Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Garlic Rosemary Chicken

Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.


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Although rosemary is native to the Mediterranean, it now grows throughout much of the temperate regions in Europe and America. Rosemary has been a prized seasoning and natural medicine for millennia. Part of rosemary's popularity came from the widespread belief that rosemary stimulated and strengthened the memory, a quality for which it is still traditionally used. In ancient Greece, students would place rosemary sprigs in their hair when studying for exams, and mourners would also throw the fragrant herb into the grave of the deceased as a symbol of remembrance. In olde England, rosemary's ability to fortify the memory transformed it into a symbol of fidelity, and it played an important role in the costumes, decorations and gifts used at weddings. Rosemary oil was first extracted in the 14th century, after which it was used to make Queen of Hungary water, a very popular cosmetic used at that time. In the 16th and 17th centuries, rosemary became popular as a digestive aid in apothecaries. Recently, as modern research focuses on the beneficial active components in rosemary, our appreciation for this herb's therapeutic as well as culinary value has been renewed.

Rosemary is a good source of the minerals iron and calcium, as well as dietary fiber. Fresh has 25% more manganese (which is somehow lost in the process of drying) and a 40% less calcium and iron, probably due to the higher water content.
By http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=75

Garlic Rosemary Chicken
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
extra virgin olive oil, drizzle
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange chicken in 13x9 baking dish. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on chicken. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder and rosemary. Making sure to coat chicken. Place in oven, cook 25 minutes, until no longer pink in center, and juices run clear. Enjoy!




Monday, August 29, 2011

Chicken Croquettes With Old Bay Sauce

Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Over 70 years ago, Baltimoreans first sampled old bay’s zesty flavor and from that moment on, seafood wasn’t really seafood without it.

Since then, crab and shrimp aficionados have sworn by this deliciously unique blend of eighteen spices and herbs, and now the whole world is sharing in the flavor that once belonged solely to the Chesapeake Bay area.

So how did this unique, bold blend get its name? Believe it or not, its original name was “Delicious Brand Shrimp and Crab Seasoning.” That name didn’t stick, but the taste sure did. A more memorable name was inspired by a steamship line that traveled the Chesapeake between Maryland and Virginia, and old bay seasoning was well on its way to becoming a legend.

To this day, old bay seasoning is still produced to its original exacting standards in Maryland (we’re old school like that). Its yellow and blue tin has become an icon, and its distinct flavor is the ultimate seafood companion. In addition to seafood, it’s delicious on everything from chicken, pizza and pasta to corn on the cob, salads and more. True fans of old bay reach for it instead of salt and pepper. It’s as familiar as the comfort foods and family recipes we sprinkle it on. When you see the yellow can, you know you’re in good company, among good friends and very, very good food.

Old bay’s cult following has expanded far beyond its birthplace. Old bay ambassadors have carried their enthusiasm for this zesty seasoning from the mid-Atlantic across the country, making fans of its bold flavor along the way. Available in grocery stores and seafood markets nationwide, old bay is also frequently shipped overseas to family and friends who crave its taste. About 50 million ounces of old bay were sold last year, a true testament to its success. Now, that’s a lot of zesty ground covered.
By http://www.oldbay.com/Old-Bay-Story.aspx 

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Chicken Croquettes With Old Bay Sauce
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Ingredients:
2 cans chicken breast, drained
1 tablespoon parsley
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup light mayo
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons spicy mustard
1 tablespoon season salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions:
In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. In a large bowl, add chicken, parsley, bread crumbs, light mayo, egg, worcestershire sauce, mustard, season salt, onion powder, liquid smoke. Using your clean hands, combine ingredients. Shape into 4 patties. Add croquettes to hot pan and cook until brown. Enjoy!

Old Bay Sauce:
1/2 cup light mayo
1 tablespoon spicy mustard
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon old bay

In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and chill until ready to serve.







 






Saturday, August 27, 2011

Skillet Mexican Pasta

Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Ro-tel has been the zest of the Southwest for over 60 years. Way back in the 1940s, Carl Roettele opened a small family canning plant in Elsa, Texas. His theory was simple, fresh ingredients and unique blends of products would deliver a flavorful addition to recipes in his home state of Texas. Starting with the freshest, most flavorful tomatoes, he added chopped green chili peppers and a special blend of spices to create a sensational taste.

Figuring no one would be able to spell or pronounce Roettele, he used the name ro-tel on his products. Although they canned 25,000 cases of vegetables a year, Roettele and his wife were most proud of their tomatoes and green chilies.

Their pride was justified for it wasn't long before ro-tel tomatoes and green chilies were gracing the tables of public figures and politicians throughout Texas.

Originally, ro-tel tomatoes and green chilies were only shipped as far away as San Antonio, Houston and Dallas. By 1956, they had made their way to Oklahoma and Arkansas. Then, in 1963, the wife of a popular politician in Washington bragged to a national magazine about her recipe for homemade chili. She revealed to them the secret ingredient that made her chili better than anyone else's ro-tel tomatoes and green chilies. Since then, ro-tel, with its zesty flavor, has been the secret ingredient that's made ordinary recipes come alive with Southwestern flavor.

Because the original ro-tel proved to be so popular, extra hot and milder were added to the product line along with Mexican, Italian, chili fixin’s and diced in sauce.

Whatever variety, ro-tel is the perfect ingredient to include when you want to give everyday meals great tasting Southwestern flavor. Ro-tel is truly the zest of the Southwest.
By http://www.ro-tel.com/rotel-history.jsp, Ro-Tel * is a registered trademark of Conagra Food Inc

Skillet Mexican Pasta
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef
1 (10 oz) can tomatoes with green chilies
2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni pasta
cheddar cheese, garnish
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Directions:
In large skillet, cook ground beef over medium high heat. Breaking meat up as it cooks. Season meat with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and crushed red pepper. Cook until no longer pink. Add tomatoes with green chilies, tomato sauce and water. Bring to boil. Stir in pasta, cover and simmer for 12 to 14 minutes, until pasta tender. Stirring occasionally. Garnish with cheddar cheese. Enjoy!



Thursday, August 25, 2011

Smoked Pecan Sausage Sandwich

Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.


No one knows exactly when or where cheese was invented although it can be said for certain that it was not in Switzerland. One story has it that a merchant traveling through the desert 5000 years ago made the discovery by accident when the milk he was transporting in a bag made of a sheep's stomach reacted with the natural rennet in the stomach lining and was churned into cheese by constant jogging. Be that as it may, cheese is certainly mentioned in the Old Testament in texts which may date back 3,500 years.

Swiss cheese was mentioned by the first century Roman historian Pliny the Elder, who called it Caseus Helvetius, the "cheese of the Helvetians", one of the tribes living in Switzerland at the time.

For centuries the standard type was cottage cheese, made by souring milk, and which did not keep. The technique of using rennet a substance taken from the stomach lining of calves to make hard cheese first appeared in Switzerland around the 15th century. Since such cheese could be stored for lengthy periods it is not surprising that it soon became part of the basic fare of travelers.

The monks who looked after the hospices at the top of some of the major passes, snowed in for part of the year, kept large stocks of it for their guests. And they needed to be large, one guest who passed through the hostel on the Great St Bernard pass was Napoleon, who with the help of his 40,000 troops got through a tonne and a half of the monks' cheese in May 1800. The monks had to wait 50 years before they saw any money at all for it, and it was only in 1984 that the then French President, François Mitterrand, made a token payment of the rest.

Once it could be stored, Swiss cheese soon became a valuable trading commodity. By the 18th century it was being sold all over Europe even to the detriment of the local market, if a 1793 travel guide is to be believed. It is rather strange that cheese and butter should be so bad in inns throughout Switzerland. Even in the regions which produce a lot of milk, it is hard to get good cream for your coffee or fresh butter, because the locals find it more profitable to make cheese out of their milk.

Switzerland soon exported not only cheese but cheesemakers too. Many of the thousands of Swiss emigrants who settled in the US in the 19th century were dairymen, some of whose descendents are still making cheese there today. Others were invited to Russia and eastern Europe to help set up a dairy industry. Some of them remained in those countries, but many eventually came back to Switzerland. It was Swiss cheesemakers who developed Tilsiter cheese, named after the town of Tilsit, which was then in East Prussia, and is now the Russian town of Sovetsk. They brought their new product back with them when they returned home. Even today, the Swiss government provides advice and practical help in cheesemaking as part of its aid to developing countries.

Not quite such a success story as far as the Swiss were concerned was the accidental cession of valuable pasture land to Italy in 1821. A notary in Brig sold the Bettelmatt Alp, on the border between Switzerland and the Piemont, to an Italian, without realising that it would thereby change country.

The pasture, sufficient for about 100 cows, is renowned for its juicy grass and aromatic herbs.

But the creamy cheese it produces is now an Italian, not a Swiss, variety.
By http://www.swissworld.org/en/switzerland/swiss_specials/swiss_cheese/history_of_cheesemaking

Smoked Pecan Sausage Sandwich
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Ingredients:
4 smoked pecan sausage, or your favorite smoked sausage
1 onion, slices
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon oregano
4 steak buns, or hot dog buns
8 slices swiss cheese

Directions:
In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add sausage to skillet, about 7 to 8 minutes, turning once. Remove sausage from skillet and keep warm. Add onions, bell peppers, salt, pepper and oregano, stir, cook until tender. Add cheese to buns, then add sausage, top with onions and bell peppers. Enjoy!




Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Strawberry Banana Fruit Drink

Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

 
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Almond milk was used as a milk substitute in the Middle Ages. It's easy to make your own today using ground almonds and water.

The history of almond milk dates back to the Middle Ages. Before refrigeration, the best way to preserve milk was to make butter or cheese. If a cook wanted to use fresh milk in a recipe, they had to have access to a cow, goat, or other milk producing animal. They couldn't trust milk purchased in the marketplace, which might be watered down or spoiled.

Unlike animal milk, milk made from ground nuts steeped in water was easy to produce and did not readily spoil. Cooks could store almonds for long periods of time, only making them into almond milk when necessary. Like animal milk, however, almond milk has a high fat content. This meant that it could be used to make butter.

One popular dish using almond milk was blancmange, a pudding with Arabic origins. Early European versions were made with almond milk, rosewater, and chicken or other poultry. Modern blancmange is a sweet pudding flavored with almonds, although with a base of milk or cream and usually thickened with gelatin.
By http://www.suite101.com/content/almond-milk-history-and-recipes-a284198

As lactose intolerance is increasingly becoming a problem, many people are looking for milk alternatives to add to their diet. Milk alternatives often include rice milk, soya milk and almond milk. The benefits of adding almond milk to your diet include the fact that it not only tastes great, but almond milk is also extremely healthy and very good for you. It is an excellent source of unsaturated fat (which is the good type), it contains good levels of vitamins and minerals, and may even help with weight loss.

High in protein and omega fatty acids, almond milk contains no cholesterol or saturated fat, and has high levels of vitamin E, zinc, magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron. Other benefits of almond milk are that it only contains 70 calories for eight fluid ounces. Although it has no fiber, almond milk is low in carbohydrates and high in protein, so ideal for anyone following a low carbohydrate diet. Studies have also shown almonds can help with weight loss if they are eaten in moderation.

Almond milk contains excellent levels of calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. These all work together to help prevent osteoporosis as we get older. Several studies have shown the importance of taking these supplements together to counteract the effects of bone degeneration as we age. Some recent research also suggests these three in combination may also be a factor in preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
By http://www.suite101.com/content/almond-milk-benefits-a330312


Award... I'm happy to received the summer fun award. Thank you so much, http://angellovescooking.blogspot.com for this honor.

Strawberry Banana Fruit Drink
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Ingredients:
1 pint strawberries, clean, hulled and sliced
3 bananas, peeled and sliced
1 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon sugar

Directions:
Blend together strawberries, bananas, almond milk and sugar. Chill before serving. Enjoy!





Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sloppy Lasagna

Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Oregano is an important culinary herb, used for the flavor of it leaves, which can often be more flavourful when dried than fresh. It has an aromatic, warm and slightly bitter taste, which can vary in intensity. Good quality oregano may be strong enough to almost numb the tongue, but the culivars adapted to colder climates often have a lesser flavor. Factors such as climate, seasons and soil composition may affect the aromatic oils present, and this effect may be greater than the differences between the various species of plants.

Oregano's most prominent modern use is as the staple herb of Italian Americn cuisine. Its popularity in the US began when soldiers returning from World War II brought back with them a taste for the pizza herb, which had probably been eaten in southern Italy for centuries. There, it is most frequently used with roasted, fried or grilled vegetables, meat and fish. Unlike most Italian herbs, oregano combines well with spicy foods, which are popular in southern Italy. It is less commonly used in the north of the country, as marjoram generally is preferred.
By http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregano#Culinary

Sloppy Lasagna
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Ingredients:
2 pounds ground beef
1 onion, chopped
4 lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon basil
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
parmesan cheese, garnish
extra virgin olive oil, just enough to cover bottom of pot

Directions:
In large pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add ground beef, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce salt and pepper. Cook until no longer pink, drain excess grease and reduce heat. Then add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, oregano and bay leaves. Stir well. Cook noodles according to package directions. Once noodles have cooked, drain well. Add noodles to meat mixture. Stir well. Discard bay leaves. Garnish with parmesan cheese. Enjoy!




Friday, August 19, 2011

Sloppy Joes

Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Many suggest that the original sloppy joe sandwich was invented at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West, Florida, or by a cook named Joe at a cafe in Sioux City, Iowa, as a variation of the popular “loose meat” sandwich (which does not contain tomato sauce).

The Town Hall Deli in South Orange claims to have invented the New Jersey sloppy joe in the 1930s. According to the deli's owner, a Maplewood politician named Thomas Sweeney returned from a vacation in Cuba, where he spent time at a bar named Sloppy Joe's, from whick the Key West bar obtained its name. The bar's owner laid out fixings for patrons, who put sandwiched together. Sweeney asked Town Hall to cater his poker games with the same sort of sandwiches, and they caught on.
By http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sloppy_joe

Sloppy Joes Bar, Old Havana, Cuba... Sloppy Joe's was a Havana bar in the 30's. It was a property of Jose Garcia, located in the central corner of Zulueta and Animas Streets. The bar received this name because the place in principle was a mess and the sandwich served there was made of "ropa vieja". The sandwich was known as Sloppy Joe and it was also served in many variants, in several parts of the world. Jose Garcia arrived in Cuba coming from Spain in the year 1904. He began to work as a barman in a Havana bar located in Galiano and Zanja Streets. He stayed there for three years until he sailed away to the United States heading New Orleans. He also worked in that city as a barman for six years until he moved to Miami where he used to work in different bars during six years. In 1919, Jose Garcia returned to Havana and was employed as a barman at "Greasy Spoon" Café for about six months. He decided to open his own business and bought a grocery store along with a warehouse located in the corner of Zulueta and Animas Streets.

Some friends in Havana used to pay a visit to Garcia at his business, seeing the terrible conditions of the place asked him why it was so careless. Being him a Spanish and running such a careless place did not match. From that time on, the name of Sloppy Joe is worldwide known.

One of his usual clients was Ernest Hemingway. He visited Jose Garcia in several occasions with his pal, Joe Russell who was the owner of another Sloppy Joe's Bar in Cayo Hueso, a name Hemingway had suggested in honour to Mr. Garcia. The tourists that visited Havana during that epoch, mostly North Americans, preferred two places: Sloppy Joe's Bar, and the beautiful race horse track of Havana controlled by Meyer Lansky's mafia.

People who visited Havana during those decades of great splendour had to go to three different places when it was about food and enjoyment: "El Floridita" , "Sloppy Joe's Bar", and "La Bodeguita del Medio", otherwise, they wouldn't have visited Havana city.

Sloppy Joe's Bar was on its time a very popular place, not only appreciated for its fine drinks and liquors but also for its connotation of preferential atmosphere of attractive appointments, as well as for having the longest mahogany drinks cabinet of Cuba, and perhaps of the whole world. This bar had a great splendour in the 30's and 40's, and it was visited frequently by many Hollywood celebrities and international bohemian characters.

Among the most illustrious Sloppy Joe's Bar visitors were Ramon Jacinto Herrera "Ray Tico", John Wayne, Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable, Ignacio Jacinto Villa y Fernandez "Bola de Nieves", Mario Moreno "Cantinflas", Jose Antonio Mendez "The King", and many other personalities of the time.

In 1959, after the triumph the Cuban revolution, the mythical Sloppy Joe' s Bar was closed and abandoned together with its history.
By http://www.sloppyjoes.org/history.htm

The new Hotel Parque Central Torre, plan to open in early 2008. Hotel Parque Central Torre is a 5 star hotel.

Sloppy Joes
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon steak seasoning
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
hamburger buns, or use your favorite hamburger buns
olive oil, just enough to cover bottom

Directions:
In a skillet, add oil and heat over medium heat. Add ground beef, breaking meat up as it cooks. When meat browns, add onions, worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, tomato sauce, sugar and steak seasoning. Stir well. Spoon meat onto buns. Enjoy!











Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sweet Corn And Potato Saute

Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

 
Corn or maize (zea mays) is a domesticated plant of the Americas. Along with many other indigenous plants like beans, squash, melons, tobacco, and roots such as Jerusalem artichoke, European colonists in America quickly adopted maize agriculture from Native Americans. Crops developed by Native Americans quickly spread to other parts of the world as well.

Over a period of thousands of years, Native Americans purposefully transformed maize through special cultivation techniques. Maize was developed from a wild grass (Teosinte) originally growing in Central America (southern Mexico) 7,000 years ago. The ancestral kernels of Teosinte looked very different from today's corn. These kernels were small and were not fused together like the kernels on the husked ear of early maize and modern corn.

By systematically collecting and cultivating those plants best suited for human consumption, Native Americans encouraged the formation of ears or cobs on early maize. The first ears of maize were only a few inches long and had only eight rows of kernels. Cob length and size of early maize grew over the next several thousand years which gradually increased the yields of each crop.

Eventually the productivity of maize cultivation was great enough to make it possible and worthwhile for a family to produce food for the bulk of their diet for an entire year from a small area. Although maize agriculture permitted a family to live in one place for an extended period of time, the commitment to agriculture involved demands on human time and labor and often restricted human mobility. The genetic alterations in teosinte changed its value as a food resource and at the same time affected the human scheduling necessary for its effective procurement.

As the lifeways of mobile hunting and gathering were often transformed into sedentary agricultural customs, very slowly the cultivation of maize, along with beans and squash, was introduced into the southwestern and southeastern parts of North America. The practice of maize agriculture did not reach southern New England until about a thousand years ago.

A Penobscot man described the transformation of maize for the shorter growing season of northern New England. Maize was observed to grow in a series of segments, like other members of the grass family, which took approximately one phase of the moon to form, with approximately seven segments in all, from which ears were produced only at the joints of the segments. Native Americans of northern New England gradually encouraged the formation of ears at the lower joints of the stalk by planting kernels from these ears. Eventually, as ears were regularly produced at the lower joints of the cornstalk, the crop was adapted to the shorter growing season of the north and matured within three months of planting.

Native Americans of New England planted corn in household gardens and in more extensive fields adjacent to their villages. Fields were often cleared by controlled burning which enriched not only the soil but the plant and animal communities as well. Slash and burn agriculture also helped create an open forest environment, free of underbrush, which made plant collecting and hunting easier.

Agricultural fields consisted of small mounds of tilled earth, placed a meter or two apart sometimes in rows and other times randomly placed. Kernels of corn and beans were planted in the raised piles of soil to provide the support of the cornstalk for the bean vine to grow around. The spaces in between the mounds were planted with squash or mellon seeds. The three crops complemented each other both in the field and in their combined nutrition.

Native Americans discovered that, unlike wild plants and animals, a surplus of maize could be grown and harvested without harming their environment. Tribes in southern New England harvested great amounts of maize and dried them in heaps upon mats. The drying piles of maize, usually two or three for each Narragansett family, often contained from 12 to 20 bushels of the grain. Surplus maize would be stored in underground storage pits, ingeniously constructed and lined with grasses to prevent mildew or spoiling, for winter consumption of the grain.

The European accounts of Josselyn in 1674, indicate Native Americans used bags and sacks to store powdered cornmeal, "which they make use of when stormie weather or the like will not suffer them to look out for their food". Parched cornmeal made an excellent food for traveling. Roger Williams in 1643, describes small traveling baskets: "I have travelled with neere 200. of them at once, neere 100. miles through the woods, every man carrying a little Basket of this (Nokehick) at his back, and sometimes in a hollow Leather Girdle about his middle, sufficient for a man three or foure daies".

Many Native American traditions, stories and ceremonies surround corn, one of the "three sisters" (maize, beans and squash). Even in New England there are many variations on how maize was brought or introduced to Native Americans here. Generally in southern New England, maize is described as a gift of Cautantowwit, a deity associated with the southwestern direction; that kernels of maize and beans were delivered by the crow, or in other versions the black-bird. Responsible for bringing maize, the crow would not be harmed even for damaging the cornfield. Other Algonquian legends recount maize brought by a person sent from the Great Spirit as a gift of thanks.

New England tribes from the Mohegan in Connecticut to the Iroquois in the Great Lakes region had rituals and ceremonies of thanksgiving for the planting and harvesting of corn. One ceremony, the Green Corn ceremony of New England tribes, accompanies the fall harvest. Around August Mahican men return from temporary camps to the village to help bring in the harvest and to take part in the Green Corn ceremony which celebrates the first fruits of the season. Many tribes also had ceremonies for seed planting to ensure healthy crops as well as corn testing ceremonies once the crops were harvested.
By http://www.nativetech.org/cornhusk/cornhusk.html

Sweet Corn And Potato Saute
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Ingredients:
2 large potatoes, quartered
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons parsley
1 cup chicken stock
1 (15.25 oz) can sweet corn, drained
extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add potatoes in even layer. Season potatoes with salt, pepper, thyme, garlic powder and onion powder. Just before potatoes are fork tender, add corn. Stirring frequently for about 2 minutes. Add chicken stock, turn heat to high, and bring to boil, continue cooking for 4 to 5 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender. Turn heat off. Add butter and 1 tablespoon parsley and stir until butter melts. Garnish with remaining parsley. Enjoy!






Monday, August 15, 2011

Giveaway – Get Your Free Copy



I received an email from Chef Jeff today. He is looking for feedback on his new e-cookbook called “DinneRevolution” before he rolls it out. The cookbook sells for $27.00, so this is a good deal. The recipes are family friendly, healthy, less than 10 ingredients, and takes 30 minutes or less to prepare / cook. Chef Jeff was nice enough to provide me with a copy of his new e-cookbook, which I dearly love. I know you will love it as much as I do.

Click here to receive your free copy, http://www.dinnerevolution.com/free-offer.

Thank you, Chef Jeff

Coconut Honey Bananas

Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

 
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The history of honey is rich in tradition. This ancient substance has been used for food, drinks, medicine, gifts for the gods, barter, cosmetics, cooking, food preservation, cosmetics, art, etc. It has been used in religion, art, mythology, legends and literature as well as studied by scientists.

The oldest written reference to the use of honey is thought to be Egyptian, of about 5500BC. At that time Lower Egypt was called Bee Land while Upper Egypt was Reed Land. By the 5th dynasty (c.2600BC) apiculture was well established and is shown in several reliefs in the temple of the Sun at Abusir. The use of honey was taken to India by its Aryan invaders and became associated with religious rites. Honey is also mentioned on ancient Sumerian clay tablets, possibly even older than the Egyptian reference. Later Babylonian tablets give recipes for "electuaries" medicines based on honey. An electuary mentioned in the 1st century AD by the Roman writer Pliny the Elder included powdered bees. It was said to be a cure for dropsy and bladder stones.
The Oxford Companion to Food, (Oxford University Press:Oxford) 1999 Alan Davidson (p. 384)

Honey in first aid. In Ancient Egypt honey was the most popular medicament of all, it is mentioned some 500 times in the 900 remedies that are known. Honey was also a common ingredient of medieval medicines, for it was often the only substance available to make some of the more nauseating ingredients palatable. But in early cures and remedies, for instance those described in medieval leech books, honey seems to be cited for frequently for external than for internal use. Many properties have been attributed to honey which have no foundation in fact, as a cure for serious disorders such as consumption and the plague. Nevertheless, honey is used today in hospitals proprietary and dispensed medicines.
A Book of Honey, Eva Crane (Charles Scribner:New York) 1980 (p. 96-99)

There is a trivia quiz on the Internet that asks Which food does not go bad? The answer provided is honey. In fact, we have evidence of several foods that can last hundred of years (and still be edible) as long as they are properly treated and stored. Some of most ancient are honey and dried,salted,frozen meats. Notes on the longevity of honey:
In 1800 some archaelogists working in Egypt found a large jar of honey. They opened it and found that it tasted perfect even though it was thousands of years old.
Sue Shepard (Simon & Schuster:New York) 2000 (p. 11)

The shelf life of honey is sometimes quoted commerically as 2 1/2 years, but honey does not go bad as many foods do, it is still wholesome after decades. The oldest honey I have seen is in the Agricultural museum at Dokki in Egypt, where two honey pots from New Kingdom tombs (c. 1400BC) still have their contents in them. It is important to store honey under suitable conditions. If honey is not kept sealed it can deteriorate through fermentation, if it is stored at high temperatures...honey can deteriorate through abnormal chemical reactions.
A Book of Honey, Eva Crane (Scribner's:New York) 1980 (p. 41-2)

Honey bees were not native to the Americas. Aztec and Mayan cultures of South and Central America kcpt colonies of native, stingless bees for their honey and wax, mainly for use as a medicine. We do not know precisely when the first colonies of honey bees were brought to North America. Ships crossing the Atlantic in the winter carried bee colonies to Virginia before 1622 and to Massachusetts prior to 1638. The honey bee did very well in the forest clearings of early colonial America, using the abundant nectar and pollen available from the trees and shrubs native to the eastern U.S. As European settlers spread across the U.S., they took bee hives with them. Bees were recorded in Florida by 1763 and west of the Mississippi by 1800. Russian settlers carried bees to Alaska in 1809 and to California by 1830. The Spanish may have brought them from Mexico into the southwest before that date.
By http://ag.udel.edu/enwc, University of Delaware 

Coconut Honey Bananas
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Ingredients:
4 bananas, peeled and cut in halve lengthwise
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons coconut
cool whip, optional

Directions:
Peel bananas and cut in halve lengthwise. Drizzle honey over bananas. Sprinkle with coconut. Add dollop of cool whip. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
 







Saturday, August 13, 2011

Coconut Cupcakes

Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

 
Food historians don't quite know exactly when and where coconuts originated.

Botanists disagree about whether the species originated in the region of the East Indies and Melanesia, as most think, or in tropical America, as a minority have vigorously argued. The minority view is supported by the fact that almost all the coconut palm's relations are in America, the one important exception being the oil palm, which is African. Yet the coconut has, at most, an exigius history in Central America in pre-Columbian times, the evidence that the earliest Spanish invaders found it growing on the west coast of the Isthmus of Panama is uncertain; and if it was growing there it is odd that its cultivation was not widespread, since it is so useful. In contrast, the coconut has been known in East Asia and the islands for a very long time indeed, it exists in greater variety in that region, and there is another evidence (including the number of species of insects associated with it in the various regions) that it did originate there, probably in Melanesia. There is also an interesting diversity of views about the origin of the name 'coconut'. Child (1974) gives a good account of these and comes down in favour of the etymology which commands most acceptance, that 'coco' was first used towards the end of the 15th century by Portuguese seamen, who applied to the nut, with its three 'eyes', the Spanish word coco, referring to a monkey's or other grotesque face. When Linnaeus gave a scientific name to the tree in the 18th century, he toyed with Coccus (coccus, berry in Latin) but settled on Cocos. It was also in the 18th century that the notorious confusion between cocnut and cocoanut began. The blame for this seems to rest with Dr. Johnson, who confused the two in a single entry in his dictionary (1755), and one still occasionally comes across 'cocoanut' when 'cocunut' is meant. The term 'coker-nut', an old variant of coconut, was at one time in commerical use in the Port of London, to avoid the confusion, and remains in popular use.
Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 199)

Unfortunately, it is not possible to provide as much information as one might want on the coconut in prehistory. This is becuase heat and humidity work agains the preservation of fossils, and thus there are is a dearth of archaelogical materials, coprolites, and biological remains on tropical seashores where the coconut palm is native. Coconut residues do not accumulate because the palm grows and fruits the year round. This makes crop storage unnecessary and, in fact, because of their high water content, coconut seednuts cannot be stored; they either grow or rot. In 1501, King Manuel of Portugal itemized some of its uses at a time when the coconut was first becoming known in Europe. 
Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple and Kriemhild Conee Ornelas (Cambridge University Press:Cambridge) 2000, Volume One (p. 388)
 
Note, This book contains much more information than can be paraphrased here. It also includes an extensive bibliography for additional study. If your information on the many uses of coconuts, ask your librarian to help you find a copy.

Coconut...The word is a combination of a Portuguese children's term, coco, for the "goblin" shell of the fruit and the English word "nut." The fruit was first mentioned in English print in 1555, and the first American reference was in 1834. The origins of the coconut have never been fully understood, but some believe it is native to tropical America and was dispersed to Pacific Islands by the drift of pods through the ocean. Coconuts were known in Egypt by the 6th century AD, and Marco Polo noted them in India and elsewhere in the Far East. Certainly coconuts were encountered on the Pacific shores of South America and Hawaii, but coconut is not a major crop in the latter.
Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani (Lebhar-Friedman:New York) 1999 (p. 88)

How did coconuts get to colonial America? Excellent question! A survey of early American cookbooks confirms coconuts were available in whole, fresh form. Not tinned or pre-packaged. Most likely, they were shipped from the West Indies region. Food historians generally agree coconuts were not indigenous to the West Indies/Caribbean region. They introduced to this area after Columbus by European settlers. By the 19th century coconuts, were growing in this area and were shipped north to the United States. In the late 18th early 19th centuries fresh fruits from tropical regions did not fare well on long journeys. This may account for the traditional popularity/proliferation of coconut in the Southern recipes. Pineapples follow a similar pattern.

Food historians say on the topic:

Columbus took vegetable seeds, wheat, chick-peas, and sugar cane to the Caribbean on his later voyages, Columbia's second governor introduced the first cows that had ever been seen there, settlers took bananas, rice and citrus fruits, yams and cowpeas crossed the Atlantic with the slaves. Coconuts were introduced to the Bahamas, breadfruit to the Caribbean, and coffee to Brazil.
Food in History, Reay Tannahill (Three River Press:New York) 1988 (p.220)

Just when the coconut palm appeared on American shores is open to debate, but some accounts tell that on southern plantations coconut meat was used for making the holiday dessert, ambrosia.
Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor (Oxford University Press:New York) 2004, Volume 1 (p. 265)

There are coconuts in Florida today, but there were none then (1519), and even those we have now are the result of an accident: the schooner Providence, carrying coconuts from the West Indies, was wrecked off the coast of Florida in 1879, the nuts floated ashore and took root. Though the Providence's coconuts came from the West Indies, it is almost certain that Columbus never saw any there. The Spaniards reported fully on new foods enountered in the Caribbean area and in Mexico, but none of them ever mentioned the coconut. There were coconuts in America before Columbus, for they are pictured in pre-Columbian pottery, but they were on the wrong side of America to be found by Columbus, on the coasts of Chile and Peru, suggesting that the coconut, a great floater, had drifted across from the Pacific Islands.
Eating in America: A History, Waverly Root & Richard de Rochemont (William Morrow:New York) 1976 (p. 44)

By the 1850s ships from Florida were delivering fruits and vegetables there twice a month, and by the middle of the century pineapples and coconuts were arriving from Cuba, from other West Indian islands, and even from Central America.
ibid (p. 154)
By http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodfaq.html#coconuts

 
Coconut Cupcakes
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Ingredients:
1 (18.25 oz) box white cake mix
2 (3.4 oz) coconut cream instant pudding and pie filling
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups water
1 (8 oz) container cool whip
sweetened coconut


Directions:
Preheat oven 350 degrees. In a large bowl, add cake mix, coconut cream instant pudding and pie filling, eggs, vegetable oil, water. Mix well. Line regular muffin cups with paper cupcake liners. Fill the cups half full with batter. Bake for 18 minutes, or when toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. When cool enough, remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack. Making sure cupcakes are completely cool before frosting. Top with cool whip and coconut. Place in refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy!







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