Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday’s Last Spoonful: Food Surfing

A Mother’s Day current

Food Surfing will feature fun food links from around the Blogosphere and Internet. These recommended links may give you other interesting ideas for making your life taste better.

Need ideas to really make Mother’s Day really special? Martha Stewart has recipes and creative gifts on her site.

Spoil your Mama with lovely breakfast and brunch recipes from

You can present you mother with an ice cold cocktail instead of a silly dessert. Delish has 7 specialty drinks that you may wanna sip on.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thursday's Side Dish: Deviled Eggs

Eggs on a roll
Here’s an elegant appetizer or party tidbit that won’t break your budget. Deviled eggs can really be a feast for the eyes. We’ve spiked our rendition with Dijon mustard to give each bite more zing. Here’s our recipe:

What you will need:

1 metal fork
1 spoon
1 knife
1 cutting board
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 medium-sized bowl
6 eggs, hard boiled and peeled
1 plate
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons paprika
Pinch of salt

Preparation and Directions:

Slice each egg in half and remove yellow yolk. Set aside egg white pieces. Place egg yolks in small bowl and mash with folk. Add mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and 1 teaspoon paprika. Mix well. Next spoon egg-yolk mixture into egg-white pieces and arrange neatly on plate. Finally, sprinkle paprika on stuffed eggs and serve.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday’s Helping: Scramble vs. Omelet

Nothing wrong with getting eggs mixed up
Eggs are what make an omelet and scrambled eggs so satisfying. The light and fluffy texture of carefully beaten whole eggs screams breakfast. We suggest that you make an egg scramble instead of an omelet if you haven’t mastered the technique of successfully cooking an omelet. The trick with for an egg scramble is letting added ingredients, such as diced ham and chopped veggies, sautee before adding the beaten eggs. Also, don’t be afraid to move the ingredients with scrambled eggs. There’s no such thing as a neat looking serving of scrambled eggs.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on the omelet

Flipping for this eggie dish
Julia Child cooked one on live television and had a tough time keeping it in the pan while flipping. Also, if you spell it “omelet” or “omelette” that’s all right because both are correct. This food item consists of beaten eggs cooked in a hot pan with butter or oil. The cooked egg usually gets folded, flipped, or wrapped around a filling of one or several ingredients. Cooks can make a basic omelet filled with cheese or cheese and chopped chives. A small amount of cream, milk, or water must be added to the beaten egg mixture before cooking. The added liquid causes extra bubbles to form, which makes a light and fluffy end product. Renditions vary based on regional tastes. The Chinese like eating Egg Foo Young while Italians serve Frittata. Americans fill their Western Omelets with chopped ham, sliced onion, and diced bell pepper. How do you like your omelets?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday's Bread Bowl: Greek Omelet

Jump start the day with this reminder of the Med

Tired of that regular cheese omelet? This Greek omelet combines the seasoned meat of a Greek gyro sandwich with the classic breakfast staple. Fresh spinach adds more veggie bite and nutritional value to this filling meal.

What you will need:

1 spatula
Nonstick Cooking Spray
1 medium bowl
1 metal fork
1 fry pan
¼ cup milk
4 large eggs, beaten
4-5 slices of frozen gyro meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
½ cup spinach, chopped
Pinch of salt and pepper

Cooking and Directions:

Heat up fry pan on medium-high heat. Coat pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place gyro meat pieces in pan and let them cook on both sides for 5 minutes. Flip and stir well with spatula. Add in spinach and let the leaves cook for a few minutes before stirring. Sprinkle in crumbled feta cheese. Pour in all of egg mixture in and around gyro meat and spinach. Let the egg harden and cook for 5 minutes before folding and flipping the omelet with spatula. Serve immediately.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday's Last Spoonful: Food Surfing

Wade through this high tide

Food Surfing will feature fun food links from around the Blogosphere, including leads to hardcover helpers. These recommended links may give you other interesting ideas for making your life taste better.

The Mixed Stew crew likes hunting through cookbooks for a good recipe or three. We recommend The Sugar Solution for food lovers who track their sugar intake.

Dessert FourPlay is a fun book about what’s really possible with sweet treats. Look out for this book that can really cause a sizzle.

Would you like to sample the recipes and food served in the home of a country music star? Trisha Yearwood tells her story in Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood.

Note: If you order via the links above, The Mixed Stew creators will get a tiny referral fee.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thursday's Side Dish: Cranberry Sauce

More than a Thanksgiving regular

This food item, a favorite of the Mixed Stew Crew and many others at Thanksgiving, has more potential than just being a holiday ingredient. Cranberry sauce usually has the consistency of fruit jelly, gelatin, or relish. Basic cranberry sauce can be made of boiling cranberries in a mixture of water and sugar. Some cooks like to add other ingredients, such as orange zest or maple syrup to give their sauce a unique twist. We suggest substituting cranberry sauce for sandwich jelly when serving brie or cream cheese with crackers. Also, keep a can or two of canned cranberry sauce in the pantry for making cranberry infused drinks and dressings in a pinch. Conversely, add minced hot pepper or sriracha to spice up your favorite cranberry sauce recipe. We've used this ingredient in recipes for cranberry meatballs, a potluck favorite.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday’s Helping: Pumpernickel Bread

Deep, dark, rich and good
This whole-grain bread has a long shelf-life if packaged and kept properly. Pumpernickel bread was first made in Germany as a food item for rationing to the country’s poor population. Several urban legends exist about its origin and how this bread got its funny name. The authentic recipe calls for rye meal to be boiled for hours until softened. Next, the dough is steamed for a prolonged time period. The cooking process also causes the ingredients to caramelize, which lends a deep brown color to pumpernickel bread. Modern baking methods allow for a little bit of cheating such as adding coloring agents, such as molasses, cocoa powder, or coffee to pumpernickel recipes.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday's Cupful: Muenster Cheese

Smelly but flavorful slices

Slices of this pale cheese have a soft-creamy texture with mild to sharp flavors depending on the age of the cheese. Look for the noticeable rind, light yellow color, and strong odiferous scent of fermented cheese when dealing with Muenster cheese. To some, North American Muenster often has milder flavors compared to German and French versions. This cheese, made from cow’s milk, originated in the Alsace region of Europe, which was historically ruled by both Germans and Frenchmen. Muenster dates to the Middle-Ages.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Pumpernickel Cranberry Club

Another loaded sandwich

The Mixed Stew crew tried a version of this sandwich at a local eatery. Dark pumpernickel bread and Muenster cheese lend more oomph to this club sandwich with a tasty cranberry sauce twist. Here’s our rendition:

What you will need:

1 cutting board
1 butter knives
2 slices, pumpernickel bread
2 slices or more, depending on preference, deli cuts of honey-baked ham (or your favorite)
2 slices or more, depending on preference, deli cuts of maple seasoned-baked turkey breast
1 slice (or more) Muenster cheese
1/2 tablespoon mayo
1 tablespoon jellied cranberry sauce (chilled and sliced)
Optional additions:
¼ cup alfalfa sprouts
2 lettuce leaves, sliced

Directions and Preparation:

Lay out pumpernickel slices. Place cranberry and mayo on one slice. Pile on cold cuts and lettuce. Close ingredients between bread slices. Serve immediately.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday’s Last Spoonful: Field Trip

National Cherry Blossom Festival

A major festival is held annually with the appearance of bright pink cherry blossoms on numerous cherry trees in Washington, DC. The 3,000 trees are a gift that was given to the nation’s capital from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo, Japan in 1912. The festival’s events commemorate the anniversary of the gift and long friendship between Japan and the United States. The First Lady, Helen Herron Taft and the Japanese ambassador’s wife, Vicountess Chinda planted the first two cherry trees on March 27, 1912. The National Cherry Blossom Festival has grown into an annual Japanese Cultural Celebration that includes food vendors, craftsmen, and artisans. A parade and cultural performances are just two of the fun annual events. We sampled shrimp tempura, chicken yakitori, and Japanese Yakisoba.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thursday’s Side Dish: Simple Zucchini Sandwich

Nothing but an eaZe meal

There are different renditions of this veggie sandwich with cucumber, but we’ve made ours with sliced raw zucchini. The subtle nutty flavor of this squash can really make a tea sandwich alternative. Here’s our recipe:

What you will need:

1 butter knife
1 cutting board
1 metal spoon
1 small bowl
2 slices whole wheat sandwich bread
¼ cup cream cheese
2 tablespoons ranch dressing
8 slices of fresh zucchini
Pinch of salt and pepper

Preparation and Directions:

Combine cream cheese and ranch dressing in small bowl. Mix well. Add salt and pepper. Layout bread and spread cream cheese mixture on slices. Place zucchini slices on top of sandwich spread so that zucchini slices cover surface area. Finally, close up the two slices of bread with fixings and serve.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday’s Helping: Soup Enhancements

Veggies to the rescue
Soups can really get a bad rap for their sodium content and lack of real veggies unless they’re a veggie soup. Why not add more pureed vegetables to your favorite soup recipes to make them more nutritious? For example, replace a cup of soup broth liquid with an equal amount of pureed tomatoes in your next pot of minestrone. Also, try stirring in spinach leaves or chopped broccoli into traditional clam chowder. Finally, next time you get a craving for corn chowder, make it healthier by adding chopped cauliflower instead of potato pieces. Can you think of other ways of inserting or substituting more vegetables into the soups that you love?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday’s Cupful: Soupa Verde Frio

Alternative to gazpacho
This cool veggie loaded soup aka soupa verde frio that’s served chilled has the qualities and flavors that make a tasty substitute to gazpacho. This site, on Portuguese food, refers to it as “A gazpacho style soup!”The deep green color (compared to vibrant red) provides an appealing feast for the eyes. Like traditional red gazpacho, the trick in preparation requires a food processor or blender to create a smooth, yet thick consistency that’s all veggie. Recipes vary with some calling for yogurt, zucchini, or even celery. If you make this soup, we also suggest serving it with yummy toppings, such as imitation crab meat, crumbled feta cheese, or sour cream.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Cold Green Soup

A springtime delight for lunch

We recommend this cool veggie soup if you like gazpacho. Fresh cucumbers and spinach lend refreshing flavors while avocados provide a rich texture. Best of all, there’s not cooking for this satisfying dish. Here’s our recipe:

What you will need:

1 plastic spatula
Food processor
1 medium-sized bowl
Plastic wrap
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Flesh of 2 ripe avocados
1/3 cup heavy cream
Spinach, 1 bunch
2 cucumbers, chopped into bite-sized pieces
¾ cup chicken broth
Pinch of salt

Preparation and Directions:

Combine avocado flesh, cucumber, spinach, and parsley in food processor. Pulse until pureed. Next, add chicken broth and heavy cream. Process again until well mixed. Pour soup into bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 to six hours and serve cold. Optional toppings include: bacon bits, sour cream, crumbled crabmeat, or feta cheese.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday’s Last Spoonful: Food Surfing

An early Easter break

Food Surfing will feature fun food links from around the Blogosphere and Internet. These recommended links may give you other interesting ideas for making your life taste better.

Have you started thinking about or planning your Easter menu? Taste of Home has a bunch of food ideas and festive egg-related projects on its nifty site.

Disney Family Fun also has fun Easter-themed recipes that will have the kids smiling.

Finally, what about them eggs? Eggspectation is a restaurant where the good times roll.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thursday’s Side Dish: Tofutti

A healthy treat for those craving sweets Yes, we’ve sampled this ice cream substitute. Tofutti comes in vanilla, chocolate, vanilla fudge, and butter pecan. David Mintz, a New York restaurant owner, is credited with inventing this non-dairy frozen treat in the 1970s. He was looking for a kosher-safe alternative to regular ice cream and Tofutti was born. The vanilla fudge flavored Tofutti has the soft and smooth consistency that holds up against any dairy-based light ice cream. If you’re lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy-based products, we suggest that you try Tofutti. Also, the company has expanded its soy-based line of products with cream cheese, sour cream, and even guacamole substitutes. Look for Tofutti items at most major grocery stores.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday’s Helping: Tapioca Pearls

A whole bunch of chewies for your drink
This food item is made from tapioca flour. Look for tapioca pearls aka boba (in Southeast Asian cultures) in refreshing treats, such as bubble tea, shaved ice, or even halo halo. Consumers can find packages of pearl tapioca in their favorite Asian foods supermarket or H-Mart. The cooked pearls bring a chewy and soft texture like gelatin to any beverage whether it’s served hot or cold. Expect to “eat” boba with a spoon as or after consuming the liquid in a drink with the little jewels. Meanwhile, the smaller pearl tapioca is popular and preferred for use in pudding recipes. Colors range from white, off-white, light brown and multicolored varieties.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on taho

A bubble tea with humble origins

This beverage is sold on the streets in the Philippines. There’s a series of popular milk tea or bubble tea drinks throughout Asia. Each country tends to place different finishing touches on these beverages. The floating bits of soft tofu make this a hardy drink that’s similar to halo halo. Creative Filipino vendors sell taho by the cupful from canisters that they carry on their backs. One canister contains the warm brown sugar syrup and tapioca pearl solution while the second contains the taho. The drinks are made to order as the vendor walks the streets hoping to attract customers. We suggest adding coffee or a bit of coffee liquor to taho.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Filipino Taho Drink

A tapioca spiked milk tea

Filipino taho combines the sweet caramel flavors of brown sugar with the gelatinous consistency of soft tofu, at least in this version. The addition of cooked tapioca pearls helps turn taho into a drink-custard or bubble tea.

What you will need:

1 wooden spoon
1 metal teaspoon
1 medium-sized sauce pan
2 cups water
Half- and-half
4 glasses, filled with ½ cup crushed ice
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups, cooked tapioca pearls
1 (20 oz) package silken tofu, diced into bite-sized pieces

Cooking and Directions:

Bring water to a full boil then gradually stir in brown sugar until a strong syrup forms. Set aside. Spoon three to four tablespoons of syrup into each wine glass. Add ½ cup of water and stir well. Next add 2-3 tablespoon tapioca pearls and 2 – 3 tablespoons soft tofu. Mix well. Finally, top each serving with ¼ cup half-and-half. Serve immediately.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday’s Last Spoonful: Field Trip

Mama Rosa Rotisserie & Grill: Middle River, Md. We’ve been excited since discovering this Filipino Restaurant just north of Baltimore. Mama Rosa Rotisserie & Grill provides authentic Filipino fare. The array of ready-made entrees behind the glass-covered counter can be mouth-watering for those familiar with the cuisine. Patrons can order one to two dishes with two cups steamed rice or garlic-seasoned fried rice for $6.99. We especially recommend the Lechon Kawali (crispy pork belly), Crispy Pata, or Chicharon Bulaklak. Also, look for the daily special and roasted chicken. The stewed entrees, such as Dinuguan (Pork Blood Stew) and Kare Kare (tender beef oxtail in a peanut butter flavored broth) were also done well. Mama Rosa has some of the sweet treats, like Halo Halo to tempt your dessert taste buds. 836 Middle River Road
Middle River, MD 21220