Sunday, December 25, 2011
2011 has been an educational and milestone (cookbook published) year for me. I want to thank everyone that has supported me in the cookbook and food blog this year. I hope you all enjoy and get some useful information out of them. I have really enjoyed doing them and look forward to continuing the food blog and promoting the cookbook.
2012 looks like it will be an exciting year too. I am now doing a food segment twice a month on KQ2 in St. Joseph, Missouri and will start a monthly column in the Nodaway News Leader in January under the "Cabana Boy Cooks" heading. I am also hoping to do some college lecturing this coming year.
Because of the holiday season, the blog for the week between Christmas and New Years will consist of just this blog today. Cabana Boy Cooks will be back with its regular format starting January 3rd.
Again, HAPPY HOLIDAYS to everyone.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
instead of molds/rings to keep mixture cold.
for a good Mexican beer. It is just a difference in personal taste.
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
to use a 2 quart baking dish if you do.
The recipe can also be made by hand with a fork, spoon or
spatula. You will just need to chop the artichoke hearts to
a size you like. This way will not be as smooth as the
motorized ways but that should not be a problem. Enjoy!
the bread slices with the tomato mixture and place on a
nice platter for service.
(serving either way) is a nice addition to the taste.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Remember to do your planning if you're hosting one of these fun times. In doing that planning, try to offer a good variety and items that make sense, both seasonally and functionally. Mix up the heavy and light type dishes, the hot, cold or room temperature recipes, the sweet and non-sweet items, finger foods and those requiring a utensil to set a great spread for your guests. You'll want both a variety of alcohol and non-alcohol beverages too.
Now don't kill yourself putting on your function. You don't have to make everything from scratch, mix and match bought items, semi-homemade and some made-from-scratch dishes. The same goes in the beverage department. A mix of sodas, beers, wines and a homemade punch (both alcoholic & non), drink making station or two gives plenty of choice.
In the food area, soups or chili make for a great comfort food this time of year. Depending on the type of party you are throwing, real dishes or disposable ones can handle the need. Mini sandwiches, either a pre-made or a make your own setup work well too. Dips of one kind or another using vegetables, chips (variety) or crackers are always popular with party goers. Cheese trays, Antipasto platters and relish dishes add easy foods to this type of party too.
And don't forget the sweets! Cookies, bars, candies and nuts (both sweetened and not) are just a few items for this category (bought or made).
But there are many other types of new and interesting foods to try and many cookbooks or websites to give you ideas. Just remember that you are only limited by Your Taste Buds and Imagination when it comes to partying. From those famous words of Wayne and Garth "Party On!"
Speaking of cookbooks, I'll list a few ideas for your parties from my own.
For soups: Barry's Chili (no beans), Chili (ground beef & beans), Dave's Green Chili, Hearty Vegetable Beef and Robinson's Hearty Hodgepodge.
For sandwiches: Bacon Dogs, Italian Sausage w/Peppers & Onions, Meatball Subs and Taverns (sloppy joes)
For party food (Odds N' Ends chapter): Hot Crab Dip, Mexican Hot Dip, Nadine's Corn & Black Bean Salsa and Spinach & Artichoke Dip. If you have the money, try the Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp.
Tomorrow's blog will have a couple of recipes for food items and Friday's will have a few drinks. Enjoy the season and may your football team win if they're in a bowl game.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
For those of you that don't know, the show is done in two segments. We'll do about 3 1/2 minutes in which we explain the dish we're making and what you need to do and then the show goes to a commercial break. After the break, we're back on for about 1 1/2 minutes and Luana and William sample the dish. They tell everyone how much they like the dish. They really have liked all 4 of mine because they continue eating until they're stuffed or it's gone after we are off the air. Then the show signs off.
The show yesterday didn't quite go like that. They had tried to show a segment on something earlier in the show and it didn't work. So they were going to try it again later (my understanding). I believe they try to show it after our first part of the cooking segment and then were coming back to us for the ending. I know the segment they ended up showing was not the one they were intending to show. It must have been a little longer then the one they were expecting because we had the second half of our cooking segment cut. You know sometimes you just run out of time. Especially on live television.
I still had a good time and will be back on January 2nd. Not good planning on my part. Getting up very early the morning after a day full of football bowl games is not going to be fun. Plus it is the NEW year and everyone will be looking for something HEALTHY to eat. I guess butter and heavy cream better not be in the recipe that day.
My next book signing is on January 7th in St. Joseph, Missouri at Hazel's Gourmet Coffee Shop at 4001 Frederick Ave. from 1:00 to 3:00 PM. I'll be sampling the Cream Scones recipe from the cookbook. Mark your calendars and see you there.
The college football bowl season has already started and New Year's Eve is upon us. So we're going to talk about party snacks and drinks this week. They'll be coming on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
A Merry & Happy Holiday Season to everyone. Eat, Drink & be Merry but also remember moderation.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
dish a much creamier texture than you get from doing it like
regular mashed potatoes. I believe a ricer is less than $20
and can be used for many recipes.
Some people will do half red and half white bakers but I
to adjust the amounts of butter to flour a little to get the right
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
One of the easiest ways to reduce the holiday stress is to make a plan and then execute it. Don't try making all those cookies and other treats in one day. The same goes for shopping; divide up your list and do what is manageable in part of a day. You don't have to go from dawn to dusk trying to kill yourself trying to get it all done.
As for cookies and treats, figure out what you really need for the family and then add some for friends. It makes sense to keep it to no more than 4 different items. If you need more for some reason, it is okay to buy a few items. Convenience is there for a reason. Take advantage of it when you need. On the homemade items, I'd pick the items you're known for and maybe one new one if you really must. The last bit of advice is get others involved so you don't have to do it all yourself (unless you have the time). I remember that half the fun of Christmas cookies was helping mom and making a mess. But they sure tasted better because we were all involved.
Because families get together for special meals at Christmas time, let people bring items to the meal. If you get to be the host/hostess of the meal and are making it all, make a plan. Plan a menu that doesn't over use a particular piece of equipment, like the oven. When I plan a meal, I try and pick a good mixture of hot and cold dishes. I try to have ones that can be made ahead (a day or two), those that need an oven and/or roaster for long cooking times and stove top dishes that are last minute items.
If you are going to have others bring a dish or two, let them bring their specialties if it fits in the menu plan. Holiday meals usually have traditions when it comes to food. Our family always makes what we call "Beacom Special" which is a potato dish we brought from Ireland. The recipe will be in tomorrow's blog. I try to make traditional dishes and then add a new one for each year. That new one may become a regular or not. It all depends on how it is received by everyone. That is part of the fun of holiday meals and cooking. If you are not sure about a new dish, I suggest you try it out sometime before the eventful holiday dinner.
Depending on when you open your gifts (Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning), plan a meal that is easy and quick. Children (of all ages) don't always have the patience to wait at these times.
I have two recipes tomorrow for that special Christmas Dinner that take a little work and one is a little pricey. But both are delicious. Friday's recipes (2) are treats. Enjoy them if you try them.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Their claim is that Americans average around $700 in holiday spending on gifts per person. Now remember that is an average. However, someone has calculated that if everyone would just spend $64 of that $700 figure on products made in America, we would create 200,000 NEW jobs.
That's not a bad start for a nation that needs to lower the unemployment rate quite a bit.
I'm going to try and do my part. But it is not easy. If you want to help, please check carefully where the products are made. Most seem to be made in places other than America.
As Holidays are approaching quickly and if you are still looking for a item, let me suggest my cookbook. It does make a great gift. Guess what, it is made in America too!
We are going to talk about planning our holiday meal and snacks tomorrow. On Thursday and Friday, it will be more recipes for the holidays. Enjoy trying some of them. Also, I'm on KQ2 TV this Monday (19th) between 6:30 and 7:00 AM. Please tune in if you get that station.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Now let's get back to pasta. Your standard pasta shapes that are found in the United States are: Angel Hair, Spaghetti, Linguine, Fettuccine, Ziti, Rotini and Penne. These are great to use but can get a little boring. I have mentioned trying to find Ethnic Stores in both the cookbook and this blog. I'm just reminding everyone that my favorite one is in Kenosha, Wisconsin. It is called Tenuta's. They do have an on-line store but the pasta choices are limited. They have a great selection of imported Italian pastas in the store. When we are in Kenosha, I will stock up on my favorites which include Gemelli and Orecchiette. They both hold the sauce very well and are a little heavier than American made pasta. The first one is about 2 1/2 inches long and looks like two pieces twisted together. The other one kind of reminds you of ears. Also remember that in Yesterday's blog I gave you a link to a company that make organic pasta. Please check them out too. I have a link here that has various posters of pasta shapes and their names. Check it out at Pasta Shapes.
One of the neat things about pasta is that it can go well with something as simple as melted butter tossed with the pasta and sprinkled with some Parmesan cheese to a sauce that took six hours to make. My children were sometimes picky eaters and I always know that spaghetti with butter and cheese would satisfy them. It is really a comfort food.
If you don't have great choices of pasta types and shapes, then travel a little and find some. In this modern day, I guess you could just order them on the internet. Look for easy sauce recipes too. Yesterday's link had those as well. Be adventurous and shake up your boring pasta & sauce life. Remember, you're only limited by your imagination and taste-buds.
Tomorrow is a recipe for "My Chicken Alfredo" which won't make my dietitian happy. It is full of butter, cheese and heavy cream. Enjoy!
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
The "you" part has several factors that come into play. First is your budget because fresh pasta is more expensive than dry pasta. So maybe your budget is a dry pasta one, but that doesn't mean you can't up your game for "Special" occasions and buy fresh. Second is how comfortable you are with pasta. I believe this is really silly, but some people are afraid of "fresh" pasta because it sounds more difficult than the dry. There really isn't any reason for this because they are both easy to cook and use. Now making fresh pasta is a whole different subject but that just takes a little practice and the right equipment.
Now comes "your market" part. It depends on where you live (small town, big city, etc.) and what the stores in your area offer for product. Many small markets may not have the volume to stock fresh pasta. Then there may be someone/vendor that makes fresh pasta in your area. If so, take advantage of them.
You can order pasta from various websites too. I know of one that makes, sells and ships "Organic Pasta" in many different flavors. Their website also offers a wide variety of pasta sauce recipes to use with the organic pasta. Check them out at their website here Artisan Italian by Dakota Earth. I have met Dan, but Elizabeth is really the person behind the pasta making. I suggest you give them a chance. For those of you in the Sioux City and Sioux Falls area, they do the "Farmer's Market" in those towns from July to October on Saturdays.
There are now whole wheat and other healthy styles of dry pasta. Be sure to look into them when shopping.
Alright, you have picked your pasta. Now a few helpful hints on cooking and using it in your meal.
You should have at least a 6 to 8 quart pot for cooking pasta as it takes a lot of water. You want to use 4 quarts or more of water when cooking up to a pound of pasta. You want to get the water to a hard boil before adding a tablespoon of salt and then the pasta. Stir it once it has been added and start timing from when the water returns to a boil. Remember to occasionally stir the pasta (carefully) and cook without a lid. Cook according to the package directions for time. It differs on time between fresh and dry pasta. Below are some average cooking times for both.
Dry Pasta: 8 to 12 minutes (long thin is quicker than long fat pasta)
The whole wheat and healthier pasta takes a little longer to cook.
Fresh Pasta: 1 to 3 minutes ( same here for thin and fat)
With both types of pasta, you need to taste it to check for doneness. The pasta, when tasted, should feel tender with a little resistance. However, stuffed pasta (ravioli, tortellini, etc.) will usually float when they are done.
Depending on how it is going to be served or used, you want to cook the pasta al dente. Over cooking pasta gives it a mushy texture. If you are going to add it to a pan of sauce and continue cooking, you want it a little under al dente because it will continue to cook in the pan. If you are going to serve it separate from the sauce, just drain and serve. If it will be a few minutes before service, add a little olive oil or butter to the pasta and toss in the pot. Be sure to cover with a lid to help keep it warm.
Remember not to rinse the pasta when it is drain unless you are making it for a cold dish. Then rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process and drain well. You may need a little olive oil to keep it from sticking together before refrigerating it.
This is not everything you need to know about pasta but I hope it helps you get more adventurous with using it.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
I had to drive back home on Sunday to get ready for the "Hometown This Morning" show on KQ2 early Monday morning. That means getting up at 4:30 a.m. and driving 90 miles round trip in the dark now that winter is here.
Did I mention that I had to do my first snow shoveling on Saturday at my mother's house? Thank God there is NO snow in Maryville. I can wait for Christmas Eve to see just a little of the white stuff. Back to the show.
I made the Garlic Bread recipe from this blog on the show. It most have been a big hit because it didn't last very long. They are supposed to put the clip on the recipe at KQ2's website. It is not there the last I looked but I'll make sure to put the link on the blog when it comes up.
For anyone in the North Kansas City area, I'm doing a book signing this Saturday (10th) at the Hy-Vee just off of Barry Rd. from 11:00 to 2:00 p.m. The store is just a few blocks east of I-29 and Barry Rd. interchange and is on the south side of the street.
I also have a good and/or bad problem in regards to the cookbook. Barnes & Noble and the Family Christian Bookstore are both out of my cookbook at the moment. This is their websites for ordering that are out and it is because their supplier ran out. They have more on the way but I don't know how long it will be before they have them back in stock. Amazon still has some but are down to 5 copies according to their site on Monday. Remember you can always order them through the blog here. Just click on the link up above this blog.
I hope everyone saw the new piece above on the right about remembering this cookbook for gifts. It really does make a great Christmas, Wedding, Graduation and Birthday gift. Several of the books signed in Sioux City were going for those very reasons. In fact, one friend told me she is going to use the cookbook as her go-to gift for all the weddings she goes to each year.
I don't know if any of you have been watching ABC Nightly News, but they have been doing some stories on "Buy American" recently. They say if everyone would spend just $64 on American made products for the holidays, it would create 200,000 new jobs. I'm doing my part in two ways. First, I'm looking for and buying American goods. Second, I'm an American author with an American publisher printing my cookbook in America. So people who buy my cookbook are helping create more jobs in America. Thank you!
This week, we are going to talk about pasta, sauces and then on Friday I will have my recipe for Alfredo Sauce. Please have a good week and get in the kitchen and cook something (a favorite or something new). Enjoy!
Friday, December 2, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Be sure to check portions on these items as they range from 1 piece up to a quart for a portion.
Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp - 1 pts.
Basic White Sauce - 10 pts.
Candee's Canned Salsa - 2 pts.
Dry Rub for BBQ - 7 pts.
Hot Crab Dip - 4 pts.
Italian Meatballs - 3 pts.
Mexican Hot Dip - 3 pts.
Nadine's Corn & Black Bean Salsa - 2 pts.
Spaghetti Sauce (Marinara) 14 pts.
Spinach & Artichoke Dip - 3 pts.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Remember that you can take a smaller portion and reduce your points used.
Basic Bran Muffin - 4 pts.
Creamed Scones - 5 pts.
Dilly Bread - 2 pts.
Homemade Buns - 5 pts.
Matt's Oatmeal Bread - 2 pts.
White Bread - 3 pts.
Cherry Delight - 9 pts.
Cinnamon Cake - 10 pts.
Connie's Peach Dessert - 9 pts.
Crazy Chocolate Cake - 10 pts.
Frosting for Cake - See Below
Chocolate Frosting - 49 pts.
Caramel Frosting - 42 pts. (These are for the total amount of frosting - divide by number of pieces to get frosting points per piece)
Rhubarb Dessert - 10 pts.
Rhubarb Pudding - 8 pts.
Time-Saving Doughnut Holes - 2 pts.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I'm starting today with the cookie making as our four children are spread out and care packages will need to be sent early. On Friday, I will have one of my favorite holiday cookies for the recipe. I hope you will enjoy them.
Since we didn't do the WeightWatcher points the last couple of weeks, I'm putting the last two in this week. Wednesday will be for the points in the Baking & Desserts chapter. Then on Thursday, we will finish it up with the Odds & Ends chapter of the cookbook. Thank you for being patient with me as we got them all out to you.
|Barry Rd. Hy-Vee in KC|
I wish all of you a "Happy, Holy and Merry Holiday Season" and a great year to come.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
I've been busy and now have my cookbook in a few more locations. It is available at 3 Hy-Vee stores now (Maryville, MO; St. Joseph, MO; and Kansas City, MO-just off Barry Rd.), the Bearcat Bookstore on the campus of Northwest Missouri State University and at the Nodaway News Leader office in Maryville, MO.
There will be some more locations coming and book signings too. I'm in Sioux City, IA on Friday (Dec. 2) and Saturday (Dec. 3) for signings at 2 Hy-Vee stores. Then I'm in Kansas City (just off Barry Rd.) at another Hy-Vee on Saturday, December 10th. The last one that is set as of now is January 7th in St. Joseph, MO at Hazel's Gourmet Coffee & Tea Co. More about these as they get closer.
I did my second TV cooking segment yesterday for KQ2 in St. Joseph, MO. I made the Spicy Creamed Corn from this blog. It was a big hit and the link to watch it is below. They do the segment in two pieces with commercials in between. The link only has the first part but it gives you an idea of how easy a recipe it is to make. Here is the link KQ2
I will be doing 3 recipes this week for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. They will all have to do with leftover turkey; My Favorite Turkey Sandwich, Turkey Carcass Soup and Turkey Tetrazzini. Enjoy and "Happy Thanksgiving" from "Cabana Boy Cooks."
Friday, November 18, 2011
section. You can also use the refrigerated dough, but then
goes well with this type of meal.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Ideas for Future Efforts
Note: Use the bread of your choice but cube it up the day before
you will be making the stuffing. Spread it out in a cookie
pan or two and let it set out to dry. It helps make the
temperature of 170 degrees before serving. If you don’t
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
I'm going to make some assumptions. You are having 8 or fewer guests over for the special dinner and you are doing it all by yourself. Remember that you could have guests contribute to the dinner by bringing a specific dish that you want for the menu. If not, let's start with the turkey. I'm not putting the turkey in a recipe format like I normally do. The other recipes will be in the usual format that I use.
You will want to buy a 12 lb. frozen turkey. This will give you plenty of turkey for the meal plus leftovers for future meals. I would buy the turkey on Saturday or Sunday before Thanksgiving because it will need to thaw. It will take 3 to 5 days for the turkey to thaw in your refrigerator. You don't want to thaw it in cold water so get it thawing early. It's all about planning.
To thaw the turkey, leave it in it's wrapper and place in a pan (9x13 pan should work) to catch any juices as it thaws. Place the pan on the bottom shelf in your refrigerator and leave it until Thanksgiving Day.
Now as part of our planning, when will we serve dinner? We need to know this so we can figure out the time we need to start prepping our food. I will use 1:00 PM as our dinner time and use that throughout all the recipes.
On Thanksgiving morning, we will start working with the turkey at 8:00 AM (5 hours before we want to eat). We want to remove the turkey from the refrigerator and move it to the sink area. First clean your sink with soap, water and rinse well, then place the turkey in the sink and remove the plastic cover on the turkey. Be careful because usually, on the wrapper, there are instructions for cleaning, cooking temp and cooking times. They may come in handy for reference.
Once the wrapper is off, remove the neck and anything else in the main body cavity of the turkey. To do this simply place the turkey in front of you with the legs towards you. Grab one leg and push down on it to release it from the clamp. Repeat with the other leg. Do not remove the clamp because when you are ready to put the turkey in the oven, both legs need to be back in clamp. Next, remove the giblets (usually in paper bag) that are found in the neck cavity of the turkey under all that loose skin. It you don't have both items (neck & giblets) keep looking. I know several people that have left the giblets in the turkey while cooking only to find them as they carve the turkey. It won't kill you but it will embarrass you in front of others. If giblets are left in, discard them if they have not reached an internal temp of 175 degrees. If they have then enjoy the giblets if you like them.
Once everything has been removed, rinse the turkey under cold water inside and out. Drain the turkey as best you can and then pat it dry with paper towels. Set the turkey on its back, and one wing at a time, tuck them in. To do this consider the wing has 3 sections with the out section called 1. Take the wing and stretch it out, bring section 1 over to section 3 and hook it under section 3. This should tighten up the wing to the body of the turkey. Repeat with the other wing. Now place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan with the breast side up.
|Remote Oven Thermometer|
Now if you want to stuff your turkey, follow everything already mentioned and add the following.
You want to make your stuffing (recipe tomorrow) early so that it has time to cool down before it goes in the turkey. We don't want anyone getting sick. You could make it the day before and pull it from the refrigerator up to an hour before stuffing the bird.
The rule of thumb on the amount of stuffing is around 3/4 cup of stuffing to each lb. of the turkey. So our 12 lb. turkey should get about 9 cups of stuffing. Remember that there are 2 locations to stuff. Fill the body cavity first and re-do the legs. Then fill the neck cavity with all that loose skin. I would use tooth-pics or small skewer to keep the skin in place. You don't want to pack it in there too tight because it will take longer to reach the internal temperature it needs to be safe. The internal temperature of the stuffing should be 170 to 175 degrees. The turkey will take longer to cook because of being stuffed. A stuffed 12 lb. turkey will add 30 to 60 minutes to the total. So you will be looking at 3 1/2 to 4 hours total. I would also temp the stuffing in the body cavity to 170 degrees before removing it from the oven. Put the probe into the middle of the stuffing. It is just a little added safety.
If you are using a smaller or larger turkey, adjust accordingly. Most turkeys that you can buy have detailed cooking information right on the wrapper. Just follow them if in doubt. Another option to the whole turkey is to use a bone-in turkey breast. It is a little easier to handle, gives you the same great flavor and the bones can be used for carcass soup the same as a whole turkey.
The recipes to follow on Thursday and Friday include: Stuffing or dressing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, orange pudding and pumpkin pie. So have a great Thanksgiving!