Posted by Catur Setiawan | 2:55 PM | , , | 0 comments »


Sweet Potato Pie from Kendall Bruns on Vimeo.

I decided to make a Sweet Potato Pie for my family to eat on Thanksgiving.

This video inspired some parodies - check 'em out... vimeo.com/sweetpotatopie

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Love to Cook! Hate Clean Up!

I like to cook, but I hate the clean up. After my slaving over the stove or oven, my family was happy to consume the fruits of my labors, but not so happy about helping with the clean up. I wasn’t all that happy about it either. Over a lifetime, I have found a number of ways to make kitchen clean up quicker and easier for everyone. Read this article for my top ten tips for quicker kitchen clean up.

1. To minimize sticking, when baking or roasting, spray the baking pan or dish with an aerosol cooking spray. If you don’t like aerosol sprays, warm your baking pan or dish, then apply olive or cooking oil to the pan using a paper towel to spread.

2. To minimize sticking, when frying, warm your frying pan before adding the oil or cooking fat.

3. Use roasting bags to minimize clean up and keep food moist.



4. Once your remove food from a frying pan, turn off the pan, let cool slightly, then add enough water to cover the bottom. The water will deglaze the pan and make removing any “fried on” bit easier, when you clean it. This also works for roasting pans. DO NOT do this if you have oil still in the pan. Oil and water do not mix, so adding water will not help and could cause spattering.

5. Save old pickle or other food jars and pour used (cooled) cooking oil into them for neat disposal.

6. Use a piece of tin foil on table or counter for rolling out cookie dough.

7. Use tin foil on baking sheets for a quick clean up.

8. Peel potatoes or other vegetables onto paper towels for a quick toss of the peels.

9. Use a large bowl for all your disposable cooking scraps and everything to be tossed will be in one place—instead of all over the counter.

10. Wash as you go. As you are cooking, immediately wash any used bowls, pots, pans, or utensils, before food has time to dry and stick. This is particularly true for any pot where you have cooked a starchy food such as potatoes or pasta.

If you use these ten tips for quicker kitchen clean up, you will be out of the kitchen faster and on to doing other things.

P.S. For those of you who can find them, Reynolds has just come out with crock-pot cooking bags. Yippee! Easy crock-pot clean up too.

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Using and Caring for Stoneware

Posted by Catur Setiawan | 2:21 PM | , , , | 2 comments »

Delicious Foods - Fast and Easy!


My favorite cookware is stoneware. I have several pieces: a round pizza stone, two large bar pans from Pampered Chef, a loaf pan, and a muffin pan. I use them all the time! Since I bought my stoneware, I haven't used metal or glass bakeware at all!

Stoneware is unique - it's a bit different to cook in, and stoneware is definitely different to take care of!

There are many different kinds of stoneware on the market today. There are several distinct differences between types. Some are glazed, and most of the instructions I give here will not apply. Most people are familiar with glazed stoneware in the form of a crockpot. Glazed stoneware can be washed in soap and water, and does not need to be seasoned. It may be glazed in any color of the rainbow and have patterns or decorations, producing beautiful stones. However, glazed stones lack the non-stick capabilities of unglazed stoneware.

Unglazed stoneware comes in several colors. The most common are red and "white" (which is really a variety of off-white colors). My pizza stone is a yellowish gray with tiny flecks of darker material in it, and my Pampered Chef stoneware is a medium beige. I have never used red stoneware and so cannot comment on it other than I've read that it must be soaked prior to use. The off-white clays are fired at a much higher temperature and may be used "as-is", which makes them far more convenient. Be sure to buy your stoneware from a reputable dealer, as some foreign clays may contain lead.

I have found several things to be true when cooking in stoneware.

First, new stoneware needs to be seasoned. The easiest way to do this is to cook something greasy but not overly flavored in it - crescent rolls are a good choice for seasoning stoneware. Clean it according to the instructions below. Do this several times, and you'll have perfectly seasoned stoneware!

Second, some recipes need to be slightly adjusted. Because stoneware heats evenly but slowly, and retains heat, the cooking time may need to be adjusted. Also, if you leave food in the pan after removing from the oven, it may still cook for a short time. It's best to cook food completely and remove to another pan or cooling rack, to guarantee results. Some foods just get better if you leave them, though (crispy potatoes, for example). Also, some bread and muffin recipes seem to need a tiny bit less liquid. If you cook in stoneware with a tight-fitting lid, you may need significantly less liquid.

There are some important safety factors to consider when cooking on stoneware. Stoneware pans get VERY hot and take a long time to cool off. Be sure to use hot mitts, and always touch the stoneware with a quick fingertip if you're not sure that it will be cold.and I've gone out to wash the dishes after a leisurely supper and discovered the pan to be too hot to touch. One time I found this out the hard way, resulting in bad burns on both hands. An additional danger of washing hot stoneware is that it may break. Rapid temperature change is "deadly" to stoneware! For the same reason, although you can refrigerate and freeze foods directly in your stoneware, be sure to bring food to room temperature before putting the food in the oven. Never add liquid to hot stoneware. Don't put stoneware on a direct heat source (such as a stove burner) or under a broiler.

Most unglazed stoneware has a slightly "rough" feel to the bottom. Do not slide it along your countertop on its way to the oven! Be very careful not to bump or drop your stoneware - it can crack or even shatter. Take care in how you store your stones, so they do not get bumped by each other or by your other pans.

You can cook almost anything in stoneware! Use it in the oven or microwave (note that foods may not brown or crisp if you microwave them). Breads, muffins, cookies, and biscuits all turn out very well when baked in a stone. Pizza is frequently baked on stoneware. Any meat will turn out tender and juicy. Potatoes are excellent when cooked on stoneware. Anything you can bake - you can bake in stoneware!

You simply cannot clean unglazed stoneware in the same way that you do "regular" pots and pans. Commit right from the beginning to NEVER use soap. That's right! Never, ever, ever use soap on your stoneware. Only clean room-temperature stoneware. If it's hot or cold, allow it to come to room temp before cleaning! Clean your stoneware with a plastic scraper widget. If one did not come with your stone, ask at a kitchen store, order one from Pampered Chef, or try a semi-flexible credit card. Scrape off food and rinse steadily under the hottest water that will come from your tap. Be sure to get off anything that's stuck on, especially in the edges. Dry before storing.

Unglazed stoneware will start to turn color from the first use. My stones are numerous shades of dark brown. Some people think this is ugly, but I think it's beautiful - all of that discoloration is a sign of the stone's non-stick capabilities.

From time to time, you will want to deep-clean your stone. You will need to do this after the first couple of uses, because foods may stick until the stone is seasoned. You may also want to do this if you cooked something especially greasy, sticky, or flavorful in your stoneware. First, scrape off anything you can that's stuck on. Then run the stone under very hot water. Sprinkle the wet pan with baking soda and gently scrub (I use one of those soapless green scrubby pads). Leave the pan to sit for half an hour. If you're deep-cleaning because soap or rancid food came in contact with the stoneware, leave it to sit overnight. Use the plastic widget to scrape off the baking soda, then rinse in the hottest tap water available. Do not do this too often, as repeated deep cleaning can remove some of the non-stick capability of your stoneware.

A warning - collecting stoneware can be addicting! I've accumulated all of my pieces over the past year. I'm planning several more purchases in the near future. Cooking in stoneware is fast, easy, delicious, and fun!

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Ways that You Can Spruce Up Your Tired Kitchen

There are ways that you can improve the interior of your kitchen. Your kitchen should be a welcoming place for your family and friends. A room that you can entertain your guest. Your kitchen should be a place that you can use for different purposes such as preparing and cooking meals, entertaining family and friends, and dining. Your kitchen should have large appliances as well as small kitchen appliances. Your large kitchen appliances can give your kitchen a newer updated look. And can also improve the look of your kitchen interior. When choosing a color for appliances pick out a color that you will be happy with, because appliances tend to last a long time before wearing out. Matching appliances will look good in any kitchen. You should have several small appliances in your kitchen such as a coffee maker, toaster, blender, mixer and microwave oven just to mention a few. These small appliances can make preparing meals simple and less time consuming.


There are other ways that you can improve the look of your kitchen interior. Adding a new counter top will improve the overall appearance of your kitchen. There are beautiful counter tops on the market now days that can give your kitchen a whole new look. Granite counter tops are especially popular for the rich look they can give to your kitchen. Painting you kitchen walls is important to brighten up your kitchen area. Just adding a coat of paint to your kitchen walls can improve the interior of your kitchen. Adding new flooring to your kitchen is another way to improve your kitchens appearance. There are many types of kitchen flooring. Some popular types that people like are hard wood flooring and ceramic flooring. These types of floorings are very durable and long lasting.

Cabinets can improve your kitchens interior. Your kitchen cabinets are one of the first things people will notice about your kitchen. People like natural wood grain cabinets with complimenting hardware. These types of cabinets are used in many kitchens and are beautiful and easy to care for. Other items that will compliment your kitchen interior are the accessories that you add to your walls such as pictures, shelves, clocks and other decorative accessories for your kitchen. Some kitchen that don't have enough cabinet space can add a kitchen cupboard to make more room for dishes pots and pans. These are just a few of the ways that you can improve your kitchen interior. And make your kitchen look its best.

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How to Organize Our Kitchen

Posted by Catur Setiawan | 8:29 AM | , , | 0 comments »

Whether you are just moving in or your current arrangement does not flow quite as smoothly as it could, organizing your kitchen can streamline your activities and keep your kitchen looking neat and tidy.

Steps

  1. Toss anything you don't use. Pass it along to a friend or relative, add it to a neighborhood garage sale, or donate it to charity. Be honest! When did you last use that melon baller, meatball scoop, or cookie press? Do you even know what the gizmos do? Do you really need two? Could a more general tool do the job? If you get rid of it, you will not have to hunt past it for things you do use or find a space to store it.
  2. Replace things that don't work. If the handle on a pot rattles, the spout always gets clogged up, or the pan always scorches the food, fix or replace it! If you can't afford a replacement now, put it on a list and save your pennies, or request one for a birthday or holiday.
  3. Store frequently-used objects in easy-to-reach locations. Notice what you use most often. Figure out where you will use them most. Infrequently used items, like the roasting pan that you only haul out during the holidays, can go on high shelves or in the back of cabinets. They can even be stored outside the kitchen in the garage, attic, basement, guest room closet, or a box under a bed.

Make sure every item in your kitchen has earned its right to take up your valuable space! Remember: if you use it infrequently enough, it should go out altogether. Just because it is large or expensive, does not mean you must keep it. If you made pasta twice ten years ago, please pitch the pasta machine.
  • Create centers of activity and store related utensils near where they will be used. Here are some common centers of activity, in the order that food will travel through the kitchen:
* Preparation. Cutting board, knives, measuring cups and spoons, and mixing bowls all go here.
* Cooking. The stove and oven plus the utensils that go with them. This area should include pots and pans, pot holders, spoons and spatulas (a utensil jar works well for these).
* Baking. If you love to bake, you might find it handy to store your flour, sugar, baking powder, a set of measuring cups and spoons, your favorite mixing bowl, etc. together in one convenient spot.
* Serving. The table, plus tableware, serving dishes, napkins, trivets, and anything else you need to sit down and eat. Soy sauce? Salt and pepper shakers? Sugar bowl? Ask yourself whether it would be more convenient to store your dishes and silverware near the table or the dishwasher.
* Cleaning. The sink, dishwasher and surroundings. Soap, gloves, dish pan, drying rack, cleansers, towels, etc.
* Waste disposal. Keep a trash can handy, plus recycling and compost bins, too. Locate them as centrally as possible without being in the way. They should go near the cleaning and food preparation areas.
  • Clear the counter. Pay particular attention to reducing the number of objects stored permanently on the counter. The counter needs frequent cleaning and it is your primary workspace. Find another place for knickknacks and anything else that doesn't absolutely need to live there.
  • Make a list. Tattered dishcloths? Out of soap? As you go, write down supplies you find lacking or worn out. Also write down side projects that you find as you go (such as fixing a wobbly table leg). Writing them down allows you to tackle distractions later without missing things.
  • Tackle the paper. Do mail, homework, newspapers, phone calls, or bill paying generate paper in the kitchen? Decide between these strategies:
    * Give paper another home. Create a paper-sorting center, ideally between the mailbox and the kitchen, with bins for sorting paper, a recycling bin and trash can, space to write, and other necessary supplies.
    * Make a proper space for paper in the kitchen. Admit that it's going to land there and have a tidy place to put it and a system for clearing it out regularly.
  • Clean as you go. When you clear one drawer or shelf, wipe out the crumbs before replacing the contents. Cleaning a little at a time makes it less of a chore.

Tips

  • Organize according to how traffic and activities do flow, not necessarily according to how they should flow.
  • No organizational system is set in stone. Experiment with different arrangements. Notice what works and what doesn't. If you use something differently than you anticipated, or if your habits change, move it.
  • If you choose to put spices near the stove, make sure they will stay cool and dry. Heat and moisture will spoil the flavor, and you will have to replace them much more often.
  • Find drawer trays that fit your drawers to keep things tidy and in order within drawers.
  • Do you have a "junk drawer" or other catch-all area in your kitchen? If so, why? Take a good, critical look at its contents. Consider giving it a specific purpose and definitely throw out any junk that's not needed!
  • Entire stores exist that specialize in junk storage devices. Do not start organizing your kitchen by heading to such a store with wallet in hand. If you have thoroughly decluttered an area and established an organization system, and still think that a shelf, rack, tray, or bin will help you make better use of space, then go get just the item you need. Otherwise those "handy" items are just more clutter.
  • Try sorting small hand utensils according to size/length. Keeping the small and the large separated will speed your search for the correct utensil.
  • Knives need a special place all their own. Typically knives don't get dull from being used. Instead they get dull from being banged around in a drawer with other knives, utensils or dishes.
  • You can sometimes store knives conveniently (and safely) by inserting the blade in the space between the stove and the counter top. But watch out -- make sure the blade doesn't get hot when the stove is on!
  • Liquid hand soap is a must in any kitchen. It's more hygienic than bar soap and there's no slimy soap dish.

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Thanks for your visiting

Posted by Catur Setiawan | 6:23 AM | | 0 comments »

Sorry, this page under constructions

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