Archive for the 'Pantry replenishing' Category

Recipe: Homemade Baker’s Coconut

|November 20, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

1 Coconut with lots of coconut water inside
1 1/3 Cup Fructose (or sugar)
1 1/4 Cup Coconut Water (from the coconut)

NOTE:
Choose a nice dark brown hard coconut that, when shaken, sounds like there is a lot of water inside.

 

1. First drain the coconut water to a cup. To do this, poke a large hole into one of the 3 "eyes" of the coconut. Make sure the hole is wide so that enough air can enter to pull out the water. Strain the water to remove any loose particles and set aside.

2. To crack open the coconut you can either throw it on the concrete floor (with this you risk hurting someone and losing pieces of coconut), or you can hammer it open with a regular hammer. Make sure that the coconut is placed on a very firm surface that you cannot damage like a sidewalk, the garage, or the entrance to your home. If you have never done this before, you may want to wear protective eye coverings to shield yourself from any flying particles of coconut shell.

3. Once the coconut is open, collect all the pieces and bring to your working surface. To remove the coconut flesh from the hard shell, use an old knife without a pointed edge (like a dinner knife) and pry the fresh apart from the shell. This can be done best by wedging as much of the knife between a loose part of the coconut and shell as possible and applying pressure to separate them.

4. Once all coconut has been freed from it’s shell, peel off the brown skin with a potato peeler. You can eat this or discard – your choice.

5. If you are using a food processor:
Break up the coconut into small enough pieces that you can fit them in your processor. Fit the processor with the shredding attachment and shred all the coconut.

5. If you using a manual mandolin or shredder:
Leave the coconut pieces as large as possible so they are easy to hold. Shred all the coconut.

My coconut gave me 4 cups of shredded coconut and 1 1/4 cup coconut water. Use what ever your coconut gives you. Just remember that the fructose amount should be 1/3 that of the coconut amount. So, if you end up with only 3 cups of shredded coconut, you will only need 1 cup of fructose.

6. To make the baker’s coconut:
In a medium-sized saucepan, place the coconut, coconut water, and fructose. Cook over medium heat until the fluids begin to boil, about 15 minutes. Turn the heat to low immediately and continue to cook, uncovered for 1 hour or until the fluids have reduced to syrup.

Remove from heat and place the coconut in a sieve to stain. Catch the syrup and use on desserts – it has a delicious flan coconut-caramel flavor.

Spread the coconut flakes out on a cookie sheet and let dry over night. Refrigerate or freeze if you will not be using immediately.

!!The coconut will not come out white because I don’t use a whitening agent like the store-bought baker’s coconut does!!

Recipe: Making Homemade Extracts

|November 20, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

 I received so many requests for this information – and I wish you would have contacted me sooner for these.

You may not be able to make all these before this holiday season – but if you are a baker – you will find that you can still make them now and you will then have them throughout the year.

By now, you know I am a "homemade" person – and I find that by making my own flavored extracts that my baked goods always have a better taste.  Did you ever buy a bottle of peppermint extract and have a really lousy taste in your finished product?  Fresh is always better.  You will have better results.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tired of paying high prices (which continually keep going up while the bottle sizes get smaller!) for your extracts and flavorings?

Of you are an "occasional" or "seasonal" baker that only pulls out the flour one or twice a year you probably don't mind paying for an extract. You may even share a bottle with others that don't bake as much. Not in my house. I need my extracts. And I have to watch my "inventory" of my homemade extracts, oils, flavored sugars, etc. to make sure I always have them on hand.

Save money – DIY! It's simple, it's easy, it's flavorful – and it's cheaper! More bang for your buck.

I don't add sugar to my citrus extracts – some do – it's your choice. The sugar is not needed as far as I am concerned.

Also – I feel that using colored bottles is better – keeps the sun out – which will effect your extracts/flavorings.

Be sure to sterilize your bottles and caps!

Opt for colored glass bottles when you can. Store out of sunlight in your pantry/cupboard.

Happy extract making!

 

How to Make Anise Extract

This takes a good three months to make – but it is worth it. and so simple!

Fill a small (half-pint) sterilized jar with whole star of anise. Carefully pour vodka over until it reaches the top. Cap. Store in pantry, shaking once a week for 3 months. If you want your anise flavoring to have a stronger flavor – allow to sit for 4 months before using.

When ready to use, strain into a clean, sterile jar, cap and store in your pantry.

 

How to Make Cinnamon Extract

Some will use a light rum – but I use my 80 proof vodka.

Break a couple cinnamon stick into a clean, sterilized jar;.

Pour 8 oz. vodka over sticks; cover; place in pantry.

Shake daily for 2 weeks.

When you have the flavor you are looking for, remove the cinnamon sticks. The longer they are in the jar, the stronger it will be, and you don't want it too overpowering.

Store in pantry.

 

How to Make Coconut Extract

1 coconut

1 1/2 ounces freshly grated coconut, approximately 1/3 cup

4 ounces vodka – 40 proof – some use 80 proof

To open a coconut: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the coconut onto a folded towel set down in a large bowl. Find the 3 eyes on 1 end of the coconut and using a nail or screwdriver and hammer or meat mallet, hammer holes into 2 of the eyes. Turn the coconut upside down over a container and drain the water from the coconut.

Store the water in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Place coconut on baking pan and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. (The coconut should have cracked in several places.) Using an oyster knife or other dull blade, separate the hard shell from the brown husk. Using a serrated vegetable peeler, peel the brown husk from the coconut meat. Rinse the coconut meat under cool water and pat dry. Break the meat into 2 to 3-inch pieces. With the grater disk attached to a food processor, grate the coconut.

Place 1 1/2 ounces of coconut into a 1-cup glass jar with lid (sterilized) and pour vodka over it. Seal and shake to combine. Place in a cool dark place for 5 to 7 days, shaking to combine every day. Strain coconut and discard. Return vodka to a clean (sterilized) jar or to its original bottle and store in a cool place for up to a year. Reserve the remaining coconut for another use.

 

How to Make Lemon Extract

the zest from 1 – 2 lemons (wash and dry the lemon well, remove zest – no pith)

4 oz. vodka – 40 proof – some use 80 proof

1 teaspoon sugar – totally optional

Combine sugar and vodka in small stainless or glass saucepan and warm (do not boil) to dissolve sugar. Transfer to sterile jar; add lemon zest. Cap tightly and shake.

Place in pantry – shake daily. In a month you will have your extract.

NOTE: If not using sugar – place vodka and lemon zest in sterile bottle; cap; shake and proceed as above.

 

How to Make Orange Extract

the zest from 1 – 2 oranges (wash and dry the oranges well, remove zest – no pith)

4 oz. vodka – 40 proof – some use 80 proof

1 teaspoon sugar – totally optional

Combine sugar and vodka in small stainless or glass saucepan and warm (do not boil) to dissolve sugar. Transfer to sterile jar; add orange zest. Cap tightly and shake. (Make sure your strips of zest are completely immersed.)

Place in pantry – shake daily. In a month you will have your extract.

NOTE: If not using sugar – place vodka and orange zest in sterile bottle; cap; shake and proceed as above.

 

How to Make Lime Extract

the zest from 2 – 4 limes (wash and dry the limes well, remove zest – no pith)

4 oz. vodka – 40 proof – some use 80 proof

1 teaspoon sugar – totally optional

Combine sugar and vodka in small stainless or glass saucepan and warm (do not boil) to dissolve sugar. Transfer to sterile jar; add lime zest. Cap tightly and shake. (Make sure your strips of zest are completely immersed.)

Place in pantry – shake daily. In a month you will have your extract.

NOTE: If not using sugar – place vodka and lime zest in sterile bottle; cap; shake and proceed as above.

 

How to Make Grapefruit Extract

the zest from 1 – 2 grapefruit (wash and dry the grapefruit well, remove zest – no pith)

4 oz. vodka – 40 proof – some use 80 proof

1 teaspoon sugar – totally optional

Combine sugar and vodka in small stainless or glass saucepan and warm (do not boil) to dissolve sugar. Transfer to sterile jar; add grapefruit zest. Cap tightly and shake. (Make sure your strips of zest are completely immersed.)

Place in pantry – shake daily. In a month you will have your extract.

NOTE: If not using sugar – place vodka and grapefruit zest in sterile bottle; cap; shake and proceed as above.

 

How to Make Almond Extract

4 oz. almonds, peeled and blanched

2 cups vodka

Process almonds in food processor until fine – like raw sugar not white sugar.

Transfer to sterilized 1-quart glass jar; pour in vodka; cap tightly; store in pantry. Shake daily for 6 weeks.

After 6 weeks, straner through a coffee filter and transfer to small (sterilized) jars. Cap.

Takes time to make – but will keep indefinitely.

 

How to Make Vanilla Essence

This is more of a vanilla flavoring than an extract – milder – not as flavorful.

For this, I use vodka – some will use brandy, rum, gin, cognac or brandy – which to me changes the flavor completely and will effect the outcome of your baked goods. Vodka has the perfect flavor for true extracts.

3 vanilla beans, split to within 1/4-inch of each end

8 oz. 80 proof vodka

Place vanilla beans in sterilized glass jar and cover with vodka. Place in pantry; shake occasionally and let set for 2 months before using.

NOTE: ALSO – WHICH TO ME THIS IS IMPORTANT – since vanilla beans come in two different grades (A and B), I prefer to use the B grade. Grade B vanilla beans.


Grade B beans have less water weight. You get more bean for your buck because you're not paying for water. This also means that less water ends up in your extract.

With Grade A you pay for appearance, which doesn't matter.

We get the same beans as Grade A, but at a fraction of the cost.

 

How to Make Vanilla Extract

This is more flavorful than vanilla essense.

For this, I use vodka – some will use brandy, rum, gin, cognac or brandy – which to me changes the flavor completely and will effect the outcome of your baked goods. Vodka has the perfect flavor for true extracts.

6 vanilla beans, split to within 1/4-inch of each end (some remove the seeds, some don't)

8 oz. 80 proof vodka

Place vanilla beans in sterilized glass jar and cover with vodka. Place in pantry; shake occasionally and let set for 2 months before using.

NOTE: ALSO – WHICH TO ME THIS IS IMPORTANT – since vanilla beans come in two different grades (A and B), I prefer to use the B grade. Grade B vanilla beans.


Grade B beans have less water weight. You get more bean for your buck because you're not paying for water. This also means that less water ends up in your extract.

With Grade A you pay for appearance, which doesn't matter.

We get the same beans as Grade A, but at a fraction of the cost.

 

How to Make Peppermint Extract

This uses dried peppermint leaves.

Chop 1/4 cup peppermint leaves in your food processor or use a mortar and pestle. Transfer to sterilized glass jar.

Add 4 oz. vodka and 4 oz. filtered water. Cap and shake.

Store in pantry for 2 weeks before using. Remember to shake daily.

When ready to use, strain and transfer to clean, sterilized bottles; cap; store in pantry. Discard used leaves.

 

How to Make Peppermint Extract

This is for those that grow their own peppermint.

Clean (wash) your fresh cut peppermint springs. You will want to "bruise" them a bit with your fingers for the flavor. Place in sterile glass jar. About 5 or 6 small sprigs work well with 6 oz. vodka (3/4 cup). Be sure to cover the springs with the vodka. Cap and store in pantry.

After 2 weeks you wil have a mild peppermint flavor. Once it is the strength you want, strain and discard the sprigs of peppermint. Store in pantry.

 

So it's time to visit your local liquor store and stock up on 80 proof vodka!

Enjoy!

 

Recipe: It’s pomegranate season –

|October 9, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

And I absolutely love pomegranates!

I also make my own Pomegranate Syrup (Grenadine)

2 large pomegranates, seeded, about 2 cups seeds
1 1/2 cups sugar

Combine seeds and sugar in a non-aluminum saucepan; stir to mix, crushing well, until you have a wet mass. Cover and let stand 12 to 24 hours. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring constantly. Lower heat and simmer 2 minutes. Strain out seeds, pressing down to extract juice. Pour into a hot sterilized jar. Cover with a piece of cloth or a clean towel until cooled. Cap tightly and refrigerate. Makes about 2 cups.

Recipe: Homemade herbed croutons

|October 9, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

You know how I am when it comes to making things homemade. This is a good recipe that can be made ahead and used for the holidays as well as a quick and easy way to make stuffing/dressing to go with chops, chicken, steaks, etc.

In my house – we love dressing. And I make it all year = not just at Thanksgiving.

These croutons will keep for 2 months, REFRIGERATED. Moisten each 8 cups with 1 cup broth before using.

1 lb. white or wheat bread, sliced, and cubed**
1/2 c. salad oil
1 t. salt
2 garlic cloves, minced separately
2 T. parsley flakes
2 T. onion flakes, crushed
1 t. sage
1/2 t. thyme
1/2 t. black pepper

Preheat oven to 350* F. Into a large bowl, combine bread cubes, salad oil, salt and 1 minced garlic clove. Arrange bread cubes onto 2 cookie sheets. Bake for 25 minutes, until light golden brown and crunchy. Mix together remaining minced garlic clove, parsley and onion flakes, sage, thyme and black pepper; mix in bread cubes. Cool for 20 minutes at room temperature, before transferring bread cubes into airtight containers and refrigerating.

**I've used a combination of breads and rolls including white, sour dough, French, Italian, grain, rye, etc. as well as any homemade breads that I make.

Recipe: Poultry Seasoning

|September 24, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Today I will be making chicken thighs for dinner – nothing fancy – just skillet fried chicken thighs with mashed potatoes and buttered corn.

After washing and patting dry, I place in a heavy skillet (you know the routine – heat the skillet, add a little olive oil to heat, then add chicken and fresh garlic cloves; season with a little salt and parsley and some poultry seasoning – which is running low in the pantry – time to make more.

I have several different recipes for poultry seasoning that I use – here is one of them:

Poultry Seasoning

1/4 cup Kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon dried celery flakes**
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried basil

Combine; store air tight. Makes about 1/2 cup.

**Dry your own – so much cheaper – and it's hard to find dried celery leaves these days in the stores! Wash celery leaves and place on paper towels until completely dry; transfer to dehydrator or place on baking pan in 190* F. oven until dry. Remove to paper towels to cool completely before transferring to jar. Store airtight in pantry.

Recipe: Okay – back to the pantry – Making Brown Sugar!

|September 21, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

As you read my recipes you find ** after the ingredients noting that you can save money and make this item yourself or when in a pinch and you've run out or if it is something you only use on occasion and wish not to purchase to waste the rest of it – which is very understandable with the price of everything today!

So it's time to get busy and make some of your own brown sugar.


There is really no effort involved – it's so easy.

 

Place 1 cup of granulated sugar into a bowl.

Measure in 1 tablespoon molasses.

Work the molasses into the sugar using a fork until thoroughly incorporated.


For making light brown sugar – use light molasses and
for making dark brown sugar – use dark molasses.  Don't want to buy dark brown molasses?  Add more light molasses to make dark brown sugar.


Make as much as you need – no waste for those that use it rarely.

Recipe: Back to the pantry!

|September 21, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Still checking out the pantry for the upcoming months!

Brownies are always good and I can't think of one person who does not enjoy them.

This is a mix, remember to label and date – store airtight in your pantry.

BROWNIE MIX

6 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder**
4 teaspoons salt
8 cups sugar
1 can (8 ounces) baking cocoa (use a good quality chocolate)
2 cups vegetable shortening

In a large bowl, combine first five ingredients. With a pastry blender,
cut in shortening until evenly distributed. Store in a large airtight
container in cupboard. Keeps 10-12 weeks. Yield: about 17 cups of mix.

When it's time to make brownies:

2 1/2 cups brownie mix
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract**
1/2 cup chopped nuts optional
Confectioners' sugar, optional**

In a mixing bowl, combine first four ingredients. Beat with spoon until
smooth. Spread into a greased 8-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350'F for
20-25 minutes or until top tests done. cut into squares while still
warm. Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired. Yield: 9 brownies.

You can easily make mini-muffins or use as a base for a large brownie cookie by spreading thin in a pizza tin. The aluminum pizza tins are nice to use. Adjust cooking time.

Recipe: How to make your own onion powder and minced dry onion

|June 12, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

What a money saver this is!  Especially if you grow your own onions!  If not – watch those weekly sale papers –

 

Preheat your oven to 150* F. if you are not using a dehydrator.

Peel your onions and remove that dry papery skin that is on them.  Slice thin and place in your dehydrator or on baking trays in single layer.   When they are dry they will be brittle.

When dry, remove to clean, dry paper towels to cool completely.

Grind or minced to your desired consistency using your coffee grinder, food processor, mortar and pestle – your choice.

Store in airtight in glass containers in cool dry place.

And don't ask me if I would freeze this – no – I do not want the moisture in it.

Recipe: Make your own garlic powder and minced garlic

|June 12, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Why not?

 

It's easier than pie and you will know just how fresh it is – instead of relying on your grocer who may not be rotating his stock or selling old product.

If it's stale – the flavor is just not there.  And you already know how I feel about spices and herbs – regardless of what anyone says – once opened they will not last.

 

Start by preheating your oven to 150* F. if you are not using a dehydrator.

Peel your garlic cloves and slice thin.  Believe it or not, if carefully handled, using a single-edged razor blade works great for this!

Just spread your slices on your tray and heat/dry until done.  (If you can easily crumble it in your hand – it's done.)

Remove to clean, dry paper towels to cool completely before grinding.  I use my coffee grinder (I have one that is designated for spices only), but you can use a mortar and pestle, food processor, or roll with your rolling pin to desired consistency.

Store in an airtight glass jar in your pantry.

I don't make enough for a year – but I am a garlic user and I do make it frequently.

  

 And if you are going to tell me you freeze it – that is something I won't do – I do not want the moisture in it.

 

And now a word on minced garlic – 

Did you know that minced garlic has chemicals in it to preserve it and that it may have been bleached to keep its color?

Do it yourself – just coarsely mince and dry as above except for minced garlic your oven temperature should be 130* F!  Check it every so often and if it begins to brown, lower your oven 10 degrees.  Stir every 3 hours. And leave the oven door cracked a bit for air circulation – you are drying – not baking.

Depending on the humidity and high altitude, drying times can be up to 12 hours or two days.  High altitude dries quicker!

Remember to use good heads of garlic – nice and firm – not dried out or mushy or shriveled.

Need to reconsitute it for a dish?  Just soak in water.

Ta-da…………..

 

  

Recipe: Make your own Chipotle powder –

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

Wash and dry your peppers.

 

Slice and deseed.

 

Smoke for an hour or so with mesquite.

 

Finish in your dehydrator.

 

Grind to a powder.

 

Store airtight in a cool dry place.

 

Enjoy! 

 

it's that simple!