Friday, December 30, 2011

Horsford's Acid Phosphate ~ Vintage Holistic Hangover Remedy

There are almost as many hangover remedies as there are beverages that cause a hangover. i found a most intriguing vintage holistic remedy in the Rumford Cookbook. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before using this or any remedy.

"Eben Norton Horsford [27 July 1818 – 1 January 1893] was an American scientist who is best known for his reformulation of baking powder, his interest in Viking settlements in America, and the monuments he built to Leif Erikson."

"Eben Horsford probably is best remembered today for reformulating baking powder. Previously, baking powder had contained baking soda and cream of tartar. Horsford replaced the cream of tartar with the more reliable calcium biphosphate [also known as calcium acid phosphate and many other names]. He did this a little earlier than August Oetker. In 1854, Horsford, with partner George Wilson, formed the Rumford Chemical Works. They named it after the title of Horsford's position at Harvard. It was in that enterprise that Horsford created his commercially successful baking powder."

Horsford's Acid Phosphate


A solution of the phosphates of lime, magnesia, potash and iron in phosphoric acid. It is not a compounded patent medicine, but a scientific preparation recommended and prescribed by physicians of all schools.

INDIGESTION AND DYSPEPSIA. Half a teaspoonful Horsford's Acid Phosphate in half a glass of hot or cold water, or tea without milk, taken with each meal, or half an hour thereafter, makes the process of digestion natural and easy, and creates a good appetite.

NERVOUSNESS, EXHAUSTION, ETC. Horsford's Acid Phosphate supplies the waste of phosphates caused by every mental and physical exertion. It imparts new energy, increases the intellectual and physical power, and is an agreeable and beneficial food and tonic for the brain and nerves.

IntemperanceHEADACHE. Horsford's Acid Phosphate relieves headache caused by overwork, nervous disorders or impaired digestion.

Horsford's Acid Phosphate

TIRED BRAIN. Horsford's Acid Phosphate acts as a brain food, increasing the capacity for mental labor, relieving the tired brain, and imparting new energy to that organ.

WEAKENED ENERGY. Horsford's Acid Phosphate acts as a nutrient to the cerebral and nervous systems, giving vigor and renewed strength where there has been exhaustion.

SLEEPLESSNESS. Half a teaspoonful Horsford's Acid Phosphate in half a glass of water just before retiring brings refreshing sleep.

A DELICIOUS DRINK is made by adding a teaspoonful of Horsford's Acid Phosphate to a tumbler of water and sweetening to the taste.


Text Credits: Wikipedia
Free Google eBook
Image Credit: Horsford's Acid Phosphate

Thursday, December 29, 2011

History Of Champagne

"The history of Champagne has seen the wine evolve from being a pale, pinkish still wine to the sparkling wine now associated with the region. The Romans were the first to plant vineyards in this area of northeast France, with the region being cultivated by at least the 5th century, possibly earlier. When Hugh Capet was crowned King of France in 987 at the cathedral of Reims, located in the heart of the region, he started a tradition that brought successive monarchs to the region—with the local wine being on prominent display at the coronation banquets. The early wine of the Champagne region was a pale, pinkish wine made from Pinot noir."

"The Champenois were envious of the reputation of the wines made from their Burgundian neighbours to the south and sought to produces wines of equal acclaim. However the northerly climate of the region gave the Champenois a unique set of challenges in making red wine. At the far extremes of sustainable viticulture, the grapes would struggle to ripen fully and often would have bracing levels of acidity and low sugar levels. The wines were lighter bodied and thinner than the Burgundies."

"Furthermore, the cold winter temperatures prematurely halted fermentation in the cellars, leaving dormant yeast cells that would awaken in the warmth of spring and start fermenting again. One of the byproducts of fermentation is the release of carbon dioxide gas, which, if the wine is bottled, is trapped inside the wine, causing intense pressure. The pressure inside the weak, early French wine bottles often caused the bottles to explode, creating havoc in the cellars. If the bottle survived, the wine was found to contain bubbles, something that the early Champenois were horrified to see, considering it a fault. As late as the 17th century, Champenois wine makers, most notably the Benedictine monk Dom Pérignon (1638–1715), were still trying to rid their wines of the bubbles."

"While the Champenois and their French clients preferred their Champagne to be pale and still, the British were developing a taste for the unique bubbly wine. The sparkling version of Champagne continued to grow in popularity, especially among the wealthy and royal. Following the death of Louis XIV of France in 1715, the court of Philippe II, Duke of Orléans made the sparkling version of Champagne a favorite among the French nobility. More Champenois wine makers attempted to make their wines sparkle deliberately, but didn't know enough about how to control the process or how to make wine bottles strong enough to withstand the pressure."

Veuve Clicquot Bottle Sizes
"In the 19th century these obstacles were overcome, and the modern Champagne wine industry took form. Advances by the house of Veuve Clicquot in the development of the méthode champenoise made production of sparkling wine on a large scale profitable, and this period saw the founding of many of today's famous Champagne houses, including Krug (1843), Pommery (1858) and Bollinger (1829). The fortunes of the Champenois and the popularity of Champagne grew until a series of setbacks in the early 20th century. Phylloxera appeared, vineyard growers rioted in 1910-11, the Russian and American markets were lost because of the Russian Revolution and Prohibition, and two World Wars made the vineyards of Champagne a battlefield."

"The modern era, however, has seen a resurgence of the popularity of Champagne, a wine associated with both luxury and celebration, with sales quadrupling since 1950. Today the region's 86,500 acres (35,000 ha) produces over 200 million bottles of Champagne with worldwide demand prompting the French authorities to look into expanding the region's Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) zone to facilitate more production."

Text Credit: Wikipedia
Image Credit: Wikipedia

Monday, December 26, 2011

Parker House Roll

"A Parker House roll is a bread roll made by flattening the center of a ball of dough with a rolling pin so that it becomes an oval shape and then folding the oval in half. They are made with milk and are generally quite buttery, soft, and slightly sweet with a crispy shell."

"They are often sold frozen for quick baking by bakeries such as Sister Schubert's. Fannie Farmer gives a recipe in her 1896 Boston Cooking-School Cook Book for them."

"They were invented at the Parker House Hotel in Boston, and are still served there. The Omni Parker House [built 1927] is a hotel in Boston, Massachusetts, currently owned by Omni Hotels. The name of the hotel derives from the original Parker House, which first opened in 1855. Founder Harvey D. Parker ran the hotel until his death in 1884, when the business passed on to his partners."

From The Rumford Complete Cookbook

Parker House Rolls Recipe

2 Cups Flour
2 Teaspoons Rumford*
Baking Powder [*Rumford brand baking powder suggested but any brand baking powder may be used]
2 Teaspoons Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Butter
2/3 Cup Milk

"Mix as for Rumford Biscuit: In making breads raised with baking powder always sift the powder with the dry ingredients to insure thorough incorporation and perfect mixing. In making baking powder biscuits, always add enough liquid to make a very soft dough, as this is one of the first requirements for good biscuits. Have the liquid cold, and mix with a flexible knife in preference to handling it with either a spoon or the hand, because the steel blade is cold, and cuts and mixes more thoroughly. The less biscuits are handled, the better. If placed a little apart in the pan they will be lighter and more crusty."

Parker House Roll by Hamburger Helper on Flickr

"Always add liquid to dry ingredients — they will mix more smoothly. The smaller the biscuits and muffins, the hotter may be the oven. To obtain a brown crust, brush over with milk before baking. For a tender crust, brush with melted butter. Sift well together the flour, salt and baking powder; rub in the butter as lightly as possible with the fingers, just working it until the butter is well blended with the flour. Then mix to a very soft dough with the milk, or milk and water, having this always as cold as possible. Mix with a flexible knife in preference to either a spoon or the hand, as the steel blade of the knife is colder than the spoon, and also because it cuts and mixes the dough more thoroughly. Turn the dough onto a well-floured board, and roll or pat it with the hand until about three-quarters of an inch thick."

"Roll to one-third inch in thickness, cut with a round or oval cutter, and crease in the centre with the handle of a caseknife first dipped in flour. Brush one-half with melted butter and fold over. Put in a pan, one-half inch apart, and bake in a quick oven fifteen minutes."

Text Credits: Wikipedia
Free Google eBooks
Image Credit: Flickr

Friday, December 23, 2011

Maple Walnut Fudge

"Fudge is a type of Western confectionery which is usually very sweet, and extremely rich. It is made by mixing sugar, butter, and milk and heating it to the soft-ball stage at 240 °F [116 °C], and then beating the mixture while it cools so that it acquires a smooth, creamy consistency. Many variations with other flavourings added are possible."

Origin ~ "The components of fudge are very similar to the traditional recipe for tablet, which is noted in The Household Book of Lady Grisell Baillie [1692-1733]. The term "fudge" is often used in the United Kingdom for a softer variant of the tablet recipe."

"American-style fudge [containing chocolate] is found in a letter written by Emelyn Battersby Hartridge, a student at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. She wrote that her schoolmate's cousin made fudge in Baltimore, Maryland in 1886 and sold it for 40 cents a pound. Hartridge obtained the fudge recipe, and in 1888, made 30 lb (14 kg) of fudge for the Vassar College Senior Auction. This Vassar fudge recipe became quite popular at the school for years to come."

"Word of this popular confection spread to other women's colleges. For example, Wellesley and Smith have their own versions of a fudge recipe dating from the late 19th or early 20th century. Fudge is a drier variant of fondant."

From Washtenaw County Michigan Tested Recipes For Making Candies

Maple Fudge Recipe

1 lb. sugar
1 Cup Nut Meats [Walnuts]

1 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Butter *

Boil sugar and milk [soft boil * method 240 °F [116 °C] For best results a candy thermometer is recommended to measure heat. Add nut meats of any kind, stir in lightly and pour into greased pans to cool. When cooling is completed use a sharp knife to cut into squares. * i've tweaked The Washtenaw County recipe for soft rather than hard fudge. Their recipe eliminated butter and had a hard rather than soft boil method. For the hard boil, the mixture is dropped into cold water immediately following boiling point temperature.

Fudge Photo by Brenna Hawley ingredientsofa20somethingText Credits: Wikipedia Free Google eBooks
Image Credit: Fudge

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Blueberry Cobbler

"Cobbler refers to a variety of dishes, particularly in the United States and United Kingdom, consisting of a fruit or savoury filling poured into a large baking dish and covered with a batter, biscuit, or pie crust before being baked. Unlike a pie, cobbler never contains a bottom crust."

"Cobblers may have originated in the early British American colonies. English settlers were unable to make traditional suet puddings due to lack of suitable ingredients and cooking equipment, so instead covered a stewed filling with a layer of uncooked plain biscuits or dumplings, fitted together. When fully cooked, the surface has the appearance of a cobbled street. The name may also derive from the fact that the ingredients are "cobbled" together."

"In the United States, varieties of cobbler include the Betty, the Grunt, the Slump, the Buckle, and the Sonker. The Crisp or Crumble differ from the cobbler in that their top layers are generally made with oatmeal. Grunts, Pandowdy, and Slumps are a New England variety of cobbler, typically cooked on the stove-top or cooked in an iron skillet or pan with the dough on top in the shape of dumplings—they reportedly take their name from the grunting sound they make while cooking."

"A Buckle is made with yellow batter (like cake batter), with the filling mixed in with the batter. Apple pan dowdy is an apple cobbler whose crust has been broken and perhaps stirred back into the filling. The Sonker is unique to North Carolina: it is a deep-dish version of the American cobbler.

"In the Deep South, cobblers most commonly come in single fruit varieties and are named as such, such as blackberry, blueberry, and peach cobbler. The Deep South tradition also gives the option of topping the fruit cobbler with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream."

From wikiHOW

Blueberry Cobbler Recipe

Fruit: 1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 1/2 cups blueberries --
canned or other favorite fruit or berry
1 tablespoon butter [approximately]--
dot over fruit, use as much as you like
Cobbler: 1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter -- cold
1/2 cup milk

"Preheat conventional oven to 400 degrees F.Spray a microwave-safe-ovenproof 1 1/2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Use a baking dish that is long and shallow versus a deep round dish. An oval baking dish is perfect."
"Combine fruit with juice, cornstarch and flavoring in *microwave-safe-oven proof baking dish."
"Mix well. Heat mixture at 100% power (high) in the *microwave oven, stirring several times during heating, until mixture is bubbly. This should take 2 to 3 minutes."

"Remove dish from microwave oven. Keep warm. Dot with butter. Combine dry ingredients for the cobbler mixture. Cut in butter. Add milk and stir until a soft dough forms. Spoon 8 dumplings onto hot fruit mixture. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Serves 6 to 8."

i have a convection/microwave oven but the microwave portion blew-out several years ago. At the time i was not microwaving as much as using the convection method and never did have the microwave repaired. Coincidentally at the time i was hearing about studies that purported microwaving to not be the healthiest choice of cooking method. So my work around for the portion of this recipe that suggests microwaving would be to maintain the 400 degree F pre-heat temperature and heat for 15 to 20 minutes rather than microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes. Also my preference for the fruit would be fresh blueberries. i am fortunate in that the market where i shop has fresh blueberries year round. i keep a carton in the freezer so that i can have them whenever needed.

blueberry cobbler

Text Credits: Wikipedia wikiHOW
Image Credit: Flickr

Sunday, December 18, 2011


From Chitlin

"I am not a Chitlin' eater;
But a Chitlin' eater's son.
Someone else can eat de Chitlin's
'til de Chitlin' eater comes."

Chitlins [aka chitterlings] are a traditional southern dish. i am a southerner, but substitute the word daughter for son and the "I Am Not A Chitlin Eater" poem applies to me. my mom, her siblings and friends enjoyed the dish. As a child i was repulsed by the smell but fascinated by my mother's skill at preparing this soul food staple.

Anyone who has ever made or watched others do so can tell you making chitlins is extremely labor intensive from start to finish. This dish most definitely will do some damage in the kitchen. Though they can be from any animal, chitlins are traditionally pork intestines. Even if you are using store bought chitlins, that is to say you have not had to dress the hog yourself [i had a childhood friend who had relatives who butchered their own hogs], preparation involves thorough cleaning i.e. checking for and removing any debris, plus excess fat that would still be on the entrails and several rinsings before during and after that has been done.

In all, from start to finish the entire process takes about 4hrs to 5hrs, 2-3 of those being the cooking time. Boiling is the usual method but they may also be broiled, baked, sauteed or fried. Some cooks will opt for an overnight soaking in vinegar, salt, and cold water when cleaning has been completed and then cooking afterward.

Some cooks also opt not add water for the boiling, preferring instead to only use the meat's natural juices and adding an onion or garlic to the chitlins while they cook. This supposedly not only eliminates the intestines' odor but flavors them as well. i do not recall if my mom's recipe used onion or garlic. i do remember her boiling the intestines for 2-3 hrs, seasoning with salt and pepper, then when cooking was completed flavoring with hot sauce, and white vinegar and seasoning with black pepper.

Smithfield Chitlins

Chitlins CookingChitlins Cooked

[From Wikipedia] "Chitterlings ~ "ˈtʃɪtlɪnz/ sometimes spelled chitlins or chittlins in vernacular) are the intestines of a pig, although cattle and other animals' intestines are similarly used, that have been prepared as food. In various countries across the world, such food is prepared and eaten either as part of a daily diet, or at special events, holidays or religious festivities."

"In the United States, chitterlings are an African American culinary tradition and a Southern culinary tradition sometimes called "soul food" cooking. In vernacular terms, chitterlings are often pronounced as chit'lins."

"Chitterlings are carefully cleaned and rinsed several times before they are boiled or stewed for several hours. A common practice is to place a halved onion in the pot to mitigate what many regard as a pungent, very unpleasant odor that can be particularly strong when the chitterlings begin to cook. Chitterlings sometimes are battered and fried after the stewing process and commonly are served with cider vinegar and hot sauce as condiments."

History ~ "In colonial times, hogs were slaughtered in December. During slavery, in order to maximize profits, slave owners commonly fed their slaves in the cheapest manner possible. At hog butchering time, the preferred cuts of meat were reserved for the master's use. The remains, such as fatback, snouts, ears, neck bones, feet, and intestines were given to the slaves for their consumption."

"In 2003, the Smithsonian Institution's Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture accepted the papers of Shauna Anderson and her business, The Chitlin Market, as part of its emerging collection of materials about African American celebrations, foods and foodways."

Food safety caution ~ "Care must be taken when preparing chitterlings, due to the possibility of disease being spread when they have not been cleaned or cooked properly. These diseases and bacteria include E. coli and Yersinia enterocolitica, as well as Salmonella. Chitterlings must be soaked and rinsed thoroughly in several different cycles of cool water, and repeatedly picked clean by hand, removing extra fat, undigested food, and specks of feces. The chitterlings are turned inside out, cleaned and boiled, sometimes in baking soda, and the water is discarded. The chitterlings can then be used in a recipe."

From Recipes by Kay G. Jones

Chitlin [Chitterlings] Recipe

5 lbs Chitterlings
1 Thick Slice Green Pepper
1 Small Onion Peeled/Halved
2 To 3 Garlic Cloves
1/2 Red Hot Pepper Pod
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

Place cleaned chitterlings in pot. Do not add water [they make their own].

In a cheesecloth bag, combine green pepper, onion, garlic cloves and red pepper pod. Place in pot, along with salt and 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar for every 5 pounds of chitterlings. Bring to gentle boil. Reduce and simmer until fork-tender, possibly around 2 1/2 hours. Remove cheesecloth bag and serve.

Text Credit: Wikipedia Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Image Credits: Flickr Flickr Flickr

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Oysters Rockefeller

"Oysters Rockefeller consists of oysters on the half-shell that have been topped with various other ingredients (often parsley and other green herbs, a rich butter sauce and bread crumbs) and are then baked or broiled."

"Oysters Rockefeller—This is a dish for which New Orleans is noted and proves an epicurean delight to those who are introduced to it for the first time. Its richness gives it its commonly-used title, but the old-time Creole bon vivant knows it as Huitres a la Montpelier. The secret of preparing oysters in this fashion has been jealously guarded by restauranteurs but this is the recipe, made public for the first time, of the Restaurant de la Louisiane, noted for preparing the bivalves in this style:"

"Prepare round pans by filling them with coarse salt and lay on each a half dozen raw oysters on the half shell, one dish being prepared for each person to be served. The coarse salt answers two purposes: to keep the shells upright that'they may retain the sauce and to keep shells hot while being served. The dish is placed in an oven under a gas broiler and cooked rapidly for a few moments, or until the meat starts to shrivel. Pour on sauce and serve immediately."

"The sauce for Oysters Rockefeller is made by previously preparing parsley, spinach, celery and onion tops and other greens, in a meat grinder; the greens must be ground very fine; to this add the juice of lemon and melted butter. One tablespoonful of this sauce is poured over each oyster when being taken from the shells, and just before serving."

It is one of the most nutritious and easily digested foods on the market.
It is a luxurious beginning for the most luxurious meal, yet it is cheap and abundant.
It can be prepared for the table in a great variety of tempting ways.
It is nearly self-sufficient as a diet, needing but the ordinary ingredients used in cooking—starches and fats—to give it balance.
It is one of the few foods that can be eaten either cooked or uncooked and is wholly digestible both ways."

Oysters Rockefeller Photo by Pachango
From Editor-In-Chief Sheri Wetherell

"The original recipe purportedly contains no spinach, but instead a bunch of fresh herbs and parsley. We also added a bit of Parmesan cheese to our version. I found this recipe after making our own spinach version."
Oysters Rockefeller Recipe

2 dozen fresh oysters on the half shell, oyster liquor reserved
4 springs flat-leaf Italian parsley
4 green onions
A handful of fresh celery leaves
6 or more fresh tarragon leaves
6 or more fresh chervil leaves
1/2 cup dried fresh French bread crumbs, unseasoned
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened [Rockefeller was rich and so are these!]
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Tabasco, to taste
2 tablespoons Pernod
Rock salt

"Finely mince the parsley, green onions and the herbs. In a mortar, mix the herbs with the breadcrumbs, softened butter, and any remaining oyster liquor until you have a textured paste. Season to taste with salt, pepper, Tabasco and Pernod."

"Spread about a 1/4 inch of rock salt in an oven-safe dish and set the oysters on top, making sure they're level. The salt will help keep the oysters from sliding around and also make a pretty presentation. Spoon an equal amount of the herb butter paste on top of each oyster. Place on the middle rack under the broiler and broil until the edges of the oysters curl and the herb butter paste bubbles, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately."

Text Credits: Wikipedia Bulletin Issue 1 Louisiana. Dept. of Conservation Oysters Rockefeller Recipe
Image Credit: Wikimedia

Thursday, December 15, 2011


"Lasagna is a popular oven-baked pasta dish of fresh egg pasta squares. It is a traditional dish from Bologna in Northern Italy, where the sheets are always green through the addition of spinach or nettles to the egg dough. In Bologna, these home made sheets are layered with small amounts of real Bolognese ragù (made with both beef and pork, very little tomato and no southern herbs like oregano and basil but a little nutmeg instead) and simialrly small amounts of "besciamella" or béchamel sauce in an oven dish."

"There are at least 5 layers of pasta dough, and the layers stay separate and do not "merge" together into a mush. A light sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano , and a few dabs of butter end the dish which is then baked for about half an hour. The use of Mozzarella in place of Béchamel suggests a Neapolitan variation to the original Bologna classic, as does the use of Ricotta."

"Lasagne refers to multiple sheets of pasta; lasagna refers to the dish or to individual sheets of pasta."

"In Italy but especially outside, many lasagna variations exist today. Vegetable lasagna, lasagna without béchamel sauce, lasagna without any sauce [just vegetables and/or meat] or even lasagna without sheets of pasta."

"When assembling a lasagna, start with the main ingredient [ragu, vegetables, seafood, etc.], add a layer of béchamel sauce, then one layer of lasagne pasta sheets and then the main ingredient again. Continue until the oven dish is full. End with a layer of pasta, spread some béchamel sauce on top and sprinkle the cheese over it."

"When it comes to the pasta dough there is, as always, a choice between home-made pasta and store bought sheets of dried pasta. Since dried pasta is made with just water and flour and home made fresh pasta usually includes eggs, there is a distinct difference in flavour and texture. The main difference, however, comes from ease of use. Making pasta from scratch can be a lengthy process and takes some practice to get it right. See the pasta page for a fresh pasta recipe."

"Dried pasta is usually precooked, so it can be put in to the oven dish straight out of the packet."

"In the US, pasta sheets generally have a curvy surface. Outside the US, they are almost always flat."

"Apart from the plain lasagne sheets, the green ones that Bologna favours are also common. These are called lasagne verdi and are flavored with spinach. They work well with white sauces [bechamels] or cream-based sauces and seafood."


From Wikibooks

Lasagna Recipe

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3lbs [1.5 kilo] Minced beef
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or crushed
1 can [400g] quality chopped plum tomatoes
10-15 basil leaves, chopped or torn [or 1 tsp dried basil]
1/2 tsp dried oregano
5 crushed black peppercorns [or to taste]
1 tsp sea salt [or to taste]
1/2 tsp sugar
[Optionally] 5.07.oz [150-200ml]red wine
One pack of lasagne sheets
1.5 pints [850ml] béchamel sauce
Finely grated parmesan

"Equipment: One small pan for the bechemel sauce [preferably non-stick]. One large, deep pan for the ragu. A shallow oven-proof dish."

"Procedure: Heat the olive oil in a heavy base or non-stick pan over a medium-high heat. If the oil browns, turn the heat down. Add the onion and fry until golden brown. Increase heat to high and add the meat and garlic. Fry until brown."

"Minced/ground beef takes some time to cook well. Fry until there is little moisture left in the pan. If necessary, spoon out any excess fat. Add the tomatoes and sugar, cover the pan and lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes."

"Meanwhile, prepare the béchamel sauce. Pre-heat the oven to 375f/190c. Mix the basil, oregano, salt & pepper in to the ragu. Place a thin layer of ragu in the base of the ovenproof dish and cover with a single layer of pasta sheets. Spread a layer of béchamel sauce over the pasta. Repeat this until you run out of meat, making sure that you have enough bechemel sauce left to cover the top layer of pasta. Sprinkle the grated parmesan over the top. Place the dish in the oven on the top shelf and cook for about 45 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and the sauce is bubbling."

"Hints & Tips: Get good beef. This is the most important part of the dish. The best beef will produce little fat and a great flavour. Try using goat's cheese and milk for the béchamel sauce. Look for canned tomatoes in 'rich tomato juice'. They're a bit more expensive, but definitely worthwhile. Fresh basil and pepper are a must. Try it with minced lamb."

Text Credits: Wikibooks Wikibooks
Image Credit: Flickr

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Shish Kabob

"abob, kabob (ka-bob'), kabaub, kibaub. n.Roast meat. A dish consisting of small pieces of beef or mutton, seasoned with pepper, salt, ginger, etc., and basted with oil and garlic while being roasted on a skewer or spit, sweet herbs being sometimes placed between the pieces. Cabobs, or meat masted in small pieces, that may be eaten without dividing."

"Shish kebab in which şiş [Turkish: Şiş Kebap], is the Turkish word for "skewer," kebab the word for "roast" is a dish consisting of meat threaded on a skewer and grilled. Any kind of meat may be used; cubes of fruit or vegetables are often threaded on the spit as well. Typical vegetables include eggplant, tomato, bell pepper, onions, and mushrooms.

In North American English, the word "kebab" usually refers to shish kebab

"The kebab term is applied to Azerbaijani, Armenian, Arabic, Turkish, Cypriot, Kurdish, Iranian, Iraqi, Central Asian, South Asian and some of the African cuisines."

"The origin of kebab may lie in the short supply of cooking fuel in the Near East, which made the cooking of large foods difficult, while urban economies made it easy to obtain small cuts of meat at a butcher's shop. The phrase is essentially Persian in origin and Arabic tradition has it that the dish was invented by medieval persian soldiers who used their swords to grill meat over open-field fires."

"Kebab, a wide variety of meat dishes originating in Middle East and later on adopted by the Middle East, Turkey and Asia Minor, and now found worldwide. In English, kebab with no qualification generally refers more specifically to shish kebab served on the skewer. In the Middle East, however, kebab includes grilled, roasted, and stewed dishes of large or small cuts of meat, or even ground meat; it may be served on plates, in sandwiches, or in bowls."

"The traditional meat for kebab is lamb, but depending on local tastes and taboos, it may now be beef, goat, chicken, pork; fish and seafood; or even vegetarian foods like falafel or tofu. Like other ethnic foods brought by travellers, the kebab has become part of everyday cuisine in many countries around the globe."

Shrimp Kebab

Text Credits: Free Google eBooks Wikipedia Free Google eBooks
Image Credit: Flickr

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


"Vichyssoise [US dict: vish·ē·swäz′] is a thick soup made of puréed leeks, onions, potatoes, cream, and chicken stock. It is traditionally served cold, but can also be eaten hot."

"The origins of vichyssoise are a subject of debate among culinary historians; Julia Child called it "an American invention", whereas others observe that "the origin of the soup is questionable in whether it's genuinely French or an American creation"

"Louis Diat, a chef at the Ritz-Carlton in New York City, is most often credited with its [re]invention. In 1950, Diat told New Yorker magazine: In the summer of 1917, when I had been at the Ritz seven years, I reflected upon the potato and leek soup of my childhood which my mother and grandmother used to make."

"I recalled how during the summer my older brother and I used to cool it off by pouring in cold milk and how delicious it was. I resolved to make something of the sort for the patrons of the Ritz."

"The same article explains that the soup was first titled crème vichyssoise glacée - then, after the restaurant's menu changed from French to English in 1930, cream vichyssoise glacée. Diat named it after Vichy, a town not far from his home town of Montmarault, France."

"Earlier, French chef Jules Gouffé created a recipe for a hot potato and leek soup, publishing a version in Royal Cookery [1869]."

From 1001 Dairy Dishes From The Sealtest Kitchens

Vichyssoise Recipe
* Recipe from Sealtest Dairy but any brand of dairy product may be used for the soup
4 Medium Potatoes diced
3 Medium Onions sliced
1 1/3 Cups Canned Condensed
Cream Of Chicken Soup
1 Tablespoon Butter
3 1/2 Cups Of Sealtest* Milk
1/4 Cup Sealtest Heavy Cream
Salt And Pepper To Taste
Sealtest Sour Cream
Chopped Chives


Cook potatoes and onions in small amount of boiling salted water until soft. Press through sieve into double boiler. Add chicken soup, butter, milk, cream; mix well. Heat over boiling water, stirring until blended. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot or icy cold. If served cold, beat until smooth before serving. Garnish with a dab of sour cream and chopped chives. 6 to 8 generous servings. Note: For curry lovers season the sour cream with a smidgeon of curry powder.

Text Credits: Wikipedia Free Google eBooks
Image Credit: Flickr

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Schnitzel ~ "German pronunciation: [ˈʃnɪtsəl], is a traditional Austrian dish made with boneless meat thinned with a mallet [escalope-style preparation], coated in bread crumbs and fried. It is a popular part of Viennese, Austrian cuisine and German cuisine. In Austria, the dish called Wiener Schnitzel [Viennese schnitzel], is traditionally garnished with a slice of lemon and either potato salad or potatoes with parsley and butter. Although the traditional Wiener schnitzel is made of veal, it is now often made of pork."

"When made of pork, it is often called Schnitzel Wiener Art in Germany. In Austria, by law it has to be called Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein [vom Schwein meaning from pork or pig] to differentiate it from the original. In Austria and Germany, the term Wiener Schnitzel is protected by law, and any schnitzel called by that name has to be made from veal. There are also regional versions of schnitzel, such as Salzburger schnitzel, which is stuffed with mushrooms, bacon, onions, and various other herbs."

"There is a debate as to where schnitzel originated. Some say it appeared in Vienna during the 15th or 16th century. One hypothesis is that it could have been brought to Austria during the Battle of Vienna in 1683 by Polish and German troops. According to another hypothesis, it was introduced in 1857 by Field Marshal Radetzky, who spent much of his life in Milan. The term Wiener Schnitzel itself dates to at least 1845. Variants of this dish are common around the world."

"Chicken schnitzel, and chicken Parmigiana are very popular dishes in Australia, where chicken is more readily available than veal. As a home-cooked meal, schnitzel is generally accompanied by boiled, mashed or fried potatoes. Chicken Parmigiana is a large chicken schnitzel topped with Italian tomato sauce and mozzarella or Parmesan cheese. Chicken Parmigiana is often served as a pub meal, accompanied by chips or salad and sometimes bacon."

"It is known by a number of colloquial names such as such as "Parmi" or "Parma". The terms "Schnitty" or "Schnitter" are gaining popularity, particularly in South Australia, where the schnitzel has reached almost cult or iconic status in local pub culture and on local menus. Beef schnitzels are also served as pub meals."

Wiener Schnitzel
From The Grill Sergeants

Schnitzel Recipe
2 lbs Veal or pork filets,
pounded thin
1 Cup flour
4 Eggs
1 Tablespoon oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 Cups bread crumbs
1/2 Cup oil for frying

Dredge meat in flour. Beat eggs with oil, salt and pepper. Coat meat in egg mixture, then in bread crumbs. Fry in oil which should not cover more than 1/2 of the fillet while frying. Remember ‘pan fry’ not ‘deep fry’. Flip when golden brown, continuing frying until done. Serve with lemon wedge or mushroom gravy

Text Credits: Wikipedia The Grill Sergeants
Image Credit: Wikimedia

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Plum Pudding aka Christmas Pudding

"Christmas pudding is a pudding traditionally served on Christmas Day. It has its origins in medieval England, and is sometimes known as plum pudding or plum duff, though this can also refer to other kinds of boiled pudding involving dried fruit."

"Prior to the 19th century, the English Christmas pudding was boiled in a pudding cloth, and often represented as round. The new Victorian era fashion involved putting the batter into a basin and then steaming it, followed by unwrapping the pudding, placing it on a platter, and decorating its top with a sprig of *holly."

"Initial cooking usually involves steaming for many hours (the period can be shortened without loss of quality by using a pressure cooker). To serve, the pudding is reheated by steaming once more, and dressed with warm brandy which is set alight. It can be eaten with hard sauce, brandy butter, rum butter, cream, lemon cream, custard, or sweetened béchamel, and is sometimes sprinkled with caster sugar."

[*Holly should not be consumed as it is poisonous if eaten. The same prohibitive applies to skimmia the garnish in the image shown below recipe].

From The Ladies' Home Journal, Volume 38, Issues 1-6 By Newell Convers Wyeth

Plum Pudding Recipe
1 Envelope Knox Sparkling Gelatin
3/4 Cups Of Cold Water
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Teaspoonful Vanilla
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 Cup Raisins
1/2 Cup Figs
Pinch Of Salt
1/2 Cup Dates
1/4 Cup Sliced Citron
1/2 Cup Chopped Nuts
1/2 Cup Currants
1 1/2 Squares Chocolate
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Coffee

"Soften gelatine in cold water ten minutes. Cover raisins and other fruit with iy£ cups water and cook until thick, then add the lemon juice. Put milk in double boiler, add melted chocolate, and when scalding point is reached add softened gelatine and sugar and stir until dissolved. Add coffee and salt, remove from fire and when mixture thickens add vanilla, cooked fruit and nut meats. Turn into large or individual molds first dipped in cold water, and chill. Serve with whipped cream or any plum pudding sauce, and decorate with *holly."

Christmas Pudding and Christmas Pudding Flames
*Holly should not be consumed as it is poisonous if eaten [the same prohibitive applies to skimmia the garnish in the image shown. Some persons may also have an allergic reaction to the skin from touching skimmia]. The original publication date for the above plum pudding recipe is 1921. my suggestion for updating this recipe would be to decorate with frosting with nibs that will mimic the shape of the leaf and berries.

Text Credits: Wikipedia Free Google eBooks

Image Credits: Wikimedia Wikimedia

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Paella ~ "A Catalan word which derives from the Old French word paelle for pan which in turn comes from the Latin word patella for pan as well. Patella is also akin to the modern French poêle, the Welsh padell, the Italian padella, the Old Spanish padilla, the Polish patelnia, and the New Mexican Spanish puela."

"There are three widely known types of paella: Valencian paella [Spanish: paella valenciana], seafood paella [Spanish: paella de marisco] and mixed paella [Spanish: paella mixta], but there are many others as well. Valencian paella consists of white rice, green vegetables, meat [rabbit, chicken, duck], land snails, beans and seasoning. Seafood paella replaces meat and snails with seafood and omits beans and green vegetables. Mixed paella is a free-style combination of meat, seafood, vegetables, and sometimes beans. Most paella chefs use calasparra or bomba rices for this dish. Other key ingredients include saffron and olive oil."

From The Grill Sergeants

Paella Recipe
1 1/2 qt. chicken stock*
1 pinch saffron
salt, to taste
1 lb. chicken breast, diced
8 oz. Spanish chorizo sausage
3 oz. olive oil
3 oz. ea. red and green bell pepper, diced
3 oz. carrots, diced and blanched
2 oz. Spanish onion, diced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
20 oz. short grain Spanish rice
4 ea. mussels, clams, shrimp
3 oz. green peas
2 lemons

Simmer saffron with the chicken stock and reduce to 1 ¼ quarts. Season with salt. Cut chicken and chorizo into bite-sized cubes. Sauté with olive oil in a paella pan. Add peppers, onions, carrots, and garlic; sauté for about 3 minutes.

Add the rice and toss briefly. Pour in stock and bring to boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Arrange mussels, clams, shrimp, and peas over rice and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the juice from one squeezed lemon, cover pan, and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve paella in the pan with lemon wedges. *Note: Add additional stock as necessary

Paella de MariscoText Credits: Wikipedia The Grill Sergeants
Image Credit: Wikimedia

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

How To Cook Rhubarb ~ "To cook rhubarb, cut it into inch pieces and remove the stringy peel. Cook in a glass or earthen casserole dish in the oven until it is soft, adding just enough sugar to sweeten. This will give you a splendid product. Do not use the leaves of the rhubarb. And do not cook rhubarb in tin; the mineral salt or acid content of the fruit reacts upon the metal and sets up an active poison."

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie ~ "A Strawberry rhubarb pie [folk name pie plant] is a type of tart/sweet pie made with a strawberry and rhubarb filling, and sometimes containing tapioca. It has a bottom pie crust and often a lattice-style upper crust."

"This pie is a traditional dessert in the Appalachian regions, and is part of New England cuisine."

"The filling for this pie is prepared in a non-aluminum pan. Only the stalks of the rhubarb are used, as the leaves and roots contain oxalic acid and other unknown poisons. Frostbitten stalks are also avoided as they can also be toxic. Rhubarb used in strawberry rhubarb pie is rinsed and trimmed, and can also be peeled."

"A common folk name for rhubarb is 'pie plant' presumably because it is commonly used in pies."

From Household Science and Arts by Josephine Morris

Rhubarb Pie Recipe
2 Cups Of Rhubarb
3/4 Cups Of Sugar
1 Cup Strawberries *
1 Egg
1/8 Teaspoon Of Salt
2 Tablespoons Of Flour

"Line a plate with pastry. Wash the rhubarb and cut it into inch pieces. Mix the sugar, salt, flour, and beaten egg, add the mixture to the rhubarb, put on a top crust, or lattice pastry strips. Bake the pie until the crust is brown and the rhubarb is soft. The egg in this recipe may be omitted."

*The original rhubarb pie recipe from Household Science and Arts by Josephine Morris did not include strawberries

RhubarbStrawberry Rhubarb Pie

Text Credit: How To Cook Rhubarb
Text Credit: Wikipedia
Text Credit: Household Science and Arts by Josephine Morris
Image Credits: Wikimedia Wikipedia Flickr/Wikimedia Wikimedia

Sunday, December 4, 2011


"Guacamole was made by the Aztecs as early as the 16th century. The name comes from an Aztec dialect via Nahuatl āhuacamolli, which literally translates to "avocado sauce", from āhuacatl [="avocado"] + molli [="sauce"]. In Spanish, it is pronounced [wakaˈmole], in American English /gwɑːkəˈmoʊliː/, and in British English sometimes /ˌwækəˈmoʊliː/."

"Guacamole has pushed avocado sales to 30 million pounds on two days a year: Super Bowl Sunday and Cinco de Mayo."

"Guacamole, Spanish pronunciation: [gwa.kaˈmo.le], is an avocado-based dip that originated in Mexico. It is traditionally made by mashing ripe avocados with a molcajete [mortar and pestle] with sea salt. Some recipes call for limited tomato, spicy Asian spices such as white onion, lime juice, and/or additional seasonings."

"Avocados are loaded with nutrients such as dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, and folate. They're also cholesterol and sodium free. Avocados contain 60% more potassium per ounce than bananas. This fruit is an excellent source of monounsaturated fat."

"Avocados were first cultivated in South America with later migration to Mexico. It was believed that a Mayan princess ate the very first avocado and that it held mystical and magical powers. European sailors traveling to the New World used avocados as their form of butter. Avocados were first seen in the United States in the early 1800's. California is currently the largest producer of avocados stateside. There are more than 80 varieties, with the "Hass" variety dominating the crop share. A single mature avocado tree can produce more than 400 pieces of fruit in a year."

"How to Select, Ripen, and Peel an Avocado: [Select] Look for firm avocados if you're planning on using them later in the week, otherwise, select fruit that yields to gentle pressure for immediate use. Color alone will not tell you if the avocado is ripe. Ripe fruit will be slightly firm, but will yield to gentle pressure."

"[Ripen] To speed the ripening process, place the avocado in a paper bag, and store at room temperature until ready to eat [usually two to five days]. Placing an apple together with the avocado speeds up the process even more."

"[Peel] Cut the avocado in half, slightly twist the two halves, separate, and remove the seed. Starting at the small end and remove the skin with a knife, or, if you prefer, you can also scoop the flesh out with a spoon. To retain a fresh green color, avocados should either be eaten immediately or should be sprinkled with lemon or lime juice or white vinegar."

sookie's Guacamole Ingredients
sookie's Guacamole Ingredients2sookie's Guacamole With Tostitos Chips

sookie's Guacamole Recipe
3 Ripe Avocados
1 Vine Ripened Tomato
1 Long Hot Pepper
1 Lemon or 1 Lime
1 Red Onion
1 Vidalia Onion
4 Small Celery Stalks
Sprinkle Of Dried Parsley

my preference is to use ripe avocados as i want to make the guacamole the same day as i get the main ingredient. i like them to be the consistency of a squeezed tennis ball. Slice and peel avocados in the [peel] manner described above. When the avocado is 'same day' ripe, ideally the skin should come off easily and in one piece per side. Mash as you would a potato. Squeeze the juice of a lemon or lime over mashed avocado. This is as much for preserving the avocado's color as well as adding flavor. To my taste the lime tends to give a more picante flavor, the lemon a subtler citrus flavor.

Dice celery, tomatoes, onions, and long hot pepper. If the pepper has red coloring rather than being completely green it will have more flavor. Be careful to remove/rinse all seeds from the pepper before adding to other ingredients. It's the seeds that pack the punch in peppers.

This is also why you want to dice the peppers after the other ingredients and also thoroughly wash your hands afterward, being careful to avoid touching your eyes to avoid contaminating them with the pepper's volatile element. It is also advised to dry your hands on a paper towel rather than a reusable cloth towel. Mix all of the above with mashed avocado and finish with a sprinkle of dried parsley. i like to serve my guacamole with Tostitos multi-grain scoops chips.

Text Credit: Wikipedia
Text Credit: USDA