Saturday, July 24, 2010

History Channel to film at Jungle Jims | Fairfield News

As some of you know, Jungle Jim's International Market is one of my favorite stores in which to shop for food, groceries and unusual items and things you can't find in most supermarkets.....I've never been to another store like this. I've tried to explain what it's like but just can't do it justice so try to watch this when it's aired so you can see it for yourself. If I find out in advance, I'll post the date and time here.  I'm so lucky it's near me!

History Channel to film at Jungle Jims | Fairfield News

Sheryle on Foodista

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Winner of the Gift Certificate is........

Drum roll please..................and the winner of the $60 gift certificate is Jennai (Jennifer). Congratulations Jennifer! I will send your name and email address to CSN Stores and they will send you a gift code to be used at any one of their 200 stores.

Thank you all for participating in this giveaway. I would also like to thank CSN Stores for sponsoring and allowing me to host this giveaway.

Sheryle on Foodista

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Turkey Meatballs

I’ve wanted to get back to eating healthier and have been searching for recipes that are low fat, low calorie and low carb….recipes that are especially diabetic friendly. One day while sitting at the car dealership for two hours waiting for my car to have some repairs done, I was catching up on reading my magazines and I was going through my Woman’s Day trying to find some interesting recipes. I have been getting Woman’s Day for the past year and I don’t’ know why….I know I didn’t subscribe to it. It’s not my style magazine….too much about beauty, families, children and pets….none of which have much to do with my lifestyle. The only saving grace is that there are always a few recipes and some information on health. It just so happened that the issue I was reading that day contained an article titled, “Comfort Food Without the Guilt” by Joy Bauer who is a nutritionist. There were four or five recipes in the article and all of them looked very good (that is unusual, most of the time I may find one or two in articles like this, if I'm lucky) so I pulled out that section and saved it to use later.

Last week after the Fourth of July weekend and days of eating a diet loaded with fat, sugar and carbohydrates and delicious as it all was, I decided it was time to try something new and healthier. I pulled out the pages that I took from the Woman’s Day magazine on healthy comfort foods and decided to make the Turkey Meatballs and a marinara sauce. I followed her recipe for Turkey Meatballs, with the exception of the ground turkey, I used ground turkey breast instead of just plain ground turkey and since her marinara sauce recipe was similar to mine, prepared mine instead.

Turkey Meatballs
Print Recipe

Marina Sauce or store bought sauce*
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, grated
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/4 pound ground turkey breast
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1/4 cup old-fashioned or quick cooking oats (not instant)

In a 5 quart saucepan, prepare marinara suace or bring store bought sauce to a gentle simmer.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the onion, carrot, garlic powder, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.

Add the ground turkey breast, egg whites and oats. Mix thoroughly until ingredients are well combined.

Shape the meat mixture into approximately 20 meatballs.

Carefully place all meatballs in the marinara sauce. Do not stir, stirring will cause the meatballs to break apart. If meatballs are not completely covered with the sauce, don't worry. Cover the pot and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

Remove the lid and gently stir the meatballs to thoroughly coat them with sauce. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

*If using store bought sauce you'll need two jars (26 oz. each)

Chopped onion, grated carrot, garlic powder.

Add grated Parmesan.
 Add Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.

Mix in ground turkey breast, oats and eggs.

Shape into balls...should end up with about 20.

Place in marinara sauce .... do not stir.

Place lid on pan and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, remove lid, gently stir meatballs coating completely with sauce and simmer uncovered for another 20 minutes.

Even though I was looking forward to trying this recipe, I had a few reservations…were the meatballs going to be as satisfying as the ones I make using meat? When making meatballs, I always bake mine in the oven….were these going to be completely cooked by just simmering in the sauce? Well, I was worried for nothing….the turkey meatballs were incredible! They had a wonderful flavor and were moist…..probably because they “were” cooked in the sauce along with addition of the grated carrot in the meatballs and yes, they were completely cooked.

These would make great meatball sandwiches but I decided to continue with the health conscious theme and served them over whole grain pasta. The pasta was an added plus….it cooked in less time than regular pasta and it too had a wonderful taste and texture. Who would have thought that healthy could taste so good!

Sheryle on Foodista

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fresh Green Beans

As a child one of my favorite vegetables was green beans….especially if they were fresh homegrown beans. I remember summers when my mom would prepare fresh green beans….after she rinsed them off; she would bring a large pan of beans into the living room and snap them while watching TV. I would usually help…I always liked to snap them; and still do. It seemed like we rarely had to buy them, we usually knew someone who farmed or had a small garden who was willing to provide us with all we could eat. If, for some reason, we weren’t lucky enough to be on the receiving end of free green beans, we could always find a small vegetable stand while driving through the country. A sad sign of the times….these small family vegetable/fruit stands are practically nonexistent and we now have to limit ourselves to buying lovely homegrown produce to Saturday’s farmer’s markets.

I prepare my green beans pretty much like Mom used to. She would put a big pot on the stove (she was usually cooking for a lot of people) put the green beans in the pot and covered them with water, put in some type of ham/bone, salt and usually added small red potatoes then she would cook them for several hours. While she was working around the house, she would run out to the kitchen to check her beans, making sure the water didn’t boil off and scorch them. She always managed to get to them in time but sometimes she would have a close call. As I said I prepare green beans in almost the same way, the only difference is the quantity (I’m not cooking for a large family) and in how they are cooked….I use a Crockpot. When using a Crockpot, I don’t worry about the beans cooking dry and can let them cook several hours without worry.

This is another recipe that isn’t actually a recipe…’s more a list of ingredients.

green beans - I use about 2 pounds, cleaned, ends cut off and bean cut/snapped in half or thirds (depends on the length of the bean)
small red potatoes - I put in several, you want plenty but you want more beans than potatoes.
ham/bone -I buy ham shank/bone, you can usually find them at the supermarket for about $1.00 each and usually come one or two per package
water, enough to cover the beans
salt - I use kosher and add some in the beginning and then when beans have cooked about 4-5 hours, taste and usually have to add more.
onion - chopped - I don't always use onion but this time I did add some at the last minute
Ham Soup Base, 1 heaping teaspoon, optional - the beans are delicious without but this just adds a little extra flavor.
Put all of the above ingredients in a Crockpot/slow cooker and cook on high for approximately 5-6 hours. The time will depends on how firm/soft you like your beans and on your Crockpot. I have several Crockpots and each heats a little differently.

Fresh green beans...cleaned and snapped. I prefer stringless beans.

Ham shank or soup bone - if you can't find this in the section where ham is sold, check with someone at the meat counter.

Small red potatoes - I was lucky enough to find some very small ones at the farmers market. Scrub the potatoes to remove dirt and put them in the Crockpot. If the potatoes are a little large, cut them in  half.

Put everyhing in the Crockpot and cover with water.

I add a heaping teaspoon of Penzey's Ham Soup Base to the water. If you don't have a store near you or don't want to order it, the beans will still be delicious without. The only other product that I've seen like this in some supermarkets (I've seen it at Meijer, Giant Eagle and maybe Kroger) is Better than Boullion...they make a ham base. I've never used that so can't comment on the product.

Cover the Crockpot/slow cooker and cook on high for approximately 5-6 hours.

You may want to leave the house while this is cooking....the aroma could make you faint with hunger, even if you weren't hungry to begin with. These taste so good, it could make you cry!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My First Ever Blueberry Cobbler

Since the beginning of July I’ve been aching to hit the farmer’s markets. Finally last Saturday I made it to one where I purchased green beans, red potatoes, tomatoes, peaches and a large container of blueberries. I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do with the blueberries until Michael suggested blueberry cobbler. I’ve never made a blueberry cobbler before but, when it comes to baking, am always ready to try something new.

I found this recipe on Allrecipes and as with most recipes, the reviews were mixed…some people loved it, some hated it and others thought it was ok. Some thought it was too sweet; others didn’t like the topping or didn’t think there was enough fruit or too much topping. Many, like me, had to bake the cobbler longer than the time listed in the recipe. Over all, I thought it was very good and easy and will make it again.

Blueberry Cobbler
Print Recipe

2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 cup white sugar, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
6 tablespoons white sugar
5 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons sugar
1 pinch ground cinnamon

Lightly grease an 8 inch square baking dish. Place the blueberries into the baking dish, and mix with vanilla and lemon juice. Sprinkle with 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of flour, then stir in the tablespoon of melted butter. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together 1 3/4 cups of flour, baking powder, and 6 tablespoons sugar. Rub in the 5 tablespoons butter using your fingers, or cut in with a pastry blender until it is in small pieces. Make a well in the center, and quickly stir in the milk. Mix just until moistened. You should have a very thick batter, or very wet dough. You may need to add a splash more milk. Cover, and let batter rest for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Spoon the batter over the blueberries, leaving only a few small holes for the berries to peek through. Mix together the cinnamon and 2 teaspoons sugar; sprinkle over the top.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden brown. A knife inserted into the topping should come out clean - of course there will be blueberry syrup on the knife. Let cool until just warm before serving. This can store in the refrigerator for 2 days.
*Note: I had to bake mine a little longer...the 25 minute time wasn't nearly long enough. I think I added about 10-15 minutes. The next time I make this, I'll also increase the amount of blueberries that I use......just didn't seem to be enough fruit.

Place blueberries in prepared 8 inch square baking dish.

Mix blueberries with vanilla and lemmon juice then sprinkle with sugar and flour. Stir in melted butter.

Set aside and prepare topping
Stir together  flour, baking powder and sugar. Since I didn't have my pastry cutter with me, I rubbed in the butter using my fingers. Before I rubbed in the butter (butter should be cold), I cut it into small pieces.

The flour should look something like this.... You should be able to see very small pieces of butter in the flour.

 Make a well in the center of the flour and stir in milk.

After batter has rested, spoon it over the blueberries. There is a lot of batter....I'm thinking about maybe cutting the batter recipe in half the next time. Sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar mixture then bake.

As I said earlier, the cobbler took quite a bit longer to bake than the 25 minutes listed in the recipe. Whenever I would insert a knife in the topping, it kept coming back with batter on...the top looked done. I was afraid the top would be burnt by the time the rest of the topping was completely done.

The cobbler was delicious! The top had a nice crispy crunch, due to the cinnamon and sugar and the rest of the topping had a cake like texture....I like this better than the biscuit type topping. I will be making this again, but will make the few adjustments that I mentioned earlier.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Headboards and a Giveaway

Are you looking for some new bedroom furniture….maybe new headboards for your beds? I know my bedroom could use some updating but I really don't have a lot of extra space and a new headboard would be a huge improvement.....especially since I'm just using a bed frame...... CSN Stores has a huge selection of headboards and I'm sure you'll find something you like. They carry metal headboards and wood headboards, traditional, modern, even sports themed….and many come with free shipping….I always like free shipping!

Here is an example of a few of the headboards that I saw:

I remember the bookcase headboards that were popular back when I was young....this is nothing like those.

This is just one of several for the sports enthusiast in your family.

One of their top sellers

Now for the really fun part.....I'm having a giveaway for a $60 gift certificate to be used at  any CSN Store.

The giveaway starts on July 12, 2010 at 12:00 AM (Eastern time) and ends July 18, 2010 at 11:59 PM (Eastern time). You can have your name entered multiple times depending on how many places you promote the giveaway.

1. Visit headboards, then come back and and post a comment stating which one you like best...your name will be entered into the drawing.

2. Become a follower of Cookiebaker's corner or if you are already a follower, post here to let me know.

3. If you are on FaceBook, post a link to this giveaway on your page. Come back here and leave a comment letting me know that you did so.

4. Tweet about this giveaway, including a link, and let me know by leaving a comment here.

5. Become a fan of CookieBaker's Corner on Facebook by clicking the "Like" button at the top of the page.

There you have it, up to five chances to win!

The contest is open to United States and Canada residents only. I'll be announcing the winner on July 19, 2010.

Good luck!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Orange Cream Cake

Several years ago, as I was getting ready for work, I was watching the local morning news when a Mr. Food segment came on. I always looked forward to watching Mr. Food and seeing what recipes he would come up with. On this particular day I saw him prepare an Orange Cream Cake and while making it, he said that it tasted a little like a creamsicle. Now I’m not a big fan of artificial orange flavor but, as a child loved creamsicles and thought that this recipe sounded interesting, so I made a point of going to the computer and copying this recipe to try out at some later date. A few weeks later I decided to make this cake and take it into work where it was a hit.

I was trying to decide on a dessert to prepare for the Fourth of July and really didn’t feel like chocolate or anything too heavy or sweet. I started looking through my recipes and came upon this one, which I hadn’t made in a year or two and had actually forgotten about, so decided that it was time for it to make a comeback. I made it and served it after a meal of brats, potato salad, deviled eggs and other summertime picnic fare. The cake was light and cool and was the perfect dessert to serve after all of that food on a hot and humid summer day.

Orange Cream Cake
Print Recipe

1 package orange cake mix (18.25 ounces) - Duncan Hines is the only orange mix I can find
1 package orange-flavored gelatin (4-serving size)
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups water
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup orange juice
1 package instant vanilla pudding mix (4-serving size)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 can crushed pineapple (8 ounces) drained
1 container frozen whipped topping (8 ounces) thawed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9"x13" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat together the cake mix, gelatin mix, eggs, oil and water until well blended. Pour into the baking dish.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, make frosting by beating the cream cheese and orange juice. Add the pudding mix and sugar; beat well. Stir in the pineapple until well combined, then beat in the whipped topping. Frost the cooled cake, cover loosley and chill for at least one hour before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Makes 12 to 15 servings

**Recipe courtesy of Mr. Food

Orange cake mix

Add orange gelatin


Then oil and water

Mix together

Pour batter into prepared 9x13 inch baking dish

Bake and cool completely

Mix together cream cheese and orange juice

Add instant vanilla pudding and sugar

Mix in drained pineapple

Mix in whipped topping 

Chill at least an hour before serving. Yikes...such a dark picture; I was losing my natural light.

Look at all of that artificial orange loveliness..... 

As Mr. Food would say, "Ooooooooo it's so good!"
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