Thursday, October 22, 2015

Italian eating.

I. Never eat cheese with fish or seafood. Exceptions is if you are Sicilian and even then cheese is used sparsely. iI you do want cheese with fish use breadcrumbs the poor man's cheese.

2. Do not order a coke after 10 a.m.

3. Do not eat anywhere where they herd you to come in.

4. Be suspect of green bits in gelato They may not be for real.

5. Expect only a simple salad dressing of some variation of oil and vinegar.

6. Expect good dinners to take a while. So do not rush it. Eat slowly

7. Do not expect more than a simple bread and a drink for breakfast. That is right no eggs. talian breakfasts consist of yogurt, bread, cereal, fruit and sometimes local cheeses.

8. Pasta is not a side dish.

9. Never cut pasta, except if you are subject to choling.

10, Pasta should never be over cooked.I.e like mashed potatoes.

11. Ketchup/catsup is not a sauce but is a condiment.

12  Meat and pasta should not be eaten together except as part of a baked dish where the meat is part of the sauce.

0DH. Pizza is like a sandwich, so use your hands to eat it.

14. Other rules.
  • Don't expect everything to be the same as "home"—if it was the same, it would be no fun!
  • Don't order food/drink from the counter and take it and sit at the table.  Table service is just that, its service at the table.  Or, if you prefer, you can stand and eat at the counter and order the same food for less money.
  • Don't speak and laugh loudly in restaurants.  This is considered very disrespectful.
  • Don't be demanding--it may actually get you less--not more.
  • Don't raise your hand or snap your fingers at the waiters.  Fast service is considered poor service in Italy.  Wait to make eye contact with your waiter if you need his attention.
  • Don’t expect the first floor of the hotel to actually be the first floor.  In Italy, their first floor is actually our second floor and their second floor is actually our third floor.  You get the idea!
  • Don’t believe that Americana coffee tastes like our coffee, as it is usually watered down espresso.  Rather try a cappuccino or drink tea if you don’t like espresso.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Easy cakes and pies

Basic cheese cakes/pies.

Table of Contents
Basic cheese cakes/pies
Intro: Basic cheese cakes/pies
Step 1: Crust
Step 2: Cooked sweet pie
Step 3: Cooked savory pie
Step 4: Refigerator pie 1
Step 5: Refigerator pie 2

Intro: Basic cheese cakes/pies.
There are several cheesecakes based on cream cheese, Some are baked and some are not. Some are savory and some are sweet. The sky is the limit as far as
choices. I have noticed the price of cream cheese has really jumped in price. Sometimes I will just get some milk and make the cheese, Works just as well to make everything from scratch. This does not include fruit pies. Cooked cheese cakes usually have the same basic ingredients Eggs. Cream Cheese (and or other cheeses). Flavorings Non-cooked cheese cakes usually have the same basic ingredients and usually chilled. Whipped cream Cream cheese. (Some people like to substitute sour cream).

 Step 1: Crust.

1 1/2 to 2 - cups cookies or crackers (We get the cheapest we can get).
1/3 cup sugar (For sweet fillings)
6 (3/4 stick) - tablespoons butter, melted
large plastic bag.
rolling pin.

Put enough cookies or crackers in the bag so that there is room for them to move around.
Seal the bag making sure there is not much air left in the bag.
Take the rolling pin and crush the bag.
Pour the crushed items in a bowl.
Add butter (and sugar if make a sweet crust) to make a dough.
Mix well.
Put crust dough and spread evenly in the pan including the sides.
Put in refrigerator to chill and gel.
Note: you can always use a pre-made crust also.

Step 2: Cooked sweet pie.

2 - 8 ounce packages. softened cream cheese
3 - extra large or better room temperature eggs
2/3 - cup sugar
1 - teaspoon vanilla

Beat with a mixer (a hand mixer will do) till smooth. Using the cracker crust from step one, press in 8-inch pan and bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour cheese mixture into partially baked crust and then bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Need to watch it. A good idea to have it in an overflow pan. Cake should still be a bit jiggly when you bring it out of the oven. Let cool off for a few minutes and then chill in the refrigerator. Overnight is best.

Step 3: Cooked savory pie.

1 - package drained and squeezed spinach
2 - room temperature eggs.
1 - 8-ounce pack cream cheese
1 - 8 ounces cheese of your choice.
1- small container sour cream (optional)
1 - cracker crust
Various seasonings.

Mix everything in a bowl till smooth. Pour into cracker crust. Cook for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Refrigerate for a few hours till solid.

Step 4: Refrigerator pie 1.

1 - 8 ounce cream cheese packet.
1 - 8 ounce whipped cream or substitute.
1/4 - cup lemon juice (and or lime juice).
1/2 - cup sugar.
Vanilla to flavor.
from step one (or store bought).

Whip ingredients until fluffy. use a pre-made pie shell and pour the whipped ingredients into it. Put in the refrigerator and let chill.
Sever when chilled. This literally only took minutes to prep.

 Step 5: Refrigerator pie 2.

1 - packages instant pudding. (we like chocolate.)
2 - cups Milk.
1 - 8 ounce Whipped cream container..
1 - pie filling.

Empty 1 package pudding filling in to a large bowl. add the milk gently so it does not go all over the place.
Use a mixer to stir the milk and pudding mix till thick and fluffy. pour into the sweet crust from step one. and then chill.
When chilled add the whipped cram topping.

Coffemaker meals.

Coffeemaker meals and etc.

Table of Contents
Intro: Coffeemaker meals and etc
Step 1: Coffee or tea. but
Step 2: Making beer in a coffee maker
Step 3: Making cheese
Step 4: Coffeepot oatmeal
Step 5: Coffeemaker eggs
Step 6: Grilled cheese NOT!
Intro: Coffeemaker meals and etc..

Just a couple of coffee maker options for cooking various foods. Oatmeal, eggs. and more to come.
Note: for making pasta in a coffee maker
for making soup in a coffee maker see:
for making confederate coffee:
Idea: You can take some tomato puree or the like, add basil, onion/garlic powder, salt, pepper,and oregano then put the mixture in the coffee make to warm up and you have instant pasta sauce.
You can always poach some fish in the coffeemaker also.

Step 1: Coffee or tea. but.....
You can certainly use a coffee maker for cooking but, a coffee maker will have the taste of coffee that will not enhance the flavor of the food. You can flush out the unit a
zillion times till you get most of the taste out. Preferably you can get a separate unit that has not been used for coffee. Usually they are inexpensive. Be sure and put a
sign on the unit that says "NOT FOR COFFEE USE!!" Good luck.

Step 2: Making beer in a coffee maker.
How to brew beer in a coffee maker, using only materials commonly found

(1) electric drip coffee maker with a water-heating compartment and a hot plate
(1) wooden rolling pin (marble is too heavy)
(1) coffee filter
(1) saucepan, larger than 2 quarts
(2) 1-quart canning jars with lids
(2) 6-inch squares of cheesecloth
(2) rubber bands
(1/2 gallon) filtered-not distilled-water
Brewing ingredients
1 1/4 cups regular oatmeal
1/2 to 1 cup sugar
1/4 cup or so oregano (can be used for hops)
1/2 packet of Champagne yeast or .baker’s yeast

Basic prep.
Gather materials.
Sanitation is key. Everything must be clean.
Grain prep:
Grind up your ‘grains’ (but not so much that it becomes powder).
Place your ‘grains’ in coffee pot (not the filter basket, the carafe).
Run 2 cups of clean water through coffee maker and let it sit on the hot plate for an hour. This releases all the good chemicals from you ‘grains’ and creates a fluid
called wort.
Wort prep:
Strain the wort through the coffee filter and place the filter full of ‘grain’ into the filter basket. Add the ‘malt’ to the filter basket. Pour the strained liquid back into coffee
maker and add 1 cup of water.
Run the wort through the coffee maker 5 times, each time adding 1 cup of water.
Pour the wort into the saucepan and boil for 45 minutes. Two minutes before boiling is done, add the hops.
Carefully pour the wort into the canning jars.
Let the wort cool to between 60 and 70 F. Once it is cool enough to touch the outside of the jars without burning, pitched the Bakers’ Yeast into the mixture.
Seal jar with a handkerchief and rubber band over the mouth.
Store in a cool, dark place where it will not be disturbed for a week.
Results: A cool, smooth brew, flavored with whatever you found. It may be very bad, it may be good. It will be beer.

Step 3: Making cheese
I have made cheese before using the regular methods, but I wanted to try something new. If you have a second free coffee pot you can be making your noodles at the
same time. That is if you are having a pasta meal. . This is a delicate process so you need some free time or being nearby doing other things to keep an eye on it. Using
the rennet tablet lowers the temperature to curdle the milk and separate the curds from the whey.

2 - tablespoons vinegar
1 - Rennet tablet. (Tablet can be crushed in the packet before using so ot makes it easier to dissolve.
10 - cups room temperature milk. (Do not use ice cold milk) (Number of cups depends on your coffee maker. mine is 12).
3/4 - cup water.
1 - Tablespoon salt.

With the coffee machine off pouyr the water into the resevoir.
Pour the milk into the carafe.
Add the crushed Rennet tablet.
Add the vinegar.
Turn on the coffee maker.
Water will go into the carafe. That will help get the milk up to temperature quicker.
Now you will need to let the milk do it's thing.
Watch carefully as you do not want the curds to burn on the bottom of the carafe.
Once the curds and whey are separated, turn off the coffee maker.
Take a large bowl and inver a solid cup in the bottom.
Place a pasta strainer basket on top.
lay a non-frizzy towel in the basket covering as much as you can.
Take the carafe and slowly empty the whole contents into the basket on top of the towel.
You will probably have a alot of liquid. Be careful.
Add some salt to the cheese.
Place the bowl unit in the fridge for the cheese to drain off more whey,
Whey can be used for making polenta or feeding the cats.
Use the cheese as soon as your meal is ready.

Step 4: Coffeepot oatmeal.

Normally this should be done with instant oatmeal, but 5 minute oatmeal seeded to do ok.
With coffee pot inserted, add twice as much water to the coffee reservoir as there is oatmeal. (be sure not to overflow the reservoir.
Turn on coffeepot maker.
In a "Oven proof " cup, add your oatmeal (one/half cup is a serving), sweetener and or fruit. (Do not put the oatmeal in the carafe!!)
Stir well.
Pour water from the coffeemaker pot into the heat proof cup until the oatmeal is well moistened, but not soupy.
Remove the carafe from the coffee maker.
Put the oven proof cup on the coffeemaker base. keep stirring until everything is well combined.
Turn off coffeemaker.
Add milk.

Step 5: Coffeemaker eggs.

Use a larger coffee make if possible i(.e. 12 cup).
Use pasteurized eggs if possible.
Bring eggs to room temperature.
With coffeepot installed add eight or so cups of water to the resevoir.
Turn on coffeemaker.
When the reservoir is emptied, add the eggs (one or two) gently. (if the eggs crack, they will possibly be easier to peel.)
Let cook for about twelve minutes
Carefully remove the eggs with a spoon so that you do not get burned.
Turn on coffeepot maker.
Add ice to the eggs to help them cool off a bit before peeling.
Peel eggs and eat.
Note: Great for making safer mayonnaise

Step 6: Grilled cheese NOT!

This did not turn out too well. It is probably better done with an iron.
Place a piece of foil setting shiny side up. (that reflects heat better.)
Just put a touch of butter if any at all. (I put way tooooo much)
Place the butters side towards the shiny foil.
Add the cheese between the bread.
Close up the foil.
Put package on the heater plate WATCH CAREFULLY!!!!!!!!!)
After a couple of minutes turn and repeat the last step.
Remove from heater plate turn off coffee maker.
Because I used way too much butter it was all soggy, Put it in the microwave to finish.