Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Crispy, Golden, Fresh-Cut French Fries

There is nothing like fresh-cut fries. I think sometimes that people forget how easy they are to make.

1-2 potatoes for each person
Oil for frying

Wash and scrub potatoes; peel if desired. Cut potatoes into strips to your desired thickness, but make them all as close to the same size as you can to permit even cooking.

Place cut fries in a baking dish (or a pot of simmering water if cooking on the stovetop) and cover with water. Microwave for 8 minutes (simmer on stovetop for 5 minutes). Drain well and pat dry slightly with paper towels. Fry in hot oil (375 degrees) until golden and crispy; drain and season.


-Blanching the fries in water first removes some of the starch making the potatoes fry faster and come out crispier! YUM!

-Season with plain salt, salt and pepper, seasoned salt or hot salt. You can also experiment with other flavorings such as chipotle grill seasoning or whatever your family likes.

- Leave the skins on the potatoes, season with salt and malt vinegar and you'll be transported to the fair! ;o)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Rose-Petal Jam

I'd like to preface this by saying that I haven't tried this recipe. I found it in the Time-Life Encyclopedia of Gardening Book, "Roses." It sounded interesting and I thought I'd share it in case anyone out there would be interested. I may try it one day and I'll let you know if I ever do. Please let me know if you try it, too!

Here is the text as it appears in the book:

Rose-Petal Jam
through the ages, rose petals have been used as a flavoring in all sorts of dishes and drinks, puddings candies and preserves. One traditional recipe for a tasty  rose-petal jam, calls for these ingredients:

8 ounces of petals, preferably taken from newly opened fragrant red or pink roses

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 1/2 pounds sugar

1 cup rose water (available in pharmacies)

Wash and drain the rose petals. Dissolve the sugar in the lemon juice and rose water. Add petals and leave in a warm place to steep for a few hours. Put in a saucepan; simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture takes on a jam-like consistency. Allow to cool, then put in small glass jars and cover.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Peeling Peaches

If you like to can or freeze peaches, you will want to peel them first. If you have been through this before, you'll know that it is a long process. To save a ton of time, try scalding them just like you would scald tomatoes! The skins will come off without trouble and you will get done much faster!

Fill a pot one-half to two-thirds full of water; bring to a rolling boil. Wash peaches and cut an "x" through the skin in the bottom of each with a paring knife. Drop scored peaches into boiling water for about 30 seconds. Remove peaches and place in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. The skins will slide off easily!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Not-Too-Sweet Frosting

One of the first recipes I asked to copy from my Mother-in-law was for her cake frosting. IT IS NOTHING SHORT OF AWESOME!!! Its just the right combination of fluffy and subtle sweetness and it doesn't use any powdered sugar, so it isn't sickening sweet like butter cream frosting. Many people ask us to bring cakes to get togethers just so they can eat the frosting!

This frosting is there for all of our special events. We use this frosting for nearly every birthday, anniversary and graduation cake we make and it is always a hit! You can also use it as the filling for Devil Dogs which you can make by preparing Devil's Food cake mix and dropping large spoon fulls on a greased and floured cookie sheet. Bake them at 350 for about 11 minutes. Cool. Slather this frosting between 2 of them and enjoy!

ADDITIONAL NOTE- I would say this frosting is fine at room temp for about 5 days, up to two weeks in the fridge, but I prefer not to freeze it if it is to be spread and needs to look pretty. I do love to put it between graham crackers, wrap with plastic wrap and freeze them. It is one of my kids' favorite treats!

Here is the frosting recipe:

1 Cup Milk5 Tablespoons Flour

1/2 Cup Butter (softened)

1/2 Cup Shortening

1 Cup Granulated Sugar

2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Whisk flour and milk together in medium saucepan over medium heat until thickened. Pour into shallow dish, cover with plastic wrap and let cool (I put mine in the refrigerator for a couple of hours). Beat butter and shortening together for 4 minutes. Gradually add sugar to the butter mixture. Beat an additional 4 minutes. Slowly add the cooled flour paste to the butter mixture and beat an additional 4 minutes. Add vanilla and beat well.