Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday’s Last Spoonful: Food Surf

Cool Whip to the rescue

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.

Gotta an extra tub of Cool Whip?  Something Swanky presents “30Awesome Cool Whip Recipes.”  The Cookie Butter Parfaits and Chocolate Ganache look so decadent.

We think that the The Freezer Cookie Cake, Hot Fudge Brownie Shooters, and Raspberry Oreo Parfaits from Babble are worthy of being served at any special occasion.

Finally, provides everyone with a “copy cat” recipe for making our favorite creamy dessert topping.  Use it in a pinch if you run out of Cool Whip.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday’s Side Dish: Cool Whip Frosting

New Kid on the Block

Tired of the same ol’ store-bought frostings?  Kraft foods has an answer with new Cool Whip Frosting, which comes in chocolate, vanilla, and cream cheese.  Look for this item in the grocer’s freezer instead of the baking products aisle.  That’s right.  This product requires refrigeration unlike other available cake frostings.  The Mixed Stew crew picked up a 10 oz. tub for $ 2.79 at Safeway.            

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday’s Helping: Lightening red velvet bars

Cut into lighter fare

Yes, we have suggestions for making a more health conscientious batch of red velvet bars.  Try substituting low-fat or fat-free cream cheese instead of regular cream cheese.  Also, we recommend using Splenda sweetener instead of sugar.   Remember that whole eggs can be switched out for egg whites to further lower the calorie load.  Lastly, substitute the same amount of margarine or better yet applesauce instead of butter, which contains animal fats. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesday’s Cupful: Red Velvet Items

Not just cake anymore

The allure and popularity of red velvet cake has spread to other confections besides cake.  The Mixed Stew crew actually found red velvet cookies for sale during a recent shopping excursion to Safeway.  Red velvet cake gets its chocolatey flavors from cocoa powder.  The strong red color comes from the addition of food coloring.  Where else can you find red velvet besides baked cakes?  Look for several premium brands of red velvet flavored ice cream.  Meanwhile The Cheesecake Factory and Eli’s offer their own renditions of rich red velvet cheesecake for customers.  Finally, there’s My Favorite Red Velvet Pancake Mix and Yoplait Red Velvet Cake Yogurt.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday's Bread Bowl: Red Velvet Cheesecake Bars

Bite into an ooey and gooey treat

Try this recipe to have a different spin on red velvet cake.  The cheesecake and red velvet flavors combine to form bang on desert flavors that red cake lovers will enjoy from start to finish.

What you will need:

1 (9 x 13 inch) pyrex baking dish
1 standing mixer w/ bowl
1 baking spatula
1 medium-sized bowl
Cooking spray
1 red velvet cake mix
3 eggs
1 stick of butter, softened
 2 cups cream cheese, softened
½ cup sugar
Whipped topping (optional)
1 tspn vanilla extract

Cooking and Directions:

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.  Grease baking dish with cooking spray.  Combine cake mix, 1 egg, and butter in medium-sizedbowl.  Mix well with baking spatula. The mixture will become very dense.   Spread this batter into baking dish to make flat layer with an even thickness from one end to the other.  Set aside.  Now, combine sugar and cream cheese in mixerbowl.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.  Spread cream cheese mixture over red velvet layer.  Bake for 45 minutes until bars’ edges start to pull away from the sides of the baking dish.  Let dish completely cool before slicing into sweet bars.  You may top each piece with whipped cream right before serving.      

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thursday’s Side Dish: New Johnsonville Grilling Chorizo

A spicy alternative to their regular brats

This food item was greeted with smiles when we discovered it in Safeway’s chilled meats section.  Johnsonville’s Grilling Chorizo is an All-American company’s spin on a south-of-the-border staple.  Each package comes with Johnsonville’s usual five links.  We paid $ 4.99 for this product that didn’t disappoint at all.  We recommend serving this item at the next outdoor barbecue or summer party.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wednesday’s Helping: Alternate Ingredients for Chorizo w/ Bok Choy Stir-Fry

Taking flavors in different directions

If you wanna change things up a bit, the Mixed Stew crew suggests substituting  kielbasa, linguica, or even regular bratwurst for the chorizo in this dish.  Conversely, we suggest substituting Chinese broccoli, napa cabbage, or choy sum.  Look for chorizos made with poultry, such as chicken or turkey, if you wanna go lighter in terms of calorie count per serving without sacrificing the spicy chorizo flavors.  Lastly, remember that you can add chopped mushrooms and sliced bell peppers to the original recipe.     

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background of Chorizo w/ Bok Choy Stir-Fry

A surprisingly yummy combo

We wanted to reinterpret the traditional sausage and peppers stir-fry that tends to be standard fare on lunch and dinner menus.  The leafy green bok choy pieces absorb the spicy hot flavors of chorizos in the cooking process of this dish.  We chose bok choy, which is traditionally an Asian staple, because it’s less bitter compared regular cabbage.  The results constitute a versatile dish that’s simple and easy to prepare but also possess complex flavors.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Chorizos w/ Bok Choy Stir-fry

Another sexy tango

Spicy chorizo and leafy bok choy combine to make a unique and yummy stir-fry in this dish.  Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 large frypan w/ lid
1 wooden spoon
3 tbspns cooking oil
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
1 bunch bok choy, leaves cut for stir-frying
1 package Johnsonville Chorizos, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 garlic cloves, chopped small
Pinch of salt and pepper

Cooking and Directions:

Heat pan on medium-high heat for 3 minutes.  Add cooking oil and grease most of pan’s surface area.  Toss in garlic, onion, and chorizo.  Cover with lid. Sautee and brown ingredients for 12 to 15 minutes.  Next, add bok choy and toss well until veggies are cooked well.  Serve immediately.     

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday’s Last Spoonful: Ramen vs. Simon

Relatives that have a similar effect

These two types of Asian noodles and soups seem to be used interchangeably; in fact, the Mixed Stew crew substituted ramen noodles for somen in this week’s recipe.  What makes them truly different from each other?  Both types of noodles contain water and wheat flour but Ramen noodles also contain eggs as a main ingredient.  Ramen noodles appear yellow in color and somewhat curly or wavy.  Meanwhile, authentic somen noodles are white in color and are comparable to angel hair.  Somen noodles also tend to be more light and delicate.  Saimin specifically refers to the rendition or offshoot of Asian noodle soup that’s popular in Hawaii.      

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thursday’s Side Dish: Somen/ Simen Noodles

Versatile Asian noodles

What characteristics make these noodles different from other Asian noodles?  Somen (aka Simen) noodles are made of wheat flour, water, and salt.  Also look for a white color to these long and thin noodles.  Cooks can serve somen noodles in hot or cold dishes.  The Mixed Stew crew found two different brands at Lotte Plaza in the chilled food items section.  H-Mart is high likely to have these noodles

, too.            

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wednesday’s Helping: Extras for Homemade Ramen

Tasty tidbits and add-ons

If our list of additional toppings and veggies doesn’t pique your palette then we have more suggestions.  Try adding anchovies, seaweed nori, or daegu (aka Japanese pickled daikon).  Diced silken tofu, shitake mushrooms, and imitation crabmeat are also good bets.  If you need a hot kick, then add a dash of sriracha or pieces of kimchi.  The Mixed Stew crew actually ate hot bowls of ramen with pieces of spam.         

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on Homemade Ramen

Comfort food ala Japan

This version of ramen takes extra effort and patience.  Our recipe makes a big batch of broth for Pork Tonkatsu ramen, which is one of four main variants of Japanese ramen.  We think that’s enough to serve up to 8 people.  You can make the components of this dish a day ahead.  Homemade ramen can be a neat menu item for the next potluck or lunch party.  The warm stock with robust pork flavor is made hearty with the addition of noodles and a variety of toppings.  Remember that Japanese Ramen is an off-shoot of traditional Chinese noodle soup.  We will discuss saimen the Thursday.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Homemade Pork Ramen

Rich and smooth broth ala pork leg bones

Homemade ramen soup takes a slow cooking time but it’s worth it.  Hold on to at least two pork shoulder bones from previous roastings to make this on a cold and dreary day.  The amount of meat left on the bone doesn’t matter.  We're making a broth, remember? We’re concerned with boiling the bones slowly until the broth acquires a yummy pork flavor.

What you will need:

1 large stock pot w/ lid
1 big metal spoon
2 pork shoulder bones, kept in the freezer as leftover from roasts
1 large onion, sliced very thin
4 garlic cloves, left whole
3 cups water
1 quart chicken broth
1 chilled package Japanese somen noodles/ Asian-style noodles for soup, fully cooked
1 bunch fresh watercress, washed clean
1 bunch baby bok choy, washed clean
1 cup diced chives or diced green onion
Japanese fish cake roll, sliced thin
4 hard boiled eggs
Salt to taste

Cooling and Directions:

Place pork bones, garlic, onion and water in stock pot at high heat.  Cover with lid.  Let ingredients reach a rolling boil then lower to medium heat.  Let ingredients slowly simmer for 40 to 50 minutes.  Next, pour in chicken broth and return lid.  Let broth slowly simmer for another 40 minutes.  The broth should turn milky, brown, and cloudy.  The broth is now ready to serve.  Add salt to your liking in individual servings.  Serve noodle soup in individual bowls with veggies, eggs, and fish cake pieces to add to the noodles and hot broth.    

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday’s Last Spoonful: Food Surf

Tastier Oatmeal Delights

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.

Ever thought of carrot cake or pumpkin pie flavored oatmeal for breakfast?  Boston Magazine has 6 oatmeal recipes that you’ll find yummy.

YouQueen has 11 healthy and refreshing ways to spice up your oatmeal on their site. 

Finally, Blisstree recommends serving oatmeal in savory recipes instead of sweet.  How about Eggs Benedict Oatmeal or Curried Oatmeal W/ Caramelized Onions?  Check out their yum yum recipes.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thursday’s Side Dish: RAW PURE & SIMPLE Hot Cereal

Not just oatmeal any more

This line of hot cereals by BetterOats attracted our attention during a recent visit to Safeway.  RAW PURE & SIMPLE comes in very unique flavors, such as Cinnamon Plum Spiced, Chai Spiced, and Pomegranate.  The list of nutritious grains and ingredients include barley, rye, wheat, and quinoa.  Each 7.5 oz box comes with 5 individual servings.  Prices may vary but we paid $ 4.00 +.  Each serving is a good source of fiber and Vitamins A & E.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wednesday’s Helping: A Better Atlantic Beach Pie

A sweeter n slimmer number 

We suggest using fat free sweetened condensed milk instead of regular condensed milk if you want to lessen the calorie count in serving of this custard pie.  Look for Eagle Brand Fat Free condensed milk in at better stocked grocery stores.  Serve it with light whipped topping or no whipped topping are also healthier bets.  Finally, use more wholesome crackers, such as Wheat Thins or Triscuit , for the crust to increase the healthy nutrition.     

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Background on Bill's Atlantic Beach Pie

 A refreshing offering from the Carolinas

 We like our variation of Bill’s Atlantic Beach Pie for its simplicity.  We used two whole eggs instead of 4 egg yolks.  The end product has more zing per serving compared to more elaborate and costly dessert pies.  Older recipes did not include a crust or called for a crust made with soda crackers.  The usual main ingredients include condensed milk, sugar, lime juice, and eggs.  Meanwhile, the addition of green food coloring is not a requisite but serves as a nice way of distinguishing this lime flavored custard pie from others.  If you want to be fancy, a toasted meringue frosting can be used to top our rendition.       

Monday, June 3, 2013

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Atlantic Beach Pie

A cool desert with zing

The tart lime flavors combined with a smooth and creamy consistency make for a rich lime pie that’s also really simple in preparation.

What you will need:

Creamy Filling
½ cup lemon juice or lime juice
2 large eggs
whipped topping
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk  
-- Pie Crust
1 (8 inch) pie pan
sleeves saltine crackers 
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
3 tbspns sugar

Cooking and Directions:

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.  Coarsely crush saltine crackers.  Add sugar then incorporate butter until crumbs can be molded into dough to form the pie crust.  Press into pie pan.  Chill for at least 15 to 20 minutes then bake for 15 to 20 minutes.  Let crust turn golden brown.  Remove from oven and cool. Meanwhile, beat the eggs and milk together.  Then blend in citrus juice.  Pour into pie crust and bake for 16 minutes until filling sets.  Pull out baked pie and let it cool to room temperature.  Place pie in the fridge for at least 3 hours.  Slice and serve cold.