Archive for May, 2011

Recipe: Shopping………..and foods

|May 31, 2011|read comments (3)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Grocery shopping used to be enjoyable! You would walk into your favorite supermarket, grab a cart and start your shopping. You could easily follow your list as you paraded up and down the store aisles. The stores were smaller, there were GOOD brand name products that you could trust – and they all weren't owned by Kraft Foods which has been buying out everyone they can and changing the recipes while still trying to pass off the good name of the previous owner thinking they can fool us.

Don't believe me? Kraft Foods has ruined Stella D'Oro Cookies. They took the recipes from Stella D'Oro and made them cheap and lousy – I should know – I did the books for Stella D'Oro.

But then again that is Kraft for ya – buy 'em out, change everything to make it cheaper, make a big profit, ruin the products so that no one wants them anymore, and then sell it to some poor sucker with the recipes from Kraft and not the original owners. I see it coming. Too many years in the food industry – I've seen it happen before – Kraft will fall too.

Sometimes you get too big for your britches and you'd be more successful if you left things well enough alone. But Kraft will continue to ruin everything. And their American cheese is not cheese at all………it tastes like plastic. But they keep paying big bucks to the "brains behind the profits" that tell them what to do to save a penny or two on a product and Kraft falls for it. They'll rake in millions saving a penny on a food product.

It's amazing how people today do not know what the original Wonder Bread tastes like, real margarine from days gone by, what real American cheese tastes like and how it cracked when you tried to break it (oh but how good it was!) and the fabulous taste of so many thousands of other products.

Nope – we are "forced" into eating their crap that they are putting out – sorry fellas – many of us make it ourselves. It's worth the effort and it is healthier and delicious! As far as I'm concerned – I make it the best I can for those I am cooking and baking for. I don't eat crap and I don't serve crap.

Oh – I can go on and on about all this…..but I'll go back to the grocery shopping – (sorry I got side-tracked)

Years ago the grocery stores sold brand name items that we all new, loved and trusted. Today you have to walk 35 miles if you walk the entire store. Todays "supermarkets" are so much more! They are drug stores and also doctors – oh yeah – you can get your flu shots there! They are movie distributors, florists, tire distributors, auto parts, they sell pools and lawn furniture, pool supplies, grills, Christmas trees with all the decorations to do with them as well as all the lawn decorations, every holiday decoration, book, and gizmo to go with it, they sell toys, books, music, children's toys, and don't forget the appliances, pots, pans, dishes, tableware, electrical and plumbing supplies, and everything else they possibly can. You can even buy clothes, hats, jackets, scarves, gloves, boots, slippers – to name a few things. Should I complain about all the baseball, hockey and football gear as well? And don' forget the cooked food department, the salad bars, the olive bars, the fruit bars, all made from old stuff they have to get rid of. Including the rubber subs (yes that is what I call pre-made subs in the deli case) as well as their pizzas, calzones, chicken wings, chicken fingers, soups, stews, and yada yada. Of course all these "specialty" aisles happen to be in the middle of all the other aisles so you walk further.

You've got to love their plan-o-grams! Milk is waaayyyy in the back of the store – usually on the opposite side of the store from the bread. That's because if you need milk and bread – you have to pass everything else and hopefully will add additional items to your cart.

Then when you do finally reach an aisle with food items, you have to READ the entire label (which is microscopically written in English and Spanish – why not Dutch, German, Italian, Gaelic, Swedish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, etc. – a bit discriminatory isn't it??) because you don't know what they put in it that you don't want!

I picked up a can of Libby's fruit – tiny letters – MADE WITH SPLENDA. Yeah – like I want that crap in my system.

You can't even grab a can of tomato paste off the shelf without reading it! It may have Italian herbs or garlic or whatever. No thanks – I do it myself.

Speaking of ingredient labels – don't you just love the ingredients listed include – spices and herbs??? Duh. Which ones?

And the aisles of nothing but jams and jellies. Never heard of half the brands – not interested in trying many of them and once again – WHAT'S IN THEM? So you pull out the microscope (that is how small some of the printing is) and run the item through. You can't tell me that they sell all those brands and flavors to warrant a complete mile long aisle of it!

When you think about it – you can actually read a book or two with all the reading you need to do when you go grocery shopping. Hey – don't say you've bought such-and-such an ingredient for decades and it is the same – NO IT IS NOT!

What about the package sized today? Ever try to follow an old recipe with the sized of today's jars, bottles, cans and packages?

Tuna used to be 7 1/2 ounces, went to 6 3/4 ounces, last I saw – it was 5 1/4 ounces! And it's all liquid – that is where the weight is. Pee on them – I buy the big institutional size cans – the ones that are a tad more than 4 pounds. Beats opening 8 to 10 cans of tuna so that we can enjoy tuna sandwiches or better yet – tuna hoagies! What are those lousy little cans going for now – about $1.00 each or more? I buy the big can and I pay $7.65. And tuna is now packed in water or oil or olive oil or herbed oil – just READ THE CAN.

Packaged sausage is just like the bacon – used to be 1 pound packages now down to 12 ounces.

Boy did I make a mistake last week – wanted fried polish sausage and a large salad – I love that. I usually make my own sausage but I saw a "great deal" with Hillshire Farms and figured I could get away with it. NOT! Sausage has lost it's flavor – casings were made of plastic I swear it. They were so tough! And of course – 12 ounce package. So the sausage went in the garbage needless to say. And that is the last Hillshire Farms will get any money from me.

Let's start on the deli departments and the luncheon meats. Over loaded with salt and preservatives and FAT! I'm Italian – I like mortadella occasionally – unfortunately it's real close to pure lard these days. Flavors are just gone. The good brands have been bought out and changed. Hate Hormel. They think they can make pepperoni – they make SCAG pepperoni – as well as several other items. Hormel is off my list too.

Shelly used to make a decent bologna – that rots too.

Chopped ham anyone? Not anymore – more chopped (crap) than ham.

(God I miss the good ol' days!)

Love my salami! Hard to find a decent one. The best are the ones I buy at the Italian market imported from Italy!

Should I start on the meat department next? You know the one I am talking about – they pump water into the meats for added weight and add dyes to keep the meats a nice red color so you will buy it. And just what is in their ground beef? I do not want to even think of the unmentionable cow body parts that are in that. Waste not – want not.

Produce??? Never buy pre-packaged salad fixings. Buy fresh and wash it yourself. Let's see – you buy a head of lettuce (for example) and it doesn't last you 3 weeks in the fridge. It gets all funny and rusty and the taste is gone and it's just yukky. What the hell is in those pre-washed, pre-packaged salad fixin's that they have expiration dates 3 weeks or more away – and how long were they hanging in the store on the rack????? And they claim to be washed – then if they are washed, why do you see dead flies in the bags?? Oh yeah – you won't need to be embalmed when you die – you're slowly D.I.Y. (doing it yourself). And don't buy cut up fruit – what rat bit the fruit and they cut it off and "salvaged" the rest. You say it doesn't happen? Sorry – too many years in the food industry and I say it all. Oh those quarter watermelon pieces and sliced cantaloupes and chunked honeydews.

Let me tell you just one more little story – what I did to a major chain supermarket – the one with the big everything in their stores. Including their "fresh baked" bakery department. First of all let me tell you that their fresh baked bread comes in frozen – yes it is flash frozen and stored in their freezer until they need it. It is then removed from the freezer and placed on trays and placed in a proofer before baking.

Well this store had their big bakery next to their produce department. And they had their racks of bread either going into or coming out of the proofer and just sitting their waiting to go into the ovens. And it wasn't poppy seeds on their bread – THEY WERE FRUIT FLIES as well as a few other flies. All buzzing and landing and sticking to the bread loaves. Of course the baker would brush then off before baking. How nice of him…………….

I caused a big ruckus over that. Everyone knew I was pissed about it. Every agency I could contact was contacted – and I did not stop. And I would do it again. And I made sure everyone in the bakery department saw it so they would also know. I pointed it right out. And an educated consumer is the best consumer – many put their bread back and walked away – they did the right thing!

Of course every head from the chain called me – but – forewarned is forearmed – you won't win so don't even try it with me. They did not like what I had to say – they did not like what I did – and they do not like me. Tough tittie (I'm a fifties girl) – I don't associate with their type anyway. I don't hang out with low life maggots.

But that's okay – I don't buy their baked goods anyway. Just the thought of a fly landing on my food is horrifying. Just what pile of dog crap did they visit or what toilet seat were they stuck to before they landed? I go crazy if a fly enters the house. I'll damage anything just to get it out. And I did find out that flies do understand Italian. They are bi-lingual. They know they are doomed if they don't exit faster than they came in. A few choice words in Italian and they can't wait to get out before I get them.

Aren't you glad you know me????

Wait – I've just begun…………..

Recipe: Those “circuit” recipes –

|May 31, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

You all know what I am talking about when I say "circuit" recipes. Those are the recipes that are "in" for that time period and just about everyone has to have a copy of it so they can make it too.

I've seen food fads and recipes (including the "circuit" recipes) come and go, but there are some that linger because they are really good and really worth keeping. Many circuit recipes die out after a while – once they've made the circuit – it's the end for them.

Back n the 50's this recipe was quite popular –

Chocolate Fudge Cake

1/2 cup margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder**
1 can (about one pound) chocolate syrup**
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream margarine. Gradually add sugar and beat until light. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly, after each one. Add sifted dry ingredients, alternately with syrup. Blending well. Add nuts and vanilla and put in a 9" tube pan, lined on bottom with waxed paper. Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes. Turn out on a rack and peel off the wax paper. Serve with whipped cream.

RECIPE UPDATE –

I wouldn't use margarine in this recipe – only butter now. Margarine today is not made the way it was back then. Sure – margarine back then may not have been good for us – but heck – we survived and we were healthy. The changes that have been made to margarine since then have rendered margarine as garbage in my book.

I've even added a handful or so of raisins to this cake, as well as a handful or so of chocolate chips or white chocolate chips. I don't overdo it – I dislike overkill in cooking and baking.

Also – a nice chocolate glaze or vanilla glaze goes well topping this cake, as does sifted confectioners' sugar. Sprinkle the glaze with chopped walnuts, if desired.

Leave the nuts out of the cake and use on top, or don't use them at all.

It's an easy recipe – an old recipe – far from those lousy cake mixes that are infested – yes I said infested – with all those chemicals, additives, preservatives, or even MSG!

Did you know that MSG is also going by dozens of other names to fool you? I'll have to educate you on that!

**Make it homemade, make it cheaper, make it better!

Recipe: Homemade Nutella

|May 31, 2011|read comments (2)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Beginning at this time of the year the oven gets used quite a bit.

Many of us use Nutella to make something special for our family. And it is quite pricy!

For those of you that do not know what Nutella is – it is a hazelnut butter and cocoa combination which is spread on toast and used in recipes.

Begin by toasting 2 cups of hazelnuts (filberts)in a single layer in shallow pan in a preheated 350* F. oven for about 15 minutes. You want the skins to be almost black and the nut meat to be a dark brown. Stir during the toasting process so that the nuts are even in color.

Transfer to a clean lintless kitchen towel and rub the skins off – the skins are bitter and you do not want that taste. You won't get every bit of the skins off – but most will come off – and that little that is one there won't matter.

Place in your food processor and process until the nuts have liquefied (passing from coarsely ground to a fine meal). Scrape down the sides of the processor. When you have a ball that seems like a solid mass – keep processing. The oils will be extracted and you will have hazelnut butter.

Once liquefied, add 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Slowly drizzle in approximately 1/4 cup** vegetable or nut oil – you want a spreadable consistency. Remember that this mixture is warm from the friction of the food processor and will be more fluid now than at room temperature.

Transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and store in the refrigerator. label and date – this will last 1 to 2 months. Stir before using.

**The longer you process, the more it will liquefy and the less oil you will need.

NOTE: Please don't use any pre-toasted nuts of any kind when cooking and baking. Too many times these pre-toasted nuts are spoiled!

Recipe: Are you a peanut butter lover?

|May 31, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Just about everyone loves peanut butter! Great for sammies and great for baking.

I've made Cashew Butter which is just scrumptious! I hope you give it a try!

Process 2 cups toasted cashews (spread in single layer in shallow pan and place in 350* F. oven) stirring occasionally.

Transfer to food processor and process until liquefied; scraping down sides of processor bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and 2 tablespoons sugar. Process to combine.

Store in tightly-covered jar in refrigerator.

Use as you would peanut butter.

Recipe: Thank you –

|May 28, 2011|read comments (2)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Hello dear friends –

 

As many of you already know – I have been "absent" for the past 2 months. When someone you love needs total care – it comes first – above everything else.

I've lost this very special person and it has been quite devastating to me. I will admit that I am having a very hard time with this. They say time will heal – but that I doubt. In time I may adjust – but I don't think I will ever heal from this.

I have missed everyone and I have missed my blogs.

It's now time for me to pull myself together and start again. I will be posting to my blogs, and I will be sharing much with you.

I would like to thank everyone for their prayers and well wishes – you have been there for me when I was so lost and had no where to turn. Bless you all.

And yes, I will be back to sending out my newsletters and compleeting more cookbooks to share with you.

Blessing to you all –