Food Hacker

Taboos and Tableware

Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

There. I feel somewhat better now. Not much but definitely feel an improvement.

I love café society and restaurants and eating out. I love trying new places as well as returning to firm favourites. But something that will spoil the experience anywhere is having to ask for clean cutlery when I see the untrained (I surmise) staff handle the silverware by the blade, tines or bowl of eating implements.

My vivid imagination questions whether they have washed their hands recently – even if they have, they should not be touching the parts of knives, forks and spoons which will go into another person’s mouth – or maybe they have rubbed their nose, or  picked it, ferreted in an ear for that elusive and bothersome piece of wax.

Horror of horrors, maybe they have visited the bathroom and not bothered to wash their hands or – dastardly habit – merely trickled water over one or two or three fingers in a foolhardy pretence of being hygienic and sensible.

It used to be that one was cute and did not eat raw foods in certain countries but now, with the rise in hepatitis A, maybe we need to be more canny in more food outlets.(Hepatitis A is a liver infection, passed on by way of food – usually related to unwashed hands handling the food.)

If the waiting staff are not properly informed about hygiene and how to handle cutlery, it is entirely possible that those preparing salads are also slapdash about soap and water.

Plastic gloves are not necessarily the answer either. Health inspectors some years ago found they could be as big a risk as chipped nail polish, grubby fingernails and unwashed hands.

A friend – who shall remain anonymous! – once told me that the staff were reminded EVERY day that whenever they visited the bathroom, for whatever reason, they MUST wash their hands. As the industry was connected to food and cosmetics packaging, all staff were issued with gloves.

One member of staff was seen to emerge from a cubicle, cross to the handbasins, remove said gloves, wash hands with vigour, dry them with care … and replace the gloves to return to work.

Without wishing to be freaky-deaky about hygiene (I have licked the wooden spoon when cooking …), I am well aware that one of finest and simplest ways to reduce, if not eliminate, food poisoning, gastric upsets and galloping gutrot, is encourage everyone to wash their hands.

It’s not rocket science.

N.B. As an adjunct to my whinge about greed and wasting food, UberFacts posted a Tweet recently: more people are dying from obesity than from malnutrition.

24th march 2013

Tilly the Tart

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Yvonne  Oots

Conversions

Cooking Measurements

1 teaspoon = 1/6 fl. ounce 1 Tablespoon = 1/2 fl. ounce 1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons
1 dessert spoon (UK) = 2.4 teaspoons 16 tablespoons = 1 cup 12 tablespoons = 3/4 cup
10 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons = 2/3 cup 8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup 6 tablespoons = 3/8 cup
5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon = 1/3 cup 4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup 2 tablespoons = 1/8 cup
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons = 1/6 cup 1 tablespoon = 1/16 cup 2 cups = 1 pint
2 pints = 1 quart 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon 48 teaspoons = 1 cup
1 cup = 8 fluid ounces 2 cups= 1 pint 2 cups= 16 fluid ounces
1 quart = 2 pints 4 cups = 1 quart 4 cups = 32 fluid ounces
8 cups = 4 pints 8 cups = 1/2 gallon 8 cups = 64 fluid ounces
4 quarts =1 gallon 4 quarts = 128 fluid ounces 1 gallon (gal) = 4 quarts
16 ounces = 1 pound Pinch = Less than 1/8 teaspoon

F to C Degrees Conversion Chart

225F = 110C = Gas mark 1/4
250F = 120C = Gas mark 1/2
275F = 140C = Gas mark 1
300F = 150C = Gas mark 2
325F = 160C = Gas mark 3
350F = 180C = Gas mark 4
375F = 190C = Gas mark 5
400F = 200C = Gas mark 6
425F = 220C = Gas mark 7
450F = 230C = Gas mark 8
475F = 240C = Gas mark 9
500F = 260C
550F = 290C

Imperial to Metric
1/4 teaspoon = 1.25 ml 1/2 tsp = 2.5 ml 1 tsp = 5 ml
1 tablespoon = 15 ml 1/4 cup = 60 ml 1/3 cup = 75 ml
1/2 cup = 125 ml 2/3 cup = 150 ml 3/4 cup = 175 ml
1 cup = 250 ml 1 1/8 cups = 275 ml 1 1/4 cups = 300 ml
1 1/2 cups = 350 ml 1 2/3 cups = 400 ml 1 3/4 cups = 450 ml
2 cups = 500 ml 2 1/2 cups = 600 ml 3 cups = 750 ml
3 2/3 cups = 900 ml 4 cups = 1 liter

Weight Conversion
1/2 oz = 15g 1 oz = 25 g 2 oz = 50 g
3 oz = 75 g 4 oz = 100 g 6 oz = 175 g
7 oz = 200 g 8 oz = 250 g 9 oz = 275 g
10 oz = 300 g 12 oz = 350 g 1 lb = 500 g
1 1/2 = 750 g 2 lb = 1 kg

Bar Drink Measurements
1 dash = 6 drops
3 teaspoons = 1/2 ounce
1 pony = 1 ounce
1 jigger = 1 1/2 ounce
1 large jigger = 2 ounces
1 std. whiskey glass = 2 ounces
1 pint = 16 fluid ounces
1 fifth = 25.6 fluid ounces
1 quart = 32 fluid ounces

Cake Pan Size Conversions
20cm springform cake pan = 8 inch
20cm square cake pan = 8 inch
23cm springform cake pan = 9 inch
25cm springform cake pan = 10 inch

 

Of Memories and Marmalade

Jack Sprat could eat no fat.

His wife could eat no lean.

And between them both, you see,

They licked the platter clean.

The name Jack Sprat was used to describe someone of small stature in the sixteenth century; sprats are small fish. Seemingly, it was an English proverb from the mid-seventeenth century, or before. It appeared in John Clarke’s collection of sayings in 1639:

Jack will eat not fat, and Jull doth love no leane.

Yet betwixt them both they lick the dishes cleane.

The saying became well known English nursery rhymes when it appeared in Mother Goose’s Melody around 1765, but it children probably recited it much earlier.

I had always believed this nursery rhyme to be about not wasting food – other sources link it to all sorts of political shenanigans, taxation, and even Robin Hood. My, how that man sneaks into nursery rhymes.

Having spent some time in Europe recently, this rhyme came to mind when I encountered the wanton greed and culpable waste when watching fellow guests in an hotel in Barcelona.

Our deal via Easy Jet was to stay in the Hotel Gothica (nice four-star hotel, friendly staff and very central) and breakfast was included.

I love to people watch and it was fascinating to see other breakfasters take far more food than they could possibly eat – stacks of bread for toast, rolls piled high, croissants, pastries, muffins, yoghourts, fruit, cold meats and cheeses, sausages and tortilla …

There was no way they could consume the quantities taken and they didn’t wrap anything in napkins for lunch, either – and sure enough, the tables were littered with the debris of untouched and partially eaten food. (It was like watching people eat in films; they never eat or drink more than a mouthful before they dab their mouths with a napkin and leave the table.)

Why do they do this?

Is it the ‘must get my money’s worth’ philosophy? Or the ‘it doesn’t matter if I take a bite, leave part or all of it because I have paid for it anyway’ school of thought?

I wondered if those families were the same in their own homes or encouraged their children to take too much and just leave it. I wondered how they felt when visitors wasted food – meals prepared with care in the pursuit of being good hosts.

Having been brought up to not waste anything – food in particular – whilst not a revelation, it was dispiriting to say the least. (My father claimed his garden fork had been in the family for over one hundred years and had only had 94 new handles and 30 new tines …) I remembered an elderly friend telling me that she had been orphaned at the age of four when both her parents died in a car accident. Her grandparents felt unable to take on a lively child and sent her to boarding school, where she was always hungry. She was taken to the cinema as a treat one Saturday morning, to see a typical child’s comedy – slapstick and silly and fun. Unfortunately, custard pies were flying across the screen, to great guffaws of laughter from other children in the audience. Not so my friend: she went beserk, screaming and kicking, beside herself.

She could not understand why people were throwing food around when she never had enough to eat.

On a more cheerful note, I did notice that when the apples on the breakfast buffet were not looking as shiny and inviting as usual, they appeared the next morning as baked apples with cinnamon – a favourite. However, the apples were those horrid, tasteless Golden Delicious so favoured in Europe and, I believe, the USA.

Nowhere tart enough for this tart …

Bakes apples DEMAND an old-fashioned English cooking apple – sharp, juicy, with flesh which falls to a tempting puree within the skin when baked properly. (I wonder if the EEC allows Britain to grow these anymore.)

However, not one to pass up on a challenge, I noted that the little plastic pots of marmalade (horrid but practical) contained real marmalade! With plenty of chunky peel for added bite and texture. None of this peel-free or finely-shredded  or over-sweetened muck! Popped into where the core had been, the apple was transformed.

They’d have been even better baked this way but then, as we tended to break our fast later than the dedicated tourist, they would probably have been piled high and left on tables throughout the restaurant.

 

March 2013

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Yvonne  Oots

Part 2

More meaningless but useful pieces of information regarding cooking, the kitchen, weights and measures and of course manners.

If you have question concerning on any of the above subjects please feel free to comment and we will answer because we really are smart. 

Part 2

1. If you scorch milk by accident, put the pan in cold water and add a pinch of salt. It will take away the burned taste.

2. When boiling milk, first stir in a pinch of baking soda. This will help keep the milk from curdling.

3. Tasty flavored whipped cream: First whip cream then add 2 tablespoons of flavored jello and continue beating on slow until the whipped cream is right consistency.

4. Leftover ham: Lay ham slices in a baking dish then cover with maple syrup. Refrigerate overnight then fry the ham in butter the next morning.

5. Add a slice of lemon to peeled sweet potatoes while cooking. The lemon will help them clear and free of discoloration.

6. Fill a large hole or sugar shaker with flour and use that when needing to dust surfaces with flour or just pour out a tablespoon, as you need it, this is handy way to keep a bit of flour on hand instead of digging in the flour bin.

7. Use pastry wheel to cut rolled cookie dough in squares or diamonds, much less rolling and very pretty.

8. Rinse measuring cup in hot water before using syrup, oil, etc. Will pour out clean and not stick to cup.

9. Canned fruit is much better if opened and removed from the can an hour or two before using to restore the oxygen.

10. A wire cheese cutter is ideal for cutting chilled refrigerator cookie dough.

 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Yvonne  Oots

Jo Dunlop

Jo Dunlop

Well, y’all coming from the mountains as I have, and loving fresh caught fish. Especially for breakfast, I just had to have Jo Dunlop into my kitchen. You see she started a project called Fish is the Dish and all they do is talk about fish and the various ways of fixing fish. You might say she has an obsession about fish.

After Fish is the Dish became successful Jo when on to found a website just for mummy’s and their families.  Jo having two little boys 3 years and one that will have his first birthday on 1 April, Olive won’t tolerate joking about that angels birthday.  Just sayin’ y’all.

Her new blog will thrill you with the antics of her oldest child, to her families’ favourite food. You might even catch a good deal on her product reviews.

So enjoy the interview and get to know her through her own words and blogs.  You can also follow her on twitter.

1. Earliest memory of your Mothers or Grandmothers kitchen.

My mom’s kitchen was always clean, she was always just concocting something from what she had left over, and she was very frugal. The very earliest memory was that Mom’s boyfriend at the time was asked if he could paint the kitchen, we went out and when we returned he had painted caricatures on the wall of us all, including the dog. We then painted over it in the kitchen paint but when it was a sunny day, you could always see the outline of the caricatures underneath, which as kids we always found hilarious

2. Do you like to cook?

Love it; it’s my favourite thing to do

3. If not why not?

NA

4. What recipe of your mother or grandmother do you make that sends you back in time watching (whichever one) in the kitchen?

Macaroni cheese and weirdly just made that tonight, I can still smell my Granny’s house when I think about it.

5. What is your favourite herb or spice or both.

Chilli and oregano

6. If you could be a ghost in that kitchen and watch yourself as a small child, what would you tell that child today?

Watch, learn and write down as much as you can, once people are gone, so are their little quirky recipes!

7. Outside of your own country/county, which country’s cuisines do you like or prefer.

Italian and we eat it often, recently had master classes in my house by a visiting Italian

8.  What is your families favorite dish.

Hmm, that’s a hard one, probably spaghetti & ragu

9.  Would you mind sharing with my readers and quick and easy recipe that you make for your lil monsters?

Here’s a quick video they might like – this is a firm favourite and I did this for Fish is the dish

www.fishisthedish.co.uk/recipes/coley-goujons 

10.   I have a old fashion pantry, larder to you brits… Do you recommend people start one and what would be the most important thing in that larder

Oh, I would love one of these; my old house had a really cold cupboard under the stairs that I had shelving put in. I recommend everyone has one and I’m presently working out how I get this in my new house! The most important thing in the larder is actually not a food stuff but order – you need to had it organised, if you can’t see what’s there you miss things and they go out of date or you go buy some new ones and then realise you already have them. See my pintrest board for more organising ideas.

11. Of all the kitchen gadgets invented OLD and NEW which OLD and NEW are you favourite. (One old and one new)

Old is my slow cooker, I use it a lot

 New is my mixer for baking, I love it

12.   If you could teach cooking to the high school level students today… what would be the most important and the least important thing to teach them?

How to choose fish and how to cook it. It is the easiest food in the world to prepare & COOK – the ultimate fast food and oh so healthy

13.   Having agreed to this interview are you afraid that the men and women of your family members might look at you a little different?

No not at all, they all know I’m food obsessed.

Thank You

Olive

 

 

 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Yvonne  Oots

Rebecca Wallace

I am so glad to have Rebecca visit my kitchen y’all. Of all my neighbours, I worry about her the most.  Why you ask? Well, lean closer and I will tell you a secret about her.  She doesn’t even know who she is most of the time.  She’ll tell you that she is not sure herself some days.   With that family of hers, why there are days I can’t blame her for not knowing who she is. Listen to this inventory: 1 husband, 2 girls (aged nearly 5 and 7), 3 chickens and about 17 fish.

Rebecca’s youngest daughter, Little Miss Sunshine aspires to a dog and the rest of them including her eldest, Little Miss Star, aspire to a bigger house and garden. They currently reside in a small village in deepest, darkest Hampshire but would love to disappear to deeper, darker countryside and live the good life aka River Cottage style. This however is a pipe dream and unless Rebecca or her husband wins that elusive lottery…Well y’all know how that is going to work out.

Now I am quite certain that there was a time when Rebecca was in her right mind. I am also certain that one day her life will return to normal and the world will be none the wiser about any little mishaps that she is going through today.

So, before she slips back into her own world I hope you enjoy the conversation.

1.    What is the earliest memory of your Mothers or Grandmothers kitchen?

Oh my – now that takes me back. I have a very early memory of my Grandmothers kitchen when they lived in a big, big house. The kitchen seemed huge and I remember an enormous cream coloured range (an Aga as they are called in little ol’ England) with an equally huge table. It was always warm and cosy and the white cat liked to sit on the top of the range. There was also a big wooden dresser filled with crockery and table linen. I don’t remember much about the food but I was only 3 years old when they moved to a much smaller house.

 My earliest food memories are probably of Christmas – the enormous turkey, all the trimmings, the flaming Christmas pudding, the ever so slightly soggy sprouts – or it could be just that it’s that time of year and I have Christmas food on my mind!

2. Do you like to cook?

Mmmm – tricky question – shouldn’t be should it really? I used to like to cook. I bought cookery books by the dozen, loved to experiment with new ingredients and tastes – and then I had kids. After boiling and pureeing up every food known to man when they were little (quite possibly one of the most tedious things you can do in a kitchen) I kind of went off cooking and now I simply don’t have the time and energy.  When my other half goes shopping he has the habit of looking through the bargain trolley and bringing home all sorts of bizarre ingredients that I then feel obliged to cook. A challenge I don’t necessarily relish anymore!

3. If not why not?

In a word – children – maybe this will change when they are older!

4. What recipe of your mother or grandmother do you make that sends you back in time watching (whichever one) in the kitchen?

It has to be a classic roast dinner. I remember so well both my ma and my Grandma cooking a roast every Sunday. There were always guests and it was a social occasion. These days it is more of a family affair but I try to copy their methods in part – especially making the gravy – no bisto in this house thank you! Some things have improved though – oil rather than lard for the potatoes – all a bit healthier – mind you it did my grandparents no harm – they lived to a ripe old age despite eating artery-clogging food on a daily basis.

On a more seasonal note making the Christmas Pud always reminds me of being in the kitchen at home – the cinnamon, the dried fruit, the citrus peel and cherries – probably because it was something I was allowed to help with right from a wee toddler.

5. What is your favourite herb or spice or both?

Another tricky question! I love herbs and spices. When I was a child I used to love to go out in the garden and pick the thyme, rosemary and mint for my mother’s cooking and I remember all those Christmassy sweet spices of cinnamon and ginger. Considering my ma’s cooking was pretty traditionally English it was pretty tasty but she never cooked those hot spicy dishes from places like India, Morocco and Thailand that I love now. I adore coriander in salads and sprinkled over curries – it’s so fresh and I also love chilli and I’m happy to have dishes really hot and spicy.

6. If you could be a ghost in that kitchen and watch yourself as a small child, what would you tell that child today?

Watch and learn – don’t just gab away to your mum . Actually, watch what she is doing, learn and remember and then you won’t have to call her every five minutes in the middle of cooking to ask her what the hell you’re supposed to do next.

7. Outside of your own country/county, which country’s cuisine do you like or prefer?

 I love Thai and Indian food but I think my absolute favourite has to be Moroccan cuisine. It is spicy but so delicious and tasty and has that warming food that we need in our cold climate – nothing better than a slow cooked tagine – mmm – my mouth is watering at the thought – and for afters the nutty sweet delights of baklava – yum!

8.  What is your families favourite dish?

 Having said all that about foreign food I think our favourite dish as a family is a good old meat stew (or casserole if you prefer but that sounds far too fancy – stew is more down to earth) – it could be beef or lamb or chicken with different ingredients depending on the time of year and what you have to hand but slow cooked and seasoned right it can be the tastiest dish ever. It also has the advantage that it can be spiced up or down (my attempts at introducing chilli to the children has been mixed – although I have just about avoided setting their mouths on fire) and you can hide all sorts of veggies in there (the kids don’t know it but they’re eating more veg than meat – mwahahaha!) Perfect for families.

9.  Of all the kitchen gadgets invented OLD and NEW which OLD and NEW are you favourite. (One old and one new)

Ooh kitchen gadgets – I love a gadget but what to choose for the best?  The best new gadget has to be my smoothie maker. I luuurve my smoothie maker. Bung some fruit, milk and yoghurt and maybe some honey in it – give it a whizz and open the tap for a scrumptious, healthy smoothie. The kids love it and so do I!  An old gadget – that’s a bit harder – what counts as a gadget? I’m sure years ago a potato peeler was thought of as a gadget – not sure we’d think of it as one now though, and how old is old? I think in my kitchen it would have to be a pestle and mortar – a gadget that has been used in various forms for hundreds if not thousands of years and even now cannot be beaten for bashing up spices and herbs or even nuts – all those essential ingredients to make meals really tasty.

10. If you could teach cooking to the high school level students today… what would be the most important and the least important thing to teach them?

Cripes – I can’t imagine teaching high-school kids anything but if I had to do it – mmmm. I think the most important thing would be to teach them that cooking from scratch is a lot cheaper and healthier than buying ready meals and that it doesn’t have to take a long time – starting with the real basics like how to boil, scramble and poach eggs. The least important thing to teach them – probably how to cook fancy food – nobody needs to know how to cook a soufflé – it’s nice but not necessary!

 

11. I have a old fashion pantry, larder to you brits… Do you recommend people start one and what would be the most important thing in that larder?

Absolutely, I would recommend that everyone should have a pantry or larder. When I was little we lived in a big old house that had an old fashioned walk in larder and it was great – nearly all the food was stored in there (so less messy cupboards in the kitchen) It was always cool and food like cheese and fruit like tomatoes were so much better kept in there than in the fridge where they just get toooo cold. These days that’s not always practical but even now I have one of those pull out larder cupboards that takes loads of store-cupboard necessities like rice, pasta, tinned tomatoes, beans and fruit, flour, sugar and all those store-cupboard necessities you need for cooking. Unfortunately it’s not super cool like my moms was so the cheese has to stay in the fridge though!

12. Would you mind sharing with my readers and quick and easy recipe that you make for your lil princesses?

Why of course I don’t mind sharing a recipe I make for my little ones. How about one of our favourite after school snacks. They’re always so hungry after a long day at school but I don’t like spoiling them with too many candies or cookies so we often have flapjacks which are (reasonably) healthy, cheap and best of all are  super quick and easy to make.

After school Flapjacks:

200g butter (2/3 cup to 1 cup approx.)

330g porridge oats (1 cup +1/4 cup approx.)

6 tablespoons golden syrup

Optional- handful raisins or a grated apple or a handful of chopped dried apricots – or various other dried or chopped fruits to add a bit of healthiness

Turn the oven to 180C.  (350 degrees F)

Grease a shallow baking tin (or for even more time saving use a silicone one- no need to grease!)

In a big saucepan melt the butter with the golden syrup over a lowish heat – once melted stir in the oats – making sure they are all covered and add in the fruit if you are using it.

Squish the mixture firmly into the baking tin –put in the oven for about 25-30 minutes until a lovely golden brown.

Let them cool before cutting into squares.  Easy peasy!  (weight and measurement conversions  are approximate)

13.  Having agreed to this interview are you afraid that the men and women of your family members might look at you a little different?

Are my friends and family going to look at me differently after this interview? No why would they it’s just little ol’ me talking – they’re used to it!

You can follow Rebecca  on her blogs below.

http://rollercoaster-mum.blogspot.co.uk/  https://twitter.com/chickensandkids

https://www.facebook.com/RollercoasterMum?ref=hl

Olive

 

Tidbits and Trivia

Welcome to the attic where you can find all types tidbits and trivia.  On this  page where Tilly and I will put those meaningless but useful pieces of information regarding cooking, the kitchen, weights and measures and of course manners. 

If you have question concerning on any of the above subjects please feel free to comment and we will answer because we really are smart.

So lets get started with a few cooking tips. 

So lets get started with a few cooking tips.
1. A tablespoon of minute tapioca sprinkled in apple pie will absorb excess juice while baking.
2. Rinse raisins, dates, and figs in very cold water before putting them through the food chopper. They will not form such a gummy mass.
3. Put a few garlic cloves in your vegetables while they boil, it will make them tastier.
4. Cook vegetables with one or more bouillon cubes instead of salt it will improve the flavor.
5. Did you know that you can use sweet pickle juice to thin salad dressing or make French dressing with instead of vinegar.
6. When cooking raw beans DO NOT add tomatoes until they are done. The acid in the tomatoes will stop the cooking process. Your beans will be rather crunchy.
7. Do you have a pizza cutter. If so, then use it to cut cookie dough and pie crusts.
8. When making tea, put a few sprigs of peppermint in with the tea, refrigerate overnight and serve chilled.
9. Do you like to fry foods. Instead of using flour use pancake flour or cake flour. Does a great job.
10.Add just a short squirt of lemon juice to your cold water when making rice. It will keep the rice fluffy.

              Part 2

More meaningless but useful pieces of information regarding cooking, the kitchen, weights and measures and of course manners.

If you have question concerning on any of the above subjects please feel free to comment and we will answer because we really are smart. 

 

1. If you scorch milk by accident, put the pan in cold water and add a pinch of salt. It will take away the burned taste.

2. When boiling milk, first stir in a pinch of baking soda. This will help keep the milk from curdling.

3. Tasty flavored whipped cream: First whip cream then add 2 tablespoons of flavored jello and continue beating on slow until the whipped cream is right consistency.

4. Leftover ham: Lay ham slices in a baking dish then cover with maple syrup. Refrigerate overnight then fry the ham in butter the next morning.

5. Add a slice of lemon to peeled sweet potatoes while cooking. The lemon will help them clear and free of discoloration.

6. Fill a large hole or sugar shaker with flour and use that when needing to dust surfaces with flour or just pour out a tablespoon, as you need it, this is handy way to keep a bit of flour on hand instead of digging in the flour bin.

7. Use pastry wheel to cut rolled cookie dough in squares or diamonds, much less rolling and very pretty.

8. Rinse measuring cup in hot water before using syrup, oil, etc. Will pour out clean and not stick to cup.

9. Canned fruit is much better if opened and removed from the can an hour or two before using to restore the oxygen.

10. A wire cheese cutter is ideal for cutting chilled refrigerator cookie dough.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013-2016 Yvonne  Oots

Welcome

Welcome to the home of Tilly the Tart.

For those of you who have mentioned to me or emailed me that I was one of a kind.  Well, y’all are wrong. I know it is hard to accept but it is true. Allow me the good manners that I have to introduce you to Tilly.
Tilly is British, she is from that paradise island situated in the North Atlantic called Great Britian. But enough, about geography I am going to sit back and allow her to do a little braggin’ about herself.
Tilly
I was born in Manchester (England) but only stayed three weeks – it rained too much … and I couldn’t understand the accent. Besides, which, my parents wanted ot move. I consider myself a child of the universe … hah … father in the Royal Air Force, so we moved every two years.  I thought that was normal.  When I met peers who had lived in the same home all their lives, I thought they were the ones out of whack. When we married, my Lord and Master (believe that, you’ll believe anything) told  everyone he had married a!”£$%^&&* gypsy because after 18-24 months in a home, I felt it was time to move. I have lived in England, Europe, the Middle East (loved it), spent time in Kenya and other parts of Africa.  A  Certified Bookaholic with  a warped sense of humour, I love café society, watching people, learning  new things, eating, drinking, and the company of anyone and almost everyone.

 

Sarah Line

Well, now that the holiday season is over with and I can get back down to business. Now y’all putting those decorations away, making sure that all those damn lights are properly tangled is not an easy task but I managed to pull it off for another year.  Bout the time I thought I could finally relax and have that much deserved glass of wine up pops Sarah Line.

Sarah is the proud mother of not one but two little monsters age 3 and 2 years of age. I have been assured by Sarah that they are both cute and really quite harmless.

Besides her family she loves to cook and bake and loves her kitchen so much people are beginning to think she lives in that room. She has admitted that she tries her best following recipes but does tend to go off on tangents.  Leaving ingredients out and of course adding new ones. Y’all just have to love those experimental cooks.

If running her own home and chasing monsters all day Sarah is a spare time Pampered Chef Consultant. What’s that you ask?  Why she goes to people’s homes and show them how to create fantastic recipes while their friends buy great quality goods. The host receives lots of freebies, which makes Sarah quite popular. If you are interested in buying products or hosting a show, do get in touch with her.

Now that her have a bit of insight into who she is enjoy the interview.

Olive

1. What is the earliest memory of your Mothers or Grandmothers kitchen?

My granny and granddad stayed in Somerset and had a huge kitchen that I loved.  The best part of the kitchen was their hatch they had.  I used to love sticking my head through and shouting ‘dinners ready!’  It was fantastic!

We used to always make scones they were the answer to everything.

2. Do you like to cook?

I love to cook, it is my favourite thing to do.  There is nothing better than going through a good cookbook or making up a recipe as you go along.  My favourite cookbook at the minute is the Hairy Dieters cookbook.  And I adore my Hummingbird Bakery cake book

3. If not why not?

n/a

4. What recipe of your mother or grandmother do you make that sends you back in time watching (whichever one) in the kitchen?

My granny used to always make us an amazing roast dinner, most of the time with Lamb, and it melted in your mouth, I am drooling just now thinking about it!  I have tried to make it and somehow it does not taste as good!

My dad told me that when I was small, I would eat peas, carrots the lot at granny’s, but never when we were back home.  And to get me to eat the peas he had to tell me that my granny had sent them up especially.

5. What is your favourite herb, spice, or both?

I use smoked paprika a lot, it adds depth to dishes and can be added into in any recipe without it adding to much heat.

6. If you could be a ghost in that kitchen and watch yourself as a small child, what would you tell that child today?

I would tell myself to eat more veg.  I used to sneak it to the dog under the table when my parents weren’t looking, so I could get a pudding!

I would also tell myself to be more open to trying to new foods.

7. Outside of your own country/county, which country’s cuisine do you like or prefer?

I am right into my Italian food at the moment.  Italians are full of passion and it shows in the food, with some of the huge flavours they have.  And Gino D’campo helps lol

8.  What is your families’ favourite dish?

You cannot beat a Sunday roast with all the trimmings.  We have roast chicken, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, peas, carrots, sweet corn and not forgetting the homemade stuffing. Mmmmm

9.  Would you mind sharing with my readers and quick and easy recipe that you make for your lil monsters?

One of our favourite meals just now is good old Mince and Tatties.  Dry fry some mince drain the fat and put mince to one side.  Fry 1 chopped onion with 1 chopped carrot, for 5 mins or so, add mince back in and give a good old stir.  Add in about 300ml beef stock, a squeeze of tomato puree and some mixed herbs.  Leave to simmer for 15-20 mins.  Meanwhile, boil your potatoes until they are good and soft.  Drain; add a lump of butter and a splash of milk.  My monsters like a bit of cheese in aswell, so we add in a handful of grated cheese.  Mash together using a fantastic Pampered Chef product called the Mix n Masher.  Mmmmm.

10.   I have a old fashion pantry, larder to you brits… Do you recommend people start one and what would be the most important thing in that larder

I do like the idea of a larder, we unfortunately don’t have one, maybe I can persuade Mr N to get one in our new kitchen that I am hoping he will agree to one day!  I would have all the spices and herbs you could imagine, along with all my baking products, flours, sugars etc, that would be the most important, the baking items!

11.  Of all the kitchen gadgets invented OLD and NEW which OLD and NEW are you favourite. (One old and one new)

My Old gadget would be my Kenwood chef; they have been around for years and are reliable.

My new gadget would be, I have lots, what to choose?? One of them would be my Pampered Chef stoneware.  The whole range! They cook my food amazing, leaving joints juicy and tender.

12.   If you could teach cooking to the high school level students today… what would be the most important and the least important thing to teach them?

The most important thing to teach them is how to cook using local, fresh produce, you cannot beat it.  And the least important, how to use a microwave, yuk! I do not like them

13.   Having agreed to this interview are you afraid that the men and women of your family members might look at you a little different?

Not at all, they all know, I love my cooking and baking, and would stay in there all day.

Thanks Sarah for stopping by. Oh, by the way, not having heard the word “MINCE” Sarah was polite enough to let me know that it is beef.

www.pamperedchef.biz/sarahline   Twitter: scrummymummy85    www.followmyline.wordpress.com

 

 

 

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Welcome EJ Knapp

Now y’all I know after my last gripe slamming Yankees you kinda figured I would not have one in my kitchen sipping my coffee. Well, I sorta feel sorry for the boy and thought I would help him out some.

EJ Knapp is his name and is from Detroit, Michigan. Now you can’t get more Yankee than that.

Now he started out with a right nice life, but EJ took a turn somewhere that led him down the road to driftin’.

Hell, sittin’ in this kitchen listening to him tell the story of his life it’s a wonder the boy survived at all.

Why when in high school shop class he learned how assemble zip guns. Now, I am tellin’ ya, I am glad I did not go to his school. He admitted to me in great confidence that he even took to carrying a 10-inch switchblade, and a bike chain belt. Bless his heart I guess at that time gettin’ your bike a new chain was important to him.

After rumbling around drinkin’ beer and something to do with pettin’ someone real heavy EJ acquired a 1960 Chevy and hit the road. Doing the odd job to get cash EJ has worked as a bagger in a grocery store, a roofer, a forestry ranger trainee. Hell, y’all he even tried being a college student. I guess he quit that cuz he couldn’t find the bike he lost and just had the chain. He has been a Navy Squid; yes, he does have that many arms. Why else would our Navy take someone like him.  Some of the other odd jobs he has confessed to are a peer counselor in a street clinic, a drug dealer, an ice cream truck driver, an audio/visual technician, a professional photographer and the IT manager for a San Francisco law firm.

 Moving back to his home in Detroit he finally settled down and became a writer. Putting his life experiences to paper, he is the author of the novel Stealing The Marbles, released by Rebel ePublishers in 2010, and Meter Maids Eat Their Young, also published by Rebel ePublishers. He is the author of a book of short stories titled The Dance and Other Love Stories as well as the non-fiction book Secrets of the Golden Gate Bridge. I did ask him what else he was working on and y’all know what he said to me after I was kind enough to give him my coffee? He said, “None of my business, he can’t tell anyone.” Well I never, but I guess his Yankee roots drifted back into my kitchen.

EJ did give a nice interview and I must admit it gave me a chuckle.

Olive

1. Earliest memory of your Mothers or Grandmothers kitchen.

Well, I had no mother to speak of and my grandmother was an evil witch so most of my early memories are scary ones. I know now, of course, that the big black cast iron pot that sat on the stove was a dutch oven. At the time, though, I lived in constant fear of the worst parts of the Hansel and Gretel story. I do have one rather fond memory, probably fond because I was half asleep. Going down to the kitchen early in the morning while my dad was having breakfast and getting a very small amount of his coffee loaded with milk and sugar.

2. Do you like to cook?

I love to cook. I especially love baking. I do all the cooking all the time. I love to experiment. I’ve been doing a lot of gluten free, sugar free (stevia) baking lately. My cookies are killer!

3. If not why not? No Answer

 

 4. What recipe of your mother or grandmother do you make that sends you back in time watching (whichever one) in the kitchen?

Well, any time I witness someone cooking meat to the consistency and texture of hardwood flooring or boiling vegetables until they dissolve, I’m instantly transported back to my grandma’s kitchen. I was nearly an adult before I learned you didn’t need a hammer and chisel to cut a steak nor have to chew it until your jaw locked up.

5. What is your favorite herb or spice or both?

I seem to be on a cumin kick of late. Don’t know why. Been trying it in most everything, not always with success. It was coriander before that. I may be going through a middle eastern crisis here.

6. If you could be a ghost in that kitchen and watch yourself as a small child, what would you tell that child today?

Run, would be the first thing that came to mind. Meat can be tender, vegetables crisp, mashed potatoes don’t have to be lumpy. He might like to know that, a little something to look forward to.

7. Outside of your own country/county, which country’s cuisine do you like or prefer?

I love Greek food, and middle eastern dishes. Cook both quite often. I keep telling myself I’m going to start cooking more Indian food. I absolutely love Indian food but have never really attempted cooking it myself.

8.  What is your families favorite dish?

Well, back when I actually had a family, I suppose it was my Italian dishes. I used to be real big on Italian. There was one dish everyone loved. I’d cook up a batch of spaghetti, sauce from scratch, mix it all together and let it sit overnight. Then, into a large casserole dish, top it with about an inch of sharp cheddar and into the oven for a half hour/45 minutes. Today, my favorite dish is falafel I make from scratch.

Love that stuff.

9. Since you taught yourself to cook – Of all  the kitchen gadgets invented OLD and NEW which OLD and NEW are you favorite?(One old and one new)

Old would have to be the whisk. I have several different kinds and use them all the time. As for new, would a mixer be considered new? As I bake a lot, I couldn’t make half of what I make without a good, high-speed mixer.

10. I have a old fashion pantry.. (larder to you brits)… Do you recommend people start one and what would be the most important thing in that larder..

I don’t really have room for a pantry but if I did, I would keep various kinds of flour and spices in it. I enjoy making things from scratch which requires a lot of different mixes.

11. If you could teach cooking to the high school level students today… what would be the most important and the least important thing to teach them.

Most important would be regulation of heat. Not everything needs to be cooked on high, especially meat, a common error with inexperienced cooks. Least important is following the recipe exactly. A recipe is a guideline. I tend to follow one pretty closely the first time and then start experimenting with it.

 

 

 

 

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