Friday, November 19, 2010

Measuring Spoons-How to Use 'Em

My favorite measuring spoon set.

Measuring spoons are used to measure both dry ingredients and wet ingredients. Shown above is my favorite stainless steel set that I bought from Williams Sonoma a few years back. They have a reflective, polished finish and have really kept the shine even after several washings.

* Measuring spoons are usually plastic, melamine, or metal.
* Measuring spoons usually come in a set in the following sizes: 1 tablespoon,
1 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon,
 1/4 teaspoon and 1/8 teaspoon. You can also buy additional odd-measure spoons that come in 2 teaspoons, 1 1/2 tablespoons and 2 tablespoon sizes.

Always use the appropriate size spoon that is asked for in the recipe.
* Measure liquids by filling the spoon full to the top.
 * Measure dry ingredients by filling the spoon and then leveling off the top with the straight-edge of a kitchen knife.

*Smile* Sherri

Cooking Lessons Online- Recipe: Homemade Hot Cocoa

The last of my summer coleus...before the big freeze!

I’ve been thinking a lot this past couple of weeks about how best to teach cooking online and how to best present this info to my fabulous blog visitors. (That’s you by the way!) After much thought, I'm changing the format up a bit.
I hope you like it and of course your comments are always welcome!
My plan:
First, I will post a beginner recipe. Then in the next few posts, I will write about the:
1. Ingredients
2. Cooking techniques used and…
3. The cooking tools, cookware, and bakeware used in the recipe.

When you see a word in bold in the recipe, get ready, we will be learning more about it.
When you see a word in blue in the recipe it is a link to existing info already on the blog. Click on it to learn more.

Ok…here we go! Let's learn to make homemade hot cocoa…

Homemade Hot Cocoa from scratch…making hot cocoa from a mix is fine but hot cocoa made from scratch has a richer, smoother, more chocolatey flavor I’ve found. It's just more’s really quick to make too.

Homemade Hot Cocoa
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
Dash of salt
5 tablespoons sugar
½ cup water
3 ½ cups milk
Mini Marshmallows (for a topper)

Mix cocoa, salt, sugar in a saucepan over medium low heat. Mix in the water. Cook 3 minutes stirring constantly. Stir in the milk. Heat just to boiling. Turn off the heat. Remove pan from the stove with a potholder. Ladle cocoa carefully into serving cups. Careful, it’s hot! Sprinkle some mini marshmallows on top. Makes 6 servings.

Now that we have the recipe, in the next post we will learn about tablespoons…the first bold word in the recipe. The tablespoon is one of several sizes of measuring spoons that we use in cooking.
*Smile* Sherri

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sugar- More than just for sugar cookies!

 Did you know there are several different kinds of sugar?

Everyone knows sugar, the white stuff that sweetens everything from coffee to fancy bakery desserts but did you know there are several different kinds of sugar? Each has its own texture and special uses.

White granulated sugar- This is the all-purpose sugar we are most familiar with. It's used for everyday baking such as sugar cookies, cakes, and for sweetening beverages.

Light brown sugar- This is sometimes called golden brown sugar. It is a natural combination of sugar and molasses. Light brown sugar has a caramel-like flavor with just a hint of molasses. It's used in ham glaze recipes this time of year as well as in chocolate chip cookies and in the crumb topping on apple crisp. Brown sugar is measured differently than white sugar.

Powdered sugar- Powdered sugar has a very fine grain size and so has a light, powdery texture. It is sometimes called icing sugar and is used in making frosting, icing, and candies.

Dark brown sugar- This is similar to light brown sugar but darker in color, with a richer molasses flavor. It is used in cookies like gingerbread men, as well as in savory foods such as barbecue sauces and meat marinades.

Additional sugar types include- Baker's Sugar, Superfine, and Washed Raw. Learn more about the different kinds of sugar and their uses at the C&H Sugar website. Also, check out C&H Sugar for yummy holiday cookie recipes and neat baking gift ideas for the season!

*Smile* Sherri