Growing up pies, were one of the many baked goods my mother excelled at. Although she was much better at her cakes and pastries like rugelach. I can still close my eyes and smell those aromas floating through the house. When she made her pies she always made her own dough and had her own secrets about making pie crust, which are no longer secrets, but that will be another blog.
What I do remember, however, is that all her pie crusts looked the same. She always went around and made little pinches with her fingers. I wonder what she would think of some of the creative ways Pampered Chef has come up with to decorate pie crusts and tops. This X marked pie crust is just one of them. It is quick, easy and creative. All you do is press the dough into your pie pan, trim off the excess, and then use the releasing end of the Cake Tester and Releasing tool to make X marks on your dough. If you then brush the crust with beaten egg, using the Chef’s Silicone Basting Brush, it will enhance the details and make the X pop.
You already know why I like the Chef’s Silicone Basting Brush, but the Cake Tester and Releaser is not only a baker’s dream, it also represents some spiritual lessons for me. this tool not only can check to make sure something is done, but it can also help to release the baked goods from your pan. I have known folks who use it to piece potatoes and those who used to bring them out at fondue parties to dip fruit into melted chocolate. Of course, that was before we came out with our S’more and Fondue Stick Set. Read more
For the last two nights, I have been making dinners served on sticks. Last night was chicken and zucchini yakatori. The night before was chicken and tomato pesto skewers. My family loved both of them and they were both put on the “you can make this again” list. At first, I thought this is my first time to cook food on sticks, but then I began to realize it was not my first time to serve food on sticks. Numerous times, I have made popsicles, in which I have inserted a popsicle stick as it froze. I have also used straws and created breakfast skewers with donut holes and chunks of fresh fruit.
Food on sticks is becoming increasingly popular and is one of those things, which exists in every culture around the world. Read more
As many of you know, most of my inspiration for this blog comes from my addiction (in a good way) to the show Chopped. This week is no exception as the episode I was listening to as I drifted to sleep (yes I fall asleep to reruns on the Food Network). What I woke up thinking about was how many times I have heard the judges discuss how hard it is to make rice on this show, never mind make the perfect risotto. I think it was Scott Conant I once heard talk about how many people have bad risottos. While it may be difficult to master, Bon Appetit magazine has identified as one of their favorite rice based dishes. They said the perfect “risotto is rich without being heavy, with al dente rice, a rainbow of seasonal vegetables, a shower of fresh herbs, all christened with a blanket of Parmesan.” They did agree with the Chopped judges “it’s not always done right. In fact, it’s actually pretty easy to screw up.” Read more