarine
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) White sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) Brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup (300 ml) Flour (white or whole wheat)
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) Baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) Reese’s Pieces, chocolate chip or your other favorite (optional)

How to make it:

  • Turn oven onto 375 F
  • Add the peanut butter, butter or margarine, white sugar, brown sugar and egg to a medium size bowl and blend using a mixer until smooth and mixed together.
  • In smaller bowl, add the flour, baking powder and baking soda.  Mix well.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well.
  • Add the optional Reese’s Pieces, chocolate chip or other favorite to the mix and mix well.
  • Put a little flour on your hands.  Reach into the cookie dough and roll dough into balls of about an inch.  Place the round dough on the cookie sheet and use a fork to squish them down in a horizontal and then vertical pattern.  You can top each cookie off with extra Reese’s Pieces, chocolate chips or even a peanut!  Heck it’s your cookie, add what you love!
  • Bake the cookies at 375 F for around 10 – 12 minutes until they are golden brown and yummy looking.
  • Remove the cookies from the oven when done and yes they will be soft but will firm up when they cool.
  • This recipe makes about 3.5 dozen regular size cookies but if you want to make them bigger, go right ahead!
  • Enjoy the smell of your house with that yummy peanut butter cookie scent!
By all means help yourself!

By all means help yourself!

 

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postheadericon Homemade Graham Crackers

I love these crackers.  These come in handy for a ton of recipes besides just enjoying them all on their own.  For those of us who want less preservatives in our food, baking these crackers at home instead of buying them pre-packaged, makes them a little healthier.

grahamcrackers1

Yield:  10 4 x 4.5-inch graham crackers or 48 2-inch squares

What you need:

  • 2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (375 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour (a swap of 1/2 cup with whole wheat flour or 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour works well here, too)
  • 1 cup (176 grams) dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon (6 grams) baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt (4 grams)
  • 7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces or 100 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
  • 1/3 cup (114 grams) mild-flavored honey, such as clover
  • 5 tablespoons (77 grams) milk, full-fat is best
  • 2 tablespoons (27 grams) pure vanilla extract

Topping (optional but yummy)
3 tablespoons (43 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) ground cinnamon

How to make it:

  1. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or if you don’t have a food processor or electric mixer, you can cut the ingredients together with a pastry blender. Just make sure they’re very well mixed together. Pulse or mix on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off on and off, or mix on low, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla extract. Add to the flour mixture and mix on low until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky. Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap and dust it lightly with flour, then turn the dough out onto it and pat it into a rectangle about 1-inch thick. Wrap it, then chill it until firm, about 2 hours or overnight. Meanwhile, prepare the topping, if using, by combining the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and setting aside.
  3. Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be sticky, so flour as necessary. Trim the edges of the rectangle to 4 inches wide. Working with the shorter side of the rectangle parallel to the work surface, cut the strip every 4 1/2 inches to make 4 crackers.
  4. Place the crackers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets and sprinkle with the topping. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes in the fridge or 15 to 20 minutes in the freezer. Repeat with the second batch of dough. Finally, gather any scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and re-roll.
  5. Adjust the oven rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  6. Mark a vertical line down the middle of each cracker, being careful not to cut through the dough (again, this is for the traditional cracker shape). Using a toothpick or skewer (I like to use the blunt end of a wooden skewer for more dramatic dots), prick the dough to form two dotted rows about 1/2 inch for each side of the dividing line.
  7. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating the sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. The baking time depends on your oven.
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postheadericon Roasted Garlic & Chipotle Dipping Sauce

Roasted Garlic & Chipotle Dipping Sauce

Yummy dipping sauce!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Good quality Mayonnaise
  • 1 Bulb of roasted Garlic (approx. 10 cloves)
  • 3 Chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions:

Place ingredients into a food processor. Pulse till incorporated well.  Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve with grilled meats, vegetables or fish.

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