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    Thursday, 30 October 2008

    The resurgence of the delicate little cupcake over recent years has brought an interest in cupcake decoration which is far more fanciful than just adding icing and a scattering of sprinkles. And what better time than Halloween for anyone to use their imagination and skills to come up with some imaginative scary cupcake decorations?

    Would Halloween feel right without the spiders, bats, ghosts and witches of folklore...? To start the ball rolling here are a couple of ideas that are easy to put together but effective -- scary spider and bat attack.

    What you will need for these decorations are cupcakes made with your favorite recipe, butter cream icing, a few large black jelly beans, licorice bootlace, licorice strap and food coloring in red and orange, plus white decorating gel. The quantities will depend on how many scary cupcakes you plan to decorate.

    To make scary spider cupcakes prepare your cupcake top with butter cream colored with red food coloring. In the center of the cupcake place a large jelly bean for the spider body. Cut a further jelly bean in half and place the cut side facing down at one end of the body. This will be the head. Add a couple of dabs of white decorating gel to form eyes. With licorice bootlace cut eight pieces to form the legs. Rather than placing the licorice flat on the cupcake try arching each leg from the body to form a little half loop. This will make the spider look as though it is ready for action rather than having been squashed on the top.

    For bat attack cupcake decoration ice the cupcake with orange colored butter cream. Place a black jellybean in the center. Cut licorice straps to form the wings of the bat by scalloping one side of the strap and rounding one end of the other side for wing tips. Place this on either side of the jelly bean. With the white decorating gel, dot two eyes at one end of the jelly bean. Make a couple of fluffy clouds with the decorating gel.

    Let your imagination run wild both with ingredients for decorations and with the designs -- why not let your scary Halloween cupcakes form a table centerpiece? Ask the kids for their ideas and make it a fun family affair. Cupcake decorations work well for the kid in all of us, young and old, and Halloween is a good time to let the child in us out for a bit of fun.

    Lynette is a member of the Cupcake Decorations Club and enjoys creating little works of art.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocry Online AT 08:19 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Wednesday, 29 October 2008

    Making anything by hand is satisfying, and especially so at Christmas. The decorations described are easy to make and children love to join in.

    One unusual decoration for the cake is a candle modeled from red marzipan, with a flaked almond in the top,to act as a flame. On Christmas Day, give everyone a surprise by lighting the 'candle'. And as nuts contain oil, the almond will keep alight for a few moments!

    Another easy idea is a Father Christmas sack made from brown marzipan. First, mold the marzipan into a smooth ball and model into a sack shape. As sacks 'come in all shapes and sizes' it does not have to be too exact. Squeeze it in near the top and partly open, then have brightly colored 'parcels' either peeping out or piled around the base of the sack.

    Or, create a wide chimney from white sugar paste, and have the legs of Father Christmas sticking out of the top. Model the chimney and brush with brown coloring. Once the color is dry (to give the impression of bricks), scrape lines outlining the bricks and show the white 'mortar' between. The legs are sausages with boots on, bent to whichever angle you please!

    Make flat Christmas trees by rolling out green marzipan, or sugarpaste, to about 1/4 " thick. Then cut the trees out, using either a cutter, or a cardboard template. For added attraction, mark them vertically with the back of a knife. Stick around the sides of an iced cake with small groups of holly berries (tiny pieces of red paste rolled into balls) between the trees. Another idea is to cut a tree in half from top to bottom and stick half on either side of a completed tree to make it stand up.

    Model three-dimensional trees from cone-shaped pieces of green marzipan, then (beginning at the top) use sharp scissors to make small snips all around the tree, imitating layers of branches.

    Snowballs are made from balls of sugarpaste. Leave to firm then brush with a film of egg white before dipping in either castor or granulated sugar.

    A Snowman can also be made from sugar paste. Make two balls, one for the head and a larger one for the body. Use dark coloring for the eyes and buttons and throw a brightly colored scarf around his neck.

    Christmas puddings are created from a chocolate truffle, or a ball of marzipan/sugar paste colored with brown coloring. Top the pudding with 'custard' made from soft royal icing, or alternatively, use sugar paste softened with water.

    An easy way to make the sharp points on holly leaves is to cut out small sections from around the edge of a leaf shape, with either an icing nozzle or the tip/handle of a small spoon. Mark veins on the leaf with the back of a knife.

    And if the children are helping, they will probably want all the decorations on the cake at the same time! Happy Christmas.

    Pat Lock is a cake decorating expert with over 25 years experience who runs the excellent Cake Decorating Tips website. She has won awards at the prestigious international competition at Hotel Olympia, London and is also an accomplished author.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 10:44 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Tuesday, 28 October 2008

    I've added the recipe to make fresh Pumpkin Puree as it makes a huge difference to the taste. The roasted pumpkin puree adds a delicious flavor and aroma, but if you don't have enough time on hand, you can use the canned pumpkin puree to bake the pie.

    Ingredients

    Pumpkin Puree

    1 pie pumpkin (weighing 2 to 3 lbs.)

    Vegetable oil

    Pie Filling

    3/4 cup granulated sugar

    1/2 tspn salt

    1 tspn ground cinnamon

    1/2 tspn ground ginger

    1/4 tspn ground nutmeg

    2 large eggs

    ** check notes for eggless recipe below

    1 can (15 oz) Pumpkin Puree

    1 cup (12 oz) Evaporated Milk

    1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell

    Whipped cream - for garnish

    Eggless Version:

    Replace eggs by 1/4th cup cornstarch. Add that to the liquid ingredients just as the recipe states below.

    Method

    Mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in the evaporated milk.

    Pour into the pie shell. Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F and bake for another 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

    Pumpkin Puree

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Wash the exterior of the pumpkin, remove the stem and cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and stringy fibers from the center using a metal spoon.

    Coat the cut surface of the pumpkin halves with vegetable oil. Place halves cut side done in a roasting pan. Add 1 cup of water to the pan.

    Place the pumpkin in the preheated oven and bake for 60 to 90 minutes. It is done when the flesh feels tender when poked with a fork.

    Remove the pumpkin from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Cool until it can be handled comfortably. Scrape the flesh out of the pumpkin halves and place in a large bowl. Use a hand mixer to blend the flesh until it is pureed.

    Drain moisture from the puree by placing it in a sieve lined with paper towels or a double layer of coffee filters. Be sure the sieve is placed in a bowl to catch the liquid as it drains.

    Cover the puree with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Allow puree to drain for at least 2 hours. Drain overnight if possible. After draining, the pumpkin puree is ready to use.

    For those who'd love to bake their own pie shells, here's a little tutorial on How to Make Pie Crust at home, in case it interests you.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 10:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Monday, 27 October 2008
    When we say sweets, these are the candies that we are eating but it is eaten during holiday seasons because it is not the ordinary candy. There are so many candies that are sold right now like the sweets during the holidays. It is sold from different market in different shapes and designs that you can choose from.

    Candy is always associated with special and happy occasions and we called it sweets during the holidays. They say that food is the one thing that unites all cultures and eating sweets is the high point of experiencing it. Marzipan and gingerbread are the two of many sweets that are always eaten by Christmas. Gingerbread has different designs and had certain shapes that were associated with different seasons like buttons and flowers were found at Easter fairs, and animals and birds were featured for autumn. But in Christmas, gingerbread is the most impressive one because it forms beautiful little houses. In Germany, it is the longest tradition of flat shaped gingerbread. And another marzipan is a favored delicacy that is used by chefs for centuries. And the sweet pliable mixture of almond paste and sugar can be found in many countries where it is used in baking and filling for cakes, cookies, breads, tortes and other mouth-watering concoctions.

    The candy cane has its own unique and surprising history. We know that candies are very popular when it comes to children. Sweets during the holidays are definitely sold out because it can be a gift most especially when the candy has different shapes. Candy canes during the Christmas services spread throughout Europe and later to America. And candies are easy to pack as a gift. And also candies can be your desserts even though it is not holiday. Giving a sweet gift like candy symbolizes your sweetness to a person. Some candies are homemade and yet it is so delicious. That’s why many people eat sweet candies or even chocolates because of its taste that have a long lasting delicacy that you cannot forget.

    Sweets during the holidays are most popular all over the planet. Because these are some of the popular and traditional goodies that are often found in Easter Baskets these days. So try to taste the sweet candies during the holiday season that are available at any shops near you and have a happy holiday, enjoy eating the sweet candies
    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 01:37 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Sunday, 26 October 2008
    Turkey Shepherd's Pie

    A delicious way to use all your Thanksgiving leftovers!

    4 tbsp butter, divided
    1/2 large onion, diced (1 1/2 cups)
    2 carrots, diced small (1/3 to 1/2 cup)
    2 stalks celery, diced small
    4 tbsp Turkey Trimmings Spice
    1/4 tsp kosher salt
    1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
    2 1/2 to 3 cups shredded leftover turkey
    1/2 cup leftover gravy, divided
    1/2-1 cup chicken stock
    1 cup leftover stuffing
    2 cups leftover mashed potatoes

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

    2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and melt 1 tbsp of the butter.

    3. Add the onions, carrots and celery.

    4. Saute until the onions are translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.

    5. Add half the Turkey Trimmings and all of the salt and pepper, and cook another minute.

    6. Add the turkey and stir.

    7. Stir in the gravy, then 1/4 cup of the broth.

    8. Bring to a boil; reduce heat; simmer until thickened a bit, about five minutes.

    9. Add broth as needed to achieve a thin, stewy sauce.

    10. Melt the remaining butter in a saucepan and stir in mashed potatoes, stirring until warm.

    11. Scoop turkey mixture into individual tins or an 8x10 pan.

    12. Spread the leftover stuffing over the top, then spread the mashed potatoes over that.

    13. Bake 20 minutes or until golden. Sprinkle with remaining Turkey Trimmings.

    Thanksgiving Cranberry Cobbler

    1 bag Cranberry and White Chocolate Coffee Cake mix
    1/2 tsp Pie Spice
    1 tsp Cranberry Orange Vinegar
    1 cup butter, softened
    1/2 cup chopped pecans
    1 (12 ounce) can peach pie filling
    1 (12 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce

    vanilla ice cream

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    2. Combine Cranberry and White Chocolate Coffee Cake mix, Russian Mulling Spice, and Cranberry Orange Vinegar in a bowl.

    3. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until crumbly.

    4. Stir in nuts and set aside.

    5. Combine peach pie filling and cranberry sauce in an ungreased 13 x 9 inch pan. Sprinkle crumb mixture over fruit.

    6. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown.

    7. Serve with ice cream.

    Here at Life's Necessities we are a group of people who love to travel, shop, cook and give. Due to our own hectic schedules, we feel a need to ease tension and save time, thus our product line is dedicated to convenience and the simple pleasures of life.

    As always the key to these and any of our products is to SMILE, RELAX AND ENJOY!


    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 10:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Thursday, 23 October 2008

    What better accompaniment to cold meats than piccalilli. A mixture of chopped vegetables and hot spices.

    Although the name first appeared in the 18th century, there is no clear origin for it.

    Rumour has it; it was Napoleon's cook who put it together when he didn't have any sauce to add to a dish. Another is that its roots lay in India; after all one of the main ingredients was the cucumber which was first grown somewhere between the Bay of Bengal and the Himalayas.

    Another important ingredient in this pickle is Turmeric which again probably originated from western India, and has been used there since the 1500's. So I'm rather more for the Indian story.
    Piccalilli is best left to mature for about 2 -3 months; this allows all the ingredients to fully fuse together, so now is the ideal time to make it for Christmas.

    I usually make about 10 jars and give them out as Christmas presents. This tangy mustard coloured pickle looks great in glass jars. Just finish it off with some red or green ribbon, tied around the neck of the jars and label them, or use glass paints to decorate. Kids love doing this part.

    What you'll need:

    10×1lb jars (pickling/mason jars)

    Allow about 2 hours to prepare the vegetables and approx 18 minutes cooking time.
    Wash the jars in hot soapy water and rinse thoroughly or put in dishwasher if possible.
    Heat the oven to 325ºF/170ºC/gas mark 3 and put the jars in the oven for 10 minutes to sterilise.

    Ingredients:

    1 Large marrow, peeled, deseeded and chopped into bite size pieces

    3 Medium cauliflowers-cut into 1 inch/2.5cm florets

    1 Large cucumber-peeled and cut into 1/2inch/1.2cm rounds then quartered. 1lb/450g Runner Beans-top and tail-slice off the sides where the stringy bits are and cut into 1 inch/2.5cm pieces

    2lb/400g approx Shallots

    1 Whole nutmeg or 3 tsps of ground

    1 tsp Allspice

    4oz/100g Mustard powder 2oz/50g Turmeric 12 Tbsp Plain (All purpose) flour

    1 1/2lb/700g Caster sugar

    6 Cloves garlic (medium)

    6 Tsp sea salt

    4 Pints/2.4 litres Malt Vinegar

    Extra 10 tbsp Malt vinegar

    6-8 Tbsp water

    Method

    Put the cauliflower, onions and 4 pints/2.4 litres vinegar into a large saucepan. Add the nutmeg and allspice and bring to the boil.
    Cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes (depending on the crunch factor).
    Meanwhile crush the garlic into the salt using a pestle and mortar.
    Stir in the chopped cucumber, beans and sugar.
    Now add the garlic/salt mixture.
    Bring up to a simmer and cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
    Check regularly.
    Using a large colander, strain off the vegetables-reserving the liquid.
    Mix together the flour, mustard powder and turmeric in a separate bowl.
    Slowly add the extra vinegar and water and mix to a smooth paste.
    Next add a ladle full of hot vinegar, drained from the vegetables, then transfer the mix to a large saucepan. Using an electric blender or balloon whisk gradually add the rest of the hot vinegar.
    Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 4-5 minutes. Pour the liquid over the vegetables and stir thoroughly.

    Ladle into the hot jars and seal.

    "Lesley Jones is just one half of the duo that makes CookingWithTheJoneses such a great place for finding delicious food recipes, and other 'foodie' information. She and her husband Barry, love cooking, and have been into creating amazing food for over 15 years.

    If you have any 'foodie' questions, or would like to recommend a new recipe - visit http://www.CookingWithTheJoneses.com and let Lesley and Barry help you."

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 08:11 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Wednesday, 22 October 2008

    Is there anything more delectable after a traditional Italian meal than dessert ala Italia? Italian dessert recipes are as varied as they are delicious. Depending upon region, Italian desserts may include Tiramisu, that all-time favorite internationally, cenci, a delicate Piedmontese almond cookie, zabaglione, a delicate custardy pudding or sfogliatelle, a flaky crusted filled delicacy, panacotta, a rich sweet cheese-flavored trifle and the ever-popular cannoli.

    Many Italian desserts accent figs, brandied cherries, such as in certain cassata recipes and peaches in a delicate liqueur.

    Tiramisu, which is interpreted to mean, "Pick Me Up", is traditionally a mid-morning Italian dessert. Italians generally partake of espresso and a light dessert cookie such as biscotti, a twice-baked cookie made from a sticky dough, rolled into log-shapes for the first baking. Then, sliced and baked through a second time till golden. Amaretti are almond flavored cookies similar to sugar cookies in size and shape.

    Here is a very simple Italian dessert recipe for Tiramisu. For Tiramisu, you will need a 9-inch spring form pan.

    Ingredients:

    1 lb. of mascarpone cheese

    1 egg well beaten

    2/3 cup sugar (adjust sweetness as preferred) (Use anisette sugar as a substitute for extra flavor)

    1 1/2 cup of biscotti or amaretti crumbled

    1 tablespoon of butter melted

    1/4 teaspoon of lemon rind grated finely

    1/8 cup espresso cooled

    1/8 cup anisette

    1/4 cup pignoli nuts

    Dusting of rich cocoa

    In a small bowl, blend melted butter and crumbled biscotti or amaretti. Line springform pan with crumbs making certain bottom and sides are fully covered. Mix together espresso and anisette. Brush surface of crumbs lightly with mixture. Do not soak.

    In a large bowl, add mascarpone cheese, egg, sugar and lemon rind. Beat at low speed until sugar is fully dissolved and consistency is like pudding.

    Pour pudding mixture into springform pan and refrigerate until set firmly. Sprinkle top with pignoli nuts. Dust with cocoa before serving.

    Another Italian dessert recipe that's a real crowd-pleaser is Lemon Fig Tarte. You will need a fluted edge tart pan.

    For pastry: 2 cups sifted flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup shortening, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and shortening. Blend until crumbly. In a small bowl, whisk egg and vinegar until well blended. Add to flour mixture. Blend until flour mixture forms a ball. On a floured surface, roll dough into a 9-1/4 inch diameter. Place in pan. Cut excess dough at rim of pan. Place pie weights in center of dough to prevent bubbling. Bake at 375 degrees until a light golden color. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

    For filling: 2 1/2 cups Smyrna figs or substitute chopped finely. 2/3 cups superfine sugar. 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind. 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice. 1 egg well beaten. 1/2 cup Amaretto liqueur. 1/2 cup pignoli nuts. 2 tablespoons melted butter. 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch. Blend all ingredients by hand. Pour into cooled tart shell. Bake until figs are bubbly. Remove from oven and sprinkle with pignoli nuts.

    Candis Reade is an accomplished niche website developer and author.

    To learn more about Italian Dessert Recipes, please visit Tasty Desserts Today for current articles and discussions

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 08:36 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Tuesday, 21 October 2008

    It's that time of year again, when our thoughts turn to holiday decorating and cooking. There are many recipes for the holidays, but one food item above all others seems to symbolize the fall, holiday season and that is pie. There are recipes for no crust pie, but for many people a pie without a crust is like a day without sunshine.

    While pastry shells and packaged crust mixes are convenient, nothing beats a home made crust. On the other hand, for some people, making pie crust is an anxiety producing thought right up there with parallel parking and left hand turns. Never fear, there are a few basic suggestions and steps that will have you making your own great pie crust in no time.

    There are four basic ingredients in any pie crust. They are, flour, that adds the bulk to the crust, shortening (fat), that makes the crust flaky and adds flavor, liquid that binds the dough and makes it workable, and salt for seasoning and to make it brown. That's it, just four simple ingredients. You can make some substitutions, in the interest of personal taste or health, as you'll see below.

    The tricky thing about pie crust is that it is just so diabolically simple. Just a few ingredients and little preparation time make it seem so easy, but like many simple things, it still takes some attention to detail to get it right. Here are some instructions for two different pie crusts. The first one is really easy and doesn't even require rolling. It is ideal for a single crust pie, like pumpkin pie.

    Easy One Crust Pie Dough

    INGREDIENTS:
    (makes two large pies)
    4 cups all-purpose flour ( I prefer King Arthur unbleached flour and have been using it for years)
    2 cups butter or shortening (you can also use butter flavored shortening, margarine, or lard*)
    *Before we go any farther, let's talk about lard. I know it is not as popular or politically correct as it once was, but in my opinion it makes the best crust. On the other hand, you can still make a very good crust with any of the alternatives and perhaps you won't ruffle any feathers if you share your pie with other people who may have strong feelings about the source of lard or its health effects.

    I also recommend chilling the shortening or whatever you use as a fat. Chilling the shortening and liquid is one of those suggestions I mentioned that make crust so much easier.

    1 tablespoon white sugar (once again, you can substitute a more healthful sugar like raw cane sugar or organic sugar)
    1 teaspoon salt (sea salt works well, too)
    1/2 cup ice water
    1 egg
    1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

    DIRECTIONS
    In a large bowl, mix flour, shortening, sugar and salt.
    Add ice water, vinegar and egg. Beat to combine but don't overdo it.
    There is no need to roll this dough out, it can easily be pushed into a pie plate and flattened to fit inside the pan and conform to the sides of the pan. That makes it ideal for a holiday favorite like one crust pumpkin pie.

    Our second pie crust is a basic pie crust that can be rolled out to form flat pieces of dough that can then be placed in a pan and pushed into shape to make the bottom layer of a crust as well as being placed on top of the pie. If you use it as a top layer, be sure to vent with a few slits near the center of the pie.

    Ingredients:
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 cup shortening
    1/2 cup water

    Once gain, I prefer unbleached flour like King Arthur and please be sure to chill the fat and liquid. Another good idea is to chill your rolling pin. I put mine right in the freezer for half an hour. You may also use a glass wine or soda bottle and chill it or even fill it with ice water. If you use a glass bottle, DO NOT PUT IT IN THE FREEZER because it may burst if the water freezes. Just refrigerate it or fill with chilled water.

    A chilled rolling pin or bottle is much less likely to stick to the crust. Sifting a light layer of flour onto the crust as you roll it out will also help to keep it from sticking.

    DIRECTIONS
    In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (You can cut it in with a knife or spatula. Some people like to work it with two butter knives.)
    Stir in water until mixture forms a ball. (A little flour on your hands will help to keep the dough from sticking to them.) Divide dough in half, and shape into balls. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. If you don't have the time to wait for the dough to chill overnight, place it in the refrigerator as long as you can and use chilled utensils to roll it out.

    Next, roll out your dough on a floured counter or cutting board. Don't over work it. Place a thin layer of flour on the dough and work it from the center rolling in all directions to form a flat round layer of dough like a large pancake. You can then shape it into the bottom of the pan and repeat the process on the second ball of dough for the top crust. Put a little flour on your hands and lift the dough gently and place on top of the pie. Be sure to make a few slits for vents. You may also pinch the dough together all along the edge to seal the top and bottom crust together. You may use a fork or knife to give it a nice finished look.

    Some people place foil around the outside edge of the crusts to prevent burning of the edges.
    That's it, two recipes for crust that take very little time to prepare and will have you creating homemade masterpieces in your kitchen. For more holiday dessert ideas including pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin seeds and other recipes, go to Favorite Things.

    Wil Langford, is a pie lover who enjoys holiday desserts and family time

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 10:56 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Monday, 20 October 2008

    Cakes, sweets, or glazed fruit are, at the end of a meal a shared pleasure. The dessert has psychical and affective values more or less conscious, partly related to our childhood and in general when we enjoy a dessert we live a unique moment of pleasure. Desserts are certainly an important part of a satisfactory meal.

    How to Choose and Prepare a Dessert

    Since time immemorial people have enjoyed finishing their meal with a delicious dessert. Romans and later on Galician people used to cover with honey biscuits made of flour, decorated with fresh or dry fruit and then they sprinkled aromas on them.

    Thanks to crusaders, who discovered in the East sugar cane, this delicate cane that is mentioned in the Bible, sugar trade started to develop, and it used to be considered a rare and expensive product sold in drug stores.

    At the end of the middle Ages, the guild of the pastry cooks, experts in meat, fish and cheese pie-cooking were specialized in pear dough cooking, cream cakes, and French biscuits. The term dessert was not introduced yet. A disposition in 1563 defines three kinds of dishes: hors-d'oeuvre, meat or fish and then dessert. New types of cakes have appeared thanks to Catalina de Medici and her pastry men in Florence: cakes based on choux dough, macaroni and ice cream. People adored these desserts. Brillat-Savarin informed that since the 18th century the spirit of harmony and wellbeing spread to all the social categories.

    A banquet always finished with a dessert made of fruit, cakes, jams or cheese. Chocolate was not used in France until the 19th century. Great confectioners of the time created delicious desserts that afterwards became classical.

    About Sweets

    Later on, more and more types of sweets have been created, and many of them can be prepared at home following instructions in recipes. These recipes are used as they are, or they are improved using personal creativity. Thus sweets texture and taste have become more and more diversified.

    Some good confectioners have kept pastry secrets. One of them is Pierre Herme. For this master of desserts, sugar must not play the essential role, but it must be an ingredient just like the others, especially for aroma. Changed through heating and associated with other ingredients sugar offer consistence to tarts, makes ice creams buttery, it makes macaroni soft and waters crunchy. Besides, it can highlight the bitter taste of the chocolate, the acidity of fruit and the aroma of spices. Now it is important to know the ideal amount of sugar necessary, as too much sugar affects the aroma and less sugar makes the products tasteless.

    Rules for Correct Baking

    In order to prepare a high quality dessert you do not have to be an artist in the area. On the other hand, before deciding to start it is necessary to have imagination in order to harmonize colors and decorative elements. To continue with, you must know very well the preparation technique required for a specific dessert. Ingredients must be chosen carefully and temperature and baking time must be kept carefully.

    © 2008 Anand Upadhye. All rights reserved. Anand Upadhye is the owner and webmaster of http://www.gingerlist.com/ and a recognized Internet Marketing professional. http://www.gingerlist.com/ is a online lifestyle guide with up-to-date information on Local Businesses, from Restaurants & Spas to Hotels, Retails, Bars & Clubs, Shopping and More.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 10:57 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Thursday, 16 October 2008

    German people love to eat, and they certainly know how to cook. My grandfather was born and raised in the communal society of the Amana Colonies in Iowa, and I've attended many family reunions and dinners in the Colonies over the years. Food was designed to stick to the ribs and keep hard-working men healthy and strong. Although my grandfather passed away while my mother was still a little girl, some of the recipes for foods he loved have come down through the family. Special German dessert recipes for cookies and rich pastries, such as Peppernuts (sugar cookies) and Apfelstrudel (apple strudel), were a beloved part of my childhood.

    Peppernuts were among the German dessert recipes I remember. You start making Peppernuts with 1 cup of softened butter, one cup of lard, and 3 cups of sugar. Cream them together until fluffy. Add 4 eggs and beat until very creamy. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons baking ammonia, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 4 cups flour. Beat well. Form into small balls and bake at 350 degrees until the edges are brown, around 10-12 minutes.

    All the cooking in the Amana Colonies was done in communal kitchens. After graduating from 8th grade, girls were put to work in the kitchens under the direction of a head cook. Their job was to turn out all the food, including preparing the German dessert recipes, which the colonies would eat each day. At mealtime children were sent to the kitchens with covered pails so that they could pick up the food allotted to their family and bring it home. Everyone worked hard, and no one worried about calories.

    Apple strudel is another of the delightful German dessert recipes that smells heavenly while it's baking. For this recipe you need to start with 10 1/2 oz. of flour, 1/6 oz. of salt, 1 1/2 oz. of melted lard, and 5 1/3 oz. of warm water. This will give you the basic dough for the dessert. Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic. Divide into 3 loaves, brush each with melted butter, and allow to raise in a warm place for an hour.

    While you're waiting for the bread dough to rise, you can mix your filling. Start by peeling, coring, and slicing 5 1/2 lbs. of Golden Delicious apples. Mix 5 1/3 oz. of sugar with 1 1/2 oz. of dark rum, 5 1/3 oz. of raisins, the zest and juice from two lemons, and 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon. Toss this mixture with the apples. Mix 10 1/2 oz. of bread crumbs with 10 1/2 oz. of melted, unsalted butter. Take one loaf of dough and stretch it to fit a strudel sheet. Cover 2/3 of the sheet of dough with bread crumbs. Spread apple filling on the remaining third. Cut the edges even and roll the dough up. Place on a cookie sheet, brush the top with melted butter, and bake at 400 degrees for for 60-90 minutes.

    Candis Reade is an accomplished niche website developer and author. To learn more about Enjoying Great German Desserts, please visit Tasty Desserts for current articles and discussions.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 11:12 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Wednesday, 15 October 2008

    One of the best possible gifts for beer lovers is a membership of a beer of the month club.

    What is so good about a gift like this? Let's look at some of the benefits for the beer lover (or the person you are getting the gift for).

    First, with a beer of the month club membership, every month they will have the chance to taste new beers, usually from microbreweries. These beers are hard to find, boutique style beers which have been selected for their quality. This is a great way for a beer lover to discover superior new beers and ales which suit their taste. Rather than taking a chance with some new beers from a store, they will get beers which have been chosen by beer experts as being top quality and great drinking.

    Second, the gift is not a one-off event. For whatever period you choose, your beer lover will get new beers every month. Most beer of the month clubs offer memberships for three months, six months or a year. You would probably appreciate getting a membership like this yourself, which is always a good guide when thinking about a gift for a friend or loved one.

    Finally, the person you are getting the membership of the beer of the month club has the convenience of home delivery. With no work on their part, they can enjoy the quality beers the club has to offer, delivered right to their door.

    What about the benefits to you, as the giver of the beer of the month club membership?

    The main benefit is that, even if you don't know a lot about beer, you are sure that you are sending a quality gift, which has been screened by beer experts, so that you know the beer is worth tasting and drinking. In fact, many of the beers and ales, pilsners and porters offered by gift clubs have won prizes at industry competitions.

    In addition, online ordering makes it easy to set up the membership, and you can include a personalized gift letter to go to the new member.

    To see which beer of the month clubs we recommend, or to read more about them, see our beer of the month clubs page.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Onine AT 10:08 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Tuesday, 14 October 2008

    If you are looking to try a new and improved version of the classic Dutch apple pie, this is a recipe for you. It adds in some cinnamon and brown sugar streusel topping for extra flavor and is a variation from the standard two crust apple pies. The best Dutch apple pie recipe that you have been looking for is here.

    Ingredients for Best Dutch Apple Pie Recipe:
    • One 9 inch pie crust
    • 8 medium apples
    • 4 tablespoons of lemon juice
    • ¼ cup of brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup of white sugar
    • ½ cup of flour
    • 2 tablespoons of flour
    • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
    • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon of salt
    • ½ cup of butter
    • ½ cup of chopped walnuts

    Directions for Best Dutch Apple Pie Recipe:
    • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
    • Core, peel and slice the apples
    • Place the apples and lemon juice in a bowl
    • Mix well
    • Mix brown sugar, white sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt
    • Cut in butter with pastry blender
    • Add chopped walnuts
    • Add half of the mix to the apples
    • Mix to coat
    • Place apple mix into the crust
    • Evenly sprinkle the rest of the streusel crumbs on the top
    • Put foil around the crust
    • Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes
    • Remove the foil and bake an additional 20 minutes

    This best Dutch apple pie recipe is a delicious way to top off a nice meal or to serve anytime. You can serve the apple pie hot or cold, and with your choice of toppings. Whipped topping and ice cream are popular choices.

    For a new twist on the Dutch apple pie, try the pumpkin Dutch apple pie.
    Ingredients:
    • 9 inch pie crust
    • 2 cups green apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
    • ¼ cup granulated white sugar
    • 2 teaspoons of all purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
    • ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
    • 1 ½ cups pumpkin
    • 1 cup evaporated milk
    • ½ cup granulated white sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 tablespoons of butter or margarine
    • ¾ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon of slat
    • 1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
    • ½ cup of all purpose flour
    • 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts
    • 5 tablespoons of white sugar
    • 3 tablespoons butter

    Directions:
    • Combine the apples, flour, lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl
    • Pour into pie shell
    • Combine pumpkin, sugar, butter, evaporated milk, salt, eggs, cinnamon and nutmeg into medium bowl
    • Pour over apple mix
    • Bake for 30 minutes, remove from oven
    • Return to oven sprinkling with crumble
    • Bake for 20 minutes
    • Cool

    After pie is chilled, you may cool on rack and serve.

    Clifford Young is an accomplished niche website developer and author. To learn more about dutch apple pie, please visit Holiday Foods for current articles and discussions.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 10:33 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Monday, 13 October 2008

    Getting ready for a Halloween or Autumn Theme Party can be a lot of work so when choosing recipes, look for ones that are:

    • Simple to make
    • Have few ingredients
    • Hold up well over time
    • Pleasing to look at and of course,
    • Taste great!

     

    We polled our family and friends and here are a few of our favorite Halloween Dishes and Autumn Recipes:

    Hot Halloween Appetizer - Swamp Dip (aka Creamy Feta Spinach Dip)

    • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
    • 1 cup onion, chopped
    • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 1/2 cup chicken broth
    • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 1/2 cup feta cheese
    • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
    • 1-10 oz. package spinach leaves, stems removed, cut into thin strips
    • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
    • Salt and pepper
    • Dippers including crackers, bread chunks and assorted vegetable sticks

     

    Melt butter in 10-inch skillet and add onion, red pepper and garlic. Cook over medium heat until softened. Stir in flour and continue cooking 1 minute.

    Whisk in broth and whipping cream. Continue stirring until mixture is thickened.

    Add cheese, seasoning, yogurt, spinach and hot pepper sauce and stir until spinach wilts and mixture is heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    This Halloween appetizer is best served warm with dippers.

    Easy Halloween Dessert - Chocolately Holiday Bark

    The best thing about this Chocolatey Holiday Bark recipe is that you can customize it for every holiday or theme party. For Halloween, use white chocolate and candy corn. For a Football party, milk chocolate and candy the color of your favorite team. The possibilities are endless.

    Ingredients

    • 16 chocolate sandwich cookies, chopped
    • 1-1/2 cups broken small pretzels
    • 1/3 cup raisins
    • 1-1/2 pounds chocolate, broken into squares
    • 2 cups candy (M & M's, candy corn...)
    • Sprinkles

     

    Start by spreading the cookies, pretzels and raisins evenly onto a lightly greased small baking sheet.

    Melt chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, or in the microwave, stirring frequently until melted. Remove from the heat while there are still a few chunks, and stir until smooth. Watch carefully as chocolate can burn easily.

    Drizzle chocolate with a spoon over the goodies in the pan, spreading the top flat to coat evenly. Top with candy and sprinkles. Let cool until firm. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

    You can usually find sandwich cookies the color of the holiday (orange for Halloween, red for Christmas...). Coordinate the cookies, chocolate, candy and sprinkles to match the holiday or theme of your party.

    Most Requested Autumn Dessert - Spiced Cranberry Apple Cobbler

    This Autumn Recipe is the perfect dessert for a cool Fall night.

    Ingredients

    • 4 cups cranberries
    • 6 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced thin
    • 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon flour, divided
    • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into bits
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup shortening (I use butter flavored)
    • 1-1/2 cups sour cream
    • 2 teaspoons sugar

     

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine cranberries, apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, ground cloves and 1 tablespoon flour in 3-quart baking dish. Mix evenly and dot top with butter bits

    Stir together remaining 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Cut shortening in using pastry blender or 2 knives until crumbly. Add sour cream and blend well (dough will be sticky).

    Drop dough by spoonfuls on top of fruit mixture. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 20 to 30 minutes on middle rack until top is golden.

    Spiced Cranberry Apple cobbler is outstanding served with Cinnamon Vanilla Ice Cream. It is hard to find in stores so you can make my own. Add a teaspoon of cinnamon to a pint of softened vanilla ice cream and re-freeze. When ready to serve, put a big scoop on top on each bowl of warm cobbler.

    Sandee Lembke from Theme Party Queen.com invites you to visit her site for more Halloween and Autumn Party ideas including a no-fail, 3-loaf recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread served with Honey Butter.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 10:56 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Friday, 10 October 2008

    The moment we think of bakery products, first thing that comes into mind is the cake. We cannot even think of celebrating any happy occasion without a cake. A cake is the essence of all parties liked by people of all ages.

    One can choose cake of their individual choice for celebrating the occasion. There are many varieties of cakes available. The type of cake includes cake made from chocolates like chocolate rum cake, fudge cake and chocolate orange cake. All the chocolate cakes are made from exotic moist chocolate, rum, some with orange and rinds. Other type of cake includes Pineapple cake, Pineapple and raisins cake made from margarine or butter cheeriest chunks and seedless raisins.

    Marble cake, Honey cake, and Spicy ginger cakes are made from cocoa, honey, golden syrup, black treacle, dark brown sugar and rich spices. For people in love with fruits the choice can be Rich fruitcake, Light fruitcake, wheaten fruitcake, and Carrot cake. These cakes are made from melted butter with sherry brandy dried fruits carrot bananas walnuts and almonds. All these cakes are available in beautiful colors and attractive sizes.

    In general, there are two types of cake: foam and butter cake. The differentiation is based on the amount of fat containing. Cakes that do not contain fat, like sponge, angel food and chiffon cakes are referred as foam cakes. They contain large proportion of egg and not butter. Foam cake includes eggs and includes egg whites or whole eggs or yolks, with sugar, folded into a small proportion of flour. They are fat free cake. Cakes like Chiffon and Angel Cake is perfect example of foam cake made from vegetable oil, egg yolks dry ingredients chocolate, strawberry and Bavarian cream. People who want to enjoy cake with fruits and ice cream can go for Meringue cakes.

    One can also enjoy the taste of chocolate, fruit, pastry cream, or whipped cream along with egg yolk in Genoese Cake. Sponge cakes may contain milk for soft and dry texture. It can be any type of cake. The making process and ingredients included is same.

    Artimex Artisan Mexican Bakery offers a wide-array of delicious, freshly baked Mexican breads and authentic Spanish bakery recipes like Conchas, Bolillo, Rosca de Reyes, Pan de Muerto, Empanadas, Polvorones and Puerquitos for any meal, occasion, or special celebration. For more information please visit:- http://www.artimexbakery.com/

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 10:25 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Thursday, 09 October 2008
    Luscious desserts and low-carb diets typically do not mix. Sugar is, of course, a carbohydrate. How can you have something "sweet" without using sugar?

    Those of us who cook know that using artificial sweeteners changes the recipe, drastically. Things like saccharin have less "bulk" than straight sugar. So, trying to bake a sugar-free cake can be very difficult.

    But, even sugar free cakes are not low carb desserts. Flour is also a carbohydrate. Eggs, milk and cheese are allowed on your low-carb diet. But, sugar and flour are not. So, what should you do?

    How about cheesecake?

    Typically, New York style cheesecake is made with heavy cream, cream cheese, eggs and additional egg yolks to add richness and a smooth consistency. Lemons, strawberries or chocolate shavings may be added for flavor. None of those ingredients are carbs, but of course, most recipes call for sugar and lots of it.

    Once you add the carbs from the graham cracker crust, you have about 25 grams of carbohydrates in a 3.5 ounce serving. That's a pretty small slice. But, cheesecakes can be low carb desserts, if they are properly prepared, without the sugar and "sans" crust.

    It's difficult (next to impossible, really) to make this kind of cheesecake at home, because, as I mentioned, sugar substitutes change the recipe. If you do get it to set, you also get an unpleasant aftertaste. It's hardly worth the effort.

    But, you can still serve delicious low carb desserts at home, with very little effort on your part. You can simply order it on-line.

    Our own line options for serving a gourmet meal are simply amazing, to me anyway. We can stick to our diets, eat healthy, cater a dinner party or have a private affair for two, right in the luxury of our own homes.

    When you consider the time it takes to cook a meal, the shopping, the cost of ingredients and the likelihood that the recipe will "flop", I think catered meals are a cost-effective option. I don't know about you, but my time is money.

    My health is very important to me, but temptations are not always easy to resist. So, I try to be sure that I always have "healthy temptations".

    If you work full time and commute to your office, by the time you get in your daily work-out and get ready for dinner, you might be tempted to settle for fast-food or whatever's in the fridge. That's what happens to a lot of people, so they end up with an unsuccessful and unhealthy diet.

    There are a few really good companies that makes healthy delicious low carb desserts on the internet, suitable for a dinner party or an everyday treat. The taste is delicious and you can store them in the freezer, so that you're prepared for those unexpected guests.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 08:56 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Wednesday, 08 October 2008

    When you think of Mexican food, you probably think of tacos, burritos, and chips and salsa. Possibly you think of a cold margarita, beer, or iced tea. However, do you think about what you will enjoy for dessert? Believe it or not, there are a lot of great Mexican dessert recipes out there! One of the most popular Mexican desserts is the empanada. You combine butter, cream cheese, and flour to make a ball of dough. After refrigerating the dough overnight, you form it into "rounds" and add a spoonful of fruit preserves to the center of each one. Then, you bake them for about fifteen minutes. When they are finished baking, roll them in cinnamon sugar. They are yummy!

    If you enjoy enchiladas, you are sure to like the next Mexican dessert recipe. Apple enchiladas can be served hot with vanilla ice cream. To make the enchiladas, fill tortillas with canned apple pie filling. Then you will prepare a sauce on the stovetop, make from butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and water. Pour the sauce over the enchiladas, and bake them in the oven for about twenty minutes. Then enjoy!

    Flan is a classic Mexican dessert that is served in most Mexican restaurants. Not everyone likes it, but when it is prepared correctly, it can be really great. One caveat before making flan: you will need ramekins to bake the flans in, so purchase them before you get started! You will cook sugar in a saucepan until it is caramelized, and then pour some into each ramekin. Then mix together several eggs, sugar, evaporated milk, and vanilla. Pour the custard mix into the ramekins. Bake it in a water bath until an inserted knife comes out clean, about forty-five minutes. You may either enjoy it warm or chilled.

    Sopapillas are similar to empanadas but they are fried. You make dough from flour, baking powder, salt, shortening, and water. Then you form the dough into small balls and fry them in vegetable oil. Drain the sopapillas well, and then sprinkle them with honey and/or powdered sugar. See, Mexican dessert recipes are plentiful and easy!

    If you enjoy margaritas, you will love Margarita Cake! The cake is a Bundt-style cake made from orange cake mix, vanilla pudding, eggs, oil, water, lemon juice, triple sec, and tequila. While your cake is baking, prepare the delicious glaze for the top! Combine confectioners' sugar, tequila, triple sec, and lime juice. Pour the glaze over the top of the cake while it is still warm.

    As you can tell, there are Mexican food is not just about tacos and salsa! There are many easy and delicious Mexican desserts that will add a sweet end to your meal.

    Wendy Pan is an accomplished niche website developer and author. To learn more about Mexican dessert recipes, please visit Tasty Dessert Site for current articles and discussions.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 01:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Tuesday, 07 October 2008

    When we think of Halloween today, we tend to think of it as an American festival. We think of dressing up and 'trick or treating'. What most people are unaware of is that Halloween dates back more than 2000 years to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (literally 'Summer's End'). This day marked the passage from the old Celtic year to the new Celtic year.

    As such the night of October 31st a 'no time' between the old and the new year and between the light half and the dark halves of the year. It was the practice at this time to extinguish the hearth-fires and to re-kindle them on the following day. Big bonfires were lit to ward off evil spirits and to sanctify the cattle ready for slaughter. (There are still traditional of walking cattle between two bonfires on this day.)

    It should also be remembered that November was the traditional time for slaughtering cattle in the Celtic world. Indeed, the modern Welsh name for this month, Tachwedd literally means 'The Month of Slaughter' and the feast of Halloween would have been the start of this month of plentiful meat.

    Apples were also important to the ancient Celts and this became even more important with the arrival of the Romans as the worship of the goddess Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees, became grafted on Celtic belief. Also late autumn is the time of apples.

    To celebrate these two parts of Celtic belief I have re-created a Celtic pork and apple stew for you to enjoy, below:

    Celtic Pork and Apple Stew

    This is an ancient-inspired stew of pork with apples (these have a natural affinity) that's been re-created using authentic ingredients and techniques

    Ingredients:
    1.2kg pork meat, cubed
    2 tbsp fat (or oil)
    2 leeks, chopped
    400g greens (strong greens like turnips tops, collard greens, kale are best), chopped
    400g wild mushrooms, sliced
    3 turnips, peeled and chopped
    3 cooking apples, peeled, cored and quartered
    70g hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
    200ml cider
    1/2 tsp dried thyme
    1 tbsp chives
    1 tsp dried sage, rubbed
    salt, to taste

    Method:
    Add the fat (or oil) to a large casserole or pot and use to fry the pork and leeks until the meat is nicely browned (about 8 minutes). Add the mushrooms and turnips and cook for 2 minutes then add the herbs and cider along with 800ml water. Bring the mixture to a boil then add the apples.

    Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 90 minutes, or until the pork is truly tender. Season to taste, then serve ladled into bowls, topped with the hazelnuts. Accompany with chunks of warm crusty bread.

    Christianization of the Celtic lands led to the merging of the Christian festival of All Saints' Day with November 1st. Indeed, in 825 Pope Gregory III moved the date of this festival to November 1st, setting it to coincide with the pagan festival of Samhain, thus supplanting the festival with a Christian meaning. Now, in Old English the mass held on All Saints' Day was known as Allhallowmass and the night before was know as All Hallow's Eve (where hallow means sacred, sanctified, holy). By contraction All Hallow's Eve became Hallowe'en (or Halloween).

    Interestingly, it was the Irish and Scottish immigrants during the 19th century who brought Halloween festivities to America, so the modern festivities remain a continuation of the ancient Celtic original. Even the caved pumpkin originates with carved swedes and turnips (done in Wales, Scotland and Ireland) and the traditional carved beetroot of England.
    Which brings us nicely to that mainstay of modern Halloween foods, the pumpkin. Pumpkins are a New World food (indeed, only one type of squash is known to be native to the Old World, the green Chinese squash and it was this that was used to make the original Ancient Roman pumpkin pie) and are a very useful carbohydrate source. They can be turned into a dizzying array of dishes  everything from pies to chilis.

    Below is a recipe for a classic stuffed pumpkin dish for Halloween:

    Pumpkin Ghoulish

    This is a dish of pumpkin stuffed with a goulash-inspired stew,

    Ingredients:
    675g beef stewing steak cut into 2cm dice
    400g baby carrots
    300g potatoes, finely diced
    1 onion, finely sliced
    450g button mushrooms, finely sliced
    4 tomatoes, blanched, peeled, de-seeded and chopped
    1 green bell pepper, finely sliced
    1 celery stick, finely sliced
    800ml cream of mushroom soup (tinned is fine)
    2 tsp sweet paprika
    1 garlic clove, crushed
    1/2 tsp ground allspice
    1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
    1 whole pumpkin (at least 25 cm in diameter)

    Method:
    Cut a lid in the top of the pumpkin then scoop out the seeds and clean the pumpkin core then dry thoroughly and set aside.

    Add a little oil to a frying pans and use to brown the beef all over then add the spices and herbs and mix to combine. Stir-in the tomatoes, bell pepper and celery and fry for about 5 minutes before adding the mushroom soup. Heat through thoroughly then pour into the prepared pumpkin.

    Peel the carrots and cut into 3cm pieces then add to the mixture within the pumpkin along with the mushrooms and 250ml water. Stir to combine then add the lid to the pumpkin and set on a baking tray. Cover the stem of the pumpkin with foil then place in an oven pre-heated to 150°C and bake for about 3 hours, or until cooked through.

    Carefully transfer the whole pumpkin to a serving dish, remove the lid and serve at the table. When serving scrape some of the pumpkin flesh to serve with the goulash.

    Dyfed Lloyd Evans is the creator of the Celtnet Recipes site, where you can find much more information about the History, Traditions and Recipes of Halloween along with an extensive collection of pumpkin-based recipes.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 10:43 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Monday, 06 October 2008

    Coffee cakes are great not only with coffee but as hostess gifts, welcome to the neighborhood gifts, new baby gifts, etc. They are also perfect to share with co-workers, Bible study groups, etc. Following are a couple of recipes from my vintage recipe collection. They are sure to become favorites.

    CRUNCHY BRAN COFFEE CAKE

    1 1/4 cups boiling water

    1 cup 100% bran

    1/2 cup butter, softened

    1/2 cup sugar

    1/2 cup packed brown sugar

    2 eggs

    1 tsp vanilla extract

    1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

    1 tsp baking soda

    1 tsp ground cinnamon

    1/4 tsp salt

    TOPPING:

    3 tbsp butter, melted

    1/4 cup 100% bran

    1/4 cup packed brown sugar

    1/2 cup broken walnuts

    Combine boiling water and bran in small bowl; let stand for 2 to 3 minutes. In another bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition; add vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; mix into creamed mixture until blended. Add bran mixture; stir to blend. Pour into a greased 9-inch round cake pan or 8-inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over coffee cake. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until bubbly.

    COFFEE CRUMB CAKE

    2 cups sifted flour

    1 tsp salt

    1/2 cup sugar

    2 tsp baking powder

    1 egg, beaten

    1 cup milk

    1/3 cup oil

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

    Mix and sift flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Make a well in center of mixture and put in egg, milk and oil. Stir only enough to dampen all the flour mixture. Pour into a square baking pan that's been greased.

    Topping:

    1/4 cup flour

    1/2 cup sugar

    1 tsp cinnamon

    2 tbsp butter

    Mix flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in butter. Sprinkle topping on top of batter. Bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees.

    Note: A quick, easy coffee cake that's not overly sweet.

    Enjoy!

    For more of Linda's recipes and diabetic information go to http://diabeticenjoyingfood.squarespace.com

    She also shares her vintage recipe collection at http://grandmasvintagerecipes.blogspot.com

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 08:34 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Saturday, 04 October 2008

    How would you like to hand out candy this Halloween that you yourself had as a child?
    We have the resources on how to get candy for cheap that you ate as a child yourself.
    Share the same experience this Halloween that you had as a child.

    History on Candy
    The Arabs' word for it was qandi, from qand, a lump of cane sugar. It came down to us, virtually intact, through successive European languages: Old Italian (zucchero candi), Old French (sucre candi), Middle English (sugre candi). In the 1800s, Americans called it "sugar candy." Now, it's just candy.

    The word "candy" doesn't cover only pure-sugar concoctions, but also includes an array of tasty confections combining sugar or similar substances with other compatible ingredients such as fruits, nuts or chocolate. And the most popular of these, as most Americans will confirm, is chocolate. When we think of a "candy bar," what generally comes to mind includes chocolate-usually, milk chocolate-although it often contains nuts, along with a variety of sugars, fats and flavorings.

    Candy is in fact considered a food. Its basic elements are included in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's "Food Pyramid" (see illustration)~in that small triangle at the top labeled "Fats, Oils, & Sweets~Use Sparingly." The calorie content is a recognized nutritional value, and in some parts of the world, that may be a significant advantage.

    Some candies-those containing milk or nuts, for example- do offer some beneficial food values, in addition to the calories. All foods contain calories, of course. A calorie is neither "good" nor "bad" in itself but simply a heat unit. Calories, of course, are needed by the body as a source of energy. So enjoy!

    Read more at http://retrowrappers.com.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 01:32 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Thursday, 02 October 2008

    Just the thought or a picture of a chocolate cake is enough to make most of us mouths water. And for us chocoholics, there's nothing much better. Remember the wonderful old-fashion chocolate cakes your mother and/or grandmother used to make? Now you can make them too. Here are some delicious chocolate cake recipes that could have come straight from that little old recipe box that sat in your grandmother's kitchen.

    Miz Maxine's Chocolate Fudge Cake

    2 cups sugar
    3/4 cup butter (margarine)
    2 eggs
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/2 cup buttermilk
    2 1/4 cups flour
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 tsp soda
    1/2 cup cocoa
    1 1/2 cups boiling water

    Cream sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk together. Sift dry ingredients together. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with the boiling water. Bake in a 9 x 13 inch pan in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

    CHOCOLATE SAUERKRAUT CAKE

    2 1/4 cups flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2/3 cup shortening or butter
    3 eggs
    1 1/4 tsp vanilla
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/2 cup cocoa powder
    1 cup water
    1/2 to 2/3 cup sauerkraut, chopped, rinsed, drained

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Cream together shortening and sugar. Add eggs; mix well. Add vanilla, salt and cocoa. Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Alternating, add flour mixture and water. Fold in sauerkraut. Bake in a greased and floured 9x13-inch pan at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes. Frost with your favorite frosting.

    MARTHA'S CHOCOLATE CAKE

    1/4 lb butter
    1/2 cup shortening
    1 cup water
    4 tbsp cocoa
    2 cups sugar
    2 cups flour
    2 eggs, beaten
    1/2 cup milk
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/2 cup pecans

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

    Mix butter, shortening, water, and cocoa in pan and bring to a boil. In bowl, mix sugar and flour. Pour liquid mixture over dry ingredients and then add eggs, milk, vanilla, and pecans. Cook in a greased and floured loaf pan 20 to 30 minutes at 325 degrees.

    ICING
    1 1/4 lb butter
    4 tbsp cocoa
    4 tbsp milk
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 box powdered sugar

    Five minutes before cake is done start the icing. Melt butter, cocoa, milk in pan. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Mix in 1/2 cup pecans. Ice cake while it is hot.

    Enjoy!

    Grandma Linda has a large collection of vintage recipes that she shares on her blog at http://grandmasvintagerecipes.blogspot.com

    For Linda's diabetic recipes and information, visit her website at http://diabeticenjoyingfood.squarespace.com

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 08:41 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Wednesday, 01 October 2008

    Halloween dessert recipes are an essential component to fall festivities. While many are gathering up all of the essential ingredients to create their spookynite snacks, many will be purchasing sugar in order to mix in to give the desserts a sweet taste. Unfortunately, many people who will be purchasing this ingredient simply do not know or understand that there are dangers associated with this substance.

    Here, I will be exploring the dangers of sugar in Halloween dessert recipes. If you have a sweet tooth, or you are concerned about your health and the health of those that will be consuming these Halloween treats, it is important that you pay special attention to the contents of this article.

    When an individual consumes the sugar in Halloween dessert recipes, and other sweets, it throws off the natural homeostasis process. If you are wondering what this is, it is really simple to understand. Homeostasis is simply the equilibrium, or "balance" in the body that is considered to be "ideal".

    It basically means that all of components of the body are working in harmony together for proper maintenance. As sugar enters the body, it throws off this natural and required balance in the body. One of the first areas that are affected in a negative fashion is the immune system of the body.

    Sugar will actually have a negative impact on the defenses that the immune system sets up in order to fight against potentially threatening diseases and sicknesses. When the immunity of the body is suppressed, many health complications may arise.

    Now, when creating those Halloween treats this year, there is a large possibility that children will be consuming them. If you will be using sugar as an ingredient, you may want to consider the effects that it can have on these kids. It has been discovered that adrenaline increases quite rapidly in the body of a child when they consume foods and beverages that contain sugar.

    Furthermore, these children have been observed in experiencing high levels of anxiety and even signs of hyperactivity. Many medical professionals and parents who have observed the effects of sugar on children have noticed that many of these kids are not able to concentrate effectively.

    Irritability and depression are also common side effects. Before creating a menu of all the Halloween dessert recipes that you will be creating this fall, be sure to consider not using as much sugar and finding another source of sweetener to add other than straight sugar. This is only a small list of the dangers associated with this substance.

    Daryl Plaza is a regular contributor to http://www.spookynite.com supplying you with all the information and resources you need to know about Halloween costumes, Halloween food recipes, Halloween party ideas

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 01:26 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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