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Monday, July 21, 2014

Marshmallows

Hey there everyone!

I've been saying for months that I'll make marshmallows, but haven't gotten around to it. But, lo and behold, the 4th of July came around and I couldn't think of a better opportunity to make marshmallows than for s'mores on the 4th! Let me show you how easy- it might look complicated, but they are super simple.

First, prepare your pan with the cornstarch and confectioner's sugar mixture- we don't want sticking!
Mix your gelatin and 1/2 cup water in the bowl of your stand mixer.
Put your syrup ingredients (water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt) in a (NOT NON-STICK) pot.
Boil over medium heat until it reaches 240 degrees. Remove promptly.
This is what your gelatin mixture in your stand mixture should look like at this point.
With mixer on low, slowly pour syrup in with gelatin and whip. Then add in your vanilla and continue whipping.
Let that stuff whip for at least 12 minutes. It'll be thick and lukewarm
Here's what it looks like before you pour it out- like a giant bowl of marshmallow fluff.
Pour your marshmallow mixture out into your prepared pan- use an oiled spatula to pat it out evenly.
Then cover the marshmallows with a dusting of your confectioner's sugar cornstarch mix.
After letting sit at least 4 hours at room temperature, turn out your marshmallows- be constantly dusting the stick sides with your confectioner's sugar cornstarch mix.
And carefully cut them into whatever size pieces you desire- again, dust those sticky sides. And the sharper the knife, the better- that's my Sabatier up there (thanks Mom!!).
Once all cut up, make sure they're all un-stickied by tossing with confectioner's sugar and cornstarch.


Marshmallows
-3 packets unflavored gelatin
-1 cup cold water, divided
-1 1/2 cups white sugar
-1 cup light corn syrup (Karo)
-1 teaspoon kosher salt
-1 tablespoon vanilla (the best you can get, or your favorite!)
-1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar + 1/4 cup cornstarch
Get a 9x13’’ pan and line, grease, and then sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and cornstarch mix (save the rest).
Put gelatin and 1/2 cup water in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Combine 1/2 cup water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cover and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes. Uncover and let cook 7-8 more minutes, or until at 240 F if you’re being particular. Remove from heat immediately.
Turn mixer on low, and slowly add all syrup to the gelatin mixture, then add the vanilla.
Whip for 12-15 minutes, until very thick and lukewarm.
Pour marshmallows into pan, using an oiled spatula to spread evenly.
Dust the top with cornstarch/confectioner’s sugar (keep the rest!). Allow to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
Turn out marshmallows and cut them up as you wish. When cut, dust all sides of the marshmallow with the confectioners sugar/cornstarch.
Store airtight.


And you end up with a beautiful and truly pillowy pile of marshmallows.
Yummmmmm!!!
Then on the 4th, I put them out to make s'mores.
And they were DELICIOUS! truly heavenly. you've gotta try it for yourself!

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, July 14, 2014

Guest Post by Nora: Sauerkraut!

The Esteemed Mother has deemed today as proper to grace us with her presence and the sharing of a recipe she's just made. Take it away, Mom/Nora!
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Sauerkraut, directly translated: "sour cabbage", is finely cut cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria, including Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus. Wikipedia

It has 25% of daily vitamin C, 8% of iron, and 5% of Vitamin B6 and Magnesium!

While European peasants preserved their cabbage with salt in an effort to keep hunger away during the dark months, their method of preservation fulfilled another need: that of optimal nourishment. The process of lactic acid fermentation used to transform salt and cabbage into sauerkraut increases vitamins, particularly vitamin C and B vitamins, and food enzymes.  Moreover, homemade sauerkraut is also extraordinarily rich in beneficial bacteria – friendly microorganisms which help to colonize the gut, train the immune system and manufacture vitamins in the digestive tract.  In winter, when colds and flus make their rounds, homemade fermented foods which provide plenty of vitamins, food enzymes and beneficial bacteria coupled with fermented cod liver oil (see sources).
http://nourishedkitchen.com/homemade-sauerkraut/


http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-easy-homemade-sauerkraut-in-a-mason-jar-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-193124
Sauerkraut is made by a process called lacto-fermentation. To put it (fairly) simply: There is beneficial bacteria present on the surface of the cabbage and, in fact, all fruits and vegetables. Lactobacillus is one of those bacteria, which is the same bacteria found in yogurt and many other cultured products. When submerged in a brine, the bacteria begin to convert sugars in the cabbage into lactic acid; this is a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria.
The fermentation process itself is very reliable and safe, and the fermented sauerkraut can be kept at cellar temperature (around 55°F) for months, although those of us without cellars can make do with storing the kraut in our fridges. Besides preserving the cabbage, this fermentation process also transforms it into something incredibly tasty and gives it additional health benefits — fermented sauerkraut contains a lot of the same healthy probiotics as a bowl of yogurt.


How Long Does It Take To Make Sauerkraut?
For a small quart-sized batch like we're making today, the minimum time is about three days, though the kraut will continue to ferment and become tastier for many days after that. As simple as it sounds, the best rule of thumb is to keep tasting the kraut and refrigerate (or take it cellar temperature) when it tastes good to you. The sauerkraut is safe to eat at every stage of the process, so there is no real minimum or maximum fermentation time.



How to Make Homemade Sauerkraut in a Mason Jar
Makes 1 to 1 1/2 quarts

Ingredients:
1 medium head green cabbage (about 3 pounds)
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional, for flavor)

Equipment:
Cutting board
Chef's knife
Mixing bowl
2-quart widemouth canning jar (or two quart mason jars)
Canning funnel (optional)
Smaller jelly jar that fits inside the larger mason jar
Clean stones, marbles, or other weights for weighing the jelly jar
Cloth for covering the jar
Rubber band or twine for securing the cloth

Instructions:
Clean everything: When fermenting anything, it's best to give the good, beneficial bacteria every chance of succeeding by starting off with as clean an environment as possible. Make sure your mason jar and jelly jar are washed and rinsed of all soap residue. You'll be using your hands to massage the salt into the cabbage, so give those a good wash, too.
Slice the cabbage: Discard the wilted, limp outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into quarters and trim out the core. Slice each quarter down its length, making 8 wedges. Slice each wedge crosswise into very thin ribbons.
Combine the cabbage and salt: Transfer the cabbage to a big mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt over top. Begin working the salt into the cabbage by massaging and squeezing the cabbage with your hands. At first, it may not seem like enough salt, but gradually, the cabbage will become watery and limp — more like coleslaw than raw cabbage. This will take 5 to 10 minutes. If you'd like to flavor your sauerkraut with caraway seeds, mix them in now.
Pack the cabbage into the jar: Grab handfuls of the cabbage and pack them into the canning jar. If you have a canning funnel, this will make the job easier. Every so often, tamp down the cabbage in the jar with your fist. Pour any liquid released by the cabbage while you were massaging it into the jar.→ Optional: Place one of the larger outer leaves of the cabbage over the surface of the sliced cabbage. This will help keep the cabbage submerged in its liquid.
Weigh the cabbage down: Once all the cabbage is packed into the mason jar, slip the smaller jelly jar into the mouth of the jar and weigh it down with clean stones or marbles. This will help keep the cabbage weighed down, and eventually, submerged beneath its liquid.
Cover the jar: Cover the mouth of the mason jar with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band or twine. This allows air to flow in and out of the jar, but prevent dust or insects from getting in the jar.
Press the cabbage every few hours: Over the next 24 hours, press down on the cabbage every so often with the jelly jar. As the cabbage releases its liquid, it will become more limp and compact and the liquid will rise over the top of the cabbage.
Add extra liquid, if needed: If after 24 hours, the liquid has not risen above the cabbage, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water and add enough to submerge the cabbage.
Ferment the cabbage for 3 to 10 days: As it's fermenting, keep the sauerkraut away from direct sunlight and at a cool room temperature — ideally 65°F to 75°F. Check it daily and press it down if the cabbage is floating above the liquid.Because this is a small batch of sauerkraut, it will ferment more quickly than larger batches. Start tasting it after 3 days — when the sauerkraut tastes good to you, remove the weight, screw on the cap, and refrigerate. You can also allow the sauerkraut to continue fermenting for 10 days or even longer. There's no hard and fast rule for when the sauerkraut is "done" — go by how it tastes.While it's fermenting, you may see bubbles coming through the cabbage, foam on the top, or white scum. These are all signs of a healthy, happy fermentation process. The scum can be skimmed off the top either during fermentation or before refrigerating. If you see any mold, skim it off immediately and make sure your cabbage is fully submerged; don't eat moldy parts close to the surface, but the rest of the sauerkraut is fine.
Store sauerkraut for several months: This sauerkraut is a fermented product so it will keep for at least two months and often longer if kept refrigerated. As long as it still tastes and smells good to eat, it will be. If you like, you can transfer the sauerkraut to a smaller container for longer storage.


Your sauerkraut, just fermenting away!

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Thanks Mom!
savor it!
love, rue

Monday, July 7, 2014

Glazed Shredded Wheat

Hey everyone, I'm back to work and back to the blog :)

I accidentally bought non-frosted, plain shredded wheat a couple of weeks ago, much to my unpleasant surprise when I went to eat it. I was going to give it away but I thought, perhaps I can get a glaze on there myself and it'll be like frosted shredded wheat, or sweetened at least!
I took the idea from the cracker toffee that I love so much, but I didn't want it so sweet, so I cut down on that. Let me show you!

All of your ingredients! Cereal, butter, sugar- how much easier can you get?
Heat up that butter and sugar for a few minutes in the microwave or on the stovetop- and keep an eye on it!
Then spoon the butter/sugar over the cereal.
Then bake for 12-14 minutes! This is how it should come out looking, or somewhere about here.


 Glazed Shredded Wheat
-6 cups cereal, single layer on greased baking sheet(s)
-1/2 cup butter (you can use less butter if you'd like, perhaps 6 tablespoons)
-1/2 cup white sugar
Microwave butter and sugar together for 3-4 minutes. Stir well and spoon over cereal.
Bake at 350 F for 12-14 minutes.
Let cool, store in an airtight container or bag.
(Keep in the fridge if you have it for a while- no preservatives for that glaze, remember?)


Store in an airtight container and eat like, well, cereal! Enjoy!

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, June 30, 2014

Week Off!

Hi everyone,

This is my only week off of work all summer so I'm taking advantage and not even doing a blog post :)

I'll be back next week with something delicious- and in the meantime make something else and enjoy the warm weather!

Whatever it is, Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, June 23, 2014

Snickers Layer Bars

Hi everybody!

These are super sweet, super rich bars, so you'll want to cut them into smaller pieces. They are also super easy and super quick to make, so be careful! You could use any chocolate bars here in place of snickers bites- just chop up and use your favorite. Be creative and make it however you think you'd like it best!

Here are your super easy and simple ingredients! Just 6 things you probably already have!
After baking your crust, pour the sweetened condensed milk over it.
Layer your other ingredients on top of the sweetened condensed milk- easy as pie! (easier probably)
Here are your bars after baking- I didn't chop the snickers bites, but crushed a little afterwards, but chopping would solve that for you.


Snickers Layer Bars
-1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
-1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
-1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
-1 1/2 cups (1 12 oz. pkg.) chocolate chips
-1 cup snickers bites, chopped (any other chopped chocolate bar works!!)
-1 cup chopped or sliced nuts
Mix butter and graham cracker crumbs, pat into a greased or parchment lined and greased pan, and bake at 325 F for 8 minutes.
Pour sweetened condensed milk over cooled crust.
Sprinkle chocolate chips, snickers bites, and nuts over top.
Bake at 325 F for 20-25 minutes.


Refrigerate your bars, then pop them off the parchment paper and cut into squares. Enjoy!

Savor it!
love, rue