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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Cranberry Muffins

Paula has been baking again!

Cranberry Muffins


Cranberry Muffins

Ingredients:
  1. 1 3/4 Cups Flour
  2. 1/2 Cup Sugar
  3. 2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  4. 2 Eggs (Jumbo)
  5. 3/4 Cup Milk
  6. 4 Tablespoons melted butter
  7. 1 Cup chopped Cranberries (Fresh or Frozen)
  8. 1 Teaspoon Grated Orange Rind
  9. 1 Cup Pecans, chopped (optional)
Directions:
  1. Combine flour, sugar and baking powder in large bowl.
  2. In separate bowl, beat eggs.
  3. Add milk and butter to eggs.
  4. Gradually fold egg mixture into flour mixture. Before batter is completely mixed, add cranberries, orange rind and pecans; mix completely.
  5. 24 well-greased muffin tins, or use cupcake papers to line tins. Fill tins two-thirds full.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes

Paula has this knack for baking things like this. Easy and quick and really good. I assume you can substitute Cranberry's here for Blueberries etc. (and I love Blueberry Muffins... hint, hint!) But cake is OUT for me after the Bar Mitzvah. Otherwise I will really look like the Teddy Bear in the picture. Try these muffins. Easy, quick and yummy!


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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Beef Stock

As in the previous post, Chicken Stock, Paula now shows us how to the same thing with Beef.

Beef Stock - Ingredients for 8 Cups of Stock

  1. 6 Pounds Beef Short Ribs
  2. 5 Carrots (chopped)
  3. 2 Bunches of Scallions (chopped)
  4. 12 Cups Cold Water
  5. 3 Celery Stalks (chopped)
  6. 5 Sprigs Fresh Parsley
  7. 1 Bay Leaf
  8. 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  9. 8 Black Peppercorns (whole)
  10. 2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme ( or 1 ½ Teaspoons of dried)
  11. 2 Cloves Garlic (smashed but left intact, using a wide metal object such as the back of a knife, lay the knife width across the clove, hold the handle and smack the knife, crushing the clove under it)
  12. 3 Teaspoons Celery Salt
Directions:
  1. Put beef, carrots and scallions in a roasting pan and place in oven at 400 degrees
  2. Brown them for 30 minutes
  3. Drain the fat and add a cup of water, swirl it around to loosen pan drippings.
  4. Pour into large stock pot
  5. Add 11 cups of water to pot, browned beef, carrots, scallions, celery, parsley, bay leaf, salt, peppercorns, thyme, garlic, and celery salt.
  6. Cook on high until boiling
  7. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 4 hours
  8. Strain broth and discard the bones, and vegetables.
  9. If you’re using the broth right away, skim off the fat
  10. You can refrigerate and skim off the solidified fat later
It will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator otherwise freeze for later use.

Same notataion as in the post on Chicken Stock. One caveat. Some people really do not like "Thyme". I would leave it out personally. That all depends on taste. If you cook with some kind of planning ahead (not like moi) these recipes are great to have and to use. They certainly help you order your life and say decide to spend a day in the kitchen preparing, baking and whatever, while allowing you the freedom from cooking on other days. However, you need to be a planner for this stuff. Two for difficulty as there really is not a great deal here. The introduction of bay leaves is something I wish to point out. Bay leaves are great for many things and give many stews and meats (and my upcoming cholent recipe) a great taste as well.

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Chicken Stock

Paula sent in two "stock" recipes. Here we post the Chicken Stock Recipe as she writes:

The following recipe can be made ahead and frozen. Homemade stock is so much tastier than canned or carton , which tend to have too much sodium.
Ingredients for 5 Cups of Stock
  1. 2 Lbs Chicken Pieces (wings, necks, thighs, legs, breasts)
  2. 3 Cloves Garlic (leave whole)
  3. 3 Carrots (cut into chunks)
  4. 1 Bunch Scallions (chopped)
  5. 3 Celery Stalks (with leaves, cut into pieces)
  6. 4 Cloves (whole)
  7. 1 Bay Leaf
  8. 1 Teaspoon Pepper
  9. 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  10. 3 Teaspoons Celery Salt
  11. 6 Cups Cold Water
Directions:
  1. Place chicken pieces, garlic, carrots, celery, cloves, bay leaf, pepper, salt, celery salt and water in a large pot.
  2. Turn heat to high & Bring to a boil
  3. Reduce heat and cover pot & Cook for 1 hour
  4. While it simmers, skim the foam as the broth cooks
  5. Strain broth and discard the vegetables.
  6. If you’re using this right away, skim off the fat. If you refrigerate, you can remove the solidified fat later.
It will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator, otherwise freeze it for later use.

If you cook with some kind of planning ahead (not like moi) these recipes are great to have and to use. They certainly help you order your life and say decide to spend a day in the kitchen preparing, baking and whatever, while allowing you the freedom from cooking on other days. However, you need to be a planner for this stuff. Two for difficulty as there really is not a great deal here. The introduction of bay leaves is something I wish to point out. Bay leaves are great for many things and give many stews and meats (and my upcoming cholent recipe) a great taste as well.

Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen is a Finalist in the 2007 Weblog Awards.
Click Here to Vote NOW until Feb. 2nd for Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen as the BEST FOOD WEBLOG OF 2007

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Kosher Food Contest in NYC

The following was left as a "comment" on one of the posts, however it cannot hurt to post it here as well as a service to all of you in NYC. While being somewhat of an advertisement it still seems to be a legitimate contest and event. Enjoy.

Don’t Miss “Souper Bowl” Thursday
Jewish Food is More than Matzo Ball Soup
Introducing The First-Ever National “Simply Great Jewish Food”
A LIVE Cooking Competition
Finals to be held:
Thursday, February 1, 2007- 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
The New York Marriott Marquis Hotel-Empire Room
1535 Broadway and 45th St, NYC

Mayor Bloomberg Proclaims February 1st as
“Simply Manischewitz Cook-Off Day”
Meet Susie Fishbein – Queen of Kosher Food – author of New Kosher By Design- Short On Time
Join Us for Lunch and Watch a Live Cooking Competition

WHAT: The first ever national kosher cooking competition debuts the six finalists selected from among thousands

Learn how Kosher Jewish cuisine is the “hottest” new specialty food category trend among Kosher and Non Kosher consumers- get ideas for Super Bowl beyond Soup

Six finalists selected from thousands across the country, in action as they prepare their “Simply Kosher” recipe in one hour, before a live audience and prestigious judging panel for a chance to win a new kitchen General Electric, cash and the title of “National Simply Manischewitz Champion”

Meet the prestigious panel of experts including Susie Fishbein, author of NEW Kosher By Design; Short on Time and three other Kosher By Design cookbooks. Susie’s books have made the NY Times Best Sellers list. She is considered the Diva of Kosher Cuisine and has made kosher cooking an exciting ethnic trend; George McNeil- CMC Vice President,

Culinary Corporate Chef Ritz Carlton; Chef Bill Strynkowski of Cooking Light, Executive Chef Achilles Poliviou of the Marriott Marquis and more…

Thirty semi-finalists competed in live cook-offs in New Jersey, Florida and California from October through December. These six finalists showed they had what it takes and were selected from those regional events to make their national debut in New York.

Great recipe ideas and new products for Super Bowl Parties, Passover and beyond
The finalists and their recipes are:

Sharon Ricci from Mendon, NY “Matzo Brunch Bake”
Rayzel Yaish from Bergenfield, NJ “Middle Eastern Falafel Stuffed Peppers”
Candace McMenamin from Lexington, SC “Sweet Potato Encrusted Chicken”
Laura Diamond from Apopka, FL “Savory Stuffed Mushroom”
Michaela Rosenthal from Woodland Hills, CA “Whitefish and Potato Knish”
Andrea Bloom from Long Beach, CA “Pea and Fennel Soup”

Great opportunity to receive exciting and innovative everyday and holiday recipes
Meet the Rabbi Horowitz of Manischewitz supervises the program to ensure strict Kosher guidelines are followed
Interviews with Susie Fishbein and finalists on site and in advance

WHEN: February 1, 2007
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Marriott Marquis Hotel-Empire Room

WHO: -The six finalists—See them cook!!!
-Susie Fishbein—Best-selling Author of the Kosher By Design Series
-Richard Bernstein- Principal and Founder of R.A.B. Food Group
-Jeremy Fingerman—CEO of the leading Specialty Kosher Food Company, R.A.B. Food Group

Excellent food, fabulous visuals, and great recipe ideas. For finalist recipes and photos please contact Stacey Bender at 973-744-0707

Cook-Off Background:

Manischewitz, the leader in quality specialty kosher foods for over 118 years, invited food lovers nationwide to enter for the chance to be one of 30 semi-finalist compete in one of three live, judged regional cook-offs in: Northern New Jersey in October; Southern Florida in November; and in Southern California in December with a chance to become a semi-finalist and win $50 (ARV) in prizes. Finalists will receive $2,000 (ARV) in prizes and will advance to the final competition in New York City in February 2007 to compete for the Grand Prize valued at $20,000 (ARV), including a complete set of GE Profile kitchen appliances with a total estimated retail value of $10,000; and a $5,000 check from Manischewitz.

“Manischewitz is providing the perfect forum for home cooks to display their culinary talents of both kosher and non-kosher keeping,” said David Rossi, VP, Marketing, Manischewitz. “The competition is designed to encourage creativity and to approach tradition with a twist.”

About R.A.B. Food Group
The R.A.B. Food Group, LLC is a specialty food company that includes the Manischewitz®, Season®, Guiltless Gourmet®, Asian Harvest™, Horowitz Margareten® and Goodman’s® Rokeach and Mispacha brands. The company offers a diversified line of premium food products that cover over 60 different categories.

For more Cook-off contest details, log onto www.manischewitz.com

Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen in no way endorses the above, nor is there any connection. This information is just being passed on to all readers of Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen as a public service. We do not in any way endorse any specific product listed in the above posting. But the possibility of a complete set of GE Kitchen Appliances does make my mouth water especially in lieu of the previous series on kitchen appliances.

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Braided Challah Bread

While Paula sent in the French Toast recipe she mentioned Challah which I commented on. So Paula now sent in a recipe for braided Challah. (Picture is courtesy of Paula.) She writes:

There is no better aroma than the smell of fresh, homemade bread baking...

Challah - Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen

Challah Bread - Makes 2 large braids

Ingredients For Challah:
  1. 4 Jumbo Eggs
  2. 1 Cup Canola Oil
  3. 1/2 Cup Sugar
  4. 1/4 cup Butter (softened to room temperature)
  5. 2 Teaspoons salt
  6. 1 Pinch saffron (optional)
  7. 1 Cup water (warm)
  8. 5 1/2 Cups flour, blend (1/2 all-purpose, 1/2 hard wheat, 4 1/2 white)
  9. 2 envelopes dry yeast
Ingredients for Egg Wash for top Of Challah:
  1. 1 egg
  2. 1 teaspoon water
  3. 2 tablespoons sesame or poppy seeds
Directions:
  1. Lightly grease large bowl and baking sheet; set aside.
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients in large bowl and beat until thoroughly blended.
  3. Dissolve saffron in water or milk and add to mixing bowl.
  4. Beat in 2 1/4 cups flour and yeast.
  5. Continue beating 2 minutes, then add additional 2 1/4 cups flour or enough to make soft dough, blending thoroughly.
  6. Turn out onto lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  7. Place in greased bowl, turning to coat entire surface.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and hot, damp towel and let rise in warm place until doubled in volume.
  9. Punch down and let rise again until doubled.
  10. Beat egg with water.
  11. Place dough on lightly floured board and divide in half, then divide each half into 3 equal pieces.
  12. Roll each into 12-inch rope.
  13. Lay 3 ropes parallel and begin braiding in the middle, working out to each end (make braids very loose).
  14. Pinch ends together securely.
  15. Repeat with remaining ropes.
  16. Place loaves on baking sheet, brush tops with beaten egg and sprinkle with seeds.
  17. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled.
  18. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 – 45 minutes or until golden brown.

This is not only a baking process but demands a certain dexterity with the dough. Thus four in difficulty. Just as an aside, Challah is not called Challah Bread but just plain "Challah". This is one of the ways of making it. As I mentioned in the comments of French Toast Challah has many different looks. For instance on Rosh HaShanah (New Year) and the Eve of Yom Kippur (before the fast) we traditionally eat round Challot to symbolize the circle and completeness of life.

And I want to add something else, to show the beauty of the Internet and the way it brings people together. Paula is Boston Irish Catholic. It goes to show that people from all races, creeds and religions, no matter who they are or where they are can live together in peace and as friends with mutual respect for the traditions and customs of laws of each. This too, is the beauty of cooking and creation of food and our homes.

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