Sunday, April 24, 2016

When and where were you.......

....when you first realized how much you loved to cook?  I'm interested, please leave a comment at the bottom here.

When I realized how much I enjoyed cooking and especially baking, I was a teenager...a young teenager at that.   My family had gone out for firewood and groceries on a cold and really wintery day in Upstate New York.  I wanted to stay behind and keep the fires burning at the house, but I also had a plan.  I was nervous because my mother was the chief cook in the house and she had very little patience for teaching her young daughter the tricks of the trade, so basically all I did was watch and listen.  Every meal and dessert that came from my mother's kitchen was delicious and truly a work of love and cooking wisdom.  I pined for that skill, so on the day that everyone including my mother left the house for a few hours, I got to work.  I had planned on doing something fairly simple, cookies.  I had never ever baked before, much less on my own without permission, so I was truly nervous, but determined.

The recipe was fairly straight-forward, so I got out all the ingredients, turned the oven on and got to work.  Mixing all the ingredients went well, placing each cookie on the cookie sheet using my mother's method of a teaspoon and a knife, I had a bit of a learning curve on that one, but after about  5 or 6 cookie balls, I had it down.  The first batch of cookies came out amazing!!  as did the following ones, I was a success on my first rodeo!!  As my family came in from hours of out running errands in the wintery cold, they were surprised and pleased by the warm kitchen with ginger cookies baking in the oven and the aroma of sugar, ginger in the air.  I was smart by keeping things under control as I went along, cleaning the bowls, spoons and putting all the ingredients away as I added them, so when my mom saw me and the kitchen behind me, she was pleased....boy was I relieved!!

There have been many mistakes since then that my poor family has had to endure, but probably 95-98% of my much like my mom's.  My children were taught the love of cooking as well.  The first thing I taught them each (there are 3 of them) was how to crack an egg properly without dropping shell into the dish.  Each of them take pride in their baking and cooking, mostly baking or the girls and cooking for our son....but I am glad that they enjoy being in the kitchen and as the years go by, they, I hope, will continue to enjoy, experiment, and create amazing meals and goodies to please and delight their families and friends!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Steel Cut Oats.....that's what's for BREAKFAST!

Steel cut oats are deliciously crunchy and fulfilling for a hardy breakfast winter, spring,...or whenever.   There are many different ways to cook these crunchy goodies, but the way I'm going to show you today is the best so far for this home chef.  Since it takes nearly an hour, cook it the night before and put in the fridge for the next day, reheating is a snap and is equally delicious and satisfying the next day! 

Here we go:

Steel-Cut Oats

3 c. of boiling water
1 c. Steel Cut oats
2 Tbsp.  unsalted butter, melted
1 c. Milk, (I use whole)
raisins and cinnamon, optional

Cook and stir once or twice for 25 minutes,

Then add the milk, then continue to cook 8 - 10 minutes until the milk has been mostly absorbed into the oats, stirring a couple of times so as to keep oats from sticking to bottom of pan.   Just as the oats are getting nice and thick, after 10 minutes, pour in the cup of milk and continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes..   At this point, I like to add cinnamon and raisen to the oats and let them cook in the remaining cook time.
After 10-15 minutes, remove the thick oats from the heat, cover and let stand 2minutes.  Serve or store in airtight container in fridge for up to a week.  Leftovers are wonderful!