I’ve lived in America for many years, I’m a US citizen now with American children, and I’ve sold many recipe binders and recipe boxes with my little company to many lovely fellow Americans. But sometimes there’s this little doubt that creeps into my British mind that perhaps some things I’ll just never understand about this country.
This…is one of those times.
1. Thou shalt not filleth muffin cups more than 3/4 full. Beyond that gets you the dreaded flat frisbee top. 2. Preserveth thy pan. Put 3 tablespoons or so of water in any unused muffin cup. This keeps the pan from warping. 3. Round mound must abound. To get a rounded top on your muffin, only grease the bottom of the cup and halfway up the sides. It’s the bottom that always sticks anyway, and that upper grease-free part gives the ingredients something to “climb” on. 4. Feareth not the sticky muffin. If your muffins stick to the pan, put the hot pan on a wet towl for two minutes or so. 5. Cast false geological artifacts aside from your muffins. Your muffins have tunnels or peaks? Probably either too much mixing or liquid. 6. Go not into the muffin genesis without donning protection. Paper liner in cups make it much easier to clean up. 7. Seek ye the perfect muffin. The ideal American muffin has a rounded top, a thin brown crust with a slight cruch (add a little sugar glaze for this effect) and a nicely moist center.
There are some basic ones that are so frequently used you almost wonder why you ever wrote it down. But why not take a few minutes and write it down for the rest of us?
Basic Tomato Sauce
• 3/4 cup chopped onion
• 4-6 cloves minced garlic (minced)
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes (yes, I know fresh is better. But sometimes…)
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1 bay leaf
• 1(6 ounce) can tomato paste
• 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1. In a pot over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is soft.
2. Stir in tomatoes, salt, sugar and bay leaf. Cover, reduce to low, and simmer 70-100 minutes.
3. Stir in tomato paste, basil, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and simmer 30 minutes more.
It may take a while to cook, but the whole house will smell like nice Italian steamy goodness!
We get asked sometimes, “What’s the deal with all the 5 stars? Nobody gets that many great reviews.” Truth is, we do. Why? We inspect every product we ship out for quality, and we will not ship it if it wouldn’t look good in my own kitchen. Our Boise-based warehouse is EXTREMELY thorough, which is why we have such high quality recipe binders and very nice recipe boxes.
Sweet…tart…sugary…lemony…can you think of a better thirst quencher than a Lemon Shake-Up? The kind you get at carnivals and festivals? I sure can’t! And from what I can see in my recipe box, there are two totally separate opinions on the best way to make these satisfying drinks. Should you use a sugar syrup or just sugar? I pulled two recipes from my trusty recipe binder (which, by the way, features luscious lemons!) – one of each type. Try them both. Then let us know which is your favorite!
First, the EASIEST way:
1. Pour 1/2 cup sugar into a 16 oz. cup.
2. Cut 2 lemons in half.
3. Hand squeeze lemons; drop juice and lemons into cup.
4. Add ice as desired and fill cup with water.
5. Cover the cup and shake it vigorously until the sugar is dissolved.
Next, the “sugar syrup” way:
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (reserve rinds)
1. Combine sugar and water.
2. Boil for 5 minutes; cool to room temperature.
3. Add lemon juice.
4. Strain and keep refrigerated.
To make Lemon Shake-Up:
1. Add approximately 2 tablespoons of syrup to each glass of ice water.
2. Add the rind of one/half lemon that you squeezed to get the juice.
3. Cover glass and shake to blend.
So….what do you think? Easy or sugary – or both? Let us know! Or if you have a BETTER way to make lemon shake-ups in YOUR recipe box, please share!
Thought I knew how to eat a cupcake. I bet you thought you knew how to eat a cupcake, too. Recently I saw a TV food show about the favorite foods of some of the top chefs in the country. One of them gushed about a local cupcake and catering company in her nearby town.
And then she showed us all how to each a cupcake.
Most people think they know how to eat a cupcake. You take the pleated cupcake liner paper off and toss it away (or chew on it awhile). Then you dig your chops into the middle, biting off an equal amount of cake and frosting, often smudging a bit on your upper lip. Continue reading →
We at The Cookbook People like to help Mother Earth whenever possible, so we carry some lovely items for the environment-conscious “green” person on your gift list who likes to receive gift items made from sustainable resources like bamboo. Continue reading →