Monday, January 23, 2017

Cauliflower Couscous


The best thing about this cauliflower couscous is you can change the flavors to your liking.
I steamed the cauliflower in chicken broth and the flavor was divine.  It is the perfect addition to any meal.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 heads cauliflower (one large head or two small), totaling about 3 lbs., or 2 lbs. cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup water ( I used broth)

Optional Ingredients

  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese, sauteed vegetables, dried fruits, spices or other add-ins

Directions:

Grate the cauliflower using a grater or a food processor.  Place the grated cauliflower into a medium sauce pan of boiling water or broth.  Cover with a lid and let steam for 5-7 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.  Fluff with a fork.  Add any other flavors you wish at this time.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Cookie or Cookie Bar?

My vote is for the cookie bar!  My daughter came home from school on Friday wanting to make a dessert for my husband's work party. She searched the internet for awhile looking for the perfect dessert recipe with the limited ingredients we had in our refrigerator. It was the end of a busy week and time to go to the grocery!  She finally found a cookie bar recipe from +Food Network .  She began gathering the ingredients and measuring each one carefully.  She followed each direction - reading and rereading to be sure she made no mistakes.  I sat there watching feeling proud of what I had taught her and proud  of her for being independent and able  to create this all on her own.  I am excited to see what cooking adventures will follow for her in the kitchen!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Smoothie Saturday

Today in Las Vegas it is a cold, cloudy, and rainy day.  The perfect time for a smoothie-especially when my daughter has a sore throat.  Smoothies are a fast easy way to pack lots of vitamins and nutrients into every sip.  Not only are they very healthy, they even taste good too!  I have been known to sneak in a handful of kale or spinach too.  Whenever I add those leafy greens, I try to put in grapes or a drizzle of honey to help hide the flavor of veggies.  Grab your blender.  If you have ice, yogurt, bananas, orange juice, and fresh or frozen fruit you are ready to go!

Below is a video of how to make a basic fruit smoothie.

Rachel Ray's Kid Friendly Smoothies 

video




Thursday, January 5, 2017

Knife Safety


picture by: theculinarycook.com


Knife safety is a major concern for anyone who is in the kitchen, especially children.
In the Kitchens has used a couple of strategies to help kids learn how to cut safely with a knife.

1. We have used a kid friendly plastic serrated knife. They are good for teaching very young kids or very beginning chefs. It mostly tears the food, which gets the job done. Food will not have clean cut lines though. Softer foods such as tomatoes will be difficult to cut.

2. We have also used a cut resistant glove. This gives a barrier of protection between the knife and your skin.  However, in our opinion it limits the dexterity needed when cutting.
 

3. We have also used a regular sharpened knife and provided hand over hand guidance to not only show our students how to cut, but also to protect their fingers.

 4.  Lastly, we always tell our students to cut a food, so that it has a flat surface. For example an onion.  Cut it in half and lay the onion on the flat side. Then begin to slice and dice!


Please let us know if you have any additional questions. Hope that this information is helpful to you and your beginning chef! #knifesafety #inthekitchens #kidscooking

The attached link provides great tips and pictures for keeping any cook safe in the kitchen.
http://www.eatyourbeets.com/kitchen-tips/7-tips-for-teaching-your-kids-how-to-use-a-knife/





Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Broccoli

 Broccoli is a dark green leafy vegetable that belongs to Brassica, a plant family that includes kale, cabbage,cauliflower and brussels sprouts. This vegetable was originated in Italy, where the name ‘broccoli’ is derivedfrom the Italian word broccolo, meaning ‘branch’ and was first cultivated in the 17th or 18th century.

Broccoli is one of the most popular vegetables all over the world that used in a variety of dishes and cuisines. This vegetables can be eaten raw or cooked, but the best ways are to steam or eat them raw as salad, because that preserves the nutrients in it.
Broccoli has long been regarded as one of the super foods that packed with tremendous health benefits. The nutritional value of broccoli can be considered as the powerhouse of iron, protein, calcium, chromium, carbohydrates, vitamin A and vitamin C.
Broccoli also contains important phytochemicals and antioxidants, which fight various illnesses and infections. The top three proven health benefits of broccoli are as given below:
  1. Anti-cancer properties
    The American Cancer Society recommends eating more broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables because they contain phytochemicals – anti-cancer properties. Epidemiological studies suggest that a diet rich in broccoli can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer such as breast cancer, colon cancer and lung cancer.
  2. Anti aging properties
    Broccoli also has anti aging properties which can reverse the effect of the aging process.
  3. Aid digestion
    Broccoli is rich in fiber, which helps with digestion and works at dealing with or even preventing constipation
For more benefits visit:  http://www.ehealthzine.com/broccoli-health-benefits.html

Tonight's dinner:

 

Picture by: fastapasta.com

Homemade Chicken Fettuccine and Broccoli

 

Ingredients:


  • 8 ounces refrigerated fettuccine pasta 
  • 1 crown of broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  •  2-3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into chunks
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced 
  • 1/2 of a  yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add fettuccine and broccoli florets and cook for 2 to 3 minutes; drain.
  2. In a large skillet, brown chicken and mushrooms and onions in butter until chicken is cooked through. Season with garlic salt and pepper. Add whipping cream and cook until thick, stirring constantly. Add Parmesan cheese when at desired consistency.  Add noodles and broccoli to combine. Serves 4.
Family recipe


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Perfectly Boiled Eggs



                                                                          

How to Make Perfect Soft-Boiled or Hard-Boiled Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 6 large eggs 
  • water
Equipment:
  • Stockpot with a fitted lid 
  • Large slotted spoon 
  • Bowl, ice and water for ice bath 
  • Timer

Instructions:
STEP 1: Carefully place uncooked eggs in a single layer in a stockpot. Add cold water until the eggs are submerged under about one inch of water.
 
STEP 2: Bring to a full boil, uncovered.  

STEP 3: Immediately turn off heat, remove from the burner and cover. 
 
STEP 4: Set timer for… 
  • 3 minutes for very runny soft-boiled eggs with just-set whites 
  • 4 minutes for runny soft-boiled eggs 
  • 6 minutes for creamy, custard-y “medium”-boiled eggs 
  • 8 minutes for firm (but still creamy) hard-boiled eggs 
  • 10 minutes for firm hard-boiled eggs 
  • 12 minutes for very firm hard-boiled eggs
Step 5:  I have found this method for peeling foolproof: submerge the hot cooked eggs into an ice bath, and gently crack them a bit on one of more of the sides. This allows the cold water to seep in between the hot egg and shell and separate them making peeling easy!

Here are some facts that In the Kitchens has found to be very helpful to kids and grown ups alike!


What are the health benefits of eggs?
In 2000 the American Heart Association revised their guidelines after decades of studies showed that high levels of cholesterol in food (like eggs) were not to blame for heart disease.

Some egg producers also enhance the omega-3 fat content of their egg yolks by supplementing their chicken feed with things like flaxseed, seaweed and other nutrient-dense foods. Omega-3s are an important anti-inflammatory fat that humans can’t produce on our own.
Whole eggs are high in protein and absolutely packed with vitamins. Highlights include choline, which may enhance memory and brain health, as well as nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin, which may lower the risk of macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of age-related blindness.

Are eggshells useful for anything?
So many things!
One of the most common ways to use eggshells is to keep plants healthy. You can use nutrient-dense eggshells in your composting — they are doubly great outdoors since they act as a natural pesticide for slugs and snails that don’t like sharp shells (and deer, who don’t like the smell of eggs). Indoors, you can crush up egg shells into your potted plants or let the shells soak in a jar of water that you later use to water your plants. You can also start seedlings in them over the winter and plant them in their very compostable containers in the spring.
In addition to the plant-related uses, you can use eggshells as an abrasive pan scrubber, add them to a broth or stock for extra calcium and minerals (just remember to strain them out before consuming or cooking with it), and to sharpen blender blades by running the blender with eggshells and water in it.


Monday, January 2, 2017

Waffle Iron Creations





Who knew that the waffle iron sitting in your kitchen cabinet could have so many good uses?!  Everyone loves breakfast waffles, but your waffle iron can be used for so many other recipes.  

After Thanksgiving, we were perusing social media and ran across a great idea from +Food Network  Take left over stuffing and mix in a beaten egg.  Put this mixture in a waffle iron and make Stuffing Waffles.  Then top it with a couple slices of turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy.  We took it a step further and added cranberry sauce to the top. 

Leftover Stuffing Waffles 
Ingredients

Vegetable oil, for the waffle iron
4 1/2 cups crumbled leftover stuffing
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups leftover mashed potatoes, warm
1/2 cup leftover gravy, warm
1/4 cup leftover cranberry sauce
Add Checked Items To Grocery List

Directions

Preheat a waffle iron to medium high. Generously brush the top and bottom of the iron with oil.

Combine the stuffing, parsley and eggs in a medium bowl. Evenly and firmly pack the waffle iron with some of the stuffing mixture. Close the iron and cook until the waffle is golden and can be lifted out easily, 4 to 6 minutes. Repeat with the remaining stuffing mixture.

Transfer each waffle to a plate, top with a scoop of mashed potatoes and then cover with gravy; finish with a dollop of cranberry sauce.

Since Thanksgiving we have tried various foods in our waffle iron.  One of our family favorites is cinammon rolls.  They make the best waffles-so much sweet goodness whether you top it with icing or syrup!  We also tried hash browns - simply mix hash browns with 2 beaten eggs and any additional ingredients you want.  We added chopped bacon, red peppers, onions, and cheese.  Put the mixture in your waffle iron and you will have flavorful crisp hash browns to serve your family or friends!  




Be creative!  We would love to see your waffle iron creations!

The Season for Pomegranates


 Pomegranate With Cut Heart Shape



Removing the seeds from a pomegranate is definitely not easy, but it is worth the work!  Many people know the health benefits from eating pomegranate seeds, but in case you aren't aware here are some important reasons that this bright vibrant fruit should be a part of your diet.  


  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Help fight colon cancer and breast cancer
  • Lower blood pressure 
  • Lower your risk of heart disease

The bottom line is pomegranates are one of the healthiest foods in the world!   

Over the holidays we prepared an appetizer of bruschetta with apricot preserves, Brie, and pomegranate seeds sprinkled on top.  It looked beautiful, but more importantly it was a crowd favorite!  We hope that you enjoy eating this delicious and healthy food as much as we did!


 Kahakai Kitchen blog

Bruschetta Topped with Apricot, Melted Brie, and Pomegranate Seeds 
From Muy Bueno
(Makes 24 Pieces)



1 large pomegranate
2 cloves garlic sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 French baguette
1 cup apricot preserves
4 oz soft-ripened Brie cheese (recommended: goat Brie)
rosemary sprigs for garnish

Break open the pomegranate in a bowl of water to free the seeds. The seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the rest will float to the top. Discard the white membrane and put the seeds in a separate bowl. Reserve 1 cup of the seeds and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place garlic slices in olive oil and microwave for 1 minute to infuse the olive oil with garlic. Cut the baguette into 1/2-inch slices. Brush infused olive oil on one side of baguette slices. Lay bread slices on a baking sheet and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes. (The bread does not need to brown, just have a toast-like crust on the top surface.)

Spread apricot preserves on toasted bread. Microwave brie cheese for 10-15 seconds to soften the cheese. Cut the brie in half and spoon or drizzle the cheese on the toasted bread. Place a teaspoon of pomegranate seeds on each slice.

Serve while warm and garnish plate with rosemary sprigs.