The Lab – An Experiment To Taste!

A story of a mother, a daughter and a kitchen…

Focusing on family May 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — loneilteaches @ 7:20 pm

I once again must take a step back and focus on family.  While my mom made it through the last immediate health crisis, we are now face to face with the another.  This one is forcing me to focus on my faith and God’s grace.  We have not been given much hope by the physicians here on earth, and are relying on the one true physician, the Lord above.  I ask for your prayers for her peace in whatever form the Lord has planned for her, and prayers for my families acceptance of God’s plan.  I will post as I can, but cooking now is for quick nourishment and not much pleasure.  I hope to return to my kitchen as soon as the Lord sees it in his plan for me.  Thank you for your kind words and prayers, they are truly felt and appreciated.

Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

 

Globe Trotting to Finland! April 19, 2010

Filed under: Globe Trotting,International — loneilteaches @ 6:56 pm
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Tervetuloa!

Pack your bags we are off again, this time to the wonderful land of Finland!

Finland is to the east of Sweden and separated by the Gulf of Bothnia in the Baltic Sea.

I’m about to get on board, are you ready to go?

So whatever food strikes your fancy that is traditional to Finland, or a new modern recipe or even a recipe that has your own spin on Finland, cook to your hearts content and then post a blog about it.

Permalink your actual blog post about your adventure below.

Be sure to include a link back to this post in your blog, and include Globe Trotting Bake Off either in the title or in the first few lines of your blog.

Post by Monday, April 26th, or as soon as life allows.

Have fun and enjoy the adventure!!

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Velkommen from Denmark!

Filed under: bread,Globe Trotting,International — loneilteaches @ 6:54 pm
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Wow Denmark is beautiful!

Denmark is 16,640 square miles, and has a population of 5,534,738 people.  For such a small country, there is no shortage in beauty.  Denmark’s capital is Copenhagen.

When looking at Copenhagen, I became entranced with one of the sites there called the Tivoli.  The Tivoli is a center for art, music, entertainment, and gardens.

North of Copenhagen is the town of Aarhus.  Aarhus is Denmark’s second largest city.  Aarhus is the home of Marselisborg Memorial.  The Memorial is a memoriam to those lives that were lost in World War I.

Between Aarhus and Copenhagen lies the island of Fyn.  The city of Odense is on the island of Fyn.  Odense is Denmark’s third largest city and the birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson.

In addition to the Hans Christian Anderson’s childhood home pictured above, there are two additional museums that honor the great fairy tale author.  Fyn is also the home of castles and manor houses that lie on beautiful gardens.

All of this information and pictures come from Visit Denmark.

My extent of traveling to Denmark, unfortunately only involved Almond Bread from Wonderful, Wonderful Danish Cooking by Jensen.

  • 3 Medium Eggs — beaten
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 Cups Flour — sifted
  • 1/2 Cup Almonds — chopped

Add sugar to eggs and beat until very thick. Add flour with baking powder. Blend in chopped almonds and mix well. Place in greased loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes. Frost if desired

The recipe did not state a baking temperature, so I went with the standard 350 degrees.

Note – Don’t try to cut bread using a bread knife with a full cast on your arm!  Blood will flow, mark my words.  :-)  The bread, however is delicious.  It has a lightly sweet taste with a wonderfully crunchy crust.

 

Globe Trotting off to Denmark! April 13, 2010

Filed under: Globe Trotting,International — loneilteaches @ 7:07 pm
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Velkomstord!

Are you ready for a trip?  Grab your rucksack, the train is pulling out of the station!  All aboard for Denmark!!

Denmark shares a short land border with Germany, but the majority of Denmark is surrounded by the Baltic Sea.

Hurry up, get on board the wind mills are calling.  Can you hear them?

So whatever food strikes your fancy that is traditional to Denmark, or a new modern recipe or even a recipe that has your own spin on Denmark, cook to your hearts content and then post a blog about it.

Permalink your actual blog post about your adventure below.

Be sure to include a link back to this post in your blog, and include Globe Trotting Bake Off either in the title or in the first few lines of your blog.

Post by Monday, April 19th, or as soon as life allows.

Have fun and enjoy the adventure!!

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Off to Norway…

Filed under: Desert - Non Cupcakes,Globe Trotting — loneilteaches @ 7:06 pm
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Greetings from Norway and my kitchen. Well, it has been a hard few weeks. My right arm is now in a cast from my fingers to my elbow, so I am quickly finding out that my cooking abilities are very limited with only having one hand. My daughter has been helping a great deal with the cooking, and she has helped out again with these cookies. Well the issue with these little cookies or Kringla as they are called in Norway did not cooperate as a good little cookie should. So off to Norway we go…

Norway has a population of about 4.8 million people and covers over 385 square kilometers.  The official Head of State of Norway is King Harald V.  Norway has many points of interest from the North Cape in the north to Kristiansand in the south.

The North Cape lies is a large portion of Norway called Finnmark.  The North Cape is one of the many areas of Norway where you can see the northern lights.

The area of North Cape is also called the Land of the Midnight Sun.

One of the neatest things that I have seen is the cruise availability that specialize in the midnight sun.  You can choose one of these cruises and the sun will never set!  How amazing it would be to sit out on deck at 2:00 AM and still have the sun shining down.

The world’s strongest tidal current is 33 kilometers from Bodo, and close to the Lofoten Islands.  This is an area of amazing eagle watching and fishing.

Sognefjord is Norway’s longest and deepest fjord.  Sognefjord is in southern Norway in part of the country called Fjord Norway.  This area is also home to the Flam Railway.

Oslo is Norway’s capital.  Oslo is surrounded by a fjord, hills and forests.  Oslo is like many large cities and had many beautiful tourist attractions.

Kristiansand is in southernmost Norway.  This is a land of many rocky islands, white roofed houses, lush green forests, mountains and lakes.  Kristiansand is Norway’s well held vacation resort region.

Well, back to my misbehaving little cookies.  Katie mixed up the cookie batter, and the recipe said they should be rolled out into ropes and then curved into the infinity symbol.  This dough was so moist that there was no way to roll it out.  We decided to put the dough in the fridge and let it chill.  Well, a day later and there is still no way to roll this dough out!  I simply decided to scoop out the dough using a cookie scoop, so my kringla do not look traditional, but hey I am not Norwegian either!

The kringla kind of taste like the soft part of a pancake with the syrup added to them.  They are good, but I can’t help but wonder what real Norwegian kringla taste like!  Here is the recipe I used…

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
  • 1 1/3 cups white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the heavy cream and sour cream. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Let the sour cream mixture come to room temperature. It should take about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).
  3. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, shortening, and egg yolk together using an electric mixer. Stir the vanilla and baking soda into the sour cream mixture. Stir the sour cream mixture into the bowl with the sugar and shortening until well blended. Combine the flour and baking powder; stir into the batter until fully incorporated.
  4. Place the dough on a well-floured surface, as the dough will be sticky. Use ping pong ball sized pieces of dough, and roll out into an 8 or 9 inch rope. Form into a ‘lazy eight’ or ‘infinity sign’, and pinch the ends together. Place on ungreased cookie sheets.
  5. Bake for 5 minutes in the preheated oven, or until slightly brown. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Store at room temperature for up to 5 days, or 1 month in the freezer.

This is the link to the recipe:  http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Kringla-II/Detail.aspx

Well, thanks for joining us in Norway!  I look forward to seeing you in Denmark!

 

Globe Trotting off to Norway! April 4, 2010

Filed under: Globe Trotting,International — loneilteaches @ 7:57 pm
Tags: ,

Velkommen!

Do you need a get away?  Have you ever dreamed of visiting Norway?  Are you like me and have the desire to travel but are lacking the funding?  If you have answered yes to any of these then please consider “traveling” with us through your kitchen.  We are venturing off to Norway.

Norway is in Northern Europe, and is part of Scandinavia.

Join us, I know there has to be more to Norway than the Norway exhibit at Disney World’s Epcot!

So whatever food strikes your fancy that is traditional to Norway, or a new modern recipe or even a recipe that has your own spin on Norway cook to your hearts content and then post a blog about it.

Permalink your actual blog post about your adventure below.

Be sure to include a link back to this post in your blog, and include Globe Trotting Bake Off either in the title or in the first few lines of your blog.

Post by Monday, April 12th, or as soon as life allows.

Have fun and enjoy the adventure!!

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Sweet Melissa Sunday’s and Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Filed under: Desert - Non Cupcakes,Sweet Melissa Sundays — loneilteaches @ 3:45 pm
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This week I am blessed to host Sweet Melissa Sunday’s baking group.  I am a little late posting with the family emergencies that I ran into and explained in previous posts.  I do hope you can forgive me when you taste these wonderful little cookies.  The recipe for the Pecan Shortbread Cookies can be found on page 84.  I do agree with Mellissa Murphy, these cookies remind me more of a Mexican Wedding Cookie than the traditional shortbread cookie.

I really enjoy looking at the history and ethnicity of food, so the shortbread is no different.  Here is what I found looking at Scottish Shortbreads

Scottish Shortbread

Scottish cookery has always differed from that south of the Border. The Romans influenced English cooking but as they did not venture far into Scotland, historically Scottish cuisine developed slowly. Scottish cooking methods advanced through the influence of the French at the court of Mary Queen of Scots and later through the elaborate dishes served to English lords with Scottish estates. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert acquired Balmoral in the 19th century and whilst they brought with them the rich food of the English court, they also liked to serve traditional Scottish dishes to important visitors.

Through the ‘Taste of Scotland’ scheme that promotes authentic and innovative Scottish cooking, Scottish cuisine is enjoying a renaissance and now many believe that the best food in Britain is to be found north of the Border.

Scottish cooks have always been famous for their soups, haggis (a dish traditionally served on Burns Night) and their baking, especially scones, pancakes, fruit cakes, oatcakes and shortbread.

The story of shortbread begins with the medieval “biscuit bread”. Any leftover dough from bread making was dried out in a low oven until it hardened into a type of rusk: the word “biscuit” means “twice cooked”. Gradually the yeast in the bread was replaced by butter, and biscuit bread developed into shortbread.

Shortbread was an expensive luxury and for ordinary people, shortbread was a special treat reserved just for special occasions such as weddings, Christmas and New Year. In Shetland it was traditional to break a decorated shortbread cake over the head of a new bride on the threshold of her new home. The custom of eating shortbread at New Year has its origins in the ancient pagan Yule Cakes which symbolised the sun. In Scotland it is still traditionally offered to “first footers” at New Year.

Shortbread has been attributed to Mary, Queen of Scots, who in the mid 16th century was said to be very fond of  Petticoat Tails, a thin, crisp, buttery shortbread originally flavoured with caraway seeds.

There are two theories regarding the name of these biscuits. It has been suggested that the name “petticoat tail” may be a corruption of the Frenchpetites gatelles (“little cakes”).

However these traditional Scottish shortbread biscuits may in fact date back beyond the 12th century. The triangles fit together into a circle and echo the shape of the pieces of fabric used to make a full-gored petticoat during the reign of Elizabeth I. The theory here is that the name may have come from the word for the pattern which was ‘tally’, and so the biscuits became known as ‘petticoat tallis’.

Shortbread is traditionally formed into one of three shapes: one large circle divided into segments (“Petticoat Tails”); individual round biscuits (“Shortbread Rounds”); or a thick  rectangular slab cut into “fingers.”

Well enough said, I look forward to reading your cookie reviews!

These make beautifully light cookies.  They are no what I would consider an overly sweet cookie.  The cookies are also not what I would consider a shortbread cookie.  These cookies are very similar to the ones my grandmother made when I was little.  She always called them Russian Tea Cookies, but I also know they are similar to Mexican Wedding Cookies.  I left my pecans in pretty big chunks, which added to the flavor with the roasted pecans.  Thanks for all that gave the cookies a try.  I do hope everyone has had a blessed Easter and Passover.

 

 
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