Okay, we're giving this food blogging thing a go. We are excited to announce that our recipes will now be featured on Yummly! If you're not familiar with it, Yummly is a great database for all sorts of recipes from all over the globe, including this little website. Check them out, and stay tuned for more recipes coming your way ; ).
Treat your fruit right.
I'm saying break out the good liquor- the cognac, brandy, rum, you name it, and give your fruit a good soak. Sometimes when you're baking cookies or cakes/breads you get to the part of the recipe where you lovingly fold in the extra bits. The crunchy, munch, chewy and salty bits that add texture and major "nematode"... I'm trying to write "nomitude", please forgive me. At any rate, you're looking to inject flavor into every nook and crevice of your recipe, starting with the humble raisin.
I find that soaking my dried fruits in hot rum or brandy prevents them from absorbing too much extra liquid in the batter, and adds a subtle layer of flavor.
I heat up a few tablespoons of liquor per every 1/3rd cup of dried fruit. Heat it up in the microwave (it feels wrong), or in a small pot. You don't want to boil it, just heat it so that is very warm. Pour it over the dried fruit, stir, and wait a few minutes until you see that it's absorbed. You want the fruit to be plump and boozy, so adjust the liquor as needed.
BY MARIA DI MEGLIO
Pomegranates are gorgeous... Little sparkling seeds bursting with a tart, sweet, refreshing flavor. The only problem is how to open them!
Be careful: pomegranate juice stains! Put on an old t-shirt or an apron, just in case. CAUTION! The juice stains wooden cutting boards, so use a plastic board. You can use lemon juice to remove any stains.
- The word comes from the Latin word pomum, meaning apple, and granatum, meaning seeded.
- Peak season in the USA is from late Oct-Jan.
Large wooden spoon
With your paring knife, remove the crown of the pomegranate, including the pith around the area. Then lightly score the skin into quarters. Separate the pomegranate gently yet firmly into four quarters.
Working one quarter at a time, hold the pomegranate quarter in your hand over a bowl, skin side up. With a large wooden spoon, vigorously whack the pomegranate! The seeds will fall out of the pomegranate into the bowl. Make sure you knock on the pomegranate over thoroughly to loosen all of the seeds.
If any small pieces of pith fall into the bowl, you can remove them with your hands. Rinsing is optional. Do you have a favorite/preferred method, what do you think works best?
If any small pieces of pith fall into the bowl, you can remove them with your hands, or rinse them. Do you have a favorite/preferred method, what do you think works best?
BY MARIA DI MEGLIO
Have you ever baked a cake and had it cling to the pan defiantly when you tried to release it onto a plate? And then tell yourself that it's okay, that it's how it tastes that matters, not how it looks. I've found that lining circular baking pans with parchment paper when you make cakes really helps them get on their way. Lightly oil the bottom of the pan, then place the cut parchment paper in the pan, then lightly oil the parchment paper, and sides of the pan. The oiled pan will help the parchment adhere. When the cake is done and ready to be removed, the parchment will allow it to easily pop out- brilliant! I hate cutting parchment, but I fold the paper into quarters, and then use one of the pointy middle corners as the center, from which I cut the ends to size. Don't worry about how the edges are crimped and folded. Once the batter is poured into the pan it will settle. Everything will be all right.