HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE NUTELLA

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE NUTELLA

2 cups roasted hazelnuts

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1-2 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste from one vanilla bean

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 325º F. Place the hazelnuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Roast the hazelnuts for 10-15 minutes, watching very closely, you don’t want them to burn. Once they are ready, the skins will have darkened a bit and many will have come loose.

2. Add the nuts to the middle of a damp kitchen towel. Close the towel up and rub the nuts vigorously to loosen their skins. Take the nuts without their skins out of the towel and place into the bowl of the processor. Continue rubbing until you get the skins off the rest of the nuts.

3. Add all of the nuts to your food processor. Grind to a fine powder (2-10 minutes, or so), At this time, add the coconut oil. Continue processing until it becomes smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl every minute or two. This may take 12-15 minutes (possibly longer) depending on the strength of your food processor.

4. At around 15-20 minutes once the hazelnut butter is ready, now you can add in the remaining ingredients slowly and keep processing and scraping down the bowl for another 5-10 minutes, or until silky smooth. Enjoy a big spoonful while it is warm.

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French Toast

denny's style french toast

 

French Toast

Ingredients

3 Eggs

1/2 cup Milk

2 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour

2 tablespoons Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

1/4 teaspoon Salt, to taste

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

4 – 6 slices of thick Bread (Texas Toast or other thick bread)

Butter

Powdered Sugar

More Butter

Whipped Cream

Real Maple Syrup

 

Directions

Beat the eggs until they are frothy.

In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, flour, sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon.

Place about a tablespoon of butter on a large skillet or griddle and heat to medium high on your stovetop.

When the butter has melted (do not let it burn) start dipping your bread.

Place a slice of bread into the batter and let soak for about 30 seconds, Turn it over and do the same for the other side.

Carefully pick up the bread and let the excess batter drip off into the bowl.

Place the battered bread onto the hot skillet or griddle.

Cook toast for about 1 1/2-2 minutes or until the side is golden brown. Flip the bread and do the same for the other side.  Remove from the pan to a plate.

Dust with powdered sugar.  Serve with more butter, whipped cream and real maple syrup.

Chocolate Cake “The Best Ever”

Chocolate Birthday Cake

Chocolate Cake “The Best Ever”

 

Ingredients

2 cups Sugar                                      1 ½ tsp Baking Soda         1/2 cup Vegetable Oil

1 ¾ cups All Purpose Flour             1 tsp Salt                             2 tsp Vanilla Extract

¾ cup Hershey Cocoa                       3 Eggs                                   1 cup Boiling Water

1 ½ tsp Baking Powder                     1 cup Milk

 

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour two 9 inch round baking pans.  Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).

Pour into pans and bake 30-35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes and remove cakes from pans to wire racks.

Cool completely.  Frost with Chocolate Frosting .

Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients    

½ cup (1 stick butter)               3 cups Powdered Sugar    1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

2/3 cup Hershey Cocoa             1/3 cup Milk

Directions

Melt butter.  Stir in cocoa.  Alternately add powdered sugar and milk.  Beat on medium speed to spreading consistency.  Add more milk if needed.  Stir in vanilla.  Makes about 2 cups of frosting.  Top with chopped walnuts, pecans or shaved semi sweet Bakers Chocolate or candy bar.

 

Blueberry Muffins Protein

Image may contain: food

 

Ingredients

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

2 eggs

1 cup heavy cream

2 level cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 scoops Isopure Protein Powder (0 carbohydrates)

1 cup blueberries

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cream together the butter and sugar.  Add eggs, cream, protein powder, flour, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt.  Mix well.  Stir in the blueberries.

Use a muffin tin lined with 18 cupcake papers.  Fill the cupcake papers with the batter and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

 

Nutrition Facts
Servings 18.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 89
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6 g 9 %
Saturated Fat 3 g 16 %
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 40 mg 13 %
Sodium 118 mg 5 %
Potassium 84 mg 2 %
Total Carbohydrate 6 g 2 %
Dietary Fiber 0 g 2 %
Sugars 5 g
Protein 4 g 8 %
Vitamin A 7 %
Vitamin C 6 %
Calcium 6 %
Iron 1 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Never Fail Fudge

Ingredients

5 cups sugar
1 stick butter or margarine
1 large can of cream

1 bag of chocolate chips
7 oz. marshmallow cream

1 cup of pecans or walnuts if desired

Directions
Mix sugar, cream and butter in cooker. Boil 7 minutes after it comes to a full boil. Remove from heat, pour in marshmallow creme and chocolate chips. Beat as still as possible, add nuts, if desired. Pour in plate. Cut when cool. Makes 5 pounds of candy.

Perfect Apple Pie (Mom’s Recipe)

My mom baked this apple pie many times using the apples she grew in her backyard.

Maple-Apple Pie

 

Ingredients

6-8 Tart Apples, pared, cored, and thinly sliced (6 cups)

1 Cup Sugar

2 Tbsp Flour

1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

Dash Ground Nutmeg

Pastry for 2 crust 9-inch pie

2 Tbsp Butter

Directions

If apples lack tartness, sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.  Combine sugar, flour, spices and dash salt; mix with apples.

Line 9-inch pie plate with pastry.  Fill with apple mixture; dot with butter.  Adjust top crust, cutting slits for escape of steam; seal.  Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 50 minutes or until done.

Get ready for the most wonderful aroma to drift throughout your home.

Serve with Blue Bell Vanilla Ice Cream and Redi Whip.

 

Cooking Oils and Smoking Points

 

Cooking Oils and Smoking Points

Not all fats are the same.  The more refined an oil, the higher the smoke point.  That’s because refining removes the impurities that can cause the oil to smoke.  Did you know that a fat is no longer good for consumption after it has exceeded its smoke point and has begun to break down?

 

Saturated Fats:

Saturated fats are mainly animal fats and are solid at room temperature.  These fats include butter, cheese, whole milk, ice cream, egg yolks, lard and fatty meats.  Some plants fats are also high in saturated fats such as coconut oil and palm oils.  Saturated fats raise blood cholesterol more than any other food you eat.  By using the right oils and fats for the right reasons, you can preserve the healthful benefits.  Your foods will not only taste their best, but also be healthy.

 

Unsaturated Fats:

These fats can come from both animal and plant products.  There are three (3) types:

Monounsaturated Fats – Usually come from seeds or nuts such as avocado, olive, peanut, and canola oils. These fats are liquid at room temperature.

Polyunsaturated Fats – Usually come from vegetables, seeds, or nuts such as corn, safflower, sunflower, soybean, cotton seed, and sesame seeds oils. These fats are liquid at room temperature.

Trans Fatty Acids – Trans fats are produced when liquid oil is made into a solid fat, such as shortening or margarine. This process is called hydrogenation. Trans fats act like saturated fats and can raise your cholesterol level.

Smoking Points of Fats and Oils:

Based on the above classification, the ideal cooking oil should contain higher amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, with a minimal or no saturated fats and trans fats.  Different fats and oils have different uses.  Each performs best within a certain range of temperature. Some are made for high heat cooking, while others have intense flavors that are best enjoyed by drizzling directly on food.

The smoke point of an oil or fat is the temperature at which it gives off smoke.  The smoke point of oil depends to a very large extent on its purity and age at the time of measurement.  A simple rule of thumb is that the lighter the color of the oil, the higher its smoke point.  When frying, it is important to choose an oil with a very high smoking point.  Most foods are fried between the temperatures of 350-450 degrees Fahrenheit so it is best to choose an oil with a smoking point above 400 degrees.

 

 

Fats or oils Description Cooking Uses Types of Fat Smoke Point Fahrenheit smoke Point Celsius
Almond Oil Has a subtle toasted almond aroma and flavor. Used in sauce and stir fry for Asian foods. Monounsaturated 420 216
Avocado Oil Vibrant green in color with a soft nutty taste and mild avocado aroma. This is a very healthy oil with a profile similar to olive oil. this oil can be used for very high temperature applications. Stir frying, searing Monounsaturated 520 271
Butter Whole butter is a mix of fats, milk solids, and moisture derived by churning cream until the oil droplets stick together and can be separated out. Baking, cooking Saturated 350 177
Butter, (Ghee) clarified Ghee has a higher smoke point than butter since clarification eliminated the milk solids (which burn at lower temps). Frying, sautéing Saturated 375-485 (depending on purity) 190-250 (depending on purity)
Canola Oil (rapeseed oil) A light, golden-colored oil. Good all-purpose oil . Used in salads and cooking. Monounsaturated 400 204
Coconut Oil A heavy nearly colorless oil extracted from fresh coconuts. coatings, confectionary, shortening Saturated 350 177
Corn Oil A mild medium-yellow color refined oil. Made from the germ of the corn kernel. Frying, salad dressings, shortening Polyunsaturated 450 232
Cottonseed Oil Pale-yellow oil that is extracted from the seed of the cotton plant. Margarine, salad dressings, shortening. Also used for frying. Polyunsaturated 420 216
Grapeseed Oil Light, medium-yellow oil that is a by-product of wine making. Excellent choice of cooking oil for sautéing or frying. Also used in salad dressings. Polyunsaturated 392 200
Hazelnut Oil The nuts are ground and roasted and then pressed in a hydraulic press to extract the delicate oil. Salad dressings, marinades and baked goods. Monounsaturated 430 221
Lard The white solid or semi-solid rendered fat of a hog. This was once the most popular cooking and baking fat, but has been replaced by vegetable shortenings. baking and frying Saturated 370 182
Macadamia Nut Oil This oil is cold pressed from the decadent macadamia nut, extracting a light oil similar in quality to the finest extra virgin olive oil. Sauté, pan fry, sear, deep fry, stir fry, grill, broil, baking. Monounsaturated 390 199
Olive Oil Oils varying weight and may be pale yellow to deep green depending on fruit used and processing. Cooking, salad dressings, sauté, pan fry, sear, deep fry, stir fry, grill, broil, baking Monounsaturated Extra Virgin-320
Virgin – 420
Pomace – 460
Extra Light – 468
160
216
238
242
Palm Oil A yellowish-orange fatty oil obtained especially from the crushed nuts of an African palm. Cooking, flavoring Saturated 466 230
Peanut Oil Pale yellow refined oil with a very subtle scent and flavor. Made from pressed steam-cooked peanuts. used primarily Asian cooking. Frying, cooking, salad dressings Monounsaturated 450 232
Rice Bran Oil Produced from the rice bran, which is removed from the grain of rice as it is processed. Frying, sauté, salad dressings, baking, dipping oil Monounsaturated 490 254
Safflower Oil A golden color with a light texture. Made from the seeds of safflowers. Margarine, mayonnaise, salad dressings Polyunsaturated 450 232
Sesame Oil Comes in two types – a light very mild Middle Eastern type and a darker Asian type pressed from toasted sesame seeds. Cooking, salad dressings Polyunsaturated 410 232
Shortening, Vegetable Blended oil solidified using various processes, including whipping in air and hydrogenation. May have real or artificial butter flavor added. Baking, frying Saturated 360 182
Soybean Oil A fairly heavy oil with a pronounced flavor and aroma. Margarine, salad dressings, shortening Polyunsaturated 450 232
Sunflower Oil A light odorless and nearly flavorless oil pressed from sunflower seeds. Pale yellow. Cooking, margarine, salad dressings, shortening Polyunsaturated 450 232
Vegetable Oil Made by blending several different refined oils. Designed to have a mild flavor and a high smoke point. Cooking, salad dressings Polyunsaturated
Walnut Oil Medium-yellow oil with a nutty flavor and aroma. More perishable than most other oils Sauté, pan fry, sear, deep fry, stir fry, grill, broil Monounsaturated 400 204

 

Re-using Cooking Oils

I, personally, never reuse cooking oils. The foods you cook the oils in will cause the oils to go rancid faster.

A recent study found that a toxin called 4-hydroxy-trans-2-nonenal (HNE) forms when such oils as canola, corn, soybean and sunflower oils are reheated.  Consumption of foods containing HNE from cooking oils has been associated with increased risks of cardiovascular disease, stroke, Parkinson’?s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, various liver disorders, and cancer.  Once absorbed in the body, HNE reacts with DNA, RNA and proteins affecting basic cellular processes.


That being said:

Reusing cooking oil has been done for ages.  There really isn’t a problem, if done properly.  The greatest hazard is allowing the fat to become rancid (spoiled) and deteriorated to the point it produces undesirable flavors and odors.  Besides ruining what would have been a perfectly good meal, rancid oils also contain free radicals that are potentially carcinogenic.  Rancid oil has fewer antioxidants but is not poisonous.

 

To re-use oil safely, use these tips:

  • Strain it through a few layers of cheesecloth to catch any food particles.  Be careful with hot oil, though, because you can easily get burned.
  • Shake off excess batter from food before frying it.
  • Use a good thermometer to fry foods at 190°C.
  • Turn off the heat after you are done cooking.  Exposing oil to prolonged heat accelerates rancidity.
  • Don’t mix different types of oil.
  • Store oil in a cool, dark place.
  • Avoid iron or copper pots or pans for frying oil that is to be reused.  These metals also accelerate rancidity.

 

Signs of Deteriorated Oil:

  • Oil darkens with use because the oil and food molecules burn when subjected to high/prolonged heat.
  • The more you use an oil, the more slowly it will pour.  Its viscosity changes because of changes to the oil’s molecular structure.
  • Loose absorbent particles accumulate as sediment at the bottom of the storage container or are suspended in the oil.
  • When smoke appears on the oils’ surface before the temperature reaches 190 degrees C (375 degrees F), your oil will no longer deep-fry effectively.
  • If the oil has a rancid or “off” smell or if it smells like the foods you’ve cooked in it, it should be discarded.

 

 

Sources:

Harvard School of Public Health.

Hormel Foods.

Spectrum Oils.

The Culinary Institute of America (1996). The New Professional Chef, 6th edition, John Wiley & Sons

 

Hoe Cakes (Paula Deen’s Recipe)

Paula Deen’s Hoe Cake Recipe makes the most delicious hoe cakes you will ever taste!  My husband and I first had these hoe cakes when we visited Paula Deen’s Buffet in Tunica, MS years ago.  The cooks were constantly at the grill cooking up these yummy delights to keep up with all of the guests.  They are great hot off the griddle with soft butter and a little syrup as a side with your lunch or dinner.

Ingredients

1 cup self-rising flour

1 cup self-rising cornmeal

2 eggs

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup water

1/4 cup vegetable oil (or bacon grease)

Butter, (or oil) for frying and more for spreading

Directions

STEP 1

Mix all ingredients together (except for frying oil and butter for spreading).

STEP 2

Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Drop mixture 3 tablespoons at a time into hot skillet. Brown until crisp; turn and brown on other side. Drain on paper towels. Serve with butter, for spreading. Leftover batter will keep in refrigerator for up to 2 days.

NUTRITION (PER SERVING): 123 calories, 10g fat

 

 

Sourdough Waffles with Fried Chicken

fried chicken and waffles

For a great breakfast, brunch or dinner, make these Sourdough Waffles with some Golden Fried Chicken.  There is nothing like good Southern Comfort Food to hit the spot when you  crave something sweet and savory!

Ingredients

Waffles

1 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

8 ounces sourdough starter (Sourdough Starter Recipe is in this blog Bread Section)

3 tablespoons butter, melted

Chicken

Whole Chicken, (3 pounds or less)

1 cup self-rising flour

Milk

2 Eggs beaten

Seasoned Salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder

Vegetable oil for frying

Directions

For the Waffles

In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Whisk until well combined.

In separate medium bowl, whisk eggs and milk until combined. Add sourdough starter and whisk until completely blended. Add flour mixture and butter and stir until combined. Depending on thickness of starter, you might need to adjust batter. It should be the consistency of pancake batter. Add flour or milk as needed to reach that consistency.

Cook in waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions.

For the Chicken

Cut chicken into eight pieces.  Rinse pieces in cold water and let them soak in fresh cold milk and egg for at least 30 minutes. Mix thoroughly flour, seasoned salt, pepper and garlic powder to make the fried chicken flour.

Heat 1 inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat (375 in an electric skillet).

Dredge chicken through the breading, coating well on all surfaces. Pat off excess breading and place chicken in hot oil, making sure pieces are not touching each other. When the chicken is browned (approximately 5 minutes), turn pieces over and reduce heat to medium (300). Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Then remove lid, bring heat back to medium high and turn chicken, cooking an additional 5-7 minutes. Let chicken drain on a paper towel before eating.

Serve the chicken with the waffles along with butter and warm maple syrup.

Greens with Walnut Butter

Winter Greens with Walnut Butter

This recipe is one my grandmother’s.  It was written in her recipe book and stated that it came from family in England. This dish was prepared for a holiday meal only. I kept the wording and measurements the same as they had it written down.

If you have time, make the butter 24-72 hours in advance. Soften 100g of butter to room temperature, beat with a spoon to give a whipped effect and set aside.

Roughly chop 100g of walnut halves then toast in a hot, dry pan until roasted and aromatic. Remove from the pan, allow to cool and stir through the butter.

Arrange the soft walnut butter on a large sheet of cling film in a long log shape. Wrap and roll into a sausage shape approximately 4cm in thickness, tie off the ends of the cling film and allow to set in the fridge until required.

If making the butter on the day, roughly chop the walnuts and toast in a hot, dry pan until roasted and aromatic. Add the butter to warm through, then remove from the heat.

Bring a 2 liter pan of water to the boil with a good pinch of salt. Add all of the prepped greens to the pan, cook for 4-5 minutes then strain and return to the pan with the toasted walnut butter. Toss until all of the greens are evenly coated in the butter and serve in warm dishes.

200g of curly kale, washed and stalks removed

2 leeks, washed and cut into 2cm thick slices

200g of tender stem broccoli, washed and ends trimmed

200g of Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

Salt

Alternatively, toss the hot greens in a little knob of the pre-prepared butter and serve with another slice of the butter