Archive for the 'Easter' Category

Recipe: Good Italian Cookies

|June 11, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

I was up at 3 this morning to make something to go with my morning tea!

These are so simple to make and yet so good –

GOOD ITALIAN COOKIE KNOTS

In a large bowl, cream well:
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt (approximately)
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons extract – I used anise – you can use vanilla or almond, etc.

In separate bowl, soft together:
3 cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder

Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. You want a nice soft dough.

Pinch off small portions and roll between your hands (you may need to flour your hands if they get sticky)into small rope-shapes, form into gentle knots.

Bake at 350* F. until done.

Remove to wire racks and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

Recipe: See’s Fudge – Original Recipe

|March 14, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

I enjoy trying various recipes and then using friends and family as "guinea pigs" – LOL.  I make a very good fudge that everyone likes – but I wanted to make this one to see how they liked it.


Of course they did –


Here's the recipe:


4 1/2 cups sugar
3 pkgs. (12 oz. each) chocolate chips*
1/2 lb. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 can evaporated milk
1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow creme
2 cups chopped nuts


Combine sugar and evaporated milk in heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to boil; boil 7 to 8 minutes, stirring often. (rolling boil).  In large bowl, combine chocolate chips,  marshmallow creme, butter. Cream well.  Add add chocolate chips. Pour hot mixture over chocolate mixture. After chocolate has melted, add nuts and vanilla, blend well, pour into buttered pans and chill in refrigerator.

Cut into squares before firm. This recipe makes about 5 lbs of fudge.

 

*I've used milk chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, semi-sweet chips and white chips.

 

I've also added candied fruit to the white chocolate for a festive look for the holidays.

 

A nice recipe to play with!

Recipe: dyeing Easter eggs – my way from Easter 2010

|February 25, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

 

 
Gosh – it really looks like Spring just may be coming! Dang – you can see most sidewalks (which we haven’t seen in months) and those of us that kept up with our driveways during this winter hell can now see our driveways! Even our 6 foot snow banks are now down to about 4 feet high!

It’s so nice to see the sun again. It even feels warm – although the temps are still at freezing. We’re tough here – after horrible winters and the temps begin to reach 30 – 35 degrees (Fahrenheit) you’ll find the car windows down with the boom boxes at full throttle; people are running in and out of the stores with shorts and tee-shirts and the joggers have the short running shorts, bare legs, a sweatshirt, skull cap, and gloves. Go figure! Not this kid! I’ll be in my snuggies for quite some time yet. I’m older now – not like I used to be.

In my last newsletter to my subscribers (send me an email to subscribe), I was talking about Easter and dyeing Easter eggs.

Although it is not Easter right now – I’m dyeing a few eggs to take the pictures and place here on my blog.


Those cute little egg decorating kits are something I walk right by in the stores. My eggs are always too big for those holders. I have found that throughout the years, they are not worth using. The colors of the tablets don’t do a thing for me – I like color. The cardboard decorations – my eggs don’t fit in them. Besides – hard cooked eggs need to be refrigerated and not displayed. I would rather make a nice display of hard-cooked eggs in vibrant colors in a decorative dish (stored in the refrigerator) than place them in an Easter basket. If I do need to add them to a basket – then they go in last, I wrap the basket(s) in decorative Easter cello (all at the last minute) and then I take them out and refrigerate them as soon as they open the basket(s). I’ve got this “thing” about food safety.

Dyeing my eggs is very easy. I line up my glass or ceramic bowls, one for each color I am making. Each bowl is big enough to hold a couple eggs. I pour in my boiling water, vinegar, and several drops of food coloring – making my colors as bright and vibrant as I want. I make deep purple, light purple, deep pink, bright orange, bright yellow, Irish green and dark and light blues.

I know it’s a bit early for dyed eggs, but I enjoy egg salad and stuffed eggs so there is no waste in dying some for show (it wouldn’t do any good to post them the night before when I make them for Easter). And it will give me a chance to learn a new button on the camera. Now if I can get it through my thick skull of how to download them from the camera to the computer easier – I will be happy. Oh the good old days……………


BTW – The Easter Cookbook 2010 is done, so if you want a copy – just send me an email. Also – I have a supplemental Easter Cookbook – Easter Leftovers 2010 – which will be available in a few days. If you receive the Easter Cookbook, I will automatically send you the supplemental cookbook – unless you tell me no.


For dyeing eggs my way you will need:

Hard cooked eggs
Boiling water
White vinegar
Food coloring
Ceramic or glass bowls large enough to hold a couple eggs – totally submerged in the solution

The bowls in the picture are smaller bowls – I’m not making more than 8 colored eggs right now. Just for show today – I’m dyeing just one egg in each color so that you can see the vibrant colors.

I’m using about a tablespoon or two of vinegar in each bowl. Use as many drops of food coloring as you wish. Stir occasionally until you get your desired results with the colors.

I’m glad I’m doing this now – I just found out that I am in desperate need of food coloring! So I am very low on red – grrr. So my hot pink will be a light pink for today.

If you want, you can use a wax crayon to draw a design on your hard cooked eggs before dyeing – just for a different look. Sometimes I do – sometimes I don’t. Depends on who they are for and what I want to do with them. You can also dye half the egg (half submerged in the dye), remove and allow to dry, then half submerge in another color. Play with color combinations, etc.


As soon as my eggs are done cooking I place them in the dyed water – I do not cool them first – no reason to.


Here is a perfectly cooked hard-cooked egg. No black/green around the yolk – just perfect. I placed 8 eggs in single layer in a saucepan and covered with cold water. As soon as the water began to boil – I timed it for 10 minutes. Immediately removed from the heat and ran cold water over the eggs. And so I’m now making my egg salad.

To make a perfectly cooked egg:

Okay – for the ways it can be done – and who would swear by theirs being the best:

#1 – Pour cold water into a saucepan with a bottom big enough to hold your eggs in a single layer. Some say that you can add 1 ½ teaspoons of salt per quart of water or splash some white vinegar in the pan to make removing the shells easier. I leave mine water plain – I’ve never had a problem. Be sure to have enough water in the pan that will cover the eggs completely.

Bring the water to a boil; gently add the eggs using a large spoon. Do not stack your eggs. Allow the water to come to a full boil; reduce the heat to a low simmer and time for desired doneness. You do not cover the pan.



Egg cooking guide: (the whites will be firm)

Medium egg – Soft-cooked yolk – 4 minutes
Medium cooked yolk – 6 minutes
Hard-cooked yolk – 11 minutes
Large egg – Soft-cooked yolk – 5 minutes
Medium cooked yolk – 7 minutes
Hard-cooked yolk – 12 minutes
Extra Large egg – Soft-cooked yolk – 6 minutes
Medium-cooked yolk – 8 minutes
Hard-cooked yolk – 13 minutes

The temperature of your eggs at the start of the cooking process will affect the cooking time. Eggs at room temperature will need about 1 minute less of cooking time than is stated above.

The times I have listed above are for eggs that are placed in the water straight from the refrigerator.

NOTE: Many find that by placing eggs in boiling water will cause them to crack because of the sudden change in temperature.


#2 – Place eggs in pan in single layer and cover with cold water. Bring to boil; cover; remove from heat; let sit 17 to 20 minutes. Run cold water over them.


#3 – Place eggs in single layer and cover with cold water; bring to boil and boil 8 to 11 minutes depending on the size of the eggs. Remove from heat and run cold water over them. That’s how I do them.


If you're not sure if an egg is properly hard-boiled, simply spin it. If it's not fully cooked, it will wobble.


Once your eggs have cooked the required time, remove from the heat and run cold water into the pan to stop the cooking process. The cold water will create steam between the eggshell and the egg white – making peeling easier.


To peel – just roll gently over your countertop, cutting board or table – and remove. Always rinse under cool running water to be sure that all the shell has been removed. Then I place on a paper towel to drain a few moments.


Fresh eggs are always the best but they are more difficult to peel than older eggs.



A bit more about eggs:

Hard-cooked eggs can be kept in the fridge a few days. I don't keep mine more than 3 days – but they say you can keep them up to a week. If the shell is cracked – use immediately or discard.

Fresh eggs have a date on the end of the carton; and when stored in the egg shelves on the fridge door, you can't always remember. Three to five weeks on those. Once again – cracked shells – discard.

As an egg ages its shell gets thinner, (that is why you need to check your eggs in the carton before buying – thinner and staler eggs – will begin to stick to the carton) and salmonella sets in quite easy.

To find out if an egg is stale – place in a bowl of cool water – if it floats – it's stale; toss it.


I hope this helps with your egg cooking and dyeing!