Musing

Tink’s thoughts on baking, cooking, food… and life.

Recently, Jeffrey stopped by the Spices section when grocery shopping... Always, dangerous, as I am sure you will agree! He came home with a way cool new toy... a McCormick's Peppercorn Medley Grinder. It has many different colored peppercorns and its own built-in grinder. How cool is that?!? I went looking online (I don't get out to the grocery store often... sigh...) and discovered that McCormick's now has a whole slew of these WITH grinders: Black Peppercorns, Steakhouse Seaoning, Italian Herb Seasoning, Garlic Sea Salt, Sea Salt, Garlic Pepper, Pizza Seasoning... I plan to add Black Peppercorns, Sea Salt, and the Italian Herb Seasoning to my next shopping list! I have been making myself a fruit salad of ripe strawberries, crumbled feta cheese, and fresh ground pepper... I especially like to mash up the strawberries a bit so that they are nice and juicy, drenching and softening the feta! Tink *When I dream, I cook and bake like an artist…*
OK... I'll admit it, we are a household of passionate Hellmann's Lovers. There are only three of us: Jeffrey, Mom and me...and you would think there are a dozen of us, the way we go thru Mayo! Jeffrey is the primary cook and grocery shopper and he starts to twitch if there are fewer than 3 jars of Mayo, unopened, in the pantry. (Yes, we are lucky enough to live in a 100 year old house with a pantry... it makes up for the fact that the kitchen is a slooow work in process) Now, due to height constraints, I don't let him buy the REALLY big jars because they just don't work well in our refrigerator, so I guess that might account for some of his worry about running out. *VeryBigGrin* As you may know, I LOVE collecting cookbooks... the more vintage and unique the better. A couple of weeks ago I scored an really interesting 1979 cookbook called *That Amazing Ingredient: Mayonnaise*. It has quite a bit of history and *fun facts to know and tell* about mayo. It also has some very intriguing recipes. Here is one that I am dying to try:
ILovetoBakeBread.com CHEDDAR-ONION CASSEROLE BREAD
Fresh and hot, straight from the oven... the tang of cheddar and green onions... cut into wedges and dripping with butter...
Ingredients
● 2 1/2 cups unsifted All-Purpose flour ● 1 tablespoon baking powder ● 1/2 teaspoon salt ● 1/2 cup Hellmann's Mayonnaise (or Best Foods if you are West of the Rockies!) ● 2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese (8 oz) ● 1/2 cup minced green onions ● 1 egg ● 3/4 cup milk ● Shortening to grease casserole
Equipment
Large Mixing Bowl Small Mixing Bowl Measuring cups Measuring spoons Mixing Spoon 1 1/2 Quart Casserole
Step by Step
● Preheat Oven to 425 degrees F. ● Grease 1 1/2 Quart Casserole ● In large bowl, stir flour, baking powder, and salt ● Stir in Mayonnaise until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. ● Add cheese and onions, toss. ● Beat together egg and milk in small mixing bowl ● Stir into flour and cheese mixture, just until moistened ● Spoon into casserole ● Bake 35-45 minutes or until cake tester inserted in middle comes out clean ● Cut into wedges ● Serve immediately and ENJOY!
I'll share more from this wonderful little cookbook in later posts... think cookies and cakes! Tink *When I dream, I cook and bake like an artist…*
Vintage cookbooks are one of my favorite things. ;-) I can't get it to scan in the song... but, none the less, it is true! Jeffrey, Mom, and I just got back from an afternoon roaming the local flea markets and I scored some GREAT finds. While normally I HATE books that have been written in, I hold cookbooks to a different standard. I love cookbooks that are signed, I like it even more when they have a personal note and were given as a gift. I get REALLY happy when the owner has written comments in the margins... the more the better... and, oh, swoon... if the owner has added her (or his) own recipes in the blank pages... that is the BEST! Today I hit several good nests of interesting cookbooks in the $1-2 range. I'll share them in later posts. One of the great finds this afternoon was a small hardback book entitled: *Herradura Tropical Cookbook*. Herradura is identified as *The American Town in Cuba* and the cookbook was prepared by the Ladies Club of Herradura. Part of the purpose of the book was to help Americans adjust to living in Cuba. The first pages are titled *Hints on What to Bring to Cuba* and the pages following that identify the various tropical fruits, vegetables, and foods which would be unfamiliar to an AMerican newly arrived on Cuba's shores. Rest assured, MANY of the items mentioned were unfamiliar to me also! In the front and back of the book are ads for local businesses. There isn't a date, but whenever it was printed pre-revolution, it was a pricey $1.50. While there isn't a name on the flyleaf, the owner paperclipped several small notes to the pages. One of the cooler ones refers to a Cornmeal Muffin recipe and says *These cornmeal muffins sound easy for quick morning use and worth trying. Save egg for the egg dealer.* Interestingly, the recipe doesn't use eggs and is prepared the night before, then baked the following morning. The index is arranged alphabetically by fruits and vegetables... It looks like it will be a fun read! At a quick glance I see: Lemon and Banana Sandwiches, Green Tomato Mince Pie, Battle Creek Vegetarian Roast, and a lot of other fascinating recipes. This was back before cooking temperatures and times were listed, so reproducing them may be quite a challenge... and many of the ingredients look to be well nigh impossible to find in Richmond, KY! I report on more of my recent cookbook finds in upcoming posts. Tink *When I dream, I cook and bake like an artist…*
My Mom has been visiting with me for about four months, after a long spell where we saw each other infrequently. I work here at home and (please, don’t tell her) when she isn’t here, lunch consists of a *sammich* in front of the computer. Now that she is here, I actually take a break and we eat lunch togther and visit. We have been reminiscing about wonderful food experiences and I have termed the phrase *Defining Gastronomic Moments* or DGMs. Peanut butter has always been a family favorite and I was amused to realize that BOTH my Mom and Dad had DGMs related to Peanut Butter in college. Daddy had apparently lead a sheltered life gastronomically and didn’t have his first PB&J until grad school (Ok, so I was exaggerating slightly when I said they both had PB DGMs in college… think of it as literary license!). He was at Harvard Business School and his first Peanut Butter and Jelly was a revelation. I remember that Mom ALWAYS kept the makings for PB and Js on hand, and he made them frequently! Mom’s Peanut Butter DGM was in college. Her college, Pennsylvania College for Women, now Chatham, offered late night snacks during exam time. (How civilized is that!?!) She ordered a Grilled Cheese sandwich and the cook offered to add Peanut Butter for an additional dime. I don’t think Mom has had a Grilled Cheese sandwich without Peanut Butter since then! In the winter, when I was growing up, our typical Saturday Morning lunch was a Grilled Cheese and Peanut Buttter, with a side of Breyer’s Vanilla Ice Cream… oh, bliss… If you haven’t ever had a Grilled Cheese and Peanut Buttter, there is one great trick. A thin layer of Peanut Butter on both slices of bread is the best way to go because: 1) it holds the sammich together nicely 2) the peanut butter melts and drips if you put it on too thick. For some reason, two thin layers seems to work a bit better. And don’t forget the Breyers Vanilla Ice Cream, one of my personal DGMs which I will share at a later date! Tink *When I dream, I cook and bake like an artist…*
…and yes, this is baking related! Late the other night (my typical shopping time) I was at the store in the Baking Aisle. I needed yeast. Typically, I purchase Fleischmann’s mainly because it is what I’ve always used. Yes, I am in a rut, but this decision hardly seems worth debating… or does it? Fleischmann’s is kind enough to include a recipe on the back of their packaging, so I took a quick look. The recipe on the packages was the same one that is sitting on my desk, waiting to be put into my computer. OK… I expected that… I then checked all of the packages in the box…again, the same recipe and again what I expected, since clearly it is the efficient way to handle things. Then I thought I’d check the Red Star Yeast (a brand I haven’t used). Yep, there is a recipe on the back of the package. I thought I would just quickly ascertain that the recipes are all the same… but wait! There are DIFFERENT recipes on different packages in the SAME box! YIKES! Well, of course I took a moment to look thru and pick and choose which recipes I wanted, and yes, I DID buy Red Star Yeast this time! One of the recipes I am looking forward to trying out is a recipe for Batter Bread. I’ve never made it, so I’ll be sure and report back here! Mom and I are going to be having lunch shortly. We are having Soup in Hand Cream of Broccoli (boring but fast to fix) and, to add a little excitement *smile*, we are also having slices of my newest experiment. I took my basic bread machine French Bread recipe and added Parmesan Cheese and Italian Seasoning. It didn’t rise quite as much as the regular French Bread but the texture and flavor are great. I’ll share the recipe a bit later on… once I have the hang of this blogging software! Tink *When I dream, I cook and bake like an artist…*

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